4mm Life in a Northern Town - The sidewalks in the street

Discussion in 'Area 51' started by Neil, 18 August 2016.

  1. Scale7JB

    Scale7JB Western Thunderer

    Matt I think they're fine for home layouts but I'm now very wary of using anything spongy if your layout is going on tour. Theres just too much movement of track ends on the board joins. One train of thought is to use a much more solid medium on the edges with the yoga mat in between.

  2. Neil

    Neil Western Thunderer

    Have to agree JB, there is quite a lot of give in the surface (which I wanted for this application) but which would be a pain on a sectional layout. Perhaps rail soldered to brass screws levelled with the top of the foam mat at joins would work. If the foam was left very slightly overlength it might help conceal the board gap. Must admit I'm unlikely to try this in the near future though.

    Yesterday I put together a short rake of cattle wagons for a test on the layout before I get down to the weathering process.

    yk 066.jpg
    Hopefully when an e-bay order arrives I'll be able to get rid of the tangle of wires.
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  3. Neil

    Neil Western Thunderer

    Earlier this week further yoga mats arrived all the way from China. This set off another brief spurt of activity in the garage, all the existing trackbed is covered apart from short sections where I'll be joining on phase two of the track.

    yk 069.jpg
    I've also installed the point where the coal drop roads will split into two. Can anyone tell me whether locos were allowed onto the drops?

    yk 068.jpg

    The Triang rebuild has progressed in an unexpected direction. It now sports a flat concrete roof and while it's not a looker I do rather like it's brutal functionality.

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  4. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer

    Is the idea to have the railway on arches and buildings and roofs as infill to to create the industrial look?
  5. Lyndhurstman

    Lyndhurstman Western Thunderer

    Hello Neil
    This post from the LNER Forum says not. But I guess it depends on the weight of your chosen loco: given that a loaded wagon is the paradigm...


  6. Neil

    Neil Western Thunderer

    I know that they way the trackbed is formed could give rise to that notion but no. There will be areas lower than the rails where the land dips down and also where the river edge will be (mainly on the remaining section) but tracks on arches aren't really a York thing. Some of the waste ground between the light railway in the foreground and the BR yard approach to the rear will be quickly filled in with my 'sticky balls' technique and while it may be roughly level with both areas of track it will allow for subtle variations in height and gentle slopes.

    Thanks for the link Jan, most informative. I'd have thought that at 30tons an 04 or 03 shunter should have been ok on a structure that coped day in day out with 21T hoppers. Ah well it'll make operating more interesting and one less bit of track to clean.
  7. Dog Star

    Dog Star Western Thunderer

    The photos so far cause me to think about a MRJ layout article... Derwenthaugh.
    Neil likes this.
  8. Lyndhurstman

    Lyndhurstman Western Thunderer

    No worries, Neil. I've often wondered about the practicalities of coal drops (my mind is controlled by a magpie..). What you need is a BEL Untitled Document. One of these was built by the Midland Railway in Derby in 1913, and used at Harrow Lane Sidings alongside the L&B specifically because it had to use a wagon lift to move from the 'main line' to the sidings when it needed maintainance.


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  9. Neil

    Neil Western Thunderer

    Thank you, that's a kind comparison but I'm afraid that Northern Town will be far less finescale than the inspirational Derwenthaugh.

    That's a lovely trinket and I am partial to electric locomotives. In the York context it would have to be this one though as I have dim and distant memories of my Dad taking me to look at it through the gates of the corporation power station on Foss Islands Road. Anyone got a drawing?
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  10. Dog Star

    Dog Star Western Thunderer

    Irrespective of the degree of finsecale achieved, my comment reflects the impression that is given by your work... "inspiration" does not scale.
    Last edited: 11 November 2019
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  11. Lyndhurstman

    Lyndhurstman Western Thunderer

    I see High Level do a LYR battery steeple cab Untitled Document
    Or there’s the Judith Edge pantograph Siemens
    Directory - JUDITH EDGE KITS

    Go on... you know you want to.... :)


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  12. Geoff

    Geoff Western Thunderer

    Same here, Northern Town has the same sort of feel and sense of purpose.

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  13. Neil

    Neil Western Thunderer

    Thank you Geoff. Northern Town has been designed from the outset to replicate the sort of activity that the real thing would have indulged in during the days of wagon load freight. It is (or will be) deliberately more busy than Morfa was and in my minds eye the trains will have jobs to do rather than whirl about the place looking pretty. I'm glad that some of this intent has become apparent.

    Over the last couple of days I've spent a while with the piercing saw, files, pliers and soldering iron making some of these.

    yk 072.jpg

    The mystery objects are point levers for those yard points which would have been operated by hand.

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    They're representational rather than accurate copies, the 'lever' doesn't pivot but slides and it operates 90 degrees out from what the real thing does but they are robust, simple, reliable and ensure that shunting has a tactile element similar to the real thing. Some points, those which would have been operated from the signal box, will be equipped with point motors controlled by a lever frame again to copy some of the feel of the real thing.

