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Martijn Meerts

Sort of club for Dutch/German/Belgian members?

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Martijn Meerts

Just a quick bump, since we have a couple new people from the Netherlands, or will be in the Netherlands soon :)

 

I'm still interested in getting something set up and see if we can get into some shows somewhere to show off Japanese trains ;)

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Kabutoni

If we want to do this we really should agree on a standard for modules. The options we have (as I skim the thread):

- IGNippoN standards;

- T-Trak;

- J-Module;

- Develop our own standards;

 

Of the latter two, I'm not really a big fan. J-Module is kind of dead, and by developing our own standards I forsee some form of rivalry developing in the future.

 

T-Trak is nice, since it's flexible, allows for small to large modules and doesn't require long legs. Within the T-Trak standards there are however a number of different other options, so those have to be decided upon as well. Next to that, I presume most people who are interested in joining have Tomix (Fine)track, so this would also make it harder to get this T-Trak concept started (it requires Kato Unitrack).

 

The IGNippoN standards are also elaborate, but do require the addition of legs to the modules. However, there are already a few modules finished in Germany, so having an international get-together would be quickly realisable. Personally, I'm for adapting the IGNippoN standards, since these are already in action (though the IGNippoN forum seems a bit quiet on this subject).

 

However, since atm I don't have too much time/money to get to work on such projects, my opinion may best be in jeopardy by this. :P

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Martijn Meerts

In my opinion, the IGNippon standard would probably be the way to go in the long run, but last we heard from Kai was a long time ago. I might check up on the IGNippon forum.

 

There's no reason we can't also do T-Trak though, they're usually smaller, quick to put together, and some people might already have usable T-Trak modules. With so many prototypes around, it's no problem doing a small urban T-Trak line, and then something bigger using the IGNippon standard.

 

I wouldn't mind buying/sponsoring a bunch of Unitrack to get started with a basic set of modules. And opinions are of course always welcome, even from people who wouldn't be doing any modules ;)

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Densha

I still haven't progressed at all with my (own) T-trak project due to RL reasons, but I came to the conclusion that 10cm height is much too high, and I think an upside-down module with a bridge would look also good with the 7cm standard. So I personally vote for 7cm, but I don't know how others think about that. On the length and depth I'm still in a doubt, but the only thing I'm sure of is that it's much easier to use the 62mm gird, since Unitrack is built on that. On the depth should be decided with a thought for what kind of landscape to create I think, but even 15cm seems sufficient for a little bit of scenery.

Of course this is all my own opinion, and I think I will adapt my own plans to the Dutch T-trak standard when it's decided.

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Martijn Meerts

I think the most important part is that, in case of the T-Trak modules, they're easy to build and easy to transport. The 7cm height is plenty for typical local/rural line bridges. The depth and length can be variable. Of course the length need to fit Unitrack :)

 

Another reason to keep them easy and cheap to build, is to make it possible to have some sort of 'mini workshop' during shows, where maybe kids could build their own little module or something like that =)

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Densha

But there is a bit need for a set length because if everyone starts doing 310mm modules and 1 person has 308mm modules it can be a problem, I think. Also I'm not talking about multiples of 308/310, since that's no problem anyway.

I agree that easy to build and transport are important too, but they are like that anyway. The only thing it depends on is how much material is used for the weight, and there are multiple ways of making them. Or am I missing something out?

And you're right on the depth, I forgot I was planning on writing that it can be variable of course, but with limits. So only 15cm, 20cm and 30cm long, for example. So that we don't get a completely weird sight.

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cteno4

ttrak can be quite fun with japanese scenes that are densely packed with detail. japanese scenes were what it was designed for and it does not do so well for other places in the world like the us which is usually larger open, less detailed scenes around rails most of the places so it can not do so well on the small modules. modules can easily become just many sparse scenes as folks try to get a lot of modules together to get more track in.

 

with ttrak its all about scene.

