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North Welsh Coast Railway - Welsh Dragon Rail

N Gauge Welsh Coast Layout Bangor Conwy Penmaenmawr Model British Rail Railway




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#1 Anthony Ashley

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 11:53

This is the blog for an N gauge layout set on the north Welsh coast in the period 1960 to 1970. It will feature the stations of Conwy, Penmaenmawr and Bangor. This is the first layout I have built and it will be a case of slowly but surely. Currently I am working on the Conwy section of the layout and intend to complete at least some scenery prior to commencing the next base board. I have built a large shed to house the layout in, which will be 35'X16'. I have been researching for approximately 10 months and have pictures of most of the rail facilities for the 3 stations. The name of the layout is the Welsh Dragon railway.

 

 

Conwy has the fantastic castle and medieval town wall to model, is on a river, has 3 impressive bridges, a small freight shunting area and a few hills. The castle alone will be approximately 2 1/2 feet by approximately 1 1/2 feet. and nearly 12 inches tall.  An approximate map of the area being modelled is below.

 

Conwy Aerial.jpg

 

 

  Penmaenmawr is on the sea, is a picturesque holiday town, has a fantastic mountain right next to it which includes a marvellous rail and road viaduct between the ocean and mountain. I am also going to slightly distort reality and operate the light rail facility which moved the granite for the mountain to the main line rail service up to the 1950s. I understand that this closed some years earlier but will take some licence, as it will give me the opportunity to model a Welsh quarry light railway.

 

Penmaenmawr Aerial.jpg

 

Bangor is a great station to model given its position in a valley with tunnels at either end. It is quite large And from my reading was a hub for rail freight traffic in the area in the early 60s, allowing a great variety in the types of goods subject to movement to and through the station. Given it was a primary station on the route to Ireland, this would also provide varied freight requirements and considerable variety in passenger trains .

 

Bangor Aerial.jpg

 

 

The layout will be in 2 levels. The upper level is scenic with the 3 stations. The lower has two 18 track turntables to store all stock and rotate to facilitate a morning and afternoon run of trains.  

 

I have started a previous blog on RM Web and will update this site with the same material. This will remain the web site for the Welsh Dragon Railway in the future.

 

Please reply if this is of interest to anyone and I shall continue entries.

 

Regards,

 

Anthony

 


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#2 Anthony Ashley

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 12:36

Commencing the base boards and back scenes.

The first part of the project was to complete a very accurate plan of the layout. The plan has taken at least 100 hours and has been evolving since I started the project.Part of the plan is listed below and features Conwy. Main lines are shown in blue and purple with hidden track in green and red. The grid lines are 12 inches or 304 mm apart. The grey area at the bottom of the section of the plan is an operations area. I have completed the town plan for Penmaenmawr and will show that section on a later entry.

Conwy Plan.jpg


The large area of water is the river Conwy. The castle is self evident. The other large yellow structure is a church. Conwy station is in the lower left hand corner of the plan. The brown dotted line is a medieval town wall which you may notice has a portal for the main line to run through.
Below is the area comprising the hidden and lower track area which will not be visible as part of the scenic area.

Conwy Plan 2.jpg

The gradient on the hidden area for both track going down and up is 1:100. I have maximum radius curves on the scenic area of 30" and 20 "in the hidden and lower track area. This should allow me to run prototype rakes of 16 coaches, which was not uncommon for the holiday passenger traffic in the 1960s on the Chester to Holyhead line.


There are two transition areas on the complete plan to facilitate movement for the scenic to the lower track areas.

I shall be running the layout on DCC.

Below are a few early shots of my base board construction and early back scenes which are being painted by my wife and mother in law. Both are very talented artists and I am fortunate to have them involved in the project.

IMG_4422A.jpg


To the rear of Conwy lies a small hill and a mountain. These will feature in a future entry. The back scene comprising the shed walls adjacent to Penmenmawr and the Pen-y-clip viaduct are sea scape and shots of them are below.

IMG_4693V2.jpg

Lighting for the layout is comprised of 8 50 watt LED spot lights. A shot of one of the lights is below.

IMG_4358V2.jpg

IMG_4694V2.jpg

IMG_4689V2.jpg

The base boards for Conwy are shown below prior to adding the horizontal surfaces.

IMG_4718V2.jpg

Future entries will feature further back scene and base board developments.

Please reply to this topic if it is of interest.

Regards,

Anthony

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#3 Anthony Ashley

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 13:50

BACK SCENE AND BASE BOARD DEVELOPMENT

The back scenes continued to be developed by my family and I have provided a sample of the photos featuring the area to the rear of Conwy.


