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mullie

Pott Row and Upbech St Mary a journey through 00 and then into EM

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Managed to solve the video problem today, merely a matter of saving in the correct format. The camera uses an industry format that YouTube and Flash player don't like! Below is a short video showing some trial running on the layout a month or so ago. The big hole in the corner now has the warehouse in it which is still waiting to be finished. I got distracted last night, having just returned from a break in rural Suffolk I decided to start laying copper clad strip so I can start building points on the extension. Didn't see any trains whilst I was away but staying close to Lavenham in the area of the Stour Valley line was inspiring as it is a beautiful part of the country even in the current 'summer' weather! Shame there is now a Waitrose on the site of much of Sudbury station.

 

Installed a DCC Concepts stay alive decoder in the J70 today. Running is much smoother but I would expect that from a more modern and better quality decoder anyway. Will be interesting to see how this works over a period of time.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nilo9tFVJ1k

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Tried shooting in the dark, though should have turned off both the fiddle yard lights. However, it does give a flavour of how the layout can be run in the dark as well as during the day. Once I really get to grips with an operating schedule night services can form an integral part.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_WRXkV9QwY

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Been working on the extension this morning. scratch built a copperclad curved point over the last week or so and tweaked the point on the mpd board.

 

First photos show the construction of the curved point, apologies for my soldering but it all works!

 

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Next photos show the point on the mpd board being fettled to remove any tight spots. I actually built this point about a year ago in situ but progress was delayed because I decided to rebuild the two three way points on the most completed board. Still some work to do to even out the sleepers.

 

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Next photo shows how I set the point blades using an SMP gauge.

 

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Lastly I test for tight spots using in this case a Bachman fruit van.

 

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Very important is the entertainment, Ipod and dock plus coffee/tea. Apart form the financial reasons I think this maybe why DCC sound will be slow with me as I tend to listen to music a lot of the time, everything from Cajun to jazz/ World/ contemporary pop as well as anything from the Beatles onwards and classical music particularly 20th century. The ipod on shuffle throws up all sorts of things!

 

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Here are some photos of the Peco turntable. It has been installed for about a year but not wired up or finished but this shows the paint finish, the intention being to show something that has been reasonably well maintained but starting to show its age. Though not finished it gives a reasonable idea of progress.

 

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Lastly is a photo of the most completed section of the layout from the workbench, which actually consists of a workmate and an old piece of kitchen work top. In a garage with no windows a good light is really important. Layout is on a shelf down one side of the garage in which the car lives at night.

 

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Found myself unexpectedly free last night so made some progress with the goods depot. Decided to have a go at detailing the interior of the first floor, shame it will be largely unseen once the roof is on although it will be lit by LEDs. Everything is from the spares box by various manufacturers, boxes are painted model scene products, stacked barrels and boxes by Harburn I think, stairs are from the Peco underpass and the blue doors and the small offices were robbed off the free Scalescenes download factory, a model no longer needed. Figures and ladder are by Langley. Colour of the floor was varied using oil pastel sticks and a grubby finger, mixture of greys and browns. The model sits hard up against the backscene so it is assumed the doors lead through to the rest of the depot where the goods can be lowered to the ground floor for despatch. Hope they are of interest.

 

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Last shot gives some idea of what the view might be through a window.

 

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Continued laying track today. The joint between these two boards will need to be very reliable as it will be dismantled after every session so I have decided to use copperclad soldered construction. This is one of those jobs where only a little bit can be done then you have to walk away. Later today I will cut through the sleepers across the join and drill out the holes for wiring and the S&W uncoupling magnet. I've also prepared the way to lay the turntable access track. The plates supplied by Peco to aid track alignment have already been painted to match the well, didn't realise I'd done it as it was done so long ago. I also need to fix the turntable bridge down permanently.