 

one issue though is that it can get a big boring in the track plan if you dont get creative and bend the rules some. one thing to think about is having pairs of modules to move the track to the back side of the modules (so you just flip a regular module then) and then you can have the scene in front obscuring the track view some for a while and you dont end up with the big straight aways which can get pretty dull looking. other idea is to branch off one line into a single track module sections. also doing an inside corner and if needed shorter length transition modules for it to fit in to do an L instead of a large oval.

 

standard spaced ttrak gives nice close track spacing (especially for trams) and tightens the scene up some, but the corners end up a bit odd using the bow out (although there are prototypes for this in japan). you can get around this by laying flex track with 45mm unitrak on the ends to get parallel standard 25mm spacing.

 

alternate spacing is nice as you can then use any of the unitrak keeping on the 33mm spacing standard. down side is it gets a bit big for the smaller line stuff and does visually start to take up more of the module scene.

 

if transportation is an issue i would also think about making your modules shallower than the standard 2.75" (70mm) high ttrak box. most of that space is pretty wasted and IMHO that tall face really looks out of proportion to the module tops and really draws the eye away from the scene. painting it black does not stop this, as it creates a big negative space that fights for visual attention (yes negative space can do this!) with the module top, and not act as a proper frame. ive been doing 1" tall (24mm) high modules and been much happier with the proportions and the edge left can be finished nice as wood and creates just enough of a frame to keep your eye on the module top and not slip off the scene. height is not an issue to run with the standard tall boxes as i can plop my thin modules on top of a little frame to hold 4 modules and rise them up to the standard running height of about 4" off the table. you can also use different sized bolts as your legs as well to get to what ever height. i like the little frame as it is inset about 1.5" and is sort of makes the modules float nicely. again your eye is not caught by the supporting structure as the bolt legs on the frame is inset and out of view some. you can almost double the number of modules with 1-2 story buildings on them you can cram into a carrying box by trimming them down.

 

some folks have just made the modules directly on 3/4" (18mm) ply. or you could do like 10-12mm ply top and just add a bit of thin moulding on the front and back like 25mm high to face it (no need to do the track ends) and then put a couple of 25mm wide x 12mm high strips across near each ends to put the bolt inserts into. you might find at the hardware store/lumber shop they have some standard sized stock material (something like 10mm thick by 20-30 cm wide) that they will saw off for you at the appropriate length (about 308mm) and also some thin moulding strips for the front and back and the two cross pieces.

 

if anyone has access to a shop you might see if you all can come up with a standardized simple design and have someone cut out a bunch for you and split the costs and mail them around.

 

there is no reason for the module standard to not change the box height or other dimensions as long as your tracks can meet up and you can even out both sides of a stretch with the same length modules. even having a module bump out a few inches further in the front can be fun if you have an interesting scene to do that with.

 

having things easy to transport sounds like it might be a big thing to be successful for you guys. with thin modules you can make a little carrier like 1.25' w x 1' deep x 1.5" high that could carry 4-6 modules (depending on how high your scenes are) that could go with you easily on a train, plane or taxi!

 

yell if you want some plans on how to make different style boxes ive worked on a number here.

 

jeff

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cteno4

But there is a bit need for a set length because if everyone starts doing 310mm modules and 1 person has 308mm modules it can be a problem, I think. Also I'm not talking about multiples of 308/310, since that's no problem anyway.

I agree that easy to build and transport are important too, but they are like that anyway. The only thing it depends on is how much material is used for the weight, and there are multiple ways of making them. Or am I missing something out?

And you're right on the depth, I forgot I was planning on writing that it can be variable of course, but with limits. So only 15cm, 20cm and 30cm long, for example. So that we don't get a completely weird sight.

 

Densha,

 

no worries on this as its the track length thats important, thats usually the world wide standard of 310mm (248 +62). you would be hard pressed to do a 308mm track with unitrak. folks usually make the module box itself at like 306-308 so the track ends can hang out like 1-2mm so you have some wiggle room for the tracks to connect squarely and completely, you would not want to do the box the exact length of the track.

