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10800

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10800 last won the day on September 30 2013

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About 10800

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  • Location
    Teignmouth, Devon
  • Interests
    4mm P4 and French H0; DRAG and KAG; the Central Section of BR(S); jazz as long as it's not trad, indie and most other music; books; food and wine; the great British landscape; with enough wine almost anything else.

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  1. First test train on the back siding today. This was powered, from droppers on the ‘track’ bit only and propagated for now via the rail joiners (and the absence of the rail being cut at the board joins). The copperclad bit will be buried in the road, so there will be checkrails to add and double droppers on each rail length. The loco is not the one that will normally use the siding (to an off-scene agricultural facility of some kind), although it could. That will be an 0-6-0 ‘locotracteur’ which is currently in the post after some fettling by CK.
  2. Could well be Stu, worth a try. I can appreciate that might give a smoother movement.
  3. Ah, OK. Some experimentation might be possible, although I'd be concerned about the fragility of the gates.
  4. My conceptual plan is to use the below basic components: Straight section of toothed plastic and associated cog wheel (these were meant for a cog railway application, thanks John! Brass tube drive shaft, onto which the cog will be glued (well, one slightly bigger that fits). This will be supported inside another length of tube. Small crosshead screw that can be turned or soldered into the end of the drive shaft, flush with the edge of the baseboard. Jewellers screwdriver to turn the drive shaft and move the gates. Imagine something like this below the board: The tricky bit is connecting the gate to the 'cog strip'. Current thinking is small brass tubes (two probably) drilled and glued into the cog strip and poking up through a slot in the board to ground level. Then thin wires glued to the gates will enable the gate to be 'dropped' into the tubes. Even trickier will be supporting everything securely but gently underneath. Chances of under board bracing and wires getting in the way of the gubbins are undoubtedly high ...
  5. Today I’ve been playing around with card mockup buildings and trees represented by paint cans for planes and other ‘round’ trees, and glue tubes for Mediterranean cypresses. You have to use your imagination a bit, but the real location shows how big some of them are. (I measured one of the plane trees on a Google Earth view and it came out at 8 inches diameter in H0.) One fundamental change has been to move the level crossing from the left board to the middle one to avoid an unlikely very skewed crossing. Here it crosses the two running lines and the entrance to the yard, but avoiding any point blades or crossings. Moving the crossing keeper’s house to the front of the layout also enables a relationship to the épicerie and auberge similar to what actually exists in Mons La Trivalle. At the right end, the industrial siding exits behind the ‘flatiron’ building. The industrial siding winds along within the trees and buildings. In the town the track is embedded in the road – the road turns off where the white car is. The Cuprinol can will be a large plane tree. The SNCF wanted it to come down, but M le Maire (someone you don’t tangle with) refused, so the railway has to trim it periodically to keep the branches clear of the catenary. The trees also help to mask the ‘buttresses’ where the Tim Horn boards join.
  6. A photo I found online of an old postcard of Mons La Trivalle. Of interest to me is the WC/lamp room building, very similar to the kit built one I have, so now I know about its orientation and positioning.
  7. I’ve now made up the 'Architecture & Passion' laser cut kit for the barrières roulantes. Sprayed overall with white primer and the lower red bits painted on with Signal Red enamel. The ‘running plate’ is still attached to the fret, and the gates do run smoothly along them. That could be done by hand on the layout, but I have an idea for remote control. This involves cutting a slot in the baseboard in line with the running plate, and attaching a connection (plasticard or strip of some kind, details tbd) from the gate to a length of cog railway strip which Re6/6 has kindly provided. That will engage with a matching cog on a drive shaft, the other end of which will terminate flush or just behind the layout front in a crosshead screw head. Obviously the drive shaft is supported between the crossing and the baseboard edge, probably in the form as a tube-in-tube. To operate, all you need is a suitable jewellers screwdriver applied to the screw head (not a powerdrill!). I had thought of a motorised option, but the gates are very flimsy and doing it by hand gives more sensitivity.
  8. While ballasting proceeds steadily, I have been pondering the line of buildings along the back. Because of the limited depth of the boards (18 inches) they will all have to be in half-relief (or a façade with a bit of depth!). I’ve been going through my photos taken in the Languedoc of villages and small towns around where we stay with a view to basing some buildings on them. Once I’ve done some scale drawings I can make some card mockups and play around with how they fit together and look. This is the end elevation of the farmhouse owned by my friends whose gite next door we stay in, so this is a must (and I have dimensions for this). Possibly at the left hand end and possibly a mirror image. In Mons La Trivalle itself, this is the épicerie (owned by a certain Mme Fromage – honest, you can Google it) To the right of the épicerie is the auberge. Behind me is the course of the railway line that this is all inspired by. If possible I’d like to have a version of the large plane tree that casts all these welcome shadows. Further up the road to the right is this oddity, a bit like a miniature version of the Flatiron Building in New York. It could go to the right of the station and act as a view blocker for the private siding as it exits the layout. And a few others that might inspire the remainder: Olargues Minerve Roquebrun St Chinian Most if not all of the buildings (some masked by render) are built in coarse stone. No doubt there is a suitable cladding produced by Wills, Slaters etc.
  9. I started experimenting with some ballasting yesterday, now dried off and set. The right hand third of the main siding is fresh ballast, before gluing. This is all Slaters 2mm scale granite, which is what I have available. The middle third is glued with dilute PVA, and the left third (and the siding end nearest the camera) are glued with Klear. Both glues darken the ballast a bit, and I also did the right third with dilute Copydex, with the same result. The nearer siding in the photo looks a bit darker because the LED strip lighting is facing the rear of the layout and not pointing downwards. I’ve now filled in the area between the sidings with cork (Carr’s underlay) and sprayed it with grey primer pending a decision on how exactly to cover it. Meanwhile, at the other end I’ve cut the edges of the cork for the platforms and also filled in the ‘six foot’ and started ballasting there, using one of the ‘hopper’ gizmos. I usually end up with a bit more ballast than needed, so a finger and an old toothbrush can brush the excess to the end of the length for later. Running the toothbrush along the inside and outside of the rails gets rid (mostly) of any ballast build-up around the chairs, and a smaller brush to clear the sleepers. I will still need to run a file along the inside of the rails where even a small excess results in fouling of wheel flanges.
  10. I’ve now primed and painted the trackbed prior to ballasting. Priming with Halfords red primer - masked over the TOUs for later, and cleaned the railheads. (I had to get some more primer – Halfords are open however on a click-and-collect basis, they text you when your order is ready to collect.) I also fitted a second Gaugemaster walkabout and verified that the cab control works, running two trains at once. The first airbrush pass was a mixture of Tamiya flat earth and German grey (choice limited by what I had available), and then a thinner wash of light grey. The red primer was still showing too much so today I gave it another couple of thin coats, one light grey and one flat earth, leaving the yard sidings a bit more ‘bleached’ than the running lines. Happy with it now, we’ll see how it looks after ballasting. This shows a piece of the original Tillig track for comparison.
  11. I'm surprised this had so little reaction, maybe because it was a bit tucked away? For me, this is the sort of thing that should eventually replace DCC onboard sound. Mind you it may need an extra operator and care over selecting the sound track - the Flying Scotsman passing to the sound of mewling cats would not be good!
  12. My wife just brought me a coffee. I think she said something else but I'm not sure.
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