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Bob K
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Those who read my 00 gauge Upton to Dunton layout thread will know of its demise and of my plans for something new. I have a heap of N gauge track used in previous projects and a good sized base board so I thought I would have a go at developing a a DC, BR 60s Eastern Region themed, N gauge layout with a mainline flavour. The layout not will be based on anywhere in particular, but will be influenced by some mainline locations such as Ipswich, Peteborough and (although LMS) Bletchley. Essentially a two track mainline with several platforms; it will also be a junction serving a rural branch that feeds several factories. That area will act as a storage yard for some decent length freight trains.

I have called the layout Tempsford, which is a village not far from me sitting on the East Coast Mainline. It has no station; but the name sounds good!! It is where I can sit and watch the Flying Scotsman and other high speed trains.

The station will need to be able to cope with several (minimum) 8 coach mainline trains as well as local services and I want some long runs so that big express trains can stretch their legs. Here is the overall base board:



The track I am using is Kato N gauge Unitrack. I have inverted one board to give me a river crossing and, at the moment, I have roughly set up the station area as below:



As constructed it could handle 4 x 8 coach trains plus two shorter ones (I may change this). The Kato points are good in that they are fitted with motors and pre-wired, they just need to be plugged into the switches, which in turn clip into the controller for power, so no wiring needed. The points have about a 30 inch radius and provide lovely smooth transition.

The downside of Kato track is that it has fixed curves, and although quite generous for N gauge (12 -13 inch radius) they still look very tight:



I would not be happy with this angular look. Fortunately Kato do a conversion piece of track which allows you to connect to Peco, so I bought a couple to experiment with:



It works quite well, so with some Peco flexi track I can create a nice sweeping 36 inch radius curve:



This has potential. I need to buy a couple of scissors crossings for the station area. Until I have those I will continue planning and adjusting before laying the track. Here is the river crossing area - scope for a nice long bridge or viaduct over an east coast estuary as inspired by the Colchester area:



Great fun!

Bob

Bob K
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I have been continuing to fiddle around with the track plan and have gone for a station running diagonally across the baseboard  that gives greater length and reduces the angular appearance of the layout. The station consists of two main line platforms - made from balsa and faced with brick paper. The platform surfaces are adapted Metcalfe items. There is a third platform for local services and sits on the goods relief line and the opposite main line also has a passing loop.



The next step here will be a goods yard that will run down past the signal box. Here is a J27 by Union Mills on the relief line:



I Have also done a bit more on the bridge, adding girder trusses:



With a J25, again from Union Mills, at the head of a coal train:


Bob K
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Yesterday I finished laying the track in the station area, which includes additional relief loops and the goods yard. The points are in (total 10), wired up and tested.



I also started work on a station building using the Kestrel kit, still to be painted and finished off:



And finally, a bit of testing, I dug V2 Green Arrow out of its box and gave it a run around. Looks nice, runs well but quite noisy - like many of the older Farish locos.


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Nice big baseboards with plenty of room for some great scenics etc. won't be cramped on there.

Good progress as well.:thumbs

Toto

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N guage gives a lot more scope ,just wish I could handle it,looking really good
:thumbs;-):cool:

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Great start, nice to see some more N-Gauge!

Marty
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I know your still developing the layout Bob but I reckon the signal box would be between the goods yard throat and the running lines and turned around 180 to give the signalman a better field of view. Just a thought.

The scope for scenery is making me itch to get at it!

Keep it coming.

Marty

Bob K
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Marty wrote:
I know your still developing the layout Bob but I reckon the signal box would be between the goods yard throat and the running lines and turned around 180 to give the signalman a better field of view. Just a thought.

The scope for scenery is making me itch to get at it!

Keep it coming.

Marty


Thanks Marty, I think you are right. In fact it is where I had it earlier. I will rethink the location when the ballast and scenery goes in.

Bob

Bob K
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Over the weekend I have been working on the station buildings and a goods shed. I have always liked the Kestrel Town Station kit, but have not got around to making one. The model is old and a bit basic, but with a bit of work I thought it could look good. The biggest problem was the fit of the parts and some warping. I used filler and aluminium foil on the roof to fill the gaps. Here is the station after painting and weathering and some posters added:





The second building, which will sit in the sidings is a goods shed. Again from Kestrel, which makes up into a large shed:





In the meantime I have been weathering the track - more on that later.

