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Everything posted by Dungrange

  1. Thanks - you're saying that effectively most of your stock is 'on the shop floor' at any point in time. Interestingly, that's the opposite of my local model shop who have a basement for the stockroom that's larger than the actual shop floor area. Anyway, you seem to have answered the question that I posted in another thread asking what proportion of the space occupied by retail premises would be ‘front of house’ and how much would be storage, offices and staff welfare facilities? It seems that the answer could vary quite significantly from less than 50% to 95%.
  2. There is really no difference between wiring for DC and wiring for DCC when it comes to connecting feeds for a small layout. Either control system (DC or DCC) could be used with either of the feed diagrams that David has provided. The one labelled 'DC minimum wiring' is just that, the absolute minimum amount of wiring that you can get away with, assuming a single DC controller and a single locomotive. You are relying on the fish-plates and the pressure between switchblades and the stock rails to conduct electricity beyond the 'heel' end of each turnout, which is not good practise, although many people have no problems. Each turnout is self isolating, which means that when thrown in one direction, the track in the opposite direction will be 'dead'. That's not a problem if you only have one locomotive and all you've left in that siding is a couple of wagons. However, whilst the 'DC minimum wiring' could equally be used with a DCC controller, this tends to defeat some of the reasons for switching to DCC. If you were operating a DCC Sound locomotive and you drove it into one of the lower sidings and then switched the point, the sound and lights would go out. To stop that from happening it is necessary to add additional feeds. Again, you need additional feeds if you want two locomotives shunting independently. That leads to David's second diagram which ensures that all areas have their own track feed. However, this could also be considered good practise for DC layouts as well as DCC, as you are no longer relying on fish-plates to conduct electricity. The other advantage of using David's DCC feed specification for a DC layout is that it makes it easier to have multiple locomotives in operation using more than one controller. If you connect each of the seven pairs of feeds to a separate Double Pole Double Throw (DPDT) switch with a centre off position, then you can connect two DC controllers to the layout and each controller could control any of the seven sections. A DC locomotive can then be isolated in any section by simply putting the DPDT switch for that section into the 'centre off' position. The only additional wiring that you could add would be a couple of Single Pole Single Throw (SPST) switches if you want to isolate a DC locomotive within any of the sections shown on the DCC drawing. If you would never need two locomotives in the same section, then these on/off switches wouldn't be required. Personally, I'd wire the layout as per David's DCC drawing even although you are using DC, since it's the most flexible arrangement.
  3. Out of interest, is that the floor area that I could visit as a customer, or the total floor area of the business (ie including stockroom, staff welfare facilities and other non-public areas)? Just interested for the purpose of allocating space in a model building.
  4. I agree that exhibition managers need to cater for the needs of their target group and in many cases that is probably older people taking up the hobby. However, it is also normal practise to price an event such that the target group pay more for their entertainment than those who are simply accompanying the interested party. There used to be a soft play centre near my office where there was an admission charge of something like £8 or £9 per child, but accompanying adults were free (although there was also a time that they charged adults an admission fee of £1). Offering free child admission to accompany an interested adult to a model railway event is simply the reverse idea: charge the target market. There are plenty of museums and the like which offer free child admission. The age restrictions often vary depending on how interesting the museum is likely to be to children. That is why some seem to operate on the policy that under 5's are free, while others don't charge for children under 10 or 12. As for family tickets, I've rarely seen family tickets that offer savings for single parent families as they are normally priced on the basis of being the same cost as two adults and one child, meaning that the second and sometimes third child are free. Yes, the two adults don't need to be the children's parents - I visited one venue with my brother-in-law and my two children under a family ticket, but in general family tickets do not offer value for money for a single father with two children.
  5. I'm not sure that I understand your rational. Family tickets are a way of reducing the cost of admission for those with children, except that the discount on child admission can only be had if there are two parents. That means that family tickets effectively discriminate against single parents. Ultimately, if a show is not targeting the family market then I have no issue with accompanied children being free if that is the pricing structure that the organisers choose.
