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Neil

To the Continent ...

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For the past year I've been without a permanent layout, my last project Morfa having been dismantled in January. It went because we planned to move and while there was some sadness the overriding emotion was excitement at the prospect of a blank canvass. With the move likely to happen early in the new year it's time to start marshalling all the pleasant possibilities into a coherent-ish concept. Given that model railways are essentially escapism thoughts have crystallised around escaping from the dreadful head up 'arris, little Englander, inward looking stance which seems to have infested our country the latter half of this year. 

 

These days I find St Pancras to be the most exciting station in the UK, not because of its architecture or the trains but because of what it represents, travel to the rest of Europe. There's something magical about setting off from the familiar by train and ending up somewhere like this.

 

post-6793-0-69498700-1482003138_thumb.jpg

 

Now I'm not really a modeller of the current scene, but London has always been a  gateway to Europe with trains like the Golden Arrow and the Night Ferry. The setting of the next layout, London, has almost chosen itself. The era will be the sixties, a time when the continent was generally held to embody glamour and mystique, though it's likely that my enthusiasms for stuff earlier and later will burst out of the straitjacket of true fidelity. 

 

However we've yet to move so to keep my hand in and to get a bit of a head start, I've started putting a few pieces of stock together. In keeping with the European theme I've taken a couple of the old Triang Hornby ferry vans and given them a bit of a make over. My pair came at a bargain price being liveried in white and marked up for Transfesa and Fyfes.

 

post-6793-0-66742600-1482002442_thumb.jpg

 

To cut a long story short I fixed the doors closed, got rid of the lower runners, filed off the circular thing at the centre of the roof, fixed and lowered the swivelling axles, arranged the couplings to pivot, swapped the Triang tension locks for Bachmann, dropped in new Hornby metal wheels and fabricated the missing anchor points on the underframes. The bodies were resprayed with rattle cans before applying transfers by Railtec.

 

post-6793-0-75818800-1482002969_thumb.jpg

 

Note that the van above is missing the right hand anchor point, the yellow painted projections on the solebar. At first I thought I'd boobed and carved them off in mistake when I was removing the door runners. However on checking photos of pristine, unmolested vans it seems that Triang never moulded them in the first place. The lower van shows my fabricated remedy, the upper van also now sports a full set of anchor points.

 

post-6793-0-41840700-1482002994_thumb.jpg

Edited by Neil
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For a moment there I thought you were going to model Lisbon (if that's where it is?). 

 

Glad to hear you've had "closure" with Morfa. London in the '60s, I like the sound of that. It will be a far cry from Little Point, but it sounds like that's the whole idea  :derisive:

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For a moment there I thought you were going to model Lisbon (if that's where it is?). 

 

......

 

It is and I will. The 'to the continent ...' concept is a suite of layouts rather than just one and represents more of a mindset than one easily defined set of things. At the moment as well as London in the sixties I'm also building components of Belgium in the seventies and Lisbon at an undecided point in time.

 

Lisbon exists as a pair of trams based on the diecast models sold in tourist shops which have been motored with Kato mechanisms.

 

post-6793-0-14881100-1482435465_thumb.jpg

 

The ultimate layout is a bit more nebulous but will have to capture the hills, curves and happy memories of one of Europe's more gorgeous, if run down, cities.

 

Belgium has a good amount of stock already stashed away, though the motive power is as yet more generic than specific.

 

post-6793-0-86504000-1482435770_thumb.jpg

 

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If there's a coherent theme it's about capturing the anticipation and excitement at the prospect of expanding our experiences of the world we inhabit, of travel beyond our normal borders and an appreciation of the differences.

Edited by Neil
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Those Lisbon trams are excellent little models when you think that they are intended for tourists. I must admit that I've got one stashed away for a possible future micro layout. I think the idea of a pizza-style layout is very good. A couple of the trams and maybe a maintenance car is all you would need.

