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Cowley 47521

Lapford in N gauge.

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Hello everyone.

 

Now I really wasn’t going to get into this, but I think I should probably share some of what I’ve been doing as I’ve asked quite a few questions on here since I joined and all of the replies have been helpful, open and friendly.

So first a bit about me and second a lot about my project.

 

Me:

I live within view of Cowley Bridge Junction. Grew up and spent most of my life around Exeter.

It’s 2020 now and I’m 47 years old.

I started spotting on my own at St David’s in 1986, and by the age of 15 a year or so later I’d got into haulage bashing, anything at first, but I soon got into Sulzer stuff - 33s, 45s and 47s, although I like anything from that era to be honest (especially a class 31 or 37).

As a kid I travelled on the North Devon line a few times - including behind 33013 from Barnstaple to Exeter on a summer Saturday with my parents sometime around 1985, and also on a triple 118 lash-up a few years before which was one of the last trains to visit Torrington (we also went up to Meldon).

So mid 80s to early 90s is very much my favourite era, although I’m also interested in the steam era too.

 

 

The project:

 

 Part 1

My best friend Paul and his son George (other Beatles are available) got me into N gauge a couple of years ago (it was George’s Dapol 33 that finally tipped me over the edge) and I started to formulate a plan to model Seaton Junction set sometime around 1988 when it still had a few sidings left and plenty of loco hauled trains flying non stop through the derelict station.
Mrs C and I did a site visit, took some photos, and I did lots of research on the place while I formulated a plan...

I realised (mainly due to Pauls advice) that it was going to be quite a large undertaking due to the sheer size of the place. So it was time for a bit of a rethink.
I thought that maybe I could try a practice project of a smaller location to hone my skills (having never modelled in N gauge before), and the choice for me was between Whimple or Lapford set in the very late 1980s when both stations had remarkably retained their (although much rationalised) goods yards...

Lapford won out in the end and the more research I did the more I found it fascinating.
I’d driven over that skew bridge on the A377 next to the station hundreds of times over the years and glanced down at the remaining sidings which in the early 90s often had a couple of log wagons, a Cargowaggon, or maybe a Polybulk sitting there waiting to be picked up.

I started this off by realising that to do it justice I’d have to build pretty much everything from scratch, so after another couple of site visits by Mrs C and me I decided to have a go at building the distinctive skew bridge at the end of the platform first using balsa wood and plasticard. Here’s a couple of photos of it:

759AD96A-7840-4B81-887E-CA40010498AD.jpeg.0885745fbe9e29b8791c7208fef10658.jpeg
A200A0C0-570D-4AC9-9D33-BC56E415258E.jpeg.3262aea0abac3b8a14118aaaf10e096e.jpeg


It was a lot of work, but enjoyable, and as I hadn’t ever made anything in this scale before I was quite pleased with it. I later realised that it wasn’t skewed enough as it were, but don’t tell anyone as I won’t be doing it again!

Then I tackled the charismatic station building:

 

4A8EF2CE-AE76-42BE-9C62-3E85A11767DB.jpeg.314e2d7d4219d1ec2aa465cc384b2db2.jpeg


It’s actually two cheap Kestrel kits bodged together and hacked about to make something vaguely resembling the original. I might redo this at some point because it’s not perfect, but then again I might just stick with it because it’s not too bad really.
  

Part 2

I was trying to work out how to make the (very distinctive) old Ambrosia Dairy building and warehouses, and in the end I drew up a sketch with some guessed measurements of them and texted it to my stepbrother who had a go at printing the frontages out for me. The first couple of goes looked a little bit too ‘South Park’ but eventually he sent them down and I made the rest of the buildings up again out of balsa wood and plasticard:
Here’s a brief look at the process:

FCAA8916-BDC2-4562-AEA4-154D5BE27125.jpeg.234f607eb4df92ee201dfea9e3f470a8.jpeg

657F7FDF-4346-4EDB-A906-F564764C871D.jpeg.60fd5714e82a9760bf5823b5df08d8ca.jpeg

It was quite an undertaking but enjoyable nonetheless as I could sit and listen to something on the radio while I tinkered around with it at the kitchen table...

If I did them again now I’d probably try and fit proper windows rather than the 2D printed ones I went with but I just didn’t feel like I had the skills at the time. There’s still a few more bits of detail I’ll add at some point as well.

After that there were a couple more bridges to make and also the little ground frame shed which were all done over the next few weeks and painted ready to be plonked on the board when I built it:
 

7F068D2C-CC61-4903-A71C-9A4791A3D47D.jpeg.7e873be18388c359c28fdb21f50326cb.jpeg

Oh and it’s not in Lapford (although it will be on the layout) but I also built our house: 
 

47359526-5459-4285-9CC7-82D6A9172390.jpeg.d64b678257813a7492de799f34ef8e71.jpeg


As you can see I got quite into making the buildings in the end...

