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Booking Hall

Far Wittering - inspiration from a 1984 Railway Modeller

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Having been tempted to buy a Dapol 0 gauge class 08 shunter in the Hattons 'sale of the century', I searched for inspiration to build my first small 0 gauge layout by re-reading back issues of Railway Modeller. After several weeks of doodling I hadn't come up with a plan which entirely satisfied me. I decided to put the project on hold for a while in order to build up a few more items of rolling stock and it was then that I came across this plan in the December 1984 issue. Still not what I wanted for an 0 gauge layout, but the simplicity and scope for light railway 'atmosphere' captured my imagination, and I decided to build it in 00, as I already have suitable stock to run on it.

 

I found a suitable piece of plywood in the shed and played about with some points and bits of track, adding a couple more sidings for operational interest. Then I went and measured the back of the car to see what would fit in. The board I had found would comfortable fit in with space to spare, so i decided to go for the maximum length which was 4ft 10 inches x 13 inches, giving me a bit more scenic space.

 

A couple of days later, having sawn up some 2"x1" I had a baseboard frame, but no large enough piece of ply to put on top of it. Lothe to shell out for some I re-examined the shed and came up with some cellular PVC planks left over from refurbishing the bathroom, so they became the top! I've yet to build the fiddleyard board which will feature a sector plate.

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You have made a good start and look forward to seeing this one develop. I am a big fan of light railways and that is a great little plan - simple but effective. The 'loop and two sidings' arrangement and an atmosphere of neglect and decay is my ideal style of modelling! 

 

What stock are you intending to run?

 

Cheers,

David

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16 hours ago, south_tyne said:

You have made a good start and look forward to seeing this one develop. I am a big fan of light railways and that is a great little plan - simple but effective. The 'loop and two sidings' arrangement and an atmosphere of neglect and decay is my ideal style of modelling! 

 

What stock are you intending to run?

 

Cheers,

David

Hello David, thanks for the encouragment. The layout will probably end up being a 'byeway' rather than a true light railway, and I have in mind two geographical locations for it. One is in the LBSCR area, say Hampshire, and the other is Leicestershire/Rutland and a little used Midland branch. I have a couple of Maunsell corridor coaches (although non-corridor stock would be more appropriate I think) and a Wrenn R1 which has hardly turned a wheel in anger since I bought it in 1975! One of Hornby's 'Terriers' would be nice in SR livery. For the Midland area, I have a couple of Stanier suburbans and a Ratio MR compartment 3rd. That would look nice with a brake 3rd to go with it hauled by one of the open cab 'Jinty's'. As you might have guessed, I'm not going for strict authenticity here, rather an impression of long-gone days!

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Progress has been a bit patchy during the last week due to life getting in the way of railway modelling! Having got a nice, flat baseboard top, I decided that a little bit of relief would be nice, specifically a culvert running under the railway. Unable to include that with the type of baseboard construction I'd used, I went to the builders merchant and bought a couple of 4ftx2ft sheets of 50mm polyurethane insulation board, and glued this to the top of my PVC planks. Whilst most of the layout will be flat, at least I can introduce some slopes and a gulley for a stream at the front of it.

 

Before I do that, however, I needed to fix the positions of the track so some time was spent plotting the positions of the Peco Streamline Y and small radius points, and joining up the centres for the plain track. I'm using Peco Streamline code 100 but will cut the webs of the base and re-space the sleepers to a more prototypical spacing. I've done this twice before now, and whilst it is a bit of a fiddle, the track appearance is considerably enhanced as a result.

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Sounds like you have an excellent well thought out plan for the stock you will use and sounds right up my street! 

 

Pleased to see you are continuing to make progress. Keep up the good work! :good_mini:

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Can I ask which Builders Merchants you got the insulation boards from? Is it a national chain?

I built my layout with Knauf Spaceboard which B&Q used to stock - now I need just one more sheet for some adjustment, but they don't stock it any more!! :banghead: :shout: The silver-foil backed Kingspan stuff is too crumbly to be any use.

Nice layout idea btw, but be careful of the O Scale Slippery Slope :yes: because OO will seem tiny afterwards!! ;)

 

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38 minutes ago, F-UnitMad said:

Can I ask which Builders Merchants you got the insulation boards from? Is it a national chain?

I built my layout with Knauf Spaceboard which B&Q used to stock - now I need just one more sheet for some adjustment, but they don't stock it any more!! :banghead: :shout: The silver-foil backed Kingspan stuff is too crumbly to be any use.

