Alec's attempt at a small model railway!

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Alec's attempt at a small model railway!

Post  rufuskins on Wed 16 May 2018, 3:18 pm

Since my darling wife died last Christmas I have been looking for something slightly different to occupy my mind and time. TSM hasn't quite done it, so I've turned to model railways. I have managed to create a space of 3000 mm x 450 mm in the room where the computer is located.
My woodworking skills are very poor so I opted for the base boards to be made for me - expensive but worth it to ensure a level surface. They consist of three separate boards joined together by dowels and clips. In addition I had 300 mm high backs added. I have covered the main layout area with 3 mm thick cork, and so far  loose laid track has been positioned in my first proposed scheme. I am not too happy with it and will be trying some alternative layouts over the next day or two. Track is Peco Setrack, which for me is quite acceptable and I will installing working points and signals. I have to date spent a lot of time reading and watching You Tube videos in order to both understand how the electrical parts work and are installed.
The conclusion so far is that model railways are expensive, although accessing second hand (pre-owned) stock in particular can provide some savings.
I've attached a few pictures to show where I'm at.

The base boards arrive home from White Rose based in Bedale.

The base boards are being erected.

The base boards in their final location.

Track has been loose laid and some borrowed stock stock run.

The viaduct will probably form the break with the fiddle yard.

I Intend to build my own cassettes for use in the fiddle yard area, combining 3mm ply and plastic angle. I will attach strip LED lighting to the back scene.


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Re: Alec's attempt at a small model railway!

Post  dee4141 on Wed 16 May 2018, 7:58 pm

Thanks for posting! The base boards look great and you seem to have managed a good length layout too. I bet you're loving it......and so you should! I do feel a little envious... Crying or Very sad
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Re: Alec's attempt at a small model railway!

Post  rufuskins on Wed 16 May 2018, 10:19 pm

Thanks for the comments.


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Re: Alec's attempt at a small model railway!

Post  Easilyconfused on Wed 16 May 2018, 11:45 pm

Sorry to hear about your loss Alec.

The boards look a promising start. A lot of people decry the use of set-track but I have some installed on my N Gauge layout and it does the job. I also have flexi track but in the yard and some of the junctions set track points are in use.

And yes model railways are expensive.

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Re: Alec's attempt at a small model railway!

Post  RIGFindlay on Thu 17 May 2018, 3:39 pm

Good luck, Alec. There is a very useful website: ModelRailwayScenery.com. If you get on their email list you get lots of good YouTube videos about how to do things. They do very useful cards kits and other items. All good wishes. Roderic

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Re: Alec's attempt at a small model railway!

Post  rufuskins on Thu 17 May 2018, 4:07 pm

Thank you for your kind thoughts John, they are appreciated as are those for the model railway.

Thanks for the website address Roderic and I'll look it up today. The viaduct you see in the pictures is a Metcalfe kit, and I have several others namely an LNWR signal box and platforms. I have also paid for and downloaded two items from https://scalescenes.com/ as recommended by my brother. These provide instructions and building sheets that you need to print out. Obviously you also need to purchase the relevant card, etc. It will be interesting to see what these look like bearing in mind my abilities or lack thereof!

Another downloading site is http://www.smartmodels.co.uk/ but I haven't looked at what's available there properly.


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Re: Alec's attempt at a small model railway!

Post  rufuskins on Thu 24 May 2018, 10:34 pm

I have now loose laid a new track layout, which I hope will give slightly better operational interest. I haven't fixed anything down yet as I'm currently building a station from Scale Scenes that needs to be positioned on the layout as it will then determine a more accurate setting out for the track. I have wired up the points although obviously they can't be located yet until the above is sorted. It looks like the baseboard framing won't clash.


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Re: Alec's attempt at a small model railway!

Post  j3801 on Sat 26 May 2018, 1:48 pm

Hi Alec,

It looks like your off to a great flying start! I look forward to seeing how the layout progresses!
Don’t worry if it takes a long time to do anything, or if you end up starting another layout before this one is done (or another 2 in my case). It is a hobby for relaxation and fun, something some people seem to forget.

