Give us the Job and we'll finish the Tools

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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Bilco
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Give us the Job and we'll finish the Tools

Postby Bilco » Fri Aug 31, 2012 3:49 pm

What with making my odd little locos and odder little wagons and oddest figures, my Wood Bros layout has taken a bit of a back seat for a while. I had a quick running session with Grandson at Christmas, but it's been back under the cover since then.

Until, that is, I had my bi-annual tidy up of my workdesk, and found the list of jobs remaining to be done to Wood Bros I made last year. Feeling a bit guilty, I decided to get some of them underway, and I can now report that the list has been completed, and Grandson and I had a long running session this week.

First up on my 'to-do' list was to make that semi-circle of track to plug in off-scene to make a roundy-roundy which I'd promised myself long ago. A rummage in the back of the garage produced some odd pieces of MDF, and half an hour, some PVA and screws later, I had the base. The yard of track I'd been blocking access to a bookshelf with for the last year was run through my rail-bender and the result glued onto the base. Some brass wire 'horns' were soldered to the rail ends - and one plug-in was plugged in.

I had a little run-through of the stock with Grandson and some problems were revealed. After some individual derailments my trusty vernier micrometer showed that some of the wheel-sets were out of gauge, by up to 1mm in one case, so some adjustments were done to produce decent running. The other problem was the 6mm wide buffing blocks fitted to most of the wagons - when rakes of stock were propelled round the bend the blocks slid past each other sideways and caused more derailments. My solution was to glue 8mm wide pieces of thin plasticard on the faces of the blocks, paint with rust and coat with graphite stick - the extra width cures the problem and all stock can now be pushed safely.

I finally got round to putting the load of gravel (meant for fish tanks) in the Unimog, with a hole at the back for the loads sliding down the chute on the tipper to get through, but I hadn't yet made the hole in the baseboard to allow them to drop below. Out with the trusty brace and bit (my Grandfather's) and a hole duly appeared.

It has always been my intention to have a 'picture frame' around the front of the layout, and to raise the baseboard above table height for viewing. It also needs to be raised to get those tipped loads from under the above-mentioned hole. I bought four 59cmX84cm sheets of black foam-core board and indulged in an orgy of cutting and slicing. First job was to cut a hole in one sheet to fit around the front of the layout, and stick on a 'Wood Bros Ltd' sign. The sheet is fixed to the front with velcro strip. Then 2 more sheets were cut in half lengthways and slots cut so that they can be put together in egg-box style - the layout sits on top of this structure, and is nicely stable. The third sheet was cut in half both lengthways and across, and the resultant 4 pieces slotted to fit together to make a smaller egg-box structure of the same height as the main - the off-scene plug-ins stand on this.

Finally, earlier this week Grandson helped me erect all the bits and pieces on the dining table, and we had our running session. All the locos were run with no major problems - the BEC-kits motor bogie doesn't run nearly as well as the Underground Ernie and Spud units - even the Bachmann Gandy-Dancer unit runs better. The BEC unit sounds like a coffee grinder trying to cope with a load of gravel, there appears to be one wheel off-centre and the gears are a bit 'coggy'. I shall have to look at getting a replacement mech.

The wagons ran well - no derailments. The fixed tipping bar on the tipping dock had got bent out of shape somewhere along the line, and it took a while to adjust it to tip consistently again and in the right place. It still needs some fine tuning - I can't get Welsh Ernie past it at the moment, although it used to cope in the past.

Still, we had a lot of fun, and I can cross off ALL the jobs on my old list, even if I now have a new list with a few more. The Ikea Ledberg LED lights I got for Christmas work well, and I feel I could exhibit Wood Bros with some confidence.

Image

The front of the layout, showing the 'picture frame' and lighting. To the left of the Unimog you can see the piles of gravel caused by running the skips through the tipper too fast - half the load missed the chute!


Image

At the back of the layout the gravel that did make it down to the Unimog slides down a chute made from the off-cuts of the foam core, to where it can be retrieved to be reloaded and go round again.


Image

The roundy-roundy plug-in working as designed, with Woody taking Ernieplex round the bend ...


Image

... and the two-track sector plate in position, showing the egg-box structure beneath.


Image

Grandson (and Grand-daughter) showing that I've succeeded in getting the layout too high for children and too low for adults. Still, at least I can get my nose over the backscene.
Bill

If at first you don't succeed, cheat.
Too soon old, too late smart.

