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QUOTE (kiwionrails @ 29 Sep 2013, 00:11) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>... 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...
For anyone who doesn't already have an investment in EM, P4 seems to me the best use of effort. Wheel and motion clearances within steam model bodywork can actually be easier than with EM, thanks to scale section wheels. If you are going to build track, then why not build it to true scale? It is the same assembly operation in either gauge, for a visibly better result in P4.

Been there, sweated away inside that T-shirt. Then I realised that my overwhelming interest in the hands-on aspect of the hobby was actually operating the train service. For me, the optimum scale for the 'running reliability / space for everything' trade off is definitely HO or OO in terms of RTR. (If 3mm RTR had the same commercial support as these scales that is what I would use. But it doesn't, so no point wishing.)

Experimentation with commercial track has determined that complete running reliability of full size trains is available from stock with RP25 wheel sets and a properly set up coupling system, provided that running line radii are easy enough; which with my standard of track laying ability turned out to be 30" and up on plain track, 36" and up on points. No need for OOSF, the commercial items are good enough to deliver the 'always stays on the rails if properly operated' performance required.

Joy unbounded, relatively quick and easy to build a track layout and stock it with largely RTR items. Combined with the leap in control obtained from DCC, this adds up to operational nirvana. Which fits my particular primary interest - operation - perfectly. But that's my interest, for others a different approach will yield more satisfaction.
 

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Well, I'll wade in with my 2 cents.

It's my opinion that there's a progression to these things. Whether making points or improving the realism of our trains, I firmly believe you need to walk before you can run.

I learnt the trade on 00, making a decent layout a few years ago using Peco code 75. I then moved on to making points in copperclad - successfully (even a double slip
) which boosted my confidence no end. I have made several etched loco chassis so I am comfortable with that...now.

My next foray will be EM (whenever I get round to doing that
).

However EM and P4 are quite different systems despite being less than a mm apart. With EM, tolerances are finer than 00 but not dead scale. It is my belief that current RTR loco wheels will work on EM (the purists may disagree) - this reduces the cost (a steam loco wheelset from Ultrascale will run you around 70 pounds) and effort of conversion hugely. You HAVE to replace wheels with P4 - and usually rebuild the chassis (unless you can use the Easi Chas from Brassmasters)

At some point, I don't rule out doing something in P4. A mate of mine who has a very nice P4 layout, told me he regretted going P4 because it is a lot of bother.

So, Sean, you'll need to assess your goals and current skill set and get to grips with this. My only concern is if you try for that "bridge too far" you'll be disappointed.

Oh, as for the brass chairs, Cameron, those in your link appear to be lost wax brass. I have seen a system demonstrated in MRJ that has the builder folding up each and every chair from an etched fret (can't recall the supplier) - seems rather a lot of work to me, despite looking brilliant.

John
 

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I know there are some talented and magnificent modellers in this hobby, but I think I would draw the line at folding up track chairs from an etch.

But as they say, each to their own.

When it comes to EM vs P4 from an outsider looking in I don't really see any difference. Both create work. I think its pretty well acknowledged that there is a lot more work having a steam outline layout in either gauge than a DOE layout. At the end of the day, I think it comes down to the persons interest as to whether to get it almost right (EM) or correct (p4).

I also think that sometimes the joy of playing with trains gets somewhat lost in translation. There is a real thrill the first time a new train hits the tracks and moves. Pleasure comes in many forms.

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Righty ho people, thank you for the input, I have decided to go with EM, using PCB and solder, with ornamental chairs added, or possibly represented with solder or similar, perod wise is early to mid 30's LMS/LNER Nottingham area.

Thanks again all

Sean
 

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Hi Sean

If you are modelling diesels then of the 3 p4 is the easiest as you can get point kits that you can assemble like a parkside kit with gauges. If modelling steam it's worth thinking about the others as they have some advantages.

Why put in the same amount of effort as p4 to end up with something that's still wrong?

The important bit is not the track and wheels at all, it's can yo build baseboards that are really accurate and stable?

