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Afternoon All,

 

I spent last weekend at Telford operating 'Newhurst', and despite being the 7mm pinnacle show I did manage to make a fair few purchases for both Bridgtown and Robertsfield; mostly tooling and materials from Squires and Eileen's Emporium, but also some scenic details from Severn Models and scenic materials from Treemendous.

 

I have slowly been working on the scenic plan and have progressed to a stage shown in the images below:

 

post-4669-0-03191200-1536142500_thumb.jpg

 

The first image shows the left-hand end of the layout with the two earlier-built platforms towards the front, and the later-built platform at the rear. The bay platform will not be operational for the full length, with an old parcels building and enclosed canopy covering the end of the track, with a buffer stop at the entrance to the covered section. The station building and forecourt will be to the rear of the station, with a large over bridge structure providing the visual break to the fiddle yard. The remainder of the scene to the rear of the station will be occupied by the station multi-storey car park and various taller structures such as hotels, offices and apartments - all to be defined.

 

 

post-4669-0-51081900-1536142500_thumb.jpg

 

The middle section of the layout will have the canal junction on the lower level with an area of scrub land at the front. The ground will remain low behind the railway, with a service road providing access to surrounding facilities/structures. The road will pass under the railway, then climb to cross the canal, also providing access at this point to the Network Rail depot and station staff car park. The road may end up being re-routed in a straight line if the curves end up looking too contrived, but it is intended to have an appearance similar to "Corn Hill" in a similar position in Wolverhampton. A network of towpaths and bridges will be included around the canal, which is all being designed to fit on one baseboard to avoid joins in the water.

 

I am considering included a disused/derelict girder bridge on the supposition that it once carried the third steel works line across the canal to a more complex junction. I think keeping the viaduct section (between the canal and road to the right-hand end per the below image) at a constant width will look better than a step in the width from three to two tracks. The Jury's still out on this one, so if anyone has any suggestions...

 

 

post-4669-0-90432800-1536145030_thumb.jpg

 

The final image shows the right-hand end where the front area will have the derelict foundations of a large factory site, possibly with a small scene of builders and equipment in the early stages of clearing the area for development. The railway will run across the low ground on a viaduct with enclosed arches, beyond which will be a number of smaller buildings/lockups with the typical small businesses found in such locations.

 

The far right hand end will have a busier road passing under the railway surrounded by various industries. I will need some form of view blocker for the fiddle yard exit, so a tall building will be the most likely candidate.

 

 

I have also received 10 yards of flat-bottom rail concrete sleeper plain track from British Finescale, which looks great as supplied, I'll assemble a length of it when I get some more free time. I look forward to seeing the turnout kits develop.

 

Cheers,

 

Mark

Edited by pelhama
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Afternoon All,

 

A quick update before heading in to work tonight...

 

I have been working on the scenic plans for Bridgtown, adding detail to various aspects. The below images show the progress to date:

 

post-4669-0-31930400-1537455680_thumb.jpg

 

post-4669-0-91826300-1537455680_thumb.jpg

 

post-4669-0-48245600-1537455681_thumb.jpg

 

 

I have also started adding plans for the catenary installation, not something that I have given a great deal of thought to yet, but equally I have not been completely disregarding it. My intention is to give the appearance of an installation that has been added around the track, rather than what I expect would happen for modern realignments where I suspect the catenary installation and track alignment/geometry is planned as a whole.

 

post-4669-0-27004700-1537455679_thumb.jpg

 

One feature that is nice in Xara, and probably applies to other design packages, is the ability to switch layers' visibility on and off - in the above case hiding the 'ballast' layer shows the catenary a bit more clearly.  I have roughly positioned the masts/portals to ensure the contact wire remains within an appropriate tolerance of the track centre line. I need to do a little more research into the positioning of the anchor points/tension weights for the 'out of running' wires, but I think the basic principle is there now. I also need to finalise the positions of the portals at the left hand end of the layout, but this will be completed once I have the station structures designed and positioned.

 

Lots more still to add, and it's very time consuming, but I think worthwhile to ensure I get the right feel for the design - so far I think it's heading in the right direction. Once the plans have developed enough, I'll start constructing a scale mock up to get a 3D impression of the design. Since I'm not in a position to actively start building the layout, this does all keep the enthusiasm going!

