N Gauge Forum

Your Layout and Models => Layout Construction => Topic started by: belstone on March 31, 2016, 11:25:25 am

Title: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: belstone on March 31, 2016, 11:25:25 am
It's been a while... due to a house move I had to sell my layout "Belstone" and found myself with almost no space for a new layout, and no time either.  But now things have settled down, and after selling off most of my bits and pieces I was left with a Farish 2MT, a J39 and some wagons, a Finetrax B6 turnout kit and a couple of lengths of track, and a box of scenic materials.  So last week I decided to try building the turnout kit, and after a few problems (you really need to read the instructions carefully at least twice before starting one of these kits) I ended up with a turnout which looks nice and appears to work.

So I have ordered a few more, along with some rail and chairplates. I managed to cut one of the switch rails about 1mm too short, and there isn't enough spare rail in the turnout kit to have another go.  The plan is for a minimalist branch terminus on two boards each 3' x 1' - just a run round loop and a couple of sidings. Scottish border country again, and heavily inspired by the Lauder Light Railway. Baseboards will be the same 12mm ply deep box construction as "Belstone" which I found to be very light and bombproof. The main aim is to finish off the development of my "Magpie" delayed action couplers, see if the Finetrax system gives the kind of smooth, reliable running I want, and of course give me something to do in the evenings. I have a deep need to hear tiny wheels running on tiny rails again.  More to follow once I get the baseboards built...

Richard
Title: Re: Teviotdale Light Railway
Post by: Chris in Prague on March 31, 2016, 11:36:30 am
Thanks for this new thread, Richard. If this layout looks as good as your previous one it will be very attractive indeed. I look forward to the updates.
Title: Re: Teviotdale Light Railway
Post by: Newportnobby on March 31, 2016, 02:43:05 pm
Glad things are a bit more settled now, Richard, and I look forward to seeing/hearing more about the TLR.
Title: Re: Teviotdale Light Railway
Post by: belstone on March 31, 2016, 03:35:49 pm
Lauder itself would make a nice subject for a model and just about fit onto my 6x1 board with a little bit of compression, but there is one big problem.  Engines (in BR days) were ex-Great Eastern J67 0-6-0Ts, running with the side tanks empty and an ex North British tender behind for the water supply.  Yes, the line was so flimsy it wouldn't take the weight of a J67 with full tanks.  So unless one of the manufacturers is planning to release a J67 and hasn't told us yet, Lauder is out.  I suppose I could use the old early 1970s Farish model, but they weren't exactly famous for reliability even new.  But to give people an idea of the sort of thing I am looking at:

http://www.disused-stations.org.uk/l/lauder/ (http://www.disused-stations.org.uk/l/lauder/)
Title: Re: Teviotdale Light Railway
Post by: belstone on March 31, 2016, 06:08:13 pm
Hmm... J67s.  Wheelbase and wheel diameter are near enough identical to a J72, and Farish have one of those due out later this year. The old Farish Holden body looks pretty accurate although rather lacking in fine detail.  The tender would have to be scratchbuilt but I have one in 4mm that I can copy. So maybe Lauder is possible after all.

If I spent a tenth of the time building models that I spend thinking about them, I could have modelled Clapham Junction by now.
Title: Re: Teviotdale Light Railway
Post by: belstone on April 01, 2016, 11:36:37 am
Epic beer-fuelled planning session on the dining room table last night.  6 x 1 isn't really minimalist at all.  I played around with some stock and found the plan will cope with loco, 8 wagons and brake van, or two coaches and a couple of vans, which is plenty.  Also found room to add another goods siding (track plan now very closely resembles Lauder), and came up with an ingenious cassette-type fiddle yard to reduce stock handling - I wasn't going to have a fiddle yard as such, just a length of plain track hidden by trees.

And then (after more beer) I had a think about the TLR "history".  I like my model railways to have a convincing reason to exist.  So - built 1901 under the Light Railways Act, mainly to serve various small stone quarries on either side of Upper Teviotdale.  From the North British station at Hawick the line meandered along the river bank, parallel to what is now the A7, to the terminus at Teviothead (about eight miles from Hawick).  By 1930 all the quarries had been worked out, and the new bus service from Hawick to Langholm killed the passenger trade. The future of the line looked bleak, with just a twice-weekly goods service transporting livestock, house coal and the odd vanload of provisions.

Then in 1940 the Ministry of Tinned Foodstuffs established a depot at Teviothead to safeguard the nation's supplies of Spam and condensed milk from the threat of German bombers.  Vanloads of Spam were transported by rail to the depot for storage.  This continued well after the end of the war, until 1958 when the whole idea was abandoned and the depot closed down, swiftly followed by the railway.  (And if you think that is just beer-fuelled fantasy, the Lauder branch survived until 1958 for exactly the same reason, except that the Food Buffer Depot there stored flour and powdered milk rather than Spam.)

So now I just need to decide what a Spam unloading dock would look like. 

Richard
Title: Re: Teviotdale Light Railway
Post by: McRuss on April 01, 2016, 11:50:42 am
Hello Richard,

I wish you a good progress and much fun with building your Teviotdale Light Railway.

Markus
Title: Re: Teviotdale Light Railway
Post by: Newportnobby on April 01, 2016, 12:05:29 pm
What a smashing history :)
Strangely that post has also appeared in my e mail spam box :confused1:
Title: Re: Teviotdale Light Railway
Post by: Pete Smith on April 01, 2016, 02:02:19 pm
A strategic spam reserve, that will get the conspiracy theorists going. may i suggest a bricked up tunnel or two?
Title: Re: Teviotdale Light Railway
Post by: Newportnobby on April 01, 2016, 03:50:29 pm
may i suggest a bricked up tunnel or two?

No bad idea. We can't allow the spam to be frittered away :no: :-X
Title: Re: Teviotdale Light Railway
Post by: 25901JFM on April 01, 2016, 04:11:01 pm
 :laughabovepost: 

 :NGaugersRule:  John
Title: Re: Teviotdale Light Railway
Post by: belstone on April 06, 2016, 03:49:46 pm
No actual modelling to report (give me time) but I have been playing around a bit with the track plan to make more of a feature of the Spam depot.  Most of these places used Romney buildings (basically giant Nissen huts) and I reckon I can get a couple of these in at one end which will help hide the fiddle yard area. Since Food Buffer Depots were supposed to be secret I haven't found any photos of them in use, so I don't know how wagons were shunted in and out of the buildings.  Steam locos and food do not go well together.  Possibly barrier wagons were used, or adapted tractors, horses (although they might have tried to eat the stored food) or maybe even small petrol or diesel shunters.  Motorising a Hibberd Planet shunter in "N" would be an interesting challenge. I'll worry about that after I have worked out how to build giant Nissen huts.

The last Food Buffer Depots closed in 1995 and I reckon one of these facilities would make a brilliant space filler for a corner of an oval layout, make a change from the usual factory or dairy anyway.  I'll draw my track plan, scan it and post it up so people can see what I'm up to.
Title: Re: Teviotdale Light Railway
Post by: Newportnobby on April 06, 2016, 04:06:11 pm
Since Food Buffer Depots were supposed to be secret I haven't found any photos of them in use, so I don't know how wagons were shunted in and out of the buildings.

Sounds like another job for Muldur and Scully :uneasy:
Title: Re: Teviotdale Light Railway
Post by: Zwilnik on April 06, 2016, 04:41:09 pm

So now I just need to decide what a Spam unloading dock would look like. 

Richard

I would imagine it would be mostly staffed by Nigerian Princes and the like.
Title: Re: Teviotdale Light Railway
Post by: belstone on April 06, 2016, 05:17:08 pm
I'm starting to think people aren't taking my rail-served Spam depot seriously  :D
Title: Re: Teviotdale Light Railway
Post by: Zwilnik on April 06, 2016, 06:04:54 pm
Given what it tastes like it wouldn't be surprising if one or more of the employees painted a huge bullseye on the roof with "Bomb Here!" In it.
Title: Re: Teviotdale Light Railway
Post by: belstone on April 08, 2016, 09:55:01 am
I finally built a layout which runs perfectly with no stalling or derailments.  Here it is:

(http://www.glencoyne.co.uk/images/popup 002.jpg)

I dug out all my old relics and had more fun than I have had from model railways for years.  Even the 1971 Pannier had a chance to stretch its legs:

(http://www.glencoyne.co.uk/images/popup 004.jpg)

Not to mention my Mashima-motored Minitrix 2MT which ran beautifully after half a dozen laps:

(http://www.glencoyne.co.uk/images/popup 006.jpg)

And finally, before the line was closed and lifted, an enthusiasts' "Brake Van Special":

(http://www.glencoyne.co.uk/images/popup 008.jpg)

All of which has made me think.  I have been trying for 15 years on and off to build an N gauge branch terminus that runs properly, and never quite succeeded. Sometimes I just want to sit back and watch the trains go by. So I am thinking about turning the TLR into a simple oval on a 4' x 2'6" board.  Nice sweeping curve through the station and a couple of sidings, all laid in Finetrax at the front, Setrack at the back where you can't see it, with a couple of road bridges to hide the point where finescale becomes coarse scale. Very similar to Ian Futers' "Longwitton" which I saw at an exhibition in 1978 and which has had more influence on my modelling than anything else. So instead of a terminus at Teviothead I will have the intermediate station at Branxholme. Shame about the Spam depot.

The most immediate problem is that to get the trackplan to flow nicely I want my turnouts to be slightly curved, and Finetrax B6 turnouts are very definitely straight.  I have had some success modifying Peco points to put a slight curve in them and might be able to do something similar with the Finetrax item by cutting slots in the milled base.  I'll use the one I have already built as a guinea pig for that and point operating mechanisms and see if I can destroy it :)
Title: Re: Teviotdale Light Railway
Post by: Chris in Prague on April 08, 2016, 10:12:16 am
Thanks for those nice photos. Ultimately, it should be F U N! So, design what will make you happy. My first N Gauge layout was a chipboard base, resting on a chest of drawers, with double ovals with two stations, top and bottom, and sidings inside at the bottom half and to left and right. There was a tunnel to the left and a quarry at the edge. Very simple and unrealistic but I enjoyed watching the trains run around the two ovals and in and out of the sidings.
Title: Re: Teviotdale Light Railway
Post by: Newportnobby on April 08, 2016, 10:31:20 am
Code 40 running into code 80 could be 'fun' :hmmm:
There's a lot to be said for just seeing trains run round so my 'Kimbolted' layout, despite having the front tracks parallel to the baseboard, has 2 ovals with only 2 points to pass through on the scenic side and 4 road fiddle yards behind the backscene. Ergo, not too many points to pass through :D
Title: Re: Teviotdale Light Railway
Post by: belstone on April 11, 2016, 10:22:30 am
I really should have started this thread in the Layout Planning section, but I already had a plan.  The only problem is that I keep changing it.  I should also have finalised the plan before I started ordering stuff on Finetrax.  Never mind, I have now done a bit of construction.  It's modelling, Jim, but not as we know it.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B0k7ExgInbDMbUV2YlNEZUQzLWc (https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B0k7ExgInbDMbUV2YlNEZUQzLWc)

I drew out the plan on paper, but it had a few slightly unconventional features and I couldn't picture how it would look.  So I knocked together a half-size version using a giant cardboard box, balsa and Evostik.  It was fun.  The idea is to use Setrack no 2 curves for the hidden section, which gives me near enough a constant 2 foot radius in the bit you can see.  I have shaped the front of the board to follow the line of the trackbed and curved the backscene slightly, so that the scenic area is elliptical, like the wings of a Spitfire.  I'm trying to give the impression of a railway winding its way through the hills, following the contours to avoid major earthworks as real branch lines tended to do. 

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B0k7ExgInbDMR2wybDBzd3ZzWkU (https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B0k7ExgInbDMR2wybDBzd3ZzWkU)

Track plan is a cross between Ewesley and Longwitton on the Rothbury branch - goods siding with a completely pointless "kick back" (I wonder if this was ever actually used?) and a cattle dock.  Station building is based on Ewesley. 16 ton mineral and a couple of 3-plank dropsides await unloading in the goods siding.  I started measuring up the 2MT to see if I could carve one out of balsa, then realised things were getting silly.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B0k7ExgInbDMdjllRXo1dUhmRG8 (https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B0k7ExgInbDMdjllRXo1dUhmRG8)

Typical North British platelayers hut.  Those turnouts are going to be a problem.  I have found that you can indeed flex a Finetrax turnout by cutting away some of the webs in the milled base, and it doesn't fall to bits when you do it. But I have ordered B6 turnouts, and when they are bent the inner curve is a bit tight for comfort.  I might have to go for B7 or even B8 which will mean shifting the crossover towards the station.  The siding is plenty long enough to get away with this.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B0k7ExgInbDMZXlvZk0tbzlZNkU (https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B0k7ExgInbDMZXlvZk0tbzlZNkU)

Setrack fiddle yard, nice and simple.  Loops will take a loco and 8-9 wagons, or two coaches and two vans - plenty.  The fiddle yard area will fold up through 90 degrees on flap hinges for storage and transport.

2 foot radius is horribly tight by real railway standards, so I wondered how it would look with a train on it.  The answer is not too bad for a model railway:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B0k7ExgInbDMTkNqQmRTc3ZMdVU (https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B0k7ExgInbDMTkNqQmRTc3ZMdVU)

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B0k7ExgInbDMdk5rZU84ZFZXNTQ (https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B0k7ExgInbDMdk5rZU84ZFZXNTQ)

So I think I have a plan that I'm happy with.  Apart from the location.  This is now so heavily Rothbury branch-inspired that I think I will call it "Alnham", the last station on the (imaginary) Belstone branch.  That means I can use the locos I kept when I sold "Belstone". Now I just need to scrape together the funds to build the baseboards...

P.S. Sorry photos are links rather than embedded.  Photobucket seems to have fallen over and died, and Google Drive doesn't want to share images direct to other websites.

Richard
Title: Re: Teviotdale Light Railway
Post by: Chris in Prague on April 11, 2016, 07:01:18 pm
Thanks for this update, Richard. I like the rough model. I think after the scenery has been finished the tight curves will be less noticeable. Looking forward to seeing it develop.
Title: Re: Alnham (was Teviotdale) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on April 15, 2016, 01:49:42 pm
A few quick updates:

Station building - I thought I would build something like Brinkburn or Ewesley - simple wooden building, no awkward roof angles, but the stations weren't photographed much.  Then I found a really lovely EM gauge layout based on the Rothbury branch which has some good clear photos of the buildings. 

http://www.emgauge70s.co.uk/layout_hartburnconstruct.html (http://www.emgauge70s.co.uk/layout_hartburnconstruct.html)

Assuming the doors are 6'6" x 2'6" or so, there's enough there for me to put together some scale drawings to work from, so (since I can't afford baseboard materials yet) I'll get cracking on that bit. A model of a model!

Couplers - shunting the cattle dock will involve propelling wagons round a no. 2 Setrack curve.  My home made couplers won't cope with that, so it looks like I'm back to trying to get the Microtrains knuckles to work reliably.  I have learned an awful lot about very small magnetic couplers through trying to design my own, and playing around on the dining room table I think I have found an uncoupler design which will work.  It uses under-track magnets - I tried that before, but the Peco sleeper base was too deep for them to work properly.  With Finetrax it is a different story.  Next stage there is to build a simple "shunting plank" in Finetrax and make sure the uncouplers work properly with real shunting operations.

Track - those curved points are still bothering me.  My modified Finetrax B6 turnout fell to bits all by itself when left in a drawer, so maybe cutting away the milled base isn't such a good idea.  The alternative is to build them from soldered PCB construction using Templot templates and 2mm Association parts.  At least there are only three to worry about, so it's possible.

Control - I'm thinking of DCC again.  Mainly because I'm still not convinced that I can get reliable slow running with a track voltage of 0.8V which is what the 2MT takes to start moving on pure DC.  I didn't get on with the Bachmann system with that paddle controller, can anyone recommend a nice simple DCC system with a proper control knob?  I don't need wireless handheld, sound, accessory control or the ability to run lots of trains simultaneously.  I DO need really good slow speed control.

Really looking forward to this one now.  I have a book out next month (nothing to do with railways) so I'll use the windfall from that to pay for the baseboards and maybe a DCC package.

Richard
Title: Re: Alnham (was Teviotdale) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Chris in Prague on April 15, 2016, 04:01:09 pm
Thanks, Richard, for the latest update and full explanations.
Title: Re: Alnham (was Teviotdale) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on April 22, 2016, 09:49:17 am
Still no construction, but another major planning session last night with some help from the FBM (Friendly Beer Monster).  I spent a couple of hours getting to grips with Templot - as others have said it isn't the easiest program to teach yourself, but I ended up with a full size template for all the pointwork.  So I took an old desk top, marked out the scenic area (4' x 2') with sticky tape and started playing around with templates and flexi track.

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/plan%20003_zpswz4lpznb.jpg)

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/plan%20002_zps2nctmvwo.jpg)

It fits!  The template needs reworking - the outer two turnouts are about right but the middle one was supposed to be a B8 and somehow ended up as a C6 which makes for some very strange track alignment at the crossover.  I'm not entirely happy with having identical road bridges at each end as scenic breaks, looks a bit too "model railway" but I can't think of any other solution at the moment.

Track construction is still keeping me awake at night.  Soldered PCB points don't frighten me, I've built a few before.  The problem is that the height from the sleeper bottom to rail top is a good bit less than the Finetrax flexi track, and since the rails are soldered straight to the sleepers you end up with a noticeable difference in appearance between plain track and pointwork. (Also, no-one seems to make track gauges for Code 40 bullhead rail in "N", but I can make my own to fit the Finetrax turnout that I have already built.)

Luckily I don't have a lot of track to build so I can think about fiddly, time-consuming solutions.  One possibility is to take OO/EM PCB sleeper strip, plane it down to the right width for "N" crossing timbers, mark out the chair bases on each sleeper with etch resist pen, then drop the whole lot in an acid bath.  I tried peeling the copper cladding off a PCB sleeper with a scalpel, leaving just a small amount for the chair plate, then soldering a rail to it, and it seems like it will be strong enough. With the copper cladding removed the sleeper height matches the Finetrax, near enough anyway. Just need to find out what kind of acid to use - how did modellers cope before Google was invented? Alternatively I could do all the plain track in PCB to match the pointwork, but I have already bought several yards of Finetrax and it is really very pretty.

Also thinking about ways of fixing down the track.  I would normally use PVA glue and heavy weights to keep the track flat until it dries.  But when I was setting up the full-size plan last night I found some Duck double sided clear carpet tape.  I used it to hold the Setrack curves in position and had no end of trouble removing them afterwards.  So I am wondering whether I can use this stuff for tracklaying.  I made a short test piece, with a length of Finetrax stuck to a piece of hardboard, "lizard sand" sprinkled over and tamped down, surplus sand removed and the whole lot painted black.  Bingo - lightweight ash ballast with plenty of sleeper showing, just like the track on most Borders branches.  There seems to be some scope for final positioning of track - it doesn't really stick firmly to the tape unless you press it down.  But once it's stuck, it seems to stay stuck.

Now I need to come up with a point operating mechanism.  My head is full of levers, cranks and springy wires, and I definitely need to come up with something reliable before I start building baseboards and laying track. So that will probably be the subject of the next planning/fiddling session.  In a way it's a good thing that I can't afford baseboards yet - normally by now I'd have them built, track laid and be starting to discover all the problems that a bit more careful planning would have avoided.

Richard
Title: Re: Alnham (was Teviotdale) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Pete Smith on April 22, 2016, 09:56:57 am
could use VHB tape. Its pressure activated so you could reposition track before finally pressing down hard to permanently* fix in position.

*its used to stick bit of aeroplanes together
Title: Re: Alnham (was Teviotdale) - Border country, 1963
Post by: paulprice on April 22, 2016, 09:57:59 am
Looking good, I will add your thread to my reading lists.

How did you re-motor the Ivatt?
Title: Re: Alnham (was Teviotdale) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on April 22, 2016, 05:13:04 pm
Looking good, I will add your thread to my reading lists.

How did you re-motor the Ivatt?

It was a very long time ago and I don't remember the details, but I think I used a Farish gear worm on a Mashima 1015 motor and glued it to the chassis with Araldite.  I might take the body off it this evening and have a look.
Title: Re: Alnham (was Teviotdale) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Roy L S on April 22, 2016, 06:17:51 pm
Still no construction, but another major planning session last night with some help from the FBM (Friendly Beer Monster).  I spent a couple of hours getting to grips with Templot - as others have said it isn't the easiest program to teach yourself, but I ended up with a full size template for all the pointwork.  So I took an old desk top, marked out the scenic area (4' x 2') with sticky tape and started playing around with templates and flexi track.

([url]http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/plan%20003_zpswz4lpznb.jpg[/url])

([url]http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/plan%20002_zps2nctmvwo.jpg[/url])

It fits!  The template needs reworking - the outer two turnouts are about right but the middle one was supposed to be a B8 and somehow ended up as a C6 which makes for some very strange track alignment at the crossover.  I'm not entirely happy with having identical road bridges at each end as scenic breaks, looks a bit too "model railway" but I can't think of any other solution at the moment.

Track construction is still keeping me awake at night.  Soldered PCB points don't frighten me, I've built a few before.  The problem is that the height from the sleeper bottom to rail top is a good bit less than the Finetrax flexi track, and since the rails are soldered straight to the sleepers you end up with a noticeable difference in appearance between plain track and pointwork. (Also, no-one seems to make track gauges for Code 40 bullhead rail in "N", but I can make my own to fit the Finetrax turnout that I have already built.)

Luckily I don't have a lot of track to build so I can think about fiddly, time-consuming solutions.  One possibility is to take OO/EM PCB sleeper strip, plane it down to the right width for "N" crossing timbers, mark out the chair bases on each sleeper with etch resist pen, then drop the whole lot in an acid bath.  I tried peeling the copper cladding off a PCB sleeper with a scalpel, leaving just a small amount for the chair plate, then soldering a rail to it, and it seems like it will be strong enough. With the copper cladding removed the sleeper height matches the Finetrax, near enough anyway. Just need to find out what kind of acid to use - how did modellers cope before Google was invented? Alternatively I could do all the plain track in PCB to match the pointwork, but I have already bought several yards of Finetrax and it is really very pretty.

Also thinking about ways of fixing down the track.  I would normally use PVA glue and heavy weights to keep the track flat until it dries.  But when I was setting up the full-size plan last night I found some Duck double sided clear carpet tape.  I used it to hold the Setrack curves in position and had no end of trouble removing them afterwards.  So I am wondering whether I can use this stuff for tracklaying.  I made a short test piece, with a length of Finetrax stuck to a piece of hardboard, "lizard sand" sprinkled over and tamped down, surplus sand removed and the whole lot painted black.  Bingo - lightweight ash ballast with plenty of sleeper showing, just like the track on most Borders branches.  There seems to be some scope for final positioning of track - it doesn't really stick firmly to the tape unless you press it down.  But once it's stuck, it seems to stay stuck.

Now I need to come up with a point operating mechanism.  My head is full of levers, cranks and springy wires, and I definitely need to come up with something reliable before I start building baseboards and laying track. So that will probably be the subject of the next planning/fiddling session.  In a way it's a good thing that I can't afford baseboards yet - normally by now I'd have them built, track laid and be starting to discover all the problems that a bit more careful planning would have avoided.

Richard


I like the look of the trackplan and general layout Richard, it has a real Borders feel to it.

My next layout which also just in planning at present is to be called "Dreadwater" and represent a fictional station on the Riccarton Junction - Hexham line. Miraculously in my world the line survived into the 60s and it will feature some early diesels as well as steam.

I am even pondering a plausible reason for the line's survival of the line into the 70s so that I might feature blue diesels..

Roy
Title: Re: Alnham (was Teviotdale) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on April 22, 2016, 07:35:51 pm
Quote from: Roy L S link=topic=32575.msg378413#msg378413

I like the look of the trackplan and general layout Richard, it has a real Borders feel to it.

My next layout which also just in planning at present is to be called "Dreadwater" and represent a fictional station on the Riccarton Junction - Hexham line. Miraculously in my world the line survived into the 60s and it will feature some early diesels as well as steam.

I am even pondering a plausible reason for the line's survival of the line into the 70s so that I might feature blue diesels..

Roy

Do you have the various Ian Futers articles that appeared in the RM in the 1970s?  If not I can scan them for you, I think you would be interested.  "Alnham" is basically "Longwitton" (RM December 1977) with an extra siding.  As for plausible reasons - Spam storage depot? (See earlier posts in this thread)
Title: Re: Alnham (was Teviotdale) - Border country, 1963
Post by: JasonBz on April 22, 2016, 09:50:17 pm
Great thread- I only found it today, and had to read it all, and the fascinating tale on Disused Stations :)
Title: Re: Alnham (was Teviotdale) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Mito on April 22, 2016, 10:53:57 pm
For etching, feric chloride can be used but it's nasty stuff. Here we can buy hydrochloric acid and hydrogen peroxide off the shelf. The peroxide is added to the acid and as the etching slows down add more peroxide.
http://www.opencircuits.com/Chemical_Etchants (http://www.opencircuits.com/Chemical_Etchants)
This gives more info. Look for acid cupric chloride.

Hope this helps.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on June 10, 2016, 09:17:45 pm
Another change of plan - I decided that a 4 x 3 layout would be too big and awkward (it really is a very small cottage), so Alnham will have to wait.  Longframlington is a former mining village between Morpeth and Alnwick.  It never had a railway (coal was moved out by aerial ropeway to Whittle Colliery) but it might have done.  So another branch terminus of the kind I said I was fed up with, 6 x 1 overall, Finetrax, two sidings and a run round loop.  Nothing very exciting but it will give me something to do in the evenings.

Having already built most of the pointwork I needed something to put it on, i.e. a baseboard.  I don't get on very well with wood: it is a fickle material and I have never been much good at carpentry.  I thought about having some nice baseboard frames made in aluminium but then decided to try using some of the huge quantity of Dexion shelf uprights that I bought a few years ago from an engineering firm that had gone bust.  This is what happens when you ask a car mechanic to build baseboards:

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0563_zpse9gsdqmz.jpg)

Two 3 x 1 frames made from Dexion, with plain angle steel at the join, MIG welded all round and joined with close-fitting M8 bolts for accurate alignment.  The first frame didn't come out as heavy as I feared, so I made a second one.  All done on the workshop floor in a bit of a hurry at the end of a long and tiring week, and my set square had gone missing, so they aren't as neat as they should be, but I can't see them falling to bits any time soon.

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0564_zpsy7r63mfn.jpg)

MDF tops bonded to the frames with Tigerseal, and weighed down with various items from the scrap pile (mostly brake drums).  The ends of the boards have aluminium angle bonded to them for protection.  I'll give them 24 hours for the Tigerseal to cure and then see how they come out.  For the moment these will sit nicely on the dining table with some rubber strip on the lower edges (cut up old car door seals will do the job) but I'll have to build some trestles at some point.  Traditionalists will be pleased to hear that these will probably be made of wood as I don't have any Dexion long enough.

At least if I get bored with the layout I can weigh it in for scrap :)

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Chris in Prague on June 10, 2016, 09:28:42 pm
Thanks for the update, Richard. Certainly a novel way to construct a baseboard but I hope that it will work fine for you.

I look forward to seeing your new branch terminus develop. I'm sure that it will have a real 'sense of place'.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Newportnobby on June 10, 2016, 09:43:29 pm
 :goggleeyes:
Where will you be fitting the gun turrets?

Seriously, though, nice bit of recycling but you may have difficulty in getting track pins in.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on June 10, 2016, 09:59:07 pm
Some history:

The Longframlington branch was opened in 1880, built by the North British Railway mainly to serve the collieries at Longframlington and Longhorsley, as well as various stone quarries along the route.  From Morpeth the line headed north, climbing steeply towards Longhorsley Moor, passing through the only intermediate station (Longhorsley) then crossing the River Coquet via an impressive fifteen-arch stone viaduct before reaching the terminus at Longframlington.

Passenger traffic was never heavy: the Longframlington colliery closed at the end of 1931 and the line struggled on with mainly agricultural traffic.  The passenger service finished in September 1952 (the same day as the Wansbeck Valley and Rothbury branches): a twice weekly goods service continued, along with occasional excursion trains, until November 1963 when the line was closed completely (again on the same day that the Rothbury and Woodburn - Reedsmouth lines were closed).

Some of the above is true. The rest is plausible.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Chris in Prague on June 11, 2016, 06:04:23 am
Thank you. I do like a good, plausible back story. Excursion trains are always a good excuse for unusual locos. and coaches and, until the days of Dr. Beeching, BR had the spare locos. (at weekends) and coaching stock (some only used at summer weekends and the Summer timetable, mid-June to early September) to run them.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on June 11, 2016, 07:23:23 am
"Garden specials" seem to have been a North East tradition, touring round all the local branch lines stopping at every station so people could get out and admire the station gardens.  Seems a strange way to spend a day, and I can't help thinking there must have been beer involved at some point.  They continued well into the DMU era.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Chris in Prague on June 11, 2016, 09:34:49 am
Yes, I forgot to mention that as DMUs became widespread, with less trains running at weekends on local and suburban services and being of a high standard (compared with the ancient excursion stock coaches) and having wide windows, DMUs were used for such excursions. For example, Tyseley's Metro-Cammell DMUs roamed far and wide on Summer Weekends; so I will have a 3-Car one appearing at Cant Cove, in due course (it is awaiting replacement DCC chips being a low priority item).
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Roy L S on June 11, 2016, 09:58:13 am
Interesting construction, I defy the MDF to warp with that frame!

An inspired back-story. Of course if slightly earlier the advent of the DMU and consequent cost savings may also have put off withdrawal of the regular passenger service until 1963/4 so a plausible reason to keep Longframlington open to passengers?

My Border Counties  layout is still in planning to be called "Dreadwater". It will be a typical track plan (simple) with the added operational interest of a small quarry complex of some kind (ideas?). DCC sound will prevail, working signals and I'm toying with a working level crossing too. Plenty of time to plan, SWMBO wants us to move first....sigh....

Roy
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Chris in Prague on June 11, 2016, 01:33:15 pm
A two-car DMU in BR Green would then be possible, Roy, towing a tail-load van?
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on June 11, 2016, 03:19:08 pm
The problem with DMUs is that they aren't terribly interesting from an operating viewpoint.  The Farish Metro-Cammell is a nice model though and very typically North Eastern. If I ever get my G5 and / or J21 built I'll probably run two periods - 1951 with steam passenger service, and 1961 with J27, J39, 2MT and maybe a DMU.  Motive power for the branch would probably have come from North Blyth shed, and they had some J39s and 2MTs in 1960/61. The stations on the Wanney and Rothbury branches were kept very tidy for many years after the passenger service ended, so Longframlington would have looked much the same in 1961 as it did ten years earlier.

Baseboards are now home after a couple of modifications to the joining system - it now has proper bolts (i.e. with short plain sections at the head end) welded to the end on one side,which makes for a very positive alignment.  Baseboard joins in N gauge are something I have always found tricky - it only takes about 0.2mm misalignment to get a very noticeable thump as the wheels run over the join. As my track plan has four separate tracks at the join, I need to get that bit right.  I still need to get my head round point operation before I can start laying track: I'm planning to use wire-in-tube to keep things simple, but want point operation and frog switching to be done in a single movement, and spring-loaded microswitches will interfere with the over-centre springs that I have fitted to the Finetrax turnouts.  I thought about a sliding contact on the tiebar but then realised it would switch the frog the wrong way.  The first person to come up with a really nice, reliable, integrated switching mechanism for fine scale N/2mm points is going to make some money out of it. Short blade throw and delicate blades are an awkward combination.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Chris in Prague on June 11, 2016, 03:52:22 pm
I agree with you, Roy, about the Metro-Camm. DMUs. I remember riding on the two-car unit on the Haltwhistle to Alston line back in the late 1960s. I believe Graham Farish are going to reintroduce their Metro-Camm. DMU models, soon.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: jrb on June 11, 2016, 06:06:07 pm
I'm planning to use wire-in-tube to keep things simple, but want point operation and frog switching to be done in a single movement, and spring-loaded microswitches will interfere with the over-centre springs that I have fitted to the Finetrax turnouts.  I thought about a sliding contact on the tiebar but then realised it would switch the frog the wrong way.  The first person to come up with a really nice, reliable, integrated switching mechanism for fine scale N/2mm points is going to make some money out of it. Short blade throw and delicate blades are an awkward combination.


Just use a changeover switch as the actuator for the wire: http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=30957.msg352625#msg352625 (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=30957.msg352625#msg352625)
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on June 11, 2016, 08:40:44 pm

Just use a changeover switch as the actuator for the wire: [url]http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=30957.msg352625#msg352625[/url] ([url]http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=30957.msg352625#msg352625[/url])


That might in the end be the easiest solution, with Omega loops to compensate for the difference in throw.  But I'm now thinking it might be useful to be able to operate the layout from either side - our club show organiser is a very persuasive man. That really means some kind of electric operation, unless I want rods running from side to side like one of those table football things you sometimes see in pubs. I also need to engineer the operating mechanism so that I can replace tiebars, my experience is that they are more likely to fail than anything else.

Maybe I should have just done the whole thing in Peco Code 55 :(
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on June 12, 2016, 02:00:28 pm
Well, I've made a start.  I decided to just lay the fiddle yard turnout and play with point mechanisms before I went further.  This was the first Finetrax turnout I built: it still has the cast frog and has been much abused in various experiments, so no longer suitable for public viewing. But it seemed a shame to bin it so I strengthened it up with PCB, replaced the tiebar and glued it to a 1/8" balsa base with Evostik.  I have had to shuffle the pointwork around a bit compared with my original layout plan - the fiddle yard was going to be too short to be usable, partly because I am now using a B6 turnout rather than the A5 I intended. This photo shows me playing around with stock to see where the pointwork needed to go.  Two coaches or six wagons and a brake van is the limit. Well, it is a micro layout after all.

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0565_zpsqy2vpmsn.jpg)

After much fiddling I came up with a idea for an adjustable, spring-damped underboard solenoid operating mechanism.  Adjustable because with hand-built turnouts every one is slightly different in terms of tiebar friction and throw. Spring-damped to protect the delicate little blades from being hammered to death by the solenoid.  It is actually very simple.  A cranked arm made from 0.4mm piano wire, operating on the centre of the tiebar, runs down through a brass tube, with a right angled bend at the bottom end. The point motor is mounted on slotted U section brass channel with small nuts and bolts.  The pin that normally goes through the baseboard is cut short, and a fork (made from 1.5mm brass tube) glued onto the opposite end of the pin (the short stubby end).  The piano wire sits in the fork, and the distance between the motor and pivot can be varied via the slotted adjusters to increase or decrease the force transmitted through the wire crank. It might look Heath Robinson but I've put it through about fifty cycles and it has worked every time.  There's enough friction in the motor itself to hold the blades in place without any tendency for the motor to creep back towards the central position. In fact it works so well that after taking the photos I was able to move the motor right out to the end of the slots, leaving the blades so lightly sprung that you could run a loco through them set the wrong way (if the electrics didn't stop you).

I don't think this is actually my idea, pretty sure I saw it in a magazine a long time ago. Anyway, seeing as it appears to work I can now get on and lay the pointwork complex at the station throat.

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0568_zpsfpkvrmrh.jpg)

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0567_zpsvl80pxj9.jpg)
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on June 12, 2016, 05:52:51 pm
Micro layouts may not be as exciting as a four track multi level layout, but at least they make fairly rapid progress.  A few more photos:

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0570_zpsernldt1w.jpg)

Balsa base for the station throat complex, with two ferrite magnets embedded in it.  These are my latest attempt to get MicroTrains knuckle couplers to work reliably.  They seem OK so far, but if they don't do the job I should be able to pry them out sideways without lifting the track.  Using the delayed uncoupling facility I should be able to shunt the whole layout with only two uncouplers - this one at the station entrance, and one at the other end for loco release.

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0571_zpsspc3gtrq.jpg)

Main pointwork complex in place.  Operating mechanisms still need to be done, but wagons seem to roll happily through all the roads without derailing, which is a good start.

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0572_zpsxj8x8z74.jpg)

At the baseboard join I have glued down a strip of PCB and soldered the rail ends to it for strength.  This will be disguised with a barrow crossing in the usual fashion.

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0575_zpsmxe4vyk7.jpg)

Not bad, considering that on Friday lunchtime the board was sitting on the shelf in a DIY store, and I was out most of Saturday.  I still need to lay the other fiddle yard road (and find a better way of applying Evostik to flexible track bases) but most of the tricky stuff is now done.  The other board only has one turnout and some lengths of plain track, mostly straight. I can't decide whether to join the rail ends with soldered brass wire or just leave them floating.  Either way, wiring is going to be very straightforward.

I'm probably now up to the recommended daily limit for Evostik exposure, so I think I'll leave the rest for another day. But it shouldn't be too long before I hear the patter of tiny wheels on tiny rails again.

