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Author Topic: Longframlington (Northumbrian branch line)  (Read 56428 times)

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Offline belstone

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Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
« Reply #165 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:



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

Offline JasonBz

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Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
« Reply #166 on: July 31, 2016, 10:47:12 PM »
It is looking a lot more than pretty good to me :)

Offline kirky

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Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
« Reply #167 on: July 31, 2016, 11:13:16 PM »
Yep, that finetrax trackwork certainly is the bees kness.

Kirky
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Offline belstone

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Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
« Reply #168 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 :)


Offline kirky

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Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
« Reply #169 on: August 09, 2016, 12:49:55 PM »
Hi Richard @belstone
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
Northallerton will make its next public appearance at the LINCOLN MODEL RAILWAY CLUB ANNUAL EXHIBITION Feb 29th -1st Mar 2020



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Offline belstone

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Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
« Reply #170 on: August 09, 2016, 10:15:49 PM »
Hi Richard @belstone
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.

Offline kirky

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Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
« Reply #171 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

 
Northallerton will make its next public appearance at the LINCOLN MODEL RAILWAY CLUB ANNUAL EXHIBITION Feb 29th -1st Mar 2020



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Offline Chris in Prague

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Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
« Reply #172 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.)

Offline belstone

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Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
« Reply #173 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.



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.



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.



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.



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








Offline JasonBz

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Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
« Reply #174 on: August 14, 2016, 10:52:48 PM »
It is looking really good :)

you could always upgrade the buildings at sme point

Offline Mito

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Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
« Reply #175 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.
You know you're getting older when your mind makes commitments your body can't meet.
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Offline belstone

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Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
« Reply #176 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).



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.



Richard

Offline lil chris

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Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
« Reply #177 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.
Lil Chris
My new layout here, Irwell Valley Railway. https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=47127.0

my old layout was East Lancashire Lines.

Offline belstone

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Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
« Reply #178 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

Offline Mito

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Re: Longframlington (and this time I mean it) - Border country, 1963
« Reply #179 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:
You know you're getting older when your mind makes commitments your body can't meet.
https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=40567.0 125x60 and a bit.
https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=24101.0 Off on a journey

 

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