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1860 and all that
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 2004
Location: London

PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

About 15 wagons, all the coaches (built so far) and two locos have been fitted with Kadees, now. But I've only got two packets left of the centreset couplers used most widely - enough for four items of stock. Three pairs will have to be locos, and I'll use the last pair on the ends of the quarry open wagon rake. I'll have to work out a hook and loop temporary coupling for joining the individual wagons together for now.
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 2004
Location: London

PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A couple of spare hours today, so managed to get couplings onto two more locos; one more to go. At least I've found an easier way of doing the work.
One of the engine crews had gone AWOL, but luckily turned up today. They're two of the Langley castings for Victorian figures, so have been painted rather swiftly. They will be allocated to the converted GWR 101 loco, as this is the only one with a styrene footplate that can be drilled to take the spigots under their feet.
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 2004
Location: London

PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2017 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Put the layout up in its entirety on the upstairs landing (too lazy to carry everything downstairs!). It seemed larger than I'd thought, or maybe the landing is smaller than I realised. Just a bit of track-cleaning to do, and a check on any ballast in the flangeways and it should be fine. At least the power still goes everywhere, despite the ballasting.

Started on the mill yesterday and had a re-think about the cottage by the level crossing. I think a combo of styrene, card and plaster buildings is a bit much, so will substitute another part of the mill for the cottage pictured earlier.
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 2004
Location: London

PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2017 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



The mill is taking shape. I quite like the two small buildings in place of the cottage.
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Blackcloud Railways



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 1991
Location: Sandbach UK

PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2017 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, much more convincing this way. It fills the site well.
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Bob Hughes
Playing Trains

Once there were mountains on mountains and once there were sunbirds to soar with and once I could never be down.
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 2004
Location: London

PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finished the mill complex today. Having screwed it to the backscene, there was a light leak at the left hand end. To cover this I've added a chimney, and made the small door the entrance to the boiler room. I'll probably add a coal pile, a man resting on his shovel and a wheel-barrow to reinforce the point. It gives the excuse for a coal wagon to be unloaded in the goods yard from time to time.

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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 2004
Location: London

PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The WRG's annual Small Layout Show is this Saturday. Details in the Events section. See you there.
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 2004
Location: London

PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

An interesting learning curve, on Saturday, with the layout's debut. After a short while it became clear that the unconverted locos were a little too lively, even with a feedback controller. I hope the return of the two original controllers (both needing new pots) will improve this situation. For the show, the blue saddle tank from Shellsea was transferred from a display of rolling stock to operational use, giving the four engines needed for the timetable.

Having said that, there seemed to be a major flaw in the operating cards, which seemed to be at odds with the train movement graph. The result was that a whole train appeared to be missing by "mid-morning", which had a knock-on throughout the rest of the day - a situation only too familiar in real life!

The loco conversions sparked much discussion, and it was a good thing the body on one loco had not been glued in place, so the new gearing could be inspected.

The first picture shows the borrowed loco on a passenger train bound for Bridgnorth; the mixed periods of the coaches is apparent.


The big engine shunting


The blue loco again, this time heading a goods train bound for the branch line.


Finally, the long saddle tank engine is seen leaving for Bridgnorth at the head of a passenger train. Those in the know thought it looked like an Armstrong engine - possibly because it's painted dark green (not the GWR shade, though, but Japanese National Railway green). I must check the caption on the photo that inspired the conversion, as that showed a loco from an independent railway as far as I can recall. It also shows a tramway coach, also borrowed from Shellsea.
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Blackcloud Railways



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 1991
Location: Sandbach UK

PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 2:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Footsore from travelling between two fiddleyards? Very Happy

Glad to hear that it went well. Both passenger trains really look the part, proper mis-matched sets.
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Bob Hughes
Playing Trains

Once there were mountains on mountains and once there were sunbirds to soar with and once I could never be down.
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 2004
Location: London

PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're right about the walking, Bob. I took a tall stool, but hardly used it. The coaches are a mixed bunch, as you say, made a bit more so by the use of a tramway coach from Shellsea, which was standing in for my third Rocket coach which awaits conversion. I was also using the tramway's fish/brakevan which seems to fit in with either layout quite well.

Meanwhile, I found the "lost" train, which was due to a missing instruction on the operator's train sheet. Once it went up the branch mid-morning, it never came back. One other matter may need looking into; as the loop is so short, some of the shunting/train passing moves mean that there needs to be a limit to the number of wagons or coaches that can be used on these trains.

