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Re: Underhill

Posted: Sat Sep 29, 2018 12:02 pm
by Harringay Dave
I’ve been following this one but not commented before - a quiet Saturday morning of trawling down this sub forum has brought my attention back to it.

I somehow missed the cattle dock though - I too am a serial buyer of Metcalfe’s products.
I absolutely love the roof ridge tile idea - I build in brick so I have so many of the stone ridges left over with no use for them, I might try and repurpose them similarly!

Re: Underhill

Posted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 4:10 pm
by Chops
Have a bit of slack time at work, so keeping myself awake scrolling through this stunning collage of layouts. Again, at the top I saw the track plan, and thought, "well, this is amazing. Never seen that little circely loop in the middle of a roundy-round, before, bet he never gets it off the ground." And then, lo, it is there with exquisite locomotives and carriages. I'd love to see a video of this. If DCC was to be applied, then two trains maintaining separation would be engrossing, to put say the least. I'm most curious how you will scenic this busy layout.

Re: Underhill

Posted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 8:46 pm
by UrbanHermit
It's been so long since I visited this thread that I didn't even realise it had acquired a third page, so apologies to the three people who made nice comments I didn't respond to.

I've finally joined that Swansea model railway club. I'm still feeling my way a bit, but it's had one benefit already. I took along my (still) misbehaving Hatton's 48xx, the one which was totally refusing to run over dead frog points, for the club's loco guru to have a look at, and the problem turned out to be, not pick-ups as I suspected, but a dodgy decoder. 'I've never seen a decoder do that before,' he said. Just my luck. Decoder replaced, problem solved, hurrah. I really did want a 48xx on the layout.

Ah, the layout. No, despite the long silence I haven't given up. Things have been happening, but v e r y s l o w l y. Ballasting, a little bit at a time, as and when I've been feeling like it. It's STILL a work in progress, and I can't believe how long it's taking me. Along the way I did, however, have one wheeze.

Points. Obviously the traditional routine of glueing the ballast down by soaking the track with PVA/water mix applied by a pipette or (what I use) an eye-dropper runs the risk of getting the glue mix into the moving parts and seizing them up. One tutorial video I found on YouTube suggested carefully applying neat PVA between the sleepers with a small paintbrush and then putting on the ballast. This didn't appeal to me much. It seems to me that you'd need to be very, very careful with the brush and very patient with the whole process, building up the ballasting in layers, and indeed I have seen pictures of layouts, even at exhibitions, where the points looked different from the rest of the track, with thinner ballast. Can't you do it the usual way, I thought, if only you can find some way of putting on the glue mix with more precision?

Then I remembered that I have some of those little bottles with a pin-point applicator that Metcalfe sell. Aha! So I put on the ballast dry as usual, but a little at a time and very carefully, using a pointed knife to clear out any that got in the frog or check rails, then I mixed the PVA and water in the Metcalfe bottle and applied it drop by drop, avoiding the danger zones, until I thought it was enough. I have now successfully ballasted half-a-dozen sets of points with this method.



At my branch terminus I'm ballasting the goods yard, coal yard and engine shed sidings with cinders, so the problem there is blending in where the cinders meet the ordinary ballast. The goods yard siding was my guinea pig. I put a little ballast in a small jar and mixed in cinders little by little, every half-teaspoon or so, as I went along. I'm quite pleased with the result.


The sudden colour contrast on the left is because I haven't yet glued down the ballast on the bottom track.

And for those times when I don't feel like going down to the cellar, I'd like some more houses for the village street, and Metcalfe (yes, them again) have recently brought out a couple of new models that should do nicely. Just the thing when you're confined to quarters. I managed to get my order in a couple of days before they announced they're closing their factory for the duration – though they're continuing with on-line ordering as long as stocks last. I'd really like a pub (What's a village without a pub?), but none of the ready-made or kit pubs appeal to me. Maybe I''ll have to try my hand at scratchbuilding.

Oh, by the way, I seem to have committed myself to a precise date for the layout – 1 October 1938.



Re: Underhill

Posted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 5:08 am
by Chops
Metcalfes look splendid.congrats on Ballantine up your switches, without misadventure.

Re: Underhill

Posted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 11:29 am
by Bufferstop
I've got some of Metcalfe's dropper bottles, they are the very devil to fill, the neck is rather narrow. I also have one from the lady in Lancashire (Morecambe I think) who has now gone into retirement, which is a shame as it's the Rolls Royce of dropper bottles. If you use nothing stronger than 50/50 PVA and water it's safe to use around the points, just move them back and forth whilst the glue is setting then clean the metal to metal contacts with a bit of folded 1000 grade "wet and dry". Getting anything to adhere firmly to the sleepers is a challenge they are made from the same stuff as glue bottles.

Re: Underhill

Posted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 8:59 am
by UrbanHermit
Ah, but if you don't get any glue on the contacts in the first place, you don't need to clean it off...

Re: Underhill

Posted: Mon May 25, 2020 4:22 pm
by UrbanHermit
Well, I decided to bite the bullet and have a go at scratch-building that pub. It's been my lock-down project.

I worked with what I had to hand, which was a load of 2mm card left over from when I was building a Scalescenes retaining wall some years ago. It's a bit challenging to work with – takes a lot of cutting and is hell on knife blades – but it makes a very sturdy model. Not to mention, that extra thickness is nicely effective in door and window recesses.

That's the main structure. For the rest, it's courtesy of: my favourite local (-ish) boozer (inspiration, though it's not an actual depiction); MS Paint (design and graphics); Scalescenes (texture sheets and windows); Metcalfe (bits and bobs of leftovers and scrap from various kits); and a lot of brain-cudgelling and pernickety knife and glue work.

The least enjoyable bits were cutting the apertures for doors and windows in that thick card, and the roof slates. For those who haven't used them, Scalescenes slates (and, I assume, tiles) don't come in a sheet you can just stick on. Oh no, you have to cut out each row separately and stick them on with a slight overlap. They do give you a template and, yes, it does look good when it's done, but oh, the tedium of having to concentrate really hard to get each row in exactly the right place, vertically and horizontally, over and over again...

I'm quite pleased with how it's turned out, considering it's my first attempt at scratch-building. Oh, and the name is a nod to the guvnor of the afore-mentioned local boozer, who flies The Great Man's flag from a pole by the car-park and even has red and yellow flowers in the window-boxes and hanging baskets. Though God knows when I'll be able to go there again.



Re: Underhill

Posted: Mon May 25, 2020 6:37 pm
by Bufferstop
That pub looks a real nice job, and the rows of slates look well worth the effort of laying them a row at a time. The 2mm card gives the door and window openings some real depth.

Re: Underhill

Posted: Mon May 25, 2020 7:31 pm
by Mountain
That looks great!

Re: Underhill

Posted: Tue May 26, 2020 11:56 am
by UrbanHermit
Thanks. I have to say with all due modesty (ahem) that now I've put it down in my village it does actually look better than the Metcalfe buildings around it. The flipside is that, while I can usually build a Metcalfe kit in a couple of days, this took several weeks.

I did get a bit concerned that, next to the Metcalfe Manor Farm House I'd built just before, the pub looked a bit over-scale, but now it's on the layout it looks fine. I think it's the other way round: the farmhouse is maybe a little under-scale. That's actually fine, because the farmhouse is going to sit by itself on top of the hill I still haven't figured out how I'm going to build. A bit of forced perspective, don't you know.