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Robins Run

Postby dkightley » Mon Nov 18, 2013 8:46 pm

I created a thread on the original Talking TGauge forum to act as a build log for my first T gauge layout. In case I'm not able to recover data from it, I'm going to recreate a photographic history of my progress here. Each post will be dated when I resized the photos for publishing.........


4th February 2012:

I announced I was starting my first T gauge layout called Robins Run .. a name appropriate to my home city of Nottingham and of Robin of Loxley aka Robin Hood. I based the layout on the Switcheroo layout from David Smith's sample layout page:
Layout00.jpg
Layout00.jpg (101.39 KiB) Viewed 4070 times


The layout consists of two independant loops that have two interconnecting crossovers that allow each loop to be separately controlled, will allow transfer of a train from one loop to the other, or will allow the two loops to be connected together giving one large loop.

The board size is a nifty 4ft wide by 3ft deep and there is just over 40 feet of track - I think its 3.4 scale miles!!
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk
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Re: Robins Run

Postby dkightley » Mon Nov 18, 2013 9:21 pm

15th February 2012:

With there being so many levels and layers within the layout, I needed to firstly ensure that the layout as designed could really work without there being an impossible gradient. So I created a mock-up of the track layout in cardboard:
002_red.jpg
002_red.jpg (31.9 KiB) Viewed 4426 times


Once I was happy it was possible, I then wanted to get an idea of what the layout would look like....so I turned to a 3D graphics package to generate a representation of the layout:
Layout03_red.jpg
Layout03_red.jpg (20.31 KiB) Viewed 4426 times


Looking back at this, its frighteningly accurate when comparing with the real thing!!! Apart from a couple of places where I made significant changes.
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk
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Re: Robins Run

Postby dkightley » Wed Nov 20, 2013 11:59 pm

22nd February 2012:

Having the layout design, I set to building the baseboard out of 2x1 in timber as a frame with a top of 4mm MDF and cross braces of 2mm offcuts from slats for a venetian blind:
001_red.jpg
001_red.jpg (26.84 KiB) Viewed 4376 times


25th February 2012:

With the baseboard complete, I started laying the track bed, which was 6mm artist board (cardboard covered polyurethane foam). Very light and easy to cut...but fairly stiff!:
002_red.jpg
002_red.jpg (26.15 KiB) Viewed 4376 times
Doug Kightley
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Re: Robins Run

Postby dkightley » Thu Nov 21, 2013 12:16 am

4th March 2012:
Laying the track bed continues. This photo shows the method I used. The bed sections are held in place with dressmaker's pins, and only the piles of offcuts forming the support pillars are glued together at this stage. Note that I have a full-size track plan laid on the board as a guide:
007_red.jpg
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6th March 2012:

My first 3D model arrived in the post - the viaduct:
005_red.jpg
005_red.jpg (25.31 KiB) Viewed 4374 times


8th March 2012:

After a bit of careful fitting, I had the viaduct's final position sorted out...with a couple of well-placed tracks running under it:
002_red.jpg
002_red.jpg (25.17 KiB) Viewed 4374 times


11th March 2012:

Track bed laying continuing. The layout is starting to take shape. Here, the "low" track circuit has been laid down. Just the "high" line to do! :
001_red.jpg
001_red.jpg (28.77 KiB) Viewed 4374 times
Doug Kightley
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Re: Robins Run

Postby dkightley » Thu Nov 21, 2013 12:41 am

7th June 2012:

After a break from the layout due to my committments at the Tramway Museum, I managed to get back to something. Here's a start on painting the track. First a coat of light grey enamel.....followed by detailing the sleepers. Here's a shot showing the before and after of painting the sleepers. All done by hand, viewed through a head mounted magnifier:
003_red.jpg
003_red.jpg (25.58 KiB) Viewed 4374 times


I'd also started fitting the track to the first of two truss bridges bought from http://www.TGauge.com:
004_red.jpg
004_red.jpg (25.75 KiB) Viewed 4374 times
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk
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Re: Robins Run

Postby dkightley » Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:26 pm

22nd August 2012

Robins Run was originally designed to have nine tunnels...but ended up with ten! With this number and the complexity of tunnels, having lift-off sections to reveal the track for cleaning was not all that feasible. So I decided to design my own tunnel liners that were a snug-ish fit for the track so not only would I be able to push/pull out any derailed wagons, etc, I could use the tunnel liners to provide a firm surface for a spring-loaded track cleaning device.