 

of course you can make modules of what ever length you want to as long as you make a pair to put on both sides of a run to even things out. some have played with making 186mm long modules! you can also just cheat and if you end up with a short side of a loop being like 62 or 128mm short you can just plug in a couple of floating track in a pinch! you can even use the 124, 186 or 248 bridge units for a cheat like this that wont be floating road bed! folks also make 2x-8x long modules that are just multiples of 310mm track lengths.

 

on the depth you can really play with this if you do very detailed scenes well. if you dont do interesting scenes then depth changes will start to show up. but with some depth changes you can help break up a uniform oval ttrak layouts can become, but again you have to do good scenes do the eye keeps looking at the scene and doesnt care if it goes in and out as it makes sense with the scene, but if no good scene to follow then change in depth sticks out!

 

jeff

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brill27mcb

The issue here is that some specs call for a 308mm long (some call it "wide") module BOX, so there is a gap at each end to 1) make sure the rails join fully when modules are put together, and 2) to be able to angle the module sideways to help disconnect the Unijoiners when disassembling the layout. The actual length of the TRACK is always 310mm (Kato S248 straight plus S62 power feed straight), but the wording of some "standards documents" confuses people.

 

Rich K.

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Densha

I haven't read everything yet, and don't have time to reply on all now either, but I wanted to say that with the 308/310mm I meant that you could use 248+62=310 or 248+64=312 and with the latter one the module could be still 310mm long, so that would be possibly easier to make the module. It's not really that big of a problem, and I don't care either way, and just like you automatically assumed that I meant to a track length of 310mm, I think going for that is the best too.

Hopefully you get what I mean.

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Kabutoni

One thing with T-Trak is that the corners don't really allow for Shinkansen models to run on (it looks totally unrealistic). It's not a problem for me at all, but it could be for others. For me, I'm all about interurbans and/or dense commuter scenes.

 

Anyway, if we decide on T-Trak, I'm all for it, since I can maybe contribute one or two modules for the good cause. They are easy to stash away, transport and lower the construction costs by a huge amount. Next to that, there are already clear standards out there, plus it would even allow for participation in even bigger get-togethers!

 

I have some experience in T-Trak-like modules, so this shouldn't be too hard. I've done these with Tomix track, but buying a few Unitrack pieces won't hurt too much. By the way, with the upcoming Unitram switch, realising branch lines will become more feasible for T-Trak. Especially with the 25mm spacing instead of the 33mm spacing. :) Things are looking sunny for T-Trak when you think about that.

 

This discussion changed my point of view in favour of T-Trak all of a sudden. There could always be made a module that connects to the IGNippoN standards (maybe as a branch line connecting station or so).

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cteno4

well you can make what ever radius corners you want to if you want to run larger equipment. this is what many us ttrakers do.

 

the one thing is that ttrak's small module size and generally grade running does not suit it well for shinkansen running. better for smaller trains and denser scenes. the longer and larger trains start to look a bit silly on the small ttrak modules. really first done for trams and trollies first then small trains then its been now pushed to 100 car coal trains!

 

one of our members is trying outdoing a sort of compromise module for a little layout that are 990mm long and 25-35mm deep. mostly going to be embankment double shinkansen tracks with alternate (33mm kato) track spacing. his corners are 381/414 super elevated.

 

the idea is to have something that is compact thin shinkansen scenes that can make a loop with 10 modules that has enough length to run shinkansens on reasonable corners and not be chasing their tails... hopefully he can load it in his car easily to take to shows and allow fast set up. he hopes to have it done this summer, we did a couple of prototype modules a month or so back for him to play with. ill keep you posted. its closer to what ignippon is doing with their modules.

 

might think of two standards but start on one first. there really is no happy medium that gets you everything, so its all about what are the most important variables to fix and decide from that.

 

cheers

 

jeff

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Martijn Meerts

Lots of discussion all of a sudden =)

 

 

T-Trak is a good place to start I think. That way we could have something put together in a fairly short time period and we could see if we can organize some get togethers somewhere. Run some trains, grab some sushi =)

 

If things work out and we enjoy it (and possible go to some shows) we can always start looking more into doing something to run shinkansen on, or something that connects to the IGNippon modules.

