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South Wales Valleys in the 50s





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#1 The Johnster

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Posted 26 December 2016 - 01:10

Been contributing on here for a few weeks now, so I suppose I ought to prove that I'm actually doing some layout building as well as giving you all the dubious benefit of my 5 penn'orth.  I've been out of the game for a good few years due to a bit of an unsettled lifestyle, but that's all in the past and I've been trying to build up enough momentum to have another go for over a year.  Had a few bits and pieces left from the old days to encourage me, and made a start about 3 months ago.

 

I live in a quite small flat so I am a bit constrained as to space, but I've found that to be a positive thing in that if you can't do much, there's not much to go wrong.  I'd formulated a design philosophy based on the idea that whatever I built had to be cheap, easy to complete to a stage where something was running fairly quickly, and as simple as possible electrically.  Reliable running is essential, so level track on flat baseboards was the way to go.  The site is 2 walls of my bedroom, one of which includes a bay window, and the boards are formica coated mdf shelving salvaged from shelves put up by a previous tenant supported by chests of drawers and a few judiciously placed lengths of timber offcuts from the patio fencing project, the main attraction of this being that the price was right... The shelves, I mean baseboards, are 6'x 10", and there are 2 of them; what I have described sounds like an L with a 90 degree corner but uses the angle of the bay window to actually bend a mere 30 degrees.

 

While I was building up momentum and mulling things over, I was considering prototypes.  South Wales  in the 50s has always been my field of interest as far as stock is concerned, so that was a decision already made, and I threw a variety of possibilities around the post industrial dereliction that is my brain, rejected some, came back to others, weighed pros and cons, and rapidly weeded out the unfeasible schemes.  Abergwynfi kept making the cut, and it eventually became clear that a blt inspired by that would be suitable.  I wanted to keep things simple, but I had no room to model the colliery branch at Aberqwnfi, and without it, a simple loop was taking minimalism a bit far for me.  I could live without the coal trains at a push, but a daily freight was essential.  So, track plan is Abergwynfi without the colliery branch but with a loading dock at the 'town' end of the station and a kick back siding at the country end serving I didn't know what at the time, but probably some sort of factory or distribution depot.  Anywhere but the Valleys would have had a dairy...

 

I like my railways to have a plausible back story and an identifiable position in history and geography, and it struck me that what I was looking for was a valley that actually existed but had never been industrialised so that I could rewrite history and industrialise it.  These are a bit thin on the ground in South Wales, but I decided on the Dimbath valley, a real place; the Dimbath stream is a tributary of the Ogwr Fach between Blackmill and Glifach Goch in Mid Glamorgan.  It is steep, narrow, and quite remote (make that extremely remote in it's upper reaches), and one can see why it was never mined in reality, especially as pits from valleys either side of it extended beneath it underground, but here was the place for my alternative history, and Cwmdimbath was conceived.

 

I will make that instalment 1 for now, as I do not want to ramble on too much in one session.  Next time I post we will cover the first stages of actual construction...


Edited by The Johnster, 26 December 2016 - 01:13 .

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#2 Andrew P

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Posted 26 December 2016 - 08:21

Sounds like a very good sensible Plan to start with, and many modellers have built and stayed with such Layouts for many years and just really enjoyed them. Have a look at John Flann's Hintock 10ft X 10ft and only about a ft wide on here, or Jim / Aberdare's Hemyok, both really effective small Layouts that have lasted many years.
 
All the best,


Edited by Andrew P, 26 December 2016 - 08:30 .

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#3 The Johnster

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Posted 26 December 2016 - 14:05

Sounds like a very good sensible Plan to start with, and many modellers have built and stayed with such Layouts for many years and just really enjoyed them. Have a look at John Flann's Hintock 10ft X 10ft and only about a ft wide on here, or Jim / Aberdare's Hemyok, both really effective small Layouts that have lasted many years.
 
All the best,

 

Agreed Andy (well, to paraphrase Mandy Rice-Davies, I would, wouldn't I?).  The simple track plan is deceptively challenging to operate to the 1955 rule book when you have to shunt in between trains and try to run to a timetable, and it is easy to tie yourself in knots shunting both sidings with one loco.  It might be less fun if there was a spare road to leave wagons in out of the way as there would be on a larger layout, but there isn't, and that's the point; my 4mm shunters, guards, drivers and signalman have to be on their toes, though they blame me when things go wrong!  You've hit the nail square on the head with your point that such layouts are for enjoyment; I have no intention of exhibiting, as is fairly obvious from the construction methods, and the whole thing is for my personal satisfaction.  I am approaching retirement age and fully expect this project to last me the rest of my life, say 20-25 years, without my getting tired of it.  Thank you for your positivity!


Edited by The Johnster, 26 December 2016 - 14:11 .

