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Old 30-11-2017, 03:53 PM   #11
Chops
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Wow, great stuff. Again, a large passenger station, not often seen here. The baseboard
looks compact and neatly done. Very clever fiddle yard. Having seen what your level
crossings look like I am going to tear up my own attempts and toss them in the dust bin.
It would appear that you have used balsa to effect a crossing? What are the dimensions
of this fine attempt?

One other question, this DMU that derails in a specific spot- it derails on one curve but not
another of similar radius, it sounds, not just categorically on all first radii. Is there, perhaps,
some hard to see warp in the curved section that is lifting off a bogie wheel? You have tried
swapping out a different, perhaps one newer piece of track inserted? Particularly if this equipment has been around a generation or two, something might have absorbed a little bend from storage.
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Old 01-12-2017, 01:35 PM   #12
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Tx Chops. The level crossings are actually just mocked up in some offcuts of cardboard. Since one of them is on a curve that just allowed me to do some simple trial and error with a pair of scissors until it looked right. When it comes to doing it 'properly' I expect I'll still use cardboard, possibly layered up to the right height, probably with a layer of paper glued over the join between that and the underlying road, and I'll paint that at the same time as I do the road surface. Hopefully that way it'll look convincing enough!

As for the DMU, sadly it's not just on one piece of track, and it's definitely the loco rather than the track. It's a little better now that I've hacked at it with a knife, but I'll need to put the track back in place to be able to test the effectiveness of my crude attempt...
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Old 07-12-2017, 12:51 PM   #13
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Last night I was out in the garage again, doing some more painting, this time in green. I basically just stippled it on with a big brush, using slightly watered down acrylic paint. It could probably do with another coat in places, particularly where the writing on the newspaper shows through, but I plan on covering the green areas with a thin layer of scatter grass too so hopefully that will cover a multitude of sins. It's coming together quite nicely! The paint is still wet in the picture below.

I also had a look at my 57xx, which is still keen on derailing. On its own it copes with the first radius curves fine, but as soon as it starts pulling anything that seems to tip it over the edge and the front wheels derail. I experimented with some custom couplings with a bit of wire, which seemed to work a little better than the relatively tight fitting defaults, but it's still not perfect. Ultimately I might have to admit defeat and find myself a different loco to star on my layout, possibly a Hornby version of the 57xx; I understand those have flangeless middle wheels, which might help round the corners.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_20171206_211114100_HDR.jpg (171.4 KB, 52 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_20171206_213722466.jpg (101.6 KB, 30 views)
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Old 30-12-2017, 04:45 PM   #14
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Thanks to my wonderful family, this Christmas I received lots of lovely model railway bits and bobs! On the scenery front there was a collection of classic cars, lots of trees, a telephone box with a light inside, a load of tiny LEDs to light up my buildings, and a set of streetlights. As for rolling stock, I got three cute little 4-wheeled coaches in GWR livery.

The big addition, though, was thanks to some Christmas money - I splashed out on a J94 tank engine! It arrived today, and I've already had it on the layout. It runs silky smooth and beautifully slow, even on my dodgy old track. It's instantly become my favourite loco in my collection!

I've also got plans to redo the electrics to implement cab control, dividing the layout into five distinct functional blocks. The beauty of cab control is that I'll be able to make effective use of my dual controller; each controller will be able to control every piece of track, but each piece of track will only be controlled by one controller at a time. Dividing it into these blocks means I can have two trains running at the same time; for example, I could have one running around the loop, while another does a little shunting. It does mean that the wiring is going to get more complicated, needing a control panel with five SPDT switches, but it'll be worth it. Thankfully I got a soldering iron for Christmas too, so I'll need to brush up on my GCSE soldering skills in readiness!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_20171230_160220691.jpg (147.8 KB, 26 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_20171230_154249636.jpg (137.8 KB, 18 views)
File Type: jpg Frontington and Backwoods blocks.jpg (154.1 KB, 11 views)
File Type: jpg Cab-control-with-common-return.jpg (14.2 KB, 13 views)
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Old 05-03-2018, 01:25 PM   #15
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Here's the latest update.

All the soldering for the track is now done, providing me with cab control on 4 blocks (the blue siding at the bottom is now part of the yellow block). I've got a little control panel with 4 DPST switches. Works a treat.

I've begun work on the two level crossings, using some bits of cardboard cut to the right shape - essential because one of them is on a curve. To make the transition even smoother I've papered over the join with newspaper and PVA. Once it's all dry, I'll paint it up.