Bob

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Those buildings look great Bob - but then you always were a dab hand with a paintbrush. :thumbs

I also envy your ability to work in "N" Scale - it offers so much more space for "proper" trains but alas, neither my hands, nor my eyes could cope with it.

Looking forward to watching this develop. :cheers

Bob K
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Started to weather the tracks, which is essential with Kato track to get rid of the plastic look. I decided to try out the Woodland Scenics weathering "track painter" sticks. They are easy to use and so far I am quite pleased with the results:

Before:



After:



These are the paint sticks:



I have many yards to do yet, after which I will add ballast.

Bob

Last edited on Tue Nov 3rd, 2015 02:22 pm by Bob K

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Great thread Bob, envious of your layout room but then again we all get to share it through your posts. I too like N gauge but as with others my eyesight can't handle it, more please.

Ian

Marty
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Nice job on the Kestrel Station Bob.

Marty

Bob K
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Marty wrote:
Nice job on the Kestrel Station Bob.

Marty


Thanks Marty. Apart from Metcalfe offerings it is really the only kit available of a decent size station. The rest tend to be village types. I suppose you could expand the Peco station by adding more sections.

Bob

Bob K
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As part of a job lot of box wagons I ended up with a bright yellow banana van that stands out brightly amongst its bauxite and grey companions. I decided to weather it and tone it down. This is the wagon:



The first thing I did was to give it a wash with matt black acrylic and, after removing the wheels, I painted them brown. They too were given a wash of black when dry:



Next I used a Tamiya weathering kit to tone down the van:



Here is the result:





Bob

Last edited on Wed Nov 4th, 2015 01:12 pm by Bob K

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Looks nice and grubby Bob :thumbs


Ed

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I have been quiet for a bit as there is not much to say about weathering and ballasting 30 feet of track; however at last I am able to say that this particular task is almost complete. Here is a view of the relief loops to the North of the station duly weathered and ballasted. I still have to do a little work around the points. I think the result improves the plastic Kato track quite well:





Bob

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Disguises it really well Bob.

If it wasn't for the bits around the points, you wouldn't know from the pictures it was Kato track :thumbs


Ed

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Wow!  What a transformation, Bob.  :thumbs

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Nice work Bob, I think you need a new user name mate.   Pete.

Bob K
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It has been several months since my last post and progress has been slow. Although I have done a little more work around the station area, my main focus has been on acquiring the track, laying it and then wiring points in the fiddle yard. Without this I have nowhere to store the longer passenger trains and operations are a problem without removing trains from the track. The work on the fiddle yard is now complete and this marks significant progress for me.

The fiddle yard is designed to take the longest trains – 8 – 10 coach passenger services behind a big A4 or A3 Pacific, as well as local trains of shorter length. I also had in mind that in the future I might turn this area into a mainline station and thus I have configured the tracks to allow eight platforms, some goods sidings and a shed area.

 Here is an overview.

 

All the points are wired in and this has created a significant bank of Kato point levers. The track diagram is for Tempsford; I am working on another for the fiddle yard:

 

Thoughts are now turning to finishing off the scenic station area and starting on the landscape.

Bob K

Last edited on Wed Aug 3rd, 2016 08:47 am by Bob K

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Gulp - that's some switch bank Bob. :shock::shock:

Looks very professional and tidy too.  Not a bit like my switches ...............:oops::oops:

I like the size of the yard - gives loads of potential to stop any tail chasing, although I suspect that's not such a problem in N gauge. :thumbs

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like the size and layout of the fiddle yard you should get loads of enjoyment from it
:thumbs;-):cool:
Owen

Last edited on Tue Aug 2nd, 2016 10:50 pm by Silver Fox

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Impressive, Bob.  :thumbs

Bob K
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Yes quite a row of switches. There are five spare, which will allow for some point work in the shed area once that is developed. Kato do make it easy. The points are pre-wired and a single lead from the point simply passes under the board, resurfaces and plugs directly into the switch. The point switches in turn plug into each other to form a bank and the complete bank of switches plugs directly into the controller.

