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About this blog

An O Gauge BR Branch Line Terminus Model Railway set around 1980 in or about Somerset. Ish.

 

The lock-down diorama kind of got out of control.

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Entries in this blog

Yep, More Signals

Settling down to a nice session to finish the Stop signal. First off a hole was drilled in the lamp post bracket and the post to take the (still not arrived) LED wires, easily done with the pin vice. The wires will (hopefully) go down inside the post to keep things nice and tidy. Next the lenses got put in the spectacle plate, which had been attached to the arm. The kit came with some not over substantial sticky back plastic for this, but I chose to use some 'lens' material I'd got from MSE. Bas

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Yard Fence/Barricade.

I think I mentioned earlier that I fancied having some heavy duty fencing alongside the reception road run-round. In these 'interesting' times it's proved unviable to get hold of just two lengths of bullhead rail to make it as I envisaged, but that may have been a blessing. I have a length of flat bottom rail which I vaguely considered using, but that was a no go since although it bends nicely left and right so to speak, up and down without twisting isn't easy. I can't help wondering if bullhead

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Wizardry

Having concluded point rodding and signal wire posts are going to be a thing, I ordered some bits and bobs, mostly by MSE, form Wizard Models. Point rodding and associated signal wires are a whole thing in themselves. I'm currently mocking this up while I work out exactly how it all fits together. It 'ain't going to be cheap neither. Not something to start and hope for the best I think. I just couldn't help myself with the speed signs - quite fancied having '125' for the branch though...

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Wiring Frankenstein's Monster

Back to the layout, and it's do all the wiring time. In the absence of four point motors (unavailable anywhere!) the cables have been placed so all that is needed is to fix them whenever they can be. Starting at the far end and working towards the control panel the cables were made into a harness using small ty-wraps (and tape when I ran out of them). All the cables were idented with masking tape, with branches popping in and out as required. When the control panel was arrived at, all the leads

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What To Do With The Metcalf Houses

So what to do with the two Melcalf over-scale buildings? Plan A was to box them up and stick them on e-bay, but then I'd put lights in one. So Plan B, move them to somewhere where the distance from true scale things wouldn't be so obvious. This wouldn't work on the current layout, but I figured a raised extension would work well enough. So, the extension. The houses will made to look like they are then ends of roads where it all gets a bit badly surfaced and slips into scrubland. Betw

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Weathering The Ballast...

After the last post, back to more mundane reality. Much as the nice clean shiny ballast, grey and black, looks good, it's somewhat unlikely a fair chunk of Soddingham would have been re-ballasted all in one go. Yesterday. With all the other projectlets stalled due to waiting for stuff I manned up and faced the one task I've been dreading - weathering the ballast. The effect I'm looking for is oldish, but cared for. At the Long Siding headshunt I've brushed on Railmatch Sleeper Grime with some ve

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Miserable in Ballasting

Weathering Ballast : Conclusion

So, 24rs later than advertised, I've tried the Railmatch acrylic thought the spray pot. It didn't go well, the sprayer kept blocking. This might have been caused by the enamel paint trial, but it might have been not liking acrylic paint, who knows. It's certainly a lot easier to use, as in it washes off hands easily... As it turns out, the acrylic diluted 3:1 works very well when stippled on, the paint doesn't stick to the ballast like enamel so there was a lot less grief with inadvertently pull

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Miserable in Ballasting

Warship. Ahoy?

About 6 or seven years ago work on the Warship came to a halt along with everything else as the music kicked in. On resurrecting Soddingham, or more accurately actually starting it, I pondered about what to do with it. The bit that was blocking progress at the time was glazing. I'd spent hours cutting out 'glass', with many failures - and then promptly lost them. This was, shall we say, disheartening. With the reprise of Soddignham I've been pondering whether to gather all the bits up and sell i

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Two More Point Motors

Two point motors turned up, from apparently the only people in the country left with any stock. With 'only' two more to go, when these are installed the 'North' end (the geography is starting to settle down now) will be fully electricated. The remaining section switches should arrive imminently too - nearly done so I can play trains without getting off my bum (No.1 priority). Well, when I've finished cleaning the rail heads. Ballast has arrived too, more on that in a bit. Gold dust.

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Trees!

Ok, so I admit that back in the day I was in the bright green flock and trees made of sponge on sticks persuasion somewhat. This time I'm quite keen on making a bit of an effort, so ... to google. What's out there, how do trees 'work', and of course - how much? The 'how much' was a tad eye-watering, so out went off-the-shelf (not that any of them, in 7mmm scale were all that suitable anyway, a definite US bias there), and the various kits available either didn't do it for me, or were far to

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Tree!

The first tree is fully planted, and had some slightly lighter leaves added for effect. The tap root and sideways roots for balance seems to work, and stops it looking quite so "stuck in the ground". Brown and black acrylic mixed with PVA painted over the 'roots' which have had very soggy small bits of paper pushed into the gaps provides the fixing for this one (the paint's not dry!). A little static grass for effect and a touch of 'autumn leaf fall' around the trunk to get that "not so hot gras

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Tree Planting. And Ground Frame Planting.

