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"Short Edge" is the working name I'm giving to a fun project I'm looking at while my magnum opus - Union Station - pauses for delivery of rolling stock in the summer.*

 

I'm still looking to make the leap from long-time dreamer / planner / collector to layout modeller, so want something to be pressing on with.  "Short Edge" aims to do this by combining three design concepts into one: it's a Billy Bookcase layout, and a complete micro-layout, and a beginner's layout (based on the BRM Project: Edgeworth).

 

This is the plan in Anyrail - the grid is at 3" intervals and track is OO Gauge Peco Code 100 Setrack / Streamline.  The theme is a GWR Branch Line Terminus, something I've always wanted and for which I already have suitable buildings / kits and rolling stock.  Control will be DC, and only needs one connection anywhere at the right hand end.

 

1408376838_ShortEdge-AMicroLayout.jpg.9c6ce6142ac616ab4c8a1c3f694318b7.jpg

 

How do I explain the 3-in-1 design:

 

Billy Bookcase: the principal scenic area at the left is 30" long - this is the allowable length for a Billy Bookcase layout (note: I am using a little extra width for the buildings);

Micro-Layout: the overall size, including the fiddle yard to the right is 4 sq. ft - fitting Carl Arendt's guideline for a self-contained micro-layout;

Edgeworththe design is based on the GWR Branch Line Terminus built as a BRM project: Edgeworth (selective compression reduces the goods yard from 2 sidings to 1).**

 

Photo 1 is an overall view of the proposed layout - the baseboard is a very traditional 4' x 1' piece of Sundeala Board I have to hand.  The shaded area will be cut from the board and used to lengthen the single track fiddle yard: total length 5'6".  Photo 2 shows the Billy Bookcase scenic area from above, and the buildings needed.  I'll be using the same Ratio Station Kit as used on Edgeworth, and already have an Engine Shed (Skaledale) and Signal Box (Metcalfe) to work with.  Edgeworth only used three buildings, and they are in the same position.  Photo 3 is an overall view.  I even have spare room to lengthen the run-round loop by shortening the fiddle siding slightly.***

 

1303886659_ShortEdge3.png.4a53457251853976e613902b5ed688c4.png  2119398057_ShortEdge1.png.eccfc1c45089ed3136d4980d305dcb97.png  1630192552_ShortEdge2.png.6bdbe3c78555bd4fd974aec0112378b7.png

 

The main change from Edgeworth (other than compression) is to move the viewpoint to the other side - I think this is just because I'm left-handed, so it'll be more convenient.  The final name will be something different, but "Short Edge" seemed more positive than "Edgeworth-less."  Progress won't be quick - I have limited time and several other kits to build in the pipeline too, but I'm looking forwards to this and will post updates on RMweb when I get going.

______________________

* true to prototype?

** the original plan came from C.J.Freezer's book of 60 Small Layout Plans, and is based on Seaton in Devon.  There's a second connection with Cyril Freezer - on page 95 of his 1993 book on Operating Model Railways, there's a picture of a very compressed version of Ashburton GWR Terminus attributed to one E.T.D. Revill, which gave me the idea to compress Edgeworth.

*** The metric length of a Billy Bookcase is 76cm - if I trim my scenic area to 75cm, the overall length grows just enough to fit 10x pieces of standard geometry Setrack

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I’ve broken down the project into 6 distinct steps to help my thinking: there will be new things for me at each stage.

 

768298088_ShortEdge4.png.7c29369d8cfda40f83449b7cabbd0f6e.png

 

1.  Baseboards – I have the wood, but I’ve yet to master cutting in a straight line.  I’ll need two boards (of different widths) that marry together.

2.  Trackwork – I’d like to widen the sleeper-spacing for OO (which will be interesting for the points), as well as painting the rails and ballasting.  Inside the engine shed I also ought to have track inset into the building floor.

3.  Buildings – the station kit needs assembly.  I may do this first and before laying track, to ensure clearances will work.  The instructions include advice on painting and weathering, which I’ve not tried before.  The inside of my resin-build engine shed is totally plain, and there’s a platform to build as well, which will be partly triangular to fit the siding.

4.  Other scenic ground cover.  I’ve been given a supply of traditional scatter materials to use, which I’m happy to try.

5.  Electric power and wiring.  Although very simple, I will need power to cross a baseboard joint.

6.  Rolling stock: a lot of my R-T-R stock has large tension lock couplings. They prevent buffer locking on sharp curves, but it’d be good to try replacing them after seeing some of the examples used on other small layouts.

 

I’m not planning a backscene on this layout, so the station can be viewed from all sides, though for display purposes when on the bookshelf and not in use it may be worth adding later.

