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Would you model in 21mm if RTR track and models were readily available?

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Would you model in 21mm if RTR track and models were readily available?  

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  1. 1. Would you model in 21mm if RTR track and models were readily available?

    • Absolutely yes!
      33
    • Maybe, if it was cost neutral?
      20
    • No way!
      15


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FWIW  I have asked Paul martin at Edm trains for a 21mm gauge back to back set - 19.3 mm to see what he can make - current guess was aruond £15 mark..  just now on Rm web asked Wayne Kinney about 21mm gauge point bases for code 75 BH rail.  His new and almost ready to go to market is based on a 3d printed flexible resin base with chairs printed - user has to put in rails but as in his N gauge models almost shake the box technology  and worth watching.   Using with C&L parts to make on plain track 21mm is much nearer.    Wayne could perhaps produce  trackbases in 21mm by same take and so the user just has to thread rail - an as long as not building all of Mayos lines or a scale length Belfast - Dublin line not three onerous .

two pics of N points from a few years ago

1312920565_camera260813npoints037.thumb.jpg.dd9fc7c7b337f3d89f6b4c99ef2ba8e2.jpg

      before blades filed to shape 

894822970_camera260813npoints039.thumb.jpg.6a61bf55bdd4dadf5ff66f429d227262.jpg

The N version has a cast frog/ crossing nose for ease of building. It is sat on a natty paxolin jig for filing and cutting blades and joining on to a tiebar. The OO / 4mm version looks to have a moulded tiebar. 

Lets hope Wayne will be able to bring to market 21mm turnouts and perhaps more complex arrangements later. 

Robert 

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Yes, definitely I'd buy 21mm track and points.  The sales opportunity lies in the new modellers joining.  One economical approach might be to create the sleepers for RTR track using 3-D printing, to allow an adjustable print-to-order.  The track could be sold as simple kits -- sleepers in strips with rails to be inserted.

Meanwhile, I bought Irish broad gauge sleepers from the ScaleFour Society and bullhead rail in code 75.  (Thanks, Jeremy Suter, for the help.)  Just need uninterrupted free time.  Working towards a combined MGWR Sligo line with Collooney Jct. to Dromod and the Cavan & Leitrim from Dromod to TBD.

A now-often-cited article about "the Long Tail" of a niche market might help explain how to think about models of Irish broad gauge (and Irish 3-foot RTR on 12 mm track).  You create the niche, in part, that people haven't articulated in masses -- you don't respond to an existing mass market.  The idea is used for a lot of niche-market sectors, such as a rare books library or historical museum that specializes in certain research subjects.  https://www.wired.com/2004/10/tail/

 

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I don’t think is a very good idea to be honest. Yes, while the broader gauge looks nice and is more prototypical. I can live without it as the negatives far outweigh the positives. 

It will add limitation to an established railway layout: i.e. not being able to run other stock. A lot of modellers don’t just run irish stock. I for example have a few UK locos that I like to run from time to time too. It is unlikely these will be convertible to 21mm if it became the new norm here.


Parallel to this, it will limit the appeal of Irish stock outside of the Irish market, which is already a very small market to begin with. When compared to UK and Europe. Limiting the interoperability of Irish railway models with existing track standards, will make our niche hobby even more niche than it is.

 

it just adds unnecessary cost to modelling without a lot of benefit. 

 

And finally. And possibly most importantly to anyone considering the monumental task of designing a new track system.... all the unforeseen challenges of designing points, turn outs, crossings etc... This is extremely risky / costly. This effort could be better invested elsewhere such as in developing more Irish locos, wagons, DMU’s etc...

Anyway, that’s my two cents worth. 

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IRM and to a lesser degree Murphy Models have already main streamed the possibility of modelling the Irish Broad Gauge using rtr locos and stock with IRMs range of bogie wagons and Murphy Models diesel locos all of which are simple to re-gauge. The IRM bogie wagons are convertible to Broad Gauge by simply moving out the existing NMRA 110 wheels on the axle or replacing with EM or S4 profile wheels.

