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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 had planned to use Cork tiles to provide underlay for the track, however my stock of these appears exhausted and, not wanting to spend £10 on a new packet of which I needed 3, I decided to look for other options. A trip to Poundland again brought the solution;




These are Foam sheets in A5 size, sold for kids craft activities. They come in a pack of 10, with five different colours, and as the place suggests, cost just £1. I was expecting some variation in thickness, but they all seem remarkably the same, they cut very easily with kitchen scissors, and stick down easily and quickly with bog standard PVA. I saw these on Saturday, but didn't buy them straight away, so yesterday afternoon it was a quick trip into town before they closed at 4 to grab some - should have gone with my instincts when I first saw them, as they are ideal for the job. I imagine Hobbycraft would do these in bigger sizes, but no doubt more expensively!


I have now also cut the track (SMP with Peco Code 75 Pointwork) to size, and, with the discovery of a couple of points in a bag beneath my desk (one Medium and one Small Radius), have decided to go with these so that I can get going, without having to wait until payday to buy some new ones. This has had the effect of straightening the track a little, so I have introduced a slight curve to the 'main', which now curves away from the Seed Warehouse siding before running offstage.


The points have both had the springs removed (I can only assume they were salvaged from some long-forgotten layout or another!), but I think the depth of the plinth will allow me to use Tortoise Point Motors with no problems, probably with the switches for them poking through the front fascia.



I also dug a few bits out of the cupboard to enhance the 'visual plan'/3D Mockup - although the platform section at the back which is serving as the bay is too wide and too long, so has to be viewed with some imagination. The Litlington Goods Store though does fit nicely, and in the absence of anything else, I may well use this - or I may build another, more low-relief version. The Tree front right was a helpful find, as it had conveniently been made 'low relief' by having most of the back cut off already! - and it has also made the decision for me that there will be a hedge running along the 'rail side' of the white (Woodlands Scenics Incline) slope, which will serve as the base for the farm track.


The big change though is the building at the back left - previously, it was to be a cottage and sit up against the backscene, however by moving it forward towards the tracks a little, at the expense of a garden, I can have a road going behind it - in the picture above you can see a Morris Van (also a placeholder, although a horse and cart would look nice!) poking out from behind it. In the last post I mentioned having some doubts about the road from front to back, so this has solved that problem as well - with the cottage now becoming a shop (the front will be facing the backscene). Construction of this will be brick and flint, to really 'set the scene'. The level crossing remains, however it will now serve for road access to the farm and the Seed Warehouse only, rather than being a public road. The Crossing gate shown is just a placeholder - MSE list an LBSC level crossing, which will be ideal for the job (Geoff Forster has made a superb job of their GWR example on his stunning Llangunllo


So - on the whole, some genuine progress, although there is a bit of a sinking feeling that the 3' I chopped off the back would have come in very handy! (I'd love to put in another siding for the coal yard, some allotments and a bridge over a stream, but there is simply no room) - still, he who never compromised never made a model railway, and I must adapt to the space available to me! :)

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Having been a fan of the never-built Cuckmere Valley LR for c50 years, its interesting to see another person's view of what it would have looked like.


Liking it!



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Thanks Kevin! - Yes, it's an intriguing prospect although I suspect Ripe certainly wouldn't have justified a station in reality.


Looking forwards, I have track plans for both Litlington (not the one which I started either!) and Alfriston, based on Iain Rice plans - I see it as something of a 'long haul' scheme which I can work towards for many years to come.

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