I've converted a stone truck to a coal truck by painting the insides with black acrylic paint. While I was at it I also weathered the outside with a little gentle brushwork and some black acrylic. Simple but effective!

As for the buildings, I'm using my old Hornby kits at the moment. They're a little too generic though, so I'm planning on wrapping them in a paper texture to make them look more unique. I'll probably do a similar thing with the platforms.

Finally, I've experimented with colouring in the black bits on my points. Yes, I'm using insulfrog rather than electrofrog, just cos that's what I've got. I saw a Youtube video where they recommended colouring the black insulation bits with a silver pen - it's not electrically conductive, so it shouldn't cause problems, and looks much more prototypical. I'll just have to see whether the ink rubs off with use - don't really want that all over my wheels! Not seen this technique mentioned elsewhere though, has anyone else done it?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_20180217_093129894.jpg (127.6 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_20180304_194706453.jpg (116.1 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_20180304_205557909.jpg (151.3 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_20180304_210814676.jpg (155.3 KB, 11 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_20180304_194719293.jpg (154.0 KB, 19 views)
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Old 05-03-2018, 05:44 PM   #16
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It's looking good - well done. I use insulfrog and so far no probs - I can crawl over them at step 2 on my DCC controller which is barely movement at all. I too colour the plastic frogs using a Pentel silver paint marker - no issues so far, it just needs replacing from time to time. I chose insulfrog to keep wiring as simple as poss and to reduce costs. I'm sure someone however will say bad move! Hope this helps.
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Old 28-03-2018, 12:48 PM   #17
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Last night I installed my backscenes. I had found a nice image online (for free) and set it up in my DTP program so it printed at the right width and across multiple sheets of A4. I also printed a mirrored version of it, so I could wrap it around the sides easily. Printing was done on my inkjet printer, one sheet of A4 at a time, at low quality (so I didn't use up all my ink). It came out better than I was expecting!

Sticking the paper to the wood was a bit of a challenge. I had some 6mm MDF (yes, I know, not a favourite for most people), which I cut to the right size. I used a 50/50 mix of water and PVA glue, and applied liberally, allowing it to dry slightly before putting the paper down. I say 'slightly', the room was warm and the glue just soaked straight into the wood before I could get the paper on it, so it took a couple of coats! Even then the paper curled up at the edges where it hadn't stuck properly. Still, going over the gaps with more PVA on a paintbrush solved that problem. The paper initially looked very wrinkled, but once it had dried all the wrinkles disappeared.

Mounting the backscenes to the layout was another challenge. My layout is in the garage, with loads of stuff stored underneath, so I couldn't get to the back easily. I ended up crawling underneath, attaching some homemade brackets and dropping the backscene into place, wedging it against the wall. The side panels were lined up using some G clamps and then nailed in place.

The colour of the grass doesn't match, but actually that's less of a problem than I thought. Because the backscene hills are so much in the background, it's justifiable that the grass would be a different colour to the fields on the hills. From down low, it actually looks really good. And of course once I've blended it all in with trees and hedges and suchlike the join won't be as obvious anyway. It's amazing what a difference it makes!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_20180327_222728454.jpg (127.2 KB, 28 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_20180327_222735129.jpg (121.1 KB, 25 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_20180327_222803108.jpg (119.0 KB, 22 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_20180327_222852561.jpg (132.4 KB, 25 views)
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Old 28-03-2018, 03:17 PM   #18
Chops
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It's been too long since I've seen your layout, and the progress is fabulous. I much
enjoy the emphasis on passenger traffic, and your sweeping passenger siding is a
feature I've tried to embrace in the Bamburgh rebuild. Also, the sub spur in the left
side is neat and compact; it does not clutter. The sweeping curve along the
back scene is most effective. Lastly, who makes that grand passenger station?
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Old 28-03-2018, 04:14 PM   #19
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The platform is Hornby, repainted. The station building is an old Hornby kit. The loading bay behind the platform is another old Hornby kit, covered in some custom printed card by me. The signal box at the end of the platform is a kit, not sure where from though I'm afraid.

Thanks for the feedback Chops, glad to know my inexperienced dabblings are going in roughly the right direction!
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Old 04-04-2018, 07:14 PM   #20
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Wow, great work here! I really love the way you are adding more and more detailing to your layout, and you are doing it in the right way.

I agree with Chops, the passenger traffic detailing is just amazing. And I also like very much the picture you used for your backscenes. It fits very well.
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