Wednesday, 14 November 2018

I'm Back!

It's been too long! I took over responsibility for restoring a 4mm scale layout over the Summer. It proved more challenging than I had expected, so I have been spending all my modelling time working on that for the last few months. It is time to get back to Burghmire!

I decided to start with a quick win - installing the right hand fiddle siding - just a short section of Easitrac. I had a length of track already made up with the concrete sleeper bases, so used that. Easitrac glue was used for the most part to secure it in place. I am using PCB strip under the rails where the track crosses the baseboard joint, so a bit of soldering was necessary too.Around 5 minutes work at most. Still, it's a start!

Next, I plan to get the tiebars on the pointwork working. I had problems thinking how best to actuate them. Such small baseboards are very light. Using my original slide switches, the baseboards actually moved slightly when I tried switching the points! I have now found some that are much easier to slide back and forth. I shall try one and if successful, do all the others with the same type. If that idea is not satisfactory, I may have to resort to point motors.

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Third Baseboard

I was doing a bit of DIY for the house last month, so decided to construct the third and final baseboard for Burghmire at the same time. Only one lot of mess to clear up, that way. It took me a couple of weeks to get around to photographing it, but here it is.

The curved front is intended to minimise the visual impact. With such a small scenic board, I don't want the off-scene bits to dominate the overall layout too much.

Construction is very simple. The top was cut to shape using the Templot layout plan as a guide. The curved piece of plywood at the front and flat plywood pieces for the back and end are held in place with offcuts of softwood, all screwed and glued together. The baseboard came together very well. It is very strong and light.

I shall build the track with 2mm Scale Association Easitrac components, for a change. Nice and easy to do for a piece of plain track.

As with the other two boards, I shall add a fascia in due course to try and hide the crudity of my baseboard engineering from public view!

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Where Did April Go?

April was a relatively uneventful month from a railway modelling perspective. Holidays and a debilitating sore throat/cough/cold put paid to much progress on 'Burghmire', my model railway layout loosely based on Wantage.

I did manage to install the point blades and remaining check rails. This means that all the rail on the scenic board is now laid. I shall next fit the tie bars and point operating mechanisms. Then, I can engage in some thorough testing with rolling stock and make minor adjustments if necessary.

There is, I humbly admit, a dodge in the construction of the 3-way tandem turnout. The offending route is more or less dead straight and serves the loco shed. .I was concerned about the practicability of repairing one of the point blades, should it ever become detached from the tie bar, post-construction. The space to insert a soldering iron would be very tight. This persuaded me to try a design with only one moving point blade. I had previously seen someone very successfully experiment with this concept in P4. I felt it would not be excessively adventurous in this particular application, despite the relatively more generous flange gaps (to scale) in 2mm Finescale. In fact, first impressions suggest that the modified turnout will function very satisfactorily, much to my relief. Only a valid solution on tramways and fictitious minor railways though!

A couple of check rails still had to be added when the photos were taken, but these are now in place.

Friday, 30 March 2018

What A Difference A Week Makes

The culmination of track laying on the scenic board is close at hand. The point blades and other minor outstanding bits shouldn't take long.

I have extended the main running rails a short way onto the fiddle yard board. This means I can soon separate the boards for a while. I can then concentrate on getting the trackwork on the scenic board operational. Further progress on the fiddle yard can wait, as there is infinitely more work to do on the scenic board before the Diamond Jubilee Layout Competition closes.

I have also finalised the shape of the baseboard for the other end of the scenic board. This will contain a hidden siding  I decided that a gentle curve would look nice, giving an appealing, rounded appearance to the front of the layout once the facia has been added. The non-scenic trackwork is required mainly to make the process of uncoupling locomotives from arriving trains a practicable proposition. It can also be used for storing wagons off-scene, for example. Plenty of space for sandwiches and coffee too.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Permanent Way

Track laying is progressing, with the first rails now soldered in place. I started with the pointy bits. I am now extrapolating outwards.

Progress has been slow. The longer days open up the opportunity for a greater variety of alternative pastimes.

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Detailed Track Plan

By special request, here is a detailed plan of the layout, including the fiddle yard. The drawing shows how I worked out the swing required for the sector plate and so developed the overall outline of the fiddle yard using Templot. Click on it for a larger image.

I had hoped to progress the track laying at out local area group meeting on Thursday. As often happens, we all (with one exception) ended up chatting instead.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Fiddle Yard Progress

Slow progress, due to many diversions, but the end is in sight. The fiddle yard baseboard is beginning to look good.

This view is from the operating side. The far side will eventually have a tall fascia to match whatever I do for the front of the scenic board. Still a way to go then, but just about far enough now to be able to start laying track

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Layout Name - Burghmire?

Construction of the fiddle yard is progressing slowly. The design is quite complex. I am proceeding cautiously!

The image below shows the deck more or less complete. The ends are complete and shown in the image, but are so far unattached. The deck will be trimmed to match the swing of the sector plate before I add the sides.

The fiddle yard design is extravagant for a Diamond Jubilee Layout Competition entry. I am taking a long term view though. It could be useful for other layouts in the future.

I have recently procrastinated over a name for the layout. Expectant mothers will be familiar with the problem. There will be too many detail differences for me to use the name 'Wantage'. Finding a unique and original name has been challenging.  I require something that conjures up impressions of a dark, unpleasant and mysterious place. Wargamers, bloggers, awkward entries in the 'Urban Dictionary' and users of  Twitter or Facebook have pre-claimed many of my otherwise perfect ideas. Thomas Hardy has probably used most of the rest.

For the present, I have settled on the name 'Burghmire'. This brings up no matches in my search queries. It also allows reasonable ambiguity over the precise location.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Fiddle Yard Idea

I had not previously contemplated what form the hidden sidings should take. This unexpectedly became clear in a momentary daydream. The concept was tested to my satisfaction in Templot, as shown in the diagram.

Out of necessity, trains will not be very long. This design should suit the layout admirably.

There remains the question of what facility to provide at the other extreme. Inconsequential for the moment though.

Saturday, 13 January 2018

PCB Galore!

PCB sleepers and turnout timbers have been added. I placed small offcuts of PCB sheet where the track will cross the baseboard edges. PCB components were used because I am modelling typical early 20th Century light railway track with flat-bottomed rails.

Incidentally, the turnout timbers are labelled as 'turnout sleepering' on the S1-025 packet. Turnouts have timbers; only plain track has sleepers, I thought?

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

A Baseboard and a Track Base

Moving quickly on, the baseboard for the scenic section of the layout has been constructed. I largely used old plywood offcuts for this. Next, I printed out a scale copy of the track plan. This was stuck to 2mm MDF. I removed the surplus bits, leaving just the outline of the trackbed. I then glued this to the baseboard.

Having used odd scraps, the baseboard looks a little uncouth at the moment. All will be hidden by a facia and scenery in due course though. The important thing for the moment is that the board is flat, square and rigid.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

2mm Scale Association Diamond Jubilee Layout Competition Entry

My entry for the 2mm Scale Association's Diamond Jubilee Layout Competition will be vaguely based on Wantage. This was the town terminus of the erstwhile Wantage Tramway. It neatly fits the maximum size allowed under the rules for the scenic area.

The curves on the real thing were very tight. I have come up with a reasonable approximation in Templot, using a minimum radius of around 2ft. This make it more believable for running larger locos and rolling stock than those which actually ran on the real Wantage Tramway. I have also extended the track slightly on the left, beyond the scenic area to make operation a little easier. Here is the result.