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How small? Tiny layout with big ambitions


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Hello fellow rmwebers. You may have seen my current thread called Drum Lane in the micro layouts section. This is another project I've just started - they did say that micro layouts are addictive! This time I've tried to see how small a layout I can fit in the size that would be classed as hand luggage on a modern mainline train. The idea behind this was is it possible to make an oo gauge micro layout that I could actually carry onto a train as hand luggage and operate it whilst the train is moving without any special permissions or need to book an extra seat so i can take up lots of space. Now this presents many challenges particularly the size constraints, need for interesting operation, the strength of the layout and also the fact that it will need to have the potential to be battery powered as not every modern train has plug sockets available for passengers (cough cough northern pacers) . Now I've already made a start on the baseboards and track plan but I haven't taken any photos yet. Apparently I'm not allowed anymore layouts at all but I snuck away this afternoon and started another one - fortunately non of my family are on rmweb so as long as I keep my trap shut and make sure the layout is small enough to hide away in a cupboard until i get rid of one of my other layouts i should be fine. Fingers crossed! So tomorrow i shall get some pics up for you all. Any questions/comments/feed back more than welcome. Thanks for looking folks :)

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So before I show you some pictures here are some of the statistics of the layout. The layout measures 41cm by 21cm including a fiddle yard and the thick backscene boards. The base board frame is made out of thick pallet wood which I find is incredibly strong and free from local diy stores that get their products delivered on them. The baseboard is topped with 10mm mdf which I had lying around. The layout will be anologue control though I plan to wire all the track up for dcc so I dont have to faff around with isolating sections. There are 3 sidings on the scenic section which measure just under 19cm each. The traverser is also 19cm long. I plan to use my sentinel on the layout when I get it back from rails of Sheffield but until then my refurbished pug will take shunting duties. I still have to cut one more bit of mdf for the end and screw and glue it but then will have an even more robust baseboard. Anyway, here are some pictures:post-32204-0-94197700-1519631460_thumb.jpgpost-32204-0-37861800-1519631477_thumb.jpgpost-32204-0-95139800-1519631501_thumb.jpg

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Evening everyone. I've managed to get some work done on my new micro layout (name suggestions are welcome if any of you have any ideas). So I got my least favorite part of the layout out of the way today - the wiring. I know you can buy prewired fish plates and power tracks but firstly my budget wont stretch that far and secondly there are no fish plates at all on this layout. I glued the track down with pva last night so that they would be dry today so the wiring could be done. It is very simply wired up so that all the track is live at any point so I didn't need to bother with isolating sections. All the power wires feed into one terminal screw block which is currently screwed into a cheap Hornby train set controller. Here is a pic of all the loose untied down wires:post-32204-0-63739600-1519668128_thumb.jpg And here is a pic of the wiring tidied up and taped down (or should I say up?) to the mdf.post-32204-0-40045700-1519668173_thumb.jpg The great thing about having a layout this small is that I can fit it on my desk with space around it so I can work it in a more comfortable environment than stuck under some massive baseboards that are part of some massive layout. The p way team have also been to the layout to do some work; they have got round to re sleepering certain areas of track which were missing some. Pva glue is just setting in to hold the sleepers in place as I write this. With the track layed and wired I have begun to run trains and give the layout a period of intense testing to identify any faults prior to any scenic application. Currently my DJ models j94 is on shunting duties.post-32204-0-32650200-1519668440_thumb.jpg My Hornby pug has also had a turn shunting today and is better suited in terms of size than the j94 for the layout. Ideally my sentinel would be trundling up and down the track but it is still away at Hornby having some repairs done to it. Right I think that's all the progress I've got for you so far. Any questions/ feedback/ ideas/ layout names/ comments are more than welcome (even constructive criticism :) ) . Thanks for looking. :)

Edited by luke the train spotter
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Got a bit more time to work on the layout last night. The advantage with it being so small is that with a little time you can do a lot of work. So last night I quickly mixed up a kind of sky coloured blue paint. The picture below shows where I painted as I am planning to use a low relief industrial building on the left hand side. The plan is a loading dock on the far siding and a girder bridge hiding the fiddle yard entrance. A small hut will be at the front of the layout. post-32204-0-06571900-1519718878_thumb.jpg Thanks for looking. :)

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Hi Luke

 

Really love the layout - it certainly brings a new slant on Micro - some of my layouts that are about 4' or just under will now be called 'mini'.

 

This goes to prove that everyone has room for a layout- and what a way for a newcomer to start rather going out and buying large mainline loco's and then need a large circle to run them on. Dip your toe into the water - see if you like it --------then if you do ----- jump in! There is room for every size and type layout in great hobby.

 

Will follow this thread with interest.

