"The Bottom Yard"

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"The Bottom Yard"

Postby gfadvance » Wed Jun 30, 2010 6:53 pm

Thought it might be time to provide some news of the “Bottom Yard”.

Andi has given a great overview of the thinking behind his “Top Yard”

http://forum.gn15.info/viewtopic.php?t= ... highlight=

along with his track plan and a great sketch showing the various parts. “The Bottom Yard” came about following conversations with Andi and of course the slight spirit of competition that exists between us – nothing too distasteful just a means of getting us both to actually build something more than anything else! ............. And also because I was jealous of a good idea and thought I might as well try and muscle in on it.


So the “Bottom Yard”..........


Well it’s the dirty end of the business, it’s where the money was made to provide for the “Big House” and all their fancy contraptions and in its day it was, in modern parlance, the Transport Hub for the whole enterprise. A place where most of the goods produced or grown on the estate could be stored until needed or sold and then shipped out via the canal.

Although the canal and some of the warehousing dates back to the early 1800’s, its heyday probably was in the 1890’s up to the start of the 1st World War. After then like most of the large estates lack of money/ manpower has lead to a long slow decline.
The narrow gauge line was added as one of the young masters’ bright ideas during a sudden and short lived period of relative prosperity in the 1920’s to speed up movement of produce from the estate and a small local quarry and in addition to help alleviate the acute manpower shortage which existed at that time.

Since that time no major investment has really been made although various members of the family have played with different ideas and brought in different equipment........ The usual argument ensued between generations i.e. “what’s wrong with steam, it has always been good enough for our needs versus let’s move to diesel/petrol engines, it’s the future, less maintenance and easier to use by our people.”

At different times the argument swung one way or the other but whoever won the argument never really had the money to do the job properly so any new equipment was always second-hand and the old stuff was kept “just in case”


We are now in the period late 50’s to early 60’s, where some of the warehousing has either fallen into disuse or has been sublet to various different tenants including the local Council. The canal is now almost completely disused although there has been talk on the council of draining it and using it as an access road for some proposed local industrial units.

The Estate manager, who is based at the Top Yard, to be near the “big house”, does occasionally visit and come up with some bright idea or two but basically “out of sight out of mind” and so long as the foreman who is in nominal charge does not spend money they are all left in peace to get on with their various “activities”.
All of the employees at the Bottom Yard are well used to this and are well versed in make do and mend so the equipment there is kept going with whatever comes to hand or cannibalising from some other piece of equipment. Most the work consists of moving stone from the quarry along with the various agricultural produce from the estate farm into the yard, where it may be stored or shipped out by road.

As a means of trying to bring in some additional money the Estate Manager decided to sub let some of the old warehousing/storage sheds. Currently the local Council use some of the space to store surplus bits of kit and one of the locals is using some space to start up a garage business.
The foreman considers all these as a “bl....y nuisance” as the tenants are forever leaving equipment/cars/vans etc in the way. The “Bottom Yard” has always been tight for room as it grew without any great thought and it was certainly never planned to run trains, lorries storage facilities and a garage out of a place which, as he says “you can’t swing a cat in”, but he doesn’t make the decisions and the Estate Manager doesn’t see what the problem is.

Well hopefully you now have some idea to the history and background of the layout, so let’s move on and see where I have got to;-

Here is the original layout plan, as you can see I’m more a mechanical drawer than an artist like Andi.

Image

The layout is very simple with the opportunity to act as a shunting layout if I want to play, and like Andi’s there is the potential to add ends to the layout to enable me just to sit back and watch the trains go round.
Basic baseboard

Image

Andi won this argument, I was tempted to go down the lightweight foam/card baseboard construction but he convinced me that 2”x1” & 6mm MDF was the way to go ............. yes it’s a bit heavy but when things go wrong it can’t half take some punishment!
This was my first, second, whatever go at laying the track, and I do find it all very hard work even on the simplest of layouts like this. The eagle eyed amongst you may notice that my original intention was to have lots of isolated sections but in the end I decided to keep to the KISS principle and just use the points to provide isolation so now I have reduced everything down to just 2 wires feeding in the power, and even I can handle that.