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Chris in Prague on June 12, 2016, 06:25:32 pm
Excellent progress, Richard. Thanks for the update.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on June 12, 2016, 07:49:41 pm
Glass of wine in hand, and thinking about buildings. The North British didn't really seem to have a standard style of station building: I think they were all built by local contractors to whatever pattern they could get the NBR directors to approve. I imagine somewhere like Longfram would have had the booking office and stationmaster's house as a single building. So rather than scratchbuilding a station I'm thinking of cheating and using a ready-made or kit item.  But it has to have a Northern branch line feel to it.  I looked at a couple of the discontinued Lyddle End buildings but they are a bit crude and lumpy looking.  This one from Ancorton isn't too far off, but again the detail is a bit heavy-handed and there's something not quite right about the roof profile. I think the roof pitch is slightly too shallow:

(http://cdn2.bigcommerce.com/server400/25a06/products/3263/images/5233/NST6__68864.1420719370.1280.1280.jpg?c=2)

Any other suggestions?
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Chris in Prague on June 12, 2016, 08:04:11 pm
I agree that a steeper sloping rough would be more suitable for the local climate with plenty of rain and snow. Maybe remove the lower roof and replace it with a much smaller V-shaped roof over the door? Adding drainpipes, mortar and weathering would transform it into a very nice little building I think.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on June 12, 2016, 11:19:53 pm
I was worried that my first point operating mechanism might have been a fluke so I have done two more.  They work just as well as the first one. It wouldn't take much now to get something running, but it's past my bedtime.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Chris in Prague on June 13, 2016, 07:29:04 am
Well-done, Richard. That's very good progress. Way beyond my capabilities. I look forward to seeing something running in due course.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on June 16, 2016, 09:06:30 pm
No layout progress to report but I have been gathering materials:

As usual I will be running copper busbars the full length of the layout to keep the wiring nice and simple.  I found some lengths of twin plus earth cable on a rubbish tip. Stripped of insulation they will do nicely.

I also needed a cable and plug for the point control box.  I dug around and found an old computer monitor extension cable, 15 core.  Not heavy duty but should cope with momentary currents.

Finally in the bottom of a box of old tat was an unused 9 pin DIN plug and socket which will be just the job for the join between the two boards.  The same box yielded a nice little 2 amp 16 volt AC power supply.

Plan is to finish the tracklaying and get it all wired up this weekend.



Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Chris in Prague on June 16, 2016, 10:09:40 pm
Looking forward to the next photo. update.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: R Marshall on June 16, 2016, 10:39:19 pm
I think there was earlier reference in this thread to Ian Futers plans of stations on the Border Counties and Wansbeck lines and to the Disused Stations web site - both great sources.

For somewhere like Longframlington, perhaps the style of Brinkburn or Longwitton (both pictured on the Disused Stations site) would be suitable - the latter has a grounded coach body for added atmosphere.
 
A Union Mills J27 or J25 would fit in nicely too. Colour Rail has pictures of 65687 at Rothbury in the 1950s.

Good luck with your layout.

Regards,

Roy
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on June 16, 2016, 11:39:44 pm
I think there was earlier reference in this thread to Ian Futers plans of stations on the Border Counties and Wansbeck lines and to the Disused Stations web site - both great sources.

For somewhere like Longframlington, perhaps the style of Brinkburn or Longwitton (both pictured on the Disused Stations site) would be suitable - the latter has a grounded coach body for added atmosphere.
 
A Union Mills J27 or J25 would fit in nicely too. Colour Rail has pictures of 65687 at Rothbury in the 1950s.

Good luck with your layout.

Regards,

Roy

Thanks for that.  I picture Longframlington as having a slightly more substantial station than Longwitton or Brinkburn, both of which served a population of about ten people.  (No wonder the Rothbury branch closed to passengers in 1952, how it lasted that long is a puzzle.) Another good source for anyone intrigued by these quiet little North Northumberland branches is "Morpeth to Bellingham" (Middleton Press, 2016).  There is a book out there waiting to be written - "Britain's Most Hopeless Railways".  The Rothbury branch will surely be in there along with the Cambridge - Mildenhall line.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Caz on June 17, 2016, 08:59:04 am

As usual I will be running copper busbars the full length of the layout to keep the wiring nice and simple.  I found some lengths of twin plus earth cable on a rubbish tip. Stripped of insulation they will do nicely.


I tried that "simple" copper busbar when I started Claywell and very quickly came to regret it as one of the wires of one of my accessory decoders became detached and touch the exposed copper bus with the result of a dead board.  I now use insulated wire for my bus as it was a costly error.   :doh:
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on June 17, 2016, 07:54:13 pm

I tried that "simple" copper busbar when I started Claywell and very quickly came to regret it as one of the wires of one of my accessory decoders became detached and touch the exposed copper bus with the result of a dead board.  I now use insulated wire for my bus as it was a costly error.   :doh:

Accessory decoder?  Wozzat?  :D Seriously, it's a good point, especially as leaving the insulation on my scrounged cable is easier than taking it off.  It's not as if I will have that many wire droppers to solder up anyway.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on June 19, 2016, 12:39:56 am
(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0582_zpsfv1g4btc.jpg)

An evening of soldering and joining bits of wire together, and I am now able to run trains on the first board.  That's probably about three quarters of the track and electrics done.  I tested it using the class 26 and J39, and the problems I have so far are:


Overall, not bad I think.  I scrapped the idea of a separate point control box and stuck the switches on a plinth in the fiddle yard - mainly due to laziness.  I need a proper DIN plug and socket for the controller, and the wiring still needs routing and fixing down as you can see.  As usual I have done the whole thing using scraps of wire salvaged from various sources with no attempt at colour coding - another advantage of micro layouts, you can get away with that kind of thing.

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0583_zpsgrqw09d1.jpg)

Tomorrow morning I will go out and find some Timebond adjustable contact adhesive, as the Finetrax flexi track needs a bit of fettling once it is in position, and ordinary contact adhesive tends to grab instantly.  Then I can lay the track on the second board, wire it up and hopefully have a complete running layout by teatime.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Bealman on June 19, 2016, 03:05:14 am
Coming along very nicely indeed.  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Newportnobby on June 19, 2016, 09:55:42 am
The Dexion framing is great for threading the wiring through ;D
Hope you resolve your probs very soon.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: kirky on June 19, 2016, 10:17:09 am
Hi Richard
Just stumbled across this. Very nice indeed. I still havent seen a finetrax layout in the flesh yet, so to speak. Ive got a boxful for a project which might get built sometime in the future. A Scottish steam layout perhaps but further west than Lauder, and probably further south (but still in Scotland) than Longframlington. When I get time........

Cheers
Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on June 19, 2016, 04:45:27 pm
Hi Richard
Just stumbled across this. Very nice indeed. I still havent seen a finetrax layout in the flesh yet, so to speak. Ive got a boxful for a project which might get built sometime in the future. A Scottish steam layout perhaps but further west than Lauder, and probably further south (but still in Scotland) than Longframlington. When I get time........

Cheers
Kirky

Whithorn branch?  That's about as far south and west as you can go in Scotland, I've always thought it would be a nice one to model.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on June 19, 2016, 04:59:44 pm
Slower progress than hoped, as the Longframlington track gang insisted on stopping for a brew up and to admire their handiwork every time they got a length of track down.  They then consumed a couple of bottles of Broon at lunchtime, followed by a long nap.  Despite this, all the station area track is now in place.

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0584_zpsbzcatlyh.jpg)

Timebond turns out to be an excellent adhesive for Finetrax as it allows a certain amount of repositioning and shuffling of sleepers.  One of the most annoying aspects of laying this track is the tendency for the sleepers to creep along the rails, especially on lengths of track that have been repeatedly handled.  This creates uneven sleeper gaps which you don't always spot until the track is down.  However, even with Timebond any repositioning needs to be done before the sleepers are firmly pressed down.  If you spot a problem after that stage you are stuffed.  I will confess that there are a couple of places where the sleeper spacing is a bit uneven, but I think they should be OK after ballasting and painting.

The only other problem with Timebond is that you need plenty of ventilation, i.e. all windows open.  As a result my cottage is now buzzing with the world's most annoying flies which keep trying to settle on me.  I'll let the glue dry for a bit, then do the rail joins, drill holes for the wire droppers and point mechanism, then turn the whole thing over and wire it up.  Might have trains running by the end of the evening, depends how lazy I feel.  It is Sunday after all.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Chris in Prague on June 19, 2016, 05:16:32 pm
Thanks for this update. Looks like excellent progress has been achieved. I look forward to seeing some trains running in due course.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on June 19, 2016, 06:34:34 pm
Thanks Chris, it's coming along steadily.  But the scenic treatment is bothering me now.  I've realised that I am well on the way to building a layout that is almost identical to my last one, except a bit shorter and with fewer sidings.  The big problem is the road overbridge that I was planning to have as a scenic break.  That is far too much like my last layout (and the three before that).  I need to come up with another way to hide the point where the scenery stops and the fiddle yard begins.  It doesn't help that I only have two inches of track between the fiddle yard turnout and the start of the station throat.  I'm thinking possibly a level crossing, with a large building (pub?) immediately to the right of it at the front, and the road slanting slightly leftwards (looking at it from the front) to create a sightline which distracts attention from the fiddle yard. This layout might end up having a slightly less remote feel than "Belstone" even though I'm not really into constructing buildings. I might make some crude card mockups of buildings, position them on the layout and see if I get the effect I am looking for.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: kirky on June 19, 2016, 08:40:58 pm
Hi Richard
Just stumbled across this. Very nice indeed. I still havent seen a finetrax layout in the flesh yet, so to speak. Ive got a boxful for a project which might get built sometime in the future. A Scottish steam layout perhaps but further west than Lauder, and probably further south (but still in Scotland) than Longframlington. When I get time........

Cheers
Kirky


Whithorn branch?  That's about as far south and west as you can go in Scotland, I've always thought it would be a nice one to model.

Not quite. I actually already have a half built permanent layout in my loft of New Galloway and Gatehouse stations with a bit of a viaduct
(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/64/main_1312.JPG)
 in between. Unfortunately far too many things have conspired against me to finish it, not least of which is a small club layout. However, with any luck that will be finished soon and maybe I can start on a finetrax version of NG in the winter.

cheers
Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on June 20, 2016, 09:35:54 am
That viaduct is magnificent and deserves a second chance.

I ran out of electrical bits before I could get the wiring on the second board finished, so I spent an hour sketching out some plans for the scenic treatment.  What I have come up with is a long row of low relief terraced houses at the back, and the railway threading its way between a large pub and a corner shop, all in nice solid Northumbrian stone.  There will also be another block of terraces, full depth this time with back yards etc. The idea is that the station was built on the edge of Longframlington, so the scenic treatment around the station itself will be more rural, with a backdrop of distant moorland. I don't really like card kits so it looks like my scratchbuilding skills will have to improve rapidly.  In any case it's always good to try something different. I'm thinking about using estate agent floor plans from Rightmove to get the basic dimensions, and Google Streetview to find some suitable buildings to model.  What did we all do before the Internet was invented?

My inner ten year old is telling me to motorise the level crossing gates :) And also to have working signals, with lighting.  So much for this being a "quickie" project. I'm also looking at a hinged flap to increase the length of the fiddle yard about six inches, as the station area will take much longer trains than the fiddle yard sidings can accommodate.  That's not so much a planning mistake as the inevitable result of having the baseboard in two 3 x 1 sections which was the only way I could make it storable in my cottage.  I could have had two of the turnouts straddling the board join to make the fiddle yard longer and the run round loop shorter, but I didn't fancy that idea much.

Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on June 20, 2016, 08:35:28 pm
I had a flash of inspiration for the mock-up of my scenic ideas - downloadable buildings.  So I found some free ones, printed them out and stuck them to old dog food boxes.  (As I have said before, every modeller should have a dog.  Long walks are where I get most of my ideas, including this one.)  Printed in black and white because I'm too tight fisted to use colour cartridges, and also because the actual buildings will be in stone, not brick.  The whole lot was done in about 30 minutes using spray glue, and boy does it show. They look a bit small - the website states they are 1:160, and also the trackbed is raised about 3mm off the baseboard.  But you get the general idea.

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0589_zpsczzn365i.jpg)

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0587_zpsduih0mwi.jpg)

The pub will be a fair bit bigger. Northumbrian pubs are great big hulking monsters of buildings on the whole, and built to withstand a direct hit from a bomb. I imagine most of the houses would have been railway workers' cottages - even a small branch terminus would have had its own loco shed in Victorian times, so two sets of crew, lighters-up, cleaners, fitters, porters, signalmen, telegraph clerks, guards, booking office staff, goods office staff, permanent way workers and about five passengers a day by the 1950s.  Dr Beeching might have had a point.

The hole in the backscene is problematic but I can't really run any trains without it.  I'll try to make it much smaller than in the mock-up, and hopefully my huge pub building will hide it. There will be a signal box opposite the pub and a gated entrance to the goods yard in front of it, with a weighbridge and small office.

Comments and suggestions welcome...
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Newportnobby on June 20, 2016, 08:49:32 pm
As I have said before, every modeller should have a dog.  Long walks are where I get most of my ideas, including this one.

I have a cat. If I go for long walks I get lost :-[
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on June 20, 2016, 08:57:00 pm
As I have said before, every modeller should have a dog.  Long walks are where I get most of my ideas, including this one.

I have a cat. If I go for long walks I get lost :-[

But getting lost gives you the chance to come up with even more ideas. Sounds good to me.  We had a Burmese cat when I was little: she used to sit in the middle of the layout and bat trains off the rails with her paws. You don't get that with dogs: they just wee on the baseboard supports.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Mito on June 20, 2016, 10:37:23 pm
I have so many ideas when I'm out with my dog that I forget about the dog. :confused2:
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on June 20, 2016, 11:30:11 pm
A bit of pub inspiration: this is the Bridge of Aln (next to Whittingham station on the old Coldstream branch). My model pub will most likely look like this.

(http://s0.geograph.org.uk/geophotos/03/03/40/3034090_1679ff08.jpg)
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: paulprice on June 21, 2016, 06:43:42 am
A bit of pub inspiration: this is the Bridge of Aln (next to Whittingham station on the old Coldstream branch). My model pub will most likely look like this.

([url]http://s0.geograph.org.uk/geophotos/03/03/40/3034090_1679ff08.jpg[/url])

More importantly I wonder what its like from the inside  ???
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on June 21, 2016, 09:56:33 am
More importantly I wonder what its like from the inside  ???

I haven't been there for a long time but it used to be a very old-fashioned pub - hard wooden benches to sit on, plenty of ales but no food apart from crisps and pickled eggs, and full of hill shepherds who are hard as nails and can drink you under the table.  From the outside it doesn't look as though much has changed.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: paulprice on June 21, 2016, 10:32:53 am
More importantly I wonder what its like from the inside  ???

I haven't been there for a long time but it used to be a very old-fashioned pub - hard wooden benches to sit on, plenty of ales but no food apart from crisps and pickled eggs, and full of hill shepherds who are hard as nails and can drink you under the table.  From the outside it doesn't look as though much has changed.

I have never actually seen anyone eat a pickled egg, I think my local had a jar of the things like a weird lava lamp type thing ever since the place first opened.

 :-X
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Newportnobby on June 21, 2016, 11:53:27 am

I think my local had a jar of the things like a weird lava lamp type thing ever since the place first opened.

 :-X

Love it :smiley-laughing:
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on June 21, 2016, 07:14:09 pm
Just finishing off the electrics, and I have realised I will need to raise the boards about an inch off the dining table to clear the connectors between the two. Basically I need a length of 2 x 1 and the nearest DIY store is 15 miles away. Now eyeing up various bits of wood around the house. The garden shed roof looks a promising source of material, but it's a rented cottage... I may finish the evening with fewer dining chairs than I started with. I still haven't worked out why I have a short on the cattle dock road, it all looks fine to me.  :censored: live frogs, I should have done the whole thing in Setrack.  :D
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on June 21, 2016, 09:36:42 pm
We have lift-off! Up to a point anyway.  I solved my baseboard support problem for now with old VHS videos, so this running session is brought to you by (among others) the Blues Brothers, Monty Python and Ivor the Engine, with additional support from Mike Sharman's "Wheel Standards" book to level things up.  (Only people who have heard of Flexichas will appreciate the irony).

Good news - all the electrics work (even the cattle dock, I had wired the frog feed wrong).  I have run my Class 26 and Pannier over all sections with no derailments or nasty lurches. And the Finetrax looks gorgeous, even unballasted.

Bad news - my oh-so-clever point operating mechanisms are not so clever.  Two work fine, one works when it feels like it and the other two are just decorative.  Back to the drawing board - thicker piano wire or a complete redesign?

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0592_zpsybvvlmge.jpg)

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0593_zpsuq94fqdf.jpg)

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0594_zpsrf2owrb8.jpg)
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: kirky on June 21, 2016, 10:25:29 pm
Set track - pah.
I just love what you've done Richard. Finetrax looks fantastic. To be honest if you ignore the couplings, you can't tell what scale it is from your photos. It's just great. Well done mate, keep at it.

Cheers
Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on June 21, 2016, 10:45:14 pm
First ever passenger train prepares to depart from Longframlington - possibly a special for Rothbury Races, as motive power is Haymarket's D5307, which makes it at least ten years after the branch closed to regular passenger services.

More bad news - my uncoupling magnets don't work properly either. I'd forgotten why I abandoned MicroTrains knuckles in favour of my own design coupler.  I'm starting to remember. But even so - I HAVE A LAYOUT AGAIN!  :claphappy:

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0595_zpsvdmhxwtf.jpg)
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on June 21, 2016, 11:01:11 pm
Set track - pah.
I just love what you've done Richard. Finetrax looks fantastic. To be honest if you ignore the couplings, you can't tell what scale it is from your photos. It's just great. Well done mate, keep at it.

Cheers
Kirky

Thanks very much, glad you like it.  Finetrax has been around a while now, so I'm puzzled there aren't more layouts using it. I'm impressed how smoothly my stock runs through the pointwork, although back to back setting is now critical - I have several wagons in the "sin bin" awaiting attention, mostly with older wheelsets. My K1 on its Seventies vintage Farish chassis nearly copes but not quite. With a bit of fiddling it might actually work which would be great.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on June 21, 2016, 11:47:42 pm
Later the same day - D5307 having failed has been dumped in the goods siding, with 64838 summoned from beyond the grave (scrapped two years earlier at Doncaster) to work the afternoon train.  I really need to get round to renumbering that one.

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0596_zpsgzrjdv4g.jpg)

As I type this the J39 is being thoroughly investigated by a large housefly.  This is possibly the most unsettling thing I have seen in N gauge. It was in the cab at one point, checked out the rest of the train and also the track.  Rivet counting flies, just what I need now.

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0603_zpstwpcbz7o.jpg)
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: JasonBz on June 22, 2016, 01:42:31 am
There is some lovely stuff going off here -  I just burnt some of that midnight oil stuff playing catch up with the whole thread :)

the fine trax certainly looks good in situ - I shall have to find my N gauge friendly eyeballs and set to on some of the stash I have..... I know where to look for any help on the points now.... Some of this modern N is a bit like magic of the dark kind to me ;)
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on June 22, 2016, 07:32:48 am
Thanks for kind comments, hopefully we will start seeing more Finetrax layouts soon.  Don't expect too much visible progress on this one for a while: unlike my last layout I'm not even going to start ballasting or scenics until I have it running 100% reliably (apart from a couple of test sections of ballasting in the fiddle yard to try out different techniques). I have found another check rail that is a bit tight for comfort, and after talking to some of the 2mm folk I want to put expansion gaps in a couple of places where changes in temperature might cause problems.  Most of it is OK, it's just the loop roads where the rails don't have any room to expand or contract.  I also want to build some little mini-trestles to raise the boards about a foot off the table, so I can get to stuff underneath without having to turn the layout over.

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: kirky on June 22, 2016, 07:40:42 am
Hi Richard
Just a quick question...what are using to join lengths of track? I ask because friends at our club who are building a p4  model use the tiniest fishplates ever...with moulded on boltheads. Prodused at both insulated and conducting. Presumably there arent anything equivalent at 2mil ?

BTW, that fly would send one of my three year olds in to meltdown, as much as she likes rains, she hates flies!

cheers
Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on June 22, 2016, 07:48:34 am
Hi Richard
Just a quick question...what are using to join lengths of track? I ask because friends at our club who are building a p4  model use the tiniest fishplates ever...with moulded on boltheads. Prodused at both insulated and conducting. Presumably there arent anything equivalent at 2mil ?

BTW, that fly would send one of my three year olds in to meltdown, as much as she likes rains, she hates flies!

cheers
Kirky

That's what I was discussing with 2mm Assoc members (fishplates, not flies).  I didn't think the plastic track base would be strong enough to hold the rails in alignment without soldering brass wire across the joints, but apparently others have had no problems with leaving the rail ends unsupported using Easitrac, which is thin plastic base like Finetrax.  I think Wayne at Finetrax was looking at getting some fishplates made.

I'm surprised P4 modellers aren't using real four-bolt fishplates.  Presumably they can't get square headed bolts the right size :)
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: kirky on June 22, 2016, 07:57:03 am
Hi Richard
Just a quick question...what are using to join lengths of track? I ask because friends at our club who are building a p4  model use the tiniest fishplates ever...with moulded on boltheads. Prodused at both insulated and conducting. Presumably there arent anything equivalent at 2mil ?

BTW, that fly would send one of my three year olds in to meltdown, as much as she likes rains, she hates flies!

cheers
Kirky

That's what I was discussing with 2mm Assoc members (fishplates, not flies).  I didn't think the plastic track base would be strong enough to hold the rails in alignment without soldering brass wire across the joints, but apparently others have had no problems with leaving the rail ends unsupported using Easitrac, which is thin plastic base like Finetrax.  I think Wayne at Finetrax was looking at getting some fishplates made.

I'm surprised P4 modellers aren't using real four-bolt fishplates.  Presumably they can't get square headed bolts the right size :)

 :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
Yep, they are a world unto themselve the p4 brigade. But I have to say I am less scathing than I was, I have a reluctant admiration for their skills.
Cheers
Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Newportnobby on June 22, 2016, 09:45:21 am
First ever passenger train prepares to depart from Longframlington - possibly a special for Rothbury Races, as motive power is Haymarket's D5307, which makes it at least ten years after the branch closed to regular passenger services.


That's weird. D5307 frequently makes an appearance on my layout as, whilst shedded on the Eastern region, it made a few trips across the Varsity line (Cambridge - Oxford) :confused1: :D
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on June 22, 2016, 02:59:22 pm
That's weird. D5307 frequently makes an appearance on my layout as, whilst shedded on the Eastern region, it made a few trips across the Varsity line (Cambridge - Oxford) :confused1: :D


Yup, new to Hornsey in 1958, then a short spell at Finsbury Park before it headed North in 1960.  http://www.brdatabase.info/locoqry.php?action=locodata&type=D&id=5307&loco=5307 (http://www.brdatabase.info/locoqry.php?action=locodata&type=D&id=5307&loco=5307)

I have almost convinced myself now that the Longframlington branch actually existed.  Going to be really disappointed next time I travel up that way and can't find any trace of the old railway :(
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: R Marshall on June 22, 2016, 07:33:40 pm
Hi Richard
Just a quick question...what are using to join lengths of track? I ask because friends at our club who are building a p4  model use the tiniest fishplates ever...with moulded on boltheads. Prodused at both insulated and conducting. Presumably there arent anything equivalent at 2mil ?

BTW, that fly would send one of my three year olds in to meltdown, as much as she likes rains, she hates flies!

cheers
Kirky

That's what I was discussing with 2mm Assoc members (fishplates, not flies).  I didn't think the plastic track base would be strong enough to hold the rails in alignment without soldering brass wire across the joints, but apparently others have had no problems with leaving the rail ends unsupported using Easitrac, which is thin plastic base like Finetrax.  I think Wayne at Finetrax was looking at getting some fishplates made.

I'm surprised P4 modellers aren't using real four-bolt fishplates.  Presumably they can't get square headed bolts the right size :)

I've done a little bit of tracklaying with both Easitrtack and Finetrax (not on the same line, obviously!). The 2mm Association sells Easitrack glue (a bit like PVA) which seems to work well - it needs a while before it hardens, which allows some adjustment, but I don't remember a big problem with fumes.

The 2mm folks also have brass cast sleepers and chairs to stiffen the rail ends at baseboard joints (they need gapping to prevent short circuit). I haven't used any yet, but they seem like a good idea.

Next time I lay some Easitrack/Finetrax, I plan to glue the sleepers with only one rail in place, so as to get a smoother alignment, especially for curves. Whenever I put in a second rail, it seems to interfere with the sleeper spacing and using the supplied jig only helps for two 6 x sleeper lengths (and only works for straight lengths anyway).
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: R Marshall on June 22, 2016, 07:36:42 pm
Hi Richard
Just stumbled across this. Very nice indeed. I still havent seen a finetrax layout in the flesh yet, so to speak. Ive got a boxful for a project which might get built sometime in the future. A Scottish steam layout perhaps but further west than Lauder, and probably further south (but still in Scotland) than Longframlington. When I get time........

Cheers
Kirky


Whithorn branch?  That's about as far south and west as you can go in Scotland, I've always thought it would be a nice one to model.

Not quite. I actually already have a half built permanent layout in my loft of New Galloway and Gatehouse stations with a bit of a viaduct
([url]http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/64/main_1312.JPG[/url])
 in between. Unfortunately far too many things have conspired against me to finish it, not least of which is a small club layout. However, with any luck that will be finished soon and maybe I can start on a finetrax version of NG in the winter.

cheers
Kirky


Have you read David Smith's "Tales of the Glasgow and South Western Railway"? A must for the area you're covering  on that layout. The viaduct looks great.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on June 22, 2016, 09:24:47 pm
I now have one turnout I am totally happy with and it has only taken me two hours to get there...  I was fiddling about with the point mechanisms and another tiebar broke.  One might just be unfortunate, two starts to look like a pattern.  I have been using 2mm Assoc sleepers as tiebars, and they clearly aren't strong enough.  I have a sheet of "modern" PCB - don't know what it is made of but it seems almost like some kind of ceramic material.  I cut a strip off it with the Dremel, tried to snap it and found that I couldn't (at least with my fingers) so it's probably strong enough.  Much thicker than either the Finetrax or 2mm Assoc sleeper tiebars so I had to cut away the track base under the tiebar, excavate a channel in the balsa base,then I could slip the tiebar in and solder it up.  Unfortunately it was a fraction too wide and I had no end of trouble trying to get the blades to move freely, hopefully won't make that mistake when I do the other four turnouts.

My J39 has one wheelset slightly narrower back to back than the others (Chinese New Year when it went through the quality control department), so I am setting check rail clearances to allow that loco to run freely through pointwork. After all this fiddling, it now runs through the turnout at the end of the loop as if it was plain track.  It is fair to say that Finetrax needs a certain amount of careful attention to detail if you want to get the best out of it (although you will have a lot less trouble if you stick with the supplied cast frogs rather than making your own as I did) but the results are worth all the grief. N gauge running as smoothly and steadily as the larger scales.

Meanwhile the layout still keeps attracting wildlife.  There is a very small beetle wandering along the trackbed.  Knowing my luck it will be some kind of wood-boring beetle.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Mito on June 22, 2016, 09:54:10 pm
The wild life must be insecting your work. :D
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Newportnobby on June 22, 2016, 10:03:38 pm

Meanwhile the layout still keeps attracting wildlife.  There is a very small beetle wandering along the trackbed.  Knowing my luck it will be some kind of wood-boring beetle.

Sadly the red spider mite season is upon me again. These tiny red spiders tend to spontaneously explode if you even so much as look at them, leaving a small smear of blood on whatever surface they were on. Luckily I don't think there's anything that would hurt a loco if the loco munched one off the tracks, which I'm sure has happened by now :uneasy:
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on June 22, 2016, 10:12:54 pm

Meanwhile the layout still keeps attracting wildlife.  There is a very small beetle wandering along the trackbed.  Knowing my luck it will be some kind of wood-boring beetle.

Sadly the red spider mite season is upon me again. These tiny red spiders tend to spontaneously explode if you even so much as look at them, leaving a small smear of blood on whatever surface they were on. Luckily I don't think there's anything that would hurt a loco if the loco munched one off the tracks, which I'm sure has happened by now :uneasy:

I'm glad it's not just me that has this kind of thing happen.  I live in a very rural area, have had problems in the past with mice nibbling the scenery.  Bet you don't get that in Pinner or Bromley.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: kirky on June 22, 2016, 10:44:44 pm
Hi Richard
Just stumbled across this. Very nice indeed. I still havent seen a finetrax layout in the flesh yet, so to speak. Ive got a boxful for a project which might get built sometime in the future. A Scottish steam layout perhaps but further west than Lauder, and probably further south (but still in Scotland) than Longframlington. When I get time........

Cheers
Kirky


Whithorn branch?  That's about as far south and west as you can go in Scotland, I've always thought it would be a nice one to model.

Not quite. I actually already have a half built permanent layout in my loft of New Galloway and Gatehouse stations with a bit of a viaduct
([url]http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/64/main_1312.JPG[/url])
 in between. Unfortunately far too many things have conspired against me to finish it, not least of which is a small club layout. However, with any luck that will be finished soon and maybe I can start on a finetrax version of NG in the winter.

cheers
Kirky


Have you read David Smith's "Tales of the Glasgow and South Western Railway"? A must for the area you're covering  on that layout. The viaduct looks great.

Indeed I have, along with several other publications by said Mr Smith.
Enough of hijacking Richards thread though...back to Longframlington.

Cheers
Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on June 22, 2016, 11:06:31 pm

Indeed I have, along with several other publications by said Mr Smith.
Enough of hijacking Richards thread though...back to Longframlington.

Cheers
Kirky

Feel free to hijack.  The GSWR doesn't get nearly enough attention.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Milton Rail on June 25, 2016, 07:03:52 am
Great perseverance with the trackwork, well done!

That is an impressive viaduct!  Jealous is not the word for it!
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on June 27, 2016, 10:57:24 am
Not much progress to report as I was away most of the weekend, but I have managed to get all five turnouts operating properly, and fitted a small capacitor discharge unit (£5.99 inc postage from Ebay).  I am now turning my attention to the uncoupling issue.  One of my under-track magnets was duff: having replaced that I now find that the magnets are actually too strong, or set too far apart, or both: they pull the coupler knuckles so far apart that the tongues do not engage as they should.

I tried making up an under-track electromagnetic uncoupler (SEEP point motor cut in half to make two solenoid coils, with iron nails through the board under the rails) but it doesn't work :( Attracts screwdrivers very nicely but not coupler trip pins. I also tried one of the MTL uncoupling magnets which sit between the rails, but these are just as rubbish as I remember them being when I tried them before.  Possibly they have lost their magnetism due to old age and poor storage, but they don't pull the knuckles far enough apart for reliable uncoupling.  So it looks like I will have to dig out my home-made coupler project, sort out the worst of the design flaws and have another go, possibly this time with electromagnets rather than permanent magnets.  Or I could have another crack at the B&B / DG finescale couplers and see if my skills with small fiddly components have improved enough to make these work.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Newportnobby on June 27, 2016, 01:09:33 pm
I, for one, much appreciate all this work on couplings you're doing as I'm sure it will benefit a lot of us :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on June 27, 2016, 07:37:36 pm
A bit more fiddling and I am now getting better results by spacing the magnets about 1.5mm apart and adding the MicroTrains "truck retaining springs" to vehicle axles to increase rolling resistance.  That limits train lengths, but with such a small fiddle yard it's not a problem for me. I'm still experimenting - next step is to try magnets buried in the baseboard edgeways which will mean lifting a short section of track.  I also want to open out the back to backs on the wagons as far as I can get away with, as this will reduce the tendency to "yaw" on the track when the couplers are in the delayed position.  Time to crack open another can of Speckled Hen and get my Chinese fake Dremel out I think.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on June 27, 2016, 10:41:33 pm
A reasonably successful shunting session with the Pannier, which isn't exactly Northern but has the advantage of MTL knuckle couplers at both ends. The baseboard is littered with wagons which aren't up to the required specification.  Mild steel axles are a no-no. I managed to assemble 12 working wagons which is enough to have some fun with.

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0606_zpsjlh5e6rs.jpg)
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: kirky on June 28, 2016, 06:58:59 am
Thanks Richard.
What's wrong with steel axles? What are using if not steel?
You are showing some great perseverance with those couplers. I think I would have given up a long time ago, or used the dapol easishunt things, even if they are big.
The track looks great though.

Cheers
Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on June 28, 2016, 10:29:15 am
Thanks Richard.
What's wrong with steel axles? What are using if not steel?
You are showing some great perseverance with those couplers. I think I would have given up a long time ago, or used the dapol easishunt things, even if they are big.
The track looks great though.

Cheers
Kirky

Mild steel axles are attracted to the uncoupling magnets which tends to pull vehicles together as they pass over the magnets, so they uncouple themselves.  Farish switched to non-magnetic axles (stainless steel I suspect) a while ago and Dapol also seem to be non-magnetic, but I still have a fair few of the magnetic Farish wheelsets to change, and a load of Parkside-Dundas wheels which are even worse as they have steel tyres.  Peco are of course plastic but don't much like the Finetrax turnouts and cannot be regauged. Basically the Micro Trains couplers were designed to work with American bogie wagons, not short wheelbase four wheelers.  I'd be having the same problems with the Easishunts as they are a magnetic knuckle coupler like the MTs, plus I would have to fit NEM pockets to all my stock.  After last night I'm not too unhappy with the way the MT knuckles are performing, it's mostly a question of making sure they are adjusted properly. I just wish I could think of a way of damping the springs to stop vehicles oscillating lengthways at low speeds.  More weight helps there.

I could always try working three-link couplings :)
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Newportnobby on June 28, 2016, 10:37:55 am

I could always try working three-link couplings :)

Now that would be a neat trick and could be a moneyspinner :D
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Bealman on June 28, 2016, 11:21:35 am
The lack of weight, particularly with Peco wagons, has always been problematic.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on June 29, 2016, 12:03:59 am
To borrow an old British Rail slogan "We're getting there".  Engineers' possession this evening saw two short sections of track lifted for the installation of the vertical Mk3 uncoupling magnets.  This involved excavating trenches in the MDF board which was not easy.  With the track reinstated I thought I would put in the expansion gaps in the loop roads while I was at it, which meant soldering in half a dozen new wire droppers, including the two which I didn't realise I needed until I ran a test loco and it stopped dead half way along the loop.

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0607_zps4kox237d.jpg)

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0609_zpshimzl3gg.jpg)

Moment of truth - I coupled up D5307 to my five most trustworthy wagons, ran the train into the station and started shunting.  Not a single glitch - no stalling, no derailments, no turnout operating problems, and 100% reliable coupling and uncoupling.  This might just be a fluke, but looking good at the moment.  I have ordered lots more wheels to replace the ones with steel axles / tyres, and will have a play with back to back settings to reduce the tendency for wagons to be skewed sideways by the pull of the magnets.  Then I can have a really serious extended operating session, and if that all goes well it will soon be time to start doing scenic stuff.

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0610_zpsbcbmkrhg.jpg)
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Chris in Prague on June 29, 2016, 08:54:04 am
Excellent progress. Thanks for the detailed update.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: kirky on June 29, 2016, 08:57:14 pm
Hi Richard
Please please can you give us some video of the D 5307 going over the points.
And uncoupling/coupling,if poss.
Ta
Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on June 29, 2016, 09:42:47 pm
Hi Richard
Please please can you give us some video of the D 5307 going over the points.
And uncoupling/coupling,if poss.
Ta
Kirky

I'll try and do that soon, but Longfram has just been on a journey and is currently in the boot of my car.  I thought I would take it along to the club night to see if it would cope with being moved, not to mention bounced around on rough Norfolk country roads. Good as gold it was: over about an hour's running I had two derailments (both at the same place), two failures to uncouple (same wagon both times) and two failures to couple up (two different wagons).  All this in a noisy room with people watching intently and firing questions at me. The Finetrax got a bit of attention, the MT couplers a lot more.   If the layout behaved that well at an exhibition I'd be more than happy. The coupling / uncoupling issues are down to trip pin adjustment and slightly narrow back to backs on a couple of wagons: the derailments I think were caused by a switch blade not quite closing properly (on the cattle dock road, again.  That road is cursed I tell you.)

