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  1. At the weekend I made a start on the fueling point. To build the structure as per prototype/photographs would require more space than I have and would be overpowering at the front of the scene so this is a much reduced version to give a feel of the facility. The scratch-built base is a plastic I-beam structure that the tanks sit upon. The adjacent area will house the pump equipment, etc. I'm using parts from both the Ratio and Knightwing kits for the tanks and pumping gear. This image shows the mock-up of the facility in-situ.
  2. An excellent article, very prominently placed, with in-depth and refreshingly serious content.
  3. With that done it was time to add the water. First, the tank interior was painted with a greenish-brown up to my desired level. Once dry this was varnished with acrylic. For the water I used Woodland Scenics Deep Pour Clear. This was not without some difficulty. I’d set my level at around 12mm, just less than the recommended single pour depth. Following the instructions to the letter the pour was completed and covered in a foil cap. All looked well until I checked back after an hour to find that the mass of water had contracted away from the tank sides and into a raised blob somewhat like a flattened fist. The hairdryer wouldn’t touch it. Fortunately, the level was still well below the rim. I added another thin layer after another couple of hours, making sure to cover the protruding ‘knuckle’ structure. This was much better although some shrinkage occurred leaving a little bit of the knuckle still exposed. The underlying structure was also still visible at this point. You can see this in the following image to the top right side of the tank. A third layer was added after another few hours and this set fully flat. Once fully cured the underlying layers had vanished. There is a slight film on the surface, but this is barely noticeable from the normal viewing angle and actually quite pleasing, looking a little like scum. I can only assume that the initial volume was too much or that it was something to do with the recommended foil cap. Next job is the adjacent diesel fueling point.
  4. With the tower base complete the next job was to paint and weather the tank and add the concrete balconies and ladders. The balcony seems to be a later add-on given that it covers the tops of the ground floor windows. There’s a lot of artistic guess-work involved here since I have no photographs showing the north end of the tower and the building between it and the softener.
  5. A good while since an update. A few small jobs first: The water cranes have been painted and weathered, shown here plonked in place. The section of broken and odd-shaped paneling has been added to the coal stage. Mostly I have been completing the water tower. It took a while to get it to this stage. The corbelled brickwork is very much a simplified version of the prototype structure but still a time-consuming exercise. The lamp is from layouts4u. The balcony is still to be added.
  6. A little more progress over the Christmas break. First up, the coal chutes have had their chains and balance weights added: Handrails have been added to both sets of stairs on the coal stage and the whole assemblies have been fixed in place. Further detail in this area has been the addition of a timber screen between the stairs and the retaining brick pier that holds up the ramp. The three piers have had their concrete tops added. Finally, a start has been made on the water cranes. Photographs appear to show these in the ubiquitous silver/grey galvanised paint rather than any earlier LNER colours so that’s what I’ve gone for.
  7. Over the last week I've built the two sets of steps that reached the platform. These have been done as concrete using the same techniques as the piers. Handrails need to be added next. The small angle brackets that allow the hut to cantilever out from the brickwork have also been added. The coal chutes have been further detailed with rivet decals and then painted black with rust effects added before fixing in place. They will need further toning in with the rest of the building in due course. Pulley wheels have been added above, ready to take the chains that hold the chutes in position. I’ve also created the balance weights that will hang from the chains. These are made from brass tube with a small hook dropped in and soldered. Finally, here’s a pic of the work in progress of the brick base for the water tower.
  8. Nice work Ian. Did you open up the fishplates and then crimp them on?
  9. There is of course nothing to stop Peco from expanding this range and introducing more prototypical formations once they've got over the commercially logical nitty gritty of replicating the existing geometry. I'm not holding my breath though.
