Sunday, 29 March 2015

The Power House - Part 2

I made a start on the overhead travelling crane for the power house last night. I obviously need to add a lot more to it, but it's a start!

I also spent a couple hours building the framework for the extension to the power house. I started to run out of plasticard unfortunately and the shop is shut Monday and also I'm away on Tues and Weds - so I don't think much progress will be done until Thursday.

 Anyway, here is the extension building shell completed and roughly in place on the layout. You might also see I've been playing around with building placement at the rear of the layout near the backscene.

It dawned on me that April is practically upon us, which means I have about 4 weeks to get the layout into a presentable state! The major hurdle at the moment is track laying and wiring and I haven't made any progress on this whatsoever. The trackbed isn't even finished yet either!

Saturday, 28 March 2015

The Power House - Part 1

Yet another day, and yet another building frame. Well, part of it anyway.
With its plentiful big windows, I realised I was going to have to pay special attention to the interior of the power house. I have no idea what it was like on the inside but I am going to base it on a turbine hall. All I know is that it was probably powered by coal since coke was often transported around the site to/from the power houses (there were two).

A search online fails to bring up any relevant or helpful photos, so I had very little to base it on. I decided to go for something like this:

Anyway, I decided the best approach was to build the shell from girders, but I did not want to spend a lot of money on Plastruct pieces. I decided therefore to make my own! A little tedious, but worth it in my opinion.

The steel beams were stepped to allow a traverser crane to be sited without having to add extra supports. The photo above shows the profile of them. Then we add the flange plates:

And we end up with something like this:

The only ready made Plastruct sections I used were for the crane beams and the crane itself (yet to be built). However, I did add a notched piece of plasticard under the beams to allow them to recess into the vertical steel frame.

Now put it together (if only is was that quick in real life), and we end up with this:

And thus finally this:

Now I need to work out how to make the ends and also the roof trusses.
I have to say I'm glad I decided to make the whole thing completely from scratch. It is so much more rewarding, and I have to say the end result already looks good.

Friday, 27 March 2015

The Ropeway House - Part 1

Another day, another building shell!
Yes, that's right, I decided to do all the corrugated iron clad buildings the same. This means all of them will have prototypical (ish) construction methods. I'm not aiming for 100% realism and I will be taking some shortcuts, but I do want this project to be as detailed as I can manage within the time restraints.

That said, this shell has taken half the amount of time of the other two at about 4 hours in total. You will notice there are no diagonal cross struts. I've decided if they are needed they can be added on later to give more relief.

So let's move on to the photos.

I've also been working on the mechanism for the aerial ropeway. As you can see it is made entirely out of Lego. I haven't been able to test it, but I have assumed that I needed some sort of gear train to slow the speed down. Thus I have added a worm gear onto the motor shaft, then connected that to the big gear you can see, then connected that to a 90 degree section (can't remember the technical terms!). You can see the two pulleys which will be where the rope attaches to. If this does work, I will need to dig out the polystyrene base a bit to sit the pulleys at the correct height and also add a false floor to hide the majority of the Lego. I'm still yet to work out exactly how this is all going to work. Bear in mind that there will be a conveyor coming into this building from underneath the standard gauge track to put barrels onto the ropeway! Maybe not in time for the exhibition, but eventually it will be there...

Thursday, 26 March 2015

The Dual Gauge Loco Shed - Part 1

A little update for today.  I decided to work on another of the structures today - the dual gauge loco shed. After having said I wouldn't be doing much (if any) internal detail on the rest of the buildings, this happened:

That's another 6 hours work then!
I'm not going to say that I won't do it again (it is extremely laborious to mark and cut out), but it does take a lot of time doing it this way. It also leaves me with a lot of scrap plastic (although I plan to use most of it for reinforcing corners etc. I just need to check I have the height correct, and then I can glue this basic shell together. I'll also need to make the 3 centre roof trusses as well.

By the way, this framework may not be entirely accurate nor prototypical, but there are some things you just shouldn't worry about in life - that is one of them!


The beginnings of the aerial ropeway house are appearing!

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Leaves on the line!

You're probably wondering "What's with the title?".
Well as you probably realised, there has been no update for a few days now. The truth of it is I've faced some major setbacks, had a bad day on Monday, and lost enthusiasm for a couple days. So the schedule has been somewhat delayed (hence the title). But we are now "back on track" (sorry, couldn't resist!).

So let's move swiftly on to the update. Today I spent 5 hours or so on the jetty board. After much delay, I finally got around to gouging out the mudflat creeks and adding the clay onto this board.

Above: The basic creek details have been cut out of the polystyrene. I also got around to adding some more polystyrene under this board to strength it and hide the holes!

Above: The final state of the polystyrene after it had been fully carved out. I have tried to follow real life as closely as possible with the layout of the creeks, but I'm no expert!

Above: And now here it is covered in clay, you can probably make the creeks out more clearly now!
Below: And finally an overview of this board as it currently stands. You can see the two main creek channels hopefully. One leading to the salt water effluent stream (that dip in the polystyrene at the back), and on the left hand side, the creek leading to some sort of outflow pipe (that indentation on the embankment).

Above: And finally a close up of the mudflats.

Tomorrow I hope to make a start on adding the salt marsh. This will be another layer of clay on top of the mud flats. I'm not sure how I'm going to model the vegetation, but it will either be texturing the top of the clay, or I will learn how to use static grass etc!

More to come tomorrow.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Can you tell what it is yet?

A quick post, but it will be updated later on today once I am finished.
Any ideas what this will become?

In other news, the track has arrived, and along with it a ton of corrugated sheeting. So there should be some tangible progress in the coming week!

