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C126

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  1. C126

    B.R. blue goods yard.
    As a relief from the brick-work, I have been churning out loads for wagons and lorries over the last week.  As a confirmed tea-drinker, I had to have pallets of tea-chests, inspired by @Mikkel 's (if nowhere near as good), so I sawed, trimmed, and edged in silver some wood strip.  A delivery awaits collection and complete unloading from the VBB:
     

     
     
     
    A load of timber planking is put on a wagon for its customer from the lorry, with the unorthodox aid of the Freightlifter, the product of the plantations on the High Weald:
     

     
     
     
    I have been playing around with tissue paper, trying to get a tarpaulin to 'drape' nicely.  This looks as if made from Barbour coat cloth (the day-light bulb is flattering) - I will try weathering it later with a grey tone - but I was pleased with the appearance.  The gang take a tea-break from loading wool bales, having completed and sheeted an OBA, before putting the remainder on the OCA behind it.
     

     
     
     
    I obtained a lump of genuine Lewes chalk, to my delight, when pottering round Southerham on a visit a few months ago.  This has been crushed and sieved, and made into loads for lorry and wagon, and a (unconvincing, I admit) pile for the J.C.B. to load.  A '56' makes a rare visit to take the minerals away.
     

     
     
     
    Finally, after collecting four pallets of widgets, the engineering firm's delivery driver does a little 'private business' with his brother-in-law, taking a package back on the lorry to drop off at home en route...
     

     
    Lots more to do to the model, of course, but I am glad still to be making some sort of progress.
     
  2. C126

    B.R. blue goods yard.
    I will not pretend the making of the passenger viaduct sides is now fun.  Found a burst of enthusiasm this weekend to complete another stage of the arches, etc., including the more difficult 'stretching' of brick panels and cutting bespoke piers, buttresses, etc.
     

     
    The arch section of the extreme left need not be finished with another buttress, as it is to be hid by the end of the warehouse (still substituted by cardboard boxes).
     
    Sadly, I can not say I am happy with the results.  The joined panels from rail height look 'joined' despite my best efforts with modelling clay, scribing, more painting, and finally hand-painting some of the bricks to try and make it uniform.  Now disillusioned of the making of a bespoke passenger station building from plastic brick sheet - however superior the preferred finish is to cardboard - I bought a 'Superquick' 'Country Station Building' I hope I can bodge into a sort of terminus structure one day.
     
    I tried painting the extreme left arch's orange 'rubbers' individually with a fine brush (took half-an-hour) to compare to the others done with a sponge.
     

     
    It does not appear superior, but I think this is my novice brick painting technique.  These photographs were taken using a 'daylight bulb' for the first time, as well.
     
    Just need to finish a row of banding on the right arch above, and then do 'Stage 3', being new brick piers for the girder, and the walls under the bridge.  Now to regain my enthsiasm by contemplating more wagon loads, especially how to make tea-chests 5x6x8mm.
  3. C126
    Ignoring the urgent jobs that need doing on the layout - cleaning track, painting ballast, finishing brick-work, and painting the poor Yard Foreman! - on Wednesday I wondered how difficult it would be to cut open the doors on a Bachmann VBB van.  With only the Hornby VIX to pose as being loaded in East Yard, I wanted a change.  To my surprise, armed with a new blade in the Stanley knife and a metal edge, it was a doddle.  I spent this morning making some loads for the large pallets, and here is the result.
     

     
    The lorry has gone back to the depot for more stock to send up North - perhaps the soap and perfume manufacturer at Lewes - and the Yard Foreman keeps an eye on the part-loaded VBB van.
     
    I chose this rather than the Hornby VDA because the latter's doors are hinged, and are double the number each side.  I confess I am ridiculously pleased with the result, and will try doing a VVV Vanfit next for the 'wagon-load' era.  Now to making some better boxes, and continue cutting up drinks stirrers into 65mm. lengths for a timber load...
     
  4. C126

    B.R. blue goods yard.
    Unable to resist the 'wide-screen' temptation of my new brick background, I crept out into the garage after lunch to take a few shots, deluding myself I am Peter Greenaway's Director of Photography.  A pity everything looks as if taken 'straight out of the box' (which it is); this will be my next challenge...
     

