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eldavo
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While sorting through the stock box with PhilH of this parish this morning I came across a loco I had forgotten I owned! It's an excuse to take a few snaps if ever I saw one. Most of the progress in the last few days has been to do with adding more greenery so not a lot of visible progress.

The local spotters find it hard to get shots of the trains in these parts as they appear to be in camouflage!

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Moving down the road to get a better shots things just get worse!

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The only way to get a shot is to walk to the overbridge by the station. No idea why this Fred is parked out there as the S&T dept. haven't installed signals yet!

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Cheers
Dave

Edited by eldavo
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The folliage and track work do look very good. I'm going to have to use easitrac for my layout after seeing this. Are there many buildings round Water Orton?

 

EDIT: I hope this is isn't too much to ask, but since you seem like you'll be making a lot of trees, would you mind showing us how you did it?

 

Regards.

 

Jack

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One of those jobs I've been putting off is creating a footbridge that will be used as part of the scenic break on the Derby line. Today I starting cobbling together a few bits of plasticard and ended up with this.

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Cutting individual steps seemed like a good idea when I started! It's a bit rough and ready but hopefully with a dab of paint it will do the job. It's not very visible from most angles which will help!

post-7010-0-37864900-1504554361.jpg

Cheers
Dave

Edited by eldavo
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... Are there many buildings round Water Orton?

There are a lot of buildings around Water Orton but also a huge number of trees. With the rather narrow baseboards I have there isn't going to be too much room for buildings but I have a couple to build.

 

EDIT: I hope this is isn't too much to ask, but since you seem like you'll be making a lot of trees, would you mind showing us how you did it?

It's not a big ask. Perchance I happen to have some photos. smile.gif

 

I have a lot of largish hedges and small trees lining the route. This is largely because there is no way I can produce enough convincing looking fencing in 2mm so it all has to be overgrown! These have all started out as lichen. Bush shaped bits are torn off and planted into a good dollop of PVA. In addition odd bits of foam flock and clump foliage stuff have been strategically placed to create a structure of low growing plants. When the PVA has dried the whole lot is doused in PVA diluted about 60:40 with water with a dash of washing up liquid. The PVA should help strengthen the lichen and stick everything down/together. More texture materials are then sprinkled onto the wet PVA. I've been using a couple of different colours of something labelled as "fine turf". Burnt grass and green grass are the colours I think. Looks nothing like turf but does look a bit like leaves!

 

Here's a hedge in the raw before the additional textures have been applied.

 

post-7010-0-75106000-1504554637.jpg

 

The technique for trees has been documented elsewhere before and I've just adapted it to my needs. I don't claim any credit for the techniques. The basic tree is formed on an armature of twisted copper wires, in this case 3 core mains cable.

 

post-7010-0-84788500-1504554669.jpg

 

The picture above shows the armature during creation. Basically you twist everything together then start splitting into groups of two or three and twisting again. Repeat the splitting and twisting process till you get down to one or two strands. Form it into some kind of tree shape. In this case I have soldered the twisted bits together as I go but on others I have used the hot glue gun to build up the "bark". The glue gun is especially useful if you want to build up a sizeable trunk.

 

Here's the armature completed.

 

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It's then given a greyish base coat.

 

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Then a dry brushing of brown and some odd greeny bits.

 

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Foliage clumps are then stuck on to the armature using the hot glue gun. I've rather overloaded this one. Must try harder.

 

post-7010-0-59696800-1504554728.jpg

 

The foliage is then soaked in a diluted PVA mix and sprinkled with various textures in the same way as the hedges described earlier. Looks a bit manky at this stage!

 

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Finally after 8 or 10 hours of drying it's been glued into a hole in the baseboard.

 

post-7010-0-83074200-1504554744.jpg

 

The above is a bit of an artificial view as the area in front of the tree is incomplete. Here it is from the opposite side where it is bedded in with hedges and other stuff.

 

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Here's an overall view of the baseboard. The new tree is on the extreme left.

 

post-7010-0-03763900-1504554779.jpg

 

Cheers

Dave

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Edited by eldavo
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Those trees are amazing! I look forward to giving it a try in OO and see if I can get anything remotely as good.

 

Same here, they do look good.

