Tuesday, 31 December 2013

N Gauge Model Railway Layout Restoration Part 17 Creating Areas of Wear in Goods Yards

Muddy areas created around the model railway goods yard
 
Before applying scenic scatter to areas of the N gauge model railway layout I created muddy ruts around some of the yard edges.  A good reason for creating these simple features over areas of the model railway landscape is that the churned up muddy areas help to convey a sense of daily working activity.
 
 
Muddy ruts and puddles along the edge of the model railway goods yard
 
If a lorry is left out of the way of working activity it is likely to be parked at the very edge of the goods yard.  Typically this means that the wheels on one side of the vehicle are often on the grass at the edge of the tarmac or man-made surface.

If one vehicle needs to pass another in an area of limited space, there is not always time for one to wait for the other to back up.  Again this makes it necessary for one or both vehicles to be driven over grassy areas as one vehicle carefully squeezes past the other.

If there is a limited amount of space in the goods yard once freight has been unloaded, a driver of a lorry or commercial vehicle may err on the side of caution and drive over a verge rather than risk damaging items unloaded from railway goods wagons.

By creating the muddy areas in logical places over the model landscape it is possible to give the impression that such activities take place on a regular basis.  Even if no vehicles are placed on the model railway layout, by creating the effects of vehicles moving around the power of suggestion is often enough to convince the onlooker that this is a location where working activities take place.
 
 
Close up of muddy ruts and puddles on the model railway scenery
 
Puddles and hollows in the surface of the goods yard caused by vehicle movements coupled with the effects of winter frosts were created earlier and detailed in previous blog posts.

This is one of my N gauge scenic model railway layouts. To see more model railway layout baseboards I have designed and built visit my website www.brianford.co.uk.

Monday, 30 December 2013

Cramford Trains 25

N gauge class 35 Hymek D7001 collecting a wagon from Cramford goods yard
 
Class 35 Hymek D7001 stops at Cramford to collect a fish van from the goods yard.

Cramford is one of my N gauge scenic model railway layouts.  To see more model railway layout baseboards I have designed and built visit my website www.brianford.co.uk.

The N gauge class 35 model locomotive photographed is product number ND084R from the range by Dapol Ltd.

Sunday, 29 December 2013

N Gauge Model Railway Layout Restoration Part 16 Peco NB-39 Plate Girder Bridge Sides Added

Peco NB-39 plate girder bridge sides fixed in place on the micro layout
 
The painted and weathered Peco NB-39 plate girder bridge sides were attached to the sides of the strip of chipboard above the scratch built bridge abutments.

Weathering processes detailed in my blog posts dated 17 December 2013 and 27 December 2013 both contribute to creating a model railway bridge which appears to have been exposed to the elements for many years.
 
 
Close up showing gaps in the ballast which needed to be filled in
 
Additional ballast would need to be added between the existing ballast and the inner edges of the plate girder bridge sides.
 
 
N gauge model bridge and rear scenery where a pillbox could be fixed
 
At this point I started to imagine an old wartime pillbox placed in the corner opposite the bridge, possibly surrounded by a copse of scratch built N gauge model trees.  Small scenic features such as this can be used to create a sense of the history of a location and add background interest in photographs of N gauge locomotives and rolling stock.
 
 
View over the micro layout showing model scenery yet to be developed
 
The bare patch of model railway baseboard next to the main goods yard was also studied to imagine different structures placed upon it.  I felt that it was important to stick to the rural theme and also try to keep a fairly open appearance to the area.

This is one of my N gauge scenic model railway layouts. To see more model railway layout baseboards I have designed and built visit my website www.brianford.co.uk.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Cramford Trains 24

Class 14 D9555 shunting mineral wagons in Cramford quarry sidings
 
Class 14 D9555 reflected in the puddles whilst shunting steel mineral wagons in Cramford quarry sidings.

Cramford is one of my N gauge scenic model railway layouts.  To see more model railway layout baseboards I have designed and built visit my website www.brianford.co.uk.

The N gauge class 14 model locomotive photographed is product number 372-950 from the Graham Farish range by Bachmann.

Friday, 27 December 2013

N Gauge Model Railway Layout Restoration Part 15 Painting and Weathering Peco NB-39 Plate Girder Bridge Sides

Peco painted and weathered NB-39 plate girder bridge sides
 
The Peco NB-39 plate girder bridge sides were painted before they were fixed in place.  Painting the bridge sides after fixing them in place can be very difficult as the model scenery below does not allow a brush to be used at the correct angle to paint the underside of surfaces.
 
