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Croft Spa

N-gauge NE Region real location




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#51 millerhillboy

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 20:42

Before or after fitting to the loco?
 
I might give it a try the next month is comparatively quiet (just ballasting to do.........)
 
Les


They were done off the loco but if you were careful you could do it on the loco. What I'd do is mask off around the plate (Tamiya tape is great IMO) then give a paint over with your red. I actually mixed my red with just a dab of thinners which I feel helps in run into the shape of the plate. I might even have given it two thinned coats, I can't quite remember.

Once well dry I just used a miniature square edged needle file which is pretty much about the height of the plate as it happens, and just it along the length of the plate as gentle as you can.



#52 Les1952

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Posted 17 June 2017 - 08:23

Thanks for that.  I think I'll just get a set of red-backed plates.

 

Les



#53 Les1952

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 21:45

Ballasting begun

 

ballast 1.JPG

ballast 2.JPG

 

The main line through the station has had its first lot of ballast applied.  I cut the cork underlay to approximately where the ballast shoulder ought to be and taped outside of this with masking tape.  The two pics show the result looking from the layout front 24 hours after ballasting with the masking tape removed.  The acid test- the dreaded vacuum- hasn't been done yet.  That can wait for Tuesday or Wednesday.  

 

Top pic is the line between the platfors, bottom is North of the crossover showing the bay line isn't yet ballasted.

 

It is clear from the second pic that the glue/water mix didn't permeate to the edges of the ballast for the full length.  Not too much of a panic as this can be patched up.

 

points left.JPG

points straight.JPG

 

The points of the crossover both still throw, so although there is a deal of ballast still to put in around these points the signs so far are encouraging.

 

protected end 1.JPG

 

Also installed is protection at the ends of the layout, which will probably remain when the backscene and any boxing is applied.  Plastic angle seemed the cheapest option.

 

Still plenty to do - I've been looking at A4s and 9Fs and getting them running through all the pointwork.  Oddly 9Fs don't like Peco setrack left-hand curves.  I'm not sure how many Southbound workings should have 9Fs.  I may have one rostered Northbound tender-first running in from Darlington works.

 

Les


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#54 Les1952

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 22:11

Weds update

 

Rest of the main line ballasted today.  The Javis stuff "extra fine" is coarser than the Gaugemaster stuff I've used through the station, but should be OK I think.  Time will tell once the glue dries. 

 

Out to birthday lunch tomorrow, so I won't be taking up the masking tape until Friday.  I'm going to put masking tape a little further out later and make a 45-degree angle of ballast outside of the cork underlay.  That should (I think should) give the appearance of main line track.  Then the twin headaches of infilling dodgy bits and railside painting.  I'll also need to set the platforms in before I can ballast the loading dock and infill between the siding and the track.  I'm going to put a typical North Eastern shrub bed in here beyond the platform.  I don't know if Croft Spa had one but they were present at a good number of stations..

 

Still plenty to do in the next fortnight before I need to re-erect Hawthorn Dene for repair and testing...

 

Les


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#55 Les1952

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Posted 30 June 2017 - 21:04

Waiting for glue to dry

 

A bit like waiting for paint to dry etc...

 

The ballast on the North board is taking a lot longer to dry off than the Southern board did.  I'll get the vacuum out on Sunday- Saturday is a visit to my sister in Darlington and a quick look round the Locomotion toy fair.  I might strike lucky and get the shrub bed sourced.  More likely I'll have to go online and get it from Harburn Hobbies website.  Not an issue either way.

 

I've been looking at platform heights and I think I'm about ready to install them.  Pics show the mockups.

 

two platforms.JPG

 

An end-on view showing the low level down platform and the high level up platform.  The DMU is at the up platform.  My naughty streak says that I glue the access steps in place and make it a challenge for operators to stop the DMU with the doors by the steps. What is the problem with that?  Classes 101 and 108 aren't QUITE the same.....

 

high side.jpg

 

Looking at the up platform.  The view is a little shaded and I'm not quite happy that the platform is at the right height.  I'll play with it a little more before making a final decision.

 

low side.JPG

 

I'm happier with the down platform (the low one).  In any case it can only go lower if I cut the wood or use a thinner piece as the housing over the point rodding sets the height.  Yes, that is a 101/108 mongrel sitting at the platform.  I've got video footage of such a set on the Richmond branch.  Meanwhile Mr Simon has located another 101 centre trailer to carve into a buffet car- I may get the eight-car set yet....

