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Priory Road - North East Essex in BR days


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On 26/02/2020 at 11:52, CF MRC said:

If you want to glue slippery plastics use a dry soldering iron to melt in some open-weave tissue / toilet paper into the surface of the plastic. This then gives the epoxy adhesives something to key onto.  One of Denys Brownlee’s great little tips.   On our Oerlikon set I used an early DMU bogie with brass gears, with a 1018 Portescap glued on top: it chunters up and down the NLR very effectively, but is helped by pickup from the rear coach bogie - just and inside frame split axle job. 

 

Tim


Thank’s Tim, that’s very useful to know. The coach plastic is quite soft and pliable but the old Farish bogie is much stronger. I would guess it has a high level of nylon in the mix. Certainly very resistant to wear and glues although the brass pivot bit stuck on nicely with cryno. If, even with the SA running isn’t totally reliable then I’ll look at putting split axle collection to the rear bogie.

 

Izzy

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  • 2 weeks later...

Pantograph roof gubbins (a technical term!)

 

I’ve now managed to make up another set of bits for the roof of the class 309 2-car pantograph coach and also added the pantograph raising and lowering bits to the power coach of the maroon 4-car set as well.

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890146349_RMwebpanto21.jpg.815a4a032f270c155abf0b8f80c7e566.jpg

 

Just more bits of Albion and K&S small bore brass tube of various sizes plus brass and soft iron wire. Looks reasonable from normal viewing distance I think.

 

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A bit of painting now for the 2-car roofs as things thankfully start to progress towards the finish line. Some sketchy crude underframe details are now being added and then there will be a set of parts needing painting before final assembly.

 

You may notice that these units will use standard N gauge couplings as does the 4-car unit. Some of these are short shank and by mixing them up fairly close coupling can be achieved and they aren’t too visible under the corridor connections. They also allow decent smooth running to happen through all trackwork being sprung. I have considered fitting the Dapol knuckle couplings but don’t know how well these might work if it were possible. I would hate to find it worse and especially if it was a one-way conversion with no way back, so caution is the order of the day here.

 

The real units of course used knuckle couplings throughout and some more to scale dummy ones will be fitted to both driving cab ends as with the 4-car unit. As the two sets will be finished in different era liveries there is no intention to run them together so being able to couple then together is not needed. The 2-car will be run as between 1980-1986, which gives the chance to put either one or two coaches between the driving cars to make a 3 or 4 car unit if desired. They ran as either 2,3 or 4 during this period at times before refurbishment. I have a couple of spare Bachmann coaches to use for this as although Worsley Works do produce the converted coaches that were used the etches are not available at present. The challenge will be getting the blue/grey livery matching the Bachmann ones, or reasonably close anyway. The latter I would deem a successful outcome. We will see...

 

Izzy

 

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  • 1 month later...

With the arrival of warmer weather Priory Road has emerged from it’s slumber cupboard and work has been undertaken on several fronts. The OHLE has had a blast of Halfords grey primer with some Precision dark rust for the insulators and fitted into place ready for the stringing of the wires.

 

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I found that some masts required more plasticard pads adding to the bottom of them to ensure they sat at the correct height for the wires, which I had decided would be 35mm above rail top. These pads will eventually be covered over with groundwork or ballast once all has been done. Although the masts, well most of them, are fixed in place with 8ba rodding and washers/nuts it is not intended to remove them except for repair after damage, which it is hoped won’t occur too often, or preferably not at all, and is just a bit of belt & braces in case it does. Mainly it was done to add a measure of strength and rigidity to them.

1975485709_RMwebOHLE28.jpg.2296ecbaa517b92c798506d95d8699e3.jpg

 

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You may notice that other work has been the making and fitting of some of the BR era concrete post T type platform lights along with some rail built running-in boards. The shot of the terminal post shows where holes allow the station buildings to be fitted, again using 8ba bolts, so they can be removed if needed. This has happened twice already. Now while the OHLE and wires are fitted to prevent damage, and previously when the lights were added to the underside of the canopies at the same time as the platform lights.

