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Old 26-09-2017, 01:29 PM   #1
minipix
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Default Frontington & Backwoods

After inheriting all the bits from the layout my Dad and I built as a kid, I'm now building my very own OO layout. I'm feeling very much newbie, but with enthusiasm and (probably naive) ambition.

I'm going for a modern-day heritage railway, set in rolling countryside. The steam railway will be run by volunteers for passing tourists and enthusiasts. I'm planning on including a museum, gift shop and model railway (yes, a model railway on a model railway), along with the usual... you know... track, and stuff. Towards the front of the layout is Frontington Station, which is where the gift shop and car park is. And nestled in the woods on the hill at the back is Backwoods Halt. Because I'm good at naming things.

I'm building the layout in my garage, on a home-built table. The legs are 2.50 each from Ikea, so absolute bargain, though it does mean I'll have to sit on a little stool to be at the right height when 'playing'. I've gone for a chipboard base, on top of which the landscape will be built up using extruded styrofoam sheets. It'll include some slight inclines for the track, to make it interesting. Due to space restrictions, I'm using all radius 1 curves, which does limit what I can run on it slightly - I think I'm basically restricted to 0-4-0 locos and potentially 0-6-0 if the wheelbase isn't too long.

So far, I've designed the layout, built the table, sculpted the landscape, installed basic electrics, planned out the roads, experimented with level crossings, tried some simple weathering on a loco, and played with some engines to ensure the layout 'works'.

Next up is painting the landscape!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_20170827_153935.jpg (265.3 KB, 55 views)
File Type: jpg 20170905_213616.jpg (498.7 KB, 85 views)
File Type: jpg 20170909_094205.jpg (683.3 KB, 73 views)
File Type: jpg 20170923_213046.jpg (399.4 KB, 53 views)
File Type: jpg 20170923_213219.jpg (530.0 KB, 60 views)
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Frontington and Backwoods Steam Railway (WIP): https://www.matthewdawkins.co.uk/cat...railway-build/
LocoSound - sound effects for DC model railways: https://mafu-d.github.io/loco-sound
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Old 26-09-2017, 02:30 PM   #2
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Will backwoods be z scale?
I mean the model model railway........
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Old 26-09-2017, 03:12 PM   #3
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Sadly the technology does not yet exist for me to create an actual working model railway for my model railway. An OO scale railway for an OO scale railway would be verging into nano-scale sci-fi stuff. It's likely to be inside a building anyway, so won't actually be seen; I'll just put a sign on the front of the building and leave it to the imagination!
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Old 26-09-2017, 04:36 PM   #4
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https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ri6LIGlWdx4
(The smallest trainset)

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=LaunaKfsmIY
(Some t gauge stuff)

These would look pretty model like on an 00 layout.
Maybe one of the large scales? (1:48 or something)
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Old 21-11-2017, 01:26 PM   #5
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The latest update on my layout is that I've stuck down the styrofoam boards (with PVA glue), sealed all the edges with newspaper (using watered down PVA), sealed the entire surface (with watered down PVA), constructed some rudimentary hills (using newspaper and PVA), and painted the track bed (not with PVA but with brown acrylic paint).

I then relaid the track and stuck all the pins in, only to discover that the electrics weren't quite reliable enough (I'm using old track and old joiners). In taking up the track and "jigging it around" I realised that styrofoam board isn't great for track pins. The holes just get bigger and bigger and don't actually hold the track down effectively, especially on the inclines. Ah well, we live and learn!

Meanwhile, in the warmth of the house, I've been experimenting with building from card templates. I downloaded a free PDF from Wordsworth Model Railway, and modified it as I went along to add detail, layering up in places and adding in some GWR colour doors. It's only the middle section of the building so far, still a work in progress...

Next up I'll be painting the rest of the board brown, ready for greens and greys and blacks to be added on top where necessary.
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File Type: jpg 20171111_145417.jpg (454.7 KB, 66 views)
File Type: jpg 20171118_161517566.jpg (112.3 KB, 53 views)
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Frontington and Backwoods Steam Railway (WIP): https://www.matthewdawkins.co.uk/cat...railway-build/
LocoSound - sound effects for DC model railways: https://mafu-d.github.io/loco-sound
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Old 21-11-2017, 01:59 PM   #6
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Looks as though it as all coming together nicely. Nice work on the model house. R-
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Old 21-11-2017, 03:49 PM   #7
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It looks good. You will be surprised about the larger locos that do negotiate 1st radius curves from the older Triang/Hornby 9F to the Mainline class 45, which are some pretty large locos should you want to try them. Be aware that I'm not sure if the later Chinese made versions which came into the Railroad range still negotiate first radius curves.
Nearly all older 00 gauge locos (Made in the early 1990's or earlier) you will come across will run on first radius. It is only some of the medium to larger modern locos and some modern coaches along with some longer wagons that dont like them. The main reason why most avoid the first radius is they dont know what to buy and what to avoid as they have not been in the hobby in the years when just about everything went round them.