  6. When I was in my local model shop last week I thought I'd ask how the space through the back of the shop compared to the front of shop area. The answer I got was that there wasn't a lot of space behind the back wall of the shop, but that the stockroom is in a basement, which is bigger than the shop. I think this is therefore my 'get out': I assume that my retail units have basements, which means that I only need to model enough back of house space to facilitate access to a basement. In the case of my local model shop deliveries are apparently always made via the front / shop door but then it's a much smaller retail unit than I was envisaging. That said, although I don't work in a true 'city centre' location, there seems to be many more small retail units than there are large ones, so I perhaps need to think about smaller businesses on my ground floor.
  7. I think a lot of this stems from the fact that for the hobby to survive, everyone who departs for that great model railway in the sky needs to be replaced with a new entrant to the hobby. That is a fact. The problem is that there seems to be a perception among many of the doom-mongers that new entrants to the hobby must be children: if we can't encourage children or teenagers to take up model railways as a hobby then the hobby will be finished. The reality is of course that new entrants to the hobby can be any age. The reason that the hobby continues to survive is that many of the new entrants to the hobby are older individuals who have a job and are looking for something to help them relax in the evenings after work or they have recently retired and are looking for something to fill their time. For as long as the number of people entering the hobby each year (of whatever age) matches the number who depart, the hobby will survive.
  8. I'm not particularly knowledgeable on the subject, but to some extent the gangway width should be related to the expected attendance at the show. Building standards for the number of fire doors that a venue requires and the width of any stairwells is dependent on the anticipated number of people that might have to use that exit in the event of a fire. The larger the venue and the larger the number of people that would need to be evacuated, the wider stairwells need to be. This is because the aim is usually to fully evacuate a building within three minutes of the alarm being raised. The gangway space between layouts at an exhibition should be a continuation of this. If you need to evacuate a large number of people, then you need wide gangways to allow large numbers of people to 'flow' towards the exits in a calm and orderly manner. As such, for large venues, something like 2.5 m or 3 m (ie 9 or 10 feet) wide gangways may be required. However, gangway width is perhaps much less critical for small exhibitions with fewer attendees, and therefore perhaps 2.0 m (ie 6 feet) would be acceptable in community halls and the like. I could also argue that gangways should be wider as they approach the main exits, but could perhaps be a lesser width elsewhere in the hall. Fires can take hold quickly, so whilst it may be tempting to try and squeeze as many layouts and traders into the hall as possible, it's important that people don't feel too confined by the presence of others around them. If the fire alarm was to sound, you want the exhibitors and exhibition attendees to be able to make their way calmly to the nearest fire exit: not push and shove one another because they feel that they can't move and fear they are trapped. That creates panic and can result in fatal consequences. I suspect that you won't find a definitive standard to apply in all circumstances. There will be good practise guidance (as linked to above) and individual venues may have their own requirement, which will have been based on advice either from the fire brigade or from some other fire safety consultant and will be a requirement for that venue for a particular type of event. You should probably follow that. Nine feet between layouts seems reasonable to me, but I'm guessing that perhaps the Grammar School is a smaller venue than the Corn Exchange, which is what has prompted the question.
  9. Just looking at their website (https://www.scalemodelscenery.co.uk/bb018-micro-layout-baseboard-in-a-box-2-730-x-95-x-207mm-8706-p.asp) the dimension that you have put a question mark against seems to be 140 mm. The distance from the flat surface to the top of the back-scene would be 95 mm. The base plinth that you have marked as 95 is actually only 40 mm, which implies that this is made from 5 mm thick MDF. This is stated in the description. The ends are also obviously 5 mm MDF which gives the internal length of 730 mm and the external length of 740 mm.
  10. Dungrange


    That's the approach that I'd take. Yes, you can cut the cork into thin strips, with each being the width of piece of track (ie around 40 mm wide strips), but if you're trying to then lay these strips to tight radii then I don't think you're going to get the cork to lie flat (because you're stretching the outside edge and compressing the inside edge of each strip). This would be okay with large sweeping curves, but not the radii that you are using. As for your other questions, I don't really know. I'll guess that you may have to built the station platforms on top of the cork, so that you end up with the platform surface at the right height relative to the rails. The platform surface should be about 12 mm (a scale 3') above the top of the rails. I'd also envisage that you lay the surface mounted point motors onto the cork, but having never used the Hornby ones, I can't say for sure how they work.
