Friday, 31 January 2014

Cramford Trains 37

N gauge class 08 shunter 08 748 with a short departmental train
 
Class 08 shunter 08 748 in Cramford goods yard is about to depart with a short departmental 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 08 model locomotive photographed is product number 371-015 from the Graham Farish range by Bachmann.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Littleford Trains 42

N gauge class 35 Hymek D7001 with a mixed freight and parcels train
 
Class 35 Hymek D7001 departs from Littleford station with a mixed freight and parcels train.

Littleford 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.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Cramford Trains 36

N gauge class 03 shunter D2011 passing Cramford station light engine
 
Class 03 shunter D2011 passes Cramford station light engine.

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.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Cramford Tains 35

N gauge class 04 shunter D2258 with a train of MGR wagons
 
Class 04 shunter D2258 hauls a train of MGR wagons 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 04 model locomotive photographed is product number 371-051 from the Graham Farish range by Bachmann.

Friday, 24 January 2014

N Gauge Model Railway Layout Restoration Part 26 Bridge Handrails Added

Painted and weathered handrails added to the N gauge model bridge
 
The handrails were fixed to the Peco NB-39 plate girder bridge sides.  The photograph shows that the handrails were secured in a straight and upright manner.
 
 
Plastic components used to create the N gauge bridge handrails
 
The handrails for the N gauge model railway bridge were very easy to build.  The handrails themselves were bought as two strips of ready formed plastic mouldings with additional strips of T section plastic used to help fix them to the bridge sides.
 
 
View of the outer face of the N gauge bridge handrail assembly
 
 
View of the inner face of the N gauge bridge handrail assembly
 
It can be hard to secure very thin components and ensure that they are fixed correctly.  By fixing the N gauge handrails to a length of T section plastic strip, it was much easier to make sure that they would be straight and upright when the assemblies were secured to the bridge sides.  The flat surface on the underside of the T section plastic strip also provided a greater surface area to accept adhesive, much easier to work with than the thin edge of the handrails.
 
 
Handrails painted and weathered to match the N gauge plate girder bridge sides
 
I painted the handrails with a few coats of dark grey paint followed by washes of watered down brown paint until the components matched the painted and weathered Peco NB-39 plate girder bridge sides featured in my blog post dated 27 December 2013.

It is very easy to knock or press against parts of the model railway scenery and structures when taking photographs of locomotives and rolling stock.

With this in mind, when fixing the handrail assemblies to the bridge sides, I used tiny drops of adhesive to deliberately create a very weak bond.  If I were to accidentally knock the delicate handrails it would be very easy to damage them, but by securing the handrails with a weak bond where they fix to the Peco NB-39 plate girder bridge sides, there is a chance that the whole strip of handrails could snap off intact if knocked or snagged on clothing.  Simply reattaching the complete handrail assemblies would be much easier than the task of cutting the remains of shattered plastic off the top of the bridge sides and creating new handrails all over again.
 
 
Aerial view of the N gauge micro layout with the completed model bridge
 
It is often the case when designing and building model railway structures that modellers create the strongest bond possible when fixing components together.  I have learnt from experience that it is sometimes better to secure delicate features with regard for easy, straight forward repairs if it is likely that accidental damage could occur.

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, 22 January 2014

Cramford Trains 34

Side view of N gauge class 67 locomotive 67 001 light engine
 
Class 67 locomotive 67 001 passes through Cramford on route learning.

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 67 model locomotive photographed is product number ND-101M from the range by Dapol Ltd.

Monday, 20 January 2014

N Gauge Model Railway Layout Restoration Part 25 Ancient Monument Added

N gauge ancient monument made with seven miniature standing stones
 
At the beginning of this N gauge restoration project I chose to study the original model railway landscape for a while in order to imagine the different features which could be built into the new layout scenery.  The time spent planning alterations to the model railway detailed in my blog post dated 21 November 2013, helped to ensure that each area of new scenery was able to be constructed in a way which allowed small but important features to be added later.

Both the ancient monument and the scratch built wartime pillbox detailed in blog post dated 07 January 2014, were features which I felt would add interest whilst maintaining the simplicity often associated with a model railway layout built as a rundown rural backwater.