So it is just one wire from each point and no wires from the switch to the power source.

The points themselves are super smooth and as a bonus if they are set incorrectly a trains running against them will not derail; it simply stops just short of the junction.

Although expensive, they are not too bad when you think there is no need to buy a separate point motor.

Bob

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That fiddle yard will make a grand station Bob. Glad to see you are making steady progress.

Aren't those Union Mill's locos strong performers?

Bob K
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Marty wrote:
That fiddle yard will make a grand station Bob. Glad to see you are making steady progress.

Aren't those Union Mill's locos strong performers?


Yes, they are excellent and very smooth too. Price wise they are good value compared to the, admitedly better detailed, Farish and Dapol offerings.

Bob

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Time for an update. The main effort has been to revise the area of Tempsford station by bringing the land up to the level of the platforms. This was achieved using a combination of foam board and filler. The pictures below show the revised area; the chalk marks defining the edge of the tarmac:



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Still watching, Bob.  :cool:

Marty
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Looking forward to seeing the scenery develop around the station Bob. What have you used for the tarmac surface, just grey latex paint?
cheers

Marty

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Marty wrote: Looking forward to seeing the scenery develop around the station Bob. What have you used for the tarmac surface, just grey latex paint?
cheers

Marty
Hi MartyAt the moment the surface is painted with grey emulsion from a DIY store sampler pot. I am not sure yet how I will represent the tarmac. Putting down grit in N gauge does not work too well, so may well find a good matt paint and weather with powders etc. Would welcome any thoughts.
Bob

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Bob, I use a dark grey acrylic from a sampler pot & then with various grey weathering powders, smudge it after it is dry - seems to look OK to me.


Last edited on Thu Mar 30th, 2017 02:26 am by Sol

Marty
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I've used a similar process to Sol.... although my choice is acrylics which I blend black, white, burnt sienna and cobalt blue. Once dry, I brush weathering or chalk powders over it until I get what I think looks right. Crushed dry tea leaves and saw dust make a good leaf litter for road edges if you feel like it or vegetate over the edge of the road. 
You did a lovely job of the N scale layout you made in Liberia... I'm looking forward to more progress on this one. 

cheers

Martin

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Sol wrote: Bob, I use a dark grey acrylic from a sampler pot & then with various grey weathering powders, smudge it after it is dry - seems to look OK to me.


Looks good Ron - that is the kind of effect that I was thinking about.
Bob

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An update, following some work on the scenic area around the station. Following Sol's suggestion I have coloured in the tarmac areas using pastels and chalks, added some fencing and vegetation. It is beginning to come alive at last:


The coal yard:






The goods yard


The station forecourt:



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It looks good, Bob.  :thumbs

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Yes ,looking the part now Bob.

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Beginning to build up the land.

I have begun to make a start on the land around the station, which I would like to depict as rolling hills, with a small stream or river. For the base I am using sheets of expanded polystyrene, cut to shape using my trusty old hot wire cutter. This is an excellent device that allows this material to be used without making a huge mess:



I have laid about a third of the foam, which will be smoothed off using a cheap filler, after which it will be painted with cheap DIY emulsion:






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That will save some work - and some weight.  :cool:

Marty
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Nice station Scenics... I'm quite :mrgreen: as I'm still to get a station properly bedded in after over 10 years of modelling.
Hot wire cutter... hmmmm... off to surf the interwebs for a "how to make your own". Shouldn't be too hard.

Keep it coming Bob, your making me think. :lol:

Cheers

Marty


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Absolutely stunning!

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Its all coming together nicely Bob.The scenery around your station is excellent.can't wait to see you cover those white foam hills!

Cheers,John.B.

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New Wagons

A few months back I purchased some wagons at an exhibition; they are kits by Peco and they were very cheap. So I bought six. However, they have been sitting on a shelf gathering dust. Today it was cold and wet, so I thought I would have a go at one of these kits. I was very surprised to learn that they go together in about five minutes and I soon had them all built. This is the box they come in:




There is a salt wagon, two fish vans and three 10ft tanker wagons. I have given them a coat of paint, dusted on some weathering and they are ready to go on the layout. I can't think why I left them on the shelf for so long!

