Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Here we go......

 

I have always had a great interest in micro-layouts and have been planning a new project for quite a while. I have finally decided to finally break cover and show my cards in public. So, just to prove I do occasionally attempt some modelling and don't spend my entire time in this parish commenting on the 'Football Focus' thread...... 

 

Over the last 6 or 7 years I have very much been an armchair modeller. This is due to a combination of circumstances including working away, somewhat transient living arrangements but mainly a lack of mojo arising from some severe health problems. However, during this period I have kept up my interest in railways but have not really done anything practical or creative on the modelling front. 

 

My interests are firmly in industrial, minor and light railways, both in the prototype and modelling worlds. I like the eclectic, run down and off the beaten track (no pun intended!). I built a small 009 shunting layout over a decade ago and successfully exhibited it throughout the North East and beyond. However, I then had a period where I started countless micro-layouts, both standard and narrow gauge, none of which got anywhere near completion. I got a bit disillusioned with myself and my lack of focus and 'stick-a-bility'. 

 

A couple of years ago I decided I needed a fresh start and traded-in all my 4mm scale stock at my local model shop. To be honest I found this very liberating and enjoyed the process of de-cluttering and starting again. My uncle has been a 0 gauge modeller for decades; he originally followed the GWR but in recent years he has returned to his first love of German railways. I have helped him exhibit his layouts across the country, something I have really enjoyed, with his modelling proving an inspiration to me. Whilst I had long wanted to model in the 'big lads' scale, I had never thought it practical from either a space or financial point of view. However, I want to beat this anxiety and, as I have the opportunity for a completely clean slate, I have now decided to stop procrastinating.

 

My entry into the 0 gauge world has been a (very!!) slow burner, but I am determined to get a little modelling project underway to give me a focus and a goal to work towards. Recent events in my personal life have helped me to put many things into context, hammering home the point that our time here is all too short. We shouldn't put-off because we don't know what tomorrow brings. If it doesn't work out then it isn't the end of the world, it's only a trainset after all!! The aim is to help restore my extremely low self-confidence, which has taken a real kicking over recent years and to provide some personal therapy.

 

Due to my current transient living arrangements I am extremely resticted for space. I also have very limited funds to commit to modelling, having a shoestring budget to work with. I am planning to build a small shunting layout in due course but, before I even attempt that, I have decided to dip my toe in the water through a micro-layout. Actually it is somewhat disingenuous to even call it a 'layout' given the size of the project, so I won't insult your intelligence by doing so; perhaps it is better described as a 'working diorama' or 'cameo' instead. I look on the epic projects and fantastic work of fellow modellers here with awe; the vision, drive, commitment and personal investment that other modellers show is something I can only admire from afar. Now from the outset I understand this will not be everybody's cup of tea and that many will think it is literally and metaphorically a pointless exercise!! So, if by any miracle you have got this far, I thank you!! There will not be any finescale modelling on show, there will be plenty of mistakes along the way and the finished project (if I even manage to reach that point) will certainly not pull up any trees. However, hopefully I will derive some enjoyment and personal reward out of the process. I'm not expecting this to be a quick process, my interest in micro railways has to compare with my other interests, notably following Gateshead FC and being an active brass musician. 

 

Wherever possible, I will recycle, re-use and scrounge materials for the layout. This means making use of all that 'stuff' that I have squirelled away and have accumulated over the years and the bits and pieces rescued from other abandoned projects. Overall, the objective is to prove that a tiny 0 gauge layout can be built at a low cost, in a small space, with no special materials or resources and by a 'modeller' (I use that term very loosely) of extremely limited ability.

 

It is going to have to be highly portable as I am divide my time between 'home' and my 'digs' where I spend most of my time. Linked to this, I have always had a desire to construct a layout that can be carted around on public transport. On the surface this seems to be an almost impossible task in 7mm scale, however, with thoughtful design, it might just have potential and I will attempt to rise to the challenge.

