7mm Birmingham Moor Street

Discussion in 'Layout Progress' started by Focalplane, 9 April 2019.

  1. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    Andy at Rail Model has provided me with a slightly modified version of the Bearley West Signal Box kit. This was smaller than the real box at Moor Street but fits in with the lack of relief lines and extra points and signals. Here are some photos of the start of the build:


    I use an engineers square clamped to the sides when joining at corners.

    The model is well designed and strong when all the sides are glued together.


    And here is the basic box waiting for the end wall and floor to be fitted:


    And two more taken today with the floor fitted:



    The next job is to fit the window sills and frames but first they need priming and painting. After that the windows will also be primed and painted prior to making up to fit in the appropriate spaces. The colours of the original Moor Street box windows were white window frames, brown outer frames/sills and cream clapboard walls:

  2. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    A possible explanation for a lack pf activity on Moor Street for several days. It’s the weather! Even though the railway room is cooler the humidity in general has been very high and it saps one’s energy, the more so as one gets older. The reason for the humidity has been an unusual preponderance of onshore winds, known locally as La Marine, which normally only blows about 20% of the time. The more usual La Tramontane has been thwarted by southern airflows that are causing the heatwave across Europe. I would guess this summer the wind direction may favour the onshore wind more than 50% of the time.

    As a result, the best place to be is in the sea! Not a good place for a model railway.

    I am also beginning to realize that a garden railway would not have been an ideal solution as time spent out of doors is limited in all but the shoulder months. Too cold in winter, too hot in summer.

    The humidity and heat have also affected my mojo. No advances on the traversers, no desire to wire up Tortoises. I think all these activities will have to wait until after Telford.

    Oh, yes, and having house guests has been a contributing factor!

    Next post at the end of August.
    AdeMoore, Keith Phillips and jonte like this.
  3. simond

    simond Western Thunderer

    It may be selfish, but the current heatwave can continue through August (ideally without strong winds & thunderstorms) as I’m off on holiday in a couple of weeks...

    It’s pretty hot in the office!

  4. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    Simon, no selfishness at all, I hope your holiday is as you would want!

    simond likes this.
  5. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    I've got a full car load coming to England (and other places!) in August so not much room for modelling. The signal box kit will be included and I will also load the "good" camera equipment for a few hours at Moor Street, probably toward the end of the month, when brickwork and other subjects will be measured and photographed. The Arduino stuff will stay behind but it remains a priority for the autumn.

    As a retiree I do empathize with those who work for a living during these hot summers. This is all the more amazing in that my memories of working in England in the early 1970s was wearing gloves in the office while looking down a microscope at thin sections of rocks; because, of course, the thermostat had to be set at something like 63ºF. We also had to collect firewood to keep the house warm having just installed central heating which required electricity to work, which it didn't a lot of the time. No wonder I gladly accepted a transfer to the tropics.
    AdeMoore likes this.
  6. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    I stopped by Porthmadog Models the other day and found they had a supply of embossed styrene brick sheets in O Gauge, made by Southeast Finecast of OO Gauge white metal kits fame (I have an unmade Castle kit somewhere in the storeroom). Checking the website the range of 7mm sheets is reasonably comprehensive. I also purchased some 1mm and 2mm plain A4 sheets (just in case) as well as a selection of acrylic paint pots and a pack of 4mm scale Metcalfe paving stones which may come in useful. I am not usually a fan of card kits but these look nicely finished off.

    Next it will be Telford. Sadly a number of items I was hoping would be in stock have been delayed. This means more postage than I care to think of. If I buy any RTR stock I will be sure to open the box before leaving the show to make sure the model is complete!
    AdeMoore likes this.
  7. Pencarrow

    Pencarrow Western Thunderer

    Yes, I've been a fan of the SEF vacuum formed sheets in 4mm for years and was pleased to see they did some of the patterns in 7mm when I moved up a scale. Their brickwork sheets in an array of bonds are particularly useful, although I'm not so keen on their stone sheets in 7mm.

    I'm hoping to get over to Telford on the Sunday, although it may yet be Saturday.
    Focalplane likes this.
  8. simond

    simond Western Thunderer

    Is there a meeting point? 13:00? hours at which railway?

  9. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    My visit is guaranteed as we will now be driving through Telford on the Saturday morning and I already have an online ticket. But I cannot say how long we will be there as we are being bombarded with family related "priorities", prefaced by "Mum, could you just. . . . . . ." I certainly hope to meet a few Thunderers while there.

