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Everything posted by mick

  1. I haven't done much this morning other than paint in some of the bare plaster and add a bit of weathering to some of the new platform edging but I had to place the station buildings down to see how it all looks now the majority of the work is complete. I don't intend adding a lot of smaller details although I know that some passengers would bring the scene to life but I just think of all the cleaning that's required to keep the dust down and how fragile those smaller parts are - and how easily they can be vacuumed up. Platform lighting would be nice but I'll think about that later. I want to do something with the station buildings just to make them that bit different from all the rest out there, even if it's just a change of colour scheme. The footbridge has always bugged me due to the fact that it can only be positioned one way and I'd really like it to be the other but it adds to the overall view. I'm not sure what I ever intended to do with the empty space behind the main platform at this side. It looks like a bay platform but there's no room for there to have ever been any track down there. Anyway, other than the small details and some filling in of empty spaces we're almost done at this side. At least it's as far as I think I need to go. The main things is it's workable so I can finish things off when I feel like it.
  2. Managed to do a bit more this afternoon and it's difficult to find words to express just how pleased I am to have reached this particular milestone. I have NEVER been able to decide what to do with the rear of the station and never could find a way to provide a realistic means of access to it. I had just about come to the conclusion that it might stay as it is for all time. Then, as you know, I decided to try add a roadway to the rear and allow it to disappear into the backscene. Why didn't I think of that before? I just seem to have a mental block when it comes to making plans like that. It was holding me back and I just couldn't seem to be able to move forward with anything else. I looked at the dried plaster this morning and it looked promising - this evening I decided to 'tarmac' it with some appropriately coloured paint and gave the two platforms a fresh coat too. The transformation was amazing. It now looks like it could be a railway station forecourt. There's room to park vehicles! I can't wait to see the station buildings in place. You'll notice that I've extended the smaller rock outcrop a bit too as I just felt it needed it to fill in a bit more space. . It's hard for me to believe that it was only about 3 months ago that it all looked a little different..... This next photo gives a better view of how the road will go between the rock outcrops and it's imagined it will follow the line of the green area on the back scene board and disappear to wherever behind the smaller rock. What I want to do next is to start filling in all those blank areas where there's currently white plaster and/or brown emulsion.
  3. When the weather is as nice as it is today there's an overwhelming temptation to sit back and run trains - but I've resisted. Instead I've continued working on the rock outcrops I added yesterday and have just finished adding the hanging basket liner 'grass'. The tissue paper I glued over the polystyrene pieces yesterday was first painted brown and then once dry I dry brushed across the raised creases using a cream coloured paint. Here's a section of my rock outcrop before and after the dry brushing. It makes a convincing enough rock structure. The cream paint dries in no time so it's then on to adding the teased out hanging basket liner. Here's the rock outcrop which will hopefully conceal part of the exit for the roadway. It's in need of a trim now but that will have to wait until the glue dries. I think with some bushes, fencing, and perhaps an open gate, it will allow the road to disappear between the two rock sections and at least allow some access for passengers. At the north end of the station I've also added the grassed areas to the rock outcrop and it now frames the signalbox nicely. There's still a bit of work to do here to fill in the ground between the box and the tracks and then I'll add some more 'grass' at the base of the rocks. And to finish off there's a closer view of the signal box looking towards the exit tunnel onto Low Shott viaduct. The grass has yet to be trimmed.
  4. I just use the Movie Maker program that comes bundled with Windows 10. Just a case of splitting your video into sections and cutting and pasting them around. It cleans the rail surface using IPA (isopropyl alcohol) Tony, which is all it's intended to do. I have to go round with the track rubber first but the track cleaner certainly makes for much improved running. It's been worth the cost to me. A bit more progress today. There may well have been more had it not been for the cricket and motor racing on tv! I've been adding a roadway to the rear of the station but need a way to partly conceal its exit from the stage, as currently it would run straight into a field. I decided that a rock outcrop would provide a degree of concealment and create a route for the road to take. It's going to need some fancy paintwork on the backscene to make it work, and you know how good I am with that, but we'll see how things go. At the moment I haven't a clue what to do. The north end of the station had been largely overlooked of late so I've had a go adding some small rock outcrops to create a border in front of the backscene and around the tunnel mouth. There wasn't enough room to add the tunnel sidewall on the right hand side so I decided to leave it off but now it looks odd. Maybe I should take off the left hand one too and just have a rock surround? It's now a case of letting things dry and then taking a good look to see if there's anything more that needs adding. I can then grass it over in a similar way to the large mountain.
