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Stephen Humphreys
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About three years ago, I mentioned to my wife that I had always wanted to have a N gauge railway layout, and as I was beginning to think about retiring a little earlier than my 60th birthday maybe finding space at some point to build one would be a good retirement project.  I had built a 00 layout 30 years earlier although without much in the way of scenery.  Within half an hour my wife had reorganised our 3 bedroom flat to empty everything from one of the small bedrooms but my desk.  In that room I am building Elvenhome (in the image below).  The layout is 2.8m along its longest side and 1.9 along the foot of the L.  It is 900mm deep and stands at 1m of the ground.
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It is a fictional place with the names for almost everything taken from the works fo JRR Tolkien, principally Lord of the Rings.  The main station is called Weathertop with three other stations, Grey Havens, Sharky's End, and eventually High Elven.  It is DCC but with DC control of point motors and lights.  It took about a year for me to source and have supplied the baseboards (living in a 3rd floor flat I have very little scope for major woodworking) for my L shaped layout.  
My wife also suggested that I should document the build of my layout on YouTube.  I was not at all sure about doing that but I decided to give it a try and I have, to my astonishment, found it great fun and a spur to getting on with things to be able to show in my regular updates.  I will post a link to the latest video shortly after posting this introductory messages

 I have been astonished by the range of skills that you need to master.  I have enjoyed the challenge of learning them and applying them.  I am particularly enjoying scratch building things for the layout, mainly so far from card, so that I have things that are unique to my layout.  Above all else it has proved, and is proving to be great fun. I hope you will enjoy the updates to the layout as I record them here.

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Here is the link to my latest video with me completing the gardens for the Gardener and Sexton to St Eldar's Church at Grey Havens.  I also have a first go at building a hillside.

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Hi Steven,

Very nice. Do you have the dimensions?

Nigel

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I should have mentioned that Nigel so thanks for asking. I'll go back and edit the original in a minute.  The layout is 2.8m along its longest side and 1.9m along the foot of the L.  The depth is 900mm

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Hi Stephen,

Thanks. Have to convert to imperial, this is the U.S. Note the absence of the V.

Nigel

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Time for the June update showing other things I have been doing in addition to gardening and scenic work.  It includes my first use of Ballast Magic, with good results, and a demonstration of a gimbal that I am using with my IiPhone to get running shots.   This last bit took several attempts to get it right, and I have included some outtakes of the bits that didn't make the cutting room floor.
https://youtu.be/kHhAHx68jmU

Last edited on Fri Jul 6th, 2018 01:06 pm by Stephen Humphreys

Stephen Humphreys
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Well I have had a first go at ballasting using Deluxe Ballast Magic and I show the results I have obtained in this video.  I also take a look at the new RevolutioN Trains Class B tankers, a crowdfunded model, three of which now grace my layout.  Finally you get to see two S&DJR engines double heading a rake of tankers.  https://youtu.be/UhdqcgazDC0

Stephen Humphreys
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Having completed some ballasting and scenic work, which I show in the video, I realised that until I planned the goods yard and station for the high level station at High Elven, I really couldn't get on with other bits of the layout.  Much to my surprise planing the layout proved easier than I expected, and I show the plan in the video.  I would be interested in views on what I am planning
https://youtu.be/fLJV9rjTNK4

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BCDR wrote: Hi Stephen,

Thanks. Have to convert to imperial, this is the U.S. Note the absence of the V.

Nigel

Hi Nigel,

Multiply the metric measure by 39.37 will give you the size in inches. You can do feet from there!  There are a lot of people younger than myself who cannot work in imperial in this now metric country

900mm is a little over 35"
2800mm is about 9ft 2"
1900mm is about 6'3"

The trick is to work in metric rather than try to convert as I found when the changeover occurred here in mid 74.  I could not believe the recalcitrance of people I met in America 2.5 years after that who could not get their heads around the metric system and subsequently dumped the idea.

Hope this helps!

Regards from Australia

Trevor

Last edited on Sat Aug 4th, 2018 02:32 pm by xdford

Stephen Humphreys
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With the fun of August in Edinburgh over it is time to let Sharky's End get its station and to complete some more the infrastructure around it.  This video follows that work.
https://youtu.be/M93XDbuacRI

Stephen Humphreys
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Sharky's End is finally on the layout, and the scenic work around it complete so far as I can at the moment.  th video also includes the start of a project to build a War Memorial for Elvenhome.  Finally I have, after four other rejected versions (and variants of each of those versions) settled on my track plan for High Elven the terminus of the branch line - or at least I think I have  ;-) 
https://youtu.be/3gzIS39yn2c

Stephen Humphreys
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In this video I cover the next stage in the building of the War Memorial.  I also reveal the final track plan for the branch terminus High Eleven, and talk about the scenic work I have planned around the main station.https://youtu.be/HbIbcOiPNkA

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A really nice layout Stephen i can a lot of effort and skill has gone into building it

Brian

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Thanks very much Brian.  As we all do, I get great satisfaction in seeing the plans come together, or more often something totally unplanned work really well. 

