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A click-on scenic extension


Mikkel

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I’ve made a detachable scenic extension for The Stables, using magnets. With this, the layout is more or less complete.

 

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The extension module was knocked up from 10 mm foamboard. The aim was to portray a tree-lined street at the back of the layout. It had to be detachable so as to facilitate storage in our small flat.

 

 

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The pavements were made in my usual way, flagstones lined out in pencil and later scribed with a round-nosed  awl.

 

 

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A black wash for weathering. Afterwards I stood the strips on the side to avoid unsightly puddles forming. 

 

 

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For the road itself I used a base of thin plasticard, curved to emulate the camber and with packing along the centerline (crown) for support. The top layer is painted sanding paper (grain 120), dusted with weathering pigments when dry.

 

 

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Vacuum formed retaining walls from Southeastern Finecast. I’ve used these on all four Farthing layouts, as a visual leitmotif. The brick detail is variable but you get quick results and for me they work OK at the back. 

 

 

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The trees were made using a combo of techniques, as described in an earlier post

 

 

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I made the trees a push fit, as I may want to replace them later. I find that masking tape works well as a way to adjust thickness on larger inserts. 

 

 

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GWR standard spear fencing from Ratio.

 

 

 

As as aside, this 8 second video shows the fence at the front of the layout fitted with magnets. It allows easy track cleaning, photography and storage.

 

 

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These are the little critters, with a toothpick for size. They can hold 130 grams each. Thanks to Dave for introducing me to the weird and wonderful world of magnets!

 

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Anyway, back to the scenic extension. I found some posters from the 1901-1903 period, and scaled them down. Houdini toured Britain in 1903.

 

 

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In retrospect, I wonder if the neat Edwardians stuck posters directly to walls. Or were they exclusively mounted on backboards and hoardings?

 

 

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So that was the scenic part of the job, a sort of "3D backscene". In principle, the same module could be used on different layouts. In order to attach it to the main layout, I experimented with magnets again. 

 

 

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I first tried these neodymium magnets, capable of holding 2 kgs each, but they were too powerful. I could hardly get them apart and was worried that they would mess with my loco- and point motors (or is that not an issue?). 

 

 

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Instead I opted for some less powerful S&W uncoupling magnets. Cheaper magnets of the same strength can no doubt be sourced, but I happened to have a surplus and knew that these were safe for my motors. 

 

 

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I also fitted alignment dowels in order to reduce the downward pull of the module.  

 

 

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After experiments, I found that a mix of  PVA and ultra-fine Polyfilla held the magnets and dowels surprisingly well in the foamboard that I use.

 

 

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The extension then simply clicks on to the layout.

 

 

 

 

Another short video clip, showing the extension being clicked on.

 

 

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The extension sits tight and “floats” with no supports. Obviosuly, that works because the module is narrow and light (650 grams) and is used at the rear of my desk where no one can lean on it. Actual layout modules would need supporting legs.

 

 

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Layout and two-level traverser on my desk. Further layout modules are being planned, and I'm thinking magnets can be a way to join them.

 

So "The Stables" is now more or less complete.  To celebrate, here's a selection of photos. A little slice of Farthing in a Copenhagen flat :)

 

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Edited by Mikkel

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Beautifully executed and photographed - it is a splendid trigger for the imagination - I can hear those carts rumbling along the roadway! 

 

Thank you for the idea about magnetic fencing  usually, feature like this are a real pain when cleaning a layout. 

 

You make it look very simple but each of those trees is a work of art in its own right.  The whole demonstrates that "small is beautiful"

 

Mike

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I started reading this post at the end and imagined the last photo was of the prototype. Sorry :-)

 

- Richard.

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That really does improve the whole scene, your tree making is excellent.

 

Good use of magnets. 

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Pure genius Mikkel, simple but yet so very effective, even down to "small details" such as the horse do-dah on the road ! ( I assume that"s what it is ? ).

 

Thank you for taking the time to record and also post the short videos which explain your principles in modelling the lovely work you're doing on Farthing. The scene now takes on a whole new feeling especially with the B & W photograph.

 

Brilliant.

 

G

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Utterly brilliant @Mikkel. Fantastic modelling as well as the concept.

Thank you for sharing and what a brilliant idea, bringing an entire new level to backscenes. Also provided me with a few ideas to maybe get my plans restarted, thank you.

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Thanks everyone for your kind comments and buttons on a dull day (gone down with the flu - no not that one, but tomorrow was my week off, typical!).

 

This little layout has seen a good deal of use already but it's good to have it finished. I think in visual terms the extra depth does add value, although it doesn't substitute for length. It certainly would benefit from extra modules either side. Dining table here we come :)

 

Yes Grahame, those are do-dahs. Pigment lumps in PVA again.

