The Top yard! - Gn15 [1/24]

For discussion of the issues faced when building a model or layout - how to replicate wood, what glues to use, exactly how much weathering can a Gnat take, a good source of detailing accessories - you get the picture, I'm sure.

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The Top Yard!

Postby Bilco » Wed Jun 09, 2010 10:11 am

Hi Gordon - very impressive castings for the manhole and grill. I used Mac's Moldings ship's deck inspection covers as manhole covers as a quick and easy alternative - always my preferred option :oops:

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Postby Little Andi. » Sun Jun 13, 2010 11:45 am

Hi chaps ...........

I'm able to address you all finally. Things have been very tough in the real world recently - and I thank you for your patience, especially to those that may have been waiting for a response or the like.

Anyhow......... recently stole a few short whiles to have a go at this soldering lark!! - Would you credit it? - The Brand new soldering iron I bought is defective - broken - buggered! Have sent e-mail to company via Amazon, and this being the trouble with internet shopping - I'll bet I've got a right game on trying to sort it out!!!

Upshot though is I managed in a fashion to make a start with a titchy little 12w jobbie I'd got in the back of the tool/junk drawer.

And one of the reasons for this pictureless post [Sorry], is a quick thank you to Brack for his little bit of wisdom re' soldering the feed wire to the underside of the rail joiners.
I made an "L" out of the copper core of twin and earth, soldered them to the underside of the joiners as stated - then slipped the joiners on to the rails and they drop neatly through two pre-drilled holes into the baseboard - sweet as you like - no melted sleepers, no fiddling at the board...... just pre-assembly and then final assembly - most excellent.

If this technique isn't already out there? - it should be!!

Good to be back lads..............................
KBO .......................... Andi.

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Postby dieselwater » Sun Jun 13, 2010 2:06 pm

Hi Andi,

Good to have ya back mate :wink: Gnice one with the soldering, I think I'll try that myself one day, some day 8) I still haven't got around to getting a soldering iron yet...

Looking forward to the progress pics :wink: :)
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Postby Gerry Bullock » Sun Jun 13, 2010 3:32 pm

Little Andi. wrote:

And one of the reasons for this pictureless post [Sorry], is a quick thank you to Brack for his little bit of wisdom re' soldering the feed wire to the underside of the rail joiners.
I made an "L" out of the copper core of twin and earth, soldered them to the underside of the joiners as stated - then slipped the joiners on to the rails and they drop neatly through two pre-drilled holes into the baseboard - sweet as you like - no melted sleepers, no fiddling at the board...... just pre-assembly and then final assembly - most excellent.

If this technique isn't already out there? - it should be!!

Good to be back lads..............................


Welcome back Andi.
A fellow club member has been selling these rail joiners with soldered feeds on eBay for some months. They go like HOT CAKES. :lol:
So little time, so many ideas!!!!! GerryB.
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Postby Brack » Sun Jun 13, 2010 5:09 pm

personal thanks! its not my idea, but I can't remember where I first heard of it. Makes a lot of sense to me, not sure why manufacturers don't make them, to be honest.

I suspect it might not be as durable as the good old 'whack it on the rails with a big lump of solder' method, but works fine for me.

just glad something was useful - I've had enough help/inspiration from plenty of others on here.

Best of luck with getting it all built and working though.

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Postby Trevor Coburn » Sun Jun 13, 2010 6:52 pm

I think the idea has been around for decades, but the only down side is that rail joiners (aka fish plates) can get dirt behind them especialy if the layout is subject to extremes of temperature.(As exhibiton layouts can be) Personaly I always solder a tail of wire to each rail not then relying on rail joiners to carry the juice. This is not to say that this method wont work. Just that I have been caught out in the past by relying on rail joiners. :oops:
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Postby Little Andi. » Fri Jul 02, 2010 3:13 pm

Well here we finally go!!

Just a little proof that I am trying to make some kind of headway with this project. Sorry about the delays and broken promises - lots of real life as most of you know?

Without any further ado! - Picture proof that the "Top yard" exists ??



