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Everything posted by mick

  1. I believe the ones Ian used are 'GEM Mercontrol' (they're the ones I've used in the past too) but a quick search online appears to show most retailers are out of stock.
  2. I was about to say 'mindblowing' but Tony's already used that so I'll just agree with Tony! There's me all proud as punch for making a start on my tunnel portals and here's you doing several at once! From the photos your layout appears much longer than I originally thought and so scale length trains at prototypical speeds will just be stunning I'm sure. Very impressive.
  3. Today has been one of those days that's perfect for a garden railway. You forget all about those dull, damp winter days and start bringing your overwintered loco's out into the open. There are a number of loco's that I'm keen to see running on Worsley Dale once I get the major works out of the way and this is one of them: - I have two HST's available, the blue/grey one featured regularly on my previous layout, but this InterCity version has to date not been on track. I know they don't fit in with either of the scenarios my layout is supposed to portray but there are times when you just need a good roar and there's nothing better than the sound of an HST or Deltic pulling away from a standing start. Hornby are soon to release the HST in the latest Scotrail 'Inter7City' livery along with matching sliding door MK3 coaches so hopefully we'll see one of those examples on Worsley Dale in the near future.
  4. I've been sitting outdoors in the sunshine this morning painting the remaining tunnel portals. It will be great to get all three fixed permanently in position but a temporary mock-up for the sake of a photograph will have to suffice for now. The far end of Shieling Bridge station isn't a problem. The bridge needs to be aligned at a slight angle to be at right angles to the running line and the platform end needs sorting in order to allow it to fit. The inner walls of the tunnel will also require some work but it's nothing major. The terminus station at Cattle Leys was the difficult one of the three as the track layout where the tunnel needs to go is too wide for a single tunnel portal and will require a set of points to be housed inside the tunnel in order to use a double track portal. Prior planning would have made things a lot easier! I can perhaps move the portal back slightly towards the end wall backscene but either way I will have to cut a the headshunt shorter by a few inches. I think the point inside the tunnel will be okay so long as nothing ever goes wrong with it but it is accessible without too much trouble should anything ever happen as it's really only the tie-bar end that's hidden and there's the possibility of gaining access from the outside.
  5. I mentioned about tidying up the inside of the entrance tunnel wall after I'd fixed the tunnel portal in place but what I hadn't considered was the fact that I've altered the opening to include a plywood slide in order to close off the opening when the layout isn't in use. This earlier photo shows the plywood sliding gate in its raised position - it can slide down to close the tunnel entrance. I fixed the tunnel portal in place, mixed up some filler for the tunnel inner wall but then found I needed a clear slot for the gate to slide up and down. Oh well, back to the drawing board! You can see the groove that the plywood slide made in the photo below. Doesn't look too bad I don't suppose, in fact I wouldn't bet against there being similar indentations in some real tunnels.
  6. Perhaps I'd better take a closer look. It seems some sections of the wall are higher in places than others. The photo of the class 158 above makes the walls look too high and if you imagine a 1/76th scale man stood in the cess alongside he'd need a ladder to be able to see over the top. But it's not a priority at the moment so it gives me time to think. Right, I've made a start on the indoor scenery - brace yourselves! Before I can do too much I need to fix the entrance tunnel portals in position, but before I can do that they really need painting otherwise they'd be less accessible. Here's where I start - with a blank section. It's going to be trial and error but I've seen it done this way before. Not too sure about the yellow colour - perhaps it's too yellow? but I paint the whole section aiming to get paint into the cement lines. And then once it's dried I use a mix of red, brown, and black, taking a little of each on the tip of my brush, wiping on a paper towel to remove excess paint and then dry brushing across the face of the bricks. Here's my first attempt. The tunnel itself was similarly treated with the yellow paint. And finally after going over the pieces until I was satisfied they looked okay, here's what I am left with as the pieces are placed in the location they will eventually take up. I will tidy up the inner walls of the tunnel when it's finally stuck in place. I've used acrylic paint so I need to varnish before they're glued and then perhaps with this out of the way I can start moving forward.
