• The Plug Track functions are experimental and still being developed. Some of the earlier pages of this topic are now out-of-date.

    Some pages of this topic include contributions from members who are creating and posting their own CAD designs for 3D printing and laser-cutting. Do not confuse them with Templot's own exported CAD files.

Kit-building on Templot plans

Martin Wynne

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West of the Severn UK
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@Wayne Kinney

On the Templot home pages I have tried hard to explain that Templot is for hand-built track only, and has nothing to offer users of commercial trackwork.

Enter Wayne Kinney and his range of easy-build pointwork kits based on Templot designs:

https://www.britishfinescale.com

And today this post on RMweb:

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/topic/16023...-in-00-and-em/?do=findComment&comment=4845622

All of which leaves me wondering if the Templot home page needs some re-wording? I don't want to deter users of these excellent kits from using Templot to design their layouts, even when they might not consider themselves scratch track-builders.

Also a couple of updates back I added this easy-access option to load a collection of library templates:

load_samples.png


but have since done no more with it. To make it sensible for users of the Finetrax kits we need a mechanism to combine all the partial templates comprising say a double slip into some sort of single unit, independent of the existing group functions. I tried to do something like that once before, but got in a terrible muddle. Perhaps it's time to try again?

cheers,

Martin.
 
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Nigel Brown

Member
Location
Wales
I can see that someone familiar and comfortable with using Templot might yet find themselves with a project where they want to use commercial products, and being able to do it easily in Templot would be good.
Nigel
 
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AndyB

Member
Sounds like a great idea but would the single unit have to include all the details of Finetrax kits? Could they be greatly simplified and just interface with the rest of the design to create the correct geometry? But that might only work if the kit is not modified at all.
 
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Martin Wynne

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West of the Severn UK
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Enjoy using Templot?
Thanks.

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Post your questions on the forum where everyone can see them and add
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Sounds like a great idea but would the single unit have to include all the details of Finetrax kits? Could they be greatly simplified and just interface with the rest of the design to create the correct geometry? But that might only work if the kit is not modified at all.
@AndyB

Hi Andy,

er, you have rather lost me.

At present we have all the functions needed to create say a double-slip, straight or curved (the Finetrax kits can be flexed onto a gentle, or not so gentle, curve), and to move it about, and align it with other templates. See this video:

https://flashbackconnect.com/Movie.aspx?id=MTd0T1Pp4DIGd5QfbfBqQw2

What we don't have is a means for it to appear as a single item in the library viewer, and be added to a track plan in one go. Which I suspect is what many kit users would want to do, especially if they are more familiar with pick-and-place track planning methods such as AnyRail.

At present a double-slip would appear as 8 separate partial templates in the library viewer, which is obviously far too complex to be sensibly usable.

A double slip could however live in its own file, and be added to the trackplan using the existing file loading functions. But that makes no use of the floating library viewer, or any other simple way of seeing in advance what will be added, or curving it. And it is still 8 separate partial templates. With 8 times as many peg positions as a single turnout.

Somewhere in all this there needs to be a way of seamlessly combining Templot's prototypical planning methods with the simplicity of pick-and-place track planning for models. But at present I'm not seeing it, and the last time I tried it I got nowhere. But since then we now have the file viewer function (not the library viewer), which could perhaps be the basis of something. Not sure what.

Hmm.

cheers,

Martin.
 
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AndyB

Member
Hi Martin,

Yes, pick-and-place was what I was thinking (if not explaining it properly). Where I was going was wondering if making them in skeletal form would make it any easier but it doesn't sound like it would.

Oh well...

Cheers,
Andy
 
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Phil O

Member
Location
Plymouth.
Hi Martin,

Would a variation of the CAD method of creating a block work? IE. windows, doors, kitchen units, etc. Which once inserted can be exploded, if they need to be modified. You're already part way there, with the grouping function.
 
