Just as it’s announced that England is to go into another nationwide lockdown I am thinking about all those projects that I have been putting off, mainly for friends that now can, should, will go ahead! I’m sure a lot of us are in the same boat or should that be wagon?! With now more enforced time at home should be a good time to progress our hobby projects.
One of mine it to get my workspace sorted out so I have all the tools I need near me and that I don’t have to keep moving things around. This is somewhat bigger project but think it will facilitate being able to just sit down and just model. Obviously there’s going to be a bunch of planning, which anyone who follows this will know I get just as much enjoyment out of that as I do building stuff. But at the moment I have a real Heath Robinson setup and would really like to make it a lot neater. Things like lights and mounts being permanently fixed would be good
I don’t make New Years resolutions but I would like to try out some different things. One of which is airbrushing. Of course one can go online and see a myriad of ways on how to do it but until one tries there’s no knowing. Then there is the debate of whether it is better to get better or start out with the cheapo kit and if one doesn’t click or progress then there’s no real loss. Anyway more of that story later..
So I guess there should be a wave of progress to report over the coming weeks, but then I may just get bogged down with following others with more interesting projects. Anyway what else do I have to do, well apart from all the jobs not finished in the last lock down! 🙂
Whilst watching a video on YouTube, which annoyingly I can’t now find, I saw out of the window of the train a covered bridge. I don’t know why but I hadn’t thought about covered bridges in ??
I first came across them when I became interested in American North Eastern railroading. But I never considered that I would come across one whilst riding along on the way to Disentis. This sparked off the interest in building one again. After watching the video and taking that screenshot I completely forgot to reference it so I couldn’t go back. But then with the power of the internet I could within a short space of time track down that same bridge. I came across this website that catalogues all of the covered bridges in Switzerland, a no small project. In order to make sure I cross checked the screen shot with Google Maps with their Street View.
Google’s Street View of Punt da Rueun
They opened out it to travelling across the RhB in ?? which is pretty amazing . Once I knew it was the one I wanted to model I started hunting the net for more info. And lo and behold it came up trumps! With a number of pictures from different angles and most importantly some dimensional drawings. I am pretty blown away at the speed and ease at which I found this information and am appreciative of Werner Minder‘s website for taking out the guesswork.
The next question is what to build it in? My first inclination is to use Plasticard due to the stability and sizes of stock that can be found to match the prototype. Then I got to thinking maybe a natural material would suit it better and the thought of building it in a wood grew on me. The downside would be the possible warpage due to climatic conditions. As I have not built that kind of medium I am a somewhat of a disadvantage. But looking at the stock and prices of basswood it seems to even out the choices.
A brief check at a place I used to love pottering around after work when I lived in London shows that probably for a couple of sheets of basswood would probably do it. I would need to work out a proper cutting sheet though. The seeds have been sown and I am not trying to uncover one of the three cutting mats I own that have not surfaced since the house move. I can guarantee that if I go and buy another the other will apart out of the wood work to taunt me.. I have a box of fresh 10A scalpel blades just need to decide how I’m going to take this forward.
Well I was planning to show that I do actually do some modelling and this bag contains parts for a kit that I long ago forgot from where it came and even if I brought it. I have a recollection that I might have picked it up on a second hand stall but I wouldn’t swear to it. Continue reading
I have finally got the plan printed out after bartering some advice and placed on the floor as you can see here and it has not disappointed me with outlining where things work and don’t work. Before I get into more of the detail I just want to reiterate the fact that this is NOT the final product Continue reading
I have spent some time drawing up the track plan for side 2, plan B or Urban side, I’m really not sure what I am calling it but till I start building it wont have a proper name for the layout. As I said before this is a very rough plan and only for placing, that means that I can see how realistic the sizing of things such as the sidings and slips are but it doesn’t take into account buildings and scenery which can be scribbled on after. Continue reading
Having spent way too long on YouTube over the last week and being rather taken with videos of Poschiavo Bahnhof on the Bernina line I have doodled up a track plan for the urban side or side two of my current layout plan. Continue reading
It was in to my mind the other day when I was just finishing up on test track 1.0 that I needed a project to move on forward to. The first one had proved its purpose in not only be able to test the stock I was about to sell but to also act as a test bed for future purchases. I am not ready to start on the big project yet as I need to get a number of things in place before I can do this. So my mind turned to what would be the solution to keeping the fifteen minutes modelling going on a daily basis and then it dawned on me that another test track was the answer, well actually a diorama is closer as I wanted to use it to start testing out new techniques and ideas but in a limited form that wouldn’t take me ages to complete. I then realised it could also be used to photograph stock and cameo pics for my Swiss layout.
