Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Cramford Trains 50

N gauge class 47 D1500 hauling a rural passenger train
 
Class 47 D1500 stops at Cramford with a rural passenger 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 47 model locomotive photographed is product number 371-825 from the Graham Farish range by Bachmann.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Rounford Halt N Gauge Scenic Micro Layout with Continuous Run Part 9 Making a First Radius Curved Level Crossing

Ratio Plastic Models kit 234 adapted to create a curved first radius N gauge level crossing
 
I used the Ratio Plastic Models kit 234 at the rear of Rounford Halt which included level crossing gates plus timber ramps and decking for use with straight track.  A level crossing seemed the best way to enable road vehicles to cross the branch line so that they may travel to Rounford Halt railway station.  The limited amount of space in the rear corner would not allow the landscape to be dropped or raised to accommodate a bridge.  A level crossing was therefore an ideal feature as its installation would not require the surrounding landscape to be substantially lowered or elevated.

The level crossing would also be an interesting feature in the background behind the pond I planned to create.
 
 
Painted N gauge level crossing gates from Ratio Plastic Models kit 234
 
I was impressed with the very detailed crossing gates, the attractive part of the level crossing which I wanted to see reflected in a water feature.  Painting the different parts of the crossing gates took quite a lot longer than anticipated.  The red lamps and bulls eyes were fairly straightforward but painting the thin metal straps and hinges black proved quite a challenge.
 
 
N gauge level crossing ramps with timber decking painted dark brown
 
Crossing ramps were painted dark brown to represent timber treated with creosote.
 
 
Ballast removed to allow level crossing ramps to fit closer to the branch line
 
 
N gauge level crossing ramps placed next to the branch line
 
Some of the ballast laid earlier had to be removed so that I could position the crossing ramps closer to the track.
 
 
Level crossing gates used to position the ramps correctly
 
The crossing gates were pushed into the holes in the ramps without glue.  The gates met in the middle of the track when closed to rail traffic.  This helped me to determine the exact position of the crossing ramps which I then marked onto the layout baseboard using a knife blade.  I also numbered the crossing ramps so that I would know which one sat on the inside or outside of the branch line.
 
 
Underside of the level crossing ramps with stepped inner edge
 
The stepped underside of the crossing ramps allowed cardboard supports to be fixed to them.  The cardboard supports were for pieces of styrene sheet with a plank effect which I wanted to fit between the ramps and the outer face of the rails.
 
 
Cardboard supports fixed to the underside of the level crossing ramps
 
I fixed pieces of cardboard under the inner edge of each ramp.  An additional strip of cardboard was fixed over the first to create a strong arrangement.  The ramps were placed in the locations marked earlier and the cardboard pressed onto the track to create the outline of the outer edge of the rail.  The waste cardboard was then cut away using scissors leaving a shape which sat on the chairs around the outer face of the rails.
 
 
Plank effect styrene sheet fixed to the top of the cardboard supports
 
Styrene sheet with a plank effect moulded into it was fixed to the top of the cardboard.  The styrene sheet was then trimmed to match the profile of the cardboard underneath so that it would fit neatly against the outer face of the rails.
 
 
Cardboard packing added to raise the level crossing ramps
 
The styrene sheet sloped when the crossing ramps were in position so pieces of cardboard were cut and fixed underneath to raise them to the correct level.
 
 
Strip of styrene sheet cut to make the decking between the track rails
 
A strip of plank effect styrene sheet was cut to fit between the track rails with a suitable gap between the planking and the inside of the rail on both sides.  It was important to ensure adequate clearance for wheels of locomotives and rolling stock and I decided I would rather have a gap which could be considered a bit wider than it should be in order to have trouble free operation.  I packed the central strip of styrene with cardboard underneath but allowed it sit slightly lower than the crossing ramps, again to ensure adequate clearance.
 
 
Finished curved N gauge level crossing with decking painted dark brown
 
I painted the decking dark brown.  The fragile gates were put safely aside so that they did not get lost or damaged whilst I was busy with other construction work.

Rounford Halt 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, 14 January 2015

Cramford Trains 49

N gauge class 08 shunter 08 748 shunting steel mineral wagons
 
Class 08 shunter 08 748 shunting 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 08 model locomotive photographed is product number 371-015 from the Graham Farish range by Bachmann.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Rounford Halt N Gauge Scenic Micro Layout with Continuous Run Part 8 Station Platform

Aerial view of Rounford Halt N gauge micro layout with the station platform added
 
Rounford Halt is a very small railway station set in the heart of the countryside serving an offstage hamlet or small village.  The station for Rounford Halt was designed to follow the minimalist rural theme I often pursue but with a concrete platform to give the main feature a different appearance to my other N gauge model railway layouts.
 
 
N gauge curved station platform built from Peco NB-27 concrete platform edging
 
The station platform for Rounford Halt was constructed using Peco NB-27 N gauge concrete platform edging and matches the loading platform featured in my blog post dated 31 December 2014.

I constructed the station platform to accommodate the scratch built platform shelter originally created for Hampford Halt and featured in my blog post dated 02 May 2014.
 
 
Close up of the painted and weathered curved N gauge station platform
 
Painting methods used to weather the loading platform, the subject of my blog post dated 31 December 2014, were used to weather Rounford Halt station platform.

I decided to wait until the exact location for the shelter was decided before adding Ratio fencing and a few imitation enamel advertising signs to the rear and ends of the curved platform.
 
 
N gauge class 04 shunter with a single coach rural passenger train
 
Passenger trains which call at Rounford Halt will be short one or two coach trains, diesel multiple units or railcars.

I find that after operating a micro layout for a while I stop noticing compromises which some people could find unacceptable.  Using Peco first radius track with tight curves enabled me to assemble an interesting arrangement of components on a very small baseboard.  One drawback however was the clearance required for trains made up of longer items of rolling stock such as coaches.  A curved platform must be positioned a long way back to allow enough clearance for the middle section of coaches or long locomotive bodies which encroach into space on the inside of the branch line.
 
 
Rolling stock corners which jut out when travelling on first radius curves
 
On the outside of the branch line the front and rear corner of a coach or locomotive can require significantly more clearance than rolling stock travelling on more sympathetic curves with a larger radius.  The appearance is slightly less obvious when using short locomotives or shunters to haul trains.

Micro layouts like Rounford Halt are usually built purely as a bit of fun.  The blatant circular track plan can only be disguised as well as ingenuity will allow, therefore inherent compromises which accompany this assembly style should be accepted in order to enjoy a more relaxed approach to model railway design.

Rounford Halt 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, 3 January 2015

Cramford Trains 48

N gauge class 03 shunter D2011 shunting in Cramford goods yard
 
Class 03 shunter D2011 busy moving 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 class 03 model locomotive photographed is product number 371-060 from the Graham Farish range by Bachmann.