Something makes me think I'm overdue for some bad luck on this one: I've never had N gauge running anything like this well before. Let's see what happens when I start ballasting the track.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on June 29, 2016, 09:47:42 pm
Oh, and everyone took the mickey out of my steel-framed baseboards (except Warren, who offered to help carry one of them from the car and now has a sprained wrist).
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Chris in Prague on June 29, 2016, 10:18:49 pm
Sounds very good, apart from the sprained wrist. 8-(
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: kirky on June 29, 2016, 10:24:33 pm
Excellent Richard. So pleased the running is good.
Do you have any 2 mil modellers in your club. Just wondered what they thought?
Thanks
Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Newportnobby on June 30, 2016, 09:50:30 am
The coupling / uncoupling issues are down to trip pin adjustment and slightly narrow back to backs on a couple of wagons

Oh dear. You'll have to help me out there please. How can B2B affect coupling/uncoupling? :confused2:
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on June 30, 2016, 11:54:59 am
The coupling / uncoupling issues are down to trip pin adjustment and slightly narrow back to backs on a couple of wagons

Oh dear. You'll have to help me out there please. How can B2B affect coupling/uncoupling? :confused2:

On a short wheelbase wagon, if the BtoB is too narrow, the whole wagon can skew sideways on the rails, which means the couplers no longer line up with each other.  Using the delayed uncoupling feature stops the wagon from settling back into the straight ahead position when it is being propelled. So if you want to uncouple one wagon, propel it into a siding using the delayed uncoupling feature and then couple it up to another wagon and leave it there (which is what I was doing), it will crab along the track and when you buffer it up to the second wagon the knuckles will be out of line.  Possibly easier to see in action than to explain.  I'm going to push the BtoBs out as far as I can (possibly 7.5mm or even more) - basically as far as I can go without the flanges clouting the nose of the crossing frog and derailing.  It's one of the reasons I abandoned the MT couplers when I was using Peco track - the checkrails are set too wide to get away with anything much wider than the NEM standard 7.4mm.  My checkrails are fairly close to the 2mm FS standard, which means they won't take older stock or anything much narrower than 7.4mm.  It's all a bit fiddly but hopefully worth the effort.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on June 30, 2016, 12:01:07 pm
Excellent Richard. So pleased the running is good.
Do you have any 2 mil modellers in your club. Just wondered what they thought?
Thanks
Kirky

Sadly not, although if we had any they'd point out that my rails are too close together.  We only have three N gauge modellers in total, and the other two are strictly Peco Streamline. I was seriously thinking about going 2mm FS, but with the way this is running at the moment I'm not sure I need to.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Newportnobby on June 30, 2016, 03:47:29 pm
The coupling / uncoupling issues are down to trip pin adjustment and slightly narrow back to backs on a couple of wagons

Oh dear. You'll have to help me out there please. How can B2B affect coupling/uncoupling? :confused2:

On a short wheelbase wagon, if the BtoB is too narrow, the whole wagon can skew sideways on the rails, which means the couplers no longer line up with each other.

Thanks for the explanation, Richard. I have the Dapol easi shunts to apply to layouts yet and had not heard anyone mention the B2B as being an issue but what you say makes sense.
I'm hoping to be able to saw the magnets in half so as not to have such an enormous gap in the sleepers.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: kirky on June 30, 2016, 06:41:27 pm
Excellent Richard. So pleased the running is good.
Do you have any 2 mil modellers in your club. Just wondered what they thought?
Thanks
Kirky

Sadly not, although if we had any they'd point out that my rails are too close together.  We only have three N gauge modellers in total, and the other two are strictly Peco Streamline. I was seriously thinking about going 2mm FS, but with the way this is running at the moment I'm not sure I need to.
I was thinking my next venture would have been 2 mil, but then finetrax appeared. No new wheels!
Having operated an EM thing at York this year, I can only say that screwlink couplings are completely evil. 3 link arent so bad, and work better when you wear your glasses. KDs which might be a bit like MTs (not sure if I'm correct here, but from your description it sounds like it) are quite temperamental at the best of times. And they only ever work on straight sections of track.

Cheers
Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: kirky on June 30, 2016, 06:45:58 pm
The coupling / uncoupling issues are down to trip pin adjustment and slightly narrow back to backs on a couple of wagons

Oh dear. You'll have to help me out there please. How can B2B affect coupling/uncoupling? :confused2:

On a short wheelbase wagon, if the BtoB is too narrow, the whole wagon can skew sideways on the rails, which means the couplers no longer line up with each other.

Thanks for the explanation, Richard. I have the Dapol easi shunts to apply to layouts yet and had not heard anyone mention the B2B as being an issue but what you say makes sense.
I'm hoping to be able to saw the magnets in half so as not to have such an enormous gap in the sleepers.
Excellent Richard. So pleased the running is good.
Do you have any 2 mil modellers in your club. Just wondered what they thought?
Thanks
Kirky

Sadly not, although if we had any they'd point out that my rails are too close together.  We only have three N gauge modellers in total, and the other two are strictly Peco Streamline. I was seriously thinking about going 2mm FS, but with the way this is running at the moment I'm not sure I need to.
I was thinking my next venture would have been 2 mil, but then finetrax appeared. No new wheels!
Having operated an EM thing at York this year, I can only say that screwlink couplings are completely evil. 3 link arent so bad, and work better when you wear your glasses. KDs which might be a bit like MTs (not sure if I'm correct here, but from your description it sounds like it) are quite temperamental at the best of times. And they only ever work on straight sections of track.

Cheers
Kirky
The coupling / uncoupling issues are down to trip pin adjustment and slightly narrow back to backs on a couple of wagons

Oh dear. You'll have to help me out there please. How can B2B affect coupling/uncoupling? :confused2:

On a short wheelbase wagon, if the BtoB is too narrow, the whole wagon can skew sideways on the rails, which means the couplers no longer line up with each other.

Thanks for the explanation, Richard. I have the Dapol easi shunts to apply to layouts yet and had not heard anyone mention the B2B as being an issue but what you say makes sense.
I'm hoping to be able to saw the magnets in half so as not to have such an enormous gap in the sleepers.
I've tried the dapol easishunts which are quite nice. However, I think the best magnets to use are the tiny little neodymium magnets. They're cheap enogh, and it'll save bother trying to cut the dapol magnets in half, which is a pain. However, I think Richard found that MTs are very sensitive to magnetic strength?
Cheers
Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on June 30, 2016, 07:12:06 pm
KDs which might be a bit like MTs (not sure if I'm correct here, but from your description it sounds like it) are quite temperamental at the best of times. And they only ever work on straight sections of track.

I've tried the dapol easishunts which are quite nice. However, I think the best magnets to use are the tiny little neodymium magnets. They're cheap enogh, and it'll save bother trying to cut the dapol magnets in half, which is a pain. However, I think Richard found that MTs are very sensitive to magnetic strength?
Cheers
Kirky

The MT knuckles are not quite a scaled down version of the Kadee ones, it's a little more complicated than that.  They use a split shank which is a nicer solution than the Dapol solid pivoting shank (and patented, which is why Dapol and various American N gauge manufacturers have gone with a solid shank and sprung knuckles), but the disadvantage is there is no way a MT coupler could be designed to fit an NEM coupler pocket.

The problem with magnets is that you can't actually see the magnetic field, so all you can do is keep experimenting until you find something that works.  Magnets too strong tend to pull the couplers down rather than sideways and they bind up: too weak and they don't work at all. Electromagnets would be good but I've put a lot of hours into those and not yet come up with a design that works reliably.

The knuckles are still better than Rapido couplings.  But that isn't saying much. If Minitrix had beaten Arnold to market in the 1960s we'd probably have OO-style tension lock couplers, the first Minitrix models had them. Lima initially went with a scaled down version of the standard HO coupler. Whether either of those would have been better than the Rapido design I can't say.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on July 04, 2016, 12:15:03 am
Not much free time for modelling this weekend but I spent a couple of hours this evening adjusting coupler heights and back to backs on wagons, then played trains for a while.  I made a video but it's a bit rubbish - low resolution and a fixed camera position.  All the same it shows the couplers in action (or not, on two occasions - they still aren't perfect despite this evening's work).  I have found a back to back of 7.5mm works well, reducing the tendency of wagons to crab along the track when propelled.  I also finally got round to fitting MT knuckle couplers to the better of my two J39s, so I finally have a loco that is correct for the area and period (at least it will be when I renumber it).

https://youtu.be/WHqc5aGkHBg (https://youtu.be/WHqc5aGkHBg)
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: kirky on July 04, 2016, 07:46:27 am
Hi Richard
That is as good as anything I've seen or operated in the larger scales, including O gauge. I've certainly never operated 4 mil stuff with that kind of smoothness. You must be really pleased. I cant see any crabbing, and although it was difficult to see closely how the stock ran over the point work, it looks to be near perfect. The coupling/uncoupling was superb. It looks like you could have hours of fun shunting in N. Something I for one, thought was almost impossible.
I think this has helped me make my mind up about my next project. Almost certainly a finetrax project. Thanks Richard.

Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: R Marshall on July 04, 2016, 09:38:54 am
You may not be too worried about the tender version, but J39 tender versions are a bit of a minefield.

Perhaps you're already aware, or have a picture of your planned locomotive?
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Newportnobby on July 04, 2016, 10:23:59 am
Nice job, Richard :thumbsup:
I'd be very happy with that.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on July 04, 2016, 10:30:45 am
You may not be too worried about the tender version, but J39 tender versions are a bit of a minefield.

Perhaps you're already aware, or have a picture of your planned locomotive?

Don't worry, I'm already picking my way through that particular minefield.  My "good" J39 has a flare-sided tender, and just about every North-Eastern J39 I have found a photo of had the Group Standard version.  I haven't yet found photos of all the North Blyth 1960-61 allocation, so crossing my fingers and hoping.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on July 04, 2016, 10:41:46 am
Hi Richard
That is as good as anything I've seen or operated in the larger scales, including O gauge. I've certainly never operated 4 mil stuff with that kind of smoothness. You must be really pleased. I cant see any crabbing, and although it was difficult to see closely how the stock ran over the point work, it looks to be near perfect. The coupling/uncoupling was superb. It looks like you could have hours of fun shunting in N. Something I for one, thought was almost impossible.
I think this has helped me make my mind up about my next project. Almost certainly a finetrax project. Thanks Richard.

Kirky

Thanks, that is very kind of you.  I'm certainly pleased with it - I ran three more trains (one with the J39) after making the video, and although I'm still getting the odd coupler problem I only needed to use the "hand of God" once when the J39 disgraced itself by stopping dead on a section of clean, plain track for no obvious reason. There's something especially pleasing about shunting with steam locos - those big wheels and coupling rods going slowly round and round.

Not quite out of the woods yet - I've found that one of my point blades has been filed a little too thin and it bent over double when I cleaned the track.  I managed to straighten it but I can't see it lasting. So that will need replacing which is going to be tricky. But that apart I think track and couplers are pretty much sorted now, so time for a change of direction - buildings next, and lots of them which is something new for me. I'm trying to decide whether to use embossed Plastikard overlays or do it the hard way with the stonework scribed into a plaster-coated shell.  I'll probably try the smallest building first (weighbridge office) and see how I get on.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: R Marshall on July 04, 2016, 03:27:40 pm
You may not be too worried about the tender version, but J39 tender versions are a bit of a minefield.

Perhaps you're already aware, or have a picture of your planned locomotive?

Don't worry, I'm already picking my way through that particular minefield.  My "good" J39 has a flare-sided tender, and just about every North-Eastern J39 I have found a photo of had the Group Standard version.  I haven't yet found photos of all the North Blyth 1960-61 allocation, so crossing my fingers and hoping.

The problem is that both flat sided and stepped sided tenders came in both 4200 gallon (as modelled by Farish) and 3500 gallon varieties, so it's easy to mistake the smaller tender for the larger. The 3500 gallon tenders had a longer cut down section at the rear end of the coping plate, making the outline of the top of the tender noticeably asymetrical.

Only 3 locomotives ran with the 4200 gallon stepped sided tender (64838, 64839, 64841) by the late 1950s and they don't appear to have been allocated to NE sheds. A quick look at pictures of NE J39s shows only 3500 gallon tenders of both types and ex-NER tenders.

I don't have allocations for 1961/2, only for 1950, 1955, 1959 and 1965. If you let me know the 52F allocations for 1961/2, I'll trawl through more of my pictures to see what I can find. Incidentally, Heaton, Blaydon and Tweedmouth all had good allocations of J39s in 1959.

Of course, by that time, withdrawal of some J39s (and other types) might mean that you can use modeller's licence to use a 4200 gallon tender swapped from a withdrawn locomotive.

Regards,

Roy

Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on July 04, 2016, 05:26:36 pm

The problem is that both flat sided and stepped sided tenders came in both 4200 gallon (as modelled by Farish) and 3500 gallon varieties, so it's easy to mistake the smaller tender for the larger. The 3500 gallon tenders had a longer cut down section at the rear end of the coping plate, making the outline of the top of the tender noticeably asymetrical.

Only 3 locomotives ran with the 4200 gallon stepped sided tender (64838, 64839, 64841) by the late 1950s and they don't appear to have been allocated to NE sheds. A quick look at pictures of NE J39s shows only 3500 gallon tenders of both types and ex-NER tenders.

I don't have allocations for 1961/2, only for 1950, 1955, 1959 and 1965. If you let me know the 52F allocations for 1961/2, I'll trawl through more of my pictures to see what I can find. Incidentally, Heaton, Blaydon and Tweedmouth all had good allocations of J39s in 1959.

Of course, by that time, withdrawal of some J39s (and other types) might mean that you can use modeller's licence to use a 4200 gallon tender swapped from a withdrawn locomotive.

Regards,

Roy

Oooh, I hadn't realised there were two types of flare-side tenders.  Blyth's "Famous Four" were 64713, 64869, 64814 and 64846.  Apparently they weren't overly popular with the crews and didn't stay there for long.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: R Marshall on July 04, 2016, 08:49:47 pm
Well, an initial survey turned up a picture of only 1 of the 4 - 64846 - and it has a NER 4125 gallon tender (albeit the picture dated is 1958). An easy reference illustration for this is the tender that Hornby shows with their Q6 model 63443 with early BR crest.

RCTS Part 6A shows the other 3 to have had flat sided 3500 gallon tenders.

All of the pictures I have found of J39s in the NE show flat sided 3500 gallon tenders (6 engines), apart from:

- 64719 (stepped 3500 gallon tender);

- 64910 (at York with a flat sided 4200 gallon tender - the other Farish tender); and

- 64758, 64778 and 64846 (all 3 with NER 4125 gallon tenders).

This is not the answer I hoped to give, but it still leaves the option of a swapped tender from a withdrawn engine.

Not finished looking yet - if I turn up anything else, I'll let you know

Regards,

Roy
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on July 04, 2016, 09:24:49 pm
I have - 64877 -flat sided
64843 - NE tender in 1950, some kind of flare sided tender in 1959, with a station nameboard inconveniently hiding the important bits.
64845/941 - flat sided

I think I might have to stop rivet counting on this one.   Do not, please do not, raise any issues around the tenders attached to J27s. ;)
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: R Marshall on July 04, 2016, 09:31:48 pm
Best match so far, albeit with flat sided 4200 gallon tender, is 64897 at Alnwick in September 1962.
 
64917 (a Tweedmouth allocation in 1959) at Burnmouth and at Eyemouth is probably a bit too far North?

Your point on J27s noted. They were, at least all 3038 gallons !!!!!!!

Regards,

Roy
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on July 04, 2016, 09:55:22 pm
Best match so far, albeit with flat sided 4200 gallon tender, is 64897 at Alnwick in September 1962.
 
64917 (a Tweedmouth allocation in 1959) at Burnmouth and at Eyemouth is probably a bit too far North?

Your point on J27s noted. They were, at least all 3038 gallons !!!!!!!

Regards,

Roy

My feeling is still that the Longframlington branch would have been worked from North Blyth, but it is after all an imaginary railway :) So I might go with 64917. Thank you for your input, much appreciated.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: kirky on July 05, 2016, 07:44:36 am
- buildings next, and lots of them which is something new for me. I'm trying to decide whether to use embossed Plastikard overlays or do it the hard way with the stonework scribed into a plaster-coated shell.  I'll probably try the smallest building first (weighbridge office) and see how I get on.

Have you thought of using redutex? A very nice product, but very pricey! But justified for such great track work.
Just a thought.

Cheers
Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: R Marshall on July 05, 2016, 11:18:47 am
Best match so far, albeit with flat sided 4200 gallon tender, is 64897 at Alnwick in September 1962.
 
64917 (a Tweedmouth allocation in 1959) at Burnmouth and at Eyemouth is probably a bit too far North?

Your point on J27s noted. They were, at least all 3038 gallons !!!!!!!

Regards,

Roy

My feeling is still that the Longframlington branch would have been worked from North Blyth, but it is after all an imaginary railway :) So I might go with 64917. Thank you for your input, much appreciated.

Sorry, I wasn't clear enough in what I sent - 64917 is also a flat sided 4200 gallon tender like 64897. Might be possible to get a spare Farish tender body to suit?

Regards,

Roy
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on July 10, 2016, 11:58:09 pm
Another weekend of not much progress due to other commitments.  It's a good thing I'm not being paid to build this layout.  But a couple of things to report:

1. Buildings.  I've always been a bit dubious about card kits - to me they tend to look a bit flat and undetailed.  But so many people have told me good things about the Metcalfe kits that when I found they did a pair of houses exactly like the ones I wanted to back onto the railway, it would be silly not to give them a go.

I haven't built a card kit for ages, so the first one took a long time to build.  The second was much easier.  Generally I'm impressed, they look a lot better to my eyes than I expected.  The main change I made was to replace the roofs with Ratio slate roofing sheets, as I think the lack of relief detail on card kits tends to show up most from above.  I still have a bit of work to do - chimneys, shed roofs, ridge tiles, flashing around the chimneys and roof joins, and capping for the yard walls, also I think drainpipes and guttering would be nice.  They come with two alternative window types - two and four pane.  I used mostly four pane with a couple of odd two pane windows to break up the uniform appearance - I imagine that rotten windows would have been replaced with the cheaper, simpler variety. I'm certainly happy enough to order some low relief terraces from Metcalfe to do the opposite side of the street. I also purchased some plain stone sheets (again from Metcalfe) with which I will try a couple of scratchbuilt structures.

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0614_zpsr0ln54n8.jpg)

2. Ballasting.  I tried a small experimental section in the fiddle yard, using terrarium sand and diluted PVA glue. Once the glue had dried I carefully chipped away the sand from around the sleepers and under the rails, then gave the whole lot a coat of grey/brown emulsion paint.  I'm not 100% happy yet - the colour is too light for typical branch line ash / cinder ballast, and the shoulders are horribly uneven and patchy.  But it looks better in reality than in the photo, which also shows up the terrible uneven sleeper spacing you get with Finetrax if you aren't very careful.  This was a fiddle yard road so I wasn't very careful. The track in the visible area is better.

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0617_zpsv5gcq87g.jpg)

Still having recurring nightmares about ballasting the pointwork - Even with the very fine sand I am using it is going to be tricky to avoid gumming up the blades or getting stray sand grains into awkward places. Yet again that much-abused fiddle yard turnout will be the guinea pig.

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: kirky on July 11, 2016, 07:31:12 am
Great work Richard. I agree wholeheartedly about your roofs. II've built one or two card buildings, from scratch, using metcalf brick paper, which I like a lot. But the roofs must use some kind of embossed material or they just look wrong. Putting a few drain and down pipes on also makes a differene I think.
I can barely see the sleeper spacing issue to which you refer, and I guess this is just a case of once you have seen  it your eye is always drawn towards it. I would have thought some sort of sleeper spacing jig wouldnt be impossible to build, or even have one 3d printed?
Thanks Richard.

Cherers
Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Chris in Prague on July 11, 2016, 07:31:58 am
Slow but steady progress with so many new things to learn is much better, I think. You could always try a darker wash of paint on the ballast?
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: port perran on July 11, 2016, 07:35:12 am
Looks good. I think adding the ration roofing certainly makes a big difference to those Metcalfe kits.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on July 12, 2016, 11:04:28 pm
I'm starting to enjoy working in cardboard.

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0626_zpsdyqloacs.jpg)

If this looks a bit familiar, that's because it is a mirror image of the one on my last layout.  North British signalboxes were built to a fairly standard design.  I wasn't quite happy with the one on "Belstone" - it was my first ever scratchbuilt structure, built in embossed Plastikard.  The windows were too small and not deeply recessed enough into the walls.  This one is looking better.  Metcalfe printed card walls, Ratio plastic slate sheets for the roof, and glazing left over from the Metcalfe houses that I built at the weekend.  Lots still to do, I have a Ratio interior kit on order and need to add the balcony, steps and chimney as well as some other details.

At the corners I scribed the cardboard on the plain white side, bent it outwards and chamfered the inner edges either side of the scribed line at 45 degrees with a scalpel.  It's not quite a crisp neat right angled corner, but better I think than scribing the printed side (as Metcalfe do) and ending up with a white gap which has to be painted. Despite my best efforts at measuring it the roof does not quite overhang the ends enough - it is quite a tricky shape to get right, but by the time I have added guttering I think it will be OK.

Station building is still baffling me - I don't have drawings for anything that might be suitable, and I've lost the drawings for Scotsgap which I might have been able to use as a basis for something.  If anyone has a copy of the May 2013 Railway Modeller please PM me.

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0627_zpsxwxzkgoo.jpg)

Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: kirky on July 13, 2016, 12:04:31 am
If anyone has a copy of the May 2013 Railway Modeller please PM me.
I'll have a look in our club library for you, but I cant do that till Saturday. Hope you can wait.

Cheers
Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on July 13, 2016, 07:34:29 am
If anyone has a copy of the May 2013 Railway Modeller please PM me.
I'll have a look in our club library for you, but I cant do that till Saturday. Hope you can wait.

Cheers
Kirky

Thanks, that would be very kind of you.

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on July 15, 2016, 12:26:50 am
Station Road is starting to take shape with a couple more buildings under construction.  The Percy Arms is actually a Metcalfe "Manor Farm" kit with various bits removed or repositioned.  I need to find some old photos of pubs to get some idea of what the pub sign might have looked like in the early 1960s. The land either side of the track will be raised to trackbed level so all the buildings will sit about 3mm higher than they do at the moment. A pause for finances to recover (these kits aren't especially cheap, although to be fair the quality is very good) and then I'll tackle the row of terraced houses at the back.

I'm going to be left with quite a few unused part kits - one corner shop / pub, a small cottage, and a barn which actually looks quite like a goods shed.  Unfortunately I don't think there is enough room along the front to squeeze it in.

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0628_zpsqsk8nsoq.jpg)

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0629_zpskjjhv3vj.jpg)
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Chris in Prague on July 15, 2016, 06:41:04 am
Thanks for this latest update. The buildings already look very good. I'm glad that you're going to raise the land either side of the track to trackbed level; much better than having everything at baseboard level, I think.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on July 15, 2016, 09:46:16 am
Thanks for this latest update. The buildings already look very good. I'm glad that you're going to raise the land either side of the track to trackbed level; much better than having everything at baseboard level, I think.

I'll probably sort out the height issue next, before I do the ballasting.  I have a stack of cork floor tiles about the right thickness, and enough Evostik to get the entire population of Norfolk high for a week. So that's a job I can do without having to spend any money. I've now just about run out of Ratio roofing sheets, you don't get many in a pack.  They are actually a bit thick, I'd love to find some larger, thinner sheets but haven't yet found anything which reproduces the effect of the slates overlapping each other. Don't know if Slaters do something suitable, I have some old embossed sheets from them but they are just stamped flat, no overlap. My local model shop doesn't stock Slaters so I can't have a look at one.

I'm also pondering whether to pull up the fiddle yard and replace it with cassettes to get slightly longer train lengths. A train turntable would be even nicer but that would mean re-engineering the baseboard to get the required depth, which is a bit more work than I really fancy.

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: jrb on July 15, 2016, 10:29:14 am
I've now just about run out of Ratio roofing sheets, you don't get many in a pack.  They are actually a bit thick, I'd love to find some larger, thinner sheets but haven't yet found anything which reproduces the effect of the slates overlapping each other. Don't know if Slaters do something suitable, I have some old embossed sheets from them but they are just stamped flat, no overlap. My local model shop doesn't stock Slaters so I can't have a look at one.


Unfortunately none of the Slater's sheets have overlapped tiles - their roof tile sheets are exactly the same as their paving slabs! Totally useless IMO.

I asked a very similar question in this thread (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=31184.msg355449#msg355449), and the answer appears to be Redutex sheets, though I haven't actually bought any yet!
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on July 15, 2016, 01:12:51 pm
Thanks for that, have ordered a Redutex slate roof sheet.  It looks promising, being thin and self-adhesive, so I can overlay it on the existing card roof and know it will fit OK. I will post results here when I have tried it.

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: richard9002 on July 15, 2016, 08:21:52 pm
Thanks for that, have ordered a Redutex slate roof sheet.  It looks promising, being thin and self-adhesive, so I can overlay it on the existing card roof and know it will fit OK. I will post results here when I have tried it.

Richard

Hope the Redutex sheet works out well for you, as I'm going to be in need of some slate roofing sheets myself at some point, and i'm not keen on the non-overlapping efforts by Slaters either. This may be just the stuff required.

(Another) Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: kirky on July 16, 2016, 06:33:53 pm
If anyone has a copy of the May 2013 Railway Modeller please PM me.
I'll have a look in our club library for you, but I cant do that till Saturday. Hope you can wait.

Cheers
Kirky

Thanks, that would be very kind of you.

Richard
@Belstone
Hi Richard
Having located the box for RM 2013 - we have RMs going back to the 1950's - every bloomin month but May was there. In fact I found three copies of June, but alas, no May.  Very infuriating. Sorry.
Cheers
Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on July 16, 2016, 07:24:21 pm

Hi Richard
Having located the box for RM 2013 - we have RMs going back to the 1950's - every bloomin month but May was there. In fact I found three copies of June, but alas, no May.  Very infuriating. Sorry.
Cheers
Kirky

Thanks for trying, I'll see if Fleabay has one for sale.

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: richard9002 on July 16, 2016, 07:27:26 pm
I may be able to help here @belstone (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=2569). Shall PM you shortly!
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on July 17, 2016, 09:22:20 pm
One day one of my layout building sessions will go to plan, but not yet.  The intention for this weekend as mentioned above was to build up the baseboard to around trackbed level with cork sheet, blend in the edges, fill the gaps and do a very small amount of landscaping with DAS modelling clay, then start ballasting.  I got as far as sticking down some cork sheets, then found that my DAS clay has turned into a small housebrick. So that was that.

The cork sheet is actually about 1mm higher than the trackbed with bothered me until I looked at some photos and realised that the track on these funny little Borders branches is not so much raised above the ground as sunk into it.  I don't know whether they were built like that or whether the lightly constructed trackbed just subsided over the years, but a 1mm step between trackbed and the land either side of it looks as though it should be about right.

Meanwhile, thanks to the enormous kindness of @richard9002 (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=4829) for sending me the Scotsgap drawings, I now have yet another half-completed card building to add to the collection.  I changed a few things, working from photos of the slightly smaller stations at Meldon and Angerton.  Construction is as for the signalbox, with spare windows and doors left over from various Metcalfe kits.  It sits a lot squarer than my previous attempt at building a station, although as I type this I have just noticed a really annoying gap where the waiting room attaches to the station house.  It will have a drainpipe there whether the prototype did or not.

To my surprise I have realised I do not have many more buildings to construct, just the low relief terraces which are a straight kitbuild, and a small weighbridge office.  All my buildings still need plenty of work but at least I can now play about with positioning and look at starting work on the station platform, which I could not do until I had the outline of the station building.

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0630_zpsb832hopn.jpg)
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Chris in Prague on July 17, 2016, 10:46:17 pm
That's good news, indeed. The buildings are coming along very well.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: cornish yorkie on July 17, 2016, 11:31:52 pm
 :hellosign: excellent modelling, looking really nice, thanks for the updates
regards Derek.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: richard9002 on July 20, 2016, 02:16:26 pm
Just happy to help another N Gauger! Good to see the buildings developing. Look forward to seeing the finished article eventually  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Tractor37 on July 20, 2016, 09:07:11 pm
Hi there.
Just read through your thread and have to say there is some nice modelling going on here squire.
Shall be checking back regularly with this one.
Keep up the good work.
Jas...  :beers:
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on July 21, 2016, 10:07:06 pm
Redutex - hmm.  I ordered a sheet of "uneven" slate roofing as it was the only kind in stock.  I have used it for the roof of the pub but there are a few problems.  Firstly that the slates are not in a straight line.  I know it says uneven on the packet: but slate is a pretty durable material and tends to stay straight, apart from individual slates dropping out of position when the fixing nails rust through. It doesn't go wonky. Secondly, the horizontal lines are a lot more pronounced than the vertical ones, so from normal viewing distance the building looks as though it has been roofed with overlapping wooden planks. On the positive side it is nice and easy to use, just make the roof from card, cut the Redutex to shape, peel off the backing paper and stick it on.  I managed to get one of the roof panels on upside down and was able to peel it off and restick it.  I'll use it for the station building, but probably go back to the Ratio sheets for the terraced houses and shop, so that they all look the same.  In my imaginary Longframlington, the terraces and shop would all have been built around the time the railway was constructed: the pub was a converted house that was there a long time before the railway.

Visible in the background are the cork sheets I have used to build up the land either side of the railway, blended in to the trackbed with DAS clay.  Ballasting next...

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0632_zpsmtch5csl.jpg)

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0631_zpsmpmrmght.jpg)
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: kirky on July 22, 2016, 07:06:13 am
Hi Richard
I see what you mean by the pronounced horizontal lines. I had to zoom right in to see the vertical line. That's a shame. I wonder if that is why slaters don't overlap their tile sheet, to avoid that horizontal line? I didn't really notice the wonkiness though.

All in all, it looks really good.

Cheers
Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Chris in Prague on July 22, 2016, 11:04:10 am
I like the idea of using cork sheeting to build up the ground to sleeper height before ballasting. I think I will try something similar to build up the trackbed to just below normal sleeper height before ballasting.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on July 24, 2016, 06:35:27 pm
A useful weekend's work for once.  I had to stay in all day Saturday waiting for a telephone call, so I thought Imight as well do something useful. First job was to start ballasting the pointwork at the station throat: I then had to wait for the glue to dry throughly before I could start cleaning it up, so I got on with other more interesting stuff.

I thought it was about time I had a station platform, constructed from a mixture of 1/16 and 1/8 inch balsa in my usual fashion.  I will use Metcalfe card for the stone facings, and play about with various materials to get the correct fine gravel effect for the top.  The North British Railway was much too tight-fisted to spend money on anything fancy like paving slabs.  I also decided to move the cattle dock to the end of the long goods siding as there wasn't really enough space where I had originally planned it.I could do with the entire trackplan being shifted about an inch towards the front of the layout but it's a bit late for that now. With the platforms done I was able to build up the ground on the station board using cork sheet as for the other board.

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0633_zpsocz8u1wt.jpg)

Then some more buildings.  I knocked up the two Metcalfe kits for the low relief terraces - a bit annoyed to find all the doors different colours, and no plain unpainted ones included in the kit. I don't really like those arched doorways either, much too posh for an old pit village, so further surgery may be needed. I decided to use the Redutex for the roofs seeing as I have paid for it.  I also finished off the corner shop (including roof) so I have some idea now of what my street scene will look like.  Next step is to cut back the pavements in front of the buildings which are more Regent Street than small Northumbrian village, then lay down some kerbstones and build up the road surface between them. The buildings seem to disguise the end of the scenic section quite nicely.

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0635_zps8nfsu7cw.jpg)

I still have quite a lot of ballasting to do, but once that is finished and I have the layout running properly again (ha ha) I will need to start looking at some profiled plywood sheets around the edges of the layout, and then a backscene board behind that.  The "country" end will feature a garden by the station house, and probably a couple of large trees to hide the corner. The centre section (between the platform and houses) looks a bit bare and I haven't yet decided on scenic treatment for this bit - nothing fancy as there isn't a lot of space to play with.

Starting to feel quite pleased with this little layout now it is looking more railway-like, but it doesn't yet have that Northumbrian feel to it.  Stone walls and distant moorland should make a difference.

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0636_zpszuuhjqop.jpg)


Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: kirky on July 24, 2016, 07:47:56 pm
Nice work Richad, thanks for sharing.

Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Roy L S on July 24, 2016, 07:57:16 pm
Excellent work.

I have a feeling that we will be watching a truly excellent layout develop over forthcoming weeks and months, I shall return to this thread with great interest.

Roy
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on July 24, 2016, 08:12:52 pm
Sitting here looking at those low relief terraces and the more I look at them the less I like them.  The "stone" walls are totally different to the other houses and shop, which admittedly look more like weathered brick than stone. Two choices I think - either try to "wrap" them with stone effect building paper (filling in those arches at the same time) or start again, this time using the Metcalfe fronts and sides as a template to make new ones in card. I might go for the latter as the roofs are fractionally short as well. Not one of Metcalfe's better efforts IMHO.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: port perran on July 24, 2016, 08:23:47 pm
I think they look OK and I don't think you should worry too much.. However, my comment with too many Metcalfe buildings is that a layout starts to look a bit samey ie all the buildings look rather similar whereas in real life , that is often not the case.
A bit of variety would give a more individual feel to the layout.
Having said that however, this looks like a really excellent start.
Keep the pictures coming.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: kirky on July 24, 2016, 08:42:27 pm
I know I would feel the same Richard. Once a niggle catches your eye, you can't ever get used to it until you change it.
I've done that several times on Northallerton. Having sad that, there are many many botches that I let go.
It's your layout Richard, do what you like.

Cheers
Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on July 24, 2016, 08:46:32 pm
I think they look OK and I don't think you should worry too much.. However, my comment with too many Metcalfe buildings is that a layout starts to look a bit samey ie all the buildings look rather similar whereas in real life , that is often not the case.
A bit of variety would give a more individual feel to the layout.
Having said that however, this looks like a really excellent start.
Keep the pictures coming.

I know what you mean, but in this case this little block of buildings (apart from the pub) would all have been built around the same time, probably by the same builders to house railway staff. It's amazing how many people even a small branch line would have employed in the Victorian era. So I actually want them to look that way, hence my annoyance at multi-coloured front doors. If I was modelling modern era each house would be different, bay windows, double glazing, fake stone cladding, loft extensions, you name it. But back in the early sixties things were a bit less varied, judging from old photos (I'm not quite old enough to remember :) )
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on July 31, 2016, 10:20:19 pm
Not much to report this weekend as I have been busy with other things, but I have been picking away at the ballasting and thought people might like to see how it is looking so far:

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0643_zpsoddpczhs.jpg)

Lots still to do here, the trackbed has had an initial wash of dark emulsion but I need to paint the rail sides and possibly give the whole lot a coat of matt varnish to get rid of the shiny plastic.  It looks much, much worse in the photo than in real life due to the flash reflecting off everything, but even so I think you would struggle to say for sure what scale this is. I got the point blades moving freely again and it runs just as well as it did before.

Technique for those interested:

1. Track ballasted dry using very fine terrarium sand, carefully shaped and brushed into place.

2. Heavily diluted PVA glue with a dash of Fairy Liquid applied with a syringe and allowed to dry.

3.  This leaves a very brittle material which can be carefully scraped away with a fine screwdriver to achieve the correct shape.  The screwdriver needs to be poked under the rails between the sleepers to remove the sand which has accumulated there. Tiebars and point blades took a lot of careful cleaning up to restore normal operation. A small handheld vacuum cleaner is very useful, along with a large soft-bristled paintbrush.  Care needs to be taken not to damage the tips of the point blades as they are very delicate.

4. Once I was happy that there were no grains of sand where they shouldn't be, I painted the whole lot with matt emulsion, a mixture of brown, grey and black to reproduce the colour of typical ash / cinder ballast.  This was diluted to the consistency of single cream, applied fairly thick so it soaks into the ballast, and the paintbrush poked under the rails to clear any accumulated paint.

5. The result seems solid and durable, and as the paint has soaked in, it does not show a lighter colour if scratched or scraped. Once I have finished the detail paintwork including dry brush weathering of the sleepers I think it should look very pretty.

Only one turnout and about four yards of plain track still to do.  At this rate I might have the ballasting done by Christmas.

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: JasonBz on July 31, 2016, 10:47:12 pm
It is looking a lot more than pretty good to me :)
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: kirky on July 31, 2016, 11:13:16 pm
Yep, that finetrax trackwork certainly is the bees kness.

Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on August 02, 2016, 11:27:08 pm
Ballasting continues, and a slightly different technique this evening.  After applying and spreading the sand I tapped the rail tops all the way along with a hard wooden block to settle and level the sand, then misted it with water in a plant sprayer.  Unfortunately this particular sprayer was last used for Jeyes Fluid so my layout now smells a bit strange, even though I rinsed the sprayer about twenty times before using it. Hopefully the smell will keep the flies away. I then flooded the ballast with diluted PVA and sprinkled more sand on any bald patches I could see.  I'll give the glue 24 hours to dry, then start the long and tedious cleaning up process.  Only one turnout and a short length of plain track left to do :)

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0647_zps9kcl2q7i.jpg)
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: kirky on August 09, 2016, 12:49:55 pm
Hi Richard @belstone (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=2569)
Ive been shopping this morning. Took the kids to pets at home with the intention of looking at the bunnies and the gerbils. However, whilst I was there, I thought there would be no harm in buying a bag of terrarium sand. Ha. Now I have to confess to knowing very little about most pets let alone lizards - our 3 year old twins are quite enough thank you- but I had no idea there was such a range of terrarium products available. So my question is this. Did you buy what the packet says is 'Desert Sand' or one of the others available? In the pet shop they had a couple of bags that actually looked like a ballast in colour but had a larger grain size, as well as the desert sand. And also they had a white sand, which was very white - virgin white! and an equally inappropriate coloured one which was bright orange. All of these products looked feasible in terms of grain size - tiny, but the colour variation was immense. From the picture above I would guess you just bought the desert sand one. Im wondering if you are going to paint it anyway, and whether the white one might be better for colour?
Any thoughts shared will be most welcome.

