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BEIJIAO - a large Chinese HO exhibition layout set in the 21st century


TEAMYAKIMA
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Clicking one "like" was not enough so here is a few more...

 

 

Like, like, like, like, like, like,  like, like, like, like, like, LIKE!

 

 

 

Kev.

(Who enjoyed this so much for being able to recognise most of the loco classes.)

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The weathering on the stock and buildings is very good too. When you next have it all together can you take some wider pics from the public perspective so we can see how the backscene looks with a 'head on' view :)

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Bit too much reflection on the black there a matt varnish would sort that. I appreciate the running test was the important bit but it's nice to get an idea of how the other ideas are working out :)

Looking forward to it getting out and about.

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Wow!  That's a lot of rolling stock.  :O

 

Yes, and much of my time since that running session has been focused on train make-up and stock control. By that I mean that one problem we discovered was that as this is basically a one-man project (with help from a few friends in specific areas*) and as such in many cases I am the only person who knows all the ins and outs of any task we need do do in setting the layout up and taking it down again.

 

This was particularly apparent in getting the stock out of the stockboxes and into rakes and putting the stock back in boxes at the end. So I have now spent quite some time .....

 

1. Allocating specific trains into specific fiddle yard roads

 

2. Adjusting train lengths to suit the above .... there are two different FY road lengths ..... long and VERY long .......... so trains have been put together to suit.

 

3. Formulating operating 'rules' to make operation easy, simple and logical so that 'new' operators feel at home ASAP.

 

4.Simplifying the stock boxes so that ALL stock for any given train are all stored together and positioning that stock in the stockboxes so that the stock comes out of the boxes in a logical way and in a particular order. As a result stock will then go back into those same stock boxes quickly and easily.

 

5. Adjusting train make-up of the 'mixed' freights so that the mix is interesting and varied.

 

Other than that, since our running session I have been correcting faults on various fronts - unfortunately in many cases these are faults I didn't know existed until our running session. But overall we are still making progress!

 

* Whilst I'm posting I want to say a big 'thank you' to Al, Bill and Bob who came over and spent a day with me to help with the running session and whose feedback has been invaluable.

Edited by TEAMYAKIMA
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Two faults that we identified at the running session were ,....

 

1. Some items coming uncoupled in the plain track in the fiddle yard - particularly the Bachmann DF4B's when coupled to the tanker train.

 

2. QJ's were sometimes derailing on plain track in the fiddle yards - only the leading driver set was derailing which allowed the loco to keep running as normal until it hit the approach/end pointwork.

 

It turns out that the two faults were linked. The uncoupling was made worse by the DF4B having couplers which were slightly (0.25mm) too high and the tank cars having couplers slightly too low but the basic problem was wavy plywood tops on the fiddle yard boards. Some boards and some tracks are worse than others, but the problem is not confined to baseboard joins as I had originally thought, some of the worst examples are in the middle of the boards where there is a crossmember support. The long wheelbase QJ's were launching themselves over the humps and sometimes dropping down the other side with the leading set of drivers off the track

 

I used thinner ply on the FY boards and that may have been a false economy. The scenic boards used 6mm ply and are generally very flat, the FY boards used 3mm or 4mm  (can't remember which) and whilst they have resulted in far lighter boards this may have caused this problem. Generally the diesels cope reasonably well with the humps (once the coupler height issue has been addressed) but the 2-10-2's need reasonable flat track.

 

Just to show the problem, here is one of the worst examples of what I've found. Please note that this is NOT a baseboard join, this is just the track humping over a crossmember.

 

post-4476-0-91149000-1492173828_thumb.jpg

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Yes I'm afraid 3-4mm needs a lot of support. Even with 6mm I'd have cross members every foot and on my Swiss layout I actually supported narrow trackbed sections with one inch strips making a T girder.

Still it can be sorted but adds a little weight. One way to flatten it is add longitudinal pieces of 2x1 glued and screwed. You can flatten the bumps by using a deeper 4x1 just screwed on to flatten it while the glue dries then drop it off and replace with another 2x1. I only suggest the deeper one as the 2x1 might bow while drying but once the glue dries the lamination keeps it flatter.

Otherwise longitudinals made from 6mm ply with round holes are very light but a devil to fix at this stage as clamping while they dry will be challenging amongst all your track.

One of the reasons I went back to 9mm ply and use trollies to shift the layouts ;)

With laser cut boards interlocking tabs 3-4mm would probably be ok if glued everywhere and sealed with paint.

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Yes I'm afraid 3-4mm needs a lot of support. Even with 6mm I'd have cross members every foot and on my Swiss layout I actually supported narrow trackbed sections with one inch strips making a T girder.

Still it can be sorted but adds a little weight. One way to flatten it is add longitudinal pieces of 2x1 glued and screwed.

 

 

I don't want to add a lot of weight by adding 2x1 if I can avoid it.  I am experimenting with the very time consuming method of lifting all the (PECO code 100) track between crossmembers and packing underneath with multiple sheets of thin card and then gluing the track back. Time consuming but cheap and doesn't add any significant weight - so far it's worked well but a BIG job. Luckily it's only the fiddle yard so I may not deal with the mild waving especially on roads 6-15 which are diesel only and the QJs will never run on these tracks.

