Progress?

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Progress?

Postby MOG » Tue Feb 22, 2005 9:01 pm

How are all the Gnotters doing? Everyone well? Has anyone made any progress lately? Layouts, Listers, On9 locos? .... just idle curiosity..

Personally I've had a bit of a lull on the Gn15 front.. been trying to get the littl'uns OO Thomas the Tank runaround finished off.. and it's been so bloody cold in my cellar that I've wussed out a couple of nights!:oops:
Also been planning an American 'N' scale project.. keep getting carried away and starting the planning again.. must concentrate on Gn15...no endless lists of stock to wade through, no maps or plans to pore over..just open up the mind and the bits box!:lol:

Fred's given me orders for the next figure - Mrs Manning, along with a very detailed description..I just hope I can deliver to his exacting standards! :lol:
I'm feeling the urge to get bashing on the next loco, or perhaps a passenger conveyance, with Mrs Manning aboard? Or... maybe the first Gn15 lady loco driver? :?:

Anyhoo.. let us know how you're all getting on.
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Postby Colin Peake » Wed Feb 23, 2005 9:11 pm

Hi Martin and all the Gnotters!

On9 progress can be found at http://www.colinpeake.fotopic.net - tonight I have added the smokebox door and whistle, photos soon...

I look forward to seeing more figures Martin, will this be your first stab at a female form :?: Passenger coaches sound like a good idea too!
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Postby David Nix » Wed Feb 23, 2005 10:44 pm

Hi Martin

Little to report, I was determined to make some progress last week so set about making a jig for building the Lister's frame. I used some softwood offcuts I had to hand and found on later inspection that one surface was at least a mm out of line with the other surface, so I've decided to get some better quality wood and start again!

I like the idea of your progress being driven by Fred's ideas, hopefully this will get him really enthusiastic about the hobby.

I'm impressed with Colin's work, Flower of the Forest looks as though it will be an unusual and attractive loco.
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Postby Versif » Thu Feb 24, 2005 12:07 am

Well some progress, of sorts, has been made on my layout. I've managed to run my first train albeit only on one loop and with one sector plate unpowered, the wrong one naturally.

All the track has been cut to size, although some will need adjusting due to adding in plastic rail joiners for insulation, must remember to put them in place first time. Once the track is fixed in place they can be dispensed with, but at the moment they help keep the track aligned.

Point motors have been fitted and wired but not yet operational. Need to builds a control panel. Power to most tracks, just 3 tracks and a sector plate to power.

Had a number of problems, the Y-point was so stiff the point wouldn't operate. After much scratching of head and muttering took off the accessory switch, refixed and all works well. The 3-way point refuses to switch polarity properly when manually operated. When electrically operated it works fine. Need to get that control panel built :)

Double slip appears to be working OK. Debating whether to wire up the second set of contacts on the switches to power route indicator lights.

One sector plate operational using a phono plug as the base and power supply. Yet to do the other, mainly because the first was a pig, notably very stiff and took a lot of filing to get it to turn easily. I couldn't find a small plug and socket, even at maplins and the phono looked like a good bet. Remember not to ask me for advice :lol:

50mm foam is a pig to work with, too deep so point motors have to be fitted to the points. Carving out holes for them is a pain and covering the gaps created will also be a pain :) I've also built a wooden frame to mount the foam on but not yet glued it in place. Firstly because I'm still thinking of adding uprights and a top frame to box in the layout and secondly because I'm wondering what the best glue to use is that doesn't melt the foam. :lol:

Pin and link coupling is a definite pain :evil: But I'm thinking about how to sort that. I need to build a small shunting pole and acquire some 3 link chain to couple to the engine.

Converted one of my controllers so that can be plugged into any layout using dc power plugs and sockets. Saves having to unscrew and reconnect. Pity I ran out of plugs for the Gn15 layout :!: Maplins should be able to provide more. I also need a SPDT momentary on switch for the Y-point. The 3-way point and double slip will be operated by a 3 way 4 gang and 4 way 3 gang respectively with momentary on switches to power the turnouts. Going to have to buy or build another capacitor discharge unit.

