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10800

St Martin-sur-Orb - H0 Midi layout

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15 hours ago, Stubby47 said:

If you made the tunnel straight sided, rather than curved, you could make the top gently slope down towards the scenic divide to a level below that of the pantograph wire.

 

It might need a stiff wire fixed to the sloped roof.

 

Thanks Stu - I think that would work fine for a simple tramway system, but I still need to accommodate the other catenary wires above the contact wire. But it's certainly something to think about.

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On 08/03/2020 at 19:53, 10800 said:

 

I'm conscious that these posts are all a bit scattergun in subject, but that's how it is! To continue in that vein the next one might (or might not) be about annealing H-section brass to make my own ogives (only two more needed); 

 

 

Attempts by Re6/6 and myself to anneal 2.5mm x 2.5mm H section brass with a gas torch were not especially successful. The brass 'failed' quite dramatically before it even got orange, and while it could be restraightened and the heated section was definitely easier to bend than the unheated section, getting it to form the right curve and remain flat was difficult to say the least. So I think I'm going to have to bite the bullet and buy the kits for the two other ogives. 

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Would plastic strut be easier to manipulate?

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Thanks Stu. We're looking to get the catenary infrastructure as 'finescale' as possible, in general appearance and in appropriate design, but for the 'tunnels' compromises may be possible - we haven't decided yet. Sommerfeldt have ideas but I like your lateral thinking!

 

Another issue will be the crossing of board joins - that will probably be done by 5 mins of soldering on each occasion.

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For each of the power wires, would a short, fine tube work across the b/board joints.

If the tube had a very shallow chamfer on the leading edge and the trailing end was up against a vertical support wire( to stop it moving) then these could be slipped on to the wires prior to connecting the boards, then slid into place.

 

Will add a diagram later to explain the above ramble.

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I’m sorry, but you can’t anneal brass like you can copper, due to one being a pure metal and the other an alloy. If you heat brass up much beyond the temperature needed for soldering, the crystalline structure can change radically, and if you aim to redhot, you might as well throw it away.

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And today's random modelling topic is signals. We're away at the moment so I've been making one of those Rotomagus signals in the odd spare hour. Rather fiddly, especially with the etch being in thin and softer brass than I am used to with British kits. It would also be more easily done with an RSU, so I'll do the others at home. Can't wait to have even more fun fitting 4 LEDs and all the associated wiring ...

 

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Today I glued in the LEDs and wired them up. That was fun. Four very thin wires (supplied with the kit) just about went through the hole in the signal baseplate. More fiddly were the jumper wires connecting all four negative tails and the two reds on the positive tails.

 

I don't think the illumination here is correct - it would seem logical that if both banners are 'on' then there is no need for the yellow light. Note the green is masked by the carre banner - presumably a failsafe in case the lights get into a mess.

 

IMG_3948.JPG.7f3f073823b8d0acd841b5e8c3b242d7.JPG

 

Here the carre has cleared but the avertissement is still 'on'.

 

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And here with both banners cleared.

 

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The LEDs are quite bright, but they will run quite happily on 3V DC which dims them down a bit. Strictly speaking they should only be on at night anyway.

 

The signal is very delicate so it's difficult to hide the wires. It will be better when it's all painted. 

 

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I've also been building the servo controllers (MERG kit) and testing the servos prior to setting up the mechanical operation.

 

IMG_3947.JPG.f46bd9d7ef4bc90e5496d1d363ac3c57.JPG

 

If that works I'll have to put up a YouTube link!

 

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Confirmed from the manufacturer at Rotomagus that the illumination in the first photo above is indeed wrong - the yellow only lights when the carre is 'off' and the avertissement is 'on'. So that will be done through the wiring of the relevant switches.

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On 02/02/2020 at 23:31, 10800 said:

 

Good question! There will probably be a mixture of full and partial relief buildings and some trees to help disguise them, but I haven't yet come to a complete solution to it. Your method is interesting, but as you say losing one of the valuable 18 inches depth isn't ideal.

