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Author Topic: North Derbyshire Raliways - It begins  (Read 2378 times)

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Offline trevis

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Re: North Derbyshire Raliways - It begins
« Reply #60 on: September 10, 2018, 01:21:36 am »
I am looking to get plywood for a new setup (first go) and looking at what my wood merchant stocks he has about 4 types of plywood, including soft pine plywood, brazilian hardwood ply, and marine plywood. Most in 9mm or 12mm, but the marine in 12mm only.

Can I ask why you chose the marine and what it's like to drill through and cut?

I am looking at a basic 160cm x 90cm rectangle then some edges sticking up for back and side board to landscape up to.

The basic differences between marine and standard plywood is the quality of the veneer and the type of adhesive used to stick the plys together. In marine the glue is "waterproof" and in theory you shouldn't get any voids or knotholes. Therefore the cuts and holes should be cleaner.

But for a train layout ordinary ply is more than adequate, just my over-engineering nature. It is certainly no harder to work with than ordinary ply when you take to it with a jigsaw, Dremel or drill. My backboards for example are very thin standard ply.

For the size layout you are talking about you wouldn't need really thick ply. Plywood is quite flexible (the whole point of it really) and 12mm won't flex too much but I would still recommend a supporting frame (simple pine would work) because if you try to move it, even a metre of 12mm will flex a bit, which might see your hard work twisting and turning out of whack. And, a frame below will offer some space between board and table for wiring, etc.

Having said all of that MDF is cheaper, stiffer, and a lot more workable, so long as you are not going to get it damp at all.

Good luck
TC

Offline trevis

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Points, points, and points
« Reply #61 on: September 10, 2018, 06:20:21 am »
The past week has been dedicated to finishing off the point motors, which has been a mix of satisfaction and frustration. However, apart from one set, where the points themselves need changing, it is all done (out front at any rate, the fiddle yard is for another day).



Those little blacks lumps are showing up all over the place, none so obvious as the yards. I got 18 motors in total and had fitted about 14 of them and that's when the wheels fell off. It was all smooth sailing, but then the second last controller was refusing to play ball, no matter what I tried. Basically the motors were only offering a sad little whirr, and no push or pull. I tried everything, switched over the controller, switched over the motors, switched over the extension cables and even changed the power source! No dice.

Eventually through a long and tedious period of testing, and climbing in and under the boards I got the culprit (and at 6' 2" I detest being under the layout). Faulty extension cables. But a whole pack of them, not just one! So, when I switched out the extension cables, I was replacing faulty with faulty - doh! Once I finally moved to a cable that came from a different pack it all became clear.

Experience with the Concept SS over a week, is a cautious positive. They are not too noisy, they do what they say they are going to do, the setup process is simple, they mesh well with my ECOS DCC, and they look OK (or will do after a bit of tittivation). However, they are very fiddly (both screws and connectors are tiny for my eyes anyhow), the plug requires a biggish hole in the baseboard, probably need glue to hold them on plaster cloth, and the controllers reset when the line is shut down, so the first press or two after re-power does not kick in. All in all a good solution though for my setup.

You might be able to see an omission on the yards, there is one point motor missing. Unfortunately, due to the tracks I can't fit the motor as it is blocked by another motor on the mainline. Will require some innovative thinking that my brain has yet to offer (probably a bent tie rod, hopefully)

I also ripped up a couple of sections that were just not quite right and relaid them. One of the beauties of trying to put flat rail on sometimes lumpy terrain. However, now everything is running relatively smoothly, including the full wye.

He inches ever closer to being able to start the fun stuff!

Bolsover Market Sq. and Pit is coming along




Online daveg

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Re: North Derbyshire Raliways - It begins
« Reply #62 on: September 10, 2018, 07:43:13 am »
 :greatpicturessign:

Looking great.

I'm 5' 7" and I hate working under the boards too. Getting down ain't so bad, it's the getting back up that's the challenge!

Dave G

Online Newportnobby

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Re: North Derbyshire Raliways - It begins
« Reply #63 on: September 10, 2018, 09:13:35 am »
Thanks for the progress report. It's looking very good.

I try anything to not get under the layout as I could end up like a turtle on it's back :-[

Online Train Waiting

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Re: Points, points, and points
« Reply #64 on: September 10, 2018, 09:23:37 am »
Eventually through a long and tedious period of testing, and climbing in and under the boards I got the culprit (and at 6' 2" I detest being under the layout). Faulty extension cables. But a whole pack of them, not just one! So, when I switched out the extension cables, I was replacing faulty with faulty - doh! Once I finally moved to a cable that came from a different pack it all became clear.

