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L'heure bleue: a new French layout


Barry Ten
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I'm going to need three or four buffer stops for this layout, so I was keeping my eye open for some suitable products when the new issue of Loco Revue arrived:

 

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Handily, there's a nice one-page article on scratchbuilding a concrete buffer stop, so I thought I'd have a go at making a couple, so that I have at least two units ready

for the layout. The plans are very clear, although comparing the drawings to the photos of the finished model in the article, I decided to adjust the depth of the back

piece slightly, as the 2mm given on the drawing didn't look quite large enough to my eyes. I went for 4mm, on the basis that it won't really matter once the unit is embedded

in ballast, weeds and so on. I also made a note to myself on the drawing, in case I come back in a few months to make another pair.

 

The drawings and a pair of completed buffer stops. I've kept the page oblique to avoid copyright issues, but hopefully it gives an idea of the typical sort of project you

can find in LR, which is increasingly becoming one of my favorite monthly magazines, even if I have to crawl through it with a dictionary.

 

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The buffers were assembled from 1mm plastic card, then filled at the corners and finally sanded. The wooden planks across the front were cut from a sheet of

Wills material, and the height guestimated with reference to the article. Luckily it's about right as is, although either the track or the buffer could be packed up 

if needed:

 

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Next the buffers will be given a paint and weathering treatment, with the end result hopefully resembling concrete!

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Your "Regions et Compagnies" laser cut buildings are outstanding. I don't recognise one or two, and the corner cafe has one more storey than the one I have bought (but not yet built - a whimsical purchase, of no use whatsoever for my layout, but it is lurvely). Have you modified other kits or scratch built one or two?

 

Makers of UK kits have an awful lot to learn from the continental firms such as this and Artitec. 

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I rather like the sound of this Old Boy.

 

There's a lot to be said for keeping it simple.....things get finished for a start...(?!)

 

 

I often think of doing a very simple rural Czech layout.....minimal trackwork, accent firmly on detail and scenery.

 

Rob

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Your "Regions et Compagnies" laser cut buildings are outstanding. I don't recognise one or two, and the corner cafe has one more storey than the one I have bought (but not yet built - a whimsical purchase, of no use whatsoever for my layout, but it is lurvely). Have you modified other kits or scratch built one or two?

 

Makers of UK kits have an awful lot to learn from the continental firms such as this and Artitec. 

 

Hi Mike, thanks, I am pleased with the way they came out. They are all Regions et Compagnies kits in that row of buildings, and built without any modifications other than some better roof material and a few small details such as drain pipes which I added after those photos. The corner cafe does have the option to make it one storey lower, if I remember rightly, but I think I just built the default option. I've since toned them down a bit with pencils, as well, but they need more work in that direction. The blue shutters need to be weathered to a much more faded tone, or perhaps replaced entirely. I've also got some nice etched balcony railings to go on if needed, from Decapod.

 

In addition to these card buildings there are some Artitec facades being worked on for different parts of the layout, and I'm hoping they'll look of a piece when finished. Finally, although not yet started, are a couple of Faller buildings in their "Special France" range, which I again hope can be blended in reasonably satisfactorily.

I rather like the sound of this Old Boy.

 

There's a lot to be said for keeping it simple.....things get finished for a start...(?!)

 

 

I often think of doing a very simple rural Czech layout.....minimal trackwork, accent firmly on detail and scenery.

 

Rob

 

Looks tantalising to me, Rob.

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Hi Barry

 

Cogirep really captured the atmosphere of run-down urban industrial so I'm really looking forward to seeing this one.

The idea of the "main line" disappearing behind buildings then reappearing is interesting and should provide opportunities for a series of vignettes within the overal scene.

I'm also impressed by how the Regions & Compagnies card kits turned out. I've looked at them at shows in France but have always been put off by the price.

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That looks rather nice, Al.

 

I really think the buildings either side of the bridges are spot on and identify the location.

 

 

Some nice cast railings at the waters edge will set it off perfectly...

 

 

Rob.

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The buildings do look good,but are too clean as they are. What is the building on the left?

I recommend the work of Emmanuel Nouaillier for inspiration, and technical ideas for French buildings. He has had loads of articles in Continental Modeller and quite a few books. Not just railway modellers but military modellers refer to his work..

 

Wills kits are not out of place for French models, as the MKD range of kits had a lot of Wills kit parts. No-one can tell me how they got there, even Peco are unsure, but I thin it was before Peco took over the range.

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The buildings do look good,but are too clean as they are. What is the building on the left?

I recommend the work of Emmanuel Nouaillier for inspiration, and technical ideas for French buildings. He has had loads of articles in Continental Modeller and quite a few books. Not just railway modellers but military modellers refer to his work..

 

Wills kits are not out of place for French models, as the MKD range of kits had a lot of Wills kit parts. No-one can tell me how they got there, even Peco are unsure, but I thin it was before Peco took over the range.

 

The building on the left is an Artitec facade, one of several that looked French-enough to me to pass as background structures. Yes, I greatly admire Mr Nouallier's work, in fact I've seen some of his dioramas at first hand in the Musee Miniature et Cinema in Lyon: https://www.museeminiatureetcinema.fr/

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The only fault in his work for me, is that he has not done any typically southern/Mediteranean architecture, as it is an area ignored my most of the model manufacturers.

Had forgotten about the Artitec models. To be fair, many of their kits are suitable for some French buildings, pity they are again mainly northern Europe, not southern.

Having said that, I am happy to design my own buildings for 3D printing.

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