 

It will help me to have some practice with each of these six steps, so I’ve therefore decided to add a test piece into this build project, using one of the simple designs I offered as part of the Billy Bookcase thread in the BRM Magazine section of Rmweb: a small industrial module based on the old Metcalfe Brewery kit – working name, the “Short-Age Brewery”.  This will be built in parallel, as it has the same six steps (step 5 – wiring, introduces a kickback siding).  I’m not giving this a separate build thread topic at this point, as it’s really just to support the station model, but it may be referenced from time to time.  One change: I’ll use Setrack points for consistency across the project – I have them and it seems to be an acceptable compromise that looks OK on micro-layouts.  If this extra module works out OK, I may join them together (why not?).

 

993083639_ShortEdge5.png.19f490cef0c0fd54c09f11da31cc989a.png

 

I’m just in the process of completing a card kit, which has given me time to think through my next steps before dashing in too quickly, and then this project will be next up.

Edited by Keith Addenbrooke
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13 minutes ago, Keith Addenbrooke said:

I’ve broken down the project into 6 distinct steps to help my thinking: there will be new things for me at each stage.

 

768298088_ShortEdge4.png.7c29369d8cfda40f83449b7cabbd0f6e.png

 

1.  Baseboards – I have the wood, but I’ve yet to master cutting in a straight line. 

 

993083639_ShortEdge5.png.19f490cef0c0fd54c09f11da31cc989a.png

 

 

 

Whereabouts are you, Keith? Maybe some RMweb member near you could cut the timber for you on a table saw.

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1 hour ago, Joseph_Pestell said:

 

Whereabouts are you, Keith? Maybe some RMweb member near you could cut the timber for you on a table saw.

Thanks Joseph, it's a good idea. I am quite happy to do the woodwork - I enjoy it but it's just not a strong point. It'll help my snooker too, to get some practise.

Edited by Keith Addenbrooke
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On 30/04/2019 at 18:12, Keith Addenbrooke said:

Thanks Joseph, it's a good idea. I am quite happy to do the woodwork - I enjoy it but it's just not a strong point. It'll help my snooker too, to get some practise.

Hi Keith

 

I like the idea of your layout, will be following with interest. I can actually cut wood in a straight line but am rubbish at snooker (not sure if that helps).

Good luck with the build.

 

Mark 

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So, deep breath, and here I go...I'm going to start with the buildings I need, both for the practice piece and the layout.  Given the tight clearances on micro-layouts I'd like to be able to check the clearances around the buildings before cutting the baseboards or laying track.  I also have some Roket Card Glue to use up after completing another card kit.

 

1923217342_SHortEdge6.png.629322703267cb4972a4a623a52c7191.png

Edited by Keith Addenbrooke
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On 04/05/2019 at 20:39, Keith Addenbrooke said:

So, deep breath, and here I go...I'm going to start with the buildings I need, both for the practice piece and the layout.  Given the tight clearances on micro-layouts I'd like to be able to check the clearances around the buildings before cutting the baseboards or laying track.  I also have some Roket Card Glue to use up after completing another card kit.

 

1923217342_SHortEdge6.png.629322703267cb4972a4a623a52c7191.png

Good luck with the kit builds Keith. With the Metcalfe card kits, some of them have a card base which you can use as the building footprint, you can then use this to check sizes, clearances and placement on the baseboard without completing all of the kit. Not sure if this is the case with the Brewery building kit?

Happy building

Mark

 

 

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1 hour ago, MAP66 said:

Good luck with the kit builds Keith. With the Metcalfe card kits, some of them have a card base which you can use as the building footprint, you can then use this to check sizes, clearances and placement on the baseboard without completing all of the kit. Not sure if this is the case with the Brewery building kit?

Happy building

Mark

 

 

Mark, thanks for the pointer - it's a good start point.  I'm aiming to get the buildings to a semi-finished state to give an indication of size / sight-lines as well. The brewery kit (now discontinued) does have bases, but each building also has loading docks with platforms to measure up too.

The first task has been lining up and fitting the 71 windows into the three buildings - I'm glad I like the idea of small layouts!

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  • 2 weeks later...

First signs of progress – the Metcalfe Brewery Kit for my Test Piece – “Short-Age Brewery.”  The kit fits together well and is the perfect size for what I need: there is room for the siding I want between the two larger buildings.  I’ve built the kit as supplied, other than one minor modification: shortening the side entrance I’ve fitted to the small store, as it would otherwise partially obscure the ground floor window in this position.