It just so happens that I have some plywood knocking around that was cut for a project long ago that I am going to repurpose. Having a ready made base would speed things up no end, however I’m planning on trying to create a lightweight board with thin strips but braced more frequently for an open board design. As it’s attached to the wall via a cleat most of the weight will be held at that point so every effort to lighten the load is good.
I had tried mocking up the oval of track on the existing board but it didn’t leave me sufficient space at the front for the scenic area that I want to create. Then thinking about alternatives I came to the conclusion that in order to allow for the scenery ideas I had I would need height from ground zero to rail level to get the elevation angles I want for taking pics. Also I have never tried this method of baseboard construction having in the past always used the flat earth approach. Once again I seem to gravitate to that same occurring ideas but at least I am reigning in my natural tendencies to expansionism and so far have kept in focus the goal of just creating something and not getting stuck in the cycle of augmentation through to analysis paralysis.
Next time I will have some real pics of my efforts of keeping to the fifteen minute mantra but for now ill leave you with a bit of a visualisation..
This may not be new news to some but I thought it was pertinent to bring it up now as I sit down in front of my computer with Templot open and recognise and say thank you to the developer for an amazing piece of software that not only helped me no end but also makes me happy. If your at all interested in this check out the forum for info and friendly advice.
For those of you that don’t know Templot is track planning software for the hand built track maker. It has developed over decades to a very mature product that makes extremely complex tasks just a click of a button. What it is not is a and I use the term very loosely! a train set designer, much to the mystery and annoyance of some.
I would like to salute Martin for all his efforts and look forward to Templot carrying on into the future. Right back to designing my 150mm radius points/switches for my next project which will be unveiled later next week. So modelling is being done but just some of the 3D variety.
Oops, it’s been over two months since my last post and although there’s been no noticeable activity on here there has been progress in the background with some rationalising of the model rail empire in order to make way for new items that are more in line with the direction of my modelling for the moment. With the weather changing for the better now is the time to get outside and do any dirty work needed. I will be posting about that nearer the time I start out as I have a load of work to do on my room first to covert to a proper bedroom railway room, such as painting and decorating, building a workbench come desk, and some shelving. Like most things house related there are a bunch of other things that also need to happen and that’s before I have to get stuff done out in the garden, but following the mantra of fifteen minutes a night means a little progress is still progress. Little things can be tackled whilst waiting on the big things.
So what’s with the new plan? Well actually it’s not that new and after thinking that I had a lightbulb moment I realised that I had already visualised it for a previous project. However they do say that good ideas float to the surface, or something like that, and it is as good to me the second time around. The idea revolves around the layout having two halves with a rural section and an urban section. I can’t claim to be the originator of this idea and I originally saw it on the Oops, it’s been over two months since my last post and although there’s been no noticeable activity here there has been progress in the background with some rationalising of the model rail empire in order to make way for new items that are more in line with the direction of my modelling for the moment. With the weather changing for the better now is the time to get outside and do any dirty work needed. That will come in time and I will be posting about that nearer the time I start out as I have a load of work to do on the room first, such as painting and building a workbench come desk and like most things house related there are a bunch of other things that also need to happen and that’s even before I have to get stuff done out in the garden, but following the mantra of fifteen minutes a night means little progress is still progress.
So what’s with the new plan? Well actually it’s not that new and after thinking that I had a lightbulb moment I realised that I had already visualised it for a previous project. However they do say that good ideas float to the surface, or something like that, and it is as good to me the second time around. The idea revolves around the layout having two halves with a rural section and an urban section. I can’t claim to be the originator of this idea and I originally saw it on the late Carl Arendt’s site some time ago and although not the exact idea I contemplated it certainly sowed the seed of the current plan. I have scaled back over iterations as I started out with a rather ambitious plan, but I have been trying to encourage focused and achievable modelling and rain in my expansionist tendencies. I did get somewhat zealous in my desire to simplify ending up with the idea of just having a circle of track as I diaorama but realised pretty quickly that it wouldn’t be very fulfilling in operational interest but could allow for testing out some new skills in a small limited space in the future.
