The Burford Branch

Tell us about your layout, where you put it, how you built it, how you operate it.
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John Donnelly
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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby John Donnelly » Mon Oct 18, 2021 10:51 am

Very nice Martin, I'm just about to embark on a project that requires a fairly large area of stone sets so watching your progress has been invaluable.

DougN
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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby DougN » Mon Oct 18, 2021 11:23 am

Martin they are looking very nice. the Paving looks like it is toning in nicely.

I have found that using the Humbol blue grey wash sometimes works to bring out the colours, by creating shadows in the textures. I have been using this fairly recently on a building (my Wills water Mill). I think I am starting to get better at toning the colours in. One thing from my day job I have noticed that some building weather very badly and the dust from the atmosphere is the same blacky blue colour as the wash. Some times more black that the out of the bottle wash. However some colours namely browns take a lot to discolour them. I have a building near me which was painted in "Hogbristle" which is a brown here in Australia. Is the same colour now as 5 and a half years ago! Where as any "white" render goes a grey very quickly and is impossible to patch paint/ render.

Any how these are just observations.
Doug
Still not doing enough modelling

martin goodall
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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby martin goodall » Mon Oct 18, 2021 8:08 pm

Thanks for your kind remarks, gents.

Perhaps slightly by accident, I produced a mottled stone effect as a result of dry brushing a slightly different colour over the first coat. (I have produced this effect deliberately elsewhere on the layout when aiming to reproduce the appearance of 'tired' or distressed paintwork.)

I may try this again when re-working the colour of the setts at the left-hand end of the goods yard, before applying more sepia colour to the joints between the setts.

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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby martin goodall » Wed Oct 27, 2021 5:30 pm

The other day I managed to get some final finishing jobs done on the goods yard paving. Rather than retouching the joints with more water colour, I mixed a thin wash of Humbrol 72 (Khaki Drill) with some Matt Black, well diluted with turps, and brushed this over the coal yard area at the left-hand end of the goods yard, quickly wiping the surplus off the surface of the stone setts, leaving a residue in the joints and a slight darkening of the surface in this area. This area will get coal dumped over a large part of it, so I could afford to experiment.

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The result was acceptable, and so (after sticking the drain cover in place in the yard and applying some Dark Earth weathering to this) I used the same method to touch up the jointing in that part of the yard. I decided that the other areas of the yard were OK, and that no further colouring or touching up was required.

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With the paving finished, I could now fill in the gaps that I had deliberately left between the stone setts and the track. In some paved goods yards the stone paving was laid right up to the rail, but it seems to have been common practice to leave a gap a couple of feet wide, which was filled in with dirt/ash, etc or was planked over. I decided to use a dirt mix for the goods road, with planking on that part of the mileage siding where coal will be unloaded.

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I represented the dirt or grit by a method I learnt from Gordon Gravett, painting the area to be treated with gloss paint (because it stays sticky longer than matt paint), onto which fine stone dust from Attwood Aggregates was then sieved through a fine mesh strainer and tamped with a finger. After leaving it a few hours for the underlying paint to dry, the surplus stone dust was then vacuumed off. I may add some additional texture later, as well as weathering the colour down slightly.

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The planking for the coal siding was cut from 1.5 mm balsa about 3 mm wide and glued down with Evostik. I wanted to produce a fairly rough and ready appearance here, so didn’t bother to fill in any gaps between the timbers. I didn’t have time to finish this completely before I took the photos, and so the timbers remain to be ‘distressed’ with a knife blade or scriber, and darkened with a suitable wash of paint plus a dusting of weathering powder.

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Hopefully, I can get back soon to completing the detailing of the Station Building & Train Shed and the Goods Shed before going on to deal at long last with point rodding, rail chairs and ballast.

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Serjt-Dave
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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby Serjt-Dave » Wed Oct 27, 2021 7:09 pm

Excellent work there Martin. Well Done.

All Best

Dave

Tim Dubya
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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby Tim Dubya » Wed Oct 27, 2021 7:17 pm

What he said!
Et super omnes humor

martin goodall
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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby martin goodall » Thu Oct 28, 2021 7:53 am

Thanks, gents.

