Sunday, 1 May 2022

Rescuing an old project - Pottington Quay

It has been a long time since I posted on my blog - time has a habitat of running away with itself.  I have been modelling, although mainly in O gauge, but this has been in fits in starts.  This is primarily dues to us having finally moved home to North Devon, delayed for just over 2 years by covid, best laid plans and all that. It has been a hectic time for us both, with endless packing, unpacking, driving and the like, but finally it is all done and dusted, we are home, the long term storage unit has been emptied and life is good and happy again. This brings me to the subject of this blog post, my old layout that has been in storage. About 5 years ago I was posting on my blog about building Pottington Quay, the next step in my 00 gauge modelling. Since that point I have built, what I would call my first proper working layout (Charlton - now sold on) and had moved onto my next project - the O gauge layout. In all aspects of modelling, but especially layout construction, my skills have really developed and improved, to the point where I am now quite confident about to build a durable, working model railway.

The old layout Pottington Quay, now out of storage and sat in the new modelling room.

So taking out this older layout, my initial intention was to throw it away, after breaking it up.  However, after some reflection and some suggestions by 'the other half', I decided that maybe I might have a go at resurrecting it.  A lot of the hard work has been done, putting down the track, building and painting thet the platform (which is quite good), scribing of clay for the quay walls and cobbling, etc etc.  In fact, whilst the quality of the modelling can be improved in all areas, I think it will be a fun challenge to sit down and start upgrading this layout.  My other half said she might help to do some of the scenery, which would be a wonderful thing to do together.
Platform above the quay wall.

Part of the older quay wall, reminiscent of the quay side at Bideford.

The first job will be checking the electrics are all sound.  The soldering on this is not great, so I do need to double check it.  After this, the point motors need replacing and microswitches for the electro frogs need adding. I can remember when using the layout the old switches on the SEEP motors were not working correctly.  In a a pique of enthusiasm (and pay day), I ordered the micro switches and point motors, CDU power supply, etc.  I also need to add a lighting pelmet across the front of the layout. After sorting out the electrics, I am going to add a little more bracing to the baseboards, before giving the layout a jolly good clean, maybe tidying/trimming some of the track, before adding in buildings, repainting the quay wall, etc. I think I have most of the buildings for the layout, although I might construct a few.  I am sure the addition of a backscene will also be transformative.  So I am hopefully this will be a relatively quick project to get going with over summer. The size of the board means it is relatively easy to move into the lounge, so I can work on this whilst my other half watches TV! I am going to work on both this and my O gauge layout together, so I should have somewhere to run my OO gauge stock reasonably soon.

Saturday, 29 January 2022

Kimmington Quay - buildings and quay wall

This week has seen some good progress on the new layout.  Having got the track painted and working, it feels like a milestone has been reached, allowing my very limited modelling time to be used to construct the buildings and the scenery.  I had put most of the foundation of the quay wall into place using foam packing several weeks ago, glued down with PVA glue.  Last Sunday I covered this with several layers of plaster bandage.  This is now going to be covered with DAS clay, which I will scribe to form the wall.

The quay wall in place, now ready for some DAS clay.

I also managed to get the platform for the dairy built several months ago, but it is only in the last few weeks that I have got around to putting any paint onto this.  This is now being painted and I am hopeful I can get it finished in the next week or so.  I find painting concrete takes a long time, adding in various layers of colour. 

The dairy platform during painting.

On top of the dairy platform there are going to be several buildings, which are in various stages of construction. I am using lasercut mdf shells, onto which I paint PVA glue and apply polyfilla before sanding flat and scribing.  This is copied from Chris Nevard's wizardry, and it has certainly helped me to be able to construct realistic and individual buildings for the first time, like the pub building I have still yet to finish!

Dairy warehouse.

Dairy office during painting.

Main dairy building.

The pub which is still yet to be finished!

So all in all, some cracking progress this week and I am hoping to get the quay wall started today.

Saturday, 22 January 2022

Kimmington Quay further progress

So I have made some good progress on the new layout.  All of the DCC side of the layout is operational, with the points all working fine with DCC concepts point motors and levers.  I have now finally finished painting the track and alongside this I have managed to glue the platform into place.  Alongside this I have now managed to make a start on painting the dairy platform.  This is now the rate limiting step; as soon as this is painted then I can make a start on ballasting.  It really feels like I am making some progress now and can finally make a real start on detailing the layout and starting to add in the scenic details.

Platform at Kimmington Quay being glued down.

Track painted!

The view of the platform from the inter tidal muds!

In other modelling, I have managed to crack on with the painting with the 13t open wagon and also the 12t pipe wagon, both in O gauge.  I also managed to sound chip a Dapol class 122 DMU today and chip a Dapol class 08 to use as a run around to check the layout.  

Video showing the extent of the O gauge layout.

So all in all, very satisfying progress.  It really is a new world working in O gauge.  Whilst I am very confident whilst working in OO gauge, the step into O gauge has meant that I am learning again as I go.  However, it is a lot of fun and I currently have a little momentum with pushing on with the layout. Being able to run trains around transforms the perceptions of progress on the layout.  Hopefully, more progress to follow!

Tuesday, 28 December 2021

Further O Gauge Layout Progress - Kimmington Quay

Over the last year I have not achieved as much modelling as I would have liked, life continually got in the way.  My work life has been very time consuming since August and as a result modelling has firmly taken a back seat.  One of the aims for the new year is really get modelling again and drive the new layout forward.

