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Author Topic: Kato Layouts - Design and Construction  (Read 2010 times)

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Offline Leon

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Re: Kato Layouts - Design and Construction
« Reply #30 on: August 13, 2019, 05:15:13 PM »
I've started using cardboard to raise the level of the ground surrounding the rails. We learn as we go, often thanks to suggestions made in this forum! I can only feasible apply the "ground raising" fix to the station area, having already completed the outlying parts of the layout.

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 cornish yorkie

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Re: Kato Layouts - Design and Construction
« Reply #31 on: August 14, 2019, 09:33:44 PM »
 :hellosign:
Thanks for starting this thread Leon, a bit late to the party. I have mostly Unitrack & up to now have only had two controllers happily running two ovals with one crossover made  up with "6" points.
  Also thanks to all contributions, I am certain they will be helpful for me in the near future
       regards Derek.

Offline Leon

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Re: Kato Layouts - Design and Construction
« Reply #32 on: August 14, 2019, 09:39:08 PM »
Derek, keep your eye out! I'll be needing much more help before I'm finished, and I am learning (a bit) so maybe I'll be able to help someone else. I'm still grappling with rail electrification. I'm still finding rails electrified that shouldn't be (according to my plan and expectation). Still, as a photo will show (coming soon), I've been able to move my trains to the right locations, but only through lots of trial and error.

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 Lawrence

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Re: Kato Layouts - Design and Construction
« Reply #33 on: August 28, 2019, 09:46:20 PM »
Other Kato issues not related to wiring...

4. How to stick it down!
5. How to make it look realistic
6. How to hack it to get the layout you want (surgery on track sections)
7. The infamous no. 4 modification as alluded to by Newport Nobby above
8. The fact you can easily use alternative baseboard materials since you don't have to instal point motors!

Cheers Jon  :)

@PostModN66
Hi Jon, I'll try and address a couple of your points above.
4. How to stick it down!
I use Copydex or double sided tape, Copydex is better as it peels off afterwards
5. How to make it look realistic
Same as any other track, just takes effort and imagination, you can buy matching Kato ballast for infilling
6. How to hack it to get the layout you want (surgery on track sections)
Again not that hard, a good fine bladed saw and some super glue works, I have even managed to alter curves by cutting small sections and re gluing. Sometimes you do have to trim the rails but a dremmel comes in handy here also
7. The infamous no. 4 modification as alluded to by Newport Nobby above
Check out Fifer Hobby video pages for this, very useful resource for hacking Kato
8. The fact you can easily use alternative baseboard materials since you don't have to install point motors!
You still have to be able to drill it to feed those nasty bits of electrical string through though  ;)


Offline Railwaygun

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Re: Kato Layouts - Design and Construction
« Reply #34 on: August 29, 2019, 01:36:01 AM »
A browse around Kato Unitrack hintsín tips would Ben useful

https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?board=131.0
This has been a public service announcement
It may contain alternative facts

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Offline Bob G

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Re: Kato Layouts - Design and Construction
« Reply #35 on: August 29, 2019, 11:13:33 AM »
Leon
Iíve read all your threads with interest but I think I can actually contribute beneficially now. I grew up in the DC era and my layout has two main lines and a third controller for the EMU depot, Loco depot and relief line. Before DCC we used to build models with cab control, sectioning the layout into blocks like signal blocks, or more likely useful lengths of line. Itís a dying art but it is best described as running a layout from the signalmanís perspective, whereas DCC is from the drivers perspective. Each section can be off or live to one or usually two controllers. What you have is the opportunity to run sections of track on main controllers and if you want to transition to another route you use that section to switch from one controller to another.
Itís easier to draw it than describe it but if you can get hold of the OLD Peco shows you how booklet on cab control you would realise how powerful cab control is. You are the signalman. Actually it is more like railway practice than DCC
best
Bob

Offline Leon

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Re: Kato Layouts - Design and Construction
« Reply #36 on: September 10, 2019, 02:20:32 AM »
I've completed the Metcalfe Engine Shed and Coaling Stage. Until now, I've not considered how to run track into these two buildings. Surely I don't want to ballast inside buildings, do I? So, I'll need to divest the track of the plastic ballast molding, I presume. Any ideas about how to handle this situation? I have a length of Peco flexible track, but it's Code 55. Can I make it work? If so, some suggestions, please?

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 dannyboy

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Re: Kato Layouts - Design and Construction
« Reply #37 on: September 10, 2019, 08:39:05 AM »
@Leon I ran the Kato track into the engine shed on Averingcliffe. I built up the floor of the engine shed with card to the level of the rail and lifted the engine shed by the same amount, using the same card. I used a piece of the card between the rails, so it now looks like a concrete floor. (Hope that all makes sense!). If you use Peco track inside the shed, it will be at a different height to the Kato track, so will need packing underneath as I understand it. I will see if I have a picture of my engine shed tracks later.
David.
I used to be indecisive - now I'm not - I don't think.
If a friend seems distant, catch up with him.

