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Faffing with Fiddleyards part 2

wenlock

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Back in April I mentioned that I was considering building an extension board for the layout that could be used at exhibitions.   

 

 

The new board would hopefully have the following benefits.

 

1.  It would eliminate the need to move the fiddle yard during shunting maneuvers.

2.  If I give this base board full scenic treatment then the view under the bridge would be greatly improved!

3.  My fingers couldn't be seen when moving the fiddle yard to set up roads for different locos and their accompanying stock.

4.  Trains could reach a reasonable speed before entering or leaving the scenic part of the layout.

5.  I could incorporate an area in front of the scenery to put a cup of tea or coffee!

 

The post generated lots of useful comments, which I've pondered at length!  Despite the temptations of engine sheds and trailing crossovers that the comments raised, I've decided to keep things simple and concentrate on my initial brief.  The layout takes quite long enough to set up in exhibition halls as it is, space is limited in the hire van and Al and I have to carry the wretched thing once I've built it! :)

 

The new board is 3 feet long,  two feet wide and constructed from wood salvaged from the layouts "Mark 1 fiddleyard"

 

New board in position

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I used C & L templates to work out which radius point to use, settling on a B 5.5 left hander.  Grahame (BGMan) spoke highly of the point kits available from Greenwood Model Railway products, so I decided to give one a go. https://greenwoodmodelrailwayproducts.co.uk/shop/laser-cut-products/timber-track-base/o-gauge-straight-turnout-kit/  I can concur that the kits are excellent and the pre formed "crossing nose/wing rail makes point construction a doddle:)  The point kits are available in standard 32 mm gauge and also in 31.5 mm and 33 mm gauges.  I used a 31.5mm version to match the rest of the layouts track work.  The only draw back as far as I can see with these kits is the fact that they come with 3 bolt chairs, which aren't really appropriate for a GWR layout.  I decided that as my point is to be ostensibly "off stage" i wouldn't lose any sleep over it, I guess purists could always change the chairs for two bolt offerings from C & L!:rolleyes:

 

Greenwood Point in position

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I decided that for the sake of simplicity I would operate the point mechanically, rather than use a tortoise point motor which seemed a bit of a luxury for an off stage point!  The bell cranks were "borrowed" from an old radio control aircraft project and the point is thrown by a simple slider switch which also changes the frog polarity.

 

Bell cranks, pushrods and polarity switch

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I'm not a fan of backscenes with a 90 degree sharp corner, so a length of hardboard was spayed with water then bent around an old paint pot as a former and held in position for a couple of days.  Once the water had evaporated and the sheet dried out, the hardboard held the curve pretty well.  The backscene was then fitted to the base board using some inch square soft wood batten.  MDF was used to form the back and sides of the shelf at the front of the base board for the all important tea/coffee mugs:) 

 

Curved backscene and coffee shelf.

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Expanded polystyrene sheet was used to build up the basic ground formation, this was then sanded using a Surform to create a a curved flowing surface. 

 

Polystyrene sheeting

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Once the Polystyrene had been sanded and the resultant debris swept swept up, the sheets were glued in position using PVA white glue.  Weights (tins of paint/drill bits:)) were used to hold the sheets in position while the glue dried.

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Here are a couple of pictures of the view under the bridge, from the main layout.  Obviously early days at the moment, but I hope people agree that it's looking more promising than the view of my fingers!

 

View under the bridge

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I'm looking forward to getting out the static grass gun and adding some textures and colour to the embankments, but before that can take place I've got the "joys" of ballasting and point rodding to tackle!

 

Until next time.......

 

Best wishes

 

Dave

 

 

 

 

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That clearly works, Dave.  As usual, simple was best!

 

I am wondering what that elevated platform in the first photo is. The old coffee cup holder? :)

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44 minutes ago, Mikkel said:

That clearly works, Dave.  As usual, simple was best!

 

I am wondering what that elevated platform in the first photo is. The old coffee cup holder? :)

Lol! That’s the lighting gantry support, but I must confess the odd cup of coffee has been put on there during the layout's construction :)

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25 minutes ago, Regularity said:

You need a safety/trap point, to stop things running out of the yard onto the mainline.

Yes I might cobble something together to suggest a trap point.  I suppose a trailing cross over would be far more likely, but it wouldn’t address point 1 in my desirability list!  Either way I prefer it to my fingers:)

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It's only got to look like a trap point from the rather limited "under the bridge" viewing angle.

