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Making a start in 7mm for the first time : Now Dominion Dock Goods - Layout update


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Hi Robin,

How are you progressing with your layout?

 

Rich

 

 

You are right Rich, it is about time I updated in progress with the layout.

 

 P1000562_zpstwpgoue1.jpg P1000563_zpslejqvmte.jpg

 

P1000564_zpsn08xg1mg.jpg P1000565_zpsv6vpivun.jpg

 

I made up some mock-up structures for the time being from foam-core and scaled-up OO printed buildings to give some impression of what it might look like, as well as making sure that the plan actually works.

I’m not sure whether I will keep all the buildings as they are though.

 

I’ve cut out the area for the road underbridge also, ready to add a plate girder bridge.

 

I have made a start on making some of the stock of kits I have been amassing whilst building the layout.

 

P1000577_zpsi05t3vhl.jpg

 

The first completed was this Peco 16t mineral which I started over a year ago, it is painted and weathered using a similar technique to Tove (http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/115491-gosty-hill-small-mid-80s-layout/?p=2621733).

I couldn’t find the original Peco decals so I used Railtec for the numbers and letters.

I sprayed the white stripe using a mask and the bottom door marks were made using HO dry rub decals I had left over from previous projects (actually the ‘I’ from ERIE from CDS boxcar decal).

 

P1000571_zpsapw4jlc4.jpg

 

Next was a Parkside GWR 12t van. I decided to have a go at modelling a torn roof covering to show some of the exposed planks.

The planks were scored into the roof were they would show, and painted. The area was masked and the roof sprayed with a roof colour, then a sheet of tissue paper was cut to size and a rip was made in the paper.

The ripped part was set with Mr. Putty dissolved in cellulose thinner and painted on the paper. This sets the paper hard.

The wagon was painted and decaled. The roof was sprayed again.

Then it was time to weather the wagon. I used the method of airbrush on and wipe off mainly demonstrated by George Dent in Model Rail series of weathering DVD’s.

 

P1000573_zpss4qbwkxk.jpg

 

The Parkside LMS 5 plank open was the next one to be built. All these kits go together really well and just building them is relaxing in itself.

I took the opportunity to add some wood grain effect by roughing up the planks with a 120 grit sanding wand.

 

P1000570_zpstvv7htfh.jpg  P1000568_zpsboxz4dxl.jpg

 

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My stock of Dapol and Lionheart RTR wagons also received a similar weathering treatment. I hope you agree that even a small amount of weathering make a difference from that 'out of the box' appearance.

 

P1000574_zps6vsuymtc.jpg

 

This one started out as that rather odd looking open wagon Dapol advertise as natural wood.

I tried to strip the paint using my the method i had successfully used when modelling HO, which was to soak in Iso-Propyl Alcohol (IPA) for a day or two and brushing off what is usually by then peeling paint.

Despite a week immersed in a tub of IPA and vigorous brushing very little came off. I reverted to a method I had heard a fiend say had worked for him, Caustic Soda crystals in water.

The first solution wasn't strong enough, so I added quite a bit more, being careful it didn’t heat up too much.

The wagon was put into the tub and about half an hour later all the paint was easy to take off. Obviously being careful when brushing, so splashes were avoided.

Once free of the factory finish, I decided to try and replicate a wagon with peeling paint showing wood underneath.

 

So far none of the wagons can be considered finished as I still need to add various extra shades and rust effects in places.

 

P1000579_zpsksrcw4yp.jpg

 

I added some rust effects to these Lionheart 16t minerals using a technique seen on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpT0al779Ak

 

Still lots to do. More reports to follow, and hopefully a little bit often that I've been managing.

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Hi Robin,

Your making good progress!  Great to see how your getting on and the weathering on those wagons is very effective!  Looking forward to watching your progress!

 

Rich

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"I hope you agree that even a small amount of weathering make a difference from that 'out of the box' appearance." Yes Robin - you have some very impressive weathering on your stock which makes the models far more convincing.

 

"So far none of the wagons can be considered finished as I still need to add various extra shades and rust effects in places." That may well be so and I think you could further improve the effects BUT I would just say that it's worth reflecting on whether your time might be better spent, on how far it's worth going. You might well spend a long time on each vehicle and get to the point where each one is a masterpiece (and that would be splendid) but it will remain a small part of the whole scene. Of course Rule One applies!