I moved this topic into a new section for the forum for a reason, not to be unfair but so as to better showcase the work that will be done. I remember something being said in the early days of the forum about setting up this section, so it has finally been done.

Regards,
Justin

p.s. I just made it so your topic will always be at the top of the listings.


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Re: Alec's attempt at a small model railway!

Post  rufuskins on Sun 27 May 2018, 3:14 pm

Thanks for that Justin - I think!

Good to hear from you as always, and hope things are OK.

The station is nearing completion and I've started setting up some platform sides. In addition I've made the first of four cassettes, which comprise 3mm thick white coated hardboard with 20 x 20 plastic angle and a length of track - the latter stuck down on the hardboard using double sided carpet tape. I need to create some handles and ends that will fit on the angles to prevent any accidents, and will add a picture when complete. I've also marked out some track centre lines, although they might yet need tweaking.


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Re: Alec's attempt at a small model railway!

Post  rufuskins on Tue 29 May 2018, 10:24 pm

Here's a picture showing the current status of the layout. The main line is fixed down with 10mm holes drilled below the slide bar on the points to allow the point motor pin to engage and move. No point motors fixed yet. Platform side wall location adjacent to main line is marked out. The picture includes the cassette without lifting handles - will fit those tomorrow. Still need several pieces of Peco Setrack and one more point motor.
Next tasks are complete track work and start on point motor installation. I have a Gaugemaster controller and will need to locate the operations tray to sit it on as well as the point motor switches. I also hope to start the Scale Scenes small engine shed.
There's always plenty to do.



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Re: Alec's attempt at a small model railway!

Post  rufuskins on Tue 29 May 2018, 10:37 pm

Here's several more pictures.





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Re: Alec's attempt at a small model railway!

Post  RIGFindlay on Wed 30 May 2018, 12:18 pm

A very neat, workmanlike job. Very good to see such progress being made. Roderic

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Re: Alec's attempt at a small model railway!

Post  j3801 on Wed 30 May 2018, 1:26 pm

Hi Alec,

Your handy work certainly puts mine to shame, and your progress is more linear and thought out!
I couldn’t help but notice two old favorites sitting on your layout, Smokey Joe and the 2721 Pannier.
I have both, whilst my Smokey Joe hasn’t run much I can say that the Pannier is a faithful work horse, it will both work around any minor faults and help find any major faults easily (that reminds me, must get it out and give it a quick service and test my current layout).

Cheers,
Justin


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Re: Alec's attempt at a small model railway!

Post  rufuskins on Wed 30 May 2018, 3:25 pm

The track is all now fixed and the next task will be electrics! The "Smokey Joe" has been lent to me by my brother and the Pannier is a S/H model that I've yet to pay for.

One thing I would add is that things are not normally that tidy!


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Re: Alec's attempt at a small model railway!

Post  Markh5682 on Wed 30 May 2018, 4:41 pm

Coming on nicely Alec. OK


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Re: Alec's attempt at a small model railway!

Post  rufuskins on Fri 01 Jun 2018, 4:19 pm

I've not yet started the electrics as I'll be busy next week elsewhere and i need to be be fresh for this important task. However I have now completed a cardboard kit from Scale Scenes of a small engine shed as well as a Girder Bridge from Dapol - still need to construct some piers to support it. The picture below shows the new layout as well the above structures. The current station is shown in the top LH corner, and presumably once it's sitting on the platform structure will be a little more prominent. It's obvious that strip lighting is needed to sit at the top of the backscene boards and I'll start trawling through the internet for something suitable - perhaps some form of LED lighting?


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Re: Alec's attempt at a small model railway!

Post  slipperman12 on Fri 01 Jun 2018, 6:02 pm

Hi Alec,
Looking good, mate Smile

Isn't that girder bridge a re-issue of the old Airfix version?? I seem to remember Dapol took over a lot of the dies for stock and buildings when Airfix went belly-up!

Cheers,
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Re: Alec's attempt at a small model railway!

Post  rufuskins on Fri 01 Jun 2018, 7:56 pm

It could well be. Thankfully it's relatively simple to put together.


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Re: Alec's attempt at a small model railway!

