Starlingford - The End of the Line

Post pictures and information about your own personal model railway layout that is under construction. Keep members up-to-date with what you are doing and discuss problems that you are having.
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Black-Marlin
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Re: Starlingford - B1s, D11s, Q6s and a restaurant triplet p

Postby Black-Marlin » Mon Nov 28, 2016 9:51 pm

End2end wrote:Congratulations Gavin. You and Starlingford certainly deserve it
Thanks
End2end


carnehan wrote:Haha, that's brilliant Gavin. Well done and well deserved. I miss the more regular postings of Starlingford.

Paul


Dad-1 wrote:Well deserved.
Like most I always look forward to new photos from Starlingford.

O.K now an awkward question - How's the weight control going ?

The other thought that occurred to me where DO you keep so many locomotives ?
I'd like to know as I'm running out of space.

Geoff T.


Thanks awfully, chaps :)

I have been very busy recently, though sadly not with much railway-related stuff. After a series of resignations at work - Aberdeen, in keeping with its 'few years behind the times' reputation, is going through a pretty brutal recession of its own just now - I am a department of one. As such I have taken a few executive decisions, my favourite being a relaxation of the dress code, but it has left too little time for relaxing with trains...

That said, I have some irons in the fire. I have started scratchbuilding a four-road engine shed (I keep getting inspired by other people's projects - not least yours, Paul - so I've decided to experiment), despite not have a layout suitable for it. It's going to go into storage once it's done, I suspect, and will await the day when I have a layout on which I can put it! Still, I'm hoping that as a learning experience it will be of some use.

It was also recently the Aberdeen MRC exhibition. I was able to contribute a complete 8-car Queen of Scots rake, fully finished with coach headboards. The duplicate coaches (a brake third, kitchen third and parlour third) were also all renumbered to create an accurate formation. It ran on the club's exhibition layout, which, being DCC, was unsuitable for any of my locomotives, so a fellow club member donated the TTS A4 Gadwall to the enterprise. Like a clot I forgot to get any pictures, but I promise it looked good! Acquisitions included another maroon Hawksworth 3rd (have I mentioned that I got seduced into getting these coaches because I didn't have any coaching stock suitable for Lion, and that I don't understand why they haven't been better sellers? They're excellent - occasional issues with gangway shape notwithstanding - and their unpopularity means that these top-of-the-line coach models crop up brand new at ridiculously low prices. I got mine BNIB for £22!) as well as some more Oxford Rail LNER cattle wagons for the J15. I am enjoying the nerdish, spreadsheet-driven quest to identify 'set trains' for specific locomotives. I am also - slowly - acquiring the weathered b&c-liveried coaches that will accompany my weathered BR blue Princess Lady Patricia - a mix of Mk1s and 'portholes'.

I have also been working on detailing one of the Electrotren/Golden Valley Hobbies 0-6-0 shunters - mine is the black industrial tank Ajax. I have detailed it with a crew, lamps (in the shunter head code) and coal heaped in the back of the cab. Pictures to follow!

Geoff, my locos are stored under the fiddle yard. They are long, thin cardboard boxes with the locomotives arranged side-by-side The fiddle yard is built on an 8x4' piece of wood that rests on some 6"-tall supports that rest, in turn, on an 8x4" table. The boxes slide away into that 6" gap - all very neat and tidy! As for weight control... :shock: :oops: :cry:

Not much of an update, I know, but I promise 'workbench' pictures of Ajax soon...

Regards,
Gavin

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Re: Starlingford - B1s, D11s, Q6s and a restaurant triplet p131

Postby Black-Marlin » Sat Jan 07, 2017 10:51 pm

Right! So... err... I promised a picture of Ajax. Good news - I have been home! So I can show it to you in its proper context...

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As you can see, I've done a little detailing here too - an interior has appeared in the tunnel, and some fencing has been added next to the line (to keep those anglers safe!)

I've been up to some other stuff too. I've finished paving the town, for one thing:

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...And I've been running some new - or at least previously unseen - stock. The first of these is a Heljan O2. Although I haven't completed the detailing on this locomotive yet, I have at least added a crew. These are painted whitemetal figures from Pete Goss's range (he of 'Rowland's Castle' and 'World's End'):

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The other new locomotive is very new - less than a week old, since it was a birthday present! Here is D16/3 'Claud Hamilton' on a parcels working. I was still at the running-in and testing stage when I took these, so I haven't yet done any detailing:

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More to follow...

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Black-Marlin
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Re: Starlingford - First Update of 2017, p132

Postby Black-Marlin » Sun Jan 08, 2017 6:42 pm

More pictures!

