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Guilford Colliery - a Kent coalfield 'might-have-been'


TurboSnail
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I've had a go at bedding this building in a bit, with some plant-type things around the base (I'm not botanist, so let's just call them weeds) and an attempt at some green streaks from the roof, and mossy patches under the trees. There's one bit on the side that's very unsubtle, but other than that I don't think it's too bad, considering I've not done this sort of modelling before!

 

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Got the dead tree painted and a bit weathered, tried to blend it into the ground cover too.

 

These little scenes across the layout are starting to look like I hoped they would!

 

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On 28/04/2021 at 08:33, TurboSnail said:

I've had a go at bedding this building in a bit, with some plant-type things around the base (I'm not botanist, so let's just call them weeds) and an attempt at some green streaks from the roof, and mossy patches under the trees. There's one bit on the side that's very unsubtle, but other than that I don't think it's too bad, considering I've not done this sort of modelling before!

 

IMG_20210428_082123.jpg.e55fb4c4a26225a43407d5820d1232b4.jpg

Looks really good, it reminds me of the further flung bits of the old Aylesford mill internal system, especially up by the erstwhile coal dump. If I was able to produce anything near as good looking as this I'd be well pleased, I've been messing about with models for decades and still cannot get it right. 

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Spent a good chunk of yesterday colouring in this building with pencils - bit further to go, then touch in the window sills and doors, then the scary task of darkening the whole thing with spray paint!

 

Also, being a bit of a chump, I forgot to check it fits the layout as my track has changed slightly since I did the template - turns out I need to chop a bit off the back to make it more low-relief. Oops...

 

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Buildings now done! Weathered (a bit) and in place, I'm quite happy with how these turned out in the end. There are a few things I'd change if doing it again, but not enough to bother me for now.

 

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  • 2 months later...

Some progress has happened, but slowly! The control panel went in, isolating sections, points and reverser got wired up... then it turned out three of the point switches were jammed solid. I wasn't soldering them for long, but it was long enough to melt the innards, so I need to order new ones and replace. They were very cheap, so I'm not entirely surprised they were rubbish!

 

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The wiring is finally sorted!

The dodgy switches were replaced, and lots of troubleshooting done to solve a few issues:

  • Point frogs going dead (tidying up the wiring with a staple gun had pulled some of the wires out of the terminals!)
  • Isolation sections not working (rails wired to the opposite one they were supposed to be, so locos ran backwards)
  • Short when running locos over points (incorrect wiring so loco wheel shorted between the rail and the point blade)
  • Dead sections in points (solved by adding additional wire droppers in so no longer reliant on point blade contact - thanks @BlueLightning for the tip on that one)

Onto the uncoupling system next, then I think the under-board work is done and I can go back to finishing off the scenery.

 

 

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On 09/08/2021 at 22:50, TurboSnail said:

Some progress has happened, but slowly! The control panel went in, isolating sections, points and reverser got wired up... then it turned out three of the point switches were jammed solid. I wasn't soldering them for long, but it was long enough to melt the innards, so I need to order new ones and replace. They were very cheap, so I'm not entirely surprised they were rubbish!

 

IMG_20210809_224653.jpg.fb76a0bbe5209f42f11dd73c10634e63.jpg

Hi Turbo.

I have never had a problem with switches jamming solid.

Two questions:

1. Did you have problems getting the wires to solder to the contacts on the switches ?

I have found that some of them can be a bit reluctant, but if you supplement the solder with some resin type flux they normally solder reliably and quite quickly.

2. How did you do the panel ? It looks very good.

Is it etched ?  I have done mine by using car Pin Lining Tape from Halfords stuck onto plasticard and then overlaying it with thin clear acrylic sheet. That stops it from getting damaged. You can drill through the combined thickness quite well without any problems to make holes for the switches.

