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Author Topic: A layout from someone who has had their fingers burnt once  (Read 77895 times)

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Offline Bob Wild

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A layout from someone who has had their fingers burnt once
« on: December 29, 2013, 12:03:13 AM »
It’s about time I raised my head above the parapet and publish my construction so far. I’ve built the baseboard, laid the track and nearly finished the wiring. As such I’m about to leave my comfort zone and start ballasting and scenery building.

Let me explain; this is my second attempt. My first was an OO gauge layout on a 6*4 board. To quote a well known celebrity it was a dis-aass-ter. So I hoped to learn from the problems that arose, which were:

•   Far too much track for the size of layout led to very tight curves – de-railing problems abound.
•   Complex junctions on slopes - de-railing problems abound.
•   The track was laid in my garage at near zero degrees and when I brought it indoors the expansion lifted it all over the place, sometimes by as much as three inches. What a mess.
•   The board weighed  a ton and was supposed to be a portable layout, but was nearly impossible to move.
•   It was laid on a bed and impossible to get level, despite the copious use of paperback books.
•   Clumsy handling of rolling stock led to distorted couplings which failed to work properly.
•   The scenery was built with cardboard formers, screwed up paper covered with papier mache and plaster of paris tape which worked quite well, but the covering with grass & etc looked horrible.

So, as a result I sold the engines and rolling stock, gave the buildings to my grandson, re-claimed as much of the electrics as I could and thankfully put the rest in the scrap bin. And so we come to the start of project number two and the brief was as follows:

•   Adopt the KISS approach – Keep It Simple Stupid. But more than one level would add interest.
•   N Gauge rules – it takes up far less space
•   Make a board that was light and be easily be moved and give access to the underside for wiring and maintenance
•   It must be as child proof as much as possible?!?
•   DCC – because that’s what I used before
•   Not a particular era, but must be moderately realistic and  have steam to remind me of a miss-spent youth
•   Must have the ability to run as many engines continuously as possible at the same time
•   Added interest by being able to run shunting puzzles – to challenge Olly, my clever grandson

So after much pondering I decide to make a 6ft*3ft layout and much playing about with Anyrail I came up with this design:

(Sorry, but you are not allowed to access the gallery)
 
The section colored yellow is in a tunnel. The small oval is raised 2.5 in with a small station and some industrial sidings as well. The lower section contains the main station with sidings. The minimum radius is 10 in (except in a couple of places) and all the main curves have 65 degree portion with a true radius and 25 degree easement into the straight and a one inch straight leading into any point. (What is that easement curve – ellipse, parabola, dunno?) I really wanted to be careful to avoid derailments. It led to a shorter station than I really wanted, but I felt the sacrifice was worth it in the interest of reliability.
The board was made from 6mm birch ply – much lighter than the previous one which was 12mm MDF. It was supported on a 1.5in *0.75in frame with sufficient cross members to ensure rigidity. Under construction:

(Sorry, but you are not allowed to access the gallery)
 
It was mounted on a detachable trellis table:

(Sorry, but you are not allowed to access the gallery)
 
And also hinged:

(Sorry, but you are not allowed to access the gallery)
 
Track laying in progress. I only include this shot so that you can see the Spencer Wells bullet forceps that my dad brought back from war II – one of my most useful tools:

(Sorry, but you are not allowed to access the gallery)
 
And this is the final result:

(Sorry, but you are not allowed to access the gallery)
 
As you can see, these pics were taken in the summer when it was roasting hot. The most satisfying point was when I proved that I could run all my engines, a 4-6-2 express, an 0-6-0 pannier and a DMU at full speed over the whole circuit without any derailment – SUCCESS!!!
 Since then I have spent  ages wiring in the twenty point motors. These will be driven by passing contact switches on a detachable mimic panel. The mimic panel will also have bi-color LED’s to show which way the points are set. If you look closely you can just make out the four 25 pin connectors to the panel. If they work without any shorts it will be a miracle.

(Sorry, but you are not allowed to access the gallery)
 
I’ve also started modelling the fixtures  such as the tunnel entrances which need to be in place before I start ballasting. I’m a great fan of Scalescenes and intend to use them throughout the whole build. But it is oh so slooowww. The layout is as yet un-named, but I suspect that it will be something related to Last Of The Summer Wine, because that’s where we all live.
 
(Sorry, but you are not allowed to access the gallery)

Anyway, that’s where I’m up to.  The mimic panel  is coming on and as I said earlier that’s when I leave my comfort zone. I’m sure I’ll have many problems and queries about ballasting and scenery.  But I don’t work very fast, so updates may be quite infrequent.


