Cottey Brook - mk3

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jweighell
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Cottey Brook - mk3

Postby jweighell » Sun Aug 02, 2009 11:53 pm

Didn't realise how long ago it was, but I started layout mk2 almost 2 years ago - http://www.newrailwaymodellers.co.uk/Forums/viewtopic.php?t=9933. The layout was an improvement on mk1, but one of my bad traits is I tend to rush things, and am now suffered the consequences! :oops:

The baseboard was poorly built and started sagging, which lead to poor running and made any shunting impossible as rolling stock would roll downhill! Also the mk2 plan (which I rushed into!) included 1st radius track, which didn't seem like such a bad idea at the time, but of course limited some of my locos to running on the outer line all the time, and even the smaller locos seemed to be prone to derail on it. Also I had general problems with derailing on points - I'd used Hornby points, which I'm growing to dislike! Also, not necessarily a fault, but I wanted to get a much longer run - the old layout was only a 6x4 tailchaser.

Anyway, I started to plan layout mk3! Of course, this layout would fix the faults I mention above. I had planned on building a narrow shelf the whole way around the room (my son's bedroom), but a corner inward-opening door would make this tricky. I'm sure some sort of draw-bridge could have been built, but I think this would generally be awkward and potentially lead to problems. I started thinking about perhaps just an end-to-end layout around two of the walls, but I think I would have regretted not having a loop - the layout is still officially "for my son" :wink: so does need to be easy to operate.

Below is a rough plan of what I want to achieve. It is actually only really a single track loop - the reason for this is the narrower section in the top-right is a shelf around my son's bed, so it can't be too wide to avoid him banging his head! I have designed in two passing loops at each station, so that multiple trains can be running in opposite directions. Often on the old layouts we would only run one train at a time anyway - I hope I won't regret this, but I don't think there's much else we can do...

Each end of the layout will be hidden in a tunnel/backscene to hide the fact it's a loop, and to give more of an impression of an end-to-end layout.

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It's not based on anywhere or any era in particular - we've got all sorts of rolling stock! I'm dumping all the Honby track and using Peco code-100 Streamline instead with electro-frogs (another fault of the old layout was engines stalling on points!). It is DCC operated by Dynamis - that said, in time I want to look at computer control in the future, so will have to replace this. This time I am controlling all the points by DCC too, to save on the work of building a control panel and also for future computer automation!

The main loop will be passenger traffic. Also at each station is a 'terminus' platform for shuttle passenger services. Goods trains will run to-and-from the goods yard (top left) to the industry (bottom right). I haven't thought far enough ahead to decide the track plans for these areas, but I may include run-around loops in these to add a bit of interest. If anyone wants to make any suggestions to track plans in these areas, I'd be interested to hear!

I have already built the baseboards (much stronger this time!) and have started to lay the track in the top-left area. I'll get some photos done in the next day or two once there's something worth showing!

Any comments or suggestion would be welcome! I am interested in trying to get the running of the layout as realistic as possible, so are there any adjustments to the plan to help achieve this? I'm also interested in building in realistic signalling so any input on this would be great!

Thanks for looking!

Jonathan

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hobby boy
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Re: Cottey Brook - mk3

Postby hobby boy » Mon Aug 03, 2009 2:44 pm

sounds like it will be an interesting layout. Electrofrogs are easier with dcc as the wiring is simpler.

Andrew
I have this engine like the picture :) GWR 0-6-0 Pannier tank
Check out Andrew's layout Hookstoke Junction UPDATED! Should do more work as it's now the Easter Holidays :) After the holdiays are over, my layout won't get updated much Age = 15

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jweighell
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Re: Cottey Brook - mk3

Postby jweighell » Thu Aug 13, 2009 3:25 pm

Well I've been making some very slow progress, but making sure everything is well built and working well before rushing on to the next thing... I was a bit overwhelmed by how much there was to do as there was several weeks of construction before I could run any trains! Anyway, I'm starting to see some results...

Image

Here's the main station with two through lines and the terminus platform to the left. I'm possibly adding another line to the left and building another platform as there's plenty of space. I'm also considering trying to build a large clear roof over the top of all four lines then to give the impression of a large station. There will be a raised road over the lines in the distance with the station building above the lines and steps down onto the platforms - where the footbridge is in this photo. This will hide the sharp curves that bring the lines back around and they'll come out of a tunnel to the left.

To the right will be a low retaining wall with half-relief terraced houses along the top for a backdrop for the station. Not sure yet if I'll get more Metcalfe kits, or if I'll try scratch building some of my own.

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The same area from a different angle. There will be lines going off to the left into a goods yard/loco depot area. Excuse the stuffy wiring - I need to tidy this up under the boards!

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The second smaller station. I had planned on having platforms on both sides of the track, but the track plan took up more space on the board than I'd planned so I ran out of space. I was thinking about extending the board, but I'm starting to like just having a through-line instead. The un-connected points will go into a mine area with a coal chute.

As you can see, I've been experimenting with a tunnel to the left. I'll build this up higher with modrock in the next few days. This will hide the return loop that comes back around into the station.

Image

Looking the other way on the station. The platforms here ended up much more curved than I'd originally anticipated, but I think they look OK. Not quite sure how passengers are meant to get onto the platform though! I'm planning to put a strip of thin wood around the edge of the layout to make a small wall, as the line goes close to the edge in a lot of places!

Overall I'm very happy with how it's going so far. I have been doing lots of testing as I've been building and have made a few changes because of this. I'm very pleased with the flexi-track and Streamline points - this has given much better looking track in the scenic areas - nice gentle flowing curves. I do have some sharper bends to get the track to loop back around, but these will be hidden in tunnels.

Next up I will be making a start to some scenery! As I said, I'll start off by building up the tunnel behind the smaller station.

Thanks for looking!

Jonathan

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jweighell
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Re: Cottey Brook - mk3

Postby jweighell » Sun Aug 16, 2009 8:45 pm

Not had chance to do much work over the weekend as I've been away, but I visited a model shop earlier and bought a few things...

I've not been able to decide what to do about ballasting - I'd like to do it properly in terms of looks, but I know on the previous layout it caused problems. My kids had a terrible habit of picking at the ballast and trying to load it into trucks and sprinkling it on engines pretending to load coal etc! Anyway, I came across a roll of Gaugemaster gravel sheeting. I laid it as an experiment...

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What do you guys think? Obviously nothing compared to doing a proper ballast job, but in my mind it does a good job at making the layout kid proof (considering it's supposed to be for my son!).

Oh, also started adding a strip of black-painted wood around the outside of the layout to tidy things up a bit and to help prevent things falling off - I think it looks quite smart!

Jonathan

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sishades
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Re: Cottey Brook - mk3

Postby sishades » Mon Aug 17, 2009 11:10 am

Where did you get your canopy supports from? They look ideal for my station.
High towards the far post,Howard with a header,Hes done it!Steve Howard has scored for Leicester City,Bedlam here at the Walkers Stadium. the Leeds United players are flat out on the turf in utter despair. Leicester City are going to win again

bsa77
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Re: Cottey Brook - mk3

Postby bsa77 » Mon Aug 17, 2009 11:16 am

Platforms and platform canopies look great! I'm damned if I can make decent platforms... What is the secret?

Regarding ballast, have you looked at the gaugemaster underlay stuff, much better than the Peco from what I have read... I understand the reasons and the gravel sheet ooks good but lacks the 3D thingy if you get my drift?

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jweighell
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Re: Cottey Brook - mk3

Postby jweighell » Mon Aug 17, 2009 11:44 am

Thanks for the replies!

sishades wrote:Where did you get your canopy supports from? They look ideal for my station.


I did the canopy a couple years ago... They were a Ratio plastic kit - was a bit fiddly to make I seem to remember, but it worked out OK. They come in a pack of two that can either be joined length-ways to make a longer canopy, or side-by-side to make a wider canopy. I had some roof slate card left over from a Metcalfe kit I put on the roof to tidy that up, otherwise it was just grey plastic.

http://www.gaugemaster.com/item_details.asp?code=RO515&style=main&strType=OO&Mcode=Ratio%20515

bsa77 wrote:Platforms and platform canopies look great! I'm damned if I can make decent platforms... What is the secret?


They are a bit of a fudge from the Scalescenes kit. I cut out the platform shape from wood with my jigsaw, then stuck the sheets onto it. Actually, I not too happy with the look of that platform - I think one day I want to try and re-do it with Peco platform edging. Though I'm not sure how you're meant to fill the centre in?

bsa77 wrote:Regarding ballast, have you looked at the gaugemaster underlay stuff, much better than the Peco from what I have read... I understand the reasons and the gravel sheet looks good but lacks the 3D thingy if you get my drift?


