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The Billy Bookcase layouts

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2 minutes ago, Keith Addenbrooke said:

Is there a fiddle yard? 

 

I asked him that too. ;)

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A thought on design: if the layout is made a smidgen narrower than the shelf depth, there'd be room for a panel of false book spines to hide the layout. I can't see why one would want to do this though. On the other hand, if the fiddle yard is a simple stick tunneling through into the adjacent bookcase, there might still be depth enough for a shelf-full of real books - my paperbacks are two rows deep on a Billy. The books not only hide the fiddle-stick but can also be easily removed if access is needed - derailment,etc.

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I'm trying to plan the N gauge layout as there isn't much time to build it for September, especially with a weeks holiday in the way.

 

Neil's "Shell Island" has always been a model that has appealed to me. Looking at the blue Class 25 put me in mind of my favourite railway book, Stopping Train Britain by Alexander Frater.  Describing several journeys around the UK in 1982. I dug out my copy and looked through for ideas - and there are several if you like blue DMUs. 

 

This is handy, because I happened to have just such a train on the shelf.

 

N gauge layout.jpg

 

The first plan is based around Kato Unitrack for several reasons:

  • The points have built-in motors, and as I'm building on an Ikea shelf, there's no under-baseboard space even if I fancied hacking holes. 
  • Speed. No ballasting required, although some weathering might be a good idea.
  • Someone visiting the BRM stand at a show asked me if I could try it.

Drawing out the plan in AnyRail, it strikes me that even in N, this isn't a huge amount of space. The 2-car set is 30cm long, almost half the board. I want a siding for Speedlink traffic (Andy has a 26 I can borrow and I have a couple of wagons) so we need the sharpest points. Visually, it looks better to copy the Shell Island plan and kick back rather than just have a single point. I'm assuming that there was once a loop but this has been rationalised. One limit is there isn't flexi-track, so it's all going to look a bit straight, but working diagonally will help hide this.

 

I'd like to think thee will be space for a couple of non-railway buildings in the scene but will probably decide on them late in the day.

 

Anyway, what are your thoughts?

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35 minutes ago, Phil Parker said:

I'm trying to plan the N gauge layout as there isn't much time to build it for September, especially with a weeks holiday in the way.

 

Neil's "Shell Island" has always been a model that has appealed to me. Looking at the blue Class 25 put me in mind of my favourite railway book, Stopping Train Britain by Alexander Frater.  Describing several journeys around the UK in 1982. I dug out my copy and looked through for ideas - and there are several if you like blue DMUs. 

 

This is handy, because I happened to have just such a train on the shelf.

 

Anyway, what are your thoughts?

 

How about adding another point to increase play value? You'd then have a run round for the warehouse freight, & you could shunt whilst the DMU's held in the platform?

 

 

park.jpg

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43 minutes ago, Phil Parker said:

Hi Phil, this "two-point" layout is tried and tested, with many successful variations over the years in the field of micro-layouts. The other popular two-point approach (at no extra cost) is an Inglenook shunting puzzle. As you suggest having both passenger and freight operations I'd stick with the version you have though. It'll be interesting to see how the diagonal layout can help disguise the straight track.

It may not be possible to directly connect the Kato N track to your OO9 layout, but if you did find a way then one layout could become the fiddle yard for the other (even if perhaps only when no-one is looking). Just a thought.

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4 hours ago, Phil Parker said:

If I hide this in here, maybe no-one will notice.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdJ2aYcJ1Ho

 

Full details in the August issue of BRM, on sale in a couple of weeks.

 

Failed, I have. It's set me thinking about the Cabbies rest and what it would look like with different windows and a bit more b*gg*ring about than you've done from what I could see of your example.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Phil Parker said:

I'm trying to plan the N gauge layout as there isn't much time to build it for September, especially with a weeks holiday in the way.

 

Neil's "Shell Island" has always been a model that has appealed to me. Looking at the blue Class 25 put me in mind of my favourite railway book, Stopping Train Britain by Alexander Frater.  Describing several journeys around the UK in 1982. I dug out my copy and looked through for ideas - and there are several if you like blue DMUs. 

 

This is handy, because I happened to have just such a train on the shelf.

