There are a number of methods of re-creating inset track and this post describes the method I have used on Canute Road Quay and hopefully its relative simplicity and the effect gained will be of use to other modellers. Although I have covered the process before in multiple posts about Canute Road Quay I thought it would be useful to details the steps I used in one post. The trackwork on Canute Road Quay is a mixture of open sleepered and inset track as seen around such docks / quays to give some variety to the surfaces. For the open track I have used C & L Finescale flexitrack whilst utilising Peco small radius LH / RH and ‘Y’ turnouts and within the inset track areas plain Peco track.
To start with check rails were added inside the running rails, by gluing with lengths of code 75 rail, obtained from C & L Finescale, to every 3rd or 4th sleeper using cyanoacrylate glue (super glue). Then the first layer of 2.5mm cork, the approximate height of the sleepers, was glued down either side of the track, and also a strip added between the check rails.
Another layer of cork, this time 1.5mm thick was then glued on top of the original base layer of cork from stage one, that also extends right up to the outside surface of the main running rails totally covering the sleepers. Any gaps were filled using air drying modelling clay. I was careful around the one inset point to ensure that the check rails and the cork were spaced to ensure that the switch blades can still operate correctly (this does leave a slightly larger gap than one might ideally want but it is a necessary compromise).
The surface was then painted with Green Scenes textures concrete paint ,I also smoothed the texture slightly once dry as to my eye it was slightly too textured for the effect I was trying to achieve, but was a good starting point. It was then slightly weathered. A representation of the expansion joints between the concrete panels was drawn on, pushing down into the painted cork surface, using a sharp HB pencil , spaced every 60mm to represent 15 foot concrete panels. Then weeds, creeping grass and the such like added using a mixture of grass tufts and static grass. Etched brass Drain and manhole covers, from Langley Models (F73), have been also been inset into the surface at relevant locations.
I hope this post helps explain the process I used in simple stages and will be of use for any others looking to replicate inset concrete trackwork.
The two main front buildings have been assembled from the excellent laser cut card components from LCut Creative these have now been initially painted and external details such as gutters and downpipes added from a mix of Peco LK-78 buifdings details pack and Wills SS46 Buildings Pack A. These buildings are not yet permanently affixed to the layout as I am still to add the internal details and also some lighting.
I gave the LCut Creative buildings a coat of Humbrol grey acrylic primer prior to dry brush painting the brickwork using a pallet of brick work colours from Precision Paints mixed with a little dirty black and also picked out slightly different brickwork such as the window brick arches a slightly lighter colour.
The main warehouse loading platform has been made using Wills floorboard building sheets rather than the LCut Creative card items as I was making the platform quite long and the Wills plastic sheets are larger and stronger. This has been painted a weathered greyish brown colour.
To give access to the upper floor loading doors I have created a gantry hoist supported on the quayside by an ‘A’ Frame. The block and tackle / pulley would run on the smaller section ‘H’ girder mounted below the main cross girder, to either lift items to and from open wagons and or in theory the girder would be cantilevered over the quayside to lift items from moored vessels.
I have made this somewhat freelance design from scratch using two different sizes of brass ‘H’ section soldered together with some corner bracing details added from thin brass sheet embossed with a number of rivets.
The engine shed tucked away in the back right hand corner assembled from Skytrex Model Railways resin parts is now complete and suitably painted. The inside floor of the shed has been painted to represent a concrete floor and outside the shed a mix ash, using real ash from my wood burning stove, ballast and coal around the coaling platform, a Hornby Scaledale product, have been glued in place using the usual method of diluted PVA glue. The water crane is a Kernow Model Centre commissioned SR style made by Bachmann Scenecraft.
A few people and black wing gulls have been suitably positioned around the layout from Langley Models, I have also used their etched drains and drain covers in suitable places. The SR barley twist post style gas lamps, from Gaugemaster, are yet to be wired in although the transformer, voltage regulator and input wiring is already place to do so.
Other details items such as wooden crates, oil drums, sacks and fish crates have been added from cast plaster items from Ten Commandments suitably painted.
