Frontington & Backwoods Railway

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.
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minipix
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Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Postby minipix » Wed Oct 03, 2018 1:17 pm

Hi everyone

I've so far been more active on the modelrailwayforum.co.uk site, but as that's down at the moment I figured I'd join this community more wholeheartedly and tell you about my layout.

The build started in the summer of 2017, using track, scenery and rolling stock from my childhood layout. I decided I wanted a simple roundy-roundy layout, and it needed to fit in my already-cramped garage, so after a little research I settled on a track plan that had a single track circuit with two stations (one at the front, called Frontington, and one at the back, called Backwoods) and a few sidings. I also wanted it not to be completely flat, so a hill was needed. I'm working on a tight (almost non-existent) budget, so I'm reusing the Gaugemaster DF dual controller I had as a kid and therefore sticking with DC.

First up was the wooden substructure, standing on the cheapest legs Ikea would sell me. Then the landscape was built up in layers using polystyrene foam board - from a marketing point of view it's underfloor heating insulation, but technically it's exactly the same material as what you'd get at a modelling shop, just at a fraction of the price. The layers were cut and molded using a steak knife, which worked remarkably well, and glued with the old faithful PVA. The surface was then coated with a couple of layers of watered down PVA to seal it, then acrylic paint went on top.

20170913_231027.jpg
IMG_20171206_211114100_HDR.jpg


The track itself has been pinned (which wasn't particularly effective) and ultimately held in place by the ballast. Electrically, I'm using a cab control methodology, using a common negative rail and insulated rail joiners on the positive rail to split it into logical sections, linked up to a simple switch panel so that each section of track can be controlled by either side of my controller. In simple terms, it means I can run two locos at the same time.

Frontington and Backwoods revised blocks.jpg


Scenery has been cobbled together from various sources. The main platform is using customised Hornby platform sections, while the back platform is partly bespoke because it goes round a corner. Some buildings are leftovers from my old layout, others have been modified (for example the engine shed which I covered with brick paper), and others have been kit-built from scratch. I'm working my way around the grassy sections adding scatter grass, and I'm on the lookout for some suitable teddy bear fur that I can colour appropriately to make some overgrown fields.

IMG_20180306_231037277.jpg
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Finally, the rolling stock. Since I'm using 1st radius curves, and dealing with a hill, and I'm a bit of a beginner in track laying, and it's intentionally set in the countryside, I'm a little restricted in what I can run. I'm basically only able to run short wheelbase locos, so my fleet currently consists of a modified Hornby Smokey Joe 0-4-0, a Hornby J94, and a Hornby Terrier, all in BR black. I have a good number of GWR 4-wheeled coaches, plus some goods wagons. Technically I also have some longer coaches with bogies, but they look rather long on my little layout. I've also got a few other locos from my old layout, but they're either unable to cope with the corners or unsuitable visually.

I'll post updates here as and when things happen! Let me know what you think.
Frontington & Backwoods Railway: https://www.matthewdawkins.co.uk/catego ... way-build/
LocoSound - sound effects for DC model railways: https://mafu-d.github.io/loco-sound

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minipix
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Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Postby minipix » Wed Oct 03, 2018 1:21 pm

A few more photos:

IMG_20181001_212118451.jpg

IMG_20180925_213401413.jpg

IMG_20180801_213507585_HDR.jpg

IMG_20180916_220743319.jpg
Frontington & Backwoods Railway: https://www.matthewdawkins.co.uk/catego ... way-build/
LocoSound - sound effects for DC model railways: https://mafu-d.github.io/loco-sound

BuffyMcBuffer
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Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2018 12:59 pm

Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Postby BuffyMcBuffer » Wed Oct 03, 2018 2:57 pm

Nice work and welcome

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Mountain
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Location: Somewhere in Wales, UK.

Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Postby Mountain » Wed Oct 03, 2018 5:46 pm

Its all looking really nice. The use of 4 wheel coaches and short locos look just right with your layout. It is a lovely idea to build a layout like that. You've used first radius curves to very good effect.
You could always offer your bogie coach for sale or exchange on this site.

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joshv8
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Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Postby joshv8 » Fri Oct 05, 2018 12:44 pm

I look foward to seeing some overall photos of your progression. Its looking really neat!

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glencairn
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Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Postby glencairn » Fri Oct 05, 2018 1:40 pm

joshv8 wrote:I look foward to seeing some overall photos of your progression. Its looking really neat!


Likewise. Thanks for sharing.

Glencairn
To the world you are someone. To someone you are their world.

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Chops
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Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Postby Chops » Mon Oct 08, 2018 10:57 am

A most intriguing and unique visage. One almost can smell the smoke. A preponderance of tank locomotives, none of which I
am familiar.
I don't care what they say. I believe in Nessie.

