A (nother) China Clay layout

Discussion in 'Layout Progress' started by matto21, 24 August 2019.

  1. matto21

    matto21 Western Thunderer

    OK, where to begin?

    I've always had a passing interest in China Clay operations. I think my interest was initially piqued with the Pengwynn Crossing article in RM in 1994 (?). Ever since, I've kept an eye out for layouts that feature China Clay.

    I don't know why, I guess it could be the ramshackle and run down nature of some of the locations and lines.

    Anyway, the other morning I randomly had the urge to do some Googling of ECC locations and flick through some of my saved layout references, I still don't know what prompted it!

    While Googling, I came across photos of Carbis Wharf and Ponts Mill and I was inspired!

    I'm aware that I've made little progress with Talerddig other than a pile of half finished buildings and stock, and I am still plodding along with it (I will lay track soon I promise...) but there's nothing wrong with thinking/imagining out loud is there? :drool:

    Now this probably isn't going to go anywhere, but I thought I'd start a thread just in case it does!

    Last edited: 24 August 2019
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  2. jonte

    jonte Western Thunderer

    You’ve grabbed my interest straight away. Smashing idea, Matt.

    Must check them out.

    And absolutely nothing wrong with pontificating, starting, losing interest and then going off on a tangent. If the modelling’s good, who cares?

    I recall Chris Nevard doing something similar, although from memory, it was more cement related, but my point is that I recall him writing that he quickly gets bored with a layout which is why he keeps them small. So if it’s good enough for a modeller of his calibre, it’s good enough for me ;)

    Contrast that with a modeller somewhere out there who claimed he was reluctant to share his modelling attempts with the rest of model railway world because, as he explained, if he didn’t finish it, he’d feel embarrassed. To me, that borders on the vain.

    Looking forward to more, Matt.


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  3. AdeMoore

    AdeMoore Western Thunderer

    As a Withered Arm fan and anything vaguely North Cornwall Line Bodmin WenfordBridge I’m hooked!
    Subbed looking forward to this, like a bit of thinking and imagining out loud!
    Andrew Ullyott currently building Cheddar over on RMweb did a Carbis Wharf inspired layout in P4 Wheal Elizabeth.

    Wheal Elizabeth | Layouts | Scalefour Society
    Eurotrack 2009
    More western region I’m guessing?
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  4. matto21

    matto21 Western Thunderer

    Thanks both for your comments!

    Jon, that'd be Cement Quay you are thinking of?

    Ade, along with the aforementioned Pengwynn Crossing, other layouts that have caught my eye in recent years have been Wheal Elizabeth and Iain Rice's Trerice. There's also a thread about a layout called Trethosa on RMWeb, although sadly it hasn't been updated for a long time.

    In terms of size, I don't envisage this being a sprawling epic, rather I was thinking about a footprint of 4' x 1'. Maximum train size would be four clayhoods. Locos could be 25's which could be shared with Talerddig or even a 37, of which I have a red stripe one stashed away! Some of the freight stock, clay wagons aside, could also be shared between layouts.

    I'd idly thought about using one of those well known laser cut baseboard kits available with a fascia for ease and weight (I built the baseboard for Talerddig but I'd hoped to make it easier for myself), but having done some research online yesterday, these don't fit in with my budget, so some more thought is going to be required.

    As a first step, I've ordered a Ratio Clayhood kit to test the water...

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  5. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer

    Ah, you could always be different and set a china clay layout at the end user i.e. somewhere in the Potteries or heaven forbid in GW country near Worcester.

    As a student I recall loaded china clay wagons sitting in the sidings at Stoke-on-Trent waiting for delivery to the Wedgewood factory.
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  6. AdeMoore

    AdeMoore Western Thunderer

    Oh nice work Matt ratio clay hood only to test the water mind! I must repeat I don’t need a clay hood I don’t need a clay hood! I tend to get swept along by discussions such as this one.
    Do show us the outcome with it.
    Baseboards not sure on your budget but I’ve seen the SMS ones built to good effect. No front fascia but you could add that.
    Twin large ends and a large centre is change out of £50.00 delivered.
    Me I’m really toying with styrofoam baseboards, well definitely gonna try a test one. Read on FB somewhere to make a bigger hole for point motors and install them from above as a module the point being removable, I like the sound of that.
    I’ll look up the other threads you mentioned.
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  7. John Duffy

    John Duffy Western Thunderer

    Not wanting to send this thread off course but have you identified a decent source of styrofoam in the UK? I’m looking to do the same.

