The North Circular - Austerity & Nostalgia.

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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Bufferstop
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Re: The North Circular - Austerity & Nostalgia.

Post by Bufferstop »

Geoff - a couple of posts back you commented that the old Hornby (massive) D coupler was still useable. The equally massive hook that goes with it can be a problem when mixed with later mini tensionlocks, even Hornby's own. When buffering up to a mini coupler the large hook overrides the back of the D and rests there whilst the hook of the mini coupler prevents them moving apart enough for it to drop into the loop. In a straight line it's not a problem, but on R1 or R2 curves it has a nasty habit of getting tangled with the back of the smaller hook, leading to a derailment.
The best solution I've come up with is to remove those hooks from locos and the outer ends of any rake of coaches or wagons, using a mini coupler fitted wagon to connect them. It's worth the effort of learning how to remove them (other than from locos) and fit NEM type boxes and couplers. Peco, Bachmann and Dapol are the folks to go to for the bits you need. Obviously don't attempt locos until you are confident on rolling stock.
The Hornby later all plastic chassis look awful with a solid plastic block extending down from the buffer beam to the coupler, removing the excess plastic to leave a propper buffer beam is a simple first step towards turning a toy wagon into a passable model, worth the effort just for its appearance.
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Dad-1
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Re: The North Circular - Austerity & Nostalgia.

Post by Dad-1 »

Bufferstop,

This is Austerity, try not to change if it costs.

Right I've had a few days off, not by choice, but having Friday 'lost' through taking
my wife to Exeter for a pre cataract operation assessment. Will loose this coming
Friday as well as her eye job is being done then.

What I've been slow over is getting track down. For any beginner reading this I'd suggest
to keep away from using flexitrack. The reason is that the circle is slightly tighter than
1st radius and getting good joins is not that easy, you need to bend the rails slightly at the
adjoining ends to hopefully match you curve. You will also have to cut a length off the inner
tracks.
Against my principals I've soldered two droppers made from 30 amp fusewire to the outside
of my rails rather than underneath and full out of sight. These are going to be in the scenic
cutting making them hidden from normal viewing. I also think I'll live with just the one track
power input and live with the risk of resistance from the two joins, this circle being made
from 3 pieces of flexitrack. It would have been so much easier to have used a circle of 1st radius
track set-track and that's what I would recommend to anyone else making a small circle.

Image

Here it is in use on Sunday morning after wiring in. The Hornby Caledonian Pug is a very old model,
I believe from the early 1970's where the wire grab rails were fitted, something not included in
the many later releases.

The tight radius is going to be a severe limiting factor for what you can use. My 0-6-0 Hornby S&DJR
3F Jinty 'Just' makes it, the J94 has no trouble as does my Peckett B2. My sound fitted Rapido
Hunslet won't go anywhere near. However the whole point of this layout is minimum cost, minimum
space and there are so many different Hornby 0-4-0's that can be bought second-hand for around
£20. I personally have 2 x 06 diesels, The Caledonian Pug, a Concerted Caledonian Pug 0-4-2 that I
must try and a GWR. The Dapol 0-4-0 Pug will also be ideal on this 'Industrial' line.

I have done a video. but not yet decided to upload. I could do one where I use several different
locos.

Geoff T.
Bigmet
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Re: The North Circular - Austerity & Nostalgia.

Post by Bigmet »

Dad-1 wrote: Mon Aug 28, 2023 10:05 am ...For any beginner reading this I'd suggest to keep away from using flexitrack. The reason is that the circle is slightly tighter than 1st radius and getting good joins is not that easy, you need to bend the rails slightly at the adjoining ends to hopefully match your curve.

The tight radius is going to be a severe limiting factor for what you can use. My 0-6-0 Hornby S&DJR 3F Jinty 'Just' makes it, the J94 has no trouble as does my Peckett B2. My sound fitted Rapido Hunslet won't go anywhere near. However the whole point of this layout is minimum cost, minimum space and there are so many different Hornby 0-4-0's that can be bought second-hand for around £20. I personally have 2 x 06 diesels, The Caledonian Pug, a Concerted Caledonian Pug 0-4-2 that I must try and a GWR. The Dapol 0-4-0 Pug will also be ideal on this 'Industrial' line...
I think you are approaching gauge widening territory for curves that would scale this tight on the real railway! Yet another problem with flexitrack is that any sleeper not truly radial will be narrowing the gauge. Coming up against the limits of flexitrack in short, Peco's OO product is really designed for use down to circa 24" radius, anything smaller, use set track curves. (I may be wrong, but distant recollection is that Peco actually made this suggestion in one of their long ago 'How To' pamphlets.) I expect there are current HO set track systems that offer smaller radii, but that's 'offside' on austerity grounds...

