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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

Big Signals

I've also dug out the mostly built bracket signal. Plan A (yet another one) was to disassemble the signal and re-make it with the bracket on the left, but to be honest I really don't think that would go well, so much has to be re-done. A new kit is too much dosh to justify. So, it's going to be wrong, but I'm blaming a re-signalling at some point in the early 60s where it was decreed stuff should be reused if at all possible, so the signal is 'wrong' because signals.

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Actual Point Rodding

I've put it off as long as possible... it's a bit fiddly, but so far so good. The bent rod connecting the square runs to the cranks idea has proved rather more durable than I thought for just a plain soldered joint - that bit's been putting me off, I admit it! So, some Plastruct square rod has gone under the rails (to ensure no short circuits) and the rest dropped into it's respective stools. I still managed to miss one out... Basically I super-glued the end to the crank, let it go off and then

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Adding The Poles

As ever, having made the telegraph poles it was time to position them. First step - how far apart should they be? Well, to be scale, it would appear that 1.1m or so would be right, but mocking it up they just looked like they'd been planted randomly. Clearly telegraph poles, or at least the distance between them, don't scale at all well. So I just went full aesthetic  mode with them. I'm happy, so all is good.

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Of Telegraph Poles

Whilst it's not been over busy due to musicy stuff,  I've attended to loads of small bits and bobs - as well having a nice game of telegraph poles.   The small stuff has been putting in the remaining cranks for the point rodding, filing in ballast around the point tie tie bars and some general adding of splashes (?) of grass here and there. The dummies have been weathered and their counter-weights painted black (no idea why I painted them white in the first place!), just need to add th

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All Moved.

So that's everything moved across. Just need to figure out how to get pics into the blog post listing rather than the default snazzy designs.    Back on the layout, more ballasting has been done, all but the RBO trees are made and placed, though not fixed yet. The signal wire posts are fitted and the point rodding chairs painted, the remaining cranks fitted. Ballast has been quarried for the point rodding to pass under the rails. Quite a lot of fencing to do, but that'll have to be wor

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The Big Move

It doesn't seem I can just transfer my blog across from it's old home, so... rewind to the start of the great lock-down and hopefully things should catch up quite quickly.

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Stuff Starts Coming Together

With the banner repeater done and installed (painted the hand-rails white for some reason, will have to change that), the far corner tree placed (but not fixed yet) and the footpath lamps in place all that needs to be done is: Fix bushes etc to hide the gaps; Put the foliage on the RBO (Ridiculously Big Oak) and plant it to the left of the tracks; Plant the other NSRBT (Not So Ridiculously Big Tree) on the right together with the tiny trees; Add some 'dry grass' and some dark

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A Banner Repeater

Whilst painting the inside of the tunnel I got to wondering about Starter signals. Plan A, not that one, the other one, was to put a Section signal at the tunnel entrance but even by model railway standards the Station Limits would be ridiculously short, especially when there's quite a lot of shunting moves that would require blocking back inside the home signal all the time (an even bigger pain in the bum on a single line with tokens going in and out all day). While perusing the Wizard/MSE site

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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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Static Grass. Man.

This is something that just didn't exist the last time I built a layout, but Chris Nevard's photos of it's use convinced me that it's the way to go. So, over to Youtube and see how it works. Obviously the first thing is getting a static grass tool. Some googling revealed news that would not impress the bank manager, so I looked up the technicalities of how it works and got wondering if there was a Plan B short of making a Van Der Graff generator. Indeed there is, cheap and nasty bug swatter

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More Slartibartfast Stuff.

And back to the landscape. While doing the papier mache for the other side of the tracks it turned out that the hill was a bit steeper than intended, so another set of sleeper steps went in, glued to a cardboard former as previously. The flash messing the photo up again. The steps have been weathered since - you guessed it, chalks again. Time to un-mow the grass. But then I looked at the pile of bits left over from the assorted walls and got this idea of having a

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More trees...

