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Birkenhead Woodside - Members Personal Layouts. - Model Railway Layouts. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Tue Sep 19th, 2017 07:26 pm
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Woodside
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Thanks Max and Marty – yes,I think the weathering does improve the look of the Metcalfe kits, one day I’ll get around to weathering all the other stuff (Hooton) I’d built before I started experimenting with weathering… you’ve guessed it – it’s on a list. Thinking back to my early years in the ’Pool our yard wasn’t that big….

Now, more progress to report. I continued with the back walls, not always making a particularly good job of it.


 
Yes, not exactly square…

The narrow backs being that bit longer means that the back wall needs an extra section, but plenty of spare available. Once on to the original gable end version the walls fit exactly as they should. Originally I had intended to reduce the depth of the original gable end houses by removing the shed and taking off a couple of rows of flags, with the houses well back, I’ve left it – so I could have included the shed… but these houses were already a bit smart with a gable end, so I didn’t include the shed… a bigger yard now, which needed an extra section of dividing wall. All quite straightforward, and soon it was complete.



In position, starting to take shape … Next task is to weather the back walls, better to do it before the capping is fitted.



I’ve included this pic, showing the walls weathered, simply because it includes a section of ballasted track… makes a change!

Now the capping for the back walls. Personally I think the capping as supplied is a tad too wide. I think I know why they chose this width, the back door sections are in fact almost four thicknesses of card, so to get a decent overhang it needs wider capping…. But as the majority of the back walls are just two thicknesses of card, it gives too much overhang, I think. So, before starting I trimmed all the capping back to about 3.5 mm. (I’m getting the hang of this metric stuff).



You can see what I mean with the original capping and the two card section of wall. Anyway even at this reduced width it covered that very iffy bit of wall shown in the earlier pic. Then it was just a case of weathering the capping, extending the sky beyond the houses and adding the standard matt black to the floor and part way up the purlin.



Not time for the chimneys yet, they will be fitted after the lighting has been done. With the black on the purlin, in the gap between the houses and the small factory it is now not clear as to where the baseboard ends and the purlin starts – so I’ll probably try these reduced height terrace fronts mounted some way up the purlin. With two terrace fronts kits, I’ve plenty to play with.

But that will come later, as I understand the natives in Birkenhead and Hooton are getting a bit fed up with the lack of any train service… so there will be a slight delay in the construction of the terraced fronts, while I get the natives back on side.

The 0-4-2T is still in the box, must do something about that.

So, more in a bit....

Keith
 
 



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 Posted: Tue Sep 19th, 2017 08:27 pm
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MaxSouthOz
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Some nice touches there, Keith.

I like the space behind the down pipes.  :cool:



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 Posted: Tue Sep 19th, 2017 08:34 pm
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emmess
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Looking good. The weathering really works well. I do like a row of houses on a layout and these are a great example...



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 Posted: Fri Sep 22nd, 2017 06:48 pm
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Woodside
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Glad you like it Max! – although I’m sure it’s only ’cos it is a little space…. You wouldn’t have liked the bigger space had I used the brackets unmodified.
Yes, Mike, totally agree, an urban railway scene isn’t complete without a row of terraced houses, with added weathering. I’d like to carry on with more, rather than the backscene, but I’d lose two roads in the marshalling yard – and that’s not on.

Now, the Fat Controller and the natives are happy - the trains are running again! ....and the morning rush is almost upon us…. and storage space is already getting scarce… Things should be OK mind, I’ve run this timetable before – just the last couple of extra freights to sort out, then it should be plain sailing.

One of the locos that doesn’t appear very often, the 28XX, with a freight off the Cambrian line, is held at Hooton while the London sleeper (due Woodside 7.57 – quite late for a Sleeper) gets the road away from Fiddle Yard approach. This is also one of the few passenger services which does not stop at Hooton.