I think your underframe work on the layout is interesting. Though it looks a bit on the thin side, the good thing with your design is it is easy to add more support if it is needed so it is not a problem. Any issuesyou just add more wood!
Chipboard is good stuff and solid, though my experience with chipboard topped layouts is of an inch thick board, and it could take the weight of my dad and I on top of it when we were screwing it down. We made a frame with wooden brackets my dad made (He was a carpenter so had made lovely joints which were really strong) and the whole layout was supported on four of these supports and screwed to the wooden wallboards of my bedroom. No legs to get in the way.

What is a good idea for a source of larger locos is to buy Lima diesels, as I dont know any that dont go round first radius curves (All mine do and I have many and used to own even more though I've never owned a class 59 or a class 67 by Lima, so these may not do first radius if any Lima locos dont) and they do really nice riding coaches and wagons with metal wheels. Lima tend to be avoided in favour of the more modern super detailed items we are blessed with today, but to be fair, Lima models were pretty good representations of the real thing and if one wants more detail it does not take a lot of work to make them look even better. The main upgrade was a repaint of the yellow fronts to the diesels, as these were left in the unpainted yellow body colour so tended to look slightly plasticy. They only did this as it was easier as nearly all diesels had yellow ends.

I've not come across an 0-4-0 or a 0-6-0 that does not do first radius but I have come across a few 0-6-0's which have couplings too close to the body or small couplings which dont flex enough to work well so generally apart from the odd loco, you are safe with these.

Last edited by Mountain Goat; 21-11-2017 at 03:53 PM.
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Old 21-11-2017, 11:05 PM   #8
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Thanks MG. The board seems pretty solid so far. I guess time will tell!

I've actually got a Lima class 117 DMU in green that looks rather nice, and handles the corners fine. Although when I tried it last night the drive bogie had decided to seize up and even with lubrication it wouldn't turn easily, so was derailing itself at every corner. Maybe it doesn't like the cold. On the plus side, I've discovered that since relaying the track and fixing it down my 0-6-0 57xx copes fairly well with the tight radius curves. It scrapes along at times, and does still pop off the rails occasionally, but you're right about the couplings - I think the carriages it's pulling are catching. Can't see how to replace or modify them though, so I guess I'll have to get creative there too.
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Old 21-11-2017, 11:23 PM   #9
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Most stock can be converted to use a wider coupling. You may have to do some adapting, and be on the look out for such couplings. The old metal Triang/Hornby screw on couplings are ideal. They used to be available as spares but they may need to be bought secondhand these days. The Medium sized couplings are usually OK (E.g. as fitted to Mainline locos and stock and older Bachmann) as long as they stick out far enough to avoid the buffers touching.
Airfix used to make a small type which were very flexible as long as they didnt self destruct and fall off! Then came some manufacturers that made fixed narrow types which are no good round sharp curves. They look good being nice and small but if they are not practical, then they are no use. Modern NEM couplings have flex, but to be honest I dont like them and if I had a cheap easy way to change them to a screw on type I would. For me NEM pocket design has been nothing but trouble, as not only do they fall off easily, but if one has bought modern coaches with close coupling, they have so much up and down flex the coaches easily leave the rails. It was enough for me to ban close coupled coaches from my collection though I still have a few left. (Close coupled coaches dont normally negotiate first radius curves).

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Old 30-11-2017, 12:38 PM   #10
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Last night I braved the cold and got back out in the garage. The styrofoam has all been primed with a coat of PVA, I've built up the inclines with newspaper and more PVA, and last night I gave the whole thing a coat of brown acrylic paint. Obviously it's not all going to stay that colour, but brown is a better starting colour than bright blue!

Once it's all dry (which might take a day or two, it's really cold here) I'll be able to re-lay the track and get the electrical connections nice and solid. I might try to replace some of the old rusty/painted fishplates with new ones to improve conductivity. And once it's all reliable, I'll be able to fix it all down properly and start on the rest of the scenery.

Oh, and I also had a go at trying to loosen up the drive bogie on my DMU. It had mysteriously got really tight and kept derailing itself on the corners. Not sure if the cold had anything to do with that. So I took a scalpel knife to it, shaved off a little plastic, and it seems to have made it better. Not perfect, but it might be just enough to keep it usable.
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Frontington and Backwoods Steam Railway (WIP): https://www.matthewdawkins.co.uk/cat...railway-build/
LocoSound - sound effects for DC model railways: https://mafu-d.github.io/loco-sound
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