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Tuesday, 22 September 2020

Project 20 - 0 Gauge Layout - Part 28

 This is amazing. Continuing my quest for simple electrics how about this for lighting 0 gauge buildings? Bought from Poundland for £1 is a solar LED light*.

The lens simply unscrews leaving the can with integrated electronics, solar panel, power switch and a string of four LEDs. 

* Stock gone when I revisited my local shop.

Here it is installed in McBoatys Marine Engineers building: The LED string can be bent to any position and the can fits into the apex of the building roof completely unseen from the outside. No modification required. The can is temporarily held in place by a cardboard wedge allowing its removal for battery recharging in natural light. The LEDs give off white light.

Each building has its own installation. The downside to all this is having to remove the kit for battery recharging and unable to turn the lights on and off from outside the building. This could be overcome by extending The LED string so that the can is held off-stage for a more user-friendly installation.




Simply placed on the ground

Hung from a hook on a purlin

Placed on the floor. One for each level.

Quay lamp posts are to be considered later.

Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Project 20 - 0 Gauge Layout - Part 27

 I needed to isolate a couple of sidings in order to hold a loco on the layout whilst another is driven (analogue control). Those to be isolated are the middle tracks at the bottom and top of the layout shown in the photo.

The idea is to isolate the power to the bottom siding where the Terrier loco is held whilst the Class 33 and its wagons are driven from the Branch Line to the top siding. Power to the top siding is then isolated and power turned on to the bottom siding so that the Terrier can pick up the wagons and shunt them to other areas of the Quay.

I did not install the power switching at the track laying stage. I waited until after the track was buried in tarmac. There was some logic to this because all track sections are independently wired to a bus bar underneath the layout and there are no fishplates joining the sections. In theory all I had to do was disconnect a siding rail wire from the bus bar and fit a switch between the bus bar and floating wire; this being done for each of the two sidings in question.

Where to locate switches took some head scratching. The thing is, the layout can be operated from either side. A fixed control panel therefore, would not be appropriate. A control panel would need to be hand held. Furthermore, the layout is spread across two portable baseboards. This would need cabling with plug and socket between boards and an umbilical cable to the hand held controller. I went as far as making brackets for D type connectors before thinking this was going to defeat the objective of keeping electrics simple.

My final solution was to fit two switches for each siding, one to each baseboard side. The switch on the side of the layout that is not currently operated from is held off and the one on the operating side controls power to its siding.

The next issue was the decorative quayside wall. I did not want this spoiled with a thumping big toggle or push button switch. I choose a miniature sliding switch as being the most unobtrusive and instead of screw fixing it to the wall I fabricated a holding panel that is glued behind. If I ever wanted to reuse the switch I guess I could break the panel glue bond to retrieve the switch.
Switch located in line with the siding it controls.
A second parallel wired switch is located
directly opposite in the other side panel.

So far so good. With switches in place I tackled the wiring. Disconnecting the first siding wire from the bus bar I tested that the track rail was now isolated. It wasn't. Clearly the rail was touching the live rail of the next track section! How the hell was I going to resolve that now the track was nicely buried in tarmac!

I had to carefully razor saw at the rail join to break the connection which also left a saw cut in the tarmac - to be repaired. Thankfully, the rail join in the second siding was already isolated, as intended.

To Part 28.

To Part 1.

OK, why worry about a switch showing with
a large hinge in view? Good point.
(BTW. This hinge is at the non-
decorative fiddle yard end.)

Tuesday, 8 September 2020

East Anglia Transport Museum

I always try to visit a heritage railway when on holiday but where we were staying in south east Norfolk there was not one close by. We did find the East Anglia Transport Museum at Carlton Colville near Lowestoft

Famed for working trolley buses and trams they also have a narrow gauge railway. The diesel locomotives came from quarry or industrial workings and the passenger coaches were made at the museum.

We were very lucky that our holiday coincided with the first day of opening since lockdown (currently only open Sunday and Thursday afternoons). No need to book and pay in advance (unlike many other venues during the pandemic). Just turn up and hope they have not had to close the gate due to capacity being reached. I thought it would be crowded on the first day of opening but it was not and I don't think anyone was turned away. I was told the visitor numbers were typical for a Sunday when fine weather encourages people to visit nearby Lowestoft beach instead of the museum.