I have modified Kingfisher with a driver and fireman. I know you don't need two pictures to demonstrate this, but I really like the second one and the Lancaster in the background - for some reason, the propellers look very convincing:

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I was also running Sir Martin Frobisher on a milk train - the combination of Malachite green and Navy blue is most appealing :D

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And finally (for now): Plymouth at the head of a rake of BR Green Mk1s. The first vehicle is a TMC Horsebox, but the remainder are all Hornby (with lights!):

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(Bonus mark for anyone successfully identifying the tank driving downhill in the picture above!)

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There may well be more to follow...

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Re: Starlingford - First Update of 2017, p132

Postby carnehan » Sun Jan 08, 2017 9:38 pm

Ahhhh, a very welcome blast from the past. It's always a fine site to see locos thundering across the Starlingford landscape - an unfortunate rare occurrence these days. :cry:

As to the tank, sorry, no bonus point coming my way. I had initially thought of T-34 but knew that was wrong so can only throw a very wide ball and say it looks American.

Paul

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Re: Starlingford - First Update of 2017, p132

Postby Brooker » Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:33 pm

I really like the second picture of Kingfisher and the first picture of Sir Martin Frobisher.
I'm going to have to take a longer look at the rest of your thread - but not in work time!!
Dave

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Re: Starlingford - First Update of 2017, p132

Postby Black-Marlin » Mon Jan 09, 2017 9:17 pm

carnehan wrote:Ahhhh, a very welcome blast from the past. It's always a fine site to see locos thundering across the Starlingford landscape - an unfortunate rare occurrence these days. :cry:

As to the tank, sorry, no bonus point coming my way. I had initially thought of T-34 but knew that was wrong so can only throw a very wide ball and say it looks American.

Paul


I agree about the paucity of updates - it's been a very busy year. However, hopefully some regularity of service may soon be resumed...

I will give you two clues about the tank: in neither location nor era is it out of place :wink:

Carrying on with the updates, the long-neglected M7 finally has three coaches to pull!

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And other, rarer, coaches have also made an appearance - two suburban brakes for the Longmoor Military Railway:

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And finally, a completely accurate train that I'd simply not thought to photograph before! 22 refrigerated vans hauled by a K3 (with correct headcode, natch):

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Regards,
Gavin

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Re: Starlingford - First Update of 2017, p132

Postby Black-Marlin » Mon Jan 09, 2017 9:24 pm

Brooker wrote:I really like the second picture of Kingfisher and the first picture of Sir Martin Frobisher.
I'm going to have to take a longer look at the rest of your thread - but not in work time!!
Dave


Hi Dave, welcome to Starlingford! I hope, as you wander through the thread, that you'll find more pictures you like. The very first page has an index to facilitate navigation, so hopefully you won't get too lost... Feel free to to comment, query, debate and criticise as you see fit :)

Gavin

Image

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Re: Starlingford - First Update of 2017, p132

Postby Black-Marlin » Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:01 pm

One of my favourite locomotives - not because I'm particularly fond of the class, or because I think it's a surpassingly wonderful model - is my Bachmann N-class. I'm quite proud of the work I did to improve it. Although I have yet to add coal to the tender, I have painted the cab backhead to as great a level of detail as I can manage and added a whitemetal crew. Here it is on some milk wagons:

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Regards,
Gavin

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Re: Starlingford - How to Detail a Steam Engine

Postby Black-Marlin » Thu Jan 12, 2017 12:52 pm

Hello folks!

It's been a while since I've done a 'how to' guide, so I thought I'd share one on 'how to detail a steam locomotive'. I know that for most of you this will be a case of 'Dear Granny, here is how one sucks an egg,' but on the basis that this is, after all, a forum for New Railway Modellers, I decided there was no harm in it.

So, keeping those eggs in mind, let's crack on.

What you'll need

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There are some tools that ought to be part of every modeller's toolkit, and nothing we're about to do requires anything complicated or expensive. I have here (front row) a pipette or eye-dropper; two pairs of self-grip tweezers (one straight and one angled); a scalpel/modeller's knife; some cheap brush-applicator superglue; a swiss army knife (I favour the ones made by Wenger, because the scissor mechanism is far better); a pair of kitchen scissors; and they all rest on some black paper. In the back row are former coffee jars filled with fine, medium and coarse grades of crushed coal; and a bottle of Woodland Scenics scenic glue. All of these are readily available.

