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Midnight on the Great Western


MikeOxon

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blog-0822033001416006491.jpgTime flies! Back in August, I wrote about the 'DCC Concepts' oil lamps that I had installed on the platform at North Leigh. Various events have conspired to limit my modelling activities of late, but I have finally got around to wiring up these lamps.

 

The enamelled copper wires attached to the lamps are extremely fine, so I mounted small printed circuit boards carrying block connectors, onto which I soldered these wires. This proved a rather cruel test of my eyesight since, although I have an illuminated magnifier on my workbench, I couldn't use this underneath the baseboard - I need an Optivisor, or similar! The difficulty I had in seeing these wires can, perhaps, be appreciated from the following photo of one of the boards in place. I left sufficient 'free' wire to allow the lamps to be lifted out of their sockets and laid flat on the platform, for layout cleaning or whenever they might be vulnerable to other modelling activities.

 

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'DCC Concepts' include a controller with the set of three lamps, and I mounted this circuit board in a small plastic box from 'Maplin', with more block connectors on the outside, to connect to the lamps and power supply. The circuit has outputs for both filament and LED types of lamp, so my next phase will be to provide some lighting inside the station buildings, using the additional outputs.

 

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Very fine adjustment of the brightness of the lamps can be made with the multi-turn potentiometer on the circuit board. The 'oil lamp glow' is more realistic on the layout than it may appear on the following photograph, showing an overview of North Leigh Platform, with the surrounding scenery bathed in bright moonlight.

 

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Because of all the distractions that have occupied my time recently, I have made little further progress on modelling No.184. I did, however, mock up the appearance of my planned model and, in the following photo, show my existing 'Stella' model meeting a 'ghost', through the magic of 'Photoshop'. The difference in the proportions of these two types of locomotive is very apparent, with No.184 showing her rather ancient provenance, in the small, low-slung boiler.

 

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Through a post in the Forums , Geelong1857 drew my attention to the 'E.B.Wilson-style' safety-valve covers, available in 4mm scale from 'RT Models'. I have bought some of these brass castings and am strongly tempted to model the engine in its earlier form, just to make use of these components!

 

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Finally, a closer shot of North Leigh station, with a late-night branch passenger train just arriving. (The lamp on the locomotive is, alas, simulated using 'Photoshop' ..... for now!)

 

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Mike

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  • RMweb Gold

Hi Mike. There is a Hornby catalogue from the 1980s (I forget which) that had some very effective night time scenes with shining station lamps. Made a big impression on me as a teenager. Your standards of modelling are of course at a very different level, but I was reminded of it when seeing your shots here: The magic of model railways! 

 

Your image of 184 is simply mouth-watering! This is going to be something very special. It's odd to think that you may be the first person to be working with the drawings and dimensions of this loco since it was originally built. A real link to the past.

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A very useful entry for me as I have an unopened box of the GWR oil lamps for my Shipston Branch.  I am nowhere near fitting them but bought them anyway, just in case (the opposite of "just in time")

 

Thank you!

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Very atmospheric! lovely:-)

Thank you - even more so 'in the flesh'.  I sat in the dark last night, watching the shadows cast by passing trains - it brings out the inner child :)

 

 

Your image of 184 is simply mouth-watering! This is going to be something very special. It's odd to think that you may be the first person to be working with the drawings and dimensions of this loco since it was originally built. A real link to the past.

I made the image to fire up my own enthusiasm, as I was feeling daunted by the thought of having to build a working chassis.  I might tackle it in two stages, by using my powered 2500 gal tender initially, or as a fall-back.  At the moment I am transferring my sketches to Autosketch, to produce my working drawings.

 

 

A very useful entry for me as I have an unopened box of the GWR oil lamps for my Shipston Branch.  I am nowhere near fitting them but bought them anyway, just in case (the opposite of "just in time")

 

Thank you!

I'm pleased you have found this helpful.  Like you, i bought the lamps a long time ago and first took a while to fit them and then another while to wire them up.  I couldn't think of a way to avoid having to do the very fiddly soldering underneath the base-board. I tinned the ends of the fine wires first, then held them in place with masking tape, to make the final joint onto the PCB.

 

For anyone interested, I took the photos with my Lumix FZ200 camera, securely mounted on a tripod, with exposures of 8 secs.@ f/8, ISO160.  The 'moonlight' was provided by the ring fluorescent tube in my desktop magnifier.  I intend to experiment further, as I would like to achieve a more accurate impression of the oil-lamp 'glow'.

 

Mike

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  • RMweb Gold

I intend to experiment further, as I would like to achieve a more accurate impression of the oil-lamp 'glow'.

 

I know what you mean, it can be very frustrating when the camera can't recreate the real light on your layout. There's a lot of discussion about digital images making layouts look better than they are, but sometimes the opposite is the problem!

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Photographs can indeed be a mixed blessing, Mikkel!  All too often, they show defects that were previously not apparent and so lead to much gnashing of teeth, followed by re-building.  They can be great,however, for giving a back-scene apparent depth and so producing a degree of 'realism' that is not there in the model. 

 

Lighting is another game altogether and I have a lot to learn.  I recall the very effective shadows in some of your goods depot photos.

 

I mentioned Witney blankets in a comment on your blog. I have just seen a remarkable photo of a blanket train headed, surprisingly, by a Queen-class 2-2-2.  I suspect there must have been some considerable slipping when starting the long train of loaded vans!  I have the engine and some vans, so all set to go :)

 

Mike

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