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Ben Alder

The Far North Line

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That new turntable looks dandy and better suited where small engines predominate. You have managed to patch up the ground nicely too

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Looks Good Richard, a vast improvement.

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Hello Richard,

 

good to read new of your Far North Line layout. The turntable looks stunning.

 

Markus

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I have been fully occupied these last whiles, and only now with something to show for it - a replacement turntable for Thurso. This is a 50' London Road Models kit, in nickel silver and well designed - the building was straight forward,  if necessarily precise. I took my time, actually reading and following the instructions for once, as this type of build is obviously a one off for most, and will write up the making of it soon in the blog or workbench thread.

 

Thurso actually had a 40 something foot table that ended up with rail extensions to cope with Bens and Pickersgills which no doubt was partly at least the cause of its scrapping in the early fifties - presumably the pivot mechanism was so worn it was removed, leaving the local crews with a lot of tender first workings.....

When I built the layout I used Roco T/T's for both stations - they are just over fifty feet tables and work perfectly, but I was never happy with the continental look of them, esp. at Thurso where it is very much the centrepiece of the shed, and rarely made it on screen.

 

Anyway, this has now been remedied and is now in place, with a fair bit of track remodelling  as well. I have managed to lessen the approach curve and managed to have a straight run through the table to the water and coal stage - I didn't like the dog leg that was necessary with the first set up. Here are some shots of it all.

 

The existing table.

 

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And removed with reconstruction under way

 

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Ready for the top coat.

 

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Installed and being trialed - it holds 4-4-0s and 0-6-0s and is a bit more in keeping with a branch line. Operation is through a spare controller and alignment is by eye,not an improvement, but the table is right in front of me and I find that I can usually get it aligned OK.The motor is low geared and travels very slowly.

 

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Lastly, a couple of general views of the new area. these were taken as some of the paint was still wet, so any hiccups must be ignored. The gap that shows between the deck and run off track is not as it seems - the deck is removeable and I had aligned it by hand for the pic, managing to get it slightly out of position.....

 

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And an overall look at the reconfigured job.

 

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Well done, Richard!

It's all about taking a very deep breath and calling in the demolition squad.

You're far better at carrying through the job and getting it finished than I am, but I should follow your example and get back to refurbishing my platform canopies - then, of course I should go round the layout and do the finishing touches and bedding in of all the buildings I've been churning out over the last year or so.

I tend to do most of my modelling in the living room where I can keep my (much) better half company, but there comes a time when the layout needs the work done, at least that'll be my excuse....

I'll be at Perth this weekend with any luck and find there's nothing like chatting to kindred souls to get the modelling adrenalin flowing.

Here's hoping!

Kind regards

Ken

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Looks fantastic Richard, great realism love the figures and the poses.

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Hello Richard,

 

I enjoyed looking at your new set of pictures.

 

Markus

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The turn table works for me Richard.

    it all looks good keep up the good work mate I'm already excited by the thoughts that your planing a new project

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Lovely stuff Ben, looks great, very realistic!

 

Phil

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The Helmsdale TT was going to be problematic if changed - the planned Metalsmiths kit has a full diameter belt drive that I am sure will give a smooth rotation, but underneath the present table is a cross piece that would hit the drive mechanism, and as the table is not as prominent as the Thurso one I decided on a bodge  rather than commit myself to another long exact build and much destruction above and below boards. What I did was glue cosmetic undersides to the decking and ignore the non British accretions above  for the sake of an easy life. I think I'm happy enough with the results, and it has saved a lot of distress to the layout. I'll leave the audience to make their mind up about it :scratchhead: ........

 

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I took some more shots today when finishing off the table, some featuring the Black Fives which have been sidelined recently in favour of the earlier locos. I feel that there are not enough train  pics, but due to the cramped location, I find it difficult to catch these well. However, here is a parcels train heading north ( the layout is operated in reverse to reality )

 

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And another one being turned and ready for a night freight to Inverness.

