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peter220950

Projected Portable Module - Stourbridge Town

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I too have decided to throw my hat into the ring to build a cameo layout, having won an award for Palin’s Yard on its first outing at the recent SWAG do at Taunton – ‘the greatest number of individual pieces for a layout.'

 

To need a large estate car for an 8ft long layout, that takes an hour and a half to erect and over an hour to take down made me think that the next offering will need to be more portable.

 

There was also a mad suggestion floated that the 2019 Taunton meet be a cameo event, so it would be nice to have something waiting in the wings, in case the idea catches on.

 

The intention this time is to just have three or four pieces, a one piece stand and two or three boards, dependent upon a choice between three Tim Horn 900 x 300 boards or two Grainge and Hodder 1200 x 400 boards.

 

I know I have no chance of winning, I don’t consider that to be the purpose of the entry, I just want to push my modelling to the limit, and one small building rather than 10 or more big ones on the layout should give me the chance to get the detail right.

 

Scale will be 7mm, the subject, an exact scale model of a complete Network Rail station and platform.

 

The only real area that might count against it being classed as a cameo is that there will only be one track, this goes against the requirements of an interesting operational aspect, it could probably be better described as a working diorama, but I intend to use the cameo to tell a story, and the history of the station and line.

 

In addition to scratch building the track and building I shall hopefully have time to scratch build the three classes of motive power that have appeared between 1994 and the present day. These trains will run in and out of the station, with a possible further two on display that are relevant to the story.

 

Just putting a marker in at the moment, its currently only a fag packet sketch and a scaled up Google Earth plan, full site survey and detailed design works are to be carried out over the next couple of weeks, and greater detail can the be fleshed out once I have selected the appropriate baseboard combination.

 

I'm off to get a very minor hand operation on Friday, so the couple of days when I won't be driving or modelling can be spent getting the details fleshed out a bit.

 

Peter

Edited by peter220950
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Best of luck with the project, Peter, and also the hand operation!

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Right then down to business, a 7mm cameo, which has to be harder because it won't fit in the box, or will it?

 

Before my operation I popped out yesterday to check out whether my assumptions and guesswork were viable, and the answer is largely yes.

 

To find a currently operating station, with train movements every ten minutes, right on my doorstep, and which will fit into a cameo without compression is remarkable, but there the up side ends, operational interest is likely to be almost zero, so I shall be relying on telling a story of the station and it's motive power over its short lifetime.

 

Where is it? Well in case the initials of the title haven't given it away.

 

post-18627-0-94713800-1494023166_thumb.jpg

 

Home to the ubiquitous Parry People Mover and it's successor the class 139

 

post-18627-0-10316400-1494023260_thumb.jpg

 

The station, opened in 1994, replaced an earlier more grandiose building in a slightly different location.

 

post-18627-0-89844500-1494023422_thumb.jpg

 

It sits at the end of the shortest branch line in Europe, so short in fact that I did once consider modelling the whole line to scale, it would still only take just under 30 metres, but would be a bit boring. The branch, from Stourbridge Junction station, is only .8 of a mile long, and was initially operated by class 153 units. Following a trial of the PPM50 on Sunday services two of the larger PPM60's were built and now operate the service.

 

The units use a 2.3 litre Ford engine to get a half ton flywheel spinning under the car floor, and the resultant stored energy enables the units to get moving. Once rolling less power is needed and a combination of the engine and regenerative braking keeps it all running.

 

The station pedestrian approach, main building, and platform scales at around 1500mm so it seemed an interesting challenge.

 

post-18627-0-81012300-1494024217_thumb.jpg

 

post-18627-0-04847700-1494024251_thumb.jpg

 

post-18627-0-63326900-1494024298_thumb.jpg

 

And the ability to really concentrate on detail, coupled with the ease of access to study it closely, made it worth having a go at. Not one, but two buffer stops.

 

post-18627-0-47690500-1494024445_thumb.jpg

 

post-18627-0-93557700-1494024478_thumb.jpg

 

And a wealth of other interesting things to model

 

post-18627-0-40100400-1494024570_thumb.jpg

 

post-18627-0-84532300-1494024608_thumb.jpg

 

Concrete and timber sleepers

 

post-18627-0-98560200-1494024642_thumb.jpg

 

And fixtures and details that are relatively unusual

 

post-18627-0-88411300-1494024708_thumb.jpg

 

post-18627-0-65027600-1494024859_thumb.jpg

 

post-18627-0-27336300-1494024838_thumb.jpg

 

(How do you model a clear plastic sack of rubbish?)

