3CP Curve Plotting Tool
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.