 

All the best

Ray

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1 hour ago, wainwright1 said:

1. Did you have problems getting the wires to solder to the contacts on the switches ?

2. How did you do the panel ? It looks very good.

 

The wires soldered on to the switches fine, I just don't think those switches were well designed/built at all. I took one apart and it had a little plastic thingy in it that appears to have been doing the centre-ing for the actuator. It looks like it was made in some kind of heat-resistant plastic, but obviously not enough as it had melted a bit out of shape - my soldering iron is not temperature-controlled, so I may have got away with it if I had a lower temp iron.

 

The control panel is a PCB (one of my many roles at work is electronic design) and actually has tracking on the back for a CDU, although I didn't use it in this case as I ended up just buying one. I'm a big fan of using PCBs for non-electrical purposes, they're reasonable tough and I like the finish and look of them (the 'Rule One' rulers sold by Railway Mania is another of one my designs in the same style). The only issue here is that the size is limited to 100x100mm to keep the cost down - not a problem for my small layout!

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19 hours ago, TurboSnail said:

 

The wires soldered on to the switches fine, I just don't think those switches were well designed/built at all. I took one apart and it had a little plastic thingy in it that appears to have been doing the centre-ing for the actuator. It looks like it was made in some kind of heat-resistant plastic, but obviously not enough as it had melted a bit out of shape - my soldering iron is not temperature-controlled, so I may have got away with it if I had a lower temp iron.

 

The control panel is a PCB (one of my many roles at work is electronic design) and actually has tracking on the back for a CDU, although I didn't use it in this case as I ended up just buying one. I'm a big fan of using PCBs for non-electrical purposes, they're reasonable tough and I like the finish and look of them (the 'Rule One' rulers sold by Railway Mania is another of one my designs in the same style). The only issue here is that the size is limited to 100x100mm to keep the cost down - not a problem for my small layout!

Hi Turbo.

I think that you may just have been unlucky with the switches. I have soldered dozens of them and never had any problem, Perhaps a slightly more expensive type will perform better.

Was the PCB etched, then painted and the hollowed areas flooded with paint ?

I did the electrics in the main control panel for Crystal Palace High Level. Hidden inside is a sheet of double sided PCB. I plotted all the layout for a route setting control panel on paper and then applied the details to the board. 

So most of the routes are set by throwing one or two switches and up to five PECO solenoids are thrown at a time using diodes mounted on the rear of the board. There are also five motor driven point motors which have to have the power maintained until they have made their full travel, otherwise they get stuck and you have to get underneath and wind them on with your finger. So effectively, all you have coming out of the main controller panel is a pair or wires to each point and all the plotting is done inside the box. It works quite well, although we had to up the CDUs a bit to get reliable operation.

 

All the best

Ray

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13 hours ago, wainwright1 said:

Was the PCB etched, then painted and the hollowed areas flooded with paint ?

 

The PCB arrived like this - I got it made by a PCB fabricator and I specified white silkscreen over black solder resist, over the copper layer.

 

I did consider wiring the points in the "route setting" style, but didn't think it was worth it for this layout as it would only change the lower run-round and save one switch.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Progress as usual is glacial, but I've added in the last bit of the main ground cover, and plugged the gap in the backscene with this wall and gate. Just brick plasticard and plastic strip, with a bit of scribed cardboard for the gate. Not the best weathering job I've ever done, but it'll do!

 

The space still looks a bit bare, so I think I'll recycle a failed SER van print into a grounded body store, and maybe make a junk pile or something to go with it on the left hand side.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I feel like I've passed a fairly major milestone today - completion of the first shunting puzzle on the layout! 

 

What allowed this was the fitting of the remote uncoupling gear - just some plates between the rails that lift when the levers on the edge of the baseboard are moved, simple but effective.

 

The puzzle itself is just a twist on the Inglenook format, with a couple of differences - a) that the goods van in the train has to be delivered at some point to the stores in the bottom right corner of the layout before being returned into the train later on and b) the brake van starts on the left hand end (i.e. train coming into the colliery) and ends on the right hand end (i.e. train leaving the colliery), which is why it isn't marked out on the order cards.

 

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