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  1. I nicked your idea for hinged magnets for a 009 layout I'm building, which uses Microtrains couplers (i.e. N-gauge Kadees). The magnet is from two cupboard latches, the hinge arrangement knocked up from plasticard with a bolt for a hinge. The paperclip forms an adjustable (bendable) link to the dowel. The magnet is swung into the recess in the board, there is only a layer of brown paper under the sleepers here. The screws form end-stops for the dowel. The dowel runs the length of the board, emerging at the far end... Where it emerges within convenient reach, pushing in lowers the magnet and pulling out raises it, it has enough friction to hold it either way. The other dowel seen far right moves a sector plate at the back of the layout - but that's another story. Anyway it seems to work well, so thanks for the idea!
  2. It's a bit late now, but I found "Natural White" is a much better colour balance for lighting, being between warm and cool/daylight, though it's not so widely available (I got some off Amazon though). I've seen people paint thin yellow paint over some or all of the LED's to reduce the blue. An alternative to high trestles is shorter legs that go onto a table, although exhibition table heights and sizes can be variable. I find table-top height is too low for comfortable viewing, adding 6-8 inches as a minimum makes a big difference. You could also make the height of the lighting variable, so it can be set higher at an exhibition, or knock up a simpler (lighter) exhibition-only lighting rig?
  3. Hello Micheal. 

    I was reading about you O-14 layouts. Good stuff. But I do have a question. You mention about using micro trains couplers on your rolling stock. How did you about installing them?  On the wagons is it just straight and simple just gluing them right to the wagon? What about the engine.


    thanks for any help 



    1. mjcampbell


      Hi Steve,

      Sorry about the delay in replying, I've not been on here for a while. There's a bit on my blog in various posts about the couplers (including making, fitting, magnets), I fit them to 009 as well as O14. 

      http://michaelsrailways.blogspot.com/search/label/microtrains couplers


      In particular this post: http://michaelsrailways.blogspot.com/2011/02/couplings-in-0-14.html


      For the KB scale skips I flatten an area on the underside of the end, carefully drill a 1mm hole, and screw the coupler (1015 type) into place from below using the included screw. They self-tap in a 1mm hole. Sometimes I use a small spot of glue to prevent them turning, but that isn't essential.




      Although it can be seen from above, it isn't obvious. here's a variety of wagons fitted.




      Simple plasticard jigs set the height of the mounting, and the height of the trip pin to clear rails. I set them a little lower than the "N gauge standard", the height is set by the skips.




      Locos are more tricky, needing a square hole to recess the draft box into and a means of securing it. If I can't use a screw I secure with a length of wire through the hole, fixed with expoxy. Here's a coupler hole visible under the prototype coupling block on the Lister pre-painting:




      I hope that helps!



  4. Good to hear you had a response. I've never had that sort of problem...
  5. The only V3 I've seen still fell off at points (18" radius), and had such limited vertical movement of the couplings/pony-trucks it couldn't cope with a change in gradient. Oh and the motion covers still fell off. So I don't think much has changed...
  6. Track looks good, but there's a slight kink visible at the toe of the point where you have seen issues. Check this is resolved satisfactorily before proceeding! I've laid track down to 5.5" radius before, the tricks are: Remove the rails from the sleepers and pre-bend them - bending between fingers gently and slowly to approximately the radius required. Keep placing the rail on a flat surface to check you are bending in the horizontal plane only - no twist Slide the sleepers back on - this is fiddly but may be easier if you cut the sleepers into short sections Cut the webbing between sleepers under the outside rail. This allows them to fan out with the radius and remain perpendicular to the rails, rather than twisting which can look odd, resist the curvature, and cause gauge narrowing at this radius After all that the track should be close to the desired radius. I then glue it down with PVA, holding the shape with track pins next to the rails/sleepers rather than through the sleepers. Once the glue is dry you can remove the track pins. Insulfrog points can cause issues at low speeds, I'd avoid them on a shunting layout but I don't think it will be a big issue on this fun little layout!
  7. I use fine granite ballast, I think intended for N-gauge. But the look of the ballast varies by line, and even by location - sheds and yards often had ash ballast, very fine and dark. I've used sand or sand/plaster mixes before (applied dry). I'd recommend painting the rails rusty brown first (not orange or red - I used Humbrol 113 I think). Make sure the rail sides and foot are covered well, including inside. Clean the tops and top inside edge with paper towel or even a block of wood while wet, then clean properly with a fibreglass stick or track rubber afterwards. Don't worry about getting a little paint on the chairs, but try not to coat the sleepers. Next for a really good effect, dry-brush the sleepers with a grey-brown, though not essential. After ballasting is done and dry, apply a thin wash of track brown to the ballast and sleepers. You can use cheap acrylic for this. It tones everything together, removes the over-clean look of the ballast and the shine of the plastic sleepers. It is very easy and quick to do, just make it well thinned - you can always add a second coat. In yard areas I sometimes add sand to the ballast to fill the gaps and make it look clogged, then paint dark grey to represent ash. IMG_5956 by Michael Campbell, on Flickr
  8. Very nice. Does the Ruston run well without the match truck?
  9. Ooh, pretty. I don't draw the wires on my wiring diagrams, just the connections they make. Not as pretty though. If I've got it right the blue circles are the point operating switches, with yellow wires to the servos, and red to the frog. However is not the input to the lower side of the second point the frog output of the first? Or does it not work that way with a 3-way point? (Would a 3-way rotary switch be better for a 3-way point?)
  10. Indeed, but I usually forget. That's why I like solenoids, I can change them right in front of the moving train when I realise I forgot to earlier, and they change instantly! OK, don't take operating procedure from me...
  11. One thing to watch is that the frog polarity will change instantly with the switch, whereas the point blades will take time to move. Assuming you've not isolated the blades from the frog, that means a momentary short will occur. As you are not using DCC it won't cause any real issues (and I know of at least one person who uses a similar method), but best to change points while the train is not moving.
  12. Ah, pull-string technology! Simple, but little to go wrong. Might have to copy that...
  13. The drop-down magnets look interesting, how do you bring them up?
  14. I'd get a sheet of foam-core board - it's polystyrene sandwiched between thin card, 5mm thick. You can cut it with a knife, and glue it with a hot glue gun. It would be easy to cut the track-bed to shape, and cut vertical supports accurately to set the height, building up the structure accurately.
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