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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all having been digging through the threads on here for the past few weeks I have decided to post some images of my layout. I recommend skip the brief history if you have any sense as I'm convinced I fell asleep twice writing it...

Brief History
At the age of five (on my birthday, not that it made an impact that I remember at the time) my uncle died. He had a collection of rolling stock that he had built up over the years and from the age of about eight onwards I was drip feed the various bits and pieces that had lived in a relative's loft. Which lead to some amusement as my Dad and his sister would sort through the boxes every couple of years and I'd get another small amount, and their shock as the back end of the BR liveried DMU appeared that they they hadn't thought were identical apart from the weight as one has a motor in it and the other didn't.

Any way what I'm getting at is that for my uncle, I have subsequently decided that he must have liked repairing rolling stock as I've got a selection of lots of different locos and carriages almost all of which are British outline. I have subsequently topped the collection up with various RTR rolling stock some of which I would describe as play damaged.

Now at the tender age of 22 I have been given planning permission to build a layout in the garden shed. By planning permission I mean that higher management (Mum and Dad). With the plan, no I mean the hope, being to move out at some point soon I needed to build something that was removable.

The Plan
So I have some basic criteria laid out:
  • Portable.
  • Fitting into 2mtr square space with room to move and the approval of local planning regulations (Dad).
  • Flexible setting, to fit a huge variety of rolling stock into semi-convincingly.
  • Lots of scope to be indecisive.
I should have probably explained some point that I formulated this plan at some point last November of 2005, I think. The first attempt was built out of chipboard. Yes that was a lesson learned the hard way. having laid some of the track I decided to abandon the chipboard in favor of 2mm ply. From one extreme to the other, weight wise.

This time I broke the habit and put some thought in to it some may even describe it as planning, but I would hate to start rumors like that. My usual method is to run at it like a bull in a china shop the reasons in my head can be everything from; but the weather was too good to waste. To; yer well I'll do some planning tomorrow. I just end up laying everything out and trying to slot everything I can possibly get in around what ever turned up on the base board in the first place.

I have settled on modeling the general yard and partial station sitting at the end of a modern day preservation railway somewhere in the south of England. This hopefully giving me sufficient leeway to run a wide variety of rolling stock?!?!?!

Track Plan
This was created using RailModeller, one of the very few model railway design software packages available for us Mac users. I would recommended it highly. Currently threatening to release version 3 in beta, oh the excitement...

Above: the grey polygons on the left are the rough location of the platform and the two red polygons are the coaling stage (top) and the engine shed (bottom)

Current progress

Above: This was the current progress last Sunday on the square base board looking from behind the coaling stage with my latest purchase a new Bachmann Class 20 testing out the wiring. This is the version without the sound as even though it would have been nice the extra £100 was a little difficult to justify for something that I could be half convinced would be switched off fairly quickly.

The baseboard forming the bottom end of the 'L' has been built and slots reasonably securely to the end of the first baseboard (pictured) but the pictures that I attempted to take later on in the day where really rubbish and so I should take some others and then publish them. If it were connected to the board in the photo above it would be attached to the far end of the board curving into the furthest fence panel.

Please let me know what you think.

I'm very much aware that this hobby, for me at least, is about pleasing yourself but I its always good to have a different view point on the whole thing.

Simon
 

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I hate really organised people! no not really - looks good though, a bit of forward planning always helps.

Regards

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have to confess to being quite amused by the very organized response you guys have give me. Don't get me wrong it's not a complaint, it just that anyone who knows me would tell you that organisation is a major issue with lots of things that I do.

I'm hoping to have some time tomorrow I'll post some pics of the progress...

Simon
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Easter weekend update;

With a nice long Easter weekend, that we are mid way through. I thought that I would up-date progress on the layout.



Above both baseboards connected. A little testing going on. Over the past few days I have completed the track laying and started to experiment with some interesting results, the track ballasting. (see bellow)



AboveAs the sun sets over the coaling stage, the first attempt of ballast some of the track. It only took me 2 hours to get four sets of points back to a working order!!! As for the flock that needs some serious work. It's far too dark and in my opinion looks tacky.



Above A view of the underside of the baseboard. I'm aware this is unremarkable the reason for including this shot was to show the way in which I have connected both baseboards and the Lenz Compact DCC controller. I spotted that I had managed to neglect to mention in my previous post that I have taken the plunge and go DCC, although a large amount of my stock is yet to be converted. Up until 24 hours ago the base boards, transformer and Lenz Compact was connected using a series of crocodile clips. This very crude system has been replaced by a set of Cat5 computer cables. Probably not revolutionary but it has got me a very nice solution.

Let me know what you think....

Simon
 

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>Cat5 computer cables
Are they "chunky" enough to carry the sort of currents that can exist on a DCC layout with multiple locomotives in operation? They are a nice idea if they are.

