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SouthernRegionSteam last won the day on April 8 2010

SouthernRegionSteam had the most liked content!


About SouthernRegionSteam

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  • Location
    The New Forest
  • Interests
    Anything Southern Region based!
    I model mainly in 009, but also in OO.

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  1. I'll let you off, Tim! And hey, you didn't ignore all my advice; you bought local, got some nice aluminimum profiles with diffusers, and didn't go for RGB LEDs (huzzah!). Seriously though, you should be perfectly OK with that. My RGB tape I stupidly bought years ago was a fairly similar design (albeit a [email protected] version with a humming transformer and very dodgy wiring), but this looks like a more refined version with what appears to be more sensible cabling. And as it's been bought from a local shop I'd certainly have a lot more faith in it than something bought on Amazon etc. like I did! I actually use a dual warm white/cool white LED panel for lighting up videos, so bi-colour lighting can indeed be very useful. Just be wary that if it's anything like my panel, I would imagine the maximum brightness would be with the colour temperature in the middle; where both warm white and cool white LEDs are on. That said, I'd expect that to be the setting you use most anyway as it will be a more neutral colour. I assume that's one lighting run situated right at the front of the layout? Looks surprisingly adequate at the moment, but I'm sure you'll be able to add another run should you need to in the future. Looks great to my eyes either way!
  2. Looks good, Les. Sorry that the article wasn't out in time to help, but your set-up looks pretty good. Considering your lighting rig doesn't look to extend over the front (and there's only one 'run'), you've done well to light the whole layout to the degree that you have. The right hand side looks a little dark, but that could easily just be the photo - at least you'll know what to modify should you find that you need to in the future. Good luck for the show! Many thanks, Dubya! I'm really glad the article and videos have helped. It's such an important and often overlooked aspect of layout design, especially so for exhibition layouts. As to the aluminium strips, I had to resort to Amazon. A quick search for "LED aluminium profile" should bring up results, but let me know if you still can't find any and I'll see if the ones I bought are still available on there. All the best, Jamie
  3. Ooh I missed this one; right up my alley, and something I've always wanted to build - a small backwater Southern Railway halt. Indeed, my latest project is reverting back to a similar idea... Anyway, I'm pleased that you're resisting the temptation to fill it with buildings; I think the open nature will pay dividends as far as atmosphere is concerned. Can't wait to see future updates!
  4. That's precisely why I love using Google Maps and the NLS maps - the amount of old railways and industry you can find even in your local area is quite surprising. I've you haven't done so already, create an account with Britain From Above - that alone gives a fascinating aerial photographic insight into history. Granted, it may not be as comprehensive as modern satellite photos, but it's much more interesting! Either way, there's plenty to think about, and plenty of industry and inspiration along the New Forest coast. The only problem is condensing it all onto one small layout!
  5. You raise a great point! I've only looked at Eling Tide Mill once before (via Google Streetview), but having another look now, it is certainly a lot smaller and more manageable than Ashlett Creek. My design for Coastguard Creek is still very much in the planning stage, and I have been playing around with various ideas lately; it would certainly be nice to get a tide mill on the layout (especially since there are/were at least three tide mills along the New Forest Coast). Eling would be a much better bet, and I do love the little toll booth and bridge as well. Take a look at this link to see an old map of Eling overlaid on a modern aerial photo - that should help show where the line on the quay went up to; it appears there was a landing stage near to the mill at one point. Thanks for the recommendation - it gives me more ideas to experiment with!
  6. Many thanks, Mikkel! Something I was keen to avoid were any areas of wasted space - most paint racks that you can buy feature a tiered shelf system. That's great for access, but very wasteful. And yes, it would be very nice to have my Dad's woodworking skills; I do try to learn, but some things are best left for him to do!
  7. I've happily spent some of lockdown converting part of our garage into a studio so that I have more space both for modelmaking and music production. Now that most of the hard work has been done and I've been working in the studio for a couple of weeks, I'm working out exactly what I need with regards to storage/shelving, and how to make the most of the space. Railway modelling is a hobby that seems to bring with it a lot of stuff. Too much stuff, in fact (hence the need for a dedicated room)! Something that always annoyed me about my "workflow", if you can call it that, is that I've never had a proper storage rack for paints. Now that I had a studio, and have already put up some shelving, I had a spare nook to fill; a perfect time to make that paint rack at last. Above: Unlike seemingly every other design I come up with, this one was not done on the computer. Shocking, I know! In fact, all I did was measure the nook, and come up with a design based on the paints I commonly used. Originally, I wanted a rack with a right angled triangle so that everything was accessible from one side, but I soon realised that it makes much more sense to have a more symmetrical design to keep the weight in the centre whilst moving it around. The basic design is a central drawer with room for a bunch of tinlets of enamel paint (the drawer means not only do I make better use of the space needed for tiered paint racks, but it is also a practical storage area; especially for the tinlets which are small and something I rarely use). Looking at the top photo, 1 & 2 were originally going to be softwood battens with holes to hold Vallejo Acrylics. 3 is the upper storage area for tester pots of emulsion. Note that the design became more symmetrical in the lower photo, with the two softwood battens on either side. Having it like this also provides more strength for the whole assembly. Above: With the design ammended, and the sizes and clearances tested, it's down to my Dad to cut out the components from 5mm ply scraps. All the ply for this project came from the control box from what was Old AGWI Rd. - that's another design/size restriction I had to work to. Anyway, the right-hand photo shows Dad using a spade bit in the pillar drill to drill the holes in the softwood for the Vallejo paints. Above: I cut out the slot in the end pieces of the rack using a bandsaw (well, technically a scroll saw) - as this has a much finer blade than a jigsaw, it's both easier to maneouvre into tight turns, and it also reduces the amount of splinters. Speaking of which, it's a good idea to sand down any edges before we start assembling the unit. Above: I was going to use a bit of large section dowel for a handle, but I then remembered we had an actual wooden handle from an old magazine rack that we had dissassembled. Cut to length, I then sanded it back to remove the paint splatters and varnish using a mouse sander. Above: We can see almost all of the components cut out here. The drawer is on the left - this is formed from a base of 5mm ply, ends of 18mm ply, and sides of PSE softwood stripwood. Not shown are the two small lengths of dowel which I'll use as knobs. At the top of the photo, there's a bit of 5mm ply and more stripwood for the paint rails; this will be the drawer cover - where more paint will be stored on top of the drawer. I later realised the rails would need to be suspended in the air due to the taller paints here, so this stripwood was later replaced with single lengths of square section PSE - rather than the two shorter lengths of stripwood for each side, as shown here. Underneath this are the two softwood lengths, each with 12 holes drilled for the Vallejo paints. More 5mm ply sits betweeen these, which will be the uprights that hold up the drawer cover; these will be screwed to the sides of the softwood lengths. Finally, on the right we have the base and two ends (more 5mm ply), plus of course the pine handle. Above: As with any project, it's a good idea to do a dry run before assembly to check that everything fits as it should. This should also help give you all an idea of what the finished rack will look like. Above: Assembly should be pretty straightforward, in fact, I'm not even using any wood glue! All holes are pre-drilled and countersunk so that the screws sit flush, and we reduce the chances of wood splitting. Stupidly, I screwed the softwood to the base first. This meant the ply sides attached to those softwood lengths that hold up the drawer cover were now hard to access for screwing, so a 90 degree angled screwdriver bit had to be used here. Above: Everything else was pretty simple to assemble, including the drawer, which doesn't even use drawer runners. Allowing one or two millimetres extra for the cover surrounding the drawer should enable enough lateral movement to slide the drawer in and out easily. Here we see the hole being drilled for the dowel knob, the dowel being cut to length, and then inserted into the end plate hole. Note that the fit was tight enough that no wood glue was needed here, either. Above: The drawer ends could then be drilled and screwed onto the 5mm ply base. We're not expecting much weight on this tray (just a few tinlets of paint), so 5mm is plenty. Once again, note that every hole is pre-drilled and countersunk for reasons mentioned earlier. Above: I don't have any photos of the drawer side assembly, but the drawer cover seen here was secured to its ply sides in exactly the same way. Both the ply and stripwood are pretty thin, and whilst I could've used wood glue, I didn't want to have to wait for it to dry; instead, some panel pins were used to hold it together. However, once again we want to avoid the thin materials splitting, and hammering nails in is a sure way to have that happen! To avoid this, the head of one of the panel pins was chopped off, and inserted into a Dremel. This is then used as a drill, and is bored into the wood to a depth of about half the length of the normal pin length. This gives enough of a pre-drilled hole to avoid splitting, whilst still being shallow enough to allow the pin to be hammered deeper into the wood for a solid joint. Above: With the softwood battens now screwed to the 5mm ply base, the ply ends can also be screwed on. Nothing new here; countersinking, pre-drilling pilot holes into the softwood, and then simply screwing it into place. Whilst here, I also did the same with the pine handle (right photo). Above: That just left the square section softwood rails to be screwed into position. This is the replacement for the stripwood seen on the shot of the components earlier that was too short for the job. Their purpose is to help prevent paints from falling off the shelf on top of the drawer. Once again, it's a simple case of drilling pilot holes, countersinking the ply, and screwing it on. Above: I was going to leave it there, but I realised that it might be a little awkward moving the unit in/out of its storage nook. Luckily, I had two small fixed castor wheels. Cutting some short softwood blocks with a 45 deg angle on one end allows me to mount the castor wheels to one end of the unit; the idea being that the castors only touch the ground when the other end of the unit is lifted up. Once again, holes are marked and pre-drilled to avoid splitting the softwood. Above: It's a similar story to screw the blocks themselves to the unit. I'll be screwing these on from the ply side (it's makes more sense that way!). Hole locations are marked, pre-drilled and countersunk, before being screwed on. Above: All that's left to do is paint the unit - I'm just using basic quick-dry white emulsion. I spent a couple of hours putting on two coats, although a third probably wouldn't go amiss. Above and below: And here's the finished paint rack. Note the drawer filled not only with tinlets, but also with other less-often used items like powders and watercolours. The Vallejo acrylics at the front fit snugly into their holes, with a whole range of emulsion tester pots on the top shelf; as well as my (filthy!) paint palette. As you can see, it's all a perfect fit, although I need 12 more Vallejo acrylics to fill the holes on the other side now! The photo below shows the rack in its nook - it's a pretty tight fit, but the rear wheels make it easy to slide in. It's definitely not a fine piece of woodwork; especially with the scraps of old, rough plywood and my dodgy woodworking skills, however, it IS a practical storage unit. Let's face it, being practical is far more important than looking good (not that you can convince the fashion/cosmetics industries that!). Ultimately, you don't have to be very good at woodwork to build something useful, and since my studio has been built, I've learnt that the key to making good and fast progress is not necessarily skill, but organisation! So round up those scraps of wood from abandoned layouts and build yourself something useful to help make you more productive; wherever it is you carry out the hobby. Now I just need something for my brushes, adhesives, and spray paints. A tray of similar dimensions and style should suffice, with just a narrow shelf mid-way up for the brushes to stand in... oh, and I have the perfect spot for it, too. Time to get planning! If you have any questions or comments, please do leave them down below and I'll get back to you ASAP. I'd also love to see your designs/builds, and especially creative storage ideas. In the meantime, happy modelling! Jam
  8. If he's not sure, tell him that it's like saying "Sarah", but forgetting half-way through!
  9. (With the usual apologies to those that have seen this on my external modelmaking blog) A few weeks ago, I decided to take a break from work-related projects, and dedicate some time to Coastguard Creek. Rather than work on a mock-up (as the studio is still in disarray), what actually ended up happening was that I spent a few days producing an information panel showing off inspirational locations across the New Forest coast! In all honesty, I'm not quite sure why I've drawn this, but if nothing else it's both a nice reminder of what I want to get out of the project, as well as being something that would look nice hung up on a wall or next to the layout at a show: Whilst not everything shown will be modelled (if only; but I'd need a huge barn for that), I did want to remind myself of the areas along the New Forest coast that really inspired me. It makes sense to follow the numbering on my drawing, so first up... Hurst Spit is a shingle spit jutting out 1 mile into the Solent. Its strategic location gave it significant importance throughout history as a military outpost. The castle appeared in 1541-44 by Henry VIII to protect against a French and Spanish invasion. It initially comprised of the tall cylindrical tower in the centre, with it's separate gatehouse and two smaller flanking towers. In the 1860s it was expanded to form the sprawling structure we see today; with both a new west and east wing. There have been lighthouses built on this spit before; both in 1786 and 1812, but the current "high" lighthouse was built between 1865-67. There are still two other lighthouses "low lights" in existence; both perched on the castle wall. The round stone tower was built in the 1860s, but was superceded by the iron lighthouse in 1911. There is actually a railway connection; the two large wings of the castle housed huge guns, and a narrow gauge (man-powered) railway was built from the dock into the castle in the 1880s to aid with the delivery of stores and ammunition. This can still be seen today. Speaking of railway connections, the Lymington Branch is of course a famous (and thankfully, still existant) line; terminating at Lymington Pier. This has provided a handy link with ferries to the I.o.W. since 1884. Sadly the station is now nothing more than a few bus shelters, but in the past it featured a run-around loop, various platform canopies, and a