Conversion of the MM B141 and 071 to broad gauge involves removing the existing wheels and drive gear from the axle and fitting to a 26mm plain axle which can be cut from a piece of 2mm silver steel rod or replacing the MM wheelsets if you work to EM or S4 standards. I re-wheeled two of my 141s with EM profile wheels as the wider stock MM wheels rubbed on the inside of the bogie frames when pushed out to 21mm gauge with a back to back of 19.3mm.

The question of whether there is enough demand for a rtr "21mm gauge" track system and rolling stock is an interesting one.

Peco developed a rtr EM gauge track system in conjunction with or for the EM Gauge Society and Sutton Locomotive Works produce a rtr Class 24 diesel that is available in OO, EM and P4 which indicates a possible "mainstreaming" of the 'finer scales". The EM and S4 Societies are both long established organisations with established standards and a considerable level of trade support including rtr flexible track systems, point kits and wheel & wheelset manufacturers.

21mm gauge is pretty much a minority interest within the Irish modelling community with possibly less than 20 people actively modelling in the gauge.

The majority of people who work in 21mm gauge tend to be modellers who enjoy the technical challenges of building (possibly offbeat)models as opposed to running trains (operating) or collecting models.  

21mm gauge layout is likely to occupy a larger space than an equivalent OO gauge layout because of the requirement for larger minimum radius curves than in OO, it would be difficult to build a large complex layout in a typical spare bedroom, single garage or attic found in the typical Irish or UK semi-detached house let alone a modern apartment or older terrace house.

Similar minimum radiuses to OO may be achievable by adapting similar track & wheel standards to OO, but would involve the compromise of reducing the gauge or increasing the width of some models to provide sufficient sideplay to run round curves.

A 21mm gauge model of a WT 2-6-4 or a D17 4-4-0 may be achievable if designed and built to S4 or EM standards but the gauge would have to be narrowed or the width increased in a model fitted with the wider NMRA 110 wheels.

IMG_6869.JPG.7e3da462cd93d3ec3927508297ff213a.JPG

Approx 0.5 mm clearance between driving wheel and inside face of splashers on 21mm gauge D17 built using EM profile wheels (2.4mm width) and 19.3mm back to back gauge. 

The splashers on this model were moved out to achieve sufficient running clearance, the gauge would have to be decreased or the width of the model considerably increased to compensate for increased wheel tyre width and increased component thickness in a plastic injection molded model.

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Interesting stuff, John, especially this quote: The majority of people who work in 21mm gauge tend to be modellers who enjoy the technical challenges of building (possibly offbeat)models as opposed to running trains (operating) or collecting models.  

I don’t actually do much operating myself, as I have discovered that I get far more satisfaction out of the research and  problem solving which building to 5’3” calls for. Tony Miles and Richard Chown had extensive 5’3” layouts ( a basement empire in the latter case), but also a fair amount of crew to call upon. I suspect for most of us, the choice is between a modestly sized scale gauge layout, and a large operating layout. I tried the latter in Japanese and didn’t actually enjoy it that much. Whereas a few hours with some sheet metal or plasticard and a scale drawing....

 

6AEC8596-4E6F-44DA-A25D-787B2EA25698.jpeg

D1A129CC-496C-477F-B7DD-FB853D5607C3.jpeg

B59AB2ED-FCC2-4F80-A930-7F824DBC17FA.jpeg

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I have to agree with Mayner on the volumes of active folk in 21mm and thoughts of issues with trying to provide more than modelling aids - if rtr provides the opportunity then that is the best that can be hoped for in the foresseable future.  An increase will be provided if trackage is reasonably easy to provide a working system - even if not every esoteric formation is made.   3D resin printing could indeed help with production but as  I have said before it makes it no cheaper just different.   

Long may the 21 mm band grow and continue to showcase all that is best for the hobby.        