  7. Sandpaper! - they sand down easily Roddy. Creates a bit of dust but it will soon vacuum up. Now on my to do list. Thanks Andrew. Yes, the viaduct's pretty long which is more apparent when you see a small DMU crossing. One day I'm going to put a full trainload of 100t coal hoppers across just because I want to see it! Until the layout is more complete there never seems to be a chance to sit back and enjoy it to the full. I have to mess around changing stock, getting things out of boxes and so on and it become a chore rather than a pleasure with empty boxes and other junk around the place. One day it will come. Still haven't done anything with the indoor scenery today......
  8. I hadn't realised just how out of touch I've become with putting a video together rather than publishing single clips. Anyway I've done what I can and I'm sure it will show that trains do still run on Worsley Dale. If you can spare 3 minutes of your time then here's the video although there's not a great deal of variety in the rolling stock.
  9. From the album: Worsley Dale

    37401 MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS passes through Watch House tunnel hauling a rake of blue/grey MK1 coaches
  10. I had every intention of going into the shed today to make some progress with the indoor scenery but it was such a lovely day that I decided instead to clean the track and see if I could get some trains running. It had after all been some time since any last ran. Once I'd been round with the track rubber and cleaned the rail tops I cut back some overgrown lineside vegetation and then set about cleaning up a mass of bird droppings, mainly along Stack Gill viaduct as it's where the birds like to perch. I had to use an old toothbrush to dislodge the droppings from amongst the sleepers and ballast before hoovering it all away. I then sent out trusty old 26024 with the track cleaner and IPA solution and it circled the layout without any problem. With the track nice and clean I ran a class 158 2-car DMU and then decided it was time for some blue/grey mark 1 coaches behind a large logo class 37. I chose 37401 'Mary Queen of Scots' as it's never been out before. The MK1's were just the first few I could lay my hands on and not a set I will likely use in the future but blue/grey MK1 coaches behind large logo class 37s just look so good. Here's the class 158 DMU crossing the river Buttle which remains dry at this time but will hopefully show some sign of water in due course. 37401 Mary Queen of Scots is seen crossing the span between Buttlebank and Stack Gill viaduct with its rake of MK1 coaches. This span section requires some central supports to cure the slight bow in the middle which is noticeable to me. The trackbed here is comprised of 2 layers of 18mm exterior grade plywood so it's pretty substantial. After crossing the span, 37401 makes its way along Stack Gill viaduct. I really like the look of the arches in this view but still feel that the parapet walls are a bit too high. I'd like to be able to see just a bit more of the train. And lastly one of my favourite sections of the layout for obtaining realistic lineside views. There's very little distraction in the background and you'd hardly notice that the tunnel portal was in fact stuck onto the side of a path. The old pieces of timber, miniature foliage, rocks, and the plethora of cabling just looks so right. It would be a shame to alter any of this but very soon I'm going to have to relay this area. 37401 and MK1 coaches again passing through Watch House tunnel. In addition to the photos I've also taken a few videos which I'll try to add later. Tomorrow I really must try to do some work on the indoor scenery.
  11. My thoughts now need to turn to the indoor section as I'm not really able to put any stock on track until I've decided what I'm doing and got certain things out of the way. Deciding what I'm going to do is a challenge for me but I thought it might become a bit clearer if I made a start by painting the backscene boards. I was scouring our cupboards for some white emulsion but came across a tin of white undercoat. I haven't a clue where that came from as I certainly can't recall buying it so it must be several years old. I prised open the lid and was faced with a layer of dried paint so thick that I thought the whole tinful had solidified. Managing to cut through it I was relieved to find a dirty brown liquid beneath which, after a few minutes stirring, magically turned a pure white. I wasn't expecting such an overpowering odour from the paint but with the shed door wide open I persevered and managed to get a coat on but without going right up to the edges. There are gaps between the backscene boards that need filling too but I just wanted to try give myself a better idea of what I can and need to do. The lighter coloured backscenes add framing to the area making it easier to visualise the possibilities. I don't think it will hurt to do another coat of undercoat .
  12. Have to wholeheartedly agree with Roddy. They look superb Chris and the results certainly justify the outlay on the machine.