 
Peco NB-39 plate girder bridge sides with three coats of grey paint applied
 
The Peco NB-39 plate girder bridge sides were painted with three thin coats of dark grey acrylic paint.  Watered down brown paint was applied as a wash over the bridge sides, then dabbed onto each individual rivet using a very thin paint brush to create a surrounding patch of ‘rust’.
 
 
Close up of rivet detail on Peco NB-39 plate girder bridge sides
 
Steel structures exposed to the elements eventually start to suffer surface damage as rust begins to form under the paint.  This detailing method has been used to make the N gauge bridge appear old and weathered.

This is one of my N gauge scenic model railway layouts. To see more model railway layout baseboards I have designed and built visit my website www.brianford.co.uk.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Cramford Trains 23

N gauge class 08 shunter 08 748 with a short train of mineral wagons
 
Class 08 shunter 08 748 passes Cramford station as it makes its way along the branch line with a short train of mineral wagons collected from the quarry sidings.

Cramford is one of my N gauge scenic model railway layouts.  To see more model railway layout baseboards I have designed and built visit my website www.brianford.co.uk.

The N gauge class 08 model locomotive photographed is product number 371-015 from the Graham Farish range by Bachmann.

Monday, 23 December 2013

N Gauge Model Railway Layout Restoration Part 14 Main Goods Yard Revision

Model railway layout main goods yard expanded and reshaped
 
The rectangular large yard area was reshaped to create a more natural appearance.  Weeds and grasses are quick to break down the edges of tarmac surfaces and soon create an irregular outline around man made features such as this.
 
 
Aerial view of revised yard areas around the model railway sidings
 
The main yard area on this model railway layout is now much longer and larger and can easily accommodate a few suitable structures such as a provender store, coal stage, yard office etc.
 
 
N gauge provender store placed in the main goods yard area
 
I expanded the large yard area so that a lorry or commercial vehicle would have plenty of room to pass behind structures placed on this part of the model railway.  The Scenecraft 42-004 Provender Store has been used to illustrate this point.
 
 
N gauge micro layout alterations viewed from the sidings
 
At this time I was pleased with the overall appearance of the model railway layout and felt that when finished, it could be a fairly close match to the model I imagined when I started this restoration project.  The new road flows nicely within the new model scenery and the expanded open areas of tarmac around the sidings seem to make the model appear larger.

This is one of my N gauge scenic model railway layouts. To see more model railway layout baseboards I have designed and built visit my website www.brianford.co.uk.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Cramford Trains 22

N gauge class 04 shunter D2258 under Cramford quarry loading chute
 
Class 04 shunter D2258 trundles away after leaving a loaded mineral wagon at the buffers in Cramford quarry sidings.

Cramford is one of my N gauge scenic model railway layouts.  To see more model railway layout baseboards I have designed and built visit my website www.brianford.co.uk.

The N gauge model locomotive photographed is product number 371-051 from the Graham Farish range by Bachmann.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

N Gauge Model Railway Layout Restoration Part 13 Small Yard Revision

Revised model railway layout scenery with new freight handling areas
 
Whilst altering the scenery on the model railway layout, two smaller yard areas were created.

The yard area closest to the branch line was visible opposite the station platform in my blog post dated 21 November 2013.  As could be seen when the scenery was removed in blog post dated 25 November 2013, I had cut away some of the grassy scenic scatter to extend this freight handling area little further.

In my blog post dated 13 November 2013 I described how I like to create freight handling areas on both sides of a siding where possible so that model vehicles, figures and accessories are not placed together in a crowded or contrived arrangement.  I created an additional area of flat ground between the two sidings to allow me to spread such detailing accessories over a wider area.  This was a much better use of a small but important piece of ground.
 
 
Imitation puddles incorporated into the new goods yard areas
 
I have incorporated model puddles in the new goods yard landscape to capture the reflection of N gauge locomotives and rolling stock.  Creation of these highly reflective features is detailed in my blog post dated 26 March 2012.

This is one of my N gauge scenic model railway layouts. To see more model railway layout baseboards I have designed and built visit my website www.brianford.co.uk.

Friday, 20 December 2013

Cramford Trains 21

N gauge class 04 shunter D2264 viewed through the trees whilst shunting
 
Class 04 shunter D2264 is temporarily framed by trees as it moves wagons around in Cramford goods yard.

Cramford is one of my N gauge scenic model railway layouts.  To see more model railway layout baseboards I have designed and built visit my website www.brianford.co.uk.

The N gauge model locomotive photographed is product number 371-050A from the Graham Farish range by Bachmann.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

N Gauge Model Railway Layout Restoration Part 12 Dual Purpose Yard Area Added

Textured and painted yard area
 
Possibly the most significant change to this N gauge model railway layout was to replace the stone station platform with a dual purpose yard area.

