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Colchester c1955 - Members Personal Layouts. - Model Railway Layouts. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Wed Mar 30th, 2022 07:14 pm
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paulg
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The first ten years of British Railways is my main interest, but research – which I enjoy as much as the modelling - soon showed how much the infrastructure changed at Colchester in that short ten-year period.

These changes included by 1953 increase from three to four carriage bodies for loco staff mess facilities, changes to overhead cables and ELPs by 1954, re-placement of the Clacton branch platform GER lower quadrant signal and new shed staff facilities by 1956, electrification of the Clacton branch by 1958 and major re-signalling by 1959.

I wanted to include the Colchester steam breakdown crane which was condemned in 1954, a kit of which was available from Dan Pinnock of D&S Models and a RTR model from Oxford Rail has been announced, so the infrastructure I’ve modelled roughly to scale, is the quarter mile of railway from the 51 ¾ MP at the end of the down platform to the 52MP by the pond, where the water softening plant sludge was deposited, including the entire loco depot as at c1955.

The difficulty/interest/problems building a model of a real location is (in my case) everything has to be scratch built. The latest project has been Colchester Junction signal box.

Colchester Junction Signal Box
The signal box was built by the Great Eastern Railway in 1921 and these photographs are dated 20th September. It replaced a box in a similar position, but the new box was larger, and located slightly further back from the running lines to enable remodelling of the trackwork. The windows to the locking room were bricked up in the early 1950s as part of precautions during the “Cold War” (1947-1953).







The Model

I prefer using plasticard and brass for structures, rather than, say, card. 

For the signal box I made a shell from thick plasticard, then over-layed with South Eastern Finecast brick plasticard, which come in A2 white sheets of the correct brick size and bond. The windows are of an unusual size and pattern and I had them made by York Model Making, the steps are Ancorton laser cut timber, the 67 lever frame by Scale Link, canopy brackets Wizard Models,.and walkway etched brass strip.

The Railway Modeller many years ago had a cover strap line "For the Average Modeller" and that describes me. When it come to say painting bricks. I use Humbrol matt enamel paints, and give the entire brickwork area a thin wash of mortar colour. Then using a "dry" flat brush add brick colour, and very small amounts of black, and in this case red paint. And if you don't like your first attempt, another thin wash of mortar and start again.

Hopefully, the photos are better than a 1000 words!









                                                                                               




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 Posted: Wed Mar 30th, 2022 08:23 pm
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TeaselBay
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Fantastic skills. Really looks the part. 



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 Posted: Wed Mar 30th, 2022 09:25 pm
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Gordon Curtis
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Excellent model, and some very fine detail. York Model Making did a lovely job on those windows, and it all goes together very will indeed.
Thanks for uploading the prototype photographs too – love the interior shot.

Gordon

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 Posted: Fri Apr 1st, 2022 06:43 am
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Petermac
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You really can go off people can't you !!

You say you're "an average modeller" Paul.  If that's true, then I'm still a twinkle in my Dad's eye ................. !!!

It looks superb and tough as boots too.  What thickness of plasticard did you use for the carcase - you just said "thick" and how did you avoid any warping when you laminated it with the bricks ?

Are the windows card ?  They do look very smart. 



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 Posted: Fri Apr 1st, 2022 08:09 am
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Phil.c
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Lovely job ;-)



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 Posted: Fri Apr 1st, 2022 07:37 pm
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paulg
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Petermac wrote: You really can go off people can't you !!

You say you're "an average modeller" Paul.  If that's true, then I'm still a twinkle in my Dad's eye ................. !!!

It looks superb and tough as boots too.  What thickness of plasticard did you use for the carcase - you just said "thick" and how did you avoid any warping when you laminated it with the bricks ?

Are the windows card ?  They do look very smart. 

Thank you for your kind comments.

The base structure is in a 2mm "plastic sheet", overlayed with the SEF brick sheets. I can't tell what sort of "plastic", (its old, like me!), but they stick well together with "EMA Plastic Weld". I just put "globs" over the base structure and let capillary action do the rest to secure the overlays!

Just check the liquid has flowed to the edge, if not with an old small paint brush, add more Plastic Weld!

The windows are also "plastic" and again stick well with Plastic Weld.

 If in doubt, out with the super glue!

I did add a cross-wall in the locker room to add stiffness and stop the floor sagging. 

Paul

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 Posted: Sat Apr 2nd, 2022 04:10 pm
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BCDR
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Hi Paul,

Nice to see SEF brickwork being used, Did you drill some holes in the base plastic to allow the solvent to evaporate? (Dichloromethane and MEK).

