Underhill

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.
UrbanHermit
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Re: Underhill

Postby UrbanHermit » Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:46 am

I've been a bit occupied with other stuff the last couple of days, but thanks, I'll check up on that the next time I get the chance to descend to the underworld, aka my cellar. It does strike me that the wheel spacing is more uneven than it is on an 0-6-0, and I wonder if that's got anything to do with it.

Some might say the real cure is not to use dead frog points, but I don't have a lot of choice on this layout.
"I fell out of favour with heaven somewhere, and I'm here for the hell of it now." (Kirsty MacColl)

dan8400
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Re: Underhill

Postby dan8400 » Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:33 am

Hi

I have just read this for the first time. Lovely little layout there. Nice idea with the hill.

Did you make your deadline? You said it was running enough to test. So hopefully your lad at least got to run his new hst.

Any other progress to show us?

Thanks
Dan
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matt1471
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Re: Underhill

Postby matt1471 » Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:30 pm

Add a 2nd loop!! You'll regret it later if you don't!

UrbanHermit
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Re: Underhill

Postby UrbanHermit » Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:43 pm

Progress? Well, I'm a bit like the Mills of God, but I have at least finished the wiring. I've also built the Metcalfe GWR signal box I got (by request) for Christmas - a lovely model, though those steps are fiddly as hell: every tread a separate piece. But wires and one Metcalfe building do not an exciting picture make, so no more photos just yet.

The wiring wasn't quite finished by Christmas Day, but it was working well enough to run my son's present, the HST. And that led to possibly the most heart-breaking moment I've ever had at Christmas, or with model railways.

Down we troop to the cellar. I put the train on the rails and start it off. It's been going round for maybe five minutes with no problems when, for no apparent reason, we hear the sound of a derailment. I'm at the far end of the room so I make a dash for the controller, but just before I can grab it the HST hits the only set of points on the main line, which are on the far side of the board. And there are four of my son's brand-new carriages, just out of their boxes, in pieces on the floor. Thank God the power car is so heavy, otherwise that might have gone too.

It wasn't as bad as it looked. Hornby's Mk III coaches press-fit together, and they'd just come apart. By some miracle nothing was actually broken, and in about half an hour I had the lot reassembled. Good as new, not a crack, not even a scratch. It could have been so much worse, but that's what comes of squeezing fourth radius curves onto a board four feet wide. I've been nervous ever since whenever a train's running on the main line, but what (if anything) I'm going to do about it I haven't decided.

Ah yes, the hill. I'm contemplating putting that (fairly) new Scalescenes castle on top of it. Got to build the hill first, though.

A second loop? I'd have to add at least six inches to the width of the board before I could squeeze that in, and there ain't really room for that. The old oval this has replaced had two loops, and quite frankly I have more fun shunting the branch goods while my son's train goes round the loop than I used to have watching two trains going round and round. And I can always run my own main line trains while he's away at his day centre, or watching trains on YouTube up in his bedroom. Nah, I don't think I'll regret it.
"I fell out of favour with heaven somewhere, and I'm here for the hell of it now." (Kirsty MacColl)

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TimberSurf
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Re: Underhill

Postby TimberSurf » Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:06 pm

You could always fix 1 inch high perspex to all the sides, if you buy greenhouse plastic glass sheets its very reasonable. Just cut into 2 inch strips and screw to the side.
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UrbanHermit
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Re: Underhill

Postby UrbanHermit » Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:30 am

Yes, something like that had crossed my mind. Not ideal, but better than having trains falling onto the floor. I think it might have to be a little higher than one inch to be really safe, though.
"I fell out of favour with heaven somewhere, and I'm here for the hell of it now." (Kirsty MacColl)

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TimberSurf
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Re: Underhill

Postby TimberSurf » Sun Jan 14, 2018 12:55 pm

I only suggested a minimum to keep the cost down, an inch would stop the train from tilting over. Like seen on exhibition layouts at around 4 inches normal, but very restrictive, ideally I would suggest 2 inches above the board, and 1-2 inches below to fix it on with.
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UrbanHermit
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Re: Underhill

Postby UrbanHermit » Sun Feb 04, 2018 4:07 pm

Progress lately has consisted of a bout of Metcalfe kit building. I want to get the positions of the buildings (especially stations) settled before embarking on scenery and (Aargh!) ballasting.

I like Metcalfe kits: high quality, easy-to-follow instructions, nice detailing, especially on the newer ones with laser-cut parts. I'm not bothered by them being so easily recognisable ('Ho hum. Metcalfe again...'), because this layout is never going to stand next to another one at an exhibition.

Anyway, here's the junction station.

underhill04.jpg


Yes, I know. That building is really too wide, coming nearly up the edge on the branch side. But the only other possibility I found, the Metcalfe island platform building, has too much of a main-line, urban look for the setting. And this one is so pretty. How could I resist? Fortunately, there's just room for a two coach train to stand at the platform clear of the building.

The idea is that the main station building is just off the edge of the baseboard, at a lower level. Hence the subway steps.

Now here's the engine shed, with my small prairie poking its nose out.

underhill05.jpg


And here's the signal box i mentioned earlier.

underhill06.jpg


Next on the to-do list: the branch terminus platform and building (GWR wayside station, to match the other one, natch).
"I fell out of favour with heaven somewhere, and I'm here for the hell of it now." (Kirsty MacColl)

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Mountain
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Re: Underhill

Postby Mountain » Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:08 am

Like the signal box. It looks cool.
See below ↓

UrbanHermit
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Re: Underhill

Postby UrbanHermit » Thu Jun 28, 2018 3:53 pm

Since my last post a while back I have progressed from Metcalfe kit building to Metcalfe kit bashing. The need arose when I came to considering the portals for the tunnels under the proposed hill at one end of the layout.

Thing is, there are three tracks involved, and whoever heard of a three-track tunnel portal? It would be much too tall and look plain silly, and anyway I wanted some distinction between branch and main line tracks. On the other hand the tracks are too close together for a single and a double portal to sit side by side. Somehow I would have to combine single and double portals into single structures that looked believable.

I did consider the Scalescenes alternative (more scope for customising, I thought), but in the end settled for Metcalfe, yet again: one single kit and one double. I'm happy with that choice. As usual with Metcalfe models, they're well-designed and sturdy, and they incorporate supports for surrounding scenery.

I then set about hacking them and combining them in the configurations I wanted. This was pretty precise work, as the portals are on or near curves and clearances are millimetre-tight, especially since I have to allow for the Mk 3 coaches of my son's HST on the main line. But I got the result I wanted in the end, helped by the fact that the kits incorporate alternative stretches of retaining wall for me to play with. Bits have been chopped and put in places they weren't necessarily intended to go, but nothing has been added.

underhill07.jpg


(Yes, I know: I need to widen the baseboard here. This will be done.)

underhill08.jpg


I have also been hacking Metcalfe platform (and other) kit bits around to make a cattle dock. The top surface is made from roofing ridge tiles laid flat to represent quarry tiles, and the surround is from wall capstone strips. I haven't yet decided what to do about the gates and fencing.

underhill11.jpg


And now, a couple of recent loco acquisitions. First, a Dean Goods shunting the branch goods.

underhill09.jpg


A Dukedog on a local passenger on the main line.

underhill10.jpg


This loco isn't that recent a buy, but between being bought and actually running on my layout it's had a rather fraught history involving ham-fistedness on my part while trying to fit the decoder. In the end I sent it to Bachmann, and it turned out I'd managed to damage the PCB in the tender. I'm glad I didn't give up on it though, because it's now my favourite loco. Not only is it a charming subject, but it's a really, really sweet runner, possibly the best I own. And despite no traction tyres it easily out-hauls my T9.
"I fell out of favour with heaven somewhere, and I'm here for the hell of it now." (Kirsty MacColl)

UrbanHermit
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Re: Underhill

Postby UrbanHermit » Thu Jun 28, 2018 3:55 pm

Ran over the five-pic limit, so here's Part Two.

