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Horseley Fields - N Gauge layout (was Dibben Junction)


Revolution Ben
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Hello all,

 

Today the the NGS's Northants & Cambs area group had one of our regular meetings, and decide to take some photographs of our exhibition layout Dibben Junction during construction.

 

The name may yet change, but the layout depicts a twin track electrified line on a viaduct somewhere in the West Midlands with a branch line, small suburban and steel terminal. The steel terminal is a much condensed version of Wolverhampton steel terminal.

 

The viaduct has been produced using the excellent Scalescenes kit in dark brown brick - here a Dapol 86 is in charge of a Pretendolino rake. It should be a Class 90 on the front but at the moment none of us has one!

 

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The layout features a canal (largely disused) and although in an urban setting the scenery is designed to reflect the derelict wastelands so often found in such areas. The disused canal terminal in the background is not yet properly fixed in place. Here a Dapol 66 crosses the viaduct with silver bullets.

 

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The steel terminal is the largest building on the layout. It's a real community effort - one group member made the basic shape from ply, and has motorised the doors and the crane alongside, while another has clad the building and will paint it. It also has working lights. Here a Farish 60 has just reversed in a short rake of steel wagons. The disused signal box on the left was recently featured in Model rail, and the planning of this layout formed the basis of an article late last year.

 

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At the station end much work still needs to be done, as can be seen, and a station building constructed. The modern building is scratch built by one of the group, another built the footbridge. The terraced houses are Metcalfe kits and will probably get some weathering to "bed" them in. The station platforms are by Scalescenes.

 

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This view (just) shows the how the raised track on the viaduct curves past the steel terminal. The abandoned goods shed is a Ratio kit. I am not sure about this, and it may yet be "knocked down" so only the base remains. The HST is a review sample from Dapol. The small building behind the goods shed is one of the free kits from Scalescenes and it is positioned to hide the switches that operate the steel terminal crane and doors.

 

post-420-0-59997900-1297035458_thumb.jpg

 

The next step is to get a little more of the groundwork done around the station, and of course all the building completed, before ballasting. We need to add the "cloudy sky" photo backscenes which we've purchased but not stuck on yet!

 

We are planning to have this layout on show and working (albeit uncompleted) at the N Gauge Society AGM at the Corn Exchange in St Ives, Cambs, on May 28th. (EDIT: I've just noticed that in the photograph of the station you can see the Scenecraft model of the Corn Exchange that has been commissioned by the NGS as a commemorative model.)

 

The group has around half a dozen regular members but newcomers are always welcome - if interested drop me a PM.

 

cheers

 

Ben A.

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Hi Ben,

(EDIT: I've just noticed that in the photograph of the station you can see the Scenecraft model of the Corn Exchange that has been commissioned by the NGS as a commemorative model.)

Ok, you win, I'll get one...:lol: Although the rather well done rear aspect is lost tucked up against the end of the backscene - I guess that's just a temporary placing to tempt us waverers...

Seriously though, thanks, I hope to see more as the station and scenification progresses, is there a way of masking the exit in the second photo being considered? An old structure of some kind perhaps?

Where is the 2012 AGM being held? (Sorry! Couldn't resist - I know I should B) )

 

Regards, Gerry.

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Hi Gerry,

 

You're right about the hole! It's to be hidden with a warehouse. There is still a fair amount of work to be done in front of the viaduct.

 

The Corn exchange won't go where we put it - thar's the test sample that I took along to show the group. It'll now be sent to the NGS display manager so everyone can have a look!

 

Cheers

 

Ben A.

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I like this very much - makes a distinct change from the usual urban backdrop of redeveloped land full of yuppie flats right up to the railway line. Lots of opportunity for small details and cameos in there too - presumably you'll be buying an etch of the N gauge shopping carts (http://www.ntasticshop.co.uk/#/gold-medal-models/4545062171 - GMM-160-37) as there has to be at least one in the canal.

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This layout looks really good, and it's nice to see the signal box "planted" so you can see how it fits in with its surroundings...

It seems the Ratio goods shed is prime fodder for a derelict building; I did the same thing !!

 

One question; how did you manage to get the Scalescenes platforms and viaduct sides so smooth and straight - when I tried them I had a nightmare with lifting joints and bubbling surfaces, especially the platform edges, and even those I got right dried out and lifted after a couple of weeks !! - pray do tell please...

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Hello all,

 

Thanks for the kind words... in answer to the specific points raised...

 

The scenic section of the layout is 8' (2x4' boards) with 2' each end for the 180deg curves - so 12' in all.

