7mm Pencarrow - Cornish BR(S)

Discussion in 'Layout Progress' started by Pencarrow, 1 March 2016.

  1. Threadmark: In the beginning...

    Pencarrow Western Thunderer

    What is Pencarrow?
    It's a 7mm BLT layout I'm slowly building which has for its inspiration the ex LSWR lines in the Bodmin, Wenford and Wadebridge area. It's set in the late 50s /early 60s. I started the project in 2013 as a complete 7mm novice and have recorded progress to date here: Pencarrow Bridge: Maunsell BCK (pg 130 post 3249) - 7mm+ modelling. (Apologies to those who are allergic to 'other' forums.)

    Poor old Bodmin North was not a location I previously considered modelling due to the limited nature of the services. I was previously modelling in 4mm and thoughts often turned to something based on Padstow or Wadebridge - much more of interest going on. A change to 7mm in the same space obviously meant those ideas were out of the window. My initial thoughts were a smallish shunting layout based on Wenford Bridge but with the addition of a small halt. As time went on ideas moved on to a scenario that would justify slightly larger locos and a greater variety of stock. As this journey unwound the low-key Wenford-esq buildings have slowly been replaced by those from around Bodmin North.

    I don't however plan to build Bodmin North, although it's a relatively small scale station, it's far bigger than my domestic environment allows and therefore it's going to be more of a condensed 'inspired by' type layout. I am however aiming to recreate various common views of Bodmin North within parts of the layout.

    Track Plan and Standards
    As intimated in the intro the track plan has evolved over the last few years, with the handing and position of various features moving around, but essentially it's still a loop with a couple of sidings and a kick-back to a freight only line. Below is a sketch I knocked up before Christmas 2015 showing how I then saw all the elements fitting together. Each of the four scenic boards is 1m wide by 960mm deep giving a total area of 4m x 960mm. The fiddle yard is off to the right, about 1300mm long and will probably use cassettes.

    The track will be hand built using C&L components to the 31.5mm 'modified fine' gauge. All the points are B6s. Just about all the lines are curved to some degree and the minimum radius I'm using in Templot is 1800mm.

    The AnyRail image below shows a quick and dirty version of the 2015 track plan but obviously the Templot version will use sweeping curves and not have the gap in the loop caused by the limitations of AnyRail.
    Track building is a new skill I'm learning but my first attempts can be seen below:
    IMAG8492 - Copy.jpg

    Building a layout such as Pencarrow as a solo project is obviously time consuming and involves a fair chunk of cash. So it's a big commitment and needs to be right. Through 2016 I started worrying that the plan I had was a little bit too much like a bog standard BLT and not enough like Bodmin North.

    In a break with the tradition on most BLTs I therefore decide to bring the platform to the front and, on the left two boards, copy as close as I could the layout of Bodmin North.

    At 960mm my boards are deeper than average but even so not wide enough to accommodate all the tracks, roads and buildings. One of the sidings between the platform and loading dock was therefore deleted.

    The photo below shows the 1:10 mock up I made showing the revised plan, with the layout taking shape behind.

    I think the following shots show what I'm trying to achieve, the feel of Bodmin North in a much smaller area.
    Compared to...
    Last edited: 23 September 2017
  2. Pencarrow

    Pencarrow Western Thunderer

    Board Construction
    So far I've made 3 of the 4 scenic boards - the original Wenford-based idea was smaller. The boards have been hand bodged by me using birch ply from a timber merchant in Coalville - much better quality than the rubbish sold in the DIY sheds! A few shots of them are included below:




    With the changing plans I've now got an extra scenic board to build and something for the fiddle. This will probably wait until later in the spring when the weather is more pleasant...

    Edit... The extra board was built - see later in the thread.
    Last edited: 13 April 2020
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  3. Pencarrow