Nice layout idea btw, but be careful of the O Scale Slippery Slope :yes: because OO will seem tiny afterwards!! ;)

 

Hi there, Mine is Recticel which I got from Travis Perkins. I know what you mean, 0 gauge models seem to have so much more 'presence'!

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Thanks for following David, I hope progress will be more regular in future!

 

Got a bit more done yesterday. Having decided on which backscene to use, I cut the boards from some spare hardboard. I didn't have a long enough piece so had to joint it. The backscene print is 9" high, and before I glue the print to the board I needed to drill the holes for the point operating rods. These will be manually operated using a home-made 'wire in tube' system, comprising 2mm OD brass tube from B&Q with 1mm dia brass rod from Albion Alloys. I've cut grooves in the insulation to inset these into and marked out the hole positions on the backboard before drilling. The timber rail glued and screwed to the rear of the backboard is there to give some protection to the protruding knobs which will be fixed to the ends of the wires, it also stiffens up the hardboard.

 

In another burst of activity, I cut some cork underlay for the points and trackbed. 

 

Next up is fixing the point operating tubes in place and laying the underlay.

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26 minutes ago, Booking Hall said:

Hi there, Mine is Recticel which I got from Travis Perkins. I know what you mean, 0 gauge models seem to have so much more 'presence'!

 

I'll be interested to see how you get on with the insulation board. As above, I have not had good experiences with Kingspan/Celotex etc. The type you are using just be stronger and more robust. 

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On 14/02/2019 at 10:09, south_tyne said:

 

I'll be interested to see how you get on with the insulation board. As above, I have not had good experiences with Kingspan/Celotex etc. The type you are using just be stronger and more robust. 

We've used similar on the club layout we're currently building, and that seems to cut and carve nicely, but whether my stuff is the same I will find out shortly!

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The last few days have been spent installing the point operating rods and sticking down cork underlay. Before I can put in the section from the first point to the end of the board which will mate with the fiddle yard board, I need to make a sheet material endpiece to protect the insulation board, and whilst I'm about it I might as well make the finisher for the other end and the profile board for the front.

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Made a start on the fiddle yard board. Once the glue has fully set on the top/sides I will add further bracing and mark out the sector plate for cutting.

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I've now fitted the end board to the scenic section of the layout where it abuts the fiddleyard board. This has a timber block set into it to give additional support the the trackbed at the joint. Also arrived are the handscrews and Tee nuts which will clamp the boards together. The fiddleyard board will 'piggyback' onto the main board and I've added a couple of steel shelf angles to support it. I'm also thinking that I could use these to carry electrical power between the boards if I add some contacts to the FY board where it rests on them. I only need a +ve and -ve supply, nothing fancy.

 

I decided against building folding legs into the layout, as being so narrow it wouldn't be very stable, but having  nothing else to stand it on I went to Homebase and bought three of their £4.99 timber trestles. These are a bit too wide for this layout, but I can always use them under another one as well. They're also not quite high enough for me to operate at (I'm quite tall), so I might add some raising pieces to them.

 

Finally, some kits for the layout have arrived from Scale Model Scenery, so I've got something to do in the evenings now!

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The last couple of weeks have been spent (slowly) working on the sector plate. This is nearly finished and awaits its side panels and tracks. My preferred method of indexing the tracks is to use miniature brass ball catches and a spring steel keeper, and by soldering a feed wire to the keeper and separate feeds from the bottom of each ball catch to the tracks, it automatically connects the power as well. A common -ve bus connected to the other rails takes care of completing the circuit.

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It's been a while since much work was done, due mainly to detailing some rolling stock for the club layout, but a little progress has been made with Far Wittering in the last few days. The profile boards have all been installed and the land around the layout exit has been built up to form a cutting. At the front of the layout, a stream bed has been dug out and some gentle land shaping carried out.

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8 hours ago, Booking Hall said:

It's been a while since much work was done, due mainly to detailing some rolling stock for the club layout, but a little progress has been made with Far Wittering in the last few days. The profile boards have all been installed and the land around the layout exit has been built up to form a cutting. At the front of the layout, a stream bed has been dug out and some gentle land shaping carried out.

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Nice to see progress continues. The sector plate looks fantastic, very neat and well engineered. I have always struggled with them so can only admire those such as yourself who are obviously highly skilled in that department! 

