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Modeling interests

Discussion in 'Model Railways' started by martin1656, Jul 2, 2018.

  1. martin1656

    martin1656 Part of the furniture Friend

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    I thought I would try to see if I can kick start this on here, rather than littering the other forums,
    So how many of you are keen modelers and what do you model? and what do you like most about it?

    So here's mine, I used to model 00 and had quite a collection of Southern coaches all kit built , because at the time, there were no RTR Maunsell or Bulleid coaches, I then had several house moves, which meant I gave my stuff away, and did not bother with it, now I find myself settled, and have time on my hands, but only limited money, so I can't afford to buy new stuff, and had some boards that I used to use in connection with a business venture, so I worked out I had room for a small layout using two 4ftx2ft boards , and a large space in my bedroom, that has room for a layout and work bench but cant be used for much else, so what to model, well I have always thought about doing 009 because of its mixture of small size and that it leads itself to scratch building .
    so I have the boards today I was able to get 13x 900mm lengths of track, 2x 700 mm , Hopefully points will follow when I get them, so what layout is it, its a narrow gauge passenger line similar I guess to the L&B ,having a major station, with an island , and building , so 2 platform roads and one circuit that turns back on its self so you leave and approach the station from the same direction, and a second line that comes off one road, onto an embankment , that leads to a goods yard and disused station, so in effect a freight only line,
    So buildings scenery , I used to scratch build, and that's what i'm going to do, for instance where the embankment is, I could make a backdrop of a town, pub, basic platform, of course on the lower bits that leads into cuttings, etc hills, on the old line, that can be made to look really run down, grass on the tracks, an air of dereliction at the old station, next to the goods yard, but still used to shunt freight etc, Wagons, I have some 3d printed wagons, and im going to build a small collection from peco underframes and plasticard Coaches, im going to build myself , from plans of coaches and a couple of 3d L&B coaches so I will need to scratch build a brake and possibly a saloon type, engines I have 2, a tram type and an side tank , both use the Kato chassis.
     
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  2. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    I think scratch-building especially rolling stock is probably my favourite aspect of modelling - probably why my actual layout has made little progress in the last few years! I hate doing the electrics and getting track to actually work, it's a pain in the arse. It does mean I can pick the glamour of the Edwardian era without having to worry about RTR provision which is nice, not having to be largely restricted to the last 50 years of steam.

    Anyway, I look forward to seeing your work Martin, there are plenty of line drawings of L&B stock on the interweb for modelling purposes. I shall pop some pictures up of some of my work tomorrow evening or Wednesday, it's getting late now and I'm up early tomorrow for another day of 12" to the foot modelling!
     
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  3. DragonHandler

    DragonHandler Well-Known Member

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    Over the years I've had several 00 model railways varying in size from a very small shelf layout up to large one that occupied the entire front bedroom.
    My current 00 layout is in the loft and is a double track main line and can comfortably accommodate 6 coach trains and the few visitors that have seen it are always impressed by its size. But all is not really well with it, it suffers mainly from decisions I made 25+ years ago when I started it that have hampered what I do with it today. The other problem with it is its location, if I want to run it or do any work on it I have to lower the loft ladder, drop the power cable down and plug it in, once in the loft I have to remove all the dust covers, so doing a quick bit of work when I have a spare half-hour or so just isn't an option. Oh, and did I mention the extremes of temperature in winter and summer?
    So when I suitable bit of space became available in the study I jumped at the opportunity to build a railway in it. This is going to be a 009 layout, partly because while looking for something in the loft I found a box of old 009 stock from my first 009 layout from about 40 years ago, and partly because I wanted to build something completely different from the 00 layout in the loft.
    After many months of planning and working out track plans work has now started, so far I've constructed the baseboards and marked out where the track will go and roughly how the scenery will fit in. Buying the track will have to wait until the end of the month as my week in F&WHR territory rather hit the plastic! I did get some rather nice Peco GVT 4 wheel coaches from the FR shop.

    Hmmm, just noticed that it's past midnight and I'd said I'd have an early night today. So much for Good Intentions!
     
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  4. big.stu

    big.stu Member

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    Trains are a big thing in our house - my son has some developmental issues, and trains are an activity we can do together and keep him focussed. I'm not really in to fine detail modelling - as an engineer I like building things and making them work, and then I tend to move on to the next thing. Unfortunately this means we have a lot of projects, none of which are really finished. Here's what we have scattered around the house (and garden):

    Z gauge briefcase layout (oval of track with single siding, no scenery, some Marklin rolling stick plus some 3D printed wagons and an 0-4-0 loco being scratch built). Originally intended to be a tiny GWR setup - may yet achieve that eventually, it was also an experiment in 3D printing, which was quite challenging at this scale!