The N gauge ancient monument was built into the flat ground on top of the low hill created earlier, detailed in my blog post dated 09 January 2014.  Note that this is not a model of a henge.  A henge is usually a circle or oval of flat ground surrounded by a ditch which is surrounded by a bank of earth, the bank probably created using the earth taken from the ditch.  I did not have the space to create a model of a typical henge which is why I created a simple circle of standing stones on a low hill.  Many ancient monuments like this can be found all over Britain, indeed the world, their original function long forgotten.

The ancient monument was a very easy scenic feature to design and construct.
 
 
Wooden formers for the N gauge ancient monument standing stones
 
Short lengths of thin wooden strip were cut and shaped into irregular forms.  I allowed an extra 5mm at the bottom to sink each model stone into the railway layout baseboard.
 
 
Sand added to the model standing stones to create texture
 
I brushed PVA onto the wooden shapes and sprinkled sand onto the wet glue to create texture.
 
 
Miniature standing stones with a base coat of grey paint applied
 
A base coat of light grey acrylic paint was applied.
 
 
Washes of paint applied to give the model stones a weathered appearance
 
I then applied thin washes of watered down black, brown and green paint to create a weather worn appearance.  It was very important that this scenic feature should look old as many ancient monuments have stood exposed to the elements for centuries.

I used tiny blobs of modelling putty to temporarily stick the miniature standing stones in position in order to study the best arrangement.

Shallow holes were drilled close to one another and a chisel used to remove the small amount of wood between the holes.  This created a shallow trench for each standing stone.  The stones were glued in position and the glue allowed dry overnight.  When the glue had dried, any gaps around the base of each stone were filled in.
 
 
N gauge ancient monument with the branch line and bridge in the background
 
 
N gauge miniature monument viewed from the micro layout goods yards
 
 
N gauge ancient monument viewed from the bridge
 
 
N gauge ancient monument overlooking the micro layout goods yard
 
The ancient monument was carefully positioned so that it could add interest to photographs of N gauge locomotives and rolling stock taken from various parts of the railway layout.

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, 19 January 2014

Cramford Trains 33

N gauge class 08 shunter 08 748 with a tank wagon and brake van
 
Class 08 shunter 08 748 slowly makes its way through Cramford hauling a single tank wagon and a brake van.

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.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

N Gauge Model Railway Layout Restoration Part 24 Peco PL-10E Turnout Motors and PL-25 Electromagnetic Uncoupler Units Added

The ends of the electromagnetic uncoupler unit steel rods seen above the micro layout
 
The two Peco PL-10E turnout motors and three Peco PL-25 electromagnetic uncoupler units were screwed back in place under the railway layout baseboard.  I felt that it was a good idea to do this before more delicate work was undertaken to develop the model scenery.

The ‘discs’ visible in the goods yard sidings are the only parts of the Peco PL-25 electromagnetic uncoupler units which can be seen above the layout baseboard.
 
 
Holes where Peco PL-25 electromagnetic uncoupler units were positioned
 
The 'discs' are the ends of the electromagnetic uncoupler unit steel rods which were pushed back through the holes left in the track when they were removed.  To avoid damage, I removed the electrics from the underside of the railway layout baseboard before alterations were made to the original model scenery, detailed in my blog post dated 25 November 2013.
 
 
Peco turnout motors and electromagnetic uncoupler units ready to wire
 
The Peco turnout motors and uncoupler units were wired up later following the instruction sheets provided with the products.

This work was much easier to do whilst most of the model scenery was flat which made the baseboard easier to hold without risk of damage to ground cover, bushes, trees and detailing items which were to be added.

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, 17 January 2014

Cramford Trains 32

N gauge class 14 D9555 shunting in Cramford goods yard
 
Class 14 D9555 has shunted an empty vent van into a siding 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 class 14 model locomotive photographed is product number 372-950 from the Graham Farish range by Bachmann.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

N Gauge Model Railway Layout Restoration Part 23 Peco SL-340 Rail Built Buffer Stops Added

Peco SL-340 rail built buffer stops added to the N gauge micro layout
 
With work to weather and detail the N gauge model railway track completed, described in my blog post dated 14 January 2014 I was able to add a Peco SL-340 rail built buffer stop at the end of each of the two goods yard sidings.
 
