Tuesday, 12 October 2021

A bit more finished

After all the frantic work of the previous few weeks things have slowed down considerably in the garage. I've been enjoying adding scenery elements and playing trains.


A few people have appeared on the station but only three, it's an out of the way place so I'm trying to resist the temptation to over do it.


I've also had some time to devote to rolling stock and locos. The Minitrains Decauville has always been a hesitant runner which I'd always assumed was a pickup problem so I took the chassis to part and cleaned and bent the pickups out a bit. Putting it back together again was quite a challenge but after several false starts a much improved runner has joined the fleet.

The armoured Simplex has a dodgy chassis but I thought some weathering and the number plates I bought a while ago have made it look much better. Still runs like a chicken though, another day.

I don't have much luck with Simplexes as the little one which looks really nice and has a Portram chassis under it doesn't work either... well, the wheels on one side don't go round.

It works as a scenic item though.

I've added telegraph poles and started to make some fences. I've used brass rod as fence posts and painted them to look like weathered wood. My plan is to use fuse wire as fence wire, or maybe cotton thread.

Unfinished fence.

The new rock cutting has blended in nicely with the addition of some foliage.


Paul Towers has kindly given me a 3D print of Manning Wardle 'Jubilee 1897'. It was a Penrhyn Quarry Railway loco so I'm going to have a go at finishing in PQR lined black. However there is a way to go yet before I worry about paint. It is designed to run on a Minitrains F&C chassis, the only one I have has no working motor, fingers crossed one is on its way. The only thing which bothers me about the loco is that the cylinders are far too far back so I may have to try and extend or replace the piston rods and move the cylinders to the right place. We'll see.





Saturday, 2 October 2021

Sort of finished

No layout is ever finished and this one is no exception. However I have made sufficient progress in the last couple of weeks to at least be able to run trains and have some entertainment.

Once the plaster was dry it was time for the basic colours to be slopped about. The brown was from a tester pot from B and Q and the road basic colour is a railmatch tarmac colour.

Apart from the ordinary countryside there is an area of beach at the back which has a groyne on it. There is a picture of me at the age of about three sitting on one at Eastbourne so I've always had a fondness for them. Mine is made from styrene though.

Away from the new section I had a hole in sky which I couldn't work out what to do about. It allows access to the room light switches. I decided that all I could do is to cut a bit of foam core to size and then disguise it with trees as best as I could. To do this the hillside would need to come nearer; out with the expanded polystyrene, plaster bandage and filler.


It seems to join in to the landscape which is already there.

Meanwhile, colour and texture was starting to spread along the new bit.

The track on this section is ballasted in my usual style with filler so it was straight forward to get it running again. 

The bridge to the beach is the Bachmann resin one which was built to cross over the 4ft gauge Padarn Railway at Bethel. This still exists and is about five miles from the layout. I bought it when they came out with no idea where I would use it but it fits in here nicely. I've made a different deck for the bridge as the resin casting was a little unsubtle and also didn't allow enough height to get a couple of my taller trams under it. Incidentally, 'Smallerfield' now has a Modelu crew and proper Hunslet works plates. Really like this loco, a cracking design from Dave Malton. 

'Grace' and train about to cross the road bridge.

A few yards on and this is the side on view of Bethel bridge. As has been pointed out, it is a completely superfluous bridge as there are no fences to stop the citizens just strolling over the railway onto the beach. Fences may come later, or may not.

What is definitely missing are telegraph poles, I think I have some more somewhere. The ones on the rest of the layout are Airfix ones chopped down to one cross piece.

A birds eye view of most of the layout. Underhill Town is to the right and behind the camera. To the left will be Port Lucy and Chickentown works.


The hole in the sky is nearly hidden now.

When I made 'Alice' I added a brass dome and it never looked right so I've now removed it and filled the hole in the boiler barrel. With a bit of a touch up to the paint and the boiler bands and cylinders lined out it looks much better.

This is all of the new bit, pretty pleased.

'Dennis' the railcar has been a pretty reliable early morning or evening service but sometimes just a few more seats would have come in handy so the CME and the boys in Chickentown works have made a trailer car to go along for the ride.

Initially I had some problems with the coupling which threw the trailer off the track in a couple of places. This was caused by the long overhang of the engine bonnets. Second attempt seems better with the hoop which hooks over the coupling hook on the trailer being able to swing from side to side.

As I said there are a few bits and bobs to add like fences and telegraph poles but otherwise I'm enjoying having a layout where I can run trains back and forth with a passing loop half way.

 

Saturday, 18 September 2021

Plastered and dyed

Well now, despite having been busy at work I've also grabbed quite a few half an hour periods and made lots of progress on the next bit of layout. It is simple trackwise so it's all about the scenery. For once I've known what I was aiming at so it's been quite straight forward.


this is where the road will come up to be the roadside tramway.

This is the bridge over the road to the beach. I've been enjoying a couple of bridge on the ex LNWR Bethesda branch which have a similar style of grid. This is made from two footbridges and some Wills chequer board etc.


Plaster bandage is the next phase.



I'd got a fair way on with the scenery so I decided that the next thing to do was to install the old fiddle yard. Eventually I'll replace this with a terminus and loco/carriage shed but for now this will do. Because I'm crap at measuring things it didn't fit in its original size so I chopped a few inches off and relaid the track to fit.

Because I'm crap at measuring it still didn't fit. I forgot that none of the walls are parallel as the room was designed to be my recording studio. Parallel walls cause standing waves and resonant frequencies so I built the room with unsquare walls... No bloody help when building a model railway.


Fortunately I could saw an inch off the other end to make it fit.

With a little bit of work I connected up the remaining track and nailed it down. Hurrah a fully working railway.

After that it was lots more filler and plaster bandage.

The scenery is nearing its final shape including the Bachmann resin version of the footbridge over the Padarn Railway at Bethel. The deck of the bridge isn't a very fine bit of casting and also is too low for a couple of my larger trams so I've made a replacement deck which is higher. I think it actually looks better and now hopefully everything will fit.

A dull but important bit of work was to add more lights to the lighting gantry. Big improvement.

Enough filler was set to allow me to start basic painting. All the filler is done now except for 'ballasting' the track.

 

Sunday, 5 September 2021

Salad and woodwork

I've spent the week adding to the scenery with a variety of green stuff and paint.

Gradually it's coming together, I've also spent quite a lot of time cleaning ballast and stray scenic gunk from the track so that basically I can now run trains in and out of the station. What japes.

The coal drops have gained some coal sacks and a couple of Bachmann coal bunkers, just needs some crushed coal now.

I decided that I had to do something with the sky, so a trip to B&Q and a tester pot of what looked like a sensible blue.

I'm pretty happy with the colour so I've bough a couple more little pots and a couple of slightly lighter shades to try a bit of variety. So far I'm pretty happy with the colour, better than white anyhow.



The next section of railway starts with an over bridge which I've built using some parts from two kits like the one at the other end of Upper Bay. I've made a wider track bed for this one using Wills chequer plate plastic sheet. 

This evening I've started on the woodwork for the next bit of layout. The road that leads to the station curves round under the railway and also rises up to become the road of the roadside tramway section.