Quayside in a suitcase...

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Ian-IoM
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Quayside in a suitcase...

Postby Ian-IoM » Sat Apr 10, 2010 8:01 pm

'lo folks,

A few years ago when I still dabbled in OO9 I found an old suitcase (possibly shark skin) that I thought could make an interesting boxed layout, but couldn't decide what to do with it and I have been using to store model making stuff since then.

My hypothetical estate has now evolved into a small island so it needs a quayside of some sort, and the nautical theme seems to fit the case with its White Star Line labels, so I have a new project brewing...

Here's the case, and a rather low tech bit of image processing showing the general idea:
Image
With the harbour wall and part of the jetty thingummy removable it should be possible to close the case with most of the scenery in place. The track plan is an inglenook, with the possibility of attaching an offstage connection / fiddle at the left hand end of the quay.
Last edited by Ian-IoM on Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Dallas_M » Sat Apr 10, 2010 9:20 pm

Neat case ... neat design ... looks like a winner!
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Postby Korschtal » Sun Apr 11, 2010 3:11 am

I like your design: it fits well with the case too. Please keep us posted.
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Postby Adrian » Sun Apr 11, 2010 3:56 am

G'day Ian

Have often thought of building a 'train in a case' but have always had the problem that the case is too deep for a good display. Then you come along and build the layout in the lid. What a wonderful idea !

I assume that you have some sort of support under the main part of the case while operating the layout ?

Not sure if it is possible but if the track is lower than the hinge it might be possible to close the case without removing any scenery at all.

Love the concept and the case and hope that you don't mind if I borrow the idea sometime in the future !

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Postby dieselwater » Sun Apr 11, 2010 3:57 am

I like it Ian. The case has a lovely look to it, inspiring an atmospheric layout.
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Postby underworld » Sun Apr 11, 2010 1:38 pm

Very cool case and design!!! 8)


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Postby Ian-IoM » Sun Apr 11, 2010 6:36 pm

Thanks folks,

Adrian: I'd been stuck for the same reason, I didn't want to have to peer down on top of trains in the bottom of a suitcase, then the idea of using it upright struck. If the track was just in the lid the case could close without removable bits but I plan to use the space inside the main part of the case too for maximum area, another sketch might make it clearer:

Image

The lid area is the sea and harbour wall, with the quay and low relief buildings in the upright bit, when closed the timber jetty fits in the space above the buildings on the quay, well that's the theory anyway - I suppose I'd better try to build the thing now :roll:

(Btw, to justify the slightly odd arrangement I'm imagining that the original quay was prone to silting up so the timber jetty was built to allow access to deeper water. )
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Postby Ian-IoM » Sun Apr 18, 2010 11:03 am

Half an hour going mad with cardboard and masking tape and I've got a full size mock up in the case:
Image
Obviously it's a very rough job but it seems to confirm the feasibility of the idea, and the case closes with only the small bridge section and harbour wall removed. I'll probably need to hand lay the track and have a go at making the turnouts - gulp, never done that before, but there's not too much of it to do. I think it has good scope for scenic development - I'm imagining an old cobbled quayside with all the usual clutter, lobster pots and so on, and a well weathered timber jetty with a good dose of barnacles and general seaside gunge. (I'll be having another look at Michael's SBS on old timber too.)
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Postby underworld » Sun Apr 18, 2010 12:11 pm

Looking awesome Ian!!! That's probably the type of thing I Gneed to do. Something I could take with me on the road! 8) 8) 8) 8) 8)


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Postby Adrian » Sun Apr 18, 2010 1:34 pm

G'day Ian

Like your mock-up. Looks as if it going to work well.

Regarding the track and points......everybody told me it was easy to build my own. And with some PCB sleepers, raw rail and a set of gauges it was......unfortunatly nobody told me that getting them to work properly was not so easy.

I built 5 points for my 'Far Twittering' layout and had them on the baseboard in about one day......however it was two weeks before they ran reliably.......however it does get easier with practice.....I would suggest that you start with just one, like I should have done ( probably the one at the back because it looks as if it is on a straight ) ........take your time.....and learn from your mistakes.......which we all make.

Make sure that the rail tops are all the same height, make good use of the track gauges ( you should really have at least two ) and have a 4 wheeled wagon/bogie handy to run over the point to check that it is running free and not going where it shouldn't. Also be careful with the check rails.....they are there for a reason.

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Postby Korschtal » Sun Apr 18, 2010 3:27 pm

Ingenious and a very nice idea. I really hope you overcome the building track hurdle (and tell us how) because this has potential to be a cracking scene...
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Postby Glen A » Sun Apr 18, 2010 7:52 pm

Hi Ian,

Its looking good. From the sketch plan I couldn't see how it was still going to fold. But I can see on your mockup, that the sea wall along the back also needs to removable.

One thing that does worry me is that tight point that also crosses the join on the removable piece of jetty bridge. You have set yourself a big challenge there. :wink:

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Postby Ian-IoM » Sun Apr 18, 2010 9:04 pm

Thanks for the encouragement folks.

