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Paisley Canal No.2 Signal Box


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AHemm..... If your floor is tongued and grooved planks, which was normal, then the nails would have been hidden in the joins, and flooring nails were usually oval wire nails with small heads. :D :D :D




Surely at the period of building it would not have been tounge and groove? Plus most floorboards until recently were nailed with 'clouts', squared, angle headed nails which resisted movement in the boards and not ovals.

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Surely at the period of building it would not have been tounge and groove? Plus most floorboards until recently were nailed with 'clouts', squared, angle headed nails which resisted movement in the boards and not ovals.


My house in Scotland dated from 1860 and had 1 1/8" tongue and groove boards throughout and they were original. And I don't think that my house would have been in the forefront of wood technology at the time.


Sorry - the Victorian nails were the clouts as you descibed - the ovals would have been more recent usage - like me doing DIY replacement in the 1970s :D



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Thanks Jim, I didn't know about the T&G boards from that early. Most of my houses have been Vic. or Edwardian and they have all had plain original floorboards. I've just replaced the main bedroom boards (1905 + woodworm) and had a devil of a problem finding thick and wide enough modern substitutes. :(

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Thanks Jim, I didn't know about the T&G boards from that early. Most of my houses have been Vic. or Edwardian and they have all had plain original floorboards. I've just replaced the main bedroom boards (1905 + woodworm) and had a devil of a problem finding thick and wide enough modern substitutes. :(


Off Topic: We had similar in our old house and found near exact replacements from a reclamation yard. New house is all chipboard, creak, creak, creak.


On Topic: I've loved the "lines" of this layout from when I first saw it on the MIGO forums. Very nice!

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With the hours ticking by at alarming speed towards the deadline, here's a few photos of the last couple of days progress.


Whilst the floorboard controversy was raging, I was busy gluing the floor into the building.... In the wrong place. Twice....


The bridge that carries the building is skew to the railway and on a slope - a nightmare to lay out. I had marked out and cut the floor making appropriate allowances for material thickness, etc, whilst I was working away from home a couple of months ago. The trouble was, I kept the wall sections flat for easier transport home and I had forgotten all the tricky stuff I had worked out by the time I came to assemble it. I misinterpreted a datum and made a pig's ear of it. I though of fudging it, but it would have annoyed me evermore if I had.


Here is the shell drying under weights for the third time.

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Here I have completed the wall section and cut-out for the fanlight at the entrance. I made a thick foamboard inner ceiling which has proved to be a good method of locating subsequent parts.

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...such as these assemblies for the facia panels. The one above the door has had some of the decorative mouldings added in 1mm sq evergreen strip. Glues quite easily to the card with solvent.

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This is the current state of play. This is as far as I'll take construction of this building for now - Due to time constraints, I'm not going to be able to add a lot of the missing detail at this stage, (Window panes, brackets for the facia, etc). I need to get started on the painting tomorrow, plus get back to the main scenic work. but I've left the booking office at the stage where it should be easy to add the missing details after painting.

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Thanks Jim, I didn't know about the T&G boards from that early. Most of my houses have been Vic. or Edwardian and they have all had plain original floorboards. I've just replaced the main bedroom boards (1905 + woodworm) and had a devil of a problem finding thick and wide enough modern substitutes. :(

I spent ten years of my life bringing an old church manse back into reasonable condition and spent a fair bit of time searching around for good T&G boards. The recommendation was to look out for demolition of old Victorian buildings and try and get boards from there. The ones I actually got came from such a site. Even with plain boards, I wonder if they would have been nailed through the top. I remember being advised by a chippie that nails in the top of floorboards eventually project above the wood because of wear and shrinkage.


However, no more of this. :D Your buildings are really superb.



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Today's progress:


Last night I belatedly noticed that Andy has moved out the deadline from 20:10 on 20/10/2010 to the 31st of the month. This is a very welcome extra period to tidy off the loose ends, but the downside is that Mrs IC126 is not happy that I'll be "missing in action" for another 11 days.


I have pulled a couple of late nights working on the layout this wek and I thought about taking a few hours off from layout building today, but the weather here in Norway was excellent. I had already arranged that Mrs IC126 would take our young daughter out for a couple of hours. Available free time is a valuable commodity and has to be grabbed when it comes along - this would give me time to get the track spray painted - so I decided to press on.


Mrs IC126 gave me a hand to move the layout into the garden for spray painting

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I think the colour really makes a big difference and the Exactoscale chairs and ply sleepers really respond well to a bit of colouring. The track colour was lightened with additional yellow to try to match photos.