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#4 Happy Hippo

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Posted 26 December 2016 - 14:16

Have a look at Chris Klein's 'Cwm Bach' thread in the 7 mm+ modelling section of the forum.

 

This started out with Abergwynfi overtones.

 

Edit

 

Link added

 

http://www.rmweb.co....es-branch-line/


Edited by Happy Hippo, 26 December 2016 - 14:19 .

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#5 westerner

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Posted 26 December 2016 - 14:18

A y chance of a drawing of the track plan?

#6 Darwinian

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Posted 26 December 2016 - 16:11

As a fellow S. Wales valleys modeller I will be following your progress with interest. Good luck and a happy new year

#7 The Johnster

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Posted 26 December 2016 - 17:15

As a fellow S. Wales valleys modeller I will be following your progress with interest. Good luck and a happy new year

 

More of a Darwin Awardian, myself, but thanks for taking an interest in my puny efforts.  More to come soon, including photos when I've tamed my inner 14 year old and tidied the bedroom...  

 

A happy new year to you and yours as well!



#8 The Johnster

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Posted 26 December 2016 - 17:18

Have a look at Chris Klein's 'Cwm Bach' thread in the 7 mm+ modelling section of the forum.

 

This started out with Abergwynfi overtones.

 

Edit

 

Link added

 

http://www.rmweb.co....es-branch-line/

Cwm Bach is a model of a far higher standard than I would be able to achieve, but indeed has the Abergwynfi station building and captures the atmosphere very well.  You can almost hear the off-stage colliery's aerial buckets clanking away in the background... 



#9 The Johnster

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Posted 26 December 2016 - 17:52

A y chance of a drawing of the track plan?

 

Give me a little time to faff about with the printer and I'll scan one.


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#10 The Johnster

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Posted 26 December 2016 - 19:42

Part the next...

 

Having laid the boards, if you can call nailing them to the top of chests of drawers and the windowsill laying, the next job was to paint them, a matt black emulsion trypot from Wilko's representing the first actual cash parted with, £1.99.  The economy drive didn't last much past that!  This made a nice background and took the awful shine off the polished surface of the shelf formica.  Then there was a trip into town for track.  Nothing remarkable here, my fine modelling days are as the snows of yesteryear with my eyesight and steady hands, and in accordance with the 'keep it simple' philosophy, code 100 streamline with 2' radius insulfrog turnouts, 6 altogether comprising 4 for the station area and 2 for the fiddle yard.  I considered a 3 way for the fiddle yard, but it is approached on a curve as a result of that 30 degree dogleg, and a y + lh do the job.

 

The track was laid 'freestyle' so that I could impose no unplanned sharp changes of direction to it, on boards swept meticulously with a big paintbrush to ensure it sat level.  I find freestyle, letting the track lie in a natural way without coercion, is an effective way to achieve the look of a gentle curve following the mountainside contour; reference back to Abergwynfi will show what I mean.  I glued it directly to the board with pva, and pinned it only where clearances were critical.  The final piece of the loop, which had to be cut precisely to join either end, gave me some trouble but I nailed it (not literally, just used track pins) on the 3rd attempt.  There are no soldered electrical connections, and Peco rail joiners are used for all track joints.  They are practically invisible once painted in.  By coincidence the two packets I bought were the exact amount needed.

 

Next was the wiring, and again in a bid to keep things simple in the quest for reliablility, and avoid soldered joints which are a weak point in my case, I very simply crimped the feeds onto the rails at the town end of the layout and allowed my insulfrogs to determine where the juice goes.  The crimped overboard wires are now buried in scenery and will have to be dug up if they ever give trouble, but they shouldn't in theory and haven't in practice so far.  Gaps have been cut in the rails at the country end of the fiddle yard sidings but are not wired with isolating switches; they are there to stop errant locos from trying to break the bay window.   There are 2 simple on-off car type rocker switches from Maplin's, each in circuit to the feeds so as to isolate them, one for the 'main' platform road and one for the loop.  For some reason the one for the loop doesn't isolate a loco fed by it, however the turnouts are set, and I suspect a faulty switch.  It will be easily replaced as the wires are crimped to spade connectors; again, no solder.  Solder doesn't work, not for me anyway.

 

Incidentally I hand operate all turnouts and signals, setting the road and then clearing the signal for the movement in the same order that the signalman would, and hence physically modelling his actions and thought processes, which is very satisfying, but I wouldn't recommend it unless your layout is as simple as this or more so!

 

Time for some test running, and happily my ancient Gaugemaster single knob and power supply still does it's stuff.  I had several operating sessions on the excuse of testing, and all worked well enough first time out, once the locos had been given a good going over with fibre pens and ipa and a spot of lubrication.  More about locos and stock and some of the trials and tribulations they have given me later...