 

216709286_ShortEdge7.png.7d57b5ab48e6e842d33747888ab8edfe.png

 

I’ll admit to feeling nervous about further work on these buildings, especially as this kit is now discontinued, but there are three commonly recognised areas where the kits are often improved on RMweb (see Metcalfe Yard by sb67 for a current example of what can be done with this kit:  Metcalfe Yard)

 

1. Rainwater goods (gutters and drainpipes) are needed but not included.  These shouldn’t be too difficult but I’d like to find a “no-cost” way to do this that I’m happy with (as I have several other kits to complete in this way now too).

2. The roofs used on Metcalfe Kits are very uniform and quite obvious on my model.  They’re not as visible on all models – I made a couple of the low-relief department stores (below - not for this layout), and the dormer windows and roof detail largely hide those roof tiles.

 

1602345957_ShortEdge9.png.8db986a11539b3485279f1453dab0958.png

3.The colouring on the brewery buildings is nice and bright, but not very realistic, particularly for industrial buildings in the steam-era.  I’ve never tried weathering before, but it is one of the areas where the hobby has progressed hugely in recent years (while I wasn’t really paying attention).  I’ll probably try out some test-test pieces before risking these models.

Card kits can be realistic – the real picture below is from Altrincham, and I think it compares well with the Metcalfe Department Store, though I suspect the buildings haven’t always been this clean!

 

1996332972_ShortEdge11.png.83072ee6052e0a95ef2a9bfbb0e3adef.png  2123605241_ShortEdge10.png.06739a5ec898300f7d15430b7b90e093.png

 

Finally, even on a Billy Bookcase layout, I’ve space to play with at the right hand end of the model…one idea I'm tempted by is a small wharf behind the tracks (Marmalade Wharf by Luke the Trainspotter is an example in this Forum that shows there is room for such a feature)

 

1880019116_ShortEdge8.png.ae0bab8ec46bf30906b7a5a4a217fad8.png

 

What I really ought to do is build some baseboards, now I'm satisfied this Test piece will work.

Edited by Keith Addenbrooke
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The next buildings I need are from plastic kits, for the main Short-Edge layout, and my other project: Union Station.  I have a couple of kits not assigned to a project, including a static Dapol City of Truro, which will give me some practice at assembly and painting.  Ironically, I suspect it's probably not the best loco to try weathering - my guess is that more effort went into keeping Truro clean when it was in service than most other engines.

 

397503704_ShortEdge12.png.4f554a1223adf42890a3600389e3c09e.png

 

I've been thinking further about the right hand end of my Short-Age Brewery practice piece.  The idea I keep coming back to is that of linking the two layout modules together for operation, which will influence my approach to building / joining baseboards:

 

1045741533_ShortEdge13.png.446bc36c2a2055c12611a9172613278d.png

 

This gives 5 places to 'spot' wagons, and the schematic starts to resemble a stretched-out variation on John Allen's classic Timesaver shunting puzzle.  Joining the Brewery to the Station gives the run-round needed for the kickback siding (5).  I'm still thinking about the "?" area, which now needs to fit next to the Station.

 

Granted, it's not realistic when set up like this - I can't think of any examples with an Engine Shed in that central position, but the enhanced operating possibilities give something to concentrate on, and when the modules are separated and put back on their shelves, they should still each look OK....

 

...as long as I move forwards to actually building them.  Given the pace I can work, and the practice I need along the way, a realistic deadline for 'completion' of this project (and Union Station) is starting to look like December 2020: the overall space I'm looking to cover is the size of 18 cakeboxes, and it took me three months to complete just one of those (with two practice pieces along the way).  There won't be much to show for a while yet, but I'm enjoying getting started.

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  • 2 weeks later...

In the last post I said my next step would be to practice with a static Dapol OO model of City of Truro kit, as I've not made many plastic kits.  The packaging explains the tooling is from Rosebud / Kitmaster kits that have been around longer than I have, so there's some tidying up to do along the way.  I've built this as a test piece, and will happily admit to making plenty of mistakes - it has stretched my basic modelling skills, however I have been able to produce a model with relatively free-running wheels and coupling rods, which for me is an achievement.

 

1131790252_Truro1.png.3a2ab887ed1b37cee0b28d117bca5675.png

 

Painting is one of my many weaknesses, and there are some errors (the 'fly cranks' and axle boxes should have been red - and I know the safety valve cover, chimney cap and whistles need repainting when I have a metallic alternative to hand), but I am encouraged by how the cab detailing has turned out:

 

2141397426_Truro3.png.bbea68e1d9d1c0cdb2d7a147479b6958.png

 

1381333059_Truro4.png.955d4fd473e7a7ecb2397dc316a61118.png

 

The principal learning point is that the satin and gloss paints I have 'in stock' are very shiny - the tender coal above and the close up below show this:

 

1061959381_Truro5.png.6166ab0b42245f8ec8861c39322ab4b8.png

 

For a display model in ex-works condition, that will be viewed from much further away than the 'publicity shot' below when on a bookshelf diorama, the time has been well spent - these kits are a good way to practice, and I would encourage anyone to have a go (this one cost less than £10 from a local model shop).