    OO9 (or possibly N-gauge) shelf layout for shunting. Currently veering toward OO9 quarry (Josh's preference), but we also have a Farish J94 and some mineral wagons, so could yet go that route. Currently a pile of track and stuff lying on a potential baseboard - this is a recently started project to use up some flexi-track I had lying around.

    OO 'portable' layout - simple minimum radius oval with two sidings on a cork notice board - allows my son to run Thomas etc. in bedroom or elsewhere in house. Doubles as test track, despite tight curves. Small sprung toggle switches fitted as 'levers' in a Hornby plastic signal box with half roof removed for access, they operate the two sets of points and two signals on the layout. Josh has painted this board, mostly in green. This was the first proper layout and designed to lay across the frame at the top of the bunk bed in Joshua's bedroom.

    OO loft layout - large double loop with extensive yard (turntable, loco shed, carriage sidings, goods sidings, permanent way etc) on one side, and a station with goods yard on the other. Can be run as LNER or BR with available rolling stock. Work in progress - some buildings sorted, not much scenery yet, but slowly being worked on with my son (it's his layout really). This is the most advanced of our modelling efforts. Currently experimenting with DCC and sound, although only one loco (Tornado) equipped so far. Some interesting control side stuff using an Arduino/Motor Shield/WiFi shield which allows iPhone/iPad control direct from the JMRI WiThrottle app (but without needing a full computer running JMRI). Trying to work out whether a 3A motor shield is going to be up to running the entire layout (with 3/4 locos running at any one time). Layout currently run from a HM2000 with HM2000+ extension controllers (one for each loop, one for the yard, one for the station/goods yard).

    O gauge three-rail vintage - double loop, not permanently installed anywhere. Mostly Hornby/Bassett-Lowke, although loco is a Japanese made copy of a Leeds loco. Bought for my son so he can run it each summer at the Bassett-Lowke exhibition run by a friend of father-in-law, who then kindly gave us some 3-rail track so we could run it at home. The guys there kept encouraging him get me to buy him something to run (although our little Japanese 0-4-0 was a bargain compared to the value of some of the locos they let him have a go with!).

    G gauge ceiling level layout round my son's bedroom - passing loop on one side, small yard in door alcove. Polar Express, Hogwarts Express (both Lionel sets sourced cheaply from US) , Disneyland train and PlayMobil loco with some freight wagons. All of these were originally radio controlled, but I have replaced all the control electronics with BLE (Bluetooth) modules of my own construction which are compatible with the Bluetrains modules/protocol so can be driven by my son using his iPad (Bluetrains have a nice multi-throttle app - saved me having to write the software for that as well as the modules!). Scenery runs to a pretend girder bridge faked up out of old Meccano which helps hold the inside edge of the track board up.

    L gauge (Lego trains) - extension collection of stuff including Chinese rip-off of Emerald Night (surprisingly good actually). Josh enjoys building his own stuff for this, and I have also constructed some BLE control modules for use in place of the Lego infra-red control items. Not uncommon to find our lounge floor taken up by an extensive Lego layout.

    5 inch gauge - not really modelling, but 10m of track temporarily laid up and down the garden. Maxitrak Ruston 0-4-0 battery loco with riding truck and 3-4 person bogie carriage. Sweet Pea steam locomotive under construction, and a plan to create a running loop round the back garden, although the curves are going to be down to almost minimum radius to fit it in. Still negotiating with my wife to run the track back around the perimeter of the lawn though. I am a (rather dormant) member of SWDSME who have 5"/7.25" ground level track and a club house on the AEMR site (and part of their track runs side by side with the main AEMR track), although we will eventually get round to running our locos there as well.

    And finally, our latest project, which will actually involve what I would regard as proper modelling. Combining Josh's love of trains and Disney (and a fascination with Walt Disney and his love of trains), we have come up with a plan to build a 'model' of a Disneyland Railroad. It will probably end up as a bit of a hybrid, with elements from different parks, but the plan is to make it as a modular layout (several 1m/3ft wide dioramas) which can be built up in to a loop just like at the parks. The first module is Disneyland Main Street Station (which we are constructing as a re-scaled printed card model, although given how much time it is taking, it's tempting to buy the commercial HO offering from eBay in the states). Future modules will probably include Frontierland station, Fantasy Land station, the tunnel with the Grand Canyon display and It's a Small World After All - all of which will probably have to be scratch built. Josh then wants to build a model of the Disney castle to sit in the middle.

