Nicks workshop mutterings

Various railway orientated modelling projects in my new workshop/railway room.

Lananta- March update

Having returned from a successful trip to the Netherlands with Lakebank ,where we had a very warm welcome and loads of interest from the Dutch, as well as the camaraderie of Gordon and Maggie Gravett, Mark Tatlow, Jerry Clifford and Olly and Chris, I have turned my attention to the left hand side of the layout.

The small station building was previously used on my old layout- Wye Knot- and is based on a mixture of Fairford GWR station and Symonds Yat on the Wye. Valley. The signal box is also recycled and is from my first Broad Gauge layout- Bagborough West.

The over bridge is made from stone embossed plasticard initially painted with a wash of acrylic paint and then the individual stones were picked out in water colour. Finally it was given a wash of acrylic weathering paint. The four horse drag(old mail coach) on the bridge is again recycled from Bagborough West. The coach itself is scratch built from plasticard. Makes a change from ‘the bus on the bridge ‘!!

What is left to do now is mainly adding the small detail to the scene. This includes signals, fencing, plant growth,people and animals. I have tested whether the two boards fit together in the travel box and to my surprise found that all the odd bits of the scene all seemed to intertwine very well. 2 large trees have had to be made removable together with the sailing ship and the sky part of the backscene.


Lananta-January progress

It’s been a while since I reported on the progress of Lananta. I have been concentrating on the scene at the right hand side which includes the bridge over the creek and the now disused lime kilns. The backscene has been painted and installed together with trees and ground works.

Materials are a mix of static grass, dyed hemp and woodlands scenic fine scatters. The seaweed is a course scatter from green scenes. The sand is a mixture of filler mixed with stone dust supplied by Attwood Aggregates and then painted with washes of watercolour. The water is painted with acrylics and then varnished with a quick drying satin varnish.

The sailing boat is an old model built over 20 years ago for another layout. The rowing boat is a resin casting from Quaycraft as described in a previous posting.

A ‘narrow gauge’ Beyer Peacock 0-6-0 goods with a fish train passes down the branch

Now to move to the other end of the layout………

Lananta- Tree Magic

I have now done a final sketch for the backscene and decided to play around with some trees to see the effect. I had a few specimen trees recycled from previous layouts with some hedging. These have been temporarily placed in the scene and suddenly it is all starting to come to life;

Here you can see that I have also given some texture to the estuary sand and some water flowing from the river and starting to creep in around the ship.

Here an Oak tree (which in fact is on at least it’s third layout) is going provide a good scene blocker to reduce the view through the bridge to the fiddle yard.

Finally I have painted a small mock up of part of the backscene and placed it behind the trees to see the effect.

I think it is going to work well!!

Lananta-more progress

The last few weeks has seen some definite progress. I have made and installed the basics of the lime kilns which are now waiting for foliage and detailing. I have also added the final sand surface to the estuary ready for detailing with water, mud and weed etc.

I have purchased some dinghys in cast resin. These are made by Quaycraft and purchased through Cornwall model boats. Two will be drawn up on the beach and the third will be the tender to the sailing smack.

Finally I have finished a mock up in pencil of the backscene, which now awaits painting-;

Exhibition success 

Recently got back from the Thorncombe show having shown 50 x 50 Shades of Grey. Thorncombe is a village in the middle of nowhere near Axminster in Devon but has a well attended, guirky show run for charity by the local rail enthusiasts group.

I was very pleased to get the Chairman’s Award for excellence in modelling and expertise for Shades of Grey!

Makes all the effort of modelling and exhibiting worthwhile. 

Lananta- further planning progress

Having sorted out one end of the layout (see last post) I have now turned my attention to the right hand end as viewed from the front.

I have taken Fremington on the old LSWR line from Barnstaple through to Instow and Bideford as my inspiration. This originally was an extension of the North Devon Railway. There were lime kilns here accessed by a foot bridge over the railway. Lime was loaded into horse drawn carts and taken away around the shore.

Also Fremington Pill runs into the sea here and the railway passes over. I have modelled a timber bridge with a muddy creek and have included a rotting hulk as well;

I now feel I have the potential for a number of interesting scenarios along the length of the cameo and plan to break the view up into small parts with suitable view blockers. 

Now to get modelling as winter draws on……….