 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/monthly_2019_07/431597727_Ngaugelayout.jpg.ef4e2304d7e901c47f3a4ad613e2616e.jpg

 

The first plan is based around Kato Unitrack for several reasons:

  • The points have built-in motors, and as I'm building on an Ikea shelf, there's no under-baseboard space even if I fancied hacking holes. 
  • Speed. No ballasting required, although some weathering might be a good idea.
  • Someone visiting the BRM stand at a show asked me if I could try it.

Drawing out the plan in AnyRail, it strikes me that even in N, this isn't a huge amount of space. The 2-car set is 30cm long, almost half the board. I want a siding for Speedlink traffic (Andy has a 26 I can borrow and I have a couple of wagons) so we need the sharpest points. Visually, it looks better to copy the Shell Island plan and kick back rather than just have a single point. I'm assuming that there was once a loop but this has been rationalised. One limit is there isn't flexi-track, so it's all going to look a bit straight, but working diagonally will help hide this.

 

I'd like to think thee will be space for a couple of non-railway buildings in the scene but will probably decide on them late in the day.

 

Anyway, what are your thoughts?



Well, I'm not sure why (possibly the influence of Hobbs' Bridge) but that plan and the idea of a truncated line screamed 'Uxbridge High Street' to me. Put the railway on an old viaduct (that used to be dual) that ends harshly. Put a manky BR bus-stop on the platform, and possible relics of something greater.

 

 

Then I thought... Make the jarringly modern warehouse on the kickback siding two level, with a concrete lorry ramp running down into the area in front of the old viaduct.

 

Possibly fill the area in front of the station with a wholesale fruit market which is gradually becoming lorry-served, not rail-served?

 

Run Transfesa and other fruit van stock on your Speedlink service?

 

Ta-da, minimalist railway, urban 1980s style, but landscape not that of Shell Island...

 

Call it Pineapple Lane?

Edited by BackRoomBoffin
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Posted (edited)
23 hours ago, Phil Parker said:

The first plan is based around Kato Unitrack for several reasons:

  • The points have built-in motors, and as I'm building on an Ikea shelf, there's no under-baseboard space even if I fancied hacking holes. 
  • Speed. No ballasting required, although some weathering might be a good idea.
  • Someone visiting the BRM stand at a show asked me if I could try it.

Drawing out the plan in AnyRail, it strikes me that even in N, this isn't a huge amount of space. The 2-car set is 30cm long, almost half the board. I want a siding for Speedlink traffic (Andy has a 26 I can borrow and I have a couple of wagons) so we need the sharpest points. Visually, it looks better to copy the Shell Island plan and kick back rather than just have a single point. I'm assuming that there was once a loop but this has been rationalised. One limit is there isn't flexi-track, so it's all going to look a bit straight, but working diagonally will help hide this.

 

I'd like to think thee will be space for a couple of non-railway buildings in the scene but will probably decide on them late in the day.

 

Anyway, what are your thoughts?

The sharpest points are the #4 points. These can be problematic—some stock simply won't be able to negotiate them, so it would be best to check the stock you intend to use first (it's not a question of the radius). Also you will need to use the S60L or S60R sections as appropriate on the side of the points where the lines separate. As far as I can tell you haven't done this. Anyrail will let you connect any piece of track here, but it won't be physically possible in real life. (These sections are supplied with the points together with a couple of short straights and a piece of curved track.)

Another suggestion that's come to mind is to mount the shelf in a Billy "height extension" unit positioned upside down; this would give you a backscene too but you'd need to drill a hole in one of the ends to access a fiddle yard. It would enable you to access the underside, though. (The pegs to support the shelf come with it.)

Edited by D9020 Nimbus
Removed extra blank line.

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1 minute ago, D9020 Nimbus said:

The sharpest points are the #4 points. These can be problematic—some stock simply won't be able to negotiate them, so it would be best to check the stock you intend to use first (it's not a question of the radius). Also you will need to use the S60L or S60R sections as appropriate on the side of the points where the lines separate. As far as I can tell you haven't done this. Anyrail will let you connect any piece of track here, but it won't be physically possible in real life. (These sections are supplied with the points together with a couple of short straights and a piece of curved track.)

 

Good point about the S60L & R sections. It might be that this idea simply isn't practical if these make the points longer. Impossible to tell though without buying track!

