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Merthyr on Sea


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Fourth time lucky? This could be a final attempt to find a micro solution that works.  Mk1 had a hidden fiddleyard that was plain daft on reflection.  I have had two attempts at using a traverser that makes me think I’m not destined to build one where the b tracks line up vertically.  All three used the same baseboard frame with the layout built on 40mm styrodur dropping into it. I have always been a fan of Paul Lunn’s Pwllheli plan and a great admirer of Julian’s Portwey.  I noticed that Julian commented on the difficulty of getting traversers to work so I intend to follow his idea of a one board layout/fiddleyard that I can stand on end requiring a square foot for storage.  To be honest I'm not much of an operator so something to plug and play will hopefully work for me and if not it should be easier to sell on if one board and I’m bored. 

 

My son has just used laser cut mdf to panel his hallway.  The supplier’s prices were reasonable so I’m hoping I can build a 6mm mdf box to house this. If that works I will try and salvage layout 2 (Pengwith) and layout 3 (Brean)

 

The track plan I am toying with combines a Portwey style island platform with a Pwllheli siding with the kick back to a warehouse industry.  I had always planned (haven’t we all got a 101 ideas we want to try?) to build an eighties Burnham on Sea layout assuming it had expanded dramatically in the 1950s and 60s to be a commuter favourite for Bristol.  The warehouse is a cider industry factory after the famous (or infamous if you drink too much half and half) local producer that expanded from it’s site in Watchfield and is now a subsidiary of a Taunton company, cue a cargowaggon on a micro with a 40 inch x 12 inch scenic area.  Running the mid to late eighties also gives me scope for some colour with red royal mail vans, satlink /civilink wagons and possibly a GW150 class 121.

 

The intention is to keep the layout vaguely western region so that Burnham can also become a Welsh valley station with a metal pressings plant in the warehouse. Merthyr Tydfil station in the 80’s had a lovely 70’s rebuild building and an island platform so I’m thinking a butchered peco office building kit might make a good low relief structure. Fate (an auction site) offered a limited edition Cardiff based class 108 so passenger movements covered.  I think a GW150 class 121 is moving me more towards the Home Counties but with a vague warehouse/factory does that matter?

 

At 62 I'm not sure how many more layouts I have left in me but I still have a hankering for Bridgwater yard 1983.  My home town that saw nuclear waste, chemical tanks for Cellophane, VEAs for Puriton ROF, refrigerated produce and wire on KEV wagons. Probably no more than an inglenook but that is for the future (although I have started a ratio overhead crane). My only other craving is Mercy Street, an Ian Futers inspired 3 point special based on the outskirts of Glasgow.  Can fate provide a Strathclyde liveried dmu??

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' chemical tanks for Cellophane'

I trust you have found a suitable vape to represent the smell!
With the wind in the right/wrong direction you could sometimes smell it in Highbridge, where we lived.

Edited by phil_sutters
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On 01/07/2021 at 21:13, bazzer42 said:

Fourth time lucky? This could be a final attempt to find a micro solution that works.  Mk1 had a hidden fiddleyard that was plain daft on reflection.  I have had two attempts at using a traverser that makes me think I’m not destined to build one where the b tracks line up vertically.  All three used the same baseboard frame with the layout built on 40mm styrodur dropping into it. I have always been a fan of Paul Lunn’s Pwllheli plan and a great admirer of Julian’s Portwey.  I noticed that Julian commented on the difficulty of getting traversers to work so I intend to follow his idea of a one board layout/fiddleyard that I can stand on end requiring a square foot for storage.  To be honest I'm not much of an operator so something to plug and play will hopefully work for me and if not it should be easier to sell on if one board and I’m bored. 

 

My son has just used laser cut mdf to panel his hallway.  The supplier’s prices were reasonable so I’m hoping I can build a 6mm mdf box to house this. If that works I will try and salvage layout 2 (Pengwith) and layout 3 (Brean)

 

The track plan I am toying with combines a Portwey style island platform with a Pwllheli siding with the kick back to a warehouse industry.  I had always planned (haven’t we all got a 101 ideas we want to try?) to build an eighties Burnham on Sea layout assuming it had expanded dramatically in the 1950s and 60s to be a commuter favourite for Bristol.  The warehouse is a cider industry factory after the famous (or infamous if you drink too much half and half) local producer that expanded from it’s site in Watchfield and is now a subsidiary of a Taunton company, cue a cargowaggon on a micro with a 40 inch x 12 inch scenic area.  Running the mid to late eighties also gives me scope for some colour with red royal mail vans, satlink /civilink wagons and possibly a GW150 class 121.

