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Author Topic: Teignbridge, Langstone & Holcombe- early '60s BR, 4x2 with multiple scenic areas  (Read 57745 times)

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Offline E Pinniger

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Thanks for the comments! Here are some photos of recent additions to the rolling stock, I hope to get the branch scenery pics done next (photos already taken, need to edit + resize them before posting)

As well as buildings and scenery I've been doing a bit more repainting and weathering of rolling stock. Although I'd accumulated a fair selection of weathered open wagons - enough to run a sizeable train - I was rather short of vans, despite these being a major component of BR steam-era freight operations. So I decided to do something about it:



The Minitrix Shocvan (middle of top row) was acquired in good condition, but all the other vans shown are cobbled together from eBay "scrapyard" lots - many have chassis and bodies from different sources, replacements for missing buffers (brass pin heads!) or roofs (styrene sheet). The ex-GW cattle wagon has replacement bars made from fine brass wire. The fitted vans are also detailed with vacuum pipes (see below for how I made these). The other 3 are standard BR, ex-LNER, and ex-SR box vans. I sanded down the roof of the latter (an old Farish model) in an attempt to better represent the distinctive shape of the prototype, but it still doesn't look quite right.

I left the Shocvan body unpainted as it has some nicely printed stencils, just adding a coat of matt varnish to reduce the "plasticy" shine. All the other vans (most of which were very tatty and/or in the wrong liveries) were completely repainted in various shades of "bauxite" red and the roofs with various greys (all Revell, Humbrol and Lifecolor acrylics). Stencils are hand-painted as I don't currently have any suitable decals, and I find from normal viewing distances the painted stencils look OK - though I'm still intending to buy some decals from the NGS shop at some point!





I decided to detail the vans (other than the ex SR one which is non-fitted) with vacuum pipes, and to save having to buy ready-made ones (especially since they won't be visible in detail when the vans are in a train) I made them out of thin copper wire (about 0.6mm I think). They're fairly easy to make with fine round-nosed and flat pliers. I first used the round pliers to bend the wire into a semicircle, then bent this back on itself, creating a "P" shape. Finally I bent the bottom of the wire at 90' to form a peg which fits into a hole drilled in the buffer beam. The finished pipes were painted black and the "hose" part dark grey.










Here are the finished and weathered vans on the layout (on the GWR junction side again), hauled by a Class 25 which is rather in need of of some weathering itself (it's actually a factory-weathered model, but as usual the roof and upper body are pristine) along with a previously painted 12t box van, open wagon and BR standard brake van.








Closeup photos, as usual weathering was done using oil washes, drybrushed acrylics (to give a faded, bleached effect to the paint on some of the vans) and powders.




I've also finally got this "relic" running again! It's a SR (ex-LSWR) S15 4-6-0 built years ago by my father using a Langley kit on a tender-driven Fleischmann chassis. I restored it cosmetically last year, but failed to get it running with any degree of reliability, as the pickups were badly damaged, so it stayed on the display shelf until last week, when I replaced all the pickups with new ones made from thin phosphor bronze strip, and also replaced the loco-tender connection with much finer wire. It now runs superbly (actually better than any of my old Farish locos) and just needs a bit more cosmetic restoration to look decent. The combination of the very reliable Fleischmann mechanism, pickup on all the loco wheels, and the weight of the metal bodyshell makes it a very smooth runner - the heavy, free-wheeling loco has enough momentum to give a slight "flywheel" effect when stopping!
I might replace the SR lettering on the tender with post-nationalisation BR lettering, which would make it more suited to my layout's era without having to spoil the existing paint job. Alternatively I may keep it as a SR loco for running occasional "pre-nationalisation" trains. It's pulling a train of old Farish SR coaches which, with some modifications to the roof, will make passable Maunsells (they have the right window/door layout)

Offline EtchedPixels

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Looking really nice.

One thing about making the vacuum pipes. If you take slightly thinner wire and wrap fine wire (eg enamelled wire for solenoids) around it you can get pipes that look at least as good as the white metal ones, and IMHO far better and for a lot less.

The process is much the same as you've done there but starting by supergluing a loop of wire to one end of the metal rod and then making a coil of wire down part of it and glueing the other end (either by hand or with it in a *hand* drill)
"Knowledge has no value or use for the solitary owner: to be enjoyed it must be communicated" -- Charles Pratt, 1st Earl Camden

Offline E Pinniger

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One thing about making the vacuum pipes. If you take slightly thinner wire and wrap fine wire (eg enamelled wire for solenoids) around it you can get pipes that look at least as good as the white metal ones, and IMHO far better and for a lot less.