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minipix
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Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Postby minipix » Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:14 am

It's been a while since I last posted, but I wanted to share these pictures of the dust cover I've knocked up for my layout. It's just an old white bed sheet, cut slightly to size. At the back of the layout it's attached to the backscene board using a few bulldog clips, and the excess just draped down the back out of sight. Then at the front I'm using an old bamboo cane to provide something solid; the sheet is stapled to form a tube in the right place for the cane to go through. There are two little indents in the side panels where the cane slots into place. The excess sheet at the front then just hangs down. I've got the tension just right so that it doesn't sag down onto the scenery of the layout, while not being so tight that it pulls itself out of place.

When it's time to play, I can simply fold back the excess at the front, gently lift the cane up, and it slots into a couple of hooks on the shelf above. It's easy to do, but also secure enough that I'm confident it won't fall down on the layout! The other benefit is that the white sheet covers up the bare brickwork of the garage wall, which should make photos a little better - it's not a beautiful sky, but it's not a distracting dark grey wall either!

Not the most professional looking job perhaps, but hopefully it'll be enough to keep the spiders out of the trees.

IMG_20181020_100845329.jpg

IMG_20181020_101042883.jpg
Frontington & Backwoods Railway: https://www.matthewdawkins.co.uk/catego ... way-build/
LocoSound - sound effects for DC model railways: https://mafu-d.github.io/loco-sound

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joshv8
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Location: QLD, Australia.

Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Postby joshv8 » Sat Oct 20, 2018 8:43 pm

The dust covers a great idea. In my experience once you get any serious amount of dust in your scenic work, you've lost the war... cant clean that out without ruining things.
Some clearer shots of the overall layout would be nice but from what I can see looks very fun to operate!

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TimberSurf
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Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Postby TimberSurf » Sat Oct 20, 2018 10:09 pm

I am sold on dust covers, especially in dusty lofts and garages. Great job, just find a blue sheet and you have a sky!
Image
Lumsdonia <--- Hit link to go to my website for full story and wiring advice!

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Mountain
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Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Postby Mountain » Sat Oct 20, 2018 10:22 pm

Love the layout. :)

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Chops
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Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Postby Chops » Sun Oct 21, 2018 7:52 am

Excellent idea of the tarp utilizing the backdrop as its support. I shall do this. Dust is a menace in El Paso and threatens to foul every living and non-living thing.
I don't care what they say. I believe in Nessie.

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minipix
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Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Postby minipix » Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:34 am

I was tidying up the layout last night and decided that I really wasn't happy with the position of the signal box. It had been at at the end of the platform, theoretically to give the signalman a good view of the whole station area. In fact, it just meant for an unusually abrupt end to the platform, which isn't exactly prototypical. I also unearthed a footbridge from my previous layout that I decided I wanted to use, so things had to move.

IMG_20181020_101155760.jpg


As you can see from the photos, the signal box has been moved to the other end of the station, to a plot of land that has so far been empty - I had been wondering what to put there! I lost the stairs to the signal box years ago, and I'm undecided how to resolve that. I could just imagine that there's an internal staircase, but that feels like cheating. And in its new position, a straight staircase would end up on the tracks, so it would need to be something custom. How do you folks make stairs??

IMG_20181020_212554968.jpg


I also laid some barrow boards across the tracks so that staff can get from the freight unloading dock to the main platform - these are just printed card.

Back at the other end of the platform, I've added a proper platform end, and carefully positioned the footbridge so that visitors can cross the tracks and get to the engine shed and whatever else might be 'off the board'. The footbridge itself (an old Hornby kit I think) is technically only meant to cross two tracks, but I've managed to squeeze it over three with some careful positioning. It's a little warped because I've had to place the end of one side slightly on the platform to make sure I can still reach the points easily. It also makes the point to the visitors that they're not allowed to go any further in that direction!

IMG_20181020_212524294.jpg


I quite like this new change. It adds some vertical interest to the front of the layout, makes the platform more realistic, makes the junk area behind it easier to see, and makes better use of the area by the level crossing.
Frontington & Backwoods Railway: https://www.matthewdawkins.co.uk/catego ... way-build/
LocoSound - sound effects for DC model railways: https://mafu-d.github.io/loco-sound

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TimberSurf
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Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Postby TimberSurf » Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:57 am

You could scratchbuild your own stairs from styrene, but if that sounds too ambitious, try Plastruct, they make the stairs STA-6 and the handrails SR-4

http://www.plastruct.com/catalog/Vol_10_CatalogSMFL.pdf

Given the cost of these two packets, it may be cheaper to just buy a new Dapol signal box kits for the stairs!
Image
Lumsdonia <--- Hit link to go to my website for full story and wiring advice!

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Montfort
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Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Postby Montfort » Sun Oct 21, 2018 10:06 am

A great layout. ImageImageImage
Back on the track !
Chris


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