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Author Topic: The Coniston Railway  (Read 13740 times)

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Online chrism

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Re: The Coniston Railway
« Reply #330 on: March 31, 2020, 06:57:53 PM »
Chris. It looks good. Have you found that in a pet shop ? Worth something different and improvised. Shade Lighter than GM 115  ballast chris?

I actually got it off Amazon since I doubt Old Bill would consider it "essential travel" at present as I don't actually have any chinchillas, but yes, pet shops should have it. Chinchillas, and other small hot climate rodents need it for regular dust baths.
I think that "dust" is a bit of a misnomer because it's not really dusty just so called because the animals like a dust bath. I believe that it's actually crushed/ground pumice.

It's quite a lot lighter than GM115, more of a beige colour - the very front edge of my practice board has a strip that I left unpainted for comparison

@chrism absolutely MARVELLOUS sir, it looks fantastic texture.
Is it decent to work with???

Thanks, I think it looks a good texture too. Confession time, I didn't think of it, I saw it mentioned in a fairly recent thread about ballasting.

I had no trouble working it, I just treated it the same as I do the GM115 granite ballast. It spread fine using my hopper spreader, and it brushes around and tamps down nicely. Just the same as I do with the GM115, once I was happy with the positioning I sprayed it with water and applied dilute PVA with an eye dropper. It didn't seem to react any differently to the GM115 ballast and seems to have set just the same.

Oh, and it was about half the price of the GM115 ballast  ;)
« Last Edit: March 31, 2020, 07:02:36 PM by chrism »

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Re: The Coniston Railway
« Reply #331 on: March 31, 2020, 07:01:33 PM »
Thanks that's a mini tutorial for interested parties. Glad your taking your mind of the world producing such creative beautiful inspiring modelling

Online chrism

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Re: The Coniston Railway
« Reply #332 on: April 09, 2020, 05:07:34 PM »
The first stage of ballasting on Broughton is now done;

Ivatt 2MT 2-6-2T 1205 on the branch push-pull service to Coniston is standing in the down platform whilst an unidentified (because I haven't decided yet what name/number to give her) Jubilee passes through with the return excursion run to Blackpool. I know that they appear to be using the wrong sides of the passing loop, but that is due to the "unusual operating practice" that was used at Broughton due to the platforms being offset and one of the loop points being partway along the original platform.
Meanwhile, Fowler 3F 0-6-0T 7309 has been assembling a mixed freight to go to Coniston and is just adding the brake van before using the run-round loop to get to the other end and propel the train out of the yard into the headshunt to await the road being cleared for it.





The Peco Jubilee plastic box behind the excursion roughly represents the station building and the upturned tub in the goods yard represents the goods shed - which was, as far as I can tell, white although without any lettering on it. The signal box is on temporary loan from Coniston.

Now a couple of closer shots showing the ballast in a bit more detail. This is chinchilla bathing dust (usually made from ground pumice) which I think has given the ballasting a decent texture, although not the right colour. When I've finished the ballasting, it'll get a wash or two of a grey & brown emulsion mix.



This one shows the yard area where I tried to get a uniform, level surface by gluing 1.6mm card to the baseboard between the tracks and initially giving it a scatter coating of the chinchilla dust onto diluted PVA. Once that was thoroughly dry I ballasted the tracks as usual - applying the ballast dry, damping it and then flooding it with dilute PVA. I bevelled the edges of the card when cutting it to make it easier for me to get a decent join (or lack of) between the scatter coated card and the dry ballast. It seems to have worked pretty well.



The only thing that didn't come out as I really want is that the four foot and all the sleeper ends really should be covered with ballast, only the chairs and rails being visible. However, the chinchilla dust, whilst being of the fineness I wanted, is very light so was rather difficult to get it nicely over the sleepers whilst not stacking up against the rail sides. Before I paint it, I plan to rectify this by painting the relevant areas with PVA and scattering more dust onto that, pressing it down then hoovering up the surplus straightaway. A practice run indicates that this should work and give me the finish that I desire.

Before starting this, however, I decided that it would be a good idea to give it all a good clean and test first, and I'm glad that I did. From my previous ballasting experience I was fully expecting a film of glue on the rail heads (which there was), one or two gunged up points because I ballasted closer to them than I have in the past (and I was pleasantly surprised to find there weren't any), dirty contacts between the switch blades and stock rails (which there were) and the odd bit of ballast that I'd missed in the flangeways (which there was).