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gfadvance
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Postby gfadvance » Fri Aug 31, 2012 4:15 pm

Bill this layout has always been one of my favourites ..... Lots of little details well modelled and a great backscene.

The work you done is just the icing on the cake and really pulls the whole thing together.

Inspiration for all of us who have never got near this level of completion
Gordon F

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chris stockdale
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Re: Give us the Job and we'll finish the Tools

Postby chris stockdale » Fri Aug 31, 2012 4:28 pm

Bilco wrote: Still, at least I can get my nose over the backscene.




Image



:D


cheers

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Postby ian holmes » Fri Aug 31, 2012 5:23 pm

Excellent! Good to see this layout is still about. This is one of my favorites too.

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Postby Steve Bennett » Fri Aug 31, 2012 7:09 pm

Great additions Bill, it really improves the presentation of the layout and I'm sure the loop will be well worthwhile to keep the grandkids entertained and be a real bonus if you are planning to exhibit it. I sure hope so as I would really like the chance to see it for real.
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Postby Glen A » Fri Aug 31, 2012 9:08 pm

Hi Bill,

The frame and the lighting finish it off well.
Alos great how you can configure it into two different running options.

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Postby only15 » Fri Aug 31, 2012 10:36 pm

The layouts presentation looks great!, really gives the impression of a picture frame, and all the black surrounding the layout really sets the stage!

One of my favorites for sure! 8)

Regards,
Nathan
Remember, the light at the end of the tunnel may very well be an on-coming train! ;)
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Tomo
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Postby Tomo » Sat Sep 01, 2012 3:37 am

I really like this! Especially enjoy the modular bits that will allow you to have some play!

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Postby dieselwater » Sat Sep 01, 2012 6:23 am

Fantastic layout Bill, that has continued to get better and better 8)
Little old lines to somewhere.

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Give us the Job and we'll finish the Tools

Postby Gnu Bee » Sat Sep 01, 2012 10:47 am

In your opening bit you mentioned your rail bender - what is this and where do I get one. Not being able to accurately bend track is putting me off starting my first layout.
My name is Geoff - a dabbler in all things narrow gauge and unlikely.

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Bilco
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Give us the Job

Postby Bilco » Sat Sep 01, 2012 11:58 am

Hi Chaps,

Many thanks for all the very kind comments. It's good to see Grandson taking an interest - at 8 years old he is a sensible and careful driver, after about 5 minutes dual I could happily leave him in control and wander around identifying the various problems.

I have a couple of extra photos - first up the foam core base:

Image

You can see the simple egg-box base, and the chute for the gravel - I've added a little lid at the bottom because the gravel bounces about when it lands at the end and sprays all over the table. The chute engages in a little socket on the front, and adds a bit of rigidity to the assembly, too.


Image

These are the extended buffing faces I stuck on the wagons - the only one that didn't need them was the tank flat. For some reason I put a much wider buffer on each end of that.


I've had another play with the tipping bar and Welsh Ernie can now get by without hitting it! :D

Geoff - the rail bender I use is a home-made job - Steve Bennett posted the design here http://forum.gn15.info/viewtopic.php?t=347
Bill

If at first you don't succeed, cheat.
Too soon old, too late smart.

https://sites.google.com/site/myoldlayouts/
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Re: Give us the Job

Postby only15 » Sat Sep 01, 2012 4:16 pm

Bilco wrote:Image


Hi Bill,
Do you have many more pictures or info on the little open wagon on the left hand side?
It looks fantastic! :)

Regards,
Nathan
Remember, the light at the end of the tunnel may very well be an on-coming train! ;)

Taylor Creek Tramway - 35n12

21 years young,

Tasmania, Australia.

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Bilco
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Job for Tools

Postby Bilco » Sat Sep 01, 2012 5:29 pm

Hi Nathan,

Glad you like it - there is a blow-by-blow account of the fiendishly complicated construction of the little tub wagon here http://forum.gn15.info/viewtopic.php?t=4303
Bill

If at first you don't succeed, cheat.
Too soon old, too late smart.

https://sites.google.com/site/myoldlayouts/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/149926300@N07/albums

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Postby demaine22 » Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:12 am

I always thought the layout was great the way it was, but the addition of the frame really adds something - may have to look into one for my layout.
I am quite interested in your two lane sector plate fiddle yard, I envy people who can make stuff like that, I'd have a melt down if a fiddle yard was anything other than two lanes with a point :wink:
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