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On 24/07/2020 at 13:38, JustinDean said:

Been on short cycle ride on High Peak trail today - while there I’ve been investigating the landscape Middleton Top occupies. These photos capture the area covered by the left hand board of the layout with the spoil tip rising away from the trackbed and a meadow leading up to it. The road on the first photo leads to the crossing in the second photo. Apart from the collection of old photos I have I find taking panoramic shots give me a feel for the landscape and context for the railway. I have a fair bit of cellotex insulation left over from the cottage project which will be sculpted and set into the open framed ply base boards. 

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That really is the memory the of the C& HPR as I remember it in the very early 60s. No trees, no flowers, no birds, no animals, and probably November! I meant the modern photo was the antithesis, apologies. My brain is in fog this am now pm.

Edited by Rowsley17D
Total use of wrong word.
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9 minutes ago, Rowsley17D said:

 

That really is the memory the of the C& HPR as I remember it in the very early 60s. No trees, no flowers, no birds, no animals, and probably November! I meant the modern photo was the antithesis, apologies. My brain is in fog this am now pm.

It seems to me the C&HPR was a very bleak line - one of the reasons I love it! Old photos show very few trees apart from a couple up at Middleton Moor in the distance. These days it’s very different, and a similar change has happened down at Cromford.
With the layout I really want to capture the feel of empty sprawling fields and stone walls with a J94 off in the distance. 

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On 16/07/2020 at 18:03, Poor Old Bruce said:

Jay,

 

My 0-6-0T body turned up OK but I have seen that it is bowed outwards over the tanks. I measures 32.5mm over the footplate at the front and rear but 34.4mm at the middle of the tanks.

 

1 - Is yours like that?

 

2 -  The maker seems to be CDC Design which incorporates Thanet Locomotive Works, I think I have sent them a comment (you don't know until you get a response) to see what they have to say.

 

On 21/07/2020 at 17:22, JustinDean said:


Hi Bruce - thanks for flagging this up! Just checked mine and it’s the same. Bowed out by 2mm at the centre of the body. 
Jay

 

Jay, Regarding the NLR Tank from CDC Design. I eventually got a response after searching for "CDC Design" in 'Smaller Suppliers' and posting a comment if you want to check out the thread. Also a response from Corbs of this parish. The recommendation was to dunk the loco body in hot water (not boiling) and then squeeze while it cooled. Seems to have done the trick so far but will be waiting a few days before final judgement.

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11 minutes ago, Poor Old Bruce said:

 

 

Jay, Regarding the NLR Tank from CDC Design. I eventually got a response after searching for "CDC Design" in 'Smaller Suppliers' and posting a comment if you want to check out the thread. Also a response from Corbs of this parish. The recommendation was to dunk the loco body in hot water (not boiling) and then squeeze while it cooled. Seems to have done the trick so far but will be waiting a few days before final judgement.


Hi Bruce - just read that thread with interest. I’m not sure I’m on board with the ‘it’s bowed because of the weather’ response to be honest! I’m glad you’ve managed to rectify yours and would love to see any progress as you work on it. I’ll be using hot water and a rubber shrouded clamp to sort mine when I eventually get to it. On a 3 week holiday now so may be a while.

Jay

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  • 1 month later...

Scenery has started on the west end of Middleton Top - the photos on this page of the thread are a good reference to the area covered. I’ve started by carving cellotex with a saw. This is an easy lightweight material to shape but the dust particles are aweful so outdoors with a mask when handling is essential. I have an abundance of this material left over from the cottage renovation making it an easy choice. This has had a copious amount of filler applied around the edges and when dry they’ll be some finer more detailed  sculpting going on. I’m now working on one board at a time due to space constraints but also intend to start the buildings soon. I’ve just received a lovely etch of all the windows for the engine house and loco shed prepared by Geraint (Middlepeak). Here’s a couple of iPhone photos to show progress. The spoil tip runs along the back with the meadow dropping down to the front. 

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One of the things that nudged me back into modelling was seeing photos of one of Chris Nevard’s layouts. The track particularly struck me - it wasn’t buried in neatly packed grey boulders. Ballast was something that had always irked me when I was younger so seeing Chris’ use of DAS clay was revolutionary to me. Studying photos of Middleton Top reveals a few different textures in the track bed. Over by the incline it’s all wooden boards and dirt. The engine shed and water tank are has that very fine ash/cinder ballast which DAS is so suitable for. As the line leaves Middleton the ballast is coarser; it still has that almost black colour but it is most definitely rougher. I felt the DAS technique would be to smooth for this. I bought some Woodland Scenics fine ash/cinder ballast and tested a very small section. This was waaay too coarse. So what you’re seeing in the photo is baked dirt. Sieved in the back garden into an old roasting tin and popped in the oven on 180° for an hour. I feel this is a good starting point, a base layer, with the right colour and texture right out the tin. 
 

