Newport Model Railway Society

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With the clubhouse under padlock and all our members sequestered in their own little hideyholes TAFKATYS suggested that we each take up the challenge to build a small layout in the same vein as P4 in A4 with the intention that the results are displayed at an open day when it is all over and Jimmy will go to sleep In his own little room again.

As originally proposed there were several options:

Excluding  Fiddle Yard and Electrickery Boxes, etc. a scenic layout or diorama limited to....
1. P4 in 18.84 sqin (TAFKATYS probably got that wrong! - intentionally)
2. OO in 16.5 sqin
3. O in 32 sqin (S7 in 33 sqin)
4. N in 9 sqin
5. Mr Bell in whatever strange scale .....
6. Wagonman in that strange Swiss Gauge thing.

Since then a very un-clublike attack of pragmatism has hit the club following the realisation of just how limiting 9 square inches is in N so an alternative criterion of 1 square foot per number of mm/ft in the chosen scale has been adopted e.g. in P4 one is allowed 4 square feet.

Mike E's Californian Depôt in N Gauge - San Itize

It is a small California town in which a joint line of the Santa Fe and Southern Pacific runs through the streets, with a small depot (i.e. station!) at the edge of town. Mike E already has two rotating fiddle yards which will serve either end, and allow through running of short trains, and some switching of the spur. As it is N gauge at 2mm to the foot, Mike allowed the footprint to be just 2 square feet. 

Here, as you can see, Mike's second version of the layout design.

The challenge will be to build one (reasonably) scale switch (point!), making the line entrances and exits believable, and the considerable number of buildings – although he has the beginnings of the depot and the oil pump.

Mike has decided to recycle as much material as possible (particularly as Boris does not want him to go out.....). Looking at what wood he had available suggested a revised size (still 2 sq ft !!) of 32" x 9". He has built the baseboard (see below) and is inviting suggestions from club members for a name for our little Californian town?....... Coronaville will not be popular...

Update 30 March 20

Above we see the sort of street scene that provided inspiration for the layout and right, the progress that Mike has made already made.

Update 6 April

Mike has completed the building shells to allow decisions on their positioning and hence layout of the roads and sidewalks,

Mike  a name for the town yet - Isolationville sounds a bit singular, San Alcatraz a bit forbidding, San Dwitch a bit obscure...

Other suggestions from other club members have been San Ferrian or the oh-so-appropriate San Itize.

Update 17 April

Roads, sidewalks, building foundations and ballasting all started this week. Mike says he will need a bit of careful smoothing and weathering. Next is to complete building carcasses where he's got them and get them primed, ready to paint - the latter, he predicts will keep him busy for weeks.

Update 7 May

Mike has spend his time painting - this is for the buildings (views above) which is taking, and will take a long time to get right - using 000 brush and enamels mainly with some acrylic washes. 

He has also have been getting on with the "depot" - again a bit of a miniature challenge - you can see its size compared with a £1 piece,,,The kit is is by the USA Depots by John but with the roof replaced by round slates from York Modelmaking which should look more like wood shingles than what was in the kit. The livery is Southern Pacific, and those shingles will be painted in moss green

Update 22 May

These four photos show the conversion of a KATO 2-8-2 from coal to oils burning (this is the USA west!) using a little kit that Mike picked up years ago. it involved a bit of filing of the mouldings, but otherwise worked well. He also fitted Kaydee couplers instead of the old Arnold-type. Again the conversion went well - despite tiny parts!

This photo shows underneath the baseboard, where Mike has built a "flasher" kit and used it to drive a rather nice "railroad crossing" sign for the road. It flashes nice and slowly. Experience has taught him to make a removable  perspex guard for when he fits it on the top of the layout!

The next job is to finish off painting the stores, glaze them (what a lot of windows!), rig up some kind of interiors (visible through the store windows - should be able to use mainly photos) and devise a suitable way to affix the buildings in place.

Update 29 May

Mike had been worrying about constructing the freeway bridge that is to form the right-hand exit for San Itize, but suddenly realized (note vernacular spelling) that he had some bits of an old Walthers kit that he had saved/rescued {forgotten to throw away] from a previous project. A lot of plasticard and plastic bashing later he has a fine "Art Deco" structure. The first photo shows before painting, and the next two after priming. 

Now - is it California Route 99 or Route 66? - He  rather likes the idea that it is Route 66, and that you would probably not have noticed San Initiz as you drove across the bridge with Buddy Holly playing on the radio.........

Mr Chairman's Rope-worked Incline in P4. Provisional Title - Mountford's Mineral Railway.

Mr Chairman is developing a cameo based on varied examples of rope-worked inclines from the North East of England in 4 square foot and is exploring two alternative concepts.

Update 31 March

Mr Chairman is making progress - a mock up trialling a 1:15 gradient,  It looks like concept 1 won out in the end, but what turnout to use. A check to see if a A5 Y turnout would fit the space outlined by the masking tape showed that that was too big but the A4 one did. Which led him to produce the 1:4 crossing vee. 

Update 7 April

Mr Chairman took advantage of our normal club timeslot on a Tuesday evening to get on with one of the turnouts. By the end of the evening the V and one stock rail were in place.

Update 20th April

Time to start cutting some wood for the baseboard. I've decided to adopt the second option for specifying the size for this part - 4mm scale means 4 square feet. So the support and fiddle yards for this are confined to a 1ft by 4ft structure.

On the left is a channel of MDF to form the base with a strip of the same stuff for the trackbed just resting in the centre. The centre closeup shows the (tiny) 18.83 sq ins of the trapezoid scenic area. On the right is the rear of the trackbed  with relieving grooves so it can flex at the top and bottom of the incline. Also there's a piece of MDF cut to a 1 in 15 angle to help set the gradient. (Mike G - any time you want your router back let me know!)

Next supports were added at the top and bottom levels and the trackbed set in place. With some necessary weight the track curved quite nicely.

Update 29th April

Time to admit an error. In the original plan the, rather small, viewing section was placed in the centre of the baseboard. However, moving around bits of card to represent the two sets its obvious the passing place is central and the viewing area has to be offset. I won't say "back to the drawing board" because if I'd used a drawing baoard in the first place this should have been spotted.
I'll need to cut a new trackbed with relieving grooves in a different place.

TAFKATYS's nano-layout in O gauge

TAFKATYS, unusually hair-shirted, has kept to the original concept and is working on this layout which sits within 32 square inches.

LBH's Crindau Pill in S7

Oblivious as ever as to what might be practical LBH has come up with this plan for a shunting plank in S7 nestling on a board 6.54 sq. ft. so easily getting within the 7 sq.ft. criterion.

Laser-cut baseboard 1350 mm x 450 mm procured from White Rose Modelworks  - it went together easily and is very solid and not too heavy

Update 4 April 2020

Baseboard assembled and Templot plan printed out to get an idea of size and scale.

Luke's Halesworth in O-16.5

Here we have Luke's take on it with an O-16.5 layout which will be on a 8' x 4' board

Here we see development on the Transfer Shed


Not content with his first Coronavirus layout TAFKATYS is building a second one,