One thing I forgot to mention was the colours I used for painting the stone setts. Having originally used a mix of Humbrol enamels – Matt White (34), Light Grey (64) and Khaki Drill (72), I ended up preferring the Revell enamels. For the final colouring I used their Matt White (5), Stone Grey (75) and Beige (89). The Humbrol colours are acceptable, and produce a reasonably satisfactory light stone colour, but the texture of the Revell enamels seems finer, and easier to stir and mix, and I think the overall colour I eventually produced with the Revell enamels was more ‘stone-like’ than my earlier efforts.

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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby martin goodall » Tue Nov 23, 2021 5:56 pm

There has been an unavoidable pause in work on the layout in the past few weeks, due to my having been involved in a completely different project (entirely unconnected with model-making or railways).

But I took a few photos recently that show the current state of progress with the layout generally.

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A pause like this is a good opportunity to take stock and consider further work on the layout. I don’t know when I shall be able to resume work on this project, but I hope to get back to it before the New Year, if not sooner.

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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby martin goodall » Fri Dec 17, 2021 10:35 am

As I indicated in my last post in this thread (now more than three weeks ago), model-making has been on the back burner over the past couple of months. But I have managed from time to time to do a bit more work on the Goods Shed, including lead flashing on the roof of this building and also on the Train Shed and Station Building.

Going back a few weeks, I have not previously mentioned the rear side of the Goods Shed roof. I wanted to find a quicker way of slating that side of the roof than laying strips of self-adhesive laser-cut slates. I started by sticking self-adhesive address labels over the whole roof plane.

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I had some typing paper that had previously been printed with scale-size slates, and this was cut into strips, nicked with scissors at the joints between the slates, and stuck down with diluted PVA on top of the address labels.

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This was all very well, but when painted the result was very sub-standard (and so I didn’t even bother to photograph it). It was an unsuccessful experiment, and it didn’t really save any time. I was nevertheless prepared to take the risk, because the far side of the roof is not easily seen, and any brief glimpses would only be seen obliquely at an acute angle. So I shan’t be trying to correct it or re-do it.

The next job was to deal with the lead flashing, both where the lean-to roofs of the goods shed office and the goods lock-up join the end wall of the shed, and around the chimney and along the roof ridge.

The flashing around the chimney was made from paper, but in order to reproduce the lead roll along the ridge of the main roof, I stuck down a length of 40-thou plastic rod (Evergreen #211) and then added strips of 5-thou styrene sheet on each side of the ridge.

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After successfully dealing with the flashing on the Goods Shed, I used the same method to reproduce the lead flashing on the roof ridge of the Train Shed.

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The lead flashing on the roof of the Station Building had been dealt with several years ago but, in a fit of laziness, I had omitted the lead roll (wrapped round a 3-inch wood dowel) that should have been laid along the ridges of the roof. Having included a lead roll on the roof of the Train Shed, I felt that I should repair my earlier omission on the roof of the Station Building. As a retro-fit, I stuck 1mm half-round rod (Evergreen #240) along the ridges and painted them to match the existing flashing.

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The next job (when I get a round tuit) will be to add gutters and rainwater pipes to the Goods Shed, followed by some final details and weathering.

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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby martin goodall » Tue Feb 15, 2022 9:58 am

Model-making (and this thread on the forum) has inevitably taken a back seat over the past few months, due to my involvement in yet another book project (the sixth in eight years), but work on the latest edition has now reached First Proof stage, and so I have found a bit of time in the past few weeks to do a small amount of further work on the layout.

When I last reported on progress a couple of months ago (“Progress” he calls it?!) the Goods Shed was awaiting final completion. I thought I might complete this model in time for its 30th birthday at the beginning of January, having started it in 1992 and then neglected it for years at a time over the following three decades. But work on the book got in the way again.

The final structural item was the addition of rainwater pipes – 4½-inch pipes for the gutters of the main roof, and 3-inch pipes for the gutters on the two lean-to extensions, for both of which I used plastic rod from Evergreen. I knew from experience that 60-thou rod is awkward to bend, even using hot or boiling water, and so I cut and assembled the pipes, filing a slight curve on the outside of the S-bend after the solvent had hardened. I appreciate that 3D printed fittings can be obtained from Modelu, but the RWPs on this building had to be made to varying dimensions, and so I assembled them on small pieces of double-sided tape stuck to measured lines I had marked on graph paper, to ensure that they would fit in their allotted places around the building.

