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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GeraldH
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Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Postby GeraldH » Sun Oct 21, 2018 10:50 am

That's a charming little layout :) .
Gerald H - BNR Correspondent :)

My layout: http://www.newrailwaymodellers.co.uk/Fo ... hp?t=28854

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Mountain
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Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Postby Mountain » Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:20 am

Though I dont want to put the cat with the pigeons, sometimes there were exceptions where a platform ended with a signalbox. They would try to put a small thin ramp... Ferryside comes to mind which is well worth a visit. It is an old signalbox and is still in use with its levers and instruments etc... It controls the lower quadrant semaphore signals in the area. You will find it on a map in a lovely area, not far from Carmarthen in Wales. Be aware it is a working signalbox on Network Rail, so it is not a signalbox that is open for public viewing. It is quite visible being at the end of the platform near the crossing and has a footbridge next to it which I love to climb for the magnificent views of the railway hugging the coastline next to the sea.
Enjoying 7mm narrow gauge.

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glencairn
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Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Postby glencairn » Sun Oct 21, 2018 8:15 pm

Lovely pictures. Thanks for sharing.

Glencairn
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minipix
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Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Postby minipix » Mon Oct 29, 2018 8:50 am

This weekend I turned my attention to the bridge I unearthed before. Because of the layout of the station area it needed to be at one end, but also needed to avoid the existing scenic features and actually make sense. The best position turned out to be with the steps on the platform side being most of the way up the end ramp, but not quite all the way onto the flat bit of the platform, and the other side coming down onto ground level. Perhaps not prototypical, but it works for my layout.

The first job was making the steps shorter. Some careful slicing with a knife sorted that out, and I've kept the bits in case I want to glue it back together again one day.

IMG_20181027_112812974.jpg


After that I decided it looked too green and plasticy, so out came the paints. Subtle weathering took place to add grime and rust, particularly where engines would have been puffing smoke onto it. The underside of the bridge, for example, was originally a light grey, so that immediately went almost completely black! Railings were darkened too, as were the steps, and a few other details. I don't think it's come out particularly well in this photo, but it's a big improvement over the original Hornby bridge.

IMG_20181027_150117018.jpg


This picture also highlights to me that I need to get better at taking photos of my layout. So far I've just been snapping photos on my phone, but I'm thinking I might need to go back to using my 'proper' camera on a tripod, and perhaps thinking more about lighting. Anyone got any experience here?
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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glencairn
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Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Postby glencairn » Mon Oct 29, 2018 9:07 am

Great looking footbridge. Well done.

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

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joshv8
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Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Postby joshv8 » Mon Oct 29, 2018 9:08 am

Well done, its your railway and its important to accomplish what works for you. Nice job on the footbridge.

As for photography this is a great link. Bit of reading but well worth it.
https://www.popphoto.com/how-to/2013/03 ... aul-dolkos

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TimberSurf
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Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Postby TimberSurf » Mon Oct 29, 2018 3:19 pm

minipix wrote:This picture also highlights to me that I need to get better at taking photos of my layout. So far I've just been snapping photos on my phone, but I'm thinking I might need to go back to using my 'proper' camera on a tripod, and perhaps thinking more about lighting. Anyone got any experience here?

It is surprising how good modern phone camera's are, my compact digital camera's are only just better. I have just bought a DSLR, but that's to up my game with video, although I am sure I can now manually set aperture and ISO, that will improve my stills as well. I think the bottom line is light. So I went out and bought two softbox photo light units (even cheaper on Ebay), which reduces ISO or opens the depth of field.
They are not expensive, it just depends on how far you want to go. Certainly if you have a decent camera and a tripod, you will get better results than your phone.
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Bufferstop
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Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Postby Bufferstop » Mon Oct 29, 2018 4:46 pm

Timbersurf I'd phrase that a bit differently, "You'll have the capacity for better results than with the phone".
It all depends on the firmware in your camera, if the camera has all the algorithms that come in the latest phones it will beat one. The only thing holding back the phone will be the quality of it's lens. This was the position I was in about five years ago, not only does my latest phone have a better lens than its predecessor but it has some very clever firmware that allows it to produce images that can only be achieved by some careful manual adjustment on the camera, and often the phone can get in places that the DSLR can't. So it comes down to use the best tool for the job, but don't be surprised if it turns out to be your phone.

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Growing old, can't avoid it. Growing up, forget it!
My Layout, My Workbench Blog and My Opinions

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joshv8
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Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Postby joshv8 » Mon Oct 29, 2018 7:16 pm

Bufferstop wrote:Timbersurf I'd phrase that a bit differently, "You'll have the capacity for better results than with the phone".
It all depends on the firmware in your camera, if the camera has all the algorithms that come in the latest phones it will beat one. The only thing holding back the phone will be the quality of it's lens. This was the position I was in about five years ago, not only does my latest phone have a better lens than its predecessor but it has some very clever firmware that allows it to produce images that can only be achieved by some careful manual adjustment on the camera, and often the camera can get in places that the DSLR can't. So it comes down to use the best tool for the job, but don't be surprised if it turns out to be your phone.


