Tag Archives: buildings

Final Preperations for Stevenage

In the last week leading up to the Chiltern MRA exhibition at Stevenage it was all hands to the pumps!

Richard carried on carefully finishing the signals for the signal gantry – using etches previously prepared by Steve and scratchbuilding the signal post for operation. The ladders are of the more recent variety as seen on the photos of the gantry at Nesquehoning Junction. He used his considerable experience of building working British signals to incorporate an (almost) invisible mechanical mechanism to change the position of the upper semaphore. The lower semaphore is fixed as in the prototype. Mike primed and then painted the completed gantry and signal post. More details of the construction of this gantry and signals will be published in the near future but please contact us if you are interested.

Gavin butchered the original backscene buildings which needed to be changed from 1 inch to 4 inch depth. He then skillfully rebuilt them and finally Steve papered them with new photo-printed sheets and sprayed with matt varnish. A crudish finish but they did the job at the back of the layout – for now.

Other scenic work was continued by Mike (who finished the roadways) and Steve to blend the new into the old and to add some trackside detail. Additional telegraph poles were not added until we re-rerected the layout at Stevenage.

Finally, Gavin constructed end panels and applied finshing touches to the paintwork.

Frankly an astonishing piece of work necessitating some 7-day a week working of over 8 hour days to be ready. Check out the photos on the Chiltern Exhibition page to see if you think we got there!


Lots of scenic work is being carried out. Leading the charge is Mike who has focused most recently on extending the buildings at the town-end of Susquehanna Street back the four inches now available. He has put in all the windows on the last house and is now painting them all. He is also laying the ‘extended’ platform across the first line of track.

Steve has been adding occasional trees to the RH hill and has painted the new back scene. Gareth has been touching up the ballast and planting a fence. Dave rebuilt a plastic fence in brass.

Although not shown, Gavin has been painting fascias and buiding all additional woodwork – in particular the large LH end panel where we will display posters.

June-October 2011

These photos were taken from June through to October and provide a record of the work we did on the layout in that time period.

Dave spent a lot of time building the variety of telegraph poles and electric utility poles found in Mauch Chunk (according to our photos). These show them as built and weathered and then in situ – showing how they really add to the mood of the scenes.

Steve then did another brass etch including some fencing to go round the back of the park and some windows for the track sheds, which were then built by Chris from laser cut strip wood.

The Mikado M3 was painted for us (still to be weathered) and a Babyface A/B unit purchased from eBay, as the price has dropped since the ARHS body shells became available. Also another K1 unpainted from David in the UK.

Chris designed and built a new lighting gantry that can be transported in two parts but bolts together to give a single 15ft span so that the view of the model is not interrupted. Works brilliantly.

Last, but by now means least, Paul has modified and built DCC kit that gives us separate power supplies to the two directions of travel, so that shorts will only stop one direction at a time. The power has also been boosted so that locos with older motors can be run. As is so often the case, this was not photographed as it is under the layout – I’ll try and do better next time!

So by mid-October, everything was ready for the Warrington exhibition. See the photos on the Exhibition page.

Quarters 2&3 2009

p-2009-09-019We seem to have slowed down again over the summer due, I suppose, to other commitments, but also to much activity focused on ‘slow’ areas. In particular, Paul has been devoting nearly all his time to setting up DCC and chipping locos and then trying to get them to run – the brass ones are particularly difficult. We went for the NCE DCC kit in the end which seems to do everything we want. We are also using basic Hornby chips which do the job, although some locos came with sound chips ready installed. The best bit about DCC for me (old misery) is that we can turn the sound off the sound chips!

In the summer, Dennis Morley, an O-Gauge modeller, delivered the brass locos back after painting – he’s done an excellent job. Weathering still to be done. Here are three of them, the 4-8-0 was finished later.

Steve spent most of the past six months doing shop interiors using various materials from Langley Models (UK, 4mm to the foot but manageable) and Preiser (right scale but not cheap!). He also made good use of the colour printer and photos of old shops that he’d been accumulating. Three examples are shown here, but you can’t really see very much once they’re in.

To finish them off Steve’s been using computer written signs and scanned and reduced posters. Home made decals have also been employed with extensive use of various free and not-so-free software. The signs and buildings still need a fair bit of weathering but it’s getting there. Susquehanna Street is pretty much done now, except the sidewalks and ashphalt.

Chris has finished the detailing on the freight house and only the weathering of the roof remains. Dave has finished the gas station on Susquehanna Street, again awaiting only weathering.

And to finish off a few extra photos from our last open evening. We’re counting down to the Exhibition at the end of October now – Pete Waterman is opening it (you’ve either heard of him or you haven’t). Trees next…

Quarter 1 2009

p-2009-03-012p-2009-03-010We have really sped up our modelling since the new year, mainly as a result of a number of all day sessions. It feels as though we have nearly completed the buildings now and have moved on to weathering rolling stock (initially coal hoppers). There is now a definite plan to take Mauch Chunk to our exhibition in the fall (end October 2010) so we have a deadline – help!

So firstly Chris has pretty much finished the Freight house – which is now my favorite building on the layout. Here it is under construction and in its finished form on the layout.

Secondly, Paul has finished the Central Hotel with only the Hotel Switzerland’s back and sides to do now. In the picture he is making an RS3 work again (how? haven’t a clue!). He also fixes the trackwork and wheels when stock doesn’t run smoothly (i.e. falls off) – also a mystery

Steve Rogers, from the Leigh Model Railway Club, has been joining us for modelling sessions and painted the roof of Chris’s Station Building. He has also finished off another cliff face, most of which will sadly be hidden by the buildings on Susquehanna Street. Chris has also been working on Paul and Steve’s Hotel and Iron Works respectively to get a consistent brick finish (below).