In my last post about Fisherton Sarum attending the Epsom and Ewell exhibition last weekend, Canute Road Quay makes its first almost public appearance this coming Sunday at an RMweb forum members event in Taunton. I would like to thank all those readers of this blog who came by Fisherton Sarum at the excellent Epsom and Ewell exhibition, it was good to speak to you all. On the whole from the layouts perspective the show went well despite a couple of electrical niggles, and I am looking forward to hopefully a good day with Canute Road Quay on Sunday.
Well the annual event that is the Warley National Model Railway show at the NEC has now been and gone and by all accounts it appears that it was a good show, not that I was able to see as much of it as I might have liked. I had a good weekend on the Hornby Magazine stand operating friend and Editor Mike Wild’s latest layout Grosvenor Square, despite it being Western Region and DCC, but I think I just about coped. I apologise to anyone whom overheard and didn’t like my complaints (usually timed to gained maximum effect depending on whom was in earshot…especially that nice Mr Pete Waterman on the stand opposite…) that all Western region locomotives look the same, it was in jest… honest!
As is becoming more usual now a number of suppliers and manufacturers time announcements, product development updates and availability of new product around the time of / during the show and this year was no exception. This post attempts to round up some of those items of interest seen at the show from a Southern perspective, although this was slightly more limited than it has been in the past.
Like last year, Hornby used the Warley show to give a presentation on some of their plans for 2017 and make some new product announcements, including a Hitachi IEP Bi-Mode Class 800/0, which can be found via their website on their Engine Shed Blog. The full 2017 range including all the liveries variations from existing rather than new tooling is planned to be launched in January 2017.
Further to the ex SECR H lass 0-4-4T announced in September they have also now clarified the planned initial releases as being as follows, which differs slightly from the initial information I was given at the time:
R3538 number 308 SECR lined green. No.308 was built at Ashford Works in June 1906, entering traffic at Slades Green and was repainted to Maunsell Dark Green in 1925, when also renumbered as A308. Moving to Gillingham in July 1931, her last shed was Tunbridge Wells West, from where she was withdrawn in December 1962.
R3539 number 31518 BR late crest (with Overhead Electric warning flashes) lined black and pull push fitted. No. 31518 was built in July 1909 at Ashford and entered traffic at Orpington, numbered 518, Being dual braked, 518 mainly worked Chatham section trains. In December 1923 she became A518, then 1518 in July 1931. Post Nationalisation she was renumbered 31518 and later pull push fitted in March 1952, Withdrawal took place from Three Bridges shed in January 1964.
R3549 number 1324 SR Maunsell Olive Green. No.1324 was built at Ashford Works in May 1907, entering traffic as No.324 at Ashford. In 1924, based Tonbridge, she often operated services between the Eastern and Central sections of the Southern Railway. Renumbered as No.31324 under British Railways, withdrawal from Three Bridges shed occurred in July 1962.
It therefore appears that the previously advised release of the BR early emblem version will not materialise as part of the first releases.
The running samples of the new original style Bulleid Merchant Navy pacifics were on display, the malachite green versions of 21c1 and 21C3 can be seen left, and they represent the condition that these locomotives first ran between introduction in 1941 and early 1943.
There is one correction to be made to the livery to 21C3 which will be reflected on the production models in that the side numbers and Southern lettering on the tender will be correctly shaded in black not green. The four releases of these models are due first quarter next year (delayed from 2016) and are as follows:
R3434 – SR 4-6-2 ‘Channel Packet’ ’21C1′ Merchant Navy Class (Original Air Smoothed) in as introduced 1941 condition with widows peak
R3435 – SR 4-6-2 ‘Royal Mail’ ’21C3′ Merchant Navy Class (Original Air Smoothed) in as introduced 1941 condition with widows peak
R3436 – BR 4-6-2 ‘Clan Line’ ‘35028’ Merchant Navy Class (Original Air Smoothed) – BR Brunswick Green. early crest ,
R3382TTS- BR 4-6-2 ‘Holland-Afrika Line’ ‘35023’ Merchant Navy (Original Air Smoothed) – BR Brunswick Green, early crest with TTS Sound
Look out for a post likely to be published next week detailing the exact condition and dates applicable to all these four versions which I hope will assist those wishing to purchase the correct version for their time period or those potentially wanting to renumber to other members of the class.