 

Anyway, the layout worked in the electrical sense and ran smoothly without derailing the trains, and I was happy; in that respect I still am.  My concept and design philosophy are proved, yay me, now, on with the motley in the form of ballast and basic scenification of the level ground around the track.  First job here is to paint the track in track colour; I mixed my own from Tamiya acrylics as I prefer it to be a bit darker than most people.  Just slapped it on covering rails and sleepers, and wiped the rail surfaces off after, then spent an evening scraping and cleaning to ensure the turnout blades made the correct electrical connections; more exhaustive test running and fun with the meter.

 

Ballasting was done in the approved sprayed dilute pva/spot of washing up liquid manner, with warm water for no other reason than that I don't like getting my hands cold, and while at first I thought it was a little bright, it is fading in nicely now.   Some plaster was mixed up and the track in the loading dock and the extreme end of the platform partially buried in it, actually completely buried at the actual ends to bury the crimped feed wiring, and an old Mainline wagon chassis pushed over it to create a flangeway for wagon wheels; I have unexpectedly found no trouble in running locos over it.  The ballast fades into a mix of cinder and foiliage the further towards the town end you get, and everthing is built up to sleeper top level or higher.  Again, a thorough wiping of the rail surfaces and check of blade/stock rail connections is needed.  On the level ground part of the formation (there are not boundless acres of this as the boards are narrow and one is required to imagine a drop of about 20 feet into the river in the foreground) I have used patches of colour and cinder blended into each other, using 4 different colours and textures of grass, as real ground is seldom uniform in appearance even viewed from some distance.  My girlfriend is artistically bent (the doctors say there is little they can do...) and highly approves of this approach!

 

I had some bother restoring the running to quality after ballasting due to bits getting into flangeways on the turnouts and blocking the blades from closing properly on the stock rails.  I have a set of cheap, in fact toy, pound shop paintbrushes that are very handy for dealing with this sort of thing, but some particularly stubborn bits had to be driven out with a hammer and an old flat bladed watchmakers screwdriver.  I don't throw old, worn, or broken tools away as they are far too useful for things you don't want to wreck your good tools on.

 

Next time I'll tell you about the learning curve involved in expecting stock stored for more than 25 years to run properly, how steep it is and how cold, so c-cold at the summit, and maybe show some photos and a plan if I can get the printer working and remember how to scan it in.  For now, to quote a certain liddle gway wabbit, th-th-th-that's all, folks!


Edited by The Johnster, 26 December 2016 - 20:04 .

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#11 The Johnster

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Posted 28 December 2016 - 15:57

Part the third...

 

Stock and running.

 

I have been away from the hobby since 1997, during which my poor stock has been involved in several changes of address, some of them uncomfortably impromtu; things are more settled now.  Prior to that it spent a period in storage between shows and operating on a club layout, during which the rot was already beginning to set in.  Stuff has gone astray, whole boxes of it, I know not whither.  Some stuff was stored at the club and eventually donated.  But a core has survived and is still with me.  This consisted of detailed up rtr with some kits.  

 

Locos were, at the start of the Cwmdimbath project, a Westward 64xx 6439, 2x Mainliine 57xx 6740 and 8750, the latter being bought before Mainline got the 8750 variant in the shops.  They were both originally 5764, but have been renumbered.  8750 has the cast whitemetal cab from an older K's kit (and the numberplates).  There was a Mainline 56xx renumbered as 6604 which I repainted and lined in ferret and dartboard livery, again before Mainline produced an rtr with an excellent similar livery, and an antediluvian Airfix 61xx, originally 6167 I think, in cycling lion lined black, which I renumbered as 4162 in 1948 unlined green with 'BRITISH RAILWAYS' in GW 1920s style script, and a Lima 117 dmu cut, shut, and bodged into a passable 116 in early unlined green with whiskers.

 

Passenger stock is a pair of Airfix A30 auto trailers, one in plain maroon and one in blood and custard, an Airfix B set in plain maroon, and a Replica Stanier BG in blood and custard. There is also a Perseverance brass GW inspection saloon.  Unfinished projects are a Nu-cast TVR rebuilt 'A' class, a Rhymney 'R' whose provenance I cannot recall, both in an advanced state and worth completing when I've got time, and a Silurian Period Triang Southern 'utitlity van' BLV stripped down and awaiting suitable bogies.

 

Freight stock is a shadow of it's former self, and consisted of half a dozen vans and opens and a fitted toad.  Difficult to pin down the provenance of these as chassis and bodies were indiscriminately swapped in the old days.

 

Not a bad start for Cwmdimbath.  The locos needed renumbering into suitable Tondu inmates, but we had the basis of an auto to shuttle back and forth to Bridgend, a workman's to the ROF factory at Tremains (we are being inspired by Abergwynfi, remember), and a daily pickup freight.  The colliery is assumed to be down the valley offstage anyway.  Goody, no need to lay out cash on new stock just yet and I could concentrate resources and effort on layout building.  Ah, that first fine careless rupture...

 

The above stock was all equipped with scale couplings of the appropriate types, screw and instanter, except the passenger stock and dmu which are permanently coupled bogie to bogie with twisted wires, a bodge that passes for vacuum and steam heating bags well enough especially in the case of the close coupled B set; scale screw couplings and bag details are provided on the outer ends.  This led to problem 1.  I have lost, over the intervening 20 years, the eyesight and steadiness of hand needed to operate this system.  Furthermore, my 2' radius turnouts were causing buffer lock when propelling despite being laid Minories style to prevent it.  There was a period of soul searching and trips to my local model shop (Lord and Butler, thoroughly recommended, no connection) for new couplings to replace those broken in storage.  The second of these trips did not produce the amount of reserve stock of screw couplings I wanted, and they were out of stock of instanters; Peter was unable to say when new stock would arrive.  This cast further doubt on the concept of scale couplings, which forced the issue and I accepted the inevitable.  It was either tension locks or Kadee, both of which look awful IMHO on traditional British outline stock.  Kaydees were considered, but I couldn't justify the expense on a tiny blt (ok, I know that's counter intuitive but I reckon they are of much greater value on a big layout where it is difficult to reach things).  T/l are not as ugly as they used to be, and I made the decision to revert to them as standard, very much feeling that I was no longer a proper modeller, but instantly relieved to have made the decision so that progress could be made.

 

That in itself led to some issues.  Much of my stock has had the original t/l mountings either destroyed or compromised to clear space for the scale couplings, and I have had a good bit of faff refitting them and getting them to a working height tolerance, some on home made mounts and glued on pending a better solution.  I made the error of assuming that everything had to be the same depth below the vehicle body, but it proved that it had to be the same height above the rail and these are not necessarily the same thing...  It has taken me about 6 weeks to achieve reliable running and coupling, and a 'spade' uncoupler that will work without catching on the buffer beams of some but not all stock is still a work in progress, but I see light at the end of the tunnel now.  The passenger stock is still permanently coupled with twisted wires, but the outer ends have had to be fitted with t/ls on the bogies, and I had cut off the beams which carried them originally when I put the scale couplings on all those years ago; again, new beams had to be made up and fitted at the correct height without interfering with the swing of the bogies or the wheels or axles.

 

And the problems did not end there.  Problem 2;  on it's first outing on test, 6439 seized solid after about 10 minutes of it's customary excellent running.  A wheel had become loose from it's axle and gone out of quarter and gauge.  I attempted a repair but have so far failed to get it back on square and true, never mind solve the related issue of the bent out of shape nickel silver coupling rod which the loco apparently had sufficient power to damage.  I doubt the loco will ever be a good runner now, and I replaced it with a Baccy 6422, a lovely little runner with which I am very happy, but my wallet isn't....  Then, only a few days later, 6740 died in a similar manner; when I opened her up to see what could be done I discovered a fairly advanced state of mazak rot, and for the time being withdrew her from service.  One of her split chassis blocks broke in two during handling.  If this were not enough. about 10 days after that, 8750 gave an almighty screech and came to a seized halt.  Dreading the worst, I opened her up and stripped her down to components; there was nothing I could see the matter with her except that the centre axle was near to wearing through the chassis block on one side; a deep U shaped space had already been eroded in the top of the chassis at this point, and the block was on the point of collapse.  I was starting to consider modelling Woodham's by now, and opened up 6604 for an examination; her centre axle was wearing in the same way and she was clearly on borrowed time.

 

My locos were dropping like flies and I was clearly going to have to lay out a good deal of cash to replace them.  I know, cue the violins and pass the hat, but I am a poor pensioner on a very limited income and with to all intents and purposes no savings, so this was becoming a major worry and I was re-appraising the viability of the whole project; remember the original brief was to keep it cheap.

 

But I'd seen a secondhand 56xx chassis for about a third of the cost of replacing the loco with a new one using the same body moulding and offering no advance in detail terms at L & B when I'd bought the 64xx, and went down the week before xmas to buy it.  It is of the modern Baccy type like 6422's, and sat under 6604 easily enough after an evening of fitting and fiddling, so should give reliable running for a long time.  I mentioned that I could do with a similar chassis to resuscitate my dead 57s, but they seem to be out of production at present, and was directed to a s/h current chassis equipped Baccy 7739 at the back of the shop that I'd missed, apparently in mib nick.  My wallet was screaming in pain by now, but she couldn't be left in the shop!

