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Blog Comments posted by hayfield

  1. That's a shame as the only thing that comes close to looking like a prototypical turnout are Wayne's very easy to build kits "British Finescale" or the EMGS ready built turnouts but they are in EM gauge


    I must admit there are some disciplines within the hobby I don't enjoy, but they its the wide amount to variety of things that make up a layout which keeps our interest 

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  2. 3 hours ago, Siberian Snooper said:

    If you belong to either the EMGS or the S4 society, you can get the Exactoscale turnout chairs all on one sprue and enough for several turnouts all in one pack. Do remember that the EM gauge chairs have a 1mm flangeway gap and the S4 have 0.86mm gap.




    3 hours ago, Traintresta said:

    I’m working to OO-SF so EM chairs wouldn’t be a problem.  I feel like I’m giving in too quick but I know within copper clad I can get up and running reliably and quickly. 


    I use the Exactoscale check chairs all the time, and have developed a workaround for use in EM & 00SF, it also works for standard 00


    Its worth remembering these chairs are designed for P4 the 0.68 is for standard P4 and the 0.8 is for P4 widened.


    The adaption is quite simple, on a 5 timber turnout I slide the two outer and one central chairs on to a check chair, I slide the two other central check chairs on to the stock rail




    This is a 4 timber check rail but shows the process, cut the outer chair half off. when you place the check chair in place, as both rails are not held in tension in the chair, the resulting gap is nigh on 1mm if using the 0.08 chair



    Now glue the check chair in place and its set at the correct distance using gauges




    A cruel close up shows the results


    Some of the special chairs can be used as is Common Crossing, special switch, slip and obtuse crossing chairs


    Be careful with slide chairs, there is a P4 one and a 4mm larger one for EM & 00




    This photo shows some of the additional switch chairs



    C&L now sell revised 2 & 3 bolt chairs, each sprue has 10 x std chairs, 2 x joint chairs, 2 x L1 (bridge) chairs and 2 functional (H section) fishplates



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  3. 4 hours ago, Lacathedrale said:

    I have built track with copperclad, with copper + etched chairs, and with plastic chairs in 2mm, 4mm and 7mm.


    The best solution IMO is copperclad with etched chairs, but I have only seen and tried this in 2mm and it is by far the most fiddly.


    I think there is a false sense of security with plastic components since they are familiar materials to a scale modeller and wagon-kit-basher. Generally one can de-solder and shove around rail and etched chairs on PCB fairly easily if they are out of gauge or alignment but the same can't be said of plastic.


    The 2mm Association have a book 'track: what it is and how to model it' which is very useful for any gauge and quite exhaustive, but @hayfield has put together a fair few series of photo essays on building them.


    False sense of security !! May be in 2mm scale. Personally I think less so in 4 & 7 mm scale. I had more issues with solder joints when making a 2 bolt etched chair turnout than anything else I have built, and I can solder !!! Plus they do not look 3D in 4mm scale


    Plastic welds itself to plastic. If a plastic chair is in the wrong place, simply cut it out and replace, better still ensure its placed correctly first time. You could always use brass chairs sparingly, soldered to copperclad timbers if worried. Unlike soldered construction, the idea is to place the chairs correctly first time without the need to fettle afterwards, or build crossings as sub assemblies, (this allows people to fettle) then fit them to the turnout/crossing


    I think the issues come from a lack of information/knowledge. Plastic chaired track is designed to be laid with a prototypical inwards leaning cant, therefore the rail head has to rotate in the gauge. Gauges must neither be too tight or deep, 


    I assume you are talking about gauge issues when you mention false sense of security. If you use the wrong gauges then gauge narrowing will be an issue in EM & P4 gauges (00 is far more forgiving and in a lot of cases gauge narrowing will improve running (00SF) ). Basic tight fit gauges are for soldered construction, use those specially produced for chaired track, which allows the head of the rail to sit at the correct angle. I have had to adapt some of my 3 point gauges as they were not designed for plastic chair construction, they held the rail upright, once removed the chairs relaxed back into shape resulting in gauge narrowing. I think sometimes some producers forget to educate their customers properly


    Its exactly the same if you want to stick the plastic chairs to ply timbers, use Butanone/MEK other solvents will not bond as well


    With the exception of soldering the Vee I have successfully used plastic chairs to hold the rails in both common and obtuse crossings in place, by using the correct gauges and either the correct or most suitable chairs  

  4. 4 hours ago, Traintresta said:

    I had seen those when I researched point kits but thought using plastic parts might be easier. Despite my experience of laying copper clad track, I tend to work in plastic for almost everything else so I thought I’d go that route with track work. 

    it’s early days yet and I’m still learning so I might explore the options. 