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok. Progress today has been good on the railway. I didn't get as far as taking any more photos today but just imagine another two complete lines ballasted and your about there. This has now emphasised two problems which I can see unless it is sorted now will look awful later on.

Track Ballast:
I am currently using Peco light brown fine track ballast. This is from a pile I found from god knows when but having about 7 bags of the stuff kinda encourages me to use it, not just leave it to rot in a corner until I find it later on. Unfortunately the current effect looks although I have used wood chip!

Does anyone have any ideas? I've currently looking at using some paint but my only expierance so far using paint is the Humbrol enamel form my local model shop.

Is this the right way to go?
Is enamel the right paint to use? - I think not.
Would I use it straight out of the tub or diluted?
Paint brush or airbrush?

I bought an airbrush a couple of years ago but have never been brave enough to use it!

Sorry about so many questions.

Simon
 

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Hi sibrows
I like the layout, its coming along just great
Couple of questions ...
QUOTE I decided to abandon the chipboard in favor of 2mm ply. From one extreme to the other, weight wise.
Do you really mean 2mm thick ply as that's very thin!


I think if your baseboard tops are 2mm thick then they are very likely to warp over time as they are to thin! Unless you install additional cross bracing underneath the layout. The photo of the upturned layout shows the right-hand board (The one with all the point motors) as being larger than a 1 foot sq grid of framing which is the recommended grid spacing of normal 6mm or deeper baseboard tops.

The use of Cat5 computer cables is far to small for a DCC power bus. While it may work for one loco if you power up another loco at the same time and operate any accessories your likely to overheat the cables conductors and even possibly cause a fire if you run several loco's / accessories at once! A DCC power bus should be at least 1.5mm or better still 2.5mm cable conductor size. You only need two wires for the whole layout. So it shouldn't be a real problem?

Keep up the good work.
 

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QUOTE (Sibrows @ 9 Apr 2007, 20:27) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Ok. Progress today has been good on the railway. I didn't get as far as taking any more photos today but just imagine another two complete lines ballasted and your about there. This has now emphasised two problems which I can see unless it is sorted now will look awful later on.

Track Ballast:
I am currently using Peco light brown fine track ballast. This is from a pile I found from god knows when but having about 7 bags of the stuff kinda encourages me to use it, not just leave it to rot in a corner until I find it later on. Unfortunately the current effect looks although I have used wood chip!

Does anyone have any ideas? I've currently looking at using some paint but my only expierance so far using paint is the Humbrol enamel form my local model shop.

Is this the right way to go?
Is enamel the right paint to use? - I think not.
Would I use it straight out of the tub or diluted?
Paint brush or airbrush?

I bought an airbrush a couple of years ago but have never been brave enough to use it!

Sorry about so many questions.

Simon

Simon,

I see what you mean about the ballast, I can't quite put my finger on what's wrong, but for what it's worth here's my advice.

Firstly is the ballast you are using the cork based or is it stone based? if it's the former I think part of the problem is that the colour is too uniform and as a result will need tonong down. Dirtying the rail edges will help in this instance.

Another piece of advice is that when laying ballast I find that it helps to "tamp" down the ballast - I use an old make up brush to push the ballast down between the sleepers. When you are satisfied with the appearance glue it down using the tried and tested methods.

Also I notice you are creating a yard scene, make sure that there are areas of coal/oil spillage, heavy staining where locos are stabled,and plenty of weeds etc. Cinder footpaths were common in yards and again break up the base colours.

I would advise that an airbrush is probably best for "toning down" but haven't actually tried it yet.

If hand brushing use watered down acrylic paints - Tamiya do some good colours in their military range.

Hope this lot is of some help

Regards

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Firstly thanks for the feed back.
QUOTE Hi sibrows
I like the layout, its coming along just great
Couple of questions ...
QUOTE
I decided to abandon the chipboard in favor of 2mm ply. From one extreme to the other, weight wise.

Do you really mean 2mm thick ply as that's very thin! question.gif

I think if your baseboard tops are 2mm thick then they are very likely to warp over time as they are to thin! Unless you install additional cross bracing underneath the layout. The photo of the upturned layout shows the right-hand board (The one with all the point motors) as being larger than a 1 foot sq grid of framing which is the recommended grid spacing of normal 6mm or deeper baseboard tops.

The use of Cat5 computer cables is far to small for a DCC power bus. While it may work for one loco if you power up another loco at the same time and operate any accessories your likely to overheat the cables conductors and even possibly cause a fire if you run several loco's / accessories at once! A DCC power bus should be at least 1.5mm or better still 2.5mm cable conductor size. You only need two wires for the whole layout. So it shouldn't be a real problem?

Keep up the good work.

