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Author Topic: Modular layout  (Read 18888 times)

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Offline ptopo

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Re: Modular layout
« Reply #105 on: January 01, 2017, 10:19:56 PM »
Sorry for the double post, I didn't have time to add some trains running. I had a go at the classic amateur zoomed in/zoom out/zoom in footage whilst test running last week.

Needs a better camera but the re-focussing and shaky hand held nature of the footage is redolent of a number of terrific videos that can be found online.

Of trains, obviously.



Cheers

Offline cornish yorkie

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Re: Modular layout
« Reply #106 on: January 02, 2017, 11:30:59 AM »
 :hellosign:  Excellent video thanks for sharing
       regards Derek.

Offline ptopo

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Re: Modular layout
« Reply #107 on: January 29, 2017, 04:29:49 PM »
Time for some station platforms.... like many platforms mine have the need for curves so the same method was adopted as in my trial layout. This is a big job... deeeeeep breath... there's about eight meters of often curved platform edge to cut.

- 1mm plasticard sheet is ideal for the platform surface - rigid enough to hold shape if adequately supported but thin enough to easily cut/sand smooth.
- 9.5 mm I-girders are exactly the right height when topped with the card. Plastruct (thick, robust and cheaper) or ever green (thinner but easy to cut) do the trick.

One starts with a cardboard template - repeatedly trimmed and cut to shape using the longest coach to get clearance right. This can be placed directly on top of the girders to get the height



This is then taped onto the card and used as a stencil, marking out then cutting around with a sharp knife. If anything go larger than needed as it will need to be sanded/filed to get smooth later.

The I girders are roughly bent to shape and simply fixed underneath with polystyrene cement. There's about 5 minutes to move them around until it sets.  I like to leave a little over-hang on the platform as will use the top part of the I girder as a line of indented bricks (more on that later) as these are intended to look like midland stations on brick supports. I found out the hard way that it's best to stagger the links between the girder pieces but they can be supported with a diagonal as you can see in the images further below. The occasional cross piece gives sufficient rigidity.



The girders are trimmed to about 1 in 4 at the ends and the plasticard scored on the underside, bent and glued down. Needs a bit of careful knife work.



The sheet I have is about 45cm long so one needs several to make up each platform, a bit of tape when fixing and judicious use of support underneath gives quite invisible joins. The rough platforms are now in place...





Time to go and run some trains and start sanding off rough edges etc.

Thanks for looking.

PT

Offline Chris in Prague

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Re: Modular layout
« Reply #108 on: January 29, 2017, 04:36:43 PM »
Very nice work indeed. I prefer a solid base (balsa wood, easily sanded, too, to shape) for mounting station lamps and running in boards in but a plasticard surface should work fine, too.

Offline cornish yorkie

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Re: Modular layout
« Reply #109 on: January 30, 2017, 11:23:14 PM »
 :hellosign:  Many thanks for sharing, very informative & nice looking platforms
              regards Derek.

Offline ptopo

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Re: Modular layout
« Reply #110 on: July 24, 2017, 05:23:50 PM »
Hi, I hope summer finds everyone well and in good spirits. It's been a busy half year with work and family so there's been no time to do more than make small steps and take the odd picture.  I'm on holiday now though and it allows a quick catch up...

First off, some distance edge testing. The corners were done using a mk3 but one should not forget the fact that steam Locos and DMUs have various bits sticking out.... some strategic sanding later we're in shape



This video revealed a few horrors which are not visible to the naked eye - namely that there's a few areas where the track dips slightly between baseboard cross battens, over the last few years the ply has warped slightly, most obviously near the baseboard joins.

Strategically placed pieces of thin plastic under the track sorted this out and is a good reminder of why temporarily fixing with screws between sleepers is a very smart idea. I've not gone for complete uniformity as one likes a little wobble - though a dip of over half foot in scale terms isn't really prototypical for a 100mph main line.

Once this was done replacement sleepers were put in throughout including near the track gaps. This is basically taking the peco packs of sleepers and spares that come with points and bashing them to be the right height etc. The superelevated section by the baseboards joins was a challenge... sorry, I forgot to take pictures this time but will post more on this in future if it helps anyone it is a lot of work that eventually pays off though.

Back to the platforms... the edging slabs were embossed with a sharp knife and,  having undercoated with some diluted grey, the tops were done with two coats of acrylic, one diluted one straight. The edge slabs picked out with white + a dash of umber and the white line added. The supporting bricks are another issue entirely. A dilute coat of dark brick red and a top coat still looked a bit ordinary. More work to do here as the prototype is darker brown overall and rather more variable (see next post).





Next up is cable trunking - as before the ratio kits are too perfect and need distressing somewhat (telling them about the current political Zeitgeist does this most effectively.

Anyway, the other issue I had was still having the orange cross trunking visible post ballasting so this time they are cut to length so they can sit somewhat higher raised up on plasticard strips and aligned to give the illusion of passing under the rails.



Next is getting all of the signals in place. These are ready made from CR signals and generally superb - I just don't have the time to build kits sadly. The double one has some light leakage from behind and will need a slight tweak but they are essentially magic. These are then controlled using TC2s which can take two signals per decoder and the commands are daisy chained into the mini panel point control sequences.

Finally, the point switch bars are trimmed and some dummy point motors added.





There's also a platform mounted signal which I'll come onto later.

More soon namely some weathering, building the station tunnel, improving the brickwork etc etc. Keep 'em wanting more though, what?