 

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Continued laying track today. The joint between these two boards will need to be very reliable as it will be dismantled after every session so I have decided to use copperclad soldered construction. This is one of those jobs where only a little bit can be done then you have to walk away. Later today I will cut through the sleepers across the join and drill out the holes for wiring and the S&W uncoupling magnet. I've also prepared the way to lay the turntable access track. The plates supplied by Peco to aid track alignment have already been painted to match the well, didn't realise I'd done it as it was done so long ago. I also need to fix the turntable bridge down permanently.

 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/monthly_06_2012/post-12773-0-31284000-1341053007.jpg

 

By the end of today all holes drilled so wiring can begin next week, S&W uncoupling magnet in place and the track plates fixed to the turntable well so I can lay track up to the deck. Using SMP track means I will have to pack it out a bit to get the approach right height as the sleepers are thinner but that's straightforward enough. A good day's work and packed in a few 'chores' as well including prep for taking an old rotten greenhouse down. Now where's the guiness!

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Raining again! So made more progress in the garage. Built a couple of simple circuits so the LED lighting can be installed in the goods warehouse. Photo below:

 

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Also laid some plain track across the baseboard joint on the extension. I've had to compromise on the track radius due to space constraints. Left hand track has a minimum radius of two feet although point work being to three foot radius and built to fit the site will help. Hopefully won't be a problem. The main line on the right has a three foot radius as does the rest of the layout.

 

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Next shot shows the joint itself, track is built using copper clad and solder for strength. Later today once all glue is dry I will go through the track with a mini drill so the boards can be separated.

 

Seep point motors arrived this morning, two for the extension board and to replace one on the existing station board that has become unreliable. Also a second DCC concepts stay alive decoder for another Spud Bogie I have. Now I need to get the J70 bodies ordered from Silver Fox. The J70s will be useful on Upbech as well as this layout. I also hope to convert Upbech to DCC over the summer so the Power cab can simply be plugged in. I know how I'm going to do it just need to find the time. I must be mad working on two layouts simultaneously but I always make sure I can run trains on one, helps to keep me (relatively) sane!

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Separated the boards and lifted the weights off the track, below are some photos showing the results. First one shows the basic track formation

 

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Next one shows the boards being separated.

 

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Last one shows the turntable board after separation and showing how baseboards are connected. The unusual shape made this harder. In addition to the connections shown there is also a luggage catch on the other side and with the alignment dowels hopefully boards will align successfully every time. None of these carry electrical connections.

 

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Hopefully put the turntable track in next week. The plan is to get the main lines up and running including fiddle yard based on aluminium angle cassettes then concentrate on the MPD.

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Superb modelling Mullie,

I'm also coming round to thinking that small layouts like this are the way to go because at least you have a chance of finishing them

I'm also glad to see that I'm not the only one who uses cordless drill battery's to weigh the track down while the glue sets, lump hammers are quite good for that as well.

I really enjoyed reading this and will follow with interest

Rgds,

StuartM

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Thanks for the kind comments.

 

I'll use anything flat heavy and clean! Drill batteries, the stand off my modelling lamp is good if I'm not actually using it, I just find the children the wrong shape and a bit fidgety so gave up on that one!

 

I started modelling in small sections because having two jobs I would never finish anything if I tried anything too big. The next stage is to build an MPD as I've never built a working turntable so seems like a good challenge and at the other end I want to build a dockside scene having been inspired by family holidays in Great Yarmouth and looking at various books on harbour side, light rail and tramways such as the Wisbech and Upwell in East Anglia. I will be receiving two J70 bodies from Silver Fox Models soon and already have everything to get them working so that should be a good project. Pott Row has taken nearly four years to get to this state and Upbech is really a bit of light relief that has taken on a life of its own. Building my own track came about as a way of saving money but actually as I read somewhere else on this site it isn't as difficult as it seems and you do learn by your mistakes and you really feel like you've achieved something when you get it working.

 

Been a productive weekend, as I've also been playing with lighting systems in the warehouse. First photo shows my preferred option used on the ground floor:

 

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Upstairs I've tried a different type of LED but the interior detail is completely lost so I will swap for the type used downstairs.