 

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I have also toned down the deck of the Thurso table - still not totally happy with it but it is something that can be adjusted as and when.

 

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Back to the bench now - the change of mind about the Helmsdale TT build has created a gap in my plans, so a browse through future projects is needed to see what will be next.......

Your overall atmosphere catches the feel of Helmsdale and Thurso so well!

If all our "bodges" were up to your standard we'd all be vying for top honours.......

As a matter of interest, will your Black 5's fit on the new Thurso TT?

Regards

Ken

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Cheers; the new table is too small for Thurso - a Ben struggles to fit on it, so the Hikers have to do what the real ones did there - reverse back to Wick....I could have put a 60' one in but the smaller one ties in with the overall picture more, I felt.

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I was looking as 55049 on the new turntable and then realised the distant houses are on the backscene(s) chosen for Oswestry. 

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Yes, there is a very limited choice of late fifties town backscenes around - someone missed a business opportunity (for their children) back then :scratchhead:

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For many of our model shots, max depth of field is indispensable, but here the slight loss of acuity in the background almost helps to bring the main subject forward. Not worth not persevering with, Richard. 

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Interesting results. I wonder when we take photos of layouts what we are actually trying to take a picture of. Are we trying to recreate full sized pictures taken in years past, or are we trying to get as much detail as we can in a modern style? Depth of field for the latter is probably more important than in the former.

 

BTW that GPO J type needs removing forthwith, it's an English one and wouldn't be allowed north of the border. (the GPO used a completely different crown for Scotland, and the EiiR wasn't present, as Her Maj is only the first Queen Elizabeth of Scotland.)

 

Andy G

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Hi Andy,

 

I think EIIR did appear in Scotland, I recall an elderly woman on the radio recounting how some post boxes with that insignia were reconfigured with "a wee bit o gelly" in protest.

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That hardly qualifies as "dreich". I can see some blue sky. But lovely photos as ever.

 

 

Thanks - the best daytime shots come when the skies here are heavily overcast and grey; this gives a good natural look to the model, and even casts shadows. Clear skies overpower the model for photography although it does look good to the eye.

 

Interesting results. I wonder when we take photos of layouts what we are actually trying to take a picture of. Are we trying to recreate full sized pictures taken in years past, or are we trying to get as much detail as we can in a modern style? Depth of field for the latter is probably more important than in the former.

 

BTW that GPO J type needs removing forthwith, it's an English one and wouldn't be allowed north of the border. (the GPO used a completely different crown for Scotland, and the EiiR wasn't present, as Her Maj is only the first Queen Elizabeth of Scotland.)

 

Andy G

 

 

Layout photography seems to go through phases, esp. in the mags, and the Brian Monaghan helicopter approach is mostly a thing of the past, but much of the current output does little for me. Huge DOF and flooded with electric lighting makes a good clear image, but it rarely shows  a model as being a miniature version of a real thing. I like to see shadows and an angled light, suggesting a time of day rather than an overwhelming desert style sun that obliterates any idea of direction or weather. However, that's just me and probably a result of living so far north..... :scratchhead:

 

 

The GPO crests are on the list, but not having come across any I just relied on me ignoring them for the time being. Besides, any nationalism in me, and its not something I respond to at all, is not going to get worked up over such a matter - I've taken far worse short cuts here than that!

 

Couple more earlier pics from the phone here. The DOF is very obvious in the tank pic, but I don't think it matters too much. Worse is the daylight in the image - far too intense, but these were all trials with the phone.

 

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Helmsdale from the north showing the end of the loading bank with a couple of spare cattle wagons and the head of an overnight freight stored. The carriages on the right are the stock for an early morning train the next day. In reality, the two consists were kept the other way round, but space compromises have meant that I had to operate them this way round.

 

I don't have much more to show just now - photographing takes up a lot of time and I've lost interest in this side of things just now. Still busy on the layout and bench though, so there will be updates as and when and I would thank all of you who speak kindly of my efforts - it is appreciated.

Edited by Ben Alder
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