  11. Isn't the photograph above one of the Cowans Sheldon cranes, whereas Hattons are producing the Plasser Theurer version? I'm no expert on these, but I'm certainly looking forward to these even if i have to wait until 2021.
  12. I think the issue lies in possible confusion over why, for example, the JSAs are 'open to trade', but the PFAs are only available directly from Accurascale. I'm not sure that I understand why there is a difference in your approach to sales channels between these models. I asked in my local model shop while I was there on Saturday whether they would be getting any of the Accurascale PFAs into the shop when they are released (since the prototypes have run in Scotland, which means there would likely be local demand). However, I was told that they can only place an order for in-stock items - ie ones that have already been released. That is, the gentlemen that I spoke to thought that they could get hold of the first couple of Accurascale releases for me (I think the HOA and the PCA) but that they probably couldn't order the PFAs until you'd taken delivery and therefore they couldn't guarantee that they would be able to get them then (ie they might have sold out through pre-orders on the Accurascale website). They said they'd check out the current situation with pre-orders, given that Accurascale trade accounts are relatively new, but from your answer above, it sounds like they will tell me just to order direct from yourselves. I don't really have an issue with ordering direct, but try to support my local model shop when I can. There are so many people who seem to no longer have access to a local model shop.
  13. Code 75 is the scale dimension for older bullhead rail (which Peco now produce, albeit a limited range at the moment). Modern UK flat bottom rail should actually be Code 82 (ie 0.082" in height), so the Code 75 flat bottom range that Peco produce is actually under scale (but not by as much as the code 100 track is over scale). Peco do produce Code 82 rail in their Individulay range, but not a ready to lay range of track components, so to get scale height rail flat bottom track-work you actually have to build it yourself. I think the under scale nature of the Code 75 flat bottom rail is fine because we have an under scale gauge.
  14. Is it possible to pre-order future models such as the PFA and JSA though these local stockists? My local model shop is now an approved retailer but don't actually have any Accurascale models sitting on the shelves.
  15. I realise that there are many talented modellers such as yourself who can scratch-build a great representation of an actual building from photographs. However, in my case I have 260 pieces of plastic that have been removed from their sprues and any flash removed (and I'll have a few more once the postman delivers my next order). I then effectively have a plastic 'kit' without any 'instructions' showing what goes where. At the moment, my building looks like this: Ultimately, the East Elevation of the building will look something like the layout below. Retail unit on the base and bedrooms on the top. Looking at the 'Cornice' it seems that this is suitable for getting an extra bit of ceiling height in the first floor, which I was planning would be the restaurant on the North Elevation, but First Floor Retail space on this elevation. However, looking at the floor plan for the Premier Inn in Halifax, it would appear that the seating area of the restaurant covers an area that is perhaps the size of 13 bedrooms, with the toilets taking up the same sort of area as another two bedrooms. Kitchens and non-public areas probably add up to the area of another 10 bedrooms and the reception, lobby, lifts and main stairs probably add up to the area of another eight bedrooms. As such, I think most of my first floor will have to be allocated to the hotel rather than retail purposes and therefore I may change the window style to reflect the different purpose, which I think might help with the aesthetics: there seems to be too many very large windows in the building at the moment. Anyway, I'm still 'working' on that at the moment.
  16. I used Tim Horn for all my baseboards, including about nine custom shaped boards: these were a mixture of curved, rectangular with a corner chopped off and a few that we more like curved triangles. I notice his website (www.timhorn.co.uk) is being rebuilt at the moment, but if you e-mail him with a plan showing the dimensions of what you require, then he should be able to supply you with a price to cut them for you. I suppose that the same is true of anyone offering laser cut baseboard kits.
