My (N gauge) table football layout!

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.
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PinkNosedPenguin
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Location: Wiltshire

Re: My (N gauge) table football layout!

Postby PinkNosedPenguin » Sun Jan 19, 2014 10:43 am

Well, before I could make any progress on my two reliability issues (a and b above) one of my Cobalt point motors just stopped working :(. It has not been abused in any way and is operated using the recommended 9v DC voltage (checked with a meter to be 9.4V). On top of the other 2 faulty ones (see post above on Dec22) that's 3 out of 7 that have been faulty now!!! Luckily they are guaranteed, so I was able to swap it for a new one without any fuss (though as it was bought online I had to pay postage back to the shop). Anyway, the new one slotted in without any bother is now working fine. But 3 out of 7 is not a good failure record is it? I think I'll have to carry a spare...
As regards point (a) above = unwanted uncouplings, I found this very helpful post on another forum (top post on this page http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/48728-dapol-easi-shunt-magnetic-couplings-in-n/page-14) as follows:
Benn wrote:Hold the pin with a pair of tweezers and gently rotate it, it should move easily enough to the correct position, and it's sometimes worth a little play about and adjustment sesh to get them to operate that little bit better. I've found a reasonable improvement in operation and reliability can occur by putting a little 'drag' on one axle of each vehicle that has the couplings attached, I've used some spongy laminate flooring underlay and just sandwiched it between the centre of the axle and the top of the bogie moulding, and stuck it on with a bit of bostik. The vehicle now doesn't roll away or move when being coupled/uncoupled, and also remains tensioned to the loco when being hauled so when passing over the magnets it doesn't auto-uncouple when you don't want 'em to!

So I had a session bending the pins outwards to reduce the likelihood of the couplings opening when not wanted, but I still had problems - some wagons were fine, others not. So then I tried adding a small piece of foam under one axle to increase the drag on the vehicle.
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IMG_2488 by PinkNosedPenguin, on Flickr
Not pretty underneath, but invisible when on the track of course. This worked amazingly well :D It ensures the couplings stay 'in tension' when running over a magnet and have so far totally eradicated unwanted uncouplings 8) Intentional uncouplings are not affected and are very reliable. It also has the happy side effect of making coupling-up nicer - you can just gently nudge up to the vehicle and couple up without having to give it a 'big bump' - again the extra 'brake' makes this work better. As I will only run short trains on my layout I don't think I'll have any problems with pulling the rolling stock, even up my future incline. So thanks to Benn (and I think Karhedron suggested this too) for such a simple, cheap and effective solution to this annoying problem. Unwanted uncouplings are so annoying :x and embarrassing :oops: its so good to avoid them! Hands-free shunting is a bit of a revelation in N gauge, but is now a reality.

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PinkNosedPenguin
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Re: My (N gauge) table football layout!

Postby PinkNosedPenguin » Sat Jan 25, 2014 2:48 pm

I've just completed my first coupling conversion of an old Farish (non-NEM of course) wagon - using the Dapol "Magnetic coupling conversion kit for non-NEM couplings". Here is the wagon with one of the old couplings cut away and filed down flat (you can see the other old coupling still in place and one of the old plastic wheels):
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IMG_2494 by PinkNosedPenguin, on Flickr
I glued the NEM pockets from the 'kit' in place using epoxy glue and fitted new metal wheels:
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IMG_2507 by PinkNosedPenguin, on Flickr
So now I have a 'new' wagon for very little cost :D (the South Leicester is the conversion, the Colthrop is a new Dapol wagon which had NEM pockets already). Both have Dapol easi-shunt couplings fitted:
Image
IMG_2508 by PinkNosedPenguin, on Flickr
The 'kit' cam with 3 pairs of NEM pockets, so I have done 3 wagons now. I'm reasoning that in early BR days (when my layout is set) there would still be PO wagons about - and they're so colourful too :)
Image
IMG_2510 by PinkNosedPenguin, on Flickr
Also, its nice to have a supply of beer on the layout :lol: !!!

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skyblue
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Re: My (N gauge) table football layout!

Postby skyblue » Sat Jan 25, 2014 2:58 pm

Those new couplings you've fitted to the wagons improve the look of them massively. Do you find that they make the wagons much easier to shunt? One reason that I've never really considered doing something in N gauge is the difficulty that the small scale would cause for shunting and uncoupling, but I suppose new ideas like this make it easier. I'm sure plenty of PO wagons survived into BR times - although they might not of been as clean as yours!

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PinkNosedPenguin
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Re: My (N gauge) table football layout!

Postby PinkNosedPenguin » Sat Jan 25, 2014 5:23 pm

Yes skyblue these new Dapol "easi-shunt" couplings make hands-free shunting in N gauge a reality! They couple easily (even that is not great on the standard rapidos) and they uncouple over the magnets reliably too. They are supposed to offer delayed uncoupling (i.e. once uncoupled they can be pushed wherever you want without them re-coupling) but that doesn't really work for me. To be honest I am more than happy with reliable coupling and uncoupling :D
N.B. the little springs in them are REALLY TINY and infamous for pinging off occasionally never to be seen again! Luckily Dapol supply spare springs with the couplings and I have now successfully fitted two of them (very fiddly indeed)!

skyblue wrote:I'm sure plenty of PO wagons survived into BR times - although they might not of been as clean as yours!

Yes, weathering is something I have never done :oops: I just can't seem to bring myself to make shiny new things horrible and dirty!

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skyblue
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Re: My (N gauge) table football layout!

Postby skyblue » Sat Jan 25, 2014 5:44 pm

PinkNosedPenguin wrote:Yes, weathering is something I have never done :oops: I just can't seem to bring myself to make shiny new things horrible and dirty!


