Brettell Road, 1960s black country (ish)

Discussion in 'Layout Progress' started by Jim S-W, 29 August 2014.

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  1. Jim smith-wright

    Jim smith-wright Western Thunderer

    When I picked up my nearly finished J94 kit it came with an already assembled Branchlines Gearbox. Try as I might I just couldn't get on with it. For some reason it seemed to have very little torque but this wasn't sacrificed for speed as it didn't really have much of that either )perhaps the energy was being used bu by the noise it generated?). So admitting defeat I swapped it for a High Level Road Runner +. What a difference that made!

    Another little problem I came across was the lack of space between the inside motion and the springs I fitted on the front 2 axles. I had used a short handrail knob in the same way that the advocates of CSB systems use but it was all just a little bit too tight for comfort. So I ditched that and just soldered a couple of springs to the inside of the chassis - Number 10 guitar springs for the centre axle and number 12 for the front bearing on the top of the axles. Anyone with any kind of knowledge of how things should be done are probably reading the rest of this post from behind a sofa but it works so that's fine in my eyes!

    Anyway its done so here's a few pictures.

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    Here's a very short video of the inside motion at work



    Below are a few evening images.

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    Another little video - this time a spot of shunting. There's a few stutters which I am hoping a little more running in will iron out.

     
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  2. Jim smith-wright

    Jim smith-wright Western Thunderer

    This post can best be described as a taste of local flavour if not the full meal itself.

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    Anyone familiar with railways in the Stourbridge area will be aware of the Parry People Movers that operate between Stourbridge Junction and Stourbridge Town. Little 4 wheeled railbuses that spend their days shuffling along the UK's shortest passenger branch line. The line itself is still jointed track meaning the ride is somewhat best described as lively! While famous now for these little vehicles Stourbridge didn't really embrace the railbus idea the first time around, The line begin operated by autotrains and GWR design railcars at the time railbuses were being tried elsewhere.

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    However as Brettell Road is a loose interpretation I have gotten hold of a Heljan one as a nod to the little people movers. This was always going to be a nice to have rather than a need so having kept my eye on eBay for a cheap one, just on the off chance, this AC version popped up as a non runner with a dodgy motor for less than half the price the runners were going for.

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    The motor was replaced with a small Mashima I already had. One of the drive shafts was bent out of shape too but as these little models are very heavy for their size I binned that and now its just powered on one axle. For what it needs to do that seems absolutely fine.

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    I've fitted a Zimo MX634D decoder in the space in the roof linked to a TCS KA2 stay alive hidden behind the door and weathered it, The wheels are Branchlines 3ft using the original gears and bushes. You do need to grind a little bit of the chassis away to get them to fit. A couple of passengers and its good to go.

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    Same idea - different generations!

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    Another bit of local flavour. The yard crane at the real Brettell Lane was a bit of a chunky affair. In line with my upcoming demo at Scaleforum on making the most out of older models, I've come up with this representation using the Airfix dockside crane as a start point. The jib is scratchbuilt from plasticard. I've only seen a few distant pictures of the real thing so this is very much a loose interpretation.
     
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  3. john lewsey

    john lewsey Western Thunderer

    This is just the best thread
     
  4. simond

    simond Western Thunderer

    Why is the modern design so, well... ugly?

    S’pose its all personal taste really, someone probably loves it

    Atb
    Simon
     
  5. AJC

    AJC Western Thunderer

    I'm not sure a development lash up (which is more or less what LEV-1 was) qualifies as design, in an aesthetic sense. It's moot, too, whether something that is now 41 years' old qualifies as 'modern', either!

    Adam
     
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  6. Jim smith-wright

    Jim smith-wright Western Thunderer

    Oi you lot. There’s nothing wrong with a good old leyland National...

    ...provided it’s on a road not rails!
     
