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On 17/11/2020 at 17:40, bmthtrains - David said:

I've been working on CAD drawings for the ROC, based on Rugby even though this *isn't* a model of Rugby itself - inspired by it is probably a better term. The ROC will be a big structure, about the size of a shoebox cut down the middle - and I will need to get the colours right as if they are too flat or too bright, it will look rather hideous. 

 

David

 

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David, this is absolutely fantastic. I am actually based in the ROC at Rugby, so if you ever need any measurements or photos, just drop me a message. 

 

Cheers

Anthony 

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  • 3 months later...

Having finally moved house a few weeks ago, I’ve now unpacked all my modelmaking boxes and given my stock a test run on a circle of set track. It’s going to be a while until the model room is ready - it’s currently fitted out as an office and I’m using at as such while working from home still, but I now have accurate measurements so I can draw the final layout plan up soon - I just need to lop 4 inches off the length but can add 2 to the width.

 

I had planned on making the ROC model over the new year, but with lockdown closing the campus again I haven’t been able to do the laser cutting. I was also going to use this building as a test for using a UV printer for the colourful cladding, so maybe after Easter I can get on with this at last.

 

In the meantime I’ve been painting up a few scenic details just to get the hobby muscles flexing again. Only an hour or so, but it’s been lovely to sit down and do some modelling.

 

David

 

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It’s used infrequently in architectural modelmaking for bases, but I’ve not seen it used for building detail this precisely. The trick will be if everything can be aligned accurately enough at such a small scale. I’m going to try printing then lasering and vice versa to see which works best as I need the panel engraving to align with the printed blocks of colour.

 

David 

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Another small job this week has been repairing my GSMR mast and cabin. As the prototype for the 3D print I put on Shapeways, it was never detailed, and the mast snapped off a few years ago.

 

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I made a new mast by cutting down an old paintbrush, added a triangular metal section from a kit of the Voyager space probe, and some styrene strip. A bit of painting, some decals and a light weather and this is good as new again.

 

David 

 

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My next project is working out the best way to make lots (and lots) of buddleia. I’ve tried a quick test to see whether tufts, clumps or bushes work best, simply painted with some yellow enamel (I don’t have any purple paint). 

 

Tufts seem to have the closest overall appearance, but the tips are too thin to look like the flowers, so I’ve ordered some much larger versions and some purple scenic scatter to dip them in to try a more accurate iteration.

 

Making sure they look realistic but not too gaudy is going to be tricky I think.

 

David 

 

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Something that has impressed me since ‘returning’ to the hobby after a long gap is the growth of cottage industry manufacturers in N gauge. The availability of desktop 3D printers and reasonably affordable laser cutters has certainly seen an explosion in the range of useful detailing supplies - especially for lineside details.

 

A downside is of course that anyone with a 3D printer or laser cutter can sell stuff online - so I am finding checking the quality of what is offered is vital. Case in point - some laser cut concrete cable troughs arrived today, and nice as they are, they are cut from MDF, which needs sealing before painting otherwise it just looks awful. Had this been cut from acrylic sheet this wouldn’t be a problem. I may end up making my own as a result.

 

Ive also ordered some (hopefully) nice 3D printed rawie buffer stops, and drawn up and had printed my own design for some trackside junction lights.

 

This layout is going be all about the lineside and railway infrastructure!

 

David

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More on my buddleia experiments now - having tried various combinations of tuft/pva dunk/scenic powder I think I’m fairly happy with these.

 

I inadvertently discovered I could make ragwort as well, and I think when placed carefully on the layout sprouting from the ballast, using different size tufts and all sprayed with a bit of a wash to dull the colours down a little, this could work. 

 

David 

 

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The buffer stops turned up today, and surprisingly the trackside lights I drew up arrived from Shapeways when I only ordered them on Sunday.

 

Quite pleased with them, but lots of fiddly painting to be done now!

 

David

 

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Settling in to the new house, plenty of things are taking priority before converting the study into the model railway room, but to keep my modelling activities going through the year, an important job was to draw out the layout plan to exact size now I know the dimensions of the room. This has meant a slight condensing of the original plan, as I have 8’3” length to play with rather than the nominal 9’ I had planned for.

 

I think I can still fit in everything I wanted, even allowing for more generous radii on the hidden curves to accommodate the centre overhang of stock such as the 390, but I might add an inch to the front just to get a slightly wider depth to the foreground scenery.

 

The aim of this layout is to capture the look and feel of the railway infrastructure on the WCML, so details not normally seen in N gauge will be included such as axle counters and trackside junction lights. A big emphasis is being placed on the OHLE and signals.

 

The top and middle end as seen in this image are very much inspired by Rugby, while the lower end is heavily based on the bridge and surrounds at the southern end of Nuneaton station. Sidings will be mostly permanent way trains, and there will be storage loops to accommodate 12 trains off scene.

 

Now this is all locked in, I can make a start designing some of the buildings and structures!

 

David

 

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I’ve started making sketch models of the buildings for the layout, trying to find a balance between their sizes as part of the overall composition.

 

The first large warehouse building seemed fine until I compared it to the ROC, and it was too tall - the ROC needs to be the centre point of the layout that draws attention. So I lopped off the first floor and now it seems a good height, although the roof needs shrinking and flattening a lot more. 

 

David 

 

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After more deliberation I’ve decided to remove the warehouse completely and leave the land open - probably a larger car park and bits of yard. This just clears more space and feels more realistic for the setting, and also really focuses attention on the ROC. Unusual for me to have fewer buildings on a layout given it’s what I enjoy making the most, but I think the layout will benefit.