 

And thank you for taking the time to reply to my post. biggrin.gif

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Most of the lineside fencing so far has been carefully hidden by undergrowth but there are going to be a few places where I will actually have to model it. One such area is around the footbridge over the Derby line. Couldn't see a way of having the footbridge emerge from the foliage convincingly so some fencing was needed. I'm not spending money on this little bit of baseboard so no fancy etchings or anything. Can't produce post and wire or chainlink this small so it will have to be a bit of decrepit old post and rail fence that has survived.

Out with the sophisticated tools and a jig is created. A bit of A4 paper, some bluetac and a few pencil lines. What more could you possibly want? Oh, that'd be some brass wire, flux and a soldering iron. Not very sophisticated is it?

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Here are a couple of assembled sections either side of the track by the newly painted footbridge. How crude is that footbridge!

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A view from the side.

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The fence is supposed to represent 4ft or 4ft 6" fence with 4 rails. There's a British standard for these things which of course I consulted to get the dimensions right(ish). The eagle-eyed will of course spot that I managed to transpose one of the dimensions in 4mm not 2mm! I carefully made up a couple of sections then realised the posts were spaced at 12ft intervals instead of 6ft. Couple more snips of brass wire and some superglue and the missing posts were added.

The (amended) fence sections were given a hasty splash of greyish/brownish colour acrylic, the footbridge was then given a dose of weathering powders and it and the fence sections were then planted. Out with the lichen and other scenic bits and things get a bit more blended in. The PVA glue is still wet in these shots but hang about, where did the fence go?

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From the side it is slightly more visible but not much. Just as well I didn't spend too much time on it.

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Of course if you step back to a normal viewing distance it's practically invisible. Even this is a closer view than most folks will get! Still it kept me amused for an hour or two.

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Cheers
Dave

Edited by eldavo
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Not much progress to report due to spending the weekend at weddings and with house guests. Did manage to snap a pick of some new arrivals. 66014 heads up a short rake of cargowagons heading South away from Waton.

post-7010-0-47796300-1504555709.jpg

Cheers
Dave

Edited by eldavo
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Not much progress to report due to spending the weekend at weddings and with house guests. Did manage to snap a pick of some new arrivals. 66014 heads up a short rake of cargowagons heading South away from Waton.

 

You know, I used to have some just like that!

 

Looking good, Dave.

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Dave

 

The new layout is exquisite it make me see the similarity with your layout and Water Orton in the west Midlands this is going to be one of the must see layout for this year.

 

Nice one Dave.

 

Pete

 

 

Hi Dave,

 

I'm really impressed with Waton and wish I'd seen this before. I'd been looking at modern N gauge for a while and layouts such as yours certainly highlight the benefits of N gauge being able to present the railway in the landscape.

 

Like you I decided to make a foray into N gauge with my representation of St. Keyne Wishing Well Halt (SKWWH) set on the Looe Valley Line.

 

As you've found out as I have too modelling a rural setting involves copious amounts of trees. I like the effect you've achieved with yours-I used a similiat method but used hanging basket liner to bulk out the trees prior to adding foilage.

 

Your soldered fencing is a brilliant idea. I need some for SKWWH and stupidly brought some Peco fencing. Looking at it, it's way over scale so I'm going down your route.

 

If I succeed with this layout my next Cornish themed layout is being planned.

 

All the best and be good to see some more progress.

 

Cheers.

 

Mark

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For the last few weeks I have been noodling on how best to operate this layout. My tendency is to use DCC given that I have the gear and am fully convinced of the benefits in OO. Trouble is I'm not sure I'm keen to struggle fitting chips into my rapidly growing collection of N gauge stock and, at £20 a pop for each one, it soon adds up to a considerable sum. There is also the problem that going fully DCC would probably mean I would not be able to borrow stock from others. So wiring for DC would seem to give me more options at least in the short term.

The track plan is really simple. In fact it has been simplified slightly from the original plan to give more platform space and ease curves etc. Even though it's simple there are 7 (I think) possible paths through the station plus additional pernutations where trains stop. I'm planning on having 2 controllers to allow 2 train movements simultaneously to add interest, one controlling Westbound trains and one Eastbound.

Many of the paths conflict as the route through platform 1, the lower face on the plan, is bidirectional. So the easiest way to build a control panel would be to have a switch for each point/crossover, one for each signal and one for each trackfeed. The trackfeeds could each select the East or West controller and have a centre off position. Job done... ...well maybe.

Such a control panel would undoubtedly be easy to construct and wire but would be pretty tricky to operate especially if this thing ever makes it to an exhibition. With two operators the chances of a screw-up would be high I speculate.

