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For a number of years I have been dreaming of building a new layout. At the 2019 Derby Roundhouse exhibition I put a ‘For Sale’ sign on Northworthy and bought kits for two 4ft x 2ft baseboards from Tim Horn. I had been experimenting and found that I could get certain locos (1Fs and WD 0-6-0STs) round a 10in radius curve using gauge widening and a check rail so I also had to buy some loose rail and chairs from C&L at the same time. Ladybank Road was in gestation! Ladybank is in Scotland but I took the name from the local Ladybank Road which runs through a housing estate not far from my MRG clubroom so the layout could be set anywhere you like. To me, it’s somewhere in England in ex Midland Railway territory but a change of stock and some minor details could place it anywhere you like.

 

The philosophy of the layout was to be an urban shunting puzzle. I lashed up an ‘Inglenook’ system but that didn’t really appeal to me. Although it needed some thinking, it just hadn’t got ‘it’. I liked the look of Enigma Engineering and even had a go with it at one exhibition and looked at the ‘Tymesaver’ web site as well in seeking inspiration. The plan I came up with was this:

 

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A pre-existing small goods facility which has become engulfed over the years by the larger buildings but still remaining in regular use. Operation will use a mix of ‘company’ and ‘private’ locos working side by side. The entrance/exit lines are those at each end near the bottom of the plan. The other lines also go off stage where they run off the edge of the plan.

 

The whole layout is 8ft x 2ft with a display area (could you call rows of warehouses scenic?) of 77in x 16in. I did plan it all out on the back of a roll of wallpaper but still had to make changes during building (you can’t win them all!). The first picture shows the wallpaper version in April 2019 before I bought the boards.

 

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Twelve months later and the track is laid and wired, and painted in Halford’s camouflage brown. As it is all the same colour, it is difficult to see the track against the baseboard at the moment but that will change with ballasting etc.

 

The backscene is to be mostly warehouses and/or factories. The large building on the left was salvaged from an old club layout which was broken up about 20 years ago and put into storage. It was forgotten about until February this year when it was pulled out with the idea of selling it at the local swapmeet but I got in first! I reduced it to ‘flatpack’ and here it is in its new home but not fixed yet.

 

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The buildings on the right-hand board are, starting from the chimney (Walthers Sugar Refinery):

 

Gable end from Walthers Gas Plant reduced in width and increased in height with the ground floor doorway from one end and the three upper floors from the other.

 

One side of the Gas Plant with the ground floor of the other side attached below it.

 

The gable end from Walthers Sugar Refinery increased in height by one storey.

 

A Skytrex  modular building which I found at this year’s Stafford exhibition but not yet showing on their web site, it consists of 45 separate pieces to be fettled and glued together.

 

Across the end of the backscene is another Skytrex offering from their brick factory/warehouse modules with a Ratio water tank perched on top of the tower. The ‘view blocker’ on the right ‘wing’ is another piece of Skytrex brick factory with foam board extra bits. The opposite position at the other end of the layout is occupied by bits of the Sugar Refinery.

 

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You may have noticed the blank wall at the left end of the layout. This isn't blank any more. More bits of chopped up Walthers Cornerstone kit, this time the Gravel works.

 

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I noticed some time ago when painting some old van bodies for the club layout that the Revel acrylic paint didn't want to cover in one coat, you could still see traces of the underlying grey livery so the corrugated shed got a squirt of grey primer followed by brush painting the 'anthracite' (nearly black).  As hoped, it didn't cover fully leaving me with a partly weather-beaten finish which I am quite happy with. The brick bottom portion of the building is some Wills sheet with a dose of the same paint with the surface rubbed over quite quickly to bring out the brick pattern and leave the 'dirt' in the mortar. Before and after:

 

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In situ picture to follow. The computer says I've used up my loading limit for now.

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Corrugated shed in place:

 

P1010034.JPG.91d584315be2ff0f73c251b4a7e3abcd.JPG

 

None of the buildings are fixed down yet. I think the large warehouse will probably need nuts and bolts but I'm wondering if sticky pads would hold them well enough for transport to shows, always assuming I get invited to any.

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7 minutes ago, Poor Old Bruce said:

None of the buildings are fixed down yet. I think the large warehouse will probably need nuts and bolts but I'm wondering if sticky pads would hold them well enough for transport to shows, always assuming I get invited to any.

 

Neodymium magnets of varying sizes should be ok, my buildings so fitted survive Ryanair baggage handlers, so should be adequate when you're doing the transporting.

 

Mike.

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Wow. Never thought of magnets! Silly question next - Does that mean they need a steel backscene (can't really imagine that)?

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4 minutes ago, Poor Old Bruce said:

Wow. Never thought of magnets! Silly question next - Does that mean they need a steel backscene (can't really imagine that)?

 

If you sink the magnet flush into the frame of the building, then in the corresponding position on the backscene, either drill another hole for a flush magnet, or just a flush screw head will do.

Depending on the situation, I have an armoury of magnets from 0.5mm to 20mm.

There are plenty of magnet sellers on t'internet, get a selection pack to be going on with.

 

Mike.

 

Mike.

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The latest bit is a loading bank to go in front of the right hand warehouses:

 

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It is a 3mm foam board matrix covered with Scalescenes 'print-your-own' brick papers. I was thinking of using their 'Cobblestone Sertts' but decided that brick paving would be better for sack trucks. No one seems to do what some of us call 'Monkey Bricks' round here, (blue Victorian paving bricks with a diamond pattern surface) so I used their 'Dark Blue Brick'. It's actually English bond with alternate rows of headers and stretchers but at layout distances, I defy anyone to spot that (unless they have read this of course). Edging stones are ridge tiles off their 'Slate Roof Tiles' sheet. The platform face is Slater's embossed brick plasticard with my usual wash of black. I've yet to see if the paper stays stuck to the foamboard long term, I used dilute PVA, time will tell (Is there a 'fingers crossed' emoji?).

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Posted (edited)

A big 'Thank you' to all of you who have read the thread and reacted to it. It is good to see some interest in my jottings and It will encouraging me to continue with the postings. It looks like the next part of the construction will be to paint and weather the buildings - window sills, window frames, doors, fancy brickwork round the window tops to add a bit of interest. Looking at the number of windows in some of the buildings, this will not be a five minute job so don't expect daily postings although I could well do progress pics of individual buildings as I go along. 'Watch this space' as they say.

 

I should perhaps add that the track is a mix of Peco Code 75 flat bottom and bullhead as there is currently a limited range of BH points. Control is analogue but I think it would be a simple case of just changing the plug-in controller if I wanted to go digital at any time. I want to go 'hands free' so points are activated by American 'Blue Point' devices which are mounted below the baseboard and operated by push/pull rods from the side of the layout, these include a DPDT miniature toggle switch for changing crossing nose polarity. I will take some pics next time the boards are up-ended. For couplings, I am at present intending to use the Brian Kirby system (Google it if you are not familiar) with single-ended wagons and under-baseboard magnets, the beauty of which is that you can retro-fit the magnets if needed and move them about as required if they don't suit.

 

I think that's all for now - back to painting window frames etc. 

 

Richard

Edited by Poor Old Bruce
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You showed me one of those "blue point" devices at club a year or so ago, I'm certainly interested to see how you've installed them. Though for some strange reason I'm not able to pop round and help you up-end the boards at the moment.:jester:

All the more time for you to weather the buildings. Either that or you can start working through those wagon kits that you've had for years.

 

You're doing a great job with keeping the thread interesting, it almost makes up for not seeing you scowl across Duffield every week or so.

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Dear Scowling Rich!

Hi there, I guess you are keeping yourself and us, entertained with this project, it certainly is interesting. I hope it serves you as well as Northworthy did!

I had to add your trackplan to my little collection of track plans as it's got a lot of potential.

Keep up the good work.

Cheers from chilly Warrington,

John.

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Just to add something for today, this is one of the Blue Point point operating devices (upside down of course):

 

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You bend a bit of piano wire (supplied) through the hole at the top, thread it through the hole in the slider on the side of the device and then through a hole in the baseboard up to the hole in point stretcher bar. Using Peco points I have removed the over-centre spring as it makes them easier to throw. Overall height of the device is 60mm.

 

I got my Blue Points from Paul Martin of EDM Models some time ago, they are still shown on his web site although he is shut down at the mo, temporarily I hope, after surgery. Get well soon Paul. Operation is by a push/pull rod (or can be by wire in tube) from the side of the layout using standard radio control clevis connectors. I add the image of the card from the packing. I hope this won't upset the manufacturers as it is to make others aware of the devices (free publicity). If the Mods don't like it they may remove it, if so it is also on the EDM site.

 

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On 22/04/2020 at 09:21, Poor Old Bruce said:

Wow. Never thought of magnets! Silly question next - Does that mean they need a steel backscene (can't really imagine that)?

