4mm The Idler

Discussion in 'Layout Progress' started by Joe1980, 22 February 2019.

  1. Joe1980

    Joe1980 Western Thunderer

    Hello All,

    I’ve been working (incredibly slowly) on a little project for a year or so now and have finally started moving my backside into gear to get it finished.

    Having hit my thirties I finally have a bit of money to “play trains” again, but living in London I still don’t have a great deal of space. The answer came along after seeing Chris Nevard’s building of Brew Street in a back issue of Model Rail. Added to this was inspiration from OTCM’s Six Quarter and Simon Glidewell’s St Mary Hoo. I wanted a small industrial railway/yard, a little run down, that could fit in a Tim Horn 2’x1’ baseboard box.

    The first building for the project is a pub named The Idler of Tangier. This will lend its name to the layout and will sit opposite a siding serving the small G. Steadman and Co Pottery Works. It doesn’t really have a prototype, but with some careful reimagining of history, it could be somewhere on the outskirts of Stoke on Trent on one of the many colliery lines that once existed.

    I’ll admit, I’m learning as I go (thanks to all you guys on here) and have very limited skills, but I’m enjoying the process of learning how to scratchbuild building and lay track and wire it properly.

    Anyway, I’ll keep a few updates coming on here sharing any slow process I make!

    A94A11B5-C326-4465-8805-C7386B8FB0BD.jpeg E01C0B38-A72D-4402-98E7-D4694F25C91B.jpeg

    Alan, allegheny1600, chrisb and 6 others like this.
  2. matto21

    matto21 Western Thunderer

    Great start and looks like a lovely micro project!

    Nice bottle kiln - scratchbuilt?

    MartinWales and Joe1980 like this.
  3. Joe1980

    Joe1980 Western Thunderer

    The bottle kiln I could only wish to scratchbuild. It’s a solid resin model made from a David Wright scratchbuild/mould for Skytrex. I think he used a wood lathe to create the initial shape before using Das clay for the brickwork.

    I used his methods of scribing Das clay for the brickwork on the pub building though. Hopefully it will make it fit in.
    AdeMoore, matto21 and allegheny1600 like this.
  4. MartinWales

    MartinWales Western Thunderer

    Keep us updated!
    Joe1980 likes this.
  5. Joe1980

    Joe1980 Western Thunderer

    0F6BDAA7-B7AC-407E-8E8E-10EFBDA65DA2.jpeg I feel a bit like a 1970s preservation society because I’ve (on the surface of it) only laid a few extra lengths of track, but under the baseboard I’ve started soldering the wires to the two larger bus wires. This included (after a bit of fiddling around) wiring up the polarity switch correctly on the bullfrog point switches, before testing it with my Lima class 73.
    AdeMoore, Neil and allegheny1600 like this.
  6. allegheny1600

    allegheny1600 Western Thunderer

    Looking great, Joe.
    Happy to see just how much you can fit in so small a space, well done and that bottle kiln is lovely!
    Joe1980 likes this.
  7. Joe1980

    Joe1980 Western Thunderer

    Thanks. The colour of the brickwork is a bit too uniform for me at the moment, so I need to pick out a few darker bricks to break it up a little.

    Any ideas for a scenic break on the right hand exit would be greatly appreciated!
    AdeMoore and allegheny1600 like this.
  8. allegheny1600

    allegheny1600 Western Thunderer

    Far be it from me to jump in here but I'll have a go!!
    How about your track going into (or even behind) a warehouse? Maybe the track that is sketched as coming off the lead from the central wye point goes into a warehouse, thereby hiding the exit stage right?
    I'm thinking of a "northlight" type of warehouse with a sawtooth roof profile, not that it's necessary of course.
    Joe1980 likes this.
  9. Joe1980

    Joe1980 Western Thunderer

    I like the sound of that, thanks. One other suggestion was the ruined wall of an old warehouse/shed. With my rate of tracklaying I’ve got plenty of time to decide!
    AdeMoore likes this.
  10. Jordan

