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Ropley - Mid Hants Railway in N Gauge

Ropley Mid Hants Railway Ropley Yard Ropley Station Watercress Line N Gauge




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#1 TomE

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Posted 30 November 2015 - 20:43

 

Hello all. 

 

A few of you may be familiar with my blog, sporadically chronicling the painfuly slow progress of an N Gauge layout depicting Ropley, a station and yard on the preserved Mid Hants Railway in Hampshire. 

 

I'm a big fan of the blogs section of RMweb, there is some superb modelling taking place in there, and if you don't check them out from time to time you really are missing a treat. So why am I starting a thread for Ropley in the layouts section instead of updating the blog?

 

In the last few months, work on Ropley has slowed significantly for a variety of reasons, and finding enough coherent content for a blog entry was becoming increasingly difficult. This thread will allow me to post more random and shorter updates on progress without the months long gaps between blog entries. The blog will still be updated as a summary of progress when enough content is available, but this thread will become the main place for updates and progress. 

 

And on that note, post Warley I've had a huge boost of Mojo, and work has now started on the Coal Staithe area of the yard. The first section of sleeper built wall has been completed and will shortly be fixed in place. This was produced from one piece of 20thou plastic, with sleepers scribed on and then roughed up with course sand paper. Supporting metal sections were added from 10thou plastic strip and the whole thing was then sprayed with some Railmatch sleeper grime before individual sleepers were picked out with weathering powders and being sealed with Matt Varnish. Hopefully this captures the look of old wood, and i'm quite pleased with how this turned out. 

 

CU0J6382.jpg

 

CU0J6387.jpg

 

The 'coal' is actually Woodland Scenics medium cinders ballast and the small pile is a test to make sure I was happy with its size and appearance. There are a few larger lumps in there so when the time comes to add the final coal pile I'll run it through a sieve first, but generally I think it captures the look of real coal much better than some of the products marketed specifically as coal. 

 

Tom. 

 


Edited by TomE, 30 November 2015 - 20:52 .

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#2 MrSimon

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Posted 30 November 2015 - 22:48

Hi Tom
Great to see you staring a topic - was looking at the blog this evening and wondering if there had been progress. Coal stathes look excellent
Cheers
Simon
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#3 TomE

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Posted 01 December 2015 - 06:33

Thanks Simon. 

 

Designs for the ex Kings Cross footbridge are making some progress. Here is the part of the stairs at the Southern end of the bridge. It's quite intricate and will only be around 6mm high in reality!

 

CU0J2046 copy 6.jpg

 

And the real thing for comparison:

 

IMG_8700.jpg

 

Tom. 


Edited by TomE, 06 December 2015 - 15:48 .

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#4 Earl Bathurst

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Posted 01 December 2015 - 10:57

The bridge looks great :) Look forward to seeing the layout progress.

 

Scott


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#5 TomE

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Posted 06 December 2015 - 15:45

Hi all.

 

A little more work on the coal staithes over the last couple of days. A little more blending in to be done around the base of the sleeper built walls but it's more or less there now. 

 

The area at the opening always seems to be flooded at the real location, so i've attempted to replicate this on the model. Some clear plastic was sprayed grey on one side, then fixed down unpainted side up. I'm not sure if it's been 100% successful, but if it catches the light in the right way it looks ok.

 

CU0J6392.jpg

 

CU0J6399.jpg

 

The coal has been fixed in place using Kleer, and is drying out at the moment so it looks a little shiny right now. Hopefully once dry it will flatten down a little. 

 

Now the staithe is out of the way, some landscaping can take place along the front of the layout. The ground gently rises from left to right so not much of the front of the staithe will remain visible. 

 

Cheers, 

 

Tom. 


Edited by TomE, 06 December 2015 - 15:47 .

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#6 Removed a/c_bri.s

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Posted 06 December 2015 - 17:12

Hi tom

Your standard of modelling is excellent, the coal staithes look real and the track and ballasting is very nice

I'll look forward to your updates and progress

Brian

#7 grahame

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Posted 07 December 2015 - 09:50

Super attention to detail and finesse - it certainly makes for a realistic and finely observed model as demonstrated here.

