Discussion in 'Entries' started by BCN-Pete, 1 May 2017.

  1. BCN-Pete

    BCN-Pete Western Thunderer

    Here is my entry for the MRJ/Wild Swan Cameo layout competition due May 2019.

    Thurso (an extract) in 2mm Finescale

    Era circa 1979 - 1985

    The idea for the layout has been in my head for some years now but it was after reading the requirements for the competition I decided to get a wiggle on and try and build it.

    It originlly started as another potential box file layout whilst I was living in a Barcelona. A small mock up was made in white card and some sketches were produced 0f a layout 1200mm long by 150mm wide.


    It also occurred to me that it could fit onto the other end of my then 'in progress' box file layout Kyle of Lochalsh (another extract) which has since had a number of makeovers.

    A mock up in white card was duly made...


    Originally it was to include the bay siding which was on the viewing side but I felt there was too much track and little it was shelved...back in the box if you like ;)

    Following completion (ish) of Kyle and a brief toe dip with 7mm (ongoing) the idea resurfaced and was developed recently. The intention is that it can be a stand alone layout using the existing Fiddle Yard or the two layouts presented as an overall composition. The bay platform was omitted as I felt that it could be a good counterpoint to view across the platform rather than against the platform as is with KoL.

    A mock up was built in card and foam board with the overall dimensions of the width and fascia tuned to match KoL. There is a separate thread on here which outlined the design development of the train shed and viewing which will feature later in the build.

    Last week the designs were drawn in CAD and being an Architect I get to use the laser cutter at the studio when it's not busy with projects. I decided to use 3mm ply as previous foamboard constructions have resulted in some twisting despite bracing. It took some time to work out where all the tabs needed to be in the components but the model shop team at work were very helpful in their advice. Here are the components cut out on a Friday afternoon and laid out on the DRT ready to do a test assemble.


    Using just masking tape, the whole lot went together in about 30 minutes...I was well chuffed that all the tabs had ended up where they were supposed to be...

    This was then assembled yesterday using PVA glue and a few 'Architectural volumes' were added to provide the necessary muscle. This morning the whole thing is pretty rigid and sturdy.

    Front viewing side withe cantilevered corner...

    Rear side - Holes will be drilled for turnout operation and uncoupling methods...more on that soon


    The underside incorporates the necessary holes to run the wires.

    The next job is to install the lighting. I have ordered 3 kitchen type fittings as used on KoL which can plug together and are concealed by the fascia.

    I have also decided that I will build the track offsite on a base which can be dropped into place afterwards.

    To be continued...
    76043, 3 LINK, Alan and 16 others like this.
  2. BCN-Pete

    BCN-Pete Western Thunderer

    Much sketching has been done of late. As I have mentioned on other threads, due to work and family commitments I get to spend less time on modelling these days so when I do so, I like to try and maximise my available time rather than dithering! Sketching is my way of thinking things through, be it on a train journey or in a cafe. The following are recent ideas on the train shed, uncoupling and turnout operation.


    The train shed with be formed in clear perspex with laser cut timber roof profiles. The window and door profiles with be etched on the two sides of perspex. One side of the roof will be removable should there any derailments/problems that need access.


    Couplings will be DG's as per before and will be operated by simple bar magnets which are inserted and retracted beneath the track base into preformed housings. This has been pretty reliable on KoL.


    Initial locations for power feeds are as per the numbered plan (please feel free to correct if I am wrong!) operation of turnouts will be via wire in tube with polarity changed by dpdt switch. I might try to link the two turnouts for the run a round as they will most likely operate together...
  3. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer

    Hi Pete
    The plywood looks great.
    For the crossover you could use just one switch instead of connecting two together. Use a DPDT switch and use one side of the contacts to change the polarity of each turnout frog.
    BCN-Pete and Dog Star like this.
  4. BCN-Pete

    BCN-Pete Western Thunderer

    Hi Fraser - thanks very much.
    Good idea on the switch - my only nagging thought to keep it as two singles is allows you to throw each one back and forth individually if there is a problem...sometimes on KoL I have to do this...
  5. BCN-Pete

    BCN-Pete Western Thunderer


    This weekend has since the concealed lighting installed in the fascia. I have opted for similiar fittings as used on KoL, typical of those used under kitchen cupboards to illuminate the worktop. They don't get too hot either. A few pics...

    Light fittings are 312mm in length...

    Lights off...

    Lights on...

    The end has been modified to allow the power plug to be routed back via the Fiddleyard which also has a similar plug. A small enclosure will be built to conceal the cables.

    View from underside...lights are hidden by the fascia and the top bar prevents the operators getting an excess of Vitamin D...:cool:

    Next job is to order the plain track from the 2mmFS Association. The turnouts were bought recently so I can begin to map out the track soon. I have decided to build the track offsite on a sheet of 1mm white card which will be then dropped into place on the layout.

    Lots to do...:eek:
  6. BCN-Pete

    BCN-Pete Western Thunderer

    Work has started on the first turnout this weekend using the new easitrac turnout kits. I must say it's a nice pack of stuf and the premade frog (always my downfall) is a welcome addition.

    Here's where I got to so far having had a weekend of interrupted model making. Am hoping that a turnout can be made in a weekend with a fair crack at it...

    I am making them individually on a small area of 5mm foamboard...

    The turnout base is aligned with the template to help with chair selection...

    Thank God I bought one of those optical visors the other week from Eileen's as the small components are testing my eyesight :eek:

    I also did some sketches on the tube last week of the modifications required to the end of the KoL Fiddleyard. A small 100mm approx. addition will allow integration of the Daisy II DCC base station as well as grouping together the wiring from the fascia lighting...

    Google Earth type view ;)
    Google Earth type street view :D
    3D sketch...

    Comments welcome...
    Simpas, 40126, BrushType4 and 3 others like this.
  7. BCN-Pete

    BCN-Pete Western Thunderer

    Mojo was topped up after a brief visit to the excellent Railex yesterday morning then it was time to try and complete the turnout started the other week. I wasn't entirely convinced by the tie bar solution which I had struggled with, without the jigs so this morning I opted for the conventional sliding PCB sleeper.

    This has enabled me to complete it (bar the check rails) and I also laid some of the plain track I pre assembled the other week. The track is being built off a 1mm white card insert which allows me to remove and work on it without the fascia constraints. This also allows the cut outs for the wire in tube mechanisms.


    Hope to be able to knock out one turnout per weekend and have the track work laid by end of summer...
    40126, Overseer, cmax and 1 other person like this.
  8. BCN-Pete

    BCN-Pete Western Thunderer

    Well, that 'turnout in a weekend' comment turned out to be a non-starter :D

    Yesterday saw me going backwards as everything I touched seemed to fall apart :headbang:- time to pack it away and watch the footie.

    Today with fresh approach and some mulling over whilst on a 6:00am mountain bike ride things have gone better.

    I have built a small podium which the 1mm card insert has been taped to and this will allow me to build all the track in situ...and then insert it into the timber fascia box. This means I can tighten up the point work a tad and avoid some short lengths of rail.

    I also confirmed to myself through a sketch on the train that the best option to incorporate the 100mm add on section is on the Fiddleyard side. It never hurts to keep questioning what we do and drawing and annotating something is my way of clarifying when I start to have doubts. The extension to the FY means the DCC base unit will be able to operate either Kyle or Thurso in standalone modes...or the two together.


    Although it felt like a non productive weekend initially I feel a lot happier today that I can crack on again next time...hopefully next weekend :D
    Simpas, jonte, 40126 and 1 other person like this.
  9. BCN-Pete

    BCN-Pete Western Thunderer

    Apologies for the radio silence - pesky life getting in the way of modelling :eek:

    Earlier today I finished the main track laying with all turnouts and sidings in position.

    The next task will be to complete the check rails and switch blades to all turnouts and then it's time to solder some droppers.

    Here's a few pics to show it's ticking over within programme :D




    Thanks, Pete
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  10. BCN-Pete

    BCN-Pete Western Thunderer

    Having built all the track for the layout, when I came to wire it, it was just not up to the running qualities that I wanted...this led to a few months off to reconsider its future and after a long weekend of thought I have decided to not only withdraw this from the competition but also scrap it as a layout altogether.

