Saturday, 28 February 2015

Weekend Board Update No.1

Update 28th February

Another quick one tonight. It's been a busy day today as we have been continuing work on the layout boards - notably fitting more plywood sides. I decided to enlarge the power house building to more accurately portray the huge contrast in size between it and the little 2' locos. As you can see, I have also been shuffling things around, thus coming up with different potential plans.

We also went for a bit of shopping to a DIY superstore and of course the model shop. Clay and some sort of roadbed plaster type stuff (to see what it is like) was obtained from the model shop, and I bought 3x 1m lengths of steel (for the leg stays) and some long bolts to clamp the boards together.

Tomorrow we will hopefully be able to assemble all this together, and have the layout on its own legs and secured nicely together. I wasn't able to get any 009 track from the model shop, but some is on order. Points will be bought online when I know what I want!

So hopefully we will have another photo update tomorrow with the layout freestanding and nicely bolted together. Oh, and we have decided for the curved edges of the boards to use plastic fascia. This will give us strength, be lightweight, and will easily bend to the curve.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Track (without a) Plan

Another brief update tonight I'm afraid.
I've managed to get most of the ply end plates sorted out and screwed onto the boards. I am still unsure how to proceed with facing the curves of "blade" boards, although I expect I'll be using some hardboard as I did with Calshot.

I'm also still trying to work out a final track plan, because not having one is really wasting valuable time! I just want to crack on with the scenic work which is my favourite part of physically building a layout.

I did muse over a figure of 8 track plan to give a longer and more interesting run, although how it would work from an operating point of view (and how I'd fit in the standard gauge) is anyone's guess!

So just the one photo for today, nothing too exciting I'm afraid:

I am also still yet to order track for obvious reasons, so the missing track plan is vitally needed so I can progress the build...

Friday, 20 February 2015

Track Planning, Simulation and Play Testing

Firstly, the 3D models of the asphalt barrel flat wagons has been completed by the wonderful Mark Greenwood. So go and check them out on his own blog HERE, they look great! I have been told that the 3D model will be sent of for a test print hopefully within the next two weeks. I expect Mark will update his blog accordingly, and of course I will keep you all in the loop as well.

And so on to more from Old AGWI Rd.
Suggestions had been made that the return loop added recently wasn't necessary and only resulted in complex wiring. I did still like the idea of it though, as it allows me to turn whole trains around easily. However, I thought I'd see if there was anything else I could do to remove it, so I came up with this:

Having played around with that track plan, it does seem quite fun to operate, and also means locos can still leave the shed/power house siding whilst the ropeway house platform is blocked. However, the one disadvantage of this plan is that there is no quick way to get from the jetty to the aerial ropeway house platform (which is what the return loop would have solved).

The thing I have to think about is that as this will eventually be an exhibition layout, ideally something has to be on the move all the time. If a train is running around the "mainline" a lot of the time, then access to the inner sidings becomes a problem. The only way to "solve" this is a crossing at the end of the jetty so that trains could enter the inner sidings quickly. It all depends on how lazy I feel like being (or how preoccupied I will be with chatting) at exhibitions!

So I'm still not sure on the trackplan. I'd welcome any thoughts on this matter.

Oh, and whilst I remember, woodwork is ongoing on the boards - they have had more cross supports added, and are now awaiting the edging plates to keep it all looking tidy.

So that about brings it up to date. I have also included a few screenshots of a simulation of the layout. I've had to work with what I was given, so some structures aren't great, and the locos are all SG!

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Testing Gradients

I've had a hard time visualising how the gradients on the layout would look, so I wanted to make a start today on basic landforming. It also gave me an excellent idea for an interesting scene.

The prototype railway at Fawley still has the old dual gauge loco shed, and as far as I am aware, is still used to this day. I knew this was something I wanted to include on the layout but I couldn't find a proper space for it without having to make custom trackwork. There used to be a small loco shed just for the narrow gauge but was often flooded on high tides - the inspection pit often filling with water!
I'm not sure when this was demolished, but I believe it was probably after the two steam locos left.

Anyway, whilst carving polystyrene, I moved the loco shed mock up out of the way and suddenly realised I could just about fit it between the powerhouse and the filling shed. Thus suddenly I began carving polystyrene and marking out potential gradients. That's more like it! I can now have my dual gauge shed I wanted - plus, it's on a higher level as per the prototype so the inspection pit won't flood.