 

Still, time to play with it.  I've got to find something to surface the platforms with yet, then deal with adding a step to the bottom of one side of the footbridge.  The one I've got has come from the estate of my late friend Chris Burch.  It needs a little repairing and isn't quite the right type, but it is a long time since the original disappeared and it will be difficult to see, being partly hidden by the road bridge and the signalbox.

 

Les

 


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#56 Two_sugars

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Posted 01 July 2017 - 00:02

I won't get to Shildon till Sunday, so I hope you leave some N gauge bargains for me!

 

 

John



#57 Barry O

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Posted 01 July 2017 - 07:12

Les, could you use very fine wet and dry to cover the platforms with?
Baz
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#58 Les1952

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Posted 01 July 2017 - 22:09

I won't get to Shildon till Sunday, so I hope you leave some N gauge bargains for me!

 

 

John

 

Not a huge lot there in N - some new locos (not looking for more locos at present, still thinning out spares) and plenty of shiny new coaches.  I did pick up eight well used brown vans/opens/hoppers and a Dapol fish van, the latter to add to the five I got at Quorn.  These are replacing out-of-period 15 foot wheelbase fish vans in Mr Simon's fish train and will no doubt be commandeered for weathering in time - I am not that likely to get a lot of say in that matter!

 

Les


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#59 Les1952

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Posted 01 July 2017 - 22:10

Les, could you use very fine wet and dry to cover the platforms with?
Baz

 

That is what I'm thinking.  A trip to Homebase beckons I think, before its new owners change it out of all recognition and it becomes a B&Q clone.

 

Les


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#60 Two_sugars

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Posted 01 July 2017 - 23:27

Not a huge lot there in N - . . . . .

 

Les

 

 

Nowt new there, then!. . . Still going though.

 

 

John



#61 Les1952

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Posted 09 July 2017 - 16:52

Ballast proceeding slowly.

 

 

Not just because it is boring, but there are a lot of other things going on that are keeping me out of the shed.  I've got the front edge of the ballast "shouldered" for the whole of the visible length of the layout, and painted the rail sides of the up line.  The down line and the rearward shoulder are still to do, probably with the first bash at it tomorrow.

 

ballast shoulder.JPG

 

Oh what a surprise, a ballast train.....  Three Dapol grampus and a pair of DJM mermaids.  I've swapped the coupler heads on the mermaids for short ones. The rake is more than happy through the R2 pointwork.

 

mermaids.JPG

 

A close-up of the two mermaids.  Two more pairs on order, and these and the grampus, together with any dogfish I can find, will be weathered to a substantial level of grot.

 

Next bit that can be done before I get the backscene started is to work at the cess and start on the ground level between it and the baseboard front.  The layout swaps over with Hawthorn Dene a week on Thursday so I can get on preparing that one for two forthcoming shows (GCR North and Loughborogh).  I suspect it won't be re-erected until after Pererbrough in October.

 

Les.


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#62 Les1952

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 12:40

Just been to Wickes at Lincoln for some flexible MDF to make the backscene, only to find they don't keep it - "Its on our website, you can buy it online".

 

Ordered some flexible plywood on eBay instead.  Journey not entirely wasted as I popped into Digitrains and got chips for two more locos.

 

On a more positive note the second ballast shoulder is neater than the first one.  Just need to get the vacuum cleaner out to the shed.

 

Les



#63 Les1952

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 08:00

Platform extension done

 

IMG_3414.JPG

 

All I need to do now is the two humps on it, and surface and face it.  This is the longer down platform.   The other related job is to install a pair of Dapol uncoupler magnets- guess who forgot to put the one on the main line before ballasting- I'll have to use either water or the dremel (or both) to recfify that mistake, but not until September-October when the layout gets its next building stint.

 

IMG_3416.JPG

 

Also done, on the loco front, is renumbering second Flying Fox as 60111 Enterprise.  Both foxies seen here, with the second one post-renumbering.  I have a good photo of 60111 on a goods passing through Darlington, so weathered and fitted with lamps for fitted freight it can share these duties with three other A3s and two (so far) A4s amongst others.  The numbers will have to stay wonky unless I spotted them and fixed it before varnishing them. Another engine with a side to be kept out of sight of punters......

 

The shed beckons.  Yesterday was spent going to see Kath at Booklaw about show sponsorship so little modelling done.  Only two definite modelling days (today and tomorrow) left before swapover time on Thursday.....

