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Like you zmil, I couldn't believe that my humble offering would be good enough to be included in the runners-up section, let alone joint winner. I will be very interested to see how Richard combines the four different suggestions.

A great idea Richard, which has obviously stimulated the old grey cells of quite a few of us. Just looking at the locations of the winners shows how global the MRF has become. It's the sharing of idea through this forum that helps all of us to improve our layouts, and competitions such as this are great for making us think outside the box of our own layouts.

Well done to all who entered and a big thank you to Richard.

Regards,

Trevor (aka Expat)
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
QUOTE (john woodall @ 31 Oct 2008, 15:05) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>so do we get to see the four "winning" plans?

You will John, when I have time to make them into a common format to present - they are a wild variety at the moment!

probably in a week... Lots of other things to do at the moment though!

Richard
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
***Yes, but I would like to get the trackbed down and then I will post a picture of the "in-progress" test track layout. As I don't have time to spend detailing up a drawing to look pretty with extra detail, the basic plan will look pretty meaningless.

fundamentally its at 2 levels. The EM on a high track which will cross the 16.5 double track at one end and simply finish as if an abandoned siding/ line about 2/3 of the way along the module... I may change this to bring it full length (as originally conceived) but unlikely unless I feel inspired to double my bridge building as a means of concealing the other end of the 16.5.

The lower level / 16.5 will be double track with 2 crossovers and a total of three sidings... platform at the 2 siding end with stn bldg etc, other end single siding not yet decided.... could be anything interesting.

I MAY add a small section of 9mm as "narrow gauge"... perhaps making it something like a sleeper making depot with some simple narrow gauge ostensibly for moving the sleepers in and out of the creosoting room etc - its an intersting industry with lots of odd buildings to cobble together.... Otherwise N will remain consigned to a separate formal straight test track for sound programming work.

LHS is all stone/brickwork and buildings + stone retaining walls, centre probably a signal box & RHS will have some natural rockwork, greenery and trees + buildings appropriate for siding.

all will also be made ready for several new products DCCconcepts will produce to be displayed of course....

I had to break my own arm and use Peco track medium radius code 75 points.... simply because most customer locos will run on them, but they are highly modified... I couldn't bear using them without taking to them with sharp things - laying them "as is" would have been impossible to live with :) :). Mods are both electrical & physical - For a start they've all been modded to remove a few CM of rail so they sit at thecorrect double track spacing! I feel better about it having dremelled, snipped, cut and torn them... including ripping the silly spring out. Using Tortoise motors BTW.

I'd much rather have hand built them all and made them #8's or larger built into nice sweeping curves so the layout could have had almost zero straight track...... But I'll get over it if I keep telling myself it IS only a test and programming track after all. Paying nearly as much per point as it would have cost for me to make seven better looking/quality/much more correct points was unappealing too!

To me the most interesting part so far is the control panel... that will be photographable in a day or two - I'm currently wiring it :).

As time passes I will post on:

The Peco mods
The control panel (which will explain the purpose of the test track really)
The basic test track construction
Some parts of the detailing etc...

Be patient

kind regards and a very Merry Christmas to you!

Richard
 

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I will be interested to read about the Peco mods too.

David
 

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*** A quick response on the Peco Mods. Its underway so I simply did these with Photoshop to make it clear. I will post real life images of them later

There are 3 images in the picture showing the physical changes only. (I haven't bothered with showing the electrical mods in this image, I presume all sensible modellers will do them as a matter of course)

Left - unmodified physically

centre - minimum mod: drive point via Seep or tortoise not Peco, so don't need those horrid heavy sleepers. 5 minutes work to remove them and cut off the excess on the point throwbar

lower:
* Remove the heavy sleepers totally, replace with thick C&L plastic ones or copperclad.
* Remove the heavy plastic throwbar totally, replace with narrow copperclad drilled to take the tags on the peco blades.
* Reposition the blades to give less gap between blade and stock rail for better look.
* Add 2x more prototypical looking cosmetic stretchers between blades with short bits of brass wire joined by thin plastic



Other details can then be added to taste so to speak, but the totally non-prototypical "peco look" is gone, and thats the important thing.

Merry Christmas to you all

regards

Richard
 

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Radical


Definitely food for thought there. Thanks for posting the photos and description.

David
 

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*** A little more info and progress information.

Here are a couple of photos of the test track itself....

The frame is a mixture of pine & pre-primed MDF square corner architrave material (saves time). Backscene is also structural so is braced 12mm MDF. The track bed proper is 12mm ply, fascias are 5mm MDF etc etc... The light switch is embedded as is the mains wiring - each end is multi-skinned to keep it tidy.

Quite heavy (about 70 kilogrammes) but no vertical supports needed at all - simply hung off the wall on linked 45 degree plates.





Frame colours match the office: I had to lower the monitor and really didn't want to invest in a new one so the unpainted monitor stand is my own creation - I am really happy with it... I need 2 monitors anyway so will look for a second monitor identical so I can repeat it!

Backdrop is simply painted very pale blue-ish Gray at present... sub-bed is of closed cell foam sheet, actual track-bed my own DCCconcepts product with correct 60 degree ballast shoulders of the same long life material, some of the pointwork has been placed to show where it will go.

I will remove areas of the closed cell foam sub roadbed to properly "Plant" my buildings - one of my pet hates is buildings that have airspace under them so I always do this - every item / building is therefore "in" the layout not on it.

The raised area at the back will be pre-made and plonked in the same way, so that walls will be embedded properly too... with stones that go INTO the ground.

The lights are high quality colour correction bulbs... 6 x 100 watt bulbs - sounds a lot but it isn't really, as it gives a natural mid-day sort of feeling to the layout with no hard shadows to detract from scenery. Not expensive either - I sell them to modellers at only $A3.50 each! (my big layout used 54 - no need for room heating at all :) :) )

Next images: The Control panel - designed with lots of LEDs and switches to allow interface of 5 different systems/computer link devices to each section. Possibly Boxing Day.

Merry Christmas to all

Richard
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
***Merry Christmas Brian.

Beware... Recreating offices, or designing and building things for the office is one very big distraction... I also made the cabinet with printers on and the desk... many hours of sanding, filling and spraying with automotive acrylic laquers. It came out well I think but the desk top was an error - I made it in one piece including the two "bookshelf extensions" and its a double thickness of 18mm customwood throughout - not only heavy but a hugely awkward shape to move anywhere!

Overall though... A satisfying result but hours spent that should have gone into things like my layout!

How was your Christmas?

With Sue and I in Perth, Most of the family in NZ and UK, and my daughters in Helsinki and Vienna it was quiet here for once :) :) ...so I managed to slip in a couple of hours and modified all the Peco points like in the RH image in an earlier post on this thread... I'll paint then stain them in my usual way and drop an image onto the thread in the next couple of days with luck.

regards

Richard
 

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QUOTE (Brian Considine @ 25 Dec 2008, 10:59) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>(I wonder what BRITHO is doing ovewr the Christmas break ?)

If anything like yesterday feeling very sorry for myself and having weird delirious dreams.

regards
 

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QUOTE having weird delirious dreams.

sounds like bad mushrooms?

David
 

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QUOTE (dwb @ 26 Dec 2008, 19:54) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>sounds like bad mushrooms?

Sorry - no artificial stimulants at all (well not since the works do on the 23rd - did I really say that out loud?)

Regards
 

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Hi Richard and a belated Merry Christmas to you and yours.

The new office setup is very smart and the test track looks to be coming along nicely. Can't exactly identify which bit(s) of my design you have used but looking forward to seeing it completed. I am waiting to see pictures of your control panel before I post any pics of mine as yours will probably put my efforts to shame.

Many thanks for all your help and advice over the past year and I hope the New Year is good to you.
 

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*** Hi Trevor

I actually doubt whether much of anyones specific design will be clearly identified but for me, the objective of the competition was inspiraton and motivation, rather than to simply adopt any single plan as presented, so thats OK I hope. In the end I chose to reward the designs that I liked and was frankly very impressed by the efforts of some entrants...

Don't underestimate your work - its always tidy and well done... so post your images!

What I post panel wise will simply be specific to my test track and possibly different in material choices but it will not be "better" in any way.

I'm wondering if I shouldn't perhaps start a new thread for the test track progress as I want to show the point mods in detail plus my way of re-finishing them prior to laying so they don't look like RTR plastic too... followed by the tracklaying and ballasting etc etc etc. to give some ideas to newer modellers.

Should I keep the info here or perhaps go back a step and start a new one? What do you think?

Regards

Richard
 
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