Lananta- September progress

I have now turned my attention to planning the scenery of the layout. I recently purchased Paul Bambrick’s book on Creating a Backscene and have been inspired by the ideas he puts forward. I do not have enough space for a full 3D backscene but will have to make do with a 2D one but intend to try to blend it with the 3D modelling of the base boards. Following his ideas I have started to mock up the scenery around the scenic break at the left hand side of the scene. I decided to have a bridge here which initially I positioned straight across the end but found that if I skewed it, then I could blend it more with the curved backscene and also block the view into the fiddle yard more easily. I have also printed out some pictures of the rolling hills and fields near where I live to get an impression of the backscene and to determine where the horizon needs to be in relation to the viewing height of the layout and the lighting bar. Eventually I will paint the backscene, up to the horizon, on card which will be mounted in front of the rear framing of the boards leaving a space to slip the printed sky sheet in between the two. This sky sheet takes the back scene up to the full height needed in relation to the lighting bar in order to frame the whole scene.

Now to start construction……….

Lananta progress 2

It seems a long time since I last posted but now some further progress has been made. The main job has been building and laying the mixed gauge point to the two sidings on the quay and wiring up the layout and ironing out the bugs in the trackwork. 

The point was layed on a Templot template. The rail is bridge section rail. This is the 4mm version supplied by the Broad Gauge Society. It is based on a lightweight prototype and seems fine for 3mm scale. I have used it successfully on previous Broad Gauge layouts. 4mm wide copper clad strip glued to the base is used to represent the timber baulks and the rail is soldered to it. On the timber trestle part of the quay I laid strips of 1mm plywood across the quay interspersed with copper clad strip every six strips to which the rail was soldered. When it had all been layed the wooden transomes were represented with strips of 40 x 40 thou plastic strip. Finally all the baulks, sleepers and rail have been painted with Railmatch sleeper grime. The final step will be to add some weathering and then ballast but that will wait until the scenery has been done.

Point actuation is done manually via a rod through the front of the board. This moves a combined tiebar, just under the surface of the track base, with a cosmetic tiebar seen from the top of the point. It is based on an idea used by the 2mm association – see drawing below;

This is constructed with plasticard and the holes in the tiebar part of it accept dropper wires from the point blades. Adjustable stops on the operating rod control the limits of operation. They are made from electrical chocolate blocks.

Wiring is very simple with a 16v ac supply coming in at the back and the controller plugging into a DIN plug on the end of the left hand board. The micro switch controls the polarity of the frogs and isolation of the sidings is done by the position of the point. Power is transferred between the two boards by wires connected to the two split hinges that connect the boards. Likewise power to the two fiddle yards is fed via the two clips at each end that hold the fiddle yard to the main board.

After some fettling I now have trains running the length of the layout and in and out of the quay!! Now to start the fun bit in actually creating the scene……..

Lananta progress 1

For a challenge I have entered Lananta into the cameo competition launched in the Model Railway Journal recently. I have completed a lighting bar with LED strip which is mounted just forward of the front of the boards. I addition I have added a removable, roll up back scene to complete the cameo look. This brings the back scene higher up than the back frame of the boards. I shall use the back scene to set the limits of the scenery in front, In addition I have made two small trestles to raise up the level of the boards above the tables they will sit on together with raised supports fro the fiddle yards;

Track laying has started with the main branch line. The track is mixed gauge and is laid using 3mm Society Finescale track. Lengths of 14.2mm track were made up using the society track panels. The sleepers on one side were reduced by 2mm and then further lengths were made up and cut along the inside edge of the mounded chairs, This brought the third rail track gauge out to 21mm. Copper cold strip is soldered across between every other panel to hold the whole lot in gauge and was then glued down with PVA;

When it is all painted and ballasted the joins shouldn’t be noticed.

Finally I have realigned the sidings on the wharf to narrow it down. This gives a more pleasing look and allows the boat to be moved so it helps disguise the join in the boards. I have also moved the station to the left to avoid a join in the platform over the joint.. You  will notice that work has begun on the trestles supporting the quay as well as the bridge over the creek which had to be done before any track can be laid. There is much more detailing to be done later. 

Eggesford signalling

I have now got around to reinstalling the signals on Eggesford. The late Jeremy Dixon had fully working signals using hand made controls. These consisted of a magnet attached to a small length of brass tube whic was made to slide up and down via a crank attached to an old Triangle TT point motor;

A fairly crude but very effective mechanism. The end of the operating wire from the signal has a soft iron end which is attracted by the magnet when it drops and is pushed up when it rises.

I have removed the old solenoid and replaced it with a servo which is operated by Heathcote servo boards;

The operating wire for the servo board is fed back to the locking lever frame and we now have fully interlocked points and signals. Below shows. The UP stater in situ with the DOWN inner home in the distance. 

Now I can play proper trains!!

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