My First Layout - Whitehall Halt

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Ian White
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My First Layout - Whitehall Halt

Postby Ian White » Sun Feb 25, 2018 6:28 pm

Having been a non-modelling modeller for over 30 years, I have finally managed to organise my time so that I have a couple of evenings free a week in which to start building my first layout. In order to keep things nice and simple, I will be recreating Whitehall Halt from the Culm Valley Hemyock branch as this will only require one turnout and will fit into the 10ft space I have available.

To get things going, here is a very early view of what I have managed so far:

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One of the fiddle yards (I have yet to add the top to the traverser, and have no idea how to cut a neat hole to access the layout!) - there is an identical one at the other end of the layout, just big enough to hold a small loco with a single coach:

Image

Having carefully measured everything to ensure it could be easily carried in and out of the room it was to be built in, I settled on 9 foot 10 inches by 18 inches. I then built the frames with folding legs, before adding the fascia for the fiddleyards and backscene. Only then did I realise that the height of the latter meant the board could no longer be manoeuvred to go down the stairs due to the location of other doorways and walls on the landing! I now have two choices: remove the layout from its current location via the window (1st floor!), or construct the rest of it in such a way that the fascias can be removed for transportation (definitely the preferable option!)...

I posted elsewhere on here about whether I should model in "finescale OO" or 18.83 - as severely reduced dexterity in my right hand means I am unable to build chassis kits in order to convert RTR to P4. It was suggested that as well as OO, I might consider fitting EM wheels 'opened out' to P4 back to back gauge. Does anyone have any experience of doing this - and if so, advice on exactly what would be involved (i.e. I am assuming that some modifications would also be required to the RTR chassis)?

I will add to this thread periodically whenever I have made significant progress, and probably ask for a lot of advice as I will undoubtedly be feeling my way for a considerable time once I get beyond the stage of track building.
Last edited by Ian White on Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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grovenor-2685
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Re: My First Layout - Whitehall Halt

Postby grovenor-2685 » Sun Feb 25, 2018 7:19 pm

Looks like a very promising start, well done.
I would certainly look to making the facias detachable, it will give you better access for working on it as well.
I don't think the EM wheel suggestion was really serious, the work involved would be practically identical to using P4 wheels so would not help with your concern.
I would suggest getting a couple of P4 wheelsets and converting one of your wagons, that will give you a feel for the practicality, and should be reversible if you decide not to proceed, best to do this before building the track :)
Most of the help topics on here go beyond just replacing wheels but we couls easily prepare a few photos if needed.
Regards

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Colin Parks
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Re: My First Layout - Whitehall Halt

Postby Colin Parks » Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:30 pm

Hi Ian,

That looks like a very neatly made setting for your layout. What kind of track constuction method are you going to adopt for the scenic area?

All the best,

Colin

dmsmith
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Re: My First Layout - Whitehall Halt

Postby dmsmith » Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:01 pm

Dear Ian

Just following up on your question about OO, P4 or a hybrid of EM flanges on P4 track ... if you are building a post-grouping model of the Culm Valley line, you’ll need lots of 6-wheel milk tanks. In P4, the only option are Justin Newitt’s superb Rumney Models etched sprung chassis kits. These are very rewarding to build, but they require patience and some dexterity, so maybe not advisable if you think that you might struggle with a chassis kit. I’ve built three so far, for Chris Lamacraft’s EM gauge version of Hemyock and I suspect that locomotive chassis might have been quicker!

Good luck!
David

Edited to make explicit my assumption that Ian is building something GWR post-grouping, from the stock.
Last edited by dmsmith on Wed Feb 28, 2018 7:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

Philip Hall
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Re: My First Layout - Whitehall Halt

Postby Philip Hall » Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:32 pm

There are other options for the milk tanks, nice though Justin’s are. I was attracted to one, but realised that if I wanted seven or eight of them, it would take me too long. David Geen also does a kit, but a reasonably presentable model can be made from the Hornby RTR version. OK the brakes are not in line with the wheels, which can be remedied with some etchings, and the brake levers are pretty solidly moulded on to the W irons, but from a short distance away they don’t look too bad. I fitted Ultrascale 3 hole wheels, and added the strapping over the tanks from etchings that Hubert Carr produced for me, now in his range. Justin will, I believe, sell some of the details such as ladders from his kits which can be used to embellish the RTR one with some ingenuity.

I should say that the Hornby one looks very much to me like a retooling of the old Lima model, which wasn’t bad but suffered from too small wheels and too high buffer height. It was also moulded in a greasy sort of plastic, so not easy to hack about. So be careful only to buy a Hornby one.

