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When TT3 was the next Big Thing





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#1 5050

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 17:06

Whilst scanning a volume of the 1958 Model Railway News I was struck by how many adverts were appearing for the (relatively) new TT scale.  As usual in the UK, we were landed with trade products that were using a totally wrong scale to gauge with 12mm/4' becoming the standard rather than the more correct 13.5/14mm gauge now in use by the 3mm Society.  The 'new' scale was named TT3 to show it's 3mm roots rather than the USA's 2.5mm usage.

 

However, that's all history that we can't change now - so here are the ads.

 

First, Track.  Very necessary for any layout!  Plenty of choice it seems, all the major players offering their own 'scale' trackwork.  The Welkut brand has always fascinated me as I cannot say that I have ever knowingly seen any in either 00 or TT.

GEM TT Track.jpg Peco TT Track.jpg

Welkut TT Track.jpg Wrenn TT Track.jpg

 

How about some wagons to run on it?

Esanel TT Cattle Wagon.jpg Esanel TT LMS Uitlity Van.jpg Esanel TT LMS Van.jpg Esanel TT Bogie.jpg K's TT Wagons.jpg Peco TT wagons.jpg

 

And a loco or two? There is also the hint in some K's adverts of the same period of a GWR Prairie Tank body kit to fit a Triang Castle chassis.  Anyone ever see one?

Esanel TT 2P.jpg K's TT Pannier and Shunter Truck.jpg

 

And even Stewart Reidpath tried to get in on the act -

Essar TT wheels.jpg

 

So far I've not found any coaches other than the Triang ones which were readily available from your local friendly toy/model shop.

 

I don't have any particular interest in TT3 but I do find the early history of such things is quite fascinating.


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#2 Golden Fleece 30

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 17:23

I don't remember the GEM track sold in 18" lengths as advertised, as far as I cam remember in our shops it was always 3'.

 

I am with you on Welkut, heard of it many times in the day but do not remember seeing any.

 

The BEC (ESANEL) 2P is interesting that the were making a semi scale one for tighter radius curves.

 

I think there was an Auto Coach sometime to go with the 14xx but not 100% certain.

 

There is a coach hear albeit a parcels one (I have completed one) and they also did a very nice LNER parcels coach.  BEC kits were the best of the lot, nice detail and very little flash.

 

Garry

Attached Thumbnails

  • BEC LNER parcels.JPG

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#3 sagaguy

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 03:45

 Not being a TT modeller myself although i did dabble with Triang when it first came out with a oval of black sleeper triang track,a triang cl.31 & 3 Kitmaster coaches.My question is,did anyone successfuly build any working Peco spiked point kits?.I tried in  in the 60s fixing the rails with Peco rail spikes into the reccommended insulation board.I never managed to build a point that stayed working or if i managed to get one to work at all,the spikes came loose in the board & wouldn`t stay in gauge anyway.

 

                        Happy days?.Ray.


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#4 Golden Fleece 30

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 06:14

I knew of them Ray but too young to try, my father may have done but if he did it did not work. Unfortunately he was not skilled in practical work. He "built" a TT Wrenn layout for me which never worked, and, it was all on a hardboard base which warped.

Garry

#5 TEAMYAKIMA

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 06:49

Just out of interest ....................

 

When Twickenham MRC celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2011 I decided to build (and exhibit at our 50th anniversary exhibition) a 1961 style retro layout and choose TT as it was al the rage back then.

 

I went the whole way with the idea .... TT was 'Table Top' and so I recreated at 1960's style kitchen table top (that would sit at exhibitions oin top of a standar trestle table). Onto that I permanently fixed a Tri-ang TT double oval with station, signal box , sidings etc.

 

I then found a May 1961 Railway Modeller which I glued (open) onto the board. I then sourced some 1960's style school graph paper onto which I drew in pencil a trackplan. I then glued the trackplan, an old school ruler, a set of compasses and a protractor onto the board.

 

I then added a 1950's style cup and saucer with a half eaten chocolate digestive and an ashtray and an old fashioned pipe.

 

But one thing was missing ... BELL BATTERIES to fit the battery controller that came with the TT set.

 

A friend of mine in Twickenham MRC downloaded artwork from the EverReady website archive. We then got a solid block of wood and cut grooves in it so that it looked like three batteries side by side. He them added the artwork - hey presto! - three old style bell batteries! 

 

We then added the Tri-ang controller on top of the dummy batteries, having drilled though the wood block and fed some wires up through from a mains controller we hid on the floor. So it appeared to the viewer that we were using bell batteries and the Tri-ang battery controller to control the trains.