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Nice concept. I don't think the NMBS still has steam in the 70's. As for the Lisbon trams, I'd like to propose a "pizza" style layout, with a large mountain in the middle, a low level circular(-ish) circuit with a passing loop on one side and a steep hill on the other (making affectively a 2nd passing loop). It'll allow you to replicate the scene from the photo :)

 

I had an idea that steam fizzled out on the NMBS at arround the same time as it ended here in the UK. It's taken quite a bit of searching on the internet to come up with a date; here it's given as 1966. However as my little bit of 1:87th Belgium will be a riverside industrial setting I think that I can get away with steam in the seventies. Sticking with Belgium, I've progressed the building some more; interior walls and floors are in as are doors and windows.

 

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Current thoughts regarding Lisbon are of a pizza style layout with steep hills and taller buildings towards the centre, but as ever there may be changes as the design becomes refined through countless daydreams.

Edited by Neil
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Those Lisbon trams are excellent little models when you think that they are intended for tourists. I must admit that I've got one stashed away for a possible future micro layout. I think the idea of a pizza-style layout is very good. A couple of the trams and maybe a maintenance car is all you would need.

I bought one last year when we were on holiday. A very nice little model.

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I've started another model for my UK collection with a continental connection. For quite some time I've had a very soft spot for the Night Ferry, the train which used to run from London Victoria to the Gare du Nord, Paris. Looking through photos I was struck by the similarities between the Parkside Kit of the SECR utility van and the birdcage brake vans the SR built specifically for the Night Ferry service. An enquiry here about drawings led to the relevant back number of the Model Railway Constructor being bought on e-bay along with the Parkside kit.

 

post-6793-0-53569100-1482837372_thumb.jpg

 

A closer look at the side mouldings brought the notion of cutting new windows at the inner sides of the doors, scrapping the middle two section which would be replaced by a scratchbuilt guards compartment.

 

post-6793-0-40928500-1482837396_thumb.jpg

 

To start I added the window frames to the blank sides with microstrip.

 

post-6793-0-21606900-1482837417_thumb.jpg

 

I followed up once wet by drilling a hole in the centre of the blind window, rough cut to size with my piercing saw and finished with craft knife and file.

 

post-6793-0-37250300-1482837445_thumb.jpg

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Sort-of on-topic...

 

The current hors série (special supplement) of the French magazine 'Le Train' covers sleeping and restaurant cars. It includes ex-CIWL carriages transferred to SNCF (and other) ownership and, of course, a section on the Type F sleeping cars for the Night Ferry service.  The ex-Nord metal fourgons, with and without the birdcage lookout, are evident in most of the shots but, oddly, none shows the SR luggage vans.

 

I don't think there is anything new in the text that goes with that section, but the photos are new (to me, at least). Cover price in France is €16.50.

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If you've yet to move then the answer is surely a London micro layout, circa 68-71, run down parcels dock somewhere near Victoria with your choice of traction being an 09, 33 or 71.

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Sort-of on-topic...

 

The current hors série (special supplement) of the French magazine 'Le Train' covers sleeping and restaurant cars. It includes ex-CIWL carriages transferred to SNCF (and other) ownership and, of course, a section on the Type F sleeping cars for the Night Ferry service.  The ex-Nord metal fourgons, with and without the birdcage lookout, are evident in most of the shots but, oddly, none shows the SR luggage vans  ......

 

I wonder if that's because the SR vans were withdrawn from ferry service in 1960 (I believe) twenty years or so before the Night Ferry ceased to run?

 

If you've yet to move then the answer is surely a London micro layout, circa 68-71, run down parcels dock somewhere near Victoria with your choice of traction being an 09, 33 or 71.

 

I remember that Dave Tailby has already covered this scenario rather well. As it happens the Belgian layout alluded to above will be a super portable micro type affair. I'm still holding back on baseboard production for that one as the move should take place in January and I will still have an awful lot of things to pack and move.

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For Neil - ref your comment above - some of the photos in the French magazine I mentioned are just post-war, and some on the UK side of the Channel… SR-liveried Bulleid pacifics but still no SR ferry vans!

 

Mike

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The ferry brake van is slowly progressing. Today I've scribed sides for the guards compartment from some 40thou plasticard and cut away those parts of the Parkside kit which are not needed.

 

post-6793-0-63940200-1483199143_thumb.jpg

 

Further work has also taken place on the Belgian riverside building. Unseen stuff is the installation of some experimental fibre optic lighting, more obvious is the painting and glazing of the windows front and rear which means that the roof is at the stage where it can be fixed in place.

 

post-6793-0-03639100-1483199323_thumb.jpg

 

post-6793-0-36438200-1483199343_thumb.jpg

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The ferry brake van has come together pretty well this morning. I'm pleased at how the collection of parts have blended together and while still in a patchwork of colours and finishes all bodes well. Here's progress in photo format.

 

post-6793-0-69209300-1483372410_thumb.jpg

 

post-6793-0-07889300-1483372425_thumb.jpg

 

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So far it's been a very satisfying build but it's made me think about the opportunities that 4mm scale offers for individualism now that so many prototypes are covered by top notch rtr products. You have to stray quite a way from the everyday to find something that not everyone will have or be able to buy.

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A quick update as my tea should be arriving in a couple of minutes. Though the work has taken some time (particularly the roof) it can be summed up as sticking the fiddly bits to the body sides and forming the birdcage look out with plasticard and lots of filler.

 

post-6793-0-63143300-1483724713_thumb.jpg

 

post-6793-0-56299400-1483724715_thumb.jpg

 

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A few weeks ago Mrs R and I headed eastwards to soak up some more continental loveliness.  Our destination was the Dutch university city of Utrecht, our route took us from mid Wales to an overnight stop in London followed by the Eurostar to Brussels, Thalys to Rotterdam and NS intercity to Utrecht.

 

post-6793-0-89951000-1490607733_thumb.jpg

 

Utrecht is a beautiful vibrant city, well worth a visit in its own right, but I had a bonus in store as the Dutch national railway museum is located there. There's an awful lot to see both inside the museum and out, hare are a small selection of photos to whet the appetite.

 

post-6793-0-65907600-1490607724_thumb.jpg

 

post-6793-0-32439700-1490607726_thumb.jpg

 

post-6793-0-50973800-1490607727_thumb.jpg

 

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post-6793-0-23354600-1490607730_thumb.jpg

 

post-6793-0-01327900-1490607732_thumb.jpg

 

However there's more, by dint of careful planning we arrived just in time for Ontraxs, a very high quality exhibition held in the railway museum over the Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We visited on Sunday, more photos to follow ....

 

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.... As for Utrecht itself: it once sported no less then 2 tramway companies: the local one and the tram to Zeist. The local service was culled in 1937, while the Zeister tram lasted into the late 1940's. Both lost out to the bus, political and economical climate of the day and public perception (fuelled by no small means by the automotive industry). :rolleyes:  ....y.

 

Many thanks for all the background information, it's much appreciated. Whilst visiting the Central Museum I was captivated by some early film of trams in Utrecht; fortunately with a little bit of searching I managed to find it on youtube. The trams appear about half way through.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eh5oxTJgkME

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Thank you for the further video clips.It will be a joy to work through them later; in the meantime as promised here are a few of my better photos of the layouts at the exhibition.

 

post-6793-0-39024400-1490647202_thumb.jpg

 

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Finally a view from on high showing how the layouts and traders were distributed around the museum.

 

post-6793-0-70473200-1490647205_thumb.jpg

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Though I'm starting to make my model making work room habitable and have found just about all of my tools and materials it will still be a little while before I can get down to some serious building so in the meantime I suggest taking a look at this beautifully composed film of train ferry operations both freight and passenger.