What I wasn't expecting was a completely dead section of rail between two points. Initially, I only observed that the Jinty and 2MT tank stalled at that area every time. wWen first investigating, I did wonder if, because it's at a gradient change, they were rocking slightly, enough to lose contact with both rails. However, that didn't make sense so I tried a Peco Jubilee in both directions to identify if it was just one rail, which it did turn out to be. Out with the multimeter, which revealed a complete lack of electrical connection between the two switch blade/closure rails and between one of them and the crossing nose. Gawd knows how that happened.

Fortunately, I always install dropper wires from each stock rail, each closure rail and the crossing nose before fitting the points - the idea being that if I encounter problems with contact from the switch rails I can wire them up to the point motor switch to do frog switching, not that I've need to do that yet. However, that meant that I could join the two closure rail droppers and restore the connection that had failed - and all the locos now happily crawl across that section without fail. Phew  ;)



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Re: The Coniston Railway
« Reply #333 on: April 09, 2020, 05:12:25 PM »
Looking good. Ballasting will be keeping us both busy during the bank holiday weekend

Online chrism

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Re: The Coniston Railway
« Reply #334 on: April 10, 2020, 11:51:46 AM »
I've just realised that there is a slight flaw in my decision to try and make my ballast like the real Broughton was. On the other stations, I marked where the uncoupling solenoids are with a dab of white paint on the rearmost sleeper ends - problem, no sleeper ends visible on Broughton  :doh:

I can't even look out for the top of an uncoupler before running a train over it - because I've buried them too. There's 18 of the blighters in there and I can't see a single one of them   :-[

I'll guess that I'll have to resort to strategically placed people or junk - once I've identified where to put them, of course :-\

Online chrism

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Re: The Coniston Railway
« Reply #335 on: April 11, 2020, 10:14:21 AM »
Well, that's the ballasting painted and pretty well done now - and I've partly made the signals, still got to fit the arms properly, fix the posts in place permanently and sort out the control solenoids but I'll leave that until I've got most of the rest of the scenery done to avoid breaking the things.

In this setup, we have another excursion with a maroon Jubilee in charge heading down to Coniston. It's been held in the down platform whilst the up branch push-pull comes through. Meanwhile, the Jinty has finished assembling a mixed freight for Coniston, the driver's had his lunch and is waiting for the excursion  to clear the crossing so that he can set back into the headshunt before following the excursion up the valley.

The first photo shows most of the layout.


While this is a bit of a tighter crop.


I managed to squeeze right in behind Coniston to get a view looking the other way for a change. Here's a high angle view showing pretty well all of the station. All that's missing is the other half of the level crossing and the curve leading round to where the fiddle yard will be fitted.


And this is a lower angle and tighter crop just showing the station and yard.
This is the one which best shows the signal at the end of the up platform, it'll show up better when I have a suitable backscene prepared and fitted.
This signal is an interesting one since I have photographs showing that there were at least three different signal posts here. In 1907 it was much as I've depicted, a short bracket post. At some time, though, after the right-hand  loop in the goods yard had been removed, this signal had changed to an ordinary single post one. By 1957, however, the down platform had been removed (but the loop remained) and this signal had been changed yet again, this time for a much longer bracket post but still with, as far as I  can see, a single arm for the up starter.
Since I don't have a date for the single post one, and I've included the second loop in the goods yard, I decided to stick with the 1907 version of the signal.


Here we have a tighter crop from the other end again.


And, finally, because I'm quite pleased with the texture that this chinchilla bathing dust has given for the ballast, a close crop  of the Jinty and some ballast.


Apologies for the few stray "stones" still to be picked off the sides of the rails and chairs, they'll be attended to when it's all properly dried - the thinned down emulsion went on very nicely but did rather soften the PVA that was holding it all together. All I've done so far is clean the track sufficiently for locos to run smoothly including a couple of older ones with flanges tending towards pizza cutters to make sure that no "stones" fouled the flanges.

That apart, the next jobs, I guess, are to start building up the scenery ground levels and to build the down platform which is currently just the track facing wall. The remainder of the platform needs to be a timber structure so lots of little timbers to be cut, and not all the same length because the platform road (and platform) are on a slight rising gradient whilst the goods yard is on a slight falling one.

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Re: The Coniston Railway
« Reply #336 on: April 11, 2020, 10:19:18 AM »
Looking good. The scenery modelling will be therapeutic chris

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Re: The Coniston Railway
« Reply #337 on: April 11, 2020, 12:15:08 PM »
Thatís all looking rather splendid and tidy.
I particularly like the point rodding which is very neat.
If it looks right then it most probably is right.


