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Cosmetic alterations to Peco Code 75 points


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I have for many years now used a mixture of C&L track and Peco Code 75 points as an achievable balance between realism and perfect running, and, as someone who has no desire to build pointwork, have found this acceptable for my needs. However, the shortcomings of this combination were becoming only too apparent on my latest build, where most of the better photographic sites coincided with clusters of points, showing only too clearly the difference between bullhead and flat bottom rail, and more crucially, the lack of chairs on the Peco pointwork- their somewhat feeble clips failing to give any likeness to a British chair.

 

A photo will show this only too clearly.....Here is an engine on BH track with an original Peco point in front of it-

 

post-2642-0-63216200-1377810709.jpg

 

I had already trimmed away the various gubbins around the tiebars, which improves the look of these point a good deal, but after some gentle pushing on here, I decided that the only answer was to remove the Peco clips and replace them with bullhead chairs, so C&L chairs were acquired and work commenced. These were cut in half and the original inner side used on the outer face of the Peco points- due to the lower sitting of the FB rail, the outer ones with keys jutted above the edge of the rail. The C&L track also does not have keys moulded onto their chairs, so this helped with continuity. I trimmed down the keyed side and fixed them to the inner face, but in the end most of the chair was trimmed away to provide clearance for flanges.

 

A shot of WIP.

 

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It was a repetitive job, with plenty of halved chairs flying off to infinity, but about fifty hours of work later it was more or less finished, leaving me with a great deal of respect for those who choose to make their track, and a reinforced resolution never to go there myself :no:  Fixing them was a case of Edward Scissorhands and a dab of superglue to hold them in place. Obviously some got where it shouldn't, but as I had already painted the rails, a good scrape with a scalpel removed excess glue and the paint surface fairly easily. It went through scalpels at an enormous rate, and I worked on two or three points at one time, to let the glue set and not weaken the integrity of the fixings. A  couple of photos shows the tools used- including that now rare beast, Humbrol track colour, and a very useful shape of brush that I now use almost exclusively; called an angled shader, obtainable from art stores and the like. The hair is a synthetic called Taklon, and looked after, can last for years, although the mix of enamels and dragging over rough shapes has battered these two. They are very cheap, but very good value brushes.

 

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post-2642-0-29070400-1377810584.jpg

 

Lastly, a couple of shots of the almost finished work- they need another coat of paint and one or two replacements that came off when trimming,but I do think it improves the look of these things. It isn't by any standards "scale" modelling- and does nothing about the sleeper spacing, but provides a more continuous  look to the overall scene.

 

post-2642-0-22815500-1377811169_thumb.jpg

 

And an engine in much the same position as above, but with the modified pointwork now showing.

 

post-2642-0-13164100-1377811205.jpg

 

I don't intend,or want,BTW, to start a "why don't Peco......." thread with this :no2: but rather to show how with a bit of work, these points can look a bit more British, without going to the time and expense of self building. There are some more pics of this in the last page or two of my layout thread, but I thought that this might be of interest to the  forum in general.

Edited by Ben Alder
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Building track using these chairs I get a few of the inside chairs left over when fitting both common crossings and check rails, as they need half chairs with keys. Happy to do a swap with you if you have any further turnouts that need alteration, I was thinking of using them in pairs alongside inspection pits etc. 

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Well done Ben... that takes some doing!!  As I've so much peco flexi, I'll be doing 'the opposite'...  re-spacing the plain track sleepers (I do like their thickness) and simply removing 'the mechanism' from the turn outs.  My eyesight finds that an acceptable compromise!

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  • 3 months later...
  • RMweb Gold

Just tried this with, erm, indifferent results. I found it very difficult to get consistent and accurate placing of the chairs. In particular, unless I've got something wrong, the shape of the Peco rail the bottom flange being wider than top  means the top of the chair doesn't often touch the web of the rail. Do I need to more accuately cut (and file?) the C+L chairs? Maybe I just need more pratcise and patience (and skill)!

 

Not given up, yet, anyway

 

Jon

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 You have to cut the chairs at an angle, to give the top of the chair room to meet the rail. I also used one of the gap filling super glues to aid adhesion. Keep practicing- I found it quite easy, and satisfying to watch the point being transformed chair by chair....

 

A couple of photos showing how the half chair was cut off-

 

Although perhaps not too obvious- the scalpel kept slipping out of angle- the chair is cut  off the sprue at a skew-

 

post-2642-0-22238800-1386025371.jpg

 

Resulting in this,- all ready to be picked up on a scalpel point- any left over "tail" of sprue that was the original join between the two halves must be trimmed away.

 

post-2642-0-71179100-1386025402.jpg

 

Keep your blades sharp- I went through dozens of them - both in order to make a clean cut on the point, and also to get a grab on the chair. Plenty still went flying off into oblivion though.....I found that with a good dollop of glue, you had a second or two of adjustment of the chair to get it even- use a second knife and leave the glue a further small time before the embedded blade is eased out, with the second blade supporting the chair to stop it moving. It usually needs cleaning after this.

 

Sounds complicated, but became a matter of routine very quickly- the trimming of the point fixing was what took longest- its quite a robust plastic- and has to be removed totally to get close enough to let the new chair meet the rail.

 

HTH

Richard

 

 

Edited by Ben Alder
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 You have to cut the chairs at an angle, to give the top of the chair room to meet the rail. I also used one of the gap filling super glues to aid adhesion. Keep practicing- I found it quite easy, and satisfying to watch the point being transformed chair by chair....

 

A couple of photos showing how the half chair was cut off-

 

Although perhaps not too obvious- the scalpel kept slipping out of angle- the chair is cut  off the sprue at a skew-

 

attachicon.gifIMG_0996-crop.JPG

 

Resulting in this,- all ready to be picked up on a scalpel point- any left over "tail" of sprue that was the original join between the two halves must be trimmed away.

 

attachicon.gifIMG_0998-crop.JPG

 

Keep your blades sharp- I went through dozens of them - both in order to make a clean cut on the point, and also to get a grab on the chair. Plenty still went flying off into oblivion though.....I found that with a good dollop of glue, you had a second or two of adjustment of the chair to get it even- use a second knife and leave the glue a further small time before the embedded blade is eased out, with the second blade supporting the chair to stop it moving. It usually needs cleaning after this.

 

Sounds complicated, but became a matter of routine very quickly- the trimming of the point fixing was what took longest- its quite a robust plastic- and has to be removed totally to get close enough to let the new chair meet the rail.

 

HTH

Richard

 

Thanks again Richard, thought I was missing something,makes sense now :thankyou:

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