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Posted: Wed Jul 20, 2005 12:35 pm
by Versif
Inspired by Martin's Gnoobox I decided to have a go. I had the following box sitting around doing nothing. This turned out to definitely be the wrong box!


Boring isn't it :D

Posted: Wed Jul 20, 2005 12:37 pm
by Versif
Maybe that isn't everything though?


A view inside the box. Some bits and pieces.

Posted: Wed Jul 20, 2005 12:39 pm
by Versif
Some track is revealed.



With a very important piece. Note the shape of the 'ground' under the point.

Posted: Wed Jul 20, 2005 12:44 pm
by Versif
A view of the layout partly assembled.


And of the actual inglenook bit.


Hmm, those models are a dashing resin colour :lol: I've only had them for 6 months, what do you expect :?

Posted: Wed Jul 20, 2005 12:46 pm
by Versif
The traverser end of the layout


The view block in place.


Well that's it so far.

Posted: Wed Jul 20, 2005 12:59 pm
by Versif
What the pictures don't tell you is that the box turned out not to have a flat base. This was not immediately noticeable and required some shimming up of the layout to get the track to sit correctly. In fact the thickness of the card in the box which I originally took to be a virtue rapidly turned out to be the opposite :( Well you can't win them all.

The pointwork and parallel siding sit on 2 pieces of foamcore separated by a narrow gap that fits over the lip of the box lid. This helps keep it in place. The foamcore was cut at an angle to also interlock the bits together but on reflection this should have had more angles in it, but it works.

Wiring is not complete (not even started) but essentially all of the track in the main box area will be wired live. The point work and siding on the bridging piece will be wired live and to a phono plug to connect to the main box side via a phono socket . It will also supply power to the traverser by a similar plug in arrangement thus ensuring all 3 bits have power and can still be disconneted. Well, at least once I get the bits from Maplins.

The traverser is simply some foamcore running on balsa. I'll probably add some plasticard bearing strips to the edge of the 2 pieces of foamcore to imprive 'slideability'.

Didn't take too long to get to this point. About 6 hours of easy work wiith breaks to watch TV, have tea etc.

Of course I really don't like soldering wires to rails so that could take forever :) Still to do are some foamcore sides for the display area to tidy up that part but not urgent at this stage.


Posted: Wed Jul 20, 2005 1:10 pm
by Steve Bennett
Brilliant Petar, I was enthralled as I scrolled down the page, watching the layout develop. Now this is what you call a portable layout, wonderful idea.

Posted: Wed Jul 20, 2005 1:18 pm
by Versif
Thanks, but the credit has to go to Martin and David.

Martin for the insipration to try something, he's a perpetual motion machine as far as turning out layouts is concerned and David for the idea of altering standard track to improve its appearance, as mentioned on his planter thread.

My main Gn15 layout is in the doldrums at the moment and I wanted to do something to use all that equipment I've purchased off you :lol: It may inspire me to start painting it all :)

Mind you I still haven't been able to build that van, I think I need another pair of hands!


Posted: Wed Jul 20, 2005 1:59 pm
by Steve Bennett
Versif wrote:Mind you I still haven't been able to build that van, I think I need another pair of hands!

:lol: I think we would all find an extra pair of hands useful. Seriously though, if you are having trouble, I will see if I can work up a guide to putting them together. They are fairly simple, when you know how.

Posted: Wed Jul 20, 2005 2:10 pm
by Versif
I've always found it fairly simple when I know how :lol:

Getting to know how is part of the hobby but any help appreciated. It's getting it to go together square that's bugging me! That's where the extra pair of hands would come in handy.


Posted: Wed Jul 20, 2005 2:53 pm
by MOG
Cheers for the credits, it's brilliant to have inspired anything..but take the praise mate - that looks great! Be careful though.. you're in danger of discrediting your 'Bodger' status with engineering like that ! :wink:
As far as being a perpetual motion machine as far as turning out layouts is concerned .. last time I saw you, you'd got three or four on the go yourself hadn't you? :lol:

Any ideas on aligning the traverser?.. or are you going to trust on keen eyesight and a steady hand? I'm trying to figure out a simple and discreet way of aligning my lid/cassette at the moment that doesn't interfere with the lid closing.

Posted: Wed Jul 20, 2005 3:32 pm
by ian holmes
Great work Petar;
Its just not fair the last thing I need is all this inspiration...



Posted: Wed Jul 20, 2005 4:31 pm
by AndyA
Petar, a great piece of work. I look forward, as with Martin's to seeing the thing take shape.

The one-from-two traverser should be alignable (if that's a word) the same way as my two-from-three: leave equal space at either edge and the thing aligns by lining up at said edge, thus:


In a shoebox this will work by butting up against the sides. In the winebox, a couple of pegs should do it.

Andy A

Posted: Wed Jul 20, 2005 4:57 pm
by Versif
The traverser was designed to align by the simple expedient of butting up against the lid sides (much as AndyA suggested).

