Under 5s and G scale

alasdair555

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7 May 2020
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Hello everyone,

I'm Alasdair, I purchased a PIKO diesel starter set in February, and have recently added about 40m of track, and am currently progressing the civil engineering works required to make this it around a communal car-park/garden area.

To give an idea of the scale of the works, it required a 5m long dry stone wall to be built, two tunnels dug and now a retaining wall for a 10m embankment along an earth bank. I still have to break through a stone wall. At which point I can begin to make the track a little less rock and roll.

Now all of the above might appear to suggest I've oodles of cash to throw at the hobby, but in fact I managed to get the track at a very reasonable price, and am unlikely to be expanding the rolling stock for some time to come sadly.

So why do I feel I need a garden railway, well I have a 4 and 5 year old, who both like to play with trains, and previously my OO set was getting some fairly heavy wear, and with the nice summer coming up I thought a garden railway might be a bit more robust and playable.

How right I was, we've already been using the two hopper wagons to move spoil, as well as barbie dolls! And yes, the loco has lost a handrail or two, but all is still working :)

I've never done scratch building before, but given I prefer modern UK rolling stock, and I've no interest in Gauge 1 finescale, both on cost and playability grounds. Thomas is an option but well I feel that will get old very quickly.

So I'm starting to look at whether I can 'create' some approximations of UK stock which will be low cost, and also robust. My first attempt is a class 153 style DMU, I've mocked this up with cereal boxes and some poster paints at present, and looking to get some IP engineering or similar bogies to try it out for looks and performance etc.

If this works out well then I'd look to create a class 37 or similar and then run this with off the shelf trucks.

P1030799.JPG P1030788.JPG P1030773.JPG
 

Gavin Sowry

Garden Railroader and Raconteur
27 Oct 2009
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DSC_0204.JPG

Nothing to be said really.
 
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alasdair555

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Thanks Gavin, nice picture, our railway is raised up about 80cm off ground level due to overall terrain, how do you find ground level operation?
 
One of the guys did similar back in GSCSLEMAD days and I’ve seen the playmobil modern train made HST’ish too :)
Some things like Phil Sharples kits on eBay Sm32/Sm45/16mm scale, Hudson Chassis Kit, Battery Loco, Narrow gauge, 32 or 45,, | eBay might be useful as power units too, available in 32 or 45mm gauge. They take an evening to assemble and I’ve used them as intended and under other bodies. The listing shows them assembled and the parts you get in other photos.

Phil’s kits as intended
B01737F5-03BA-4943-95FF-F0D965B70866.jpeg


And motor units powering tin trams
2920CB28-55CC-46E9-A5AD-EF6B49685DE7.jpeg
 
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Gavin Sowry

Garden Railroader and Raconteur
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korm kormsen

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if to be handled by kids, stay with Thomas, Playmobil and Lehmann (LGB) Toy Train cars.
specially used playmobil cars are not too expensive and easy for trying out your kit-bashing skills.
 

phils2um

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Welcome Alasdair, I can see just from your three pics it's going to be quite a nice right-of-way once it's almost done. (There's always something else to add!;))
 

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
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Welcome to the world of fun for kids. Playmobil is a great resource for Kids Trains, many of the offerings tricky to get now but if you can at a sensible price they are fully comoatible with Piko and even LGB Trains. Many of the buildings work as well for G Scale. Have a loo at this thread which may give you a few ideas, sometimes PM buildings can be found for a good price at Boot Sales when we are allowed to go to them again!

 

idlemarvel

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My 2 and 4 year old grandchildren play quite happily with my G-scale stuff. If you stick to locos and rolling stock that have moulded details rather than stuck on plastic and wire fiddly bits, then all will be well. Hence the advice to use Playmobil or the LGB Toy-Train stuff. Playmobil people are more or less to scale and my grandchildren love loading people and animals into open trucks and then driving them at breakneck speed. Make sure you have a circuit, no use expecting them to stop at the end of the line and reverse! But you don't have to stick to those brands. The PIKO BR80 is a classic of this type, cheap and almost indestructible, and with a small makeover you could make it look like a British 0-6-0 of some kind. You and they will have great fun.
 

alasdair555

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One of the guys did similar back in GSCSLEMAD days and I’ve seen the playmobil modern train made HST’ish too :)
Some things like Phil Sharples kits on eBay Sm32/Sm45/16mm scale, Hudson Chassis Kit, Battery Loco, Narrow gauge, 32 or 45,, | eBay might be useful as power units too, available in 32 or 45mm gauge. They take an evening to assemble and I’ve used them as intended and under other bodies. The listing shows them assembled and the parts you get in other photos.


