The story of PETERSDALE my OO gauge Branch Line layout

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whynot
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Re: The story of PETERSDALE my OO gauge Branch Line layout

Postby whynot » Thu Nov 26, 2015 12:44 pm

Fascinating - and well told. Trouble with "change" is that it's ever so easy to throw out the good with the bad - especially when the planning is essentially short term.

Thanks for the words and pictures.
dave j
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RailwayRobbo
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Re: The story of PETERSDALE my OO gauge Branch Line layout

Postby RailwayRobbo » Thu Nov 26, 2015 12:55 pm

luckymucklebackit wrote:Great pictures, I love seeing "then and now" comparisons as it really gives context to the historical photo. Think the loop line on the right is still in place under the scenic scatter.

Jim


Yes I think you're right Jim it still looks like it's lurking there in the undergrowth.
Another interesting major development in the area is that the quarrying company have just had planning permission to remove the tunnel which is in front of the train in the 2015 picture.
The train is heading towards Mansfield then onto Nottingham. It will pass the site of the Signal Box and Goods Shed then under a road bridge, from which the 1987 picture was taken. Then the siding you talk about veers off to the left (in the direction the train is travelling) before the train enters a 497m (544yds) tunnel. For years the quarrying company have only been allowed to work to within a certain distance of the tunnel but it must be financially worthwhile to remove the tunnel and reroute the line. I'm waiting and watching with interest.
Pete

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Re: The story of PETERSDALE my OO gauge Branch Line layout

Postby RailwayRobbo » Mon Nov 30, 2015 12:39 pm

COINCIDENCE

On Saturday I took my yearly visit to the Warley Show at the Birmingham NEC. As usual it was packed with lots of traders etc. and again I wondered why I bother. Anyway on my way round a guy from the Hornby stand gave me a free copy of the Nov 15 Hornby magazine. Something to read when I got home.
Looking through the mag I came across an article about a layout called "Shortley Bridge". I thought there was something familiar about the station building. On closer investigation it turned out that they'd model the Midland Railway Centre's Butterley station which of course was my old village station Whitwell in the 60's.

A strange case of Deja Vu.

Scan_20151130.jpg
Butterley Station (Ex Whitwell) in model form.
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RailwayRobbo
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Re: The story of PETERSDALE my OO gauge Branch Line layout

Postby RailwayRobbo » Mon Nov 30, 2015 2:39 pm

WHITWELL STATION (The Final Chapter)

Last few pictures of Whitwell Station during demolition.

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A train of empties heads back to a Nottinghamshire/Derbyshire colliery. The connection to the colliery and signal box are still in place. The old goods shed looks busy. The station roof is being dismantled. The wall at the front of the loco on the right hand side hides the ramp where livestock used to be loaded.
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My route to work at the colliery came down the path on the right of the picture (just visible behind the bush in the lower right hand corner). Across the front of the station. Down past the Stationmaster's house and the stone hut in the middle of the picture. Then left over the bridge in the distance. Where the big building behind the goods shed stands was the site of the old gasworks.

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Front elevation of the main station building. Roof slates have gone along with the doors and windows.
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Front elevation of the main station building. Roof slates have gone along with the doors and windows.
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A4 Sir Nigel Gresley about to speed through the old station with a special in 1987. The colliery track has been lifted between the pit head and the sidings. The pithead was off to the left after the row of grey buildings. The track came down past the small grey hut then curved round behind the brick hut and the stone wall.
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Attachments
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The ornate metalwork at the platform entrance is dismantled. Health & Safety? What Health & Safety!
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A shunter runs through the station past the small stone building on the opposite platform. The stone from this building was stolen from the Hammersmith end of the MRC line soon after delivery. Some internal wagons stand in the colliery sidings behind the wall.
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RailwayRobbo
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Re: The story of PETERSDALE my OO gauge Branch Line layout

Postby RailwayRobbo » Mon Nov 30, 2015 2:41 pm

Apologies for the mess in the last post.
Thought I'd got the hang of this but it appears not just yet.
Pete

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Re: The story of PETERSDALE my OO gauge Branch Line layout

Postby RailwayRobbo » Mon Nov 30, 2015 4:35 pm

PLANNING SCENIC AREAS

Okay back to the layout after my trip down memory lane.

The track was laid and tested.
The track had been ballasted between the rails.
The station platform had been constructed.

Scan_20151130a.jpg
Petersdale Scenic Plan
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I produced a rough plan of the layout and split up the scenic areas on the layout labelling them for identification.

