Brettell Road, 1960s black country (ish)

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

  1. Jim S-W

    Jim S-W Western Thunderer

    Hi all

    Those who follow my new street thread will know I've been toying with a little side project, called Brettell Road (after a few name changes)


    I must admit I'm a bit out of practise with this track building stuff and this took a bit longer than I thought. Above is an overview of the trackwork so far with just some plain track still to do.


    First up is a double slip that isn't! It's actually just a normal turnout from an operational point of view with one end blocked and clamped so it doesn't move.


    At the other end I've removed two of the point blades to depict that the line it leads too is out of use.


    On the other board is a 3 way point. I've always found these more tricky than double slips although they are less work.


    It's the way the 3 vees have to interact that makes them tricky. I also messed up the first set of blades and got one in the wrong place so I had to do it again. It was only once I'd done it that I remembered I might have done exactly the same thing last time I did a 3 way!


    Last edited: 18 March 2015
  2. Jim S-W

    Jim S-W Western Thunderer

    Hi All


    With the track finished and wiring done the first train has had a run round the layout. Surprisingly for a first running session, nothing fell off! In the absence of suitable stock 08610 and a short rake of modern wagons did the honours!


  3. Jim S-W

    Jim S-W Western Thunderer

    A pet peeve I have is really nicely modelled layouts with ever so shiny road vehicles that are clearly tipped from the box. These are usually done by quite skilled modelers who wouldn't accept such a thing if it was a rail vehicle but are happy too for cars, trucks and vans. Odd then that ive just done a lorry for Brettell Road that is deliberately shiny!
    Part of the plan to model Brettell Road is to model it in the rain. I've seen layouts that depict snow but never rain which is a tad odd when you consider that in the UK on average it rains for 1 in every 3 days! This lorry is effectively a freebie, using left over bits from lorries done for New Street.

    I realised that the picture of the double slip that isn't in an earlier post is a bit confusing. However once a spot of paint is added it becomes much more obvious which bits are used and which bits are not.
    Finally a start has been made on the scenic side of things. Its early stages at the moment but the below picture gives a good idea of the effect I have in mind for the layout.


  4. Neil

    Neil Western Thunderer

    I'll be interested to see how the wet look layout develops. Though I've never tried it or like yourself seen one, I imagine that it's one of those effects that'll be a triumph or disaster depending on how well it's executed. I doubt there's any acceptable middle ground for an average-ish rainy day layout. Huge respect for attempting something with difficulty and risk.
  5. Dikitriki

    Dikitriki Flying Squad

    There's a very well known US night/wet layout; so well known I've forgotten its name - something like ' 2.00 am'.

    I'll post a link when I find it. it was very well done.

    Got it 'Brooklyn 3 am'

    Can't find a link though.

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  6. AJC

    AJC Western Thunderer

    Here Richard:

    The track looks good Jim and the rain effects on the lorry too. It's a shame that the Base Toys model is such a poor rendition of an early '50s Albion cab (almost all their lorries are poor in my view). The proportions are all over the place and the whole thing appears stretched upwards and too square. This is accentuated by the headlights being far too far up the cab front. Compare with this one:

    It's not nearly as bad as the Coopercraft 'AEC Monarch-ish', however...

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  7. Jim S-W

    Jim S-W Western Thunderer

  8. AJC

    AJC Western Thunderer

    It's still a long way off Jim, even allowing for the vagaries of different coach builders, principally manifesed around the windscreens. The same issues appear with the headlamps - the front panel would more than likely have come with the chassis, so correcting this would make a big difference. The too square, too tall roof (the only discernible bit is the back curve in your linked pic'; like many Scottish hauliers, this one seems to have been painted white) and too-narrow cab doors are more difficult, however. Comparing an 8 legger with a four wheeler is also a bit risky; radiators and wheels might well be a bit different because the engines and capacity will be too.

