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Another B Train Shorty layout


tossedman

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OK, I've been playing with some ideas in my head and in Railmodeller for a while now. I have some 1/4" baltic birch plywood kicking around so I ripped an 18" strip off of the 5' sheet. I'm thinking this may end up on top of a bookshelf at some time or another. I've got a few 12" wide strips kicking around as well. My son Noah (7) already has a plan for one of those (but that's for another post. My basement is 15' wide (and 52' long but that's out of the question) and I'm thinking of a full width layout. It's not going to be prototypical in any way, shape or form. Hope to have the house from Totoro at the other end. Shouldn't be to hard to make a clay Totoro eh?

 

Anyways, here's the preliminary thoughts. It was to be different but I'd only imagined buying a Unitrack 15° crossing. Searched the whole basement looking for the darned thing before my son told me we didn't buy one (yet!). Looks like it's time for a trip to Johnny's (my local hobby shop).

 

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There's going to be a small maintenance area around the shed on the right, some sort of light industry above it where the smaller building is, and some sort of village/rural/rice paddies on the left. Or else not. We'll have to see what his nibs wants. The corners are Kato Compact Unitrack with a 183mm radius. Two of the turnouts are also Kato Compact. I could go smaller, we also have some R150mm and R117mm curves Maybe we'll save that for the other end. The whole thing will be a big long squashed loop of some sort. Sort of roundy round and back and forth at the same time.

 

Going to have to buy a bunch more Japanese building to fill this thing out though.

 

Here's another couple of views.


module2.thumb.jpg.93dd588b4f74932b1660347f323246ba.jpg  module3.thumb.jpg.b18b7e83ee5e456b1b37fe655e24661d.jpg    

 

There'll be more to come. In fits and starts I'm sure. I can't seem to keep on track very long these days. Too easily distracted.

 

Cheers eh,

 

Todd

Edited by tossedman
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OK, been messing about a bit more and Noah really wants to build some "modules" so here they are. 

 

Here's the original, slightly modified but by no means final.

 

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Noah's middle module. We've been talking about a smaller station perhaps, but this is his choice for now.

 

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And the right hand side. Note the wide sweeping corners. All of 117mm radius. The modules are one foot deep and five long. The wider one is 18 inches wide.

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Here's the whole shebang. As you can see modifications are happening on the fly. I talked him out of try to put four #6 switches and a crossover in that small space where his hands are now.

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Here is one of the longer trains that'll run on this layout. By the way, the green masking tape is where he wants a road and the blue is the sidewalk. Not water.

 

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As you can see this end is pretty tight. No high speed trains flying through here. He did test his 16 car B Train Shorty Shinkansen though and it'll make it around.

 

The modules are going to be light industrial on the wide end, small townish in the middle (once that huge station shrinks) and more rural on the right. Have to squeeze in the house from Totoro in there somewhere and buy lots more buildings.

 

The whole thing'll hang on the wall on shelf supports at first and then hopefully move to the top of unbuilt shelves in the future. That could take a while. Biggest challenge is going to be stopping him from cannibalizing the track for his latest, greatest floor layout.

 

It's been fun as usual.

 

Cheers eh,

 

Todd

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Todd,

 

Very nice! Love the one sided dog bone, helps get rid of the roundy roundy feel of a plain loop.

 

Cheers,

 

Jeff

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Wow thanks for sharing Todd! 

 

There's something about the layout... It's tight and really neat.. I like it! Amazingly small curves! 

 

Eerr only one thing perhaps the Tomytec bus shouldn't be there? It makes the B-shorty looks even shorter...  :tongue3:

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Thanks JR500. The bus is there to stay I think. Got to get it running too. Don't forget scale really isn't that important when you're seven years old.

 

Yesterday there were HO scale VWs all over the place. Now they can make things look small! 

 

This layout is definitely a work in progress. Stay tuned, there'll be more to come.

 

Todd

Edited by tossedman
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Todd, Very nice! Love the one sided dog bone, helps get rid of the roundy roundy feel of a plain loop. Cheers, Jeff
Jeff, that seems to be the easiest way to get that station in there with two way traffic. I'm liking it too. It kind of grows on you... like mould... Then it's hard to get rid of. I've had this idea kicking around in my head for quite a while now.

 

This and

were the inspiration.

 

Todd

Edited by tossedman
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Todd,

 

I made a test turn back loop out of tomix mini radius track that would fit on a 12x12 module. Idea was to do the same loopback on my streetcar ttrak modules for when stored on shelves at home to run some trams on them in a simple loop. Worked well with 2 truck trams, but not the 3 truck trams.

 

Jeff

Edited by cteno4
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Here's our latest rendition of the right hand module. Mum is supposed to help design this one so it's still in it's infancy.