  5. Thank you for the compliments Andrew but if you'd seen me performing today you would have seen things in a different light! If there's one thing I would wish to be any good at it's painting. Just let me paint one picture that I could feel proud of and that would make my days. I've spent the best part of today trying not to paint a picture but to paint the backscene inside the shed. I'm amazed I can still get in the shed with the number of coats I've put on just trying to get something that looks okay. It doesn't have to be brilliant but I just don't want it to look silly. First of all I painted the sky area which wasn't too much of a problem but then I painted the foreground too high up. I decided to paint over the foreground peaks in a 'sky' colour and found that they then resembled distant mountains! I didn't intend there being any mountains but they looked so good that I stayed with them. Several attempts followed as I tried to paint a decent foreground. It just looked too green especially in front of those distant mountains that I hadn't planned for. The green also made my 'mountain' in the corner look too brown so I left the backscene to add some creamy colour to my mountain. With my mountain painted cream the backscene still looked far too green so I started painting it brown using a sponge and it started to look better. Photo below shows the newly re-touched mountain and the beginnings of the brown grassy area to the backscene. Here I've tried to show the whole backscene from the mountain end, still in need of a lot of work but I've had enough for today. I'm not happy with the shape of the brown area at the other end of the shed but I'll look at it again tomorrow. I might as well add the following 2 photos taken yesterday while I was sorting out some stock. The blue class 20 is a recent purchase as I didn't already have one. Seen here after leaving Shieling Bridge station and crossing Low Shott viaduct with a rake of three BR Mk1 coaches. And also on Low Shott viaduct is 26024 hauling 'ETHEL 1' No. 97250 which had just been in the shops for an exchange of couplings (got rid of those large tension locks), some touching up to the paintwork, and some ballast adding as it was very lightweight. 97250 is non-motorised. It will return to the shops soon for some weathering as it looks far too clean.
  6. Correct - configuration jumper set to 'Open' Thomas.
  7. Geeez! I'd forgotten just what a time consuming task it is to edit and upload a video to YouTube! Still processing so not good quality just yet but I've uploaded in HD. I've done a compilation of cab and lineside views which, although there's a significant difference in sound volume between the two aspects, is probably how it would be anyway. I had to turn off the shed lights because they made the video flicker but hopefully you'll be able to see enough of the 'mountain' and backscene to gauge the effect. What I like most about cab ride videos is how it records the area along the lineside. All that dirt, debris, rust and decay - I could never replicate that on an indoor layout - it's simply amazing. Two circuits approximately but I won't be sad if you skip after the first one.
  8. I mentioned a few posts ago that due to the way I'd constructed the layout of Shieling Bridge station I couldn't work out a way to provide access to it for vehicles. I had considered providing pedestrian access across the tracks from the opposite platform to the station buildings but it wouldn't really have worked or been realistic. Anyway, I've now decided to make a roadway behind the station buildings running along the front of my mountain. I may be required to provide hard hats for passengers arriving on foot but I'll attend to that should the need arise. I've used some surplus platform edging to create the slope required to reach the level of the platform, added a thin layer of polystyrene and filled in with wall filler. This is where I've got to at the moment with more filling and then a lot of sanding to complete before I can think about finishing it off and making it disappear into the backscene. I've had the usual stock running round today and took the following photo of 26024 hauling freight over the raised curve whilst pushing along the track cleaner. The dip or bow in the centre looks much better as does the top surface now that it has an edge and the track is ballasted. By the look of 68006 (below) I've also added a degree of cant to the curve.. I also filmed a 'cab ride' using 26024 which is basically the same as every other cab ride I've done so far except I did it to see what effect the mountain and backscene have now there's been some work done on them. I'll try upload it later when I have the time.
  9. Brilliant video and very well put together. Someone has a lot of patience. I noticed the further back in time it went, the more the track layout began to resemble Thomas's new junction on Maximilianshafen!
  10. Yes the edging is flexible enough to go round the type of bends we'd be using it for Tony. I could have made a better job of the join between the two front panels but I'm not too worried about it. The loco is a class 68 but other than that I know very little about the class itself. I've been out of touch with modern traction for some time now but I liked the look of this one, especially in its Scotrail livery.
  11. I've finished adding the plastic edging around the elevated curve - not pretty but it will do. I also took the opportunity to ballast the track along the curve using granite ballast and exterior varnish thinned with a little white spirit as the fixative. Hopefully it will be dry enough before the arrival of the rain forecast for later this evening. 68006 couldn't wait to try it all out. I just hope it hasn't got sticky feet now! On the front side I've since cut small offcuts of plastic edging to cover the screw heads but the ones on the rear I think I'll leave until they start niggling me. It's rarely viewed from the rear as it means ducking down under the raised curve to get there - a task made even more difficult now that the edging is in place.
