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About this blog

building a 2mm finescale layout

Entries in this blog

Yet Another Tiebar Design

26 Jan 2010: I purchased an Easitrack point operator and put it together, and I was impressed by the engineering, and how nicely it operated. The problem with it was, though, that my baseboard (being a hollow door) has a very thin surface and only an inch or so overall depth. I could not see how I could fix the mechanism in place, and much of the operating mechanism would be hanging below the baseboard, where it would be easily damaged in transit.   Up to now, I have used moving tiebars

Ian Morgan

Ian Morgan

Would you like to see my etchings?

Well, I am really proud of my first attempt at producing artwork for etching. This arrived today from PPD, Special Delivery:     It all looks crisp and clear, and, more importantly, the correct size. Here are the window frames for Freshwater signal box (top) and the magazine stand (centre and bottom):     And the solebar overlays for the LBSCR 4 wheel carriages:     And finally, some fold-up buffer beams and the guard's lower steps:     I have actually 3D printed some buffer

Ian Morgan

Ian Morgan

Wiring the Layout

6th June 2010: This week saw the completion of the track wiring, and the successful test running of trains all over the layout. Copper tape bus bars run beneath the tracks, and small 'dropper' wires link the rails to the tape (two per length of rail). There was just one missing link wire found. Wiring up the point operating servos is still to be done. From the photos you can see one Merg Servo4 board mounted under the baseboard. Two more of these will be fitted to control the remainder of t

Ian Morgan

Ian Morgan

What a load of old bull-rushes

With another deadline about to whoosh past (exhibiting at Andover this weekend) it is about time I added a bit more scenery to the layout. I picked up a couple of boxes of Noch laser etched bullrushes to add to the plumber's hemp rushes I had already planted along the river Yar and the brook that runs along the rear of the station. I found some more on eBay, and in the end, I have almost 150 bullrushes to plant. They do not go far, as you need to group them to look effective, and even then, they

Ian Morgan

Ian Morgan

Water Tower and some more trees

With another exhibition looming (actually, tomorrow 9th May 2015 in Portsmouth) I felt I should do a bit more work on the layout. I had mostly been working on some more suitable motive power and rolling stock for the layout (none of which is finished yet). I had been making a few more trees in spare moments, including a large Elm tree that I am particularly proud of. These have now been planted, but lots more are still required, plus other ground cover.     The old Ordnance Survey map sho

Ian Morgan

Ian Morgan

Time for a bonfire

No, I am not scrapping the layout yet. A few weeks ago, a club junior member said he fancied having a model bonfire on his OO layout. I thought I could have a go at that, using an Arduino Nano and a couple of LEDs and resistors. I even found a ready made Arduino sketch on the Internet that randomly varied the brightness of three LEDs independently (two red and one yellow) at random, short intervals. I had it all complete and working ready to hand over at the next meeting.   Having made

Ian Morgan

Ian Morgan

Three Wheels On My Wagon

Having used my imagination to create a non-descript building supplies/scrap dealership at the far end of the goods yard that I have not found photographs of, I decided the business needed a better means of transporting its wares than the old bicycle. I purchased an Autocraft white metal casting for a 1930's Reliant three wheeled van. This is a nice casting, but there are a couple of omissions. First, there is no interior detail, or floor. Second, are the wheels. Representing spokes in this scale

The story so far

I started chronicling progress on this layout on another blog, but have decided to move here, where people seem to actually read blogs. I will start by recycling what I wrote before, to catch up with the current situation.   24 Feb 2009: The 2mm Scale Association laid down their Golden Jubilee Layout Challenge to build a layout of 9.42 sq. ft. or less in time for their 2010 Expo. I then spent a year and a half thinking about it, leaving a year and a bit to actually build something.   The t