Online Bealman

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Re: Kato Layouts - Design and Construction
« Reply #38 on: September 10, 2019, 08:46:41 AM »
Sounds heaps easier to run the Kato track straight in!  :thumbsup:
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline dannyboy

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Re: Kato Layouts - Design and Construction
« Reply #39 on: September 10, 2019, 08:50:55 AM »
@Leon
This first picture shows what I mean regarding the card, although it is the scratch built engine shed -



This picture is the best I have of the Metcalfe shed with the 'concrete' floor-

David.
I used to be indecisive - now I'm not - I don't think.
If a friend seems distant, catch up with him.

Online Jack

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Re: Kato Layouts - Design and Construction
« Reply #40 on: September 10, 2019, 05:02:47 PM »
@Leon
On the Kato layout that I'm putting together at the moment it has Peco Code 55 with the Peco service pits for the loco service shed, with no problems with any of my locos making the crossing between the two Codes. I'm reusing the Peco stuff because I prefer the way it looks compared to the Kato service pit pieces.



When the time comes I'll be using cardboard "concrete" as @dannyboy discribes for the flooring.


On a side issue: I'm loving the day I switched to Kato - I put trains on the track, I power up the Powercab and trains go without all the agro I used to have with various Peco incarnations I'd put together. Oh happy days  :claphappy: 

:offtopicsign::sorrysign:  :D
Today's Experts were yesterday's Beginners :)

Offline Leon

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Re: Kato Layouts - Design and Construction
« Reply #41 on: September 10, 2019, 05:21:49 PM »
I ran the Kato track into the engine shed on Averingcliffe. I built up the floor of the engine shed with card to the level of the rail and lifted the engine shed by the same amount, using the same card.

David, this was my first inclination (and maybe my last) but I'm looking for a solution that will require the least number of changes to the existing ground levels. I've already discovered that I'll have to re-lay the track in the area of the engine shed and coaling stage, so it might be easier to use Peco flexible track from the points into both buildings. Even before considering this challenge I've been concerned about using the Kato track up the incline of the Coaling Station. I'll go back to your Averingcliffe posts and take a look at your engine shed.  Thanks for your input!

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 Leon

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Re: Kato Layouts - Design and Construction
« Reply #42 on: September 10, 2019, 05:29:02 PM »
Something that's in my general toolkit for all sorts of things is plasticine. You can use a small amount of it, carefully placed over critical components (not squished in, just lightly pressed down around the edges) to protect point switches etc. while ballasting. Tends to be a little easier to shape around the edges than masking tape so you can make a little dome of it to stick over points for instance and it cleans of fairly easily afterwards.

Zwilnik, I acknowledged your post but didn't post my appreciation for your suggestion - one that I shall be trying when I resume ballasting of points. Thanks very much!

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 Leon

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Re: Kato Layouts - Design and Construction
« Reply #43 on: September 10, 2019, 05:41:03 PM »
If the polarities are correct, you can run a train from inner to outer loop ( and V/V ) without problems.

Railwaygun, thanks for your insights, and sorry for my delay posting this response! I have the Kato Power Direction Control Switch that I'll use to move trains between the two loops. All of the rails inside the loops have power feeders on isolated sections that can be switched off and on from the controllers. I think this will permit me to work the entire layout with three controllers. I don't know that it's important, but I can run trains on the outer (avoiding line) loops with two of the controllers while managing traffic on the inner rails with the third controller. I confess that I've not worked out all the wrinkles, but am confident that I can!  :D

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 Leon

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Re: Kato Layouts - Design and Construction
« Reply #44 on: September 10, 2019, 05:52:31 PM »
Hi Jon, I'll try and address a couple of your points above.
4. How to stick it down!
I use Copydex or double sided tape, Copydex is better as it peels off afterwards
5. How to make it look realistic
Same as any other track, just takes effort and imagination, you can buy matching Kato ballast for infilling
6. How to hack it to get the layout you want (surgery on track sections)
Again not that hard, a good fine bladed saw and some super glue works, I have even managed to alter curves by cutting small sections and re gluing. Sometimes you do have to trim the rails but a dremmel comes in handy here also
7. The infamous no. 4 modification as alluded to by Newport Nobby above
Check out Fifer Hobby video pages for this, very useful resource for hacking Kato
8. The fact you can easily use alternative baseboard materials since you don't have to install point motors!
You still have to be able to drill it to feed those nasty bits of electrical string through though  ;)

Lawrence, I was recovering from some extensive dental surgery at the time of your post. I do appreciate your contribution. One thing to remember, though. Many of us chose Kato for simplicity (being either unable or unwilling to undertake to model more complicated systems). I've watched some of the Fifer videos including at least one to which you allude. These suggestions are excellent for you more advanced modellers and I hope this thread will reach many of them. For me, I will be lucky to be able to join Kato and Peco rails!

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

 

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