 

I can't decide if what we're seeing is a freshly-cut chalk cutting or a bank of thawing snow. Whichever it is, it's modelled to the usual high standard!

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59 minutes ago, Regularity said:

I think a single blade, worked in tandem with the turn out, would suffice.

Funnily enough I’ve just been looking through my books and come to the same conclusion :) 

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55 minutes ago, Compound2632 said:

It's only got to look like a trap point from the rather limited "under the bridge" viewing angle.

 

I think that’s the route I’m going to go down:)  operating catch points on what is really an “off stage view blocker” is probably a step to far!
 

57 minutes ago, Compound2632 said:

 

I can't decide if what we're seeing is a freshly-cut chalk cutting or a bank of thawing snow. Whichever it is, it's modelled to the usual high standard!

Thanks very much :)  I quite like this stage of a project, the hard work is over and now it’s just a case of making it all look pretty!

 

BW

 

Dave

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I think a non-working trap point would be more than enough to give the right impression from the usual viewing position, as well as giving less to go wrong. After all the main intention was just to improve on the original view, not to create another section to the same standard as the rest of the layout. Even simpler just bung a big shrub in the sightline between the two converging tracks, or a couple of portly gangers!

 

Excellent work, in any case.

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11 minutes ago, Barry Ten said:

I think a non-working trap point would be more than enough to give the right impression from the usual viewing position, as well as giving less to go wrong. After all the main intention was just to improve on the original view, not to create another section to the same standard as the rest of the layout. Even simpler just bung a big shrub in the sightline between the two converging tracks, or a couple of portly gangers!

 

Excellent work, in any case.

Thanks Al,
Glad you approve, after all half the coffee area is yours!
 

Love the idea of a couple of “portly gangers ” That’s a splendid phrase:)

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Well, I wondered where you'd been...and now I know the reason why !

 

Time very well spent and the impression beyond the bridge will certainly pay dividends Dave. 

Regarding the "trap point" I think most of the "audience" will need to be related to a giraffe in order to see that much detail so I know what I would be doing :D.

 

Pleased to see you've used the point kit we spoke about, extremely time saving and certainly looks good there.

 

Next episode please !

 

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Dave,

That's a very worthwhile addition to the layout, it fulfils all of the original criteria and I'm sure that if we ever manage to take our train sets out to entertain the public again that it will only add to their enjoyment of what an Edwardian railway would have looked like.  I look forward to seeing the next instalment.

 

Ian

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11 hours ago, bgman said:

Well, I wondered where you'd been...and now I know the reason why !

 

 

Hi Grahame, yes I've been pottering about in the background:)  Now Autumn is approaching I'll probably be a bit more productive on the modelling front, Summer has too many enjoyable distractions!

 

11 hours ago, bgman said:

Regarding the "trap point" I think most of the "audience" will need to be related to a giraffe in order to see that much detail so I know what I would be doing :D.

Lol!  Perhaps if I mount the layout a couple of inches higher then no one but me will know if I've rectified the missing trap point or not:D

 

11 hours ago, bgman said:

Pleased to see you've used the point kit we spoke about, extremely time saving and certainly looks good there.

 

They really are great kits, I'm very impressed with the quality of the components:)

 

11 hours ago, bgman said:

Next episode please !

 

Working on it!:D

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1 hour ago, Ian Smith said:

Dave,

That's a very worthwhile addition to the layout, it fulfils all of the original criteria

 

Ian

Thanks Ian:)

 

1 hour ago, Ian Smith said:

I'm sure that if we ever manage to take our train sets out to entertain the public again that it will only add to their enjoyment of what an Edwardian railway would have looked like. 

 

I hope they do enjoy the addition, I'm sure you miss exhibiting as much as I do!  The only booking that I've got for Sherton that hasn't been cancelled is Manchester December 2021:rolleyes:

 

B W

 

Dave

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An interesting read Dave showing some very neatly and expertly modelled work.

I like the point actuation and the pcb tie bar I may do that on my Peco points but they are all laid now.   I'm also thinking of allowing some of my fiddle yard to be on view as after all most times we go look see at it anyway.

What I'm hoping to do is park up on view in the fiddle yard then pinching your idea of a tea / coffee mug shelf to hide my hand while I swap locos about.

 

So far the scribble pad thoughts are suggesting I will need two lines connecting to a point or a two line traverser with a loco release extension on the shelf but I need to play further.

 

Regards

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1 hour ago, Barnaby said:

An interesting read Dave showing some very neatly and expertly modelled work.