Cheers
Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on August 09, 2016, 10:15:49 pm
Hi Richard @belstone ([url]http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=2569[/url])
Ive been shopping this morning. Took the kids to pets at home with the intention of looking at the bunnies and the gerbils. However, whilst I was there, I thought there would be no harm in buying a bag of terrarium sand. Ha. Now I have to confess to knowing very little about most pets let alone lizards - our 3 year old twins are quite enough thank you- but I had no idea there was such a range of terrarium products available. So my question is this. Did you buy what the packet says is 'Desert Sand' or one of the others available? In the pet shop they had a couple of bags that actually looked like a ballast in colour but had a larger grain size, as well as the desert sand. And also they had a white sand, which was very white - virgin white! and an equally inappropriate coloured one which was bright orange. All of these products looked feasible in terms of grain size - tiny, but the colour variation was immense. From the picture above I would guess you just bought the desert sand one. Im wondering if you are going to paint it anyway, and whether the white one might be better for colour?
Any thoughts shared will be most welcome.

Cheers
Kirky


The stuff I am using is Desert Sand, very fine grain, painted near-black to represent ash / cinder ballast. It is still a touch coarse for that, but I couldn't find anything finer.  It takes emulsion paint very well so you could probably paint it grey/brown for granite ballast as found on busier lines, then wipe the paint off the sleepers and rails before it dries.

Richard

P.S. Lack of progress reports is due to, er, lack of progress - been busy with other things. Hoping to put in a bit more work at the weekend.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: kirky on August 10, 2016, 12:04:52 am
Thanks Richard. Desert sand. That's what I thought. Looks a lot finer than the woodland scenics 'fine ballast' we used on Northallerton. And it lmust be loads cheaper. 7 quid for a massive bag. Much more than I could ever use. Anyway, I'll be buying it.

As for ash, have you thought of using, well er ... ash? Have a garden fire, let it cool off for a day and collect the ash. Seive it and lay. I did try it once with a degree of success. Its very light tho. and gluing it might require a specific technique.

cheers
Kirky

 
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Chris in Prague on August 10, 2016, 07:48:21 am
Your ballast looks excellent. I wish I had known about terrarium Desert sand before I finished ballasting Cant Cove with the finest ballast (plus sieved sand) I could find as it looks very coarse compared with yours. Ah well, from a distance mine looks OK and it's the right colour. Ensuring that the ballast and glue do not 'gum up' points is crucial. (I forgot to do that with one point, alas, and, eventually, it will have to be replaced.)
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on August 14, 2016, 08:14:20 pm
Ballasting is finally finished! I haven't tried running anything yet, but hopefully it will be OK.  I also did the stone walls on the platform and cattle dock (printed card sheet), and started work on the top surfaces - more desert sand and emulsion paint, and a sprinkling of flock on the cattle dock to represent the typical weed-infested appearance of these things in later days. I'm not entirely happy with the result so far, I might have to experiment with one of those static grass things to get my weeds growing a bit taller.  At the moment it just looks like my cattle dock has gone mouldy.  I think I might have to shave about 1mm off the height on both structures which will be tricky, sharp scalpel and a steady hand.  As they sit below trackbed level it won't matter if the lower edge is a bit wonky as long as they sit flat.

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0691_zpslwb35bo9.jpg)

The next tedious job is to paint the rail sides and chairs.  I did a short section using Humbrol matt earth (no. 29), with a bit of dry brush weathering to highlight the sleepers. Looks OK to me.

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0692_zpstw5tgolu.jpg)

I also needed a buffer stop.  Only one, the two sidings terminate at a platform so a big lump of wood bolted to the platform wall will do for those.  The North British had very distinctive buffer stops: I found a drawing in an old Railway Modeller, and a photo of one in the goods yard at Rothbury.  So I set to work, with the uprights made from five separate bits of rail soldered together on each side, and a cross beam from thin ply.  It took about two hours and I'm glad I only needed one.

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0694_zpshm9peodz.jpg)

Finally I made a start on the level crossing, with a balsa road surface thoroughly soaked in emulsion, so hopefully the paint won't rub away when I clean the track.  North British crossing gates were also very distinctive with a very tall upright at one end and a 45 degree bracing timber and look like being a nightmare to fabricate:  it might be easier to draw them using CAD and get them etched. I'd have to do each gate as a three-part sandwich to get the thickness of all the timbers right, then another etch for the hinges, strengtheners and wire tensioners. I have only found one photo good enough to work from: crossing gates and buffer stops seem to have been the least photographed of all railway structures.  I'll have to estimate the dimensions.

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0695_zpsokmxxi3g.jpg)

Does any of this fiddly detail really matter, when most of my buildings are Metcalfe card kits? Maybe not, but it's fun in a strange sort of way. 

Richard







Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: JasonBz on August 14, 2016, 10:52:48 pm
It is looking really good :)

you could always upgrade the buildings at sme point
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Mito on August 15, 2016, 05:25:40 pm
It is looking really good :)

you could always upgrade the buildings at sme point

+1 to that.  :thumbsup: That's the way I'm going. Put some buildings there and improve them as my skills improve.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on August 15, 2016, 10:33:42 pm
This evening I had another go at ruining my eyesight and here is the result: a North British level crossing gate along with the photo I based it on (Thorneyburn on the Border Counties Railway).

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0704_zpsnknjwlbi.jpg)

First step was to draw the gate in fine pencil to 4mm/ft scale.  I estimated it as being around 20' long by 5'6" high, with the main frame in 6" square timber, 9" x 6" for the tall upright and 6" x 2" for the two intermediate horizontal bars.  I suspect I might have got the height slightly wrong, looking again at the photo it is probably closer to 5', level crossing gates always seemed massive when I was a kid.

I then scanned the drawing as a PDF document and printed several copies at 52% actual size (1:148 or near enough).  I cut these out, leaving a margin all round, and glued them to thin Plastikard with UHU Photo Stic.  Not sure exactly what thickness the Plastikard is, but three layers come out around 1mm.  Then I cut out all the framework using a very sharp scalpel.  I included the horizontal bars in the middle layer, but not the other two.  It took ages.

Finally I cut round the outside of each piece, peeled off the paper template overlays and stuck the three layers together with Mek-Pak.  It needs a small amount of tidying up with the scalpel, also hinges and the red discs (although Thorneyburn doesn't seem to have had those).  I don't think I will bother with the bracing wires somehow. The end result seems fairly rigid and hopefully the laminated construction will help stop it from warping.  The only problem now is that I have to make another one to go with it, and it might be a while before I can face cutting out all those tiny triangles again.

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0706_zps0hjsbmxb.jpg)

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: lil chris on August 16, 2016, 01:14:38 am
Nice job and those gates look great, you must have some patience cutting them out. I use a sharp scalpel but the knife always seems to vere off at angle I do not want. There must be a knack to it which I do not have yet.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on August 16, 2016, 06:58:43 am
Nice job and those gates look great, you must have some patience cutting them out. I use a sharp scalpel but the knife always seems to vere off at angle I do not want. There must be a knack to it which I do not have yet.

Two things I find helpful - don't press down hard with the knife when you are making the first cut (you want to draw the blade across the plastic, not try and bury it), and keep changing the blade.  Scalpel blades lose their edge really quickly, even with Plastikard, so I buy them in packs of 100 and they work out around 8 pence each.

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Mito on August 16, 2016, 08:24:14 pm
How are your eyes today? Very neat though I think I would have used strip to make them.  :beers:
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: M0NTIGNAC on August 16, 2016, 09:45:36 pm
 :wonderfulmodelling:
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Chris in Prague on August 17, 2016, 08:15:40 pm
Really excellent modelling. It will be well worth it once completed as it will add to the 'sense of place'.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on August 17, 2016, 10:57:18 pm
How are your eyes today? Very neat though I think I would have used strip to make them.  :beers:

I thought about that but decided it stood a better chance of ending up straight if it was cut from sheet. When my eyes stop hurting I'll do the other one.  And then the goods yard needs an entrance gate, but that would probably be a bit less substantial. I haven't found any photos of one of those yet.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on August 28, 2016, 08:41:36 pm
Not a huge amount of progress lately as I have been feeling lazy.  Must be the hot weather.  I managed to put a roof and chimney stacks on the station building, and also shaved 1mm off the bottom of the platform and cattle dock.  The platform top surface was done with a fine layer of lizard sand, thick coat of grey emulsion, then sanded down with coarse sandpaper to give a flat but unevenly coloured surface, with a couple of slightly bald patches where I sanded too much away the top surface has worn away with use. 

Today I started by making the second level crossing gate which didn't turn out quite as neat as the first but should tidy up.  I then went out and bought 5mm plywood, glue, screws and jigsaw blades, and made and fitted the profile edges around the station area board.  I have decided for now to work on one board at a time for space reasons.  I then filled the gaps between the profile edges and the baseboard top with bits of polystyrene packing, followed by DAS modelling clay to make a start on building up the landscape around the edge of the board.  Once this has dried I want to raise the station garden area slightly and put in some road bases, after that I can start on ground covering, walls, fences etc.

It seems like a very long time since I actually ran any trains, but locos and "wet" scenic modelling don't really mix, so it might be a while before I have anything running again.  I'd quite like to have the layout finished in time for my local club's exhibition next June, but I haven't been stupid enough to commit to that one yet.  Hopefully now that I have started the landscaping things will move on a bit faster.

Richard

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0713_zpsyscqofxf.jpg)
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: kirky on August 29, 2016, 09:01:16 am
Interesting as ever Richard, thanks.
How did you stick the sand to the platform? Did you spread an even layer and wet it and drip in glue as per ballasting, or some other method?

Cheers
Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on August 29, 2016, 10:23:07 am
Interesting as ever Richard, thanks.
How did you stick the sand to the platform? Did you spread an even layer and wet it and drip in glue as per ballasting, or some other method?

Cheers
Kirky


I just gave it an even coat of diluted PVA then dumped a load of sand on the top.  It came out a bit lumpy, so I gave it an initial light sanding to level it off, a thick coat of emulsion to soak in and bind the sand together, then levelled it off with sandpaper.  There are now a couple of bits needing further attention where I managed to get small bits of DAS clay onto them, that stuff sticks to any rough surface under its own weight and is impossible to clean up.  Same goes for some of the ballasting but that's an easy fix, once I have finished the "wet" work. I'm glad I haven't painted most of the rails and chairs yet.

This morning I have levelled up the station garden (corrugated card glued down and blended in with more DAS), once that has dried I will apply the top coat (casting plaster mixed with brown paint pigment, so it doesn't show white if it chips, and painted over the top of thin bandage for strength).  I have also started constructing a large  tree for the corner of the garden. Battery cable, masking tape and more clay, and hopefully it will look a bit more tree-like than my previous efforts.  While walking the dogs this morning I was looking at trees to get a feel for the shape.  Looking at mine I think I need to shorten the lower part of the trunk slightly. I might also have a go at making a few small structures - greenhouse, garden shed and maybe a pre-fab garage for the stationmaster's Ford Anglia. Also a vegetable patch which will be tricky as I hate gardening and have no idea how it works.

Richard

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0715_zpsajtkwgm5.jpg)

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0716_zpsagfbmeua.jpg)
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on September 04, 2016, 07:20:56 pm
I should never take any money to model railway exhibitions. But I did, and the result is that Longframlington has had a visit from the North Eastern Region top brass, in their immaculate inspection saloon drawn by a rather grubby Heaton-based K1. The directors were unimpressed, and even a drink in the Percy Arms failed to improve their mood.  The state of the station approach road and garden came in for particular criticism and the directors departed after a couple of hours, muttering darkly about unprofitable branch lines and Dr Beeching's forthcoming review of the railway network.

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0729_zpstiazdksp.jpg)

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0730_zpsricdtcqr.jpg)
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: port perran on September 04, 2016, 07:39:06 pm
I haven't got an inspection saloon but am tempted.
Looks good behind the K1.

Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: paulprice on September 04, 2016, 08:52:51 pm
your a bad lad I'm now thinking about the LMS one for my layout
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Chris in Prague on September 04, 2016, 09:20:22 pm
I haven't got an inspection saloon but am tempted.
Looks good behind the K1.

I thoroughly recommend buying one, Martin, preferably BR Lined Marron with black ends (just like mine used by the 'Fat Controller' from BR Plymouth Division HQ!).
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Chris in Prague on September 04, 2016, 09:22:40 pm
Very nice photos., Richard. I hope a member of the local TUCC was drinking in the "Percy Arms" at the time and overheard the negative comments!
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on September 04, 2016, 10:54:43 pm
Very nice photos., Richard. I hope a member of the local TUCC was drinking in the "Percy Arms" at the time and overheard the negative comments!

Sadly the local TUCC were away on a day trip to Alnwick, with free transport laid on by the Rothbury and District Omnibus Company.  The timing looks suspicious.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Chris in Prague on September 05, 2016, 07:23:42 am
Very nice photos., Richard. I hope a member of the local TUCC was drinking in the "Percy Arms" at the time and overheard the negative comments!

Sadly the local TUCC were away on a day trip to Alnwick, with free transport laid on by the Rothbury and District Omnibus Company.  The timing looks suspicious.

Definitely, very suspicious.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on September 12, 2016, 10:10:29 pm
The last few days I have managed to grab the odd spare moment for some modelling, starting with building up the station garden and approach road.  My first attempt was a disaster: I laid the bandage on the surface dry and painted plaster over it, thinking it would soak through.  It didn't, so I had to peel the whole lot off and do it properly, this time soaking each strip of bandage thoroughly in plaster before laying it over the surface and smoothing it down.  Quick work needed as the plaster sets in about ten minutes.  I then sanded it down and used ready mixed Polyfilla to fill any major imperfections.  Once it had all dried I gave the "grass" areas two coats of brown emulsion.  The road had a coat of grey, then lizard sand dumped over the top and left to dry.  This will now have two more coats of grey to seal it and take some of the roughness out of the texture.

Now the fun bit - I painted the grass areas with diluted PVA and dumped various Woodland Scenics scatter materials on top.  I am now waiting for the glue to dry, then I can turn the board upside-down and see how much scatter mixture has stuck.  Hopefully most of it, then I can start working on the finer detail and varying the colour a bit.  There is a large earth coloured rectangle in the station garden which will be a vegetable plot.  It all looks rather rough, but remember this is just the first pass, many more hours of glueing and scattering to come.  I'm also still fiddling with my tree before I finally paint it and stick on some foliage. 

I have been trying to work out what to do with the area between the platform end and the goods siding, thinking of a basic loco servicing facility (water tower and a primitive coaling stage).  I tried building a water tank and filling it with Dapol Modelling Water but the results are not good, so perhaps the tank will end up with an enclosed top. I also need to repaint the track bed and station platform - sanding the plaster has left everything covered in a fine red dust which cannot be removed.  Great if I was modelling Consett station where the haematite dust got everywhere, but not quite the effect I am looking for on Longframlington.

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0731_zpso6l75sdm.jpg)

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Newportnobby on September 12, 2016, 10:28:17 pm
Hey Ho, Richard. We all learn by experimenting. I tried Woodland Scenics 'cement' sprayed over flock materials and did it stick? Did it :censored:
I had to revert to the good ole PVA dilute to get anything to stay put. It's worth getting one of those 'misting' bottles from your local chemist as that way you don't blast away the scatter materials.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on September 12, 2016, 10:41:03 pm
Hey Ho, Richard. We all learn by experimenting. I tried Woodland Scenics 'cement' sprayed over flock materials and did it stick? Did it :censored:
I had to revert to the good ole PVA dilute to get anything to stay put. It's worth getting one of those 'misting' bottles from your local chemist as that way you don't blast away the scatter materials.

I'm never afraid of failure, good job too.  If you want to build a really nice layout, read this thread and then do everything differently to how I have done it. You'll save a lot of time. Misting bottle is a good tip, I'll track one down.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on September 14, 2016, 09:31:13 pm
I'm enjoying N gauge gardening a bit more than the real thing:

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0742_zps0kzgrfg8.jpg)

Hedges are the same as my previous layout - strips of green pan scourer soaked in diluted PVA, rolled in flock and left to dry. I have no idea what the plants in the vegetable patch are - just odds and ends stuck down, including some bits snipped from the really terrible ready made hedge strips that I bought a couple of years ago.  The bright green colour looks less offensive in small patches. There is also a rubbish heap - wonder if I can bury a small smoke unit in it?

I have been trying to think how the stationmaster would have kept the grass down, given that it isn't a very level garden.  The answer is a couple of sheep, so I will need to fence off the vegetable plot and evict the two dogs who shouldn't be in it anyway as they will probably wee on the cabbages. The fencing will also keep out the rabbits which live in the overgrown area by the buffer stop. I also have a tree on order - I gave up with my home-made one as it is just too big for the site.  Also to come, a small pre-fab garage, some fencing and a gate to stop the sheep escaping, and a garden shed.

I'm still not sure that the garden will impress the distinguished visitors from last week. I doubt it will feature on one of the station garden tours that the North-Eastern like to run in the summer.  In fact the whole station is looking a bit ramshackle, with weeds rapidly engulfing the cattle dock. Anyone would think the line was about to close.

Richard

Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Newportnobby on September 14, 2016, 10:12:50 pm
Have you been growing the wrong sort of mushrooms? :laugh3: ;)
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: lil chris on September 15, 2016, 12:43:52 am
Looking good there, like Mick I am not impressed with the woodland scenics spray cement and I bought the spray bottle too for it. If your not carefull it blasts everything all over the place, a plant misting bottle is a lot more sensitive.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Webbo on September 15, 2016, 02:33:24 am
I agree that the Woodland Scenics spray bottle is good for recreating a lunar surface. I've found a nice mister in an arts supply shop (no shades of Little Britain intended).

Looking good, Richard
Webbo
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Chris in Prague on September 15, 2016, 05:50:41 am
Looking good there, like Mick I am not impressed with the woodland scenics spray cement and I bought the spray bottle too for it. If your not carefull it blasts everything all over the place, a plant misting bottle is a lot more sensitive.

I fully agree that an adjustable flow plant misting bottle and diluted white glue works very well and is very economic. All the ground cover at Cant Cove was done this way.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Chris in Prague on September 15, 2016, 05:52:48 am
Excellent scenic work, Richard; highly realistic. A washing line with clothes on it, next? (There is also a German N scale plastic set complete with housewife.)
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: kirky on September 16, 2016, 06:38:43 pm
Richard
Its beginning to look really really good. Im still salivating over the track work which is just superb. But I am wondering if you are going to paint the rails?
I think I've come up with a track plan for my own Finetrax layout. If I wasnt out of action with a knacked back I might have begun the project this weekend... oh well I'll just have to continue admiring Longframlington instead.

Cheers
Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Newportnobby on September 16, 2016, 08:09:09 pm
It seems to be the season for ricked backs, Kirky.
You really need to either take more care with gardening/DIY or stop leaping off wardrobes ;)
@kirky (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=492)
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: kirky on September 16, 2016, 08:30:31 pm
It seems to be the season for ricked backs, Kirky.
You really need to either take more care with gardening/DIY or stop leaping off wardrobes ;)
@kirky ([url]http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=492[/url])

Cheers (@newportnobby) Mick, I wish it had been as interesting as jumping off wardrobes. Sad truth is I took the kids swimming last Sunday and afterwards when getting changed I bent down to pick something off the floor and me back went. Bloody annoying I tell yer.
I now have a choice of two states, a) in pain but reasonably alert or b) in no pain but totally zonked out. Today I have chosen option 'a'.

Cheers
Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Chris in Prague on September 16, 2016, 08:35:31 pm
Very sorry to read that, Kirky. I hope that your back gets better, soon.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: kirky on September 16, 2016, 11:07:21 pm
Hi Richard
@belstone (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=2569)
Ive got a couple more questions re finetrax Richard, I hope you don't mind?

Are all your points B6 turnouts?
How come you've got gaps between the sleeper base in the point work?, did you cut the point bases?
Have you painted the bottom of the frog? Yours dont look anything like the cast frogs I have. Mine are all B6 points with a cast frog.
Droppers: did you solder onto the frog directly or did you use a pin as per 2mil practice?
And finally, did you end up using 2mm Association Easitrack brass sleepers at all?

I've just watched the video you posted a couple of months ago, again tonight. I'm still in awe of that control at this scale. Just superb.

Cheers
Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on September 17, 2016, 07:18:29 am
Hi Richard
@belstone ([url]http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=2569[/url])
Ive got a couple more questions re finetrax Richard, I hope you don't mind?

Are all your points B6 turnouts?
How come you've got gaps between the sleeper base in the point work?, did you cut the point bases?
Have you painted the bottom of the frog? Yours dont look anything like the cast frogs I have. Mine are all B6 points with a cast frog.
Droppers: did you solder onto the frog directly or did you use a pin as per 2mil practice?
And finally, did you end up using 2mm Association Easitrack brass sleepers at all?

I've just watched the video you posted a couple of months ago, again tonight. I'm still in awe of that control at this scale. Just superb.

Cheers
Kirky


B6 turnouts, but with fabricated rail frogs replacing the cast ones, and two PCB sleepers (one under the frog and one at the inner end of the switch rails.  The PCB sleepers (correctly gapped) reduce the need for wire droppers, and the wires can be soldered direct to the sleepers. I ground away some of the top surface with a minidrill so they are the same height as the plastic ones. They look OK when painted. I also replaced the clever but fiddly tiebars with old-fashioned soldered PCB ones. If you are going to do this (I'm not sure it is necessary, but I didn't trust the very thin wires that attach the chairplates to the tiebar), use the thickest PCB you can find, and cut a channel in the trackbed to clear the tiebar.  I started off with PCB the same thickness as the plastic sleepers and broke two tiebars.

I built the station throat formation in a single lump, so the two outer rails are solid lengths which makes for smoother running.  Obviously you need some spare 500mm rail lengths to do this.

I pre-charged each rail with chairs, sliding the rail into the chairs while they were still on the sprue then cutting them off with a scalpel.  That way all the plain chairs will be the right way round - they are handed and once off the sprue it is very hard to see which way round they go.  The chair pins are a bit tight in the track base and I eased out the holes with a drill bit.

To answer your earlier question, rails and chairs will be painted once I have finished the mucky scenic stuff, the trackbed will need another coat of paint and a few weeds first.

Have fun, and hope your back gets better soon.  I had the same problem a couple of weeks ago so you have my sympathy.

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: kirky on September 17, 2016, 09:35:23 am
@belstone (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=2569)
Thanks Richard, very useful info. Yes I was wondering whether I could get away with using a single length of rail through more than one point. You've confirmed that thanks.
So frogs then..... where when who how much?

And this all begs the question - have you done this sort of thing before, perhaps in a different scale?

Cheers
Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on September 17, 2016, 02:33:55 pm
@belstone ([url]http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=2569[/url])
Thanks Richard, very useful info. Yes I was wondering whether I could get away with using a single length of rail through more than one point. You've confirmed that thanks.
So frogs then..... where when who how much?

And this all begs the question - have you done this sort of thing before, perhaps in a different scale?

Cheers
Kirky


Frog crossing noses are just two pieces of rail filed to a point and soldered together using a very simple jig, just two rail-width slots cut in a sheet of plywood at a 1 in 6 angle.  The wing rails are separate pieces of rail with a bend in them.  The small bend at the ends is done with fine nose pliers once the wing rails are in position. There is a bit of fiddling about slicing chairs in half around the crossing to make it all look pretty. I made one mistake in my description, there are actually three PCB sleepers - one each side of the gap between the wing rails and switch rails, and one under the crossing nose.  This holds all the critical bits in alignment with each other, probably rather better than plastic chairs alone would do.  The photo below hopefully makes this a bit clearer, and also reminds me that I never fitted the "cosmetic" chairs to the wing rails, although I did so on the turnout at the other end of the station. Bit late for that now. Note the PCB gapping - wing rails and crossing nose bonded together, and switch rails bonded to stock rails.

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0550_zpssxqypwfs.jpg)

I have built PCB sleeper track and pointwork in EM gauge a long time ago, and also a short section when I dabbled briefly in 2mm FS.  The most important thing is to get the crossing flat and level, and the blades lying snugly against the stock rails.  I filed a small flat on the insides of the stock rails where the blades rest against them.

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: kirky on September 17, 2016, 09:13:43 pm
@belstone (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=2569)
Thanks Richard. That's a terrific reply, all the info I needed.
Thanks for the photo too, it certainly helps in understanding what you've done.

So just to complicate things then, using your method of construction do you think it would be possible to convert fine trax straight points to curved ones if you cut away the sleepers and pasted them to a templot template? Just wondering.

Thanks again Richard, your work has cheered me up no end and since according to Mrs K and the K offspring I'm being a right miserable git at the moment.
Cheers
Kirky.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on September 18, 2016, 08:01:27 am


So just to complicate things then, using your method of construction do you think it would be possible to convert fine trax straight points to curved ones if you cut away the sleepers and pasted them to a templot template? Just wondering.

Thanks again Richard, your work has cheered me up no end and since according to Mrs K and the K offspring I'm being a right miserable git at the moment.
Cheers
Kirky.

There was an article in the 2mmFS magazine a few months ago on curving the almost identical Easitrac bases.  The idea is to cut away  the base leaving a central "spine" so that the whole thing doesn't fall to bits and the gap between sleepers is maintained.  It ends up very fragile until it is fixed down, so you are best building it on a balsa sub-base.  I tried flexing a turnout by cutting away the entire width between the sleepers (before the 2mm article came out) and that didn't really work.

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: kirky on September 19, 2016, 12:16:52 am
I think I'm going to have to join the 2mil association. I was talking to Mick Simpson of Wansbeck Road fame a couple of weeks ago, and he was showing me the brass sleepers that 2mmFS do in order to allow droppers to be soldered to them - very neat solution.

Cheers
Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on September 20, 2016, 09:29:37 pm
The postman brought small boxes of stuff so I have spent an hour or so happily adding bits to the station area.  While I was waiting I did a bit more to the station building - roof cappings are painted paper, as are the "lead" flashing strips in the corners.  I still need to add chimney pots but will leave them until later as they always seem to get knocked off.  The building is now glued down, but the gap at the base needs very carefully filling.

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0743_zpspuoxsusx.jpg)

The tree was the dreaded leprechaun's hat colour - possibly the brightest green I have ever seen.  Do people actually look at real trees before they manufacture this stuff?  Anyway I wafted some black spray paint over it, dipped it in the mixture of green flock in the bottom of my "flock box" and blasted it with hairspray to fix the flock in place.  I drilled a hole in the baseboard and set the tree in DAS clay.  Once it has dried I will blend the base in with the ground around it.  The garage is a Kestrel kit, just what I was looking for, it has had an inintial coat of black but needs a bit of weathering. You can also see some of the dry stone wall - interlocking bits of cast resin, very neat and easy to assemble.

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0744_zpsqbhkysaq.jpg)

I bought some etched spearpoint fencing many years ago but this is the first time I have been brave enough to use it as it is incredibly flimsy.  Painted with matt white car primer and secured in small slots in the platform with cyano.

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0746_zpsrgkzlnwz.jpg)

Finally the water tower, still a work in progress and not yet fixed in place.  I am now onto my sixth attempt at the water and it still looks rubbish. 

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0747_zps82xtnhbw.jpg)

I have realised that, bar a few details, the first 18 inches of the layout is scenically nearly complete. I have no idea how that happened.

Richard

P.S. Photobucket seems to have gone down while I was writing this - hopefully the photos will be back shortly.

Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Chris in Prague on September 20, 2016, 09:59:05 pm
Thanks for these photos., Richard. I think I have the same tree and I definitely have the same type of walls but mine are made from plaster not resin and need filing and filling before painting. The final results look surprisingly good. (I will post pictures when we get some sunshine.)

The overall effect of all your scenic work is excellent, better than I have achieved so far at Cant Cove. Highly realistic. All it needs is some figures to bring it to life.

How about a platelayer or two?
http://www.modelu3d.co.uk/product/ws020-pw-gang-with-fishplate-spanner/ (http://www.modelu3d.co.uk/product/ws020-pw-gang-with-fishplate-spanner/)

They come in N Scale as well as others. (I'm definitely going to treat myself to some of these excellent figures, later.)

I will also be buying similar (but SR-pattern) etched spearpoint fencing but won't be fitting it until I ahve the station buildings worked out and the station yard area completed due to, as you reminded me, such fencing's extreme fragility in N Scale.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Newportnobby on September 20, 2016, 10:12:14 pm
It's coming along extremely well :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on September 20, 2016, 10:21:32 pm
Thanks for these photos., Richard. I think I have the same tree and I definitely have the same type of walls but mine are made from plaster not resin and need filing and filling before painting. The final results look surprisingly good. (I will post pictures when we get some sunshine.)

The overall effect of all your scenic work is excellent, better than I have achieved so far at Cant Cove. Highly realistic. All it needs is some figures to bring it to life.

How about a platelayer or two?
[url]http://www.modelu3d.co.uk/product/ws020-pw-gang-with-fishplate-spanner/[/url] ([url]http://www.modelu3d.co.uk/product/ws020-pw-gang-with-fishplate-spanner/[/url])

They come in N Scale as well as others. (I'm definitely going to treat myself to some of these excellent figures, later.)

I will also be buying similar (but SR-pattern) etched spearpoint fencing but won't be fitting it until I ahve the station buildings worked out and the station yard area completed due to, as you reminded me, such fencing's extreme fragility in N Scale.


Actually the walls might be cast from plaster, it's a bit brittle whatever it is.  There won't be many little people on the layout - looking at photos of branch lines in the area, people is one thing they didn't have (which is why they all closed well before Beeching).  But there will be a few.

Thank you for your kind comments about my scenery.  I try to avoid bright colours which seems to work quite well, I don't like anything to stand out too much.  I briefly toyed with the idea of actually building a model railway in "black and white" i.e. fifty shades of grey :) for that steam-era look, but then decided that was a bit too barking mad even for me.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: kirky on September 20, 2016, 10:24:26 pm
@belstone (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=2569)
Hi Richard
I like the water tank. I know the picture showing the water maybe doesnt give it the best angle, but really I cant see a problem with the water in your tank. Looks very effective to me.
Love the fencing, looks excellent.
I think youre right about trees though, they never look realistic, even the expensive ones are a bit rubbish in my opinion. They almost always need toning down. Having said that, I enjoyed making trees on Norhallerton, I found it quite therapeutic.
Its looking really good Richard. And all in such a short space of time.

Cheers
Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on September 20, 2016, 11:06:13 pm
@belstone ([url]http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=2569[/url])
Hi Richard
I like the water tank. I know the picture showing the water maybe doesnt give it the best angle, but really I cant see a problem with the water in your tank. Looks very effective to me.
Love the fencing, looks excellent.
I think youre right about trees though, they never look realistic, even the expensive ones are a bit rubbish in my opinion. They almost always need toning down. Having said that, I enjoyed making trees on Norhallerton, I found it quite therapeutic.
Its looking really good Richard. And all in such a short space of time.

Cheers
Kirky


Thank you for the kind comments. Small layouts are good in that you can see a lot of progress very quickly, but I'm already starting to think "what do I build next?" The other baseboard isn't likely to take too long as it is mostly buildings which I have already constructed. Few roads and pavements, a level crossing and a bit of rough ground is all.  Then I can get on and build some locos for it, maybe take it to a couple of shows.

I think I need to do something different next time.  Longframlington is basically my previous layout "Belstone" with some of the worst mistakes corrected.  I'm thinking 2mm finescale, 1930s and probably the Great Northern in Lincolnshire. Spilsby looks promising:

http://www.disused-stations.org.uk/s/spilsby/ (http://www.disused-stations.org.uk/s/spilsby/)
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Roy L S on September 20, 2016, 11:13:53 pm
Hi Richard

Longframlington is looking excellent already and your modelling is certainly an inspiration to me and an encouragement for me to lift my game in design and execution of my next layout.

I am so torn between using FiNetrax on my next layout and the alternative of carefully weathered Peco Streamline, mainly due to my lack of confidence on making point kits well enough. Your layout clearly shows the benefits of Wayne's excellent products and I think I will give a further point kit a try before finally deciding.

Please keep posting the updates!

Kind Regards

Roy
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Webbo on September 20, 2016, 11:50:46 pm
Hi Richard

Your muted colours and uncluttered layout really does look realistic. I like what you have done very much. A fine example of less is more in layout construction.

Webbo
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on September 21, 2016, 09:26:17 am
Hi Richard

Your muted colours and uncluttered layout really does look realistic. I like what you have done very much. A fine example of less is more in layout construction.

Webbo

Thanks for that. The minimalist approach doesn't appeal to everyone, but I like the feeling of space that it gives, even on a small baseboard.  As discussed on another thread, people tend to model what they see around them, and I have lived most of my life surrounded by wide open countryside so I suppose that is reflected in my modelling.  The other end of the layout will be more of a challenge for me - houses, shops and stuff. My dream job would probably be signalman at somewhere like Dent or Blea Moor :)

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Webbo on September 21, 2016, 09:43:27 am
Richard

Houses and shops are part of life and are necessarily more busy looking than more countryside scenes, but even so they don't have to look crammed together. As you say, the minimalist approach does not appeal to everyone. Stick with it in my opinion.

Webbo

   
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Bealman on September 21, 2016, 09:57:09 am
Dunno about signalman at Dent or Blea Moor... bit far to pub!

I did stay in the Sun for a night in Dent in 2014, though. Great meal and great playing dominoes with the locals.  :beers:
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: maridunian on September 21, 2016, 11:45:50 am
I have realised that, bar a few details, the first 18 inches of the layout is scenically nearly complete. I have no idea how that happened.

Excellent modelling - the emptiness and feeling of space is so authentic. The consistency of stone colours across the buildings, walls and trackbed (not always seen in layouts ..) is especially realistic!

The building is now glued down, but the gap at the base needs very carefully filling.

Maybe since services dropped off, some weeds would start sprouting, just there?
 
Mike
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on September 23, 2016, 06:00:39 pm
A couple more details.  The stationmaster now has an Austin A30 which should fit comfortably in the garage. I must get on with the fence and gate in front of the garden.

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0764_zpsl8bu6prn.jpg)

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0765_zpsst4hblu8.jpg)

And the local coal merchant has a Ford 7V flatbed, probably war surplus and getting on a bit by 1962, but coal lorries tended to have a fairly long life.  So Longframlington has temporarily relocated to Ayrshire, allowing me to recreate on of my favourite photos, taken by Derek Cross in 1958 on the Heads of Ayr branch.  My Ford seems to have survived better than the Scottish one which was being used as a platform for coal bagging.

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0756_zpsqnoa5eum.jpg)

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0763_zpsrzegdnhm.jpg)

Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: kirky on September 23, 2016, 06:20:24 pm
@belstone (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=2569)
Hi Richard. Nice work. I see you've gone north of the border.. the only place to be for steam layouts in my opinion... not that I know anything about steam railways.
Is that a 4P? Is it an old Farish one with pizza cutter wheels? If it is, does it run on the code 40 track work?

Remind me again, is that garage a kit? Its not a Metcalf kit is it?

Cheers
Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on September 23, 2016, 06:29:50 pm

Hi Richard. Nice work. I see you've gone north of the border.. the only place to be for steam layouts in my opinion... not that I know anything about steam railways.
Is that a 4P? Is it an old Farish one with pizza cutter wheels? If it is, does it run on the code 40 track work?

Remind me again, is that garage a kit? Its not a Metcalf kit is it?

Cheers
Kirky


Long story behind the loco: http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=33038.0 (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=33038.0)

It developed severe stage fright at the Bressingham show and stopped dead in a shower of sparks. I can't be bothered to investigate at the moment but it might run again one day.

The garage is a Kestrel kit and yes, I am getting lazy, buying something that simple instead of building it from Plastikard like I should have done. But it's nice.

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: kirky on September 23, 2016, 07:02:09 pm
@belstone (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=2569)
Ah thanks Richard. A 2P. Told you I new nothing about steam railways.
Very interesting read - much more intertesting that watching the Mr Men DVDs that the twins are insisting I put on the telly.
Really ingenious stuff, it would be a shame to not have that running on Longframlington. You'll have to change those bogie wheels anyway, and that might have been the cause of your sparks shower? Worth a look surely?

Yes, I like that garage. Nothing wrong woith using kits, and scratch building is only necessary if you cant get what you need imho.

Cheers
Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Chris in Prague on September 24, 2016, 04:30:46 pm
Very nice work. Thanks for the updates.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Newportnobby on September 24, 2016, 04:48:26 pm
Love the A30 as my parents used to have one. We had 8 people and a Labrador in it and my Dad had to drive with the windows open so we could all breathe at the same time!
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on September 24, 2016, 10:20:42 pm
Love the A30 as my parents used to have one. We had 8 people and a Labrador in it and my Dad had to drive with the windows open so we could all breathe at the same time!