The funny cut-out at the front is where the canal will be, the intention is to have 2 different versions one with water and debris the other as a dried out/drained canal being used as a road. The intention is to fasten the alternatives on to the actual layout via magnets. This will give another view point, and using the drained section, a place to stand vehicles as I expect most of the time the layout will be used as a backdrop for photographing some of my current and planned models.

Image


Oh and in case I get any comments, because I have nearly got to this stage before, it all actually works and I have the videos to prove it!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zg_BegNzNpQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iP6SN4ezRy4

Finally here’s where we are at now, sorry David no Cornflake packets, just a raid on the local shop’s empty boxes and lots of cutting and hot glue.


Image

Image

Don’t take the shape of the building as the final product I just wanted to rough out the mass of the buildings and get some differentiation in the way of height and roof lines. The gap in the middle will be most likely filled in with some simple garages/lock-ups.
In case you are wondering about the sleeper spacing, no I am not trying to use the original sleepers by spacing them out the plan is that in some places the granites setts, ash, dirt, etc, which most of the track will recessed into will have broken down over the years. At these points the sleepers will show through may be either wood or pressed steel sleepers haven’t made my mind up yet.


Don’t expect quick progress on this, it will be done as and when the mood takes me but hopefully the odd update will get posted on a not to infrequent basis.
Gordon F

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Postby skylon » Wed Jun 30, 2010 9:33 pm

Don’t expect quick progress on this


Booo!

Looking forward to this developing, as I am the Top Yard. I like the dual use idea for the canal basin.
Thanks,
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Postby Little Andi. » Wed Jun 30, 2010 9:39 pm

Gordon............
Excellent first post on the "Bottom Yard". The back story is entertaining and credible, it should leave you plenty of room for developing both the Yard and the "Story line's"!
If it's any help at all I can fully sympathise with how much effort it's taken to get this far. I know there are characters on here that relish this part of the build - all I know is that it's been pretty stressful trying to pre-empt any problems or build sequence - especially as this is the my first real attempt - pretty much like yourself?

Having said that - I checked out your vid's - pretty cool. Mine is running at about the same level, although not quite as smooth as yours........ mine is with an Underground Ernie, so perhaps not the best unit to do snagging with?

I know when we spoke last I said I was almost ready to have something to show!!! - Well sorry.......... still got a bit of real life to sort out and this Heat is killing me!!! - I really am not designed to function at anything above 20°C. I've been completely useless this last fortnight or so.

I am however still striving to prove my industry and should have the track layout of Top Yard to show very soon, I'm managing with the soldering - although it really does feel like an alien process, I can see it's advantages elsewhere in my modelling technique arsenal, certainly another string to my bow.

I look forward to your further progress, I also need to speak to you about this coupling and uncoupling malarky?? Also how we go about making the yard surfaces them selves? - Like you I shall be going for cobbles and sets - plus some deteriorated areas showing heavy use - lack of repair or simply poorly maintained.

I'll post Top yards track plan as soon as possible - couple of days??

Later bloke - and very well done!!
KBO .......................... Andi.

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Postby SOUTHPASS » Wed Jun 30, 2010 9:56 pm

Sorry about the heat Andi. We are in the middle of winter here and it's tipped to be only 20c. I actually have shoes on today :lol: but only a few more weeks and it will start getting above these frigid conditions :)
.....WARNING....
Contains images that anoraks may find disturbing.
1:24 scale 16.5mm gauge.
Yes I know it's all old and rusty, but I just model things as I see them......
Have a good one....John B.

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Postby dieselwater » Thu Jul 01, 2010 5:13 am

Cracking start Gordon! The back story is really entertaining and will no doubt continue to drive on the layout's development. The canal basin will provide you with stacks of reflected atmosphere from its surrounding environment. This is one of those inspiring projects that I'm gnoing to be really excited to see develop.

Good stuff mate 8)
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Postby Glen A » Thu Jul 01, 2010 6:04 am

Looks good Gordon.
I especially like the track going through the doorway, which can be used to extend on to other modules later.

Now you have got somewhere to use your crane from the challenge :wink:
Is there room for the steam roller as well?

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Postby Simon Andrews » Thu Jul 01, 2010 8:08 am

Looking good Gordon. The buildings will frame the layout nicely. I agree with Glen, a nice simple track plan with potential to extend and enhance operations.