 

Kind regards

 

Kelvin Barnes

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When I first started looking at planning an OO depot layout (before I built Hendre Lane) I came across this tiny layout "Barber's Bridge"
I recall reading somewhere that the guy who built it, took it on a train journey, and actually ran it on the train (presumably with some sort of battery controller)
and I thought at the time that this layout was tiny. I even wondered about doing the same thing, but using a Peco 3 way point, and possibly squeezing the layout size even further.....

The layout mentioned earlier on "MicrO" was built by rmweb member Julian - I can't recall his rmweb username now... but someone with better memory will
Yes, this little layout does remind me of an OO version of Julian's tiny O gauge layout

I look forward to seeing this one progress. It's amazing how many designs people come up with, when space is at a premium :)

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Thank you everyone for you kind comments. I find them really motivating to do more work on the layout which is what this post is all about. Firstly I have installed a girder bridge that hides the entrance to the fiddle yard. This was scratch built out of 5mm foamboard and 10 thou plasticard. It was painted with a couple coats of humbrol acrylic number 78. Now that its glued in place I wish I had weathered it before glueing it to the back scene but oh well I will have the awkward task of weathering it as it is.post-32204-0-57892500-1519750819_thumb.jpg Next up I have printed of a very well priced industrial backscene from scale model railway scenery. This is currently just held in place with blue tack but it will be trimmed and fitted there in due course. post-32204-0-55355500-1519750902_thumb.jpg Work has also commenced on the loading dock that will be flat against the rear back scene. It has been cut out of 17mm scrap wood with a jigsaw and is awaiting some basic scenery on it. Tonight I will probably get the loading dock finished, the track painted and if I'm lucky get some buffer stops made. Thanks for looking and happy modeling!

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When I first started looking at planning an OO depot layout (before I built Hendre Lane) I came across this tiny layout "Barber's Bridge"

I recall reading somewhere that the guy who built it, took it on a train journey, and actually ran it on the train (presumably with some sort of battery controller)

and I thought at the time that this layout was tiny. I even wondered about doing the same thing, but using a Peco 3 way point, and possibly squeezing the layout size even further.....

 

The layout mentioned earlier on "MicrO" was built by rmweb member Julian - I can't recall his rmweb username now... but someone with better memory will

Yes, this little layout does remind me of an OO version of Julian's tiny O gauge layout

 

I look forward to seeing this one progress. It's amazing how many designs people come up with, when space is at a premium :)

Interesting to see Barber's Bridge get a mention in a thread about a layout being operable on a train, see http://www.carendt.com/small-layout-scrapbook/page-75a-july-2008/

From memory it was run from the on-train mains sockets, you can see a Roco LokMaus in Alan's hand in the photo.

 

Andi

Edited by Dagworth
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Interesting to see Barber's Bridge get a mention in a thread about a layout being operable on a train, see http://www.carendt.com/small-layout-scrapbook/page-75a-july-2008/

 

Andi

Hahah. That's brilliant! That is definitely something that i would like to do with this layout. Would enjoy the challenge of building a battery power controller as well.

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I'm the bloke who built "MicrO", which was in that issue of RM. It was exhibited just the once, at the RM Web show near Taunton. The traverser held a loco and one wagon. Each of the 3 tracks on the scenic section held two wagons. I put a black-painted mdf frame around the front of the layout to give the appearance of looking into a TV set or a fish tank; not one of my better ideas, in hindsight! I used Spratt and Winkle auto-couplings and they worked a treat. Good luck with this project, Luke. I'm afraid I became a bit bored with the limitations of shunting this wee layout quite quickly and it was soon sold on to someone who wanted it as an O gauge test track.  

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I'm the bloke who built "MicrO", which was in that issue of RM. It was exhibited just the once, at the RM Web show near Taunton. The traverser held a loco and one wagon. Each of the 3 tracks on the scenic section held two wagons. I put a black-painted mdf frame around the front of the layout to give the appearance of looking into a TV set or a fish tank; not one of my better ideas, in hindsight! I used Spratt and Winkle auto-couplings and they worked a treat. Good luck with this project, Luke. I'm afraid I became a bit bored with the limitations of shunting this wee layout quite quickly and it was soon sold on to someone who wanted it as an O gauge test track.

Hi Julian nice to meet you. I am currently using the slim style nem couplings on the layout with the idea of converting everything to kadees by the end of the year. About operation I noticed that there are 6 positions for wagons in the scenic section. I have allocated each position with a number from 1 to 6. I then roll a standard 6 sided dice for a particular wagon and have to shunt that wagon to that particular spot. I can see plenty of limitations compared to a larger shunting layout but hopefully with variations in stock I will be able to keep myself entertained for a bit. Thanks for looking.

