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A New Gn15 Estate Railway

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#1 TrainsOnArran

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Posted 15 October 2018 - 16:40

The August 2018 edition of Railway Modeller contained an article about the Longstone Railway, a fictional narrow gauge ‘estate’ railway, which was built by Graham Watling to the unusual scale / gauge combination designated Gn15. (1/24 scale, using 16.5mm track to represent 15” gauge). Further investigation led to finding the Gn15 web forum, known as the Gnatterbox.

Graham has provided many contributions to the Gnatterbox, with the following links giving details of his early experiences with Gn15 and the building of a Gn15 exhibition layout. The links provide articles and pictures of Graham’s wonderful modelling.

New scale, new railway: http://forum.gn15.in...php?f=1&t=10596

Longstone: http://forum.gn15.in...php?f=1&t=10648

Longstone 2: http://forum.gn15.in...php?f=1&t=10677

I have built (and failed to complete) many layouts over the years, in N, OO, On30, 7mm NG and most recently in O. The Gnatterbox showed what could be achieved in a fairly small area, so I decided I might be able to get a layout close to completion in Gn15.

I have started by buying various items from Smallbrook Studios:

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As can be seen in the background of the second picture, I have made and painted several figures from the ICM and Master Box ranges.

I also have some spare Smokey Joe locos to produce further Gn15 locos.

I have build a maintenace shed using techniques demonstrated on the Longstone blogs. The colours need toning down a little - actually quite a lot!

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I received a Petite Properties 1/24 scale house as a birthday present. Although a fairly small house, it is a very big model.

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A baseboard (4’ x 3’) is on order from Model Rail Baseboards. A plan has been created using XTRKCAD, which I’ll attach in due course.

The layout will depict part of the Duke of Kensington’s estate railway in the grounds of Cordale Hall, close to the small town of Corgrave in the North of England. The initial railway track and stock was provided by Sir Arthur Heywood, with the first loco ‘Ymir’ (pictured above, but awaiting name plates, etc) being built in 1899 at the Duffield Works.
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#2 ELTEL

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Posted 15 October 2018 - 16:45

Great to see a GN15 layout on the RMWEB

I also model in GN15 as well as 4mm

My current GN15 layout will be at our Stafford exhibition next February and is called The Old Works

Some photographs are available on the members layout section www.staffordrailwaycircle.org.uk

Welcome to the world of GN15

Eltel
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#3 TrainsOnArran

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 11:50

As promised, here is a picture of the track plan:

CEA7DB73-C63A-4492-ACFF-4CA495C11BCA.jpeg

The overall size is 4’ x 3’, with each square on the plan being 3”. All the curves will be 9” radius, which is quite acceptable with a Smokey Joe chassis. Track will be Peco O-16.5 narrow gauge track, except the points in the fiddle yard which will be Peco OO Setrack.

The area at the top, which will be behind a 15” high backscene is the fiddle yard / storage area. Note that this is not overlapping the baseboard edge, as it appears in the picture. I was being miserly with the printing, and didn’t want to waste 6 sheets of paper just to get the extra couple of inches printed out!

The three buildings in front of the backscene are (from L to R), a packing shed, a small garage and the house (Washtub Cottage from Petite Properties).

The circuit will allow continuous running, to watch the trains go by. There will be the possibility of automating this using a controller and sensors from Heathcote Electronics, or similar.

The packing shed will take goods inward from the estate, and send packed goods out. I have yet to decide what these ‘goods’ will be! By extending the line through the back of the shed into the fiddle yard, goods inward can be swapped for packed goods outward.

The garage will be used to display one or more vintage cars - eg an ICM Ford Model T to go with the ultra glamourous ICM Female Mechanics (supposedly from 1910!) and / or a Revell Bentley Blower, both of which are under construction at present.

