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Re: The Bridges at Saltash

Posted: Thu Aug 27, 2020 7:45 pm
by dkightley
I've finally got the last couple of blank areas at least covered with something:
There's still some finishing off required on this side of the river....some walls, trees, hedges, & vegetation, then I can move over to the Plymouth side!

Re: The Bridges at Saltash

Posted: Fri Aug 28, 2020 4:37 pm
by dkightley
Three more photos of Saltash...this time with the approach viaduct for the Riyal Albert Bridge (almost !!!) in place...
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I do still have to add some scenery details as stated in my previous post....and loads of vehicles and boats....and people!! And I've yet to add the water's edge and paint the water surface......but all these jobs can wait until I get the Plymouth side moved on substantially.

Re: The Bridges at Saltash

Posted: Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:23 pm
by dkightley
Moving on to my next "blank canvas".....the East side of the Tamar.
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I'd previously rough shaped the ground level around the branch line and under the east viaduct of the RAB, and loose-fitted the boatyard and park section that I'd 3D printed. Here you can see paper templates for the road surfaces pinned in place and the first few buildings along the water's edge loose fitted.

The picture doesn't show it well, but there's a heck of a gradient in the ground surface along this stretch..and I'm going to hack out chunks of foam to get each building fitted. Off picture on the right is my vacuum cleaner, which I have to use every ten minutes or so, otherwise I can's see what I'm doing!!!!

Re: The Bridges at Saltash

Posted: Mon Aug 31, 2020 11:14 am
by dkightley
A productive hour or so this morning....
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Stopping for a deserved cup of coffee...........

Re: The Bridges at Saltash

Posted: Mon Aug 31, 2020 7:00 pm
by dkightley
And now we're at the end of a good day's work....all the buildings south of the bridge viaduct are now loose-fitted and some of the ground surface a lot nearer where it should be.
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Only a handful of buildings left to fit to the ground surface... and then the next job will be to finish off the artwork for the road surface sections and get them and the buildings glued down.

Re: The Bridges at Saltash

Posted: Wed Sep 02, 2020 10:11 pm
by dkightley
Nothing much to show visually today apart from a pile of cut up paper in my waste bin and a thicker layer of foam bits in my Dyson's dust container!!

I've spent a couple of days contouring the foam on the East side scenery, filling gaps with builder's caulk....and cutting out, loose fitting and sealing with matt varnish the final road surfaces. Hopefully, tomorrow I'l glue the road surfaces in place and start getting some colour down on the foam so I can glue a few buildings down.

Hopefully, before the weekend, I'll have some viewable progress to report....

Re: The Bridges at Saltash

Posted: Thu Sep 03, 2020 8:00 am
by gbtrains

Your cracking on with this project.
Keep up the great work that you are putting into.

Cannot wait to see it in action.


Re: The Bridges at Saltash

Posted: Fri Sep 04, 2020 4:45 pm
by dkightley
Another good day in the workshop.....
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Re: The Bridges at Saltash

Posted: Thu Sep 10, 2020 8:41 pm
by dkightley
Plymouth side scenery now about 95% complete. Just a bit more vegetation and some details to add:
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And I've started putting together some marine life...of the human variety!:
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Re: The Bridges at Saltash

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:00 pm
by dkightley
Its been six days since my last post.....and I'm able to let everyone into a little secret.....

Scenery laying is COMPLETE! On Monday, I put the finishing touches to the scenery on both the Saltash and Plymouth sides of the layout, and created the "beaches" (if you can call them beaches, that is!). I need to qualify "completed"....which is the creation and finishing of all the buildings, roads, vegetation, etc. I will be populating the scenery with vehicles and people, etc at a later date.

I've just spent a couple of days working on restoring a trailer, which I will be using in conjunction with the back of my car to transport the layout to least to any shows that are still taking place. The Covid-19 situation is getting worse at the moment, which will throw the viability of more and more shows into doubt!!

I need to take a day or so to catch up of housework...particularly now I've stopped paddling scenery flock throughout the house...and to take stock of where I am, and what to do next! And no pictures for the time being....

Re: The Bridges at Saltash

Posted: Fri Sep 25, 2020 2:35 pm
by dkightley
As I'm about to reach a key point in my overall "voluntary" EGM for the Tramway Museum Society, I thought it best to use the natural break in work at home to draw uo another progress report/to do list.