 

I've now got a reilable fleet of 4 nicely running locos and a dmu (the old Airfix prairie is pretty much bombproof, and has already had a driving wheel replaced to dispose of the traction tyre which only b*****d up the running anyway, so I am completely confident I can deal with anything she might throw at me in future).  7739's chassis can be swapped under 8750 or 6740 if I want to ring the changes, and the idea of 2 low cab panniers in different liveries appeals; 6740 in GWR plain lettering austerity, perhaps?  But I do feel a bit as though I've been through the mill with it, and sympathise with my 4mm Tondu shed foreman who must have had a few sleepless nights wondering how to provide motive power for the Cwmdimbath services.  And my 'keep it cheap, you're only a poor pensioner' policy is in tatters, bloody expensive tatters at that.

 

All the locos will eventually be renumbered as Tondu denizens, 6601, 7742, and 6410 being the favourites at the moment, and 4162 will wok an imaginary parcels turn from her home shed of Barry.  But I'm still 2 locos short of the original running stud, and eventually more will need to be acquired.  A 94xx and a 4575 are in theory the next purchases when they are available, but of course any secondhand bargain that I have funds for will find it's way into my possession...

 

More anon!


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#12 The Johnster

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 21:04

A y chance of a drawing of the track plan?

 

Sorry westerner, I havn't forgotten you, just not got the printer up and running yet to scan one in and, because it's flexi track and a bit 'freestyle', won't really translate to the planning apps.  Not much too it though; a platform and a run around loop with sidings sprouting from both ends of the loop.  The siding at the buffer stop end is a goods loading dock, and at the other end, separated from the fiddle yard by a retaining wall, is a claustrophobic little siding to a factory or some sort of distribution depot with it's own loading platform.  The loop can hold 3 coaches or 9 wagons including the brake van.  



#13 The Johnster

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 21:21

4th one...

 

I've made a little progress and we now have a more or less complete basic form of a station, with a platform and a station building consisting of a cut and shut of 2 Hornby Skaledale North Eastern waiting rooms repainted held together by a scratchbuild roof (alright, a piece of card) with Ratio valences.  Not exactly Pendon, but it'll do for me!  I am getting on with the mountain, which in reality would have reared up over a thousand feet pretty precipitously directly behind the platform; it's Woodland Scenics grass sheet and I'm starting by glueing it at the bottom and worrying about how it is to be supported and shaped as I go up.  It is very close to the wall behind it and I may be able to get away with just stuffing bundled up old newspaper up there; we'll see and I haven't done anything that can't be undone.  Of course, it will be scenically treated so as to be unrecognisable as the sheet, and populated with some sheep; this is supposed to be the South Wales Valleys after all!  I am a bit of an amateur geologist, and won't be happy if my Pennant Sandstone outcrops do not have the correct dip and strike...

 

I'm trying to upload a photo, but not sure if I have succeeded!.  If not I'll have another go later...


Edited by The Johnster, 09 January 2017 - 21:22 .

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#14 The Johnster

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 21:19

As I've said, the majority of locos will be renumbered as Tondu inmates, as this is certainly the shed that would have provided locos for a real Cwmdimbath had it ever existed as a railway station.  Tondu was in many ways just a typical South Wales shed with the typical South Wales allocation, but there were 3 bits of exotica.  Firstly, there were 2, nearly 20% of the entire class, of the 44xx 4'1" driving wheeled small prairies, Churchward's original small prairie and the origin of the much more common 45xx with 4'7 and a half inch drivers; Tondu only had one of those, 4557, and I can't quite work out what it was for...  The 44s were 4404 and 4408, both long term Tondu residents and used on the very sharply curved Porthcawl branch.  Curves here were so severe that the locos were turned every so often to even out flange wear!  The 44xx are more associated with the Princetown and Much Wenlock branches, but Porthcawl was part of their remit as well.

 

The other exoticant was 3100, doyen of the 31xx class (the 1938 31xx class that is, not the original Churchward 31s from which the 3150s were rebuilt and from which these were re-rebuilt).  This was an even smaller class of 5, so again Tondu had 20% of them, a large prairie with a no.4 boiler and 5'3" drivers which made the engine look even more massive, and so far as I can tell it's job was to haul the Porthcawl-Cardiff commuter train; Canton had 3105 for the return trip.  Collet's original intention was to use these as Severn Tunnel bankers, and I think they were his last design, weren't they?

 

Sadly, even by the most liberal interpretation of Rule 1 that I am prepared to live with, there is no excuse for either of these classes on Cwmdimbath, although I suppose I could invoke sharp curvature for the 44s and have 3100 on the already highly dubious parcels...  

 

3100 could be kitbashed out of my Airfix prairie, rewheeled and with a no 4 boiler, perhaps from a Dapol CoT construction kit.  I like the powerful look of the engine and have never seen one modelled.  Tempting!

 

Discipline, lad, discipline, you've got a layout to finish first...


