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Author Topic: Claverdon-ish in Warwickshire  (Read 74423 times)

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Offline johnlambert

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Claverdon-ish in Warwickshire
« on: March 22, 2013, 11:30:39 pm »
Here's a quick overview of my layout from the beginning to its current state.

My main constraint was that it should fit on a 4-foot by 2-foot MDF board as this was an easily available size and also allows me to store the baseboard when I'm not playing trains.  I live in a small flat so I can't have a much larger board.  An end-to-end, shelf layout was considered but I wanted something that would allow a continuous run for running in new locos.

Other features I wanted to incorporate:
  • 2nd radius curves minimum for the main running line
  • Run around loops
  • A turntable
  • loco and carriage sidings

It would have been nice to have two running lines but that would have meant using first radius curves for the inner track and made things too crowded.

I wanted at least part of my layout to be modelled on a real location, ideally somewhere:
  • Local to me
  • That saw a variety of trains
  • Small station
  • Wholly or partially in a cutting to provide a scenic break

Research on the Warwickshire Railways web site and from various books on the railway in the local area suggested that Claverdon station met all of my criteria.  For practical reasons it will be an "inspired by" rather than an exact copy but if I can recreate the look of the buildings and landscape then I'll consider it a job well done.

Anyway, enough talk, here are a few pictures.

This is my final track plan


Most of the curves and points are Peco Settrack items, most of the plain track is Peco flexible track, there is one streamline point and the turntable is the Peco NB-55 item.

The blank canvass


And underneath


In retrospect I wish I'd finalised my plan before constructing the baseboard as I'd have gone for two intermediate supports not three, which would have avoided most of the points and the turntable well.  I also wish I'd included cut-outs to run wiring before fixing the board together, I've made holes for the wire runs but it would have been easier if I'd thought ahead.

The track is all laid now, I'll update this topic with more progress photos soon.

Offline Chinahand

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Re: Claverdon-ish in Warwickshire
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2013, 12:40:00 am »
Leaving out one of the cross bracings would not have been a good idea John, in fact I would also have put an additional one right down the centre of the board. They don't all have to be at equal centres so you could have moved them about a bit to avoid point motor positions etc. However, you've learned the first rule of layout construction which is to plan where everything goes before you start cutting timber.

One thing to remember about MDF though is that it readily absorbs moisture and will swell/distort if it's not sealed so I would recommend that you give it a couple of good coats of varnish, including the edges, before you go any further.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2013, 08:42:35 am by Chinahand »
Regards,
Trevor (aka Chinahand)

Offline newportnobby

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Re: Claverdon-ish in Warwickshire
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2013, 08:38:56 am »
I tend to agree with Trevor and would have put more bracing in by means of a longitudinal one in the middle. It would also cut down noise when running your trains.
Is there any way you can fit one retrospectively, maybe by making cutouts in your cross members to locate the long spar into with matching cutouts??

Offline OwL

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Re: Claverdon-ish in Warwickshire
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2013, 08:43:08 am »
Looks very interesting......

What era are you running? I can tell that it is Steam due to the Turntable, is it Big Four, Early BR or late BR?

I look forward to seeing this one develop. :thumbsup:


Proud New Owner of Old Warren Traction Maintenance Depot Layout.

http://www.c58lg.co.uk/  http://www.c60pg.co.uk/

Offline johnlambert

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Re: Claverdon-ish in Warwickshire
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2013, 12:23:17 pm »
Thanks for the comments.

The board has survived a couple of years as it is without sagging or distorting but I know what I need to do when I build another board.  Although I may use plywood sheet next time.  It is probably a bit late but I may give the board a couple of coats of varnish before I go much further.

My layout is set roughly between 1960 and 1967 although strictly speaking the line through the station should be double track at that time and the loop was taken out of use in the 1960s.  But, as I said, it is more a case of being inspired by the location rather than trying to replicate the station exactly.  The depot side is purely freelance, just somewhere I can play at shunting.

Mostly, from what I can tell, the line was worked by ex-GWR locos; the 14xx and auto coach, Panniers, Praries, 22xx, Hall and occasionally Kings.  By the mid-1960s it was mostly DMUs, but I quite like green DMUs so that's not a problem for me.  Sadly there don't seem to be many photos of diesel locomotives working the line.  I would have thought that some passenger trains, particularly London to Stratford-upon-Avon, would be worked by diesel locos.

