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Posts posted by 060

  1. From the outset, this was designed to be a portable exhibition layout.  The scenic section consists of 5 baseboards each 4ft long x 3ft wide. Each has a 4ft x 2ft plant tray bolted to them. A secondary plant tray 4ft x 1ft containing the conifers with a 14in high backboard rests on the baseboard.  I have dismantled and reassembled the layout several times and the boards slide into a rack mounted in my van to transport it in the same way as I do Hambleden.  Hopefully when exhibitions return you will get to see it, but probably not until next year.


    Here are a couple more photos from last year of the layout set up on trestles in my garden







    • Like 2
  2. The key to the success or failure of this design concept is in the planting.

    Most alpines are sold for their flowers, but I was only really interested in the leaf size and overall height.  I found there were a number that fitted the bill. The commonest and most prolific were the miniature Thymes, but my favourite alpine is Leptinella and I have several varieties.  Others that fitted the bill were Pratia, Mentha, Isotama and of course the inevitable ‘mind your own business’  There are a few others plus a good smattering of various mosses. There are 3 or 4 types of miniature conifers for the backscene, the names of which I have lost.

    Over time the alpines continue to spread and have crossed over from one baseboard to the next and I think will eventually hide all the joins between boards.

    Here are a few pictures taken last summer.  Depending on what month this layout is viewed, its appearance will change from all green through to a profusion of pink, blue and white flowers in the height of summer.


















    The biggest problem so far - birds.  I need to keep it covered with netting to stop the birds ripping up the moss looking for grubs.



    • Like 4
  3. Another couple of pictures, this time on track ballasting. As the area the model is set in is Welsh slate territory, I used slate for ballast.  I made my own from a bag of slate chippings from the local garden centre. Pieces of slate were crushed with a club hammer and then sieved to remove the larger pieces. It took many days of slate bashing to provide the required quantity for the layout.  On the sidings, the slate was mixed 50/50 with sieved compost, but on the running lines this was reduced to 25/75 This was all laid dry and brushed into place. It was then lightly sprayed with water before dribbling on a 50/50 exterior grade PVA and water mix.  It has consolidated over time and shows no sign of washing away despite of lot of rain this winter.







    Next time I will get on to the planting up of the layout using alpines chosen for their small leaf size.



    • Like 3
    • Craftsmanship/clever 2
  4. OK Due to the design brief, no wood could be used in the baseboard construction. So like Hambleden, the starting point was polycarbonate roofing sheets to which was bolted 2in deep plastic plant trays. These were fitted with 2in expanded foam insulation sheets painted matt black.




    For exhibitions, the layout will rest on the beams and trestles used for Hambleden




    Test setup. The seed trays with the conifers were lated replaced with long plant trays. The backscene boards are plastic sofit boards.




    The track is Peco SM32




    The foam sheets were cut to the track plan, leaving spaces to fill with soil for planting.




    More to follow....................



    • Like 5
    • Interesting/Thought-provoking 1
  5. After 5 years and 30+ exhibitions it was time to think about a replacement for my 'G' scale 45mm gauge Hambleden Valley layout.  It had to be something different. The only criticism I heard was that it was too big to run indoors at home, but could not be left outside in the garden, so neither an indoor layout nor a garden railway. Hambleden was unique in using radio controlled live steam locos on an end to end layout involving lots of shunting of rolling stock. So this time it had to be a 'round and round'. However it also had to be different from the usual offering of unballasted track, a nod to scenery and out of the box rolling stock.


    The new layout, called Pen-Y-bont, was going to be 16mm scale on 32mm gauge track and be based in Welsh slate territory.  However, the unique feature this time was going to be that all the scenery was going to be from real plants, growing in soil and it would be left outside all year, except when dismantled and transported to model railway exhibitions in the back of my van.


    Would it work - it remains to be seen....................

    • Like 2
  6. As I have gone 32mm now, I am converting all my locos from 45mm to 32mm with non-insulated wheels to allow for the slomo so I can now run my locos on your layout.  I am writing an article on the new layout but not sure whether to post articles here or send to a magazine, - maybe a cut down version for here, but I still need to finish the layout. I could post some more photos.  I have been designing a new signalling control unit for Fawley so have been a bit sidetracked. I don't think I'll build another layout, I still have quite a lot of 32mm rolling stock to build for this one.  I have quite a few invitations to exhibitions for later this year, but I haven't decided to attend any yet.  Will just have to see how this year goes, I am getting my jab this week and Chris is in the next group so I remain optimistic.

    • Like 1
  7. Mike, pleased to see you have picked this project up again. It's looking very good.  I love the backscene, I think it makes such a difference, especially in photographs of the layout. This is large scale modelling in a small space done extremely well.  I'm tempted to do something similar so that I can run my live steam engines indoors as Hambleden is too long to setup indoors.  Keep up the good work.  Steve

  8. Hi Richard


    I use a 2.4Ghz radio control system from Lococontrol.co.uk.  Dave Pritchard the owner does a small amount of customisation of the transmitters for me, but his standard offering will work just as well.  ( I don't use the extra function buttons and use a switch for direction servo rather than a pot. You can use the bind button which is on channel 5 to opearte a switch if required, my Anne has an electronic whistle on this channel)  I like the system for its small size and the ability to bind receivers without needing to gain access to them to fit bind plugs which gives me great flexibility and resilience.  The radio coverage is limited in range, particularly in the undergrowth in the garden, but is more than enough for my needs, particularly on my exhibition layout.  I get around 30ft in the garden and 50ft indoors but it greatly depends on circumstances and where the aerial is mounted within the loco, most of mine are under the cab floor, so not ideal for reception.  There are other alternatives from Fosworks and Micron amongst others.  (Usual disclaimer, I have no connection to any of these business other than as a satisfied customer).  However, the primary reason for the locos controllabilty is the use of Slomo inertia devices rather than the radio system and I could not operate the layout as I do without these devices.  http://smallsteamperformance.com.au/ They absolutely transform the loco performance and I wouldn't have any loco without one.

  9. I wonder if a nice type could do me a favour.


    If anyone has one of these, could they measure both the maximum height and the width of the main door.



    Many thanks.




    Please do put the doors on the right way round though, not as in the picture.  The diagonal brace should always go from the top outer corner back to the hinge post.  Just look at any real life engine shed.  It's just amazing how many people get this wrong

  10. Here's the fifth and final loco in the Hambleden Fleet. Its an amalgamation of a lengthened and modified Roundhouse Katie body on a shortened Lady Anne chassis. Has new rear coal bunker, front running boards and other details, including a shortened chimney, a chuff pipe and a Slomo.

    See it in action on Hambleden on youtube at:

    or at BRM Alexandra Palace 24/25th March or 16mm show Peterborough 7th April 2018



    • Like 6
  11.  Really  interested in the  the inertia control . What sort of pressure do you run at ? and what sort of run time  do you get out of the jack ? Does the inertia  shorten the run time? 



    The run time is purely a function of how fast you burn through the contents of the gas tank.  What the engine does or how much steam it uses has no bearing on the run time.  You just need to get the burner as low as it will go wothout turning it out.  If the burner is left wide open, the standard Roundhouse 32ml gas tank will empty in around 28mins.  Given it takes 7-8 mins to raise steam to 40psi, that leaves a running time of around 20 mins.  The lower you can set the burner, the more you will extend this time. 50mins is my best.

  12. Just found this thread.  Runtimes vary between 25mins and 45 mins.  As stated above, the trick is to get the gas turned down as low as possible without turning it out. On Roundhouse locos this has to be done by listening to the burner roar and at exhibitions, background noise can make this diificult to hear, However the gas control knobs are fitted with a pointer to give a visual indiction of the setting.  As Mike said above, I now use a timer device and swap locos over after about 25mins to avoid them running out of steam on the layout, plus the audience doesn't want to see the same loco for long periods of time, I currently have four spread over a 90 minute schedule

  13. It pays to look at the prototype.  The diagonal brace on wooden doors and gates etc should always go from the top outer corner back to the hinge post.  I see so many excellent models spoilt by people modelling the door with the diagonal going the opposite way.  Incidently many DIY enthusiasts also make the same mistake, but if you look at any engine shed or garage doors etc, the diagonal will always go from top outer corner back to hinge post, never the other way round.  A minor detail I know, but one I find personally irritating.



  14. Most layouts I see have coal staithes backing on to the siding as if coal was unloaded from the wagon directly into the staithes over the top of the back of it.  I do not believe this was the case in the vast majority of coal yards.  The staithes were always sited away from the siding and coal was shovelled/barrowed from the wagon to the staithe for storage, or coal merchants would fill sacks directly from the wagon, or the coal was just emptied on to the ground.  I can't find any photographic evidence to support this.  The only one example I have seen lately is the coal at corfe castle on the swanage line.  Does my memory deceive me?



  15. Try to use LED rather than filament lamps  A typical LED with 1k resistor takes 12ma of current or 83 LEDs to 1 amp  Hobbys (www.hobby.uk.com) produce a nice LED bulb for dolls houses that have an LES screw in fitting part no K53509 and produces enough light to light buildings etc


    Grain of wheat bulbs typically take 80ma or 9 lamps to 1 amp.  80 filament lamps requires 6.5 amps of current


    If you are using LED and filament on same circuit, you will need DC voltage and hence equally large rectifiers.  You could run the filaments of AC but beware the voltage.  DC is typically 3/4 the voltage of the AC input, ie 16v AC transformer produces 12v DC when rectified.


    Gaugemaster do a range of transformers and G Scale controllers that can provide this sort of power




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