 With the Sleeper safely stored under Woodside to wait for it’s run through Hooton (7.38), the freight gets the road from Hooton. Really should get some crew in the open cab engines at least, I'll put it on my list... The distant is still on, this means that the fat controller has to proceed with extreme caution as there is already a train in the loop – the Sleeper. When the chosen storage loop is clear, the distant is also off, and then the fat controller can leave a train to stop automatically, by the two double breaks and switches described earlier in this thread (page 3, post 51).



 

Yes, building the terraces was interesting, and with the perspective thingy for the front terrace that too will be interesting, but for now the Fat Controller is just having fun! The terrace fronts will have to wait until the next couple of hours of the timetable have been completed – that’s the morning rush hour over… depending on how it goes…. more on the front terrace soon-ish.... hopefully before Christmas!!
 
Keith



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 Posted: Thu Oct 5th, 2017 02:55 pm
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Woodside
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The timetable has progressed…  a bit… not as fast as I’d hoped, but at least some progress.

The Lightweights finally got away from Woodside with the 7.45 service to Hooton. This roster has to be a two car DMU – at some point during the rush hour, the fact that it is just two coaches (no engine) is vital in the loops under Woodside! Must get all the plumbing fitted at the ends of the Lightweights mind – looks a bit bare now. No need for couplings – the only thing it could couple up with is another set of Lightweights, and I’ve only got one. Lovely model, captures the lines of the Lightweight perfectly…. Whether they ever got to Woodside, well, perhaps just for a trial period? – they were just across the Mersey – so plausible, just.


 
Life at Hooton is a bit more interesting just now, the Sleeper has just (7.40) run through heading for Woodside, following that the next train was the Ivatt with the 7.42 train for Helsby (7.20 ex Birkenhead)…



…. Five minutes behind that is the relief train from Woodside (7.25) with the Standard 3 tank, which terminates at Hooton, 7.47, here arriving in platform 3.


 
The tank will run around the stock (just two coaches again, storage limits) to form the 8.00 service back to Rock Ferry (or in my case the coach sidings at Woodside). Birkenhead had a couple of the Ivatts and three of the Standard 3 tanks for a couple of years around ’59 and ’60, so although I’m running the 1961 timetable, that’s near enough for me.  But before 8.00 is the 7.53 from Helsby to Woodside and the second Paddington bound train of the day at 7.58. So once the Standard 3 tank is away, the fat controller usually needs a lie down….

When I first laid the track at Hooton, the original idea was for an island platform layout, the loop was just for freight and the goods shed.  I wasn’t too sure about where to locate the station building if it was just an island, and so in the end I decided on the three platform set-up. Never thought to check the timetable I was intending to run, or considered the possibility of services starting or terminating at Hooton…. that would have been planning…. Anyway, it all turned out OK in the end.

Now, that gap between the terraced houses and the small factory is starting to annoy me, so I’m going to have a go at this perspective lark, then I can get back to the trains. So, sooner rather than the expected much later, the house builders are back…

To reduce the height of the fronts, I’ve taken out three sections of two bricks and then reassembled  the bits to give a new front section. Originally I’d thought about removing sections including the windows, to maintain the right proportions.. but the thought of having to cut the windows as well, meant that idea remained an idea.






This is now a bit fragile, so before I could start trying to fit the fronts in place I decided to at least attach the base and add the windows and strengtheners, to give me something solid to play with. With the lower set of bricks removed, this will affect the doorways – as they include a fanlight above the door, by removing that the door itself remains untouched.


 
The fronts are to be fixed hard up against the flat section of the purlin, about quarter of an inch above baseboard level, which in theory may give some sort of perspective effect. So, I measured up a template – and then set about hacking the completed front. Note, all the bits removed are still on the workbench, I never throw anything I’ve cut off, until the job is finally completed… just in case.