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 5 weeks later...
On 1/1/2021 at 2:58 PM, Robert Shrives said:

FWIW  I have asked Paul martin at Edm trains for a 21mm gauge back to back set - 19.3 mm to see what he can make - current guess was aruond £15 mark..  just now on Rm web asked Wayne Kinney about 21mm gauge point bases for code 75 BH rail.  His new and almost ready to go to market is based on a 3d printed flexible resin base with chairs printed - user has to put in rails but as in his N gauge models almost shake the box technology  and worth watching.   Using with C&L parts to make on plain track 21mm is much nearer.    Wayne could perhaps produce  trackbases in 21mm by same take and so the user just has to thread rail - an as long as not building all of Mayos lines or a scale length Belfast - Dublin line not three onerous .

two pics of N points from a few years ago

1312920565_camera260813npoints037.thumb.jpg.dd9fc7c7b337f3d89f6b4c99ef2ba8e2.jpg

      before blades filed to shape 

894822970_camera260813npoints039.thumb.jpg.6a61bf55bdd4dadf5ff66f429d227262.jpg

The N version has a cast frog/ crossing nose for ease of building. It is sat on a natty paxolin jig for filing and cutting blades and joining on to a tiebar. The OO / 4mm version looks to have a moulded tiebar. 

Lets hope Wayne will be able to bring to market 21mm turnouts and perhaps more complex arrangements later. 

Robert 

@Robert ShrivesPlease post in the future if Wayne is able to experiment in producing Irish broad gauge (21mm) sleepers to thread rail, even if it's only straight or flex track for a start.  There were 33 persons who responded to the survey (50 percent) who chose "yes, definitely," and another 19 expressed interest.  That could lead to kits for regauging some of the RTR models to broad gauge.

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Hi Just to clarify, Wayne Kinney at British finescale was asked but currently up to his nostrils in 00/EM bullhead point design and perhaps by now building stock for first push of sales - he did indicate when time allowed to look at a bit of 21mm pointwork but this could be a year away.  

Plain track was with Mr Sprue - who makes short run N gauge parts  and we have looked at a single sleeper with a spacer peg attached, about 10 days ago he was to have a chat with the spark erroder tool maker he knew to see what was possible at a reasonable cost - certainly no name on the sleeper for trials anyway and a modern track clip over a fiddly pandrol type pigtail spring. - given the modern and horrible to my eye of throwing  stone everywhere regardless of cost - ok I know its meant to add to stability of track, then a minimal clip should be visually ok   . If you did want a clip then peco individual lay  should keep you out of mischief.     I will give a couple of weeks and see how Mr Sprue has got on and likely price of tools and a test run.  

For FB points you are on your own with soldering iron and copper clad as bearers - check out C&L.

Of course I will update once more known.  cheers and thanks for interest.

Robert 

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Scalefour Society have a lot of this covered. They certainly supply sets of gauges and punched wooden sleepers. I bought a pile of them 30 years ago.

There was some interest in making laser cut wooden sleeper bases for 5' 3" points; I supplied prototype information from the IRRS Archives. I suspect that Covid has set things back a couple more years, as all small suppliers are too busy at the moment. No doubt a bit more demand would help to lift them up the priority list.

For those that knew Tony Miles and Adavoyle, he built it prove that P4 track standards were perfectly workable in a round-roundy layout; there were no others at the time as far as I know.

It just happened to be 21mm gauge and GNRI.

Decent modelling just needs time to do it and enjoy it. 

 

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  • 2 months later...

Whilst not exactly RTR, with some 3D modelling (should read a lot of modelling) and 3D printing, it is possible to develop a basic 45' straight, and a B6 point.  

Developed to P4 standards with the 1:20 incline inwards using code 75 bullhead rail results in this:

2139084411_Primedtrack4.thumb.jpg.cca5e6000b2df5faf502a3513806f9f6.jpg908842738_Primedtrack3.thumb.jpg.0ff95f7d65a99e74d7cbff9ea2e923ce.jpg

 

Points proved to be a tricker prospect.  Ensuring gauge widening, check rails, crossng vee and closure rails was a little more difficult.  Easy to print a continuous line through the vee, but more challenging to get the vee in place, soldered without damaging the sleepers below.  

