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Vintners' Yard

EM gauge alex jacksons wire in tube portable layout micro-ish




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#1 burgundy

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 20:09

Requirement
To build a reasonably quick, stand alone layout that works....
Use as a challenge for a post retirement project, to build a complete model.

Constraints
Should fit in the back of a Peugeot 107.
Use available locos and rolling stock – therefore EM gauge.

Proposed scenario
A small goods yard, recycling some of the backscene from Cardinal's Wharf.

Research for an appropriate track plan resulted in the study of some of the designs on the micro-layout website run by the late Carl Arndt.

In an effort to maximise the operating variations that could be included, the “micro” designation has probably been exceeded, since the visible area will be 48” by 18”, with a fiddle yard at either end (cribbed from a layout featured in RM for Jan/Feb 2009 – sorry I cannot remember the name to give it due credit). Assuming a standard wagon length of 3”, the layout has been designed to handle blocks of three wagons.

Start of work around the end of October 2010
vintners yard outline 2.JPG
As a review of the concept, a full size plan (actually a piece of expanded polystyrene) was presented to the collective wisdom of a meeting of the North West Somerset EM Gauge Society Area Group (or NWSEMGSAG for short). Amongst the suggestions received, the following have been adopted.
  • operation from the front, so that you can actually enjoy the layout yourself
  • 3 link couplings. I had a wish for automatic operation but was talked into continuing with 3 links, which appealed to my lazy streak. I may regret this.
Foolishly, I suggested that, if I went at it hard for two weeks, I might get most of it sorted. I have not been allowed to forget this ill-advised remark (thanks Ullypug, but just whose good idea was the 3 link couplings?).

First step has been to work out the critical section of pointwork where four turnouts overlap. This has been designed the old-fashioned way, using a series of templates, stitched together with sellotape. These were then stuck to a piece of conti-board as a work bench. Materials were obtained during a brief wallet emptying encounter with C & L. Three turnouts have been made from scratch and two have been salvaged from the previous layout, Cardinal's Wharf. Not investing in Templot probably made this process more difficult than it need have been, as did the use of salvage material.

In parallel, the raw materials for the base board had been bought, exercising my newly acquired membership of the B & Q Diamond Club! An insulation batt for the foundation and some ply for the ends, back and front. Legs are some trestles which again have been salvaged from Cardinal's Wharf. Ends and back have been glued and screwed together around the base to provide some (limited) rigidity at this stage. For the moment, the front has been left off, until it is clearer how large the aperture can be. This means that the base, ends and back tend to wave in the breeze a bit.

Bringing the baseboard and trackwork together begins to give an idea of how it will look (nothing much but turnouts). I have also stripped some of the low relief buildings from the industrial end of Cardinal's Wharf and set them in position to get an idea of what else will need to be built. I think I am short of about 18” of low relief background and the balance of the layout means that I will need something in the left foreground, both to balance the Langley low relief warehouse at the back, right-hand corner and to act as a view blocker for the hole in the sky at the left hand end where trains will enter the fiddle yard. A bit of research will be required to find a suitable, decrepit warehouse that will fit the space. Further development has demonstrated that the space within the warehouse will be needed to house the ends of the turnout actuators and other assorted plumbing and wiring.
Track 2 Dec 10.JPG
By about Christmas 2010

With the main track in place, I turned to wiring and turnout actuation. I had decided on manual actuation (wire in tube) at the outset but had not figured out exactly how this would be installed. There was no going back to a nice set of Tortoises, as the baseboard construction left no space for dangly point motors. First thought was to build straight runs down the front edge of the layout, with angle cranks turning the motion through 90 degrees to where it was needed. However, the idea of burying mechanical linkages under scenery, resulting in major excavation if anything went wrong, seemed to tempt fate unnecessarily. After testing the collective wisdom of RM Web (particular thanks to Scotcent), I was reassured that wire in tube would survive 90 degree curved corners (although obviously not right angles) and so that is how four of the turnouts are driven, with wiring from simple DPDT switches that were salvaged from Cardinal's Wharf. The fifth is more of a challenge as it forms the far end of a crossover linked to one of the others, and I wanted the two to act simultaneously. When you think about it (which I did rather too late in the proceedings) this means that one has to push while the other pulls. Either you need to link the turnout from the opposite side (which means the wire in tube does an S curve under all the other turnouts) , or it has to turn through 270 degrees – or you need a mechanical link to reverse the thrust. I opted for the latter; it may not be pretty but it does seem to work and it is accessible (under the future warehouse) should anything need attention.