Well that's how I see it anyway.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
How do Jim,

I do keep thinking that in my mind, I am modeling steam (1930's!) era, at the moment, I have swpped and sole a lot of my late 60's stock from the previous layout, and a lot of the not so good bits (A HUGE thank you to Richard Johnson for his input) have been removed, so I am back to bare boards near on, hmm, P4, I think this could be well worth doing, Jim, and yet again, I am thinking, as you say, same effort....

As most of my locos for this are still unbuilt kits, or part built kits, (at the stage where I am going to need wheels sooner rather than later now) I am very open to which gauge, and I do admit, the kits I have are mostly inside cylindered locos (3F, 4F, Prince of Wales, Flatiron and a J50 at the moment) so that should let me cut my teeth nicely on the locos before a more complex re-gauging of the Hornby Patriot I have....

OK ive been swayed P4 it is


Sean
 

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Hi Sean

Sounds like you need to build a couple of planks to try stuff out. P4 steam is more difficult npbut at the same time it's where p4 offers the biggest advantage as the wheels are so visible. If you want I can find out where your nearest p4 area group is and put you in touch.

Cheers

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
I think i shall do that, Jim, nothing complex, on in EM and on in P4,

I can see what you mean regarding the wheels on the steam locos, and if you would, that would be fantastic, my friend, as I say, I am a novice with fine scale, but know OO well enough to want to try something more realistic.

Thanks

Sean
 

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Jim has a great point about diesels and P4. Making trackwork in EM, P4 or even 00 is about the same effort, with even finer flangeways for P4. For steam locos, I think the cost and effort becomes large in P4, having to re-source P4 standard wheels (not cheap at all
, in fact easily as much again as the original loco), although chassis can be reworked to retain the RTR mechanism (if that's acceptable and most are these days). Tim Shackleton did a conversion of a BR Standard 2-6-4 in MRJ 133 and 134. Very inspiring. Brassmasters continue to expand their range of Easi Chas kits for RTR locos - suitable for EM and P4. I have one for my Bachmann 3F that I'm itching to try.

I just made a test track on a 1' x 4' board on which I have put a single point and siding in 00 and EM.

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Indeed its not a cheap excersize, but I am mainly relying on kits for my stock, so, adding P4 profile wheels, and any cylinder mods can be done with relitive easy, I notice that, as well as Brass masters, High Level kits do a small selection of chassis, and loco kits, all are suitable for P4 EM or OO, BUT they cost a fortune... the only RTR locos I have at the moment, that are for this layout, is an LNER B12 with a knackered motor (its an older Hornby tender drive version, but the body is in good nick, and is crying out to be detailed... ) which was about £15, so a chassis, motor and wheels, maybe £70 or there abouts, and a several hours of fiddling...

I would like to see the pics of your plank please John...

Sean
 

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Sounds like you and I are on more or less the same wavelength Sean.

My test track is nothing to write home about:



Basically made from wood I had lying around, even the cork top is mismatched. Sides are 4" deep 1/2" crap both side ply. The track nearest the camera is EM, with a point I made from a SMP kit I had. I don't intend to use copper clad for the real layout, except maybe in the fiddle yard. The small Peco point is quite old and was insulfrog. I converted it to quasi electrofrog by excavating under the crossing and re wiring.

Track is loosely held down with pins (gasp!) for now. I will wire it another day.

I am extremely impressed with High Level. I plan to standardize on their gearboxes. I'm building a chassis with their CSB (Continuous Springy Beam) components at the moment (not because my EM locos need that, but it interests me).

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
We do indeed John, and that is some nice track building there


As I mentioned I am thinking of the copper clad route, as I enjoy soldering.

I look forward to hearing the results of your chassis building, maybe you should put a thread up in the finescale department and post lots of pics?
I tend to use Mashiba motors, and the a mix of DJH, Gibson and High level gear boxes...

Sean
 

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Thanks Sean.

