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38 minutes ago, Graham T said:

Gosh.  Very impressive, especially the still lifes!

 

Thanks Graham. I spent 40 years in an art studio, in an advertising agency Even though the hours were long. I managed to keep the hobbies going, well almost. But I retired 4 years ago so my time is finally all mine.

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13 hours ago, Graham T said:

It's a small step for a man, but a giant leap for Chuffnell Regis.  The first locos arrived today, via a well-known auction site.  I'm really quite pleased with them out of the box, they look far better than the clunky models I remember from my childhood.  That being said, I have a long list of improvements I'd like to make, including:

 

Real coal, lamp irons, some light weathering, brass number plates, smokebox darts, paint the details inside the cabs, add crew, change the couplings, add vacuum pipes and fire irons.  No doubt there will be more.

 

I particularly like the look of the Dean Goods, I must say.  And please excuse the horrible track, I picked up some second-hand in a local shop just so that I would have something for them to stand on!

 

IMG20210331111429.jpg.e05f43357d4efc3127abbf676949f12d.jpg

IMG20210331111440.jpg.89128f34a77a41c4ec5a82e3d68df336.jpg

Mocolotives; it's starting to get real!

 

I have a Hornby 2721 which I have worked up a bit; it is a model that responds well to this.  I will come back to the chassis and mech in a minute, but the main problems with the body tooling are the skirts beneath the boiler to hide the motor and gearbox, the cab roof, and the top furniture.  I've cut the skirts away on mine, and put up with the naked motor, but this is not so bad as it might at first seem as you will see.  The cab roof did not in reality have the rib that is for some odd reason shown on the model, and did not form a lip over the cab front; it was a plain sheet roof.  This is not difficult to achieve on the model; remove the roof moulding by leveing it off with a screwdriver or something and there is a false roof beneath it, which can be used as the support for a new sheet plastic roof.

 

The chimney is very odd, being tapered in the wrong direction in order to release the body from the mould, and the safety valve cover is a little crude  While I was at it I drilled a small hole in the top of the dome and inserted a piece of wire, trimmed close to the dome, to represent the 'nipple', as on the Dean Goods.  I was lucky in that the spare bits box contained a correct parallel chimney and s/v cover that had begun their lives on an ancient Westward 64xx kit that had expired.  I replaced the buffers with cast whitemtal Dean buffers, can't recall where from now, gave her proper lamp brackets, and a repaint into wartime austerity black, with number plates to represent Tondu's 2761, withdrawn 31/3/50 and photographed in that livery at Swindon a few months later.

 

She's acquired a few other improvements over the years, including a turned brass smokebox door dart, but the main area of improvement has been the cab.  Real coal in the bunker, a scribed piece of plastic sheet to represent the planked floor, a handbrake standard, a crew, spectacle glazing (Glue'n'Glaze), and a weather sheet.  This is painted tinfoil, and correctly secured at the rear with the hooks that protruded from the rear corners of the bunker for the purpose, a sort of drophead coupe loco.  I think mine is a later tooling than yours, as it has no mouled handrails.

 

Below the footplate, matters are less straightforward.  The model is fundamentally flawed by Hornby, originally Triang Hornby, deciding to use their Jinty chassis and mech for this loco (and the LBSC 0-6-0, 8750, J83, and J52).  It has completely the wrong axle spacing for a 2721, and for that matter for a Jinty, which means that the wheels and splashers are in the wrong positions.  Also, the fluted coupling rods are incorrect for some 2721s in their later lives.  The usual way of dealing with this is to replace the entire running chassis with a Bachmann 57xx chassis,  which is of course a mismatch for alignment between the wheels and the splashers, but gives much better running and is correct for locos with fishbelly coupling rods. 

 

I resisted doing this for some time because of the coupling rod issue, but the original Hornby chassis and mech gave me so much trouble that in the end I gave in.  This was the most recent type of Hornby chassis fitted to this loco, driving the front axle with the rear axle sprung.  It can, in favourable conditions, run well, but mine picked up crud with considerable enthusiasm and needed constant cleaning and fettling every time I used the loco, with the result that I didn't use the loco much. 

