Monday, 12 September 2016

First showing

Chipping Compton had it's first public outing over the weekend at Swindon's STEAM museum as part of the steam festival.  A great exhibition as always with plenty to see.  As it's the 175th anniversary of the works there were several layouts in attendance portraying Brunel's broad gauge.
The weather on the Friday night and Saturday was terrible and the humidity levels caused a few problems for my layout and several others but whilst frustrating this is of course unavoidable.  I didn't help matters by making the silly mistake of covering the layout with a plastic dust sheet on the Friday night which no doubt created it's own micro-climate!  It certainly didn't spoil the weekend for me though and on Sunday (a nice dry sunny day) it ran really well.
Here is a short video of the AEC railcar entering the station after first seeing the home signal being lowered.  Sorry about the background noise. 


Not the best of photographs by any stretch of the imagination but here is the layout immediately after setting up.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

It's finished............well nearly!

The layout is finally complete scenically and is running satisfactorily.  All that remains to be done now is to have a curtain made to hide the layout's legs and those of the operators and to work my way through all the stock to ensure the B&B couplings are set up accurately.  It's been a fair while since some of the stock saw use and the couplings can easily get out of adjustment.
Here are a few photos to give you an idea how things currently stand.

Pannier 8717 with a single coach train waiting to depart
The goods shed is based on that at Culkerton on the Tetbury branch. 
The entire scenic section of the layout with it's lighting unit installed.
Pannier 8717 is a Brynkits resin and etched-brass kit with much added detail.  The Hawksworth coach uses a Worsley Works etched-brass body ad chassis kit but again with much added detail.  The Worsley "Scratch aid" kits are an excellent way to add variety to your stock and are actually fairly easy to build.  Like all my coaches, this one sits on compensated bogies made from MJT etches and really do make a huge difference to running quality.     

The layout's exhibition debut is at the Swindon Festival of steam on the weekend of September 10th and 11th.  It then appears at the Warley NEC show on 26th and 27th November.  It is also due to appear in Railway Modeller in the December issue......a boyhood ambition realised! 

Sunday, 13 December 2015

The light at the end of the tunnel

With a deadline to meet for it's first exhibition at Swindon in September 2016 I have drawn up a list of "must do's".  Whilst not much has been happening on the layout itself I have completed a multitude of smaller projects in readiness for placing on the layout.  Road vehicles, platform fittings (seats etc), a goods yard crane and lots more.  I will be rather relieved when it reaches an exhibitable state as it has taken far too long to come to fruition with other events getting in the way.
A thorough tidy up of the spare bedroom beckons to enable the layout to be set up again.
I have uploaded 2 photos of the station, taken in the Summer of 2014.   Much of the work on the layout has since been taking place on the "country" end.

The sun is getting low as the head porter begins to lock up the station for the night.

Looking across from the goods yard with most of the platform visible.

Saturday, 28 February 2015

The saga continues............

Followers of this blog will be aware that posts are few and far between but the fact that there is 11 months since the last update stretches credibility somewhat.  Due to other matters I have done very little actual modelling since last June and I am am only very slowly getting back into things.
Anyhow, enough of that and on with the update.
After a period of being stored away I took one look at the middle board and immediately ripped up one of the sidings as I was just not happy with it.  It just looked too straight and tidy running in a boring parallel fashion alongside the running line.  It is now much shorter and curves away from the platform approach and represents the stub of a long-lifted spur to a quarry or some such industry.

The end of the short siding with the fence cutting across the trackbed of the former branch.  Apologies for the plastic sheet in the background.

Stepping back a bit and showing the PW hut, the wire fencing and undergrowth.  I certainly feel much better with how this corner of the layout looks now.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

The green, green grass of.........

Sorry for the awful heading to this post but my ageing brain just couldn't muster anything witty or clever.  Progress on Chipping Compton has been even slower than normal until recently.  Over the last few weeks however a great deal has happened on the main station board of the layout as can be seen on this photo.