signal box. The loop was removed in 1967 after rationalisation. By the early 1980s, the 1884-built ornate platform canopy, together with the later 1938 SR additions, were all but gone. As such, the sketch above shows the end of the line before rationalisation; with a ground frame for the points visible to the left. Note the coils of rope on the end of the wooden platform. Whilst the original platform canopy was rather lovely, it's the SR built extensions that really captured my interest; you may remember my initial ideas for Coastguard Creek featured it; although obviously the idea of a proper platform got shelved when I realised freight would be the mainstay of the (fictional) line. It may not look like it from the sketch above, but the rather picturesque Buckler's Hard is a historic shipbuilding port on the Beaulieu River. Whilst it's no longer used as such (being very much a tourist destination), the buildings have all been nicely preserved; you can almost imagine the frantic shipbuilding in the 1700-1800s when you walk around. The street pictured comprises of two adjacent rows of houses stepping down to the waters edge, but there is no road; only grass and a gravel path down the middle. It feels very "old-worldy"! Buckler's Hard was a very important port and later a shipbuilding site for centuries, and indeed many Royal Navy ships were built here from the thousands of old oak trees that the New Forest could offer. Like many places in this list, it was used extensively during D-Day; the Beaulieu River lined with hundreds of ships. Nowadays, you can take a relaxing stroll down the hill and visit the shipbuilding museum. Following on from Buckler's Hard, Exbury is just along the Beaulieu River. Now famed for it's house, gardens and narrow gauge tourist railway (a fine railway, by the way!), the village itself used to be closer to shore, but was moved inland as a way of more easily serving as a residency for the workers of the Exbury Estate. The original settlement can be dated as far back as prehistoric times! I chose a lane going from the river to the estate itself as the sketch for this location; it is absolutely typical of many locations found all across the New Forest; white 5 bar gates, a canopy of trees, and a narrow road meandering through it. As mentioned numerous times, Lepe is the single biggest inspiration for this project. Aside from the lack of any railway (although one was planned), it has everything I love about the New Forest coast; a beach, trees, being steeped in history, quaint buildings, an exposed location, a lighthouse, and a stream draining off the heathlands. It also has a reminder of the strategic importance of this section of coast; notably the remains of the D-Day preparations and bright yellow warning signs that denote pipelines that deliver oil under the Solent to the I.o.W. Remains of the huge and secret manufacturing facility at nearby Stone Point that constructed large concrete caissons can still be seen. These caissons were floated across the channel to form part of the temporary Mulberry harbours used for D-Day. Interestingly, whilst details are a little lost in the ravages of time, I've just learnt that Lepe also once had a shipbuilding site, and even a port; you wouldn't believe it when you look at the place now! It is believed the original harbour silted up by 1825. The aforementioned stream is called "Dark Water" (due to the minerals washed down from the nearby heath), and originally entered the Solent further east. It is believed that the Great Storm of 1703 breached the original banks and may have even destroyed the mill that once sat there (a 1640 map shows it in place); taking with it the mill pond. The coastguard cottages and watch house (the white seaward structure above) were built in 1828 to combat smuggling along the western Solent. Calshot should need no introduction for those of you that know me and my past layouts! Like Hurst Castle, Calshot Castle was ordered to be built by Henry VIII in 1539; indeed, the central circular tower is very much of a likeness. Things were more or less uninhabited on the spit until 1913 when the Royal Flying Corps established Calshot Naval Air Station as a seaplane testing base. 5 years later, it became RAF Calshot, and a surge of hangars, workshops, and other ancillary buildings popped up; almost completely covering the spit. Like previous locations, Calshot had a hand in the D-Day preparations, including sending over 5 seaplane tenders to Dunkirk; successfully evacuating hundreds of soldiers. Of course, the narrow gauge railway at Calshot was just as important; and was built initially to aid construction of the base by bringing supplies from Eaglehurst. The accomodation blocks were built at the end of the line at Eaglehurst, and included a locomotive shed and stores building. The line was used to transport RAF personnel to the head of the spit right until the end of WWII, when the rolling stock was found to be unsafe, and the line abandoned and eventually lifted. Three of the large hangars remain to this day, and are all used as part of Calshot Activities Centre. The castle is now an attraction (having also been used both by the RAF and the coastguard during its life). A coastguard tower (not shown in the sketch) was also built after the base closed, with an adjoining lifeguard boatshed. Those of you who saw my ill-fated layout based on the Fawley Oil Refinery will have also seen the above scene in its entirety (well, I hadn't built the mill, but the shell of the pub was built, along with the quayside and muddy estuary). Either way, the tidal mill is a prominent feature of this little settlement, and was built in 1816; replacing an earlier mill. It now plays host to the local sailing club, and is shown in the sketch above with its original landward extension (now reduced in size/rebuilt). The landing stage was primarily used to help with offloading of materials from barges for use during the construction of the