Hornby also announced a brand new ‘King Arthur’ tooling! Although this is in the form a Class 87 AC electric number 87010 ‘King Arthur’ in BR Intercity ‘Swallow’ logo, (I can now remove my tongue from my cheek!)
The SR cattle trucks announced last year have this week also arrived in the shops, once my versions arrive I will post a picture review. Just to clear up some misunderstanding on what versions have been released in this batch, as information on some retailers websites has been inconsistent due to changes in the information originally supplied / described by Hornby, the following versions are available:
R6735 – late SR livery, Bulleid designed version to SR diagram 1530 as introduced in 1947
R6735A – late SR livery , Bulleid designed version to SR diagram 1530 as introduced in 1947
(although it would not doubt have been a while before these ended up in BR livery)
R6737 – BR livery ex SR Maunsell designed version to SR Diagram 1529
R6737A – BR livery ex SR Maunsell designed version to SR Diagram 1529
It is still hoped that further livery versions, perhaps the inverse of the above, will be part of the 2017 range, although it should not be beyond the skills of many to re-livery the diagram 1529 version to the SR period.
I also remind readers that the 2016 livery versions of the excellent S15 4-6-0 model have also arrived at retailers namely
R3411 – SR 4-6-0 ‘827’ Maunsell S15 Class, Urie style tender – Post war Bulleid black with ‘Sunshine’ lettering
R3412 – BR 4-6-0 ‘30842’ Maunsell S15 Class, flat sided tender – BR Black early crest
R3413 – BR 4-6-0 ‘30831’ Maunsell S15 Class, Urie style tender – BR Black late emblem
Following on the recent announcement of their intention to produce 00 bullhead plain track with a more prototypical sleep spacing (bearing in mind that 00 being 16.5mm gauge rather the prototypical 18.83 it is still a compromise that the majority of us modellers accept) Peco also had on display an early mock up / EP of a large radius turnout which certainly looked good. It is my understanding that the geometry will match their existing code 75 streamline turnouts.
No new announcements from Bachmann, as is often the case at Warley, as their 2017 range is planned to be announced on January 8th next year, slightly earlier than their usual March date.
In their usual display cases at the show were a number of Engineering Prototypes of current work in progress this included the first views of the ex London, Brighton and South Coast (LBSC) Brighton H2 Class Atlantic Engineering Prototype as seen pictured left. The planned initial releases, although it looks like tooling will allow for future further variations, for the H2 class are as follows:
31-920 H2 Class Atlantic 4-4-2 No. 2426 ‘St. Alban’s Head’ in Southern Railway olive green livery
31-921 H2 Class Atlantic 4-4-2 No. 32424 ‘Beachy Head’ in BR black livery with early emblem.
Also on display were the EPs of the ex SECR Birdcage Stock that have been seen for a while now.
Trafford Model Centre (TMC)
TMC announced a number of wagon commissions, via Bachmann one of which being one of the 14 Cycle branded PMVs which were introduced in 1952, primarily for use on boat trains, being essentially a modification of ex SR Parcels and Miscellaneous Vans to incorporate hooks inside to hang cycles.
Numbers so converted were 1055,1103,1208,1728, these had 60 hooks presumably for up to 30 cycles, whilst 1057, 1113, 1175, 1282, 1293, 1305, 1314, 1317, 1454, 1882 had 24 hooks each. Number 1317 in addition to the bike symbols on the outside was additionally stenciled, until 1966, for use between Ashford and Cannon Street to convey cycles by manufacturer Normans of Ashford. These vans, except numbers 1175 & 1208 withdrawn in December 1962, had all returned to the general pool by 1969. The version being issued by TMC is number S1282S correctly in BR crimson livery with yellow lettering and the white cycle stencil.
TMC have also commissioned Bachmann to produce the ex LNER /BR 22T double bolster wagon and this is at EP stage
There were no new announcements made by Dapol at the show in either 00 or N, as they are looking to get to market all outstanding products currently under development before making any new announcements. The ex London and South Western (LSWR ) B4 0-4-0T announced back in March 2014 is still at the CAD stage. They did have on show some of the results of the alignment of the Dapol and Lionheart ranges in 0 Gauge but none of these were SR related.