Edited by The Johnster, 12 January 2017 - 21:24 .


#15 The Johnster

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 19:27

Some things have happened, but probably not as much as should have, because I've got bogged down in operating sessions, which are very relaxing.  But I've made a start on the mountain behind the station platform which is to be the backdrop. Had Cwmdimbath station ever existed in the place I have modelled it, to the east of the stream just north of where the valley splits, there would have been about 1200 feet of mountain rising precipitously directly off the back of the platform.  I have put in a woodland scenics sheet, intended to be laid flat but anything but that here, and senciked in the join at the bottom with plaster.  It looks pretty crude at the minute, just a basic background greenybrown colour to mask the white plaster and the very bare hillside, but I will be working on the join and the hilliside with flock and pva to merge colour and textures in.  Some rock outcrops and sheep should make the point.

 

Still can't get the hang of uploading photos on here; current problem is reducing the image size to less than 1mb.  My Mac is usually quite good at telling me how to do this sort of thing, but it's let me down in this case.

 

I've extended the fiddle yard, by putting up another piece of shelving at an angle to it.  There will be 4 new roads, 2 already in commission, and they will be nearly twice as long as the old ones, one of which has had to be sacrificed to be the access road for the new yard, so I have increased the storage capacity to 6 roads.  It is approached round a vicious 3rd radius setrack double curve, which I have already found my auto objects to being propelled over with more than one trailer.   This is enough for current needs and will allow me to introduce 2 more trains.  Current thinking is a miner's workmans with either Ratio 4 wheelers or Hornby (Triang) clerestories, both of which ran in the 50s on the nearby Glyncorrwg-North Rhondda workmen's, and/or a coal train.  If I assume the colliery, a short distance back down the valley, to have been serviced by a connection facing in the up valley direction, which is what the very cramped geography suggests, a train servicing it would have to bring the empties up to the terminus to run around so as to have the loco at the right end to shunt the colliery and take away the loadeds;  I shall have my minerals after all!

 

Details are starting to appear, and are making a huge difference to the bare look of the model.  A remote valleys terminus should look a bit bleak and empty, but not totally.  Goods yard gates, some fencing for the back of the platform, a hoist for the yard, and a loading guage, all courtesy of Ratio, are in place or being put up, and there is a Dapol construction kit water tower to go in the 'Remploy' siding.  Stock has increased by a couple of opens and a Hawksworth BG, along with a s/h Hornby Southern BY (van C) in maroon to match my Baccy PMV.  

 

I like parcels trains, and the Remploy siding is my excuse for them in an admittedly unlikely location.  Remploy, for those unfamiliar, was/is a government sponsored concern established post-war to provide employment for the very large number of wounded servicemen who had been disabled as a result of their wounds, and provided suitable employment conditions for such people.  They took on government and civil service contract work as well as outside contracts, and my premise is that the one at Cwmdimbath specialises in refurbishment and repair of NHS mobility aids such as wheelchairs, walking frame, sticks, crutches and so forth.  This means that a train load of work for it is delivered early in the day, and the finished products are taken out in the early evening, in parcels or NPCCC stock of various types.  I can't have a layout without parcels traffic.  

 

The alternative is that the siding serves a mail order distribution centre, again generating traffic for a delivery of new products or returns in the morning, and the packaged and labelled items sent out express parcels later.


Edited by The Johnster, 19 January 2017 - 19:28 .

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#16 The Johnster

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 22:28

Not much to report.  Stationmaster Mike in another thread has advised that my starter signals probably need shunt ahead arms on them, so that's another job for the pending tray.  Replacing them with versions with lower distant arms which can be removed and the arms cut off and replaced with the correct shunt ahead arms seems the simplest way to go about it, and I will probably wuss out and make up the later type with a horizantal white band against a red background as the earlier type has a miniature arm (both these types were 3' arms as opposed to the full sized 4' ones), as I cannot see a way of accurately modelling the stylised 'S' of the earlier type of arm given my hamfisted and increasingly shortsighted approach.  The fiddle yard extension is complete, well it wasn't exactly the Crossrail project to be fair, and I have 2 long and 2 shorter roads, the short roads being the same length as the previous fiddle yard's.  Storage capacitiy is 4 2 coach/6 wagon trains and 2 3 coach/9 wagon trains, not quite Clapham Junction...

 

I'm planning a shopping trip to Lord and Butler's in the next few days, the main purpose being to get a Baccy A38 autocoach, which were a late arrival on the Mid-Glamorgan scene but that's good enough for me and my interpretation of Rule 1.  There will no doubt be other bits and pieces to come home with me, and more detail should be appearing soon; the model is starting to take on a bit of character now that the basic stage is over.  The scenic break and the Remploy siding need a bit of attention, but the Dapol kit water tower has been installed over the back end of this siding as a start and looks very effective in rusty faded black livery.  More retaining wall is needed around it and at the very end the thing will sort of merge into the scenery in a mess of bushes and brambles, the idea being to have an area that is just overgrown and forgotten.