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Final job for tonight was a first pass on ballasting - I'll lightly weather again when the glue has set. Empty glasses again coming in useful as weights while the glue sets.

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On Topic: I've loved the "lines" of this layout from when I first saw it on the MIGO forums.

Hi Richard - yes, I remember you were one of only two people who seemed to be following the build on the MIGO forum... Glad you're still enjoying the build. Hope the finished result doesn't disappoint (it won't be long now).


Hang in there Andra' - it continues to look very promising, not to mention attractive.

That's only partly from my mind's eye painting in the local stonework and the overlooking Paisley architecture of course ;)

Jamie - hopefully you will not have to imagine the stonework for much longer. Today I have mostly been making stones.


The Paisley Canal Line for the uninitiated, followed the course of line follows the course of the former Glasgow and Ardrossan Canal which was purchased by the G&SWR, unceremoniously filled in and used as the trackbed for the railway. The line is very level but the fact the it was once a canal is evidenced by the many curves and earthworks to maintain the level.

Paisley Canal station (thought by W.A.C. Smith to be one of the G&SWR's finest compositions) was situated in a cutting, overlooked by the booking office which I have modelled. Although my track plan is fictitious, I have tried to maintain more than a passing nod to the actual topography of the area and the retaining walls and the road overbridge are the very distinctive features.


I used DAS modelling compound to form the stonework and initially scribed the stonework in the wet DAS, but my best efforts to scribe this in freehand did not look regular enough to convince - I therefore set about the construction of a simple press-form to imprint the DAS. This gave a better result, so I continued with this method, tidying up the odd mistake with a scriber [Note to self: make the press-tool before starting the job next time.....] I stippled the face of the stonework with a stiff bush to give a "rough hewn stone" effect.


Painting and some scenic work tomorrow.


Form tool cobbled together from a scrap of plasticard and some 40 x 80 thou evergreen strip. I made this so that the horizontal lines on the right and left hand sides would tie up to allow the pattern to be repeated, but I occasionally flipped the tool over and filled in with freehand scribing to avoid too regular an effect.

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The results:

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Brilliant idea for makling the stonework, and good results too.


I have found in the past that scribing DAS just doesn't do it (though I know that there are others on RM Web who have had great results) so I will probably give your method a try next time.



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I have spent the last couple of evenings working on the roadway. I think Flubrush is probably correct that the tram lines would have been tarmaced over by 1968, but comparing the two best street-side photos I have tracked down, the 1958 W.A.C. Smith shot in "An Illustrated History of Glasgow's Railways" is by far the more attractive. (This was the photo that originally gave me the inspiration for the layout). At some point I shall probably secumb to a MOK Standard 4 Tank and backdate the layout a few years, in any case, so I'm going to have to invoke Rule 1 and live with the historical anachronism.


After moving house, I signed up for fibre optic broadband, but the installation man isn't exactly moving at the speed of light so I'm still waiting on the lines to be connected. This has given me some difficulty uploading the images over my mobile connection so apologies if not all the photos are attached.


To give the characteristic form of the tramway rails, I'm making each of the rails out of two pieces of code 100 rail tee'd together. I screwed the rails to a piece of timber to keep them aligned whilst I soldered.

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I cut the paving slabs in the NWSL Chopper Tool. I used cardboard from an empty All Bran carton in the hope that the slabs would be "regular"... (sorry - couldn't resist that one).

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I made another form tool for the "setts" - I made the road camber using a substrate of cardboard to keep the DAS layer relatively thin to avoid shrinkage problems.

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Here is the DAS being imprinted with the setts. I'll sand them down when the DAS has fully cured as surface is a bit too bumpy.

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I had some etched drain and manhole covers - these add an additional bit of interest to the surface.

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I have also completed the side walls for the bridge. These do not appear to be structural (recent photos show that the cast side plates have been replaced by brick walls). - I didn't have any photos of the actual bridge so this is modelled on the typical style for bridges on the Canal Line.





The side plates are made from card with the detailing added from (a lot of) pieces of microstrip. Again the NWSL Chopper Tool came in very useful for keeping these consistent.

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Today I'm working on the point rodding. I am using MSE parts for this www.wizardmodels.co.uk


I have planned out the routes for the point rodding and cut the stools to the correct number rods. The white lines are 1mm square microstrip where the point rods pass under the rails.


Unfortunately I ran out of stools with about a two feet to go to reach the farthest points. These took more stools than I had initially bargained for (espcially due to the extra run required for the Facing Point Lock rodding, but a rush order has been placed for more with MSE.


