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Very nice, I'm also a fan of classic vehicles and have a small collection.

 

Any chance of a few more photos and what is the size please.

 

I like the the way you have the buildings on a slope rather than flat along the back.

 

Jerry.

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Very nice mike and thanks for details.

Being a motorcycle fan myself I really like the sidecar outfit.

 

Can I ask where you got it from please?

 

Jerry.

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I like this very much. I especially like the sloping cobbled street scene - hope that bike has good suspension...

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Jerry, thanks again.

The motorbike & sidecar came from Autocraft:  http://www.autocraft.plus.com/page2.html  They make whitemetal kits of quite a few different motorbikes and scooters, as well as some lovely pre-war car kits. No connection, just a contented customer.  They are not any specific make of motorbike, - the Panther 600 was a figment of my imagination!  I never owned one, but a friend had one as a solo - it was a fearsome machine - kick starting a 600cc single cylinder needed very careful setting of the advance and retard lever to avoid serious injury to the ankle!

 

Tom, thanks for your encouragement!   From memory, they had awful suspension and even worse brakes!!

 

Best, Mike

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Afraid I don't know anything about motorbikes, but it's the display case* that's the first thing that stood out for me (followed by the quality and atmosphere of the model itself). Are you able to share anything about how the display case was made? It looks like a metal structure of some kind? I also like the way the sloping front draws us into the scene, and the suitably weathered road sign is a nice touch to finish. Thankyou for sharing your model.

* the word 'baseboard' seems inadequate here.

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5 hours ago, Keith Addenbrooke said:

Are you able to share anything about how the display case was made? It looks like a metal structure of some kind?

Keith, firstly many thanks for your kind and generous comments!

 

Now, before I describe the baseboard and enclosure, a little explanation is needed.  You may have noticed that there are no cables or other visible means of controlling this model, and that is  because it is entirely operated by radio control.   The locomotives are battery powered using lithium polymer  batteries which can be recharged from any 5 volt source, and controlled by a 2.4gHz receiver.  The points and signal are also operated by radio controlled servo motors, as are the building and street lights, so I can sit anywhere I want (within reason!) to operate it, with no physical connection. The model is quite independent of mains power and has an autonomy of around 4 hours with the lighting running flat out, well beyond my limited attention span! 

 

OK, that's out of the way, so I'll begin with the baseboard.   The model is built on a base of 30mm thick extruded polystyrene flooring foam with a secondary lower frame, cut from the same 30mm thick foam.  This has an outer framework mitred up from 9mm thick MDF, and four diagonal cross braces also from 9mm MDF help to reduce torsional deflection. The finished base is 1250mm long X 400mm wide, and 60mm high.

 

 White exterior grade PVA adhesive was used for all the assembly work, and although I have read that people have had problems glueing foam with PVA, I think that provided the work is done in a warm, dry place, with plenty of clamps and left to set overnight, all will be well -  a number of trial pieces tested to destruction all failed by the foam tearing apart, without the glue joint breaking.

 

DSC03607.JPG.d983eb06581b327c999cb7b6e4782260.JPG

 

This is a view of the underside of the baseboard showing the 30mm deep cavity formed by the secondary frame, and the diagonal braces.  Also visible (just) are the M5 threaded steel inserts in the MDF frame which allow the end and back panels to be secured to the base.  These have a flange on the back with tags bent through 90 degrees which bite into the panel and prevent rotation, and of course, they have to be installed before the frame is assembled. I can't remember what they are called in England, but I'm sure B&Q sell them!

 

DSC03570.JPG.a2c48b0d8d4536285f8ce729c17f4b57.JPGThe end frames are mitred up from 9mm x 60mm MDF (actually sold as skirting board) with a softwood quadrant moulding glued inside to support the foam panel, which is tight push fit in the frame. The foam panel is 20mm expanded polystyrene, painted with exterior masonry paint on the outside and covered with black self-adhesive vinyl inside. 

