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The other alternative for improving running of vehicles through N gauge point work is to tighten the gauge, so that all the check / wing rails can then have tighter tolerances.  This is what Keith Armes did on Chiltern Green forty years ago.  Another way to get true universality between fine scale and N gauge standards is to have what are called swinging frog points, where the crossing nose is closed up by the wing rails giving no gap by being pivoted somewhere in the middle of the turnout.   They look hideous, but worked well enough in the fiddle yard on Chiltern Green. 

 

Tim

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1 hour ago, OFFTHE RAILS said:

 

I use the excellent code 40 FiNetrax track and points for the visible areas on my model railway with code 80 ready made track and points in the hidden area.

The FiNetrax is virtually indistiguishable from 2mm association Easitrack (except in the frog clearances) and accepts all modern British 'N' RTR.

 

My locos and stock are all RTR 'N'. I don't use 2mm kits because they are made to 2mm/ft scale as opposed to British  'N' which is 2.0625mm/ft.

This means that 'N' locos and stock are nearly 9% bigger in volume than 2mm vehicles – quite noticeable when the vehicles are in a mixed train.

Ian

 

If you’re concerned that your stock is 3% undersized, I’m surprised that you aren’t concerned about your track being 5% under gauge.

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3 hours ago, Izzy said:

 

As I dragged the 7.9mm figure from some dark recess back in the time I had some small involvement with 2mm wheel making I thought perhaps I should just double-check as I have been known to be wrong before..........and it doesn't seem to add up does it?

At the time the measurement arose no N wheelsets or conversion axles were available, seemed unlikely to be in the future, and I was casting around for alternative options i.e. using 2FS wheelsets at a different btb for N use, that might be feasible.

 

I have just dug out the two peco points, one live/one dead frog, that were used to test the theory ( I don't think fiNetrax was around then), and yes, 7.9mm is the figure, just. (Peco have the same checkrail clearance of 1.0mm as fiNetrax).

As you say, real touch and go stuff. 7.8mm would be better, but.......then the danger is that the wheels will fall between the rails if the gauge is even a wisker over 9.0mm, and maybe even if it isn't. So, fine for plain track at 7.9mm, but........

 

 

 

 

 

 

7.9 (BtB) + 0.3 (Flange thickness) + 1.0 (checkrail gap = 9.2 which is greater than 9mm, so at the least you risk the wheel flange hitting the frog head on. Of course that might only happen when the stock goes around a curve or something. It will prove increbily annoying if it does occcur.

 

As TIm says, you might get away with asymetric measurements,, making the checkrail gap as small as will still allow a NMRA flange to pass through. You'll have to make the wing rail gap larger to compensate.

 

Chris

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Thanks all. I'd love to do 2mm, and commit to it, but I am just unsure whether or not I can. I've got a Dapol 57xx with a DCC chip already installed, and I'd hate to have to lose that perfectly good mechanism just to make a new one that hopefully works. One of the back issues of the 2mm magazine has an article about converting one, but that still seems pretty involved. I do love the etched chassis and finer scale wheels of 2mm, very much.

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Thanks for the kind words about my attempt to show modellers on the N Gauge Forum that it isn't too difficult to nail together a 2mm Association etched chassis and adapt it to run on N gauge track.

 

8 hours ago, OFFTHE RAILS said:

My locos and stock are all RTR 'N'. I don't use 2mm kits because they are made to 2mm/ft scale as opposed to British  'N' which is 2.0625mm/ft.

This means that 'N' locos and stock are nearly 9% bigger in volume than 2mm vehicles – quite noticeable when the vehicles are in a mixed train.

Ian

 

I guess this is a case of horse for courses and what the individual is prepared to accept. While I'd agree that the difference in scales is probably too much for a larger items of rolling stock, such as carriages (especially if mixing within a rake), I don't have any issues myself when it comes to wagons.

 

In fact, without the 2mm kit, I wouldn't have noticed just how badly proportioned the Peco LNER Toad E was. Despite being a slightly smaller scale, the 2mm kit is slightly longer than the Peco example (a consequence of the Peco common chassis) and, in my opinion, is more detailed.

