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Portland - a 'what might have been' NSE layout in Dorset - playing with laser cutting





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#1 SouthernMafia

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Posted 20 February 2016 - 01:07

I'd like to introduce my layout 'Portland', a foray into 00 finescale modelling. The layout has been in development for a number of years, however a booked exhibition date has seen some signifcant progress recorded, but there is still lots to do! First, I shall set the scene:

 

Portland depicts a fictional branchline extension to the main South Western Mainline onwards from Weymouth in Network SouthEast days. Of course, the branch existed in reality until 1965, but evidence of its existence today has all but vanished. The fictional Portland receives NSE services from Bournemouth & Weymouth - being unelectrified the majority of these consist of Class 33 and 73 loco hauled services - as well as local services from Bristol, and the occasional Inter-Regional service. Portland has a small servicing depot and associated yard to host a variety of freight operations, including Portland stone, sand, and Speedlink services. Oil is also delivered to the island from Fawley, to service the MPD but also other amenities close by. As ever, an element of modellers licence will prevail allowing me to run a bit more of a varied timetable and unusual trains!

 

Here is the track diagram:

 

portlandbilldiagram.jpg

 

Having built two layouts previously but never completed, I have learnt from many mistakes, and taken advice from this forum and my local model club (Winchester Railway Modellers) which has proved invaluable. I am by no means a confident modeller, but am always open to learning how to do something I have not done before. This became particularly noteable when deciding to move away from Peco track, having grown tired of the RTR look and striving for something more accurate, without the hassle of moving to EM or P4. I now very much enjoy track building having purchased a C&L kit to get me going, and then moving to Templot, before custom building all my trackwork for both Portland and the Winchester club's new layout Redbridge. Trackwork therefore is a combination of C&L trackbases and handbuilt pointwork, built to 00-Finescale standards, providing smooth running for Ready To Run locos but offering a more finescale look.

 

The layout is constructed from 9mm plywood, with appropriate crossbracing. It is an unusual layout being an L shape and viewed from the inside, but like all young lads it was built to fit my bedroom! Additional fixtures are to be built to allow the layout to be fully operational at exhibition, but the layout can be operated in its standard guise. Control is provided via NCE DCC systems with some Sound fitted locos utilised.

 

As mentioned progress has been slow for a number of years, but with an invitation received to this years Brockenhurst exhibition there has been significant progress! The likelihood is the layout will not be fully completed for Brockenhurst (28th/29th May 2016) but will be exhibited 'in progress'. Having said this I am confident much of the bulk scenic work will be ready, and it will be more of the fine details that will need adding. Perhaps this can be done over the weekend whilst I let my fellow club members play trains!

 

I will upload some decent photographs in due course, but here are a couple of crappy phone pics to give you a flavour for the time being. Whilst the layout is primarily set in NSE days, my modelling era stretches from NSE to the present day, so this will explain some of the locos currently residing in the MPD!

 

IMG_20160112_225942 17115.jpg

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More updates in due course. Just over 3 months to go, the clock is ticking !

 

Cheers,

Rich


Edited by SouthernMafia, 21 October 2017 - 14:25 .

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#2 Temeraire

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Posted 20 February 2016 - 08:29

Hi Rich

 

Layout looks to be coming along nicely and good backstory to justify the traffic, been there done that a couple of years ago! I'll come and have a chat and a closer look at Brockenhurst as I'll be there with Tidworth too, we can 'celebrate' the 30 year anniversary of NSE with a beer! Will you be operating from the front at exhibitions like at home or hiding round the back? Keep the pics coming of the layout and your NSE stock.

 

Sorry meant to say there's nothing like an exhibition invite to keep the progress moving in the right direction, although I had a years notice of the first show not 3 months!


Edited by Temeraire, 20 February 2016 - 08:32 .

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#3 lapford34102

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Posted 20 February 2016 - 10:18

Hi,

 

Nice layout and an interesting subject. For a little more historical "accuracy" the oil sidings,  as you probably know there was a tank farm by the line, it was MoD for fuelling warships and for helicopters at the Navy base.

An NSE 205 unit would look quite at home as would something Regional Railways, 101/121/150, for Bristol services. 73's didn't like Weymouth much, for a short time they did have a regular parcels run but with only a few vans.The climb to Bincombe was a bit of a struggle for them, Lord knows how they would have coped with the Rodwell bank.

You could of course go the whole hog and electrify the main line and two platform faces. You look to have enough space for an NSE VEP.

Cheers

Stu



#4 SouthernMafia

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Posted 20 February 2016 - 17:44

Hi guys,

 

Thanks for your comments. Temeraire I believe we are parked up next to each other at Brockenhurst so it will be an NSE fest! The panel can be located on either the front or the rear, I will most likely operate from the rear, but with 3 drivers one could always man the front. Indeed 3 months is not a lot of time, but it's certainly given me a kick up the arse!

