Layout Construction – Track

The layouts track is fixed on a cork  sheet to absorb noise and vibration. The track is made by Peco from the Streamline code 100 range with product code SL-102 and the three points are medium radius electro-frog fitted, also by Peco with product codes SL-E95 and SL-E96.

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Some of the sleepers have holes drilled in them ready to fit the third rail. The third rail, also called the conductor rail, sits on conductor rail chairs manufactured by Peco, product code IL-120. The holes are drilled into every forth or fifth sleeper and the conductor rail chairs pushed into the holes to secure them in place.

The conductor rails are being placed furthest from the platform edges on the model, just like the real thing.

73 207 ‘County of East Sussex’

73 207 is a new class 73 model from the Dapol range in 4mm scale, released in December 2015 as an exclusive limited edition for Olivia’s Trains based near Sheffield, the product number was OLIV001 and suits the Gatport Airwick diorama perfectly.

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The locomotive in real life was named ‘County of East Sussex’ for a period of time but this particular example of the model doesn’t carry the nameplates. The model came with a detailing pack to add extra detail at the front and rear of the locomotive.

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The release of this model just highlights that the Lima version of the Gatwick Express was years ahead of its time, the area that this Dapol model excels at is the detail in the chassis.

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Construction – Baseboard

The baseboard for the Gatport Airwick layout measures 5 feet long and 1 foot wide. The back scene is nine inches high.

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These pictures show the early stages of layout construction with Peco code 100 streamline track (concrete) on a cork surface being positioned on the layout, along with three medium radius electro frog points.

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T254

To make a model of signal T254, I purchased a four aspect controlled signal with a position four junction indicator from CR signals, this is a combination of product codes SO14HC and RO04. CR signals very kindly provided me with a printed signal ID plate ready to stick onto the model.

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The signal required a position light signal associated with a main aspect and a right away indicator, so I decided to scratch build these components to add to the signal post. I started off building the position light signal associated with a main aspect using a couple of pieces of styrene sheet.

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The next stage was to replicate the shape of the position light signal associated with a main aspect by making cuts across the top right and top left corners of the square styrene sheet.

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A couple of lenses were cut out using the hollow tube styrene and then making cuts at forty five degrees across the shape.

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The lenses were then glued to the signal at forty five degrees.

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Once signal was then set aside for one moment to allow the glue to dry.

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Work then started on the Right Away indicator by cutting off about 6mm of square tubing.

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The rest of the square tubing was then put aside for future projects leaving the box shape.

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Next, a forty five degree cut was made across the shape to form the sun glare cover.

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A square piece of styrene sheet was cut out and then stuck to the back of the box.

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The two signal components were then given different coats of dark grey from the Tamiya range of paints.

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With the project drawing to a close, it was time to set out the model signal ready to fit the extra detail.

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The detail sheet kindly supplied by CR Signals is actually a giant sticker, so the signal ID plate that I chose was cut out from the rest, ready to apply to the model.

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The position light signal associated with a main aspect was then fixed onto the signal post, along with the Right Away indicator, signal ID plate and finally the signal post telephone symbol.

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Signalling

The part of Gatwick Airport which is being modelled will feature three signals.

The first signal, T254, was located at the London end of platform 1. This was a controlled signal that had four aspects with a position 4 junction indicator and a position light signal associated with the main aspect.

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The second signal, T252 was located at the London end of platform 2. This controlled signal had four aspects with a position four junction indicator unusually located to the right of the signal head. The third signal, T250 was located on the same gantry as signal T252 at the London end of platform 3. This controlled signal had four aspects with a route indicator located to the left of the signal head.

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I purchased three, four aspect signals from a company called CR signals which most closely represent the real signals used in the 1990s, the dispatch service was excellent as they arrived the very next day in the post.

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Electrostar Project Part 1

Inspired by the scratch built model of 377 207 by model maker James Makin at http://www.wellsgreen-tmd.co.uk/electrostar.html I decided to have a go at making my own class 377 model.

Firstly, I purchased a class 170 diesel multiple unit manufactured by Bachmann to use as a donor model, then I separated the model into its component pieces. The first part of the project was to reduce the length of the carriages as the class 377 is shorter than the class 170, this was achieved by removing a single window panel from each carriage side.

The photo below shows the original carriage length.

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The photo below shows the markings to remove the centre window. The class 170 has five windows between the carriage doors, the class 377 has four windows between the carriage doors. The photo also shows some marking towards each end of the carriage to reduce the width even further.

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Once the middle window was removed and the window widths reduced at either end of the carriage, the pieces were glued back together. The carriage side now has the same window pattern as a class 377.

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After the carriage sides were reduced in size, the next stage of the project was to reduce the roof size, this was achieved by cutting out a portion of the roof then filing and sanding down parts of the air conditioning units.

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The reduced carriages sides and roof where glued back together, then the new carriages ends manufactured by James Makin at http://www.wellsgreen-tmd.co.uk/electrostar.html are ready to install next, but first, the remaining parts of the internal support needs to be cut away. It is also a good area to add strengthening strips of styrene sheet to the insides of the carriage at this point.

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The carriage end was fixed into place using glue and clamped for support. At this point the areas which had been cut have received filler and then sanded down to try and hide the cut lines.

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Finally the new driving cab end was fixed in place with glue and again clamped for support.