Two decently sized trees have appeared adjacent to the station master's house.  I must admit to being rather pleased with how these have turned out.  The method of construction is straight out of one of the recent books by Gordon Gravett (the one on broad-leaf trees).  Making trees from wire is certainly nothing new but changing the type of wire used has changed things completely for me.  Gordon's method is to use the paper coated wire intended for cake decorators.  It costs a bit more but is readily available from cookery shops or on eBay.  Get a copy of the book and all will be revealed!

This corner of the layout has also had a post & wire fence added using the wonderful "E-Z Line" from The States.  Time consuming and fiddly attaching 4 strands to each fencepost but worth it in the end.
A wider view of the scene but with much more static grass added as well as bramble bushes made from postiche rope and Greenscene foliage.  A hedge and some fencing around the house will be added next.
Later on in the evening my camera caught this fox scurrying beneath the hedgerow.  He (she?) is one of the excellent new 3mm scale ones from Langley.  Painted in acrylics he (she?) looks just the part. 


Saturday, 5 October 2013

First outing

Chipping Compton had it's first outing last weekend, the 3mm Society's "Westfest" event in Wootton Bassett.  It had been invited as a "work in progress" exhibit which is just as well as it has a very long way to go before it's fit to be seen by the paying public.
It was a very useful shake-down for the layout as prior to checking it over and running a few trains in the week prior to the event it had not run for almost a year!  As you will have read in the previous (rather infrequent) posts I work on one section at a time.
Following a nice early arrival at the hall (I hate arriving at a show and have to rush setting up) the layout went together beautifully but when it came to run it the loco only crawled along at maximum power.
Thinking it was the controller that had given out Mike from Finney and Smith, that fine emporium for 3mm modellers kindly stepped in and lent me a "Pictroller" and suitable transformer.  A pity they didn't have any in stock as I would have bought one there and then.  A very fine controller indeed and on my Christmas list as a "from me to me" gift!   
Due to the way the layout is wired up I could not connect a 16 volt AC supply to the electro-magnets to uncouple the B&B couplings so goods traffic was kept to an absolute minimum.  A wire shunters pole hastily bodged together by my brother Rich utilising an X-acto knife handle was used for uncoupling passenger workings. 
The layout received some very kind comments and apart from the lack of automatic uncoupling it proved an enjoyable day's operating.
I did manage to get a few pictures:

Virtually the whole of the station is seen in this shot showing 7412 waiting to leave on a short goods working back to Andoversford.  The stationmasters house in the right background is nearing completion and will need toning-down a bit to fit in nicely. 

The goods shed is not bedded-in yet and one can still see the slight gap at ground level.  Once fixed in place this will be disguised.

I couldn't resist resist playing around with this shot (nothing clever....merely a few tweaks in "Paint").  Admittedly the backscene is not typical of the Cotswolds but much of it will be partially screened by trees.  Either that or I'll relocate the branch to mid-Wales :-)  

Another view of the goods shed. 

7412, a branch regular, has just arrived with the daily inward traffic today, just a brake van ready to accompany a couple of empty coal wagons.  

Saturday, 22 June 2013

A bridge too far

It's been far too long since my last posting but I'm happy to report things are progressing.  In my last piece I mentioned that I had misgivings over the bridge that passed over the line immediately before the hidden sidings.  I removed it and replaced it with one based on the type favoured by the East Gloucestershire Railway.  Instead of stone or engineer's blue brick mine is in red brick with the sides copied from the bridge at Lechlade which still stands.

Aside from being much more feasible in the location than its predecessor it has allowed more room for the as yet undecided industry served by the private siding.

In the months since the last posting I have also fitted the backscene.  I wanted a photographic one and having seen numerous makes decided on one from ID Backscenes.  The one chosen was "Hills and Dales" and in places resembles the Cotswold escarpment but as much of it will eventually be disguised by trees it should fit in ok.  Now I loathe wallpapering and opted to use a product called "View Glue" from Deluxe Materials.  It's not cheap I suppose at around £7.00 for a 225ml bottle but it certainly works well and is well worth the money.

Several weeks ago I decided to play about with the camera on my new phone and grabbing some rolling stock that was sitting nearby I took this shot.

AEC railcar W19W has arrived from Cheltenham whilst on the left a new Alvan Blanch muck spreader has arrived on a lowfit from Malmesbury.