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UP THE JUNCTION - EARLY 70'S

PaternosterRow

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Some update pics for the new Southern layout as promised. I've set this around the early 70's period - still want to use the Hornby 2 HAL and realise this was retired in 1971. I'm also a bit confused about using the Blue/Grey 411 CEP for this period as I've always laboured under the assumption that no DMU or EMU received this livery until the mid 80's and ran in complete Blue up until this time. However, I've seen a couple of pics (one on Mike Morant's site) dated around 1969 and 1971 that clearly show it running in the Blue/Grey livery - wonder if any Southern fans could enlighten me on this. There's bound to be a load of mistakes with accuracy but I'm really into atmosphere more than in getting it right. Besides, the layout is more a train set and it can be used for any city in any region - it's primary function is to play trains really.

 

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Detail shot of the scrap yard under the first two arches. It was a common site to see tower blocks going up in old run down industrial areas back in the 70's. Being from Birmingham, I remember a large scrap yard across the road from Tower Blocks in the Aston area - this was probably also the same state of affairs for parts of London at that time.

 

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Shot of the whole layout - doesn't look much from this angle but it's suprising what you can squeeze into a micro.

 

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The first batch of Class 20's delivered did work across London on freight duties so it's not beyond the realm of possibility to see them on Southern metals from time to time.

 

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The Crane is a Hornby offer - I've detailed it up slightly although it stills looks rather toy like. The jib runner is scratchbuilt from an old Lima car flat wagon - Jib runners were made from old coaching stock at that time. The Hornby Steam crane carries transfers showing it to belong to the Eastleigh depot - true enough as it's my understanding that the Southern ran the only Cowans Sheldon Steam crane at that time.

 

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The fleet waiting on the service loops behind the layout.

 

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The right hand scenic section - the flats behind the warehouse are photos sourced from the web and sized accordingly.

 

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'Mind the Gap' - even using the short connecter bars on the 411 the gap is still about 5mm wide.

 

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I've made some corridor connections - not the neatest effort but it all works fine and gets rid of that awful gap between corridor connections. This Bachmann model is superb and the interior detail is brilliant.

 

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A superb Bachmann Sealion - this is a Western Region machine. Civil equipment ended up all over the place so it wouldn't be out of place on a Southern layout (well I hope not anyway).

 

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A Midland Region sand tippler wagon - would love to know what region the van came from but can't ID it.

 

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An ex Southern Brake Van painted in Civil's Olive Green - note the air brake pipe at the side. The Southern Region was the first (I think) to have all its civils stock to go to air braking. There should be hoses fitted to the sole bars but I haven't got round to this yet.

 

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A couple of Eastern Region Grampus wagons - these are still in Engineer's Black and it took a long time for them to go over to Olive Green. Some never even made it and jumped Olive to the later Yellow and Grey livery of the 80's. Engineer wagons were a mish mash of different livieries and Codes. Note the S&W couplings - whilst not ideal they are a much better look than tension lock and they work brilliantly with the hand held magnet that is worked from under the base board.

 

That's the lot for now - still having loads of fun running trains around. Might get the Green stuff out in a few weeks and have a go at the early 60's.

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Oh! Superb scenes. The first one with the scrap yard beneath the arches looks particularly real, I think - perhaps partly because of the shadow effects, and partly because that's how reality looks in photos: There is always something ugly obscuring the view :-) 

 

The warehouse is very attractive. I feel like building a whole layout around just that one building!

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Fantastic! I love this. So much atmosphere, and in such a small layout. Great design, superb modelling and detailing. Just how it should be done. This scene just oozes atmosphere. I can almost hear the hubub of the traffic beyond, and hear those Gronks & 20's.  :)  :)

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Didn't have to wait long! More great photos, top class detailing and so much atmosphere, you have caught the feel of urban wasteland perfectly. The buildings are great.

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Being Express (rather than Suburban) units the Class 411 4-Ceps were Blue and Grey from the late sixties, they would definitely be B&G by 1970.  The 2EPB however, as a Suburban unit, would have been all blue until the mid/late 1980s.

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The olive green van is a standard BR van, though you would have the TOPS code (ZEV) on it at that time.

Blue/grey became increasingly widespread throughout the '70s, though it didn't reach non corridor suburban units until the '80s. The early VEPs (outer suburban) were originally all-over blue but by the time they finished building them (1974) they were being turned out in blue/grey from new.

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Oh! Superb scenes. The first one with the scrap yard beneath the arches looks particularly real, I think - perhaps partly because of the shadow effects, and partly because that's how reality looks in photos: There is always something ugly obscuring the view :-) 

 

The warehouse is very attractive. I feel like building a whole layout around just that one building!

Cheers Mikkel,

 

The warehouse is a freelance structure made from Scalescenes textures and Brass Master windows.  It was simple enough to put together and loosely based on a couple of prototypes.  The wider arches (Scalescenes Bridge kit) were inspired from photos in Dave Larkin's superb series of books on BR Civil Engineers Wagons.  I think the trick of having many different layers to a scene enormously helps enhance a sense of reality.  I've seen great layouts that have been spoilt by an over reliance on half relief structures - it's far better to have a plain wall behind your track (or nothing but white space behind a complete building) rather than do this.  

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Excellent work! A proper micro built with care and attention to detail.

 

David

Thanks for the compliment Dave.  Better to work hard on something small than a half hearted attempt at something large.

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Fantastic! I love this. So much atmosphere, and in such a small layout. Great design, superb modelling and detailing. Just how it should be done. This scene just oozes atmosphere. I can almost hear the hubub of the traffic beyond, and hear those Gronks & 20's.   :)   :)

Ah, the master of the micro himself.  Your work has always inspired me Marc - Brackty Bridge is a masterpiece of detail in a limited space.  Along with your smashing MPD cameo of course.  Better to have a room filled with well detailed micros than a huge layout with a half hearted backscene.