  17. JRB, Thanks for these details. The building you have highlighted seems to have five floors of bedrooms and 20 bedrooms per floor, so a 100 bedroom hotel. That's a little bigger than I have in mind, but is in the right ball park. The bedroom floor plan is more or less what I had in mind for my building (ie L-shaped), except I was going to locate the lifts and main stairwell in the 'core' of the building where the plan above shows a 'store' and 'non-standard bedroom'. I quickly identified that this part of the building (about the size of a bedroom) wouldn't have any windows. However, just looking at the area of the stairwells, lift shafts and waiting area for the lifts, I may need to lose a bedroom from my floor plan or increase the building footprint slightly to devote a bit more space to stairs and lifts. Interestingly, the placement of the linen cupboard adjacent to the corner room explains how to gain access to the corner room, which was something that I was unsure about. I think that addresses all of my issues with the design of the upper floors. With regards the lower levels, the Premier Inn floor plan above for the reception, restaurant and administration areas is all on one floor. I was intending splitting this over two floors - but it's clear from above that the combined area of these facilities is at least 50% greater than the area of a bedroom floor. As such, I will clearly either have to reduce the area on the ground floor that can be occupied by shops (to accommodate hotel admin functions), lose the upper floor of the 'Medium Retail Unit' or expand out the back. I may have to look at a combination of these, but will give it some thought. One 'problem' with the DPM Modular pieces is that being American and of brick construction, with pilasters to join the panels together, is that it's not really 'traditional' Scottish architecture. Brick buildings in central Scotland are somewhat less common than in some other parts of the UK, but the Dakota Hotel in Glasgow is a similar enough architectural style to the DPM modules that I'm willing to use these. It's also 'city centre', albeit not adjacent to the railway station, which is where my hotel will be. The roof of the Glasgow Dakota Hotel as a small 'building' where I was intending to assume that my lifts and stairwells are located, so I assumed that these facilities might be located in this building at the same location. However, I note on the Premier Inn building that you highlight in Halifax that there is nothing above where the lifts as shown in the plan, so it looks as though the height of this access 'building' can be quite small (ie the lift winding gear can be accommodated within the top floor ceiling to building roof height. The roof of the Premier Inn building that you highlight seems to have access from what is labelled on the bedroom floor plan as 'services room and kitchen duct'. However, I do notice a significant area of the roof seems to be covered with what I assume is air conditioning units. Anyway, the design of the roof details is a long way off. I need to finalise the building footprint first. Many Thanks for your input.
  18. I suppose it's worth asking who you are safeguarding and what risks are you trying to reduce or eliminate. Most of the comments in this thread have been about DBS Checks, which are about ensuring that minors and vulnerable people are not exposed to the predatory behaviour of some sexually deviant individuals, who are hopefully not members of your model railway club, but its understandable that you want to check (to at least verify that they have never been caught). However, there are other risks to the safety of minors that should be considered. Twenty odd years ago when I lived in another city and was a member of another club, an existing club member (probably in his mid thirties at the time) brought a young 'friend' (who was about 13 years old) along to the club. They apparently went train spotting at the same locations and the teenager was also interested in model trains. As a club we didn't have any rigid policy on junior members at the time and this young teenager seemed responsible enough, so no-one was against him becoming a junior member and coming along to the club each week. However, a few months later these two individuals fell out over something (I don't know what) and the committee became acutely aware of the fact that this young boy was actually leaving our club room on his own at nearly 11 pm on a Friday night, walking roughly ten minutes or so through the city centre to catch a train and then he had a roughly ten minute walk from his station to his home. Assuming his journey was uneventful, he'd have been getting home at something like 11:45. I don't think his parents saw any problem with this, but I recall having conversations with others about who was responsible for his safety during his journey home. Does the club's responsibility for his safety end when he leaves the club room? What would happen if he was abducted on route home? How would he even get home if he missed his train or it was cancelled? Ultimately the secretary decided that this wasn't really acceptable. This young lad was crossing several busy roads, walking past numerous pubs with drunks falling out the doors and the most direct route from his station to his home wasn't a busy thoroughfare: it was the sort of dark route that I'd not be keen on my family walking alone at that time of night. I remember sitting down with the treasurer as 'witnesses', while the secretary took this young guy to the side to explain our concerns and tell him that he was going to write a letter to his parents to say that we were effectively going to change the club's policy to state that individuals under the age of 16 were to be accompanied to and from the club room. His parents did bring him and collected him a few times after that, but they then decided that this was too much hassle for them and if we weren't willing to let their son travel 12 miles on his own late at night, then he wasn't coming back. I think the policy was then adopted that we would only permit those under the age of 16 to become junior members if they were brought to and from the club and their parent or guardian remained with them at all times. We effectively have a similar policy in my current club.
