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LNER4479

Hills of the North - The Last Great Project

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I've only seen video of this wonderful layout, but I am very impressed with every aspect of it.  The locations modelled are instantly recognisable (they are so iconic that there is little scope for even the smallest error here), the trains run at a plausible speed, the bankers dropping off as the train begins to pick up speed down the other side look just right, and the merging of the modelling into the backscene is inspirational.

 

Well done everyone involved.  So long as you don't have overbright flashes from the enthusiasts' cameras at Shap Wells, I approve heartily!

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  • 1950s all steam, mix of blood/custard and maroon
  • early 1960s steam/diesel, predominantly maroon
  • late 1960s (as per Warley)

 

Don't forget 10000/1 and 10201/2/3 in the 1950s period.

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What a marvellous layout.  I can't wait to see it finished, with the knitting in place and banger blue sparklers humming up and down the grade... Oi - behave!

 

:)

 

joking, of course! Forgiven!

 

Reminds my of my first ever railway book, Trains Seventy-One Annual, which my parent bought for me for Christmas 1970...  It had three articles about the last days of steam, including a lovely Shap-based photo essay by Ivo Peters.

Ah, well ... now this is where the emotions start to kick in.

 

My first railway book was 'London Midland Steam over Shap' [by Derek Cross, from the Bradford Barton stable], Christmas 1974. Still got it and has joyously been referred to - along with the peerless Ivo Peters and Eric Treacy collections - in putting the layout together. So you can see how long the candle has been burning! It is much thumbed and dog-eared these days but still a much-loved possession.

 

Too young to experience the original (although have done it behind steam in the preservation era - 6233 in 2002 and 60163 in 2010, both 'record' runs, as it happened) so it's been lovely to have been able reproduce it all in miniature; I can only hope that I've done it some justice (and there's more yet that can be done to refine it further - some levers in the summit box for the signalman to pull wouldn't be a bad idea!)

 

 

Thanks to all for kind comments so far; the reaction has made all the (extremely) late nights over the last few weeks and months worthwhile. And I say that on behalf of all the Project '67 team members who I have ensured have seen all the comments & video clips posted.

Edited by LNER4479
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Trains Seventy-One Annual, which my parent bought for me for Christmas 1970...  It had three articles about the last days of steam, including a lovely Shap-based photo essay by Ivo Peters.

Snap! 15/- decimal price 75p it says inside. Not my first, I also have Locospotters Annual 1965, 66 and 67.

Paul.

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It would be an ideal commission product for a retailer.

 

Maybe just my impression, but I think most of the blue/grey portholes were brakes.

There was a CO and some Tks. They also need to have with leads fitting to be totally correct.

 

Robert Carroll on RMWeb and other places has identified the coach types and numbers.

 

Makes a change to my blood and custard and BR maroon ones..

 

Baz

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Can we/I see some pictures of the fiddle yard please?, I'm fascinated how you've overcome the gradient differences round the back, unless it's on a gradient and you're as good as I am at building free running stock, but that I doubt!

 

Mike.

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Snap! 15/- decimal price 75p it says inside. Not my first, I also have Locospotters Annual 1965, 66 and 67.

Paul.

I have my Locospotters annual from 1963 and it is priced at 7/6d I am sure my parents bought it for me. Also just looked at that and all my railway photographers books by Casserley, Hepburn, Earley, The Rev Newman, Preistley, Wethersett and Cross plus others because this layout has inspired me to look at images of the Shap area. So thank you for that motivation.

 

A great and evocative layout in the making i think.

 

Regards 

 

Peter

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Can we/I see some pictures of the fiddle yard please?, I'm fascinated how you've overcome the gradient differences round the back, unless it's on a gradient and you're as good as I am at building free running stock, but that I doubt!

 

Mike.

Will be covering this as I go through the construction, however, for now - briefly:

 

We used most of the Grantham fiddle yards (what a fiddle!) so you know what they look like(?) A purpose-designed fiddle yard is a longer term solution

The Shap bank scene ascends a total of 85mm over 5 boards, so that is the total height we need to lose. 10mm of that is lost in the final scenic board, so it is a true summit at Shap (this helps the banked freights accelerate away from their decelerating bankers).

