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Author Topic: Windmill Hill (the less complete, 1990s one)  (Read 1153 times)

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Offline The Big Bear

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Windmill Hill (the less complete, 1990s one)
« on: January 04, 2018, 09:59:14 PM »
Hello, I’m very grateful for the inspiration to be gleaned from the forum, so thought I would share some pictures of my own work in progress: Windmill Hill.

Windmill Hill is my second attempt at a small n-gauge layout.  The first, ‘Three Bears’, was essentially a single oval of track on a baseboard on the dining-room table, but grew into something scenic enough to be sold on eBay – probably for someone to use as a test-track.  It was modelled on nowhere in particular, but saw some SR stock that my son and I enjoy on the Watercress Line:



Likewise, Windmill Hill has no aspirations to be proto-typical.  But, in my head at least, it pretends there’s another station and small Railfreight TMD in southwest Bristol, between Bedminster and Parson Street, on the Exeter Line.  Also in my head, it’s now about 1993 – both the last days of BR and my early teenage years.

Windmill Hill shares our spare bedroom with my young son’s Brio collection and sits on a 7’ x 2’7” baseboard.  The track plan is simply three ovals – wired for DCC – as my main aim is just to watch the trains go by, plus a small TMD and even smaller set of off-scene storage sidings.  The rest of this post shows progress across about 10 months of sporadic work to date.

Track is Peco Code 55…



…glued straight onto the baseboard, ballasted with Gaugemaster ballast and weathered with Humbrol paints:



An elevated section forms a scenic break…



…which has been landscaped with plaster bandage and retaining walls:





I don’t have a huge amount of stock yet, but plan to run my beloved Dapol IC Swallow HST…



…and the Sectorisation-era Class 37s / 47s / 60s and DMUs I remember from that period:





Next, I set about building enough Metcalfe houses to make it a predominantly urban scene:





The gasometer in the middle of the scenic break is a tricky but effective Modelux kit…



…while the static branch line at the other end needs a non-running shunter / loco that has so far eluded me on eBay or in second-hand bins:





Initially I hadn’t planned on having a backscene, as I thought the scenic break might provide sufficient depth.  Indeed, I think I agree with a recent RM contributor who suggested backscenes sometimes actually distract the eye; but I am now trialling a simple hand-painted effort which I can always remove or have another go at:



Hopefully that shows my efforts so far.  The scenic break area is more or less complete as a backdrop, providing a bit of depth to what is a very simple layout, but now needs that long list of finishing touches such as buses, cars, people, lampposts, etc, to bring it to life.  Next, I plan to start work on the main scenic area, starting with a small TMD for which a couple of DAPR-3D kits are waiting.  Thank you for looking!
« Last Edit: January 10, 2018, 08:41:18 PM by The Big Bear »

Offline Sloughstation

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Re: Windmill Hill
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2018, 11:03:30 PM »
 Great pictures! It's similar to the one that i'm planning... one day!

Offline Caz

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Re: Windmill Hill
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2018, 08:25:25 AM »
Great little layout Big Bear, nice work and you're going DCC which is the future, what system do you intend using?

Offline Milton Rail

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Re: Windmill Hill
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2018, 08:49:07 AM »
Great pics of a lovely looking layout, that is a lot Metcalfe building!  The backscene looks good

Offline JohnN

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Re: Windmill Hill
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2018, 08:58:51 AM »
Welcome to the forum Big Bear. Those rows of Metcalfe terraced house are very impactful. Good work.  :thumbsup:

Online port perran

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Re: Windmill Hill
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2018, 09:04:35 AM »
Welcome aboard.
Looks really good so far. It’s an area I know well so I’m interested in seeing this develop.
If it looks right then it most probably is right.


Online weave

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Re: Windmill Hill
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2018, 09:33:53 AM »
Hi Big Bear,

All looking great and very neat. I love neat but can't seem to do it myself  :(.

Looking forward to more. Thanks for sharing.

Cheers weave  :beers:

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Windmill Hill
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2018, 09:48:59 AM »
Welcome aboard, Big Bear :wave:
Fascinating to see how your layout has developed.

Offline The Big Bear

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Re: Windmill Hill
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2018, 07:12:14 PM »
Thank you all for the encouragement.

