Watts'

For discussion of the issues faced when building a model or layout - how to replicate wood, what glues to use, exactly how much weathering can a Gnat take, a good source of detailing accessories - you get the picture, I'm sure.

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Postby henrix72se » Sat Sep 27, 2014 11:03 pm

this last green "fluffy stuff" was the yewel on the crone!

looks great.

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Postby RoGNer » Sat Sep 27, 2014 11:46 pm

Very GNICE indeed! Great ground work, very nicely done

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Postby Bilco » Sun Sep 28, 2014 11:01 am

Many thanks for the kind comments and likes chaps - I guess this is the time to confess that the 'sparse grass' on the tops wasn't intended to be like that! I found the video (I think I've mentioned it before) where you just spray carpet glue where you want the grass, then dab a bundle of fibres into it - hey presto, long grass. In my case the glue 'went off' very quickly so the fibres didn't stick if I waited, and if I dabbed them on at once I ended up with more grass on my fingers than on the scenery. However, I sprinkled lots of fine grit on top and enough stuck to produce the 'sparse grass with dead stalks' look.

The grass tufts look brighter in the photos - I took them in bright sunlight - so I might dry-brush them with tan to get a more dead grass look.
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Postby demaine22 » Tue Sep 30, 2014 9:12 am

Looks fantastic Bill! I though the vegitation added the extra spark, but then *boom* the 'trickle' is what made the scene for me. It just adds that extra layer of character to the scene, I love it. 8)
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Re: Watts'

Postby Bilco » Fri Feb 06, 2015 8:49 pm

Four months since the last update - where does the time go?

Since then there hasn't been much done on the modelling front, but I have been doing some rough woodworking. I want to make a roundy-roundy for exhibitions, and this will involve two semicircles of track for the ends, rather like the one on Wood Bros, and a straight along the back of the layout to connect them. I decided to start with the straight bit and my first attempt used 6mm MDF as the base. However, this was too flexible and the whole thing warped, so I found a more substantial bit of wood in the back of the garage and built up on that. The intention is to have the track base of foam insulation sheet.

In order to keep the whole rear edifice in place I built in 'horns' at the ends top go either side of the main board, and intended to use very strong magnets to hold it firmly. However, I saw a professionally-built baseboard on the NGRM Forum by Mulberry Modelling Works - http://ngrm-online.com/forums/index.php ... ling-works On this the fascia is held in place by roller catches, and as soon as I saw them a big lightbulb lit up over my head. A quick visit to the local DIY shop netted a couple and the job's a good'un.

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The rear board in position, held firmly in place by the roller catches.


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One end, showing the catch (just).


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The other end, showing the catch components fixed in place - just push together and the board is held.


The foam sheet is now in the rear board and the glue is drying. Next up the two end boards - might need more roller catches for them, too.
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Re: Watts'

Postby Bilco » Sun Feb 22, 2015 5:08 pm

More rough (very rough) woodworking has been going on to complete the bases for the 'track round the back':

Image

The initial long board has undergone some modification - as the roller catches are holding it firmly in position the 'horns' have been cut off and the board shortened by an inch at each end. Two end boards have been made with hardboard facings which form more 'horns' front and back, and locate the ends positively.

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The end boards will be held in place by two spring clips, so the whole thing should be secure and tight.

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Looking along the rear from the other end. The things sticking up on the rear board are the basis of a platform to hold the transformer above the track, with the wires held away from the action.

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In this view you can see how the hardboard front of the end board fits over the layout - all will be painted black in the fullness of time.

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And finally a view of the whole assembly from the front - plenty of space for explanatory text and photos!

Next up is bringing the Steve Bennett-inspired rail-bender into play to produce the curves at the ends, followed by a bout of track-laying.
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Re: Watts'

Postby Bilco » Sun Mar 15, 2015 4:02 pm

Well, positively racing ahead - only 3 weeks since my last post.

The threatened bout of track-laying has come to pass, and things are looking as if I might have meant them to be that way. As always, modifications have been made as I've gone along - particularly in the fixings of the end sections of the 'track round the back':


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The spring clips weren't quite positive enough in holding the ends in place, so roller catches have been fitted in their place. This is the mine entrance end, and the track extensions for the faux-point have also been installed to complete the illusion (hopefully).


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This is the other end - visible at the bottom of the end section are pieces of card needed to fine-tune the height - my woodworking is even rougher than I thought!


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A close-up of the fixings at the rear of the end sections. The position of the roller catch near the middle of the section left some 'float' at the rear, so this agricultural latch has been added. With the 'horns' at the front and rear the whole thing is now rigidly fixed together.

