Baron's Ridge - The Refurbishment!


jmupton2000

John M Upton
A lockdown project, I built a simple plank based scene christened Baron's Ridge late in 2020. The other day I hauled it out of storage in the shed:
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It is a simple rural scene somewhere, what was at one time a point where a branch line once came off the rural single track mainline, the former now a truncated siding used by the MoW Department. Nearby is an old abandoned copper mine, a small private road crosses the line at this point and the scenario is that on occasion, a MoW vehicle or a locomotive would recess here to allow a through train to pass.

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It was mostly built using whatever I had available on site (modelling materials, especially track and scenery became scarce during 2020) so about the only things bought new were the foamboard backscene mounting and the odd bit of greenery, everything else was sourced from my bits and pieces that I have accumulated over the last twenty five or more years in the hobby.

The backscene is home made, a panoramic photo was found, printed onto sticky label paper and applied with a decent enough look.

It has served well as a photographic scene but now needs attention.

Now, three plus years later, I initially thought about making a new one, 'Baron's Ridge II' but of all the various layouts I have built over the decades, this is still my favourite and whilst looking at it sitting on the dining room table (much to my wife's slightly disapproving looks!) I thought, why not a refresh and refurbishment instead?

So, here we go with 'Baron's Ridge - The Refurbishment'
 
I have identified six key areas in need of attention:

- Replacement of the tired and faded backscene
- Construct fiddle yard planks to go on either end to enable proper operation
- Re-do the copper mine area to the right of the small road
- Reduce the height of the hill at the front to the left of the small road
- General clean and tidy up of the remaining scenic materials
- Improve electrical supply to the track as the switch has issues but lifting and replacing would cause too much damage.

A new properly printed backscene is the first job and I duly found one which was ordered and delivered in a couple of days:

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Yes, I know it says N scale but I needed it to be smaller for the plank (the HO/OO scale version was way too big).

Removal of the old back scene was fairly straight forward:
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(Sorry, my workbench is a mess as you can see!!!)

Turning the plank around gives me the view looking the other way for the first time:

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The backscene is to be mounted on foamboard which I carefully measured (Remember folks, measure twice, cut once!!!) and tallest item of rolling stock, a high cube box car plus the longest, a Tunnel Motor were used to gauge the correct size of the openings at either end:

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The electrical feeds to the ends have been reinstated and a test using the first loco I had to hand saw a successful passage across the whole section:
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Now I am turning my attention to the scenic areas I want to update, these two being the copper mine:
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...and the hill:
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Time to get drastic!!
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The materials removed will be recovered as far as is possible for reuse.
 
Reusing the terrain sheets that were there, I have re-laid the now former hill area which became a bit of a patchwork quilt as a result but with some judicious adding of scatter and wargaming scenics self adhesive tufts, now looks much better:
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We now have a less obstructed view of trains passing over the switch.

The tub of tufts I purchased on a whim have worked out nicely and I have also added some elsewhere:
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Attention has now turned to the Copper Mine area, clearing the foam vegetation revealed the scratchbuilt mine workings entrance and the two narrow scale trucks:
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And now it has gone altogether!!!
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I intend to reuse the mine working entrance but moved much further back towards the back scene.
 
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Initial work on the Copper Mine area:
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As you can see, the tunnel entrance has been moved back and the surrounding rocks formed but not yet completed. A larger area around the track will allow additional rusty detritus to be added in due course (I found a wheel in the garden earlier which must have been dropped some time ago, rescued it, painted it with rust and added to the pile!) but the surrounding greenery is not right yet, there will also be a lot more foliage.
 
Done a few small things, mostly signage at various points:
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Various additional foliage tufts have been added here and there:
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A test run through has identified a few adjustments to the foliage being required where the 1091 was catching on it, mostly on curves:
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And a neat front edge has been added, the top edge of which will be blended into the base scenery with some more tufts if I ever find the time!!
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Done a few small things, mostly signage at various points:
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Various additional foliage tufts have been added here and there:
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A test run through has identified a few adjustments to the foliage being required where the 1091 was catching on it, mostly on curves:
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And a neat front edge has been added, the top edge of which will be blended into the base scenery with some more tufts if I ever find the time!!
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Very nice work, don't know how I missed these photos

Dave LASM
 
Just picked up this thread. How have I missed it? Love the scenery. The use of N scale backscene gives added depth. Well done.

An aside for anyone else:- Use N scale buildings (well) to the rear also creates depth to a layout. The same with different scale trees.
One foot away on the model is 87 feet away in reality. Look outside. Something 87 feet away looks smaller than is.
 
With some sunshine (and some unforecasted irritating windy gusts) I put together the main scenic section with the end boards for the first time.
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The wiring out the back is not exactly pretty but it functions:
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The gusty winds did knock over the far side railroad crossing sign, easily fixable:
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Testing with one loco and boxcar revealed only one issue which was the set of points off scene. Everything else ran smoothly.
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Still work to do though but a significant milestone reached.
 



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