I will post a picture if I can find one on the PC, if it is of interest.

Philip
Last edited by Philip Hall on Tue Feb 27, 2018 11:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

IANATEXTON
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Re: My First Layout - Whitehall Halt

Postby IANATEXTON » Tue Feb 27, 2018 11:20 pm

What period is the model going to be set in?

The 6 wheel milk tanks were not introduced to the Hemyock branch until the early 1930s, after the permanent way had been upgraded.

Prior to that milk was brought to the milk factory at Hemyock either by road, or in churns carried in the brake compartment of the passenger trains. Six wheel siphons were apparently not permitted to be used on the branch.

In the 1920s I understand the output from the Hemyock factory was powdered milk, and then butter - probably transported in ventilated vans. There are pictures in the late 1920s on Micas at Hemyock. For a while from around 1929 New Zealand butter was apparently transported from London Docks to Hemyock (possibly in sealed Micas) and then blended with locally produced butter.

Also, it seems possible that butter was trans-shipped into a Siphon G at Tiverton Junction.

Hope that helps,
Ian

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Noel
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Re: My First Layout - Whitehall Halt

Postby Noel » Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:40 am

I don't know about Hemyock specifically, but all milk traffic was in churns, until the first [4-wheel] tanks were introduced in 1927, but soon ceased to be used as their rough riding had unfortunate effects on their contents. The 6-wheel version replaced them over a short period in the early 1930s.
Regards
Noel

Ian White
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Re: My First Layout - Whitehall Halt

Postby Ian White » Sun Mar 11, 2018 11:20 am

Thanks for all the responses - very unexpected.

I will be using C&L thick sleepers and 2-bolt chairs for track construction, as I bought a load many, many years ago. Having dug them out of the loft, however, the chairs have significantly darkened in colour and seem very brittle, so I may need to buy some replacements (which would be disappointing as I have 1000+).

The info re: milk traffic is very interesting and will provide a good basis for some research further down the line.

I will be modelling the siding (as without it the layout would have zero operational interest) but have not yet decided whether I am going to worry about what year. I expect Diesel era will become my only option (at which point the purists may scold me due to the presence of the siding!) - I bought a Dapol Class 22 (I have a photo of D6333 as it goes over the level crossing) with the intention of dropping in new wheels, but it seems this might not be possible due to none being available.

Plenty of food for thought...

garethashenden
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Re: My First Layout - Whitehall Halt

Postby garethashenden » Sun Mar 11, 2018 4:53 pm

The Class 22 is a bit of a pain to convert due to Dapol's pickup arrangement. They chose to use wheels on half axles picking up through the bearings, as opposed to the more common wheel back wipers. Conversion is possible, but not super straight forward. I spent quite a while chasing a short in an EM conversion once, one axle had been pushed it slightly too far and made contact with the other half.
An easier first conversion would be a different western hydraulic, such as a Bachmann Warship or a Heljan Hymek. Both of those have wheelsets available from Ultrascale or Alan Gibson. Interestingly, Ultrascale offer a conversion pack for the Dapol Class 52, which uses the same pickup design as the Class 22. I don't know if the axle diameter is the same or not, and you would end up with extra wheels, but it might work.

37431
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Re: My First Layout - Whitehall Halt

Postby 37431 » Sun Mar 11, 2018 7:02 pm

A Hymek or Warship would have been too heavy for the Hemyock line on the real railway. Afetr the Class 22's were withdrawn circa 1971, they were replaced by the ubiquitous Class 25 on light duties in the West Country, inl;cuding the Hemyock Branch. So that might be an easier conversion possibility for you?

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steve howe
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Re: My First Layout - Whitehall Halt

Postby steve howe » Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:43 am

One of the fiddle yards (I have yet to add the top to the traverser, and have no idea how to cut a neat hole to access the layout!) - there is an identical one at the other end of the layout, just big enough to hold a small loco with a single coach:


Try a hole cutter fitting in an electric drill - 60 - 75mm dia. ought to do it ;)

I bought a Dapol Class 22 (I have a photo of D6333 as it goes over the level crossing) with the intention of dropping in new wheels, but it seems this might not be possible due to none being available.


