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About Atso

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    Railway Modelling, Ice Skating, Classic Cars, Queen

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  1. Good evening Tony, I've still not laid a single piece of track yet but I have now put on a veneer layer that covers the bulk of the fiddle yard to bring the height of my copper clad track to the same level as the Finetrax plastic sleeper bases. A swap with Jerry got me another four meters of Finetrax sleepers which will probably cover the track for the scenic section and the areas of the fiddle yard that are not covered by the veneer. I've loosely placed most of the copper clad track that I've built to date to start to gain a feel for how the fiddle yard will look. I estimate that I've now built around one quarter of the fiddle yard track and assembled around half of the Finetrax bases. Sorry for yet another poor quality camera phone photograph...
  2. Atso

    Hadley Wood

    I've been spending a little time deciding how I want to do the fiddle yard. As I am cash strapped at the moment, I made the decision some time ago to scratch build all of the points for the hidden section. However, this created some issues to resolve as the copper clad points are around 0.45mm lower than Finetrax. After much thought, I decided to get some 0.6mm iron on veneer and laid this onto the bulk of the fiddle yard area today. This will be sanded back to bring the copper clad points and the Finetrax to the same height. This does mean that I have committed myself to building all of the plain track in this section out of copper clad as well. I've not sanded the veneer back yet but I have placed most of the existing copper clad track that I've built onto boards to start getting a feel for how this will look and work. In total there will be fifteen lines in the main fiddle yard section with a couple of additional kick back sidings (made from Finetrax) curving around at each end. I'd estimate that I've built around a quarter of the copper clad that is required and around half of the Finetrax. I've been fortunate that a couple of swaps with another modeller yielded another four meters of Finetrax sleeper bases and I already have rail to thread through this. This means that I probably have enough Finetrax bits now to complete the scenic track work as well as the bits that will end up leading to the fiddle yard. It is nice to feel that the pipe dream is slowly becoming a reality and will actually be achievable! Hopefully a start will be made on actual track laying in the next couple of weeks.
  3. Regarding current articles in the modelling press, I have been enjoying Ian Nuttall's articles regarding his freight stock for Dentdale in RM. These really show the variety of wagons that ran on the railways, far more than I think will ever be covered by RTR products alone.
  4. Great to see Copenhagen Fields yesterday and catch up with Tim and Jerry as well as meet JBS and Justin for the first time. The layout looks great and nice to see the latest buildings in place. The thing that always astounds me about CF is, despite its huge size, the standard of modelling is consistently very high and every piece of the layout fits in with the surroundings.
  5. I completely agree Mike. Many of the 'how to' articles/guides that I have found most useful over the years aren't related to my chosen modelling scale, period or location. Most ideas, techniques and skills are transferable to other scales/models/projects.
  6. I made the decision at the end of last year to cut down on the number of railway modelling magazines I was buying. The biggest issue for me is that some (most?) of these publications now come in a sealed plastic bag which prevents the potential purchaser from flicking through the pages in the shop to decide if they wish to buy the magazine. While I can see the benefits to placing publications in plastic bags (who buys the dog-eared issues that are missing the free gifts?), it has put me off purchasing as I was frequently finding that the magazines held nothing of interest for me within their pages. I love rummaging through old copies of magazines in charity shops, model shops and preserved railways and frequently buy these for interesting articles and drawings; yes, these can be of questionable quality/accuracy but usually a good starting point. Another thing I've noticed is that in the past, layout articles usually contained much more information about how and why the layout operated, the locos built/purchased and sometimes even timetables/sequences. This is something that seems to be lacking from my modern layout articles which generally seem to follow the same basic formula. When the N Gauge Society was having some production problems with their range of kits, the Journal was the only reason I continued my membership. I think that Grahame has turned a good 'membership' publication into an excellent one and seems to find the right balance of articles in every issue - I've yet to receive an issue that hasn't had a least one article of interest within its pages. Otherwise, my most frequently purchased publication over the last few months is MRJ (thankfully available at each of the three WH Smiths in my area) and I've started taking an interest in Back Track as well.
  7. Atso

