Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Boscarne Junction + Wharf (4)

While driving to work this morning I was reflecting on what I was doing the previous evening. Watching the Barcelona v Chelsea game, more sleepers where being cut and stained. I also opened the P4 point kit and read though the instructions. This brought me to thinking about my lack of progress with Boscarne. To create another short piece of test track and/or build the point kit is fine but I don't feel I'm making any progress. Building baseboards is where my head is really at at the moment and putting this off until I have more information on the Boscarne site is frustrating me. So why have I not put the wood to the saw? It's because I have this demon that says it has to be right. Boscarne is a real location so my layout should reflect this, including the correct height of rail above the river bed. Without this information I don't know the height of the baseboard edges. Hmmm.... is this so important?

This layout is suppose to be a test bed to see if I can achieve an acceptable standard. It is not an exact model of the real Boscarne Junction. A real location it is but with a fictitious history applied creating a junction that is different to the reality. I've already shortened the track plan and moved the river closer to the junction. I do need to keep an eye on the scenic areas to try and capture the feel of this location but it should not matter if I am a few feet out in the height of rail over river bed. I need to start building the layout soon.

So Bank Holiday weekend coming up should be an ideal opportunity .... but working Sunday and Monday, this is after a trip to Stratford upon Avon, for a bit of culture, on Friday/Saturday. Baseboard building will have to be postponed until the following week. At least I've made the decision to make a best guesstimate of track height. If it doesn't match reality I'll have to live with it.

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Bodmin Parkway (Road) station

Many years ago in the mid 1980s a Model Railway Club thought about building a layout based on Bodmin Road station in Cornwall. Why a railway club based in the flat lands of Lincolnshire ending up with this as a potential model I will not go into here. Apart from the track plan in R.H. Clark's Survey of Great Western Stations we had little to go on. So one of us wrote to a local club in the Bodmin area and asked if someone might be kind enough to take photographs of the station. I have published the resultant photographs here at The date I have put on this survey is 1984 but this is approximate. If anyone would like to own up to be the gents that kindly took these photos please do as I will then gladly fully credit you on my site. This was the start of my interests in this area, Bodmin Road, to Bodmin General and eventually Wadebridge, Padstow and the North Cornwall line.

I've also posted a few other photos taken of the station in the mid 1990s, approximately 1994. These were taken as the Club had by then folded and I was hoping to build the layout myself. Though the 1984 photos are extensive, I was struggling to workout heights of structures. So, much to the amusement of the family, I packed a piece of 2" x 1" marked with 1 foot increments. This you should be able to see in a few of the photographs.

May be one day I might be able to contemplate this as a model again but in the mean time I hope they are of use to someone.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Progress over Easter

Easter has come and gone with reasonable success. I've been able to create some space in the garage which should be enough to build and put up a couple of baseboards. This was after four trips to the local tip. More trips will follow if I can get permission to throw more out. Why do we keep so much rubbish?

The camping trailer was found and is still receiving some TLC but should be up for sale soon. Once that has gone even more space will be created which should be enough for the whole Boscarne project.

One bonus is that I think I've found enough softwood for the baseboards, second bonus is I've discovered a small supply of plywood at work. Possibly a little on the thick side as it is 9mm but it will help to create strong stable baseboards which hopefully will not add too much to the overall weight. Will still need to purchase some 4mm for the side edges, as I doubt I'll be able to curve the 9mm.

So what next?
Build my P4 Track Company point kit?
Build another length of track with full height sleepers?
Build a small quarter size mock up of the layout to work out lie of the land?
Build a wagon or two with compensation?

I suppose realistically I need to concentrate on the mock up. As I will need to know rise and fall of the land before building any baseboards. Could also do with knowing approximately how high the tracks are above the river. Last time I was at the Bodmin and Wenford Railway in 2007, when looking from the train, I was surprised at how high the bridge was over the river. A guesstimate would be between 30 - 40 feet, but this is from memory. I know I could throw the modellers' licence card into the ring at this point but ..... Is this a good excuse for another visit? I'll have to work on it.

So if the mock up and progress to baseboard construction has to be postponed until more information is found, it has to be testing track/point building techniques and/or wagon building.

Monday, 13 April 2009

Ballasting (3)

"What type of ballast are you going to use?" was a question asked and to be honest, though I have several published colour photos of the branch, due to potential colour casts in reproduction I was still unsure to type and colour.

After posting a thread on RMWeb I've been informed that the likely source for the ballast during S.R. days would be Meldon Quarry on the edge of Dartmoor. If anyone else in interested the three links below offer a reasonable background information about this quarry and include photos.

If there was any ballasting completed after being transferred to WR, Stoneycombe quarry would possibly have been used.