The wiring was done in odd moments over Christmas and New Year (in between ministering to the various family visitors who all arrived sick) and was slow and painstaking. It did, however, work second go – I spotted that I had missed out a link on the common return on the first attempt.

As a final step, I cleaned up the wiring so that it looks a bit more organised than the knitting shown in the photo.
swtches 2 Dec 10.JPG
New Year 2011

I may have finished with the main baseboard, but there was still the small matter of the outriggers for the two fiddle yards. This has meant building some longer bearers to link the two trestles and to design an arrangement that will fold up with minimal effect on the overall envelope of the basic “coffin” when it is packed to go in the car. This in turn has required some work on the entry/exit arrangements and the transition to the casettes in the fiddle yards. Using a casette made from the same materials as I have bought for Cardinal's Wharf (B&Q strip wood and aluminium angle), the height of the outriggers has been adjusted mainly by trial and error. They are hinged on wooden blocks so that they stand out very slightly from the end of the main board and thereby leave space for the chocolate block wiring at the control end. The chain is not intended to take any serious weight, but rather to limit an uncontrolled descent, while the main support comes from a couple of hinged ply sections that sit between the fiddle yard and the bearer. Again, trial and error is a wonderful thing – and “no” they are not the same depth!

With trackwork in place end to end, the next step was to see whether a loco would run through it all. At this point, my smug satisfaction with the wiring evaporated as it became clear that I had cunningly designed a short circuit into the system. Yes: the green light on the Gaugemaster handheld controller glows green when the power is on, but it takes a couple of moments to cut out and I had clearly not been waiting long enough.

At this point, I was diverted away from the layout and became embroiled in the construction of my first etched loco kit, which is a story recorded elsewhere.

Having finished with the construction of Washington, I moved back to the layout – with attention concentrated by having volunteered to host a joint meeting of the local EM and Scale 4 groups. A heavy cold and some wet weather provided the ideal opportunity to settle down and chase through some of the lumps and bumps in the trackwork. I ran all the locos that are reliable runners through the turnouts to identify where any derailed or hesitated. The first lesson was that most of them needed to have their wheels cleaned and the track needed a good scrub. This reduced the hesitation quite considerably, leaving odd areas where the track was fractionally out of gauge or a corner had tightened slightly. I also took the opportunity to sort one or two small glitches in a couple of the chassis.

Unfortunately, the short circuit remained – despite my best efforts to track it down and, again, frustration resulted in a further diversion onto another project, which was written up as The Tail of a Terrier, resulting in the addition of Wandle to the collection of available locos. Successive attempts to identify the source of the short were unsuccessful, so that work began on a further Terrier, to be produced with a split frame chassis. This reached the point where the frustration with the split frame arrangements exceeded the frustration with the short circuit, so that I had yet another go at tracking the short.

Having

- revisited the design of the circuit and convinced myself that the logic worked and

- suspected a faulty switch, taken apart the wiring and replaced the switch (which, with hindsight, was perfectly serviceable until I had to remove it rather brutally) and

- rewired the feed so that it came directly from the controller, rather than being daisy
chained from another switch

- I finally had the light bulb moment.

The turnouts are operated by wire in tube. The wires therefore assume the polarity of the rail to which they are directly attached. At the switch end, two adjacent omega loops have opposite polarities. When switched in a particular combination, the omega loops touch, thereby creating the short.

I think I have finally found it and I may also have invented a new way to create a short circuit.

At this point, I decided that I had put off a decision on couplings for long enough. My original plan (following the advice from my NWSEMGSAG colleagues) had been to use three link and play around with a shunter’s pole. But the experience of coupling and uncoupling, while I tested the track and tried out some of the operational moves, convinced me that I needed to try an automatic coupling. After some thought, I opted for Alex Jacksons and mapped out where magnets and electromagnets need to be planted. I suppose it should have been obvious, but the magnets require a passing contact delivering 12v dc, while the spare output on the transformer delivered 18v ac. A helpful suggestion from this list pointed out that most of us have a boxful of spare transformers that deliver a range of voltages for charging mobile phones and any number of other electronic devices around the house; inevitably, one fitted. Problem solved.