I will keep the other loco shed site and model the NG steam shed previously mentioned - complete with flooded inspection pit!

So with that out the way, I think I finally have a much better plan - plus, yet another interesting focal point. I'm hoping to finish off the board construction this week so things can really get moving.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Coasters and Mugs of Tea!

Ok, so the second is always a given!
After being stuck with a cold for a few days, it seems it is finaly on its' way out of my system. So what better time whilst I am ill to research. After days of research I have finally found what I assume to be the ship that occurs in my one reference photo of the jetty (or one very similar). This is the Dorset Coast (latterly known as the Logic, and the S.S. Ulster Hero, and finally Saint Conan until it was wrecked at sea). Research suggests it was delivered to its first owners in 1924, and after change of ownership (and of course names) it was eventually scrapped in 1951 after having been stranded on rocks!

I have compressed the length down from 188.5ft to 162ft for my model, which now gives it a scale length of 56.9cm IIRC. Just small enough to fit on the jetty board as shown above!
I have decided to completely scratchbuild the boat as there are no suitable models available, and by the time you have bought a ready made hull or what have you, suddenly it is infeasibly expensive.

At the moment I am not sure what I will be building it out of. I was thinking a polystyrene (since I have tons of it, and it can easily be carved) hull, and the rest being made from plasticard. I am unsure what I would cover the polystyrene hull in as of yet. I should also note that (as usual!) I am not going to aim for an accurate model. As with everything I do, it will be built to look good enough for me. If other people don't like it, then they're the only ones who will get upset about it - I don't have time for that :D

Anyway, service will resume on Monday as I have a family christening to attend and play music at tomorrow.

Friday, 13 February 2015

4 Wheels on my Wagon!

The time has finally come to show off the latest (almost finished) 3D model that Mark Greenwood has designed over the last week (or less!). He has done an absolutely amazing job in such a short time scale, and he's had to put up with me sending photos in dribs and drabs rather than in one go! Despite this, he has remained very professional and produced what looks to be an exceptionally high quality detailed wagon based only on photos.

He has given me permission to show you the progress so far, so I have uploaded the latest image received this morning. I can't wait to see how the initial test prints come out, and I'm sure Mark will be uploading more details over on his (very interesting) workbench thread in due time. (Note this link is only viewable for those logged into NGRM-online)

As you can see, it already looks superb! (Barrels are for reference only). These asphalt trains seemed to run in groups of 4 wagons at a time, and were manually loaded. I will let Mark tell any further details about the availability of the model (assuming the first test prints come out fine) if he wants to, as it is not my place to say!

I'd like to thank Mark for doing such a splendid job, constantly keeping me updated, and generally being a top guy. I expect more will follow!

Thursday, 12 February 2015

More mockery, sorry, mock ups!
After some amazingly helpful suggestions over on NGRM, I am getting closer to a final plan. Now, different levels will be incorporated, with the OO gauge tracks on the highest level. The NG will now have its own fiddle yard built into the asphalt filling shed, and the trackwork has been realigned near the beginning of the jetty.

The above photo shows the current state of the mock ups, and also includes a diagram showing the potential for another siding to serve the powerhouse. I need to see if this is feasible first, because I don't think it will look right having the NG appear and disappear under the standard gauge twice. If this is done, I will need to completely block these entrances! It is always worth trying out new ideas, though.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Ashlett Creek - First Steps!

Time to move on to the Ashlett Creek board now. A similar process to the Jetty board, but on a smaller scale. First I marked off the positions of the buildings as I had not worked this out until now. Using Google Earth I took some measurements, made appropriate compromises where necessary, and finally, marked it onto the polystyrene.

By way of comparison, here is a link to the prototype!

Getting messy (again!)

Just a little midway update from today.
With a load of relatives coming tomorrow (including a baby), I wanted to do as much of the really messy stuff today as possible. I've done the initial roughing out of the sea bed on the jetty board, and the photos will show my preferred method! I did seem to make a bit of a hole in the board, so the underneath will need more strengthening on this board. I'll probably add a whole layer of polystyrene underneath and glue it to give the board more strength. The little stream channel on the landward end will need to be a little bit deeper, having looked at these photos.

Later I want to hollow out the mill pond and quay on the Ashlett Creek board, and make a start on playing around with different levels on the other two boards. So the next update will probably be after 9pm tonight depending on how well (or badly!) I get on.