 

Les

 


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#64 millerhillboy

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 09:44

Good to see a powerful line of Pacifics there, looks great.

#65 Les1952

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 22:03

Good to see a powerful line of Pacifics there, looks great.

 

Having a few problems with A4s at the moment- six of eleven behaving impeccably, but that includes the grey one and the blue one.

 

Second 60005, having just come back from DCC Supplies with repaired valve gear and a new bogie is off back to them as the new bogie won't stay on the track and the repaired valve gear has fallen apart again - complicated by my having tested it and renumbered it 60004 before putting it on the layout only for it to fail within 2 laps.  One other needs a traction tyre (wearing wobbly) and I'm still trying to get the rest to handle curves as well as the A3s.  I've just bought another A4 on eBay- it is coming from Dr Al, so should be all right.  the A3 I bought from him a couple of years ago has 6 exhibitions to its credit without a single problem.

 

On the other hand every A3 is currently available for service, as are all 4 A2s and three out of 5 A1s.  The Other has a worm that has become detatched from its spindle and is off to BR Lines with one of the J39s which has a split gear.

 

One UM in the shops for the loco to tender wire to be soldered at the loco end to improve contact, and the 2-car Class 101 needs some serious cleaning of its non-driven bogie pickups.  Otherwise most of the 83 locos are available for traffic.......

 

Les


Edited by Les1952, 16 July 2017 - 22:04 .


#66 millerhillboy

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 22:17

Crumbs what a tale, that's the trouble with Dapol Pacifics in my experience, that unless setup absolutely spot on they tend to be poor to very poor runners. Not quite so much hassle with farish Pacifics again just IMO.
If anyone can set them up right then it's Dr Al, anything that's been through his hands is worth having.

#67 MrSimon

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 18:21

On the 101 check that the little switches on the underframe are switched on - I'd accidentally turned them off on the 4car and it was only picking up from the powered bogie.

#68 Les1952

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 19:01

On the 101 check that the little switches on the underframe are switched on - I'd accidentally turned them off on the 4car and it was only picking up from the powered bogie.

 

Will do.



#69 Les1952

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 19:15

A day supposedly working on the layout spent doing the lawn then waiting in vain for the bendy plywood to be delivered.  It wasn't.

 

At 3.30 I went out to go to the shed to find the big branch of the old apple tree beside the shed had snapped off.  90 mins later with garden waste bins both full of the debris I got two more A4s tested.  The derailments I'd put down to the bogies turned out to be a rough rail joint.  I've cured that and removed a bit of superelevation that wasn't helping and two more A4s are back in service, leaving only 60018 out of use.  This one will need a new front bogie and a traction tyre, and will go off to DCC Supplies in due course.

 

Oddly enough, out of 18 (currently- the number keeps changing) Dapol A3s I've no poor runners, and only one has needed to go away for repair - 60106 the first, which after a huge exhibition mileage slipped a rod out of a slidebar, which I felt DCC Supplies was better able to fix than me. There are two "BItzas" running in this lot, made by cross-cannibalising Dapol's dead ones to make a god runner out of two wrecks.

 

The A4 with the valve gear problem has gone back to DCC Supplies, together with a new 9F which I suspect has a circuit board problem as when chipped it won't accept commands to run with the chimney at the front, either by configure or by altering the CV.  I've sent it unchipped and asked DCC Supplies to chip it and configure the chimney as the front, repairing the circuit board under warranty if need be.  Also gone is my original 9F, which was in collision on Rise Park at its first show well over a year ago, resulting in a broken loco to tender wire.  That one is the one depicted in Fred Hempsall's review in the NGS Journal when it first came out and has run a lot of miles at shows.

 

 

IMG_3452.JPG

 

I set the buildings up on the station yesterday to see how close the signalbox comes to the board edge, and how much space will be available for the houses behind.   The answers were "too close for comfort" and "not enough" in that order.

 

(continued- guess which eejit pressed post rather than preview)

 

Fortunately the signalbox nestles right up to the bridge and will be protected by the footpath and embankment behind, and the small shelter was set into the embankment.  

 

Food for thought.  As the backscene can't now be cut and installed before Thursday I'll spend Wednesday clearing up ready for the swapover when Mr Simon arrives.

 

Les


Edited by Les1952, 17 July 2017 - 21:33 .