 

1125867351_Truro2.png.edf40ca72d27a40b83556eab71d088b9.png

 

Baseboards will probably have to wait until the summer holidays now, but in the meantime I'm planning to work on a couple of Ratio building kits, including the Castle Cary Station Building I need for Short Edge, and for which more sombre colours will be a must.

 

 

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

There is some quite incredible modelling being shared in the Boxfiles, Micro layouts & Dioramas Forum at the moment - every time I look there is something inspiring to see.  I'm very much working at the opposite end of the scale, but am being encouraged to try new things.

My latest distraction from progress with Short Edge - while I await the weather to improve and time to sort out the garage (the prescursor to building baseboards - even simple ones) - has come in the form of a Metcalfe Coaching Inn kit received as a present.  As one of my projects includes a brewery, it's a welcome addition, though I think it will be displayed separately.

This kit has been around a while: it's not as sophisticated as some of Metcalfe's most recent offerings, but is still worthy of inclusion in the range.  A display board is provided, measuring about 7.5" square (so it's cakebox size for reference).

An issue with card kits can be a lack of 3-D relief, and this is apparent with the pavement markings on the base.  My first task has therefore been to scribe along the pavement joints and add the simplest of weatherings (pencil in the joints).  These close up photos show the parts I've done (top photo), compared to parts not yet done (bottom photo).  I hadn't planned to post any photos, but if something as simple as this can make a visible difference, maybe it's worth sharing. 

 

Metcalfe_Inn_2.png.8511825ee108d2f154c934bfbfe8a907.png

 

1679448666_MetcalfeInn3.png.755be7322d9749247ab358b59591e4d4.png

 

(The solid grey area will be under the building).  For the cobbled yard, I've just scribed along each row - enough to gives the feeling of a profile).

Edited by Keith Addenbrooke
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1 hour ago, MrDuck said:

Keith nice work on the cobbled yard.

 

Thank you, but I can't take any credit for the cobbled yard - all I've done is scribe along the pre-printed lines marking each row of cobbles on the Metcalfe base, and then pressed down the side of each cobble with the reverse of a Stanley knife blade to create a small indentation (see photo).  It's a nicely printed base: the lighter area in this photo will ultimately be under an archway - there is a darker shade in the open yard area that will be exposed to the elements.

 

235714390_MetcalfeInn4.png.d5d52a6beb7e97bd7489b7f91d8e6e10.png

Edited by Keith Addenbrooke
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looking very good, I agree that the Metcalfe kit roofs are all the same, you could use some wills slate sheets but that would be an extra cost, another idea is making your own roof from a piece of plastic card and making your own tiles, junk mail leaflets are ideal for this, a bit tedious sticking individual tiles on but worth the effort.

 

Jerry.

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6 hours ago, Jerry1975 said:

looking very good, I agree that the Metcalfe kit roofs are all the same, you could use some wills slate sheets but that would be an extra cost, another idea is making your own roof from a piece of plastic card and making your own tiles, junk mail leaflets are ideal for this, a bit tedious sticking individual tiles on but worth the effort.

 

Jerry.

 

Indeed, individual tiles are something I'd like to try with the Inn - the photo below is a Scalescenes coal office Download kit, which I made as a test piece, partly to see how the roof looked.  I followed the instructions and overlayed the rows of roof tiles.  I did "snip" part way up the join between each tile in each row, but the effect was only partly achieved (there's a giveaway curve along the length of the 4th row up), so I ought to try individual tiles.  One big advantage I'm finding with small layouts / dioramas is that these task shouldn't be overwhelming.*

 

780383703_MetcalfeInn4.jpg.26cbcce4dbeaeaaa5f1befb9f209cfa8.jpg

 

As a general point - I'm very impressed with the Scalescenes model - the inclusion of rainwater goods (guttering and drainpipes) is very effective, and the kits have plenty of features that add 3-D effects.  My only problem is that I don't have a very good printer, but I think the Scalescenes designer John Wiffen is a genius: well worth looking at the website.

__________________________-

 

* I may of course regret saying this.

 

 

Edited by Keith Addenbrooke
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Keith, I completely endorse your comments about John Wiffen and Scalescenes!  They really are the most amazing way of producing model buildings for very little money.  You are right about having a decent printer, but they are so cheap nowadays - I recently bought a Canon Pixma in a local supermarket for less than the cost of a colour cartridge for my old HP990CX!   And it's a lot cheaper to run!