Oh, by the way, I also found some perfect detailed photographs of the jetty supports. So I now know exactly how they should look. I think I'm going to make some sort of mould and use modelling clay to make them to resemble concrete. Should be sturdy enough too. Failing that, they will be made out of wood with a clay shell.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Making a Mockery!

I've been busy the last two days making some cardboard mock ups of the buildings and track to try and get a feel for what might need changing. I'll warn you now, I only had bright coloured cardboard so it does look like something out of a primary school class (or maybe Blue Peter!). So in that style, here's one I made earlier...

Of course, I expect to be moving around these buildings for a few days until I get it looking "right". I'd be interested to hear your thoughts and opinions on what you would change.


Friday, 6 February 2015

Wibble wobble, jetty on my plate...

This drawing took me 2 days, and it still isn't correct (especially after I gave up trying to draw the ropeway section on the far left). Also perspective and drawing things large are not my strong points!
Still, I hope this goes someway to showing you all how the ropeway station will hopefully look when I've made it. It's going to require a LOT of Plastruct. Probably going to cost me a lot of money to build, too.

I could carry on with my drawing, but I'm not going to - I've wasted enough time as it is, and run out of space on my paper as usual!

Hopefully the drawing helped to explain how the ropeway may have worked. As mentioned, information on this (let alone photos!) is scarce so I am doing my best with what little I have to come up with an accurate account of what I think it looked like. Whether it looked like this or not, I can't be 100% sure unless a few reference photos appear out of thin air! Here is a run down of how I imagine it to function:

The ropeway receptacles come in from the left on the far rope. These than are guided onto a rail where they roll under their own momentum to the first crane. Depending on what side the ship is on, it will either have its lever pulled down to empty its contents onto the first crane's sling conveyor, or it will be manually pulled around (unless there is enough momentum) to the second crane. If it hasn't deposited its load already, it will do so here. The cranes' conveyor will lift the barrels of asphalt up across the jib and lower it into the waiting ship. Barrels will then be dropped automatically when the conveyor reaches the bottom, and the barrels then are stacked by hand presumably.

Now the question is - do I want to try and make it work on the model, or just have it as a static model. If the former, things are going to get even trickier!

And one final photo showing a fully loaded Asphalt/Bitumen train!

Copyright Esso Petroleum Co.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Why Modelling Demolished Prototypes Is Near Impossible!

Just a quick post tonight.
I have spent all day working on this diagram of the ropeway station on the jetty. Yet I'm still not happy with it! The full width section of it both on the left and right are not right at all. Too bulky, and not enough bracing.

So tomorrows job is to draw it on paper, until I eventually get it looking a little more like the prototype!

More to come tomorrow. Once I get a design I'm happy with, I'll explain exactly how I imagine such a structure would function!

Copyright: (Esso Petroleum Co. Ltd)

Copyright: (Esso Petroleum Co. Ltd)

Copyright: (Esso Petroleum Co. Ltd)

Sunday, 1 February 2015

A Bridge Too Far? | The Jetty | Part 1

After having visited the model shop on Saturday I came back with a small fortune's worth of Plastruct, I decided to start work on the aerial ropeway. But no matter how much you spend on Plastruct, you never seem to have enough!

Anyway so I set about constructing the second aerial ropeway pylon. The first one will be reused from the diorama I built 3 years ago. It could do with a bit more bracing, but it'll do for now! In reality the pylons would be spaced a lot further apart (probably in the region of between 80-100cm in 1:76 scale), but modellers license is the way I do things.

Thanks to the "Britain from Above" website, I have managed to see a little bit more detail on the ropeway, however, the dock unloading/loading station is still hard to determine exactly what it looked like. I will say, the whole layout will not be accurate, and I have taken a few liberties with the design of it. For example, the pylons have a simplified design compared to the real things, but I have taken care to show the general look of them.

Anyway so here is where I have got up to so far:

Still more left to do, but the general shape is there. A bit more cross bracing, some pulleys, and a lick of paint and it should look fine.

Tomorrow I plan to start construction of the jetty ropeway station, so that should be an interesting challenge to build! I'll document my construction throughout.

My first diagram for the aerial ropeway station... more in the next blog post!

*UPDATE - Track plan amended thanks to a suggestion by James Hilton*