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


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Braved the cold today to spend some time operating the layout. Had a false start this morning because some idiot parked so badly outside our house the car had to go back in the garage so I had to take the additional sections down having only just put them up. Tried again this afternoon having lowered my body heat by repairing the shed roof and taking the compost over the allotment! The new coaching stock and wagons I've worked on this week ran successfully and it was a good session until I began to lose the feeling in my hands due to the cold!

 

This morning found some scale wheels to replace those in the Lima CCTs so I can press on and order the flush glazing this week. This year I really need to press on with some scenic work.

 

The layout works well, some track needs fettling before any scenic treatment takes place as some seems to have moved during the cold spell and the three way points I rebuilt this time last year have bedded in well. Four years ago I had never built my own track, believe me if I can do it anyone can! It's also cheaper than buying ready built, a consideration for many I'm sure. It may not be to the latest spec but it is robust and can easily be modified and repaired.

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Garage still cold so I have continued to get on with other things. The Lima CCTs are now flush glazed using south East Finecast products as well as being re wheeled and new couplers in the process of fitting. Obviously I could go further; new buffers running gear etc.. but this will have to do for now. More weathering to be done!

 

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I am trying an experiment with the couplings in case of problems shunting across pointwork in that I've drilled the S&W mounting plates so they can be mounted via 8BA screws which gives me the possibility of allowing some swivel in the couplings. Not sure how useful this will be and if I do have to use it I might need to devise a centring mechanism; only time will tell. The screws you see will be replaced by flat head ones this afternoon so the couplings can be fitted.

 

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The J70 have also had more weight added as they were very light meaning pulling power wasn't great. On this layout it doesn't even need to be prototypical but they can struggle with some of the less free wheeling stock.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Work continues to be horrendous meaning very little time for modelling. However, I always try and have small achievable things to do so I don't lose heart. A little bit of time last night meant I could try adding tarpaulins to the pair of Airfix opens picked up cheap at Christmas and a very old Mainline Persil wagon with very faded paintwork. The last mentioned shouldn't really be on the layout but it was one of the first wagons I bought over 30 years ago, was a guinea pig when I converted to S&W couplings and now has a compensated chassis consisting of Mainly Trains, Parkside Dundas and MJT parts, another experiment so I suppose I'm attached to it. I also remembered reading an article in Model Railroader about waiting wagons using NMRA protocols so using a couple of led weights and Blu tac (yes really because it won't be seen under the tarpaulin and can be removed if it doesn't help) I weighted the wagons to just over 2 oz. I managed some running tonight and it really seemed to help especially the compensated wagon. Now need to work out how to add ropes to finish them off. Wagons shown below

 

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This layout wouldn't set the exhibition world on fire; I worked it for nearly 40 minutes tonight and not a single train arrived or departed. A freight was shunted, train loco released to the mpd and a loco in the mpd shunted from the ash to the coaling road. Freight/ parcels can arrive and depart independently but that would need a second operator. Still although portable it was never intended for exhibition though it is something I fancy trying with another layout in the future. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Weather continues to be really cold here meaning the garage is not a pleasant place to be so I've continued with some small projects that can be completed in relatively short time and in the warm. At Christmas I acquired a pair of Lima CCTs cheap via Ebay so decided to have a go at weathering them. They've been flush glazed but the biggest problem was trying to get some relief in the chassis using a combination of dry brushing and washes. I suppose it shows how things have improved. One day I will rebuild the chassis but this will have to do for now.  I now use artists acrylics as my nearest model shop is around 90 minutes drive away and there is nothing more frustrating than sitting down to do something to find a  key colour is missing so over the years I've adapted my techniques. These models also used oil pastels and to finish I used artists charcoal sanded to a dust and worked into the model  using a stiff brush in a downward pattern. All was then sealed using games workshop purity seal. Wheels need toning down. First shot shows a Wrenn CCT that must be at least 30 years old and really should be retired by now!

 

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Last shot shows a contrast between the van using latest techniques and a Parkside Dundas model weathered many years ago using enamels when I could tolerate the fumes. This wagon is also compensated.

 

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One of those silly but necessary jobs completed in the garage this morning. The solder joint on one of the pieces of aluminium angle was not making consistent contact and trains were sometimes stalling so that was dealt with. Very occasionally a train will derail on entry or exit to the fiddle yard so I have put in some plasticard fillets to try and keep everything on the rails. As  the cassettes themselves are emptied during operating sessions I will also add them to each end as I have pre cut some more but after 20 minutes I was starting to lose the feeling in my fingers, so much for British summer time!