 

image.jpg.8d9374664f6bc56c67d3f2b726c4a850.jpg

 

This one was built last year while on holiday in Pickering and I've since purchased another to go along with it. I've also got ex-GER and exGCR etched Lowmacs to build (once I've found a suitable set of wheels), which judging by the etched are excellent, as well as some ex-GER and ex-GNR cattle vans - all items that I can't get from another source unless I design them myself (life's too short to try and do everything). I also like the fact I can generally get a more detailed/accurate chassis from the 2mm Association than the Peco and Parkside chassis that usually come with the NGS kits.

 

Edited by Atso
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Yes, while I would agree that some care can at odd times be needed to ensure that there isn’t too much size disparity between rolling stock of 1:148 (N) & 1:152 (2mm) sizes, and of course can be more noticeable with larger/longer items such as carriages, anyone who has modelled in N from back in the day (1973 for me) would tell you that there can be just as much of a challenge with ensuring RTR N stock is roughly the same scale. A bit better these days but as Atso says much has been stretched/squashed to suit rather than being accurate even to 1:148 and making any difference with 2mm that much worse. 

 

Izzy

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14 hours ago, Atso said:

This one was built last year while on holiday in Pickering and I've since purchased another to go along with it. I've also got ex-GER and exGCR etched Lowmacs to build (once I've found a suitable set of wheels), which judging by the etched are excellent, as well as some ex-GER and ex-GNR cattle vans - all items that I can't get from another source unless I design them myself (life's too short to try and do everything). I also like the fact I can generally get a more detailed/accurate chassis from the 2mm Association than the Peco and Parkside chassis that usually come with the NGS kits.

 

Hi

 

I shortened some Parkside Dundas axles to 12.25mm and used their 5.1mm wheels to do mine.

 

Edit

Another option would be to use the 2-047 axles for RP25 wheels with the Parkside Dundas wheels. You would have to carefully open out the axle hole to approx 1.6mm in the Parkside wheels using a broach but that would be easier than turning the Parkside Dundas axles. I did this for some coach wheels when the 2mm SA ones were unavailable.

 

Cheers

 

Paul

Edited by PaulCheffus
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2 hours ago, PaulCheffus said:

Hi

 

I shortened some Parkside Dundas axles to 12.25mm and used their 5.1mm wheels to do mine.

 

Edit

Another option would be to use the 2-047 axles for RP25 wheels with the Parkside Dundas wheels. You would have to carefully open out the axle hole to approx 1.6mm in the Parkside wheels using a broach but that would be easier than turning the Parkside Dundas axles. I did this for some coach wheels when the 2mm SA ones were unavailable.

 

Cheers

 

Paul

 

Thanks Paul, I think I have some Dundas wheels somewhere so I'll give that a try.

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17 hours ago, Atso said:

Thanks for the kind words about my attempt to show modellers on the N Gauge Forum that it isn't too difficult to nail together a 2mm Association etched chassis and adapt it to run on N gauge track.

 

 

I guess this is a case of horse for courses and what the individual is prepared to accept. While I'd agree that the difference in scales is probably too much for a larger items of rolling stock, such as carriages (especially if mixing within a rake), I don't have any issues myself when it comes to wagons.

 

In fact, without the 2mm kit, I wouldn't have noticed just how badly proportioned the Peco LNER Toad E was. Despite being a slightly smaller scale, the 2mm kit is slightly longer than the Peco example (a consequence of the Peco common chassis) and, in my opinion, is more detailed.

 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/monthly_2019_04/image.jpg.8d9374664f6bc56c67d3f2b726c4a850.jpg

 

This one was built last year while on holiday in Pickering and I've since purchased another to go along with it. I've also got ex-GER and exGCR etched Lowmacs to build (once I've found a suitable set of wheels), which judging by the etched are excellent, as well as some ex-GER and ex-GNR cattle vans - all items that I can't get from another source unless I design them myself (life's too short to try and do everything). I also like the fact I can generally get a more detailed/accurate chassis from the 2mm Association than the Peco and Parkside chassis that usually come with the NGS kits.

 

 

Have you looked at Atlas (or similar e.g. NWSL) American boxcar wheels  for the Lowmacs.? These must be around the expected 5.25mm diameter.

 

Chris

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On 16/04/2019 at 16:30, Chris Higgs said:

 

Have you looked at Atlas (or similar e.g. NWSL) American boxcar wheels  for the Lowmacs.? These must be around the expected 5.25mm diameter.

 

Chris

 

Thanks for that Chris. I found some Parkside wheels in my spares box and managed to open out the axle holes to take the conversion axles.

