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Great Western Ramblings

Entries in this blog

 

Wiring and associated gubbins!

I tend to find wiring a layout one of the more tedious aspects of railway modelling, a job that "needs" to be done rather than enjoyed! On this occasion however it all seemed relatively painless and didn't take as long as I had feared. I'm still undecided about the merits of DCC, it all seems a bit too much like computer programming rather than playing trains for my liking! I do like the idea of sound in my locos though, so I may have to overcome my prejudices and embrace digital control at some

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William Clarke style Goods Shed part 3 (Corbels revisited!)

In light of the discussion caused by the the corbels in part 2, I decided that a bit more thought was required! After a lot of pondering, I've decided that I still like the idea of the building having corbels, but if they are going to stay, then they had better be done properly! As Nick, Ian, N15 and Iain pointed out, they did look as if they had been stuck on as an afterthought and didn't look at all convincing. This wouldn't do at all, so armed with a glass of red wine and wielding a scalpel,

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William Clarke style Goods Shed part 2

It's been a while so I thought I'd show the progress on my Goods shed project. The application of the quoins did seem to go on a bit, not helped by the fact they had to be placed both the inside and outside of the shed. Working out the angle the plasticard needed to be cut at for the arched door and the round windows defeated me, I should have listenened harder in geometry! In the end I resorted to a best guess, along with a bit of judicious filling here and there until they fitted.   Once all

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William Clarke style Goods Shed part 4

I've just looked back through my blog and was surprised to find that it's been nearly 2 years since the last update on my goods shed! I've still got work to do on the interior, but at least it's received a coat of paint:-) As I tend to mix my own colours the main problem was getting a finished result that matched, or at least blended in with the completed station building. Humbrol Enamels were used in the main, with some use of colours from Railmatch. I've also spent some time facing the foam bo

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William Clarke style goods shed

After my etched brass diversion, I'm getting back on track and making the buildings for my 7mm GWR branch line project. I want a goods shed to compliment the station building, so something designed by William Clarke would be ideal. I also want a style of shed that's platform mounted and has a track running through it, finishing at an end loading platform. I spent sometime researching possible prototypes, the "Modelling Questions, Help and Tips" section of the forum was very useful (Thanks to all

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William Clarke goods shed

Now the station building is complete, I'm giving thought to a design of accompanying goods shed. I like the idea of a shed abutting the platform with a line running through it into an end loading bay, in a similar position as the ones at Ashburton and Bearley. Although the station building is based upon Abbotsbury, I'm not a fan of Abbotsbury goods shed, which in my opinion shares little of the aesthetic style of William Clarke's stations!   I'd like my model to complement the architectural

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Weighbridge Hut

I'm afraid very little progress has been made with the track laying for my project, It's far too cold, wet and windy here in Wales at the moment to contemplate crossing the garden to the workshop! I decided that a smaller project that I could build in the warmth of the house was in order, at least until the weather perks up a bit.   I decided that a little weighbridge hut would look good near to the entrance of the yard and shouldn't take too long to complete. Once again I used Southeastern Fi

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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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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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Twin miniature arm ground signal

To complete the signalling on my layout I need something to control the exit of traffic from the exchange siding across the double slip. One route leads out onto the main and the other onto a short head shunt, so two arms would be required. I could have employed another twin arm siding signal similar to the one that controls the exit of the loop, but liked the idea of a ground signal to add a bit of variety. As my layout is set in Edwardian times it predates ground signals using discs to indicat

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Trees!

The grass work and hedgerows on the layout are nearing completion, but trees have so far been conspicuous by their absence! In between other projects on the layout I've been collecting materials to help with a bit of forestation :-) Although I've made a few 4mm trees in the past, I've never attempted something in 7mm scale and was initially a bit intimidated by the size of a scale tree. A hundred foot elm was a fairly common sight before Dutch Elm disease struck in the 1970s, so would not have b

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Trainspotting at Sherton Abbas

As a bit of relief from pictures of grass and hedges, I thought I'd include a few pictures of actual trains!     I've also added a few images into my gallery http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/gallery/album/3811-train-spotting-at-sherton-abbas-september-1905/ which I hope people will like!   Best wishes   Dave

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Track Laying part 4 "Nearly Finished!"

I'm glad to say that laying the track work has almost been completed! The back siding still needs to have its other rail installed, but as I've run out of C&L's plastic chairs, it will have to wait. I've placed the station building and goods shed in roughly the position they'll be on the layout, in an attempt to help keep my enthusiasm going during wiring! I want the private siding to look as if it's been laid with less care than the G.W.R. track, so I've introduced a few direction changes a

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Track laying part 3 "The 32 foot panels!"