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Hi Luke. Yes, I operated MicrO exactly as you have suggested. I used S&W couplings because I already had them and I knew they worked well if set up correctly. Good luck with this project - I'm sure it will be fun. I think one of my biggest gripes (self-induced) was that the black mdf frame I put around the front of MicrO and the high backscene/end boards rendered it hard to see what I was doing when it came to lining up the traverser and spotting the wagons - the whole visual element of the layout seemed a bit claustrophobic, if you see what I mean. Had it been more "open", it would have been more successful I reckon. Whatever loco you use to shunt the layout, it needs to be a good slow runner, that's a given. Best of luck!

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With all the snow and bad weather I'm getting plenty of time to work the the layout. It's looking like it will be finished in a week or two with the layout scenicly finished and fully operational. I've done some more work on the loading dock. The sides were covered with slaters brick plasticard sheet with super glue. Normal beach sand was then glued on the top. This was to add texture and a sense of bedded in grime to the layout. The first photo shows it before weathering and the second photo shows it after painting and weathering.

post-32204-0-29136300-1519893189_thumb.jpgpost-32204-0-62744100-1519893214_thumb.jpg With that done and glueing in place I could turn my attention to the buffer stops. Commercial ones would be too big and a bit pricy for what they are (30 grams of cheap moulded plastic). So I decided to make my own out of coffee stirrers. I took some rough measurements from a Hornby buffer stop and drew the design onto the wood. This was the cut out with a craft knife and scissors. The bits of wood were then stained in a black acrylic wash as seen in the photo below.post-32204-0-55884300-1519893536_thumb.jpg A couple drops of super glue and some dots of black to represent the grease marks later I had myself 3 rugged, weather beaten buffer stops. Not to bad as the basically cost me nothing to make just time.post-32204-0-55854800-1519893625_thumb.jpg The last bit of progress I have for you is the painting of the rails. This was done with a brush before and ballasting takes place. I mixed various shades of humbrol enamel browns and greys. I mixed it to eye with no particular ratio and thinned it down with some white spirit. It was the applied to both sides of the rails with a small paint brush. It takes time and patience and it was very fiddly to do the back rails but it was worth it.post-32204-0-96105100-1519893989_thumb.jpg That's all the progress so far but I will keep you all posted with any developments. Thanks for looking everyone and happy modeling! :)

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Right I've got some more progress to show you on the micro layout. I've gone and done the laborious and boring job of ballasting. For the ballast I used this special ballast that had been made for me by my good friend Jeff. Using sieves he scaled it down to the scale to what oo gauge ballast should be. It is a job that I wouldn't be keen to do but he very kindly gave me a bag of it so I thought that I would put it to good use. Before I ballasted I glued the loading dock down so I could ballast right up to it.post-32204-0-38234100-1520154257_thumb.jpg Whilst that was drying I made a start on the canopy for the loading dock. I was unsure with how I wanted it to look and what would look right so I spent some time researching and going through lots of prototype photos. In the end I based my design on one I saw in a picture of an American layout set it the 60s so right time period for me. I made a start with a 2mm plasticard base and a 1mm plasti card back. These were held together with super glue and held at right angles as the glue set off. Regular supports were made out of 1mm plasti card and were glued in place. I put these in place so I didn't get any unusual sags in the roof. They also help keep the canopy rigid and robust.post-32204-0-62652100-1520154486_thumb.jpg The canopy was topped with slaters plasti card corrugated iron. I cut a strip of the correct height then roughly cut a prototypical panel width. I then layed the roof panel by panel from left to right to give and uneven and more rustic appearance. Some of the panels are wonky and tilted to represent the decaying industry.post-32204-0-33157400-1520154640_thumb.jpg I then gave that a coat of a humbrol enamel grey colour. Whilst that was drying I made a start on the low relief building that uses the loading dock. Slaters brick sheet was backed onto corrugated cardboard, painted and weathered. Doors were made out of off cuts from scales scenes kits and the door runners were thin strips of 10 thou plasticard painted black and glued in place. Here is a picture of all that assembled and ready to go onto the layout.post-32204-0-68229300-1520154860_thumb.jpg Time for some final assembly. Firstly the low relief building was hot glue gunned in place. Initially I tried pva glue but it wasn't setting fast enough and the factory was pulling away from the back scene so I pulled it off, scrapped the pva off and fired up the hot glue gun. After that had cooled I then hot glue gunned the canopy on. I'm quite pleased how this basic scratch build has gone. It's my first time.scratch building an industrial building as I'm normally one scratch building rural buildings.post-32204-0-04247100-1520155033_thumb.jpg Next I hope to get a back scene glued on, weather the ballast and finish the factory with a name. That's all for now so happy modeling!

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I'm quite pleased how this basic scratch build has gone. 

 

And so you should be, particularly for a first time build. Really enjoying watching this develop - and you've given me ideas for a similar 009 version (must resist!).

 

How does the Lego(?) framed traverser work?

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