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A twin-level B.R. (S.R.) B.R. blue shunting plank.

Entries in this blog

The layout's rationale : or, Where, Why, and When.

Inspired by @Ray Von 's musings and the contributions re his blog - Third Rail N Gauge Shelf Terminus - while waiting for the weekend, my thoughts turned to Atherington's location, industries, and train services.  While not a simple re-naming of a real town, being an 'ex-Central Division child' I wanted somewhere on the Sussex Weald, inland to model imagined fish and milk trains, all in a 'declining 1970's aesthetic' with both electric and diesel services.  Inspired by memories of the East Grins

Lacey & Sons, Co., Ltd., for all your non-combustible mineral needs.

I finished a model cab office yester-day to use for my aggregate merchant.  It has not endeared me to white-metal kits - the brick-work is decidedly 'un-matching' and I glued one side out of true - but I am ridiculously pleased at how the colours have turned out.  The mortar was painted in acrylic first, all over, and then a sponge dipped in brick-coloured brown no more than caressed over the walls, so as not to paint over the mortar.  This needed to be done a few times, to get a darker and dark


C126 in B.R. blue goods yard.

The inevitable Sunday Engineering works.

Waiting for pay-day and a trip to B. & Q. for more Araldite for the aggregate merchant's office, I could put off the cleaning and electrical testing after ballasting and painting no longer.  Two naughty points caused problems, but with much track-rubber, rag and meths, and ultimately sand-paper, their sidings functioned again.  Not as bad as feared, so I thought this was a photo-opportnity for my second-hand (Douglas J. Fryer of Lewes!), Hornby breakdown-crane.  We saw one of these (or so it

'On the juice'; or, another incompetency to add to my collection.

Just a quick note to dispel the superstition of thirteen 'posts', and show my bodged soldering of the wires to the control panel for the main 'East Yard' part of the layout.  Of course, one pair of power-input wires was too short, so I had to solder 6" extensions to reach the correct input socket.   The back of the panel:       The two isolation sections (Goods arrival and departure), with wires on the right of each track (away from the viewer):  

Southdown wool Bradford-bound : sacks (or rather, 'sheets').

Waiting for the garage to warm so I can do some soldering, I have been churning out six-dozen 'wool sheets', thanks to @enz and 'British Wool' (formerly the British Wool Marketing Board).  I will edit this post later to provide additional information if the latter's kind correspondent permits, but these white polypropylene sacks took over in the mid-1970's from the smaller, brown, 60lb. hessian sacks to be seen in pictures of the Tetbury wool sack races.  These will be another project.  

A control panel, bodged.

I managed to endure the cold before the temperature dropped really low recently, and scared the bejezus out of myself by snipping and drilling 0.5 mm. nickel-silver sheet into some sort of electric panel.  The first time I had drilled metal, and I hope the last.  Despite pilot 'dents' with a nail on marked out dots - the push-to-make switches and power-input plugs are at 7/8" pitch - the drill gave a decidedly 'eccentric' hole on seven of the ten.  However, it fits, which is all that matters.

Somewhere to park your digger.

Waiting for the paint to dry on my wagon-loads, I knocked up a little shelter for the aggregate merchant's J.C.B. yester-day.     The area on the right will be filled by the office building and a couple of motor-cars.  Now I am playing with modelling clay again, ballasting the right hand - general merchandise sidings - side of the yard.

Some photographs after ballasting all week.

Weary of paint and modelling clay, as the coal/minerals yard starts to look presentable, I thought I would try posing some stock.  Herewith my efforts.  Sorry about the backgrounds.     A 71 pretending to be a 74 pops into the minerals siding with a special delivery of tar.       Said tar wagon is taken off by the yard shunter, releasing the 71.  Now we return to Speedlink air-braked services...       The aggregates merchan

Aggregate wagon-loads.

