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And so, the first of the queries. The fast lines and the slow lines ought to have slightly different colours of ballast. At the moment my inclinations are towards Woodland Scenics's medium-grade materials - pale grey for the fast lines and medium grey for the slow lines. But can anyone suggest a better alternative? The key criteria are: it'll look good (i.e. appropriate for an ER layout); it's easily obtainable (because I have hundreds of feet of this stuff to lay); and, not-unrelatedly, it doesn't require extensive modification post-purchase. The thought of painting 80' of tiny stone chippings does not appeal...!

Your thoughts?

GB

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And so, the first of the queries. The fast lines and the slow lines ought to have slightly different colours of ballast. At the moment my inclinations are towards Woodland Scenics's medium-grade materials - pale grey for the fast lines and medium grey for the slow lines. But can anyone suggest a better alternative? The key criteria are: it'll look good (i.e. appropriate for an ER layout); it's easily obtainable (because I have hundreds of feet of this stuff to lay); and, not-unrelatedly, it doesn't require extensive modification post-purchase. The thought of painting 80' of tiny stone chippings does not appeal...!

 

Your thoughts?

 

GB

 

My thought would be that the railway company would get the ballast for all lines in the area from the same source so they could be very similar. It is likely that the main line track would be re-newed more often should might be lighter shade. The only problem with Woodland Scenics ballast is that it is a consistent colour, so when I use it I generally mix a couple of colours together.

 

To go back to your original question, perhaps you could use a 4:2 mix of light/dark grey on the main line and a 2:4 mix on the other routes. Worth trying it out on a few lengths of track to see how it looks. On other layout threads, there are plenty of examples of other people trying various combinations of colours for effect. Type "ballast trial" or similar into the search function to see what appears.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Nick

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Glacial progress continues. The first of (at least) 15 Peco bullhead points has been ordered, along with a non-scenic code-75 electrofrog example. (It will be hidden behind a backscene, although it will still comprise part of the loop, which is why it's of the same track profile. All the fiddleyard trackwork will be code 100, because it's so much cheaper!) Also in the post are some more laser-cut MDF handrails to finish off the above-track-level aspects of the Oykel-like (Oykish?) Viaduct, and a ready-to-plant Skaledale rail-over-river bridge. Depending on how the track plan develops, I may need another, but one will be sufficient for this month.

I am trying to be organised about how I prepare. As stuff arrives, it gets segregated into preparatory boxes labelled with things like 'UPPER BRANCHLINE' or 'LOWER QUAYSIDE'. It is remarkably satisfying to see the boxes slowly fill. It is also a way to ensure (I hope) future satisfaction: buying everything I need slowly and well in advance means (I hope) that build progress won't be halted too often by having to wait for missing bits and pieces to arrive - a particular issue with resin items, because once the tooling required to make them wears out, it's done, and then the S/H market is your only option. 

 

In the meantime (pics to follow), I have decided that I am unsatisfied with the fairly weedy piers provided with the MDF T-section viaduct I've been building, so I am wrapping some 9mm ply offcuts in Wills Coarse Stone to make some slightly more substantial supports. The bridge is part of the climb up to the upper branchline, so please don't panic if it appears to be sloped - that's on purpose!

I do sometimes wonder if I have fashioned a rod for my own back by starting with what will almost inevitably become the most scenically-complex area of the baseboard: a three-level, 7-track-containing ravine that features three tunnel mouths, five bridges and at least two major waterfalls. The end result will, I think, look spectacular, and I'm looking forward to posing trains on it, but getting to that point is likely to be slow, complicated and expensive - that's a lot of scenic features to incorporate in quite a small area!

Here's hoping it all works out...

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Good luck sounds like this will be some project especially if you are on your own will look forward to updates.

 

Drawing some conclusions solely from your username, you may find the picture below of interest: it's one of the trains I intend to run on Girtby Sea. Now, if only we could persuade Hornby to release a composite coach to match the others...

 

post-9375-0-84593100-1527782366_thumb.jpg

 

 

 

I also realise that after announcing Girtby as an LNER layout I have so far failed to provide a single image of any LNER locomotive or piece of rolling stock! Hopefully this goes some way to redressing the balance:

 

C1 Atlantic with Queen of Scots:

post-9375-0-84267200-1527782912_thumb.jpg

 

 

K3 with refrigerated vans:

post-9375-0-52932200-1527783146_thumb.jpg

 

 

J15 with cattle train

post-9375-0-85480500-1527783625_thumb.jpg

 

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After faffing around with AnyRail, I can show you a rough approximation of what I'm up to. Yellow bridges are ones I have (from top to bottom: T-section viaduct; Oykish Viaduct; trestle; and to the left the Skaledale river crossing); blue represents water; waterfalls are at the top and to the left; the black line represents a cliff-face; and the green line is a backscene.