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  7. Jim smith-wright

    Jim smith-wright Western Thunderer

    With my ongoing Duchess build my thoughts turned to a little quick win project (also with Scalefour North coming up at the end of March). I said relatively speaking in the title because a few years ago I would have likely considered this quick win as a bit of an undertaking but there you go. When we were at the Wakefield show with Moor Street, my attention was drawn to a cheap Lima GWR small prairie tank loco. They were not common at all on the Stourbridge to Wolverhampton line but their larger sisters, the Large prairie were somewhat a mainstay of the line.

    I know Hornby are doing a new model but a dirt cheap Airfix example was found (none runner) along with a comet chassis and I set to work.

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    Stage one - body detailed and the chassis built. I modified the pony trucks a little and sprung them using a method outlined by Dave Holt (Comet pony truck springing). The original smokebox door was too small and a few extra details were added to the body. After this picture was taken I also reduced the height of the safety valve bonnet.

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    A quick blast of grey primer and a liberal(ish) dose of archers rivet transfers and the body was read for the paint shop. A few images of the finished result follow.

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  8. chrisb

    chrisb Western Thunderer

    Lovely stuff!

    A quick question though if you don't mind - do you add extra weight to your wagons and, if so, how much per axle?
     
  9. Jim smith-wright

    Jim smith-wright Western Thunderer

    Thanks Chris

    I aim for about 50g per wagon. I don’t tend to make 4 axle wagons twice as heavy as 2 axle ones though.

    hope this helps

    Jim
     
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  10. Brian T

    Brian T Western Thunderer

    Hi Jim,

    I don`t know if anyone else has this problem,but i don`t seem to be able to see your pictures at all.

    Brian.
     
  11. AdeMoore

    AdeMoore Western Thunderer

    Nope all photos showing fine for me.
     
  12. Jim smith-wright

    Jim smith-wright Western Thunderer

    Odd wonder if it’s because I host them on my own site?
     
  13. Brian T

    Brian T Western Thunderer

    Not sure....

    I can,and did take a look at them on your site so it`s no biggie really,especially as other`s here seem to be able to see them ok.
    Can see the video`s though!.

    Cheers,
    Brian.
     
  14. Jim smith-wright

    Jim smith-wright Western Thunderer

    As the song goes, regrets, I've had a few but unlike the song I am going to mention them. With Brettell road pretty much finished off thoughts have turned to what to do next. Before anyone asks, New Street isn't calling me back at the moment.

    Brettell road was only supposed to be a play thing for home, but much in the way of New Street which started with the idea that you could model the western end station throat in 8ft, Brettell Road went a little bit wrong.

    It was designed like an exhibition layout but not as an exhibition layout if that makes sense. In the urge to get something done and 1950's midland railway practice being alien to me at the time there was one major aspect of the track plan that I have always regretted. You see, for those like me who didn't know, the Midland had a thing about facing points, especially coming from passenger lines onto goods loops and yards. What they preferred was a single slip and the train would pass the slip. Back up through the slip onto the wrong line before proceeding into the yard. Had I known this at the time (or more accurately been bothered to find out!) I would have done the Brettell Road main line as double track and used this arrangement. For the operational interest as well as its not really something you see done on models.

    The other regret is about proportion. You see for an exhibition layout that's 16ft overall but only 50% or 8ft scenic I feel the proportions are off. If it was 24ft with 16 ft scenic then a viewing ratio of 66% sits much better.

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    And so, presenting Brettell Road part 2. An extension to the original incorporating a station and yard based very loosely on the real Brettell Lane. Doubling up the track on the existing 2 board is still a none starter but with minor adaptation to the track work at the left hand end of the original I can get the single slip in and get in the operational interest I missed the first time. The yard will rise slightly to be level with the platforms which is something I've borrowed from the features of the yard that was at Kings Heath. I plan to do the station in the very last week of service to keep with the run down feel (hey no one really expected this to be pretty did they?)
     