Layout boards:
Backboards cut out for where track goes through. Cut-outs still required for the Tamar Bridge, as exact size & position not yet known. Boards to be surfaced with cotton sheet and image applied using tee-shirt iron-on transfers ( already bought).
Google Earth images taken ready for creating the artwork for the transfers.
Decided on five stalk lights for layout (4 for layout, 1 for work area at traverser) One or two lights yet to be bought and quick-release fittings needed. Lights to be powered from as few power supplies as possible.
Shelf for PC/Pi yet to be made (posts already printed).

Traverser and Saltash points now finished and commissioned…stronger servos were required, plus adjustable stops needed fitting.
Track not yet progress at an appropriate time. Clean track, check points, etc, & test run train.

Electrics & Automation:
Minor mod to wiring loom terminations…to prevent stray wire strands shorting, crimp-on pins fitted to all wires.
Minor work on existing scripts, plus three “scenario” scripts created….
1 - Branch line shuffle (starting/stopping on either Trav road 1 or 2)
2 -Express mainline run, two in each directions, starting & stopping on Trav 3 with one each way stopping at Saltash
3 -DMU mainline shuffle, one run in each direction, starting on Trav 2 & stopping at Saltash.
All scripts need testing.
Use of Raspberry Pi abandoned for this layout….to use laptop..

All installation work on scenery “on land” now complete on both Saltash and Plymouth sides.
Water surface to be painted and floating jetty on Saltash, plus all boats and cars yet to be added.
Boats & cars ….some still to print; all to paint and glue down.

Royal Albert Bridge:
Complete painting of bridge girderwiork
Both end piers are still to be final fitted.
Small retaining piece on Plymouth end pier requires refitting.

Tamar Bridge:
Spring wire for cables needs cutting to length and fitting.
Drop wires require measuring, bending & soldering to main cable.
A number of drive chain links yet sections printed...another 600 needed.
Commissioning of drive track to be completed…initially with drive units back-to-back, then with bridge deck included. Some clearances require increasing to allow chain to run.
Transport board to be established....probably using back section of layout board with lightweight cover.
Reinforcement to deck to girder frames may be needed.

Rolling stock:
DCC chips to fit to 800/3 set. All carriage bodies printed…..decals to apply, etc.
Class 150 DMU – DCC chip installed in one unit. Will either fit DCC chip to second unit or wire units together to utilise single DCC chip. DMU bodies printed… declalled, second to do.
Class 170....two shells require printing & decals to design. To use existing 170 power units.
To decide on freight loco & wagons at a later stage. Aim is to have a minimum of four trains set up and running under automation control.....

Mics items, set:
Appx 140 cars & vans printed. More cars, vans & lorries/buses needed. All require painting!
Approx 30 yachts printed & few have masts fitted. A few more needed…..some with masts & some reqd upside down.
Already have a number of identify more as required.
Transport rig for layout and track sections, etc to be determined.
Trailer serviced/refurbished by JB. PVC cover obtained….to fit hold-down cleats & test run trailer.

With the introduction of more severe country-wide COVID-19 restrictions now in place and expected to be like this for something like six months, it seems likely that there are not going to be any exhibitions held before Easter next year at the earliest. Despite this, I'm going to carry on with a target completion for the layout of mid-January for the time being....

Re: The Bridges at Saltash

Posted: Mon Sep 28, 2020 7:46 pm
by dkightley
Having moved onto work that will see the layout looking more complete, I've had a shuffle round in the work room so I can assemble the whole layout and still be able to get round (aka shuffle along the wall!) most of the layout.

First job was to commission and test all of the control electronics on the layout....basically, the CBUS system that picks up all of the sensor feedback......and it all worked. The system has full control of the custom point on the bridge viaduct, and the traverser (as I call it). And with a quick track clean around part of the track, I've had first train movement....with very smooth running onto and off the traverser.

I've started one of the other tasks.....sorting out the backdrop facing. The backdrop consists of thin ply in sections around the sides and rear of the viewable part of the layout. The ply sections will be covered in cotton material that will have "iron-on" transfers (the tee-shirt type!) that have images from Google Earth. Initially, I have created prints of a plain green and blue images on A4 paper, which I have temporarily glued on.

And, on having replaced the backdrop to see how things look, I thought a few photos were in order. Why does my photography sometimes come out somewhat atmospheric??
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Re: The Bridges at Saltash

Posted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 10:37 pm
by dkightley
Its been a while since I've posted here......but there's not been all that much to report...

