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Shelf Marshes (first attempt at a cameo layout)


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On 27/06/2021 at 22:04, rue_d_etropal said:

I have found that once the plastic is primed, and the Halfords grey is best spray paint, although I have found most matt grey acryllic paints seem to work well, even applied by brush, then any water based paint such as emulsion(match pots from DIY shops) will stick OK.

Applying a coat of garden/DIY type acryllic will toughen it, but as most buildings are not handled that much, then it is not necessary. Finally I apply a gung mix which is the water used to clean my brushes and it still contains quite a lot of paint, and costs nothing. I let gravity take the gung to where it would have naturally formed on any building.

 

I think we are building different kinds of models ... the pigments of model paints are a lot finer than those of household emulsion. I did do a simple backscene with match pots a few years ago, and to be fair it has stayed colour-fast.

 

Edit: ... But I cannot imagine using emulsion paint on a scale model.

 

- Richard.

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On 28/06/2021 at 18:01, shipbadger said:

Don't be afraid of airbrush cleaning.  Buy a can of airbrush cleaner, various make available including Phoenix Precision.  My current one came from Hobbycraft I think.  A quick squirt between colours and a longer one at the end.  Alternatively blow whatever the appropriate thinners for the paint being used through the brush.  I rarely need to dismantle my brushes.  Just practice on some old tin cans or scrap models for a bit.  We have a chap in our modelling group who was reluctant to use his airbrush, after half an hour of practice on some old plastic kits he was doing really good work.  In some ways getting the consistency of the paint right is probably the hard bit but practice will make perfect as they say.

 

Tony Comber

 

Many thanks . This sounds like one fewer excuses for me. I could try some empty coffee tins before I tackle the track.

 

- Richard.

 

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13 hours ago, 47137 said:

 

I think we are building different kinds of models ... the pigments of model paints are a lot finer than those of household emulsion. I did do a simple backscene with match pots a few years ago, and to be fair it has stayed colour-fast.

 

Edit: ... But I cannot imagine using emulsion paint on a scale model.

 

- Richard.

I was just as surprised myself , but it does actually work. Just as long as you use a decent primer first. Acryllic paint does not properly harden for a couple of days at least, so any similar(eg emulsion) paint will bind to it better . I don't know why but grey primer is better than white. Even basic matt grey acryllic paint brushed on will bind to plastic better than same make matt white. When I was runnning shop, I messed around with painting various models, which is also how I came up with the gunge jar for weathering.

My ideas are not just theory, I have been actually practising them for over 10 years.

One big advantage is that emulsion paint and other DIY paints can be bought from most DIY/hardware stores, and you can even get specific mixes in bigger DIY stores. Odd thing is lack of GWR type green in standard ranges, so I mixed myown, but it should be possible toget the correct mixture code in DIY stores, so same shades can be repeated.

It is all too easy to just follow established methods, but being truly creative for me means thinking outside of the box and trying new methods. Unfortunately the model railway hobby seems to be stuck in its ways and anyone challenging those ways is deemed suspect. Military modellers switched from enamels to acrylic paints many years ago, I have just taken the idea to next stage.

 

 

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7 hours ago, 47137 said:

 

Many thanks . This sounds like one fewer excuses for me. I could try some empty coffee tins before I tackle the track.

 

- Richard.

 

Hurrah!

If I may add to Tony C’s message - with acrylics, I initially flush excess paint through the brush with water!

 I find this is sufficient that I can change paint colour without having to strip the whole brush down. A simple blast through with airbrush cleaner at the end of the session is usually enough but I do do a full strip down every two or three sessions. Just to be sure.

Making sure the needle is really clean is important but don’t do what I did to my first airbrush many years ago and over tighten the needle into the bezel - mine split and that was the end of my first airbrush!

It was a cheap one to be fair but it put me off for a long time.

 

By the way, I painted the actual rails on my linked layout, with a “Rusty Rails” device, it’s a really useful tiny roller that saves hours of brush painting and leaves the rails looking great BUT you must use very dilute paint.

Only then did I attack the whole trackbed with the airbrush.

Cheers,

John

 

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On 30/06/2021 at 09:40, rue_d_etropal said:

Military modellers switched from enamels to acrylic paints many years ago, I have just taken the idea to next stage.

 

 

I will make a guess, military modellers want mainly matt finishes and railway modellers (railway train modellers anyway) want mainly gloss.

 

- Richard.

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On 24/06/2021 at 10:25, BernardTPM said:

Corrugated iron roof and it could become a village hall or Scout hut maybe?