Introduced in 1962 this class of 14 locomotives was designed specifically for use in the Southampton Docks complex on trip and shunting duties. With the decline of traffic within the docks the class was re-assigned to duties in the Eastleigh area before withdrawal and finding further work with a number of industrial companies. Heljan advise that initially two versions will be produced reflecting ‘as-built’ condition and later modified locos with waist height air brake connections as follows:
Version 1 non-air braked
2900 D2985 BR Green
2901 D2990 BR Green
2902 D2992 BR Blue
2903 07010 BR Blue
Version 2 air-braked (extra cabinet, air receiver compartment and air pipes (high level)
2910 2993 BR Blue
2911 07005 BR Blue
2912 (07001) Peakstone yellow
2913 (07003) British Industrial Sand white
Proposed for release in 2017, Heljan had a early 3D print mock ups of this model on display.
Note: that the images of Engineering Protptypes sometimes show combinations of components that are mixed and matched and do not necessarily correctly represent the combinations for model variations announced (but can be a hint at possible future variations as well!)
My new little timesaving / timewasting project Canute Road Quay has progressed slowly over the last few weeks. This post brings you up to date with that progress and also the details the modifications that I make to Peco electrofrog turnouts to improve both the appearance and the electrical performance that is especially important as I am using Peco short radius turnouts including Y’ turnouts.
From the pictures left you can see that I have now completed following: painting of the baseboard with matt black paint to all the external fascias, leaving the inside faces and underneath white, the trackwork is now laid and glued in place (I actually on the recommendation of a fellow modeler simply used superglue for this) the LED lighting is in place (more of which anon) also the brickwork of the quayside along the very front edge has also been added.
Although not visible from the picture the DCC Concepts Cobalt point motors have been installed, and initial track feed and frog wiring completed. This has not yet been taken back to the control panel (which I have also made up, but more about this in a future post) as this will itself be mounted on the small bespoke fiddle yard module on the left hand end and I am still awaiting this from Tim Horn Baseboards.
The next steps will be the initial weathering or the track sleepers and painting rail sides in track colour, the addition of the check rail for the inset trackwiork sections and the construction of the remaining buildings. In addition to the low relief Bachmann Scalescene bonded warehouses, I have opted for using Skytrex Models resin components for the engine shed and the two warehouses / loading docks located at the front using laser cut components from LCut Creative. Once in place I can make a start on the various ground covers.
Improving Peco turnouts
With respect to the Peco turnouts there are a number of improvements that can be made especially electrically to ensure better running which includes:
Firstly, I always recommend switching the frog polarity using the built in micro switch on the point motor (or a separate micro switch depending on the motor type you are using, the DCC Concepts Cobalt point motors convenient have two built in switches) and therefore not relying on the switch blade contact, which can be unreliable if any dirt gets between the stock rail and switch blade.
This requires any electrical link between switch rails and the frog to be cut, and as such is made simple on most Peco points as there is an exposed wire link underneath the point that can be cut. However on the short radius ‘Y’ points this wire link does not exist and therefore requires the actual rails to be cut between the switch blade pivots and the frog.
Secondly, I electrically link each switch blade to its adjacent stock rail with a short wire link as this ensures good electrical continuity. Conveniently Peco leave a gap in the sleeper webbing, on most of their turnouts, to ease the soldering of this wire link, which is then hidden one ballasted etc.
Hopefully the diagrams / images to the left help to show this more clearly.
To improve the turnouts visually I also remove, by simply cutting them off the hand operating lugs either side of the tie bar and as I am using DCC Concepts Cobalt point motors that are of the stall rather than solenoid type that hold the switchblades in the required position the non prototypical Peco spring housing and spring can also be removed, these are held in place by a metal clip that can be easily unclipped from underneath the turnout.
I hope that the above post is of interest and use especially with respect to wiring and improving Peco elctrofrog points and clarifies the issue on the short radius ‘Y’ point where the wire links underneath are not provided by Peco.
Watch this space for further updates on Canute Road Quay over the next few weeks.
As with many sheds the turntable was a vital part of the set up, engines would usually come on shed be turned, coaled and watered before moving to their allocated shed road prior to their next duty. Depending on the size of shed sometimes physically operating the turntable would have been the responsibility of the loco crew, or as in the case of Salisbury there was a dedicated gang of shed staff allocated to the role.
