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Phil Parker

Building Your First Layout Supplement

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Phil, which issue of BRM dis the layout Shepherds Bush appear in, whose plan is on page 15? Looks like an interesting take on Minories.

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Phil, which issue of BRM dis the layout Shepherds Bush appear in, whose plan is on page 15? Looks like an interesting take on Minories.

 

And I assume it's  an N gauge layout looking at  the scale and the pictures. It might have been useful to point that out particularly for new comers to the hobby.

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Phil, which issue of BRM dis the layout Shepherds Bush appear in, whose plan is on page 15? Looks like an interesting take on Minories.

 

John - I'll have to get someone in the office to check this out. They dug through the back issues and put these pages together. I'd like to know more too as it's a very interesting layout.

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And I assume it's  an N gauge layout looking at  the scale and the pictures. It might have been useful to point that out particularly for new comers to the hobby.

If my memory serves (and it serves less well!), it's 3mm TT. However, since it's one of hundreds and hundreds of layouts I took pictures of, do check through long-ago issues of BRM.

 

On another point to do with the supplement in the latest issue of BRM, Phil; why did you solder a track feed to a fishplate? Unless I've missed part of an explanation, fishplates are there to accommodate expansion. It's good practice to solder a fishplate to one of the rails before fitting them together (it makes the job easier and also prevents future movement of the plate), but surely not to solder a feed to a fishplate. 

 

From the thickness of the wire feed, I assume it's part of the fiddle yard supply. If not, the wire is far too thick for visual satisfaction, surely? Why not use discreet droppers (no larger than .3mm tinned copper wire). That way, any heavier wiring can be connected out of sight, under the baseboards. It's also easier to solder thinner wire to the rail webbing.

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The wire is soldered to a fishplate at the entrance to the layout for no better reason than convenience, other joints are on plain track.

 

Soldering to the bottom of a fishplate is an interesting but you would end up with a bit of wire impeding track laying until you can stuff into a hole in the baseboard. I prefer to lay track and then add wires afterward. One option, if you prefer, would be to use commercial pre-wired fishplates. I tried these but wasn't happy with them as the wire sticks out to the side and bending it down seems to damage the fishplate.

 

Droppers are an option but as a first layout, I wished to keep the amount of soldering to a minimum so soldering the wire used to carry current to the side of the rail is easy and will work perfectly well. It's not finescale but doesn't require any specialist materials you can't readily buy from a model shop or at an average model railway exhibition, something I felt important for the people who the series is aimed at.

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Part two is living up to the high standards set by part one!

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Agreed, so far there's been a wealth of useful back-to-basics information for the modeller starting out, and it's all explained in a way that's accessible and easily understandable. So far it has also kept spending outlay to a realistic budget for a beginner without all the years worth of collected bits, bobs and tools at their disposal (a stockpile many article writers seem to take for granted), which is doubtless appreciated by many who haven't huge disposable income available for a new hobby, or who haven't yet firmly decided to fully invest in railway modelling.

 

Hats off Phil, looking forward to Pt3.

Edited by Saddletank

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Edgeworth Part 2_web.jpg

 

Thanks JohnR and Saddletank. I'm really glad you are enjoying the series so far - I'll do my best with Part 3.

 

Things are looking good now - the fields have more character than you can see in the overall shot above and most of last week was spent making legs and lighting so we can take the model out on the road. While most people won't need to do this, I know readers will want to see the model at shows so better do something about it.

 

I'll post more photos of progress in a week or so.

 

 

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One job left to do is sort out some lettered for the fascia. However, if the layout "Three Chop Roundup" is to be believed, I just need to find an old advert...

 

Three Chop Roundup.jpg

 

 

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Looking good, Phil. Although you say most people wont need the legs and lighting if theyre not taking the layout to exhibitions, I would suggest it would still be a good investment, as it will allow the layout to be seen at home at its best, as I dont think the lighting we have at home is designed for this.

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Very true. Lighting is far more important to railway modelling than most people imagine. It doesn't need to be complicated, just bright. This will make ANY model look 100% better. It's one of the reasons some layouts at shows appear so good when the actually model making isn't that great.

 

Of course, I probably shouldn't tell you that secret. Next I'll be revealing that putting the layout in a big hall full of people absorbs sound and makes growly loco gearboxes sound much quieter than they do at home...

 

;)

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Very true. Lighting is far more important to railway modelling than most people imagine. It doesn't need to be complicated, just bright. This will make ANY model look 100% better. It's one of the reasons some layouts at shows appear so good when the actually model making isn't that great.

 

Of course, I probably shouldn't tell you that secret. Next I'll be revealing that putting the layout in a big hall full of people absorbs sound and makes growly loco gearboxes sound much quieter than they do at home...

 

;)

I agree entirely with the need to light exhibition layouts properly, but will it make them 100% better? And ANY model? Forgive me Phil, but it's only when I've illuminated some models for photographic purposes that I've realised how BAD they really are; but, I agree that's for different reasons. 

 

Two other things; why have you placed the signal box at an angle to the track? To allow you to build a retaining wall? If so, that's surely not prototype practice - engineers site structures so that the least amount of civil engineering is necessary. I know it's not based on a particular prototype but in just about every 'real' picture I've studied, unless there are specific site limitations, the signal boxes are placed parallel to the adjacent rails, if for no other reason than it makes the arrangement of bell cranks and rodding so much easier to configure. Surely you should be illustrating to beginners the most typical arrangements.

