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Dalmunach (ex Cromdale Goods)


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2 hours ago, Dunalastair said:

Looks good. How do you envisage operating it? As a confirmed diorama-builder, I always wonder how such micro micros can sustain interest.

I don't plan on any intense operating sessions but shuffling a few wagons around, maybe mocking up a delivery of grains, empty casks and coal for the distillery. Then the distillery shunter taking these wagons off stage. In real life these sidings would only be used twice a week so the prototype wasn't really that intense in operation. I think I'm more of a builder than an operator but certainly like the idea of using the layout as a good opportunity for photos of locos/stock. 

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On 09/12/2023 at 15:50, luke the train spotter said:

With Tyneside Steel rehomed and its old shelf clear there is an exciting opportunity for a new project. I'm hoping to return to the region and themes I came across when building Distillery Yard, my favourite layout that I've built yet. However, for this layout to be a feasible project for me it must fit a couple different design briefs:

 

1. It must be Scottish, preferably based in the Speyside region and set in the early 60s to suit my current stock.

2. It must be robust and travel well - we are planning a pretty moderate relocation in the summer which means that this layout must survive the journey and be able to be stored easily.

3. It must not be large than 2ft by 1ft so that it fits into the same footprint as Tyneside Steel. Perks of living in a tiny flat. 

 

To resolve requirements 2 and 3 I have invested in a 64L 'Really Useful Box' which is living up to its brand name as its very robust and the perfect size for a small micro, fiddle yard, lighting rig and electrical bits. I know the SMS baseboards that fit into a wrapping paper box are very popular but I don't have the luxury of that much length and I'd like to have a self contained proscenium arch style lighting rig which may be a bit too tight with the SMS design.

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The interior dimensions for the box are 60.5x37x28 (cm) so ample room for a layout. I have faith that this box could survive a poorly packed removal van ride down the length of the country so that's a big box ticked. 

 

Thinking about what I could fit into this sort of space I kept finding inspiration on the Speyside Line. There is a decent amount of books about this region and the Great North of Scotland Railway Association (GNSRA) has a fantastic range of publications and an online photo gallery (however I won't be sharing any of these photos as they aren't in the public domain). There are also some fantastic photos on Flickr taken by John Boyes in the 1960s of branchlines and a couple distilleries (Dailuaine and Balmenach) that are worth a look. After a fair bit of research I found that Cromdale Station with its small goods yard and exchange sidings for Balmenach Distillery (worked by its own andrew barclay 0-4-0) had pretty good micro layout potential so I came up with this plan. A brief history of Cromdale Station can be found here: https://www.railscot.co.uk/locations/C/Cromdale/

 Cromdale_plan.png.9b4cd60eeed6368b16cedf67c5eca405.png

 

The idea would be a compressed area of the red box where mainline locos (20/24/26s and J36/Caley 812/D40) would drop wagons off which would then be collected by the distillery shunter. I have squished the 2 points into one crossover which does alter operations but then I'm not planning on modelling Cromdale sleeper for sleeper. The track I plan on using is plain old code 75 wooden sleeper with electrfrog points - at least with a layout this size I won't need to buy much! This is on a 55cm x 30cm foamboard baseboard mock up. the Lower track enters the fiddle yard where the arrow is which would be the distillery branch in reality. The upper track would go back onto the branchline, but in my case the same fiddle yard as the distillery branch. 

 

IMG_20231209_130535702_MFNR.jpg.eb6946047e17115bb6369a19241da006.jpg

 

IMG_20231209_130451556_MFNR.jpg.03460997ee8cd415c0a1412439017759.jpg

 

Scenically the are has a lot of potential. A backscene of the rolling hills of the Cairngorms with a foreground of long grass and shrubbery with a sleeper built fence cutting off the yard. There is also an opportunity to feature the station/goods shed/stationmaster's house as low relief buildings but there isn't enough room to represent them at true 1/76 scale. A few pictures of the goods yard to get an idea of what I'd like to create. 