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  8. PaxtonP4

    PaxtonP4 Active Member

    Unless you really want Styrofoam brand for some reason then extruded polystyrene foam is available from Jewson's - theirs is yellow.
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  9. matto21

    matto21 Western Thunderer

    Ade, thanks for the link, I'll have a browse later.

    John, go off course as much as you like, this is only a random thought process at the moment anyway!

    While browsing FB the other day, I came across a reference to Marsh Sidings in a disused railway group. Some further searching turned up this photo.

    Now, obviously not China Clay related in the slightest, but I was really taken with the proximity of the line, road and buildings, so it's going into the pile of ideas for the layout!

  10. Ressaldar

    Ressaldar Western Thunderer

    Hi John,

    Styrofoam (the blue stuff, and the flooring grade - Floormate is what you need) is stocked by Warren Insulation and Sheffield Insulation and I am sure that they have outlets throughout the country.

    post-6951-127114248405_thumb.jpg post-6951-127114257666_thumb.jpg post-6951-127117056764_thumb.jpg


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  11. NHY 581

    NHY 581 Western Thunderer

    Nice idea, Matt.

    Trerice is 4ft 8 1/2 long.

    I use IKEA table tops for my cameoesque efforts.

    This is Bleat Wharf, my latest. 4ft x 16 ins.

    Rob. 20190506_143117.jpg
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  12. AdeMoore

    AdeMoore Western Thunderer

    That’s a great bunch of photos there, very inspirational model layout wise.

    Thanks Mike on the styrofoam I hadn’t actually got as far as finding where to get it.
    I’d looked into this thread on RM and the various links in it of which there are lots! Styrofoam Baseboards ?
    Your tops look pretty thick 9 or 12 mm where as Styrofoam Baseboards ? John there is using 4mm and only where the track is going but he does have cross bracing underneath which I’m hoping not to do. Second look is the last photo the bottom.? I’m sure it is so you make a box with a bottom and pop the styrofoam in?
  13. Ressaldar

    Ressaldar Western Thunderer

    Hi Ade,

    Our boards are for an O Gauge layout 40’ x 16’ and the Styrofoam is 75 thick.

    We are now some six years on and there is no sign of any working or delamination of the ply from the styrofoam.


    Last edited: 25 August 2019
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  14. Tappa

    Tappa Western Thunderer

    We did St Minions in a space a bit smaller than 4x1. China clays plus 25's
    I'm sure there will be piccies knocking around the net of it.

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  15. matto21

    matto21 Western Thunderer

    There are, and a very fine layout it is too! :thumbs:

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  16. ullypug

    ullypug Western Thunderer

    You can never have too many china clay layouts!! I did build Wheal Elizabeth a few years ago and sold it after some 25 exhibitions. The beauty of the layout was it wasn’t specific to anywhere or any time, meaning I could run anything I wanted. Dimensionally it measured 2m long and varied in width from 0.3 to 0.45m. Originally built as a FY to terminus, I extended it to through running meaning I could run passenger trains too.
    Hope you decide to continue with it. Let me know if I can help at all.
    Plans have been drawn up for Lizzie’s successor as I’ve got all the stock, and ordered more in the meantime with Kernow’s PRA’s and Tiger! Trouble is I’ve Cheddar to finish, a small PDSWJR layout to build etc., etc...!
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  17. matto21

    matto21 Western Thunderer

    Thank you Andrew, both for your kind offer of help and for your comment, especially as Wheal Elizabeth was a layout I followed over on RMWeb.

    I've taken the plunge and ordered a clayhood kit, hoping to rectify the underframe issues along the way.

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  18. matto21

    matto21 Western Thunderer

    Hi chaps,

    Just a quick question. Have any of you used flexible plywood such as this?

    My local B&Q doesn't stock bendable MDF anymore (I bought the last sheet they had and used it for Talerddig's backscene!) and was curious about this as an alternative.


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  19. jonte

    jonte Western Thunderer

    I haven’t, Matt, but could be worth looking into.

    In the past, I’ve made a series of partial cuts in the rear of thin ply using a tenon saw which allows it to follow a curve without fracturing. Needless to say, it will, however, need supporting top and bottom to maintain the curve.

    Hope this is of use.

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  20. matto21

    matto21 Western Thunderer

    Thanks Jon, another thing to look into then.

    I think I'm going to use the BB017 micro layout baseboard from Scale Model Scenery - I just need to do a bit of measuring when I get home and before I place an order.

    Talking of ordering, I've ordered some lengths of flexi track today...this has snowballed quickly from an idea!

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