My plan is to go the C&L/Exactoscale chaired route, copper clad looks good when painted and ballasted but I'm not happy about the lack of chairs.

My soldering has become more enjoyable since I got myself a Weller soldering station:



A bit dear but, if you plan to do a lot of soldering, well worth it. This unit reads back tip temperature. Rule of thumb (Tony Wright I think) - tip temperature should be twice the melting point of the solder).

I've also been using plumbers flux with my Carr's 145/188 and regular 60/40:



This is probably a brand you don't see in the UK, but I've been told Templer's Telux works well. It is a paste so can be applied with precision. It is not acidic either and there are no nasty fumes. I did a test joint over a week ago and didn't clean it. Last time I looked it was still shiny. My solder joints using phosphoric acid tend to go a dull grey.

I definitely plan to take a lot of pictures of the chassis build. I'm waiting for the body kit right now before continuing.

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
OOO, that is a nice rig, I got the Marlins Precision gold soldering station, with a top end of 450 degrees.

I am not that fussy towards chairs, by the time I have done the stupid numbers of sleepers for a 12 foot run... I will just be glad to have something accurate and working... I tend to set the Iron at 400 for the solder I am using (I cannot recall which thought!) and Frys powerflo flux. I have not seen that flux before.

I hope the postie brings you your body kit soon


I do wonder if I can get some form of motion work kit for the inside cylindered locos with open boilers. (A huge niggle of mine)

Sean
 

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I'm not familiar with the Marlins setup. I think everyone needs to find their comfort zone with modelling, there are certainly several ways to do it.

Chairs can make you go cross eyed for sure. I have most of the EMGS point jigs and gauges, now so I'm raring to go...once I figure out where


Brassmaster's 4F kit has provision for working inside valve gear, but if you have some good pictures and drawings you should be able to cobble up plausible cosmetic gubbins.

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Sorry, that was a typo, I ment to put Maplins


I go cross eyed on other things, so adding chairs... maybe my eyes will cross so far they change sides


I have no jigs and at the mo im struggling with Templot, so I really want to get on, BUT without the templates, and jigs I cannot go far, yet but soon enough I shall.

I must look at that, being LMS/LNER i need a few locos like the 4F. I bet there is much language putting that together... hmm, Maybe its time to go and see the loco preserved railway, and get lots of lovley detail photos....

Sean
 

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Ah yes, Maplins, a name I have heard but not a place I have used.

The vee and blade jigs are not essential. You really should get some roller gauges and 3 point gauges (these give you gauge widening on curves).

I have Templot downloaded but never really got to grips with it. I have had success making templates using Trax 2, a good book and basic track planning software.

http://www.transportdiversions.com/publica....asp?pubid=4070

Sometimes kit building can be X rated. I'm doing a D&S L&Y brake at the moment and the instructions for the brake gear are not all that clear.

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
I thoroughly recommend then, I get most of my goodies from them, from resistors to PCB and solder...

from what I have read, a lot of people just use the template to create V's and blades, I have just ordered 3 P4 roller gauges, and a 3 point gauge (not that there will be much curved track to play with...)

Templot, I can use it for singular pieces of track or a point, but when it comes to much more than that.....

I shall keep my eyes out for a copy of trax 2 many thanks for that...

I know what you mean, my friend, I seem to have found very few kits that make me swear too much, the BEC J17 being one of them, the running board castings had the strength of card board in a washing machine...

Sean
 

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Making vees and blades is not that hard. I used a couple of pieces of PCB to make a jig for the point above:



I was surprised how quickly and easily I could make blades - always seemed a struggle in the past so maybe things are clicking.



You need a block of wood, big file with a dead edge and a small file for finishing. Use the big file to file the side of the rail in contact with the stock rail away from you while resting the rail on the wood - this removes material quickly. Turn the rail over and carefully file down the just the top flange of the rail - this is where the dead edge comes in since you want the bottom flange intact. Use the small file to sharpen.

Sorry if you know this already, but others may benefit.

John
 
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