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Re: What is your current Project?

PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2015 10:48 pm
by Crumplezone
While I'm waiting for computer parts due to a major hardware failure on the main computer and having to use a fossil of a laptop I thought I'd actually post a update since its been since october I last posted here.

On the run up to christmas I got a fair bit done with the 00 scale stuff but unfortunately the board which I thought the wood was of decent quality from a decent merchant ended up falling apart and crumbling apart much to my annoyance, so everything had to be taken back up and well I didn't have much heart to work on it for a fair while after that situation so nothing really got done.

Part way through this somewhat depressive phase I decided to contact the gent who had offered to buy some of the weathered locos I had done which I shuffled off a few steam locos for a fair bob. I also ended up trading off the jinty, pannier and 56xx I had because under DCC they were being considerably tempermental with running even after extensive cleaning, redo'ing the pickups and even putting in capicators.

It proved to be more hassle than it was worth just for the enjoyment of steam locos on a layout, so the alternative was to consider what else could I get and use which would not have a issue? Going against the vein I ended up choosing BR Blue and ended up with a class 25 in br blue with reporting number headbox, a class 47 in br blue with number headbox, a class 08 in br blue and a scottish region class 37 nameplated with Aluminium 100. All bar the 08 and 37 are airbrush weathered and the 25 and class 37 have been sound fitted, the class 37 has legomanbiffo sound set in which is by far the diesel sound venue on the market and he's worked with Armstrong Powerhouse aswell.

This was early Jan to early Feb then well everything took a turn for the worse in real life for me.

Our dog of 15years had a massive stroke and passed away within a couple of hours mid Feb, wasn't any time to do anything, she was here one moment then gone the next and it left a considerable hole in myself aswell as the family, I stopped gaming, I had to stop testing for Matt at SSS and I really couldn't face much. I already suffer from anxiety and depression and I can say in honestly say that was a low moment for me. To add to all this things didn't stop there after the dog passing either, my mother whos over 60 fell down the stairs and broke her wrist in 3 places and my dad was diagnosed will Bell's Palsy in the face which basically made him look like he suffered from a stroke.

Suffice to say, with the dog passing and both parents having something happen to them I couldn't have any time to do anything for myself, I spent most of my time in the deep throws of depression and looking after both older parents for well over 2months and it only calmed down recently which has allowed me to have some form of normality. With my sister away at university and my room still being available at the parents house I had to move back to look after them so I lost a fair bit of space for model railwaying aswell so ultimate nothing got done with the change to BR blue diesels.

The saying "these things are sent to test us" couldn't be anymore relevant for me and while things have calmed down now I can say from the experience its made me feel older and alot more tired of things than what would be considered normal. Personally I feel I don't need to be made to feel older especially when I'm 30 on the 9th of May :D

Plans have unfortunately gone on hold for the 00 scale stuff for the time being however not all is lost in the modelling front. Due to the more limited space available and the rather odd shape of the bedroom I am now embarking on modelling in N guage and it will be mostly steam era aswell. Why the reason to change to N? Well N for one is vastly smaller and also currently for the steam era there is actually alot of the locos which are quite popular in 00 but ain't available, this includes the black 5, WD 2-8-0s, 9F in all guises and in 7-8 different numbers and quite a few locos which are not present in 00 are available in N.

Now some might raise a eyebrow as previous years the quality and detail of N guage wasn't up to scratch, however in the last few years after Graham Farish was bought out by bachmann and Dapol started getting into n guage the quality of models detail has skyrocketed and they are not far off there 00 counterparts. To start off my entry into N I purchased a Seaside excusion pack which includes Graham Farish's new 4F and two maroon mk 1s, controller and track. Its basic starting point but provides a high quality locomotive which is a excellent runner, GF has also started to release locos with a new coreless motor technology so the motors are far superior than they used to be and also don't suffer the earlier problems of gear cogs cracking which GF suffered pre-bachmann buy it.

So what are my actual plans beside steam era?

Well for one the following plan:


This plan might look large but at N guage scaling it takes up a space of 4ft across by 2.5ft wide. Outer loop is radius 3 and inner loop is radius 2 and this will allow for atleast abit more realistic curve, granted it will not be railway realistic but it will do for my purposes. The outer loop is also big enough to allow for a 9F, Brittiana or any larger tender loco to go around without derailing and also allow somewhat realistic train lengths aswell. 7-8 carriages wouldn't look to out of place and a train of 20-30 wagons with brakes on the back.

