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Cherrybrook - Shropshire Blt - Portable Layout


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Afternoon all,

I've been Floating ideas around on here since christmas for a portable blt to take to uni, and ive finally made a layout thread as the first plywood will be cut iminently.

 

you can see the initial idea here:

 

and alot more development here:

 

 

The idea for the layout is to replace my current portable layout (west canal sidings) with a slightly larger and more functional layout.

Not only do i want it to be more interesting to run whilst I'm at uni , but I also want to use it as a test bed to get my head around block detection and automation with JMRI. I also want to build it to a much higher standard that will allow me to bring it with me to the first few houses i move through at the start of my RN career where I won't have the time or space to start Coalorsdale MKII, but i should be able to set up this smaller layout.

 

It will be set in the same era as coalorsdale (1959-64 ish) to allow me to use the same stock, and whilst it is not based on any prototype it will be vagully grounded in shropshire.

 

After much discussion the final (I hope) track plan is below. The 2nd rad curve and 3 way points are compromises to allow the layout to fit on top of a single bed.

 

blt2_43.JPG.2d686b1f4366bda9767fd7bc6cb6f6f4.JPG

 

 

I have also finalised the baseboard designs out of 5.5mm ply and softwood timber. it is designed to break up and be stored under my bed.

 

1453327541_bltframebed.JPG.6e58a69348e60ed0fd7c9bf9acff55eb.JPG

 

596362874_pelmet1.JPG.234844f5d33c374bb99f8a883ca8d13c.JPG

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Track will be peco code 100 with electrofrog points. I tried code 75 on west  canal sidings and although it looks better it gets bent and damaged far easier so for safety im sticking with what i know.

 

control will be Lenz dcc as per my main layout.

 

From the outset all points will be dcc controlled . The scenic points will be controlled by dcc concepts cobalt digitals, and the storage points will be peco pl10s with a decoder to bring cost down a little.

 

I was going to wait and add Pc control at a later date , however i was flicking through Ebay last night and found a bundle with 2 ldt rs8s and 1  ldt rs16 for £60 !!  ( retail is about £65 per board) . for those not well versed in german dcc those are 8 and 16 input feedback and detection boards.

I will keep them safe for now, as i need to upgrade my lenz system to 3.6 firmware and buy a usb interface before i can start using my pc.

 

 

 

 

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I did say the first cuts were imminent!

 

Between lectures I managed to setup a table and cut the main shapes out of the 2x6ft ply. I hope to do the 4x8ft ply tomorrow. 

 

20210308_125309.jpg.d7151c7ccf0e54b8b13c3209c9ffe8fe.jpg

 

The saw horse is far to small for sheets of ply so I screwed on two old wardrobe doors to make a large table. 

 

I then cut the main scenic boards, including the cutout for the stream, as well as the first of ten strips needed for framing. 

 

All of the edges have also been sanded with 120 grit on the orbit sander. 

 

20210308_134615.jpg.ea20f857338377ab913edc749d9334e2.jpg

 

 

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More wood cut this morning before my afternoon lectures. 

 

I started by ripping down 8 strips to use for the plywood sandwich frame. 

 

I then cut the board tops for the storage yard and finally the back scene boards. 

 

Very minimal wastage from an 8x4 sheet. 

 

20210309_134903.jpg.b9d538499fbc52593cf97e6e6355d822.jpg

 

To cut the curved board that joins the storage tracks to the scenic section, I first made a template with an off cut which I could screw in the centre point and then run two pencil lines on the correct half. 

 

This deffinately worked first time and there was no incident involving swearing when the arc went straight off the board and I had to move everything down by 30mm and try again.:rolleyes:

 

 

 20210309_131627.jpg.03e9f84966129954e56656b30a96496c.jpg

 

 

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I had a gap this afternoon and I think I have all the framing cut to size. 

 

I used the computer to get a cut list, in fact 10 cut lists (one for each strip) . 

 

20210309_155720.jpg.2467f78e1225371bb644ff328384e596.jpg

 

And now I can slowly start assembly. 

 

I've also cut blocks from the softwood ready for the plywood girders. 

 

20210309_163802.jpg.14ee57b67f50d39b543de3b2abaa4b33.jpg

 

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The first board is gluing up now. 

 

 I won't be doing any closeups,The spade bit made a bit of a mess with the weight reduction holes and I didn't bother aligning them perfectly, I just removed as much material as possible. 