    Attached Files:

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  14. Neil

    Neil Western Thunderer

    The Triang titivation is now complete, painting, glazing and weathering having been completed over the past few days. This morning I took the building out to the layout to have its picture taken. It's ultimately destined for the yard throat rather than the exchange sidings but the head of steel hasn't progressed that far yet so this will have to do.

    yk 075.jpg

    One bit I'm quite pleased with is where concrete cancer has developed on one of the corners of the roof.

    yk 076.jpg
    The roof was formed from two pieces of 60 thou laminated up. However before sticking together the lower layer had a grid of reinforcing rods (fuse wire) solvent welded to it in the corner while the upper layer was nibbled away with knife and files. The rest is just paint.
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  15. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer

    It's observed detail like this which makes buildings.
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  16. MartinWales

    MartinWales Western Thunderer

    And lifts them into another league....
  17. Neil

    Neil Western Thunderer

    This morning I'm on cooker cleaning duty and while I'm waiting for the Mr Muscle look-a-like to do its stuff I reckon there's time to post another update. Progress is happening on two fronts. First up the home made point actuation units have started to be installed. The first tranche of four are fixed into position along with the surrounding track. Still to appear are the associated microswitches as I'm awaiting a delivery of small self tappers to fix them down.

    yk 079.jpg

    Hopefully you'll just be able to make out the three brass pins which trap the outer static brass sleeve; these pins are soldered to the sleeve. To allow for mounting the microswitces I've extended the roadbed with blocks of 2x1 topped with offcuts of mdf.

    yk 078.jpg
    The wiring has been tidied away too. All connections bar one are made by wires soldered to the underside of the fishplates. These wires are then fed through a black plastic straw which penetrates the mdf trackbase, the void underneath and the osb baseboard top.

    A second front has been opened up aimed at completing rolling stock projects which have spent some time on the to do pile and which were in danger of stagnating. Not pictured as it escaped the camera is a Cambrian kit of an LMS steel van, largely complete but unpainted, constructed originally to EM standards for Morfa. It now has OO wheelsets, small Bachmann tension lock couplings and a part finished paint job. Also on the workbench a Slaters NER wooden hopper. This was kindly gifted to me, but was in need of attention as some of the joints weren't that well formed. Bits were prised off, tidied up and stuck back. Loose, dangling bits were stuck back. Gaps and ejector pin marks have been treated to some filling and filing. Hornby wheels and Bachmann tension locks completed the constructional phase and like the van it's now in the paint shop.

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    Unfortunately it rides a little high, partly because the Hornby wheels are half a mil too big but mainly because the axlebox/spring assemblies are not seated as snugly as they might be. In the past this would niggle but I've decided that for the moment I can live with this as it's not particularly apparent at layout distances and it is a layout wagon rather than one for a glass case.
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  18. Neil

    Neil Western Thunderer

    The weather today in mid Wales has been grim so my time out of the house has been limited to a quick trip to the dentists to repair a tooth which exploded on contact with a mince pie yesterday. Clouds do have silver linings and enforced confinement and the need for a job to cheer myself up has resulted in the NER hopper now having a load.

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    It was done in the same manner as those for the steel hoppers described some time back. You'll also notice that the wooden hopper is now part weathered, though less subtly than I'd hoped. There's some detail painting left to do, weathering of the ironwork and transfers to apply. One thing I'm struggling with is to find decent photos of these beasts in BR service, so far after looking through hundreds of photos I've come up with one distant view in a train and an end quarter of a wagon peeping into shot. If anyone could point me in the right direction of a good snap showing the numbering and lettering I'd be most grateful.

    While the camera was out the LMS steel van had its portrait taken too. No problem with prototype images of this one thankfully.

    yk 081.jpg
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  19. Neil

    Neil Western Thunderer

    We last left the pair of wagons at an incomplete state. Over the past few days I've finished the coal hopper and brought the ex LMS van close to completion.

    hop 015.jpg

    Like the hopper the van has had it's transfers applied and so this afternoon as the mood was right I decided to tackle the weathering. I'm not one for faffing about with complex multi stage processes so I thought it might be of interest to show and describe what I do. Here's a shot showing the two passes I make on a side.

    yk 082.jpg
    The left side and the door are the first part where I apply small amounts of a home brewed dark rust shade (a mix of Humbrol 100 rust and 33 black) applied neat. By the time I've worked round the van it should have dried sufficiently for the next stage shown at the right hand side. I use a quite stubby, thick brush, lightly dampened with white spirit to pull the rust patches down the side of the van. The keys to this technique are that there should be very little white spirit on the brush, that the brush must be kept clean and that overworking the area should be avoided. It's not a precise technique that can be measured and planned, it works best when you're tuned in to exploiting the happy accidents when a rust patch begins to look 'right'. You might also notice that the run off nicely stains and darkens the underlying base coat a shade or two; for this reason I always paint wagons a shade lighter than I intend them to end up.

    yk 083.jpg
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  20. Neil

    Neil Western Thunderer

    On a bit of a roll with stock projects I exhumed a set of three Dapol banana van bodies along with a complementary set of Red Panda underframes from my 'to do' cupboard. The van bodies are as Dublo/Wrenn/Dapol intended apart from the weird raised panel where the van number and designation would go; this I filed off.

    yk 084.jpg

    Over at 'the other place' I've described in detail the early stages of underframe installation, but as we all know what we're doing here I'll just pop in a few images ....

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    The only bit where I might do things differently is that when I'm happy that the side frames are set up to allow free running with a minimum of side-play I remove the wheelsets, check that the sideframes are still perpendicular and leave to set hard. I've found that leaving the wheelsets in can encourage the sideframes to splay out. Next up fit the brake gear and coupling mounts.

    yk 088.jpg
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