Online scotsoft

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Re: A layout from someone who has had their fingers burnt once
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2013, 12:13:18 AM »
Hi Bob,

That is a brilliant looking layout you have created and I love the two layer look.
I will look forward to your updates and hopefully some videos showing your trains running  :thumbsup:

cheers John.

Offline Bealman

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Re: A layout from someone who has had their fingers burnt once
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2013, 01:59:07 AM »
That is extremely neat impressive work in all aspects - woodwork, trackwork, wiring. Certainly puts my stuff to shame!

Well done, and looking forward to further posts.  :thumbsup:

George
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline Chatty

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Re: A layout from someone who has had their fingers burnt once
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2013, 03:53:20 AM »
Bob

Very clever design and implementation. 

I rather liked the detachable trellis and hinged arrangement.

Kind regards

Geoff
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Offline silly moo

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Re: A layout from someone who has had their fingers burnt once
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2013, 05:15:05 AM »
I really like your track plan, some very nice sweeping curves. I look forward to seeing the layout progress.

Offline Chinahand

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Re: A layout from someone who has had their fingers burnt once
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2013, 08:30:36 AM »
Hi Bob and welcome aboard.

As others have said you've achieved a very high standard of construction with your layout so far and I look forward to watching it develop.

The only query I have re. the track plan is 'Bearing in mind that UK trains run on the left, how does a train get back onto the inner circuit after descending from the upper terminus' ?
Regards,
Trevor (aka Chinahand)
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Offline Geoff

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Re: A layout from someone who has had their fingers burnt once
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2013, 09:55:40 AM »
Nice work Bob my layout is also 6 x 3 but I am not brave as you with the incline, all my track used is Kato track so unable to get the formation you have acheived.

Looking forward in seeing your scenery work in the future.

Welcome to the forum Bob and thanks for posting your pictures.
Geoff

Offline port perran

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Re: A layout from someone who has had their fingers burnt once
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2013, 10:17:33 AM »
This is looking top notch.
Looking forward to more pictures as things develop.
If it looks right then it most probably is right.


Offline petercharlesfagg

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Re: A layout from someone who has had their fingers burnt once
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2013, 10:32:51 AM »
It really looks very professional, my own layout is a complete bodge in comparison!

I particularly like the raised section because it adds so much more interest to the whole scene!

Great and welcome to N gauge.

Regards, Peter.
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Offline Bealman

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Re: A layout from someone who has had their fingers burnt once
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2013, 11:36:05 AM »
The only query I have re. the track plan is 'Bearing in mind that UK trains run on the left, how does a train get back onto the inner circuit after descending from the upper terminus' ?
Nicely spotted, but it can swap over after one circuit.... what are the owner's thoughts on this, please?

George
« Last Edit: December 29, 2013, 12:17:29 PM by Bealman »
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline Chinahand

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Re: A layout from someone who has had their fingers burnt once
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2013, 12:06:52 PM »
One possibility would be to reverse the cross-over points just to the right of where the descending track joins the main circuit. At the moment these are arranged as 'facing' points which is contrary to good railway safety practice.
Regards,
Trevor (aka Chinahand)
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Offline Bealman

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Re: A layout from someone who has had their fingers burnt once
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2013, 12:18:35 PM »
Sounds good to me!  :thumbsup:
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline Jerry Howlett

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Re: A layout from someone who has had their fingers burnt once
« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2013, 12:33:36 PM »
Hi Bob,

Who cares about the Layout LOOK AT THAT LAWN WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ok the Layout looks mighty professional as well, keep up the posts.

Jerry
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Offline RussellH

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Re: A layout from someone who has had their fingers burnt once
« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2013, 12:48:11 PM »
Thats a beautiful piece of construction  - very well done!

Russ
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Offline jonclox

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Re: A layout from someone who has had their fingers burnt once
« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2013, 02:10:42 PM »
Welcome and a very fine layout you've brought in with you.
You say you got your fingers burned 1st time round with that 00 gauge but it looks like you've learned a whole load of lessons from it.
I will warn you though that even today after years of soldering my fingers still get burned sometimes....very painful if solder drips onto your trousers  :doh:
Enjoy the forums. The Mods. arnt toooooooooooo bad. I believe one or two of them are even house trained these days
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http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=17646.0
Re: Grainge & Hodder baseboards
http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=29659.0

 

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