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After years of procrastination, the time has come to finally start building a layout… Over recent years I have been involved with the 7mmNGA Trent Valley Group’s layout ‘Ashbourne Park Road’. My involvement has mainly been in locos, rolling stock, buildings and some scenery. My experience with baseboards and track is nil and electrickery is a mystery of the orient!! So this layout is as much to test my abilities in new found areas as much as anything else.

 

As one who has a natural ability to procrastinate, there have been many schemes and silly ideas on the drawing board, but never got off it as they’ve grown out of control to be overwhelmingly large. What is needed is something small and simple to get me going, but also capable of being extended / built into a larger system if time and energies allow. The logical conclusion to this is modular, starting with module 1, but what to build…

 

With little (for little read no!) experience in baseboards, electrics and tracks, this is the hardest part to get started. I have inherited two pairs of baseboards, one 4x2ft and the other 3x2ft and I intend using the two four foot boards to give an 8ft scenic section and use on of the 3ft boards as a cassette deck for fiddle yard.

 

I have long held an ambition to have my own branch line, an independent standard gauge railway up a valley, set in southern Merionethshire near the border with Montgomeryshire joining up with the Cambrian mainline at one end and the narrow gauge for the top of the valley at the other end. My route to and from volunteering on the Talyllyn Railway takes me past the terminus of the old Mawddwy Railway and crosses the old S&M at Ford, that, books and plentiful time trundling through mid-Wales behind slow moving caravans to mull it over doing the rest to provide inspiration!

 

Spending a fair bit of my time driving steam engines had left me unimpressed with DCC locos which ‘chuffed’ to a stand whilst being out of synch with the wheels, a demonstration by Paul Martin (EDM Models) of what could be achieved with the Ixion Hudswell Clarke loco resulted in me ordering one and determined to try DCC for myself.

 

This purchase made the decision that I was going standard gauge to begin with. This was followed by Chris Klein posting Iain Rice’s ‘Virtue in Industria” plan on RMWeb: http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/68922-shunters-shunting-layouts/ which showed what could be achieved in the space I had. The Exchange Siding plan being similar to a compacted version of the Cemmes Road layout on the Mawddwy Railway.

 

My intention is a layout based on the terminus of my fictitious standard gauge line the ‘Melyn Valley Railway’ (and yes, I have written the history of the line down) situated at the back of the goods yard of ‘Melyn Road’ station on the Cambrian mainline set in the 1930s. Using the rear of the mainline station platform as the backdrop, with the mainline company goods shed, weighbridge and a shared exchange siding road. The MVR facilities being merely a runround loop, platform with ticket office. There will also be a wriggly tin shed and turntable for the new Ford railcar that’s entered traffic to cut costs on the line (but only one, hence the turntable!) Trees and the railcar shed will act as view blocks for the lines going ‘off stage’.

 

January has seen a start made by building my first 7mm standard gauge wagon kit, a POW Sides / Slaters coal wagon and detailing my Ixion Hudswell Clarke with a crew, some coal, fitting with the Westinghouse Brake and a screw jack to cope with the inevitable poor track I shall lay! Following their trip to the paint shop, ‘Fair Isle’ and wagon pose for the camera:

 

post-11098-0-66141100-1391427824.jpg

 

post-11098-0-51433900-1391427832.jpg

 

Whilst the paint has been drying, I’ve been playing around with C&L templates on the baseboards and come up with the trackplan and have settled on the following plan. Looking at it with a fresh cuppa this morning, the top right hand corner may well be tweaked to reduce the possibility of buffer locking on those reverse curves. I may well end up moving the furthest point to be served as two roads from the cassette in the fiddle yard, but this will be determined and finalised before tracklaying commences.

 

post-11098-0-92118400-1391427524_thumb.jpg

 

The templates laid out in the gloom of the attic:

Left Hand

 

post-11098-0-55825600-1391427678.jpg

 

Right Hand

post-11098-0-05136900-1391427723.jpg

 

The next phase will see backscene boards fixed to the sides and rear, the whole lot given a protective coat of paint and joining together properly (and sat on something more solid) for track laying to take place. I intend using C&L track with their A4 crossing vees. This saves space on using Peco points and gives me chance to practice making trackwork without having to make my own vees and blades to start with. I’ve read various threads on RMWeb which give some pointers in laying the track along with a very good ‘How to’ article from the Gauge 0 Guild Gazette.