 

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1 minute ago, Regularity said:

I wish you hadn’t mentioned that

The slogan came to mind on seeing Mikkel's video - but, yes, I think it's best forgotten now you remind me who delivered it.  Perhaps the moderator can erase the comment - I'm not sure how that's done.  Apologies to Mikkel - it's a marvellous piece of modelling in no way diminished by my clumsy reference. 

 

Kit PW

 

 

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Really nice to see how that addition at the back improves the whole 'look and feel' - thanks for sharing @Mikkel!  That certainly provides inspiration for a future modular layout that could fit in storage tubs - the layout length would always have been a moveable feast and could have been extended, but when I read about the storage tub layout concept I always envisaged a layout that had a narrow width governed by tub dimensions.  In theory, the layout could be variably wide as well as long, as there is presumably no reason (other than how it is supported) why more than 2 modules could not be connected front to back! 

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10 hours ago, kitpw said:

The slogan came to mind on seeing Mikkel's video - but, yes, I think it's best forgotten now you remind me who delivered it.  Perhaps the moderator can erase the comment - I'm not sure how that's done.

You report the post, and request deletion.

 

Edit: you can also hide the post.

Edited by Regularity
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I can imagine seeing micros with clip-on extensions to give extra depth or context to the scene. I tried to do this with my first version of 'Fairport' but Mikkel you have done it in a properly engineered and modelled way, and it really does look superb.

 

- Richard.

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Mikkel

Posted (edited)

16 hours ago, Northroader said:

Nice to see how simple the track plan is, and the ingenious traverser arrangement.

 

I'm indebted to Stu for solving how a split-level traverser could operate in practice. This was then incorporated in my all-purpose traverser.

 

The two-level design of the layout has pros and cons. Among the latter is that it restricts track-plan options on other future modules that might be added at the sides. This is compounded by my adding roads at both the front and rear! Some forward planning would have been good - although in my defence the modular notion is new to these layouts, which were always conceived as "one bite at the time". 

 

14 hours ago, MoonMonkey said:

Really nice to see how that addition at the back improves the whole 'look and feel' - thanks for sharing @Mikkel!  That certainly provides inspiration for a future modular layout that could fit in storage tubs - the layout length would always have been a moveable feast and could have been extended, but when I read about the storage tub layout concept I always envisaged a layout that had a narrow width governed by tub dimensions.  In theory, the layout could be variably wide as well as long, as there is presumably no reason (other than how it is supported) why more than 2 modules could not be connected front to back! 

 

Yes exactly, that's one reason I wanted to try a detachable extension at the back. The layout itself is stored in one of these standard Ikea tubs (photo shows baseboard before laying track). Larger tubs do exist, but they do not fit under our bed/sofa and are difficult to get up the narrow backstairs from our flat to the attic where I store the layouts when not in use (I tend to rotate between layouts). With separate smaller modules it's far easier.

 

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5 hours ago, 47137 said:

I can imagine seeing micros with clip-on extensions to give extra depth or context to the scene. I tried to do this with my first version of 'Fairport' but Mikkel you have done it in a properly engineered and modelled way, and it really does look superb.

 

- Richard.

 

I just had a look at your Fairport extension design Richard, if that's the one you mean. Very nice and a good way to join different modules. A non-scenic section that connects different modules also means that they don't have to align perfectly as they are at a distance from each other.  

 

Edited by Mikkel
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Mikkel

Posted (edited)

14 hours ago, kitpw said:

The slogan came to mind on seeing Mikkel's video - but, yes, I think it's best forgotten now you remind me who delivered it.  Perhaps the moderator can erase the comment - I'm not sure how that's done. 

 

13 hours ago, Regularity said:

You report the post, and request deletion.

 

Edit: you can also hide the post.

 

Turns out I can delete the post too - now done since you requested it Kit.

 

Edited by Mikkel
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Fabulous modelling as usual Mikkel!  Its remarkable how the addition of a few extra centimetres hugely enhances the depth of the scene.

 

I'm really looking forward to the "further modules":)

 

I hope you start feeling better soon!

 

BW

 

Dave

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5 minutes ago, Mikkel said:

Turns out I can delete the post too

Well done and thanks - an unfortunate reference.  

 

I particularly like the camber and gutter in the roadbase on "the Stables" extension:  it's curious how such apparently slight adjustments in things make such a big difference in the effect.  You seem to have mastered trees too, not least in getting the size in keeping with the period (not full grown, not saplings either).  All nicely considered and observed. 