 

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As the layout is in the garage this building currently lives inside until finished. We had a months rain yesterday and I was in a restaurant last night that got flooded later in the evening. I always weather then seal with Games Workshop purity seal( an aerosol matt varnish) and so far have experienced no problems with card buildings. Things are very damp here at the moment!

Edited by mullie
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yes we could do with a bit more rain to wash all this mud away.

I was thinking about your electrics earlier and who you said the salt air corrodes, have you thought about painting over exposed terminations etc with clear varnish as that will seal the metal, just a thought

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Beautiful!

I can only echo what Stuart said above.

 

Best, Pete.

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That is a good idea, the Seep point motors seem particularly prone to rusting contacts. I'm also going to seal the wood on the underside of the new baseboards, most likely with paint as we have some decent stuff not doing a lot at the moment and this could prevent problems later on. We have a really good garage door that is often only opened morning and night to move the car in and out but we are just five minutes from the sea in any direction so the atmosphere is very salty.

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These aren't great but give you some idea of how the interior looks with better lighting, need to get my teenage daughter to take some photos, she has a better camera! Shame it won't really be seen once on the layout but at least I know its there.

 

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See previous postings for what the interior looks like without roof.

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Underside of the new baseboards have been primed and given one coat of white paint, second coat tomorrow. Hopefully this will help the boards to survive being based in the garage for a number of years. They were painted with white emulsion (I can't use paint that produces any strong fumes in a confined space for health reasons) so as to provide good contrast when wiring in what can be quite a dark space however well lit.

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I like the idea of a white background to help illuminate a dark under-board area, but I strongly advise adding a couple of coats of clear varnish if you can, to seal the emulsion and the boards, because emulsion is water based which is why its so easy to clean the brush's off under the tap afterwards, so your boards will still be affected by the atmosphere. Perhaps opening the garage door and using a mask might help, or even paying a small child to inhale the fumes instead

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I like the idea of a white background to help illuminate a dark under-board area, but I strongly advise adding a couple of coats of clear varnish if you can, to seal the emulsion and the boards, because emulsion is water based which is why its so easy to clean the brush's off under the tap afterwards, so your boards will still be affected by the atmosphere. Perhaps opening the garage door and using a mask might help, or even paying a small child to inhale the fumes instead

 

A good point. It would all be so much easier if we had some decent weather. I spray locos/coaches etc. with enamel aerosol paints as I don't have an airbrush . I do it outside, guarding against insects and getting it inside or covered as soon as possible.I then weather with acrylics. I can't remember the last time we had a day when it didn't rain.

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Been painting the underside of the base boards today, as detailed above they should now be sealed. They've been primed and a couple of coats of white added. The first photo also shows the underside of the Peco turntable. The weird see through bits in the middle should eventually become ash pits and just above that is a Spratt and Winkle magnet. The layout stands on short feet so that eventually spare stock can be stored there during operating sessions. No junk of course!

 

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Last photo shows the most completed board as seen on entry to the garage. The front fascia board does a good job of keeping dust out. It also has a hinged lid that can be removed if needed, the horrible join lines can be seen in some photos but they will eventually disappear behind the goods depot. bottom right can be seen the panel for the Power Cab. to the left can be seen the turntable board, the current project

 

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Thought I would post updates on the goods warehouse separately to avoid an over long post. The structure is now basically finished, just awaiting weathering to blend it in with the rest of the buildings on the layout. Interior and lighting is fitted but I don't want to permanently install it yet as I am toying with the idea of adding a base board at the right hand end enabling the depot to be shunted from both ends and extending the passenger platform. A simple cassette fiddle yard would be erected whenever the layout is operated. This would, with the mpd at the other end give a scenic run of approximately 9 feet and create a more spacious feel.I expect this to take up to two years at least.

 

First photo shows a front view

 

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Three quarter view of one end. I don't want to finish the back corners until I've worked out how to blend it in with its surroundings:

 

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View through the lower floor

 

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Last view shows the back and demonstrates the wiring technique for the interior lighting.

