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Longchap's OO GWR journey - Members Ideas For Layouts. - Model Railway Layouts. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Sat Mar 28th, 2015 07:53 pm
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Longchap
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Formative years
I lived in Devon as a young lad in the early 60s and frequently walked miles along the Princetown branch track bed with my school chums, one of whom lived in the railway cottages behind the station platform. I also have a vivid memory of bunking over a wall into the yard at Tavistock and exploring the sheds and turntable there, although the significance of much around me was lost back then, it was a fascinating picture of social history frozen in time.
During the Devonshire years, I yearned for a train set, but money was tight then and feeding the family took precedence over toys, yet I enjoyed a wonderfully happy childhood and one Christmas heralded the arrival of a Scalextric set and the pangs for a railway subsided for a while.
The Beginning
Over a decade later, I bought a new Hornby GWR 0-6-0 pannier tank. This was my inner child's doing, as the image and possibilities this crude model created was irresistible and I was hooked! My first layout was a 20 foot long branch line acquired cheaply from a model railway club member on the Isle of Wight in the 70s and developed into a GWR branch with a fiddle yard, which I even exhibited once and transported it piecemeal in a most unsuitable TR7 with the sunroof open! The little pannier tank had become what I naively considered 'super detailed' and was the layout's work horse and a new Airfix 14XX and auto-coach set higher out of the box standards and caused more Hornby products to fall under the knife!
The local club taught me much as a beginner, although my lack of appreciation for prototype working saw unusual sights such as a Lima King George V, super detailed of course (I was on a roll with wire handrails, brass number plates, paint, transfers and a lump of real coal picked up on a visit to Didcot) running up the branch line with a mixed rake of Hornby, Graham Farish and Airfix coaches.
The bar was set even higher when Mainline entered the marketplace, although by now, marriage, house purchase and professional careers were taking their toll on railway modelling, as was a major house move, so the baseboards were given away, stock carefully packed, sometimes thought of, but never completely forgotten for 30 plus years.
Resurrection
Fast forward: better jobs, house moves, work harder, work longer, get older, work, eat, sleep. repeat, get wiser, think: get out and enjoy life before it's too late!
We have been fortunate in many ways, the bride and me and are enjoying a more harmonious lifestyle in a place suited to doing so and are finding more time to enjoy things, old and new. I'm so glad I kept the railway stuff, rather than disposing of it before the move to France. Opening half forgotten tin trunks and storage boxes has been like bunking over that wall in Tavistock and finding a time capsule, but with the benefit of hindsight. My mental wish list for new model railway kit has been largely filled by forgotten stock, much of which has never been taken out of their boxes. I've found a variety of pristine locomotives, railcars, unbuilt kits and a veritable hoard of other treasures for building and detailing stock, buildings and road vehicles. The inner child, whilst matured somewhat, has still not fully grown up and is happily contemplating the new railway.
Planning
Like mysterious forces throughout the galaxy and others far, far away, the GWR is strong within me and I will not stray to the dark side. While full of inspiration for the sight and sound of an express loco at full chat, my modelling interests are to capture a more expansive, yet intimate slice of social history and the branch line and associated community life supporting it will be my vehicle for doing so.
For operational interest and appearance, I'm thinking busy market town needing decent goods handling capability and therefore plenty of movement inwards and out. I'm a great fan of road transport, so wish to be able to show some changes with road and rail stock from the mid-20s to late 30s. This gives good scope as well as livery changes for rolling stock and we will be seeing the transition from mainly all horse drawn to mainly motor vehicle road transport.
Princetown was my original inspiration, as it presents good scenic opportunities, passenger and goods services, together with an engine house and even a turntable. A look at John Flann's Hintock moved me towards more activity and storytelling and Abingdon and Barnstaple have strongly influenced further planning and my current draft track plan sketches.
This forum provides addictive reading and is a superb source of wisdom and experience, for which I am extremely grateful. I have had a lifelong passion for all types of transportation and am enjoying my rekindled interest in railway modelling. This is still the start of the next stage of my journey. It will be an interesting one and I still need to get my railway room into good shape before baseboarding can begin, but more of that soon.
In the meantime, besides business activities, research will continue and I'm looking forward to chatting with many more people on here. Thank you one and all for the great welcome and for sharing your knowledge and friendship.
A bientot,
Bill



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At 6'4'', Bill is a tall chap, then again, when horizontal he is rather long and people often used to trip over him! . . . and so a nickname was born :)

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 Posted: Sat Mar 28th, 2015 10:03 pm
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John Dew
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Great introduction.  Like you, I used to look under the tree at Xmas for the Dublo Train Set and sadly it never arrived.....it took me a lot longer to actually start modelling though.......its quite difficult starting from a zero knowledge base modelling the GWR in Western Canada

A West Country Market Town branch terminus........what an excellent concept....so much potential. I look forward to the development of the layout with great interest.

