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Booking Hall

Docks away!, or, making a virtue out of a necessity . . .

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The boiler house, or perhaps more plausibly, a diesel generating station to provide power to the docks, or pumping station, is nearly complete. Just needs a few small details adding, and then weathering. Whatever it is, it does a good job as a corner filler and view blocker for the exit to the fiddlestick.

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The shed and the ‘whatever it is’ are both looking very nice to me — the glazed roof light is excellent!

 

As an aside, thank you very much for sharing the Pillbox Study Group website. I’d never come across it before; many of the pages on there look fascinating simply for general interest but also it’ll be a wonderfully helpful resource for my own current project. Thanks again!

 

Adam

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Work on the layout has slowed considerably during the last week or so as it's been rather warm in the railway room and the sunny weather has tempted me out into the garden more - I even did some gardening, but more importantly, tidied up my workshop so at least there's space to work in there when needed.

 

I've not neglected the layout completely though. Using Wordsworth Model Railways downloads I built a diesel oil storage tank which I hope I can find a suitable space for near to the power plant building, and started some batch production work on 45 gallon oil drums, of which there always seems to be quite a lot of lying around in industrial areas. Of course, on a dockside there might also be a few dozen of them awaiting shipment somewhere. Rather than just roll up the paper print as per Wordsworth's instructions, I found some paper straws that were almost the correct diameter, and pasted the overlays to 12mm lengths cut from them. There is a slight white line where the print doesn't quite meet (next time I print some I might increase the print ratio slightly) but careful arrangement will hide this. I did try embossing two raised ribs on the overlay before glueing down, but these just got flattened in the process, so only one attempt was made at that.

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As it's cooler (and raining!) I returned to my railway room today, made some more oil drums and spent the afternoon scratchbuilding a prototype 1930's style road lighting column for the bridge. I was planning to use my ancient Airfix lamps from the platform fittings set, but I could only find one, and I need three for the bridge and maybe a couple of others. I don't want to buy another kit just to get them so I had a go at making something similar.

 

I used some 1.5mm diameter jewellers aluminium wire for the column and a piece of brass tube as the base with a couple of copper rings made from wire soldered around it. A glass bead and suitably-light-shade-shaped craft thingy, both left over from when my daughter used to find such things entertaining before smartphones and i-pads came along, formed the lamp assembly. Not yet painted, but easy enough to make and I think looks OK. The base tube will be buried and glued into the 'ground' up to the first ring.

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I've been experimenting today with some left over pieces of backscenes and an odd building or two to see what might work on the road level. Unfortunately, I'm struggling to find much enthusiasm at the moment to continue with this layout. I just can't seem to focus on any part of it so I'm wondering whether to put it aside for the moment and work on something else instead.

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I think the backscene looks pretty good, I like the use of a bit of perspective. Sorry to hear you're struggling with it at the moment, sometimes it's good to take a step back if that happens.

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As this is a small dock, that may to be found in a semi-rural location up north, why not just use the Tree Scene back scene sheet from Wordsworth.   Thank you for bringing this website to attention.

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I know how you feel, the one layout (15ft of it)  Iv'e brought to a state of completion took the best part of ten years, a mix of blocks and other activities. sometimes a break can be a great help.

Looking at the top of the cliff the expanse of white flat surface temporarily takes the eye towards the rear at the moment. Perhaps consider a decent wall to stop the local population falling over the edge and continue a very reduced width road along the cliff face with workers houses behind, partly flat and semi relief. A large'ish  building backing on the cliff  on the left would provide a vanishing point for the road and something similar at the right side would fix the corner.

Forgive me, Iv'e been playing with your pic to see how very roughly it might look, still room for low relief behind the semi modelled houses to give impression of hillsdie town behind.

You were previously concerned about the water, I do like the colour and finish in the pic above. Looks like a stiff breeze is blowing in.

 

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Yes, I agree with Steve that low relief workers houses as illustrated look better than trying to replicate a small town.   I think the roadway over the bridge should 'slew' off to the right to replace that large end building.   This would then turn the existing road into a cul-de-sac leading to a viewing point looking out to the left.   The site of the large end building on the left could be the turning circle or car parking or garages.   Then the background should as Steve suggests be hillside going up to the sky to give the layout a Lancashire (Pendle) look.   The green hillside will contrast the drabness of the houses and dock.   Using low relief houses will obviate the need for that single building seen doing nothing!   How about allotments on the top of the 'cliff' between the cul-de-sac and the drop down to the dock that too would add colour and create a security fence to the dock.   That upper section and background do need to enhance the good work you have done so far and I feel that going for a small town will 'crowd' the total effect of a small dock scene.   

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Thanks everyone for your support and ideas about how the road level area could be developed. I am taking a bit of a break from it at the moment until relocate my modelling mojo, but I'm sure they will help me to make the best of this area.

 

In the meantime, after watching some of Oscar Paisley's YouTube videos on his Triang Railways collection (https://www.youtube.com/user/oscarpaisley/videos), I decided that running some trains might be therapeutic, so I went up into the loft to find my old toy trains from the 1960's, those that started me in this wonderful hobby. I was looking for my Triang Britannia, Flying Scotsman, double-ended diesel and the Transcontinental Pacific, together with the associated coaches and wagons. I found some, but not all of them, including the TP's tender but not the loco! All the coaches and wagons are still missing, but they will be up there somewhere. So a few days have been spent cleaning and overhauling them and repairing damage caused by play and the ravages of time. I have a simple oval of test track pinned to a board in the shed and have spent a few happy hours just 'playing'.

 

Now here's a bit of fun! Unfortunately, the docks and harbour company had a bit of a problem in that a passenger special was due at the docks to meet a ferry sailing, and their loco was declared a failure that very morning. Luckily, the docks were due to handle the shipment of a new diesel destined for Australia that same day, so they just 'appropriated' it to power the special. I just hope that it is 'in gauge' :unsure:

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Posted (edited)

Looks completely at home, doesn't it.  H0 scale locos to 3.5mm/ft are often visually compatible with 00 stock at 4mm/ft, and the reverse applies as well.  It is only when you start to notice the small size of doors, steps, and that sort of thing that the difference becomes obvious, and for many people, not just kids with train sets, close enough for jazz is fine.  H0 stock should run perfectly well to a 00 loading gauge, but some US prototypes will be too big; their loading gauge is much more generous than the European one, and locos along with double decker coaches and freight cars, as well as container flats designed for the boxes to be double stacked, will foul on bridges and trackside detail.

Edited by The Johnster
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4 hours ago, The Johnster said:

close enough for jazz is fine.

Interesting you should say that The Johnster. There's a chap at our model railway club says it too, but I've never heard it anywhere else. Wonder what it's origin is?

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Posted (edited)

Is your chap a muso?  I think it originates with musicians, and is used when someone plays a piece perfectly as praise that doesn't make him boastful and arrogant.  With a lot of current musicians, it clearly hasn't worked!

 

Jazz, orignal condemned by arrogant classical players as primitive and beat driven, as if there's anything wrong with that, is of course at it's innovative freestyle best a severe test of a player's virtuosity and ability.  The last bloke who got it completely right, it is said, ended up crucified for his trouble...

Edited by The Johnster

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14 hours ago, Corbs said:

@Booking Hall did you manage to find any spare mojo in spite of the heat?

 

Unfortunately not yet Corbs, in fact, it seems to have relocated completely and has taken up residence in my workshop where it's currently going full steam ahead building a small hot air engine!

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A small hot air engine!   Are you now going to launch hot air balloons from the quayside???   Could be a money maker for a dock company coming out of lock-down!!!

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