Thursday, 2 April 2009

Still here...

It's been a year since the last post here (cue bugle call) and sadly not much has been done.

The baseboards for both the sketch and the main layout are now complete - thanks to a lot of help from Maurice Hopper, a very talented S scale modeller who lives near me. There is some Easitrak and a platform on the sketch baseboard, but as yet no canopy, office or connection to the fiddle yard/cassette.

The mainproject has had the track layout sketched onto the board and a couple of buildings started. These are bridges and conversions from Pola and Walthers N gauge kits. The main warehouses and rear elevation of a block of flats have been drawn, but nothing completed yet.

Sorry this all sounds a bit negative, but the intention is to keep going with it. I have given myself a good talking to, and WILL finish in time for the Expo in 2010.

........ probably.

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Panic and a slight diversion

Well, after getting hold of baseboard materials and mocking up the planned 4ft x 1 ft I got cold feet.

I have done virtually nothing but armchair modelling for a considerable time, and it all looked a bit daunting full size, so I decided to do a 'sketch' before embarking on the full thing.

I still have not decided on what kind of track to use; the original plan was to use plastic based track for the electrified low-level and plain soldered track for the high level parcels depot. Despite having enough materials in the gloat box I have not built soldered track for a while, and have never used any of the plastic bases. Then there are the other possibilities of chairplate track, Versaline, Bill Blackburn, Fencehouses....

Maybe if I made a little 'shoe-box' type diorama with 3 pieces of track (one for each method of construction) I could get a little experience and make informed decisions. Add an overbridge to disguise the track exit, a short platform with partial canopy and a small parcels office; that almost makes it a layout. A couple of short cassettes and it would be operational.

While this was going on I saw that Tescos had cheap plastic toolboxes on special offer. The inside dimensions of the big box were 17 ins by 6 ins. Decision made, a small easily portable layout on which to try some ideas before getting stuck into the main course.

A visit to Alexandra Palace exhibition and lengthy chat with the guys on the stand gave me inspiration and a huge amount of practical help and advice Many thanks to you all. Progress should be reasonably quick as I have enough re-wheeled Farish and Dapol stock to populate such a layout, and the boards are under way.

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Basic design

I've added notes and a sketch plan as doodled over the past couple of days - I reckon it's just possible to get all of this into 4 ft x 1 ft. It does restrict the stock on the layout at any one time, but items can always be replaced.

The fact that it's small should also make the job of backdating to BR(S) in the 1950s with green stock a lot less daunting a prospect.

Next step, check for track building bits in the gloat box, and sort out the two level baseboard.

Thoughts and sketch plan

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Layout Challenge - late starter's attempt

I have been fiddling with 2mm scale for far too many years - ever since I saw Rydesvale - the magnificent layout created by the Groves, father and son, at Westminster Central Hall when I was still at school.

Since then I have actually built a couple of wagons, some soldered track and a point.
I have some more points built for me by Keith Armes, and have converted a few items from Farish and Dapol, enough for me to build a small shunting yard. Never did manage to scenic it though.
There is also a box full of kits and bits that I have never had the courage to complete.

So why start a layout now?
Two main reasons:
  • I am now retired, in a secure flat, and have the time and space,
  • The layout challenge has made me feel guilty about the whole sorry history.