Thanks for the suggestion -  I might try this next time I'm detailing a loco model. IMO it's a bit too much work for rolling stock where the vacuum pipes will usually only be glimpsed in between the wagons when coupled into a train, but the pipes on the front of a locomotive (or the rear of a brake van) are a lot more noticeable. I do have some white metal castings, but found them a bit heavy and chunky-looking.

Offline E Pinniger

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 finally got round to sorting out the photos of the branch/light railway section. Overall I'm really pleased with how it turned out; though it's a small part of the layout in terms of area, it has some quite complex scenery, and having the whole layout landscaped with no bare plywood remaining makes it look a lot less unfinished.

The light railway serves a granite quarry on the edge of Dartmoor (the main reason for its existence, passenger services being something of an afterthought!) and is part of the Colonel Stephens' "empire" - though by the late 1950s/early 60s date represented by my layout it would probably be nationalised. Its name, the Teign Valley Light Railway, was inspired by the Peco "Teign Valley Granite Co." mineral wagons of which I have several, it can be assumed that the terminus at Holcombe is somewhere in the upper Teign valley in the Moretonhampstead/Chagford area, though the real Holcombe is not far from the south coast near Dawlish.

Scenery-wise it's heavily inspired by the West Somerset Mineral Railway as well as the Princetown branch and the Hay Tor Tramway (the latter was a horse-drawn line with granite rails). The terminus station (as yet unbuilt) at Holcombe will be based on Comberow on the WSMR (http://www.disused-stations.org.uk/c/comberow/index.shtml) and the intermediate halt, which hasn't got a name yet, will be a more typical Col. Stephens structure with sleeper platform and corrugated iron shelter.



Here are some work-in-progress photos of the scenery. It's made using the same method of polystyrene foam covered with Polyfilla that I used for the rest of the layout. I've found that PVA-soaked tissue works better than filler for covering foam scenery in most cases - it's much lighter and somewhat easier + less messy to apply - but since the scenery here has a lot of exposed rock surfaces (which filler is still best for IMO) and is a fairly small area, I just used filler for the whole lot. Building up the stream banks was quite a challenge.
The station yard area is built up with cork sheet to give a reasonably flat surface. The wiring channels will be covered up by the station platform and yard ballast.





As before, the modelled scenery is painted with various mixes of cheap acrylic craft paint, and "weathered" with a dark brown oil wash; the rocks also had green oil washes added to represent moss and algae. The streams were painted a dark green-brown colour then coated with several layers of gloss varnish, finally light grey was drybrushed around rocky areas to represent fast moving water.









And here are some overall photos of the completed scenery with scatter and vegetation added. The first photo gives an idea of how the area looks as part of the complete layout, and how the layout overall looks now the branch is landscaped. The rather rough-looking plywood backdrop to the junction module below will eventually get covered over (as was the one on the town model).

Offline E Pinniger

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Closeup views, starting with the terminus station end (Holcombe). As well as the station itself, this will have a corrugated iron engine shed, a small signalbox/ground frame, and a loading bay for the granite wagons, along with a couple more low-relief village buildings (which will be scratchbuilt, the one already in place is a slightly modified Dornaplas kit). A small girder bridge will be modelled where the line crosses over the stream. The road surface will also be re-worked at some point to give a more convincing level crossing and hide the gap at the edge of the removable section (which is over the engine shed)









The intermediate section of the branch runs through the edge of the moorland, with granite outcrops and sparse vegetation. At the halfway point the line bridges a small stream and crosses a farm track, which will be the location of the halt (yet to be modelled, along with the bridges, crossing gates, fencing etc.!)










A few pictures of trains running on the branch (not particularly good photos, now I've got a new digital camera I'll take some better ones soon). The NCB J94 will eventually get repainted in the light railway's own scheme (as has the LMS dock tank) with detailing such as handrails; the Peco granite wagons are also in definite need of weathering! The Farish 4-wheel coach will eventually be joined by an assortment of pre-Grouping Southern region 4-wheelers, all from Etched Pixels' kits, once I get round to building them! The branch will also have some goods stock of its own (in addition to the granite wagons) which will probably be scratchbuilt based again on pre-Grouping types from the LSWR, LBSCR or similar. A "birdcage" type brake van would be nice, I think BHE made a kit for one but don't think they're taking orders currently?

The layout hasn't made much progress since I took these photos (I've mostly been working on other modelling projects, including some scratchbuilt buildings for my small OO gauge layout) but I'll post more updates once it has. The next priority is to repaint and weather some more stock (including a few more locos) and make a start on the footbridge for the junction station (which will be a modified/adapted Revell kit).