  19. I’m planning on using the DPM H0 scale modular parts to construct a relatively large (by model railway standards) six-storey high building that will most likely comprise two retail units and a budget hotel. I currently envisage that the ground floor will comprise two retail units and the hotel entrance / reception. The first floor will provide space for the hotel restaurant and some retail space, whilst the hotel bedrooms will be located on floors four to six. I have a reasonably good idea as to what the front (street facing) façade should look like, but what the details to the rear of the building should look like is a bit less clear. I’ve been trying to envisage floor plans for each floor to determine where best to place windows and internal walls (as I want to add lights to some of the rooms). However, this highlights my ignorance of facilities management. As such, I’m wondering is anyone can answer any of the following questions in general terms. Small Retail Unit (circa 3,000 ft2 – all on ground floor) 1. How much of this area would be ‘front of house’ and how much would be storage, offices and staff welfare facilities? 2. Would deliveries require a separate entrance to the rear, or would deliveries for this size of retail outlet typically be made through the shop front? Medium Retail Unit (circa 6,000 ft2 spread over two floors – Ground and first floor) 1. Again, what proportion of this larger store would be ‘front of house’ and how much would be storage, offices and staff welfare facilities? Would this proportion vary with the size of the retail unit? 2. I’m assuming there would need to be a lift within the store for customer use (to comply with the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA)) but would this same lift also be used to move goods from the storeroom (assuming it is on the ground floor) to the upper floor? 3. Assuming a lift or lifts are required, does this mean that space would be required on the second floor (ie within the space I’m allocating to hotel bedrooms) to accommodate whatever is located at the top of the lift shaft? 4. Again, would deliveries require a separate entrance to the rear, or could deliveries still be made through the shop front for this larger unit? Budget Hotel (60 -70 bedrooms spread over four floors with separate restaurant on first floor) 1. I’m working on the assumption that there will be around 17 bedrooms per floor with effectively the same floor plan for each floor. However, how much ‘non-public’ space would be required on each floor for operational reasons? Would there be a need for a ‘housekeeping room’ on each floor and if so, how large would this room be? 2. How large would a restaurant need to be (in square feet) for a hotel with this number of bedrooms? Is there any guidance? 3. How large would the restaurant kitchen need to be relative to the dining area? 4. How many toilets would be required for diners? My planned restaurant, restaurant kitchens and toilets would probably be about 3,500 ft2 in total, but I could make this bigger at the expense of first floor retail space in my Medium Retail Unit. Roof I’m currently working on the assumption that this will be a flat roof building, albeit there will need to be a gentle slope for drainage, and I assume that this will slope from front to rear, so that down pipes would be located on the rear rather than the front of the building. However, I assume that I will need a ‘seventh floor’ that provides access to the roof space (for maintenance) and to house the equipment to operate the hotel lifts. What sort of height would be required to accommodate the equipment that sits above the top floor of the lift shaft? Stairwells and Emergency Exits I assume that I will need more than one stairwell in the building (I’ll probably have three), but how small can I make these stairwells? If anyone can provide any guidance on these questions, that would be great. Obviously, my building is just a scenic detail, so doesn’t need to be 100% accurate, but I’d like to create a broadly believable floor plan before I start construction.
