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Great Western Ramblings

Entries in this blog

 

Goods Shed part 5 and Population Increase!

I think we can safely say that now we are in September the Summer is over and thoughts can once again return to modelling. My last blog entry was back in April, so an update is definitely due! I rarely do much modelling over the summer months, preferring to spend time on outdoor pursuits. The beast below is a major distraction from finishing the layout, but great fun all the same!:-)   Thunderbirds are go!   Despite the distractions provided by the joy of motorcycling, some progress has bee

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Lighting gantry

Well just under 5 years since I started this blog here we are with the 100th entry! :-) I've been conscious for a while that although the layout is adequately lit by my workshop lights, it could really do with its own dedicated lighting. The layout has got its first showing at the RMweb Members day in Taunton on the 30th of April http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/120694-swag-2017-lineup-details-catering-all-you-need-to-know/?hl=%2Bswag+%2B2017 so I thought I'd better get somethin

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Station building part 6

I've been meaning to fix my station building in position on the platform for a while now, unsightly gaps around the base of model buildings are one of my pet hates and spoil any illusion of reality in a modelled scene. William Clarke station buildings have quite large windows and these allow a lot of light into the waiting rooms which I'm sure was much appreciated by the passengers, but in my model just showed up the lack of interior detail! Something need to be done to resolve this before the b

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Forecourt gates & the Abbey Woods

I outlined the construction of the forecourt gates in a previous blog entry http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/blog/1131/entry-18977-signs-gates/ , these have now been installed on the layout. 5 minute epoxy resin was used to fix the posts into position and then various scatters and fibres from the Green scene range were used to blend them into the landscape.   Forecourt gates in position on layout   I'd always planned that the exit of the private siding from the layout would be m

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Sherton Abbas goes digital!

I've been toying with the idea of DCC on Sherton Abbas for a while now, adding sound to my locos is something that really appealed. The final push came when a friend offered to sell his Prodigy Advance controller to me for a very reasonable price! I had a very enlightening chat with the people at Southwestdigital during the Bristol O gauge show back in January and left their stand armed with a sound decoder, a sugar cube speaker and the rather handy adage " Red and black to the track, orange a

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Signs & Gates

While looking around the internet I came across this picture of the restored gates at Tetbury station https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Restored_station_approach_road_gates_of_Tetbury_G.W.railway_station._-_geograph.org.uk_-_1527592.jpg and thought something similar might make a nice addition to Sherton Abbas station forecourt. I find cutting plastic card into perfectly parallel strips fairly tricky, so bought some assorted sized pre-cut strips at the Bristol O gauge show.   Evergreen st

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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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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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Aquatic antics!

Now that the scenery at the rear of the layout and the backscene have been completed I've been able to make a start on the layout foreground. I decided to begin with the area immediately below the retaining wall. I built the retaining wall using Slaters Plastikard sheet as outlined in a previous blog entry http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/blog/1131/entry-16523-retaining-wall/ back in the summer of 2015. Here's a picture of the retaining wall and the baseboard surface below it.   Ret

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Another spot of gardening!

Now that the backscene is more or less complete I thought I'd position the flower beds onto the platform surface. Obviously tools are required when a bit of gardening is in the offing, fortunately in my bits box i had the following etch from Severn Models :-)   Severn Models etch   Once assembled using 188 solder paste I had the necessary equipment to enable a start to be made on the gardening project!   Finished tools   Before the beds were fixed in position I installed some fencing a

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Backscene painting, or dabbling with acrylics!

I've been plucking up the courage to tackle my layout's backscene for well over a year now. Despite reading endless books on landscape painting and having a clear idea in my head off what I wanted to achieve, I was fairly convinced that I would produce the kind of landscape that the Teletubbies would feel at home in!   I wanted the layout to be set in a rural landscape of rolling hills, but didn't want the backscene to dominate the scene in any way. I toyed with the idea of using a commercial

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7mm Gardening!

