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I know we have one or two good people here with an interest in model railways, I wonder if anyone can suggest a decent forum that a relative newbie such as I might sign up to? I have tried a couple, one of which I'm getting no response to my sign up request, the other doesn't accept my email address as it's on ymail.

We are setting a layout up for Jamie in the spare bedroom, but having never progressed beyond a little tank loco on the dining room table when I was a kid I want to poll advice and opinion from one or two "experts".

Thanks

 

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Thanks for that, but I don't really do FB, I don't even do NBN facebook. I have had a quick look and it doesn't seem to be somewhere you can ask, chat and discuss, more a string of adverts from BRM. Good if you want to know what's new to the market etc but not somewhere you'd discuss Hornby or Bachman, Plywood or OSB etc...

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I am not a railway forum person either and have always preferred the railway magazines.  I have stopped bothering with Model Railway Journal as I find they get a bit too far up their own vacuum pipes.

British Railway Modelling is good for beginners but I find the best is, and always has been, Railway Modeller, which also has the most comprehensive amount of advertisers for parts and materials.  If you subscribe to them, you also get access to all their archive on line.

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If you are making a railway for a boy it will need to be something with a lot of activity.  Lots of points and sidings for plenty of interest, but it doesn't matter too much if it is not accurately prototypical, so long as it runs well.  Peco make very good simple track work.  It will also need to very robust, as young boys can be a bit rough on things.  Hornby are famous for making trains that young children can throw at each other across a bedroom, but might still work afterwards!

You will also need to decide from the start whether you want DCC control, or traditional DC analogue.  I prefer DC as the points can insulate trains on the sidings and it tends to lend itself to the realistic running of a railway model.  It would be far too late now, for me to put DCC chips in all my models.  I have found also that all the "realistic" running that you get with DCC is not a lot of good if you don't have perfect current contact with the track.  I find DC a lot more reliable.

At my age, I get far more fun out of trying to make the layout look like a real railway and don't care much whether I actually run trains or not but I started with a layout that my father built me as a boy.  On a boat!  If you buy a locomotive for your son and the first thing he wants to do is pull it apart to see how it works and then put it back together again, you may have a young railway modeller on your hands!

Have fun!

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RMweb is definitely the Biggest UK forum, although they have contributors from around the world.

 https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php

There are specialist sections for American and Japanese railways. Narrow gauge and of course all the big 4 UK railways and  BR in it's various guises up to the present day..

All gauges are covered from T gauge 1:450 scale  up to 7 1/2 inch gauge live steam.

If however you are modelling in N gauge I can also recommend the " N gauge forum"

https://ngaugeforum.co.uk/

 

and in the odd chance you are modelling in EM gauge   then https://www.emgs.org/

Should you live local, I can recommend Broadland Model railway club (I'm there most Friday evenings) the other main day is Tuesday evenings, although with covid there are 6 person bubbles most nights of the week.

http://broadlandmodelrailwayclub.co.uk/

Railway clubs and shows throughout the country can be found on..

https://www.ukmodelshops.co.uk/events/exhibitions

 

 

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A quick question to all you model train enthusiasts. I need some brass tubing. about a foot of it, internal diameter about half a mm (that's millimetre not Marshman or MauriceMynah)

I seem to remember buying some, many years ago from a shop which sold model railway stuff. The shop now long gone.

Would you gentlemen know what I bought, what it is called and what it's for?

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I don't know if the model shop in Norwich does metal sections..http://www.greateasternmodels.co.uk/

or Buoys toys in Cromer (I also don't know if they've got metal sections) https://en-gb.facebook.com/buoystoysandmodels/

I don't think the Bure valley railway shop (Aylsham)does metal sections they are more of a beginners shop. But very good in what they do for buying commercial stuff from http://www.burevalleymodels.com/

A good UK mail order supplier is https://www.eileensemporium.com/materials-for-modellers/category/metal-sections I've used them many times for various bits not available locally.

Squires tools have a strange collection of Items, I've only bought stuff off them at shows. but they were very good..

http://www.squirestools.com/

 

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usually the brass tube is im mm sizes with 0.5mm wall thickness, so a 2mm od tube will fit inside a 3mm tube and have a central hole of 1mm, model engineering websites may have 0.5mm id for steam enthusiasts

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7 hours ago, Vaughan said:

You will also need to decide from the start whether you want DCC control, or traditional DC analogue.  I prefer DC as the points can insulate trains on the sidings and it tends to lend itself to the realistic running of a railway model.  It would be far too late now, for me to put DCC chips in all my models.  I have found also that all the "realistic" running that you get with DCC is not a lot of good if you don't have perfect current contact with the track.  I find DC a lot more reliable.

DC is definitely a lot more reliable.

DCC simplifies the wiring of a layout in that you just have to ensure every bit of track has constant power and that polarity is correct and it doesn't require lots of switches to isolate things.

But DCC requires lots of pickups on locos, that joints between pieces of track are soldered, that the track and loco wheels are always spotlessly clean and even then you really need a 'keep alive' module (a capacitor) on each loco chip to ensure power and data comms aren't lost even for a fraction of a second as it causes issues. Also, if stock isn't used for a period of time, it can forget the ID it had so you end up having to reprogram the chip again when you come to use it.

The idea is sound, but I think DCC is a really crap implementation of it and they should have waited for better wireless technology. I'd bin it and start again. Give power to the rails, and do everything else over wireless ethernet.

Also, the decoders for locos are ludicrously expensive when you consider how insanely primitive they are. Manufacturers get away with it because most people don't realise just how simple the electronics are.

DC is more complicated to wire, but it just works. 

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18 hours ago, oldgregg said:

I mean I wouldn't know about such things, naturally,

I thought you said you didn't know about trains!

I quite agree.  I have never had a DCC layout but have seen them being operated and was not impressed.

If you have DC, then you have to "set up the road" by switching the points correctly, before a train will run. With DCC you can start any engine, regardless of where it is or where it is going, and simply crash it into things!  That is what I meant by running it more like a real railway.

DC has to be wired up with a bit of thought, so that the current feed is always going towards a "facing" point but once you have done it, I think it its much the best way.

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There are definitely advantages to DCC, but I just find that it takes so much maintenance that it takes the fun out of things.

I've converted various things to DCC, but almost always using the standard (ish) 8 pin socket on a loom so that the loco can easily be switched back to DC operation by unplugging the decoder and fitting a blanking plug.

One of the big advantages of DCC is that if you can run several things on the same track (or in opposite directions for demos) and adjust the speed independently so that they don't run into each other. It makes double-heading work more smoothly. The only way to really achieve that with DC is to have a resistor inline on a loco that runs too fast, or to mess with the gearing, so that's definitely a plus.

So I'm told :default_norty:

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Brings back memories.  As a kid I had a Hornby 3-rail layout.  Totally unrealistic of course with a tank engine / Mallard running round in circles.  Eventually when I ceased studying & started to work I was faced with the choise of a complete restart with modern equipment or taking up model R/C flying (which my brother was already doing).  I chose the R/C flying which I did for 8 years before getting involved with "full-scale" sailplanes.  Stranegly enough my brother did the same thing 2 years later.

 

If any model railway enthusiast ever vists Hamburg you MUST visit this (allow at least half a day):  https://www.miniatur-wunderland.com/

 

 

 

 

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15 hours ago, StillCruising said:

I still have my Hornby O gauge clockwork goods set, I haven't progresses far have I 😂

That could be worth something to a collector.

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9 minutes ago, StillCruising said:

Unfortunaty I don't have the original box, as I got got more track etc  I transfered everything into a bigger cardboard box. 

It'll still have value, have a look on eBay...

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