  20. That depends on the track plan and the nature of operation, but generally it will be easier to convert an analogue layout to DCC than convert a DCC layout to analogue operation. That will be especially true if you have used wire capable of carrying DCC currents when building for DC. However, if you build an analogue layout with small gauge wire (eg rated to carry just 1 Amp) and then choose to use a DCC controller with a high current output (eg 5 Amps) then you could be faced with a significant rewire. A 'simple' DCC layout should always require less wire than the same layout wired for DC operation, but the reduction in the amount of wiring will depend on the specifics of the layout. The saving in the amount of wiring by going DCC can be broken down into a number of distinct categories. Isolating sections. On a DC layout you will require on/off switches to isolate locomotives in specific locations. This isn't required for DCC. On a Motive Power Depot, you may have dozens of locations at which you want to isolate a locomotive. On a continuous run mainline, you may have far fewer isolating sections. You will therefore make a bigger saving in wiring by going DCC in the first case, but of course you would have much more work if you were to decide to convert a DCC MPD layout to analogue operation. Section switches for Cab Control. If you have a simple 'one engine in steam' type layout in DC with a single controller, then you obviously wouldn't have any reduction in wiring by going DCC. However, if you were to have a larger layout with more than one controller and dozens of rotary or double pole switches to select the controller, then you could make a significant saving in wiring, as section switches are not required for DCC. You'd be saving the length of wire between each section and your control panel. Point Motor control. With a DC layout, if you operate points by point motors, then you will have wires from each point motor back to the switch on your control panel. For DCC, the wiring can be kept local with the polarity of the frog being determined locally and the point motor connected either to the track bus (the stock rails of your point) or a separate accessory bus. If you were to wire point control for DCC and then wish to switch to analogue then you would effectively be starting this element of the wiring from scratch and wiring as you would have done if you'd decided to go DC at the outset. As indicated above, the amount of wire that you will save by going DCC will depend on the number of point motors that you have, how many sections you would require if you stuck with DC and how many isolating sections you would need if you stick with DC. Of course, many people elect to build more advanced or automated DCC layouts. To automate a layout, you need to know where trains are and that means that you need 'feedback'. The same is true if you want to create signal interlocking. Current feedback sensors operate by detecting current draw from a section of track, which of course means breaking your DCC layout up into sections, so in effect you are adding in additional wiring in pretty much the same way as you would have done for Cab Control operation in DC. For the purposes of fault finding, it would be useful to split the DCC layout into smaller sections, again reversing some of the savings in wiring that you have made by going DCC in the first place. Then, if you are hoping to use DCC Sound, then you need to ensure that all sidings are permanently powered. Where you can get away with using the self-isolating properties of points in DC (and you can get away with this in DCC if you don't want sound or lights when parked) you can't adopt this approach with DCC if you want the full benefits of going DCC. It's all of these things that tend to lead to arguments as to how much wire you save (and conversely how much additional work you will have trying to convert at DCC layout to analogue). Good luck with whatever you decide.
  21. Jamie - Being pedantic, you didn't actually recommend that particular Walthers kit - you just commented on a photograph of the kit, giving your valued opinion on what you would do to increase it's suitability for use on a UK based layout. There's therefore no need to feel guilty. Thanks for the annotated photographs showing the heights of your buildings floor by floor. Your ground floor levels seem to vary between 50 mm and 65 mm, which is slightly less than the 69 mm height of the shop fronts produced by DPM. That's why I'm quite happy to use these in 00 without modification. When I first looked at these I thought they were a bit big until I looked at actual shop fronts and realised that they often are that sort of height when considering the height to the top of any sign. The single storey pieces in the DPM modular pack are 48 mm and the two storey pieces are 94 mm. Again, these are slightly higher than most of your floors, but floor to ceiling height does vary from building to building depending on age and style. I suspect that I'll start with the DPM kits first, since they seem more straightforward to build. My intention is to build a fairly large four or five storey building from modular pieces, but I need to finalise the track design and lay the track so that I know exactly how big I can make the footprint of the building. The US Post Office will probably remain in the box for a while until I've developed my building skills a bit. I like what you've done with the Argossy Bookstore kits, but I'm not yet at the stage of trying to copy you. I need a simple kit to start with. That said, I'm tempted to suggest that the best way to make use of the under scale US Post Office may actually be by reducing the height of the building, taking out the first floor windows (~25 mm). This would mean that I'd have a two storey building rather than a three storey building, but it means that the distance between the top of the ground floor window and the bottom of the first floor window would increase from 12 mm to 24 mm. That would therefore give the impression of increasing the floor to ceiling height of the top floor to around 45 mm, with a similar height for the ground floor - more if I add a stone course at ground level as you suggest. I'm also tempted to make it into a primary school, where the difference in height between ground and first floor is less noticeable than with commercial premises, but of course that will no longer make it a city centre building!
  22. I agree that the US Post Office probably wouldn't look too out of place on a 3 mm scale layout if built as per the instructions. As you say, even in H0 scale a 23 mm door isn't particularly high, so it's probably an under scale H0 model. In fact, even in 3 mm scale a 23 mm high door would be less than 8'. On a 00 layout, none of the doors are going to be usable. By comparison, the doors on the H0 scale modular DPM 20th Century shop fronts are 32 mm high, which in 4 mm scale still represent an 8' high door and therefore very usable for my purposes. The problem that I can see me having is that I was intending to use the DPM modules to make a large (probably five storey building) but I suspect that would only accentuate the fact that the US Post Office building is quite small (despite being more than 13" wide, 7" deep and 6" high). I'll therefore need to give some thought as to how best to use it.
