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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glencairn
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Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Postby glencairn » Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:55 am

minipix wrote:I got this kit for some picnic benches last Christmas, and yesterday I finally got round to putting them together. .


That's like me. Things still in the ''to do' box, put there a while back. :lol:

The benches look great. Well done.

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

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minipix
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Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Postby minipix » Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:12 am

The last couple of days I've been focusing on lighting. Among last year's Christmas presents were a packet of LED streetlights and a packet of tiny LEDs pre-wired with resistors. After doing some research and brushing up on my electronics knowledge (dredging up what I learned at GCSE!), I finally settled on a plan; my dusty trousers and neck ache are testament to the time I've spent crawling underneath my layout!

Unfortunately I couldn't see what sort of resistor was plumbed into the LEDs, but the packet said they would work on 3V. With that, I made the presumption that 4 of those in series would allow them to work on a 12V supply. So I chained those together to provide lighting for my engine shed, museum (ex-goods shed), model railway (an old converted 4-wheeled carriage) and station booking hall.

IMG_20181106_210435978.jpg


I used the same technique to provide lighting for Backwoods Station shelter and three houses. The light shines through the windows really nicely. The down side is that it's more obvious that there's nothing inside those buildings, so I'll need to fabricate some walls and floors!

As for the streetlights, those were a little more complicated. The wires were so tiny - a single strand of thin wire, so thin in fact that my wire stripper couldn't pull the plastic sheath off, it just cut the wire instead! So I had to trim it manually using craft knife and some care. I had to plumb in my own resistor, and I now have two sets of 3 streetlights. 5 of these line the road, and the last one is actually hidden inside the signal box.

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The job's not finished, of course (when is it ever?). Some of the lights look particularly white, almost blue, so I might need to find a way of yellowing them slightly. Would a dab of yellow paint on the LED do the job? I also need some more lighting on the platforms themselves, which are still too dark, and the LEDs I've got at the moment wouldn't really be appropriate there. I'm also planning on putting lighting in my 4-wheeled coaches, mounting a little LED and a couple of coin batteries on the underside of the roof. That should make a big difference, I think. I'll also see if I can get one of those remote controlled coloured lightbulbs that I can mount somewhere in the garage to provide different colour lighting for different times of day.
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 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:52 pm

A little more tinkering last night. Some of my LEDs have now been yellowed by putting a bit of yellow drinking straw over them! Enough of the light gets through, but now it's more yellow, and it's easily reversible in case I need to replace the LED one day. The LEDs themselves aren't visible, so neither is the yellow plastic covering them.

I then turned my attention to the corner of the layout where the signal box is. It was feeling a bit bare, so out came the clump foliage! It's cheap stuff, nowhere near as nice as 'proper' Woodland Scenics stuff, but it's convincing enough. My technique, in case anyone's interested, is to lay a foundation of neat PVA glue down first, and then gently position clumps of the foliage on top. Of course it's not going to hold its position until the glue is dried, but it means there will be a good grip on the bottom. Then, to stop it from falling apart over time, I drizzle watered down PVA over the top, as if I were ballasting. The foliage soaks it up nicely, meaning that bits are less likely to break off. It also gives me an opportunity to gently sprinkle just a little scatter grass over the top, which just adds a little colour variation. I've left enough space for some signal box stairs, when I eventually get round to making some. I'd need some grass there too, where there aren't any bushes.

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Seeing as the clump foliage packet was out, I thought I'd have a go at sprucing up my platforms. Heritage railway platforms do tend to be festooned with brightly coloured hanging baskets and planters! I ended up making some little plant pots out of a black drinking straw, with a pinch of clump foliage stuffed in the top. They work quite well, I think. I may go back with a fine brush and paint some flowers onto them when I get a chance. Apologies for the out-of-focus gentleman on the platform; he'll need to see a doctor about that one day.

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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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Mountain
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Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Postby Mountain » Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:30 pm

Its looking great! :D

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joshv8
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Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Postby joshv8 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:34 pm

I think the drinking straws work really well! Good thinking.

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minipix
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Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Postby minipix » Sun Nov 25, 2018 9:39 am

Another update.