Look forward to seeing the puggies have a go.

And all the best for your wife's cataract operation.
Dad-1
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Re: The North Circular - Austerity & Nostalgia.

Post by Dad-1 »

Ahh The video.
Hope all's well as Youtube have made a few changes.

https://youtu.be/be0aDe0AwCM?si=aRRo0iPn38hi2sau

Now to read Bigmets comment.

Geoff T.
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Lofty
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Re: The North Circular - Austerity & Nostalgia.

Post by Lofty »

Dad-1 wrote: Mon Aug 28, 2023 10:05 am I also think I'll live with just the one track
power input and live with the risk of resistance from the two joins
My recommendation would be a short jumper soldered either side of your joins, an inch or so of your fuse wire should suffice.
Once upon a time I built a model railway in the loft. Now I dabble on much smaller baseboards.
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Lofty
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Re: The North Circular - Austerity & Nostalgia.

Post by Lofty »

Dad-1 wrote: Mon Aug 28, 2023 2:50 pm Ahh The video.
Hope all's well as Youtube have made a few changes.
Working fine for me. I wish I had thought of the name ‘North Circular’ for my previous small roundy layouts.
Once upon a time I built a model railway in the loft. Now I dabble on much smaller baseboards.
Dad-1
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Re: The North Circular - Austerity & Nostalgia.

Post by Dad-1 »

Bigmet,

Of course this IS pushing the limits and although I have no gauge widening
it seems what I want to run on it will just manage. The exception being my nice
sound fitted Hunslet from Rapido. That does not have enough lateral movement
in the axles to run on 1st radius, and this is slightly tighter, probably 14.5" to 1st
radius 15".
The Hornby 3F Jinty struggles where the imperfect circle tightens slightly by the
3 rail joins. Didn't de-rail, but slowed slightly and made a complaining sound !!

At least that's 3 lengths of code 75 flexitrack used up rather than selling off. It just
wouldn't have worked with SMP, not robust enough to take the abuse.

Now to play scenics.

Geoff T.
Phred
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Re: The North Circular - Austerity & Nostalgia.

Post by Phred »

Hope Mrs T recovers quickly from her surgery.
Nice to see Marilyn still slaving away for you. :)
Dad-1
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Re: The North Circular - Austerity & Nostalgia.

Post by Dad-1 »

Thanks Phred,

More progress as I found a good part of the afternoon to play.
First was to paint all the track sides, in this case I've used Humbrol #70, although their
#113 'Rust' is quite similar, but slightly too pinkish for me. This HAD to be done before I
added the back wall, otherwise access to paint would be limited making a tedious job
difficult as well.

Track painting is something rather optional, but I think it enhances any railway scene,
certainly better than bright nickel silver. If later given a thin wash of black, including
the ballast it looks even better.

Bigmet mentioned Pugs. One of the best originals was the Dapol version, now in the hands
of Hornby. Not cheap like the generic Hornby 0-4-0's, but a great improvement.

Image

Dug out of storage, my 0-4-2 Caledonian Killin Pug, a no longer trading 'Dean Sidings' resin
conversion of a Hornby 0-4-0. I now see that I hadn't seated the rear wheels, but this runs
quite well and was being used as a new track tester last evening at club. I should get decals
to add the CR with crest ...... This was built in 2010 !!

Image

Just to show the height of the back cutting here is the layouts back wall temporarily in place
with a 0-4-0 Sentinel to add scale.

Image

I am useless with woodwork and I still have to decide how this high thin ply section will be secured.
To my shock I also find I have almost no styrene to create my landscape - Time to Skip Dip ???

Geoff T.
Bigmet
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Re: The North Circular - Austerity & Nostalgia.