G.
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#8 PhilH

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Posted 07 December 2015 - 10:09

Looking good Tom, a good representation of the prototype.

Are you going to model all of the latest developments now that Ropley is Signal City?
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#9 TomE

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Posted 07 December 2015 - 10:34

Hi Phil. 

 

I've sort of drawn a line at 'around now' in terms of time frame. When I chose Ropley as a location to model I thought that being a preserved line, things wouldn't change very often at all..................

 

That does mean all of the signals will be modelled though, and I've just finished the up/down home signals at the Eastern end of the station and they just need the shunt signals added once I've come up with a suitable mechanism for them. I have a small problem in that the shunt signal down by the water tower sits on top of the point motor for the yard exit turnout, so some further pondering is required on how to make that one work. The short signal just before the bridge has been done, but I think will be re-built as my initial version has a few weak spots that probably won't survive exhibition use. 

 

All of the signals are servo operated and illuminated. 

 

IMG_5268.jpg

 

IMG_2252.jpg

 

Cheers, 

 

Tom. 


Edited by TomE, 07 December 2015 - 10:34 .

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#10 PhilH

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Posted 07 December 2015 - 10:42

Very nice Tom. As you undoubtedly know the latest addition is a banner repeater for that signal on the London side of Bighton Road bridge. We obviously couldn't sight it until we were under the bridge in the down directionso the repeater is a very useful addition.

#11 TomE

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Posted 07 December 2015 - 16:03

The layout doesn't quite go as far as Bighton Bridge. When I first drew up the design and started work on the layout it was just pre mark.1 carriage & boiler shop, so the London end of the layout is about where the old structure ended. Actually this has turned out not to be a bad thing, otherwise a much larger part of the layout would be dominated by the C&B building! 

 

The ultimate intention is to have a second board which has the station area on it, and I have been giving consideration to having a separate section with part of the line Eastward from Rookwood Lane, including a few photographers in the naughty field! 

 

Tom. 


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#12 south_tyne

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Posted 07 December 2015 - 17:48

Hi Tom,

 

Thanks for starting a layout thread here - I for one am the perfect example of someone who does not closely follow the blogs so misses a lot of excellent content in that section of the forum. I am going to have a proper look through your blog posts now but, from this tantalising little glimpse here, there is some stunning work on display, what a cracking layout! 

 

David


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#13 Southernboy

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Posted 07 December 2015 - 20:58

Just to say I'm pleased to see Ropley now available in thread format.

 

It is a layout I much admire and can never get enough of updates, no matter how (relatively) insignificant.


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#14 Darwinian

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Posted 07 December 2015 - 21:20

Those signals are awesome!  I'd be proud to have achieved them in 4mm scale never mind 2mm. I shall be watching this develop with admiration.


Edited by Darwinian, 07 December 2015 - 21:21 .

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#15 chriscleveland

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Posted 08 December 2015 - 22:28

Hi Tom

 

coaling stage looks great and the artwork is coming along nicely for your bridge too really jealous :0 are you going right up to date on Ropley or capping at a time frame 

 

keep up the amazing work 

 

Chris


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#16 millerhillboy

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Posted 08 December 2015 - 23:12

Great to see you over here, I struggle to get on with blogs and as mentioned above I'm interested in any updates no matter how small.
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#17 lilchris

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Posted 08 December 2015 - 23:54

Super detail there on your layout I only wish I could model has good as that on my n-gauge layout, What track are you using ?, is it hand built it looks very realistic, I am using code 55.


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#18 Jondi

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Posted 09 December 2015 - 01:51

Hello Tom,

I presume that you will be photo etching your footbridge. I ask because I have to build a similar (but smaller) bridge for my Welwyn North project and am on the early stages of figuring out how best to do it.

The bridge at Welwyn North is partly demolished and has electric lights in place of the original gas lamps at the head of the stairs. Currently it spans two tracks , but originally it extended over a siding to a third flight of steps down to the goods yard.

