Sunday, 9 September 2018

Charlton Provender store and signal box - some layout detailing

This weekend I had the rare commodity of some time to spend modelling!  The area of cobbles that has the provender store set into it, had been held up by the painting of a fence.  This fence was completed and glued down, acting as a barrier between part of the cobbled area and the rails.  The provender store was glued in place and the ballast was finished around the now derelict signal box.

The provender store now glued into place with some grass being added.  There is some more to do here, including thinning out of the grass (weeds!).

I have then spent the rest of the weekend glueing down bits of scatter grass and bushes - a combination of small bushes made from rubberised horsehair and also some commercial ones.  I also used dollops of PVA glue to glue in static grass around the base of buildings, and have started adding a little grass to the station.  The aim is to create a layout in the 1970s that has survived the axe, just, but is now a shadow of its former glory.  Hence there should be weeds growing everywhere! There is some hovering up and thinning out of the static grass that needs to take place, but it is starting to all shape up.  I am very pleased with how this area of the layout looks.

The after view, with some clumps of foliage added around the based of the buildings.

The before view with the provender store glued down.

So next steps are to sort the station out with custom nameboards and some station furniture to bring this to life a little and finish off the car park behind the station.  Hopefully I can get into those bits next weekend.

Some flowering weeds have been added to the siding.

The scribing of the cobbles was well worth the effort in this view.

Close up of the weeds at the base of the provender store.

View of the dereliction at the end of the station.  Note the weeds have taken hold even in the guttering of the signal box!

Sunday, 26 August 2018

Bachmann class 25 dcc sound - finished

So before I went away on my summer fieldwork I managed to finish off the detailing of my Bachmann class 25 dcc sound locomotive.  The locomotive was purchased about 7 years ago and came with factory installed sound.  Whist this was ok, it is a bit naff (in my opinion) compared to what is available through other sounds specialists.  Consequently, I sent the chip of to Howes to be reblown and set about detailing and weathering the locomotive.

The finished locomotive pottering around the Charlton layout.

As it looks out of the box.  The plastic shiny finish on the locomotive makes it look very toy like in my opinion.

Shunting some wagons at the station.  I think the locomotive tick over and move off  sounds are first class.

I fitted the accessory packs as per the instructions and fitted 3 link couplings, before dismantling the locomotive into the chassis block, body and the two bogies.  I masked off the chassis block except for the solebars, buffer beams and underframe, and then weathered the locomotive with a combination of Railmatch enamel paints.  As per normal I applied some tonal variations of faded blue and yellow over the body of the locomotive, before applying an all over body wash of frame dirt/weathered black roughly mixed.  Most of this was wiped away before final detailing with the airbrush.  The underframe and bogies had shades of weathered black, underframe dirt and sleeper grime sprayed over them.

The body shell during detailing with some of the spraying of the faded colours evident.  These are then blend in to overall finish with the airbrush.

More running around here!

Overall, I think this locomotive looks and sounds pretty good.  I did manage to finish off another class 25 a couple of years ago and ideally I will have these two to operate my layouts.  The problem is, the other class 25 is not sound fitted, so it is odd to run them together on the layout, with the sound effects really bringing another level of realism to the layout and a greater level of fun in operation.  I guess that means another sound chip is in order.  I currently has a class 122 DMU in the workshop being sound fitted and I am about to start a class 22 detailing and sound fitting, however, the layout does need some attention.  As for the rest of the weekend, I have an unlimited amount of modelling time, and I hope to add some further details to the layout.  More to follow here soon......

Friday, 20 July 2018

A class 25 and a summer interlude

Over the last couple of weeks I have managed to find some time to finish off the detailing of my Class 25 project.  This is the Bachmann DCC sound version, which had the chip reblown by Howes.  This has now been fully run in on the layout and I am delighted with the sounds, and pretty pleased with the overall result on the locomotive.  

Finished Class 25.

However, I have also managed to run out of time. I am heading away for the next 3 weeks, so in the mean time here are a couple of videos of the locomotive running around on the layout.  I will write a proper post about this when I return, when I will pick up blogging and modelling again later in August....until then enjoy your summers!

Running a rake of spoil wagons into Charlton, with flange squeals a plenty!

Running light out of Charlton station.

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Backscenes part deux!

Well after the last semi disaster with the backscene, I ordered an ID models photographic backscene, which has self adhesive backing, and some 0.3mm foamex sheets.  I choose an overcast day, with some blackening skies, typical Devon in my years of living there!  I ordered the foamex boards slightly too big for the backscene, but in 3ft lengths (same as the baseboards) and set to work applying the backscene to the boards.  I undertook this on my own in 3ft strips, and it was just about manageable as a 1 person job.  I started in one corner and slowly worked my way over the foamex board.  I managed to stick all of the sheets down in about 4 hours or so, and managed not to get any air bubbles on the finish.

Backscene cut into 3ft sections and attached to the foamex sheet.

The backscene and foamex trimmed to size.

When I was reasonably happy with how this was shaping up, I tore off the old backscene and removed the terraced houses and signal box, which had been glued down.  This was a awkward job to do, and in the process I wrecked the yard lamp.  However, I was determined to make a better effort this time, so quite a bit of the original scenic work was sacrificed.

Finished backscene looking towards Ilfracombe.

Looking towards Barnstaple.

