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Claverton Engineering - Members Personal Layouts. - Model Railway Layouts. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Thu Mar 24th, 2011 01:52 pm
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Burkitt
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Claverton Engineering is my narrow gauge micro-layout, which I started several years ago and have been sporadically working on since. As I'm starting this topic some way in to construction, I'll start off by doing a few posts catching up on my progress so far.

Design

The layout is named after a small village on the Kennet and Avon canal, which as well as being very pretty is notable for its pumping station. This pumps water from the River Avon into the canal, but is powered by a water wheel in the river, giving the impression of being some sort of perpetual motion machine. There is a website about it for anyone interested http://www.claverton.org/ .

I decided to make a micro layout since I didn't have anywhere to put a permanent one, so it had to be easily transportable and unobtrusively storable. The size of the layout is equal to two sheets of A3 paper end to end. For the track plan I have used John Allen's Timesaver shunting puzzle, which I chose to use since it should offer the maximum possible operating interest within the very confined space.

This track plan designed in Google Sketchup shows the dimensions and was used to check the clearances and siding lengths with virtual wagons to prove everything would fit.



The second track plan uses the track templates available from KBscale, modified to represent 16.5mm gauge track rather than 14mm.



Before starting the real thing I used Sketchup to mock up my ideas, so I could see what I was aiming for. I've changed the design a bit since but the basic concept remains.



I designed the layout with a track at each end reaching the edge of the board, so that it could be expanded in a modular fashion in the future. Messing about a bit more with Sketchup I have come up with some rather expansive plans which may or may not come to fruition.



Boards

There are two A3 sized base boards, built from foamboard. I used foamboard because it is very light and with proper construction strong and rigid. On the top of the boards I have added a layer of grey card over the foamboard to protect it from damage.



In this photo I was using the track templates to make sure everything still fitted in real life.
The two boards are attached together using nuts and bolts, to allow for easy joining and separation.



The holes at either side allow for easy access for wiring and use of uncoupling magnets.

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 Posted: Thu Mar 24th, 2011 02:57 pm
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Ancient Dufus
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Burkitt-

I like it!

I see by your sketchup (you certainly seem to be a master with that) that you intend to use overhead wire and a bow collector. Far to many modelers are afraid to tackle hanging overhead--keep us up to date with pictures please!

AD

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 Posted: Thu Mar 24th, 2011 06:18 pm
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Burkitt
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Thanks AD. I was inspired to use overhead electric power after reading about the Hellingly Hospital railway, and by memories of riding on the Seaton tramway. Also, I'm not a fan of small narrow gauge diesels, which to my mind look like lawnmowers on rails.

Trackwork

I decided for several reasons to build all the trackwork on Claverton Engineering by hand. Most importantly, to fit the timesaver plan into the space available I had to use point geometry not available commercially. However, hand building track is also significantly cheaper than buying ready made points, and you get a lot more modelling time for your money too.

The track designs I have used are based on the plans intended for 14mm gauge produced by KBscale. I did consider using 14mm gauge, but decided against it as I wanted to be able to use cheap OO chassis, and I was put of by the high cost of O-14 locos.
The plans are available free online at http://www.kbscale.com/track-parts.html in the Track and Turnout Information PDF. To make the plans suitable for 16.5mm gauge I simply rescaled them in Microsoft Publisher so that the gauge was correct. I then stuck the templates in place on the boards ready for building to start.
For the sleepers I used strips of limewood from my local model shop, which I cut to length and glued over the plans.



Once the sleepers were in place I used coarse sandpaper to give them a woodgrain effect, before painting them using various shades of brown enamel paint.



While making the track I have worked from photos of the Sitttingbourne and Kemsley Light Railway, which inspired my interest in narrow gauge. I took the photos at their gala in September 2008, which at the time looked like it would be their last open day before dismantlement.



I really like the rotten, mossy, overgrown appearance of the SKLR's track, though the volunteers running it may not share my views.

The process of adding the rails is best illustrated by the small test track I experimented with. First one of the rails was superglued then pinned in place - I used needle nose pliers to drive the pins through the sleepers.



Then I used 16.5mm roller gauges to locate the second rail, and tack it with superglue.



I could then pin it down firmly to hold it secure.



The rail was Peco code 81, and the pins are from KBscale.