Thanks Paul, I'll take a look at the kits.

What is GSCSLEMAD?
 

ntpntpntp

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I went through a period of collecting the old track-powered Playmobil items when my lad was small. They were perfect for him: rugged and with plenty of play value., and it taught him how to handle the more expensive stuff properly. DSCN1168.JPG DSCN1085.JPG
 

playmofire

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Welcome from North Yorkshire. As lots of people have said, Playmobil is a good way to go, both for rolling stock, locos and accessories.

I also use LGB ToyTrain rolling stock and an early LGB loco.

Here's a link to a display I did last year:

 

alasdair555

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Cheap. Check out my thread on the Taita Gorge Railway.

Thanks for the link Gavin, oh for a flat garden! Let's just say every metre/foot is a bit of a battle here. I'm hoping I'll have my friendly surveyor over today to help map out how I will cross a river/pond I decided I needed to put in the way of the line.
 

alasdair555

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Welcome Alasdair, I can see just from your three pics it's going to be quite a nice right-of-way once it's almost done. (There's always something else to add!;))

Thanks Phil, yep so I'm finding! We're already exploring the topic of stations, it seems slate might be the preferred material of my young engineers. But need a few more points at present, but well we all know the financial difficulties they present!
 

Paul M

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Welcome Alasdair, looks like you've made a great start to your, your children's and hopefully grandchildren's hobby. As said before, there are plenty of relatively cheap kits around, and the cheaper LGB stuff is made for the rough and tumble of children's playing in the garden.
 

alasdair555

Registered
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My 2 and 4 year old grandchildren play quite happily with my G-scale stuff. If you stick to locos and rolling stock that have moulded details rather than stuck on plastic and wire fiddly bits, then all will be well. Hence the advice to use Playmobil or the LGB Toy-Train stuff. Playmobil people are more or less to scale and my grandchildren love loading people and animals into open trucks and then driving them at breakneck speed. Make sure you have a circuit, no use expecting them to stop at the end of the line and reverse! But you don't have to stick to those brands. The PIKO BR80 is a classic of this type, cheap and almost indestructible, and with a small makeover you could make it look like a British 0-6-0 of some kind. You and they will have great fun.

Thanks for everyone's suggestion of Playmobil, we're already have some Playmobil boats in the lake/river, which the children are adding copious amounts of sandpit sand to. Depending on luck I'll see if there is anything appropriate on the relevant websites and see if it 'fits'.

I'm not too concerned about damage to stock, which might sound bizarre, but at the end of the day what is something if it can not be played with? A display item? There's more than enough stuff in the house which is on "display", I don't need any more carp! :)

The PIKO GE 25 is extremely robust barring the tiny handrails, horn and bell, but they're expendable as and when they get a bit older I'll respray the engine and as you suggest try and create a British outline shunter of some sort.

Thanks for everyone's imput. I'll try and put some photos up of the 153 mock up, but I'm guessing this isn't the best thread.
 

playmofire

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If you have certain items in mind, it's worth posting in the wanted section here.
 
What is Gscalemad
Just the predecessor to GSC, after the owner of that decided to stop it was kindly replaced by Paul & Lisa and most of us just changed over :)
You may come across several references to GSM or GSC and various other madness is usually as a result of old running jokes ;)
 
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PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
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Welcome!
if you start with Palymobil, and LGB ToyTrain items, there is much play value in them, and they are very robust..
This is Palymobil track, a Playmobil RC motor-block with a scratch-built body, and a LGB starter-set diesel (the orange one) with RC in it..

DSC02037.JPG

DSC02041.JPG
PhilP.
 
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whiskey

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7 Nov 2009
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Mine loves loading wooden Thomas trains, amongst other things, into the passenger compartments of the starter-set sized cars. I am more than happy to oblige her. 94B67F00-8E47-432F-91E7-6C7E340A25C5.jpeg
 
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