 

Cheers,

 

Mark

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Morning All,

 

I have now revised the platform road alignments and updated the Xara scenic plan to incorporate the changes. The scenic plan has now developed, with the inclusion of more building outlines and scenic details:

 

The left-hand end of the layout has seen little change, apart from correcting the track and platform alignments, although a few detail items have been added:

 

post-4669-0-02405500-1539163365_thumb.jpg

 

 

Plans for the station building and overbridge have been started in a separate file, which will be incorporated in the overall layout plan once developed further. All the buildings are being planned in a similar way – created in separate files, then copied into the overall design:

 

post-4669-0-69261700-1539163560_thumb.jpg

 

 

The centre-left section has seen some realignment of the roads, the addition of a part-derelict office building in the network Rail yard, and a lot more detail added:

 

post-4669-0-53992100-1539163389_thumb.jpg

post-4669-0-95520300-1539163419_thumb.jpg

 

 

The centre-right section has had more detail added to the derelict factory site to resemble the concrete sectional ground cover, old foundations and overgrown appearance:

 

post-4669-0-80207400-1539163490_thumb.jpg

 

 

The right-hand end has seen the development of the industrial area around the railway with the addition of Scalescenes Industrial units for retail outlets behind the viaduct. I also plan to model a building that will be based on a tired-looking structure I spotted between Terminals 3 and 5 when working at Heathrow, that is packed with detail and character.

In front of the viaduct/embankment will be a structure based on the demolished “Bradburn & Wedge” building that used to be on Darlington Street in Wolverhampton. It will be modelled as offices rather than a car retailer, so smaller windows on the ground floor.

Filling in the gap between the main and service roads will be a small car repair/MOT test facility, with all the clutter and paraphernalia that accompanies:

 

post-4669-0-76882600-1539163499_thumb.jpg

 

 

I now have some A3 foam board, so plan to start assembling a scale mock-up fairly soon.

 

Cheers,

 

Mark

Edited by pelhama
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Evening All,

 

I have made some revisions to the RH Rear scenic plan, having considered how the buildings would sit against the backscene, and more importantly how the gaps between the buildings would give a clear view of the backscene.

 

I think that an undisturbed row of buildings as "modern" medium-sized retail outlets (Halfords, Screwfix etc.) should look okay, and will better disguise the backscene/join. Anyway, this is what the plan looks like now:

 

post-4669-0-66961900-1539815438_thumb.jpg

 

 

Still not had a chance to start on the scale model yet, but hope to do so soon.

 

Cheers,

 

Mark

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The plans are looking superb Mark, lots of interest without looking too cluttered or unrealistic.

 

I am looking forward to seeing the model develop with time.

 

All the best

Dave

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The plans are looking superb Mark, lots of interest without looking too cluttered or unrealistic.

I am looking forward to seeing the model develop with time.

All the best

Dave

Hi Dave,

 

Thanks for your comments - I’m glad that the design is looking right so far, that’s one of the main reasons that I’m taking my time with the planning.

 

I’ve been working on the scale mockup; no photos as yet as I’ve only got as far as building the foam-core base and adding the first printed plan to build upwards from - it’s all covered in books at the moment weighting the plan down!

 

Tomorrow I hope to prepare the next layer, which will be the ground level above the canal - basically another printed plan on 1mm card.

 

Cheers,

 

Mark

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Afternoon All,

 

A quick update before work; I have made a reasonable start on the scale mock-up for Bridgtown, having assembled the base, first and second ground layers and track layer. It’s already starting to give a feel for how the final layout might/should look, and I’m feeling quite positive about how the plan is coming together:

 

post-4669-0-75573300-1540483912_thumb.jpg

 

post-4669-0-99044500-1540483926_thumb.jpg

 

post-4669-0-82583100-1540483951_thumb.jpg

 

post-4669-0-17150700-1540483971_thumb.jpg

 

post-4669-0-39709700-1540484004_thumb.jpg

 

post-4669-0-17484000-1540484030_thumb.jpg

 

 

 

Next up will be to add some scaled Scalescenes sheets to show the viaduct arches and bridges, and start making some of the scaled buildings. I’d also like to get the ground levels finished where the road rises from the underbridge to cross the canal.

 

Cheers,

 

Mark

post-4669-0-75573300-1540483912_thumb.jpg

post-4669-0-99044500-1540483926_thumb.jpg

post-4669-0-82583100-1540483951_thumb.jpg

post-4669-0-17150700-1540483971_thumb.jpg

post-4669-0-39709700-1540484004_thumb.jpg

post-4669-0-17484000-1540484030_thumb.jpg

Edited by pelhama
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Afternoon All,

 

A quick update from a small amount of work completed a few days ago, I have added the enclosed viaduct arches to the model behind the derelict factory site and added the retaining wall to the rear of the station area. I have also added the platforms and raised ground level where the station building will sit:

 

post-4669-0-92654000-1540994256_thumb.jpg

 

post-4669-0-14686200-1540994265_thumb.jpg

 

post-4669-0-73191600-1540994276_thumb.jpg

 

 

It’s not easy to see in the photos but the arches and retaining walls all have the detail where the final articles will have a lot more 3D relief. The retaining wall is based on the style at Wolverhampton along the North side of the station by Sun Street and the Great Western Pub – see the below screen grab from Google Maps:

 

post-4669-0-80402400-1540995098_thumb.jpg

 

 

This extends approximately half way along the length of the station before changing to a more ornate design with arches, although I will probably omit the arches on the layout given that it will not be easily seen.

 

 

I think my next tasks will be to finish the retaining walls and bridges to complete the raised track areas, then look at finalising the ground levels and roads before adding more buildings.

 

Cheers,

 

Mark

 

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Afternoon All,

It's been a fair while since my last post on this thread, and to be honest very little has happened with the exception of the announcement from Wayne at British Finescale of the Kickstarter project to produce flat-bottom 'concrete' base turnout kits.

The initial announcement of AV8 and CV10.75 turnouts lead me to review the track plan for Bridgtown in Templot with an aim to make use of the proposed kits. Once the geometry/Templot settings were confirmed it didn't take long to amend the plan, with the only 'major' change being to reduce the track centres to 23mm from 24mm. I also reviewed the branch line and decided that the work required to include it as functional didn't bring a huge amount of play value operational interest, particularly given my intent to have fully working signalling and the limitations with what can be achieved in this scale. So I have decided to model the branch as if it had been lifted during track renewals.

The later announcement that AV7 and CV10 turnouts were to be produced then lead me to attack Templot again, but with even less impact this time around. I also took the opportunity to review the line to the steel transfer terminal and how it would sit with the scenic surroundings. I wasn't happy with the three-track viaduct, so opted to move the turnouts towards the scenic entrance, decrease the curve radius into the terminal (more in-keeping with the prototype), and also re-position the road under the railway to shorten the viaduct slightly but enable it to be modelled as a double-track width.

So the current track plan looks like:

bridgtown_2019_09_01_1510_18.gif.d22d5178c4b88c14f7a5b3000c231065.gif

Next will be to export a DXF file and import into the Xara scenic plan...

If you're interested in modelling 'modern' railways I can highly recommend the British Finescale products, the earlier Bullhead rail kits were straightforward and enjoyable to construct, so hopefully the Flat-Bottom rail kits will follow suit. I would strongly recommend supporting the project to anyone considering building a layout that could make use of the kits as the appearance is a vast improvement to off-the-shelf products for very minimal effort, the only required skills are patience and forethought to achieve great results.

The project can be found https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/britishfinescale/n-gauge-code-40-flat-bottom-rail-concrete-sleeper-turnouts
the NGF thread https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=3280.1365
and the RMweb thread https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/65617-finetrax/

Cheers,

Mark

Edited by pelhama
Links HTML corrected - hopefully!
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Okay, so one step forward, then one step back, but not necessarily a negative thing...

 

I've had another look at Templot and found that I could use two of the planned AV7 kits for the branch turnouts. Well it would be a shame to lose the junction, so it's back.

From this I've reviewed the kits I'll need from Wayne at British Finescale and placed a second pledge for the remainder using a second account - all legitimate as confirmed by Kickstarter themselves.

I will need to assemble the crossing using copper clad strip and solder as I suspect it extremely unlikely that a kit even close to the geometry would be produced, however this shouldn't be a problem having built one previously. The branch will be modelled as if under engineer's possession with 'STOP' signs, so the turnouts will be fixed in one position, that way I won't need to disguise two tracks on an embankment disappearing through the backscene, but still keep the appearance of a junction.

 

As for signalling, I can cheat by using a CR Signals Theatre Indicator set to display 'S' for Stour Valley to denote the main line route. So all departures towards Birmingham will show the main signal aspect and Theatre Indication, movements to the yard will show the Associated Position Light and 'YD' Stencil Indicator.

 

Now to add in the replacement Templot prints to the full-size plan I've been gluing together.

