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Ben Alder

The Far North Line

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Like you I have had a massive sale, which was inevitable changing from the requirements of an LMS/LNER mainline to a GWR country branch. The daft thing was pre-orders for LMS were being delivered as fast as I was selling stuff. So the stock position as of tonight is 7 GWR engines and 4 LMS, one heck of a drop. My coach collection looks decidedly anorexic now. I always admire your Stanier 2-6-2T when it appears - It is sooo different. Because you built most of your locos, your layout could not be mistaken for anything but Scottish. A person building a Scottish layout dependant on RTR would have to inform readers it was based in Scotland ha ha. Keep up the good work.

Edited by coachmann

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Agree with becoming attached to things you've built or worked on; I've got quite a collection of 1930s rolling stock that I no longer use but is kit or scratch built, or repaints and I can't bring myself to dispose of it!

 

Thanks for the pictures; fascinating as always, as well as the 'stories' behind them!

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Richard.

I thoroughly agree with you comments regarding Scottish locos.

One example is the Caley Jumbo.

DJH do a kit, but even to build it in OO gauge is a bit of a trial, to get it right.

John Brighton of Steamline, Sheffield, (now retired), made a pair for customers.

I asked him if it was the DJH kit, well it was in part, plus parts from the old Jamieson kit and a lot of scratch-building.

The link to John Brightons Jumbos is here:- https://steamlinesheffield.wordpress.com/#jp-carousel-554

Andy.

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Don't know about the Jumbo, but their Mcintosh 812- as preserved- was just about the worst white metal kit I've tackled- bits from other types of Caley  0-6-0 as part of the consist, which made for a most frustrating experience. I've two, well one and a half *, more sitting but can't see me wasting time on them. Plans are afoot to see if the 700 can be persuaded into shape; if not I'll just forget them. The Caley family of 0-6-0's is a very complicated story, with noticeable differences between the various classes, usually grouped together as Jumbo, but if any Caley engine is going to be made R-T-R, its likely to be the Strathspey's one, although I understand nobody has approached them yet. One day.....

 

John has done a good job with those two, but I suspect little of the DJH is part of them!

 

 

*The boiler was used on my Loch build as some of the class were given Caley boilers as a life extension, which changed their appearance markedly...

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What was the LMS/BR thinking of to give Highland locos standard boilers?

And then scrap them because of it.

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Standardisation- the LMS has a policy of concentrating on the CR types as second tier motive power, and  some ofthe Small Bens and Lochs got  fitted where appropriate with CR replacements- it extended their life by another twenty years or so, but seeing as how the Caley engines lasted more or less to the end of ScR steam, then the HR types could have lingered as well. Truth is, there were enough CR engines around to not bother with small numbers of survivors that had been earmarked only for a limited life extension. This was of course the cause of 54398's lasting till 1953 and then its demise in 1967- it was a HR/CR hybrid, and as such not deemed worthy of keeping....

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Richard

Inspirational as ever.

The Pickersgill 4-4-0 particularly appeals (as a Caley enthusiast, it would!). There are a number of photos of same in BR days and they always looked good in BR lined black. Smokebox wingplates would have enhanced the appearance of the loco but perhaps wartime austerity precluded this.

Jim P

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David Jenkinson cited the 'Drummond Factor' as being responsible for Scotland retaining so many of its classes, as there existed a form of standardisation. Funnily enough, the mighty LNWR in England was not saved by its own standardisation simply because it's locos were crap and there was fat chance of non-LNWR footplate crews across the LMS system ever being able to handle their foibles. 

Edited by coachmann
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Sorry Ben/Richard! Just answered my own question from Ken's thread and caught up on here! Still some amazing stuff on here, very atmospheric and the quality of modelling is just fantastic- wish I could emulate it!

Les

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I particularly like the two last shots basically because those sky backgrounds are damned clever........ The clouds look to be overhead!

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Thanks- ID backscenes did all the work... although the overall height of the backscene is about 12", which gives the effect, I guess. I did try a cloudy sky at the beginning, but decided that it was going to be a bright day here always.....

Edited by Ben Alder
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Just one here- an attempt at image stacking, which thanks to CombineZM, I appear to be managing. Early days yet, and it won't be a regular option, but should help with longer distance shots to combat blurring. This picture does have a greater clarity than some I took individually, although it is straying into the "can't be bothered" range of editing for me to an extent...

 

post-2642-0-46110100-1434580238_thumb.jpg

 

(R click on image for full size)

Edited by Ben Alder
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With a layout of this quality and atmosphere, image stacking for the occasional hero image is definitely worth the extra 5 minutes work. That last shot is superb. The view past the signal box really sets the location and mood.

 

This is something I am about to start experimenting with on my dioramas as the best shots are always along the track, not across the track, which means a viewing distance approaching 900mm and using the camera on wide angle gets too much background clutter in the shot, spoiling the effect.