Regards,
Gavin

post-9375-0-58604800-1527849889_thumb.png

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The first of what will, I suspect, be many rethinks. Nothing major, and certainly no disaster, but in the image above, the crossovers between the fast and slow lines are going in the wrong direction. How can I tell? Because Girtby Sea will feature a through station, and one of the things I intend is that the fast lines will not be platform-facing. Therefore, if a stopping service that had been on the fast lines wishes to stop in the station, it needs to get on to the slow lines to do so. The crossovers will be far back from the station to give adequate deceleration and acceleration distances for trains. 

'Tis an easy fix, especially because I haven't actually laid any of the track yet, although I'm sad to be losing the points-based curve that swept the up slow line away at a tangent from the fast lines. (The up slow line is the one that has the longest single bridge highlighted in yellow on the diagram above). I do have 48" & 60" tracksettas, though; I shall experiment to see what can be achieved.

Work on the T-section viaduct has stalled due to a lack of UHU (the only glue made from owls?) but, counteracting that disappointment, some progress has been made with the Oykish Viaduct: everything at track level or above has been completed. Apologies for the dodgy phone-camera pics, and the fact that the bridge isn't sitting on a flat surface: 

post-9375-0-36032100-1528275888_thumb.jpg

post-9375-0-86452400-1528275502_thumb.jpg

Gavin

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A tiny modicum of progress, and an equally minor setback. 

The setback concerns the Oykish viaduct. The weight of a train left sitting on the middle span was causing one of the viaduct sections to lift and twist. This can be easily resolved, I think, by inserting a plasticard shim between the 'steel truss' section and the 'masonry arch' section, and supergluing the lot together. It's unlikely to be an issue when the bridge is in layout use (apart from anything else, the masonry sections will be anchored to the baseboards) but it annoys me a little that my inner civil engineer is required to have his wrist slapped by the inner quality controller...

On the progress front, after some slight faffing with Hattons (who had accidentally cancelled my order), a PLA Janus and 6 PLA wagons are on their way. They will make an excellent quayside train, especially when tailed by a red Bachmann Toad-E brakevan I found on Ebay (split, I think, from the 'Jack the Saddle Tank' trainset - who knew there would ever be anything of use to come from that concoction?). All it will require is some decal lettering and that train will be good to go. 

I've also spoken to DCC concepts about their Powerbase product. Because my gradients will be hard work for the locos (a rise of 8" is a lot, even in 20+ feet), the product makes sense, although economically it just isn't feasible for the whole layout (Including the fiddleyards, I'm looking at somewhere on the sunny side of 800' of track). They recommend a 'run-on' at the top of the rise equal in length to the longest train making the ascent, which makes sense. The practical upshot of this is that I've had to take the track off the oft-rumoured but still unseen T-section viaduct, as I will need to lay the Powerbase on the trackbed there. And I still haven't finished the new piers for it... (although I have put together a Parkside LNER plate wagon, just to get back into the rhythm of building rolling stock). So the Powerbase goes on the shopping list for next month. (Incidentally, it's worth pointing out that I got my answer on the same day that I emailed the question. In combination with a couple of other considerations, that level of customer service has convinced me to go for Cobalt IP Analogue point motors for the scenic sections of the layout).

Expensive hobby, this, isn't it? 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello to Jason Isaacs.

I have returned from a holiday in Germany bearing yet more bridges. I know it seems like that's literally all I do (to be honest, it seems to me that that's all I do) but it's such a fundamental requirement of this baseboard that I have no choice but to get on with it! So three Noch bridges (two large box girder bridges with - counterintuitively - an 'approach bridge' to go in the middle) form the chasm-crossing section of the Down Slow line. Given that they're steel structures, I might pick up a section of Peco steel-sleepered FB track to fit in them. Any suggestions on how those sleepers ought to be weathered? I've been using 'sleeper grime' elsewhere; it is this appropriate here too?

The other purchase was a set of 6 Faller viaduct piers. The Oykish Viaduct requires 4, which leaves two for the box girder bridge, supporting the transitions between the 'box girder bridges' and the 'approach bridge'. Cunning, eh?