Killing time waiting for the modelling clay ballast to dry on the left of the yard, I made myself a few wagon-loads of various minerals for my POA wagons.  Cut an oblong of card or plasticard to fit the Open, mould a lump from floral foam and glue it to the former.  Paint, or cover with glue and chippings:     The wagon on the outer left has two, incorrectly shaped, 'heaps' glued to a base, unpainted.  My first attempt, this will be re-done.  The inner left is an experiment

'Do not try this at home'; or, the tedium of ballasting.

Having waited a week for the modelling clay to dry, on closer examination I see my method of squashing and scraping with my thumb a large lump of modelling clay across and into the track has caused the sleepers to move and distort:     My how I laughed!  Thankfully, this was done for only one-third of the layout.  For the right hand sidings (general merchandise) I will make little 'sausages' and cut them off to push down into the sleeper gaps.  For the passenger station viad

Ash ballast.

Spent Wednesday covering everything with what looked like Cornish china clay, but was far less romantic: Hobbycraft air-drying modelling clay.  It gets everywhere.  However, I filled the 'four foot' almost to my satisfaction, and must now pluck up courage to attempt not to glue up a point.  Thankfully, it takes about a fort-night to dry, and it is freezing cold and snowing outside, so a good reason to find something else to do, or at least start wondering whether the cracks will show under a cou

The London Broad Street homage.

Snow is falling, which is reason enough to assume air-dried modelling clay will not cure properly in a freezing cold garage as ballast, so I have put the viaduct passenger station frame in situ, and come indoors for a cup of tea and an early brandy paanee.  The station, of which one will see little of the building, is to be my homage to Mr William Baker's 1865 London Broad Street, the memory of whose derelict, un-loved, Renaissance atmosphere still haunts me.  Quite whether it will be worthy, on


C126 in B.R. blue goods yard.

Coal and mineral bins.

An A.B.S./Speedlink day to-day.  The coal bins have been painted, and thanks to Oasis bought before the latest confinement, some mounds of minerals have been put into them: three piles of 'coal' painted an undercoat of black, and various mounds of 'aggregates', one coated in Woodland Scenics medium buff ballast.  Two more 'green mounds' await painting.     The coal merchant's top-loader is fitted with a bodged, larger, shovel from Plasticard, with a 'weights' box added to th


C126 in B.R. blue goods yard.

Coal bins.

Having tried scoring 2mm. plasticard to make coal yard bins, and been disappointed with the results, I spent the weekend making up something better looking with balsa-wood OO 'sleepers' (30x3x2mm.) instead.  Slapped some paint down to delineate the areas on the mineral siding (coal, aggregates, chalk and china clay), and knocked up the start of a hopper for the coal merchant to fill his sacks.  Also managed to remove the back 'grabs' off the JCB models.  All in all, I am pleased with the progres


C126 in B.R. Rail blue.

Christmas interruptions to service.

Alas, preparations for Christmas have interrupted progress, but I attempted a 'photo-shoot' to-day, and have tried to add header pictures.  The main picture is a view across the mineral yard, with 73 113 departing with a train from the agricultural warehouses (one needs to use much imagination to see the cardboard boxes thus!), and I hope I have added a view in the general goods yard-to-be.   This weekend I hope to start building coal- and aggregate-yard pens.  Scoring squares of 2mm.


C126 in BR Blue Goods Yard.

Viaduct sides and 3-way turnouts.

Apart from problems with 0-6-0 shunters stalling on the 3-way 'king' point, all is going well with the layout so far.  Thus tempting fate, I hope to start sawing the plywood sides of the viaduct level to-day, plus re-number a Dapol '73', and try and see where the shunters are losing power on the afore-mentioned point.  I posed some rolling stock this morning for a 'vacuum-braked wagon-load' photo-shoot to send to a chum, which might be of interest, working along the layout from 'north to south':


C126 in B.R. blue goods yard.


The model world is awash with 'shunting planks', I know, but I hope my design might be of interest to a few readers, and maintaining this diary might spur me to keep working on the layout.  The track plan (9'6" x 2'6") is thus:     The red line denotes the boundary between the two levels.  Inspired by a diagram by Iain Rice, I can claim no credit for the ideas.  I am working on the lower layout at the moment:       Below is before I started track-la


C126 in B.R. blue goods yard.

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