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Looking at the layout this morning, yard and platform lighting is conspicuous by its absence. It seems sensible to revisit my list from six months ago (post):

 

Level 1 – Basic Railway

>> Lighting rig

 

Level 2 – Physical Decisions and Landscape

all done

 

Level 3 – Major Models

Cottage and two mature trees - now only one tree

Overhead line equipment

Tram platform

Works platform - make a better one, one day

 

Gatehouse and barrier

Processing plant and pump house

Release pond

Bridge crane (girder crane) make a better one, one day

 

Level 4 – Detailing

Ground frame, foot crossing, relay boxes

Fences, gates and Armco - no real need for Armco, the others are done

Notices, road signs and markings - no need for road markings, the others are done

Road vehicles

 

>> Figures

Small trees, shrubs, other plants - silver birch beside the processing plant

Debris, clutter, refuse bins - the bins are done

Layout name on fascia

 

New items

>> Yard and platform lighting

Edit: >> Dust cover (!)

 

 

There are only the red items I really must do.

 

- Richard.

Edited by 47137

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The girder crane is not going to satisfy me now its faults have been explained, so I have started to rebuild it. This effort has ended up as a topic of its own after me asking an apparently innocuous question about its feet and foundations.

 

For the layout, I have added a strip of wood below the aluminium strips and painted black to complete the fascia. I like this a lot more, the black makes for a visual break between the model on the top and the slab of shelf underneath it:

post-14389-0-42481800-1531078790_thumb.jpg

 

- Richard.

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Hi Richard,

Sorry to hear about faults with your crane, I didn't read that topic because I know that I couldn't help but now I'd better have a look, maybe.

Anyway, it kind of keeps something going with your layout, even though you thought you were close to completion.

Speaking of which, any thoughts on what to do when this is complete?

Enjoy operating and showing it perhaps or start something different.

I ask because I've always got ideas for my next project!

Cheers,

John.

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I would like to put some of my trains on the layout and take photos of them. There will be two of the new ferry vans from Modellbahn Union ("Gueterwagen Faehrbootwagen Tcefs") arriving this week. If I leave the layout on the bench in the middle of the room for a while it will be a lot easier to take the photos, even if it gets in the way of everything else.

 

Then go back to the main layout. This has been under a dust sheet all year. My original idea was to do the modelmaking for the "three intertwined micro layouts" here in three different styles - printed card, real stone, and conventional painted metal and plastic. Well ... the printed card "concrete" on the quayside is faded to pink and I think the medium is too limiting for me - I want real texture, not printed texture. I put some embossed foam cobbles nearby, these have not moved (crept?) and are much more satisfying. It seems best to tackle the scenery for the main layout as a complete entity, for example all of the landscape structures, all of the ballasting and so on. I seem to need about one month per square foot to get a layout from bare baseboard to finished, so the eleven square feet here could be most of another year.

 

In conflict with this, I really would like to extend the line around the other end of the room. I can get about 32 feet of track, so over half a scale mile and this will let a slow train run for well over a minute. If I use Kato Unitrack, all I need is a few shelf brackets and planks. This would force me to tidy up this end of the room too. At the far end of this extension there will be another layout, a terminus which exists as only ideas at the moment. So five destinations in all for the trains.

 

I have resorted to "cheque book modelling" for Fairport. There are little plants in tubs, painted people and ready-made lights on order.

 

- Richard.

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One of the new ferry van models from Modellbahn Union arrived yesterday. The models come with Continental loop and hook couplers in NEM sockets, I have removed the couplers for the photos:

post-14389-0-73576600-1531422337_thumb.jpg

 

post-14389-0-09415200-1531422348_thumb.jpg

 

These can be internal user vehicles for Shelf Island, or service wagons for a layout set in an earlier period.

 

From the Internet: "The Gbtmks 66 (later, Tcefs 845) was built by Gebr. Creded in Kassel. The wagons had a length of 12.5 m and a loading width of 2.3 m. In 1964, the wagons were already labelled for the standards of Epoch IV. Two examples are preserved at the railway museum Bochum Dahlhausen".
 
