2mm First Steps in 2mmFS

Discussion in '2mm Lounge' started by Easterner, 25 March 2015.

  1. Easterner

    Easterner Active Member

    Evening All

    Following on from Potterbourne, which I started a mere 5 years ago would you believe! I thought it was about time to start on something else.

    After finishing Potterbourne, I said my next steps would be in 2mm finescale to allow me to work on larger projects in a smaller space without compromising the realistic finescale appearance.

    So having dipped my toes with a few wagon kits and converting a class 24, I thought it was about time to start a small test track/layout. I had previously started to plan a similar project before I moved away to study for a couple of years as part of a modern apprenticeship scheme, however the training is now coming to an end and I am gradually getting my free time back.

    This post may come across in a log style format as work began on the project in January, and I have only got round to typing something up and sorting through my photos over the last few days

    So an overview; I limited the size of the test track to 750 x 200mm, and have incorporated an inglenook idea so the layout will consist of 2 small turnouts, using the minimum turnout V size I would use on any larger future project. Although I have named this a test track, it is more likely to become a test layout as I plan to test scenic ideas on the layout too, and perhaps in the long run, if it all goes well it could be used as a small demonstration on the 2mm stand at exhibitions?

    Having finalised a plan in templot, I began to construct the baseboard from 9mm Ply. Once the based board was completed, the templot plan was glued to it.

    2mmFS Progress Jan 6th.jpg
    2mmFS Progress Jan 10th 1.jpg

    2mmFS Progress Jan 10th 2.jpg
    In a view to making the layout scenic, the entrance point would be over a small road bridge. The road would then follow round and up to what would be a goods yard area, which will be based on a fictional rural Easternly area.

    2mmFS Progress Jan 10th 3.jpg
    2mmFS Progress Jan 10th 4.jpg

    I have used a combination of easitrac and PCB components for this layout, as I felt in terms of operation and maintenance it would be more reliable than solely using easitrac, yet allowed me to keep up the appearance of finescale track work. For the straight track I mainly used easitrac sprues, with a PCB sleep spaced every 6 inches or so. With the point work, I decided to use PCB for the areas which would need to be structurally solid in terms to expansion and general wear and easitrac sleepers and chairs for the less crucial parts. I started by laying the straight section, which in the long run will become the off scene/fiddle yard section of the layout. I then started on the entrance point, and have worked my way to the other end of the layout since then, as the photos below show.

    2mmFS Progress Feb 1st 2.jpg

    Having completed all of the track work and whilst trying to prolong wiring, I decided to make up and fit 3 buffer stops to the ends of each of the sidings. I have now began to work on wiring the layout, and the first loco moved under its own power on the layout last Friday. Attention has now turn to completing the TOUs and installing point motors, so the rest of the layout can be wired up and tested, as I was limited to how much I could test without switches for the turnouts crossing polarities.

    2mmFS Progress Mar 12th.jpg

    Over the last few days I have managed to wire up 80% of the layout, and now just waiting for a few bits and pieces to complete the wiring for the TOU switches. I can now however operate the layout and test all the track work, which so far seems to be okay!

    Having tested the trackwork and layout wiring over the last few nights, I decided tonight to give the scenic track work an undercoat of primer and I then began to pick out the rails using a light brown colour to represent rust/dirt.

    2mmFS Progress Mar 25th 1.jpg 2mmFS Progress Mar 25th 2.jpg 2mmFS Progress Mar 25th 3.jpg 2mmFS Progress Mar 25th 4.jpg

    Perhaps future updates will be in a more uniformly manner.....!

    Josh :)
  2. john lewsey

    john lewsey Western Thunderer

    That's really nice Josh
  3. john lewsey

    john lewsey Western Thunderer

  4. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    Very nice and sounds very familiar - although I started with a Class 25! Great to see the progress.

    Just out of interest what solution have you used for operating the turnouts?
  5. queensquare

    queensquare Western Thunderer

    A great start Josh.