     
     
    And now in pretend 'Ultra-Panavision 70' ...
     

     
     
    And for art-cinema connoisseurs, the black-and-white option :
     

     
  5. C126

    B.R. blue goods yard.
    I could put it off no longer, weary of plywood as a back-drop to my photographs of the general sidings, so have made an attempt at building the brick arches of the passenger station viaduct behind, plus scratch-building the girder bridge.
     
    First the latter: the results of the piers look better when painted, but I am not endeared to working in plastic sheet (Wills, English bond, to match the arches), lacking the skill to butt the joints perfectly.  Thankfully, the errors look less obvious after painting.  The sheet on the right in the 'unpainted' photograph is just for comparison.
     

     

     
    Still more work to do here, of course.
     
     
    I took the Bank Holiday and a few days off work before to set myself the task of finishing the 'simple' eight straight arches, adapted from the Wills kit 'pack of four'.  I replaced the rain-pipe with a brick buttress(?), as this is how I remember the local viaducts' design from my childhood, and with a less recessed arch.  I would have made the arch flush, but knew attempting this would be a recipe for failure.  While the whole exercise has quashed my desire to build structures thus from scratch (a Superquick warehouse from card will now be quite adequate!), the arches look better than I expected, if not as good as hoped.  The darker 'blotches' of brick colour do not work, I fear, so I will go over them some time.  Now I just need to work out the spacing and techniques necessary to build the retaining wall around the corners.  Perhaps leave that for my next holiday.
     

     

     
    I am pleased to report my collection of milk tanks is almost complete...
  6. C126
    Taking time off from theoretical musings, I have reverted to the 'wagon-load' aesthetic in the general merchandise sidings, to try a homage to one of my favourite photographs around of goods yards, by Mr Kevin Lane :
     
     

     
    [73 005, Guildford Yard, February 1980.]
     
    I first came across it in Michael Hymans's 'Southern region through the 1970s year by year', Stroud : Amberley Publishing, 2018, and then discovered it on Flickr.  When I have time, I must browse the rest of this gentleman's pictures.
     
    Having taken delivery last week of several Bachmann VVVs, of which my 1970's consist was severely lacking, I played around arranging the wagons and '73' in suitable poses.  Of course, my yard is only two loading sidings wide and has no such buildings in the background, but it got me thinking about picture composition, wagon arrangement, and why I find the above photograph so evocative; I might post what I think are 'good and bad compositions' in another post.  Meanwhile, here is my Sunday morning's efforts, playing around with cropping and a filter.  Much more scenery is required and the background ignored, but I like the 'flow' of the wagons, and visual relationship with them, the tracks, yard scene and lorry, and locos (the 'milk train' on the viaduct above is a debatable bonus!).  When I get my model looking as atmospheric and detailed as Mr Lane's picture, I will be happy.
     

     
    The header photograph is courtesy of my partner, a picture of a visitor to the bird-feeder last year.
  7. C126

    B.R. blue goods yard.
    Just a quick shot of the local staff gathered about the test run of an air-braked PRA delivering a consignment of clay to the Sussex Weald.  All are 'not quite sure' of the '25' and the strange new wagon - my latest purchases - and there was much muttering on their appearance earlier.  Just what Acton Yard will send next is a subject of much speculation...
     

     
    The digger driver finishes his sandwiches, perched on the wagon steps, enjoying the view.  I would have bought two PRAs, but they are not cheap, and one must not be greedy.
  8. C126

    B.R. blue goods yard.
    Rather a dry subject, but I hope it will caution others from making this mistake.  Before cutting a single piece of wood, having designed and refined my layout to 'perfection' over the years, the passenger station throat looked like this :
     

    Perfect! I believed.  The junction was only 'two points long', so allowing the maximum length of train either side.  Trains could depart to the left, and be un-coupled by the 'Hand of God' un-seen behind a tall warehouse.
     
    However, in February I wondered again how a locomotive would run round its train.  Having had the pleasure of being aboard a '47' during such a manoeuvre one Saturday evening at Eastbourne - the 'Sussex Scot' running E.C.S. to Brighton - I looked more closely at the track layout I had proposed...
     
    After arriving and the crew changing cabs, the loco in Platform 1 would have to propel (push) its train back onto the bi-directional running line, un-couple and reverse a little into Platform 2 (which, therefore, also has to be empty), before running along the loop and back onto its train, pushing it back into Platform 1 for departure.  This also required smooth running over a 3-way point - not my favourite piece of model permanent way.
     
    A faster-operating and more elegant solution would be to have the loop on the other side of the running line and straight ahead of the platform :
     

    It also replaces a 3-way point.  The (shorter) Platform 2 can continue to be used by multiple-units, and the loco's train does not foul the running line.  The disadvantage is making the run-round loop less accessible to rarer loco-hauled trains using Platform 2 or the Milk siding, but I think this is out-weighed by the advantages.
     
    Thankfully, I realised all this before laying a single rail.  With model shops closed preventing me from buying the track, this is still a theoretical solution, but I hope it is the most economical and practical, and it appears more 'realistic'.  Any comments gratefully received, and I hope this is of use to others designing stations.
  9. C126

    B.R. blue goods yard.
    Killing time waiting for the modelling clay ballast to dry on the left of the yard, I made myself a few wagon-loads of various minerals for my POA wagons.  Cut an oblong of card or plasticard to fit the Open, mould a lump from floral foam and glue it to the former.  Paint, or cover with glue and chippings:
     

     
    The wagon on the outer left has two, incorrectly shaped, 'heaps' glued to a base, unpainted.  My first attempt, this will be re-done.  The inner left is an experiment of coating the foam heaps with modelling clay and painting with acrylic for sand (three coats plus touching-up in total), the inner right is a mix of coloured chippings to simulate shingle (higher heaps because it has just been loaded for despatch) glued on with Copydex, and the outer right is painted floral foam (four coats of acrylic) to be covered in chalk chippings when one may travel to Sussex and root around in one's parents' garden.
     
    There is also an OAA with a load of timber planks, made from drinks stirrers (not photographed).  The card bases have been 'raised' with small blocks of balsa wood, so one can 'tip' the load out to simulate an empty wagon.  An enjoyable experiment, I thought.
  10. C126
    Pottering at my layout recently, thoughts turned to seeing in model magazines sidings full of wagons in 'post-steam' goods yards.
     

     
    Please ignore the detritus in the background of these pictures!
     
    This made me wonder.  Did the goods train call only once a day?  Did the wagons change every day?  What shunting was needed within the yard after the train departed?  Most importantly, if a yard's arrival siding is no longer than each of its 'mileage' (wagon-load loading and un-loading) sidings, surely the day's wagon 'throughput' can be only this siding's length?  So from where have all the others arrived?
     
    Assuming the declining 1970's goods yard received one visit a day in and out, that train must have been no longer than the arrival siding (or it would not have fitted, fouled signals, etc.).
     

     
    If we start with an otherwise empty yard and three un-/loading sidings...
     

     
    ...the three sidings need be only a third of the length of the arrival siding.  (If we had four sidings, each need be only a quarter the length; if only two sidings, they need be only half the length of the arrival siding.)
     
    As the third siding on this model layout is in the other 'fan' of the yard, I will illustrate using only two.  'East Yard's arrival siding of four feet gives mileage sidings of only 1'4": less than three long-wheel-base Speedlink wagons.
     

     
    Thankfully, other factors increase this.  RMWeb members were kind enough to answer my question about 'dwell times' - how long it might take a wagon to be un-/loaded - and contributors agreed it could be two or three days instead of the ideal 'over-night'.  So if we say half of two sidings' wagons spend two or three nights in the yard, we could have four more wagons on display.  This gives two sidings a length of 2'4".
     

     
    But we are still stuck with a maximum operating capacity of four feet.  These 'lingering' wagons would have to depart on a train which is loaded lighter (shorter) than usual, and would have the space.  So we have not gained capacity after all, only the ability to justify displaying our favourite wagons for a few days longer.
     
