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Johnson52

Making a start in hand built track.

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Hi all, 

 

I am fairly new to the forum posting wise but I’m fancying building a layout using some hand built track. 

 

I had planned to use some old SMP copper clad I’ve taken up from an old club layout but I recently found a plastic based SMP kit cheap on eBay, got the bug just from this kit. 

 

Down side is they only do the kit in 36” turnout and I want to do a dmu stabling which ideally would be smaller turnouts. 

 

So now looking at the SMP copper clad kits, the Dcc Concepts legacy and C&L kit. 

 

I’ve been advised to get a copy of Iain Rice’s finescale track book, finding a copy is the only issue. 

 

Hope to update people as I progress but here’s where I’m at now. 

 

 

 

 

645A7C78-A604-402E-A97E-3AFA109F5638.jpeg

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Given the cost of copperclad strip now ,using plastic timbers and chairs is both cost effective and in my opinion easier. The added bonus is the look !! something blobs of solder cannot reproduce

 

Certainly the Exactoscale turnout timbers 4XX PCT0 at £2.30 for 62 timbers of varying lengths ( enough for 2.5 turnouts)

500 standard chairs for £23 will make about 6 turnouts

100 slide chairs for just under £10 also about 6 turnouts

 

In comparison a pack of Copperclad timbers is about £18 for enough for 3 turnouts, as you can see the cost is on a par with each other and many find glueing easier than soldering

 

Now careful searches on eBay can result in finding items well below RRP

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5 hours ago, Johnson52 said:

I’ve been advised to get a copy of Iain Rice’s finescale track book, finding a copy is the only issue.

 

Found you one on Amazon... 

 

 

rice.jpg.389c91435345f465127d3059bfab3825.jpg

 

How much? :o

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Or use ply sleepers with plastic chairs and some 0.6mm copperclad.

 

Gordon A

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The 2mm Scale Association's book Track is also excellent. Some of it is, of course, 2mm specific, but most of the content is packed with information applicable to any scale. I can't remember whether it's available to non-members.

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3 hours ago, PatB said:

The 2mm Scale Association's book Track is also excellent. Some of it is, of course, 2mm specific, but most of the content is packed with information applicable to any scale. I can't remember whether it's available to non-members.

 

Anyone can buy it from the 2mm Association stand at shows, I hav bought it and the point rodding booklet, I got both at various times at Railex.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 23/07/2019 at 10:28, Johnson52 said:

I’ve been advised to get a copy of Iain Rice’s finescale track book, finding a copy is the only issue. 

 

On a slightly more serious note than my previous post... 

 

While the book certainly is a good read (from other comments I've seen, Rice's style is somewhat like finescale marmite - it's a love/hate thing), having picked up tips from this forum I've noticed it is a bit incomplete in some areas, and Rice is somewhat fond of going for the bodge. For example, one thing not really covered is 'straight planing' on the curved stock-rail - Rice isn't alone in this as I've mentioned in another thread the C&L instructions don't mention it either. 

Edited by sharris

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I have done point building on my layout of Merstone using SMP rail and sleepers for the straight track but when it came to the points the track is a continuation of the rail and the points were built in situ to give gentle flowing lines with no dogs legs of reverse curves. I have used the copper clad strip. The picture below is an old one from 2015 so a lot has changed since then. The trackwork on Merstone is to a minimum of 5 foot radius.

WORK 6.jpg

WORK 7.jpg

HS_016_STATION_TRAIN_WAITING.jpg

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Thanks all for the great responses, really appreciated, currently away but once home this weekend should have a copy of Iain Rice’s book waiting for me. 

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Posted (edited)
On 23/07/2019 at 15:49, sharris said:

 

Found you one on Amazon... 

 

 

 

How much? https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/emoticons/default_ohmy.png

 

or here for just over £20:

https://www.abebooks.co.uk/servlet/SearchResults?isbn=9781874103004&n=100121503&cm_sp=mbc-_-ISBN-_-used

I need a new (another) copy too, as mine's [email protected]!

 

Edited by Tim Dubya

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The one thing I would say about Iain Rice's book is that it is slightly dated. There's lots of good common sense stuff and (if you like his style) it's an entertaining as well as informative read, but IIRC it was written just about the time that C&L moulded track bases were first coming onto the market, so close on 30 years or so ago. If it was being written today, I'd expect it to discuss 3d printing of parts and Templot and such like.

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From memory there is apparently a good book about track building in 2 mm scale, most of the processes are much the same in the more modest scales

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, hayfield said:

From memory there is apparently a good book about track building in 2 mm scale, most of the processes are much the same in the more modest scales

 

That would be the 2mm Scale Association book "Track", mentioned several times up thread...

 

On 24/07/2019 at 03:56, PatB said:

The 2mm Scale Association's book Track is also excellent. Some of it is, of course, 2mm specific, but most of the content is packed with information applicable to any scale. I can't remember whether it's available to non-members.

 

On 24/07/2019 at 08:00, Izzy said:

You can buy either here without being a member:

 

http://www.2mm.org.uk/products/

 

Izzy

 

Edited by melmoth
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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, melmoth said:

so close on 30 years or so ago

 

Tim's Abe link gives the publication date as 1991. 

 

Just out of interest, Templot's birth was sort-of-contemporaneous, although maybe not as well known then as now - Martin's 'History of Templot' page ( http://templot.com/martweb/templot_history.htm ) says he had a version working on the Atari ST at the end of the 80's (and prior to that a 6502 based version, although not as we'd recognise it today!) 

