Jump to content
Lacathedrale

Hennock

Recommended Posts

After much wailing and gnashing of teeth I've come to realise that the west of England is a really lovely place, and infact the GWR is a very pretty railway with some lovely locomotives. Wider plans are afoot for a big layout, but in the meantime I'm still somewhat short of a working layout of my own - and so after being thoroughly galvanised by the evangelical attitude of early MRJ's and judicious consumption of Iain Rice books, I've settled on a track plan and layout idea that will hopefully be finished in months or a year, rather than being measured in decades and/or abandonement.

 

The setting is mid-Devon on the Teign river - inspired by the Culm Valley Light Railway, I fancy some northern bretheren subsequently absorbed and operated by the GWR in the same manner. Though the arrangement is probably one of only a few permutations available with four points, I cribbed this particular arrangement from the Hepton Wharf layout featured in the 'Creating Cameo Layouts' books (and subsequently when I unearthed those early MRJs).

t4PORZKh.jpg

 

Tthe simplicity and airiness of the design resounded with me, and tracklaying soon commenced:

Y7reQNah.jpg

 

Having quite had my fill of baseboard building, I contacted Tim Horn who very kindly made some changes to his existing photoplank setup to include a scenic divider one foot in from the left edge, to give me a little fiddle yard area that was markedly off-scene. (I'm sure I could have done this myself, but Tim stepped up and got it sorted without any fuss or trouble. I cannot more highly recommend investigating whether his solutions might be appropriate for your layout). I also decided to get stuck in with cutting the entry/exit and painting a flat light blue:

 

ypBMt5Kh.jpg

 

Wagons are mostly kits, but I've got some sacrificial Peco RTR stuff I'm trying to upgrade like the LMS wagon above. Below illustrates the comparison between 2FS wheels vs N gauge wheels quite readily.

 

xRy4jcrh.jpg

Edited by Lacathedrale
  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, I believe the next step is to get the track laid - as a light railway there is no large cess, so I am happy to lay the track on a layer of cork rather than to go heavily into contouring the baseboard. I gather my next steps are to cut and stick that cork layer, then drill the holes for my feeds, point actuating wires and uncouplers, and then transfer my PCB trackwork. I've never done this before, so any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The turnouts have to be shimmed onto card to bring them to the height of the easitrac - something I will be doing my utmost to avoid next time by using etched chairplates. The following picture just shows them placed in-situ, it shows the 'custom' part of the layout board - the extra skyboard used to divide the baseboards into scenic and non-scenic sections:

 

7ZpCVxgh.jpg

 

 

Wiring under the board has started too:

9BmYhACh.jpg

 

I can never seem to find the correct wire gauge on the internet - this stuff could power G scale I'm sure. Luckily I have a meter of thin red/green/black so I'll use those for droppers (green is for the frog).

Edited by Lacathedrale

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that the card method will probably turn out easier for a layout of any size. Having just used a couple of chair plates at a mismatched board join, I am not sure that my sanity would survive using more than a few.

 

Each to their own, though. Laurie Adams makes it look (fairly) easy!

 

Regards

 

Ian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really? On one hand it was nice to have a subassembly to manipulate that had some rigidity - but made the switchblade chair pegs a very accuracy-dependent job. I may give it a shot and just see what happens, since I have experience one way now, and it makes sense to test the other.

 

I got all the motors in today, and all but a foot of plain track laid too. Fitting the cobalts themselves was very simple and they immediately worked well on DCC - but the linkage was a real pain. Despite double-checking, one of the turnouts had drifted and I had to expand the clearance hole from underneath. There was nothing yet so toe-curling and nerve wracking than drilling millimeters from the underside of my crossover with a 10mm drillbit at the very last hurdle.

 

AaXreCVh.jpg

 

The bottom looks nice, but yet to fit droppers so there's room for it to get messy still :)

 

BxSPb9th.jpg

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The track has now been fully laid, here's a shot across the bow of the layout in suitably moody lighting:

 

xv3xC26.jpg

 

I wired up the droppers by drilling holes on the far side of the rail and threading through. Where I was joining to rails that were situated on PCB sleepers, I simply sweated the wires into the existing solder blob. In areas with plastic easitrac sleepers, I sliced one out and inserted the brass equivalent to provide a surface to connect to. At the very ends of the layout, I just soldered to the sides of the rail, since those areas will not be visible when operating. If I had more foresight, I would have tried to find a way to attach the wire to the bottom of the brass sleepers rather than the side/top, but I'm not that clever. You can see a scrap of turqoise paper I used to make sure the vees stayed electrically isolated while I was shoving the rail around. If you can believe it, no shorts and everything wired up correctly first time.

