Hello from the Forth Bridge - almost

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RobMacKillop
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Hello from the Forth Bridge - almost

Postby RobMacKillop » Mon Nov 02, 2020 8:41 am

First post here. I've just moved into a new house, and as I type I can gaze out onto a good part of the Forth Bridge (near Edinburgh) one of the most iconic rail bridges. And I think it is about time I rekindled an early love (some 55 years ago!) of rail modelling. But I need some advice.

Space is at a premium: the top of a book case, 8 feet long, one foot deep.

The one-foot deep means that even with N gauge I would not be able to have a circular track. So we are looking at a goods yard type of set up, I imagine, shunting stuff around. I don't know whether to just improvise something, or try to copy something current or historical.

All advice appreciated, though do keep in mind I am a complete beginner. I would aim at decent-quality materials, not toy stuff. Would I necessarily have to use N gauge, or would HO be better?

Bigmet
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Re: Hello from the Forth Bridge - almost

Postby Bigmet » Mon Nov 02, 2020 10:04 am

There's a grand handle for the railway interest!
https://www.steamindex.com/library/mckillop.htm

You can produce a good shunting yard layout in your proposed space in HO and OO, and a 'terminal station' type layout in N: check out the classic 'Minories' design for a compact urban setting scheme, as a well known example. (Such 'end to end' layouts are the choice of many, because of the space constraints that so often apply.)

I would suggest starting from what interests you; considering aspects such as location and time period of the prototype, and whether it's all about the modelling, or if operation is the priority. Then you can take a look for what's available in the commercial scales that is a good fit for your interest. The plan to buy quality is one I would strongly endorse, it costs more up front for sure, but if the interest is sustained then the price is forgotten when the item is still performing as it should decades later.

Ex-Pat
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Re: Hello from the Forth Bridge - almost

Postby Ex-Pat » Mon Nov 02, 2020 10:12 am

Welcome to the Forum Rob - a long shot, but any relation to the celebrated Haymarket driver Norman McKillop by any chance?

As you appreciate, the first big decision is N gauge or OO. You will find quite a few comments within the Forum to the effect that N gauge can be too small and fiddly for ageing eyesight in particular - even though it does offer the benefit of getting more into the space.

Improvisation would free you from the shackles of prototype research (which can be very time-consuming) - it just depends on your own "make-up".

If you were to go down the prototype road then you have your choice of current locations (much more info. available) or historical (can be quite challenging).

If historical then it's presumably steam (or even a combination of early diesels and steam). Which grabs your fancy?

If you prefer improvisation then you just do your own thing!

Happy deliberations!

Edit: I see that Bigmet has beaten me to it whilst I was still composing!

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Stainsacre
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Re: Hello from the Forth Bridge - almost

Postby Stainsacre » Mon Nov 02, 2020 11:02 am

Welcome aboard

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glencairn
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Re: Hello from the Forth Bridge - almost

Postby glencairn » Mon Nov 02, 2020 11:10 am

Welcome on board, Rob.

An eight feet of layout to play with? Many a classic layout in that length. Whichever plan and scale you choose I look forward to seeing.

Glencairn
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I Cannot Afford the Luxury of a Negative Thought

RobMacKillop
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Re: Hello from the Forth Bridge - almost

Postby RobMacKillop » Mon Nov 02, 2020 11:27 am

Thanks all for the welcome. Sadly I have no connection to Norman MacKillop. He seems to have been a very interesting and knowledgeable chap.

The Minories plan looks a good one for my purposes - I see a few of them on Google Images. How does one know which tracks to order, for example if I wanted to use Atlas track? And is Atlas a good brand for track?

Still not sure re N, HO or OO.

I'm less interested in background than stock.

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glencairn
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Re: Hello from the Forth Bridge - almost

Postby glencairn » Mon Nov 02, 2020 12:53 pm

To answer your question re Atlas track. Colleagues in the USA say the code 100 is okay but is limited on radius. They say Atlas code 83 is more available (in the US) and is more realistic. What is available in the UK regarding Atlas I have no idea.
As an aside. Some of my colleagues in the States are changing to Peco? Don't overlook them.