1st draft of the mountain and hill behind Conwy
IMG_4743V2.jpg

Early effort on the town wall around Conwy

IMG_4784V2.jpg

A more recent photo of the town wall.

IMG_4793V2.jpg

The river Conwy to the right of the town.

IMG_4785V2.jpg

Hidden track with the 1:100 gradient. Two pairs of tracks rising and falling. Horizontal surfaces have yet to be added.IMG_4794V2.jpg

The view of the hidden track taken form the other direction. The town of Conwy will be above this track.

IMG_4855V2.jpg

The far bank of the river Conwy with a first effort rainbow. The rainbow will be deleted and my family will try again with this feature.

IMG_4842V2.jpg

If you have enjoyed these photos please reply so that I can ascertain interest in continuing the blog.

Regards,

Anthony
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#4 Will J

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 13:59

Wow, ambitious stuff, I will watch with interest. (Taking notes for my own 'shed' project that I'm planning!)
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#5 bluefredie

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 15:32

Hi great start I will follow this layout with interest as I often

travelled along the NWales coastline to and from Holyhead to Chester

when on holidays and visiting relations

Best of Luck

David

Wexford Ireland


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#6 branchie

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 19:47

Good stuff Anthony.

A cracking idea for a layout - and all so close to where I live. I'll watch this thread with interest.

Branchie.

#7 Anthony Ashley

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 09:59

DEVELOPMENT OF THE CONWY BACK SCENE AND THE HORIZONTAL SURFACES AND SEA WALLS FOR THE LLANDUDNO GOODS AREA

I have included a few photos of the reworked rainbow over the far bank of the river Conwy and the Llandudno goods storage area which has been clad with horizontal surfaces and ply forming the base for the sea walls.

I am interested in comments as to whether the attached rainbow or the one above looks more effective.

IMG_4858V2.jpg

IMG_4857V2.jpg

IMG_4859V2.jpg
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#8 jon_1066

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 10:51

Immense project - definitely keep posting.  

 

Much prefer second rainbow.  I imagine it will be very difficult to get something looking convincing.  Personally on a project of this scale the rainbow would be a nice to have at the end as part of the detailing.


Edited by jon_1066, 29 April 2013 - 10:51 .

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#9 Anthony Ashley

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 10:56

John,

Thank you for your comments they are valued. My team of painters have rather less to do on the layout than me, as I am doing everything but the back scene with a little help from other modellers. We wanted to finish the Conwy end as that will be the first section of the layout completed, so that the painters do not need to take paint around a completed scenic section. I think the second rainbow looks less cartoon like and more realistic.

Regards,

Anthony

#10 Class 74

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 14:46

Wow, how cool is that! I often thought that Conwy is just ideal for a layout, the bridge, the castle, the medival wall... fantastic!!!

 

Good luck with that enormous project, can't wait to see more!

 

Simon



#11 Stubby47

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 15:38

Fantastic location for a layout - ambitious but should be stunning.

About the rainbow - not sure the cloud formations are right for a rainbow, as you need rain.

Stu

#12 simon hudson

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 15:47

Looking fantastic, living in Colwyn Bay I'll certainly be watching this one

#13 Anthony Ashley

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 08:24

PROTOTYPE VIEW OF CONWY

I have included a couple of actual photos of Conwy castle and the rail lines in front of it to give the perspective which from the lower operating area of the layout.

Duchess Screen.jpg



I think the picture is inspiring in terms of my modelling the castle.

Regards,

Anthony


Edited by Andy Y, 30 April 2013 - 10:21 .
Edited to remove clearly copyrighted picture - do you hold the copyright for the other?

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#14 01001

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 10:38

I 've always liked the idea of  incorporating  a large castle into a layout . Iam thinking doing somthing like this myself .

How are you planing to construct the castle ?



#15 Anthony Ashley

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 11:22

PROPOSED CASTLE CONSTRUCTION
For the castle I was thinking of using ply for the straight sections clad in plasticard moulded as stone. The difficulty is the towers. I have been collecting a variety of cardboard tubes to replicate the interior and exterior walls. The walkway around the top of the towers would provide the spacer for the interior wall. I will cut slices out of the tubes and fit and glue the straight wall sections into the gap in the tube.

I was thinking of taking a mould of the plasticard and then using modelling clay impressed on the mould and then wrapped around the tower which had been precut. This will provide the flexibility needed to wrap around the tube. I will need to experiment with this technique to see if it will work.

I have drafted a 1:1 scale plan of the castle and it is very impressive when viewed against the rolling stock, coaches and locos, with the length of the castle being over 2 1/2 feet long in N gauge.

If any one else has a better idea for the castle I would be interested to hear it.