Ian Morgan

Ian Morgan

The Railway Shed

When I moved to a new house, I purchased a shed to house all my model railway stuff. Initially all sorts of junk got stored in there, until I could not even get in the door. After 5 years, some of the junk was removed, and it was used to house some computer servers, poorly cats, spare furniture, etc. Finally, enough room was made to set up Freshwater to work on it (still no room for a chair though).   So, nine years later and the original paintwork was starting to look tired, so I finally fulf

Ian Morgan

Ian Morgan

Terrier Progress - Some Gears

I have now received a new set of wheels of the correct diameter (8mm) and I have given them a quick spray of primer (one set black for my second Terrier and this set grey for painting green and black for my Southern livery Terrier).     The next job on the chassis was to drill out the 0.3mm holes for fitting the brakes and the 'Simpson Spring' axle pickup wipers. Two of the brake support holes require drilling into the side of a glass fibre PCB spacer. Typically, my drill bit broke doing th

Ian Morgan

Ian Morgan

Terrier Chassis - If at first you don't succeed ...

Well, I didn't give up. At the end of the last post, I had the chassis running nicely with the controller wired directly to the motor, but picking up from the rails was less impressive, despite the fitting of the 'Simpson spring pickups' rubbing on all the axles. The chassis was disassembled and re-assembled a few times, to no avail, and another crank pin came loose from a wheel and had to be re-soldered back in. Quartering the wheels was trickier as the motor was now solidly in place, but plent

Ian Morgan

Ian Morgan

Terrier Chassis - Episode 5

Still making progress, and still making mistakes. The etched chassis does not include any provision for mounting the motor, but I spoke with Jerry Clifford at the Didcot exhibition who said he fits a piece of plastic onto the centre frame spacer, files a curved saddle into it and glues the motor to that.   I always want to be a bit different, so I thought a blob of Milliput might form a saddle without the need for filing. My first attempt started well, but as the Milliput took a long time to h

Ian Morgan

Ian Morgan

Terrier Chassis - Episode 4

Having produced a free running chassis at the end of the last session, I had to disassemble it in order to add the 'Simpson Spring Pickups'. These are pieces of fine phosphor bronze wire, acquired by straightening out some unwanted N gauge coupler springs. They are soldered at one end into holes in the chassis and pass behind each bearing so they will rub gently on the axles with the absolute minimum frictional force. The axle muffs need to be shortened to make room, and must have smooth ends so

Ian Morgan

Ian Morgan

Terrier Chassis - Episode 3

More slow progress this week, and a sense of achievement. To put this into perspective, I have to admit that in the 25 years that I have been a member of the 2mm Scale Association, I have attempted to build a number of chassis for a variety of locomotives, using several different techniques, none of which were completed. I had at least 5 tries at making a chassis for an S15, using phosphor bronze strip for frames, as was recommended in those days. I just could not drill and ream holes without th

Ian Morgan

Ian Morgan

Stroudley LBSCR 4 wheeler set

OK, I know they did not survive into the 1950's but a 4 car set was used on the Freshwater line, so that is good enough for me. The brass etch for the bodies is available from Etched Pixels. They suggest putting them on chopped up peco wagon chassis, but I thought they would look nicer on etched chassis. The GWR 4 wheeler chassis from David Eveleigh is almost perfect for length. I could not figure out how to fit the footsteps provided, and the Stroudley set only had a single footstep, except bel

Ian Morgan

Ian Morgan

Stroudley 4 Wheelers for Freshwater

Two sets of 30 year old ex-LBSCR 4 car 4 wheeled carriages arrived on the Isle of Wight in 1924. They were followed later by some slightly newer Billington carriages, some of which still run on the Isle of Wight Steam Railway. The Stroudley sets saw less than 10 years service on the island, so are not really suitable for the period of my layout. But a set of etched brass bodies are available from Etched Pixels, so how could I resist.   Being only body kits, I needed some chassis that w