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On 16/04/2019 at 04:39, Chris Higgs said:

 

7.9 (BtB) + 0.3 (Flange thickness) + 1.0 (checkrail gap = 9.2 which is greater than 9mm, so at the least you risk the wheel flange hitting the frog head on. Of course that might only happen when the stock goes around a curve or something. It will prove increbily annoying if it does occcur.

 

As TIm says, you might get away with asymetric measurements,, making the checkrail gap as small as will still allow a NMRA flange to pass through. You'll have to make the wing rail gap larger to compensate.

 

Chris

I use asymmetric measurements in 00 but the other way round. I tighten up the wing rails, to reduce the length of the gap between the closure rail and the crossing, but open up the check rail gap accordingly. Works fine on normal points but not on slips or diamonds where the two requirements conflict.

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Is it actually possible for a normal human to solder on the two-layer axlebox covers on the Association Peco 10'0" replacement wagon chassis (2-382)? 

 

My first kit was fine as I just chopped them off and used some cast white metal springs and axleboxes I had lying around, but on the second one I've tried to use the etched version and it seems virtually impossible to accurately locate the two-layer axlebox overlay. I'm on the verge of just ordering some castings but would be interested to know if anyone has any tips - it looks like they'd make an excellent job, if only it was possible to align them positively. 

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After folding over I make sure a good dab of solder is put on the back - where the hole is - place them in position with tweezers, then hold them in place with the tip of a scalpel blade while applying the iron till the solder runs (aided by some liquid flux) and then keeping pressure on till the solder hardens. It probably helps that I use a small 15watt iron with a very fine 1mm tip but once you get the hang of it, then it does get easier to do. Many of the 2mm etched kits have axleboxes like this, and I actually prefer them to cast ones as it gives the easy ability to choose which types/fronts to use.

 

If for any reason they move or mis-align when attaching then moving them around with the scalpel tip while re-applying the iron is fairly easy to do. Of course it goes without saying that I hold the chassis at 90 degrees on the work mat so the w-irons/ springs are flat using using any one of a number of tools.

 

Izzy

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It is much easier to attach these parts while the underframe is still in the 'flat', i.e. before you bend the solebars and inner headstocks down at 90°.

 

I design the axleboxes on my kits with a little 'handle' which is connected by a thin tag and can be broken off easily after you're happy with the positioning.

 

Jim

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2 hours ago, chrisveitch said:

Is it actually possible for a normal human to solder on the two-layer axlebox covers on the Association Peco 10'0" replacement wagon chassis (2-382)? 

 

My first kit was fine as I just chopped them off and used some cast white metal springs and axleboxes I had lying around, but on the second one I've tried to use the etched version and it seems virtually impossible to accurately locate the two-layer axlebox overlay. I'm on the verge of just ordering some castings but would be interested to know if anyone has any tips - it looks like they'd make an excellent job, if only it was possible to align them positively. 

 

Yes it is possible. I would say that, being the designer, of course. But there are plenty of photos of completed underframes to show it can be done.

 

They are easier to do if you build the underframe in the flat as Jim suggests. And I assume you are soldering the layers one at a time, first aligning the layer with the hole in by eyeballing it in the end of the bearing, using the top layer as a handle, and then folding over the top layer and soldering that, only then filing away the tab to complete.

 

There is no getting away from the fact these parts are really small, sadly it comes with the territory whan 2mm modelling.

 

Castings are always going to look more meaty, provided you can get the right ones. Or you can use the separatly available  axlebox and spring etchings which are self aligning.

 

Chris

Edited by Chris Higgs

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8 hours ago, Chris Higgs said:

And I assume you are soldering the layers one at a time, first aligning the layer with the hole in by eyeballing it in the end of the bearing, using the top layer as a handle, and then folding over the top layer and soldering that, only then filing away the tab to complete.

 

Thanks Chris - no, I wasn't actually. I was folding and soldering the two layers of overlay and then trying to add them to the two main laminated layers. I can see how using the hole on the lower layer might make things a bit easier (presumably it was designed to do this). 

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1 hour ago, chrisveitch said:

 

Thanks Chris - no, I wasn't actually. I was folding and soldering the two layers of overlay and then trying to add them to the two main laminated layers. I can see how using the hole on the lower layer might make things a bit easier (presumably it was designed to do this). 