The basic trackplan then ....... this surprisingly came out all but dead on to the plan I posted.
Image
Well. not dead on but pretty close for something that was nought but a guesstimate.


An overview with Santo's [Soon to be the Estate office] and Miss Lemons cottage [Soon to be the office of the "Yards" foreman].
Image
This helps to give a better idea of the scale - and being the first time I'd set these up on the baseboard made me realise just how tight things were going to get - and this despite my determination to be realistic.


A little lower.....................
Image


And Ground zero........ this substantiates my notion of taking narrative pic's at a later date.
Image
At least I think it certainly shows the potential for a bit of dioramic storytelling?

And finally a close up to again quantify the potential believability of the more heavily cropped image.
Image


All in all I'm pretty pleased with it so far - the initial idea is showing some quite positive signs of working to some degree and it also remains so far quite a workable project - we'll see how it goes as it fills up with more buildings and detail?

PS............. Sorry about the poor photography and disturbing background clutter.
KBO .......................... Andi.

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Postby gfadvance » Fri Jul 02, 2010 5:55 pm

Looking great Andi,

have to be honest wasn't sure if your track plan would fit but it does!, you haven't increased the board size have you ?

The buildings fit well with your origonal sketch and I like the track mods.

The only thing that is worrying me is

Image Image

At least there a different colour!


p.s. nice collection of kits
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Postby henrix72se » Fri Jul 02, 2010 7:04 pm

Looking good,

Really like the trackplan. Not to big, but still space to do some nice shunting!

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Postby dieselwater » Sat Jul 03, 2010 8:17 am

Hi Andi,

That is one proper good solid start. The track plan and how you've set it down is a job very well done! You've got yourself a real critter's playground there. Ample room to shunt up n down and in n out etc. Combining this with your unbelievable architectural and general modelling talents- we're in for a treat :D

I think you're gonna give that "Bottom Yard" a good ol' who's the daddy now! :lol: :wink: :oops: All in jest of course. Gordon and yourself have got the makings of an unbelievable little empire of sorts.

Great stuff!
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Postby chris stockdale » Sat Jul 03, 2010 11:00 am

Little Andi. wrote:Without any further ado! - Picture proof that the "Top yard" exists ??



The basic trackplan then .......



I suspect it says much about the first thought that crossed my mind on looking at the trackplan...


... 'That's a lot of track' said my brain :roll:


I wonder if a combination of my own search for minimalist fun and the simple, small layouts often produced by fellow 'boxers' has driven me to the state where I will be surprised if I have any track at all! :D

Meanwhile, great to see things coming together Andi. With your skills we are expecting great things - so no pressure then :twisted:



cheers

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Postby Little Andi. » Mon Jul 05, 2010 7:15 pm

Hey all.............

Thanks for the largely positive comments, very early stages yet as you all know but already thinking of the problems ahead!
One of the first things I wanted to address was the sheer acreage of Yard that needs to be furnished with some kind of rendering. I do of course want to vary the surface texture in both detail and style but I do need to be pretty expedient how I go about it.
This then is a simple example of my thinking so far - this is for the large expanses of surface and will be supplemented with more detailed cameo and dioramic areas.

Pretty self explanatory................

Image
A sheet of Watercolour paper - [NOT egg boxes!!!]. and using an embossing tool simply engrave any pattern of your choice into it.

Image
Now I included this pic' as it has evolutions of the technique. The top yellowish area was painted first a background colour and the pattern was simply engraved into it with a worn HB pencil - much easier as it turned out - the pencil allowed one to see where one had been already making it much easier on the eyes and also showed through the paintwork to give a shadow effect in the finished job. [This particular instance is a bit on the ill considered side, but now I've proved it as a technique? I should be able to scribe a more believable piece of setwork]? It should also with a bit of experience be able to engrave in all sorts of esoteric detailing?

So, by and large a cheap and cheerful little exercise that should make covering the expanse of yard a much more do-able project.
More pic's as the technique is applied or improved......................
KBO .......................... Andi.

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Postby Glen A » Mon Jul 05, 2010 8:14 pm

Great technique Andi.
Do you have to seal the top with anything when finished to stop the paper curling? Or is it quite thick?