 

David 

 

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David,

 

There looks to be quite a lot of open space either side of the ROC, how would it look with the warehouse built on a slimmer footprint so not to project too far from the backscene, and fill the ground between it and the railway with scrub/yard/car park?

 

Just a thought!

 

Mark

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Hi Mark, there will probably be buildings of some kind at the back, just not on the scale of the warehouse. More to suggest this is the edge of town and things are petering out in that direction. 

 

David 

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As ever in N gauge it looks like vehicles are going to be a problem. I have a growing collection of Oxford transit vans, and their Range Rover and Mercedes, plus a small range of Tomytec cars at 1:150 scale.

 

I had hoped to purchase more of the Tomytec cars and some of the truck collection to get mid-size commercial vehicles for the layout. Looking at prices on eBay, this looks unlikely given what used to be £15 trucks now seem to cost between £50 and £90 each!! Whether this is a lockdown demand thing or a Brexit thing I have no idea. 

 

With that in mind I’ve dug out my bag of Chinese-made “100 for £10” cars I bought for the Ikea car park scene on Ring Road. With some added detailing I think these can help expand background car park scenes. 

 

I will also keep an eye out for cheaper Tomytec vans and cars over the next year in the hope that some affordable ones come available!

 

David

 

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Well the vehicle issue turned out to be an easy one to fix - I found a full box of the series 11 Tomytec truck collection that even including postal charges from Japan cost only £6 for each truck.

 

The larger vans will need a minor bit of repainting and the flatbed trucks modified to given them drop sides and more suitable loads (don’t think I’ve ever seen those 15’ containers on a truck in the UK before...), but these should really work on the layout.

 

David 

 

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I’ve made a start anglicising the Tomytec trucks, respraying the boxes and painting over the Japanese number plates. They really are beautiful models and being 1:150 scale really fit British N gauge far better than the easier to source European models.

 

First up is the Bunzl truck, a simple white repaint with decals added:

 

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Then a Brakes Bros. food truck, again a simple spray and decal job:

 

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The smaller flat trucks have had the containers removed and two converted into car carrying trucks to go with the auto repair centre that will be in an industrial unit on the layout, another has been given a simple load, and the fourth given sides:

 

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The next to work on are two ridge sided trucks that I am waiting for some Microsol to arrive before I add the decals, then the green-cab and purple-cab vehicles that need a little thought before tackling.

 

David

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13 hours ago, bmthtrains - David said:

And the fleet continues to grow...

 

David

 

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I don't pay that much attention to lorries on the road; are they all based on actual companies or have you made them up? They all look right, but none of them are familiar to me. Good work :) 

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The Bunzl and Brakes ones are real while the others are made up. I wanted more subtle localised liveries rather than too many recognisable Argos, Tesco, etc trucks as these need to be fairly unobtrusive. 

 

David 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I’ve finally been able to get round to laser cutting the parts for the ROC. There are about 40 separate parts, all of which need spraying before assembly. The only casualty was a missing letter T - I will have to recut it at some point. Hard not to lose them as the letters are only a couple of millimetres tall!

 

David

 

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On 30/03/2021 at 14:45, bmthtrains - David said:

Settling in to the new house, plenty of things are taking priority before converting the study into the model railway room, but to keep my modelling activities going through the year, an important job was to draw out the layout plan to exact size now I know the dimensions of the room. This has meant a slight condensing of the original plan, as I have 8’3” length to play with rather than the nominal 9’ I had planned for.

 

I think I can still fit in everything I wanted, even allowing for more generous radii on the hidden curves to accommodate the centre overhang of stock such as the 390, but I might add an inch to the front just to get a slightly wider depth to the foreground scenery.

 

The aim of this layout is to capture the look and feel of the railway infrastructure on the WCML, so details not normally seen in N gauge will be included such as axle counters and trackside junction lights. A big emphasis is being placed on the OHLE and signals.

 

The top and middle end as seen in this image are very much inspired by Rugby, while the lower end is heavily based on the bridge and surrounds at the southern end of Nuneaton station. Sidings will be mostly permanent way trains, and there will be storage loops to accommodate 12 trains off scene.

 

Now this is all locked in, I can make a start designing some of the buildings and structures!

 

David

 

 

I see 'H' has given the thumbs up to this post

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A little more progress yesterday evening and during my lunch break today - spraying has commenced!

 

Firstly I have mixed up a dark grey to approximate the black brick. These are interspersed with light grey bricks on the real building, and while I could do a speckle to replicate this, I decided that from a distance the building just looks dark grey.

 

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Some careful masking has revealed the white panels as well:

 

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All the windows are being backsprayed a dark blue-grey. Previously I’ve kept windows clear in buildings, but Perspex is much optically clearer than glass and so in models tends to lack the darkness and reflectivity seen in actual glass. Again, from a distance (I always think of N gauge as being far away rather than small, Father Ted style), you simply can’t see into buildings during the day.

 

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The masking on the back panel looks messy to start with, but as soon as the front panel goes on, you can see why - most of this sheet is obscured.

 

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The roof has had its dark grey edge added, and is awaiting further construction:

 

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Next step is mixing the colours for the front panels and hours and hours of masking. Hoping this doesn’t end up as a disaster to be honest!

 

I’m making the building as I would a standard architectural model, in part to replicate the newness of the real ROC. I will then lightly weather and detail the model to bed it into ‘model railway world’, particularly the roof which from aerial photos has rather quickly gained some staining.

 

Lots more to do, but lovely to be busy making it at last!

 

David

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