I have on Fisherton Sarum modelled the turners operating the turntable, although these operators are either static or moving so quickly they only appear as a static blur (delete which ever version you don’t actually believe). The turntable itself, is as detailed in my view from line #6 post that can be read here, made from a Peco LK-55 well and deck with scratchbuilt sides, winding mechanism and turners platform for the turners.
I have also modelled the turners gang mess hut that was provided for them to keep warm, dry and rest between turns. At sheds like Salibury the turntable gang was often formed of staff that had previously been in other roles but ended up in such a gang due to a number of reasons such as medical or eyesight issues. Keeping a job being better than no job. I have made use of a Wills SS50 Platelayers hut kit but with the roof replaced with slate tiles rather than the supplied corrugated iron sheeting to more closely represent the one at Salisbury. Stored outside and around the turners mess hut are barrels of lubricating and steam oil.
Signs on the approach roads to the turntable warn drivers not to pass that point unless given instruction to do so by the turners. These were simply made from a short section of rail with a plasticard board and then suitably painted.
The turntable itself on Fisherton Sarum is very much one of the main focal points of the layout and as stated above it has been described in more detail in my View from the Line #6 post here.
A particular pet hate of mine is viewing layouts that have no backscene, even simple a plain blue or grey painted back board is better that nothing. The last thing I want to see is the clutter behind the layout and the midriffs (being kind) of the operators. A good backscene helps create impression of depth and finishes the overall illusion that we are trying to create with a layout.
In between these two extremes variations include: fully hand painted, commercially available printed or photographic images such as available from PECO or International Models.
On Fisherton Sarum I am indebted to fellow High Wycombe and District MRS member Ron North who, from a couple of grainy black and white images of the rooftops of Salisbury and its cathedral, kindly and superbly hand painted my backscene. This not only uniquely helps create the illusion I was after but also places the layout as being based on Salisbury so well, even if we have moved the cathedral to the north of the line!
In addition to the hand painted scene, at the western end of the layout I have a row of low relief terraced cottages backing on to the line that have been constructed from Langley Models vacuum formed mouldings suitably painted and detailed fixed to the backscene. Their back gardens and yards are on the layout itself.
The illusion of depth is further maintained by avoiding where possible sharp angles between the back of the layout and the backscene itself. This can be achieved by a number of tricks such as; curving the ground level up on the backscene, carefully placed fences or hedges, or the use of perspective with slightly smaller scale models just in front. It is also good practice to avoid things roads meeting the backscene at or near 90 degrees as this is very difficult to blend with a backscene (it is better to curve the road into a backscene to allow the actual join to be concealed behind a hedge or similar).
Away from Fisherton Sarum on Hinton Parva a 32’ long exhibition layout of the High Wycombe and District MRS a number of different techniques are used including hand painted sections, low relief retaining walls, fencing to hide the joins and also to help with the creation of depth the PECO printed sheets were fixed to 2mm mounting board to lift them slightly from the surface of the painted sky.
To avoid too much repetition with the townscape over the length involved the PECO sheets were modified to remove some of the obviously repeating items such and chimneys, gas holders and church spires etc., even some of the buildings were reduced in height by a story or two!
I hope the pointers and tricks above have been of interest and perhaps will avoid some future occurrences of one of my pet hates…
Well the annual event that is the Warley National Model Railway show at the NEC has now been and gone and by all accounts it appears that it was a good year for the show. I certainly thought that this year there was a good selection of layouts, attendance was apparently up by 8% and most of the traders appeared to be doing good business. I certainly had a good weekend on the Hornby Magazine stand operating Mike Wild’s Hettle layout despite it being N gauge, Midland Region and DCC meaning my comfort zone was somewhere outside of Hall 5, but I think I pulled it off!
As is becoming more usual now a number of suppliers and manufacturers time announcements, product development updates and availability of new product around the time of / during the show and this year was no exception. This post attempts to round up some of those items of interest from a Southern perspective.