 

As I now have capacity for 2 more trains, but only 4 locomotives, I must be resolute and disciplined and not tempted to buy more locos just yet; the empty places in the roster are reserved for a Baccy 4575 and a 94xx when they appear.  There are plenty of other things to spend money on; a strengthener for the B set, ideally all third non corridor compartment and the only rtr that fits is the mk1; there were a few around in South Wales, some minerals for the coal train, and I haven't got stock for the workmen's yet.

 

Giving some thought to lighting.  The current temporary lights are in the way of some of the sightlines, or at least the posts are, and I do not like the warm cast.  Valleys weather is typically dull and often wet, and I want to create an atmosphere that suggests that sort of ambience, so cold lighting is the thing, diffuse so that shadows are vague.  As things are, it is permanently about 4 o'clock on a sunny summer afternoon, BST with the sun almost due west, but eliminating or at least reducing the strong light and shadow will enable it to look like any time of day I like.  The lighting of some building interiors will suggest not only human presence, which is lacking for now, but a dull and dreary ordinary working day feel.  The lighting levels, of course, are going to still have to be fairly high for my poor old eyes to cope with the action...  Something suspended over the layout like a snooker table light, but set towards the front a little so that the models are side lit from the viewing side, is probably the way to go; I do not like lighting directly over a layout as it illuminates roofs and nothing else; it always seems to be used on GW layouts where all the coaches have blindingly white roofs.  I want to get away from that approach.


Edited by The Johnster, 30 January 2017 - 22:31 .

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#17 Rivercider

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Posted 31 January 2017 - 08:47

 

Still can't get the hang of uploading photos on here; current problem is reducing the image size to less than 1mb.  My Mac is usually quite good at telling me how to do this sort of thing, but it's let me down in this case.

 

Have you tried using the image Editor on RMweb? I am a technophobe but manage to use it.

 

On the toolbar at the top of the page cilick on the Apps and Content

Scroll down and open Image Editor

Open image from your computer

Click 'Image' on the toolbar, then reduce the width of the image, go to 'file' and save a copy ( under abour 300 kb)

then you have a copy that can be uploaded to the thread,

 

I am interested  to see progress at Cwmdimbath

 

cheers



#18 westerner

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Posted 31 January 2017 - 10:40

Still waiting for a track plan :scratchhead:



#19 Happy Hippo

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Posted 31 January 2017 - 11:31

Still waiting for a track plan :scratchhead:

Alan if it is the original Abergwynfi you are still after, the signalling diagram is here:

 

http://www.s-r-s.org...l/gwl/S1894.htm



#20 The Stationmaster

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Posted 31 January 2017 - 11:36

If you have a Mac and need to reduce the size of images it's an absolute doddle -

 

1. Open the image on your main screen just by clicking on it.

 

2. Make sure you cursor is on the image (giving it a click will make certain of that and do nothing to the image) and check that the status line at the top of the page shows 'Preview' at the left hand end, that means the Preview programme is open for that image.

 

3. Go up to the status line/Preview toolbar at the top of the page and click on 'Tools' - that will open a drop down menu

 

 4. Go down the menu to 'Adjust Size' and click on it - that will open a panel with various boxes and numbers - make sure the words to the right of the boxes say 'pixels' them alter the numbers in 'Width' to be no greater than 1600 and 'Height' to be no greater than 1200, if the numbers are already less than those don't change anything. ('Resolution' can be left at the factory setting of 72).  Check you've got the correct numbers in the correct boxes then click on the 'OK' button at bottom right of the box.

 

5.  If you have reduced the size of the image it will now be smaller on your screen, if you have left it at smaller numbers it won't change - all is well.

 

6. Now it all depends which version of the Mac software you have.  If you can click on 'Save' - you need to go to 'Save as', if you don't have 'save' you should click on 'Help' on the toolbar - this will open a small window with the word 'search;' and a blank space next to it type SA in that white space.

 

7. This will then give you two options - Save' or 'Save As' - click on 'Save As' and another box will open  the file name is on the top line and you can alter it if you want but the important thing is the line which says 'Where?' - you must select or type in 'Desktop'.  Make sure the format says JPEG and then go down to the slider at the bottom and set it to a number smaller than 555 - this will select the size at which your image will appear on RMweb and teh smaller the number the smaller the image but if it is a big number, say, 500, once the image is in RMweb it will enlarge if you click on it.  Then click on 'Save' and close the original image or tell the Mac it is ok to close it. 

