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 Posted: Mon Nov 19th, 2018 12:50 pm
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Longchap
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Time for an update on my railway, so long in the planning . . 2015, 16, 17, 18, . . . .

Following more years than usual in restoring and developing the site around us into a manageable little oasis, I’ve found some time for modelling and railway infrastructure. I've recently been slowly restoring my garage / workshop over the past couple of months and with some rationalisation of the cars and storage racking, I'll have space for a 6 x 4 metre railway room at one end. That’s good news, as it means I’ll be able to run much more varied train formations than I originally imagined.

Apart from the developing idea of a mainline junction serving the original branch line, I’ve no overall track plan yet, although the main line will provide a continuous loop traversing a parallel fiddle yard. The branch line plan has previously been developed here with plenty of great help and advice and so can now be built, together with incorporating my Burbage Wharf plank into the layout and also with some private commerce, now urgently needed to run an irresistible little Hornby W4 Peckett, which snuck into my luggage on my last UK trip!

Added interest will come with time travel, as the length of permanent way available, will enable me to model the changing timeline through the landscape. I can set up semi-permanent cameos showing the changing scenes between the 20s and 30s. Varied railway stock is easily ran to schedules with 20s and 30s liveries, while the roads and scenery will reflect the influence of progress with road transportation morphing from predominantly horse-drawn to the dominance of internal combustion power, while ever present steam continues to work the fields alongside the beasts of burden.

With winter pretty much here, I’ll wait until the warmer spring weather to complete the roller shutter installation to get a cosy workshop and then throw up the railway room structure and finishes. Meanwhile, I’ve time for some serious research and planning, as well as more stock building.

I’ll put some thoughts on paper over the next week and kick it about a bit and see how it looks and collect your ever welcomed comments.

Currently cold, but sunny here, so I’m off to finish some concrete and paving.

Best,

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 Nov 19th, 2018 03:48 pm
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Briperran
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Go for it Bill do some sketches to get a rough idea as no matter how much planning you do you can be sure you will change things once you actually start doing it.


Brian



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 Posted: Mon Nov 19th, 2018 05:06 pm
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John Dew
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Hi Bill
That sounds great.....I shall be eagerly looking forward to your updates.

How are you going to handle the continuous run? One of my regrets was having a permanently fixed duck under. I suppose the canal scene is one of Granby’s features and the frequent hand presses involved in ducking under undoubtedly help preserve my svelte like figure :roll: :lol:. However it does act as a deterrent to visitors who rarely venture underneath. If I were doing it again and had just a little more width I would think about an island layout with a back scene running down the centre

Have you got a name yet?

Cheers

John

Ps I agree the similarity of our train room dimensions is remarkable



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 Posted: Tue Nov 20th, 2018 12:04 am
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Hi Bill

Looking forward to seeing another layout develop - and learning some things along the way.

The sun has left England now..... cold wet and grey is here!

Regards
Michael



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 Posted: Tue Nov 20th, 2018 10:23 am
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Longchap
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Good morning from a cool Loire valley. My concrete and brick pavings all seem to have gone off okay, despite an overnight frost and today will be spent mainly indoors, sketching out some of the layout ideas swirling around my head.

Thanks Brian, John and Michael for your comments. I fully expect the layout to evolve as elements work themselves out and then again as the build progresses and I'll get some sketches posted fairly soon Brian.

Despite the attractions of keeping in athletic trim with a duck under John, I'm certainly almost not even considering a lift up section across the doorway, but favour a curvy partially hidden mainline loop in one longer half of the room, with the branch curving round a shorter end and along the other side to its terminus. Access to fiddle will be made behind a backscene.

It now makes sense to relocate the engine shed and turntable from the branch to the junction, which can have a larger shed and with goods handling in both locations. The branch will be simple 1920s rustic nostalgia, with the line side becoming more populated as it moves into the 1930s junction. 

I'm keen to make goods handling as evocative of the period as I can. Let's face it, this is where the money was and like you Michael, I'll be modelling plenty of merchandise, a lot being safely tucked away inside!

The sun has now made an appearance, so I'll pop along to the post box and see if that 64xx has arrived on schedule!

Have fun,

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: Tue Nov 20th, 2018 03:05 pm
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If you have the width Bill A Horseshoe shaped loop will allow you not to have a duckunder.

Brian



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 Posted: Wed Nov 21st, 2018 09:40 pm
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Attention Bricomarche!!! Le Bill arrive!!!

D



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 Posted: Fri Nov 23rd, 2018 09:52 am
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Petermac
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I too am following with interest Bill.