I'm still trying to track down if any of the branch was re-ballasted during the 1950's and 1960's but I am now more confident about the colour of two photos on this website taken in 1986. To me this looks like ballast from Meldon. But I do believe ColourRail have a number of slides of this branch which I am also going to try and purchase as reference.

The thread on RMWeb is still running so more information may well surface.

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Clay Wagons

Just a quick posting to record a reference site.

I'm going to need one or two clay wagons for Boscarne and Grogley and just landed on Paul Bartlett's fotopic site showing clay wagons. What an excellent reference site.

Looking at the photos I'm not sure that I'm looking forward to weathering these wagons.

Already have a dozen Ratio kits to build and 8 Ian Kirk kits. The Ian Kirks will need converting as I was build them to EM gauge specifications. Could do with some more Ian Kirks but they are very hard to come by.

Friday, 10 April 2009

Project for Easter

Well there it is....... where it's all going to happen. Underneath all that there is a camping trailer that needs some TLC. First I have to find it, then administer the TLC before selling it. With that out of the way and some general tidying up I should be able to create enough space to start building some baseboards.

Brake Vans

After posting a thread on RMWeb, I've gleaned information on types of Brake Vans that might/were seen on the Wenford Branch and in the area.

It looks like it was a N.E. Toad E Van that was regularly used on the Wenford Branch not an LMS one as I first thought. But in saying that I could justify a 20T LMS van, a SR 25 ton van and the Standard BR van. Interestingly there is a case to justify a Queen Mary van in the early 1960s. One would be added to the goods train if there was a paying passenger. The train would then have two brake vans. That I have to model so it can be included as an option.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Scalefour North 2009

What can I say ...... most enjoyable day spent at Scalefour North last Sunday.

I meet a good friend from the Mablethorpe club days, Nick Cook, who has been trying to convince me to convert to P4 for many years. We were both impressed by the demonstration and layouts that used DCC control. Not only because of the addition of sound but also for the control of the locos. After chatting to Digitrans guys it definitely looks as if this will be the way to go, if purse strings will allow. It was also good to meet Roger from the Craven Area Group, and James of Eastmoor and the Botanic Gardens fame. I must not forget the North Lincs Area Group. Gordon and the guys gave me a warm welcome at my first Area Group meeting and were there with Clive Impey's Milton layout.

Purchases made included a P4 Track Company point kit, and some full thickness plywood sleepers. I was encouraged by being told that they know of a number of modellers that use the ply sleepers with plastic chairs and no rivets. Just proves that I'm not doing anything new. And thanks to Gordon for reminding me to purchase some coupling rods from Bill Bedford for my first P4 loco conversion.

The only layout I'd seen before was Sheep Pasture and still think it is a fascinating layout beautifully modelled and presented.

It was the first time I'd seen Bramblewick in the flesh, and I wasn't disappointed. Its a real piece of artistry, a complete moving picture. I've uploaded a few photos below. But I was impressed by all the layouts on show: Almwick with the quality of PW and ballasting; Nottingham Goods; Newham Goods; Western Road Diesel Depot; and Milton. They all added to the quality on show and provided plenty inspiration. Just a pity I didn't take many decent photos of all these layouts. Taking photos without flash shows my shaky hands, need to invest in a tripod for the next show.

I have been in awe of P4 modellers for years. Ventured to ScaleFour North before and always thought I can't achieve what these guys are doing to the point of being put off from trying. Now I have decided to take the plunge into P4 and, though still in awe of the standards on show, with the support being offered I am hopeful I might achieve an acceptable standard. All the guys at the show were willing to talk to the new guy and the help on offer seems limitless. If anyone is considering converting to P4 I would highly recommend going along to one of the Scalefour exhibitions and talk to the exhibitors, demonstrators and traders.

Friday, 3 April 2009

Track - First effort

Spent this evening watching Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible) with a drop of Laphroaig to keep me company. Then looked down at my workbench and discovered I'd finished my first bit of track. Just a short 14 inch length to get me started but it looks OK. There is always room for improvement, some of the chairs are at a jaunty angle and I need to work out the correct rust colour for track and chairs. Tried pre-painting the chairs using acrylics and they have taken some colour but not happy as I'm after a dusty colour.

Think I read recently that P4 Track Company's wooden sleepers are thicker than those supplied by the EMGS, which would certainly help with ballasting. I do like the texture and overall effect of the wooden sleepers so will have to give these thicker ones a try.

So far the chairs seem firmly bonded to the wooden sleepers. Will the bond reduce in time? Will the bond be strong enough to construct points? Questions I hope to be asking this weekend at ScaleFour North. Also need to purchase a point kit to see if I have the skills needed. It will be good to try plastic sleepers just to see how they turn out......Try my hand at swimming with the current before continuing swimming upstream again.