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When in danger or in doubt... Progress on the fourth bite


Mikkel

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When in danger or in doubt, get the model railway out. The fourth layout in the Farthing series is taking shape, a welcome relief from the lockdown blues.

 

 

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Above is a reminder of the trackplan. So complicated that it broke Templot. Only very advanced modellers can do that.

 

 

 

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A test piece to see what the new Peco Bullhead track is all about. I decided to give Peco a go as a change from handbuilt track. The chairs are wrong for GWR, will be interesting to see how much I notice it. 

 

 

 

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One advantage of the new Peco track is that it’s voice controlled.  You simply tell it where to go and it will lay itself.

 

 

 

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The layout will be operated as a micro on a daily basis, but I may add a further module for extended operation, or even a direct link to my "Old Yard" layout.

 

 

 

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The rear siding therefore extends to the baseboard edge, and is protected by a removeable buffer stop, knocked together from balsa in the stopgap style of the old N&SJR.

 

 

 

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The other stops are standard GWR, built from the Lanarkshire Models kit. In order to fit them on the Peco track, I had to carve off most of the chairs. Have others found a better solution?

 

 

 

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For replacement, I dug into my stash of C+L GWR chairs. Ironic, as I now have proper GWR chairs next to the Peco ones. Maybe I should slice up some Peco chairs and fit them instead. What a cruel close-up by the way, I need to get out the filler.

 

 

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I wanted some sort of 'inset' track for the front siding. Photos suggest that while proper inset track was certainly used in some GWR yards, more pragmatic solutions were preferred when feasible. This includes leaving the four foot unpaved, as seen in the bottom three photos here (all heavily cropped).  That seems to have been a favoured solution where cartage vehicles needed firm ground to off-load or pass alongside the rails, but didn’t have to cross them. I haven’t seen this modelled much, so gave it a go.

 

 

 

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The outer sections of the sleepers were cut off to avoid the chairs fouling the paving. At this point I was seriously wondering why I hadn’t just made my own track! Here, DAS is being applied to the four foot.

 

 

 

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The rail was raised slightly above the edging stones to allow for track cleaning. Partly modeller's license, but also in compliance with one or two prototype photos.

 

 

 

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While not as elegant as proper inset track, I like how it creates a visual break in the setts.

 

 

 

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The setts were made using old paintbrush heads, fashioned to shape. 

 

 

 

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The material is Forex, a.k.a. ’foamed PVC’ but apparently now without the PVC. The technique also works in DAS clay. The photo is a bit misleading as I used a ruler while pressing the setts, in order to ensure straight lines.

 

 

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A scriber was used to individualise a few setts and sort out mistakes.

 

 

 

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The material can be curved slightly if necessary.

 

 

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The method has pros and cons. You tend to get a fairly uniform look and it’s hard to avoid the occasional gap between the grooves when pressing down the brush heads. But with practice I found it speedy and tidy, and I like that it can be done away from the layout – especially as I have to work in our living room.

 

 

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Drainage channels were made by drawing a screwdriver tip along a ruler…

 

 

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…then pressing in setts as appropriate.
 

 

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This drainage channel was done differently, by simply pressing the setts deeper than the surrounding ones.

 

 

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The ground in front of standard GWR stable blocks was often paved with either cement or bricks. I went for red bricks, forgetting that one drawing I have says blue engineering bricks (better quality). I may repaint them, but then again I may not.

 

 

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For the entry to the goods depot, I used a Green Scene roller on blue foam as described in my workbench thread.

 

 

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The arched setts are a nod to the yard at Birmingham Moor Street. The Pooley & Sons weighbridge is a Scalelink etch. The weighbridge office is a temporary mock-up. 

 

 

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 The flagstone pavement was done using the same Forex material as the setts, with the kerbs and flagstones lined out in pencil and then scribed.

 

 

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My original plan was that the road the front would be laid with setts, but after encountering this thread I began to examine photos and realized that 1900s urban roads were very often laid with various forms of non-tarred macadam or similar.

 

 

 

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Here is Worthing South Street, captioned ca. 1900-1920. Even some parts of central London had streets like this. Sometimes such roads had gutters paved with stone, at other times setts were used or there was no gutter at all. Copyright Getty Images, embedding permitted.

 

 

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Call me a romantic but I like the dry, light and almost ethereal appearance that such roads exhibit in certain summertime photos of the period. I used sanding paper, painted with Vallejo light sand and ivory. It still needs some weathering and a good smattering of horse dung!