Nonetheless, there was a certain appeal in reducing the number of mains plugs to be supported and there was an available output from the transformer. Advice from 51A Models, who had provided the electromagnets, was to wire a bridge rectifier into the circuit and this seems to have worked. This was therefore adopted as the preferred solution.

I am afraid that the fiddliness of the AJs resulted in yet another diversion back onto the split frame Terrier chassis, getting it to the stage of motor, gearbox and wheels in place, but still with something fundamentally wrong. It came close to being dropkicked over the back hedge into the field of bullocks but, by a hair’s breadth, lived to fight another day. However, another loco project beckoned, so Christmas 2011 came and went with little more to show in the way of progress. But persistence pays dividends and the jigs, that had been bought in Autumn 2011, were finally tried out, resulting in some couplings for some of the rolling stock destined for the layout. Couplings were fitted to both ends of the brake vans and to the outer ends of the three wagon rakes. Seeing the couplings doing what they were meant to do over the magnets provided the necessary morale boost to get a reasonable sample of rolling stock fitted.

With the winter loco project out of the way, there was little excuse to go on avoiding the AJs. But despite much twiddling, I struggled to get reasonable performance. Hosting another meeting of the NWSEMGSAG provided some useful suggestions for improving my installation of the couplings, but it was the consistent derailing, when wagons were being pushed, that began to suggest that AJs were not the right answer for Vintner’s Yard. I thought hard about changing to Sprat and Winkle and it was only the sight of a box of samples that someone else had rejected, and trying to visualise how they would fit on some of my rolling stock, which put me off starting again. A flippant remark on this list prompted me to think again about what was causing the derailments. Rather than blaming the swing resulting from the bunker overhang of my two smoothest running shunting locos, I measured up the buffer spacing on some of the dumb buffered wagons and discovered that the gap between the inside faces was rather larger than on wagons with new fangled sprung buffers. In other words, I was living with the consequences of a decision taken by the pattern maker for Woodham Wagon Works some 20 years ago! However, at least now understanding the cause of the problem, it was possible to cobble up some kind of a fix. In the meantime I was making great progress on the Stroudley block set, which was the current fall-back project - not that an 8 coach passenger train was going to be much use on a 4 foot long goods yard!

The solution adopted was to add a bent wire arrangement under the buffer beam, with lengths of wire protruding forward and rising vertically just inside the buffer face. This then allows them to be adjusted so that they sit far enough inside the buffer to avoid locking on the sharpest curve. The metal was darkened with gun blue so that it is as unobtrusive as possible – and, in any event, less obtrusive than a Sprat or a Winkle.

This may seem like a very long first instalment, with relatively little to show for the layout – other than 4 feet of over-complex trackwork. However, the point of going into print at this stage is that I feel that I have finally beaten all the “operational” bits into submission and “only” the pretty bits are left. Therefore I hope that there is less chance that this will be one of those threads that starts describing a planned layout - and then slowly runs into the sand as the practical problems emerge. After 20 months work (on and off), I would like to think that there will be slightly more visible progress and, although it may all happen more slowly than I would like, the rest should all be do-able …… famous last words.
Best wishes
Eric
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#2 Dave Searle

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 07:34

Hi Eric,

An epic tale! As they say, you only learn by making misteaks. Your actual rate of progress doesn't seem too bad, given the diversions - it's more important to enjoy the building than rush things and build in permanent problems..

If this layout re-uses some (most) of Cardinal's Wharf, do you have a plan for where you will run the passenger stock (in particular the Stroudley coaches)?

I look forward to seeing further progress, will you be bringing it to the Brighton Circle AGM?

Cheers,

Dave

#3 burgundy

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 10:26

If this layout re-uses some (most) of Cardinal's Wharf, do you have a plan for where you will run the passenger stock (in particular the Stroudley coaches)?

I look forward to seeing further progress, will you be bringing it to the Brighton Circle AGM?

