super detail "train set" on a super budget?

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Michaelaface
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super detail "train set" on a super budget?

Postby Michaelaface » Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:20 pm

So I've had this idea for a while now, that I think its very possible to build a super detailed model railway/train set, and have it cost less than buying a hornby train set and some skaledale buildings etc

obviously this would mean scratch building practically everything, or at the very least modifying ebay bargains, but a lot of people do this already and to great success, which leads me to believe with some time and effort this is very plausible

now, why on earth would you want to do this? well when my parents bought me my first train set I was 5 and it was the best thing ever (still going to argue it's the best present I've ever received) however they also got me some model railway magazines, and I was always looking at the layouts in those and comparing them to my train set and always wanted to build something that looked that good. Now, not everyone has the time, space or patience to bother building a huge prototypical layout (even if they want to, like me) but the simple 6x4 trainset is a lot more practical to the average home, so I got thinking, what if I designed a 6x4 layout using set track geometry, but then built it all from scratch to 00-sf/bf (my original thoughts were actually to go for p4, but I don't think I'm at the skill level yet) and combined with recently discovering i can build quite nice looking buildings from scratch and for a fraction of the cost of off the shelf ones, why not

this sounds like a lot of hard work, again why on earth would you want to do this?!?!? I guess it would be to show that you CAN build something with super detail, and not have it cost the earth, I saw a video on youtube recently of a guy saying the hobby was dying because the manufacturers and magazines etc were aiming the hobby solely at people with time and money to afford everything super detailed

its mostly just an idea/challenge I want to set myself, thought I'd post it here to get anyones thoughts before I potentially launch into such a venture, also if I were to undertake this I'd aim to film how I've done everything, with the goal of instructing and inspiring other people to have a go too, because I found when I started scratch building my own buildings and track etc, I started thinking "oh! this is nowhere near as hard as I thought" but also started thinking "this is nowhere near as hard as I thought, I want to inspire other people to try this and to learn with me"

anyway here is a quick plan I've created of a potential layout, tried to keep it as simple as possible, but still provide plenty of operating interest

train settington middle platform.jpg


ps I'm well aware there are plenty of people that are happy with just buying off the shelf items and making something great out of that, there's nothing wrong with that, this is simply because I've always wanted more and i guess for anyone else who thinks like that

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End2end
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Re: super detail "train set" on a super budget?

Postby End2end » Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:30 pm

The only potential flaw I see (which is one I was looking at on my layout yesterday) is those points in the station.
Will there be enough platform clearance for trains to change tracks in both directions?
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End2end
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Michaelaface
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Re: super detail "train set" on a super budget?

Postby Michaelaface » Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:38 pm

End2end wrote:The only potential flaw I see (which is one I was looking at on my layout yesterday) is those points in the station.
Will there be enough platform clearance for trains to change tracks in both directions?
Thanks
End2end


I was considering having the platform along the outside so it would only serve the outer loop, having it in the middle makes it a little more interesting in my opinion, the points in the station would simply be for a goods loop and shunting, and with the "train set" idea trains would be very short (2 coaches or 4/5 wagons)

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Re: super detail "train set" on a super budget?

Postby flying scotsman123 » Wed Mar 07, 2018 1:32 pm

Excellent idea, I've certainly been surprised by how much I've managed to scratch build. It's mostly come about because I've decided I need to buy something but get impatient. No harm trying to build it first, if it all goes pear-shaped it goes in the bin and I go back to plan A, but that rarely happens. See my thread for scratch building rolling stock; carriages, wagons and locomotives. I've got fairly detailed wagons down to about £4.00, which is basically the cost of wheelsets and buffers, so less if you can turn your own. Bogie carriages with fully lit interiors and loads of added detail parts I've made for under £15 each, and my 2-4-0 tender loco I'm coming to the end of building has probably come out at less than £40. And because its scratch built the world's your lobster for prototype choices. Fancy the elegance of the Edwardian era - great, go for it! if you're going to build your own you might as well make it different. Plenty of threads here for advice on buildings too, Geoff's (Dad-1) threads are particularly useful for beginners.

I know it's a bit of a cliche but in model railways it's true, there's no such thing as can't, merely "I haven't tried it yet because I'm frightened I'll mess it up." Doesn't matter if you do, cos you'll probably only be throwing away pennies.
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Emettman
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Re: super detail "train set" on a super budget?

