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Maurice's Blog


.... And with the track base profiles in place.

Posted by Maurice Hopper , 17 September 2018 - - - - - - · 458 views

Just a couple more pictures showing the 25mm foam and the track cork. The righthand end (from the inside) of this board will have a cutting and tunnel built after the track has been laid. The embankment includes a gap for an under bridge and widens for the point into the station loop on the next board. 


"Seismic Problems.....

Posted by Maurice Hopper , 15 September 2018 - - - - - - · 431 views

"Regularity" asks about the seismic disturbances of having people view the layout from inside. As one who witnessed the attached incident scene several year's ago, the result of an operator on a neighbouring layout taking a low-level short cut under the fiddle yard, I am alway very dubious about people ducking under layouts. He came up too soon and walked...


New Circle Line - or should that be Neue Kreislinie

Posted by Maurice Hopper , 14 September 2018 - * * * * * · 428 views

Some weeks ago I took a set of my laser cut circular baseboard parts (as featured in previous posts) and added some side extensions to make the base for a circular FiN e 1/160 scale layout for my Germany N stock. 
The boards were widen by carefully cutting some 'crescent' shaped pieces of 6mm ply to go on the outside or inside of different boards to...


The Circle Line

Posted by Maurice Hopper , 19 July 2018 - - - - - - · 705 views

These pictures might interest and intrigue .... 
More details later..... but the pictures would seem to be fairly self explanatory. 
Any likeness in the second picture to a creatively curved block of flats or the Guggenheim Museum in New York is purely coincidental. 


Changes of Plan - Exe MRS show 2018

Posted by Maurice Hopper , 09 May 2018 - - - - - - · 401 views

Unfortunately, I will not be attending the Exe Model Railway Society show 30th June / 1st July. 
This would have been my 14th year in succession, but all good things come to an end at some point. 
Thanks to those who have shown interest in my recent blogs. It is good to know there are some thinkers out there!! 
.... and a little glance at t...


Lists and the Zen of railway modelling.

Posted by Maurice Hopper , 08 April 2018 - - - - - - · 272 views

Lists have their places…. shopping (they save having to go out again for the things you forgot), instructions and lists of components to check off either as produced or used and increasingly as reminders of work done and ideas to use… “the next move list”. I often return to a half-built item and find I left a piece of paper with the instructions for the n...


The Zen of Railway Modelling

Posted by Maurice Hopper , 14 March 2018 - - - - - - · 431 views

The Zen of Railway Modelling 
During last week the Lynton and Barnstaple Rly (modern) received planning permission to extend from Woody Bay, through Parracombe, to Blackmoor Gate. Looking at the supporting ‘paperwork’ attached to the planning application, with its details of bridges, station and signal box designs is quite fascinating. 


Slow Modelling. "It can only get better."

Posted by Maurice Hopper , 01 February 2018 - * * * * * · 450 views

It has become fashionable to put 'slow' in front of everyday activities as a way of suggesting improved quality or greater sustainability. Having ordered some thin modelling wood from several sources as a way of doing away too greater use of plastic, I wanted a small piece to try out this slightly different technique. So I pulled out the drawing...


Further pictures of foamboard construction.

Posted by Maurice Hopper , 28 January 2018 - - - - - - · 434 views

The embankment piece is glued in place. 
Followed by the trackbed.... a thin piece of ply. 
....and under much reduced weight, the first piece of track is put in place. 
That’s all for now.... the next two boards will require rather more thought. 
I will probably test the structure before starting work on the ne...


Weighty Matters

Posted by Maurice Hopper , 25 January 2018 - * * * * * · 548 views

I have not been around this neck of the woods for a while.... which does not mean that nothing has been going on.  The last few months have seen some fast action with the introduction of a far reaching rationalisation programme applied to my modelling projects. Dr B would have been proud to see those with a low return (measured in fun, creativity or...


The new workshop / railway room

Posted by Maurice Hopper , 06 October 2017 - * * * * * · 606 views

After nearly three months of building work I now have a shelf for the Swiss layout, or indeed, for any layout. The shelf is constructed like baseboard in 1220mm sections with shorter piece round the corner. As a basic flat top it can be used to support any layout, or be used as a long flat surface for modelling work. 
The project ha...


A Modelling Challenge

Posted by Maurice Hopper , 16 July 2017 - - - - - - · 231 views

Well it is a Hopper wagon!.....  
.... even if it has gone of on a side line.....!


Stud work - interior cladding.

Posted by Maurice Hopper , 16 July 2017 - - - - - - · 438 views

The new workshop wall that will support the new roof..... could have gone to LarkRail, but spent the day recovering from this there day exercise. I have professionals coming in to do the roof that will rest on this carpentry. 
It was interesting to see how few tools were needed for this job. Pencil, tape measure, square, a mitre saw (gives a better...


How about this for a painting booth?

Posted by Maurice Hopper , 05 July 2017 - - - - - - · 377 views

Worth a look.... nice livery that every Dutch person must associate with trains for more than thirty years.... why waste money changing the image? 
..... also has automatic warning panels that will soon disappear in the UK if trains have the right combination of lights. Track workers are not so keen o...


Ground Frame

Posted by Maurice Hopper , 07 May 2017 - - - - - - · 481 views

The leverframe is in on a dry run.... It needs painting before the final fix. Might try and reduce the leading edge of the wall, but the Bachmann resin is not easy to work with. (Mind the dust.) Hopefully the single leaf of tissue will improve the roof when it is painted.  
The open door is actually shaped around the dipping roof and secu...


Baseboard Joins

Posted by Maurice Hopper , 25 February 2017 - - - - - - · 494 views

Using me old maxim, that the 'next board' should be built off the 'previous board', leads to some strange configurations on the bench.  
Here the 'previous board' is standing upright on its angled end while the end of the next long narrow board is fabricated at a 120/60 degree angle along the back edge. The boards are being worked on their sides as...


Mellstock Intrinseca

Posted by Maurice Hopper , 14 February 2017 - * * * * * · 457 views

Not perhaps the usual place to start .... but one has to start somewhere. (Trackwork is already underway) The real reason was the ordering of some rather lovely strips of laser-cut LSWR valance from Poppy Tech while at the Stevenage Exhibition.  
 The roof that will be attached to the station building. The rectangle is for the 'skylight...


Picking up the pieces with a little Swiss excursion.

Posted by Maurice Hopper , 30 April 2016 - - - - - - · 449 views

After the visit to Timber Cut yesterday, it was time to use some of the ply today. The Swiss layout, seen on this blog some time ago, has been gathering dust against the day that a suitable sized piece of 4 mm ply was in place and also some 0.8mm for using as a final finish. The curvature is fairly testing for 4mm ply and of course the grain ends up being...


A Reflection on St Albans

Posted by Maurice Hopper , 21 January 2016 - - - - - - · 509 views

Well I made it to the last show in St Albans. It was touch and go in several respects. The layout had no vegetation on the Tuesday morning before the show, but by Wednesday evening was drying by the kitchen Rayburn. Thursday was spent testing, checking and packing. … And having a rest before the next few busy days.

Friday dawned with a little snow and ic...


Tresparrett Wharf at St Albans

Posted by Maurice Hopper , 19 January 2016 - * * * * - · 1,913 views

It was with some relief that I got on the train last Friday for a couple of hours of doing nothing, with the layout safely stored on the overhead rack.

Once at the exhibition venue it did not take very long to put it together, which allowed a quick departure for the hotel, a meal and an early night.

Perhaps the feature that created the most intere...

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