New setup, and loco advice?

Hi,
As I'm going through a mid-life crisis, I've decided to have a crack at setting up a track layout. Last time I had a train set, I was still in
single figures of age. i'm not new to models though, as I have a recent interest in Scalextric, and plastic model kits.
Anyway, my enthusiasm has been fired up by a recent interest in the real stuff, and I have very mischievous idle hands.
I had a look for a bargain startup set, and settled for the current offerings for the Hornby Caledonian set. Comes with the starter oval, as well as track packs A, B and C, and some buildings too. I basically chose this as it gave a lot of track for the money.
I plan to mount this on a permanent layout in a second shed I have, giving enough room for the Track Mat that came with it. I'm initially going to start off working to the Track Mat layout, concentrating on modelling detail, rather than worrying about the layout problems. Any tips for the Track Mat - I'm a bit wary of their advice to use PVa glue.
I've also found Pack D on eBay, so almost have the full layout to work with, as well as a couple of extra carriages, and an old Princess Elizabeth 4-6-2 loco. I also got a few odd bits of trackside odds and ends too.
So, I have a reasonable start kit. I have yet to build the board - shouldn't take long, I expect to have that done over the next week. As I'm building it, I'm also thinking of points controls. Now I'm quite happy to keep things 'looking' more realistic, and I like the appearance of the manual points switches, that emulate the original levers. Any pointers (sorry) for those?
The old Princess loco I have coming is likely to be a bit tatty looking, and if it is a Princess Elizabeth, it appears to be the wrong colour too (it's green). It looks like it should be LMS Crimson, so I plan to strip this down and repaint it. The painting I'm OK with and I have a load of Tamyia acrylics already, if I can find a near match, are these Ok to use?
Lastly, I'd like to redo the livery on the loco too, but I'd need to get decals, I'm not quite up to signwriting at that scale :-). Any idea where I can get these, if at all possible.
Cheers.
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Andy Hewitt
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Andy Hewitt wrote: Welcome to the club!
There are plenty of knowledgable folk on this newsgroup who will be able to help you if you get stuck. here are a few thought to start with.

I'm sure most people here would advise you to consider devising your own layout rather than going with the standard Trackmat. Half the fun is in coming up with a configuration that has operating interest within the space you have available. Also, if you are looking for realism, the TrackMat layout has some serious compromises.

If you want your points electrically operated, the best way is to mount the point motors under the board, so nothing is visible.
Most people seem to use enamels to paint locos. There are a couple of ranges (RailMatch and Phoenix) which produce authentic paints for just about every livery.
Hopefully, others will answer your other questions.
Adrian
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Cheers.
Ok, that is something I was considering, the TrackMat doesn't have the worlds best graphics for sure, and there is, erm, rather a lack of variety there too - I'm sure they could come up with more than one layout from the pieces supplied in the Track Packs.
I'd certainly love to add a tunnel, and perhaps a bit of elevated track too (that's for the future though).
My operating space happens to be exactly the same size as the TrackMat - so I thought I'd just get a working setup going first. I do have possibilities for some extra sidings in the future too.

OK, I've seen that on another setup, although I wouldn't mind a couple of top mounted with huts jobs.
On the points motors, as long as the linkage works, do I have to stick with the pucker motors, or can I go scavenging old ones off eBay?

Righto, cheers.

Well, it was as much a get my feet under the table as well. Thanks for the input Adrian.
Regards.
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Andy Hewitt
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snipped-for-privacy@googlemail.com (Andy Hewitt) wrote:

May I ask what size area you have available - is if 6' x 3' or bigger. I ask as I have a drawing of the 6 x 3 layout I had in my youth that has two "circles" on different levels, connected by ramps, one of which goes through a tunnel giving the efffect of a double track main line at one side of the layout. Sidings can be in the middle as desired. It sounds like it matches your specification quite well. Obviously if you have more room it can be "spread out" to get rid of the 1st radius curves required to fit 3ft.
Richard
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My layout table is 6ft (plus a couple more inches) x 4ft, so yes please, another idea would be great.
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Andy Hewitt
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If you have 6x4 then an old edition of "60 plans for small railways" by C J Freezer will give you lots of choice. 6x4 went out of favour in later editions. If you e-mail me I can scan in and send some suggestions though, as CJF rightly maintained, by far the best of these work with a central operating hole to maintain easy access to the rear edge. (unless you have space all the way round the 6x4, in which case you have room for broader curves and decent express trains, using the same central operating area idea!)
--
Chris Brown, Emett fan. See http://www.picturetrail.com/emettplus

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Righto, thanks, there's a couple of those going on eBay, so I'll see if I can nab a copy cheap.