Postby Emettman » Wed Mar 07, 2018 2:13 pm

An interesting idea, and "what can be done with a 6x4" comes up regularly.

On the plan given, a swap around on simplicity and a saving in cost would be to have a three-road traverser at the back, eliminating four curved points
(Keeping the inner track alignment would leave the traverser completely within the existing board space in any position.
This would also allow a couple of loco spurs upper right and left to help with turning trains around.

Chris
"It's his madness that keeps him sane."

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Mountain
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Re: super detail "train set" on a super budget?

Postby Mountain » Wed Mar 07, 2018 2:21 pm

I'd like to advise a little something. Curved points can be problematic, though the larger radius ones less so.

When I was younger, if finescale was available in ready made form I'd want it. Today, my thoughts have changed. I want my model railway to run nicely and be fun to use, and to be able to run a variety of different models.
The concept you are proposing is a lovely one, especially as you can scratchbuild so well, so it is a lovely idea. You may need to work on the plan and it is only when bouncing ideas back and fore that you end up with something good.

I have a very nice book. "The living Model Railway". It is aa very interesting read, which though the layouts covered are mostly 0 gauge coarse scale, they were able to bring in a realism to the layout with what they had and the book covers many aspects in which this was achieved and hints to many ideas, especially when it comes to designing realistic track plans.
I was thinking that reading a book like this will greatly enhance your finescale layout idea further as you are armed with many more ideas. (The worst case it you end up with a nice read if it doesn't work for you). Is just a thought. :)

I think you will be able to make a lovely layout. Take a thought about portability (Moveable without damaging anything while being moved) and legs etc.
Enjoying 7mm narrow gauge.

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Michaelaface
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Re: super detail "train set" on a super budget?

Postby Michaelaface » Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:38 am

Mountain wrote:I'd like to advise a little something...


oh I totally agree with you, which is why when doing the trackwork for my current layout, although I had started building my own points, I opted to use peco ones, simply because I knew they worked and would be reliable, and I wanted to run trains asap

but now that I have a layout where I can just run some trains (scenery needs finishing) I feel a bit more freed up to experiment a bit more which is why I'm thinking of this project now, and yes portability is something else I'd want to incorporate, being that if I were to build this, there is no space for it to be set up permanently, so it would need to be stored somehow

as for the curved points, im well aware of the issues there, I used them on my first attempt at model railway back in the dark ages of only knowing about hornby set track (picture below) and one of the main reasons for moving away from set track was the amount of derailments I'd have on them, but fitting any sort of interesting plan into a 6x4 space without curved points seems impossible, my first task for the feasibility of this would be to build the curved point and make sure I could get it to work with no issues, I have a look into that book too

DSC00014.JPG


Emettman wrote:An interesting idea, and "what can be done with a 6x4" comes up regularly.

On the plan given, a swap around on simplicity and a saving in cost would be to have a three-road traverser at the back, eliminating four curved points
(Keeping the inner track alignment would leave the traverser completely within the existing board space in any position.
This would also allow a couple of loco spurs upper right and left to help with turning trains around.

Chris


yes a traverser is a great idea! but I'd need to work out how i could fit one into such a small space and still get enough room for trains

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End2end
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Re: super detail "train set" on a super budget?

Postby End2end » Thu Mar 08, 2018 11:10 am

Michaelaface wrote:yes a traverser is a great idea! but I'd need to work out how i could fit one into such a small space and still get enough room for trains


What about one that moves inwards like this?
TrackEdit.jpg
TrackEdit.jpg (102.55 KiB) Viewed 529 times


Just throwing ideas around.
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Mountain
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Re: super detail "train set" on a super budget?

Postby Mountain » Thu Mar 08, 2018 11:31 am

Well done for tackling making your own points. I have done the same about a year ago and I even got to make a diamond crossing. I have the advantage in that I work in 7mm narrow gauge (0-16.5) and I'm not too bothered about ultra fine scale. It is more about an overall scene rather then looking at a specific area all being spot on to scale. (I guess I'm a bit messy to try finescale... :D )
Here are my attempts of making points which are a bit messy (I blame cheap solder but it is me really, and the need to make many readjustments to get things to work...
I've actually not wired the layout yet though I'm glad I didnt as I switched the Gaugemaster controller for one I made using old Triang controllet parts, and I'm still coming up with ideas before I go ahead and wire it all up.