    Pencarrow Western Thunderer

    Stock Requirements
    I'm basing the trains that will run on the layout on those that ran on the Wadebridge / Bodmin North / Wenford lines. As such I've identified the following core motive power as all being suitable for this project:
    • 2-4-0 Beattie Well Tank - as used on the Wenford mineral line
    • 0-6-0 1366 Dock Tank - the replacements for the BWT
    • 0-4-4 O2 - as used on Bodmin North passenger services
    • 2-6-2 Ivatt Tank - the replacements for the O2
    • AC Railbus - the unit used at the tail end of the Bodmin North's passenger service
    In addition the following locos are all on my 'perhaps someday' list either because they also ran in the area or because I like them!:
    • 0-6-0 Pannier Tank (4666)
    • 2-6-2 Prairie Tank
    • 2-6-0 N Class
    • 4-4-0 T9
    • Class 22
    Stock-wise it's nothing out of the ordinary and the size of the fiddle / station restricts train lengths. Key elements are:
    • A variety of brake vans including the SR Pillbox, NE Toad E, LSWR 24T, LMS 20T, BR Std and SR Queen Mary - enough seen in the area to run a great brake van special!
    • The usual array of vans and opens with the addition of GWR O13 clay opens
    • Maunsell 2 Set P - BCK and BSK
    • WR B Set
    • SR CCT and PMV
    • Perhaps a Bulleid loose BCK
    Loco Progress
    The thing about moving from 4mm to 7mm is that it really does force you to building rather than buying RTR stock. This is time consuming but is becoming more rewarding as my soldering and general fabrication skills increase. Unlike other projects I've been involved in, this is a 'just for me, build at my own pace' project and as such it's ore about the journey than the destination. All the stock is either being compensated or sprung and so far I have:

    Bought a Heljan AC Railbus, added DCC sound, passengers and a spot of dirt.
    IMAG7787 - Copy.jpg

    Bought an Ivatt 2mt tank buillt by Peter Cross from a much modified ACME kit. Pete's build of this kit is covered in his blog on RMweb IVATT 2MT TANK - Petes Model workshop (or ramblings from the balcony). Ivatt.jpg

    Nearly completed the build of a Connoisseur LSWR O2 Tank. This will be 30200, a regular performer on the Bodmin North service. My build of this superb kit is covered here: Connoisseur LSWR O2 for Pencarrow Bridge - 7mm+ modelling. I've swapped out some of Jim's castings for those produced by Laurie Griffin and it's fitted with an ABC gearbox and Maxon motor.
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    I'm still fighting with my build of an Agenoria 1366 Dock Tank. This was the first loco kit I tackled and, due to a difference of opinion and artistic differences, we're currently having a trial separation ;-p. On the plus side it's taught me a lot, introduced me to scratchbuilding parts and improved my soldering no end. Also fitted with an ABC gearbox and Moxon motor. I'm going to revisit this kit once my Maunsell coach build is complete (see below). The loco's current state is shown in the following photo which has many parts placed on rather than fixed. Just about all the castings have been replaced as the originals were either so poor or just plain wrong for the loco. Very disappointing as it wasn't a cheap kit. The build trials and tribulations of this kit can be found here: Agenoria WR 1366 Pannier for Pencarrow Bridge - 7mm+ modelling
    IMAG7407 - Copy.jpg
    The most recent addition on the loco front has been the parts (not a kit) to enable the construction of a Beattie Well tank. Bit of a long story but I managed to get a part kit from Laurie Griffin containing all the castings and body etches. The castings are superb but the etchings show their age and Jidenco parentage. A chance conversation with Nick Easton resulted in the offer of a set of etches he'd produced for his own build of 30587. This will therefore progress as a hybrid of Laurie's castings and Nick's etches. I was very concerned by rolling the boiler for this loco but was saved by Pete Harvey and his set of rolling bars. A big thank you to Nick and Pete. I'm trying my best to not start this until finishing some of my other outstanding builds, in the meantime I'm watching Nick's own build with great interest... Beattie Well Tank in 7mm - Kitbuilding & Scratchbuilding
    IMAG8852 - Copy.jpg

    2016/17/18/19 saw a few more locos ticked off the list.
    • Bulleid Pacific - yes I know one only made it to Bodmin North once and that was for its naming. They are my favourite class though and the re-introduction of the kit by Finney7 in 2016 was too good to miss.
    • 8750 Pannier - ordered a sound fitted one from Minerva and it arrived in Sept 2017. It will be 4666.
    • 45xx Prairie - completes the trio of GWR influence. In a moment of weakness I ordered the new Lionheart one from Tower Models in 2017.
    • LSWR T9 - registered interest with Finney7 on their kit and collected the loco kit in 2018 and the tender in 2019
    • Maunsell N Class - in October 2018 I took delivery of what could be a final run of the kit prior to David Andrew's retirement

    Last edited: 13 April 2020
  4. Pencarrow

    Pencarrow Western Thunderer

    Stock Progress
    Turning now to stuff that goes behind the locos I can report the following...

