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those new Collett's are excellent but I will be changing the tiny shell roof vents when they go through the weathering shop they are a tad on the small side. 

 

Hadn't really noticed that until you mentioned it, but comparing with photos and drawings in Russell I think you're right.  Not sure I'm going to change them in a hurry, but once they stand next to a coach with cast white metal vents it might be more noticeable and spur me to action. I'm also going to live with the under size buffer heads at present.  

 

John C..

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Hi John

I get more pleasure out of building the layout and rolling stock than I do running trains, around try telling SWMBO that, I'm looking forward to more photo's don't forget your FY.

BTW I do like your track.

 

 

EDIT Your last post came in just before this one, I do run kit built coaches (plastic/brass/Hornby tart ups) and it's very noticeable I'm replacing mine which is something I didn't expect to do when the roofs get painted so it's all the same colour.

Edited by 81C
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Grahame, Rich

 

Thanks both for kind words and supportive comments, encouraging me to keep posting. I will!

 

Don't want to bore anyone or look like I'm teaching Granny to suck eggs but it's good to know that some of you are interested in my experiences and techniques.  So more on various topics to do with the construction of Stoke C. in due course, and more pics.  I hope that over the weeks you'll begin to see some incremental improvements in the actual trains as phase 2 gets into gear.

 

For now here are a few scenic details:

 

attachicon.gifScenic details 003-min.JPG

 

attachicon.gifScenic details 004-min.JPG

 

attachicon.gifScenic details 005-min.JPG

 

Not so much sparse or austere landscape in this corner, but I liked this Bachmann low-relief church, went to town a bit with a lych gate (Langley), gravestones (Dart Castings and Langley), a replacement stained glass window (also Langley) and a flagpole (brass tube left over from point tiebar construction).  Couldn't see the stained glass at first but found a spare wall-plug 12v transformer and bought a little bulb holder.  I think that's where lighting will begin and end on this layout (except for the Dapol signals of course!).

 

attachicon.gifScenic details 002-min.JPG

 

Here's another case where I ignored my own 'rules' and veered from my view that human figures are best when in repose.  Couldn't resist this Monty's Models porter (and he's deliberately half hidden by the footbridge). Incidentally white metal is a great material for model milk churns - a quick polish with a glass fibre pencil and they look just like the real thing.  This pic also makes me wish that one of the RTR firms would produce a 6-wheel low siphon like the old 1960s K's kit.  Would be ideal behind the branch B-set once or twice a day.

 

 

Regards,

John C.

I do like what you have done to the churns I've a 100 to do and as for 6 wheeled Siphons I was luck to pick up 2 well made one's for £6 at a show they just needed coupling to match my stock, they run a treat placed anywhere in a train  which is not always the case there's been few on fleebay of late looks as if someone is shifting a collection. 

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post-15399-0-27398600-1472810659_thumb.jpg

 

Ballasting - aaargh!  I mentioned earlier that I had no success with 'the usual methods'.  I found it fiendishly difficult to get the stuff (Carr's sandstone ballast; Carr's ash in the goods yard) to settle and lie neatly between the sleepers despite all my careful dispensing and tapping with a spoon etc.  Then whenever I came to mist it prior to glue dropping the mister blew half of it away.  The only thing I can say in my defence is that under the purlins at the sides of the layout it was impossible to mist from above, so my angle was across the tracks (which meant I ended up misting the backscene as well!). 

 

I had just as much trouble dropping the diluted PVA/washing-up liquid mix onto the new ballast, with it curling up in balls ( I think 'balls' and 'up' are the operative words here) and coagulating.  The result was like a rigid relief map of the Alps but with large bald patches.  I had to scrape it all off with the sharpened blade of a small screwdriver, which did the nice paint finish on the track no good at all. 

 

Neat and even ballast was important to me.  One of the advantages of C & L flexitrack over its main rival (up until recently) SMP, is that unlike the latter it isn't designed to match PCB sleepered pointwork, so the rail sits at the correct height allowing daylight to be seen beneath it.  Lumpy ballast would spoil this. So it was time for a rethink.

 

In the end I 'painted' a layer of very lightly diluted PVA round every sleeper with the point of a syringe (nozzle about 1mm or a bit less if I remember rightly), so that the layer of glue came just to the top of the sleepers, then scattered ballast all over it, weighed it down with old copies of BRM etc. and let it set.  The surplus was then vacuumed up for re-use with a little hand-held vac I bought for the purpose (and for vaccing up static grass residue).  Where the ties between sleepers were most visible I cut them out prior to ballasting. 

 

This all took a couple of weeks or so. doing a few feet at a time, and trying to keep a wet edge as I worked.  I was ready for a pint by 5pm on those days.

 

On some lengths, towards the end of operations, I actually removed the rail from the chairs, ballasted, and then replaced.  If I was doing it again I'd do this throughout, and indeed I'd stick down my point timbering,transfer the template lines to the sleeper tops, and drill any necessary holes for dropper wires before ballasting, then build the turnouts themselves in situ afterwards.  