 

tctY1Yc.jpg

 

There were four small rail panels of <10cm that needed to be attached towards the right end of the layout, so rather than drill new feeds for those, I used the association fishplates to bridge the gap and hold the rails in vertical alignment (I won't be using cork again!). I have more to apply in a cosmetic fashion, and I will definitely be using epoxy or araldite, it was a real chore to line them up, let alone solder them properly.

  • Like 1
  • Craftsmanship/clever 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Something of a quantum leap from the previous post, ground contours have been added and a base colour laid down. I used polystyrene to get a rough shape, then cut it down by about a third to make sure I wasn't going crazy with gradients and slopes, and then slopped on a bunch of sculptamold. When that was cured, I painted it with artists Raw Umber paint - it's much too dark for normal use, but seals the white away for good. Ontop of that, I sprinkled coloured grout through a sieve (this is Mosaic light brown from Amazon - a few pounds for a 200g bag that's done about 15 square feet of layout) and finally misted with some water with a splash of isopropyl alcohol.

 

SzwMW9H.jpg

 

When I removed the masking tape I'd used to protect the track, I realised I'd left huge margins either side, so touched that up with some raw umber and then threw caution to the wind and painted the rails and sleepers up with a dusting of sleeper grime. I've done colour studies of the area and the rails and sleepers really were this terracotta brown, though the running lines had dark staining and the goods yard lots of gravel dust - that'll come later.

 

UrkRUZ2.jpg

 

Bar a replacement wheelset, the wagon is a wholly unmolested Peco example - certainly not the epitome of detail. I managed to stand on one of my other peco wagons that got knocked of my desk, so I think it's high time I invest in some proper stock boxes, which are en route. You will notice another distinct lack of locomotive - this is because my only working 2FS loco (the 37 above) is not chipped, so a 6-pin Zimo is also en-route for that too.

 

I have added LED lighting to the layout in the form of two self adhesive strips under the top and front valance. I am not sure how happy I am with them, because they cast a very direct light - I think the result is that it scales well, but adds too much contrast to the scene. What do you think?

Edited by Lacathedrale
  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have added LED lighting to the layout in the form of two self adhesive strips under the top and front valance. I am not sure how happy I am with them, because they cast a very direct light - I think the result is that it scales well, but adds too much contrast to the scene. What do you think?

 

In my opinion, for both exhibition and photographic purposes, you want as much light as possible - more than you would think - otherwise it will appear dark and dingy, and any camera you use will struggle to get really sharp photos with a decent depth of focus. Judging by the above, I reckon you've just about got it right.

 

Al.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 6-pin chip for my EE Type 3 arrived today and I was eager to get going - unfortunately the Zimo MX622N I ordered is not a good fit for the Farish loco - the decoder is quite loose and requires fixing with light pressure (i.e. with tape) in order to function. Luckily, the layout didn't spontaneously combust when a loco was placed, and I am very satisfied to see a loco running on the layout. That said, there are some definite teething problems to address.

  • The actuation rod for the platform-side of the crossover has come loose and isn't moving the point
  • Though I did smooth and buff the railhead it clearly does need a good clean.
  • The 37 sounds like a bag of hammers falling down the stairs and it occasionally derailed going through some of the pointwork so needs the gears fettled and B2B validated.

Update tomorrow, when the workshop has warmed up a little!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure how a top link Co-Co diesel ended up at Hound Tor, but here we go. This is my first attempt at editing something rather than just putting the video straight online from my phone, so hopefully it was worth it.

 

 

There were a number of issues to resolve, the major two were the repair of the actuating rod for Turnout #4 as noted above which went ahead without issue, and re-attaching a switchblade that had popped out during cleaning.

 

I did spent a good amount of time trying to fettle the 37 but I think it may be a lost cause for reliable running - the middle axle of the bogie is fractionally pronounced and so causes a the bogie to rock front to back, typically with almost no pressure on the outermost wheels. Because of the raking that occurs, the front wheels are deflected easily and not guided by their flanges. It requires another DCC compatible 2FS loco before making further changes to the layout - but I may re-visit the switchblade clearances as this is typically where it's occuring.

 

Best,

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My first finished wagons appear on Hound Tor:

 

jOmoiKv.jpg

 

I do appreciate it's something of a sea of brown at the moment, and the weathering on the frames and track (sleeper grime) is quite similar to the bodyside colour - but I am really happy with how these look, all of that air underneath the body makes me happy :)

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks very good, nice understated weathering.