The lower double sidings will be a engine shed with a headshunt area for coaling/water and the middle sidings I plan to do something related to factories. I am also planning a double span roadbridge over the double loops on one of the sides and a tunnel from the upper right corner 3/4 around the loop to make a double mouth tunnel.

What control method will I be using? I plan to stay analogue so that will limit how many trains I can run but each loco will be bought with dcc ready in mind and thankfully there is no requirement to actually replace or get a new dcc system so the hornby elite will be usable with it should I want to use DCC in the future. It will also let me learn and experiment with isolated track sections in the engine shed area to allow for multi-locos to sit there without all moving by using a switch based isolated rail system which powers on and off each rail part to allow multiple locos to sit without moving.

I hopefully will be able to secure all the nessessary track just after my birthday on the 9th of May and then start getting it all down and running relatively quickly without scenery in place, on the plus side the ballast and other bits I got for 00 I had bought mostly in N guage sizes so alot of that has been covered already. On the plus side aswell with working in this scale wagons, carriages and general scenery stuff is cheaper to purchase and I'm considering getting a fair few of the build yourself peco wagons kits which work out at about 3.50-ish per kit and would allow for a fleet of wagons very quickly to since they are a snap together system.

So there you have it, been awhile since I posted but real life has a way of getting involved, but hopefully be back on track (mind the pun) in the next few weeks.

Hopefully I also can get the main computer back up and running soon, web browsing is terrible as a form of entertainment :cry:


Re: What is your current Project?

PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:26 am
by VictoryWorks
Hey Crump

Sorry to hear that you've been through so many rough events lately :( Like you say for a mere nipper at 30 that's a lot of stuff to deal with. But glad you are starting to get back into a hobby, it's good to have these things to distract from the mundane and the distressing bits of life.
I've looked at N gauge a lot lately - we're also somewhat short on space - and the quality of the locos is very high for the size, and that looks like an ideal little layout. 2 decent loops and some sidings to boot.

Looking forward to seeing how it comes on :)

Re: What is your current Project?

PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:26 pm
by Crumplezone
VictoryWorks wrote:Hey Crump

Sorry to hear that you've been through so many rough events lately :( Like you say for a mere nipper at 30 that's a lot of stuff to deal with. But glad you are starting to get back into a hobby, it's good to have these things to distract from the mundane and the distressing bits of life.
I've looked at N gauge a lot lately - we're also somewhat short on space - and the quality of the locos is very high for the size, and that looks like an ideal little layout. 2 decent loops and some sidings to boot.

Looking forward to seeing how it comes on :)

Thank you Pete, I appreciate it.

I have to agree with you fully with the quality of the locos, after Graham Farish got taken over by Bachmann they really started to churn out exceedingly high quality models and with Dapol coming into the market aswell there has been alot of steam locos in N which are the more common type which were seen around. The other plus is Metcalfe who makes 00 card kits for buildings also makes N and even the bigger kits don't get much more than 14-15 quid which is incredible value for money considering what they have in the packs.

I actually had N probably around 10 years ago prior to bachmann owning Graham Farish and the quality back then was pretty bad and the market hadn't really developed much back then so everything was scratchbuilding or limited, now its quite a different story.

These are not my own photos but they give a really good idea just how far N has progressed in detail quality:


The cab detailing and bodywork is incredible to be honest for the size of the loco. They recently released the black 5 aswell so I'll have to get my hands on one at some point since that is at the same standard of detailing.

Biggest surprise for me is how quiet the motor is on the 4F, I asked the gent at the model railway shop to test it for me and you could only hear the motion and rods clicking, everything else was silent and smooth, the new coreless motors they are using are wonderful, slow running is also pretty good even with the controller provided in the model set I bought though I do plan to pick up a guagemaster combi or one of there dual track versions which I would recommend pete if your planning to get into N. Guagemaster controllers also have a lifetime gurantee so if they break you just post it to them and the fix for free and post it back free to you.

In one respect I'm quite excited to work with N because I will be able to get close to prototypical length trains and they won't look so out of scale on a loop based layout and also larger locomotives wouldn't seem out of place either. Probably I find with 00 is realistically speaking, the bigger tender locos need atleast 12-15ft of running space to look good, on the flip side with N they wouldn't look that bad in 4-6ft running space.