So some progress but still a lot of work before the layout is at bareboards operational. Anyone know where to get perspex? I need a small piece to make a control panel.

I've also decided (well still thinking about it really) to fill in the space between track with thick cardboard and then use DAS modelling clay to cover that and the sleepers. It will represent concrete, with a bit of luck. Stuff cobbles :roll: Idleness wins again.

Of all the jobs so far the one I like least is soldering wires to track, you never have enough hands :!:

I'll see if I can make some more progress tomorrow.

Cheers
Petar Kanuritch

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Postby Colin Peake » Thu Feb 24, 2005 9:48 am

All the track has been cut to size, although some will need adjusting due to adding in plastic rail joiners for insulation, must remember to put them in place first time. Once the track is fixed in place they can be dispensed with, but at the moment they help keep the track aligned.

Mmm, Personally I wouldn't dispense with them, as you say, they help with alignment, and also if you don't have the insulated joiners and the track expands in heat, you end up with the rails touching! This is especially worth considering if you plan to exhibit the layout, exhibition lighting/halls can get quite hot!
So some progress but still a lot of work before the layout is at bareboards operational. Anyone know where to get perspex? I need a small piece to make a control panel.

B&Q and the like sell, it, but it is pricey. If you are not actually bothered about it being clear, I would suggest using something like 80 thou black plasticard instead - cheaper :D
Of all the jobs so far the one I like least is soldering wires to track, you never have enough hands

:idea: I try wherever possible to feed power to rail joiners, these can be pre-wired at your workbench, a lot less hassle :!:

I hope the above is of use to you Petar, anything else just ask!

Finally, a tip - for concrete 'Green Scene' make a acrylic based textured paint to represent this, I've used it on one or two dioramas in the past. It is a little on the rough side for 4mm and 7mm, probably ideal for G... They will have a trade stand at Nottingham exhibition.
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Postby Versif » Thu Feb 24, 2005 11:03 am

Thanks for the advice Colin. Doubt I'll ever exhibit, too much like hard work :) I'll do as you suggest with the insulated joiners, it is 'winter' at the moment :lol: So come summer time there could be problems.

The rail joiners is a good tip but the bits I've got left to do don't have any. The joy of short lengths :(

Not that long now to the Nottingham exhibition. I'll have to be on the look out for it.

I've got to get some more wood so I'll have a browse around B&Q. Failing that the black plasticard sounds fine.

Cheers
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Postby Versif » Thu Feb 24, 2005 9:29 pm

Completed both sector plates and alll but one track (a loco spur) wired up. The loco has been busy zig-zagging across the layout using both sector plates and run round loops. Amazing how much fun you can have just doing that. Of course this is simply putting off the difficulty of filling in the gap between the tracks :)

Track alignment is critical and I'm going to have to think about how to ensure a good fit, simply eyeballing it, at least with my eyesight, isn't good enough. I need some brass tubing and a mini bolt to line them up, or something similar.

I also need some more weight in the loco. Runs reasonably well but does stall occassionally.

Another problem that has struck me is that because the point motors are fastened to the points I need to be able to remove them if something goes wrong. Simply burying them could be diasterous if one fails. A possible solution would be to put wooden planks running parallel to the tracks effectively on top of the sleepers. The concrete would but up to this. This would enable the whole of the point and track to be lifted clear for repairs I think I've seen old photos like this so it wouldn't be totally odd.

The alternative would be to do separate concrete sections such that the trackwork could be lifted out.

Must find a source of 25mm foam :) Mind you even at 50mm thick the base is wonderfully light.

