Boston Frodsham

Tell us about your layout, where you put it, how you built it, how you operate it.
mikeknowles
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Boston Frodsham

Postby mikeknowles » Thu Mar 26, 2015 3:54 pm

Although I joined the society over 6 years ago I’ll confess to having just loitered on this forum having amassed the grand total of 11 posts in that time!
So, I thought it was maybe time to stick my head above the parapet and show you my attempts at P4 modelling.
I realise I’m addressing a very critical audience on here, I’d just ask you to go easy on me!

To start with – the layout, Boston Frodsham.
This was inspired by an article in a supplement called “Oil & Water” which appeared in the June 2005 edition of Traction Magazine showing the entrance to the docks at Boston (Lincolnshire, not USA), particularly the swing bridge. Copyright prevents me posting these photos but below are some I took on a visit there last year.

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To add some operational interest I also decided to include the scrapyard on the wharf side at Frodsham in Cheshire but with a rail siding added. This would then give me the opportunity to build the Langley Models RB22 crane kit (I have a thing about cranes and bridges). See photo below.

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Combining the two location names thereby gives the layout name.

The layout was originally intended to be 12 feet x 2 feet (plus fiddle yard) and two boards 4x2 were made up, the swing bridge constructed, some track built and laid and some scenic details around the scrapyard area put in place. Unfortunately my plans proved to be a bit ambitious mainly in that I had nowhere to store the layout, let alone set it up and operate it. As a result it languished about in various corners, suffering some damage as a result. The photo below shows the extent of the works completed.

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I’ll have to admit the layout didn’t work very well, numerous derailments on the pointwork being the order of the day. To a degree I put this down to the use of the P4 Company point kits. Whilst these were excellent in themselves the problem (for me) arose due to all the components being pre-cut to exact length for that particular turnout. When it came to installing them on the layout I found myself trying to insert very short lengths (i.e. 1 inch) of plain track between them to get the overall alignment correct which just became a recipe for disaster. Also due the storage problems the steel rail soon started to rust severely.

Eventually I decided to cut my losses and rip all the track up and start again. This time I went back to my favoured method of building the trackwork in situ, using full 1 metre lengths of rail whenever possible (putting cosmetic breaks in as required). I also reverted to nickel silver rail. I opted to reduce the scenic area to 8 feet long just using the two boards already constructed thus showing the bridge and scrapyard area and only just the very ends of the exchange sidings. A track plan is shown below which I’ll acknowledge owes a lot to James Dickie’s Waterloo Street layout, but I have discussed this with him and he (appears) to be OK with it, we’ve even talked about me bringing it to Scalefour North at some time in the future!

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As a train enters the layout from the right you will just see the loco and perhaps one or two one or two wagons you will have to imagine there are further wagons behind these, so the fiddle yard (a shelf with some cassettes) at this end will only be long enough to accommodate this. Trains crossing the bridge to go to the scrapyard and other works beyond will consist of a maximum of three wagons at a time and will be hauled by the 03 & 08 shunters (more details on these to follow), so again a short fiddle yard (cassettes again) only will be required at the left hand end. The idea will be to have the main board supported on self contained legs with the fiddle yard boards cantilevered off each end.
I’ll continue on a further post with details of the layout construction.

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Will L
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Re: Boston Frodsham

Postby Will L » Thu Mar 26, 2015 6:00 pm

mikeknowles wrote:I realise I’m addressing a very critical audience on here, I’d just ask you to go easy on me!...


Oh I don't think so, universally supportive and helpful I would have said.

dal-t
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Re: Boston Frodsham

Postby dal-t » Thu Mar 26, 2015 9:21 pm

mikeknowles wrote:(I have a thing about cranes and bridges)


Doesn't everyone? Looks like you've found an ideal way of combining them.
David L-T

Terry Bendall
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Re: Boston Frodsham

Postby Terry Bendall » Sat Mar 28, 2015 8:19 am

mikeknowles wrote: When it came to installing them on the layout I found myself trying to insert very short lengths (i.e. 1 inch) of plain track between them to get the overall alignment correct which just became a recipe for disaster


That of course is one of the problems of using a turnout kit with all the rails cut to length. I have managed to cope with the problem successfully but it does need a bit of care.

mikeknowles wrote:we’ve even talked about me bringing it to Scalefour North at some time in the future!