The parts in stock are however enough to complete the main runs which shall allow me to position and solder up the cranks and compensation levers.

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I've also part assembled the ground signals. I had fewer of these in my bits drawer than I had fondly remembered, so I'm just going to have to provide a single disc at the loop & bay points, rather than the multiple discs that Beast suggested. As the signal is directly opposite the signal box, I decided that a single disc would probably be OK. I shall make the discs operational, but I'll not have time to fit any actuating mechanism before the 2010 Challenge finish date.

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I have been working on the scenic treatment of the layout over the last couple of days.


I have built the scenic parts as removable modules to allow better access to the track areas for finishing off work. I suffered some distortion of the modules as the DAS on the stone faces dried out. I corrected this by cutting off the face of the module and reglueing this to the expanded polystyrene supporting blocks. You can see that a good couple of millilmetres srinkage was experienced.

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I made a supporting framework for the plaster bandage from card strips using the basket weaving technique with crumpled newspaper below. I washed over the plaster bandage with a gloopy mix of paint, PVA glue, and household wall filler. I worked quite late last night to finish this stage and allow the mix to dry out overnight.

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Colouring the stonework - I worked from photographs to get the best colour match I could, but this is not an area I'm very confident in. Stonework in this pre-stone-cleaning era was very dirty. I'm not sure whether I've over or underdone the weathering. I picked out the mortar courses with dark grey & black to provide a little bit of extra definition.

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Lastly a couple general views. Next job shall be to add the vegetation.

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Hi Jamie, I tried to match the stone colour to recent pictures of (new) Paisley Canal station which of course is on the other side of the bridge (ie the space my model occupies). The stone has been partially cleaned and exhibits quite a variation but is generally the blonde colour. (some look quite grey). The uncleaned stone is still generally quite dark but not as filthy as in days of old. Glad you think it is OK.


I need to get the buildings painted tomorrow, so as well as the first fix scenic work I have been trying to finish off the remaining woodwork on the station and signal box before painting.


I have been putting off making the carved lower ends of the posts (queenposts?) holding up the frieze(?) panels. (Perhaps someone could enlighten me what these things are really called?).


In the end (as with so many scratchbuilding projects), the main stumbling block was just getting started on a job that seems difficult at the outset. Once I had decided on a method, the manufacture was actually quite straightforward.


I cut a number of plain sections in the chopper tool and stuck these side by side to a piece of card with PVA wood glue. (I cut a number of extras just in case any split). I then roughed out the section, cutting slots with a hacksaw blade.

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I then smoothed out the section using files and sandpaper to get something close to the required profile.

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A quick dunk in warm water softened the glue and card allowing me to remove these from the assembly.

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The completed "carved" posts in place. My models are quite a bit clunkier than the originals, but they do definitely add to the overall effect.

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Memories of Causeyside St outside Canal St Stn as a child are of scuffed knees.


I am pretty sure the cobbles were at least as rough as yours, although polished by years of rubber wheeled vehicles.






(A child in Paisley late 60's and an infrequent visitor since)

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Hi Ian,


thanks for the feedback - as you say, the cobbles could be pretty rough. Fairly awful on a bicycle too, especially with tramlines.


In my new home town of Bergen (Norway) as with so many towns, they are restoring tram lines for the 21st Century. The usage on the pilot route has been a lot higher than originally anticipated, so fingers crossed for a general expansion of the network.


At home I have been trying to finish off as many jobs as possible. First priority is to get the general ground cover glued in place, then add bushes, shrubs, etc. I bought a couple of cans of cheap hair spray to hold the shrubbery, etc in place - this seems to have been effective, but the house smells like a hair salon...


Progress photos from yesterday now attached.

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I've completed the windows for the signal box.


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As promised,some daylight photos of the layout. The light is unfortunately very directional where the layout is just now, but a lot better than the flash photos in a dimly lit room at midnight that I posted last night.


I'll try (weather permitting) get the layout outside for the "official" photographs, if and when I get some more stock finish painted, but the layout is being dismantled and moved back to the basement tomorrow. Mrs IC126 is looking forward to getting full use of the dining room back.


I'm quite pleased with the way the cast iron panels on the road bridge turned out. Didn't have time to complete the masonry at the ends, unfortunately.post-7058-037962300 1288636735_thumb.jpg


General view of the layout from the Glasgow end. I chose to set the layout in Autumn. I think the colours will blend in quite nicely when I take it outside for the official phots.