Cheers
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Postby MOG » Fri Feb 25, 2005 10:36 am

Blimey! Sounds like you've been very busy! I've only ever built the one sector plate.. just kind of made it up.. be intrigued to see yours.
Interesting conundrum with the buried motors. Would you be able to cut away a section from underneath the foam.. around 50mm square so that you could get at the motor from underneath? Perhaps use one of those long armed motors through card? Don't know.. thinking aloud really.

I used DAS to 'cobble' my first Gn15 layout 'Midland Road'. I don't remember it taking too long to do.. I think the key is using some kind of stamp or roller rather than scribing.. but concrete is probably a lot easier! :wink:

Had a bit of a play with Tuther End the other night.. managed to completely tile the other half of the Gnome workshop roof only to discover I'd got the template card upside down!! :evil: grrar.

I'm finding that the operation is quite frustrating with the fiddle yard round the back as it is.. would be alright if I had more space to move around it..that and the storage problems (It's only 2'x3' but has to live in the cellar which is cold and damp) are stirring up thoughts lately of leaving Tuther End and starting on Gn15 layout number three.. a more storable and operator-friendly layout.. more of a shelf. Don't know if I can make the break as I am quite fond of Tuther End and I couldn't bring myself to break it up just yet. :cry:

Anyway - keep us informed.. sounds like you're cracking on!

PS did you get my email re spare wargames scenery?

Had a look at Colin's site.. at the loco build..fantastic modelling .. looks really good! (I could use a whole string of superlatives but the pictures speak for themselves don't they?)
Martin Hogg
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Postby Versif » Fri Feb 25, 2005 11:45 am

Blimey! Sounds like you've been very busy! I've only ever built the one sector plate.. just kind of made it up.. be intrigued to see yours.
Interesting conundrum with the buried motors. Would you be able to cut away a section from underneath the foam.. around 50mm square so that you could get at the motor from underneath? Perhaps use one of those long armed motors through card? Don't know.. thinking aloud really.


Next time you're over I'll show you. It's very crude, simply using a phone plug and socket, the plug glued and soldered to the rails of the sector plate and the socket simply pushed into an undersized hole in the foam.

The peco long arm ones don't reach. I've cut a hole all the way through the foam but the problem relates to the point motors being fastened directly to the points. To get them off you have to prise up the metal tabs, which would still be buried on the surface. Probably not explaining it that well either :)

As I recall you mentioned a hornby chimney. I've got some of those lying around. May yet get cobles in part. The brick material arrived yeaterday but using it is some way off. Need to complete the base before I mess with the walls.

Sometimes the modellling gods are against us, your roof probably fits into that category.

I'm not sure how the layout will operate at the moment. The fiddle yard is in theory at the back using the long run round track to change wagons etc. however operation of the dreaded link and pin demands close attention which may not be possible from the rear. We shall see when the walls go up :)

Why not build an extension to bring the fiddle yard around to the front? You would only need to carry one of the 2 fiddle tracks around to the front. You could even place it at an angle. That way you'd be 'sat' within the layout and just swing round to your right to fiddle with the train. Essentially just a plank and a piece of track, although it would need supporting.

Fits and start I suspect. Once the layout is operational I'll run it for a while before starting scenic work. It's a tradition :) Anway it allows time to adjust it before get too committed.


Had a look at Colin's site.. at the loco build..fantastic modelling .. looks really good! (I could use a whole string of superlatives but the pictures speak for themselves don't they?)


Quite depressing really to someone of my meagre talents :) But as you say they really are very good! Something for me to aspire to. I'm definitely of the bodgit and bash it race of modeller. Colin and I suspect David are at the opposite end of the spectrum to me and you have a definite creative talent. Of course I suspect we all derive the same enjoyment from our hobby irrespective of how good or bad we are in different aspects of it. LOL. At least that's what I keep telling myself.

As for emails about scenery not a peep. Ntl seems to be playing up though and if you use the message facility on Gnatterbox it takes forever!

Cheers
Petar Kanuritch



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Postby Versif » Fri Feb 25, 2005 3:31 pm

Martin

Email has now turned up! Look very good. I'll email you off list.

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Postby Colin Peake » Fri Feb 25, 2005 5:24 pm

Had a look at Colin's site.. at the loco build..fantastic modelling .. looks really good! (I could use a whole string of superlatives but the pictures speak for themselves don't they?)

:oops: It's amazing what you can do with some plasticard, rod, wire and other bits an bobs, oh, and a drawing! To be honest though, it is very time consuming, last night I spent an hour just building up the dummy smokebox door for the front of FotF, insanity awaits :lol: :lol:
I'm definitely of the bodgit and bash it race of modeller. Colin and I suspect David are at the opposite end of the spectrum to me and you have a definite creative talent. Of course I suspect we all derive the same enjoyment from our hobby irrespective of how good or bad we are in different aspects of it. LOL. At least that's what I keep telling myself.

You've hit the nail pretty much on the head there, it is all about how you get enjoyment from your hobby. One of the reasons Gn15 is becoming popular is that it is very different to the mainstream way of doing things, and people who 'get it'* do enjoy it!

*despite not being an active Gn15 modeller, I consider myself to have 'got it'! I'm self-appointed head of the Gnotters Armchair Division you know.... :roll:
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Postby David Nix » Fri Feb 25, 2005 10:15 pm

Hi Martin, Versif, Colin

It's great to hear (and in some cases see) the progress being made.
I have to admit that I too am of the bodgit and bash race too, it's just that this is my first attempt at scratch building and am trying to do it right, which is relatively easy at the drawing stage, but I suspect tolerances and expectations may slip a bit when I get down to the real thing, we'll see :P
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Postby Versif » Sat Feb 26, 2005 10:21 am

For an armchair modeller you're very active Colin :) As your photos prove.

And David, having seen the detail you've gone to and the amount of research and drawing you did I'm afraid your bodgit and bash it days are over. LOL

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Postby Versif » Sat Feb 26, 2005 10:46 pm

Started to build my plug in console for the layout. All the switches now in place although not yet wired up. Female 15 D-connecter soldered up just the male version to do. I hate soldering them :x

First minor problem was when I discovered that my 4 way 3 gang rotary switch is actually a 12 way switch. I'll bodge it for the double slip until I get the proper version. Came in the appropriate package but failed to notice until I'd cut the shaft to length.

Second minor problem was discovering that 2 of the screws for the console lid appear to be cross threaded. Lid seats securely with just 2 so not all lost :(

Third minor problem was battery powered drill dying on me just as I was starting to drill all the pilot holes for the switches. Old faithful stepped in but its a real pain having to change drill bits the old fashioned way and practically every switch required a different diameter hole. But we got there in the end.

With luck will solder the male D connector tomorrow and start wiring the layout up properly. After I've unwired it though and sorted out the holes under the points first to hide them.

Read the bit about smooth-it by Ian Holmes. Looks as if it may be better than Das clay for doing concrete etc. so I might get some next week (well weekend) and give it a try.

Decided I'm going to box the layout in and so got some more wood to create a frame for it. Decided, as it's only going to have thick card fastened to it, that it could be thin and light in keeping with the rest of the layout. After buying it I realised that this created a problem. :? Since its thinner than the base wood and I intend to form the top to the same dimensions I'll have to pack out the risers with some 6mm strips otherwise there'll be a gap between the risers and the upper frame. Brain obviously wasn't working when I made that decision, although nothing new there! Fortunately I've some spare 6mm thick wood I can use as spacers.

The really good news is that at long last my drivers turned up. Ordered 7 weeks ago and at least 5 weeks lost in the post. Both of them were grinning inanely when I opened the package but refused to divulge where they'd spent the last 5 weeks. Wherever it was they appeared to have had a good time. What I want to know is, why wasn't I invited! :evil:

Last but by no means least, graphite really does improve the running of my Hornet. At least when I used an HB pencil, the first one, an HD, was having none of it. Rails now covered with the stuff :P

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Postby Colin Peake » Sun Feb 27, 2005 9:22 am

For an armchair modeller you're very active Colin As your photos prove.