 

And all of this with a solid green back scene of vegetation right up against the platform.

 

post-18627-0-42674300-1494025476_thumb.jpg

 

So there it is, the next couple of weeks will be spent planning and thinking, with a hope that I can get something started before too long.

 

Peter

Edited by peter220950
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Add some Faller operated (or equivalent) road vehicles - I have seen some very realistic bus movements on some exhibition layouts.  You could even bring the bus off scene and next time one from a newer era appears to match the newer era railway stock.

 

...R

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Robin,

thanks for the idea, any additional movement will help with viewer interest

 

The problem is that there's no road at the pedestrian ramp end, it morphs into the bus station, and if I model the road opposite the platform, which is only a service road, I have to put a wall in which blocks the station view.

 

post-18627-0-20120800-1494055971_thumb.jpg

 

The road behind is effectively masked by the trees, and I might struggle to fit it in width ways in any case, but its something to think about. It's a shame the bridge just outside the station is so far away, in N or 00 I could probably fit in in and run vehicles across, but I want to retain the concept of no compression, and in 7mm that's a long way away.

 

post-18627-0-57874200-1494056611_thumb.jpg

 

I'll know more when I get an accurate plan of the station, at present I'm only working from a length calculated buy counting paving blocks and platform edge slabs, so there may be some means of sneaking something in, even if it's behind the trees, and very subtle.

 

Peter

Edited by peter220950
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The problem is that there's no road at the pedestrian ramp end, it morphs into the bus station,

Don't let the facts interfere with a good story :)

 

There were wonderful moving buses and trucks on an N-GAUGE layout at Derby show today. (Not a cameo layout by the way)

 

...R

Edited by Robin2

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Looks a really interesting subject for a model. All sorts of brick walling, station furniture, paving,  not to mention those buffer stops. I look forward to seeing it develop.

 

Best wishes

Signalman Rich

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I had thought about people on the platform bench disappearing (some sort of revolving mechanism), when the tram or train hide them from view, but not actual moving people.

 

The problem is they have to go somewhere, and there's currently only an end board planned, but that's not to say it's a finalised scheme yet. Until I get a bit further with the planning I'm not sure how much additional space I have to play with, but supplementing the train movements is certainly on the radar.

 

Peter

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You could, should you wish to do so, add a different kind of movement to the scene. Pedestrians. In 7mm scale, you can build operating doors (linear servo!) and have people appear to enter and/or exit the train. As you flip away the onboard passengers, you flip up a group on the platform. Using a magnetic guide band you can have this group traverse the platform towards the exit. To return a little later, "enter" the waiting train and await departure. Mechanically, have a look at the H0 scale cyclist. For walking, instead of a circle, you need a slightly oval shape to mimic the natural movement of feet and legs. In a group, the centre consist of a pair of magnets, with figures that don't have movement, disguised by being in the group, while the outer figures are fixed to the centre via thin steel rods. An individual can be towing, or being towed by, by a small, long-haired dog-imitation, concealing the magnet and using the dog lead as stabiliser.

 

HTH!

I've been thinking of similar things, but I'm not sure about making convincing movements. Has anyone actually done this, and are there videos available? My ideas were more about people moving, appearing and disappearing when a train blocks the view of them.

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John,

 

I agree, I think we're some way away from convincing pedestrian movement, though people or vehicles moving along the road and footpath behind the station, masked by vegetation and just giving occasional glimpses, may be an option.

 

A person standing up from a sitting position may also be an option, but I think it's quite a long way down the line yet, just something else to mull over. When I visited on Thursday there was a guy working on an electrical box that could be an idea, just a small arm movement rather than walking along.

 

Much of this depends on sight lines that won't be established until a full sized mock up is produced.

