7mm New Scale - New Challenges - Br Blue...

Discussion in 'Layout Progress' started by BCN-Pete, 9 May 2012.

  1. BCN-Pete

    BCN-Pete Western Thunderer

    I thought I had better start a new thread on all things 7mm that have been happening around me of late.

    I have to be honest, I was never originally a great fan of the scale and often didn't stop to look at some layouts at exhibitions :eek: as I guess I couldn't relate to the shear size of it compared to my usual 2mmFS work...and also the associated costs that everyone assumes of this scale.

    And then about 2 years ago, Marc Smith (Author of Hendre Lane) built a terrific micro layout in 7mm scale and coupled with seeing Jordan's excellent micro 'Withyn Reach' I started to immerse myself in all things 7mm scale...especially micro layouts.

    I started by my usual process, which is using an Ikea LACK shelf and the constraints it gives (we live in a small apartment and I have no workbench or garage etc) and planned out a small extract of Wenfordbridge. I purchased a Lima 33, some Skytrex clay hoods and via Marc Smith a Bachmann Brassworks 08 through a private sale.

    The layout was mapped out as this, using crude homemade templates and some boxes to represent buildings:

    W 1.jpg

    Plan shot 1900mm x 260mm...

    W 2.jpg
    The boxes represent the clay dries...
    W 3.jpg
    The project was researched and a small mock up made...
    And then...I lost interest, it was all packed away and I got back to my 2mmFS stuff working on Kyle and my other layout Coombe Junction -Moorswater.
    Fast forward another 2 years...and the 7mm itch is back again :D Initially, I had an idea to replicate Kyle but in 7mm on a shelf and inspired by Ross's conversions of the Lima 33 to 26/27, the Scottish layout urge once again surfaced.
    After questioning whether I wanted to do Kyle again so soon, I then looked at Wick or Thurso as ideas. Thurso had a lot of appeal and I had previously looked at it as another 2mmFS boxfile layout, making a mock up two years ago as this:
    Thurso in 2mmFS...in a boxfile...
    Rolling stock were placeholders...
    And of course...all fitting back in the boxfile...
    But I had decided that it was too much track being squeezed in so it was shelved (not IKEA :))) but perhaps it could reappear again but in 7mm scale?...
    Using C+L turnout templates this time I have mapped out again on a shelf a much simpler version and to aid my thinking process a 'quick n dirty' 1:10 mock up has been made as this:
    The platform, covered shed and run around loop will be modelled...
    A small fiddle yard can be attached and the maximum train size would be a 26 (or 27) and two MK I coaches or a handful of vans/minerals/tank wagons.
    I thought I could build this board as Phase 1 to try my hand at 7mm scale and then afterwards possibly add a second board adjacent to include more of the yard as this:
    Width is increased from 260mm to 520mm...
    So that's where I am to date. The Jury is still out whlist I keep wrestling with what am I trying to achieve with all this....and I may revert back to a 7mm version of Kyle which does have the beauty of the bridge acting as natural scenic break.
    Agreed that it doesn't have a great lot of 'operating potential'...but sometimes I think I prefer to build rather than operate layouts these days and enjoy photographing them too.
    I would be interested to hear any comments you may have on this as a proposal.
    Many thanks in advance...
  2. Dog Star

    Dog Star Western Thunderer

    What an interesting read... and the mock-ups help to visualise what you are thinking. Of the three ideas my money is on the clay dries... or is it? humm - maybe I like the idea of the far North especially with the different stock that frequented the area.

    Now given what you say about building and photographing rather than operating, here is a suggestion. Using your standard IKEA shelf unit, model the inside face of the outer wall of Carlisle. Irrespective of the period, photos of that side of the station always seem to have stock just parked there... and a rare mix of stuff as well. Choose your period carefully and there is probably scope for some serious heavy haulage. If you consider adding the Network Rail test train then there is no shortage of colour (Red and Yellow and ??? and Blue - maybe even Western Rainbow!).

    Sorry, clay dries win because of the weathering opportunities.

    Oh no - the Far North because of the desolation... damp and dreary.

    regards, Graham
    BCN-Pete likes this.
  3. Pugsley

    Pugsley Western Thunderer

    Why not do both? :))
    BCN-Pete likes this.
  4. 28ten

    28ten Guv'nor

    I like Thurso, but I think I prefer the 2mm setup which feels more open, the china clay works much better with the building backdrop.
    The main thing is that you are happy with the moving diorama concept, operating potential and 7mm in V small spaces are not normally words in the same sentence :)
    BCN-Pete likes this.
  5. Phill Dyson

    Phill Dyson Western Thunderer

    Both are very interesting projects, I like the look of the clay dries from the mock ups........then again I like Ian's Scottish layouts ..........not being much help am I ? :))
    BCN-Pete likes this.
  6. BCN-Pete

    BCN-Pete Western Thunderer

    Thanks Graham - food for thought indeed.

