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SKEW BRIDGE - Attic Layout


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15 hours ago, Riddles said:

The road service looks so much better now that you have weathered it. How did you do it

I haven't done a great deal with it Dave, simply stippled it with black/grey acrylics using a piece of sponge as the applicator. It still doesn't look right but it's better than a plain black surface.

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53 minutes ago, ba14eagle said:

don't post that picture on RMWeb 😂

No danger of that!

The bridge has now been installed and the ground built up around it and given a coat of paint. It isn't coming out anymore so if there's anything I can't get to from now onwards I'll just have to make do as best as I can. Oh look, a bus!


The lighter brown colour is where the sidings access road will be and it's assumed it joins up with the main road a little further down the left side. It's going to be a typical dirt track rather than tarmac. I could probably complete the headshunt now too.

I believe we had thread some time ago asking how green is our hobby or something along those lines. As I've been tidying round I came across this little lot and it's easy to forget just how much waste you accumulate without realising. These are just the left-overs from the plate girder bridge sides and the lineside ducting. That's an awful lot of plastic waste.



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3 hours ago, ba14eagle said:

..have you any ssa wagons that need a scrap load? This months Model Rail magazine has an article on using plastic spares / parts for a scrap load.

I don't have any Iain. It's not a wagon I was familiar with and so I've never considered getting any. I've seen HEA types and old 16t minerals used for carrying scrap but it's not 'traffic' I was looking to feature on the layout. I'll take a look at Model Rail later tonight though - it might give me some ideas.

17 hours ago, aussietmrail said:

....That left over plastic can come in handy on other fencing modelling projects. 

I had thought of using it to make fencing along the bridge until I chose the easier 'laser cut' option. It seems a shame to throw it out especially when it's probably not recyclable anyway and would just end up in landfill. Suppose I'll just hang on to it for now until something comes along.

17 hours ago, aussietmrail said:

...how wide is your road , is it that roll stuff you can by...

The width of the road over the bridge is 85mm which is maybe just a bit too narrow, although roads do come in all shapes and sizes. Just be careful if you see the bus coming! The surface is 6mm MDF which I've painted with acrylic paint.

Right, it's been all change at the bridge again today and the recent wet weather has certainly helped the grass grow. The bridge is beginning to look as if it's always been there - though I'm aware that a spot of weathering wouldn't go amiss. At least the girder sides have not yet been fixed permanently in position so can be easily lifted away for weathering when I get round to it.


There's not a great deal to do towards the rear of the bridge but I need to order some more lineside trunking to extend into the scenic break and some more ballast.


I've obtained some more seafoam to make a few more trees for this area and to finish off the embankment along the back.

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A couple more photos to add showing a bit more progress at the bridge end. I've highlighted the background trees around the bridge with some green acrylics.


That little yellow van is so typical of the good old BR days - it never seems to do much or go anywhere. In fact I don't think it moved all the time I was painting around it. Those were the days!


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On 01/03/2020 at 16:17, mick said:

These are just the left-overs from the plate girder bridge sides and the lineside ducting. That's an awful lot of plastic waste.



That ducting plastic looks familiar. I made use of that to create the information screen posts in Cowlick station. A couple of the corners had just the right shape.

 I'm often on the hunt for the right shape or colour of plastic in the bits that become waste.


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9 minutes ago, chris said:

That ducting plastic looks familiar. I made use of that to create the information screen posts in Cowlick station. A couple of the corners had just the right shape.  I'm often on the hunt for the right shape or colour of plastic in the bits that become waste.

I'm going to have to see what I can make from some of it. I might have to look at using it on the garden layout as there's not a lot of scope for adding anything else on the attic layout - although fences always come in useful along the lineside.

11 hours ago, ba14eagle said:

I just love your painted trees.

It produces a decent representation of trees in the background. If you watch videos online of people painting trees this way they do make a really good job of it - much better than the ones I've done. It's just a case of layering paint, starting with the darkest colours and finishing with the lightest highlights. It's also much easier if you're not working in a confined corner - would have been much easier doing it before I'd planted the bridge in place.

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I've been busy with the hairspray and scatter material producing another batch of trees for planting around the bridge area. Here's a more distant view of the bridge as it currently looks showing how well I think the painted background trees blend in. It would look very bare without them. This looks like it could be a good viewpoint for watching, filming, and photographing trains approaching through the bridge.


A closer view of the newly planted trees in front of the bridge along with a bit of ground clutter. All that time painting the road and it can barely be seen now! - but that's how I want it to be. This way whatever vehicles are placed on the bridge won't become so prominent.


And here's a slightly higher viewpoint. There's still a fair bit of ground cover needed and I've got one more box of seafoam which should be enough to make trees to complete the embankment along the rear.



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The embankment on the sidings side has now been 'grassed' leaving only the access road into the sidings. Somewhere in the vicinity of the blue rectangular marking you might just be able to make out will be a portacabin for use by the yard shunter or by drivers during their meal breaks.




