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Great Western Ramblings

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Faffing with Fiddleyards!

Faffing with Fiddleyards!

Although I'm happy with the layout when playing with it at home, I've been conscious for a while that certain things could be improved upon when exhibiting the layout at model railway shows.  The road over bridge acts as the break between the scenic part of layout and the "off stage" fiddle yard as show in the picture below.   Fiddle yard and rear of road over bridge     The problem at exhibitions is that the fiddle yard can clearly be seen under the road bridge sp

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Sherton Abbas is in Model Railway Journal

Sherton Abbas is in Model Railway Journal

Look what the postman delivered!       Thanks to Cygnet Magazines for publishing my article and to Jerry (queensquare) for his excellent photos.    I guess that although we aren't allowed to go out during the bank holiday, at least we're still allowed to read!   Best wishes to all during these unusual and difficult times.   Dave

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Wooden plank load

Wooden plank load

In my previous blog entry I mention that I was looking for information about wooden plank loads circa 1905.  Well I'm pleased to say that RMweb members came up trumps and provided me with loads of really useful information, thanks chaps!  I've been very taken by the wagon loads manufactured by Richard Ellis (tricky) of Monk's Gate Models https://www.monksgate.co.uk/shop?category=Wagon+Loads, so decided to treat myself to some planks for my wagon  The planks arrived in the following day's post an

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GWR 4 plank wagon with DC1X brakes

GWR 4 plank wagon with DC1X brakes

I've wanted to model a Great Western Railway wagon bearing the cast number plates for some time now, but have always been put off by the lack of commercially available plates.  While I was exhibiting Sherton Abbas at the Telford O gauge Guild show I met Graham Beare (Western Star) and Chris Brown (Chrisbr) who had been doing research into which wagons carried the cast plates.  Chris also mentioned that he was in the process of drawing artwork with a view to getting some 7mm scale plates etched i

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Midland Meandering!

Midland Meandering!

In my quest to add variety to the stock appearing at Sherton Abbas, I've treated myself to a couple of Midland wagon kits from Slater's Plastikard.  https://www.slatersplastikard.com/linePage.php?code=7030  and  https://www.slatersplastikard.com/linePage.php?code=7029   I built the kits in exactly the way that the instructions suggest, so rather than give a blow by blow account of the construction, here's  a picture of the completed wagon   Midland 8 Ton 3 plank drop side wag

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S&DJR wagons!

S&DJR wagons!

I've thought for a while that in order to add a bit of variety during operating sessions, Sherton Abbas could do with a few wagons from companies other than the GWR.  The layout is set in Dorset, so likely candidates would be from the S&DJR, MSWJR, and Midland companies.  During the weekend exhibiting the layout at the Telford O gauge show, I bought a couple of kits from Furness wagon works ttps://pregroupingrailways.com/wagons/  in order to build a couple of S&D  examples.   F

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A morning train spotting at Sherton Abbas

A morning train spotting at Sherton Abbas

I usually take pictures of the layout using my iPad, but thought I'd have a go using a compact camera for a change.  I've had a Panasonic Lumix  https://www.panasonic.com/uk/support/discontinued-products/cameras-camcorders/dmc-tz60eb.html for a few years now, that I use on motorcycle trips and for general photography.  Although generally happy with the results that I get from it, the smallest f stop that it will go down too is F8 and I thought this would cause problems with depth of field on mod

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More Horse Drawn!

More Horse Drawn!

Although I've got a few horse drawn vehicles on the layout, I haven't got anything suitable for transporting goods from the station into the town.   While I was at Guildex, I found a white metal kit from Duncan Models http://www.duncanmodels.co.uk/  that looked like it had the potential to make a simple flat bed wagon.    Duncan Models flat cart       They also make a nice range of horses, I chose to use their Shire horse.   The horse is cast in a running position,

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Guildex 2019

Guildex 2019

Just a quick post to thank those who came to see the layout at Guildex in Telford last weekend.  It was pleasure to meet everyone, Al and I enjoyed the event immensely  It was a really well organised show, being able to drive the hire van right to the space allocated for the layout almost made setting up the boards a pleasure!  So much easier on the knees than having to carry the boards across the exhibition hall   The layout behaved itself all weekend and it was good to  be able to op

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New Fiddle yard!

New Fiddle yard!

When I built the original fiddleyard for Sherton Abbas, the plan was to have a 4 foot six diameter "turntable" that would avoid having to touch the stock during operating sessions.  The reality was that it was just too unwieldy, heavy and cumbersome to spin right round, so ended up just being used as a sector plate.  I've been considering building something lighter and more manageable for sometime now, but other modelling projects were always much more interesting, so it remained a "get round to

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Clerestory Brake 3rd diag D14   Part 2

Clerestory Brake 3rd diag D14 Part 2

I find it much easier to paint coach sides "in the flat" rather than when the coach is fully assembled.  This is obviously impossible with etched brass kits, soldering painted sides would be a challenge, however with plastic kits it's not a problem.  The Slater's sides come in two halves which have to be joined, fortunately the Guard's ducket helps hide any join line.  I think it looks more realistic if coaches have a few windows open, so micro strip was used to represent the top of the dropligh

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Railway Modeller Magazine

Hopefully not heretical to mention on RMweb, but Sherton Abbas is featured in the August edition of Railway Modeller Magazine.  