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Station building - Didn't have time to make windows. These are quite complex, especially the semicircular fanlights, but will provide a nice challenge for the winter months. post-7058-034974200 1288636752_thumb.jpg


Arial view of the Booking Office. This is module is precariously cantilevered out from the main scenic section back over the inlet tracks of the traverser. The booking Office seems to be peculiarly floating in air without the traverser section fitted. I really need to finish off the colouring and weathering of this area, but ran out of time. The street area is the main part of the layout that suffered from lack of time at the end of the Challenge. A Post-Challenge task shall be to construct the tenement building diagonally opposite the station building to emphasise that this is a route throught through the middle of a busy town.

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This is the view East from the bridge. I'm glad I custom built the points as this section of the layout flows quite nicely. Main outstanding jobs here are installation of the point rodding and signal wire posts. I have some very nice lost wax castings from MSE ready for fitting, but this is another of the jobs that I just ran out of time for.

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The Signal box. A mirror image of the box at Hawkhead.

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Thanks for the comments, gentlemen.


Over the last couple of days I have shunted the layout to the side of the dining room waiting, for outside photograph weather to turn up and have been clearing away the quite astonishing amount of tools and materials I managed to migrate upstairs from the railway room.


Over the next days I'll weather some stock as props for the "Works Photos", but tonight was a rest evening and the luxury of watching TV for the first time in what seems like a very long time.


When I was clearing away my junk I found these peculiar items in my workshop, which might be of interest to some of you - they are pieces of acetate sheet cut to slightly over track gauge and a thin line accurately scribed down the centreline. The scribe line was filled with ink from an indelible marker to make them more visible. These clip into place between the rail webs and make accurately laying track to a centreline drawn on the baseboard much easier. They were quick and easy to make and came in very handy when I had to repair the track following the moving damage. Due to the fact that I wanted all tracks on the traverser to line up with the exit tracks on the baseboards in all positions, it was quite important to get the spacing at (exactly) the Gauge O Guild's standard of 80mm (the bay platform track is set at 160mm from the "up" mainline for the same reason).

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The lid of etched MSE cranks and signal wire posts forlornly waiting to be assembled and planted was one of the jobs I really wanted to get finished on Sunday evening, but ran out of time. This is a pity as the railway infrastructure is one of the things I really wanted to finish off, but we all had the same (extended) deadline so I can't complain. As I've grown more accustomed to the layout in it's current incomplete form, I'm beginning to focus more on the things I like and less on the things I didn't have time to finish.

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Overall, I'm quite pleased with the layout and looking forward to getting it mated back up with the traverser after the "Works Photos" are taken.

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An unexpected couple of dry hours in the morning gave me the chance to get the layout out into the open air for some "Works Photos". I was hoping to get some more stock finish painted before taking the photos, but as the layout itself is the main focus, I decided that maybe less was more.


The position the layout has been in for the last weeks is not good for photography and the natural light made a big difference. I think the Autumnal colours on the layout blended in to the surroundings quite well.


The only thing remeaining now is to create the Summary Topic when Andy sets up the Forum Sub-Area.

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  • 1 month later...

Well that's the excitement of the 2010 Challenge out of the way.


Well done to all of my fellow competitors and particularly Dave (eldavo) for virtually a clean sweep of the medals with "Waton" and (I guess) my nearest neighbor M Graff in Sweden for the "Operational Interest" category.


I was very pleased with my results (4th overall, with a "Silver Medal" in Martin Wynne's special "Trackwork" category).


Thanks to all of you who took the trouble to vote. It certainly gave me a lot of encouragement when so many seemed to take interest in my ramblings and progress photos over the last year. I'm sure the other entrants feel the same.


Since taking the photos for the Summary Topic the layout has been re-united with the traverser in the railway room, but, partly due to the extremely cold weather, I haven't made any significant progress for a while.


This lack of progress was also (sort of) planned - I had abandoned my workbench and soldering iron to spend all my modelling time on the layout. (Many thanks to Mrs IC126 for allowing the layout in the dining room all October and taking on a disproportionate amount of the childcare duties). Now that the layout has reached a state of reasonable completeness, I'll probably focus on building up my stock for a while and dust off my dormant Blog.


I shall however continue working on the layout from time to time, so maybe this thread should be moved to the main "Layout Topics" section?


Lastly for tonight, a photo which didn't quite make it onto the Summary Topic. D2866 was for a while (in reality) a Scottish loco but only in post-BR days.



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