 

The intention is to keep the layout vaguely western region so that Burnham can also become a Welsh valley station with a metal pressings plant in the warehouse. Merthyr Tydfil station in the 80’s had a lovely 70’s rebuild building and an island platform so I’m thinking a butchered peco office building kit might make a good low relief structure. Fate (an auction site) offered a limited edition Cardiff based class 108 so passenger movements covered.  I think a GW150 class 121 is moving me more towards the Home Counties but with a vague warehouse/factory does that matter?

 

At 62 I'm not sure how many more layouts I have left in me but I still have a hankering for Bridgwater yard 1983.  My home town that saw nuclear waste, chemical tanks for Cellophane, VEAs for Puriton ROF, refrigerated produce and wire on KEV wagons. Probably no more than an inglenook but that is for the future (although I have started a ratio overhead crane). My only other craving is Mercy Street, an Ian Futers inspired 3 point special based on the outskirts of Glasgow.  Can fate provide a Strathclyde liveried dmu??

Hi Bazzer 42,  Good to see the Pwllheli plan inspiring you.  At 62 you've got loads more layouts to build.  I'm 70 and still going good!!  Will watch this develop, looking forward to it. Kind regards Paul

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On 08/07/2021 at 07:52, Dzine said:

Hi Bazzer 42,  Good to see the Pwllheli plan inspiring you.  At 62 you've got loads more layouts to build.  I'm 70 and still going good!!  Will watch this develop, looking forward to it. Kind regards Paul

Thanks Big D. Making Tracks resides beside the bed along with some select Railway Modeller mags. I keep Building Micro-layouts beside the place where I sit and think. I do like Bere Alston.

 

A bit of progress with some wood framing for the styrodur although if I had checked it when it arrived I would have spotted two pieces cut in 3mm MDF not 6mm as requested.  Cut My Plastic (usual disclaimer) were very apologetic and replacements have been sent.  If I had my time again I might have bought 3mm for the back as it is weightier than I expected. I did order some 3mm for a front cover so may resort to that.  I'm raising the foam base by 16mm to give a gap for wiring.  

I'm also considering running the goods siding and kick back as a separate line in the fiddle yard, as Mr Lunn would know points eat space.....we'll see after the framing is done.

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That turned out well. With some gorilla glue and quick action clamps I've managed to frame the baseboard with no screws at all. A coat of blackboard paint is drying as I type.  A coat of backscene blue should dry quickly tomorrow looking at the forecast.

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Painting all finished. The foam base is, as Lucilla Teatime would say, as tight as turd in a trumpet. Not going to need much glue to keep it in place. Some backscenes on order but the weekend will be lost relocating the youngest to West Wales.  

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Edited by bazzer42
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I like what you have done so far.

 

I was lucky to see Portwey, (and meet Julian), a few years ago, it was a lovely piece of work.

Since then I have seen a number of similar small layouts at exhibitions, they do offer an interesting alternative to a 'conventional' layout. 

 

cheers

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A couple evenings work on the patio in the shade and we have a dividing wall between the railway and the rest of the world.  The terraced houses were a buy from the bay and quite pleased until the Townscene sheets arrived yesterday.  They really are lovely and allow a combination of shops near the station petering out to housing.  The wife preferred the Townscene and she is a fair judge (and speaks her mind!!).

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On 20/07/2021 at 09:13, bazzer42 said:

A couple evenings work on the patio in the shade and we have a dividing wall between the railway and the rest of the world.  The terraced houses were a buy from the bay and quite pleased until the Townscene sheets arrived yesterday.  They really are lovely and allow a combination of shops near the station petering out to housing.  The wife preferred the Townscene and she is a fair judge (and speaks her mind!!).