 

20_06.68_Cromdale.jpg.2ca7995c747df1b5eab3e24017c03af7.jpg

 22_06.1967_Balmenach2.jpg.ccd2181aa0293aa054dc4fc6f5188b60.jpg

 

31_06.1965_Cromdale_D8030.jpg.7aad07aa86e51c761554a998777b0b8c.jpg

 

Any thoughts/comments/suggestions very welcome, this project is still very early days so plenty of time for things to change. 

Noticeable in these very useful colour photos are the light coloured bits of stone etc in the ash ballast. What I remember from days past and the early days of the NYMR but so often omitted when people model ash ballasted sidings. Thanks for posting them.

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On 19/12/2023 at 22:25, john new said:

Noticeable in these very useful colour photos are the light coloured bits of stone etc in the ash ballast. What I remember from days past and the early days of the NYMR but so often omitted when people model ash ballasted sidings. Thanks for posting them.

Hopefully I'll be able to recreate the little piles of ash with some fine bbq ash mixed in with the ballast.

 

A quick update on the layout, track has arrived and hopefully I'll get some free time to build the baseboard over Christmas. 

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So in true layout planning style I've decided to rejig the layout. It felt a misjustice to model Cromdale without including the actual station so that project has been shelved for now with the full intention of revisiting it when I have more space to do it justice. So what's the plan? I've managed to free an additional 15cm up for the baseboard length which breaks the layout out of its Really Useful Box shell which creates a couple of problems. Now the layout needs to be extra robust so when I built the baseboard I used 8mm ply, extra bracing, plenty of screws and copious amounts of expanding Gorilla Glue which is pretty serious stuff! Hopefully this will do the job but means that technically this new baseboard has the same footprint as the external dimensions of the Really Useful Box.

 

So what will I do with my very exciting additional 15cm? Well with the power of an additional point in the fiddle yard I should be able to fit in a run around loop and couple of sidings to serve a small Speyside terminus station/goods yard. So technically the Speyside line didn't really have proper terminus stations, but junctions at either end so my layout will be an imaginary spur off the line with a small distillery to justify construction, though this will be off scene. 

 

The track plan is very reminiscent of Port Pennan (Railway Modeller June 2010) which is a similar concept of a micro space terminus. I plan to add an additional siding for a coal wagon or two and to mix operations up a bit. 

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The run around head shunt is large enough for a class 26 whilst the actual loop should be able to comfortably take a 2 coach train. This will require a slight shunting maneuver to get it fully into the platform but that's a compromise that has to be made given the space available. In practice I've started mocking up the location of points and stock with what I had lying about. 

 

IMG_20231227_162104301_HDR.jpg.5e837b131cc719003897155f9e6ef7c1.jpg

 

IMG_20231227_121332850_HDR.jpg.6b860d444183059efe6a35d310f1d479.jpg

 

IMG_20231227_162115072_MFNR.jpg.47b7c41bd27253663599b8087ff964f6.jpg

 

I know that this may not be the most prototypical layout but I couldn't resist a project where my railbus could run for much longer! 

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A bit more progress today mocking up some of the buildings with a couple cereal boxes and masking tape. These are a bit crude but you get the idea. 

 

IMG_20231228_120648311_HDR.jpg.403d93ad4873f791512c0fdc765a3fea.jpg

 

IMG_20231228_120752987_MFNR.jpg.bbe32a2b5854e1da23dfd14e8f128d7b.jpg

 

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I would say that this 3D mock up stage is probably one of the most important stages of construction, to see if the scenic side of things will work. I thin on a whole I'm happy with it, the left hand side of the layout could do with a bit of work to avoid large gaps in the scenery to the backscene so some super low relief trees might need to be made for that. 

 

The goods shed on the right will be based off drawings of that of Blacksboat which has been preserved as a listed building. These drawings are available from the GNSRA which I keep recommending to everyone.

SC00440563.jpg.763e6e3c2c95e5096bce80529e1d5ac3.jpg

 

The station building will be based off the one at Carron which is still standing though not in the best condition. This will probably be modelled in half relief so that it doesn't take up too much of the width of the platform.