    Phew - I think I've covered everything.
     
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  5. DragonHandler

    DragonHandler Well-Known Member

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    Impressive Big.stu, tell me is there a room in your house that doesn't have a railway in it?:)
     
  6. martin1656

    martin1656 Part of the furniture Friend

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    Big Stu, your an electronics guy, I want to talk controllers, now having seen the price of some regular power controllers, what are the actual inner workings, for instance you can get variable control panels reversible for things like blinds, very cheaply, compared to the cost of say a proper controler. is the PCB fitted in your average model railway power controler the same thing, so could you build your own panel to control a lay out using small such units they all look to have a power output of 0-12/24 v and they are a fraction of the cost I'm assuming the speed is governed by reducing the resistance and voltage
     
  7. big.stu

    big.stu Member

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    :) Not according to my wife and daughter! In reality they are normally found in the loft, Joshua's bedroom, the study, and temporarily in the lounge. The big stuff lives in the garage/workshop.

    The loft layout is often the cause of friction as the loft ladder blocks access in and out of my daughters bedroom when down (although being a teenager, she often spends hours in there without being seen anyway!) - she did once shut Josh in the loft, which was unfortunate as the lighting is all auto-switched by the hatch door being opened/closed :eek:

    Only the loft layout and the new Disney project are really what I would call modelling, the rest are an accumulation of track layouts for testing and running stuff on. I might see if I can find some photos of the more interesting bits.
     
  8. big.stu

    big.stu Member

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    Possibly. I haven't ever played with simple variants of such controllers (or rather, in my professional life as an embedded software engineer I have only played with slightly more complicated devices which are remotely controlled as part of home automation networks). It's worth covering a quick bit of background information.

    There are two basic types of controller used for traditional analog railway control:

    Originally, as you described above, there were variable resistor (or rheostat) controllers which act as a voltage divider allowing you to vary the the track voltage between zero and supply voltage (usually 12-13V DC - we'll ignore antique AC stuff etc). Some older Hammant & Morgan controllers I have seen also provide a pseudo PWM effect by not fully rectifying the AC supply, but they were still really this style of controller.

    Then came Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) type controllers. This is a square wave signal which applies full voltage (12-13V) in the on period, and zero volts in the off period. Speed is controlled by varying the ratio of on/off periods (see here for a reasonable description with helpful diagram: https://www.arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/PWM).

    Both types use a simple polarity switch for direction control (i.e. swap the track feeds over). [Edit: some work by having a centre off control knob but that is still usually a polarity switch achieved by cunning PCB tracks connected together by the position of the knob.]

    There are other variations (back EMF detection/feedback for example), but they are generally enhancements of one of the above. I believe the cheap plastic Hornby controllers you get in sets are still resistive types. The HM2000/HM4000 controllers from Hornby are PWM types.

    So, back to your variable control panels. It would be useful if you could point me at an example, but in general, the blind controllers I have seen had no control of voltage, only polarity (and sometimes timed operation). Of those which do provide voltage control, I suspect if they are cheap, then they will be resistive type controls, which should work.

    Make sure you don't end up with excessive track voltage (24V is going to be bad news) and beware of the amount of current that can be supplied - it's high currents that will kill things if motors stall etc. and I suspect stuff designed for more industrial applications will expect to drive oomphier motors than your average model loco. Most railway controllers have some form of current limitation (often by temperature 'fuses' or just limited input power).

    Does that help? Happy to provide more info if you can point me at an example you had in mind...
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2018
  9. martin1656

    martin1656 Part of the furniture Friend

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    ON ebay I saw " DC 12V -40V PWM DC variable power controller would this be too powerfull ?
     
  10. big.stu

    big.stu Member

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    I think the controller should be ok - it will come down to what you use to supply it. If you keep the supply at 12-14V and able to supply no more than an amp or two then you should be fine. I suspect given the working voltage range quoted that the output side of such a controller will be capable of switching higher currents than that - I have in the past used a similar controller on a 12V battery loco project for 5 inch gauge where the currents involved are considerably higher. How much current you actually need will depend on whether you are in to double heading etc. A single OO locomotive shouldn't really need more than an amp max (older locos tend to be more power hungry than more modern ones), more like 0.5A in my experience.

    If I were playing this game I would run it from a bench supply initially so I could see what the current draw looks like and play with the supply voltage a bit, but that's because I like to be cautious and happen to have such a supply available (we actually use it as a controller for the O-gauge 3-rail train).