The compromise was to print a space for coppercald, cut it on the mill and use as a base for soldering everything in place.  The upside of this is I only need one dropper to wire the complete frog.  Once the sleepers are painted and the whole lot ballasted, this should not really be visible.

2069310916_PointSample7.thumb.jpg.29305c1b47b9c771908f2b0963803943.jpg

 

As a B6 point, it c. 260mm long, so is printed in two parts as my build plate is only 190mm - not an issue as you cannot really see the separate element once completed.  The reason for B6 is that I have found that locos more than 4 coupled will not go (comfortably) through anything less.  They do take up space, but have a very prototypical look.

This process does make it a lot easier to make a point, however the basics of point construct still apply, it just considerably reduces the amount of soldering.  As chairs are printed to the correct gauge, jigs are not needed - just push in the rail as necessary.

654166710_PointSample8.thumb.jpg.437c010c665183e52c671b73dbcf4b62.jpg

 

702489436_PointSample6.thumb.jpg.5a1c3b98ecfce2c3052d10a0534013ef.jpg

 

 

Still a work in progress as there the gauge widening on the diverging track exit is slightly tight - a minor tweak (I hope!!) to the CAD model should solve this problem.

The track shown above is part of a test layout to see how well this process works and will be developed further in the layout section.

 

More as time permits.

Ken

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On 30/4/2021 at 12:35 AM, KMCE said:

Whilst not exactly RTR, with some 3D modelling (should read a lot of modelling) and 3D printing, it is possible to develop a basic 45' straight, and a B6 point.  

Developed to P4 standards with the 1:20 incline inwards using code 75 bullhead rail results in this:

2139084411_Primedtrack4.thumb.jpg.cca5e6000b2df5faf502a3513806f9f6.jpg908842738_Primedtrack3.thumb.jpg.0ff95f7d65a99e74d7cbff9ea2e923ce.jpg

 

Points proved to be a tricker prospect.  Ensuring gauge widening, check rails, crossng vee and closure rails was a little more difficult.  Easy to print a continuous line through the vee, but more challenging to get the vee in place, soldered without damaging the sleepers below.  

The compromise was to print a space for coppercald, cut it on the mill and use as a base for soldering everything in place.  The upside of this is I only need one dropper to wire the complete frog.  Once the sleepers are painted and the whole lot ballasted, this should not really be visible.

2069310916_PointSample7.thumb.jpg.29305c1b47b9c771908f2b0963803943.jpg

 

As a B6 point, it c. 260mm long, so is printed in two parts as my build plate is only 190mm - not an issue as you cannot really see the separate element once completed.  The reason for B6 is that I have found that locos more than 4 coupled will not go (comfortably) through anything less.  They do take up space, but have a very prototypical look.

This process does make it a lot easier to make a point, however the basics of point construct still apply, it just considerably reduces the amount of soldering.  As chairs are printed to the correct gauge, jigs are not needed - just push in the rail as necessary.

654166710_PointSample8.thumb.jpg.437c010c665183e52c671b73dbcf4b62.jpg

 

702489436_PointSample6.thumb.jpg.5a1c3b98ecfce2c3052d10a0534013ef.jpg

 

 

Still a work in progress as there the gauge widening on the diverging track exit is slightly tight - a minor tweak (I hope!!) to the CAD model should solve this problem.

The track shown above is part of a test layout to see how well this process works and will be developed further in the layout section.

 

More as time permits.

Ken

Wow, looks great! This is making me seriously consider 21mm for a future layout.

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If that stuff was indeed available commercially, I would get some for a mini-layout. At this stage I am too far committed to 00 gauge track and models, with some 20 locos steam and diesel, once my "A"s appear, and maybe 40 - 50 wagons and a dozen carriages. However, I would get one 141 converted and a dozen wagons to do a shunting layout with.