 

This should keep me out of mischief for a little while, but will post some updates as I go along.

 

Cheers,

Andrew

 

 

Edited by Andrew Young
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Interesting plan Andrew. If train length allows, I would move the loop release crossover about 9 to 12" closer to the station so that running round can be done in full sight. It would also allow a longer siding for the loco depot, which would benefit from looking less crowded. I'm not sure abaout the turn-table.

 

You have done a nice job weathering the Hudswell Clarke and the Westinghouse pump looks very convincing. I think a small diesel locomotive would fit in well.

 

Regards,

 

Chris.

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Interesting plan Andrew. If train length allows, I would move the loop release crossover about 9 to 12" closer to the station so that running round can be done in full sight. It would also allow a longer siding for the loco depot, which would benefit from looking less crowded. I'm not sure abaout the turn-table.

 

You have done a nice job weathering the Hudswell Clarke and the Westinghouse pump looks very convincing. I think a small diesel locomotive would fit in well.

 

Regards,

 

Chris.

 

Thanks for your comments Chris, I agree with you about the runround loop and shall look at moving the loop release crossover as far up as I can allowing for train length. I'm only planning on running with a couple of small carriages or four wagons and brake so trains will be fairly short, but will measure before I finally decide so I don't end up with it being too short.

 

The loco shed will be at the other end of the line, my plan is for a small corrugated iron / barn like shed to house a small railcar, so not huge but would benefit from the longer space that moving the point will give. The turntable will only be a very small affair, inspired by those on the Derwent Valley for their Ford Railcars. Looking for a suitable view block to hide the hole in the backscene, I was hoping to use the small shed and trees to hide it rather than the more traditional over bridge.

 

Glad you like what I've done to the Hudswell Clarke, I'm very impressed with the loco that's underneath. Funny you should mention about a diesel, if only someone produced something similar to the loco that the North Sunderland had.....? I have a Fowler on order from Paul which should be here by the end of the month.

 

Cheers,

Andrew

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January has seen a start made by building my first 7mm standard gauge wagon kit, a POW Sides / Slaters coal wagon and detailing my Ixion Hudswell Clarke with a crew, some coal, fitting with the Westinghouse Brake and a screw jack to cope with the inevitable poor track I shall lay! Following their trip to the paint shop, ‘Fair Isle’ and wagon pose for the camera:

 

attachicon.gifFair Isle 1.JPG

 

attachicon.gifFair Isle 2.JPG

 

Hi Andrew... your superbly weathered Ixion HC has me wondering precisely why I'm exercising so much effort pursuing my ambition of building an industrial 0-4-0 from a kit. Bon voyage :-)

 

David

 

 

Footnote: Other contributors please refrain from a  chorus of 'We told you so!' in response to my admiration of Andrew's weathering of an r-t-r product. Mr Klein, feel free to have a well earned chuckle ;-)

Edited by David Siddall
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Hi Andrew... your superbly weathered Ixion HC has me wondering precisely why I'm exercising so much effort pursuing my ambition of building an industrial 0-4-0 from a kit. Bon voyage :-)

 

David

 

 

Footnote: Other contributors please refrain from a  chorus of 'We told you so!' in response to my admiration of Andrew's weathering of an r-t-r product. Mr Klein, feel free to have a well earned chuckle ;-)

 

Hi David,

 

Thanks for your kind comments, I've been following your thread for a little while now and seen your current deliberations. I've also taken note of your experience with making trackwork.

 

As for the loco, you can do far worse than go for one of these, especially at the price they are. You're very complimentary about my weathering, but it's just a bit of dry brushing and some weathered black brushwork to take away some of the plastic finish (which makes the model so reasonably priced I guess) and no air brushes were harmed in this either. Just a quick waft of satin varnish when finished.

 

Shall await to see which loco next appears on your thread, though Easingwold isn't that far from the area you're modeling....

 

Cheers,

Andrew

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Hi David,

 

Thanks for your kind comments, I've been following your thread for a little while now and seen your current deliberations. I've also taken note of your experience with making trackwork.