Area A
I decided this would be open pasture with some trees and bushes suitable for grazing animals.
It would slope down from the scenic break for the fiddle yard to the canal bank. This area would also include B and C.
Some larger trees would be placed against the back scene to hide any mistakes that occurred when applying the back scene (there were a few).

AREA B
The area between the 2 running lines as they appear out of the fiddle yard.
The original idea was to emerge from 2 tunnels but with limited room the tunnels didn't look correct so that idea was scrapped. 2 deepish cuttings were substituted for the tunnels.
The area between the cuttings would be overgrown with plenty of undergrowth and trees.

AREA B
Another area of open pasture with a small copse of trees sloping down to the canal.

AREA D
On the other side of the canal backing onto the back scene. Similar to area A with larger trees hiding imperfections in the back scene once more. The main area being fairly open for grazing animals.

AREA E
This area encloses the Loco Shed Yard on 3 sides. Retaining walls are constructed on the 3 sides to produce an area of flat land for the Loco Shed etc. to stand on. The area on top of the retaining walls will be heavily wooded.

AREA F
Areas D and F form a cutting on the curve leading into the station area.
Area F slopes up from the canal to form a level surface on which a Church and graveyard will stand along with the 'Church Pond'.

AREA G
This area will be on the same level as the Church. Here will be placed a short row of Workmen's Cottages. The area to the front of the cottages will slope down to the road.

The road gently rises from the Goods yard to the Church.

AREA H
Another area of open pasture which will feature a small rock face.

AREA I
The area at the end of the row of Workmen's Cottages will be another area of general scrub land similar to the area between the 2 cuttings. Lots of small to medium trees and dense undergrowth.

AREA J
The area along the front of the Goods Yard will be a low grassy embankment free from trees as it fronts the main operating area of the layout.

AREA K
This will be a retaining wall across the full width of the layout at the end of the Station/Goods Yard area.

With these basic ideas decided on it was now time to move on the actually constructing the shape of the landscape.

NEXT ............................. CONSTRUCTING THE CONTOURS OF THE LAND

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RailwayRobbo
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Re: The story of PETERSDALE my OO gauge Branch Line layout

Postby RailwayRobbo » Wed Dec 02, 2015 2:31 pm

SCENERY

Nothing exciting or innovative here I'm afraid.
Firstly I decided to go green. I didn't think I'd got a large enough area to justify a ploughed field and decide on rolling hills and fields.
There's lots of different ways to construct the contours of the land. Cardboard formers and newspaper. Cardboard formers and chicken mesh covered in paper/plaster bandage etc.etc.etc. You guys will have your favourite method I'm sure.
I chose to use polystyrene blocks covered with paper for 2 reasons. Firstly I had used the same method on PETERSDALE version 1 with good results. Secondly, when I was teaching every now and again a parent would offer us some offcuts from their business. This was usually wood the majority of the time but we had one guy who gave us loads of polystyrene blocks of varying sizes, both in the dense blue type and the common white 'large bead' type. The dense blue stuff was ideal for students to model projects in and must have saved us a few quid over the years as it is quite expensive. We didn't really have any use for the common white stuff so it was a case of help yourself if you wanted some. We never liked to refuse an offer of anything at school.

Construction is well known to everybody.
I formed the rough contours with layers of polystyrene glued with PVA.
Next I cut with sharp implement to form smoother contours. I used the wife's best knife while she was out at work (I did re-sharpen every time). I found fingernails are quite useful to do small areas. This method is a lot of fun and my hands ended up covered with the small white polystyrene beads and looking like something out of Doctor Who. You do have a lot of cleaning up to do though afterwards.
Fill in any imperfections with smooth filler. I found some ready mixed cheap stuff from my local DIY store which was ideal.
I then covered the whole area with 3 or 4 layers of old newspaper glued with dilute PVA. Then for some reason and I don't know why I add a couple of layers of better quality plain paper on top.
Then a final coat of a base colour (brown) on top and I'm ready to put down the scatter material. But you all knew that anyway. Bit like trying to teach your Granny to suck eggs LOL.
Basically I'd done the first stage relatively cheaply. Free polystyrene. The local free paper. A bit of quality A4 photocopying paper, a big dollop of PVA and some cheap tester pots from the local DIY.
Here comes the expensive bit. As I'd stated before everything for the layout would be RTR, a kit or something out of a box or bag. I chose Woodland Scenics for the landscaping. I did have a bit of scenic material from PETERSDALE version 1 which had travelled with me. Some earth scatter and other scatter that looked like flowers and a half bag of Autumnal Lichen. Not much of any use really.
So quite a bit of investment was required on scenic materials.

