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coombe junction - moorswater - Control Alt DELETE...





For those wishing to see something upbeat, please look away now :blink:


I spent a few days scraping with a tooldriver and a little sanding in a bid to get things running again in the dries area. Nothing got past the turnout on first pass, so my initial thoughts of gentle scraping of crud turned to some quite severe scraping. Finally the class 25 ran up and down, but it was not great and even my 37 entered the dries area and the wheels parted company with the rails and performed in skating terms...'a double axo and triple salchow' as it glid across the hard stand area.


So, not only did the locos not perform well anymore...it looked terrible too. What followed this afternoon was more scraping and sanding, which although seemed to remove some of the cracks, it still looked like a dogs breakfast.


So time for the acid test - give it a wash of grey primer to flush out the defects....and by jolly it did...


I attach a photo of it....its okay to laugh :lol: ....I did....it looks terrible.....and I am afraid its going to have to go.




One thing I don't want is locos/rolling stock performing badly and coupled with that, something that looks visually awful is not going to keep my interest for too long. So I will have a rethink, and I may even resort back to card as me and wet trades don't hit it off so well.


Really...its okay to laugh :lol: I thought I would post it as I think its important to show that things don't always go as well as we planned and we have to bounce back with a new idea.


I will sleep on it tonight, but already the 'jack hammers' have been pencilled in for tomorrow evening. I would like to get this area as right as possible and I don't think I am going down the right route at present.



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Sorry that it's not going to plan pete... I remember my initial ballasting attempts - which too some perseverence to complete... a little scraping and removal and starting again eh..? Good luck with that Pete... and yes I know that this will look superb in the end, and you've found out how not to do it... and now you can show us how it should be done ;)

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Have you tried premixed lightweight filler. It doesn't shrink and it's easier to scribe afterwards. If you get the timing right you can do it when it's partially set. May be worth trying on a small test section before committing yourself again! Whatever you decide, good luck!


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  • RMweb Gold

nick - thanks...good days and bad days I guess


jon - thanks also - I remember your ballasting sessions but you cracked it finally...no pain no gain and all that...and there's a lot of pain at this end at present :D


killybegs - thanks - worth trying perhaps...I am thinking to do a mixture of card and filler next time as per Andy Y's Keyhaven. I should do a trial...but I like to just go for it sometimes...and look what happens when I do :lol:

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"...Really...its okay to laugh :lol: ..."


But you didn't caveat that dispensation with 'how much...' - yes there is mirth, but not with CJ, but with your frank appraisal ! I've only got about 2 ft of 'straight' to fill in so I'm watching this with great interest - and waiting 'till you get it right before I steal your ideas ;)


Best you have a therapeutic G&T (or two...) before the jack hammers come out...

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What condition is the concrete on the real thing in? The biggest thing that shows up to me is the sleepers on the right hand line.

I wonder if you could do the inset track with a resin? It would mean putting something in to create the flangeway first but it might work.


p.s. I would suggest sleeping on a bed rather than the layout, it will be a lot more comfortable.

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Oh dear!


Time for a bit of stiff upper lip... character building... will make you feel so much better when it goes well... etc. etc.


I'm sure you'll find a good solution... no shortage of ideas from your various readers.


Regards, Andy

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  • RMweb Gold

Hi Pete, Cheer up: Snow is notoriously difficult to model :D


Sorry, only joking! Your posts on both the good and bad days set an example for all of us to follow. We all learn from this, so thanks for sharing.

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Steve - from BlackAdder II...'thank god I wore my corset as I fear my sides have split'...sort of laugh :lol: ...you have to really or else you'd cry for the amount of hours we spend on this hobby...Gin Tonics are on full standby mode while I reboot...


Kris - The concrete in the prototype is almost perfect...hence why this isn't acceptable - the photo I posted makes it look better than it really is. Resin....hmmm....interesting idea - am off all things wet at present...excluding alcoholic revivers...if you saw how undulating the model was, it might not make a bad bed :P


Andy - Absolutely - We have to keep smiling as its only toy trains...I already have a cunning plan...

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  • RMweb Gold

Hi Pete, Cheer up: Snow is notoriously difficult to model :D


:lol: Don't be put off that clay though Mikkel - its the user not the product!


Thanks - its good to try and turn the negatives into positives - to prevent anyone repeating my own disasters...

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Pete, that really is a shame, I can understand your disappointment. I'm sure your picture is being a bit cruel as it's several times larger than reality, but I can see there's issues with the sleepers still showing.

I've thought about inset tracks & idly wondered if there's any mileage in putting (say) some appropriate sized Microstrip inside the rails to form the flangeways as the filler is added, then removing it when the filler is in a half set condition. I'm not sure card would be easier as I feel it will be difficult to form the inner part accurately & cleanly...?dry.gif

I hope your not too discouraged by this as there's a lot of onlookers willing you on to get good results with this whole dries section smile.gif

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Excellent post..... okay; maybe not excellent in its outcomes, but I think it's good for all of us to know that the high levels of modelling that are shown on here are the result of many cul-de-sacs, wrong turns and misadventures. Maybe it IS only toy trains, but it still something we allocate precious hours to; and your experience will serve to forestall the frustration and disappointment of others treading that path, then your candour is to be applauded. Good luck with the reworking!


