Easton Mill

Discussion in 'Entries' started by Easterner, 7 June 2017.

  1. Easterner

    Easterner Active Member

    Good Afternoon,

    I thought I would share with you something I have been working on in the background, and seeing’s as I sent my form off to wild Swan this afternoon it was a good time to share the progress so far.

    So, Easton Mill is a small 7mm layout designed based somewhere on the Great Eastern in the late 1950’s. I have provisionally named the layout Easton Mill, as it is a small town not far from the Framlingham Branch and part of the layout will incorporate a mill style building. The Framlingham branch, along with stations such as Lavenham and Saffron Walden are all areas I have took an interest in and researched in the past and will probably, one day lend up as the basis for a long term layout so hence another reason for basing the layout on the Great Eastern and from around that area.

    The layout has been designed to show, what I hope can be achieved in 7mm within the constraints of a small space, whilst still being operationally interesting and what I hope will create the atmosphere of a real location.

    The layout will be built across 2, 4ft x 2ft 6” baseboards which is coincidentally the size a culvert in one of my rooms, and hopefully at this size will still fit anywhere inside a small house should I move in the meantime. Unfortunately this is going to form a nasty break right across the scenic part of the layout and back scene, but on the other hand was something I was probably never going to get away without on a 7mm Layout.

    Having seen Tim Horns baseboard previously used on another, larger 7mm project I am involved in, I have decided that main part of the layouts infrastructure will be ordered from Tim, thus reducing time and also because my woodwork standards will never be up to that of a laser cutter! However, all is not that simple as I plan to make a few modifications to the boards before/after assembly, these include:

    • A falling away hill at the front right hand side of the layout with the possibility of a small over grown pond similar to that of a picture I have come across, somewhere on the Mid Suffolk I believe - I have attached an image at the end of the post to illustrate this.
    • A section for a sector plate needs to be removed from the back corner to allow access to the run around loop and storage side which will be disguised by a back scene. Alternatively I need to use a thicker material as an underlay for the scenic part of the layout and just fix a length of 6mm ply to the top of the baseboard and make it up to the same height as the underlay.
    • Thirdly, I may cut out a slot in the storage siding on the right hand board to allow cassettes to be used, however this may be a little over the top for the stock required but would be easier to do before construction.
    I have shown these areas of modification on a rough plan for the layout illustrated below.

    Baseboard Modifications.jpg

    Once all that’s complete, I then will need to build or at least design before the layout develops to much how I am going to encase the layout. The current plan is to fit a 6 or 9mm end to each of the baseboards at the height of the backscene/lighting pelmet, then a joined to these will be a curved backscene which will disguise the sector plate and storage siding – My idea for where the backscene will go is shown loosely in black on this Templot screenshot.

    Cameo Layout Idea.jpg

    The layout will be based on 31.5mm standards, mainly because this is what other modellers use in my area and makes sense if I want to run stock in or on any of their layouts. I plan to make the layout both DC and DCC operation, but my intention is to use DCC to allow the aid of sound.

    Scenically, I plan to build a large mill style building or warehouse on the left hand siding, something along the lines of the warehouse/mill on Monks Eleigh. I plan to have a few trees modelled at the end of this too further disguise the sector plate and perhaps a few infront of the siding, towards the middle of the layout and around the pond area as previosuly mentioned to break up the view. The back road will contain a small water tower at the end closest to the sector plate, again surrounded by a few overgrown shrubs and trees and as we move to the right of the layout I am planning to model a raised loading bay with a few run down goods facilities, similar to those on the back sidings at Framlingham or Saffron Walden or if not a larger goods shed with a canopy of some descript although this is the part I am not fully decided on.

    I don't think the layout will be signalled, I think the points will be operated in the style of yard levers, as I think point rodding and signals would be an over complication. I'm open to others ideas/suggestions on this as I wouldn't mind making the odd ground signal and a bit of rodding for practice for future layouts.

    I will go into the depth of operation, stock and progress on other parts in separate updates/a bit later as I feel like there is already enough to digest above!

    I look forward to hearing peoples thoughts and comments on what has been proposed so far

    J15 Pond.jpg
    Simpas, jonte, Dan Randall and 3 others like this.
  2. Scale7JB

    Scale7JB Western Thunderer

    Hi Josh,

    Looks interesting, though I'd be tempted to lose the two lines close to each other in favour of a single line running closer to the back scene off of the traverser?

