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Image restoration from pre-May 2021 continues and may take an indefinite period of time.


'The last (country) mile' ; or, new re-painted road vehicles.

Thanks to @phil_sutters selling me some of his surplus road vehicles, I have spent some time trying to re-paint various kits and models, sadly in a quality quite unworthy of his prior work.  The chemical tanker looks as if moulded from icing, so thick is the paint, but all have photographed better than I expected.         Two Bedford chassis will have box bodies made for general grocers' or light engineering companies' collections and deliveries, when I have the inc

On the level.

My recent endeavours have been struggling, struggling I say, with the track-beds for the embankment. Getting these level, without twists, and sagging has not been easy. I thought 12mm Birch Ply would be sufficient but it has not proven so. I’ve tried braces, supports, different types of wood in fact the final manifestation (the fourth) is a mix of all three. I’m sure there must be an easier way than I have adopted. The garage floor dropping over 20mm through the length of the railway has not be



On the level.

My recent endeavours have been struggling, struggling I say, with the track-beds for the embankment. Getting these level, without twists, and sagging has not been easy. I thought 12mm Birch Ply would be sufficient but it has not proven so. I’ve tried braces, supports, different types of wood in fact the final manifestation (the fourth) is a mix of all three. I’m sure there must be an easier way than I have adopted. The garage floor dropping over 20mm through the length of the railway has not be



Station business (April 2022)

Here we are currently up to date! I started off laying track on the station section board but very quickly realised that I need to complete some of the scenery behind it before this section is fitted.     I always knew that parts of my layout would be difficult to reach and after deliberating over this for nearly a year at the planning stage I decided to continue as having wide boards with deep scenery sections was very important to me. I have many plans for scenic featu

Second Accident

Second, because I'd dropped a board during build which dented a corner and bent one of the join clips.   This time though the damage is a little more terminal to the recently attached barriers:       Occurred during disassembly this morning when I wasn't being quite cautious enough to ensure that the board was properly supported during leg removal. Proves that the acrylic is pretty fragile, and acts as a reminder to me to be careful in all respects when as

Ian J.

Ian J. in General

Northumberton delays! (December 2021)

I sometimes look at layouts being constructed and those that are either complete or in the modification phase on social media and wonder how everything seems to go so smoothly. Not all of course but it does give the impression that this is such a simple pleasure. I am sure I'm not the only one who finds some aspects of railway modelling more of a chore than a pleasure and for me that boils down to wiring being the worst followed by track laying. I guess this is where being in a club might be hel

Stepping up a level (July 2021)

Phase 2 of Northumberton involves the track bed up as far as the entrance to the station level (Phase 3). I have already cut the track bed - (see entry "Frames complete - now the track bed). I use an extended 1m straight edge/rule to measure track height from the frame work which was levelled in the early stages.     I'm rising from 1005mm to 1105mm above floor level. I was able to take the levels where track crossed the frame work from the SCARM software I'm using, (see entr

Bricks & Mortar (1)

Cardboard sketches are one thing, proper models another.  Time to get on and work out a way of doing the buildings on Swan Hill that can be done within a reasonable time scale (I've no idea what that really means) and which fit the overall picture of Swan Hill that I had in mind at the outset.  There is no "backscene" exactly, the present enterprise is more in the way of whole building that's cut off because there's a wall in the way - in other words, there ain't much width to play with.


kitpw in Swan Hill

Oxfordshire Narrow Gauge

North Leigh Station, with Goods Yard and Narrow Gauge System Beyond   When I first decided to attribute the location of my small layout to North Leigh in Oxfordshire, the only basis I had was a map dated 1849, which shows a branch line from the OW&WR main line running south from near Stonesfield to Witney. Of course, this line was never built and Witney was eventually served by the now closed Fairford Branch described at http://www.fairfordbranch.co.uk/ , from which website the fol


MikeOxon in general

Scenery complete (in 2020)

I actually finished all the scenic work on this layout just before we moved house in 2020. Wish I had known about MERG back then it might have simplified some of the wiring for the lighting, not that I would have been able to solder stuff easily as back then the 'workbench' was 10'' 6'' tray!   I' m tempted to take the track up at the points as the inner loop doesn't work that well. Also the back right corner is a bit tight and has always proved problematic with couplings of which I ha


MattB in General

Barriers to Exit

Following on from the blog post from some while ago 'Barriers to Entry', I've now drilled and cut the derailment barriers for the 'test track arrangement'. This has been done to fill in time while still waiting for copperclad strips for board ends. I've also marked both outer rail and outside edge of cork underlay positions on these boards for eventually cork and track laying. I will be in need of some kind of 'clip' to hold the barrier ends together between boards, I've not yet researched what

Ian J.