Track wiring complete and the first trains are running.

Anyway, the new O gauge layout has a name, Kimmington Quay, and of course is set in North Devon.  There has been sporadic progress on the layout over the last few months, but it has been very stop start, a consequence of having to work far too many weekends.  Anyhow, the layout is now all wired up.  It has a control panel, built as an extension for the layout providing enough room for a diesel to run around its train.  It is a compromise on space, but the thing with O gauge, is it is big!  The control panel has a DCC Concepts Alpha Unit to operate the point motors via S lever point switches and Cobalt point motors.  Whilst this is slightly more pricey than a standard point motor fired off a solenoid, the reduction in underboard wiring alone is worth the cost.  Add in the satisfaction of using the point levers and in my book it is a winner.

The control panel unit for the layout with track extension. The DCC Concepts Alpha unit will be mounted - another job to do!

The power to layout is supplied using a NCE Powercab, as per my OO gauge layouts.  However, as I plan to have at least 2 sound chipped locomotives in O gauge, I used a Tam Valley Booster to up the available current to around 3 amps. This is now all wired up and working.  The trackwork is all Peco FB Code 143, with electrofrog points, using Gaugemaster polarity switches.  All the trackwork is now glued and pinned down.  The curves are very tight for O gauge, but it all just about works. The Powerbus is the Express models kit, with 2 droppers soldered to every piece of rail.  

The curve heading towards the fiddle yard, aka Barnstaple Junction.

Kimmington Quay platform halt, viewed from the inter tidal estuary.

View out of the station heading for the control panel run around, aka towards Ilfracombe!

I ordered a Dapol class 122 with a decoder fitted, as I needed something to test the layout with.  This has been pottering around the layout to get a feel for how it will operate.  I think the layout will work well, although ideally it really needed to be 4ft longer, however, I just do not have the space.  The platform building is 4ft long and in O gauge this doesn't even accommodate 2 Mk1 coaches, so this is very much a halt rather than a mainline station.

The layout is finally operational with the class 122 pulling 2 mk1 coaches into the station.

So current tasks are to paint the track and then glue down the platform. At the same time I am going to start building the quay wall at the front of the layout using a combination of plaster bandage and DAS modelling clay.  As for the layout buildings, the pub is 99% finished, I just need to add some guttering and finish this off and I have started building the harbour masters office for the front of the layout.  There is a dairy located at the back of the layout, with the platform built and ready for painting, another job for the coming weeks.  So plenty to do, but hopefully progress will be a bit swifter than it previously has been. 

Friday, 24 December 2021

merry Christmas one and all

 A happy Christmas to everyone! I hope everyone has a fantastic xmas and gets some railway related models!

Next year I will be back to blogging, with the O gauge layout making good progress.  Until then - have a good one!

Sunday, 15 August 2021

0 Gauge layout progress

I have recently been modelling away on a new 0 gauge layout, although progress has been a little slower than I would have liked.  The main job has been to construct a platform.  Once this bit is finished, I can glue it into place and line the track up.  I purchased some laser cut kits to construct the platform, with the top of the platform being made from 2mm plasticard.  This is now being painted ready to install. Having moved up to 0 gauge, the size of everything seems huge compared to modelling in 00 gauge - everything seems to have a bit more presence.

Finished platform ready for painting.

Platform is now slowly taking shape during the painting. Being 0 gauge, it is taking a lot of paint to cover it!

I am also building a Petite Properties building, which will be a pub.  All layouts seem to have a pub nowadays - and I am pretty happy with how this one is shaping up.  The exterior is scribed polyfilla, painted with some cheap enamel paints.  There is a bit of detailing to go, with a partially modelled interior, but it is getting there.  I am pretty happy with the finish so far.  I am scratch building a bit of interior furniture and will add some pub benches/flower pots, etc outside.  

Interior tables and bar during painting.

Overall the layout is 12ft long, although the end board to a fiddle yard is curved.  The track is running on a raised level, allowing me to model an estuary/sea front, just like Barnstaple. One of the next big jobs is to order some DAS clay and build the stonework at the front of the layout.  

The raised level on the layout.

I am finding modelling in 0 gauge so much more fulfilling than 00 gauge.  I am also finding that my capacity to scratch build bits and pieces is much easier in 0 gauge - to me it feels a lot more realistic to model in (although I have not made that much progress!).  I think that for now I am now definitely an 0 gauge modeller and have sold off quite a lot of my 00 gauge stuff.  I think this is definitely the way forward for me.

Monday, 19 July 2021

00 gauge 12T box vans

I have recently been ticking over a few projects in the modelling boxes, although my enthusiasm for finishing off the 00 gauge projects is quite low at the moment.  I have mainly been working on 0 gauge models and am really enjoying working in the larger scale.  I am currently wondering whether I will return to 00 gauge at all - I am not sure.  I need to get the 0 gauge layout working then see how this feels for space, etc, before committing.  However, right now I certainly feel that 0 gauge is the scale for me.

Weathered vanfit.

Anyhow, I did manage to finish off a couple of 00 gauge 12T box vans at the weekend.  The vanfit I weathered years ago, but I thought the finish could be improved, whilst the shocvan was a new model. Both are now finished and rehoused in their respective boxes, although the Charlton layout has now gone, so I have nowhere to run them.  It still feels good to finish these models off and I hope to clear all of the 00 gauge models from the paint boxes before refilling them with 0 gauge wagons!

Weathered shocvan.