I cannot help thinking, anyone modelling British railways in 1:87 scale really should be on the mailing list of Modellbahn Union. We had the 'silver bullet' tankers last year, and now this.
 
- Richard.
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I have spruced up the Lledo tour bus with a set of Herpa wheels. This was such an easy thing to do, and yet it changes the bus from "toy" to "model":

post-14389-0-10834900-1532086245_thumb.jpg

 

The bus makes for a nice spot of colour on the layout, and the logo gives a sign of the location too - post 91.

 

- Richard.

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More "finishing off".

 

Some tubs outside the cottage:

post-14389-0-75839900-1532204407_thumb.jpg

 

Some traffic cones outside the gatehouse:

post-14389-0-58395700-1532204396_thumb.jpg

 

A ladder on the crane (shameless cross-post of photo but I like the lighting):

post-14389-0-90004100-1532204423_thumb.jpg

 

I've put a little yellow grass scenic dressing along some edges where I think weed killer might be put, but I'll spare the World photos of this. The layout is coming together, but I find it difficult to photograph the whole thing with anything beyond a very bland record shot. There is a visual balance between industry and civilisation at opposite ends, and I'm happy with this. The bus stop shelter I promised myself at the beginning of the project is absent, the bus itself is enough.

 

- Richard.

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I "made" the H&S sign months ago but it looked wrong placed parallel to the site boundary. Putting it alongside the entrance path it looked good enough to stick down:

post-14389-0-30111500-1532288179_thumb.jpg

 

I have one problem area for detailing, this is at the back of the layout in front of a boundary fence:

post-14389-0-43577200-1532288161_thumb.jpg

 

I have tried a small fuel tank (too cluttered), a ladder (looks stupid) and a bicycle (looks like a model of a model). There are only a couple of square inches here. The only thing I can think of at the moment is another silver birch. I want something to notice and then look away from, and the bare fence is not quite enough.

 

- Richard.

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Hi 47137

 

Just a thought. Could you bring the fence in a few millimetres and lean the bicycle on the other side of the fence.

 

Regards

 

Bill 

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Hi 47137

 

Just a thought. Could you bring the fence in a few millimetres and lean the bicycle on the other side of the fence.

 

Regards

 

Bill 

 

I like this idea and I would do it if I was not so keen on photography. The fence is glued to the backscene so the camera flash does not make shadows of the fence against the sky. However, if I can get the fence off (it may be glued on too well) I could put a thin layer of shrubbery behind it - something like a slice of Woodland Scenics "foliage clusters". This would mellow things down a bit.

 

- Richard.

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A couple of car tyres?

Or a spare fence panel?

A cat climbing up to catch a bird?

A little electric exchange box?

A shovel in a little pile of sand?

A few cardboard boxes and blankets with a tramp asleep in them?

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A couple of car tyres?

Or a spare fence panel?

A cat climbing up to catch a bird?

A little electric exchange box?

A shovel in a little pile of sand?

A few cardboard boxes and blankets with a tramp asleep in them?

I like the sound of all of these, especially the cat. Some of them will fit in better on the main part of my layout.

 

I have had an idea: an access cover for an underground chamber. This can be a low concrete plinth with a manhole cover set into it, and a couple of pipes with valves coming out of the building to the left and disappearing into the chamber below. This would be a "detail" rather than "clutter" and it would complement the two pipes coming out of the power house. The processing plant must use plenty of water, and probably quite a few other liquids too.

 

- Richard.

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There’s a cheat for manhole covers, cut a rectangle or circle of pallet strapping! This stuff:

 

attachicon.gif941E8DD0-DEC2-48C8-9080-375CAB34C1C9.jpeg

 

I like it ... maybe next time.