 

20210310_143301.jpg.ca265f1b832ac0f22dfa9deae5891c43.jpg

 

20210310_144421.jpg.fb223f4ad1c558385b301a4e62c44477.jpg

 

I'll leave it over night to cure completely before I move on to the next large board. I think I'll remove the heavy gas cylinder in a few hours though just to avoid having the weight on there for too long. 

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Looks like an interesting project, keep up the good work. What do you think you will be able to get into the loop/headshunt? It's hard to tell what it will take once allowing for clearances. 

Edited by LBSC123
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The run around loop will take atleast two coaches posiibly even a goods van as well but I'll have to see when I've laid the track. 

 

I'm not certain if a tender loco will fit beyond the points  with a buffer at the end of the platform. 

 

For shunting the goods sidings  one or two wagons will possibly have to enter the tunnel. ( the main is used for shunting as there's no room for goods and passenger services at the same time anyway) 

 

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This afternoon I made the board that will support the curve between the scenic board and the storage yard. 

 

I soaked the plywood in boiling water to help it bend to the correct curve, there were one or two cracks but nothing major. 

 

I ended up using a mix of hot glue, wood glue and shear willpower to hold it together. 

 

Here is a photo from when I was using masking tape to set the curves before adding glue. 

 

20210310_160204.jpg.0872518fb533f308bdd63087fa32ccef.jpg

 

 

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No woodwork today, however the ldt boards I found for a bargain on ebay have arrived. 

 

Two 8 Input feedback modules with block detection built in and one 16 input feedback module for switches or light sensors etc. 

 

The rs-8 boards will give me feedback detection both on and off scene and I'll keep the rs16 somewhere safe for future use. 

 

20210312_211327.jpg.ba26f38db28f800644d0455d695628b5.jpg

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I took all the weights off of the last board this morning and quickly lined them all up to see their layout in person for the first time. 

 

20210314_131748.jpg.471932c908306ae6d13d36221e92e0fe.jpg

 

I'm quite happy with how they've turned out. Still more sanding required to get completely flush joints and then I shall install the joining hardware.

 

I was going to have the backscene boards removable but I think it will make for a sturdier structure if I glue and screw them to the baseboards. They will also protect the scenery

 

 

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Afternoon all, 

 

I've been working hard (or should I say hardly working) over the past few days on finishing the baseboards. 

 

I have installed the backboards permanently with woodglue and screws as they add rigidity to the boards without adding too much weight.

 

20210318_120253.jpg.08f38f3566636f21bfff2710066cc061.jpg

 

I've also added 3d printed brackets in each corner that will allow the back scene to curve. You can also see here I've sealed all of the joins around the stream with silicone. 

 

20210318_120307.jpg.59f447d5ac312068cc9efc36caa6a96f.jpg

 

Between all of the boards I have added dcc concepts alignment dowels as well as loose pin hinges. 

 

20210318_120303.jpg.267bf20f82d750101dbd13f666636593.jpg

 

The storage board has two normal hinges on top allowing it to fold for storage on top of my wardrobe. It has a magnet to hold it in its folded position, as well as a loose pin hinge on the side solidly latch it in its running position. 

 

20210318_120518.jpg.fbbc64fd5c4d03cd76a720756c788ad0.jpg

 

20210318_120343.jpg.07a96dd4123cdc9e2a5f810862ad172f.jpg

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Due to some delays I've now got an extra week at home. 

 

I decided I might as well take advantage , so last night I bought a wills River bridge so I can work out the exact location of the bridge and ajoining track bed.

 

I can then add some expanding foam to the Brook which will add some strength to the corners of the baseboard as well as starting to form the landscape. 

 

With excellent service from model railways direct, as well as royal mail, the bridge arrived this morning and I assembled it throughout the day. 

 

20210319_152351.jpg.29856e4de24fb561204b8f6f08d733c6.jpg

 

I made it somewhere between a single and double width so that it fits the single curved track. 

 

20210319_213043.jpg.752837fa0e77e805af75d40e7f8bf02f.jpg

 

It's a decent size and should fit over a stream and possibly leave room for a footpath. 

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After a few days of 3d printing parts, this evening I got the lighting pelmet test installed for the first time. 

 

20210320_214232.jpg.d74a8e44036ce07a6b07460dc23a869e.jpg

 

It is made of the same 5.5mm ply as the rest of the layout and is held up by softwood batons, it will be strengthened by 3d printed angles that will also mount led strips. (said angle Brackets and led strips can be seen on the board) 

 

20210320_214252.jpg.4c0825523c716bf61d0b7772bae37bfa.jpg

 

I've used hinges in the middle to allow it to fold in half for storage, and at either end I have interlocking 3d printed brackets that allow the lighting unit to lift off from the supports. 