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Sealed the foam scenery this morning and started adding some more textures. The ballast still seems a tad too coarse so I’m going to experiment with some finer powders on this till it’s right. Once I’m happy the whole lot will receive layers of appropriate colored paints and weathering using powers I’ve made from pastels. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

The landscape has received a fine coating of chinchilla dust while the spoil tip has had varying grades of basing stones added. I’ve been testing out different methods of replicating dry walls. Although construction of these type of wall in real life tend to have a standard method of build the walls at Middleton Top have a fair bit of variation- differing heights, some have rounded capping stones and some are falling to bits. I tried making a wall using basing stones placed in a ‘mound’ of sorts then soaking and dousing with PVA. They looked to rough and also the undulating landscape of the Top makes it difficult to bed a straight mould in.  I’ve gone back to DAS clay on this attempt. I’ve roughly sculpted each wall for its location. These are placed but not fixed and when dry I’m going to attempt using an engraving pen. Here’s a couple of photos to show where I’m at with this:

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That is not only likely to uncouple one wagon but the next two as well, and probably magnetically grab any metal axles within range.

I like the Gaugemaster electro magnets. Wizard Models also produce their own version.

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Scribed a test piece of DAS that has dried...this is the best result I’ve achieved so far. The shell of the first structure, an old barn, sits on the lane leading to the crossing. This is also going to get the DAS treatment. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was really unhappy with how the dry wall came out on that previous photo....I’m now on attempt number 3. There’s a huge amount of this around Middleton Top so it’s got to look right! While the latest set of walls are drying I’m now contemplating how I’m going to approach making the meadow that runs across the front of this board. Time watch some YouTube tutorials....

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Some unforgiving photos of static grassage. This is pre- hoover up as it’s still drying. I used various shades and lengths to make this look more natural. 
Ignore the brown clay blobs - these are the foundations for the dry walls!

I’ll post more shots once it’s dried and I’ve cleaned it up but any feedback welcome - it’s my first proper attemp at this. 

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Hi Jay, the grass on the banks looks great and I think the bright green grass on the tracks will be vacuumed off? Derbyshire's drystone walls are a nightmare to model as the stone is so irregular and random.

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2 hours ago, Rowsley17D said:

Hi Jay, the grass on the banks looks great and I think the bright green grass on the tracks will be vacuumed off? Derbyshire's drystone walls are a nightmare to model as the stone is so irregular and random.


Most of that grass will be coming off the track work. The colour looks a bit odd in these photos - it’s less artificial looking in real life. I feel happy with the meadow and the over grown spoil tip so far. After the walls go in I’ll detail with more shrubs and weeds. 
I’ve been having a nightmare with the walls. The latest attempt seems to be working better so far. This time I’ve wrapped card formers with pva then clay. I’ll reserve judgement till I’ve engraved and carved a few sections. 

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Hi Jay,

 

I like the static grassing, it's looking really good. I was surprised at the colour of the grass in the 4 foot, but guessed it was an artifact of the photography, as I didn't believe you would use a luminous green... :)

 

With regard to your walls, I think part of the problem is that they are too narrow for their height. Remember that a real drystone wall is made up of two parallel walls with a pile of rubble in the middle. Each side wall is going to be on average 6 - 8 inches thick, and the gap in the middle 6 - 8 inches wide, so the walls are going to be at absolute minimum 18 inches wide, and far more at the base.

 

I've done a bit of drystone walling, and for the base layer and a couple of courses up we would quite often use stone which was over a foot wide, with a 6 inch gap between them in the center of the wall, so a four foot high wall could easily be 2 1/2 foot thick at the base.

 

My styrene walls are made of 6mm wide rod, (1 1/2 foot in  scale) and they are probably a bit narrow in reality. If you made your base clay 10mm wide that would be equivalent to 2 1/2 feet, and no more that 18mm high which is 4 1/2 feet.

 

Cheers mate,

 

Al.

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Thanks for the input Al - so at the base these walls are 10mm wide but I’ve made them way to high. I’ll see if I can effectively reduce that when I start carving. If I don’t have any luck I may have to try your styrene rod method; I’m just concerned about my level of patience doing it that way! Geraint told me he’s experimenting with tile grout to produce walls so I might see how that’s working out for him also.

The trackbed grass was a good colour match to photos I’ve got of that location but in situ looks off in contrast to the ash ballast. This may be a victim of ‘scale colour’ which I’ve read about on this forum and I’ll possibly tone down using the airbrush.

 

Cheers

Jay

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Hi Jay.

 

As others have said Dry stone walling is not easy. I was inspired by Jeff (Physicsman) on here who has built Settle and Carlisle line walling. He uses DAS but cuts it into smaller stones and builds it up using PVA. I have been having a go myself at Derbyshire walling using this technique and I will post an image of progress so far. Check out the link for Jeff's walling 

and scroll down the thread to see his results.

 

Here's my attempt at Derbyshire walling using the same method 

955570205_Wall3.jpg.58339b3c218dad11e9b85eccf8de4622.jpg

 

The second picture gives you an idea of height 18 mm gives you a 4 foot 6 inch height wall.  The stone posts will have a Peco gate in between once painted and suitably weathered. The figure is only placed for reference. Not part of the scene.

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Edit: Sorry they are not clearer, taken quickly on my iPad.

Edited by Ramrig
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