The first track was laid (the point work) and then the traverser laid so that it aligned. At this stage the traverser was the full width of the box. I then cut it down, aligned it against the far side and laid the straight siding to align to it.

So in theory it should align perfectly. Of course there is some give in the sides of the lid so it still requires the use of the mark 1 eyeball :)

This could be resolved by retrospectively fixing some wooden stops under the traverser and onto the lid so that when they meet there is less give, that said it doesn't appear to be too much of a problem. I find eyeballing straight track to be no problem when aligning, its the dread sector plates that get me every time!

Should there be a next time I'll glue wooden strips down each side and a central wooden strip to the traverser part, then sort so that the tracks are aligned with the traverser.

Posted: Wed Jul 20, 2005 5:17 pm
by Versif
Martin, If you look closely at the lid you can see that the wooden blocks don't touch either side, or indeed the ends. There is a 5mm gap all the way around (into which I can insert my fiddle yard blocks, carefully planned in advance).

That allows the lid still to fit on the box, but due to the thickness of the box at the top it's a tight fit. It will also allow the wiring to run around from the traverser to the bridging piece.

That bridging piece is a cheat in that it allows me to extend the layout length being cut so that it fits in the main box when all is packed away. That way I can fit the point in rather than have 3 tracks served by a traverser which would make alignment much more difficult. Of course it means 3 separate pieces to feed power to but it's a fair exchange for the ease of alignment.

Now I may have 4 layouts plus this one on the go but the difference is you finish them. Yours get painted and scenic detail applied. Unlike mine which tend to languish in bare board state for ages :(

I've only managed to get halfway decent on one of them.

WARNING avert your eyes all Gn15 purists (whatever that may mean in guage and scale) :lol:


Posted: Wed Jul 20, 2005 6:59 pm
by MOG
Thanks for the traverser thoughts..I'd kind of planned to do just that - measuring for maximum travel in order to align (I did it with the sector plate on Middle Street, and the tiny traverser in my 009 shoebox) The problem I've created for myself is that my lid isn't a traverser.. the single track is fixed to the lid and the whole lid moves. I'm working on some kind of peg idea.. it just needs to be micro and, as I say, not prevent the lid from shutting..
anyway, we digress.. even more impressed with the unbodgelike approach Petar!! :wink: You've obviously thought about it first.. whereas I tend to grab a piece of wood and a bit of track and set to!! (well, not quite) :D
How's the big one coming along?

Posted: Wed Jul 20, 2005 8:01 pm
by Versif
I planned a version in XtrkCad first. Of course I promptly built it the opposite way to my plan, mainly because I opened up the wrong side of the main box. :lol: I never was very good at left and right :oops: That and it maintains my bodger status of course!

THe big one is mainly collecting stock :) Intending to rearrange the second yard to eliminate an S curve.

THe 57" by 10" now has 2 bridges in place and a walthers cornerstone furniture factory. Also in the pipeline are a couple of DPM buildings and a highway overpass to mask the fiddle yard entrance. Ratio oil tanks from former OO layout will be scavenged for this layout as well. Using this one to pilot ideas before embarking on the big 'un. :) Essentially a symmetrical shunting layout using 4 Y points with no run around loop.

Well that's my excuse. Mainly I just run the trains on the large layout and the lack of scenery doesn't bother me. :lol:

That and the thought of that ballsting all that track is depressing me!

Posted: Wed Jul 20, 2005 8:12 pm
by Versif
Original plan looked like this


Originally I was simply going to extend the lefthand side of the point so that a straight cut ensued, but as I was building it I realised cutting out the shape of the point would be better. Likewise the point starts at the traverser rather than having an extension piece (effectively swapped them over).

I also made the screen for the fiddle yard demountable so it could be stored more easily as well as extending it to the main box and not stopping at the start of the flap. This gives less viewing area but hides the point better.

As they say, what's the use of a plan to a bodger!

Posted: Wed Jul 20, 2005 11:20 pm
by David Nix
Thanks for the credit Petar, it certainly makes old OO track look reasonable.

I like your layout - and I think its one of the things I like best about Gn15 - the way that an operationally practical layout can be put together relatively quickly in a tiny space. (I think there are too many y's in that paragraph) :roll:

But I'm with you on completing the scenery, etc., once it's operational the motivation seems to evaporate - good job we're not all the same :!:

Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2005 5:49 pm
by michael
David wrote

But I'm with you on completing the scenery, etc., once it's operational the motivation seems to evaporate - good job we're not all the same

Why is that :?:

I think it is because there is so much inspiration on this forum that we all feed of it and get excited about the next project. :)

Regards Michael

Posted: Sun Jul 24, 2005 10:44 pm
by Versif
After a second trip too Maplins, the first one being abortive, they were shut after being robbed on Friday, I bought the necessary electrical connectors to link the 3 separate bits together.

