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O Gauge - Crackington Quay - Members Personal Layouts. - Model Railway Layouts. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Wed Mar 6th, 2013 05:50 pm
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RoyP
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As requested I will try and give some further information about my 7mm Narrow Gauge layout see:- http://yourmodelrailway.net/view_topic.php?id=9697&forum_id=21&highlight=crackington

First thoughts:

I built my first model railway in 1995, a 009 Narrow gauge layout based in Mid Wales, see ‘British Railway Modelling’ February 1996 Vol 3 No 11.

I was never totally happy with the slow running of the locos (which was no doubt down to me because I have seen many excellent layouts where the stock run superbly and no big fingers come down from the sky). I therefore sold the layout and all the stock some 18 months later, and thought to myself that my model railway career had now come to an end.

Then in at the end of 2001 I retired early, and therefore had time on my hands. Some of this time was used playing with a new computer, and whilst browsing the World Wide Web I came across various narrow gauge modelling sites, and it was the 7mm variety this time that appealed. They had a nice chunky size that would suit my eyesight much better than the smaller scales, but unfortunately being twice the size of 009 any layout that I constructed would need to be nearly double the size of the equivalent in the smaller scale.

So back to the Internet I went again, what sort of size were some of these layouts, needless to say some were very big. But then I came across a couple of sites which specialised in small/micro layouts of various gauges, and it was amazing what some modellers packed into so small an area.

So many pieces of paper later I had a plan, I dreamed up a scenario based in the North Cornwall/ Devon area.

The name by the way is fiction, but based upon one of our holiday haunts, Crackington Haven in North Cornwall.

History of Crackington Quay:

Crackington Quay is an unspoilt cove nestling in the dramatic cliffs on the North Devon/Cornish border.

Originally existing as a small port having its own Pilchard Works and importing lime and coal and exporting slate, the operation of which must have been a hazardous affair as the ships simply ran up onto the beach at high tide.

But in the 1950’s we find all has changed.

It still has its Pilchard Industry which is somewhat in decline, but now Crackington Quay is where the quiet charm of the typical North Devon fishing village meets the working world of earning a living from other sources.

The pilchard works has now become a fish processing works, it has been packing pilchards since 1905, with screw presses installed in 1926. The product is known as North Devon salt pilchards, which taste similar to salted anchovies, are available as fillets, dry, or in oil and also in their traditional form as whole fish packed in wooden boxes or barrels for export to Italy where they have been sent since 1905.

Owing to the decline in the pilchard industry the Company changed its name a few years ago and now process various types of locally caught fish.

And at the opposite end of the quay is J Greaves [guess which team I support] Marine Engineering Co. A small marine engineering company who are involved in boat building, repairs and the manufacture of various ship fittings.

Added to that a few miles and just up the coast from the village, the North Devon Quarries provides further employment for the locals.

A very small quarry by the standards of the day but it does have its own 2' 3"" gauge railway, to transport the aggregate from quarry loading facility to a transfer point some 4 miles away adjacent to the GWR mainline.

Now-days the railway is not only used by the quarry but also by the other local industries together with increased passenger traffic, and is especially busy during the summer months


More to follow,

Roy.

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 Posted: Wed Mar 6th, 2013 06:00 pm
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RoyP
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Layout Basics:


So far so good but due to space restrictions I needed to build a small layout with as much interest (operational and viewing) as I could possibly accommodate in such a small area which in my case was 51" x 27".

I am not a rivet counter and my main aim is to create an artistic impression of this type of railway, hopefully to create a series of pictures.

So was it possible that in so small a space I could create a 7mm scale narrow gauge railway incorporating the following:

Part of a small quayside incorporating a small fishing boat.

Marine Engineering Works.

A Fish Processing Works.

A small Station.

A Goods office and unloading bay.

Cottage.

Pub.

Shop.

Chapel.

Loco facilities (Water Tower).

So a start was made a 3inch x 1inch timber frame screwed and glued covered with ½ inch chipboard, together with a dropdown section at the front for the harbour.

All trackwork is Peco 0.16.5 track laid directly on the chipboard base and held in place by track pins, the track being drilled and countersunk to suit the track pins used about every eighth sleeper and slightly closer on the very tight curves. Then the holes were filled and sanded level with the tops of the sleepers.

There was also going to be a lighthouse, but I deleted this as it didn't look right and in hind site I am glad I did.

The completed board was then boxed in with 20" high end pieces of 6mm MDF board and with a further piece across the back which separates the rest of the world (fiddle yard) from the front.

The whole unit has separate bolt on legs 46" high.

