Sunday, 27 November 2016

November update

With only 89 days left before the Lincoln Show I feel the scenery is now at a stage where I should move onto other things. I would like to do more with the scenery, especially as I've not planted any nettles yet and feel a couple of trees are required... but... I need to build, more clay wagons; more cassettes for the storage sidings; a few more open wagons as well as box vans. There is also some tidying up to do on the presentation information. So I've still plenty to do...

The above photos show the current state of play with the "test plank". The white streaks are the result of recent running sessions. They show where I've misjudged the height of the ground around the rails that caused the loco to stall or derail.

Onwards and upwards...

Monday, 14 November 2016


I took a day out to visit the Spalding show on Sunday. This was for two reasons: firstly to try and encourage a close friend, who is trying to make a start in the hobby, in making a decision about what to build; secondly to see Gordon and Maggie Gravett's Pempoul.

On the first, I think there was a modicum of success. My friend is looking to build an N gauge layout. This meant much of the visit was spent discussing the different merits of what was on show in that scale. We met up with two of the old Mablethorpe and District MRC gang who offered their advice which was duly taken on board. I think the light bulb moment for my friend was after good chat with Ray Slack operating Bodmin, coupled with his kind invitation to to get behind the layout to see how the layout was constructed and operated. My friend may need a little help in layout design and operation along with a gentle push but I could see the cogs starting to whir.

On the second I'll let the following photos speak for themselves

Not the best photos that have been taken of this superb piece of 3D artwork. Pempoul was not the only layout on show worth admiring but for me it was best in show.

On arriving home I was able to spend some time in the "Man Cave" to make a little more progress on Tredethy Wharf. So overall an excellent day...

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Stuttering progress and the next project

Well, the last two weeks have not gone to plan... How often do we all say that? With two weekends away visiting friends and family along with a number of week nights spent away with work, progress almost ground to a stand still on Tredethy Wharf. What I have been able to achieve is not really much to shout about so will have to wait for the next blog...

But.., while spending evenings in hotels, not drink in the bar but playing "Billy no mates" in the hotel bedrooms, I've been giving some thought about what comes after Tredethy. Over the years, before I joined Scalefour Society, I'd collected almost all of Ratio's GWR buildings with the intention of building a GWR branch line terminus. I've also been slightly sidetracked by thoughts of a Taff Vale colliery and collected a few buildings and stock to suit.

Since starting this blog I've realised that there is a big difference in timescale to what can be achieved in OO compared to P4. This realisation has come from the time it has taken me to get Tredethy Wharf built. So I'd started to think, is there some merit in a small project being a viable option to follow on from Tredethy? A small layout would enable me to exhibit if it was considered good enough. It would also be an achievable project especially if I go really small and extended Tredethy to include a Clay Dries or Stone sidings....

So while being 'Billy no mates" I revisited some of the track plans I've collected over the years, then with pen and paper in hand I sketched out some ideas. While doodling a troublesome thought kept creeping into these ideas. Once Tredethy is scenically built, to complete the project, I will still need to build a few locos (a Beattie Well Tank, a WR 1366, BR Class 03 being three locos) as well as a few more wagons. These are not going to be built overnight and at the pace I'm progressing may take two or three more years before I can exhibit Tredethy with a correct loco fleet spanning a few years. If I change tack to a GWR BLT or Taff Vale Colliery these layouts would required a different loco stud and other rolling stock to be built. Hmmm.... so a change of tack might not necessarily be a quick project.

So what of the first and last big project, Grogley Junction?

Well, thinking that after building the above three locos for Tredethy they would also be available for Grogley brings me back to thoughts about this big project. It is the one that I still have a passion for. It is the one that I can picture in my mind. It is the one that I have been researching and building an alternative universe for. On the down side if I make a start on Grogley in P4 I now realise it will probably never be finished. But does that matter...? If it brings me enjoyment while building it,  probably not. If I cannot exhibit it, does that matter? Probably not.

So during my second week away I dug out the current track plan for Grogley and started to have a think and a bit of a tweak... The below is what I've ended up with.

The major changes I've made, since the last track plan I've posted, are adding a three platform station reducing the line towards Wadebridge junction to single track and adding Polbrock Engine shed. The more minor additions are a small loading dock siding and a siding that will be used for coaching stock storage. This is version 15 of ideas for this project and does look like it has grown "arms and legs". My thoughts have been, if this is going to be the (first &) last big project then it had better include all that I would like to see on a layout and give good operational opportunities. So a layout with a station, exchange goods sidings, a junction, and an engine shed, what more could I want...? Hmmm, don't answer that 'cos I could think of a few if I tried :-)

Below is just the track plan showing the kick back for the Bodmin cassette storage so it can be accessed from both directions. This would allow Bodmin to Wadebridge trains to be stored on these cassettes.

One advantage of this latest track plan is, by replacing the previous hidden sidings with Polbrock Engine Shed, it has allowed me to increase the scenic area of the layout. This extra space has given the opportunity to represent a length of single track running along side the river leading into Polbrock. This will give me a better chance to replicate the picture below.

Another possible advantage is as there are two signal boxes (Grogley Junction & Polbrock) I could split the layout to allow for two or more operators. Wow, it is getting out of hand...

While away I've also been able to get the basic elements of the above into Templot. Some slight alterations have had to be made but overall it is the same as the above. To complete the track plan in Templot, I have to finish the turntable; a double slip; a three way turnout; and those tricky diamonds at the junction to draw. Apart from that the drawing is complete.

Well, will this project get off the ground or is it just a dream? We'll have to wait and see...