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

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

  1. Neil

    Neil Western Thunderer

    Over the last week Ive managed to finish cutting and fixing all the road surfaces and building bases for the right hand section of the layout. It's very satisfying to have strong and stable supports for the buildings rather than the wobbly piles of offcuts that were pressed into service. Here's my version of Fetter Lane in lovely raw mdf.

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    The coal drops now have a good area of hardstanding in front of them.

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    Looking across the yard to the engineering works the gentle slop of the road can be made out. It's also obvious that I need to do extra work to match the base of the buildings to the slope of the road. The three main structures here were built for a flat site being recycled from my fifteen minutes of fame on the GBMRC on the telly.

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    Turning left the Taxi office is now in place, a pair of Hornby gates mark where the level crossing will be. Both the cardboard cabin and the gates will be replaced by better models over time.

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  2. Neil

    Neil Western Thunderer

    A few photos today while I wait for the phone call from the garage to tell me how the car has fared with its MOT. First up my second K1 which has been at a mates house since March when I inadvertently picked his one up rather than mine after a running session. Thanks to a good friend it made it back just before our new Welsh mini lockdown.

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    The next ones are of my Q6. Judging by the comments over at the other place Hornby knocked out quite a large batch of these with duff motors. The bad news is that Hornby didn't (don't?) do spares, the good news is that a fellow at the other place found a source of similar motors on e-bay for less than a tenner. There's a bit of faffing to do to mod the motor which required me to be braver than normal, but once I'd plucked up courage and set my stall out it took about an hour of steady, careful work to fix. I spent the last week applying the weathering in easy stages. Here's the finished beastie dragging coal ...

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    ... and heading home with a suspiciously clean brake van.

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    If you squint a bit you can see the lineage back to the S&D (proper one) long boiler 0-6-0.
  3. Neil

    Neil Western Thunderer

    Over the last week I've been building the control panel. At the weekend I finished connecting up all the section switches so the jury rigged wiring which I had in place while I did initial testing has gone.

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    Yesterday I took several boxes of trains out to the garage for a bit of a play. It turned out to be a useful thing to do as I found a fault with one of the points, the key one where the line splits into up and down tracks as it exits the fiddle yard. The microswitch was stopping the point throwing fully over. A couple of minutes work to reposition the microswitch and all was well.

    You might have thought from the earlier photos of trains on the layout that these sort of snags would have been picked up earlier. However the only full line testing had until yesterday been done with a particularly forgiving tank engine. Getting a good selection of stuff out and being able to easily send it all over the layout meant that a proper test under the sorts of conditions it will be used in could be done for the first time. Obviously I couldn't resist taking a few snaps.

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    ColPeake, Geoff, Mike Garwood and 9 others like this.
  4. Hi Neil,
    you may have mentioned this before, what plans do you have for the areas below track level, are you going to in fill ?
    y6tram likes this.
  5. Neil

    Neil Western Thunderer

    Hello Chris. Yes I'll be filling in the bits between the trackbed. Some will be with scraps of timber as you should be able to see in some of the photos so far. This is the best option for roads and other areas of hardstanding but where I want grass, soil and scrub I'll probably use my 'sticky balls' technique.
  6. Neil

    Neil Western Thunderer

    I'm sure that I've mentioned before that though the layout is in the garage I have an indoor playroom too. Just the job for wet days and dark evenings when I don't fancy scuttling out to the garage. It also means I can make progress on a couple of fronts. My indoor task of late has involved weathering hoppers, both coke and coal.

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    I keep rolling stock in box files divided up by foamboard compartments. I'm attempting to work my way though these boxes to bring all stock to a layout ready weathered state. My coal hoppers are all done though I do have one space left in the box. The coke hoppers are all finished too so I'm working my way through a box of brake vans at the moment.

    On the layout you might have noticed that the road surfaces are no longer bare mdf. Poking around in the garage unearthed part of a tin of Farrow and Ball's Hardwick White. It's actually grey and a slightly weird one as it seems to pick up different tints under different lighting conditions. I've also filled in gaps between the mdf with DAS clay, fettled and smoothed the transitions; next will be sorting out the pavements.

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    Lancastrian, Brocp, Geoff and 4 others like this.
  7. Tappa

    Tappa Western Thunderer

    Farrow & Ball paint Neil! Blimey, only the best for you.

    steve1 and Geoff like this.
  8. Neil

    Neil Western Thunderer

    I know, it's expensive, maybe I've been away from the motherland for too long. It does go a long way and it's brilliant for brushing on which wastes far less with the clean up. I hate paint rollers. The garage uses Wilko's own brand so I suppose it balances out.
  9. Neil

    Neil Western Thunderer

    Of late it's been a bit too cold for work in the garage to be an attractive prospect so I've been making stuff in my indoors/upstairs playroom. The main task has been to fabricate the paving needed for the roads so far from 40thou plasticard. I had a quick scuttle out to the garage to make some templates from cereal box card.

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    Which I've been replicating in plastic sheet scribed with a scraperboard tool.

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    I've tried to reproduce the random sizing of the York stone pavements that I remember from my youth. Later on most were replaced by machine made paving which if my memory serves caused a bit of a hoo-ha in the local press. Fortunately some of the old paving remains in historically sensitive areas like this stretch on Ogleforth just around the corner from the Treasurers House and the Minster. I'm about two thirds through the paving I need so far.

    Whilst setting out the footpaths I became increasingly aware of what a faff it would be to turn Benedetto's ice cream factory from a flat based model to one suitable for a slope. It was originally made for our GMRC layout though I did have it's ultimate use in mind from the outset. The solution was to swap it over with the caravan sales lot.

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    It's the easiest fix but as a bonus I prefer the cramped nature of the caravan sales lot. I just need to source some suitable vans and fabricate some signage.

    The latest stuff on my workbench are figures. I'm mainly using the Dapol (ex Airfix) items though I have a few de-militarised resistance fighters and Sikh soldiers. Some have undergone various degrees of plastic surgery to alter poses, character or clothing as well as the removal of weaponry. Progress is slow with the need for drying time between the various different colours. At the moment I'm about half way through the first batch.

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    simond, Brocp, jonte and 7 others like this.
  10. Neil

    Neil Western Thunderer

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    "Competition in the taxi business is hotting up with a shapely new arrival on the scene. The all new Cortina by the Ford motor company complements the attractive chauffeuse ready to pick up the lucky traveller. A sight to brighten up anyone's journey, who could resist this little beauty. Goes like the clappers and we're told the car's pretty nippy too"

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    simond, chrisb, Geoff and 5 others like this.
  11. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    Shades of Carry On Cabby there. Very good.
    Geoff likes this.
  12. Ressaldar

    Ressaldar Western Thunderer

    Hi Neil,

    the photo of the radio brings back memories. It was our first radio (albeit second hand) when we married in 1963 and the first thing we did was to post it to our caravan

    where I was working on the airfield. Wires over the roof to keep it on the ground in the strong winds. Old nissen hut bases from WWll.
    view across the Minches towards the mainland.

    Very happy days and the radio survived our 'tour' and came back down South when I was transferred to the Windsor & Eton relief road contract. I understand that they are quite a 'collector's item' now.

    kind regards

    Geoff likes this.
  13. Osgood

    Osgood Western Thunderer

    Now we're getting somewhere - there's a half-decent chance that radio would have been broadcasting some of this:

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    lankytank likes this.
  14. Ressaldar

    Ressaldar Western Thunderer

    Radio Luxemburg reception was excellent, so it was the Number 1 choice every evening.


    Richard Spoors, Geoff and Deano747 like this.