 

As for the loco, you can do far worse than go for one of these, especially at the price they are. You're very complimentary about my weathering, but it's just a bit of dry brushing and some weathered black brushwork to take away some of the plastic finish (which makes the model so reasonably priced I guess) and no air brushes were harmed in this either. Just a quick waft of satin varnish when finished.

 

Shall await to see which loco next appears on your thread, though Easingwold isn't that far from the area you're modeling....

 

Cheers,

Andrew

 

Very heartening to read that air-brushing was not used during the weathering of the Hudswell Clarke. I must confess that I do not find air-brushing simple. Despite owning good quality air-brushing kit, reading books, watching DVDs, YouTube and demonstrators at shows, I really struggle.  I find them tempremental and I seem to spend more time cleaning the blighters rather than actually firing using them. I never use an air-brush for plain black locos, preferring to use Halfords satin black, and I also prefer to use an aeresol for varnishing. I recently experimented spraying Precision Paints satin varnish, correctly thinned, with an air-brush onto a surplus Hudswell body and the finish was very disappointing compared with a Halfords aerosol. Perhaps it is me, but I suspect that I am not alone in my travails with air-brushes.

 

Giles Favell produces superb results without using an airbrush. Here is a link to his weathered Fowler diesel at post 151. He has captured perfectly the impression of a worn, but cared for loco. I shall be trying to emulate this finish with Kitchener (my black Fowler)

 

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/78328-ixion-0-gauge-fowler-diesel-loco/page-7&do=findComment&comment=1320501

 

Regards,

 

Chris

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Shall await to see which loco next appears on your thread, though Easingwold isn't that far from the area you're modeling....

Easingwold...? No... don't know that one, the North West is all a bit new to me!

 

Ah... he returns after a spot of Googling and fifteen minutes distracted by this delightfully esoteric light railway.

 

Some serious food for thought – thanks Andrew.

 

David

 

PS: If you haven't sampled the delights of Easingwold Railway try this Google image search – you could end up caught by the Hudswell Clarkes ;-)

Edited by David Siddall
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Very heartening to read that air-brushing was not used during the weathering of the Hudswell Clarke. I must confess that I do not find air-brushing simple. Despite owning good quality air-brushing kit, reading books, watching DVDs, YouTube and demonstrators at shows, I really struggle. I find them tempremental and I seem to spend more time cleaning the blighters rather than actually firing using them. I never use an air-brush for plain black locos, preferring to use Halfords satin black, and I also prefer to use an aeresol for varnishing. I recently experimented spraying Precision Paints satin varnish, correctly thinned, with an air-brush onto a surplus Hudswell body and the finish was very disappointing compared with a Halfords aerosol. Perhaps it is me, but I suspect that I am not alone in my travails with air-brushes.

 

Giles Favell produces superb results without using an airbrush. Here is a link to his weathered Fowler diesel at post 151. He has captured perfectly the impression of a worn, but cared for loco. I shall be trying to emulate this finish with Kitchener (my black Fowler)

 

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/78328-ixion-0-gauge-fowler-diesel-loco/page-7&do=findComment&comment=1320501

 

Regards,

 

Chris

Thanks Chris,

 

I've often admired Giles's work too and seen his Fowler.

 

I've never used an airbrush and so far havent been tempted to try! I use either Humbrol or Railmatch paints, if I'm painting a loco from scratch and theres a suitable aerosol then I'll use that, otherwise it's brush paint. After weathering I finish off with a coat of Railmatch aerosol Satin Varnish, or Testors Dulcote for rolling stock.

 

For the HC, I brush painted the inside of the cab cream, the cab floor weathered wood and the smokebox, cab roof, footplating, cab steps, sand boxes and wheel rims with weathered black. This was followed up by dry brushing with frame dirt, oily steel, light & dark rust, brake dust and weathered black as I felt fit plus picked out the pipework in a brass colour followed by dry brushing to look tarnished.

 

With steam locos I concentrate on browner colours below running plate level as the weathering is picked up from the rails in the main. Whereas higher up the loco, the dirt is more likely to come from the chimney so is more black than brown.

 

It works for me, but other methods suit others better.

 

Cheers,

Andrew

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David,

 

I'm glad to have introduced you to the delightful Easingwold Railway. There is a very good Oakwood Press book on the line and British Railway Journal once had a lovely article on the line.