For points, I curved the rail to the correct radius using the KBscale rail bender. It has settings for large and small radius O-14 left or right handed points, but these are not quite right for Y points, especially when made to 16.5mm gauge. Therefore I had to continue the bending process by hand to achieve the desired radius.

Similarly, the KBscale crossing jigs should work for 16.5mm gauge left and right handed points, but are not suitable for Y points. Instead I had to superglue the rails to copies of the track templates and solder them together there, then remove the paper before filing everything smooth and fixing the rails to the sleepers.





As electrofrog points, a SPDT switch was needed to control the polarity of the frog. I also needed something to act as an over-centre spring to keep the blades firmly to one side or the other, so I decided to combine the two functions.



The two vertical brass wires attached to the blades pass through the board and are attached to the horizontal control rod. I wanted to solder them, but whatever metal the control rod is made from seems to be completely impervious to solder. Instead I first glued the wires to the rod, then moulded Milliput filler over the joint to strengthen it.
The control rod runs through holes in the front and rear of the board, which hold it in place, and through the lever of a SPDT slide switch. The switch controls the polarity of the point, and provides the over-centre spring to hold the blades in place on the right or left.

Once all the rails were fixed down, I painted the sides of them to represent the rust and grime of many years exposure.



The colours I used were Humbrol 62 and 29, with some 6, as well as Revell 37, 83, and some 85 - if it's brown and comes in a small expensive tin, I probably used some.

Progress on the board has pretty much stopped with all the trackwork done, as since then I've been working on the buildings before I move onto ballasting.



I have taken the time to have a play with the layout though:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WnL4BdjfaDo

The Greenwich couplings can be uncoupled magnetically, which I achieve using a massive neodymium magnet hand-held beneath the board. This means I can operate completely hands free, which will be important once the wires go up.

Paul

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 Posted: Fri Mar 25th, 2011 04:26 pm
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Burkitt
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Buildings

Though I had created a virtual Sketchup model of the layout at the beginning of its creation, I had never been quite happy with the appearance of the buildings. To get the design right, I looked through as many photos as I could find of suitable industrial buildings, on various websites including the 28dayslater urban exploration forum. Unfortunately I can't share any of them here due to copyright.
Working from the photos I'd found I used Sketchup to create scale drawings of elements of the buildings, especially the windows and doorways, approximating the dimensions by counting the bricks.







Once I'd drawn enough bits of buildings, I printed several copies of them out, used old cereal boxes to form the structure of the building, stuck the printouts on with double sided tape, a kept on putting them together and taking them apart until it all looked about right.





The real buildings are made from a foamboard core clad with Southeastern Finecast vacuum formed brick plastic. Construction started by drawing the design of the building onto a sheet of the plastic, ensuring the dimensions would all be whole numbers of bricks.



Next I cut out all the windows and doors...



...and stuck the plastic to a sheet of foamboard.



I used SE Finecast arches above the windows, and several layers of 2mm styrene for the window cills. Extra details were also styrene.

In a Christmas cracker I found some wooden golf tees, which I thought could be put to use as columns on the ground floor.



As I had no brass tube of suitable diameter, but plenty of pencils, I cut two suitable lengths from one, then cut off the top of two tees at the place where they were of the same diameter as the pencil. After filing the cut parts of both to get as smooth a join as possible, I superglued the parts together, then drilled a vertical hole through the top and inserted a piece of brass rod and some more glue to make the joint nice and strong. Brass rod was also inserted in the bottom to secure the column to the floor.



Finally I glued a square of styrene to the top, and wrapped a couple of bits of microstrip around the top and bottom of the capital to finish it off.

Decking for the platform, and the various doors, were made from balsa wood. So far I have also made a small bit of a building at the corner of the layout, and a bridge to connect the two together and provide a scenic break.



Painting the bricks was done according to the tried and tested method of painting everything brick coloured, then applying a wash of mortar colour and wiping off the excess. These last photos show the current state of the two buildings, now mostly complete but still requiring a bit of detailing and weathering, not to mention windows.





Paul

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 Posted: Sat Mar 26th, 2011 06:30 pm
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georgejacksongenius
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Blimey,
         Some serious modelling here!! :shock: I can see me becoming a fan! Welcome to YMR by the way.
:Happy
Cheers,John.B.:thumbs

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 Posted: Wed Mar 30th, 2011 08:22 pm
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Burkitt
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Thanks John.

