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Mol's MSC Layout: "The Boysnope Bump"


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2 minutes ago, Wrenn said:

Nice location to model.

I'm representing only the north-east end of the loops (far end in the photo); no room for any more but it makes a nice Inglenook Sidings concept.

One and a bit of the big sheds will feature in low-relief on the backscene.

 

I am mulling over representing the stiff-leg derrick crane; it could be entirely an image on the backscene. However, the upright and the jib could be modelled on-scene (with the upright against the backscene and the jib overhanging the siding as pictured) and some sort of image on the backscene for the rest of it. I have found a kit for a derrick crane but the job is wrong. However I may be able to find a road crane kit with a more appropriate type of jib:

https://modeltechstudios.com/oscalerailroadtracksidesteelstifflegderrick-crane.aspx

 

I'm 'borrowing' a few other details from nearby parts of the canal, to make the canal bank along the front a bit more interesting.

 

image.png.a2c6eb4c27ca63698d670c82b40c4496.png

 

image.png.144df4bc2deec074550c77b0e9eb0863.png

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2 hours ago, Mol_PMB said:

I don't suppose you had a camera with you? I went on the boat trip a few years ago but there must have been a lot more to see back in the early 70s!

Sadly not, the only real bits I remember were how huge everything was compared to the Grand Union back home and someone in an old style diving suit, huge brass helmet etc, working at one of the locks, looking like someone out of a Jules Verne story. And the bunch of girls from Skelmersdale...

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Ballasting is nearly finished. Once this batch has set, I think there’s one more lot to do, and that will be mostly fresh grey stone ballast where the PW gang have been shoring up the track above the bank slip. Photos indicate that the MSC Railway was using stone ballast for maintenance in the 1960s. 

 

I have drilled holes where the telegraph poles will go, and inserted 1” lengths of blackened brass tube for them to slot into. I have ballasted round the base of these. Whilst I will model the poles in detail I may omit the wires as they would be a major hazard when coupling and uncoupling!

 

Once the remaining ballasting is done and it’s all dried out, I may do some further toning with the airbrush. Then I can move on to some greenery. I need to try and be a little more restrained than @Andrew P when it comes to the weedy track! 

 

 

A7589524-4D11-4E7C-A66A-466A35123F65.jpeg

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Once again I have spent a good proportion of the weekend out walking with friends (only one at a time, in case the COVID police are listening!).

However, there has been some more progress on the layout. I have completed ballasting 99% of the track:

layout_overview.jpg.6f613dd6c6637cd7442a905f8c8ed003.jpg

Above the bank slip, the track gang have been busy shovel-packing the near rail to remove a horrendous twist fault. While they were there, the foreman noticed that the next joint along had a nasty dip so they've done a bit of shovel-packing there too.

They have used fresh granite ballast rather than the black slag used elsewhere. 1960s/1970s photos of the MSC Railway show localised reballasting in grey stone like this:

1974_railtour.jpg.38b504905cf8dc03a6f19336666204e0.jpg

(eventually I'm going to have a short rake of Highs full of gricers...)

 

I have not laid the curved siding yet; that will be fed from a sector plate that has not yet been built, so I'd rather leave myself some freedom of positioning until later. So that corner of the layout will remain unfinished for a while.

 

I realised that I couldn't do the last little bit of ballasting until I had finalised the position for the foot crossing to the ferry, so I decided to build the steps down the bank. These are just strips of wood glued together to give the basic shape, and will be finished to look like concrete using the talc and grey paint method. I filled in the gaps round the edges with some polystyrene offcuts and a load of DAS clay:

steps.jpg.e44c0688d91f1bb3bde621832831e5a0.jpg

 

While I had the DAS out, I had another look at my photos of various bank slips along the canal and decided to add some more texture to mine. This looks a bit odd at present but it is based on photos of the real thing and I think it will look better once painted and planted:

slip.jpg.32a58da569120b85be10a74894fe4d6f.jpg

 

The next steps are to make the foot crossing and the final bit of ballasting, and when the DAS has dried to give that a coat of brown sludge so it matches the rest of the canal bank.

 

I am also considering using brown sludge as a base coat for the water.

 

Then I'll maybe do some light toning of the earth and ballast with the airbrush.

 

And finally, I'll be able to get on to the planting! I have retrieved my static grass machine and found my box of scenic scatters. I need to pick a season!

 

 

 

 

 

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Some more progress on the scenics this evening...