If I was starting from scratch, I might sell the car and go full 21mm. So I suppose the answer to the original question, for me, is yes - if within my budget.

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11 hours ago, jhb171achill said:

If that stuff was indeed available commercially, I would get some for a mini-layout. At this stage I am too far committed to 00 gauge track and models, with some 20 locos steam and diesel, once my "A"s appear, and maybe 40 - 50 wagons and a dozen carriages. However, I would get one 141 converted and a dozen wagons to do a shunting layout with.

If I was starting from scratch, I might sell the car and go full 21mm. So I suppose the answer to the original question, for me, is yes - if within my budget.

Surely if the conversion was made very easy, ie interchangeable wheelsets for the locos and wagons, and new bogies for the coaches, you'd take the dive?

I'm sure that I read somewhere on here that the MM bogies are not easy to adapt to 21mm, so they'd need plug 'n' play bogies to pop in to tempt me over to the 21mm side.

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Personally for me it would take a 21mm track Point system as good as Peco code 75. Long, medium crossings and curved points. Making up 21mm track even from kit would be torture to get it right and reliable, and we’ve all already learned running reliability and performance matter more than appearance. Derailments went out with super 4 track in the 70s. For hand made or kit made track it would have to have sleeper chairs. Also converting stock would be a nightmare to get reliable running after. It would be like Betamax, better but everybody else has VHS so buying and selling stock gets complicated, and no going down to the club to run once’s stock on its layouts. The idea of 21mm sounds just possible for a nice 10ft end to end shunting layout. There are zero RTR 2 axle wagons of my era that could be converted by just swapping wheel sets, and converting locos 100% successfully it seems might need a resident Eoin Murray. Butchering existing chassis to fit 21mm wheel sets is not an option for me.
 

Now if I was ever tempted whatever model track gauge would be correct for 5’3” in 7mm scale (ie O gauge sized models) has a certain appeal, a single 141 and a 121 (ie 3D on foundry chassis) with half a dozen 2axle wagons has operating potential on a 15ft end to end shunting layout 3ft wide. But if it didn’t run 100% reliably the scale appearances matter little. Trains are to be driven, not just display cases. One day perhaps but the Betamax v VHS parallel is off putting.

Edited by Noel
Typo
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5 hours ago, jhb171achill said:

Slightly related question - where's the best place round Dublin to get 6mm MDF board?

http://www.woodworkers.ie
 

you can order it precision pre-cut by lengths and width online. WMRC got all their laser cut baseboard elements from the above. Ply is more stable than MDF especially as thin as 6mm. Richards famed Everrard junction had to be ripped up and replaced with ply due to eventual sagging of MDF which is a moisture magnet.  WMRC used 6mm ply for their “little sidington” base board brick modules. Light weight, portable, strong and stable.

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5 hours ago, DJ Dangerous said:

Surely if the conversion was made very easy, ie interchangeable wheelsets for the locos and wagons, and new bogies for the coaches, you'd take the dive?

I'm sure that I read somewhere on here that the MM bogies are not easy to adapt to 21mm, so they'd need plug 'n' play bogies to pop in to tempt me over to the 21mm side.

Diesels, yes, but steam locos more challenging because of splashers and bodywork outside the wheels, meaning a lot of hacking and rebuilding needed. The actual NCC Jinties ad to have their drivers reprofiled to fit inside the splashers when they crossed over the water.

 An ideal loco for simple conversion would be one where the footplate was clear of the drivers and with inside cylinders and valve gear. Not many of those around, I suspect, with even fewer available as ready to run models...

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2 hours ago, Noel said:

Personally for me it would take a 21mm track Point system as good as Peco code 75. Long, medium crossings and curved points. Making up 21mm track even from kit would be torture to get it right and reliable, and we’ve all already learned running reliability and performance matter more than appearance. Derailments went out with super 4 track in the 70s. For hand made or kit made track it would have to have sleeper chairs. Also converting stock would be a nightmare to get reliable running after.

