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Author Topic: Whirlow - A 2nd Attempt  (Read 5254 times)

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Offline MattC

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Re: Whirlow - A 2nd Attempt
« Reply #30 on: May 04, 2016, 11:55:41 AM »
Morning all,

Just a very quick update, seeing as I've been banned from the loft by the missus owing to an awful cold.  :thumbsdown:

Spent all of yesterday in the loft, re-emerging only for tea, biscuits and to stand up properly for five minutes. I've started some scenic work and attempted to finish my wiring work for good. Sadly, ran into a problem while wiring and decided the only solution was to pull the main part of the "loom" out all together and start again.

This resulted in a much, much neater and easier to follow "loom" but when I plugged everything back in, something was shorting out the Dynamis. So long story short, I'm still trying to work out what it is. I'm working back bit by bit through the new connections I've added, as it would seem I've gotten some polarities wrong. I gave up last night and went to bed somewhere around 11:30, in an unbelievable tis.

So here's a quick synopsis of everything I managed yesterday:

  • Managed to get a programming track sorted, which is working - I can confirm
  • Mapped out the board with a marker so I know what and where all my scenic features will be
  • Started to make some of the scenic features
  • Decided which ballast I'll be using
  • Reprogrammed my 3rd decoder which had stopped working, now in my Class 24.
  • Serviced the Class 24 and my old 20 ahead of swapping it
  • Relocated the Dynamis base station to get a better constant signal
  • and finally, completely Large Chicken :) up nearly the entire wiring of my layout

And today while I'll be bed-ridden with ye old man-flu I'll be web shopping and planning for what my allowance will buy for me this month (hopefully my tax return will come...) and doing some research into the WR in the last days of steam, so basically like any other day, except I'm not feeling very well  ;D

Cheers all, will probably be back in a day or two with some pictures and a nice big update.

Have a good one,

Matt

 :thankyousign:
« Last Edit: May 04, 2016, 11:58:32 AM by MattC »

Offline MattC

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Re: Whirlow - A 2nd Attempt
« Reply #31 on: May 14, 2016, 10:16:26 PM »
Evening all!

I'm back with a good sized update on the layout.

So, lots has happened since my last update on May 1st. Got to admit I've slept a few times and forgotten a lot of what I've done in two weeks, so I'm just going to work it out backwards from the photos  :thumbsup:

First off, I got the wiring sorted out. I need to buy a damn multimeter, one of those would have saved me so much bloody time and effort! Anyway, you live and learn. So then I got on to some scenic business. I did a little ballasting test on some scrap tracks to decide if I wanted either the Woodland Scenic's "Buff" or "Iron Ore"...



...after it'd dried, I just did a few simple tests to get an idea what the layout would look like with each ballast.



So here's my 26 on the "Buff" side...



And on the "Iron Ore" side.

I opted to go with the "Buff". Don't get me wrong, I do like the "Iron Ore" but I thought the other would be better for the whole layout. I'll eventually give something a go with a reddy-coloured ballast, but it's not going to be Whirlow. I will always wonder what could have been, though...  :hmmm:

I will be weathering the ballast back, when it's dry the "Buff" ballast looks very sandy-coloured. I've acquired some "Dapol Track Oil", which I have tested on that little test strip but I don't seem to have a picture of yet. Happy with the look just from the bottle, but I need to play with it before I attack the track bed. I'll include it in the next update, cos as I'll explain I'm sadly not done with ballasting yet.  :thumbsdown:

And this is what I was left with at the end of last week, as I went back to work last saturday morning.



Got an early finish that saturday, came home to an empty house to took myself back to the loft to start on some scenic work!  ;D

I'd got loads of some sort of expanded polystyrene/Styrofoam-y stuff left over from my other hobby (guitarist, so my loft is also full of boxes from amplifiers and guitars) which is nice and rigid, so decided to have a whack at making some scenery from the packing pieces!