    Using plastic is not easier, but very much easier. The name Masokits gives you a clue. Very cleaver but so is Rubrics cube !!!!

  5. The kits are now in the Revised Southeastern Finecast range, not only supporting new etched brass chassis but may have a few more cast details. I have 2 Wills Metro tanks waiting for me to buy etched chassis for them, both came with the old cast chassis blocks.


    One I bought very cheaply, it had been built but dropped and the body had snapped in two where the tanks end (the footplate being part of the tank and cab sides) Previous owner(s) failed to repair it. As it had Romford wheels and a decent motor I thought at worst all I had to do was buy new sides, however at the second attempt I successfully soldered both sides together after taking the body back to a kit of parts. On reflection had the boiler been soldered to the tanks it may have suffered a dent only.


    Still I will look on keenly at your build

  6. Especially with Templot being free I cannot see why anyone should even contemplate chopping up a C&L plan, all you will get is a plan with a series of doglegs, not necessarily spaced out evenly. For longer Radii get twp people and a piece of string. One person acts as the centre point and just keep lengthening it until the arc of the string matches the arc of the track.  Or if you wish to draw a radii, tie a pencil to a piece of string, measure out the radius you require, pin the center point and draw the radius line. Unless you are a perfectionist it doesn't have to be mm exact.


    Or use a track setter, the radii is printed on it 

  7. Does not come as a kit put as individual parts. I thought the EM Gauge Soc sold these bases, but I can only see the universal point and crossing pack. Certainly they are available from the Scalefour society, I buy then at their shows.The common crossing will work on a curved turnout, which you could easily use on a curved Templot template to your chosen radii (this is the hardest part done for you).I can always email a PDF if you give me details of radii and crossing angle.  Curved turnouts are just as easy to make as straight ones.


    The additional switch and common crossing packs are good value at £2 each, most folk have the standard and slide chairs if track building, bridge chairs a bit dearer at £8.50 but thats for 100 which will last for ages, check chairs costs the same but enough for 10 turnouts, whilst the cost of some of these chairs add up you are saving money on not using standard chairs. Don't forget the functional fishplates both in plastic and brass. But you could equally make a decent turnout from the basic bits


    The additional switch chairs make one left and one right hand turnout, you are left with several half chair pieces, and if used , would be cost neutral with standard chairs, the common crossing chairs makes one of the following  1-5,6,7,8,10, if all used again will be cost neutral on the saving of cutting up chairs, Check chairs also are about cost neutral against chopping up standard chairs. A larger initial outlay but looks so much better and more or less cost neutral 


    As far as the special chairs are concerned C&L were not in the game however Phil is in the process of updating his sprues 2 bolt are out now and 3 bolt in the next couple of weeks. each pack contains 250 standard chairs, 2 bridge chairs, 2 J (joint) chairs and 2 types of fishplate, 350 parts in all for £22. Dearer than Exactoscale, but the J chairs have not been modelled before, as have the 2 bolt bridge chairs and the reinforced fishplates



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  8. If you are a member of the EM Gauge Society another quick win for building turnouts are the Exactoscale turnout bases. These can be used with Either Exactoscale or C&L chairs, also you can use either all the special chairs from Exactoscale, or cut down normal and slide chairs


    Common crossings strike fear for some, I have successfully use soldered Vee units and used plastic chairs functionally to fit the wing rails.  0.8 check chairs can be used simply by chopping half a chair off and putting 2 chairs on the stock rail and 2/3 chairs on the check rail, I also use this method of modifying check chairs for fitting wing rails, but chopping up standard or bridge chairs also works


