3CP Curve Plot­ting Tool

Model Rail (UK) - - WHAT’S NEW -

Re­viewed by: Richard Foster Price: £195 plus postage Avail­abil­ity: 3CP Tools Tel: 01606 889610 E-mail: [email protected]

Are you wor­ried when lay­ing flex­i­ble track or, in­deed, build­ing your own, that you’ll make curves that are two tight for your mod­els? Or do you want to mimic the flow­ing curves of the real rail­way, rather than hav­ing tight train set cor­ners? In both sit­u­a­tions, this new plot­ting tool from 3CP will be use­ful. The premise is ex­tremely sim­ple: se­lect­ing one of the ten radii pulls the tool to the cor­rect shape. Lock the tool in place and you can ei­ther plot the curve of your rail­way with a pen­cil or, as the tool fits be­tween the rails, form curves in 16.5mm gauge flex­i­ble track. The radii go from 457mm (18in in old money) to 1,828mm (72in) and there’s even a ‘straight’ op­tion. My first im­pres­sion was that this is a solidly en­gi­neered tool that’s al­most beau­ti­ful to look at. You also get an HB pen­cil and an equally solid-look­ing pen­cil sharp­ener. The de­vice couldn’t be eas­ier to use, al­though it take some prac­tice to get the best from it. You sim­ply se­lect the curve you want - 457mm is slightly shal­lower than the 438mm of a 2nd ra­dius curve - to the al­most ‘flat’ 1,828mm and se­cure it with a small, threaded knob. This tool can be used to plot straight track, spi­rals and all man­ner of curves, from one fixed ra­dius to tran­si­tional curves (ones that get tighter as you progress). This is a great in­no­va­tion and a boon to lay­out plan­ners who want a lit­tle more re­al­ism from their rail­way.

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