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Croft Spa

N-gauge NE Region real location




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#26 Les1952

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 17:28

Thursday

 

Despite delivering several hundred fliers door-to-door in Cotgrave yesterday and mowing the lawns today I've now finished laying the track in the fiddle yard, and got most of the extra track pins done.

 

I've cut the points off all the track pins as I've installed them, having drawn blood too many times on Hawthorn Dene on pointed ends that have been missed subsequently.  Also done are three tracks soldered to the copperclad ready for cutting, with just the last two to do tomorrow.

 

Tuesday another A4 arrived (the tenth BR one though one is analogue for Rise Park only).  This one has a corridoor tender.  I'm not yet sure what it will become.

 

Also arrived (this morning) 5 secondhand Met-Camm Pullmans, one of which will be sold on as I already have a Hadrian Bar.  This means I only need one Farish Pullman brake to get two Tees-Tyne Pullman rakes, one of 6 Met-Camms with an old Pullman at each end and the other of nine old Pullmans.

 

The Met-Camm rake might even get an odd run out with a Deltic on the front (though more often both will have A4s)...

 

Les


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#27 Les1952

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 18:17

Saturday

 

Quick trip into town this morning as I'd forgotten the building society wasn't open yesterday.  I also got some wire (not enough) to do the point mechanisms.  Then into the shed, pausing only to clean up a small pile of cat sick in the hallway. Too much detail, I think...

 

whole yard.jpg

 

I've now got the whole of the trackwork in the fiddle yard done, and propelled various coaches and wagons through it at high speed to make sure nothing derails.

 

all gapped.jpg

 

All of the fiddle yard track at the board joins is now cut and the paxolin gapped.  I've not yet checked it for resistance but visually there shouldn't be any problem.

 

crossover.jpg

 

Moving round the front of the layout the crossover is now in place, though I'll have to use thin black plasticard for the missing sleepers as every attempt to use the Peco ones pushed one of the insulting fishplates out.  I can't afford to have any of these missing as each would cause a complete short.

 

point mechanism.jpg

 

A close view of the end of the point actuator.  This is basically a stiff wire passing under the platform and held in place (from Monday) in a tunnel with paxolin ties (done) and plasticard top (Monday's job after I get some suitable plasticard at York show tomorrow).  The far end is just turned through a right angle just behind the line of the backscene for now,  I'm thinking of using PL-11 surface mounted motors here.  The position of the trestles under the board mean that PL-10 motors are too vulnerable.

 

right round.jpg

 

Lastly the up line is now laid in and pinned down right round, though the track at the board join is not yet cut and gapped.  The down line needs another piece of wire or a way of disguising a PL-11 mounted next to the track.  I'll think about that over the next two evenings and install the actuating mechanism on Monday when I complete the tracklaying on the front of the board.  The paxolin channel sides are just about visible in the distance. I still need to make another couple of drop wires for the siding.

 

Much to do but Doctor Who beckons.....

Happy Easter

 

Les

 


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#28 south_tyne

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 05:47

Great to see your progress Les :)
I'm also very interested in the pictures of your site survey and Google maps research. It all helps to reinforce the protoype and location.

I'm really going to enjoy seeing this develop!
David

#29 Les1952

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 18:01

Great to see your progress Les :)
I'm also very interested in the pictures of your site survey and Google maps research. It all helps to reinforce the protoype and location.

I'm really going to enjoy seeing this develop!
David

 

Many thanks for that.  Some of the buildings will be "as close as" rather than exact replicas but the majority will look right and be in the right place....

 

Les



#30 Les1952

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 18:11

Only an hour in the workshop today.

 

Steps forward-

  •  I've got the point motor for one end of the crossover (the easier end) installed (pics later) and working by hand.  That trough is at least covered over.
  • I've found a reel of Slippery Sid wire and tubing while looking for another piece of stiffer wire.

Steps backward.

  • The new bottles of epoxy will have to go back.  The bottle of adhesive is set hard - presumably factory contamination as it was unopened.
  • As a result of that I decided to use superglue to glue the cover onto each of the point wire guides.  Mistake- the fumes have glued one of the actuating wires to the side of the guide- the harder one.  I've freed the wire but bent it beyond repair and managed to get one side of the guide off the board.  I'll chisel the other side off tomorrow.  At least there is more than enough Slippery Sid to re-do it and if I use it I can't make the same mistake again- NOTHING sticks to Slippery Sid as it is PTFE.....

I bought a length of new wire at York show but it was too flexible to use unsupported.  However I did get a couple of bits for No Place and another stock box for HD/Croft Spa locos, so the day isn't all lost.  

 

Not the only one to have problems today. the other half was making theatrical costumes until the iron blew up.  