Mostly children I presume.  An A30 wasn't a very wide car. We managed seven (driver and six eight year old boys) in a Mk1 Escort Mexico. The driver was the older brother of one of my schoolfriends.  He hadn't long passed his test and was showing off.  Scariest ride of my life.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: daveg on September 25, 2016, 08:11:08 am
I had and loved my A30. It was a 4 door version - the rear doors were tiny!

Sorry, back to railways; the garage looks good and I'd be happy to know where you got the A30 model.

Dave G
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on September 25, 2016, 09:04:19 am
I had and loved my A30. It was a 4 door version - the rear doors were tiny!

Sorry, back to railways; the garage looks good and I'd be happy to know where you got the A30 model.

Dave G


It came from an Austin enthusiast on Ebay.  He has a couple more for sale.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/AUSTIN-A30-N-GAUGE-PAINTED-MODEL-COURT-GREY-CREAM-/191968205145?hash=item2cb2325959:g:xfIAAOSwi0RX1TJm (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/AUSTIN-A30-N-GAUGE-PAINTED-MODEL-COURT-GREY-CREAM-/191968205145?hash=item2cb2325959:g:xfIAAOSwi0RX1TJm)

Good 1950s/60s N gauge road vehicles seem hard to find, especially with glazing.  A lot of them are just solid lumps of resin or whitemetal. Commercial vehicles are especially difficult, at least I struggled but perhaps I have been looking in the wrong places.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: daveg on September 25, 2016, 09:22:40 am
Take a look at BT Models who offer a range of commercial vehicles and a few buses in N.

http://www.ayrey.co.uk/reframe.asp?items.asp?id=308 (http://www.ayrey.co.uk/reframe.asp?items.asp?id=308)

Scroll to page 2.

Hopefully you can find a few there that suit.

Dave G
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Newportnobby on September 25, 2016, 09:38:52 am
Love the A30 as my parents used to have one. We had 8 people and a Labrador in it and my Dad had to drive with the windows open so we could all breathe at the same time!

Mostly children I presume.  An A30 wasn't a very wide car.

In those days of no seat belts it wasn't an issue for kids to sit on adults laps ;)
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on September 25, 2016, 09:47:10 am

In those days of no seat belts it wasn't an issue for kids to sit on adults laps ;)

Amazing we all lived into adulthood.  I used to sit in the front passenger seat of my Dad's Anglia and change gear for him, aged six.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on September 25, 2016, 07:30:06 pm
The two halves of the layout are now reunited on temporary trestles so that I can sort out the remaining profile boards.

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0766_zps7hkwlgue.jpg)

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0768_zpsfytukmqk.jpg)

The stepped sections at the back are to provide support for the half relief terrace houses, the backscene boards will bolt directly onto them and hopefully not leave an unsightly gap.

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0767_zps85hpqcco.jpg)

Buildings temporarily in position so I can start marking out the roads.  The pavements will need narrowing.

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0769_zps4un1wumn.jpg)

This last photo bothers me.  Station at one end, houses at the other and a big gap in between.  I'm going to spend the evening staring at that gap and wondering how to fill it.  At the moment it doesn't look right to me.  The layout is a bit unbalanced if you see what I mean.  Or maybe I'm unbalanced. There is room for another pair of cottages like the two in the middle which I think will help, and maybe some kind of low relief building opposite them.

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0770_zpsyc1mtnp5.jpg)

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Chris in Prague on September 25, 2016, 08:25:24 pm
Thanks for an update. How about allotments or a pasture with a couple of horses to fill the gap?
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: DCCDave on September 25, 2016, 08:39:46 pm
This last photo bothers me.  Station at one end, houses at the other and a big gap in between.  I'm going to spend the evening staring at that gap and wondering how to fill it.  At the moment it doesn't look right to me.  The layout is a bit unbalanced if you see what I mean.  Or maybe I'm unbalanced. There is room for another pair of cottages like the two in the middle which I think will help, and maybe some kind of low relief building opposite them.

'Station Road' perhaps. Typically with an Inn (pub downstairs, B & B accommodation upstairs), butchers, bakers, chippy...and perhaps a church with graveyard (it will be the dead centre of the layout :) ) or a village green?

Cheers
Dave
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on September 25, 2016, 08:58:25 pm
Thanks for the suggestions, the problem is a lack of space.  I have the station access road, a strip about an inch wide between the road and the backscene, and an awkward triangle of land between the road and the railway. At the moment I'm thinking of going for the third pair of cottages, another half-relief pair opposite (or possibly some other kind of building, maybe the frontage for a Methodist chapel?), and a small half-relief bicycle repair shop next door.  The area between the station and houses will anyway look a bit less bare once I have put up some fencing, telegraph poles and a signal, plus a couple of cars parked on the station approach road. And it will look a bit better with the backscene in place.

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: kirky on September 25, 2016, 09:05:42 pm
@belstone (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=2569)
Trees Richard. Fill the space with trees. You cant have enough trees in my opinion.

But of course thats just my opinion.

Cheers
Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Chris in Prague on September 25, 2016, 09:33:56 pm
A small Non-Conformist chapel (maybe made of corrugated iron?) sounds an excellent idea.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Newportnobby on September 25, 2016, 09:34:39 pm
Maybe a bit radical but how about doing away with the level crossing and put a road over bridge in the gap...........surrounded by trees for Kirky ;D
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Chris in Prague on September 25, 2016, 09:37:05 pm
A road overbridge with embankments would make a nice scenic break. The embankments could have a few trees and bushes.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: kirky on September 25, 2016, 09:50:26 pm
Nooooo
You can't make Richard throw away his level crossing gates - they are a thing of beauty. Anyway we want to see them working ;)

cheers
Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on September 25, 2016, 11:07:12 pm
You'd have to go a long way back in the thread to find it, but the reason I didn't use a road overbridge as a scenic break is that the layout would then have been identical to my previous one except with fewer sidings, which is why I decided to try using buildings as a scenic break instead. This chapel at Earsdon, a few miles north of Newcastle on the coast road, is the sort of thing I have in mind:

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/earsdon-village-methodist-church-north-east-england-uk-DWNB01_zpsoses8iy1.jpg)

I found a small cottage in the bits left over from my farm to pub conversion, which will be ideal for the cycle repair shop.  These sort of small workshops with living area above were quite common in rural areas - there was one very similar in the village where I grew up, where an old man with a long beard repaired lawnmowers. Just needs a hand painted sign above the door and a couple of bikes propped up outside.

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0771_zpsrthlt4ad.jpg)

I might also put a platelayers' hut somewhere. As for working crossing gates - sadly I've had to bin this idea as the crossing sits between two turnouts and the point motors take up all the space under the board.

Richard

Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Chris in Prague on September 26, 2016, 09:57:42 am
Nooooo
You can't make Richard throw away his level crossing gates - they are a thing of beauty. Anyway we want to see them working ;)

cheers
Kirky

That's very true: they are excellent level crossing gates.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on September 26, 2016, 02:48:18 pm
Thinking this morning about the fiddle yard.  I want to get rid of that turnout (which might give me enough room for powered crossing gates after all).  There isn't really enough room for a train turntable, and a traverser would mean some major structural alterations to clear the mechanism.  So the choice is between a pivoting sector plate or cassettes. In both cases accurate rail alignment and reliable power feed are the main issues: at least with a sector plate I can feed all the roads direct and put isolating sections at the far end, so that just leaves accurate alignment.  More thinking needed (I think).

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: kirky on September 26, 2016, 07:56:59 pm
@belstone (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=2569)

Thinking this morning about the fiddle yard.  I want to get rid of that turnout (which might give me enough room for powered crossing gates after all).  There isn't really enough room for a train turntable, and a traverser would mean some major structural alterations to clear the mechanism.  So the choice is between a pivoting sector plate or cassettes. In both cases accurate rail alignment and reliable power feed are the main issues: at least with a sector plate I can feed all the roads direct and put isolating sections at the far end, so that just leaves accurate alignment.  More thinking needed (I think).

Richard

Or a traverser ?

Alignment is always difficult from something like a sector plate or traverser.
I would have thought lining up cassettes is easiest once you've set up a female receiving end, which could act as your power supply too. I think there are some good examples in the 2mmfs world.

Cheers
Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on September 26, 2016, 08:33:28 pm
Now I have got home and looked at the layout I think it will have to be cassettes as the point control panel would get in the way of a sector plate, and the panel supports are stuck to the baseboard with Tigerseal, so it isn't going to be easy to move. Cassettes make loco turning easy - just turn the whole train round and try not to drop it on the floor :) I have just been looking at aluminium channel, 40 x 25 x 2mm in 500mm lengths which I think would do nicely with lengths of code 80 glued to it.  It's made to a consistent size which makes horizontal alignment easy, it just needs to slot between two pieces of ali angle glued to the baseboard at each end. The Finetrax rail tops are around 6.2mm above baseboard level (including the balsa trackbed), code 80 is around 4.2mm - perfect. A couple of spring steel tongues bearing on the cassette end will take care of vertical alignment which just leaves power.  Simplest solution - a pair of flying leads and small crocodile clips at the far end of the fiddle yard.  This might be easier than I thought.

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Newportnobby on September 26, 2016, 08:40:14 pm
I've seen many a smallish layout at shows using cassettes made from 'L' shaped aluminium (or aluminum for our US members) with either track in them or no track at all (the edges of the aluminium are used as track) and powered via crocodile clips.
They always seem to work pretty faultlessly.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: kirky on September 26, 2016, 10:43:28 pm
Thats exactly what I was thinking Mick.
And I like those cassette systems where by the power is directly transfered from the female end to the aluminium angle sides - kind of a springy lip on each side. Hard to describe easy to see with a picture
Theres something here
http://yourmodelrailway.net/view_topic.php?id=11121&forum_id=21&jump_to=227801 (http://yourmodelrailway.net/view_topic.php?id=11121&forum_id=21&jump_to=227801)

but I just googled .model railway cassette alignment and clicked on images and there are loads - mainly from larger scales but hey ho.

Cheers
Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: JasonBz on September 27, 2016, 12:59:33 am
I am still a keen reader on here, even if my slight modelling doings of late have been not very NGF friendly :P

To hold cassettes to the fixed entry port from the main layout I can think of nothing that works as well as Bulldog Clips.....
They give alignment and power transfer in one easy clip :)
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on September 28, 2016, 10:50:40 pm
I'm not going to do any more scenic work on the layout until I have this fiddle yard issue sorted out. I'm messing about with odd bits including a working signal and the Methodist chapel frontage mentioned earlier, but nothing very exciting. At some point I will have to finish off the roofs on all my card buildings which is even less exciting. So to cheer myself up I took some photos of Longframlington looking a bit busier and more prosperous than usual, with a special train for Rothbury races awaiting departure, and plenty of freight traffic.

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0776_zpsm1u94xqa.jpg)

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0779_zps44nvw74v.jpg)

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0782_zpsvuhg4guo.jpg)

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Chris in Prague on September 29, 2016, 05:51:15 am
Thanks for the update, Richard. A fine set of photos. I like your variety of differently weathered vans (many are kit-built, I think). I hope you're able to sort out the fiddle yard, soon, so that you can continue with the scenic work.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on September 29, 2016, 10:07:38 am
Thanks for the update, Richard. A fine set of photos. I like your variety of differently weathered vans (many are kit-built, I think). I hope you're able to sort out the fiddle yard, soon, so that you can continue with the scenic work.

Yes, most of the vans are old Parkwood kits built in the bad old days when commercial N gauge was hard to get hold of.  These days we are spoilt for choice with BR rolling stock, about the only thing you can't buy RTR is a Palvan and I'm sure Farish will do one before long.  A decent plate wagon would be nice as well, the old Peco one doesn't really hack it these days but then it does date back to 1967. Next year I think is the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the Peco N gauge wagon range, I wonder if they are planning anything special?  Maybe the Lowmac that they showed at the 1966 Toy Fair and still haven't got round to making :)

This evening I am hopefully taking delivery of my new train cupboard, a pine wardrobe just big enough to store the layout, with a couple of drawers underneath for the stock, controller and other bits.  This should mean I can take out each half of the layout, work on it, then store it away so it doesn't get damaged or covered in dust.

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Bealman on September 29, 2016, 10:24:26 am
Love the bit about the lowmac!

However, seems like recent memories to me.....

I hate getting old!

There is no doubt in my mind that Peco championed British N Gauge.

A few mistakes along the way too, but hey, the company had long term visions, when you think about it.

Some N and 2FS enthusiasts sometimes seem to forget, or I guess, are unaware of it.

 :beers:
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on September 29, 2016, 11:03:53 am
Love the bit about the lowmac!

However, seems like recent memories to me.....

I hate getting old!

There is no doubt in my mind that Peco championed British N Gauge.

A few mistakes along the way too, but hey, the company had long term visions, when you think about it.

Some N and 2FS enthusiasts sometimes seem to forget, or I guess, are unaware of it.

 :beers:

They showed an MGR hopper at the same fair, and it only took them about forty years to get that one into production. Incidentally this was a couple of years before I was born, I'm not that old but have a big pile of old Railway Modellers :)  You're right, Peco really threw their weight behind N gauge right at the start, I think Streamline flexi track and large radius points were 1965/66, the Minitrix Mk1 coaches started out as a Peco project, they made cast metal loco kits to fit Arnold chassis, buildings. scenic accessories etc at a time when you couldn't buy a single British outline RTR loco. I think they also set the British N standard of 1:148 on 9mm gauge track.

So yes, we all owe Peco a lot.

Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on September 29, 2016, 12:22:56 pm
Just to remind myself what I'm trying to achieve here, last night I watched this again:

http://www.videoscene.co.uk/marsden-rail-34-steam-in-the-north-east.html (http://www.videoscene.co.uk/marsden-rail-34-steam-in-the-north-east.html)

The last ten minutes are pure gold - passenger and freight on the Wansbeck Valley, Rothbury and Alnwick branches. Every time I watch it I spot a couple more little details that I can add to my layout. If you have any interest in North-Eastern steam (especially J27s, Q6s, K1s etc) I can't recommend this video highly enough.

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Bealman on September 29, 2016, 12:25:29 pm
Even though it seems like yesterday to me, the period 1966-67 was an important one. N gauge started taking off in Europe, and Peco introduced a white metal Hymek kit to suit an Arnold chassis.

As Belstone suggests, it was probably the time that Peco introduced their Code 80 Streamline track (009 crazy track also) and of course, with the increased space that N allows, their long points. They had plastic frogs at the time, of course.

They also introduced a range of N buildings and plasticard building materials which are still used today.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Bealman on September 29, 2016, 12:28:13 pm
Sorry.... thread hijack.

Late night here in Australia and I'm off to bed.  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: kirky on September 29, 2016, 08:21:52 pm
Love the bit about the lowmac!

However, seems like recent memories to me.....

I hate getting old!

There is no doubt in my mind that Peco championed British N Gauge.

A few mistakes along the way too, but hey, the company had long term visions, when you think about it.

Some N and 2FS enthusiasts sometimes seem to forget, or I guess, are unaware of it.

 :beers:

They showed an MGR hopper at the same fair, and it only took them about forty years to get that one into production. Incidentally this was a couple of years before I was born, I'm not that old but have a big pile of old Railway Modellers :)  You're right, Peco really threw their weight behind N gauge right at the start, I think Streamline flexi track and large radius points were 1965/66, the Minitrix Mk1 coaches started out as a Peco project, they made cast metal loco kits to fit Arnold chassis, buildings. scenic accessories etc at a time when you couldn't buy a single British outline RTR loco. I think they also set the British N standard of 1:148 on 9mm gauge track.

So yes, we all owe Peco a lot.



And here's me thinking the 142 was a bit late. It's nothing compared to the low Mac or mgr for that matter. :D :D

In all seriousness though, that is very interesting info that I was unaware of.  So thanks for that Richard.

I'm loving this thread Richard. Some really great gems of information.

Getting back to the subject of the fiddle yard, I think cassettes are definitely the way to go in this case. How long will the longest cassette need to be ? I ask because I think once they end up over about three feet they become awkward to turn. A good idea to build in some sort of drop down end stop to prevent trains falling out.

Cheers
Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on September 29, 2016, 08:23:24 pm
Train cupboard is here!

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0788_zpsnuh9ms4d.jpg)

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0789_zpssm91m5ne.jpg)

The fiddle yard board is a tight fit due to the bolts sticking out of one end, and I need to put some rails in to make sure the boards don't rub against each other.  But I think that was £40 well spent.  There might even be enough room for the trestles and backscenes when I get round to making them.

Richard



Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on September 29, 2016, 08:35:03 pm


Getting back to the subject of the fiddle yard, I think cassettes are definitely the way to go in this case. How long will the longest cassette need to be ? I ask because I think once they end up over about three feet they become awkward to turn. A good idea to build in some sort of drop down end stop to prevent trains falling out.

Cheers
Kirky

The first few will be 500mm (about 20 inches) which shouldn't be too awkward to handle. I've ordered four 500mm lengths of aluminium channel. The longest train that the layout will cope with is four coaches (just) which is a bit over 600mm with loco so I might make one longer cassette for special workings.  I've been thinking about some kind of pivoting flap at the ends to prevent Tay Bridge-style disasters.

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Newportnobby on September 29, 2016, 08:37:23 pm
Very neat!
All that for £40 and a pair of drawers thrown in ;D ;)
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Innovationgame on September 30, 2016, 06:35:16 am
That looks like a brilliant solution to a tight situation.  Well done! :bounce:
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: kirky on September 30, 2016, 06:06:46 pm
I had a wardrobe like that once, I wonder what happened to it?

I noticed you have several layouts worth of ballast left in that bag at the bottom of the wardrobe. Mustn't let that go to waste. :D

cheers
Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: gc4946 on September 30, 2016, 09:40:28 pm
Train cupboard is here!

([url]http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0788_zpsnuh9ms4d.jpg[/url])

([url]http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0789_zpssm91m5ne.jpg[/url])

The fiddle yard board is a tight fit due to the bolts sticking out of one end, and I need to put some rails in to make sure the boards don't rub against each other.  But I think that was £40 well spent.  There might even be enough room for the trestles and backscenes when I get round to making them.

Richard


Good that you've got your models contained within your wardrobe and drawers. It keeps everything tidy, clean and ultimately free of dust.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on September 30, 2016, 09:57:12 pm
I had a wardrobe like that once, I wonder what happened to it?

I noticed you have several layouts worth of ballast left in that bag at the bottom of the wardrobe. Mustn't let that go to waste. :D

cheers
Kirky

I wondered how long it would take for someone to spot the lizard sand.  If I keep building micro layouts there's a lifetime supply there.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: JasonBz on October 01, 2016, 12:32:43 am
When I saw the bag with Desert Sand I thought you had a secret plan to go Western Region with a Thousand in that colour :D
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Chris in Prague on October 01, 2016, 08:30:33 pm
The train cupboard is an excellent solution. I wonder whether Cant Cove would fit in one? 8-)
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on October 02, 2016, 07:07:09 pm
Today I started work on my redesigned fiddle yard.  Note that Finetrax cannot be lifted intact for reuse however carefully you try.  After a bit of messing about with knife blades etc I just took a broad chisel to the whole lot, removing all the track and trackbed up to the level crossing.  The cassettes are aluminium channel with Setrack glued in place, using spacers at the end to ensure that the track is dead central in the channel.  I cut a short piece of channel to attach to the baseboard as an alignment guide, then bridged the gap between level crossing and fiddle yard with a short piece of Setrack, with the base carefully packed to ensure it met level with the Finetrax. This section of track is partly within the scenic area but hidden behind the pub, so with plenty of ballasting it should not be too noticeable.

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0790_zpsrqzhnvdo.jpg)

The cassette is held in alignment by two brass pins bearing on the inner corners, and phosphor bronze wipers on the outside transmit the current.  It all looks a bit Heath Robinson but seems to work OK so far.  I have only done the contact pads and wiring on one of the cassettes so far.  I have made up three - two at 500mm and one at 350mm.  I have enough channel section for one more cassette but have run out of track.

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0792_zpselupfd7i.jpg)

The 500mm cassettes will handle the length of trains I want to run.  They overhang the end of the board a little but that shouldn't be a problem.  I need to fit the removable end stops and also build in a rerailing ramp as there is not a lot of clearance for fingers within the channel.

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0794_zpssynftcpm.jpg)

Despite not having run since I started the scenery, the layout seems to still work.  I have started tidying up the electrics a bit, need a DIN plug and a couple of sockets for the controller so I can operate the layout from either side. Meanwhile I'll have to get on with the scenic stuff, no excuses now.

Richard 
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Chris in Prague on October 02, 2016, 07:09:16 pm
Glad it's going well, Richard. Thanks for the update.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Innovationgame on October 02, 2016, 07:58:37 pm
It looks as though perseverance is one of your positive virtues!
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: cornish yorkie on October 02, 2016, 08:57:07 pm
 :hellosign: Thanks for the explanation & updates, looking very interesting
regards Derek.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: kirky on October 07, 2016, 05:50:33 pm
Thanks Richard. Neat solution that for joint my set track to code 40. Have you run a train through it yet?
Cheers
Kirky.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on November 07, 2016, 10:20:02 pm
No layout progress over the last month due to other commitments.  Maybe the layout cupboard is not such a good idea after all - out of sight, out of mind :(  However, I was thinking the other evening that I don't actually have any "correct" locos yet, so I dug out my half-finished J27 and had a bit of a blitz on it.  Here it is in cruel close-up, showing all its faults.  It looks a bit better in real life, and will look better still with some weathering and a bit of finishing off.  A front coupler might not be a bad thing as well, on a shunting engine.

(http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx178/glencoyne/DSCN0839_zpsjfpe8xip.jpg)

65789, one of the first J27s built, was a North Blyth engine for almost all its life, and ended up having the longest working life of all the J27s, finally going for scrap in July 1967 at 61 years of age.  This loco worked the Wansbeck Valley line on several occasions, including some of the demolition trains when the track was being lifted after the branch closed in 1966.  So it seemed a good choice for my model.

Richard

Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: jrb on March 13, 2017, 04:51:12 pm
@belstone (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=2569)

Richard,

Have you done any more on this recently? Just re-read the entire thread as I'm thinking of doing a small end-to-end layout in Finetrax, so thought I'd bump it...  :D
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Newportnobby on March 22, 2017, 08:31:44 pm
@belstone (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=2569)

 :bump:

Are you still with us, Richard, as not only have I been following your layout construction but also your coupling designs?
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on March 22, 2017, 09:38:39 pm
@belstone ([url]http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=2569[/url])

 :bump:

Are you still with us, Richard, as not only have I been following your layout construction but also your coupling designs?


I'm still alive, but for various reasons I haven't done any modelling over the last few months, apart from resurrecting a very early production Union Mills J39 which had been bodged almost beyond repair and now has one of those Chinese coreless motors in it. Sometimes I just leave the layout alone for months at a time and find other things to do, then come back full of enthusiasm.  I might dig it out of storage this weekend and see if anything still works.

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on August 20, 2017, 09:06:38 am
I'm back! Modelling had to take a back seat due to other commitments for a few months, and when I restarted work I ran into the Photobucket shambles and couldn't be bothered to find another host (although my old PB photos still seem to be showing up for now).  I'm now trying Smugmug so this post is just a test, using a photo of the layout as it was a couple of months ago.  61184 is a St Margarets B1 and destined for my next, massively ambitious project (Shankend station and viaduct on the Waverley route) so it is a bit out of place here.  More on Longframlington to follow when I have taken some photos of latest developments.

Richard

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-t653j5N/0/9c174dbc/L/DSCN1066-L.jpg)
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: paulprice on August 20, 2017, 09:27:35 am
I'm back! Modelling had to take a back seat due to other commitments for a few months, and when I restarted work I ran into the Photobucket shambles and couldn't be bothered to find another host (although my old PB photos still seem to be showing up for now).  I'm now trying Smugmug so this post is just a test, using a photo of the layout as it was a couple of months ago.  61184 is a St Margarets B1 and destined for my next, massively ambitious project (Shankend station and viaduct on the Waverley route) so it is a bit out of place here.  More on Longframlington to follow when I have taken some photos of latest developments.

Richard

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-t653j5N/0/9c174dbc/L/DSCN1066-L.jpg)

Richard

Its great to see you back

Paul
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on August 20, 2017, 09:41:22 am
A few photos showing the current state of play.  Everything is temporary at this stage, none of the buildings, fences etc at the "village" end are glued down and I still have a lot of rough edges to sort out.  But it's coming on slowly.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-2fvbNBf/0/506f0915/L/DSCF3005-L.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-DjJXnbG/0/4476745b/L/DSCF3004-L.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-2jSXWMP/0/054555ac/L/DSCF3006-L.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-F2CfXmt/0/ba7bfc53/L/DSCF3007-L.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-Q6HtBtb/0/b84565e5/L/DSCF3008-L.jpg)
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Roy L S on August 20, 2017, 10:20:33 am
Lovely modelling. I look forward very keenly to seeing Shankend develop!

Roy
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Maurits71 on August 20, 2017, 10:32:15 am
second that, always a joy to see your updates
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Bealman on August 20, 2017, 10:41:00 am
It looks great!

I am a huge fan of bay platforms and sweeping pointwork into stations.  :thumbsup:

Top stuff!  :beers:
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Newportnobby on August 20, 2017, 11:14:03 am
I like it, Richard :thumbsup:
Am intrigued by your locos. Have you weathered them yourself? Some cruel close ups would be appreciated :)
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Chris in Prague on August 20, 2017, 11:40:16 am
Lovely modelling. I look forward very keenly to seeing Shankend develop!

Roy

Seconded! Great to have such a good update after a long while.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on August 20, 2017, 07:48:51 pm
Lovely modelling. I look forward very keenly to seeing Shankend develop!

Roy

You might have a while to wait, that one is in the preliminary planning (i.e. day-dreaming) stage. I need a house with a spare double bedroom or heated garage before I can start construction. It needs to be at least 12' x 8' and preferably bigger, and even at that size I'll have to compress everything a fair bit to get it all in. Same problem as with nearly all the Waverley stations -not enough scenic breaks in the right places.

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on August 21, 2017, 09:17:49 am
I like it, Richard :thumbsup:
Am intrigued by your locos. Have you weathered them yourself? Some cruel close ups would be appreciated :)

I'm about half way through weathering them.  My technique is to start with an overall wash of "dirty thinners" (mix of black / brown / grey paint to make a nice mucky colour, then heavily diluted, brushed on and then tidied up with cotton buds) followed by dry brushing with dark rusty colours to highlight springs, cab edges and other rust-prone bits, then the odd streak of light grey around bits that leak water (washout  plugs etc), finally a coat of matt varnish to tidy it all up.  These two locos got held up while I tried to find a decent matt varnish as Humbrol is terrible, I used it on an etched brass loco I built for my father's birthday, and now I have to strip it back to bare metal and start again.  It really is that bad, the loco looks as though it has been left out in the snow, and looking at online reviews of the stuff I'm not the only person to have had problems.

The answer seems to be Winsor & Newton artists varnish, available from most art supplies shops. I tried it on  an old Lima horsebox and it came out fine with no frosting or shiny patches, although it is a lot slower drying than the Humbrol stuff. I haven't tried it through an airbrush yet.

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Newportnobby on August 21, 2017, 09:52:22 am
Thanks for the response. Acrylics or enamels please?
Think I'd prefer acrylics :hmmm:
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: kirky on August 21, 2017, 03:36:48 pm
Great that you are back modelling again Richard. Just love that pointwork, its such a superior look to peco points.
I should really get back to moddling my own finescale layout ...  time always seems to be the problem.

cheers
Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: maridunian on August 21, 2017, 06:53:45 pm
I like it, Richard :thumbsup:
Am intrigued by your locos. Have you weathered them yourself? Some cruel close ups would be appreciated :)
These two locos got held up while I tried to find a decent matt varnish

I'm a big fan of Games Workshop/Citadel "Purity Seal"; douse for a satin finish, or gently waft for flat matt.

Mike
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on August 28, 2017, 09:37:33 pm
Not much modelling time this weekend but I have added a few details...

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-kDW52tL/0/fc1a029b/L/DSCF3001%20%282%29-L.jpg)

I have wanted to try static grass for a while, so I bought an applicator and tried a small test patch near the signalbox.  The results weren't great, too much glue, too many fibres and it came out rather too even and uniform.  So I made up a few 30' track panels using some leftover Finetrax components and dumped them over the offending grass.  I have also scattered a few individual Finetrax sleepers around the place.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-mFFBQTf/0/b3300bf3/L/DSCF3003%20%282%29-L.jpg)

Langley yard crane built and painted, still needs the base blending in to the ground around it.  Not quite correct pattern for a North British yard crane, but it will do.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-2qLDwnq/0/7ce8747a/L/DSCF3004%20%282%29-L.jpg)

The crossing gates can be opened manually although the pivot point is not ideal and you get a bit of a gap between gate and post when they are open.  Lineside fencing is about done now, and I'm starting to feel quite pleased with this end of the layout, it looks believable at least to my eyes.

Now waiting for more static grass fibres of different lengths and colours so I can finally glue down and "bed in" the buildings and fencing. At some point I might get round to running trains again but not while there is still glue and paint being waved around.

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: PeteW on August 28, 2017, 11:01:51 pm
Glad to see the updates coming, Richard. This is one of my favourite layouts!
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Chris in Prague on August 29, 2017, 08:15:22 am
Glad to see the updates coming, Richard. This is one of my favourite layouts!

Seconded! The 'urban' area is looking very good. Your scenic work is excellent. If you don't already have a small hand-held vacuum cleaner, I'd advise investing in one to ensure that everywhere is thoroughly clean before running any trains, again. Not only glue (and paint) but small particles that come loose are not good for N Gauge trains. I'm also planning to try out static grass, along the front embankment of Cant Cove, so I'm looking forward to learning from your trials.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: port perran on August 29, 2017, 08:28:02 am
Great stuff.
It's the scenic side of things that interests me mostly and this is very good indeed.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Train Waiting on August 29, 2017, 08:36:07 am
Thank you; these are lovely pictures.  Particularly the last one in the evening light. It ought to be after opening time by now...

Best wishes.

John
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: kirky on August 30, 2017, 08:10:32 am
Lovely modelling Richard. Its looking good. And you cant tell what the scale is so for me that it is some kind of test that Longframlington passes with flyng colours.
Cheers
Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Bealman on August 30, 2017, 08:38:15 am
A very good point, Kirky.

Thumbs up from Oz!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on September 04, 2017, 08:10:40 am
A bit of fiddly stuff over the weekend, tidying up some rough edges and starting to glue down various bits of scenery and add details.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-WCvrdft/0/13d1ec90/L/DSCF3003-L.jpg)

The benches are Chinese plastic items, widely available on eBay and actually rather nice.  They come in a rather lairy orange and black paint finish (Glasgow PTE?) so I have given them an initial coat of grey while I decide what colour they ought to be. Probably weathered wood i.e. grey, but with painted wrought iron ends.

The signal is a slightly wonky attempt at a North British lattice post affair, using MSE etched components. This is my second attempt - the lattice posts need to be soldered together from two halves, and the etches are so fine that even with the resistance soldering unit they bend and distort when any heat is applied. The first one was reduced to scrap brass and this isn't much better although just about OK from a distance.  It is still far too heavy and solid looking to my eyes, the real thing was astonishingly spindly and probably impossible to model accurately in N gauge.  The ball finial is a sewing needle pushed through a piece of No. 12 lead shot and I'm glad I won't have to do that again for a while. Operating lever and spectacle glazing still to be added, and no, it doesn't work. Stick to the Great Western, folks, tubular steel signal posts are much easier to make.

Richard

Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Newportnobby on September 04, 2017, 08:47:32 am
The ball finial is a sewing needle pushed through a piece of No. 12 lead shot and I'm glad I won't have to do that again for a while. Operating lever and spectacle glazing still to be added, and no, it doesn't work. Stick to the Great Western, folks, tubular steel signal posts are much easier to make.

Richard

That's either devotion to modelling or sheer insanity :-\
The finished article looks pretty good, though. :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on September 09, 2017, 06:56:22 am
I was wondering what to do with this awkward area at the end of the houses and decided to turn it into a slightly rubbish playground of the kind I remember as a child.  So I made a couple of swings out of wire and PCB sleepers. There is also a bench for Grandad to sit on and smoke his pipe, while the children try to put themselves in A&E by misusing the play equipment.  Still to come:

A slide, the sort which always seemed to be wet after recent rain so you got stuck half way down.

Goalposts painted onto the end wall of the house.

Maybe one of those little roundabout things, although they look a bit fiddly with all those handrails.

Any other suggestions for not very good playground items are welcome. Remember this is the early Sixties, so no skateboard ramps :)

Richard

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-g3hp6PN/0/619a43e4/L/DSCF3001%20%282%29-L.jpg)

Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: daveg on September 09, 2017, 07:08:56 am
Like the picture.  :thumbsup:

Far too fiddly for me but a great idea the kids play area.

Busch do a couple of kits and they may give you some ideas. Busch codes I've been able to find are 8063 and 8064. Langley also did and may still offer their white metal kit.

Look forward to seeing what you come up with.

Dave G
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Yet_Another on September 09, 2017, 09:42:04 am
One of those little horses on a big spring, that were always bent over in one direction or another.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Newportnobby on September 09, 2017, 01:07:35 pm
The recreation ground at Wolverton had swings (kiddies and adults), a roundabout and two big rockers - one with a horses head and many seats along it, and the other shaped like a long canoe. Oh, and a sand pit.
Don't forget the simple see-saw.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: kirky on September 10, 2017, 08:30:02 am
Hi Richard
This is the playground on Northallerton, which I have to admit is a kit, PD Marsh I think.

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/52/492-300517123233-523132301.jpeg)

 I dont think it would be out place in the sixties. Having said that, your swing looks a lot finer than the pretty rough stuff that comes as a white metal kit. I made it more modern by adding bark chippings. Im pretty sure when I was a kid in the sixties and seventies there was no bark chippings to save your knees and elbows so you wouldnt need to bother with that.
cheers
kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on September 10, 2017, 09:02:18 am
I was looking at the layout last night after adding a couple more details and realised it is starting to have a "nearly finished" look to it. I have added telegraph poles, a couple more vehicles, and cut down my signal to a more typical height for a platform end starter.  I glued a brass pin into the end of the post, so it plugs into a hole in the baseboard and can be removed for track cleaning and maintenance. 

Time to see if everything still works: one of North Blyth's elderly J27s shunts the daily goods, not long before closure of the line in 1963.  The photographer's Vauxhall estate is parked outside the station in the background.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-ghpNt5C/0/a5eca4c4/L/DSCF3003%20%283%29-L.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-37pQMGv/0/49a6c254/L/DSCF3001%20%283%29bw-L.jpg)
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Newportnobby on September 10, 2017, 09:07:46 am
made it more modern by adding bark chippings.

Bark chippings? Bark chippings?
We had it tough. The only things that got barked were shins, knees and elbows. None of that there namby-pamby Elf 'n' Safety stuff back then :no:
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Bealman on September 10, 2017, 09:23:53 am
Didn't you ever use cork bark for cliff faces.

Very state of the art in the 60s. Which is where both our heads are when it comes to music.

Belstone, it's looking great!  :thumbsup: :beers:
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Newportnobby on September 10, 2017, 09:36:17 am
Didn't you ever use cork bark for cliff faces.


Got a box of it ready to use on Kimbolted, George :)
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Bealman on September 10, 2017, 09:55:01 am
Cool!
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Roy L S on September 10, 2017, 01:27:47 pm
Stunning! I do hope that some day we get the chance to see this layout exhibited.

Roy
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on September 11, 2017, 12:05:31 am
Stunning! I do hope that some day we get the chance to see this layout exhibited.

Roy

Thank you Roy, you're too kind.  I have built the layout with exhibitions in mind, but I'll need to do a lot more work on reliable running before I dare take it anywhere. Meanwhile I have been gently fiddling, adding bits of vegetation, gluing down buildings and splodging matt varnish over anything that looked too shiny.  Next (possibly last) really big job is to sort out a lighting rig and facia board.  I'm a bit worried that I have done all the scenic work under not too good lighting, and I don't know how it will look with proper illumination.  Only one way to find out...

Meanwhile at Longframlington it is March 1958, and a grotty B1 awaits departure with a special for Rothbury Races.  By the time the loco has run round at Meldon then wobbled along the entire ramshackle length of the Rothbury branch, it would probably have been quicker to walk. The run round loop will actually take four Mk1s comfortably but I'll need a longer fiddle yard cassette.

Richard

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-qVtv8TD/0/03266ddf/L/DSCF3003%20%284%29%20crop-L.jpg)
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on September 11, 2017, 07:58:53 am
End of the line: Haymarket Type 2 no. D5307 with an inspection saloon conveying demolition contractors on a tour of closed branch lines they were bidding to dismantle.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-6KkXNJk/0/1f3eeefb/M/DSCF3002%20%287%29crop-M.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-DJVCq2Z/0/339a79a2/M/DSCF3004%20%285%29crop-M.jpg)

Waverley Route fans may think this rings bells: D5307 performed exactly this duty (with a similar inspection saloon) in April 1970, two years after closure of the line.

http://www.flickriver.com/photos/76064035@N07/12285594246/ (http://www.flickriver.com/photos/76064035@N07/12285594246/)

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Chris in Prague on September 11, 2017, 08:26:45 am
Thanks for two more excellent photos., even if sad ones.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Train Waiting on September 11, 2017, 08:57:07 am
Thanks for two more excellent photos., even if sad ones.