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Hayfield

Member
Location
Essex
Perhaps there are two things we could do, firstly Wayne could share his Templot templates in both Templot club in a section reserved for Finetrax, secondly an area where these templates are stored/accessible in Templot

More to the point some may want to curve turnouts, perhaps a short video in Templot Club in a dedicated Finetrax section showing how
 
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Wayne Kinney

Member
Location
UK
Sounds like a great idea, if a 'Finetrax Kit', be it a standard turnout or double slip, could be loaded into templot as 'one peice' and still have the ability to 'curve it', that would be pretty awesome.

Thanks for your work, Martin! :)
 
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Hayfield

Member
Location
Essex
Wayne

I think there should be a very clear warning about curving slips, I assume its not as straight forward as turnouts, but I could be wrong
 
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Am I missing something. It takes seconds to create templates exactly the same as the British Finescale ones.
I have just done it for both the Finetrax 00-SF B7 Turnout and the Finetrax 00-SF 1in7 Double Slip, in both straight and curved format.
Am I losing it somewhere.
 
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Hayfield

Member
Location
Essex
Godders

For those who use Templot you are very correct, but for a verity of reasons many have big hang-up's on using it (for me they are totally unfounded). Its a case of appearing to remove barriers in (some) others minds.

There are many functions where we have short cut keys, simply to speed things up. This is the same, a short cut way of making a template (perhaps we should call it a plan)
 
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Martin Wynne

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West of the Severn UK
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Enjoy using Templot?
Thanks.

Please do not send requests for help direct to me via email.

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.
Thanks for the replies.

Off and on for years now I have wondered if I can find a way to allow Templot beginners to transition smoothly from familiar pick-and-place methods to Templot's way of working. I have tried a few ideas over the years, without much success. I've been pondering it again in the last few days, and I'm no further forward. :(

Here is a bit of video showing AnyRail in use (the track library is C&L because the Finetrax slips are not yet in there):




Here is something similar being done in Templot, with the added interest of having the slip on a curve:




Spot any similarities? There are none. In Templot there is no list of items to select from. Nothing gets plonked in the middle of the screen. Nothing gets moved and joined on to something else. Here is another video showing much the same thing:

https://flashbackconnect.com/Movie.aspx?id=Ndn_TgoI5WNCP_agsZTJYw2

Sure there are some pick-and-place functions available. There is the NEW function to create a single template or the starting point for further design work. And I added the F7 snapping shift & join function years ago because so many folks asked for it. It's useful on occasions, but you can easily work without it -- which I did for about 20 years without noticing any need for it.

More recently I added the floating library viewer:

slip_library.png


Which is fine for plain turnouts -- click on one in the list and it gets plonked in the middle of the screen ready to be F7 snapped onto something else.

But look what happens with a diamond-crossing. It's in two halves, and even if you click both of them, they won't end up joined together on the screen, and there is no quick way to F7 snap them both at once onto somewhere else.

When it comes to a double slip it falls over entirely, with 8 separate partial templates in the viewer. A nonsense for any sensible use of a pick-and-place process.

None of this matters at all if you use the Templot methods in the above videos. But it illustrates the big gap to be jumped over to get from there to a system of pick-and-place comparable with AnyRail. We would need a method of combining several partial templates into a single entity. We would need a name for such an entity. We would need a listing of such entities, and a whole new set of functions to select them and join them, and maybe curve them. And a means to split them back into their partial templates when necessary. And probably a new file format to contain them.

So why bother, if AnyRail already does it just fine? Why re-invent someone else's wheel? No reason at all, if all you want to do is assemble a Finetrax kit straight from the packet, and attach it to another one as it stands. No doubt the majority of Wayne's customers are happy to do just that, and AnyRail will suit them fine.

But the kits are excellent models, and ripe for modifying and kit-bashing. AnyRail gets you only so far -- no means to put a gentle curve in the template, no means to change the track spacing, no means to trim them, cut-and-shut them to create new formations. The kits are available in both EM and 00-SF in addition to standard 00, so will be an attractive option for modellers likely to be interested in such modifications. Likewise the fine-scale N gauge range. As Wayne expands the range with additional sizes and crossing angles, the means to create sweeping bespoke formations in an easy-assemble format will be there for everyone.