 

Congrats on your efforts with Short Edge - very nice!

 

Best, Mike

Edited by Spotlc
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  • 2 weeks later...

My usual modelling speed (somewhere between non-existent and barely perceptible) has slowed over the past few weeks, although I'm enjoying following the various projects in this Forum as they develop.  Having been pleased with some very simple attention given to the base of my Metcalfe Coaching Inn, I've been encouraged to make a start on the buildings.  The first photo is one of the finished product from the packaging it comes in (my photo - not my modelling):

 

1973064422_MetcalfeInn6.png.bde69a6486af617a786a065d39d40273.png

 

It's an impressive model - there's a review on Phil Parker's Blog from a bit back if you want to see more.  The area I'm focusing on first is the corner building at the front.  Two things stood out to me as worth looking at.  The first is the white line along the corner where the card has been scored and folded. It happens with this type of kit, but is easily addressed: I've started running a 2B graphite pencil down the joins, and this seems to be sufficient to draw the eye away.

The other thing I've tried to do is highlight the 2 large window arches.  There are some faint stone lines printed on the card, so I used these as a template to score deeper lines, first with a knife and then with a cocktail stick.  A sharp pencil was used to darken them.  The stones have simply been painted in a light grey:

 

1858583320_MetcalfeInn7.png.e30a8b4550810bd33e1c801e0ac27ae6.png

 

It's not perfect, but I share it to show what can be done very simply.  I also scored the brick lines along the black quoins as a very simple touch on the corners.

 

I've discussed the tiling I'm planning to add to the roof earlier - another thing I'm planning to do differently is to see if I can bed the buildings into the base so they don't look as if they've just been placed onto the pavement.  After all, this is a pub: so I ought to give the impression there could be a beer cellar beneath it!

 

 

Edited by Keith Addenbrooke
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On ‎07‎/‎07‎/‎2019 at 05:48, JamesGWR101 said:

Nice work on the City of Truro model. It looks just as good as the real thing!

 

Thank you - I'm not sure I'd go that far, but I'm pleased with how it turned out.  Two good pieces of advice which helped were:

 

1.  Taking my time - I wouldn't have had the patience to take a fortnight to put together a kit when I was younger, but it does make a difference.

 

2.  Referring to a prototype photo when painting (not just the picture on the packet).  The first photo I used had rather too much shadow on the underframes, so I made a couple of mistakes with the livery there, but once I'd realised this I cross-referenced some other photos, making sure the loco was displaying the same livery in both.

 

The chimney cap, safety valve cover and whistles were painted yellow when I first put the kit together (using some left over paint from a Stephenson's Rocket).  I needed to repaint these with a metallic finish, so I added a topcoat of Humbrol Metallic Brass paint (no. 54 in their range of enamels).

 

I don't think it looks too bad from a distance..

 

1672408349_Truro6.png.dc4144538d371b3ab75e5ea9701c39a1.png

 

...but close up it does look muckier than I anticipated:

 

803801475_Truro7.png.f795b4ecd3403fb3bc944e17a78b77e7.png

 

I'm inclined to leave it as it is, but I'm not sure this final touch has worked as well as I'd hoped.

 

 

Edited by Keith Addenbrooke
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  • 2 weeks later...
On ‎22‎/‎06‎/‎2019 at 08:49, Jerry1975 said:

looking very good, I agree that the Metcalfe kit roofs are all the same, you could use some wills slate sheets but that would be an extra cost, another idea is making your own roof from a piece of plastic card and making your own tiles, junk mail leaflets are ideal for this, a bit tedious sticking individual tiles on but worth the effort.

 

Jerry.

 

I've made a start:

 

Before...

 

899148104_MetcalfeInn8.png.12eda21ab70dbb3ea0e2896bded33124.png

 

After...

 

1952706590_MetcalfeInn9.png.f1f71d9c6a55cbf11d09cb37fc98aa65.png

 

And still to do...!

 

431830623_MetcalfeInn10.png.118db13965d10a451d2db1deff8b21b7.png

 

Metcalfe Kits come generously supplied with printed strips of red and grey ridge tiles, more than are needed for a single model.  The left-overs from kits I've made can be easily cut into individual tiles, and the uniform lines on the smooth roofs that come with the kit provide a ready guide for each row of tiles. 

It'll take a while to complete the whole roof, but I'm hoping it'll be worth it: there is some light weathering printed onto the strips of ridge tiles - fixing them randomly takes advantage of this.

 

 

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