    A moment of weakness at a show in 2013 saw me come away with a Slaters shock open wagon kit and then another accidental purchase was a Parkside SR 12T van kit. A good start was made on both of these but the change in scale took some getting used to. Neither kit is currently finished (bit of a theme with me) but, with what I've learned in the last few years, both will be revisited to correct mistakes and to make them consistent with later builds.
    IMAG4148 - Copy.jpg

    Suffice to say that like many other 7mm modellers, I've now got a good selection of Slaters and Parkside kits to work through between other projects. The majority are now nearing completion and waiting for better weather to add some primer, paint and transfers.
    IMAG3294 - Copy.jpg

    The two I've enjoyed building most are bothe Slaters kits, an LMS 20T brakevan and Southern PMV.


    IMAG8725 - Copy.jpg
    Thanks to Dan Randall for sending me some spare parts for the PMV to replace mis-molded parts in my kit and some etched bars of his own creation for the windows.

    Having been originally not that impressed with some of the moldings on the Slaters wagon kits, I have to say that I now prefer these to the Parkside ones. I hadn't realised that some of the Slaters kits are quite old but have grown to love their use of brass etches and castings. As the PMV shows I've also been adding my own embellishments. Some might consider adding detail to the undersides of stock a bit pointless but, as i said earlier, it's the journey not the destination that interests me. Adding detail forces you to look more closely at the prototype and in doing so you can't help but learn.

    Anyway that's the highlights of the plastic kits covered. I've also being playing with brass wagon kits. The first I attempted was a WEP GWR O13 clay open. In hindsight not the best kit for a beginner but it did get me to invest in a bigger soldering iron and a good chat with Hobby Holidays saw me using a range of different solders. There's a few errors I've made on the build but I was very pleased with the result and the next one in the rake should be easier. (Oh, it now has wheels and the end door opens.)
    IMAG4866 - Copy.jpg

    IMAG2275 - Copy.jpg

    The next brass wagon kit I tackled was one of Jim's Connoisseur Toad E Brake Van kits. A nice kit to build that would benefit from some additional detail to the underframe, interior and veranda inners. I did come up with a cunning way to fix the roof on to make it removable, something I've since used on the O2 cab roof. I doubt this idea is original though...
    IMAG2997 - Copy.jpg

    IMAG2770 - Copy.jpg

    IMAG3200 - Copy.jpg

    After this pair of builds my current attention has turned to completing a Slaters Maunsell BCK coach that I started 2 years ago. At the time I got stuck on the brass bogies that I added as an upgrade as I didn't have the right kit or expertise to tackle them. The sprung bogies are now rolling and I had a test fit to the coach body last week. My main impression so far is that this is a very detailed and time consuming kit to build and worth, what I thought then to be, the high price. Very impressed and still lots to do. Another first for me will be the use of real glass (microscope slides) to glaze the windows / coach lights. We'll see how that goes... So far it looks like this:
    IMAG8960 - Copy.jpg

    IMAG8948 - Copy.jpg
    Brakes and rigging still to be added. Excess solder to be cleaned up.

    IMAG8984 - Copy.jpg

    IMAG8981 - Copy.jpg

    Last edited: 5 March 2016
  5. Pencarrow

    Pencarrow Western Thunderer

    Despite not being a huge layout Pencarrow does require quite a few buildings. The downside with all the prototypes I've chosen is that just about all are built from local random coursed stonework - possibly the most time consuming finish to use. On the basis (yet again) that it's the journey not the destination i'm interested in, and my in ability to find any suitable RTR stonework sheets, much of the stonework is hand scribed from plasticard. Next time I'm choosing an area that uses brick and concrete finishes! The key buildings are:
    • Main station building and canopy - Bodmin North using the Southern Western Circle drawings (purchased on my behalf by Peter Cross)
    • Porters building - Bodmin North using the Southern Western Circle drawings (purchased on my behalf by Peter Cross)
    • Goods shed - Standard LSWR Type 1 as used on the North Cornwall Railway
    • Provender store - Standard Exmouth Junction concrete product
    • Signal box - Standard LSWR Type 3
    • Goods office - Wenford Bridge based on my own measurements
    • Warehouse - Bodmin North based on photos of Steven's Grain Store
    • Cottages - Bodmin North based on measurements by Peter Cross for his own project
    • Main overbridge - Steel bridge based on Cardell Road at Bodmin North
    • Mineral line bridge - Stone arch based on Polbrook Road near Grogley (on the Wadebridge - Boscarne Jct line)
    In the summer of 2017 I decided I needed to get a better feel of the layout with buildings on, so knocked up some card mock-ups to supplement the buildings I hadn't started building yet...