 

Unknown_years.jpg.5641231a9d3e0467010e4f710d3bbeb9.jpg

 

The signal box will be the Peco Highland box kit. This may be slightly out of region for this layout but I think it captures a huge amount of Scottish branch line character and saves a half relief platform mounted signal box scratch build that would be required otherwise. Anyways, rule 1 prevails. 

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Hopefully with this combination of buildings I will be able to recreate an essence of the Great North of Scotland Railway in a slowly dying BR guise. 

 

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After a couple bits of on and off work on the layout there is some progress to report. Firstly the layout now has a name, Dalmunach, after the new distillery built on the old site of the Imperial Distillery at Carron. I liked the idea of a new take on a classical Speyside so pinched the name. 

 

Most of the progress made has been laying and wiring the track. Since the layout is dcc electrofrog this has taken me a bit of time but I think it's pretty much there. I've tried to keep the point control simple too, based off the wire in tube method but with a couple of tweaks. Firstly I'm using the PECO point polarity switches instead of the much cheaper SDPT switches I normally use which the wire passes through underneath the baseboard. This gives a much cleaner finish than the surface mounted approach I normally take. The wire is then guided with some pieces of cheap electrical terminal blocks hot glue gunned to the underneath of the baseboard. 

 

IMG_20240105_154849246_MFNR.jpg.a367f145f0493ffa9ac06e5a0173e357.jpg

 

This wire then passes through the fascia and is formed is bent upwards for ease of use. IMG_20240105_194131299_HDR.jpg.ddf731f1a44a615d171784dcc6ca5c7f.jpg

 

I should add that the wire used is in fact 1mm steel rod from Scale Model Scenery. In the long term I will probably come up with a slightly more ergonomic attachment for the wire but this will do in the meantime. I don't have any plans of exhibiting this layout at the moment but if it does make an appearance on the circuit at least my hands won't be constantly in the scenery looking for little switches.

 

Where the baseboard enters the fiddle yard I've opted to give the "ProTrack RailAligner" a go from ModelTech. These interlocking pieces of precut copper clad PCB board are a fantastic innovation and made the daunting task much easier. The baseboard with the fiddle yard on has the corresponding joiner and they slot together and the boards are held tight in place with a couple of bolts with winged nuts. Simples. 

 

IMG_20240105_194119875_MFNR.jpg.f442222a40801a5461e71e4a987c2e99.jpg

 

And so with all that this is the current state of progress on the layout. 

 

IMG_20240105_194106671_HDR.jpg.e75100fc6980dd358d41299d07d9e19f.jpg

You may notice that the Highland Signal Box is coming along though the roof is still loose so I can fit an interior and the paintwork needs touching up in quite a few places. But I'm having a lot of fun with this project and look forward to getting some trains running soon! :) 

 

 

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Had a productive afternoon starting the station platform. Quite quick construction using foam board and a hot glue gun. 

 

IMG_20240107_224039878_MFNR.jpg.88ab2f005d250a3a2645e866200c028b.jpg

 

Looking at photos of the platform at Carron it's possible to work out that construction was mostly large rough blocks of stone that were quickly weathered by all the muck around the rails. The mortar looks fairly thick but is difficult to distinguish from the stone because of the soot and muck. I'd say that this is pretty typical of all the Speyside stations except the halts and part of Craigellachie which had a wooden planked section. 

 

22_08.1965_Carron_lookingsouth2.jpg.397df4cc126a1b2a5d8a0f30e5699ff2.jpg

 

For those interested in this layout you may also be interested in First Generation Scottish Diesels. I picked it up second hand and it's already provided a huge amount of inspiration. A few photos I hadn't seen of the Speyside region including distillery shunt manoeuvres as well as plenty of branchline traffic to work out formations from. Only problem is it's got me thinking about adding a class 29 to the fleet... must resist!

 

IMG_20240107_224052623_HDR.jpg.70e3999626017a5e63197d55c05cbe60.jpg

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9 hours ago, luke the train spotter said:

 

 

 Only problem is it's got me thinking about adding a class 29 to the fleet... must resist!

