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chris last won the day on January 17

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About chris

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  1. Aerated blocks it is. I've got several bucketloads of pebbles lined up in the garden which should mean I can make a start in the spring. I'm continuing to improve my buildings. With the Bank's relocation it's left side is now very prominent so a re-skin was required and I cracked on with that yesterday, putting it all together today once glues and paints had dried. Here's a photo to compare with last weeks post. Several things have changed. "In Boutique" has finally got its name and the Church and "667 Dark Avenue" (the tall building in the back scene) have both received new steps leading up to their doors. A closer look at the side of the Bank shows that the plotter cutter has been hards at work. The shelves are now in place at the bookstore and it has received a chimney breast (see first photo). All these improvements are causing a problem. The plotter cutter has enabled me to work at a much finer level of detail. The style of the buildings were determined by bird feeders I purchased form Lidl. I've tried to follow this chunky style, but I'm now finding that I'm making details a lot less chunky. At some point I will have to make a decision on how detailed I want to make things. I'm not going to switch to fully realistic, the cartoon like feel is key, but I foresee some reworking of several of the buildings. Especially they ones I'm not happy with. For the Bank and the Book Store I've developed a new way of working. I'm creating a new skin for a wall from cereal box card and putting on all the paint and detail before attaching the new skin to the building. It is a lot less frustrating working with a flat surface rather than a 3D building.
  2. You could reenforce them with copper wires. Drill holes in vertically through the parapet wall into the structure. Insert in a solid core wire. Seal over the top with what every you are using as an adhesive. If you are anything like me you will have metres of earth wire coiled up, striped form twin and earth. Cocktail sticks will probably survive OK if you seal them in.
  3. One day all of this will make it outside and join up to a garden railway. The construction of that railway has taken a step forward this week. A friend is having her driveway relayed and is happy for the pebbles that are the current top surface to find a new home in my garden. I've been on the lookout for some pebbles to repurpose since last summer. I plan to build a small raised border down one side of the garden using aerated blocks as the retaining walls front and back. Seeing how Mick has used them so effectively I thought I'd copy. The bed will be 60cm deep by 400cm long and the top surface will be dressed with pebbles. I may build the trackbed out of blocks as well. Mick, how has your technique of mounting roofing felt directly on the blocks held together with time? I like the idea of working that way.
  4. scratch build some bookcases from junk to go outside the book store. I'm now working on the the scenes front and centre, which can now have a different look after the relocation of the Bank and Church.
  5. When I bought the plotter-cutter a year ago I planned to do a lot of print and cut. But what I've found is that I've basically given up on cutting out stuff I've printed and I'm cutting from coloured card or painting the card I've cut. I think this is because I'm finding that the stuff I print is fading, even when it kept in the dark loft. I may need to get a friend to do some printing for me to see how that holds up. The stacking up of 3 layers of card to create relief is particularly effective and it feels more like you are modelling when you have to build up layers rather than simply stick some thing down that the computer has made.
  6. Last week I worked on the church. I'd had two attempts at building spire for it but wasn't;t happy with either. I redesigned the spire I'd made with the plotter cutter and created the effect of a tower up the front of the building. Again the plotter cutter was put to work to make larger arched windows to replace the one I'd cut by hand. The overall effect it much better. The Church has been relocated from the front run through the middle of the scene to the left hand side. Along with the Bank and the fountain they create a a better feel of a plaza with the trolley cars weaving through. The unintended consequence of this is that the smaller buildings that now fill the gaps left by the bank and church allow a view between them to the back scene. The trollies can be glimpsed as the pass behind the buildings. Those buildings that have been thrust front and centre need to be tarted up to fit their new found prominence. Work on the Akhmatova Book Store has already begun
  7. Good to read that you got your 56s working. It's a sickening moment when a loco doesn't move. One thing I've learnt over the last decade of railway modelling it that almost everything is fixable.
  8. Hi Martin, Welcome. I have three pieces of advice. First, find a railway on here that you like the look of and shamelessly copy it. If the member is still active, ask them questions on how they went about things. That will save you a lot of time as you try and workout how to waterproof, power etc. Second. Start with a shed, as big as you can get away with. Having somewhere to run trains out of is very convenient. Third. Recognise that nearly every thing you build in the first year will probably be ripped up and rebuilt by the end of year 4. Even copying others you will still be learning a huge amount as you go. Your techniques will improve with experience and you figure out what survives outside and what doesn't. Don't worry about this. In fact try and use it as motivation to crack on and get it done rather than procrastinating over getting it perfect. You can't do perfect outside. Anyway. Here's a photo of the network rail train on Amblethorpe the day the track was lifted to allow original baseboard to be totally replaced. That board lasted 3 years. The boards I installed in year 2 are still strong and sturdy 8 years later. cheers chris
  9. The buildings the cars and the people can all be rearranged which means that the look of the scene can be changed each time it is setup and at any time. We are still moving buildings around experimenting to find the best look. The back scene with its 7cm deep baseboard is nearly all fixed down but even those structures could be swapped out.