If you do consider going into N modelling Pete, I would suggest trying to get the starter "trainset" from a model shop just encase anything goes wrong then shop with ehattons, they normally are the cheapest on the market. The other alternative would be buying controllers, locos and carriages/wagons you want and the track you need to create a layout, depends on money situation really, I priced it that to buy a 4F, controller and the 2 carriages + the track provided in the pack would be closer to 200-250 than the 119 quid I paid for the N trainset.

I have probably mentioned it before (I hope?) but I use SCARM for track plans which is where my pics are from, I'd recommend using that if your planning a layout and it wouldn't be much harder to use than the stuff you use for DLC for railworks tbh :)

What surprises me mind is the track I need for the plan I popped above runs about 115-120ish quid, if I were to get the same in 00 I would run 120 quid just on the points alone, this is honestly what surprised me alot about N, even locos are considerably more reasonable. Tank engines and 0-6-0s generally don't get above 65, the bigger locos run around 110-120 per loco in the weathered version and non weathered are anywhere between 92-100. This is brand new prices to, 00 your looking at 120 quid for a 2-6-0 mogul in some cases.

Biggest shocker is carriages, Hornby do mk1s and Teaks anywhere between 35-55 quid. N has them for 11-18 quid, wagons in 00 are anywhere between 11-25 quid for single wagons. N you can get wagons prebuilt and painted for 5-7 quid each and if you go with dapol's kits its 3.50 a pop. Plus if you ebay hunt for job lots of wagons/carriages you get even better bang for buck.

Hindsight is 20-20 really and at this stage I think to some respect I should have got back into N over 00 but at the same time its given me a decent idea into stuff along the way so its not to bad.

Anyway, enough waffling! I should be able to get a decent start in a few weeks, I'll bulk buy the track after my birthday, bit annoying it lands on a Sat so won't be able to order from ehattons to the following tuesday. I am going to have to hunt for a new wood merchant mind, not happy with the one I went to so no plans to go back to him that for sure.


Re: What is your current Project?

PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2015 10:01 am
by WeaselWorks
N scale is really good now. I've been modelling in N for many years, and the quality has been improving year on year.

As well, there is a lot of Southern equipment, now, where previously the choice was very limited. Plus it makes a nice change from SM32... Lol

Re: What is your current Project?

PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 11:33 am
by Crumplezone
So still stuck with the ancient fossil of a laptop because why would the company send me the correct motherboard :roll:

Anyway, I looked at the plan again and something struck me as off the more times I looked at it. I narrowed it down to I think the positions of the crossovers between the loops and I've modified it to look like this instead:


I changed the position of the top crossover to link up more with the siding so can get a nice snaking freight train from outer loop into the sidings for the factory/goods area, I think that has a better flow coming off the mainline outer loop and it kinda feels more railway looking.

The lower area I moved the turnouts to be closer to the left side of the loops at somewhat at the mouth of the station, I think it has abit better flow from engine shed to inner loop and access the station area with that kind of setup instead of the crossover being slap bang right in the middle of a station. I also modified slightly the engine sheds layout instead of it having a switchback/headshunt I've just gone with the smaller siding to allow for a loco to be fueled and watered. It might not be as prototypical for actual engine shed track plans but I feel it has abit of a better look to it.

Overall I think the crossover movement gives the trackplan a better flow and I certainly could have a interesting set of multi arm signals at the top and station parts of the layout though I would have to probably kit build those, but we'll see.

I found also that Dapol does a magnetic coupling system so I can have automatic decoupling when the loco and wagons are in position to, it uses a magnet either placed under or inbetween rail heads and forces the coupling to seperate sideways in a similar style to american/kadee coupling systems and its not to costly to outfit wagons and locos with it either.

So bring on birthday, then I can get the track :D

Re: What is your current Project?

PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2015 9:34 pm
by cjbarnes5294
Hi Daniel,

Your posts this week really resonated with me on a personal level, as there seem to have been so many similarities to what I've myself experienced over the last year - thank you for having the courage to share it, and may I say how sorry I am about your parents and your late pooch. I really hope your parents get well soon, and what you've done by looking after them both, especially given that you were already suffering from depression and anxiety is commendable and inspirational. It puts some things into perspective for myself.