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Postby Little Andi. » Tue Jul 06, 2010 7:28 am

Hey Glen................

Sorry - should of thought of that as a question myself. The paintwork is actually acrylic so it provides its own seal once dry. In my case it has been painted over several times with both yet more very thin acrylic washes and/or water colour pigments [powder type but moist tube would have done equally well].
The paper would indeed "cockle" if doused in too much water, I tend to just use enough to dampen it for my needs initially, and then use a hair-dryer on it.
If it does cockle badly it's only a case of misting it on the back and inserting between books/boards/newspapers for the night.

It is the differing textures of water colour paper that attract me, and this is fairly obvious in the pic's' - ............... this paper btw is rated as 140lb "Not". Which makes it in the real world approx 0.75mm thick - or three quarters on an inch on the project.
However the lack of depth in the samples irks me somewhat and I'm trying differing ideas to gain a little more "relief"!
Cutting the bricks out and laying them individually will work I know - and is a VERY versatile method - but it's the cobbles and sets I'm trying to make a bit more believable.

I've been watching "James Herriot" [Show about a 1930's-50's vet] recently and the background shots of the yards and outbuildings of those Dales farms are an excellent source of inspiration and ideas. ....... BUT - there's so much more by way of depth in the brick and stonework than you would ever of imagine....... some of them look positively "hewn".



More as I manage to make headway.
KBO .......................... Andi.

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Postby gfadvance » Tue Jul 06, 2010 1:22 pm

Inspiring stuff Andi, in fact so good I threw all my trial efforts for cobbles in the bin and decided to just copy you - just for a change!

Little rule here

going to suggest that when either of us develop an idea that it is posted on the thread where the origonal concept was first mentioned .... be easier for anybody interested to find later

So here is my try at Andi's idea.

I used some water colour paper I had, don't think it is as heavy as Andi used but its what I had. I just used a black ball point pen to mark out the setts/cobbles ... roughly based on a 125 x 125 setts size. I deliberately did not keep all the setts even just to add some variation. Developing Andi's idea I decided to cut open some of the setts, bit like the little boxes you open in an advent calender

Image Image

To keep these setts "open" I glued some slivers of card on the back of the paper.

I then glued the whole paper down, I did place a length paper down the middle of the road before gluing the paper down to form a bit of a camber

Image

I then sprayed to whole thing matt black, then dry brushed some grey on to the setts, highlighted some in variations of grey ...... when dry I brushed some MIG Industrial dirt on and then sealed with some matt spray - 1 hour start to finish, missed lunch.


Image Image

Sorry about the quality of the pictures didn't have time to find the tripod!

Its certainly a quicker way of doing setts Andi, than I was thinking of, so thanks
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Postby gfadvance » Tue Jul 06, 2010 2:09 pm

As this afternoons work went "belly up" here are a couple of more in- focus pictures.

Image

Image
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Postby Cross Kitter » Tue Jul 06, 2010 7:37 pm

Brilliant Stuff. :shock: Very inspiring, now how do I explain this to my Water colour teacher when she sees my version :lol: I know we did textures last term but I think she meant in a painting :?

But where are the "Elf and Saftety" signs about those dangerous sticking up cobbles :roll: :D
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Postby dieselwater » Wed Jul 07, 2010 12:42 pm

Andi and Gordon, Brilliant work on the stones. I like the idea of the watercolour paper. The lifted stones and the finish work well Gordon.

Good stuff chaps.

Ideas well worth nabbing :wink:
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Postby Little Andi. » Wed Jul 07, 2010 3:35 pm

A small detail update..............

And this on my chosen method of point actuation. I'm a bugger for releasing the smoke from electrical items, so it was intended from the very start that I would always use a particularly robust mechanical method.
Based on a very soft and distant memory, and necessity being the mother of invention etc......... Here is my first point actuator??

Image
The rods protrude 5/8ths from the frame side giving more than enough "grasp2 and hopefully not too much to cause a constant obstruction - this method is operable from both sides of baseboard - should it ever go on the road - at which point there should be a scenic apron fixed to the front hiding the point rods.



