Well, after thinking I wasn't going to get a reply the
thread seems to have gone off on something of a tangent!!
I realise I ought to have introduced myself and given some
background to my original query since many of you seem to be
'regulars' on this newsgroup and may be wondering who this
I've just begun to get back into railway modelling in the
last couple of months after almost 15 years of absence since
my teenage years. Back then I was fairly serious about the
hobby although I never really ventured beyond the RTR
coarse-scale stuff (OO gauge). Then other things took
priority and I didn't really give much thought to modelling
again, until very recently.
I don't know what triggered off my resurgence of interest
but in December I succumbed to purchasing a few Bachmann Mk
1s and a couple of locos, and over the last couple of months
have been doing quite a bit of 'research' finding out the
current state of the hobby, 'relearning' a lot of stuff that
I'd almost forgotten, and beginning to think about
constructing a layout.
I've reached the stage of having the baseboards built and in
place and a reasonably to-scale track plan drawn up in Adobe
Illustrator (and roughly marked out on the baseboards). I've
got some ideas about setting and period (Western
region(ish), possibly S&D, late 50s steam. OK, it's still a
bit of a mixing pot at the moment!)
Anyway, to bring things back on track (pun intended!) - back
in my teenage modelling phase I remember being blown away by
some of the photos I saw in Model Railway Journal of Martyn
Welch's 7mm finescale 'Hursley' - it was quite unlike
anything else I'd ever seen in the other model railway
magazines I read because I found myself needing to look very
closely to tell whether it was a model or the real thing!!
Coming back into the hobby now, I realise that for me (and I
realise it is a matter of personal preference in the end)
some sort of 'finescale' approach is essential to bring that
element of realism that I'm after. And the first real
challenge is going to be the track!
I toyed briefly with the idea of using Peco Code 75
"Finescale" track but soon decided that this just doesn't
have the level of realism I'm after. Then, until a week or
so ago I was pretty much set on the idea of using SMP
Scaleway flexi-track with Marcway pointwork, but after
further consideration and comparisons have begun to wonder
about the visual realism of soldered trackwork. I've seen
photos of various different types of track and references to
SMP and C&L etc. but was slightly confused about which was
which and so on - and ultimately wanted to make a decision
based on what, to me, looks right. (I emphasise the 'to me'
part of that last sentence because I've been trawling
through some past threads from this group relating to the
issue of scale, accuracy, gauge, etc, and to be honest some
of it well and truly puts me off the whole business!)
Even since my previous post, I've now begun to wonder about
the possibility of hand-building all the track for my
layout, if it is worth the extra effort in improving the
level of realism, despite being scared witless at the idea!
To add to the mix - I was originally going to stick to
16.5mm gauge track as I'm not really into the idea of
modifying rolling stock and have seen some models using this
gauge that look good to me, but from what I've been reading,
modifying stock to EM might not be as difficult,
time-consuming or expensive as I'd originally thought, and
the more photos I see the more I think I can begin to
appreciate the increased realism of the extra width.
(Although I can dream, I'm afraid - for those who model in
it - P4 is out of the question as far as I can see.) But I
digress. Primarily (or at least initially in my
considerations) I'm interested in the side-on 'look' of the
track as this is how it will be seen on my layout for the
most part. Hence my original request to see if anyone had
any close-up photos of 'finescale' trackwork using different
components/from different manufacturers etc. to help me make
up my mind. After all, I don't want to splash out on a load
of gear only to decide later it's not really what I wanted!
Anyway, that's me done for now!