 

I find them easier this way. Although as you can see from the post from Izzy, it is not the case that everyone agrees with me. UIn my opinion you are likely to get the layers delaminating if you try to do two at once.

 

Using the top layer as a handle also helps you to solder it on square.

 

Chris

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It took me time but I eventually got the knack reasonably well, but still with quite some frustration from time to time. I hadn't thought of soldering the box layer with a hole first before folding back - I'd been folding it over with a dob of solder paste underneath, plus extra flux, and zapping it all in one go.

 

But I always preferred cast boxes and springs - but now 3D printed ones seem a better compromise between ease of cast and fineness of etched. With the Photon I can reliably print axleboxes that are as fine as the etched ones, combined with springs that are less chunky than the whitemetal ones, if still a bit chunkier than the etched ones. Even if a proportion don't survive, it's still MUCH easier than the etched ones.

 

I think I read somewhere that the shops were going to start stocking printed ones too?

 

Justin

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1 minute ago, justin1985 said:

 

I think I read somewhere that the shops were going to start stocking printed ones too?

 

 

Yes - it's almost impossible to get decent whitemetal cast axleboxes/springs these days, so we've investigated the 3d printed options. The test prints on my desk at home are considerably finer than either the etched axleboxes/springs or the cast ones.

 

Andy

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4 hours ago, 2mm Andy said:

Yes - it's almost impossible to get decent whitemetal cast axleboxes/springs these days

 

@2mm Andy - as I mentioned in my first post, I was considering ordering some - I assume this means that it's becoming more difficult to get supplies, rather than them not being available from the shop (as they're not shown as TOS)?

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2 hours ago, chrisveitch said:

 

@2mm Andy - as I mentioned in my first post, I was considering ordering some - I assume this means that it's becoming more difficult to get supplies, rather than them not being available from the shop (as they're not shown as TOS)?

 

Chris, all the castings in the shop 2 listings are available. The quality of the axleboxes is pretty good, the springs slightly less so in my personal opinion. Have a look at the photos in the listings and make your own mind up before ordering. But yes, they are available if you want them.

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3 hours ago, chrisveitch said:

 

@2mm Andy - as I mentioned in my first post, I was considering ordering some - I assume this means that it's becoming more difficult to get supplies, rather than them not being available from the shop (as they're not shown as TOS)?

 

Yes, I meant new stocks of castings, not the current shop stock (of which there are plenty as Tony has said). The range of axlebox/springs is less than it used to be (we used to have such delights as combined RCH axlebox and spring castings) - the Sales Officer at the time couldn't get new supplies of these made.

 

Sorry for any confusion.

 

Andy

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10 hours ago, 2mm Andy said:

 

Yes, I meant new stocks of castings, not the current shop stock (of which there are plenty as Tony has said). The range of axlebox/springs is less than it used to be (we used to have such delights as combined RCH axlebox and spring castings) - the Sales Officer at the time couldn't get new supplies of these made.

 

Sorry for any confusion.

 

Andy

 

Thanks Andy - this might just the flimsy excuse I need for any Anycubic Photon...

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Would a typical unmodified loco with six coupled driving wheels (or a co-co diesel wheel arrangement) go around a 390mm radius curve with/without gauge widening? It seems that the standard minimum in Templot is 500mm. My thoughts are literally just that while I'm still struggling through loco building, it would be nice to have a loop of track to run them on - and a 3' square board that folds in half seems pretty easy to build/store/etc.

 

Best,

Edited by Lacathedrale

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All the (2FS) diesel stock I have, locos/dmu’s etc has no problem running around my test track of easitrac laid on a sheet of 3x2 hardboard. So the radius is a little bit under 300mm/12”, probably 285mm/11.5”(it’s plonked right on the edge!). However I have no Co-Co’s larger than 31’s and bigger ones might have issues, it’s something I have no experience with I’m afraid. 

 

As to steam I only have the Farish converted Jinty & 4F on which there is a thread here-abouts. These don’t like this test track, it’s just a mite too tight for them, but they will happily go around 300mm/12” hand built gauge-widened track. I wouldn’t like to speculate whether one using an etched chassis would do this, unless this was factored into the chassis at the construction stage, (the level of allowed side play). I would guess that 450mm/18” radius might be a fairly safe bet for most steam, but not necessarily. 

 

Izzy

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