The Loop 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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Steve with the Hat
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The Loop Line

Postby Steve with the Hat » Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:40 pm

Hi eveyone,

As promised in my intro, here follows some pics and updates on my first layout build, inspired (demanded) by my sons interest in model trains.

Initially we picked up a Hornby Coastal Freight set from Argos and track packs B and C from local model shops. After Xmas I set to work on a more operational track plan with some kind of rationale for the layout. Our theme was a Staffordshire branch line in BR steamdays.

Primary in the design stage of the layout was to think of what our son could operate, how far he could reach to change points and leaving space to create scenic breaks to disguise the two loop basic plan.

After 10 or so revisions I came up with this:

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A coal or clay works where full trains can be picked up and taken to a canal for shipping on with two stations for passenger operations

A trip up to Hattons and we had all the track needed and a lovely Bachmann 0-6-2. While laying the track at this stage drawing pins were used so we could see what worked.

Which brought us to this stage:
(a set of points is missing in this pic - the spring had broken :evil: )

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It was about this time that the layout investors decided "we didn't have hundereds of pounds to spend on a layout" so I looked into what could be made for free / pennies. Some very useful threads from these boards, RMWeb and the odd YouTube wargaming vid gave some great ideas, amongst which:

1. Card Buildings, durable, relatively cheap nad even available to download and print your own! - Excellent!

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and I'm particulary happy with the one on the left here:

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2. DAS modelling clay, at £3 per block, this air drying clay is superb, not that I can use it well yet but its got great potential (and tools for it can be 'borrowed' from our sons play dough sets :) )

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second attempt at a tunnel mouth, took the time to scribe round each brick and added some embelishments;

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3. DIY scatter,

Scatter seems really expensive. I hunted down a pretty cool technique for making your own. Sawdust from sanding machines (avoid MDF dust unless you want to operate your trains in a HASMAT suit!) was mixed with regular 'childrens' paint to make a thick green porridge, keep adding more sawdust until the mix really cant take anymore. Dry overnight, sieve out the big lumps and your done. Used tea leaves is another old but useful trick. I tried to make some flock too by filling a sponge with water and then freezing it, once hard frozen grate the block with a cheese grater, leave to dry/defrost and then paint with acryllics. It came out a bit bright but I was only testing techniques and at £1 for 3 jumbo car sponges this might be a go'er if I can get the colours right

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4. Laminated cardboard for hills etc

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5. Trees

Some excellent tips and tutorials on the web for this, my fave was this one:

[url]http://www.modelrailroadforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5015
[/url]

which may even be a link given on these boards already. This guys trees are great - as are the ones from a member who shows up late in the thread.

Just done a couple so far - again, trying things out atm

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Well thats pretty much the progress so far, just an additional controller and some wiring added over the last few days. I've scrapped the run around loop in the sidings (too small) and extended the 'works' siding to a more useable length. I'll try and get a more up to date picture tommorrow in the daylight.

Heres the wiring details:

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any comments welcome - but be gentle its my first time :oops:

kind regards

Steve
Last edited by Steve with the Hat on Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:33 am, edited 2 times in total.

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mattmay05
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Re: A layout for Kaneda

Postby mattmay05 » Thu Jan 29, 2009 1:22 am

Looking great so far, look forward to see how it develops!

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Steve with the Hat
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Re: A layout for Kaneda

Postby Steve with the Hat » Thu Jan 29, 2009 10:11 am

Hi all, thanks for the comment Matt,

Here are a few more pics showing the slightly redesigned track. What you cant really see is the wiring Ive been tinkering with. A large section of the curve in front of the main station has been isolated and a DPST switch put. My lad can now stop a passenger train here while a goods train crosses the 'mainlines' and on to the works. Ive also moved the outer loop power feed slightly to accomodate a larger run-around loop. The run-around on the goods siding has been removed because it was too small to be practical.

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I've been working on another tunnel portal which has come out better than the first one I tried imo;

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A couple more close ups...

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We have another little one on the way so the layout will be moved to a larger room, this will involve removing part of the baseboards. So no scenic work on that end, but might start soon on the tunnel and works end just to try some techniques out.

I'm trying to avoid lifting all the track again - do you guys thinking I can just ballast the track as is, or do I need to paint the board underneath prior to ballasting?

cheers

Steve

ps. Just to note, the Bachmann controller I picked up is so much better than the Hornby job, smooth delivery of power rather than Hornby's 'all or nothing' basic job. Same thing with the Bachy loco - oozes quality and runs like a watch, the Hornby loco jumps along and the illusion is somewhat spoiled. Will be sticking with Bachmann kit where I can.

Just one problem we are having with the Bachmann loco is the couplings. These are the small tension coupler variety and we have major problems with hooks on the Hornby stock locking up and causing derailments. Is there a simple way to put larger tension couplers on the Bachmann loco?

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DrStroganoff
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Re: A layout for Kaneda

Postby DrStroganoff » Thu Jan 29, 2009 11:14 am

Its looking great !

Well done with the buildings and especially the tunnel mouths, they really look the business.

Good to see some innovative ideas with the scenery rather than just using 'off the shelf' products (like me!) :)

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Steve with the Hat
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Re: A layout for Kaneda

Postby Steve with the Hat » Thu Jan 29, 2009 2:20 pm

Cheers for the comment Doc,

Some of the buildings aren't finished yet - they will need weathering etc, but I'm going to practice my techniques a bit more and get some scenery going. As far as materials, well, needs must as we just dont have the funds to spend a great deal and theres always the chance our son might be into Star Wars again by this time next year :D

reards

Steve

YardMaster
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Re: A layout for Kaneda

Postby YardMaster » Sun Feb 01, 2009 7:30 pm

Looks like some really good stuff there - the scenic ideas are great(I especially like the tunnel mouths - now thats patience to carve the outlines of all those bricks!).

