Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Ideas for a new Eastmoor

The title of my blog comes from the layout which, in various forms, has been built my my dad and I. But you may have noticed that despite numerous references the layout itself has actually never appeared here. There's good reason for this though. Over the last three or so years, the layout has been in a state of limbo. Talk of down sizing, dissatisfaction with some areas of the design have meant no progress has really been made. Stock, on the other hand, has seen progress as they can used on any version of the layout! So with this mind we have begun to look at redesigning the layout.

The basic scheme is shown here;

Putting the fiddle/storage yards beneath the scenic section means that we would make the best use of whatever space is available. All that needs careful thought is how to approach the use of gradients to allow this to work effectively.

The location has also been better defined than previously, although it does skew things a little in terms of distances. Eastmoor station is between Market Weighton and Kiplingcotes stations just south of the village of Goodmanham - though in our reality Goodmanham would become the larger settlement of Eastmoor.

If you follow the path of the line, you'll notice the two roads which cross the line, Eastmoor station will be between these. The bridge on the left is the one shown towards the top of this post - this structure will feature by the station.

This is one of the first 'drafts' of the station layout -

It's based on various layouts found along the line; just ignore the facing points on the mainline; a small mistake on my part!

A further sketch shows the thinking behind to how to rearrange the goods yard to allow the inclusion of the grain drying works which features on the current version of the layout. The coal drops just need to be worked in somehow!

You'll notice how no dimensions are stated; this is because the exact size a shape has yet to be established. These will come later.

Also for consideration is the opposite side of the layout. We've decided to use the fact that there were numerous quarries between Market Weighton and Beverley - these were generally small affairs but we will assume that the one near Eastmoor is larger, more like that to be found at Wharram on the Malton & Driffield Railway. It plays right into my interest in industrial railways too - a perfect excuse for a couple of nice little industrial saddle tank locos! We've even talked about including the remains of a narrow gauge line/tramway which brought stone from quarry which we envisage being higher up towards the hamlet of Arras to the exchange sidings. Though this will have been superseded by a conveyor with the disused track providing scenic interest - though I'd wire it up so I could build something like this!

This stage is quite an exciting part of layout building! You're free to go whichever way you want! Expect more updates as the year progresses.

A Modeller's Handbook of Painting and Lining

To continue a previous theme of Christmas presents, Suzi also bought me A Modeller's Handbook of Painting and Lining by Ian Rathbone.

The presentation is up to the usual Wild Swan standard and the content is superb! Ian Rathbone makes it look so easy too! This is, of course, the sign of someone who not only knows what they're doing but also someone who can communicate ideas across with ease.
I won't go into too much detail of its contents, as it would take some time! But I can thoroughly recommend it to anyone who paints their own models or wishes to start.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Tractor Renaissance

As many regular readers may be aware, I'm very much in favour of revisiting previous projects. I feel it not only leads to less waste but also gives you a chance to review how you modelling has improved. One such example which will hopefully be revisited this year will this model, which will end up as a class 37 as it when it was new and working off Hull Dairycoates shed.

The basis for the model was one of Bachmann’s first releases of their revised class 37. It suffered from a few issues, most notably nose related issues, but otherwise has got the overall proportions and look pretty much spot on.

The buffers, for some reason, sit far too low and this corrupts the look of the bufferbeam fairings as it comes out of the box. Moving the buffers upwards and cutting back the fairing is quite an easy job and I don’t think it took too long. This is the key to making this model look right. Despite the overall look being about right, I would like to improve it and take it more to the level of 37 677. The above photo gives a hint of what I intend to begin with when the time comes.

This is a photo my dad took at Leeds in the early 1960s of D6731, also a Dairycoates machine. This is the look we’re after - a nice 'workaday' locomotive which will easily sit as part of the overall scene.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Just Supposing...

On End of the Line recently was a link to a newly published photo of HS4000 Kestrel which was a loco which was very much before its time; wouldn't it be amazing if the loco turned up complete one day? It was exported to Russia in 1971 after Hawker Siddley were unsuccesful in securing orders from British Railways for similar locos.

The photo was apparently taken in 1985 which isn't recent by any means and long before the alleged scrapping date of 1994. But just suppose it was still out there somewhere...

Friday, 15 January 2010

Starting them early!