 

On 24/06/2021 at 11:51, Ben B said:

Same as Bernard, I saw that and thought 'scout hut'. Our group have stopped in many like that one over the years.

 

My intended "mess hut" now has an iron roof with shallower eaves and looks a lot more British:

P1030502.jpg.edaad5f35bf9e10da4c5bb36b194dcaa.jpg

 

It would indeed be a good sports pavilion or village hall, but for another layout.

 

I am still with Tamiya paints.

 

- Richard.

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The layout progress is faltering. When I was 7 years old I had a cardboard baseboard for my Lego and I arranged loads of new layouts on this:

658243474_Legolayout.jpg.08815df10ad90ce66048875df05f30a3.jpg

 

I am in the same mindset here: I do not want to stick anything down. And leaves me with little new to write about the project. I have painted my BYA wagons, see

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/67-how-realistic-are-your-models-photo-challenge/&do=findComment&comment=4510994

and a second post today.

 

I am having a go at the Ratio 508 pump house/boiler house. The idea is to put this in place of the Faller hut, to provide a bit of older architecture to connect the foreground to the images in the backdrop.

 

- Richard.

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5 hours ago, 47137 said:

I am in the same mindset here: I do not want to stick anything down. And leaves me with little new to write about the project.

Richard,

 

I know the feeling. I'd just keep assembling buildings / scenic items that you enjoy and, one day, you'll have an epiphany whereby it'll all find a place on your layout. Main aim, in the meantime, keep enjoying the process.

 

Ian

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On 18/07/2021 at 17:54, ISW said:

I know the feeling. I'd just keep assembling buildings / scenic items that you enjoy and, one day, you'll have an epiphany whereby it'll all find a place on your layout. Main aim, in the meantime, keep enjoying the process.

 

I have built the Ratio kit for a pump house (or boiler house) to go into the place intended for the mess hut:

DSCF1687.jpg.910de7be87c6738b40b020db62d5386e.jpg

 

The kit windows are printed onto acetate like a card kit so I went for the blocked-up look. The steps are Pikestuff ones for H0. The model is standing on a patch of foam board to let it hide an unwanted detail in the backdrop.

 

There is a brick-built goods shed in the backdrop behind the tram platform, hopefully the pump house helps to connect this to the modelled part of the layout:

DSCF1687.jpg.910de7be87c6738b40b020db62d5386e.jpg

 

At the moment I imagine a security fence going all around the pump house.

 

This gets me to a good stopping point for a short while. I have built and painted all of the buildings for the layout except a couple of silos. The sensible thing to do now is the ground works and ballasting ... and I want to revisit my trains, and indeed some other interests like photography.

 

- Richard.

DSCF1686.jpg

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The pump house was an unhappy little building. I don't know quite why, but it just looked wrong, even with its bricked-up windows. A hipped roof might have helped, but I have a feeling it was a model of a structure which has never existed. I could not find a brick-built pump house this small, even using the kit in a 1:87 context.

 

This photo is about six weeks late. The third building for this location and my second attempt at a mess hut:

DSCF2078.jpg.5474e741bb4651c322e67df28d806a05.jpg

 

I do like the "interior effect" on this model. It is simply printed inserts, supplied with the kit and glued onto the insides of the windows. I have given this latest building a brief write-up on my blog. I think this attempt is good enough to keep.

 

- Richard.

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"Shelf Marshes" has problems. In particular, the chemical plant makes it nigh impossible to reach trains on the 90-degree curve - the plant hides the curve too well. In addition, the installation of the layout in my hobby room puts the lighting rig and top of the fascia right in my line of view.

 

The visual effect of a train passing behind the open steelwork of the chemical plant is good, but I am finding it really difficult to couple and uncouple trains on the curve, exactly where many coupling operations need to take place. There are a couple of factors causing problems here – the difficulty of manipulating close couplers on a tight curve as well as the difficult access. This layout really needs access from above to make it work, as at an exhibition, but few exhibition visitors are going to tolerate the difficulty of coupling and uncoupling for very long.

 

I have tried running the layout without the chemical plant. This makes access a lot easier, but the sight of my mainline diesel locomotives and bogie wagons on the curve just makes a mockery of the whole project. The layout would look a whole lot better moved back to the 1970s or so and using smaller locomotives and rolling stock. I have some British outline H0 models to do this, but the period doesn’t fit in at all with the 2010s setting of my “Shelf Island” project.