    Carlisle is a little unfamiliar to me and Jon (Sandhills on RMweb) has just done that very thing in 4mm scale and made a cracking job of it.

    I do still like the clay dries...but also the Scottish stuff is very compelling - Class 26 on clay hoods? :))

    I might just start building the turnouts and start the rolling stock...and see where it takes me...

    With one I have a sporting chance of not getting immediately divorced...with both, the divorce papers would be waiting on the breakfast table for my signature...;)
  7. BCN-Pete

    BCN-Pete Western Thunderer

    Thanks Guv - Yes, I believe I read on here in another thread you had sketched out Thurso one time...those small Scottish train sheds are very appealing.

    In terms of operation, I seem to dream of all the operating realities...but never get to realise them. Fair point about 7mm, small layouts and operating potential though.

    Thanks Phill - that means we are thinking the same then! Decisions Decisions...
  8. rosspeacock

    rosspeacock Modelling on a £1200 table.

    I like the idea of adding more of yard at a later date, (the one in the last picture) really like your mock ups too..
    Do you have Ian Futers's book; Modelling Scotland's Railways? Could be a great help to you lots of plans and pictures in there too... (might be able to get you a copy from Mr Futers direct if you wanted one)
    Enjoying your posts and thanks for the comments re my lima conversions:thumbs: Ross;)
    BCN-Pete likes this.
  9. 28ten

    28ten Guv'nor

    Ill throw something else in here :) how about a station that closed after the war, but modelled as if it was still open in the 70's? I present Strathpeffer http://www.railbrit.co.uk/location.php?loc=Strathpeffer a wonderful building and it would provide a Kyle like backdrop, I think it would work well in 7mm.
    40126 and BCN-Pete like this.
  10. SteveO

    SteveO Guest

    What a envious dilemma to have!

    I think I've spotted a secret you've not let on - you have the stock for both! I think this is a devious plan to get us to make up your mind which to build first! :)

    Seriously though, like Ross I quite like the idea of an expandable layout to add operational interest Over time - and not in length but depth. That's quite novel!

    BCN-Pete likes this.
  11. Dog Star

    Dog Star Western Thunderer

    I had not seen the Sandhills models over there... I have now and thank you for pointing out the topic, very good photos and very good modelling. Sorry not to have suggested something new... looks like the approach would work for you.

    If you are going to start building turnouts then that suggests that you have made the choice.....

    regards, Graham
    BCN-Pete likes this.
  12. BCN-Pete

    BCN-Pete Western Thunderer

    Thanks Ross - Yes I have both of Ian's books...and very often they get taken out, drooled over etc as he does have a knack of making compelling 7mm Blue micro layouts...and rapidly too. The mock ups only take an hour or so and are a lot cheaper than starting something that bleeds money...and then you lose interest.

    Thanks for this Guv - That's a great link...and a potentially nice project too...but perhaps not for me. Although I like the narrative of the 'just supposin', as often used by Ian Futers, my own modelling interest these days tends to lie on recreating something from a period that I can research. I really enjoy the research on the history, architecture and rolling stock etc and finding pics of different train formations from the time. I know myself too well in that I will quickly lose interest in a project if I lose the ability to keep researching something. Many thanks for the suggestion though...maybe someone else can grab it and run with it?...

    ah...I have been rumbled... ;) Yes it occurred to me yesterday whilst making the mock up, that normally layout extensions are by length not width...which would me it would fit better on our dining room table...:))

    Graham, hi - Yes, Jon's modelling is well worth a look - you often have to do a 'double take' on his photos...:eek:
    No worries for the suggestion though. I will be constructing the turnouts offsite so if I make a lefthand one first, it still keeps Thurso, Wick, Kyle and Wenfordbridge all in the running...:rolleyes:
  13. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    I know how you feel, its the hunt that's exciting, not the kill, I liken it to gambling, the primeval excitement about whether you win or not (opening a new book and furiously flicking through looking for new images and data) is all consuming, often as not when you win (research all that you can) you loose interest. Over time I have realised too, that my primary modelling interest is research or learning, once I have learn't all that I can I tend to go off the boil and very little actually gets built, armchair modelling at its best I fear :).

