!!

Not Registered?

Welcome!  Please register to view all of the new posts and forum boards - some of which are hidden to guests.  After registering and gaining 10 posts you will be able to sell and buy items on our N'porium.

If you have any problems registering, then please check your spam filter before emailing us.  Hotmail users seem to find their emails in the Junk folder.


Thanks for reading,
The NGF Staff.

Author Topic: Königshafen  (Read 679 times)

0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.

Offline ntpntpntp

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4989
  • Country: gb
    • Awards
Königshafen
« on: June 21, 2020, 06:28:29 PM »
(alternative spellings for searches:  Konigshafen  Koenigshafen)

In all these years as a member of the forum I've never created a "layout thread" for my efforts.  Mainly because the original layout was built back in 1996, with extensions in 2006. 

Perhaps it's time to post a few bits and pieces of info, and maybe add build updates on current projects?  Some of the piccies will have appeared before in replies to posts on other threads, but the surprising thing is I don't actually have that many photos I've taken myself so I'll have to hunt around for good examples.

Königshafen began in 1995 as a replacement for my previous exhibition layout Tannental, which although it attended a few shows was never built with some of the fundamental necessities for exhibiting - for example it had no accurate baseboard alignment (pattern makers' dowels) nor any provision for transport (securing/stacking in the car and protection against the weather when carrying between car and venue).

This time I started from the outset with baseboards having end-plates, sides and lids, and board sizes designed to stack nicely my Mondeo estate car of the time.  Here are the "coffins" and fiddleyard "pack" I ended up with





I went through all sorts of ideas for the track plan, initially with multiple levels (Tannental had been multi-level), but eventually settled on a through station with a couple of freight loops and a small harbour. An old walled town would form the backscene at one end, with a new town at the other.



It's also very much based on a mirrored version of plan of Lindern from an old Continental Modeller magazine article




The intention was to create a "watch the trains go by" layout for exhibiting, therefore I wanted the fiddleyard to have good capacity.  6 tracks in one direction and 7 in the other (remembering that the station freight loops would provide additional parking on the 6 track line  :)  )  Each fiddleyard track would be electrically split in half to allow two short trains or one long one. Crossovers at each end allowed for reversible units such as ICE sets to be run in either direction and in and out of either side of the yard.

Here's an overall view taken during a test session at my former club's meeting hall, I think this may have been just before its debut at the club's Folkestone show in 1996.  I certainly had more dark hair!




So that's the format the layout could be seen at shows around the country for the first few years. 

The layout appeared in Continental Modeller magazine in two parts: October 1997 and November 1997.

In October 1999 CM ran a feature with some of the scratchbuilt military vehicles made by my good friend Nigel Arnold and which are always to be seen somewhere on the layout.  Nigel also deserves huge credit for the many other details and scenes he's contributed to the layout since the beginning and continues to do so :D

European Railways magazine for December 2002 had a photo feature "A typical Day in Kőnigshafen".


Ally Pally show 2003, as part of the Fleischmann "Continental Village"



« Last Edit: July 10, 2020, 09:59:05 PM by ntpntpntp »
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!
https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=50050.0

Offline ntpntpntp

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4989
  • Country: gb
    • Awards
Re: Königshafen
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2020, 06:29:17 PM »
At some point during a pub discussion with the operating team a suggestion was made to re-position the fiddleyard behind us, this would
a) allow easier access to the sidings for some shunting
b) create a more defined space with us standing in the middle
c) a further set of fidddleyard boards could be built to double capacity!

A pair of thin boards were built for each side and we tried this form for a few shows.  Yes it had advantages but crawling underneath to get in and operate wasn't one of them! I still have the "S" boards as they're known due to the way they compensate for the curves on the original design, but they've not been used for quite a few years.  The additional fiddleyard never came to fruition, although boards were constructed by one of the team.