See you've come to the same ocnclusion regarding bachmann/hornby as i have - bachy's are the way to go for detail, running quality (i can personally recommend bachmann's 08 diesel as the smoothest running 00 engine i've ever had the pleasure of owning - like a dream!) and the price might be higher than hornby's basic stuff but is far more reasonable and equal in quality to hornby's good stuff (I think :) ). I have also encountered the problem you have with bachy couplings sadly. Some of my bachmann wagons i actually don't use any more because of it. however all is not lost. If the couplings on your loco fit into NEM pockets you can switch them out for NEM fitted hornby couplers relatively easily 9or so I'm told - never tried it meself :p

anyway, best of luck in the hobby, and i have no fear that even if yuor son loses interest in model trains they will keep you entertained for many years, and buying a 56xx 0-6-2 is a cracking start for your own collection methinks - I'd love one, but sadly i can't think of a reason for one to find its way to the north eastern region that I model!

cheers,

yardmaster

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Steve with the Hat
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Re: A layout for Kaneda

Postby Steve with the Hat » Sun Feb 01, 2009 8:58 pm

Hi Yardmaster,

Cheers for the encouragement m8. One temporary solution we are using re the coupling issue is to remove the bachman hooks. This at least prevents the two different hook sizes from interlocking. It does however require manually lining up the off center Hornby hooks with the centered Bachy coupling.

I did try to fashion a replacement:

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which sort of works but needs a bit of tweaking to line up with the Hornby coupler loop properly, otherwise everytime you hit the breaks the wire loop rides up and decouples!

regards

Steve

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Steve with the Hat
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Re: A layout for Kaneda - Photo Update!!

Postby Steve with the Hat » Wed Feb 11, 2009 12:32 pm

Hi all,

A small update of the scenic work we have been doing, not finished yet but we are quite happy with it so far.

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I made the hedges too small so theres a hasty extension on top, this needs to be painted and blended in with a bit of HBL and jute...also need to dress the walls up with a bit more undergrowth.

cheers

Steve

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barks
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Re: A layout for Kaneda - Photo Update!!

Postby barks » Wed Feb 11, 2009 1:19 pm

hi,

i think the scenery you have done looks excellent!
its coming on great.

regards

barks :D
My Layout so far...

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Steve with the Hat
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Re: A layout for Kaneda - Photo Update!!

Postby Steve with the Hat » Wed Feb 11, 2009 5:47 pm

Cheers m8

Heres a few more detailed shots of the trees,

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which I am well pleased with, also a good way to get my lady involved with the modelling.

regards

Steve

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Steve with the Hat
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Re: A layout for Kaneda - Photo Update!!

Postby Steve with the Hat » Mon Mar 23, 2009 7:02 pm

Sorry no updates for a while but real life issues have been taking a front seat.

Back on track now and modelling is continuing on our little roundy round layout.

The layout is now in a larger room. Ive had another think about the track plan and simplified things even more, removing the canal idea and moving the station. This makes for a less cramped feel and we have managed to sneak a fiddle yard in too!

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Ive scratchbuilt a goods shed, which for a first attempt wasnt as unpleasant as I had thought. So a coal staithes and small garage quickly followed. A new signal box has been donated by my step father (hes gone n gauge) as well as a few other buildings:

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Plenty on the to-do list atm including ballsting, new large platform for the station and a new tunnel section

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We are looking to find a triang blood and custard composite to go with our brake which we picked up 2nd hand - we have 3 4 wheel coaches to swap if anyones interested :D

Hope these pics give some inspiration to other new modellers, Ive noticed quite a few 6x4 layouts starting out (well ours is 7x4 but still, small round......)

kind regards

Steve

Sprintex
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Re: A layout for Kaneda - Photo Update!!

Postby Sprintex » Mon Mar 23, 2009 9:22 pm

Some nice scenic details there. Keep up the good work and keep us posted :)


Paul

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Steve with the Hat
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Re: A layout for Kaneda - Photo Update!!

Postby Steve with the Hat » Tue Mar 24, 2009 9:33 am

Thanks for the encouragement Sprintex!

Heres the track plan as it is now......

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Im not totally happy with the fiddle yard as some running around of trains is needed to prevent having to propel to leave the scenic section, but its worth having one of some description I reckon. They definately add to the effect of a layout and it means we can buy more locos and stock ! :D

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Steve with the Hat
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Re: A layout for Kaneda - Photo Update!!

Postby Steve with the Hat » Sun Mar 29, 2009 8:47 am

Well another small rethink on track layout has resulted in the fiddle yard been switched to the right. Much better access to it now as it dosen't run behind the wardrobe anymore!

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This is now set in stone as it were as I've ballasted a fair amount of it.

Also finished painting the people (mostly), for this latest batch I used the black undercoat technique - I'm sure most of you know it but if you paint the figure black first you get much better results.

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more updates when ballasting is finished

cheers

steve

Sprintex
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Re: A layout for Kaneda - Photo Update!!

Postby Sprintex » Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:42 pm

Those people look great . . .

Steve with the Hat wrote:Also finished painting the people (mostly), for this latest batch I used the black undercoat technique - I'm sure most of you know it but if you paint the figure black first you get much better results.


. . . and that's probably the reason why :lol:

Never heard of that technique before but a great snippet of information, thanks! :wink:


Paul


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