When this micro layout is used as a shunting puzzle, the yard area can accommodate a coal merchant’s office and coal staithes.
 
 
Wooden station platform placed in the dual purpose yard area
 
If the model railway layout was used with a removable fiddle yard to enable continuous run as described in my blog post dated 03 June 2012 the small wooden platform can be used.  Short rural passenger trains would look very nice trundling along this scenic country branch line model railway.

This is one of my N gauge scenic model railway layouts. To see more model railway layout baseboards I have designed and built visit my website www.brianford.co.uk.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Cramford Trains 20

N gauge class 35 Hymek D7001 hauling a train of tube wagons
 
Class 35 Hymek D7001 passes through Cramford with a train of tube wagons.

Cramford is one of my N gauge scenic model railway layouts.  To see more model railway layout baseboards I have designed and built visit my website www.brianford.co.uk.

The N gauge class 35 model locomotive photographed is product number ND084R from the range by Dapol Ltd.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

N Gauge Model Railway Layout Restoration Part 11 Bridge Abutments and Surrounding Scenery

 N gauge painted and weathered bridge abutments added
 
Scratch built stone effect bridge abutments were added to the model railway layout baseboard.

I created the bridge abutments using stonework cut from Peco NB-32 double track tunnel mouths, parts of the wing walls and matching stone sheet from the Peco NB-40 grey stone walling pack.

The bridge abutments were painted before they were fixed in place.  I find it much easier to paint such components before they are installed, though once in position on the model railway layout, care must be taken not to damage them whilst other work is undertaken.

The scratch built bridge abutments were painted with grey acrylic paint then washes of black, green and brown paint applied to create a weathered appearance.  The painting process I used was very similar to the one described in my blog post dated 13 March 2012 for painting a Peco ST-8 sleeper built buffer stop.  The only real difference was that the brush was used to apply the paint to each stone block individually rather than brush strokes which flow straight along when painting wooden planks.
 
 
Model railway scenery around the bridge abutments sculpted and painted
 
I filled the gaps in the model landscape surrounding the bridge abutments using bits of balsa, cardboard or anything else which was easy to cut through once glue had dried.  Decorator’s filler was used to smooth over any very rough areas in the model railway scenery.

The filler was allowed to dry before I painted the model railway scenery with matt finish green emulsion.  The road was then textured and painted a matt grey colour.

This is one of my N gauge scenic model railway layouts. To see more model railway layout baseboards I have designed and built visit my website www.brianford.co.uk.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Cramford Trains 19

N gauge class 42 D815 Druid with a mixed freight train
 
Class 42 D815 Druid passes through Cramford with a mixed freight train.

Cramford is one of my N gauge scenic model railway layouts.  To see more model railway layout baseboards I have designed and built visit my website www.brianford.co.uk.

The N gauge class 42 model locomotive photographed is product number 371-603 from the Graham Farish range by Bachmann.

Monday, 9 December 2013

N Gauge Model Railway Layout Restoration Part 10 Rolling Stock Test Photographs

View over the sloping model scenery of N gauge class 35 Hymek D7042
 
Test photographs were taken to ensure that the alterations to the model railway scenery were going to plan.  If the photographs showed that the revised landscape did not offer the benefits I wanted I might have been able to make a few changes at this stage.

Photographs taken from a viewpoint below the level of the track often seem to be more dramatic, capturing a sense of power which real locomotives possess.

The scenery on the platform side of the model railway layout baseboard was sloped down to the join where the chipboard met the pine framework.  It is hard to believe that creating a drop of a mere 15mm, the thickness of the chipboard, would be such a very important part of recreating the model scenery.
 
 
View along revised landscape and N gauge class 35 Hymek D7042
 
The gentle incline which was sculpted along the model landscape proved to be extremely effective in allowing me to position the camera below track level in order to create photographs whilst looking up at the N gauge class 35 locomotive.  I felt that it should be possible to capture the whole length of short trains in photographs taken from certain viewpoints.
 
 
N gauge class 35 Hymek D7042 travelling over the new bridge
 
The scenery which was cut away around the bridge enabled me to capture the whole structure and the class 35 locomotive placed upon it.
 
 
N gauge class 35 Hymek D7042 on the bridge viewed below track level
 
N gauge locomotives and rolling stock should look good in photographs taken as they pass over the small bridge.
 