 You probably know that there have been some significant changes on the manufacturing side with the old duopoly of Bachmann and Hornby being challenged by a number of newcomers including major retailers commissioning. Hattons are producing a super detailed King, to compete head on with Hornby's new release.....this may not interest you:lol: but I suspect a whole range varied livery 14xx/48xx undoubtedly will.....I can shortly wave goodbye to traction tyres.

Fortunately, I'm not tempted by the challenge of DCC, as DC will serve nicely for what I have in mind and I can reuse the Gaugemaster controllers which I know work well. I am however looking forward to seeing how these 'new' Bachmann locos perform at slow speeds and have just bought a 57XX pannier to find out!
They perform even better with DCC:pedal

Sorry couldnt resist that:lol:. You have clearly made your decision and I will not attempt to dissuade you (Petermac might!) however I would mention that it is very easy to wire a layout for DC so that it can later be converted to DCC........that is something you may care to consider

Kind Regards from a sunny Vancouver



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 Posted: Sat Mar 28th, 2015 11:43 pm
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Silver foxx
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brilliant intro,just about right for most of us in varying forms,look forward to the build sdhould be interesting,,,
so welcome to the forum enjoy,
:thumbs;-):cool:



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 Posted: Sun Mar 29th, 2015 02:17 am
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mattc6911
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Bill  If your not a writer... You should be !   Took me in with the first sentence and left me wanting more...looking toward to the next installment of our
( just about everyone in this great club ) journey


 Cheers


   Matt

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 Posted: Sun Mar 29th, 2015 02:27 am
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toto
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Hi Bill,t

Terrific intro. I think you've just guaranteed yourself a place in the must read section. Enjoy your return to the hobby and your time on the forum.

Toto

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 Posted: Sun Mar 29th, 2015 01:54 pm
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Petermac
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That's a great intro Bill - contains enough background to see where you're going and why.  As with all "good reads", there are things I like and things I don't .........;-)

It's almost inevitable, given your childhood location,  that GWR would feature highly in your wish list but there were "proper" railways elsewhere in the country you know .................:roll::roll:   Even John, another staunch GWR supporter had to move to Canada before he dared disclose his odd interests (but then he started out in Lancashire anyway so there never was any hope :lol:).

Whilst not even thinking of mentioning DCC (:roll::roll:), I would urge you to follow John's excellent advice and wire the layout with a future "modernisation" plan in mind.  His comment about my attempting to persuade you was based on the fact that I was, many moons ago, just such a Luddite but finally saw the light !!!

The branchline concept is wonderful and I've seen some absolutely brilliant examples in the past - unfortunately mainly GWR ..........:mutley

I'm really looking forward to seeing what develops.

Bon chance  !!



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 Posted: Sun Mar 29th, 2015 02:23 pm
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Gary
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G'day Bill,

I will be looking foward to the start of your railway. Like other members have written already, Ill say it again, great intro. You know exactly where you are going and what outcome you want. Now, here is a man with a vision. Good luck on your build. :thumbs


Cheers, Gary.



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 Posted: Sun Mar 29th, 2015 03:57 pm
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Ed
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Read through your introduction a couple of times Bill.

Most enjoyable :thumbs

Road transport in the 20 and 30s certainly sounds challenging as it doesn't appear to be well covered by manufacturers in this scale.

Think you have a captive audience and like everyone else I'm now waiting for the next instalment.


Ed


PS Sure we can't tempt you to the dark side




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 Posted: Sun Mar 29th, 2015 04:31 pm
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jakesdad13
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There is a kit out there for an open cab thorneycroft lorry that I believe comes with GWR decals in 4mm scale.
Pete. edit just checked it is model scene by peco. P.



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 Posted: Sun Mar 29th, 2015 05:06 pm
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Longchap
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Hi Ed and Jake's dad,

There are indeed a few kits out there, including the Thornycroft lorry in GWR and PO livery. I've some white metal kits to make up and have some lovely steamers from earlier kit builds. I recall a bus kit made up decades ago which was really a scratch build, as the manufacturer's use of the term 'kit' was somewhat optimistic. It was a challenge, but fun, or so I kept telling myself!

I've some Langley horse drawn kits and they are still made and you have a choice of motive power . . . a range of horses, ha!

I'll be looking for some others in due course, as I build up the changing scenes through the years.

