My first GN15 layout – ‘Don’t Feed The Hippos’

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Kevin
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My first GN15 layout – ‘Don’t Feed The Hippos’

Postby Kevin » Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:36 am

I say first GN15 layout, but this is my first completed layout in any scale.
I bought a circle of Roco track from Gerry Bullock with the idea of building a GN15 pizza layout with the track running through industrial or agricultural buildings.

I set up the track on the kitchen table as a test track for Eric, my 7mm ic loco built around an Ernie chassis. My daughters saw it and asked if I could build a railway that they could use.

I didn’t think that they would be interested in a grotty industrial setting so looked for some more scenic inspiration. I looked at Gnutley Pond and thought of ripping off the whole idea. I decided that if I was going to have a pond, I should make it deep enough to add some height to the layout and the idea for ‘Don’t feed the hippos’ was born.

Basic construction is a sheet of hardboard with off-cuts of pine shelving underneath to add rigidity.

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The ground was built up using a framework of thick card, Corex and foamboard off-cuts.

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The top surface was then added, using a large sheet of card with the centre removed.

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Last edited by Kevin on Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
Railway Modelling inspired by the Holy Trinity of Rowland Emett, Colonel Fred Stephens and Oliver Postgate.

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Postby Kevin » Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:41 am

There is a bit of a gap here where I didn't take any WIP photos.

The retaining walls around the pond were built from individual beams. I started by cutting strips from a sheet of balsa. When the balsa run out, I made beams from pizza base polystyrene, suitably weathered and grained.

Strips of clear Corex were used for the 3 sides.

The track was fixed directly to the top surface using Copydex glue.

The surface texture was added using a mixture of sand, ash tea leaves, herbs, etc. The thicker grass is dyed, carpet felt type material. This is still available as sound insulation for cars.

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The hippo is by Schleich. His legs were cut off! and he was glued to the hardboard base. I then filled the pool around him. I’m not happy with the rough surface of the water. My excuse is that it is a windy day and the water is blowing into waves. The initial water was tile grout, which did not dry as smooth as I wanted. I painted the grout with various acrylic paints and then finished off with a couple of layers of clear No More Nails. A few touch ups are needed.
Railway Modelling inspired by the Holy Trinity of Rowland Emett, Colonel Fred Stephens and Oliver Postgate.



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Postby Kevin » Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:43 am

The layout’s only building is the ticket office. As the layout represents a miniature zoo railway, I looked at buildings that other miniature railways have used. The hut hopefully represents typical amusement park buildings. The idea is that it is a standard garden shed / wooden hut that has been adapted to mimic railway architecture. I have built a few model buildings over the last few years and this one is my favourite. I had a lot of fun making all the internal details and made the roof removable so that they can be seen.

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Some items are ‘printies’. These include the clock, giant crisp packet, beer cans, notice boards and signs. The comic and how to drive a steam loco book were copied from ebay and printed at the suitable size. The phone, kettle, tea mug, chair and other items were scratch built from scrap, pieces of drinking straw, etc.

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More pictures are in my Photobucket album here –

http://s272.photobucket.com/albums/jj18 ... 2QQtppZZ20
Railway Modelling inspired by the Holy Trinity of Rowland Emett, Colonel Fred Stephens and Oliver Postgate.



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Postby Kevin » Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:44 am

Geoff the ticket seller is from the Fujimi mechanics set. I painted him with a ginger moustache and the name Geoff instantly presented itself. The book on his desk shows that he has ambitions to one day become a loco driver.

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Railway Modelling inspired by the Holy Trinity of Rowland Emett, Colonel Fred Stephens and Oliver Postgate.



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Postby Kevin » Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:47 am

Rolling stock consists of a miniature Hymek and 2 open coaches. The Hymek is a Lima model with detail removed and repainted using Vallejo acrylics. I removed a section of the roof and built a drivers cockpit. Controls are made from the usual scraps. I didn’t copy any prototype but they look good enough for me. The driver is from the Fujimi racing driver set. I had a female figure ready but lost her. The driver is only fixed by blu-tac, so if she shows up, I will swop them.

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Passenger view
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Postby Steve Bennett » Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:47 am

:lol: I like it Kevin, great idea to have the Hippo, I dont think Gnutley Pond is big enough to fit one in, probably just as well :wink:
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Postby Kevin » Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:49 am

I have kept the original tension lock couplings as the layout is supposedly for the use of my youngest children.

Coaches are scratch built on Hornby wagon chassis. The base of the bodies is balsa and the curved seat areas are card. I bought the passengers from ebay and repainted them. They might be replaced at some time.

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The hedgehogs and badgers are Playmobil, again from ebay. They are oversize, but add interest for my girls.