  15. Jim smith-wright

    Jim smith-wright Western Thunderer

    In the absence of Scalefour North I have finished off a few vehicles that have been lurking near my workbench for a while now.

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    Starting with a couple for New Street. A Ford Fiesta and Range Rover from Oxford Diecast. These follow my now standard approach of blacking in the window frames and wheel arches before a coat of matt varnish and some subtle weathering. On the fiesta i turned the wheels down a little and binned the little plug in numberplate as it stuck out to far. For the Range Rover its worth chopping off the mounts for the screws that hold it into the box.

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    Moving on to Brettell Road. On the left a BMC FG lorry. This is a combination of 2 FG lorries from different manufacturers. The body and chassis come from a Chinese company called Best Choose. Initially these look a lot more detailed than the base toys version but there's something not quite right about the proportion of the cab so I replaced it with a detailed Base toys one instead.Wheels are from RTI and i don't fancy doing the glazing again any time soon.
    The van is a ford 300E from the Classix range.

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    Finally a Fordson tractor (Oxford Diecast) modified with a front loader from the Dapol JCB kit. Quite a neat little project this one.
     
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  16. Jim smith-wright

    Jim smith-wright Western Thunderer

    When it comes to building I admit i tend to just get on and scratchbuld them. Part of this is due to ignorance of whats actually out there but recently I picked up a couple of Wills kits and have had a go at these instead.

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    First up is the kit for a lamp store. You actually get 2 in the kit and these are for the slightly different GWR design but can be adapted to something more 'midland' pretty easily by shortening the sides to form a 6ft square structure. U cut out the door and remounted it flush as well as replacing the roof with thinner plasticard. On the other end I added a few extra window bars (see below).

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    The other kit was for the 'station garage' which i have chopped about to give an industrial looking wooden building. The roof again is plasticard (the wills stuff is quite thick) and the vents are from unit models.
     
  17. Jim smith-wright

    Jim smith-wright Western Thunderer

    A while ago I showed a picture of the framework for Brettell Roads new roof. I was going to have this done for Scalefour North but given the Covid-19 crisis the show was canceled and the urgency to get it done went with it. However I have turned my attention back to this with thoughts on the material.

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    The first material I brought was just too heavy so i didn’t even try to use it. The weight wasn’t something i had really considered. This is the second material, much lighter but it let too much light through. On top of that my efforts were too scruffy and would have bugged me if I left it.

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    So this is material 3 – Much happier now and with the help of my wife much neater as well. The image shows it before I finished the front off and the supports will obviously need to be darkened.

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    The above image shows the lighting on the layout pretty much as the eye sees it. Not as dark as before but still obviously night time.
     
  18. Jim smith-wright

    Jim smith-wright Western Thunderer

    I've been looking at a few RTR Wagons recently from Bachmann.

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    Slope sided mineral. I really like the chassis design on this one as the brake gear is separate and for P4 can be moved out to line up with the wheels with just a little bit of trimming. As well as my usual gouache approach for rust I've also tried out some weathering pencils from AK interactive. I won't go into any detail on those as yet as I'm still getting to grips with them.

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    Bachmann's presflo's are a lovely little model with just a change of wheels, couplings and buffers required. The buffers on these were very odd and I'm not really sure what they were supposed to be so I have used Accurascale ones in their place. I've also added more weight as they hardly weighed anything as supplied.
    Im not a huge fan of textures in weathering as I believe they often look too heavy in 4mm scale but on these wagons the dry concrete could often look really caked on so i used talc in wet paint ad part of the process.
     
  19. Jim smith-wright

    Jim smith-wright Western Thunderer

    Just a gallery post (no need for words)

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  20. Jim smith-wright

    Jim smith-wright Western Thunderer

    With Brettell Road's new roof design the last thing to do was remove the original pelmet.

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    I have to admit I wasn't expecting that removing it would open up the layout quite as much as it has.

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    This is the view from my eye height. Obviously this higher angle wasn't available to me before now.

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