Electrical continuity is by means of springy brass wire 'horns' soldered to the ends of the rails on the end sections, which make contact with the ends of the rails on the front and rear sections when it's put together. This worked well on Wood Bros, but might need some tweeking to get good contact on all 8 connections. It also helps with fine rail alignment.


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A look along the rear of the layout, showing how it comes together. The 'bridge' for the controller also had some modification along the way. Now the track has been laid on the end sections hardboard end facings will be fitted to hide the 'orrible goings-on.

Next task is test-running over the circuit and some cosmetic treatment for the bit of the mine interior that will be visible from the front.
Bill

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Re: Watts'

Postby docnjoj » Sun Mar 15, 2015 4:47 pm

I love "roundy-round" layouts so I can just watch the trains go without having to control them. Subscribed.
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Re: Watts'

Postby Bilco » Sun Mar 15, 2015 8:55 pm

Tonight I connected up the power supply and controller, put a loco on the track - and it ran all the way round the circuit! The brass wire 'horns' are another Steve Bennett idea (from Simplicity Sidings, IIRC) and have proved a simple and effective way to send current to all the sections.

A few minor snagettes have come to light which I shall now work on, but the basic concept seems good. The whole layout is 60" long by 19" wide, and has a track plan that is almost as simple as Wood Bros!
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Re: Watts'

Postby Willow Creek Traction » Sun Mar 15, 2015 9:23 pm

Those roller catches are a stroke of minor genius, can't see ever coming up with that on my own. Which even with how annoying the web can be at times, illustrates a benefit of it, the easy exchange of helpful ideas. Is interesting to watch projects evolve.
later, Forrest Today's scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality. -- Nikola Tesla, July, 1934

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Re: Watts'

Postby Bilco » Fri Mar 27, 2015 1:33 pm

Forrest, you're quite right - I lifted the idea from another forum when I saw how it would achieve what I wanted much better than my own ideas!

I've done the snagette-solving, and my locos run round the circuit well, and the couplings cope with the 6" curves at the ends now. I've also done the cosmetic work on the mine entrance:


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From behind the scenes - the side walls are foam board with a coating of acrylic medium and finished to match the entrance. I laid ballast back a little way and painted it to get darker as it got further in, until it becomes matt black.


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To get the dark interior there is this lid - more foam board, made to be a tight friction fit in the side walls. It has to be removable so that I can clean the track - and get at any derailments if my track-fettling isn't good enough.


Image

From the outside - the illusion of a dark mine interior is close to what I wanted, and the internal cosmetics tone in with the outside. The faux-point is just visible, and all that can be seen in the depths is a faint, bright curving line of rail.

Lots of tidying to do, plus the addition of small details - junk and general grot - to keep me busy for a while. I think mai laidy waif is about the evict the layout from her dining table, so it's just as well I've finished this stage :D
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Re: Watts'

Postby Willow Creek Traction » Sat Mar 28, 2015 12:06 am

On my own layout I'd be massively paranoid about how close diverging track is to side wall.
later, Forrest Today's scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality. -- Nikola Tesla, July, 1934

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Re: Watts'

Postby Bilco » Sat Mar 28, 2015 9:27 am

Quite right, Forrest -

Image

That's been commented on before, and young Master Bates is always complaining that the axle boxes of the skip he has to push to and from the waste dump tip keep catching on the drain pipe and making it much harder to push. That's why he feels he's earned the sit-down and leisurely fag once the skip is empty.

Image
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Re: Watts'

Postby Robatron86 » Thu Apr 02, 2015 6:09 pm

I love this layout. I love the sleeper modifications you have made. And the detail you have around the tunnel mouth is stunning.

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Re: Watts'

Postby Bilco » Thu Apr 02, 2015 6:58 pm

The 6" curves at each end of the 'track round the back' have thrown up a couple of problems. The battery loco couldn't get the mine tubs around the curve with a fixed coupling, so I made its DGs swivel by trimming the bit in the mounting so that they pivot on the fixing pins. Now the tubs go tround a treat. The tubs have a wheelbase of 27mm, but the man-rider wheelbase is 37mm, and this is too much for the curve - the wheels jammed against the rails and the Eimo wasn't able to budge it. I made the couplings swivel on both the loco and man-rider, but that wasn't enough, so I made the wheels on the man-rider swivel as well, and that fixes that problem.

