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  1. I finally sorted my printer out and produced the Crianlarich station signs I have been meaning to do for weeks. Glued in place they look good to me
  2. I have spent most of the last few days trying to get the southern gradient at Arrochar how I want it and the attached link to a spectacular Youtube video has helped me no end. If you like the WHL then the 5 minutes of video are absolute heaven As it currently stands the curve to the south of Arrochar on WHL4 is on a level/flat area of baseboard whereas as the video shows the curve is on a gradient even steeper than the approach to Arrochar station. Although it means hacking into the baseboard, I think I can get close to achieving this. I have added an additional 3mm of height underneath Arrochar station by inserting cork under the baseboard and on top of the 30mm baton added the other day. This has had the effect of creating the summit at the midpoint of the station just as is the case in real life. I decided to take 3mm off of the platform edging height which has proved to be a major headache because I had glued it all together very strongly meaning most of the cutting was completed whilst still attached to the platform surface. After much huffing, puffing and cursing I am happy with the outcome and have also weathered the Wills coarse stone edging. A new arrival today were rail chairs bought second hand from Ebay. As can be seen from the price in old currency on the product label, the chairs are approaching 50 years of age but they still do a job piled up in the Permanent Way stores at Crianlarich.
  3. A little progress with the southern gradient approach to Arrochar station where I have managed to lower the end trestle on which the baseboards rest such that I have a rise in gradient of 40mm over 2.44m of baseboard giving an approximate 1 in 60. It looks less than 1 in 60 to the naked eye but my tape measure is very clear and has been triple checked. As ever what you get in reality and what looks right may well differ but I am now happy to work from this starting point. Next steps require glueing the cork used to raise the headshunt and completing the wiring of pointwork and track. Once this is done I can weather the track and lay ballast before starting the scenery. The headshunt siding has been raised by 15mm at the buffer stop in incremental steps. It is hard to believe that it is 25mm lower than at the station but again it looks about right. This morning with the sun light streaming in and before turning the lights on, I took a couple of pictures which give the appearance of an early morning at Crianlarich. A little bit arty farty but I like them.
  4. Spannerman's Flickr site is your friend here, he has a 1984 picture of Sandra at Ardlui. Unfortunately he also states that the Sandite units were not normally utilised on the WHL although I am tempted at modelling this nevertheless. Spannerman's Flickr site has proven to be a great resource for me and my WHL research, if you are interested in units then I particularly like his capture of the Ultrasonic test train at Craigendorn as it heads up the WHL. You can find this in his DMU album
  5. It's more than some use thank you, it's perfect for what I want and for once it seems my best guess by naked eye was not far out!. This means I need to create an additional 15 mm of gradient at the southern end of Arrochar to achieve a 1 in 69. I shall consider how best I can achieve this during the course of the day. Managed to buy a cheap copy of the book this morning second hand from Amazon as I cannot believe that I will not encounter the same issue at other stations.
  6. Spent the day getting the 30mm batton in place and managed to do so without disturbing any of the track bed but the resulting gradient profile does not match the reality. Although the baton added 30mm of height to the station area, because the baseboards were not perfectly level, the gradient rise is only 20mm over 2.5m. The 1 in 125 gradient is barely noticeable, I think it needs to be more like 1 in 50 or 60 to look correct which means I need to create another 20mm at one end of the gradient to achieve this. My initial thought is to drop the trestle at the southern end by 20mm but this will be a challenge. If anyone knows what the precise gradient is on the southern station approach at Arrochar or can tell me where I might find it, I would be grateful. For the time being I will sleep on this before making any decisions about how I might increase the gradient.
  7. Yesterday I spent a little time building and fitting more of the detail at Crianlarich. The Wills platerlayers hut was constructed, painted and planted completing the buildings to the northern end of the station. An Eckon yard lamp acquired from Ebay was glued together and planted. It's lights should work but do'nt because I suspect I blew the LEDs by wiring them incorrectly! This is annoying because the yard lamp should blend well with the station lights and I like the thought of occassional night time running. The instructions include details of the LED replacement although I have not managed to find any as yet. I also stripped down the Arrochar area with a view to starting on this next. Arrochar sits on a ledge beneath a larger area of baseboard which is planned to become Fort William depot in time. My first task is to correct the gradient profile of the baseboards from the current flat arrangement to a more accurate one for Arrochar. The station is the summit of gradients from both sides and, to the south, should be approximately 30mm higher than the curve to the south of the station at the end of the head shunt. To the north the gradient fall away from the station is less pronounced. I think I can achieve the gradients required with 30mm roof batten left over from roof repairs a few years back. However the challenge is that the baseboards are screwed down with the track laid and, if possible, I want to raise the baseboards with the track left in situ. On the workbench Buildings planted and glued The yard lamp Buildings glued in situ The Arrochar challenge, the batten to the right shows the height increase required
  8. This morning saw a trip to the model shop where I bought a Wills Platelayers hut which will go at the end of the platform ramp to the north end of Crianlarich station just before the water tower. On seeing the colour on the aerosol of Humbrol's grey primer which looked much the same as the Halfords primer, I made a change of plan and bought a tin of Humbrol No 32, matt dark dark grey enamel for the Alcan hoppers. The consensus of my wife and the shop owner was that this was close to the exisiting hoppers colour. I'll need to airbrush this on to the wagons meaning it will be while before they get done as I will not go through the rigmarole of cleaning the airbrush for just one task. A few more pictures of the Crianlarich area from the latest running 37022 crosses the Glenbruar Viaduct 37027 departs and heads to Oban 37012 departs with the 1636 Glasgow to Mallaig 37264 from a slightly wider angle, I will need a selfie stick to get any wider than this! 37014 returns the empty hoppers on its way to Blyth 37012 from the previous Sunday with its rake of air conditioned stock and ETHEL
  9. Thanks for the nice words. My Alcan rake was sprayed grey the best part of 30 years ago so whatever colour I used will have faded by now. Clearly a darker grey than Halfords is required and I have in my mind that it was a primer that I used, Humbrol grey primer is much darker and so I will be after a can of this over the weekend. Watch this space for a progress report. For what it is worth I was not a frequent WHL traveller in the 1980's because as a new engine desperado who had had most of the 37's transferred into the Scottish Region from the Eastern on East Anglian services, there were not many new engines to be had on the WHL once the 27's had been replaced. I did manage a few of the sleeper to Tyndrum Upper for breakfast in the Little Chef and the first Oban Glasgow back to Glasgow move but I only traversed any length of the line a handful of times. I only got to Mallaig for the first time in early 1989, the week before the Sprinters took over. My fascination with the WHL only kicked in once loco hauled services had been replaced. Not a lot done yesterday, I am focused on completing as much detailing at Crianlarich as I can at present. I really want to move on to another section because I can feel I am tiring of Crianlarich which has taken a lot of my emotional energy in the last few weeks. My modular design of WHL4 recognises how easy it is to hit a brick wall by having several individual projects that can be undertaken independently of each other. I feel the need to start something new in an effort to recharge my modelling batteries. Sleepers and general detritus continue to be added to the area surrounding the old engine shed. It still all looks too clean and tidy though, I think I need a layer of weathering type paint to dampen and subdue some of the bright colour.
