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Club Night Activities - 14th April 2023

Ever heard the saying that a model railway is never truly finished? There's always something to revamp, refine, or even reuse for something entirely different. Our latest club night had several projects in various stages of development, as well as some new stock being run for fun.

The Freiderichstrasse layout revamp continues apace. The new boards have been prepped with underlay and the first new pieces of track are being installed, with superglue to stick them down and wires being soldered. You can see in this picture that one set of rails has been cut and the other is next in line. It's fairly vital to cut all rails before you try and put the boards away for the night!

The revamped layout will feature a four track mainline through the entire scenic section, whereas previously the four tracks reduced down to two before the fiddle yard. The new track has been carefully planned to have enough track either side of the board join to make sweeping curves over the remaining scenic board. This takes a bit of careful planning and use of fishplates, but the smooth running it creates is worth it.

The work in progress on Freidrichstrasse allows for views to be seen that are not available when the layout is set up - such as the view of the lines crossing the tram lines. Also not available for the layout when operating will be the carriages, as both are Maerklin AC three-rail carriages, the carriage closest to the camera is easily 60 years old!

One of our members is continuing the work on their own G9 miniature railway layout and refining their coach design. All the locomotives and stock are being scratchbuilt (aside from the loco mechanisms) and 3D design and printing is being used for the sit astride coaches.

Being a complete novice, the first print (in blue) wasn't a total success but at least got the dimensions mapped out and roughly in scale with the figures. He emailed it to the club's resident 3D modeller who tweaked the design in a few places and with his knowledge of best practise, made a much better version 2 (in silver). The plan is to refine version 3 slightly, with slimmer walls to make room for cladding with wooden stirrers to represent planks, as well as brass and plastic trim.

Rather more advanced in the 3D printing is this model of the Dreadnought warship...

As can be seen by the upright piano for scale comparison, it is a big model - built to an approximate scale of 1/150. Still a lot of work to do on this, but it certainly looks impressive.

Our 00 contingent were doing more detailed planning for their next steam era layout. These reused boards are starting to show the first signs of new life - track templates. For anyone who hasn't used track templates before, they're an easy way to find out if the design you've sketched on paper will work in real life. It's all too easy to sketch impossible junctions and overly optimistic curves, but some track templates and flexitrack will bring you back down to earth.

The test tracks were out as usual with a fleet of Southern Region British locomotives and coaches running on the 00 track and some recent acquisitions on the N gauge track.

These test tracks are out most club nights so why not bring along any of your own 00/HO or N/OO9 stock ( or any other scale/gauge combinations that run on 16.5 it 9mm track) and have a chat with our members? Were always up for a cuppa and a chat.

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