Reply To: Well confused newcomer!

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Bob Allison

    Hi David.
    Some thoughts to aid/confuse you even further.

    Chairs: like John, I would encourage you to consider Exactoscale chairs. In my experience, compared to C&L chairs, Exactoscale’s are more crisply moulded, they do not become brittle after a couple of years in store and they are considerably cheaper.

    Rail: my preference these days is HiNi rail by Karlgarin, marketed in the UK by Phoenix Precision paints. (I bought a pack from my local model shop!) So-called steel rail seems more like soft iron to me – it distorts very easily and rust sets in as soon as you open a bottle of flux in the vicinity. Ordinary N-S rail develops a yellow patina after a while, which is ugly and bad news for current transfer. HiNi rail suffers none of the above problems and visually is very difficult to tell apart from steel rail, unless they are side by side. Some people, including me, have reported real problems threading Exactoscale chairs onto C&L’s HiNi rail, which is why I use Karlgarin’s.

    Sleepers: although I would baulk at paying the crazy prices now being asked for laser-cut sleepers, EMGS sell 500 ready cut sleepers for just £5.50 which, to me, negates any benefit of cutting my own. They are listed under “riveted track construction” .

    I wouldn’t underestimate the tedium of threading 200 chairs onto the rail and then gluing each of them onto the sleepers, for every metre of finished track. I use C&L’s HiNi ready-made plain track and from more than a foot away, I cannot tell where that ends and the individually-chaired pointwork begins. Of course, it depends how much track you will be making and what the normal viewing distance will be.