'Cameo Callaton'

Discussion in 'Entries' started by Simpas, 15 May 2017.

  1. Simpas

    Simpas Western Thunderer

    This should be into the MRJ Competition page, but I'm not sure how to put it there. Anyway, here goes.

    Here are the first pictures I took of what is my entry for the Cameo Competition. I have emailed my form ....honest. The pictures date from roughly six months ago when I started the project, which is intended to be used as an illustration of how straightforward modelling can be in 2FS using the latest in track-work kits and bits together with converted 'N' gauge stock representing a modern period. It's a happy coincidence that it (I think) fits the criteria.

    The genesis of the plan is based on a very simple operation I witnessed first hand in the mid 1980s just north of Newcastle upon Tyne where a 'trip' working out of Tyne Yard (reporting no 6P03) finished up at an industrial facility which was part of ICI. Materials were 'shipped' in by rail and the end product, explosives, were dispatched again by rail. The trip working was known by railway staff as the 'Callerton Trip' because that is the name of the small cluster of dwellings close to where the facility existed just south of Newcastle Airport. You will see I have subtly mis-spelled the name. This is because I only got the idea from the prototype; it's not claiming to be an accurate portrayal of the location or what went on there, just a suggestion with the merest semblance of authenticity, but provides a reason (if we ever need one) for the plan whilst at the same time showing you don't need to go too complicated (and with a single turnout this just doesn’t get any simpler…!) in order to represent a prototype operation. Off we go then, with some early shots of the baseboards. Some of these pictures will appear in the 2mm Magazine and maybe elswhere in due course.

    I am very aware that whilst I have often suggested building something like this to many people, I have never myself built a very small simple layout in order to illustrate the philosophy, so 'Cameo Callaton' is my attempt to put that right. The self imposed disciplines are:-

    1/ no more than 2' 6" long in its transportable state

    2/ 8" - 12" deep

    3/ some semblance of prototype credibility

    4/ ease of assembly, preferably the fiddle yard should be secreted within the body of the layout for transport.

    5/ L.E.D. lit and examine the possibility of mains/battery operation.

    In addition since I have now an aversion to rectangular layouts e.g. absolute right angles and squares on all sides of the baseboard, there must be a pleasing to the eye curve on the viewing side.

    More anon.....
    Mick S.

    1. The basic baseboard with fiddle yard attached. The solid top has not yet been cut to shape. It will be screwed in place. Do you like the trespass sign? I used to model the N.E.R.

    2. Closer view of the sector plate fiddle - a very simple affair.
    3. An underside view showing simplicity of the sector plate construction and illustrating how it sits neatly within the body of the baseboard. Yes, the baseboard top surface has been cut to shape and screwed in place at this stage.


    Last edited: 9 June 2017
  2. BrushType4

    BrushType4 Western Thunderer

    Thats really neat!
  3. jonte

    jonte Western Thunderer

    Hi Simpas.

    Nice and simple sounds right up my street!

    Funnily enough, I was only visiting the 2mm Association site earlier today and they seem to have a variety of options to tempt the novice.

    Very neat baseboard construction and integral sector plate too. Well thought out.

    As an owner of the Cameo layout book myself, I'm sure the curvilinear design will stand you in good stead with Mr. Rice.

    Incidentally, have you finalised the track plan yet? The only reason I ask is that I note you mentioned employing only one turnout in your layout. However, from memory, and I'm sure Iain mentioned it in the recent MRJ article on the subject, I think a cameo (in his eyes) should have at least 'two' turnouts. I'll dig it out in due course and check again, but perhaps in the meantime, another member if reading this could enlighten?

    Hopefully, I'm wrong (as usual), but thought it worth checking before you glue anything down! Will check and come back to you.

    In the meantime, good luck and I'll watch with interest.

  4. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    Sorry - I think that was my fault, hopefully it's sorted now and I've moved the thread to the MRJ area, if it's still a problem then please let me know and I'll try to sort it.

    As for the design - there's some interesting ideas and it'll be great to see how it develops.
  5. Simpas

    Simpas Western Thunderer

    Adrian, the problem is more than likely me not being able to see the most obvious of buttons...! Thank you for re directing it in any event.
    Last edited by a moderator: 15 May 2017
  6. Simpas

    Simpas Western Thunderer

    Incidentally, have you finalised the track plan yet? The only reason I ask is that I note you mentioned employing only one turnout in your layout. However, from memory, and I'm sure Iain mentioned it in the recent MRJ article on the subject, I think a cameo (in his eyes) should have at least 'two' turnouts. I'll dig it out in due course and check again, but perhaps in the meantime, another member if reading this could enlighten?


    Yes the plan is complete and the one and only turnout built and laid with pictures going to be posted here, maybe before the end of the week. As said elsewhere it has its basis in a prototype so there never was any plan to do other than keep it dead simple. Below is a shot taken by me with my trusty Practica MTL3 in the mid 1980s of the Callerton trip 6P03 at the end of the line showing the two roads coming away from the single turnout. I wish I had taken a few more shots...!

