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Having built baseboards I now need to buy track. I have a large amount of GWR rolling stock and locomotives to use so the layout is destined to be GWR. It would seem I have two choices for track. Marcway or C&L. However, unless I have it wrong, the C&L track would have to be hand built to be able to use the correct GWR chairs. I have looked at the C&L website and they sell 25 lengths of 1 yard and that would make my life much easier but it doesn't appear to be correct for GWR. Does anyone have any suggestions please

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Exactoscale products are available through the Scalefour society's store as an alternative supplier.  However, I think the fundamental question over accuracy versus convenience is one that only you can answer.  You either hand build track with the correct company pattern of chairs, or you accept a more generic typical BR pattern for convenience.  I know which one I would choose, but that choice really needs to be made by you.

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Do you want accurate P4 track for the model you are building, or do you want nominal P4 dimensioned track and are not worried about the finer points?

Answer that question and you will know where you are going.

If you choose the accurate version do not forget to use the correct length track panels and the correct point blades and rails.

A good collection of prototype track photos would be a big help if you go for accurate track.

Whatever you decide I would go for the new Peco BH joiners. While not 100% correct they don't look too bad and do make for a positive joint.

Bernard

 

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Herbert

 

Exactoscale do panels of plain track without chairs @ 60' £3 per pack  45' £2.50 per pack all panels have 12" sleepers at both ends

 

P4 bases, 24 sleepers/60ft panel (10 half panels) 4NT PL24

P4 bases, 26 sleepers/60ft panel (10 half panels) 4NT PL26

P4 bases, 18 sleepers/45ft panel (10 panels)  4NT PL18

 

Or panels of plain track with 3 bolt chairs  4FT 101A  or 4FT 102A which is gauge widened  @ £8.50 per 2 meter pack (no rail supplied), the bases are in half panels at 24 sleeper per panel, with 12" sleepers at both ends, the chairs have no keys

 

For the bases without chairs you can use either the Exactoscale 2 bolt chairs, or very soon C&L will have their new 2 bolt sprues available, the sprues include 10 standard chairs, 2 bridge chairs and 2 J chairs plus 2 fishplates

 

871.jpeg.33b553efd038cdba1953878fc8dcd31d.jpeg872.jpeg.c90e77790708615e105e8cb7c4c77c66.jpeg

 

These are pre-production samples of the 3 bolt chairs (which have showed up a couple of issues), right hand photo showing the bridge and J chairs (left) then std chairs. The 2 bolt chairs will be in the same format but to the 2 bolt design. The left hand photo shows the fishplates (H shaped like the Exactoscale ones) upper normal, lower reinforced. I believe they will be available early in the new year

 

873.jpeg.1bd1d90e1e42f63300a17ff4752412f2.jpeg870.jpeg.1d34c89628ca8c61bd2679dc9913de95.jpeg

 

These fishplates will also be available separately as well. right photo is of the design drawings, the second set of fishplates are the ones to be sold separately 

 

Edited by hayfield
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Can I also suggest that when building turnouts and crossings the Exactoscale 4XX PCT0  Point and crossing timbers (62 - various lengths) to my mind is the most versatile available, makes over 2 large turnouts and crossings, has the longest Long Timbers and is only £2 a pack

 

Also do look at the complete range of special chairs, whilst designed for 3 bolt use certain parts can be used/adapted to work with  2 bolt chairs, not too certain about C&L with 2 bolt slide chairs. Modelu do 3D printed 2 bolt slide chairs

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Hi Herbert,

 

This may be a stupid question but: Is your large inventory of rolling stock all to P4 standards?

 

You didn't specify this above and, if not, it could have a significant part to play in the choice of track standard.

 

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Gentlemen! I am most grateful for your prompt replies and the detailed replies from Hayfield and others.

