Birmingham New Street and Brettell Road in P4

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.
Jim S-W
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Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 5:38 pm

Re: Birmingham New Street and Brettell Road in P4

Post by Jim S-W »

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Ive mentioned before that enlarging Brettell Road would mean I need to build new fiddleyards.  The reason for this is the way the cassette system worked was to have a recess in the board which given that the layout is now 2 tracks meant the old ones couldn't really be made to fit.  I also took the opportunity to make some improvements and the result can be seen above.

The boards are 6 inches longer and this time I've included a little barrier on the near side edge to stop anything falling off It never did but it was something that bothered me.

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View from the front.  I decided that the Round Oak industrials running on the mainline was a no-no, so now they will appear from the right of the layout behind the warehouse.  As the mainline drops away this means that i needed a different level for this bit.

With the cassettes I have also made some improvements. The originals use 9mm ply which as it was unsupported did bend somewhat.  I now have 3 sizes instead of the original 2.  A short one for locos, A medium one for units and a long one for coaches/wagons. I have made the long and loco ones reversible but I only expect to reverse some of the locos.

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Pictured are the loco and unit versions. The base is 9mm MDF this time.

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The little bits on the inner ends are for rudimentary buffer stops.  This stops the trains running off the end but also adds a little security when lifting the cassettes so that nothing rolls off.

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The way they connect is a tweak on my original design of using a bit of flat bottom rail on its side - positioned in the web of the running rail for alignment and electrical connection. Originally these were both sides and the rails on the cassettes were angled outwards a little for a good fit.  Making the loco cassettes reversible main this wouldn't work and so a small bit of 0.6 straight wire is soldered to the inside of the web to help with alignment.

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You may be wondering what the little blocks are for in the first 2 pictures.

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Taking a hint from Amlwch (a layout i used to help out with) I decided to make the storage of the cassettes integrated with the fiddleyards.  This one will store the locos and units, the other one the long cassettes.  Most of the braces slot in place meaning I can lock in place 8 unit cassettes with just 3 bolts and 16 loco cassettes with just 2.  The less time spent faffing about at an exhibition the better!
Jim S-W
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Re: Birmingham New Street and Brettell Road in P4

Post by Jim S-W »

Today, 21st June 2023 marks a small but significant date in the life of Brettell Road, in that it's exactly 2 years since Tim and I first cut wood for the 2 new baseboards.  I think it fair to say that a reasonable amount of modelling water has flowed under that particular bridge since that day and I'm now drawing in to the layouts final destination somewhat.

Drawing being the word as the big thing thats always been missing from any pictures of the new boards is the backscene.  Long time readers may recall that this is an area of the layout that I have revisited on more than one occasion and, with every intention of this being the last time, I find myself deciding to get this particular subject closed off once and for all.

The method

The method I use is like modelling but in a 2 dimensional world rather than 3.  Starting with drawing up the basic structure in much the same way as I do the modelled buildings.

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Above is the basic drawing of a typical industrial shed.  Think of it like a kit of parts.  This is done in Adobe Illustrator and the rather bright colours are simply so that they are easily selectable at the next stage.

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Which is to transfer the basic drawing to Photoshop where Scalescenes textures are overlaid and the bits 'assembled' into something resembling a basic 3d building.  You will note theres no shading and no perspective yet.

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A different building showing some shading and some perspective.  The image is still made up of separate parts in a folder so that I can fine tune it once applied to the finished backscene.

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Of which this is the end board for the left of the layout. Some consideration, such as the metal fence, needs to be made for elements of the layout that will cross from the 3d world to the 2d one. The line the railway takes, under the bridge on the left is hinted at by the arrangement of the trees.

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This is the view of the bottom of the hill on the left.  Again the wall and the building on the right of the image are intended to match up with the 3d model.

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And finally the middle bit of the 2 new boards. Based on images of the real Round Oak.  Of course the point of all this is that its there but not really all that noticeable at the same time.
Dad-1
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Location: Dorset - A mile from West Bay.

Re: Birmingham New Street and Brettell Road in P4

Post by Dad-1 »

Oh Boy Jim,

What can I say - Certainly showing your artistic abilities.
I sit here in stunned silence !! (Not like me at all)

Geoff T.
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Bufferstop
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Re: Birmingham New Street and Brettell Road in P4

Post by Bufferstop »

Round about where the M5 Junction 2 now sits there was a building just like that. It looked so dark and black that you couldn't see that there were random windows (or at least openings) in the side of it. A fact I discovered when someone fired up a gas-axe while I was looking at the building.
Growing old, can't avoid it. Growing up, forget it!
My Layout, My Workbench Blog and My Opinions
Phred
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Location: Queensland Australia

Re: Birmingham New Street and Brettell Road in P4

Post by Phred »

Very atmospheric and amazingly realistic. :)
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luckymucklebackit
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Re: Birmingham New Street and Brettell Road in P4

Post by luckymucklebackit »

Simply superb. I did a steelworks background and was well chuffed with the results, then Jim comes along and shows me how it should be done. Different class of modelling altogether.

Jim
This Signature Left Intentionally Blank, but since I have written this and I intended to do it, this Signature is intentionally not blank. Paradox or What?
My layout - Gateside and Northbridge
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Jim S-W
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Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 5:38 pm

Re: Birmingham New Street and Brettell Road in P4

Post by Jim S-W »

Thanks all

I worked professionally as an illustrator for over a decade but became disillusioned with it and moved on to other things. This is the first time in nearly 2 decades I've done something like this and to be honest (i hope this doesn't come across as a bit arrogant) I've quite surprised myself!
Dad-1
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Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2008 8:05 pm
Location: Dorset - A mile from West Bay.

Re: Birmingham New Street and Brettell Road in P4

Post by Dad-1 »

Hi Jim,

I suppose some might see you as elitist, but the truth is you're just a damn
good model maker with the artists eye, a methodical and professional approach,
as well as being prepared to make a silk purse out of ... Well a base toys lorry !!

Yes, that piece of work is something that I'll always remember as an example of
imagination and dedication, let alone the skill to do it.

Geoff T.
Jaz
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Re: Birmingham New Street and Brettell Road in P4

Post by Jaz »

You have always pushed the envelope, and have been willing to come at something from a new angle
Your work is always worth take a close look at
Birmingham new street has been familiar to me for a long time
Enjoying brettell road
You deserve More credit for the skills and ideas you bring to the hobby
Long May it continur
Jaz
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Re: Birmingham New Street and Brettell Road in P4

Post by Jaz »

Jim S-W wrote: Thu Aug 25, 2022 1:08 pm Construction has started on the latest building for Brettell Road. I've tried to incorporate some lessons learned from the previous efforts.

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The main lesson being to do something more robust with the corners as these have been slightly problematic in the past. I decided to laser cut the main carcass and overlay it with plasticard. It may have been easier in the long run to laser cut everything but I like working with plasticard and scalpels and i didn't fancy a huge session on my computer drawing bricks.  As usual Tim kindly did the cutting for me. As you can see from the picture I've cut recesses in the corners and mounted some evergreen strip to give something solid for the overlays to stick too. It's early days but it seems very solid so far.

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Turning the part around and moving on a bit, this is the front.  Ive built this in a kind of modular way.  I drew up the windows and arches and had them etched. There are 3 of these sections required for the building.
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This is another section.  Ive used the admin building from Round Oak as my inspiration but moved things around and adjusted them to suit.  It's an 'inspired by' model rather than an exact replica. This section was on a different face to the one I am modelling as it overlooked Dudley Road.

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To join these bits together are some flat wall sections.  These are the smaller ones. Ive missed some bits off at this stage as I figured it would be easier to add them once its all together.

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And the larger one.

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I didn't manage to find a huge number of images of the real building.  Theres one in Ned Williams book on Brierley hill and this one that my friend Frank collins sent me.  Sadly Frank passed away very recently and I missed showing him how I was getting on by only a month or so.  I sincerely hope he would approve of my efforts.  The model will be dedicated to him.

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Progress so far roughly plonked in position.

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And from the other end.  Much still to do!
🤩
Stunning
Phred
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Re: Birmingham New Street and Brettell Road in P4

Post by Phred »

Jaz wrote:
Stunning
Stunning is an understatement. Looks too beautiful for that convincingly grubby railway yard.
I look forward to seeing how you make it blend in. :)
Jim S-W
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Re: Birmingham New Street and Brettell Road in P4

Post by Jim S-W »

There's a few images earlier in the thread. I've uploaded them below
acorn-final.jpg
BR-dark-nov-22-c (2).jpg
going-home.jpg
Phred
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Location: Queensland Australia

Re: Birmingham New Street and Brettell Road in P4

Post by Phred »

Perfect! 8)
Jaz
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Re: Birmingham New Street and Brettell Road in P4

Post by Jaz »

Phred wrote: Sat Jun 24, 2023 9:23 pmPerfect! 8)
Agreed the last picture all details have been done to highest standar taking advantage on all front masses of atmosphere looks like it is about to pour it down
Phred
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Re: Birmingham New Street and Brettell Road in P4

Post by Phred »

I like the subdued lighting. It gives the effect of watery sunlight trying to break through the gloom.
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