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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok guys,

I am thinking of a small 4MM finescale layout, but I have a few questions...

which is easier to convert, steam or diesel?

where is the best place to get wheels, or does Alan Gibson make P4 or EM?

can most RTR models be converted, or are there some that cannot be done? same with wagon and coaches?

Sorry if I sound a bit slow...

Sean
 

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I would say from what I have seen that Diesel tends to be easier to convert to EM/P4 than steam as they don't have the 'waggly' bits on the outside, so can be as easy as a straight axle swap


Wheels can be obtained from Alan Gibson, Ultrascale, Exactoscale(now owned by C&L) amongst others.

Again, probably most RTR stuff can be converted, but it would require variable amounts of work, so some may be a straight swap, whereas some might need a new chassis.....

HTH, and remember, the only stupid question is the one which isn't asked!!


Regards,

Cameron(Kiwionrails)
 

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Hi Sean, you don't say to what standard you are planning to model.

I agree with Cameron.

Here are some links for you to have a look at: http://www.doubleogauge.com/ http://www.emgs.org/ and http://www.scalefour.org/

00FS has finer standards that bog standard 00, EM looks good and P4 looks even better with dead scale standards. The work and expense required goes up as the standards rise.

I am in the planning phase to go EM.

John
 

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QUOTE (Brossard @ 27 Sep 2013, 15:03) <{POST_SNAPBACK}><Snip>
00FS has finer standards that bog standard 00, EM looks good and P4 looks even better with dead scale standards.

I am in the planning phase to go EM.

John

Speaking of 00SF, here is a link to their website.


Regards,

Cameron(Kiwionrails)
 

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QUOTE (Brossard @ 27 Sep 2013, 15:21) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Now you've shown me up, I didn't know about that. I thought DOGA was THE place for 00FS. Thanks.

John

I *think* the DOGA 'fine' standards are different to 00SF, with the difference being that DOGA Fine uses 16.5mm Gauge track and 14.8mm BTB, whereas 00SF has 16.2mm Gauge track and 14.4mm BTB. I compiled a list of all the main 00 standards I could think of onto the MRF Wiki last year.


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Cameron(Kiwionrails)
 

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That sounds about right Cameron. The standards seem to reduce running clearance (standard 00 is 0.5mm) between wheel and rail although the flangeways are still 1 mm (same as DOGA Fine and EM). I don't see any dimensions (other than 16.2mm gauge) on the link you provided so I can't easily compare.

John
 

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I think these are the critical dimensions for 00SF

  • 16.2mm 00-SF Track Gauges
  • 15.2mm 00-SF Check Rail Gauges
  • 16.2mm 00-SF Three Point Track Gauges
  • 1.0mm 00-SF Crossing Flangeway Gauges
(From the list of available gauges here)

And for DOGA Fine
Regards,

Cameron(Kiwionrails)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Howdy all, Ive been away from the computer for a few days, so its nice to see some good detailed information in reply,

In all honesty I have very little knowledge of either P4 or EM having worked solely with OO and smaller scales (N and NN3 more recently!)

Having read through that EM strikes me as being a good starting point to play with, and gives me a good excuse to try track building (with my layout being in such an early stage again it seemed an ideal time to think about changing over!) i think, with the amount of stock I have to kit build it could be time to really go for it!

Next question with the EM gauge, would that effect the size of buildings and what have you (again, I point out I am TOTAL novice hear) and second, where is the best place to get some information on track building? I have some Peco code 100 Nickle silver track, could that be re-gauged and used? or is it best to start from scratch??

thanks for the replys guys
 

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QUOTE (sean hpw @ 28 Sep 2013, 23:37) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Howdy all, Ive been away from the computer for a few days, so its nice to see some good detailed information in reply,

In all honesty I have very little knowledge of either P4 or EM having worked solely with OO and smaller scales (N and NN3 more recently!)

Having read through that EM strikes me as being a good starting point to play with, and gives me a good excuse to try track building (with my layout being in such an early stage again it seemed an ideal time to think about changing over!) i think, with the amount of stock I have to kit build it could be time to really go for it!

Next question with the EM gauge, would that effect the size of buildings and what have you (again, I point out I am TOTAL novice hear) and second, where is the best place to get some information on track building? I have some Peco code 100 Nickle silver track, could that be re-gauged and used? or is it best to start from scratch??

thanks for the replys guys
In terms of track design(and the surrounding buildings) from what i have seen and read the finer gauges tend to require gentler curves than what we are typically used to in 00

You could rip the rail out of the sleeper bases and use that as a basis for some EM gauge track, although it would probably be better to sell the current track if you don't have too much and use the money from that to buy some plain rail from the likes of C&L. I do have a book on track building back in Cambridge which i found to be very informative, but can't for the life of me remember what it is called at the moment....

EDIT: Found it.
An approach to building Finescale Track in 4mm. By Iain Rice


In terms of further information on the two gauges, both the EM and P4 Societies have quite extensive websites, and IIRC you can buy a lot of the gauges needed through them.

Personally for me, I am seriously considering either 00SF or P4, and not really EM as I personally feel that if i'm going to go to all the effort to go to the finer scales that I should go the whole hog. That is not to say that all should do that, but just what I am considering.

Regards,

Cameron(Kiwionrails)
 

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Sean, all that EM does is make the gauge a little closer to scale and fines things up. The models are still 4mm/ft.

As for track, I can recommend the following books: Iain Rices' Finescale Track http://britishrailwaybooks.co.uk/books/ISBN/1874103003.php and

Trax 2 http://www.transportdiversions.com/publica....asp?pubid=4070 (comes with a CD with a track template program) The instructions were good enough to allow me to make a double slip in code 100.