I’m now awaiting delivery of the baseboard and legs, so that construction proper can commence.
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#4 ELTEL

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 20:22

As promised, here is a picture of the track plan:
attachicon.gifCEA7DB73-C63A-4492-ACFF-4CA495C11BCA.jpeg
The overall size is 4’ x 3’, with each square on the plan being 3”. All the curves will be 9” radius, which is quite acceptable with a Smokey Joe chassis. Track will be Peco O-16.5 narrow gauge track, except the points in the fiddle yard which will be Peco OO Setrack.
The area at the top, which will be behind a 15” high backscene is the fiddle yard / storage area. Note that this is not overlapping the baseboard edge, as it appears in the picture. I was being miserly with the printing, and didn’t want to waste 6 sheets of paper just to get the extra couple of inches printed out!
The three buildings in front of the backscene are (from L to R), a packing shed, a small garage and the house (Washtub Cottage from Petite Properties).
The circuit will allow continuous running, to watch the trains go by. There will be the possibility of automating this using a controller and sensors from Heathcote Electronics, or similar.
The packing shed will take goods inward from the estate, and send packed goods out. I have yet to decide what these ‘goods’ will be! By extending the line through the back of the shed into the fiddle yard, goods inward can be swapped for packed goods outward.
The garage will be used to display one or more vintage cars - eg an ICM Ford Model T to go with the ultra glamourous ICM Female Mechanics (supposedly from 1910!) and / or a Revell Bentley Blower, both of which are under construction at present.
I’m now awaiting delivery of the baseboard and legs, so that construction proper can commence.


Hi
I like the trackplan as you have the option to both operate, and if you wish just watch the trains go by.

The option of watching the trains go by is very useful if your are exhibiting on your own, as while you are chatting there is still movement on the layout.

My first GN15 layout “Ecclestone Manor” was based on a fictional market garden who’s main crop were apples, so would see the apples arrive at packing shed in loose boxes on small wagons.

The loaded wagons would go into the packing shed with a full load of apples and a little while later a second load of wagons would come out of the shed empty to return back to the orchard.

(This was of course out of site of the public hidden in the fiddleyard masked by the packing shed building)

Empty box wagons of packed apples would then be dispatched to the local railhead.

Really just a adaption of the potatoe growers systems in Lincolnshire.

Wish I still had the layout, I’ll have to make a mark 2 as I still have all the stock, but this time in a simular trackplan to yours.

Terry

#5 TrainsOnArran

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Posted 23 October 2018 - 15:23

Still no baseboard, so work continues on the main building for the layout, Washtub Cottage from the Petite Properties 1/24 scale range. The basic build is complete, except for the front door and all windows, which need painting. I’m planning to use an acrylic spray for this as there are too many small panes to do by hand!

The internal walls have all been painted, and as an addition to the basic kit, ‘coffee stirrer’ skirting boards have been added.

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One thing I’m finding with the ‘new-to-me’ large scale is the problem of when to stop adding detail. The house has chimneys at both ends of the roof, but the internal rooms have no fireplaces or chimney breasts. I have to remind myself that this is part of a model railway, and not an accurate architectural model of a house! The front of the house will not be permanently fixed to the rest of the building so that more detail can be added later. A ‘For Sale’ board outside could explain the lack of internal furnishings!

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The external walls have all been faced with Slater’s 7mm Dressed Stone (technique copied shamelessly from Longstone!). The sides of the front elevation still need trimming to size, then the gaps at the window edges, etc need filling with Milliput. The openings will then be masked and the whole shell will be sprayed with acrylic spray (Humbrol Dark Brown 29, which is not a very dark brown at all). The individual stones will be picked out in different creams, browns and greys. Fortunately the back wall will be against the backscene, so will not need to faced at all.

The roof tiles have all been individually laid. The theory was to use different shades of grey card to give a varied, natural look. The shades of grey in the mixed pack I bought have turned out to be too varied, and the look is anything but natural. Humbrol Sea Grey Acrylic will come to the rescue soon! In order to get the tiles aligned fairly neatly, I used a technique adapted from a recent Railway Modeller article. Graph paper with 5mm squares was stuck to the plain roof. Tiles, 1cm x 1.5 cm (ie 2 squares wide and 3 squares high), were cut from sheets of 180g/sm card. UHU was applied to the bottom three rows of graph paper squares, and the first row of tiles stuck down, aligned with the squares on the graph paper. For the second row, UHU was applied to the next row of graph paper squares and along the top of the first row of tiles. The second row of tiles was stuck down, offset from the previous row by half a tile (ie one graph paper square).

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The final row of tiles uses tiles of 1mm x 1mm and then a thin paper ‘lead strip’ can be added along the ridge of the roof.

One of the Petite Properties pictures on their website uses a bottle to give a sense of scale, and so I attach similar.

