Station Scenery

I’ve been continuing with the scenery – particularly the upper station area which I have neglected until now. I have been also adding fencing the stations and improved the look of the ‘green’ areas of the layout. The work has been sporadic up till June but is going well now. All being well I will be done by the end of this month.
Scenery Green Scenery Upper station

Father Christmas – DMU Presents

Father Christmas has come to Burton…. The Hornby Class 121 ‘Bubblecar’ DMU and GWR railcar have arrived along with the Bachmann Class 108 DMU. I will add the photographs soon.

EBay Clearout

Been busy on Ebay this week having a bit of a stock clearout – Mostly stuff that has been ‘upgraded’ or just will not get proper use.  I’m planning to use the proceeds to buy the Hornby Blue Class 121 and GWR railcars (when they arrive). 

Finishing Up Stock Photography

Now the Summer Holidays (and Summer) are a dim and distant memory it is now time to get back the the layout.  I have almost finished photographing the  stock, I finished the Corporate Blue BR, Virgin and Thomas stuff this afternoon assisted by the afternoon sunshine, there are just a few items left to do. I am very limited by daylight as the ‘railway room’ is rather dark, even with all the lights on…. I am planning to ease this problem during a trip to Ikea later this month when I can get some suitable lighting.  An upside to photographing the stock is that I’ve been able to take a few extra ‘layout’ pictures, particularly of the more modern stock.

More Photographs – Class 44

 The great task of photographing the stock continues – when any time (and light) is available.  I’ve now finished all the steam stock and most of the ‘Corporate Blue’ BR – Just the Modern ‘Virgin’ and ‘Thomas’ to do.  It has been taking an age to ensure I have a nice variety of shots of the loco’s coaches and wagons.  As a ‘background’ project I have been improving the fencing and general vegetation around the main station area. 
As can be seen below with the Class 44 ‘Penyghent’.

Photographing Stock

There has not been much work on the layout the last 4 weeks or so – I have been busy photographing all my stock so I can add pictures to the stock pages. It is taking quite a while, I’ve nearly finished all the stream locos, coaches and wagons and am about to start on the ‘Modern’ BR stock.  

Blue Sky Scenery

Looking though railway magazines has made me realise that to take realistic photographs of the layout I needed some kind of background. The current home for the Burton Crumpnold layout is surrounded by shelves of books, which are far from realistic as a backdrop. I had a look at the various  printed scenery sheets around but most are very tacky – the photorealistic ones had promise and I may try them in the future (or make my own). I decided to go for the simple ‘Blue Sky’ look by adding some ‘Sky Boards’. These boards are easily removable hardboard panels painted in a sky blue colour that are fitted around the side and back of the layout. They are very effective as can be seen in the picture below. 

GWR Scenery

I have updated the ‘Layout Photos’ page to show the new ‘complete-ish’ Burton Crumpnold Layout. I have also updated the Home page pictures to show the layout as it currently is.

Burton Crumpnold Scenery and Electrics – 2005

Started on Scenery work.

…Long Overdue Website Update.
Added more pictures of the layout as it is so far.
Added a Work In Progress page to encourage me to do more regular updates. A kind of ‘on my workbench’ page…

I’ve been clearing out the ‘chaff’, mostly ready to make room for up and coming models – wallet permitting of course.
Plus I’ve been busy on Ebay getting a few items of modern ‘Parcels’ type rolling stock – Full brakes, Siphons etc.

Also I’ve been making the removable ‘Hill’ that covers the hidden sidings and road access to the main station.

Late July-August 2005
.. Lots of Website Updates – and Many New Photographs added.

Finally wired up the upper station area. Also updated the stock lists.

Burton Crumpnold More Scenery and Stock – 2006

Now the Christmas Hols are over is back to the layout…
One of the surprises just before Christmas was getting a Mainline ‘Frasers of Ipswich’ container wagon. This has been particularly hard to get as they are quite rare and when they do appear on Ebay attract silly prices on – (often over £20). This was a very early and for me a great early Christmas present. The wagon is really attractive and had special significance in that I great year living in the Ipswich area.

This means I have reached the end of my shopping list for the ‘older’ models and now, along with the rest of the modeling world, have to wait and see what new goodies Hornby & Bachmann have for us this year.

I was particularly exited with the Hornby announcements – particularly concerning the proposed Pendolino and the ex Lima Railcars and DMUs. 2006 could turn out to be an expensive year….

New Bachmann GWR Pannier Tank Joins the fleet, a birthday present from my lovely wife. So I’ve enjoyed the week ‘running it in..’ OK Playing Trains…..

New Bachmann LMS 3F Jinty joins the fleet.
When I realised that the new Jinty was not going to be in LMS livery this year I had a quick look around my local model shops to see if anybody has any, all my ‘Internet’ Shop’s had drew a blank. I found one in my local Antics – at a sale price too…
Took some long overdue Pictures of the layout – in GWR ‘mode’..

Finished the ‘Basic’ scenery for the layout. Burton Crumpnold is now beginning to look how I imagined it would. Although it is by no means ‘finished’ – there are always other things to add/improve etc. ‘I have updated the Work In Progress, and Construction page.

Now that basic look of Burton Crumpnold is complete I have taken some pictures which can be seen on Layout Photos page. I’ve used some of the newer pictures to spruce up the home page to show Burton as it currently looks.

Updated Home page with new arrivals and added a couple more ‘GWR’ photos.

June-November 2005
I have been busy photographing all my stock so I can add pictures to the stock pages. It is taking quite a while, I’ve nearly finished all the stream locos, coaches and wagons and am about to start on the ‘Modern’ BR stock.
Also added a number of Layout Photo’s to the Website.

Also been busy on EBay selling off stock that has either been upgraded or just won’t get used. I quite enjoy the Ebay selling process, setting up the photo’s and additional web pages showing more detail etc. – and the final wait for the last minutes bids…

Curve Problems Resolved – Fun with wheel ‘Back to Back’ sizes

I spent a lot of time testing the new track layout making sure the track layout problem was completely resolved.  For the testing I went thorough most of my Loco stock – but found the Bachmann Kinlet Hall, Class 44 ‘Penyghent’, Super Voyager and the Hornby Prairie and Fowler tank engines the most useful as they were the most ‘sensitive’ to bad track.

After this I started to go through my range of coaching stock and discovered the rich world of wheel ‘back to back’ measurements.  I discovered that certain coaches – even some very new ones would have a tendency to derail at points when the track geometry was correct.

After doing some research on the web I measured the wheel ‘back to back’ – (The distance measured between the inside edges of the two wheels on an axle) and found that this varied between 13.8mm to 14.7mm.  I know this does not sound like much but makes all the difference when the wheel has to traverse a point with all the check rails etc. This is less of a problem with the older ‘less scale’ wheels – but is much more of an issue with the finer (thinner) wheels on modern stock.  On my layout, using basic Hornby points I found the optimum back to back measurement was  14.3mm.  Measuring lots of wheels using a digital calliper became a bit of a pain, so I asked a friend who is a whizz with fine metal work to produce a ‘gauge’ for me.  This gauge is a small piece of metal 14.3mm across that allowed me to quickly check the wheel back to back measurement. If the ‘gauge’ fits tightly between the wheels being tested I know the gap is right. Otherwise it’s a case of removing the wheel and carefully adjusting it to the right size.

I am also using this opportunity to replace the plastic wheels of some of my older carriages with new metal wheels. It makes them run much better and helps keep the track clean.