Here's some photos of the trees that are now officially planted. One shows how I'm using the 'roots' (with a 'tap root' going straight down) to keep the tree upright. After putting a good coat of brown/black acrylic mixed with PVA where required the stuff is wetted quite a lot with dilute PVA using a dropper, this makes the PVA soak into the papier mache and give a surprisingly strong fixing. Not good enough for a portable layout though. I changed the arrangement of the trees a bit so the walls

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To The Box (Tea Up)

Painting buildings is something I've never done before, and to be frank me and art share different universes except on occasional musical moments. So I've had a bit of a read up and looked at, seemingly, hundreds of photos of brick signal boxes. I've got it that bricks aren't all the same colour (well, weren't - modern ones seem to make more of an effort on the colour front), and the mortar has re-pointed bits and all that. Note to self : Guttering. So, Railmatch light and dark brick r

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The Signal Box & Platform Saga

I was still not happy with the brickwork on the signal box, or the platform for that matter. A while back I ordered from Wizard Models and when rooting round their site found the only 'scenic' product they do - a set of 12 Weathering Pastels. On the basis that this seems to be a shop that knows it's stuff and they must sell these pastels because people want them, and they want them because they work , I ordered a set. I tried them on the old desk-tidy tipper, but really it's to far gon

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The S&T Team Arrives

During earlier ramblings the subject of signalling got raised, and with progress at the point such things need deciding it's time to be decisive. The heart wants colour light signalling, because it's pretty really. Though there are some excellent brass kits for light signals at a pretty nice price (plus a few detailing accessories), working dummies (ground signals) working are .... £45 each! The head says that it's pretty unlikely such a location would actually be re-signalled, the head also rem

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The RBO Is In Place. And Barrow Crossings.

In between bouts of fitting fishplates, which I do while waiting for glue to dry etc as it's a tad tedious, the RBO has been planted. Rather to my surprise the papier mache holds it ok without any Engineering. Some shuffling of branches needed, and a repair, but all good. I'm not entirely sure about this yet, it's growing on me (yeah, ha ha ha). At least now the Tree Construction Sub Group site is/has moving/moved, the houses have emerged into the light. Need to think how exactly the run down st

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Miserable in Scenery

The Pointless Points Get A Point

Some more bits turned up, so time to make a start on getting the home-brewed points to work. First thing was to add a second tie bar. This isn't cosmetic, it really is needed to keep the gauge correct over the sliding chairs. I know everyone has their way to do tie-bars, this is the way I went, unobtrusiveness being the main aim. Working would be good too. Basically all I do is make two 's's out of wire stripped from some scrap twin-and-earth, with one longer arm and the other squashed flat with

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The Point Of Old Points

With lack of points causing a bit of halt to progress I got to thinking about what exactly to do with the points I had made for a previous, never finished (or started, really) Soddingham. These were designed using Templot and it seemed such a waste not to use them, despite beng flat-bottom rail. The original idea was to put them in the headshunt to the left, with some concrete sleepered track, as an indicator of renewal coming to the station (so many depict defunct lines on layouts these days it

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The Hills Are Alive...

Essentially just so I can ballast the headshunt, scenery has started appearing. For my terra-forming I'm using good old papier mache - not lest because you can make a bucket of wallpaper paste and it lasts days. Peco O gauge point boxes are a brilliant source of good strong cardboard. And then fix the steps in place (about half way between the slightly over-scale oil can and the wall). And add lashings of paper strips. This will get a brown 'undercoat' then flock, static gr

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The Headshunt Is Done(ish)

After a deal of uming and aring about it, the headshunt has been clayed, a bit of ballast pushed in before drying, and then painted with sleeper grime. While still wet, a very dilute black was dabbed onto get the good old oily stains. The sidings will ballasted with clay and black N gauge ash ballast, suitably smoothed where walkways go and washed with sleeper grime and any other yardy colours to hand The first dummy is in place too, working and illuminated (but not at the moment!). T

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The Ground Signal Projects Nears The End

It's been a while since the bog has been updated. Stuffs been going on, but musicy stuff has also been happening so the blog got a bit ignored. So, the dummies... The dummies got assembled in a sort of production line after the first one proved successful. That's seven (I did say somewhat over-signalled!) and one double one. This is essentially like the others, but with just one stand. The LED hole was drilled right through the lower one and the upper ones wires passed through. T

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The First Parcel Arrives.

So here we are, a nice parcel arrived... Being in big kid mode, I opened the slip first. There's just something about them, isn't there? Ok, just me then. There's not a lot else to say other than in O it's pretty impressive. And big. So to the 08. Sad old me had watched an unboxing video of one, luckily as it happens, because getting it out of the foam had no obvious route. The bod in the video broke his, so with some trepidation I tried tipping it out into my hand - all was good, except one

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The First Parcel Arrives.

So here we are, a nice parcel arrived... Being in big kid mode, I opened the slip first. There's just something about them, isn't there? Ok, just me then. There's not a lot else to say other than in O it's pretty impressive. And big. So to the 08. Sad old me had watched an unboxing video of one, luckily as it happens, because getting it out of the foam had no obvious route. The bod in the video broke his, so with some trepidation I tried tipping it out into my hand - all was good, except on

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The Dummy Experiment

So here's the LEDs. You can get them with the connections to the LED insulated, but they were out of stock everywhere so I went for these, warm white ones, from Layouts4You. They come ready fitted with a resistor for 12V operation - it seems to make sense to stick to one voltage so all lighting can go on one bus round the layout. Next was to add the arm/disc and the shutter on the back, remembering to add an extra hole in the shutter for the rod that will operate the signal. The lamp

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The Camera Lives!

Not the world's most exciting post, but the camera mentioned yesterday does indeed still breathe. So here's a couple of snaps that make things look so much better. Bit of work to do at the north end...

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