Here's a few photos showing construction of Area F from the canal up to the Church.

026.JPG
Oversized polystyrene blocks built up to level of the Church. Canal side shaped, filled and recieving the first of it's layers of the local free paper.
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027.JPG
Oversized blocks shaped and filled.
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The area opposite has been covered with it's first treatment of scatter material.
The main running line comes from the fiddle yard on the left, over the canal bridge and round through the cutting into the station on the right.

028.JPG
The whole area finished to the base colour stage.
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The area opposite has now got it's final covering of scatter material, a few trees, bushes and hedging. I tended to keep adding trees and bushes as I went along.
In the top right is the Loco shed area with the retaining walls in evidence. The bank at the top of the retaining wall is heavily wooded, fenced off and home to the Farmer's 4 Shire Horses.
The area along the other bank of the canal is at the 'first layer of paper' stage.

NOTE: Recently I had a clear out of the excess polystyrene blocks I had left over as it was taking up so much under baseboard storage. I did keep some though. You never know when it will come in handy.

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RailwayRobbo
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Re: The story of PETERSDALE my OO gauge Branch Line layout

Postby RailwayRobbo » Wed Dec 02, 2015 5:16 pm

SCENERY - The area (A, B and C) between the exit from the Fiddle Yard to the Canal in 5 steps.

029.JPG
Areas A and B rough contours. Area C finished contours and covered in layers of paper.
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030.JPG
Areas A and B at final contours with filler. The back scene has sustained some damage which will have to be covered by bushes and trees.
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031.JPG
Areas A, B and C finished to final contours with paper layers and final base colour applied. The upper track is the branch up to the colliery. The lower track is the branch back to the main line. In reality they are both destined for the fiddle yard.
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032.JPG
All areas with final scatter cover. Area A with added (strategically placed) trees and bushes plus livestock. The 3 small rocky outcrops in lower part of picture are pieces of wood bark I collected for PETERSDALE version 1 over 25 years ago.
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033.JPG
Area A with fencing and more greenery. Area B with Trees and undergrowth. The track has now been fully ballasted. Can you spot the Weasel bottom centre of the picture.
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My wife keeps telling me the cows are to clean. I tell her they've just been through 'the cow wash.'

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flying scotsman123
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Re: The story of PETERSDALE my OO gauge Branch Line layout

Postby flying scotsman123 » Wed Dec 02, 2015 6:33 pm

Coming together very nicely, it looks like you've got a well thought out approach. I suspect it's probably too late now, but perhaps with the rest of the backscenes, put the bareboard up without the backscene on with screws, do all the scenic stuff, then take the backboard off, and stick the backscene on and put it all back together again? Not that it really matters, you've hidden it well with a lovely array of bushes and shrubbery. It's nice to see variety in that, it's quite clear when someone's only bought one type of bushes!

All looking very idyllic for a nice rural branchline run around that bit. Will you be toning the ballast down a little with some weathering?
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Stone station in pre-grouping days, my layout.

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End2end
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Re: The story of PETERSDALE my OO gauge Branch Line layout

Postby End2end » Wed Dec 02, 2015 6:47 pm

RailwayRobbo wrote:My wife keeps telling me the cows are to clean. I tell her they've just been through 'the cow wash.'

Ahhhh that did make me chuckle :lol: :lol:
Mrs End2end says the same about the ones I bought
Looking forward to more updates as you progress.
Thanks
End2end
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whynot
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Re: The story of PETERSDALE my OO gauge Branch Line layout

Postby whynot » Wed Dec 02, 2015 8:00 pm

The final shot, end result, is well worth the careful preparation and methodical working. Just 10/10. Inspirational stuff. Thanks.
dave j
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RailwayRobbo
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Re: The story of PETERSDALE my OO gauge Branch Line layout

Postby RailwayRobbo » Thu Dec 03, 2015 9:02 am

flying scotsman123 wrote:Coming together very nicely, it looks like you've got a well thought out approach. I suspect it's probably too late now, but perhaps with the rest of the backscenes, put the bareboard up without the backscene on with screws, do all the scenic stuff, then take the backboard off, and stick the backscene on and put it all back together again? Not that it really matters, you've hidden it well with a lovely array of bushes and shrubbery. It's nice to see variety in that, it's quite clear when someone's only bought one type of bushes!

