I have a section of track (doubled with only one pair of points) which
needs to be concealed for scenic effect. The effect in question
consists of building a second level over the top with a branch line.
Is it asking for trouble to leave restricted access from the rear, or
should I attempt to build a removable scenery section over the top?
How hard is it to crawl round to the rear ? And, if its anything other
than easy, would a slightly arthritic elderly modeller be able to do it (on
the assumption you don't have a portrait in the loft somewhere, and this
model is to be used for more than a few years).
Removable scenery is usually best done if its edges are irregular, and can
be masked by things like hedges and trees, buildings, etc. Rectangular
removable panels usually look like rectangular removable panels, even if
covered with well modelled grass!
If you have removable scenery, everything will be fine (especially if
you plan it at the start). It's particularly helpful if you want to
clean the track.
Without it, you will get constant derailments, whatever the track and
rolling stock quality. It .-. Just .-. Knows!
Damned right. It's even more likely to do it at an exhibition at the
precise time when you have the most people watching and you're
operating on your own. Thorpe Thewles is particularly prone to that:-
1. All of the trains, especially the high-speed mainline diversions,
Know When You Are Not Watching.
2. When the inevitable derailment happens, it will always be at the
opposite corner of the layout to the operating position - requiring a
pleasant 40-odd foot round trip to sort it out.
3. In the period of panic immediately following the derailment you
will forget which controller controls which line, or turn the knob the
wrong way, thus making the problem even worse than it already was. If
you're /really/ lucky, your confusion doesn't result in you clearing
the scattered trucks from the other line by ramming them at high
4. Three or screw-link couplings look really great on your kit-built
4mm trucks. Until the time comes when you are somehow unable to
perform the simple task of dropping the link over the hook and
removing the coupling implement. And loads of people are watching you
attempt to shunt.
5. At least once in the show, your attempts to re-rail the single
derailed truck while its still coupled will somehow tip over the rest
of the train.
Still, it's all good clean fun. :-)
Yes, fields are loosely rectangular. But get an aerial photograph to see
what actually happens (current Google Maps ones will do, some hedges have
been grubbed out since 1930, but the remaining ones are usually on old hedge
lines). The pictures will show loosely rectangular with roughly square-ish
corners, but they have to follow the underlying geology, water courses,
Use of hedges, walls, etc. as dividers is part of the subterfuge. Put the
"join" line in the shadows where it cannot be easily seen, such as Guy
mentioned behind a wall. A visually strong element near a divider also
A related trick occurs with buildings; if they fit into vertical slots (ie.
walls extend beyond scenic line into foundations) then the visual line is
not usually seen. If they are just stood on the ground then the visual line
is usually obvious. A trick I learned at Pendon museum decades (!) ago, and
what's good enough for Pendon is good enough for me.
My first train set/crude model railway mounted on a board had one
Hornby Dublo Duchess engine amongst my otherwise mainly Tri-ang
powered layout. It liked to throw its weight around. Demolished a
train of airfix wagons quite spectacularly when it was misrouted into
a siding at full speed and a meeting on a minic level crossing with a
bus resulted in an unprototypical single deck Routemaster
It did come right off the board once and nearly brained the cat.
Things improved after I replaced the Tri-ang Series 3 track and points