 

Ferry steps with a first pass of the concrete finish, and the surrounding area finished with brown gunge. A couple more bays of track ballasted and some more of the path shingled:

steps_2.jpg.d4cbf92d373fbbeb84d9e05eaaaeec59.jpg

 

These sleepers will form the foot crossing over the main line. Also shown are the point levers (which need a bit more weathering) and the square wooden panels which will give a smooth walking surface next to the levers.

In the background there is more painting to do on the seagulls.

details.jpg.f841ff2177c5a198630e44d450d86285.jpg

 

Another trial fit of the storm drain and the brook culvert in their postions on the bank; these both need a bit more detailing and weathering beforee being finally fixed in place and melded into the bank with more brown gunge:

drain_2.jpg.932d4ea3e77534aa45af9ea11b2e8f84.jpg

brook_2.jpg.a907779de336ad15ea44c2b807cf1899.jpg

 

The bank slip doesn't look quite so odd now it is all brown:

slip_2.jpg.f296071c94badb4ca6e61ea06c5ce818.jpg

And finally, a view along the whole scenic part of the layout. It's looking very brown and black at the moment, but it's nearly Spring and the greenery will start sprouting soon!

layout_2.jpg.5e30b67d008452ee882973994ef5418f.jpg

 

 

 

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  • RMweb Gold

The scenery structure is looking great, love the modelling of the steps and the storm drain.

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This may not look like much but I had my first running session this evening. 

 

All seemed to go well, the 08 was on dcc and the HC was still on DC but both ran smoothly. Headshunt not connected so shunting was a bit constrained but interesting. The HC (ixion) is my birthday present to myself and will eventually be detailed up as MSC 78. I need to finish the HC diesel first though!

 

I have been painting another batch of seagulls which will appear soon! 

 

Mol

43EEDF4B-DD1E-4551-AB8A-24A7BE7CEC0B.jpeg

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I have finally completed the first two structures for this layout, the storm drain and the brook culvert. They are now ready to be installed but I took them outside for a photo in daylight first. Needless to say, Manchester did not offer sunlight!

Here is the storm drain; the brickwork was laser-cut by @BrushType4 the seagulls are Duncan Models and Langley Models, and the rest was scratchbuilt. Two Herring Gulls on top, and a Lesser Black-backed Gull down below:

Storm_drain_complete.jpg.8e8cf8aec749da8cb361de0f61f77a7a.jpg

 

Here is the brook; brickwork from the same source but mostly scratchbuilt using ply, DAS clay, sand, plasticard etc. Again the Herring Gulls are Duncan Models. The smaller Black-headed Gulls are from Dart Castings (intended for 4mm scale) and I think I've achieved a reasonable density of them compared to the numbers I often see at Irlam Locks. A few of the Black-headed Gulls (which actually have dark brown heads in summer) are a bit late developing their summer plumage and still have white or speckly heads. A couple of Mediterranean Gulls are amongst them (with the truly black heads, white rear ends and brighter red beaks); I've sometimes seen these among flocks of Black-headed Gulls near the Ship Canal.

Brook_complete.jpg.78defcef53ddb959af17e47ea65c89a9.jpg

 

 

 

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7 minutes ago, BrushType4 said:

Those look really good. The concrete render particularly so.

 

Thanks! Here's the real one for comparison. I chose to model it in current condition, even though my layout is set in the past, because I liked the really worn appearance. There weren't any seagulls on it the day I took this photo though!

Brook.jpg.8fddaf3d72c2ad080f464ee5fe571c46.jpg

 

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Spring starts this week and the grass is beginning to sprout on the banks of the canal, and among the sidings:

image.png.9d38dc05332d7bef8e3aafa40fcf61d2.png

I'll be doing this in stages, keen to provide a bit of variation in textures on the bank. I also don't want to over-do the vegetation in the sidings, they want to be a bit weedy but not completely overgrown. There's a fair amount visible in these photos that will shake off once the glue has dried.

image.png.202245224b4ceb91d706984c7b40197c.png

I'll post some more updates later in the week.

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  • RMweb Gold

Nice work on the foliage, looking forward to seeing more scenery work as your layout progresses.

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A few more photos showing how the greenery is growing.

