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I'm offering this up for any constructive criticism you would be kind enough to offer as I plan my new layout.
Please bear in mind I limited knowledge of the British rail system. My wife is English and comes from the Midlands so that naturally steers me to modelling that area of the UK. She is very supportive of this hobby of mine. I enjoy trying to model a scene with plausible elements, which includes the locomotives and rolling stock etc. The layout is being built in Melbourne, Australia and I'll be probably using a mixture of Bachmann Scenecraft type structures and scratch built houses etc.
This is my premise so far:-
I’m in the planning stage for a new British layout in OO scale that will feature the Hornby Live Steam Flying Scotsman. I have been thinking about the best era to model, at least as a form of discipline for myself. One can always stray off but think it’s good to try for a look and feel.
The Hornby Flying Scotsman I have has the double tender which, while not required for use at all times, does set it in the late 1960s as far as I can tell. I'm assuming the finer detail points also set it in this time period. I know that it was running much later than this date of course and that it went to the USA and Australia but other factors come into play. The late 1960s is the very end of the steam era with the Flying Scotsman being at that time the only steam locomotive authorised to run on the British Rail network. The second tender was needed as watering and recoaling facilities where disappearing from the network.
My intention is to have a dedicated, and isolated, track for the Live Steam. Other lines will be wired for DCC using the Lenz/Roco system I have already. There will be no electrical connection between the live steam and DCC track work. I think it’s simply safer that way.
When considering what other locomotives and rolling stock are suitable for that era, I'm happy at this stage at least to have the Flying Scotsman as the only steam locomotive on this layout. I like the look of some of the British diesels of the era and have admired the Brush Hawker Siddeley HS4000 Kestrel prototype. This prototype was seen for a few years between 1968 and 1971. If this locomotive is be seen on the layout then it makes sense to me to set it in that period. I have just received my model of the Kestrel from Rails of Sheffield and what a fine looking model it is.
A Bachmann Class 25 with factory fitted DCC sound is also on order which I think should fit quite well with this period. I'm thinking British Rail Mark 1 passenger coaches in Maroon or Blue/Grey schemes and era 5 or 6 rolling stock would also be appropriate?
Modular scenery elements are under construction and the track plan is being worked on. Due to the live steam aspect his needs to incorporate a continuous run with gentle curves. This sets certain constraints on my layout planning.
Our double carport was carefully enclosed so that it could be the layout and modelling area. I do have to allow access from front to back of the property via this room so the available surface area for the layout itself is just 11 ½ feet by 9 ½ feet, accessible from three sides. There will probably be a central access area of some sort.
I have started on some scenery elements while I am in this planning stage. Here are two pictures of them in partly finished state:
For the scenery modules I'm using the cardboard frame approach, glued using a hot glue gun, covered in a light mesh then home made Plaster of Paris bandages. On that is a base cover of grass mat followed by various Noch and Woodland Scenics covers. The rocks are also plaster of paris from molds painted with oil paints. Trees are seafoam preserved with a glycerine/water mix and covered with Woodland Scenic product.
That's basically were I am up to at the moment.