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Clerestory Brake 3rd diag D14

So far the only coaching stock that I've built to use on Sherton Abbas, are a rake of 4 wheeler's along with a solitary all 3rd bogie clerestory.  To add a bit of variety to operating sessions I've decided to build some more passenger stock and thought I'd document their build in my blog.   The Slater's kits comprise of really well moulded plastic components for the majority of the coach body, accompanied by lost wax castings for for detail parts.  The coaches run on etched brass bogie

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Railex 2019

I spent the weekend exhibiting Sherton Abbas at Railex  http://www.railex.org.uk/ accompanied by Al (Barry Ten), to whom I'm indebted for all his hard work setting up the layout and for his ninja like operating skills   We arrived in Aylesbury around  6.30pm and took about 90 minutes or so to unload the hire van and get the layout set up in the exhibition hall.  Everyone was very helpful and welcoming, particularly David Lane (David Bigcheeseplant) who's the exhibition manager.  

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Telegraph Poles

I was posting some pictures of Sherton Abbas on the "O gauge Guild" forum  https://www.gauge0guild.com/, where it was pointed out that my poor signalman had no means of communicating with the rest of the world.  This situation obviously had to be rectified by the addition of some telegraph paraphernalia!  I spent some time researching the subject, but as is so often the case in this hobby, the more I read the more questions I needed answering:-)  During my search I came across a number of intere

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Water Tower?

In my  imagination at the other side of the road bridge lies Sherton Abbas's engine shed, turntable, water tower and ash pit.     Road Bridge   However the Station Building would need a water supply and in 1904 it probably wouldn't have been connected to a mains supply.  I've also thought that it would have been more convenient for locomotives requiring water to be able to access a supply near the platform rather than having to go to the engine shed.  I'd appreciate any

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Spring is sprung, the grass is riz. I wonder where the Boidies is!

The snows have melted and spring has definitely sprung at Sherton Abbas!  I've thought for a while that although there are plenty of trees at either end of the layout, the centre is looks somewhat sparse.   Centre section of the layout       I made some more trees using wire armatures, artex powder, postiche and Greenscene scatters as outlined in a previous blog entry https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/blogs/entry/17699-trees/   These

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The big freeze!

The air temperature in Sherton Abbas has been plummeting over the last few days. A winter like this hasn't been seen since the mid 1890's when the Queen was still on the throne. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winter_of_1894%E2%80%9395_in_the_United_Kingdom More snow has been forecast to fall this evening and reports are coming in of heavy drifting further North.   Despite this bone chilling weather, passengers are arriving at the station in the hope that trains are still running and the line

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Platform Lamps

The Stygian gloom that descends upon Sherton Abbas platform at nightfall has been a concern for sometime now. Complaints from passengers about the complete absence of platform lamps has been on the increase as nights are drawing in and Winter approaches. Rumours of "Ne'er-do-wells" lurking in the darkness abound, which although completely unfounded have proved unsettling for passengers of the fairer sex. The Sherton Abbas Chronicle has been stoking this discontent and shouts of "Something must b

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Coal wagons for Sherton Abbas part 2

A previous blog entry described the building of these wagons http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/blog/1131/entry-21530-coal-wagons-for-sherton-abbas/   Once I’d finished building the four wagons they need painting. I’ve tried using acrylic paints in the past but still much prefer working using enamels. The insides were painted in a greyish yellow base coat to represent unpainted wood, this was then dry brushed in browns and gunmetal to represent wood grain. The under frames, internal

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Layout Transportation

I've just returned from a very enjoyable weekend exhibiting Sherton Abbas at the South Hants Model Railway show in Portsmouth. https://www.shmrc.org.uk/event/2018-shmrc-exhibition/ We were made very welcome by the hosts and even provided with an excellent fried breakfast at the exhibition hall before the public arrived:-) It was good to meet up with other RMweb members who came over and introduced themselves during the day.   The first time the layout ever left my workshop was when I took it t

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Coal wagons for Sherton Abbas

Autumn is here, the nights are drawing in and thoughts once again turn to modelling!:-) As I mentioned in a previous blog entry http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/blog/1131/entry-20890-coal/ I've planned on building some private owner coal wagons for Sherton Abbas and now the layout is more or less complete the time has come to make a start. I wanted to represent wagons that would have been running in the Somerset / Dorset area circa 1905 and found the information contained in this book

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Water trough and Manure!

Just a quick blog entry to show that a water trough and some horse poo have been added to the scene:-)   The water trough was built from 40 thou plasticard sheet, then "distressed" using a rose head bur in a rotary hand piece to give it some texture. The water is a represented using a clear sheet of plasticard painted on the underside with a dark green/black colour and held in position with a dab of epoxy resin. Once painted the trough was sat into the yard surface and some weeds around the ba

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Coal part 2

The uncharacteristic sunny skies above Wales this Summer have meant little time has been spent modelling, motorcycling and other outdoor pursuits have taken precedence. I have however managed to finish the coal yard scene that I started in the previous blog entry http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/blog/1131/entry-20890-coal/ back in the middle of May! As Stubby pointed out the ground around the coal heaps looked a bit too clean, so coal dust and artists pastels were used to blend the co

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Coal!

During the Newport show I had an interesting conversation with Ian Pope of Lightmoor Press who was exhibiting his collection of private owner wagons. I'm explained that I was interested in building some coal wagons for Sherton Abbas and would like them to depict coal merchants that were trading in the Somerset/Dorset area circa 1905. He recommended a book on the topic http://lightmoor.co.uk/books/private-owner-wagons-of-somerset/L9877 and said that he would do some research for me. True to his w

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