I'm only an armchair Gn15 modeller! :D Very active in On9 and slightly active in 4mm scale.... :wink:
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Postby MOG » Sun Feb 27, 2005 10:14 am

Morning all.. at work today :(
I popped over to Kirkby yesterday and have to expose Petar's modesty (ooer) :lol: what I mean is, the layout is looking really promising and I think he's underselling his skills somewhat!

It would have taken me a LOT longer to put together that complicated trackwork (with very smooth functioning sector plates) and as I stand, soldering iron in hand, at the bottom of a very steep self-learning curve when it comes to electrics, that side of things is obviously well in hand.
I think I know who I'll be tapping up for a bit of help next time I need to do some wiring, or build that control panel! :wink:

Nearly finished the next couple of figures last night..Mrs Manning to drive 'Darren' (Fred's wanting to change the poor diesel's name again so I think we need a conference), and another un-named chap who bears a strong family resemblance to Eric and Harry, the handsome pair!..
Having said that, Mrs Manning is no beauty queen! :roll:

Hopefully get them painted and photographed over the next few evenings.
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Postby Versif » Sun Feb 27, 2005 2:03 pm

It's all smoke and mirrors! The trackwork was playing up today after being removed to allow filling of point holes and the second frog on the 3-way refused to work and then, after half an hour of messing about checking wires etc. started working of its own accord. So much for my electrical skills.

Anyway, I'm ready for stage 2 of the console disaster, I may be gone for some time..................

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Postby Versif » Sun Feb 27, 2005 10:47 pm

The continuing disaster that is my micro layout has finally been beaten into submission, at least for now. I've learnt how to easily solder a D-connector and that didn't take long at all, oh no, that was just lulling me into a false sense of security.

Phase 2 commenced with wiring up the switches in the control box. Again went well and I thought I could be in with a chance of finishing in a reasonable time. It wasn't to be.

Phase 3 went equally well and the male D-connecter was wired up to the layout with about 2 ft of spare cable so that siting the control box is fairly flexible. Wired all the points up and everything worked!

And then it didn't. :evil: My controller suddenly went all strange, started to overheat and the engine would gradually fade to a halt as if the power had faded away.

Much scratching of head and examining of D-connectors etc to determine if a short. Couldn't spot anything so disconnected everything again. Right back to square one but still the controller appeared to have a short.

Much further muttering and dark looks but the layout remained unimpressed and still refused to work. Decided to switch everything off and go and get something to eat. Also removed capacitor discaharge unit as the only other item I'd added that day.

Came back after light snack and controller worked. At this point noticed that capacitor discharge unit had a wire loose. Much muttering and cursing of poor eyesight! Fixed capacitor discharge unit. I did build it over 10 years ago so maybe one fault isn't too bad. Refixed all the wires back and everything worked!

And then it didn't. :evil: Well not everything, just the middle road of the 3-way point. Much muttering and head scratching, blessed thing had worked perfectly before. Noticed that appeared to have developed a slight twist. Pressing it down didn't help. Ascertained that power getting to the accessory switch but not from there to the frog, although if connected power directly to wire from switch it did. Had to be the acessory switch.

It wasn't. :evil: Turned out the twist was created by the point motor and this was stopping the accessory switch working properly. Clipping the motor to the point had introduced some torsion into the point, twisting it. Much careful twisting later and the motor was sitting square. Wedged the thrice cursed one in position. Tried middle road, worked everytime. Changed points like it was going out of fashion and it still worked. Glared at it for good measure and decided to call it a day. :x

Proof positive I think that bogdit and bash it is my middle name. I'm sure real modellers don't have all this hassle. Thank heavens I'm only building a micro layout. I think if this keeps up it'll be the death of me :)

Three points is obviously way too many :) My next layout will have to be even smaller. I think hand thrown points also sound good!

