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  1. The baseboard track joins are looking better now, so time to address the late modification of the added branch line. The single track now pops up at the far side of the entrance to the station throat, and... it’s a bit tight. I’ve got to shoehorn another precast tunnel portal in (same as before, foamboard layers) and also form a cutting as it enters a slightly elevated separate platform. It’s a bit like the sort of arrangement they bolted onto Stratford station when it became the end of the Jubilee line. Hopefully all will become clear over the next few weeks as the landscape and back scene
  2. I might have spoken too soon about it all running well. I’ve been having a bit of trouble at the baseboard track joins, some of them work very well and are pretty much invisible, some seem to have moved or expanded. Doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to it. After a bit of faffing, I’ve decided to cut my losses and insert short 2 inch bridging pieces of track, all with standard and insulated fishplates so nothing “floats”. Once I committed to it, didn’t take long, video below: Another mystery is why Peco sell the SL-309F concrete joiner sleepers: The gaps don’t
  3. I had a small rethink about the viaduct noise abatements, the 1mm plasticard uprights are a bit too obvious where they stand proud of the top bar. Also, although the scale size is about right (nearly train height) it just didn’t look aesthetic enough. For those who follow HS2 closely, they will know that the new Colne Valley viaduct abatements will be so tall the passengers won’t be able to see out. For me, I’d rather be a bit less prototypical and make something architecturally better. Very gently I cut and filed all the uprights, the risk being that the top bar would pop out if I went too
  4. Liking the idea to use the vertical space available, very nice idea.
  5. Been a while since I’ve run any trains as I’ve been enjoying the challenge of the first bits of scenery, but it all seems to be working pretty well. Class 373 running through onwards to Birmingham:
  6. Just a small update, because I’ve now sorted out the removable sections of the cutting to allow access to the hidden branch line return loop. Just a first go at grass cover and the bridge abutments and embankment retaining wall, they’ll be quite a lot more rock section as per the main tunnel, and also a first pass at most of the ballasting. Apart from some rock detail, next step will be a lot of painting of the civil structures and airbrushing of the track, then I will start having a look at some overhead gantries and electrification. Although I must actually run some trains firs
  7. I’ve been progressing with the viaduct details and the ballasting, but I also wanted to get on with the last scenic section before the station throat, which is a 4 foot long cutting area. This turned out a bit more complicated than I first planned, as originally the short branch line return loop would have entered the single portal tunnel mouth and been entirely under the hillside - with no hidden point work I thought the risk was small. However the more I played around with it, the less happy I was not having full access to the track work, particularly for cleaning, so I’ve ended
  8. The viaduct is now coming together with a rather unimaginative white colour scheme, however I do like the “scale” of what is possible in my first foray in N gauge. The bridge is less than four feet long but I think looks of a reasonable prototypical size (ie in real life the valley couldn’t be traversed with an embankment or diversion). Not shown but I’ve done my own silicon moulds to make plaster castings of concrete block work, which is looking quite promising to make sensible size abutments.
  9. Thanks for the nice words Vecchio, there’s still a chance HS2 will be cancelled or significantly reduced in scope. Anyway my own mainline modelling has too much sunk cost to cancel, so just starting some ballasting, with some tiny little drain covers from Scale Model Scenery and a lost class 56. My new airbrush has only just arrived so it maybe a while before I’ve practiced with it enough to do some light track weathering: And some heavy engineering going on to start fitting the noise abatements:
  10. Various bits of filling and painting the viaduct structure, I now realise I need some extended abutments as well so planning to do that over the weekend. Due to the drying time and the amount of additions (natural and man made) required for the fairly large scenic area I started planting some grass cover, and am just trying to decide on the appropriate ballast shades, the Woodland option seems a little too frantic (white and grey mix) even when weathered, might use some older grey ballast I acquired from goodness knows where.
  11. If I never have to hand cut so many identical plasticard shapes again it will be too soon. Just painting the viaduct facings up with a white primer and very light rust dry brushing. In the meantime I’ve made the tunnel entrance all mean and moody, grey washes followed by white dry brushing, wouldn’t fancy wandering into one of these portals during a full moon, regardless of a class 373 coming the other way.
  12. It’s not even a big viaduct lol and I’ve acquired some aches and pains just cutting and assembling the parts for one side. I’m using the test piece from the previous post to try some different paint finishes, I’d like to keep to all white providing I can dry brush some suitable slight weathering. I’ve been using loads of these clamps throughout the layout build, fantastically useful.
  13. Thankfully the third attempt at a jig for the noise abatement barrier has turned out ok, deliberate slight offset of the holes to form a gentle curve away from the track. Now on with cutting out 230 of them
  14. Now onto my third attempt at creating an accurate jig to make the noise abatement barrier, I’ve invested in a new set of drill bits etc etc and hopefully will have something reasonable tomorrow. In the meantime lots more cliff building, it’s got the slight appearance of a drunkenly built rockery at the moment until some more painting and detailing.
  15. Been using quite a lot of clay on the tunnel and viaduct sections to add structural details, the road verges/ditches and I’m quite pleased with how the concrete viaduct leg pads look like they will turn out:I’ve wanted a modern wind deflector / noise abatement solution, again a road bridge for inspiration, the Millau ViaductI’m trying to workout the best way to build something similar, I don’t want it to look like a railing, so it needs to have some weight, probably 4mm rods. I’m testing out some 1mm plasticard fitted into slotted plastic ducting, but drilling such big holes in so little mater
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