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A gorgeous model, with loads of atmosphere, I saw it in Hornby Mag (in fact the reason why I bought it.

I lived just outside Newent until 1970 and one of my memories of Steam was being taken in an ambulance from Ledbury Cottage Hospital to Hereford after my tonsillectomy went wrong and seeing a 14xx (or pannier) pulling a train on an embankment alongside the road. I was in the Army Cadets in Newent and we used to patrol the disused station area armed to the teeth, I used to be the loader for the Bren Gun. (can't imagine young lads in Army Uniform being able to patrol around town now with real guns).

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Hi..

 

Outstanding layout, thanks for sharing. The vid was great as it gave a better understanding of how the layout looked and oprated.

 

Stuart-AU

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Thanks for the kind comments. To answer Doug's question; no, I'm afraid that there will not be any extensions as the design doesn't lend itself to 'building - on'.

 

I mentioned in my introductory post that I was in the process of redesigning the fiddle yard. I have been very unhappy with the cassettes that I hurriedly knocked up for Much Murkle's first outing to the MRG meet back in April and the subsequent Hornby article. One of the main problems with these was that my cutting was not accurate enough. A millimetre or two out of alignment made all the difference between good running and derailments and also unreliable power connection.

 

I've finally redesigned them and got a friend of a friend who runs a joinery company to cut me some accurate strips of MDF for the new design.

 

Aluminium angle and flat strip are used at the ends only for alignment and power connection. Stock will run on Peco track as before. The angle strip sandwiches the Peco sleepers and will therefore provide a consistent and accurate width for the cassette

 

I've had enough cut to make up to 10 stock cassettes of lengths between 600 and 900mm and 10 loco cassettes of between 200 and 300mm. I doubt I will need this many but as I had to pay for a full sheet of MDF I thought that I might as well get the most out of it that I could.

 

I've also designed a stable, free standing rack to sit on a table to store some of the cassettes and this has been pre cut as well.

 

The main problem with the Mk1 cassettes was alignment. Due to my (only slightly) inaccurate cutting, the width of the cassettes varied by approx 2mm and slight variances in the centering of the rail only compounded the problem. This view shows the misalignment. It does look like one rail is in line and the other misaligned but the camera angle doesn't pick up that they are actually both slightly out of line. The other compounding problem that can be seen is that the sides are not square. All in all a problem for reliable running so they had to go.

 

post-7649-0-77400600-1342818842.jpg

 

I can't take any credit for the design of the cassettes as they were copied from a thread on RMweb but I can't remember who's :scratchhead:

 

This is it's replacement

 

post-7649-0-55093000-1342819062.jpg

 

I've completed two cassettes so far both 600mm long

 

post-7649-0-06417000-1342819141.jpg

 

The loco cassettes will be seperate (and shorter). I haven't built any yet but they will join like this

 

post-7649-0-25867400-1342819142.jpg

 

The two 600mm cassettes joined.

 

post-7649-0-31390500-1342819158.jpg

 

This wouldn't happen in practice as the overhang is too great but you get the idea. I am currently building a 1000mm cassette that will slightly overhang the end which is for the quarry train. This one will not have a seperate loco cassette. As it is a self contained train and does not pick up other wagons when entering the station and being reversed it doesn't matter which way the couplings face, therefore the whole cassette can just be reversed each time.

 

I need to work out my stock movements before building anymore cassettes but I will certainly need at least a couple more @ 600mm + some @ 750mm + cassettes for each of the locos and Railcar of between 200mm and 320mm.

 

They work like a dream compared to the old ones :imsohappy:

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Hi.

What a wonderfull model. Full of good old atmospher with nice photographes. well done.

Craig.

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Thanks Craig

 

I've been thinking of a way to stock the stock accidently being driven off the end or dropped of the end whilst handling the cassettes. After some thought I've come up with this, a piece of bent wire cut from an old wire coat hanger. Any springy wire would do though. The dimensions are to suit my cassettes but the most important one is to have the top slightly less wide than the width of the cassette and make sure that the two sides are the same length as each other.

 

post-7649-0-83355000-1342980593.jpg

 

Drill two 3mm holes in the sides approx 15mm from the top and ends of the MDF

 

post-7649-0-70585600-1342980605.jpg

 

Insert the short ends into the holes

 

post-7649-0-97508200-1342980608.jpg

 

By making the dimension of the top of the wire slightly less than the overall width of the cassette it holds itself in place quite nicely in the open position.

 

The closed position

 

post-7649-0-18823300-1342980611.jpg

 

As you can see below it retains the stock just above the buffer level.

