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N Gauge

Dimensions 12ft x 8ft

Brief History of Chipbury

Chipbury is a fictitious town located just west of the Tamar in Cornwall, The line opened in 1884 firstly as a small branch line from Oakhampton where you would change for Crediton and Exeter, But as time went on the town and traffic grew leading to the line being doubled in 1902 and additional platform added. The traffic was mixed with passenger and freight, stone from local quarries being the main goods out of the area, although a fair amount of livestock was also carried. In the intervening years the line was quiet busy, however after the 1950’s as with most of the railway network a lot of the freight traffic started to disappear. Fortunately quarrying was still active right through into the late eighties and stone trains were still regular to the nearby quarry. The sidings were also used for reforming of freights to onward destinations, and speed link trains are regular visitors, along with stabling of the postal service.

Period Modelled

The period being modelled is between the late 70’s trough to the mid to late eight’s. Most passenger services are diesel hauled although the occasional HST and Multiple unit will be seen. The Diesel Classes in use are mainly class 37’s, 47’sand 50’s however the odd Class 40 can be seen and an 08 works the yard. The main liveries of the period are Blue and Grey although the occasional swallow intercity colours can be seen.


Construction of Boards & Track work

The Layout was started in 2005, the boards were constructed with timber bracing and an MDF top. The Layout is of a U shape design. All track and point work is PECO and this is laid on cork sheet that has been glued down, fine ballast is then spread over this and brushed in so that it is off the sleeper surfacesand clear of point mechanisms. The area is then sprayed with water to make it damp then a mix of water and PVA with a drop of washing up liquid is sprayed onto this, once dry any small excess bits of ballast in points and on sleepers are removed, the whole area is then sprayed using thinned down track colour in various tones. Finally the track and points are given a good clean from all electrical contact points


Structures and Buildings

The buildings on the layout are a variety of mostly kit built items from Kestral, Peco and DPM, Although a few of the New Hornby resin buildings can also be seen. The Bridge on the layout is made from a Kibri kit and as can be seen from the pictures first started life as an arched structure. However unfortunately due to an accident when a board slipped, this structure was completely destroyed beyond repair. A new Kibri kit was purchased but unfortunately an exact replacement was not available so a different steel structure took its place but is just as fitting. A Quarry loading facility adorns the front of the layout where ARC wagons can be loaded.



The scenery on the layout is made using Polystyrene to give the relief. Blocks of it are glued down using a mix of Polyfilla with water mixed with a small amount of PVA glue. Once dry the Polystyrene is cut to make the land form using hacksaw blades and bread knives. This is then covered with sheets of lint dishcloth dipped in a similar Polyfilla and PVA/Water mixture (with added brown water colour paint) and laid over the surface, additional mix is brushed on if required. Once this has dried thoroughly, scenic scatter is now added, glued on with PVA, adding hedgerows and trees as required. Once completed a good vacuum of the scenery collects any left over unstuck scatter, which can be used again as a mix, it also reveals any bits where the scatter has not stuck. This is easily remedied by using Bostik spray frame mount, spray the area required and sprinkle on scatter, it dries almost immediately.



A full electrical plan was drawn up for each of the different aspects requiring power, i.e. track, points, relays, etc. The layout is controlled by two ECM controllers mounted into the panel, measuring 18 inches by 3 feet with an opening lid to give easy access to electrics. Various power ratings are fed to the panel from mains transformers housed inside the panel. The layout is effectively divided into four individual sections that can be controlled by any of the two controllers via center off switches. These sections then have additional isolated sections within them for isolation of any locos operated by simple on/off switch. Jumper cables between the boards are a mixture of 25 and 50 pin D-Sub connectors.



This is our first delves into ‘N’ gauge modeling, and has been enjoyable as with most modelling. As a first attempt we could have made it easier for ourselves by having a circuit so there would be no uncoupling, but like most things we like a challenge and although we did have a few uncoupling problems to start with, this has now mostly been eradicated with the use of small ramps. The layout runs very well and after its first appearance at Bristol show in 2006 has had very favorable comments and appeared at several shows since.

The layout is now under a conversion stage to a full circuit so watch this space as it will be at next years 2018 Bristol model railway exhibition.



Some Pictures of

Chipbury under construction

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