You're not alone - I only weather wagons and cheap coaches, and I would never dream of risking weathering a brand new locomotive (I've not got anything against weathering them - so long as someone else does it!).

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flying scotsman123
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Re: My (N gauge) table football layout!

Postby flying scotsman123 » Sat Jan 25, 2014 7:54 pm

That's why I like pastels, if you mess up a quick wipe with a cloth and it's all better :D

Nice work with the wagons, the main reason some people aren't sure about PO wagons in BR times is simply because they were so filthed up you genuinely couldn't even see that there was writing on it, let alone what it said! also wagons were patched up with new bits of wood here and there over the years and not repainted, making it impossible to tell.
"listen carefully, i shall say this only once"

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PinkNosedPenguin
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Re: My (N gauge) table football layout!

Postby PinkNosedPenguin » Sun Jan 26, 2014 7:00 pm

I have finally added my first scenic item! Probably the most basic of all = a platform :D . It was my first Metcalfe kit and I really enjoyed making it.

Marking out a template was particularly important as I have such tight curves:
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IMG_2499 by PinkNosedPenguin, on Flickr

I think it looks ok?
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IMG_2512 by PinkNosedPenguin, on Flickr
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IMG_2515 by PinkNosedPenguin, on Flickr

Of course it is completely bare at the moment - a shelter, benches, lamps, nameboards, people etc to follow later . . .

nickbrad
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Re: My (N gauge) table football layout!

Postby nickbrad » Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:55 pm

Looks spot on to me :)

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skyblue
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Re: My (N gauge) table football layout!

Postby skyblue » Mon Jan 27, 2014 4:58 pm

I wish I could build platforms as neatly as that and I model in 00 gauge so it should be easier for me! Well done.

Dad-1
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Re: My (N gauge) table football layout!

Postby Dad-1 » Mon Jan 27, 2014 8:19 pm

Nice going PNP .......

I like to hear of both failures & success, that's what makes some threads very
educational.

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

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TimberSurf
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Re: My (N gauge) table football layout!

Postby TimberSurf » Sun Feb 09, 2014 10:35 am

Looking good! Will follow (yes reading your post) now I have found it. I cant say I am enamoured with N gauge, would do O gauge (if I had the room and money), but I do have the room for a large OO layout (admittedly the one attraction of N gauge is the amount of track in such a small space is attractive). However, the point is that layout construction and controls are the same! Build process and learning curve are identical :) .
Luv the footy table base, hate the carpet!
Like the simplicity of your control panel front, will reserve judgment on "box" frame until you get the scenery round it! :|
Your not the first to post about duff Cobalts, doesn't bode well for manufacturers claims of "Cobalt is incredibly reliable" and "Cobalt is the best of all possible choices", luckily I am a long way off buying point motors (8 square meters of boards on 3 levels and 80 meters of track to lay and ballast before I need them!), so I will watch for more feedback on their reliability before I commit.
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Lumsdonia <--- Hit link to go to my website for full story and wiring advice!

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PinkNosedPenguin
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ballasting!

Postby PinkNosedPenguin » Wed Feb 12, 2014 9:41 pm

Time to ballast my lower level of track! I thought I'd try this little gadget - called 'Gravel Boy' - it attempts to brush the ballast in between the sleepers and create a shoulder either side f the track. Not perfect by any means, but certainly makes laying the ballast a lot quicker, though a fair bit of manual 'fiddling about' afterwards was still necessary :D. Of course I had to do the points manually too.
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IMG_2521 by PinkNosedPenguin, on Flickr

I followed the usual process of laying the ballast dry, spraying with water (with a bit of fairy liquid in it) and then dribbling with a 50% PVA glue / 50% water mixture using a syringe.

Here it is with the glue wet (on later stretches I used a bit less glue!):
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IMG_2524 by PinkNosedPenguin, on Flickr

And here with the glue dry:
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IMG_2531 by PinkNosedPenguin, on Flickr

Another general view:
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IMG_2532 by PinkNosedPenguin, on Flickr

Do you think it looks ok :?:

Looking at it now I might consider painting the rail sides in a rust colour . . .

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outcastjack
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Re: My (N gauge) table football layout!

Postby outcastjack » Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:23 pm

I am loving this layout!
That ballasting machine looks awesome. if you have any unballasted sections of rail, it is worth spraying it in a rust colour before ballasting and then painting the sleepers rather than rails, I find that a lot less fiddly
Above all its a Rover.

http://www.pendonmuseum.com
or visit my layout.
or my other models.

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flying scotsman123
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Re: My (N gauge) table football layout!

Postby flying scotsman123 » Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:49 pm

Woodland scenics do a track painter pen in their tidy track range, I have one on order, looks very helpful
"listen carefully, i shall say this only once"

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PinkNosedPenguin
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Re: My (N gauge) table football layout!

Postby PinkNosedPenguin » Fri Feb 14, 2014 6:10 pm

TimberSurf wrote:will reserve judgment on "box" frame until you get the scenery round it! :| .
That makes two of us :D
outcastjack wrote: if you have any unballasted sections of rail, it is worth spraying it in a rust colour before ballasting and then painting the sleepers rather than rails, I find that a lot less fiddly
Unfortunately I've finished the ballasting now :( but might have a go with a bit of rust paint anyway. Like the look of your layout, by the way, outcast - nice to see a mixture of gauges.
flying scotsman123 wrote:Woodland scenics do a track painter pen in their tidy track range, I have one on order, looks very helpful
Let us know how you get on with the pen scotsman - though I think I'll just do it with a brush.


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