A great deal of pride was taken in the appearance of Edwardian stations and competitions were held to find the best kept station. Often stations had beautifully kept gardens that exhibited fine displays of flowers and these greatly enhanced their appearance. I didn't want Sherton Abbas to "let the side down", so some 7mm gardening was called for.   I started by cutting some card to form a base for each flower bed and then these were then coated in PVA glue and sprinkled with wood ash. Once dr

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Horse drawn wagon

While I was at the Telford O gauge guild show last year I spotted some rather nice horse drawn wagons. They were manufactured by a company called Parliamentary trains http://www.parlytrains.co.uk/page10.html who specialize in early LNWR stock, but also do horse drawn road vehicles. I bought examples of their "One horse wagonnette" and their "One horse Brougham" thinking they would look good positioned in the station forecourt at Sherton Abbas. As an aside to working on the main layout I decided

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Platform surface part 2

Since my last blog entry I've been beavering away fitting the Plaster of Paris paving sections onto the platform substructure. The fact that the platform is set on a gradual curve meant that the front edge of each section needed to be sanded carefully so that it would fit neatly against the edging stones. Once sanded the individual sections were fixed in position using PVA wood working glue which allowed for a bit of fine tuning of the sections position before the glue set.   Plaster tiles bei

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Platform surface part 1

I've recently spent some time laying the platform edging strips that were discussed in a previous blog entry. http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/blog/1131/entry-17632-diamond-embossed-edging-stones-platform-paraphernalia/   In order to make it easier to lay the tiles along my curved platform edge, I cut each edging strip into three pieces each approximately 50mm long. These sections were glued to the platform surface using rapid set epoxy resin. Although using epoxy resin may seem a b

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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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Diamond embossed edging stones & platform paraphernalia!

I mentioned in a previous blog entry that I was trying to to make a representation of the diamond embossed edging stones that the GWR commonly used on their platforms. I tried scribing some using a fine tooth saw on plastic card, but they didn't look very convincing I'm afraid. I thought that something manufactured by cadcam might be the answer, but quite how that was achieved was something completely out of my skill set!   At the Bristol O gauge show back in January I met Chris Ward of CW rai

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GWR Gas Cordon part 3

I've finally got round to finishing my cordon. Although it looked reasonably complete in the last entry, there was a surprising amount of fiddly detail still to fit. The pipe work certainly tested my patience on occasion, forming four similar shaped curved gas filler pipes was particularly challenging! In the end it all went well, despite some fairly dodgy looking white metal castings that needed a lot of cleaning up and shaping.   Finished wagon ready for paint The brass surface was then p

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More scenery

During the Christmas break I managed to sneak the odd hour here and there to do a bit more work on the layout's landscaping. Progress is slow, but I'm pleased with the results so far. I've also painted the back scene boards with a few coats of white acrylic paint as a base colour before I make a start on the sky. There are a number of bits and pieces that I need for the layout, so I've been making a shopping list for the Bristol show next weekend:-) I think the Bristol show is probably my fa

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GWR Gas Cordon part 2

Now the Christmas festivities are long gone and life is settling back down into some kind of normality, I've managed to find some time to do a bit more work on the Cordon. With the cylinders, supports and decking completed the next step was to make a start on the chassis and underframe. The underframe and W irons are formed from one piece of brass sheet that has half etched lines to assist folding accurately   Underframe and W irons   The component was folded up and solder was used to str

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GWR Gas Cordon

I like to have a number of different projects on the go to ensure that once I've had enough of a particular aspect of modelling then there's always something else to get on with! I've found there's a limit to how much enjoyment can be had glueing static grass fibres to my layout, so decided a bit of soldering was in order! :-) Sherton Abbas station platform will be lit by representations of gas lamps, so a regular supply of gas would be needed to supply these. In the period that I'm modelling th

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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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Scenery part 2 Hedgerows

I've continued to work on the layout's scenery, laying more static grass fibres at the back of the layout. I want to have a hedge running alongside the lane that leads down from the road bridge into Sherton Abbas, so armed with some rubberised horsehair I made a start. The horse hair was cut into strips and then teased apart to make a loose open latticework of fibres.   Rubberised horsehair after teasing apart   In order to represent fine twigs, 6mm long static grass fibres were applied to

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Fun with Fibres & Flock!

At long last the time has come to make a start on the scenic side of my layout. The last time I built a layout was in the early 1990s and Barry Norman's excellent book on landscape modelling http://www.amazon.co.uk/Landscape-Modelling-Barry-Norman/dp/0906867444 was recommending the use of lint bandage to simulate grass. Hours of fun was had dying bandage green and then gently laying it on a bed of PVA glue, before ripping off the backing once it had all set. Although this technique worked well,

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Cattle dock!

I wanted to include a cattle dock and loading bay on the layout's back siding and decided to use the Skytrex kit as a starting point. The kit comprises of a resin base which has some nicely moulded brickwork embossed on the surface, along with a number of white metal castings. The posts and rails have to be individually measured and then cut to length, which unfortunately I found a fairly tedious process. Quite why the kit can't be designed with parts that are the right length is beyond me! If I

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