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It doesn't show up very well in this photo, but the mother hedgehog is looking at her baby who is hidden under the ticket hut.
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Postby Kevin » Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:59 am

Thanks Steve, :D that means a lot coming from you.

A few gratuitous extra photos.

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Postby Artizen » Mon Jul 23, 2012 12:09 pm

This is fun!
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Postby Jon Randall » Mon Jul 23, 2012 12:35 pm

Gnice 8)
Fun subject, well executed with some great detailing :D
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Postby demaine22 » Mon Jul 23, 2012 12:49 pm

What a fun layout!

I like all of the details you have put into the model as well, it's the little touches that have really set it off! 8)
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Postby Gerry Bullock » Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:00 pm

Great looking layout Kevin, I'm sure your daughters are thrilled to bits with it.
Just a shame that that Roco track is so difficult to find. Rarely do you see more than a couple on the German eBay site.
So little time, so many ideas!!!!! GerryB.
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Postby Simon Andrews » Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:55 pm

Nice idea. Like it a lot :)

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Postby Gerry Bullock » Mon Jul 23, 2012 5:24 pm

Hi Kevin looking at the scene details there are two additional cameos that should enhance the layout:

1. Adult (or 2) waiting with a couple of kids at box office.

2. As cleaners need access to enclosures the lake would be an ideal place to have a gate. If placed at outer edge of tunnel it could also have a catch enabling your daughters to open it. :wink:
Something along these lines:
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You would only need the gate with a simple frame rather than this elaborate fence which was used to prevent access to a Nature Reserve - prototype sans Dragon does exist.
So little time, so many ideas!!!!! GerryB.

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Postby Rowley » Mon Jul 23, 2012 7:00 pm

Hi Kevin
Great piece of modelling See you're pointing your girls in the right direction in getting their interest in railway modelling
All the best Rowley
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Postby Glen A » Mon Jul 23, 2012 7:06 pm

Great layout.
I like all the details. :roll:

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Postby Tomo » Mon Jul 23, 2012 9:44 pm

Congratulations on such a fine Pizza!

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Postby Zoange » Tue Jul 24, 2012 5:04 am

Very Nice I like it :D
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Postby DCRfan » Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:18 am

That is rather unusual almost spooky. Sitting on the middle of my modelling bench waiting for the baseboard to be finished is ...

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I also have a collection Badgers by the same company :shock: but thats for something totally different.

Actually my scene will be rather different featuring the Hippo, probably with much more than his legs cut off, rearing out of a muddy African river under a rail bridge confronting a Rhodesian SAS Klepper canoe 8)

The second most common comment from the public at the two recent exhibitions of my Rhodesian layout has been 'Wow thats different'.

No prize for guessing what the most common question is ...... just so I don't get any nasty, threatening, fattening or obscene responses I'd better tell you ..... 'Are you from Rhodesia'?

And of course the second most common question, but only from the younger members of the public ... 'Where is Rhodesia?'
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Postby Kevin » Wed Jul 25, 2012 11:51 am

Thanks everyone for the very kind comments. A few said that the layout is fun. That was what I was hoping for when I started, so that is very pleasing.

Now that this layout is finished and the workbench is clear, I can concentrate on Pentwiddle Cove, my Emett layout.

Gerry, I thought of a gate or sluice under the bridge and might add something in the future.
The front edge of the layout represents the rest of the hippo lake, access to the smaller pool inside the railway is via the bridge under the track.
The bridge looks short in the photos, but is wide enough for the hippo to swim through.

This might the first time that anyone has had to work out the loading gauge for a hippo. :!:

The Roco track is perfect for building a quick and easy pizza. Since I bought this track, I have looked for more but had no luck.
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Postby Kevin » Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:34 pm

Forgot to mention, but the drivers name is Mike. Viewers of American Pickers on the History Channel might notice a resemblance to Mike Wolfe.
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Postby Booga » Fri Jul 27, 2012 8:51 pm

Great little layout, Kevin, I especially like the big bag of hippo food in the ticket office. I can imagine Geoff looking at the clock to see when it's feeding time and another scoop of the stuff needs to be thrown into the pool!
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amazing effort

Postby Pete » Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:48 pm

It's amazing what detail can be popped into such a seemingly simple layout!

I keep going back and back - looking at the details! Sterling effort all round! (no pun intended!!)
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Re: amazing effort

Postby Tomo » Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:02 am

Pete wrote: Sterling effort all round! (no pun intended!!)


May not have been an intended pun, but funny none-the-less :lol:

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Postby Kevin » Fri Aug 10, 2012 8:33 pm

Thanks Pete, the ability to add extra detail is what finally persuaded me to give GN15 a go. There is still more to add, but I was impatient to move on to the next project.
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