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Author Topic: Whirlow - A 2nd Attempt  (Read 5257 times)

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Offline MattC

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Whirlow - A 2nd Attempt
« on: March 25, 2016, 12:44:42 AM »
 :hellosign:

Hello again, NGF!

Matt here again, after what has been about a year's absence from both the forum and the hobby. 2015 was a massive and long year for me, my job role changed significantly and life happened and I ended up shelving my former TMD layout and all it's rolling stock, buildings and supplies.

But, I'm back which can only mean good things, unless you are my bank account. I'd spent the last few months loosely working on a few plans for an analogue control micro layout (I actually mean a tiny layout, unlike my previous one) and never really finalised the plan. Until about three weeks ago, when I remembered my dad had a sheet of 5mm 3-ply sitting in the garage which would make a decent sized continuous running layout in N. With my dad having just retired, I invited myself round under the premise of just checking in on him and promptly took myself to the garage with a tape measure. Within half an hour I had the ply in the spare room in his attic and I retired home to get AnyRail going and draw up some plans.  ;)

I had some of the basic ideas from the continuous layout I was planning to build after I finished the TMD. I drew (and still am drawing) a great deal of inspiration from the fantastic EMGauge70's layouts, particularly the enchanting Shenston Road by Greg Brookes. I do still have a huge layout on the back burner of my mind based around the core concepts of Shenston Road with plenty of adaptation of my own. Anyway.

The baseboard I commandeered from my dad is around 1050mm by 2050mm, and over the course of a few late nights on AnyRail (I don't have the full version of it, so it took me a lot longer than need be to draw some decent plans up) and a few drafts, these are the plans that I decided to go with!  :thumbsup:



As you can see, I've spent some time working on these to try and fit in as much as I can, but trying to leave space to allow myself to build scenic interest. I have ideas for what I want to do with each "edge" of the baseboard, I'll get into this later. Even though I don't own the full version of AnyRail, I have been able to work out that the siding plan does in fact fit in the image of the two outer main lines. The most annoying part of it all is that if the baseboard was about another 300mm wider I could fit a third main line on! But I digress, having three parallel lines would irritate the life out of me, because three isn't four!  :thumbsdown:

So my basic points/goals for this new layout are;

1. The era I've selected is the mid-late 1960's, in the final days of steam. However, I do have a soft spot for 70's traffic and may possibly dabble in some modern image/post-privatization stock at some stage! But the last summer of steam is my favourite period in BR history.

2. Locomotives/rolling stock will be predominantly BR Late Green/Emblem, any coaching stock (I'm still not really fussed by coaches, I'm only really planning to have enough to represent, say, parcels trains) will be Maroon. I am still open to BR Blue, just not as keen any more! I'm aiming to keep my chosen rolling stock to Era 5 (1957-1966 BR Late Crest) but I'll happily stray into early Era 6 (1967-1971 BR Pre-TOPS). I like to run accurate trains, I tend to research the wagons and locomotives I buy to make photographs I've researched.

3. I'm attempting to keep the location fictitious, but deliberately vague, so I can Rule #1 the rolling stock. However in my mind, the region the layout would be based in would likely be the Western, somewhere between Crewe and Manchester. Despite that I have chosen to name my layout after where I live in Sheffield (Whirlow!)  :smiley-laughing:

4. The layout will be DCC! I plan to eventually include illumination, signalling, point control and sound. :thumbsup:

5. And finally, I plan to build my new layout as a semi-permanent one. Due to the comparatively small size of the baseboard, it can be easily removed from dad's attic in one piece, so long as I make the scenic sections detachable somehow. I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

So, with that in mind, two weeks ago on my only day off that week (also happened to be payday, oops...) I took myself off to Rails and bought the trackwork for the two main loops and what will form a simple station. If you briefly check back to the photo I gave of my plans, the station complex is shown on the top piece of paper, at the bottom side with the two runaround loops and long siding going towards the middle of the baseboard. This siding will be a bay platform and will have another running parallel along the bottom edge of the board. If that makes sense to anybody!  ;D

And THIS is what I ended up with!  :smiley-laughing:



Please excuse the mass of booze and cleaning products scattered around dad's loft conversion, sadly these form part of our inheritance from my dear departed grandmother. Dad won't have to buy washing up liquid ever again! Please also excuse the crude message written in black paint on the board, this piece of ply was destined to be part of another project a much younger version of me was bent on completing.  :help:

Naturally, me being me, I didn't get enough track at Rails to do what I needed to, so I had to order the last few pieces in from Hattons. I did however get a very nice new piece of kit from Rails...



