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  1. With time on my hands it's time for a long overdue update A big push towards the end of last year saw the layout almost complete - just a few details to add now. Work done in no particular order: Outer carcass and lid constructed and painted dark grey. LED strip lights added to lid. Initially these were daylight white but I felt them to be a bit weak and too blue so I've since added some more warm white strips. Backscene added. I created a simple graduated sky in Photoshop and had this printed onto self-adhesive sheet. This in turn was applied to a thin styrene sheet and laminated onto curved hardboard. For the visible section to the left where the backscene joins the horizon, I've added a ramshackle fence. This is a laser cut product from Model Railway Scenery. Fiddle yards built. They are a cassette with a mini jack socket at one end that drops onto mini jack plugs on the board surface. This provides power as well as a swivel point to turn them into sector plates. The system works, but in hindsight they are a bit short so I may make a larger version. All on layout lighting fitted and wired up. This includes freestanding yard lights and lamps on buildings and structures. Wire-in-tube turnout actuators fitted with levers to front. Polarity is changed by Gaugemaster auto switches. Frontage to main shed building to the right. This is a small part of the roundhouse frontage that leads off-stage. All buildings fixed in position. Surface water added. Photographs show floods of water around the water cranes. I left gaps and pits in the ballast to allow for this and filled it with Woodland Scenics Realistic Water. Foliage added. A few grass tufts and my attempt at creating Rosebay Willowherb (aka fireweed). The latter is essential small twigs dipped in PVA and then green flock to the lower parts and a pinkish mix to the top. The top is cleared of flock to provide the pointed appearance of the plant. Still to do: General shed detritus to add such as oil drums, brake blocks, wheel barrows, loco tools, etc. Staff to add. The coal tippers for the coal stage. These are the pram-like buckets typical of NER sheds. I'll need a few of these so I might have to create them as a bespoke etch. Anyone know of any good pictures or other details? Loco fleet to renumber. This is ongoing at the moment. Once done I can set about weathering. Recently acquired Class 24/1 to be modified into 25/0. More soon.
  2. OK, time to bring us up to date. As of last weekend most of the ground cover is now down and blended in. I've used texture paint on top of modelling clay for this. It's maybe a little too rough looking, but photos I have show that the ground was actually quite rough and broken in places, more so than compact. I may yet sand some of it down. It's hard to see on these pics but the piles of ash next to the pit are actually sieved BBQ briquette ash. A few small bits of greenery have also appeared. I won't be overdoing this but I think it helps to soften the otherwise desert-like landscape. Test fit of the yard lamps - the next job will be wiring everything up and adding the outer box structure before I can fix the front buildings in place. The Q6 is still not weathered, but it is gaining a layer of dust...
  3. Hah! It won't stay that way for long. A weathering session is planned...
  4. Hello. I hadn't realised how long it had been since an update. A couple of posts to bring us up to date: The turnouts have been further detailed with cosmetic rail joints scored into the tops of the rails and C&L fishplates added. Detailing and painting continued on the fueling point. The oil stains are a Humbrol gloss oil product. The hoses are made from heat shrink sleeves. A larger size is used and shrunk down to the correct size and shaped to suit whilst still warm. Heat shrink was also used for the water crane hoses. The building adjacent to the fuel tank structure is a Stoneybridge models laser-cut kit. Ballast and ground cover was started - time consuming and not terribly interesting to look at.
  5. 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.
  6. An excellent article, very prominently placed, with in-depth and refreshingly serious content.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Nice work Ian. Did you open up the fishplates and then crimp them on?
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
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