Post  rufuskins on Fri 15 Jun 2018, 10:37 pm

Progress has been slow but I have now fixed the feeds and two isolation points and they have been checked and work! I've also located the point motors to the underside of the baseboards, which proved harder than I thought - found it uncomfortable and difficult to work lying on my back! Located the point switches but still need to complete the actual wiring and check them. I have a Capacitor Discharge Unit (CDU) and can see which terminals are fed from the controller, but I'm not exactly sure which ones feed into the points; i.e. which is live and which is common return. I'm led to believe that fitting them wrongly shouldn't be a problem, but I would prefer not to find out to the contrary! Despite my best efforts it looks like spaghetti junction underneath the boards and I still have wires to fit. More pictures lately.
I have some LED lighting for the back boards as well as some cloud scenes, and I've bought two Dapol carriage kits and a BR brake van kit - the latter is certainly the old Airfix kit. The carriages are ex LMS 57ft suburban kits and comprise a composite and composite brake. I'm looking to build some of my own stock as part of the whole modelling theme, but also because a lot of RTR stuff seems very dear - will start to visit some shows to see what's available second hand.


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Re: Alec's attempt at a small model railway!

Post  rufuskins on Sun 17 Jun 2018, 9:48 pm

I've now installed the points including the wiring and started to test and for some unknown reason both power and points don't work. To prove that the controller was OK I applied power direct to the rails with crocodile clips and the engine moved both backwards and forwards. Being tired after a busy social weekend - an 80th birthday do and Father's Day - I will have to go back under the boards tomorrow to check ALL connections. I can only assume that some are either dislodged or not properly tightened - of course I should have checked each installation as it was installed!


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Re: Alec's attempt at a small model railway!

Post  rufuskins on Mon 18 Jun 2018, 3:44 pm

Power to the tracks has been restored but now need to address power to the points.


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Re: Alec's attempt at a small model railway!

Post  rufuskins on Fri 22 Jun 2018, 11:21 pm

I was very unhappy with the way that I had wired the points and decided to strip out all of the point wiring and restart the process. This involves installing the wiring for one point at a time and then checking that it operates correctly before moving onto the next. Putting in all of the wiring before checking was a major mistake and proved the old adage of "More speed and less haste"!


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Re: Alec's attempt at a small model railway!

Post  rufuskins on Wed 11 Jul 2018, 4:44 pm

Progress has been limited as the hot weather has proved to be difficult to work in! I have wired up one point and it works - it was also necessary to change the CDU!
I have acquired some "pre-owned stock " - second hand to those of us of a certain age - but being relatively old needs a lot of TLC. A 0-4-0 Hornby tank in GWR livery works reasonably well after a bit of wheel cleaning, a Mainline 2-6-0 engine in GWR livery works with a bit of finger assistance but is noisy and is missing the bar connection between engine and tender and the Hornby King class works reasonably well but again is noisy and the Hornby Pannier tank works OK. They all need stripping down and servicing, which I'm not sure I'm up to - spare parts may be a problem due to their age and I'll need to be clever to create a new bar connection. There is also a Class 08 in green livery that works but does tend to spark a bit! The wagons are also of an age, but I intend to clean them up and repaint them. There are also GWR liveried coaches by Lima, Hornby, Mainline and Triang and I need to consider whether to repaint them.
I was considering standardising couplings using the NEM type but some of the older stock can't be done so . . . . .
My current proposed layout era is late 1950s and early 1960s and hence if I'm going to make use of the engines and carriages they will all need repainting.
I already have some wagon kits (Dapol and Parkside/Peco) and BR ex LMS coach kits (Dapol/Kitmaster) which will need building and painting. Bearing in mind the current cost of proprietary wagons, coaches and engines I intend to concentrate on kits for wagons and coaches and S/H for engines. This is all part of the modelling process to my mind.


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Re: Alec's attempt at a small model railway!

Post  rufuskins on Thu 12 Jul 2018, 7:29 pm

I have spent the morning relocating the computer to make a bit more room in the model railway area, and subsequently re-organised the working area in this area. I then had a go at repainting some wagons and the attached photo shows my first efforts - need to sort out some water slide transfers! I'm also intending to change the wheels.


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Re: Alec's attempt at a small model railway!