Nigel



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 Posted: Sat Apr 2nd, 2022 04:56 pm
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paulg
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BCDR wrote: Hi Paul,

Nice to see SEF brickwork being used, Did you drill some holes in the base plastic to allow the solvent to evaporate? (Dichloromethane and MEK).

Nigel

Hi Nigel

No I didn't make any holes, just lightly press the two sheets together from the center out to the edge.

Just about finished, a few bits of furniture to make and stove to install. But as you can see from the inertia photo (hopefully) signalman in place, desk with lamp over and two diagrams, either end of box hanging from ceiling. (!!!)









Paul


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 Posted: Sun Apr 3rd, 2022 09:31 am
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thespanishdriver
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Very impressive Paul.
Accurate modelling and great interior.
My hat goes off to you. Not bad for an average modeller!



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 Posted: Sun Apr 3rd, 2022 11:58 am
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Longchap
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Yes, very impressive modelling Paul and I particularly like the handling of the brickwork junctions and external corners which, even with embossed card, can be tricky to make convincing.

Way above average.

Best,

Bill





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 Posted: Mon Apr 4th, 2022 06:17 am
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DaveH_Murcia
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A great piece of modelling. The view looking in through the big windows will be amazing. There is one big problem - you have shown so much detail about the build it could give me another project for the laser cutter (as if I needed any more).

Hopefully some more shots of the finished inside will be forthcoming when it's complete.

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 Posted: Mon Apr 4th, 2022 07:04 am
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peterm
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I wish I could be an average modeller. That box looks great. The track work too. The slip's a beauty along with what looks like hand built track.



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 Posted: Mon Apr 4th, 2022 11:03 am
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paulg
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Hi Peter
Thank you for your kind comments; it's just a bit of fun.

My Father-in-Law was Fred Blackman (Mallard Models) and in the late 1960's he drew point diagrams which Ray Rippon & Son (model railway and bike shop) in Leigh-on-Sea, near Southend Essex, sold. They were drawn in pen on film and covered various point radii and forms, and I've used these as templates.The plain line track is SMP track and the switches and crossovers hand built, using C&L chairs.

I have used the new PECO bullhead track, and it matches well SMP, but the large radii points are "tight", and the "6 foot" is far too wide, and so I've cut the point molding, flattened the curve and cut the rail to reduce to my 26mm "6 foot". (see photo). I also try to put omega loops across the rail joints (just about legible in photo), but more often than not forget! 



The current project is Colchester breakdown train, which consisted in the early BR Period: of:

• 961515 “Tool Van” ex LD&ECR (GCR} 51842 6-wheel 34’ brake third, built Ashbury 1896, converted 10/1945, withdrawn 8/11/1958.
• 961520 “Mess and Packing Van” ex GER 6-wheel 945 brake third 62332, Diagram 533, converted 3/1947, no withdrawal date. 
• 961604 “Sheldon Mk 2 swan neck 15 ton crane” to Colchester 11/1947. Apparently the GNR crane was rarely used from the mid 1940's on-wards and given the impression it was in poor condition and reluctant to steam. It went during 1955, or perhaps a little earlier and to find it at Stratford four or five years later was most surprising but it disappeared soon after. There are photos of the crane at Stratford dated 20 December 1959. 
• 961658 “Crane Runner” converted ex GER double bolster 
• 961657 “Guard Truck” converted ex GER Diagram 17 high sided wagon



Crane runner



LD&ECR carriage at Stratford (colourised photo)



Guard Truck




Same GER carriage type, but not the one used in the breakdown train.


Colchester crane model

So far I've completed the "Guard Truck" a converted D&S kit, "Crane Runner" which I scratch built and the "Mess & Packing Van", another D&S etch brass kit. Dan Pinnock is sorting a "kit" of the LD&ECR carriage for me



Hopefully Oxford Rail Shildon crane will appear. I did discuss the crane with Scott Rhodes, Oxford Rail Brand Developer early last year when helping with the GER vans, but he has left the Company. Now that OR are part of Hornby so not sure if the project will go ahead. But I do have a D&S crane kit in the drawer!

Paul

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 Posted: Mon Apr 4th, 2022 06:40 pm
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BCDR
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Hi Paul,

Why omega loops? Continuity? Prototype practice? Signals? ATC?

Nigel



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 Posted: Mon Apr 4th, 2022 07:11 pm
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paulg
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BCDR wrote: Hi Paul,

Why omega loops? Continuity? Prototype practice? Signals? ATC?

Nigel


Continue of power; rail joiners are not reliable enough.  

I also have a few additional power/common feeds, switching on the points, via point motor, and don't rely on switch rail making good contact with the stock rail.

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 Posted: Tue Apr 5th, 2022 02:10 am
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BCDR
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Hi Paul,

Thanks. You must be power-routing. Peco turnouts?

Nigel




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