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20 more trees went in today. These ones are pine trees and have gone on the corner of the layout. Now I'm just awaiting one more package with the final 60 or so trees to go over the top of the hillside. 

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Small update. Waiting on the trees again. I suspect they will arrive within the next week or so. To get ready for the first train to run on the now complete layout I've gone back to a few areas on the layout that needed a bit of work. Today I've only focused on doing two areas whilst I wait for some other scenery to dry. 

 

The rail bridge that the London Underground Station sits on has had a small bit of work. I've added a low height warning beam for the road section. This bridge is made out of a wood frame with Peco Girder sides and a Metcalfe tunnel entrance in the middle. It is built like this as these were reused from the previous layout. The warning flash was from a modelrailwayscenery.com Girder Bridge Kit, one of which can be seen on the canal section of the layout. I printed off another page of these, stuck them to card and have now glued them in place. It has been positioned to hide the join between the two pieces of brick wall used on the tunnel portal. Glue is still drying, will dry clear. 

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The second of the two areas I've worked on today was the Castle and Village. I've added some more bushes around the road and the castle and used some of the left over ballast to create a small car park for the castle. 

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This area still needs a bit more work. I'll be adding fences at a later date. 

Edited by AlexHolt
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Sands Road is now complete, all of the major scenery has been finished. The last pack of trees arrived today and have been installed on the hillside over the countryside end of the layout. The glue is still drying, but once dry I'll run the first train round the completed layout. Theres still a minor bit of work that needs doing to detail the branch line bridge, and I may possibly add some more trees around the castle as I have a few spare. I'd also like to get a few more cars to add to the village/castle scene. Other than that, the layout is now finished in terms of scenery, 

 

As usual, here are the pictures. The new trees added over the hillside. 

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The finished countryside end of the layout.

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An extension may happen in the future, it would be as I detailed on page 2 however this will take some time as stuff currently in the garage would need to be relocated. A small amount of work is also needed on the storage yard that is under the station board. Also need to get some black stage curtain to go around the edges of the layout. My next update post will be a complete new set of pictures, similar to page 1's initial post. A lot has changed in the 3 months I've had the layout thread up.

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Put some more trees in next to the castle. These are cherry blossom trees that came with the pack I used to finish of the country end of the layout. I've still got another pack of trees unopened that I may put around the layout in a few places that look a bit empty, though I'll probably save them for use on the OO9 layout.

 

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Finishing touches were done today. Branchline bridge has been painted black and weathered with railmatch weathered black. Its then had some lichen bushes stuck on to hide joins or glue marks. I know that it doesn't look the best but its better than what was there before. For now I'm happy with it and won't be changing it. A few more bushes have been put around the layout as well. The Bachmann Thompson set has been used to test the completed layout and check clearances. Luckily everything still fits within the loading gauge. The first proper train of the year will be run tomorrow when the paint has dried on the bridge. 

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Plans Going Forward

I won't be changing any of the scenery I've put down already. Its been 7 years since I had a fully complete scenic layout (I never finished the last two layouts) so I'm not going to start ripping things up or changing anything, I'll only be adding to existing areas of the layout.

First thing I think is needed is some more cars for the Village/Castle area of the layout and the Station Car Park. I had bought a single pack of Oxford Diecast Carflat Cars and used them in the town, whilst the other cars on the layout are not to scale and are toy cars from when I was a child. I think the time has come to purchase an upgrade. 

Most the updates for the time being will be stock updates for the layout whilst I plan the extension. In terms of stock, I might add a Buffet/Restaurant coach to the Thompson Set. Currently I'm not sure if I should go with a Mk1 or a Gresley in Crimson and Cream, it really depends on what I can find the cheapest or easiest.

I'm also looking to get or make another set of coaches. I had planned on getting a set of Hornby Gresley Teaks but the Third Class Coaches all sold out and I didn't see much point of getting the First and Brakes just to possibly wait years for a rerun of the Thirds.

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What a great layout. It doesn't pretend to be a scale model or a train set, but an intermediate layout that most people ought to be able to achieve. It's obviously given the builder a great deal of pleasure to build and operate. It's the sort of layout I always wanted to build in my younger years but getting married and having kids and preserving old buses got in the way.

 

It shows how much can be done with stuff straight out of the box with a bit of modification and without the gimmickery of electronics and DCC. Well done.

