Saturday, 2 May 2020

Saturday Ramble - Inspirational Layouts 10

 It's a long time since I did an inspirations post. This was triggered by a couple of things: Firstly a  little bird always whispers in my ear 'there aren't enough trainsets in the world'. Secondly I was sorting through a box of stuff and turned out two circles of OO track one 1st and one 2nd radius, both Hornby. This got me thinking and I headed for one of the files to look for an article, but found this first. Bredon.

1981, not a bad year for this sort of thing. 6'6" x 3'10", basically a single bed.  95% setrack, but most of the rest is scratch built, which would be an unusual combination now.

The photos are good and may make it punch above its weight somewhat, but who builds this sort of thing now? And why not? It's not portable, moveable yes. Operational? Depends. Would I build it? Probably not. Though the concept always stops me dead as I find it thought provoking. It's a trainset, but is much more than that term implies.

This is what I was originally looking for and is the same thing but on speed. Built by local (to me) pro modeller Brian Taylor, it forces some fearsome model making into a fearsome space. 1st rad curves and some slightly diddled with chassis in 3' x 3'10".

Both these layout have some sort of off-scene storage at the rear , which kind of defeats the object. Selfold I would have a crack at, though would it work as well without the NG? It would fit in the car, but how would you support it? I seem to remember that Brian displayed it fairly low, obviously  aware that it was appealing to small people, but I can't remember how the wings worked. This would need extra boards and an awkward support system.

The last piece of the jigsaw is the afore mentioned 1st rad' circle. 14.5" rad and with a 31.75" overall outside width. This is a blinding retrograde step, even passing beyond what I started with - at least that had some straights and a point - but it has started a train of thought about moving away from the up-down slightly cliché terminus to FY. With one exception I've built little other these for some 40 years, so is it time to return to something more organic and if so what?

The problem here as always is one of transportation, but with no shows at present that suddenly seems less of a factor. Would it be stand behind, as per these two. Or stand in the centre a la Mannin Middle here. At its raw basic I can stand in the middle of the above circle. OK so it's like a hoop skirt, but you can see the basis and work outward and complicate as you go.

Trying to (literally) square the circle with baseboards is where the whole thing begins to unravel with leg systems as much as anything. One to park at the back of the brain for future.

As a PS Giles Barnabe emailed this. 32" square using the old Setrack curved points.

PPS. I've been nudged to add that if you click the 'inspirational layouts' tag you'll get the previous nine. Mostly posted in 2014. And there was me thinking it was last year.


  1. Folding trestles might do support, but you might need roof bars for the car. If you want to move it measure the car insides with seats down. You could split the board in two, widthways or even lengthways (e.g. if FY at back).

    I like the NG combo. I've a plan for an inglenook in OO with a loop of 009 underneath, best of both worlds?

  2. Iain Rice has developed an interesting track plan he calls 'omega' as it takes the shape of Ω with a large continuous run and two 'wings' for the fiddle yards. There's an issue with sight-lines as any view along the tracks will show the baseboard edge curving in, but it does offer excellent scenic possibilities in the centre of the board. You can see his plan here.

  3. Selfold is/was a lovely layout, the Muddler article was one that I clipped and kept when purging my stack of magazines. Shame there were no photos of the n.g. stock tho.

  4. The Rev. W. Awdry built a rather nice train set style layout iirc. I think in RM recently someone built an LBSCR branch line using the same plan?

  5. There is something calming about watching a train run repeatedly around an oval. Add in a bit of shunting and what isn't to like.

    Layout Support. I have four Stanley branded saw horses. They are light and can be deployed in seconds and the top bars have two handy notches to lay lengths of timber across.

    Not so good if you want to operate standing up, but a little bit of carpentry would solve that problem.

    or trestles that adjust for height

    For a train set I guess you'd probably need four.

  6. Chris has very kindly added a layout I emailed to him, which I think has potential as a circular-plus layout. In some ways it reminds me of Chis Ellis' Willow Valley RR which had potential lead-off tracks that could later be developed as separate destinations, so that round-and round or point-to-point operating would be possible.