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1860 and all that
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 1893
Location: London

PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Got the back-scene done today. I went with the Vacy-Ash sheets in the end, using four of the original sheets, much cut up and rearranged. I think there were at least fourteen bits - some reversed - in the end, so I hope it doesn't look too much like the original vista.




The hole in the trees in the last picture will be the control panel, hidden by a two-storey mill building.
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 1893
Location: London

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Recently I've been reading a book about railway workers (1840-1960) and realise that my timetable scheduling is far too kind to the train crews. In the 1860s a day's "turn" might well extend to 12 or more hours. With this in mind (plus the availability of an extra coach) I've re-cast the train sequence and most crews now work between 11 and 12 hours, including booking on and off. Afternoon Market Day trains between Ludlow and Bridgnorth can now have up to four coaches, and there is also the possibility of a extra goods round trip in the mornings - particularly useful in the winter months for moving coal up the line and returning the empties.

I also had to look up when screw couplings were introduced, which turns out to be in the late 1830s (rather earlier than I'd first thought). This makes it possible to have cattle vans marshalled between the engine and coaches and still give passengers a reasonable ride.

The timetable gives a rather short turn-round at Ludlow for the daily mineral train, so there is a need for a rake of Fulls and another of Empties. Accordingly another pair of open wagons has appeared (one a primitive hopper), with two more awaiting the fitting of running gear. The three so-far unbuilt period Private Owner wagon kits also look like they will appear in due course.
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 1893
Location: London

PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2017 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

During the past few days attention has been turned to the two fiddle yard baseboards, both of which now have sky-painted end boards, to which the small extension back-scenes have been fitted. The past couple of days have been spent on the road bridge at the Ludlow end of the station, and it's now in place. The bridge itself is built of a stone-printed card sheet, and is based on a bridge over the Eskdale Railway in its 3ft gauge days (Irton Road, I think). The roadway over the bridge has had to be severely compressed in width to little more than a footpath, although the reveal under the arch is the correct length as it extends into the hidden area. The road will need a thick hedge to screen it, with trees to ease its meeting with the village buildings, however, I think it will work once its finished.

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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 1893
Location: London

PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just been playing with some backscene elements behind the road bridge. The two 3D trees will need altering a little, but help to fill in the picture for now, although the copper-wire one is too large at present.



Meanwhile, a coal office had been rescued from the spares box, and given a new roof
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 1893
Location: London

PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Work around the road bridge has been proceeding slowly. The plaster bandages used for the embankments were old, and although still sealed the plaster had "gone off"; in consequence, after a day or two the layers were becoming loose. The area was gone over with diluted white glue and re-patched with a mixture of shredded newspaper and kitchen towel and is now solid. At the same time I put in some balsa plugs to hold the planned trees securely.

It then came to me that as the railway is barely ten years old, the trees should be a lot smaller than those already made - more work for next week. Meanwhile some rubberised horsehair has been cut to form a hedge on either side of the bridge to suggest the lane that crosses the line. Finally the starter signal at the Ludlow end of the station has been installed and connected up, thanks to the discovery of some steel wire in a box in the loft.

This is today's progress, with rough grass added on either side of the bridge. The obvious baseboard gap will be hidden by the edge of a barrow crossing at the end of the platform ramps

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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 1893
Location: London

PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The smaller trees are nearing completion, made of multi-strand Earth cable salvaged from the building work a couple of years ago and now finally utilised. The two larger trees used two lengths of cable plus a few extra strands, with the remainder going to make the sapling. To cover the twisted wire I've coated the trunks and larger branches with flexible filler from a tube, applied with a stiff artist's brush dipped in water. It does seem to live up to its name, and despite three coats of plaster there is still a little movement in the armature, which doesn't result in the plaster cracking.

The pictures show the trees put roughly in place, but not yet planted in the embankment. I've also "greened" the hedgerow slightly with acrylic paint, but will probably add some scenic dressing later.

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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 1893
Location: London

PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Contractors have been busy at Great Sutton, and the station fences are in place, though not yet painted. Meanwhile, a cattle pen has appeared in the goods yard although it needs a bit more doing to the paintwork. It was a surprise to find it took just about an entire pack of fencing to complete - about 800mm in length.