 

 

 

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For the GWR spearhead fencing, the initial plan was to use an old Scalelink etch - but it's rather fragile for a position at the front of the layout. So I used the Ratio GWR fencing. Photos suggest that the verticals should extend to the ground, beneath the lower horizontal bar. Never mind. The fencing sometimes had supports, may add those in due course.

 

 

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I wanted the fencing to be detachable, to allow for close-up photos and easy replacement if I break something. So far it rests in a groove lined with blue tack. If that proves a botch too far, I could try micro magnets. 

 

 

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Some stations - e.g. Minehead – had a lovely display of enamel signs mounted on the spearhead fencing.  I used those from Tiny Signs, cut with a scalpel, varnished twice and edged with a brown marker (in that order, otherwise the marker may discolour the sign).
 

 

 

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The signs act as view blocks, and also help draw in the eye to what will become a staff entrance. 

 

 

 

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Here’s Charlie the horse admiring the adverts. He looks a bit out of focus. It must be the provender. In his opinion, the GWR always did mix in too much bran.

 

 

 

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Work to be done includes a scratchbuild of a GWR weighbridge office (the mock-up seen here is the old Smiths kit), and one or two other structures. The elevated rear section of the layout is a whole little project in itself,  I'm hoping it will add further depth to the scene.

 

 

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Lastly, an overview shot. It’s all wired up, but I can’t operate it without a traverser. So that’s next.
 

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  • RMweb Gold

Although they aren’t GWR chairs, they are at least chairs and the rail is bullhead.

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Despite my reservation about the raising of the upper yard, the height difference doesn't seem that much in practice, particularly in side-on view, and the best aspect is the great feeling of spaciousness in the final picture.

 

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  • RMweb Gold

The only thing I would query is whether Russells and Wrangham's advertising budget would stretch to such a far flung place as Farthing, where the hard working yard staff would no doubt prefer a pint of a more local brew than their famous (Infamous?) 'Malton Stout'.

 

 

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Simply wonderful.  
 

The images of inset track are particularly helpful as I need to inset the siding on the quay at Nampara...

 

drduncan

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10 hours ago, Regularity said:

Although they aren’t GWR chairs, they are at least chairs and the rail is bullhead.

 

Yes I agree - although I must admit that so far I am noticing the Peco chairs more than I thought I would. Despite all the other compromises that I live with! Maybe it's a case of "once you have learnt something you can't unlearn it".

 

 

10 hours ago, Miss Prism said:

Despite my reservation about the raising of the upper yard, the height difference doesn't seem that much in practice, particularly in side-on view, and the best aspect is the great feeling of spaciousness in the final picture.

 

 

Thanks Miss P. The sense of spaciousness and depth on a very small board is exactly what I was aiming for. 

 

On the subject of split level yards, you of course have a very good point and they were clearly not common. Since your earlier comment I have sought to partially excuse the arrangement by indicating that the upper level belongs to the "Old Yard" and the lower level to the "New Yard". But I will still want to move wagons between them, so it does not entirely solve the problem.

 

I have had a look to see if I could find any yards that were split in a similar way, and where there would seem to be shunting between them.  I would suggest Handsworth & Smethwick (GWR Goods Services 2B), Newtown (GWRJ No. 69), and Morpeth Dock (GWR Goods Services 2B). Apart from that, my initial inspiration for a split-level layout came from Slough, where Horlick’s sidings extended behind the stable block at a slightly higher level than the rest of the goods yard, although those were of course private sidings. In addition there were of course separate High and Low level goods yards in places like Reading, but that is – in operational terms - perhaps another story. 

 

 

10 hours ago, richbrummitt said:

Serious, well researched, modelling presented in a lighthearted style. Bravo!

 

Thanks Richard, although I always struggle to balance (i) my interests in prototype practice, (ii) what is feasible in terms of skill and space, and (iii) what I like to look at and build. The result is a certain degree of inconsistency!

 

Edited by Mikkel
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9 hours ago, Worsdell forever said:

The only thing I would query is whether Russells and Wrangham's advertising budget would stretch to such a far flung place as Farthing, where the hard working yard staff would no doubt prefer a pint of a more local brew than their famous (Infamous?) 'Malton Stout'.

 

Blast! Thanks for pointing that out. I should have researched it. It's glued on pretty well so I think I'll leave it on. Maybe there's a story in there. Incidentally, the Tiny Signs adverts do contain certain traps. It can be hard to determine the period of some of them. I think I've managed to avoid adverts for motor oils etc, and also weeded out those in which the fine print says "Sold Here" or similar. 