Cheers,

Dave


Dave
Since this is much shorter than Cardinal's Wharf, I am only planning to recycle the buildings from the "goods" end, plus a few new bits. There will therefore be no passenger facilities. In fact, I have left the "passenger" bit and use it as a photo backdrop - as seen with the Stroudley 4 wheelers.
With 48" on view, in practical terms, the operation is limited to a tank engine (5.5"), brake van (4") and three vehicles (9") for any given train. The outriggers at each end also need to be long enough to cope with a similar formation. However, I have tried to design in three discrete traffic flows to keep things interesting.
After my initial rash promises, I am not making any predictions about when this might be completed - certainly not by the AGM! On the other hand, I do plan to bring up the 8 coach set of 4 wheelers.
Best wishes
Eric

#4 burgundy

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 23:33

Having got track, rolling stock and couplings that seem to work most of the time, the next step is to try to create a scene around it. The current plan is to speed things up(!) by recycling some of the low relief buildings that were used for the backscene of the last layout, Cardinal’s Wharf. This was intended to create an atmosphere of rather grubby, Victorian industry and Vintner’s Yard is going to rework much the same ground.
The first thought, on looking at the “coffin”, was that it was too tall. The top of the trestles stand about 48” high and the layout box was about 24” on top of that. I removed the top 4” on the basis that it was way above my head and that lowering the front pelmet was only going to affect the vertically challenged. Whilst this has a beneficial effect on weight and on the manoeuvrability of the box itself, it does not significantly affect the overall dimensions, as the size of the outriggers at either end is determined by the length of the train sets to be used and, when folded, these now stand higher than the ends.
To set the scene, I wallpapered the newly shallower sides and back with some thick lining paper. I have curved the two back corners, as recommended to avoid shadows, although this may create some problems when it comes to fitting low relief buildings into the corners. The curves have also not settled quite smoothly, although I hope that this will not be obvious when scenery is in place.
The photos below show how the backscene may start to come together.
centre 1.JPG
If the Langley stone warehouse is to fit (as a bonded store?), it will need to sit somewhere at the right hand end where there is a siding that may incorporate a wagon turntable (which is the only way to explain the van embedded in the loading bay). Quite whether it sits right in the corner, or a bit towards the centre, is up for grabs.
right 3.JPG
At the left hand end, there needs to be something that balances the stone warehouse and also conceals the wires and switches in the front corner, as well as providing a view blocker to hide the three road “hole in the sky”. This one will have to be a new build and, if anyone has a plan or sketch for an 18th or early 19th century London warehouse, I should be interested.
left 4.JPG
I am slightly concerned about the diversity of building materials; as well as the stone warehouse, there are some stuccoed(?) ones, which are based on buildings in Bristol, and some tarred weatherboard, which is perhaps more typical of the south coast. Some brickwork would create a full set – but can anyone advise what colour bricks were in London before the railway started to bring mass produced products to the market?
Finally, one idea that has worked quite well has been a trawl through Google Images for pictures of old London. One that I like is of a slum courtyard, which is viewed end on, and may fit almost unchanged as a view down a narrow gap between two low relief buildings. A couple of others have suggested some masts and spars standing above the buildings – probably at the right hand end and suggesting the docks not far away. These should be fairly straightforward to paint onto the backscene but, in the meantime, the printed pictures have provided a simple source of ideas to trial. I have not come up with an equivalent for the left hand end, although church towers or spires would be the other obvious feature on the skyline at this period. Any other suggestions would be most welcome.
Given that the next step is to start fleshing out some of these ideas, it may be a little while before there is a further progress report.
Best wishes
Eric
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#5 Donw

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 06:58

Interesting project. I enjoy three links but having gone up to 7mm it is a bit easier. With the AJs they should not cause any problems if they are flexible enough. When pushing the couplings should pass each other and let the buffers do the work. The recommendation is for the buffer springs to be lighter than the couplings springs.
When you were having problems with the short I did wonder about the insulation base, basically the layout is built on a sheet of aluminium any pins going through the track bases would be liable to connect to all others.
Don
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#6 burgundy

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 11:45

When you were having problems with the short I did wonder about the insulation base, basically the layout is built on a sheet of aluminium any pins going through the track bases would be liable to connect to all others.
Don

Don
Thank you for that suggestion. It is one possibility that had never crossed my mind! Still, the problem now appears to be solved.
Best wishes
Eric

#7 MartinWales

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 17:07

Having use three links for a number of years on three EM exhibition layouts, I can suggest that if you and your operators are competent with them then you stick with 'em, otherwise some auto couplings may be necessary.