 

 

 

Edited by sharris
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32 minutes ago, sharris said:

Tim's Abe link gives the publication date as 1991. 

 

Just out of interest, Templot's birth was sort-of-contemporaneous, although maybe not as well known then as now - Martin's 'History of Templot' page ( http://templot.com/martweb/templot_history.htm ) says he had a version working on the Atari ST at the end of the 80's (and prior to that a 6502 based version, although not as we'd recognise it today!)

 

It's hard to believe it is 20 years since that was written. There is a more up-to-date explanation for users of the origins of Templot here: http://templot.com/companion/origins_intent.php

 

Also, for some hobby response to Templot in 1980, see: http://85a.co.uk/forum/view_postx.php?post_id=23709

 

cheers,

 

Martin.

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18 minutes ago, martin_wynne said:

Also, for some hobby response to Templot in 1980, see: http://85a.co.uk/forum/view_postx.php?post_id=23709

 

"Poring over graph paper" - I remember those days, although for me back then it was designing bit-mapped character sets for my computer (another 6502 based system at that time) rather than laying out track formations, and a bit later on laying out PCBs by hand - although to save my somewhat younger eyes, my university photo-etching department took 2x masters so I could design on 0.2" grid graph paper and tape over the design with 2x transfers. 

 

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As an alternative to purchasing old books at extortionate prices you can just go to Hayfields topic on here, which pretty well covers all the bases.,  (Its not all P4, in fact mostly its not P4)

 

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The principals in building track certainly in 4 mm scale are much the same whatever gauge you are using, also just a few differences between scales, but again the principals are similar. I think getting started is the hardest part and sadly cheap, basic kits are now not available. Long gone are the days of buying a cheap SMP kit at the model shop, having said this the instructions and plans were not very good.

 

I have spoken with Phil at C&L about this, but it is something that is hard to address. Which is a great pity as in my opinion a very basic starter kit could encourage a few more to have a go. On the other hand perhaps not that many are interested in having a go. 

 

Granted with P4 the tolerances are a bit finer than EM or 00 gauge, but in the main the gauges you use sort this out.  The differences between 4 & 7 mm scale are mainly the amount of material that has to be cut/filed away, and the heat required to solder the thicker rails

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On 12/08/2019 at 18:43, hayfield said:

I have spoken with Phil at C&L about this, but it is something that is hard to address. Which is a great pity as in my opinion a very basic starter kit could encourage a few more to have a go. On the other hand perhaps not that many are interested in having a go. 

 

 

It's the cost of turnout kits that put some people off, they're £57:00 a pop at the moment, which I appreciate include pre-made common crossings at a cost for pre-assembly.  If you're not at all confident that's a lot of wedge to throw away, so is off putting.   
It's a difficult one, a kit of raw materials might be the way forward at a lower RRP but again you'd need to know how to file v's and point blades, and if you're anything like me will need the jigs [from EMGS in my case].


 

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On 12/08/2019 at 15:34, martin_wynne said:

 

It's hard to believe it is 20 years since that was written. There is a more up-to-date explanation for users of the origins of Templot here: http://templot.com/companion/origins_intent.php

 

Also, for some hobby response to Templot in 1980, see: http://85a.co.uk/forum/view_postx.php?post_id=23709

 

cheers,

 

Martin.

 

Anyone considering using templot should read the origins post first, I have been using it to create single templates but having read that post the design of the software now makes far more sense.

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1 hour ago, Tim Dubya said:

 

It's the cost of turnout kits that put some people off, they're £57:00 a pop at the moment, which I appreciate include pre-made common crossings at a cost for pre-assembly.  If you're not at all confident that's a lot of wedge to throw away, so is off putting.   
It's a difficult one, a kit of raw materials might be the way forward at a lower RRP but again you'd need to know how to file v's and point blades, and if you're anything like me will need the jigs [from EMGS in my case].


 

 

 

Tim

 

As I said its a great pity there are not cheap introductory kits available, in fact I was speaking with Phil earlier about selling his turnout kits (chair and timber pack) with a couple of bits of rail and a plan. Phil sells point (turnout) kits which are timbers and chairs for £14.50, a couple of bits of rail will only add a few pounds to the cost. The packs consist of 50 timbers (small to medium turnouts use 30-35, 140 standard chairs and 40 slide chairs. so there are plenty of spare chairs, you will also need about 1.5 meters of rail. A rough calculation 2 turnout packs have sufficient parts for 3 turnouts (10 yards of rail cost £14.50). So in theory the components for a turnout is in the region of £12. You will as in the old SMP kits have to file up the Vees and switch rails, but this is all part of the learning process

 

Jigs are a nice to have and if you intend to make a few items worth the investment. But not a necessity, modellers have been building turnouts and crossings for 80+ years without these jigs

 

If anyone is close to mid Essex I am happy for them to pop round for an afternoon of a bit of basic tuition/assistance. 

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56 minutes ago, Campaman said:

 

Anyone considering using templot should read the origins post first, I have been using it to create single templates but having read that post the design of the software now makes far more sense.

 

There are very easy tuitions via Templot Club for both basic and more complicated functions

 

Single turnouts and crossings now are very easy to male, as there is a great variety of automated templates available, its a simple step from making these templates to creating basic track plans.

 

Its now click and play 

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