I returned home to find a nice bundle of packages awaiting me. The PLA train mentioned in the previous post is here! The Janus in particular looks very neat - smaller than I was expecting, and quite characterful. 

And the big news - I have started building! The first baseboard is currently in the throes of construction in the lean-to. When I have more of it assembled, I will post pics. I'm particularly looking forward to being able to display trains in their respective positions. I will just have the metre-long twin-track Up & Down Fast bridge to construct, and that will be that for this end of the layout - there won't be another bridge for another...err...30'. That said, I don't yet know what that twin-track bridge will look like. Back to my book on British railway bridges, methinks...

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  • 3 weeks later...

I did a significant amount of painting over the weekend. The three girder bridges have been sprayed with Volvo Dark Grey from Halfords, while the viaduct has had its stonework coloured (Revell #77 for the base colour; Revell #75 for the dry-brushed highlights). Behold:

 post-9375-0-48844900-1531760216_thumb.jpg

post-9375-0-30371300-1531760326_thumb.jpg

I'm frustrated by an Ebay seller at the minute. I ordered some brass hinges on the 4th of July; they still haven't arrived. They're only 30mm x 15mm - this should not be this difficult!

I have also just finished detailing my A3 'Gay Crusader' with head lamps, coal and a crew. This is the kind of modelling job I really enjoy - small, simple, but makes a disproportionate difference to the look of the finished article.



edited to add pictures and discuss LNER 108.

Edited by Black Marlin
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A quick question for the enlightened: can anyone advise me on colour-matching the dark grey roof of a Bachmann Br Mk1 Pullman? I have a white-roofed version I'd like to repaint to match the rest of the dark-grey-roofed rake. Can anyone tell me where to get a matching colour? A close-enough Halfords rattlecan would be ideal, but any suggestion would be most gratefully received.

Thanks,
Gavin

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Repaint all of them if you want them to match?

Very much Plan B! It's not that it's a bad idea, as such, it's just that a) it would take much longer and require a lot more paint, b) it would decimate the resale value of the stock, and c) it would require a lot of research that Bachmann has already done to get a shade that matches how these things appeared in service.

 

Cheers,

Gavin

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G'Day Folks

 

Why would you want them to match, no two coach roofs were the same colour ?

 

manna

I think, possibly, that your point - while entirely valid, and especially in the context of a discussion on the variation of shade caused by age, weathering, etc.- somewhat passes by my situation, which is that I have 4 Mk1 coaches whose roofs are very dark grey and one whose roof is white, and which therefore stands out like a very sore thumb...

 

edit: the photos here demonstrate the homogeneity of roofs that I am trying to replicate: http://www.semgonline.com/coach/coupe/coupe_se04.pdf

Edited by Black Marlin
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  • 2 weeks later...

Progress!
 

The Ebay seller, upon whose hinges I was waiting, eventually gave up and gave me a refund. However, not to be outfoxed by circumstance, I had a brainwave. I found a 15mm-wide steel bracket among some DIY supplies and took my junior hacksaw to it. This gave me the two 15mm x 30mm plates I needed. Thereafter, construction of the bridge proceeded smoothly. As I described in post #12, the bridge consists of two girder bridges with an 'approach bridge' in the centre, supported by two stone viaduct piers. To tie the assembly together - both figuratively and literally - I added 4 H-section girders from the top of the girder bridges to the top of the central 'approach bridge' span. The whole thing was then sprayed with Halford's Volvo Dark Grey, while the wooden footpaths were picked out in Tamiya Earth colour. At some point I will add rust and other weathering to the structure.

This is the Down Slow bridge. The primary traffic this bridge will carry will be coal (some of Girtby Sea's coal trains are, at least by train-set standards, long) so I've posed a short coal train on it to show it off.

 

post-9375-0-70535000-1532776321_thumb.jpg

 

post-9375-0-84243600-1532776431_thumb.jpg

I now need to give some thought to the next bridge: the twin-track central structure that will take the fast lines across the ravine. My thinking is that I'll build the trackbed out of 9mm ply and add sides, perhaps in the shape of an arch. Still much to ponder...

Regards,
Gavin


P.S. Here's an LNER O6 on a many-wagon coal train:

post-9375-0-89002600-1532777810_thumb.jpg

 

Edited by Black Marlin
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Progress!