No worries for me, I'm tall, and can actually reach to the other side of the layout across the narrow dimension. I can see where it'd be a problem for some though.
Thanks - and I'll email you if I have no luck with the book on eBay.
Cheers.
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Andy Hewitt
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wrote:

returning to actual track, give serious thought to replacing any Hornby points with Peco. Its added cost but they are better built and much more reliable. Still on track, consider flexitrac instead of adding track packs. Much cheaper and as the name suggests are flexible. I prefer the Hornby ones over Peco as the latter is much harder to flex. Incidently Peco's catalogue is one of the best sources of info on track geometry as well as definitions.
For info on transfers look at http://www.hmrs.org.uk/transfers/index.php . They can be purchased from http://www.mainlytrains.co.uk/acatalog/index.html who have one of the best ranges of lots of model bits and pieces. Their prices are good and delivery excellent.
Cheers, Simon
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"simon" wrote

Hmm, whilst agreeing with most of what you say there Simon, I would have to disagree with the last point.
Over the last few years (really since production of Hornby track was moved from Roco in Austria to China) the quality of Hornby flexi-track has deteriorated to the point where the sleepers can sometimes just fall of the rail. I'd avoid it, unless you're willing to spend ages trying to rethread the sleeper strips onto the rail.
I've used Peco Streamline flexi-track since 1971 without any serious problems, and find it flexes just the right amount to allow easy track-laying.
Guess it's just a question of horses for courses. I sell both in my shop, and sell roughly 10 lengths of Peco flexi-track to every one of Hornby, although some customers are still happy to use the latter.
John.
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I had seen a note about the Peco points on the web, I'll probably see how they go for now, I've already spent enough as it is for now :-)
As for the Track Packs, I got the first three included in the bundle I bought, it was just a case of getting as much stuff for my money to get me started.

Righto.
Lovely, thanks.
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Yup, got a copy for 1.20.
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Andy Hewitt
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snipped-for-privacy@googlemail.com (Andy Hewitt) wrote:

ok - I'll upload it to
www.beamends-lrspares.co.uk/track.gif
this afternoon/evening.
Richard
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Cheers dude :-)
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Andy Hewitt
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Thanks Richard, that looks like something I might go for, I like the idea of expanding the layout upwards, and there's plenty of scope for adding sidings in the centre of the lower level.
I can also add an extra bit of board on the lower right of the layout, in an 'L' shape, where I could also bung my storage sidings.
Cheers.
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Andy Hewitt
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snipped-for-privacy@googlemail.com (Andy Hewitt) wrote in

Aren't we all :-)

...
On a slighlty more serious note my father has just returned to the hobby after around 30 years or so, he's in his 70's bless 'im and needs something to do in the winter that will keep him out of the way of my mother. Summer he's off up and down the country fly-fishing, anyway to the point ...
You've had a shed load of good advice so far in this thread, my advice at this point is to forget it all. Build your 6'x4' table-top layout and have some fun. That's what I did and that's what my dad did, he'll stop at that point but as for me I now have an entire garage to play trains in ...
... but that's only after playing around on the table top, deciding on what I liked, what I didn't and generally speaking haveing a right good mess about.
Once you've done everything you can or want to on your 6'x'4' board and once you're sure you are really going to enjoy yourself playing trains thats the time to start planning and building that "real" layout.
And of course constructing stock, buildings, developing your techniques for scenicing the layout can all be done on 6x4 with much of your work - when you're happy with it ported over to that exhibition standard layout that we all want to build. When you get in to the shed - try "going around the walls" and have an operating well in the centre for you to stand in.
Tamyia acrylics are fine, just make sure you use the right varnish for the finish you're after. When painting locos and larger models though I do tend to use enamels from an air brush.
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All the best,

Chris Wilson
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I'm suspecting that most train sets are bought by middle aged men ;-)

I can get like that myself, I have a Scalextric too, which I've added too a bit (enough that I can have a house sized main straigh ;-)). Unfortuantely I just don't have the space for a permanent layout for that.

Aye, that's the intention.

Aye, the future may hold better prospects for bigger layouts - like child leaving home, and such like :-)

That's something I plan on later, having just moved house, I have lost a lot of storage space compared to the old one, so the shed is multi-purpose at the moment, a 6x4 is as much as I can manage for now.

OK, cheers. I'm not sure what colour this thing is going to end up in yet. My initial research only found them painted in LMS crimson, but I have since found that they did also get painted in Brunswick green when it all went BR (must have been left over from Spitfires or something!).
Thanks for the input.
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Andy Hewitt
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