 

Chaz

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"I hope you agree that even a small amount of weathering make a difference from that 'out of the box' appearance." Yes Robin - you have some very impressive weathering on your stock which makes the models far more convincing.

 

"So far none of the wagons can be considered finished as I still need to add various extra shades and rust effects in places." That may well be so and I think you could further improve the effects BUT I would just say that it's worth reflecting on whether your time might be better spent, on how far it's worth going. You might well spend a long time on each vehicle and get to the point where each one is a masterpiece (and that would be splendid) but it will remain a small part of the whole scene. Of course Rule One applies!

 

Chaz

 

Thanks for the kind words Chaz.

 

I agree with you about how best time is spent. I think the next big job is painting the track and ballasting, which should make a difference to the overall effect.

 

I have to add all the etched fishplates at the right distances on the flexi track too before I paint the track.

I need to think about where the point rodding and visible dummy signal wires will go too, so that the bases are in place before I ballast.

 

I have no idea about what goes where though. I suppose some googling research is needed?

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Robin

 

when you work out where to put the fishplates, cut the top of the rail & down half way into the web - the fishplate will hide the subterfuge, but it will look better, and maybe click...

 

best

Simon

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  • 4 weeks later...

A few more signals completed for the layout...

LMS shunt signal

post-7179-0-41672700-1498991100_thumb.jpg

LMS triple shunt signal

post-7179-0-12634700-1498991086_thumb.jpg

LMS ground signal

post-7179-0-84320500-1498991071_thumb.jpg

All servo operated and LED lit..

Jon F

PS fingers/hand not included! :jester:

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Progress on the layout this month has slowed a little due to some medical issues. But the recovery time has been well spent I hope by taking this easy and doing a little modelling.

 

Unfortunately I hadn't stocked up on etched fishplates before C&L changed hands so I will have to wait until Telford now to get enough to make a decent start on adding them to the plain track where necessary.

Needless to say the signals Jon has built for me are even better in the flesh than the photos, although I haven't had a chance to try them out yet connected to a MegaPoints controller.

 

I have finished building the Connoisseur 20t Stanier brake van though.

 

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What a joy these kits are to build. Excellent instructions and precise fitting parts. I did replace the white metal buffer heads for steel though, but had to retain the original buffer guides as any replacements contemplated wouldn't fit into the limited space behind the headstock.

 

Next step is to get it etch primed ready for a top coat of Bauxite. I need to get some decals too, and then get on with some weathering to try and give it that "lived in" look, and finally adding the glazing.

I'm not sure how obvious the lack of paneling is inside the verandahs, although an etched planked floor is provided, would some sort of representation of the wood planking inside help? Having looked at Paul Barletts photos it does seem that the most noticeable ( and perhaps easiest addition) is some sort of diagonal bracing on the inside of the end,

 

Robin

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 9 months later...

Nearly a year has passed since I last updated this thread.

Looking back at how it was a year ago to how it is now, it is quite surprising how things have changed even though you think to yourself….I haven’t done that much.

 

To start with the layout now has a name ‘Dominion Dock Goods’.

The docks in Liverpool seem to have used up all the former kings, queens, princes and princesses, notable politician names of the Victorian era, as well as the cardinal compass points and docks showing main destination e.g. North Docks Goods, Canada Dock, etc, so I thought this would fit, and I liked the sound of it too.

 

The end of the layout as it enters the fiddle yards has been redesigned. This follows another series of ‘sketches’ from Brian after a discussion with him about how best to use the space.

The engine shed for the docks railway has been replaced by a set of coal drops. The road under the tracks is now a canal that all the tracks need to cross.

Yes I know Liverpool is hardly criss-crossed by canals, but hey-ho Rule 1 and all that..!!

 

 

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This has of course meant the construction of several bridges to cross the canal and making the coal drops, and the realisation of the need to add literally thousands of rivets to the girders that would be needed.  :O

 

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I have used the Slaters embossed rivet sheets cut into single strips for some of the girders, and made rivets for the others, especially the top plates, either using a drop-weight type riveter, and lately using a wonderful G.W.Models riveter, which is a wonderful piece of workmanship which will help no end with all sort of future builds.