Thanks to a timely intervention by Buffalo who pointed out my error in assuming that my track should be built from 60 foot panels http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/blog/1131/entry-13638-track-laying-part-2/ , a slight rethink was nessessary! My project is set in 1905 and as 60 foot track panels didn't come into existance on the Great Western Railway until 1929, this length would be completely inappropriate for my layout. Thirty two foot rail sections first appeared on main lines in the

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Track laying part 2

Once happy with the alignment of the paper template, the "flow" of the point work and I'd glued the cork underlay in position, permanent track fixing could begin. The paper template was cut from under the points and then each point was put back in position on top of the cork. When building the points I deliberately left the rail over long, to allow for some fine tuning of the point's relative positions.   Point and Double Slip with over long rail   The rail was trimmed back to the correct

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Track Laying Begins!

It's been a long time coming, but after a lot of procrastination I've finally started laying the track for my branchline project. I bought some rubberised cork sheet from the C&L stand at the Bristol O gauge show back in January to use as a trackbed foundation, so the first step was to get that laid in the correct position on the baseboards. I cut the track plan into sections, so that I could use the pieces as a template to dictate where the cork had to go. I started by positioning the mainl

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Time for a Brake! (or two)

GWR 16 ton Toad brake van Diag AA3   Constructed from a Connoisseur etched brass kit. I really rate Jim McGeowen's kits, well thought out, go together well and don't cost the earth. I just wish he did more Edwardian Great Western Stock!           GWR 10t outside wooden framed brake van Diag AA16 Constructed from a WEP etched brass kit. I had real problems with this one! The outside framing has to be folded up along it's length to form a "U" shaped channel for each individual piece

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The Vegetable Garden

I mentioned in my last blog entry that I thought a vegetable garden might add some interest to the foreground of the layout. I started by forming the soil texture using textured ceiling paint which was then painted an earth brown/grey colour using acrylics.   Earth texture   The plants were made from postiche hair covered in Greenscene ground foam and "leaves" from Polak. a framework was made for the runner beans using 0.6mm diameter plastic rod, painted to look like canes.   Plants  

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The Signalman's new bicycle

Archibald Freeth, "Archie" to his friends is one of the signalmen who works Sherton Abbas signal box. He resides in the small town of Ivell about 4 miles from Sherton Abbas and has recently invested in a bicycle. He's a fairly frugal chap and put off by the prices of the latest models on the market decided to buy something second hand. After much searching he found something suitable which although nearly 15 years old had been well looked after and was best of all reasonably cheap! His commute t

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The Cardiff Show and a very distinguished visitor to Sherton Abbas!

I’m pleased to say that Sherton Abbas has returned unscathed from its outing to the Cardiff Model Railway show. Many thanks to chaps from the Cardiff EM gang who collected the layout in a van that they had hired and helped me install the layout at the show. Apart from the RMweb members day earlier in the year this was the layout’s first public showing. It was good to be able to set the layout up on the Friday evening, far less stressful than rushing about on the morning of the show! My friends A

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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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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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Stools, Cranks & Point Rodding!

Before I start painting and ballasting the trackwork I want to tackle the point rodding. A number of years ago I made the mistake on a 4mm layout of ballasting first, I then spent hours digging up small patches of ballast so that I could install the rodding stools! Armed with a copy of GWR journal number 89, Steven Williams GWR modelling part 1 and some useful advice from Mike (Stationmaster) I made a start by drawing a schematic of where the runs needed to go. Once this had been completed I pla

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Station Name

Although I've been calling my layout "Sherton Abbas" for at least a year now, the name hasn't appeared anywhere on the layout apart from on the signal box name plate. The platform definetly needed some name boards so passengers had a clue as to where they had arrived at! :-) I made the name boards using Slaters Plastikard sheet, microstrip and a set of their styrene lettering. Fortunately Slaters manufacture their sheeting in a variety of colours, so I used black as a background colour which con

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Station Building Progress 4 (Getting by with a liitle help from my friends!)

I've mentioned in previous posts in my blog, that although I was happy with the basic construction of the station building body shell, I wasn't sure how to best tackle the awning brackets or valance. William Clarke's station buildings have a distinctive valance style, which I wanted to capture in my model. The canopy brackets are also quite ornate, some of his designs had a monogram of the railway incorporated in them. The first thing I needed was a decent photo of the bracket style, ideally a

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