Here's a photo of the re-positioned fiddleyard, this was taken at the N Convention in Stuttgart in 2003, with two friends from the Italian society Amici Scala N running the layout while we took a break  :D


« Last Edit: June 21, 2020, 06:30:27 PM by ntpntpntp »
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!
https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=50050.0

Offline ntpntpntp

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4989
  • Country: gb
    • Awards
Re: Königshafen
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2020, 06:47:41 PM »
In 2006 I was invited to take the layout to the Stuttgart N Convention for a second time.   It was suggested that the layout be incorporated into the huge multi-society modular system that is usually put together.  Given that "Kh" as it's affectionately known is very much a stand-alone exhibit and the trackwork is lower than N-Club International's module system standard, I came up with an alternative plan whereby additional trackwork would run right across the entire front on separate baseboards. This would allow us to participate in the system whilst remaining separate!

Construction of the boards involved wrapping the sides of the existing layout as well as running across the front. Notice the N-Club International modular standard end plate embedded in the end of the wrap-around board, this would ensure compatibility with other modules (assuming the tracks are laid accurately and the wiring is correct)







A plan was made to hook in with good friends in the East Surrey N Gauge group with their Alpenbahn modules  (ESNG exhibit most years at the Stuttgart show).  We had a test/trial fit at the ESNG show earlier in 2006 with just bare boards.  When the time came they made space in their van for Kh and its extensions, while Team Kh travelled out by plane  :)

Here's a photo from the Stuttgart show, compare the frontage with the original layout in the first post. The lighting pelmet indicates the original front. You can just about see the fir trees of Alpenbahn joined to the far end




The full track plan



« Last Edit: June 23, 2020, 09:12:26 AM by ntpntpntp »
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!
https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=50050.0

Offline swisstrains

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 722
  • Country: 00
    • My N Gauge Forum Gallery
    • Awards
Re: Königshafen
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2020, 06:58:41 PM »
Good to see that you've started a thread Nick :thumbsup:.
I have seen "Königshafen" in the flesh but I can't remember which exhibition.
John

Offline ntpntpntp

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4989
  • Country: gb
    • Awards
Re: Königshafen
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2020, 07:04:19 PM »
"Kh" in extended form with the additional frontage connected to a modular system has only been shown a handful of times as for one thing it's a lot of gear to transport and set up / tear down.  In the UK we've shown it in cooperation with N-Club International at TINGS in 2006 and at the Chatham Show in 2012.  It went out to Stuttgart again in 2016.

Not wanting to let the extension boards go to waste, I decided to build a pair of automated fiddleyards which would be able to run the modular trackwork without being connected to a system.   It still required two cars or a van to get everything to a show but at least we could show the full layout.

As an experiment these were built using MDF rather than my usual 9mm ply. I know some folk use the stuff but I'm not convinced it's a good choice *for my way of constructing layouts*. I found it doesn't take screws or pins as well as ply, and just wasn't as satisfying to work with. I've reverted using ply for everything else since.



The automation uses a Heathcote Electronics shuttle and IR-DOT-P detectors, plus a diode matrix to perform route selection for the next departure when a train reaches the end of the line.  They're not long yards, the capacity of each line is really only a 3 coach multiple unit or a pair of coaches and a loco, but it allows seven trains to do their own thing while we operate the main layout.

Here's the layout with the automated yards at Chatham Show 2007. Notice the "stand in the middle" fiddleyard concept was dropped!



By now all the team had long realised that the easiest way to operate is to sit on a stool at each end of the yard. It does mean shunting in the station doesn't happen much, but we can send our sequences of trains with no effort  :)

We showed the layout in this form at the 2016 Folkestone show, marking 20 years since the first outing at the same event  :D

« Last Edit: July 10, 2020, 10:24:21 PM by ntpntpntp »
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!
https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=50050.0

Offline ntpntpntp

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4989
  • Country: gb
    • Awards
Re: Königshafen
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2020, 07:38:29 PM »
As the layout and the operating team have grown older we've realised it is a lot of effort to take Kh to a show, especially the fiddly bits of setup such as stringing catenary across all the board joints. Some of it is getting a bit fragile!  It was almost a relief when the show invites tailed off and we could take a break!  Kh could head into retirement - though never say "Never Again"  :no:  it's still fully functional but currently packed away in its "coffins" awaiting space at home to be set up permanently.