As you'll be able to work out from this picture, my Whirlow is already DCC! I took the plunge and went for Dynamis Ultima. And so far, I love it. It's a really simple to get to grips with system, easy to set up and it's ready for whatever I want to throw at it in the future. Chances are I'll probably add another controller at some point, so dad can play trains too!  :D

I only bought two decoders, however, money was tight. Since this photo was taken, I've altered the track plan slightly. The nearest left/left points have been moved to the main lines at what will be the station, and will soon be joined by matching right/right points to allow greater route flexibility. My service track can be seen on the near left hand corner of the board, but it will be included as part of the small TMD which I will be building next month, with isolating joiners so I can program locos without the hassle of having to pull them off the layout.

As you look at the board in the above image, the left side will have a low relief retaining wall running down most of the length leading into a large tunnel piece concealing the back left corner. The tunnel exit portal will be about halfway down the straight section, if you're with me! I'm not quite sure what I'm doing with the back right corner. It's either going to be a short siding to fit my old stock Single Road Servicing Shed on, or just a hill or something. The small station complex will cover most of the right side of the board. The front right corner will feature a road with low relief buildings (i.e, low relief pub and the pun-based-name low relief businesses). And finally on the front side of the board as you look at it, there will be a small plate girder bridge over a small river/stream which will lead to a small pool/pond. I hope you can all follow that!!  :smiley-laughing:

No track has been fixed down yet. I am currently waiting until this coming tuesday to have some timber delivered from Wickes to brace the board. Until it's braced, there's literally no point in me fixing anything down to pull it back up again. This afternoon I've marked out on the board where the main lines need to sit. I'll also be adding a considerable amount more droppers onto the rails to give me consistent power across the layout.  ;)

But it doesn't stop there! Dynamis and a load of track aren't the only new things I've acquired since I was last on the forum!  :smiley-laughing:



Welcome to my two newest locomotives!  :smiley-laughing:

Both offerings from Dapol. On the left the newest addition to my fleet and the first BR Green loco of my collection. Class 26 no. D5326 in, annoyingly for me, non-weathered condition. That will eventually be rectified, as I don't like pristine models. But for the price I paid for this brilliant little Type 2, I'm not going to argue over the cleanliness of the bodywork! The railways were not clean, and on my model railway there will be no factory-fresh paintwork!  ;D

And on the right, the last thing I bought for the hobby in 2015. I completely forgot I had this until I got my rolling stock out of storage to start building this new layout! This is Class 52 D1009, Western Invader in BR Blue and wonderfully weathered. I love Dapol's Western, Invader certainly will not be my last. D1000, Western Enterprise in full Maroon (weathered) or D1045, Western Viscount also weathered, will be one of the next locos to join my fleet, which I cannot wait for!  :D

I regret to inform you all I've parted company with my Class 08 Shunter. With it not being DCC ready I no longer had need for it. I'm also planning to trade in my BR Blue Class 20 against a BR Green model. If you're interested, drop me a line! If not chances are it'll be getting swapped at Rails next time I head down that way.



Detail shot of D5326.



Detail shot of D1009.

(Got a new phone which takes brilliant pictures, I cannot wait until more of the layout is done to try and get some realistic snaps!!)  :D

Also briefly seen after breaking ground at Whirlow was some new wagon stock!



Eagle-eyed members will probably have just made out this wagon, the FNA Nuclear Flask Wagon. This one being 377-800, flat floor + round buffers, No. 14. It's an amazingly detailed model, and I got it for very nearly 13 off rrp from Hattons. It's a little modern by my tastes, but it's such an interesting model. Non-revenue stock (so to speak) really fascinates me. Because Whirlow isn't a massive layout I'm only really planning to model short trains and the FNA is going to be brilliant for this.



And again, as you might have made out in the background of the last photo I have some new coaches!

I finally received my MK1 Works Test Train coach pack, that was pre-ordered for me on behalf of my late grandmother. The weathering on these MK1's is incredible. They are amazing. Again, bordering on a little modern for me but I've some ideas to make these coaches look good on the finished layout.

So, my next step is to get the baseboard braced up so I can move it and begin to attach more power feeds and then pin the trackwork down. Currently debating whether or not I want to put cork down on the ply to offer a bit of sound dampening. Has anyone any experience with this? Any advice or pointers would be massively appreciated! I'm ordering a few bits and pieces tomorrow, so I can start to work out some of the scenic features. Once payday comes in two weeks I'll be buying the rest of the track I need to finish said trackplan off, something I'm really excited for!  :thumbsup:

So for now I'll leave you with this photo of D5326 with a down trip working passing D1009 on an up mixed goods train.