 



Marty
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Very nice Bob, I like the fish vans.
Looks like you’ve done some more scenery too.

Marty

Last edited on Sun Dec 24th, 2017 06:30 am by Marty

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A little more work has been done on the scenery, although most of my effort has been centred on the other side of the layout.  I am creating a city station out of the fiddleyard and this is taking time. I hope to reveal progress soon.
I too like the fish vans as they add a bit of colour amongst the browns greys and black of BR stock.

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A post Christmas update.................

The Christmas break gave me a chance to get up into the railway room and to work on the layout. I decided to continue developing the fiddleyard, which is becoming a large city station. Here are some views. Please excuse some of the detail that has been plonked down and not yet fixed in place:

The first is a general overview. It can be seen that some areas still need to be ballasted and the footbridge is still to be completed:


A new area is the siding complex at the North end of the station. At the moment it is being used to park up resting locos. The large space on the left, will likely be developed to take on this role:





Looking the other way, eight platforms provide ample space for the longest of trains:



I am changing the lights from the Kato tall ones to British style lights, some having been plonked in place to see how they fit!


I am thinking of replacing the platform canopies as time goes by and will add island platform buildings and goods access lifts.






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Heritage NER Class R, 4-4-0, pulling a rake of LNER teak coaches passing through Tempsford on the down line towards Doncastle.  The loco is by Union Mills, with Dapol coaches. A gift from santa!


Marty
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That’s a nice looking new engine you’ve got there Bob and the I’m just going to crawl away into my corner and whimper when it comes to comparing how much work you’ve done.
You must have spent weeks putting together those terrace houses alone!

A nice way of giving your fiddle yard character.

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Thanks Marty, although I can't take the credit for building all of the terraced houses, some were bought ready made at a show. I try to do a little something on the layout each day, often a little bit of several projects. I find that is the best way to keep my interests going.
As for the loco; it looks wonderful, but is a really rough runner, especially for a Union Mills job. I did not buy it new, so can't complain too much. I will speak to Colin in the coming days to see if he will take it in for an overhaul, as I have tried all of the usual actions to improve running.


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Over the last weekend I went back to the otherside of the layout to do some more work on the scenery.  Having laid some polystyrene hills, I smoothed them down with plaster and gave the whole area a coat of green paint. I have also marked in the route of a small stream as well as the road. Finally I have set a road over stream bridge into the landscape. So far so good!

Here is an overview of the area:



The bridge and stream:



The road set into the terrain:


The hills:

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I've stopped by for a good look tonight.

Very impressive, Bob.  :thumbs

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Nice little winding country road Bob.

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Nice expanse of scenery (one of the big advantages of N gauge), looking good Bob :thumbs


Ed

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Setting the road bridge into the countryside:

Having finally set the stone road bridge in place and settled it into the landscape with plaster, overpainted in green I have added some scenery, a fence and painted the stream. The scene represents a narrow brook, clogged with weeds that runs under the railway via a culvert. The first picture is a bit blurry:



A close up of the bridge area:


From the other side. The culvert can just be seen behind the bridge:



Here is a closer view of the culvert, consisting of two concrete pipes that run under the track, supported by a concrete abutment. This was scratch built from three bits of card, a couple of mm of plastic tube, cut in half length ways and the surround built up with filler:



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Very convincing, Bob.  :cool:

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Posts: 2553
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You have been busy, nice work Bob. :thumbs

Bob K
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Joined: Sun Oct 14th, 2007
Location: Bedfordshire, United Kingdom
Posts: 2757
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I have added some more scenery around small stream, including some sea moss trees:





In addition, running alongside the line, I have added a dirt track and added some more scenery. Slowly the area is taking shape:


Harbottle
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Joined: Sat Jun 23rd, 2018
Location: Aylesbury., United Kingdom
Posts: 51
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Looks fantastic - really shows what you can do in N


                 

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