Stour Valley Dream - progress on P4 layout

Tell us about your layout, where you put it, how you built it, how you operate it.
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Neil Smith
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Re: Stour Valley Dream - progress on P4 layout

Postby Neil Smith » Sun Dec 15, 2019 6:43 pm

Wow - that is quite something!
Two questions - which I presume are prototypical in origin, but there doesn't seem to be an advanced starter heading towards Cambridge, and I am also curious about what looks on our signal diagram like a secondary arm/doll on the only starter in that direction?

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barhamd
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Re: Stour Valley Dream - progress on P4 layout

Postby barhamd » Sun Dec 15, 2019 8:20 pm

Hi Neil

The signalling diagram is based on the prototype at https://signalbox.org/diagrams.php?id=872. There was only an advanced starter in the one direction . The secondary arm on the starter and the slotted distant signal were operated by the level crossing keeper at Ashen Road, this will make a nice feature!

David

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Neil Smith
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Re: Stour Valley Dream - progress on P4 layout

Postby Neil Smith » Sun Dec 15, 2019 9:02 pm

Hi David,

Thought that must be the case. Begs the question about protecting the entrance to the section in that direction should a loco need to run round a train in that direction, but rules are made to be broken (or the existence of the push back siding from platform 2, plus the arrangement of the yard, might mean a Cambridge-bound goods would not need to run round?) ;)

Slotted distants and secondary arms - now yes that would be great to include, and possibly slightly easier to integrate in 4mm using your superdooper electronics than tiny double balance weight arms, etc.!?!

Neil

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Noel
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Re: Stour Valley Dream - progress on P4 layout

Postby Noel » Sun Dec 15, 2019 9:44 pm

Neil Smith wrote: Begs the question about protecting the entrance to the section in that direction should a loco need to run round a train in that direction,


There is one siding trailing for the Down direction, which appears to be a lie-by. All the others are trailing for the Up direction; the implication is that there is normally no need for locos to run round, as all yard work would be done by Up goods trains [Down goods trains would just pass through]. If necessary to run round in the event of a problem, the Stoke signalman can be asked for permission to enter the section, which is then cancelled once the movement is complete.
Regards
Noel

Alan Turner
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Re: Stour Valley Dream - progress on P4 layout

Postby Alan Turner » Mon Dec 16, 2019 10:39 am

Noel wrote:
Neil Smith wrote: Begs the question about protecting the entrance to the section in that direction should a loco need to run round a train in that direction,


the Stoke signalman can be asked for permission to enter the section, which is then cancelled once the movement is complete.


A bit more than asking permission - he would need to get a token or if a train were in section but going away he could enter the section but be ready to send Blocking Back Outside the Home immediately Train out of section received.

regards

Alan

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Noel
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Re: Stour Valley Dream - progress on P4 layout

Postby Noel » Mon Dec 16, 2019 12:08 pm

Permission from the next box to enter a section on a single line can only be given by the issue of a token, staff or tablet, as appropriate, in normal circumstances [i.e. assuming the block equipment is working] unless the line is equipped with a tokenless block of some sort [unusual in steam days, especially on minor lines].

I accept the comment about shunting into a section where there is a train in section heading towards the next block post, but if shunting into the forward section [with or without a departing train in it] was a regular occurrence, then a 'calling on' or 'shunt ahead' arm would normally be present [at least on the GWR - I don't know what GER practice was], or there would be an advanced starter to avoid the need to do so. There is no such subsidiary arm on the Down starter at Clare, so the signalman would have to verbally instruct the driver to pass the starter at 'danger'. I didn't mention it because there seems to me to be no particular operational need for it in normal circumstances.
Regards
Noel

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barhamd
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Re: Stour Valley Dream - progress on P4 layout

Postby barhamd » Wed Mar 18, 2020 11:59 pm

I've made a fair bit of progress on the station building recently. I've now got the guttering and chimneys on and it really makes a difference to the shape of the building.