My train shed currently lacks a roof and 1 wall requires rebuilding.  The new roof should have been in place by now but hey, this is France and French artisans .........................  Once the roof is there, I'll rebuild the errant wall myself - depending on the severity of the winter, probably not until the spring.

I confess I haven't actually measured my "ruin" accurately but suspect it's not far off the same size as yours so, wider but shorter than the old "Maxmill" space.

A winter of railway planning is forecast for France from the Loire down ..........................................



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 Posted: Fri Nov 23rd, 2018 10:27 am
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Longchap
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Greetings from a chilly Loire, which should see me outside, in winterising mode today. Well at least until my fingers go numb!

Yes Doug, I will indeed be perusing the timber offerings from Bricomarche and all the other usual suspects in the hope of finding enough straight pieces, but like Peter, it will be a spring job, but simple enough.

Good to hear that your railway room is on the up Peter, just a roof away in fact, notwithstanding the wall of course, but it looks as if  we might be base boarding around the same time. We are also chasing our French roofer to come and attend to two small projects which I wont attempt due to possible loss of life, so fingers, etc, all crossed for us both.

Bon courage with your track plan Peter. I'm currently working with a twin level horseshoe loop incorporating hidden storage. When I crack that one, the rest will be easy. 

Oh, I see from the latest Railway Modeller, that Peco are bringing out crossovers, single and double slips in bullhead rail, just in time to Spring track laying. What fun!

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 Feb 16th, 2019 04:03 pm
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Longchap
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Where we ponder railway progress, life, the universe and the wonders of gadgetry, snow and curry.

Greetings from a most sunny and surprisingly warm French winter’s day for a quick update on my model railway progress. In truth, no actual ‘modelling’ has taken place this winter, but plenty has been happening in forging a way forward on several fronts.

My plan outlined in Post 1 above for ‘a new home’ is still accurate and is also on programme for the creation of a secure, dry and fairly clean and therefore dust free railway room. A dedicated railway / modelling room will finally enable me to have a permeant work bench set up. That in itself is a big leap forward, as all the time spent setting up a work bench and getting the right tools and materials out, all takes time which could be used for modelling. The happy result of an ever ready modelling work bench means that every window of opportunity can be fully exploited.  

The size of the railway room has grown just a little and to make space in my workshop, the decision to part with my trusty TR3 classic sports car has been made. I’ve had the best years I could ever hope to have with it, tearing all over the UK and lots of France in it and frankly, I just don’t want to drive it anywhere near it’s limits anymore, so time for another guardian to enjoy its good looks and performance. Don’t worry though, fun is still readily on tap, as far as old cars are concerned!

A custom made insulated roller shutter for the workshop has been ordered, which I’ll install it as soon as it arrives and once the TR finds a worthy master and it’s warm enough to roll the cars outside, I’ll start some construction.
Until the Triumph departs, I’ll be setting up a spray booth workstation to build upon the knowledge recently gained from a most worthwhile course held at the remarkable Pendon Museum, near Oxford.

I acquired a suitable air compressor, spray booth and turntable a while back, in preparation for the day when I’d want to use an airbrush. Well that day was getting closer and as I knew that in order to handle an airbrush competently, I’d better learn from the experts. I started with a couple of books by Tim Shackleton on weathering and these made it perfectly clear that not to mess up a lot of rolling stock, I better find somewhere to get expert hands on tuition, so dialled up Pendon’s website and booked a place on their ‘weathering with an airbrush’ modelling workshop, given by Mick Bonwick.

The normally short drive up from south Hampshire started well but the good weather deteriorated rapidly north of Winchester and got worse with dropping temperature and heavy snow. I was soon creeping slowly along while observing cars getting stuck trying to get off the motorway on slightly rising slip roads. My plan was to get off at Abingdon and find an hotel. That proved impossible due to the poor conditions, so when I finally left the A34 near Oxford, I spied a sign with a bed on it, which I followed to the most expensive hotel I’ve enjoyed since when I had a decent expense account. The pool, steam room and sauna soon thawed body and mind and dinner was followed by a film and a delightful sleep in a supersized bed. Why on earth hotels put fourteen cushions on the bed is beyond me, as they all end up on the floor to enable the bed to be used! Looks good for 10 seconds, but no cigar.




Sunday morning looked much better through the bedroom window and Long Wittenham was reached in 15 minutes on mainly clear roads and I was greeted in Pendon’s ice covered car park by course coordinator Paul Milnes, who helped carry my gear into the warm interior where tea and biccies were waiting. Mick Bonwick of weathering fame (see his blogs on RMWeb) introduced himself and it turns out that that he is part of Nick Wood’s Much Murkle operating team, which explains why he looked strangely familiar.