Across the front is a separate bolt on fascia which incorporates the lighting, it is basically a plywood ‘L’ shaped girder that fits between the two end pieces. It is covered with aluminium foil on the inside and fitted with 3 equally spaced lamp holders, a 100w bulb in the centre and a 60w bulb either side. These bulbs are the daylight blue bulbs that are often sold in craft stores, these give a more natural lighting effect.

The whole of the visible woodwork was then given a couple of coats of matt black paint and a dark green curtain fitted around the ends and across the front.

I also had to create the various levels, the sea being at the lowest level, and the base for the small cottage being the highest and 7" above sea level, various off cuts of ply, balsa and hardboard were used for this, see photos below.

Layout plan:

Curves have a very tight radius, 6 and 9 inches, which only allowed 4 wheel stock to run.








More to follow.

Roy.

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 Posted: Wed Mar 6th, 2013 06:13 pm
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Spurno
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And at the opposite end of the quay is J Greaves [guess which team I support]


same one as me Roy.watched him play many times,fantastic with Alan Gilzean.i had no 8 on my shirt,in the days when you had to iron them on.you might notice my username,gives the same clue.just up the road from me as well.

regards

Alan.



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Alan


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 Posted: Wed Mar 6th, 2013 10:12 pm
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allan downes
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Hi Roy.

What an absolutely brilliant little layout!,it's really fired me up - would you mind if I built something of similar size using your trackplan?

7mil narrow gauge, just what's needed to pull me out of retirement!

With regards.

Allan.

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 Posted: Thu Mar 7th, 2013 06:52 am
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RoyP
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spurno wrote:
And at the opposite end of the quay is J Greaves [guess which team I support]


same one as me Roy.watched him play many times,fantastic with Alan Gilzean.i had no 8 on my shirt,in the days when you had to iron them on.you might notice my username,gives the same clue.just up the road from me as well.

regards

Alan.


Hi Alan,

Good to hear from a fellow Spurs fan, many miles from Tottenham High Road, great days and many happy memories, the teams in the 60/70's was full of stars, will they ever return?

We keep hoping!!

Roy.

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 Posted: Thu Mar 7th, 2013 07:00 am
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RoyP
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allan downes wrote: Hi Roy.

What an absolutely brilliant little layout!,it's really fired me up - would you mind if I built something of similar size using your trackplan?


Hi Allan,

Please do, it would be great to see what you come up with.

I owe you a debt of thanks because I have a copy of the 'British Railway Modelling' magazine dated Feb 1996 in which you have an article entitled 'Home Cooked Mill' the article suggests using 'Pyruma' fire cement for producing stonework, which is just what I used based upon your article to produce the stonework on 'Crackington'.

Many thanks a great article, and good to speak with you.

Roy

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 Posted: Thu Mar 7th, 2013 08:12 am
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Ken
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RoyP wrote: Good to hear from a fellow Spurs fan, many miles from Tottenham High Road, great days and many happy memories, the teams in the 60/70's was full of stars, will they ever return?


 

Well I started seeing them in the 50's - my Dad had 3 season tickets in the "New Stand" - and I particularly remember Len Duquemin's first appearance (a 'foreigner' from the Channel Isles - unheard of!!!!!) and Ted Ditchburn, Eddie Bailey etc.   Great days.

It's funny that you, Alan and I now live reasonably near each other in Devon - must be something Spuring us on!   :lol:

Ken.



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 Posted: Thu Mar 7th, 2013 08:49 am
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RoyP
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Ken wrote: RoyP wrote: 
 
Well I started seeing them in the 50's - my Dad had 3 season tickets in the "New Stand" - and I particularly remember Len Duquemin's first appearance (a 'foreigner' from the Channel Isles - unheard of!!!!!) and Ted Ditchburn, Eddie Bailey etc.   Great days.


 

Hi Ken,

My very first visit to White Hart Lane was when my Dad took me along on a Christmas Day morning in 1952, they were playing Middlesboro, score 7-1.

As you say great days and great memories, when players didn't fall for no apparant reason or try and con the Ref.

Roy.

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 Posted: Thu Mar 7th, 2013 09:08 am
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RoyP
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So there I was the basic framework for the layout complete.

Before going and further I now had to think about the dreaded coupler, if I made a decision at this stage it would then be easier to fit the uncouplers.

I tried various types, first was the ‘Kadee’ American buckeye coupler this was rejected as the magnets required for the uncoupling operation were so strong that they created problems with my stock which all has metal wheels.