 

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Edited by mullie
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  • 2 weeks later...

The layout was started in around 2008 and remains unfinished! Today I fettled the track joints between the two main baseboards as although working fine they weren't as smooth as I wanted. I also shortened the jam factory siding as if I install a bridge I want to make it of a different design The first two photos show the layout in a way not normally seen with lid removed on the most developed board and showing the full length of the current scenic part. Fiddle yards are situated below the photo and joining top left. . The controller seen at the top is a combi that controls the turntable. Photos aren't great as I had to use a flash to get my somewhat basic camera to focus in the available light

 

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Next photo shows the jam factory siding after shortening

 

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The track was originally ballasted 2-3 years ago and I think I can now do a better job with the sidings around the jam factory/warehouse area so I dug out all the ballast today. Track in the warehouse will need to be inset whilst I would like to ballast the sidings using DAS clay to get more distinction between the mainline and sidings. The yard lamps will probably move to the MPD as I would like to add a valence to the factory siding Next job is to spray the copperclad track to blend in with the rest All looks a bit like a bomb site!

 

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Last shot shows the signal box and all the ground cover has been dug out here as well. I want to get a better shoulder to the ballast. This area looks different because there should be a fascia panel bottom left. Eventually the layout may have semaphore signals rather than colour lights and maybe a water crane in the platform end/signal box area. 

 

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The black base to my modelling lamp is weighing down the track while the glue dries!

 

 

 

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Excellent work Mullie, I really like how this layout has progressed and your love of freight workings appeals to my own love of freight trains. 

                                                                         Simon

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Due to Permanent way work yesterday a special had to pass through to check the track was clear for normal services to resume, so special in fact it is from the wrong region!

 

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Once cleared a trip working of vans enters the station for shunting. Again a western region loco until I renumber it. This is how the layout could look in the early to mid 60s, an intriguing period.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Line now temporarily closed for engineering work, probably for a few weeks. Primed all the track that's been added or rebuilt or fettled over the last year and the MPD back scene board hence it looks like it's been snowing! It really was time, while all the stock was off the layout to take the plunge and get on with things. I might  hand paint the track as I want that bleached grey/brown washed out look to the sleepers that spraying with brown colours just doesn't give and I like working with artists acrylics. I also bought some more DAS clay today as I'm going to re ballast the sidings to give much less of a main line look to them and I want inset track in parts as well. The yard lights are gone as I will use them in the MPD and I want to add a loading platform and canopy to the factory to give it a bit more presence. I will also need to build a new and improved bridge. During the summer months I tend to have a bit more time, seemingly the reverse of most modellers. Shots below quite boring really but at least it is progress. Track sprayed and rails cleaned and sleepers cut for the pit. Lighting is the garage lights so not great.

 

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Started hand painting the track today and after two minutes gave up, I need to spray it a base colour first or it will take too long. As I need to buy the paint most likely from B&Q or Halfords tonight (need new gas for the barbecue and the shops are next to each other) thoughts turned to what else I could do. The J65 (based from a J72) has been sat in an airtight tub for some time now so I thought I would have a go at finishing the DCC installation. The photo below is something of a landmark as the decoder is now fitted and working. The picture might also give you an idea of how I did it, i.e.. a bit rough and ready!

 

The loco will be finished as one of the J65s that just made it into the nationalisation period, although never renumbered, a time I have always been fascinated by but having seen the photos on the link below I am minded to move the period of the layout earlier. Everything will be a compromise as little is available RTR. The J70s could be lettered "British Railways' as some were, so I have a small fleet of ex GE locos for trip workings/shunting etc. Coaching stock is a challenge but I do have some old Hornby clerestory coaches (the short LNER teak ones) that could be butchered I'm sure as the price of coach kits is currently beyond my wallet even if I could build them . Anyone know of a good thread to look at for advice? As usual my layout is not for rivet counters but it keeps me out of trouble!

 

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/69274-dave-f-more-photos-added-3-may-from-1947-to-1955ish/ This is a fantastic thread

 

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The unfinished track can be seen in the background.

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Started hand painting the track today and after two minutes gave up, I need to spray it a base colour first or it will take too long. As I need to buy the paint most likely from B&Q or Halfords tonight (need new gas for the barbecue and the shops are next to each other) thoughts turned to what else I could do. The J65 (based from a J72) has been sat in an airtight tub for some time now so I thought I would have a go at finishing the DCC installation. The photo below is something of a landmark as the decoder is now fitted and working. The picture might also give you an idea of how I did it, i.e.. a bit rough and ready!