So the on-going tree project is .. on-going. The trees looked quite nice with just the green poly stuff, but driving round it looked not very typical of an English tree in summer, so I ordered some Gaugemaster 'leaves' in a summery dark green. I teased out the poly a bit more to get those fly-away ends so hated by hairdressers, then gave it a good spray with 20% PVA and then essentially tipped the leaves on - the more you put on the more sticks it's seems. It looked good, but turning the tree up

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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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Paper Mache...

With walls in place, the general ground level sort of said what it wanted to do, so... And then... On the right of the main line there's a cardboard former that supports the footpath. It came out a bit higher than intended, but actually allowed the addition of another set of 'steps' - a fancy crossing will ensue at some point. A huge mountain of green and similar stuff should be arriving in about a week, that will really move things along.   View the fu

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Stone. Loads Of Stone. Walls.

And so to the excellent tunnel mouth and stone walling from Invertrain. The first thing was to paint everything grey (a match pot from B&Q). I kind of assumed the plaster would suck the paint right in requiring many coats, but it just needed the one. Not the greatest photo, the flash on my phone is way OTT, but here's the bit I tackled first - the tunnel mouth. After the grey had dried I got out my chalks (did I mention I love chalks now for weathering). Basically I 'drew' wh

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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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Brick And Stone?

It has been noted that Soddingham has a mixture of somehow Midland looking brick structures and stone for the engineering side of things. Further research has shown that original earthworks were undertaken by the Thasteephill & Watbrakes Railway Company that went insolvent after the Foreman lost sixpence at a game of cards. Construction was completed by a bloke called Frank, who happened to have a job lot of red bricks going spare, on behalf of the Pennipincher & Cheapp Railway. No evide

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Catching Up On Stuff

It's been a few days of doing bits and bobs, the great leap forward being somewhat constrained by waiting for an order to arrive, in which the tunnel mouth for the supposed exit stage north should be. The bulk has arrived, except the tunnel mouth which is coming direct from the manufacturer. A lot of it is stuff that's for a bit further down the line, so just for fun I thought I'd list it... I was actually only looking for a single track tunnel mouth, in stone, with some stone walling but got a

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Signal Box Complete(ish)

Having got rid of the chimney and having added the gazing the signal box has assumed residency of it's real estate. Wires are in place for the interior light and cork laid to bring it up to sleeper height. The white thing is the ramp that goes in front of the box to provide a walk way, and somewhere to hide the ends of the rodding. Oh, I did take a photo.   View the full article  

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The (Entirely Unnecessary) Ground Frame

For the gronks little siding I'm putting in a ground frame. This completely un-prototypical in the circumstances, but I thought it would be fun. My excuse is that's how access to Bristol Bath Road depot was done. This is a Wizard/MSE kit of a Saxby & Farmer frame. I didn't actually know quite what I'd ordered since there's no picture on the site, but I guess that adds to the anticipation. It's a very nice kit, the base folded up simple with minimal cleaning up. The etches for the

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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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More Signal Box...

Half way through having a go at weathering the signal box's roof I realised I'd forgotten to paint the chimney. Then it occurred to me that every signal box I went it had a stove, whereas this box would have a have a mighty chimney breast to support such a large stack. In fact, there wouldn't be much room in the box for anything else. Some googling confirmed it - BR(W) boxes don't have chimneys, they have stove pipes (with an 'H' on the end). Doubtless a raft of exceptions exist. And some one ma

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Buffer Stops Plan Works

Having had a good look at what is needed to light up the lantern on the Peco buffers, a coupe of holes were drilled, 1.5mm upwards for the LED to go in, and one the size of the 'lens' on the lamp (3mm?). A small hand-drilled hole, done with the pin vice, ensured the larger drill followed the correct path to Nirvana. Then, with a blob of Evostick on the wires where they go in, stick the LED in. I made sure it was facing outwards, but with hindsight having it facing the back might have

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