The fiddle yard themselves are set so as to lose 5mm per board and then the rest is lost on the link boards. Note the extension pieces on the bottom of the Grantham legs!

 

It works well at the bottom end as trains heading up the bank do get a slight run up, so to speak whilst downhill trains are naturally slowed as they enter the fiddle yard. The only down side (ha!) is the start out of the fiddle yard for the 'Up' trains (confusingly, going downhill) which is a bit of a struggle for the heavier trains - but at least they can be finger prodded to get them on the move and out into the scenic area. It's a worthwhile sacrifice as the trains going up the hill are what folks are most interested in, I think?

 

No. With stock a bit of a mish-mash - at least at the moment - much of the stock is not as free-running as it really should be but it can actually be a bonus as the natural braking effect does help with inclines to contend with.

post-16151-0-07778700-1511896126_thumb.jpg

Edited by LNER4479
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At the risk of appearing a touch self-promoting, this piece of video uploaded earlier today is the most comprehensive posted so far and shows the banker dropping off very well - although, rather embarrassingly, in the background, there is an attack of the gremlins going on. We appear at 34:08

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TiXAfSzy44A

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Layout will be exhibited at Leeds next year more or less exactly as it was at Warley, ie Blue/Grey, (dirty) steam/diesel.

 

Thereafter, unless a show manager specifically asks for a set time period, we'll be more flexible. I think we can do three eras, which do overlap to some extent:

  • 1950s all steam, mix of blood/custard and maroon
  • early 1960s steam/diesel, predominantly maroon
  • late 1960s (as per Warley)

I have an idea of continually cycling that round during a show, so that it repeats every hour. We have enough stock between us to do it. To some extent, it's all about what people would like to see, so happy to hear any suggestions.

 

You're right about the infrastructure ... however, one thing that you may - or may not? - have noticed is that the mainline up the bank is actually laid using Peco 75 concrete track. That was a deliberate decision in keeping with the 1967 theme (the real thing was progressively re-laid thus in the late 1960s in preparation for the higher speed running with the electrics) so that is a bit incongruous with 1950s steam! I may therefore eventually relay it with wooden flat bottom - not too onerous to do with the foam.

 

Anyone notice some lengths of the new Pecaboo bullhead in the sidings at the summit?(!)

You could relay the track in between your hourly cycles..

 

Hat, coat, gone.

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You could relay the track in between your hourly cycles..

 

Hat, coat, gone.

erm.. if you think I am ballasting the track every hour....... :beee:

 

Baz

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Wow - absolutely wonderful! It's amazing that apparently no word of this project got out in advance, especially when you are regularly writing up Peterborough North for us. I don't recall long periods of silence on the PN thread!

 

I'm drawn to the dry stone walling, which looks very realistic. Lots of it furthermore, just as in the real Shap. How did you replicate this in model form? Is there some quick method, or did someone really work solidly on 1/76 dry stone walls for 6 months?

 

If the latter, I'm reminded of the ditty -

"I'm a dry stone waller,

all day long I dry stone wall,

of all appalling callings

nothing's worse than dry stone walling".

 

John Storey

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Wow - absolutely wonderful! It's amazing that apparently no word of this project got out in advance, especially when you are regularly writing up Peterborough North for us. I don't recall long periods of silence on the PN thread!

 

I'm drawn to the dry stone walling, which looks very realistic. Lots of it furthermore, just as in the real Shap. How did you replicate this in model form? Is there some quick method, or did someone really work solidly on 1/76 dry stone walls for 6 months?

 

If the latter, I'm reminded of the ditty -

"I'm a dry stone waller,

all day long I dry stone wall,

of all appalling callings

nothing's worse than dry stone walling".

 

John Storey

John

 

not Peterborough North... the other layout is Grantham, the Streamliner Years

 

Baz

 

The Ballastmeister

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John

 

not Peterborough North... the other layout is Grantham, the Streamliner Years

 

Baz

 

The Ballastmeister

Ooops, thanks! Is the Ballastmeister also responsible for dry stone walls?