Starting the Trackwork

1 May 2009: Not a lot of visible progress for a while, but I have been beavering away building track, using copperclad sleepers and soldering. Having built a couple of points using the jig I have (equivalent to about 3 foot radius) I scanned them, and printed paper copies which were cut out and used for trying to mark out the track layout on the baseboard. Try as I might, I just could not get the track to match the original layout, with the outside slip. So, I decided to revise my plans, a

Ian Morgan

Ian Morgan

Some more buildings for Freshwater

Not much has been happening on Freshwater for a few months as all my modelling time seems to have been spent making up Merg electronic modules for other peoples' layouts. But this is about to change as I have an invite to the exhibition in Newbury on February 11th. I had set myself a deadline to get the station building and surrounding area sorted, and some more trees planted before this. So, over the Christmas period, I spent some time on the laptop fiddling with Blender to get the signal box a

Ian Morgan

Ian Morgan

Some buildings for Freshwater

At the Basingstoke show, the only building on the layout was a Ratio SR concrete PW hut. There are only four other major buildings required to complete the layout, but all will need to be scratch built. I started trying to create drawings for the station building, using a 3D drawing package, but the more I did, the more I thought about 3D printing the building instead of using plasticard and printed paper as I had orginally intended. The complex decorative brickwork would be really difficult to

Ian Morgan

Ian Morgan

Signal Success for Freshwater

Following general scenic work completed in time for the Basingstoke exhibition, a start has been made on some detailing and buildings. One important detail item is the starting signal. Fortunately there is only the one proper signal on the layout, as it has taken 6 months to build it. The two ground signals required will be another story.   I wanted to build a typical SR rail-built upper quadrant signal, operational of course. I purchased some etched brass signal boards, counterweights, bracke

Ian Morgan

Ian Morgan

Second Terrier gets rail wiper pickups

I have now added rail wiper pickups, fabricated from 0.2mm phosphor-bronze sheet, as fitted to number 8 'Freshwater'. This has improved pickup no end. I still need to permanently fix the con-rods, add 'stay-alive' capacitors and couplings, as per 'Freshwater' before I can give it a proper test on the layout.   https://youtu.be/4ckGObsXMFc   Here is a view of the wipers that I added to number 8 'Freshwater':     Edited to add photo of wipers.

Ian Morgan

Ian Morgan

Right back where I started from

It is over 12 months since my last posting on this blog. A quick recap of the project so far is in order.   Way back in July 2010, the 2mm Scale Association celebrated its Golden Jubilee with a special Expo in Oxford. Prior to this, a layout building challenge was issued for layouts up to 9.42 square feet to be exhibited at the Expo. I built Freshwater for this challenge. As a change from my normal use of relays to operate points, I decided to try servos for the new layout. I joined Merg to ge

Ian Morgan

Ian Morgan

Posing for the camera

At the Euskirchen exhibition, I asked Peter to use his camera to try to replicate some of the source photos I have of the real Freshwater. After some manipulation, here are the results:     It shows some irregularities, and focal length differences, but the main one is the position of the buffer stop in the horse box photo. It is positioned correctly according to the OS map, but does not match the photographic evidence.

Ian Morgan

Ian Morgan

OXRAIL 2019 and a third Terrier

Just shown Freshwater at OXRAIL 2019 in Abingdon. I finally got around to adding some more details to the layout a few weeks before the show, mostly adding further vegetation along the river Yar, and the brook that runs behind the platform.     I had some extra operators, so I managed to just sit and watch shunting operations, for a change.     And an additional detail added was a pair of benches, a ModelU scan of yours truely, an

Ian Morgan

Ian Morgan

My First Dabble With 3D Printing

Freshwater station only has one platform, but it was extended at various times over the years. The first section by the buffers where the locomotive would stand is very low with plain brick facing. It then ramps up to a more normal height. The next section is typical Southern Railway concrete panels from the Exmouth Junction concrete works, while the latest extension used the Southern Railway lightweight concrete trestles, more standard components from Exmouth Junction.   Modelling the brick f

Ian Morgan

Ian Morgan

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