 

Likewise, I can't test the stock on the track without buying it, however, I used the tight point on a previous layout and a GF Pannier negotiated it OK so I can't see shorter wheelbase diesels having an issue. 

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You're more likely to have problems with wagons in my experience. I find Peco N wagons derail every time but their 009 ones don't. Generally the newer models with finer wheels are likely to do better.

The #6 points don't have these issues but are 186mm in length (#4 are 124mm long.)

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On 03/07/2019 at 17:12, Phil Parker said:

...Neil's "Shell Island" has always been a model that has appealed to me. Looking at the blue Class 25 put me in mind of my favourite railway book, Stopping Train Britain by Alexander Frater.  Describing several journeys around the UK in 1982. I dug out my copy and looked through for ideas - and there are several if you like blue DMUs....

 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/monthly_2019_07/431597727_Ngaugelayout.jpg.ef4e2304d7e901c47f3a4ad613e2616e.jpg

 

...Drawing out the plan in AnyRail, it strikes me that even in N, this isn't a huge amount of space. The 2-car set is 30cm long, almost half the board. I want a siding for Speedlink traffic (Andy has a 26 I can borrow and I have a couple of wagons) so we need the sharpest points. Visually, it looks better to copy the Shell Island plan and kick back rather than just have a single point. I'm assuming that there was once a loop but this has been rationalised. One limit is there isn't flexi-track, so it's all going to look a bit straight, but working diagonally will help hide this.

If anyone's not yet seen the Oct BRM (out now) there's a lovely 6-page feature (pages 84-89) on the realisation of this design by the good Mr. P.

It's acknowledged as a quick build but it's been kept simple, which is fair enough.

A real atmosphere of rural space comes across in the photos - the digital edition also has a video I think. Scenic spaciousness is a known benefit of 2mm / N-scale modelling, but it's good to see it works in as small a space as a Billy bookcase layout. Although this was a concern when the plan was introduced (see above quote), it looks to me like there was no need to worry. In my view: "Highly recommended," as the experts say.

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On 10/04/2019 at 11:12, Compound2632 said:

 

But wouldn't turning it sideways - effectively on its back - be against the spirit of the exercise? One might as well lay the whole bookcase on its back and build a 76 cm x 94 cm N gauge or 009 roundy-roundy on the backboard.

 

A somewhat risky venture as the bookshelf backboards are a pair of flimsy thin hardboard sheets.

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1 minute ago, sharris said:

 

A somewhat risky venture as the bookshelf backboards are a pair of flimsy thin hardboard sheets.

 

... but it would be nice and noisy while it lasted.

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9 hours ago, Keith Addenbrooke said:

If anyone's not yet seen the Oct BRM (out now) there's a lovely 6-page feature (pages 84-89) on the realisation of this design by the good Mr. P.

It's acknowledged as a quick build but it's been kept simple, which is fair enough.

A real atmosphere of rural space comes across in the photos - the digital edition also has a video I think. Scenic spaciousness is a known benefit of 2mm / N-scale modelling, but it's good to see it works in as small a space as a Billy bookcase layout. Although this was a concern when the plan was introduced (see above quote), it looks to me like there was no need to worry. In my view: "Highly recommended," as the experts say.

 

Thanks for this. I'm pleased with the look and it was an interesting project. It's the one layout of the trio that has space as you say, not easy in such a tiny space!

 

Finished Billy N.jpg

 

 

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We filmed the final installment today, Phil's done a cracking job on the OO shelf.

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On ‎20‎/‎09‎/‎2019 at 20:13, AY Mod said:

We filmed the final installment today, Phil's done a cracking job on the OO shelf.

Agreed - it comes across well in the November BRM.

 

Is there any possibility of showing (here or in BRM) a photo of the three layouts side by side (or one above the other on a bookcase) for comparative purposes: it might be interesting to see them together?  Just wondered.

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The full set.

N gauge

Finished N.jpg

009

Finished 009.jpg

OO gauge

Finished 00.jpg

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Phil you have produced three lovely billy bookcase layouts, can I ask where you purchased the baseboard for your OO gauge layout.

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4 hours ago, Bo-Bo said:

Phil you have produced three lovely billy bookcase layouts, can I ask where you purchased the baseboard for your OO gauge layout.

 

Thanks very much. The OO baseboard is from Tim Horne. 

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