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Author Topic: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]  (Read 6613 times)

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Offline njee20

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Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
« Reply #90 on: May 21, 2019, 11:09:33 AM »
Wrote a nice long reply to this last night and then lost it, couldn't be bothered to re-type it on my phone, so waited until I was at a computer this morning!  :doh:

The key thing to think about with handbuilt pointwork is that you're no longer constrained by the off the shelf geometry. So, taking the crossovers at the leftmost of your plan, adjacent to the bridge. If you were handbuilding them you can have them on the gentle curve starting before the bridge (I realise that's the scenic break, but purely an example), and continue the curve all the way through the crossover, making it twice as long as the existing ones if you so desired. You'd probably want to redesign out front to capitalise on this. You could have the entire layout on a very gradual curve, which IMO looks better than dead straight track. I accept that Didcot and Oxford are largely straight however.

The SCARM point is very valid. Templot is the best (IMO) tool if you're handbuilding track. It can generate modern FB templates and is free, so you can play with it and have a look at how it may work, even overlaying the templates on a SCARM plan. However, because it's designed solely for handbuilt track it doesn't contain any libraries of conventional trackwork, so you'd probably end up with two plans - the fiddle yard with the Peco track and the 'scenic' bit with handbuilt/Finetrax stuff. You could use Templot to plan Peco geometry but it would be needlessly laborious. If you still wanted to use some Finetrax pointwork that wouldn't be so bad, you can draw a straight C9 crossover, but it's not as point and click as SCARM.

Ultimately it's obviously your choice, and I fully understand why one wouldn't want to go down the route of handbuilt pointwork, just don't not do it because you don't think it will look as good (think that's a triple negative!), as IMO that's misguided - if you're pursuing Finetrax and building a modern layout I'd definitely explore it in detail, even if you mix and match. I stand by my recommendation of not using chairplates, but consider using solder balls to give a consistent size fixing, with chairs to represent the slide chairs if you're so inclined. Obviously it remains to be seen what the FB Finetrax points will use, but they'll need some sort of mechanical fixing to keep the rail in place which will mean consistency with the plain track. I'm not sure it's actually markedly harder than Finetrax (having not built a Finetrax point), possibly a bit more time consuming, but things like wiring become easier because the points are electrically connected via the bearers, so you don't need as many wires as you do with Finetrax - the closure rails are electrically connected to the stock rails by default.

It's certainly a great project, looking forward to watching it continue to develop!


Offline jamespetts

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Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
« Reply #91 on: May 21, 2019, 11:31:53 AM »
Thank you for your thoughts.

A very large amount of work has gone into fine-tuning the design in SCARM really very precisely indeed, and I really have no idea how one might realistically go about working out how to integrate hand-built items of non-standard geometary into such a plan without the expenditure of such an extreme amount of time and effort (many, many tens of hours of intense work just on the planning) as to put it beyond what can reasonably be contemplated.

Do you know of any techniques that would make this process realistically viable?

Offline njee20

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Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
« Reply #92 on: May 21, 2019, 11:44:20 AM »
Like I say, that's not the way to think of it. As you're not constrained by what shapes you can get, I'd re-draw the scenic area entirely. If you don't want to do that (which is fair enough) then I'd either look at certain areas you could integrate and re-draw those then simply merge the plan images, or just sack it off and stick with what you've got!

Bear in mind though that the FB points may be sufficiently different from the BH ones in profile to make the plan you have need amends anyway. Seems risky to have spent hours refining a plan for which you plan to use a track system that doesn't exist...?

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
« Reply #93 on: May 21, 2019, 12:42:55 PM »
 Given that I understand that Templot is extremely difficult to use, and given that all of the sidings in the scenic area will still use British Finescale turnouts, redrawing the entire scenic area is not feasible.

Can you elaborate on how one might practically integrate and re-draw sections?

Offline njee20

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Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
« Reply #94 on: May 21, 2019, 01:04:10 PM »
I personally haven't found Templot at all difficult to use, but I do find it extremely satisfying! It's different to all the other tools out there because of its versatility - consider it Photoshop whilst SCARM is MS Paint! Some things are perhaps a little counter intuitive, but most software has its foibles! Designing a whole layout is quite challenging, because it's really easy to get carried away when you're not inhibited by off the shelf trackwork. Individual templates are pretty straightforward though.

I'd probably take the image of your plan from SCARM and lay it as a background in Templot. This would then allow you to design templates over the top of the existing layout plan, so no changes necessary to existing curves etc - that assumes you don't want to make fundamental changes to the plan. Alternatively you could simply design any particular bits you think could be re-worked and then layer them in an image editing software having scaled appropriately. Templot generates similar looking templates to SCARM. Likely a bit trial and error, but the end result should be fine.

I assume you're planning to print the plan 1:1 and lay the track on top of it? If so then you could still print your SCARM plan, and your Templot ones and physically lay them on top on the board to check alignment. A lot of people, if hand building, would do so away from the layout, making the 'module' easier to move around, and then transplant the finished item onto the layout once complete. Presumably as you would with Finetrax turnouts?

