Distant Scenery at Stowey Green – and another track problem.

Now the Stowey Green ‘N’ gauge layout is properly out its time to crack on with the scenery.
.. I am in the process of working out where the road to the station will go and which cottages in my collection will be on it.

In the meantime I decided to unroll my printed scenery sheets and glue them to the back ‘sky board’ .. looking good so far

.. Once the road has been sorted out I can get on the hills and vales..

Just prior to this I decided to tackle an annoying track problem on the upper section.
After many attempts to make the track transition between the incline and the removeable upper board I could not remove a ‘step’ in the track which made either the locomotives or carriages ‘enthusiastically’ derail. So I decided that it had to go’..


I removed that ‘glued down’ section of track and added a new section of track that ‘bridged’ the gap – but ‘could’ be removed on the rare occasion I needed to remove the upper section. Now things run a LOT better.

I just need to work around it with the scenery to either hide or obscure the transition.

Extended OO and N Gauge Rolling Road

As promised in an earlier post, I have upgraded my rolling road so I can work in ‘OO’ and ‘N’ gauge.
.. Mostly to save space.

Here I am working with an old ‘OO’ Triang Hornby Class 37 and an ‘N’ GWR Pannier tank

Breathing new life into a broken Terrier

I have finally been able to catch up on a number of pending jobs on the ‘OO’ gage layout.
.. The first of these is some repair work on one of my locomotives.
My pretty little Weston Clevedon and Portishead Light railway Terrier loco has been behaving a bit too realistically of late giving out smoke after a minute or so running, and when it was running it was nowhere as sprightly as it should be

So – I have managed to get a replacement motor and had a go fitting it. The trickiest job was carefully stripping and re-soldering the very fine wire power feeds – 6 in total – 3 for each side

.. It was also a chance to try out my budget Rolling Road.
I am really impressed with it – not bad for £35

.. In fact I am so impressed I have ordered rollers so I can also use it on my ‘N’ gauge loco’s.

Dabbling in Narrow Gauge

As has been covered in the ‘Whats New’ blog I have been busy tinkering a bit with OO9 Narrow gauge over the summer.
.. For all sorts of reasons work on Burton Pheonix and Stowey Green has slowed, so it has been good to have something to keep me busy.

Up here in North Wales we are close to the famous ‘Little Trains of North Wales’ that were built for quarry work – particularly slate.

This has become particularity relevant for me as we have friends that are now living within the new Word Heritage Site that covers the North Wales Slate industry. In fact the path of the Gorseddau Tramway, which served the Gorseddau Slate Quarry, ran through their garden.

Using the 3D Printer, and so far inadequete relearnt skills in painting… I have been able to create some OO9 rolling stock.
.. So far I have a little locomotive ‘Emma’, powered by a Kato chassis, along with a good variety of Slate and general support wagons. I have even made a few passenger carriages.


.. The ‘final’ intention, egged on by my friend, is eventually to create one (or more?) De Winton vertical boiler locomotives.
These locomotives were nick named ‘Coffee Pots’ – as can be seen below …
DeWinton
These locomotives were locally built in Caernarfon especially for use on the North Wales slate mines.
I have some interesting drawings which hopefully mean that when I get up to speed in CAD I ‘can’ produce a 3D model that can be printed..

DeWinton Drawing
A proper winters evening project I think.
.. Especially since Peco, due the stresses of the current pandemic, are still to release the medium radius bullhead points that will be a key component of the new Burton Crumpnold layout.. So plenty to get involved with in the meantime….

Finally finished the Burton Phoenix ‘scenic corner’

Almost 2 years after it was started the Burton Phoenix corner addon is ‘complete’.

All this is really thanks to the 3D printer. I have ‘printed’ the boats including oars etc, jetty and the tents.

After giving the canal boats an initial paint I discovered that you can get laser/inkjet printed water slide transfers. So here they are on the Narrow Boats ‘Chez Câmilla’ and ‘KingFisher’. These allow for far more detail than my current painting skills allow for.

I have also undertaken an improvement to the scenic look scenery. It has all all been ‘greened’ up – so everything looks green and pleasant… rather than a sun scorched desert

….. for a contrast you just have to see the previous post…. (Or Here… )

3D Boats at Burton Phoenix

Finally, after a number of months since it’s arrival, I have completed the original 3D Printer project for Burton Phoenix.

This ‘project’ came about because I could not find suitable Canal Boats and small rowing boats etc for the layout. This was not helped by the tightness of the bend on the river, plus no Model Railway shows to visit where I have tended to find these kind of things.. This was the final push I needed in getting me to try put 3D printing for model railways.

So I managed to find a number of suitable 3D models and printed my own. It has taken quite a while to get the best out of the 3D printer especially for the smaller items (oars and sawhorse stands etc).
Now I feel comfortable with what I could 3D print reliably and accurately, it is now time to tackle the whole process of finishing and painting the 3D prints….

The last time I did painting like this was with Airfix models and that was too many decades ago..

… I have a long way to go but am pleased with my first results.

So.. I have added a small boat jetty to the ‘River corner’ of Burton Phoenix – I will find some people to put into the boats to give it a bit of life. I am also going to try using printable water slide transfers on the Canal boats to make them look more realistic…

For some context the boats started out like this ….. all in shiny white PLA plastic….


Now to work out what to do this side of the river. .. My current thoughts are maybe a campsite?
.. And maybe make things a bit greener!!

2021 at Stowey Green

Now all the track is laid to the rolling stock’s satisfaction this is the current state of Stowey Green.

I have built a scenic ‘back board’ and have scenic art work to add to it.

Now it’s time to add the station access roadway in – and give the landscape a bit of colour.

More Stowey Green Track Issues

I noticed that some of my longer wheelbase locomotives were struggling at one end of the upper board..
Caused by the classic flexible track ‘dog leg’ effect where the curve is to tight..

So it was back out with my steamer to unballast the offending track..

As before I dealt with the problem by using a spare piece of peco set-track.
.. I also decided not to cut the track between the boards as it give a smother run for the locos.

I will probably ballast the track on the upper board (right side) but leave the left clear so I just unhook at the fishplates should I need to remove the upper board for any reason.

Bit more scenery at Stowey Green

Now the Christmas holidays are over I have been able to ‘unhide’ Stowey Green from the corner of the dining room..

I have added a bit more hilly/undulating ground on the main Stowey Green board. I think it helps to prevent the flat baseboard look.

First stage was to glue down some good old polystyrene ..

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Then glue down some J Cloth…

Next I use a mix of poster paints and PVA glue to usually a sort of dark green to use as a base colour for later.
.. This is the finished result – not so easy to see – but will be clearer later.

Emergency Track Laying at Stowey Green

.. Just goes to show that you can never test the track enough…
I discovered that the track in the inner sidings had created what is known as a ‘dog leg’ on the flexible track just after the point.. Which caused some of my locomotives to gaily throw themselves off the track..

So I decided the best course of action was to pull this section of track up and try again…
…. with a bit of steam.. and reasonable care I managed to get the track off.

Fortunately this section of track only had one power connection and a single point to contend with.

So here is the inner section with the re-laid track.

.. In order to be sure of a proper curve this time I used a 2nd radius half curve of track..

After reconnecting the power and refitting the point (and LOTS of testing) the the track was ballasted (again)..

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While I was doing the ballasting I also added a bit more ‘scenery’ as can be seen with the glued down J-Cloth over a few pieces of polystyrene.
I have added a few areas of undulating ground to try and stop everything looking flat..