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21 minutes ago, roythebus said:

What a great layout. It doesn't pretend to be a scale model or a train set, but an intermediate layout that most people ought to be able to achieve. It's obviously given the builder a great deal of pleasure to build and operate. It's the sort of layout I always wanted to build in my younger years but getting married and having kids and preserving old buses got in the way.

 

It shows how much can be done with stuff straight out of the box with a bit of modification and without the gimmickery of electronics and DCC. Well done.

 

Thank you for the support and positive comments. Good to know that others like my layout and what I have done with it. I agree that this is what most people can probably achieve, where as the layouts you see in magazines are done to such levels of perfection that a lot of people think they will never be able to build a decent layout. I've built this layout in a way that I can just sit down and watch the trains run without having to mess around with anything too much. Its a lot of fun for me and at the end of the day having fun is what this hobby is about. 

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One of my childhood dreams was to have a BIG exhibition layout. As a teenager I made a small 6x4 which went to a couple of shows, one used Playcraft track which looked a bit better than the Triang Super 4 at the time. I joined the MRC and got involved with the Longridge, Brampton Sands and Calshot Railway, a big exhibition line. That was dismantled and replaced by the New Annington layout which I was in charge of from design to finished layout.

 

I also built a Thomas layout called Tidmouth Junction for one exhibition; it lasted about 10 years. that was to show how much could be put in a small space on a budget in limited time. It was great fun and kept people entertained for years.

 

My other project was Rath Ost, a German HO layout which done the rounds in the 1990s. That too fitted a lot in a small space.

 

The current project is a big fine scale OO layout based on a Frank Dyer plan which has been under construction for about 10 years.

 

What is important is that you should enjoy what pleases you, that it works properly and that it looks good in your eyes. Your layout isn't a fine scale model railway, it shows what can be done with stuff anyone can buy. It's got a bit of everything, it looks good and it works.

 

ps   I'm currently building some fine scale OO track for the Folkestone Club's Alkham Valley layout, it's being converted from EM to OO.

Edited by roythebus
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I've mostly operated club layouts at exhibitions rather than taking any of my own, Sands Road is a permanent fixture and is not very portable. I have part of an OO9 narrow gauge modular layout that might be going to exhibitions in the future. Its part of Farnham & District MRC's OO9 layout, there are 14 individual boards, all 4ft x 18 inches, they all connect together but every member who has one can do what they want within their own board. Mines a standard gauge interchange, some of the other members have built stations and shunting yards and a tramway through a village. Should give a lot of variety and interest across the layout when it all goes up. 

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The first trains of the year have now been run on the finished layout. Video to come soon. Everything still works after finishing the scenery, no problems with the electrics or glue on the track. First two trains to run were my A2/1 and Prototype HST that I've built. 

 

A2/1 60507 Highland Chieftain on the Thompson Set.

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Prototype HST 41001 on the BR Blue Mk1 Set. 

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Short video up featuring the HST Prototype Power Car 'reopening' the layout as the first train to run in 2020 and the first train to run on the completed layout.

 

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Stock Update

For the time being the Hornby Gresley Buffet Coach in BR Maroon will be in the Thompson Set until I can find a suitable Crimson and Cream Buffet Coach. This coach had previously just been a static coach in the goods shed in use as the station's catering facilities. The coach has had the wheels painted black and roof repaired with spare vents from the non running sleeper coach. The roof was then repainted in grey and a Bachmann pipe coupling has been added to one end to be standard with the rest of the set. This coach already has lights and passengers fitted so I don't need to worry about that however that is something I need to think about preparing for the coach that will replace it. 

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In other news. The LNER P1 and GWR ROD repaints have somewhat stalled. Due to losing the workbench over the Christmas period and I'm currently waiting until I can build a proper workbench before continuing on with the major projects. 

Edited by AlexHolt
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I've added lights to the non running grounded sleeping coach. This was done using some spare led bulbs and wiring them in to the same circuit that powers the rest of the lights on the layout. The coach has also been glued to the track it is sat on, as there are now wires running through it and the baseboard I don't want it to move around too much. I still need to make them a little dimmer to stop them from shining through the plastic body of the coach. 

 

Not too visible with the lights on. 

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Lights turned off, coach lights more obvious. 