Here's a closer view of the actuator - pretty darn simple really - and hopefully rudely and agriculturally robust?
Image

Copper wires are just tail droppers for points feed btw.


I'd be glad if any glaring errors were made apparent - I'm kind of thinking this through for the first time don't forget!!?

More as it happens - unless of course it's circling the bowl?
KBO .......................... Andi.

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Postby david colley jnr » Wed Jul 07, 2010 4:40 pm

Andi, looking good, but probably a stupid question...
Are you going to have four of these rods under the layout, one for each point? And if so, did you design the layout with the spacing for these?
Or is it one controlled point and using the springing on the others to give the necessary movements to position the stock?
Could you use the rod for some kind of signal, or even a scale point lever up top?

Just wondering, Dave
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Postby Boghopper » Wed Jul 07, 2010 9:22 pm

I like your "agricultural" method of point switching Andi. But.. whatever you do, don't let the layout get damp. MY 009 layout Nottery Quay used a similar method and I made the mistake of storing it in a the basement bedroom of a coastguard cottage we lived in for a while. When I next went to use it, the timber had swelled and it took a lot of hacking about to get the levers to work and they were never the same again. So beware!!

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Postby gfadvance » Thu Jul 08, 2010 6:58 am

Like it Andi, follows the KISS principle which I am all in favour of, probably another idea I will "borrow" .......... I will try to add some origonal thinking to our project at some stage .... promise.

Now that I am seeing the underneath of your board beginning to appreciate the inbuilt strength you have included in the build :lol:

Just tuck it in your pocket and bring it to Telford.
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Postby Little Andi. » Thu Jul 08, 2010 8:51 am

Phew!............ in order of questions............


Dave.... Yes! - there will one of these "push rods" per point - four all told. And No! I didn't really plan the layout around them, but I was aware of the layout when I built the board and was prepared to adjust the underneath bracing in order to accommodate them - as it turned out they just missed a couple so nothing was compromised in terms of build or symmetry.
I'm sure you could use these rods to actuate signals and the the like, but I think Top yard is more likely to be operated by hand gestures - like those you see on most roads everyday.......... this is of course a close knit working environment modelled at a time when there seemed to be more common sense and less litigation - so most signalling is expected to consist of a bit of yelling and a couple of toots of the horn.
I do have it in mind though to have a couple more rods to actuate the isolation switches for sidings right and left. However, you'll notice most everything I do remains in flux until I change it, or my mind again!

Chris ............
Thanks for the timely reminder regards the swelling of woods etc, in my determination to keep it simple I'd de-designed it back from a point that would of accommodated any deformation of the structure ["thinks, now I know why I'd done that"].
I've now [based on your warning] worked out a simple way to re-actuate the points should the rods lock up completely? BUT! - anyone any opinion as to a simple method of helping prevent the rods binding in their guides?? - Bees wax - Candle wax - Talcum..... ???

Gordon......................

I'm not talking to you!!!


Kidding................ borrow away.......... seriously - snitch, steal, borrow, thieve, liberate all the ideas you want - You are MOST WELCOME! And this because now I'll be totally impervious to guilt when I'm in need of help or inspiration and I skulk around the Bottom Yard after dark in order to get it............... smiling now!!!

Seriously thanks for the support and help in the past - appreciate it mon ami!
KBO .......................... Andi.

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Postby dretsome » Thu Jul 08, 2010 10:38 am

Hi Andi,

Just a question, have you ever tried/considered the wheel-spoke method for this purpose? (As i understand you use the mentioned method for your switches).

I've build this for my sons model RR and after one year it still works.

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Postby Little Andi. » Thu Jul 08, 2010 12:00 pm

Hi Eric..............

Thanks for the contact but I've not never heard of the bike spoke method - nobody yelled - "Have you thought of this" before I started. And once my limited mental capacity lit upon the push rod idea it didn't think any further - in fact it took the opportunity to think somewhat less!
I would be interested to see how it works? - If only that my amigo from the bottom Yard doesn't fall into the same tiger traps that I may have already done??

I do appreciate your interest .........................
KBO .......................... Andi.


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