The museum occupies a small site with a large variety of vintage vehicles, mostly housed in reproductions of vintage garages. An adjacent field has been purchased to expand the museum to more than double its current size.

One vehicle that caught my attention was a Thornycroft J class lorry, many miles from its Basingstoke manufacturer base. These are very rare today, despite over 5000 being manufactured in the early years of the 20th Century. I understand the engine has been restored to working order and further bodywork restoration is in progress.

It caught my attention because I modelled the J class for our Thornycroft Sidings N gauge layout

A trolley bus built in the 1950s and a 1927 tram that once operated in Blackpool were offering rides during our visit. 

Another surprise for me was trolley bus number 696 (built in 1938) showing a Dartford destination, Dartford being my home town during my childhood years. I vaguely remember trolley buses in Dartford but buses I travelled on to go to school were of the modern kind.

This museum is well worth a visit and I would go again when in the area.

Tuesday, 1 September 2020

September Website Cover

Continuing the theme of my favourite model railway photographs; this month we move from Cornwall to somewhere on the Southern Region. It is a fictitious location using buildings of the region. I like this view because it gives glimpses of distant station buildings viewed through the landscape - very natural. Trees and hedges in the foreground are modelled. The layout was photographed against a natural background.

A template for this layout and all buildings are available from my Model Shop (link top right on this Blog).

This is the last instalment in this series of favourite photographs.

View the Cover here.

For those that missed previous 'Covers' I have added a Portfolio page to the website containing all images from this series and a bonus video. The page is only available this month (link bottom of 'Cover' page).

Tuesday, 25 August 2020

Project 20 - 0 Gauge Layout - Part 26

I started this project in January 2020, before furlough became a word in common use. Throughout the Corona Virus pandemic building this model railway became a sanctuary for me to escape the worries and disturbing news of events impacting society. The model is not finished but has reached a point of visual acceptance.

The location is fictitious and consequently had no name. As time wore on it became obvious that only one name would be fitting. I can now reveal its identity.

Welcome to CORONA QUAY.


Wednesday, 19 August 2020

Project 20 - 0 Gauge Layout - Part 25E

The roof slates are laid as overlapping rows and the entire roof is removable so that the highly detailed interior can be viewed more easily. Drainpipes are 3D printed.

I thought about adding canopies. This would not be appropriate for the ship loading side as rigging etc. would get in the way. For the lorry loading side a canopy would impede our view of the interior. In practice not all Goods Sheds were fitted with canopies.

Basic scenic details for the whole layout are now complete ready to run trains realistically. Future works will focus on small details such as telegraph poles, lamps, weeds, goods, people and lighting buildings. I also need to put in some isolating track wiring so that an engine can be held in a siding whilst another is run (analogue control).

The next Blog posting will reveal the name for this layout. Can you guess what it is?

To Part 26.

To Part 1.

Friday, 14 August 2020

Project 20 - 0 Gauge Layout - Part 25D

The photograph below shows cargo and handling equipment to be placed in the transhipment shed. All are 3D printed by myself.
  • 3 barrels; scaled up from 2mm designs I created for an N gauge layout. The ends carry labels identifying the whiskey content and destination address.
  • Oil Drum; scaled up from 2mm designs I created for an N gauge layout. The middle band has logos, as per the prototype.
  • Crates; scaled up from 2mm designs I created for an N gauge layout. They carry destination address labels
  • Associated Portland Cement (Blue Circle) Cement bags; designed for this project and carry printed paper logos.
  • Sack Truck; a free .stl from www.thingiverse.com. Had to be rescaled.
  • Pallet; a free .stl from www.thingiverse.com. Had to be rescaled.
  • Pallet Truck; a free .stl from www.thingiverse.com. Already to scale (1:43).
So pleased with the results Fixed down with blu tack as I wanted the option of  removing or repositioning them.
 To Part 25E.