    I guess there was something irking me about it and whilst it would have been great to add it onto the other end of Kyle, it would have dwarfed it and perhaps taken something from the original which remains a micro layout in 600mm length.

    I have now decided to concentrate on my Meeth project which will be entered for the 2mmFS Damond Jubilee Layout Competition in 2020...after that I may be making the break to 7mm as am not sure I have the eyesight, patience or skillset for 2mmFS these days.

    Many thanks to all those who have shown interest in the thread and the layout and your supportive comments.

    I will return with something soon...;)
    40126 and 76043 like this.
  11. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    Sorry to hear that, being as I'm trying to get my 2mmFS effort running what exactly was the problem with the running qualities. I would have thought with the easitrac turnouts it would have been ok - or was it something else?
    BCN-Pete, 76043 and jonte like this.
  12. Simpas

    Simpas Western Thunderer

    Hello Pete,
    After our comms today I thought I'd see how it was doing, I'm with Adrian here, is there anything that can be done to help?

    Mick S.
    BCN-Pete, 76043 and jonte like this.
  13. Dog Star

    Dog Star Western Thunderer

    Pete, why was the running quality not up to your desires?

    I ask because I noted that you had used the "pegged" Easitrac B7 turnouts... as we have for the Basingstoke 2mm Camford layout. We bought the turnout kits late last year and I built a couple of those kits this year - and there are some issues with the result. The first sign of problems was that the top of the common crossing was proud of the adjacent rails by a visible amount, sufficient as to cause a wagon to rise and fall sharply. Subsequently we noticed that the straight switch rail had a definite "curved" section at about ten to fifteen timbers from the switch toe - this was confirmed when the track gauge was measured at around 9.1mm.

    We returned three assembled turnout kits to the 2mm Association for investigation. Last week we received a response to say that there was an error in the CAD work used for locating the peg holes... and please have these replacement kits.

    I think that I shall stick to building S7 turnouts... so if Adrian sees another picture of a testarossa then maybe that might be a sports car.

    regards, Graham
    BCN-Pete and jonte like this.
  14. BCN-Pete

    BCN-Pete Western Thunderer

    Many thanks Adrian - TBH, as fab as the easitrac turnouts are I just can’t on with them and I struggled with them on my Kyle layout too. Am just not good at getting the whole frog/common crossing to sit right and rails running into it without small ridges...I have since gone back to a PCB turnout and think this is best for me...

    Many thanks also Mick - I think I am just not very good at track making - I even built three C+L turnouts (in a bag) in 7mm as I thought it would help back with the 2mm ones...but alas not! Not to worry, Meeth has one turnout which I have since made in PCB and my next 2mmFS project after this actually has no turnouts!

    Many thanks also Graham - Yes Ian wrote to me about this recently - it may well have had something to do with it but it’s most likely just me and my trackmaking abilities...the patience, eyesight also comes into question too as I get older...

    Many thanks for all your interest and offers of help everyone...the layout has been condemned though as it was holding me back...
  15. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer

    I trust the baseboard survives for recycling into a new layout.
    BCN-Pete likes this.
  16. BCN-Pete

    BCN-Pete Western Thunderer

    Yep, baseboard has been stripped and bubble wrapped...
  17. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    I struggled at first but I think I'm getting the hang of it now so if you need some help - this is my latest effort which looks a lot better. :rolleyes:
    wiring - 1.jpg

    Fortunately not for running! just the bus-bars for wiring up Holywell Town - I'll have to post some proper updates later. My apologies I can't remember who posted the idea on here first but it has made life simple for wiring up.

    wiring - 2.jpg

    at the end of the day it's supposed to be a hobby and fun. So yes if your heart isn't in it then it wont be fun so I can understand the decision.
    BCN-Pete likes this.
  18. BCN-Pete

    BCN-Pete Western Thunderer

    Thanks Adrian - agreed re hobby and I know what I am like, once I lose interest in something...:confused:

    Great idea for the bus bars by the way ;)