 

Anyway enough of my waffle...... this is an awfully long introduction for a piece of real estate measuring only 116cm long!! Progress is likely to be glacial but more details, further updates and some photos will follow as I (hopefully) make a little progress. 

 

David 

Edited by south_tyne
Updated thread title
  • Like 16
  • Friendly/supportive 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking forward to seeing more...will it be a slate carrying layout with narrow gauge [0-14] feeder siding....?

 

Dava

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

David

 

Thank you for sharing your background with us in such a frank manner. So pleased that you have a project to get your teeth into, and look forward to watching your progress.

 

I can empathise with your recent history as I am sure many others can. I too have been where you were and am trying to model my way out of my "doldrums".

 

Why, RMweb, can we only select one of the 'reactions'? So often I am torn between two...

 

Regards, Bill. 

Edited by Bill_J
changed work to model
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

David

 

“If it doesn't work out then it isn't the end of the world, it's only a trainset after all!! “

 

Absolutely spot on, we can’t all be finescale modellers and scratch build everything ( I certainly haven’t the skills or the willingness to learn or the time or dedication to do so)

 

Like you my railway modelling is only one only one of my pursuits and as you say life is to short.

 

And if you make a mistake, don’t tell anyone.

 

I wish you well with your new project.

 

Terry 

 

 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Dava said:

Looking forward to seeing more...will it be a slate carrying layout with narrow gauge [0-14] feeder siding....?

 

Dava

 

Thanks Dave! 

 

This little project won't include any narrow gauge (only on the basis there isn't room!) but the proposed proper layout to follow will hopefully include an 0-14 feeder and some of those lovely rugga skips! 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Bill_J said:

David

 

Thank you for sharing your background with us in such a frank manner. So pleased that you have a project to get your teeth into, and look forward to watching your progress.

 

I can empathise with your recent history as I am sure many others can. I too have been where you were and am trying to model my way out of my "doldrums".

 

Why, RMweb, can we only select one of the 'reactions'? So often I am torn between two...

 

Regards, Bill. 

 

Thanks for your kind words Bill. I do find the support I folk around here to be very helpful. I am if the mindset of trying to complete one little task a day; even if it's only a small 10 minute job, at least I have done something. Hopefully this will be beneficial for me on a number of levels. 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, ELTEL said:

David

 

“If it doesn't work out then it isn't the end of the world, it's only a trainset after all!! “

 

Absolutely spot on, we can’t all be finescale modellers and scratch build everything ( I certainly haven’t the skills or the willingness to learn or the time or dedication to do so)

 

Like you my railway modelling is only one only one of my pursuits and as you say life is to short.

 

And if you make a mistake, don’t tell anyone.

 

I wish you well with your new project.

 

Terry 

 

 

 

Thanks Terry! I am certainly not the world's most talented modeller (and probaby not the most talented in my street! :laugh_mini:) but if I can gain some enjoyment from it that is all that matters. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So the initial graft has been done. A baseboard of 116cm by 26cm has been knocked together from various offcuts and remains of abandoned projects. I've actually split it into two but have added some hinges so that it folds down into a more manageable size. Backscene, end-boards and fascias have been cut from the remains of an old desk. 

 

The diorama will consist of two sidings hidden by a short traverser. Literally pointless, the idea is that it will be operated as a shunting puzzle, with a set number of wagons needing to be shuffled and rearranged into an order, randomly determined by some cards. 

 

So here is the current state of play. Track and wagons placed to provide context and some temporary cereal packet buildings knocked together to give and example of how the scene is intended to develop.

 

You should now understand why I am reluctant to call this a layout! :blush: Current cost is nill..... everything being recycled. 

 

20190630_125827.jpg

  • Like 13

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love the sound of this, brilliant!

I've been looking at bigger scale myself and would have similar constraints to you in many ways, not least being it would be mainly scratch built on a miserly budget! cheque book bloke I'm certainly not !!

I look forward to seeing your set up develop..:good_mini:

  • Like 2
  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent. Your story is one I recognise, suffering similar issues myself (last completed layout in 2013). 0 gauge is calling but, with a baby on the way, am unsure I can justify the outlay. 