  10. Unfortunately, the weekend was largely filled with xmas shopping so just had time for a few smaller jobs on the layout. I’m trying to get the buildings finished before I start work on the ballast/ground cover. In particular, I want to get the coal stage complete and fixed in place. I’ve redone the hut with clapboard and incorporated some windows. These were drawn up and laser printed onto OHP transparency. Obviously, you can’t print white but the windows on the hut appear to be black/grey anyway. There was pretty much nothing between this hut and the North Sea, so to prevent the occupant from freezing to death, a Train-Tech fire effect has been installed beneath! I think the effect needs containing somehow as it looks like a raging inferno inside. The next job was the coal chutes on the stage. This is the prototype: I’ve done these as a one piece brass sheet folded up to form the sides and hinge section. The strapping was formed from nickel silver strips (culled from discarded etched frets). These just need priming and then rivet decals adding.
  11. Nice pic which reminds me that it's time for an update. At the weekend I started working on the water tower. There were two adjacent to each other in the period modelled but I only have space for one. You will note on the concept drawing in post #1 that I was going to model the strut-built one but instead I’ve gone for the brick one as it will be a better scene blocker. This was the first attempt at the tank built from plasticard with the curved corners/base from Maquette quadrants. The panel joints were simply thin strips of masking tape. As can be seen there was some warping and I thought I could do better so I came up with this: The base is the same but the sides are made from brass sheet. Large scale brass-work is not my forte but I’m quite please with this. The panel strips are plasticard. I also added some internal tie-bars from brass wire. There would likely have been some other internal supports (like this one of similar design used in NSW, Australia http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-oCFMtvzwqmc/T2xTZESI7EI/AAAAAAAAAb8/_OhkWUGXyMM/s320/ungarie.JPG) but I’ve not modeled these as they will be largely unseen and underwater. I’m also working up the design for the brick base. I’ve drawn this up in CAD so I’m now developing it into a kit (of sorts) based on a Scalescenes downloadable brick pattern. Pre-war photos show the tower as a stand-alone structure with a door at ground level, whereas post-war a balcony was added reached by a steps with a door at balcony level. The building looks to have been extended towards the water softener, but details are scant. Due to this and lack of space I will not model the extension but I’m intending to show the balcony and have the ground floor door as a bricked up feature. Further steps will lead from the balcony to the adjacent water softener.
  12. Thanks Sylvian, The kick-over levers are from Wizard Models. Link here: https://www.wizardmodels.ltd/shop/buildings/kick-over-yard-point-levers-cosmetic-only-ls00141/
  13. Hi Alan, The B1 was done a few years ago. I can't remember the exact method used but some weathering powders will have been used in the process as well as airbrushing - essentially using similar techniques to Tim Shackleton. I also used the Lifecolor range of arcylic washes.
  14. Over the weekend the next task has been to add kick-over point levers, buffer stops and paint/weather the track. Everything had been previously sprayed with Railmatch sleeper grime. Rather than painting the rails, chairs and then sleepers I’ve tried something different here and used pigments from AK Interactive. Applied with some of SWMBO’s discarded make up brushes these went on very quickly. I did the track rust first (Medium Rust) followed by the sleepers (Burnt Umber and Smoke with some City Dirt and Europe Earth). Note – it’s very messy during application so masking off areas that you don’t want covered in rust is a must. For some reason the rust pigment seemed to travel much more than the other colours. Once happy the pigment is fixed with white spirit (as advised by AK). This is applied with a loaded brush and touched to the top of the rails and near the sleeper ends. Capillary action does the rest. I think I used about three capfuls of white spirit to fix the whole layout. Once dry the colour tones down quite a bit. Note that it’s still possible to rub off the weathering with vigorous use of a cotton bud but it’s not going to be removed with casual handling. Also added are the bases for the water columns. The shelving in the shed has been modified. This is the new location for Mainsforth Terrace. This better shows the treatment on the concrete blocks mentioned earlier. And a better image of the softener tower now that I have more vertical space to actually place it on the layout.
  15. Thanks Clive, In this case, space (or lack of it) has probably been a blessing, in effect forcing me to focus on this part of the complex. It also cuts down on the number of locos required as they wouldn’t be permanently stabled or stored in this area but going about the business of coal and water and dropping the fire. Although this kind of thing cannot be accurately modelled I do hope to include some visual effects (smoke, fire glows, etc) to provide atmosphere and better illustrate what’s going on.
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