    It looks wrong to me in the same way that things like all those loco 'howlers' bother a lot of people. This lorry, in those terms, is round about LIMA Deltic rather than LIMA 37. The finish is still good though.

  9. Jim S-W

    Jim S-W Western Thunderer

    I have to admit, I'm not seeing it the way you are Adam.


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  10. Celticwardog

    Celticwardog Guest

    Been giving this wet look thing some thought. Puddles can be done and look great. Making the hole thing look wet...mmmm. That Brooklyn 3am is effective, but I wonder if this is because it's tented and meant to be viewed in the dark?

    Hope this works but can't help but think the whole thing is just going to look odd and glossy. The lorry for instance, we share this bug bear of shiny Oxfords placed on a nice layout. Yes I suppose it looks wet but alas it also looks like glossy out of the box. I wonder if it was glossed in a certain way, so some parts remain dry? Same with a loco...not sure if this is going to make sense but when something flat is wet, it isn't usually evenly wet, rain and water collect and gather like on a window and form globules. In fact it's only self cleaning glass that has a special coating where the water will completely cover it. How to recreate "globular" wet however....dunno! Perhaps a misting with an airbrush with high gloss varnish? Drag high gloss varnish down a flat surface that's matt or satin with a flattie brush, you should see a differential in the finishes but dunno if it would look wet?

    Hope this isn't coming across as a criticism I'm interested to see how this will come out and thinking out loud. One obvious thing is where roads/pavements/buildings are wet they would also be darker. But this would be patchy where areas are not as wet as others so to speak, as rain is hardly ever 100% vertical and will strike some surfaces more than others?
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  11. Neil

    Neil Western Thunderer

    I'm not sure if the 'globules' would be visible as such in real life at the sort of distances viewing a model implies, but they may well be different to a sheet or pool of water. When I drive along in heavy rain the puddles of standing water at the side of the road have a different look to the road itself. Tricky.

    However all (!) the model has to do is switch on the mind of the viewer to the notion that it's raining/has just stopped raining and avoid any tell tales that would scream 'model'. I'm minded of the way we tackle grass and trees; we don't do every blade or every leaf but represent in a manner that says grass and tree.
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  12. Celticwardog

    Celticwardog Guest

    Good points there and wasn't suggesting one might try and module globules and individual raindrops that would be absurd, all I was getting at was wet things don't just look like they have a sheet of gloss over them. People in the rain just have patches of darkened clothing. Some surfaces wouldn't actually be any different to how they are normally done, you can't tell that grass or a tree is wet from any meaningful distance.

    Roads for can still see the texture of a wet road unless it's deep like in a ditch or a puddle. I would have thought a thinned down wash of gloss black/grey/brown over the surface of a road or pavement or indeed any surface would allow its texture to show through, but make it darker and slightly shiny without it looking like someone had just chucked a load of gloss varnish on something...?

    Your last paragraph makes another good point actually Neil, like art a layout is about suggestion and to a point illusion. Placing people under shelter like they are waiting, even in the right type of clothing and trying to find any with brollies would help!
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  13. Jim S-W

    Jim S-W Western Thunderer

    Thanks guys

    Already ahead of you Lee. It doesn't really show in the picture but that's what I've done. Is shows better on these two storage tanks


    The darkness thing is spot on but more suited to drying conditions than mid rain. Below is a picture from some experiments I did in early 2013. Gordon Gravett covers this in his book as we'll.


    I've been looking at rain drops, there's a website for this sort of stuff, the largest drops are about 5mm across (this is during a torrential thunderstorm type event) which scales out at .065mm. An average raindrop is half that. I have an idea about how to represent water falling on puddles though!