 

IMG_20240107_224052623_HDR.jpg.70e3999626017a5e63197d55c05cbe60.jpg

You know you really want one!  Resistance is futile!

 

Roja

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14 hours ago, luke the train spotter said:

Had a productive afternoon starting the station platform. Quite quick construction using foam board and a hot glue gun. 

 

IMG_20240107_224039878_MFNR.jpg.88ab2f005d250a3a2645e866200c028b.jpg

 

Looking at photos of the platform at Carron it's possible to work out that construction was mostly large rough blocks of stone that were quickly weathered by all the muck around the rails. The mortar looks fairly thick but is difficult to distinguish from the stone because of the soot and muck. I'd say that this is pretty typical of all the Speyside stations except the halts and part of Craigellachie which had a wooden planked section. 

 

22_08.1965_Carron_lookingsouth2.jpg.397df4cc126a1b2a5d8a0f30e5699ff2.jpg

 

For those interested in this layout you may also be interested in First Generation Scottish Diesels. I picked it up second hand and it's already provided a huge amount of inspiration. A few photos I hadn't seen of the Speyside region including distillery shunt manoeuvres as well as plenty of branchline traffic to work out formations from. Only problem is it's got me thinking about adding a class 29 to the fleet... must resist!

 

IMG_20240107_224052623_HDR.jpg.70e3999626017a5e63197d55c05cbe60.jpg

 

14 hours ago, luke the train spotter said:

Had a productive afternoon starting the station platform. Quite quick construction using foam board and a hot glue gun. 

 

IMG_20240107_224039878_MFNR.jpg.88ab2f005d250a3a2645e866200c028b.jpg

 

Looking at photos of the platform at Carron it's possible to work out that construction was mostly large rough blocks of stone that were quickly weathered by all the muck around the rails. The mortar looks fairly thick but is difficult to distinguish from the stone because of the soot and muck. I'd say that this is pretty typical of all the Speyside stations except the halts and part of Craigellachie which had a wooden planked section. 

 

22_08.1965_Carron_lookingsouth2.jpg.397df4cc126a1b2a5d8a0f30e5699ff2.jpg

 

For those interested in this layout you may also be interested in First Generation Scottish Diesels. I picked it up second hand and it's already provided a huge amount of inspiration. A few photos I hadn't seen of the Speyside region including distillery shunt manoeuvres as well as plenty of branchline traffic to work out formations from. Only problem is it's got me thinking about adding a class 29 to the fleet... must resist!

 

IMG_20240107_224052623_HDR.jpg.70e3999626017a5e63197d55c05cbe60.jpg

I Have an old Hornby 29 which you can have, although they do need a lot of work

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8 hours ago, luke the train spotter said:

Thank you that would be very generous! I'll have to have a think about how best to re-wheel one so it clears the code 75 track. :)

I'll bring it to Birtley

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On 08/01/2024 at 13:58, Ian Blenk said:

 

I Have an old Hornby 29 which you can have, although they do need a lot of work

Hi,

Ian is right about the effort to convert one.  The Hornby 29 is a bit of a mish-mash of 21 and 29.  I converted one to a 29 and EM a couple of years ago, which runs on ultrascale wheels, but it's a lot cheaper than the Dapol model and makes a decent layout model.  Unfortunately I didn't take any photo's and it's packed away, pending a house move (ongoing for the last 8 months!).  I sometimes get the urge to convert one to a 21, maybe later this year!

 

As you model oo I would think that it would be possible to rewheel it using coach wheels.  I believe quite a lot of modellers have done this with older models when they need them to run on finer scale track.

 

Roja

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1 hour ago, 37Oban said:

Hi,

Ian is right about the effort to convert one.  The Hornby 29 is a bit of a mish-mash of 21 and 29.  I converted one to a 29 and EM a couple of years ago, which runs on ultrascale wheels, but it's a lot cheaper than the Dapol model and makes a decent layout model.  Unfortunately I didn't take any photo's and it's packed away, pending a house move (ongoing for the last 8 months!).  I sometimes get the urge to convert one to a 21, maybe later this year!