 

8.  The image is now the correct size to load to RMweb so at the bottom of you post click on the 'Reply With Attachments' button, then click on 'Choose File at the bottom left of the new screen - this will bring up a list of locations where you have pictures on your Mac - click on Desktop and you will find all the pictures which are on your desktop - double click on the one you want and the name of the file appears next to the ;Choose File' button - now click on the 'Attach This File' button and a tiny picture will appear below your post on the screen, click on 'Add to Post' over on the right and the picture will go into your post where you have the cursor in your post.

 

Sounds long winded but it isn't - it takes far. far. longer to write it than to do it and doing it this way means you don't have to do anything to your original picture in its original folder - you make teh chanes and resave it on your desktop so no hunting through folders for it either.  Hope that helps.

Radyr 2 1973.jpg  


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#21 Removed a/c_7007GreatWestern

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Posted 31 January 2017 - 12:13

Hello The Johnster,

 

I'm also a Mac user. You can resize images both in Apple's native image editing applications "Photos" (previously known as "iPhoto") or "Preview".

 

Here's the procedure for "Preview". Open your chosen image file in "Preview" either by dragging the image file to it or via File->Open....

 

A window should appear containing the image. Then go to Tools->Adjust Size...

 

The following dialogue box will open up:-

 

 

You need to keep "Scale Proportionally" and "Resample Image" checked. Also keep the padlock linking Width & Height.

 

Select the pop-up menu between "Width:" and "Height:" to decide whether you want to resize according to pixels, percent or physical size. I would go with percent. Type a new percent figure into "Width:" or "Height:"At the bottom of the dialogue is a pane showing Resulting Size. This shows what the size of the image will become after resizing occurs. Once the file size is just under 1MB hit OK. The version of the image in memory is now resized, but NOT the version on your hard drive. If you hit "Save" now the version on the hard drive will be overwritten. If you want to preserve the original version change the name of the copy in memory using File->Rename.... and Save it. You will now have two copies of the image on your hard drive, the original and a resized copy.

 

Cheers,

 

Andy.



#22 Removed a/c_7007GreatWestern

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Posted 31 January 2017 - 12:15

Whoops! Sorry, Mike got in with a reply while I was drafting mine!

 



#23 Darwinian

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Posted 01 February 2017 - 16:58

This sounds a really interesting layout, hope you manage to sort out some pictures for us to see.

 

With regard to the layout ligting I have gone for "daylight" LED strip lighting (there are a few threads about this on here). A single strip of LEDS mounted in a lighting pelmet along the front of the layout and angled back about 20 degrees. It's probably a bit too bright and I have the pelmet too far back so the front of builidings at the front of the layout are in shadow. 

 

Here is a picture of the exchange sidings under construction (I've had another go at attaching the capping on the wall!) showing the lighting effect.

 

Exchange sidings small.jpg

 

I'll try to pop up into the loft and take some more overview pictures.

 

 


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#24 Darwinian

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Posted 01 February 2017 - 20:13

Here are a couple of images of my layout under its own LED lighting only. It is a loft layout with no natural light. Photographs were taken with an iPod touch.

 

To show how the "white roof" issue you raise appears I have placed weathered and unweathered white painted items on the layout, The Powell Duffryn wagons are in the process of being built and have not been weathered, nor has the Hornby Clerestory composite so they give an indication of how bright the white objects appear. I expect everything to be a bit gloomier when the backscenes are put onto the white backboards.

 

More on my Cwmhir layout can be found on my layout thread.

http://www.rmweb.co..../106286-cwmhir/

 

Station contrasts Jan17 sm.jpg

 

Station view 2 Jan 17sm.jpg

 


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#25 The Johnster

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 13:39

Cwmdimath is temporarily out of action; the flat is being redecorated and new carpet fitted (about time too grumble mumble...), so everything is stored for now in the empty flat over the hall.  It was designed to come down 'if it had to', by which I mean that I would have preferred if it had been left alone!  I had laid track across baseboard joins deliberately to improve running in the event of them sagging, but have had to cut it.  The baseboards simple rest on drawer units and a support; nothing is fixe, glued, or screwed to the walls or floor.  The plan worked, though; bit of a jiggle and the boards came apart easily enough.

 

Unfortunately some damage has been inflected in storage.  Not investigated the full extent yet, but the middle board, with the Remploy siding and the 'old' fiddle yard on it, has taken a bit of a hit from something and much track is ripped up.  This may be an opportunity to rethink this board, as it may be possible to redesign it with a couple more feet of the branch visible before we take to the scenery...   The plan I have currently in mind would probably have to lose a fiddle yard road, leaving me with 5, which is actually enough at the moment but not if I ever put together my much wanted train of coal empties!  Cut your cloth etc.  Idea is to move the scenic break back to about the end of Remploy siding, and maybe put a carriage siding or another road for Remploy, so long as it can be done without squeezing too much in!

 

Setback but not a disaster!


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