Glencairn
To the world you are someone. To someone you are their world.
I Cannot Afford the Luxury of a Negative Thought

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End2end
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Re: Hello from the Forth Bridge - almost

Postby End2end » Mon Nov 02, 2020 1:00 pm

Hi Rob and welcome to the forum. :D
Thanks
End2end
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Ex-Pat
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Re: Hello from the Forth Bridge - almost

Postby Ex-Pat » Mon Nov 02, 2020 1:39 pm

glencairn wrote: but is limited on radius.

Glencairn


No such problems with flexi-track of course!

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Forfarian
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Re: Hello from the Forth Bridge - almost

Postby Forfarian » Mon Nov 02, 2020 1:40 pm

Hi Rob
Welcome aboard.
Tim
aka Forfarian

RobMacKillop
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Re: Hello from the Forth Bridge - almost

Postby RobMacKillop » Mon Nov 02, 2020 2:39 pm

Thanks for all the welcomes!

Peco, eh?

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luckymucklebackit
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Re: Hello from the Forth Bridge - almost

Postby luckymucklebackit » Mon Nov 02, 2020 4:18 pm

Hi Rob - Good to see another Scottish Modeller on the forum, if you look at the last few pages of my layout thread you can see what can be done in 8ft by 18", and it could be squeezed to 12" at a push.

Edit https://www.newrailwaymodellers.co.uk/Forums/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=33932&start=660 to save hunting around

Jim
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Dad-1
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Location: Dorset - A mile from West Bay.

Re: Hello from the Forth Bridge - almost

Postby Dad-1 » Mon Nov 02, 2020 4:47 pm

Welcome to the mad house.

Some said to me donkeys years ago that you couldn't get 6 '00' tracks on a 12" board, but
you can.
Scale ? get what you're comfortable working with. Many love 'N', I just can't get along with it.
Even with 'N' you couldn't get a roundy - roundy layout.
Others have mentioned the choice you'll try to make. When I started as a 65 year old it was going
to be diesels, even more specific, blue diesels. Then I found I liked freight traffic best, and for the
best of freight you find yourself back into the steam age. Don't expect your first decision to be
what you end up with !!

A couple of places worth looking at for ideas in our Layouts Under Construction threads ?

viewtopic.php?f=22&t=55200#p677530

Ignore the 'Bit on the Side' the main board is 12" wide

viewtopic.php?f=22&t=18258&start=60#p259213

Geoff T.
Remember ... I know nothing about railways.
viewtopic.php?f=22&t=32187 and Another on viewtopic.php?f=22&t=28436&start=60&st=0&sk=t&sd=a

RobMacKillop
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Re: Hello from the Forth Bridge - almost

Postby RobMacKillop » Mon Nov 02, 2020 5:51 pm

Thanks, gentlemen. I'll follow up the links. Much appreciated.

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Mountain
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Re: Hello from the Forth Bridge - almost

Postby Mountain » Mon Nov 02, 2020 11:17 pm

Hello. Welcome. A small space is perfectly possible for a model railway. The layout I am working on (Very slowly) is in 7mm scale narrow gauge and has an oval of track in 7ft x 2ft, so quite a lot is possible in theory. It is a shame you don't have just a bit more extra width.
Mind you, there are possibilities, the great outdoors being one. Or a layout at a below ceiling height. For garden railways all electrical equipment needs to be in the dry. A dry garden shed being ideal though if considering this route, ask an electrician for advice. The high level shelf idea works best with larger scale kodels so they can be seen. It also needs some sort of edging to prevent anything plunging off the "Cliff" if it comes off the track.

On an 8ft x 1ft, for an oval one needs either Z of T gauge, or it has been known for a larger scale built to extreme compromize to work... BUT, I find 2ft enough of a compromize. My locos use 00 gauge track width so you can see how I have pretty sharp curves as it is. In theory, 009 should be able to turn in a foot BUT in practice, I have found it prefers 2ft as due to its smaller scale, most prototype locos in 009/H0e do tend to be medium to large ones, so they do require a little more space so 1ft is not really that feasable.
An end to end layout and it is not an issue. No problem. One can even turn to 0 gauge and enjoy some fabulous detail just having one or two locos crawling along... Nothing is impossible but how much one wants to compromize is the question.

And last but not least... Well. Probably least in price... Have you seen those little battery operated train sets with plastic track. They turn in about a foot I believe. They do give an option if all else fails... The challenge is to make them look real. It can be done if one is up to it. Will need some good modelling skills... But it can be done. I have seen a lovely Christmas layout in a small space made with these little things and it looks great! Fantastic even!


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