 

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Noah's changed the middle one as well. He saw John Kosma's Gypsy trolley line and took out the big station and replaced it with a slightly smaller one. I foresee more changes.

 

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Another view of the middle.

 

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Here's an idea I've got for the shelf brackets. There's a metal book shelf bracket mounted to studs on the wall. On top of the bracket is screwed a 1"x 2" x a half inch longer than the module's width. Adding a short block to the back will keep the module frame from sliding forward. Once the modules are all screwed together, they are allowed to float on the bracket assemblies. I drew these up in SketchUp. It's a great program. And free to boot.

 

Cheers eh,

 

Todd

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OK, I'll stop posting pictures for a while. This things has been revised at least 4 times since my last pictures. On another note, I think I'll put velcro on the shelf supports and the bottom of the modules to help keep it all in place.

 

Cheers eh,

 

Todd 

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Velcro might cause a jerk when you go to lift a module off, affecting the scenery. If you just want to make it less likely to move about, consider putting felt on both the bracket and the base of the layout where it rests on the bracket, to increase friction, or adding a simple strap on the underside of the module, which loops around a bracket and clips to the underside of the module, to prevent side-to-side motion. You could do the same thing with a block atop the front of the bracket and blocks on the underside of the module to either side, if you knew exactly where the module would rest and never planned to move it, but the loop concept allows for easier reconfiguration.

 

I really like both the layout concept and how it's progressing.  Keep posting photos of major additions/changes please.

 

Since this is going on shelf brackets, have you considered a backdrop? This could mount to the wall above the brackets, or be attached to the brackets in some manner, or it could be attached to the modules.  You don't need much, just a painted board 6-8 inches high (15 - 20 cm), made from some of your birch panels, or some hardboard. This could simply be painted a light blue "sky" color, or made with some photos glued to it (photo mod-podge decoupage glue works well for this and is kid-safe, or you could probably use a glue stick although I don't have experience with those). I'd paint the wood first to keep acids away from the photos.  Or, if someone is artistically inclined, a more complex backdrop scene could be painted.

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I've just mounted one of the modules on the shelf brackets and I don't think any Velcro is needed. You're right Ken, it may cause jerking. It's actually quite secure with just the blocks near the back. I'll get some pictures up later. A backdrop is definitely in the works. Been messing about now and then in Adobe Illustrator to create a sky and clouds.

 

Thanks for the tips and encouragement. More to come.

 

Todd

Edited by tossedman
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Spent the afternoon yesterday putting shelf brackets on the wall. Got all three modules hung up now.

 

module18.jpg.8a1088968a90413449f05f8d690d3084.jpg

Here's the wide end module. It's now on the right as that works better in the basement. That newer looking shed will be swapped out for an older looking one at a later date. This whole end have older style buildings.

 

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The middle. The station is back for now. Those buildings in the back will be replaced with a better backdrop. More buildings to come as well.

 

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The small end. Another station added here as well.

 

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I added a piece of freezer strip on the small end to save the concrete floor below from flying B Trains.

 

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Here's a wider view.

 

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Another view of the middle section.

 

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Here's a closeup of the bracket with the small block of wood that stops the module from sliding off the bracket. It works well.

 

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The whole thing. It's just under 15 feet long and a foot deep. The far end is 18 inches deep.

 

module26.jpg.b8ac304eab97c3852e6581438f7222aa.jpg

And here's what I'm building when I'm not playing with trains with Noah.

Edited by tossedman
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Nice.  I like the freezer strip. I've used thin plexiglass similarly, but it won't bend around corners. I should look into getting some freezer strip for a few odd corners on my layout.

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It's great stuff. It also bends under 7 year old arms. I buy it by the foot at a local plastics supplier.

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Well we just had to test a 16 car Shinkansen on the tight corners of the new layout. Can't go fast like on the big corners but it still makes it with no problems.

 

 

Please excuse the crappie phone (camera) work.

 

Cheers eh,

 

Todd

 

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Todd,

 

Cool! Nice to know it makes it.

 

I assembled ad tried to run my 8 car 500 this weekend at a show. I used all bandai trucks and mech to see how that works out.

 

Could not get to do a loop with out picking a point. Turns out the bandai trucks are pretty tight on the clip pins. This can be fixed with a little reaming with a reamer. But the the bogie side pieces rub slightly on the bottom side of the carriage as well. A little filing should remove this and I hope once the trucks are moving more freely they will behave better. I may also put in a little bit of weight in the cars to see if that will help as well.

 

Kato trucks are nice and free turning without any mods. Find it funny that bandai did this poor of job on the trucks when all the other train parts fit together so well.