 

Having made a mess and recovered the situation I now had to re-paint the track with the ballast present, rather than just tone the two together, which had been my original intention.  The whole lot was given a spray coat of Halfords grey primer, then subsequent light spray coats of various browns, mainly Humbrol 29.  The rail sides were then panted with - I think - Lifecolour 'sleeper grime'.  Rail tops which wouldn't have wheels passing over them (wing rails, check rails etc) were coloured with a brown marker pen.  It didn't work out too badly, and fitted with my desire for neutral tones and the avoidance of strong and clashing colours.

 

So a case of taking the long way round, but I got there in the end.

 

Anyway, here are a couple more train pics for light relief.

 

post-15399-0-57839600-1472812461_thumb.jpg

 

post-15399-0-19217300-1472812489_thumb.jpg

 

The old Lima siphon behind the Hall still has BR Mark 1 bogies with 1970s Lima 'pizza cutter' wheels (I have some 8 foot American bogies to replace them when I get round to it).  Amazingly this vehicle rattles through all my 00-SF pointwork with its 1mm flangeways without coming off the rails, but it makes a hell of a racket while doing so!

 

John C.

Edited by checkrail
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John

 

Your system of ballasting sounds very similar to Gordon's method on Eastwood Town, where as Coachman uses the older method of sitting the track in a bed of either PVA or Latex then ballasting

 

I too had problems with using the eye dropper method, having to either top up the ballast straight away or once it had dried. Each differing method has its own plus and minus issues

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I see a demo of Deluxe Materials "Ballast Bond" at their show stand and was impressed, I only hope it I can make it work that well and doesn't make any mess like diluted PVA. 

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I see a demo of Deluxe Materials "Ballast Bond" at their show stand and was impressed, I only hope it I can make it work that well and doesn't make any mess like diluted PVA. 

 

I hope you'll let us know how you get on.  I was considering in investing in some but don't know how good, or otherwise, it is!

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I see a demo of Deluxe Materials "Ballast Bond" at their show stand and was impressed, I only hope it I can make it work that well and doesn't make any mess like diluted PVA. 

 

Ballast Bond works an absolute treat and used it on a couple of recent layouts, most notably my Berry Pomeroy one. Quick and easy to apply using the plastic nozzle, it slowly runs out of the tube and lightly covers the ballast before spreading by itself and soaking down. So much so, it didn't even disturb the ballast.

We were so impressed by it that we now stock it in our model shop and it sells well at exhibitions too, thanks to recent publicity in mags. Safe to say, I'll be using it in future over the old PVA, washing up liquid mixture faff.

 

Chris :)

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Although looking like a great product, the use on a layout the size of John's would probably need a mortgage to fulfil it.

£5.25 for 100mls hopefully with careful use it should go a long way but the FY won't be done as per ANTB now. :senile:  

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John,

 

I've only just come across this thread and your description of your quite wonderful evocation of the GWR. Right now I'm a little bit awe struck as your layout ticks so many boxes for me and is thus very inspiring to see. In a couple of words (I'm sure more will follow) – it's beautiful.

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PS. I have no idea why, within the same post, this site sometimes lets me place pics within the text but at the next attempt parks them at the end.  With the latter there's no indication that the pic has been added until one looks at 'post preview' and sees that it's actually there under the heading 'Attached thumbnails' .  Baffling!

 

Hello, John ,

 I've enjoyed reading of your impressive and structured approach to building the layout, and refrained so far from the me-too post. Made me feel quite guilty since I'm sitting in my chair with a 35ft x 17ft of available space in the loft above my head!

 

Your photo placing problem (above, copied from post 90) may be just a miss-placed cursor. 

 

Generally I copy and paste my deathless prose into a post then add the pictures, treating each picture as a new inserted paragraph, by making an empty text line.

My approach is to treat the photo placement as if it is inserted text by ensuring that the mouse cursor is placed where the top left corner of the picture is to be, before hitting the "add to post" button.

 

Don

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I keep nipping back for another peek at it and to imagine I'm shunting the yard. I've just noticed the signals have working lamps…

 

A point that this layout raises in my mind: it's clear that with great care, some significant skill and a great eye that ready made models can be made to look entirely historically plausible. However, what I really notice and I think our collective comments bear this out is that how important really good looking track is to making the model look that bit more like the real thing. For me one really key lesson is that it's worth going to considerable time and effort building the track and that time spent in that exercise is rather more worthwhile that over-egging the scenic aspect. Getting that telling shadow under the rail makes so, so much difference. The tie-bar mechanism and its resulting appearance is a work of genius!

Edited by Anglian
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Your system of ballasting sounds very similar to Gordon's method on Eastwood Town, where as Coachman uses the older method of sitting the track in a bed of either PVA or Latex then ballasting

 

I'm an admirer of Gordon's work.  He's one of those - (along with Martin Wynne, Brian Tulley ('Polybear') and others - whose contributions to this forum opened my eyes to 00-SF.