 

I'll stop now, or it will become tedious - it's taking almost as long to describe it as it did to build it!  We'll continue on another day!

 

Best, Mike

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Lovely diorama, beautifully observed and modelled, Mike. I, too, am a fan of the 1950s era!

 

Marlyn

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8 hours ago, Marly51 said:

Lovely diorama, beautifully observed and modelled, Mike. I, too, am a fan of the 1950s era!

 

Marlyn

 

Marlyn, many thanks for your encouragement!  The 1950's seem to be very well catered for model prototypes, - road vehicles as well as railway stuff!

 

Best, Mike

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Still on the Case!

Continuing with the description of the enclosure for this little diorama, here is a pic of the rear panel:

 

DSC03575.JPG.a9b14fd93e500a80be99e04aa8304a05.JPG

This is made from the same 20mm expanded polystyrene and is finished similarly to the end panels, but has an aluminium angle framework, with a cut-out for access to the control panel and batteries. The mitred corners are pop-riveted to steel plate braces inside the angles, and again, the foam panel is a tight push fit, making removal or replacement easy.

 

754365781_DSC03583(2).JPG.cb5d5433f7ccbf62d95f58a2c93ec803.JPG

 

The two end frames are joined at the front by a 9x60mm MDF panel, which acts as the top of the proscenium, and also carries the front supports for the top cover.  It is held to the end frames by two M5 stainless screws in threaded steel inserts at each end.  The top cover is made similarly to the back panel, but painted white on the inside, and because the top face of the aluminium framework is visible, the corners are assembled with countersunk stainless steel M3 screws rather than the pop-rivets used for the unseen back frame. It rests on the support blocks at the front and is secured to the back frame by M5 stainless screws in tapped aluminium bushes.  The top cover also has an aluminium bar mounted inside which carries the LED's for the overall lighting.

 

887392550_DSC03584(2).JPG.9f357bc62088f2bbf895b37d73a5e72c.JPG

 

Here the five elements of the enclosure are shown assembled minus the baseboard, and even without this, the whole structure is surprisingly rigid - when assembled to the baseboard it is completely so. All the assembly screws are button-head M5 hex socket screws, and using a power screwdriver it takes under five minutes to assemble  or dismantle the entire structure, a little longer using a hand screwdriver.    The total weight of the enclosure alone is just under six kilo or 13lbs, and the whole thing when assembled to the baseboard is just a whisker over 10 kilos - 22lbs, so if my arms were long enough I could pick it up with one hand!

 

Best, Mike

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Trains and wagons

 

One of my aims in devising this model was to try to create some of the atmosphere of the 1950's, so there are very few bright colours, nothing very shiny - in fact the rather drab, careworn feeling that prevailed over much of industrial Britain in the decade after the end of WW2, so I apologise to those looking for the glamour of the Cornish Riviera Express, or the Mid-Day Scot - they never passed near New Prospect Lane!

 

DSC03860.JPG.a341768a33e5fcfe30ff64005a3d1537.JPG
 

NPL's pannier tank is quietly simmering during a break.  In reality this is far too powerful a locomotive for a little yard like this, it would probably have had an ex-LMS 1F, or a Deeley tank, and that only on loan! This is a Bachmann model, which is nicely detailed for a RTR.

 

IMG_3882.JPG.6943b566b2b35eedd63bd0e9bdd579e4.JPG

 

A few ex-private owner wagons were still around in the mid-fifties, - I remember several in the Gloucester area, mostly ex-Forest of Dean collieries, but certainly none of these from the Stroud Valleys, - but I spent a good part of my life in and around Stroud, so this is pure nostalgia for me!  They are Dapol commissions for Antics Model Shops, heavily weathered.

 

IMG_3619.JPG.8fb6e78be60d19dd042481d3d7a379bd.JPG

 

Here's the pannier again, trundling past the paper company's ancient AEC Mammoth Six, cobbled together from a Base Toys chassis, Lledo cab and mudguards from, I think, Langley. These paper lorries had a massively reinforced bed to cope with the weight of the newsprint, so I made this one up from aluminium sections. The newsprint rolls are turned up from plastic rod, which was luckily just the right colour!