    2105975935_54(2).jpeg.0420cf2c3319e1f3a32be0481e31e1ac.jpegWithout boring folk too much


    On the left the Vee with chairs the nose needs supporting by a bit of 0.5 plasticard,                 on the right the first wing rail, check chair cut in half on the right




    Both fitted in place, fit the straight stock rail after the vee, but before the wing rail. With the wing rail, glue in 2 halves leaving the first half to set completely over night, leaving the gauges in place. Do the same with the other half of the wing rail, as the chairs once set will hold any slight tension in the rail. Don't forget to electrically bond the wing rail to the vee



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  9. 15 hours ago, down the sdjr said:

    Hi #hayfield

    Thank you for that very informative post.

    I have already started looking for damaged locos etc.

    I had to buy a lot of tools to do this (you need the right tool to do the right job etc) and have decided to stick to internal pistons for now, 3f 0-6-0 , 4f etc.

    As you can probably guess i messed up an expensive Bachmann 3MT during the learning curve but, i hope i can rescue it later on.

    PS, i still have not soldered that C&L tie bar to the point yet.....



    I will let you into a secret, I try not to use them, every time I do they end up with a bend in the centre


    I have slowly built up my selection of tools, though with modern kits the amount required is minimum, certainly a must is a hornblock alignment jig. which allows the axle bearings to be aligned with the coupling rods. Comet sell at a reasonable cost a set of chassis building jigs, Poppys chassis jig is a little more expensive, not used one but heard good results, I bought at a very low price second hand a Hobby Holidays chassis jig, its excellent other makes look just as good.


    I have found that buying an old built loco kit, then deconstructing it with paint stripper helps to understand the building process. For the newcomer older Wills kits are a good place to start. as David at Southeastern Finecast is ever so helpful in supplying missing/broken or upgraded parts for a fee.


    Look for locos like this one, can be turned around quickly and cheaply as it has most of what is required




    A Wills Back jumper looking a bit tired, it has an older Wills whitemetal chassis, A simple conversion would be to put new 1 mm plastic  sides on the chassis, buy a set of EM Markit axles. away you go an EM gauge loco, you could add extra details but a cheap EM gauge loco

    You could buy a Southeastern finecast etched chassis, I would expect a decent High Level gearbox and motor would improve it further, this would push the cost up a bit by be far better

    If you enjoy building, then take it apart and rebuild it, surprising what a difference can be made using modern methods, especially filler and decent paint finishes,

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  10. We seem to be going down a similar track to coin a phrase, Building the track I find the easy part, stock is not too bad. Locos is where there could be issues


    Buying new RTR locos can be expensive and I understand there are some drop in axle sets available at a price, kits do cost either side of £100 with the cost of wheels,motor and gears being much the same


    Sometimes its worth looking for a kit built item, which is reasonably priced, something you can add value and easily convertible.


    I have bought a K's pannier for a modest amount, it had Romford wheels, a simple conversion was to add 1 mm plasticard sides to the chassis (one side at a time drilling out the axle holes  as you go, and replace the axles for EM ones. Cost £4.50 + loco which was about £30. I have done similar by swapping the axles of a K's 14xx with Romfords  just adding Alan Gibson axle washers padding out the gaps between the chassis & wheel backs.


    A more involved conversion was a part built Southeastern Finecast N7 for £45 which included wheels motor and gears. The body needed painting, the chassis was part built, I unsoldered it fitted new chassis spacers, changed the axles to EM ones. The total cost just over £50.


    Its a case of keeping your eyes open for opportunities. It could be a loco or just parts. If you are into the LMS then there are quite a few older kits out there.