 

If I may clarify. My father bought a large amount of rolling stock and locomotives. I recall that my brother and I took him to the Cheltenham Model Railway shop as we were in the area. He then asked if they could supply from his list. This "list" turned out to be four sides of a double foolscap sheet and he paid £200 plus for 5 or more big boxes and that was in 1982. Some of the order was made of duplicates of a particular wagon or tank. I think he must have been "saving up". It was his usual practice, once RM had arrived, to go through all the classifieds at the front and mark out all the "Company Owned" trucks, tanks etc and this list was what he brought with him on that Saturday.  There are  40 plus boxes of rolling stock and locomotives and most have never been out of their boxes. Not even to roll back and forth along a piece of track. Thus I suspect that I shall be changing a few wheel sets.

My  choice of P4 was and is based upon a desire to "do it once and do it right". While people like Tony Wright have produced lovely layouts in OO gauge somehow it just doesn't look right. I have some of my father's old Trix HO locomotives and on 16.5 track they look correct. Stick a 4mm/OO beside it and it looks like an elephant standing on the legs of a giraffe. That may not be too kind to those that use OO but those that use either EM or P4 might understand.

I take note of the Exactoscale suggested and anything that makes life easy or easier is interesting. My proposed layout is probably too grand but why not build something big (theoretically) and tone it down as the building of it progresses? (Or my patience and stamina fade into the distance). Perhaps I could join the Scalefour Society. 

Thank you once again.

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Depending where you live, there is a good chance of there being a group of P4 modellers.

I recommend that you join the Scalefour Society and benefit from Society support.

 

Gordon A

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Sadly most of the models from that time are not to scale and lack the detail of more recent models.

The locomotives are not worth converting to P4 as their running qualities will be far inferior to any modern loco.

Not to mention that P4 modelling is supposed to be all about getting all parts of a model to a high standard.

I fear that you are rather out of your depth.

You will not be changing a few wheel sets. You will be changing all of them and probably having to add some form of suspension to many of them.

I would suggest that you lay a small amount of 00 track and have a play with the stock that you have and find out just what works and what does not.

Conversions of a lot of the stock will be difficult and almost certainly not worth the effort.

Meeting up with other experienced modellers would be a good idea and then you can find out just what work is involved.

The last thing I want to do is dampen your enthusiasm but it is better to know now where your journey might lead before you are too far in.

Bernard

 

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3 minutes ago, Bernard Lamb said:

Sadly most of the models from that time are not to scale and lack the detail of more recent models.

The locomotives are not worth converting to P4 as their running qualities will be far inferior to any modern loco.

Not to mention that P4 modelling is supposed to be all about getting all parts of a model to a high standard.

I fear that you are rather out of your depth.

You will not be changing a few wheel sets. You will be changing all of them and probably having to add some form of suspension to many of them.

I would suggest that you lay a small amount of 00 track and have a play with the stock that you have and find out just what works and what does not.

Conversions of a lot of the stock will be difficult and almost certainly not worth the effort.

Meeting up with other experienced modellers would be a good idea and then you can find out just what work is involved.

The last thing I want to do is dampen your enthusiasm but it is better to know now where your journey might lead before you are too far in.

Bernard

 

Hmmm.  Not sure I agree with the points you're making.  From the top down, I have locomotives going back 20+ years and their running qualities are every bit as good as newer versions, provided care is taken in converting to P4.

P4 is definitely not all about getting all parts of a model to a high standard.  It is about track and wheels being as close to scale as possible.

All wheelsets need to be changed.  Whether suspension is necessary depend upon your benchwork quality and track quality.

I would definitely suggest chatting with P4 modellers to get their experiences and advice.  I have been in P4 for over 40 years and haven't once regretted the choice!

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A P4 modeller here. The task ahead of you is a tad daunting but not impossible given patience and time. My first recommendation would be a visit to the Scalefour Society’s website and have a good look around. There is a “visitors” area on the Scalefour Webforum where questions can be posed and you can also download “Moving to P4” which will give you a better idea of what lies ahead https://www.scalefour.org/moving-to-p4/. A second valuable resource is the CLAG website http://www.clag.org.uk/ where all manner of great ideas can be found from simple conversions to working brakes for your wagons (I’d leave that one for a bit).

 

Cheers,

 

David

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Herbert, good on you. P4 is not hard to do, trackwork is easy, there are kits to mod locos and changing wheelsets is a doddle. What you might want to consider is a 3d dlp resin printer, you'll be suprised what you can actually make for yourself. If you can use a cad program like Autocad, you can make you're own track parts, chairs, sleepers, literally anything if you can draw it. Don't listen to the negative comments from some, P4 looks amazing and runs amazingly well.