Oh and in respect of your PS Ed, my inner child can be mischievous from time to time and in the pursuit of adventure, is apt to stray from the path of righteousness ;)



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At 6'4'', Bill is a tall chap, then again, when horizontal he is rather long and people often used to trip over him! . . . and so a nickname was born :)

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 Posted: Sun Mar 29th, 2015 05:14 pm
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Longchap
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A big thank you as well to John, Silver Fox, Matt, Toto, Petermac and Gary. You comments all bring a smile to my face and confirm that I am in good company.
I'm happy to share my further plans with you all and I really will look at the concept of future proofing the baseboard wiring, just in case, as my mind is always open, just as my glass is forever half full!
Speak soon,
Bill :)



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At 6'4'', Bill is a tall chap, then again, when horizontal he is rather long and people often used to trip over him! . . . and so a nickname was born :)

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 Posted: Sun Mar 29th, 2015 05:40 pm
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Longchap
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Someone mentioned Ashwood Dale (Gary?) and for me, its early 20th century atmosphere is spot on. It has a sense of innocent fun as well. The scene of the horse drawn funeral procession entering the churchyard, while a couple of nippers play with a home made go-cart appeals to me greatly. I was a builder of such forms of transport in Devon and much fun was had with every new find of suitable pram wheels!

Bill



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At 6'4'', Bill is a tall chap, then again, when horizontal he is rather long and people often used to trip over him! . . . and so a nickname was born :)

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 Posted: Mon Mar 30th, 2015 12:34 am
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aberdare
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Hi Bill

A belated welcome from me and as others have said that is a great introduction and I will be paying a visit if and when I get the chance.

It's good to see another GWR modeller too and like you when I restarted after 28 years I was inspired by John Flanns Hintock as well as Nick Woods Much Murkle and others. I also have a pile of kits to wade through and need to make a start on them sooner rather than later while I know I still can.

Though not a Devon lad - next door from Somerset - I liked more of the stations in down there and have paid a couple of visits to get a feel of the place and get some autumnal photographs, sadly nothing much left of the Culm valley now though.

Looking forward to your progress.


Jim



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 Posted: Mon Mar 30th, 2015 10:08 am
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Gary
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Hi Bill,

It was I who attempted to put up a link to Ashwood Dale. Unfortunately it wasn't working so I went back and re-edited it.

Cheers, Gary.

ps. If anyone would like to see Ashwood Dale, please google 'Model Railways Online' and open from there. Click on 'Layouts' in the left hand column and a new page will open. Click on Ashwood Dale... ;-)



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 Posted: Mon Mar 30th, 2015 01:18 pm
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Spurno
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Welcome to the club Bill and as others have said a great intro.It tells everyone about you and your plans and then some.Great to have another GWR man onboard,you can never have enough.



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 Posted: Mon Mar 30th, 2015 05:26 pm
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Barneybuffer
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Hello Bill, That has to be one of if not the best introductions I've seen on this club yet. Sorry for the belated welcome to the club from me down on he edge of a cloudy Solent.



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 Posted: Sun Apr 19th, 2015 09:00 pm
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Longchap
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Dear Friends,

I am bowled over by the warmth of my welcome and the generosity of your comments and I offer my humble thanks. I have really been enjoying the forum since joining only recently and ideas and methodologies for the new layout have been firming somewhat in my mind.

Research and planning are most important and I will not rush into making a premature start until I'm reasonably happy with the track plan and how the build will proceed. To this end, I'll start a new thread for the yet un-named layout, with a track plan for critique and comment.

However, I've been feeling this mounting need to build something and have been inspired to build a plank. Not sure exactly how 'plank' entered the vocabulary here, although I have my suspicions, but a plank it will be. This will help practice and hone my potentially long lost modelling skills, which is another requirement before I start on the branch line. There'll be separate thread for that one as well.

Speak soon,

Bill



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At 6'4'', Bill is a tall chap, then again, when horizontal he is rather long and people often used to trip over him! . . . and so a nickname was born :)

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 Posted: Mon Apr 20th, 2015 02:17 am
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Petermac
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An excellent idea to build a plank Bill. :thumbs:thumbs

I'm about to embark on one myself, for the reasons you've stated - honing skills and "practice" plus, in my case, to have something slightly less ambitious than "Maxmill" for the summer months.  I will, of course, continue building Maxmill but I just feel it's a little overpowering at the moment.  Other than in deep winter, I have very little spare time and don't seem to be achieving anything much in "railway" terms.  My "plank" will be a very simple Inglenook puzzle - not even a "Timesaver" ............:roll::roll:

We can compare notes as we build although I suspect, as ever, I'll still be bringing up the rear...........:cheers



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 Posted: Mon Apr 20th, 2015 02:34 am
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Longchap
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Seems like un bon plan Peter. I've spotted a piece of ply in the workshop, just over 1 metre by 300mm and I've a developing idea in my head for the simplest of track plans.

Hope we can compare notes soon . . . no DCC j'espere!

Bill :)



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At 6'4'', Bill is a tall chap, then again, when horizontal he is rather long and people often used to trip over him! . . . and so a nickname was born :)

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 Posted: Mon Apr 20th, 2015 04:30 am
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toto
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Hi Bill,

Glad to see you are enjoying forum life:mutley the plank sounds like a good idea. Mind and get your track plans for your prank and your terminus layout posted. I find this one of the most interesting parts of the hobby seeing what people can come up with ..........always ready and willing to steal idea's;-)

Cheers for now.

Toto

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