You could always use the bottom link magnetised and utilise one of Dave Franks' new magnetized coupling hook tool.
(trades as Lanarkshire Modelling Supplies)


Edited by MartinWales, 20 January 2013 - 16:47 .

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#8 burgundy

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 13:04

Having use three links for a number of years on three EM exhibition layouts, I can suggest that if you and your operators are competent with them then you stick with 'em, otherwise some auto couplings may be necessary.

You could always use the bottom link magnetised and utilise one of Dave Franks' new magnetized coupling hook tool.
(trades as Lanarkshire Modelling Supplies)

Martin
Thank you for that encouragement!
I think (or at least I sincerely hope) that I have got throught the pain barrier with the AJ couplings. Like many aspects of railway modelling, there are always tricks of the trade that you need to work through the hard way. With the assistance of some of the NWSEMGSAG, who have made AJs work on their own layouts, I have had the practical experience of others to draw on. And with a reasonable fleet of vehicles converted, I am beginning to understand what works and what does not. It is one of those things where you can read about it all you like, but there is no substitute for actually doing it.
Best wishes
Eric
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#9 burgundy

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 14:15

I have turned my attention to trying to sort out the low relief and other buildings that I need to complete the backscene.
The existing collection, which have been transplanted from the previous layout, are a slightly odd selection.
  • There is a stone warehouse, which is one of Langley's products. I am pretty sure that I remember stone built warehouses along the side streets from when I worked in Southwark, so, for the time being this one is safe – and it also takes up quite a lot of room.
  • There are some tarred weatherboard structures that would look perfectly at home in Rye or Hastings, but I am not sure how appropriate they would be for the south bank of the Thames.
  • There are some rendered buildings which owe their origins to books on old Bristol. Quite a lot of buildings in Bristol were timber framed and survived until the early years of the railway age in quite large numbers. I should quite like to recapture the image of an area that has not yet had the benefit of “Victorian improvement”, so I hope to include some more left overs from the 17th and 18th century.
I have still not decided how the existing buildings should be arranged, so the obvious way ahead was to start with a new building that has to sit in the front right hand corner where it has to conceal the right hand side and provide a view blocker for the siding leading off to the right. This is going to be used for the Grande Vitesse service and so a building that might provide the agency for the LB&SCR's parcels and express traffic might work. An expert adviser has pointed out that London tends to be built of brick and so I have bitten the bullet and tried to work out the rear of a reasonably plausible 4 storey brick building, which evidently faces onto the adjoining street. It has a rear extension, which may have been added as a way of providing access from a loading platform for wagons on this new fangled railway that has appeared in the back yard.
I drew out the basic geometry of the building on cardboard and mocked up the rear extension out of foamboard to get the general proportions right. Thanks to Michael Graff for pointing out in another thread the website which allows you to design your own brickwork (within limits). It provides a reasonable stab at London Stocks without the need to move away from your computer! However, when it came to windows, I rapidly concluded that the sensible thing was to design a window and then cut a hole to accommodate it – rather than the other way around. The scrap box had a selection of plastic windows but none that looked like an obvious fit. The lightbulb moment came when I found an old white paint pen which was still in good order and capable of drawing a line on a piece of clear plastic sheet. I simply put the clear sheet on the cutting mat and used the markings on the mat to draw a series of parallel lines, then a second series of lines at right angles and immediately had the basis of a reasonable set of windows. I took this matrix and cut out the set of windows that I needed, with sufficient surround to glue to the backs of the frames. The frames were cut out of stiff paper, with apertures for the glazing sections and the cardboard building side could then be cut to accommodate the whole window unit. It looks like this.
right 5.JPG
Since in this case the building is flat against the end of the layout, the main part will have no visible roof, although there will be some capping stones to imply a parapet. The rear extension will have a pitched roof with a hip on the end and a beam protruding just below to support a pulley for hoisting stuff up to the doors. Tiles or slate? If the extension was added in the railway age, then slate would have been the common material. If it is Georgian, it might go either way.
I may also have to find a way to cover the join between the two sections. My first thought was a gutter downpipe but it does not make much sense to have this leading into a soakaway in the inner angle of a building with a railway siding immediately in front. However, I am sure that somewhere, some builder will have done exactly that! Any better suggestions would be welcome!
Looking at the photos, it looks rather bare for a building of this era. Window sills and some bars across the windows might help, but I wonder whether it needs a bit of decorative brickwork somewhere?
right 6.JPG
Best wishes
Eric
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#10 scotcent