 

I probably should have just not re-fitted them but certain other parts were re-made or replaced when the canopy lights were added – strip lights the same as those on the T lights – and the whole structure required re-fitting to ensure it went back in place correctly as re-built.

 

Stringing using 9thou plain steel guitar wire is now being undertaken – more fun and games…!

 

Izzy

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Izzy that is looking fantastic. The 309 looks superb and the whole layout is coming together really well. I like the look of the station buildings, are they based on anywhere? 

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Thanks Steve,

 

Yes and no with the buildings. I looked around at various ones including of course St Boltophs and decided that if I took the basic two storey GER 1865 one and adjusted it to suit then it might work out okay, which I think they have. A certain basic familiarity which many of them share with regard to design features. An end-on one would have taken up too much space as I needed to get the tracks as close to the end as feasible for the available space and one on one side on it’s own just didn’t look right somehow, but one each side with the canopies joining it all together with the back wall seems to have made it look logical. Pleased you like them.

 

Izzy

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

 

Powering Priory Road

 

I had thought that I had covered most aspects of Priory Road that might be of interest but I now realise that there are several that have not been. One is how Priory Road is powered.

 

When I first decided to move over to DCC from DC a decade or so ago this was achieved by ‘converting’ my then layout by the simple means of plugging in the output from the DCC system and leaving all the section switches on. This was possible because since the early 1980’s I had been using a modular DC system of my own making using standard 5 DIN plugs and sockets and so all I to do was fit a plug onto the DCC base/command station and plug it in instead of the DC one. All I wanted from DCC was loco control so this worked fine.

 

The system I use is a Gaugemaster Prodigy Advance Squared. This is housed in a shallow height A4 size Really Useful box, with a slot cut in the back for power and output leads and a hole in the front for the handset leads. It means the base station, separate power brick, and handset along with spare leads and other bits can all be stored and moved around in it. The output to a layout is via 6 core telephone cable. 4 cores of 2 each are used for the track output of 15v/3.5amp with 2 cores being used for the program outputs. The latter option is never used these days since I have a Sprog, I just POM (program on main) with the Prodigy when it’s needed.

 

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The box normally sits on the floor under the layout with the lid left on and the base station switched on. Powering up and down is done by plugging in the power cable and flicking the power socket switch. Actually it goes via a 10 way multi-plug tower with surge-protection. These days all that pokes out the front of the box is the wi-fi dongle since I converted the system to use it. So the box can sit mostly anywhere there is space, with no need for a cable connecting it to a handset. The wi-fi handset uses rechargeable AAA’s and I use a separate charger for them so there is never the need to plug a lead in (they can be charged through the base station by connecting the handset.). Generally there are a number of other A4 RUB’s, both shallow and deep, sitting on top of it. I use these as stock boxes. There is no need to get to the on/off switch as holding down the ‘STOP’ button turns the track power off. And then back on. Useful when there is a long time short caused by incorrectly set points……...

 

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So the front of Priory Road has a 5DIN socket from which the layouts power is distributed.

 

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To the track droppers and the DPDT’s that work the points for crossing polarity. Beside this is a DPDT switch. This is also fed from the 5DIN and goes via the switch to a voltage regulator to provide DC for the colour light signals.

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This was made from a Vellmann kit Maplins used to sell. It can accept a range of both AC (5-35v) and DC (5-24v) input with an adjustable output of 1v-35v at 1amp depending on the input. I have used one set at just 1.2v to power hacked servos in the past but this one is currently set at 12v at the present time to power the signals, using 1K5 resistors to help lower the SMD LED brightness. They are in series with other LEDS by the signal SPST switches used to indicate the signal colours. These can be seen in a shot posted recently.