Effectively this is just a roundy roundy layout with the yards in the visible sections rather than hidden away from the onlookers gaze. It is a designed to just watch trains and with a bit of automation one can sit back and imagine sitting on the platform watching the world go by with maybe a cool drink on a hot summers afternoon. I tried designing the plan for Kato Unitrack but found that prohibitive cost of just a simple track plan was going to add up to far more than I was prepared to pay. The Unitrack system though is great for starting out and enthusing the young in my view and bit by bit an empire can be built. So that leaves me the option of using Peco code 55 finescale track with handlaid switches. This not only makes for swift progress in the bulk of track laying but also allows me to have custom geometry to squeeze in a little more detail or lines where the Unitrack wouldn’t allow. After quite a absence, I need to brush up my Templot skills and draft out the preliminary idea. I find that it is a great assistance to seeing how the railway fits the room (meaning the actual room and the room on the board) as the 3d world doesn’t always match the reality, my last plan being case in point as it looked great on screen but was never going to fit the space in a month of Sundays.
I am going to attempt shorter posts but more often with a round up probably on a Sunday in order to make it easier to keep up with this blogging malarkey, something along the lines of blog concisely and blog often. It takes me what seems like days to write a post but really what most people myself included want to see it pictures of progress. I hope to have some exciting news for next weeks episode so stay tuned and till next time..
I do love a plan especially when it comes together! For me the planning etc is all part of the fun and I see it as a way to minimise risks of getting things wrong. Maybe it’s a throwback to my professional career but I like to have an order of doing things. I know my friend Andy is the complete opposite and likes to make it up as he goes along. The diagram or mind map as it’s known is not particularly in order but then I will take each section and break down further to give me a more granular approach. I can hear the groans and sighs but it’s what make me happy and it’s my railway as the saying goes. I haven’t quite got to the point of having post-it notes on walls in agile/scrum fashion as even I think that is taking it too far but the digital cork board works for me and as we have access now to all this technology it would be rude not to use it.
I would say that this map is pretty generic to any model railway as there is a set progression that to a certain extent can’t be altered. Obviously nothing is going to happen with out a baseboard and wiring without track is pretty futile. But all this helps me to build up a picture in my mind of how it is all going to fit together and I feel that will lead to a more positive outcome from my efforts. Some might say that all this time spent putting plans together could actually be used building stuff but for me the time spent noodling ideas out will in the end lead to a much better railway. I also prevail on my friend for long chats that also help flatten out all the kinks which also helps with the outcome and in fact I think this is a very useful method of layout planning and whether you talk to a friend, go online forums or hang out at your local model shop (if you have any now) yakking with people there just getting different opinions will possibly help you to create a better layout.
Above is the initial plan for my layout in rough form and one that has not been tested out in real space and for all the 3D planning and mocking up it’s no alternative to the thing in the real space and as I have found many times before that one can be seduced into thinking it will all fit then only to be disappointed that it won’t. I suppose that that’s where the “make it up” brigade kind of win out as the are just making the track plans to fit the space they have.
As you can see there are three levels to the layout with helix turns at either end. The journey starts at the bottom level which will be an underground station like Chur and there is the possibility that it could share space with standard gauge push-pull sets but storage space maybe an issue and also it would mean buying non standard stock which I am not going to do in the current mode of downsizing all the extraneous stuff. I have yet to see if there is enough space to fit in all the rises and desents and although the Kato stock handles some pretty fierce gradients I want to make these as trouble free due to the nature of inaccessibility of the track. But again the real, tactile mock-up at 1:4 scale will hopefully illuminate any glaringly obvious foobars I may have made.
So that is a taste of what I am trying to achieve. I have a number of tasks and ideas to carry out before I can move the bedroom build forward but look out for more of this story unfolding in the forthcoming weeks. I am also planning on documenting some of this in video but I have a lot of steps to get to that point, not least my inexperience of creating anything like this. I know from my own experience that the moving picture is far more engaging that the written word but I do like this format and plan to carry it on alongside any video.