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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

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

Lockdown II - The Extension

So, here we are again! In what is rapidly becoming a habit I got to wondering what I might have planned for Soddingham had it been 'finished'. Extending the standard gauge layout cannot be done as there is nowhere to go. However, the idea of an O-9 (as in 7mm scale on 9mm track) 'feldbahn' supplying some exotic quarry product to the main line appeals (Youtube strikes!). In order to keep the goods shed this would mean another set of points on the Long Siding (at the front, only partly laid to dat

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Miserable in Scenery

Adventures In Cork. And Clay.

Again it's been a while. Faced with some delays imposed by being the now ex, and brief, owner of a Vauxhall Zafira, things got a tad hectic. Peace and a certain amount harmony now reigns. I ran out of pullies rather quicker than expected so the remaining wires still await fitting, but the barrow crossings and path between are now complete. More ballasting and gluing is done too. More of the construction clutter has moved along making things look a lot more stationy.   The siding, forme

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Miserable in Scenery

Been A While...

Musicing has been occupying me somewhat over the last few days, but bits and bobs have been done. Wanting to do the claying between the two crossings at the station end I realised that the Curse Of The Point Rodding and it's associate Signal Wires could not be avoided. So a ruck of single stools was made, together with a set of buffer stops for the end of the General Goods road. The stools are mounted on squares of cork, as I've concluded the cork, when painted with 'Concrete', gives a good repr

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Miserable in Scenery

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

RBO Ready To... And Fishplates.

The poly stuff for RBO turned up, so much spraying of dilute PVA and sprinkling of leaves, and light leaves too, has ensued. It's sitting with the glue drying while the Engineering Dept. ponders on actually planting it. It all gets a bit real when your actually going to have to try The Plan out. It will work. He says.   Here's a coupe of pics of the Permaway fishplates, which highlight the quality of the fishplates and the not-terribly-goodness of my track laying skills. Fitting them t

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Miserable in Track

Ballast And Clay.

With no tree stuff yet, I've made a bit of an effort on the ballasting and claying front. Neither are overly spectator orientated activities, the ballasting progresses which is a Good Thing, but I've also clayed up what I'm calling the 'parcels' siding. It's called that because the end is going to be a parcels platform - because I want to have a couple of BRUTE trollies I found a kit for. It's also a general siding of many years standing and the ash ballasting has basically converted to rather s

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Miserable in Ballasting

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

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Exponential Point Rodding

It seems like every time I look there's another bit I've overlooked! Hopefully though, the south end up to the signal box is now down. Good old geometry stuck it's oar in now and again, yet while not claiming perfection I'm happy with the results - a bit of paint will hide the anomalies. He said. In a hopeful sort of way. Oh, signal wires - that's going to be fun. Also, the banner repeater now has the correct black handrails. And the Bobby's Defender has arrived (from under the scarily high stac

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Ballast 2 - The sequel.

So it seems having cork under the track causes problems with my 'mix wall paper paste with the ballast' approach. Basically the paste flakes won't stick to the cork, and rather than soaking into the baseboard (always chipboard back in the day) it just sits there and expands if the ballast is re-wetted, say for tinting with a wash. . So for everything else (so far, anyway) I've reverted to placing the ballast dry and then misting on a 20% PVA solution with a sprayer - from a safe distance so the

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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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So Far So Good

I finally knuckled down to doing the point rodding. Somewhat to my surprise it's all gone well, if a little slow. Under the branch track the crank for the facing point lock went it and using Plastruct square the rod the headshunt point rod placed. The the FPL and branch points were connected to the run back to the signal box. These are 's's of round 0.7mm round brass kinked to drop the height from the rod in the chair to the crank and soldered to 0.7mm square rod . They are perhaps a little exag

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As Thoughts Look South

With the end in sight, though still quite a distance off, thoughts are turning to the other end of the layout and what to put where and why. I have a plan, but I suspect it will evolve somewhat as things roll south just like the north did (i.e nothing like the plan at all). For now it's a bit of a stuff park.

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