 

As you model oo I would think that it would be possible to rewheel it using coach wheels.  I believe quite a lot of modellers have done this with older models when they need them to run on finer scale track.

 

Roja

 

Very interesting, did you keep the chassis or build a new one for it? I'll have to look into the coach wheel idea, I wonder if they would fit into pancake motor block or if that would have to get replaced by a new mechanism. 

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The traditional way of modernising the Hornby 29 is to use a Bachmann 25 chassis, but if you fit coach wheels you can use the original Hornby motor by separating the tyres from the plastic centre/gear moulding and cutting the gear ring off with a razor saw. Take about a millimetre of the wheel centre with it, then sand back so there's just a sliver of the wheel centre left and Evostick it to the back of the coach wheel.

 

Doing it this way keeps the hole in the wheel centre to align the gear, otherwise you'll need to take great care to get it concentric. You may need to mess about with 2mm axle washers to get it to align. I did this with a 25 years ago. The real 29 had spoked wheels but a) no-one makes 14mm 11 spoke wheels as far as I'm aware and b) you can hardly see them anyway. 

 

The Dapol model is one of the best 4mm deisels around imo. 

 

I first saw John Boyes' photos of Cromdale forty years ago - still haven't got round to building the model but I did get a resin small Barclay from ARC Modeks before he stopped production. 

Edited by Wheatley
Unfortunate typo in 'Hornby'. Fat fingers.
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9 hours ago, Wheatley said:

The traditional way of modernising the Horny 29 is to use a Bachmann 25 chassis, but if you fit coach wheels you can use the original Hornby motor by separating the tyres from the plastic centre/gear moulding and cutting the gear ring off with a razor saw. Take about a millimetre of the wheel centre with it, then sand back so there's just a sliver of the wheel centre left and Evostick it to the back of the coach wheel.

 

Doing it this way keeps the hole in the wheel centre to align the gear, otherwise you'll need to take great care to get it concentric. You may need to mess about with 2mm axle washers to get it to align. I did this with a 25 years ago. The real 29 had spoked wheels but a) no-one makes 14mm 11 spoke wheels as far as I'm aware and b) you can hardly see them anyway. 

 

The Dapol model is one of the best 4mm deisels around imo. 

 

I first saw John Boyes' photos of Cromdale forty years ago - still haven't got round to building the model but I did get a resin small Barclay from ARC Modeks before he stopped production. 

Thank you! Very useful food for thought.

 

If I had continued with the Cromdale layout I was planning on getting one of Hattons second runs of Barclays and converting it up to be the Balmenach puggy with some transfers I've drawn up but given the current state of affairs I think I'll be bashing my pre-existing barclay about. Hopefully someone takes on the tooling and gives us another run at some point.

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14 hours ago, luke the train spotter said:

 

Very interesting, did you keep the chassis or build a new one for it? I'll have to look into the coach wheel idea, I wonder if they would fit into pancake motor block or if that would have to get replaced by a new mechanism. 

Hi,

 

not having a 25 chassis to hand, and being a bit of a tightwad (according to some!) I used the origanal chassis.  I did, however, give it a thorough service, which improved it's running to a more than acceptable level.  Not that it has far to run, my layout, St Mungo's, is a Glasgow terminus that measures 4' x 2' plus a rotating fiddle yard!

 

Roja

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1 hour ago, luke the train spotter said:

Thank you! Very useful food for thought.

 

If I had continued with the Cromdale layout I was planning on getting one of Hattons second runs of Barclays and converting it up to be the Balmenach puggy with some transfers I've drawn up but given the current state of affairs I think I'll be bashing my pre-existing barclay about. Hopefully someone takes on the tooling and gives us another run at some point.

 

The 12" pugs used at Dailuaine and Balmenach are more petite than the 16" / 18" ones produced by Hattons, if I can remember what I've done with the ARC kit I'll blu-tac it together tonight for a photo alongside the Hattons one. Whether the difference bothers you is of course another matter ! The bigger ones are still pretty :-)

 

Meanwhile here's another diorama I haven't got round to building yet either - barclay-shed.jpg?w=768

 

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