8' x 4' with an extra bit!

Post pictures and information about your own personal model railway layout that is under construction. Keep members up-to-date with what you are doing and discuss problems that you are having.
lezjez
Posts: 45
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:16 pm
Location: Milton Keynes

8' x 4' with an extra bit!

Postby lezjez » Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:30 pm

Hi everyone,

I've been a regular visitor to these forums as a 'viewer' for over a year now (my wife even sings a little tune every time she catches me on here!) Up until now, I'd not joined in with the postings but I have been building a layout since June 2011 and I have learnt a great deal from the postings on these pages so I though it time to share some pictures of my progress, which although not up to the standard of many of the excellent models on here, may provide some inspiration or learning from my mistakes to others!!

The layout is roughly 50's - 60's with a mix of late BR steam and early diesel but this may expand into the blue era as I quite like these!! Its of no fixed location, but probabaly more LM and LNER, and not really GW or Southern for some unknown reason!

The layout is still under construction, and consists of 4 boards, which were originally 4' x 2' each, 3 scenic and one forming a form of fiddle yard. Here are the original 3 boards. with the fiddle yard standing up.
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Although the railway is currently in a larger room one of the pre-conditions stipulated by my wife was that it had to be moveable to the small room, which is currently my baby daughters room. With this in mind, 8' x 4' was a practical maximum.


So I cut the boards in my haste to get cracking. However after more reading up and practical research, I found out my arms were not 4 foot long and I'd have no chance of reaching the back!! I measured the space I had another couple of hundred times and realised the door of the small room was in the middle of the wall, so I could extend the 4' to 5' if I had some sort of lifting or sliding section that bridged the door. Since moving house, I had a few sliding drawer bits spare from an old wardrobe. After a lot of headscratching I thought theese may be useful in creating a sliding fiddle yard to allow me the extra foot, and still be able to get in and out of the room without taking all of the stock up. The snag was that I didn't want to make a separate table for the fiddle yard to sit on, it needed to hang off of the drawer runners. More importantly, It also relied on the other three boards being very well aligned and being parallel where the fiddle yard fits.

Don't ask how I managed this, as I am no expert carpenter (all cuts made using a tenon saw and a rather antequated mitre block!) but it managed to line up and the fiddle yard slides back and forth quite well!! I'll post a few more pics on this shortly

Here is the fiddle yard in position.
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And the extended side boards
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I am in the process of trying to cram in as much useful track as I can to make the most of the space. Becuase of the travel of the doors, the need to have a bit of breathing space in the well, and the size of the room I can only get 6-7 tracks on the board to line up with the main lines (more on this later.

As an overview, the 3 scenic boards are as follows:

On the left is a mainly rural area with hills and a small stream The line crosses the stream on a small embankment and stone culvert takes the stream under. The line enters a shallow cutting, to the engine shed and depot. There is a junction here where the goods loop splits off. The dead end line is the goods yard headshunt.

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The centre board contains what will be the good yard and part of the station
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The right hand board has the station, and a town scene on top of a hill, which hides the line as it goes to the fiddle yard. There will be a sloping terrance of houses taking a road down to the goods yard. I've got a fair few metcalfe and scalescenes buildings mostly complete, but probabaly ahead of time as the base scenery is far from complete.
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I've tried to make the hill top removable, to allow access to the track for cleaning or derailments, and to make eventual storage easier given the height of the buildings on the top, it works ok with no buildings on but i've not got any further to test.

Thats a quick intro for now. I hope to post a few moew updates, but progress is sproradic as firstly I have a 11 month old daughter, secondly I spend far to long reading about other peoples layouts, and finally i am an expert procrastinator!!

If any one has any comments, feedback, questions or advice, or wants any more info then please post!! I've also not got a name yet. I was thinking along the lines of Portatown as it is portable. I'm a but crap at coming up with imaginative realistic sounding names!

Happy Modelling

Liam

stevegant
Posts: 96
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2006 8:09 pm

Re: 8' x 4' with an extra bit!

Postby stevegant » Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:33 pm

Like the way you have 'integrated' the Hornby Select into your control panel. Looks like good progress on your layout.

lezjez
Posts: 45
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:16 pm
Location: Milton Keynes

Re: 8' x 4' with an extra bit!

Postby lezjez » Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:41 pm

stevegant wrote:Like the way you have 'integrated' the Hornby Select into your control panel. Looks like good progress on your layout.


Thanks, I'll put up a few pics of the control panel soon. It did require a fairly large hole in the side frames of the board to get the power lead in (lack of forward planning!

Lofty

Re: 8' x 4' with an extra bit!

Postby Lofty » Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:06 pm

lezjez wrote:my wife even sings a little tune every time she catches me on here

That brought a smile to my face.

I suspect that most of us have rushed into things at some stage, only to change things later.

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Bufferstop
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Location: Bottom end of N. Warks line

Re: 8' x 4' with an extra bit!

Postby Bufferstop » Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:49 pm

lofty wrote: I suspect that most of us have rushed into things at some stage, only to change things later.

It should be made compulsory. It's the quickest way of overcoming the learning curve, and I'm always suspicious of preliminary plans that look just like the finished article.
Growing old, can't avoid it. Growing up, forget it!
My Layout, My Workbench Blog and My Opinions

Ex-Pat
Posts: 1881
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:51 pm
Location: Dundalk Ireland

Re: 8' x 4' with an extra bit!