I agree with this 100 %. My samsung phone is a couple of years old now and was always jealous of the quality of photos a mate got from his Iphone. My issue was the factory firmware. I downloaded a camera app and the camera worked 1000 times better.
As said its a bit hard to beat the lens on a DSLR at times but your biggest hurdle... as is mine inside... will be lighting. No matter how good your camera if the lightings not great, dont expect much.

NedFlanders
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Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Postby NedFlanders » Mon Oct 29, 2018 8:19 pm

Well done - I do enjoy reading about a good roundy round.

How do you folks make stairs??


A question I often thought of as they always look very fiddly - if you fancy a go at it in card, the current Hornby Magazine has a signal box kit that builds up the stairs as one slab with a shorter slab on top, with a shorter slab on top, with..., etc. etc.

Alternatively the Strathspey Signal box kit on http://www.wordsworthmodelrailway.co.uk/railside.html by mikem64 has another card version. If you haven't had a chance to go through Mikes website and forum topics they are well worth it.

Ned.
Getting back into railways, one step at a time.

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TimberSurf
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Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Postby TimberSurf » Mon Oct 29, 2018 8:47 pm

Bufferstop and Josh
I think we all agree that for either, the lighting is the critical element (given layouts are usually inside), as for rephrasing, I think we are all singing from the same hymn sheet, the latest phones have awesome software, but having just bought the latest DSLR, so do camera's! If we get technical, the latest cutting edge camera will always beat the latest cutting edge phone (megapixels/focal points/ISO/ND and of course glass size).
https://www.techradar.com/uk/news/smart ... eed-a-dslr.
Bottom line is a phone is not far behind, so for layout pictures will be an extremely close second (more than adequate). The lighting and a tripod are the deciding factor. :P
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Lumsdonia <--- Hit link to go to my website for full story and wiring advice!

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Chops
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Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Postby Chops » Tue Oct 30, 2018 1:25 am

Useful information. My Samsung video camcorder, fortunately I didn't pay much for it, is simply rubbish. My flip phone takes better photographs. I thought that using a purpose built camera, the Samsung, would take great pictures. Nope. I take at least a dozen, or two, photos and then have to delete them one by one until I find one that is not as bad as the rest. I don't really want to pay $600 for an iPhone, or such. I see them get dropped, wet, cracked, ridiculous.

I am thinking of taking a used smart phone, one has to be lying around here somewhere, and just using that for photographs. The download app sounds promising.

BTW, that layout is marvelous.
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 » Wed Oct 31, 2018 9:29 am

So I've been doing some research on model railway photography. There are a few blogs out there that have been helpful; here's one I've just read: https://nevardmedia.blogspot.com/2011/1 ... raphy.html.

In the war between phones and dedicated cameras, remember: you can take a rubbish photo on any device you like. There is skill in photography, and your kit won't always save you.

As you guys have said, lighting seems to be a key component. One useful little nugget in the above post is that you shouldn't mix colour sources (e.g. natural light and fluorescent) because the camera can't correct for both at the same time. That might explain why some of my photos have come out weird!

There are mechanical factors too, such as the quality of the lens and the camera. Phones have indeed come a long way, and will take lovely photos, but they're primarily designed for taking photos of people and landscapes, not model railways. One of the important settings on a 'normal' camera is the aperture, which most phones won't let you interact with directly. Setting the aperture as small as possible is what allows us to keep as much as possible in focus at the same time, which adds realism to our small scale.

I also liked the tip in the link above about putting the camera on a bean bag, which acts like a tripod and prevents damage to the layout. That, combined with using the timer, ensures that everything is absolutely still.

Phones can indeed be fantastic, and can have more up to date software/firmware for post-processing. In terms of apps, Open Camera for Android gives you loads of control, and there are others that specialise in after effects. Phones themselves don't have to be expensive either, as long as you look for quality rather than brand names. But I think the lesson I'm learning here is that if you want top quality there is no substitute for a quality lens, aperture control and decent lighting. Looks like my old Fuji Finepix, while old, might still have the edge over my Moto G5 phone after all! I'll try to get out to the layout soon and experiment with both.
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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Bufferstop
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Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Postby Bufferstop » Wed Oct 31, 2018 10:48 am

The phone V camera battle will go on indefinitely, the numbers and life span of phone models means that most improvements in the firmware that helps get better images is bound to appear first in a phone (by the same measure the latest daft and soon to be forgotten idea is just as likley to appear on a phone). Only the professional or really keen amateur is going to change DSLRs as frequently as the average phone gets replaced.
Growing old, can't avoid it. Growing up, forget it!
My Layout, My Workbench Blog and My Opinions

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minipix
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Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Postby minipix » Thu Nov 01, 2018 1:15 pm

I got this kit for some picnic benches last Christmas, and yesterday I finally got round to putting them together. It's a laser cut card kit, which I glued together with a dab of PVA and some steady hands. They'll go nicely next to my playground! Just need some people to sit on them now...
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IMG_20181031_143527983.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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