    Last edited: 23 September 2017
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  6. Rob Pulham

    Rob Pulham Western Thunderer

    Hi Chris,

    Great to see you posting this over here:thumbs:, I have to confess to having gotten lost on your vast thread on RMweb.
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  7. Pencarrow

    Pencarrow Western Thunderer

    Steven's Grain Store
    This is a signature building unlike any other I've seen at a station. I've loved it for ages and wanted to model it it features in the background of many photos of Bodmin North. A change of mind regarding the layout - making it more urban than my original Wenford Bridge idea - meant it could be included at the end of the layout providing a great 'end stop' to the scene. A close look at photos reveal that the building evolved and was added to over time - nothing is straight, square or symmetrical. It's the sort of building that you couldn't make up!

    The building in plan (dashed green line is the baseboard edge):
    IMAG5232 - Copy.jpg

    3D mock-up to test the shapes and roof angles
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    Making a start on the upper level
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    Making a start on the scribing, individual building sections were made separately then added to the main building frame.
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    After a spot of primer to see how it looks
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    More of the LHS being worked on
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    An initial test with some colour to see how it looks (further tweaking of the coursing has since been done)
    IMAG6895 - Copy.jpg

    First buttress section
    IMAG6975 - Copy.jpg

    Then a rest from marking out stonework and a move to making the main structure
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    A view from the front compared to the prototype image
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    Roofing structure
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  8. Pencarrow

    Pencarrow Western Thunderer

    Steven's Grain Store pt2
    Making a start on the several thousand random roof slates
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    Detailing one of the ends (Purely conjecture as the building has been demolished and I've found no photos of this side)
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    More roofing
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    More stonework
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  9. Pencarrow

    Pencarrow Western Thunderer

    Thanks Rob, felt like a change and this seemed like a good place to summarise where I'm up to with the layout. Many of the folk who have helped me so far post on both forums, so nothing is lost.
    Last edited: 18 September 2018
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  10. Pencarrow

    Pencarrow Western Thunderer

    Really must put together my shopping list for Kettering tomorrow...

    Repeat after me - No locos or wagons required.
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  11. Pencarrow

    Pencarrow Western Thunderer

    Oh and here's an earlier version of my track planning:

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  12. Rob Pulham

    Rob Pulham Western Thunderer

    That grain store building is superb Chris, see what I missed by getting lost....
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  13. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    As Rob says, simply stunning.
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  14. Pencarrow

    Pencarrow Western Thunderer

    Thanks Heather, will be ok when finished - like lots of projects on my workbench. I really must try harder to finish things ;-)
  15. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer

    Sorry if I have missed it elsewhere but would you mind explaining how you scribed/carved the plasticard and what tools you use. My experience with thicker plasticard is that it is quite tough and anything beyond simple scribing is hard work that takes a lot of time. Your results look great and the level of detail achieved could make the work worthwhile - especially if you have tricks to make it easier.
    Pencarrow likes this.
  16. Pencarrow

    Pencarrow Western Thunderer

    I'll put together a guide to my method, but it won't be for a day or two. Oh, you must all promise not to get upset at my wanton misuse and abuse of tools.
  17. Threadmark: Stonework scribing tutorial

    Pencarrow Western Thunderer

    Stonework First Method
    First a couple of points...
    1. This s my suggestion of a way to do this not the only way - I'm sure others have equally good if not better methods
    2. A don't actually have a method but a series of ways which are still evolving as I find other tools to abuse
    3. Yes, I agree, plasticard can be quite hard but some makes (Jarvis?) are softer and easier to carve
    4. I've made all this up by trial and error, with the aim of trying to match the coursing, stone shapes and finishes of the prototype walls