 

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The point in the goods depot has also received some attention today as it has become unreliable. I don't regret switching to hand built points and adjustments can be easily made using a soldering iron and the track flows in a very different way from propriety track as complex track work can be adjusted to fit the space. This layout has two three way points which were built from templates (in fact I built them twice because I didn't like the first versions) but I tend to build all simple turnouts in situ now adjusting as I go. I work completely alone and don't have any sort of engineering background but I have found that I can get things up and running if I take it slow and am not afraid to rebuild if not happy. As detailed elsewhere on this thread it can also be cheaper. I don't buy any ready made parts and use soldered construction. I can live with the lack of detailed chairs on point work.

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Finished fettling the point at the back of the layout close to the goods warehouse. I actually ended up shortening the point blades by the equivalent of two sleepers and will need to move the point motor accordingly. The point blades being too long made it difficult to get a good throw on the Seep motor and so it did not reliably change polarity which is a real pain. The work I've undertaken tonight means the point moves far more easily and having tried a few wagons running through it results look promising, only time will tell. A few years ago I would never have undertaken such work so I suppose it shows how far I've come especially as I know that if it doesn't work I'm rebuilding the point from scratch again! The layout only has four points but as two are three ways (rebuilt earlier this year) and I've just modified one other there has been some quite major surgery this year. The layout has taken over three years to get to this point and the scenic part is under four feet long, good job I'm not building that supersized quadruple main line layout.

 

Because I work in education the summer is a good time to get things done so I'm hoping that by the start of September the turntable extension boards will at least be running into the new fiddle yard even if the turntable isn't fully working. Will post some photos soon. Right now I need a beer!

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Acquired a resin body of a D16 cheap on Ebay. I suspect it is the Jaycraft version as it appears to fit the Hornby L1 chassis which I do have. Although it has been reasonably sprayed it will need stripping as their are bits of the casting that could do with tidying up. If nothing else it will give me experience of fitting handrails, probably new chimney, dome, smoke box handle and buffers etc. The chassis will need re wheeling and a new motor fitting, something I've also not done before unless there is a modern equivalent to the L1 chassis? A B12 tender is usually suggested for this type of project which can be powered by a Hornby Patriot drive but not sure how I feel about tender drive? It's down the list of projects because I am awaiting delivery of two J70 bodies from Silver Fox, just heard they are out of stock at the moment and need to get on with building the extension to the layout. Photo shows the body with the L1 chassis behind. The L1 body was ruined by a typical teenage paint job!

 

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.

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I do like the sense of place and time this layout evokes; it's gritty feel is very appealing. Well done.

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Off work so got some things done today. Remaining joints on new point work soldered in so I can begin tothink about fitting point motors. Laid the turntable access road today and began to sort out the alignments off the turntable. The copper clad sleepers top right are because I'm toying with the idea of not adding in every sleeper as most photos I've seen show layers of grime and ash and few sleepers. Will do a bit more research tonight before making a final decision. This was inspired by an article in Model Rail on Ranelagh Bridge I believe. Completely the wrong region but the idea of a stabling/ servicing point rather than building a shed etc. appeals as I think it will look less cluttered as the board is so small and I don't intend to include a loco shed. As the station is an outer platform of a larger one this would seem to make sense and as trains could potentially be heading for the Norfolk coast it would save time to service locos here rather than send them off to full shed facilities. There will be a coal stage (based on either Cromer Beach/Melton Constable, or Walton on the Naze) as well as ash pits and water cranes. Anyway that's the current scenario, it will probably have changed by tomorrow!

 

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Finally got round to weathering the goods depot last night. It can't be finally installed with lights connected until I've built the track for the extension at the right hand end of the layout as I plan to use it to cover a base board joint but it should fill a significant gap on the existing board until then. Weathering was done with coloured pencils and charcoal sticks rubbed in with fingers and that which had been turned into a powder by rubbing along fine sand paper, applying with a brush and then sealing with Games Workshop purity seal.

 

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