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A Long Term Project

Entries in this blog

Blowing through with a quick update...

Just a quick, one-picture update - if the weather allowed, I had planned to take the layout into the garden today to work on it and take some pictures, but 'Storm Katie' has other ideas - I'm not risking it with it blowing 50/60mph winds at the moment!   Anyway, the station building is now done,so I did brave taking that outside for a quick picture in natural daylight.   I'm really quite pleased with it, and it seems to 'fit' well. The LBSCR red colour was obtained by taking one of the print

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A Station Building For Ripe

Over the past couple of weeks I have been working on the first of the buildings that will be required for Ripe, with the signal box (a small, platform mounted type) and the station building.   After a couple of false starts, I'm happy enough with the Station building to post a few photos in it's incompleted state - incomplete as it is missing a roof, guttering, bargeboards, glazing and one window frame, as well as painting of the two exterior doors and windowsills (I don't have a suitable colo

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Ripe - Wired and Terraforming Underway

The wiring is now complete for Ripe - not a great deal of it! - and the frog juicer has been installed to deal with the polarity switching.   It needs testing, but lack of a suitable test loco means that this will have to wait for the time being. The annual bonus from work was lower than expected (across the board, not just me!), which, combined with Charlie's birthday and the Car Insurance stymied my plans to buy a Bachmann E4 last month. I do have some BR Blue stock to move on which will be

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Ripe - Track and Cheapo Point Control

Work has continued on the Ripe layout since the last update, with some significant progress on the 'boring bits', with all track now laid and wiring to be tidied up tomorrow, once the glue holding it down has had plenty of time to set.   Going back a little though, this was the scene a few nights ago. Excuse the snapshot again, which has been taken on my phone and edited for size.     As you can see, the pointwork has changed, which I have salvaged from the previous Litlington board, as I

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Ripe - More Progress...

Progress has continued with some more additions and work on the Ripe layout/cameo.   After screwing the various pieces together (angle brackets and a couple of mending plates from Screwfix, and some 19mm screws from Wickes), I used some spare Fablon/Sticky Back Plastic purchased from Poundland ages ago for one of Charlie's homework projects to neaten the front up, as there were a few marks and chips from the process of screwing it all together. This neatens the front of the layout up nicely. I

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A View To A Layout

After a quiet couple of days following construction (or at least putting together - it hasn't been fixed yet!), I have had a look again at the sides/middle divider that came with the TV unit, with a view to using them. I initially rejected these as sides/wings due to the height of 6.5 inches, but having looked again, and as the layout is designed for eye-level viewing, I have decided to use them.   Cutting them down to size has given me the sides and wings - you will have to excuse the poor qu

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Take one TV Unit...

And Build a Baseboard.   Not how they tell you to do it in the magazines, but when I saw the above offered for free on Facebook, my thrifty side couldn't resist.   It is (or was!) an Argos 'Cubes' TV Unit - link here; http://www.argos.co.uk/beta/static/Product/partNumber/6090746.htm, and, no doubt, did that job very well. It was described as 'Free to collector, has some marks on top', and was outside waiting for me when I picked it up yesterday evening, but the short spell out in the cold se

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A question of Space...

It has been an interesting couple of weeks, with plans continuing for the small, portable, Ripe project/layout and several sketches done to try and get my minds eye down on paper.   One of the main snagging points though has been the size - namely, I hadn't calculated how large the brackets would have to be to support a 1' wide shelf. When I found some suitable ones today in Wickes, I was a little surprised - to be frank they will look awful on the wall, and as the shelf was planned for the lo

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Plans - Revisiting and Revising

So after posting the various plans on Friday evening, there was still something which I wasn't quite happy with, and I couldn't put my finger on what it was, although a lot of it was around space, or lack of it, in what passes for a goods yard.   I've now had a chance to look again, and have come up with what I hope will be the final plan which I invited comment on     It was the change to a curved point which I think pulled this all together for me, I think it gives more of a natural flo

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Ripe - The Plans

From my previous posts not-so-subtle hint, you may guess that I have selected Ripe as the new area of the line to receive my attention.   My previous posts, setting out my history for the Cuckmere Valley Railway, have barely mentioned Ripe, as a small hamlet (both historically and at the present time), a station here would be pushing the boundaries a bit, but there are plenty of real locations which barely merited a station and had one (in some cases more than one!), so Rule 1 applies here!  

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A return to the blogosphere

Well that's not bad, it's only been about 9 months this hiatus, unlike the year one previously...   So, what's been going on in that time?   In all honesty, not a lot. The embankment had the 'soil layer' installed and painted late last March, before progress ground to something of a halt. There was a reason for what was fully intended as a temporary pause, possibly needing some static grass and a holiday, but whatever it was, it is lost in the mists of time, and ever since, the layout has be

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Preparing the ground...

So after my ballasting issues, and a much needed - and enjoyed - four nights away with the family, I have now moved on, and have begun putting the basic landscaping in.   A picture tells a thousand words, so;     This shows what I've done so far - I have used screwed up newspaper (the Friday-Ad comes in useful for all sorts!) underneath, stuck down with PVA then covered in strips of the same. There is still a fair bit to go in, and more strips will be needed to cover the paper fixed onto

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'Magic' Ballasting (2)

So after last nights failed attempt with the new 'Ballast Magic' product, tonight I started again.   To recap, late last night I was feeling hopeful, after the board and its ballast survived 'the lift' onto its end from the lounge floor. This morning though I touched a patch of supposedly fixed ballast, only for it to come away instantly.   A quick hoover dealt with most of what had been laid last night, though a couple of sections were stuck fast, offering some encouragement (picture below)

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A Kind Of (Ballast) Magic?