    Edit to add the following:

    The good thing about a controller rated to much higher currents is that it will probably run cooler at the relatively low currents you need than a lower rated devices running nearer it's limit. This potentially also improves reliability.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2018
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  11. DragonHandler

    DragonHandler Well-Known Member

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    Due to the position of the hatch my loft ladder comes down a few inches inside the bathroom, this means that when I go up I must keep very close to the ladder or I hit my back on the top of the bathroom door frame, which can be painful!!!
     
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  12. GWR4707

    GWR4707 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Always liked the idea of modelling (especially as Mrs GWR4707 has expressed an interest in scenery making etc (she is the creative one in our house!)) but its never come to anything due to work, daughter and extending the house. This is all a very interesting read though, must confess OO9 is a new one on me, my very limited interests as a kid never really went beyond N and OO.

    My father has a very extensive collection of GWR locomotives at OO which are all displayed in glass cabinets, so they will come to me at some stage, whilst he has the normals (kings Halls etc)he also has a number of Cities and Dean Single Wheelers which could make for an interesting era.
     
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  13. big.stu

    big.stu Member

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    Go on, you know you want to :)
     
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  14. DragonHandler

    DragonHandler Well-Known Member

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    009 is a new one on lots of people and while it's been around for a long time it's never really been popular in 'mainstream' railway modeling circles.
    I guess modeling narrow gauge railways is a rather niche interest, 009 is 00 scale but using 9mm track. I don't think its popularity is helped by the lack of RTR British locos & stock, but this looks like it's slowly changing.
     
  15. ilvaporista

    ilvaporista Well-Known Member

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    I have sympathy with Big Stu but my collection does not take over the whole house... yet!

    Around the walls of the study are vertical display cases attached to the walls with my express trains of nations with a mixture of scales. Most of my 00 stock lives in these and in a few square IKEA glass display cases there is my father in law's Marklin HO collection. The study has a fold down basic scenic layout (8' x 6') in OO/HO which is really a twin track test track. Not many features that would limit which scale to use, one day there is a plan to make a better layout.

    There is a portable 009 layout along a shelf which is progressing, track and wiring is done and scenery is 'in the white'. Based on scenes from the book British Narrow Gauge this moves around with me to various places to get worked on as and when, currently this is enjoying some mountain air as we get ready to escape the heat.

    There is a G scale portable layout featuring a trestle bridge and a passing loop and not much else. Mostly a test track for the live steamers. The G1 does run on there but looks a bit strange. This normally lives in the basement and is a constant source of irritation to my wife who thinks that the basement should be a 'taverna' instead of a Man Cave.

    There is a G1 collection which is nothing more than a shelf set of sidings and a 1m curve round a corner which acts as a test track. No good for live steam which tends to only run on rollers unless I visit an outdoor track. I shunt my 'wagons for a fiver' as produced by my brother (Buxton Model Works and available only at exhibitions) with some of my creations built on Lego trains and converted to 2 rail.

    There are a couple of vintage Gauge 3 locos that live mostly in glass cases in the lounge or in my office to remind me I have a life outside work

    There is a bookcase of my 3 1/2" locos in various states, Tich, Molly, Juliet and odds and ends picked up over the years. On the open shelf below is the half built 5" Hunslet with it's boiler innards still on display... Boiler making is strictly a winter time occupation here.

    There is a rack system under the stairs which houses the running 7 1/4 " stock. A double Tich, Toad, Battery loco, Hunslet Tender (used as a driving truck) and a passenger gondola car (although there are plans to use the bogies and make a GWR well wagon with a padded beam).

    The workshop is home to the current projects: A petrol mechanical 7 1/4" 'quickie' for use on a potential track at a local railway museum. 4" scale Hunslet (needs me to pick up courage and make or order a boiler...). Overscale 7 1/4" GP9 with motors from an electric wheelchair, only a frame and bogie sides built. There is a 30m test track with 5 and 7 1/4" with asemi plan to lay in 3 1/2" but at ground level it's a bit of a pull on my back

    Kicking around are castings and bits for another 6 -8 locos, Foden Steam wagon and a 4" traction engine. Essentially retirement projects

    I get my fun from building, but with my work travels time is limited, so I tend to go in spurts as I find enthusiasm for a particular project.