 

Peter

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As I mostly model the era of the horse and cart, I've been thinking of having roads behind walls or hedges, so just the top of horses, pedestrians and cyclists is visible. Around the station area, as I said earlier, movement could take place when it's blocked by a train. It's something I'd love to try, but it must be convincing, and not gimmicky. No Jack Dugdale style rabbits popping in and out of holes as the train passes! I think the layout has to be carefully planned to provide the necessary view blockers to hide the limitations.

 

When (if!) I get everything else on my to-do list done, and I've really got my head round Arduinos, servos and stepper motors, I hope to start experimenting. Holding your breath isn't advisable!

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May I indulge in a little "blue-sky" thinking.

 

One of the wild ideas that the Cameo competition brought to mind was to grasp the theatre concept fully and have a large (high) space above the layout as they have in theatres to allow the different backdrops to be lifted out of sight.

 

Imagine that you have model people attached by the head to a fine wire so they can be lowered into the visible space and moved around by "machinery" above the visible space. Then, as in the Theatre, all the lighting could be turned off while they are lifted out of view. When the lights come on again the people will appear to have boarded the train.

 

I don't have space for O Gauge so I won't be trying this myself.

 

...R

Edited by Robin2

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I very much like the notion of modelling all that lineside detail and other detritus, which I think should work well in 7mm scale. I do like the idea of the challenge of modelling a clear plastic bag of rubbish, perhaps using some clingfilm or a cleat plastic sandwich bag?

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Robin,

 

Originally, before it was a cameo proposal, I entertained similar theatrical thoughts with interchangable station buildings, to show the history of the whole life span of the branch, but the fact that the original station had two tracks, a platform that scaled at 2 metres, was on the opposite side, and some 1.5 metres further down the line, precluded this idea. I even thought about two adjoining cameo's that lit alternatively, but I think it then begins to loose the small, simple, compact ideology.

 

Not sure that having people on strings would be too convincing, though I used to love Thunderbirds etc. I'm with John on this one, subtle movements that might not even be noticed most of the time, and which are very much in the background. The aim is to test my modelling not mechanics on this one.

 

I'm hoping the additional interest will come from the front of the fiddle yard, either a video or audio presentation with other relevant models lit and displayed as appropriate. I just need to get my head around running controls and programmes from something like PowerPoint. The layout will most likely run with MERG Cbus controls, so I might be able to trigger events from that.

 

But it's early days yet. I still have the massive task of making a three way point and about 2 metres of track! As far as I'm aware no one does concrete sleepered track in O gauge so I suspect I need to make a master and do a bit of casting, there are only a few present, but part of the fun of this is being able to reproduce the exact mix of timber and concrete, and get the detail spot on.

 

Peter

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I very much like the notion of modelling all that lineside detail and other detritus, which I think should work well in 7mm scale. I do like the idea of the challenge of modelling a clear plastic bag of rubbish, perhaps using some clingfilm or a cleat plastic sandwich bag?

Tim,

 

Being a confirmed resin man, my first thoughts turned to making a solid master, then a mould, and filling it with clear resin, dropping the rubbish into the resin, but it needs a test.

 

With anything I've done previously it's been a matter of making a scene up. Using a real station that can be photographed and recorded in detail means that the exact situation of weathering, litter and tiny details can be reproduced, and the weeds can be in the right places. The cameo size further helps with it being 'do-able' in a reasonable time scale, I just need to learn how to make beer cans.

 

post-18627-0-63226400-1494155395_thumb.jpg

 

Peter

 

Edit just noticed the bag of sand, what the hell difference do they think that will make on the second buffer stop.

Edited by peter220950

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Well the first bit of planning didn’t go quite as well as expected, the site measurements of the station are as follows:

the pedestrian approach ramp to the station, which is alongside the track with buffer stops, is about 72 ft long,

 

post-18627-0-00555800-1494180067_thumb.jpg

 

the main platform 114 ft,

 

post-18627-0-51752700-1494180130_thumb.jpg

 

and the ramp down to track level 27ft.

 

post-18627-0-11897200-1494180291_thumb.jpg

 

These scale out to 500mm, 800mm, and 190mm respectively.

 

Now given that I wanted to use either 900mm or 1200mm boards, and that I didn’t want a board join in any of these surfaces, it gave me a problem. The approach path and platform would need a 1300mm board. To put a joint at the end of the approach path would need a 500mm board, followed by a 1200mm one, so it began to look as if it was going to be a bit of a dogs dinner, with several different sized boards.