Loco No.1

The Hellingly Hospital Railway connected the East Sussex County Asylum with the mainline, and was used to carry coal deliveries to the hospital's boilers. It was operated by a single locomotive, a four wheel electric steeple cab. Though it was standard gauge, I have based my narrow gauge loco on its design, because the loco's narrow body on very wide frames give me the impression that it was based on an off-the-shelf European narrow gauge design, modified to serve as a small standard gauge loco.



The Hellingly Hospital loco. Note the difference in width between body and frames.
Picture from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Hellingly_Railway_1906.jpg, copyright expired.

Drawings of the loco are included in Peter Harding's book The Hellingly Hospital Railway, which I have used as the basis for the model.

Power for the loco is provided by a Black Beetle motor bogie. It was all that survived my first attempt at building the loco, which became badly warped and had to be scrapped.




I assembled the basic shell from styrene sheet. To make sure I got the curved bonnet sides exactly correct, I stuck copies of the drawings to the styrene with Pritt Stick, cut along the outlines, then peeled the paper off. The only change I have made to the body to make it suitable for narrow gauge is to give it flush sides, rather than wide frames. Otherwise it is an accurate 1:43 model of the real thing.



The rims around the cab windows were added by curving microstrip around a styrene former, which fitted through the window from the inside. This enabled me to achieve a much neater shape than I could manage freehand.





On the underside I added plenty of longitudinal reinforcement to minimise the chances of warping occurring again. The slot through the floor is to allow for a DCC decoder in the cab to be connected to the Black Beetle motor bogie, should I wish to add one in the future.



To form the basic shape of the roof I used layers of styrene, on a removable base to permit access to the cab for painting and detailing.



Squadron filler was then applied to fill in the "steps"...



...and sanded smooth once dry.



Thin styrene was glued over the filler to give the roof a smooth and strong surface. Microstrip was used to add the rainstrip.



The chassis is attached to the body using a screw at either end, one on each side of the loco. These pass through a nut glued above the floor of the loco body, and further secured with some milliput filler.



I built a plastic box around the nut and screw to protect it from the lead weight which I put in the bonnet to improve traction.





To represent the strengthening around the cab door opening, I fist covered the whole area in a layer of styrene, then cut away the inside area and filed it smooth.



A narrow styrene strip was then glued around the inside of the opening to form the other part of the reinforcement.



To make the curved front of the bonnets, I used 0.3mm styrene, which I first glued on to the sloping part of the bonnet to get it strongly fixed.



The curved front glued on and filed flush at the sides, and with the central raised strip made from another layer of styrene.



I made some interior details, based on tramcar controls, from odd bits of styrene and wire. I've no idea if they are correct, having never seen a photo of the inside of the Hellingly loco's cab, but they look OK.



I also added handrails, made from some brass wire, and "knobs" on their ends from a bit of milliput.



The Hellingly loco had over 700 rivets on it, I number which surprised me somewhat once I'd finished counting them. On the model I've used Grandt line plastic rivets, which have to be fitted into holes drilled in the body. To position them accurately I pritt-sticked copies of the drawings over the body so I could drill through the rivet locations shown on the drawing. This photo also shows a test fit of the Sommerfeldt bow collector.



A sprue of Grandt Line rivets. I needed over 20 of these.



With the drawings peeled off and the holes drilled the loco looked a right mess...



...but once all the rivets were added and the loco cleaned up it looked a lot neater.



After a spray of white primer, I have brushed on about six coats of green paint. The colour I wanted was only available in gloss, but a coat of matt varnish will sort out the unrealistic shine.



That's progress so far, I have a bit more painting and some light weathering to do to finish the loco off. To finish for this post, here's a video of the loco being tested on 18cm radius curves, just to see how tight a corner it would go around without derailing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtveuTRokuE

Paul

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 Posted: Wed Mar 30th, 2011 08:30 pm
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Robert
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That is really coming along famously. I am impressed, indeed I am.



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 Posted: Thu Mar 31st, 2011 10:27 am
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Burkitt
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Thanks Robert.

Yesterday I had to rebuild the bridge which links the two right hand buildings. I had built the bridge earlier with the intention of trimming it to fit between the buildings once they were fixed in place. However I simply couldn't get a neat join, so instead I'm having to make a new one. To ensure it fits perfectly I am building it in place this time.