Adrian: Advice appreciated :) . I ought to have a go at making track sometime, I've been playing trains a long time but just using ready made track - seems like cheating a bit really.

Glen: Making the case close doesn't scare me too much, the main problem would be hiding the joins on the removable bits, particularly at the bottom of the harbour wall. As for the track on the removable bridge, point taken ( :roll: ), there isn't a lot of room and it looks a bit tricky but the layout is still pretty sketchy at the moment - I'll need to do a proper scale drawing of that bit and see what I can work out. A challenge is part of the fun anyway :wink:
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Postby Moronguhl » Mon Apr 19, 2010 8:47 am

This is looking lovely Ian! Simple but effective trackplan (particularly like how it's still an Inglenook despite being spread over so much space) and looks like it'll be very atmospheric. I've also had a go at mocking up the buildings with cardboard, gives you a very different perspective on things.

Lighting would probably be a cool thing to install in there, any plans for that?
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Postby Ian-IoM » Mon Apr 19, 2010 11:56 am

Moronguhl wrote:Lighting would probably be a cool thing to install in there, any plans for that?

:idea: I hadn't thought about it, but concealed lighting in the top of the case plus some working lights on the scenic bit could look good. Idea taken on board 8)

Btw, while I'm here - does anyone know a good online idiot's-guide to making you own points / turnouts :?:
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Postby Adrian » Mon Apr 19, 2010 2:08 pm

G'day Ian

For information on building points try :-

www.mtco.com/~ngntw/flextrackturnouts.htm

Seems to cover all the essential points ( pardon the pun ) and is not too verbose.

Regarding lighting, out here in Aussie land it is possible to buy very thin flouro tubes ( like about 3mm dia in a 9mm glass tube about a foot long ) in different colours including white. They run on 12 volts DC and are designed to illuminate fancy PC's and motor cars. They give a reasonable amount of light but very little heat.

Out here they are availiable from a firm called Jaycar which is where I bought mine. In the UK I expect they might be availiable from Maplins or maybe a hot rod car dealer ?

Hoping this is of some use

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Postby underworld » Mon Apr 19, 2010 2:22 pm

G'day Adrian!
In the States those tubes are called cold cathode, an online search might turn up other sources!

Ian

Adrian has a great idea with those tubes....some of them are quite brite and don't use much power.


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Postby Moronguhl » Mon Apr 19, 2010 3:26 pm

These cold cathode lights sound great.

Has anyone used them in a layout? Any idea how much distance can be put between the light and the surface it's hitting? Is a foot too far for them to illuminate?
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Postby foswaldy13 » Mon Apr 19, 2010 4:09 pm

I have not used them in a layout, but they should be able to cast light at least a foot or two. My old computer case had them built into the sides, and they were enough to illuminate the entire case.
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Postby Gerry Bullock » Mon Apr 19, 2010 4:51 pm

Mock-up looking great Ian. You may already have seen this:
http://forum.gn15.info/viewtopic.php?t=2212
Possible some ideas you could use from Richard's quayside scene.
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Postby Ian-IoM » Mon Apr 19, 2010 9:14 pm

Adrian: Thanks, I've had a look at the point building link - requires a bit more study and I'll give the photos a few more coats of "looking at", should be fun to have a go :)
The cold cathode lights sound interesting too, this is turning into an ambitious project :shock: :lol:

Gerry: Thanks, nice atmospheric layout there. I see I'm not the first to think of lobster pots and things :)
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Postby PeterH » Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:44 pm

Adrian wrote:For information on building points try:-
www.mtco.com/~ngntw/flextrackturnouts.htm


Also thanks for the link Ian. The sbs on plain track looks good too.
Peter

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Postby Dallas_M » Tue Apr 20, 2010 12:19 am

Hi Ian --

I liked the original sketch ... and I like the mock-up even better ... great design ... looking forward to more!
Cheers,

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Postby Adrian » Tue Apr 20, 2010 1:21 am

G'day Guys

Regarding the cold cathode lights..........
Not used them on a layout yet but have a couple mounted over the kitchen sink where they work great.
I should imagine that on a layout ( such as the suitcase ) in a section of the hall that requires lighting they would be more than adequate and in areas that are flooded with light, although they might get washed-out, it wouldn't really matter anyway.
Although the lights use 12vDC for power they need a 'magic' black box 80mm x 30mm x 20mm which converts the 12v to the voltage required for the actual tubes ( this came with the tubes ). The box gets just slightly warm but it does have to be hidden somewhere. Although mine did come with 280mm leads.
They draw about 3/4 amp for two. ( They come in pairs )

Regarding the points......
I suggested using a wagon/bogie to check that the point was working OK. I might add that it is worthwhile using something like a NMRA gauge to check that the wheels are at the correct back to back setting as well !

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Postby Kevin » Tue Apr 20, 2010 12:21 pm

Ian, Love the layout. I'm currently building a 7mm fishing village layout with a slight Emett flavour. I've just built a wooden pier and need to add finishing touches. Do you have any tips for barnacles etc?
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