Saturday, December 21, 2013

Need some buildings!

Eskalon is coming along well, the layout has come a long way in a few months but one thing is distinctly lacking... buildings! I built a PIKO model of a doctor's surgery earlier in the year and that remains the only building on the layout but its time i started getting some railway buildings. I haven't decided on a station yet but have bought another PIKO kit, the Castle Rocks good shed.

Where i put it i'm not sure yet but it will obviously be put alongside one of the sidings. The Eskalon layout isn't very big so i do not have that much space for buildings. I think one or two more houses and the station and that will be it.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A bit of running

Some new photos showing the current state of the layout, all sidings now have buffers.

Monday, November 25, 2013

More green

I have extended the scenery (or the grass mat anyway) onto the new section of Eskalon. I've used a new technique too of securing the mats. Previously i used glue and small nails (track fixing ones in fact) but for this extension i've used a staple gun instead! I'll cover the staple heads with bushes and other greenery over time. Its starting to look pretty nice.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Phase 3

Phase 3 of Project Eskalon is to turn the intended back-scene into a normal part of the layout and add an extra siding on this part of the board. Today i took up the track here, relaid it on top of a ballast mat with some extra track to provide the new siding and then nailed it all down again! It still looks quite rough but i'll be extending the scenery to cover as many gaps and joins as possible!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Mixing up the stock

Usually my B-B diesel is semi-permanently coupled to the 2 Zillertalbahn coaches (and the little Plymouth switcher handles the freight). But i decided to mix things up a bit and let my main diesel play with some trucks for a change...

In other news i have built (inexpertly) a stand for my power controller, this means i can now turn the "backscene" area into the layout proper, i just need a little track.

A video is also available.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The next steps

Now Eskalon is starting to take shape we can say that phase 2 is coming to a conclusion and now we can start to think about phase 3. One change i am considering is ditching the back scene and instead having this area as an industrial area. It would mean i have no "fiddle yard" but i don't think that will prove to be a problem.

It will mean raising the track in this part of the layout but its only been lightly nailed down anyway so shouldn't prove too destructive. I will probably add another siding too.

Proposed Phase 3 mods (new track in red)
Next loco is likely to be another small industrial diesel, perhaps the Roco shunter. There is a starter pack that includes a blue version of this and 4 wagons so that might be a good idea. Next year i'll be looking (funding permitting) to get the red Zillertalbahn diesel and some more freight waggons. I could also do with a station...

Monday, October 21, 2013

The engineering train

Using one of the industrial wagons as a match wagon No.17 can work with my Liliput wagon. This is the Eskalon engineering train, rushing ballast to where it is needed.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

A video

I've taken a few videos of Eskalon operating, here is the first.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Integrating stock

My first loco D16 is semi-permanently coupled to the coach set i have got, thus i needed my second loco to be able to work with my Liliput wagon (the only wagon i had got before today). No. 17 doesn't work directly with the wagon alas but if one of the little industrial wagons is used as a match wagon then it does work. Here is the Eskalon engineering train then.

No. 17

We have a second locomotive! No. 17 is a Minitrains Plymouth switcher and also has a rake of small industrial wagons. Some modeller's licence is being employed to incorporate such a train with the Zillertalbahn so just think of it of Eskalon being a shared line between the big railways and an industrial railway bringing wagons down from the mines.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Hitting the buffers

Although Eskalon is not really true to a prototype (and shouldn't be taken for anything like a close representation of Austrian Railways) i have done a fair bit of research. One thing i couldn't find much out about though was the humble buffer stop. Photographs of Austrian Railways always seemed to crop out these vital yet usually forgotten about pieces of railway architecture. In the end i got some PECO buffers for 009 scale. Buffers probably do not vary that much world wide in any case...

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Mixing up the trees

The eagle-eyed may have noticed in some of the latest progress photos that the original batch of trees has been joined by some fir trees. The idea has been to mix up the scenery a bit and also to try and add a bit more of an Alpine air to what is supposed to be a layout set in the Austrian mountains! I think the effect is quite good and the amount of trees does add a bit of depth to the layout.

Monday, October 7, 2013

A few more photos

A few more photos showing scenery progress. Could be some new stock coming soon...

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Nice little loco

We haven't had a HOe video for awhile, this is one of the Minitrains industrial locomotives. Looks rather nice...

Friday, September 20, 2013

A building

Its about time Eskalon had some buildings, and here is the first. Dr Lang's surgery, a Piko kit.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Some more landscaping

A few more photos of the ongoing landscaping, including a few trainspotters...

Let the landscaping begin!