There were just five of us on the course, all friendly and interesting modellers and the day was enlightening, as Mick’s experienced tuition easily dissolved any fear of using the equipment and more importantly, demystified the gaps in my basic airbrushing knowledge and I was relieved that I was able to use the airbrush and even produce something credible, although more practice can only improve my technique.

All course equipment was top notch to assist ease of spraying and health protection, comprising a wipe down desk, upon which sat a robust spray booth with integrated filtration equipment, turntable, airbrush stand with an Iwata Revolution gravity fed internal mix airbrush (others were available to try), with a compressor under the desk and a plastic storage box with essential weathering tools and weathering media. A new roll of kitchen paper was also thoughtfully provided on each workstation.

Mick familiarised us with the equipment and then how to stir paint! A basic skill to learn well and never to be skimped, although he cheated by using an electric stirrer, several of which I’ve since ordered from a popular auction site. Progressing to thinning and loading a little paint into the airbrush cup, we were soon handling the double action brush by spraying lines and shapes onto kitchen paper, held vertically in place by suction, on the filter medium of the spray booth. Apparently, I am quite good at spraying series of consistently small dots. Exciting eh, but encouraging!

We soon progressed to the art of mixing paints, exclusively enamels today, as they take longer to dry and therefore much easier to manipulate than acrylics. Wasting little time, we soon unpacked some stock and got stuck in. I produced an LMS coal wagon . . . well I wasn’t going to risk ruining valuable company stock, in fear of being hauled on the carpet in Paddington for a dressing down by the directors!


All went well enough, so after lunch, I progressed to a smart shiny new 4 plank wagon, so clean in its orangey brown paint that it looked as if it had been washed and polished for publicity purposes. For consistent weathering, only a limited paint pallet is used and only two colours were mixed, in various proportions to achieve what was needed, Humbrol matt leather and black.

This Hornby 4 plank PO open wagon received a light misting of mainly leather with a little black over the underframe and three more thin layers of the same, but darkened with more black moving over the superstructure and interior. After tea and cake (yes Pendon looked after us well), when the paint had dried slightly, we manipulated the enamel with a half inch flat paintbrush barley moistened with white spirit from an eye dropper, into the plank joints and into some vertical streaking. Some patches of paint were also partly removed to indicate random contact with load handling. This is where it is vital to have prototype photographs to enable actual wreathing to be reproduced, rather than to make it up.  







I was after only a lightly weathered appearance for this first attempt and more detail work will be added later for a little rust on the iron strapping and resultant steaking down the planks, buffer contact and residual load elements. Then those horrible couplings will be replaced with DGs and it’ll be good to go.   

By the time the course ended, I realised that any worry I’d had with airbrushing had vanished and I now feel confident in moving forward not only in applying livery colours, but also to banish pristine stock from the layout. The ice had also largely disappeared and that evening, I enjoyed one of the very few experiences I really do miss now, by not living in the UK, as a brilliant curry from a proper Indian restaurant was helped down by a couple of pints of warm real ale. Bloody marvellous!

Since returning home, I’ve had an Iwata Eclipse HP SBS delivered and booked the follow-on course at Pendon in May, when the weather will be much kinder, although not so pretty, but will enable me to also enjoy the pleasure of the GWR at Didcot’s nearby railway centre.

Best to all,

Bill

References:
Pendon Museum and modelling courses: https://pendonmuseum.com/
Iwata HP SBS  Best price from Amazon and very fast delivery
Paint stirrer  https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Electric-Milk-Frother-Drink-Foamer-Whisk-Mixer-Coffee-Egg-Beater-Kitchen-Tools/192743769272?hash=item2ce06c84b8:g:ccQAAOSwLKhcAkbs:rk:25:pf:0






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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 Feb 16th, 2019 04:47 pm
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Briperran
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You seemed to have very much enjoyed your course an Pendon Bill which is great as you are enthused to go back for a second one.
Good news the railway room will soon become a reality im sure the car will go to another enthusiast like yourself and be well looked after.
Its the end of planning and get stuck in time.

Brian



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 Posted: Sat Feb 16th, 2019 05:02 pm
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John Dew
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Excellent report Bill.....thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I am very envious,it sound just the sort of course that I need to overcome my fear of spraying
Looking forward to seeing more examples.

Ps Congratulations on passing your other test:thumbs

John



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 Posted: Sat Feb 16th, 2019 07:19 pm
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Yes, an excellent report - and also very helpful.  Great results too.  

Like everyone, I look forward to seeing your progress.

Regards

Michael



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 Posted: Sun Feb 17th, 2019 05:50 am
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Thank you Bill,
A lovely read.

Glad you found the course useful and that airbrushing is on the agenda.

As per the others, looking forward to reading more about your layout and layout room construction..