 

I've just started assembling a second set of Tim Horn boards that I ordered last year, and I see he's changed the design such that the spines go on the rear of the backs, rather than in front, so now there's nothing to get in the way of a backscene fitted straight along the rear.

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Thanks BT, it's obviously been a regular comment, and good to see it's been addressed by Tim. Too late for me on this layout though!

 

Recently I've been mostly wiring underneath the layout, and replacing the Seep point motors with some second-hand Tortoises that I acquired on Ebay. Not very French, but I can put some photos up if anyone wants to see! That task then went into hiatus because I ran out of wire - now resupplied so I can get back to it.

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Posted (edited)

Recently I've been adding the wiring in advance of all the other things it will control - signals and the level crossing - as well as replacing the Seep solenoid point motors with Tortoises (the Seeps were just too 'clunky' for me even though they worked fine).

 

This is all three boards stood on end before I put them back together, with the control panel and the looms to connect the panel.

 

IMG_4005.JPG.ab012da83efd1bced51ef7d15216b8be.JPG

 

And the middle board with three of the Tortoises. I think I've used one cable tie too many because the inter-board D-connector won't quite reach its counterpart on the next board, doh! The coloured stripey things are diagrams of the wiring going to the tag strips and other connectors to aid troubleshooting - easier than having it in a manual that might not be convenient to hand.

 

IMG_4006.JPG.79d6b994cd794b71f0d1fa092c1df5ec.JPG

 

I've been acquiring some road vehicles as well. These are all from a French company called Norev, which I hadn't heard of before - diecast and good value too I think. Also some Noch figures, most of which are suitable for France around 1960 (John can have the miniskirted women and the man in lederhosen for his Swiss layout!).

 

IMG_4011.JPG.8258c6f815ca23f54970248e2b0c494c.JPG

 

And this little beauty from SAI - 1952 Citroen Traction 11B.

 

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Edited by 10800
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On 09/03/2020 at 10:47, Fat Controller said:

 

While stuck in the house (as opposed to the modelling shed) waiting for a delivery, I've been researching heurtoirs. I've only found two photos including any in my book collection, and even those are very 'peripheral'.

 

The first is clearly rail-built, with two rails for the beam. The stanchions (including vertical) are quite spindly and appear to form an isosceles triangle.

 

IMG_4017.JPG.4a8114f5e2954586d6436650d9de42e9.JPG

 

This one may be concrete with a rail-built beam, but I'm not 100%. It's much 'meatier' compared with the first.

 

IMG_4018.JPG.77e300fee184ae1b25c88d1613cc1115.JPG

 

Anyway, neither match any of the offerings by Decapod, and besides at €10-20 each plus postage I'm not keen! I only need two, but buffer stops don't come into the same category as catenary masts and ogives!

 

So I looked at the range on the Lanarkshire Models website and the closest to the first picture is (oddly enough) a Southern Railway one, so I've ordered two of those. I can modify them to make them a bit more symmetrical, and ensure the beam is the right width and at the right height for the H0 vehicles.

 

 

 

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Just come across this thread, which is fortuitous as I am currently laying track for my own 1500V dc French railway! I will be following with great interest.

 

There are a couple of queries though. I was surprised to see you using mechanical signals with an electrified line. Was this a common practice? I guess I tend to think in British mode where electrification was usually accompanied with colour light signalling.

 

What sort of masts were used at the end of a track, i.e. a terminating bay or siding and how were the wires fixed?

 

 

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19 minutes ago, Wagpnmaster said:

Just come across this thread, which is fortuitous as I am currently laying track for my own 1500V dc French railway! I will be following with great interest.

 

There are a couple of queries though. I was surprised to see you using mechanical signals with an electrified line. Was this a common practice? I guess I tend to think in British mode where electrification was usually accompanied with colour light signalling.

 

What sort of masts were used at the end of a track, i.e. a terminating bay or siding and how were the wires fixed?