However, another problem rears its head - the swivelling couplings need to be self-centering, or they swivel in opposite directions and I can't couple up. I've tried several designs of springy wire devices on the locos without any success, as I can't get a good length of wire, and a short one isn't very springy. On the man-rider I have managed to get a long springy wire run underneath, and that seems to work:

Image

OK, it's as rough as a goat's knee, but it works. I had to grind plastic away to get the wheels to swivel enough without catching on the floor, and the plastic strips are swivel limiters - the man-rider always goes round facing the same way, so I only need to limit one side. The springy wire - phosphor-bronze stuff that came with the DGs and wasn't needed as I use guitar string wire - has a good, long run, and attaches to the DG through a little hole behind the delay-coupling flap.

The wheels are pivotted with more bits of the square plastic rod with a hole through it, as used to hold the axles, and self-tapping screws into the floor. Now I've proved that it works I shall touch up the paint and tidy up the fixings. I'm now looking at using phosphor-bronze strip on the locos, but I need to try out my design - tomorrow :roll:
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Re: Watts'

Postby docnjoj » Thu Apr 02, 2015 10:26 pm

That is really clever. I would have not thought of swiviling (sp) 2 wheel trucks.
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Re: Watts'

Postby Willow Creek Traction » Fri Apr 03, 2015 12:37 am

Pivoting axles are used some on 4 wheel cars in the regular 45mm gauge G, but, yeah, I also would have not thought of using them on track gauges below O.
And ...
Is it tomorrow yet? :D
later, Forrest Today's scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality. -- Nikola Tesla, July, 1934

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Re: Watts'

Postby Bilco » Mon Apr 06, 2015 6:37 pm

Bilco wrote: I'm now looking at using phosphor-bronze strip on the locos, but I need to try out my design - tomorrow :roll:


Well, we used to say in the RAF "Tomorrow we'll get organized", but tomorrow never came. I did try out the phosphor-bronze strip, but it doesn't like being bent sharply through 90 degrees, and there are lots of bits of snapped-off strip which have vanished into the carpet.

I realized after a while that I could do something like I did on the man-rider, so I broke out the PB wire again and tried out some designs. Again, there are lots of bits lost for ever - springy wire tends to spring off into another dimension if, like me, your finger-tips have the sensitivity of a couple of house-bricks after decades of being pierced with sharp points, hacked with sharp blades, and getting stuck with super glue :roll:

Anyway, the two locos have finally been outfitted with self-centering devices:


Image

The Eimco compressed air loco - lots of space underneath for a good length of wire.


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The battery loco - lots of room under the rear end, but a bit tight at the front, until I realized I could fix it to the underside of the motor with superglue.


The resultant wires are blackened where they show, and aren't too obvious from normal viewing distance:

Image


Image

and close-up.


The couplings certainly self-centre now, but I haven't had a chance to try them out round my 6" radius curves, as the layout has been split into its 4 parts and distributed around the house until I can get permission to reassemble it on the dining table.
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Too soon old, too late smart.

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Re: Watts'

Postby Willow Creek Traction » Tue Apr 07, 2015 1:19 am

Hey, ya found a way!
Compressed air loco is cool. Need to get that one idea I had some time ago out and make progress on it.
later, Forrest Today's scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality. -- Nikola Tesla, July, 1934

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Re: Watts'

Postby Bilco » Tue Apr 07, 2015 7:50 am

Hi Forrest,

The build of the Eimco is here http://forum.gn15.info/viewtopic.php?f= ... =gimme+air
Last edited by Bilco on Wed Apr 08, 2015 7:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Watts'

Postby Willow Creek Traction » Tue Apr 07, 2015 10:17 pm

Eimco build is interesting about shaping the tank ends. And yes, the paint effects look good.
My air tank job is being made of cardboard and balsa; so far has cardboard tube for tank, needs ends, still, after several years sitting forlorn. Intent is to shape from balsa then seal and sand. We shall see.
later, Forrest Today's scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality. -- Nikola Tesla, July, 1934

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Re: Watts'

Postby Nevadablue » Sat Apr 11, 2015 2:50 am

Nice work Bill! I had missed a bunch of updates. Now to go look at the Eimco. :D
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Re: Watts'

Postby dieselwater » Thu Apr 30, 2015 3:52 pm

Great layout Bill, with exceptional detailing :D I love the pipes, cables and boxes.

Look forward to seeing further updates.

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Re: Watts'

Postby chris69 » Thu Apr 30, 2015 6:17 pm

Hi David,
good to hear from you again. Missed your creative creations.
Best
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Re: Watts'

Postby demaine22 » Mon Jul 27, 2015 2:10 pm

Looking forward to seeing this next month Bill! Looks great!
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