Seconded.

And whilst I had a lovely journey over the re-opened section of the Waverley Route yesterday, I can't imagine the Longframlington branch will prove to be as fortunate.  Unless there are plans for preservation, of course...

All the very best.

John
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Bealman on September 11, 2017, 09:31:29 am
 :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Milton Rail on September 11, 2017, 10:07:42 am
Just been catching up on the thread after a period of absence myself from the forum, fantastic layout and the last 2 photo's very poignant
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: maridunian on September 25, 2017, 05:08:32 pm
Any other suggestions for not very good playground items are welcome. Remember this is the early Sixties, so no skateboard ramps :)
Hi Richard
Maybe bare earth under the swing seats, from plimsol brakeforce?
Mike
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on September 27, 2017, 09:42:24 am
One of the last big jobs to do was to sort out the lighting.  I have used LED light strips stuck to an aluminium channel, with a hardboard arch to cover them and redirect some of the light downwards to fill in the area right at the front which would otherwise be in shadow.  It needs a bit of finishing off and painting but this is starting to look like a presentable little layout I reckon.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-76bFQ5h/0/c48031e9/L/p1-L.jpg)

I'm getting to the stage where there isn't much more to do on the scenics.  I have added a few more details - phone box, a couple of vehicles, luggage on the station platform - but I don't want to clutter it up too much.  So I may shortly switch my attention to finishing the fiddle yard (with a drop-down extension flap to protect the ends of the cassettes) and then work through the reliability issues. If there are any exhibition organisers in East Anglia looking for a small layout to fill a gap I might be persuaded.  Meanwhile here are a few more photos. Note bare earth under swing seats and don't let anyone say I don't listen to suggestions from forum members :)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-sXR3sPS/0/2c539a4f/L/p2-L.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-Kgb8KC9/0/8d27ec55/L/p4-L.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-KnvjTGn/0/a262a184/L/p3-L.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-ZbT87pf/0/4e87b335/L/p5-L.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-Qg3LhQW/0/ca32e765/L/p6-L.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-bmR7QCT/0/442d0c0d/L/p7-L.jpg)

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: daveg on September 27, 2017, 09:46:37 am
Great stuff!

The lighting works well.

This should be a popular layout at shows.  :thumbsup:

Dave G
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Chris in Prague on September 27, 2017, 12:30:19 pm
Thanks for another excellent set of photos. of a superb layout. The scenic work is first-class and there is a real 'sense of place'. Very atmospheric. More pictures of trains, now, please.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: port perran on September 27, 2017, 03:44:30 pm
Thanks for the photos.
An excellent layout - very atmospheric.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on September 28, 2017, 03:04:20 pm
September 1960: Ivatt 2MT number 46474, recently transferred to North Blyth from Darlington and in dire need of a clean, performs some leisurely shunting operations in Longframlington yard.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-zzSXvxz/0/0fca7271/L/DSCF3001%20%283%29-L.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-9xSqSQn/0/b3d1d61b/L/DSCF3005%20%282%29-L.jpg)
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Train Waiting on September 28, 2017, 03:29:41 pm
These are lovely photographs; thank you very much.

I expect that the chaps on '6474 will appreciate the tender cab on their way back.

Thanks, again and best wishes.

John
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Chris in Prague on September 28, 2017, 03:31:28 pm
These are lovely photographs; thank you very much.

I expect that the chaps on '6474 will appreciate the tender cab on their way back.

Thanks, again and best wishes.

John

Seconded! Excellent photos. of a superb little layout full of atmosphere.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: maridunian on September 29, 2017, 10:57:08 am
Inspiring modelling, Richard - thank you for sharing the process and result. I love the double gates onto the platform. Are the trolley, bike, luggage etc fixed or just sitting there?I

Mike
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on September 30, 2017, 07:56:16 am
Inspiring modelling, Richard - thank you for sharing the process and result. I love the double gates onto the platform. Are the trolley, bike, luggage etc fixed or just sitting there?I

Mike

Everything is glued down, after a nasty accident where I was vacuuming scenic debris and ended up having to fish the stationmaster's garage out of the vacuum cleaner bag in bits.

Here's another view of the "Mickey Mouse"  - captured with a Box Brownie hence the slight lack of focus.  Is it N gauge?  The overscale flanges on the pony truck wheels give the game away. Finetrax is awesome.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-3HvfKtq/0/60a23916/L/DSCF3001%20%2810%29-L.jpg)
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Bealman on September 30, 2017, 08:29:41 am
Excellent stuff, and the B&W pic is great.  :thumbsup:

So the big flanges run on Finetrax, obviously.  :beers:
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on October 01, 2017, 10:37:58 pm
October 1963: just a few weeks before closure, one of North Blyth's long-serving J27s propels a string of vans into the bay platform at Longframlington.  65789 outlived all the Border Counties branch lines, soldiering on until July 1967. By Christmas it had been cut up for scrap.

The Longframlington-Morpeth passenger trains have long gone, and instead an elderly Bedford OB motor coach waits hopefully for passengers.

(Model notes: the J27 has been hanging around "almost finished" in my in-tray for ages, and finally has a front coupling and some weathering.  The Bedford was a bargain I picked up at a swapmeet today and has yet to receive the usual coat of matt varnish to tone it down a bit.)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-TCxjDSg/0/ac641b58/M/DSCF3002%20%281%29-M.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-6cfWkPm/0/dc1d5e67/M/DSCF3001%20%281%29-M.jpg)
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Bealman on October 02, 2017, 12:34:47 am
Coming from reasonably close by, I find these photos wonderfully nostalgic.  Thanks for sharing!   :beers:
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Chris in Prague on October 02, 2017, 06:39:21 am
Thank you for another set of highly realistic photos.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on October 02, 2017, 07:55:52 am
Whitsun Bank Holiday, 1953: a string of locomotive failures left North Blyth shed without a single vacuum-braked locomotive to work the Longframlington portion of an excursion to the coast.  Control took a deep breath and despatched the Tweedmouth stand-by loco tender first to Longframlington. Fortunately the loco on duty was a V2 rather than the usual Pacific. Having successfully run round its train without derailing on the points or spreading the track, 60807 prepares to head back to the safety of Morpeth.

(Well and truly out of place here, this loco is destined for my Waverley Route layout when that gets built around 2030.  It is as bought, needs renumbering and heavy weathering, the St Margarets V2s that worked the heavy freights between Edinburgh and Carlisle had a hard life and always looked unloved.).

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-MBz6wSm/0/50ad348c/M/DSCF3001%20%283%29-M.jpg)
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Chris in Prague on October 02, 2017, 08:02:05 am
Another excellent monochrome photo. and good to see an immaculate V2.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on October 02, 2017, 08:25:14 am
Another excellent monochrome photo. and good to see an immaculate V2.

Certainly unusual to see an immaculate V2, or even a fairly clean one. They seemed to be invisible to the cleaning gangs.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Train Waiting on October 02, 2017, 09:05:37 am
What a super photograph!

'V2's are lovely engines and a clean one in that livery is hard to beat.

I expect the Longframlington branch was upgraded to RA9 during the Second World War.

I'm already looking forward to your Waverley Route model.

Thank you for these wonderful photographs.

All the best from close by the Waverley Route.

John
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Bealman on October 02, 2017, 09:16:38 am
Yep, there are some locos I just won't weather, but with the V2, for that photo, I'd think about it for atmospheric reasons.

Fantastic pic, regardless!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Newportnobby on October 02, 2017, 09:59:17 am
That J27 is a little cracker. I have the same V2 as you and had to buy the Farish Master Cutler set as I wanted a black one.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on October 02, 2017, 10:26:17 am
 :pmsign:


I expect the Longframlington branch was upgraded to RA9 during the Second World War.


That was my thinking, a few branches ended up that way.  The Withernsea branch was uprated to RA9 and someone at Control put it to the test by sending an A2 down it.  All was fine, unlike the infamous occasion when Tweedmouth had nothing to work the Duns branch goods and a Sulzer Type 4 (Class 46) was dispatched from Gateshead to do the job. It ended badly, with the Gateshead breakdown crane being called out to rerail the "Peak".

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Innovationgame on October 02, 2017, 12:29:53 pm
I remember V2s working the express passenger trains that we used to see thundering over the Great Central girder bridge across the West Coast Main Line at Rugby, pulling trains such as The Master Cutler and The South Yorkshireman.  They were always pretty clean and made a very fine sight at the head of a rake of corridor coaches.  The usual menu there was 9Fs with the express freight trains that always left an odor of fish in their wake, but V2s, L1s, K1s and B1s were also seen most days.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on October 13, 2017, 08:04:24 am
(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-D92SDbX/0/cf8901a6/M/DSCN1176-M.jpg)

This isn't an unusually long pickup goods: I have moved from scenery to rolling stock and have been going through my wagon collection sorting out various issues.  Wagons need careful fettling to run on this layout.  Back to back measurement is critical to avoid derailments on the Finetrax turnouts which are very beautiful but not as forgiving as Peco Code 55. The Micro Trains knuckle couplers all need to be at the same height, trip pins aligned and set at the right height above the rails.  I have now dealt with 23 wagons and another half-dozen to go.

The wagons are a strange mixture by modern standards.  About half are Parkwood body kits on Peco chassis, built a good few years ago.  There are a few Peco ready to run, a couple of Dapol, and an ancient Minitrix brake van, with Chinese-made Farish making up the rest.  Most of my open wagons have loads: as you can see, some of these are cast resin items from Ten Commandments which still need painting.

Coaching stock next, which won't take too long as there are only three coaches.  After that I will be doing extensive reliability testing, i.e. running lots of trains.

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on October 18, 2017, 07:47:05 am
For several years after the end of regular passenger services, there was an unadvertised weekday train to Morpeth for schoolchildren.  The morning train also brought parcels and newspapers.  46474 departs Longframlington and passes the level crossing with a couple of vans (including one of the short-lived Palvans) and a Gresley brake third.

(Model notes - more work on couplers and I can finally run a passenger train although the front coupler on 46474 isn't right yet.  Reliability is not too bad considering nothing has run for months: I had a happy half hour shunting goods wagons, so things are looking up.)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-RKrMdW2/0/48c194e6/M/DSCN1198-M.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-NfppNwJ/0/15e7d256/M/DSCN1192-M.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-mKNtvkp/0/642e2f40/M/DSCN1194-M.jpg)
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on October 18, 2017, 08:07:45 am
Later the same day the daily goods ambles into the station behind a relatively clean J39.  64843 was a long-time resident of Tweedmouth shed and normally worked the Eyemouth branch, so its presence here is unexplained.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-4N3QLJC/0/e5410e3b/M/DSCN1204-M.jpg)
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: port perran on October 18, 2017, 08:16:49 am
Thank you for the pictures.
Little cameo scenes really do bring a layout to life.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Train Waiting on October 18, 2017, 09:12:34 am
Excellent photographs; thank you very much.

All good wishes.

John
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Newportnobby on October 18, 2017, 09:26:45 am
 :greatpicturessign: :thankyousign:
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Bealman on October 18, 2017, 09:36:28 am
Wot they said.  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Chris in Prague on October 18, 2017, 10:22:04 am
Thank you very much for another excellent set of photos. I also have one of those BR SWB Palvans. I believe that the kits are now owned by the N Gauge Society and will be reintroduced, soon.

Nice to see part of a BR Maroon Gresley design coach. I'm glad that you're now able to run trains on this lovely little layout.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: kirky on October 18, 2017, 09:16:32 pm
Hi Richard @belstone (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=2569)
Lovely work!
Please can you remind us what choices you have made about couplings?

i was very interested to read that you needed to fettle your stock to make it it run well over finetrax. Have you you re wheeled older stock, presumably you are using wheels with minimal flange depths?
Thanks again
Looking forward to seeing it in the flesh sometime!

cheers
Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on October 18, 2017, 11:21:17 pm
Hi Richard @belstone ([url]http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=2569[/url])
Lovely work!
Please can you remind us what choices you have made about couplings?

i was very interested to read that you needed to fettle your stock to make it it run well over finetrax. Have you you re wheeled older stock, presumably you are using wheels with minimal flange depths?
Thanks again
Looking forward to seeing it in the flesh sometime!

cheers
Kirky


Couplers are Micro Trains magnetic knuckles for now, I haven't given up on my own design but haven't had the time to completely rework the CAD drawings to overcome a basic design flaw that I identified a while back.  The MT knuckles are designed for American bogie vehicles and not ideal for little four wheeled wagons, but they are generally pretty good once set up. If I could come up with a reliable electro-magnetic uncoupler for them they would be even better, but that one has defeated me so far.

Flange depth on older wheelsets can be a problem, my Minitrix Gresley brake end rides on the sleepers rather than the rails at the moment. Most stuff made in the last 20 years is OK. The other issue is back to back measurement which needs to be 7.4mm near enough exactly,maybe a little wider but certainly no narrower, and a lot of RTR wheelsets are some way off this. Regauging a new Farish 2MT took a certain amount of bravery on my part.

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: kirky on October 19, 2017, 08:45:17 pm
Hi Richard @belstone ([url]http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=2569[/url])
Lovely work!
Thanks Richard, most interesting.
I’m especially interested to see how you tackle your own coupling design. Very interesting indeed. As I understand it there are more than one options available for 2mm FS. Not a clue about using electro magnets tho.
Cheers
Kirky
Please can you remind us what choices you have made about couplings?

i was very interested to read that you needed to fettle your stock to make it it run well over finetrax. Have you you re wheeled older stock, presumably you are using wheels with minimal flange depths?
Thanks again
Looking forward to seeing it in the flesh sometime!

cheers
Kirky


Couplers are Micro Trains magnetic knuckles for now, I haven't given up on my own design but haven't had the time to completely rework the CAD drawings to overcome a basic design flaw that I identified a while back.  The MT knuckles are designed for American bogie vehicles and not ideal for little four wheeled wagons, but they are generally pretty good once set up. If I could come up with a reliable electro-magnetic uncoupler for them they would be even better, but that one has defeated me so far.

Flange depth on older wheelsets can be a problem, my Minitrix Gresley brake end rides on the sleepers rather than the rails at the moment. Most stuff made in the last 20 years is OK. The other issue is back to back measurement which needs to be 7.4mm near enough exactly,maybe a little wider but certainly no narrower, and a lot of RTR wheelsets are some way off this. Regauging a new Farish 2MT took a certain amount of bravery on my part.

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on October 20, 2017, 07:54:01 am
Another field trip to Longframlington to capture the last days of this forgotten branch line: 46474 on the morning service to Morpeth, and 65789 backing onto a goods after shunting the yard.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-Mg8H8nS/2/d54d4337/M/DSCN1208-M.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-R37T755/1/baad1a95/M/DSCN1218-M.jpg)

The full extent of Longfram's passenger stock at the moment: I repainted this elderly Minitrix Gresley coach in maroon, then had what I thought was a disaster when I varnished it and it turned pink.  With a bit of weathering it now looks suitable tatty and worn-out, a former express coach seeing out its last days on a quiet rural branch.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-WfTsQKD/0/de69c636/M/DSCN1209-M.jpg)

Driver's eye view...

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-rGjHNLR/0/99654172/M/DSCN1212-M.jpg)

More reliability testing last night (i.e. running trains), lots of problems with sticking turnouts and I may have to redesign the operating mechanism.  Couplers are working well with only the odd failure.

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Chris in Prague on October 20, 2017, 11:15:41 am
Thanks for another excellent set of photos., including the Minitrix Gresley brake end coach which looks excellent in its repainted weathered condition. It seems to be a different design from the Dapol ones?
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: SheldonC on March 17, 2018, 02:16:04 pm
The coupling / uncoupling issues are down to trip pin adjustment and slightly narrow back to backs on a couple of wagons

Oh dear. You'll have to help me out there please. How can B2B affect coupling/uncoupling? :confused2:

On a short wheelbase wagon, if the BtoB is too narrow, the whole wagon can skew sideways on the rails, which means the couplers no longer line up with each other.

Thanks for the explanation, Richard. I have the Dapol easi shunts to apply to layouts yet and had not heard anyone mention the B2B as being an issue but what you say makes sense.
I'm hoping to be able to saw the magnets in half so as not to have such an enormous gap in the sleepers.
Assuming you mean you'll be shortening them, not making them narrower, the idea is somewhat appealing, but I have 2 reservations
1).  Will shorter magnets not be less powerful?
2).  Will the mechanical/physical action of sawing not reduce the overall strength of the sum of the two shorter magnets?
The reason for the second question is that hammering/dropping magnets can reduce their strength.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Newportnobby on March 17, 2018, 02:51:15 pm
I believe halving the magnets (across not lengthwise) has been done successfully but am not sure who it was. Maybe @Caz (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=202)
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Caz on March 17, 2018, 07:10:59 pm
I believe halving the magnets (across not lengthwise) has been done successfully but am not sure who it was. Maybe @Caz ([url]http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=202[/url])


I have halved the Microtrains magnets as they are quite a bit longer than the Dapol version.  I suppose you could halve the Dapol ones but you'd have to be very accurate with the positioning of the train.  I only halved the microtrains ones as I had a few in stock as initially I was going to use Microtrains but fitting them to some UK locos and stock was more trouble than it was worth.

To halve the Microtrains ones, I scored a line on one side of the magnet and then broke them into 2 pieces as it usually snapped at the scored line.

Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on March 18, 2018, 08:02:31 am
Seeing as this thread has come back to life, a very quick update: Longframlington is in temporary storage while I have another go at perfecting my own design of coupler:

http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=22058.195 (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=22058.195)

The next problem is that the new couplers will use under-track magnets, either electromagnets or permanent magnets with some kind of raising and lowering mechanism, and I need to find a way of retrofitting these to the layout without disturbing the trackbed.  This might take a bit of experimenting. Once that is done I have to sort out the persistent reliability issues with the point motors, tidy up the wiring and after that I might look at taking the layout to a couple of shows.

I also have a mad plan floating around in my head to pull up all the track and relay it in 2mm finescale, but that might have to wait a year or so.

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Chris in Prague on March 18, 2018, 09:18:28 am
Thanks for the welcome update, Andrew. I do hope that you won't rip up all the track without having replacement track ready as it is such an attractive layout.

Re: point motors, there is a good discussion, here:

http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=34324.new;topicseen#new (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=34324.new;topicseen#new)
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: kirky on March 18, 2018, 10:27:13 am
Hi Richard @belstone (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=2569)
I cant imagine why you would want to rip it up. What you have done is a credit to 2mm modelling in N gauge. I can guarentee if you didnt tel people at exhibitions that this was N, they would think it was 2mmfs.
If nothing else, its saleable, then if you must go 2mmfs do so, but please dont destroy Longframligton.

As to the megnets under the layout, a simple way would be to use a servo, with the actuating arm either going up/down, or more likely, swing from outside the track area, to under the track area, fairly straight forward. How thick is the base board under the track?

cheers
Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on March 18, 2018, 01:43:20 pm

I cant imagine why you would want to rip it up. What you have done is a credit to 2mm modelling in N gauge. I can guarentee if you didnt tel people at exhibitions that this was N, they would think it was 2mmfs.
If nothing else, its saleable, then if you must go 2mmfs do so, but please dont destroy Longframligton.

As to the megnets under the layout, a simple way would be to use a servo, with the actuating arm either going up/down, or more likely, swing from outside the track area, to under the track area, fairly straight forward. How thick is the base board under the track?


I have a problem with the existing track.  I laid it on a balsawood base, which turned out to be rather less stable than I hoped.  I now have some distortion and sudden changes in cross levels in the pointwork at the station throat.  I have managed to improve things a bit with brass pins and solder, but it is never going to be quite right.  I don't blame Finetrax at all for this, but it demonstrates that for Finetrax your trackbed needs to be 100% flat, level and stable.

I could relay it in N gauge but I am attracted to 2mmFS by the consistency of wheel and track standards, and I would like to give it a go at some stage. I only have space for one layout, and to me it makes sense to reuse an existing one, if I can take up and replace the track without causing havoc to the surrounding scenery.

Even with its wobbly trackbed Longframlington still runs a lot better than my coupler testing "plank".  One of my Peco points has just stopped conducting electricity through the blades unless poked with a finger. I bought it brand new last weekend...

I have looked at servo conrol for the magnets, but the electronics frighten me.  I'm strictly old-school, switches and solenoids all the way.  I have a couple of Chinese solenoids on order to play with, but I don't know what happens if you stick a strong permanent magnet onto the end of a solenoid pushrod.  I will find out shortly.

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: kirky on March 18, 2018, 04:54:54 pm
@belstone (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=2569)
Hi Richard
Thanks for the detailed description of balsa subsidence. Its a pity the balsa didnt work, because I thought it might have been ok, it being a hardwood an' all. (They built the Kontiki from it I seem to remember, and got across the Atlantic or somewhere) We built Northallerton on top of Pastazote, a closed cell foam, which has proven to be very stable, and even reusable when we've had to.
Seriously, the electronics behind a servo might at first appear scary but if I can get to grips with it, anyone can. Having said that, a mechanical arm operated with levers would be equally effective, probably be more satisfying and would save the planet a few milliamps of power.
cheers
Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: belstone on March 18, 2018, 06:34:23 pm
I think the problem with the balsa was that it didn't like getting wet - diluted PVA for ballast followed by a good dousing with matt emulsion.  It might have been better if I had sealed it with varnish before laying the track.  It's ok for now but I can't see it lasting long term.  If I go 2mmFS I might look at soldered construction turnouts using the Versaline chairplate system, which should in theory be a bit stronger.  It's a pity no-one does any tools, jigs etc for code 40 soldered track construction in N gauge - you can't even buy a simple roller gauge as far as I can see. Finetrax is excellent as far as it goes, but you are stuck with a limited range of "standard" (i.e. straight) turnouts.

Hmm, I wonder if there is the germ of an idea there for another money-losing venture to follow on from the couplers (which have now consumed around £400 in test etching costs alone and still aren't quite done yet).

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: SheldonC on March 18, 2018, 06:50:28 pm
@belstone ([url]http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=2569[/url])
Hi Richard
Thanks for the detailed description of balsa subsidence. Its a pity the balsa didnt work, because I thought it might have been ok, it being a hardwood an' all. (They built the Kontiki from it I seem to remember, and got across the Atlantic or somewhere) We built Northallerton on top of Pastazote, a closed cell foam, which has proven to be very stable, and even reusable when we've had to.
Seriously, the electronics behind a servo might at first appear scary but if I can get to grips with it, anyone can. Having said that, a mechanical arm operated with levers would be equally effective, probably be more satisfying and would save the planet a few milliamps of power.
cheers
Kirky

I believe "Kon-Tiki" was extremely water-logged by the time it got to Easter Island.  In the Pacific.  I think Heyerdahl had a similar problem with "Ra" when he tackled the Atlantic.  Aircraft modellers working in balsa cover their creations with tissue paper & "dope" - which smells (& very probably is) exactly like nail varnish; the ladies in your lives may find that of some interest.  Incidentally, to judge from the smell, nail varnish remover would probably make a more than half-decent solvent for welding plastics; I did acquire some once but never got round to trying it out before it evaporated away.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: kirky on March 18, 2018, 07:30:14 pm
@belstone ([url]http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=2569[/url])
Hi Richard
Thanks for the detailed description of balsa subsidence. Its a pity the balsa didnt work, because I thought it might have been ok, it being a hardwood an' all. (They built the Kontiki from it I seem to remember, and got across the Atlantic or somewhere) We built Northallerton on top of Pastazote, a closed cell foam, which has proven to be very stable, and even reusable when we've had to.
Seriously, the electronics behind a servo might at first appear scary but if I can get to grips with it, anyone can. Having said that, a mechanical arm operated with levers would be equally effective, probably be more satisfying and would save the planet a few milliamps of power.
cheers
Kirky

I believe "Kon-Tiki" was extremely water-logged by the time it got to Easter Island.  In the Pacific.  I think Heyerdahl had a similar problem with "Ra" when he tackled the Atlantic.  Aircraft modellers working in balsa cover their creations with tissue paper & "dope" - which smells (& very probably is) exactly like nail varnish; the ladies in your lives may find that of some interest.  Incidentally, to judge from the smell, nail varnish remover would probably make a more than half-decent solvent for welding plastics; I did acquire some once but never got round to trying it out before it evaporated away.

Thanks for that @SheldonC (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=3604)
Id forgotten which one did which, but youve reminded me it was Ra that did the Atlantic.
Anyhow, the point I was making was that Balsa is a hardwood, but doesnt share the properties of hardwood. Perhaps something with a bit more density might do what @belstone (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=2569) wants. I fear varnishing it may also result in it expanding and warping as the varnish soaks in. I think this might be why airplane modellers use tissue paper and dope.

On the subject of handbuilt points, I agree with you Richard that I dont understand why there doesnt seem to be much in the way of tools to help us build points. I actually bought a couple of plastic roller gauges from the US. But we have no templates to help us form Vs etc. Perhaps this is something the NGS could/should take up?

Im sure if you manage to get the couplings to work, there will be potential to sell them by the score to likes of me.
cheers
Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: SheldonC on March 18, 2018, 09:35:12 pm
@belstone ([url]http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=2569[/url])
Hi Richard
Thanks for the detailed description of balsa subsidence. Its a pity the balsa didnt work, because I thought it might have been ok, it being a hardwood an' all. (They built the Kontiki from it I seem to remember, and got across the Atlantic or somewhere) We built Northallerton on top of Pastazote, a closed cell foam, which has proven to be very stable, and even reusable when we've had to.
Seriously, the electronics behind a servo might at first appear scary but if I can get to grips with it, anyone can. Having said that, a mechanical arm operated with levers would be equally effective, probably be more satisfying and would save the planet a few milliamps of power.
cheers
Kirky

I believe "Kon-Tiki" was extremely water-logged by the time it got to Easter Island.  In the Pacific.  I think Heyerdahl had a similar problem with "Ra" when he tackled the Atlantic.  Aircraft modellers working in balsa cover their creations with tissue paper & "dope" - which smells (& very probably is) exactly like nail varnish; the ladies in your lives may find that of some interest.  Incidentally, to judge from the smell, nail varnish remover would probably make a more than half-decent solvent for welding plastics; I did acquire some once but never got round to trying it out before it evaporated away.

Thanks for that @SheldonC ([url]http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=3604[/url])
Id forgotten which one did which, but youve reminded me it was Ra that did the Atlantic.
Anyhow, the point I was making was that Balsa is a hardwood, but doesnt share the properties of hardwood. Perhaps something with a bit more density might do what @belstone ([url]http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=2569[/url]) wants. I fear varnishing it may also result in it expanding and warping as the varnish soaks in. I think this might be why airplane modellers use tissue paper and dope.

On the subject of handbuilt points, I agree with you Richard that I dont understand why there doesnt seem to be much in the way of tools to help us build points. I actually bought a couple of plastic roller gauges from the US. But we have no templates to help us form Vs etc. Perhaps this is something the NGS could/should take up?

Im sure if you manage to get the couplings to work, there will be potential to sell them by the score to likes of me.
cheers
Kirky
I seem to recall from days of yore that obechi has some of the properties of Balsa but is denser; I don't know about its resistance to water; perhaps a magazine/forum on boat building would be a useful resource.
Title: Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
Post by: Masher69 on March 19, 2018, 12:21:24 pm
Just read right through the thread. Very interesting and excellent modelling. Living in the very north of Northumberland I can associate with the area which is a bit south of us
.https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10216042211436889&set=a.3596587642145.167990.1497091346&type=3 (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10216042211436889&set=a.3596587642145.167990.1497091346&type=3)
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: belstone on April 06, 2018, 08:01:39 am
No actual work on the layout recently as I have been playing with couplers.  I now have a reliable servo-operated uncoupler design that can be fitted to Longfram without having to dig up the track, so I am taking the opportunity to rework the electrical side of the layout which has always been a bit ramshackle.

I think I am going to try replacing the SEEP point motors with servos, using relays for frog polarity switching.  There will be four point servos, four uncouplers and two more servos for the level crossing gates.  That is a lot of wiring.  I have just joined MERG which I never thought I would do, but I am starting to get a bit more into this electronics lark (thanks mainly to @kirky (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=492)  for putting ideas in my head, and most generously sending me a MERG 4-channel servo controller for the coupler development project).

I am thinking of building a compact handheld unit incorporating the controller and all the switches for points, uncouplers and level crossing.  I sat on the sofa holding objects of various sizes and shapes (small books, TV remote etc) and operating imaginary knobs and switches to get some idea of a comfortable size and design.  I must have looked completely mad. End result is that I have ordered an aluminium project box and a pile of components.  I already have a hand-held controller on order (switchable feedback unit from Parkside which I have wanted to try out for ages) so when that arrives I will set about putting everything together.

Meanwhile, over the next couple of weeks I will see if I can come up with a simple way of converting the existing turnouts to servo operation.  If you scroll back far enough in this thread, they use a cranked wire in a vertical tube to operate the tiebar, which is not the normal way of doing things. I also have to bear in mind that if the servo suddenly goes haywire and runs out to full travel, the delicate point blades need to be protected from the consequences.

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: kirky on April 06, 2018, 08:29:52 am
I also have to bear in mind that if the servo suddenly goes haywire and runs out to full travel, the delicate point blades need to be protected from the consequences.

Richard


Hi Richard @belstone (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=2569)
I think if you look at the Merg servo support bracket, and you push the horn over maybe 45 degrees, the horn pops out of the little cup it sits in, sort of an in built protection against the servo travelling too far. Having said that, I havent tried the Merg bracket and servo with the Finetrax points yet and agree you must be very very careful to make sure there is too little travel firstly, and then adjust the servo accordingly. I would do this with the servo and bracket in my hand, that is not fitted to the board first, to see how little movement I can get away with.

Since you have joined Merg, can I recommend that you look at the forum. Its my second fvourite forum. It is a wealth of information and support from people who really know what they are talking about. There is also a support service that you can send non-working kits to should you get really stuck. I would also recommend the pocket money kits to get you started as they are very cheap and helpful in the learning curve. The journal can be a bit techy but dont let that put you off, the group itself is very supportive of non technical people. They say 'you only need to be able to solder and read'.

cheers
Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: belstone on April 06, 2018, 09:04:30 am
I also have to bear in mind that if the servo suddenly goes haywire and runs out to full travel, the delicate point blades need to be protected from the consequences.

Richard


Hi Richard @belstone ([url]http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=2569[/url])
I think if you look at the Merg servo support bracket, and you push the horn over maybe 45 degrees, the horn pops out of the little cup it sits in, sort of an in built protection against the servo travelling too far. Having said that, I havent tried the Merg bracket and servo with the Finetrax points yet and agree you must be very very careful to make sure there is too little travel firstly, and then adjust the servo accordingly. I would do this with the servo and bracket in my hand, that is not fitted to the board first, to see how little movement I can get away with.

Since you have joined Merg, can I recommend that you look at the forum. Its my second fvourite forum. It is a wealth of information and support from people who really know what they are talking about. There is also a support service that you can send non-working kits to should you get really stuck. I would also recommend the pocket money kits to get you started as they are very cheap and helpful in the learning curve. The journal can be a bit techy but dont let that put you off, the group itself is very supportive of non technical people. They say 'you only need to be able to solder and read'.

cheers
Kirky


A million apologies, in my last post I tagged another forum member instead of you. Now corrected, I'm not at my sharpest first thing in the morning. Looking forward to reading through all the MERG stuff when I have time, I'm trying to decide which will give me the least amount of under-board spaghetti for the lowest cost - a single controller for each servo with the relay mounted next to it and long cable runs to the switches, or a single servo control board near the connector for the handheld control box, with long cable runs to each servo...

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: kirky on April 06, 2018, 09:22:08 am
@belstone (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=2569) No need to apologise Richard, no offence taken at all. Just happy to help.

If you want to see what the servo boards and brackets might look like in situ, take a look at my Northallerton thread (link in sig). Ive just posted a picture there of the underside of one our fiddle yard board. Each servo4 board still needs a wire each for the switch plus a common and each board needs two wires for power. Thats another seven wires to add for each servo4 board. And we havent even connected the frogs yet! I dont think there is anyway to avoid spaghetti I'm afraid.
cheers
Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: Black Sheep on April 06, 2018, 09:31:03 am
You've joined MERG, welcome to the mad-house :D it's what will be running Milliedale-on-Sea.

I have a few of the MERG servo brackets but they're a bit tall for me so I'll be using a rival product from a chap called Stuart Dransfield on facebook, his design mounts them on their side.

You'd be able to use the MERG servo controller to operation points, level crossing barriers etc, a zig-zag in the operating wire should resolve any stress issues from excess movement, the mounts for micro switches on the servo mounts could be used to place stop-blocks.

The MERG controller handset is a lovely size, being not much bigger than the old gaugemaster walkabout and has been built with point control functionality in mind, but it's not actually available yet, it's in development so you can't control points through C-BUS with it as yet.

The Roco 10810 MultiMaus was my intent before joining MERG and building their handheld.

With regards spaghetti, I intend to use the C-Bus set up where each servo module is located near what it's driving but they all connect to a bus network controlled by the command module which is connected to the control panel module hopefully making for less wires running all over the place
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: belstone on April 07, 2018, 08:37:29 am
I'm intrigued by the possibilities of CBUS, and Longframlington would be a good testbed, being small and simple.   I will have to look into costs, but being in the motor trade I'm familiar with the basic concept, and it makes a lot of sense if the control modules are cheap enough. A bit of reading there for the weekend I think.

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: belstone on April 08, 2018, 11:23:50 pm
A day of mostly creative destruction.  I have never been happy with the electrics on this layout: everything was lashed up in a tearing hurry with odd bits of wire that I found lying around (literally - the busbars came from a skip) and although it mostly worked it looked horrible.  So as I was pulling out the solenoid point motors ready to replace them with servos I binned pretty much everything except the busbars and droppers.

I then replaced the operating cranks on the turnouts with stronger ones, 22 gauge piano wire instead of 24.  One of the cranks had rusted into its brass tube which explains why that turnout had stopped working. I had one micro servo to play with so I installed that, fiddled around a bit and now have a slow-action turnout operating mechanism which seems robust enough.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-mMwzLVG/0/3994cd07/M/DSCN1574-M.jpg)

Uncouplers - I need to replace the two under-track permanent magnets with the servo-driven hinged flaps that I have been working on.  One was fairly easy, I was able to tunnel up from underneath and pull out the permanent magnets from under the trackbed without disturbing the track itself. The flap is now in place although I haven't installed the servo yet.  I then realised that the other magnet is directly above a baseboard cross support, so I can't get to it from underneath.  I might have to leave it where it is: it is not powerful enough for reliable uncoupling, and its position at the "country" end of the platform (for loco release) means that it shouldn't be too much of a nuisance.  I can squeeze in an uncoupling flap next to it.

Once I have the second uncoupler in place and all the servos fitted I can start the wiring, properly this time.  I have components here and more on the way. Hopefully trains will be running again by the end of the next Bank Holiday.

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: DaveGlew on April 09, 2018, 08:16:05 am

Uncouplers - I need to replace the two under-track permanent magnets with the servo-driven hinged flaps that I have been working on.

Hi Richard, would you be able to post a picture of these please.? I'm about to drill holes for a bunch of electromagnets but before I do so, I'm keen to see what you have done - particularly as you are moving away from magnets. Thanks
Dave
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: belstone on April 09, 2018, 09:03:30 am

Uncouplers - I need to replace the two under-track permanent magnets with the servo-driven hinged flaps that I have been working on.


Hi Richard, would you be able to post a picture of these please.? I'm about to drill holes for a bunch of electromagnets but before I do so, I'm keen to see what you have done - particularly as you are moving away from magnets. Thanks
Dave


It's here: http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=22058.msg500625#msg500625 (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=22058.msg500625#msg500625)

There is a short video on the next page.  Make sure the hinge is brass, not brass-plated steel. Ignore the big hole in the baseboard, that is just a legacy of previous experiments.  You will need to cut away a recess for the magnet to swing into, but if you are careful this can be done from underneath without cutting through the top of the board or disturbing the track.

Cheers, Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: DaveGlew on April 09, 2018, 09:15:03 am
 :thankyousign:
Thanks for sharing Richard, that looks like a properly engineered solution  :beers:
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: belstone on April 09, 2018, 10:44:51 am
:thankyousign:
Thanks for sharing Richard, that looks like a properly engineered solution  :beers:

Over-engineered more like - you could probably use it to uncouple full-size wagons. But the flap hinge does need to be quite heavy so it falls away under its own weight, which means you need a big servo to lift it up. Just 'cos it's N gauge doesn't mean the hidden bits need to be tiny as well.  But there again my layout has welded Dexion baseboard frames so you might argue that I tend to make things a bit stronger than they need to be...