And if you are interested we can talk about bringing it to Scaleforum at some stage as well. :) An interesting concept - hope all goes well.

Terry Bendall

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steve howe
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Re: Boston Frodsham

Postby steve howe » Sat Mar 28, 2015 11:43 pm

That of course is one of the problems of using a turnout kit with all the rails cut to length. I have managed to cope with the problem successfully but it does need a bit of care.


I agree, I have just spent several evenings of Clubnights spread out over a few weeks building a bespoke A6 / A6 tandem turnout for a chum who has invested heavily in point kits for his proposed layout. At the time Exactoscale/C&L did not do a kit for a tandem so Len sold him two A6 point kits with the assurance that he could just splice them together... I found the whole project very tricky because, as Mike says, the components were pre-cut to standard lengths. I even ended up disassembling the beautifully engineered switch blade/stock rail units to fit longer stock rails. That, and using functional chairs on plastic sleepers made the general assembly much more complex than it needed to be. I found myself thinking more than once it would have been a lot simpler to build the thing from scratch, although that said, the crossing vee / wing rail assemblies were very nicely made and took some of the heat out of getting everything lined up.

In all, I think I would treat complete point kits with some degree of caution if you want to build anything other than a conventional turnout. The individual components - (switch blades, crossing vees) which are the trickier bits to make, bought alone would be a safer bet.

Terry Bendall
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Re: Boston Frodsham

Postby Terry Bendall » Sun Mar 29, 2015 8:10 am

steve howe wrote:At the time Exactoscale/C&L did not do a kit for a tandem so Len sold him two A6 point kits with the assurance that he could just splice them together...


This is what I did. I have built two tandem turnouts B8 one way and B6 the other using Exactoscale Components so a little easier than using two of the same. Both have worked successfully, but as mentioned, there was some fitting of small lengths of rail. The construction is describe din Scalefour News 169.

Terry Bendall

mikeknowles
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Re: Boston Frodsham

Postby mikeknowles » Tue Apr 14, 2015 3:04 pm

Many thanks for the responses interesting to hear other people appear to share my views on the turnout kits.
So, continuing on from my previous post.
As the alignment of the trackwork over the bridge and beyond was to remain the same, only the rails and chairs were lifted on this section, otherwise all the other trackwork was completely removed back to bare baseboards.
Following fitting new cork underlay the track plan was drawn up on Templot (a wonderful tool), printed out on 2 sheets of A0 paper and stuck in position.

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For timber sleepers I personally prefer ply to plastic so these were obtained from C&L, stained with Dark Oak wood stain and stuck down as required.

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Laying of the rail then followed using Exactoscale chairs & nickel silver rail. As can be seen in the photos below stock rails were laid in full 1m lengths (or as near as possible) with cosmetic joints added. Although not copying the prototype’s use of individual 60 foot panels etc., to me it makes the job much simpler and more reliable and certainly helps with aligning the track through curves.

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Although not apparent in the photos, dropper wires were soldered to the underside of each length of rail and fed through holes in the baseboards to the bus bar below (a length of OO flexitrack). Again to keep things simple just one dropper wire per piece of rail is used. Note the layout is wired purely for DCC operation.
Next step was to fit the point tiebars and for this I picked up on Howard Bolton’s idea of using Glass Epoxy Laminate (GEL). Ambis brackets were soldered to the point blades (I’ve probably not folded them correctly but to say the instructions were vague….) and strips of GEL glued to these. Howard recommended the use of special glue for this but I just couldn’t bring myself to pay £24.00 for a small pot of glue (I am from Yorkshire after all). So I just used the normal medium viscosity superglue obtained from my local model shop – it all seems to be OK so far. The GEL strip was extended beyond the outside of the track at one side and a piece of brass angle glued to it. The operating wire from the Tortoise point motor passes through a hole in the angle, the whole lot will ultimately be hidden by cosmetic hand yard levers.