 

Mike

 

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Love the attention to historical detail! Paper mills and printers abounded in 1950s Edinburgh! We had a school trip to Leith Docks which, like the city, was a very grey place back then! The docks were full of activity! Pity I didn’t have have a camera - my dad’s ‘pride and joy’ had a concertina lens!

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Marlyn, thank you for your kind encouragement!

 

Now, on with the construction!  Here is a photo of the basic track layout:

 

DSC03617.JPG.9115a00ac9b1adad38269944c5db1796.JPG

 

Making Tracks

Well, placing tracks might be more accurate, since this was only a trial assembly to check the correct operation of the point servos, but it does show the simple trackplan of this little diorama.     The "railway" part takes up less than half the width of the baseboard and I did at one point consider making it as two distinct units, with the yard and street scene on a separate board, but the difficulties of making a strong seamless join between the two, plus having to faff around with electical connections for the lighting, seemed to outweigh any advantages it might have gained, so it's all on a single board.

The servos operating the crossover are driven by linked channels on the receiver, so both switch together, avoiding derailments due to my absent mindedness!  With battery operated R/C, the power is actually on the train, rather than in the tracks, so it becomes vital to set a route before moving any loco, because like a real train, it will just go, regardless of how the points are set - there is no isolation available to prevent running through an incorrectly set point. 

 

Once the track layout had been decided on I machined all the recesses for the point servo mountings, the solitary signal, and the magnets for the Kadees.  

 

DSC03594.JPG.00647db0e6b86c337bc83c8632baeda5.JPG

 

 I have used the Kadees with the "between the rails" magnets before, and although they work well enough they are not particularly attractive (deliberate pun!), so this was a chance to try neodymium magnets under the track. After a few tests on a bit of spare track I decided on two magnets 50x6x2mm spaced 7mm apart glued to a card base and positioned centrally beneath the track, and they are amazingly positive in action, the coupling emitting a clearly audible click when uncoupling. 

 

Best, Mike

 

 

 

 

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215300569_DSC03598(2).JPG.5dd8c1556240d27a55f01e643627e519.JPG

 

Here is a point servo assembled in it's  aluminium carrier and mounted on the 6mm MDF support disc. The operating lever is bent up from 0.6mm dia. piano wire, and pivots in a 1mm dia. hole in the aluminium carrier, which is attached to the MDF disc with M2.5 screws in captive nuts flush with the surface.   The MDF discs fit in circular recesses in the foam baseboard - they don't have to be circular, but being so gives a bit of latitude when it comes to aligning the lever with the point blade stretcher.

 


DSC03601.JPG.3a80de8981bebafcd7a95e8af9c242dc.JPG

 

Another view of the servo - the mounting lug has to be removed on one side of the servo to allow it to fit in the aluminium channel. It is a tight push fit in this, allowing a little lateral adjustment.  These servos are very cheap, the last time I bought some they were about £10 for a bag of 6, post free from China, but that was a couple of years ago, and bought individually they will cost a little more.  

 

I claim no originality for this system of operation - it is just a variation of the method  clearly described by Dave Fenton of Megapoints, in this video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmKIYHZn4Xk   but I'm sure that the method could be easily adapted to other types of point motor, or indeed, for wire in tube operation, and with slight modification, for signals also. 