IMG_7879a.jpg


I made the job more complicated by cutting the holes in the roof too large, based on the plans I had of Lavenham drawn by Jas Millham back in the day. Turns out Lavenham deserved more fancy brickwork than Clare (or possibly the Clare building was trying to save a few pounds on his contract). Filling in the holes as a bit of a pain but I think I managed to hide the crimes.

Next up I have to work on the garden...

IMG_7883a.jpg


David

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barhamd
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Re: Stour Valley Dream - progress on P4 layout

Postby barhamd » Wed Mar 25, 2020 11:22 pm

For the social distancing challenge I said I'd try and work on the goods shed for Clare. As I said I had a vague outline drawing and I've spent several hours today trying to turn these into some cutting plans for the laser cutter.

The thing I like about this process is how much you learn about the building based on the photographs. One of the interesting things with this goods shed is how much it was rebuilt over the years. The difficulty is trying to work out which bits were changed when - on the plus side the building still exists but the level of change is quite extensive.

The building clearly suffered from some fairly serious subsidence at one point and the end nearest the station building was rebuilt. The resulting buttress and modifications mean that pretty much nothing is symmetrical. I think this is one of the big differences between building from a prototype building or building a 'typical might have been', when doing the later it is so difficult to 'make up' the imperfections. It is very interesting to compare my drawings with those of Ongar goods shed drawn by Dennis West in 1991 and published by the GERS. Ongar survived mostly unaltered until its demolition in the 1980s. Clare had lost the awning over the vehicle loading area and its skylights by the late 1950s (as far as I can tell from the aerial photographs) and had some additional windows cut into the long wall.

To give folks who haven't tried drawing things for cutting before, or those who think using a laser cutter is 'cheating' some idea of the process here is a screen shot of the current TurboCAD drawing. We have multiple copies of the sketch I'd prepared together with the first breakdowns for the plain long wall and its buttresses and the eastern gable end. Some of these will be cut in 3mm MDF, some in 1.5mm and some in 1mm. Red and orange lines represent the base brickwork and the cut lines around the walls. Blue and Purple represent the overlays for the various buttresses, there are also little additional 'ticks' in magenta which will be mortar line on the edges of the buttresses.

screen-shot1.jpg


David

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barhamd
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Re: Stour Valley Dream - progress on P4 layout

Postby barhamd » Wed Apr 01, 2020 10:04 pm

I've spend a good few hours in front of TurboCAD drawing out the goods shed. I decided I'd try and work out how to make the rather complex buttresses at the corners (well actually 3 out of 4 corners, the fourth is just plain and simple). It has taken two attempts but I'm getting there. This is cut in 1.5mm (actually nearer 1.7mm) for the buttresses, 3mm for the base and 1mm for the plinth.

I assembled it and you can see where I have tried cutting the brick work over length so I could file them back.

IMG_7904a.jpg


Then I sanded the bricks back slightly to make the corners fit better. I think I need to slightly adjust the smallest section of the buttress to increase the allowance just a shade more.

IMG_7906a.jpg


I just gave the test piece a quick layer of Humbrol brick red to see how it looked.

IMG_7908a.jpg


Then I gave the piece my usual treatment of Wilco Fine filler, rubbing it off the surface of the bricks and then giving a wash with Vallejo grey. This was a real quick and dirty test and I think in then end I can improve on it if I apply a little more effort to the final version but at least it gives me the impression I'm not completely wasting my time.

IMG_7910a.jpg

IMG_7911a.jpg

IMG_7912a.jpg


I've also made some more progress towards finished the station building. I printed a load of components for the rainwater goods off on the Anycubic Photon, these then fitted with 1.3mm Plastruct.

IMG_7898a.jpg


Once fitted to the building they rather look the part.

IMG_7901a.jpg


There are a few more pictures on my blog on RMWeb. Keep up the socially isolated modelling everyone and keep writing about it as it is good to read.