Like taxes, death and failing to win the lottery, ballasting is something of a required inevitably.   Its also something I've never been very good at. For the sidings, I plan to use DAS clay as per Chris Nevard's methods; http://nevardmedia.blogspot.co.uk/2011/08/creating-effect-of-ash-ballast.html   For the main line though, and given that shingle extraction is in my history as a purpose of the line, I wanted to give the impression of shingle ballast. As this isn't available out of the pack

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Where we are so far...

After placing the dock temporarily in position, I thought I'd take a photo - as much for my benefit as anything else - of progress to date.     Plenty of basics to put in, let alone anything else, but the 'bones' of the goods yard side at least are now nearing completion.   I hope this gives a general 'map' of the layout which will help anyone interested to get their bearings when I start to add further structures and scenery.

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Banks for the memories

With the goods shed all but completed, the loading bank is next on the agenda. As with the platform, the basic shell is a thin ply top with 12mm basswood sides.   For the surface, I've again used DAS clay, this time attempting a cobbled surface using a method mentioned in the past by Chris Nevard of using a ballpoint pen with the writing part removed to form the cobbles themselves.   Chris' article can be found on his blog -http://nevardmedia.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/quick-cobbles.html   My

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Platforms For People - and Livestock

Whilst there has been no updates for a week or so, progress has continued apace, with the bulk of the platform now completed as well as the cattle pens.   As previously mentioned I want to ensure a local flavour to the layout, starting with the building materials, but also continuing to the structures. Typically, a cattle dock in 00 Gauge has meant using the Ratio Kit, which is of a GWR style with wire and post fences. Locally though the cattle docks I have found in my research - Hailsham for

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A Sunday Night Interrupted

I had intended to crack on with the wall for the blacksmiths yard this evening, but as I have a toddler who is simply refusing to go to bed on my knee, I fear it may have to be put off!   I have though taken advantage of todays good weather to take a couple of photos of the now very nearly (not yet glazed and needs a sign) blacksmiths building itself:       After being pleased with the goods shed even before I'd finished painting it, this one was the complete opposite - until I started

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Building Number Two

Its been something of a fraught week in the household as, after a rough weekend, our eldest broke out in the very visible symptoms of chickenpox on Monday.   In between applying calamine lotion and trying to prevent the inevitable scratching, I have been working on a few bits and have now started on the second building. Again referring to the Cuckoo Line book for inspiration, and with the knowledge that there was one in Litlington in the early part of the last century, I have decided to add a

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A Goods Shed for Litlington

I've mentioned on several occasions that I have been using the Alan Elliott 'Cuckoo Line' book for inspiration, especially for the railway structures.   I've previously mentioned the Station building from Hailsham, and way back at the start, I thought the Goods Shed from Rotherfield would make a nice model for the layout too. As the planning stages progressed though, and with the subsequent reduction in available space, it became clear that it wouldn't fit properly, so it was back to the drawi

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The Wall - v1

In the last update I talked about a scenic identity, and mentioned the common use of flint in Sussex for building and construction.   I'm off this week, and whilst I planned to spend a lot of time on the layout real life has somewhat got in the way, although having said that it has been a lovely few days so far with another couple to go.   One thing I've long wanted to make a start on is the retaining wall, as it will be a clearly visible feature, and it needs to go in first before I can sta

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A Scenic Identity - Research and Structure ideas 1

Now that the layout plan is finally complete, I have spent a most enjoyable evening browsing various websites looking for scenic inspiration. Something which I have been keen to do since coming up with the idea is to keep a real 'Sussex feel' with regard to the scenics and the structures. As well as buildings, that also encompasses local building materials - I've even found myself looking quizzically at trees on my travels, thinking "I wonder if I could do justice to you and fit you somewhere".

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Less Is More - A Space Oddity

A couple of days ago I mentioned that I had finalised the plan, at long last. Of course, a layout is much more than just a track plan, something which I feel is sometimes missed - that's why I've generally tried to call it the plan, rather than the track plan, as whilst the track is obviously important, it is how that it fits in with the 'minds eye' vision I have for the layout as a whole, that is more important to me.   That leads nicely onto the change - the bay. Most of the variations of th

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Taking the slow line

Well, as predicted in my last update, the first running over the layout did occur the following evening, using the bus wires temporarily lashed up to an old Hornby controller. Much to my pleasure, and a little surprise, the whole thing worked perfectly, with my new-to-me (a £60 secondhand bargain!) Bachmann C looking very smooth as she coasted down the gradient into the station, before exploring all the sidings.   I fitted the feeds to track through the bottom of the baseboard, using some cut

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Firming things up

Tonight has seen a productive session on the layout, after a frustrating evening with the soldering iron on Sunday. Soldering is one of those things I cannot seem to get to grips with (that's blown any pretensions of being a Finescale modeller!) and after some soul-searching, I have decided to go with the Peco pre-wired fishplates, at least initially. If I somehow develop the ability to connect a piece of wire to a piece of track using hot metal in the future, I will change it.   These though

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