Dave has worked manfully on with the gas station and associated buildings on Susquehanna Street, which should be finished soon now. Steve (Hales) has painted and weathered the buildings on Susquehanna Street. Still work to do with blinds and interiors, but it’s coming along.

Steve has also had a go at weathering the coal hoppers on the layout using weathering powders (mostly Carr’s).

All the remaining photos below (nearly all) were taken at the Spring Open Day in mid April. Some have a temporary backscene put up during the Open Day, which gives a much different feel. The old-style cabooses were built for us by Bill (Rails2) after a contact through eBay – beautiful.

December 2008

Chris suprised us at one of the Christmas open evenings in December by bringing down the nearly complete Freight House. Shows what retirement, lots of time, care and just a bit of skill can produce – it’s looking very good!

November 2008

We continued modelling in the Autumn (Fall), still continuing with completing buildings and with Paul re-wheeling freight cars, building coal hoppers and putting coal in them. I’ve not managed to do a separate Q3 page because of the Model Railway Society exhibition at the end of October – but this was my last year as manager so should be able to do one next year (?!?).

Chris made good use of the etched brass lintels and doors in building the freight house. These photos show the very early stages of construction. Construction is in plasticard – mainly from Slaters. The next three photos show the painted fire escape (built by Paul) on the Hooven Building, Dave’s frame of the Susquehanna Street petrol (gas) station and Chris’s station building.

Paul is quietly building the Central Hotel at home (he is a first class modeller – see the Woodside page) and brought it in for the club open day. We sneaked a picture of it while he wasn’t looking. Steve has now “finished” the last building on Susquehanna Street (almost – Chris is going to build the still card outline building just visible in wood). We are going to have a finishing off session (or several) in the New Year to finish the details, the shop contents and then paint them all together.

The final three photos show the model at the Open Day at the end of November.

Quarter 2 2008

We continued modelling in the early Summer, continuing with completing buildings. Paul is still re-wheeling box cars and has managed to get our 4-8-0 running smoothly and is now working on the more recalcitrant locomotives.

Steve has pretty well completed the next building on Susquehanna Street making good use of the brass etched windows and has now started on the last – the end is in site.

Steve used brass etching to prepare all the windows, doors and archways for the Freight house which Chris has moved on to having completed the Station. Some additional architectural details were also etched for use to detail the other Susquehanna Street buildings.

When not working on the station, Chris has been carving the war memorial. He has now finished this (note the statue was modified from a plastic one) but with the statue facing slightly towards the front of the model – artistic licence!

Quarter 1 2008

We continued modelling in the Spring, focusing on completing buildings. Paul started work on the Central Hotel but owing to a confusion with drawings, the first version was slightly overscale. Despite this delay he has now made a start on the correctly scaled building (note: this was Steve’s fault!). He also continues rewheeling trucks and is now working on the more recalcitrant locomotives.

Steve has continued adding to the last six buildings on Susquehanna street, completing the building started by Alisdair and fixing all six to perspex bases. This last is so that they can be removed in transit as some sit over baseboard joints. O-scale paving slabs were individually cut and mounted (see 1st picture) to give a fairly good representation of the paving slabs seen in photos of the period.

Steve also experimented with Brass etching to prepare a revised set of windows for the Iron Works and used the spare space to make sash windows for the next Susquehanna street block of apartments. The Iron works certainly looks a lot better.

When not working on the station, Chris has been carving the war memorial based on a set of scaled photos – both period and current. In the photo (L) Ian is working behind Chris.

Chris carried on with the Station building adding the roofing beams and then the roof. Getting the line of the roof over the change of direction of the platform awning proved a challenge! The roof was initially painted for the current roofing colors, but will be repainted grey soon to match the roofing of the late 40s.

Chris and Steve bought BLI Mikados on eBay with the intention of modifying them to M3s. To their surprise and delight, both have sound chips and the result is far more pleasing to the ear than the F3A and B purchased last autumn.

The station was placed on the layout for the Spring Open Day in early April and really added a lot to the overall impression. I think we are beginning to see how the final layout might look, although still a long way to go.

To our great pleasure, Dave Williams joined the group in February (photo left). He was a club member many years ago and is again starting up with the hobby as he has now retired (and done the obligatory DIY at home!). Welcome Dave. He is working up to modelling the petrol station and associated buildings on the front side of Susquehanna Street.

The final set of photos show the layout at the Spring Open Day – as usual with some slightly non-prototypical stock running!

Quarter 4 2007

We continued modelling in the Autumn (Fall) as before, focusing on completing buildings. These first photos show the layout at our Club Open Evenings in early December. The Athearn Genesis F3A/B unit in the foreground of the first photo has DCC sound – but without DCC the volume is loud and rather irritating after a full evenings operation!

Steve has continued working along Susquehanna Street and several more buildings are nearing completion using the perspex core technique previously described – although painting will now be left so that all can be painted and detailed together. Paul has also now finished the fire escape on the Hooven Mercantile building – which again needs painting.

Chris has continued with the marathon project of the station building making very extensive use of jigs – and including pre-printed windows (more successfully than on the Ironworks), brass tubing for platform shelter supports and the wooden core of the tower. The model is being built on a section of platform that will lift into a slot on the baseboard. All other work has been done with plasticard: