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Author Topic: A Model Railway in a Toolbox  (Read 8518 times)

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Offline AC

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A Model Railway in a Toolbox
« on: July 09, 2016, 09:19:13 PM »
Although it's not a box file layout, it's still pretty small. I had the idea about 2 years ago, but then never got very far. I finally went back to it earlier this year and have (finally) decided to make a thread about it on here. (Some of you may have seen a thread about it on another forum, but I feel it deserves a place here aswell).

The idea of building a little shunting layout into the top of a toolbox came about because I like the idea of the box file layouts people have posted before. I thought that if I could build a layout in a toolbox, I'd be able to store the controller, scenery and rolling stock inside below the layout for transport (although I'm sure someone else has probably had the same idea before me).

It starts off with building a baseboard in the top of a Stanley 24" Series 2000 toolbox. The removable tray in the top gives me approximately 20 inches by 8 inches to work with, although a handle does sit in the middle of that space. The plan is a mini version of the Inglenook shunting puzzle and fits two wagons in the sidings nearest the front of the toolbox and will fit three wagons in the other siding. I plan on using the Dapol magnetic couplings and in the first photo you can see the magnets already in place allowing space for stock to pass on the adjacent lines and give space to actually couple the wagons up again after uncoupling. The scenery will mostly be warehouse type buildings to hide the handle and give an appropriate backdrop.

So here's a photo of progress so far. Track is Peco code 55 with feed wires to every section of track (I used insulating rail joiners at every joint just because). The relevant wires are all connected together where necessary below the board and temporarily fed up to above the baseboard for testing purposes.



It's had a quick test earlier today when I finished soldering all the feeds together and it works! I did find that the short wheelbase of my class 04 struggled a bit with the gap in the frogs when using the siding nearest the handle, but the longer wheelbase of my pannier tank ran over it fine.
Just need to sort out changing the points and frog polarity to make it properly operational. I had planned on wire in tube, but that will need careful planning so that the board can be removed from the tray without following the handle cut out.



Because of the label still attached to the front of the toolbox, I'm considering something like Stanley Yard as a name, but any other suggestions are welcome. Someone else may come up with something better.



I mocked up a quick example of how the scenery may look using photocopies of the Metcalfe Warehouse kit during early planning. (not a very good photo and taken before track was finished, but it serves it's purpose)



There's a couple more pictures of the baseboard construction on Flickr (click the images above) and on my modelling blog if anyone's interested ( http://misc-model-mix.weebly.com/ ), but the most important information is already written above.

Finally for now, thanks for looking.
My NGF Layout Thread: Stanley Yard; a Model Railway in a Toolbox
My NGF Workbench Thread: AC's Occasional Modelling Thread

My Modelling Blog (Multiple Scales): AC's Miscellaneous Model Mixture Blog
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Offline Caz

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Re: A Model Railway in a Toolbox
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2016, 10:22:41 AM »
Brilliant idea, looking forward to following the development, 

Offline scotsoft

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Re: A Model Railway in a Toolbox
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2016, 10:30:14 PM »
It is always good to see people using their imagination when thinking about doing a layout. It just goes to show there is no excuse for not having a layout.

Cheers John.

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: A Model Railway in a Toolbox
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2016, 10:11:27 AM »
I love the ingenuity people create micro layouts with.

If you like Paul Weller "Stanley Road" would be a good name for the layout.

Offline Drakken

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Re: A Model Railway in a Toolbox
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2016, 11:32:17 AM »
That's such a cool idea, I'm going to have to have ago at one of these micro layouts. To look at a tool carrier and think thats a nice layout genius  :beers:

Offline talisman56

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Re: A Model Railway in a Toolbox
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2016, 01:05:13 PM »
Will I see more progress at the Club this evening?  :)
My inspiration - never let a setback get you down...

My layout thread - Hambleside East: http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=18364.0
My workbench thread: http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=19037

Offline AC

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Re: A Model Railway in a Toolbox
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2016, 02:52:11 PM »
Thanks for all the comments so far.

@talisman56 I don't expect there to be much progress for a couple of weeks, but I will have it with me at Club this evening because I'm still using the main compartment for keeping modelling tools in. Will need to find another toolbox for those soon. ::)
My NGF Layout Thread: Stanley Yard; a Model Railway in a Toolbox
My NGF Workbench Thread: AC's Occasional Modelling Thread

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Online Ditape

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Re: A Model Railway in a Toolbox
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2016, 04:33:40 PM »
That is a novel Micro layout abit different from the usual boxfile/briefcase ideas.
Diane Tape



Offline AC

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Re: A Model Railway in a Toolbox
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2016, 09:04:23 PM »
Here is my next update with a couple of pictures to show where things are at the moment. Here is an overal view to start with.



In the top right are two slide switches to change the polarity of the frogs with wire in tube running to the tiebars. I want to keep clear of the hole for the handle of the toolbox's tray to fit through so that I can remove the baseboard from the tray if needed at all and I didn't think the wire in tube would go round a tight enough curve there. It may have done, but I decided to give the angle cranks a go in case it didn't.

I bought a starter pack of the Mercontrol system from Lytchett Manor Models which gave me more than enough wire and tube for this layout and it also included the angle cranks, so I didn't have to buy multiple items for this little setup.

I've never used wire in tube before, and while I found the short links from the points to the angle cranks easy enough, bending the wire at the end of the runs to thread through holes drilled in the switches proved a little awkward. It all seems to work okay so far though. Here's a closer shot of the angle cranks which will need to be covered over with some kind of scenery once it's all had a thorough testing.



Still need to sort out the sockets for the controller to plug into to make sure they're easily accessable and able to be hidden by the removable buildings.

As before, there's a couple more pictures on Flickr (click the images above) and on my modelling blog if anyone's interested ( http://misc-model-mix.weebly.com/ )
My NGF Layout Thread: Stanley Yard; a Model Railway in a Toolbox
My NGF Workbench Thread: AC's Occasional Modelling Thread

My Modelling Blog (Multiple Scales): AC's Miscellaneous Model Mixture Blog
My Old Website: AC's Stuff

Offline B757-236GT

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Re: A Model Railway in a Toolbox
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2016, 09:29:03 PM »
Ah it makes sense now. I did see it last night but i had to rush off so didnt really get a good chance for a look. A very interesting and novel idea.

Richard
You want the truth, you cant handle the truth. Welcome to the Fox news channel. (Andy Parsons)

Online Bealman

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Re: A Model Railway in a Toolbox
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2016, 12:06:31 AM »
Very cool.  :thumbsup:
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Online maridunian

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Re: A Model Railway in a Toolbox
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2016, 09:57:10 AM »
Here's a closer shot of the angle cranks which will need to be covered over with some kind of scenery once it's all had a thorough testing.


Point rodding, perhaps? ;)

Mike
« Last Edit: August 04, 2016, 09:59:00 AM by maridunian »
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Offline LeftToMyOwnDevices

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Re: A Model Railway in a Toolbox
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2016, 01:07:21 AM »
If you are still looking to give it a name, then if you give the buildings a very ‘Northern’ feel to it…
I mean in terms of general architecture and the brickwork on the buildings, etc.
…then you can call it ‘Accrington Stanley’:laugh3:

More seriously, I am very intrigued (and impressed) with what you have done so far. I do not really find ‘micro’-type layouts that interesting to me – but yours is different. :hmmm:
Perhaps, because I also have a very similar ‘Stanley’-type toolbox… now, that’s given me an idea…!

I am particularly interested in the Mercontrol Point & Signal Operating system that you have used.
http://www.lytchettmanor.co.uk/lytchett-manor/mercontrol---point-control
I bought a starter pack of the Mercontrol system from Lytchett Manor Models which gave me more than enough wire and tube for this layout and it also included the angle cranks, so I didn't have to buy multiple items for this little setup.

I've never used wire in tube before, and while I found the short links from the points to the angle cranks easy enough, bending the wire at the end of the runs to thread through holes drilled in the switches proved a little awkward. It all seems to work okay so far though. Here's a closer shot of the angle cranks which will need to be covered over with some kind of scenery once it's all had a thorough testing.




At the moment, I have been planning a fiddle yard for something a bit bigger. I would very much like the whole thing to be a ‘solenoid-free zone’ and to use servos. As such, my thoughts are along the lines of the MegaPoints Controller – and I have gone so far as to buy one (and the dozen servos), but done nothing more, yet.
http://megapointscontrollers.com/megapoints/

For my fiddle yard I’m now tempted to plan on surface-mounting the servos – but well away from the actual points (so the fiddle yard ‘throat’ doesn’t look like Stonehenge, with all those servos). I think the Mercontrol system could be used to link them – and would actually look almost prototypical (if vastly over-scale, but in a non-scenic fiddle yard, that wouldn't be an issue).

Would Mercontrol-linked points, powered by servos, work together like that…?
…or am I being a bit of a ‘tool’…? :D

Charles.
"Underground, Overground: Our friends Electric"


Offline AC

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Re: A Model Railway in a Toolbox
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2016, 08:50:43 PM »
...
For my fiddle yard I’m now tempted to plan on surface-mounting the servos – but well away from the actual points (so the fiddle yard ‘throat’ doesn’t look like Stonehenge, with all those servos). I think the Mercontrol system could be used to link them – and would actually look almost prototypical (if vastly over-scale, but in a non-scenic fiddle yard, that wouldn't be an issue).

Would Mercontrol-linked points, powered by servos, work together like that…?
…or am I being a bit of a ‘tool’…? :D

...

It might work. Would be interesting to see if it did.
My NGF Layout Thread: Stanley Yard; a Model Railway in a Toolbox
My NGF Workbench Thread: AC's Occasional Modelling Thread

My Modelling Blog (Multiple Scales): AC's Miscellaneous Model Mixture Blog
My Old Website: AC's Stuff

Offline M0NTIGNAC

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Re: A Model Railway in a Toolbox
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2016, 11:11:57 AM »
 :hellosign:
Nice start. Can't wait for the next step !

 

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