What about an 08? I think Gibson does a replacement wheelset for them.

steve

Philip Hall
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Re: My First Layout - Whitehall Halt

Postby Philip Hall » Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:56 pm

I promised to post a picture of the Hornby milk tank conversion so here it is. It's bit rough around the edges (the horizontal division between the two halves of the tank is not as obvious as it is in the photograph) but the basic impression is there. Hubert Carr sells the tank strapping, and these fit into the little brackets he sells for the handrails on GW brake vans. He also has some nice etchings for the brake shoes which I adapted after carving off the Hornby ones, but I left the brake levers alone. I think I thinned the buffer heads and reduced their diameter a bit. All this is a bit impressionistic, and I would like to have a go at some of Justin's one day, but wanting a fair number of these I took the short cut.

Philip

IMG_9331.JPG

Ian White
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Re: My First Layout - Whitehall Halt

Postby Ian White » Wed Mar 21, 2018 2:59 pm

Thanks for posting the photo Philip - very useful. I like the thought of doing something fairly simple like that, so have bought a couple of Lima versions from eBay and ordered some straps from Hubert Carr. I will definitely need to have a go at disguising that awful seam though as it will be at eye-level on my layout and will be extremely obvious! I'm going to try just swapping the wheels (I bought several suitable sets at Scaleforum several years ago) for some P4 ones. Do you remember what coupling/buffer-details you used on the pictured model?

Philip Hall
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Re: My First Layout - Whitehall Halt

Postby Philip Hall » Wed Mar 21, 2018 5:05 pm

Ian,

The Lima models are too high, because the wheels are undersize and mounted too low down in the chassis. When you put P4 12mm wheels in them the resulting buffer height is too great. You will have much grief trying to correct this because of the greasy plastic Lima used. Said plastic also makes carving off and gluing in the new brakes awkward, because nothing will stick to it! It might be possible, I have one or two here, bought before before I found out, but they have gone into the 'too difficult, one day...' box. The most economical way to purchase Hornby I found was to look around the internet for someone selling unpopular ones, such as vehicles decorated as tar wagons or other commodities. I found some that were white but can't remember what the lettering was. You can tell the difference between a Lima one and a Hornby one by the brake levers, they are in different places.

If you are stuck with Lima, one way might be to use MJT inside bearing units, but that really defeats the object of a quick job.

On mine, the buffers were the original mouldings but with the heads thinned a little and reduced in diameter. Screw couplings were etched PC ones for carriages, with the hinged tommy bar, now unavailable I think. I believe I bought the last lot! Any other makes, like Masokits, would be fine. I often these days use the etched W&T ones with the strange etched tommy bar. I snip this off, drill a hole in the centre and put in a new tommy bar, made from a Duchesse pin with a dollop of epoxy for the weight. Hooks are always Ambis, single thickness, although sometimes now I use Brassmasters which are about the same size. I like the W&T couplings because the holes in the links are the right size and so there is no reaming out required before fitting them onto the centres.

I also thinned down the tie bars between the axleguards by scraping with a sharp blade; just the back edge at the top so the strength is retained. The brake hoses were lengths of 0.9mm soft iron wire bent and poked into holes in the buffer beams. Extra weight to bring them up to about 65g came from some sand poured in through the top when a moulded filler had been prised off. As I said, a bit crude, but looks OK from a distance...
Good luck with them!

Philip

Ian White
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Re: My First Layout - Whitehall Halt

Postby Ian White » Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:24 pm

Oh dear - just as well the Lima versions only cost me £7.50 each then! I might have a go at converting one anyway - having bought them the worst thing that can happen is they end up in the bin! In the meantime I will source some Hornby variants as these are clearly the simpler option - thanks again for the details on what you did to yours. As I have said elsewhere I am not worried about the end result being an exact replica - a representation of what ran will be fine with me as long as it looks the part from a distance.

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steve howe
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Re: My First Layout - Whitehall Halt

Postby steve howe » Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:59 pm

Philip Hall wrote:I promised to post a picture of the Hornby milk tank conversion so here it is.
Philip


Did you do a straight wheel swap Philip? just wondered how 6 wheel chassis perform without compensation/springing.

Steve

Philip Hall
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Re: My First Layout - Whitehall Halt

Postby Philip Hall » Thu Mar 22, 2018 8:44 am

Steve,

Yes, just a straight swap of the wheels, but I cut a groove in the rear face of the W iron so the axle would slip into the bearing without too much force. I did make sure that there was a little upward movement in the middle pair, and that the outer pairs were dead true. There was a little play in the axle bearings and they go around bends quite nicely. The Hornby axles were a little blunt on the ends (which gives a bit of movement) so I fitted the wheels to the Hornby axles; on later ones I just blunted the end of the pin point so they fitted with the same amount of play. Weight is important, so I added a bit as previously mentioned.