    Hadley Wood

    For the first time in a few weeks I found myself with a largely free day today so I built a few more turnouts for the fiddle yard. These represent about five hours work (including a break for lunch). Following a visit from my best friend, I managed to get a fifth turnout built. I've got another five turnouts to build and then I have enough to create the eight core loops and the start of the lines that lead off the outer two loops to the kickback sidings. Plain track on the other hand....
  8. Hi Grahame, Using Peco might save me some time but will radically increase the costs. Having been made redundant two years ago (and not being able to find consistent work since) I generally find myself time rich yet cash poor. A Peco short radius turnout is currently £9.50 (Hattons prices) while the cost of building my own is around £1.15. With close to fifty turnouts needed for the fiddle yard, that works out as being a big difference in price and I'm in no hurry to finish the layout. An unexpected benefit is that stock runs through my hand built turnouts far better than with Peco; which is a bonus as I'll be reversing wagons through the point formations. The scenic section is all Finetrax as it is more detailed than plain copper clad but still all built by myself and I've found the process immensely satisfying to date. I saw 'Little Salkeld' a couple of weeks ago and spend quite a bit of time admiring the track work.
  9. With regard to modelling the ex-GN mainline, please my I present my latest batch of turnouts for Hadley Wood's fiddle yard? These were built over a period of five hours today, including a stop for some lunch. The scary part is that these don't represent 10% of the total requirement of turnouts for the fiddle yard.
  10. Hi Andrew, While I cannot model too many accurate formations (The Flying Scotsman, Queen of Scots and Silver Jubilee being the exceptions), I will be able to vary the other express formations that will appear by the use of kickback sidings and a couple of free loops for shunting bits around. I'm going to model two or three 'core' catering sections and have a few variations of stock that can be added to the front and rear of these to represent other expresses. In theory the track plan allows for a maximum of fourteen carriage expresses to be run and hopefully, while not 100% accurate, they will give the impression of being different from each other and (more or less) representative of what ran. Admittedly this means more mucking about in the fiddle yard, but I've always been as interested in 'operation' as I have been in running trains. The idea (hope) is that Hadley Wood will operate an extensive sequence in which nothing appears in exactly the same way twice - even if that is simply a change in motive power between appearances. The outer suburban, Hatfield/Hitching (and their associated branch workings) and Cambridge workings on the other hand will be modelled as accurately as possible - admittedly only a select 'few' services though.
  11. Bless me, so it is! Embarrassing as I have a copy and never noticed! Thank you for finding it and pointing it out. I was half hoping it was an upper quadrant, as that would be far easier to make. However, it appears that it is mounted on a concrete post so that's something in its favour at least. Anyone have any ideas why this was retained after the Down line switched to a twin aspect colour light? Interesting to note that photographs taken from the Up platform looking south seem to be rare. In fact the photograph you have pointed out is the only one I know about - I'm sure I'll be informed of others now by this, ever helpful, community.
  12. Researching Hadley Wood naturally developed into an interest in trying to represent a cross section of the trains that ran through it in the 1930's. Suffice to say I was not prepared for the shear scale of the mountain I've now found myself climbing. I think to represent the trains prototypically, one must also understand where the train originated, where it will terminate and what purpose does it serve. I've been interested in steam railways (specifically the LNER) for as long as I can remember and the biggest thing I've learnt so far from my intital research is just how little I actually know! The second thing I've learnt is that it will be impossible to represent more than a tiny fraction of the traffic that passed on a daily basis. In many ways modelling a prototype location is easier as somebody else has already designed the track plan and located all of the features. However, identifying those features can be a bit challenging at times! I'm still trying to work out if the Up signal was still a somersault or an upper quadrant following the 1932 re-signalling works. The Down signal is easy, it is a colour light signal which features in several photographs. The only photograph I've found of the Up signal is from the 1950's, almost twenty years after the period I'm modelling.
  13. Very nice work on those bogies! My experience of the Photon is that light bleeds slightly which causes an over cure of the resin in the x-y axis. For an 8 second exposure using Photon Grey resin, I typically find that the over cure will add between 0.15mm and 0.2mm to each face in the x-y. There is an 'erode' programme that somebody devised but it is very difficult to use and I normal just adjust the CAD to compensate for this when required now. If you're willing to risk a 4-5 second exposure, you can remove most (if not all) of the over cure effect. However, you'll have some very raw parts that will need a considerable amount of time in a light box before they will be strong enough to use. Hope this helps
  14. I agree Andrew, regardless of they are RTR, kit built or scratch built, locomotives and stock do need weathering to bring them to life. My total locomotive weathering experience is limited to two locomotives and a handful of stock so far but more (all) will follow. Apologies as I'm sure these have been shared here before. My first attempt at weathering a locomotive. Nothing more than a waft with an airbrush and picking out some details. I built this V3 for a friend. The weathering on this one was based on Martyn Welch's instructions in his book. Air brushing, streaking with a brush moisten with thinners, dry brushing, stippling and powders all played a part in doing this one. Annoyingly, the numbers still show the backing slightly. I only seem to have this problem when using Model Master decals for some reason.
  15. Thanks Tom, I used my usual 10 degree by 10 degree offset for these as I find printing 90 degrees to the build plate nearly always results in disappointment.
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