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So what to do? I'm a member of the Winchester Railway Modellers and several of our membership are heavily into building fully interlocked signalling systems, both mechanical and electrical. In fact Jeff Geary and John Shaw have written a books on the subject along with track building/planning software Trax. So it ought to be possible to do something for Waton along these lines. This weekend I thought I would have a play with some switches and wires.

The diagram above shows the points and signals numbered in a fairly conventional manner as though they were in a lever frame. Levers 1-4 are signals controlling Eastbound movements, 5-9 are turnouts/crossovers and 10-13 are signals controlling Westbound movements. The idea is to use switches rather than levers with electrical interlocking and the track feeds controlled through the signals. Simple to say but not quite so simple to implement. On the plan the trackfeeds are numbered F1-F9 but I've missed 2 on the Eastern end!

So the operators are presented with a track diagram like the one above and 13 switches. Here's a really rough prototype, simple init!

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The switches are numbered from the left and the signal switches have a red cap on the toggle.

Of course if you look inside it's not quite so simple.

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Each of the switches (will be) wired to control a 12 volt relay. Currently only some of the signals have been wired this way and the 2 turnouts wired so far, 7 and 8, are simply switching the motors. There will need to be a few more relays in here to do the whole layout as currently this only controls the 2 Eastern boards. Signals can only be pulled off when the appropriate road is set and conflicting signals cannot be pulled off together. The power feeds are all wired through the signal relays and so a train can only be moved if an appropriate signal has been pulled off.

The point motors will have to be controlled through relays as well as currently it is possible to reverse a turnout after a signal has been pulled off and this is definitely a no-no. When all the interlocking is in place pulling a signal off will lock all the points on the route in the correct orientation so that reversing a turnout switch will have no effect until the signal is reversed. In additon each switch will have an LED that shows whether it is live or disabled at any given time. Also there will be LED indicators for each of the track feeds on the schematic to indicate that it is live and, in the case of the bi-directional areas, which controller is delivering power.

All this just to drive toy trains! Which it does and the first trains have moved under control of the panel. New arrivals are seen at Waton. The Cross Country 170/2 heads South away from Waton as a 66 with a rake of container flats (acquired at Railex!) takes the goods relief road en route to Birmingham.

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Hopefully all this should(!) make it simple to operate and reduce the risk of two operators treading on each others toes. Lots to do...

Cheers
Dave

Edited by eldavo
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Having got two of the four boards into some kind of shape it's time to move on to the third. Been a really busy week at work (NOT) and I've managed to get 3 of the turnouts for the Western end of the layout constructed. There's still one more and two catch points to build. Unfortunately the next job is to rig up point operation gubbins for these and lay them. One thing I hate is point actuation mechanisms as they require a certain amount of precision, especially in 2mm, and I'm really not good at that. Always takes me ages and lots of fiddling and reworking to get them to work well.

The Eastern end points have simple copperclad sleeper tiebars but I'm not happy with how they work so I'll probably rework them. At this end I'm going to use a spring steel wire running from each blade to a more sunstantial tiebar underneath the board. I managed to get this to work in 4mm on some of the points on Cramdin but soldering wire to point blades in 2mm is tricky to say the least. Well it is for me anyway. We'll see how it goes.

Here's the point complex so far on my rather grubby workbench/freezer.

post-7010-0-26264100-1504556143.jpg

Probably not much more progress this weekend as we have friends round and today I'm off to Thruxton to drive a Ferrari. smile.gif

Cheers
Dave

Edited by eldavo
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Bit more progress over the last few days. Pretty much all the trackwork on board 3 is now in place. Just need the bridging pieces to board 4 but I'll have to build the final turnout before I can sort that out.

This overhead shot shows the general layout with a wide gap between the line to Derby at the top and the middle road, delineating the location of the platform. On this board any resemblance to the Water Orton track layout is pretty much lost due to the severe compression required.

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The pointwork comprises the 3 turnouts built on the workbench and a pair of catch points built in situ. These will effectively be operated as a pair of crossings and point motors are in place underneath. One can just be seen peeping out!

post-7010-0-85562200-1504556269.jpg

Decision time again. Do I build the final turnout and sort the transition to board 4 next or wire up this little lot? Have to see how the mood takes me.

Cheers
Dave

Edited by eldavo
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