 

post-7649-0-79158900-1342980613.jpg

 

This wire is plastic coated so won't cause a short across the connectors. Where I've bent it the plastic coating has cracked and broken off so to be on the safe side I am going to wrap some insulation tape around it as well. This would also be necessary if I have to use bare wire hangers for the other cassettes that I will need to do. At the same time I will try and wrap some thin foam around the end to protect the stock.

 

A simple solution :imsohappy:

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I was looking into using plastic shrink wrap over the wire when my wife came home from work with a bag full of plastic coated wire coat hangers that had a much more flexible coating, so problem solved. I wrapped the ends in some thin foam and fixed it with a wrapping of insulation tape. Cheap and simple does the job.

 

I've built some more cassettes and have also knocked up a storage rack for them.

 

Cassettes built so far

4 x 600mm

1 x 1000mm

4 x 300mm

 

post-7649-0-85833900-1343827898.jpg

 

I need to have a running session now and work through the sequence to find out how many more cassettes I need.

 

Look out for some photos of running trials soon.

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Clever construction! I agree about the cheap and simple solutions, plus they are fun to think up too.

Edited by devondynosoar118

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Some impressive photos there, Nick. By coincidence I was wondering about how to model apples this morning with no real conclusion. How did you do yours?

 

Nick

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I would just echo what Nick (buffalo) has just said. Great photos - I find myself coming back to look at your layout time and time again. It's not too big and that's allowed you to pay really close attention to the detail.

 

I particularly like the second photo (the b&w one) in your last post. The bush in the lower left corner (or was it your hand?!) gives the impression of someone spying on the 2 guys chatting near the office.

 

Jeff

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Some impressive photos there, Nick. By coincidence I was wondering about how to model apples this morning with no real conclusion. How did you do yours?

 

Nick

 

Hi Nick

 

It took me quite a while to find something that represented apples in 4mm scale. This is how I finally managed it

 

Poppy seeds are used to represent the apples. They can be bought in Supermarkets for topping bread etc. They are about 0.75mm diameter. Yes I did measure them.

 

First off some sort of base was required for the pile of apples. I used an old rock face plaster casting that I had knocking around which I carved to round off some of the more angular edges. I could just have easily built up some card layers to achieve the same effect.

 

I used neat pva laid on quite thickly and then pressed the seeds into it. Shake the excess off when completely dry and repeat if to cover any bald patches as often as necessary.

 

To paint, I used acrylics and gave the whole lot a coat of a very yellowy green, and whilst still wet a thin wash of apple green. Just as the paint was drying I followed again with a very thin red dabbed on in small patches and then blended in with a dry brush. It took about less time to do than to explain.

 

A couple of photos to help the explanation

 

post-7649-0-12121000-1344023892.jpg

 

post-7649-0-46980500-1344023893.jpg

 

I would just echo what Nick (buffalo) has just said. Great photos - I find myself coming back to look at your layout time and time again. It's not too big and that's allowed you to pay really close attention to the detail.

 

I particularly like the second photo (the b&w one) in your last post. The bush in the lower left corner (or was it your hand?!) gives the impression of someone spying on the 2 guys chatting near the office.

 

Jeff

 

It's a bush Jeff

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It took me quite a while to find something that represented apples in 4mm scale. This is how I finally managed it...

Thanks, Nick. I'm sure there are some poppy seeds at the back of a drawer in the kitchen.

 

Now, I wonder if I can get them hanging from something resembling an apple tree...

 

Nick

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How d'ya like them apples?!

 

Did you go around a supermarket with a vernier or micrometer trying to find something to represent a 1:76 apple? Very inventive!

 

I'm interested in how you weathered your track, particularly the sides of the rails - it is one of the most realistic representations of the combination of weathered rust and dirt I've seen. You've got the colour just right. You see so many that are bright orange and it just looks too much.

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I really like this shot so I had a little play. Hope you don't mind.

post-6702-0-60926000-1344078735.jpg

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Thanks, Nick. I'm sure there are some poppy seeds at the back of a drawer in the kitchen.

 

Now, I wonder if I can get them hanging from something resembling an apple tree...

 

Nick

 

Now there's a challenge :no:

 

How d'ya like them apples?!

 

Did you go around a supermarket with a vernier or micrometer trying to find something to represent a 1:76 apple? Very inventive!

 

I'm interested in how you weathered your track, particularly the sides of the rails - it is one of the most realistic representations of the combination of weathered rust and dirt I've seen. You've got the colour just right. You see so many that are bright orange and it just looks too much.

 

It was a long time ago since I laid the track. I've looked back through my photo archives, and can't find any photos that woiuld help in the explanation. By memory, the track was sprayed with Halfords red oxide before a couple of coats of Humbol track colour (I not sure but don't think this is available any more but there are alternatives) sprayed on with an airbrush. The track was then ballasted. When everything had set hard, a thin wash of track colour was then brushed onto the ballast. A little bit of black was then added to the ttrack colour wash and applied to the ballast between the rails around points and where locos frequently stand. Various shades of grey pastels have also been worked into the ballast at certain points to give some variation. Hope this helps.

