The Far North Line

Discussion in 'Members Personal Layouts' started by Ben Alder, Apr 17, 2017.

  1. Ben Alder

    Ben Alder Full Member

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    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]My latest project is two stations on the lines north of Inverness - Thurso and Helmsdale - both shadows of what they once were, like almost all the rest of the railways, but here their importance continues. A few shots of Helmsdale to start with - it was an important part of the network in steam days with some seventy staff there, a shed that looked after the Dornoch engines and a change over point for restaurant cars and Post Office vans, plus some services started and terminated here as well. I have modelled about half of the station, due to lack of space, but felt that the loss of platform gave the opportunity to have more openness for the approach. I have had to adjust things a bit, esp. in the shed area, but everything is there, just not in the right order :whatever:... I'll go into it later....

    Hmm, managed to get the images before the text, but I'm sure I can sort that out. Anyway, here I am....
     
    Is Line Clear likes this.
  2. Toto

    Toto Staff Member Founder Administrator

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    A picture says 1000 words as they say and there is not a better example of that than right here. Seemless transitions between scenes.

    Fantastic to have these scenes on Platform 1 and I'm sure for those who have not seen your work before this will be an eye opener.

    Thanks for posting these up and I look forward to more of the same.

    :thumbs::tophat:

    Toto
     
  3. Wizmacnz

    Wizmacnz Full Member

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    Always been my favourite layout. Nice to see it here on P1MRC.

    Peter
     
  4. Gary

    Gary Staff Member Administrator Golden Goat 2018

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    One thing I like about this layout is the atmosphere it portrays. The muted greens, the expanse of grey ballasts, the shadowed mountains and the overcast sky certainly paints a great picture where the railway sits in Northern Scotland. Great stuff.

    Three thumbs up from me ! :thumbs::thumbs::thumbs:

    Cheers, Gary.
     
  5. Ron

    Ron Staff Member Moderator

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    Welcome, I have followed this layout for quite some time and it is a real inspiration!:tophat::tophat:
     
  6. Toto

    Toto Staff Member Founder Administrator

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    The modelling itself is first class but the one thing that gets me is the consistent excellent use and incorporation of the back scenes. The transistor between the layout and the back scenes are spot on.

    :thumbs:
     
  7. gormo

    gormo Staff Member Administrator

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    Great stuff Ben.....:thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:

    This may sound nuts but these scenes are complicated yet simple and serene at the same time.

    It gives the feeling that there is much more beyond the railway.????

    Wonderful !!!!

    http://www.click:tophat:Gormo
     
  8. Toto

    Toto Staff Member Founder Administrator

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    The tree line on the 4th image best shows the continuation and depth of the scene. How many attempts did that take ? Just seems to blend perfectly.

    Toto
     
  9. paul_l

    paul_l Staff Member Administrator

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    Ah .......

    Being a HR fan, this layout is always a pleasure to view and full of inspiration, you never know one day ........

    I remember as a kid - which is an achievement these days, as I can never remember where I put my glasses down a few mins ago, being inspired by Arthur Dewars O gauge layout Mallaig to Kyle of Lochalsh a HR and NBR layout, a large oval laout, with a model of Mallaig station down one side and Kyle of Lochalsh down the other, and the Glen Finnan viaduct at one of the ends, the other end having a double junction allowing access to either station. Who'd know, I'd move up to Scotland, and take up Scottish modelling :whatever:

    Thanks for posting Ben

    Paul
     
  10. Ben Alder

    Ben Alder Full Member

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    Thanks all, John from ID Backscenes really should have won an award for this one - it has been used on layouts based from Devon to Sutherland and looks the part where ever it is used. It is actually taken in Strathmore, on the old CR main line, now closed, but catches the atmosphere of Helmsdale rather well. I was going to do a photographic panorama stitch but it wouldn't have worked out as seamlessly as this one. I did use a smaller version on my previous layout, so was familiar with its workings - cut off the too verdant foreground - and when building this layout, I took on board advice from Chris Nevard and started from the backscene forward. I also photographed every step to see how it looked on screen, plus I have found it easier to do a prototype as a model - you just copy what is there :lol:

    The whole build and its last three years are well covered on RMweb if you want the full story - just google FNL or Ben Alder and it pops up -and I have more or less given up on general shots of the layout, having exhausted its possibilities to my mind, but I went up to it tonight and took some new ones for this forum, as I don't want to rehash what many may have already seen. It's a bit early in the year for photography, as I like to take images in natural light with plenty of shadows, but I do have full spectrum tubes as illumination which serves as an adequate substitute, so I'll look at some aspects of the layout over the next few days if that's all right.