Like I say, with Finetrax turnouts you could still draw those in Templot - they're just 'standard' geometry after all. You'd need to draw them once and then you can clone them just as you may in any other layout design software. Peco would be much harder because they don't follow prototypical designs, but still doable if you really wanted. I'd suggest that's overkill though.

It will likely take longer than SCARM though, so given the time you have invested already, and the potential to need to make amends in future, it's probably not a desirable route to go down.

Offline njee20

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Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
« Reply #95 on: May 21, 2019, 08:58:28 PM »
Just as an example, the longest bit of this entire thing was uploading the image to Flickr so I could link to it.

Crossover at the LH end replaced with a D10 crossing, curved to match the existing curve. I just pasted your trackplan as a background in Templot (obviously it's a low-res copy) and drew over the top. As you can see, that buys you more than the length of the C9 point, so you can move/extend all subsequent points if you wanted to make everything longer, perhaps continuing that curve slightly further around and then curving back through the station.

Oxcott by njee20, on Flickr

Like I say, just a thought.

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
« Reply #96 on: May 21, 2019, 10:47:53 PM »
Thank you for that - that is very interesting. I will have to look into this.

Offline njee20

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Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
« Reply #97 on: May 21, 2019, 11:05:50 PM »
No problem, happy to help.

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
« Reply #98 on: May 22, 2019, 09:30:51 PM »
I am looking into this now using your suggested method. I have been able to import the background image, but one problem that I have is that it is very difficult to be sure that the background image is exactly to scale. Presumably, even if it is very slightly out of scale, the trackwork that I produce using this method might be very significantly wrong? Is there any reliable way of getting this to scale with precision?

Offline njee20

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Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
« Reply #99 on: May 22, 2019, 10:24:35 PM »
Well the Templot templates will always be to scale, you can't distort them, so if the rails line up then you're good! Probably the best thing to do when you think you're there is to print out the Templot plans and the SCARM plan and physically stick the Templot ones over the top, again may be a bit of trial and error.

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
« Reply #100 on: May 23, 2019, 12:52:23 AM »
Well the Templot templates will always be to scale, you can't distort them, so if the rails line up then you're good! Probably the best thing to do when you think you're there is to print out the Templot plans and the SCARM plan and physically stick the Templot ones over the top, again may be a bit of trial and error.


I have been having a go at this. Here are some results of what I have done so far with the eastern junctions:


(Diagram mode)


(Detail mode with background image)


(Detail mode without background image)

As will be noted, I am having a difficulty with gaps appearing on crossovers. I am not quite sure what to do about this.

However, there is potentially a more fundamental problem. As can be seen, there is noticeable curvature on these points. However, the real Oxford and Didcot (and, I think, most places with rationalised track) had turnouts that were all on the dead straight: see, for example, this photograph from Oxford or this of Didcot taken by my father in 1985:

Didcot station by James Petts, on Flickr

Or this from the same vantage point in 1989:

Didcot by Roger Goodrum, on Flickr

Or this of Oxford:

50038 by Redhill Bull, on Flickr

Or this:

50023 by Redhill Bull, on Flickr

Although some curving seems to have existed in very crowded locations as depicted in this photograph of Westbourne Park in 1988.

I could just use straight templates and curve the plain track as in the current design, but I am not sure how well that those would fit. Do you have much more information on the prevalence of curved pointwork in rationalised 1980s trackwork?

Online crewearpley40

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Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
« Reply #101 on: May 23, 2019, 01:19:00 AM »
thanks for the photos.the class 50s looked better in original blue and large logo, never liked the toothpaste NSE livery on those beautiful locos

Offline njee20

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Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
« Reply #102 on: May 23, 2019, 07:21:44 AM »
Ha, I was going to say the exact opposite that it looks stunning in later-NSE.

As will be noted, I am having a difficulty with gaps appearing on crossovers. I am not quite sure what to do about this.

...

I could just use straight templates and curve the plain track as in the current design, but I am not sure how well that those would fit. Do you have much more information on the prevalence of curved pointwork in rationalised 1980s trackwork?

To do crossovers I always draw one turnout and then use the ďcrossoverĒ button, which should mean you donít have a gap. They remain separate templates. I wouldnít worry too much about a small gap though - as long as you can line it up to build.

Re: curved pointwork I donít have more info, to be honest, Iíd suggest itís not the case that the GWML doesnít have curved pointwork, rather it has a lot of very straight track full stop, Iím a WCML man myself, and thatís more wiggly! In real life pointwork will be put where it needs to be, rather than in a certain location to avoid curvature. Given you have have some curves in a model Iíd suggest it would look far better having fluid trackwork rather than straight pointwork with curved bits in between. 

Online crewearpley40

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Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
« Reply #103 on: May 23, 2019, 07:40:21 AM »
you mean the post 1988 revised livery ?

Offline njee20

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Re: Oxcott [Thames valley 1989/Network SouthEast]
« Reply #104 on: May 23, 2019, 12:49:18 PM »
Yep, definitely my favourite!

 

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