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Progress at Lantern Yard - Scratchbuilding. - More Practical Help - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Thu Nov 9th, 2017 12:18 pm
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Mr.Tin
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Some of you may, for reasons similar to mine, know that Lantern Yard was a fictional place in George Eliot's Silas Marner.  We had to read it at school and apart from the odd line "Eppie in de toal ole", all I recall is thinking, even then, 50 odd years ago, that both Lantern Yard and Raveloe were great layout names!So, when the time came to knock up a fairly big scenic set-piece, Lantern Yard was a no brainer, as they say.  Any layout I might make (unlikely now) would then be Raveloe.

It's been kicking around for years. I started it when my youngest grandson was born and he starts senior school next year!
It contains a model of the wooden ex working boat on which my wife and I lived and cruised a while back, Heather Bell, a 1937 wooden Nurser built boat, for Christopher and Daphne March, a brother and sister team who ran her hard up to the War and, when Christopher went in the Merchant Navy for the War, Daphne and her 60 year old Mum ran her even harder, mainly up the Worcester cut to Tipton with grain, then the Cannock coalfieds and back to Worcester with nutty slack.  But she also went to a dozen other places, including being the only narrow boat that ever shot the Severn bore (account published in the Green Book of Lady Margaret Hall, for this lady was a well educated one!)  Other tales of HB can be found in various books since written by the ladies who learned the ropes of canal boat handling aboard Heather Bell, later known as the Idle Women, after the small early plastic badge they wore with IW on it, which was actually an abbreviation of Inland Waterways.
Heather Bell is also the only other boat mentioned by name in Tom Rolt's famous work, Narrowboat, apart from his own Cressy. The ladies on HB used to stop at Tardebigge for tea with the Rolts.  Tom's widow, Sonia has also taken tea with us on HB in the boatyard whilst we restored her.

Here's the model so far with early brickwork painting and the later stages of the filler.  The layout is purely fictitious of course, as it has to be to get everything in.

You can see the beginnings of the railway tracks, which are 9mm gauge to represent the 15/18" estate railway that runs to the wharf. This is entirely because I have made a lot of stock including locos for N-Drive over the years in O9.  It's also all I have space for!

Here's current progress on the model of Heather Bell.  I have decided to make the model of this wooden boat also in wood.....Steamed pear, my favourite wood.  As my wife and I restored the real boat we know every inch of her, having put 3 oak trees into the restoration.  I have drawings of her too to help with the restoration, so this model will be as accurate a 7mm scale canal boat as you're likely to see.  She was a very good example of the elegantly shaped boats built in oak and elm by the Nurser brothers at Braunston.

You will notice the bottom boards are wedge shaped in plan. This was so they could be driven into each other from the sides, the extra length being sawn off later. Imagine sawing all those ends by hand. 2 feet by 3-4 inches of elm!
The long member going right along the boat was what acted as a keel on a wooden narrow boat. 10 x 4". It was known as a kelson, which, on a "normal" boat was the piece that sat horizontally on top of the vertical keel.  The other big members are the huge engine beds, the originals of which were still in our boat.

Buildings-wise, we have the Lengthman's hut which is in my introductory post and the cafe, which is now finished.  In order to extend the cafe's facilities a rather lovely old caravan, found by the blacksmith next door, has been pressed into use. Here they are.

Having sorted my photos out, I can't find the finished version of these two, but here they are in position temporarily, with the beginnings of the loco shelter and the end of the blacksmith's house.  
The caravan began life as a "critter", with the luxury of a Portescap motor, intended for an O/16.5 W&L 2-6-2, but I seem to have lost the loco kit and still have the Portescap.  But the critter lost its bonnet and Austin Ruby grille/exhaust pipe and went back to caravandom for a much better use.  It now sits at the right height with side boards round it to stop draughts and a rickety set of steps up to the door.

That pretty much is that for this serial set-piece builder!

Cheers,
Martin

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 Posted: Fri Nov 10th, 2017 10:56 am
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Mr.Tin
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I found the finished cafe shots, including the correctly sited caravan cafe "extension".


The entrance is now round the corner as the original door was considered a bit risky being so close to the engine shelter, even though the estate agreed to provide a slatted fence in way of the railway line.  The writing on the wall is as much for the information of canal users as anyone else.  Also made a gulley in styrene with a slotted drain plate at the end. The caff has no gutters.  Note the essential half height net curtain, so common in 50's/early 60's caffs.
A bit of careful grubbying of the caravan door area where people lean on it to open the door.  Nobody has clean hands round here!

Martin

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 Posted: Fri Nov 10th, 2017 02:02 pm
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gastwo
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Nice work Martin. Following this with interest.

Shaun.

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 Posted: Fri Nov 10th, 2017 02:15 pm
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Mr.Tin
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Thanks, Shaun. I was beginning to think nobody was interested. I post this stuff to try and elicit queries about techniques and tricks.
I shall do some more over the weekend. Weekdays are for a large model of a Vincent Black Shadow in brass!

Cheers,
Martin

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 Posted: Sat Nov 11th, 2017 05:36 pm
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sparky
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Of course we are interested ,keep it coming Martin. :thumbs



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 Posted: Sat Nov 11th, 2017 06:12 pm
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Mr.Tin
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Nice to know, Sparky.  But it does seem a bit slow on here.I made two more planks for the Heather Bell model. The 2 at the bow, which needed much twisting and curving, so a good heavy glass bowl was sourced (difficult to nudge or tip over) and some boiling water put in it.The front section of the plank was immersed in it for a minute or so and then removed and twisted and curved. It doesn't feel hot, oddly and soon cools. I then hold it over or in front of a desk lamp with a proper bulb in that gets hot. That dries the wood and then it quickly gets glued on with PVA and clamped.  Aliphatic glue would be better, but my bottle dried up and it's a 30 mile round trip to get any more. Normally I'd use the opportunity to go and have a cuppa with sonny boy, but he and his Mrs. are in Malta, so PVA it is.  More planks need to be mini-circular sawed tomorrow.

Sometimes you find that nothing much blows the old frock up and today was such a day, so I did some on the Vincent master instead. Normally I keep the weekends for other stuff.

Martin

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 Posted: Sat Nov 11th, 2017 08:26 pm
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Mr.Tin
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Joined: Mon Nov 6th, 2017
Location: Emneth,Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom
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