 

My late Grandparents lived a stone's throw from Easingwold and my day job regularly takes me through Alne (albeit at 125mph!) so have an effection for the line. Nice of Ixion to provide a suitable loco... :-)

 

Cheers,

Andrew

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Thanks Chris,

 

I've often admired Giles's work too and seen his Fowler.

 

I've never used an airbrush and so far havent been tempted to try! I use either Humbrol or Railmatch paints, if I'm painting a loco from scratch and theres a suitable aerosol then I'll use that, otherwise it's brush paint. After weathering I finish off with a coat of Railmatch aerosol Satin Varnish, or Testors Dulcote for rolling stock.

 

For the HC, I brush painted the inside of the cab cream, the cab floor weathered wood and the smokebox, cab roof, footplating, cab steps, sand boxes and wheel rims with weathered black. This was followed up by dry brushing with frame dirt, oily steel, light & dark rust, brake dust and weathered black as I felt fit plus picked out the pipework in a brass colour followed by dry brushing to look tarnished.

 

With steam locos I concentrate on browner colours below running plate level as the weathering is picked up from the rails in the main. Whereas higher up the loco, the dirt is more likely to come from the chimney so is more black than brown.

 

It works for me, but other methods suit others better.

 

Cheers,

Andrew

 

 

Andrew,

Here is a link to some pictures of my weathered Hudswell Clarke. This was done with brushed paint and weathering powders. The airbrush stayed in the drawer.

 

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/76328-in-praise-of-industrials/page-3

 

Chris

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Thank you both very much! Your much kinder than I deserve.....

 

If I may make a rather controversial observation - after polishing and then weathering a loco ( which I do with humbrol, thinners, powders, and talcum powder), I never varnish the loco - it remains unvarnished, it can take its luck! I feel that varnish can rather undo the good work that one might have done!

 

I too use the Halfords black, and once hard - it polishes up nicely!

 

 

Like the layout Andrew!

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Thanks gents, both your HC locos were studied as well as others I've found described in producing mine. It's good that we all have different methods as it helps create individuality in our models which started from the same point.

 

I like the idea of not varnishing, though I'm not so keen on some of my brush work without the varnish which I find helps level out some of the imperfections!! Plus, the satin finish gives (in my view) a slightly careworn, but still sees an occasional rag look. Which others manage in different ways!

 

Cheers,

Andrew

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Thanks gents, both your HC locos were studied as well as others I've found described in producing mine. It's good that we all have different methods as it helps create individuality in our models which started from the same point.

 

I like the idea of not varnishing, though I'm not so keen on some of my brush work without the varnish which I find helps level out some of the imperfections!! Plus, the satin finish gives (in my view) a slightly careworn, but still sees an occasional rag look. Which others manage in different ways!

 

Cheers,

Andrew

 

I only use varnish when decals have been applied to a loco. Otherwise as Giles says, Halfords satin black polishes up very nicely.

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I love seeing layouts like this. I am now wondering if I should have bought the green Hudswell Clarke instead of the black one!

The green Hudswells are almost sold out. I think we have about 30 left in the UK and none in Australia.

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I only use varnish when decals have been applied to a loco. Otherwise as Giles says, Halfords satin black polishes up very nicely.

Re varnishing over decals - very much the received wisdom..... The only reason I shan't is that the excellent Martyn Welch no longer does, according to his book on Weathering, and I'd rather maintain the finish. A different story if you are able to polish the varnished layer without breaking through and thus not creating the awkward varnish/paint line that is impossible to get rid of without very heavy weathering......

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  • 11 months later...

Seeing as it's almost a year since the last update, about time I wrote something here.

 

After the last update, I was plodding along, fitting backscene boards to the baseboards when I remembered that the baseboards, second hand, had a number of cross braces underneath which I'd forgotten about. On checking these against the track plan, it transpired that with one exception, all the point tie bars were over cross braces. Botherations!! (or something similar....) No amount of tweaking could make it work so I was back to the drawing board. I still like this plan and would like to build it one day, but would be better suited to slightly more space. But as my long term intention is to build in modules, this isn't insurmountable.

 

This coincided with us deciding that we really wanted to move house in the long term and my modeling mojo disappeared with the result that nothing was done modeling wise for several months. All was not lost as it was the summer months where my modeling usually dries up whilst I go and do more interesting things outdoors, so spent plenty of time playing steam engines.