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#70 Les1952

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 19:33

Another thunk- as the signalbox is right at the end of the visible trackwork it can sit nearer the platform edge than it should- there is not likely to be anyone alive who remembers it (demolished before 1920).  To get it closer to the bridge I can install the footbridge between the signalbox and the station buildings, if necessary moving the station buildings North by a few feet. I can get away with small changes, partly because the two OS maps I have disagree as to where the station building is (only by about 20 feet) and partly because there are no visible remains to measure, not even a foundation.  Photos aren't all that clear as to how far the footbridge was from the road bridge, or if the steps to the signalbox were a spur from the footbridge.  I've got separate steps.  Moving the footbridge also makes the road bridge a better view blocker for the hole in the backscene.

 

The earlier OS map certainly isn't accurate as it shows the crossover in a different place to contemporary photos and also shows the carriage dock butting up to the end of the platform, which again appears not to be the case.  This map also shows a headshunt at the North end of the station but not at the South, though the carriage dock siding at the South is shown longer.  I have no headshunt installed and should not need a slip point as the gradient technically falls into the carriage dock.  The later map removes the headshunt and relocates the crossover.  to its later site South of the road bridge, but still has not got any platform beside the carriage dock.  By the time of the later map there are clear photos of the dock with its wavy platform level alongside the siding.

 

Les


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#71 Les1952

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 18:50

The layout is standing on end in the shed corner until mid-August.  How soon I can get more done will depend on whether Hawthorn Dene gets back from Ruddington show this weekend with miimal damage.

 

I'm hoping that in August I can get the underside varnished and the electrickery for the point motors installed, and that in September after the Soar Valley show I can leave Hawthorn dene packed up and erect Croft Spa for another month.

 

Meanwhile the last two pics of the early Summer-

 

IMG_3454.JPG

 

The station buildings viewed from the punter's side, showing how close the signal box is to the board edge.

 

IMG_3453.JPG

 

The North end of the down platform showing the first attempt at the wiggly platform height.  It looks better now it is painted grey and when there is a brick wall in front of it and a white line at the platform edge it should work out OK.  Otherwise I'll have to resurface it.....

 

Guess who forgot to install the Dapol uncoupler magnet on the main line before ballasting the track.  :(

 

Les


Edited by Les1952, 25 July 2017 - 18:51 .

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#72 Les1952

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Posted 09 September 2017 - 22:22

by September 8th (yesterday)

 

The layout is back up, this time with the front facing the window and work bench so I can do scenic.  The backscene is now installed- pics to follow, and I've put a few buildings out to see if my plan for Belgrave Terrace will work.

 

At the moment it doesn't, but looking at it again on Google Maps I think I've placed the first house (No.2) on the side with its back to the railway too near to the start of the street.  Moving these down so the bungalow at No.10 is correctly opposite the end of Baxby Terrace will lengthen Belgrave Terrace a bit.

 

The problem is that it doesn't finish anywhere near the board join- too much "nothing" before the cricket field on the "country" board.  I need to find about a foot length of extra Belgrave Terrace at the moment.

 

I've found a Ten Commandments wooden bungalow, which can sit as No.24 Belgrave Terrace (which is actually a house that was built after the layout is set).  Looking at the plan view on Google earth the set-back bungalow at No.8 Belgrave Terrace is much smaller front-to-back than I'd thought and the Lyddle End bungalow I have that looks good is too deep.  however it will fit at No.10, which is much nearer the front of the plot.  The chance of anyone realising that No.10's back garden is too short is remote.

 

Overall the space problem is that end-to-end I've too much and front-to-back it is a bit tight in the station area.  I can see a lot of moving stuff around to get a compromise that looks plausible.

 

Meanwhile an interesting day at TINGs today.  I totally failed to see the Mercig stand, let alone the DJM Clayton thereupon.  However I did get an additional J39 from Bachmann returns.  Testing and chipping for that tomorrow.  Also purchased replacement A3 and A4 buffers, two more gunpowder vans, and a wooden garage sitting in a dealer's s/h oddities tray, together with a couple of chips, one for the J39 amongst other acquisitions waiting commissioning.. 

 

I also got rid of five Westwater and Kirk Thompson coaches I rashly bought at a toyfair some 18 months ago and which Mr Simon had confirmed were nowhere near good enough.  A certain Mr Allbright collects these and was happy to take them off my hands in exchange for a boxed Minitrix Gresley brake in maroon.  Both parties happy as he'd paid a lot less for the Gresley than it was worth and thus got the Thompsons very cheaply, and the Minitrix would have cost me a lot more than I paid for the Thompsons if I'd gone to a dealer who knew what he was selling. 