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Once the cab had been secured onto the carriage body, the next stage was to add a few coats of primer to the model. Its at this stage you can see the areas that need more filling and sanding.

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The process of filling, sanding and adding coats of primer is then repeated to hide the areas that have been cut and glued together to form the model.

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Shunting Puzzle Operation

On the Inglenook South shunting puzzle, five coloured counters out of a total of eight, are drawn at random and placed from left to right in the order they are picked out. This is the order that the wagons need to be formed, in the siding that accommodates the five wagons.

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This picture shows a selection of the counters that can be used. In this picture, purple and red are duplicated, these duplicates are removed before the sorting and selection of colours commences.

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Five colours are drawn at random from the collection, in this example, yellow, black, green, purple and red have been selected, white, orange and blue are unselected.

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The game begins with the wagons in random positions, in this case the top siding (capacity five wagons) is occupied by blue and green. The middle siding (capacity three wagons) is occupied by red, orange and black. The bottom siding (capacity three wagons) is occupied by white, yellow and purple. The shunter, in this case 09019 is positioned in the head shunt (capacity loco and three wagons).

As yellow is on the far left hand side, this colour needs to be positioned closest to the buffer stops on the top siding and will need to be formed first. The shunter moves from the head shunt to the bottom siding to collect wagons yellow and purple.

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The shunter, coupled to wagons yellow and purple, moves from the bottom siding and into the head shunt.

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The shunter then moves from the head shunt into the top siding to collect the green wagon.

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The shunter, green, yellow and purple wagons then move from the top siding to the head shunt.

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The shunter, green, yellow and purple wagons then move from the head shunt to the bottom siding to detach the green wagon.

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The shunter, yellow and purple wagons then move from the bottom siding to the head shunt.

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The shunter, yellow and purple wagons then move from the head shunt to the top siding to collect the blue wagon.

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The shunter, blue, yellow and purple wagons then move from the top siding to the head shunt.

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The shunter, blue, yellow and purple wagons then move from the head shunt to the bottom siding and detach the blue wagon in the bottom siding.

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The shunter, yellow and purple wagons then move from the bottom siding to the head shunt.

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The shunter, yellow and purple wagons then move from the head shunt to the top siding and detach the yellow wagon. The first wagon of the five in the puzzle is now complete.

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The shunter and purple wagon then move from the top siding to the head shunt.

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The shunter and purple wagon then move from the head shunt to the middle siding to collect the black wagon.

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The shunter, black and purple wagon then move from the middle siding to the head shunt.

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The shunter, black and purple wagon then move from the head shunt to the top siding and detach the black wagon. The second wagon of the five in the puzzle is now complete.

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The shunter and purple wagon move from the top siding to the head shunt.

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The shunter and purple wagon then move from the head shunt to the bottom siding to collect the green and blue wagons.

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The shunter, green blue and purple wagons move from the bottom siding to the head shunt.

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The shunter, green blue and purple wagons move from the head shunt to the top siding and detach the green wagon. The third wagon of the five in the puzzle is now complete.

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The shunter, blue and purple wagons move from the top siding to the head shunt.

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The shunter, blue and purple wagons move from the head shunt to the bottom siding where the blue wagon is detached.

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The shunter and purple wagon move from the bottom siding to the head shunt.

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The shunter and purple wagon move from the head shunt to the top siding where the purple wagon is detached. The fourth wagon of the five in the puzzle is now complete.

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The shunter moves from the top siding to the head shunt.

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The shunter moves from the head shunt to the middle siding to collect the red and orange wagons.

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The shunter, red and orange wagons move from the middle siding to the head shunt.

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The shunter, red and orange wagons move from the head shunt to the top siding where the red wagon is detached. The fifth and final wagon of the five wagon puzzle is in position and the puzzle is nearly complete.

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The shunter and orange wagon moves from the top siding to the head shunt.

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The shunter and orange wagon move from the head shunt to the middle siding where the orange wagon is detached.

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The shunter moves from the middle siding to the head shunt to complete the puzzle, finishing at the location it started.

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The counters pictured inside the wagons to show the final completed sequence of the puzzle.

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A view of the entire shunting puzzle including the head shunt.

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Class 488/2

The airport diorama wouldn’t be complete without a replica model of the dedicated train service that runs between the airport and the capital city. At the time of writing (December 2015) no manufacturer appears to make models of the Intercity MK2F Gatwick Express carriages, so I purchased the nearest thing I could find, a couple of Intercity Mk2E carriages from Hornby.

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I then purchased some rub on Gatwick Express logos manufactured by Replica Railways and began the process of turning these Intercity carriages into Gatwick Express carriages. Firstly, the logo was cut out from the packet and placed roughly where the letters should appear on the carriage sides. Once I was happy with the position, it was fixed into place using tape.

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The next stage was to rub over the lettering using a pencil. Extra care was taken to make sure that the whole of the logo area was covered, letters such as the dot on the ‘i’ can be easy to miss.

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The next step was to remove the backing strip. To avoid damaging the lettering, the backing strip was lifted in one direction only.

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The carriage numbers are of course incorrect for the train, these may be changed in the future. Another alteration maybe the addition of carriage labels on the door windows.

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A great article about the Gatwick Express carriages already exists online at http://www.semgonline.com/gallery/class488_1.html