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Postby Ian-IoM » Thu Jul 01, 2010 10:38 am

Looking good :D

I do like the idea you and Andi have come up with - layouts that are part of the same imagined railway, even if they don't physically connect or meet in the real world - it puts them in a wider context and makes them seem more real somehow, being part of a bigger (if fictitious) world rather than just a stand-alone micro layout - neat 8)
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Postby gfadvance » Thu Jul 01, 2010 1:19 pm

Andi

Glad you appreciate the back story, and see you have spotted all my get out clauses to cover all eventualities.

Couplings ? I'm still in the theory stage but this thread is what I am currently basing my ideas on http://forum.gn15.info/viewtopic.php?t= ... =couplings

Glen

Why do you think the Council has sub-let some storage!!! and how do you shift large lumps of stone ?

Because of my flexible back story, some buildings will be built of stone - the ones built at the same time as the canal maybe similar to this

Image

The others will be brick

Thanks for the positive feedback and if anybody wants to throw ideas in for the buildings - especially at the ends/ view blocks feel free.
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Postby Trevor Coburn » Thu Jul 01, 2010 8:54 pm

Hey Gordon, thats a great "Back Story" wasnt there an artical in the ILS journal in the 1970's about this line?

Corregated iron for buildings, ends of Nissan (Quornset?) Huts..........Old SG containers,........................
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Postby JackBlack » Fri Jul 02, 2010 12:28 am

Hi Gordon, your layout looks to be really good and also a nice back story you have there.
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Postby PeterH » Sat Jul 03, 2010 4:26 am

Looks nice Gordon. I like how the features are at different angles.
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Postby gfadvance » Thu Jul 22, 2010 12:05 pm

Quick post just to prove that some progress is still being made on The Bottom yard ............. still in the "construction phase" this is not modelling and I wish I could get this bit over and done with, but nearly there!

First shot shows variation on a theme, can't remember whose basic idea this was but I had to modify it so that I could have the point control levers operating in a different place - also my points were no where close to being at right angles to the baseboard sides.
No real brilliance here just some curtain rod, type for net curtains with some wire through middle to control rods etc. Rods do not protrude through board side members under either operating condition and have nuts glued on their end so I can screw on handles when needed.

Image

Next 2 shots show the "operating" front , for want of another way to describe it.

This will not be scenic-ed and will only be used when I actually want to play trains ......... sorry practise my shunting technique! it is removable and held in place with magnets

Image

Image

Just waiting for glue to dry on the other 2 front pieces, these will be used either as frontage when model is in display / exhibition mode (ha, ha maybe, if ever) and will not have holes in front, etc all operating being done from the back.

As in origonal back story these 2 fronts will finished as standard canal with water, lock gate , etc and as a dried/abandoned/ filled in canal with debris broken gate etc ............. modelling at last !!!!
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Postby michael » Fri Jul 23, 2010 2:52 pm

Gordon, the Bottom Yard reminds me a bit of my Macton layout which is waiting patiently in the storage shed. I like the way that you and Andi are working together, well more in tandem on these layouts. You are creating some great new ideas that I am filing away in my need to keep that info section of my noggin.
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Postby Little Andi. » Fri Jul 23, 2010 5:33 pm

Excellent job Gordon ..................

I really like the control wire idea, I'd heard of it but to see it laid out like this makes so much more sense - great usage of dowel too - I tried that once!!!!

Seriously I think you're off to a cracking good start. And I really am impressed with the scenic apron, I was intending to just put a simple plain one at the front of top Yard for depth of field but the way yours ties into the landscape is a real piece of inspiration - also impressed with the idea of having different flavours - should make for a versatile backdrop for photo shoots.

Keep on keeping on.............Laters.............
KBO .......................... Andi.

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Postby gfadvance » Fri Jul 23, 2010 10:06 pm

Michael,

good to see you back here, was wondering if that satellite/down-link or what ever you use out in the wilds was still functional .

Macton :D the link/layout that lead me to the Gnatterbox ..... went back to some of your previous photos that I had saved and yes, I can see what you mean ........... substitute your loading dock for my canal and there is a familiar look. Well I have never had an origonal idea in my life so it was probably the subconscious brain at work again.

Anyway Andi and I are both using watercolour paper like you for various bits & pieces and I still have on file your method of making cracked old concrete and if I can figure out how I could incorporate them would love to have a go at a variation of Macton Gates !