 

A revisit to the Tim Horn website revealed a 1500mm photo box, and a quick measure of the car indicated this might be suitable way to go, two 1500mm boards, one containing the approach and platform, and one containing the ramp, a small section of the branch line track, and the fiddle yard. On this basis emails have been sent to prospective board suppliers to see if suitable left and right boards can be produced, and likely costs.

 

The next blow has been the platform surfacing. I had stupidly assumed that Slaters or South Eastern Finecast did plastic sheet with herringbone block pattern, it turns out they don’t.

 

This is a problem, in that it’s not that easy to scribe the pattern, as no straight line is more than about 7mm long, so it looks like the first thing to source is a laser etch template, and if it’s going that way I might as well put all of the patterning and edge detail into the mix and produce a full size set of panels, with interlocking joints that will disguise any joints.

 

The down side of this approach is cost, sheets of embossed card are relatively cheap, the up side is that it will be easier to produce all of the details and drainage grids more easily and more accurately, and to join sheets, so the first job is to learn a bit of elementary CAD to get the artwork started.

 

The rest of the day has been spent studying concrete sleepers, and learning about Pandrol clips.

 

I had always assumed a concrete sleeper was a concrete sleeper, it turns out there are lots of different types, I think i've narrowed it down to an F40.

 

post-18627-0-19457200-1494180978_thumb.jpg

 

Now all I need to do is make a master and cast a few to mix in with the timber, I'm hoping that putting a transfer on the top of the master will give the embossed Costain lettering that is prominent.

 

It looks as if the point of the cameo is already bearing fruit, I've learned loads about concrete sleepers, rail fixings, and I'm starting down a CAD route that I haven't travelled before.

 

Peter

Edited by peter220950
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How about a Silhouette Portrait for cutting the paving? If getting it laser cut is expensive, the saving may make a good contribution to the cost.

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Good idea John, I hadn't thought about that, a fellow Club member has one that, we have used to score roof tiles, but I'm not sure how good it is at lots of very short lines and gaps, so a trial run seems in order.

 

We also now have access to the laser facilities of the local College, which could be further route to cost saving.

 

Peter

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On the motive power front, for those that haven’t followed my class 139 thread, a brief history and update.

 

In 2006 Railway Modeller held a competition to build the Parry People Mover, at that time running trials on the line on Sundays. My entry won (I remain convinced that there was only one entry), and I got to meet John Parry at the works.

 

post-18627-0-76461600-1494185556_thumb.jpg

 

 

Since then there has been an on/off modelling project to build a better model which has culminated in an etched brass, laser cut acrylic, and resin cast set of parts that are now close to as good as I can get. The advantage of the system is that it should be easy to build both a PPM50 car that originally worked the line, as well as the class 139’s.

 

post-18627-0-72810700-1494185659_thumb.jpg

 

This gives me two thirds of the required motive power, and thanks to RMWeb members the information needed to build the remaining third.

 

One of the aims of the cameo is to tell the story of the PPM50, from the original test vehicles to the current incarnation, so I’m currently planning to build a couple more prototypes to display in some format in the front section of the fiddle yard.

 

As noted in other posts I suffer a distinct lack of focus, so there may well be big gaps between posts, particularly as the deadline is so far away. It’s likely to stall a bit now as the concept and initial sketch design translate into a proper set of scale drawings of the site and building. The measurement and drawing work is considerable, so it may go quiet for a bit, I shall probably draw it up in sections, based on visits to site of an hour or so at a time.

 

Peter

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Hi Peter

 

Was that your very lovely model, or parts of model, that were displayed next to your layout at Taunton last week?

 

If so then whether you were the only entry or not I think you were a very deserving winner indeed. I thought the Peco competition a very good idea, although I didn't follow it up with any attempt to model the PPM.

 

There is something very fascinating I think in "single unit" trains and this subject is also an intriguing prototype and a great collection of shapes, I enjoyed a run on it up on the Chasewater Railway quite a few years ago.

 

Great to see such creative scratch-building too, I must get back to my own railcar projects..

 

Simon

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Simon,

 

Thank you for that, yes it was the PPM and 139 at the end of the layout.