Don't you think that maybe that's like saying fifteen years ago that one would only be tempted into Irish modelling if there were a full selection of locos, coaches and wagons available from the start?

Surely a launch with a handful of products, if such a project were ever to reach the market, would be sufficient for starters?

Flexible track, one medium LH point, one medium RH point, wheelsets for one loco model and wheelsets for IRM wagons...

Five products at launch that would allow a huge amount of modellers make a start.

I have about 60 metres of 16,5mm track that I would sell in in a heartbeat if 21mm were made easy.

One loco, say for example the A Class, and IRM's post-ballast chassis, with pop-in 21mm wheelsets and boom, we're at a level that Irish modellers could only have dreamed of!

A year later, and maybe we'd get 21mm bogies for the Mk2D's and 21mm wheelsets for another class of loco.

🤤

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11 minutes ago, DJ Dangerous said:

Don't you think that maybe that's like saying fifteen years ago that one would only be tempted into Irish modelling if there were a full selection of locos, coaches and wagons available from the start?

Surely a launch with a handful of products, if such a project were ever to reach the market, would be sufficient for starters?

Flexible track, one medium LH point, one medium RH point, wheelsets for one loco model and wheelsets for IRM wagons...

Five products at launch that would allow a huge amount of modellers make a start.

I have about 60 metres of 16,5mm track that I would sell in in a heartbeat if 21mm were made easy.

One loco, say for example the A Class, and IRM's post-ballast chassis, with pop-in 21mm wheelsets and boom, we're at a level that Irish modellers could only have dreamed of!

A year later, and maybe we'd get 21mm bogies for the Mk2D's and 21mm wheelsets for another class of loco.

🤤

Fairenoughski. To answer the original question if RTR track system and models were available, then yes for small shunting layout. I’d did ponder at the outset if Gort would be possible in 21mm but decided against due to lack of suitable rolling stock and the mammoth task of hand built track that would run as reliably as well as code 75. For me personally the running quality always trumps scale appearance. Ones imagination can bridge many gaps. 

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On 1/5/2021 at 2:35 AM, Fiacra said:

Wow, looks great! This is making me seriously consider 21mm for a future layout.

The layout would have to be small, or you, young

On 1/5/2021 at 8:21 AM, jhb171achill said:

If that stuff was indeed available commercially, I would get some for a mini-layout.

If you did you’d increase the numbers modeling 21mm by 20% or so (a commonly quoted anecdote on this forum)

On 1/5/2021 at 7:40 PM, DJ Dangerous said:

Surely if the conversion was made very easy, ie interchangeable wheelsets for the locos and wagons, and new bogies for the coaches, you'd take the dive?

That’s an idea that more than one of us has had, for instance a pop in rtr 21mm commonwealth bogie

On 2/5/2021 at 3:25 AM, DJ Dangerous said:

Don't you think that maybe that's like saying fifteen years ago that one would only be tempted into Irish modelling if there were a full selection of locos, coaches and wagons available from the start?

Surely a launch with a handful of products, if such a project were ever to reach the market, would be sufficient for starters?

Flexible track, one medium LH point, one medium RH point, wheelsets for one loco model and wheelsets for IRM wagons...

Five products at launch that would allow a huge amount of modellers make a start.

I have about 60 metres of 16,5mm track that I would sell in in a heartbeat if 21mm were made easy.

Agree with all of what you have said, and I’d need that much track also. I have yet to see someone make that much from scratch in 21mm, yet many replies intimating that anything is possible and some modelers are just lazy. Some modelers may just have real jobs and that’s the whole reason for needing something rtr in volume.

There are several Irish prototypical points, the express points would be very large on most layouts but would look awesome. Again focusing on the shorter ones would suit many modeller with some flexitrack. Several years ago IRM had no intention of touching this (so definitely no one else would) and I’m open to correction but it doesn’t seem that that has changed at all. I do like this as a potential way forward if it commercially available with rtr frog available.

