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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

More Housing

The lights and stuff turned up incredibly quickly from Layouts4u so on with finishing the Metcalfe kit. First thing is to fit the lights. I went for small soft white LEDs, ready resistored for 12V. One got stuck to the ceiling of an upstairs back room and another in a downstairs room. I just cut 'V' notches in the floors so the wires go down the front of the back wall where it meets the extension and out through a hole in the base for one. For the other I 'drilled' a hole at ceiling level,

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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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More Metcalf, Lots Of Bits...

Having built the low relief house fronts, doing the back seems like a logical next step. These were bought intending to make a whole house, but in all the time they've been lying around I'd never noticed one was stone and one was brick. Ah well. I'm not sure how these will fit on the layout yet, especially as I can't get any more to form a streetlet. Anyhow, on with the build. I photoed this one as it has a lot of bits, and I'll be modifying it a bit for lighting purposes. So, step 1

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Platforms (from LCUT)

Platforms - the curse of all my previous model railway endeavours. Platforms can make or break a layout, I've seen so many in exhibition videos (insomnia and YouTube!) that mar an otherwise nice layout. The first thing was to establish if there is such a thing as a 'standard' GWR/BR(W) platform design, and the result was no, at least in the time frame being modeled. This is due to so many on the fringes of GWR being built by constituent companies - the same goes for station buildings etc. It see

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Banner Repeater Kit Build - 6

A finally, less the finial it is built. The hand rail is a a square, made from bits - I guess you could just bend it - but since the irons out anyway I like making it. The tape holds stuff nicely while you squint trying to get the uprights upright. The first one I built I misread the drawing and had four uprights, this time I've done it right with two uprights and the rear fixed just to the post. I've added the base, which is more to hold it together than a layout fixing. I couldn't face taking

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Old Metcalf Kit

Amongst the pile of stuff I didn't sell back then was a couple of Metcalf kits, one low-relief front of a pair terrace houses and one low relief of the rear of a pair. In all this time I never noticed one is stone and one is brick. Ooops. I picked these up at the that garden centre, with the controller way back when Metcalf decided to abandon O gauge (bet they regret that now!). There's probably not a whole lot of point in doing a complete build as there's nothing tricky making these kits, the o

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Laser-cut Signal Box Kit (by LCUT)

In the six years or so I was going manic on the music front a lot changed in model railways, the arrival of laser cut MDF/carboard kits being one of them. Confusingly all the makers have very similar names, but after a lot of time on the web trying to work out the pros and cons it was decision time and I opted for LCUT's B 70-13L O Gauge Small Signal Box - with left hand stairs. I did consider kit-bashing the laser cut model of Pewsey signal box into a replica of my old box, or it would have bee

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Mucho Plunder Arrives

A couple of days drift by... Much excitement! All four sets of points turn up, so up to the loft with a gallon of coffee. First to be laid was the curved points that connect the the, er, 'West' end of the double slip, forming the exit to the main line. This straight forward really, drill assorted holes as outlined earlier and there we go. Here's a picture. Above : The first curved points in place. Some sleeper shoving to do, see later. Next I decided to lay the link from the reception

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Banner Repeater Kit Build - 6

Not the most wildly exciting post, but the signal is now primed! A spot of tidying here and then the top coat. It looks like getting a finial before January isn't going to happen, so soon the next project starts. Much as I'd like to do the ABS guard van kit, I really need to get the three Parkside kits I have left over from an attempt at starting a model shop out of the way, to wit a BR 12T Tube, the inevitable BR sand wagon and an SR brake van. As Lady Provenance is delivering a spay gun on Wed

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Geometry. Curse it.

The point motor for the home-brew points arrived and was promptly fitted. Then the fun started. Fitting was fine, marking the fixing points in advance worked out just dandy, but the motor is non latching and the blades would not stay hard over. Damn. The reason, probably should have been obviously, was that the 'spring' in the point blades, which are quite long and made from flat-bottomed rail. Out came the desk-tidy tippler. This is a wobbly wheel and the other three aren't quite square anymore

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Electric String Time

So, now, to wiring it all up. Although it's all a bit of a lash up for now (until I get correct wire and know where I'm going a bit) I did still need to mount the point motor switches, as trying to use them dangling about seems likely to lead to cooked point motors as I fumble about with them. To this end I marked out the control panel with something representing the layout and mounted the switches. This will be re-visited later when I've worked out exactly what I want. Putting the 08 on the tra

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Set The Controls To...