 

The original completed PPM isn't really the right shape, and my two ends differ slightly, hence the 10 year journey to produce something better, aided by some of the members on this Forum. Having the correctly shaped resin ends, roof and skirt, and the etched sides and acrylic centre box means I can now model both the PPM and the 139, together with the smaller PPM30 that was trialed down on Bristol harbour. There's also a proposed articulated car that combined the 30 and 50's, so lots of scope for using the bits in different ways.

 

I always felt that a small layout to chart the development of the tram was a possibility, the cameo competition has just provided the incentive to complete the revised parts and finally get the 139 and the PPM up and running in the correct setting.

 

Peter

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A couple of moves forward and backwards today.

 

Firstly I thought I would check how the modules might look, I copied the station from Google Earth and cut it out, it scales at about 1:150, and the track appeared to be about 9mm gauge, so it was out with some foam core board to grid up the baseboard size, some old N gauge track, and a coach to represent the class 153. Fortunately I had an old PPM body in N that served to get an idea of siding lengths in the fiddle yard.

 

post-18627-0-36038600-1494354896_thumb.jpg

 

post-18627-0-25338100-1494354946_thumb.jpg

 

post-18627-0-51211900-1494354986_thumb.jpg

 

An old whisky miniatures box, left over from Christmas, was sectioned and adapted, and gave some idea of where I was going.

 

post-18627-0-48011800-1494355035_thumb.jpg

 

post-18627-0-78887600-1494355057_thumb.jpg

 

 

 

The email exchanges with board suppliers have also borne fruit, G&H are unable to cut more than 1200mm boards, but Tim Horn has come up trumps, he can supply the open ended shape in a 5ft length, which I think will fit the whole station approach and platform. I need to draw a plan up next to decide on how long the attached board will be, as it will hold the fiddle yard and approach track to the station.

 

post-18627-0-67061500-1494355139_thumb.pngPhoto Tim Horn

 

 

The backward move occurred when I went to my box of track chairs, I only have 2 bolt and 4 bolt types, and for the majority of the track I need 3 bolt, not normally a problem, but the current handover situation at C&l means I’m not likely to get a new pack relatively soon. I was intending to start with track, but this will have to go on the back burner.

 

 

post-18627-0-84696000-1494355227_thumb.jpg

 

Some thought was also given to the concrete sleepers, there are only a few along the final stretch of platform but I want to make sure the detail is as accurate as possible.

 

I have found a drawing of the type F40 Sleeper I think they are, and can start to make a master once my hand allows.

 

A few transfer sheets have also been looked out to get the COSTAIN lettering that is prominent on the top of the sleepers, the transfers have a slightly raised profile that I’m hoping will reproduce the original.

 

post-18627-0-64126400-1494355410_thumb.jpg

 

post-18627-0-88777100-1494355434_thumb.jpg

 

The other item I have .been studying is the Pandrol clip. As there are no readily available parts I’m going to have to fabricate something. Drawings indicate the clips to be made from 20mm diameter bar, which scales at close to .5mm. I dug out some small diameter tube for the retaining part, and was going to try to make a jig to bend the clips up. After a bit of study and thinking I took a look at some jewellery chain that was in the spares box. With a bit of bending it looks as if I might have the answer, given the small number that I will need. The retaining tube is slightly too big, but I will need to see if I can source anything slightly smaller, but I’m quite pleased with the result so far, given that I can’t use pliers properly.

 

post-18627-0-94797200-1494355567_thumb.jpg

 

post-18627-0-76426600-1494355603_thumb.jpg

 

post-18627-0-85668000-1494355652_thumb.jpg

 

It looks like my hopes for the competition are proving valid, the small size is allowing micro detailing that I couldn’t ever attain on a larger project, scratch building sleepers and Pandrol clips is only ever going to work if there are only about 10 to do.

 

Tomorrow is set aside for a further visit to the station, to carry on with photographing and measuring, the platform edge copings.

 

Peter

Edited by peter220950
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Exciting progress with your baseboards, PPM, 139, not to mention the concrete sleepers and clips! I am realising what a high standard the entries are expected to be. Thanks for the continuing saga and photos, both model and full size. Very helpful in raising the bar.