  12. Hi Paul. Sorry, only just seen your post. I use the Prodigy Advance 2 system and have done so for a long time without any problems through power drop. I had thought of adding the WiFi module myself but just never got round to it. However, the Advance 2 is 3.5 amps so I assume you're thinking of the Prodigy Express with its 1.6 amp output? I'm not sure just how much of a problem power drop is or can be. I've had several DCC sound locos running at once and never noticed any problems. I have read somewhere that you can use the power supply for the Advance 2 (DCC63) on the Prodigy Express so that would give you 3.5 amps. Trouble is it looks like they're difficult to find just now but at rrp of £27.95 it's worth considering should you need to expand.
  13. I made a start this afternoon on the elevated curve mentioned in my previous post. Using a 48 inch length of 'U' section shelf bracket upright, as used for the shelves in my shed, I screwed this to the underside of the plywood based curve so I hope it will help to keep it flat and level from now on. I'm not perfectly happy with the plastic lawn edging - well the edging is ideal it's just me that hasn't made a great job of trying to fit them - but once they're finished off I think they'll be okay. It does look better than before. There is of course another section still to attach at the rear. Inside the shed there's now some paint on the end backscene board. There may be some touching up tomorrow now that I've had a good look at it but I'm reasonably happy with the way it's turned out, especially since I had no plans to do any of this until I just happened to pick up a brush. What I do like about it is how it disguises the right angled corner and makes it appear curved. It takes me some time but little by little it's getting there.
  14. Well that's a new one on me Tony! Looking forward to seeing this in operation.
  15. Very impressive work again Thomas. The canopy looks to offer an ideal place to sit and watch trains passing by and that junction set-up is immense. Just can't help thinking about all that track cleaning....! Did you do anything further with the use of slide switches as a means of locking points in the correct position? I don't see any in the photos you've posted.
  16. A bit of progress inside the shed today has seen my bare mountain take on a more natural appearance. I've used a teased out hanging basket liner that I purchased many years ago glued down with PVA onto the mountain which had previously been painted with a brown household emulsion paint. I've continued this around and over the tunnel portal. When fully dry it will be trimmed and further refined where necessary but I'm not looking for anything special - just the sense of enclosure around the station which is starting to appear. I've still to make a start on painting the backscene but if I can do that satisfactorily then I think it should all be okay. Also been sorting out some more rolling stock, this time MK1 and MK2 coaches, and putting them into storage cases for easier access. I don't actually have that many coaches emblazoned with the 'Scotrail' branding but here's three blue/grey MK1's coupled up to 26024 and seen passing along Stackgarth Gill. We called into a local garden centre today and I noticed some lengths of plastic lawn edging that would be ideal for fastening around my elevated curved section at the end of Stack Gill viaduct which can be seen in the photo below. I've been meaning to do something with this section for some time. For one thing it's a matter of safety in case anything were to derail as it's a fair way to the ground from up there but I also want to ease that slight bow in the centre which niggles me every time I take photos there. I want a good solid length of metal screwed underneath to maintain straightness and then I'll fasten the lawn edging around the sides to finish it all off. I don't have a photo of the plastic lawn edging but it resembles a girder bridge structure - at least I hope it will do once I get it fitted.
  17. Another of my 'Scottish' loco's that I don't think has been seen on Worsley Dale before is 68006 'DARING', a Dapol model with factory fitted sound - though not by any means the best I've ever heard. In its striking livery and at a discounted price it was hard to resist and so I'm waiting now for some similarly liveried coaches for it to haul which will be a better match than todays offering! And next time I'll have the lighting switched on too. Here's 68006 running light engine along Buttlebank towards Moor Dyke Junction. And later in the day 68006 is seen again crossing Low Shott viaduct after departing Shieling Bridge. And something probably not seen too often, 68006 passing Stackgarth Gill with three 'ESSO' branded TTA wagons in tow. I just wanted to see it hauling something!
  18. Yes, these little models have an awful lot to contend with Tony and it's amazing just how well they cope with it all. I'm looking forward to the day when I've got everything with the layout sorted out and can keep the stock close to hand so that I can get into a routine of regularly cleaning them to aid better running. That little class 26 has run miles and the poor thing hasn't had a decent clean for ages. When you consider some of the muck and debris it must have run through the wheels and pickups must be in a really sorry state by now. I really can't fault how reliable it has been. As you are no doubt aware, we're in our summer period which means we can expect absolutely anything weather wise. Just had a few days of warm sunshine which has dried things up and allowed me to sort a few things out but it's back to rain again this morning. I'm perfectly happy with temperatures in the high teens to low twenties so long as it's dry and not too breezy. High temperatures are not my thing.