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The 40-thou rod was too thin to join effectively by this method and broke apart when I tried to lift it off the double-sided tape. I then found that I could bend this thinner rod between my fingers without even using heat; so replacements of the 3-inch RWPs were made by this method. Modelu ‘bats’ were used for fixing the pipes to the walls after the fittings had been painted.

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These photos also show the soot weathering that has now been applied to the woodwork. I use real soot, applied with small stiff brushes (which I believe are really intended for stencilling.)

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The next job awaiting my attention was soot weathering on the Train Shed roof, both on the gables and inside. In this case, I had originally intended to use an airbrush, but (apart from the faff of getting everything set up for spraying) I decided that brush painting would be more controllable.

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I experimented with acrylic weathering washes, but couldn’t get on with these. So I tried enamel-based washes, with no greater success. I ended up mixing my favourite recipe for soot colour using Humbrol enamels (a 50/50mix of Matt Black and Dark Earth), and dabbed this on, thinning it as required with pure artists’ turpentine, followed by much dabbing and scrubbing with the brushes, cotton buds and tissues to get the effect I was aiming at.

On the glazed gable at the Up end, I eventually produced an effect that satisfied me, but I think the other gable will require some extra work, as will the timber trussing inside the roof.

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So that’s the state of play at the moment.

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Last edited by martin goodall on Tue Feb 15, 2022 12:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Noel
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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby Noel » Tue Feb 15, 2022 10:57 am

I've been looking for photographs of overall roofs in the steam era, Martin, but those few I have found are not particularly helpful, as there is no crossover inside the overall roof. My reason is curiosity about the visible effects of steam and smoke from the traffic pattern.
Goods trains will normally stop before going under the roof, and the detached loco will drift up to the stops on minimum regulator. It will then accelerate over the crossover towards the other end of the loop.
Auto trains with the loco leading on arrival will be very similar, except that the acceleration will be along the platform as they leave.
Auto trains with the loco trailing will, some of the time anyway, stop with the loco close to the up end and standing there for a while.
Other passenger trains will behave like goods trains, except that the loco will need to propel backwards along the platform before running round.

All of which is a long winded way of suggesting that the effect of that crossover is likely to be quite significant in the deposit pattern from the soot.
Regards
Noel

martin goodall
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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby martin goodall » Tue Feb 15, 2022 12:11 pm

I entirely agree with what Noel has written.

I did in fact mark up both the platform line and run-round loop, plus the crossover, on the underside of the roof trusses to show me where soot was likely to have been deposited. My intention was to show soot deposits on these lines, but I erred (perhaps too far) on the side of subtlety. However, I still regard this as work in progress, and had already intended to add further soot weathering to the roof trusses and to the glazed gables. But I don't want to overdo it. Too little weathering is capable of being remedied by the addition of more weathering, but if it is overdone it will be rather more difficult to correct afterwards.

I am not sure that the soot deposits as the loco negotiates the engine release crossover would be all that great. The crossover would be negotiated fairly carefully and slowly. (I have seen such points marked on timbering plans as being designed for a 5 mph speed limit.) The regulator would probably not be opened wide until the engine was on the loop itself.

At the moment, I don't think I have put enough soot on the gable at the Down end of the Train Shed on the platform line, but I doubt whether the deposit would have been as heavy at that end as I have shown it on the Up end.

As I say, I want to avoid overdoing it, so I shall be reasonably cautious in applying further weathering.

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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby martin goodall » Wed Feb 16, 2022 9:52 am

I have now had the chance to refresh my memory of some of the sooted Train Shed gables on which I based the weathering of the Train Shed at Burford. I looked up photos of Moretonhampstead, Ashburton and Thame.

At Moretonhampstead and Ashburton most passenger services were run by autotrains with the loco at the Down end. So at these two termini, the sooting of the Train Shed gable on the platform line was as heavy on the Down end as it was at the Up end. This confirms my earlier conclusion that I need to apply a heavier dose of soot to the Down end of my Train Shed.

