Starting in a new scale: Gn15

Starting in Gn15

1:24 scale, 15" gauge

From 009 to Gn15.

After a spell of indecision, sometimes low enthusiasm, and also no ideal plan for a new layout in 009 scale, I suddenly shocked myself.  I had never been attracted to any other scale than 009 before, but I found myself ordering a gorgeous little Smallbrook Studio loco kit when I saw an advert for a Heywood style "Harlequin" loco.  To this day, I still do not know why I bought it, I suppose I needed a fresh start.

(click on images to enlarge)

 This was the picture that started the change of scale.

Sir Arthur Heywood was one if the main promoters of the 15" gauge from about 1875, and he built his own demonstration line, locomotives and rolling stock at his Duffield Bank line in Derbyshire after he became interested in railway engineering.  He tried to promote the system commercially and to the Royal Engineers, but only one customer was found for his system being the Duke of Westminster, at Eaton Hall.  When the stock was disposed of, much of it went to the Ravenglass & Eskdale or the Romney Hythe & Dymchurch railways for further use.  Many items still exist and even replicas of the locomotives and stock have been built.

May 2016.  The "Harlequin" Smallbrook Studio kit being built.  It is made from resin, with brass details.  The chassis is a Hornby class 0F "Smokey Joe" and runs very well.

The question for me was, could I build an exhibition layout of the type I wanted in this scale?

There are many wagon kits available, but there were no coach kits of the type I wanted.  Some scenic items were going to be hard to source, as they needed to be around 1:24 scale, but with help from a friend who models in Gn15, and also the Gn15 info website/forum Gn15 Info website/forum it has been an enjoyable journey finding suitable items for the layout.

First, tests were made with the items I initially bought and built: the Harlequin loco, a wagon,
(also purchased from Smallbrook Studio) and a scratch built bogie coach, along with two resin figures from Modellers Resource.  Because I wanted a passenger carrying railway, along with general goods and freight, and eventually a continuous run layout, I needed to see what size base boards I needed, and what the smallest size radii of curves could be.

Trials, looking at the size of track, and turnouts, and testing a 10" radius curve.
The first loco "Proteus" newly built, a Smallbrook 3 plank open wagon, and scratch built bogie coach.

Test running on a 12" radius curve, which looks tight, but for my purposes, could be acceptable.

As the base boards would likely be larger than 009 scale, weight would be an issue too.  So another consideration would be what materials could be used for the buildings, land formation and scenic's to keep things as light as possible.

Before embarking on a full exhibition layout, I thought it best to build a "trial" layout in the new scale first.  This would give me the chance to use new materials, and to get used to the new sizes I was dealing with.  It is a shed scene with two sidings and called "Longstone Maintenance Shed".

The first building: a maintenance shed under construction.

For the buildings, I have used Slaters 7mm scale embossed Dressed Stone glued to 5mm foam board for walls, and thin 3mm mdf covered with individual card "slates" for the roof's.  The walls were painted with matt Humbrol enamels, and the roof's with cheap acrylic paints.

The maintenance shed just about finished, and positioned on the new trial layout.

There are more details about this diorama on in the next post.