Offline Newportnobby

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Thanks for the update, E-P.
Looks excellent :thumbsup:

Offline E Pinniger

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I've made more progress on the layout's scenery and buildings over the last couple of months, as well as making some more additions to the rolling stock collection including a Q1 0-6-0 and some more Mk1 suburban coaches. More significantly from the point of view of this thread I've finally taken some decent overall photos of the layout in its current state - I've got a new digital camera (fairly old now but quite a high-end SLR type when it was new) along with a tripod, and have been taking some photos with much higher f-stop (depth of field) settings and under more controlled lighting conditions. I've also got the hang of using Paint Shop Pro to blank out the background clutter (walls, furniture etc) from the photos, and overall I'm fairly pleased with the results. Here's an example showing a coal train passing Langstone Junction, which now has railings on the main platform (and the footbridge is currently under construction so the passengers can actually get to the island platform)



This photo isn't centred very well, and it really shows up that I need to get round to re-surfacing the "sky" backdrop behind the station, but it's overall a lot better than my previous attempts at photographing the layout.

And here are some overall "birds eye view" photos of the layout - photo quality not quite so good here but they give an idea of how everything looks currently.








Other than some walls, fences and railings, and a bit more vegetation, the main change is to the right-hand side of the seaside junction module, where I've removed much of the tunnel area and built a new section of cliff face and sea wall. I wasn't totally happy with the scenery in this corner (see below) and also wanted a bit more open scenery for trains to run through, rather than simply running out of the tunnel, through the station and into another tunnel. Although the scenery modifications only give about 25cm more track "in the open" it still makes a big difference (IMO) to the overall look of this side of the layout. Here's a closeup of the remodelled area:



The branch line now crosses over on a girder bridge. The isolating switches for this section of the main line are now exposed, but they will eventually be hidden under a removable lineside hut. (The larger switch bank on the left hand side of the layout will similarly be covered by a building, eventually!)

And here's what it looked like before remodelling:



I really wasn't happy with the branch line running right over the top of the tunnel portal, or with the latter having one side cut away to give more clearance; in fact the whole area had a rather contrived look more suited to an OO9 "rabbit warren" layout. The new scenery isn't totally ideal (in particular, the curved girder bridge) but is still an improvement.


v

It now appears to have taken a a direct hit from a Grand Slam bomb  :worried: It looks a real mess in this photo, but with care I was able to remove the foam/plaster scenery and its wooden underframe without damaging the track or the rest of the scenery.
I don't have any work-in-progress photos of the new scenery - it was made using the same techniques as the rest of the layout, with an expanded polystyrene core coated with Polyfilla, then painted, weathered with oil washes and covered with scenic scatter where needed.






Some closeups of the remodelled area from other angles. It's loosely modelled on the Teignmouth end of Parson's Tunnel on the real South Devon main line, and the tunnel portal is also modelled on this prototype. The short section of sea wall is made from a core of styrene strip covered in Slaters textured sheet. A much longer section of sea wall is opposite Langstone Junction station and will be shown in the next post (or two). As mentioned earlier, the section switches will end up hidden under a removable PW hut.





The branch line's truss girder bridge uses the familiar Peco mouldings (which I had in my scenery/building bits box) but don't look bad after some painting and weathering. A curved girder bridge isn't very prototypical (though it's actually angled rather than smoothly curved) but it still looks more convincing than the previous setup. The holiday cottage next to the branch also now has a garden fence (Ratio mouldings, painted and weathered)

Overall I'm very pleased with the look of the scenery after remodelling. It makes a big difference to be able to see trains running in the open past the cliffs for a while before reaching the station/yard area, and also gives another angle to photograph trains from!

You might notice from the thread title that I've also changed the name of the junction station to Langstone, after the location northeast of Dawlish Warren which has fairly similar geography, including a rocky outcrop between the railway and the sea at the point where it curves northwards. Coryton (the original name for the station) SW of Dawlish is a much more confined location with little space between the railway and cliffs and an even shorter distance between tunnel portals than on my layout! It could also be confused with the location of the same name in Essex (an oil terminal which still has a rail connection I think). Since there are no station nameboards or road signs yet, the name change doesn't affect much yet other than the title of the thread...

More photos in a day or two!