 
Painted and weathered N gauge Peco SL-340 rail built buffer stops
 
Both N gauge buffer stops were fully painted and weathered before they were fixed to the track.
 
 
Rear view of Peco SL-340 rail built buffer stops fixed in place
 
Work to add the buffers followed the same process described in my blog post dated 06 April 2012 when I described how I added them to the sidings on Finchley, another N gauge scenic country branch line model railway.

A third Peco SL-340 rail built buffer stop was also built, painted and weathered but not fixed permanently to the track.

If the model railway layout was to be used with a removable fiddle yard to enable continuous run in the manner detailed in my blog post dated 03 June 2012, the buffer stop could be left off.

If I chose to operate the micro layout as a shunting puzzle, the third buffer stop would be clipped to the track to temporarily turn the branch line into a third siding.

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, 15 January 2014

Cramford Tains 31

N gauge class 42 Warship D815 Druid passing a class 04 shunter in Cramford goods yard
 
Class 42 Warship D815 Druid hauls a freight train through Cramford passing a class 04 shunter busy in the small 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 371-603 from the Graham Farish range by Bachmann.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

N Gauge Model Railway Layout Restoration Part 22 Track Detail

Peco N gauge weathered track with detail alterations and weeds added
 
A number of alterations were made to the track during the restoration of this N gauge model railway.  When I originally built this N gauge micro layout I used Peco Setrack components and two Peco Streamline SL-E395 medium radius electrofrog turnouts.  As I felt that the Peco N gauge track had been reasonably well laid, weathered and ballasted, all of the track components were left in place when the original model railway layout scenery was removed, detailed in my blog post dated 25 November 2013.
 
 
Close up of plastic strips at each end of the Peco N gauge Setrack components
 
Whilst I felt that the Peco N gauge track had been fairly well laid and ballasted, I noticed strips of plastic at the end of each Setrack component which I decided to alter.
 
 
Peco N gauge Setrack components with detail alterations and weeds added
 
I cut into the middle of each strip of plastic between the end chairs and gradually sliced it back to create chairs matching those on the other sleepers.  I then repainted parts of the track with the original rust colour where this was required.
 
 
Close up of plastic between the sleepers at the end of Peco N gauge Setrack components
 
The plastic between the sleepers at the end of each N gauge Setrack component make them strong, robust items.
 
 
Weeds hiding plastic between sleepers at the end of N gauge Setrack components
 
It would have been necessary to apply a lot of pressure to cut the plastic away in these areas so I chose the easier option of adding a few weeds to cover them.  Run down rural branch lines were often fighting a losing battle against nature reclaiming its own.  I therefore felt that using this method on this particular model railway layout was acceptable.  I took great care to keep the weeds away from the inner face of the rails so that N gauge locomotives and rolling stock would run smoothly.

The last alteration to the Peco N gauge track was to tone down the bright rust coloured paint.  I applied thin washes of watered down burnt umber to the rails and chairs until I had created a more realistic appearance.

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, 13 January 2014

Cramford Trains 30

N gauge class 08 and 04 shunters 08 748 and D2258 in Cramford goods yard
 
Class 08 shunter 08 748 and class 04 shunter D2258 await their next duties 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 locomotives photographed are product number 371-015 and 371-051 from the Graham Farish range by Bachmann.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Cramford Trains 29

N gauge class 04 shunter D2264 with a short local pick up goods train
 
Class 04 shunter D2264 arrives at Cramford with the regular local pick up goods 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 04 model locomotive photographed is product number 371-050A from the Graham Farish range by Bachmann.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

N Gauge Model Railway Layout Restoration Part 21 Revised Landscape Contours

N gauge model railway layout with all scenery contours complete
 
The last alterations to the model railway landscape contours were completed with the creation of another small hill behind the main goods yard.

Again, to maintain the flat, open appearance I desired, the hill was constructed a mere 1cm high.  This was the same modest elevation described in my blog post dated 07 January 2014 which featured creation of a hill for the N gauge scratch built wartime pillbox.
 