Here's the start of a hill/cliff-side on the left side of the layout...



...after some refinement with a nice new Stanley knife blade....



...and finally with a Western running past!  ;D



I have messed about with this structure since, just so it doesn't sit so close to the trackside and so it's a bit more of a pronounced drop from the top.

Next on the list was starting to build the hillside for the opposite end of the layout which will hide the corner. In plain English, the tunnel.



Here's the original form...



...and after a lot of whittling down with the knife!  :thumbsup:

There is a bit for the back corner, which the Dynamis sits on, as seen in this following picture which is how I left the layout last saturday night.



Monday just gone my parcel for this month from Hattons arrived, this time mostly buildings and construction supplies. More ballast, Woodland Scenics Smooth-It, plaster mixing set, paint, track pal (or is it rail pal? Can't remember, not that it matters!) And here are the new buildings I got...  :smiley-laughing:

Great Central Single Track Road Bridge



Depot Water Tower



Two Diesel Refuelling Points





Lineside Transformer Site and more Low Relief Retaining Walls.



Started some ballasting work (no real pictures here, we've seen it all before)and I'd just started to mock up the road bridge before my visit to the layout was cut short.



I was rather hoping to get all the buildings I needed in one go, however sadly the Farish/Scenecraft "Hampton's Garage" is hard to come by these days. Let alone that I need to wait for a few things to be released. I.e, goods shed, signal boxes, footbridge, wash plant, tunnel portals, yard crane, fuel tanks and low relief buildings...

I did however, treat myself to some new locos...

Gave into temptation and got myself a weathered BR Green Class 22 from Rails (who can't resist for the price)
6-4


Lovely model. I really do love Dapol's locos. They just seem to have a higher quality, more pleasing finish than the Farish offerings, not that I dislike Farish models at all.

Sadly, the one I was sent was ill fated. It ran super sluggishly and with a pronounced "click", and the red lamp in the No.2 end didn't work at all. I popped down to Rails with it and they swapped it no question for the one you saw in the image, which ran perfectly right out of the box and all the lights on board work, bonus!  :claphappy:

Note: I bought it as an "analogue" model and used the decoder that I'd been running in my BR Blue 24, & I'm contemplating getting rid of the Fairburn 2-6-4 I've got, I've no real desire to run it.

My only irk with the Dapol 22 however, is that the weathered BR Green variants don't have red painted buffers and buffer beam. I may have to address this at some point, especially seeing as I've been able to find pictures of the modelled loco (D6315) at Plymouth Laira in the late 60's with the red buffer beam and buffers AND the prestine finished Dapol 22's already have those parts painted red! Don't get it. Anyway.

Seemed a shame to go down to Rails just to swap the original dodgy 22...



...so I came back with this frankly fantastic BR Green Class 25!  :smiley-laughing:

Finally stopped my nearly unused BR Blue Class 20 for this beauty. The 25 and it's sister/precursor 24 are probably my favourite locos. I've wanted this Farish 25 for as long as it's been in the catalogue. I'm a genuine sucker for headcode boxes too. I'm slightly gutted that the 26 I have doesn't have them!

This Farish loco is brilliant. The level of detail in the bodywork is incredible, down to the separate fitted handrails on the cab fronts. The quality of the factory weathering has even improved, in my opinion. I need to get the detail parts fitted to both locos. I do prefer running them with only the No.2 end functional coupler intact, I feel they look so much better this way!  ;D

Quick gratuitous shot of my four working locos for you...



So today was a rare saturday off, naturally I'd planned to get loads done today. I finally got to fixing the turntable well down at last, planned to start some plaster work, wanted to get the rest of the ballasting out of the way and address a few electrical gremlins that reared their heads from the first session of ballasting.

I did get all the remaining ballast work done this morning, and just before tea everything felt dry. So I went to pass the hoover over the layout so I could safely "play trains" for a bit, and half the ballast came up, hence the massive gaps you'll have surely noticed in the above picture. I was sodding furious with myself. I hate ballasting. I found it almost therapeutic on the old point to point layout, but this time I could not be bloody bothered! Not even with the little Proses ballast spreader I got.