I like the point actuation and the pcb tie bar I may do that on my Peco points but they are all laid now.   I'm also thinking of allowing some of my fiddle yard to be on view as after all most times we go look see at it anyway.

What I'm hoping to do is park up on view in the fiddle yard then pinching your idea of a tea / coffee mug shelf to hide my hand while I swap locos about.

 

So far the scribble pad thoughts are suggesting I will need two lines connecting to a point or a two line traverser with a loco release extension on the shelf but I need to play further.

 

Regards

Thanks Barnaby, glad you found it interesting:)  It's funny how we all like looking at fiddleyards, I can never resist a peak off stage!

 

The tea/coffee mug shelf is an essential fiddleyard requirement in my opinion:D

 

Looking forward to reading about what you come up with!

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1 hour ago, kitpw said:

...a convincing addition to an already convincing layout!

Kit PW

Thanks Kit!

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Al (BT) mentioned this tonight, I particularly like the 3D element, and will give it some similar thought for Shelfie2

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I think most of the comments have already been made it is excellent work.  I have never liked seeing a view of the fiddleyard through a bridge so I shall have to take note for my next layout. It is one thing having the fidleyard butting right up at home where spce is a bit limited but this looks so much better for exhibition use. 

Hope you have been keeping well Dave.

Regards Don

Edited by Donw
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Quote  - " The only draw back as far as I can see with these kits is the fact that they come with 3 bolt chairs, which aren't really appropriate for a GWR layout"

 

Dave I meant to say in my previous comment that these kits do come with the appropriate 2 bolt chairs, when ordering you need to click on the drop-down list which provides the option of the Exactoscale chairs for the kit, which I did for mine. You pay extra for these but worth while I think and guaranteed to get what you order.

 

G

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It's just dawned on me that from normal viewing angles, the trap point is hidden from view behind the central pier of the bridge.

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On 14/09/2020 at 23:17, bgman said:

Regarding the "trap point" I think most of the "audience" will need to be related to a giraffe in order to see that much detail

 

36 minutes ago, Compound2632 said:

It's just dawned on me that from normal viewing angles, the trap point is hidden from view behind the central pier of the bridge.

 

Hence my slightly tongue in cheek comment ! :D

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9 hours ago, Compound2632 said:

It's just dawned on me that from normal viewing angles, the trap point is hidden from view behind the central pier of the bridge.

This is one of those grey area issues.

As it is off scene, you could omit, model it as non operable, or model it working.

 

i know which of those three I would choose, but like Edward Thomas, I am hard on myself like that...

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On 16/09/2020 at 23:24, Donw said:

I think most of the comments have already been made it is excellent work.  I have never liked seeing a view of the fiddleyard through a bridge so I shall have to take note for my next layout. It is one thing having the fidleyard butting right up at home where spce is a bit limited but this looks so much better for exhibition use. 

 

Thanks Don, glad you like the new extension :)

 

On 16/09/2020 at 23:24, Donw said:

Hope you have been keeping well Dave.

Regards Don

 

Yes, thanks Don, all good here!  I hope all's well with you, it's ages since I've seen you, this lack of exhibitions is playing havoc with my social life!

 

On 17/09/2020 at 08:35, bgman said:

Dave I meant to say in my previous comment that these kits do come with the appropriate 2 bolt chairs, when ordering you need to click on the drop-down list which provides the option of the Exactoscale chairs for the kit, which I did for mine. You pay extra for these but worth while I think and guaranteed to get what you order.

 

G

Hi Grahame, that's really good news!  I wasn't really bothered about the number of chair bolts for my "off stage point", but would have been on the main layout:)  The ability to be able to order the correct bolt chairs makes an already good product excellent in my opinion!

 

On 17/09/2020 at 08:45, Compound2632 said:

It's just dawned on me that from normal viewing angles, the trap point is hidden from view behind the central pier of the bridge.

Indeed it does, but the seed has been sown, so Ill have to do something about it!:rolleyes:

 

21 hours ago, Regularity said:

This is one of those grey area issues.

As it is off scene, you could omit, model it as non operable, or model it working.

 

i know which of those three I would choose, but like Edward Thomas, I am hard on myself like that...

 

 

I decided making it work was a step too far, but here's the progress so far:)  Dummy bel cranks and point rodding to follow!

 

IMG_3506b.jpg.1063299d0a9a87d7c7594dc5a3a41312.jpg

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