This, of course, didn’t fit…. ’cos I’d measured the template incorrectly, but after much muttering and remeasuring….  and regluing, all those bits I’d cut off incorrectly… I ended up with something which did fit. The rebuilt ends are a bit of a mess, but will be covered by other ends which will be cut correctly first time.



A reduced roof was added, and as this will be hard up against the loft roof, I’m still thinking about the chimney stacks and how to fit them, given that the top of the roof is hard up against the loft roof.



Putting the front alongside the backs shows the reduced height



..and holding the front, roughly where it will be fitted, and with the floor and purlin all matt black, I think there will be some sort of perspective effect… when viewed from afar, at least enough to make it worth building the remaining fronts.


 
Each additional front will be slightly different, given that the purlin is only a roughly squared-off tree trunk, and not a particularly straight tree in the first place….

More soon-ish, of course.
 
Keith
 
 



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 Posted: Thu Oct 5th, 2017 06:52 pm
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MaxSouthOz
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Thanks, for the post, Keith.

It makes interesting reading.   :cool:



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 Posted: Fri Oct 6th, 2017 05:52 am
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Like the perspective effect Keith :thumbs


Ed



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 Posted: Sat Oct 14th, 2017 02:24 pm
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Woodside
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Thanks Max – pleased you find my ramblings interesting, I’ll carry on…. and Ed, better to reserve judgement on perspective ’til the fronts are in situ… but at least the gap will have disappeared, which is why I started this in the first place.

I’ve been busy (hence the delay in replying), when I’ve had the chance, trying to finish the remaining fronts – the second and third appeared with no problems – I had to modify the back for the third and fourth to match the changing contours of the purlin, but the fourth…. All was well, apparently, until I tried to fit the lower floor window frame…. and it fitted perfectly….except it wasn’t supposed to, not without removing part of it to account for the reduced height. Takes a while these days for the penny to drop… there was a join in the fronts low down – as there should be – but what I’d omitted to do was to remove the rows of bricks, I’d just stuck the thing back together! I seem to recall at the time commenting to myself on what a good match that bottom join was!!!  Hey ho.

Now during all this Metcalfing I’ve become accustomed to returning a half constructed model to the component parts… not easy when you use Roket card glue. So I set about rectifying my minor error, and after some time in a darkened room and some fairly strong language, the fourth house, of the correct height, was finished.  It was now time to address the problem I’d been conveniently ignoring – how to fix the fronts in the required position, half an inch above the baseboard and hard up against the purlin/loft roof. The fall-back solution, just glue it to the purlin and roof – but I’m hoping to put some lights in the bedrooms, so I need to be able to get at the back when bulbs fail. The idea is that a building effectively behind the baseboard and lit should give more depth…. well, something like that. Also fixing anything to the purlin could be problematic, that purlin is an oak tree, been there since this “new” part of the house was built long ago, so it’s going to be rock hard for screwing in any small screws. Eventually, I had an idea…. So I’ve drawn one of my engineering drawing quality plans to illustrate it…




OK, perhaps not quite engineering drawing quality, but you get the idea. Basically a section on the top of the house roof, parallel to the loft roof, will slot into a groove created on the loft roof. Hopefully just two sections about 3” wide, split into two by the centre piece, on houses 1 and 4 should be sufficient – I’m gluing all four houses together first, once I’m convinced they do fit as intended. It won't be supporting the whole weight of the fronts as they will be effectively standing on the purlin. And that will be it done, apart from the lights and the chimney stacks (still thinking about the stacks) and the weathering, so perhaps that should read "half done". At the moment you can see I’m in curtains mode, originally I wasn’t keen on the curtain idea, but I have to admit now that it does improve the look.