    Adrian, afraid I don't know how to post links on here using Kim's iPad thingy but if you look on my Tucking Mill thread on RMWeb there are a couple of pictures of the TOU I have used on William Smiths Wharf. Essentially the same as I used on Highbury which did 70 plus shows plus home use. The only real difference is they are now in brass section rather than plastic.
    There are some amazingly complex and involved solutions to TOUs out there, some of which made it into the track book. I've watched a number of them in use and they often seem to need constant attention. I'm a big believer in the kiss principal. I also like to fit and forget.

  6. Alan

    Alan Western Thunderer

    Any More updates Josh? Hadn.t realised you had made so much progress.
  7. Alan

    Alan Western Thunderer

    Hi Josh have a look in Small Ads. There is quite a comprehensive 2mm starter kit for sale.
  8. Easterner

    Easterner Active Member

    Thanks Jerry, I have very much taken my TOU from your post which you were referring to. Like yourself, I wanted something robust that I could install that would be trouble free. I had thought about the plastic variant of your mechanism which others seem to use, however after dealing with heat expansion and contraction of plasticard on previous layouts I decided to opt for the brass/PCB construction like yourself. The only major difference is how I will operate them.

    Due to the limited space I left underneath the layout for mounting motors or operating mechanism (Something I forgot to take into account in the planning stage), and also due to what I currently have laying around, I'm currently planning on trying PM4 Seep point motors, which I know is much frowned upon due to their vigorous action. However, as the motor is mounted approximately 40mm from the tie bar, I feel this will give some "spring" to the steel operating rod. What’s more, I am not connecting them directly to the tie bar but through a TOU, which is then connected to a tie bar on the point using a length of brass wire, again, as this is not as strong as steel I felt this would also absorb some of the shock from the solenoid action. However, only time will tell how well this will work and if any of the components/materials I have used will suffer from fatigue due the forces applied by the motor.

    Thanks Adrian, I felt I’d start with the class 24, as a diesel would be the quickest and easiest think to start with and give me a fully operational locomotive to test things with. I also thought if I was going to indulge further in 2mm finescale, it will probably be loosely based on somewhere in the Eastern region, in which I felt the all green class 24 suited most out of the available rtr models.

    Thanks Alan, and for the post about the ad in the classifieds, I already seemed to have accumulated most of those items, I could only really make use of the wagons and track work stuff.

    In terms of updates, having been distracted by College, Work, Firing on Preserved Railways, and other things...... not much has changed since my last post!

    Having had a week off which as mentioned above was mostly spent playing on the real things and catching up with family and friends, I'm now back to reality for a few weeks, and having collected a few bits and pieces from home which were holding progress back, hopefully there will be a few more regular updates as not an awful lot has changed since my last post.

    Here's a quick picture from last night, where I started a bit of landscaping work on the front of the layout.


    I intend to progress with the Jinty conversion, make up a couple of couplings and finish the last bits of wiring, to allow me to carry out further tests on the layout before I progress with anymore detailing work around the track, just in case any tweaks are needed.

    I'll end with a shot from the end of one of my Firing turns on the B12 last week!

    AJC, allegheny1600 and queensquare like this.
  9. Alan

    Alan Western Thunderer

    Good to see you progressing Josh.

    As you may have noticed on the Wencombe/Kingsbridge Regis thread here and elsewhere, The fiddleyard is now done. It's a good job I have small fingers and I will only be lifting locos off on the 4 shorter sidings.
  10. Easterner

    Easterner Active Member

    So the last couple of weeks have been spent doing various tasks on the layout.

    I began with finishing the wiring for the point motors, once this was completed I began testing the track work a little more thoroughly with the Farish 24 and a few kit built wagons. The track work seemed to be okay, and everything ran faultlessly.

    I then moved onto the Jinty, the conversion kit arrived so I set aside a couple of evenings to fit the 2mm conversion. I was really impressed with the conversion, however the loco seemed to stall just off top dead centre and bottom dead centre, but when removed from the track the couplings rods/wheels didn't appear to be tight, I spent a few hours playing around with this and did begin to get it to improve, however in the end I think I may have opened up the coupling rods a little to much, so I have ordered another set of rods to have a play with. Afterwards, I wondered if the problem may have been associated with dirt/bad pickups, so will be giving the trackwork and wheels a proper clean before having another go. Anyway, I did get it to the stage where I could try it through the trackwork, it performed very well but showed up a couple of tight points between the V's and check rails, and also a slight high point over the narrow piece of baseboard where the bridge is located.