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 15:14

I'm Glad you found my comments re wire - in - tube helpful. I should have made it clear that I was careful to keep the wire - in - tube isolated from the track power, in my case by using PCB sleeper strip for tiebars as shown. Otherwise as you've seen, too many possibilities for short circuits. (It's not the most seemly system, but it suits my requirements for a high degree of reliability)

Allan F

PCB tiebar.jpg
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#11 burgundy

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 10:30

I'm Glad you found my comments re wire - in - tube helpful. I should have made it clear that I was careful to keep the wire - in - tube isolated from the track power, in my case by using PCB sleeper strip for tiebars as shown. Otherwise as you've seen, too many possibilities for short circuits. (It's not the most seemly system, but it suits my requirements for a high degree of reliability)
Allan F

Allan
Your suggestions were much appreciated. I had just not realised how many different ways there were to create a short circuit! (see also Donw's comment above).
Best wishes
Eric

#12 burgundy

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 23:02

I have now tidied up the first building so that it is more or less complete. It will need weathering, but that is probably better left until I can tackle the whole scene to give a more or less consistent finish. In the meantime it looks a bit like this.
P1010257.JPG
The roof is slate, built from some Exactoscale self adhesive sheet that I had in the scrap box. I convinced myself that, as an extension built in the railway age, a slate roof would be entirely appropriate, even if the core building was a bit older.
The gutter downpipe on the extension covers the join in the two parts of the building, as I am afraid that I could not think of anything better. I can only assume that this and the downpipe from the original part drain into a culvert that once ran through the yard as an open ditch. It would be fun to show this appearing in the open on the far side of the yard between the buildings – complete with first floor overhanging privvies – but I suspect that this sort of thing would have gone out of fashion by the 1870s/80s.........
I have put bars across the windows on the lower floor but, other than that, the brickwork is pretty unrelieved. I shall have to try a bit harder with some of the other structures.
The corner of the scene will probably be filled in with the timber shed shown in the photo, squeezed into the space next to the Langley warehouse. It will need a new end and roof and it will leave a narrow alleyway between the two buildings which, I hope, will imply a bit of depth.
P1010260.JPG
For some of the other buildings, I had been concerned that the sources that I was using showed buildings from Bristol rather than London. However, I have found a website showing “relics of old London” which provides a wonderful selection of London street scenes. It is clear from this that timber framed and jettied buildings were still to be found in the quieter corners of the city well into the Victorian period.
Best wishes
Eric
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#13 burgundy

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 22:43

The next building to tackle is the one in the corner, between the new brick warehouse and the Langley stone one. The plot is slightly awkwardly shaped, in that it includes the curved rear corner of the backscene. The plan involved recycling one of the black timber structures from Cardinal’s Wharf and squeezing it in tightly against the end of the Langley warehouse. The wooden staircase and landing mean that there will be a narrow alleyway between the two, but the viewing angle should give a pretty oblique view. A previous post shows it propped loosely in place.

After some thought, I decided to try to get the ridge of the roof visible, as I have been uncomfortable having a roofline that disappears into the backscene on the skew, reflecting the angle between the building and the backscene. As it now appears, the ridgeline is straight and the curved join with the backscene is hidden behind the ridge. Aligning the building in this way involved lengthening the wall that faces the front of the layout, so that the relief is a bit deeper than it used to be. I have also given the roof a rather steep pitch at 450 which helps the illusion. The new roof is tiled, rather than tarpaper as before.
P1010265.JPG
The building will need to be weathered, to be consistent with its surroundings – the tiled roof, in Snakebite leather, needs a bit of toning down!
P1010268 (3).jpg
Lessons learned (or relearned).
  • Wills sheets (weatherboard in this case ) are a b..... to cut. The plan to use them on a building that involves cutting out windows has been scrapped. Foamboard with card overlay is looking increasingly attractive.
  • The tiled roof was boring to do and I don't like Butanone as an adhesive (particularly the smell). The tiles came from a printed plasticard sheet, with alternate strips of tiles and plain card. The idea is that you cut strips of tile and overlay them on the strip below. In reality, you also need to score out the groove between each tile, which gives the strip a nice curve. Therefore, I am not sure that it is much less effort than starting from a clean sheet of paper – or thin card. Any suggestions for a source of convincing looking tiles would be welcome as I have a couple more buildings to do!
Best wishes
Eric
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#14 Forward!

