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mullie

Rickett Street (Formerly known as the 'transformer layout')

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No major updates to report but I'm pleased to say the layout is doing the job it was designed for. At least three times this week it has been run, not for long but after a long day at work it is really nice simply to plug in a controller and go. The garage is getting colder now so is less appealing in the evenings as much as I like my layout out there.

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As part of a revamp of the spare room where the layout lives I have some spare wood from dismantled book cases. Nothing worth posting photos of but I've started building a small sub frame with legs to get the layout up to a height of around three feet, it will be so much more easier than having it on the floor. Previous micro layouts have lived in various places; Upbeach St Mary, a box file layout lived on the now dismantled book cases and my first micro lived on top of a small wardrobe in my work room at our previous house) meaning it could only be observed at eye level!

 

Over the next few months there maybe some new stock and I keep toying with converting the couplings as I'm not really happy with tension locks. I use S&W on Pott Row which I do like as the simple loops work well with steam locos. As a diesel based layout Kaydees are tempting for Rickett Street as I've never tried them but not entirely sure where to start as a lot of the starter kits seem to contain a lot of bits I might not need.

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The layout has acquired four new wagons, all built from Parkside Dundas kits some years ago. The wagons are displaced from Pott Row (where they are photographed) asI am moving towards a very early 50s scenario.

 

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The wagons all have S&W couplings. Having researched Kaydees I think I have decided against them as I like detailed buffer beams on my locos. If I really decide I can't live with tension locks I think I'll fit S&Ws.

 

Yes I know the two end wagons need lettering!

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Looked under the layout last night and discovered I had already drilled out the baseboards to accept MSE magnets so I think it is almost certain I will change back to S&W couplings. Having used Spratt and Winkle for over fifteen years I have found tension locks quite frustrating though I know others get on fine with them.

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Too cold in the garage as we had a north wind this weekend, quite rare in this are so caught up with a few things on this layout which is in the warm. The track was cleaned with a track cleaning wagon with IPA and track rubber for more stubborn dirt.

 

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The Bachmann 08 with its cruder coupling rods does foul some of the clearances so some remedial work will be necessary on the retaining walls. Like the wagons seen below it has been cascaded from Pott Row, These have S&W couplings as did all the stock originally, if only I hadn't  decided to try tension locks!

 

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The layout now has legs, making things so much easier. The layout sits on a sub frame made from recycled wood kept back after a book case was dismantled.

 

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View through the retaining walls

 

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Experimenting with some Spratt and Winkle equipped wagons tonight I discovered I had already put in magnets at the key places so the couplings decision is made for me.

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Inter regional time travelling freight arrived at Rickett Street today. Pott Row received a dunking the other day (please see thread below for explanation) and all stock had to be removed so thought I'd try the J15 on the layout with some suitable S&W fitted stock. Pott Row is set in the 1948-55 period hence no crest currently on the J15. also needs renumbering, weathering and crew adding.

 

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And in black and white

 

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also did some more work today on the fiddle yard exit.

 

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Layout taken apart for some tweaking. Because I used SMP track and Peco points I didn't have any suitable fishplates so only glue and ballast holds the track in alignment. Since ballasting there has been some settlement so the opportunity was taken to deal with that today, all fairly straightforward.

 

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The photo below shows work progressing on the fiddle yard exit.

 

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For this layout PVA is mixed with Klear and washing up liquid to set the ballast as I've found that water wrecks the finish on Scalescenes papers printed on my Canon inkjet printer.

Edited by mullie
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Really been on a push to get jobs done on this layout recently and having discovered magnets already installed have been pushing on with converting much of the stock back to S&W couplings after an unhappy experiment with tension locks and yes I know some people get along fine with them but they are not for me.

 

The workbench, well a slab of kitchen worktop on a very old workmate in the garage! The funny looking piece of brick plasticard top right is a jig for bending the coupling loops.

 

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S& W mounting plates that makes things much easier for a hamfisted modeller like me.

 

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Simple soldering jig for the coupling loops, all held in place with Blu tack.

 

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Very simple jig for setting the height of the coupling loop bodged out of wood and plasticard

 

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Stock waiting to be fitted including a bogie coach which I have been successfully adapting for some years using a method discussed elsewhere on this site.

 

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Should be remembered that this layout is all about recycling so the CCTs are flush glazed LIma, Bachmann Thompson full brake (picked up cheap)  and a very old Wrenn CCT I have had for around 40 years.

 

Locos are all displaced from Pott Row so not bought for the layout. The only thing I specifically bought was a Bachmann GWR brake van, again picked up cheap second hand.

 

 

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Merry Christmas, happy new year and a huge thank you to all those who have taken an interest in my ramblings during 2015.

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Martyn, this is the first time I've seen Rickett Street in its entirety and I can only now appreciate the satisfaction you must have obtained in creating it along with subseqent pleasures of operation.

 

With it comes a very nice air of the location and all done so well. It's not my scene but I can recognise its appeal and attractions that are so ably presented.

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Some new inspiration arrived yesterday picked up secondhand. I find the smaller lines around London fascinating and my first micro layout was similarly inspired.

 

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The position of Rickett Street means it picks up natural sunlight at certain times of the day, a very different proposition to Pott Row in a windowless garage. Caught these today.

 

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One of the great things about this layout is that despite its small size it can, with a bit of head scratching, be shunted by a larger loco. This is about as large as it gets though not sure what an East Anglian 4mt is doing in West London?

 

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Martyn, if Rickett Street is anywhere near Kensington Olympia that is a good reason for the locos presence. Presumably a special working off the ER and filling in time before returning?

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Martyn, if Rickett Street is anywhere near Kensington Olympia that is a good reason for the locos presence. Presumably a special working off the ER and filling in time before returning?

Rickett Street is a real road in the Kensington Olympa area. I just liked the name, it was broadly in the area I wanted to set the layout and it offered a lot of opportunity for inter regional working as the North London line is not too far away. Edited by mullie

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Garage hasn't been so appealing lately so a lot of work has benn done on this layout recently. These are the latest photos of the fiddle yard exit now the signal gantry has been added. Again recycled from an earlier layout, it is a Dapol gantry with Eckon signals. They may be wired up in the future I haven't decided yet as there is no other need for any sort of auxiliary power as the points are hand operated.

 

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Garage still doesn't appeal so this layout is seeing much more use. The plan to be able to use larger locos despite the layouts small size seems to have worked. This week the layout is firmly in early 50s guise and has been shunted by the Claud which has navigated the small radius points superbly.

 

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Fantastic layout! Great atmosphere and those books you got are great and really inspirational. Did you use a template to make the retaining walls, think they look really effective?

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The retaining walls are built from Scalescenes parts. The arches are scratch built using card and Scalescenes papers. They are loosely based on those at Shoreditch tube station on the old East London line.

 

Thanks for your interest.

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The spare bedroom where the layout lives was needed for people to sleep in last week. The concept of the layout proved its worth as it was easily dismantled and stored. Trouble is SWIMBO now likes the spare bedroom tidy so is reluctant to have the layout back in there.

 

Just wait till she goes out for a day. It could be days before she realises the layout is back as she sometimes rarely ventures up onto the top floor!

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