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  1. * I would suggest the following which includes drawings to 1:43.5 scale. David Payling: Fairlie Locomotives of North Wales, The Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways, 2017, Chapter X, pp. 97-117. CP
  2. * Having (and since the two in 1:25 scale) built three layouts in "O9" I would also recommend that as a possibility. It of course has all the advantages of readily available 9mm gauge material. I have found that a small locos and short 4 wheel stock in "O9" will traverse curves of 145mm radii (the old EggerBahn setrack), and otherwise using standard Peco 12ins rad "OO9" pointwork and flex track work well. From this two options arise. (i) Very compact layouts can be built. (ii) In a resonable space considerable 7mm scale detail can be incorporated. However, based on my own experience and that of a friend, I would offer a warning - the charm of "O9" when representing 18ins gauge can be quite addictive. CP
  3. * Having built two layouts in 1:25 scale on 16.5mm track (to represent 18ins gauge) I obviously opted for the easy (if undergauge) approach. That was some years ago in the 2000s, and at that time I felt the availability of suitable figures was a significant factor. I found that those theoretically sold as 1:22.5 and 1:24 could be modified for use in the slightly smaller scale of 1:25. However, this was before 3D printed figures became available. My understanding now would be that these can be printed in any scale if one is willing to pay the price. On that basis therefore, may I suggest you consider using a scale of 11mm to the foot - call it (say) 1:28 - and enjoying all the ease and ubiquity offered by 16.5mm track, wheelsets, chassis, etc? CP
  4. * You would indeed think that George Hanan had used 5.5mm scale on 16.5mm track. However, in fact he used a scale of 5mm to the foot. Why this was the case puzzled me when I read the articles at the time they were published. I still do not know why Mr Hanan choose the scale he did. CP
  5. * Speaking from personal experience - (i) over more than a quarter of a century, (ii) with my seven different relatively small layouts, (iii) at over two-hundred exhibitions, (iv) and covering more than three-hundred days - the answer is from the front every time. With display at a relatively high level, and an operating position to the side (in front of a fiddle yard) one has a similar view to that of the public. Discussion and the answering of questions are simply a matter of turning a little to the person - or indeed not turning if continuing to operate at that moment. It is also the case that the public enjoy seeing the operator at work, noting details of the timetable sequence, fiddle yard use, etc. For this reason the good design and presentation of the whole layout (including the said fiddle yard and operating space) are important. CP
  6. * Please forgive the following digression. The second car I ever owned was a Renault Dauphine. I bought it second hand and should have known better. A few years earlier my father had also owned one and attempted to tame it by placing a large concrete block in the boot (= just behind the headlights and ahead of the front wheels). This was in the mid-1960s. I replaced it after a couple of years with one of the earliest Reanault 4 models to be imported into the UK. I was its 6th owner. On a good day it had 6 volt electrics and a 3 speed gearbox. It was eccentric with canvas slung across metal tubing deck chair style seats. In the late 1960s I drove it to Spain (Catalonia) thinking that if it broke down in France it could easily be repaired. It did indeed break down - at Sittingbourne in Kent en route to the Channel Ferry at Dover. However, after a repairs on an August Bank Holiday Saturday morning it made it all the way to Catalonia and a couple of weeks later back to the UK. A few months after that the canvas seat split under my backside as I was driving up a steep hill in Hampstead. A temproary repair involving a substantial leather luggage strap solved that problem. I remember that Renault 4 with great affection: motoring that was cheap, cheerful, unhurried and very relaxed. CP
  7. * May I ask if you would please be kind enough to explain this statement? CP
  8. * I recall in the past styrene strip that seemed to have been chopped on a guilotine so that what should have been in section rectangular was a parallelogram. I have used Evergreen strip for many years and would recommend it as not suffering from the problem. CP
  9. * This plan is that of Andrew Knights "Yarmouth Quay" layout. It appeared (Railway Modeller, June 1988, p.275) as part of an article that had the sub-heading - "A real 'minimum-space' railway designed for 4mm scale." CP
  10. * There were three Don Townsley Hunslet Quarry Locomotive articles as follows. "0-4-0ST Jerry M", MRN, September 1966 p.416. "0-4-0ST VELINHELI", MRN, November 1966, p.504. "0-4-0ST No 2", MRN, March 1967, pp.138-140. I think I am correct in saying that "Michael" was like No 2. CP
  11. * If some sort of visual uniformity and compatibility is desired I would offer the following advice. You might be inclined to think that RTR items from Peco will look "right" together. As you have specifically mentioned the GVT you might be considering the carriages. They are delightful models whether in prototype or freelance liveries. The same might be said of the L&B 4 wheel vans. However, put the two together and in my opinion they look odd. The reason is simple. The prototype L&B vans are physically quite small as are the models. The result is that when the van is placed next to a GVT carriage the latter is noticeably taller and wider (and incidentally longer). CP
  12. * I very much agree about Sculptamold. It is three years ago that I first used it. Not only is it lightweight, but is very clean in the mixing with minimal dust given off. It does take a few days to fully dry, at which time I found it could be drilled for the "planting" of trees. CP
  13. * The idea of this alternative form of uncoupling ramp for tension locks has been around for more than half a century. CP
  14. * I am afraid this is incorrect. 1:35 scale is 8.71mm/ft. 16.5mm track therefore scales 22.73ins. Translation: it is not far off being reasonably accurate for modelling nominal 2ft gauge (inc 1ft 11.5 ins and 600mm). [Figures above to 2 places of decimals.] CP
  15. * As I understand it, sadly the KATO Unitrack very sharp radius points are not live frog. Larger radius are. CP
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