 

Board looks good, super start, keep the mojo going! 

  • Friendly/supportive 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Porkscratching said:

I love the sound of this, brilliant!

I've been looking at bigger scale myself and would have similar constraints to you in many ways, not least being it would be mainly scratch built on a miserly budget! cheque book bloke I'm certainly not !!

I look forward to seeing your set up develop..:good_mini:

 

9 hours ago, 1722 said:

Excellent. Your story is one I recognise, suffering similar issues myself (last completed layout in 2013). 0 gauge is calling but, with a baby on the way, am unsure I can justify the outlay. 

 

Board looks good, super start, keep the mojo going! 

 

Thanks guys. Honestly, making the move to 0 gauge is the best decision I ever made. I have one loco and about half a dozen wagons but it suffices for my needs. Ultimately 7mm scale need not be expensive, Ixion/Minerva have done wonderful things producing locos at a very affordable price, not that much more than 4mm scale locos. There are some great kids available and plenty of second-hand goodies to be picked up cheaply.

 

It's an age-old cliche, but one which I have found to be very true, that for a similar space you may need 5 or 6 locos and 25 wagons in 4mm scale but only 2 locos and a dozen wagons in 7mm scale. Therefore the financial outlay won't be any greater.

 

The scale and mass of 0 gauge is simply wonderful too. Actually I find all jobs, even the most mundane of tasks, far more enjoyable in the larger scale. It obviously just suits me far better! 

 

Anyway, don't waste time procrastinating like me, just give it a go! I want down the road of trading-in my stuff and I am still 'in the black', so the outlay on my 0 gauge adventure is currently actually negative! :laugh_mini:

 

Dave  

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your pic of the basic 'box' illustrates how much potential there is in a space no bigger than a little desk top, you've already been inspirational right there !

I'm looking at building wagons and locos from scratch too...there's economical ( ie mean & stingy ;) ) !

  • Like 2
  • Friendly/supportive 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice baseboard construction, it’s great to see that 7mm scale can be used in a small space. Looking forward to seeing more of your progress.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Porkscratching said:

Your pic of the basic 'box' illustrates how much potential there is in a space no bigger than a little desk top, you've already been inspirational right there !

I'm looking at building wagons and locos from scratch too...there's economical ( ie mean & stingy ;) ) !

 

That's the idea - basically that it can be set up in any environment, on a desk, a kitchen table or even a bed. That reflects my own rather transient existence at present but I hope it can be useful for others too. I'm glad my little project has providing a little inspiration for you. Economical is good, as another stingey fellow I'm always looking for ways to save a bit of money!

 

4 hours ago, OOman said:

Nice baseboard construction, it’s great to see that 7mm scale can be used in a small space. Looking forward to seeing more of your progress.

 

If you saw it close up you wouldn't be saying that! It's definitely a bodge job!! :laugh_mini: 

 

  • Funny 1
  • Friendly/supportive 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great project David, though a small area there is potential for some excellent scenic modelling plus the fact that it is likely to be finished quickly.

I built one a while ago using a small, 4ft ish x 9" mdf panel from a new fire surround. Initially planned to build a photo plank with a single track it soon took on a life of it's own and though not quite finished it is now a functioning diorama.

 

 Pete.

 

IMG_1005.JPG

IMG_1003.JPG

IMG_1023.JPG

  • Like 11
  • Informative/Useful 1
  • Craftsmanship/clever 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, [email protected]()1989))(( said:

Great project David, though a small area there is potential for some excellent scenic modelling plus the fact that it is likely to be finished quickly.

I built one a while ago using a small, 4ft ish x 9" mdf panel from a new fire surround. Initially planned to build a photo plank with a single track it soon took on a life of it's own and though not quite finished it is now a functioning diorama.

 

 Pete.

 

IMG_1005.JPG

IMG_1003.JPG

IMG_1023.JPG

 

Thanks very much for sharing Pete, your diorama looks cracking. If I can do something to anything like that standard then I will be very happy. I love the scenic work and those buildings, particularly the derelict house; great modelling and shows what can be done in such a tight space. 

