Bonnie Dundee

Bonnie Dundee

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

A Gauge Check

Today I took a look back at some of the previous posting on this blog, partly to see what I had committed myself to, partly to see where I went wrong and partly in amazement that it is 10 months since I started it and I am still bumbling around in the dark.

Firstly I did do a lot of research on the east coast route and that is unlikely to proceed. Was that a waste of time? No, research on a subject you love is never wasted. Secondly, I suppose that it would only have actually gone wrong if I had started a project only to stop again. I have worked on a couple of LNER pacifics, which again is never bad, even though they may only make it as far as a display case. I was particularly pleased with the blue liveried A1, which might not now turn a wheel in anger, but I think looks rather nice. Finally it is not as dark as it at first seemed.

As part of the work that I did on looking through and refining the options I had, I did develop a number of ideas to quite a detailed level. By going back to the previous notes I made and taking account of the most recent illuminations, I have been able to further refine those ideas. Much of the rationale behind the previous preferred 00 option was derived from the desire for mainline steam running, the logic being that I could not foresee me being able to build a large number of pacifics other than by using RTR. In terms of the other elements of a layout I did the following comparison between 00 and P4.

Baseboards - no difference in construction
Trackwork - different gauges but with C&L components no difference in construction
Buildings - no difference in construction
Scenery - no difference in construction
Diesels - drop in wheels
Wagons - compensation but otherwise little difference
Coaches - drop in wheels
Steam - Compensated chassis construction.

Putting that into context I would be doing virtually the same amount of work no matter what track gauge I was working with. It was the prospect of having a number of big steam engines that made a scale project somewhat daunting. Going back over a number of the previous options that were considered I now feel that a longer term project building a less intense location that provides sustained operation on the scene (not roundy roundy) is actually more suited to the time I have available. This will reduce the turn-over of stock projects such as renumbering A3's that was proving to be rather expensive and still provide for some satisfying modelling.

A re-wheeled Hornby Black 5 has proven a success on Claterinbrigg and makes the prospect
of a steam area all the more likely.

While steam loco construction remains the single biggest difference between working to finer 00 standards and working in P4, a couple of recent locos projects has meant that a reduced roster is in fact a realistic prospect. The Black 5 above was a re-wheeled Hornby model and joins a J37 kit which with existing stock could well provide the ability to operate whilst other items join the fleet. And with a diesel era option readily available more emphasis can be placed on other aspects of the construction. 

The is an old adage that joiners use of "measure twice and cut once". There must be a variation on that for modellers, it will no doubt involve a comfy armchair, a cup of coffee and a pile of old magazines, but I think "design it twice and build it once" might just be the thing.


  1. There is a variant, "think thrice, measure twice, and cut but once".

    Thinking thrice may relate to the design process.

    Just my 2 denarii.


  2. Thanks Simon. With a floor covered in point templates, the thinking thrice is going into detail mode. I am trying to work out how board joints will allow differing heights for scenery etc. All good profess.



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