 

We set the thing up at the exhibition and set two trains running in opposite directions - instant May 1961!

 

I must try to find a photo of the layout in my archive.


Edited by TEAMYAKIMA, 25 July 2017 - 06:58 .

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#6 5050

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 08:16

Thanks for the replies.  In my youth (around 10 or so) I too used Peco spiked 'Universal' track in 00 laid onto the grey softboard (it was the only type we found) and while the plain track was 'OK' to a point (NO PUN!) the points were hopeless.  It wasn't that the spikes came loose, it was, on looking back, the electrical aspect that defeated me.  I was relying solely on the blade contacting the stock rail and the 'wing' rail contacting the 'Vee'. which, with the steel rail, just didn't work.  Of course, nowadays, they would be bonded with wires and switches etc, but back then I didn't even have a soldering iron.  No wonder I never had an operating layout once I 'moved on' from Triang track!  I still have some of the plain track bases and some of the galvanised steel rail in my 'Black Museum' collection - along with lots of spikes.  If only Streamline had appeared a year or two earlier..................

 

Interesting post about the TT exhibition layout.  Did it create much interest - and what happened to it afterwards?  Seems a lot of work for one show, it deserved more.


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#7 Il Grifone

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 09:06

The Peco spikes were intended for wood fibre insulation board. I never did find a supplier of this magical substance or the alternative 'Sundeala', so I don't know if they actually worked. Since the idea was a 'universal' point blade/closure rail assembly pivoting between two spikes I have my doubts. Continual movement would have loosened the spikes in time, I would have thought, even if it worked at first.

 

How I miss being able to go to a local model shop and purchase all those various K's (and other) parts over the counter!

It was nice to be able to buy 00 track rather than H0 too.

 

I think the GWR shunter's truck was the only TT only K's kit? (on second thoughts they did a TT 'Big Prairie' body kit as well). I suppose there were already Wills kits for both in 00.

 

Rant/waffle warning! :offtopic:

 

The Stephensons can be blamed  for the scale/gauge ratio*. Or perhaps their financial backers attracted by the smaller (and cheaper) loading gauge. Tri-ang TT uses standards which are similar to 00 BRMSB. There are well overscale even in the larger scale. This results in problems getting everything to fit, especially using over thick axleguards and bogie frames. One can choose narrow gauge or overscale width of the rolling stock (sometimes one gets both together), Americans tend to go the other way. Their design of a central supporting beam for bogie stock favours an overscale gauge (American 00 is 19mm gauge for example). The resulting overscale cylinder with can be hidden under the wider bodies allowed by the greater loading gauge helped by usually not having platforms to worry about.

 

There is always TM gauge....


Edited by Il Grifone, 25 July 2017 - 09:11 .

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#8 5050

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 09:43

Has anyone ever seen the K's TT Big Prairie kit?  I can't recollect ever seeing one but perhaps I may have on a layout sometime.

 

I eventually found Sundeala around 1970/71 when I attempted to build a layout after we got married.  This utilised 2 baseboard frameworks left over from my juvenile days which I covered with the Sundeala in the approved Cyril Freezer manner.  Track was, by then, some second hand Streamline and, somehow, I did manage to galvanise a loco to actually move!  When we moved to Wakefield and I joined the local club I realised how awful the layout was and it gradually sank into oblivion.

 

However, I do still have some pieces of the original 2x1 and some scraps of Sundeala in my 'Bits of Wood That May Come in Useful Someday' collection.

 

Here is the Wills 00 version of the GWR Shunter's Truck.

Wills Shunters truck.jpg

 

They also made a Match Truck as well.

Wills Match Truck.jpg

 


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#9 coachmann

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 10:21

I 'did' TT in 1962 or 1963. I had used Peco spiked track for 00 and so used it for TT. As someone has already said, the points were a b*gger. I built an Esanel LMS Untility van, the Condensing Pannier tank and a LMS 4F on a Triang chassis, AND I ran a Triang A1A-A1A diesel. It was cute and ever-so modern image at the time.  TT was only a blip though and i soon traded-in for 00 again..


Edited by coachmann, 25 July 2017 - 10:22 .


#10 34theletterbetweenB&D

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 11:17

Well there's interesting. I have quite a quantity of the GEM TT3 track which disguises the use of code 100 rail very neatly due to its well scaled sleeper base, as a result looking better than code 100 Streamline in my opinion! Regarding points, I have examples of both GEM and Wrenn TT3 points: the Wrenn expecially far more ambitious than anything produced yet for OO by Peco, including complete crossovers and scissors formations based on what I estimate to be 24" radius, so equivalent a 32" radius in OO, a good standard for 1960's RTR. TT3 was clearly given a fair chance by the track makers.

 

Most of the loco kits I have seen were neat too. I have seen two examples of the GW 'Big Prairie' mentioned above by '5050'; both long sold on, which were built on the Triang T97 mechanism and made a very attractive model which ran well. The majority of the whitemetal kit locos I have seen appear to have been by Bec and GEM, and at least half intended for the Triang mechanisms. The others from both these businesses kits, were designed around a GEM 6 coupled chassis, including good 56X and 57XX, J11 and J50 models. 

 

I suspect the two 'hybrid' whitemetal and plastic kit 14XX are a K's product; the poor body parts fit and kit chassis certainly looks bad enough to be K's, neither ever completed as a 'runner' by the original owner(s) by the looks of it, and beyond rescue now...

 

The Kitmaster mk1 coach selection were a cut above as well. Adequately self coloured, though paint as ever would further improve them, accurate mouldings of fine section and good fit, flush glazing: really what's not to like?



#11 Golden Fleece 30

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 11:45

The 14 xx was a GEM kit for which I have just had some etched chassis's made to replace the useless brass and cast whitemetal ones.  Gem also did a Royal Scot (unrebuilt), A4, 57xx LNWR 4-4-0 and 4-6-0, 22xx, 43xx

 

K's did the large 2-6-2 and a 97xx, these were the poorest of the lot, especially the 61xx.

 

BEC were by far the best with Standard 5, Standard 4 tank (although a little short for the rear bogie), 2P, 94xx, Q1, J11, G6, E2, J50, Brush type 4, 4F

 

There may be others I have forgotten about lol

 

Some of these I still have to make up others are here although I never made the 61xx, G6, 14xx body these are as bought and awaiting repaints.  I don't have a Royal Scot though, any one got one to sell?  The black standard 5 is as bought and now in primer for me to repaint and line in black, a third one awaits assembly.

 

Garry

Attached Thumbnails

  • AC 2-6-2.JPG
  • TT 97xx.JPG
  • 14xx 1.JPG
  • TT J11 1.JPG
  • G6.JPG
  • TT Standard 5.JPG
  • TT Standard 5 Black.JPG
  • TT Q1 2.JPG
  • TT Standard 4.JPG
  • TT E2 loco.JPG

Edited by Golden Fleece 30, 25 July 2017 - 17:36 .

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#12 Golden Fleece 30

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 11:52

The Kitmaster mk1 coach selection were a cut above as well. Adequately self coloured, though paint as ever would further improve them, accurate mouldings of fine section and good fit, flush glazing: really what's not to like?

 

 

 

Here are a few I have recently, last 3 months, bought and made up and painted.  I managed about 24 unmade kits but only a handful are painted as painting the window bars is a pain in the rear.

 

The roofs are all screwed down now so not bowed as in the photos.

 

Garry

Attached Thumbnails

  • Copy - Kitmaster Blood and Custard 1.JPG
  • Kitmaster 1 side 1.JPG
  • Kitmaster 2 side 1.JPG
  • Kitmaster batch production.JPG

Edited by Golden Fleece 30, 25 July 2017 - 11:53 .

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#13 sagaguy

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 11:58

There was a Kitmaster rebuilt Royal Scot.I built one but i didn`t motorise it.I don`t know if Dapol have the tools for this & the coaches,probably not.TT3Advert.jpg

 

 

                               Ray.



#14 Golden Fleece 30

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 12:03

The majority of the whitemetal kit locos I have seen appear to have been by Bec and GEM, and at least half intended for the Triang mechanisms. The others from both these businesses kits, were designed around a GEM 6 coupled chassis, including good 56X and 57XX, J11 and J50 models.

 

Not all were for Tri-ang or Gem chassis's.

 

The GEM 2P and LNWR 4-4-0 with possibly the LNWR 4-6-0 were designed for a K's TT tender drive which I have never seen personally but lost out on two on Ebay a couple of months ago.  The 2P later had a whitemetal chassis introduced to accept a Terrier motor but this was poor so a month ago I had nickel ones etched to fit.  Here are two.  The one without a body uses Romford wheels which have too great a crank throw which catches the footplate so the one fitted under the body has holes drilled mid way between the axle and original location.  Here is mine running on TT track.

 

 

Garry

Attached Thumbnails

  • 2P second model.JPG
  • TT 2P chassis.JPG

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#15 Golden Fleece 30

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 12:05

There was a Kitmaster rebuilt Royal Scot.I built one but i didn`t motorise it.I don`t know if Dapol have the tools for this & the coaches,probably not.attachicon.gifTT3Advert.jpg

 

 

                               Ray.