PT




Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Modular layout
« Reply #111 on: July 24, 2017, 08:12:26 PM »
That's going to be a most impressive station :goggleeyes:
A couple of the widest locos are the Minitrix 9F and the newer Farish 08 with outside frames. The current clearances look to be excellent, thanks in the main to your large radius curves.

Offline port perran

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Re: Modular layout
« Reply #112 on: July 24, 2017, 08:21:17 PM »
As Mick says, that certainly will be some station. Looks excellent.
If it looks right then it most probably is right.


Offline cornish yorkie

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Re: Modular layout
« Reply #113 on: July 24, 2017, 09:32:08 PM »
Hello. Many thanks for another very informative set of  :greatpicturessign:
The platforms look superb , excellent modelling
       regards Derek.

Offline keithbythe sea

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Re: Modular layout
« Reply #114 on: July 25, 2017, 07:29:33 AM »
 :thankyousign: Very informative and helpful. I'm a fan of plasticard, great to see it used so expertly.

Offline ptopo

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Re: Modular layout
« Reply #115 on: July 30, 2017, 09:51:38 AM »
Hi, thanks for the kind comments. Quite right with respect to 08s, mine will be limited to the mainlines and yard duties as I wasn't prepared to compromise on clearance. The DMUs have great big bits of plastic sticking out at the front and rear which catch under the platmfors too and had to go as well.

Here's part two which brings things up to date...

As mentioned previously the station is intended to be of the Midlands type, loosely a cross between Leicester and Nottingham with a bridge over which carries the main booking hall.... but with artistic license having fast up & down.

This is a modular system so the support for the station bridge has to potentially allow straight through as well as a 90 degree turn. The supports are lengths of 44mm wood delivering decent but not excessive clearance.

Everything painted in Matt grey or black and some carefully placed lengths of card as light baffles; placement is key to limit light reflections etc.



The front end is composed of expanded polystyrene and then a careful covering of metcalf brick paper and card - the two different thicknesses are really useful.



The cover ended up being hardboard which I was quite worried wouldn't sit flat but just two battens cut to the right length and angle was sufficient.



And then in place...



Platform starter in place, as you'll see later this isn't tripped by a Heathcote module, I'm saving those for the 4 light signals. I should really add some coping to the top of the wall but it will be masked eventually but the footbridge that sits in front of the removable section.

The sub-platform brickwork was a conundrum - it is embossed brick paper so theoretically a wash should bring out the bricks but some burnt umber with water wasn't enough. I found a dark brown (Dunkelbraun, Humbrol) which at about 70:30 paint:water gave about the right level of inconsistency to the eye if not in pictures! I also had a go at adding some patches of a lighter colour in the motar which one often sees in  photos but it didn't come out right so was washed & painted over.



Trimmed Guagemaster buffers & buffer lights also added then a huge amount of wash-painting (water acrylic mixes) for sleepers, dummy point motors and trunking with full touching up of buffer lights and track e.g. Connectors and other areas where the Ni silver shines through.

Some other pictures with stock in place during final testing before fixing the platforms. My own view is that the lights are rather too bright and may need some small resistors adding.



View from platform 2....



View down the station...



...and some trains running during testing. The class 33 (dummy, not DCC yet)/class 24 double header is a shade un prototypical but may be upgraded to two 33s soon.



The next jobs are...
- adding final track furniture, speed signs, relay boxes etc
- fix back platform & add retaining wall down the back (ugh...)

Then it's time to ballast as I won't be able to access the track as easily once the buildings, canopies and station furniture are added.

The plan is to get the station scenics to a decent level before switching back to electronics and track laying. At least a couple of sidings are needed in the main coach fiddle yard for proper running but taking the relevant board out is a major undertaking so I need to do it in one fell swoop really. In any case here's a taster of the future given the first control panel has been expanded to include the reversing section and the new, as yet unlaid, sidings.



But that's all in the future. Track laying is being kept back as a nice juicy carrot while the station scenics are done. I would really recommend this approach as it stops one rushing to put down track with bad consequences later e.g. If you take the time paint track and points before fixing it is miles easier than doing it later once the buildings are going in.

Holiday over, back to work.....

Cheers

PT
« Last Edit: July 30, 2017, 09:58:02 AM by ptopo »

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Modular layout
« Reply #116 on: July 30, 2017, 10:56:55 AM »
Looks great. Thanks for the update (and the token steamer) :D

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Re: Modular layout
« Reply #117 on: July 30, 2017, 11:09:18 AM »
Looking awesome. Like NPN, I love the sweeping curves.  :thumbsup:
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline Train Waiting

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Re: Modular layout
« Reply #118 on: July 30, 2017, 11:46:13 AM »
This is a marvellous model railway.  It is pretty much the complete opposite to my present project and I think it is inspirational.  I really enjoyed seeing the parcels train double-headed by what looked to me like a 'Derby' and a 'Birmingham'.

I'm sure it's just me being silly, but I think that the BR blue livery on diesels and electrics looks much better on models like yours than it does (or did) on full-sized locomotives and rolling stock.

And your signals are most impressive.

Truly excellent.

Thank you and all the very best.

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 cornish yorkie

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Re: Modular layout
« Reply #119 on: July 31, 2017, 10:48:04 PM »
 :hellosign: Many thanks for the updates & superb video, looking brilliant
       regards Derek.

 

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