These are quite short vehicles, so that's probably why they work. For longer wheelbase things like carriages and vans I think some kind of suspension is a good idea, so I have used the Cleminson system which has worked well.

Philip

Ian White
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Re: My First Layout - Whitehall Halt

Postby Ian White » Mon Jun 04, 2018 4:13 pm

Progress has been very slow on this due to work commitments and a recent spell of ill health which involved a short stay in hospital. The good news about the latter is it gave me some time off work, which enabled me to start track laying.

I have to say that I really struggled with a new batch of C&L chairs I had purchased, which had to have a cut made in the top of every one as the rail gap did not exist - in the end I got so frustrated with them that I threw the lot in the bin. Thankfully I found an old packet of 500 in the loft which had not gone brittle, so was able to use these instead. In future I would buy ready made turnout parts rather than make my own, as my hands don't allow sufficient control for the finer stages of the process - and the one I have made seems a little flimsy for my liking. It will be interesting how well it stands up over time.

Below are a couple of pictures of what I've achieved so far with the station/platform area. The scenic part of the layout is tiny (5' 5"), with just over half being what's in the photos, and the rest being the approach curve - all of which has a check rail (which I cannot lay until I have some check rail chairs). I know it doesn't look like much, but for someone who's only dreamed about having a layout for over 30 years, getting this far feels like a massive step forward!

Image

Although not apparent from these photos, I have laid the track at an angle(rather than parallel with the back scene) so that the distance from the back of the layout to the rails is the same both sides, which makes building the traversers much easier as they will basically be mirror images of each other.

Image

Once track laying is complete, the next stage will be to cut away the foreground plywood so that it follows the profile of the track bed. There are two small bridges involved, at which point I will need to cut the 'track bed' small enough to fit inside their girders - are there any guidelines for how many millimetres I should leave either side of the sleepers? Although I have some good pictures of the track going over one of the bridges, it is difficult to work out how far away the sides of the bridge are from the track.

On a similar note, once the above is finished it will be installed into the "theatrical" frame, at which point holes will need to be cut in the upright plywood sheets so that trains can reach the fiddle-yards. Is there an established amount of clearance I should apply, or will an "as small as possible" approach suffice?

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steve howe
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Re: My First Layout - Whitehall Halt

Postby steve howe » Tue Jun 05, 2018 10:14 pm

Cutting access holes in ply backscenes when the ply is in place can be tricky (speaks from experience) try a hole cutter of the appropriate diameter in the electric drill... makes a very neat mouse hole! you can get hole cutters in sets quite cheaply at tool/diy outlets.

Steve

Terry Bendall
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Re: My First Layout - Whitehall Halt

Postby Terry Bendall » Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:07 am

Ian White wrote: are there any guidelines for how many millimetres I should leave either side of the sleepers ... Is there an established amount of clearance I should apply, or will an "as small as possible" approach suffice?


Ian

have a look in the Members Area https://www.scalefour.org/members/digests/#62 at Digest sheet 62.0 "The Permanent Way in Miniature - Prototype Considerations" which is also on the CD that you should have had when you joined, or in an earlier age the printed version. This gives all the ckearance distances on the prototype which can be scaled down for use on a layout. This will help with your bridges and give a guide for the hole through the back scene.

This digest sheet has been around for a very long time but I find it invaluable for this sort of information

Terry Bendall

ralphrobertson
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Re: My First Layout - Whitehall Halt

Postby ralphrobertson » Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:33 pm

Cutting access holes in ply backscenes when the ply is in place can be tricky


I got all my access holes cut by buying one of these https://www.toolstation.com/shop/p49435. May not be the best for the job (much more expensive versions by Bosch etc) but it works fine and cuts through wood very easily. Rectangular holes are very easy and making holes where you forgot to add them is not a problem any more. I use it all the time on Great Jackson Street for making holes for access to wiring etc. Well worth adding to the toolkit.

Ralph

Ian White
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Re: My First Layout - Whitehall Halt

Postby Ian White » Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:56 pm

Thank you Terry for the link to the Digest sheet. I know I have a printed version of it somewhere from when I joined in the late-eighties/early-nineties but can I find it?! Anyway - I have now downloaded and printed it for future reference (I don't know why I didn't think of doing that in the first place really).

Thanks too Ralph - funnily enough I bought a Bosch version of that tool only 2 days ago to do the job - so I'm hoping it will be as painless as you suggest!


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