They don't Ray, as far as I know all the 00 Kitmaster coach kits and the TT3 loco and coaches were damaged/thrown away.

 

I too have an unmade Scot ready to assemble and motorise.

 

Garry


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#16 alfsboy

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 12:09

I laid a lot of TT Peco points on my schools  TT scale layout .I was the head point maker .They worked well spiked down .I then got a girlfriend  and a motorbike  so stuff model railways .i wasnt legal on the motorbike ,underage, but then so was my girlfriend .


Edited by alfsboy, 25 July 2017 - 12:09 .

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#17 5050

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 12:56

You mention the 2P as being GEM Garry but what about the Esanel one shown in the adverts?  Was there more than one available in kit form?  What motor have you used in your etched chassis?  It looks like a DS10 to me.



#18 Golden Fleece 30

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 12:58

You mention the 2P as being GEM Garry but what about the Esanel one shown in the adverts?  Was there more than one available in kit form?  What motor have you used in your etched chassis?  It looks like a DS10 to me.

My mistake the 2P was BEC (ESANEL), I still had the 14xx in my mind lol.  As far as I know there was the only BEC one available.

 

It is a Mashima motor but no knowledge of its number just one I obtained second hand.

 

Garry


Edited by Golden Fleece 30, 25 July 2017 - 12:59 .


#19 Golden Fleece 30

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 13:30

TT is still big in certain circles especially since the 3mm society formed but I am not a member and prefer to be a "loner" so I do not have access to their sales etc but build what I can from scratch or draw up plans to get items etched.  This has not hindered me in many ways. 

 

With reference to the title of this thread and to me TT is still big (I only resurrected my TT last September after about 35 years) here are a couple of my own locos one of which is practically Tri-ang.  This is a 9F, not strictly to scale as I wanted to use as much Tri-ang as I could so I had new frames etched to fit the Britannia body with new axle positions but fitted Jinty wheels, XT60 motor and the Britannia body.  I would have used a Britannia tender but did not have a body at the time so built a brass high sided one.

 

The second loco is an N7 body I drew up and had etched to fit a Tri-ang chassis as in most cases from the old days.

 

I have more planned but have done the 2P and 14xx chassis's

 

Garry

Attached Thumbnails

  • Chassis 2.JPG
  • TT 92035 2 - Copy.JPG
  • N7 1.jpg

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#20 BernardTPM

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 14:22

I improved a Minitrix 9F by slicing 6mm out of their Brit body, so about 8-9mm out of a Triang TT one should bring it close to proper 9F proportions. Because of the taper you get that noticeable step up from smokebox to boiler cladding too.



#21 Golden Fleece 30

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 14:58

I improved a Minitrix 9F by slicing 6mm out of their Brit body, so about 8-9mm out of a Triang TT one should bring it close to proper 9F proportions. Because of the taper you get that noticeable step up from smokebox to boiler cladding too.

I was trying to use as many parts as I could without any modification to allow others an easy option to have a 9F.  It was never classed as a scale model but just possibly as Tri-ang might have made in those days using existing parts where possible.  A few people who bought the chassis kits did say they were happy with how it has turned out without a lot of cutting etc.  I also had to ensure the centre wheels were in a reasonable position for the motor to still fit the body.

 

Garry


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#22 Golden Fleece 30

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 15:36

Here is some nostalgic TT, my loose lay layout at Wressle last year and Goole this year.  A lot of it is Tri-ang stock with a few kits of the time and a couple of new ones, Deltic and Type 3.  Also my Tri-ang suburbans made into an EMU with a Tri-ang DMU motor bogie.

 

 

 

 

Garry


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#23 TEAMYAKIMA

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 16:19

Interesting post about the TT exhibition layout.  Did it create much interest - and what happened to it afterwards?  Seems a lot of work for one show, it deserved more.

 

It still exists.... it just did the one exhibition and one club promo in the local library.  Will try to find a photo.

 

Paul



#24 KeithHC

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 16:25

There is a family story that whilst my Mother was in the nursing after I had been born my Father had the Triang TT brochure on the bed before my birth was even registered. That will be sixty years ago this November. We had a small collection built up over a few years all Triang except one Kitmaster coach in Br green.

 

Keith 


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#25 sagaguy

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 16:33

In the May 1965 Railway modeller(I think),There was a layout of the month Called Grandsmoor central which was built in TT.If anyone has access to these magazines of the 60s,perhaps they would take a look.The memory is a bit dim after all these years but a couple of illustrations would revive the memory.

 

                   Ray.


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