 

Cheers

 

Jeff

Edited by cteno4
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Hi Jeff,

 

I followed Nick Yee's advice from his article on B Train Shorties where he recommended the Kato trucks over Bandai. I took his advice and have never tried the Bandai trucks. The Kato ones seem to work just fine. I do use the Bandai power units though. Haven't had any problems with those. I do need to add the weights back to some of those though as Noah seems to have knocked a few out.

 

I was quite surprised to see how well it went around such a tight corner. Makes it possible to create some pretty tiny layouts.

 

Cheers eh,

 

Todd

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yeah i thought i would try a train's worth to see how they worked as they have the power pickups built into them and i thought i i might do some head/tail lights eventually. interior lighting would be fun but would mean cutting out large slots in the interior carriage to get to the windows.

 

once i get the 500 tuned up and the e5 finished with kato wheels ill do some comparison testing.

 

im also fiddling with using the kit bogies. the newest kits (like the tama train) actually have the clip center pin built into the bogies along with a couple of tabs to hold the truck straight. if you clip these little tabs off the bogie will clip on like a regular kato or bandai bogie and work just like a replacement truck. plastic wheels are on gauge and seem to roll pretty well. older models dont have the center bin clip built in but there is a hole in the bogie where you could easily just use a small machine screw from the top of the chassis floor to hold the truck on. only issue then is you just have the housing on the bogie for only the bandai clip in couplers or the magnetic couplers. im also going to fiddle with them to see if i can come up with an way to add in kato close couplers to them. plus some weight i think needs to be added with these plastic bogies/wheel sets. will be a way to keep costs down for a while and then add wheel sets where needed.

 

alternative is to pop in foxvalley wheel sets into the kit trucks, would only be like $2/car and a simple axle wiper pickup could be easily added and then use a bolt to hold the bogie in and two nuts on top with a pickup between them for the interior wiring. 

 

anyway lots to play with! I was always hoping i would never be bit by the btrain bug, but now i have... who has an antidote?

 

cheers

 

jeff

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yeah i thought i would try a train's worth to see how they worked as they have the power pickups built into them and i thought i i might do some head/tail lights eventually. interior lighting would be fun but would mean cutting out large slots in the interior carriage to get to the windows.

 

once i get the 500 tuned up and the e5 finished with kato wheels ill do some comparison testing.

 

im also fiddling with using the kit bogies. the newest kits (like the tama train) actually have the clip center pin built into the bogies along with a couple of tabs to hold the truck straight. if you clip these little tabs off the bogie will clip on like a regular kato or bandai bogie and work just like a replacement truck. plastic wheels are on gauge and seem to roll pretty well. older models dont have the center bin clip built in but there is a hole in the bogie where you could easily just use a small machine screw from the top of the chassis floor to hold the truck on. only issue then is you just have the housing on the bogie for only the bandai clip in couplers or the magnetic couplers. im also going to fiddle with them to see if i can come up with an way to add in kato close couplers to them. plus some weight i think needs to be added with these plastic bogies/wheel sets. will be a way to keep costs down for a while and then add wheel sets where needed.

 

alternative is to pop in foxvalley wheel sets into the kit trucks, would only be like $2/car and a simple axle wiper pickup could be easily added and then use a bolt to hold the bogie in and two nuts on top with a pickup between them for the interior wiring. 

 

anyway lots to play with! I was always hoping i would never be bit by the btrain bug, but now i have... who has an antidote?

 

cheers

 

jeff

Let us know how your truck experiments work out. I'd also like to see how lights work out. Any thoughts of B Train DCC?

 

By they way there is no hope, you've got the bug, all is lost! There's no way to change your life now. LOL

 

Cheers eh,

 

Todd

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Hi Todd! 

 

Thanks for sharing! 

 

It was nice watching the 16 car 0 series run pass such a tight turn easily! I bet the commuters won't be feeling too comfortable inside that train...  :tongue9:

 

The more i look at it, the more i like your layout. Cute and compact and gets the job done nicely in minimum space ~ Great job!

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So, I took every building that we own (well almost, I left out the grain elevator from the Canadian prairies) and put them alongside the station. Here's what we have.

 

module27.thumb.jpg.da115bd9afd2404091e195e656968eb9.jpg

 

Then I added a telephoto lens (I really need that 100mm macro lens), set the aperture to f16 and took this. I converted it to black and white so that the pink foam and green road didn't stand out quite so much. Needs lots more vehicles and people and buildings but it's getting there. That's all of our vehicles too. Got lots of trains though.

 

module29.jpg.679bd8ae873cdfa5cdb1c137e084a7b8.jpg

 

Noah thinks it look really real and wants to take more just like it. Guess we'll be learning some more photography soon too. I love how this hobby teaches him so much. It's lot's o' fun for me too!

 

Cheers eh,

 

Todd

 

 

 

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