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 01:58

Cool project- it's nice to see some buildings that predate the railways modelled.

This useful? http://www.flickr.co...N02/5204813458/

If you're interested in the period, the new book 'Lost London 1870-1945' is a cracking coffee table book.

By the way- weatherboarding of timber framed buildings was common in London from the 17th century onwards. In some cases the weatherboarding was even rendered over. There's some good examples in this thread:

http://www.skyscrape...ad.php?t=442332

regds,
Will
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#15 burgundy

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 12:42

Will
Thanks for the comments and the links.
I think some of the pictures in the second link come from the delightfully named Society for the Photographing of Relics of old London. I am particularly taken with the views here and here which might well form the basis for the next group of buildings that are needed to fill in the remaining gap. I did think about this one - but I could not really justify a railway in the yard of a four storey coaching inn and I was put off by all those turned wooden ballustrades! :O
Best wishes
Eric

#16 Donw

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 07:39

Grey card as sold by art shops can make suitable tiles needs a paint job but the grey means no white edges to show. Suggestion came from Ian Rice.
Don
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#17 burgundy

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 19:44

Grey card as sold by art shops can make suitable tiles needs a paint job but the grey means no white edges to show. Suggestion came from Ian Rice.
Don

Don
Thanks for the suggestion. I looked in at the local craft shop this afternoon and came away with some brown card, which should be a reasonable basis for roofing tiles, and also found some black card which should be OK for weatherboard.
Best wishes
Eric

#18 CourthsVeil

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 21:59

Hi Eric, just looking if there is any update on this layout. Have been looking out for news for a while. Hope everything is still going OK.
Armin

#19 burgundy

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 23:14

Armin
Thank you for your interest!
Despite the lack of updates to this thread, there has been some progress on the next group of buildings, which is recorded here.
These are largely complete and ready to fit into the scene, although they still need bits like guttering, etc. and the whole lot will need to be weathered down to a common standard.
Since then, I was distracted by a trip away and took a kit with me, which has resulted in this thread.
I find it very easy to end up with three or four different projects on the go at the same time and so I will try to finish the loco before I start the next bit of Vintner's Yard. Quite what I shall do with a top link express engine in a small shunting yard is another matter!
Best wishes
Eric



#20 burgundy

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 11:15

P1010112.JPG

The backscene is more or less complete now with the timber framed building plonked in place. Time now to start working forwards to get the trackwork and the uncoupling magnets running smoothly before burying it all in "ballast".  

The remaining question is how to manage the left hand view blocker to conceal the "hole in the sky" (and all the spaghetti associated with the switches). The first view shows the bare scene

P1010107.JPG

and the second shows a  mockup of a further warehouse that might go at the front. It will need to be fairly tall and so will have to be a fairly "modern" building, given the modestly sized early buildings around it. Even coming back to this for the 3rd or 4th time, I am still not convinced that I have got the right answer - so, if anyone has a flash of inspiration, I am open to suggestions!

P1010106.JPG   

Another small step forward is the lighting, which is from a couple of short strip lights that will be used for the final installation. I have been keen to see how colours show up with the actual lighting rig and my camera is sufficiently impressed to take pictures without resorting to flash.  

Best wishes

Eric


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#21 burgundy

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 19:29

As a short update on this thread, the final building for Vintner's Yard has been completed - although not yet "planted". This is shown at the first photo below.