During October and November, I didn't get all that much time to spare on the layout due to my Tramway Museum Society commitments. I had to concentrate on preparing for an AGM....which took up most of my time. I did put the layout together in my Lounge as a trial assembly....and so I had something to show for a talk I was asked to do on my layout to the East Midlands Area Group of MERG (Model Electronics Railway Group) at the end of November, where I discussed how I had implemented DCC and CBUS on the layout using MERG kits.

The talk was well received, and I spent a good half hour fielding questions on what I had done.

During November, I did make a start on creating the backdrops.....there are five rectangular backdrop boards, each built somewhat similar to a frame that would hold a canvass for painting. I'd Photoshopped Google images of the scenery around Saltash and printed them onto tee-shirt transfer sheets...which I ironed onto pieces of an old duvet cover. The sheeting I then stretched onto the backdrop frames...and stapled into place in exactly the same way a canvas is stretched for painting.

December was also a non-modelling month as I spent most of my time doing my Membership Secretary role for the TMS. Almost all of the membership renewals fall on the 1st January.....and with the Covid restrictions causing almost total disruption due to me not being able to easily access the museum premises to collect mail and post out membership cards. And then came the current lockdown....and I've had to bring TMS things to a very messy halt!!

Now 2021 is here, I can try and forget about 2020.....and start to look forward to 2021. But hang on a minute.....all the 2020 shows have been put back to 2021......and most of them have now been put back to 2022. And those shows that are still able to be put on in 2022 will have layouts booked for I'm now starting to get emails putting 2021 bookings back to 2023! providing the clubs will still be in existence and the venues still open....and even if we're all still around by then! Ho Hum!

I suppose its a good thing there may not be any shows this'll allow me to take my time finishing Saltash off. And having had nearly three months with little happening, I did start to get one or two things looked at over Christmas - specifically the Tamar bridge and its vehicle drive system. Having had issues with the 3D printed chain not running smoothly in the 3D printed track guide, I decided that 3D printing the track on my Makerbots using the FFF printing method was not going to work, and investigated if I could print the track sections on my AnyCubic Photon SLA printer.

A redesign of the ramp sections that I had already tried printing on the Makerbot allowed me to squeeze the largest of the ramp section into the AnyCubic's build I started to try and print new sections. After a couple of failures to peint even the simplest of pieces, I realised I needed t re-level the build plate, modify the raft and support settings....and move the printer to a warmer place! My workshop (aka spare bedroom) was not getting above about 12 degrees I moved to my bathroom...a smaller room where I can control the temperature better!

So far, I have three successful prints...and will be going for one print a day over the next couple of weeks....and then I'll be able to start trying out the drive system again. In the meantime, I'll be staying at home, avoiding as much social contact as possible, and helping to save the NHS.....and looking forward to getting my first Covid vaccine shot sometime in March hopefully!!

No photos at present....the layout was packed away for Christmas...and loads of other stuff is now piled in the way of getting things I'll sort some photos out for the next post.

Re: The Bridges at Saltash

Posted: Thu Feb 25, 2021 6:09 pm
by dkightley
Now the UK government have set out their road map for exiting from the current COVID lockdown, it now seems likely that I may be showing the layout at Crich in August this year....either at the Models Weekend show (if it's on!) or as a one-off display of the layout to add something to the offering for a day or so.

This means I need to get on with things......and I've made a good start in continuing on with re-printing the Saltash bridge deck and the vehicle drive system parts. The drive track printed okay using my fff printer....but on the gentle slopes at either end onto and off the drive wheels, the track had micro steps due to the print layers, which resulted in the drive chain dragging. I've re-printed the drive components on a resin printer....and the drive chains run a lot smoother.

I'm currently re-printing the bridge deck components.....I;ve done the decks, but am part way through the girderwork that sits under the deck. Here's a few photos....

Firstly a photo of some of the old and replacement parts:
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A closer look at the "multi-colour" prints. They'll be painted where they're seen:
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And finally, some of the newly printed deck parts:
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Re: The Bridges at Saltash

Posted: Fri Feb 26, 2021 12:37 am
by kajovog
That looks really good. Is the "chain" also printed? I would have thought that you would have "a lot" of friction due to printed surfaces and the type of plastic used?

This is a new printer for you right? Would like to hear a bit more about how you like it, but in the right forum :D