Some argue that the best way to get crushed coal is to take a lump of coal, wrap it in a plastic bag and beat it with a hammer. In my experience this is a lot of work, not least because the sharp edges of the coal shred the plastic bag and - in my case at least - you wind up with a vast mess of unusable coal spread over a garden path. It's much easier simply to buy the Peco packs. I have also discovered that for our purposes you needn't really bother with the 'fine' grade - in 00 gauge, 'coarse' and 'medium' are sufficient.


Driven To Distraction

Steam locomotives had a crew of at least two. In fact it was almost always two, but sometimes additional figures, like an inspector, might be present on a footplate - bear this in mind if you're wanting to create something a little bit different (I did this on my model of Royal Lancer, but it's the only one). Lots of companies make driver figures, and you can mix-and-match as you see fit. You can also use H0-gauge figures (as I have below), but don't have them next to 00-gauge ones - that will look wrong. Most of the crews I have on my locomotives are plastic, but whitemetal ones are also available, and are particularly useful for lightweight models. Every few additional grams help traction!

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These two are Noch H0 figures. I applied a dab of superglue to the cab, and then held the figures in place with the tweezers while the glue set. The permanently-coupled tender on this model made life more difficult than it might have been, but the angled tweezers helped enormously.


Love Me Tender

Let's take a look at the tender.

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The tender of this Bachmann G2A came with a metal coal load, which to be honest didn't look great. Sliding the scalpel under it I was able to prize it out, which revealed a bit of a problem - great big holes that had been used to hold the coal load in place.

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This is the solution. Cut a section of the black paper to cover any such areas. You'll need to do this because otherwise the coal - or at least the glue - will pour through the tender and cause all kinds of havoc! However, you don't at this stage need to glue the paper in place: we'll be adding glue later, and it will soak into the paper of its own accord. Top time-saving tip, there.

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Add the coal - I normally do so in small increments, a quarter of a teaspoon at a time. Once you're happy with the load, use the pipette to apply the scenic glue. It's runny enough to penetrate the coal and bind it all in place. Make sure that you work systematically - you want every piece to have been glued, otherwise coal may fall off as you manipulate the tender!

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Let's talk a little about how coal looks in a tender. Think of the coaling area as being divided into four equal sections from 1 at the front of the tender (the end nearest the cab) to 4 at the back. When the tender is first coaled, particularly if this was done under a coaling tower, the coal will be heaped in the middle of the tender. However, as the locomotive ran the fireman shovelled coal from section 1. To represent a locomotive well into its stride, therefore, you would have the coal at its highest in section 3, sloping down towards the back in section 4 but also sloping down to its lowest point, through section 2, in section 1. I have tried to replicate this effect both for the G2A above and, less subtly, in the tender of the D11 shown below. You can also see a pool of the white glue - don't worry, it will dry clear.

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Face Lifts and Perked-up Rears

Steam locomotives of most companies (including BR but mostly excluding the Southern Railway) used headlamps. The purpose of these was not, as you might first imagine, to illuminate the track ahead, but instead to inform observers as to the nature of the train. To that end, lamp headcodes are an indispensable bit of knowledge for steam railway modellers, and the diagram below will help you to recreate them accurately:

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Our G2A is going to be at the front of a long unfitted mineral train made up of unfitted 4- and 5-plank wagons. It will therefore carry a Class J headcode. Those of you wishing to be able to reposition your lamps might find Tacky Wax to be the ideal adhesive; I am looking for something more permanent and will use superglue.

There are a number of lamp manufacturers, including some who offer working versions, but I'm going to stick with the old favourites, those manufactured by Springside. They are whitemetal with a piece of some reflective material representing the lens, and I think they look very effective. The swiss army knife scissors will take them off the sprue very handily, while a modeller's file can be used to clean up any burrs if necessary.

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One quick dab of glue later:

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The D11, meanwhile, is going to be used on stopping services, so it takes a Class B headcode. For this locomotive I've used an LNER-pattern lamp.

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Tail lamps are a different story - and arguably a more complicated one. However, help is at hand. This article - http://farnhammrc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/TailLamps-2.pdf - has proven to be of great use, and many thanks must go to Noel Leaver and Farnham MRC for sharing it. I have here one of Invicta's new LMR brakevans, and all I've done is apply a BR tail lamp to the central bracket and remove the rear coupling. The van is now ready for service.

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I hope this has been of some use; I intend to follow it up with a supplementary post explaining the detailing of the SR Lord Nelson Sir Martin Frobisher, which presents slightly different challenges. Stay tuned!