Postby Ex-Pat » Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:34 pm

The sliding fiddle yard is most ingenious and, from the snatches I can see, the track layout has a proper "railway look" about it - looking forward to seeing the full track plan.

"Portatown" closely resembles Portadown (some 30 miles or so from here). Would you consider naming it after your fiddle yard on the lines of "Slyde Hill", "Slyde Castle" etc. for example?

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jamest
Posts: 294
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 9:06 pm
Location: Bratton Fleming, North Devon

Re: 8' x 4' with an extra bit!

Postby jamest » Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:04 am

Hi,

This looks like an excellent use of the space available. And you seem to be doing a good job of integrating the scenics and hiding some of the curves.

I will watch with interest.

All the best,
James

lezjez
Posts: 45
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:16 pm
Location: Milton Keynes

Re: 8' x 4' with an extra bit!

Postby lezjez » Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:17 pm

Thanks Jamest, I'll try and keep things moving along! I've not actually tried it in the small room yet, it may be another year or so!

lezjez
Posts: 45
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:16 pm
Location: Milton Keynes

Re: 8' x 4' with an extra bit!

Postby lezjez » Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:49 pm

A couple of extra photos of the fiddle yard and runners

Close up of the runners and the rail joins.
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The line up of the boards is via spring shoot bolts locating in a aluminium strip on the adjacent boards. This is the second method. The first was using brass rod in tubes which also gave electrical continuity, but I found this a bit time consuming. The shoot bolts have a taper, which helps with lining the boards up. I just use a trailing lead for the power now, and as its DCC all fiddle yards will be live at all times.
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The board itself just sits on the drawer runners - I copied the mounting from the IKEA drawer they are from! It took a couple of goes to get it right but the board lifts on an off quite easily and the runners are very sturdy.
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Had a bit of a battle getting those photos up so thats all for tonight!

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jamest
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Location: Bratton Fleming, North Devon

Re: 8' x 4' with an extra bit!

Postby jamest » Thu Mar 14, 2013 7:03 am

Hi again,

I was going to ask for an explaination of your running system for the fiddle yard.

Now I don't have to! It looks pretty good - I had trouble with my fiddle yard alignment and didn't leave enough room for a neat/quick solution like yours - although mine is a slightly different setup.

Cheers,
James

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mattmay05
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Re: 8' x 4' with an extra bit!

Postby mattmay05 » Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:17 pm

Layout looks to coming on well, seen the fiddle yard system on an Exhibition layout earlier this year, very clever system great ideas.

lezjez
Posts: 45
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:16 pm
Location: Milton Keynes

Re: 8' x 4' with an extra bit!

Postby lezjez » Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:38 pm

Thanks for the feedback, I've developed it from a few ideas picked up through the forum, magazines and at shows. I think I got the idea for the bolts from
http://www.009.cd2.com/members/how_to/fiddleyards.htm and picked some up from eBay.

I'm considering a sector plate on the inner half of the fiddle yard board to make more use of the space. I'll need to do some trials first.

lezjez
Posts: 45
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:16 pm
Location: Milton Keynes

Re: 8' x 4' with an extra bit!

Postby lezjez » Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:09 am

Hi all,

Not a great deal of progress recently, I have been ballasting the final board. I used PVA on the first board and was amazed how noisy it was comapred to the unballasted track. I did some research and found that some people used copydex as an alternative, so I thought i'd give this a go. It seemed to make a difference on the second board so I've used it on the third. However, I dont think i used enough as when I hoovered up the loose bits, it left quite a few bald spots. So if ballasting wasn't tedious enough, I now have to go back and fill in all the holes!! I also did't glue the cork sheets down and in the 6 foot I have some rather large bubbles where the cork has lifted, complete with a flexible ballast covering. I'm experimenting with cutting small holes and injecting glue underneath. Watered down copydex didn't work so I'll try neat tonight!

Is it just me or does anyone else feel like they take one step forward, then about another five correcting all the little errors!! :x
Liam

lezjez
Posts: 45
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:16 pm
Location: Milton Keynes

Re: 8' x 4' with an extra bit!

Postby lezjez » Tue Mar 19, 2013 5:20 pm

A quick update to keep hints moving along. I've been ballasting again and touching up some of the loose bits.
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I'm quite happy with the result, it needs a bit of weathering and oil to tone it down and blend it all in. I've got some sidings to do in the goods yard which will be a combination of very fine N gauge ballast and filler to give a look of ash ballast found in sidings areas.
Liam

lezjez
Posts: 45
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:16 pm
Location: Milton Keynes

Re: 8' x 4' with an extra bit!

Postby lezjez » Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:17 pm

Not a lot of progress recently, lots of family things going on! I've been trying to get a bit more of the fiddle yard done before I do some more scenics. I find doing a bit of each better than long runs of doing the same job.

I've added a set of points to the fiddle yard to make the most of the space. As you can see the fiddle yard is pretty messy and has been a bit of a test area for early ballasting attempts. The wiring is a little unconventional but it works all the same!
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For the final road I'm planning on a sector plate using a piece of flexitrack to select from the different sidings roads. I've worked out the geometry and it should be possible using 2nd radius curves as a minimum.

I had an idea that this might work, as I thought that it may have been done before, and came across this excellent thread!

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/61640-flex-track-as-sector-plate/

I'm planning to use brass 90 degree angle soldered to the bottom of the rail to locate the rails.

Liam


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