The warehouse serves not only to fill in space, but also to act as a view blocker for the fiddle yard exit at the left hand end of the layout and to hide the mess of plumbing and wiring that is visible in earlier posts to actuate the turnouts, the isolating sections and the electric uncouplers. The third photo below (sorry the "add to post" link seems to be having a bad day) shows what the fiddle yard side of the end wall looks like, with a hole through to reach the turn out switches and a mass of chocolate block so that - in theory - I can fault trace. 

Next item on the agenda is to lay "ballast" in the yard and create the roadways and other waste ground. The two front buildings will then be toned in and weathered to match. There is also further work to ensure that everything runs OK - even after the ballast has been laid. Coupling is by AJs and, although I have done some trial installations to prove the idea, I need to complete all the stock that will be required and all the uncouplers - both magnetic and electrical. So about 180 weeks into the project, there is still a fair bit to go!

Best wishes

Eric          

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • P1010286.JPG
  • P1010292.JPG
  • P1010294 (2).jpg

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#22 CourthsVeil

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 19:43

...

The third photo below (sorry the "add to post" link seems to be having a bad day)

...

Eric          

 

Hi Eric,

it is advisable to look for the cursor in your text before pressing the "Add to Post" button. It quite often jumps to unforseeable places during "Searching" and "Attaching" files. Just put the cursor to the place where you want the pic located, THEN activate "Add…"

Observing this simple rule I never had any problems with the order of my attachments.

 

Apart from that: this is still an amenable layout – I like it and am watching progress. The new warehouse really fits the bill.

 

Regards

  Armin


Edited by CourthsVeil, 16 April 2014 - 19:44 .

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#23 burgundy

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 23:36

Armin

Many thanks for the suggestion for adding photos into a post. I have managed it successfully in the past without difficulty, but at the moment it seems to be a problem using Internet Explorer, which is my normal browser. Using Firefox the other day, the problem seemed to go away.

Best wishes

Eric     



#24 burgundy

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 16:40

The wide screen telly look

P1010319.JPG

(Yes, the bottom left hand edge is at a slight angle, as the ground in that corner will be rising slightly. And the wings at either side are actually about 2" wide, rather than being cropped quite as fiercely as in the photo).

I have been having another go at the trackwork, to make sure that it runs reasonably smoothly, before burying it all in "ballast". I have not run anything for a couple of months but the gremlins have been in action and a couple of locations that used to be OK are not OK any longer - so they have been attacked with the soldering iron. Perseverence is the name of the game.............

Best wishes

Eric

PS The photo has been embedded in the text through Firefox; IE is still not cooperating. 


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#25 burgundy

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Posted 30 August 2014 - 08:06

Progress has continued on Vintners Yard at the traditional glacial pace. At the time of the last update, all the buildings were complete, but had not been firmly embedded, nor had any of the ground surfaces been tackled, other than a couple of bits of experimental ballast.

IMG_0005 (1280x550).jpg

Since then, ballast has been laid and a cobbled street has been built in front of the buildings at the rear of the scene, together with the alleyways leading off it.  The road has a gutter down the centre, which collects not only the run off from the surrounding buildings, but also the evidence of the horse drawn traffic to the various warehouses. The rest of the yard is hard packed earth, with some scrubby bushes at the sides of the front. It looks as though it has been a bit damp lately.

I admit that I ran out of ideas for the open area in the centre at the front, but I was concerned that anything in that position was going to get caught by a sleeve when, inevitably, the hand of god needed to make an appearance. The rail height is about 4' 3” above the floor so it is not one of those layouts where you can easily reach down into it.
I have spent some time toning down the contrast between the grey ash ballast and the brown of the earth to try to get more of a blend, rather than a hard line. Some of the foliage at the front also assumed a rather vivid green colour under the strip light that is installed in the proscenium, so that got dulled down with some brown as well (curiously, it had not looked nearly as vivid under the normal room lights).

IMG_0008 (1024x522).jpg

IMG_0010 (1280x645).jpg

I can now begin to list the stuff that still needs doing.
There are some people in the paintshop who will provide a working population, together with some horse drawn vehicles and other clutter.
Point levers need to be added to each of the turnouts (and will provide a useful hazard when reaching over or track cleaning).
Alex Jackson couplings are fitted and uncouplers have been installed, but these need to be tuned to work reliably (the bit that gives me most cause for concern).
Best wishes
Eric


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