Like you, I have been suffering from anxiety and depression, for about a year now. And what really was the main "trigger" that started a scarily rapid descension into depression was the unexpected death of one of the family cats. He was mine and my mum's cat, and despite having him only 4 or so years, I think he was the pet I loved the most in all my life. One day last July, he didn't show up all day, which was odd for him as he was a bit of a house cat that didn't venture far from the house for long periods. Meanwhile, two or my uni friends from Cornwall arrived at my home in Yorkshire to stay the weekend to see Le Tour de France. As we were having dinner, my cat appeared at the patio drenched in the rain and dragging his backend along the floor, so my mum took him to our neighbour who just so happened to be a vet. She came back with him after the vet had put him to sleep, because his spine had snapped. I had to "keep it cool" for my friends and my mum, despite feeling like I'd just lost a close family member. Long story short, I think the experience left quite a mark on my mental health, and it wasn't long before I saw the GP about it, who gave my citalopram to try.

Different antidepressants work for different people apparently, and after giving the citalopram a fair long trial and had been attending cognitive brain therapy sessions, I decided they weren't working and I got them changed to fluoxetine last month. So far, these seem to have worked for me thankfully, in that I don't seem to feel so desperately lonely as often, or start wondering what the whole point of life is. For anyone who thankfully hasn't had depression, it's not like feeling down or upset about something, it's more like feeling like you're trapped in this black pit of sadness that you feel you can't escape from.

Daniel, considering that I have an idea of what you've been going through, you're more than welcome to send a PM if you want to talk about it to someone. In my experience, I find that talking to lots of different people who are understanding can be a big help, and also making sure that your mind is preoccupied with things to do - I've found that weight lifting and core exercises with my best friend have really helped me, and train sims generally don't if you're a developer. :P

On a much brighter note, I agree that the quality of N gauge models is quite outstanding these days. I thought that 4f photo above was the bachmann branch line 00 one until I looked carefully at the wheels and rods. As I've said before, I'm really fortunately to share a modest collection of 00 and 0 scale models with my dad, but considering that I'm going to be living in a flat away from home for at least a year, an N gauge train set from GF is particularly appealing. Something that could semi-permanently run around in circles by the side of the desk would be nice. :D

What's also appealing is the new hornby K1 and NRM/Bachmann C1 Atlantic - I'd love to have both but I pulled up the 00 circuit to run them on, so I'm struggling to justify getting either when they would end up static in a display cabinet. :(

Kind regards,

Re: What is your current Project?

PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 9:34 am
by Crumplezone
I appreciate it Chris for your openness, its not easy in any measure of the word to deal with pets passing and I found it hit me harder than I expected, the thing with pets is they are apart of your family for a very long time, our dog was 16 so that was most of my school years and college and most of my early adult life.

I got furious just after Holly passed with someone who bluntly put "its just a pet, it shouldn't effect you". I won't say what I said but suffice to say I've not been able to talk to them since then and its left a schism between us so its not easy to be open about Holly not being about in some regard.

I was diagnosed with general anxiety disorder about 7 years ago, but they worked out I've probably had it as long as 15years off and on, just that throughout my school life and the time after the ability of NHS and the resources they had to tackle mental health in youths was insufficient to say the least.

What my general anxiety disorder does is make me worry about anything and everything, silly things as ensuring your keys are in the pocket when you leave the house and still checking it every 10mins for the next 3hours your out is what I have to deal with as is dealing with the telephone. Odd as it make sound I get put on edge by the phone ringing and this goes back to when I was forced onto a busy reception in my bussiness adminstration NVQ 2, I finished that but I was put under alot of stress so telephones now while not a phobia make me edgy to say the least.

It also means public transport e.g. the bus, is not really possibly for me to use regularly, the noise of the environment and all the people talking means my mind is overreacting to everything and I find it extremely overwhelming. If I have to go out longer periods I need a relative to come with me as I wouldn't be able to do it myself.

There is alot of stigma around mental health, my grandparents era in particular has rubbed off a "just ignore and work" type of attitude to deal with it and my family, while parents are fine, as a whole can be quite unforgiving when it comes down to understanding what I go through, it is why I generally only turn up for x-mas or a big birthday event for a family nowadays.

In a way its where modelling railways and railworks was a saving grace to me in the more differcult times. If it wasn't for Matt asking me to come test for him and also Pete and other 3rd party developers who kept making steam locos I don't think I could be who I am today without those distractions to keep me not going over the edge.