Of course that then raises the question what to do instead for exhibiting, something that's maybe a bit easier to manage? Answer: exhibit the "front boards" and the automated yards by themselves.  As there's no catenary on these boards (yet - that may still come, see later posts  :D ) they're simple to set up even for a one day show with arrival on the morning of the show.

However, the front boards as built only had NCI modular standard templates at the very ends which wrapped around old Kh. Within the set of boards the end profile and track positions are free-range. I would need to create new adapter boards for each end.  It was actually back in 2008 that two little 1' long boards were constructed for this purpose, to join in with NCI at that year's TINGS (we didn't take the full Kh that year, just the front boards).

The "left hand" end





The "right hand" end, connected to NCI at TINGS 2008



In this form the layout is Königshafen Altstadt, named for the abandoned station which is one of the main features (and which originally linked with the old town on Kh).

Exhibiting in this form doesn't require much on the part of the operators: basically sit at each end just in case the automation decides to miss a beat. There is a controller to play with the dockside sidings if desired.  You might think it would be boring, but actually it's relaxing watching everyone else buzzing around their exhibits  8)


« Last Edit: June 23, 2020, 09:13:34 AM by ntpntpntp »
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!
https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=50050.0

Offline ntpntpntp

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4989
  • Country: gb
    • Awards
Re: Königshafen
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2020, 08:02:43 PM »
In 2019 Kh Altstadt received some scenic refurbishment before going to a couple of shows including N Gauge South East. 

My basic scenic texture has traditionally been a simple coating of Woodland Scenics foam granule scatter, soaked in PVA to create a "finger-proof" surface which is very handy as the boards are set at just the right height for little-uns to try and pull themselves up to see  :) I felt that as these boards were now the main exhibit it was time to add a bit more interest here-and-there

The end adapter boards received new trees and bushes (compare with the photo in the previous post)




The valley gained a pond and also more bushes etc.




More texture around the abandoned station




... and a ruined tower next to the demolished station building.  The tower is something I'd actually made from Das Pronto at least 10 years ago for a club layout and never used. It does look very similar to one of the Lyddle End offerings but this was made years before they came out. Hours of scribing individual stones!





« Last Edit: June 23, 2020, 09:16:29 AM by ntpntpntp »
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!
https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=50050.0

Offline ntpntpntp

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4989
  • Country: gb
    • Awards
Re: Königshafen
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2020, 08:05:04 PM »
So.. that's the story so far, except for the new project Bw Königshafen which I'll document later.  First I need to try and find some decent photos to illustrate Kh in a bit more detail.......
« Last Edit: June 21, 2020, 10:17:42 PM by ntpntpntp »
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!
https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=50050.0

Offline Globibahn

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1511
  • Country: gb
    • Awards
Re: Königshafen
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2020, 08:15:19 PM »
Brilliant Nick  :thumbsup: we have long been awaiting a Kh thread, as I know you have all sorts of schemes and ieas up your sleeve and now we can monitor them effectively and not miss out on anything! The back chronicle of Kh is really interesting.

I do love the format of scenic section at front and fiddle yard at back, that's a definite winner. :thumbsup:
« Last Edit: June 21, 2020, 08:17:31 PM by Globibahn »

Offline Invicta Alec

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 611
  • Country: gb
  • Gender: Male
    • Awards
Re: Königshafen
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2020, 08:42:06 PM »
In January 2017 I had decided to get back into the hobby after about a thirty year gap. I joined this forum almost immediately hoping to get help for the many inevitable questions I needed to ask.
Pretty soon Nick @ntpntpntp answered a wiring question for me. Further conversations revealed that we lived not more than a ten minute walk from each other.

Nick helped me further by coming round to my house to help me get a rudimentary layout going. He also left me with an invite to pop round to his place to have a look at his layout. So I did. It was Koenigshafen in all its glory!!

So there was me, owner of a beginners basic oval 2 locos and cheapy DCC controller, drooling over a noted international exhibition layout and being allowed to run some trains! What luck  :)

I can assure everyone that  Königshafen is even better in the flesh than the photos can possibly show.