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I didn’t know we actually had a decent bottle of champagne in the house, but when I have tiled the other half of the roof, and painted several hundred stones, I’m sure I’ll deserve to drink this one!
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#6 TrainsOnArran

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Posted 08 November 2018 - 20:08

Still no baseboard, but it has arrived on Arran on the last ferry today and will be delivered tomorrow.

Work is just about complete on Washtub Cottage - some stones on one of the end walls still to be painted, downpipes to be added, and foliage added round the porch to hide the joins in the stone work.

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The Ford Model T is also nearing completion. This car is needed so that the ICM Female Mechanics have something to work on!

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The Duke of Kensington and his PA, “Long-legged Linda” Loveland are still trying to let out the unfurnished property. They might do better if they give the cottage a more upmarket name!

I hope to post some pictures tomorrow of the baseboard with the track plan laid on it and the buildings in position.
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#7 TrainsOnArran

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Posted 09 November 2018 - 19:53

Still no baseboard - the parcel that arrived today was package 2 of 2 and contained the baseboard legs! As the local delivery company haven’t rung me to pay the carriage for package 1 of 2, I assume it has not arrived at the local depot today. That probably means Tuesday at the earliest before it could arrive!

The locomotive nameplates, numbers and works plates arrived yesterday and have been fitted. I’m glad this is large scale modelling; I should not have fancied fitting plates on anything smaller! The detail is incredible. YMIR was built at Duffield Park Works in 1899. It says so on the works plates, if you use a magnifier. Thank you, Narrow Planet.

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All the stones on the walls of the cottage (Paul’s dolls’ house, as it is known) have been painted. Down pipes and brackets have been added, and a large amount of greenery has grown since yesterday.

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These two characters are not prospective tenants. They are the Estate Manager and his Accommodation and Lettings Manager, Carmen Stay. (With thanks to Usborne Books for that name!). Carmen is checking the pictures she has just taken on her mobile phone.

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The plant round the door is the climbing version of what is known locally as the tissue paper plant. The Duke is thinking of planting a field with the low-growing shrub variety. The flowers, when picked and pulled apart, produce a very thin material, like tissue paper. These can be processed to form a natural confetti - more potential income from the estate, both from the confetti itself and for charging visitors to come and see the plants growing in season. This is a scheme the Duke picked up on from another natural confetti producer, Wyke Manor Farm at Wick in Worcestershire

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Even though the visitor season is only for the couple of weeks when the plants are in bloom, the income from entrance fees, cream teas, ice creams and additional product sales has the Duke rubbing his hands in anticipation. One field for growing the plants and another for parking, marquees, etc. No problem on an estate the size of Cordale!
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#8 TrainsOnArran

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Posted 12 November 2018 - 14:39

At last, the baseboard has arrived from Ireland.

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Existing items and mock-ups have been placed on the track plan to gauge the effect. The backscene boards are 15” tall, just higher than the cottage chimneys.

Track laying and wiring next on the agenda.
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#9 TrainsOnArran

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 13:06

The track laying is almost complete. Most of the curves are 90 degrees, with a 9” radius. The curves into the fiddle yard are only 67.5 degrees, the points themselves providing the other 22.5 degrees. (see track plan in a previous post)

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All the men on the estate, from the Duke downwards, are examining the innovative technique for laying these curves. First all the webs between the sleepers on the inside of the curve are removed. A slitting disk does this job very quickly. Then pin holes are drilled in the edges of the sleepers, outside the track.

The template, around which the track is laid is a piece of 3mm MDF, cut to size so that the centre line of the track is 9” radius. The quarants are each 22.5 degrees. Using this method, it has not proved necessary to pre-bend the indiviual rails.

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The main area of concern for the men is the lack of remaining track pins, when the line into the packing shed has still to be laid. The contractor has explained that the tight radii mean more pins than expected have been used to ensure a firm track base. While the Duke accepts the explaination, due to the remote location of the estate, it will be a while before further supplies can be sourced.

It must be a serious matter. There is not a short-skirted lady in sight!

Wiring next.
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#10 TrainsOnArran

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 18:15

Much excitement on the Cordale Estate!

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The Duke of Kensington is joined by the entire estate population to watch driver George McKechnie and Ymir take the first train round the restored tracks on the estate.

I have added on track feed to each section and attached them to an old Coastway Models controller which I built from a kit about 35 years ago. It provides smooth, slow running from the Smokey Joe chassis.