There are more pictures of the show available at: http://wealden.weebly.com/2017-show-pics.html
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Blackcloud Railways



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 1991
Location: Sandbach UK

PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Super pics on the linked site. I like the exits to fiddleyards on the 3mm scale layout. The station footbridge one end is a neat cut off while a totally believable combination of overbridge, buildings and trees at the other is an urban view blocking situation often seen but seldom modelled.

Just one reservation with this scene though, on a steam era railway it is unlikely that trees that close to the tracks would get a chance to reach maturity. A combination of lineside fires and undergrowth clearance by PW staff would mean they could not grow like that. Perfect for a later modelled period though.

Advice to modellers - Observe the prototype and restrict mature trees to private land adjacent to the railway instead if you need them for view blocking. As a general rule they shouldn't be growing on embankments or in cuttings before the 1970s. If you're not old enough to remember steam trains yourself (I am, and the lineside near the house I grew up in has changed beyond all recognition since the early 60s) then there are plenty of old photos for reference.
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Bob Hughes
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Once there were mountains on mountains and once there were sunbirds to soar with and once I could never be down.
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ruedetropal



Joined: 22 Oct 2006
Posts: 814
Location: Accrington, Lancashire

PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice picture, 3mm scale is rarely seen up this way. I plan to use the footbridge trick on one layout, have not worked out what to do the other end, but it might be another foot bridge at the other to connect to a factory. Thats the problem with 'flat' landscapes.
Add to the list of why trees were not so tall, is polution.
Look above cuttings and tunnels in steam age and less growing. Once the soot, quite literally has settled, then there is less to inhibit, and what has already got into the soil actually increases growth. Used to do quite a bit of wooland work, and sites with some historic industrial use, not only were often full of things to fall over, but nature was advancing very fast. They might have been busy clearing trees near te track, but after WW2 there were far fewer people actually maintaining the trees. One of the reasons I got involved in woodland conservation in the 70s and 80s, and much of the knowledge we have now was based on work done then.
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Simon Dawson
Will try anything once, looking for the ultimate easy to set up portable exhibition layout, preferably French narrow gauge and with lots going on, not necessary on the rails.

http://www.rue-d-etropal.com
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 2004
Location: London

PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some more pictures, taken at the recent WRG show, starting with the long saddle tank leaving the station with a very short passenger train bound for Bridgnorth. Coaches date from c.1850


Next, a shot of "Jumbo" bringing a Ludlow-bound goods into Great Sutton.


The long saddle tank again, this time with a slightly more modern coach and a typical "farm wagon" open. The fish/brake from Shellsea proved most useful during the day


The Copperknob saddle tank trundles a train of empty mineral wagons through the station, en-route for the quarries at Clee St Margaret.


A passenger train passes the mill with a train for Bridgnorth.
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ruedetropal



Joined: 22 Oct 2006
Posts: 814
Location: Accrington, Lancashire

PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do like the Bilteezi backscenes. I need to order some. Was talking to the FMA chap at York, who said he did not bring them as he did not find they were popular. Can't understand why not. They are not on his website, but are in the catalogue. Also tempted by the MERCO wagons and coaches(I already have the LT stock), just because they are such good artwork, and are historically important, almost too important to build up.
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Simon Dawson
Will try anything once, looking for the ultimate easy to set up portable exhibition layout, preferably French narrow gauge and with lots going on, not necessary on the rails.

http://www.rue-d-etropal.com
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 2004
Location: London

PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Simon, I think the reason why the Bilteezi (Vacy-Ash) background scenes are less popular than before is that in the digital age we are more used to the crisp reality of photographic back-scenes. However, their advantage is that, although painterly in style, the do represent the British country scene from the late Victorian era up to about 1960.

One slight disadvantage is that various print runs had slightly different finishes in terms of brightness, or clarity of image. This can be overcome, I suspect, by scanning them and then tweaking the colour range or definition with a computer programme. This, perhaps, I should have done here. One can also alter the size as well. I went with actual scissors and paste to alter the relationship between some the houses, some of which were reversed L to R to fit the layout's requirements. I also made the thicker woodland at the Bridgnorth end of the baseboard like this, and then covered them in fully modelled trees.

Regarding Merco, I wonder if FMA have re-issued their brick and slate papers? Although their page size is small, they had the best colour range of old red brick and tiles of any of their contemporaries. I had not thought of the Merco wagon sheets as being of historical importance, but I see that they are just in terms of recording the past era of rolling stock paintwork, even if any resultant models have a hard task standing up to comparison with modern proprietary models. Didn't Graham Weller write up the building of some of their wagons - or were they another make (whose name escapes me) that were available in the 1960s and then faded away. They certainly covered a number of wagon types that have never been available since.
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