With this design concept, my range of liners and portals were born:
002_red.jpg
Single track liners - straight and curved.
002_red.jpg (25.25 KiB) Viewed 4326 times
004_red.jpg
Single portal with wing walls.
004_red.jpg (18.96 KiB) Viewed 4326 times
007_red.jpg
One wing wall replaced with a straight wall.
007_red.jpg (19.16 KiB) Viewed 4326 times


For anyone interested, I have a range of single and double track liners and portals, with a chioce of wide or narrow wing walls or straight walls available to order on Shapeways: https://www.shapeways.com/shops/DKTGAUGE
Doug Kightley
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Re: Robins Run

Postby dkightley » Mon Dec 16, 2013 8:17 pm

Continuing to bebuild the build log...

30th August 2012

I've now got all of the basic track support in place for both circuits. Its starting to look a little more complex now!
002_red.jpg
002_red.jpg (32.92 KiB) Viewed 4253 times


Here's a shot showing the construction method in a bit closer detail. Explanations probably not needed...
004_red.jpg
004_red.jpg (23.6 KiB) Viewed 4253 times

This last shot actually shows track from four separate loops!
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk
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Re: Robins Run

Postby dkightley » Mon Dec 16, 2013 8:32 pm

7th September 2012

With the main trackbed glued in position, I'm now able to start concentrating on some of the finer details of the layout.

With the track having two separate loops, each with its own PWM speed controller, and having two crossover paths, I wanted to have full control of the distribution of power to the layout. I used the soldering to the underside of a brass track joiner technique to connect heavy duty copper bell wire for the power distribution. Here'a a shot of a mock-up of the bank of switches on the back of the board. One pair to reverse the direction of each of the two loops, one pair to allow the crossover sections to be powered from either loop, and the final switch to run both loops from one controller.
001_red.jpg
001_red.jpg (22.36 KiB) Viewed 4253 times


I also started putting together the cable controls for the four sets of points. Each point is controlled by a push-pull "piano stop" style button in the back of the board. Here's a couple of points with the cable connectors assembled underneath th track section.
002_red.jpg
002_red.jpg (23.89 KiB) Viewed 4253 times

The existing point slide has been replaced with a 3D printed part that has a connector under the track to which a bowden style cable is attached.
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk
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Re: Robins Run

Postby dkightley » Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:33 am

22nd September 2012

Here's a shot of the high tech solution to secure the control cables for the points....gaffer tape.:
013_red.jpg
013_red.jpg (26.97 KiB) Viewed 4150 times



7th October 2012

My first venture into ballasting was on the brick viaduct. I was quite pleased with the results:
001_red.jpg
001_red.jpg (19.96 KiB) Viewed 4150 times



13th October 2012

Another first. I had a lot of space to fill to get the scenery how I wanted it. So, I decided to see how I would get on with aerosol expanding foam - the stuff builders use to fill holes in walls. And it turned out to be a lot of fun...and slightly tricky:
002_red.jpg
002_red.jpg (32.27 KiB) Viewed 4150 times


Spray the foam into the gaps....and it expands.....and expands:
003_red.jpg
003_red.jpg (27.31 KiB) Viewed 4150 times


I had to be careful not to let the expanding foam lift the track bed. Thankfully it didn't...and set nice and hard..and was superb to carve with a scalpel.
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk
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Re: Robins Run

Postby dkightley » Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:41 am

18th October 2012

With a little confidence, I made good progress with spraying the ground:
Img_0302_red.jpg
Img_0302_red.jpg (31.34 KiB) Viewed 4150 times


The dramatic scenery soon started to emerge:
Img_0304_red.jpg
Img_0304_red.jpg (27.66 KiB) Viewed 4150 times



28th October 2012

WIth the ground surface developing, the viaduct starts to blend in:
Img_0346_red.jpg
Img_0346_red.jpg (25.66 KiB) Viewed 4150 times


It wasn't all foam. I used up several bags of Shaeways "air" to conserve on foam:
Img_0348_red.jpg
Img_0348_red.jpg (26.34 KiB) Viewed 4150 times
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk
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Posts: 838
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2013 9:43 pm
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