    Keep up the inspirational work, some great ideas you have kicking around and hope you settle on one and full fill your wishes.

    BCN-Pete likes this.
  14. BCN-Pete

    BCN-Pete Western Thunderer

    Thanks Mick - you've hit the nail on the head with that.

    I often do an internet search for both my 2mmFS layouts and nothing beats the thrill of finding an image or a book/magazine featuring an article which adds another layer of history...and usually is an excuse for buying another piece of rolling stock not anticipated at the outset of the project...Thanks for your kind comments too...I have had another couple of ideas which will be pursued today and added here later...
  15. BCN-Pete

    BCN-Pete Western Thunderer

    In terms of process, this is how I tend to work. Usually between photos of the prototype, worked up as a series of sketches and then translated into mock up models...which in turn feeds back to the sketches and so on.

    On the right hand side of my sketchbook is the idea I had for making Kyle with 'clip on' scenics...something I am still keen on doing...:D

    rosspeacock and 40126 like this.
  16. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Neat method of working, of course it helps if one can draw LOL, I have no fear of drawing but my sketches tend to be different scales, ie the track plan and what's envisaged a smaller scale than the space available, ergo, more crammed in than is ever reasonable practicable. Less is more, is very hard to follow, certainly mentally :).

    BCN-Pete and 28ten like this.
  17. BCN-Pete

    BCN-Pete Western Thunderer

    well as an Architect, I guess its my dayjob...;)
  18. BCN-Pete

    BCN-Pete Western Thunderer

    Me again - some more thinking out loud today...but please tell me if this is getting tedious...:eek:

    Firstly, I took my old plan for Wenfordbridge and using the C+L turnout templates I rechecked the plan again. It still fits, but using the slightly longer turnouts (than my previous hashed together ones) the sidings/headshunt are a little reduced. I still think its a nice option...but then I realised why I started to drift away from this option. Mainly, its because I want to build my own trackwork...and of course being a dries, 90% of it is infilled with concrete :rolleyes: So its seems a shame that my first efforts will be mostly covered.

    Secondly, I relooked at Kyle...and I still like that as an option...simple and of course the bridge being the ultimate scenic break.

    Lastly I relooked at Thurso again...and the idea of building the layout in two phases, increasing the width as opposed to the length. With a little rehashing of the idea, I think perhaps I have an interesting 2 Phase proposal by redistributing the track to shelf ratio.

    Phase I - This board would comprise a single line straight length of track and essentially be the bay platform which was omitted in the previous scheme. So this board would basically comprise the platform and bay track. A perfect opportunity to break my way into track building and serve as a small test track for my stock.

    Phase II - This board would have more track and incorporates the run around loop and also the first single siding (not the one with the goods shed) What this allows is a second more busy board to balance the first and when the two are placed side by side, it completes the scene, best of all the joint between the platform face and the track is hidden as I can ballast right to the edge of the board to butt against the vertical face :)

    In plan, it looks something like this:

    T 5.jpg
    Phase I and Phase II shelves boards...

    And as a quick doodle...

    T 6.jpg
    Allows a view from the other side...which I quite like...

    I then mapped it out on the dining room table workbench to see how it looked. The other shelf (I have quite a few) are in the basement storage so to improvise I calculated the extra width and then just laid the plans for that board directly on the table (hence the mismatch in height) which gives something like this:

    T 7.jpg
    Lima 33 (think class 26 ;) and vent van for scale...

    T 8.jpg
    And from the train shed end...

    I must admit, I quite like this proposal as it allows me to gradually break myself into 7mm scale with a first quite basic Phase I board, whilst constructing the turnouts separately offsite to position on the Phase II board. It also means my wife won't be so shocked when she starts to see all this big train stuff appearing on the dining room table. I now need to nip out and replace the kitchen grease proof paper roll which I used up making the platform...:))

    What do you think peeps?
    rosspeacock and 40126 like this.
  19. lancer1027

    lancer1027 Western Thunderer

    Hi Pete it looks very interesting. I think it would work very well. Not too complex but enough there to keep the interest. Plus obviously the enjoyment out of the constructing:thumbs:.

    Steve (40126) is keen on scottish so im sure he will also be watching this thread with interest..

    40126 and BCN-Pete like this.
  20. 28ten

    28ten Guv'nor

    I much prefer it this way round, and your money shot is looking into the shed from the front right. the one difficult bit I see is the backscene and its proximity to the rear track 7mm locos cast big shadows :))
    40126 and BCN-Pete like this.