Today was a very important day for our little family; today we introduced Thomas to the wonderful world of railways! Not that he had any idea of what was going on, which isn’t a bad way to be really!

It was also an excuse to see 60163 Tornado for me too though! Amazingly I’d not seen the newest standard gauge steam locomotive until today! Although it wasn’t possible to get up close and personal with the loco, as it’s in the NRM’s workshops for its winter maintenance, it was good to see it. I originally missed its first appearance at the museum as I was working. So, even if he didn’t realise, Thomas was in the presence of one of the British heritage railway movement’s greatest achievements!

Tornado was also in the company of preservation’s best known locos, notably 4472 Flying Scotsman, still in a dismantled state. Whilst it is sold as ‘The People’s Engine’ it seems to have been left behind in Tornado’s wake. I suspect that more members of the public are aware of what 60163 has been doing over the last year or so following such events as an appearance on Top Gear and ‘rescuing’ commuters during the bad weather recently. I still wonder if the NRM should cease spending money on Scotsman and release the funds for other work. If Scotsman was to be cosmetically restored to an authentic appearance and placed along side 4468 Mallard in the museum’s Great Hall, it would surely be a wonderful tribute to the machines which once ruled the East Coast Mainline?

And while we at the Museum, we felt it best to make sure that Thomas was given a good start in life! So, although he won’t be able to use it yet, he has his first model locomotive, albeit Brio rather than something in P4! I remember I loved my wooden railway though I may have been a little odd, as I did attempt to operate it to a timetable!

A really lovely afternoon was had today and it was a nice way to end my paternity leave, I just wish I could have a little longer at home with Suzi and Thomas.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Operation 24 - Part 2

I can't believe that it's nearly a year since I last posted about this project! Actually, i still can't believe we're in 2010, but there you go! I have got a little further with it, but not much! The main area of progress was completely disassembling the Bachmann base model!

I decided to use Hornby Class 25 cabs for the model partly for consistency across a number of future project and it'll provide a good indication of whether or not it is worth the effort! The body donating these will be the ten year project I mentioned in the original post about this. A tub of ModelStrip means that the body can live on, in part anyway...

This provides a good comparison of the two cabs; if you can live with the Bachmann cab fronts, then great, you can save yourself a lot of messing about! However if you're not so sure, then this could be one way to provide a solution.

This is one of my working drawings from the project which should give an idea of what's going on! It also shows the water/fuel tank arrangements for the chosen loco, D5096.

And this is the first 'draft' of the final effect. Obviously there is a lot of work to do but I think the effect is better than Bachmann's original. Though I will add that the Craftsman roof casting needs a fair bit of fitting and shaping to get the effect right. But even this is outweighed by the result - once all blended it and with rainstrips re-instated the cabs and body should appear 'as one'.

So still a long way to go, but I think this is one conversion which has a lot of potential.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

The Titfield Thunderbolt

First post of the year and life is beginning to settle down now - I'm kinda getting used to being awoken when someone small is hungry! Not been into the workshop for sometime, but hopefully will find a bit of time next week.

Sometime after Christmas Suzi and I managed to actually exchange presents! I have to admit I do have a great wife! Among my presents was a DVD of The Titfield Thunderbolt! It's such a wonderful film, perhaps showing an England that never really existed in most places but it's very easy to forgive that!

The premise behind the film is a community finding out that British Railways wishes to close the branch which links them to the outside world. The alternative is a new bus service, but this doesn't sit well with many residents. Instead they decide to run it themselves with the financial backing of one wealthy Titfield resident who appreciates the fact that a railway company is quite within the law to provide a bar in a buffet car whenever a train is in motion, regardless of the time of day!

Many of the incidents in the film were inspired by T.E.B. Clark's visit to the Tal-y-llyn Railway in 1951 just after it had been preserved and was being run by 'amateurs'. The film was certainly not what Suzi was expecting when she watched it - the only previous 'railway' feature film we've watched together was The Train with Bert Lancaster, an altogether much darker film. In contrast The Titfield Thunderbolt provides a lovely tranquil escape from the modern world. It was some years since I had last seen it and I think I got even more from it having gained more railway knowledge! Certainly the character of 'Dan', a retired platelayer, who ends up as the new company's fireman reminds me of one railwayman I know!

If you haven't seen the film already, I really think you ought to try and see it and if you have seen it but not for some time, it's still a wonderful way to spend an afternoon!