Wednesday, 29 December 2021

Flemish Quay

 The OO6.5 layout finally has a name. I did toy with calling it Chain Bridge, since it features both a model of Chain bridge Forge and a, well, a chain bridge.

So why Flemish Quay? Trying to match other brickwork to the Skaledale building I came across my stash of Redutex Flemish brickwork. I believe that this is now readily available from Rails of Sheffield, but there was a period when it was in very short supply. So there is going to be a lot of Flemish bond brickwork on the layout.  This area of the country also has many strong links with the low countries. The geography here is also similar to Belgium and the Netherlands, as exploited by the inimitable Jonathon Meades.  It is even called South Holland, though oddly the derivation is different than the Dutch Holland. 

It is hard to judge progress on building the layout. It has certainly gone through an awkward stage where I questioned pretty much everything and despaired of it working. I'm now at the stage where I'm bringing together different elements that I've worked on off-stage. The photograph I posted in the last blog helped me decide to change the design of the dock, and that pile of Redutex sheets has convinced me to go for a brick-built quay rather than timber. I'm still not 100% happy with the dock. On the one hand, I have opened up more of a space and provided a logic for the placement of the buildings, but on the other, I think I would struggle to find a similar real-life basin. 

I've split the chain bridge into two parts to avoid damage during construction.  And for those who don't know what a chain bridge is in this context, it is, quite simply a bridge that was lifted by pulling on chains. The real one in Spalding had two spans but that would have made life awkward on the model with such limited space available.

Ballasting HOf track has not been the most fun I've ever had, and testing it too soon appears to have damaged one of my locos, though fortunately not one of the key ones

Being me, I forgot that it would be useful to paint the back scene elements of the baseboard as a short term expedient before installing the proper one when I work out how to design that. 

My next big challenge is the water. Frankly, I'm dreading it. Techniques that seem to work for other people just go horribly wrong for me. It doesn't help that pouring it is one of those no going back moments whereas at the moment I can take out the foam baseboard to work on it.

I'd hoped to get it finished for Xmas, my target is now NYE to get it sceniced and running, but with lots of finishing touches still to do

Whilst I'm still dissatisfied with it, I have to say I'm learning a lot in the process. Especially when it comes to composition. 

So what next? I would quite like another OO6.5 project, but the track is a real pain. I have a horrible feeling it might be time to abandon 4mm, at least in the long term, and start focussing on 7mm. In the shorter term, I do want to use the 4mm stock I already have.


  1. I found gloss Modge Podge easy and effective water, over a painted base. It's basically a gloss varnish so easy to use and no need to pour in one go.

    The model looks good so far!

  2. I had a bit of a disaster with Modge Podge and a card building that has put me off their products, but I might give it a try.

    Talking of disasters, I've had a few set backs. The Busch locos have both stopped working, I presume as a result of FOD, to which they are susceptible. I don't think it is terminal, but then I managed to drop a very small screw needed to reassemble one of them...

    I also decided that the warehouse at the rear didn't provide enough vertical clearance so I'm having to extend its height. i hope I can get away with butt jointing the Redutex but if not, then I'll have to reskin the whole building.