Online chrism

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Re: The Coniston Railway
« Reply #338 on: April 11, 2020, 12:25:39 PM »
Thatís all looking rather splendid and tidy.
I particularly like the point rodding which is very neat.

Thanks, Martin. I think I'm getting the hang of the rodding runs now - at least, it doesn't take me as long as it did on Coniston  ;)

As with Coniston, it's two separate runs, one from the signal box near the level crossing and a second from an uncovered ground frame near the goods yard exit with (I think, so I've done that) a pair of rods for interlocking them so the ground frame can't be altered without the signalman's permission.

Still haven't really got the cross-rodding and cranks cracked, but the deep ballast helps to hide that, and I still have no intention of trying to do signal cables  ;)

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Re: The Coniston Railway
« Reply #339 on: April 11, 2020, 12:31:22 PM »
Are you using photos chris of the point rodding? I know there are kits out there

Online chrism

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Re: The Coniston Railway
« Reply #340 on: April 11, 2020, 12:37:44 PM »
Are you using photos chris of the point rodding? I know there are kits out there

No, I think they'd just be too darned fiddly for me to cope with  :-[
The main rodding runs I do by soldering thin wire to the top of offcuts of rail, then cut the rail to just outside the rods/wires. On this one I attempted to resemble the cranks with slivers of plasticard angle and did the crossrods with strips of plasticard fixed in place vertically.

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Re: The Coniston Railway
« Reply #341 on: April 11, 2020, 12:46:34 PM »
That's the idea I was thinking of before rudely interrupted . Have you cut strips then Chris? ( plasticard )

Online chrism

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Re: The Coniston Railway
« Reply #342 on: April 11, 2020, 12:54:25 PM »
No, I had a pack of strips about the right width.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2020, 01:09:36 PM by chrism »

Online chrism

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Re: The Coniston Railway
« Reply #343 on: April 13, 2020, 11:50:25 AM »
Oh dear, the bad cake icer has struck again - and doesn't appear to have got any better. Good job it'll all get covered over with green stuff later  ;)

This is from the southern end of the station, looking down from Eccle Riggs Bank. The road skirting the bottom of the hill in the foreground is Foxfield Road, at that time the main road down to Foxfield before another road the other side of the village was upgraded to become what is now the A595, bypassing Broughton completely.



This is from the northern end, looking down across the level crossing. This road was, at that time, the main road from the Furness Peninsular to the western Lakes until the aforementioned road upgrade produced the A595 and Broughton was bypassed completely. In view of the volume of traffic, especially large lorries, that was a very good move. This road through Broughton is still, however, very much used by locals and people "in the know" because, even with the speed limit through Broughton, it's a very handy way to get past any big wagons to avoid being caught behind them at some steep hills either side.


When the icing is fully set, I have a few areas to touch up with a little more filler where the wood/card/polystyrene formers are still slightly visible then I can work on changing the colour and texture.

The backscene isn't the real one, just one I had lying around that I could use for the photographs and also for setting up the backscene mounts. The plan is, as with Coniston and Torver, to take a photo of the real place. I've found a good vantage point, close to where the camera was for the first shot, which gives me a good view of the village and the hills the other side but, annoyingly with the nice weather we're currently enjoying, I don't think that Old Bill would consider it an "essential journey".

Some modeller's licence has been employed, as always, with the topography and will be with the foliage. Behind the station should really be somewhat flatter, but I wanted a reasonable scenic break where it meets the backscene. Depending on what I get (and what I need to hide) in the backscene photo, that bank will be lined with shrubbery, hedges and trees. Behind the station building and along to the level crossing was treelined anyway.

The southern end will be treated rather like I did with Torver, completely unlike the real station, with trees to hide the line running around the corner and through the backscene.

The northern end will get rather more trees than were really present, although there were some, (and somewhat fewer buildings, i.e. none) in order to hide the line disappearing through the backscene and, hopefully, also to mask the road stopping dead at the backscene.

The hill down from Eccle Riggs Bank will be roughish pasture, with sheep grazing - not Herdwicks this time, since we are now out of the high fells so they'll be whatever lowland breed the packs of painted ones I bought are supposed to be.

Since the building across the road from the station building was (and still is) a cattle mart, although it won't be seen, I may allude to it by having some cattle being driven along the road by the level crossing as a change from cars.

Anyway, that's all for the more distant future. The immediate task that needs to be undertaken is potting on my melon and cucumber plants, which are looking rather keen to have more growing room.


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Re: The Coniston Railway
« Reply #344 on: April 13, 2020, 12:02:28 PM »
Takes time to shape scenery. Impressive
 Chris

 

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