    Back in the UK there is a double garage full of 00 track, strictly cars outside, not been touched in a while but waiting to be brought back to life, including an impressive model of Hereford Barrs Court station building hand built by my father. There is also my 5" line hiding under the weeds, I had a look last weekend but too hot to do anything.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2018
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  16. big.stu

    big.stu Member

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    I think that lot makes mine look positively restrained! Give me another 10 years though...
    When asked recently, I believe my wife stated that she "just about tolerates" our obsession with all things railway (we also volunteer with the NVR Wagon Group as well as my driving at Audley End Miniature Railway, where Josh helps light up and dispose). My daughter just hates it all - despite the fact that she works at AEMR too (but on the front of house side of things).
     
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  17. ilvaporista

    ilvaporista Well-Known Member

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    My wife is just bemused, so I tell her it is her own fault for marrying an Englishman.. She does have an incredible nose for the smell of coal. Most men get the Spanish Inquisition if they roll home smelling of booze or perfume... I get it when I come back after a run at another track "You've been on those engines again"..
    Our three lads show absolutely no interest in railways at all so it's quite a solitary thing, though number two did come and help at the last Milan show so maybe there is some hope. Though they all seem to like to visit special places like last year's event at a friend's railway.
     
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  18. 5944

    5944 Well-Known Member

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    I'm currently working on our model railway club's N gauge layout of Aylesbury GC station. It's about 3' wide and 24' long so quite a size. All the track on the public side is handbuilt. The 50m of plain line wasn't too bad as it's plastic sleeper bases with rail threaded in. The 60 or so points, crossing, single and double slips will have to be built from lengths of rail and copper clad sleepers. That's going to be fun as no one in the club has done any before in N gauge! Control will be DCC using MERG components. Not a clue how it will work at the moment, but I need to learn pretty quickly.

    At home nothing is being done until a new shed has been constructed in the garden. 8' x 20' should be big enough! Plan is for an Italian HO gauge layout around the shed, with a small work bench at one end. Hopefully it'll be decent enough quality to be exhibited in the future, so it'll be in sections to allow it to be taken out and about.
     
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  19. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    I stared a large OO line in the attic which has been delayed for various reasons. The plan was for something a la Clapham Junction, however I dont think I have the necessary skills to wire it.

    The plan at the moment is for a small S&D type single line station, I rather fancied Henstridge as a starting point but middle son after trying a shunting layout wants a Midford type goods yard.

    The attraction of course of a single line station is that with no need for any signalling beyond a ground frame it can be pretty much whatever you want when you want to ring the changes - S&D, IoW, Col Stevens etc etc
     
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  20. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Well how about some pictures then! :)

    I model the NSR in the Edwardian era, focused around Stone station with a view to potentially having a small section of the CVR around Consall at some point too.
    Why? Well, many years ago when he lived there my Grandad planned to do a model of Stone station, and being a professional draftsman, had rolls and rolls of plans. Unfortunately he never got round to getting much beyond that, save for the station front, which when clearing out his stuff I rescued, along with the plans, and set to:

    [​IMG]

    It's still not finished, but like most things, work on it is stop start, currently working on the hipped roof on the other side.
    A Signal box followed, this as demolished quite early on so I didn't have a huge amount to go on:

    [​IMG]

    And as I said, rolling stock has turned out to be y favourite thing to model I think. Bearing in mind before this the most I;d done was give some stock a repaint, I decided to start off with some carriages to see how I went. Armed with drawings, some small castings, plain plasticard and a silhouette cutter to help with the panelling I managed to produce these:

    [​IMG]

    There's not much in the way of kits for NSR rolling stock, and what there is is very expensive, so locos needed making as well, these 3 all started off life as rtr locos and have had varying degrees of modification:

    [​IMG]

    The 0-6-0 started life as a MR 3F and has had a new cab and smokebox, extended frames and a modified tender, the 0-6-0T started off life as a Jinty and has had everything from halfway along the boiler backwards rebuilt, and believe it or not at the core of the 2-4-0 in the middle is a a Tri-ang Nellie chassis! The rest being scratchbuilt.

    Along the way I advanced my wagon building skills, starting off with modifying RTR wagons graduating to building bodies from scratch up to scratchbuilding complete underframes, again all in plastic:

    [​IMG]

    Stone also saw some through LNWR trains, these are a bit easier to do as some kits are around:

    [​IMG]

    It's not really worth posting any pictures of the layout as there's not much there save track and platforms, most of my modelling time I never get further than my workbench, making it out to the shed is too much effort! A few other smaller buildings have also been produced along with some scratchbuilt signals slowly being made. Finding time in between university and volunteering is a challenge.

    So there we are, how about some piccies from the rest of you? :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2018

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