 

Stu thanks for the info. Stock wise you have hit the nail on the head. I do own a thumper but it is not in NSE (yet), along with some of the Regie Rail units you have mentioned. The thought was to electrify as I'm a fan of all things SR EMU, I may go down that route in due course, but not giving myself too much to do before the show.The plan was to run a 33 + 4TC but haven't built the TC yet so a VEP could work. The bay will take this, the main platform will actually take loco plus 6, but due to the length of the fiddle yard traverser, loco + 5 is the longest train that will run.



#5 Temeraire

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Posted 21 February 2016 - 09:01

I do own a thumper but it is not in NSE (yet)

 

Hi Rich, same here, I've had it in bits for more than a year and it has a part finished centre coach, I really must get it completed! Maybe services could run from Tidworth to Portland if we're that close at Brockenhurst, Class 50 hauled or 33+4TC?


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#6 Pete 75C

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Posted 21 February 2016 - 09:05

You kept "Portland" quiet! Excellent looking layout. Good luck with the deadline.


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#7 SouthernMafia

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Posted 21 February 2016 - 19:21

Hi Rich, same here, I've had it in bits for more than a year and it has a part finished centre coach, I really must get it completed! Maybe services could run from Tidworth to Portland if we're that close at Brockenhurst, Class 50 hauled or 33+4TC?

 

Haha yes a great idea! Perhaps we could build a link board !

 

Thanks Pete, the show in May has spurred me on and I thought I'd share the progress as I go. Speaking of which, here's today's heavy engineering project!

 

As highlighted in my track diagram, the layout as standard is L shape built to fit within what was the confines of my bedroom (have since left home and layout sits in much bigger room - should've built a bigger one!). It can be operated 'as is', however would soon get boring shuttling the same train back and forth, so inevitably a fiddle yard extension needs building to accommodate some more trains! The traverser swings outward, and so two additional 44 inch long boards have been cut and are awaiting framework (they were 48 inch but needed 4 inches for something else!) These will join together via hinge for ease of transport and storage when not in use, and will bolt on to the layout for exhibition, with some additional support somewhere to get the whole thing stable. 

Now, whilst all this seems relatively easy, one must bear in mind the traverser is to be hidden by an embankment, and with the traverser swinging outward it meant a different approach was required to supporting the top of this embankment, which will carry a lane and the rear of some low relief houses. The lane will run parallel to the carriage siding, and cross the mainline at an odd angle to act as the scenic break.

So, numerous trips to various DIY stores to obtain some aluminum angle, some sturdy L shaped brackets, nuts & bolts and whatever else I needed and here is the finished framework fitted in place. A thin sheet of ply or similar will cover the top and act as the base to the scenery, and I will most likely use foam to create a 45 degree angle embankment down to the line, with a small retaining Portland stone wall, marked roughly by the pieces of wood.

 

IMG_3464.JPG IMG_3461.JPG IMG_3462.JPG IMG_3463.JPG IMG_3465.JPG IMG_3468.JPG

 

Here's an image showing the fiddle yard board proposal. Should be calling into B&Q on Thursday for a length of wood I need and these can then have the framwork added and be constructed. The sidings at this stage will not be electrified as they will just hold stock, locos will sits in the smaller fiddle yard on the actual layout, top right of the board

 

IMG_3470.JPG

 

Clearing the other two boards up currently so may take some further photos of those in due course.


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#8 eldavo

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Posted 21 February 2016 - 20:06

Crack on Chard. The public is waiting.

Cheers
Dave
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#9 Removed a/c

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Posted 21 February 2016 - 20:23

Looking forward to seeing this develop. 



#10 Bibby Line

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Posted 21 February 2016 - 22:24

Well engineered lighting framework. Have you decided the components you will use to build the 4TC ?

Really like the idea of a "might of been" based on a real line.

Look forward to seeing build updates.

Eddie

#11 SouthernMafia

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Posted 28 February 2016 - 18:37

Evening all,

 

An update of some work carried out towards the end of last week with the fiddle yard. Construction of the collapsible additional fiddle yard boards has been completed, which 'hook' on to the edge of the layout. Trackwork (standard Peco code 100) to be added and a means to connect the track ends to the traverser. I have also added track to the loco stabling area of the fiddle yard, and a single road cassette for movement of locos from one end to the other if necessary.

 

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Work was also carried out to enable the control panel to be mounted on the back of the layout, and the right way up, ie upside down to how it usually sits. Still can't get used to looking at it the wrong way round! A few LEDs to sort out here, but there are 3 colours for differing sections of the layout - blue for mainline movements into either of the platforms of MPD sidings, white for movements from the carriage siding to the platforms, and yellow for yard/MPD movements. The MPD is currently wired with purple LEDs but I will change this back to yellow for clarity.

 

20160226_160933.jpg

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This work completes most of the 'structural' work to the layout to make it exhibitable, just a few bits to do when the layout can be fully set up. Attention will now turn to completing the scenic work, starting with the completion of track painting and ballasting of the yard, and building the embankment.


