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Poynton Sneer sidings

O gauge Minimum space Layout Shunting yard




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#1 marc smith

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 15:27

DSC_5244_Clag.jpg “Poynton Sneer”. Another minimum space layout, by Marc Smith.

Following the superb recent rmweb members day in Taunton, I thought I’d better start a thread for this, my most recent layout. These days, I’m always scribbling notes, sketches or designs, and I’m always looking for scenarios or settings in which to place a railway – even where none existed previously.

Poynton Sneer is one such place. Obviously the name is merely the product of my terrible sense of humour.
It is I think my 5th layout since Hendre Lane, some 4 years ago (where has all the time gone?) In fact, I’m lucky to have been able to build it – as some of you may know I’ve re-discovered my old hobby of playing the bass guitar. Another mid-life crisis? Possibly.....
DSC_5225.jpg
I hadn’t intended to build this layout. I still have plans for a really small O gauge layout, which I thought something of a novel idea some 4 years or so back. That is STILL on the back-burner, as is my “Cashmores Newport” based scheme, and my Woodmores-inspired Barry scrapyard idea, as is my desire to resurrect John Spencers’ “Ruyton Road” layout (now in my possession). As is every other half-baked idea.....

So why did I start it? You may well ask...
My house is full of modelling detritus – I have lots of bits & pieces which I buy, and fully intend to use,
one day..... It started with a couple of second hand points- neither of which had actually been used. One I got cheaply from local shop, Lord & Butler of Cardiff – I think it was marked up as £10, but Peter, ever the salesman, saw me pondering it, and said “You can have it for £8!”
DSC_5226.jpg
I didn’t need it at all, but I again thought “one day.....” The other point came up on ebay, and at a similar price, I put in a cheeky bid, and got it, if unexpectedly! Both points are copperclad, one being Marcway. Both are short radius, and I think the reason no-one else bought them, is that in their original state, the curved rails after the vee were quite long, and rather sharp, and looked rather unrealistic.

So I set about “improving” them, cutting much of this curve away, isolating the crossing vees, and adding Peco sleeper chairs. Again in Lord & Butler, they had some second hand Peco O gauge flexi-track, which someone had painted – rather badly, I have to say. So out came the wallet again, and Peter also handed me some similar track, which had once been laid & ballasted – and he gave me this for free!

On seeing the Gaugemaster photo backscenes, I was quite taken with their industrial scene. It reminded me strongly of Port Talbot, as seen from the vicinity of the south side of the steelworks, not too far from Margam Knuckle yard – those who have seen my gallery will know I have spent some time there.....
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On looking at my improved points, it struck me that I could build a very small layout, which included a run-round-loop, or at least the scenic half of one. Of all the layouts I’ve built recently, I realised that’s something I hadn’t done in a while! Actually, the smallest of them all “Bracty Bridge” does have a loop – but I seldom used it when operating at the few shows it has been to – it’s just much easier to not use it....

The layout was built very quickly, using my now favoured foamboard as a basic landscape. As I did with the last O gauge layout “Clarbeston North” I glued some small battens to the underside, to act as framework. This type of foambaord is new to me, as B&Q no longer seem to stock the “knauff” board I used previously. This foambaord is grey in colour, and is not as dense as the pink-coloured Knauff. It’s easier to cut, but I did initially worry whether it would warp. On top of the board, I glued some white photo-mount board – Hobbycraft were selling it 2 for the price of 1!. The photo-mount board was pre-cut to the shape of the trackbed, and is around the same thickness as a left-over piece of ply I used to make my sliding sector-plate.
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The sector-plate is 2 tracks – each being long enough to hold just an 80 and a wagon. To give the sector-plate a nice smooth sliding action, I used a pair of drawer runners, recovered from an old dismantled kitchen unit, in keeping with my desire to keep costs down.

Those with sharp eyesight will see I have again used mirrors – will I ever build a layout without them now? Once again they are plasticard-backed poly mirror material. I bought a stock of this sometime back - I just knew I would need it again.

More on the design and construction again – I have already waffled far too much. Suffice to say, it isn’t quite finished yet, there are a few more things to do, before Poynton Sneers’ next outing, and they’ll probably all be done the night before the next show.
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Poynton Sneer is just a tad under 5 feet in length, including fiddle yard, and I think that’s a pretty small layout considering it includes a run-round.
DSC_5292_Plan.jpg
Any questions or comments, please feel free, but I’d just like to say thanks to the good Captain Kernow, for Poyntons first airing, thanks to Barry Ten for helping me set up & operate that day, and thanks to BCN Pete, for bumping the thread of my last O gauge layout – on that note, if anyone’s interested in “Clarbeston North” I am tempted sell it, to make way for a future build.