 

The Bachmann chassis and mech has cured all this, but I now have incorrect coupling rods for 2761, and have had to cut away the coal hole door area of the firebox backhead to clear the Bachmann worm and spur gears; this is one of the reasons for the weather sheet and the crew grouped to hide this butchery.  Work still to do is replace the spectacle windows, as the real ones were brass rimmed, provide some detail for the bunker front, and fit the fire iron hooks on the rear of the bunker.  I have yet to source the G W R lettering transfers, as 2761 had the plain unshaded sans serif 'grotesque' style applied at Caerphilly Works between 1942 and 1945.

 

When I bought this loco, secondhand in my local model shop Lord and Butler, Peter Lord ran it in the shop for me, and as it ran like a 3 legged dog with legs from 3 different other dogs of 3 different sizes, he intitially refused to sell it to me.  When he looked in the stockroom and discovered that this was the only one he had, I offered him £5 for it as seen, figuring that, as there was life in the thing, I would be able to get it running.  The problem was that the previous owner had overlubed it and everything was gunged up; a deep clean had her running, but she never ran smoothly for very long with her Hornby chassis.  I hope you do not have similar issues with yours!

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14 hours ago, Gedward said:

 

Thanks Graham. I spent 40 years in an art studio, in an advertising agency Even though the hours were long. I managed to keep the hobbies going, well almost. But I retired 4 years ago so my time is finally all mine.

 

I left the Navy recently, after 30 years.  Not much time for hobbies during that period, and life is still rather busy now - but doing what I can :)

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9 hours ago, The Johnster said:

Mocolotives; it's starting to get real!

 

I have a Hornby 2721 which I have worked up a bit; it is a model that responds well to this.  I will come back to the chassis and mech in a minute, but the main problems with the body tooling are the skirts beneath the boiler to hide the motor and gearbox, the cab roof, and the top furniture.  I've cut the skirts away on mine, and put up with the naked motor, but this is not so bad as it might at first seem as you will see.  The cab roof did not in reality have the rib that is for some odd reason shown on the model, and did not form a lip over the cab front; it was a plain sheet roof.  This is not difficult to achieve on the model; remove the roof moulding by leveing it off with a screwdriver or something and there is a false roof beneath it, which can be used as the support for a new sheet plastic roof.

 

The chimney is very odd, being tapered in the wrong direction in order to release the body from the mould, and the safety valve cover is a little crude  While I was at it I drilled a small hole in the top of the dome and inserted a piece of wire, trimmed close to the dome, to represent the 'nipple', as on the Dean Goods.  I was lucky in that the spare bits box contained a correct parallel chimney and s/v cover that had begun their lives on an ancient Westward 64xx kit that had expired.  I replaced the buffers with cast whitemtal Dean buffers, can't recall where from now, gave her proper lamp brackets, and a repaint into wartime austerity black, with number plates to represent Tondu's 2761, withdrawn 31/3/50 and photographed in that livery at Swindon a few months later.

 

She's acquired a few other improvements over the years, including a turned brass smokebox door dart, but the main area of improvement has been the cab.  Real coal in the bunker, a scribed piece of plastic sheet to represent the planked floor, a handbrake standard, a crew, spectacle glazing (Glue'n'Glaze), and a weather sheet.  This is painted tinfoil, and correctly secured at the rear with the hooks that protruded from the rear corners of the bunker for the purpose, a sort of drophead coupe loco.  I think mine is a later tooling than yours, as it has no mouled handrails.

 

Below the footplate, matters are less straightforward.  The model is fundamentally flawed by Hornby, originally Triang Hornby, deciding to use their Jinty chassis and mech for this loco (and the LBSC 0-6-0, 8750, J83, and J52).  It has completely the wrong axle spacing for a 2721, and for that matter for a Jinty, which means that the wheels and splashers are in the wrong positions.  Also, the fluted coupling rods are incorrect for some 2721s in their later lives.  The usual way of dealing with this is to replace the entire running chassis with a Bachmann 57xx chassis,  which is of course a mismatch for alignment between the wheels and the splashers, but gives much better running and is correct for locos with fishbelly coupling rods. 

 

I resisted doing this for some time because of the coupling rod issue, but the original Hornby chassis and mech gave me so much trouble that in the end I gave in.  This was the most recent type of Hornby chassis fitted to this loco, driving the front axle with the rear axle sprung.  It can, in favourable conditions, run well, but mine picked up crud with considerable enthusiasm and needed constant cleaning and fettling every time I used the loco, with the result that I didn't use the loco much. 

