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Wednesday 25 March 2020

Project 20 - 0 Gauge Layout - Part 11

An 0 gauge scale drawing of a Southern Railway rail built buffer stop appeared in the April 1972 issue of Model Railways magazine.

I considered 3D printing the whole thing but as I had rail off-cuts from track construction then these are more prototypical and were used instead. In fact nearly all the off-cuts were put to use here.

I found fixing the rails together quite difficult and fiddly. First I tried Superglue but it was not strong enough. Soldering worked well but getting all the parts to align was troublesome and of course heating one part caused solder joints on others close by to fail. Judicious use of metal clips as heat-sinks helped to preserve previously made joints

The buffer beam is 3D printed.

The model was sprayed with Halfords grey primer. Rivets were then applied using acrylic matte medium on the end of a cocktail stick. Brushed acrylic paint provided the colours and pastel scrapes were dry brushed on for a bit of weathering.

There are two sidings that need buffer stops. For a buffer stop at the other siding I am thinking of using a cut down wagon permanently fixed to the track to give the impression the track goes beyond the end of the scenic section.

To Part 12.

To Part 1.

Wednesday 18 March 2020

Project 20 - 0 Gauge Layout - Part 10

The first fiddle yard has been built comprising an open wooden frame and wooden cassette. The cassette is recycled from a previous layout and another two need to be made. One cassette will be for a  fiddle yard at the other end of the layout.

Each cassette can accommodate one diesel loco and two wagons or a small tank engine and four wagons.

The two outer tracks on the scenic section can connect to the cassette(s).The middle track is a dead end siding. Power connects to the end of a cassette track rails by crocodile clips.

So far I have not had to deploy electrical connectors and cables between boards. Electrical connectivity uses the metal hinges between boards and  'sliding wire in tube' at the fiddle yard cassette join. The latter also provides track alignment.

When I soldered the tubes to the rails of the scenic section I failed to set them all identically. Consequently a cassette could only join to one track. This was remedied easier than expected by adjusting position of existing ones on the scenic board, where possible or remaking them.

Now I must spend time operating the layout to check track is reliable before embedding the rails in tarmac and continuing with scenic work.

To Part 11.

To Part 1

Saturday 14 March 2020

COVID-19 Impact

This is the first year in 10 that my son, grandson and myself have not visited the Basingstoke & North Hants Model Railway Society exhibition. This saddens me because it has been an annual event for my grandson who has visited the show with us since his first year of birth (now 10 years of age). It also saddens me because if others have taken the same decision as us then attendance figures will be poor. I just hope the club covers its costs for the two-day show.

The show is usually very crowded with people in an enclosed environment cheek to joul. We just felt it was too much of a risk of infection as the new virus epidemic is due to go exponential in the UK. Having just viewed an enthusiast's video of the exhibits on YouTube he made the comment that it is the quietest Basingstoke show he has known, i.e. fewer people attending than normal.

So as not to be too disappointed I staged my own event in my railway room for my family, much to the delight of three grandchildren and fathers.

Stay well.

Wednesday 11 March 2020

Project 20 - 0 Gauge Layout - Part 9

All the track for the scenic section is now laid. Rails that are to be embedded in tarmac have a hardboard sub base. The blue colouration is a throwback to when some of the hardboard was used as a sky back scene for a previous layout. It gives me a good feeling to recycle materials, not only from a cost aspect but also to reduce my stock holding by bringing it back into use.

The tarmac will not be laid until I have tested the track thoroughly with train movements, in case some rail adjustment is required. It will be difficult to make adjustment after the rails have been buried.

For train movements to be effective I'll need to make at least one fiddle yard at this end and maybe a second at the other end.

It may be of interest to know that scratch building track work consumes time. The track here was made over 1.5 months comprising a few hours most days.

Positioning the two sidings at the far end was problematical. I wanted to create a paper mill scene similar to this photograph. The idea being the two sidings would pass either side of the large building with the small building being a gatehouse. When I came to mark their positions on the layout the realities of 0 gauge space requirements hit home. There was no room for the small building and the width of the large building needed to be reduced significantly.

I had to sketch out dimensions of the large building to determine the positions of the two sidings.

For the large building, shown on the link above, there are inadequate photos from which to scale and no plan. This, together with reduced width to fit the space, meant that the building design would be freelance. This proved a bit intimidating because I normally scale and create from a real building plan and/or suitable photographs, where dimensions simply fall into place.

The problem was where to set the position of the two upper floors and windows. I remembered I had a give-away card kit from 'Scale Trains' magazine (August 1982) of Alresford seed warehouse. It was a simple case of transposing the 4mm scale dimensions to 7mm.

I shall try and incorporate the finish/texture of the large building shown in the photo linked above and will fit an overhead walkway across two tracks that will help to disguise their exit from the scenic board.

Positioning the two sidings at this end posed no problem as I had already found a good photo of a trans-shipment shed and scaled from it. All I had to do was make sure there was enough space for vehicles to pass between the curved siding and shed.

To Part 10.

To Part 1

Wednesday 4 March 2020

Project 20 - 0 Gauge Layout - Part 8

The sleepered track needs to be weathered. I made up my own mix of 'sleeper grime' from brown and black enamel paint. The rails were masked with drinking straws slit down the length. The lot was then sprayed with Halfords grey primer followed by brushing over the sleeper grime when the primer had dried. (could not spray because my air brush broke).

The rail sides and chairs were next brush painted with my own mix of  'rusty rails' using red oxide and brown enamel paint.

The sleepers with integral chairs are 3D printed in blocks of four sleepers.

The ballast proved tricky to hold firmly in place. I first sprayed it using 50/50 PVA mix (with a drop of washing liquid to release surface tension) and left it to dry overnight. In the morning the granules were dry but had not set. I then increased the mix to 70/30 and dribbled it over using a children medicine syringe. Next day the ballast had still not set firm. Reasons why this may not have worked are the porosity of the pumice or the depth of ballast (3mm). In both cases much more glue mix may be necessary. The final method that worked was to dribble over 50/50 white tacky glue. This gave the solid fix needed.

I am pleased with the ballast colour. Further weathering could be applied to darken it between sleepers to represent muck dropped by passing locomotives.

Grass is to be 'grown' right up to the ballast. I should have prepared the ground before ballasting with a covering of green paint. I'll just have to be careful to stop the paint leeching into the ballast.

To Part 9.

To Part 1.

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