It's taken me most of an evening to write all of this up for you all, I hope to goodness it actually makes sense to someone else apart from me!

Thank you all for reading, I hope you enjoy what I've done so far and I also hope you stick with me for the rest of the Whirlow build!  :D

Cheers,

Matt

 :thankyousign:   :NGF:

Online Bealman

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Re: Whirlow - A 2nd Attempt
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2016, 01:44:22 AM »
What a great post!!!

Your phone does indeed take fantastic photos. The definition is very good indeed.

This post is really making me to seriously think about ripping up my ancient layout and starting something simpler with DCC. Those new locos and stock look excellent, and it's great to see the lights on when they are parked.

Great to have you back with us, Matt.  :thumbsup:

George
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline dannyboy

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Re: Whirlow - A 2nd Attempt
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2016, 02:02:54 AM »
It's looking good Matt. Out of interest, what phone are you using?
David.
I used to be indecisive - now I'm not - I don't think.
If a friend seems distant, catch up with him.

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Re: Whirlow - A 2nd Attempt
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2016, 03:23:03 AM »
Thanks for the excellent and comprehensive intro to Whirlow MK2, Matt.
I really like your choice of era and location, and the fact you don't like pristine stock :D
Thank heavens you haven't fixed the track down yet because I suggest you varnish the ply both sides before attaching the sub frame just to be sure there'll be no warping issues biting you in the bum in the future. Also, don't forget to drill holes in any cross bracing of the sub frame to thread wiring through.
Sorry if I'm teaching you to suck eggs!

Online Bealman

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Re: Whirlow - A 2nd Attempt
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2016, 03:32:25 AM »
It is Easter.....  ;D
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline dannyboy

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Re: Whirlow - A 2nd Attempt
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2016, 04:10:07 AM »
It is Easter.....  ;D

An eggcellent point to make .... sorry  :no:
David.
I used to be indecisive - now I'm not - I don't think.
If a friend seems distant, catch up with him.

Offline MattC

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Re: Whirlow - A 2nd Attempt
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2016, 09:18:05 AM »
This post is really making me to seriously think about ripping up my ancient layout and starting something simpler with DCC. Those new locos and stock look excellent, and it's great to see the lights on when they are parked.

Thank you, George! I forgot just how much I'd missed model railways. I absolutely love having that button to turn the lights on and off on the fly! I can't wait until I get to where I can have DCC sound and accessory control!  :thumbsup:

It's looking good Matt. Out of interest, what phone are you using?

Cheers Dannyboy! I've got an Iphone 6S+. The 12 megapixel camera is just astonishing!

Thank heavens you haven't fixed the track down yet because I suggest you varnish the ply both sides before attaching the sub frame just to be sure there'll be no warping issues biting you in the bum in the future. Also, don't forget to drill holes in any cross bracing of the sub frame to thread wiring through.
Sorry if I'm teaching you to suck eggs!

Not at all! Thank you for the pointers. I think I've still got a big tin of untouched varnish somewhere under the kitchen sink, unless the better half has been moving things around again...  :D

Thank you all for your kind words so far! As I've been writing this, I've been putting together another order from Hattons. Mostly just some supplies and bits to keep me going until I can afford to buy the rest of the trackwork, which in case I hadn't already mentioned is already and will continue to be Peco Code 80 Setrack. I will not be using Farish points like on the TMD, the Peco ST-5/6's are of much better quality in my humble opinion. Plus I'm sure it'll be easier for me to put Peco point motors on Peco points!

Cheers,

Matt

Offline MattC

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Re: Whirlow - A 2nd Attempt
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2016, 08:36:58 PM »
Good evening all!

Just a quick update for you all.

First thing this morning I had my PSE delivered from Wickes (couldn't be bothered lugging it home, suffered the 7 delivery fee!) Spent the last few hours measuring and marking before getting to work building the baseboard frame for Whirlow.

I was literally just about to get started bashing it all together and my ruddy electric screwdriver has died on me, and I'll be damned if I'm going to do it all by hand.

Here's the rough mockup for you all for the time being, hoping to have the frame done tomorrow afternoon. Need to get some shorter screws to attach the top, and I'm not going to be gluing anything it up until I get some rough edges sanded and I've somewhere safe to varnish the whole lot.



I've gone for 18x28 PSE and think this should be more than strong enough to give me a firm foundation, while being small enough to let me move the layout about the place. If it doesn't turn out to be enough, or if I want to cut bits out to allow for point motors and the turntable I've still got about two meters of timber left to brace it up with.