 

Now the question is, could I get away with a Dapol 142 railbus set in Tyneside yellow working the Richmond branch on Sunday afternoon at a show?  That model really is too pretty to buy just for the showcase....

 

Time for bed as the cat is shouting for her second supper.

Les


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#73 Les1952

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Posted 10 September 2017 - 21:51

As promised, the first pics of the backscene.

 

IMG_4156.JPG

 

First the station end.  The curve is a little sharper here, mainly to come in front of the two point motors for the crossover without getting what would amount to a right-angle join.   That would have negated the reason for getting bendy plywood for it in the first place.  Hawthorn Dene stored on end and part-protected with a cloth is in the background.

 

IMG_4157.JPG

 

Now the other end, which looks like it will take the name "the farm end".  Here the curve isn't so sharp, and I had a little more room to take the backscene backwards before coming forward again to clear the point motor for the siding.  Against the wall in the background is the proscenium.

 

IMG_4158.JPG

 

A closer view of the exit at this end.  I've cut the hole the right size here.  It is too deep at the other end and has needed filling again- it will be hidden when the paper layer of the actual scene is applied.  The backscene is only seven inches deep, largely because the board separation is 16 inches when packaged.  The end plate is attached at this end, partly to shield any stock left in the shed from inquisitive eyes, but mainly so I could measure the separation before making the backscene.

 

Today has been spent on bungalows- I think I'll use one of the small Peco ones for No.8 Belgrave Terrace.  I've also found a Walthers kit for a "ranch house", which is a little big for No.10 but might work.  Next is to see if I can assemble a pair of Peco bungalows in a different order to the intended to make No.s 12 and 14 Belgrave Terrace. If it works then it will be out with the Redutex to overlay planks with bricks.

 

The pub building I have is an oddity, a detached house built by Trevor Webster that never got used anywhere.  I think as The Comet at the foot of the bank is too distinctive that this one will become the Belgrave Arms.  I've provisionally decided to use the Lyddle End bungalow as No.24 Belgrave Terrace, and the Ten Commandments bungalow can sit on Hurworth Road opposite the end of Belgrave Terrace where there is a bungalow presently in real life.  Again it will probably have an overlay of Redutex to change its appearance.

 

Les


Edited by Les1952, 10 September 2017 - 21:59 .

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#74 ben pez

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 19:59

Great work & i know the location quite well as im from billingham so not that far away.
I was at the south end of the road bridge down that little path heading towards the river about 18 months ago,getting some shots of flying scotsman,its a good location but due to the curve you dont get much warning it's actually there!
Keep up the good work.

Cheers

Ben

#75 Les1952

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 12:46

Great work & i know the location quite well as im from billingham so not that far away.
I was at the south end of the road bridge down that little path heading towards the river about 18 months ago,getting some shots of flying scotsman,its a good location but due to the curve you dont get much warning it's actually there!
Keep up the good work.

Cheers

Ben

 

That's a worry- someone who knows the location and will instantly spot the liberties I'm going to be taking with the buildings outside the railway fence.  Inside the railway fence the buildings are correct apart from a missing hut on the up platform, but they weren't all there at the same time.

 

IMG_4235.JPG

 

I've decided to use the Lyddle End bungalow at this point on the backscene- on Hurwrth Road about opposite the end of Belgrave Terrace.  Basically it is in the right place and at the right height.  The ACTUAL bungalow on this site has a gable facing the road and isn't all that wide - but it goes a long way back. To its left is one of those houses that needs to look right- a terrace of three with the LOWEST roofline at the highest part of the terrace.  The uppermost one is two-storey and the lower pair have an extra floor with different entrance and cellar arrangements.

 

IMG_4234.JPG

 

Above the station I've decided to use a Peco bungalow as is (8 Belgrave Terrace).  Part of the rationale for this is that it needs to be quite shallow to fit the available space and it is well hidden from the punters' side by trees.  The bits you WILL be able to see will be the right colour and in the right place.  I'm still looking at how much I can shift Belgrave Terrace to the right by exaggerating the bend in Hurworth Road.  I'll then work down Belgrave Terrace placing the buildings, starting with the large semi at nos 2 and 4.

 

 

Persisting down outside- I'm going to get wet going back to the workshop.

 

Les


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