 

The Bachmann chassis and mech has cured all this, but I now have incorrect coupling rods for 2761, and have had to cut away the coal hole door area of the firebox backhead to clear the Bachmann worm and spur gears; this is one of the reasons for the weather sheet and the crew grouped to hide this butchery.  Work still to do is replace the spectacle windows, as the real ones were brass rimmed, provide some detail for the bunker front, and fit the fire iron hooks on the rear of the bunker.  I have yet to source the G W R lettering transfers, as 2761 had the plain unshaded sans serif 'grotesque' style applied at Caerphilly Works between 1942 and 1945.

 

When I bought this loco, secondhand in my local model shop Lord and Butler, Peter Lord ran it in the shop for me, and as it ran like a 3 legged dog with legs from 3 different other dogs of 3 different sizes, he intitially refused to sell it to me.  When he looked in the stockroom and discovered that this was the only one he had, I offered him £5 for it as seen, figuring that, as there was life in the thing, I would be able to get it running.  The problem was that the previous owner had overlubed it and everything was gunged up; a deep clean had her running, but she never ran smoothly for very long with her Hornby chassis.  I hope you do not have similar issues with yours!

 

Thanks Johnster for the tips, very useful indeed.  I can't see me changing the running gear to be honest, but will try to achieve everything else on the list.  Before that though, I'd better finish the plan (hah!)  Oh, and build the baseboards.  And lay some track.  And decide on a control system.  And do some wiring.  I think I need a lie down!

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I did threaten to rejig the plan...

 

This has been done using Peco streamline 100, as I understand that it's the same geometry as the Code 75 track.  I've taken out the third run of track that used to run next to the passing loop, as it seemed to be a bit redundant, and that makes the goods yard a bit more spacious.  "Simplify and add lightness!"  I think it's now looking pretty good, but would appreciate any thoughts, especially if I've made any glaring operational errors with it.  Thanks :)

 

CR3.3.png.2795c461b9531cb6dab8d256bec0cd8a.png

 

Still not entirely sure about the turntable - but I do want to have one.

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So, the baseboards are now nearly finished, and ready for nailing to the walls in the spare room.  They are in three separate sections in case I ever need to move them, but not intended to be portable as such.  A closer look will reveal (a) my hamfisted carpentry in general, (b) a glaring measuring error when cutting one of the cross-braces - I was trying to be a bit too clever, and (c) that timber from the Austrian equivalent of B&Q is not the straightest in the world.

 

I think I will probably replace that messed up cross-brace.  I think it would be fine structurally, and no-one would ever see it, but it will irritate me knowing it's been bodged.  As for the warped timbers, I'm hoping that fixing the ply onto the framework will cure that.  We'll see tomorrow!

 

IMG20210406193641.jpg.b92f3728640851f32cb39bde6d6e0b4d.jpg

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Nice job. You'll be pleased to know that you will struggle to get straight timber from any DIY outlet. All you can do is check when you buy. Glue and pin the top surface. Pile books, houseplants, car engines on it and leave to dry for 24 hours. I use a polyurethane type of glue made by Evo stick in silicone type tubes. Works on everything from antique furniture, sash windows, radio cases and model railways.

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I actually bought 9mm ply for the baseboards, I can't for the life of me remember why.  I'm sure it made sense at the time.  So I'll just be screwing that down.  If that doesn't get everything into square then maybe I'll have to ask my ex-wife to sit on it for a while - that should flatten things down!

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My ex wife wasn't heavy ,( something to do with not dating those you couldn't lift over the threshold?) but I suspect that she could straighten your baseboards simply by scowling at them.

9mm ply is ideal, it won't take on a fruit bowl shape when you switch off the central heating. It will also help rigidise the boards. If it still misbehaved, screw a "skirt" of 9mm ply, 150mm deep down each of the long sides. That will teach it to behave and is much more pleasant than the thought of having to beg a favour from one's ex. ;)

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I've picked up four old Hornby corridor clerestory coaches from the ever popular online auction site, but two of them are missing bogies.  These should be 10ft Dean items as far as I know.  Can anybody tell me where I can pick some up?