Offline Newportnobby

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To my eye the improvements look great, E-P.
And yes - I like the 'curved' truss bridge as well :thumbsup:

Offline E Pinniger

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Some new photos of Teignbridge side. Not much change here since the last update, but at least I now have some decent quality photos of this section. I've had some ideas for what's going to go in the unfinished areas of the town, and should make a start on this soon(ish!). I may end up scratchbuilding the shops and pub rather than using a kitbashed Kestrel model as I originally planned. Still haven't found a suitable prototype for the engine and goods shed so these still consist of holes in the backdrop! Similarly, Teignbridge station is still looking rather bare and unfinished and in definite need of some lamps, signs, seating etc. (I already have some etched LSWR seat kits, lamps and signs will probably be scratchbuilt)















Some trains, including the new Mk1 suburbans hauled by a 61xx (only the closest coach is weathered, the other two are still awaiting this treatment, hence the shiny unpainted roofs)








And finally some views of the branch section, again not much change here (other than a bit of lineside fencing) but the better quality photos should show off the scenery better. This area should look a lot more interesting when I've made a start on the branch terminus and its yard. The Class 14 has been slightly retouched with new headcodes and BR logo (Fox Transfers decals) and a bit more weathering.










Photos of Langstone Junction side (with the new sea wall and station railings) should be in the next update. Currently on my workbench are this station's footbridge (modified Ratio kit), some Mk1 coaches for weathering, and the Langley kitbuilt Q1 (nearly finished now) which should appear in this thread before long.

Offline Agrafarfan

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Nice pics, this is one of my favourite layouts, we used to go to Devon every year with family this reminds me of those times :thumbsup:

Offline Skyline2uk

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 :jawdropping:

Absolutely superb stuff, you should be very proud Sir.

A true inspiration to me in the coming months (with the autumn in sight I hope to start more modelling).

Keep up the good work  :thumbsup:

Skyline2uk

Offline Geoff

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Superb modelling but you need to call the council out to repair that road  :P

All good stuff.
Geoff

Offline E Pinniger

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Nice pics, this is one of my favourite layouts, we used to go to Devon every year with family this reminds me of those times

Thanks! I'm quite familiar with this stretch of line having walked along the sea wall at Teignmouth many times on holidays in Devon (and I visited Dawlish Warren quite a few times on family holidays years ago), it never occurred to me to build a model of it but when I finally got interested in railway modelling it was an obvious choice. I partly chose this area for my layout as the sandstone cliffs are a good way of disguising the central scenic divide without having to build huge retaining walls (which can be hard to make convincing). There are also plenty of tunnels, some even closer together than on the average model railway!


Superb modelling but you need to call the council out to repair that road

The road will get re-surfaced (probably with painted and weathered styrene sheet) when I build the level crossing (which will require elevating the road surface near to track height) The current road is only painted cork and is hopefully just a placeholder for the finished article. Luckily I don't have many road vehicles yet so there isn't much traffic to get stuck in the "pothole"...

Offline E Pinniger

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Finally here are some photos of Langstone Junction side - at the minute this is the most complete and presentable section of the layout scenery- and building-wise, though there's still plenty to do (footbridge, signals, cattle dock and milk depot, various smaller buildings such as PW huts and yard stores, etc., etc.!) and the backdrop woodwork needs re-surfacing. The main additions here since previous updates are the sea wall and station railings/fences.







The sea wall (actually, just the paved path along the top of the wall and the smaller wall which separates this from the railway line) is loosely based on the one east of Teignmouth and is made from Slaters textured sheet over a core of styrene strip. Station platform railings are the superb Ratio mouldings which are about as fine as it's possible to make injection-moulded plastic parts (almost as fine as etched brass) but aren't as fragile as they look. I painted them weathered black, a typical colour for BR-era railings though the rest of the station buildings are actually in GWR colours. (On the subject of railings, the ones on top of the water tower are bent in the photos, they've since been repaired!) I've also made a start on the fencing around the station yard - the section behind platform 1 which fences off the station's small goods yard (this will eventually house a yard crane and corrugated iron stores building)










Lastly a couple of photos of trains. The Minitrix Warship - one of the first N gauge locos I bought, last year - is still a very reliable runner, especially after a recent thorough clean of the wheels + pickups (when I bought it I hadn't heard of IPA and hadn't quite got the hang of dismantling + cleaning loco mechanisms), but has received a minor "cosmetic upgrade" recently, with Fox Transfers BR logo, headcodes and electric flashes added along with some retouching to the paintwork and weathering (particularly on the bogies and wheels). The hand-painted D-numbers will get replaced when I find some suitable transfers (hopefully I'll pick some up at TINGS tomorrow). The Mk1 coaches are all in need of some weathering (this photo really shows up the shiny plastic roofs!).





Offline dodger112958

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As Skyline said, it is superb and inspirational. I just hope mine turns out half as good as this.
Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

 

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