  10. Although highly frustrating to have a failed loco I do find it rather satisfying when I sort out a mechanical problem and get it running again. Having several to fix could be an advantage, by the third one you may start to enjoy the process.
  11. Just remembered why I have nothing attached to the Baseboards. They are meant to be part of a On30 garden railway, but I've yet to build the outside bit which these will join up to. However, it has been operated outside. We set it up infront of our coffee shop during the local street fair and allowed children to run the street cars. This was in May before the people arrived.
  12. I spent the second half of the year making very slow progress on a third baseboard for the Snicket Way. It's a beach which extends the scene by 40 cm. Because the track on the original baseboard is only a couple of centimetre away form the edge, the beach board didn't need to have any track on it. This allowed me to take a risk and construct it out of Kingspan insulation board. It's very light weight and I cantilever it off the main baseboard without the need for support legs. The Kingspan, with it's sliver foil peeled away, looks very sand like, but I will add a sand layer. I've purchased some sand coloured grout powder to do this with, but haven't perfected a way of laying and glueing it yet. Thus it's taken a long time. The boats will appear on it. (photos another time, it's in the loft at the mo.) The other addition has been people. I found some at Shildon Show. O scale figures are very impressive, but about £4 each painted. I got lucky and found some people who really fit the scene and cost less than a couple of quid each. Plus my wife was with me, she loved them and encouraged me to but lots. They really bring things to life. I set it up (without the beach) in December as part of the Christmas decorations. The fire hydrants were made from unused columns from the Peco Overall Roof Kit I built for Amblethorpe. The fountain was another plotter-cutter creation. The water jets are thin tubes I've used for routing point motor rodding. There is jewellery wire inside to maintain the shape. The figures remain standing thanks to inspiration from this forum. Serval of us played around using tiny magnets in couplings. I never got round to buying the magnets and giving it a go, but thought of another potential for them. With O Scale figures being a bit larger I realised that I could drill a shallow 2mm hole in the sole of a foot and supper glue a magnet in. Then hammer some track pins into the baseboard and the figure would stand happily in place. This means my people are not in fixed locations. They can be moved about to create a different look. The main reason I've done this is because I don't have anything attached to my main baseboard and this is a great way to have people (and fire hydrants) all over the place.
  13. Using the plotter cutter means that all the parts are very accurate fits. This means that the hull, the deck and the cabin push together and don't need to be glued. The slight wedge shape of the cabin, although a pain to build, has really helped as it can slide into place from the rear rather than pushed in from above. I have glued the roofs onto the cabins, but used Pitt rather than Roket so they should be able to be removed if required. A couple of the cabins were built without the rear panel in place. One has an open Cabin and another has one of the doors ajar. Once assembled they look the part, especially when placed on a deep blue towel. The remaining challenge is to get them home. We've been staying at a friend's house in Pickering this week. I don't think they will survive the journey home to York if they travel with me on my bike. I'll probably leave them for my friend to transport in her car. This means it could be a while before one of them makes it on to my layout.
  14. More painting. But save time I came up with a cunning idea to reduce the amount of painting. I want a white stripe along the top of the hull and this would have taken many coasts of paint and careful masking. I decided that with would be better around if I cut strips of paper, paper those and stuck them on. The strips were tricky to cut because I don't have a guillotine, a steel rule or cutting mat with me. I had to improvise. I attached them with Pritt Stick and they look the part. Next job was glazing. Clear plastic packaging was re purposed and again stuck Pritt Stick. It will be interesting to see how this holds up long term. It was a lot easier to keep the glue off the glazing area rather than a liquid glue. Next up was construction. The prototype build of a cabin showed that I needed to make an alteration. I had cut tabs which would fold to 90º and create a surface to glue the roof to. These tabs lifted the roof half a mill higher that the walls and I didn't like the gap. I trimmed the tabs back and folded them the full 180º glueing them to the walls. This is an effective solution which doubles the width of the gluing edge. It's another feature to include in future designs. With the cabin built I trimmed back the floor (mentioned earlier). Heres and before and after photo. Now on to the final stage, assembly.
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