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#12 rob D2

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Posted 28 February 2016 - 19:12

What about some oil tankers for the heli base ? Another plausible freight
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#13 SouthernMafia

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Posted 28 February 2016 - 19:31

Hi Rob,

 

Thanks for the tip, certainly an option to consider. There are 2 sidings for oil tank storage which will feature on the layout. I have a book arriving this week about 'traffic' (road and rail) on Portland, so will be a little more versed on the workings and industry of the Isle.



#14 SouthernMafia

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Posted 10 March 2016 - 21:54

Today's progress. Thanks to eldavo for supplying me with some leftover foam and the basic structure of the embankment is starting to take shape. Topped with some balsa wood this will form some sort of backstreet/lane/footpath in due course. 

Also started on adding the fiddle yard bits, until my saw blade snapped whilst attacking the aluminum, so off to B&Q to get a replacement at at the weekend! 

Lastly, have sprayed the remaining trackwork black in readiness for painting/ballasting/mucking up.

 

20160310_174328.jpg 20160310_174341.jpg 20160310_174414.jpg 20160310_174319.jpg 20160310_174442.jpg


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#15 Rich Papper

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 20:43

Hi Rich,

 

Enjoying reading this already - particularly impressed with the quality of the build. Looking forward to seeing more.

 

Another Rich



#16 yellowvanman

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Posted 13 March 2016 - 17:33

Very nice Chard, look forward to seeing it at Brock.


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#17 Phil Clarke 1980

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Posted 13 March 2016 - 17:39

very cool Weymouth is my favourite place ive got some great friends in Portland and excellent memorys of weeks down there ans nights out in the town I love the place so will be watching this layout

 

all the best

phil



#18 SouthernMafia

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Posted 22 March 2016 - 19:21

Thanks chaps, glad to hear you're enjoying the thread.

 

Today's progress. In amongst photographing Class 60's...https://www.flickr.c...otos/headcode92 I've been working on the embankment structure and making it a base to start adding some green stuffs. A trip to Hobbycraft to obtain some plaster of paris bandages and here's the result. Excuse the lighting - I can't get the second lighting rig up in the room the layout sits in - it's too long! (another design flaw lol)

 

 

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The structure of the footbridge is in, and now awaits some sides on order from the States. Looked at the WIlls kit but they look far too big for a footbridge so went for some Micro Engineering Bridge Plate Girders, should arrive within a couple of weeks. 

Also picked up a Kernow signal box at Ally Pally (with a bit of help from Mr Dedman - thanks John) which I thought would fit nicely into Portland. The actual box is horrendously boring and I didn't want such a mundane structure for the box, so went a little fancier. Will receive some colours that bring it up to a bit more 90s rather than GWR!

 

20160322_185958.jpg

 

Here's a shot of the fueler - an extended Knightwing kit

 

20160322_190007.jpg

 

And lastly some NSE detail starting to appear! Chinese ebay job with a bit of editing and painting into NSE red, look the part. Oh and they do work  :sungum:

 

20160322_190037.jpg

 

That's all, back to work for a few days, joy.

 

Rich


Edited by SouthernMafia, 22 March 2016 - 19:25 .

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#19 eldavo

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Posted 22 March 2016 - 20:12

What is this "work" of which you speak? Good progress mate though plaster bandage sounds a bit retro!

Cheers
Dave

#20 Zomboid

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Posted 22 March 2016 - 21:26

If you're considering electrifying one day you'll need a 442, much more common down there than the mark 1 units ever were.
An interesting concept though, I imagine I'll see it in person some day and looking forward to that.

#21 SouthernMafia

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Posted 22 March 2016 - 21:36

Zomboid, already thought of that...luckily I bought the 442 bits from Hurst some years ago seemingly before they became unobtainable. It's built and currently in SWT livery, but was one of my early goes at modelling so needs a bit of work. It would like good behind a Crompton!

#22 SouthernMafia

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 19:11

Good progress today. The embankment has been primed and painted an earthy colour. It will shortly receive the usual hanging basket liner and other green stuffs. Really this is my first go at proper scenery, so its all a bit trial and error and use what you know, so hopefully it turns out ok!

The yard track is continuing to be painted and as this is a bit more of a grubby area received a light wash of the earthy colour, before ballasting.

 

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Fiddle yard is complete, so naturally I had to fill it up with some trains! It can take a rake of 5, and the idea is locos will push back the stock, before being stabled in the loco area.

 

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Finally, the last bits were added to complete the other lighting gantry which lights this side of the layout. Because of the fiddle yard traverser needing to swing out a convential attachment of one of the gantry's to the layout was not possible, and so had to be attached to the back of the embankment framing, hence the need for that to be so heavy duty! Anyway, another L bracket was bolted on, and the gantry fitted to that. It's pretty sturdy!

 

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Need to touch the paint up on those before the show!

 

The bridge bits have arrived from America too, should have that installed within the week :)

 


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#23 eldavo

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 20:25

Throw a bit of green at it and it's done then!

Cheers
Dave

#24 SWT442

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 20:30

The layouts coming along great Rich!

 

Looking forward to seeing it in the flesh at Brock!

 

Andy.


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#25 ess1uk

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Posted 03 April 2016 - 15:02

Interesting read
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