DVD: http://www.model-railway-dvd.co.uk/right_track10.php Terrific Track with Norman Soloman. It says sold out so you may have to do some checking around.

To start, I recommend making points using copperclad timbers. These don't have chair detail but, once painted and ballasted, look pretty good. You can get all the kit from C&L: http://www.finescale.org.uk/index.php

I would say you should use code 75 bullhead (BH) rail. For modern track, flatbottom rail is more common I think, code 82. Code 100 rail is too big IMO, so yes start from scratch. C&L do flex track, but as far as I can tell only in BH.

You'll need roller gauges at the very least. There are advanced gauges (a 3 point gauge is handy because it gives some gauge widening on curves) and jigs which can be sourced at EMGS so a good idea to join.

My advice is to take your time. Read up on the subject, collect the recommended tools, jigs, gauges etc. Make sure you have good soldering equipment. Your first tries may not be so great (mine weren't) but keep at it.

John
 

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SMP apparently do EM as well as OO flexi-track, according to their catalogue. Marcway (who own and distribute SMP) sell hand-made points in EM. I have no experience of their EM track, but I am pleased with the OO SMP flexi-track and Marcway points. Marcway points are the 'copper-clad' type, so are a bit more robust, but less detailed than the C&L kits in that they don't have the chairs for the Bullhead rails.

Marcway points are more expensive than, for instance, Peco code 75. I paid £170 for 8 pairs of 36" points, which did stretch my budget. Although buying ready-made points for either EM or proper OO track is an option, making your own points might be a better one. In the future, I could see myself having a go at making some copper-clad ones, although I am likely to do it for the OO gauge.
 

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Good point (pun alert!) about SMP Richard. I haven't used them for ready made points, having made my own copper clad ones. They are a viable alternative if, as you say, your budget can stretch that far and if, as discussed elsewhere, your skills aren't there yet. There's no harm in trying, hand made copper clad points cost only a pound or so for material. C&L sell ready made components, such as blades and crossings, as well.

One thing about the nickel silver rail is that C&L's HiNi (or some such) is a superior alloy and looks less yellow than other NS rail.

I got a job lot of SMP stuff a couple of weeks ago including a full pack of flex track and some kits. Tons of wooden sleepers and rivets as well.

John
 

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QUOTE (Brossard @ 29 Sep 2013, 13:40) <{POST_SNAPBACK}><snip>
One thing about the nickel silver rail is that C&L's HiNi (or some such) is a superior alloy and looks less yellow than other NS rail.
<snip>
Although to me I still personally prefer the look of steel rail, although you do need to be more careful about the environment it is kept in, and cleaning flux off after soldering(or using no-clean fluxes). Although once assembled I would say that you might want to attack it with some rattle can primer to protect the metal(obviously cleaning off the railhead
), then painting in your preferred colour.

Personally I've only ever built one point so-far, and it went reasonably well, especially considering that I don't yet own any proper gauges


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Cameron(Kiwionrails)
 

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I think the choice of steel vs NS is a comfort level thing. I did try steel quite some time ago (influenced by that chap Rice) but wasn't comfortable with the soldering. Things have moved on since then with better soldering products but now I have a large stock of NS rail.

My first successful efforts at points involved taking some old Peco code 100 points and remanufacturing with copper clad. I didn't bother salvaging the crossings because they were insulfrog. However, if one was to obtain some cheap Peco code 75 electrofrogs, it should be possible to do the same with these, including re-using the crossings.

I have invested in the more advanced gauges from EMGS.

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I have to say that Nickle silver would be my preference, i had a good look at the C&L website (thanks guys!) and the 100M pack of NS code 75 track sounds like a good price (compare to a box of Peco or similar, which you get about half the rail in!) I think i shall put the code 100 to one side for other duties and get hold of set of gauges.

Cameron,

I take your point re EM/P4, and actually think P4 is the better looking gauge, I have a LMS 2P without a chassis at the moment, so it seems a perfect opertunaty to play with a 'new' gauge

I think, given my stubborn nature I will be building points from scratch, as the layout needs more than a few of them, so the cost of buying pre built ones would near on kill me... Copper clad sleepers, now there is good sense, I noticed that one of the other track builders on hear (I think it was 16A) got some excellent results with it, and the idea of soldeing track to sleeper sounds very good, even for a simpleton like me...

Soldering does not bother me, and I invested in the Precision Gold soldering station (really good piece of kit for the cash it was to!) and now I never use cheep solder...

Keep the ideas coming lads and lasses, this is giving me many ideas...

Sean
 

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Hi Sean,

Maybe you should consider point placement as to whether you go with the copper clad method or the chaired method.

If it is at the front then the chairs are likely to be visible, where as if it is deeper into the layout they may not be. So a combination of both types might be more appropriate.

Cheers

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hi John,

If I honest, I hadnt thought of that! Most of the point work is very close to the front of the layout (most within the first foot of the 18 inches!) so I think you may be onto something... out of interest, can you get metal (Brass or similar?) chairs that can be soldered on to the sleepers, or are they better made of plastic (or similar) and glued into place??

Again sorry for the questions

Sean
 

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QUOTE (sean hpw @ 30 Sep 2013, 08:52) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi John,

If I honest, I hadnt thought of that! Most of the point work is very close to the front of the layout (most within the first foot of the 18 inches!) so I think you may be onto something... out of interest, can you get metal (Brass or similar?) chairs that can be soldered on to the sleepers, or are they better made of plastic (or similar) and glued into place??

Again sorry for the questions

Sean

You *can* get cast brass chairs, but they are significantly more expensive than their plastic counterparts, so what I have normally seen happen for copper-clad points, where chairs are added, is for plastic ones to be cut in half and each half glued on either side.

Regards,

Cameron(Kiwionrails)
 
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