More soon-ish, if the idea works, if it doesn’t, I may be a while…. and the trains may start running first…

Keith



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 Posted: Mon Oct 23rd, 2017 03:25 pm
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Woodside
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Right, more progress to report. That idea for holding the terrace fronts in place, good as it was, remains just an idea – the problem, lack of headroom – only about 5” at the back of layout, and so very difficult to see the exact position for the bracket when it comes to fixing. Given the fact that the fronts are top heavy to the back I decided that a simple step (in black) below the pavement would do the job. Naturally I hadn’t measured the fronts before completing them, and so the first thing I had to do was cut back the pavement for the left hand houses so that the fronts would actually fit behind the small factory, and then I could fit the step.



Then, a first look at the fronts in place – and I think this perspective lark does work, sort of, with the fronts appearing much further back from the small factory than they actually are – there again, I’m bound to say that…..



To get the chimneys to fit was something of a challenge with the front roof almost touching the top of the loft roof. Initially I thought of mounting the chimneys lower down the roof, but with a reduced roof already, it didn’t look right. So I set about making something which would fit, and be at the top of the roof, sort of triangular chimney. Fair bit of cutting, but eventually something I could use…



I decided to light four sets of bedrooms – no space for the ground floor courtesy of the purlin, usual method (health and safety folk who don’t like gow bulbs in cardboard models should look away now) in this case four 3V gow in series. As there is no back to the fronts, if that makes sense, I’ve fed the wires through the side panels, so I’ve been able to leave the joints uncovered – makes it easier to find the duff bulb when one of the bulbs fail and no chance of any shorts.



The chimneys fitted, looked better than expected, and will do for me.



Usual weathering, and all terraces now finished…. Well, apart from the lighting for the backs.



Finally, and I don’t think this is my idea –probably read it somewhere… on the forum perhaps, but I’ve put an HO scale figure on the pavement of the fronts, and a OO scale figure next to the backs. I reckon it does improve the perspective effect. The figures have now returned to platform 1 at Woodside – their rightful place. More suitable bodies will be added later, when the fencing/gates are done. My point and click camera is working at just about the limit of it’s capabilities….



Not too sure about the overall look now – there isn’t much space between the last of the fronts and the small factory, but by my standards it’ll do. The look between the small factory and the marshalling yard will improve when I complete the boundary walls, fences and gates… but that will have to wait a while now.

Just a thought…. I now know why I hadn’t finished the ballasting at the Yard Junction – had I done it earlier it would be a mess by now with all the stretching across the tracks…. so I’d better hang on now ’til I’ve done the lighting and finished off the fencing etc. I’ll use any excuse!!

Finally, finally, one train omitted from the rush hour before 8 at Hooton, the morning parcels from the WCML at Crewe behind the EE type 1, due through Hooton at 7.51. The first five of these spent some time at Crewe South in their early years, not sure when they moved down to London… but a tenuous link which is just about plausible!



So, there we are… the lights for the backs and small factory will also have to wait a while, particularly now that I’ve linked them to the ballasting… the Fat Controller needs to run the railway for a while… it’s what he’s there for! …. and there’s that 0-4-2T, yes, still in the box – must do something about that, probably a quick flashback to 1956 sometime soon-ish.

Keith
 
 



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 Posted: Fri Dec 8th, 2017 11:37 pm
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Woodside
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Progress has been very slow of late (that’s code for virtually nil) – loft time at a premium for all sorts of reasons, so not a lot to report. I have been playing about with my point and click camera, in an attempt to improve the quality of my photos. I know that there are plenty of fancy software products out there which will combine several photos to give clear focus across the field of view… but I am a simple soul now, so I’m avoiding all this computer stuff.

However, thinking back to the days with my Ilford Sportsman and a light meter – I thought about reducing the aperture/increasing exposure time… which I thought I couldn’t do with this camera, however it does have a Landscape setting, so I tried that and it resulted in a much slower shutter – and I think it is better, with more of the picture in focus. If it isn’t let me know.  As an example, this is the 8.00 return service to Rock Ferry, behind the Standard 4 tank, waiting in Platform 3 – the far starter signals are still in some sort of focus – so I’ll be using this setting in future.