 

IMG20210407103831.jpg.1413ecc61a5888725b5bbc14fe95fc5f.jpg

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No problem, I was sent there originally from a thread on modifying the old Tri-ang clerestories. I have successfully cut and shut 6mm out of these bogies even though they are an evil sort of plastic!

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The baseboards are now finished :)  

 

The furthest section is not a mistake (although there are several others).  That will be the lower level scenic section, dropped down so that I can have a stream running through it.  I'll need to cut some curved sections of ply to link the other sections across it to the fiddle yard - which will be in the top right corner as you look at it now.  But I won't cut those until everything is in situ and I can start laying out where exactly I actually want the tracks to run.

 

Now I need to wait until I can get some more timber for the legs....

 

IMG20210408182420.jpg.ef405ec676c03351eb92c94ee4292a72.jpg

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One of the three baseboards now fitted to the wall.  Unfortunately I'm now stalled until I can get some wood for the supporting legs.  Itching to get on!

 

IMG20210409190716.jpg.9369fdcd19c9e4c35b2e879eaa02e006.jpg

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On 02/04/2021 at 11:58, Graham T said:

I did threaten to rejig the plan...

 

This has been done using Peco streamline 100, as I understand that it's the same geometry as the Code 75 track.  I've taken out the third run of track that used to run next to the passing loop, as it seemed to be a bit redundant, and that makes the goods yard a bit more spacious.  "Simplify and add lightness!"  I think it's now looking pretty good, but would appreciate any thoughts, especially if I've made any glaring operational errors with it.  Thanks :)

 

CR3.3.png.2795c461b9531cb6dab8d256bec0cd8a.png

 

Still not entirely sure about the turntable - but I do want to have one.

 

Hi Graham, 


Your mantra is a good one and I have some suggestions along those lines. The "bay platform" was a real world feature and it's something that a lot of modellers reach for as a way to increase the operability and playability of their designs. It needs to be signalled properly which is not difficult but adds visual complexity, especially with the imaginary kickback passenger service. It also shortens the main platform drastically and usually places trackwork near the back of the scene, making the transition to the backscene more difficult to disguise. You can probably see where I'm going with this... My suggestion would be to abandon the bay platform, making the main platform longer, getting more space for the rest of the plan and simplifying the signalling. Then seek other ways to generate interesting operations.

 

The three parallel tracks you had before were one way of doing that. The centre track is a shared run round loop for the platform line on one side and a goods siding on the other, making run round operations a bit more flexible. (You could physically run round goods stock while passenger stock is in the platform and vice versa but that seems to be more of a model thing than prototypically correct.) Those three tracks also make efficient use of the space so that the goods yard can open out between that goods siding and the rest of the goods yard.

 

You can justify the turntable if you imagine that the branch line is very long, like Fairford or Launceston. For realism, though, don't use a huge RTR 70 footer. Go for a 45' or 55' just big enough for your typical branch locos. That also helps with the proportions, preventing it from dominating the scene. Where you have it at the moment is vaguely similar to Launceston and it naturally fits inside the curve of the main line but access to it is a bit awkward. Perhaps the turntable and engine shed could perhaps usefully fill the top right corner instead of the dummy branch?

 

I think somewhere in the thread you were talking about allowing cassettes to cross the doorway? Would that give you extra scenic length? If so that would be very valuable and if it's only a cassette blocking the door there's no too much worry about getting trapped... Just make it so one of the mountings breaks when given an extra hefty shove!

 

BTW: There's a subforum where the people interested in track planning hang out: https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/forum/66-layout-track-design/

 

P.S. There's a 10ft wide L-shaped layout design inspired by Lambourn in my album (including a bay platform! Argh!).

 

Edited by Harlequin
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On 07/04/2021 at 11:26, Graham T said:

I've picked up four old Hornby corridor clerestory coaches from the ever popular online auction site, but two of them are missing bogies.  These should be 10ft Dean items as far as I know.  Can anybody tell me where I can pick some up?

 

IMG20210407103831.jpg.1413ecc61a5888725b5bbc14fe95fc5f.jpg

Stafford Road Works/Shapeways 3D prints if the Bay is not forthcoming.  Not cheap, but plug in replacement with NEM pocket printed in.  