 

Kit PW

 

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That looks excellent. The very definition of the ‘Craftsmanship/Clever’ icon! 

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Mikkel

Posted (edited)

Thanks Dave and Chris, nice to see a lot of pre-grouping in the blogs these past few days!

 

 

4 hours ago, kitpw said:

[snip]

 

I particularly like the camber and gutter in the roadbase on "the Stables" extension:  it's curious how such apparently slight adjustments in things make such a big difference in the effect. 

 

Thanks Kit. The camber is very apparent in some period photos of Edwardian macadam roads, not in others. Gutters aren't always apparent in towns either, despite the 1875 Public Health Act.

 

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Caption: South Street, Worthing, West Sussex, c1900s-1920s. Source: Getty Images, embedding permitted.

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Caption: Britannia Inn, Oxford, Oxfordshire, c1860-c1922. Source: Getty Images, embedding permitted. 

 

 

Edited by Mikkel
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I'm sure that you must have told us of your source and name of the 10mm foam board which you use to such good effect. can I ask for that information again?

I purchased some (make unknown) from a local Hobbycraft store but the central foam was soft and sponge-like which crumbled when cut, and the exterior board needed very little finger pressure to permanently deform. 

I do admire your ability to produce such beautiful models in such a restricted space. 

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Mikkel

Posted (edited)

Thanks Don. I'm afraid my info on the foamboard won't be of much use to you, as I buy it in a local craft shop here in Copenhagen under what seems to be a Danish brand name. It's called Viking Vega Sky (previously just Vega, website here but only in Danish). As far as I can see from Google it is not sold abroad under that name. It may be a local brand name of a global product, next time I go there I can ask.

 

The Kappaboard of the famous Kappaboard Railway does not seem to be an actual brand name, but Kapa is and perhaps this post in a related RMweb topic is of use:

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/156914-kappa-board/&do=findComment&comment=4066098

 

Edited, had misunderstood some details

Edited by Mikkel
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Mikkel

Posted (edited)

PS: Here is a close-up from an earlier post (5 and 10 mm). According to the product info, the paper layers in the middle add extra stiffness. It doesn't crumble at all when cut.

 

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Edited by Mikkel
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3 hours ago, Mikkel said:

I'm afraid my info on the foamboard won't be of much use to you, as I buy it in a local craft shop here in Copenhagen

 

I think we need a special fact finding trip chaps ! 

I'm up for it......

 

With a bonus that the luggage on the way back won't cause any weight problems !

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Mikkel

Posted (edited)

Or let me know and I'm happy to ship it to the UK :)

 

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This thread on foamboard has one or two interesting examples of construction methods:

 

 

Edited by Mikkel
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Mikkel: I came across this three shilling story whilst looking for an illustration of the typical local road gutters (near brick sized granite setts in three or four rows, slightly dished to hold the water, common since at least the Victorian era); for some inexplicable reason, it reminded me of "Lamps & Lamplighters" - Farthing layouts, April 2018.  I couldn't find the gutters.


4th August 1900
At the South-Western Police Court on Wednesday before Mr Rose, Arthur Osborn, 28, a decorator living at 12 Bellevue Road, Battersea was charged with wilfully extinguishing two street lamps in Bellevue Road. The Defendant said he climbed the lamp-post to light his cigar, and he accidently turned the tap the wrong way. PC 482V said the man had been drinking. Mr Rose: You will find it cheaper next time to buy a box of matches. You must pay 3s.

(from Wandsworth Borough News: quoted in 'Wandsworth Society Bedside' 2018)

 

Kit PW

 

ps - this is by way of a "get well" story: I'm glad it's not that cough.

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Mikkel

Posted (edited)

Wonderful story, thanks for sharing that. I have considered adding street lamps to the scene, but the ones I have aren't quite right for the purpose. I have modified/rebuilt some in the past but it's a time consuming process. Maybe just one will be enough though, as that story is too good to let pass.

 

Incidentally the idea is to have one or two boys up a tree watching the shunting. 

 

Regarding setts and sewers, perhaps you are thinking of a discussion we had in the workbench thread, starting round about here: https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/97672-pragmatic-pre-grouping-mikkels-workbench/&do=findComment&comment=3554080

 

I did originally plan to do that, when I first modelled the road at the front as one made from setts:

 

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Later I changed it to macadam and the sewer was then inspired by photos such as these (crops):

 

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PS: Thanks for the well wishes all, feeling a bit better today. I took a Covid19 test early on when I felt it coming, my tenth so far (not that I'm overly anxious, testing has just become a very normal thing to do here). 

 

Edited by Mikkel
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