In the sidings, I've layered the large clumps of static grass and topped with fine foam to represent tall grass:

Grass_1.jpg.610abd7cc109280051b01d37e606684d.jpg

The main line only has a few small patches of weeds, but I think the sidings need some more:

Grass_4.jpg.344349484d4f17552629105d49e47cda.jpg

Between the tracks I want to try and represent some rosebay willowherb, as that is a feature of some of the photos and film from the 1960s. I have some possible ideas of how to go about that, but does anyone have any proven methods already? It will be quite tall in 7mm scale, maybe 40mm?

 

Along the canal bank I have covered large swathes in grass and I have added a second layer in places. I'm waiting for delivery of more grass in some slightly lighter shades before adding more of the second layer. Using subtle colour variations and multiple layers will help to make it look wild rather than a neat lawn. Again, some areas will be topped with fine foam flock to give more variety:

Grass_3.jpg.b39b7be59c1c1bf90d3a5897136eb5be.jpg

Grass_2.jpg.8dc0fe8f50ef06b8db77a9002e0e6d85.jpg

 

Other areas need to be covered in bramble thickets and there will be a few isolated trees. Those areas won't be grassed underneath. I have some rubberised horsehair that I'm going to try and convert into bramble thickets.

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks! For the bigger clumps I lay a layer of a darker shade of 6mm grass and let it dry. Remove loose material.

Then take a wide brush loaded with slightly diluted PVA and brush it over the tops so some of them pick up little blobs of glue. Then lay a second layer of a slightly lighter shade of grass and let it dry. Remove loose material again.

Finally brush over the tops of the second layer with the dilute PVA again, and sprinkle over very fine ground foam, similar in colour to the upper layer of grass.

Hoover off any loose.

 

This gives a much more 3-dimensional and variable appearance than just a single application.

Just a single layer ends up looking too much like a golf course! Though the very large water trap, steeply graded greens and occasional passing bunker might make my MSC layout a Par 6!

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1 hour ago, Mol_PMB said:

A few more photos showing how the greenery is growing.

In the sidings, I've layered the large clumps of static grass and topped with fine foam to represent tall grass:

Grass_1.jpg.610abd7cc109280051b01d37e606684d.jpg

The main line only has a few small patches of weeds, but I think the sidings need some more:

Grass_4.jpg.344349484d4f17552629105d49e47cda.jpg

Between the tracks I want to try and represent some rosebay willowherb, as that is a feature of some of the photos and film from the 1960s. I have some possible ideas of how to go about that, but does anyone have any proven methods already? It will be quite tall in 7mm scale, maybe 40mm?

 

Along the canal bank I have covered large swathes in grass and I have added a second layer in places. I'm waiting for delivery of more grass in some slightly lighter shades before adding more of the second layer. Using subtle colour variations and multiple layers will help to make it look wild rather than a neat lawn. Again, some areas will be topped with fine foam flock to give more variety:

Grass_3.jpg.b39b7be59c1c1bf90d3a5897136eb5be.jpg

Grass_2.jpg.8dc0fe8f50ef06b8db77a9002e0e6d85.jpg

 

Other areas need to be covered in bramble thickets and there will be a few isolated trees. Those areas won't be grassed underneath. I have some rubberised horsehair that I'm going to try and convert into bramble thickets.

 

 

 

 

 

That is looking DAMN TASTY.

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In a few areas of the layout I would like to represent swathes of Rosebay Willowherb, a bit like this:

image.png.a1b76ca9aedf2b8cf8ceb76775975db2.png

 

 

So I have been doing some experiments. I've tried a variety of materials for the central stem, including bristles and green-coated wire.

The wire is stronger and easier to handle but maybe looks a bit heavy and straight.

rosebay1.jpg.f4f036b83411a30a88b431485adb633a.jpg

In reality the leaves are very long and thin, almost like grass, so I've tried using static grass pieces which give a sort of bottle-brush appearance. I think that works better than the foam flock, individual stems look a bit odd but I think in a cluster they will be OK.

I have tried a combination of flock then static grass, which certainly helps more of the static grass to stick on the thinner stems.

rosebay2.jpg.d830c99441d5dab9110caa83c8326bcd.jpg

For the flowers, I have several shades of fine pink and purple foam flock and that seems to work quite well.

 

Rosebay Willowherb grows around 5ft high so 35mm in 7mm scale. The ones I've made so far are too tall, but I'm sure I can plant them deeper.

 

Any better ideas? Whatever I need to do must be fairly quick as I'll need 100 or more of these to make a decent size patch of it.

 

 

Meanwhile I have also prepared some rubberised horsehair for making a few patches of brambles. Pics to follow on that when they've made a bit more progress.