    Callerton Terminus001.jpg

    Looking at the article in MRJ I don't see any reference to the number of turnouts but if the competition rules preclude a single turnout effort then I'll withdraw gracefully, and will continue to build it, for the 'raison d'être' to use a Rice 'ism, is not soley to enter the competition but to encourage people to have a go at whatever scale they fancy - just so happens that 2mil is quite small but very workable and extremely portable; and, I will let people see how it eventually turns out whatever happens.

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  7. jonte

    jonte Western Thunderer

    Can't find it, Mick, thankfully. Must have dreamt it.

    Carry on!

    Great photo btw.

  8. Simpas

    Simpas Western Thunderer


    Thanks, many times I have wished I'd been in possession of a digital camera. This was taken 20 years before I got my first Nikon.

  9. Threadmark: Cameo Callaton

    Simpas Western Thunderer

    This second prototype picture below, dates from the time I got down from the footplate after the run, these were my escorts for the day. How did I manage this you might ask? Well, for 30 years I worked for the Queen and one of my calling off points, for a cup of tea you understand, was a railway establishment. Well one gets on talking and they quickly realise they're dealing with an enthusiast....! (they can't touch you for it) and before I knew where I was I was doing the Callerton trip. The ard gadgie * (older fellow) with his arms folded, the driver, was a star and really was a proud railwayman. It was a grand day out even though I had to be up at the crack of dawn and was back home by 10am.

    Callerton Terminus004.jpg

    *Oh, sorry I forgot to tell you. During the course of my ramblings you may in places detect a certain dialect that is nothing like the way Jerry Clifford talks - there will be translations for those who 'non parle par la anglais du nord'....!

    Anyway, enough of my career anecdotes, (career as defined here, is to fall headlong completely out of control. Well sometimes that's how it felt) back to the project. This is a picture of the only turnout very soon after it was laid. This is one of the Easitrac pegged chair kits that has had some of the webbing removed to make it capable of being curved, in fact the removed webbing and revised curvature can be seen here; what started out as a right hand B7 is now a fairly large radius 'Y' turnout. Construction of the kits has been subject of articles in MRJ (243) and the 2mm Magazine. The 2mm Magazine has also had easy to follow articles on two methods of altering standard turnouts into something more bespoke.


    The common crossing is milled from a single piece of nickel silver and greatly assists the novice builder. The chairs appearing to support the crossing are just plain Easitrac chairs i.e. not the pegged variety, which are simply cut in half and glued on to improve the look.

    That's it for now. I've got a busy modelling weekend coming up so will be back next week to 'play nicely' again. Might get a chance to have a good look around WT as well to see what everyone else is up to.

    Last edited: 19 May 2017
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  10. queensquare

    queensquare Western Thunderer

    Ay man yore doin' a canny job.......he said in his best Wiltshire accent

  11. BCN-Pete

    BCN-Pete Western Thunderer

    Great stuff Mick - really looking forward to see this develop.

    We'll agree to differ on orthogonal shaped layouts though :p ;)

  12. Simpas

    Simpas Western Thunderer

    It's a broad church Pete and what a terrible place it would be if everything was the same. Keep doing the Kyle's (and the like) which I always find interesting and inspiring.

    BCN-Pete likes this.
  13. Simpas

    Simpas Western Thunderer

    Aye a knaad ye wa kickin aboot.

    (Yes, I thought you were around here somewhere...!)

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  14. BCN-Pete

    BCN-Pete Western Thunderer

    As you were the one who inspired me 30 years ago to move to 2mmFS (which actually took 20 years due to University, Marriage and kids first!) that means a lot to me - thanks Mick.
    Jordan likes this.
  15. Threadmark: Cameo Callaton

    Simpas Western Thunderer

    A little update, below is a picture of the single turnout which started life as a right hand B7. It's possible to make out the beginning of my first working trap point, of which more anon. The bright coloured sleepers are brass castings used to supply feed to the rails. Just below the switch a large hole is where an electro magnet will be positioned for uncoupling using my now standard Electra Couplings designed by John Whitehead around 1979.


    Below we see the public part of the layout in the raw.

    what....call this a layout?

    wey aye man, corsa dee....! (Yes, of course I do)


    And below the devilishly simple means by which the track is held level between sector plate and layout proper. Later on I'll show how the tracks are aligned to allow running across the joint.There will be another line laid to the right of the main line (which is to the right in this view) but this will be a hidden fiddle siding, also accessed from swinging the sector plate.

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  16. jonte

    jonte Western Thunderer

    Love the track arrangement, Mick; simple but sophisticated!

    Intrigued by the sector plate, too. Would like to know all about its construction (if you have time, of course).

  17. Threadmark: Cameo Callaton

    Simpas Western Thunderer


    Thank you.