    I am also just finishing off a Wills Finecast E2, it had an old Triang Jinty chassis (what the kit was designed to use) The chassis was widened by removing the cast spacers and fitting EM ones, with Romford wheels and an Anchorage D11. It was cheap and unpainted. As you have said with complicated valve gear it gets much harder, cut your teeth with something simpler



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  11. Both E2's as I said were part built by others, as I said the one in primer was built to EM gauge standards



    The builder took an early Triang jinty chassis appart and fitted a D11/13 into it, it also has jointed code 75 coupling rods. a while back i fitted a plasticard cab interior, just needs fitting out




    As well as buying some missing parts from Southeastern Finecast and fitting them I fitted some Mainly Trains etched window bars, also Dart Castings whitemetal coach steps and some lamp irons from cut down staples




    This is the E1 chassis with the splendid High Level coreless motor, Photo shows a High Level Road Runner gear box, I will fit a Road Runner + to move the motor slightly forward a bit to clear the cab. The chassis is an early SEF etched one, uncertain if it has been further updated and revised, as itsa bit basic, still I managed to buy 2 on eBay cheaply as they had been badly built and shows the quality of the Hobby Holidays chassis building jig in sorting out what was quire a mangled set of frames


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  12. Ray


    The wheels are the easy bit if you use Markit/Romford as they self quarter


    I now have a chassis jig which makes life much easier, but many excellent models have been made on the kitchen table. A set of Hornblock alignment jigs are essential, but thankfully very cheap (£4 ish) also Comet frame jigs (£5.50) and a small glass shelf from a DIY shop. Start off with a simple 0-6-0 chassis without outside cylinders. there are a few good books on both loco and chassis building (Wildild Swan do 3 ) and Tony Wright has one or two great videos


    Everybody started off not knowing what to do, having a mentor was the thing, but with the web you have forums and videos

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  13. A year or more ago I bought off our favorite auction site what I presume is a Mainline  GWR Mogul with an 00 gauge  Comet etched loco and tender chassis, built bit with a running issue with the cylinders and pickups removed.


    It has Romford/Markit wheels, Mashima motor and I Presume a Comet gearbox GB1 or GB3. Doubt if I paid much for it ant the thought was to either get it working and put it under a K's 43xx or keep the wheels motor and gearbox and sell the chassis.. I find lots like these at least are a great source of inexpensive parts. Markit wheels probable the best part of £60, Mashima motors £25, a 2 stage gearbox £17/18


    The main issue seems that the cylinder is not bolted to the chassis and gapped to fit a wider EM gauge chassis, coupled with the crankpins touching the crossheads despite being thinned down, hopefully an easy fix


    I have now moved to EM gauge, so the wheels motor and gearbox can easily be reused, but do I rebuild the chassis, or just sell the chassis and build a new Comet one ?


    Certainly the bodies are not for sale as they are far better than I can build a K's one to, its in the pile as a definite keeper. though a new loco chassis maye be the more sensible choice 

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  14. Kitpw


    Thank you very much for sharing the photos and the suggestion. most would not care too much about what track is used, in fact both platform roads will be using Exactoscale fast track bases which are 3 bolt. I want my layout to represent a dual time period, both pre-nationalisation and heritage. I think after all I have said about track standards I should make an effort certainly in the more visible areas, after all I have quite a lot of Exactoscale 60' track panels and I do enjoy building track


    Your photos do remind me that I do need to sort out point rodding as I go along

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  15. Just to remind an aged modeller where to stop, I am about to use 2 bolt chairs, but can I be bothered to use 2 bolt slide chairs. On other new builds I use Exactoscale chairs I have nearly 2,000 C&L chairs, once I start building the track in the centre section a yard of plain track will eat up 200 chairs, but then once the track is built its done


    Still not totally decided on what type/style of  tiebars or whether to use a different system. I must really get a move on deciding and thoughts on the third and fourth base boards will be looming soon

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  16. As far as your stay in the Premier Inn is concerned, if you are unhappy with the experience tell them. We stayer in the Travel Lodge close to Kings Cross and was far from impressed, I thought over priced (as all the hotels are in that Location, noisey and cramped


    In contrast on our return journey we stayed in an equally aged hotel opposite Turin railway station, whilst cramped it still had its late Victorian elegance and was a vastly better and had musc superior dining facilities, on a previous trip we had the pleasure of being put up in the Lingotto Congress which  was topped off with a visit to the old Fiat test track on the roof.  Just look at the prices against what is on offer.  Then ask me why I dislike London.

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