What perhaps is a greater need, is not so much any changes in Templot, but much more effort to demonstrate and explain Templot's methods -- so that no-one actually wants to use pick-and-place track planning?

I have tried so many times over the years to explain Templot, but we still see regular comments on other forums that it is all too difficult and confusing. Are the above videos difficult and confusing?

This post is turning into a ramble, which is a sure sign I have lost my way for today. The immediate solution is a boiled egg. :)

cheers,

Martin.
 
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Phil O

Member
Location
Plymouth.
Hi Martin

I think that if you were to put those two short videos in other places, it might help the cause, I think that a quick demo like that explains more in a couple of minutes than, trying to explain it in words.
 
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Hayfield

Member
Location
Essex
One issue is you are talking to the converted, perhaps via Wayne we might get feedback from his customers who may want to use the facility, perhaps collaboration between the two parties may find the perceived issues and the best way of removing any obstacles
 
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Phil O

Member
Location
Plymouth.
Martin/Wayne,

It might be worth finding out how much curving or contraflection can safely be achieved in each size of turnout, diamond and slip and make this very prominent, otherwise some will probably think that off the shelf curvature radii can be achieved with these kits.
 
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I may be wrong but I don't think there is any real limit to the curvature that can be made to the kits. However, there is a limit for the rolling stock passing through it.
Whilst it may be possible to get a short wheel base vehicle round say an 18 inch curve, that would be not possible for a long wheel base steam loco.
I think we set our minimums based on aesthetics. My personal minimum is 36 inch mainline and 30 inch in sidings but with gauge widening and large lateral movements of axles, I am sure that I could easily have much tighter curves.
 
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Location
Sandbach, Cheshire
Info
Builder of Finescale Signals in 2mm scale to 7mm scale, Trackwork, Turnouts and Layouts.
The main problem will be the fact that as you curve it, the outer stock rail and switch blade will get out of sync with the inner ones, A small amount you may be able to live with but geometry will have the last word.
 
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Martin Wynne

Admin
Thread starter
Location
West of the Severn UK
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Enjoy using Templot?
Thanks.

Please do not send requests for help direct to me via email.

Post your questions on the forum where everyone can see them and add
helpful replies.
I may be wrong but I don't think there is any real limit to the curvature that can be made to the kits.
@Godders

Hi Godders,

I agree. They can be made to match the ruling minimum radius on most layouts. Obviously the more you curve the timbering base, the more care will be needed.

I posted some thoughts on a way to curve these bases on RMweb:

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/topic/16023...-in-00-and-em/?do=findComment&comment=4701029

The usual ingenuity and inventiveness of kit-bashers might be needed to get the maximum curvature. For example you could cut the base into individual chaired timbers, and stick them down one at a time on a curved template. A bit tedious, but not actually difficult. Slide the main-road stock rail (pre-curved) through them as you go to ensure they are correctly aligned with each other. Remove it when the glue is set to allow the switch blades and tie-bar to be inserted.

cheers,

Martin.
 
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Martin Wynne

Admin
Thread starter
Location
West of the Severn UK
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Enjoy using Templot?
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Please do not send requests for help direct to me via email.

Post your questions on the forum where everyone can see them and add
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The main problem will be the fact that as you curve it, the outer stock rail and switch blade will get out of sync with the inner ones, A small amount you may be able to live with but geometry will have the last word.
@Stephen Freeman

Hi Stephen,

You have rather lost me there. :confused:

The switch tips are on opposite ends of the toe timber, and will remain there no matter how much the turnout is curved. Wayne supplies the closure rails a little over-length to be trimmed to fit. So the difference in length between the two closure rails is easily dealt with.

What you say applies with ready-assembled turnouts such as Peco. But these are kits. I don't think anyone is suggesting curving them after assembly. Or if they are they are being daft. :)

cheers,

Martin.
 
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