  10. More pictures of my latest running session. First up I realise that Halfords grey primer was not the correct match for the existing colour of the Alcan grain wagons! 37108 arrives Crianlarich with a short Oban to Mossend freight 37012 moves onto the Glenbruar Viaduct with a Glasgow to Mallaig train 37264 arrives Crianlarich with the last Oban to Glasgow train of the day Despite the colour difference, the 2 repainted grain wagons increase the rake from 8 to 10 wagons From the previous Sunday, 37012 returns to Crianlarich with an Oban to Edinburgh adex comprised of Mk3 stock from the Edinburgh to Glasgow services
  11. Using historic photographs as a source of reference, I am trying to incorporate as much detail as I can on WHL4. The task is made harder by the typical photograph which usually focuses on a loco and less on the surroundings which invariably means the detail is on the edge of the picture or, frequently and frustratingly, just outside the picture. At Crianlarich I have managed to identify 6 relay cabinets from my 1980’s era dotted around, 5 of which I want to incorporate on WHL4. My limited knowledge of matters technical is that relay cabinets typically house cables relating to track circuits. I was a little surprised at the number of cabinets I found at Crianlarich. I then found a picture of the signal box panel on the SRPS website and these seem to match up with the track circuits in place until RETB arrived. At Warley I bought Dart Castings L40 relay cabinets which at 4 for under £4, seemed good value. Sprayed with Halfords grey primer these look the part and have now been planted. In addition to the relay cabinets, I have added several piles of sleepers to the area surrounding the former Crianlarich engine shed. These are code 100 which look better to me being slightly thicker than code 75 and were separated from some old track. SRPS picture of the old panel from Crianlarich signal box which seems to show track circuit areas that match the location of the relay cabinets Dart Castings relay cabinet 37012 arrives at Crianlarich from the south. Sleepers and relay cabinet added 37022 trundled north with a Mossend to Corpach service 37014 arrives with the empty hoppers returning to Blyth. Look carefully and you will see 3 relay cabinets in the picture
  12. More running today whilst preparing the bits from Warley for planting on the layout. 37011 slows for its stop at Crianlarich 37039 arrives with a Mossend to Corpach freight Passing trains at Crianlarich
  13. Managed to acquire a copper beech tree along with a few other bits at Warley yesterday where I managed to catch up with a few friends. I am not 100% as to the trees precise location yet but it certainly adds to the colour of the viaduct area. 37011 brings the 1230 Corpach to Mossend across the Glenbruar Viaduct. 37264 with intermittent headcode light and renumbered BSO brings the midday Glasgow to Oban into Crianlarich 37011 arrives at Crianlarich
  14. For once I have got off my rear end and done something in a timely fashion. The BSO which I identified as erroneously numbered SC9000 has been renumbered to SC9360 which my Platform 5 Coaching Stock book from 1980 tells me was allocated to the Scottish Region as well as being vacum braked and steam heated making it perfect for the WHL. Whilst attempting to be careful when removing the old number, I still managed to remove a little of the paint in the surrounding area which will need touching up at some stage and probably hiding beneath some weathering. I am not sure whose paint is best for Horby BR blue; if anyone can tell me I shall be grateful. Trains continue to run as the day moves into early afternoon, firstly 37014 arrives and departs Crianlarich with the Blyth to Alcan hoppers. A current thread on Whisky Grain Hoppers has highlighted that the Lima hoppers I use are not correct for this service. Too bad in this instance; I might be anal over coach numbers but Rule 1 will be applied in the case of the hoppers. A little later on 37026 returns from Oban heading back to Glasgow.
  15. I have a rake of the Lima wagons which I painted grey and weathered to use as the Alcan rake that ran between Blyth and Fort William back in the 80's. As others have said, the couplings are the major weakness but they run happily on my WHL layout on Peco code 75 albeit having been re-wheeled with replacements from Hornby. Given how paintwork fades and weathers over time, I would have thought that any of the lighter blue colours would be an acceptable compromise. I also have an original Lima wagon in yellow which I must get around to spraying grey in order in can joint the Alcan rake.
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