 

Best, Mike

 

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Cracking layout / diorama. Actually, as a point of interest (hopefully) a museum model maker once told me
"If it's static, it's a diorama" "But if there is movement of trains - it's a layout, whatever its' size"

I like the built-up, urban industrial atmosphere. Yet despite the juxtaposition of buildings and all the various roof heights etc
At track level, it' still nice & spacious. This is the sort of scene I could return to at an exhibition... then come back later... and still spot more detail

Nice, really nice Spotic :) 

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5 hours ago, marc smith said:

Cracking layout / diorama. Actually, as a point of interest (hopefully) a museum model maker once told me
"If it's static, it's a diorama" "But if there is movement of trains - it's a layout, whatever its' size"

Hi Marc, thanks for your kind words!   Interesting point about the definition, I hadn't really thought about it - I suppose the same goes for "Cameo", which I always understood to be a miniature, but that now seems to include some pretty large and elaborate models as well!  Perhaps it's possible to have a little static scene within a layout, so you get the best of both worlds!

 

Something like this:  Here's the train guard looking positively mutinous, as he gets a dressing down from the yard foreman!

 

IMG_3672.JPG.5daffbf4439a8df5bdba9ca09ba4b409.JPG

 

Cheers,  Mike

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On 13/06/2019 at 14:30, johnsmithuk said:

I like the idea of changing the backdrop to change the time of day.

 

John, yes, it was on the list of things I wanted to try out with this model. The black background is not to everyones taste, but it does give a quite dramatic effect, and to borrow another idea from the theatre world, so does the ability to alter the intensity of the lighting.  

Here are two pics taken under identical ambient light, but at the outer ends of the lighting range, and without changing anything else, the appearance of the scene is very different.  The lights are a 12V LED strip of 72, glued to the upper face of a full length aluminium bar, and reflected downwards by the white "ceiling", which eliminates the specular reflections which you usually get with LED's.

 

IMG_3570.JPG.6cf0e343ad8db58b8b96239f948e6bec.JPGIMG_3568.JPG.dec9737ec9aa54b1137d69afd82730a4.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The light intensity is steplessly varied with a little radio remote controller, all of 0.99 pence on eBay, so it is dirt cheap to play with this kind of thing, and I'm surprised they're not used more often.   The building and street lights are separately controlled, and in these pics I had yet to install their dimmers, so they are much too bright.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have since tamed them!!

 

Best, Mike

 

 

Edited by Spotlc
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DSC03604.JPG.1e99c43b46e7ff812de22421d1106400.JPG

Another rather boring picture of the baseboard.  Once their exact positions had been carefully marked,  the track was lifted and then the point motor support discs and the magnet assemblies were glued in place with PVA adhesive.   It is worth taking some effort to get this bit right - it is difficult, if not impossible, to make alterations afterwards to components glued to a foam baseboard without doing a lot of damage. - The Rules of all the P's:  "Precise Planning Promotes Peerless Performance"  - or : "Poor Planning Produces Pitiful Products" !!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Great Wall
No, not that one!   I think it is useful if there is some visual link between the model and the space immediately in front of the viewer, and a wall or fence is a natural and effective choice, but it can be a real pain if you need to make any alterations or repairs to the finished model, so here is one possible solution  to the problem.

 

Most DIY supermarkets sell a range of aluminium extrusions, and I found a "Tee" section, 15x15x1.5mm which fitted the bill, but the size isn't critical. With the "tee" mounted horizontally, the top part forms a strong support to attach the wall to, while the lower part can be either fitted in a groove, as here, or simply screwed to the baseboard front with small woodscrews or self-tappers.    The horizontal piece can be covered with stone paper to represent a foundation, or painted or whatever, but this is easier if done before the wall is glued in place.

DSC03621.2.jpg.ea7944a39d204e65c45707ca6c590088.jpg

 

To keep the"foundation" in proportion I reduced the horizontal section by 3mm on the bandsaw, but on reflection it would be just as easy to pack the wall out by 3mm. Resist the temptation to make this in one piece if it is to be fitted in a groove - by having two sections inconspicuously butted at a support pier or gateway, it is much easier to lift out than if it is in one continuous length.

 

DSC03623.JPG.0ac8a7e573ba1c9c5d98e20abba1c0ad.JPG

 

The wall sections are  plaster castings taken from a silicone mould I made years ago, the piers are made from softwood, and the pier caps are cut from aluminium strip, which is easier to to put a little radius on than card, and more durable. This was only lodged in place for the photo, but the last un-stained bit is where the split between the sections is.