Regards,
Gavin
Last edited by Black-Marlin on Thu Jan 12, 2017 7:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Brooker
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Re: Starlingford - How to Detail a Steam Locomotive, p132

Postby Brooker » Thu Jan 12, 2017 1:31 pm

Hi Gavin,
Many thanks for taking the time to produce this.
I found the head code patterns especially useful.
Cheers
Dave

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Re: Starlingford - How to Detail a Steam Locomotive, p132

Postby DonB » Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:06 pm

A very useful guide, particularly the headlamp codes. Thanks Gavin.
I've heard it said that those Springside lamps are overscale. However, they look fine to me.

Of the new additions, I love the Claud Hamilton - She (he?) looks very much at home on Starlingford!
Don

My Layout Thread: viewtopic.php?t=14899

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Starlingford - How to Detail a Steam Locomotive - Pt. 2

Postby Black-Marlin » Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:25 pm

As promised, Sir Martin Frobisher...

The Bachmann Lord Nelson is a fairly old model and not up to modern standards. There are a couple of places this is particularly evident, and that's what I'm going to try to fix. (One crucial thing that I can't fix is the chassis - it's one of the old split-chassis jobs with the motor sandwiched between. Replacing that is beyond my current skills!)

The first thing to deal with is the cab interior. It's moulded in black plastic:

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Fortunately, being moulded, the pipework is raised. With a very small brush (I used a Javis sable 5/0) and a selection of metallic shades (brass and aluminium, with flat white for the gauges), it is possible to lift the detail and make it visible:

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I also took the opportunity, with a matte mid-brown, to represent the wooden flooring before affixing the crew. These are whitemetal figures from Pete Goss's range:

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The tender offers different trickinesses. As an older model it offers one thing that makes life slightly easier, but one other thing that makes it much, much harder! It's easier because there are no electrical connections interfering with anything, so the tender can be worked on in isolation. But it's difficult because the coal load is an integral part of the moulding. I can't simply lift it out and replace it. This is our starting point:

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My solution is to try to make life as easy on myself as possible. All that I do is add an extremely thin layer of medium-grade crushed coal over the moulded load. All we're trying to do, remember, is get rid of the horrible plastickiness of the original. Using the same procedure as before, this is what results:

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Finally, let's talk about the locomotive's face. The Southern only used lamp headcodes at night - during the day, it used white discs. And unlike everyone else, the purpose of the headcode was not to tell you the train's composition but its route (with one or two exceptions, like the Royal Train or breakdown trains). This means that in order to put something accurate on the front of the locomotive you need to have a much clearer understanding of what it's going to be pulling, where it's going to be pulling it and why!

Fortunately, those fine folk at SEMG have provided all the information I need. They've provided a list of all the routes and their associated codes here: http://www.semgonline.com/headcodes/sheadcodes/04.html.

My intention is to run Sir Martin Frobisher on a heavy milk train. My wagons are for Express Dairies, and again SEMG tells me where there were two Express dairies on the Southern network: Seaton Junction and Lapford (http://www.semgonline.com/vandw/milk_01.html). Both of these are covered by the Route 2 headcode, so that's what I'll adopt.

I happen to have some model SR discs from the detailing pack of a Hornby locomotive, but it is the easiest thing in the world to make your own: introduce a piece of thin white card to your hole punch! The circular card punch-outs will be perfect for your purposes. Anyway, one small application of superglue later:

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And with that, we're done!
Gavin

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manna
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Re: Starlingford - How to Detail a Steam Locomotive, p132

Postby manna » Fri Jan 13, 2017 6:07 am

G'day Gents

Going back to the 'tank' with all those road wheels it looks like a Conqueror, not one of Britain's finest.

manna
EDGWARE GN. Steam in the Suburbs

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Black-Marlin
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Re: Starlingford - How to Detail a Steam Locomotive, p132

Postby Black-Marlin » Fri Jan 13, 2017 6:34 am

manna wrote:G'day Gents

Going back to the 'tank' with all those road wheels it looks like a Conqueror, not one of Britain's finest.

manna


Give the boy a biscuit! Yes indeed, that is a Conqueror, Britain's forgotten post-war tank. Mine is one of a handful of resin models sold as a limited edition, so I doubt you'll ever see another one on a model railway. I've been trying to collect an example of each of Britain's tanks; the Conqueror proved very tricky to get hold of.

Regards,
Gavin

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Re: Starlingford - How to Detail a Steam Locomotive, p132

Postby manna » Fri Jan 13, 2017 7:40 am

G'day Gents

Thanks for that I'll have it with a coffee, one little know fact, is the Russian stole the plans for the Conqueror, and copied it, they had more trouble with it than the British. Serves em right.

manna
EDGWARE GN. Steam in the Suburbs


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