 

 

 

I can't think of any locations with OHE and mechanical signalling in recent times apart from a couple of carre violets.

 

But I think that Narbonne only got colour light signalling when it was extensively rebuilt for the electrification to Perpignan and Port Bou (1972). I have been looking for pics but not found one yet. I am sure that we would find plenty of lines electrified in the 20s/30s that retained mechanical signalling.

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In recent times I would agree, but I think Rod and myself are modelling something period. I guess mine would be more mid to late '60's, not sure of Rod's period though. Not sure how quickly signeaux méchaniques were replaced in this period.

 

I was going to use the Disc Rouge colour lights, if I could work out how the aspects work! But there is something appealing about the mechanical signals. I do find French signalling a bit bizarre, but I think that is looking at it from a deeply ingrained British viewpoint.

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I'm sure it's correct that most mechanical signals went with electrification, but there are always exceptions (which I rely on!).

 

According to the captions, these were in 1972 and 1984 respectively (both from the Le Train issue 'Les BB Midi'.

 

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My period is mid-50s to mid-60s -ish, much the same as my UK modelling.

 

As for masts, my collaborator Re6/6 knows far more about catenary than I do, but for positioning, terminations etc we will be making close reference to the comprehensive installation guide produced by Sommerfeldt. I won't be needing any termination masts because my sidings will be non-electrified!

 

For an intro to French signalling you can do a lot worse than refer to the Loco-Revue 'Hors Serie 69, La Signalisation du Reseau' from 2019. I got my copy on Ebay.

 

Thanks both for your comments. Do you have a thread for your layout, wagpnmaster?

 

 

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Thanks for your reply and helpful observations and suggestions, I'll follow these up. My period, in theory, is a bit later than yours, mainly so I can run a CC6500. I really like these locomotives, so it's a case of a layout built so that I can run it! My as yet unnamed layout is not really accurate to a particular place, but more to give a flavour of French railways and somewhere to run my somewhat eclectic collection of stock. I don't have a thread for the layout.

 

Meanwhile, I look forward to reading more about your progress with your project with great interest.

 

Steve

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I’ve now primed and painted the trackbed prior to ballasting. Priming with Halfords red primer - masked over the TOUs for later, and cleaned the railheads. (I had to get some more primer – Halfords are open however on a click-and-collect basis, they text you when your order is ready to collect.)

 

I also fitted a second Gaugemaster walkabout and verified that the cab control works, running two trains at once.

 

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The first airbrush pass was a mixture of Tamiya flat earth and German grey (choice limited by what I had available), and then a thinner wash of light grey. The red primer was still showing too much so today I gave it another couple of thin coats, one light grey and one flat earth, leaving the yard sidings a bit more ‘bleached’ than the running lines. Happy with it now, we’ll see how it looks after ballasting.

 

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This shows a piece of the original Tillig track for comparison.

 

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Posted (edited)

I started experimenting with some ballasting yesterday, now dried off and set.

 

The right hand third of the main siding is fresh ballast, before gluing. This is all Slaters 2mm scale granite, which is what I have available. The middle third is glued with dilute PVA, and the left third (and the siding end nearest the camera) are glued with Klear. Both glues darken the ballast a bit, and I also did the right third with dilute Copydex, with the same result.

 

IMG_4042.JPG.3437e7961bd2e54912a02d82eccc1bbf.JPG

 

The nearer siding in the photo looks a bit darker because the LED strip lighting is facing the rear of the layout and not pointing downwards. 

 

I’ve now filled in the area between the sidings with cork (Carr’s underlay) and sprayed it with grey primer pending a decision on how exactly to cover it.

 

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Meanwhile, at the other end I’ve cut the edges of the cork for the platforms and also filled in the ‘six foot’ and started ballasting there, using one of the ‘hopper’ gizmos. I usually end up with a bit more ballast than needed, so a finger and an old toothbrush can brush the excess to the end of the length for later. Running the toothbrush along the inside and outside of the rails gets rid (mostly) of any ballast build-up around the chairs, and a smaller brush to clear the sleepers. I will still need to run a file along the inside of the rails where even a small excess results in fouling of wheel flanges.

