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Neal B

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  1. Here are a few of my mineral wagons modelled for the late 70s. A first time doing kits in N gauge for me. Apologies for the photo just a quick mobile snap and my proper camera wasn't to hand.
  2. After several sessions of kitbuilding i decided it was time to take the plunge and get out the old hairy sticks. After quite a bit of study i deduced that in the 1970's, mineral wagons were rusty, very rusty. So i set about gathering all my rust coloured paints and washes and proceeded to obliterate the carefully applied shades of grey. I tried to vary things as much as possible. The results are above. The Shark gave me a welcome break from rust and also makes a companion for my lonely Seacow. The Seacow is next in the paint shop but i can't decide on a livery. Dutch is tempting but it's a bit on the late side for my layout. Olive would be a more sensible option.
  3. I would have loved to try the full brass version but i think it wouldn't have turned out as well as your effort. Lovely model, and a nice layout you have there. Mine is still at the erm... Infrastructure phase. By which i mean acres of bare plywood and reels of wire.
  4. The ngs Seacow kit is certainly one of the more challenging wagon kits i've come across. The first steps of assembling the plastic superstructure and the etched brass chutes are simple enough, but from there it seems to get exponentially harder as the etches get thinner and more delicate. The end product does resemble Seacow although by the time i got to the fully assembled stage my mind was far from taking photographs and nearer thoughts of a bottle or two of ale, so here's a work in progress. Future interations will avoid some of the mistakes made on the stanchion etches although they aren't howlingly obvious i so i'll let myself off the hook. It's an ingenious kit and much recommended, especially to go with the ngs or revolutioN's shark. The only downside is that the society is currently out of stock of this kit so my Seacow is very lonely.
  5. Thanks! This is what i've arrived at after a lot of false starts. Good luck finding your ideal plan.
  6. My wishes for a 'real' and 'prototypical' layout met with so many compromises in planning that eventually i ended up with a two level roundabout layout, which if laid out would represent a branch line terminus, through station, a small mpd, industry sidings and exchange sidings for a steel works. Trains can operate 'out and back' from the terminus due to a hidden reverse loop charged by a frog juicer. Obviously i want a lot from approximately 6x3 feet of real estate. After a long break from railway modelling i have a few hobby itches that need scratching as well as skills that need honing. Meanwhile i can amass rolling stock and do the research for a serious layout in the future. So if it looks like a trainset with way too much crammed in then that's because it probably is! My favourite ever layout plans are those of Cyril Freezer as they were often approached with operating potential in mind. Part of my planning brief is that the available space is multi use, since it's a garage and a workshop for my various hobby and non hobby related projects. Therefore the baseboard now constructed is mounted hinges to the garage wall, standing off approximately 12" from the wall to allow room for landscaping. When folded away the layout takes up approximately the space of a small wardrobe with train related bits and bobs stowing away in a cupboard underneath. Train workings hint at the prototype rather that emulate it, so loco hauled passenger trains will only have 3-4 coaches for instance, as that's what i have room for. The terminus can accomodate this and so can my wallet. For the price of a prototypical consist i can get two 'sort of like' trains and double my operating potential. The layout is intended to be busy and have potential for multiple operators, and with limited places for trains the layout may be operated as one large puzzle. Experiments with cards and drawing hands of cards have varied from fun to annoying. More work on that to follow, but as my other hobby us wargaming then there might be dice involved. Of course there is always the option of watching trains go round, at least two in my case due to there being a loop on both levels. I've got lots of operating potential in a small space, something i wanted from the beginning. Plans exist for an off scene fiddle yard located elsewhere in the garage. So far the lower level is complete as is the gradient up to the upper level. The gradient is 3% which is acceptable for the shorter trains i'll be running. Track laying is currently stalled while i get the lower level electricals in, which necessitated i get the control panel designed and made. The large amount of points in a small space mean that this isn't a simple task, and because i've shied away from electrical complexity in the past it's something of a learning curve.