    I will be writing up the sector plate but in advance of that can I say I consider this a 'lash up', it's so simple and relatively rough. The key part is ensuring the tracks stay in the same plane and that can be seen in the side view picture above. The alignment is just a hole and peg system and your own thoughts are just as good as anyone else's.

    I will get round to it though.

    Last edited: 9 June 2017
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  18. jonte

    jonte Western Thunderer

    Thanks, Mick.

    In your own time, of course.
  19. Threadmark: Cameo Callaton

    Simpas Western Thunderer

    I'm back again and would like to show how things are progressing. With the attempt to illustrate so much in so small a baseboard things inevitably will get to a stage where they look over busy so we'll start simple...! Below is the baseboard underside with the 'bus' in place. I'm making an assumption here (always dangerous) that everyone knows what a bus is. If not shout up...! To the right side can be seen a servo mounting and an electro magnet. In the middle - a piece of aluminium 'U' channel that will hold the servo that actuates the trap point. At each end of the board you can see I have clamped pieces of mdf, using 'T' nuts, that allow me to invert the board without running the risk of damage to the topside.


    Just a few words here about the servos; these are standard items bought via the Internet for less than £2.00 each but with the electronic components removed, leaving something that might best be described as a motor and gearbox inside a servo casing. This is not my idea and I am grateful to fellow 2mm Scale Association members Bob Isgar whose idea I believe it was to rip out the electronics from the servo, and David Long who pointed me in this direction. It is however reasonable to add in here that since there is nothing new under the sun this might not be a new development so apologies to anyone who thought of this earlier and is not being credited here.

    What needs to be done is the electronics, in the form of a small circuit board, need to be removed completely and two new wires soldered to the poles of the motor. You're exactly right "thez nee pictchas of the sorvos gutts" (there are no photographs of the servos inards)

    The wires are run off from the servo unit and connected to a supply which can be something as simple as a 1.5volt battery via a double pole double throw switch. The centre terminals of the DPDT are connected directly to the motor and the outer terminals connected to the power supply. One pair have the polarity reversed which simply means holding the switch over in one direction powers the motor forward and in the other reverses it - really simple. The power in this instance is a plastic case containing two AA batteries as seen in the picture below. Little cases like these can be bought for under £2.00 from the electronics dealers who ply the model railway shows. They’re also obtainable on the High Street where you might pay a little more for them, but still not very much. I have some which will hold one, two, four or eight batteries which will provide me with 1.5v, 3v, 6 v or 12v. Because a bias centre off switch is used it is simply held over one direction until the motor stalls at which point it is released.


    Whilst making the servo operate in the way it does is definitely not my idea I may have individualised the way it operates the piano wire shaft that moves the switch tiebar, because it is this aspect I have not seen before. The two pictures below show what's happening I hope, in the time honoured 'spot the difference' style. This servo is in fact the one operating the trap point and has the micro switch for the one and only point on the layout (did I say layout..?) ganged in. I have some pictures of the 'cobble up' that is the micro switch mounting but it's reasonably obvious what is happening from these two shots.............oh, alright then, I'll explain.

    I am using the full amount of travel the servo has to offer; there’s no electronic servo controller at all, it’s all really simple with about 75% - 80% of 360 degrees being travelled by the servo arm. Switching power on simply sets the motor running and when it reaches its own limit within the casing it stalls, the DPDT switch is released and the switch blades are held over because the low gearing within the servo act like a spring - job done. Also to be seen in these views are what I think is my own take on the switch actuating rod, a length of 0.6mm piano wire. People normally make a Z bend of sorts with the operating wire which is fed through one of the holes in the servo plastic actuating arm and use servo controllers to restrict the amount travel. If the Z bend method were employed here the actuating piano wire would protrude above the tie-bar into the scenic area every time the switch was thrown then fall back to the 'at rest' position when the servo stalled. A separate piece of scrap brass is used as a fulcrum (seen in the picture) through which the piano wire passes. At this point there is a piece of mercontrol tubing soldered above and below the pivot point preventing up or down movement when the servo arm rotates. (otherwise the piano wire will fall out…!) It is feasible to drill a hole in the aluminium ‘U’ channel to use as the fulcrum but I decided against this because it’s easier to thread piano wire up through the hole in the turnout tie bar and fix in place if the servo and ‘U’ channel are separate entities at the time.

    17.JPG 18.JPG

    That's it for now....

  20. BG Rich

    BG Rich Member

    It was good to meet you at Swindon at the weekend, Mick. Thank you for bringing your inspirational Cameo and your patient explanation of how it works. From what I saw at the show I know it has moved on considerably since your last post. The precision of your cabinet work/ presentation and the superb electrics and LED lighting look really good, not to mention the choice of DC, DCC and battery power. I love the neat handle on the front! I look forward to seeing more descriptions, especially of your explanations about the choices with the wiring - really clear and helpful. Your choice of retaining wall material and applied finish was an eye-opener to me. I must try it out in 7mm scale - it might save me a lot of messing about with Polyfilla, PVA and a scriber.
    Best wishes