Anyway, I think that is enough of the gloomy talk, but it does help to know there is just not more than just yourself going through differcult with mental health and should I hit a more down phase, which happens time to time I'll consider dropping a PM.

On another note, the motherlings coming to go shopping with me today in the local town and I'm going to pop into the local model shop and see if they still have the Ivatt 2mt in BR lined green. I've done abit of research behind it to see weather or not the green livery was preservation only or not as I recall mostly only seeing them in lined black but apparently Swindon made a batch of about 25 in BR line green.

Its one of the newer graham farish releases so it looks very nice:

Green: Image

I think it looks pretty nice and yes I'm not surprised you didn't notice it was the N scale version at first Chris, after Bachmann bought GF they pretty much scaled down the 00 versions so the quality and detail should be as close as to the 00 as they can possibly get within the realms of N scale detailing.

Re: What is your current Project?

PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 7:52 pm
by cjbarnes5294
My opinion is that if someone hasn't experienced some kind of serious medical depression themselves before, they don't know what it's like and therefore shouldn't tell those that do or have how they should/shouldn't feel. I'm quite lucky in that my parents, sisters and wider family have all been understanding (as I learnt last year, it turns out depression and anxiety is a bit prevalent through the family), and the doctors and psychiatrist have been good to me, and my friends have been pretty good as well, although I've had the odd "get a grip" comment - I pay such comments no attention. But Daniel, you've had it much longer than I have and it sounds like you've had it worse than me unfortunately, and if you've not found your friends and relatives to be as understanding as you would of liked, then that's a great shame. As I say, feel free to send a PM if you wanted to.

Back to the happier subject of model railways(!). The 2mt would be a good choice, although I think any of the recently released Graham Farish/Dapol models would be a good purchase. The old GF stuff that Bachmann inherited looks bloody awful, with minuscule, undersized wheels and poor body shapes, yet they seem to be the same price as the newer bachmann tooling stuff...

Actually, I think the 2mt is a bit of an engineering miracle - how on earth they managed to conceal the motor in either a tiny loco or tiny tender without compromising the proportions I'll never know. Unless I got one and disassembled it, but I'd rather not. :P And one thing I forgot to mention that stood out as a bit astonishing about that 4F is all of the back-head detail, I just wouldn't expect that in an RTR model so small. 8-)


Re: What is your current Project?

PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 6:09 am
by Crumplezone
Its the new coreless motor tech they are using, they been able to shrink them enough but keep the same decent performance, utter wonder.

I picked up the ivatt 2mt on the afternoon after a appointment I had to attend, gave the shop a ring on the morning and they put it aside of them for me, which was nice.

I think I'm going to have to pick up one of these from Dapol after seeing what I get money wise for my birthday:


I saw the preview video of it on youtube where they zoomed in and stuff, looks incredible detail wise and I've always wanted on, even in OO, but the ones available are pretty old in OO, so the dapol one in N will do nicely.

Plus its 57 quid for the weathered version, which is very nice indeed.

Re: What is your current Project?

PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 6:00 pm
by cjbarnes5294
I popped to the nearest model shop today as I'd never been before, and I wanted to see some of the models discussed here in front of me. The Hornby K1 looked very good as I had hoped, although if I ever get one I will probably wait for a 62005 to come out first. The J15 also looked good, although it's not really of much interest to me tbh.

I also had a look at the GF display cabinet to see the 4F, which looked superb. The black 5 also looked better having seen it in front of me than looking at photos. And then the duchesses and A1s were just gorgeous little models, capturing the presence of the real huge beasts so well for such small models.

Crumplezone wrote:Its the new coreless motor tech they are using, they been able to shrink them enough but keep the same decent performance, utter wonder.

Ahhh, I had to look them up to understand how they're constructed, they look quite simple. If they're smooth and powerful as well as small then brilliant. :D

Crumplezone wrote:I picked up the ivatt 2mt on the afternoon after a appointment I had to attend, gave the shop a ring on the morning and they put it aside of them for me, which was nice.

Always a nice feeling bringing a new model back home from the shop!

Crumplezone wrote:I think I'm going to have to pick up one of these from Dapol after seeing what I get money wise for my birthday:


It looks like another good model. It would be nice if you could get one in KWVR Red. :P