  14. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    Concentric rings like rain drops in a puddle would be lovely to see - in a diorama. On a working model railway, though, I think simply representing the standing water would be better. That's my personal view, in that I have a thing about frozen tableaux on layouts.
  15. Jim S-W

    Jim S-W Western Thunderer

    Hi Heather

    Compared to my other project this is like a diorama! :)

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  16. Celticwardog

    Celticwardog Guest

    Yes those tanks work and looks like dragged down gloss as thought great minds etc lol. You could probably get away with glossier/wetter Tbh hard to tell on the road surface. Regarding the darkness i suppose i was referring to dry patches and that perhaps an entirely wet surface like a road would be a darker shade than you might normally do?

    Funny u mention mr gravvett. I have one of books and his puddles i had in mind which are excellent. In fact there is a larger scale road corner with a puddle and surrounding drying upness but i suppose the effect is more noticeable as its a wet patch rather than a wet road but the principle is sound.

    Your right about tabluex heather. Even simple things like people in needless action poses can look a bit naff. Fixed ripples wouldnt work. I did have a unformed thought about the pattern of water a moving car throws up from behind its wheels. Same issue really
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  17. Jim S-W

    Jim S-W Western Thunderer

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  18. Jim S-W

    Jim S-W Western Thunderer

    Hi All


    The image above shows progress on the embankment section. I can't claim any expertise in modelling nature as it's not something I've come across much before however a while spent looking at local plant life for the "what" and Gordon Gravetts book on the subject for the "how" has produced something I'm quite happy with although I am undecided if the nettles are a bit bright. I drew a quick fence made from sleepers and Tim kindly laser cut it for me for the top of the bank. I guess it does mean that Brettell road will be set in early October mind you.


    I've made a start on some wagons. From the left are a Cambrian 5 plank open for which I found you need to remove a bit of material from the base of the w-irons for P4 wheels. Then there's a Ratio Van and open (I've never built Ratio kits before) The open is really too old but I have a plan for an off scene steelworks (sort of Round Oaks ish ) so I will use this as an internal user. Followed next is a Parkside 7 plank open, simplicity itself and a Bachmann RTR van- this was supposed to be a quick win picked up from the bargain bin at Modellers Mecca but conversion to p4 was a bit more than just sticking wheels in with material needing to be removed and new brakes added from MJT. Right at the end is a Peco wonderful wagon tank. Quite advanced for their time with working buffers and springing. In reality the springing is a bit too hard to be of any real effect so I will fit some Bill Bedford sprung W-irons.


    Finally back to where it all started , the GBL Jinty. The body gas been detailed with bits from the Brassmasters kit, some parts from Markits (and London Road Models as well as some home parts sch as lamp irons from brass strip. I haven done any work under the footplate yet as I need to look at the High Level chassis next.


  19. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    That does look good - although your "few thoughts" on the subject struck a chord. As you say sometimes the results can look a bit clinical.

    One of my favourite tech cartoons is which has a hand drawn quality to the graphs. There are software routines that allow users to generate graphs with this hand drawn quality to them

    I have pondered whether this might be a way to develop the drawings for laser cutting. To automatically introduce a level of unevenness/randomness to the drawing to make the finished product slightly less clinical.
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  20. Jim S-W

    Jim S-W Western Thunderer

    I've always liked mechanical signals, the ones on Moor Street are great fun to play with but for New Street I wont get the chance to have any. However for Brettell Road there are 2 (one of which is abandoned) so I have got to have a go at making some from MSE kits.
    First up the disused one, based on a photo I found. This one would actually be a repeater for the main signal the other side of the bridge due to sighting problems. Weathering is done with gouache. I replaced the supplied ladder with one of Colin Craig's.
    The other signal is this little ground signal (yellow so that the headshunt can be used when its set to danger) I deviated from the MSE instructions by making the counterweight arm work too. Theres a fibre optic in the lamp but its a bugger to photograph - you can just make it out in the second picture. It looks a bit blue but I was using a white light source - changing it to a yellow one should correct this.

    Finally as I was tidying up I left a pack of LED's lying on the layout and purely by chance it illuminated the signal. Thinking it looked quite nice I took the image below - I'd like to claim it was carefully planned but nope - this was just lucky!
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