 

A tunnel was built to allow the canal to disappear under the mail order warehouse

 

 

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The mail order warehouse at the back now has an extended loading platform to accommodate a greater variety of parcels traffic.

 

The sidings in the goods yard have been altered slightly to better serve the new goods shed.

The fruit and veg warehouse to the right has a cold store added to the side to increase traffic potential.

Replacement foamcore dummy buildings have been constructed to get a feel for how it will look, but they will all be replaced over time with properly constructed buildings.

 

post-24137-0-45032100-1528490660_thumb.jpg 

 

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The position of the signal box has been moved and a perimeter wall and entry gate added to define the edge of the layout better. Again inspired by another sketch.

 

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The wonderful signals from Jon have all been fitted and are operating well.

 

I did have a problem with using the MegaPoints board though for the ground signal. 

The board should allow a normal or a reverse signal to be sent to the server to operate either clockwise or anticlockwise depending on the linkage to the arm/board, however for some reason the board refuses to reverse the servo for the ground signal and I needed to get a servo reverser off eBay.

 

The number of available locos and rolling stock have been steadily increasing, including dedicated fruit vans and parcels stock.

So much so that extra storage is now needed for the items that don’t fit..!

But you can never have enough stock, right? :scratchhead:

 

All the stock has been fitted with Dinghams couplings. I don’t use the magnetic release option, preferring to use a bamboo skewer with a hook on the end to flip up the loops.

Many of the locos now have crews on the footplate from the excellent range available from Detailed Miniatures.

 

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I have always preferred to operate my layouts rather than just ‘play trains’.

In the past, I have used various methods to generate traffic. My previous foray into’ modelling US railroads lead down the path of computer switchlists and the dark art that was Ship-It’.

 

For the last layout prior to this one though I had swapped over to using carcards and waybills to generate and control traffic movements.

I have put that same system into place now on the current layout.

It means that arrival and departure of trains, and the shunting in between, are less random, and can generate some interesting moves.

 

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This makes operating sessions more enjoyable and worthwhile, with a sense of completion when one cycle of arrivals and departures is run.

 

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That is developing very well. The buildings are shaping up nicely and I like the way the canal and the coal drops make an interesting area which will be great fun to detail.

 

I wonder if you have any passenger traffic? If not maybe a yard of this sort would have all the points with hand levers and therefore no signals and no signal cabin? Of course Rule One applies (as always)!

 

Chaz

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I wonder if you have any passenger traffic? If not maybe a yard of this sort would have all the points with hand levers and therefore no signals and no signal cabin? Of course Rule One applies (as always)!

 

Chaz

 

Chaz,

 

There isn't any passenger traffic as such, just non-passenger parcels stock to the mail order warehouse.

 

 

My idea for signalling and having a signal box was based on a nearby location at Birmingham Central Goods.

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/102142-making-a-start-in-7mm-for-the-first-time-layout-update/page-4&do=findComment&comment=2574107

 

I haven't done a huge amount of research on it, but I don't think it had any passenger traffic from the start.

 

I liked the idea and the opportunity to have operating signals, and a signal box too.

 

The next job I want to tackle is adding point rodding from the signal box to the points. Once this has been planned out I can start on painting the track and ballasting.

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Chaz,

 

There isn't any passenger traffic as such, just non-passenger parcels stock to the mail order warehouse.

 

 

My idea for signalling and having a signal box was based on a nearby location at Birmingham Central Goods.

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/102142-making-a-start-in-7mm-for-the-first-time-layout-update/page-4&do=findComment&comment=2574107

 

I haven't done a huge amount of research on it, but I don't think it had any passenger traffic from the start.

 

I liked the idea and the opportunity to have operating signals, and a signal box too.

 

The next job I want to tackle is adding point rodding from the signal box to the points. Once this has been planned out I can start on painting the track and ballasting.

 

 

OK, that's sounds credible. There may well be points in your yard which would have hand-throw levers and so will not need rodding. Might give you the chance for some variety - the more important points controlled from the SB and the remainder to have hand levers. Ambis make some nice etched levers.

 

Chaz

 

edit - in fact following your link to photos of Birmingham Central Goods reveals exactly that sort of mix. The points which have signals protecting them are connected by rodding to the cabin, others have hand thrown levers.