 

John S

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Don't forget 10000/1 and 10201/2/3 in the 1950s period.

....................and then, during the between shows interval, they can be leased out to a  layout I know quite well.

Phil

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Ooops, thanks! Is the Ballastmeister also responsible for dry stone walls?

 

John S

no that is Red Leader aka Graham the layout owner

 

Baz

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At the risk of appearing a touch self-promoting, this piece of video uploaded earlier today is the most comprehensive posted so far and shows the banker dropping off very well - although, rather embarrassingly, in the background, there is an attack of the gremlins going on. We appear at 34:08

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TiXAfSzy44A

This (the Shap section) is the best advert for the real need for the production of blasting exhaust sound and proper smoke units with decent train sounds, approaching, passing and disappearing off scene. Sampling Peter Handford's work might work?

Looks brilliant. 

Phil

Edited by Mallard60022

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This is just fabulous. I was looking at a classic poster today of the Coronation Scot climbing Shap – you've caught the sense of place extremely well. Seeing the bankers working away is wonderful – it's a rare sight on a model. I very much hope I get to see this at a show one day.

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I'm drawn to the dry stone walling, which looks very realistic. Lots of it furthermore, just as in the real Shap. How did you replicate this in model form? Is there some quick method, or did someone really work solidly on 1/76 dry stone walls for 6 months?

Labour of love - more like 12 months work, but not solidly. A section or two per week, achieving 6-9 inches in a session (no sniggering at the back). 51 feet of it in total. Given that other aspects of the layout were actually quite simple (eg the electrics!) I decided that it was worth making a bit of effort with the walling which is of course such a signature feature of the north country landscape. I'll describe it in detail in a forthcoming post but it's basically a 'wet scribe' method. Coloured, textured plaster is applied to a former (balsa strip with modroc over it) then scribed whilst it dries.

 

This (the Shap section) is the best advert for the real need for the production of blasting exhaust sound and proper smoke units with decent train sounds, approaching, passing and disappearing off scene. Sampling Peter Handford's work might work?

Looks brilliant. 

Phil

Spot on Phil. Very much something I want to do (ie the Peter Handford sound) - but all in good time. It was a scramble to get what we had ready in time!

Edited by LNER4479
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This (the Shap section) is the best advert for the real need for the production of blasting exhaust sound and proper smoke units with decent train sounds, approaching, passing and disappearing off scene. Sampling Peter Handford's work might work?

Looks brilliant. 

Phil

 

Somewhere squirrelled away in the house is a copy of Peter Handford's Shap LP, bought because the shop was out of 'Triumph of an A4'

Superb sounds and could add a lot of atmosphere even if not synchronised with the trains on the model.

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This (the Shap section) is the best advert for the real need for the production of blasting exhaust sound and proper smoke units with decent train sounds, approaching, passing and disappearing off scene. Sampling Peter Handford's work might work?

Looks brilliant. 

Phil

Just play the LPs behind the layout.

 

BTW Phil the one I've got had a track from Templecombe - might be suitable for SOSJ?

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yESSSSSSSS..........The WCML lives!!!, brilliant stuff, you chaps have it down to a tee. Could let me know please, when are you bringing it to Adelaide :angel:  :angel: .

 

Mike

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Another reason to be annoyed to miss Warley!

 

Love this and an immediate follow from me, Graham. Also an open offer for when you do the two earlier periods that I might have a few locos and carriages that you’d like to run. I’d like to see them 278 miles north of 1B making a run at Shap!

 

All the very best

 

Iain

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Could let me know please, when are you bringing it to Adelaide :angel:  :angel: .

You get us the invite, all expenses paid, and we'll be there!!!

 

Another reason to be annoyed to miss Warley!

 

Love this and an immediate follow from me, Graham. Also an open offer for when you do the two earlier periods that I might have a few locos and carriages that you’d like to run. I’d like to see them 278 miles north of 1B making a run at Shap!

 

All the very best

 

Iain

Thanks very much for that Iain. I'll definitely bear it in mind.   :good:    

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