Post  rufuskins on Sat 14 Jul 2018, 8:21 pm

I've now repainted seven wagons and have one more available - an old Lima bogie wagon in the proverbial Palethorpes livery - which I'm thinking of painting in maroon? There are another four that need decisions on a new livery.
I visited Heywood MRG this morning - they have monthly open days - to see whether anyone in the club does servicing, etc. of engines, but I'll have to visit again this coming Monday (club night) when someone may be available?
I also bought a Wrenn BR Utility Van and a Bachman Class 04 - in early BR Blue, which I'll look at repainting in appropriate BR Green.
The club also have an article on a DIY uncoupler that might be within my ability?
Next week I need to consider restarting point installation as well as carrying on with repainting. There are some replacement wheels on order and I'll take a first look at alternative couplings.


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Re: Alec's attempt at a small model railway!

Post  rufuskins on Wed 18 Jul 2018, 8:18 pm

I'm well on with repainting as the following picture shows.

The Bolster wagon and BR Brake are unchanged and the Utility van and Class 04 are as mentioned in the previous post.
The following picture shows the painting area with a carriage side in the stand jaws - a very useful tool - and a number of wagons being, or ready to be, painted. I have Dapol kits for a tanker, 16T Mineral wagon and ex LMS 57ft suburban coaches. This should give me a good selection of wagons and coaches to operate a varied programme once the layout is fully electrified.




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Re: Alec's attempt at a small model railway!

Post  rufuskins on Thu 19 Jul 2018, 3:06 pm

Here's a brake composite repainted in Carmine and Cream. It's not perfect but still looks the part. I'll now move onto a composite and that will create a formation of two corridor coaches and a Tank when I have one sorted.



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Re: Alec's attempt at a small model railway!

Post  rufuskins on Sat 21 Jul 2018, 5:16 pm

I've painted the Hornby composite and the two coaches look alright. I've found someone to service, and where necessary repair, the engines mentioned in an earlier post. Once I have them back I'll need to sort out a livery appropriate for the late 1950s and the early 1960s, and then try repainting. I also have two Lima coaches including a full brake and these need repainting, although I might try a maroon livery rather than the carmine and cream.
I've done some more basic work for the points wiring and will attempt to complete that next.
This afternoon I tried to make an aggregate load for one of the wagons, but made a "pig's ear" of it and had to discard the actual load. I made a cardboard former and placed it in the wagon and then put aggregate on this, but the main problem was not being able to apply the diluted PVA using a teaspoon - I obviously need to get a dropper or equivalent!

I suppose I should point out that this layout really is fictitious and hence the rolling stock will be somewhat varied, but hey . . . .


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Re: Alec's attempt at a small model railway!

Post  rufuskins on Mon 23 Jul 2018, 4:20 pm

Here's all of my current rolling stock.

The engines that require maintenance and repair are now being done, and I hope to get them back Thursday week. In addition there's a shot of a tray that has the wire, etc. for the points. You can also see a low relief building and a girder bridge plus two carriages that I am proposing to paint in BR Maroon. Over the next few days I am attempting to build several wagon and coach kits!



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Re: Alec's attempt at a small model railway!

Post  rufuskins on Fri 27 Jul 2018, 4:30 pm

I've been away for a few days but whilst away I spent a fair amount of time making up some model kits, including Kitmaster (Dapol) exLMS 57ft Suburban coaches, the typical 16T wagon, a BP tanker and the 15T Crane. All of the latter were from Dapol being the Airfix kits from many moons ago.
The Kitmaster coaches were very simple to make with the only additional painting being the roof - my choice. The 16T wagon was pretty straightforward although in hind sight it would have been better if I had painted the chassis et al before assembly! The BP tanker is only part built and I have painted some of the parts before assembly. I have only just started the 15T crane but I will need additional wagons before and aft - I need to do some simple research to sort out options. Even though the kits - or rather the tooling - are old the instructions are relatively clear and hence construction is not too difficult. I also have some Parkside Dundas kits but the instructions seem very basic with no exploded diagrams so I'll not start these for a little while.
I'll put some pictures up later.


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Re: Alec's attempt at a small model railway!