Ian J. in General

Long due progress! (June 2021)

I would be the first to admit to having a bit of a blind spot when it comes to DCC wiring, not the soldering or fitting point motors but my reverse loop and snubbers and all the fine points of building a reliable DCC circuit. I had gathered much research and many many peoples advice but alas in most circumstances something somewhere was taken for granted regarding my DCC knowledge - this is very bad. However, I have success, a fully functioning reverse loop with storage tracks and a separate bus

A Metcalfe Diversion (January 2020)

From this point in my blog I am updating quite a bit as many changes to the way I wanted to progress took place. At the begining of 2020 I had to sort out a medical issue that took most of the year including recovery, but that's all behind me now and thankfully no permanent damage.   Whilst recovering I had a go at building some Metcalfe kits to pass the time, my thoughts were to use these as tempoary buildings until I could scratch build something better. I took at lot of time over th

Details and Figures

Following on from weathering the track, today in the shed was focussed on finishing the little details and installing figures to bring things to life. It's 1988 and WMT have started painting their Fleetlines in doom grey.  One of them has pulled up outside In Cod We Trust and the driver is leaning against the post box having an animated discussion with an off duty colleague, whilst the passengers wait in the sunshine on the bench.  The chippy manageress has stepped outside and is chattin


wombatofludham in Blog

Catching A Bus (Wire). (December 2019)

Progress is still slow this month (January 2020) but I did have a bit of a breakthrough thanks to some very helpful people in the forum on DCC help.    This also gave me another issue regarding wiring the BUS wires back to the controller (Roco Z21) although I have to say that following some further discussions on the forum I picked up a few hints on where to go next. One thing this did make clear to me was that the DCC wiring was and is the hardest part of this build for me. Any diffic

Slow Track Laying On the Learning Curve (December 2019)

Well, this track laying is taking ages and I'm still on the section that no one will see! All I can say is that it has been a useful learning curve . As you may be aware I'm working on an open frame layout with Woodland Scenics track underlay, DCC Supplies PowerBase and Peco code 100 track - the latter is part of my desire for extremely reliable running and slightly easier track laying due to the strength of the track pieces. Hidden curves use Peco set track radius 2, 3 and 4, the remainder is a

Track Bed Part 3 The Installation (November 2019)

So, back again, the first section of track bed - the lower return loop/storage siding is now in place. This did take some time as I became familiar with laying an incline, fortunately I was able to gain all the dimensions I needed from my SCARM plan. The actual loop is level at 875mm above ground level and this rises through a 1.9% grade or about 1 in 53 to 1050mm above ground level.     As I had modelled the baseboard frame in SCARM as well I was able to read off the he

Nearly there.

Having undertaken a number of test runs, I have finally been able to do ballasting and weathering.  I decided to mix wallpaper paste powder in with a 50-50 mix of black and grey fine ballast as I had heard it is less likely to set like concrete and given the way I keep rebuilding the damn layout when my "butterfly mind" settles on a better plan, I figured anything that means future track changes won't require the aid of a mechanical stripper must be worth a try.  I have to say it was worth it. 


wombatofludham in Blog

West Country to P4 - Part 7 - etched chassis

A very long time ago, some 10 years to be precise, I started a conversion of a Hornby West Country pacific to P4. At the time, I was trying to use the existing chassis and had modified the existing bogie and pony trucks. I was having all manner of problems with the slide bars though and despite trying everything I could think of just couldn’t get it to run properly. After a valiant effort I reached the point where I stopped and put it to one side for a proper think. I decided to go down the


ullypug in Chassis

Track Bed Part 2 and Townstreet Modelling (November 2019)

Hi again, a few notes on progress. The cutting of the track bed shown on my last entry is now complete with all the edges having received a smooth edge courtesy of a 3mm rounding over bit in the router. I highly recommend this step as it has made the pieces comfortable and safe to handle. I did find using the Faller groove cutter a bit tedious as it kept overheating so I had to leave it to cool. Eventually the pin that goes through the blade broke - I've been onto Faller to see if I can get a sp

Frames Coming Together (October 2019)

Good morning all. I've finally got some construction completed with the frames. This was delayed a little by adding cables and ducting for the overhead lighting,my first pic shows this in place, it carries a power lead and a data cable for the "dawn to dusk" effects. The small section of pelmet is temporary to support the cables and power socket. I've decided to leave final lighting, which I can access from the front of the layout, until after the main layout is complete. This will enable me to

Frames complete - Now the track bed. (October - November 2019)

Now I have all the frames in place I can turn my attention to the track bed. As you will see below I have had my plans from SCARM printed out 1 to 1 which cost me £60 +VAT. I considered that this was money well spent as I have glued these to my 9mm birch ply to guide all the cutting work. I took some measurements of the plans before starting and was really impressed with the accuracy achieved (I used Plan Printing UK who are in Edinburgh). When I exported the drawings from SCARM I imported them

The Frames (October 2019)

This section shows the frames I've been making. I'm using 100mm x 25mm PSE throughout, the extra depth giving the strength required for this open frame. The components are all jointed, Lap or half Lap, and will be glued and screwed. When I retired I bought a small table saw (actually a "site saw") by Bosch which has been a Godsend when making all the cuts and I also made a small cross slide box to help make the lap joints. This slide really helped - the base is a piece of old formica covered chi
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