An 09scale 15inch gauge layout employing techniques for a future layout
Well it?s been a while since I have been able to post anything. I had planned to build an almost scale layout of the Groudle Glen, unfortunately this is on hold. This is due to not really knowing much about the scale and format of the build. I have decided to try a small compact layout first; this will employ all the skills I need to build the Groudle Glen layout at a later date. These skills include making my own track, fabricating buildings and scenery and wiring up the layout to an exhibition standard.
My previous 7mm layout Hockenhull Platts certainly proved usefully but I really want to hone my skills and also have the pleasure of using the layout rather than it collecting dust! It only sees the light of day when I have a little bit of room to get it out. So with this in mind I toyed with the idea of a suitcase layout but there were problems. The tightness of the curves prevented me running my Groudle Glen locomotives, there really wasn?t much scope for operation and above all it would not be strong or durable enough. Then a chance discovery at a junk shop gave me an idea. I would build a folding layout inside a cutlery box. I could have a good operating layout in a minimum space and try all sorts of modelling techniques. Now some people may suggest a plank layout but I was keen to build something that resembled a 15inch pleasure layout similar to Colin peeke?s shifting sands but also have a continuous run. After much experimentation as you can see below, I decided to modify the box to accommodate a layout with some operating interest. (The jouef curves were too tight for my stock)
The box was modified by inserting an extra middle section, this not only strengthened the box but also allowed me to bolt better hinges on and ensured that when opened the layout was straight, flat and true. The base boards are sunk just over a 1cm down which will allow scenery to be added and prevent it getting crushed when the box is closed. Trees buildings and other features will be removable. I made sure the outside of the box remained presentable so it could be displayed in the house rather than at the bottom of the cupboard! The box only measures 77cm x 33cm when closed which also makes it ideal to transport, maybe in the future to shows?
A final word, I must thank members of the site especially Invercoy, Puddley Wonderer and Comer Lad for the information and images they have sent me. This has not gone to waste as I have drawn out all the Groudle Glen stock and purchased all the chassis to commence their builds. I will be building all the GGR stock for this layout as well as some 15inch gauge locomotives for fun.
Next step is track construction and some modifications to the baseboards
I thought I should post a quick drawing of what the layout will look like. There will be a Locomotive shed and maintenance depot, a carriage works, water tower, station building and cafe/picnic benches in the middle. There will be two bridges and a small pond, the rest of the track will weave through a densely filled forest (perhaps have a feel of Dobwalls) I will probably use a small corrugated shed from my 7mm layout Hockenhull Platts http://ngrm-online.c...?p=26276#p26276 this will also provide the design for the two small bridges. Scenery will made using mini nature products plus some odds and sods from the woodland scenics range.
I have also posted a picture of the basic formers for the landscape. This is all foam board and will be given a top coat of filler today. It looks a bit messy but it?s a tried and tested technique and proves very light.
Today I coated the layout in cake mixture. The polyfiller dries hard after an hour or so and proves a rigid and hard wearing base for the scenery. I carefully mapped out the heights so a hill has a dip on the opposite board and visa versa, I don't want to crush anything when it?s closed.
Back to this experiment, I decided to keep the track I had already laid and finish the layout of using the bits of n gauge track I had. Once I had removed the sleepers I didn't need, I began gluing the track to the baseboard. This was quite a time consuming job, using a mixture of set track and some odd bits of flexi track. Once laid I soldered up all the fish plates to ensure conductivity and ran a loco. To my surprise it went around really well. The only problems being where the two boards meet on the hinge. This just required some gentle regauging with some pliers and a light file. The only other problem was my new 2-6-0 American mogul failed to negotiate the curves with its tender so it?s being modified at present. Polar Bear ran effortlessly around which was a relief and with cotton attached pulled two of the GGR coaches around the circuit. For the operator the lines actually quite interesting, twice around each circuit, a little shunting and back into the shed.
The next job is add cosmetic sleepers where necessary, paint the landscape, build the bridges and engine pit and spray the track rusty brown. I have also decided that the buildings will be a similar design to the types found on the Manx electric railway (the ones with logs struck to the side)