You have spurred me on to make my own buildings along with another modellers buildings I've seen. When we see what is possible we want to give it a go ourselves. :)
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Re: super detail "train set" on a super budget?

Postby Emettman » Thu Mar 08, 2018 7:05 pm

Error: duplicate post.
Last edited by Emettman on Thu Mar 08, 2018 7:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: super detail "train set" on a super budget?

Postby Emettman » Thu Mar 08, 2018 7:07 pm

End2end wrote:
Michaelaface wrote:yes a traverser is a great idea! but I'd need to work out how i could fit one into such a small space and still get enough room for trains


What about one that moves inwards like this?
TrackEdit.jpg

Just throwing ideas around.
Thanks
End2end



Yes, like that, but that can be extended 6" to 9" at either end. (Just do 3 copies of the inner track at that length.)
There is no rule that tracks have to cross a join at 90 degrees or that traversers have to have straight track.
For a traverser acting as a terminus, a 90 degree bend can be a very convenient shape.

Chris
"It's his madness that keeps him sane."

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Michaelaface
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Re: super detail "train set" on a super budget?

Postby Michaelaface » Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:42 am

Mountain wrote:Well done for tackling making your own points...


I'm not too bothered about scale accuracy either tbh, just as long as it "looks" the part, which is my main issue with set track, it works (most of the time) but for me I find it hard to see past it being "toy-like" although I'm always very impressed when I see layouts using set track which also manage to capture realism and look great, I guess I'm just a little more pedantic

also great work on that track! I imagine you save quite a bit of money building it all yourself too!

End2end wrote:
Michaelaface wrote:yes a traverser is a great idea! but I'd need to work out how i could fit one into such a small space and still get enough room for trains


What about one that moves inwards like this?


the train size there would be very small though, maybe a bit too small, if it went from the curve it might work a little better, definitely for consideration though

Emettman wrote:
Yes, like that, but that can be extended 6" to 9" at either end. (Just do 3 copies of the inner track at that length.)
There is no rule that tracks have to cross a join at 90 degrees or that traversers have to have straight track.
For a traverser acting as a terminus, a 90 degree bend can be a very convenient shape.

Chris


how hard are traversers to build? I've never actually properly looked into it because I was never sure I'd be able to fit one?

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Re: super detail "train set" on a super budget?

Postby End2end » Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:21 pm

"if you want something done quickly get a lazy man to do it" :mrgreen:
Metal drawer runners?
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Re: super detail "train set" on a super budget?

Postby Mountain » Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:18 pm

Michaelaface wrote: I imagine you save quite a bit of money building it all yourself too!

Well. I already have plenty of code 100 00gauge track, but didnt have any 0-16.5 track. I had a PCB handy (Printed circuit board), so I got the minidrill out with a cutting disk and started cutting! While I'd previously tried pinning old track to wooden tea stirer sleepers, the copper clad PCB method gives better results. So for most of the track (Except the points and crossing), it was a case of cutting off the 00 gauge plastic sleepers, and soldering on new PCB sleepers instead. By doing this carefully, I was able to keep the gauge intact. I also added some check rails to the sharp curves which I feel look the part. :D
So while the track wasn't cheap, as I couldn't afford to buy 0-16.5 track by Peco, this method worked well. The solder and pcb's were cheaper then buying more track. If I didnt already have 00 track to use, then yes, buying 0-16.5 would be the better method. But there again, I'd never have learnt how to make my own track if I'd bought it ready made!
The very first piece of PCB'd sleepered track I made was to rescue a half broken Peco settrack point whose sleepers no longer held the rails. This,and another Peco PCB point are being used for the back scene area of the layout.
I did actually make a PCB point before this now I remember. It was a single bladed point. I may add such a point to my layout for a siding as I want to add something interesting. I still have the point blade ready for use.
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Re: super detail "train set" on a super budget?

Postby Emettman » Sun Mar 11, 2018 11:42 pm

Michaelaface wrote:
how hard are traversers to build? I've never actually properly looked into it because I was never sure I'd be able to fit one?


Not to difficult at all, once you get the assembly in the right order. Ultra critical measurements can usually be avoided (although some revel in them).
You know about the story of the perfect archer? His trick was to paint in the target around the arrow wherever it hit.

One option for a traverser the size needed here would be a pair of second-hand slide rules. Smooth and precise.

Chris.
"It's his madness that keeps him sane."


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