 

Better day tomorrow.....

Les



#31 Les1952

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 17:32

YES!

 

All track now laid.  I've still to cut the track at the board join out front, and then slit the copperclad.  The three point motors are connected to the points and the actuating rods all work - the original one that worked yesterday still work and the other two are "Slippery Sid" wire in tube.

 

Pics to follow.

 

Les


Edited by Les1952, 17 April 2017 - 17:41 .

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#32 Les1952

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 18:22

Progress to Tuesday teatime.

 

full track laid.jpg

 

A view of the whole layout showing all track laid.  I've now whizzed a rake of coaches round at high speed and apart from the crossover where they are only happy running slowly, all stayed on the track.  No doubt there will be adjustments to make after Bristol when I get on soak testing.

 

last laid.jpg

 

The last bit to be laid in was the down main between the siding point and the exit to the backscene.

 

fifteen coach.jpg

 

The longest fiddle yard road will take an eight coach and a seven coach train comfortably.  I'm probably going to keep to eight as a maximum rake.  Hawthorn Dene has seven.

 

carriage dock.jpg

 

The siding back to the carriage dock.  On reflection I've moved the inner end another centimetre away from the main line in order to fit the newer extension to the platform between the end of it and the main line.  The OS map shows that originally this dock was only end loading.  Some time after 1919 the siding was slewed away from the running lines and the platform extended by about the length of a BG with two raised sections approximately where van doors would stop.

 

point to dock.jpg

 

The point to the dock showing the "slippery Sid" wire and the plastic cover holding it down.  This will be covered with ballast and other scenery eventually.  Hopefully the missing short length of cess won't be too noticeable.  I may use a dummy point motor rather than rodding for this point.

 

point motor.jpg

 

The other end of the "Slippery Sid" showing one of the point motors just behind where the backscene will be.  With the sides to the baseboard being quite shallow and having trestles for support rather than built-in legs I felt that underboard point motors would be too vulnerable. 

 

gapped front.jpg

 

Today's work has been to slit the rails at the front and gap the copperclad, and also put in the last two droppers at the end of the carriage dock.  On Thursday if I get chance I can get the layout up against the shed wall and vacuum around.  That means any spare time next week after Cotgrave show can be spent making a start on the underside.  I suspect that I'll get little done as we set off for Bristol with Hawthorn Dene on Thursday next week.

 

auld reekie 1.jpg

 

Lastly, I've got the first of the two new A1s renumbered and nameplates attached.  A dab of matt varnish to seal the cab transfers (plus me remembering to change the smokebox number and re-address the chip) and it will be ready for a little light weathering before going to Bristol.  This is 60160 AULD REEKIE.  The other one of the pair might get done.  The extra A4 certainly won't be done in time for Bristol.

 

Plenty still to do and time is getting tight again.  Tomorrow a circular trip via Grantham to pick up show guides for Cotgrave this weekend and Lincoln to pick up the Trevor Webster Trophy.  Then in the evening I've been volunteered to photograph Grantham Operatic Society's "Carousel" dress rehearsal.

 

Les


Edited by Les1952, 18 April 2017 - 18:25 .

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#33 millerhillboy

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 19:36

Good to see another Auld Reekie, although I trust you're going to give her some degree of grot at some point?

Edited by millerhillboy, 23 April 2017 - 19:37 .


#34 Les1952

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 21:31

Good to see another Auld Reekie, although I trust you're going to give her some degree of grot at some point?

 

I will indeed.  The loco did three days (or most of three days) running on Hawthorn Dene over the weekend at Bristol show, first on the 2-coach express until someone complained it wasn't a Gateshead loco, then on the up Parcels- Firdaussi took over the two-coach express.  Nobody commented on 60160's lack of lamps.  It was deputising for Kenilworth, which I handed over to Fiona of DCC Supplies at the show for repair, and Meg Merrilees, which had a deflector fall off and which will need epoxy glue to reaffix.

 

I now have a deadline for completing Croft Spa to an exhibitable standard- Sileby show in February 2019.

 

To answer Mr Simon- yes, there is a wobble outwards on the track near the crossover but it will be straight by the time I ballast it.

 

Purchased at Bristol was a Gresley as preserved (a Dapol Outlet B-grade loco that will need a little work, though it runs well) and some Redutex brickwork for the semi-detatched bungalows.

 

Les


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#35 Les1952

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 15:26

No more pics yet, but I've got all the trackwork droppers on the Station board connected to the two power buses.  I've got most of the copper on the other board laid in, and still need to put in a couple of corner strengthening wires.