 

Izzy

 

 

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Izzy, what solvent were you using with the 5-thou strip?  I, and many others, now use DL-Limonene which is much less aggressive than other solvents and, as a bonus, has much less pungent smell.

 

Jim

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Just Slaters Mek-Pak Jim. I have always found this to be fairly mild compared to real MEK (butanone) which I also have and try not to use unless really necessary because it is quite strong and very whiffy. With that the Evergreen just melts before your eyes. I have read of the use of D-limonene and I will give it a try when I can get some. Thanks for reminding me. The Evergreen seems really soft in comparison with the likes of Slaters, while I have found that from Javis somewhere in-between. 
 

Izzy

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The 10 x 20 thou strip I used for the strap of wood tying the top of my sleeper fencing was Evergreen (as was the 60 x 40 for the 'sleepers') and I had no problem using DL-Limonene for that.  I do find with it that it helps to apply it to both surfaces and then wait a few seconds before pressing the parts together.  In the case of my fencing I applied it to the joint and then pressed the 10 thou firmly down onto the 60 x 40 sleeper after 20 seconds or so.  There was absolutely no suggestion of the 10 thou 'dissolving'.  See the first picture in the latest post on my Kirkallanmuir topic.

 

Jim

Edited by Caley Jim
typo
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Oh thanks Jim, that really does sound useful stuff if it doesn’t evaporate too quickly as other glues can tend to do. That’s a problem I have encountered with the EMA plastic weld make. Evaporates so fast it often doesn’t flow into joints, so then you tend to apply larger doses to get some in and it’s too much...

 

Any suggestions as to where to get d-limonene please?

 

Izzy

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3 hours ago, Izzy said:

Any suggestions as to where to get d-limonene please?

I bought mine from Wizard Models at Model Rail a couple of years ago, but it doesn't show up on their website, nor does it appear on Squires' or Eileen's.  It may be one of those things that they are not allowed to sell by mail order.

 

Jim

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17 minutes ago, Argos said:

250ml should last a while.

The bottle I bought was 100ml and it's still more then half full.   Mind you, I haven't done an awful lot of plastic modelling since then, but it doesn't disappear before your eyes in the way one solvent I had did if you left the lid off for more than a few seconds!

 

Jim

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I seem to have got quite a bit lately. I Ltr MEK, 475ml's Mek Pak (the can), and now 250ml's of this D limonene....

Am I getting a solvent habit...?

 

Izzy

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1 hour ago, Izzy said:

Am I getting a solvent habit...?

I'd say you've over-dosed on the MEK and the Mek Pac!  :jester:

 

Jim

Edited by Caley Jim
typo as usual!
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On 29/04/2020 at 16:41, Izzy said:

The main platform starter has a theatre indicator for the two routes available. This is lit using small 1mm x 0.5mm white SMD’s but while the intention was to have these light letter or number stencils I found it impossible to produce some the LED’s could light evenly and show properly, not being able to diffuse them enoughf or even illumination, so at present they are just two lights at angles, leaning left or right, the LED’s being set at 45degrees and as far apart as possible. Further attempts to get properly lit stencils installed will be made as time allows within the constraint of not causing any damage to the signal in doing so.

 

Hi Izzy,

 

Lovely job on the signals. I've done a couple of route indicators for St Ruth, one being an electrical one of the WR variety. Even illumination is a challenge, as is preventing light leakage. Mine has 4 lights... plus the semaphore has working signal lamps so keeping the number of wires to a minimum required a good deal of electronic gear below stairs.

 

I dug up the links to the relevant posts in case you want a look...

 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/65499-whats-on-your-2mm-work-bench/&do=findComment&comment=2402268

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/65499-whats-on-your-2mm-work-bench/page/54/&tab=comments#comment-2406140

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/blogs/entry/18271-branch-home/

 

Regards, Andy
 

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54 minutes ago, queensquare said:

This is turning into a really good thread, keep them coming Bob

 

Jerry

 

Thanks Jerry, I will if I am able.