On the loop side, however, sooting of the gables was much less pronounced, and almost non-existent at the Down end, which (as at both Ashburton and Moretonhampstead, and also at my fictional terminus in Burford) was simply a siding that extended from the loop.

At Moretonhampstead, there was an engine release crossover in almost exactly the same position as the one I have installed at Burford, but there was a noticeable lack of sooting of the gable of the Train Shed above the crossover at the Up end, where the loco would have been crossing over from the platform line to the loop. This confirms my supposition that the low speed at which an engine would negotiate this crossover would result in little or no soot being deposited during this manoeuvre.

One last point is that whereas the gables on the train sheds at Moretonhampstead and Ashburton comprised plain timber planking and were uniformly sooted, there was a prominent architrave on the glazed gables at Thame, resulted in a noticeably different deposition of soot. The architrave itself was well sooted, but not on its upper surface, and there was then a further deposition of soot higher up the gable and on the cornice. I have reproduced this on the Up end at Burford, and must do the same on the gable at the Down end.

As I observed yesterday, the timber trusses inside the roof will need quite a lot more soot weathering than I have given them so far.
Last edited by martin goodall on Wed Feb 23, 2022 1:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby martin goodall » Wed Feb 23, 2022 11:41 am

With the Goods Shed now in position, and the location of the Signal Box also fixed, I have been able at long last to erect the platform fence. This is only propped in position at the moment; it will be raised a couple of millimetres when the platform surface is added shortly.

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The fence itself has been heavily weathered with soot, but the enamel adverts are bright and clean, because a porter would have been sent out at least once a week (perhaps more frequently) to wipe them over with a wet cloth to keep them clean.

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The setting of the layout is intended to be about a century ago (early 1920s), when enamel adverts were still seen in profusion on railway stations; but (as discussed previously in this thread) they had all disappeared by 1935, with the notable exception of adverts for VIROL. Fewer adverts, however, are seen on the fence to the left of the Goods Shed, as this would have been a less frequented part of the platform.

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martin goodall
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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby martin goodall » Sat Feb 26, 2022 12:17 pm

The platform surface has now been laid, comprising a couple of layers of 1mm card stuck down to the existing timber base to raise the level of the platform by 2 mm to match the height of the platform edging.

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The basic method of representing the ash surface is one that I learnt from Gordon Gravett (sieving ash onto a gloss painted surface – gloss paint because it stays sticky longer), but it might be worth passing on a few tips I have derived from experience in using this technique. The source of my ash was a wood-burning stove that we had at our old house. At various times, we burned smokeless coal, wood or paper in the stove, and I collected jars of the various types of ash for future use. (Just as well, as our new house is all-electric.)

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For the platforms on this layout, I used paper ash which is a light grey colour. Having painted the platform surface with Humbrol Gloss enamel (#40, Pale Grey), I sieved the ash over it, using a small fine-mesh sieve (an old tea strainer). It is essential to resist the temptation to tamp it down. I did this in one case and got a very blotchy-looking platform surface as a result. This can easily be remedied (see below), but is best avoided by leaving the ash undisturbed where it falls.

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The platform was left overnight to allow the paint to dry, and the surplus ash was then vacuumed off. The texture was somewhat rougher than I wanted and the colour was too dark. So I sanded down the ash surface with a sandpaper block, vacuumed off the resulting dust, and then mixed some white poster powder with black to produce a suitable shade of grey, and this was applied dry to the surface with a stiff brush. (I got the idea of applying dry poster powder as a colouring agent for ballast and other rough surfaces from Chris Lamacraft.) I continued brushing poster powder onto the platform until I was satisfied with its appearance, and then vacuumed off the surplus. And that was it; job done.

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There are some items of platform furniture to be added, and I am patiently awaiting the promised GWR platform lamps from Modelu, which have been under development for some time.

Dave Holt
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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby Dave Holt » Sun Feb 27, 2022 1:13 am

Martin.
Your layout is coming along very nicely with all the scenic work and now the platform surface. However, that progress seems to make the lack of ballast and chairs all the more apparent. Have you plans to turn these aspects any time soon?
Dave.