    But I can't wait to return to the railway room!
    AdeMoore likes this.
  10. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    From past experience of the venue I'd suggest the East Midlands Test track (L1) as the best venue. Plenty of seating and room plus the added benefit of potentially some prototypical motive power (steam) rather than this electric malarky. :thumbs:. I'm currently negotiating with the domestic authorities on time off for good behaviour in which case I'd like to get down on the Sunday. I've previously used the train but it seems expensive this year - 2 1/2hrs and £50 by train or 2hrs by car (100 miles) so probably a similar cost so the car is more flexible but the train will allow me to have a pint. :)
    AdeMoore and simond like this.
  11. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    Tomorrow's the day to measure up and photograph Moor Street Station. I have some other chores to do on the way to Warwick Parkway for the fast run into Moor Street, then I may walk over to Ian Allan's Book Shop before catching a train back.

    Meantime I have lined up all the parts for the Finney7 Hall kit which will be collected at Telford. I am paying extra for the nickel silver etches and also have paid a small sum to have the boiler and smokebox rolled. If I can have a major effort at kit building this coming winter I should have a useful roster of locos for Moor Street, plus some additional GW coach kits bought three years ago from Haywood.

    I will try to report on the measuring trip this time tomorrow.
    Last edited: 20 August 2019
    AdeMoore likes this.
  12. Ressaldar

    Ressaldar Western Thunderer

    Just as well that you are going today, on your next trip over here, the Ian Allan shop will have closed - a posting on RMweb states that the shop is closing on 1st October.

    Enjoy your measuring, hope that the weather stays dry.


  13. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    Bad news, Mike, I have always had a soft spot for the book shop though the modelling is all OO gauge.
  14. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    A useful day in Birmingham but the sun was shining, making photography difficult and most opportunities to create brick sheets were impossible. However, as a taster, here is an example:


    The engineering bricks vary from ancient to new as seen in these two examples:

    First, an old wall in the original goods station lower level, now part of the Bullring car park:

    And part of the restoration wall opposite Selfridges:

    The green bar is 12" long.

    And here is an example of Edwardian brickwork, the arch crossing Allison Street:
    This will not feature on the model, though the parapet will but I could not get a good parallax free image.

    Finally, lunch in the concourse while I soaked up the atmosphere:

    AdeMoore and David B like this.
  15. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    Re Ian Allan's Birmingham book and model shop. It looks like the closing date is "mid-September". Lot's of stock but no fire sale, so I suppose the stock will move to Waterloo. And I heard from an employee that Waterloo may be on its way out as well. How very sad.
  16. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    One aspect of the brickwork of the terminal building is the use of glazed bricks as well as the mortar joints in the brickwork. This photo of the extrior in bright sunshine shows this well, but all walls are much the same:


    In this view the bricks used appear more random than elsewhere but on the extreme right the rounded corner bricks are darker and of the same colour used to embellish Snow Hill's buildings. The mortar joins are also close to the surface of the wall so photo paper would be more appropriate, even in 7mm scale, compared to embossed sheets. The latter would be more suitable for the original blue brick walls forming the viaduct parapets, etc.

    The restoration of the terminal building is, of course, not representative of the state of the building in the late 1950s, but the use of glazed bricks probably helped to save the building from demolition.

    Here is a close up of the bricks inside the concourse, the window is where the Centenary kitchen is located today but it was the Ladies Waiting Room and toilets:

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  17. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    The iron supports for the concourse roof, as well as the platform awnings, are a complex arrangement of girders but many of the components are similar as can be seen in this photo:


    I am going think long and hard about the best materials to use. Although more expensive I would like to think the model would be worth using metal for the girders, rather than plastic extrusions or laser cut MDF. Brass was used to form the skeleton structure of the engine shed at Penmaenpool and this gave a strength to the building that would not have been otherwise possible. A sagging roof will not look very good!
  18. Peter Cross

    Peter Cross Western Thunderer

    You would be surprised how strong lattice girders in plastic would be. I would be very surprised to find them sagging at that length.
  19. Pencarrow

    Pencarrow Western Thunderer

    More likely to have warping issues over time, depending on solvent and paint used.
  20. Peter Cross

    Peter Cross Western Thunderer

    I was thing of the guys work on rmweb, Ron Hegg? He seems to have no problems with warping or sagging. I think it's to do with the construction being as the prototype not a representative build.
    Phil O likes this.