    Firstly a few general shots of the station, the N cabin, couple of views of the shed and some shunting of a freight.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    And two of Thurso to be going on with - some vans in the yard and an engine going on shed.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  11. SMR CHRIS

    SMR CHRIS Staff Member Moderator

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    Some nice photos of some top notch modelling thanks for posting :thumbs::thumbs::thumbs:
     
  12. Toto

    Toto Staff Member Founder Administrator

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    Fantastic. Love the details, so much to pick out.:thumbs:
     
  13. elimatta

    elimatta Full Member

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    Just a detail. What glue did you use to get such perfect results from the ID backscenes please?
     
  14. Ben Alder

    Ben Alder Full Member

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    Thanks, the backscenes were put on to mountboard with 3M Photomount spray- You only get one go at this though...I gave both surfaces a coat of spray, let it dry for a few seconds, and then rolled it in place using the cardboard tube the paper came in as a roller. I also cut the mount board with a good margin to allow for any wandering during the process. It came out OK - I have tried wet glues but got wrinkles and spotting of the surface paper, which is somewhat susceptible to marking too easily for its own good...Actually, John can supply these printed on a self adhesive polypropylene, which is a lot more durable. I have a bespoke replacement for mine waiting to be put in place - I got him to omit the bit at the bottom I cut off anyway, and add extra sky at the top to get a bit more background to the station - I'll get round to it one day. you might have to deal direct with him at Artprinters to get the plastic version as I don't know if he supplies these to the various outlets that stock his papers.

    Couple more pics now....

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Two of some cattle vans heading for the Lairg sheep sales. This was a very important traffic in its day, and Thurso and Lairg, plus one or two other places need about thirty specials each to shift the August lambs - the Thurso sales lasted thre days but Lairg was all in one. It must have been a very frenzied affair.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    The South cabin- many HR stations had two cabins because of the length of the loops - these were generally only manned as needed, with the signalman often having a good walk between the two when the station had a burst of activity.

    [​IMG]

    The shed with a GW pannier resting alongside an ex CR 4-4-0. Two of these engines went north to work the Dornoch branch and one would be found here when off duty, getting any required maintenance, boiler wash out, etc. and perhaps doing a bit of shunting. This is an older pic taken in daylight - I like the shadows and effects one can catch as opposed to the flooding of a model with high powered lights as used in magazine articles. Certainly every detail is visible, but natural light isn't like that.....
     
  15. elimatta

    elimatta Full Member

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    Thanks very much for the detailed reply Ben. The images are just right, but it's so frustrating to see the bubbles appear. It did happen after a spectacularly hot Sydney summer though. I'll try 3M as you suggest.
     
  16. Ben Alder

    Ben Alder Full Member

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    A quick look round the terminus now. It is Thurso, tremendously compacted,but its all there. The main compromise is with the shed layout - the building and TT are at 180 degrees to the prototype because of space problems and the shed is a two road one rather than the single one actually there. As part of my alternative world, I reasoned that one or two of the proposed branches from Thurso were actually built, which needed extra motive power - I also had a ready built model that I wanted to reuse :giggle:

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Next, I'll take a look at the engines on the layout. I have parallel time lines here - what actually happened and one where a spot of indulgence lead to some unlikely survivors....
     
  17. Gary

    Gary Staff Member Administrator Golden Goat 2018

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    Great pics Richard. :thumbs::thumbs::thumbs: Looking forward to the next set ! ;)

    Cheers, Gary.
     
  18. jakesdad13

    jakesdad13 Staff Member Moderator

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    Fantastic as usual :thumbs::thumbs:, the whole scene is so life like!

    Pete.
     
  19. ianvolvo46

    ianvolvo46 Staff Member Moderator

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    Top quality Ben and stunning pictures :tophat::tophat::tophat:

    Ian vt
     
  20. JimW

    JimW Full Member

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    Great to see this on here Ben as it has always been a layout I have kept an eye on.

    I have always liked the way you got the scenery to blend into the backscene and also the work you did on your track some time ago.

    Enjoy your stay here and I look forward to seeing more.

    Jim
     

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