Richard   
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: kirky on April 10, 2018, 08:25:52 am
:thankyousign:
Thanks for sharing Richard, that looks like a properly engineered solution  :beers:

Over-engineered more like - you could probably use it to uncouple full-size wagons. But the flap hinge does need to be quite heavy so it falls away under its own weight, which means you need a big servo to lift it up. Just 'cos it's N gauge doesn't mean the hidden bits need to be tiny as well.  But there again my layout has welded Dexion baseboard frames so you might argue that I tend to make things a bit stronger than they need to be...

Richard   
Good god, the whole mezzanine floor at our club is held up with Dexion which has about five layouts on it and often twenty fat blokes. Definitely over engineered.
Cheers
Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: belstone on April 10, 2018, 02:13:34 pm
The original plan was to do the frames in welded aluminium U channel (I prefer metal to wood in general) but I would have had to farm out the fabrication and I was too impatient to wait.  These boards are outrageously heavy, I won't be making any more like them.

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: belstone on May 13, 2018, 08:59:54 am
Dear old Longfram is back.  It never really went away, but has spent the last month languishing under the dining table while I fiddled around with coupler designs. This kind of treatment is not good for a layout, but the only casualties appear to be a couple of chimney pots.

The last time I did any work on it I pulled out almost all the electrics to start again.  So the first thing to do was sort out a control panel.  With it being a small layout (four turnouts) I had the idea of building the controller, turnout and uncoupler operation into a single handheld box.  So I ordered a load of bits, and this is the result.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-GGhM8QQ/0/b1c2560e/M/DSCN1681-M.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-MS9Vdfn/0/8e5ad101/M/DSCN1680-M.jpg)

The controller is an old AMR unit which were well thought of in their day.  It will be interesting to see how it performs compared to the Gaugemaster I was using before.  Four toggle switches on the front for turnouts (like a very small lever frame) and two thumb-operated pushbuttons for the uncouplers.  All housed in a metal enclosure with a 15 pin Sub-D chassis mount socket firmly bolted to it, connected to the layout using a VGA cable.  I have no idea whether the cable will handle the current in/out on the controller, all the switches are carrying only signal loads for the servo boards so they will be fine. I have read that VGA cables are rated somewhere between 300ma (marginal) and 1A (no worries) but haven't found a definite answer.

Having got the control unit built and circuit tested, I set about fitting servos to the three turnouts on the station throat complex and the uncoupler beneath the level crossing.  No problems there, using the same mounting system as the one I fitted to the other end of the layout.  I then started connecting everything up: I now have eleven wiring colour codes which isn't quite enough (I need another colour for frogs, and green is taken already) but should give me a fighting chance of diagnosing faults in a couple of years time when I have forgotten what I did in May 2018.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-PMqvxn9/0/a6ebf58e/M/DSCN1683-M.jpg)

The attachment for the 15 pin socket is a temporary lashup, I will probably bolt it to another metal enclosure for rigidity.  I want everything to plug in from underneath, no wires and plugs sticking out of the sides. The wiring needs a bit of tidying, a few cable guides to stop stray wires getting caught in the servo arms, but meanwhile I found I had a problem of my own making.

On my previous layout I used small signal relays for frog switching.  They are cheap and reliable, much less fiddly than microswitches, so I thought I would so the same here.  Unfortunately I had a blonde moment and didn't think enough about the way that the servo switching works.  So I now realise I don't have a 12v feed to trigger the relays.  I poked around the servo board with a multimeter and found that each servo switch has the feed side at +5v when off, 0V when on.  A bit of Internet research suggests that I can use that as a signal to switch the corresponding relay using a very simple transistor circuit, hopefully without interfering with the actual servo operation. I will order some bits.

So I only managed to get trains running in a straight line from fiddle yard to baseboard edge.  It's a start anyway.  The uncoupler works fine, and so do my "Poundland Tortoise" slow-action turnout motors. For now the coal merchant will have to unload his delivery at the station throat: these wagons aren't going any further until I get the second board wired up.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-vKcp5XB/0/24ca9632/M/DSCN1687-M.jpg)

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: kirky on May 13, 2018, 09:37:20 am
Dear old Longfram is back. 

 :claphappy: :claphappy: :claphappy:

Thats looking very interesting indeed Richard. Love the idea of a lever frame within your handheld - ingenious
Im really happy Longfram is back.

Cheers
Kirky

Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: Newportnobby on May 13, 2018, 10:32:31 am
Aaaargh! More scary pics of wiring but I have to say that hand built controller is a great idea and looks superb.
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: belstone on May 13, 2018, 09:32:10 pm
Day 2 of the Longframlington Big Weekend, and I can now run a locomotive from one end of the layout to the other (although only in a straight line until I get the frog switching sorted).  The main job was installing the second flap-type uncoupler which sits roughly level with the end of the bay platform.  This also happens to be where the crossmember for the baseboard frame is - not a problem with the old permanent magnets which were buried in the trackbed and the track laid over the top.  I didn't want to dig the track up to remove the old magnets, so I had to do it from underneath, which meant cutting a section out of the crossmember.  This, like the rest of the baseboard frame, is made from welded Dexion.  It isn't often you see someone working on their layout using an angle grinder.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-Lt85tJ7/0/bec2f1c7/M/DSCN1689-M.jpg)

With the offending bit of steel out of the way I used a carbide milling cutter (Chinese bargain) in the minidrill to excavate around the magnets until they could be extracted with pliers, rather like pulling teeth.  The new uncoupler is exactly the same as the one under the level crossing, powered by a big chunky old-fashioned servo which should be more reliable than a little baby one. Due to laziness I bought some laser-cut plywood servo mounts rather than making them myself (the uncoupler servos have to be mounted sideways) and I am more than happy with those.

The two servos on the station board are controlled by a Heathcote control board which is actually mounted on the other board, with long extension leads to the servos.  That reduces the number of connecting wires between the two boards, a five pin DIN plug and socket does the job nicely.  The other job I did was to put a DPDT reversing switch in between the controller and the power feeds to the track.  This is tucked away under the baseboard, and means that the direction switch on the controller can be made to correspond to the direction of travel of trains, whether the layout is being operated from in front or behind.  Oh, and I made up a proper bracket to support the 15 pin plug for the control box lead, and used about half a bag of cable ties to smarten everything up a bit.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-ZVrppq7/0/7ab31bf3/M/DSCN1688-M.jpg)

"Smart" in this case is a relative term, but I can live with this level of rats-nestery.  OCD I am not. Apologies to @Newportnobby (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=264) for yet another scary wiring photo, almost the last I promise.

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: belstone on May 15, 2018, 11:36:27 pm
(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-b9RXDQV/0/560ad0c4/M/DSCN1692-M.jpg)

Today's post brought a padded envelope full of cheap electronic components, and what you see here is the test prototype for the frog switching units.  It uses a 2N4401 transistor, a diode and a resistor to take the 5v signal from the servo control board and use it to operate a 12 volt SPDT relay to switch the frog polarity at the same time that the servo moves the point blades, and using the same on-off toggle switch. 

The circuit diagram I used was for a 24v relay and I had no idea how a transistor worked.  It specified a 4.7K resistor in the signal input line.  I found that although the relay engaged smartly it was very slow to disengage, and the servo board was making a faint humming noise.  I took a random guess that the resistor value was incorrect, added a second resistor in series with the first, and the result was better but still a bit slow.  So I hunted through my big box of electrical junk, found a 100K variable resistor (out of sight in the photo), plumbed that in and discovered that the relay worked fine at around 14K resistance.  So I will get busy with Veroboard and soldering iron, and should very shortly have a fully working layout again.

The ability to operate a relay in parallel with a servo is a handy little trick, opening all sorts of possibilities for interlocking, automated signalling etc, and the components cost buttons.  I love this hobby: before this evening I had absolutely no idea what a transistor actually did. Now I have made one do something that I can understand and have a use for.

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: Newportnobby on May 16, 2018, 09:47:22 am
I was fine up until "It uses...." on the second line and then you lost me completely :dunce: :-[
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: Papyrus on May 16, 2018, 11:52:35 am
I was fine up until "It uses...." on the second line and then you lost me completely :dunce: :-[

Wot 'e said...  :confused1:

Chris
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: belstone on May 16, 2018, 01:11:02 pm
I have always regarded electronics with deep suspicion, and I still can't quite believe I am dabbling in this kind of witchcraft.  But it's all about reliability: if I didn't use relays to switch the frogs I would have to use microswitches, which are much more fiddly to set up and easily knocked out of adjustment. It's all harmless really.

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: Mito on May 16, 2018, 08:52:14 pm
At first glance at the photo I thought you'd pinched one of my spaghetti photos! Do you have a wiring diagram for this? I'm liked you, I find electronics difficult but something like this I could possibly manage, I think ???
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: belstone on May 16, 2018, 10:52:28 pm
At first glance at the photo I thought you'd pinched one of my spaghetti photos! Do you have a wiring diagram for this? I'm liked you, I find electronics difficult but something like this I could possibly manage, I think ???

I got the circuit from this page which I found via Google: (2nd diagram down)

https://electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/366584/how-to-convert-a-digital-signal-from-5v-to-24v (https://electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/366584/how-to-convert-a-digital-signal-from-5v-to-24v)

Quite possibly there is a relay out there which has the signal sensing circuit built into it, but I haven't yet found such a thing.

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: belstone on May 20, 2018, 07:46:53 pm
Having been closed for several months for major engineering works the Longframlington branch has reopened to regular traffic. Here a J39 waits to head back to Morpeth with the morning train.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-PLgJfXG/0/cf323a07/M/DSCN1698-M.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-x5RWd92/0/6537001b/M/DSCN1703-M.jpg)

Later the same day the same loco is captured shunting the goods yard before departing past the "Percy Arms" to which the signalman will shortly retire for a spot of refreshment. In the absence of level crossing gates he has had the job of stopping road traffic with a red flag to add to his normal duties.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-J8JwT8k/0/17bdb717/M/DSCN1708-M.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-GHTF8XJ/0/b3a55d0e/M/DSCN1709-M.jpg)

Meanwhile, back in 2018... the control board for the frog switching relays is now fitted and performing exactly as hoped. I am sure I will find the missing level crossing gates eventually. Generally the layout is running well, with the uncouplers behaving themselves, but the unstable trackbed around the station throat continues to cause me concern: trains seem to have a rougher ride through the pointwork than they did when the layout was last in use, although I might be imagining this.  At some stage I will have to bite the bullet and either pull up the track and relay it, or start another layout.  I recently acquired yet another book on North Eastern branch lines featuring the Allendale branch, the terminus of which has absolutely everything anyone could wish for in a model, including a turntable, coal drops and an attractive rural setting (it was nowhere near Allendale Town, which explains why it closed in 1952). But for now I will just enjoy being able to run trains again.

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: kirky on May 20, 2018, 08:01:51 pm
It looks suspiciously like youve been using the Belstone coupling system, which I have to say looks absolutely first class. The only N gauge give away has been illiminated and it looks brilliant.
Well done Richard.

Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: belstone on May 20, 2018, 10:52:49 pm
(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-wggKFbV/0/369e4543/M/DSCN1713-M.jpg)

Following a series of derailments at the station throat the track gang were hauled out of various public houses and set to work straightening switchblades and repacking sleepers. Two trains have now passed over the offending pointwork without incident.

(2018: Pointwork has been prodded with screwdrivers, tweaked with needle nose pliers and secured in its new alignment with some astonishingly good cyano adhesive (Ergo 5705) which sadly appears only available through the motor trade.)
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: GreyWolf on May 21, 2018, 05:50:16 am
Excellent work! I bet the track gang nipped over the fence to have a kick about in the goal painted on the back wall!

Cheers  :beers:
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: belstone on May 24, 2018, 11:54:54 pm
A very pleasant evening - did a few minor jobs around the layout then had a long operating session with huge amounts of hands-free shunting, during which almost nothing went wrong. 

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-zNmRV83/0/18244f28/M/DSCN1734-M.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-3PZX9Sr/0/725a2c33/M/DSCN1735-M.jpg)

I added a couple more vehicles - a Karrier flatbed with a load of packing cases, and a Hillman Imp.  The street scene needs a bit more work, it looks rather bare and undetailed at the moment.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-WmxHb2h/0/9c0c3561/M/DSCN1747-M.jpg)

I built up another cassette for the fiddle yard.  I really need to get round to making the drop-down flap for the end before there is a nasty accident.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-sHhcZ3K/0/59546211/M/DSCN1737-M.jpg)

An unusual visitor to Longframlington - Haymarket-based D5307 with an inspection saloon. 

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-pTmNLJ7/0/8e5be82f/M/DSCN1739-M.jpg)

J39 runs round a train which includes a horsebox.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-MWVp2vt/0/1827bf63/M/DSCN1744-M.jpg)

Viewed from the roof of the Percy Arms, the J39 departs for Morpeth. I found the missing level crossing gates :)

Since the layout is running well I might turn my attention back to finishing off some of the scenics.  A few people dotted around, station nameboard, point rodding and a bit more work on the houses and streets-should keep me busy over the Bank Holiday.

Richard

Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: belstone on May 25, 2018, 12:00:22 am
One more for now - 61184 of St Margarets is a long way off its usual patch and in desperate need of some attention from the cleaning gang.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-TTTrkb5/0/68c6736f/M/DSCN1750-M.jpg)
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: SheldonC on May 25, 2018, 01:24:14 am
Don't forget, the roads were less crowded in the 1950s & 1960s than they are now.  A couple of people having a chat, a few children getting up to mischief, a policeman keeping an eye on proceedings, perhaps.
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: belstone on May 25, 2018, 07:12:39 am
Don't forget, the roads were less crowded in the 1950s & 1960s than they are now.  A couple of people having a chat, a few children getting up to mischief, a policeman keeping an eye on proceedings, perhaps.

Absolutely right.  It's easy to overdo the detailing, looking at photos of branch lines in the steam era there wasn't much going on.  Longframlington has a nice uncluttered feel and I want to keep that.
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: Train Waiting on May 25, 2018, 08:08:24 am
One more for now - 61184 of St Margarets is a long way off its usual patch and in desperate need of some attention from the cleaning gang.

And absolutely correct, too.  St Margaret's was no Haymarket!

Thank you for these excellent photographs.

John
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: belstone on May 25, 2018, 01:59:55 pm

And absolutely correct, too.  St Margaret's was no Haymarket!


To be fair, St Margarets engines had a hard life. 61184 is destined for my Waverley Route layout if it ever gets built. It's a bit out of place here, but there again Kingmoor once sent a Jubilee to work the Jedburgh branch goods, so it appears Rule One applied to the real railway as well.

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: kirky on May 25, 2018, 04:15:45 pm
Loving the photos @belstone (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=2569)
The crossing gates look excellent. Really pleased that you've had a problem free running session which must mean the Belstone Coupling System is working well?
cheers
Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: maridunian on May 26, 2018, 12:48:40 pm
(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-wggKFbV/0/369e4543/M/DSCN1713-M.jpg)

(2018: Pointwork has been prodded with screwdrivers, tweaked with needle nose pliers and secured in its new alignment with some astonishingly good cyano adhesive (Ergo 5705) which sadly appears only available through the motor trade.)

Plus a swish with track-cleaning eraser? Just like Longframlington, my check-rail tops at Mwyniwr Tryciau are all  nice and shiny, but they oughtn't to be really and it bugs me.  ... Has anyone got a method of colouring them that can endure track cleaning?

Mike
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: belstone on May 26, 2018, 06:42:40 pm

Plus a swish with track-cleaning eraser? Just like Longframlington, my check-rail tops at Mwyniwr Tryciau are all  nice and shiny, but they oughtn't to be really and it bugs me.  ... Has anyone got a method of colouring them that can endure track cleaning?

Mike

Maybe try brown permanent marker?  Then you can redo them in seconds each time you clean the track. I might order one myself and have a go.
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: belstone on May 28, 2018, 07:34:45 am
A useful Sunday's work, I think.  Having started this thread about wheel and track standards:

http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=41479.0 (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=41479.0)



I had the idea of narrowing down the check rail clearances on Longfram to see what happened.  I have used this technique before to improve running on Peco code 55 frog crossings. I glued bits of 10 thou Microstrip along the inner edges of the checkrails, waited for them to harden and then trimmed and cleaned up to give a nice smooth check rail gap around 0.75mm.  They look a bit obtrusive so I will try the brown marker pen idea when I can get one.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-crW6N4W/0/7aaac2b6/M/DSCN1755-M.jpg)

I then eased out the back to backs to 7.6mm on a few vehicles and my BRCW type 2 and tried running trains. Straight away I had problems with the turnout closest to the level crossing, all the others were fine.  My turnouts are modified Finetrax with soldered rail crossings, the offending turnout was the first one I did and the gauge was down to 8.7mm in a couple of places.  I managed to rectify the worst of its problems although there is still a noticeable change in rail top levels just past the frog, you can stand a four wheeled wagon straddling the frog gap and it will rock on three wheels.  It's not as bad as it was though.

I also plugged in the computer to adjust the throw on one of the turnout operating servos which was not quite closing the point blades properly.  I have found that with the MERG 4 servo software, if you change the settings on one servo you have to redo the other three as well, otherwise when you save your new setting for the first servo it will wipe whatever you had programmed for the other three and replace it with a neutral default setting. Perhaps I am doing something wrong. I now decided I needed a second loco, regauged my J39 and found that the tender drive would not run smoothly through turnouts no matter how much I fiddled with the back to backs.

Out with the digital caliper again (that thing has had a lot of use this weekend).  It is quite difficult to measure the width of wheel flanges in N gauge but the tender wheel flanges were visibly thicker than anything else on the layout (including the driving wheel flanges on the loco), around 0.6mm as best I could measure them, when everything else I could lay my hands on came out around 0.45mm.  Combined with slight inaccuracies in the dimensions of my track at a few critical points, that was enough to prevent smooth running.

In the end I pulled apart the wheelsets and turned down the wheel backs using a minidrill and file to take around 0.15mm off each one. The wheels are plated brass and easily fettled in this way.  I put it all back together (having adjusted the pickups) and now had a loco which ran fine on plain track but slipped to a standstill going through the turnouts.  After more fiddling I found that by opening up the back to backs and shifting the wheel positions very fractionally relative to the drive gears I had managed to set the thing up so that the gear on the centre axle was dropping out of mesh with the spur gear between it and the rear axle,  On the J39 the motor drives the rear axle with the other two being geared to it. So I only had one driven axle, not three.  A brass shim washer on the centre axle restored normal operation, and the J39 now runs better than ever.

In fact, the whole layout runs better than ever.  A lot of the rough running through pointwork that I put down to a warped track base, actually turns out to be a combination of inconsistent back to backs and a couple of easily fixed rail alignment issues.  Narrowing the check rail clearances has forced me to deal with these problems, and I am now getting the smooth ride through turnouts that I should have had to start with, even though the crossing gaps are still a little wider than they would be on turnouts built to  0.75mm check and wing rail clearances from the start.

If this layout is ever going to see the inside of an exhibition hall I will need to lift and replace the turnout opposite to the signal box and the track leading to it (across the level crossing).  That bit is never going to be quite right as it is.  I think that should be do-able although fiddly as I don't want to demolish the surrounding scenery and buildings.  For now trains are still running: one of the newfangled diesels, possibly on a crew training turn, awaits departure for Morpeth with a pair of Mk1s still in the old "blood and custard" livery.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-6MjWqQt/0/3eacab0d/M/DSCN1759-M.jpg)

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: kirky on May 28, 2018, 09:51:08 am


I also plugged in the computer to adjust the throw on one of the turnout operating servos which was not quite closing the point blades properly.  I have found that with the MERG 4 servo software, if you change the settings on one servo you have to redo the other three as well, otherwise when you save your new setting for the first servo it will wipe whatever you had programmed for the other three and replace it with a neutral default setting. Perhaps I am doing something wrong. I now decided I needed a second loco, regauged my J39 and found that the tender drive would not run smoothly through turnouts no matter how much I fiddled with the back to backs.

Richard

Hi Richard
I'm really pleased you are getting good running - your attention to the mechanical detail is second to none. Thats something that is often lacking in many layouts of whatever scale.

The MERG software does indeed work as you describe. You do need to set all four servos at once and then save them. Very annoying. Once we had realised this, it didnt take us long to take the plunge and buy the kit for the servo setting box. Mind you, we have over 20 servo4s on Northallerton and you can imagine setting that many servos (over 80) would be difficult using a computer. The servo setting box is so easy. Plug it in set up 'on' position, save,  set up 'off' position, save. If you want you can set servo speeds too. Downside was cost, which was about 20 quid, plus a couple of extra quid for me to buy new pots because I cut the stalks too short  :dunce:.

Im off to read the new wheel gauging thread  :)

Cheers
Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: maridunian on May 30, 2018, 12:36:21 pm

... my check-rail tops at Mwyniwr Tryciau are all  nice and shiny, but they oughtn't to be really and it bugs me.  ...


Maybe try brown permanent marker?  Then you can redo them in seconds each time you clean the track.

Thanks Richard - Tried that but got bored with re-doing it. Might get the little files out to drop the top surfaces a bit before painting them....
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: Newportnobby on May 30, 2018, 12:52:53 pm

... my check-rail tops at Mwyniwr Tryciau are all  nice and shiny, but they oughtn't to be really and it bugs me.  ...


Maybe try brown permanent marker?  Then you can redo them in seconds each time you clean the track.

Thanks Richard - Tried that but got bored with re-doing it. Might get the little files out to drop the top surfaces a bit before painting them....

Not sure I'd recommend using anything abrasive on track surfaces as it just gives somewhere extra for crud to accumulate :worried:
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: maridunian on June 01, 2018, 03:55:58 pm

Tried that but got bored with re-doing it. Might get the little files out to drop the top surfaces a bit before painting them....

Not sure I'd recommend using anything abrasive on track surfaces as it just gives somewhere extra for crud to accumulate :worried:

Just the check-rail top edges prior to painting them brown, not the running rails. I'll try one and report back!

Mike
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: belstone on June 13, 2018, 12:05:52 am
Not much to report on the layout as I have been fiddling about with home made track, but changes may be in the offing.  Longframlington's past is catching up with it.  The layout was originally intended as a test bed for Finetrax Code 40 and metal-framed baseboards so I kept the track plan very simple, with a single long siding in the goods yard.  It has turned out to be a nightmare to operate, and I am sure a real railway would not have been arranged that way.

So I am building the first of a pair of turnouts to NMRA specification, which will form a crossover allowing access direct from the run-round loop to the cattle dock. I will also put in another uncoupler, maybe two.  All this will require a bit of surgery: I plan to install the turnout in the siding first, so if it all goes wrong I only have a short length of plain track to reinstate. I am also thinking of putting in a short siding parallel to the headshunt at the end of the platform, just to have another siding to play with.  The photo gives some idea of the planned changes.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-T9GjQGd/0/a04f9f6d/M/DSCN1818-M.jpg)

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: Newportnobby on June 13, 2018, 09:50:17 am
I reckon the proposed changes will give much more operational fun
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: Black Sheep on June 13, 2018, 11:17:31 am
The real railway could be quite odd in how it was laid out, for example, the Midland avoided facing points as then there was no requirement to fit facing point locks and there couldn't be a derailment due to a point not being fully across - the exception to this of course being station throats in termini, as my layout is partly ex midland it has few facing points and station cross overs are trailing requiring a bit more shunting stuff around, but this should add to the interest to operate.

too much shunting around can take enjoyment out of things, (the single slips in my marshalling yard might get annoying) and as you are modelling a much latter time period, between which standards have changed, other standards been built (and scrapped) it's probable that the track layout would have been changed as usage of the yard changed.
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: SheldonC on June 13, 2018, 05:14:42 pm
The real railway could be quite odd in how it was laid out, for example, the Midland avoided facing points as then there was no requirement to fit facing point locks and there couldn't be a derailment due to a point not being fully across - the exception to this of course being station throats in termini, as my layout is partly ex midland it has few facing points and station cross overs are trailing requiring a bit more shunting stuff around, but this should add to the interest to operate.

too much shunting around can take enjoyment out of things, (the single slips in my marshalling yard might get annoying) and as you are modelling a much latter time period, between which standards have changed, other standards been built (and scrapped) it's probable that the track layout would have been changed as usage of the yard changed.
I'm an S&DR/NER/LNER/BR(E) fan (mainly), but I think the MR way was workmanlike (railwaymanlike?), and I've used it in my embryonic layout - on the through lines, at least.  I do have some facing points on the loop, but they protect the main line from unauthorised access from the loop, like trap points.  (I did buy some Peco catch points, but I understand they are based on the ones you would expect to find on an incline to derail runaways.)  And, of course, the loop is accessed from the main line via a facing point, which I think the MR would not normally allow.  I could see no other way of arranging an overtaking manoeuvre involving 2 passenger trains.
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: Black Sheep on June 14, 2018, 09:30:15 am
the loop is accessed from the main line via a facing point, which I think the MR would not normally allow.  I could see no other way of arranging an overtaking manoeuvre involving 2 passenger trains.

I believe correct practice was to pass the loop and reverse into it, the loop may have had an exit onto the opposite running line so it could be used by either direction, this understanding is based on Earby (Pendle Forest MRC's N gauge layout) where the loop is the goods yard access

It's possible they did have loops to pull slower trains out of the way of faster workings, but I don't know, my layout does have this on the ex midland section though
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: belstone on June 17, 2018, 10:35:26 pm
The idea of pulling up my lovely Finetrax track to insert new turnouts was all starting to get a bit frightening.  I wasn't sure whether I would be able to lift the track without wrecking the balsawood base, or lay the new track and persuade it to sit flat and level with the adjacent sections.  I also hadn't tested my new turnout operating system and had no idea whether it would actually hold together once installed on a layout.

So I was mooching around on various Internet forums and had a bit of inspiration. Trap points.  These were a Board of Trade requirement for any siding which led directly onto a passenger-carrying line, and like 99% of modellers I had completely ignored this feature of the real railway because on a model, trap points don't actually do anything other than add extra cost and derailment potential.  They are however very simple to build (no crossing frog) so I built one to fit the end of the goods siding, using a C8 turnout template cut in half. Construction was the same as my experimental B6 NMRA turnout, i.e. a mixture of PCB sleepers with etched nickel silver chairplates, and styrene strip sleepers with Finetrax chairs minus their locating pegs. (See http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=41479.45 (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=41479.45) for more details.)

I found that the Finetrax sleeper base lifted away quite easily with a little help from a sharp knife, and I was able to scrape off the ballast and glue with a Stanley blade, leaving the balsawood base a little scored and tatty but still usable.  I carefully trimmed my trap point to length, glued it down with PVA glue and weighted it with large quantities of 2 pence coins until the glue set. I had to cut a rectangular hole in the baseboard to clear the turnout operating mechanism, which was done with a carbide cutter in my trusty Chinese Dremel knockoff.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-68bHzK4/0/820b7e95/M/DSCN1849-M.jpg)

The operating mechanism uses a thick tiebar underneath the sleepers and is virtually invisible.  To move the tiebar I had a MERG 3D printed servo mount lying around courtesy of @kirky (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=492) so I fitted that.  I will be using relays for frog polarity switching, so I found I could put a couple of 8BA screws and nuts into the redundant microswitch holes to act as a limit stop, so that the servo doesn't destroy the blades and tiebar if it goes berserk as they occasionally do.  The MERG servo mount has a facility which automatically disconnects drive if the servo moves beyond a certain angle, but it is configured for a rather longer tiebar throw than mine.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-JvB3JKN/0/3eff9453/M/DSCN1851-M.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-nnfLkwJ/0/4dd351b7/M/DSCN1854-M.jpg)

I don't have any spare servo control ports on my two boards, so I "borrowed" one for testing and after a small amount of adjustment it all worked beautifully. I still have to connect a couple of wire droppers to the trap point before I can run trains over it, but once that is done it will be ready for ballasting.

So now I can get on with constructing another three B6 turnouts, a trap point for the bay platform, two MERG servo boards, two more uncouplers and probably a MERG servo setting box which I am told is much better than using a PC to set up the servos. That should keep me busy for a while.

Richard

Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: belstone on June 17, 2018, 11:29:33 pm
All is quiet at Longframlington, with the line closed yet again for engineering works. Time for a swift pint of mild before catching the replacement bus service to Morpeth...

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-GTh8PM5/0/204f08d3/M/DSCN1859-M.jpg)

Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: belstone on June 20, 2018, 05:24:01 pm
(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-rWv4zDt/0/a1a2037d/M/DSCN1862-M.jpg)

Another two B6 turnouts under way, slightly fewer PCB sleepers than the first one (13 vs. 15) as I continue to refine the design.  The hardest part (frog crossings) is done, but plenty more to keep me busy.  I don't think there's actually any real time saving in building them in pairs like this but it feels like I am making faster progress anyway :)  After these two I want to build one more to replace the shonky one opposite the signalbox but the remaining three original Finetrax turnouts can stay where they are unless the tiebars break or something else falls apart.

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: kirky on June 20, 2018, 08:41:52 pm
@belstone (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=2569)
They look excellent Richard.
Just remind me, are you using a jig to form the V?

cheers
Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: belstone on June 20, 2018, 11:31:50 pm

They look excellent Richard.
Just remind me, are you using a jig to form the V?

cheers
Kirky

A jig of sorts: a wooden block with two pieces of angled brass glued to it.  Small bulldog clips hold the rails in place for soldering.  It is a really rubbish way to make crossing vees, takes ages to get the rails upright and correctly positioned, so I need to devise something better when I get the time.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Track/i-RNG96Qv/0/e96893ce/M/DSCN1866-M.jpg)

But my methods are fairly primitive in general.  Here's a shot of my "workbench" :)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Track/i-fZNwDtP/0/95a408fd/M/DSCN1864-M.jpg)
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: kirky on June 21, 2018, 12:02:43 am
A jig of sorts: a wooden block with two pieces of angled brass glued to it.  Small bulldog clips hold the rails in place for soldering.  It is a really rubbish way to make crossing vees, takes ages to get the rails upright and correctly positioned, so I need to devise something better when I get the time.
I admire your ingenuity. Certainly producing good results
Presumably a couple of grooves cut at the right angle is the way to go? Not sure how you would do that without a milling machine though.
Having said that, I was talking to one of our P4 modellers at the weekend and we were discussing filing points for Vs. It seems the P4 society offer a couple of options for making the V. Perhaps I can find out specifics.

Cheers
Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: belstone on June 21, 2018, 07:58:36 am

Presumably a couple of grooves cut at the right angle is the way to go? Not sure how you would do that without a milling machine though.
Having said that, I was talking to one of our P4 modellers at the weekend and we were discussing filing points for Vs. It seems the P4 society offer a couple of options for making the V. Perhaps I can find out specifics.

Cheers
Kirky

Crossing vees seem to bother a lot of people, to the extent of actually putting them off building their own pointwork.  I've never understood why, it's just a question of filing the ends of two rails to a smooth point and soldering them together. Maybe I'm just good with a file, but I started building track in my teens with plastic-based SMP point kits, and crossing vees are about the only thing I haven't had trouble with.

Maybe a fold-up etched jig in stainless steel, with half-etched grooves for the rails and slotted tabs to hold them upright for soldering?

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: belstone on June 24, 2018, 09:56:42 pm
Too late for regrets:

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-wsdzjQm/0/356b9622/M/DSCN1877-M.jpg)

Old track dug up, trackbed reinstated (this time in cork which will hopefully be more stable than the balsa base I used before), I plan to seal the cork with either dilute PVA or varnish before laying the track, so it isn't affected by the water from when I do the ballasting.  From having a running, near-finished layout I am now back at the stage where it could be weeks or even months before I can run trains again.  All part of the fun of our hobby, and the new siding arrangements will be a huge improvement in operating terms.

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: belstone on June 25, 2018, 08:14:08 am
(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-RKWvsVb/0/87177673/M/DSCN1878-M.jpg)

A nice simple little project to make a change from track building.  I started this MERG servo controller kit yesterday evening thinking I would just try and solder on a couple of components to get started.  About an hour later I had a completed board ready for testing.  Brilliant instructions, everything neatly laid out, 10 out of 10 to MERG.

The electrics on Longfram are starting to get a bit complicated for such a simple layout.  By the time I have finished the new track I will have eight servo-operated turnouts (including the trap point), six of which are operated in pairs, and possibly four uncouplers.  Each turnout has a relay-switched frog using a transistor circuit to pick up a switching signal from the servo board (more reliable than microswitches). I have a problem with my hand-held control box which is that I don't have any more spare wires on the connecting cable.  The uncouplers can be paired up no problem so that each button operates two uncouplers: turnouts are more difficult as I now have five to operate (three linked pairs and two singles) and only four switches. 

I think I will have to use more relays to make the function of switch 3 dependent on that of switch 4 which controls the crossover opposite the station building.  With switch 4 set to "off" (i.e. the crossover in the straight ahead position) switch 3 will control the turnout for the bay platform.  When switch 4 is "on" (crossover in use) switch 3 will operate the two turnouts giving access from the loop to the cattle dock.  The alternative is to link the turnouts at each end of the loop and use switch 1 to control all three: I need to work through all the possible operating moves and see which works best.

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: SheldonC on June 25, 2018, 11:35:49 am
Too late for regrets:

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-wsdzjQm/0/356b9622/M/DSCN1877-M.jpg)

Old track dug up, trackbed reinstated (this time in cork which will hopefully be more stable than the balsa base I used before), I plan to seal the cork with either dilute PVA or varnish before laying the track, so it isn't affected by the water from when I do the ballasting.

Richard
I'm slightly nonplussed by the implied statement that PVA with water will not distort the cork as much as ballasting.  Are you not using dilute PVA?  I ask because I haven't reached that stage yet and have never heard of anyone having a problem with the method I was hoping to use.
Regards,
Sheldon
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: belstone on June 25, 2018, 03:36:51 pm
I'm slightly nonplussed by the implied statement that PVA with water will not distort the cork as much as ballasting.  Are you not using dilute PVA?  I ask because I haven't reached that stage yet and have never heard of anyone having a problem with the method I was hoping to use.
Regards,
Sheldon

Cork is not an inert substance.  It expands when wet, which is why it is used to seal bottles and also to make gaskets with.  The idea of giving it a coat of dilute PVA before tracklaying is to seal the top surface so the water content of the PVA glue used for sticking down and then ballasting the track cannot penetrate the cork and cause it to expand once the track is in place.  With Peco or other proprietary heavy-based track you probably wouldn't notice, but my experience with Finetrax is that it needs a dead flat and totally stable trackbed to avoid problems.  I already have to lift and relay one of the turnouts at the station throat due to the (balsa) trackbed expanding after ballasting and painting with water-based paint, so I'm not taking any more chances.

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: kirky on June 25, 2018, 05:42:36 pm
A nice simple little project to make a change from track building.  I started this MERG servo controller kit yesterday evening thinking I would just try and solder on a couple of components to get started.  About an hour later I had a completed board ready for testing.  Brilliant instructions, everything neatly laid out, 10 out of 10 to MERG.
Richard
Indeed the Merg lits are remarkably well put together, and there always people willing to help if things start going wrong. However, despite the instructions being clear it still doesnt prevent dimwits from inserting capacitors the wrong way round. They go bang. Ask me how I know...

cheers
Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: kirky on June 25, 2018, 06:00:09 pm
Cork is not an inert substance.  It expands when wet, which is why it is used to seal bottles and also to make gaskets with.  The idea of giving it a coat of dilute PVA before tracklaying is to seal the top surface so the water content of the PVA glue used for sticking down and then ballasting the track cannot penetrate the cork and cause it to expand once the track is in place.  With Peco or other proprietary heavy-based track you probably wouldn't notice, but my experience with Finetrax is that it needs a dead flat and totally stable trackbed to avoid problems.  I already have to lift and relay one of the turnouts at the station throat due to the (balsa) trackbed expanding after ballasting and painting with water-based paint, so I'm not taking any more chances.

Richard
I have to say, six years after being laid, the plastazote (closed cell foam) we used on Northallerton has remained remarkably stable. Weve chucked all sorts of nasty chemicals at it, all kinds of glue, paint and and cleaners and it has never moved. Its even reusable if you can get it up in usable sized pieces. I cant think I'd ever use anything but this material. For me its plastazote or nothing - just bare ply.

Cheers
Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: belstone on June 26, 2018, 08:11:06 am

Indeed the Merg lits are remarkably well put together, and there always people willing to help if things start going wrong. However, despite the instructions being clear it still doesnt prevent dimwits from inserting capacitors the wrong way round. They go bang. Ask me how I know...

cheers
Kirky

At least you didn't try building a Servoset 2 and get the DIL socket the wrong way round, which meant you plugged in the microprocessor the wrong way round, then used the board on your layout to test the Servoset, with all your delicate turnout mechanisms connected to the servos.  Things went a bit haywire.  Amazingly the turnout mechanisms, control board and even the Servoset microprocessor seem to have survived undamaged.  This is what happens if you stay up until 1am messing about with electronics.

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: kirky on June 26, 2018, 05:31:34 pm

At least you didn't try building a Servoset 2 and get the DIL socket the wrong way round, which meant you plugged in the microprocessor the wrong way round, then used the board on your layout to test the Servoset, with all your delicate turnout mechanisms connected to the servos.  Things went a bit haywire.  Amazingly the turnout mechanisms, control board and even the Servoset microprocessor seem to have survived undamaged.  This is what happens if you stay up until 1am messing about with electronics.