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On 10/04/2021 at 08:38, Harlequin said:

 

Hi Graham, 


Your mantra is a good one and I have some suggestions along those lines. The "bay platform" was a real world feature and it's something that a lot of modellers reach for as a way to increase the operability and playability of their designs. It needs to be signalled properly which is not difficult but adds visual complexity, especially with the imaginary kickback passenger service. It also shortens the main platform drastically and usually places trackwork near the back of the scene, making the transition to the backscene more difficult to disguise. You can probably see where I'm going with this... My suggestion would be to abandon the bay platform, making the main platform longer, getting more space for the rest of the plan and simplifying the signalling. Then seek other ways to generate interesting operations.

 

The three parallel tracks you had before were one way of doing that. The centre track is a shared run round loop for the platform line on one side and a goods siding on the other, making run round operations a bit more flexible. (You could physically run round goods stock while passenger stock is in the platform and vice versa but that seems to be more of a model thing than prototypically correct.) Those three tracks also make efficient use of the space so that the goods yard can open out between that goods siding and the rest of the goods yard.

 

You can justify the turntable if you imagine that the branch line is very long, like Fairford or Launceston. For realism, though, don't use a huge RTR 70 footer. Go for a 45' or 55' just big enough for your typical branch locos. That also helps with the proportions, preventing it from dominating the scene. Where you have it at the moment is vaguely similar to Launceston and it naturally fits inside the curve of the main line but access to it is a bit awkward. Perhaps the turntable and engine shed could perhaps usefully fill the top right corner instead of the dummy branch?

 

I think somewhere in the thread you were talking about allowing cassettes to cross the doorway? Would that give you extra scenic length? If so that would be very valuable and if it's only a cassette blocking the door there's no too much worry about getting trapped... Just make it so one of the mountings breaks when given an extra hefty shove!

 

BTW: There's a subforum where the people interested in track planning hang out: https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/forum/66-layout-track-design/

 

P.S. There's a 10ft wide L-shaped layout design inspired by Lambourn in my album (including a bay platform! Argh!).

 

 

 

Phil, thanks very much for all those thoughtful ideas.  As a result of reading them I spent most of yesterday grappling with plans!  I still like the idea of keeping the bay platform, as I want to have an end loading bay feeding from the station forecourt; and I think the disappearing branch line is a lovely idea, so long as I can make the topography work so that the autocoach travels away and moves out of sight.  On the subject of topography, I think I can make that work, as the Wye Valley was quite interesting in this regard, and it would fit for the GW theme.  See this pic here for example.

 

I've gone back to having the three (more or less) parallel tracks, as they make things look more interesting.  But I will still have the engine shed at the end of one of the lines, as per Lambourn.  I know that makes running round potentially more difficult, but there's a prototype example for you!  It will be a small shed only, I picture the branch having one or two panniers stationed at Chuffnell Regis, and the turntable is there because, as you suggest, it's a long branch.  Which would give me an excuse to run a Mogul later (or just invoke Rule 1!)

 

I'm with you regarding the turntable as well.  My intention was always to have a 55 footer.  I looked at the ones from Greenwood Models, but unlike the budgie, they're not going cheap.

 

So, I tried all sorts of iterations yesterday.  With and without the three parallel tracks, moving the turntable up to the top right corner instead of the branch line, etc etc.  I got rid of the headshunt running next to the main track, as it was quite short, and the scenic requirements would have meant having it run across a bridge; and I couldn't see the company building a two track bridge just so that they could have a short headshunt, when they could just use the yard sidings instead, and even the main running line, if necessary.  That also meant I could get rid of the double slip, which seemed overly complicated for a line like this.

 

And so after much head-scratching I got to this...

 

5.0.jpg.7ea8922ef1cc369f1adf019718c2a669.jpg

 

Which was followed by another of my much-feared brainwaves.  What if I rotated everything by a few degrees?  This gave me the following (I'll post something with the scenery filled in a bit later).

 

CR5.1.png.e7be92edff7dc2fad451b75764fa270e.png

 

At the moment I'm leaning towards the second version, as I think it makes better use of the space.  I'm just not sure yet if I'll be able to make the branch line autocoach "disappear"; need to do some more work on visualising the topography on the scenic section.

 

Hopefully I will be able to get some timber soon, so that I can stop messing about with new plans!

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  • Graham T changed the title to Chuffnell Regis

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