    However, what if there is an annual seasonal traffic, such as sheep fleeces, where more and more wagons are loaded, and eventually depart on a 'special' in one long train?  This gives an excuse for both a spare siding, and delivery of extra wagons to be shunted out of the way until the 'special' is complete.  These would be delivered in the daily train, but lead to the yard appearing more and more full.
     

     
    The trusty coal merchant's deliveries will be seasonal as well, although s/he would even out purchases by buying cheaper in the summer.  Also, for historical reasons, space for coal wagons would be plentiful owing to the decline in trade over the preceding century.
     

     
    Finally, the yard needs a departure siding of equal length to the arrival, wherein the wagons for the day's departure can be shunted prior to the daily goods train's arrival.  Seeing the layout at that moment would cause one to think the yard was even more denuded.
     

     
    So all this has taught me:
     
    (1) Have your arrival and departure sidings as long as possible to have as many wagons in use as possible (if this is what you wish).
    (2) Short mileage sidings are acceptable, and leave room for more scenery.
     
    Thanks for reading this far, if you have done so.  I hope this 'thinking aloud' has provoked ideas.  All thoughts pro or anti above gratefully received.
  11. C126

    B.R. blue goods yard.
    Another couple of photographs trying out the positioning of my new figures.  The coal lorry driver watches his mate fill a coal sack at the hopper.  I need several stacks of sacks around the place, I realise, and a load for the lorry.
     

     
     
     
    Lacey's lorry driver pauses to chat to the digger driver on his tea-break.  Mr Lacey is unaware of the proximity of his grubby employee outside to his glistening new motor-car...
     

     
     
  12. C126
    Inspired by @Ray Von 's musings and the contributions re his blog - Third Rail N Gauge Shelf Terminus - while waiting for the weekend, my thoughts turned to Atherington's location, industries, and train services.  While not a simple re-naming of a real town, being an 'ex-Central Division child' I wanted somewhere on the Sussex Weald, inland to model imagined fish and milk trains, all in a 'declining 1970's aesthetic' with both electric and diesel services.  Inspired by memories of the East Grinstead and Seaford branches, I then 'stretched reality' to a more optimistic 'history', where freight could be struggling on still with a more supportive economy and government.
     
    My solution was thus:
     

    Atherington’s 'successful' west station is on an electrified main line direct to the Sussex coast, with another branch South-westerly like the Three Bridges - Horsham - Littlehampton line.  Atherington Victoria station, 30 miles and 41 mins. from London Bridge, was opened later by a rival company, celebrating Her Majesty the late Queen of course.  Its line South-east is to a mythical industrial port, the 'poorer cousin' to the 'Brighton Line'-ish route of its neighbouring station.  This 'cousin' was electrified southwards just before W.W. II., but the northwards scheme cancelled.  With this in mind, it would appear to suit the sites of Ashurst or Eridge, but with the Hastings main line going there, not to Royal Tunbridge Wells, which remained only on a 'loop' from Eridge to Tonbridge.  I wished a link with the latter as an excuse for a second freight service.
     
    Despite the slower service on its less direct route to London, commuter traffic from Atherington Victoria remains buoyant, fares being cheaper than its whizzy electric rival and with a wealthy First class passenger-population living in the villages on the Weald, and using also the stations northwards.  Similarly, commuters, school-children, and sixth-formers travel to Atherington for work and teaching from the north, east, and south-east.  Consequently, there are two '33'-hauled peak-time trains to London Bridge morning and evening to supplement a basic hourly service by DEMU, that joins and divides further up the line serving another branch.  This is a blatant attempt at catharsis, my being born too late to have been 'something in the City' and commute daily behind a '33' in Mk. I compartments, a standard of comfort now vanished from to-day's trains, and not appreciated by me until seeing their replacements.
     
    Both Atherington and the port's manufacturing economy is stable, if not growing significantly, with the 'legacy industries', agriculture, and reliable coal merchant excuse to run an 'optimistic' 1970's vacuum-braked (and predominantly drab bauxite) wagon-load goods service.  A morning train from Norwood Jn to the port and back stops both north- and south-bound to exchange wagons.  Lacey's Aggregates receives a cut of wagons of various minerals from a larger train from Acton to other terminals, and also contributes local chalk, sand, and gravel.  This service might have a wagon or two added direct from the Western Region for speed and convenience.  Additionally, there is a daily after-noon service from/to Tonbridge Yard, that can also include a wagon or two to/from the port.  Depending on traffic, there is a TThO Norwood Jn/port goods train to 'mop up' any excess wagons, running 'Q' as required.
     