I used a flattened out beer can as the keeper, stuck to the backscene support. Just go into your local offie and test the cans on offer with a magnet until you find the ones made from steel. Assuming you don't get thrown out before that, buy some, bring home, pour the beer down the sink and there you are! Of course, you could drink it if you really must . . . .:smile_mini2:

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On 25/04/2020 at 10:51, Poor Old Bruce said:

No one seems to do what some of us call 'Monkey Bricks' round here, (blue Victorian paving bricks with a diamond pattern surface)

Railway Scenics do a download print for them https://www.railwayscenics.com/downloads-paving-paths-roads-texture-sheet-downloads-blue-diamond-chequer-paving-texture-sheet-download-p-1586.html

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I thought I'd have a go at dirtying what was the Gas Works.

 

Before, with window sills and brick arches picked out. Windows will eventually have some black plastic card for backing.

 

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One piece dirtied:

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Big piece dirtied:

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I thought it looked OK when I had done it but as the paint dried it started to look a bit blotchy and then changed to b..... awful (I have got a gammy eye after all) so I had a go at it with cotton buds and white spirit. It's a bit better but I will see how I fell about it as time passes. I comfort myself with the old addage that the man who never made a mistake never made anything. Present state:

 

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Trouble is the more I look at it, the worse it gets, I'll do something else for now, while I think about it:mad:.

 

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Bruce, have a go with the Humbrol weathering powders - they are better at replicating sootiness than paint, and much easier to apply.

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I'm crap at weathering, but I persevere, slather it on, wipe it of, repeat a few times and you'll get there.

 

Mike.

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21 hours ago, Dr Gerbil-Fritters said:

Bruce, have a go with the Humbrol weathering powders - they are better at replicating sootiness than paint, and much easier to apply.

 

I don't have any proper powders to hand but I have got some powder paints which I am going to try as I presume they will be similar and give me much more working time. Another presumption is that they will need sealing with matt varnish.

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Richard, nice to see that you are still active,  I can't help with the weathering problem, but your loading platform reminded me of a structure on the Osmaston Road end of the Ley's factory, actually occupied by the Ewart Chain Co. now. (For the benefit of other readers this is in Derby)

The last time I ventured over the rail bridge a couple of years ago it was still there, Their (long disused) siding is hard against the factory wall and access is direct into the works with no platform, but has a canopy over the rails, allowing weather-proof loading of their mechanical handling products.

It is / was very close to the Osmaston Road bridge so easily visible over the bridge parapet. I wondered if an adaptation of the canopy might be of interest to you. 

Of course, to examine the site yourself, you will need to wait for Mr. Johnson to relax our current "voluntary" domestic incarceration.

Regards .. keep safe!

Don.

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Thanks for that Don, it's not a part of the world I venture to these days but I will try to go and see when I can.

 

Good to see you're still on the go.

 

Richard

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I've been at work with white spirit on cotton buds and cocktail sticks to clean up the ex Gas Works pieces and am back to clean(ish) brickwork with dirt in the mortar lines and in the nooks and crannies. I need to repaint the window sills and arches again though.

 

Meanwhile, I've also started painting the doors, window sills, arches and frames on the Skytrex buildings. You see their offerings at exhibitions and on their web site, then buy the parts without thinking about the 50+ windows that will need painting. The window frames need time to make a decent job as well so it doesn't take all that long for the paint to start drying on the brush  so that you have to finish that session or start another brush. It is starting to look as though it will be worth the effort, so I will keep plodding on. When finished, it will be a shame to dirty it.

 

I've started experimented with my powder paint which seem to react like like I think weathering powders should so one of the jobs on the list is to mix a mortar colour instead of just dirty black. I knew it was worth keeping those one-ounce jam jars from cafes!

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A bit more to keep things ticking over.

 

I've been painting the 52 windows/door frames, window sills door steps and arches. I eventually found it would get the window frames done quicker by painting one side and top/bottom of all the things in one session then doing the other halves in another session. That saved forever turning the building round all the time to get the light so I could see what I was doing.

 

Here's the back bit:

 

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.... and the end bit:

 

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I mixed up some of my powder paints to a sort of mortar colour, mostly red and green but with bits of white and yellow thrown in for good measure. Here it is partly applied to a spare Skytrex panel:

 

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.... and to one side of the water tower:

 

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The jury's still out on whether I like the result or not as it drains the colour out of the sills and arches, that's one reason I did the arches of the back portion in blue brick instead of cream. I console myself with the fact that I can probably wash it off if I decide against it. What does anyone else think. I'm open to suggestions even if I don't take any notice of them.

 

TTFN

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