Thursday, 30 December 2010

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Two panels are better than one

Tracklaying continued with the addition of the second panel tonight. I then added the fake fishplates between the two. Nice.

I then laid out another possible trackplan on the basis of the layout being an inglenook type puzzle.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010


The first panel of track has been laid as a trial. Firstly a sheet of sundeala was glued/nailed on top of the 9mm ply. Thanks to dad for picking up a board for me and adding it to my Xmas present.

Then the photocopied track was taped to the board and sleepers glued down to that.

It took a bit of experimenting but I've found that drilling out the holes in the sleepers helps and that each pin needs its head trimmed to varying degrees. It's fun though - like laying real track! The brass thing in shot on the rails is the useful gauge.

The second photo shows me resting out the size of ballast grains. Medium will be fine although I may go with a sandy texture instead.

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Update on buildings

Here are some shots of those 4mm buildings I mentioned and a 7mm wagon(Talyllyn) for scale. With ladders replaced I reckon it'll work.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Kadee couplers or Greenwich?

Kadee couplers video

Here above you can see the benefits of the kadees, and they are pretty easy to fit to the KB scale wagons, utilising a self tapping screw.  At £3.30 for 2 pairs they aren't cheap, but not too bad for 7 wagons and 1 loco…  There have however been mentions that they can be difficult to couple on curves. They would also be quicker to get going as they require less work to install.

On the other hand I could use the greenwich couplings. 5 pairs for a £5 plus a few quid for extra hooks.  Much more info here: 

I’m probably coming down on the kadee side, but will take some time to consider.

some thoughts on buildings

There isn’t a lot available in 7mm really.  You can get:

A few huts and things that might be useful at

Some mainly US stuff here :

Quite a lot of stuff, but little of any use to me except some superb details here : – maybe some of the buildings here could be used though -

and specific, relevant details here:

But it might also be, with some serious alterations, these 4mm scale models below by bachmann could be made to look right for narrow gauge in 7mm… swap the ladders over things like that… ummm…



anyone know of other 7mm buildings or detail suppliers?

In time for Christmas


Seven wagons ready save for couplings (a decision yet to be taken between greenwich or kadee). 

The fuel bowser wagon was the only fiddly one really and even that has come out fine.  Great fun – I recommend this scale.

I should note that I took the decision to swap two of the chassis over (simple as they are interchangable) so the open wagon is now braked (looks better that way) and the fuel bowser is not braked.

Happy Christmas everyone.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Wagons roll

tonight the final three wagons were nearly finished:

- the open wagon is complete
- the tank wagon with its two oil drums (filled with liquid lead) is complete save for the strapping.
- the bowser wagon has had it's base extended and the brake column installed plus the oil drum has been filled with liquid lead. Final details need adding to complete.

All wagons run freely and there have been no major issues so far. These are good kits, although the instructions could be better illustrated.

The tipping point


The three tippers are really coming along now.  The braked one has filler added as per the instructions (hence the old grey area in the image).  Just the bucket latches and the brake pads to add and they are ready for painting and distressing.  Will make a start on the other three wagons – two flats with a fuel bowser and a braked open tonight.

Images of Ruston LBT/LATs (somewhat decrepit) - Derbyshire dales plus… , , and (Steeple Grange 1ft 6) (Holland)

and my favourite:


and plenty on this site

Wednesday, 22 December 2010


Whilst still thinking about the best layout plan, I started the process of making up the 7 wagons I possess tonight.

The platform wagon is done and I now also have three rolling chassis for the skips, one of which has been altered to take a brake end. The kits are very well made and wheels run beautifully. I've also removed all the other parts from sprues to speed up assembly of the rest of these wagons.

and another option…


second draft idea

The first draft posted here has been rejected because:
- It required a reverse loop wiring, which would be annoying in DC with a train having to stop to switch over polarity, or relatively expensive in DCC.  This is just a fun shunting layout so I wasn’t plan to DCC it.
- It was far too ‘tracky’ with little space for scenics or buildings
- It contained too much of the tighter radius type 1 curves and points
So, we move on to the second draft, the thinking behind it being explained thus:
- as the board I have is square, a triangular setup makes best use of space. 
- the basic trackplan is a copy of a plan seen in NGaIRMR recently – a shunting challenge for a loco and 2 wagons.  Run around two wagons using a wagon turntable and two points.  The loco can’t use the turntable to turn by the way, it only turns wagons.  It has been noted (despite this not being the case in the magazine) that this is actually the trackplan of the Crowsnest Tramway Co layout of Roy Link see here -

But to make it a bit more interesting you can add a point on the hypotenuse  leading to some sidings (via one piece of tighter type 1 curve sandwiched in between two of the normal curves) like these examples:
photo P1100486 P1100487
The second example could also just be one horizontal siding at the bottom instead of the two short ones. 
This gives you the shunting challenge as per the above plus room for a loco shed siding (the vertical siding in the bottom left) and space in the middle for either a sand pit/dragline or a piece of machinery (tbc).
comments invited…

Monday, 20 December 2010

First draft idea


1) the idea is a home-only shunting challenge. the siding at the very bottom of the board (longest siding) will contain 7 wagons and the idea is to reverse the order 1-7 to 7-1 back into the same siding. It is possible (I cut out pieces of card with numbers on to simulate), and there is much running around of wagons via the loops creating a lot of operational interest
2) the section in the middle with the 5 switches will be raised up on a slight mound with slopes towards the lower tracks creating interest
3) no backscene as only for home table-top use
any thoughts anyone?

Monday, 6 December 2010

New project, new blog

This is a new blog where from time to time I’ll post progress on my O-14 layout.  The idea is to create a smallish shunting layout (2 feet square) which can live in my office and be used with the flick of a switch or two (Rhyd Ddu takes a considerable time to set up!). 
The baseboard is ready (pine and 9mm ply) and just awaits a sheet of sundeala (easier to push in the rail pins used for attaching track to sleepers).  The board was previously to be used on Rhyd Ddu, before a change of plan.


I will use KB scale equipment (ex Roy C Link) and basically  take much inspiration from the NG sand and gravel layout, which I’ve always liked due to its believability and attention to fine detail.

P1010602 IMG_0252
P1100392  IMG_0254
IMG_0259   P1100391

A video I took in 2008 of the layout…

and another in HD in 2010

The layout will feature one loco only (at least initially) – a Hudson LBT 4 wheel diesel like this (except probably in weathered yellow like the ‘Novak and Goode Sand and Gravel’ layout – yes really, that’s what Roy says the NG stands for!).

loc 66 met leger trein

You’ve gotta love the KB scale adverts!!!


I will be using rolling stock and track of Hudson pattern.


and I have been lucky enough to receive a few models already courtesy of my recent birthday.  So far I have these (total 3 tippers, one with brake)… 7 in all:


I suppose some of my interest comes from the effects of an evening driving little NG locos at Butterley we were lucky enough to partake in a couple of times.  Here’s me, my brother and Dad):

IMG_4469 IMG_4473

They even had an open wagon on a rugga Hudson chassis there:


So, please do check on by from time to time and see how I get on (or better track changes to this site via an RSS reader like google reader)

More inspiration here: