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Port Cumtha - P4 21mm

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  • 2 weeks later...


Still a way to go, but getting there.  More detailing, roofs & weathering to mute the whole lot down.  Some form of road would be useful - perhaps cobbles with a basic footpath......


Getting there!



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Despite the website entry only showing the old MRN article, the Madder Valley is at Pendon in all it's glory - a whole room given up to it. I'm not sure if they ever operate it - when I saw it yesterday (yes, it was wet in Oxfordshire too) it had trains positioned in stations etc, but no sign that they use it any more.

I got to chatting with one of the volunteers and guess what (Andy), he's just starting to model Courtmacsheery in 7mm!

So, another correct guage layout is on the way.

I can't recommend Pendon too much - friendly guides who make sure you miss nothing, and who will search out things for you if you ask "have you got an example of…..?". Add to that an impossibly good standard of scenic and buildings work - interiors to houses, for Pete's sake! To make sure you don't miss these, they turn the lights off, so that all you can see are the lighted windows of the thatched cottages, farms , barns etc. Right down to wallpaper, pictures hanging …….

If you plan a visit, make sure your satnav is working - it's not easy to find!


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Madder Valley is definitely going to be operated one day this year. Check out the Pendon website for details.

 Well worth seeing static anyway. As one of the granddaddies of scenic modelling, there as many artistic tricks that still have value today.

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I visited Pendon fairly regularly when I lived in the UK about 30 :S years ago, though I never saw the Madder Valley in operation. I used to drive cross country from Leighton Buzzard where I lived gricing the Chinnor, Thame and Wallington branches (all still open for freight) or the modelshops in Oxford or Abingdon if it was a Saturday ah happy carefree days nothing to worry about but debauchery, drink and trains in no particular or5der

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I will just briefly agree in recommending Pendon to anyone who could possibly visit.

The trains are fine, but, as Leslie says, the buildings and scenics are brilliant. I've greatly enjoyed watching it grow, visiting once a decade or so since my mother took me nearly 60 years ago.

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On 3/11/2018 at 11:11 PM, KMCE said:

Hello Folks,

Many thanks for all the comments, they're much appreciated.


Being doing some work over the weekend.


The main factory / warehouse got a little more work & I started on the goods shed.



Shortened goods shed, as there is not much space between the backboard and the wagon turntable - still plenty of work needed to compete.  The platform is an old one I put in place for context.  

Really need to put some window sill on that factory!!


And what every good port should have - A lifeboat station.




A lot of detailing required on the slip and to tie the boathouse in.  Obviously a lifeboat just poking out of the boat house will set it off nicely.

Masking tape hinges until I can make up a few suitable hinges!!

Cheers - till the next one....



Hi Ken,

You may consider checking out the 'Hobbies Annual', always a good source for miniature hinges.

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  • 2 weeks later...

A little bit of progress.  Painting the base boards and backs does make quite a difference.

Lifeboat house is getting a little more detail and is nearly ready to dress into the layout properly - I'll probably leave it until I'm sure I don't need to lift the base again.  Strand Street is starting to take shape - cobble lock street looks a bit better, but will need some distressing as it looks a bit fresh!  

Trying to add a little colour through door painting etc, otherwise it is all going to look a little drab!!



Footpath is a little narrow - may need to bring it slightly forward.




Window cills needed for the hotel to improve the look, as its a bit plain at the moment.


Getting there & enjoying the journey........







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That track was not going to fix itself, so I took my brave pills, put on the man pants and went at it!

The copper clad PCB does make the tie rods etc easier to do, especially when you trim away some of the copper at the ends of the tie rod, so it runs under the rails without catching.  One point is still giving some trouble with the switch rail not sitting against the stock rail properly - works fine in trailing direction, but de-rails in facing direction.  Just needs a little fettling.

The ash pit in front of the engine shed, needed longitudinal sleepers with plastic chairs added to the rail to fix and hold the rails.  Looks better than the rivet construction, so I can see long days of cutting chairs to fit over the rivet and solder....

Lots of drop cables under the rails for power, however the wagon turntables are going to need a little thought to ensure I get power in both directions without shorts - not sure on that one yet; the gaps between rails may need to be generous to ensure I don't get a short across the tyre when crossing at 90 deg.  Something else to fuss about later.

It's really starting to come together though!  The gauge and sleeper distances really looks well.




BTW, the rust on the rails is real.  The flux used to solder the rail to the rivet seems to remove any protection and rust starts to develop quickly - it will give an authentic look, except it will be necessary to keep the top of the rail clean for electrical conductivity purposes.  


Point motors and wiring to be done before I can set the base in more permanently.





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