In the interim, following some advice from Steve about fitting Kadees, 1 loco and a number of wagons were converted. These have been duly shunted back and forth. One thing I hadn't allowed for is that Kadees take up more room then link and pin, no real problem on the shoebox layout but more problematic on my Gnotter Yard layout. It reduces the capacity of the left hand sector plate from a loco and 3 wagons to a loco and 2 wagons. The righthand sector plate is now a tight fit for a loco and 2 wagons (its previous capacity but with a bit of slack).

An experiment with rare earth magnets proved unsuccessful. They were too powerful and pulled the wagons, weighted or otherwise down by the trip pin! I had to resort to a standard Kadee magnet. I've yet to try the magtrix magnets suggested by Jack Trollope in MTI 59 but I've bought some to experiment with.

Both locos now have been given a basic coat of paint, dark green and some rusting has been attempted on one of them. Any recommendations for rust? I'm not happy with my first attempt :(

Layout will probably end up representing a gravel pit, since I have lots of suitable gravel looking material as well as a couple of large boulders, by Gn15 standards.

Although the loco drivers have only been undercoated they've shown a design flaw once they were sat on the locos, the scenic block isn't high enough to clear their heads :) Need to cut out another with sufficient headroom, literally.

One other operational aspect was noted and duly fixed in a suitably Heath Robinson way to maintain my bodger status. The layout tended to come apart as the traverser was operated. Rubbers bands, one on each side are held in place by 2 pins on each side. This keeps the layout together despite my hamfisted traverser movements. The pins in the lid are removable to ensure it can still function as a lid when required.

Other than that not much more progress to report but at least it's running!

Posted: Sun Jul 31, 2005 11:07 am
by Versif
THe layout now has a bit of colour. Firstly the rails and board have been washed with earth brown. Track then cleaned and checked all operational.

This is just the first stage to obscure the white of the foamboard.


Also on stage, as it were, are the gaffer, courtesy of Martin. Still unpainted but at least undercoated :)


My Gnat has also had a Kadee coupler fitted to the front. You can also see the loading platoform built from balsa wood.


Posted: Sun Jul 31, 2005 11:19 am
by Versif
Now I was never much cop at painting and the Gnat reflects that :) Rust is proving to be a problem to paint. The little white bits all over the photo are courtesy of the camera resolution and not dusting it before shooting :) At least it's had a bit of weathering.

There's no Kadee on the rear since it isn't actually needed at the moment and I was so impatient to get it running.


I've experimented with different magnets but eventually settled on half of a peco magni-simplex one. One thing I'd failed to take into account is the lightness of the wagons. Generally all the magnets are capable of pulling them down by the trip pin and we won't go into the joys of the wheels, which are strongly attracted to the magnet.

I also tried some of the magtrix magnets listed MTI 59 as well as some other rare earth magnets. They proved to have even more pulling power on the wheels :) I notched and then snapped the magnet used in half and it seems to work fine without being too strong. I've also weighted the wagons by fitting sheet lead underneath the bodies with cut outs for the wheels. This helps.

The Gnat does have a driver but he's only undercoated. Next task is to do some ballasting of the tracks.

Posted: Sun Jul 31, 2005 2:14 pm
by MOG
Coming along nicely Petar.. glad to hear that you've not forsaken the Bodger status!! :wink:
Nice to see the gaffer being employed.. although from that angle it looks like he needs a wee!
One thing I used for rust - quite liked the result.. was 'Basetex' by Colour Party.. I had some left over from basing up figures. I used an earth brown and mixed in orangey-reds until I was happy and then dry brushed it all with a more yellow tone. You certainly get a texture to it but it's not that easy to control so probably a method best for areas of serious rust!
(For those who may not know and are wondering..Basetex is basically a textured acrylic paint. It is used by wargamers for painting onto figure bases amongst other things. It dries pretty solid and comes in a variety of colours)

Posted: Sun Jul 31, 2005 2:41 pm
by Versif
Give up my bodger status? Never :) I'm never going to produce some of the masterpieces we see here but at least I'll have something that's presentable (ish). As long as you don't look too closely that is. :lol:

As for the look, well that could explain the damp patches.....

The bodged weight in close-up. Held in place solely by the Kadees.


And a bit of the ballasting. Still looking wet as I wait for the glue to dry. I think it was probably gravel for the lizard vivarium originally but it looked about the right size and definitely better than OO ballast. Of course it all depends on how it dries out. At least there shouldn't be the dreaded greenish tinge. My view is I can always drybrush it if the colour doesn't look right when it dries. This reminds me of one of those multigrain snack bars :)

I've also got some small gravel but it's slightly larger than than shown and much more rounded. Didn't look right when I tried it although the colour was much better.


I keep pushing a spare wagon along it to check the clearances. The other board is done in the same manner but stops at the gap that the lid top fits into. The new scenic break, suitable extended to allow the drivers head to clear should mean the section not done can't be seen.