Wednesday, 12 May 2010

OO Module Mockup

A common suggestion when planning a layout is to build a small scale model as an aid to visualising what the completed model is going to look like.  Since I wanted to be able to visualise how a much space my theoretical continuous run set up would take in the lounge I decided that some full size module templates would be needed.  If I just wanted to see how much space they would take up I could have cut templates of of paper, but I wanted to see how sturdy a lightweight baseboard was likely to be, and see where it could be stored.  A few hours over a couple of afternoons with a knife, some corrugated cardboard and a glue gun gave me this.


It's stronger than I thought it would be, and the real thing would have more bracing, so I don't think strength will be an issue.  Modules of this size would also be fairly light if made out of foamcore, and if they were made so that they could be stacked then it would be fairly easy to store a few on top of a wardrobe. 

Of course if I want a continuous run then I'll need some curved modules too, so I got out the lining paper and made a couple of templates.  A length of Flexitrack and an intermodal twin set proved that the curves will be tighter than I'd like, but I don't think they'll be so tight that I can't live with them.


So in theory I think it could work. However I have a couple of reservations, the first is that I've only got a couple of scenic ideas for the curved modules, and I can't work out how I'd match these ideas up with the ideas I have for the straight modules. The second is the number of modules I'd need for a continuous run. If I make each curved module 60°, then that's 6 modules just to make a circle. If I add in two 3' long straight modules, I'll just have a big train set, with no sidings, so I think I need two 3' modules on each side of the oval. This puts me up to 10 modules, and I think the set-up and take down time, problems with board joins, and amount of room the set-up would take would mean I'd not play trains very often.

I've not got a great deal of modelling time at the moment, so I've a while to mull the options over. One option would be to build a single straight module to get my hand in, and then it could either be used as a photo diorama or be connected to some future project.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Narrow Gauge South 2010


It's now just over a month since Narrow Gauge South, and I've finally got round to uploading the photos I took to Flickr!  We had a good day out, and had our first picnic of the year.  I didn't take many photos, since I spent most of the day carrying my 2 year old daughter around so that she could see the layouts.  Her favourite was Torreton (pictured above), and she spent a few minutes looking in the mine excitedly waiting for the train to pop out.  She had definite ideas about which layouts she wanted to see, and on one occasion pointed out a layout that I'd missed!

Particular highlights for me were the Clydach Valley Railway, an impressive fictional preserved railway which managed to pull of the 009 cliché of having stock from well known Welsh lines; Khan, an 009 portrayal of German military railways in Namibia, and finally seeing Dunbracken.  I also bought a couple of things, but more about that later.

Mick Thornton
Michael Campbell: Blog Post, Pictures.
Fairlight Works: Blog Part 1, Blog Part 2, Pictures
Jamie Warne

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Sleeper stacks at Eastleigh


I took this photo last summer at Eastleigh Station. I'd seen these piles of sleepers as I passed through the station and noticed that they were high enough that the trains on the tracks behind them were completely hidden. I though it could be a good scene to recreate on a model railway so the next time I changed trains at Eastleigh I took some photos with my cameraphone. It could be used as a different way to disguise an exit to a fiddleyard, or the area behind the sleepers could be used as on-scene staging, i.e. an area that is partly hidden, where wagons can be replaced. Most of the sleepers have now been cleared away, but there are still a few, along with some piles of old ballast and plenty of Buddleja.

So am I going to build this scene? Well I'm not planning on designing a layout around it, but if I find myself building a layout where it would fit in then I might, though building the sleeper piles would take a lot of time and patience.