An area of the layout that began really well but has since taken a back seat is the small end scenic section. I've decided to extend the front part out slightly so that there's more foreground when taking photos/videos as it always ends up with the area beneath the baseboard showing. I had some spare plywood so slotted a piece in.


That doesn't seem like a lot of progress for a good few hours work but at least the grassing has made a difference.


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I've made a bit more progress in the sidings area by adding an 'ash' type surface over the previously white melamine board using actual ash from our log fire. These roads are usually composed of old ballast and with it being a sidings primarily for coal traffic there will be lots of coal spillage mixed in. At the moment there's still PVA glue drying, hence the white patches.


I've taken out the Intermodal wagons and coupled them all together, creating a rake that's longer than my longest siding! It's the first time I've had all these wagons out at the same time and they're a substantial load but the Bachmann 66 doesn't have a problem with them at all. I'm not sure what a typical load is for Intermodal traffic but from the few videos I've seen they can be quite lengthy.

Here's 66522 arriving in the down loop with it's train of container traffic still foul of the points at the entrance to the loop. There's currently 13 twin wagon sets attached so that's 26 individual flat wagons. The ash surface in the sidings can be seen here and once it's dry I can install the portacabin.




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This evening I encountered a problem I hadn't foreseen.


I've had a really good day sorting out some more wagons and packing away all the empty boxes. I'm never quite sure what to do with all the empty boxes because I can't ever see a time when I'm going to want rid of all the wagons I've currently got on the two layouts but the boxes take up so much room!

Anyway, the Freightliner FEA wagons were removed from their boxes and the containers located along with all the little plastic mouldings that attach them to the wagons. I don't have enough containers for a full train so there are a number of empty spaces on some of the flats but that's fairly prototypical and isn't a problem. What is a problem is that the HiCube containers (as in the above photo) don't quite fit beneath my little single track bridge. I never gave it a thought and set the train off running round only to be greeted with a scraping and a rocking as the train passed beneath the bridge. It wasn't sufficient to derail any wagons but it was a very close call.

I've had to remove the bridge, made easier by the fact that it isn't yet permanently fixed in place, and glue another thickness of cork underlay beneath the two piers in order to make enough vertical clearance. Unfortunately, because the bridge is right up against the sloping backscene I've also had to file a small wedge shape off the far right corner of the top wall to allow it to sit higher. I guess in BR days the bridge would have been completely replaced?

It's all good now.

On a brighter note I've almost completed the little portacabin which is destined for the sidings area. I've painted it freight grey and weathered it and added a few blue roller blinds to the windows from paper scraps. I accidentally removed some of the darker grey paint I'd used on the door while I was weathering it but it actually makes it look more like the real thing so I've decided to leave it rather than paint it again.


It probably needs a couple of paving stones in front of the door and the obligatory incinerator close by. The support posts need a slab to stand on too. There are a couple of windows to the rear but I've modelled those with blinds closed so that no-one can see the occupants watching tv or taking a quick snooze. 


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It looks like you've built your railway to W8 clearance. Lifting your structures to W10 is a costly exercise. One of my modelling mates is a gauging and clearance expert in the real world, I'm sure he could advise 😉

Modelling in On30 after you've got used to OO means the I have things bumping into structures all the time. Everything is so dam wide and high. 

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56 minutes ago, chris said:

It looks like you've built your railway to W8 clearance. Lifting your structures to W10 is a costly exercise. One of my modelling mates is a gauging and clearance expert in the real world, I'm sure he could advise .....

Fortunately for me Chris, raising the bridge to W10 loading gauge to accommodate Hi-Cube containers wasn't as expensive as it could have been. Had I fixed the bridge in permanently then I would have been very angry indeed. As it is, a couple of pieces of cork was all that was required on this occasion so you can stand your mate down for now - though I'll bear it in mind for future constructions!

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8 hours ago, ba14eagle said:

Would you still have the problem if you put the W10 containers in a pocket wagon? Have you got any Mick?

I suppose that's a prototypical solution to the problem as I believe that's why pocket wagons were manufactured but no, I don't have any and I'm beginning to doubt if I'd have room for any! Anyway, now that I've raised the bridge up on another layer of cork they pass underneath, if only just.

I've completed the remaining areas of ballast today, added the final bits of lineside ducting, and put another buffer stop together for the headshunt in the sidings. To be honest, apart from a few more trees and bushes dotted about there isn't a great deal more to do before I can concentrate fully on the stock. I'd like to motorise a few more points, especially those at the far end of the sidings, but now that the layout is operational they're all things that can be done at any time.

More wagons and another loco have made their way on to the layout.

70001 is the only class 70 locomotive I own and it's not sound-fitted but when you've been up in the attic all day that's not a bad thing as I've had class 66s running around until I'm sick of hearing them. Here's 70001 at the head of the Freightliner FEA set which caused problems with the bridge yesterday. The buffers in the sidings headshunt have yet to be fitted in place as the ballast is still wet with PVA.


And here's 66522 again but this time with the Freightliner HHA hoppers. There are 23 wagons in tow which I can just accommodate in my longest siding. I hadn't realised I had that many so I may reduce this to a more manageable 20.



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