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Amalgamated Munitions and Particle Beam Weapons

Posted: Wed Dec 25, 2019 10:59 am
by lesmond
I've become taken with micro layouts. There. I said it. The weight is lifted :D .

Heresies at present include an N gauge "plank", and an HOf cake box. There was talk on NGRM Online of a lovely laser cut box containing clementines to be found in Aldi which would make the base of a very small micro layout, and a few people (Bob Hughes being one) have made lovely models using similar boxes. Sadly in benighted Northern Ireland we don't have Aldi shops, so no box for me. Or so I thought...

The local Spar were last week selling a box of clementines for £2.50. Not admittedly a laser cut box, but a nice size all the same. I bought one, and started to think what I could build in it. A "tuning fork" with a single point and a fiddle stick seems to be the answer, although a variant of "Carl's Imports" from here: ... uts-boxes/

with a higher level, separate, line (Gn15?) might be in order.

As most of these smaller. box layouts seem to represent market gardens, estate lines (not that there's anything at all wrong with that) and the like, I thought that something a bit different might be in order. Everyone* likes a death ray, so after some thought I came up with "Amalgamated Munitions and Particle Beam Weapons" :shock: .

I have a couple of Gnine locomotives and some rolling stock ready for the stalled "C Rapper & Sons", as well as a 009 point and some track, so expense will be minimal. The "munitions" part of it will be some lead castings which look awfully like b*llets painted to look like artillery shells.

I'm planning to build it on a scrap piece of foamcore (always keep in with your local sign making firm) and use the box to keep it all in.

Photos to follow, after all it is Christmas day.


*me, mainly

Re: Amalgamated Munitions and Particle Beam Weapons

Posted: Sun Dec 29, 2019 7:41 am
by PeterH
I’m expecting this to go with a bang.

Re: Amalgamated Munitions and Particle Beam Weapons

Posted: Sat Apr 04, 2020 5:15 pm
by lesmond
This one has taken a bit of a leap forward today, given that I had the Gnine locomotives out yesterday for some fettling seeing I'm at home.

Using some more foam core, I made a base for the main () board (I did this a week or so ago; ignore the wires for now):

Image20200404_170812 by lesmond2009, on Flickr

Then made possibly the world's most basic fiddle stick:

Image20200404_170910 by lesmond2009, on Flickr

Originally this was to stick out on the right, at the back, but it was much easier to turn the whole thing round for ease of access. After an experiment, I found that UHU Power glue doesn't attack the foam, so what track there is went down:

Image20200404_170856 by lesmond2009, on Flickr

Image20200404_170828 by lesmond2009, on Flickr

Image20200404_170939 by lesmond2009, on Flickr

It all works, as well . I'd forgotten (again) how satisfying it is to tootle a small locomotive and a wagon or two up and down. 

The whole thing - layout, rolling stock & controller will fit nicely into two clementine boxes, so very handy to store or dig out to play trains.


Re: Amalgamated Munitions and Particle Beam Weapons

Posted: Tue Apr 07, 2020 7:19 pm
by lesmond
Some more done over the last couple of days. I made a low relief (10mm) warehouse and a loading bay:

Image20200405_180329 by lesmond2009, on Flickr

As of today it has a roller door and a coat of paint:

Image20200407_192419 by lesmond2009, on Flickr

and I fitted (and then broke the lever off) a Roy C Link point linkage - it still works, though, and I'll modify it eventually:

Image20200407_192409 by lesmond2009, on Flickr

The wee green engine (Steve Bennett chassis & detail parts, scratch / Airfix Drewry parts body) now has couplers, and they work :

Image20200407_192145 by lesmond2009, on Flickr

and I'm thinking of turning these bits into a Point Defence Weapon as "goods outwards":

Image20200407_192220 by lesmond2009, on Flickr

I've two bits of rolling stock on hand, and had a nice time shunting them back and forth for a bit. Very satisfying.


Re: Amalgamated Munitions and Particle Beam Weapons

Posted: Thu Apr 09, 2020 6:30 pm
by lesmond
Some more progress. 