Thursday, 6 August 2020

Project 20 - 0 Gauge Layout - Part 25C

This is about lifting equipment for the transhipment shed. With platforms either side of the run through siding a beam hoist is necessary to convey goods from one to the other. The cabling is static but the trolley can be moved along the beam. Quite pleased how this turned out.

The beam is supported by two longitudinal beams that are mounted on wall brackets. All parts are 3D printed except cabling and pulley. I tried to print the pulley but it did not form as well as those on the Puffer Boat, perhaps because the elliptical Puffer pulleys have a bit more 'meat'. In my stock box I had a couple of small rods with spigots on the ends so it was made up from that.

The beam extends over the lorry loading area and you would think it would also extend over the boat loading area. Remembering this is a quay on a river estuary with coastal steamers visiting; I decided it would not be appropriate as it could get in the way of a boats rigging when it is trying to moor alongside. So, a rotating crane is installed on that platform.

This crane is a scaled up version of my 4mm scale goods shed crane. The design is fully detailed so no further enhancements were required for this larger version.

To Part 25D

To Part 1.

Monday, 27 July 2020

Project 20 - 0 Gauge Layout - Part 25B

What a (near) disaster!

Inside the transhipment shed there are two platforms either side of the siding. These were installed and the doors permanently fixed in the open position.

I then placed a wagon in the building to see how it all looked and discovered that I had made the platforms too tall such that hinged doors of wagons could not open due to interference. I decided to live with that error as the build had gone too far to correct this, so I thought.

Later, I noticed I had fixed the doors the wrong way around such that the framing faced outwards from the building! This was something I could not accept so I set about correcting it and the platform height.

The easiest way to reduce the height of the platforms was to reduce the height of the entire building by cutting a strip off the bottom of the walls. This was possible since there was more than enough clearance for rolling stock through the door openings.

First, I had to remove the doors. Fortunately, I had only tack glued them in place so with judicious use of a scalpel I separated them from the building. Inevitably some damage to their decorative surface occurred which was repaired by reprinting and overlaying a new decor.

Next, armed with a hacksaw blade I carefully cut a strip from the bottom of the walls.

Reviewing the relationship between rolling stock and the lowered platform I felt it may still be too high. I then researched the height of goods platforms and discovered there was no common standard with heights varying between regions and eras. One comment I came across suggested the height would be level with the wagon floor. On checking the model I found this was close to what I had set. Phew!

Door bottoms were trimmed to match the new building height and fixed in place again.

The photo above shows the result.

The building shell is covered with decorated stone paper inside and out. The inside stonework is the same artwork as the outside except the brightness is reduced to look like white washed walls. There is quite a lot of acreage that dissuaded me from painstakingly applying a second layer of individual stones for relief.

To Part 25C

To Part 1.

Tuesday, 21 July 2020

Project 20 - 0 Gauge Layout - Part 25A

The final building is a transhipment shed placed at the far end of the layout. It has a railway siding running through it and out to a fiddle yard. Therefore, it is possible to propel a fully loaded open wagon into the shed and off stage to the fiddle yard where the load is removed and the empty wagon propelled back through and out of the shed as though it was unloaded in the shed.

I have to say I am struggling with lack of enthusiasm for this build. There are two issues at play. The first is that this is a fictitious building, albeit having architectural features taken from a variety of real buildings. I much prefer modelling complete real world buildings but found nothing that fitted the location on the layout. The second issue is that I wanted to give an impression of the building being longer than depicted with part of it being off stage.

The first building 'shell' I made had the loading doors off set from centre with the large quayside door opening extending to the wall at the fiddle yard end thereby giving the impression of a longer building. The illusion did not work. So, I decided what you see is the entire size of the building with door openings centralised. I feel a bit better about it now.

Note that the walls are made from corrugated packaging board, as is usual for this layout.

To Part 25B.

To Part 1.

Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Project 20 - 0 Gauge Layout - Part 24

The quay wall now looks complete and authentic having added the following fittings.

3D printed bollards. There is a wide variety of styles used in the real world. This one looks too tall but is scaled from a dimensioned drawing of a prototype.