Post  rufuskins on Thu 02 Aug 2018, 10:30 pm

Must get round to taking some pictures sooner rather than later especially as the stock continues to grow. I've acquired a second hand green three car Class 110 which I'll probably run as a two car unit. Four out of the five engines that I've had serviced, etc. are now back and are running well. The 2-6-0 is apparently not a viable repair! The Dapol 15T crane hasn't proved a success nor the runner or tool van - from a GWR Brake - that I tried to cobble together. Instead I've got hold of a second hand 76T Hornby crane and runner - needs a repaint. I'm really enjoying creating stock for the route with the obvious emphasis on second hand or kit built rather than buying expensive proprietary stock. It's not necessary for me to have fine detail, rather I want a compromise version of a model railway. I should of course point out that I spent a fair amount of money on the baseboards, track and electrics.


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Re: Alec's attempt at a small model railway!

Post  rufuskins on Mon 13 Aug 2018, 8:25 pm

Well to continue the bore fest; after numerous dry runs and several false starts I now have my first working point! In addition the number of rolling stock items continues to grow. I am currently attempting to build a Ratio station model and tomorrow I'll push on with the points. A combination of family commitments and trips out means progress continues to be slow - it was never my intention to do things quickly anyway.

To complete my main stock requirements I'd like a green liveried Class 20 (second hand when one becomes available) and a few more open wagons either second hand or kit built.

I'm also looking for stock storage trays - I did find some but in order to pay for them I needed to set up a PayPal account, which I didn't want to do! I'm also still trying to finalise either cassettes or a simple traverser for the fiddle yard.


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Re: Alec's attempt at a small model railway!

Post  rufuskins on Sun 19 Aug 2018, 2:54 pm

For some reason - probably my hamfistedness Embarassed - I haven't been able to sort out the point motors mounted below the baseboards. I have therefore decided to change to surface mounted point motors, as it's not as if anyone will see them apart from me! The stock volume continues to increase through second-hand purchase and kit building.


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Re: Alec's attempt at a small model railway!

Post  rufuskins on Fri 24 Aug 2018, 3:52 pm

I have continue to progress the model railway wiring for the points and it has proved slightly easier with the surface mounted points. I do it in short bursts as it still involves lying on my back.
Next month I'm thinking of visiting a Toy and Model auction, which should be quite an experience. I certainly won't be competing with the collectors and dealers, but I might pick up the odd bargain - not forgetting the buyer's premium of 14%!


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Re: Alec's attempt at a small model railway!

Post  rufuskins on Mon 27 Aug 2018, 8:10 pm

After installing the surface mounted points I carefully wired up the points in accordance with all the information I could garner from the Internet and Youtube, and you've guessed it the points failed to operate. This meant that the railway room took on somewhat of a blue tint! Mad  Mad  Mad
I then decided to check all the wiring connections but no still they didn't work. I then opted to check each point by taking out all the power and common return wiring, and then wiring each point in turn direct to the 16V AC supply via the CDU. First point worked fine, however the next two didn't but the fourth did! I then drew blood from a serious bout of head scratching, and suddenly realised that when checking the wiring connections I did't include the connections to the Peco switches. They were fine in terms of actual connection, but the design has two of the connections very close together which meant that they were effectively in contact! I therefore wrapped one of the close ones in insulation tape and so far that appears to be doing the trick. I still have two more to check and assuming they are fine, I will then rewire to suit the original wiring diagram.
In hindsight I should have used heat shrink type tubing but it would be difficult to add that at this stage, but a useful lesson for any further layouts. I am thinking of something a little bigger, but need to complete this one in order to learn what to do and what not to do. Although I have used Youtube for guides, as usual nothing quite fitted the bill!


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Re: Alec's attempt at a small model railway!

Post  j3801 on Wed 29 Aug 2018, 3:51 am

Hi Alec,

Sorry for no posting sooner, but regarding any electrical work, have you invested in a simple Multimeter? You can use these to check voltage outputs as well as electrical connectivity.
Since I worked for an electronics company a few years ago, I got myself one and every time I do any electrical work on the layout it is the first thing I grab. Even though I can trust my own wiring it does help to check if everything went as I intended.

Regards,
Justin


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