Alec.
You can't beat a nice drop of Southern.




.

Offline ntpntpntp

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4989
  • Country: gb
    • Awards
Re: Königshafen
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2020, 08:48:58 PM »
Aaaw thanks Alec!      When this lockdown nonsense is properly over, junior has left home again, and I have space to set up we'll get Kh running again  :)
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!
https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=50050.0

Offline Train Waiting

  • Larger Gallery
  • Trade Count: (+5)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3472
  • Country: gb
  • Gender: Male
  • The Table-Top Railway.
    • Awards
Re: Königshafen
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2020, 08:52:36 PM »
Many thanks for these fascinating posts, Nick.  I think it was a really good idea to start your own layout thread.

Best wishes.

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 an attempt to create, in British 'N' gauge,  a 'semi-scenic' railway in the old-fashioned style, reminiscent of the layouts of the 1930s to the 1950s.

For the made-up background to the railway and list of characters, please see here: https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=38281.msg607991#msg607991

Offline ntpntpntp

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4989
  • Country: gb
    • Awards
Re: Königshafen
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2020, 09:08:59 PM »
The other thing which triggered me to start a layout thread today as that I found some old video footage whilst sorting out my network storage, edited the best bits and stuck it up on youtube.

I think this stuff dates from around 2011. The second half features an Arnold steamer with working smoke unit, it's being run a bit fast to make sure there's plenty of "smoke"  :D




As with photos, I don't have a lot of stuff I've taken myself.  Kh has appeared in videos other people have taken at shows.

Here are two different clips of the layout at its 20th anniversary show at Folkestone in 2016.  (the other layouts in the videos are great too, just that mine was included first on both of these!).  The black fault line marks the join between the 1996 layout and the 2006 extension.  The fit has drifted slightly over the years  :worried:



« Last Edit: June 21, 2020, 09:12:49 PM by ntpntpntp »
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!
https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=50050.0

Offline ntpntpntp

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4989
  • Country: gb
    • Awards
Re: Königshafen
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2020, 09:39:35 PM »
Photos of Kh that I've previously used on other threads















Someone got lost....!

... and another one!



The control panel uses "radio button group" style of interlocking buttons to switch the Cab Control of each track section between one of three controllers (or switch the section off).  I'd used these same button groups on the previous layout. They do the job superbly, the switches, button caps, and interlocking frames all came from Maplin in the 80s and 90s. They're harder to come by now.

Signal aspects are controlled by simple toggle switches.




Points are fired using push buttons, but unlike the majority of people I fit each point motor with its own individual home-built CDU. This means at a show we can fire as many points we like without having to wait for a central CDU to charge, and the actual control current through the push buttons and wiring is tiny (no contact arcing as you might get with the full CDU burst flowing through a small button).  It also means I can create diode matrices for routing several points using low power signal diodes.




These football club livery coaches are pure fantasy, but colourful and the kids love them! There's also a Frosties coach with Tony the tiger  :D


« Last Edit: July 10, 2020, 10:46:40 PM by ntpntpntp »
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!
https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=50050.0

Offline ntpntpntp

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4989
  • Country: gb
    • Awards
Re: Königshafen
« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2020, 09:51:19 PM »
One of my favourite shots, reminds me of my forum profile picture.  The rail-mountable Liebherr excavator in the background is another example of Nigel's scratchbuilding skills, and predates the recently released Lemke commercial models by almost 2 decades :-)





.. and another of Nigel's scratchbuilds...




Start 'em young!





One of CJM's finest  :)



The EMUs that got me into Continental N in the first place (front of Arnold catalogue in the 1970s). At the time there was nothing like this at all in British N.



Roco BR 101s





« Last Edit: July 10, 2020, 10:49:27 PM by ntpntpntp »
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!
https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=50050.0

 

Please Support Us!
August Goal: £60.00
Due Date: Aug 31
Total Receipts: £65.00
Above Goal: £5.00
Site Currency: GBP
108% 
August Donations

anything
SimplePortal 2.3.5 © 2008-2012, SimplePortal