 
Close up of the cab of N gauge class 35 Hymek D7042
 
I managed to sit the camera within the aperture in the landscape.  This allowed me to take a close up photograph of the locomotive on the bridge.  The addition of sloping scenery to surround the bridge abutments could mean that this type of photograph will not be possible to take later on.  The addition of railings to the Peco NB-39 plate girder bridge sides could also get in the way of such photographs.

The N gauge class 35 model locomotive photographed is product number ND084M from the range by Dapol Ltd.

This is one of my N gauge scenic model railway layouts. To see more model railway layout baseboards I have designed and built visit my website www.brianford.co.uk.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Cramford Trains 18

N gauge class 35 Hymek D7042 shunting in Cramford quarry sidings
 
Class 35 Hymek D7042 is reflected in the puddles whilst busy shunting in Cramford quarry sidings.

Cramford is one of my N gauge scenic model railway layouts.  To see more model railway layout baseboards I have designed and built visit my website www.brianford.co.uk.

The N gauge class 35 model locomotive photographed is product number ND084M from the range by Dapol Ltd.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

N gauge Model Railway Layout Restoration Part 9 Revised Scenic Contours

Aerial view of the N gauge model railway layout landscape alterations
 
The scenery contours were re-shaped all along the platform side of the model railway layout baseboard.  Altering the model scenery made the shape of the dual purpose yard area described in my blog post dated 03 December 2013 more apparent.
 
 
View along the new sloping model railway layout scenery
 
The re-shaped scenery allowing the camera to be placed below track level should enable me to take the type of photographs which have not been possible using my other railway layout designs.
 
 
Aerial view of the landscape alterations for the N gauge model bridge
 
With scenery contours re-modelled along the outer edge of the railway layout, I turned my attention to creating the road which I wanted to go under the track in order to connect it to the main goods yard.  I cut into the layout baseboard with a saw to allow the road to drop 3-4mm at the baseboard edge.  Roads generally look more realistic if they are sunk into the model railway scenery rather than rising above it.
 
 
Aerial view of scenery alterations for the N gauge model bridge
 
With the outer edge of the railway layout baseboard re-shaped, I carefully cut into the edge of the inner aperture using the same working methods described in my blog post dated 05 December 2013.
 
 
Inner apperture shaped to create new model railway landscape contours
 
The re-shaped landscape needed to allow N gauge bridge abutments to be positioned under the Peco NB-39 plate girder bridge sides.  I created sloped the edges to the chipboard in accordance with a picture in my mind’s eye and also started to create the incline to take the road from the main goods yard under the bridge.

The N gauge class 35 model locomotive photographed is product number ND084M from the range by Dapol Ltd.

This is one of my N gauge scenic model railway layouts. To see more model railway layout baseboards I have designed and built visit my website www.brianford.co.uk.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Cramford Trains 17

N gauge class 03 shunter D2011 shunting in Cramford goods yard
 
Class 03 shunter D2011 shunting wagons in Cramford goods yard.  In the background a class 04 shunter pushes a mineral wagon into position under the quarry loading chute.

Cramford is one of my N gauge scenic model railway layouts.  To see more model railway layout baseboards I have designed and built visit my website www.brianford.co.uk.

The N gauge class 03 model locomotive photographed is product number 371-060 from the Graham Farish range by Bachmann.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

N Gauge Model Railway Layout Restoration Part 8 Shaping the Baseboard Edge

 Saw cuts made along the edge of the model railway layout baseboard
 
Where wood must be cut to alter model railway scenery, considerable care must be taken due to the robust nature of the material.
 
 
Shaping the edge of the model railway layout baseboard
 
I used a saw to create lots of cuts in the edge of the model railway layout baseboard where I wanted to re-shape the landscape, temporarily removing screws which were in the way.  The saw cuts were made close together which weakened the timber so that much less pressure needed to be applied to drive a chisel through it.  This enabled greater control of the woodworking tools and made the task very much easier.  I avoided hitting a chisel with a mallet to drive it through the wood as the vibrations from the impact can sometimes loosen track or features which are to be retained.  It is worth noting that such activity can also cause cracks to appear in areas such as rocks which have been cast using plaster.

Once the waste wood was removed I used a rasp and coarse grade abrasive papers to smooth the contours into their final shape.
 
 
Sloped railway layout scenery along the edge of the baseboard
 
I used this process to alter all of the model scenery on the platform side of the railway layout.  This created areas of model landscape designed to allow me to look up at N gauge locomotives and rolling stock when the camera is positioned below track level.

This is one of my N gauge scenic model railway layouts. To see more model railway layout baseboards I have designed and built visit my website www.brianford.co.uk.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Cramford Trains 16

N gauge class 08 shunter 08 748 and class 04 D2258 passing through Cramford
 
Class 08 shunter 08 748 hauls class 04 shunter D2258 and a brake van through Cramford.