@ Caz, I have had an NCE Powercab for a few months now.  It seems like it will do all I want it to do - run three trains simultaneously on the running lines while another loco potters around the TMD - but I'm sure it has a lot of functionality I haven't explored yet.

Online Phoenix

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Re: Windmill Hill
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2018, 07:36:49 PM »
Hi Big Bear,

A fantastic looking layout.

I have my own little Windmill Hill .....



And this is it's construction thread .....

http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=39207.msg471894#msg471894

When it grows up it wants to be a propper layout like yours  :D :D

Today I am getting my modelling room back from it being a guest room, so will be posting again soon, but looking forward to watching your progress  :thumbsup:

With all best wishes
Kevin

 :beers:


Offline Caz

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Re: Windmill Hill
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2018, 08:03:43 PM »
Thank you all for the encouragement.

@ Caz, I have had an NCE Powercab for a few months now.  It seems like it will do all I want it to do - run three trains simultaneously on the running lines while another loco potters around the TMD - but I'm sure it has a lot of functionality I haven't explored yet.

A lot of the members on here use NCE, I'm Digitrax so not that familiar with the NCE setup.  I all you want is to be able to control multiple trains then most DCC systems are fine, it's when it come to full automation that the make of system is more relevant.  I choose Digitrax as it has lots of separate companies making compatible control models and that helps keep the price of them down compared to say other systems where to only option is to use the DCC system manufacturers modules where they can charge what they like.

As I said before, DCC is the future as it opens up so many more possibilities in layout operation and control.

Offline The Big Bear

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Re: Windmill Hill
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2018, 05:14:36 PM »
Kevin, thanks for the signpost to your Windmill Hill - I hope when I start adding detail to mine it's even nearly as accomplished as yours :claphappy:

Right, I managed to spend some of the time-off over Christmas and New Year on the TMD part of the layout: all I have really done is build two kits and add a bit of landscape scatter, but it's amazing how longs things take isn't it!?

Both buildings are plastic kits from a 3D printer called DAPR on ebay who seems to offer a fairly extensive range of n gauge kits (although they seem to be offline for the festive season).  They're well-finished and any imperfections are mine from construction and painting.  Nothing by way of vehicles, people and depot clutter has been added yet, but I'm quite happy with the way the buildings have turned out.  I may just weather the roofs a bit.

Back at work now so progress will be slow, but the next step is to add the fuelling point at the other end of the scenic section.  And build some Modelux kits of depot lights - which, if anything like the gasometer, will be fiddly but worth the effort.

Here are some pics:











Online port perran

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Re: Windmill Hill
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2018, 06:03:37 PM »
That’s looking so good.
I really like 5he TMD and the gas holder.
Great stuff.
If it looks right then it most probably is right.


Offline wookie

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Re: Windmill Hill (the less complete, 1990s one)
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2018, 04:36:37 PM »
Looks like you've made a great start.
I use the NCE, it's nice and easy.

If you have a crash imminent, just remember the red button only stops the loco currently under control - if you need to stop everything whip the wire out of the bottom of the controller! It was about 2 years before I was told about this, many crashes later!

Offline The Big Bear

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Re: Windmill Hill (the less complete, 1990s one)
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2018, 07:49:58 PM »
A trip to the Southampton MRS exhibition in Eastleigh last week spurred me on to a bit of activity this weekend...  Mostly I just added ready-to-plant buildings I had been storing up, but the fuelling point end of the TMD is now getting there:









I'm now on the lookout for the vehicles, plant, 'furniture' etc to make the TMD come to life.  DM toys in Germany seem to have a good range (of 1:160), but they don't look to be the cheapest, plus of course there's a bit more of a delivery charge.  I've been struggling in particular to find much of a selection of 1990s-era vehicles - does anyone know UK suppliers of Wiking, Herpa, Lemke etc?  Or are there UK manufacturers I might have missed?

The Southampton show itself was worth the trip, if a bit light on N Gauge, in my obviously completely impartial opinion!  Three N highlights: 1) I had seen Banbury before and it remains a real inspiration for modern-imagers; 2) Wickwar was really impressive, the river scene at the front creating more depth than should be possible in a portable layout; 3) Southampton MRS' own Seahaven packs a lot of action into a neat space and experiments with finescale track.

 

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