Oh... and lets not forget this is wee stuff your working with.... the photo is a cruel enlargement....





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A crazy idea perhaps - could you take a rubbing of the railheads - and then send that off to someone (who is clever) who could laser cut some infill sections precisely to fit ?

No idea if it would work - but it would be nice if it did :blink:




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  • RMweb Gold

That's a real bummer after looking so promising. I buried some 0 gauge track in polyfilla and seemed to get less skrinkage than that perhaps in 2mm its too thin a layer. My first thoughts are that a good 'no shrinkage' filler might be the answer. However your comment that the prototype is perfect, modern well mixed and spread and tamped I presume, suggest to me that with any kind of filler you will have a job getting a good surface. So perhaps a card surface with a suitable paint finishmight be better. I am thinking that picture mounting board has a slight texture?



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  • RMweb Gold

found with the 2mm stuff from the few pics I have taken of 2mm stuff that it can all get quite depressing! :D To get a view close enough with the camera you have to go far closer to it and focus it much better to get anything like (I haven't even mastered that yet!)


- remember the '3 foot' rule, that said if its affecting running which you say it is then it needs fixing. Glad you have got some ideas for improvement.


I think if it was me i would have built the covered track in PCB with as few sleepers as would hold the track in gauge (1 in every 4 or 5?) then got the whole lot level with card/other infil before starting any top surface, I've found before that otherwise the clay 'drops' into the gaps between sleepers as it hardens.


hope your new plan goes well. :)

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Rich - Thankyou - for the time I have spent on the two dries buildings, it seems silly to let this defeat me - and it won't. Interesting idea about the microstrip although I am slightly weary about using an all clay solution again.


Jan - Many thanks - I agree that the forum can help us all focus and sharpen our modelling skills - we are always learning from each other.


Jon - Nice one...I guess it would depend upon how accurate the initial rubbing would be...I am thinking templates or something similar this time though.


Don - Thanks - Yes...perfect, meaning an overall flush well finished concrete apron...with only one small check rail on the outer curve surprisingly. Will try and have a look in the local art shops here.


It may be that it doesn't need to be as perfect as I think it does and once the buildings and rest of the scenics are in, it does not become the thing the eye focuses on...like it does at present.

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If you did try resin I would be inclined to give it a go on a trial section first, just incase it all goes horribly wrong. As another thought get a section of plastic cut with a CNC machine getting 4 groves routed in that you can then thread the rail down. Nice and flush, no need for sleepers, just needs painting.

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Russ - Thanks - At times like this, 7mm seems more appealing...and the curves are definately taking me out of my comfort zone.


Your approach sounds good...I just used easitrac for ease and speed which may not have been the most appropriate for this.


One further thought, but far too clever for my skillset would have been a large sheet of pcb with code 20 (?) rail soldered directly to it using track gauges and then sprayed and the rail heads wiped clean afterwards? Not unlike the excellent fiddleyard on Andy and co's St Ruth layout...as I say bit beyond me...my soldering comes a close second to my clay skills :D

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I also suspect that the clay you used has been a factor. I don't know which brands are best but I used a grey one similar to yours on building shells and it cracked and flaked also. I would consider the polyfiller route too, its easier than card and has a bit of texture built in. I have a bit to do inside the engine shed so am watching worth interest. Sorry all that effort was wasted.

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  • RMweb Gold

DD118 - Thanks - Not really wasted effort - sometimes we have to go around in circles...before we come back to our original starting point...which in this case may be card/plasticard with a little flexible filler thrown in the mix. Perhaps the clay itself was a factor...although I always put these things down to my own workmanship. Thats why I have to laugh at it...and because the rolling stock budget swear box didn't get a single contribution :D

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I agree with devondynosoar118 regarding polyfiller, I don't think card will look authentic. Its a shame its not worked out after all the time you spent on it.

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Thanks GWRfan - am not worried about time spent on it...we live and learn.


Am still in two minds re card / plasticard / flexible fillers etc.


Having just done the demolition I have a little time to rethink things...I will post a new update later on this...

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Hi Pete,

Only just caught up with your latest trials and tribulations. :blink: I will be interested to see how you go about resolving this one.

A case of taking a breakfor a bit and then going back fresh I would think!

How often have I also had to do that already since I signed up to the dark side.....?!

Good luck!


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Thanks Chris - only just noticed this.


What can I say...my next blog said it all!


Its not the first time I have ripped up track on this layout...my first ballasting was the cause of that one.


Never mind...its only toy trains :lol:

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