 

I really like this shot so I had a little play. Hope you don't mind.

 

Not at all. Am I correct in thinking that you've cropped the bottom which was out of focus and sharpened the image slightly?

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A fantastic model full of atmosphere and some beautifully observed scenic work. Everything is of a consistently high quality that in itself seems to create the sense of unity and thus realism.

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Sorry for the slow reply Nick. Yes - sharpened the image in PS followed by changing the file to pure mono (I'm an Ansel Adams fan). Most instant colour to mono conversions leave the tones slightly magenta and soft. The result is subtle but cleaner. The old way was to go into channels and pick the blue or red channel (whichever had the most detail) and discard the rest, then convert to greyscale. I tried to add a sky background but time (too many phone calls) and the wire fence beat me!

 

What sort of lighting rig are you using? It appears to be more than one source and from directly overhead?

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Sorry for the slow reply Nick. Yes - sharpened the image in PS followed by changing the file to pure mono (I'm an Ansel Adams fan). Most instant colour to mono conversions leave the tones slightly magenta and soft. The result is subtle but cleaner. The old way was to go into channels and pick the blue or red channel (whichever had the most detail) and discard the rest, then convert to greyscale. I tried to add a sky background but time (too many phone calls) and the wire fence beat me!

 

What sort of lighting rig are you using? It appears to be more than one source and from directly overhead?

 

Hi Artizen, thanks for your explanation and I think I follow it, the results certainly speak for themselves. I have no specialist camera or lighting equipment. My camera is a canon G11 and I'm slowly getting to grips with the manual settings. I've already realised that its main limitation is the f stop range only goes to f8. I took the photos in my garage which has two fluorescent strip lights directly over the back edge of the layout. I've supplemented this with two 400W halgen flood lights (sold as a workshop light) with the floods pointed at the white ceiling and the light bounced back down and that's it.

 

The layout does not have its own lighting rig, yet. I'm in the process of designing the fascia and lighting and am thinking of daylight balanced fluorescent strips along the rear with small halogen spots cantilevered out at the front pointed back at the layout.

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My personal preference these days is high power LED strips. The 12V DC SMD5050 strips I get from the Chinese manufacturers is rated at 72W (which is roughly equivalent to 300W incandescent). Blindingly bright - you need to shield the strip so you can't directly see the LEDs otherwise I am convinced retina damage will occur! I sell them with a health warning. In Brisbane, heat is the killer when the summer temperatures get up over 35 degrees C and 100% humidity. Plus add in the convenience of not having a heavy pelmet to support tubes or spots and no fragile glass elements - it's a winner.

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An update to my reply to 'leavesontheline' post 41, I have just noticed that the RMweb archive is accessible again and for anyone interested I did document how the track was ballasted and weathered. http://www.rmweb.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=43280&hilit=much+murkle

 

It was interesting for me to look back and see how far Much Murkle has come since those humble beginnings.

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Wonderful. The two shots looking from the station end down the layout are my favourites I think, plus the last one of the lovely station building.

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Thanks for the link Nick, very useful. Also, your 'ballasting' is soooo neat! It is also interesting to see how you gently sculpted the landscape in the early days of build.

 

Looking at the magazine shots above its hard to associate the finished product with the photos on your archived thread!

 

Personally, I think some of the shots with photoshopped fields and hills in the back ground look more convincing than the sky-only shots. I particularly like the second to last one - fantastic!

 

Thanks again.

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Thanks for the link Nick, very useful. Also, your 'ballasting' is soooo neat! It is also interesting to see how you gently sculpted the landscape in the early days of build.

 

Looking at the magazine shots above its hard to associate the finished product with the photos on your archived thread!

 

Personally, I think some of the shots with photoshopped fields and hills in the back ground look more convincing than the sky-only shots. I particularly like the second to last one - fantastic!

 

Thanks again.

 

I agree about the shots with the added backgrounds I particularly love the second to last and the shot of the bridge with the cider factory in the background, but the bestest is the photo showing the layout from a position above the station. Very clever photo manipulation.

 

To be truthful the ones I saw in the magazine I thought had been taken outside and that was a natural background

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Personally, I think some of the shots with photoshopped fields and hills in the back ground look more convincing than the sky-only shots. I particularly like the second to last one - fantastic!

 

Thanks again.

 

Totally agree with this. From the lowish perspective the added background blends very nicely. The great thing about MM is the background detail. Ignore the locos and look around the scene. In that particular shot, the signalbox-man standing at the top of the stairs - is he admiring the view or is he bored?! Great stuff!

 

Jeff

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