However, further investigation with my camera… turns out it does have a manual setting too…. so I can set aperture/shutter…. I’ve only had it 8 years – everything takes time…. and with the full manual still available on the Canon website, now downloaded, I’ve another job added to one of my lists which may, eventually, (no promises) see a big improvement in the quality of the photos I produce.

In the meantime, just reached the one occasion when the three platform layout of Hooton cannot cope. The TC Barmouth has just arrived in Hooton (8.05) platform 2, just like the London train before it, it has to stop with the back coach clear of the slip, so that a Helsby train (two car DMU) can arrive into 3 at 8.07, departing at 8.08. But the Barmouth train does not leave until 8.09 – a minute later. So currently I just let the Helsby train depart 2 minutes late.  As an alternative, the Barmouth could reverse to clear the exit from 3 once the Helsby train has arrived, allowing access for the parcels van to the platform and for the Helsby to depart on time. There’s some logic to this –as the Barmouth train waits for four minutes (the standard wait is two minutes) – so I’m assuming that was to allow for loading of parcels. Not sure such a manoeuvre ever occurred anywhere on BR metals – but if anybody has seen something similar – please let me know. OK, I know it’s only an odd couple of minutes – but that’s just me, I would like to follow the timetable to the letter!

One more photo with the new setting (more in the Gallery) – just to show how busy things are just now.




It is 8.06, the Barmouth train in 2, with the Helsby train due in 3, emerging up the bank from the fiddle yard is a Stanier  tank on a Chester – Birkenhead service due Hooton at 8.08 in 1, same time as the Helsby train is due to depart. On the run up to Woodside, the EE type 1 with the morning WCML parcels waits in the goods loop for access to platform 5 – just vacated by the DPU on the local parcels (which doesn’t appear in Hooton until 9.05, as it calls at all intermediate stations) and is waiting for it’s slot in the loops under Woodside. At Woodside the next departure is the 8.10 to Stanlow, so the DPU has to be on the move soon….

It continues like this for over another hour… then the fat controller finally gets a well deserved break (not so sure about well deserved, the FC hasn’t done much lately) – probably around Easter at this rate….. and despite linking it to the ballasting I’m thinking that the fencing around the terrace backs and small factory – and all the lighting –  really should be finished sooner rather than later…. Perhaps make that Easter 2019….!

Keith



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 Posted: Sat Dec 9th, 2017 06:33 am
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Hi Keith.  Great work as always. I hope you haven’t got a wind farm to worry about on your layout. Speaking about plans???  I haven’t go a plan either, I have nothing to be proud of either, just as well I don’t do “Pride” then. One thing I have is a skill to forget where I put something , another trait? of mine is not to finish one job at a time, but you don’t seem to have that problem. By the way do you have a winter timetable ( with snow?) or is everyday a sunny day in spring or summer?  Best wishes. Kevin



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 Posted: Fri Dec 15th, 2017 08:31 pm
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Dave C
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Hello Keith,

Always interesting to read the exploits with your layout - it's certainly coming along nicely - and getting time to run the trains. In my house, that could be a novelty!

Interesting to note your exploits with your camera and trying to get more of the scene in focus - always a problem when taking a close-up on a small subject such as in our hobby. I just don't really bother with all that, shutter speed/aperture - far too much faffing around for my liking! And as much as I like dabbling with computers and software.....is it really that necessary to get everything in focus? Personally, I think not.

I generally tend to use my smartphone for the photos, mostly 'cos is easier to use and produces a good sharp picture (where it's in focus!). My main problem is when the photos get uploaded to this site - will they be correctly orientated or sideways? Even after they've been put through the editing processes on the laptop (Win.10) to crop and resize them and save them back, I've no guarantee they'll upload correctly, even though they display on screen in Explorer correctly.

Anyway, enough of my issues. As I say, it's good to see Hooton with some traffic. Keep up the good work Keith.

Dave

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