Looking forward to having the frame done tomorrow, and I should hopefully have a parcel from Hattons waiting at work for me thursday, which will let me get started on the scenic sections and give me everything I need to start fixing the basic loop's trackwork down.

Cheers,

Matt

Offline MattC

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Re: Whirlow - A 2nd Attempt
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2016, 08:41:11 PM »
Just a quick tag on as I've just had this arrive...



Time to see where all my spare money will be going this year...  :smiley-laughing:

Matt

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Re: Whirlow - A 2nd Attempt
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2016, 09:09:14 PM »

Time to see where all my spare money will be going this year...  :smiley-laughing:

Matt

I somehow suspect the word 'spare' is superfluous, Matt :uneasy: ;)

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Re: Whirlow - A 2nd Attempt
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2016, 10:06:31 PM »
Thanks for the update, Matt. I hope that you get the screwdriver problem sorted out very soon so that you can complete the baseboard.

Offline MattC

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Re: Whirlow - A 2nd Attempt
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2016, 02:48:13 PM »
Good afternoon NGF!

Just a quick update on this lovely, but windy, wednesday afternoon. The work on the baseboard continues! I did get the issues with my electric screwdriver sorted (duff battery, had to buy a new one). I have just returned from dad's garage, where I have left my frame looking a little something like this...



It's all glued and screwed up, I'll be popping back on friday to hopefully varnish the frame. I need to get some shorter screws to fix the top down with, which I'm hoping to collect on my way home tomorrow or on the way to back to dad's friday. I'll likely varnish everything in one go, I might as well save myself the effort. As soon as the varnish is on and dry, I'll be starting to fix down the trackwork that I've already got. Payday (and bills-day) is friday, so depending how much I have leftover I'll be ordering some more track. Hoping I've enough coming to me so I an afford the rest of the trackplan!  :smiley-laughing:

I've also had my most recent parcel from Hattons.



So I've got some extra points and ST-1s to finish off the basic trackplan I've already got. (I dread to think how many point motors I'm going to need...)

I've also purchased the first parts to form my platforms. I've opted for the Graham Farish pre-made platform sections, which I will definitely be weathering if not repainting. Far too "new" for the look I'm going for with Whirlow. Annoyingly, seeing as space is a minimum, these Farish platforms are as wide as I can afford to fit, so I'm going to have to be clever with how I model the station.

I also got the first of 5 sets of Farish retaining walls (42-225) I'll be using to form the backscene. I absolutely love the Farish scenecraft stuff, and these are no exception. I can't wait to see what these look like with locos rolling past! I bought a set now so I can work out how I'm going to fix the low-relief "cutting" to the board securely but non-permanently. I need to be able to transport Whirlow between my place and dad's, and as such I don't want it a permanent feature of either of our houses. I'm still working on ideas how I'm going to fix everything!

Then it's just odds and ends. Had no poly cement in, so went with the classic Humbrol stuff. Got some loco oil, some more track pins and some isolating joiners so I can include my Dynamis' progamming track as part of the layout.

That's all for today's update, I'll probably resurface again at some point next week!  ;D

Cheers for all your views of my thread and your kind words! Means a great deal to me, it really does.

Have a good one,

Matt

 :thankyousign:

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Re: Whirlow - A 2nd Attempt
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2016, 03:10:05 PM »
Sorry to rain on your parade, Matt, but I really do think your framework could do with at least one longitudinal wooden batten as bracing. The baseboard looks large enough to flex quite badly without :worried:
I realise this may put a problem in your progress but it may save some anguish further down the process.

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Re: Whirlow - A 2nd Attempt
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2016, 03:29:24 PM »
Sorry to rain on your parade, Matt, but I really do think your framework could do with at least one longitudinal wooden batten as bracing. The baseboard looks large enough to flex quite badly without :worried:
I realise this may put a problem in your progress but it may save some anguish further down the process.

Not at all Nobby, I appreciate the input! I had been wondering about it myself, I was planning to wait and see until I got the turntable fitted to  work out if the frame needed more bracing, but I'll take words of experience and I'll start looking into it next time I'm at dad's.

 :thankyousign:

Cheers,

Matt

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Re: Whirlow - A 2nd Attempt
« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2016, 03:39:59 PM »
Hi Matt, I also hate to be negative but those Farish platform ends are not the best option for several reasons: 1) as you write, they are too wide, 2) being curved at both ends is very unrealistic unless you have curved track passing on either side. Personally, I would use balsa wood with Peco platform edges and a card surface treated to look like gravel and asphalt and / or plasticard paving stones. That way, you can narrow the width of the platform and shape the ramp ends to fit the location (straight or curved but on the trackside only).

 

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