    With the introduction of the SLK 'Speedlink' air-braked service and recession of the early 1980's, goods trains are reduced to a twice-daily stop on a service from/to Willesden Yard to the port.  The aggregate train from Acton is now a 'COY' company block-train, but booming in the era of expanding road building...
     
    I have yet to satisfy myself as to the delivery of coal in hoppers, not wanting to dig holes in baseboards to model a huge Concentration Yard.  Apart from the coal merchant, I considered an extra private delivery for a coal-fired greenhouse plant nursery, but wonder if this would thrive on the chilly slopes of the Weald, even if heated.  There is probably a good reason why the fruit and vegetable growers are along the Brighton-Portsmouth line on the warm coast.  I hope to build some sort of cheap 'under hopper over rail' elevator to use the HKVs, HBAs, and HEAs.
     
    Loco-hauled and Non-Passenger services are run with similar 'modellers' licence', if based upon examples from an early 1980's Working Time Table: an early morning Parcels service from/to Bricklayers Arms, the Newspapers from London Bridge arriving at 04.27, fish dropped off in a 'Parcels' train from the port, and a milk train to take some of the Weald's dairy production to London for bottling.  There is a short van train late morning to convey the greenhouses' produce to Bricklayers Arms for market, and the portion of an inter-regional service to Newcastle via Kensington Olympia once a day, with more lovely Mk. I. coaches.  Sketching all these on a draft, clock-face time table, it had never occurred to me how complicated platform dwell-times, running-round, etc., could be.
     
    With their charming, arcane, artisan compositing I like so much, I should mock up a W.T.T. in 'Word', but lack the creative flair to compose three-dozen fictional names for the lines' subsequent stations.  No doubt there are many errors as to the suppositions above, if only owing to the physical geography of which I know little.  However, I hope this is of interest, and any ideas for improvements will be received gratefully.
  13. C126

    B.R. blue goods yard.
    Just a quick attempt at another picture with some more figures.  The coal-men start filling the first sacks for the next round at the hopper.  Sadly, the driver's colleague is obscured in the hopper's frame, but his colleague's coal-sack rests on scales under the chute, if you look closely.  Not the finest pic., but I am learning, I hope.
     

     
     
  14. C126

    B.R. blue goods yard.
    My order of figures arrived to-day, so I have arranged a few quick tableaux.  These are Woodland Scenics and Noch :
     

     
    The last pallet is removed from a VIX from abroad, and the lorry is loaded for the last delivery run of the day.
     
     

     
    A small crate is put into the back of the N.C.L. lorry, ready for delivery.
     
    I am ridiculously pleased with the two ModelU figures, and had to show them off, even if only part-painted and still on their sprus.  The Yard Supervisor chats with the weary shunter, the latter supposed to be leaning on the '03'.
     

     
    When my partner's Nikon compact camera condescends to work, I am very pleased!  All I need now is for the shops to open to buy some more paints...
  15. C126

    B.R. blue goods yard.
    It is a Summer Monday morning, and the staff and traders arrive at East Yard with varying degrees of enthusiasm.  Mr Hunt the coal merchant is looking forward to the sound of his coal loader, compared to the noise at home of the grand-children all day yester-day which left him with a head-ache and needing an early night.  However, the family lunch had been excellent, and at least the little 'darlings' ("So spirited!") had given his Austin a good clean beforehand.  Not that this has made up for the football through the greenhouse a few months ago...
     

     
     
     
    In contrast, Mr Lacey is in a joyous mood, having taken delivery of his new Rover P6.  A life-time's humouring of his Great Aunt Evadne, or, "Evadne Juliette Philadelphia Ochterlony de Lacey" as she had been at her funeral a few months ago, had paid off with her remembering 'Young Roger' in her will.
     