 

Coachman's method is that which was always recommended back in the 60s, but you need to be sure you've plonked the track down in exactly the right place!

 

John C.

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Ballast Bond works an absolute treat and used it on a couple of recent layouts, most notably my Berry Pomeroy one. Quick and easy to apply using the plastic nozzle, it slowly runs out of the tube and lightly covers the ballast before spreading by itself and soaking down. So much so, it didn't even disturb the ballast.

We were so impressed by it that we now stock it in our model shop and it sells well at exhibitions too, thanks to recent publicity in mags. Safe to say, I'll be using it in future over the old PVA, washing up liquid mixture faff.

 

Chris :)

 

Thanks Chris.  Sounds promising.  Will give it a go next time (if there is a next time!).

 

John C.

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I do like this shot.Is this the new Hornby King ?

 

attachicon.gifpost-15399-0-57839600-1472812461.jpg

 

No, it's the old one.  It wasn't a bad model really, though I believe some period-specific details such as the cab roof shutter are incorrect (not that such things really bother a heretic like me). Its biggest drawback was the inordinate amount of daylight between footplate and top of bogie - which was why I didn't photograph it from eye-level on the embankment!

 

The new Hornby King looks like a thing of joy and beauty, but I've resisted as I have a Hattons/DJM version on order (King Richard II in 'shirtbutton' livery).

 

Regards,

John C.

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No, it's the old one.  It wasn't a bad model really, though I believe some period-specific details such as the cab roof shutter are incorrect (not that such things really bother a heretic like me). Its biggest drawback was the inordinate amount of daylight between footplate and top of bogie - which was why I didn't photograph it from eye-level on the embankment!

 

The new Hornby King looks like a thing of joy and beauty, but I've resisted as I have a Hattons/DJM version on order (King Richard II in 'shirtbutton' livery).

 

Regards,

John C.

 

I was (and probably still am) waiting for the Hatton's one as I know it has been pretty thoroughly researched (don't ask how I know) but at a bit over £100 from Mr Kernow I did give in to the Hornby one and have found it a very nice job - well worth that sort of money although I wouldn't have bought one at the original price; good runner too having done a few circuits on the Wycombe club's test track and duly caught up and 'assisted' some sort of diseasal thing in the process.

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Hello, John ,

 I've enjoyed reading of your impressive and structured approach to building the layout, and refrained so far from the me-too post. Made me feel quite guilty since I'm sitting in my chair with a 35ft x 17ft of available space in the loft above my head!

 

Your photo placing problem (above, copied from post 90) may be just a miss-placed cursor. 

 

Generally I copy and paste my deathless prose into a post then add the pictures, treating each picture as a new inserted paragraph, by making an empty text line.

My approach is to treat the photo placement as if it is inserted text by ensuring that the mouse cursor is placed where the top left corner of the picture is to be, before hitting the "add to post" button.

 

Don

 

Thanks Don.  35 x 17 feet - I'm jealous!  I'm grateful for what I've got, but the biggest constraint has to be the fiddle yard.  If only I could fit 10 trains instead of 8 (but then I'd want 12 wouldn't I?)

 

Thanks for tips re photo placing.  What you suggest is actually what I try to do, but on occasion I find that RMweb has a mind of its own.

 

Look forward to hearing how you fill your loft.

 

Regards,

 

John C.

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Thanks Chris.  Sounds promising.  Will give it a go next time (if there is a next time!).

 

John C.

 

 

 

I use Roket Card Glue by Deluxe and it's brilliant, rather like superglue for card. If Ballast Bond is as good it's definitely worth trying.

Edited by Anglian
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Haven't done much sustained operating yet, but here's one of my favourite sequences as a down express pauses to detach the Paddington to Earlsbridge through coach.  Meanwhile, in the branch platform road, 5555 stands poised to retrieve it.

 

attachicon.gifTC1.JPG

 

The express has now pulled away, while 5555 has moved out onto the up main then backed onto the through coach via the up end crossover

 

attachicon.gifTC2.JPG

 

... before coupling up and drawing the coach across the up main and onto the road overbridge to clear the turnout to the branch platform.

 

attachicon.gifTC3.JPG

 

 

attachicon.gifTC5.JPG

 

It then backs the vehicle into the platform where it's coupled up to the branch B set.

 

attachicon.gifTC6.JPG

 

attachicon.gifTC7.JPG

 

The loco then runs round in the normal way before departing along the branch towards Earlsbridge with its 3 coach train.

 

attachicon.gifTC8.JPG

 

attachicon.gifTC9.JPG

 

Superb!

 

CoY

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I assume the inspiration comes from the through coaches, 70' footers, for Kingsbridge.  Taken off the express at, if memory serves, Newton Abbot (apologies if Exeter), worked to Brent on a stopper, then added to the branch B Set.

 

I agree with the comment that this is what mainline modelling is all about.  A great layout and a great period. 

 

You had my profound sympathy concerning the ballasting - that joy awaits in my case, but I just know that I will experience what you have described, and I am glad you preserved, because the finished ballasted track looks very neat and professional.

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