Friday, 20 March 2015

I Found the Forward Gear!

Just a mini update tonight. I have finally managed to cut out and nail the new top of the jetty board on. In my style, it took about 4 hours to do, and it isn't even neat at all!

Still it is progress unlike yesterday. Tomorrow (or tonight) I will begin to add the clay and carve out the salt marsh channels. I must remember to add a bit of polystyrene underneath part of it from where I originally made a hole whilst cutting the sea bed out (when the board was first made). If I had stopped and thought about it before cutting the new ply top out, I could've removed the broken bit of polystyrene and cut the ply to fit the hole - oh well!

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Going Backwards?

I decided the first step on the jetty board was to work out (using aerial photos) where the salt marsh might have been. Like I said yesterday, compromise is the name of the game in railway modelling. In this instance, in order to have a larger salt marsh, I'm probably going to have to only have one loading crane on the jetty. This is because there is no real space for a ship this side of the jetty. Even if there is, I imagine the salt marsh would be soon destroyed by the movement of ships. Also, there is no space to move sideways, so it would require a very good captain to dock here!

Of course, a simple solution would be to have a much smaller salt marsh, but even then I think it might be a bit too close. I'm not really sure what to do, as I would ideally like to keep the 2 cranes on the jetty...

I decided to then cut out the rest of the board to lower it so there is enough depth for the jetty supports. Unfortunately as expected, there was not enough depth on the polystyrene, so this happened:

I then took the executive decision to do away with the polystyrene altogether:

Seems like I've made the complete opposite of progress today!
Still, I do have a plan to cover up the new gaping hole:

Some 4mm ply I found in the shed - nice and thin so I don't lose too much depth.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

The jetty gets its legs (well, half of them!)

Didn't get a great deal done today, but I did manage to get the supports for half of the jetty made from the clay. I also decided to work out whereabouts the track would go, and after a bit of shuffling we have this:

The trackwork has changed here a little in that both points are now Y-points (instead of one being a left-handed point). This means I can get slightly more track in - not much, but every little helps!

The big space where the drawing is will be almost entirely the tidal salt marsh. I've been researching about this a little bit, and I want to make it be as realistic as possible. I will be using a combination of aerial footage and ground level photos to make it as close as possible to the real thing.

In an ideal world, I'd model a lot more of the jetty, particularly more of the straight section of the jetty. But the codeword in railway modelling is compromise, unfortunately! (Unless you have a lot of money and a lot of space!). Anyway, the loop as you can see is designed to hold a maximum of 4x 4-wheeled wagons. This is the most common length of trains on the prototype, so this is what I've gone with on the layout.

These two final photos show the 8 smaller supports. I've no idea what I will be doing for the wider section of the jetty. Whether it will be a wider version of the current supports I've made, or something simpler I've no idea. I can't get a decent photograph of the prototype to compare with either, unfortunately.

I couldn't resist trialling them under the old jetty I made. In reality, the supports also form part of the jetty deck i.e. the narrow gauge track should really sit flush with the large middle section of the supports. I'm not quite sure how I'm going to build the deck, but I may have to change it from the prototype slightly. I have some "steel" beams that would be ideal for the sides (even if unprototypical!)

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Test run of the jetty pier supports

I have been working on the design for the jetty supports, based off of the one available image I have found. There are numerous ways I could have built them, but I decided to try this method first. The method was to make a kind of stamp to in-print into the clay. As you can see, the former is pretty crude to say the least! Note I've also drilled holes to help release the clay (although this really wasn't necessary as I found out.

I don't think need I really need to explain every photo as they can explain themselves. But I will add that the end initial result (i.e. before drying) isn't too bad considering! I will be sanding it after it has dried to try and remove some of the roughness - hopefully it will work, but we'll see how strong it is and whether it can support rough handling.

Fingers crossed it all works out OK...

Monday, 16 March 2015

Building the A.B.H plant - Part 1

Today I wanted to make a start on one of the buildings for the layout. There is not much more I can do with regards to trackbed, laying track and installing point motors etc. Until the rest of the track arrives which be some time this week. Therefore I decided to make a start on structures.

I had a fair amount of Will's sheets that were intended for use on The Old Road, but of course that project has been scrapped for now. So I made a start on the  main A.B.H building (I believe A.B.H stands for Asphalt Baghouse (but I may be wrong!)).

Again, working with these thick sheets is a pain in the proverbial, so progress was slow. Very slow. It took about 6 hours to get the basic shell of the building complete.

Above: The parts are cut out and are seen here awaiting an attack from the sandpaper seen at the top of the photo!

Above and below: My method for cutting out windows/doors in Wills sheets is to use a circular attachment on the Dremel to rough-cut them initially. The rest is cut and tidied up with a craft knife. I absolutely hate doing window apertures, and hate glazing them even more!

Above: The finished shell of the building is seen here. The smaller extension part hasn't been glued on yet. I have tried to mitre all my joints, but I've never been very good at getting them square. This is the best I can do in the photo above!

Of course the building needs windows (EUGH!) and painting/weathering after the roof is done. Speaking of which, I will use thinner corrugated stuff (I forget who manufacturers it) for all roofs (and hopefully the rest of the building shells!). This should be arriving with my flexitrack order at the shop, although I'll probably need to buy more after that - I'm gonna need a lot of it for this layout!

And finally, a little more progress on The Jolly Sailor! Roof has not been glued, and is only held into place with blu-tac to give a general impression. Again, I will need more sheets to finish off the roof, side, and rear extensions.

So another productive day today!
Tomorrow may not be so productive, but I do want to make a start on the jetty board as it has been somewhat neglected for a few weeks.

Bonus photo: