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Beech Hill

Posted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 12:30 am
by dubdee1000
Hello everyone. First post here. I'm looking for a bit of advice on the scenics for my layout. Track is largely laid, but i'm wondering on what to put between it. This is my first layout (be nice to me!), so i'm looking for suggestions. I have a fairly good idea of what i'd like, but prefer to keep this to myself for the time being(!)

Anyhow, some pics of part of it. Will post more soon. Thanks

Re: Beech Hill

Posted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 10:27 am
by DrStroganoff
Is that a Western in BR 'large logo' blue ? :shock: Thats great ! Did you paint it yourself? It looks really good!

For your first layout it looks great so far, especially the backscenes ! What kind of size is it? It looks pretty big from the photos.

Sorry I'm not being particularly helpful to your original question of what to put between the tracks..... are you thinking of ballasting the track?

Re: Beech Hill

Posted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 1:07 pm
by dubdee1000
Right - sorry for the brief message above : if you look at the time i eventually managed to post it, you might see why.

OK, layout is mostly based on 'Oxstone' featured in Model Rail a couple of years ago. It based around an MPD, with some running tracks. The layout is a tail chaser, with two main loops and enough points to keep me very busy with point motors.
The intention was to stick to BR blue, but there are just two many nice things out there and my self discipline is slack. I have a reasonable amount of Hornby margate and Lima, but they just don't compare to the running of the modern stuff, so these locos are to be weathering projects.

My understanding wife has allowed me the spare room for this. The scenic part of the layout is around 16ft by 5ft. Tucked away in the corner is coal mine, simultaneously betraying my northern roots and south wales abode. There are two gradients, both leading off to the second tier of the fiddle yard. The area photo'd above is what gives me the biggest headache as i just can't seem to fit the scenery to the track. I've not fitted anything in yet, but i was considering a bit of a hill with a cutting and some retaining walls. For the rest, I intend to use Scalescenes and Skaledale from an ease-of-use/time point of view.

The backscence (mk1) was an experiment. I took a panorama, split it into three and took it into Costco : £15 the lot. But it was fairly quickly apparent the problem with it - any foreground detail is scale M A S S I V E. Lessons to learn for mk2.

The western is in Largo Logo. I came about following a piece in Model Rail magazine when it was a little different in its approach to now. There was an article that i believe was called 'Inspirations' It was my first attempt at any kind of airbrushing. It won't win any prizes, but i like it and thats the important thing! I'll post a few more pics tonight and not leave it quite so late at night to do it this time.

Re: Beech Hill

Posted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 2:34 pm
by iankemp
i think the western looks great! I have seen a peak in intercity livery which i thought looked ok but i wasn't keen on having it!

Your layout looks great by the way! Any chance of a map of it?

Re: Beech Hill

Posted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 9:23 pm
by dubdee1000
well, as the western seems popular, a couple of pics with some Mk2 IC stock. That tension lock needs to go!

The other photos show the MPD and overfull fiddle yard. It needs another tier. I've been building on and off for two years, so i need some pushing to crack on with this. Hopefully this'll give me the drive. I'll try and get a layout plan done for you Ian.

I'm using Lenz LH100 for this, but i don't find it the easiest, especially not being tethered to the wall. Has anyone got any experience of the Lenz XPA for cordless phones?

Re: Beech Hill

Posted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 1:34 am
by PeterH
Unusual livery for a Western! But I think it looks rather good. Lots of space you have there, much potential.

Re: Beech Hill

Posted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 8:38 am
by live-frog
On the scenery front ,you've gone for a flat look so I don't think your layout would benefit from any hill contours.
I would "fence off" the station area from the depot using something like chain-link so you don't obscure the station scene.
Are the 2 lines to the front of the layout running lines ? if so , I'd fence them off too.

One superb depot layout you might get some inspiration from is PEAK's SLIGHTLY

with his use of roads and buildings .. well worth reading it through even though ther are loads of pages ! If you wanted to skip a few pages , go to page 33 where his building construction begins and page 45 where it really starts to come together

Re: Beech Hill

Posted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:30 pm
by dubdee1000
Had a little QT with the layout tonight. Thought i'd make a start on the MPD. I wanted the effect of concrete between the rails, but didn't like the chances of being sucessful with plaster and a bit of string as per Model Rail the other month. Hence some slaters card sprayed with Halfords primers (this won't be the final colour) and a little bit of measuring and fettling. Not glued down yet and need to paint the sides. I think they're a little too smooth and need some distressing. Also fitted some yard lights from ebay (£3). Next to wire them up.