Post by Bigmet »

Dad-1 wrote: Wed Aug 30, 2023 4:34 pm...Time to Skip Dip ?
An unexpected benefit of Covid was that the women set up a 'whatsapp' group in order to be able to communicate without spreading the plague. It lives on, and we chaps just ask our P.A. to put the word out for items like this, which works very well. (Also covers 'we had to zip away to visit mother, can someone put the wheelie bins out?', 'my son has lost his school sports kit, anyone got some spare for tomorrow?' and (current all time favourite this) 'can anyone see a red Fraud Whatsit, reg XXXXXXXX, my health visitor cannot find it?)
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Bufferstop
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Re: The North Circular - Austerity & Nostalgia.

Post by Bufferstop »

Whats app groups seem to be becoming the preferred way for companies to talk to their customers, damn sight cheaper than call queuing and holding systems. Just limit the sharing so that you can see all but they can only see you. We have one for the road, one for the village watch and one for the "Friends of the Station", still not quite as fast as "gossip net." I get requests like "Just heard a steam whistle, what is it?" If it's a Sunday the stock answer is "the Shakespeare Express" Other wise I post them a link to the "Railway Magazine list of specials, then they can look it up themselves. Unfortunately not even the former stationmasters house has a clear view of the line, bad planning that.
Growing old, can't avoid it. Growing up, forget it!
My Layout, My Workbench Blog and My Opinions
Dad-1
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Re: The North Circular - Austerity & Nostalgia.

Post by Dad-1 »

Why did I choose to have a rounded back ? Certainly not a simple way of boxing in.
With my iffy woodworking skills I struggled. The thin ply wall needs 2 join lines in the
curve and they need to be secure. Here is my full answer.

The join will protrude if not suitably covered and pulled into shape. A join covering
clamped & then screwed in 2 places.

Image

Here after 24 hrs for the wood glue to full set, plus a coat of light grey/blue paint.

Image

The inside still shows the join gap, this will be covered later with scenery.

Image

Making a neat curved outer wall is not something I'd ever plan to do, it just happened
this way. It does look nice though.

Image

My wife had her cataract operation on the one eye on Friday so she keeps to the strictest
of 'don't do' regimes, more for me to do !! Looking like it's going to be a great improvement.

Geoff T.
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Bufferstop
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Re: The North Circular - Austerity & Nostalgia.

Post by Bufferstop »

That looks rather like my viaduct section which I transplanted from my previous layout, I cut a 4mm ply approximation to the front profile, stuck 2" thick poly blocks to the back of it, then used four 3" long woodscrews to mount it to the front. A few applications of static grass and I have to run my finger across it to spot the joint. Two layers of murky green OHP film on the canal have even hidden the join in the water. You were denigrating your scenic skills a while back, I think the most important one is to be able to work with nature's lack of precision!
Growing old, can't avoid it. Growing up, forget it!
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Dad-1
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Location: Dorset - A mile from West Bay.

Re: The North Circular - Austerity & Nostalgia.

Post by Dad-1 »

Limited progress over the last few days.
Pauline's cataract assessment & then operation on each of the last two
Friday's and then doing more household work obviously has priority.

I have put a DC socket into the side and connected up the single track
input connection & All works fine.

Image

My stock of styrene almost zero. I've had a word with the local 'White Goods'
supplier and will be raiding their locked rubbish bin tomorrow. Although not
photographed I've cut out the pond and have started adding the 6 mm spacer
strip around the edge to achieve the 10 mm + deep pond.

Now we're entering the real landscape development, the element that turns
a circle of track on a board into a layout.

Geoff T
Dad-1
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Re: The North Circular - Austerity & Nostalgia.

Post by Dad-1 »

When it comes to layouts I have this 'Thing' about trying to get some scenic depth.
I can live with flat 48" long shunting layouts, because they are for working more
than looking at the scenery. To have any water you really need the railway above
the layout board datum.

How high is dependant on the picture in your mind. Perhaps this looked silly ?
Image

But it worked
Image
The actual track-bed is level/flat

My most extreme, Imagination said it would be O.K. Can you see the banana van ?
Image

When built in, and it took years, I was happy !
Image
Again I kept the track-bed level.

Small risers work well.
Image

Thomas is not everyone's choice !!
Image

In my opinion always worth the extra time. Building a layout is a Marathon, not a Sprint
and the extra work is time more than money.

Geoff T.
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