  13. Sounds a bit like the UK's plans for HS2 near me - anything that gets in the way just knock it down! I much preferred the more challenging option ☺️
  14. Purchased mine from Digitrains here in the UK https://www.digitrains.co.uk/ds52.html but unfortunately they're showing out of stock at the moment.
  15. It's certainly not as warm today as it was when I began painting the girder bridges but I've managed to do the other half this afternoon, albeit apart from some minor touching in that's still required. I found it possible to paint behind the walkway railing using a fine paintbrush but it lasts only for a few strokes before the bristles disappear and you're left with something resembling a toothpick. I'll return to it at a later date. I still have to do something with that river bed and I'm longing to make a start on it but I know there's other things to do first so that's another thing that will have to wait for now.
  16. For me it doesn't have to be a rare bird that makes a pleasing photo. I can sit there behind the lens for a few hours snapping away at various birds in an effort to get a photo that I personally like. Most of the time it's the background colours and patterns that make photos of even the most common birds just that bit special. Much less colourful than the male of the species, here's a female Chaffinch isolated against a lovely blue background and perched on a branch close to the bird feeder. I'm always pleased when I can see the eye nicely in focus as it makes so much difference. Below is another typically common garden bird but one not very often seen in pairs. The one on the left appeared to be feeding the other - perhaps a show of affection? Again taken just a few feet from the bird feeder. Next I have a new visitor to the feeder and at first I almost dismissed it as a sparrow. I can't say I have ever seen one of these before but apparently they're regularly seen around bird feeders in these parts. The quality of the photo isn't all that good but you don't always get the time to compose the shot. I had to look this one up in my Bird guide but I'm almost certain it's a Redpoll. Here's the same bird on the feeder giving a better view. And within a short space of time there appeared another similar bird with less colour but with the same markings. I'm assuming this to be the female Redpoll? The top of the head was more orange than the red displayed on the previous bird.
  17. I can't believe this is a thread I started in 2011 and haven't posted to since 2012! My interest in collecting my local weather data hasn't diminished one bit since then and presenting that data online is still one of my daily tasks. The point of this post is simply to record that yesterday, 12th April 2019, was the first 'frost' day (temperature below freezing) we've have had in Worsley Dale country since the 3rd February. Not what I expected at all but then like buses, you wait 68 days for one and two come along together - today falling to -1.1. Not been a bad period though I don't think.
  18. That bridge looks pretty robust Thomas - what make is it? Also, what do you call the board that the track is laid on? Looking forward to seeing how you deal with the 'track in the tube' tunnel section. Sounds interesting.
  19. Painting the girder bridges is something I should have done a long time ago, before they were permanently installed. I sprayed them with the grey primer before putting them in position on the viaduct so that was relatively straight forward but brush painting? - yes, it does take some time. It makes it less of a chore when you can see it looks better so in a few days or so I'll do the other half. It might even protect them from the effects of the sun too and stop them becoming too brittle so that'll be a bonus. It's strange how doing small tasks like that, and the short length of track ballasting at the entrance to the shed, makes it all seem like a railway again. I've looked at the entrance to the shed with it's bare track numerous times, in fact almost every time I walk down the garden path, and yet now it looks complete, finished almost. All for the sake of a few minutes work with a bit of granite ballast, some varnish and a few drops of white spirit.
  20. While there's a lengthy list of major work that needs doing on Worsley Dale I've spent the afternoon doing things that are less important and in one instance a task that hadn't even been considered up to today. If it's what you feel like doing then it's usually better to go with it. The tunnel entrance to the shed received some extra work filling in the inner walls of the tunnel itself with exterior grade Polyfilla and then the track leading from Low Shott viaduct into the shed was ballasted as it's never been done so before. I used exterior varnish thinned with white spirit as fixative for the granite ballast as it works very well. And then for some strange reason I thought about painting the girder bridges on Stack Gill viaduct. They've been in grey primer since they were first installed and as we'd recently opened a tin of black Hammerite to paint a metal gate I thought about using the remainder on the bridges. What I hadn't considered was just how long that was going to take using a small brush and how difficult it would be accessing all the nooks and crannies. Hours later and one half is almost completed, though there is some touching up required. The grey primer had faded with the sun and although it's not easy to tell from the photo which was taken after 7pm this evening, the black does look better and enhances the rivet detail much more. It actually looks more like an iron bridge. I need to see if I can remove the walkways and railings in order to paint behind them but failing that it will have to be an even smaller paintbrush and lots more patience
  21. I'm not surprised to hear you've run out of wires with all the track you've been laying down! At least it seems you've got plenty of other work to be getting on with indoors so the weather isn't such a problem. Does the 3.10 metre gap across the 'Valley of the Tulips' have to be spanned without any central supports? I'm looking forward to seeing what ideas you come up with.