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I should add that since these photos were taken the layout has now been moved into a section of the loft which has been fully panelled, insulated and heated so it's now kept warm and dry!

mikeknowles
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Re: Boston Frodsham

Postby mikeknowles » Thu Nov 03, 2016 10:24 pm

It's a long while since I posted anything on here!

However the layout is SLOWLY progressing. The trackwork is now all ballasted and some further scenic work has been carried out. Also more rolling stock continues to be built.

I'll post some up to date photos shortly but if you want to see it in the flesh it is booked to appear at the Hull Model Railway Club's exhibition on 12th/13th November at the Costello Stadium in Hull.

Hope to see some of you there, please say hello!

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martinm
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Re: Boston Frodsham

Postby martinm » Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:53 pm

Hi,
Thought it'd be better here.
Love the little signal box,
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the blank warehouse reminded me that I have been there.
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regards,
martin


waveydavey
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Re: Boston Frodsham

Postby waveydavey » Sun Apr 15, 2018 7:04 pm

Nice looking layout that will be really good when it’s fully developed.

Stock looked very promising too.
Modelling Clackmannanshire Railways in 1975
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kelly
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Re: Boston Frodsham

Postby kelly » Sun Apr 15, 2018 7:36 pm

Enjoyed seeing this over the weekend. Looking forward to seeing it develop.
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iak
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Re: Boston Frodsham

Postby iak » Sun Apr 15, 2018 7:37 pm

Your wee layout is a very nice project sir. Well proportioned, runs well and will be well worth seeing in the future if its present progress is an indication.
I hope the rhubarb crumple went down well too... :thumb
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mikeknowles
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 8:58 am

Re: Boston Frodsham

Postby mikeknowles » Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:28 pm


mikeknowles
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 8:58 am

Re: Boston Frodsham

Postby mikeknowles » Fri Apr 20, 2018 5:34 pm

martinm wrote:Hi,

the blank warehouse reminded me that I have been there.
IMG_20180413_143319.jpg
regards,
martin


Thanks for posting the photo, some really good detail in it. Do you know the location?

mikeknowles
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Re: Boston Frodsham

Postby mikeknowles » Mon Nov 19, 2018 3:15 pm

Following the excitement and pleasure of exhibiting the layout at Scalefour North last April progress has taken a bit of a back seat over the summer months as gardening, sun bathing etc took over. However now that there is an r in the month again work has recommenced so I thought an update was due.
Those of you who saw the layout at Wakefield will have noticed the beginnings of some low relief warehouses along the back (if you didn't get there look at the show thread for details} and these have been the focus of recent attention.
They are based on the (presumably ex GCR warehouse} which was located adjacent to the swing bridge but which was sadly demolished in the 80's. The photo below was the best I could find of it.

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Construction is a 5mm foamboard shell clad with South Eastern Finecast English Bond brickwork, roof slates are from York Modelmaking, doors were knocked up from plasticard, scribed to represent the wood planks, gutters are plastic tube filed down to a semi circle and drainpipes are brass rod all attached using fittings from Modelu.

The walls were initially painted with Humbrol dark brown acrylic from a rattle can then lighter and darker shades dry brushed on and finished with some weathering powders and talc. The roof slates were dry brushed with Humbrol metalcote.

A few photos below showing the work as it progressed. Still a bit more to do to finish them but hope you like them so far.

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Currently eagerly awaiting the PGA wagons I have on order from Cavalex Models!

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RobM
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Re: Boston Frodsham

Postby RobM » Mon Nov 19, 2018 5:23 pm

:thumb
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Updated December 2016

bevis
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Re: Boston Frodsham

Postby bevis » Mon Nov 19, 2018 5:35 pm

Nice work Mike.

After seeing the layout in the flesh at S4um North I recently found myself with an hour to kill in Boston and so visited the swing bridge.
I had a wander around the control building and can see you really have caught the prototype well.

Regards,
Bevis

mikeknowles
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Re: Boston Frodsham

Postby mikeknowles » Sat May 04, 2019 9:07 pm

Took the layout to the Salvation Army Model Railway Show (yes really) at Selby today.
One interested onlooker commented that he didn't expect to see a P4 layout there. He turned out to be Steve Hall of Halifax Kings Cross fame who apparently lives just a few miles away! Good to have a quick chat with him between duties.


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