Tuesday 8 January 2008

Early thoughts

I've been pulling a few ideas together over the past week:

* At my rate of productivity, I can’t be too ambitious about what I can achieve in 2 years.

* I already have a half-complete layout.

* I have virtually no 2mm-scale stock to run on it.

* Unlike many railway modellers I don’t particularly enjoy shunting - I prefer watching the trains glide or trundle along.

My thoughts are converging on a simple idea. Why don’t I build a “front-end” for my existing layout. It would be a stretch of single-track line, perhaps 1.5m long with simple fiddle yards at each end.

I reckon this would be achievable, it would complement my existing layout, it would allow me plenty of time to build some rolling-stock kits and perhaps convert a couple of locos, and it wouldn't require any shunting.

Perhaps I could explore a more sophisticated method of track-building. I would certainly want to make a few trees (something I find very relaxing). It should be a spur to build those wagon kits lying in a box (and get a few more). And since there won't be any sharp curves, I'm hoping that I can use 3-link couplings.

My existing layout isn't portable, but this could give me the skills and confidence to do something more ambitious for future exhibitions.

In fact I can think of an immediate benefit of this approach. I'm stalling on my 08 loco kit at the moment, worrying about varnishing and transfers. Pushing ahead on this project means I can practice some techniques on a few wagons so I'll get it right when I feel ready to tackle the loco.

A few members have been discussing their plans recently and some interesting ideas are emerging. But I think this has the beauty of simplicity:

A couple of gentle reverse curves.

So if any member is being put off from entering by the plans of some members, please think on this: there's nothing in the rules about needing to be complex. And any first-timer who wants to "have a go" - at whatever level - will surely be welcomed and supported by our Association.


Anonymous said...

For three-links, copy Stuart Bailey's magnetic couplers. Its like a Brio train for 2mm; works incredibly well and you wonder why nobody else thought of it.


Anonymous said...

It is an interesting question whether trackwork or scenery takes the most time to do! Your layout will be an interesting comparison with my own idea, which almost takes things to the other extreme!
I really like the idea that you can add the Challenge entry to the front of your existing layout. I seem to remember |Chiltern Green was a bit like that?
It's great to see that you are moving ahead with an entry - don't forget to keep us up to date with progress and thoughts.
Richard Lake

Gram said...

Hello Nigel

Yes, I saw Stuart’s post recently and thought it very neat. However I am thinking about doing the couplings “just like the real thing” (eyesight permitting) as it looks so right.

But I may be tempted to experiment. Possibly I’d want a non-magnetic chain on one side of each wagon to represent the unused (dangly) chain... but this means all the wagons have to be the same way around... or perhaps the metal chain could have a non-metal dangly bit at one end... but then what about the end wagon?... ah well, still time to think about that one.


Gram said...

Hello Richard

Take your point about track vs scenery, but overall this will be significantly smaller than your proposal (which I look forward to following, by the way).

‘fraid I don’t remember seeing Chiltern Green (can’t find it in the magazine archive either) - suppose I initially got the idea of having a “take-away portion” from Copenhagen Fields.

I’m hoping we get a whole bunch of very contrasting entries in 2010.


Anonymous said...

I agree completely with your wish that we see a great variety in the Challenge entries - certainly better than the 18.83 challenge. From the subtle hints so far on the 2mm E-group, there could be some very interesting layouts to admire!