I've been playing around with the idea of using teddy fur to make a field of long grass/crop, which will add some variation in texture and topography. Below is a picture of my WIP field. It needs a retaining fence, probably some more thinning out, and might need some tonal variation too - I might try to blend in some darker brown and/or green with a felt tip pen and see how that works.

IMG_20181123_153313991.jpg


I've also put in some fence posts (AKA matchsticks) along the front edge of the layout, separating the visitor viewing area from the track. Eventually I'll put something between the fence posts, possibly some fine mesh or similar.

IMG_20181123_153406081.jpg


Finally, I've been playing around with platform lighting. I used some more of those black drinking straws to make some temporary platform lamps, using some little LEDs poking out the top. They're not very convincing, and I'm hoping Santa will bring me some proper Victorian style lamps next month to replace these, but these makeshift lamps are good enough to show what the station area will look like when it's lit up. I've also embedded an LED in the roof of the shelter canopy, hiding the wire underneath a piece of plasticard. I need to tidy up the wires coming out of it though, not quite sure how to hide them at the moment - any suggestions?

IMG_20181123_153730305.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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minipix
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Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Postby minipix » Wed Jan 02, 2019 8:08 am

It's been a while since my last update, but Christmas brought a few goodies and I've managed to find time to work on the layout around the festivities without coming across as a recluse.

First of all, a new addition to the layout is this lorry, which will be delivering coal to the station.

IMG_20181230_185702029.jpg


Next, I started installing lighting in my little 4-wheel carriages. I had already improved the windows, separated the interior into compartments and added seating, but with the rest of the layout lit up the carriages really needed the same treatment. I ordered some little cell battery holders, did some soldering and connected up some LEDs, which happened to come pre-wired with a resistor, which made life a bit easier. I painted the underside of the roof brown using acrylic paint, but as you can see it still bled through slightly, so I then used electrical tape instead. The battery holder happens to slot perfectly between the seats in the middle compartment, and because I've left space at the top of the compartment walls the light should fill the whole carriage with just one LED, if I can get it positioned correctly.

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I need to take some more pictures, but you get the idea.

Finally, I had my first attempt at painting some figures. I think they've come out all right, so I'll do some more.

IMG_20190101_190420599.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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Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Postby joshv8 » Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:35 am

So the coaches use a battery and you just switch them on when running in darker situations?

I think you made a top job on painting those figures! Very finely detailed for sure!

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minipix
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Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Postby minipix » Wed Jan 02, 2019 12:43 pm

Yep, what I'm aiming for is to have a range of times of day simulated using various lighting, so that I can run a rough (condensed) timetable running from morning to evening. It's unlikely I'll be running anything truly in the dark, but certainly dawn and dusk would be nice, and should lead to some interesting photos. It's fairly easy to pop the roofs off the coaches, so I'd just park them in a siding temporarily while I put the lighting units in or out, and then get them running again; I don't mind the occasional "hand of God" moment, seeing as I'm the only one watching the layout most of the time!

Thanks for the feedback on the figures! Plenty more to do...
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 Jan 02, 2019 9:36 pm

My layout is lit by three five foot daylight tubes, so I'm stuck with total darkness or bright sunlight. Before I put in more lighting I'm going to have to invest in some dimmable illumination. I think I need to investigate LED replacements for those daylight tubes.
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minipix
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Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Postby minipix » Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:47 pm

A few more people painted. At some point I'll take them out onto the layout so you can see them in context.
Attachments
IMG_20190104_201615205.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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Mountain
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Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Postby Mountain » Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:02 pm

Well done Minipix. Supurb painting. I am glad I am painting in a larger scale! I have many l of my little people still in neud colours waiting for me to paint on their clothes!

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minipix
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Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Postby minipix » Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:37 pm

Lighting has now been improved on the station platform. Gone are the makeshift lamps made from straws, and in their place stand some Victorian style lamp posts with warm LEDs. Not quite as bright as the other ones (which were too bright really), but they look so much better.
Attachments
IMG_20190107_214153917.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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glencairn
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Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Postby glencairn » Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:09 pm

Excellent modelling minipix. I hope you do not mind me pinching the idea for plantpots?

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 » Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:32 am

Well done with the lights mate!


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