Stephen Humphreys
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Time to show the next stages in the building of the War Memorial. Finding a place for it on the layout has caused me to rethink the town plan as I explain. I also show the happy outcome to a moment of deep despair, when my soldering iron touched something it really shouldn't.
https://youtu.be/dESyAvi98Po

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At least it was only a model and you didnt burn a hole in your leg or set the house on fire Stephen.
Im sure all of us have damaged or broken things in error at some point.


Brian

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Briperran wrote: At least it was only a model and you didnt burn a hole in your leg or set the house on fire Stephen.
Im sure all of us have damaged or broken things in error at some point.


Brian


Indeed so Brian.  It wil serve as a good lesson for the future and all ended well with three sound fitted Castles on the layout 😄
Stephen

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I have now completed the scratch build of the War Memorial and you can see the result in the latest video.  I also show where it will go on the layout and the changed town plan to accommodate it.  There is also a cavalcade of locomotives.https://youtu.be/Mm0cSBQJRUY

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A lovely layout Stephen - I don't know how you N gaugers do it!  I'm forever cursing how small everything is in OO!  Great to see the war memorial completed before 11/11!  And a lovely model. You take the same approach to problem solving as me - things that need to be planned and finished before something as simple as ballasting.
Look forward to seeing more!

Regards

Michael

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Thanks very much Michael.  N gauge can be a challenge sometimes.  With the kiosk there were four small triangles, not more than a couple of millimetres in length to support the name board in position on the roof (you can see one of them in one of the pictures).  After wrestling with two I'd had enough!  Glad you like the layout which is coming along as I wanted.
Regards

Stephen   

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With the town plan finalised I can return to scenic work around the main station. I also talk through my design for the Fire Station the next scratch build project.
https://youtu.be/dlbXOvtvfDE

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It is time to start work on building the Fire Station.  I also complete some scenic work around the main station and have a first go at withering the fence which separates the railway from the terrace of houses.  I also provide a link to an unlisted video in which I demonstrate how I use Excel to make texture sheets for internal use.
https://youtu.be/hs6VFs96mQc

Stephen Humphreys
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In this the last video of the year I continue with the work of scratch building a fire station for the main town of Weathertop on the layout.  https://youtu.be/kLZz0DNr6tA

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After some 20 hours work I have completed the build of my 3 bay art deco Fire Station for the main town of Weathertop on my N gauge layout.  This video records the final stages of building.   https://youtu.be/6V52Jp3ztxY

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The Fire Station gets a drill tower, and I show the steps to building that. I also talk about the work I will be doing to the two terraces of houses new the main station.
https://youtu.be/imkNAwMAJms

Stephen Humphreys
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In this video, following a request from a subscriber, I show the process of creating a single terrace from some Metcalf buildings, and fitting them with gutters and downpipes. This is part 1, with the second part in a couple of weeks' time


Last edited on Fri Mar 1st, 2019 01:19 pm by Stephen Humphreys

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For this the 50th edition I complete the work I started on fitting gutters and downpipes. I also have included a retrospective of the building of the layout over the last 33 months. Finally I seek help in how to fill a space near the station.








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In this video I reveal the outcome of my request for ideas for  building to fill a vacant space in front of the main station.  I also review and build a gasometer kit from N Scenic  and start work in building garden square complete with playground.  I get to try my had at painting figures in N gauge, and why not start with the smallest figures you can find -  children. 





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In this video I complete the work of building a garden square to go on the layout replete with a play park, benches and people. I also talk about my next scratch build, and the dapol Flying Scotsman arrives on the layout.


Stephen Humphreys
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After a lot of head scratching and brain work I finally settled on the design for my Art Deco Hotel for the layout.  I tell all in this the latest episode.  You also get to see two A3 locomotives in action, and the result of further scenic work around the station.

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In this the latest episode, I start to construct the art deco hotel, but run into a question of scale.  A brief encounter with my wife's sewing box gives me an idea, and I also sow some other small bits fo scenic work and kit construction.  There are also two A4s in the running session which includes track cam footage.