 

Best wishes

Signalman Rich

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Thanks for that Rich, I'm hoping it will push me into raising that bar for my own work, that's really why I'm doing it.

 

The visit to Stourbridge on Wednesday was useful on two fronts, it proved that I was able to drive, and gave me a chance to get a lot more measuring and photographing done.

 

Having regained some dexterity I was then able to get the Mk2 model started, this time at 7mm/ft. The platforms and buildings were mocked up in a series of foam board models that provided more insight into how it all might look.

 

post-18627-0-12885400-1494614488_thumb.jpg

 

post-18627-0-95425900-1494614512_thumb.jpg

 

post-18627-0-32532600-1494614656_thumb.jpg

 

It may seem a bit overkill but by building mock ups it allows a degree of adjustment in positioning that would save time and effort over having to do it on the finished model.

 

A similar look was taken at the fiddle yard board, to assess size, and I concluded that I shall use a second 1500 board to match the station.

 

post-18627-0-22011600-1494614790_thumb.jpg

 

Then the distance from the front of the board was considered, In the end I have chosen to put the whole station on one board, and set it back from the front a bit, this will still allow room for a bit of the road at the back of the station, and give a bit more plain track on the run into the platform on the fiddle yard board. I might yet put it at a slight angle to the front of the board as the approach track is curved with a check rail.

 

post-18627-0-21609100-1494615030_thumb.jpg

 

post-18627-0-26419600-1494615061_thumb.jpg

 

While I still can’t wield a scalpel I have made a start on the concrete sleepers. I decided that resin would be a good material to make the master out of, it is easy to work and work with, so a piece of an old wall casting was cut up to provide a suitable chunk.

 

post-18627-0-39225400-1494616292_thumb.jpg

 

The block was put into the lathe and milled to thickness, the end smoothed, and the sides have been shaped to the correct profile. It now just needs the centre dropped section milling out and some chamfers putting on the top edges. Once finished a mould will be made and the sleepers cast.

 

post-18627-0-59847000-1494616708_thumb.jpg

 

post-18627-0-38261000-1494616948_thumb.jpg

 

post-18627-0-44483300-1494616993_thumb.jpg

 

On a similar note a further advanced was made with the Pandrol clip saga. The tubes that sit on the sleepers looked a bit big on the previous effort, this has been much improved by sourcing some thinner wall Sterling Silver tube that tidies the detail up a bit.

 

post-18627-0-77723800-1494617165_thumb.jpg

 

post-18627-0-15664800-1494617438_thumb.jpg

 

Finally the materials were ordered for the platform fencing, it needs over 12 metres of 3mm x .5mm for the palings, and given the amount I need to make I feel a new jig coming on.

 

Peter

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Well the first attempt at at producing the concrete sleeper went quite well, I finished the master off to the correct top profile and chamfered the top edges off.

 

post-18627-0-97273100-1495218688_thumb.jpg

 

I then tried some transfers cut from a sheet of GWR wagon lettering, I realised in hindsight that they are Methfix, I only applied water to the paper carrier, so they probably didn’t adhere as well as they should, but nevertheless the sleeper was popped into a mould and a silicone cast was taken. The finished article wasn’t perfect, the spacing was a bit off, but I think it looked sufficiently promising to have a go at a second.

 

post-18627-0-37915600-1495218884_thumb.jpg

 

A day or so later the master was cleaned off and the lettering was re-applied with better adhesion and spacing, and I think I’ve now got as close as I can to the finished article. From more than a couple of inches away it’s not visible, but that’s not the point of this exercise, I know it’s there.

 

post-18627-0-41810200-1495219065_thumb.jpg

 

post-18627-0-37634400-1495219114_thumb.jpg

 

Still suffering from the inability to use my right hand properly I had a look at the platform fencing, a guillotine was borrowed to cut the pales to length, I then spent the afternoon playing with another chunk of resin wall to see if I could router out slots for the fencing pales and support rails, the first play with it seems to produce the right result, so I shall use a larger slab to produce scale 2 metre long panels to match the originals, and a second jig should be particularly useful when making the sloping panels to the ramp.

 

 

post-18627-0-68547900-1495219541_thumb.jpg

 

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Hopefully now I've had my stitches out I can start to get some meaningful progress.

 

Peter

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