Fawley Refinery (behind the trees in the background). The refinery's narrow gauge railway even ran to this landing stage, splitting into a pair of sidings. A small 5 ton travelling steam crane was used to load up the flat wagons. Whilst the mill would no doubt make for a nice feature, it is just too large to fit on Coastguard Creek, and so I will instead model only the pub "The Jolly Sailor" to its left. It's a typical style of New Forest architecture, so will fit in perfectly with the other planned buildings. Whilst there are other very interesting locations along the 40 mile New Forest Coastline, I'm going to end with the quintessentially British pier railway over in Hythe, on Southampton Water. Dating back to 1909 and replaced with an electrified railway on the opposite side of the pier in 1922, it is officially the oldest continuously operating public pier railway in the world, whilst the pier itself is itself the 7th longest in the British Isles! It is powered by 250V DC using a third rail on the seaward side; there is no run-around loop, so the engine is on the landward end of the train, with a driving trailer on the seaward end. There are always two locomotives to guarantee a service, with the second loco stored on an unpowered track that leads to the workshop (the only point on the entire line). Interestingly, there is also a four wheeled tank wagon (shown above) which once a week provides fuel for the associated Hythe ferry. Perhaps the thing I love most about the line is the pier station (at least when it's been freshly painted unlike a lot of the times I've seen it!). The ornate woodwork and metal brackets really give it a unique style; especially when complete with the overall roof. All in all, this drawing exercise has also helped me focus on the general atmosphere that I wish to portray. Equally, it has also opened my eyes to interesting local features; like the D-day remains at Stone Point (Lepe). It would certainly be nice to have a nod to that if I can find the room without overcrowding the layout. The New Forest coast has held a pivotal role in the country's history, not least in WWII; Marchwood Military Port, RAF Calshot, Lepe and many other sites were an integral part of events like D-day. I think it's important to remember and celebrate that; so I'll be looking to incorporate something to that effect, even if it's just producing a nice panel for display during exhibitions. I have started to draw a similar version of this information panel for non-New Forest inspirational locations, but so far there are only two sketches. If I find the time to complete it, I will of course do a similar blog entry. Until then, stay safe, and happy modelling!
  10. As is tradition, I've written a show report of this; the third installment of the BigWORshow. This time, thanks to Andy & others, I have photos to go alongside the report to help refresh your memory of the fantastic exhibits on show. You should be able to click on the image below to go straight to my report, but there's a link underneath just incase. https://jamsmodelrailways.blogspot.com/2021/03/show-report-world-of-railways-virtual.html I think it was a great all-round show, but to help the WoR team out, do make sure you comment in this thread on the sort of content you liked the most from the show, as well as any sensible ideas for the next virtual show. Either way, I hope you enjoy my report, and once again a huge thanks to the WoR team & others for a cracking weekend.
  11. Good point... Please, sir! Can I have some photos? It did cross my mind, but I didn't really want to bother you considering how busy you've been!
  12. I think I've looked at probably 80% or so of the content, it's an amazing amount to digest in one weekend, but I think I've seen most of what interests me; not dissimilar from 'real' exhibitions! The only problem I have with virtual shows is that I've just finished writing a 1400 word report on the show, but I have no photos to go alongside it...!
  13. It's been my pleasure! RMweb as a collective has helped me grow as a modeller over the years, the least I could do is it pay forward. And besides, I'm really enjoying producing the content I do. It also gives me a chance to try different techniques, and perhaps show people different ways of thinking. I was trying to work out yesterday what was missing from the show, took me until today to realise it was the puzzles. I don't know why I liked doing them so much to be honest, but I did! Still very much enjoyed the fiendish spot-the-differences (although I actually managed to find all of them this time, unlike the last!) What are you trying to suggest? OK, yes, I'm a child at heart!
  14. Surely not with him wearing his finest tweed! Preposterous! In any case, I've really been enjoying the show all weekend. Barely got any work done, but it's given me renewed purpose to get on and finish the design for my latest layout, Coastguard Creek. Many thanks to everyone who has worked hard behind the scenes recording and editing the vast swathes of content. (P.S. No puzzles this time around?)
  15. Unfortunately not; like I said I was originally pressed for time so I made do (against my own advice) with what I could find on Amazon (I spent hours trying to study reviews, customer photos, and specifications to try and whittle it down to stuff that looked promising, but you never truly know what you're going to get on these sites!). A quick search brings up a few UK suppliers/manufacturers, but you'll have to look yourself and see if they have a good reputation. For me, I'd consider getting into contact with one or two; if they want your business, they'll probably help you out as much as possible. A quick test is that if they don't seem to want to advise on their products then they won't be a good bet! Sorry I can't advise specifically. If anyone else here has recommendations, I'd also like to know for future reference!
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