Then their are the various types of coupling that come in kit form and which you need to build yourself, such as ‘The Sprat and Winkle, DG, B&B these I found (and I know many have no problems at all) a fiddle to put together (due to eyesight no doubt) and therefore gave up.

This left me with the possibility of using a proprietary coupling, the standard Hornby and Dapol coupling was rejected due to their rather large size; the Bemo was a possibility but It seemed rather expensive.

Then at an exhibition I spied the ‘Bachmann mini coupling’ this looked not to bad, a hook and bar type coupling, was small and cheap £2.15 for 10, 21/22p each.

It would need some sort of home made ramp for uncoupling, which might be a problem if you needed to uncouple stock at a large number of points around your layout, mine being small it meant that I would only require a maximum of eight.

So what follows is how I adapted these coupling to suit my layout which perhaps might be useful for others who would rather use a coupling that is ready made, cheap and to-date has operated very satisfactorily.

Couplings.

Bachmann mini coupling Ref No: 36-026 or Ref No: 36-030.

  • Remove the NEM coupling pocket.
  • Remove the tail with a craft knife leaving only the basic coupling.
  • If your stock is not to be turned (as in my case) remove the hook from one of the couplings.
  • Fit couplings to the coach, waggon or loco, I found that 8mm from the top of the rail to the top of the coupling bar seemed best.
Uncoupling ramp.

Using 40thou ‘plasticard’ cut a piece as Dwg: 1, this is the uncoupling ramp.





  • Hinge pin, plastic rod 1.5mm diameter and 20mm long.
  • Plastic tube with an inside diameter to suit your hinge pin and 14mm long.
Using liquid poly glue the tube to the ramp as Dwg: 2.






  • Fit in position in track as shown in the photo No 1.
The 3mm of hinge pin that extends either side of the plastic tube fits between the rail and the plastic sleeper web, glue hinge pin in position with a touch of superglue, the ramp and tube should then be free to move.









Uncoupling operating mechanism.


I thought of all sorts of complicated arrangements using rods, levers and electrical relays/solenoids before coming up with the idea of just using a simple wire in tube, which is cheap and so easy to fit.

For the tube, I stripped the wire out of a length of 1.5mm cable which gives a very suitable PVC tube. The operating wire is spring wire as sold by many Model shops in 1 metre lengths, this was long enough for my layout as it is only 2ft wide.

  • Drill a hole, diameter to suit the outer diameter of your PVC tube, it helps if it is a reasonably tight fit.
  • Using Superglue, glue tube in position and flush with the top surface of the baseboard.
  • The other end of the tube needs to be cut long enough to reach your operating position (ideally directly to the rear of the uncoupler) allowing the tube to flex and no tight bends, see Dwg: 3.
  • Drill hole and glue in position as before, flush with baseboard.
  • Make a small loop in wire and bend at 90 and passes through tube, from the uncoupling end, see Dwg: 3.
At the other end where the wire exits from the tube you will require some sort of finger grip. You could just form a loop, or glue in position a specially made handle, but all I did was strip the terminals out of a standard chocolate block terminal and fit these using the screws that would normally terminate the electrical cable to grip the spring wire.









  • To operate just push down the wire and up lifts your ramp, which in turn lifts the coupler hook as photo No 2.
When the uncoupler is painted and the track ballasted, the appearance is not too obvious.



  • Plus points – Coupler ready made, uncoupler is easy to make, operating mechanism is very simple, and all very cheap, and they work every time.

  • In the end the final choice has to be a compromise between what looks right and what will actually work.
More to follow,

Roy



 


 

 

 





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 Posted: Thu Mar 7th, 2013 09:38 am
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RoyP
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Electric’s:

At this point every item of trackwork, point and point frogs were soldered to wire droppers through the baseboard so that continuity of the electrical supply did not rely on fishplates or point blades. All points are operated via ‘Seep’ point motors with built in contacts to switch the frog and operated via a capacitor discharge unit.

Then all was painted a haphazard mix of rust and track colours and finally ballasted by the tedious method of eyedropper and diluted PVA mix.

The control panel is built in as part of the layout at the back of the layout, see photo, and includes a transformer for the track supply and the CDU.







A small mimic diagram is on the top face with track isolating switches and 2 way spring return to centre switches for the points, loco control is via a ‘Gaugemaster’ hand held controller.



Buildings.

All the buildings are freelance but try to reproduce the typical buildings that you would find around many of the Cornish/Devon fishing harbours. So before proceeding any further I spent many hours cutting up thin card templates and trying them on the layout, see photo's.