It was a useful time for me to make all the buildings and bridges before tackling the actual railway as when I started with N gauge I only had a couple of locos and a bit of rolling stock. Doing it this way meant that it came together quite quickly.

I’ve actually more or less finished this section now and am planning the next phase but having been encouraged to do so by @Ramblin Rich among others I thought I’d better write out what I’ve been up to.

To be continued and thanks for reading...


Nick

Edited by Cowley 47521
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Great to see this in its own thread Nick and thanks for the namecheck! :good_mini:Having seen pictures later in the build that you posted in the prototype thread, I know the finished article is impressive, but even at the stage shown you've captured the essence of Lapford to a 'T'. Looking forward to more pictures :)

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Thanks Rich.

 

You’ve been very helpful and positive and it’s much appreciated. 
Just one question, is there a limit to how many photos you can post in one go?
It wouldn’t let me load more than about 7 in that post for some reason. 
 

Nick

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Hi

 

Glad to see you've started a thread on your Lapford layout.

 

I'm looking forward to following progress....

Some excellent modelling ,especially when it is factored in that N Gauge was a new scale for you to work in.

 

Cheers Bill

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43 minutes ago, Cowley 47521 said:

Just one question, is there a limit to how many photos you can post in one go?

It wouldn’t let me load more than about 7 in that post for some reason. 
 

Nick

There's a limit of 10MB per post, so the number of images varies according to the file size. You can either resize the images a bit smaller (i have a feeling 1200 pixels wide is about right for website use), or do multiple posts. Or pay for 'Rmweb Gold' and get unlimited file sizes per post....

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22 minutes ago, Ramblin Rich said:

There's a limit of 10MB per post, so the number of images varies according to the file size. You can either resize the images a bit smaller (i have a feeling 1200 pixels wide is about right for website use), or do multiple posts. Or pay for 'Rmweb Gold' and get unlimited file sizes per post....


Gottit, thank you. :good_mini:

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56 minutes ago, treggyman said:

Hi

 

Glad to see you've started a thread on your Lapford layout.

 

I'm looking forward to following progress....

Some excellent modelling ,especially when it is factored in that N Gauge was a new scale for you to work in.

 

Cheers Bill


Thanks Bill. I’ll do a bit more each evening this week and hopefully get to the point of talking about the next stage of the grand tiny plan.

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Excellent work. 

 

Lapford has been a favourite of mine for more years than I can remember. I've thought about modelling myself in 4mm scale. I've modelled a similar bridge on my layout Orchard Road.

 

The Ambrosia factory has an interesting history and quite an iconic in its own right.

 

Will follow with interest.

 

 

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I very much like your bridges, especially the three-arch one. It's a proper bit of civil engineering with real substance to it.

 

Jim

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Nice work Nick,

I am not familar with the area, a track and layout plan would be helpful.

Cheers

Duncan

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48 minutes ago, Duncan. said:

Nice work Nick,

I am not familar with the area, a track and layout plan would be helpful.

Cheers

Duncan


Morning Duncan. 
 

I’d like to do a proper plan for it but I’ve only got a sketched one at the moment, I’ll have a look at the section on layout design later and see I can fathom out what to do.

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3 minutes ago, Cowley 47521 said:


Morning Duncan. 
 

I’d like to do a proper plan for it but I’ve only got a sketched one at the moment, I’ll have a look at the section on layout design later and see I can fathom out what to do.

Or perhaps you could scan in your hand drawn sketch and upload that as an image?

Cheers

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There's an outline plan of the prototype station layout in this 'Can you identify where .." thread, plus a bit of discussion about the way the loop operated once the signal box closed

 

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as this is about the only bit of line I travel on these days (Barn to EX) I look forward to seeing the progression stages.

Good luck with the whole project and embrace the full scenic possibilities of 'N'

Not enough N scale representation on RMWeb for my liking so the more the merrier.

Regards

Maurice

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Really pleased to see this on here. As a fellow N gauge modeller with an interest in the North Devon line in the 80s this is right up my street! I did start a layout based on Crediton but it was too big and complex and came to a sticky end sadly. I do have ideas though....Perhaps one day we can have a themed exhibition (remember them!) of layouts based on the line

 

More photos please!

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Hi Nick 

 

Looking like an impressive N gauge layout. During the mid 1970s, I was part of a Scout summer camp next to the line, so remember the range of traffic on the line. Now all we need are some Class !20 and Class 116/7/8 DMUs in N!

 

Nick 

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It would be nice if the Bachmann 117 went through the shrink ray! Mind you we're not too bad for stock for the line in the 70s/80s in N. 108 DMU's were seen, and you can get class 25, 31, 33, 47 and 50. That'll fill most fiddle yards!!!

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Part 3
 

Couldn’t agree more guys. I’d love the Telecom liveried DMU in N if that ever came out. I’d also quite like a 142 in full ‘Skipper’ garb at some point just because those units pin things to that era...

 

Right then @duncan asked for a track plan earlier as he didn’t know the area very well, so I’ve fired up the Big Thought Super Computer (well a pencil actually) and scrawled this out on a piece of paper:

(Looking at now the bridge is slightly too far to the right but it’s been a long day)
spacer.png6053E770-2BA9-4803-9807-6E7D2D7EEE66.jpeg.29deeb8fe8b61ee99b092671a919e995.jpeg


 

You can see from the photo below that the original tracks to the warehouse platform had a great big heap of sand dumped on them and they were actually removed sometime around 1988 I believe.

http://www.cornwallrailwaysociety.org.uk/exeter-to-barnstaple-and-ilfracombe.html

 

A recent picture of the station now with just the single line running through it.
9AB2E593-CD97-4451-873F-23E78C6C702D.jpeg.20996bb5202631da3c5e7051371dc4a0.jpeg

 

What a place. A lovely little backwater that still received freight in the early 90s and had regular loco hauled passenger trains until 87 as well as plenty after that using the Exeter spare set.

 

I decided early on (and I’m so glad that I did this now) that I was going to make the buildings and lay it all out before deciding what size board I’d need.

I worked out that I could just about do it on a 200 by 75cm board if I slightly squashed it up here and there without compromising the look of the place too much.

Of course I made the odd mistake with it, one of which was laying it on a flat board topped with 6mm cork as I’ve had to do the river as a stream whereas it would have looked better if it was a bit deeper. 
I’ve also had to lose a couple of minor roads as it would’ve looked too cluttered to include them.

 

Anyway here’s my initial attempt at laying it all out on a bit of chipboard to see if it would all look right (complete with my patented sock road embankment).

 

52D2C987-3850-4F95-9B79-2C559DCB143A.jpeg.9b2ffd3415138246e1aeb9074a08f686.jpeg

Edited by Cowley 47521
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10 hours ago, Ramblin Rich said:

There's an outline plan of the prototype station layout in this 'Can you identify where .." thread, plus a bit of discussion about the way the loop operated once the signal box closed

 


I somehow didn’t notice this earlier Rich. That looks interesting and there was some useful extra information on there.

I’d like to think that I would have got it first time as it would’ve been embarrassing if I didn’t!

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22 minutes ago, Cowley 47521 said:

....

I’d like to think that I would have got it first time as it would’ve been embarrassing if I didn’t!

Ditto, slightly annoyed I missed it to start with!

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3 hours ago, TomJ said:

It would be nice if the Bachmann 117 went through the shrink ray! Mind you we're not too bad for stock for the line in the 70s/80s in N. 108 DMU's were seen, and you can get class 25, 31, 33, 47 and 50. That'll fill most fiddle yards!!!


Here you go... 

 

D793009C-92B9-4A70-8B96-A3ACE3032627.jpeg.715b4bbb3cbcf6db90d9da8d61240157.jpeg
 

:mocking_mini:

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Of course, logs as well, large areas of forest in the area, too.

 

Thank you for the pictures.

 

Julian

 

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Just re-reading above, worth pointing out some of the prototype images are from Cornwall Railway society and Steve Johnson's Cyber heritage site.

The last image with the 31 and OTAs was in David Mitchell's Railfreight Devon & Cornwall book. You really should make sure it's not copyright, or take it out.

In the first image, it's just possible to see a conveyor/elevator in front of the OTAs, there was a small pit between the tracks to allow the grain wagons to discharge and load into waiting lorries; there's a picture in John Nicholas's 1992 book 'The North Devon Line'. I'd like to incorporate something like it on Kings Tawton, mainly the elevator & not necessarily the pit (it could be covered by planks, ie not actually modelled!).

 

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5 hours ago, Ramblin Rich said:

Just re-reading above, worth pointing out some of the prototype images are from Cornwall Railway society and Steve Johnson's Cyber heritage site.

The last image with the 31 and OTAs was in David Mitchell's Railfreight Devon & Cornwall book. You really should make sure it's not copyright, or take it out.

In the first image, it's just possible to see a conveyor/elevator in front of the OTAs, there was a small pit between the tracks to allow the grain wagons to discharge and load into waiting lorries; there's a picture in John Nicholas's 1992 book 'The North Devon Line'. I'd like to incorporate something like it on Kings Tawton, mainly the elevator & not necessarily the pit (it could be covered by planks, ie not actually modelled!).

 


Duly noted and changed thanks Rich.

 

I’ve seen that conveyor arrangement in photos before but I didn’t realise there was a pit as well.

 I think I’ve seen a kit for one in N gauge somewhere. Mind you try finding an N gauge Scania 82...

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21 hours ago, Cowley 47521 said:


I somehow didn’t notice this earlier Rich. That looks interesting and there was some useful extra information on there.

I’d like to think that I would have got it first time as it would’ve been embarrassing if I didn’t!

 

If the Anyrail "outline" is of use to you for playing with lengths, angles etc, I can send it to you, as is.  If it is any interest, just PM and I can mail it.

 

Julian

 

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