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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.

 

Hi James

 

A lot of points there, which I will try to address! Yes, there shall be a station large enough to accommodate a... let's say, a 12-coach train. But the purpose of the layout is to enable long trains to run in circles round me - a roundy-roundy writ large. Although it'll favour the ECML, at least one portion of it ought to be vaguely reminiscent of the Lune Gorge (admittedly, it may be a case of "adjust-your-monitor-settings-and-squint-and-you may-see-something-that-in-a-dim-light-you-could-argue-was-a-bit-like-a-model-of-the-Lune-Gorge-built-by-a-cack-handed-fool-in-the-dark").

 

As for the gradients, they will be used only to access branchlines that will be the preserve of short trains exclusively headed by tank engines. No heavy coal traffic or long passenger trains to panic over!

 

As for DCC, it's not actually my intention to convert it; I just want there to be enough of a conversion capability that it wouldn't involve me re-wiring every piece of track! DCC isn't high on my list of priorities but I just wanted to future-proof (to some extent) the layout against a day when 12V DC locos are no longer available...

 

I hope the layout rewards your interest!

 

Regards,

Gavin

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Ahh, cunning plan apropos the branch lines and gradients! I suspect that that is probably safer.

 

Best wishes with this in any event, and I shall enjoy seeing the progress.

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Good news! I have won a couple more 21t NE coal hoppers while sailing across the Bay of E. They shall bolster my Post-War Bulk Coal train, which looks like this...

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...and should not be confused with the Post-War Loose-Coupled Coal train, which looks like this:

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Regards,
Gavin

Edited by Black Marlin
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Its been a painty weekend. The big board has had half its undercoat applied, while the cross-piece (which combines the twin-track bridge and the junction) has been fully undercoated. I have also repainted a mk1 Pullman so that its white roof is now the same dark grey as the rest of the rake - a task eventually made straightforward by taking one of the coaches to B&Q, having them scan it, and buying a test-pot of matched silk-finish emulsion! It's hard to get a good finish with emulsion, but it's good enough for a 'layout coach'.

Further modelling purchases include two left-hand bullhead points. Fortunately, given that they're £26 a pop, that's the last of them for a while - it'll be 20' before I need another (although by then not only will I need another RH bullhead point, I'll also need a single slip - a proposition I expect to be expensive...). However... 5 points will need 5 point motors, so this board - which is only 30" long - is shaping up to be one of the more expensive on Girtby Sea. 

I'm looking forward to being able just to lay some straightforward track - although even then, having significant numbers of parallel tracks means that boxes of track disappear rapidly. Just keep telling yourself - "It'll be worth it when it's done. It'll be worth it when it's done.It'll be worth it when it's done..."

 

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The postie has been, bearing small joyous boxes. In this case, the most delighting is the one containing a Skaledale signal box. Although it isn't the first building bought for Girtby Sea, it is the first one I'll be able to plant: it's going onto this 5-point junction board. Probably with an allotment next to it. Since the scenic work is the thing I enjoy most, I find the prospect very pleasing indeed...

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Hello all. It's been a while! But on the other hand, there has in fact been progress. I've been learning how to static grass (can that be used as a verb?) and to solder (I was lucky enough to get a lesson from the master himself, Tony Wright, at Glasgow) and I have some pics to show you... Please ignore the mishmash of stock - it was what I happened to have to hand!

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And after several hours with PVA and toilet paper (which will now take days to dry properly)... water! In texture, at least, if not in colour or finish.

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I also like your avatar. One of my all time favorite war films. In many ways the main cast members best work. It's only really let down by the use of "septic" kit masquerading as Afrika Korps halftracks and the one really big one is the Landie parked in the side street as they drive Otto away in the closing scene. A tad early for Landies.  

Regards Lez.

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Today's progress: finishing the static grassing. Next on the list: painting the water. A task I've never attempted before. I've watched the video; let's see how it goes... Just waiting for the paintbrushes to arrive from Ebay! 

 

That's probably going to happen on Wednesday, so tomorrow I'll tidy up some of the patchier areas of static grass with some strategic flocking. Once that's done, I'll share pictures.

Cheers!

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A couple of days later than planned, but after spending four and half hours with my paintbrush, using the techniques described by "Marklin of Sweden's" youtube video on making waves, I have a painted sea! It's not varnished yet - that won't happen until next week - but I am pleased at how it turned out. I've never attempted anything like this before, not even in art class at school - in fact I've never even attempt to blend colours in this way!

Feeling really quite chuffed :-)

 

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Edited by Black Marlin
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Morning all, and hello to Jason Isaacs.


The final coat of varnish is still wet (hence its aerated look) but the big news is the addition of the waterfall that connects the river at the top of the baseboard to the inlet at the bottom. I thought I had wrecked the left-hand side of the waterfall by glue staining the top of it white (aargh!) so I chopped that bit off - which left me with it sitting about an inch too short. However, I was able to disguise the shortfall ( no pun intended!) with some white polyfibre that looks like the mist you would expect at the base of a waterfall like this.

This more-or-less finishes the scenic work between the two major upright formers on this board. Next will be the woodwork on the left-hand side - the tunnel portals that will take the mainlines under the upper branchline. This is going to involve a lot of cutting and measuring - there are three levels of trackwork plus a river to consider - but the results will, I hope, be worth it.

 

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Thanks all! 

Tomorrow it's back to hardware mode. The next task is going to be a whole load of woodworking as I start to prepare the left-hand shelf to take the mainlines into the tunnels into which they shall disappear (this board is at the far left-hand side of the layout) before they reach the fiddleyard. Given that the fiddleyard will be 20' from the tunnel mouths, the trains will disappear for a considerable length of time! But, because I'm not helplessly enamoured of my woodworking skills, the tunnel will not be enclosed - I intend to be able to access every inch of it in the event of derailments and other disasters!

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