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There is a real danger of achieving very little by over estimating the difficulties (paralysis by analysis) as opposed to practical experimentation.

Before the days of Murphy Models Bo Bos I simply assembled and mounted MIR 121 & 141 Class locos on re-gauged Athearn blue box SW1500 chassis having pushed out the stock Athearn wheels to run on 21mm gauge. Its simple enough to re-gauge the Murphy models diesels by fitting the existing wheels and gears to 26X2mm plain ended axles or ordering 21mm gauge wheelsets from Ultrascale if you work to EMF or S4 standards(expensive but worth the wait). 21mm steam locos are not for the novice loco builder or basher.

My Ruston DS88 (Impetus kit) was originally built to OO and later re-gauged to 21mm by replacing the axles, I need to replace the wheels some day as they are S Scale wagon wheels.

IMG_6964.JPG.845487494a85171d2348293d3a4afe16.JPG

My first successful 21mm gauge coaches used fairly crude conversions of Hornby and Lima bogies, I made extended axles by cutting and sleeving  standard 26mm OO gauge axles. Although the conversion was crude these bogies ran smoothly and regularly operated on the MRSI Loughrea layout. 

IMG_6968.JPG.252cd17fe4839ed9efb831dfc823d3b6.JPG

Converting rtr freight stock was not an issue as nothing suitable was available before IRM came on the scene all my (30+) wagons were assembled from kits or scratch built.  Wagons such as the Parkside BR Plywood van or Airfix/Dapol tank wagon were converted to Irish wagons by modifying the bodies and moving out the solebars and fitting wheels with extended axles.

Hand laid track with copper clad sleepers is a inexpensive and reasonably fast way of laying track and a lot easier to ballast than Peco, hand laid track with rail spiked to strip wood sleepers is popular in the United States and used on many of the Basement Empire Layouts such as Tony Kosters "Allegheny Midland".

Most of the Irish Broad gauge (7 & 4mm) exhibition layouts were club or group efforts with the notable exception of David and Andy on this board. Loughrea and Belturbet were both club layouts while both while Tony Miles Adavoyle layouts and Richard Chowns Castlerackrent were very much group efforts. Tony both developed his own finescale 4mm  standard and pioneered 21mm gauge modelling, Richard Chown pioneered Irish Broad Gauge modelling in 7mm and Castle Rackrent developed into a large modular system layout with several stations.

The choice between OO and 21mm gauge or rtr and kit/scratchbuilding basically comes down to how you prefer to spend your modelling time, type of layout and available space.

If you want to get something up and running quickly or build a large complex layout OO is the obvious choice, 21mm is more appealing to people who prefer to spend their time building layouts and models. 

The type of layout and space largely determines the track and wheel standard as a 21mm continuous run layout built to EMF standards (wheel and running clearances) will occupy a larger space than an equivalent OO gauge layout. A 21mm continuous run layout to S4 standards will occupy a larger space than an equivalent layout built to EMF standards. It will probably be necessary to reduce the gauge below 21mm if OO gauge wheel and running clearances are adapted to allow similar minimum radius curves to OO gauge.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Mayner said:

There is a real danger of achieving very little by over estimating the difficulties (paralysis by analysis) as opposed to practical experimentation.

 

I have to agree with that entirely...... could go on with more but I wont🙂

Eoin

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17 hours ago, DiveController said:

Agree with all of what you have said, and I’d need that much track also. I have yet to see someone make that much from scratch in 21mm, yet many replies intimating that anything is possible and some modelers are just lazy. Some modelers may just have real jobs and that’s the whole reason for needing something rtr in volume.

I'm in that boat, day job plus voluntary work at nigh.

3D printing, manually soldering fifty million solder balls or whatever, I wouldn't dream of inside the next twenty or thirty years.

To tempt me, it would have to be RTR / PNP. I wouldn't expect a huge range, just the basics to be able to run some trains.

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