The two buildings are fixed down with screws, so I can remove them when needed. Once the overhead lines are up they'll be pretty much permanent though.

Paul

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 Posted: Thu Mar 31st, 2011 11:08 am
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ddolfelin
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Astounding work. Congratulations.

Have you got the spacing correct between the 627th rivet and the 628th?



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 Posted: Thu Mar 31st, 2011 12:17 pm
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Paul,
I like your solution on the window rims. That worked real good. I will have to keep that idea in the back of my mind for future scratch builds. Assuming I can find it back there (with all the clutter) when I need it!

Wayne



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 Posted: Thu Mar 31st, 2011 01:23 pm
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Chubber
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The rims around the cab windows were added by curving microstrip around a styrene former, which fitted through the window from the inside. This enabled me to achieve a much neater shape than I could manage freehand.

Me too.......filed away in the ole' grey matter, thanks.


Doug



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 Posted: Thu Mar 31st, 2011 03:39 pm
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pnwood
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dooferdog wrote:
The rims around the cab windows were added by curving microstrip around a styrene former, which fitted through the window from the inside. This enabled me to achieve a much neater shape than I could manage freehand.

Me too.......filed away in the ole' grey matter, thanks.


Doug


Filed away in the index is where it should be - how about it Bob?

Top quality work Paul on every aspect of the layout.

A couple of questions if I may.
Whenever I've cut foamboard I cannot seem to get a square cut. By that I mean I can cut a straight line on the top face but the blade doesn't stay square to cut the bottom face. How do you achieve this?

I would be concerned about your baseboard joining method. How do you stop the nuts and bolts pulling into the foamboard over repeated dismantling? I can't see any evidence of you using washers in the photo.

Thanks



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 Posted: Thu Mar 31st, 2011 03:43 pm
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Robert
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I have been trying to think what to call the link Nick when it goes in the Index. Just putting Claverton Engineering is no good. I want something that will tell the reader exactly what he will be going to when he clicks on the link. I can cross reference it easily when I have the link.



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 Posted: Thu Mar 31st, 2011 04:07 pm
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pnwood
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I could think of a few headings to link to Bob

How about

1. Scratchbuilt steeple cab electric loco
2. Foamboard baseboards
3. Scratchbuilt Industrial building
4. Supporting Columns
5. 16.5mm gauge handbuilt track and points

That should just about cover it so far. I hope there will be more.



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 Posted: Thu Mar 31st, 2011 05:00 pm
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Robert
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Thanks Nick, that will keep me busy for awhile.   ;-)



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 Posted: Thu Mar 31st, 2011 05:21 pm
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Robert
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OK, done that.



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 Posted: Thu Mar 31st, 2011 05:21 pm
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pnwood wrote: Top quality work Paul on every aspect of the layout.

A couple of questions if I may.
Whenever I've cut foamboard I cannot seem to get a square cut. By that I mean I can cut a straight line on the top face but the blade doesn't stay square to cut the bottom face. How do you achieve this?



Woody, I've had similar problems, but now use a 3/4" square wooden straight-edge and a small Staley  snap-off blade type knife. By extending the blade by about 1.5 - 2" and using the 'ruler' I can get a square edge ok now.

Doug



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 Posted: Thu Mar 31st, 2011 05:40 pm
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pnwood
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Thanks Doug I'll try that next time :thumbs



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 Posted: Thu Mar 31st, 2011 05:45 pm
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Stubby47
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Ditto to what Doug said - a longer sharp blade and a metal rule.
I run a light cut first, just through the top surface, then repeat with a full depth cut for the filling and bottom surface. Take extra care on internal corners too, as the action of the blade going in can compress the foam.

Sorry for the hijack, Paul.



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 Posted: Thu Mar 31st, 2011 10:24 pm
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Burkitt
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Thanks all for your compliments.

Nick, as Doug and Stu have said, a long blade and a metal rule help with getting square corners. Where two pieces will join at a right angle, you can also leave a lip of one of the card layers, the same width as the thickness of the foamboard. That covers the edge of the other piece, so no foam is visible. Adding plenty of reinforcement inside also helps keep everything square.

As for the nuts and bolts holding the boards together, I'm not really happy with them. I need to find some longer bolts so I can have washers to protect the foamboard on either side.

Paul

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