 

The Ebay seller, upon whose hinges I was waiting, eventually gave up and gave me a refund. However, not to be outfoxed by circumstance, I had a brainwave. I found a 15mm-wide steel bracket among some DIY supplies and took my junior hacksaw to it. This gave me the two 15mm x 30mm plates I needed. Thereafter, construction of the bridge proceeded smoothly. As I described in post #12, the bridge consists of two girder bridges with an 'approach bridge' in the centre, supported by two stone viaduct piers. To tie the assembly together - both figuratively and literally - I added 4 H-section girders from the top of the girder bridges to the top of the central 'approach bridge' span. The whole thing was then sprayed with Halford's Volvo Dark Grey, while the wooden footpaths were picked out in Tamiya Earth colour. At some point I will add rust and other weathering to the structure.

This is the Down Slow bridge. The primary traffic this bridge will carry will be coal (some of Girtby Sea's coal trains are, at least by train-set standards, long) so I've posed a short coal train on it to show it off.

attachicon.gifIMG_3883.JPG

 

attachicon.gifIMG_3885.JPG

 

attachicon.gifIMG_3886.JPG

I now need to give some thought to the next bridge: the twin-track central structure that will take the fast lines across the ravine. My thinking is that I'll build the trackbed out of 9mm ply and add sides, perhaps in the shape of an arch. Still much to ponder...

Regards,

Gavin

P.S. Here's an LNER O6 on a many-wagon coal train:

 

attachicon.gifLNER O6 7675 LNER Coal Train #1.JPG

Very nice. The Faller support pillars for the girder bridge look underscale to my eye... too narrow. Probably due in part to being HO scale rather than 4mm. Have you considered the Wills viaduct support pillars as an alternative? These are designed for single or double track, and as well as being more substantial they don’t have the continental style tops, but have capping stones instead.

 

Phil

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Very nice. The Faller support pillars for the girder bridge look underscale to my eye... too narrow. Probably due in part to being HO scale rather than 4mm. Have you considered the Wills viaduct support pillars as an alternative? These are designed for single or double track, and as well as being more substantial they don’t have the continental style tops, but have capping stones instead.

 

Phil

Hi Phil

 

Thanks for your thoughts. As it happens, the girder bridges, being Noch, are also H0 scale; the Faller piers match the width of the trackbed exactly. They also match the Faller viaducts you can see further up the page, so for the sake of architectural consistency I will keep them as they are.

 

That being said, I need to consider how the twin-track central bridge will work, so your suggestion of the Wills viaduct piers is not wasted! 

 

Kind regards,

Gavin

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  • 2 weeks later...

This weekend, I managed for the first time to erect the main trackwork across the ravine board. A big moment! (Ignore the Hornby track: it's only there for impressionistic purposes. The real thing will be laid with Peco Bullhead in serious quantities - you think that a box of 25 yards is an enormous amount until you remember that in those areas where you have 7 tracks that gives you only a little more than 3 yards of progress per box...)

post-9375-0-69644900-1533578348_thumb.jpg

 

post-9375-0-22406100-1533578510_thumb.jpg

 

Regards,
Gavin

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I see that you like bridges: those are some splendid bridges.

 

This does look as though it will be a very interesting layout - I should be most interested to see progress (and a complete track plan). Do I understand correctly that this is to represent (inter alia) a minor station on a major mainline (i.e. the EMCL)?

 

I note that you specify a gradient of 8" in 20', which amounts to 3.3%. From what I understand, a maximum of 1% is recommended for longer trains. You might be able to get away with 3.3% with PowerBase - but this involves sticking a magnet on the bottom of all of your locomotives (at least, all of those which you wish to traverse the gradients). For reference, 3.3% is significantly steeper than the Lickey incline, and model trains are generally no better at climbing gradients than full sized trains.

 

I note that you are planning to use DC and to be able to convert to DCC later. You may want to consider how you might do this with particular care to avoid having to do a lot of re-wiring later. One interesting thing to note is that, if you are ever thinking of computer control, separating the track into lots of isolated sections (as you would for DC cab control) is necessary for feedback sensors so that the computer knows where on the layout that the trains are. However, wiring for DCC is not just about track feeds: you may want to think about how you will wire all the points and signals, too: these can be bus wired using electronic control (which is preferable to having a wire for everything going back to a simple switch on the control panel), and you might want to consider using electronic control for these even before using DCC for your track feed. (Indeed, MERG now have a whole system for computer control of DC layouts).

 

In any event, I do like larger pre-nationalisation mainline layouts, so I shall be most interested to see how this goes.

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