 

I have just finished putting this together from bits in my scrap box:

post-14389-0-28718900-1532457782_thumb.jpg

 

This has the largest manhole cover on a fret from Langley Models, some pipes and fittings from Knightwing, and railings left over from a Faller kit. The valve stem ended up a bit wonky after I scrunched it up a bit tight in the vise, but the model is going at the back of the layout and the photo is maybe four times life size.

 

The overall effect should be ok after painting and some infill on the ground:

post-14389-0-10959900-1532457765_thumb.jpg

 

A storage tank in next to no space.

 

- Richard.

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...

Speaking of which, any thoughts on what to do when this is complete?

Enjoy operating and showing it perhaps or start something different.

I ask because I've always got ideas for my next project!

 

I was at a show a few months ago. There were five 00 layouts there: one was analogue control and all of the other four were DCC using the NCE PowerCab. Well, I asked a few questions of different layout owners and operators and the common reply was "it does everything, so you will not find yourself missing a feature". I also thought, "if I take this to a show, I have a chance of finding knowledge there if I get stuck". And a mate already has one too.

 

Then a fortnight ago I bought a Lilliput ballast tamper and when I got it home I realised I had bought one "DCC equipped" ... and this seemed to push me over this particular digital cliff edge so to speak. I am happy the NCE is a sort of "industry standard" at least for exhibitors, and then a few days ago I found a UK/EU spec one at a chunky discount on eBay. The box arrived today.

 

All five modules of 'Shelf Island' are wired for DCC, with seven switched sections to allow rudimentary DC operation. If I am honest with myself, this arrival is two years overdue.

 

- Richard.

 

Edit: the ballast tamper ran for ten minutes this evening before stripping its gears!

Edited by 47137
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Hi Richard,

Excellent choice! Although I've "upgraded" my digital apparatus to a Roco Z21, I keep my NCE as it's just so easy to use and I know how to operate it.

As another technology company might say "It just works"!

Cheers,

John.

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Hi Richard,

Excellent choice! Although I've "upgraded" my digital apparatus to a Roco Z21, I keep my NCE as it's just so easy to use and I know how to operate it.

As another technology company might say "It just works"!

Cheers,

John.

Oh good! Individual modellers often only recommend whatever they have bought themselves, but seeing four of the PowerCabs at one small show did rather sway the decision.

 

I took the dust sheets off the main layout yesterday and cleaned the rails - quite filthy, especially of course on Fairport. And then I used my ancient but trusted Kentrol Feedback to shuttle some engines and the tram up and down the line.

 

My room is unsuitable for a continuous run around the edges, but I do enjoy watching a train in motion for a while. The Kentrol runs from around 7 not 12 volts so this keeps speeds down, but maybe my most sensible next step is to simply extend the "main line" as much as I can. This would take me to around 25 feet of run, leaving space to add one more layout module at the far end. 25 feet is most of half a scale mile in 1:87 scale, so if I have a the line speed limit of 20 mph this gives 90 seconds or so for the longest journey.

 

- Richard.

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This little office building by Bachmann has arrived today:

post-14389-0-61807000-1532702552_thumb.jpg

 

The idea is to provide a place to keep the slings for the crane, and maybe the equipment for a weighbridge too. I think this finishes off this end of the layout, it stops my eyes wandering off the end of the baseboard. Bachmann call this a 'kiosk'. I think the style nails down the era for layout; if I want to move back 30 years I can swap it for something made from corrugated iron or timber.

 

The building is really small for 00 gauge - barely 9 x 6 feet outside; while the door is a bit over-scale for H0. This is the only ready-made structure on the layout, and for what it is worth, the third most expensive single item. The others being the Peco point and the crane kit.

 

- Richard.

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That looks great!

 

It looked ok after painting until I glued it down and took a photo of it:

post-14389-0-88726700-1532940260_thumb.jpg

 

It still looks fine to the naked eye, but the camera can be unkind. The rust looks more like blood from a mistake with the craft knife. I can redo the paint on the pipes but I'll have to wait until I take the layout off its wall bracket so I can reach them.