An overview of the whole layout.

underhill12.jpg


I piled that polystyrene packing up at the far end to give myself an idea of what it's going to be like when I've built the hill. I have a load of this stuff, and it'll be the basis of said hill. It needs to be light, because it's going to have to lift off for track cleaning, and if there are any derailments under it.

What with all those grey stone buildings with slate roofs it's getting to look more Welsh than West Country, and it'll be even more so with the intended craggy hill. And I do have that Dukedog. Underhill may just become Dan-y-Bryn, which means more or less the same in Welsh. Though King Arthurs, T9s and Maunsell coaches were a bit thin on the ground in pre-war Wales.

Mind you, I've always wanted an excuse to call a station Pant-y-Hoes, even though the Welsh pronunciation of that is actually Pant-uh-Hoice...

Next step: I really can't put off the ballasting any longer. Argh. Take it easy, I tell myself. Be patient. Be perfectionist. You can do this.
"I fell out of favour with heaven somewhere, and I'm here for the hell of it now." (Kirsty MacColl)

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Bufferstop
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Re: Underhill

Postby Bufferstop » Thu Jun 28, 2018 6:29 pm

That little station building would be fine if it was a tad narrower, a bit of kit bashing ashould sort that. If it's a Metcalfe's one some judicious cuts up the ends should narrow it, most would be hidden by the canopy.
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UrbanHermit
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Re: Underhill

Postby UrbanHermit » Thu Jun 28, 2018 7:32 pm

Yes, it is Metcalfe, but narrowing it would be a bit of a challenge, what with the internal partitions and general structure of the thing. I know it's pushing credibility a bit, but I've decided to live with it, seeing that there's just room on the platform for the branch B-set and tank engine without any passenger doors fouling the building.
"I fell out of favour with heaven somewhere, and I'm here for the hell of it now." (Kirsty MacColl)

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Longvallon
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Re: Underhill

Postby Longvallon » Fri Jun 29, 2018 5:53 pm

Nice start. Can't wait for the next pics !
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UrbanHermit
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Re: Underhill

Postby UrbanHermit » Sat Jun 30, 2018 10:03 am

Came slightly unstuck with my ballast order.

With scenic stuff it really does help if you can go to a shop and take a look at it to make sure it's what you want. Photographs don't really do it. But to get to a railway modelling shop I either have to go to Cardiff (about 40 miles) or to the Gower on the other side of Swansea (about 30 miles), so I took a risk and ordered some on-line.

Colour isn't the problem. In pre-war colour photos the permanent way is nearly always predominantly brown, so I ordered a big jar of Woodland Scenics brown ballast. And a smaller big of cinders, for the engine shed road and maybe the goods yard. I'm happy with the colours, but not so much with the grade,

Now I've seen it said that model ballast is too coarse for scale and that you are better off using N Gauge ballast for OO. And I've seen photos of layouts that looked like the track had been ballasted with small boulders. So I ordered fine grade, but it turns out that Woodland Scenics fine ballast really is fine, finer than it looks in the photos on Hattons' site, almost like dust, so I shall have to put in another order for some medium grade.

But all is not lost. Pre-war photos taken in stations often show the ballast as being very close-packed, with hardly any stones obviously visible. So when my medium ballast arrives I think I shall make a medium:fine mix of about 3:1, and for the branch terminus the other way round, about 1:3. The cinders are fine as they are. I'm thinking pure cinders for the shed, and mixing in a bit of brown with them for the goods yard. But we'll see how it turns out.

Oh what fun I shall have.
"I fell out of favour with heaven somewhere, and I'm here for the hell of it now." (Kirsty MacColl)


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