    Anyway, now on to the first bit - tools (none of which needs to be expensive, it's more about their ability to mark plastic and the type of mark they make):
    • Pencil - for marking out the stones to be carved
    • Tamiya scriber - for cutting grooves in the plastic
    • Small blunt nosed file (the tip of mine was broken off opening a paint tin a while back) - for gouging chunks
    • Sharp point engineers scribe - for scratching lines and adding texture
    • Razor saw - for dragging sideways across the plastic to add texture
    • Big coarse (b@stard cut) file - for more texture adding
    • Set of small chisels - for general carving
    • Craft knife - for cutting!
    • Various grades of sandpaper / wet and dry
    • Filler - for filling gaps and adding lumps
    • Anything else in the toolbox that can be abused...
    Tamya scriber.jpg
    Tamiya scriber

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    Set of small chisels

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    Halfords' best car body putty / filler

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    Random other sharp pointy and rough tools
    Last edited: 9 March 2016
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  18. Pencarrow

    Pencarrow Western Thunderer

    Next lesson learned is that carving and shaping the plastic can need a fair amount of force at times and therefore the part needs either to be flat, or if a 3D shape, made robustly. Also consider that you're cutting into the plastic and therefore layers are needed to increase the available thickness.
    IMAG6946 - Copy.jpg The 3D shape being built up from layers of 30 and 40 thou plasticard

    IMAG6948 - Copy.jpg The rear of the shape showing the ribs for firming up the shape and for fixing to the building carcass.

    IMAG6952 - Copy.jpg
    The various layers filed down to the rough shape required. Again remember that material is being removed so this may need to be slightly bigger than needed.

    IMAG6955 - Copy.jpg Trial fit to the building carcass - the carving takes a while and therefore it's worth making sure it fits before all your hard work.

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    Marking the stonework up with the pencil.

    Copy of IMAG6962.jpg
    Some extra large stones added to the base using pre-shaped lumps of plasticard. Coarse file used to add the steps into the buttress and take the straightness out of some of the edges.

    IMAG6966 - Copy.jpg Using the Tamiya scriber to remove material from the mortar lines and then the blunt/broken nosed file (pushed against the material like a chisel) used to round off the block edges and take lumps pit of them.

    IMAG6967 - Copy.jpg
    Continue working around the blocks with the file (or anything you find suitable) to get the edge shapes right and, in this case, uneven with random courses. Also use the various tools described in the earlier post to take lumps out of the faces and make them uneven - it's the coarse texture we're creating first.

    IMAG6968 - Copy.jpg
    The next stage brings the blocks to life. Here we use a variety of sharp tools to mark the surfaces, I'm particularly keen on using the engineers scribe to repeatedly scratch strata into the blocks. Varying this - the spacing of the lines and also using hatching - gives different looks. Dragging a fine toothed razor saw sideways across blocks also adds a different finish. using different grades of sandpaper also gives different finishes. You can spend ages doing this - the trick is knowing when to stop!

    IMAG6882 - Copy.jpg
    A quick waft with various random primer colours to give a varied base.

    IMAG6878 - Copy.jpg
    This gives an idea of how the stonework will look and highlights areas that need further work. In this case texture that needs knocking back, mortar that needs to be more random in thickness and blobs that need removing.

    IMAG6862 - Copy (2).jpg
    The putty was used to add lumps to various blocks to vary the finish further. A further swish with primer followed.

    IMAG6890 - Copy.jpg
    The stonework was then painted using a pallet of Gouache colours. The trial paint job in the previous post shows the sort of finish I'm looking to create on the building as a whole.

    Time consuming process but it gives you a finish I've not yet found on any proprietary sheets. Being solid plastic it will also be a lot more robust than plaster, Das or foamboard material methods. I've also developed a second different method which I'll describe on another occasion. I hope the above is useful.
    Last edited: 9 March 2016
  19. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer

    Thanks for spending the time explaining your methods. I think I have used all the suggested tools, apart from the small carving chisels, on styrene at various times but hadn't considered doing random stonework. I will give it a try. Breaking the walls into smaller components makes sense and would help with the sense of achievement as the work goes on.
    Pencarrow likes this.
  20. Pencarrow

    Pencarrow Western Thunderer

    Stonework Second Method...
    Another building I'm working on has a different finish and a more even coursing. Having got a little bored of carving stones (the grain store is a huge building) I thought I'd try a second method. This building is the porter's officers from Bodmin North:

    IMAG8269 - Copy.jpg
    Drawings from the South Western Circle.

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    Each of the sides were made up as flats the scale thickness of the wall, less the thickness of the stones.

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    The flats were made up of a criss-cross of spacers arranged to ensure there were no solvent vapour traps.

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    The sides were pressed under weight while drying.

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