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Nice work,this is my next step,a bit of scratchbuilding. I think I've spent too much time looking for pictures rather that making a start.
Frame.
 

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Alan D
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Discussion Starter · #85 ·
Thanks for the comments guys.

I have kept up the pace at the moment. Amazing what you can do when you have a little time. The other wall is now in place. The supports are also in place for the covering board which will be home to the overhead station building,

My main aims are
1. To have a station building over the tracks.
2. Stairs for access from the main building to the platforms
3. Canopies over part of the Platforms where the windows are.
4. Lighting and signals for the Platforms.

When I type it out like this I'm begining to realise the enormity of the task ahead!
But I shall not be daunted! When I see some of the other layouts on this forum and the work people have put in I know it can be done. Patience is the main ingredient.

Anyway here are the updates:-



Other Station Wall in Place



First of The Supports for the Overhead Stuff



The board in Place for the Overhead Station and hopefully the part of the Main Street of the town. (This will be removable for access to the tracks below)
It should also give the illusion that the Platforms are longer than they actually are

Cheers

Alan
 

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That looks really good alan, wish I had the space to be able to have a permanent layout and build to such scope! i agree with the comment about making the station platforms look longer, clever trick
Quite lookign forward to seeing how it looks when it's complete, should be pretty good
 

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Alan D
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Discussion Starter · #87 ·
QUOTE (Expat @ 29 Mar 2010, 20:36) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I think the novelty of balasting might wear off a bit after you've done a few metres of track and got some stuck in point mechanisms
.

Yep you were right, Expat. but not after a few metres just 6 inches.

Tonight I decided to do a little test area to see what it was like. I did it all by the book 50/50 pva/water and a dash of squeezy. A little syringe to apply the mixture and a little brush to push the gravel into the right position. I also used a wooden tea stirrer from a certain fast food company to tamp it down.

I found that when I applied the pva it still sat on the top (surface tension I believe) but if I dabbed it with the brush it mixed into the gravel quite well but then I found I had to re-position the gravel as it began to clump. I'm definitely a novice at this one. However I do believe that I got it right eventually. I will take a pic and post in the morning when the pva has dried and cleared (I hope).

So yes the novelty has worn off already. This is one job I'm not enjoying.

Cheers

Alan
 

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Your progress is looking good. I like the statio section and look forward to seeing it develop. Ballasting is tedious. However, I do find that as it is mind numbing, it does help when i have had a bad day, or have a lot on my mind, to do some ballasting, as my head is clearer afterwards. I did try a syriunge, but found it squirted ballast everywhere. I use a pipette. I believe others have tried spray bottles.

Mike.
 

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Just another modeller
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*** Try it this way. Its really no big deal and can be relaxing if you take your time and put on a bit of good music. It takes hours to do a whole layout of course but they don't need to be unpleasant if you use the method below.

The glue:

mix 1 part glue with 2~3 parts water, then add about 2~3 parts meths and shake really well. 50/50 is often mentioned but its plain wrong... It is far too much glue / like making concrete!

DO add and mix in the water before the meths and if its really cold, wait until it isn't to ballast (or warm up the trackage / room for a couple of hourrs and warm the water mixed into the glue as well). Leave the heater on for at tlast 3 hours after spreading glue too.

Spread and tidy the ballast. stay 2 sleepers away from point tie bars (we can do that bit later). Tidy up the edges too. if you tidy up as well as you can the edge still looks "prototypically ragged" but if you don't it looks like a disaster.

Rather than too much, apply ballast steadily and sparingly a soup spoon at a time and spread with the fingers. When spread properly, tap the rail gently with the back of spoon (just letting it fall uner its own weight when held between two fingers and it'll bounce particles away from the rail and settle the ballast between the sleepers.

Be fussy - 2 added minutes per foot to make it tidy is worth the effort. Don't use a brush - it always flicks ballast everywhere!.

squeeze a cotton bud really flat with pliers and put a wee bit of vaseline (onloy a wee bit) on it. rub that between the point blades and the stock rails for the last 30mm of the point blades. That will stop stray glue sticking them and can be left or wiped off later.

when its ready put meths in a window cleaning spray bottle and from far enough away to no blow the ballast give it a goot wetting wit the meths. Just do a few feet at a time... don't try to do too much at once!

re-shake the glue (in a plastic sauce bottle with a small cut nozzle is good) drip on the glue. not too much is needed. It goes a long way and flows surprisingly far.

Most will just soak in to the "meths wet" ballast immediately!

when glue is spread, the re-mist with the meths - the rest will soak in.

Now, get a bit of pine offcut and dip the end into a bit of meths. rub along the rail tops and this will remove the worst of any glue accidentally dropped there. be careful but press down slightly as you do it

Now.... walk away and don't touch until dry, even if you see a misplaced bit here and there... Be patient! It will dry quickly because of the meths, will not clump and will be nicely matt in look - and firmly held too.

When dry, run a fingernail along the inside of each rail and then rub any mischievous bits off sleepers or anywhere it shouldn't be.

quietly and carefully vacuum up the excess.

Now. those last bits by the point tie bars. Get a stiffish fine brush. dip in neat PVA and paint the area between those sleepers. Not too much!! Now add a pinck of ballast and tap it down into the glue. wait several hours and vacuum off excess...

Job done.

Give the rails a bit of a clean and play trains

kind regards

Richard.

QUOTE (The_Docster @ 16 Apr 2010, 05:34) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Yep you were right, Expat. but not after a few metres just 6 inches.