    Having died at the age of 92, now-not-so-young Roger had heard, several times and in increasingly lurid detail after one-too-many Pernods, Great Aunt Evadne's tales of the distressing loss of her husband in the Boer War - she would never take a glass of Constantia again! - and moving to Paris.  Enjoying a string of admirers amongst the fashionable 'fast set' despite her widow's weeds and bustle, she retired to England twenty years ago with her recipe book and love of French wines.
     
    How she had lived so long no-one in the family could understand, but Mr Lacey was starting to wish he had written down some of those fire-side stories of fin de siecle Paris and the Left Bank.  He pondered buying a bottle of Pernod on the way home, to raise a glass to Great Aunt Evadne after dinner.
     

     
     
     
     

     
     
  16. C126
    I finished a model cab office yester-day to use for my aggregate merchant.  It has not endeared me to white-metal kits - the brick-work is decidedly 'un-matching' and I glued one side out of true - but I am ridiculously pleased at how the colours have turned out.  The mortar was painted in acrylic first, all over, and then a sponge dipped in brick-coloured brown no more than caressed over the walls, so as not to paint over the mortar.  This needed to be done a few times, to get a darker and darker shade.  Then one starts the never-ending cycle of painting doors, windows, and sills, re-painting walls that have been dabbed with fittings paint, then re-painting the fittings, then touching up the walls again, until one goes quite doolally and has had enough!
     

     
    The interior needs to be done, and eventually, I fool myself, I will be able to scratch-build my own from brick-sheet and with a chimney for a coal fire, but overall I am content.
     
    Owing to the lack of a local aggregate merchant's name to steal in the 1972 'Brighton Area' telephone directory, I used the one of a much-loved toy-shop from my childhood instead.  I thought it sounded right, and must decorate the tipper when I find the lettering.  That vehicle's livery is chosen quite at random, of course...
  17. C126

    B.R. blue goods yard.
    Waiting for pay-day and a trip to B. & Q. for more Araldite for the aggregate merchant's office, I could put off the cleaning and electrical testing after ballasting and painting no longer.  Two naughty points caused problems, but with much track-rubber, rag and meths, and ultimately sand-paper, their sidings functioned again.  Not as bad as feared, so I thought this was a photo-opportnity for my second-hand (Douglas J. Fryer of Lewes!), Hornby breakdown-crane.  We saw one of these (or so it looked to my inexpert eye) whenever going to Brighton, so the model has always had a place in my heart from childhood, even if I have no need for it now.
     

     

     
  18. C126

    B.R. blue goods yard.
    Spent a couple of hours playing around with my partner's camera to get a shot of a 'Handsome Hymek' on the layout, and a lovely '73'.  Anything to put off cleaning and testing the track and point-work...
     

     

     
  19. C126
    Just a quick note to dispel the superstition of thirteen 'posts', and show my bodged soldering of the wires to the control panel for the main 'East Yard' part of the layout.  Of course, one pair of power-input wires was too short, so I had to solder 6" extensions to reach the correct input socket.
     
    The back of the panel:
     

     
     
    The two isolation sections (Goods arrival and departure), with wires on the right of each track (away from the viewer):
     

     
    I will fill the gaps with painted modelling clay in an attempt to make the holes less obvious.
  20. C126
    Waiting for the garage to warm so I can do some soldering, I have been churning out six-dozen 'wool sheets', thanks to @enz and 'British Wool' (formerly the British Wool Marketing Board).  I will edit this post later to provide additional information if the latter's kind correspondent permits, but these white polypropylene sacks took over in the mid-1970's from the smaller, brown, 60lb. hessian sacks to be seen in pictures of the Tetbury wool sack races.  These will be another project.
     
    Thanks to @enzfinding a document with their dimensions, I bent and soldered a piece of 6mm. nickel-silver strip to make an oblong with internal dimensions 16x22mm.
     

     
    This was my first attempt at a butt-joint, and I was rather pleased, even if I did use to much solder.  The two prototypes next to the lorry are before I knew the correct dimensions.
     