Of course the real question is, "Will it work tomorrow?" I know what I'm betting on!

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Postby MOG » Mon Feb 28, 2005 8:24 pm

You could try my Kinetico-matic dual action variable speed point switching method.. measure length from point to edge of board.. take wire, stiff but bendable.. cut to length with a bit added on.. bend a 90 degree on each end, stick one end in point, other end out of board.. pull or push accordingly!!:twisted:

Sorry - no help at all!! Hope it works out for you.. I'm fascinated but baffled by all this technology :D
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Postby Versif » Tue Mar 01, 2005 12:11 am

Strange, I've always found the concept of wire technology baffling. So simple and yet so fiendishly clever :) Anyway the layout appears to be working correctly, an errant but intermittent short was eventually tracked down, sorted and the layout is running pretty sweetly now (famous last words).

Just spent a happy half hour shunting wagons to and fro. Getting better at this manual coupling up lark but still a bit iffy on aligning one of the sector plates.

Layout likely to stay in this state for a while now while I contemplate scenic possibilities and build some more wagons and the Gnat. I didn't put those 2 isolation switches in just for the fun of it! Well technically I did, but that's not the point. It may be only 41" by 14" but it's going to be a 2 engine works. Whatever it is that it makes it's very busy making them :)

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Postby Colin Peake » Tue Mar 01, 2005 1:11 pm

MOG wrote:You could try my Kinetico-matic dual action variable speed point switching method.. measure length from point to edge of board.. take wire, stiff but bendable.. cut to length with a bit added on.. bend a 90 degree on each end, stick one end in point, other end out of board.. pull or push accordingly!!:twisted:


To be honest, for small layouts I wouldn't consider anything other than manual operation of points. My personal preference it to connect the point to a DPST slide switch and use that to both throw the point and change the frog polarity of electrofrog points, as seen here:
http://www.colinpeake.fotopic.net/p10619358.html

On my layouts a further piece of wire connects the switch to the baseboard edge (usually the back edge) for operation from behind, in effect you pull and that operates the switch which in turn moves the point! To operate from the front the switches themselves are used to throw the point.

It adds a little to the wiring but is worth it long-term in terms of reliability.
Colin Peake

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Postby Versif » Tue Mar 01, 2005 8:43 pm

I'll try wire on my next layout :) Thanks to both of you for the info.

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Postby David Nix » Wed Mar 02, 2005 12:04 am

Wow Petar, you leave me breathless with the amount you have done.

I've managed to redo the frame building jig for the Lister, and I'm itching to get the first pieces of frame cut so that I can try solering them, but I can't see much progress is likely before Easter because a large amount of 'real' work has to be done between now and then.

Keep posting your progress Petar, Martin and Ian it is very interesting (and challenging) to see what can be done.
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Postby David Nix » Fri Mar 04, 2005 11:15 pm

Hi

Followed Andy A's link to Carl Arendt's Small Layout Scrapbook site and what did I find - yes Petar and Martin - it was very good to see your work displayed, it was particularly good to see the progress made on Gnotters Yard, we've read recently about all the work involved, and the pictures show just how much has been achieved.
David



A Gnother Gnotts Gn15 Gnutter

Versif
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Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2005 6:32 pm
Location: Nottinghamshire

Postby Versif » Sat Mar 05, 2005 9:39 am

Wish I could impress with more work but unfortunately real work has got in the way :(

Thanks for the comments though, much appreciated. Hopefully will get off to Sheffield today and get some smoothit to try out!

I've also invested in some more 'toys' from Steve's site, oil drums, packing boxes, sacks, hand cart and the like as well as another 3 wagons. Comfort buying to offset my layout no progress symptoms :P

A bit of clutter about the place should help with the overall ambiance, well at least once I get the ground sorted. I've put some temporary outline walls up to get a feel for how it looks and as such I've already had to redesign the left hand side. :oops: Hopefully it will come out better as a consequence. :)

Cheers
Petar Kanuritch



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