Quick and Simple Trees pt1

Although the layout is set in the heart of the black country, there was probably a little more greenery than you’d first thought.

As can be seen in this shot of Abbiss’s land sale wharf in Baggeridge.

The trees for the layout are built from simply twisting small gauge wire together and securing them with masking tape, not only to bind the wire but to bulk out the trunk and thicker branches, but it also removes the visible wire twists too.

Several strands are secured in a pin vice and twisted until the length of untwisted wire is sufficient for the smaller branches that make up the upper part of the tree.

Once several twisted strands have been completed then they can be bound together by the masking tape, until happy with the thickness of the trunk and branches.

A quick and simple tree, probably took only 10-15mins to get to this stage. Always a good idea to use photos of real trees or go for a walk in your local park to get plenty of ideas.

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MRJ Cameo layout competition

As eluded to in my last post, I’ve entered a design to the MRJ/Wild Swan and Titfield Thunderbolt bookshop Cameo layout competition that was announced last year.

The competition is being held to not only promote the Iain Rice Creating Cameo Layouts book but also to bring finescale in small spaces to a broader audience and tempt modellers to try finescale modelling.

Iain’s book is highly recommended and owning a copy was a requirement for entry. So here’s mine.

So what have I entered?

Dudley’s Coal

It’s a small P4 Cameo and is set in the early 1920’s in Black country, the layout is based on the railways of the Earl of Dudley. The Earl’s railway (also known as the Pensnett railway) was a comprehensive mineral railway system in the South Western corner of the Black country in the West Midlands.
My cameo entry is designed to represent one of the railways many Landsale Wharves, where the local coal was offloaded to businesses and the general public.

The layout design is a simple fan of 3 sidings, with a kick back spur/headshunt. It actually draws inspiration from an Ian Futers design. The idea behind the design is for a minimalist scene with a few structures, for dealing with the sale of the coal, and a little Autumnal landscaping.

As well as this blog the build is being documented on The Western Thunder forum too as a requirement for entry. Dudley’s Coal can be found here.

First Published article

Magart1

 

I couldn’t resist a quick post as I’ve had my first article published. The Partwork series that is Your Model Railway Village on reaching issue 19 has published my article about building Model Railway Dioramas and small layouts, based around my Long Logging Line Layout which is the On30 layout I’ve mentioned on here and the little wooden wagons a few posts down. Whilst it may not be in one of the big 4 magazines, not that all of them would entertain an On30 layout in their pages, its still a great feeling to know that some people will get to read your article and hopefully gain something from it. It takes you through the thought processes needed for a small layout, and aims to get across the message that it doesn’t take long to build  a small layout or diorama and that they can really help you refine your modelling skills if your aim is to build a large layout.

The partwork can be ordered from Hacette if your local shops no longer stock it.  https://www.hachettepartworks.com/our-titles/model-railway/

 

 

Tying up loose ends… for those following my Miami NW 22nd St layout

Well the original idea for this blog was to charter my build of my Miami ho layout before it went to exhibition.
That exhibition came and went and the layout was built in time. It received some really good comments. So for those who are/were interested here is a batch of photos taken of the layout on the day of the exhibition before the doors opened.

Please feel free to ask questions or leave comments. There are more photos if people would like to see them. The layout still exists and is available for exhibition if any one is interested.

Changes and goodies…

Things are moving on apace now, which is a good thing as time is getting more critical as the layout is due for exhibition in June.
The good thing is lots of goodies keep dropping through the door, although the couple from the US are still to arrive. I’ve had an issue getting hold of ME turnouts, even ME themselves had run out of stock, although I’ve been told they are on their way but I’m looking at the middle of May for them to arrive in the UK which is obviously not an option so thanks to a great company in the UK who are the importers of Shinohara trackwork and turnouts. I had 2 code 70 turnouts arrive this morning and they look great. However they are quite DCC UNfriendly more of that to follow when I wield the soldering iron to sort them out.

Check these guys out if you want more info Scalelink The site is quite a goldmine.

Lots of little resin detailing items have turned up from Unit Models. They look really good and photos will be up this week.

Well thats the goodies out of the way for the time being.

Changes. I’ve changed my mind again on the front right hand side of the layout again, gone is the plan to model Jesse’s auto shop as I’ve decided against the white building and also I couldn’t work out how to fit it to the location on the junction properly so I’ve chosen to model Domingo Produce Corp. (See below) Its a great looking building to model if you like shoeboxes with platforms ( like me ) and the reefer trucks out on the sidewalk will make a great addition to the plot. It also shows the location the layout is set in quite well.

Domingo Produce corp.
The perfect way of setting the layout!

Boley truck models have come in handy to model these reefer trucks but again they’ve had to come from the US but a good deal on US ebay has come up trumps. Photos to come when they arrive but not expecting that for a while.

With luck and some good weather the photos of progress will be uploaded this week or weekend.

Thanks all for reading.

Slowly but surely…

You know when you have so many plans and the actual time to do them you don’t alway end up getting anywhere near what you want to do done. Well thats me at the moment, I know there is a deadline looming but working odd shifts at work including night shifts get to you after a while, (recovery time isn’t as good as it used to be!)

Any way work has been going on regardless of my lethargy, the boards are built although legs need to be attached but the layout is sat upon adjustable trestles Clicky clicky

A very useful piece of kit that seems to be having a good impact on small exhibition layouts, they fold up very nicely but can be bulky if you use more than 2 or 3 of them. I have 4 of them in my workshop where they come in very handy.

The backscene is painted, its only painted pure white whether it stays this is way is another matter although at the moment I like it but it may be changed down the line. The lighting pelmet is all attached and the lights will go up tomorrow.

The plans were laid out on the boards today and although the boards looked huge when the plan was put over the top makes it look compact but quite open which is what I was aiming for! woohoo. This means that I can get the layout outside in the sunshine (fingers crossed it lasts) and take some progress shots. The P2k GP38-2 put in its first appearance too although I’m lacking in freight cars must get some in.

The only problem I have at the moment is that I ordered ME code 70 #6 turnouts back in January and I’m still waiting for them, there being ordered for me but its been a while now and I may well have to build the point work myself, I’m more than happy to scratchbuild these but the problem there in is I cant seem to find anywhere that sells copper cladding/ PCB board the right size they’re all designed for 4mm 00 gauge layouts, although the nearest I can find is too thin but could be packed with plasticard. I’d try using rail spikes but I reckon that would be too much hassle.