 

 

 

 

 

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Glad you got to the museum Neil, interesting place. We managed to get there when we did Eurospoor exhibition with Outwell a couple of years back. A nice city also.

 

Alan

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It's been a bit of a red letter week. Unpacking and arranging my work space has progressed to the point where I can actually start making things. First up onto the workbench was this set track diamond crossing.

 

post-6793-0-57599500-1492325438_thumb.jpg

 

post-6793-0-43774600-1492325440_thumb.jpg

 

Before moving I had got part way through the conversion by removing the plastic sections from the running rails and replacing them with nickel silver rail. However the frogs were only located by a few plastic fixings and were prone to unwanted flexing and the internal wiring had been disturbed in places. Inserting copper clad sleeps cured the problem with the frogs and extra jumper wires were soldered underneath.

 

As my plan was to pair the crossing up with a Y point I wanted to reduce the track centres from set track spacing to something a touch closer. The rails on one leg of the diamond were cut back to close it up to the point.

 

post-6793-0-66316600-1492325442_thumb.jpg

 

Finally just to show how I intend to fit this piece of track into the town scene here's the full size mock up.

 

post-6793-0-81990200-1492326033_thumb.jpg

Edited by Neil
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For the past year I've been without a permanent layout, my last project Morfa having been dismantled in January. It went because we planned to move and while there was some sadness the overriding emotion was excitement at the prospect of a blank canvass. With the move likely to happen early in the new year it's time to start marshalling all the pleasant possibilities into a coherent-ish concept. Given that model railways are essentially escapism thoughts have crystallised around escaping from the dreadful head up 'arris, little Englander, inward looking stance which seems to have infested our country the latter half of this year. 

 

These days I find St Pancras to be the most exciting station in the UK, not because of its architecture or the trains but because of what it represents, travel to the rest of Europe. There's something magical about setting off from the familiar by train and ending up somewhere like this.

 

attachicon.giflisbon 1.jpg

 

Now I'm not really a modeller of the current scene, but London has always been a  gateway to Europe with trains like the Golden Arrow and the Night Ferry. The setting of the next layout, London, has almost chosen itself. The era will be the sixties, a time when the continent was generally held to embody glamour and mystique, though it's likely that my enthusiasms for stuff earlier and later will burst out of the straitjacket of true fidelity. 

 

However we've yet to move so to keep my hand in and to get a bit of a head start, I've started putting a few pieces of stock together. In keeping with the European theme I've taken a couple of the old Triang Hornby ferry vans and given them a bit of a make over. My pair came at a bargain price being liveried in white and marked up for Transfesa and Fyfes.

 

attachicon.gifferryvan 2.jpg

 

To cut a long story short I fixed the doors closed, got rid of the lower runners, filed off the circular thing at the centre of the roof, fixed and lowered the swivelling axles, arranged the couplings to pivot, swapped the Triang tension locks for Bachmann, dropped in new Hornby metal wheels and fabricated the missing anchor points on the underframes. The bodies were resprayed with rattle cans before applying transfers by Railtec.

 

attachicon.gifferryvan 3.jpg

 

Note that the van above is missing the right hand anchor point, the yellow painted projections on the solebar. At first I thought I'd boobed and carved them off in mistake when I was removing the door runners. However on checking photos of pristine, unmolested vans it seems that Triang never moulded them in the first place. The lower van shows my fabricated remedy, the upper van also now sports a full set of anchor points.

 

attachicon.gifferryvan 6.jpg

Looks good but I thought the Fyfes was a fictitious livery.

 

Dave

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Looks good but I thought the Fyfes was a fictitious livery.

 

Dave

 

Thank you. As far as I know Fyfes livery was ficticious but it's the best from a modellers point of view as the only decoration is a sticker on each door, the others all have heat printed lettering which requires diligent abrasion to rid the body of witness marks.

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