 

Thanks for the compliment.

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Didn't have to wait long! More great photos, top class detailing and so much atmosphere, you have caught the feel of urban wasteland perfectly. The buildings are great.

Again, thanks for the flattering comments Alex.  You know you've pulled off something good when the master's of the art pay compliments.

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Your pictures say more than a lot of words.

A great layout with lovely time based details.

As always, many thanks for the compliments.  Getting the right feel for the time and place of a particular era is crucial - something that you are an expert in yourself.

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Being Express (rather than Suburban) units the Class 411 4-Ceps were Blue and Grey from the late sixties, they would definitely be B&G by 1970.  The 2EPB however, as a Suburban unit, would have been all blue until the mid/late 1980s.

Thanks very much for confirming that Chris.  Achieving accuracy is a real nightmare - so many different conflicting bits of information on Wikipedia and the like.  RMweb is brilliant in getting the right info from members.  Doing a Southern scheme is an odd choice for a Brummie lad like myself but I remember when the Bachmann 4 CEP first came out and I knew I had to have one. Besides, I had many, many happy holidays in the Southern Region when a small lad - Margate was a favorite seaside place for the family. 

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The olive green van is a standard BR van, though you would have the TOPS code (ZEV) on it at that time.

Blue/grey became increasingly widespread throughout the '70s, though it didn't reach non corridor suburban units until the '80s. The early VEPs (outer suburban) were originally all-over blue but by the time they finished building them (1974) they were being turned out in blue/grey from new.

Cheers Bernard.  It's great that other members answer questions on here - it certainly firms up my confidence with accuracy. Dapol wagons are beautifully made, cheap too given the amount of detail.  

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Fantastic set of pics once again Mike.

 

Really great to see the overall composition too and how much detail you have captured in a small space.

 

Are you going to do anymore night time shots and did you think about adding some lights to the yard at the front?

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[snip]  it's far better to have a plain wall behind your track (or nothing but white space behind a complete building) rather than do this.  

 

Thanks Mike, that last part of your statement is a very timely thought-provoker for me, as I'm thinking backscenes at the moment. Thanks!

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Fantastic set of pics once again Mike.

 

Really great to see the overall composition too and how much detail you have captured in a small space.

 

Are you going to do anymore night time shots and did you think about adding some lights to the yard at the front?

Hi Pete, 

 

Thanks for the kind comments.  You definately know when you are on the right track when you get response from the masters of the art.

 

You are ahead of me there with the lighting.  I'm experimenting at the moment and want to add the lighting effects slowly - you can have too much sometimes and can easily ruin the atmosphere you're after.

 

Mike

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Thanks Mike, that last part of your statement is a very timely thought-provoker for me, as I'm thinking backscenes at the moment. Thanks!

I'm sure whatever backscene you come up with Mikkel it'll be a master class in how to do it right.  I'm more a rush and push modeller but I admire people who take the time to research and experiment like yourself.  I think most of us on here really appreciate the pains you take to explain your methods and then supply us this insight and knowledge for free.  I know I've certainly benefited from this.

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Thanks Mike, kind of you to say so - although my methods are usually a bit of a bodge, so beware! 

 

I have been sitting here for a while looking at that first photo of yours again, with the scrap yard and the arches. It really is perfect.

 

The only thing I can find which reveals it's a model - if I really concentrate - is the white sky. I am always a little hesitant to photoshop sky into an image, but I do it sometimes when I feel it can be justified. Have you considered trying it out on this one, just to see how it would look?

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Thanks Mike, kind of you to say so - although my methods are usually a bit of a bodge, so beware! 

 

I have been sitting here for a while looking at that first photo of yours again, with the scrap yard and the arches. It really is perfect.

 

The only thing I can find which reveals it's a model - if I really concentrate - is the white sky. I am always a little hesitant to photoshop sky into an image, but I do it sometimes when I feel it can be justified. Have you considered trying it out on this one, just to see how it would look?

If I could use it, and afford it, I definately would.  It's an expensive program and, having weighed up the options, I'd rather spend what little there is on the fleet.  

 

I also have to say that you're the last modeller on here that I'd call a bodger!  The trouble with anything we create is that we tend to see the imperfections in our own work simply because we made it.  My Dad (a great carpenter) always used to say that - others would admire his work but he, and only he, could always detect the joins and compromises he'd made.   

 

Because of the height of the flats I needed to have a tall (almost 3ft) backscene so that photos taken at yard level seem to contain an infinite sky.  It was made from a 2x1 batton frame with cardboard (old fish boxes from a restaurant I know) glued to the front.  The joins were all filled and sanded and then the whole thing painted in white emulsion (I even used blobs of grey paint in order to create a cloudy sky) - it was a disaster (buckled everywhere) and it would have been cheaper to have bought a full sheet of 6mm ply.  It was resanded, pasted over with a roll of backing paper and then repainted - still not very good but much better.  Then there's the lighting - I use LED spots from above.  These shine down on the backscene to counter the shadows thrown onto it by the buildings but this creates blobs of intense light in several locations which show up on the photos - honestly, getting the whole thing right is a nightmare.  I have nothing but respect for pro photographers and their lighting methods - it's an artform all by itself.  Next time, I going to consider using hanging cloth from behind or something like that.  

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Thanks again Mike, also for the exaplanation about lighting the backscene which I was going to ask you about! I completely share your respect for the pro photographers, some things have gotten easier with the digital revolution but lighting is still such a challenge. One thing I often swear at is how my camera struggles with the contrast between a white/light background and a model in the foreground - although that can partly be solved by getting a better camera I expect.

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