 

We should really stick to something fairly simple, and make it look good. Starting too big will probably cause this never to get off the ground at all :)

 

Specifics could be worked out once we have an idea of what we want to build, and maybe get some sort of basic track plan going. Some interesting things to do would be a small storage yard, or maybe some T-Trak helixes so we can combine low and high modules =)

 

 

Jeff, feel free to post some drawings, should be nice to see ;)

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cteno4

one way to start is to just bring a box of track and buildings and some scenery bits. this is how ignippon and jrm started up. you can do some quick layouts on table tops w/o having to get into modules right away. you can do little scenery bits on cardboard or styrene and/or bases that your buildings can sit on with a rim of scenery around them. perceived scenery can be quite fun to do and you can get to playing with trains w/o much building. also gives you more layout design freedom than doing ttrak.

 

ill get some of the simple module designs up soon.

 

martin cracking good idea to start with a ttrak helix idea and multiple levels! ;-p

 

jeff

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Martijn Meerts

Optimally we should organize a get together with the people interested. Whether or not we play with some track configurations or just draw up some plans or whatever makes little difference really. I'd be happy to have some people over for a meeting of sorts, but I don't live very central. On the other hand, I do have some sake and Japanese whisky available for consumption =)

 

 

For any shows we could (eventually) do both. Have an urban T-Trak layout with nice scenery, as well as a spur of the moment 'layout from a box' on which we could run shinkansen (you really can't go to a show with Japanese trains, and NOT run the occasional shinkansen :))

 

 

I'm not sure how shows here work, whether anyone can just apply for a stand or not. If you can't, we'd probably need to build something unique and/or exceptional in order to get in. Of course, Japanese urban (or any Japanese) is fairly unique over here by default ;)

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Densha
I'm not sure how shows here work, whether anyone can just apply for a stand or not. If you can't, we'd probably need to build something unique and/or exceptional in order to get in. Of course, Japanese urban (or any Japanese) is fairly unique over here by default ;)

 

So far I know everyone can usually participate at events, with On traXS in the Spoorwegmuseum being the only one that you need to qualify for. I'm not completely sure about it though, the other way is setting it up in a club house from a local train club, if they would want to.

Once a year there's one in Utrecht (Eurospoor), one in Rijswijk (ZH), and a some in Houten, but I think the bi-monthly one is only for selling and buying stuff and the "Rail 20xx" is the one for people to display their layouts.

 

But just as you say we can better start building rather than thinking about a place or time to display it. :grin

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Kabutoni

Setting up a meeting somewhere central is nice indeed. I'd love to offer my place, but it's rather cramped and it's not my house (it's my parent's). Otherwise we could always meet in a bar where we could reserve a table or something like that.

 

Discussing this topic in direct contact would probably resolve things much quicker.

 

---

 

By the way, if we decide on T-Trak, I'm for having a 7~10cm high base, since I really would like to do bridges and/or lower (shitamachi-like) scenes. However, with a higher base, it doesn't mean you can't mix it with lower bases. It would even be possible to do overpasses on modules with combined high and low bases. I remember seeing examples of these somewhere, but I don't exactly recall where...

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Martijn Meerts

Not sure where everyone's located, but one option would be to meet at Railz Miniword in Rotterdam or something.. Get inspired a bit there, and we can either sit down at the restaurant area there, or head out to a bar nearby.

 

Of course, a sushi restaurant would be optimal, but I really don't know where there's a decent one apart from the one I frequently go to in Maastricht =)

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Kabutoni

Well, we only have four, or so, people that would like to join up for now, so picking a location shouldn't be too hard I think:

- Martijn Meerts = Nederlands, Venlo;

- Densha = Netherlands, Unknown;

- Serow (Eric) = Belgium, Unknown;

- Me = Netherlands, Utrecht;

 

I presume somewhere in Den Bosch ('s Hertogenbosch) would be nice to meet up (it being central). I don't know the city too well, but it has a nice atmosphere and it being the South, there must be some good venues where we can meet up. Otherwise, Rotterdam is nice too, since I've not been to Railz Miniworld before. Maybe I could then tag along a friend whom I could convert to join the holy realm of Japanese Model Railways.