It's surprising how, in many situations, a dividing wall, a fence or mix of hedges and fencing can add the illusion of a little more depth to a scene. The was certainly achieves this here @bazzer42
 

Your thread title instantly drew my attention, cos I thought "Merthyr is nowhere near the sea" - "Ah, it must be a layout based around a fictional line to Merthyr Mawr" :) 

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On 22/07/2021 at 09:35, marc smith said:

It's surprising how, in many situations, a dividing wall, a fence or mix of hedges and fencing can add the illusion of a little more depth to a scene. The was certainly achieves this here @bazzer42
 

Your thread title instantly drew my attention, cos I thought "Merthyr is nowhere near the sea" - "Ah, it must be a layout based around a fictional line to Merthyr Mawr" :) 

If I was to rename the thread it would be Merthyr on Sea, Berkshire to excuse a GW150 rail car!

 

I'm not sure where the track plan is going. I'm not really an operator so if this little more than a diorama (with some movement) do I need any points other than the kick back to the warehouse? In my mind there are three sidings:

Bay platform - parcels / stabling civil's

Main platform DMU (s)

Goods kick back - factory/warehouse

 

I had thought that being able to interchange between bay and goods sidings would be handy hence the crossing template. I assume a double slip might look more acceptable?  Any suggestions gratefully considered. I'm going to retest the double slip idea...

 

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

If slow but steady wins then I should be a champion.  Since the last post I have finalised a track layout with basically a Y point for the platform and the goods kick back being operated as a separate fiddle yard, so a two point layout. I've decided to complete the platform before final track laying. Peco edges with plasticard brick facing.  The tops are plain plasticard with some misting of paint to give some texture , a final brushing of weathering powder awaits (as does joining the plasticard strips!). I like the end on building look of Pwhelli and think that could look right behind the goods line.

The canopy comes from a previous layout of 25 years ago. I have just ordered a platform colour starter as I have found my one experience with a Dapol semaphore to be less than satisfactory.....  I have two lovely platform lights from model railway scenes on Thebay. I didn't plan on having them to light up but they do look good so may order some LEDs for the canopy.  Track laid by September?? 

 

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A little progress with a removable platform nearly finished so that I can actually pin track down. The gap next to platform end will be filled with a half relief brick building of some description.   I need to wire some micro LEDs into the canopy. Plenty of brutes, benches etc still to be added to the platform but pleased how it's turning out. 

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Lights connected to canopy and platform and feeling pleased although wiring was a pig. Top tip -column lights have sleeving on the bottom for a reason, some fine soldering needed to repair that!

 

A couple of lights to the station building still to be added.

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8 hours ago, TechnicArrow said:

Looking good! I always think that night lighting adds another dimension to a layout, and this looks great already. Looking forward to seeing more!

Thanks Mr Arrow, everything is running off a 9v battery and I'm hoping it will also work the colour light signal.  The canopy was from a layout 25 years ago and still had small bulbs in it, LEDs have come on since then!  

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Track finally laid and wired up to the trusty gaugemaster. A few painful and costly lessons on the way. Code 75 fishplates need opening up with a section of bullhead before connecting track. If you attempt this by tapping the bullhead into a point and then use brute force to remove it you will take half the vee out of the point.... if you show your neighbour your new fancy led starter signal by tapping wires in semi darkness you will eventually tap the wrong side of the resistor and blow an led. 

I have invested in some peco switches (as well as a new point and signal) as one of their control boxes will hold sufficient switches for this layout.  

I had to trim the side of the platform to allow a 121 to enter the bay side.  The fiddleyard is a compromise to my initial plans but happier to trade that off for the ability to use both platform faces for two car dmus.

Slowly but surely....

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12 hours ago, bazzer42 said:

Is it desperate to cut the end legs off a buffer stop to save a half inch?


…not in the world of micro-layouts, here it would be classed as a “modelling tip.”

 

Really like the way the layout is progressing - I was sorry to read that Brean didn’t work out (but my Uphill layout didn’t get very far at all, for different reasons).  This looks a really nice replacement though.  Keith.

Edited by Keith Addenbrooke
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10 hours ago, Keith Addenbrooke said:


…not in the world of micro-layouts, here it would be classed as a “modelling tip.”

 

Really like the way the layout is progressing - I was sorry to read that Brean didn’t work out (but my Uphill layout didn’t get very far at all, for different reasons).  This looks a really nice replacement though.  Keith.

Thanks Keith, I haven't totally given up on Brean. Part of the test bed for this layout was to see whether pre cut MDF would work as a baseboard in conjunction with a styrodur base.  It has worked well so at some point I would like to frame Brean in a similar style and add a fixed  fiddleyard. Both Brean and my China clay layout were built on a slab of styrodur so I hope they can be salvaged.

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