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For want of anything else to show, some photos taken today, again playing around with white balance and light settings on the camera, so some variety here. Once again too much sun around, but I waited till five when most of the direct light had passed the layout.I must try and get my head around image stacking to improve focus on train shots, something I've looked at and given up on a couple of times already.

 

No real modelling managed this week beyond two evenings whittling away at the twin 4-4-0's bodies to get them running without shorting- a necessary chore when fitting chassis that don't belong to the superstructure. This was a frustrating, tedious job, as it was the last time, IIR, but worthwhile in the end. The layout floor is covered in gleaming metal shavings ATM, and as the access ladder to the attic is more or less above our dining table, I suppose I should do some hoovering before I get questioned about substances in our soup.....

 

Anyway, some pics. Firstly a HR 0-6-0 doing some shunting at Helmsdale...

 

attachicon.gifIMG_1668-cropzx.jpg

 

attachicon.gifIMG_1663-crop.JPG

 

attachicon.gifIMG_1664-cropzsd.jpg

 

And a Ben shunting the restaurant car...

 

attachicon.gifIMG_1675-crop.JPG

 

attachicon.gifIMG_1676-cropz.JPG

 

And Ben Dearg on shed- no doubt in to get that step repaired...

 

attachicon.gifIMG_1672-crop.JPG

 

Lastly, a couple from Thurso- the signal cabin...

 

attachicon.gifIMG_1671-crop.JPG

 

And the shed, with a Barney and Ben getting ready for duties...

 

attachicon.gifIMG_1677-crop.JPG

richard

 

as ever great snaps of your layout, every time i look at these it reminds me that i should have to make time and space and hide money from the wife so that i can get on with my layout but, with two little girls its no easy thing at the moment. ive probably asked already but where do you get the back-scenes from.

 

gary

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Thanks, the backscenes are ID Hills and Dales, the original version- he does a lightened one as well- forget the ref no. It was taken in Strathmore, apparently, which is probably why it suits ScR settings.

 

When my sprog was born, the old room got commandeered, so I took a two or three year break from building indifferent freelance layouts, and spent time at the workbench, mainly turning remaindered Airfix Staniers into Comet hybrids, most of which are still in use. Eventually I moved into the lean to ,by then,shed and started Kylesku. The hiatus was the best thing I did- making me think where I wanted to go hobby wise, and with your talents for loco conversions I am sure you can manage some productive modelling until life returns to a less hectic pace.....

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I use the simple shut the iris down as far as it will go and focus about a third of the way along the scene, although this varies according to my experience. Generally works out okay without image stacking.

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Richard.

I thoroughly agree with you comments regarding Scottish locos.

One example is the Caley Jumbo.

DJH do a kit, but even to build it in OO gauge is a bit of a trial, to get it right.

John Brighton of Steamline, Sheffield, (now retired), made a pair for customers.

I asked him if it was the DJH kit, well it was in part, plus parts from the old Jamieson kit and a lot of scratch-building.

The link to John Brightons Jumbos is here:- https://steamlinesheffield.wordpress.com/#jp-carousel-554

Andy.

 

I have a loco like that. I had bought a Majestic models kit for a 1361 dock tank Steve put it together for me and did a lovely job. I kept getting asked which kit it was and getting confused replies. We I questioned Steve he replied 'I kept taking lumps of white metal out of the box and after looking at them dropping them in the bin and cutting up a piece of NS instead!

I think you have done a grand job with your locos.

Don

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 Must confess I have enjoyed the mix and match that has given me my current fleet- its sixties  modelling stuff  but with current running qualities, being a sort of best of both worlds so long as you can compromise over a missing mm or two......

I've said it before Richard but I'm very much a believer in the "If it looks right" school of thought. Making fine scale models is great and I'll always admirer those that seem to do it with relative ease but equally there should be room for your (and my) type of modeling where we get great pleasure creating fine running models that visually closely represent our chosen subjects. Thanks for posting 

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I have always considered near-enough is good-enough for my own modelling. (I've put it in bold in case my customers think they have been short-changed ha ha). My Austin Seven on a S&DJR chassis was in that category as well as the L&Y 0-6-0 on a 'C' Class chassis. You look to have some proper buffer stops in your yard. 

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I have always considered near-enough is good-enough for my own modelling. (I've put it in bold in case my customers think they have been short-changed ha ha). My Austin Seven on a S&DJR chassis was in that category as well as the L&Y 0-6-0 on a 'C' Class chassis. You look to have some proper buffer stops in your yard. 

 

I have found/decided that if the infrastructure and background  are recognisable then things like a missing mm or two in loco dimensions can usually pass by without too much fretting. I admire those who put heart and soul into hi fi loco building, but I'd rather have a working layout to an overall similar level of detail. That's just me though, and if I'd spent more time perfecting chassis building then things might have been different, but I honestly doubt/know I could ever match the running standards of what pops out of a box nowadays, so these are quite happily used whenever I can get away with it.

 

Buffer stops are a good example of detail where it counts- HR ones thanks to Dave Franks, which really help place a model. If he would just turn his attentions to water columns I would be a happy chappy.....

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