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Back in the late 1980's with our Alresford layout, one of the baseboards developed a distinct twist. The only way we could pull it back into shape was by fitting a length of Dexion (steel L girder) diagonally across the underside of the baseboard. It added some weight, but was necessary to save the layout. Our later layout, Bognor Regis, was never completed because the board ends warped so badly, we could not fit the baseboards together properly.

 

Getting the woodwork right is really important. Good luck.

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  • 2 weeks later...

As I may have said before there is more to building an exhibition layout than just modelling ............ I want the layout to be well presented and previous experience has taught me that loads of add-on facias/screens and displays are very time consuming if you need to bolt them on when you get to a show. So here is my first facia/screen ......

 

post-4476-0-76841000-1493274447_thumb.jpg

 

It's held on with magnets to save time in setting up - and no bolts/nuts to lose!

 

post-4476-0-19694300-1493274469_thumb.jpg

 

Have also been experimenting with colour for the backscene  ..... I had originally thought of using black, then tried a very dark grey and then a plastikote spray grey primer which was too light and too blue - I am not trying to replicate sky, I am creating 'the void'.

 

So yesterday experimented with three new shades of grey (no jokes please) ..... I have already rejected the middle one and am considering the other two.....

 

post-4476-0-50723400-1493274484_thumb.jpg


 

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I do like the darker grey, it hints at the modern grottiness in parts of industrial China which I think the lighter colour would be too "clean" for.  I think the darker grey would also add a nicer contrast for you buildings than the lighter colour, but that's just my opinion, you have to choose what you are happy with in the end.

 

Cheers
Tony

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Agree, darker grey on the left. The grey on the right just looks too clean and close to the colour of your apartment blocks which means they'd kinda get lost on it which would be a shame given the attention to detail you've put into them. If anything I think the darker grey will help them stand out more than a blue sky would!

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I do like the darker grey, it hints at the modern grottiness in parts of industrial China which I think the lighter colour would be too "clean" for.  I think the darker grey would also add a nicer contrast for you buildings than the lighter colour, but that's just my opinion, you have to choose what you are happy with in the end.

 

Cheers

Tony

 

Agree, darker grey on the left. The grey on the right just looks too clean and close to the colour of your apartment blocks which means they'd kinda get lost on it which would be a shame given the attention to detail you've put into them.

 

I agree that the darker grey looks better with the apartment block in the photo, but not all my apartment blocks are that colour - the one in the photo is a 'modern' one - say 1980's , but there is another design (1950's) that are much more heavily weathered.

 

Here is a recent photo with both styles of building on show. The 1950's tenements are shown in this test session against the blue/grey plastikote primer that I have aready rejected as I think is far too blue, too close to sky .....

 

post-4476-0-53683900-1493292083_thumb.jpg

 

I will do another mock up tonight that shows the heavily weathered tenements in front to the two grey options - it could be that opinions might change. The heavily weathered tenements may benefit from the lighter grey backscene.

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I agree that the darker grey looks better with the apartment block in the photo, but not all my apartment blocks are that colour - the one in the photo is a 'modern' one - say 1980's , but there is another design (1950's) that are much more heavily weathered.

 

Here is a recent photo with both styles of building on show. The 1950's tenements are shown in this test session against the blue/grey plastikote primer that I have aready rejected as I think is far too blue, too close to sky .....

 

attachicon.gifimage2.JPG

 

I will do another mock up tonight that shows the heavily weathered tenements in front to the two grey options - it could be that opinions might change. The heavily weathered tenements may benefit from the lighter grey backscene.

I actually think that works really well. It says soot grime, smog etc.
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The 1950's tenements are shown in this test session against the blue/grey plastikote primer that I have aready rejected as I think is far too blue, too close to sky .....

Nah, in China the sky is brown not blue...

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I'm gonna have to disagree with you there...

 

attachicon.gifimage.jpeg

Very nice Al. I must admit that the one and only time I visited Beijing the sky was indeed a sort of blue but with a definite brownish tinge:

 

post-21039-0-46878900-1493296399_thumb.jpg

 

post-21039-0-25189800-1493296501_thumb.jpg

 

However, in Changchun, which I visited regularly over a period of some seven years, it was, more often than not, nearer brown than blue.

 

post-21039-0-59225000-1493297457_thumb.jpg

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I have mocked up backscene with the weathered tenements and the two shades of grey.

 

I've taken the two photos in virtually the same lighting conditions and without flash. So hopefully these photos give an accurate impression of how the two greys look.

 

The dark grey .......

 

post-4476-0-72994200-1493323665_thumb.jpg

 

The light grey ....

 

post-4476-0-50279400-1493323681_thumb.jpg

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The light grey does look more like daytime with the sun trying to shine through the gloaming, the dark seems to be trending more towards an evening.

 

 

Loving the photos and layout by the way. What part of the world are you likely to be exhibiting in? I would love to come down and see this when it is ready.

Edited by Tim R-T-C
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  • TEAMYAKIMA changed the title to BEIJIAO - a large Chinese HO exhibition layout set in the 21st century

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