Edited by chaz
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  • Robin Gristwood changed the title to Making a start in 7mm for the first time : Now Dominion Dock Goods - Layout update

A while ago a friend asked me how the layout was going as I hadn’t updated this thread for ages.

So I thought it best to post what progress has been made, although I’m afraid progress has been slower than I had hoped, but looking back now quite a lot has been done.

 

All the signals from Jon Fitness have been fitted in place, initially operated by toggle switches via Megapoints board, but now the signals and Tortoise point motors are operated using the excellent DCC Concepts lever frame. 

I know I have taken some liberties in the colouring of some the levers, but it helps prevent ‘operator error’ enormously.

 

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Some additional background buildings have been added to fill out the scene.

This one is based on Liverpool canal-side building with slight modifications to better fit the site.

Although all the large buildings have so far only been built with foamcore and brick-paper, they will be replaced by more realistic versions, but they help to set the scene as well as finalise the space needed and position.

 

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Work has continued on the track. When the trackwork was built, it was done by holding the sleepers in place on the Templot printout using double sided tape and track pins to maintain the curves particularly at rail joints. Over time some sleepers have slipped along, so now each sleeper has been superglued to the paper template base, and all temporary track pins removed. Extended sleepers were added for the installation of dummy yard point levers.

 

Non-operational yard levers are from MSE (Wizard), with dummy pivot brackets made from wire and spare Dinghams coupler parts. Once assembled and painted they have been temporarily put in place using Black Tack.

 

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As you can see I have also painted all the trackwork after small bases were positioned for the rodding bases cut from wood sleeper strip and fixed the appropriate distance apart to mount the stools on.

This was a major job in masking all the surrounding areas. I used a couple of cans of Halfords Ultra Matt Brown Camouflage paint to spray the tracks from above.

 

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The rails were then airbrushed from the sides to give a different colour.

 

DSC_0368a.JPG.ee109ed4bf63b57405d71318abafe916.JPG

 

More updates to follow...

 

 

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As promised here is another update on the progress made on the layout.

In the last update i said I want to add point rodding to the layout.

A plan of the points operated by the signal box was made. A test piece was built to try out the Wizard/MSE components and ballasting.

 

DSC_0380a.JPG.199a00f6897fc3048dbc41b21b244e6f.JPG

 

Of course, there is no point having point rodding if there isn’t a signal box.

 

The old paper version that was on the layout before has been replaced with a LNWR Type 5 laser-cut kit from Railmodel.

I have had this kit for a while and finally got around to building it.

Although I am happy with the finished result, it did require some extra work and parts to supplement, and in some cases replace, what was provided.

Some things were too difficult to correct though, for example the laser-cut brickwork is English bond, but at a joint of two walls the bond types didn’t match (e.g. not stretcher row to stretcher row and header row to header row). Also there is no interlocking of the bricks along the edges and the missing courses needed to be filed into the edges.

 

The brickwork was painted with red primer and then a mix of sloppy Polyfilla coloured with MIG powder was rubbed into the courses and wiped off.

Once dry, the brickwork was sprayed with Dullcote and coloured pencils were used to shade some individual bricks before the whole surface was sealed with another coat of Dullcote.

 

DSC_0405a.JPG.45b62f856bac82a8797c7359a86f165f.JPG

 

The woodwork was painted with weathered wood (Phoenix Precision) and then AK Worn Effects solution was airbrushed over that and allowed to dry.

The top coat is Vallejo, airbrushed over the AK layer.

Once the top coat is dry, it can be carefully dampened and picked away with brushes and cocktail sticks to reveal the ‘wood’ underneath.

 

It is all too easy to go overboard with this effect, but I didn’t want the signal box to look like it was abandoned.

 

DSC_0403a.JPG.c6e520818aeaa772431197d25c4c9411.JPG

The window frames provided are meant to be sandwiched either side of the glazing, however this makes the finished window very thick.

This was only evident once they had been made up and test fitted, where the windows overlap each other when in position.

So the back frame was carefully sliced away and the glazing was painted on the back to represent the inside frame instead.  

 

I decided to make the roof removable as I wanted to add some detail inside and include lighting. So, the roof was made as a separate assembly.

Although nice laser cut slates were included in the kit, no ridge tiles are included or mentioned in the instructions.

 

I made a set of ridge tiles using my Anycubic 3D printer, then painted slate grey and fitted in place.