For others on the forum if you haven't had a look before check out the link on the bottom of Michael's post to see .... some pictures of Macton,
Michael is going to have to complete some of the links :wink:


Keep building Michael, get that workshop finished we need you to start posting some more modelling ...... and I'm keen to see some more progress on that 7/8ths rail car .

All the best


Edit sorry took my brain a while but here is the obvious way to look at the building of Macton via the "Virtual Layouts" http://forum.gn15.info/viewtopic.php?t=5251
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Postby michael » Sat Jul 24, 2010 2:10 pm

Gordon, Thanks for the plug on Macton, yes you are right I need to add the materials for the "coming ""soon"" sections" :oops: . There is more information on the forum about Macton than my own little site.
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Postby gfadvance » Thu Jul 29, 2010 7:18 am

After moaning about the construction phase, managed to get some modelling done this week.

First, the base for the dried out canal bed ........

Image
Image

As I wanted the bottom/base to be as thin as possible , so I could maximise the "depth of the empty canal so used 2.5mm card & 6mm hard wood plus old model plane techniques to minimise the chance of warping.

With the basic base done I needed a break so thought I would have a go at modelling the broken down lock gate. I'm only representing one of a pair of gates , again constructed from mostly 6mm square wood.

Image

This gate is more representative than scale, still to add a variety of nuts and bolts and then a fair amount of weathering and vegetation ... as the gate will sunk into the debris at the bottom of the dried out/filled in canal.

Image
Image

Finally a shot of gate roughly in position, with the first attempts at the capping stones for the top of the canal walls

Image
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Postby Boghopper » Thu Jul 29, 2010 7:47 am

Hello Gordon, I like the way it's going. I thought you might like this picture of weed covered lock gates I took at the weekend on the Medway in Kent.

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Postby AndyA » Thu Jul 29, 2010 8:13 am

Love the gate, Gordon. At the moment it seems to be in better condition than most of the ones I worked back in April. :)

Looking forward to seing the trackwork in more detail, as well.

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Postby Little Andi. » Thu Jul 29, 2010 11:56 am

Good job as always Gordon.........

Certainly captures the flavour well; and I'm always drawn to this kind of old technology anyway. Just really like the way the iron furniture sits so squarely against that old oak [sic'].

Looking forward to all your postings - keep them up.


I'm a bit bogged down at the mo' with "stuff" - so my updates will only trickle through for a while yet.

All the best..........................
KBO .......................... Andi.

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Postby michael » Thu Jul 29, 2010 1:29 pm

Very gnice work on the gate Gordon. One thing I am curious about though. The way you are constructing the gate. Would it not be better to do the weathering of the wood before glueing on the metal fixings, I would have thought that it would be easier to dip , soak or paint the wood first, then apply the metal work which could be painted or rusted and just a drop of crazy glue and some dust to cove the glue.

Just my own biases showing.
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Postby Ian-IoM » Thu Jul 29, 2010 1:34 pm

Nice lock gate, I do like the idea of the swapable scenic bit at the front too, and the way you've made it an irregular shape so there isn't a straight join line - it's a neat way of being able to change the look of the layout 8) . Definitely an idea to file for future pilfering :wink:
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Postby skylon » Thu Jul 29, 2010 3:43 pm

Very nice looking gate.

Could try a working one...now there's a challenge idea.
Thanks,

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Postby gfadvance » Thu Jul 29, 2010 6:32 pm

Christ
thanks for the photo,very useful.

Andy
Track work, trying to avoid that at the moment.

Andi
don't take this the wrong way, but pleased you have slowed down gives me a chance to catch-up.

Michael
you are probably right but that is the difference between a "bodger" (me) and a "craftsman" (you!)

My excuse is its my military modelling background, where either figures or vehicles had most things added then the whole lot was painted. I like to try and get things to sit in rather than on and I find this method works for me .... well most of the time, and we'll see what happens with this :wink:

Question

Now seeing there is lots of knowledge out there some help please - modern lock gates seem to be painted gloss black with white ends to beams etc. From what I can see on old photos the finish while similar seems to be matt based, guessing some form of creosote/bitumen wash and plain old white wash for the bits you don't want to bump into or fall over ......... thoughts?
Gordon F


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