What an amazingly irritating fault-finding session that must have been.  Great work in tracking down the unlikely culprit - one faulty new cable is happenstance, two is a coincidence, but a whole pack is

And your layout looks lovely; absolutely tickety-boo.


Best wishes.

John


'Why does the Disney Castle work so well?  Because it borrows from reality without ever slipping into it.'

(Acknowledgement: John Goodall Esq, Architectural Editor, 'Country Life'.)


The Table-Top Railway is a train set trying and failing to be a model railway.

I believe that train sets and model railways are fun.

Offline trevis

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Station-ery
« Reply #65 on: September 12, 2018, 02:15:48 pm »
So with Bolsover coming along in Market Place and the Pit it seemed fitting that they deserved a station in keeping with the burgeoning prosperity of a coal town. Not one to shirk my civic duty I began construction of platforms, firstly by templating the area in paper.



Once I jumped in it was surprisingly easy to build something of the desired shape using the Metcalfe platform kit. Not perfect, but pretty close for a first attempt. Of course, needs a bit of aging, but at least the small town can now get on to Chesterfield and further afield if need be. Not sure about the bit that abuts the tunnel. In reality this would probably not be designed this way,so there probably isn't a neat way to finish this off. I suspect it would normally push up against a brick retaining wall that would form part of the tunnel entrance structure. Ce la vie.



I also got hold of the station news stand mini kit, also from Metcalfe. I must say as my first mini kit I was a little disappointed. At GBP4 it was exceedingly tiny in its proportions. One laser cut card about 3 inch sq to be exact. The instructions were bigger than all the components of the kit by about three times. Never mind, it took all of ten minutes to stick together and it adds a little bit of pizazz. Though unsure I would pony up for another one in the series.





Still need to do the brick wall at the back of the station.

Online daveg

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Re: North Derbyshire Raliways - It begins
« Reply #66 on: September 12, 2018, 04:29:06 pm »
Great progress and the Metcalfe kits look really nicely done. As you mentioned, a little weathering can make a difference.

I get what you mean about the mini kits but when comparing with alternatives, they are, IMHO quite good. I also have their kiosk as well as a cricket pavillion (as a garden centre shop!) and the picnic tables and brollies for the pub garden.

Sadly, I am far from the capabilities of the talented @rogerdB when it comes to modelling so am grateful for the little bits you can buy that add some life to my layout.  :)

Dave G

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Re: North Derbyshire Raliways - It begins
« Reply #67 on: September 13, 2018, 08:20:38 am »
I do enjoy this layout, thank you for continuing updates.

Quote
Not sure about the bit that abuts the tunnel. In reality this would probably not be designed this way,so there probably isn't a neat way to finish this off. I suspect it would normally push up against a brick retaining wall that would form part of the tunnel entrance structure. Ce la vie.

I see what you mean but I also see it would be a pain to fit the platform up close to the tunnel....

How would it look simply filling the gap with vegetation? You could even put a small fence on the end? If you would rather give the impression it was supposed to be there rather than over grown, perhaps add some paint dots to suggest flowers?

Skyline2uk

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Re: North Derbyshire Raliways - It begins
« Reply #68 on: September 13, 2018, 08:26:57 am »
That station looks really good. Youve made a great job of it.
As for the end of the platform near the tunnel mouth. I think Id add a set of steps so that track workers can gain access to track level. It would need a bit of fencing and some vegetation I think. Easy to build using coffee stirrers. Just my thoughts.
If it looks right then it most probably is right.


Offline Supertommymooney

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Re: North Derbyshire Raliways - It begins
« Reply #69 on: September 13, 2018, 08:51:15 am »
Looking brilliant!

Offline trevis

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Re: North Derbyshire Raliways - It begins
« Reply #70 on: September 13, 2018, 11:13:38 am »
That station looks really good. Youve made a great job of it.
As for the end of the platform near the tunnel mouth. I think Id add a set of steps so that track workers can gain access to track level. It would need a bit of fencing and some vegetation I think. Easy to build using coffee stirrers. Just my thoughts.

I see what you mean but I also see it would be a pain to fit the platform up close to the tunnel....

How would it look simply filling the gap with vegetation? You could even put a small fence on the end? If you would rather give the impression it was supposed to be there rather than over grown, perhaps add some paint dots to suggest flowers?

I like both ideas. The steps are ideal for tunnel access and other general maintenance, and then a little vegetation to soften the obvious retaining corner. It will eventually need a bit of stuff spotted around the retaining in any event, along with grime.