    Then it was just a case of rolling out a lump of modelling clay 6mm. thick, pressing out oblongs with the above 'cutter', and pushing them out and smoothing the shape with wet fingers.  Took a day to dry.  Not perfect, but they will do, I think.  Now I need to ponder how to do any lettering, if at all.
     

     

     
    A pleasing wagon-load, if having to invoke 'Rule 1' to use it.  Annoyingly, they do not stack inside a OO wagon of 30mm. width, and are not 'pallet friendly'.  Of course, now I am wondering if I should have moulded them in one large 'lump' instead...
  21. C126

    B.R. blue goods yard.
    I managed to endure the cold before the temperature dropped really low recently, and scared the bejezus out of myself by snipping and drilling 0.5 mm. nickel-silver sheet into some sort of electric panel.  The first time I had drilled metal, and I hope the last.  Despite pilot 'dents' with a nail on marked out dots - the push-to-make switches and power-input plugs are at 7/8" pitch - the drill gave a decidedly 'eccentric' hole on seven of the ten.  However, it fits, which is all that matters.
     
    Hole drilled and sawed in baseboard, plate with two coats of undercoat and one of top-coat, and cork trimmed away:
     

     
     
    Panel in situ with third coat of top-coat, and only one scratch on installation:
     

     
    I like the 1/4" telephone plugs, with their 19th-century 'telegraphy' heritage.  I always wanted to be a teleprinter operator...  Now I just need the weather to warm up enough for me to spend time in the garage wiring it all in.
  22. C126

    B.R. blue goods yard.
    Weary of paint and modelling clay, as the coal/minerals yard starts to look presentable, I thought I would try posing some stock.  Herewith my efforts.  Sorry about the backgrounds.
     

     
    A 71 pretending to be a 74 pops into the minerals siding with a special delivery of tar.
     
     

     
    Said tar wagon is taken off by the yard shunter, releasing the 71.  Now we return to Speedlink air-braked services...
     
     

     
    The aggregates merchant sets about filling and emptying wagons.
     
     

     
    The 'old school' Lima 33 waits to take away the agricultural hoppers and tanks (grain and flour).
     
     

     
    73 113 shunts an empty VIX, preparing to send it over the seas to exotic Eastern lands.  Please try and ignore the garden tools...
     
     

     
    73 111 shunts a delivery of minerals.
     
     

     
    The yard shunter brings the day's stock into the Departure Road, in front of the mineral yard.
     
     

     
    An overall view of the layout so far.  The nearest 'rust' needs toning down, which I should have done before taking the photographs, but I wanted a break from the artist's smock and palette.  Now time for dinner, and some glasses of Cotes du Rhone!
  23. C126

    B.R. blue goods yard.
    Waiting for the paint to dry on my wagon-loads, I knocked up a little shelter for the aggregate merchant's J.C.B. yester-day.
     

     
    The area on the right will be filled by the office building and a couple of motor-cars.  Now I am playing with modelling clay again, ballasting the right hand - general merchandise sidings - side of the yard.
  24. C126
    Having waited a week for the modelling clay to dry, on closer examination I see my method of squashing and scraping with my thumb a large lump of modelling clay across and into the track has caused the sleepers to move and distort:
     

     
    My how I laughed!  Thankfully, this was done for only one-third of the layout.  For the right hand sidings (general merchandise) I will make little 'sausages' and cut them off to push down into the sleeper gaps.  For the passenger station viaduct, I will be using granite chippings and P.V.A. glue, so the problems will differ, no doubt.  'Let the shipwrecks of others' misfortunes be your lighthouses', or suchlike...
  25. C126

    B.R. blue goods yard.
    Spent Wednesday covering everything with what looked like Cornish china clay, but was far less romantic: Hobbycraft air-drying modelling clay.  It gets everywhere.  However, I filled the 'four foot' almost to my satisfaction, and must now pluck up courage to attempt not to glue up a point.  Thankfully, it takes about a fort-night to dry, and it is freezing cold and snowing outside, so a good reason to find something else to do, or at least start wondering whether the cracks will show under a couple of layers of acrylic paint.
     

     

     
    Such a shame I had to dismantle everything for this task.  It all looks so offensively untidy!
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