 

 

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Turns out I've forgotten how to upload more than one photo in each post, plus inserting photos the way I have before, plus things like copy and paste aren't working so bear with me.

 

The upshot is that whilst we will be moving house, it wont be for another twelve months and there will be a double garage with it so hope is not all lost...

 

Autumn saw my modeling mojo return. Still undecided about layout, I first decided to tackle a couple of pieces of rolling stock whilst I made up my mind. First up was a Slaters 6w syphon, there will be a creamery somewhere on the MVR eventually so milk will form an important traffic, and one which will help the MVR stagger on longer than some of it's contemporaries, but I'm digressing here! The syphon was decided on partly because it was the biggest thing I had and with having six wheels, would be ideal for testing track once I lay some.

 

 

post-11098-0-77143000-1423083974.jpg

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Second up was attacking my first all brass kit, a Furness Wagon Co hopper wagon, with hindsight, not the ideal first etched kit, but it's built now, runs well and helped improve my modeling skills somewhat!! Pictured here in the Melyn Quarry Company Limited's livery.

 

There will be more MQC wagons in due course as the stone is an important traffic for the MVR, though think the company's next purchase will be from the Slaters or Parkside Dundas wagon works...

 

 

post-11098-0-54937800-1423084188.jpg

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The new year has seen a new start and determination on getting something to run this little collection of stock on.

 

With moving house in mind, the decision was made that any layout would have to be fairly minimal in concept and be small enough to fit in the car for easy transportation. Now the 4ft by 2ft boards are just slightly too big to fit in my car with the seats down, so I'm currently building two new boards, 3ft8in by 22in which will fit folded together in a coffin style. Being my first wood working exercise, the results aren't pretty but will be shared when they've reached a stage of completion!

 

The autumn period of procrastination research also saw a few new ideas, one of which was an 009 layout on NGRM-online of someone in a similar situation to myself who built a small layout, station, loop and a couple of sidings with a feed to a quarry. So Melyn Road will become Abermelyn, which should either be run on its own, or when the move takes place, has potential to be incorporated into something larger.

 

In addition to the dreaded woodwork, again, learning new skills, though less enjoyable than some has been a couple of buildings started to go on the layout, also helps when setting everything out. This has the added attraction of being built in the warmth of the study, rather than the cold of the attic wood working shop.

 

First up is a small ground frame hut, the Lasercraft Devon Callington Ground Frame kit. Quite a nice kit apart from there not being enough boarding thin card / paper for the outer skin, thankfully I had some Evergreen Strip in stock the right side. Plus the cut corrugated iron roof has been cut with the ridges horizontal rather than vertical! I also have some to hand so not a catastrophe, but little niggles nevertheless.

 

 

post-11098-0-34512000-1423084801.jpg

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Secondly, a station building. The basis of this is one of the 3DK printed card kits bought from Invertrains. I liked the size and layout, but not the printed card exterior.

 

So I've clad the exterior with embossed stonework and added corner capping cut from Evergreen strip with my NWSL Chopper, a wonderful piece of kit and the first time I've used mine in anger. Turned a boring repetitive job into a pleasant afternoon's work with some suitably relaxing music.

 

I've also changed the canopy valancing for some from Slaters.

 

The photos show various parts blu tacked together for the photo hence why they're not straight. There's some more bracing to go in, but I've got to do some painting and glaze the windows before I can do that. The first coat of paint is drying as I type.

 

Today's post delivered some lasercut roofing materials from York Modelmaking, I've not used them before, but very speedy service, will let you know how I get on with them...

 

 

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post-11098-0-77083400-1423085135.jpg

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And finally....

 

There's been a couple of additions of rolling stock in the last year, the latest is shown in the photo below which I collected today. I'd convinced myself that I didn't want one until they were all sold out typically!

 

However, I shan't be getting distracted with this just yet, not until I've got something running anyway!! Apart from arranging for the loco to be fitted with DCC to go with 'Fair Isle' (and the Fowler that's safely in its box).

 

That's all for now, I don't intend leaving it another year before posting again.

 

Cheers,

Andrew

post-11098-0-00027400-1423085488.jpg

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