Christmas at Cordale

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TrainsOnArran
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Christmas at Cordale

Postby TrainsOnArran » Tue Oct 29, 2019 1:59 pm

I started work on the Cordale Hall (Model) Railway in August 2018 and began posting about its development in January this year. Posting stopped abruptly in March and modelling stopped shortly afterwards.

My father had not been in the greatest of health and he passed away in May at the grand old age of 91. Since then, much of my time has been taken up with sorting out the ‘stuff’ in his house which had accumulated over 60 years of marriage. Then his house had to be got into a suitable state for selling - mostly painting all the rooms with white emulsion paint to freshen things up a bit. Although I still haven’t managed to get the property on the market yet, work is coming to an end, and I have some time to think about modelling again.

Rather than going back to the Cordale Hall Railway and carrying on from where I left off, I decided a new mini-project might provide the impetus to get going again.

The Duke of Kensington was having a think a couple of months ago, and decided that he needed to do something to make the railway more popular with visitors over the winter months. Looking at what brings in crowds to preserved railways, he decided that Cordale Hall could do with running some ‘Santa Specials’. Not a man to do things by halves, the Duke decided that he needed to build a line to the North Pole (not literally!) where children could meet Santa Claus and parents could be relived of their money at a new, upmarket (and hence expensive) catering outlet. While travelling from Cordale Hall to the North Pole, the line would pass through a snow-covered winter village to build up excitement on the journey.

The subject of the mini-project will be this winter village. In September I was given a micro-layout board from Scale Model Scenery which fits in a 22 litre Really Useful Box (the wrapping paper sized box). While fine for a micro-layout in N or 00, it was too small for what I wanted. There is a larger Really Useful Box (the 77 litre, Christmas Tree box), which at about 4 feet long would be about right. The box is on order and should arrive shortly. Perhaps foolishly, I decided to build the baseboard while waiting for the box to arrive. My carpentry skills are best described as ‘Measure one, cut once, curse, cut again, bigger curse, stick a bit back on’.

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Layout overview 1
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I found some houses and trees in Hobbycraft which seemed like a good starting point. Dobbies provided a bag of snow and some snow spray. The main point to note is that this is not an accurate portrayal of actual buildings and scenery. It is more of a stage set through which the Santa Special will pass. Possibly the scene will be populated with figures from the Lemax Christmas range. Maybe some of the items and characters from Lego Christmas villages can be pressed into service.

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Layout overview 2
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Any of the Cordale Hall engines will pull the service, though the red and green ones would fit the theme better. A few new carriages will be needed, with a more festive colour scheme than Cordale’s standard Oxfor Blue and Cream.

There will just be a single line of track passing through the scene. I doubt if this will be wired up, so the layout will be more of a diorama.

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With a two month deadline, work has started on putting individual slates on the cottage roofs. They are so steeply pitched that snow is unlikely to stick to them!
Paul

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Re: Christmas at Cordale

Postby TrainsOnArran » Sun Nov 17, 2019 3:13 pm

The Really Useful Storage Box arrived at the second attempt - the first one had been mishandled and was missing one corner. Then came the moment of truth. Would the layout fit in the box?

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Layout in a Box
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I’m amazed and delighted to say that it fitted like Cinderella’s foot into the Glass Slipper. In fact, it was such a snug fit that I had to add tape loops so that the layout can be pulled up out of the box.

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Progress on the cottages
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Work is progressing on the Hobbycraft cottages. Walls are painted and individual slates have been added to two of them. Chimneys have also been added. Glazing still needs to be stuck inside the windows.

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Incomplete Carriages
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Work is also progressing on the carriages for the Santa Special. I need to mention here, as I did on the main Cordale Hall Railway thread, the work of Graham “Grum” Watling and his Longstone models. The carriages are a simplified version of his design, and use a Dapol wagon chassis plus Wills Sheets for the bodywork - Roof and Batten for the ends and Tongue and Groove Panels for the sides.

The carriages are awaiting roofs - we need to finish the shortbread from the cake tin before I can tape thin Plasticard to the outside and fill the tin with boiling water to form permanent curves in the Plasticard. The shortbread goes very soggy if you don’t eat it all first! Glazing strips will be stuck to the insides of the carriages, before attaching the roof, I hope. Some stick-on santas, snowmen, crackers, etc should complete the effect.
Paul

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chris stockdale
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Re: Christmas at Cordale

Postby chris stockdale » Mon Nov 18, 2019 8:03 am

'It fits!'

Well Cinders aka Paul, looks like you are going to the ball. Great work.

Cheers,

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Re: Christmas at Cordale

Postby TrainsOnArran » Thu Nov 21, 2019 11:27 am

The First Snow of the Winter

It must be a railway now - the track has all (!) been laid and ballasted. Never before have I done all the track laying and ballasting in under an hour. The joys of a diorama. Can I also claim that all the wiring is done when there isn’t any? Perhaps I should say that there is no more wiring to be done.