 

 

11 minutes ago, D869 said:

 

Hi Izzy,

 

Lovely job on the signals. I've done a couple of route indicators for St Ruth, one being an electrical one of the WR variety. Even illumination is a challenge, as is preventing light leakage. Mine has 4 lights... plus the semaphore has working signal lamps so keeping the number of wires to a minimum required a good deal of electronic gear below stairs.

 

I dug up the links to the relevant posts in case you want a look...

 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/65499-whats-on-your-2mm-work-bench/&do=findComment&comment=2402268

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/65499-whats-on-your-2mm-work-bench/page/54/&tab=comments#comment-2406140

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/blogs/entry/18271-branch-home/

 

Regards, Andy
 

 

Thanks Andy. It was actually following what you did, the encouragement that gave, that suggested that perhaps doing something similar was at all possible for me. Yes, the light levels these tiny SMD LEDs can produce is quite something isn't it. I've had to diffuse all the signal LEDs by putting tissue/tracing paper in front of them, (I don't think I mentioned that in the post, sorry all) because whatever combination of resistors I used wouldn't get the general light level down enough yet still make them visible.

 

Now I have repeater LEDs by the switches because they don't shine out like the proverbial searchlight (!) unless you are down at track level and looking in the right direction. As they should do in real life of course and particularly with the longer hoods ( brought in at the start of WW2 I believe).

 

regards to all

 

Bob/Izzy

 

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A thought... could you make a diffuser by printing a suitably blurred blob onto thin paper? - darker in the middle and lightening towards the outer edges. No idea if it will work but might be worth a try.

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That's a thought, thanks for the suggestion Andy, I'll give it a try with a spare set-up and see what results. Often your so close to something you don't see the obvious. Keeping light bleed one from the other was the prime problem first off. To try and help understand the size of the LEDs involved that we are talking about for those who have never encountered such small items and the theatre indicator size, 4mm W x 2.5mm D, here are a couple of comparison shots.

 

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The little one on the left, larger than I thought at 1.5mm x 0.5mm, compared to the 'big' bi-colour at 3mm x 1mm. The ruler divisions are of course 1mm. All I can say is thank goodness for varifocals (mine have the max magnification) plus those LED magnifying anglepoise lamps, one of which is on my workbench.

 

Izzy

 

 

 

 

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The Station Buildings.

 

With the need to squeeze the maximum track length from the baseboard space it proved far from easy to work out how to provide some buildings that looked as though they should be there, that there was some sort of logic to them tucked right up against the baseboard end.

 

The problem with my local lines is that while most of the smaller through station buildings were of a basic design adjusted to suit each particular place – so no two were quite the same – many others had individual bespoke designs of which no two had any kind of similarity. I had built one of the these smaller basic design station buildings for my previous attempts at circular 2mm layouts, this type often being seen across the smaller branches in the western side of East Anglia, and it has been saved and stored with the faint hopes that another layout on which it can be used might arrive someday. It was tried on Priory Road but it became obvious that it didn’t fit into the surroundings. Here are a few shots of it which help show why it wasn’t suitable.

 

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None of the three terminal station buildings shared any real commonality at all, with Clacton-on-sea also being a much bigger station that didn’t arrive until some 15 years after the branch was first built to Walton-on-Naze, and originally a wooden building being re-built in the late 1920’s to become that which exists today.

 

Looking at the original terminus stations of St Boltophs and Walton on Naze and that they were both two storey in the main I ended up using the basic GER 1865 two storey building as the basis around which Priory Road’s were made. These station designs were featured in an early MRJ, No 6 of May 1986, in an article by Dave Holland (a member of both the GER society and the 2mm SA and whose construction of a J15 0-6-0 is part of 2mm SA publications). The model of Rayne he produced was of course to 2mm, and accompanied by a range of drawings detailing the 1865 buildings and their differing configurations. He also wrote some articles in the 2mm Magazine in 1984 & 1985, which are available to 2mm SA members as PDF’s from the Association website members only area.