I then cut the boards to the size of the backscene and started to glue them onto the layout using PVA glue.  In typical Murphy's law I was about 1 inch short of backscene, so I had to fudge one corner together, I will let you work out where!  However, after a good day of fiddling around, I have pretty good backscene.  Like all my modelling it is not quite perfect, but it is a vast improvement on the first attempt.  It does not dominate the scene, but it does provide some context to the model.  As this layout is a test run (although it does seem to be dragging on a bit!) I am pretty happy with the overall effect.  So now onwards with finally getting some buildings (re)glued down and some proper scenery detailing!!  I can also say with confidence that I have found a way of making a satisfactory backdrop for my layouts and this is a big step forward for me.  I will certainly use this method from now on.

Backscene visible behind a class 25 in the sidings, it does not dominate the picture, which I like.

View of the layout, showing the backscene.

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Backscene woes....and crinkles!

Well last week I felt I was making some real progress on the layout.  One  morning I was rummaging around a box in the railway room and found some old Gaugemaster backscenes I had long forgotten about.  I had originally decided on having a white painted backscene, but I had become increasingly unsatisfied with how this looked.  So I placed the Gaugemnaster backscene on the layout with blue tac to see how it looked.  It totally transformed the layout and it made me immediately decide to add a decent photographic backscene. The problem is I had already glued down the signal box and the house flush against the original painted backscene.  However, I purchased some Delux models Backscene glue and set to work to glue down the blue sky.

The Gaugemaster photographic backscene blue tacked down to see how it would look.

Same shot with just the painted white fibre board.  The difference between the two photographs is stark.

Well, the end result was a semi-disaster!!  Only semi - the sheets of the Gaugemaster photographic backscene I had must have come from separate batches.  Consequently, the colouring is slightly different between them and makes a terrible join behind the station!  The original painted wooden backscenee is a painted fibre board and the Delux models glue must have caused it to swell slightly.  Where I applied the glue there is swelling and crinkling on the photographic paper.  It is not too bad, but it is certainly noticeable.

Join between two of the sheets!

View back down the layout with the signal box removed.  The crinkles and join are far to distracting.

So two lessons learnt are 1) a better photographic backscene is needed, and 2) my skills in creating the backsence are limited!! I spent a bit of time thinking about it and came up with a plan.  I have ordered some 3mm foamex boards and an ID models self adhesive backscene.  The plan is to stick the photographic backscene to the foamex boards and then glue these onto the layout.  The only problem is I have to remove some of the detailing work already done, although this is not too onerous, but it means the signal box and terraced houses need to be moved.  The signal box came off easily enough.  However, I am summoning up the courage for the terraced houses.   

A few of the sort of effect I hope to be able to achieve.

Saturday, 30 June 2018

Western on a parcels service at Charlton June 1970

Last weekend I set up the layout to test out the new fiddle yard, and then ended up playing trains a little!  So captured on an overcast day in June 1976 a BR Blue western is captured running a short parcels into Charlton. This truncated SR branchline in North Devon somehow escaped being a victim of the Beaching Axe, although the branchline was effectively halved in the length.  The remaining half into Barnstaple gained a late reprieve, with a healthy level of goods and parcels traffic on the short branchline still in the 1970s.  More work has recently progressed on the layout and I am feeling happy with how it is all progressing.  It really helps to see it all working and it provides some impetus to get it finished!

Evenings parcels service runs into Charlton.

The Western uncoupled moves over the points to run around the train.

Western running around around the short loop.

Buffering back up, ready to head back to Barnstaple and then onto Exeter.

And back to Barnstaple the parcels service heads.

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Charlton layout - further progress

This week has seen some further progress on the layout.  As always there has been less time than I anticipated, but life always finds something to keep you busy!  Anyhow, a lot of those little jobs have been finished off.  The fiddle yard has been wired up so it is operational.  There is one more one more siding to add to the fiddle yard, but this is a relatively small job to solder this last one up.  The casing for the fiddle yard still needs to be finished, as this has only been partially completed.  However, the fiddle yard is now operation and can easily hold a 3 coach train plus locomotive in the longest siding, which will make operating the layout much easier.  The four roads in the fiddle yard will be able to hold a 3 coach plus locomotive formation, a 3 car DMU plus 1 car DMU, and two freight trains in the other two roads, a mixture of parcels, milk, china clay and of course an engineers working!

New fiddle yard, with three of the four sidings are now operational.

The fiddle yard can now easily hold a 3 coach train plus locomotive.

The tunnel entrance towards the fiddle yard has been glued down and the backscene partially painted.  The landscaping around the tunnel has been started using some paper mache, with the plaster bandage to be added over this today.  This new track has also been painted and ballasted, with the landscaping on this end of the layout starting today in earnest.

The tunnel entrance towards the fiddle yard is starting to take shape.

General view towards the fiddle yard.

The cobbled area around the provender store and old warehouse is taking a bit longer to finish.  I can't quite seem to get the balance right with the painting.  So attached are a couple of photos of how it looks at the moment.  An awful lot of mind numbing scribing went into this area, so I would like to get the balance of this right and really bring out the detail.  There are a couple more coats of paint to add to this today.   

Cobbled area, which still requires some more painting.

The cobbled area with a little bit of dry brushing across the bottom.  I am not happy with the appearance this at the moment.

Other jobs in progress are the scribing of a wall behind the signal box, which will eventually head towards the tunnel, and adding more static grass.  A lot of refining of this needs to happen around the trackwork and along the platforms.  The front of the layout needs some hedges and fences to be added as well.  However, there is a little bit of momentum with the layout detailing at the moment.  Maybe a June finish date was a little optimistic, however, it is all heading in the right direction.  

General shot of the layout as it currently is looking towards the fiddle yard.

The terminus end of the layout, showing the carpark and terraced houses.

View towards the terminus end during a test run.