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The snow spray
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The can of ‘snow’ says it can be used on Christmas trees, cribs and windows. No mention of model railways at all. Perhaps they know something I don’t. Time will tell.

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Orion’s Belt
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The whole backscene has been sprayed navy blue (midnight blue?). MDF sheets have been cut to represent distant hills, which will be painted white. I have a large bag of sprinkle-on snow for the rest of the horizontal surfaces.

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Front view
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Please don’t look too closely at the bottles visible behind the storage box. The spare bedroom has a blue colour palate and these EMPTY bottles are just the right colours. No Idea where my wife found them!
Paul

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Re: Christmas at Cordale

Postby TrainsOnArran » Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:07 pm

Time is ticking by quickly, but more progress has been made. The background hills have been snowed on (painted white)

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Left hand end
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The carriages and luggage van are just about complete - some door handles are needed and then the Christmas stickers can be applied to the sides.

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Middle
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The houses (from Hobbycraft) are nearly finished - again, door handles are required, the plinths need painting.

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Three houses
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I have some ‘gas lamps’ from Lemax which will probably be added next. These will need to be wired up, so the layout will not be completely non-electrified.

More stars need to be added to the night sky and then, ‘Let it snow’! I have a big bag of scatter snow, so I imagine a liberal coating of pva glue will be added to the ground surfaces and then the snow scattered on. Perhaps a test run would be a good idea!
Paul

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Re: Christmas at Cordale

Postby TrainsOnArran » Sun Dec 15, 2019 1:11 pm

Almost ready for the snow now! Lights from the Lemax range have been added. They are a bit short on their own, so are standing on wooden pedestals.

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three quarter view
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The carriages are now complete, with door knobs and decorations.

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full view
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The lamps with their supplied wreaths add a nice touch.

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tree
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The other end of the diorama, for completeness.

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loco
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Paul

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chris stockdale
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Re: Christmas at Cordale

Postby chris stockdale » Sun Dec 15, 2019 3:44 pm

Lovely.

But hold on - with the exception of a couple of passengers (who look to be far too upright citizens to me) everyone else, including the driver, seem to be 'off stage' somewhere. My guess is that if we had sound we'd hear chatter, laughter and the clinking of glasses. Yes, the local hostelry is bursting at the seams!

Cheers,

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Re: Christmas at Cordale

Postby TrainsOnArran » Wed Dec 18, 2019 5:29 pm

I’m not sure if Stockers has ever been called out for being wrong on this forum (and it is probably against forum rules even to think of doing so), but the suggestion that the good people of Cordale are in the pub could not be further from the truth!

The previous set of pictures were taken after the railway had closed to the paying public for the day, and the train had brought in the important players for the first dress rehearsal of the Cordale Christmas Eve Carol Concert. The performers were all in the houses getting changed into costume.

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Choir
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In this scene members of the Corgrave Parish Church choir are singing ‘Once in Royal David’s City’, the relieved junior member having just completed his solo of the opening verse.

The choir is being watched by members of Corgrave’s Charles Dickens Re-enactment Society (motto: What the Dickens are we playing at?)


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Santa
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The Duke of Hamilton (dark coat) and his friend Robert Heywood survey the secular end of the scene. Although the forecast snow has not yet arrived, a very hard frost has turned the ground white.

The figures are all from the Lemax range - currently 30% off at Dobbies Garden Centres! I’m particularly pleased with the lamp lighter on the ladder. He came on a base with the ladder leaning against a lamppost, which was slightly different from those already in place. The ladder had to be removed carefully from the baseplate and lamppost and then extended using coffee stirrers for the sides and cocktail sticks for the rungs.
Paul

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Re: Christmas at Cordale

Postby chris stockdale » Thu Dec 19, 2019 4:42 am

Hi Paul,

The Stockers is often wrong, SWMBO is not slow to keep him informed when such situations arise... :D

I have to admit to be a little disappointed, but I still have a suspicion that the good burghers of the village are not as ‘good’ as the latest scene depicts. (And a very nice scene it is too). After all, I think most of us would agree that a little ‘nip’ of the good stuff both moistens the vocal chords and warms the cockles.

Meantimes, hooray for 30% discounts as getting suitable figures is the subject of a lot of discussion within these ‘walls’.

Cheers,

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Re: Christmas at Cordale

Postby TrainsOnArran » Tue Dec 24, 2019 11:35 am

At last, the snow has arrived at the Winter Village

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Snow 1
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Snow 2
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Snow 3
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Christmas Greetings
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The Duke of Hamilton, and all the Friends of Cordale Hall Railway, send Christmas Greetings to all those who post to the Gnatterbox and those who read the postings.

The Duke’s New Year Wish is for more people to record their activities on the Gnatterbox. Facebook is all very well for showing photographs, but is poorly suited to recording the development of a model from start to (near) completion. The amount of valuable information on this forum is quite staggering. It would be a huge waste if the forum was to disappear through lack of use.
Paul


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