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On 31/03/2019 at 02:31, south_tyne said:

The sector plate looks fantastic, very neat and well engineered. I have always struggled with them so can only admire those such as yourself who are obviously highly skilled in that department!

Thanks, that's nice of you to say so, and obviously I'm not going to disillusion you by saying where I made a mistake in this one ;)

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Insulation carving finished, and I can reveal that the type I've used (Recticel) crumbles almost as badly as expanded polystyrene, (see posts 6 and 7 above) although it is easier to cut. That done, I gave it and most of the rest of the baseboard a coat of brown emulsion paint. Whilst that was drying I made a start on the stonework for the culvert. This is made from a piece of the styrofoam base which Morrisons pizzas come packed on. Although not good for the planet, I collect these and they make very useful structural modelling material. Easily cut and carved, it can be embossed with a sharp pencil to simulate stonework, cobbles, bricks etc. and it takes paint very well. I've even made buildings out of it. I've daubed the finished item with a mix of three shades of Wilko's emulsion paint, Java Bean, Nutmeg Spice and Supernova, with a few tiny dabs of yellow and orange acrylic paint dotted in. Although it looks a bit garish at the moment, it will dry darker, and then I'll give it a light wash of diluted Supernova which will dull it down and highlight the mortar joints.

 

The flat surface on the far side of the cutting is for a stone retaining wall which I'll also make from the pizza base.

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The culvert arch has now been toned down and installed in place, and the last few days have been spent tracklaying. Although I've used the PECO Streamline points 'as is', I've re-spaced the sleepers on the plain track as despite the underscale track gauge and sleeper length, I think it looks better with more prototypical sleeper spacing. This is quite a time-consuming business however, as every web has to be cut away, several sleepers removed and the remainder adjusted accordingly. I don't use a jig for this, preferring to rely on 'rack of eye'. It also produces a LOT of waste plastic - just think how much plastic PECO could have saved over the years, if only they had made the track in this way to start with!. As of today, all the track on the scenic board is laid, with only the sector plate to do and wiring up to complete. Then I can see if any trains actually run!!

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As a bit of light relief from track laying, I decided to build the water tower which will stand alongside the 'shed' road. Instead of the oft used Dapol, Hornby, Scalescenes, Bachmann etc. models I opted for a new laser cut kit from Model Railway Scenery. This is more unusual in that it depicts a concrete framed tower which I though looked more 'light railway-ish'. The framework goes together very nicely and I painted it with another tester pot from Wilko's, called 'Storm Cloud', which looks a reasonable match for concrete.But I hummed and harr'd over the tank itself. The wrap provided with the kit was OK, but it looked 'flat' compared to the supports and the beautifully made walkways and railings which will go on top. I glued them on the tank shell, but after a lot of thought pulled them off again!

 

I've now clad the shell with 20thou plasticard to which I've fixed microstrip flanges and shapes cut from a crafters petal punch  to represent the pressings often found on sectional water tanks. I know I'm going to be much happier with this.

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Tracklaying is now finished, as is the wiring up, followed by testing and correcting wiring mistakes! I wouldn't have thought it easy to make a mistake with only about six wires to deal with, but yes, it can be done!! I managed to get the sector plate tracks the opposite polarity to the main board, which was interesting . . .  Having got trains running, I can now see that full length stock running over the reverse curves I introduced leading from the fiddleyard looks a bit ridiculous. The short 45' clerestories don't look too bad though, nor does a loco and single 64' coach. I'll play a bit more before deciding if I can live with this, or bite the bullet and relay some track.

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Had a break from track testing and finished detailing the water tank.

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This is what will supply the 'water' to the tank, a wind powered water pump. This will be a first for me - assembling an etched brass kit, and looking at the fiddly bits on there I might take it down to the club and use their temperature controlled precision soldering iron and solder paste!

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Not much done for a few days, but at least the garden benefited from the nice weather over Easter! Rail sides are now painted and having painted all of the baseboard brown, i then remembered that several areas need the ground levels building up to almost rail head height, so out came more of the pizza styrofoam bases. On top of that the road has been formed in card with a spacer under the centre to give a slight camber effect.

 

I started today with the great intention of building the platform. This will replicate a sleeper built one with an earth/gravel top, but such were the interruptions and unscheduled demands on me today, that by tea-time all I'd managed to do was make a template!!

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