    Moving on from testing, I've made a start on the bridge at the left hand end of the layout, it still needs a few bits of plasticard here and there to finish it off but on the whole it's coming along very well. With this in place, I was able to fit the rest of the polystrene and create the basic shape of the land and road which leads to the goods yard. The track work was then given a top coat of dark brown, unfortunately this had to be tediously applied by brush as my airbrush is a mere 400 miles away at home, but it's all finished now!

    After this I've been playing around with goods sheds, I first built a mock of a small typical M&GN goods shed using drawings in one of Nigel Digbys books, but this appeared to be a bit big, I then moved onto other ideas, and made a model of a smaller GER style goods shed based on the one at Hadham on the Buntingford branch, however this looked to small. After this, I used both sets of dimensions to create a "Medium" size shed which seems to fit the bill! I also mocked up a coal staithe and a short fence which sugar beet would beet stored against for loading onto wagons. I think a loading gauge will be designed and fitted to the left hand side of this.

    Apart from that, I've been building a few more wagon chassis's and also started to experiment with ballasting on the two shorter sidings.

    Anyway, I'll let the pictures do the talking!

    Idea 1 - M&GN Goods Shed

    Version 2.jpg

    Idea 2 - GER Goods Shed

    GER Version.jpg

    Idea 3 - Combined Sized Shed

    Version 3.jpg

    And a few pictures of the overall progress

    Image 1.jpg



    40126, BCN-Pete, Stumpytrain and 6 others like this.
  11. Scale7JB

    Scale7JB Western Thunderer

    Huge respect for 2mm finescale, I don't think I could do it..!

    Looking great!

  12. Alan

    Alan Western Thunderer

    Please don't ask me to operate a 2mm layout Josh;):(
  13. allegheny1600

    allegheny1600 Western Thunderer

    Hello Josh,
    This is shaping up nicely, you piqued my interest with that M&GN goods shed!
    Any further progress?
  14. Easterner

    Easterner Active Member

    Hello John!

    Thanks for the prompt - Has it really been a year since I updated this!

    I have been doing bits and pieces here and there, but on the whole unfortunately there's not any huge revelations to bring you up to date with.

    The layout has been ballasted and weathered, I've made some coal staithes out of rail and PCB sleepers, I have fitted the layout into a letter box style fascia, I've played with some LEDs for lighting and have spent this afternoon having my first attempt on the good shed out of plasticard, which will be loosely based on Hadham on the Buntingford branch. I've also accumulated some more stock including a J39, but I really need to finish converting the Jinty which I haven't had success with yet and I also need to finish wiring the layout up with a more permanent supply .....!

    I don't have to many photos to hand at the moment of progress, but will try and do a more in depth update in the coming week.

    I'll leave you with this :)
    - Bryn, D6356, Dog Star and 7 others like this.
  15. Alan

    Alan Western Thunderer

    Good to see you are updating again. I do like the frame for the layout. How are you thinking of lighting it?
  16. D602bulldog

    D602bulldog Active Member

    Hi nice little layout your building there looking forward to some updates and pictures.

  17. Scale7JB

    Scale7JB Western Thunderer

    All this makes me want to get my saw out and start building some baseboards!


    P.s. If you're in the NNR you must know Messrs Bicknell and Issitt?!
  18. Easterner

    Easterner Active Member

    Hi Guys,

    Things are still progressing at there usual rate of all or nothing! I haven't really done a great deal in 2mm recently but the layout has progressed a little bit since the last update so I'll try and dig out some pictures.

    I've more recently been distracted by 7mm, now on my 5th Parkside kit I think.....much inspiration has come from people like yourself JB! I've got a J15, J65 & J68 to get my head around at some point, so after seeing your workbench thread there may be some PM's heading your way re the J68's! But none the less I would like to progress and finish the 2mm at some point!

    Indeed, Messrs Bicknell, better known as Grandad in Norfolk! And I was on the Y14 with Mr Issit yesterday, another one of those lovely distractions that takes me away from modelling......and today we're demoing Potterbourne at local model shop for a scenic day, I'll get round to some more modelling soon!