 

Best, Mike

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Once I had finished faffing about with the wall,  I gave the surface of the baseboard a generous coat of shellac followed by coat of mud coloured exterior emulsion paint, before finally glueing the track in position and installing the Deltang receiver to operate the point servos. 

DSC03610.JPG.5f39b6da471fae77c934e0eb26a75d37.JPG 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC03611.JPG.1b3e1b20582d94fa4c06f28b088d9595.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is just a tight push fit in a 15mm hole drilled in a block of 

foam.  These Rx's have six outputs, although only three are used in this installation.

 

 

All conditions of the receiver (and the many programming options) are indicated by a sequence of flashes from a tiny, very bright orange LED, and since the Rx is mounted beneath the baseboard, I fitted a little fibre optic tube leading upwards to inside the storage shed so I can see it through it's open door.

 

IMG_3910.JPG.8be6dacd566b95fdf8acfc923419046c.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lastly, a pic of a point servo seen from underneath, showing the rectangular slot routed in the baseboard foam.  The servo is just a tight push fit in the aluminium mounting so it is easy to remove it for servicing or replacement, but lining up the 0.6mm rod with the point stretcher afterwards needs a fair bit of patience!    The receiver allows the servo throw to be adjusted in 2 degree increments either side of  neutral, so setting the right pressure of the point blades against the stock rails is a breeze

 

DSC03613.JPG.d50209c23b50266f4764961a80a9c2fa.JPG

 

That's about it for the baseboard and enclosure, - I'll find a few more pics of building the yard, buildings and rolling stock, and describe them as I go along,  but thanks for all the many kind words and encouragement so far!

 

Best, Mike

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Bits and Bobs.

 

_DSC3644.JPG.24907b124ebcf6ab7957f7b11ff25c7e.JPG

 

Despite our best efforts it is sometimes better to re -think an idea, and accept that some alternative might be a better option, and this photo illustrates this only too well!  

 

The row of cottages are on descending levels and not on a straight line, so I went to great lengths to make a series of individual wooden mounts for the buildings, nicely lightened and glued together to form a continuous base. I then realised that it would be difficult, if not impossible, to cut the steps leading from the pavement to the alleys between the cottages, so I binned the whole thing and the finished version uses flooring foam instead!

 

I had better luck with the actual road  which was made from foamboard, which I had never used before for structural work.   Again, it was made in sections to follow the "terrain" and then finally glued together before the road surface , also foamboard, was glued on top. 

 

The street lights were turned from brass rod and fitted with perspex lanterns which are a bit too big because they were originally made for grain of wheat bulbs, but these got very hot, and used a lot of power so they have been replaced with tiny led's, and sometime I'll make some correct scale lanterns.

 

The lights are mounted in a wooden "shoe" which can be slid out from beneath the road if needed, and this also gives a solid support for the light. I tried mounting them straight into the 5mm foamboard, but the result was very feeble. The retaining wall and piers are assembled using self adhesive magnetic tape and thin steel bands and this makes servicing the lights or other repairs quite easy, and also allows a fair bit of latitude when it comes to assembly.

 

You can see the steel "tape" on the road sections, and also the slots routed for the yard building lights wiring, and finally, the lift out front wall that I mentioned earlier had been finished when I took this pic.

Best, Mike

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Very nice and I do like that descending street.

 

Jerry.

 

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19 hours ago, Jerry1975 said:

Very nice and I do like that descending street.

 

Jerry.

 

Thanks again, Jerry!  I quite enjoyed doing the little street, despite having to scrap the first attempt, but this whole layout was intended to be a bit of a test bed for ideas anyway,  so I wasn't too surprised!  

 

Best, Mike

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Guest JiLo

Simply stunning!  Very atmospheric layout, and the attention to detail with regards the road vehicles is something you very rarely see

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