I'm trying at the moment to work out exactly how I want to go about modding the Bachmann LYR tank, I've got two of these (because I want two engines) but I've also got a secondhand scratchbuilt body (which is falling apart as a result of my efforts to get it to fit over the Bachmann chassis, and which I'm plannin to cannibalise for bits) and a quarter-built whitemetal kit. I am thinking it would be ideal if I could get the tanks and cab off the scratchbuilt body and simply fit them to the Bachmann boiler and running plates, but that is going to need a bit of careful surgery and before I rush right in I'm having a bit of a think about it.
Meantime, things are progressing (of a sorts) in other areas. I've bought a copy of the Sheffield- Worksop-Lincoln 1953 working timetable, but this is for passenger workings only, the freight WTT I don't think is available. But taken in context with my Marylebone- Nottingham- Sheffield and Lincoln District WTT's of the same date it means I can start planning out more thoroughly exactly how Rufford fits into the jigsaw.
I've been looking at the OS maps again and I've come to the conclusion that the ground gently rises to the west working away from the A614, this means that if I take the datum level as being the carriageway, and assume that Rufford RLS is level with that, but the time you reach Cremorne for Pittance the station ends up, as best I can tell, in a bit of a cutting, or at least on a slope (ie- cut into a gentle hillside).
This is actually something I was rather hoping for as it means I can put the storage sidings under cover and there should be enough room to comfortably get my hand under there as needed. My rough thought is to have the Worksop- Rufford line fall slightly and the Rufford-Mansfield line rise slightly so that the storage sidings end up at a lower level than the layout anyway. A few buildings and trees in the 'V' of the junction between the two lines should assist in disguising the gradients.
I'm going to need to properly plan how I propose to phase the building of the layout, I've given up on the idea of being able to clear the room out before I start. There's just too much stuff in there- modelling equipment, bits and pieces, my railway library- nothing that wouldn't be missed if I threw it away or misplaced it... I really think I'm going to have to start by building some low bookcases and cabinets around at least two walls of the room just to provide storage and get some working space.
A recent visit to Blists Hill Victorian Town got the creative juices flowing and I've worked out how I want the environs of Cremorne for Pittance to look. Once it has been built into the layout proper there will be a goods siding on the far side of the road bridge, and that will have just a loading platform and a lock-up store. I'm going to arrange the station so that the main range is facing Rufford, so Mansfield-bound trains come into the main platform whilst Rufford-bound trains serve the smaller waiting room. My thinking there is that most passeneger traffic will be in the Mansfield direction, CfP being only 3/4 mile or so from RLS. On the far side of the station, so going up the hill, I'm going to have one or two small cottages or villas, to give the impression of what I've discussed previously about Cremorne and Pittance being a garden suburb.
The slight difficulty is with this idea (what do I mean, difficulty?) is I can't find many suitable kits. I don't want to have to scratchbuild every structure, at the same time I don't want a catalogue layout, this is why I've tried to aim for a lot of kitbashing and the like. Thing is, there aren't many house kits around and those that you do find all tend to be very much on the same lines- semis and Victorian terraces. So I've gone leftfield and bought a Superquick Village School kit, my reasons for doing so being that basically I like the overall form and outline of that structure and I think I can see a way that with a bit (or a lot!) of work I can turn it into the sort of house I have in mind.