Monday, 13 January 2020

Rhwbiwch Planc

...or Apa Valley Lives

Those with long memories will know this blog started to document the construction of a micro-layout to test the waters on my return to modelling 4mm standard gauge after a long absence.

Unbelievably it is now four and a half years since I demolished Apa Valley before our move to the Fens. Since then my indoor modelling space has been restricted to an 18" square corner of a desk, when it was available. Bear in mind that the Rails Round the Garden OO9 micro took up 12"x12" of that space.

As the new studio/office/model workshop takes shape I've been doing a lot of thinking about what the first project should be, as well as the longer-term ones. I've learned a lot about 3D printed kits and scenics in the last few years, but I feel like I'm starting yet again with standard gauge. That means I need to regain my confidence, (re) learn some lessons, and take on board recent trade developments to make life easier.

After the capital outlay on the building I also want to be relatively frugal with my modelling this year, and where possible exploit my store cupboards.

My last plan was to use TAoC to do that. But then Phil Parker had to come up with this idea, Casket Yard! Not only that but BRM also put together this deal with Gaugemaster.

OK, perhaps not that frugal if, like me you have the basics already, and you do need to add the cost of the baseboard kit and storage box in as well. The concept, though, seems too good not to play with. Certainly, that is what my mind decided at 7am this morning.

Two options I've discounted for now are both dockside schemes, one an HO layout based on a picture I came across last year of a 1970's urban New York scene, and the other one based around Scalescenes kits*. Both have their merits, but whilst moving boxes I've come across odd bits that have survived from Apa Valley.

Even at 7am it didn't take much thinking to work out that these could be combined with the Casket Yard idea, and I already have the storage box lying around since we decided getting the Xmas tree into it was too much of a struggle. In fact it also turns out I already have a suitable baseboard built. It is wider and slightly shorter than Casket Yard, but can still fit in the storage box on its side if I use a lower backscene.

Peco medium radius code 75 bullhead points are just a little too long...

At least, that is the overall plan. A lot depends on playing around with track templates and my usual overthinking. Blame the latter for the observation that Casket Yard can be overlaid on to TAoC. Truncate the yard, bring the road bridge scenic bridge a bit closer to the platform by dumping the water tower, and place the back scene right behind the station as I did on at Apa Valley and it gives you Casket Yard. That, of course, raises the question whether to actually re-use the Apa Valley structures or to go for a mini TAoC  -"The Art of Compromise - Compromised."  In fact, I think the major compromise is going to be the use of the Peco asymmetric three way point. It will need to be slightly modified to look more realistic. I can justify the use of a FB profile by claiming the line was built as a light railway

The end of the beginning, perhaps, as the studio begins to become usable

* Both of these ideas remain roundtuit projects if I can find suitable homes for them. The HO one might even just fit into the Apa box that Apa Valley once occupied. The dockside one  needs a space big enough to suit a Tymesaver trackplan

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