So while that sorts itself out, time to start wiring the double slip. Pretty quickly it became apparent that having somewhere to mount switches might be an idea! Well, I've got some ply - nope, too thick. Dammit, why have you never got some hardboard lying about like it always was (for some unexplained reason) back in the day. Eyes cast round the loft... oh look, the wallpaper pasting table. Reaches for saw... Above : I feel no guilt. I hate wallpaper. One control panel.

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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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Radio Control Revisited

I was babbling on about battery powered radio control above, and had literally got to the point of ordering stuff when I spotted a show-stopper flaw, well 1.5/2 ish flaws. I'd found all the bits to set up 11.1V battery power, r/c controller, r/c receiver board and a way to charge from the track (using a 'special' powered section on an otherwise dead-track layout, at the fueling point) for about £120. Not only that but the bits were actually in stock (a very rare event in r/c land it seems)! Just

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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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Actual Track Laying :-)

So the point motors arrived,along with some switches, cable, pins and PVA. Though not the cheapest motor, I've gone with Peco 'Twistloc' ones, mostly because installation is simple and doesn't involve quarrying a huge hole in pristine baseboards. More in a bit. The first operation was to position the double slip where it goes for real. Unfortunately Wine has decided it doesn't want to pay with Anyrail at the moment, there's two versions of a library in use by different packages at the same time,

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Radio Control... ?

Over the last couple of days I've been checking out Protocab, a radio controlled battery powered control system that eliminates the need for power to the track. This appeals immensely - no track cleaning, no wiring and you get to drive down the rusty little-used siding without coming to a grinding halt. I'm happy battery life will meet my needs, and I like the idea of re-charging via the engines normal pickups (the induction version, at over £100, is not justifiable on a small layout). There's o

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Cork, Cork, Lovely Cork!

Cork... I went for 3mm to allow a nice shoulder on the ballast where appropriate. Elsewhere cork goes pretty much everywhere, effectively raising the formation 3mm in general. Right Here is the posy controller I talked about above. When I bought it I thought it was pretty gimmicky, but did like the 'throttle lever'. However I'm quite converted now, it adds something having to brake to stop. I guess you can do this with DCC, but expense. All is now set for tomorrow's (hopefully) triump

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Baseboard Building With Off-Cuts

A day sorting through bits of baseboards that started out life for one layout, got chopped up for use in another and are now doing it all again. Amazingly there's exactly enough! Had to stop when next doors kids go to bed, so it will be finished tomorrow. Even more amazingly, not one of the timbers fouls a point motor! This is in breach of the laws of physics and must be a mistake. And I had the loft so tidy... All done - creative carpentry rocks. No, sucks. Pretty chuffed that I

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Banner Repeater Kit Build - 7 (Paint)

The plan was to paint the white first, but then I put the tape the wrong side of the line, so black it is. The good news is nothing fell off, the bad news is it's probably just waiting for an inconvenient moment. Doubtless someone will be along telling me I'm doing this all wrong, but some more photo searching seems to show that having a finial may only apply for BR days, and perhaps only then when the signal is much taller than I'm making. So I'm going for a cap, following GWR practice, so it c

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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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Inevitable Irrational Rationale For Highly Improbable Scenario

The era wasn't going to be an issue : BR blue is the best train livery ever (there, I said it), not least because that was the colour when I worked on the Railway. It is going to be set in Somerset. Or Wiltshire. Or, for technical reasons, Aberdeen. Plan A was a simple wagon repair facility but... Technology Ramble Alert ... I had bit more room than it looked, about 14ft x 3ft, with a 4ft wide bit for the last 3ft. So, out with Templot and... well, I admit it, building one set of points was

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Old Endings & New Beginnings

So this is where it ended, and this where it started. After just putting my soldering iron down to open the door to get my nice new shiny (but not very good) guitar I never went back into that side of the loft, except to round up all the 30 odd wagons (O gauge) I'd built, brass and plastic, to sell on eBay to buy a moderately seriously expensive (but gorgeous) new guitar. Not a yard of track had been laid. All that was left was a set of home made points (the Great Plan required about twenty sets

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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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