Wednesday, December 07, 2011
Tightly bent track
Norm asks: Do you know what type of flex track allows for the tight radius shown Akihiro Morohoshi’s micro sized layouts ?
I've always been a fan of Akihiro's work and aspire to build something simialr to his wonderful novel creations. On many of his layouts, as far as I can tell, the track is scratchbuilt with pre-bent rail sodlered to a base. The rail bending tool is ingenious, being made of old railway wheels and plasticard. Clever but if you want to use commercial track, not that helpful.
All is not lost though, you can take comercial flexi-track (I'm using Peco 009 track in the photo) and bend it very tightly. The key is the webs between the sleepers under the rail. To make flexi-track flexible, some of these are supplied partly missing. This allow user to bend the track because the sleepers can close up on one side.
On the smaller gauges, these probably allow sufficient bending for most people. Peco used to demo the track by bending it into the shape of a traditional carpet beater with far tighter curves than normal locomotives could traverse.
If you want tighter bends, just remove some more webs with a sharp knife. Take enough out and you will be able to get the radius down to that of a tin can. The biggest problem then will be finding a chassis with a short enough wheelbase to power around the curves. Mind you, if the trains are short then most RTR units will be man enough for the task.
If this inspires you then please let us all see the results of your labours.
Akihiro Morohoshi layout gallery