Thursday, 29 March 2012

Some more fine weather has allowed me to press on with the outer fiddle yard entry throat, and the first picture shows the corner board where it enters the front viewing side.  I have taken the opportunity to try the new Society lost wax brass cast sleepers which are to the same profile as the Ratio track base. They are designed to be soldered to brass screws set into the baseboard and here we see the left hand side in situ, and the right hand before fitting. The idea is to attack them with a slitting disc later.

 The next couple of photos show general construction and fittings on baseboard joins with the brass dowels and up and over catches.  I have noted that the sockets which engage with the hoops bend and thus it may well end up with a captive nut and bolt horizonally through both boards for final alignment, and a small wooden shelf on one side to support its neighbour.

These two photos show the underside of the boards showing the integral legs and cross bracing

 Finally the completed throat for the outer fiddle yard.

Monday, 26 March 2012

With the temperature rising in the garage, I have been able to do some more tracklaying and have just completed board 4 (or C in the photo!).  The last blog showed boards 1 & 2 in the process of being completed and 2 is nearest the camera.

This takes me as far as the difficult board (B) where the two fiddle yards will interlace so work will now jump to boards J, K, L and A which will be the mirror image of the first boards to be completed. Although the boards are lettered A to L, they are not being constructed in that order!

Just a note on the metal trestle - keep an eye out for special offers at lidl ( - they come up about once a year at £9.99 or thereabouts and sell out within the first day or two.

Trains congregating to check the lengths are the British steel Iron Ore Tipplers (centre), Triang BDA's with steel load, and innermost BerlinerBahn (BB) container wagons with Tillig and BB containers.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

In response to questions raised by fellow members of the 3mm Society;-

The layout is 18' long by 10 feet deep. There are 12 baseboards sized between 4' x 2', 3' x 2' and two corner boards 3' square but angled off at 45 degrees at the outer corners mainly to avoid furniture in my garage. A future blog will include a track plan.

Track is pinned down on the hidden parts with no cork or polystyrene insulation - I like to hear the trains coming!!  To do this without distorting, I first drill a small hole (0.4mm) just into the MDF then place a square or oblong file with the teeth facing down on top of the pin and parallel with the track and tap hard with a hammer. This avoids distortion and prevents damaging the track with the hammer.

My next blog will show progress on track laying this spring and focus on board joins.
Welcome to the blog for my new 3mm scale (TT) modern image layout which is under construction to show off what can be achieved in 3mm scale.

Construction of the 12 baseboards commenced in late summer 2011 and are based on 3" x 1" planed pine topped by 5mm MDF braced underneath by 2" x 1" at roughly 12" spacing. Integral legs fold down from inside the inverted box.

Boards are located together with brass dowels and up and over catches - you can see one of the catches in the photo to the right..

Tracklaying started in earnest in September whilst visiting Howard Love in France and the following pictures show the progress made in the week that I was there. It also shows that a constant supply of Breton cider helps!

This section of track is the throat for the inner fiddle yard.

Note the copperclad used on baseboard joins to which the track is soldered. Note too the gapping both between the rails and between the tracks.

The 3mm Society now does a brass sleeper which matches the Ratio track base which can be then soldered to brass screws set into the baseboard. This method will be used in the viewing part of the layout. 

These next few photos shows the approaches to the inner fiddle yard taking shape (with and without the clutter of tools!). Each of the two fiddle yards consists of 10 roads of similar lengths with an eleventh road being the entry or exit road for the fiddle yard on the opposite side.  The two fiddle yards interleaf in the middle and will present a tremendous challenge both in construction and electrically as it is intended that points will be dead frog and the blades will be loose for trains leaving their respective fiddle yards! 

Points used are a mixture of Peco HOm right and left hand curved and standard points and track is a mixture of Society Ratio 12mm gauge Track, Peco HOm track, and for the viewing areas GEM track. 

The fiddle yard uses track salvaged from Broad Green which was my first exhibition layout. 

The opposite end of the layout will be a mirror image of these boards except that the inner road will be the exit road from this fiddle yard, and all roads will splay out from the outside road.
The scenic area will start in tunnels leading from the fiddle yards and will be a pair of long freight loops and a small marshalling yard leading to a freight branch leading to warehouses and an out of scene docks complex.

There will be a heavy freight bias to the layout as this reflects my interest. The class 56 shown is converted from a BEC class 47 kit and uses a pair of Triang A-1-A motor bogies.  The wagons are modified Berlinerbahn (later Tillig) continental box wagons. As there are 16 of them, this gives an idea of the length of the fiddle yards and that two thirds of the layout is devoted to them.