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James Hilton



I visited DEMU Showcase over the weekend and found myself both inspired and over-awed with the quality and scale of a number of the layouts there. It was a great show and re-ignited my enthusiasm to get something finished and fit to 'run' so to speak.

On top of that I've promised Richard at Traction an article on the finished layout and some exclusive photos - so that's motivation too!


So what have I been up to? Well the warehouse is glued down and the ballasting has been finished. For the yard I've used cinders (as I'd run out of brown) but it's actually turned out to be a nice contrast. I've also painted the rails with a mixture of Humbrol 98 and 33 (with a touch of orange as well). This is likely to receive some sort of toning down wash, but I'm not sure what or how yet - to pull the cinders and sleepers together a little. I knocked off one of the security cameras (doh!) and I need to fit railings to the ends of the platform and infront of the Fire Exit door too! I then plan to fit bollards across the end of the warehouse to the grassy bank - and there is security fencing to be installed (including gates) around the perimeter.

I've finished off my first sheet of Mini-natur static grass sheet - so £20 ended up going quite a long way - I think I'll need another half sheet to finish off the layout. This has been glued down with PVA and the edges started to blend in with Woodland Scenics medium green turf ground foam.


Running the 08 was a little dis-illusioning - as the running quality of the layout isn't great (I've learnt a lot in the process about wiring up points which I'll do properly next time). I've also found the cosmetic fish plates need 'tickling' a little in places as they do cause the locos to click running over them.


It's nice to be able to show a loco with lights (proving the power was on) even if it was just connected up with crocodile clips!


Anyway enough talking here are some progress photos!


Overview shot:



The 08:



37411 arriving and shunting the MOD vans from Didcot :) :







before running around and heading back down the branch to Winchester:




Comment. questions and encouragement welcome!



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James, that's looking very nice... isn't great how inspirational the shows tend to be! Wish we had more down here. Need some inspiration to geta TMD underway... ;)so keep up the good work and I look forward to seeing more as she nears completion.

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Great to see you getting on with this one again - I take it you decided not to sell?


On the cosmetic fishplates, I'd be tempted to leave them off the inside altogether - less accurate, but it's not going to cause you any problems that way, and it won't look too horribly wrong, surely?


On the 08, they're just short enough that you need the frog and switch rails to be live - but only just. I had a spot of bother with mine when one of my soldered bonds fell off - so the frog was live, but the switch rail wasn't. You could always retrofit feeds to the frogs if you haven't got them already - going in behind the vee is fairly discreet.

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  • RMweb Gold

James - nice progress - what are your plans for the overbridge as there are some nice concrete supports (which even Bansky felt worthy of adding to) but I am always curious to know what that piece of MDF will be replaced with? It may make all the difference when you use it to frame some of the views through it...any thoughts on that yet? - Pete

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Thanks guys!


Pete - funny you should mention that bridge - I've been wondering about that today. I originally was just going to paint the MDF grey and add something on the top, but the view 'through' the bridge I think demands some semi-detailed bridge deck. I suspect I'll add some 'beams' out of balsa or plasticard - and then handrails to the top (as it's supposed to be a lightweight(ish) access road for occasional use in emergency to the MOD base (Fire access I wonder?). How's that sound!?


Will yes I may well need to retro fit wiring to these points - but the tricky thing will be fitting point motors! Current plans are to 'finish' the layout and then pass it onto a new home to make space for four layouts/diaramas! So yes it will be sold - probably in early 2011 - and I'll put it up on here when the time comes :)


1) OO layout using Paxton Road stock - prototype location to be determined (probably southern, MOD based). Trackwork to be large radius Peco and Exactoscale fast track bases and Nickel Silver rail.


2) P4 layout 'Rose Hill - Marple'


3) P4 Manchester Ship Canal railway 'Meadow Lane' diarama (or you could say a small layout) designed to fit on a shelf in my study - but be built with baseboards capable of extending!


4) OO diarama using Paxton Road stock - I'm thinking two parallel lines with bullhead track as a yard and a running line in front with concrete. Non-location specific! Will also fit on a shelf in the study and be a good photo back drop whilst I'm building No.1


Thanks for the interest and encouragement guys! :)

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  • RMweb Gold

Hi James


this looking very good the trackwork is out of this world its just what I'm looking for so if you do end up selling this layout can i be top of your list ?


keep up the great work :D:D



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Thanks Colin. If/when it goes on sale I'll post it on the forum :) and thanks for the positive feedback :) I'm pleased people see it as something to aspire to! There are no secrets or special tricks. The trackwork is just Peco Code 75 with small radius points (space saving at the time :(). It's worth noting I've modified the crossing near the portakabin by interlacing the points slightly to get a closer to accurate gap between the run around loop. The other thing I'm dead keen on is making sure the trackwork all flows really smoothly - looking at transition curves and no sudden changes. Even the track from the run around loop to the back headshunt and warehouse siding is slightly curved if you look at it :)

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