 
Second model hill added behind the micro layout goods yard
 
The second model hill was built with a flat oval area in the middle, sculpted with an irregular outline.  When sculpting the model hill I had ensured that the flat area would give me a circle of flat ground in the middle which was approximately 8cm in diameter.  I considered this to be about the right amount of space needed for the last scenic feature which I wanted to incorporate within the model landscape.

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, 8 January 2014

Cramford Trains 28

N gauge class 35 Hymek D7042 collecting a wagon from Cramford goods yard
 
Class 35 Hymek D7042 about to collect a banana van from a siding 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 class 35 model locomotive photographed is product number ND084M from the range by Dapol Ltd.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

N Gauge Model Railway Layout Restoration Part 20 Scratch Built Wartime Pillbox Added

New model railway corner scenery with scratch built N guage pillbox
 
If a model railway layout is to be convincing it is important to try to convey a sense of time passing and the history of the modelled location by incorporating suitable features within the landscape.  One such feature is an N gauge wartime pillbox.  Old wartime pillboxes can be found all over the country, some restored but mostly crumbling away and covered by bramble bushes, ivy etc.
 
 
Front view of the scratch built N gauge model railway wartime pillbox
 
 
Rear view of the scratch built N gauge model railway wartime pillbox
 
The N gauge wartime pillbox added to this model railway layout was built from scratch. The painting techniques used to create the weathered concrete were almost the same as described in my blog post dated 13 March 2012 on painting and weathering a Peco ST-8 sleeper built buffer stop. The only difference was that I added a very thin wash of yellow paint during the weathering process to create the authentic appearance of old concrete.
 
 
Aerial view of the pillbox looking over the railway layout landscape
 
I had created a small hill in the corner of the railway layout opposite the model bridge.  The hill was built a mere 1cm high to maintain the flat, open landscape which I wanted.  Despite its modest elevation the feature was very effective in transforming the flat corner scenery into a much more realistic form.

I constructed this piece of model railway scenery with a small area of flat ground.  The flat area was created as a site for the N gauge wartime pillbox.
 
 
View of the bridge from the N gauge pillbox placed on the low hill
 
I positioned the N gauge pillbox in a logical place with a commanding view of the surrounding 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.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Littleford Trains 41

N gauge class 35 Hymek D7001 with a mineral wagon train
 
Class 35 Hymek D7001 rattles past Littleford station with a train of mineral wagons.

Littleford 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, 5 January 2014

N Gauge Model Railway Layout Restoration Part 19 Basic Scenery Created

N gauge micro layout scenery with first coat of scenic scatter added
 
I applied a coat of green scenic scatter over the re-modelled railway layout scenery which had been painted with a base coat of green emuslion.  The almost 'instant' change in the appearance of the micro layout when the scenic scatter was applied was very motivating.  After the first layer of scenic scatter was added I found it much easier to visualise where I would add scratch built N gauge model trees, bushes and other scenic features.
 
 
Scenic scatter added up to the edge of the ballast and goods yards
 
It is important to try to undertake railway modelling tasks in the correct order so that creation of one part of the railway layout scenery does not spoil earlier work in other areas.  I allowed plenty of time for the painted muddy areas detailed in my blog post dated 31 December 2013 to dry and also made sure that the newly ballasted areas detailed in blog post dated 03 January 2014 were completely dry.  The new scenic scatter was applied up to the edge of the ballast and muddy areas at the edge of the goods yards.  If paint and freshly laid ballast were not fully dry, scenic scatter could have accidentally stuck to these parts of the model railway landscape.
 
 
N gauge model bridge with scenic scatter applied to surrounding landscape
 
The scenic scatter added around the model bridge helped to blend the feature into the micro layout scenery.
 
 
Road edges clearly defined by adding scatter to the model scenery
 
The newly applied scenic scatter helped to define the edges of the road which was created earlier.
 
 
View over the micro layout model scenery showing revised landscape contours
 
All of the work to reshape the model railway landscape described in my blog post dated 05 December 2013 and subsequent posts was evident in the new contours over the revised scenery.  Design of new features for the remaining flat areas on the railway layout baseboard became much easier to explore in relation to the model railway scenery already created.

The sides and ends of the model railway layout baseboard were also coated with PVA and a coat of green scenic scatter applied.  I find that it is worth coating the outer faces of the model railway baseboard framework to create a tidy overall appearance.

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.