On Andrew Crosland's Dining Table
A small N gauge layout for exhibition at a local school's
Curriculum evening. Inspired as to what could be achieved in a small space
by a layout called Little Brimton I set to work. All track is code Peco
55 with electrofrog points. Further
inspired by the late David jenkinson I've avoided the use of straight track
on the main line and hidden as much as possible of the sharp return curves.
This does mean that the hidden curves are even tighter but still allow a
Farish Jubille to run.
Here's an overall view "On My Dining Table" where a lot of the work was
done. The backscene was painted by my wife, Avril. All buildings and brick
are from the Scalescenes range. As you can see, it's not quite finished
yet, with some scenic work required around the station frontage and the
terrace to be competed up the hill.
The baseboard is of the "old school" timber framed with plywodd top
construction. This is topped with a layer of fibreboard laminate floor
underlay. This takes Peco track pins very easily, but they protude just far
enough into the ply to be held fast without being difficult to insert. The
fibreboard can be sculpted to give a few mm of relief below track level.
The track plan was drawn in XTrkCad. You can see the tight curves and short
passing loop that are now behind the backscene.
This shot was taken in my converted garage where I have a 16' run of Wickes
budget kitchen units on which to build a larger layout. You can just make
out some of the lightweight ply/foam composite baseboards being made for
the larger layout.
The station is from Scalescenes, provisionally called "Ar Wydder". If you
take your time and read the instructions carefully in advance, these are
excellent kits, superior in my opinion to other pre-printed kits. The
trade off is in the extra time taken to build them. Cutting the notches in
the valance boards was tedious!
The station steps are not clearly on view from the front of the layout, so
the fact they don't quite lie flat is not usually noticed. Photographs can
be quite cruel to a layout!
Coal hut and one set of staithes are again from Scalescenes and built by
my son James. The second set of staithes were built from scratch to avoid
another whole colour print of the Scalescenes kit.
Point control is achieved with micro servos controlled by MERG CBUS. Here's
the front view of the simple control panel.
The switches movements are encoded into CBUS events by a MERG CANACE3...
...and decoded by my own CANSERVO8. A straight control arm is fitted to the
servos. One end is extended up to the point tie bar with piano wire. The
"over center" springs are removed from the points to give quiter and
smoother operation. The other end of the control arm activates a microswith
for the frog polarity.
You may consider it overkill, but part of the reason for building this
layout was to act as a test bed for the technology when used "in anger".
I hope you enjoyed this short description. Watch out for updated photos as
I complete the layout.