 

16 minutes ago, drduncan said:

Simply wonderful.  
 

The images of inset track are particularly helpful as I need to inset the siding on the quay at Nampara...

 

drduncan

 

Thanks Dr, if you want some photos let me know via PM. 

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  • RMweb Gold

You said:

"You tend to get a fairly uniform look and it’s hard to avoid the occasional gap between the grooves when pressing down the brush heads."

 

Have you tried a two-sided embossing tool, so it's just one end and one side?

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  • RMweb Gold

Interesting idea, Stu :good:. I wonder if it will create other alignment problems. Will try it out today, I have an extra brush head that I'm not using anyway. 

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Excellent modelling as ever Mikkel. 

 

The Forex material looks very interesting, your ability to form features such as gutters and edging shows up very well. Does it need any sort of treatment to stabilise it when it is placed or does it just stay in shape and need painting ? 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Mikkel said:

Yes I agree - although I must admit that so far I am noticing the Peco chairs more than I thought I would. Despite all the other compromises that I live with! Maybe it's a case of "once you have learnt something you can't unlearn it".

Definitely. That’s the downside of increasing knowledge!

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Excellent work as always. Those setts look fantastic. Well the whole thing looks fantastic! Deeply inspiring, thanks for posting. 

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Mikkel,

Well done, another masterpiece in the making.    It seems to have gone together quite quickly but that is, as we know, just an illusion because the research has taken a long time.  Still, that is usually the best way as you find out things before you have to change what you have made.

 

You will have to tell me how you get on with your sandpaper road.  I was going to use something similar on my platforms but was advised that I would sand my fingers every time I went near it.  Perhaps you will have less contact with the road.

 

Glad to see you are well.

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  • RMweb Gold

Hi Mikkel, lovely to have an update from Farthing:)  Some really lovely textures on display, that add up to a very convincing scene.  
 

BW

 

Dave

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7 hours ago, Dave John said:

The Forex material looks very interesting, your ability to form features such as gutters and edging shows up very well. Does it need any sort of treatment to stabilise it when it is placed or does it just stay in shape and need painting ? 

 

Thanks Dave. I have simply glued down the Forex with PVA and so far it seems fine. For the cambered sections I placed a thin slice of styrene underneath the center, just to be sure. The only coating is the acrylic paint used to colour the setts. 

 

I should probably repeat what I mentioned in the thread: The Foamex material is harder than other popular materials used for imprinting setts, such as Blue Foam and fresh DAS. This makes it reasonably robust but also means that the adapted brush heads (or whatever) need to be pressed down fairly hard to make the imprint. The fact that it comes in A4 sized sheets also means you need to hide some joins. So it is not the perfect solution, and scribed DAS is probably still the ideal choice if you are prepared to spend the time. But for my needs it has worked out OK.

 

(edited to clarify)

Edited by Mikkel
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5 hours ago, 5&9Models said:

Excellent work as always. Those setts look fantastic. Well the whole thing looks fantastic! Deeply inspiring, thanks for posting. 

 

Thanks Chris, it cannot compare with Greyhound Place but I'm glad if there is something of use in this. As mentioned the method of making setts leads to a fairly uniform look. I think that's OK for an Edwardian setting, especially because this is the "New Yard" at Farthing. Arguably, for a Victorian context such as yours a slightly less neat paving would be typical? The Foamex takes well to scribing, I believe that is what wargamers do with it. This was a quick scribing trial:

 

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3 hours ago, Barry Ten said:

Wonderful stuff, raising the bar once again.

 

Thanks very much Al. It's just a tiny plank of course, but it's been the source of much relaxing modelling already.

 

 

1 hour ago, ChrisN said:

Mikkel,

Well done, another masterpiece in the making.    It seems to have gone together quite quickly but that is, as we know, just an illusion because the research has taken a long time.  Still, that is usually the best way as you find out things before you have to change what you have made.

 

You will have to tell me how you get on with your sandpaper road.  I was going to use something similar on my platforms but was advised that I would sand my fingers every time I went near it.  Perhaps you will have less contact with the road.

 

Glad to see you are well.

 

Many thanks Chris. The sandpaper is one of those rolls - rather than a sheet - which is an advantage because you avoid joins which can be hard to disguise in a road. I also used it for the goods dock in the up bay, as seen below. Can't say I have had problems with sanding my fingers, but then I tend to keep my nails short (my wife always makes sure to remind me when they are too long, I have learned to abide :lol:). 