 

The loco will be finished as one of the J65s that just made it into the nationalisation period, although never renumbered, a time I have always been fascinated by but having seen the photos on the link below I am minded to move the period of the layout earlier. Everything will be a compromise as little is available RTR. The J70s could be lettered "British Railways' as some were, so I have a small fleet of ex GE locos for trip workings/shunting etc. Coaching stock is a challenge but I do have some old Hornby clerestory coaches (the short LNER teak ones) that could be butchered I'm sure as the price of coach kits is currently beyond my wallet even if I could build them . Anyone know of a good thread to look at for advice? As usual my layout is not for rivet counters but it keeps me out of trouble!

 

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/69274-dave-f-more-photos-added-3-may-from-1947-to-1955ish/ This is a fantastic thread

 

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The unfinished track can be seen in the background.

Trouble is I've just looked at the bit I hand painted and the colour looks really good, might have to stick with it and be more patient! Having looked at various colour photos from the period the colour of track work actually seems to be quite complex and I know there were also issues with colour reproduction in photos of the period.

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The saga continues!

 

Couldn't face all that hand painting so decided I needed to spray at least a base coat before using dry brush techniques et for final detailing. It was only when I tried to order some aerosol paints on-line I found out that postal charges had gone up massively as Royal Mail won't deliver them any more. Nearest specialist shop is over an hours drive away so took myself down to my local Toymaster this morning as they stock Tamiya, Humbrol and Games Workshop paints to see what I could come up with. Ended up buying Tamiya Red Brown to use as a base colour and it was surprisingly smelly in use! I thought these paints were acrylic but maybe I'm wrong? I think it will prove a good colour to detail over the top of and photos show the spraying in progress with all buildings masked. Over the next few weeks I will do some dry brushing and ballasting as I want to get the trains running again.

 

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Started hand painting the track today and after two minutes gave up, I need to spray it a base colour first or it will take too long. As I need to buy the paint most likely from B&Q or Halfords tonight (need new gas for the barbecue and the shops are next to each other) thoughts turned to what else I could do. The J65 (based from a J72) has been sat in an airtight tub for some time now so I thought I would have a go at finishing the DCC installation. The photo below is something of a landmark as the decoder is now fitted and working. The picture might also give you an idea of how I did it, i.e.. a bit rough and ready!

 

The loco will be finished as one of the J65s that just made it into the nationalisation period, although never renumbered, a time I have always been fascinated by but having seen the photos on the link below I am minded to move the period of the layout earlier. Everything will be a compromise as little is available RTR. The J70s could be lettered "British Railways' as some were, so I have a small fleet of ex GE locos for trip workings/shunting etc. Coaching stock is a challenge but I do have some old Hornby clerestory coaches (the short LNER teak ones) that could be butchered I'm sure as the price of coach kits is currently beyond my wallet even if I could build them . Anyone know of a good thread to look at for advice? As usual my layout is not for rivet counters but it keeps me out of trouble!

 

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/69274-dave-f-more-photos-added-3-may-from-1947-to-1955ish/ This is a fantastic thread

 

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The unfinished track can be seen in the background.

Sprayed the J65 body in preparation for adding decals once I order them. Used Humbrol gloss varnish and also have a satin coat for once the decals are applied. The body was originally sprayed using Games Workshop Chaos Black.

 

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Just noticed the bent lamp iron- need to do something about that!

Edited by mullie
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Started ballasting today, the 'Nevard way.' What you see represents about three hours work! The results seen on Chris's layouts are superb I just hope I can even get somewhere close. Having looked at photos of station areas for some time this seemed to be the most appropriate method but having not done it this way before, a little bit scary. It's taken nearly five years to get the layout to this state, last thing I want to do is muck it all up!

 

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More progress with ballasting today, a very nerve racking experience pushing Das into copper clad three way points that I've already built twice. Still everything appears to still move! Secret seems to be to keep that clay wet, use a cocktail stick to push into awkward spaces and the brush seen in the photos is used damp to seven out the surface. The other thing is don't do to much at once as it drives you nuts! What you see represents three sessions of about one hour each on top of the work done last week. In-between sessions today  I've demolished and got rid of an arbour, bought a new one to be built tomorrow weather permitting and got rid of a garden bench then had to hoover the inside of the car. Anything outdoors takes a real pasting in the salty air even if you look after it

 

Over the next week I plan to infill the gaps although I get no time in the week at the moment due to work. Once that is completed I need to put the warehouse back in position and complete the inset track that I also plan to 'cobble.' This will be in the brown space at the bottom. Hope to have the layout working again within the next few weeks as I haven't run anything for 3-4 weeks now. Don't like that at all!