Next, I’ll add a second feed to each section for reliability, just in case the layout ever becomes exhibitable. Then I’ll attach the section switches to the baseboard surround, below the fiddle yard.
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#11 TrainsOnArran

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Posted 17 November 2018 - 17:28

The Duke has now sent one of his minions (me) off to Glasgow to collect the necessary track pins to complete laying the line through the packing shed.

I’ve lived in the west of Scotland for about 40 years and this was the first time I have ever been on the Glasgow Subway. I’ve also spent many years living and working in London and the similarities and differences with the underground were interesting to note. Since the track is narrow gauge (4’), I hope I’m allowed to mention the Subway in this forum! Trains are just three coaches long and the island platforms feel very narrow, particularly when two trains are arriving at the same time. The stock itself reminded me very much of the old, red Bakerloo line stock.

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The Duke stands guard over the new pile of track pins, while his P.A., Linda, summons the contractor back on site.

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With the track laid, the men can get on with building the packing shed. This is another 3mm mdf shell and will be covered in stone plastikard.

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The track will disappear out of the back right corner, into the fiddle yard, so that goods in can be exchanged for goods out. I think a black paper ‘fringe’ across the centre of the building will help to disguise this. I’m also looking at fitting servo-controlled doors, which will be a new thing for me.

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The quantity surveyor is in trouble again! The stone sheets have run out. More are needed to complete this building and the estate wall which will run along the bottom of the visible sections of backscene. This may mean a visit to the Squires stall at the Manchester Railway Exhibition in a couple of weeks (which quite by chance, honest, coincides with a visit to the mother-in-law in Lancashire!) But at least there is plenty of cardboard for making tiles for the roof, so that job can be tacked soon.
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#12 TrainsOnArran

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 14:46

Definitely a case of ‘life getting in the way’ over the last two weeks, as I have been visiting my father in hospital on the mainland most days. Due to ferry times, a 9 1/2 hour day was needed for a 1 1/2 hour visit. Anyway, he is now home, so hobby activities can recommence.

One consequence was that I was unable to visit either my mother-in-law or the Manchester Model Railway Exhibition. Having checked the traders list and discovered that Squires would not be attending, I didn’t feel I missed a spending opportunity. I didn’t realise that there were ANY exhibitions that Squires did not attend - they seem to appear at most exhibitions, large and small. From their show diary, they seem to be taking a very well deserved break during December.

While waiting for hospital visiting hours to start, I found myself in Smyths Toy Store in Kilmarnock. They had a good selection of Schleich plastic amimals. Although Schleich do not advertise the scale of their animals, it seems many are to an approximate 1/24th, making them suitable for G scale. I bought a bull and a cow which look a good size match with one of my railway figures.

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The Duke of Kensington will be starting an unusual cross-breeding scheme with these two!

As Smyths were offering 3 for the price of 2, I also bought a Hanovarian foal. It looked the right size in the shop, but it seems to have grown on the way home, and towers above the bull.

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One for my grandson’s toy box, I think!
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#13 TrainsOnArran

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Posted 10 December 2018 - 15:51

Some more progress to report on. The backscene board has been erected and a Gaugemaster photographic backscene has been attached. I hope this gives an impression of the ‘rest of the estate’ behind this walled-in area. Integral to the backscene board is the support for a lighting rig. This gives somewhere to display the layout name (Cordale Hall Railway - Gn15). Lighting will be from LED strips. There should be room for 5 parallel rows of LEDs on the underside of the pelmet. I have attached clear acrylic sheet round the four edges of the baseboard, partly to prevent little fingers getting where they shouldn’t and partly to prevent derailed stock diving 70 scale feet to the floor!

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On the left hand side, the mdf estate wall has been constructed. This will be faced with the Slaters stone sheets. A similar wall will be built for the right hand side and the gap between the garage and the cottage. I’ve used black tissue paper cut into thin strips and fixed above and behind the backscene openings to block the view backstage. I’m not sure if I’ll keep this or try some other method. It does look a bit like a fairground Ghost Train.

I’ve made a start on the cat litter ballasting. Having cleared the layout to take these pictures, I totally failed to notice I’d left one of the ‘chassis donor’ engines lying around! Sorry.

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This is the first attempt at using cat litter as ballast. First job was to grade the litter using a kitchen collander as most of the clay pieces were way too big. I’m now at the ‘waiting for the glue to dry’ stage after which I’ll get some idea whether this is going to work.

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