I made and fitted buffer stops, and also a small low platform to keep fuel, oil and a few tools on for the locomotive:

Image20200409_181621 by lesmond2009, on Flickr

The drum is the wrong scale, but will do ok for a 25 gallon one. The wagon is also new; its a steel decked flat made from odds of styrene scrap and the last (for now) of the 3D printed chassis from Ebay. 

Image20200409_181651 by lesmond2009, on Flickr

I also thought that a van would be handy as well, so after a bit of thought it turns out that the roof from the Airfix brake van kit I used bits of for the 009 parcels railcar will do nicely. It's seen here with one of the proposed sides (no door yet) and Pete the fitter for scale:

Image20200409_182119 by lesmond2009, on Flickr

The chassis so far is a styrene rectangle with two Egger bogies with one of the coupling loops removed (loops to the left on this wee one for ease of uncoupling) and the other replaced with one from the 3D printed chassis. 

Image20200409_181801 by lesmond2009, on Flickr

There are still solebars etc to add, and the bogies need to be raised by one washer thickness (currently two) to make the couplers line up better. 

Image20200409_175723 by lesmond2009, on Flickr

They both run well over the point etc. With the addition of the steel flat and the van, that will finish the stock for this one. There is already too much but it will allow me to ring the changes during shunting operations.

More tomorrow...


Re: Amalgamated Munitions and Particle Beam Weapons

Posted: Sat Apr 11, 2020 5:07 pm
by lesmond
Slow but steady advancement, well punctuated by by lots of "testing". I'd forgotten how much fun a nice, slow running shunting puzzle is to lose yourself in. 

The final rolling stock lineup will be this:

Image20200411_165432[1] by lesmond2009, on Flickr

from left to right - the locomotive (currently Frankencritter, but more below), ex Road Runner 2 plank open, steel flat, wooden bulkhead flat, gunpowder / explosives (currently no chassis) and finally the closed van, aka the wardrobe . 

The line appears to have a non existent generous loading gauge, but it runs well enough over the point etc due to a biggish lead weight glued to the floor. There's still quite a bit to do to it, so all being well it won't look too awful once detailed and painted.

In light of the wardrobe, I'm proposing "Mr Tumnus" nameplates once I've enough gathered up to make a Narrow Planet order worth sending in. 

The whole thing - layout, fiddle stick, stock, odds and ends and controller - will fit nicely into two nectarine boxes, so that part of the design has passed muster. 

An evenings testing? Go on then....


Re: Amalgamated Munitions and Particle Beam Weapons

Posted: Sun Apr 26, 2020 3:13 pm
by lesmond
I've been very lockdown lazy over the past while, and have done a lot of reading, snoozing, eating and watching TV rather than anything productive such as modelling. 

That said, I'm almost through the 1930 year of "The Railway Magazine", and quite wonderful it is, too. 

I've also been working on rules for this tuning fork puzzle, as I couldn't find any online after a fair bit of a search. Inglenook puzzles get a lot of interest, but the smaller tuning fork seems to be overlooked. 

There are six items of rolling stock, all different, and four possible loads (so far), with goods either coming into or leaving the yard from one of four locations. This can lead to a fair bit of activity without getting very complicated. 

Ground rules are that the locomotive always starts from the left hand end of the fiddlestick, and wagons are only allowed to be lifted off when clear of the yard boundary, ie over the fiddlestick joint. If a wagon is in the place needed by another for a move, it has to go into an empty space on either siding, if there aren't any only then is it allowed to be shunted off scene and removed from operations until needed again. 

If a wagon is "parked" on scene and needed for a good inwards move it is collected by the engine and moved to the end of the fiddlestick for loading.

Coupler loops are always to the left hand end and are only on one end of each wagon. The locomotive has no loops.

I downloaded a free dice app onto the half dead phone I use as a camera, and devised the following:

Image0001 by lesmond2009, on Flickr

The first four throws of the virtual dice decide on goods in or out, which wagon is needed, what the load is (if its one of the three flats or the two plank open), and where it has to go. Shunting then takes place to sort this out, then when that is done a final throw decides if the engine needs fuel or can return to the start.

I've tested this a fair bit today, and it seems to work   :D