Tonight I decided to do a little test area to see what it was like. I did it all by the book 50/50 pva/water and a dash of squeezy. A little syringe to apply the mixture and a little brush to push the gravel into the right position. I also used a wooden tea stirrer from a certain fast food company to tamp it down.

I found that when I applied the pva it still sat on the top (surface tension I believe) but if I dabbed it with the brush it mixed into the gravel quite well but then I found I had to re-position the gravel as it began to clump. I'm definitely a novice at this one. However I do believe that I got it right eventually. I will take a pic and post in the morning when the pva has dried and cleared (I hope).

So yes the novelty has worn off already. This is one job I'm not enjoying.

Cheers

Alan
 

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Alan your progress is impressive. Very well done.

I ditto what Richard has said on ballasting.Once you practice and get used to it, it even becomes enjoyable. I never used brushes. Its a pain. Catapults all the tiny pieces all around. Instead its the forefinger, gently taping. What ever you do, however you go by the books that surface tension will always be there and small bits of ballast will end up either on the sleepers or rail tips.Then again your forefinger comes into the play again.Since the ballast is wet now any loose bits and pieces sticks on the tip of your finger, a good way to get rid of them , just like a magnet so to speak.

...and by the way use fine ballast, never medium and be sure its granule some sort of rock or stone.They tend to be heavier and resists the tension while others like Woodland, Noch love to float.

Erkut
 

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Alan D
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1,480 Posts
Thanks guys for the comments and the advice. I did indeed end up using the forefinger as you say Erkut but surprisingly I found the thin wooden tea stirrer to be a great tool as well. It was good for tamping down and scraping bits away. I was also amazed at how much got into my mouth. I wouldn't say I was particularly messy with it, but I found myself grinding my teeth on a couple of bits a few hours later. I felt like I had a sandwich at the beach.

I will look for some Meths today, although I don't know how available it is in the UK any more as I have not bought such a product in an extremely long time. I'm going to Braehead shopping Centre today, there's a Boots there. I'll check it out. I'll probably have to sign something. I'll also add more water to the mix. But just to be sure I'm getting this right. Do I add the meths to the Pva or just meths to water separately to wet the ballast before gluing?

Cheers

Alan
 

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Alan D
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Discussion Starter · #95 ·
Sorry for the long wait for the update but life caught up again. Still been doing things though and the ballasting is coming along at an amazing snail's pace. My idea was to pre mix the ballast in a tub with the pva and spread it like plaster. This idea actually works not too bad in the larger areas and is a little speedier. But it isn't very good between the sleepers. I've found that if I drip spots of glue between the sleepers then sprinkle the ballast it tends to soak better. Of course once dry I take a small flat blade screwdriver and chip off any bits that are on the sleepers or stuck to the rails. A bit of an arse for elbow method but it's working and I'm not complaining. Here's the pic:-



The station walls are coming along nicely too. I have taken some 10thou Plastikard cut & scribed it with reference to my paper template and it is now glued in place. I have continued with the method I used for the platform sides by cutting out the shapes of the blocks to disguise the joins as you will see from the pics it is quite effective.



The "Cladding" cut & Scribed



"Cladding" In place!

Still loads of work to do though, The station and upper town will probably be the biggest feature. I want it to be more of a town with a railway going through it rather than a railway with a town plonked on it. If you know what I mean.

Cheers

Alan
 

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All good stuff. As you say even if you do a few small bits here and there it all inches forward and rewarding the next day to see the improvements. I have now spent about 4 months building kits, accruing SMP track, point kits, motors etc etc so am now comfortable that the trackplanning and dry-laying can start. So tomorrow is D-Day (T-Day?) and will be laying out the entire track. It will be a consoryium of ideas/ information garenered over many months, not least including visits to Bluebell and East Kent & Sussex Railway when I was there 2 weeks ago.

So thanks for the inspiration - it wont be any Pendon but it'll be rewarding doing it.
 

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Alan D
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How pleased was I with results of my efforts and how good does the "Cladding" Look in the pics. This was done last night and I thought all was rosy. But to my horror I have just went in to the shed to continue with the other side. And guess what? The plastikard has had a reaction to the glue. It looked like a bad wallpaper job full of bubbles and lumps. I have now ripped it all off. The glue was applied very evenly and spread very smoothly with the edge of an ice lolly stick and when the Plastikard was applied it looked great. But as the glue has dried it has congealed into lumps under the plastikard and caused a bumpy appearance - totally unusable. I am totally gutted.

The glue was Zap-adap-a-Goo II has anyone used it? The guy in the model shop said it would do no bother.

Oh Well back to the drawing board


Cheers

Alan
 

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Hello Alan
Everything looking good in your photos until your
misfortune it can be a bit soul destroying.
I've never used plastikard and wondered would a contact
adhesive be better or is that what Zap-adap-a-goo is.
Sound like something Scooby Doo would shout.

John
 

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Call me old fashioned ("you're old fashioned...") but would give anything with a name like that a wide berth. I empathise, would be well cheesed off. Would actually take it back to the shop and get refund exchange (take the plasticard as well) - idiot salesperson. I have used standard plastic glue (eg Revell Contacta) for plastic parts onto card (Superquick buildings)

You have all my sympathy but give it another go - mistakes are made - this wasnt yours actually - and just stick it in the "dont trust shop advice" experience box - keeps me mostly out of trouble.
 
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