Kernow Model Centre
As per my post on Saturday, Kernow Model Centre have announced they are to commission via Dapol a Beattie Well Tank in 7mm along with suitable china clay wagons. Pre ordering and making a deposit payment of £100 will give you a saving of £100 off the £299 usual price. A ready to run 0 Gauge loco for £199 is a bargain I am sure many will not be able to resist. Full details can be found on my previous post here. I predict a number of new Cornish china clay shelf type inglenook shunting layouts popping up due to these models, which could also be easily changed to be a decade or so later by switching the Well Tank for a Dapol Class 08!
They also had some of the livery samples of their Class 205 ‘Thumper’ DEMU on display, commissioned via Bachmann this certainly looks an excellent model.
At the show an entire area was dedicated to the Lynton and Barnstaple Railway with the full size replica L&B locomotive Lyd being a centre piece surrounded by more L & B layouts than you could shake a stick at.
Peco took the opportunity to announce a new range of ready to run wagons and coaches in 009. Initial releases will be a box van and an open wagon in both L & B grey and SR brown available early in the new year with suitable coaches to follow later. More details and pictures can be found here Whilst I am sure these will be popular with existing 009 modellers the current lack of any suitable R-T-R locomotives in 009 might still deter new entrants to the genre (although fingers crossed that perhaps locomotives might follow).
The long awaited C Class from Bachmann in both the exquisite full SECR livery and post 1937 Southern Liveries were available at the show and the BR black version is also imminent. I will be reviewing this model on this blog hopefully later in the week.
In their usual display cases at the show were a number of Engineering prototypes of current work in progress and their version of the LMS main line diesel twins 10000 and 10001 looked impressive, mentioned on here as they of course ran on the Southern Region. This model is in part commissioned by Rails of Sheffield with some livery versions being exclusive to them. Availability is anticipated to be early next year.
Whilst the announcements made by Dapol at the show were for some modern image wagons in 0 Gauge (I assume to compliment their previously announced Class 08 shunter) they had for sale on the stand SR 5 and 8 plank open wagons also in 0 Gauge although I think these are generic open wagons rather based on specific SR prototypes.
Dapol have also rereleased their N Gauge CCT (Van U) utility van which appears to have been slightly updated with finer tooling and NEM coupling pockets.
Robert continues to add useful detailing items to his ever expanding range that can be found at www.rtmodels.co.uk. I covered his etched LSWR and LBSC lamp irons in my post here and can now confirm that the LBSC version is now available and has enough irons for two locomotives including the extended bufferbeam irons.
On show for the first time at Warley were SR engine lamps very nicely cast in white metal offering a much finer scale alternative to those available from Spingside (although Robert’s do not have the jewelled lens).
Also under his custodianship the Albert Goodall range now includes cast white metal brake cylinders for the Bulleid Pacific 4500 and 5500 gallon tenders that are noticeably absent from the Hornby models and are well designed to be a simple direct fit.
Trafford Model Centre (TMC)
The TMC commission, via Bachmann of the Mk1 Horsebox was available at the show and the weathered Southern Region green version I saw certainly looked extremely good. Further details can be found here.
There are a number of simple improvements that can be made to the Peco turnouts even when using solenoid type motors that still require the spring to be in place. These include firstly removing the lugs at each end of the tiebar, that are designed for hand operation. Secondly, and if the motor is not being mounted directly under the turnout but under the baseboard, shortening the sleepers either side of the tiebar that have the slots in them for the Peco point motor fixing tabs.
I had already done these modifications on Fisherton Sarum’s turnouts and now have been able to go a step further by removing the spring, spring housing, the spring housing sleeper base and trimming back the spring location moulding on the tiebar. The spring is easily removed along with the spring housing by simply bending back the metal clips on either side of the housing and removing complete with the spring. This then exposes the moulded sleeper base under where the housing was and this can be simply cut away along the edge of the neighbouring sleeper.
I then filled the resulting space with a sleeper, from a spare piece of plain Peco track, cut to length and glued into position. Ballast was then also glued between the sleepers, and the whole lot weathered to match the original turnout and ballast.
All of the above modifications would of course be easier to do before the turnout was installed on the layout, in which case I would suggest replacing sleepers either side of the tiebar with copper clad sleepers soldered into to position but as this is retrospective modification I decided on the process above.
The model railway world and mainly Southern Railway meanderings of Graham 'Muz' Muspratt