    Have a look at Catcott Burtle I think it is, less is definitely more in this scenario.

    Just a thought...

  3. daifly

    daifly Western Thunderer

    The mill headshunt is rather short - particularly if you want to use a J15 or similar. Even a loco as small as that scales at 12+" long leaving enough room for only loco plus one or, at a squeeze, two wagons in the headshunt.
    Try printing out a small scale Templot plan and making some similarly scaled scale paper locos and wagons and see what works in practice.
    I suspect that the double line that S7JB refers to is a run around loop using the fiddle yard as the 'other end'. I would certainly want to include that facility in some form.
    Following with interest!
  4. geoff_nicholls

    geoff_nicholls Western Thunderer

    Hi Josh, very nice idea. If you have problems finding a suitable building for the mill, The old granary building at Bishops Stortford, which had it's own private siding, (p161 of Peter Paye's book) still exists. My vote would be to keep the run round.
  5. Scale7JB

    Scale7JB Western Thunderer

    Yes in hindsight you're both absolutely right, the run round does need to be kept but still wonder if there is any way of getting more distance between the two lines as its a bit tight and track heavy in that area..

    Shunting yards are generally spacious and sprawling, and the two lines close together might not help to achieve that look?

  6. eastsidepilot

    eastsidepilot Western Thunderer

    Trouble is that if you create more distance between the head shunt and the siding the point and crossing work geometry gets messed up, and to get the crossings to line up will mean shortening the head shunt as the points will have to be further apart from each other.

  7. Easterner

    Easterner Active Member

    Thanks for all the reply's - To answer a few questions or thoughts on thoughts!

    The mill head shunt is rather short, however I have loosely based the concept around a 3-2-2 Inglenook to add to operational interest should the layout get boring to operate or give operators a end goal. In this instance, any headshunt then needs only to be the length of a loco and 2 wagons. I initially based the idea on using J65 & J68 (Both of which I have kits laying in the to be built pile) and possibly a stray Dapol 08 once every blue moon. Basing the operation around these loco's the headshunt is long enough for any of these loco's, and two moderate length wagons, the passing loop can take 3 wagons and the sector plate can just take the loco & 3 Wagons.

    Going back to the Inglenook idea, my initial thoughts are the passing loop will be a 2 wagon siding, as will the back road and the mill will be the three wagon siding. Having the loop long enough for 3 wagons allows the operational excuse to tag a brake van on to the back of the train, which can be detached as part of the first manouver and re-attached once all the wagons have correctly been sorted. Making the overall operation in my opinion last longer and add an extra degree of interest.

    I do agree with your comments though, and it would of been nice to regularly use a J15 (Again, another one in the to be built pile) But having redrawn the plan umpteen times trying to maximise all the siding lengths this seems to be the best plan I can come up with whilst sticking to a minimum 5 foot radius and an overall length of 8ft. A J15 will fit with one wagon in the headshunt, so all is not lost, but it will restrict operation.

    Thanks Geoff for your thoughts, as you're aware I have sent you a PM about this and is a very good suggestion for a prototype. Other than the one suggested on Monks Eleigh, I have saved down various pictures I have found on the internet of:

    Bass Maltings
    Briggate Granary
    Ditherington FlaxMill
    Ebrige Mill
    Hadleigh Maltings
    Thorpe-Le-Sont Maltings
    Dereham Maltings
    Snape Maltings

    So I have plenty of ideas in the tank, which I can hopefully make a Mill/Maltings style building from. But, that said, and proved by Geoff, I'm always open to other prototypes I haven't considered, especially if they are still standing or there is a resource of information/photos of them on the internet/books/etc.

    Thanks JB and Eastsidepilot, I think you've hit the nail on the head as I've briefly tried to sumarise above in reply to Dave's comment.

    And again, thanks for all the input, as said, any ideas and suggestions are welcomed, it's better to hear and have them now in the planning stage!
  8. Alan

    Alan Western Thunderer

    Good to see you have entered Josh. Looks an interesting idea.
  9. Simpas

    Simpas Western Thunderer

    Hello Easterner,

    I like the plan as you have drawn it since it will prove very interesting to design in the operation. If, as someone suggested above, you want to run a J15 then see if moving turnouts a little might give you that extra bit of leaway.

    Nice little design though...!

  10. Scale7JB

    Scale7JB Western Thunderer

    I was thinking something more like this perhaps with a little more space between the lines ?
    Cameo Layout Idea.jpg