And yes, I took the pictures of the new locos very carefully!  ;D

This is why I'm not posting any ballasting pictures, I'm pretty p*ssed off with it at present. I need a day or two away from the layout before I start again, never mind that I need to buy more ballast and more glue. The layout looked so good, and now it looks completely sh*t. And sadly, that wasn't today's only Large Chicken :)-up, which I'll get onto...

I had a go with the Smooth-It plaster system, which I've got to say is really easy to mix and use. It already looks quality and it's only had about six hours drying time.

This is the hard standing for the small single track depot at the back of the small station.



And here's the one at the larger depot.



Have you seen the Large Chicken :)-up?

Under the plaster are the inspection pits I spent a good hour building and installing. The plaster was drying so I got in a bit of a flap, not noticing I'd completely filled one up by mistake. I tried saving it but it was pointless, and I just decided to fill them both in. Again, I'm pretty annoyed with myself about that.

I am pleased with how it looks so far, once I've sanded and painted it I know it'll look as good as I hoped it would. I'll be using the Smooth-It for some other concrete and asphalt surfaces on the layout, I just wanted to get the sections that included rails out of the way first. I'm not going to get chance to get up there until monday morning, so it should be nice and dry by then and I get the satisfaction of peeling that edging tape off...  :thumbsup:

And then here's the installed turntable.



It still needs wiring, but after everything that's gone wrong today I decided it was time to do something else. I'm planning to paint and weather the well and paint the deck.

Eagle eyed among you will notice I've opted to move the transformer site, and that is because I have acquired this...



Which would be the Hornby/Lyddle End Small Gasholder. I'm planning just a little gasworks just off where the road bridge lets down to access the goods yard. It's a really high quality model, I've got to say!

I spent a bit more time on scenic stuff before I came downstairs. Here's the near-complete mock up of the section of the road bridge that I'm scratchbuilding. The roadway is just made from black plasticard I had spare and some Peco plate girder sides I had left over from the first layout I built.



Pretty impressed with the result, it looks very convincing to me!  :thumbsup:

You can see some of the extent of the damage left by my bad ballasting, as my two new Type 2's pass one another under the bridge. The 25 is travelling with another new addition, which is just another weathered BR Bauxite brake van, seeing as I only had one! I am planning to eventually come up with a name the road, as it'll also be the name of the large depot.

This is the last and most boring part of the update for now, congrats if you made it this far!  :smiley-laughing:



Nothing interesting, it's just a chunk of plasticard that I'll be building a street scene on, once Farish release the low-relief buildings I want. I'll be building a road on it next time I mix some plaster up, but until all the buildings are available it'll pretty much just look like that. I'm basing it on plasticard so I can have the best of both worlds, a fixed scene that I can easily remove from the layout in order to safely move said layout around without fear of damaging things, or the pain of having to reset everything all the time!  :thumbsup:

And that's all for now folks. I hope you enjoy reading through this mammoth update! Unfortunately I'm pretty much spent up for this month, I've a fortnight to go before next payday. So I'll be starting my shopping list for when that most lovely of days arrives...  :D

Cheers and have a good one,

Matt

 :thankyousign:

Offline RossE

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Re: Whirlow - A 2nd Attempt
« Reply #32 on: May 14, 2016, 10:37:41 PM »
Blimey- you've been busy!  :o
Fantastic results! The layout is looking brilliant. It's surprising how much more 'alive' a layout looks once some buildings etc have been added. Great work. Keep it up.
Ross

Online Chris in Prague

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Re: Whirlow - A 2nd Attempt
« Reply #33 on: May 15, 2016, 09:43:51 AM »
Many thanks, Matt, for this very detailed and honest update with excellent photos. The buff ballast looks more realistic but, ideally, needs some weathering to remove its pristine look unless it's freshly laid, of course. The ballasting gaps can be fixed but, I agree it is a pity that you accidentally filled in the inspection pits. (I still have to fit my single one.)