All looking very idyllic for a nice rural branchline run around that bit. Will you be toning the ballast down a little with some weathering?


Thanks for the comments.
Yes I did weather the ballast down a bit as later photographs will show. I think 'dirtying' down such things as ballast, buildings etc. always gives that touch of realism. People obviously put a lot of effort into their layouts but a little weathering makes it look good. Pristine track work/ballasting and beautifully clean buildings just don't look right to me especially on a steam era layout. Even diesels had filthy exhausts and oil spills.

Pete

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RailwayRobbo
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Re: The story of PETERSDALE my OO gauge Branch Line layout

Postby RailwayRobbo » Thu Dec 03, 2015 9:08 am

whynot wrote:The final shot, end result, is well worth the careful preparation and methodical working. Just 10/10. Inspirational stuff. Thanks.


Thanks for the comment whynot. Much appreciated.
I don't know if you noticed but the trees in the lower part of the picture between the 2 running lines have mixed foliage. It was a little experiment I tried but I'm still not sure if it works.

Pete

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RailwayRobbo
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Re: The story of PETERSDALE my OO gauge Branch Line layout

Postby RailwayRobbo » Thu Dec 03, 2015 11:06 am

OTHER SCENIC AREAS UNDER CONSTRUCTION

034.JPG
Apply gentle pressure until glue dries.
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The retaining walls behind the Loco Shed Yard under construction (AREA E).
The retaining walls were constructed by facing the polystyrene blocks with Metcalfe's Sandstone card sheets and topped off with card covered in capping stone paper. Strips of sandstone card have been added at regular intervals to represent buttresses on the walls. The retaining walls would be weathered from the bottom up and vegetation added at a later date.

035.JPG
Another harsh winter in PETERSDALE
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Final contour construction on the embankment at the back of the Loco Shed Area (AREA E).
Hands and clothes also ended up covered with the statically charged polystyrene balls. A quick session with the hoover and all was clean and tidy again including me.

036.JPG
General view looking up the main running area.
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In the central area from the front of the baseboard :-
AREA H The small strip of land that will feature the rock face.
Then the road climbing up to the Church. The road was constructed from thick card which is ideal as it is quite flexible and easy to get different gradients on the finished road profile if required.
Top left coloured brown is AREA F, the site for the Church and Churchyard.
In the centre are AREAS G and I that still need to be built up to the required height. Initial positions of the Workmen's Cottages have been drawn on the polystyrene. At this point I didn't know if I could accommodate 3 or 4 pairs of cottages in the space available.
Running from the centre to the bottom right is the low embankment AREA J that runs along the front of the layout's main Station/Goods Yard area. For some reason I neglected to photograph this during it's construction. Obviously the reason to keep the vegetation low was that I would be leaning over this area during operations in the Station/Goods Yard area.
Midland style diagonal fencing (Ratio) has been erected and the Goods Yard surface has been covered with Metcalfe Cobblestone sheets. A set of Coal Bunkers (Ratio) have been installed in the yard.
The Station/Goods Yard track work has been fully ballasted, but not weathered and is starting to look a little overgrown and uncared for. (It's 1964 and the Colliery is closing and the good Doctor is about to severe the branch).
PETERSDALE Stationmaster's love of old enamel advertising signs is evident on the fencing and the retaining wall running along the back scene.

037.JPG
The Canal Bridge and Embankment
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The canal bridge and embankments at varying stages of construction. The bridge has been heavily weathered (I did tone it down later) and vegetation added to the trackbed area.

Why the difference in the back scene behind the bridge?
Obviously the canal is at a lower height than the track bed. If I had lined the back scene sheets up with the lower canal level then I would have lost a fair bit of the scenery where the contours of the land up against it was at a higher level. Just getting sky and not the hills and fields. So the back scene sheets were lined up at track bed level leaving a gap below to the canal. This was the best fit I could get and would be heavily disguised with trees at a later date.

VerdevaleRailway
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Re: The story of PETERSDALE my OO gauge Branch Line layout

Postby VerdevaleRailway » Thu Dec 03, 2015 11:57 am

Hi RailwayRobbo Thanks for the scenic photo updates. The sort of inspiration I need to get some motivation to tackle my layout.

May I ask, which are the WS scatters that you are using?

Thanks, V.R.
'whose origin was a terminus'


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