 

Secondly, are you going to paint the rail sides? Would it not have been easier to do this BEFORE the track was down? 

 

Finally, I'm in complete agreement with the 'quietening' effects of large exhibition halls.

 

Just some thoughts............ 

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Signal box - It needed to be set back in to the hill as it's a substantial lump of 'earth' behind it. Either I reduced this so there is sufficient land for the box or cut the retaining wall out. I felt this provided more interest for the reader and a more attractive scene on the model. As for the angle, it's very shallow and without it, the signalman would struggle to see the sidings. Arguably these might be operated with a lever rather than from the box of course.

 

Painting the track - This is easier before ballasting, especially if you intend to spray everything. However, it's time consuming job and so I'm assuming people would rather get everything running rather than wait. It isn't an essential job either so fits better in part 3 of the series.

Edited by Phil Parker
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Time for a little update - the scenery is now looking nice, an overbridge is in position and look, a pannier tank!

 

Edgeworth.jpg

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Interesting. Not too many signals to build. Could be a goer. Thanks very much for this.

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Going back to signalling for a minute, the signalling drawing for 1930s Seaton (SR) is here: http://www.s-r-s.org.uk/html/srq/S3480.htm

 

As the layout is GWR, a bit of Westernisation would be required, but the basics are there. The scenic part of the layout starts at point #9 on the diagram, so everything to the right can be omitted.   The bracket with #14 & #15 could be on two separate posts.  There may be some changes to the ground signal arrangements.  At the moment the function of disc #17 is eluding me!

Disc 17 probably reads to disc 11 Paul but it might be led by it (as would be the case with the running arms 18 & 19).  The purpose of 17 would seem to be to allow a movement past the Home Signal which is going to one or other of the sidings beyond 11 or possibly shunting onto a train in a platform line.

 

The 'Westernisation' depends very much on period but because the toe of the first point is virtually under the overbridge the most awkward bits can be ignored leaving just a semaphore stop signal reading from the platform line and a disc from each of the sidings.  Also a disc at the platform line toe of the release crossover.

 

Incidentally the signalbox would normally lie parallel to the running line as that helps setting out the rodding runs and gives the Signalman a better view in many instances.

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Thanks for that Mike. After I turned the PC off last night, further thought lead me down similar conclusions. It's always the way :scratchhead:.

 

A question for Phil.  Are you intending to use the bay platform line for passenger working, as it was at Seaton?

 

.... in which case ..... ;)

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A question for Phil.  Are you intending to use the bay platform line for passenger working, as it was at Seaton?

 

At the moment - Yes. Just waiting for a suitable railcar to run.

 

Got an etched kit in the store somewhere but that's probably too advanced (read: will take lots of bodging and fiddling best not shown in print) to build. Besides, I fancy finishing it in custard and cream...

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I was going to say a second stop signal (starter *) would be required for the bay.  You only mentioned one stop signal in your post #47 Mike. For simplicity, as this is a First Layout, two separate posts would be sensible I think.

 

If it is not intended to be used as a passenger line, then a ground signal to control exit from the goods / parcels bay.

 

Whilst it would possible for beginners to attempt working siganls in 4mm (There must be RTP ones in this scale?), working ground signals may be asking too much except for the brave.

 

Edit: *  A word of explaination is called for here.  All semaphore signals with a red arm and white band on the front face are Stop signals, regardless of their relative position on a railway line.  A 'starter' is a term for the function of the stop signal because of its location.  In this case, the starter is for controlling the movement away from the station 'area' towards the section of line controlled by the next signal box.  There is a lot more to it than that, but for a first layout I do not wish to over complicate things. Hence the apparent contradictory term that a stop signal is a starter  :scratchhead: .

At a station like that I would say it's as near inevitable as makes little difference that they would be separate posts Paul - simpler and cheaper to erect (like you don't need a crane) than a bracket structure and far more 'typical' of such a station.

 

If Phil wanted (and could find some) they could be represented by the Dapol RTP signals although I think they're really too tall for the site.  For a bit of building practice in plastic the Ratio kits have a lot to commend them and shouldn't stretch a beginner too far although they might no necessarily be working models.

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I quite like the Ratio range of signals - what about the ready assembled ones? These never seem to get the coverage I think they deserve. The kit versions are a bit fiddly as I've found out in the past.

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At the moment - Yes. Just waiting for a suitable railcar to run.

 

Got an etched kit in the store somewhere but that's probably too advanced (read: will take lots of bodging and fiddling best not shown in print) to build. Besides, I fancy finishing it in custard and cream...

 

Don't you mean chocolate and cream?

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I quite like the Ratio range of signals - what about the ready assembled ones? These never seem to get the coverage I think they deserve. The kit versions are a bit fiddly as I've found out in the past.

The ready assembled ones might - again - be a bit tall for the site and still need a bit of work.  I agree the kits can be fiddly but making them non-working isn't so challenging and dealing with them as plastic kits might provide something of a stretching opportunity while staying on the ground of a material familiar to many new modellers?

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Don't you mean chocolate and cream?

Phil - you've been dreaming about the biscuits again!

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And I assume it's  an N gauge layout looking at  the scale and the pictures. It might have been useful to point that out particularly for new comers to the hobby.

Shepherds Bush in 3mm scale was in the 2008 BRM Annual, which also included a first look at the, then new, Hassell Harbour Bridge.

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