 

Using these MRJ drawings I produced windows and doors along with the stonework in an ancient copy of Photoshop Elements 2 and then copied and pasted them together over a brickwork layer to produce the final buildings, these then being printed out on 160gm and 90gm card to get the kit of parts with which to make them. The windows and doors were printed onto label paper along with the roof tiles, the latter being cut individually after sticking to the thick plasticard roof former to give some relief (as with the signalbox roof), with the windows/doors being put on acrylic sheet to produce the ‘glass’ where needed. The stonework was a separate card layer glued on top of the brickwork. At times I wish I had produced this in plasticard for crisper and harder edges. I should mention that the basic carcass onto which all these bits were laid was made in mount-board. I often now build structures in a mix of card and plasticard, using the latter for more vulnerable outside edges where card can tend to feather.

 

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Initially I just made the front building, but then added a second on the rear platform for balance. This has some windows and doors in different positions so required a separate set of drawings/prints. The front building is meant to be the booking hall, waiting room, ladies, offices etc, the rear one having the gents toilets and staff rooms etc.

 

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Once these had been produced the rational arose that parcels were mostly handled on the rear short platform with road vehicles using the goods yard entrance and a brick wall separating the ends of the platforms from this vehicular access. It didn’t take much more thought to decide that an overall U shaped canopy might exist between this and the buildings to afford some cover to people and parcels. Several different lengths along the platforms were tried before it was decided that just past the buildings was long enough.

 

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This enabled the buildings and wall to be fixed together as one unit with it and it then occurred to me that bolting them into place to allow removal rather than trying to glue them into position might be good. This has proved very beneficial, allowing them to be removed several times already, for the fitment of the OHLE, and to add extra bits and replace some others.

 

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Originally all the gates were Ratio black spear fencing ones, but those between the buildings and wall became fractured due to the excess handling involved with repeated removal, being replaced by metal ones built out of wire and scrap etch so they could better withstand the pressures of being attached to both the buildings and wall. I gave them wire extensions so they could be plugged into both and glued with cryno to assist with making the whole unit as strong as possible.

 

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The canopies and the columns are simple and from plasticard save for the columns. Many GE station canopy columns seem to have been round with larger hexagonal bottom sections but my local station of Frinton has just plainer round ones right into the ground as do some others so I chose these for ease of making. These are 1/16” brass rod with brackets at all four compass points to help keep them upright as they don’t go down into the platforms.

 

I should explain that the canopies are flat, or rather that I decided that having the run-off going to the centrally located support coloumns which thus double as drainpipes looked better from a viewing perspective than ones which had the run-off to the buildings with external drainpipes down the outside walls. I was mindful of the fact that most of the viewing of the layout would be from a higher angle than down at platform level. This also allowed a stronger bond of the canopies to the buildings.

 

Most canopy brackets are just front and back but I wanted to avoid drilling holes in the platforms in case I got it wrong or wanted to change the canopies at some stage. Originally I drilled just one hole in the brackets for a hint at their cast iron heritage as they are hardly visible even from a low viewing angle, but when the strip lights were added recently these were replaced with some with three holes giving a very small incremental improvement. They are still mostly not seen of course, as with the strip lights. There is the notion to produce proper pattern ones via ink-jet printable acetate, perhaps two-layer for strength, the issues being whether they would hold the columns in place and actually look any better. Another little aspect to consider when others have been more fully dealt with.

 

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Overall I think they fit quite well and suit what is supposed to be an urban setting.

 

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Izzy

 

 

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Looking great Izzy. You are really making some rapid progress there. We've used cyano to good effect where the corners of card buildings get frayed - just a minimal amount applied with a pin and allowed to soak in. Once dry the fraying can be trimmed, filed or sanded and the paintwork touched in.

 

Regards, Andy

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