The conspicuous finials are provided in the kit as flat laser cut shapes which do not look right.

I found a supplier of the correct LNWR finials in brass available from Scale Signal Supply. These look much better than the ones supplied with the kit I think.

 

251287240_DSC_00191a.JPG.574a99150495da6df0938f73c5f3f2ab.JPG

 

P1000743a.JPG.c530c115b356c7a15931ceb6a9fdd247.JPG

 

The interior has been kitted out with a lever frame and block instruments from the excellent Severn Models range and furniture from Skytrex. The signalman is another Detailed Miniatures figure.

 

P1000747a.JPG.96fee770e0acfcd90065d3ac2c940ba7.JPG

 

Other detail is still needed, although I have now added downpipes for the guttering and a soil-pipe for toilet using the excellent Modelu components. It needs more weathering, particularly for the roof, and it does need a nameplate or lettering of some sort of course too.

 

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The retaining walls and bridge abutments have been completed and coloured using crayons again, but as blue engineering brick this time.

The track over the coal drops has been finished and a buffer stop added at the end.

A building is planned at the end, and once this is built this section will be ready for scenic treatment.

 

DSC_0437a.JPG.108ee284e6a1968f9d5ceaa8b97be9dd.JPG

 

The wagon fleet has seen more additions. Internal user wagons ‘leased’ for use on Docks railway, as well as extra stock arriving for the fruit warehouse – Fruit D, 2 x BR Banana Vans (all JLTRT), and an assorted rake of fruit vans

 

P1000764a.JPG.25a783274b86136c368e7f5de3ff08aa.JPG

 

P1000750a.JPG.271824694868322a6f918ee9a7060d7a.JPG

 

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P1000753a.JPG.4c5bb85f74fe6072212ba2da7b75ae88.JPG

 

Other stock built and painted and decaled – but most still need weathering.

The 20t brake van is a Slaters kit and the Stanier brake van is the excellent Connoisseur brass kit.

 

P1000754a.JPG.e6f1e26cefd1536c96ce7cb696219c7f.JPG

 

P1000755a.JPG.27579cbd27ea00df6c8addb858b0542b.JPG

 

P1000761a.JPG.d7788a06feedc7b75aa7e74457e1d086.JPG

 

I treated myself to a weekend away to Missenden Abbey last October to refine my weathering skills, helped enormously by the expert tuition of Mick Bonwick.

I took my Dapol Jinty and the rake of Lionheart/Dapol 14t Tank wagons to work on.

 

P1000760a.JPG.5fa4fdb2c7063eac82d9744253650000.JPG

 

P1000762a.JPG.5cd34bff118f2c015a3a4dc005a774cc.JPG

 

P1000763a.JPG.8618560fdba81bf1955b6a39ea64c120.JPG

 

I am extremely pleased with the results and I now feel much more confident in weathering the rest of the loco fleet.

 

More updates to follow...

 

P1000758a.JPG

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Robin,

This is developing into a lovely layout and is just the sort I would like for myself.  I don't know if you have seen the book published by HMSO for the RCHM in 1984 on the Liverpool south docks.  It is available via Abe and contains inspirational drawings and photos of the docks south of Pier Head.  I thinks that it is a bit further upstream than your proposal, but it may be interesting anyway! 

 

It is 'Liverpool's historic waterfront. The world's first mercantile dock system' by Nancy Ritchie-Noakes. ISBN 0 11 701188 6.

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  • 3 months later...

Hello Robin just a quick off topic wander.  As a Scouser it is interesting to see you are modelling the local dock area of Liverpool with a deft touch at a high skill level.   As a youngster my friends dad worked the dock engines we're talking early 60's so my memory is a bit dim on precise recalls.  We also used to ride footplate down the line to Garston Dock area as we had a friend who was learning the signal box on that line and had got to know the railway crews.  Health and Safety frrrrrp.

 

You recently mentioned on my forum post about my layout build where I was discussing Way bills & Car cards and added a photo of your system.  Reading through I see you mention Ship-it and I think the Spread sheets I am working with are based on that but they do have a lot of detail cells to populate which for my small 7mm gauge plank is a little heavy handed.

I'm trying to put together enough details to make up an anglicised version so any info you may be willing to share would be helpful.

 

Ok back onto your topic.

 

Thanks

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