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Other than this not much has been done on the layout, I've mostly just been running trains round. Though I have managed to source a buffet coach in the same livery as the rest of the Thompson Coach Set, R4181A Gresley Buffet in Crimson and Cream. Should hopefully arrive within the next week or so. Once it arrives I'll add lighting and passengers so that it is consistent with the rest of the set. 

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Picked up some more cars and vehicles for the layout today. These have been put around the village and castle and have replaced the not to scale toy cars that were previously there. I think it looks much better with correct scale cars.

 

The village with its new cars. 

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Police Car Chase. 

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Also a new purchase, though has been put in the Town rather than the Village.

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Flatbed lorry currently in the station car park/yard whilst I figure out where to put it. Still need some more cars to replace the ones in the car park which are over scaled.

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Some more trees that I had left over were added to the layout today. 

 

Added alongside the embankment separating the factory sidings and mainlines. 

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Added next to the engine sheds and turntable  to try and disguise damage to the backscene. 

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Planning the extension to the layout is taking a little longer than I thought it would. It might end up having to be separate to the main layout due to size restrictions in the garage and trying to fit things other than the railway in there. 

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I've added a pin board and some railway related pictures to the wall above the layout. I've also rearranged the shelf and removed all the paint pots and oil cans on it, it now has some railway magazines and books on as well as all of my kit built locos.

 

Wall above the back of the layout.

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The shelf, currently displaying the LNER A2/1, LMS 4F, GWR 1366 and the Prototype HST. The trophies that I won for the A2/1 and SECR Coaches are currently off being engraved. These will be put on the shelf once they come back.

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The pin board, not much on here currently. Museum guide for the 1:1 Collection is probably the most notable thing on here at the moment.

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Map of the Railways in the UK, from Full Steam Ahead, a TV programme that aired in 2016. 

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Took a complete set of new photos of the whole layout like I said I would a few posts ago. Heres the photos of the entire finished layout. I'll probably add some of these to the original post of this thread as well. 

 

LMS G2A with the Thompson Coach Set. At Platform 1 of Sands Road. 

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Sands Road Signal Box

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Platform 2's Shelter

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Sands Road Locomotive Sheds

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3 Road Engine Shed and Coaling Stage.

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Castle and Village above the tunnel. The curves are all under tunnels in an attempt to disguise the set track curves.

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The Farm with the Narrow Gauge Railway running through it.

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Factory Sidings

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Holt Farm Station, the current terminus of the Narrow Gauge Line. The Narrow Gauge line runs on an automatic shuttle unit, trains run between the two stations with minimal user input.

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Currently untitled loco yard and station, this is the other station and terminus on the Narrow Gauge line. 

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SECR P Class with LMS Suburban Coaches crossing the bridge over the canal. 

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The Canal

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Country End of the Layout. The tunnel loops back round in to the station.

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Sands Road London Underground Station. Only one platform is still open with one line being disused.

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Sands Road Town. A few terraced houses and a shop, as well as the London Underground station in the background.

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Sands Road Goods Shed/Yard

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The extension of the layout is no longer going ahead. I'll probably just be building a proper workbench instead. I'm also going to be investing in some proper storage boxes for the locomotives and coaches that are not in use.

Now in terms of what has actually been happening, I've cleared the shelves out behind the country end of the layout to use them as rolling stock + loco storage. 

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Items stored on the shelves are locos and rolling stock that does not run often enough on my own layout and is mostly run at the club. 

I've also set up a temporary workbench to complete the restorations/repaints of the LNER P1 and the GWR ROD. Work has mostly focused on construction of the layout over the past month or two and they have been put on the side for a while. I should have them finished pretty soon. 

 

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Layout Stock Updates:

New addition to the fleet, LIMA LMS 42ft GUV. This has been bought to act as a generator coach for the Pullman set. A few modifications have been made to this coach, the black plastic underframes have been painted in black to make them look less plastic. It has also had BR B4 bogies added to replace the under-scale ones that were originally on it. Axleboxes have been painted yellow and the handbrake painted white. I may add vents to the side and an exhaust to the roof, though it actually looks pretty good in its current livery so I may leave it as is. My reasoning for adding this coach to the fleet is that often on preserved railways and mainline railtours the Pullman and Dining trains require a generator coach to power the kitchen as the dynamo on the coaches does not generate enough power at lower speeds. 