 

20210320_214259.jpg.76d366b2db5541e508d5e7b83650f6b1.jpg

 

 

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I'm waiting on some hot glue sticks to assemble the light bars, however this afternoon I managed to get the track plan printed out and taped together. 

 

I plonked on some locos and rolling stock to double check siding lengths etc. And all seems to be going to plan.

 

20210321_152616.jpg.6ca54acf0ab1734d07984dfe9f7eaf8c.jpg

 

 

 

Two coaches fit perfectly in the run around and  My longest tank engine fits beyond the points at the end of the platform. 

 

Each goods siding fits at least 5 wagons, 6 at a push. The cattle dock fits 3 vans and the spare siding behind the bay fits 3 or 4 wagons so will be perfect to dump brake vans or a few empties. 

 

Obviously the layout won't be filled completely during operation but it's good to know what fits where. 

 

 

 

 

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I finished wiring up the lighting pelmet this afternoon. 

 

The led strips alternate between warm Wight and cool white and are angled to spread light across the board. 

 

20210323_144648.jpg.0fd70ced7222f42de5de66e60bae6271.jpg

 

The whole assembly folds in half and is quite compact and relatively light. 

 

20210323_144642.jpg.e1db3afb023241da93c103491ad9b4fe.jpg

 

I think it will illuminate the scene quite nicely. 

 

20210323_144210.jpg.c1e18625e9baf38ce6518fa97d13f8c9.jpg

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Yesterday I made up an insert for one of my storage crates using some corrugated plastic. 

 

I've decided to transport my rolling stock unboxed to save space, including my unboxed pannier and my 04 (which has a box but fitted nicely behind the pannier) 

 

20210324_143451.jpg.cece2cede645d0b9798663a8071f1b73.jpg

 

In the top of the box I can fit all of the other locos I want to bring inside their boxes. 

 

20210324_143440.jpg.a0e651a161ae03b290f57011bb70cc18.jpg

 

I could save even more space and allow room for new locos if I transport all of my locos unboxed, but there are so many detail parts on the new ones I think I'd be happier to leave them in their original packaging. 

 

Another dilemma I face is whether or not to bring my 4mt. Would it have run to a small terminus with no turntable? 

 

20210324_143205.jpg.11460ff4b3cdb1fe60b1539412f18df7.jpg

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3 hours ago, Horsehay Railway Modeller said:

 

Another dilemma I face is whether or not to bring my 4mt. Would it have run to a small terminus with no turntable? 

 

20210324_143205.jpg.11460ff4b3cdb1fe60b1539412f18df7.jpg

 

Oh yes, definitely.  THe BR Std 4 was specifically built to have a better route availability than the Std 5.  Very much a locomotive for backwaters and branches.

:good:

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7 hours ago, Phatbob said:

 

Oh yes, definitely.  THe BR Std 4 was specifically built to have a better route availability than the Std 5.  Very much a locomotive for backwaters and branches.

:good:

Thanks for the reasurence, 

I wasn't certain on running tender first but it appears to be completely acceptable. 

 

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I travelled back to uni yesterday. It took me. A while to sort all of my stuff, but eventually everything fit exactly as I had planned. 

 

This morning I've managed to get the boards set up on my bed. 

 

20210329_120936.jpg.1db4f1deea74e624d025c680d61a7af7.jpg

 

Fortunately they all fit. The scenic board is heavy enough to level itself, however the lighter storage boards follow the level of the mattress meaning there ona very slight angle, it shouldn't be a hinderence to running though. 

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I've ordered most of what is needed to get the layout running, the track is delayed until the points are in stock, however the cork arrived this morning and the backscene is due this afternoon. 

 

I've started cutting and gluing the 3mm Cork, I've decided to cover most of the station area but will only put Cork under the single track on the curve. 

 

It currently has half my bookshelf holding it down, including a full copy of the lord of the rings. 20210331_155935.jpg.5f9f0368da7127376cd41e9aa8169166.jpg

 

 

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I take a lot of photographs as inspiration for my artwork and model making. Your inclusion of a river bridge immediately reminded me of this picture.

 

IMG_20201025_140115.jpg.670471ad9b150c63c33d00a9c8dd77ed.jpg

 

 

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