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Author Topic: My Fort William to Banavie idea  (Read 668 times)

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Offline Arrowflyer

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My Fort William to Banavie idea
« on: February 11, 2019, 02:05:41 PM »
Hi.  I'm looking for some review/advice on my idea for my first proper N Gauge model rail layout.  I'm reasonable at modelling; though at a basic level.

I'm returning to modelling after a very very long time as my little kiddies are all grown up and flown the nest.  So I've commandeered our 9x8 box room with an idea to build a West Highland Line Extension based model.  Yes, another one !  There seem to be lots on this forum - which has been a great help so far in helping me formulate ideas.

So my plan is for a 'sort of' diorama of Fort William to Banavie as I think there is a lot to model and for me to learn skill from. That is, a long station with opportunity for detailing, long runs through some simple scenery plus complexities of track geometry and a big fiddle yard at Tom Na Faire.  Then I went a bit overboard and decided I needed to get Banavie in to see if I could do the swing bridge at the Caledonian Canal.   

That was OK, but needed 2 levels in my small room.  Then I decided it needed a loop so that I could have some kind of roundy loop for scenic run and train running-in.  Enter level 3!

What I've tried to do is have the branch line element to Banavie and the main line to Glasgow.  So tried to get at least the track direction facing the right way - west and south. roughly!

I've had to shorten some space to make it fit.  Fort William seems to be a 10 coach station - can't fit that! and I've had to use the odd double  & 3-way slip to get the track geometry to fit in my space.

Space between levels is not huge at 300 mm (1ft) which I think works well in terms of height for me and baseboard depth of mostly 600 mm (2ft) with a little extra for curves where necessary.  Aiming for R3 15 inch curves, but am forced in places to go for R2 12 inch in tight spots like the 90 degree turns (probably hidden)

I plan to run a Stanier black 5 with 4 MK1 coaches (maybe 3 depending on pulling power) for the Banavie line and Class 37/47 pulling the Caledonian Sleeper of 4 MK3 coaches.  So looking at modern era.

I'm quite excited to start this and started building baseboards, but I'm thinking maybe too ambitious and more importantly if I've left myself enough space on the boards for scenic work and would value your feedback.









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Re: My Fort William to Banavie idea
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2019, 02:24:19 PM »
Welcome to the forum Arrowflyer.
Your plan looks most interesting and one Iíll follow with interest.
Iíll let someone else comment on the design. I prefer to lay track roughly to construct my layouts as I can never really tell what anything will look like on track plans.
Iím sure someone else will be along shortly.
If it looks right then it most probably is right.


Offline Newportnobby

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Re: My Fort William to Banavie idea
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2019, 03:33:36 PM »
Hi Arrowflyer, and welcome to the forum :wave:
At least you have modelled before so it's not overly ambitious, but is a lot to take on board. I'd really suggest you split all the tasks into separate sections so at least you have a feeling of accomplishment when one section is finished rather than contemplating a vast expanse of board to terraform or wire up in one go. You will be able to learn from mistakes and correct them before moving onto the next section. I can assure you once trains are running all progress ceases ::) :-[

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Re: My Fort William to Banavie idea
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2019, 09:22:06 PM »
G'day from Australia, Arrowflyer, and welcome to the NGF!  :thumbsup:

That's an extensive plan, similar to American planning practice. Looks great!

Nothing wrong with another highland model, by the way.  :thumbsup:
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline Caz

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Re: My Fort William to Banavie idea
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2019, 07:11:24 PM »
Welcome to our friendly forum Arrowflyer and that plan looks most impressive, a lot of work there I see.   :thumbsup:

Offline Ben A

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Re: My Fort William to Banavie idea
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2019, 07:47:52 PM »

Hi Arrowflyer

What a great idea.

Are you more interested in operations or scenics, or a bit of both?

One thing I would watch out for is gradients and curves if you're having a multi level layout - keep climbs as gentle as possible and all curves as generous as you can!

Good luck!

Cheers

Ben A.



Offline RailGooner

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Re: My Fort William to Banavie idea
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2019, 09:01:46 PM »
Welcome aboard Arrowflyer! :wave:
ďWe are indebted to those soldiers who served with courage and distinction to bring peace to Northern Ireland,Ē UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said. ďThe welfare of our former service personnel is of the utmost importance.Ē

Per Ardua ad Astra | Mens Agitat Molem | Victoria Concordia Crescit | Utrinque Paratus | Caveat lector

Offline Arrowflyer

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Re: My Fort William to Banavie idea
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2019, 12:45:06 PM »
Thanks for the encouragement.
Iíve started the lower level as it should be pretty straightforward but Iím beginning to realise how much track there is! Transferring from Anyrail to actual layout is surprising. Still trying to get my head around curve radius and how to cut up the plywood, but think Iím getting there.

I visited Fort William a while ago and was impressed with the scenery so wanted to have a go at replicating. So thatís why Iíve gone for the long runs as I figure I can a fair amount of basic scenery done to get the trains running then have some fun as skills improve of adding details.

My focus is on scenery with some operations but I donít think I could do justice to replicating actual operations so Iím not looking to be exact on era or rolling stock but close enough I hope.  Rule 1 😁

Iím struggling a bit with size representation in that I think I need some buildings on a temporary basis to allow me to visualise scale better. So for example just how does an engine shed fit into the scheme even if itís not the final one Iíll put there.

Maybe Iíll have a look on eBay or local model shop for some used examples to help.