  19. Returning to the layout after yet another break it was time first of all to repair damage to the viaduct parapet walls again. I'm not sure if it's birds or cats but despite all my efforts something is intent on using it as a stepping stone to the rest of the garden. It was then time to trim back overgrown vegetation before hoovering off the debris and then to clean off all the bird droppings which are mostly confined to the run along the large viaduct. At least the varnish secured ballast does it's job and allows me to scrub away the droppings with water and an old toothbrush without causing any damage. So we're all set for some running action - or perhaps not quite. Trusty 26024 circles the layout pushing the track cleaner without problems and so I decide to add some freight wagons for a change - the only problem being the incompatible couplings. I have Kadee's on the loco but not on the wagons so that's a simple change, at least to couple the rake to the loco. But then the tension locks on Bachmann wagons are at different heights and some are the larger types so not ideal for trouble free running - and so it turns out. Problem after problem. I decide to replace the VGA wagons with Kadee's but can't seem to get them to work properly with the TTA tank wagons. After a couple of hours I gave up but did at least manage some short runs. I need to sort out the problems with the couplings and get them all at the same level. Anyway less of my problems and on to three photos of 26024 doing its thing. Hauling a lengthy rake of mixed freight wagons, 26024 has just crossed Stack Gill viaduct. There are TTA tanks, a grain wagon, an OBA open and some VGA vans in tow. With the same mixed rake, 26024 crosses Low Shott viaduct on its approach to Shieling Bridge. 26024 was the only loco in operation yesterday and is seen again here only this time hauling a rake of six VGA vans. A garden layout, especially in OO gauge, demands a lot of work to maintain it in good condition and much like the real thing the best way to keep it running well is to use suitable construction materials. The wooden sections of Worsley Dale are in need of replacement both beneath the tracks on the ground level sections as well as that bordering the lineside which has simply rotted away in parts. It's all part of the attraction and the challenge.
  20. It all just looks fantastic - and especially so with that bit of sunshine coming through onto the tracks. Can you send some of that our way please? The different levels are awesome, the suspension bridge stunning and the viaduct I can't wait to see in position. Really top notch all round - what more can one say....?
  21. I logged on this morning remembering your post from a couple of weeks ago where you mentioned adding a O gauge circuit and was excited to see you'd recently made a further post. I was full of anticipation, expecting to see photos or even videos of that stunning Western circling the garden so I'm saddened to hear of the problems you've experienced but what's this? There's the possibility of you starting all over again in a new garden? You really are a glutton for punishment! Seriously though I'm sure the prospect of a house move must be exciting for you, providing of course that the garden is suitable for your needs. That is, of course, if you intend to continue your quest for a garden railway and that the new residence doesn't have a suitable indoor space that you could use. I've never run any of my O gauge loco's so can't really comment on their requirements regarding power supplies - in fact it's something I haven't even thought of. Perhaps I should try them as I have a couple of old Gaugemaster controllers that I no longer use, though I'm not sure what output they are. Interested to hear what your thoughts are regarding a new layout if that does indeed become a reality. Would you continue with OO, switch to O, or accommodate a combination of both? I guess it would all depend on the size and layout of the new garden? I was also interested to read that you had simplified the OO gauge section of your existing layout after the addition of the O gauge line. I've always believed that the simpler the the outdoor layout the better but have every admiration for those who decide to incorporate much more. I would never discourage anyone from building something complex if that's what they wanted but I know what an enormous task the upkeep can be. That's one of the reasons I opted for a predominantly single line with a minimum of pointwork outside.
  22. On the 25th May I managed to catch a glimpse of LMS 6201 Princess Elizabeth at Hellifield station. 6201 was booked to take over 'The Pennine Limited' towards Carlisle upon its arrival from Norwich. I was on the hill overlooking Hellifield station to the rear. The train arrived at Hellifield worked by 47826 with 47245 on the rear. 47826 was removed from the front of the train and replaced by 6201 which is seen above ready to depart. And here's the train departing Hellifield and heading towards Long Preston and onwards to Carlisle with 47245 making up the rear.
  23. While there's been no further visible progress on the layout I have managed to obtain photographic evidence enabling me to justify operating a Scottish themed model railway on a layout with a name suggesting a more Yorkshire location. A 'Scotrail' liveried class 158, minus the Scotrail branding, shortly after leaving Hellifield station. I've noticed this several times over recent weeks but never managed to grab a photo until this one. In fact I was lucky to get this because having noticed the unit working an earlier Carlisle to Leeds working, we worked out when it would possibly return towards Carlisle. Waiting at this bridge, along came the train but unfortunately it was a Northern Rail liveried 2-car unit and I lowered my camera only to discover that the Scotrail one was coupled on the rear! Quickly raising my camera I just managed to get this view of the rear car as it passed by. Anyway, that's my excuse for Scottish stock appearing on Worsley Dale.
  24. This little chap, a young Great Tit, landed on our decking handrail and I had very little time to take the photo but quickly grabbed a camera and captured this shot through the window.
  25. That's the type of scene I'd love to recreate. I've almost got the mountain. Scenes like that must be how many people fall in love with steam railways.
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