Once again I have found myself being tempted to take a fresh look at Llangunllo, and you can blame the latest issue of the Model Railway Journal for that. For one photo in particular got me thinking, say what you like about the journal, but it certainly inspires! So the shed diorama was put aside whilst I faffed around with some styrene strip, more of which later. I have however continued to work on the engine shed itself which currently looks like this……..
Interior window frames are yet to be fitted, and will be designed to hold the glazing in place. Doors are in the process of being made from card, I made a right dogs ear of the first pair but the replacements are looking okay at the moment. Roof slates are those produced by ‘York Modelmaking’.
I haven’t lost interest in the diorama far from it in fact, but I felt the need to go back to Llangunllo and scratch a couple of itches. I also need to crack on and build more rolling stock, well replacements for old GWR examples to be more precise. Mind you I have been saying that for years but always end up being distracted! Another thing that I need to address is the Llanbister Road sector plate, not that its giving any problems.
I just feel that a few cassettes would make life easier, especially once the extra rolling stock finally makes an appearance, for they will come in useful for storing it. I had intended to replace the sector plate last year but life, and other projects got in the way. So where does MRJ and Microstrip enter the picture, well I was never really happy with the old footbridge, so when I saw the photos of Geoff Kent’s lattice version on his ‘Black Lion Crossing’ layout in MRJ No 269 temptation proved too great.
For those of you who are unaware of the layout, here is a selection of photos that I took with the owners permission at Expo EM in 2017. The layout represents a number of freight only lines in the Wrexham area, the only passenger trains are those provided for workmen.
Why I didn’t go down the lattice route in the first place I wouldn’t know, perhaps it was the thought of constructing the damn things? I did search for a suitable etch, and even took a look at the Hornby footbridge. Alas both would have been costly exercises given that most of the parts would have been of little use. No, the sensible option was to build my own from scratch but first I needed a drawing, cue for this interesting and essential book for the would be bridge builder…….
Plans for a GWR footbridge can be found within the book, I only needed the main girder section, which was scanned and printed out on good quality paper. Taking note to calibrate my printer beforehand so the plan came out to scale, very important that and even more so with track templates.
The drawing was then secured to the underside of a piece of glass with double sided tape. The top and bottom rails were then laid on top of the glass and secured with masking tape. It was then a case of building up the lattice from 0.020 x 0.040 styrene strip, surprisingly it didn’t take too long to produce each girder.
Like the prototype, the girder was rather flimsy until some strengthening ribs were fitted. Once cleaned up with nail files and wet and dry paper the girder was lowered in place between its supporting piers on the layout. I must have been having a good day for it fitted perfectly, usually with jobs like this a little fettling is required
Once painted a light grey the whole structure was dusted with soot, and rust weathering powders whilst the paint was still tacky.
Today the scene looks like this, in the end the idea of a water tower was dropped to make the handling of stock easier in what is the fiddle yard. I did start to construct the tower on a sub base so it could be removed during operating sessions, but due to the delicate nature of the structure it would most likely have become damaged. So I have returned to the original story of watering facilities being provided at Presteign and Llanbister Road.