David

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barhamd
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Re: Stour Valley Dream - Social Isolation project

Postby barhamd » Tue Apr 14, 2020 10:27 pm

I've been continuing with my TurboCad work on the goods shed and decided to motivate myself by cutting the main shell in 3mm MDF. I honestly expect to need more than one go at this and each one doesn't really take a great deal of material. It gives an impression of the size of the building and to be honest it seems quite small.

IMG_7928a.jpg


IMG_7929a.jpg


I had a go at making the other corner, the pair look quite promising.

IMG_7932a.jpg


IMG_7933a.jpg


I also took a look at the cattle dock. This still needs more work, I went back and looked at the photographs and need to make a few changes.

IMG_7930a.jpg


IMG_7931a.jpg


Next up I have the 1mm and 1.5mm MDF layers for the various plinths and quions.

Dave Bradwell has confirmed he's shipped the chassis for the B1 - yippee

All the best
David

Dave Holt
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Re: Stour Valley Dream - progress on P4 layout

Postby Dave Holt » Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:04 am

I do like those fancy corner pieces. Excellent work.
Beware the temptation to just frame Dave's etches and hang them on the wall rather than build the chassis! They're a work of beauty.
Dave.

ralphrobertson
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Re: Stour Valley Dream - progress on P4 layout

Postby ralphrobertson » Wed Apr 15, 2020 12:33 pm

Hi David,

Nice work - looks like we are treading the same path right now. I bought some downpipe brackets from Modelu and the group got through 50 quite quickly so I drew some up for printing on my Photon too. I modified the design by adding a spigot to go into a drilled hole and then printed it. I am currently using Elegoo water washable resin but found them a little too weak so resorted to the green resin shipped with the Photon which proved much stronger.

I thought the design a little too big so redrew it and made them even smaller which to my mind looks about right. These are really quite small and I am amazed at what the Photon can produce, all using standard settings, no playing to make things finer.

20200328_160509.jpg
First go at brackets

20200329_144845.jpg
Made them even smaller


I found the Evergreen styrene rod much easier to work with than any of the other plastic rod I found in my stock, the 221 rod is 1.2mm diameter.

Your brickwork is the best for MDF bricks I have seen, normally you can always see the corner join which is why we discounted MDF as a modelling material a long time back. Coupled with that our laser is not powerful enough to cut through it in one pass and as a result you could always see the bevel on the corner from the laser. For us now it is always poplar ply and card, the ply for the shell and card for the walls and the brick overlays. For finishing I use enamel paint and pastel for the mortar courses, my Alpha Mill thread shows more but just ask if you would like more information.

20200330_124039.jpg
The factory of Langan, Stubbs and Whitnall before final weathering.


This factory is currently being weathered using MIG brown wash. The hopper at the top of the drainpipe is a Modelu print, the rest is from my Photon.

Ralph

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barhamd
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Re: Stour Valley Dream - progress on P4 layout

Postby barhamd » Wed Apr 15, 2020 1:19 pm

Thanks for the nice comments Ralph.

I've found that using the thin 1mm and 1.5mm MDF from the 4D in London works well. It is often worth putting a little bit of thin superglue into it immediately after cutting to give it strength as this means it can be filed down without falling apart. I've also learnt to give about .5mm overlap when trying to interlace bricks to give some material to file back. I tend to avoid using interlacing where I can but find mitring the corners even harder.

The goods shed is going to have a 3mm main wall with a 1.5mm inner wall and quoins. I haven't yet worked out an easy way to laser engrave mortar patterns on both sides of the material consistently!

David

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barhamd
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Re: Stour Valley Dream - progress on P4 layout

Postby barhamd » Tue Apr 21, 2020 11:45 pm

More progress on the goods shed today.

The unrebuilt end has an interesting row of bricks just below the top of the gable. I've modeled this by putting a 1mm slot in the 3mm material and then feeding a 1mm piece with the diagonal ends of the bricks into the slot. A row of soldier bricks from 1.5mm MDF finishes off the roof line.