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Serjt-Dave
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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby Serjt-Dave » Sun Feb 27, 2022 8:18 am

Hi Martin. Excellent work there. I too have been pondering on platform surfaces {not that I'm ready to install my platforms. LOL} I like the idea of using ash but using poster paint powder might be a better way to go.

All Best

Dave

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jim s-w
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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby jim s-w » Sun Feb 27, 2022 8:31 am

Serjt-Dave wrote:Hi Martin. Excellent work there. I too have been pondering on platform surfaces {not that I'm ready to install my platforms. LOL} I like the idea of using ash but using poster paint powder might be a better way to go.

All Best

Dave


I did this surface with powder paint, sieved and sealed with clear. Dunno if this helps?

Image

Jim

martin goodall
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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby martin goodall » Sun Feb 27, 2022 9:03 pm

Thanks for these comments.

Dave Holt - Yes, it's a fair cop, guv; you got me bang to rights. Ballasting and chairing the track is a chore I have been putting off for years on end. I have no plausible excuse for this. I have all the necessary stuff to do the job, but laziness repeatedly gets the better of me. As Dave observes, this glaring omission is becoming ever more conspicuous compared with the rest of the developing scene.

I am going to be kept away from the layout for the next two weeks, but I have brought away with me the MJT whitemetal cosmetic chair castings, having filed and fettled a number of these from time to time. (There are 2,000 to do in total!) So I will try to make an effort to complete that part of the job. I can then spray them with primer. The chairs can be added to the track before or after ballasting, but the ballast cannot be stuck down until I have put down timber pads for the point rodding stools.

Jim - I confess it has never occurred to me to seal the platform surface after brushing with poster powder. I simply vacuum off any surplus poster powder, and rely on the dry pigment having 'stained' the surface. Johnson's Kleer (or whatever it's called nowadays) could be used, or spraying with Testor's Dulcote. But other surfaces I have treated by dry brushing poster powder (some quite a few years ago) have suffered no detriment from never having been sealed in any way.

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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby martin goodall » Sat Apr 16, 2022 7:00 pm

As has happened so often before, there was a distinct lack of progress on the layout in the first few months of this year due to other commitments eating up nearly the whole of any potentially available time for model-making.

But I have found time to assemble some test etches for the revised version of the ‘Burford’ coupling (so called because it was specifically designed for use on this layout). The coupling hooks and loops are still bent up from wire, but this is made much quicker and easier by the use of etched supporting brackets to which the wire components are now soldered. The first three shots show a batch of half a dozen wagons joined together with these couplings. Seen in context on the layout these couplings are reasonably inconspicuous.

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A crude, but effective, soldering jig was made to assist in the accurate assembly of hooks and loops.

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The sub-assemblies produced on this jig include a batch of coupling hooks (seen here resting upside down on the table):

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….. and two coupling loops with their mounting brackets:

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Below are some ‘cruel enlargements’ showing the couplings in detail when fitted to the wagons (but you really can’t see them like this when the vehicles are on the layout).

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(The wire delay latches projecting over the coupling hooks had not yet been blackened when these photos were taken.)

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The next shot shows how the loop rises up the sloping face of the opposing hook to couple.

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I’ll say more about these couplings when I have fitted more of them to various rolling stock in due course. Some minor modifications will be made to the etches as a result of experience gained with the test etches, and I can then order the etches in quantity and get on with fitting these couplings to the whole of the rolling stock fleet.

Meanwhile, over the Easter weekend there has been a complete engineering possession of the line to enable the flangeways in the inset track of the back road (the mileage siding) to be adjusted by grinding with a flexible drive attached to the vertical milling attachment of my Unimat 3.

