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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

Lighting The Layout - And Pliers

Progress on the banner repeater hasn't for a couple of days due to exciting family based distractions, but while suffering the weekly shop I found something that solves my layout lighting problem - the problem being lack of daylight in the loft and poor artificial lighting making seeing anything difficult. I was aware of LED strips from art installations I've assisted with, but I've not been able source them at either a sensible price or with adequate explanation of what you get for your money,

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Miserable in Layout Lighting

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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End Of The Road - On Here

Unfortunately this site has a member, posting under at least two identities, who seriously needs to get a life, seeming to think this his private empire to rule as he pleases. He recently started contributing, unhelpfully, to a two-man discussion thread under his other persona (though blatantly him from the start), right from the off trying to goad a reaction - stalking really. When one's contributions are belittled it takes away the fun. Hope you all get through these hard time in one piece and

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Miserable in End

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

Ground Frame.

At last I can start moving on from point rodding and signal wires! Nearly. Until I start the other end. The pullies bit has had the wires threaded through and dollop of paint (still wet in the photo). The Signal is fixed in place and when the paint is dry the aforementioned pullies, wires and signals will be affixed to the other. If The Plan works it should be simple. Ha ha.   Starting to look past The Beam Of Doom, I've sorted out how the totally unnecessary ground frame will work. As

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Parkside SR 25T Brake Van Kit Build

With the banner repeater finished and the stone walling on order, another sub-project as mentioned is needed. To this end I've secured a spray gun that actually sprays, but as yet can't find the marble cutting board I use as a known flat surface to make sure all is square. A trip to Wilko on shopping day may be in order. I'm attempting to order a set of wheels with roller bearings for this, as I'd like to see how effectively loose shunting can be reproduced, since it was such a major part of rai

Painfully Slow, But...

Finally, "all", there's still a run the run-round points when I've decided what's going where, the point rodding is in place. I have to say the results make the effort worth while, but it's not exactly over-exciting doing it - and it holds up so many more fun things (like ballasting!). The rods at the south end have had the attentions of the P&D dept. For this I went with Halfords grey primer sprayed into a can lid and then applied by brush. This is a reasonably match for new but dulled galv

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Now Awaiting Paint.

So having settled on Railmatch acrylic Sleeper Grime... I've run out. More on order. There's a coupe of pics in different lighting of the test piece now it's fully dry. The difference in the light is just the camera being a few inches higher in one that the other.   As the pullies have arrived, I've made up the three sets needed for the platform signal and dummy I'd omitted. I've used Design No.3(a-198) for these - because I'd not ordered enough. Rather than making a pair represe

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Miserable in Scenery

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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Northward. And Ballasting.

While waiting for tree canopy stuff to turn up attention has moved to the north end. The builders yard has shuffled up a bit to make way for ballasting. I'm doing the, cough, reception road which should be ballasted (if not very well) as opposed to ash/mud. The grey ballast will get a varying coat of grime sprayed on to take away the newness, possibly some patches of lighter at rail joints for a bit of variety. Work has started on the totally unnecessary platform to near signal box barrow crossi

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Miserable in Ballasting

Parkside SR 25T Brake Van Kit Build - Supplemental

Alas Wilko were out of their 350 x 450 x 40mm granite cutting boards, so a smaller local shop provided a glass one for a whopping £2. It's nice and flat, but being basically a bit of glass (I assume some form of Pyrex) so it's survival chances are probably not very long term. But it will do for now.     It's sadly not full of stars.  

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

Signal Wires...

Originally I'd decided that just having the signal wire posts and pulleys would be sufficient, but having done most of the point rodding I thought I'd just try a guitar string since I'd mentioned that might work and thought it would be fun. So I did, and entered a whole new world of "this is actually probably insane". The No. 1 problem is actually being able to see the dammed things... Still, the experimental one went ok, putting a nice bend in it round the pulley at the box (my needle file is t

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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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Not Only Signals, But Also...

On the signal theme, the LEDs arrived from Layouts4u and much to my relief the wires are long enough to reach right down inside the pole. Another happy accident! These are supplied with the resistor at the other end from the LED which is great for signals, buffer stops and the like where hiding a resistor would be tricky. So, chopping the resistor off temporarily, the wires were twisted together (makes them more rigid, but still flexible) and poked down the hole where the lamp fits - and out fro

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No Signals. Almost.

