Freelance Streetcar
I like to build layouts but I do not want to dismantle my current HO US industrial switching layout. 

The solution might be a small layout on the table top to to be stored on a wall cupboard when not in use. I think of dimension like 15 x 50" and light weight construction. HO is far out, N sounds better but 15" is not much to run a GP38..... but wait how about a trolley? That sounds good but there are no contemporary N scale US trolley models available from the mayor brands.

So lets go German this time. I start with a Duewag M6 train from the Bogestra railroad "Bochum - Gelsenkirchen Strassenbahn" and some Kato snap tracks.

N scale is really a bad challenge to my eyes and hands. We will see if I can teach old eyes and hands new tricks.....

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I used Google streetview again to get a quick and easy background to get used to the new dimensions. Bad news, no Google streetview in Gelsenkirchen und Bochum is full of trees and parked trucks. Just like NYC two years ago :-)

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That's a good idea, hope it works for you.
My eyes couldn't be retaught so I'm modeling G now Smile Smile
~~ Mikey KB3VBR (Admin)
~~ NARA Member # 75    
~~ Baldwin Eddystone Unofficial Website

~~ I wonder what that would look like in 1:20.3???
Well my eyes and fingers have a tough time.....

The tram from yesterday is on it's way back to the seller. It is defect. The worrm gear from the motor axis it to high to have a solid connection to the top tooth gear of the truck. The brass gear kills the plastic gear. Anyhow, the commercial seller ships a new one and the old one goes back.

Todays parcel man was a good one.  Got the circle (radius is 15cm / 6"), some tiny cars,  a second safe and sound trolley and two ZIMO DCC decoders. The decoder is very easy to install and the tiny trolley behaves much better under decoder control. Max speed is 50 out of 255 ( CV5 ) and voltage is set to 10 Volt. Even slow drive is quite ok.
I have to get used to the motor. lack of torque is compensated with revolution speed. No sound decoder required ;-) 

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The cables in the background steel the DCC signal from the track of the staging yard. The iPod is the Wifi connected hand held throttle. It is more handy than the Digitrax UT1 attached via cable to the other side of the room.

Some more Streetview shots from the City of Bochum forming a block in the center.

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I have just started with the tiny layout. It is 16" x 48" build on three layers of paper laminated foam board.
Just a circle and two switches.

Waiting for more foam board and thin styrene sheets to elevate the layout just below rail head level. 

[Image: 41902058510_4a9bb8e7e6_c.jpg]IMG_6177 by Reinhard Peters, on Flickr
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[Image: 28820331377_16684318f4_c.jpg]IMG_6177 by Reinhard Peters, on Flickr
The level of the entire layout is raised to 5mm/.2" with paper laminated foam.

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Just the right height to cover everything with 0,3mm/0.012" styrene sheets a tad below the railheads 

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ps. Yes, even N scale is in needs of a good amount of data storage ;-)
Some progress

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I made up my mind and will stay with the N scale streetcar layout like I do for many years with the HO layout in the US. It will be very freelance layout inspited by Brooklyn and Queens.

Many buildings are on order....

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Got my very first N scale DPM building kits and some cars.

I thought be myself while looking at the tiny window frames in the small walls:

When an old HO scale modeller starts a love affair he is probable seeking the one.. When an old N scale modeller starts a love affair he needs someone young to paint his N scale window frames.

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Made some progress with the building.
This is a great Flickr album of NYC (mostly Brooklyn and Queens) streetcars. It shows great details of the street scenery.
The lack of road markings or only a very view is remarkable. Those drivers knew where to drive ;-)

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(08-07-2018, 07:01 AM)faraway Wrote: .....When an old N scale modeller starts a love affair he needs someone young to paint his N scale window frames.....

Your search for a young painter has obviously been successful, Reinhard!

I understood the advantage of N scale. While HO buildings limited me to 87 painting error per building is N scale much more graceful with 160 errors per building, and I need them all ;-)
The Shapeways N scale prewar PCC shell arrived. The Bachmann Witt drive needed to be milled in shape to fit in the shell (it fits without milling in the longer uni directional PCC shell but the truck spacing doe not match the shell).
The final outcome is somewhat disapointing. Compared to the excellent Witt model is it third class at best. Shapeware's 3D printing process is not at the same level as injection moulding. It is rough, brittle and the details are not exact. My rattle can and hand painting is much less precise than Bachmann's factory painting and the Witt clear styrene windows outperform Kristl Klear by far.
To be fair, I had and still have a lot of fun with the tiny trolly layout but scale 1:160 is not a perfect match with my capabilities.

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The last gap in the front row has been closed.
A short video clip with my iPhone.

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It is interesting how some simple advertising and awnings change the overall appearance of the street row. For 24 authentic N scale awnings go to Just print, cut and glue. It fits almost perfect.

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The rear walls of the front row buildings are reused to form the rear walls of the next street. All other walls are foam board, paint and paper brick wall image. This are the four larger/taler walls. I may do some smaller too but they are far less visible.

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We will take care of this 1:1 scale streetcar next week  Icon_lol Icon_lol Icon_lol
I wish I could work as quickly as you, Reinhard, and still get the good results that you achieve.


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