 

If you'll forgive me, it looks even better like this... :)

 

post-17302-0-14691500-1546783559_thumb.jpg

 

Al.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not quite as stark, but I've put a little road grime onto the sides of my Type 3 - I think it looks a bunch better now:

k0rKNBp.jpg

 

There's a light panel wash on the grilles but it's probably correct that it's largely invisible at this scale. The roof/exhaust needs a final spray of dirt, but with a new compressor I'm still getting my eye in and don't want to ruin anything!

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A bit of a bum day today, it's the first time in about a week I've had the opportunity for any time at all to spend in the workshop and I find:

  • All but one of my cobalts are no longer working
  • All of the wheels on my Type 3 have gone rusty
  • Despite cleaning the above, including removing all the wheels and brushing with fibreglass burnisher and cleaning with naptha, it can't move more than about half an inch before stalling and derails basically everywhere
  • One of the sections is now electrically dead
  • Going over the layout with a fine tooth comb I've narrowed down some problem sections with short gaps or bumpy soldering on the inside - Overall, I think I should have just stayed in bed.

After a bit of a sulk, I went back and managed to get the cobalts working - they had all just lost their addresses. I identified the major issue with derailments on the 37 and overall what I think is the cause of most of the woes on the layout - the main throat/exit to FY. It was one of my earlier examples and the crossing nose was just a little tight. I've filed it down and it's a little smoother, but there's only so much that can be done with it in situ.

 

Similarly, I've found that there is a kink in the track DIRECTLY on the exit to the FY, which doesn't set up any loco for success when it's heading onto the layout and into the aforementioned throat. (it couldn't be anywhere nice and easy to access, obviously).

Edited by Lacathedrale

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you have a photo that shows the layout and fiddle yard together? All your photos and the video conveniently miss the critical area.

  • Friendly/supportive 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The turnout at the rear of this photo is the problem - there are a few others as well. I wonder if is worth trying to pull it up at this stage though, it's fairly well bedded in. Next time I will be putting my track on a removable piece!

 

7ZpCVxgh.jpg

 

Unfortunately since this shot was taken, hillsides either side have been built up and various joints and droppers soldered in place. I'm kicking myself really, because all it would have taken was a more measured approach to powering rail and a few runs with the loco to draw out these problems, but I had to rush it :)

  • Friendly/supportive 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would not start the scenery until the track was down and tested by a wide variety of stock, so that the gremlins can be exorcised, with the minimum of difficulty.

 

 

  • Friendly/supportive 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This looks like a good start, I hope you get it working satisfactorily. I’m sure you will. I do like the track plan, I’m using it as well...

  • Like 1
  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, there are two problems with my little plank layout that need to be addressed before it can reasonably be operated - the entry turnout was one of my earlier efforts and is sub-standard, and there are rail gaps which are slightly too large for comfort where larger sections needed to be dropped in between others (i.e. one side of a runaround loop).

 

In future I'll not compromise on the quality of track added to a layout, and will use a piercing saw through a hole drilled into the basebaord to electrically isolate sections after the fact, rather than relying on separately laid flimsy sections measured so precisely.

 

In terms of resolving the damage, I need to a) replace the entry turnout ( My plan is to try to use a spatula or equivalent on the existing turnout after I've ensured all rail joints around it are clear of solder.) and b) find a way to smoothly join rails which are 2-3mm apart. (My plan thanks to @justin1985 is to slice out a larger section and splice it back in).

 

The new entry turnout will be built with the 'fiddle' track attached as one piece so there's no rail joint hidden in the backscene, and may even try to build it chaired!

  • Informative/Useful 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good luck with the changes. It's always discouraging to go back and redo something like this, but I find that once it's done the pain is soon forgotten.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hope that your 2nd attempt will be the dogs wotsits and will give you trouble free running. When starting a new project

I try and start with what I think will be the least turnout and and work upwards to the  most used or technically demanding and if I am unhappy with it, either try and sort it or bin it and start again.  If the track ain't right, it will jeopardise good running.

 

I wish you luck with the chaired turnout,  I am about to embark on construction of a chaired tandem turnout, this will be a first on both counts.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's well and truly past the point (ha!) of no-return now!

 

759258284_WhatsAppImage2019-05-20at20_06_11.jpeg.091b62a675c305e3907f2f9865ae25c3.jpeg

 

Having reviewed the site, I think creating it chaired would be a waste - it'd be the only turnout on the layout done so, and is not visible from my usual photography angles -  and since the whole point is to make the layout operationally sound, maybe that's best left for the next endeavour :)

 

Daily reminder to never use bloody cork underlay again :( Quite how I'm going to keep the rails in vertical alignment I don't know....

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.