Regards,

Anthony

#16 Grafarman

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 14:10

Well Anthony, this is going to be beautiful when it's finished I'm sure but rather you than me modelling that particular structure!! 

I've climbed the towers on the castle many times so am very familiar with the plan of it, but for the life of me wouldn't know where to begin in modelling terms!! 

There are some well-respected building/structural modellers on here so I would recommend starting a separate thread for the build to get some input that way...

 

Following with interest...

 

David



#17 red death

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 14:31

Anthony

 

I don't know if you've seen it but Howard's blog on here is about recreating Penmaenmawr in 7mm: http://www.rmweb.co....s-in-7mm-c1995/

 

Fantastic looking project you have on the go.

 

Cheers, Mike



#18 Anthony Ashley

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 09:04

Mike,

I shall keep a close eye on the layout featuring Penmaenmawr. I shall email the creator and try to swap information, as I do have a substantial number of photos and info.

Thank you for the information and reply.

regards,

Anthony

#19 Tricky-CRS

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 09:34

looking good I like the back-scene you are a brilliant artist. Keep up the good work and us updated.



#20 Anthony Ashley

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 10:42

THE EARLY STAGE OF LAYOUT DEVELOPMENT

I am enclosing a couple of photos of the early stages of the layout development showing the process of insulation which I completed with assistance from my father-in-law. Those of you who have followed through the replies will realise the layout has become a family affair.

The photo below shows the stages of insulation for the shed. In Australia the insulation is mainly required to deal with the heat rather than the cols as is the case in the UK. The framework of the shed was used to hold wool bats. Over the top of the bats I put silver foil and then 18 mil thick villa board.


IMG_4327V2.jpg

This was the last section to be insulated and shows the frame work around the window, which was then covered with Villa Board.

IMG_4375V2.jpg

The shed with the insulation process completed and primed. My next task was to talk my mother in law and wife into painting the back scene. As you have seen I succeeded in that task.

IMG_4415v2.jpg

There is no doubt that you need to have a large variety of skills to create a large layout from scratch.

Next reply I shall show further development of the back scene and the Conwy section have been primed to reduce the effect of moisture.

Please reply if you are interested in this blog or have any questions, as I find the interaction with other modellers to be rewarding.

Regards,

Anthony
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#21 LNWR lives on

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 11:54

Anthony,

 

Its a majorly ambitious project but from what you have shown so far I believe you have the ability to pull it off no problem, the backscene is looking utterly superb and convincing, really reminding me of home

 

I think you should post the overall plan for people to realise the true scale of your project, I am looking forward to your building of Conway Castle and I think it will look stunning in front of that background

 

David


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#22 Anthony Ashley

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 09:27

BACK SCENE DEVLOPMENT

Jenny and Sarah have been further refining the Conwy back scene, adding depth to the vegetation as shown below.

IMG_48611V2.jpg

There has also been further work on the river area blending in the colours to more closely match the environment.

IMG_48621V2.jpg

Horizontal surfaces and sea walls in Conwy are now being added.


Hope you enjoy the additional detail

Regards,

Anthony
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#23 Steve O.

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 13:37

Hi Anthony,
Hugely impressive!

The scale, the backscene, looking forward to the variety of rolling stock possible too.
Cheers,
Steve.

#24 Anthony Ashley

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 13:50

To all those who have responded thank you for your encouragement.

I am also in the process of catalouging a number of magazines back to 1972. Some of the more popular include Railway Modeller, British Model Rail, Model rail, Model railway Constructor, Locomotive Illustrated and a number of others. I have divided the databases into two including Prototype and Modelling and then subdivided into separate pages (ie scenery, DCC, Kit Building, Fictional layouts etc). If those reading are interested in seeing this material please contact me via a RM messenging system of reply on this means. I still have a few hundred magazines to go!

regards,

Anthony Ashley

#25 Anthony Ashley

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 08:53

DISTANT VIEWS OF EITHER END OF THE BACK SCENE AND CREEK LINE DEVELOPMENT

I have enclosed the distant views showing the wide view of the back scenes. The Conwy view has had the rainbow slightly deepened to make it stand out.


IMG_4886V2.jpg

IMG_4883V2.jpg

This photo is of the creek line in front of the castle. I am slowly working on this area using a combination of pine structural support, ply sea walls and foam to create the creek banks. The hill to the south of the creek line has also been started using card board lattice and news paper. Plaster bandage to follow.

IMG_4885V2.jpg

Regards,

Anthony
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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: N Gauge, Welsh, Coast, Layout, Bangor, Conwy, Penmaenmawr, Model, British Rail, Railway

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