All buildings are built of various layers of thick cardboard, see photos 'Shop shell front & rear'' the stonework being represented by ‘Pyruma’ fire cement which is spread over the card wall and then scribed with a small knife or similar implement to represent the different stone blocks, lintels etc. This is then hardened off by placing the wall inside a microwave for 50/60secs (this is not so easy with some of the buildings as they are rather large so I had to let it dry naturally).









Colouring was achieved by painting the stone work with ‘Colron’ medium oak wood dye; this only takes a few minutes (I have to thank Allan Downes for this idea, see BRM Feb 1996 for details).










The Industrial type buildings are part covered in timber planks, these are individual strips cut from breakfast cereal packets, roofs are fitted with individual card slates, windows and gutters from ‘Invertrain Model Railways’ and downpipes of various lengths of brass rod.

The Marine Works siding is protected by a gate, which is opened by the same method, used for the uncouplers, a wire inside a pvc tube. The gate being hinged on a brass rod which goes down through the baseboard and fitted with a small lever coupled to the operating wire, push or pull the wire and the gate opens or shuts, silent no noise.

 



The small yellow fishing boat that sits in the harbour is all constructed from cardboard and balsa strip scaled from a photo I downloaded from the Internet.




More to follow,

Roy.

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 Posted: Thu Mar 7th, 2013 04:21 pm
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Ken
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Everything about this is excellent Roy and I am very impressed.    I used to make model ships from card and your super little fishing boat has given me ideas for a cargo ship for my quayside.

Ken.


 

 



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 Posted: Thu Mar 7th, 2013 05:26 pm
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allan downes
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Nope, it's no good, as much as I try I just can't help saying again what a really 'cracking' little railway.

Something very, very special.

Allan.

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 Posted: Thu Mar 7th, 2013 05:35 pm
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allan downes
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By the way Roy.

After reading back over your charming Thead, I noticed that you have used Pyruma Fire cement for the stonework and an excellent job you have made of it too!

However, would you mind if I gave you a little warning about the use of fireclay on a model?

If so, let me know and I'll explain fully.

Best regards.

Allan.

 

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 Posted: Thu Mar 7th, 2013 05:58 pm
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RoyP
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I don't mind at all, just incase I should think of using it again on my as yet, in my mind new layout [I have a huge space 36" x 18" available now can I get 7mm NG into that], perhaps you can suggest an alternative to Pyruma Fire Cement?

Thanks Allan.

 

Roy 

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 Posted: Thu Mar 7th, 2013 05:59 pm
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allan downes
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Oh dear, I have just read more and found that you got the idea of using fire cement from me Roy!! - now I really do feel that I should explain.

Pyruma is a plastic based compound as you know for repairing cracked fireplaces therefore is subjected to almost constant high temperatures.and because of it, it never breaks down.

Now, if Pyruma is ever subjected to damp or cold envioronments, it WILL eventualy break down and crumble - it's happened with my customers more than just a few times over the years and of course, I had to replace the buildings at my cost.

Now however, I use either Slaters or Wills embossed sheets. but - what I have done in a very few cases when the compound has started to break down, is to coat it with Superthin Superglue,  a little tricky, a little messy, but what it does is crystalize the compound and renders it rock hard.

I really do hope Roy that I haven't caused you any concern and it's quite possible that your buildings will never suffer - in fact, I built a layout for the Peco Modelarama using Pyruma on all the buildings AND the roads and if lasted for 17 years before it succumbed.

My best wishes.

Allan.

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 Posted: Thu Mar 7th, 2013 06:01 pm
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Hi Roy.those buildings are absolutely phenomenal.my buildings are restricted to metcalfe and scalescenes.off to watch the footy before work.



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 Posted: Thu Mar 7th, 2013 06:04 pm
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allan downes
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"I don't mind at all, just incase I should think of using it again on my as yet, in my mind new layout [I have a huge space 36" x 18" available now can I get 7mm NG into that], perhaps you can suggest an alternative to Pyruma Fire Cement?"

Yes Roy, as I have mentioned, SLATERS EMBOSSED SHEETS - WILLS EMBOSSED SHEETS and below I have provided a repeat example of both.

Regards Allan

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 Posted: Thu Mar 7th, 2013 06:09 pm
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 Posted: Thu Mar 7th, 2013 06:10 pm
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 Posted: Thu Mar 7th, 2013 06:14 pm
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allan downes
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Above top.

All stonework in WILLS random stone cat No - SMP 200

Above.

SLATERS heavy embossed 7mil sheeting.

Roy, I can explain how I achieved the colouring whenever you are ready - unless of course, you have your own ideas.

Allan.

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