 

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  • RMweb Gold

The Rosebay Willowherb does look lovely along railway embankments and sidings.

I like how you are experimenting with different materials.

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Look for florists wire. This does not have any spring and remains in the shape you intended. It is available in several gauges and the finer ones should be ok for rbwh. For inspiration can I recommend the books by Gordon Gravett, there is a whole volume on grasses and undergrowth and anything you can find on Roy England and his work on Pendon.

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7 minutes ago, doilum said:

Look for florists wire. This does not have any spring and remains in the shape you intended. It is available in several gauges and the finer ones should be ok for rbwh. For inspiration can I recommend the books by Gordon Gravett, there is a whole volume on grasses and undergrowth and anything you can find on Roy England and his work on Pendon.

Book duly ordered! Many thanks for the tip.

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FYI, there's a step by step guide on "How to make realistic weeds / Rosebay Willowherb" by Michael Russell in BRM July 2012.

Very similar to your method using bristles from an old paintbrush, static grasses and scatter materials etc

 

Russ M

 

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I've started production of some more of the rosebay willowherb, using both of the two more promising methods.

The ones with wire stems have fewer production stages and are more robust, but look a bit 'heavy' in the stem. I think they may well be good for the middle of a clump but perhaps not for the front row.

In the meantime, the three complete ones made with wire stems have been placed temporarily on the layout for photography:

rosebay3.jpg.42e3e3af7d06394bf5ac3d8c9c7c1ee3.jpg

 

Here is one of the bramble bushes, made with rubberised horsehair teased out and sprayed red-brown, then with little leaves stuck on. This is a bit of a cruel close-up:

brambles.jpg.6c36c2c2b07791ff9bfa4870f85210dd.jpg

 

I am closing in on a name for the layout and there may be an update to the thread title soon...

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So, a proper name for the layout. It's a shunting layout based on a real location: the sidings serving the Morgan Wallwork 'Boundary Sawmills' between Irlam and Barton on the Manchester Ship Canal through route.

 

In Don Thorpe's book on the MSC Railways, he writes in the chapter about operations:

"The duty at Weaste Junction, sorting wagons, was given the title 'Weaste bump' for obvious reasons. It was bump, bump, all day and all night long, and all regular shunting duties were referred to as 'bumps'"

He goes on to talk about the 'B Junction bump', the 'Galy bump', the 'Barton bump' etc.

So I've thought for some while that 'The xxx Bump' would be a good name for the layout.

 

There was a group of three private sidings along this section of the canal bank, with the Morgan Wallwork sawmills in the middle.

Just north-east of Morgan Wallwork was an old wharf known as Boysnope Wharf serving the Manchester Corporation Chat Moss Estate Railway (narrow gauge). This also had a standard-gauge siding on the MSC Railway. By my 1960s period that had been disused for over a decade and had been lifted.

Just south-west of Morgan Wallwork were the extensive sidings of the CWS Margarine Works, which had been a major source of MSC Railway traffic but drifted towards road transport in the 1960s.

 

I have three editions of the British Rail instructions for routing traffic to industries on the MSC Railway, from 1953, 1962, and 1971. I received the 1962 edition just today.

  • In 1953, this group of private sidings was listed under the heading 'Partington M.S.C.' with instructions to label to "Glazebrook (C.L.C.) (for Glazebrook Junction for congisgnee) M.S.C. via Glazebrook Junction".
    [don't ask me how the clerk was supposed to fit all that on the label!]
  • In 1971, this group of private sidings was listed under the heading 'Partington M.S.C. (North Side) Works' with instructions to label to "Glazebrook LMR (for Glazebrook Junction with MSC)", route code JA3.
  • But in my newly acquired 1962 edition which is closest to the date I am modelling, this group of sidings had their own heading separate from Partington; the section is shown below:

image.png.026e74396bffb5c89ef794d9dbdb877e.png

So in my mid 1960s period, the location of Morgan Wallwork and CWS Margarine was officially described as Boysnope, and wagons sent here would have been labelled "Boysnope M.S.C."

Even though the Manchester Corporation siding originally known as Boysnope had been lifted and was no longer on the list.

 

'The Boysnope Bump' has a nice ring to it, and I can now justify it historically too.

 

 

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  • Mol_PMB changed the title to Mol's MSC Layout: "The Boysnope Bump"
  • RMweb Gold

Great name, really like it. 

Thanks for sharing a little bit of the history of the area you are modelling.

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