Stephen Humphreys
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Time for an update on the work over the last few weeks, including the first tentative steps in building the railway hotel and scenic work around the station and fire station.

Last edited on Fri Apr 26th, 2019 04:16 pm by Stephen Humphreys

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In this update, after a break of four weeks, I have finalised the design of the Hotel and started work on ensuring the base is accurately cut.  Various bits of scenic work have taken place and there is a running session or two, including something a bit bigger than N scale.

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I can't see any videos, just a lot of black rectangles.


Terry

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I can see them all, Terry.

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The build of the Art Deco Hotel progresses with the exterior construction method finalised and the wall pieces cut.  I also talk about the Woodland Scenics Just Plug system that I am going to use to light the building and how that will help make the construction simpler.  I get five locomotives running at once in the running session, which took some controlling.  Finally I demonstrate making trees with sea foam to encourage others to use this fairly straightforward way of making realistic trees.

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In this video I complete the work to build the memorial garden in which the War Memorial I scratch built last year can stand.  I was pleased with the effects I was able to get using rubberised horsehair for hedging.  Getting the right effect with the static grass proved trickier, until I remembered a low tech way of doing it.

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col.stephens wrote:

I can't see any videos, just a lot of black rectangles.


Terry



Me too!


Ken.

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Ken wrote: col.stephens wrote:

I can't see any videos, just a lot of black rectangles.

Terry



Me too!

Ken.


Sorry about that Ken.  I'm not sure what to suggest.  I can see them all clearly. I've added just a link to this reply rather than using the facility to insert a video into to the post let's see if this works. https://youtu.be/wz8ZQQIo998

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I see them OK with no problems using Firefox as the browser.

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I see them as well using Firefox.

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I have started work on building the art deco hotel and in particular the central section that contains the entrance hall and lift lobby for each floor.  I also look at how I am going to light each of the floors which will be visible from outside the building.  The train cam also gets a run out up the branch line to see from track level the scenic work completed around the station.  




Last edited on Fri Jul 5th, 2019 02:12 pm by Stephen Humphreys

Stephen Humphreys
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In this video I concentrate on scratch building of an art deco hotel for the layout.  I am using the Woodland Scenic Just Plug system to light the interior because I want individual control of brightness of the various lights.  I show the effect of using them to light the central lift lobbies.

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For on building the hotel continues.  I also promised to show how I go about painting n scale figures following some comments in response to my last video.  Painting, speaking and keeping everything in focus proved a real challenge.


Last edited on Fri Aug 2nd, 2019 12:31 pm by Stephen Humphreys

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I decided to concentrate on some scenic work on the layout for this video.  Following on from the last video I put in a new addition to the raised area near the station of Weathertop, and built the embankment and retaining wall to link it to the lower level by the viaduct.  I also responded to a comment about the pedestrian crossing near the station and repainted it to make it confirm with the relevant regulations applying in the late 1940s early 1950s.  If you ever wondered what order a zebra crossing must be painted it, this is the place to find out.

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Edinburgh being a busy place in August with lots of other things to do, this video largely concentrates on the build of the art deco hotel. In the last video I asked whether people would like to see some short sections in these videos of full size steam and diesel heritage locomotives.  i was able to get to the Summer Steam Up at the Bo'ness and Kinneil Railway to get some footage.  It includes a sight that takes you back to the pre-grouping days in Scotland of a Caledonian Railway locomotive with its coaches entering service.
  

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Back from holiday in Orkney and ready to get building the art deco hotel.  In particular I had to design and build the Fire Escape for the rear of the building.  Having time away allowed me to think about the next part of the layout to be developed and all is revealed in the video.

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In the October update I show how I resolved my problem of wonky window frames with an excellent razor saw and mitre block that allows accurate cuts for mitre window frames using 1.5 mm strip styrene.  I enjoy the delight of DCC by having five locomotives running at once, and provide an update on the start of the work to build the terminus for the branch line at High Elven.


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Great videos. There is so much detail in there!

Stephen Humphreys
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TeaselBay wrote: Great videos. There is so much detail in there!

Thanks very much Chris

Stephen

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In this video I show the outcome of the work to make 66 window frames for the scratch build Hotel.  I also have to accept the need to change a major design feature in the light of other changes that took place in the design and build of the hotel so far - but at least it allowed me to get some paint on the model to check that my intended colour scheme will work.  I also finally took the plunge to get the Gaugemast WiFi Receiver for my Prodigy Advance2.  It arrived just in time to give a first look at it and the app on my iPad to control the locomotives.


                 

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