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Friday, 31 July 2020

August Website Cover

Continuing the theme of favourite photographs of my model railways; this month we move from Dorset to Padstow harbour in Cornwall. Specifically, the South Jetty that carried two railway sidings in the 1960s. I like this photograph as it shows off the effectively modelled water and a trick to extend the width of this box file diorama using mirrors.

View the cover here.

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, 1 July 2020

July Website Cover

Continuing the theme of favourite photographs of my model railways, this month we move from Somerset to Dorset and the Swanage Branch Line. Specifically, the loco yard as it existed in the 1960s and viewed from beneath Northbrook Road Railway Bridge.

View the cover here.
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