I took the missus to a model show this year and she's not into railways at all, but it was a treat for my birthday so she put up with it. Well after showing her the layouts and explaining the scales and different gauges she was a bit confused, so we sat down and she said "why are there so many different versions of 4mm scale". I explained the reasons and she said "can we go round again, so i can see the difference", so we did and at the end she could pick out the finer scale em and p4 layouts quite easily. I asked her how she could tell, she said "they looked nicer".

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2 hours ago, jf2682 said:

Hmmm.  Not sure I agree with the points you're making.  From the top down, I have locomotives going back 20+ years and their running qualities are every bit as good as newer versions, provided care is taken in converting to P4.

P4 is definitely not all about getting all parts of a model to a high standard.  It is about track and wheels being as close to scale as possible.

All wheelsets need to be changed.  Whether suspension is necessary depend upon your benchwork quality and track quality.

I would definitely suggest chatting with P4 modellers to get their experiences and advice.  I have been in P4 for over 40 years and haven't once regretted the choice!

Well yes but 1982 is nearly 40 years ago, so most of the items purchased by the OP's father are likely to be 1970s vintage models. Converting that lot to P4 seems like a HUGE task to me; and the end result will be some 40+ year old models that happen to use an accurate track gauge.

 

If that's what the OP wants fair enough, but Bernard's words of caution sound sensible to me.

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15 hours ago, jf2682 said:

Hmmm.  Not sure I agree with the points you're making.  From the top down, I have locomotives going back 20+ years and their running qualities are every bit as good as newer versions, provided care is taken in converting to P4.

P4 is definitely not all about getting all parts of a model to a high standard.  It is about track and wheels being as close to scale as possible.

All wheelsets need to be changed.  Whether suspension is necessary depend upon your benchwork quality and track quality.

I would definitely suggest chatting with P4 modellers to get their experiences and advice.  I have been in P4 for over 40 years and haven't once regretted the choice!

 

Building the track is the easy part and in some ways building to either P4 or EM standards can be easier than 00 gauge, the quality of stock 20 years ago whilst not being quite up to today's standards is certainly better that those available 40 years ago (which could include models which had already been on the market for 20 years

 

I do actually wonder the viability of some of the stock being converted to P4 gauge, on the other hand do accept the OP's reason for migrating to P4.

 

After considering the same concerns I decided to migrate my stock to EM gauge. Certainly the wider gauge does look far better, however being able to use Markit/Romford wheels assists in loco conversion. My stock is mostly from kit built locos dating from the 70's. Mostly I am changing the chassis to etched ones for better detail and running, at some time I will move to Gibson wheels on the locos just because they look finer (I do have a GW wheel press, but initially for ease and speed Markit's are the order of the day. But some of the locos may not be easily converted to P4 owing to clearances. My kit build coaches and wagons can be converted at little expense by gauge widening the existing wheels. Again some my be P4 unfriendly

 

Personally I think getting something up and running keeps the interest higher, anything to make life a bit easier is welcome 

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Good Afternoon,

 

Just recovering from a house move so not chanced on this before. If you are determined on GWR 2 bolt you have a choice of either C&L or Exactoscale chairs with Modelu slide chairs. Nobody does it ready to lay in volume. Not wishing to put you off, it can be commissioned but that is expensive. Before you do anything else I would suggest downloading and using Templot.

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Nothing wrong in making a test track (something to test locos and stock whilst they are being converted, either the type or whether there are chairs does not really matter.

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As a person that builds track 

 

Hand building track for a large layout is a thankless task.  At 4mm to the foot , the detail  is largely lost in the overall effect.  Far better visual effects are achieved by good ballast , and overall weathering etc. IN fact OO gauge track can be made look very convincing 

 

If you have a considerable quantity of older stock , Id seriously consider EM as a compromise , you get all the main visual benefits of the wider gauge and yet you can run coarse ( by comparison ) wheels Yes there are flange way compromises (as there are in p4) , but the overall effect is good.  