 

I bedded the model on acrylic putty. This let me put a gentle fall on the top of the tank, and also helped the bring the two pipes into line where they meet the brick wall. I can fill in the gap later when I can reach it.

 

- Richard.

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I have repainted the two pipes in a pale bone sort of colour, this looks a lot better:

post-14389-0-80192900-1533658028_thumb.jpg

 

I have come to the end of the "build" for this layout. I can take photographs for myself and use them to spot gaps and mistakes, and glue on scraps of scenic dressing to hide them, but I cannot sensibly add any more features. I have tried an extra motor vehicle on the layout (a car in front of the bus) and it just makes the scene look overcrowded; while if I remove the bus and the large tree the layout looks ok but a bit bare. Similarly I have tried putting railway vehicles on the layout, and a combination of the tram plus one or two engines and one or two wagons looks good - three maybe four vehicles in all.

 

I began to convert my engines to DCC about a week ago, and I realise 'Fairport' is actually workable as a layout using a single-track fiddle stick. The stick exists as the link span to the main layout, and so two engines, three wagons and the DCC controller would make for possibilities for shunting things around. The loading gauge is large enough to run any 00 stock too, and the minimum radius of 5 feet looks quite close to prototype in a working yard.

 

This is one of my favourite photos from the build. There is a bit of work in arranging a gradient on a solid-top baseboard, but doing so lets you have embankments without really trying and the landscape, though tiny, looks a whole lot better than something set out on a flat board.

post-14389-0-22259600-1533658865.jpg

 

I won't use a Lack shelf again for a baseboard. The concealed mounting on the wall is really good, but the only other merit for layout use is the glossy white finish for the front fascia. It is laborious to fix down things like masts for overhead line equipment, and changes or additions to the wiring are almost impossible. I have my workbench about ten inches below the layout, but if there was free space here then it ought to be possible to turn the layout upside down on its bracket - it could then double as a shelf and less dust would settle on the model.

 

The emulsion paint on the sky backscene has picked up dozens of small but greasy finger marks. They only show looking at an acute angle, but maybe I should have covered the backscene shortly after painting it.

 

At the moment, the whole "Shelf Island" project has four workable destinations for trains, and at Fairport itself there are five locations where I can shunt and leave a railway vehicle. I want to add at least one more destination. I am pleased to see Fairport through to a good level of completion, it is actually the first layout I have finished off since 'Castell y Bwrdd' back in 2012. Thank you to everyone who posted up suggestions and photos. It has been good to write up the details as I have gone along, and I've ended up with a chronology of the build without keeping a photo album as I might have done before the Internet.

 

- Richard.

Edited by 47137
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I have been using 'Fairport' without incident since August, but I have changed the overhead "wiring".

 

The last catenary mast was a wooden meat skewer and it was bending under the tension from the fishing line. So I cut out the fishing line and put in a length of 'EZ Line' instead. EZ Line is an elastic polymer and it can stretch to many times its own length. So the installation has just enough tension to hold the line straight, but plenty of "give" to let me push the line to one side to clean the track. I put wire hooks on pantographs to hold them below the line.

 

I think the fishing line looked better, but this is more practical.

 

- Richard.

 

post-14389-0-55195000-1545667860.jpg

 

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I have bought myself a new camera, a mid-range compact. This fits into places where my DSLR won't go. I wasn't planning on this, but the elastic overhead line stretches out of the way of the camera too.

P1000409.jpg.626f1e90549f5f0294d8ce815b448d70.jpg

 

P1000413.jpg.19108dd5cb517d4e84f5bea6e2be1fc6.jpg

 

- Richard.

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Nice photo's Richard, which camera did you get?  I've also a question about your Lack shelf, how did you find attatching stuff like the backscene to it, is it oretty sturdy? I'm asking as I got a cheap one from Ikea Lakeside with the view of building a layout on it.

Steve. 

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