In the background, a gents' convenience is being erected on the far platform. I had hoped to cut down a cast-iron gents' kit, but this looked too tall and dominant, so a more rural style of convenience has been substituted. This still has some way to go, and I think a ventilator-cum-skylight will be needed on the roof, which should stop it looking like the platelayers' hut that it was.
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 1893
Location: London

PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's strange how a small alteration can make a huge difference. I've been working on the Gents' for some days, as it just didn't look right. I tried different paint schemes, cladding over the stone base of the hut, and a couple of different skylight/ventilators. Nothing quite seemed to gel, until I turned the hut round the other way, so the roof slopes downwards on the visible side. Immediate improvement!

The hut's entrance now faces outwards and will need a separate screen, courtesy of an old Airfix kit; perhaps the covered section is now the Ladies'. If so it will mean the waiting room in the main station will be bigger, and will need a separate chimney. Still, it looks better, which is the main thing.

Once the paint dries and I can fit the structure into the station fencing, I'll post a new picture, hopefully tomorrow.
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 1893
Location: London

PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The WCs are almost finished, just need a touch-up on the dark paint, although I've nearly run out of that colour. Also made a start on the station's name boards.


Meanwhile the goods shed/corn-merchant's buildings have been painted. I'd like to add the merchant's name to the tall building, but may leave that detail until other more important tasks have been completed.
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 1893
Location: London

PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spent a couple of hours adding the backscene at the Bridgnorth end of the station and roughing in the landscape contours. Hardshell goes on tomorrow, hopefully. Tried the taller trees out, as well. The plan is for the tracks to vanish into the woods like the Brill branch did at Wood Siding.
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 1893
Location: London

PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This cottage, my first cast-plaster model, was discovered in a junk box last year. It was missing some masonry in one corner, but was nicely painted. I've had to cut the rear wall off to fit its new site, which caused a bit more masonry to crumble, but this was soon fixed with part of the "spare" rear wall and some epoxy putty. When that's dry I can touch in the paint on the new stonework, then replace the guttering and downpipe.



The hole to the left of the cottage will be the control panel, covered by a mill building. The level crossing gates are now in place, but need their red warning panels and lights.
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 1893
Location: London

PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you go down to the woods today...........


Heading off to Clee St Margaret


Bridgnorth to Ludlow train arriving at Great Sutton
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 1893
Location: London

PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The tree between the two tracks is a rather bright green that I'm not sure I like. However, I did not have anything better in stock - or so I thought. Yesterday I went into a long-disregarded box in the storage cupboard and found several packets of the lighter shades of foliage. The tree armature is quite fragile, so I don't really want to tear the foliage off, but I may look at ways of altering the colour a little. Later.

The next important job is to finish off the wiring connections and fix the new control panel in place. After that I must glue some wood blocks into the goods shed complex and the stone house by the level crossing, so that they can be screwed into place through the backscene. That way if the point switches ever need attention, the buildings can be easily removed. After that, I'll have to stop putting off making the mill building!

Today I started working on painting the Victorian-era figures for the layout. Females are in rather short supply, but I have a copy of a 1950s article on how to alter more modern figures somewhere in my files (P.D. Hancock in an early Rly Modeller, I think) so will see if I can turn it up. Longer skirts with Miliput and a shawl round the shoulders (cut from facial tissue, perhaps) should do it. I'll only need two or perhaps three, so not a huge project.
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 1893
Location: London

PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Recent modelling time has been spent on the small details around the station. First we see the station's Policeman standing by some point levers outside his hut.


Next, a view of the station with the Stationmaster and one of the passengers. The fact that there are four members of railway staff on duty and only three passengers, perhaps bodes ill for the company's future!


Finally a view looking down the line towards Bridgnorth, with the branch line on the right. Both level crossings can be seen, plus a few local inhabitants. On the left, the control panel is being installed, to be covered by another low-relief structure, yet to be built.
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 1893
Location: London

PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finished the wiring - and it works; cake for tea in celebration! Just the jumper cables to connect up between the three baseboards, which shouldn't take too long, as they're already wired in and just need some choc-strip terminations to the bare ends. After that, I think the priority for the next couple of weeks will be the fitting of Kadees to the rolling stock, which won't produce many pictures. That should leave enough time for the Bilteezi mill conversion before the show, so this may be the last posting for a time.
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