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Making a G Scale Video Wagon

Matt Lovell

MATT LOVELL shows us a novel way to get some on-track action on your indoor or outdoor G Scale layout.

Now that the warmer months are here, it's time to get outside, dust off the BBQ and break out the garden railway. In this article I will be looking at one way to get the most out of your layout.

Everyone likes watching the trains run around the railway, but what if you could have a driver's eye view of your creation? Using the LGB Block Wagon I have created a simple way to record a lap of your railway, and give you a new perspective - opening up a whole new world to garden railway modelling.

LGB Camera Wagon

The Idea

The idea came to me by watching various videos on YouTube and visiting friend's railways. All the videos showed large garden railways but all you could see is the trains running. I thought to myself "wouldn't it be great if I could get a driver's-eye view of my railway".

So along came my creation.

The Construction

By combining the Block Wagon produced by LGB and some Lego I had laying around, I constructed a building in true Lego fashion (a mixture of bright colours that don't quite match up). I started by measuring how much room I would need to house the phone and stop it being visible to people by the layout.

I then mounted doors in the back of the structure to enable me to gain access to the picture and video recorder buttons on the video app.

LGB Camera Wagon

By adding these doors I concealed the phone and still had easy access to the required buttons.

After constructing most of the building,the dilemma came as to how was I going to allow the lens to see the railway. If you build the frame to close to the camera you end up with a permanent box in the picture which will ruin the effect of the recording.

I left a hole during construction which allows sufficient space around the camera to get a good clear video.

LGB Camera Wagon

To add a bit of stability to the wagon I constructed a small building which attaches to the front of the wagon. This stopped the wagon from being to top heavy and unstable.

LGB Camera Wagon

The smartphone is then placed into the wagon via the slot at the top of the structure.

LGB Camera Wagon

LGB Camera Wagon

To stop the camera wobbling during filming I added support blocks at the top and inside the wagon.

LGB Camera Wagon

This system has been used on smaller scale railways such as the demonstration in the main shop. This layout uses a HO ICE Train made by Roco fitted with a small video camera.

The finished prototype

This wagon is now ready to be used on my G Scale railway.

LGB Camera Wagon

The Test Run

This model will be on show at the annual G Scale Day held here at Gaugemaster on 28th May 2017, where I will take some footage which will be featured in the next issue of RIGHT LINES. In the meantime, we tested the wagon on our elevated G Scale layout in our shop. Unfortunately it is not a full circuit as the Lego structure is too tall to get under the roof beams!

This is just one example of how the block wagon can be used but with a bit of imagination many structures can be created and we would be interested in seeing what our readers can come up with.

Other designs can be used to create similar wagons from attaching a phone holder to the inside of a caboose or the outside of a box van.

A Starter Set is available containing two of these wagons for added fun and construction possibilities.

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