  7. What is your intention from an operational point if view? That is, what is the excuse for trains being there... Apart from wanting to run trains obviously! If you have a fiddle yard on the left you have the essence of a branch line terminus there of sorts with a run round loop on the curve. The loop line on the top right is non sensical as there is no line for a loco to run on to in order to reverse on to the point. It's also a repeat of the other loop so unlikely to exist in close proximity as it's increased maintenance for the track gangs. You have the beginnings of a small branch line terminus, industry spur or freight railhead there but it needs to be thought through a bit more. Layout planning is an iterative process that throws up plenty of challenges of it's own and can be a hobby in it's own right. Have you thought of a location or time period? Researching can provide a lot of inspiration and while i'm certainly more of a freelance modeller than one who recreates the prototype i do still find a lot of my inspiration comes from old maps, books and the internet. There are some very good books on layout planning out there too.
  8. Thanks Kris unfortunately it looks like thr chassis kit is no longer available.
  9. My BR railfreight liveried Farish class 20 is looking decidedly lonely and rather than spend money on an additional powered loco i'm looking at options to make a dummy loco. I work on dcc. Option 1: Procure a semi working/ crippled poole era example from Ebay, remove the cogs and motor, add extra details and respray body if necessary to a mid 1980s livery. Option 2: Buy a chinese 'modern' body from BR lines and fabricate a chassis for it to sit on. Hopefully be able to repurpose some some bogies from rtr stock or kits to create a free rolling companion. Are there any other options available to provide a dummy? Is wiring in directional lighting in either case a realistic option? Any insights or experiences gladly welcomed before i commit to a path, thanks.
  10. Hello, i use an nce powercab on my layout which is currently being built. I have a reverrsing loop which uses a frog juicer- operation is seamless and highly reliable (no glitches in dozens of automated polarity switches) My points are frog switched by pm1 motors operated off a 16v supply via a cdu using 'old fashioned' wiring on a switch panel. No issues as yet apart from a very occasional short on a single point which i might rectify with some clear nail varnish. I'm working in n gauge.
  11. Hello Tomathee, glad to hear your four year old is enjoying his new railway. My toddler is at the Brio stage of things and enjoys pushing thomas around the tracks. Regards putting legs on your baseboard, my first question would be does the board deform under its own weight? You mentioned a frame but not the thickness of the ply. Also there is a join so sagging could be a risk unless you introduce some thicker bracing. Have you considered wall mounting? It might require a bit more clearance from the domestic authorities but has the capacity to be more stable and it can be 'put away' when out of use if you use a hinge/ flap setup. I think introducing legs would require some deeper bracing as when you think about the forces on the tops of the legs when the table might get knocked or leant on resulting in a wobbly railway.
  12. Thanks John and Chris some good ideas there, i'll have a look on ebay it seems to have plenty.
  13. Lots of useful information here about researching the physical/ geographical side of things, some of which i'm already utilising on my research into the Brierley Hill area circa 1980, specifically Kingswinford Jn and Moor St Sidings. Where i'm coming unstuck is actual workings, locos, stock and frequency. In terms of my hobby accomplishment i'm attempting to make the move from 'trainset' enthusiast to prototypical modelling and i'm treating my current layout as a training project to learn the techniques and knowledge toward a successful prototypical layout. It's a long term project that i can start researching now. So far all the knowledge i've got about workings in this area are from photos and the commentaries that come with them but is there information available out there for the freight timetable, diagrams, motive power etc that i can access so i can run a prototypical freight timetable on a given day in 1980?
  14. You've got a good stock of points and track there with which to start a decent layout. As someone in a similar boat to yourself i would recommend the following... 1. Plan things out using a layout program, i use xtrackcad but there are many programs out there which fulfil a similar purpose. The planning phase itself can be quite enjoyable and investing some time in this stage can prevent the frustration of mistakes which can lead to stagnation and eventual abandonment of project. 2. Introducing some flexi track could help the track work become transitions more sweeping which will look better and help with smioth running. 3. You've got plenty of room for a gradient to an upper level branch, i achieved a rise of 55mm in 1800 which equates to very slightly over 3%. In a smaller space. I don't run prototypical length trains but my locos can lug 5 coaches or 10 haa hoppers up the gradient which is good enough for my purposes. If you want to tow longer trains you could run into problems though. Good luck!
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