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Existing rolling stock/locos

The Kitmaster/Dapol Crane has had its second coat of LNER Red Oxide. This will be having its finishing touches soon, it still needs the buffer beams painted in red and the roof and frames painted in black. 

The Hornby Pullman Brake 3rd has had repairs. The underframe was splitting away from the body and the clips that held it together had snapped off, the bodyshell has just been simply glued to the chassis at the end that was broken. I have had this model for at least 10 years now so its not too much of a problem.

LNER P1 has had its first coat of black paint. Not too sure if I should do the red lining or not, not sure if 2394 even had the lining. I've created a thread trying to work out if it should have the lining or not. Chances are that I will probably do it in LNER Unlined Black as that seems to be what the majority of photos show.

 

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Spent most of today focusing on the P1 repaint. I think it is coming along quite nicely and should be finished within the next week or so.

The second coat of black has gone on the loco and third coat on the tender. Tender will be receiving its transfers soon. Once the loco has had its final coat of black paint I'll add the transfers and builder plates to it. Once transfers are all added the loco will be finished in Satin Varnish. 

 

Edited by AlexHolt

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P1 is undergoing its final touchups before transfers and varnishing. Builders plates have already been added. Photos to come soon.

 

Edited by AlexHolt

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Appears to have posted the comment 4 times. No idea what happened? Probably the website having problems yet again. I've removed this and the other two posts that were duplicated.

 

Edited by AlexHolt

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Some new additions to the layout today that I got for my Birthday.

 

Hornby LNER A4 Bittern - Double Tender. A very good model, but not without some faults that needed attention. The second tender needed a bit of modification, the coupling on it that connects it to the first tender rubs against the first set of wheels and stopped them from moving. All that needed doing was filing away a small amount on the back of the connector. I've also added a crew to it and have ordered a headboard. I'd like the Great Gathering headboard, as it ran on its last day in service but nowhere can produce them without infringing on Hornby's trademark for the headboards. I heard that they were supplied in the Great Gathering A4 packs but never since. This locomotive is an important one for me, the real Bittern was a locomotive I spent a lot of time working on and cleaning in 2015, I even got to drive it at one point. Its probably the locomotive I've spent the most amount of time on before I stopped volunteering. Its very close to the real locomotive, only fault I can see is no air brake pipes on the front and is missing the framework and mechanism above the front bogie wheel for the smokebox door. 

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Bittern's last run in service, though this turned out to not be the case when it was sent to the Bluebell as a last minute replacement for a failed Britannia. This picture of mine shows the headboard that I am talking about and the smokebox door mechanism just under the front bogie wheel. The story behind the Great Gathering headboard was that a family who had won a Great Gathering headboard brought it along to the gala and asked if they could put it on Bittern. The driver agreed and it ran for the Saturday with the headboard in place. 

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I also got the Bachmann Shakespeare Express Set and two Pullman parlour coaches. This now gives me a full length dining train to use on the layout, and my first proper GWR Locomotive. 

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The boxes of both on the display shelf alongside my kit built models.

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A few stock updates for the layout.

 

2394's repaint/restoration has now reached the stage where I'm comfortable showing off some of the first pictures of it, its by no means finished yet but this is the first photograph of it since the repaint. Few minor touch ups before final varnishing. The number transfers have gone on the tender. To try and separate it out a bit from my other black locomotives I've painted the handrails in silver. It has been test run and everything still works perfectly. 

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Other than the work being done to the P1 I've added the drain cocks to the A4, these had to be cut down to allow it to go round 4th radius curves with them in place. I've also managed to source a Great Gathering Headboard for use on the front of Bittern. I've also started adding lights to the Gresley Buffet Coach that will be going in the Thompson Coach Set.

 

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Some new additions this morning.

 

Some more Oxford Diecast Cars, these came from the 1980s Carflat Pack.

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The first of the two headboards, I'll probably put this one on the A2/1 or the Britannia. 

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And finally, a bar coach for the Pullman Train. The Hadrian Bar from Bachmann, this was an eBay purchase. Though the seller lied about the condition of it, as when I opened it up I found that the wires to the pick ups had been deliberately cut. Described as 'near mint condition' and no mention of the lighting circuit being damaged. Not sure if I should send it back and buy another from a different seller or try to repair it myself.

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