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 Posted: Tue Feb 19th, 2019 07:23 pm
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Good write up Bill.

I first met Mick Bonwick on the same course at Pendon a few years back when it was run by Tim Shackleton and Mick was assiting him. Mick and I hit it off straight away and we developed a strong friendship resulting in us both leading Pendon's Scenery and Card Building courses although the latter is not being run this year. Mick does indeed help to operate Much Murkle at exhibitions and seems to enjoy being at the helm despite having to constantly look at my rustic attempts at weathering.

You must try the scenic course sometime, I can guarantee that you would enjoy it.




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 Posted: Tue Apr 16th, 2019 05:30 pm
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Longchap
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First, a quick thanks Nick for your reply and encouragement for the Pendon courses. I'm sure the scenic course will indeed be most entertaining and enjoyable, particularly considering the presentation team, but I’m determined to become more proficient with the airbrush first, so I'm now practising before then going back to Pendon in May for another weathering course, this time led by Tim Shackleton.

So, as mentioned the other day, I’ve been mainly getting used to using the new airbrush and cleaning it a lot this week and will continue to do so, in between the winter maintenance, more serious building work and the ever increasing gardening duties as the sun and rain do their thing to spring time growing!

Yesterday’s fun activity was when after my spraying session, I was cleaning the brush, when quite innocently and worryingly, without realising how, I’d apparently completely stripped the airbrush down to it’s constituent parts. Wow, I’d got it apart so very easily, marvelled at the tininess of some of the internal pieces and then wondered how easy it was going to be to get it all back together and working again! Hmm, not so straightforward, as it soon became apparent that the trigger was not going to trigger anything the way I’d assembled it.

Failing to remember the information in a useful video I’d seen on assembling my particular model and discovering that the ‘quick start’ instructions as supplied by Iwata only got you as far as spraying stuff, I dialled up YouTube on my pocket device and a very calm man showed me exactly where I was missing out for stress free assembly.

The good news is that it works as good as new today, so here’s a few photos of a couple of the wagons I’ve practised on from Bachmann.



This James Carter Ashphalte open shows the pretty ex works Bachmann finish which looks so unconvincing in the real world. Weathering a tiny wagon doesn’t take that long, but I tend to leave it a minute beween applying layers to see what needs doing next. Sometimes the paint needs to dry off and settle a bit as well and this is where you need some patience. I’m keeping to enamels for the moment, as they take longer to dry than acrylic, thus enabling the paint to be manipulated to give a more realistic appearance.






This above is after the first layer, just a few passes all round, starting at the underframe and working up and over the sides and ends.




This is after the second layer had been left for 30 minutes, then a flat brush dribbled with a few drops of white spirit, then almost dried on kitchen paper, was used in downward movements over the planks to encourage some pigment to be drawn down to collect between the planking and around detail points.

The same technique was applied to the Emlyn coal wagon below and so far they’re both about half way to where I’ll leave them. Tomorrow, I’ll add a few drops more black into the simple two colour mix to represent the effects of soot from the loco and spray it over the upper works, then add yet another drop of black for the insides, which have already had the same treatment as the exterior surfaces.




Out of the box and then .  .  .



.  .  . after a few coats and teased with my flattie brush.

I'll do more on these tomorrow, then find some more victims.

Best,

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: Tue Apr 16th, 2019 10:21 pm
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Thats excellent Bill.....very close to an elephant stamp:lol: The Pendon class is clearly paying dividends. The effect is very subtle and does convey the sense that the grot has been acquired over many years
Sheer coincidence but last week I was weathering some coal wagons. My hand painted and powdered efforts dont really compare with yours. I am not that unhappy with them but yours are at a different level.

Cheers



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That's very kind of you Ron and John, although I'm only really getting in some practical experience in using the airbrush, in readiness for another course at Pendon next month.

I'm not even close to an elephant or any other stamp, but I'm enjoying the ability to add subtle to more used effects to the railway. Using the airbrush is nowhere as daunting as some people might think. It's just down to paying careful attention to some basic guidlines and keeping the insides as clean as a whistle after a painting session.

A GWR Crocodile well wagon fell victim this afternoon, although I do need to dig up some photos from my wagon books before going much further with it.

Best,

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: Wed Apr 17th, 2019 06:49 pm
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Petermac
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I agree with John and Sol Bill - a nice touch of gentle weathering - it looks authentic from my part of France ...........

I'd be interested in hearing your experiences learning to airbrush.  I have one that I've hardly used - not only does it scare me slightly but I have better things to do with my life than spend it cleaning the darned thing !!!  Everyone dwells so much on keeping it clean that I wonder how much time "using an airbrush" is actually spent painting compared with cleaning .................................. :hmm



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