2mm Ply

Sorry I meant 4mm ply, although I have noticed a small twist when it comes to moving the board with all of the point motors on it. So I plan to work a way of getting some cross bracing in anyway. As for the warping over time. I will just have to keep a eye on it. It's pinned down where ever I could persuade a nail to say I have probably gone too far to rectify the situation, it's something that I will have to live with !?!

DCC power bus; point taken I had only tested one loco at a time and not more than one point motor at a time. So a little re-wiring needed. I have been on to the Express Models website to see what they offer, I'm currently considering their 'DCC No Solder Power Bus Kit' which looks to do the job quite nicely it's just trying to find a way of reliably connecting the two boards. I'm sure someone else has covered that here so I have a dig through some other threads . . .

QUOTE I see what you mean about the ballast, I can't quite put my finger on what's wrong, but for what it's worth here's my advice.

Firstly is the ballast you are using the cork based or is it stone based? if it's the former I think part of the problem is that the colour is too uniform and as a result will need tonong down. Dirtying the rail edges will help in this instance.

Another piece of advice is that when laying ballast I find that it helps to "tamp" down the ballast - I use an old make up brush to push the ballast down between the sleepers. When you are satisfied with the appearance glue it down using the tried and tested methods.

Also I notice you are creating a yard scene, make sure that there are areas of coal/oil spillage, heavy staining where locos are stabled,and plenty of weeds etc. Cinder footpaths were common in yards and again break up the base colours.

I would advise that an airbrush is probably best for "toning down" but haven't actually tried it yet.

If hand brushing use watered down acrylic paints - Tamiya do some good colours in their military range.

Hope this lot is of some help

Regards

John

Track ballast;
It appears to be stone as apposed to cork. I take the point about tamping the ballast, I have subsequently refined both my method, as I am now using an old stippling brush, and spent a while trying to neaten up what I had done. So the last posted photographs are a little out-of-date I will post some fresh ones once I get a chance again . . . watch this space?

I will break open the packaging of the air brush and go from there . . . this could be disasterous? What ever the out come I will have enjoyed it and learnt something in the process.

Thanks for all your support.

Simon
 

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Always glad tobe of assistance.

Regards

John
 

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QUOTE I'm currently considering their 'DCC No Solder Power Bus Kit' which looks to do the job quite nicely it's just trying to find a way of reliably connecting the two boards.
Hi
If youre only wanting to have plug/sockets for the DCC power bus then these type of connectors are ideal Maplins Battery Connectors However if youre looking to take several circuits across board joints then these may be useful Maplins Multi pin 5amp connectors

I think the "No solder bus kit" is a bit on the expensive side. There is no need to use spade crimps where the dropper wire connects to the main bus, just use these (Blue ones normally but red can be used too) Maplins snap connectors The main DCC bus can be wired by using Rapid Elec. Wire

Good luck
 

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Well the basis for a good Layout is a good plan, and I can see you've done that - so that's a good start.

Your Layout is clearly expandable, either by simply expanding the current Track plan and making it a larger end-to-end Layout, or by going full circle and making it a "tailchaser", encompassing such things as a Fiddle Yard etc..

Ballast - I use Brush-it-On from Modellers Mecca, about £5 a bag, but you're some way forward with your Ballasting, so it's maybe not an an option.

Good luck anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks all for your responses.

Scooter, that is one of the ideas behind the project so that when I finally leave home I can expand the existing! Ballasting wise I have a large-ish pile of bags of 'wood chip' ballast that I plan to stick with and attempt to dull down.

Power-wise I will investigate Maplin and Rapid.

Thanks once again.

Simon
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Your opinions please?



Above The first attempt at spraying the ballast.



Above Loco posing for the camera.

Let me know what you think.

Simon
 

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It looks a lot better to me


David
 

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Todays progress,

Summary more of the same really. Today has been spent airbrushing the the already ballasted track and starting to ballast some more track. With some more work on the loco shed, see bellow.



Above showing the difference between i) Track laied to just cork. ii) Ballasted track with 'wood chip'. iii) Track having been attacked with my new air brush.



Above Two locos on shed and the end of the day drink of choice.

You can almost see from the second photo. I have filled the area between the two tracks that will accommodate the engine shed. I am looking to fill the centre of the rails in some way. Currently in between the tracks I have used polyfilla I was wondering if anyone had any ideas for how to keep the grove for the wheels as best as possible?


Simon
 

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>if anyone had any ideas for how to keep the grove for the wheels as best as possible?
Put a piece of thin card or plasticard hard against the inside of the running rail until the polyfilla has dried? You may need to coat the outside of the card with something to prevent the polyfilla sticking - maybe sticky tape?

You will need to be sure that the polyfilla in the centre is no wider than the minimum back to back wheel measurement of the locos and wagons you are running.

David
 
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