Finally can the landscaping begin in earnest, i've got grass mats, trees and bushes to begin adding some green to Eskalon. I'm intending to build things up in layers so it may start off looking rather flat and unnatural but hopefully by the end it will look lovely. Actually i think it looks pretty nice already to be honest but i am a bit biased.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Not back from the dead

Its been a long time since the last update, thats basically because nothing has happened. A combination of getting on with my postgraduate degree, hot weather and laziness (probably the main one) has kept me from doing anything to Eskalon. Plus i was not really that happy with my ballast. So i hoovered up the excess (or Henry-ed up in my case) and thought again.

When i was building layouts as a boy something i never got around to using were scenic mats, but i thought i would rectify that and have put a ballast mat over my earlier attempt at gravel. I've also nailed the track down now and its running pretty well. One of the points de-couples trains and one part of the back loop can de-rail a propelled carriage at speed but i am working on these snags.

The final track layout has changed slightly, the entry to the future station area now uses a slightly tighter radius (but is cleaner) and the extra siding also uses a curve. A diagram of the layout is below though.

So Eskalon is finally seeing some progress!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Preparing for nailing

The track ballast is now down (well its not perfect but i could mess with it for ever to be honest). Now i have relaid the track and am doing final tests before i start nailing anything down. I've never nailed down N gauge track before so that could be fun...

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Armed with some glue and a bag of "granite ballast" building the scenery of Eskalon has begun. I intend to put down the track bed ballast first then re-lay the track this time permanently. The layout will operate as i gradually build up the scenery layer by layer, i can't really afford to do it all in one go.

Now scenery is where it often went wrong in the past. What can go wrong with glue and a bag of fine grain particles? Are you crazy? Its a catastrophe waiting to happen! So far everything seems fine... more or less...

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Egger-Bahn layout (Video)

I found this video on Youtube showing a compact little HOe layout. Mine has a bigger board than this as the coaches i am using need wider radius curves for the loop. Nice layout though, maybe i shall put Eskalon up on Youtube one day...

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Spitfires come to visit

As well as model railways i also built model aircraft (and the odd ship) and have just completed my latest model a Spitfire F22. As it was the 6th Spitfire i have made i decided to take a photo of them all together, my model railway board was the best space available! These are 1:72 scale aircraft so are out of scale on my HOe layout (1:87 of course) but it was nice for them to visit! Hopefully by the time i build a 7th Spitfire i will have built up sufficient scenery on the Eskalon layout that they won't fit anymore.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

An extra siding

The layout is pretty much final now but i decided to add one more siding to it in the top left corner, utilising some empty space and also adding a bit more operational flexibility. It also used up some spare track as i only needed to buy another set of points (though those are expensive enough of course!) Next step is to start planning the scenery.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Legacy audit

Many years ago i had a series of OO gauge layouts but in my early 20s i put everything away in boxes ready for when i had my own house so could start again. "Starting again" took me nearly 13 years and in the end i have gone for a Continental HOe gauge layout anyway! My legacy OO stock, track and what-not has been stored away in the loft all of these years. They are thus in reasonable condition though haven't run for probably around 20 years! I am conducting an audit of what i have got, to see what can be reused (to be honest not a great deal though i found a box full of OO/HO scale people!) Its nice to compare the OO gauge to HOe in any case. I may try and sell some of this old stuff...

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A building

Its about time Eskalon had some sort of building. Here is some sort of building though its a British platform shelter so not exactly correct for the desired layout. The kit is my first card kit and was the one given away free by Railway Modeller last year. It was good to get some practice in (and i need it) plus i may be able to adapt the building at some stage and use it somewhere. It can help me get the clearances right if nothing else.

Our new wagon

Since my initial purchase of a locomotive and 2 carriages earlier in the year i haven't bought any other rolling stock but i thought it was time i got something new, plus i needed a shorter wheelbase vehicle for testing. So i have bought a nice simple open wagon, a Liliput Om open goods wagon. Someone will probably say it never runs on the Zillertalbahn but maybe it just got lost (modellers licence will be heavily applied to Eskalon!)

New track supplies

Today i received the remaining track i needed for the layout and my first wagon. As can be seen from the photos below i now have my fiddleyard siding and the full 3 siding station complex. There arn't likely to be many changes to the track layout for the foreseeable future (no space for a start!) Though there could be a few tweaks before i nail it down.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Revised plan

Because of the reduction in the size of the board the plan has had to be amended a bit (though not as much as you might imagine). Much of this layout is already in place, i just need 3 more sets of points...

Lets build a railway!

My original plan for 2 120x60 boards connected together didn't quite work as it was just far too big in the spare room! So instead i am connecting a 120x35 board (which will form the backscene / fiddleyard area) to one of the 120x60 ones. After much hammering and fastening (and wood wastage) i now have a board! Lets build a railway!

Nothing is nailed down yet (i need some more track anyway) but things are starting to happen at last.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Testing the boards

I still have the fasteners to fix so the two boards can be made into one, and i want to paint the boards with a grey base coat... however its been a while since i've run my train so i thought i'd test the boards out. And they work great!