  22. Shamed into doing something I decided to spend an hour in the shed this afternoon and one of the main things that needed doing at this time is the backscene and tunnel entrances. I've had some thin boards stored in the attic and shed for a while now that were kept specifically for the backscene but I always had this feeling that 'something else' needed doing first before I could fix them in place. I'm not even sure what that 'something else' was but it had brought my progress to a halt. The terminus station had already had the backscene boards fixed in position some time ago so without pondering the situation any further I got out the stapler and fastened them to the rear walls of the main station too. They'll be painted or something and finished in due course. Below is the left hand end which leads out onto Low Shott viaduct. I've had additional work to do here in order to get the tunnel portal to fit correctly and make provision for the shutter to slide up and down in order to close the entrance hole. How I'm going to blend the backscene in I have no idea just yet. There is very little room on the end wall to do any scenics around the entrance tunnel or behind the loco shed when it is replaced on the concrete apron. The right hand end (below) is similar with the tunnel portal at a slight skew in order to align with the curvature of the track. Still lots of wires and cables to hide away as you can see and there's also the little matter of some tongue and groove boarding to finish at floor level. I'm currently thinking of a raised rocky/wooded area behind the station - I'm not interested in portraying a town scene or anything like that as I don't have the patience. It just needs a backdrop leaving the focus completely on the trains. One of the main reasons for 'sorting out' the shed last year was of course to add insulation and help keep it cleaner but also in order to add some shelves for storage space rather than dropping everything on the shed floor. Like everything else it's been waiting to be done but I've made a start by using some old wardrobe sides cut down to fit on the lower shelf brackets so I do have at least one full shelf for now along with two short ones. You'l have to excuse the mess... I feel much better for having done something today even if it's only a meagre effort. Looking at the photos here makes it look not such as big a task as I'd got to thinking and it's certainly an improvement on how it all looked 12 months ago. With all the buildings replaced in their permanent positions it should look okay.
  23. Doesn't alter the fact that I never seem to get anything done Roddy! Yes, it certainly sounds like we've got a number of mutual interests although my van is static and my car is an SLK. Good work with the star sign of which I'm absolutely typical. Do you also breed mealworms? Sorry, that's something else I've got myself into as a way of attracting wildlife as it's cheaper than purchasing them. The wagons are already ordered so better get somewhere ready to run them. For the benefit of the forum I'll put in some extra effort.
  24. If only that was the case Griff! I think I belong firmly in the 'Ready to Run' category with very limited modelling skills. If I'd got the tiniest amount of modelling skills then Worsley Dale would be about as complete as it could be by now. I just find it extremely difficult to motivate myself even when it's something I dearly want to do - and the garden railway IS something I really want to complete. The photos I post here only tell part of the story. The indoor station and platforms were built about 2-3 years ago now and if you look at them they've changed very little since then. I just haven't been able to bring myself to finishing them. The outside running line is better because that's the part I enjoy the most and the part I personally enjoy seeing. For some reason I can't seem to get on with the finer details indoors. The attic railway - ditto - much the same as it last was although there are a few metres of track laid and electrically wired. It's not an ideal location up there and generally always feels uncomfortable but I can't justify even more expense in getting it properly insulated on the off chance I might get round to using it some day. It's not that I don't have the time to do things but I often feel I have so many things I can do that nothing ever really gets done properly. Seeing how other members on the forum, including yourself, are able to progress with their individual projects puts me to shame.
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