Some photos from building the layout.  I used Woodland Scenics foam underlay, which is great stuff.





Before fixing the track I soldered dropper wires to each piece of track and painted the rails and sleepers.  I even went along and picked out the chairs (I think).


Another shot of the same corner showing the difference between the painted and unpainted track.  The first droppers used fairly thick domestic wire.  This was a mistake as it just acts as a massive heat sink and is a pain to solder to the rails.  On later sections I used some lighter wire.  Painting the exposed ends of the wire matt black helped disguise them.


To operate the points I used Peco PL11 point motors, for some reason this one wouldn't stay attached to the tie bar so I used a wire to connect the point and motor (as seen in the N Gauge society magazine).  The screws are a little OTT but mean I can replace the motor in case of failure and will be hidden under the station platform eventually.


Finally, here's an Ixon Manor posing on the site of the station.


Ballast was glued down with diluted PVA with a drop of washing up liquid.

Offline newportnobby

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Re: Claverdon-ish in Warwickshire
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2013, 01:24:35 pm »
Thanks for the pictures/description, John.
Regarding diesels on your line, I would certainly think the hydraulic 63xx would have been seen.
Dapol have one out very shortly :thumbsup:

Offline johnlambert

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Re: Claverdon-ish in Warwickshire
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2013, 01:59:32 pm »
Thanks NN.  Do you mean the Dapol Western?  I'll be getting one because I have a soft spot for diesel hydraulics.  Also I have a long-term plan to do a layout based on the Paddington-Wolverhampton line and I can certainly justify a Western for that route!

My latest work includes playing around with Dapol magnetic couplings.  Using both Dapol magnets and neodymium magnets.  The neo magnets are a bit tricky to line up with and are a bit strong for four-wheeled wagons even with lots of weight added!


Offline newportnobby

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Re: Claverdon-ish in Warwickshire
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2013, 02:18:44 pm »
Thanks NN.  Do you mean the Dapol Western?  I'll be getting one because I have a soft spot for diesel hydraulics.  Also I have a long-term plan to do a layout based on the Paddington-Wolverhampton line and I can certainly justify a Western for that route!



Hi John,
I wasn't referring to the Western but to the Class 22 63xx- see...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Rail_Class_22

These are due from Dapol (hopefully) very soon in various guises. Dapol have only just brought out the Western in 00 so I think the N version is quite a way off. I also think you could try the Dapol Hymek class 35 and the Farish Warship. Then there is the Farish Class 14 but these, I believe, were based further south west and in South Wales. Very nice model though :thumbsup:

Offline johnlambert

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Re: Claverdon-ish in Warwickshire
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2013, 11:18:32 pm »
I bought a Metcalfe Wayside Station kit at the weekend, it isn't anything like the station buildings at the location but I'm not going to get around to scratch building realistic copies of the buildings at Claverdon any time soon.  However, seeing how the Metcalfe building goes together will help when I do try and build something better.

It got a bit rushed towards the end, trying to do the whole thing in an afternoon/evening might not have been the best idea.  Forgive the low-resolution photo, it was taken on my mobile phone.



I just wanted to get a sense of how it looks in context, the bay platform isn't part of the final design, just a temporary measure as a result of re-using bits of platform I made earlier.  Eventually there will be an embankment behind the platform.

Offline johnlambert

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Re: Claverdon-ish in Warwickshire
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2013, 09:01:34 pm »
I bought a sheet of Celotex insulation board at the weekend.  Two triangular pieces have been stuck to the baseboard at the 'front' corners either end of the station.  A long piece has been cut to form the cutting in which the station sits.  A Peco bridge kit will go at the Leamington end of the station but I need a different style bridge for the Stratford end (well I could use the same style but it would be more interesting to have something different).

Here is the cutting with a recess cut for the station building and the start of a ramp down from road level.