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Martijn Meerts

Railz is quite nice, and they're building some N-scale stuff now as well.

 

Although, I'm still pissed at them for canceling the plans for a Japanese N-scale layout. Instead they're now using the space for a Dutch N-scale layout....

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Densha

Well, we only have four, or so, people that would like to join up for now, so picking a location shouldn't be too hard I think:

- Martijn Meerts = Nederlands, Venlo;

- Densha = Netherlands, Unknown;

- Serow (Eric) = Belgium, Unknown;

- Me = Netherlands, Utrecht;

 

I presume somewhere in Den Bosch ('s Hertogenbosch) would be nice to meet up (it being central). I don't know the city too well, but it has a nice atmosphere and it being the South, there must be some good venues where we can meet up. Otherwise, Rotterdam is nice too, since I've not been to Railz Miniworld before. Maybe I could then tag along a friend whom I could convert to join the holy realm of Japanese Model Railways.

I'm from Delft, but I'm not sure if I'm mentally prepared to meet people from the internets. (no offence to you all here of course!) But if I would, I would go for Rotterdam, since I could even get there by bicycle. Also, not that I have time soon anyway to do things like this.

 

Although, I'm still pissed at them for canceling the plans for a Japanese N-scale layout. Instead they're now using the space for a Dutch N-scale layout....

I'm really pissed over that either, I'm getting kind of tired of seeing only Dutch trains. Also funny that they use the same technique as that Kato thingy to align here.

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Martijn Meerts

I went to Washington DC and New York to meet people from the forum.. The customs officer did look a bit weird when I said I was going to meet people I'd met through a forum on Japanese model trains, and who I'd never met before (it helped that I said I was visiting the cherry blossom festival as well though ;))

 

 

As for the Dutch trains, that's really why I see no reason to join any local club at the moment. All the have is Dutch layouts, and for the most part H0. Granted, 1 of the clubs has a really nice modular layout, but whenever they're add a show it just disappears amongst all the other similar layouts =)

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Densha

Haha! :grin

 

Which modular layout are you talking about? I have seen some well-known layouts at some shows, but I realized years ago that most weren't as great as others.

I do still like Dutch trains though, I have some Dutch models I wouldn't do away, and when Roco releases their Plan V I really have to get it because it's just an awesome train. I'm thinking about putting them in some kind of display, because it's kinda useless now that they're just in boxes. Or maybe I should make a little module on which I can display them, but I have to start with my T-trak first, so that are future plans.

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Martijn Meerts

Densha, http://www.modelspoorgroepvenlo.nl/ is the homepage of the club. I don't really have any pictures of the layout mysql.

 

I have nothing against Dutch trains either (or trains from any other country for that matter), but I just wish that there was a club that wouldn't do the bog standard Dutch layout. There are some that have additional (most often very small) layouts, but the main layout is always Dutch.

 

I would definitely buy a Plan V if one were to come out in N-scale, I still love those trains :)

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Densha

It looks pretty nice indeed, but not better than the average I've seen on shows, not that it's bad either.

 

I still prefer Dutch over German though, oh god how much I hate German railway modelling (I just can't help it). :lipssealed: I've only seen 1 or 2 German layouts that I liked a bit so far I remember, but most are so uninteresting and stereotype that I even wished I hadn't seen it.

 

My Dutch trains are H0, and for my Dutch trains I will always keep it at that scale.

 

Also, I just though that there is a club in Den Bosch, at which a few weeks ago the Beneluxspoor.net day has been held. Unfortunately I couldn't get to it, but there could be a possibility we could meet up there, though I don't know the guys over there and it's a bit weird place and they have German trains. I still think Railz Miniworld would be a more interesting location, especially when the new layout should be done in June/July.

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