 

I just want to say a general thank you for the kind words and encouragement guys, I really appreciate it. I must admit, I was in two minds as to whether to post anything about the layout at all, given that it is so small and with my very questionable abilities, but it has really given my self-confidence a boost to get a few nice constructive comments. 

 

I've made a little more progress today - painted the backscenes a simple pale blue colour, using one of those little 'tester pots' from Wilko. Couple of coats this afternoon have helped to get rid of that bare timber look. I also got a black pit too to do the endboards and facias - maybe a job for tomorrow if I have time. 

 

One of the reasons I love micro-layouts is because you can quickly make progress in small manageable chunks. It also allows you to practice the full range of skills and techniques requires for  building a layout in a short space of time. I'm finding this very useful after such a long period of stagnation.  

 

My proposed 'proper' layout to follow is to be based around an agricultural tramway - think Wissington for inspiration. This little snaphot may become a tiny cameo of that idea, but I need to give some really careful thought as to how that would look. 

 

Dave 

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very glad you did decide to post this Dave,  bear in mind we also got to see Pete's great piece too thanks to your post!:good_mini:

I have a feeling perhaps that small layouts / dioramas are the future in many ways, lots of folk don't have the resources, time, space, bank accounts, etc etc to do massive layouts that look like the old approach to Newcastle or something ! 

  • Like 4
  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This looks lovely, the track passing between the two buildings reminds me of White Swan Yard in Gt Yarmouth.

  • Like 1
  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, d&h said:

This looks lovely, the track passing between the two buildings reminds me of White Swan Yard in Gt Yarmouth.

To be honest that was my inspiration.

I will have to start a separate thread as I took quite a few photos during the build.

 

Pete.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like the look of what you've done so far Dave. Also pleased to see that you're a fan of the 'Heed! May see you a week on Saturday or even April 18th!! 

 

Disgusting of Market Harborough

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Bungus the Fogeyman said:

Like the look of what you've done so far Dave. Also pleased to see that you're a fan of the 'Heed! May see you a week on Saturday or even April 18th!! 

 

Disgusting of Market Harborough

 

Thanks Mr Fogeyman! As one of the masters of the micro-layout I have found your work inspirational over the years. Saxlingham and Snape were particular favourites of mine; most of my family live in East Anglia and I had a spell working down in Suffolk, living in the metropolis that is Campsea Ashe of all places! :laugh_mini:

 

First to the important matters...... Yes I am a Heed season ticket holder and all-round fanatic for my sins! Looking forward to playing Kettering again, I have a lot of empathy for the club as you have also been through the mill in recent years, to a greater extent than our recent tribulations. I'm thinking about making the away trip in a couple of weeks, as it'll be another new ground to tick of the list. 

 

Back to the trivial matters of toy trains... made a little more progress yesterday and got the fascias and endboards painted. It is a joy of these small projects that progress is so rapid. Twenty minutes last night and it is really starting to move forward. 

 

20190719_134543.jpg

Edited by south_tyne
Added photo
  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Next jobs are to look at painting the track, wiring and having more of a think about the traverser. The successful operation of that is going to be key to the diorama being effective. 

 

Edited by south_tyne
Clarification
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, [email protected]()1989))(( said:

To be honest that was my inspiration.

I will have to start a separate thread as I took quite a few photos during the build.

 

Pete.

 

That prototype in Yarmouth has always been one of my favourites. It would be great if you started a thread as I would love to see more :good_mini:

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, OOman said:

Your layout is starting to take shape nicely, it’s always nice when some track is finally layed.

 

You're right, it quickly helps to bring it to life. Track is not properly down at the moment. Below is an photo (before I painted the backscene) with some cereal packet buildings to try and give an impression of how the 3d scene could look. The scenic break is a bit of a puzzler - current thinking is maybe a pipe gantry or footbridge as a view blocker.  

 

 

 

20190704_151346.jpg

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.