 

Cheers,

 

Mark

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Afternoon All,

 

So, it’s been a fair while again since my last update – Christmas has been and gone and we’re in to 2020.

 

Not a great deal has happened – a few boxes have arrived with various rolling stock manufacturers’ latest releases, but possibly the most significant delivery was on Christmas Eve. Santa, cunningly disguised as the local Postman, dropped off a nice parcel from British Finescale containing:

 

20191227_122346.jpg.c9b2b0e11e3561002e8bd6e196fb3187.jpg

 

This was my two pledges worth of kits and jigs, which covers the scenic trackwork for the layout; now I just need the time, space and money to get the baseboards ordered.

The previously mentioned changes to the track alignment for using the British Finescale products has led to a review of the scenic plan, and revisions to accommodate the changes. This is currently a work in progress, and probably will be for some time as it is a very time-consuming process. The Templot plan has been imported and ‘tidied up’, I am now adjusting the scenic elements around it. Some of the tweaks are just that – to fit correctly around the realigned track, some others are a little more substantial, such as re-positioning roads. The latter is part of my plan to avoid the road disappearing into the backscene, and to obscure all scenic ‘exits’ as best as possible. I'll upload some images once I've made progress worth sharing.

 

This of course also means the scale mock-up will need revising and will probably be better to start from scratch on that; I can hopefully reuse the buildings though.

 

Anyway, better get on, I’ve got tea to drink, layouts to plan and build…

 

Cheers,

 

Mark

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Posted (edited)
On 17/01/2020 at 13:02, pelhama said:

Afternoon All,

 

So, it’s been a fair while again since my last update – Christmas has been and gone and we’re in to 2020.

 

Not a great deal has happened – a few boxes have arrived with various rolling stock manufacturers’ latest releases, but possibly the most significant delivery was on Christmas Eve. Santa, cunningly disguised as the local Postman, dropped off a nice parcel from British Finescale containing:

 

20191227_122346.jpg.c9b2b0e11e3561002e8bd6e196fb3187.jpg

 

This was my two pledges worth of kits and jigs, which covers the scenic trackwork for the layout; now I just need the time, space and money to get the baseboards ordered.

The previously mentioned changes to the track alignment for using the British Finescale products has led to a review of the scenic plan, and revisions to accommodate the changes. This is currently a work in progress, and probably will be for some time as it is a very time-consuming process. The Templot plan has been imported and ‘tidied up’, I am now adjusting the scenic elements around it. Some of the tweaks are just that – to fit correctly around the realigned track, some others are a little more substantial, such as re-positioning roads. The latter is part of my plan to avoid the road disappearing into the backscene, and to obscure all scenic ‘exits’ as best as possible. I'll upload some images once I've made progress worth sharing.

 

This of course also means the scale mock-up will need revising and will probably be better to start from scratch on that; I can hopefully reuse the buildings though.

 

Anyway, better get on, I’ve got tea to drink, layouts to plan and build…

 

Cheers,

 

Mark

 

Hi Mark - I really liked the original layout design so excited to see what revisions you come up with.

Edited by turtlebah

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On 14/04/2020 at 08:26, turtlebah said:

 

Hi Mark - I really liked the original layout design so excited to see what revisions you come up with.

 

Hi Turtlebah,

 

I've not had much chance to work on the revisions to the layout plan, although any changes to the track plan will purely be minor adjustments to the alignment. The overall scenic plan should retain the same feel as previous plans, just with a few bits moved around to 'fit' better.

 

Below is the plan for the right hand end of the layout as it is to-date, still some adjustments to make from the previous plan, such as the catenary, then continue adding detail:

19Jan2020_1.jpg.ed146f45f120e9f175b6eb8eeb0ead48.jpg

 

 

For the middle section, I have made some adjustments to the alignment of the canal junction, but the plan is still largely covered in notes and reminders:

19Jan2020_2.jpg.02328f43742722a1772c58864479b44b.jpg

 

 

I'm on furlough leave next month and July, so may have more time to review and develop the plans, and possibly look to start on something more tangible although probably nothing more than a couple of the buildings at most. 

 

Cheers,

 

Mark

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Afternoon All,

 

While on Furlough leave, I decided to build a small test track for running stock in, having seen Graham's (shanks522) new layout build:

 

 

 

My version can be found below:

 

 

 

This will at least allow my stock to 'stretch its legs' a bit whilst waiting for the bigger layout!

 

Cheers,

 

Mark

 

 

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