IMG_7945a.jpg


I had a bit of a problem with another bit of cutting because I didn't weigh the bit of material down in the cutter and it moved slightly while cutting. Lots of little rapid movements for cutting the mortar ends vibrated the light MDF and I ended up with the final bits of cutting out of registration.

I'll have another go tomorrow (or later today actually)

David

BrockleyAndrew
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Re: Stour Valley Dream - progress on P4 layout

Postby BrockleyAndrew » Tue Apr 21, 2020 11:55 pm

I know that before and after shots are compelling by their nature but I am consistently impressed by those brickwork photos, particularly the "rough and ready" shot of a quick grey wash.

So well done!

Andrew

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barhamd
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Re: Stour Valley Dream - progress on P4 layout

Postby barhamd » Tue Apr 28, 2020 8:52 pm

I've been doing battle with the rear wall of the goods shed. While the drawing looked fine the output of the cutter had weird artifacts of weak cutting lines at various points. The result looked pretty hideous.

IMG_7962a.jpg


Looking at the cutting preview I could see that the good bits of the cut looked pretty random while the not good bits appeared to have the head moving continously up the wall cutting each mortar line by pulsing the laser. This meant that the actual cut was 'weaker' because the laser was traveling at speed rather than starting and stopping at each end of the cut.

There is no way to control this in the 'rather limited' software which comes with the cutter. You have no control over what order lines are cut in other than by selecting the colour of a line - not very practical to control individual mortar lines!

I ended up having to delete lumps of the drawing, copy bit of the drawing that worked ok and then adjust to get the mortar lines as they were originally. Ultimately to a human the drawing looks identical, but to the computer the order of the lines is different and to the path planning algorithm of the cutting software - well that is voodoo.

Comparing the before and after cuts and you can see the significant improvement.

IMG_7961a.jpg


I've now finally got a rear wall I can move forward with.

David

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barhamd
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Re: Stour Valley Dream - progress on P4 layout

Postby barhamd » Tue May 05, 2020 9:36 pm

The demise of my soldering iron gives me an enforced break from the B1 (and Dave Bradwell a break from my foolish questions!). The result was some more progress on the model of Clare goods shed. I got around to fitting the overlays for the buttresses and plinths and tidy up the corners. Then I drew up the internal walls because obviously the internal brickwork is quite visible. Interestingly the wall nearest the track did not have any reinforcing buttresses on the inside and that wall is just plain.

I also drew up some roof trusses, which interesting do not coincide with the external buttresses either!

IMG_7979a.jpg

IMG_7980a.jpg


I need to cut out the cork to allow the building to sit down at the right height.

I'm now sticking the goods office together, this is another 'you couldn't make it up' bit of building which has a buttress on one corner but not the other and a wider bit of reinforcing brickwork half way down one side only. Oh and the windows don't match anything either....

Getting it, alright

David

Terry Bendall
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Re: Stour Valley Dream - progress on P4 layout

Postby Terry Bendall » Wed May 06, 2020 8:34 am

barhamd wrote:this is another 'you couldn't make it up' bit of building which has a buttress on one corner but not the other and a wider bit of reinforcing brickwork half way down one side only. Oh and the windows don't match anything either....


But that is what makes an otherwise fairly conventional railway building more interesting and make the modelling of it more of a challenge. If it was easy it would be boring.! :) All looking very nice David.

Terry Bendall

ralphrobertson
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Re: Stour Valley Dream - progress on P4 layout

Postby ralphrobertson » Wed May 06, 2020 8:56 am

That goods shed is going to look superb David. I usually find when brick lines don't come out right that it is down to me putting in the same line twice (or sometimes even more times) on the drawing and normally because the step and repeat function gets cocked up (by me!).

As far as software for the laser is concerned, and not knowing what laser you are using, have you looked at Lightburn? https://lightburnsoftware.com/ It is an excellent piece of software and you can trial it for 1 month after which you have to pay a nominal sum. The software that we got with our laser (Emblaser 2) was absolute c**p and was Opensource but Darkly Labs worked directly with the Lightburn team and the result was a fantastic piece of software which has lots of features in it. The software team are also very swift to pick up on ideas and implement them and it allows you to just use the machine as a tool instead of having to work out ways around the limitations which some packages throw at you.