The signal had a coat of white, where appropriate. Not overly exciting. The power supply I was using to test LEDs caused a ripple - the signal suddenly stopped working not long after glueing the lamp on... Supply the died. Replacement on the way. Ah for the days of popping down to the local electronics junk shop to rummage around for a replacement. Maybe not.   A coupe of signal wires are now in place. The castings of the pullies have gaps-ish above that, if drilled out,  would allow t

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Progress...

Finally the crossing is now complete. I've cut some wood to represent a railing that was protecting whatever it was that caused the wide bit to be built, this will appear when I've worked out how to make it look a bit derelict.  The real reason is that yard of track the headshunt came from had been mounted on a plinth, complete with barrow crossing, for photographing a ruck of wagons I sold some years back. When I came to lay the track for Soddingham the middle bit of the crossing wouldn't come

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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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It's Finally Coming Together...

At long last The Signal is done! Hoorah! The lamp lines up with the lenses, it's fully painted, the control rods work correctly and it's installed. Now I've got a Train Set :-) It's had to move a bit though, so the dummies are a bit ahead of it - somewhere there will be a prototype ;-) This was due, again, to the underlying geology - another stratum of wrongplacius shale due to a four inch tectonic shift between the formation being created and the layout being, er, laid out. Luckily some angular

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Fencing Clay.

With fence/barricade/thing now all nice and dried it's was time to place it. I'm not quite sure what's going to happen past the points yet, so there may, or may not, be more. When the glue finally decided to set clay was worked around the posts, spread on a little PVA for grip. At the back the ground falls away rapidly to the cess, which will be decorated to look like its kind happened over the years rather than any sort of wall or such. With the posts and back done the ground was skimmed with c

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Miserable in Scenery

Signal Kit Build

Whilst painting and decorating, fitting fishplates and the final bits of rodding and signal wires proceeds in stops and starts (they aren't my favourite activities) I decided building a nice kit would be a pleasant diversion. Though I'm itching to build the 43two1 Models BR 20T brake van kit (I built one a few years ago, a delightful kit) reason suggested making the MSE signal kit for the platform would be more practical.   Those of the tidy workshop persuasion might like to go and hav

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Miserable in SIgnals

Signal Kit Build - 2

On the way to the workbench I passed a flock of newly arrived tail lamps making their way towards their traditional nesting habitat; to whit some buffer stops. Beautiful plumage.   And so session number 2 with the signal kit. The next step in the instructions is to make the arm. All quite straightforward, but in the absence of any non-soldery pins to hold things square I did this by lying it face down on a bit of wood with a hole drilled for end of the pivot wire. Then looking do

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Miserable in SIgnals

Heading Towards The Trees

More fiddly stuff that leaves it looking like not much has happened.  Finally the signal wires etc are done. Painting signal wires that you can barely see is a new form of masochism, but worth it. I tried Dark Earth, Dark Rust and Grey before settling on ... yet more Sleeper grime (with random bits of Dark Rust). The spring cover things are back on the points. I've added clay to bring the cess up to the crossing level, so hopefully it looks like that's the walking route. Paint etc needed when it

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Signal Kit Build - 3

The part of the instructions, which have only a couple of sketches and reminded me today of Airfix instructions back in the day when they purely text, is to add either a signal wire pulley, or a crank arm (cosmetic). This is different from the other kit I did which just offered a crank, so naturally I've gone with the pulley - though this is I suspect not prototypical for the period. It uses the same part as the bracket on the post and folds up with a pulley on another short bit of rod. This is

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Miserable in SIgnals

Signal Kit Build - 4

With the LED now fixed in the lamp, the leads got fed down the post. I half expected them to get caught up on the rod providing the pivot for the counter balance, but all went swimmingly. Twisting them together may have helped. The camera's really struggling close-ups today, wrong phase of the moon or something.   And then the lamp  was glued on, making sure it lines up with the spectacle lens holes.     Followed by the track circuit plaque. I placed this as

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Miserable in SIgnals

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