I used the Gaugemaster underlay on my first layout attempt. Yes, it looked better, but worked out very expensive! And I had trouble fitting it around points. Also had trouble getting the track pinned in evenly which caused de-railments.

I'll use the gravel sheet now as a temporary measure, then think about ballasting properly in the future.

Jonathan

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jweighell
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Re: Cottey Brook - mk3

Postby jweighell » Thu Aug 20, 2009 3:17 pm

The backscene is in place and I've had a go with some modrock to build up some hills.

Image

The tunnel to the left loops around behind the backscene and comes out to the right as a double line. I'm going to build a girder road bridge across the tracks to the right to hide the opening in the backscene.

There's a set of hidden points behind the backscene too so I've got the signal lights working so I can easily tell which way they are set and avoid any nasty accidents!

Also been building a Ratio coal loading tower that you can see in the photo - quite a nice kit but quite a bit of work. Still some more detail parts to put on it and I might do some painting on it too! I might turn the area with the single line into a sort of quarry area, so I guess the loader would be more for stones/gravel - even though we've got lots of trucks full of coal!

I'm going to try the hanging basket liner trick as a base layer on the modrock. I'll see how that looks and build it up further with other scenic materials.

Just to clarify what you're looking at, here's the current plan for this area (this is the bottom right part of the original plan, but rotated counter-clockwise by 90 degrees)...

Image

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Zanziba
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Re: Cottey Brook - mk3

Postby Zanziba » Fri Aug 21, 2009 12:37 am

Coming along very nicely!

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jweighell
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Re: Cottey Brook - mk3

Postby jweighell » Mon Aug 24, 2009 2:28 pm

Well, over the weekend, a lot of grass has grown on the layout!

Image

Image

And an overview of the whole area...

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I'm very pleased with how the grass looks from a distance, although the closer photos don't look quite as good as I'd like! Maybe a bit of trimming with scissors might help... But when I'm running the trains, I'm not standing that close :)

I plan to add some more detail to it in the future - bushes, hedges, walls, telegraph poles etc... And also more detail on the platform itself.

I think on the flat area at the top will go a station building with a footbridge down onto the platform. Maybe also add a waiting room building on the platform too. There will be some more quarry buildings around the chute at some point in the future.

Anyway, I've not started to touch the other end of the layout (similar shape, but larger) so I think that's going to be next to tackle now that there's a basic scenic covering all over this first area.

Jonathan

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sishades
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Re: Cottey Brook - mk3

Postby sishades » Tue Aug 25, 2009 10:55 am

The grass certainly makes a very big difference to your layout. It is starting to look rather good.
High towards the far post,Howard with a header,Hes done it!Steve Howard has scored for Leicester City,Bedlam here at the Walkers Stadium. the Leeds United players are flat out on the turf in utter despair. Leicester City are going to win again

Michael Thornberry
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Re: Cottey Brook - mk3

Postby Michael Thornberry » Tue Aug 25, 2009 3:45 pm

Hello Jonathon,
Your Lay-out is coming-along very nicely. Have you considered land-scaping the roads and fields in typical West-Country "earth and hedge-rows", as I consider this one of the defining-images of Somerset, Devon and Cornwall. Just a thought,
Kind Regards,
Michael Thornberry.

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jweighell
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Re: Cottey Brook - mk3

Postby jweighell » Sun Aug 30, 2009 10:42 pm

Michael Thornberry wrote:Have you considered land-scaping the roads and fields in typical West-Country "earth and hedge-rows", as I consider this one of the defining-images of Somerset, Devon and Cornwall. Just a thought


Yes, my original picture I had in my head was rolling fields and hedges, but as I started putting down the grass and trees it turned into more of a rugged landscape! Anyway, I'll have a think a bit more about this area in a month or two and yes, I will add some hedgerows.

Now that there's a basic scenic covering on this area, my focus is on the other end of the layout which has not been touched with any scenery.

I couldn't help feeling like the layout looked very flat and the flat baseboard nature underneath the layout was very obvious. I decided to add a small valley and viaduct to the layout to break it up! Easier said than done as my baseboards weren't designed for this... but a couple of minutes with my jigsaw soon sorted this out! Today I've started scratch building a curved viaduct - I'll try and fix it on the layout in the next day or two and add some pictures.

Jonathan

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Ciotog
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Re: Cottey Brook - mk3

Postby Ciotog » Mon Oct 26, 2009 10:50 pm

Looking good - I think that your canopy looks great! I'll be keeping an eye on you....................................
Liam


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