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Another job that has been progressed recently is the filing and fettling of almost 2,000 cast rail chairs preparatory to the long-postponed chairing and ballasting of the track. All rather unspectacular stuff, but progress nevertheless.
Last edited by martin goodall on Thu May 12, 2022 9:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

Dave Holt
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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby Dave Holt » Sun Apr 17, 2022 11:24 am

Yes, Martin. Chairing track is a mind numbing chore. On Holt (nee Delph), I only needed to chair the pointwork, as the plain track was plastic flexitrack. To further reduce the job, like a wild-west set, I only fixed chairs to the viewing side of the rails, using plastic chairs cur in half. The worst part was having to grind away all the protruding brass rivet heads to allow the chair halves to fir snugly up against the rail web.
Good luck with yours.
Dave.

martin goodall
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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby martin goodall » Mon May 09, 2022 7:08 pm

Track lifting on the Burford Branch

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Don’t panic – the Burford Branch hasn’t been closed. This is just an engineering occupation, involving the removal of the switches and closure rails at the Up end of the Main/Loop crossover in preparation for the installation of the Gasworks siding. Access to this siding will be via an opposed interlaced turnout incorporating the Up end of Main/Loop crossover.

This was the scene earlier as track lifting was in progress.

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Other recent permanent way work at Burford didn’t really lend itself to photography, comprising exciting things like painting the sides of the rails, as well as fettling rail chairs as mentioned previously in readiness for fitting to the rails.

So now at last, ‘the Empty Quarter’ beyond the bridge is going to get some long-delayed attention, although the buildings at the right-hand end of the layout have not yet been completed, and various details remain to be added in the station area.
Last edited by martin goodall on Tue May 10, 2022 9:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

Dave Holt
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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby Dave Holt » Mon May 09, 2022 9:42 pm

Have to say, my heart did skip a beat. I thought you'd done a "Coachman" on us.
Glad to learn all is well.
Dave.

martin goodall
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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby martin goodall » Sat Jun 04, 2022 2:00 pm

A ‘quick’ coal office

Before starting work on the gasworks point and other PW work associated with its installation, I decided that I would just take a short time to make a quick model of the coal office at the end of the coal yard, next to the bridge. Well, it wasn’t as quick as all that, and maybe I was just looking for an excuse to put off the work on the permanent way.

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This coal office is an entirely freelance design. I decided it should measure 11 feet by 8 feet and be constructed of horizontal wood planking (just a glorified garden shed, really). I could have used Evergreen ‘clapboard’ sheet for the walls, but I felt that this would look too neat and tidy, whereas I wanted to introduce some unevenness in the planking, and so I used individual Evergreen strips for the planks.

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I don’t believe in modelling what you can’t see, and so the planking was applied only to the front wall and one end, using plain styrene sheet for the other end and for the back wall.

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Having assembled the main structure of the building, I painted it ‘dirty black’ (a mix of Humbrol Matt Black and Dark Earth). I got this mix a bit too dark, which produced a very realistic representation of freshly applied creosote; but this wasn’t the effect I was after, especially as this building was destined for the back of the goods yard, and I believe strongly in toning down colours the further away from the front of the layout a building will be located. So after allowing the first coat of paint to dry thoroughly overnight, I dry-brushed Revell #89 ‘Beige’ enamel over the surface to produce this result:

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The door and window were fabricated for later insertion from behind the openings that had been left for them. The inner frame of the window with its half-open sash are etchings from D&S models (DS WF-5).

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I decided that the roof should be covered with roofing felt, so having cut out and joined the two roof planes (30-thou styrene sheet), I stuck a single ply from a Kleenex tissue to the roof with Mekpak, before painting it grey and sticking the roof in place.

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I have yet to erect a coal merchant’s signboard on the roof, and the building will also be surrounded by piles of coal.

martin goodall
Posts: 1252
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2009 6:20 pm

Re: The Burford Branch

Postby martin goodall » Sun Jun 05, 2022 6:32 pm

One of my bad habits is to leave models unfinished, with a vague intention of getting back to them later. But today I had one of those ‘JFDI’ moments, and decided to add the coal merchant’s sign to the roof of the coal office, rather than leaving it to some indeterminate date in the future.

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I had intended that the trader occupying this office should be Bernard T Frost, who traded from several goods yards in the area, but in the end I decided to go for another Witney-based trader, James Marriott Ltd, who were colliery agents supplying coal to local coal merchants over a wide area of Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, as well as trading as retail coal merchants on their own account.

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This may seem a rather large sign for such a small office, but Marriott’s no doubt wanted their name to be clearly visible from the other end of the goods yard.

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