 

For the signal box, I looked at photos and then "guestimated" where paving slabs and cable trunking etc would "probably" go - I was inspired by the superb permanent way on Widnes Vine yard among others - much of the ground between lines is quite overgrown on the modern railway, but this seems rarely depicted. Of course, I had to guess at the positioning of cable trunking and relay boxes but WVY has the benefit of at least one of the operators/builders being a signalman and very skilled modeller!

 

For Scalescenes structures, as I have mentioned elsewhere I think, I print straight onto A4 size self adhesive labels from Staples (among others.) These are the immediately sprayed with Windsor & Newton artists fixative and left to dry for a few hours. Usually the paper curls slightly, so it is basically left until it settles flat again.

 

This is then stuck to thick (1mm) or thin card and used as per instructions. For the "wraparound" sections I sometimes reinforce the paper adhesive with PVA - or on the underside of a platform edge (which won't be visible) use a strip of sellotape to lock it down. Once made, the platforms are then weathered with powder (not paint) and given a final sealing coat of fixative. So far no trouble - and the sections were actually fabricated 6 months ago. And, being downloads, if they do bubble they can always be replaced at just the cost of the paper, card and glue!

 

As as you asked, the Dapol HST really looks the part (to me) and runs very well too. Just waiting now for a catering vehicle and TGS! Of course, a full review will appear in the next issue of Model Rail - and the other mags too I am sure!

 

Any other questions about D Junc feel free to ask. And we are starting to think about what trains we should be running - any thoughts?

 

cheers

 

Ben A.

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Hi Ben,

 

Looking good, i echo the comments about the layout 'feel' . kind of reminds me a bit of the stretch between BMS and Wolverhampton in the 90's.

 

Oh and the HST looks good too :blink:

 

cheers

Dave

Dapol Ltd

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

A quick update...

 

Dibben Junction is to be renamed due to the possibility of confusion with another similarly named layout... at tomorrow's area group monthly meeting one item on the agenda is to decide the new name.

 

Current suggestions include Navigation Junction, Romsley Green, Netherhalls and Horseley Fields.

 

And some shiny new Farish Lafarge JPAs have arrived and made their debut - albeit just posed in position for this shot. Tomorrow we will have a short running session and then, hopefully, make a start on the ballasting of the two mainlines, now the signal troughing is down...

 

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Apologies for the sieve in the background. The plan is to portray some allotments in the area in front of the arches, though since that's been done many times I am wondering if a small travellers' encampment, with mobile homes, pick-up trucks and horses might be more interesting and topical.

 

cheers

 

Ben A.

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Hello all...

 

Dibben Junction has become.... Horseley Fields.

 

We chose this name for several reasons, among them...

 

1) Irony. There are no fields, and unlikely to be any horses.

 

2) There is a road called Horseley Fields very near to Wolverhampton Steel terminal, which partly inspired the layout.

 

3) It sounds suitably Black Country-ish. Especially if pronounced Horz-lay Feelds.

 

4) We decided it was best to avoid <something> Road, Street or Junction as there are plenty of layouts with those types of names already!

 

I didn't take any pics today, but am hoping to have the hardstanding/steel terminal area "scenicked" (ugh!) by the time of our next meeting in April, when we intend having a running session to iron out any electrical issues and set up a rough timetable/roster of trains ready for the NGS AGM in May when Horseley Fields will make its (albeit unfinished) debut.

 

cheers

 

Ben A.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello all...

 

Dibben Junction has become.... Horseley Fields.

 

We chose this name for several reasons, among them...

 

1) Irony. There are no fields, and unlikely to be any horses.

 

2) There is a road called Horseley Fields very near to Wolverhampton Steel terminal, which partly inspired the layout.

 

3) It sounds suitably Black Country-ish. Especially if pronounced Horz-lay Feelds.

 

4) We decided it was best to avoid <something> Road, Street or Junction as there are plenty of layouts with those types of names already!

 

I didn't take any pics today, but am hoping to have the hardstanding/steel terminal area "scenicked" (ugh!) by the time of our next meeting in April, when we intend having a running session to iron out any electrical issues and set up a rough timetable/roster of trains ready for the NGS AGM in May when Horseley Fields will make its (albeit unfinished) debut.

 

cheers

 

Ben A.

 

I know there are no fields but in the Black Country there are certain areas where horses are tethered during the day and in some areas they are allowed to roam freely (where several car crashes have been caused by them). This is most prevelent in Tipton and I know that some of the more popular locations for horses to be tethered are the open space known as the Cracker (whcih is the former railway line to Ocker Hill Power Station) and the smaller pockets of open space towards Bilston.

 

So in theory there could be horses grazing even though it is just waste land. Although not for much longer if the horse wardens have their way :D .

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