 

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Edited by Mikkel
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51 minutes ago, wenlock said:

Hi Mikkel, lovely to have an update from Farthing:)  Some really lovely textures on display, that add up to a very convincing scene.  

 

Thanks Dave. I'll be aiming for a bit more texture with some measured doses of greenery also. After all the bare ground of previous Farthing layouts it's nice to experiment with something else.

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"Webb can't dunk"? Libellous. He had strong US connections, especially with the Penny - his disciples the Worsdell brothers did time in Altoona. So I suspect he'd know a thing or two about the game. 

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13 hours ago, Compound2632 said:

"Webb can't dunk"? Libellous.

 

It wasn't me mate, honest. Probably Churchward. As I've suggested before, he had a dark side.

 

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Mikkel - I came across this https://wellcomelibrary.org/moh/report/b18039212/59#?c=0&m=0&s=0&cv=0&z=-0.3331%2C0.1089%2C2.5953%2C1.0141 whilst researching some local history (Wandsworth, south west London) - a long web reference to an even longer title but it's the annual report of the Wandsworth Board of Works for 1897.  It records (dive in at page 60!) various quantities and materials for repair/making up roads, pavements and kerbs (and some interesting references to the costs of steam road rollers and horses).  I noticed "toppings" (no idea, could be anything) and "shell", presumably crushed and still available as an aggregate.  It is also records the tonnage of dung removed from roads and notes that roads were watered in dry weather, sometimes several times a day, to reduce dust (His Dark Materials?) which is acknowledged as a hazard to health.  It's worth a look - it suggested to me that there was quite a wide variety of textures and colours in the Victorian road palette which must assist in modelling the period - mixed pink and yellow shell topping?

Kit PW

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Where would we be without this excellent and humorous modeller ?

 

Each time you astound me with your posts matey, the amount of research and technical considerations exude what for me typifies a GW scene in a simple board scenario.

 

Stay safe with the family and enjoy !

 

G

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21 hours ago, kitpw said:

Mikkel - I came across this https://wellcomelibrary.org/moh/report/b18039212/59#?c=0&m=0&s=0&cv=0&z=-0.3331%2C0.1089%2C2.5953%2C1.0141 whilst researching some local history (Wandsworth, south west London) - a long web reference to an even longer title but it's the annual report of the Wandsworth Board of Works for 1897.  It records (dive in at page 60!) various quantities and materials for repair/making up roads, pavements and kerbs (and some interesting references to the costs of steam road rollers and horses).  I noticed "toppings" (no idea, could be anything) and "shell", presumably crushed and still available as an aggregate.  It is also records the tonnage of dung removed from roads and notes that roads were watered in dry weather, sometimes several times a day, to reduce dust (His Dark Materials?) which is acknowledged as a hazard to health.  It's worth a look - it suggested to me that there was quite a wide variety of textures and colours in the Victorian road palette which must assist in modelling the period - mixed pink and yellow shell topping?

Kit PW

 

Thanks very much Kit, what an excellent resource. I was interested to note frequent mention of tar, including: "Coating existing tar paving with tar and grit" (p60). Perhaps underneath the dust and sludge visible in period photos there was more tar than is immediately apparent.

 

Also on p60 is mention of "granite sett crossings", I'm assuming that would be like these:

 

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Newcastle, ca. 1900. Getty images, embedding permitted.

 

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Chichester? No date. Getty images, embedding permitted.

 

I look forward to perusing this document further!

 

Edited by Mikkel
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19 hours ago, bgman said:

Where would we be without this excellent and humorous modeller ?

 

Each time you astound me with your posts matey, the amount of research and technical considerations exude what for me typifies a GW scene in a simple board scenario.

 

Stay safe with the family and enjoy !

 

G

 

Thanks very much Grahame. Small boards have lots of limitations of course, but at least you don't have to put in much work to achieve a sense of progress! 

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Mikkel - there was Jo, the crossing sweeper in Dickens' Bleak House.  It started a "genre" of paintings and prints of similar characters - see William Powell Frith's 'The Crossing Sweeper' (I don't seem to be able to log into the British Museum website this morning so can't reproduce a print of it here with commons license):  a tiny section of crossing exactly like the ones you illustrate above appears in the bottom right hand corner of the picture.  I believe the sweepers were unpaid, relying only on tips.

Kit PW

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