Keep up the good work.

Ralph

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barhamd
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Re: Stour Valley Dream - progress on P4 layout

Postby barhamd » Thu May 14, 2020 11:38 pm

I got a bit more work done on the goods shed while I was waiting for a replacement soldering iron to be delivered. This morning I cut a load of slates into postage labels and stuck them on the roof. Then this afternoon I sprayed a couple of basic base colours, brick red on the walls and a slate grey on the roof.

IMG_7988a.jpg


IMG_7989a.jpg


So now I am going to leave this to dry for a decent period so the enamel hardens well prior to my usual treatment with Wilco fine filler. (Actually I'll also need to brush paint the engineering bricks and stone work first).

I have to work out what I'm going to do inside, the building is now all white painted internally but I don't know if it was originally just natural brick or white-washed. Interesting it does appear that the top half of the end nearest the station building was white-washed, I can't imagine why. The only reason I could think of would have been for sighting but I can't see a sight-line from a signal which the goods shed would be behind.

David

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barhamd
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Re: Stour Valley Dream - progress on P4 layout

Postby barhamd » Thu May 14, 2020 11:44 pm

ralphrobertson wrote:
As far as software for the laser is concerned, and not knowing what laser you are using, have you looked at Lightburn? https://lightburnsoftware.com/ It is an excellent piece of software and you can trial it for 1 month after which you have to pay a nominal sum. The software that we got with our laser (Emblaser 2) was absolute c**p and was Opensource but Darkly Labs worked directly with the Lightburn team and the result was a fantastic piece of software which has lots of features in it. The software team are also very swift to pick up on ideas and implement them and it allows you to just use the machine as a tool instead of having to work out ways around the limitations which some packages throw at you.

Keep up the good work.

Ralph


I took a look at Lightburn but I don't think it supports the commercial machines like my HPC laser. Shame really as it would be so good to get rid of the nasty LaserCut software.

David

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Will L
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Re: Stour Valley Dream - progress on P4 layout

Postby Will L » Fri May 15, 2020 10:11 am

barhamd wrote:...I have to work out what I'm going to do inside, the building is now all white painted internally but I don't know if it was originally just natural brick or white-washed...

I remember visiting Clare station yard not long after closure. Unfortunately without camera. What I remember of the inside of the good shed was mostly unpainted wood and dusty brick. While I think the walls were probably white washed, white isn't the colour that comes to mind. A sort of muted dusty gray comes closest in my memory. I'm not at all sure the colour would have been much different if the white wash wasn't there if you see what I mean.

What I remember most is investigating a manual point leaver just outside the good shed entrance which was in good working order at the time.

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barhamd
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Re: Stour Valley Dream - progress on P4 layout

Postby barhamd » Mon May 18, 2020 6:40 pm

A bit more progress on the goods shed as well over the weekend. I got the mortar filler added and couple of washes over the brickwork.

I was trying to get the 'tired' look of the working goods shed rather than the sand blasted clear brick of the preserved building.

IMG_7995a.jpg


IMG_7996a.jpg


The roof needs weathering and the stone capping stones need painting and fastening down.

David

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Serjt-Dave
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Re: Stour Valley Dream - progress on P4 layout

Postby Serjt-Dave » Mon May 18, 2020 8:53 pm

Looking good David. Well Done.

Keep Safe

Dave

ralphrobertson
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Re: Stour Valley Dream - progress on P4 layout

Postby ralphrobertson » Sun May 31, 2020 12:00 pm

I took a look at Lightburn but I don't think it supports the commercial machines like my HPC laser.


Hi Dave,

It is always worth dropping these guys a line as they are very helpful and obliging. In view of the number of HPC machines around they may well be interested in adding in a driver for it - I know nothing about that machine but it has to be worth an email enquiry?

Ralph


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