 

In engineering terms I think of verification and validation. Verification here being making sure the design meets my technical requirements (it does) and validation being the confirmation I have done the right thing (it doesn’t). I like the track plan and the concept of exchange sidings with access from from both ends of the module, but I don’t like the cramped nature of this layout. At least with modern rolling stock.

 

A part of me wants to build “Shelf Marshes” again but on much larger baseboards, perhaps around 2.4m x 0.8m and with a minimum radius around 800-900mm instead of 450mm. Such a model could actually become my complete home layout, tucked into a corner with a fiddle yard to the right and a connection to a small terminus at the left. Another part of me wants to develop what I have built, to add a small oil storage depot in place of the chemical plant (something I can reach over) and maybe a second Magnorail system. This would make the layout pleasing to look at, keep a good visual balance and make for some activity between movements of the trains.

 

For the time being, I have decided to mothball the layout. I have had 3+ months of looking at it in the hobby room, but it is just that bit too cramped to make operations enjoyable.

 

- Richard.

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5 hours ago, 47137 said:

The visual effect of a train passing behind the open steelwork of the chemical plant is good, but I am finding it really difficult to couple and uncouple trains on the curve, exactly where many coupling operations need to take place. There are a couple of factors causing problems here – the difficulty of manipulating close couplers on a tight curve as well as the difficult access. This layout really needs access from above to make it work, as at an exhibition, but few exhibition visitors are going to tolerate the difficulty of coupling and uncoupling for very long.

Richard,

 

Sorry to hear of your problems / issues with the uncoupling on a curve. I can appreciate the issue as I have the same problem with coupling Kadees on bogied stock. However, I don't have a problem with 4-wheeled wagons as the couplers are 'on' the body and line up much easier / better.

 

Have you considered using different couplers and/or relocating them on your stock to alleviate the problem? Would there then be a possibility of using a magnetic uncoupler?

 

Ian

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8 hours ago, ISW said:

Have you considered using different couplers and/or relocating them on your stock to alleviate the problem?

 

I hadn't, but you have certainly got me thinking again about them ...

 

I began my British H0 experience with Kadees and these were fine until I realise most of my stock had close-coupling mechanisms (NEM sockets on cams) and I would get a much better appearance if I used suitable close-coupling heads. I then added cams wherever I could to the rolling stock I had built myself and settled on the Roco "Universal" head and "decided" this was my choice of coupler.

 

I have collected up British outline H0 models from all sorts of periods and told myself these belong to the Shelf Island Railway Preservation Society. The Society runs passenger trains at weekends and hires out some of its locomotives to the main railway. Some of these models still have Kadees because I cannot convert them to anything else. Most of the preseved stock is shorter and will look a lot better on the 18-inch curve.

 

How about re-purposing "Shelf Marshes" as the home of the Society? There is nothing in the scenery to put a date on the layout except for the low platform and its OLED display intended for the tram. The model could be present-day or set back in the 1970s or 80s. The locos can give brake van rides and haul short freight trains for photographic purposes. The space for the chemical plant can hold my collection of classic sports cars, this will reinforce the unfamiliar scale for exhibition use and I can claim this is a car club meet. The two exchange sidings at the front can hold stock being restored.

 

The rolling stock can have Kadees throughout, these will plug into the NEM sockets where they aren't already fitted in the draught gear boxes. The layout would work with no fiddle yard at all, and work better with a short stub strack to allow access to the passenger platform.

 

There ought to be relatively little coupling and uncoupling in such a scene.

 

- Richard.

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Posted (edited)

Looking at my locomotives which don't really fit in a 2010s setting I have these:

 

  • Matchbox MB-24 motorised (k)
  • English Electric class 11 in privatised livery
  • Warship 'Glory' (the Ultrascale wheels on this run badly on the Setrack point) (k)
  • Ex-Isle of Wight E1 (now unpowered, works well for topped and tailed operations) (k)
  • USATC S100
  • USATC S160
  • "Class 34 D6400" (fictional prototype for the class 33) (k)
  • AEI class 81 (k)

 

The ones marked (k) have Kadee couplers. The others have a mixture of NEM sockets and wedgy slots.

 

If I ignore the class 81, everything else has or can reasonably have a slightly Southern region character.

 

How about moving the layout to the English mainland and calling it the Mid-Wessex Railway? Or perhaps a better name? Such a project could be quite a good showcase for British H0 if I can take it to shows.

 

- Richard.

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Hi Richard, sad to hear about the problems you're having with Shelf Marshes. I'm glad you've been thinking it through and are getting ideas for a solution, I like your idea for a preservation society and I'm sure you could make that work. 

I'll look forward to seeing how it pans out :)

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