Richard
Oh dear - that sounds like you got lucky. Im not allowed to play with anything remotely dangerous after I nearly took my entire thumb off using my table saw late at night. :dunce:
I did manage to  :censored: up my servoset though by cutting the pot stalks too short. I had to buy replacements. Very embarassing.
cheers
Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: belstone on June 26, 2018, 06:29:12 pm

I did manage to  :censored: up my servoset though by cutting the pot stalks too short. I had to buy replacements. Very embarassing.
cheers
Kirky

Let me guess, you shortened them to 16mm instead of shortening them BY 16mm.  I had to read that bit twice to make sure I got it right.
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: kirky on June 26, 2018, 06:33:24 pm
Correct Richard.  :-[ :-[ :-[ :-[ :-[ :-[

Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: belstone on July 02, 2018, 08:16:22 am
During last week I worked away steadily on laying the new track sections, one piece at a time, using PVA glue and carefully aligning each section then weighting it down until the glue dried.  This slow and steady approach seems to have paid off with nice level track.  The only bit I am unhappy with is the crossover to the cattle dock which has a slight dogleg on it due to the two turnouts being positioned slightly too far apart, but it is only really noticeable from directly above so I can live with it.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-tJ9xsgH/0/f2134ce3/M/DSCN1933-M.jpg)

Yesterday I decided to have a major all-day session on the layout to see if I could get all the turnout motors wired up, the track wiring done and hopefully be able to run trains before bedtime.  I didn't quite achieve that, but got fairly close with just the insulation gaps to cut on the PCB turnout sleepers before I can connect up a controller and see how many shorts there are. The turnout servos on MERG mounts all went in with no trouble apart from having to take a bit more out of the centre baseboard crossmember.  Wiring them up was another matter...

As noted above I had five sets of turnouts and only four switches (or "point levers" as I like to think of them now).  In the end I made the function of lever 3 dependent on the position of lever 1 which controls the turnout at the entrance to the station.  With lever 1 set "normal" (i.e. straight ahead, lever 3 controls the entry to the bay platform.  When lever 1 is reversed, lever 3 controls the access crossover for the cattle dock.  This was done by feeding the output from lever 3 through a signal sensing relay (the same type I am using for the frog switching) which detects the position of lever 1 and routes the output of lever 3 to the appropriate servo controller(s).

I rejigged the wiring so the eight turnout servos (arranged as three coupled pairs and two singles) are run off two MERG Servo4 boards, with the Heathcote 2 servo board being used for the uncouplers.  This required a lot of careful thought and concentration, as well as moving a couple of the wires in the handheld control unit so that all the turnout switches have one common return wire, and the uncouplers another.  The MERG units can be "daisy chained" with a single common return which is handy as I have no spare pins left on my control box cable.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-KCnckHZ/0/ed49e42a/M/DSCN1935-M.jpg)

The blue thing in the photo above is a generic Chinese relay control board designed for Arduino and the like, and costs less than I was paying for the relays alone.  It is described as a "12 volt" board, and what fun I had with it.  No documentation with it and I couldn't make it work. In the end, thanks to the Internet I discovered that it would do what I wanted if I removed a jumper to split the power feed into two sections, and fed it with 12 volts for the relay coils and 5 volts for the control electronics.  The Servo4 has a built in voltage regulator which gives a nice stable 5 volts so I tapped into this (pin J8/4), and after that the relays worked fine.

It would be nice to say everything worked first time but I had a few bugs to sort out, mainly that while fiddling around in the control box I broke the feed wire for lever 1.  This of course affected the operation of lever 3 as well.  With that fixed I found that all four levers made the servos do something, and after a few minutes setting up the boards with the Servoset box I had eight working turnouts.  I went to bed happy.

This evening I will cut some insulating gaps and see if I can get trains to run.  If everything works OK I can start ballasting and painting the new track, although I still have one turnout to replace and might wait until that is done before tackling the ballasting.  I also need to sort out uncouplers.  It occurred to me that by arranging the hinged flaps crossways I can make one uncoupler unit cover several adjacent tracks, so I will replace the two existing uncouplers with new ones at each end of the run round loop, covering four tracks each.  That will save a lot of unnecessary wagon movements: at the moment the uncoupler for all the sidings is under the level crossing which is not ideal.  I want to play around a bit more with magnet sizes as I think slightly longer magnets might make uncoupling a little easier, so my "shunting plank" will be dug out of storage for further experimenting.  It's all good fun.

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: Newportnobby on July 02, 2018, 09:59:08 am
You lost me after the first pic but I wish you luck in getting things sorted and trains running again.
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: kirky on July 02, 2018, 10:48:30 pm
@belstone (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=2569)
Wow Richard, some serious electrickery going on there. Very clever stuff. Can you tell whether the relays on the blue relay board are latched relays? Im looking for a cheapish source of latched relays for frog switching but in dcc.

Cheers
Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: belstone on July 03, 2018, 12:07:29 am
@belstone ([url]http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=2569[/url])
Wow Richard, some serious electrickery going on there. Very clever stuff. Can you tell whether the relays on the blue relay board are latched relays? Im looking for a cheapish source of latched relays for frog switching but in dcc.

Cheers
Kirky


They are just plain ordinary SPDT non-latching relays.  I have used twin coil latching relays for frog switching with solenoid point motors, Axicom V23079-B1203-B301 which were cheap and reliable. 

After a fair amount of debugging I can now run trains everywhere.  I don't make life easy for myself: I have live frogs fed from other live frogs, and as part of the track remodelling I moved a couple of insulation breaks on the runround loop without thinking through the consequences. The result being a series of short circuits which I tracked down and corrected one by one.  The last one turned out not to be a wiring error as such, but a wire had come loose on one of the frog switching relays.

Complex wiring I can tolerate if it leads to simpler layout operation, and in that respect the new Longframlington is an absolute joy. The paired turnouts make route setting very easy, frog switching is nice and reliable, and with the repositioned insulation breaks I no longer have to worry about trains stopping dead during normal shunting operations, just because I have forgotten to set the turnout at the far end of the layout to the appropriate position. I'm happy.  Uncouplers next...

Richard

Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: belstone on July 15, 2018, 09:15:12 am
(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-7sk4Lrt/0/5c48c7f0/M/DSCN2040-M.jpg)

Not the best of photos but this is the uncoupler at the station throat - four under-track magnets on a single hinged flap. It works, although I need to put down markers (I normally use old sleepers by the trackside) so I can position vehicles over the magnets.  I had a decent shunting session last night, the first since I relaid the track, and after chasing down another electrical fault (wire had pulled out of a terminal block) everything worked fine with no derailments. I am now trying to summon up the enthusiasm to start ballasting and painting the new track...

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-2XfhPRp/0/6d9230b7/M/DSCN2044-M.jpg)

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: kirky on July 15, 2018, 09:29:39 am
@belstone (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=2569)
Hi Richard, Looking really good.
It sounds like you are getting total reliability from the couplers? Is that the case?
Having four magnets on one hinge: is that running down the length of the track? that is are the four magnets on the same piece of track for the same uncoupling position, or is the flap/hinge at right angles to the track, being used for different positions on the layout? If they are all on the same bit of track, why do you need to use that many magnets?
Looking forward to seeing the track reballasted.
Cheers
Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: belstone on July 15, 2018, 11:28:43 am
@belstone ([url]http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=2569[/url])
Hi Richard, Looking really good.
It sounds like you are getting total reliability from the couplers? Is that the case?
Having four magnets on one hinge: is that running down the length of the track? that is are the four magnets on the same piece of track for the same uncoupling position, or is the flap/hinge at right angles to the track, being used for different positions on the layout? If they are all on the same bit of track, why do you need to use that many magnets?
Looking forward to seeing the track reballasted.
Cheers
Kirky


Reliability on the couplers is as close to 100% as I think it will ever be, given their small size and all the various factors affecting their operation.  I would happily take the layout to an exhibition now.  The hinge is at right angles to the track, where there are four roads close together (through, loop. bay platform and goods siding): in effect I have four uncouplers powered by a single servo which is nice and economical.  The uncoupler at the "country" end covers two roads, through and loop.

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: kirky on July 15, 2018, 06:04:24 pm
Ah, thanks Richard, I hadnt realised it was four magnets for four roads. Makes sense now, and very economic too.
Great work.
Think it would be great to see at an exhibition soon. I wonder if I can persuade you and our exhibition manager to do CMRC (Redcar) next year?
cheers
Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: belstone on July 15, 2018, 10:53:50 pm
Ah, thanks Richard, I hadnt realised it was four magnets for four roads. Makes sense now, and very economic too.
Great work.
Think it would be great to see at an exhibition soon. I wonder if I can persuade you and our exhibition manager to do CMRC (Redcar) next year?
cheers
Kirky

I like the idea of showing it in the North-East where it belongs.  Will probably try a couple of local shows first and see how I get on, but if Redcar has space for a standard 6 x 2 table in a corner somewhere I might be persuaded.  At the moment I'm trying to work out how I can get up to Railex NE at the end of the month, lots there I want to see.  Including Northallerton of course.

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: kirky on July 16, 2018, 05:45:40 pm
Ah, thanks Richard, I hadnt realised it was four magnets for four roads. Makes sense now, and very economic too.
Great work.
Think it would be great to see at an exhibition soon. I wonder if I can persuade you and our exhibition manager to do CMRC (Redcar) next year?
cheers
Kirky

I like the idea of showing it in the North-East where it belongs.  Will probably try a couple of local shows first and see how I get on, but if Redcar has space for a standard 6 x 2 table in a corner somewhere I might be persuaded.  At the moment I'm trying to work out how I can get up to Railex NE at the end of the month, lots there I want to see.  Including Northallerton of course.

Richard
It would be great news if could come next year. For pencilling purposes we are always the first weekend in August. I will talk to our exhibition manager tomorrow!
If you get to Railex, please do come and say hello.

Kirky
I
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: belstone on July 22, 2018, 09:56:19 pm
Normal Working Resumed... the new track is now ballasted and the trackbed painted (with enamels rather than emulsion this time to avoid the problems I had previously with water getting into the trackbase). I had plenty of fun freeing up my delicate little tiebar mechanisms, one of the blades became detached but I was able to solder it back with no problems.  I then had an extended running session with lots of complex shunting moves, making full use of the new crossover and the uncouplers. No derailments, no need for the "Hand of God", everything good as gold.  I still have to sort out the back to backs on a few vehicles to get a totally smooth ride through the crossovers, but overall I'm more than happy.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-V74k3dS/0/b17d055c/M/DSCN2079a-M.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-gqqkvJz/0/78a81d85/M/DSCN2082-M.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-nj8ZwQ2/0/dabf146e/M/DSCN2085-M.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-K35jdb5/0/0a61a2e8/M/DSCN2088-M.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-5C3pF3j/0/df628a8f/M/DSCN2090-M.jpg)

I can now get back to adding details. The station finally has a nameboard but I'm still not happy with the lettering - it looked OK on the computer screen but a bit weedy and widely spaced once I had printed it out. 

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: Black Sheep on July 23, 2018, 09:57:38 am

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-5C3pF3j/0/df628a8f/M/DSCN2090-M.jpg)

I can now get back to adding details. The station finally has a nameboard but I'm still not happy with the lettering - it looked OK on the computer screen but a bit weedy and widely spaced once I had printed it out. 

Richard

I like the name board, was about to ask where you got it from as I'll be needing some for mine - most commercial suppliers won't do a name as long as I require
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: Izzy on July 23, 2018, 10:55:29 am

 I don't know what font you used but I have read that Trebuchet MS - particularly the bolder options - are a good match for BR fonts. I think in some apps you can adjust the letter spacing as well to suit.  It's all looking really good, but I do find it surprising how some of the smaller details like this can seem to make a real difference when you add them.

Izzy
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: Black Sheep on July 23, 2018, 11:22:43 am

 I don't know what font you used but I have read that Trebuchet MS - particularly the bolder options - are a good match for BR fonts. I think in some apps you can adjust the letter spacing as well to suit.  It's all looking really good, but I do find it surprising how some of the smaller details like this can seem to make a real difference when you add them.

Izzy

Gill Sans is the correct option for LNER from 1928 and the BR after nationalisation until 1964 when Rail Alphabet (a variation of Transport, as used on motorway signs, Helvetica is a close option, I've got the font somewhere!) replaced it along with the corporate re-brand, Gill Sans came back in 1994 with privatisation being displaced in recent years by Raleway, I do have Raleway which is the current signage font (with the W looking like two V V crossing over) on my computer at work.

Let me know what size you want it to fit and background colour and it'll take me two mins :D
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: Mito on July 23, 2018, 04:21:04 pm
I have two BR fonts, heavy and normal. If anyone would like them I can send them the files.
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: Izzy on July 23, 2018, 04:36:28 pm

 I don't know what font you used but I have read that Trebuchet MS - particularly the bolder options - are a good match for BR fonts. I think in some apps you can adjust the letter spacing as well to suit.  It's all looking really good, but I do find it surprising how some of the smaller details like this can seem to make a real difference when you add them.

Izzy

Gill Sans is the correct option for LNER from 1928 and the BR after nationalisation until 1964 when Rail Alphabet (a variation of Transport, as used on motorway signs, Helvetica is a close option, I've got the font somewhere!) replaced it along with the corporate re-brand, Gill Sans came back in 1994 with privatisation being displaced in recent years by Raleway, I do have Raleway which is the current signage font (with the W looking like two V V crossing over) on my computer at work.

Let me know what size you want it to fit and background colour and it'll take me two mins :D

Yes, I offered the idea of Trebuchet MS because not everyone has access to Gill sans as it's not a free font. I think it matches mostly except with the lower case g.

Izzy
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: Black Sheep on July 23, 2018, 08:15:19 pm

Gill Sans is the correct option for LNER from 1928 and the BR after nationalisation until 1964 when Rail Alphabet (a variation of Transport, as used on motorway signs, Helvetica is a close option, I've got the font somewhere!) replaced it along with the corporate re-brand, Gill Sans came back in 1994 with privatisation being displaced in recent years by Raleway, I do have Raleway which is the current signage font (with the W looking like two V V crossing over) on my computer at work.

Let me know what size you want it to fit and background colour and it'll take me two mins :D

Yes, I offered the idea of Trebuchet MS because not everyone has access to Gill sans as it's not a free font. I think it matches mostly except with the lower case g.

Izzy

There's a few diferences between the two, M being another one, I'd have to have a check which are the other closest options - If ayone needs anything doing in Gill Sans or Raleway etc I'm happy to do so
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: belstone on July 24, 2018, 07:45:55 am
Thanks for All the font tips.  I tried Gill Sans last night but it's still not quite right.  Something about the proportions of the letters.  It's a distinctive style that was used in the Borders and I'll find it eventually.

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: Train Waiting on July 24, 2018, 08:48:34 am
Thanks for All the font tips.  I tried Gill Sans last night but it's still not quite right.  Something about the proportions of the letters.  It's a distinctive style that was used in the Borders and I'll find it eventually.

Richard

I agree, Richard.  The station nameboard would not (normally) have been the work of the LNER or BR.  It would have dated from NBR days (assuming the NB built the line rather than taking over an independent company).  It would probably have been made from cast iron letters screwed on to a wooden board.  I think that it looks very good as it is, although, as you say, perhaps just a tad wide on the spacing.

A lovely layout.

John
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: Black Sheep on July 24, 2018, 09:54:22 am
Thanks for All the font tips.  I tried Gill Sans last night but it's still not quite right.  Something about the proportions of the letters.  It's a distinctive style that was used in the Borders and I'll find it eventually.

Richard

Got a photo?

Work is quiet and I have a number of graphic designers around who may recognise the font
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: belstone on July 24, 2018, 11:43:10 pm
Thanks for All the font tips.  I tried Gill Sans last night but it's still not quite right.  Something about the proportions of the letters.  It's a distinctive style that was used in the Borders and I'll find it eventually.

Richard

Got a photo?

Work is quiet and I have a number of graphic designers around who may recognise the font

I can't find many photos of station nameboards in the region but managed to extract this from a larger photo.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-c227pg6/0/bcad8195/Th/scots_gap_name-Th.jpg)

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: belstone on July 25, 2018, 11:10:08 pm
Back onto reliability testing (a.k.a. playing trains).  Every time something goes wrong, even if it is just a loco hesitating over pointwork, I stop and investigate. In two evenings of intensive operation I have had to adjust the coupler height on two wagons, regauge a couple of wheelsets, change one wobbly wagon wheelset, make a new drawbar for the J39, and clean a couple of bits of track I missed.

The latest problem is the turnout at the far end of the platform.  It is one of the originals from when I built the layout, a modified (i.e. butchered) Finetrax item and slightly narrow to gauge through the frog crossing which was OK with NEM back to back at 7.45mm, but not at all happy with NMRA wheelsets at 7.65mm.  I attacked it with a Dremel which was a bit heavy-handed in hindsight, then tidied it up with a file, but the B1 still bumps and lurches through it.  I could replace it but it is only really used for loco release and doesn't actually cause derailments so I think I will leave it for now. The B1 is seriously intolerant of even the slightest track defects.

The next job on the list is a controller.  I have a circuit diagram from MERG for a controller designed specifically for N gauge back in 1993 with switchable feedback and other nice things, but turning the diagram into a PCB with the same dimensions as my old AMR controller is a bit beyond my skills.  I'll find a way round this problem somehow, then I can get my feedback-intolerant locos (2MT, J27 and the second J39 with a weird 6-pole square can motor) back into action.  For now the BRCW Type 2 is doing most of the work: here it is shunting the daily goods and about to shunt the five wagons behind the brake van into three different sidings, all hands-off.  Most satisfying.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-ZWqTc4G/0/57209549/M/DSCN2093-M.jpg)

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: kirky on July 26, 2018, 07:49:55 am
Fantastic attention to detail Richard, again.
Im wondering if the heat is causing you some problems - well your railway at least. Reports today suggest you might hit the hottest spot in the UK ever today -somewhere near 38 degrees I think - phew thats hot.
Cheers
Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: Izzy on July 26, 2018, 08:29:12 am
When I first started using coreless in the early 1980’s the late Len Rich (of AMR) tried adjusting one of controllers I had to work with them. Sadly no manner of alteration would really work and in the end I made my own - slightly larger - handhelds from the panel kits Gaugemaster used to sell, the 100k, a simple emitter/follower circuit controller said to be suitable for use with coreless. And they have been, while also giving good control of ‘ordinary’ motor locos.

I often wonder if the current Gaugemaster basic handhelds are the same/similar. I do have a couple of the Bachmann units out of sets I have bought, which are nowhere near as good in comparison, quite poor actually.

Izzy
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: SheldonC on July 27, 2018, 09:29:18 pm
When I first started using coreless in the early 1980’s the late Len Rich (of AMR) tried adjusting one of controllers I had to work with them. Sadly no manner of alteration would really work and in the end I made my own - slightly larger - handhelds from the panel kits Gaugemaster used to sell, the 100k, a simple emitter/follower circuit controller said to be suitable for use with coreless. And they have been, while also giving good control of ‘ordinary’ motor locos.

I often wonder if the current Gaugemaster basic handhelds are the same/similar. I do have a couple of the Bachmann units out of sets I have bought, which are nowhere near as good in comparison, quite poor actually.

Izzy
Best plan would be to ask them; Gaugemaster were obligingly prompt in replying to my similar query about one of their 35-year-old simulator controllers.
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: belstone on August 01, 2018, 12:02:03 am
(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-nNwM4HH/0/fcc60432/M/DSCN2095-M.jpg)

After overdosing on North-Eastern modelling at Railex NE on Sunday I have been inspired to dig out my "proper" Northumbrian engine.  65789 has now been regauged to NMRA standards and fitted with couplers.  With the back to back set at 7.65mm it derailed in a couple of places and wasn't happy, so I squeezed the loco wheels inward a fraction and it is now fine.  I suspect the flanges are a bit on the thick side - the tender wheels are set at 7.65 and have given no problems. My J27 is abominably crude compared to Bob Jones' (2mm FS) J26 on Fencehouses, but at least mine has handrails and paint  :nerner:

It's still not a great runner - weedy motor and not enough weight over the driving wheels.  At some point I will rework it with a larger motor in the tender driving through a shaft and universal joints.  Ideally I would move the drive gear to the rear axle at the same time and get rid of the unsightly wormwheel under the boiler, but I think that might be pushing my luck, there's little enough left of the original Farish chassis as it is.

Looking at the picture above reminds me that I am thinking about changing the backscene.  I have never really been happy with it, too prominent and with a big join and glue smears on it.  I am going to try painting my own representation of distant hills and see what happens. Here is the real thing, the view north from the back of the village courtesy of Google Maps.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-vZhNwGG/0/c364c155/M/longfram%20scene-M.jpg)

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: belstone on August 04, 2018, 11:08:55 pm
I thought that before scrapping my backscene I would see if it could be improved slightly, so I set to work with a tester pot of matt emulsion and some watercolour blocks.  I have lopped between one and two inches off the top of the hills behind the terraced houses, touched up the join at the station end and painted over some of the more obvious glue smudges.  Still needs a little bit more work but I am pretty happy with it. This first photo was taken from almost exactly the same position as the one in my post on 25th July and I think the difference is obvious enough.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-XrkvsgJ/0/c1ee6f65/M/DSCN2098-M.jpg)

I then had another decent length operating session, two goods trains and one passenger, all running well with only the occasional hiccup.  Here a J39 stands in the yard with a typically North-Eastern coal hopper.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-mP9FWBp/0/bcd053ff/M/DSCN2101-M.jpg)

I finished the evening by digging out my box of unfinished locos to see what could be made to run.  At the moment I have in working order:

64843 J39
65789 J27
61184 B1
D5307 BRCW Type 2

Of the project locos:
46474 (Ivatt 2MT) needs regauging and new couplers, and doesn't really like my AMR controller although it just about copes.

The second J39 (currently anonymous) is in much the same state.

69155 (N15 tank) has a bad limp which has so far defied all efforts to correct it.

D6134 (NBL Type 2 diesel) - the surprise of the evening.  It is an old Langley body kit on an Atlas chassis from the 1980s.  I wasn't expecting much, but I tried it and it just glides along.  The reason?  It is an American chassis so the wheelsets are to NMRA standards, the same standards I am now using for my track. 

I have a second Atlas chassis but it has electrical issues.  If fixed it looks like it might provide a mechanism for a diesel of some kind.

62023 (K1) - running on a 1970s Poole Farish chassis and the flanges are actually deeper than the height of Code 40 rail.  Anyone got a late production (Poole designed) Black Five set of wheels and motion?

If I'm not careful I will end up with more locos than wagons.  Time to get back to making and fitting couplers for a few days.

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: Train Waiting on August 05, 2018, 08:51:59 am
Thank you for these splendid photographs, Richard.

I think your re-worked backscene looks super.

John
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: maridunian on August 05, 2018, 04:55:48 pm
I thought that before scrapping my backscene I would see if it could be improved slightly, so I set to work with a tester pot of matt emulsion

Looks good, especially its lower contrast than the foreground objects. Do you plan to curve the corner ?

Mike
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: Mito on August 05, 2018, 06:38:18 pm
Much improved :thumbsup: If my memory serves me right it looks more typical of that part of the world.
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: port perran on August 05, 2018, 07:44:58 pm
Very atmospheric.
I think it looks excellent.
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: belstone on August 05, 2018, 10:19:52 pm

Looks good, especially its lower contrast than the foreground objects. Do you plan to curve the corner ?

Mike

The backscene is removable in three sections, it has to be as the backboard is in one piece and does not have a break at the join between the two baseboards.  Making a detachable backscene with curved ends would be tricky I think.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-39qFfbV/0/6abc9dc8/M/DSCN2102-M.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-ks694PJ/0/2fbf1e20/M/DSCN2105-M.jpg)

Meanwhile back in 1963... the introduction of diesels saw various types tried out in different parts of the country.  Gateshead has the dubious pleasure of a North British Type 2 (later class 29) on loan from Glasgow Eastfield, and Control has sensibly sent it to work the Longframlington branch, where it will not cause too much trouble when it breaks down...  D6134 is a deeply ancient Langley / Atlas kitbuilt relic which survived my clearout of N gauge models about fifteen years ago mainly because I didn't think anyone would want it. It has a certain period charm, and it doesn't look like we will see an RTR one any time soon. Given that this kit has been available for thirty years now I am surprised that I never see any others.

 I have spent a bit of time fettling the mechanism but it still has pickup issues due to poor design and will shortly be returned to St Rollox Works for further rectification and some attention to the rather clumsy painted windowframes and handrails.  If I could get the thing to pick up from more than one axle at a time it would be a fabulous runner: the original motor was getting a little tired so it now has a skew-wound 5-pole replacement from China.

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: kirky on August 06, 2018, 06:57:43 pm
Anyone got a late production (Poole designed) Black Five set of wheels and motion?
I think I have Richard, I'll have a look in the loft when I next get sent up there.  :hmmm:

Chers
Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: belstone on August 08, 2018, 11:34:44 pm
I have spent a couple of evenings fitting couplers to vehicles (including my old Minitrix Gresley brake end) and rewarded myself with another operating session in which nothing much went wrong. I'm now getting consistently good reliability for the first time in my long involvement with N gauge, so I must be doing something right.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-XHJfz52/0/971c59b7/M/DSCN2108-M.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-6jzSmhs/0/8c95cccf/M/DSCN2111-M.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-xNcxhHj/0/90453d9f/M/DSCN2110-M.jpg)

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: belstone on August 12, 2018, 07:34:11 am
I spent a couple of hours yesterday adding small details including some people.  These were £2 for 100, needed a bit of work with a paintbrush but they don't look too bad to my eyes anyway.  I had a rummage around in my box of scenic bits and found platform lamps, oil drums, sacks, pallets, sheep hurdles, packing cases and bicycles, all of which have found a place on the layout.  I don't think I can add much more without losing that relaxed, uncluttered, slow-paced feel that I have been trying to achieve. 

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-bD7T34b/0/32b9b71c/M/DSCN2113-M.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-WfVkqRC/0/f1b1c8d2/M/DSCN2116-M.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-nrGV52P/0/5ae85f24/M/DSCN2119-M.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-j3LxhZx/0/5824c116/M/DSCN2120-M.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-6W7k7QG/0/c06300e7/M/DSCN2121-M.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-Fdnd72z/0/ed8eab57/M/DSCN2123-M.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-j5z2k5p/0/3e48b70a/M/DSCN2125-M.jpg)

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: Innovationgame on August 12, 2018, 07:44:05 am
A really good set of pictures.
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: Bealman on August 12, 2018, 07:47:37 am
You have done a good job, and have managed to maintain the uncluttered look you want.  :thumbsup:

I most say those figures look a lot better than the usual cheap bulk packs that are around.

Can I ask where you sourced them, please?  :beers:
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: belstone on August 12, 2018, 07:57:09 am
You have done a good job, and have managed to maintain the uncluttered look you want.  :thumbsup:

I most say those figures look a lot better than the usual cheap bulk packs that are around.

Can I ask where you sourced them, please?  :beers:

China, via Ebay.  You get about ten different poses in a variety of mostly rather lairy colours and the price seems to have gone up since I bought mine, but compared to the Farish figures at around nine quid for six they are still good value.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/253292824227 (https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/253292824227)

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: kirky on August 12, 2018, 08:41:05 am
Richard, the pictures look great. Just the right the number of people in a quiet rural seting. Perfct.
I've bought a set of those people in the past and they certainly arent anywhere near as refined as the Farish or Noch people. However, with a bit of surgery they can be made into good passengers or even train drivers.
Presumably the running is as good as ever and those couplings working the way the are intended?
Cheers
Kirky
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: port perran on August 12, 2018, 08:55:17 am
The figures look fine and as Bealman says, you have reatianed the uncluttered look really nicely.
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: Newportnobby on August 12, 2018, 09:38:38 am
I agree with Kirky in that, given the location and era, you have the proportion of vehicles/people pretty much spot on. Maybe a small group chatting outside a shop?
I confess to never having seen a sheep hurdling anything, though :confused2: :dunce:
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: Mito on August 12, 2018, 08:55:57 pm
+1 to all above. A really nice rural scene :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: belstone on August 14, 2018, 08:37:51 am
Found in a junk shop in Newcastle, a reel of 8mm silent film showing the Longframlington branch in operation in 1961. Enjoy!

Richard



(Back to 2018, and my £20 Chinese camcorder is about as good as I thought it would be.  I also knocked the signal while track cleaning and didn't notice until I had uploaded the video.  The music is to cover up the sound of my dog repeatedly picking up a large bone and dropping it on the floor :) )
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: Bealman on August 14, 2018, 08:56:15 am
Mate, you've captured the atmosphere perfectly. You realise just how laid back it was then. Almost wish I was working there!

Looking back on it though, totally inefficient!

Great vid of a great layout.  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: weave on August 14, 2018, 09:19:07 am
Really lovely,

Nice and soothing before the bin men get here.

Great stuff.

Cheers weave  :beers:
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: Train Waiting on August 14, 2018, 11:20:21 am
That film was a really lucky find, Richard.  We are so fortunate that it did not get thrown in the bin.

What year did Longframlington close?

Many thanks for a reel treat.

John
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: Bealman on August 14, 2018, 11:22:19 am
How do I view the 8mm?  :hmmm:
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: Bealman on August 14, 2018, 11:25:04 am
Oh, hang on.... I get it...... bit slow on the uptake here.... but it is 8.30 and I've got back from club  :-[
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: wookie on August 14, 2018, 04:03:13 pm
Very nice vid
Nice calming musizzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz  :sleep:
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: belstone on August 19, 2018, 10:51:13 am
I'm busy with all sorts of things but finding the odd hour to fiddle with the layout.  Still slowly working through my stock box bringing various items up to current standards (latest spec Magpie couplers and 7.65mm back to backs).  Here are a couple of new arrivals.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-LDCJhLr/0/1660b2ff/M/DSCN2176-M.jpg)

The N15 has featured on the forum before.  It started life as a plastic-bodied Farish GP tank, but little enough remains that I think I can reasonably call it scratchbuilt.  First time round I ran into all kinds of issues getting the thing to run, and I gave up on it for a while.  But I have now sorted its issues which turned out to be three separate faults all interacting with each other (quartering out on the front axle, one coupling rod very slightly bent, and the end of a crankpin catching on the side steps) and it now runs exceptionally well.  N15s were useful and long-lived engines but seldom ventured out of the central Scotland industrial belt and this one is well out of place at Longframlington.  I have however seen far more outrageous applications of Rule One, and it doesn't look entirely unhappy in rural Northumberland. A North Eastern N10 might be slightly more plausible though.

Coupled to it is a slope sided Diagram 1/100 mineral wagon which have always fascinated me for some reason.  This is a repainted Farish wagon bought cheap, and for which I was amazed to find I had a set of transfers.  They have four-digit or five numbers given to them by the Ministry of War Transport, to which BR added a B prefix.  This one is B4566. They were designed by Chas Roberts pre-war for private owner use, and built in large numbers by various wagon builders as a standard wartime design.  All gone by 1967 and make a change from the usual flat-sided 16 tonner.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-Cmx6tk9/0/f31c466a/M/DSCN2178-M.jpg)

I couldn't resist this Ford Thames van in BR livery from Oxford Diecast.  The wheels have been painted black and the whole thing given a coat of matt varnish as with all the road vehicles.  Gloss finish doesn't work in N gauge in my opinion, glossy things just look wrong. I also acquired a Ford Anglia, maroon with a grey roof, just like the one my Dad owned around the time I had my first N gauge layout in the mid Seventies. That's probably enough vehicles.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-pFgcpgB/0/442ad807/M/DSCN2174-M.jpg)

I can't remember where I read about using wine corks for track cleaning but it has changed my life.  This is a brand new cork after just one pass, on track that had been cleaned about a week previously.  What is this grey stuff and where does it come from?

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: Bealman on August 19, 2018, 11:10:31 am
Where do I get wine corks from?

Everything here is screwtops!

Mind you, it is cheap wine!  ;)
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: Lindi on August 19, 2018, 11:17:57 am
Where do I get wine corks from?




They're attached to your hat

(http://i.ebayimg.com/images/i/201056440235-0-1/s-l1000.jpg)
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: Newportnobby on August 19, 2018, 11:19:55 am
Where do I get wine corks from?




They're attached to your hat

([url]http://i.ebayimg.com/images/i/201056440235-0-1/s-l1000.jpg[/url])


 :laughabovepost: :smiley-laughing: :smiley-laughing:
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: Bealman on August 19, 2018, 11:20:15 am
 :laughabovepost: :laughabovepost:
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: belstone on August 19, 2018, 10:39:23 pm
With Longfram now booked for an exhibition (although not until next summer) I am thinking about building some proper supports. At the moment it is on three 12" tall trestles on the dining table. Straight away I run into the height problem.  For your average adult spectator it wants to be about four feet off the ground, but this makes it inaccessible to smaller children and the wheelchair-bound.  So I had an idea...

Keep the trestles, and plonk the layout onto a sub-board around 5' x 2'6", on which there is another layout running underneath the main one.  This will be a rather less serious affair than Longframlington - narrow gauge (possibly O-16.5) with trains popping in and out of tunnels, and a theme to appeal to children and adults with a sense of humour.  There is a Hobbit-themed layout in this month's RM which is sort of what I have in mind. Rivet counters will probably find little to hold their interest.  Automatic control so I can just set it running and ignore it.  Has anyone seen this kind of thing done before?

Richard

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: Innovationgame on August 20, 2018, 06:35:40 am
That sounds like an excellent solution! 
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: Bealman on August 20, 2018, 06:57:15 am
Yes, one used to appear at exhibitions here during the nineties. Unfortunately I forget it's name and owner, but it was a frivolous little layout, fully automatic, and very popular with both kids and adults alike.
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: Newportnobby on August 20, 2018, 09:40:42 am
There is a Hobbit-themed layout in this month's RM


That would be forum member Bridgiesimon's layout Hobbiton End

http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=42174.msg521776#msg521776 (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=42174.msg521776#msg521776)
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: belstone on August 22, 2018, 07:46:22 am
(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-nHsd57T/0/e90e66a8/M/DSCN2183-M.jpg)

Another wagon joins the fleet - a BR gunpowder van, Dapol bought cheap unboxed and repainted.  It needs the roof redoing:  I had problems with some poor quality Humbrol grey paint which took about a fortnight to dry and even then looked terrible.  This van has brought blasting explosives for the local quarry. I have been reading the rules for dealing with explosives traffic - should be marshalled in the middle of a train, at least two wagons (non-exploding) between it and the loco, not to be unloaded inside goods sheds, not to be loose shunted.

While I had the camera out I thought I would have a wander round  the station and take a few pictures.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-h7n2Hm9/0/6d926dbf/M/DSCN2185-M.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-N4wMcDz/0/ea49064b/M/DSCN2187-M.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-F9Mf2p7/0/b6827371/M/DSCN2189-M.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-7CBNrhh/0/8af89b79/M/DSCN2191-M.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-tVgvHpC/0/3641d84e/M/DSCN2193-M.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Longframlington/i-rkxNZ4t/0/7f448532/M/DSCN2195-M.jpg)

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: Bealman on August 22, 2018, 08:05:17 am
More great pics of a great layout!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: Bealman on August 22, 2018, 08:06:58 am
There is a Hobbit-themed layout in this month's RM


That would be forum member Bridgiesimon's layout Hobbiton End

[url]http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=42174.msg521776#msg521776[/url] ([url]http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=42174.msg521776#msg521776[/url])


Yep, had a quick look at that today. Looks good, doesn't it!
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: belstone on September 12, 2018, 10:12:23 am
Quick update: Longfram is alive and well and has survived a house move with only a couple of broken bits.  It is however very difficult to transport, partly because the boards are so heavy and partly because of all the electrics, turnout operating mechanisms etc sticking out underneath. I really need to look at that aspect before it goes to any exhibitions.

I have started on my next loco bashing project (bodging a Poole Farish 4F into an approximation of an ex NB J37) which has had some knock-on effects.  Although the wheels on the 4F look fairly fine profile (it is a late production example with blackened wheels) it wouldn't run smoothly through all my pointwork however much I fiddled with back to backs.  I was already aware that there were a few spots where the gauge was a bit narrow, mostly on the old pointwork at the station throat, so I got out the soldering iron and spent an hour making minor adjustments.  The 4F now runs everywhere at any speed without derailing, so I can get on with making a new cab and firebox, extending the front frames and replacing the straight tender tops with curved ones.  Like my previous efforts (2P, J27, N15) it will be somewhat inaccurate but hopefully the proportions will be about right which is what really matters from normal viewing distances.

Richard
Title: Re: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)
Post by: maridunian on September 12, 2018, 01:47:36 pm
... the proportions will be about right which is what really matters from normal viewing distances.

Richard

Hear, hear! I can never get too close to a model when I'm building it, but after that I aim to keep at least 12 inches away - from a scale ~50 yards off, exact dimensions and small details are lost in the bigger picture.

Mike