Cramford is one of my N gauge scenic model railway layouts.  To see more model railway layout baseboards I have designed and built visit my website www.brianford.co.uk.

The N gauge class 08 and class 04 model locomotives photographed are product number 371-015 and 371-051 from the Graham Farish range by Bachmann.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

N Gauge Model Railway Layout Restoration Part 7 New Station Platform

N gauge wooden platform halt
 
It was a bit of good luck that a while back I had bought this Scenecraft 42-005 Market Hampton Halt, a ready painted item with lots of very fine wood grain moulded into it.
 
 
Position of the N gauge platform halt marked on the micro layout
 
When I placed the model onto the railway layout baseboard it was as though I had bought it for that particular purpose.  This was not the case as I bought it simply because it was such a useful item.  It was down to pure good fortune that it happened to fit so well in the space I had for the new passenger facilities.
 
 
N gauge platform halt viewed from the rear
 
I marked out where the N gauge station halt was to be positioned.  I deliberately placed the wooden station platform towards the middle of the length of track.  I reasoned that this could allow me to create photographs of passenger trains without the platform obstructing my view of the N gauge locomotives.  If I had positioned the wooden halt towards the end of the straight length of track I would only be able to take such photographs from one side.  The area occupied by the station halt could also be used for a coal merchant by swapping accessories over to use the micro layout as a shunting puzzle.
 
 
Aerial view showing where the model landscape was to be sloped
 
The area marked out with a biro also marked where model railway layout scenery was to be sloped towards the outer edge of the baseboard.

This is one of my N gauge scenic model railway layouts. To see more model railway layout baseboards I have designed and built visit my website www.brianford.co.uk.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Cramford Trains 15

N gauge class 35 Hymek D7001 shinting steel mineral wagons in Cramford quarry sidings
 
Class 35 Hymek D7001 reflected in the puddles whilst shunting steel mineral wagons in Cramford quarry sidings.

Cramford is one of my N gauge scenic model railway layouts.  To see more model railway layout baseboards I have designed and built visit my website www.brianford.co.uk.

The N gauge class 35 model locomotive photographed is product number ND084R from the range by Dapol Ltd.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

N Gauge Model Railway Layout Restoration Part 6 Fitting Bridge Sides

N gauge bridge sides showing that the chipboard track bed was too thick
 
When I temporarily attached the Peco NB-39 plate girder bridge sides to the strip of chipboard I had created I noticed that the model railway baseboard was 15mm thick chipboard, not 12mm timber as I had incorrectly assumed.  This meant that the bottom of the chipboard was well below the bottom of the bridge components.
 
 
Bridge sides positioned at a level which would hold back ballast when gaps were filled
 
I wanted to use the top of the bridge sides to hold back the ballast along the inner edges and therefore wished to fix them 1-2mm above the surface of the model railway layout baseboard.  This meant that even more chipboard needed to be removed to allow the bridge sides to sit on the bridge abutments which were to be attached later.
 
 
Chipboard track bed marked where waste wood was to be removed
 
I marked the amount to be removed and wondered what the best method would be to remove it.
 
 
Model railway layout baseboard before waste wood was removed
 
I turned the layout baseboard over on a flat surface and thought over matters for a while.  With no continuous grain flow like solid wood, the thin strip of chipboard was a very weak area.
 
 
Model railway layout baseboard after waste wood was removed
 
I determined that it would be very easy to damage this area and so decided to take an extremely long time to very carefully remove the excess wood!  First, I pared the veneer away to expose the chipboard and then very gradually pared down the flakes of wood about a third of a millimetre at a time.  I used no more than moderate hand pressure when using the woodworking tools.  Tapping them with a mallet in order to drive them through the wood would most likely have had disastrous results.
 
 
Revised track bed viewed from above
 
After what seemed like an eternity but which was only slightly over an hour I had pared down the thickness of the wood enough to enable the bridge sides to fit properly.
 
 
N gauge bridge sides attached temporarily to the thinner track bed
 
It is worth noting that at this stage that I painted PVA over the bottom and sides of the strip of chipboard to strengthen it.  Also note that if this is done, it is important not to use watered down PVA as it could easily swell the very porous chipboard and distort it which would be a disaster.  I applied undiluted PVA with only enough on the brush to spread thinly over a small area at a time.  I then temporarily re-attached the bridge sides to the new arrangement using the type of putty often used to stick posters onto walls.

This is one of my N gauge scenic model railway layouts. To see more model railway layout baseboards I have designed and built visit my website www.brianford.co.uk.