Ladders are 3D printed with wire handrails. Modelled from a photograph of a real installation..

The railway siding between the quay wall and the paper mill is close to the edge so a protective railing is installed. It is 3D printed in two parts glued together. It printed at the first attempt better than I expected.

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Project 20 - 0 Gauge Layout - Part 23

What to do about this -

It is the hinge mechanism that joins together the portable baseboards. It needs disguising during operations. My first thought was to cover it by extending the quay wall forward in that area with a removable wall - simple but boring. What would be better is to place a cargo boat in front of it. Not only would it cover the hinge but add interest to the scene. After all, a quay should include a tethered boat.

So, I made this.

It is the Scalescenes downloadable card kit of a Clyde Puffer.

Now, I thought I was making a model railway but for the past few weeks I have researched and built a boat!

I wanted a small cargo boat and this was the best inexpensive model kit I came across. £5.99 + ink and materials.

The first hurdle to overcome was the period of the model. Clyde Puffers in their original form did not survive in commercial use to the 1960s (The period of my model railway). However, during the 1940s The Admiralty ordered a number of Puffers. After the war those that were still serviceable were sold off for commercial use and some survived into the 1960s and beyond. I looked through the lists of Victualling Inshore Craft (VIC), as they were known, and selected VIC 24, as this is reported as being on the south coast in the 1960s renamed Advance. What use it was put to I don't know.

The next hurdle to overcome was the kit itself. The Scalescenes offering is for an 00 or N gauge model not 0 gauge. Every component of the 00 gauge kit (and there are a lot) had to be scaled up to 0 gauge (a factor of 1.75). This entailed using a graphic editing Application to cut each component from the original .pdf pages and then scale up. A few components extended to A3 paper size. Either they needed cutting at an unobtrusive point to fit A4 or cut an A3 sheet of paper to A4 wide for top feeding in my A4 printer. I used both techniques.

The 00 gauge kit requires 3 thickness of card and board (0.15ish, 1mm and 2mm). Scaling up to 0 gauge (0.2ish, 1.75 and 3.5) corrugated packing box board was used for the thickest. This worked well with the corrugations entirely hidden during construction.

The kit has adequate details to pass as a 'Puffer' for railway modellers but there are some notable omissions covered by a supplementary enhancement instruction .pdf available freely from the product listing on their web site. I strongly recommend applying the enhancements. Even so, there are still small details evident on the prototype that are not included. Furthermore, there appears to be subtle differences between builds of the prototype! For a boat enthusiast wanting a detailed and faithful model of the prototype then this may not be the kit choose. Further research would be needed to faithfully model a specific prototype. I have seen some very fine, highly detailed scratch built Puffer models on the web.

Having studied photographs of VIC24 I included some details specific to that Puffer but the most significant discrepancy is the width of the wheelhouse, which stretches to the full width of the deckhouse on the prototype. On the Scalescenes model it is narrow like the original Puffer prototype builds.

My 3D printer was brought into play again to fabricate the davit, pulleys, vents, railing uprights, anchor and ladders. Ropes were made from tightly twisted electrical wire.

The final hurdle was to devise a way of suspending the boat against the quay wall and be removable. I decided to make a platform depicting a stretch of water on which to place the boat. The platform is made from corrugated cardboard with water made from toilet paper, paint and gloss cork tile sealer. Tutorial here. The platform temporarily fixes to the quay wall by means of three cocktail stick 'skewers'.

Well, the boat is a bit heavier than expected and caused the platform to droop. This could have been a show stopper. I had to find a way of temporarily fixing the boat to the quay wall but without introducing obtrusive fixings.

The solution was hinged latches mounted on two of the pilings. When not in use they fold down out of the way.

In use they are lifted up, the boat placed and then let down over the bulwark of the boat.

Now I need to add mooring bollards on the quay and tethering ropes.

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Project 20 - 0 Gauge Layout - Part 22

4mm version
Regular readers may remember the Crewkerne crane I modelled in 4mm scale (shown right. Click here for details). I like the style of it so decided to upscale it for this 7mm layout.

This should be simple. In theory all I had to do was scale up the .stl parts in my slicer program before 3D printing them. That is true for some of the parts. The trouble is that others are simplistic designs of the prototype for 4mm scale since the lack of detail is not obvious to the eye. In 7mm scale it is more obvious. I had to redesign several parts. Of note are the gear housings, which included solid gears in the 4mm version. In the 7 mm version I designed and integrated the correct spoked gears. However, the cogs were a step too far. Even in 7mm scale they are small and thought to be too small for my 3D printer to form.

I noted in the 4mm crane Blog posting that the ratchet locking mechanism was not modelled (because available photographs did not show the details). Sorry to say that is still the case so it has been omitted again in the 7mm version.

7mm version
Like the 4mm version it is a static model except it can be rotated on its plinth. The model was sprayed with Halfords grey primer and then lightly sponge dabbed with a dirty rust mix of enamel paints.

The plinth is card with decorative overlays in the manner described earlier for the office building and the railing posts 3D printed with galvanised wire threaded through.

The platform is larger than I estimated. Unfortunately, it has to be placed right on the edge of the quay wall to allow trains to pass by without interference.

I needed to obtain a chain for the hoist. I spent some time searching ebay and whilst there were many available very few suppliers gave full dimensions of the links. In fact only one did and that was slightly too wide for the pulley I had designed. I wondered how difficult it would be to make one. I Googled it and came up with a video tutorial that showed how to make a chain from twisted wire. The trick is to open out the loops with a scalpel to give a fair representation of chain links.

To Part 23.

To Part 1.  

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Project 20 - 0 Gauge Layout - Part 21

One side of the baseboard is decorated as the quay wall. The wall surface is a photo of the actual quayside at Padstow. The colour and texture would be difficult to model any other way. I had already used this same decoration on my 4mm Padstow box file layout. The only adjustment I made was to scale up the top row of stone blocks.

The pilings/ fenders are knocked up from wood, dyed and then pastel scrapes applied to mirror the algae layer of the wall.

The quay road surface is given a slight texture that was created from the ash of winter hearth fires.

First I mixed up a dark grey home paint from what I had available. Painted this onto the road areas and whilst still wet sprinkled over the ash from a herb bottle with fine nylon mesh cover.

A piece of A4 paper was then wafted over the surface to spread the ash evenly. Next, any loose ash was lightly brushed and vacuumed away. This actually removed quite a lot to the point where it looked like all was removed. But that is not the case. The ash is so fine it is not discernable but, gives a roughness to the touch like fine emery paper.

To Part 22.

To Part 1.  

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Project 20 - 0 Gauge Layout - Part 20

The siding to the left of the paper mill is in practice a dead end that needs a buffer stop. However, if this were a real railway the siding would continue further along the quay side. I wanted to depict this but how?

The answer was to deploy a fixed wagon as the buffer stop. Not a complete wagon but a cut down version. I choose a cut down wagon because it gives more room in this short siding for train movements.

I find this approach quite amusing and enjoyed building the buffer-stop-wagon. In the photo above a 'vanwide' wagon is shown alongside. This I designed and 3D printed as a kit some time ago. It was a simple case of cutting the same parts in CAD, print and assemble. The buffer-stop-wagon is fully detailed, like its parent. It is fixed to the baseboard with a large flat head nail through its floor.

To Part 21.

To Part 1.

Thursday, 4 June 2020

Project 20 - 0 Gauge Layout - Part 19

Back in December 2019 I bought a loco crew from the Guildford Gauge 0 guild trade show held in Reading, Berkshire for my Terrier locomotive . After sitting on the shelf for five months I was finally in the right frame of mind to paint them up and fit them to the loco.

They are from the Phoenix 43 Scale Miniatures range available from S and D Models. The guy on the left is supplied with separate head and arms and the guy on the right with separate head and shovel. Not sure why because there is only one suitable pose to apply.

The guy on the left was sold to me as a Driver but having assembled him he has a rather odd pose for a driver, don't you think.

Considering these are not 3D printed (noted for high definition) the definition is remarkable good with individual fingers clearly defined and well detailed facial features. They are moulded in pewter.

To Part 1.  

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