  23. Having asked above about the Walthers Cornerstone US Post Office, I decided to purchase this kit to assess first hand what would need to be done to make it look more like a UK building in 00. I therefore thought I'd place my initial findings here. First up, this is the kit I'm referring to. Although it may be a reasonably sized kit by H0 standards, it would still be rather small for 00 if built exactly as per the instructions. Below is an image of the front panel alongside a couple of pieces from the DPM 20th Century modular pack which others have referred to earlier. Both are sold as H0 models and both are three storeys high, but the lack of height in the Walthers building is noticeable. I have no concerns with using the DPM modules in a 00 setting: they feel like they were made for 00. The space for the front door is just 25 mm in height and the double door moulding that is meant to fit in this space is just 23 mm in height. Since that equates to just 5' 9" in 00, it's clear that a new door will be required, especially for what should be an impressive building. With a ground floor, floor to ceiling height of around 40 mm (a scale 10'), I think it's best to leave the lintel above the door frame in the same location and increase the height of each wall by gluing something like a 6 mm strip of plasticard to the base of each wall. This would create a floor to ceiling height of closer to 12' and help to reduce the substantial difference in ground floor height between these two buildings. Whilst adding height at the front should be relatively straightforward, the rear of the building is in brick, so the extra height will have to be achieved with brick. The DPM dock walling may be an option, but I'll look at other possible options. The middle floor is just 37 mm from floor to floor, so it's a bit tight to imagine a room with an 8' floor to ceiling height at this level. Whilst that's typical for a modern domestic property, its a bit less than a typical city centre building. However, I think that's something that I'll just have to live with as I can't see an easy way to change this. The top floor can accommodate a greater floor to ceiling height because of the height above the top floor windows to accommodate a sign and the cornice. As such, I think this is okay as is. One welcome 'surprise' is that the kit contains a pitched roof that is not shown or referred to in the instructions. The intended 'machine building' which is supposed to sit on the roof is pretty big in terms of floor area (116 mm x 68 mm) and seems out of proportion with the rest of the building. As such, I think I'll omit this and use it elsewhere on my planned layout as a standalone building - a line side hut or similar mess facilities. The pitched roof means that I can cover the large hole in the roof of the Post Office building with either the flat roof from the machine building, and use the pitched roof on the standalone building, or vice versa. I'm not sure which would be best, so I'm open to the opinions of others on that one. The only issue with the pitched roof, is that it looks rather like terracotta tiles, which feels like it would be a little out of place on the top of the post office building and I'm struggling to understand why a pitched roof like that would sit in the middle of an otherwise flat roof. One of the problems with a model railway is that we often get a birds eye view of roofs (so need to try and model them accurately), whereas in reality what a roof on a building like this looks like is something that I have no knowledge of. Obviously it's time to go looking at aerial photographs of city centre buildings. Anyway, I hope this ramble may be of use to someone else.
  24. It looks like this 'store' trades under more than one name. I found what appears to be the same store in an internet search https://onlineshop.trendsient.com/index.php?main_page=about_us , except this one calls itself "Stylish , your one stop shop". The "About us" is exactly the same at the Modish Store referred to earlier, including that claim to "The 5th best customer service you will never get." The software used to construct the site also looks the same. My search terms were for a discontinued Walthers Cornerstone kit which seems to be hard to find, so I'm guessing that their "business model" is to try and attract those who are searching something and don't stop to question fining something that appears too good to be true. I've seen this kit on e-bay from the US at $50 plus $60 postage, yet this store claims to have 78 of then in stock (despite the fact that they are no longer produced) and they will sell them at $15. Too good to be true - almost certainly.
  25. This photograph shows the problem quite well. The tracks should be closer together on the straight and further apart going round the curve - the exact opposite of what this photograph shows. I think I'd be inclined to leave outer track where it is and lift the inner track. The radius of the inner track doesn't have to be tighter (you can still use your 21" Tracksetta), the curve just needs to start earlier, so that you can keep a minimum distance of around 60 mm between the curves.
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