Actually, the model lineside transformer building is, I think, a BR SR prototype used for the third rail system so may not be appropriate for your line?

I agree that your Type 2s are very attractive locos. Currently, the Dapol Class 22s are bargains. I bought a BR Blue D63XX one to add to my two BR Green ones (identical models with different running numbers) but am still tempted to buy some of the other BR Green variants.

Overall, your layout is looking very good. I look forward to the next updates.

Online port perran

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Re: Whirlow - A 2nd Attempt
« Reply #34 on: May 15, 2016, 09:55:45 AM »
Thanks for that very detailed progress update.
Looking good so far. Do keep the updates coming.
If it looks right then it most probably is right.


Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Whirlow - A 2nd Attempt
« Reply #35 on: May 15, 2016, 10:21:52 AM »
Smashing update, Matt :thumbsup:
A great shame about the disaster with the ballasting. Any clues as to why it didn't remain stuck down?
As for accidentally filling in the inspection pits (something no doubt BR did deliberately after steam), thanks for fessing up ;D
May 4th - May 14th between posts? It probably took you that long to upload the pics to the forum with the current problems :laugh:

Offline MattC

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Re: Whirlow - A 2nd Attempt
« Reply #36 on: May 18, 2016, 11:31:02 AM »
Blimey- you've been busy!  :o
Fantastic results! The layout is looking brilliant. It's surprising how much more 'alive' a layout looks once some buildings etc have been added. Great work. Keep it up.
Ross

Thanks Ross! Yeah spot on, I can't believe what a difference the buildings make!

Actually, the model lineside transformer building is, I think, a BR SR prototype used for the third rail system so may not be appropriate for your line?

Overall, your layout is looking very good. I look forward to the next updates.

Thanks as always for your kind words and insight, Chris! I hadn't even thought that it might be a transformer site for electric locos - truth be told I only planned it into the layout because it was going for a reduced price on Hattons...  ;D

I may make something of that though, I'll get the plans out this afternoon and see if I can think of anything to make it look closer to it's actual purpose.

Thanks for that very detailed progress update.
Looking good so far. Do keep the updates coming.

Thank you! The encouragement means a lot after messing things up last weekend...  :thumbsup:

Smashing update, Matt :thumbsup:
A great shame about the disaster with the ballasting. Any clues as to why it didn't remain stuck down?
As for accidentally filling in the inspection pits (something no doubt BR did deliberately after steam), thanks for fessing up ;D
May 4th - May 14th between posts? It probably took you that long to upload the pics to the forum with the current problems :laugh:

Thank you as always Nobby!

I think quite simply I didn't put enough glue down to completely saturate all the ballast. That's all I can think of, but oh well. Live and learn!
Bit embarrassed about the inspection pits, if I'm honest! I thought they really looked the part with the shed I've got, couldn't wait to see them as part of an actual "concrete" floor and I've gone and chucked plaster over them!  :doh:

Online Chris in Prague

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Re: Whirlow - A 2nd Attempt
« Reply #37 on: May 18, 2016, 12:31:13 PM »
Good afternoon Matt, I'm sure the transformer building could be 'transformed' into something else.

I don't know whether you could chip out the plaster from the buried inspection pits? It would be a messy business and the pits might need to be replaced?

Online Webbo

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Re: Whirlow - A 2nd Attempt
« Reply #38 on: May 20, 2016, 01:05:34 AM »
A nice report on your progress, Matt.

As for the ballast, I suspect that once you get past your initial disappointment, you'll find that the situation isn't as bad as all that. To be sure it requires fixing, but it looks like the great majority of your ballast has stuck so the repairs should not be all that much extra work. Like you I consider ballasting tedious work, but well worth the effort to get it right.

Webbo

 

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