Offline trevis

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Re: We're on the road to nowhere
« Reply #71 on: September 25, 2018, 01:14:18 pm »
Been doing lots of little bits and pieces that haven't added up to anything particularly visual. A few more kits, a few more points, trying to sort out little lumpy bits in the trackwork, etc. And, managed to put the main track diagram onto one screen of the ECOS. The fiddle yard will still be a second screen, but this is easier than the four original screens I had setup.



But, on the weekend I thought I would give my first bit of roadwork a crack. It's still not finished, but the concept seems to be working OK. I am floating by the seat of my pants a bit, but I thought Spakfilla would make a good roadbase. The first step was to take the foam based and coat it with the same textured paint that covered the rest of the terrain. I thought I would try the technique out on a removable section of terrain in case it failed miserably.




Unfortunately I bought limestone instead of sandstone, which is considerably lighter. However the texture is pretty much the same, so I ploughed on and the final touched up version is hard to tell the difference, and it will be covered with groundcovers in any event.



I had been looking for some edging tape, but things like Tamiya or even standard foam tapes were pretty expensive, so a hunt around Bunnings for an alternative came up with Purlin tape (used in roofing), which provided about 20m for the same price as 3m of the modelling tape. It's still a dense foam tape so very flexible. What's more it is three times as wide, so careful knife work can turn it into 60m. The first cutting effort was fairly bodgy, but the one important edge was straight, which was all that mattered. So I taped down the North Rd down the hill past the Langwith Colliery.





The filling compound I used is heavy duty, designed to fill big cracks (3-4mm), which is about right for my road base. I spread and re-spread it down between the tape lines until fairly smooth and then waited, and waited, and waited... A day and half later I was happy it had gone off, even at that thickness.





I was then able to rip off the edging tape to a nice straight line and run a fine sanding block over it. The end result is a hard, smooth surface with just enough texture and imperfection. It was labelled as being light grey, so I was hopeful of not needing to paint it, but rather just "washing" and weathering. Sadly it turned out more of a dirty white, so a grey coat will be required. And voila, the old dirt road up the hill got an overhaul by the local Council. Makes it a lot easier for the trucks heading up to the pit.



I like the end result and it will mean any curve, width or shape is fairly easy to replicate, including rail crossings, and also joining roads seamlessly. This stuff is very carveable once dry. Likewise, as you can probably tell you can work on uneven surfaces and still produce an even end product. I realise I'm probably already preaching to the converted, but it's new and experimental to me. I am also thinking it would be worthwhile taking the Dremel out to create a slight camber and bring it to a thinner edge.

Next steps, some final sanding, especially on the edges, colouring, kerbing and pavement. Onward and upwards.

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Re: North Derbyshire Raliways - It begins
« Reply #72 on: September 25, 2018, 01:24:13 pm »
Plenty of room for the BR coach to pass the Cresta estate so why has the driver gone off the road? ;)
Being serious for a moment, the road looks good. Is the tape flexible enough to create curves and, maybe more important, hopefully the Spakfilla won't be liable to cracking when 'Dremelled'

Offline trevis

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Re: North Derbyshire Raliways - It begins
« Reply #73 on: September 25, 2018, 01:41:21 pm »
Plenty of room for the BR coach to pass the Cresta estate so why has the driver gone off the road? ;)
Being serious for a moment, the road looks good. Is the tape flexible enough to create curves and, maybe more important, hopefully the Spakfilla won't be liable to cracking when 'Dremelled'

You can't see it in this pic but the bus is going down a ramp into the station car park and will be the next bit to get its tarmac.

The end product seems pretty tough and a sanding block with a bit of pressure didn't show any signs of destruction. Happily tapped on it. Ended up about 3mm thick in most places. Hairline cracks I can deal with, even encourage to some degree as I can fill them with glue and overpaint with dark lines to form imperfections just like real patched roads. Catastrophic crumbling however would be somewhat discouraging, but it is supposed have a bit of flexibility built in to cater for movement in walls (it's actual intended use). Time will tell.

Offline trevis

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Re: North Derbyshire Raliways - It begins
« Reply #74 on: September 25, 2018, 01:46:51 pm »
Is the tape flexible enough to create curves

Oops. Yes, the tape is very bendy, both vertically and horizontally. You wont get right angles, but you definitely be able to get fairly tight curves out of it. It is adhesive on one side and the glue is pretty tacky, yet not so much that it rips up the terrain when you are taking it off.

 

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