    Jordan Mid-Western Thunderer

    Ruined walls of old warehouses are good!! :) :cool: :thumbs:


    Used as a view block for the exit on my layout "Withyn Reach".
    Osgood, Dog Star, AdeMoore and 3 others like this.
  11. Joe1980

    Joe1980 Western Thunderer

    Bloody hell! That looks fantastic. Maybe a less elaborate version (to reflect the size of the layout) would suit. Thanks for sharing.
  12. Jordan

    Jordan Mid-Western Thunderer

    Yeah, people tend to say that about some of my modelling. :confused: :eek: :oops::oops::oops:

    :D ;) :thumbs:
    Dog Star and Joe1980 like this.
  13. Joe1980

    Joe1980 Western Thunderer

    So the trackwork is sorted. Had to do a bit of remedial work on the Y point as it kept causing a short. Cue the rotary drill seeing some action.


    After that, I finally put some tiles on the roof of the pub. Will give them a lick of paint through the week, after using a bit of Das clay for the ridge tiles.

  14. Joe1980

    Joe1980 Western Thunderer

    So, I’ve been making a bit of progress recently. Some weathering of the rails has taken place, I’ve built a level crossing and I’ve started work on the main pottery works building. I do need to work on the colouring of the road etc and add more dirty weathering around the sleepers.


    With the pottery works building, I’ve tried to make the building look larger a than it really is by varying the heights of different parts of it. The brickwork will be the same as the other buildings - hand-scribed Das clay.

  15. jonte

    jonte Western Thunderer

    Plenty of texture and realistically weathered sleepers.

    A promising start, Joe.

    Joe1980 likes this.
  16. Joe1980

    Joe1980 Western Thunderer

    Not much of an update from The Idler after a busy month or so at work. I’ve fitted (with some flipping difficulty) one of my China Clay hoods with three-link couplings. It’s a bit of a bodge due to how slim the chassis of the wagons are.


    Other than that, after adding some window ledges to the main R.G. Steadman & Co. Pottery Works, I’ve begun the process of applying a layer of Das clay to the exterior of the card shell of the building.


    Then, of course, it was time to have a bit of a shunt about with the trusty Hornby Sentinel.


    Still so much to do. Where do I start? Static grass, finishing the track weathering, buy an airbrush and weather some stock, create a backscene... and pre-order a Heljan Class 25.
  17. Joe1980

    Joe1980 Western Thunderer

    39CE93AD-639D-4416-8F11-E2F4B998D8F2.jpeg No one ever did find out why a Bavarian steam engine was working in an overgrown Staffordshire railway yard.
    matto21, jonte, adrian and 1 other person like this.
  18. Joe1980

    Joe1980 Western Thunderer

    Some slightly more conventional traffic at The Idler. A class 31 seen behind the (newly installed) disused yard crane.

    Later on, a shy Sentinel hides behind a China Clay Hood and the crane. Some work still needs to be done to finish the factory in the background!
    matto21, jonte and Peter Cross like this.
  19. Joe1980

    Joe1980 Western Thunderer

    So, taking advice from Tony (@76043) in the Permanent Way section of the forum, I changed my dodgy wooden Bullfrog point controls.


    Swapping them with hopefully more reliable Peco PL-10 electric motors and associated polarity switches. Even with my rubbish soldering skills it didn’t take too long to wire-up and install under the baseboard.


    And overall, it all looks much neater than it did with the old controllers and their unsightly yellow control rods.

    matto21, AdeMoore, Neil and 6 others like this.
  20. Joe1980

    Joe1980 Western Thunderer

    Making some progress again. Did a bit of landscaping towards the rear of the layout and got the static grass applicator out. Needs a bit of cleaning up and some more of the taller dry grass, but it’s getting there.

    Sully, matto21, AdeMoore and 3 others like this.