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#2 kevblokey

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 15:47

Liking this a 'ell of a lot, keep the pics flowing

#3 bcnPete

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 17:13

Thanks for the mention Marc...

You've gone and done it again...another cracking 7mm micro layout and yet again you have achieved so much in so small a space...the gag with the mirror working very well to this effect too.

Excellent work...highly inspirational...and no doubt along with that new Dapol 08 you will both be responsible for the birth of a number of similar 7mm micro projects ;)

Many thanks for sharing this...

Edited by bcnPete, 14 May 2012 - 17:14 .

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#4 mudmagnet

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 17:58

Hi Marc,

Great to see the photos on a thread!
I didn't have any time at Taunton to take any photos, so really pleased to see these photos on here now!
I will make sure I get some more time to study and photograph when I see you next time!
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#5 exmoordave

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 18:06

Hi Marc

Really good to see these high quality photos of the new layout! I am really looking forward to seeing the layout in the "flesh" on 4th August at Exmoor Rail in Minehead!!
Don't forget to bring your mug!!

Best wishes

exmoordave
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#6 Rob T

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 18:35

Hi Marc,

I really like this. I think it is the way you've got a wealth of detail in a small space without it feeling at all crowded. In 5' in O that is no mean feat.

As someone who is teetering on the edge of starting something with foam, can you give some details of how you constructed the board? Did you brace it underneath, or is it just faced with timber? Is there any chance of a photo of the underside?

Thanks for sharing and keep the photos coming!

All the best,

Rob.

#7 sb67

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 19:51

Another gem there Marc, when is it's next outing, will it be coming to the stafford members day at all?
Steve

#8 steve fay

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 20:20

Another cracking 7mm layout, please post some more pictures

#9 Debs.

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 20:41

I really like this; smashing idea and scenic work :nyam: .......the 08 and wagons look marvelous: well done! :good:

#10 marc smith

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 21:27

Hi Marc

Really good to see these high quality photos of the new layout! I am really looking forward to seeing the layout in the "flesh" on 4th August at Exmoor Rail in Minehead!!
Don't forget to bring your mug!!

Best wishes

exmoordave


Hi exmoordave,
I'm bound to forget a mug!
I always do - you just ask Captain Kernow :)

I'm looking forward to the show too,
and to seing "Orchard Rd" again

Many thanks for the kind comments folks....
I've plenty more thoughts to waffle on about.....
More later

Marc
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#11 marc smith

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 21:30

Another gem there Marc, when is it's next outing, will it be coming to the stafford members day at all?
Steve


Hi Steve,
Haven't had an invitation yet, but I'd definately be up for another members day
I honestly can say that I have hugely enjoyed every rmweb members day I've been to
And so far, that's 1 in Stafford, and 4 in Taunton...
Never on my home patch, but always worth going along :)

Cheers
Marc

#12 matto21

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 22:05

Hi Marc, another inspirational layout I have to say, right up there with Hendre [and all the others!]

Your avatar? Hengoed?

#13 marc smith

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 22:08

Hi Marc, another inspirational layout I have to say, right up there with Hendre [and all the others!]

Your avatar? Hengoed?


Hi Matto
Long time no message!
Thanks for the kind words

Yep, the new avatar pic is the sculpture at Hengoed
A rather nice sculpture it is too
Shame about the ugly mug in front of it tho.... Lol

Marc
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#14 matto21

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 22:11

I've been trying to keep track [no pun intended!] of your various projects but intermittent internet access have meant I haven't really been able to keep in touch.

I've seen the sculpture a few times but not been up that neck of the woods for a while now!

#15 Andy Y

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 22:19

Hi Steve,
Haven't had an invitation yet, but I'd definately be up for another members day
I honestly can say that I have hugely enjoyed every rmweb members day I've been to
And so far, that's 1 in Stafford, and 4 in Taunton...
Never on my home patch, but always worth going along :)


You'd be warmly welcomed if you wanted to come up Marc! Just let me know, I'm sure I can find 5' + a bit.
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#16 marc smith

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 08:29

I've spoken to quite a number of modellers who cite cost as the main barrier to building something in O....

Seems a fair comment on the face of it, but on seeing the price of some OO offerings lately,
I wonder if that is still a fair presumption?

Even more alarmingly, I've seen sound-fitted N gauge locos,
marketed by a company called "You Choos" priced at £350!

