Saturday, 9 November 2019

Saturday Ramble - The ideal micro layout?

Quite some time ago I put a post up here featuring a Julian Andrews layout which featured in an issue of Scale Model Trains in nineteen-hundred and frozen to death. Fast-forward to last week and Nigel walking home from Wycrail clutching an (old) Hornby Terrier liveried for 'Bodiam'. There was some subsequent discussion and a certain level of buyer's regret, but I mooted that if nothing else it was a very sweet running mech to have as a spare for the Dury's Gap Terriers. I then remembered this layout, but couldn't initially recall the name of it. Looking at the plan again I can see that it would be perfect - indeed JA ran the thing with what were then the new Dapol Terriers subtly doctored to represent the Colonel Stephens locomotives from the WC&PR.

It would tick the box for a local one-day exhibition and here would easily bolt onto the Dury's Gap/Morton Stanley fiddle yard board. The brief would be this:
  • Direct lift of the track plan.
  • Peco small radius Code 75 points.
  • The new-ish Malton/Peco cricket pavilion kit which is an ideal base for a small light railway building if you discard the Taximan's hut roof, or even if you don't.
  • Misc. Wills buildings from the sub £6 scenic range, but would better to build from scratch to give more character.
  • An excuse to run all the odd pre-group wagons that we all have in stock PLUS some Ratio 4 wheelers or the forthcoming items from Hattons. Bogie coaches would look out of place.
  •  If you were stupid enough to try it you could even flip the entry to the right and make it double exit using the road at the back as the second one. 
As an aside the basic shape would only be 66" x 21" in O gauge, though there are traps in that you'd quickly be into building your own pointwork to directly mimic the 4mm scale plan exactly. This wouldn't necessarily be a problem and would in fact make it more attractive as an exhibition piece for not using the RTR track sections. Using ordinary Code 100 rail for this would lighten the look with dummy spike heads from plastic strip.

The more I ponder this it's starting to look like a plan of the month. *reaches across to the red phone with the hotline to the RM office*


  1. Having looked at the plan it would also make a nice mm layout Same size boards to allow foe slightly larger radius pointa and Terrier Class p and secr 01

  2. Oh stop it. 66' x 21' in O. Hand built pointwork and track in code 100. I already have two 4-wheel coaches to hand, some ancient wagons and a brace of suitable locos... Bugger, this might have to be the next project.

  3. Sorry, meant 66 X 21 INCHES, not feet of course! Slip of the keyboard.

  4. We recently converted our garage which was a damp spider infested hole with a psychopathic main door, into a combined utility and playroom with a mews style frontage. It is integral to the house so well insulated and now rather smart.

    I have plans for a larger layout, however this one looks enticing as a warm up piece as I haven't done any real modelling in ages. House moves and two renovation projects along with, well life, have been a bit disruptive, don't you know.

    I have in stock a 48" x 14" board and some Peco LR bullhead points. So this evening I set out the points and some track and guess what. With the extra 10 inches it works. A slight change to the plan because I don't have two LH points, so the road at rear right would have to curve towards the back from a straight line. Otherwise it is quite doable as per the plan.

    I'm normally a Southern and Western type, however I do have a J15 and I've tried that and it will just fit and run round.

    14xx and a few milk wagons or Beattie well tanks with clay wagons and vans, or the recent industrials from Hornby and Hatton's would in effect ring the changes. If you are more inclined to the Midland a 1F and a Ratio Suburban and Slaters wagons would look good. (I have both in stock). I even have the Peco cricket pavilion.

    The P class is another option, or the new J72.

    I thinks I'm going to build this. It looks like a quick win.

    Great shout Chris. How about launching a competition somewhere to see how many variations on the theme people can make?

    Best wishes as always.


  5. … and the prize is? Good that you're having a crack at it. As you say it would make a great warm-up for a larger project as well as a stand-alone. A chance to try a few new techniques without spending too much time and effort.

  6. The prize? Well how about picking up the red phone and seeing if the authorities at Peco Towers might sponsor, administer and help judge such a competition. Titled perhaps the Great British Micro Model Railway Challenge.

    Criteria? 38 inch by 12 inch baseboard (constant width for ease of construction). Same track layout.

    Judge the layouts on imagination, quality of scenery and buildings as well as how well they run.

    There you go months of excitement.

  7. They'll read that.... apparently.