Changed the lens on the camera to telephoto. I think its better

Re: Beech Hill

Posted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:39 pm
by simonboyd
Good idea for the concrete to use card. you're right it does look a bit smooth just now, but maybe a little n-guage scatter or the like might rough it up a bit for you

The whole layout tho looks like its coming on great

Re: Beech Hill

Posted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 1:44 pm
by dubdee1000
If anyone else is thinking about using card, i found that 12mm was the optimum width inbetween the rails. Card thickness also made a bit of difference as too thick will stop the loco wheels touching the rails. (quite important(!)) I used 1.5mm and will glue it onto the sleepers of the track beneath. Its loose fitted at the moment while i check the running. Having primed the card, my next intention is to brush paint with a concrete colour, hopefully the irregularities in my brush strokes will cause a little 'distress' to the appearance. The brush should also allow me to paint the inner edge of the rails and sleepers where visible.

Re: Beech Hill

Posted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 10:18 pm
by dubdee1000
Finally had enough of yanking the Lenz unit off the wall every time i had to reach to rescue an errant 66. (anyone else have trouble with these derailing?)
So, dug out the tools and fixed a big piece of scrap wood to the wall, then screwed everything to this. This was a little bit of trial and error, but after dismantling the Lenz unit, i found that the sides slide out after the retaining screws (they are TINY), are removed. A couple of holes drilled through the side plate and i fixed it to the wood. Then slid the rest of the unit on. This did take a little bit of 'persuading' as the scuff marks on the wood testify. Anyhow, 'tis up and a dam site less frustrating. It also makes a neat coffee cup stand.

Also took delivery of a 4CEP. A touch of modellers licence needed to run a SR EMU in the middle of the North West, but what the heck. I picked this up for £99 at my local dealer. Quite how Bachmann can sell it at this price astounds me, but i'm certainly not complaining.

Re: Beech Hill

Posted: Sat Dec 19, 2009 10:11 am
by lozstlouis
Like the 4CEP. How does it run?

Re: Beech Hill

Posted: Sat Dec 19, 2009 11:04 am
by dubdee1000
The 4CEP runs like a peach. Out of the box, with the 'shorty' connectors on it, it ran for 3 hours without the slightest whiff of trouble. It'll also haul itself up the picture incline relatively easily.

I really do hope this is a sign of things to come from Bachmann. I was talking to the rep at Wigan who told be that the 4CEP is their fastest selling model, period. True, its been marketed for a while, but it is a very region specific unit and we're in the midest of a recession and i really don't believe these were all 'Christmas present to myself'

Re: Beech Hill

Posted: Sat Dec 19, 2009 6:54 pm
by lozstlouis
I am hoping for a blue/grey in my stocking...!!

They're doing an EPB as well some stage in the future right? Wonder how the Kernow "thumper" will perform.

Re: Beech Hill

Posted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 10:01 pm
by dubdee1000
Well, i guess like many others Christmas has been spent amusing the children and amusing myself. However, the snow curtailed the former somewhat, but where the snow let me down, Scooby Doo stepped in, so with the kids entertained, i could spend a little bit of Daddy time.

My layout is a tail chaser. It was initially one layer and i would have kept it that way but for running out of space. I ran out of space simply because there were always too many nice things in my local model shop to buy. I also discovered that running long trains (ie as close to practical 'full length'), looked great. Whilst a 16 wagon mineral train looks great, it also takes up a lot of space. Therefore, i decided that a second layer to the fiddle yard was needed. This then meant that i needed at least one incline(but probably two), for the trains to reach it. Whilst this meant a lot more track and points, it did solve one problem.

My problem with tail chasers are the four corners. I always think they look horribly 'wrong' OK, you might get away with one 90 degree sweep into the main area, but two? Therefore, i've always admired those layouts who cleverly conceal this. Until now, mine hasn't.

At the back of this picture, you'll see the main running line that the HST sweeps by in. To the left (not picturred) is my colliery. Deep down, i guess i always found it a little odd that the HST got *so close* to the mine, but just accepted it. By building the incline (foreground), it struck me that this presented me with an ideal chance to hide the main line, but also still be able to watch trains run.

I marked a horizontal 9cm above the track below and drilled in some holes and rawlplugs

Into these i screwed in some nifty little angles from B&Q. Quite what the purpose of these is i don't know, but i find them great for attaching anything i want to something else at 90 deg. In this case, they allowed the trackbed/baseboard to be screwed to the wall with the minimum interference to the track below. I also discovered that unscrewing the heads a little (ie not countersinking them) provided a lovely little lip that the plywood base slotted under.

You can never resist that 'trial run' can you?

A little bit more work and its all coming together. Rather than a sweep, i've added a point just to the left of the red wagon which will take a spur to the right (behind it) and into a town. It'll go no further than disapearing out of view, but i thought it would interest and a place for those Pacer 142's to go. Next stop, the colliery (mk2)