 

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Most of the DAS is now applied, just the cobbles to lay under the warehouse. As a first step I have finalised the position of the warehouse and tested using a Thompson full brake.

 

I have also I filled the track to sleeper height with art board. Over the next few days I will lay the cobbles a small section at a time.

 

Last night I experimented with a small piece of clay and the end of a ball point pen, results look promising.

 

Photos taken with the iPad

 

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Progress today on the ballasting. Over the last few days the ballast has been coloured using artists acrylics and crushed artists charcoal. The great thing about a small layout is that it can be moved; in this case laid on it's side back to front as seen below:

 

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Next shot shows the cobbles done with DAS, the end of a biro and a games workshop wash allowed to wash into the indents.

 

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Last shot gives some idea as to how the whole thing looks once turned the right way up. The track is level so not sure why there is a dip in the photo

 

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Now need to give the track a good clean once I've dry brushed the chairs to give some relief. Using 'Nevard' techniques has been an interesting process especially as I needed quite a different effect, that of well used and busy track rather than a rural by way.

 

 

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Mullie, I like this layout very, very much. Keep up the good work!

 

Regarding your last photo I suppose you used the lens set to wide angle. If so, then the "dip" is no surprise. In fact, you will observe a "counter-dip" above (see "Wythe & Sons"). This effect is called "barrel distortion" and is due to the geometry of optical rays - and therefore connected to wide angle photos. (Some quite modern digital cameras automatically calculate this effect out of the picture.)

Regards Armin

 

 

edit: Counter measure: set the lens to a middle focal length - the distortion will disappear (yes, I know, you will have to step back a lot…).

Edited by CourthsVeil
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I'm using a different camera at the moment. Both my children are seriously into photography and as they have upgraded their cameras I've got the cast offs! Never had this problem with the previous camera I used. You are right about the counter dip, I hadn't noticed that.

 

Thanks Armin

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A frustrating week, layout worked fine apart from one dead spot on a three way point because a Seep point motor failed to switch the polarity so had to swap it out for a replacement having spent all week checking the apparently more obvious things such as the soldered connections. Layout hasn't been run for two months whilst ballasting was completed so I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that something didn't work.

 

The photo below gives some idea as to how things look. This is the layout in the raw, no lighting or anything and a back drop of the plastic sheet used to keep dust off the mpd! Quite mean and moody really!

 

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Edited by mullie
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As the layout has not been run for over two months whilst ballasting was completed the locos needed some basic servicing such as wheel cleaning. I have an old Peco brush and scraper but thoughts started to turn towards other possibilities. An internet search gave some ideas including the Roto wheel cleaner by Woodland Scenics. This appeared to be a good idea and the cost at around £22 was ok. However, tonight the miser in me returned, could I make one out of spare bits I have laying around?

 

A spare cassette from a previous fiddle yard had a small piece of wood attached to the end using hot glue and short pins. A piece of  sponge scourer was attached to the end, the fiddle yard removed, the cassette plugged in and hey presto!

 

first shot shows the Hornby 08, the cleaning cloth pick up the dirt off the wheels nicely

 

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Next shot shows the business end drawing power

 

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The class 108 driving car is next for treatment

 

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At just under 2 foot long the wheels of carriages can also be cleaned or in this case the class 108 trailer car

 

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Once all is finished the cleaner is removed and the fiddle yard reinstated.

 

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The cleaner works with the normal DCC controller. Seems to work fin,e the wheels were significantly cleaner and it was much easier than the brush and scraper method as well as quicker to set up.

 

A real 'bodge it an leg it' job!

 

 

 

 

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Worked on some scenic items today. first job was to set up some LEDs under the new canopy for the factory, simply done using self adhesive tape. I've since put some tissue paper over the LEDs to diffuse the light. The set up is currently installed and glue drying. Hope to get it soldered into the layout and working this evening.

 

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Having shortened the jam factory siding I needed a buffer stop so fished out an old Peco sleeper built stop and weathered it using artists pastels, water colour pencils and charcoal. All sealed with a spray of matt varnish. Lastly a Games Workshop black wash was applied and then a working oil lamp attached bought from Express Models some years ago. As they say, never throw anything away! Again, hope to get this on the layout and working tonight.

 

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Miracle, the first time I wired up the LEDS they all worked none wired the wrong way round!

 

First two photos show the jam factory with canopy built from Scalescenes parts. The flashing will be blended in tomorrow.

 

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Buffer stop in place and working

 

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Night shot of the canopy and relevant factory doors

 

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