 

IMG_4043.JPG.305910e15c6ed1360f9fd8013399bfe1.JPG

Edited by 10800
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While ballasting proceeds steadily, I have been pondering the line of buildings along the back. Because of the limited depth of the boards (18 inches) they will all have to be in half-relief (or a façade with a bit of depth!). I’ve been going through my photos taken in the Languedoc of villages and small towns around where we stay with a view to basing some buildings on them. Once I’ve done some scale drawings I can make some card mockups and play around with how they fit together and look.

 

This is the end elevation of the farmhouse owned by my friends whose gite next door we stay in, so this is a must (and I have dimensions for this). Possibly at the left hand end and possibly a mirror image.

 

Ornac.JPG.66b949cf3864ad2fdccb2404419e9121.JPG

 

In Mons La Trivalle itself, this is the épicerie (owned by a certain Mme Fromage – honest, you can Google it)

 

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To the right of the épicerie is the auberge. Behind me is the course of the railway line that this is all inspired by. If possible I’d like to have a version of the large plane tree that casts all these welcome shadows.

 

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Further up the road to the right is this oddity, a bit like a miniature version of the Flatiron Building in New York. It could go to the right of the station and act as a view blocker for the private siding as it exits the layout.

 

Flatiron2.jpg.db5c20efa4e5c2ad99088ec072d08082.jpg

 

Flatiron1.jpg.3d00629adce7b00c90d9f73940a5c013.jpg

 

And a few others that might inspire the remainder:

 

Olargues

 

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Olargues2.JPG.92330df6a5b0c149459f8467462ac2e7.JPG

 

Minerve

 

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Roquebrun

 

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St Chinian

 

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Most if not all of the buildings (some masked by render) are built in coarse stone. No doubt there is a suitable cladding produced by Wills, Slaters etc. 

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Some of the Scalescenes sheets would be ideal for those buildings.

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For buildings, just remember period you are modelling, pre tourism . Very much more a working area. A lot of buildings are cement rendered(easier to model), I noticed around St Pons that removing rendering was a new phenominan. In St Pons there is quite a mixture of styles, from very old to art deco, and the occasional interloper more norther French style.

Local council have made it easier by putting info boards on some houses. Odd how type of door and types of windows relate to build date.

As for thin buildings, the house at the end of the row my house is in is angled just like that.

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Posted (edited)

Emmanuel Nouaillier is the master of French buildings even though his exquisite dilapidated finish may be a bit extreme for St Martin!

 

Some inspirational stuff here:  http://emmanuelnouaillierartworks.blogspot.com/

https://admachina.wordpress.com/tag/emmanuel-nouaillier/

http://emmanuelnouaillierartworks.blogspot.com/2015/10/lieux-atmospherescetait-le-village.html

 

There is so much superb stuff from this genius. I met him once. He's a lovely chap.

 

A good read: http://thedailymini.com/daily-mini-interview-miniatures-emmanuel-nouaillier/

Edited by Re6/6
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On 05/05/2020 at 08:04, Re6/6 said:

Emmanuel Nouaillier is the master of French buildings even though his exquisite dilapidated finish may be a bit extreme for St Martin!

 

Some inspirational stuff here:  http://emmanuelnouaillierartworks.blogspot.com/

https://admachina.wordpress.com/tag/emmanuel-nouaillier/

http://emmanuelnouaillierartworks.blogspot.com/2015/10/lieux-atmospherescetait-le-village.html

 

There is so much superb stuff from this genius. I met him once. He's a lovely chap.

 

A good read: http://thedailymini.com/daily-mini-interview-miniatures-emmanuel-nouaillier/

he truly is an inspiration, but his models are based on examples in northern France, so some things are different.

As for dilapitade state of buildings, I would recommend getting photos of local buildings taken in the 50s. In many ways the area is similar to parts of the northern Britain- rural industrial.

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