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Wednesday 30 December 2015

Project 16 - Misterton Rebuild

My Misterton layout was originally built in the 1980s as an end to end mainline station over 12 feet. (Misterton is based on Crewkerne station on the L&SWR mainline in Somerset). In 2008 I added more baseboards to make a continuous loop. For it to work I had to turn the layout through 180 degrees, which meant viewing it from the operators side where remnants of non scenic fiddle yards at each end are in full view. Scenically it gives an unfinished look. More critically it limits the length of the station platforms. The scenery is also looking tired after 30 odd years and the track is code 100 whereas the other side of the layout (Hewish Gates) is code 75. All this points to reasons for an uplift.

My plan is to rebuild the layout and lay the track on a transition curve. The platforms follow this gentle curve achieving more length than a conventional lozenge shape with straight sides. This is nothing new and is commonly practised by other modellers.

I drew a track plan and discovered that the transition curve also gives room for extra sidings, something else that Misterton currently lacks.

The new asymmetric 3-way turnout and original single slip on the mainline are as Crewkerne but the rest of the track layout is a stripped down version of the prototype. The existing buildings and some scenic elements will be reused.

I plan to finish the rebuild within a year.  Progress will be reported here under the label 'Project16'. My postings will include modelling techniques, which may be of interest to my Blog Followers.

To Part 2.

Friday 11 December 2015

3d Print Experiments - FB track finale

I thought it worthwhile to explain why I have gone to the bother of making my own sleepers? Peco track is designed to 3.5mm scale not 4mm. Spacing out the sleepers significantly improves the look but the sleeper lengths could also do with lengthening. Having a 3D printer to hand gave me the opportunity to produce track that looks more authentic and be able to integrate cosmetic fishplates. If  I did not have that I would simply space out the Peco sleepers.

Having worked out the price of the plastic plus rail and a tad for paint there is a saving of about 65p over Peco ready made track unless buying it in bulk where prices work out about the same. So, no real point in doing it to save money.

Whatever we do in sleeper design it is going to be a compromise compared to the prototype because we can't get away from the track gauge of 16.5mm. (I have mentioned elsewhere that I'm not interested in converting modern RTR locomotives to 18.2 or even 18.83 for complete accuracy to prototype).

Here are the track dimensions adopted.

Item Prototype 18.83mm track gauge (scale 4mm:1ft) 16.5mm track gauge
(scale: compromise)
Sleeper Width 10in. 3.33mm 3.33mm (4mm scale)
Sleeper Length 8.5ft 34mm 32mm (Rail to end of sleeper 4mm scale +  track gauge 3.5mm scale)
Sleeper Pitch 2.5ft 10mm 8.8mm (proportionally scaled. 16.5 is 87.6% of 18.83. 10mm emphasises the narrow look of the track too much.)
Track length 24 sleepers over 60ft 240mm 205mm (approx. measured)

Comparison of Peco, DIY and 18.83.

Note: Peco and DIY sleepers look wider because of the shadows.They are all about the same width.

Wednesday 2 December 2015

3D Print Experiments - FB Trackbase & Fishplates

When prototype track was made in 60' lengths the rails were joined by metal bars called fishplates. Sleepers at the end of the rails sat beneath the fishplates and consequently were closer together than the rest of the 60' track. That is what I observed for flat bottom rail on the stretch of line I am modelling. Elsewhere the sleepers sometimes sit either end of the fishplates.

The two sleepers close together are 3D printed as a joined pair with integral fishplates on both sides of the rails.

It gives an impression of the bar, is not perfect and bolt heads are a step too far with this technology at this scale (00).
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