Looking "North towards Leamington" this is how the station will sit in the cutting:


The station looking "South":


The bridge:


I need to provide a more solid base for the platform, last time I made a Metcalfe card platform it seemed very rigid but this one doesn't want to hold its shape.  (no laughing at the back :P)

Offline Chinahand

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Re: Claverdon-ish in Warwickshire
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2013, 10:08:54 pm »
Looking good John. One thing that caught my eye though was the track 'wriggle' to enter the passing loop at the South end of the station. It might look better if you had a curved point at that end so that it was a single smooth curve into the passing loop.
Regards,
Trevor (aka Chinahand)

Offline Sprintex

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Re: Claverdon-ish in Warwickshire
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2013, 10:34:05 pm »
There's a 'wriggle' at both ends ;)

Rather than spend on curved points it would be easier to swap the existing points end to end so that the curved portion of each point completes the curve into the station and the passing loop uses the straight-on roads of each point, something like this:-




Paul

Offline johnlambert

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Re: Claverdon-ish in Warwickshire
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2013, 11:00:26 pm »
Looking good John. One thing that caught my eye though was the track 'wriggle' to enter the passing loop at the South end of the station. It might look better if you had a curved point at that end so that it was a single smooth curve into the passing loop.

Thanks Trevor, I have a feeling I might have tried curved points in one of my Anyrail plans and found that they then made the oval too big to fit on the board.  One of the lessons I have learned from this layout build is that I don't want to use settrack or any dead frog points in any future N gauge plans.

There's a 'wriggle' at both ends ;)

Rather than spend on curved points it would be easier to swap the existing points end to end so that the curved portion of each point completes the curve into the station and the passing loop uses the straight-on roads of each point,


Paul

Thanks Paul, the only problem with changing the orientation of the points is that it means part of my 2nd radius main track then becomes 1st radius.  Although I've not yet found anything that won't run round 1st radius curves I wanted a track with a 2nd radius continuous run so that I can run in any new locos on this track.

With all the track glued, ballasted and wired up I am reluctant to lift it now.  Especially as it took a bit of time and practice to lay the track so that trains wouldn't derail on those points (yes, my own fault for choosing that track arrangement).

Sometimes I'm tempted to set this layout aside and start working on something bigger and grander, but I'm great at planning and starting, less good at finishing.  I'm determined to make this layout "complete" before starting work on another project.

It is quite exciting for me, this is my first attempt at a model railway.  I've never attempted scenic stuff with proper landscaping.  When I was younger I had a train set but that was just track on a flat board and no amount of buildings and trees could really hide that fact.  Scenic work was probably the part of the build that scared me most, because it wasn't something that I'd done before, but I'm glad I've made a start.  Thanks for all the advice and encouragement.

 :NGaugersRule:

Offline Sprintex

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Re: Claverdon-ish in Warwickshire
« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2013, 04:57:54 am »
Thanks Paul, the only problem with changing the orientation of the points is that it means part of my 2nd radius main track then becomes 1st radius.  Although I've not yet found anything that won't run round 1st radius curves I wanted a track with a 2nd radius continuous run so that I can run in any new locos on this track.

With all the track glued, ballasted and wired up I am reluctant to lift it now.  Especially as it took a bit of time and practice to lay the track so that trains wouldn't derail on those points (yes, my own fault for choosing that track arrangement).

Sometimes I'm tempted to set this layout aside and start working on something bigger and grander, but I'm great at planning and starting, less good at finishing.  I'm determined to make this layout "complete" before starting work on another project.

No worries John, twas only an observation and those are all valid points (pun intended :D ) to leave it as is ;)

Quote
It is quite exciting for me, this is my first attempt at a model railway.  I've never attempted scenic stuff with proper landscaping.  When I was younger I had a train set but that was just track on a flat board and no amount of buildings and trees could really hide that fact.  Scenic work was probably the part of the build that scared me most, because it wasn't something that I'd done before, but I'm glad I've made a start.

I can identify with that as I'm also attempting 'proper' scenics for the first time since the "flat board, chicken-wire tunnel for no reason, and lives under the bed" stage in my teens ;) And yes, it IS proper scary!  :worried:


Paul

Offline gc4946

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Re: Claverdon-ish in Warwickshire
« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2013, 08:30:02 pm »
I'll keep tabs on this layout as I own several locos in my collection that would have been seen together in Warwickshire during the 1963-1965 period, just after takeover by the London Midland Region.
Otherwise, had I not known this place, my options would have been the main lines via Solihull or Shirley and I've no room to do that justice at home.

 

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