Iíve decided to call this ďThe Teuchter LineĒ, a teuchter being a Scottish lowlanders word for Scottish highlander stuff.  It made me giggle as it reminded me of that ancient highland call to action cry of ďquick! Thereís a bus trip comminí in!Ē 😁

Keep the encouragement coming as itís great.

Offline The Q

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Re: My Fort William to Banavie idea
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2019, 01:10:04 PM »
It will be interesting to see the line develop.
The highlanders will just call you a sassanach..

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: My Fort William to Banavie idea
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2019, 03:42:12 PM »

Iíve started the lower level as it should be pretty straightforward but Iím beginning to realise how much track there is! Transferring from Anyrail to actual layout is surprising. Still trying to get my head around curve radius

You haven't actually said what track system you're using but, as you quoted R3 and R2 in your opening post, I'm taking a guess at Peco code 80 (although I might be wrong and you're bending code 55 to the same radii). Whatever, I suggest you indulge in a set of tracksettas to help with curves and also (and especially) the straight one for, erm, straights :doh:


Iím struggling a bit with size representation in that I think I need some buildings on a temporary basis to allow me to visualise scale better. So for example just how does an engine shed fit into the scheme even if itís not the final one Iíll put there.


To give you an idea of 'footprint' Metcalfe very kindly show dimensions of their buildings e.g......
https://www.metcalfemodels.com/product/pn112-n-scale-goods-shed/

If you can gauge the height then really all you need do is make mocked up 'boxes' from cereal boxes or the like.

Offline Arrowflyer

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Re: My Fort William to Banavie idea
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2019, 04:46:52 PM »
Thanks Newportnobby. Now thatís a great idea for using Metcalfe sizings. Why did I not think of that!

Iím using code 55 and yes, got tracksetta. Used these many years ago and defo needed at my skill level I think. Not quite ready to eyeball curve radii yet.

Iíve planned around R2 and R3 only as a guide to geometry that clearly works and seemed a good place to start. Iím sure there will be variations necessary to fit specific places. I prefer larger radius but Iím guided by the fact the rolling stock I have recommends no less that R2 as minimum. The tight curves Iím expecting to hide but allow lots of room for overhang. So 12 inch is a bit tight, 9 inch is a no no.


My task this weekend is to experiment with gradients on my stockas per recommendation. Assuming less than 2% is ok and above this needs to be played with to get it right.

Offline Leon

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Re: My Fort William to Banavie idea
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2019, 02:44:04 AM »
Why did I not think of that!

Welcome to a very enjoyable forum. You'll get a lot of good suggestions here; not so much advice. We have to try and fail and try again for it to be our project! Following the threads of those who offer suggestions make it unnecessary for us to think of everything!  :) I'm just another novice, so I can't even make suggestions, but I shall be following your progress and making the occasional comment. I've driven through Ft. William many times but stopped for a few days year before last. I took the train to Mallaig one day and on another day walked Neptune's Staircase at Banavie.

Leon
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." - Maya Angelou

Offline Arrowflyer

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Re: My Fort William to Banavie idea
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2019, 10:46:36 PM »
So lower level baseboard nearly done. Learning loads.

Iíve used an l-girder open format so that I can adjust heights for the long 150mm descent (ascent) to the lowest level. Took me a bit of time. Longer than I thought. Iíve fastened them to the wall, but each section can be separated if needed.

Each level will have 300mm between them allowing me the option of scenic or fiddle yard on the bottom level.  I used 300mm (1ft) on the basis the back scenes are roughly 9 inches, so gives a bit of wiggle room on risers. So total height around 1.4m at the top deck. But I want a big loop on the lower level just to allow constant moving trains.

I have cut all the risers, just need an evening or two to attach them.
I had some 9mm MDF which Iím using for the reverse loop section. This allows me to play with track laying and shaping code 55 flex track. Again a bit of learning on 180 deg curves.

I made a couple of trammels to mark out the curves and checked it against some settrack R3 I had.  Great to know that the trammel idea worked and my sizes are right.

I guess my happiest part is realising itís all dead level!

For the record, hereís what Iíve learned.
1. Buy a power mitre saw. Got a cheapish one and itís allowed my arm to recover from sawing
2. Take breaks, get a cuppa. I found that lack of caffeine really had an adverse affect of my measuring capability. That and a late night.  See pic!
3. Measure twice, cut once is a good mantra, but dont forget about the b****dy radiator!
4. You never have enough clamps.
5. Evostick wood glue is fab stuff.
6. Tidy your work area at the end of a woodworking session or you will get shouted at🤪

Next jobs, fit risers and sub track, paint MDF, test out the climb gradient. Should be 2.3%. Probably finish level 0 in 2 weeks.









« Last Edit: February 24, 2019, 11:28:37 PM by Arrowflyer »

Offline weave

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Re: My Fort William to Banavie idea
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2019, 07:37:14 AM »
Morning Arrowflyer,

Well you have been busy. All looks good and solid.

Have been doing some baseboard construction this Weekend as well but I think my interpretation of your 'take breaks, get a cuppa', ie. take lots of breaks, crack open a few cans and watch some football was far less productive  :).

Great stuff and looking forward to more of your build.

Cheers, weave  :beers:

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: My Fort William to Banavie idea
« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2019, 09:44:20 AM »

Iíve used an l-girder open format so that I can adjust heights for the long 150mm descent (ascent) to the lowest level.
This allows me to play with track laying and shaping code 55 flex track. Again a bit of learning on 180 deg curves.


Should that descent (ascent) be 1500mm as 6" is a fair old climb? :worried:

If you check underneath code 55 flexitrack you'll see arrows showing which way to bend it. Using suitable size tracksettas also helps.

 

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