 

Its a classic mistake to start a big layout , expended much time and effort and realise you ay not have the time , Mojo , or money to deliver the end result , resulting in a layout that takes decades to progress and ultimately feels like a millstone. Almost inevitably,  with the exception of a small number of people ( and yes you may be one of  those ),  these big layouts held to high standards, can result in disillusionment and abandonment .There are several great examples on RMWEB ( Eastwood Town etc ) as to the perils 

 

 

 

Edited by Junctionmad
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Following on the previous comment by Junction Mad, the best advice I ever got was “never build a layout bigger than you are prepared to maintain by yourself”. Many of the layouts pictured here or in the magazines were built by groups rather than by individuals so unless you have a dependable crew ready to muck in, and with comparable skill levels to your own, err on the side of caution. A test track or simple inglenook would be good in that you have somewhere to test your conversions and at least have something running. As a bonus you can build the early bits into the larger layout later on.
 

Cheers,

 

David

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There are some who have the ability to be able to have a grand plan and slowly over the years work on it to completion. Then there are others who quickly loose interest and flit from project to project

 

Buckingham started out as a small layout but grew into a model railway, sometimes biting off small chunks at a time works, each to their own

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On 10/12/2019 at 19:24, jf2682 said:

P4 is definitely not all about getting all parts of a model to a high standard.  It is about track and wheels being as close to scale as possible.

 

 

Oh no? I seem to remember S4 Society adverts suggesting that it was NOT just about wheel and track standards. If one goes to the not inconsiderable trouble of getting the wheels and track right it seems only sensible to apply the same care and accuracy to the rest of the model/layout. Otherwise why bother?

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As someone who had a flutter with EM several years ago, and gave up, my advice is to convert a steam loco to P4 before shelling out a lot of dosh on track etc.  This is probably, IMO, the most difficult aspect of P4 so if you can do this you are good.

 

John

 

My solution to getting trains riding on near scale track was to go to O.

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Merry Christmas to you all!

 

I'm not going to offer any advice to the OP regarding whether he should do 00, EM or P4 as I am firmly in the 00 camp - far too much stock and track to change now - nor have I ever attempted either EM or P4. However a few observations, if I may?

 

I started collecting stock in the 70s and 80s in anticipation of being able to start a layout, but family commitments always took precedent and it's only now retired that I have been able to really consider getting this layout started and I have collected stock and track to enable things to start. (Harlequin above, kindly added his perspective to what I wanted to do.)

 

The reason I mention the above, is that comparing my early acquired stock with the later 2014 onwards stock, the earlier kit looks positively, well, carp to be frank and I have decided to abandon it and concentrate on more modern iterations. It doesn't mean that it OP's stock can't have a place on a layout but to be honest if you're going to spend time building track that will have to be to a very good standard (assuming P4 or EM) for a large layout AND converting stock to the wider gauges, for it to be let down by the detail (or lack thereof) I feel may well be a waste of time. I'm not saying it shouldn't or couldn't be done, but I think it needs really careful thought.

 

Insofar as I am concerned (and it's what I'm going to do), I shall be using ready to lay track (Peco code 75 in both flat-bottom and bullhead profile to suit) in order to lay a large amount as quickly as possible (it will be very large layout), but laid well and prototypically (insofar as 16.5mm gauge will allow ;)). I will be building some pointwork as there are some prototypical formations that are not available commercially.  This will mean that I can get something up and running relatively quickly and keep my mojo going and concentrate on getting the details right (working post and ground signals for example).

 

As mentioned above, OP ought to read the trials and tribulations of gordon s and his Eastwood Town. Every year, it gets ripped up and relaid to a different plan - and he hand-builds his track!

 

Anyway, whatever OP decides to do, I wish him luck in his endeavours and I'm sure the RMweb collective will give him good advice ..... and by the way, welcome to RMweb.

 

Cheers,

 

Philip

 

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As mentioned above, OP ought to read the trials and tribulations of gordon s and his Eastwood Town. Every year, it gets ripped up and relaid to a different plan - and he hand-builds his track!

Even worse , I believe in the end , he abandoned everything 

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