Several members commented that the announcement that Dapol are going to be selling
an O gauge 08, for around £150 will mean that more modellers will be attracted to build a small shunting yard,
or depot based layout. I certainly hope so, and eagerly anticipate Dapols new arrival :) :)

Could it be that I'm tempted by a third 08? - yes, I just love 08's.....

Doing some rough mental sums, Poynton Sneer was cheap to build...
very cheap, in fact! Only my layout-in-a-crate "Bracty Bridge" has so far been cheaper....
that also utilised some second-hand, or built but never used odds & ends.

Talking to some about low-cost O gauge (Yes, there IS such a concept)
I have attached here some photos of my own low-cost O gauge locomotives

The Skytrex Sentinel has, sadly increased considerably in cost,
from it's anuagural price of around £150, but I have seen 1 or 2 second-hand
DSC_5289_smoke.jpg
The other generic "industrial" loco, is an American locomotive
by Atlas. I have yet to completely "Anglicise" it - or indeed "Cymru-cise" it :)
but it cost me just £40 or so, on ebay, and it runs pretty well....
DSC_5281.jpg
I was at the Rivermead ALSRM show last weekend,
and I did notice a few bargains to be had, in 7mm scale...
They are out there, honest - you just need to keep looking....

Cheers
Marc
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#17 thirty2a

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 12:06

I totaly agree with your statement above Marc, keep looking it can be done on the cheap! I love the layout by the way, a lot can be done in a small space in 7mm.
Tony.
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#18 mudmagnet

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 12:24

I agree with you about the costs for 7mm.

I've had plenty of discussions with other modellers and reckon that for a give area, it will cost you roughly the same regardless of scale. The base boards (wood / foam etc), scenic materials, controller etc will be about the same cost. The smaller the scale, the more track and stock is needed, a 7mm 08 with three wagons looks right, a 'N' gauge 08 with 3 wagons, does not somehow....
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#19 Ramblin Rich

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 12:42

Good to see this here, Marc - welcome back into action! Love the pictures, when I saw the thumbnail of the Sentinel with added smoke on the front page I honestly thought it was one of Mr Nevard efforts.... :)

#20 marc smith

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 12:45

Yes Richard,
I've often quoted this myself
I first read the theory in MRJ, years back.
I think it was a modeller by the name of Ivan Maxted,
who built his layout "Darenth" - first in 4mm scale
and then again in O

The larger scale meant that he used less track,
less buildings, and less stock - but in the same area

When Dapols 08 is released,
we'll definately start to see more small O gauge layouts...

It's true that initial costs can be more in 7mm
But I always say you're happier with less stock
ANyone thinking about starting in O
really should just build 1 or 2 wagon kits....
They generally go together very well (depending on manufacturer of course)
but you notice detail more readily...

I've spent ages on weathering 4mm stock,
adding pipework / details etc, only to never see it again
I've even later noticed some small detail has fallen or been knocked off
and then wondered "when did that happen?" - could have been weeks ago! ....

However, in 7mm, you just see all sorts of detail
and weathering / improving models is much more obvious

Of course, I'm still modelling smaller scales too
But now I've started building more in O, there's no going back :)

Cheers again

Edit; Thanks for that Ramblin Rich - praise indeed....

Edited by marc smith, 15 May 2012 - 12:47 .

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#21 wenlock

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 13:03

Nice one Marc! Well up to your usual standard The backscene works really well on this one and as you say screams Port Talbot. Particularly like the grounded van body with the ivy growing on it, along with the vegetation in the foreground.

#22 Kenton

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 13:08

Ah, the old cost debate yet again. There are 7mm kits that are still good out there for less than £100 just add the usual wheels, motor and gearbox which are more expensive than 4mm though an 0-4-0 0-6-0 diesel shunter requires less than a Pacific. I still think what holds many back is the knowledge they will not be able to fit in a large tailchaser in the available space. This is another really excellent example of how you can play 7mm is a small space as long as you get over the size of layout barrier and the belief that all 7mm locos will cost over £500.

Just one question - layout dimensions? did I miss them or is Andy's hint at 5' a clue.

#23 johndon

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 13:14

Just one question - layout dimensions? did I miss them or is Andy's hint at 5' a clue.


You missed them - from the original post: "Poynton Sneer is just a tad under 5 feet in length" :)

John

#24 Kenton

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 13:16

You missed them - from the original post: "Poynton Sneer is just a tad under 5 feet in length" :)

John


Thanks, a bit too preoccupied with admiring the images.

#25 RedgateModels

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 13:35

Marc, the Skytrex Sentinel, is that running on a Lima bogie?












Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: O gauge, Minimum space, Layout, Shunting yard