#19 TomE

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Posted 09 December 2015 - 12:27

Hi Tom
 
coaling stage looks great and the artwork is coming along nicely for your bridge too really jealous :0 are you going right up to date on Ropley or capping at a time frame 
 
keep up the amazing work 
 
Chris

 

Hi Chris. Time frame will be capped at around now I think. In fact they have removed the old diesel pump by the water tower recently, so that will provide a cutoff point!

Hello Tom,
I presume that you will be photo etching your footbridge. I ask because I have to build a similar (but smaller) bridge for my Welwyn North project and am on the early stages of figuring out how best to do it.
The bridge at Welwyn North is partly demolished and has electric lights in place of the original gas lamps at the head of the stairs. Currently it spans two tracks , but originally it extended over a siding to a third flight of steps down to the goods yard.


Once I've finished the designs for the bridge, which I was hoping to do over the weekend but is now likely to be later this week,, PHD designs will be etching it for me. I did flirt with the idea of scratchbuilding it, but some elements are just too complex to be done well enough in this scale!

Cheers all,

Tom.

#20 Kylestrome

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Posted 09 December 2015 - 13:00

News of the bridge came as a surprise to me, as I haven't been to Ropley for a couple of years. While looking for info I came across this enlightening video (if you excuse the rather eccentric commentary), which might be new to some:

 


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#21 TomE

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Posted 14 December 2015 - 20:09

Hello all. 

 

A bit more work done at Ropley over the past couple of days. I've started on the landscaping at the front of the layout, which involves the ground gently rising from the corner of the coal staithe up to the point it meets the footbridge.

 

This was created using a plasticard former on either side of the raised section, then polyfiller mixed with PVA created the infill. I've also started the scenery in this area, with some finer teddy bear fabric being used than that on the line embankment. This was some that I bought a little while back but then sidelined in favour of the Treemendous fur, however I decided to re-visit it as it has a much finer backing and can withstand being cut down to very short lengths. Hopefully the effect looks ok, but I'll let you judge from the photos. 

 

At the real location, some of this area was cleared for use as a wheel store using a few old sleepers and some rail, so this has been duly recreated with some spare bits of easitrac. Some 2mm scale association wheels will be suitably weathered for display here, making this small section the only genuine 2mm scale part of the layout. 

 

CU0J6407.jpg

 

CU0J6417.jpg

 

CU0J6411.jpg

 

The pathway needs to be weathered down with some black weathering powder once the Kleer has dried, and then fencing plus a rather bedraggled looking little tree will be added later once work at the rear of the layout is complete. 

 

Cheers

 

Tom. 

 


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#22 TomE

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Posted 14 December 2015 - 20:13

Super detail there on your layout I only wish I could model has good as that on my n-gauge layout, What track are you using ?, is it hand built it looks very realistic, I am using code 55.

 

Hi Chris. 

 

All of the trackwork on the layout is 2mm Scale Association Easitrac. The points are built with components from the range, but to templates I drew up to match the real location. 

 

Since I started Ropley, British Finescale have released a range of N Gauge trackwork which works in a similar way, but has more ready made components, such as common crossings and ready milled switch blades for paintwork:

 

http://www.britishfinescale.com

 

Hope this helps!

 

Tom. 



#23 cornish trains jez

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Posted 14 December 2015 - 20:20

Hi Tom,

Really nice mate! I'm very envious of your modelling skills. You have an eye for detail that makes everything look just right.
Keep up the good work!

Best regards,

Jeremy
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#24 TomE

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Posted 15 December 2015 - 20:33

Thanks Jeremy. 

 

Work is likely to slow up a bit over Christmas, but mojo is in full force at the moment!

 

Tom. 


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#25 chriscleveland

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Posted 15 December 2015 - 21:23

Looks good tom the view looks almost like I am there what part on the yard is next on the list also liking the puddles typical ropley look
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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Ropley, Mid Hants Railway, Ropley Yard, Ropley Station, Watercress Line, N Gauge