 

I'm running the two tracks from two separate circuit breakers to prevent a feature of Hawthorn Dene reoccurring.  When a train on one track trips the circuit breaker all trains stutter, which makes fault-finding more difficult and which can spoil the running of an innocent train in front of the punters.  With the up and down lines on seperate breakers that should solve the problem, though there may be a new one if I get the two lines wired oppositely to each other, but I've a solution to that if it happens- swapping one pair of wires at one of the breakers SHOULD cure that...

 

Each bus  (red, black, pink and blue) is a separate dolls house copper strip, which goes right round in a rectangle to lower the effective resistance.  The rectangles aren't as neat as those on No Place by a large margin, but they are probably a little more robust and they are routed as far as possible away from where trestle tops might land.

 

I picked up the Pullman brake I needed to complete the two Pullman rakes at Stamford show this morning, together with a brown open wagon.

 

Tomorrow Derby show.  I'll call in at Nottingham Maplins on the way back to get stereo jack (two of) , 4 and 5-pin DIN plugs and sockets (jacks to take power from one board to the other, DIN for the points and signals- different pins for different uses so I can't inadvertently plug in the wrong voltage.

 

Les


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#36 Les1952

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 21:40

I ended up with a 15-pin D instead of the DINs, though I've remembered that I still need a pair of DINs to get the power for signals and points up to the layout itself.

 

However the DCC buses will cross from one board to t'other with jack plugs and sockets as planned, and these and the D will be above the board, secured to the back of the backscene eventually.

 

Les


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#37 Les1952

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 13:05

The underside of the station board.  Just two more corners (I think) to double-up then I can start soldering under the field board.  I've finished the copper strip under here, again two loops.

 

underside station.JPG

 

The loops of copper aren't rectangular, largely because I'd put the droppers in before I put the strips in.  No Place was done the other way round and is neater.  However that only has one board with two loops rather than two boards with four each.

 

I'm going to mount the CDU under this board as it is nearer to where the points will be changed from.  The power feeds will be under the other board as there is more safe space for two circuit breakers.

 

More work tonight I think.  I've had to come indoors early as the house can't be left unattended with roofers crawling all over the top replacing ridge tiles.  It also means no railway club tomorrow.  Other half is sorting out ancient father-in-law who is being released from hospital (again) tomorrow....

 

Talking to Neil Stevenson (who built the boards) at Derby show yesterday he has suggested that I varnish over the copper strip to keep it stuck down.  I'll do that once testing is finisged in case I need to solder in any further connections.  However, I WILL varnish over the strip on No Place while checking the layout over before Sleaford show next month.

 

Les


Edited by Les1952, 08 May 2017 - 13:07 .

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#38 Les1952

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 20:02

Another ninety minutes soldering tonight has seen the end of the soldering for power under the Station board, with a link to each of the four copper loops taken through a hole near the board centre and just behind where the backscene will be.  These in turn will be fitted with a jack plug (one circuit) and a jack socket (the other one).

 

The idea is that when the boards are separate the plug can be plugged into the socket on its own side, and when set up they plug into the socket on the other board.  The two circuits have opposite handing so they can't accidentally be plugged into the wrong one.

 

A picture will explain it better when I get the boards upright again.  Hopefully not too long now.

 

Roofers gone but scaffolders due to come and retrieve their kit, so I still can't get to railway club tomorrow.  More heavy-duty soldering beckons.

 

Les


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#39 Les1952

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 19:31

All of the droppers on the second board are now wired to the four bus loops, and the loops are bonded at every joint in the copper tape.  I've also got the wires to the inter-board connectors done on this side.

 

Also done is the siting of the two EB1 Circuit breakers, which have been screwed to one of the cross members of the second board in a safe zone where they aren't likely to be clouted by a trestle. This is the board with only one trestle and that means it has a bigger safe zone.

 

At this point a dead halt- I need to get a couple of Kato power lead extenders as these are what I use to take the DCC power feed up to the layout.  I cut them in half and one end is connected to the layout and the other to the Power booster which sits on the floor beneath the layout.  As Croft Spa shares its booster with Hawthorn Dene and No Place the connectors need to be the same.  I thought I still had a spare, but it is the wrong end of the lead...

 

In any case I've got Sleaford show in three weeks with No Place and have 5 days in Manchester in the mean time.   I'll leave Croft Spa on end and set up No Place in the middle of the shed, and set Croft Spa up for testing after Sleaford.

 

There are a couple of odds and ends that can be done in the mean time  - fit the lead when it arrives and take a couple more pics of the breakers when they are wired in fully.

 

Les


Edited by Les1952, 09 May 2017 - 19:32 .

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#40 Les1952

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 19:46

A couple of under-board pics

 

breakers in place.JPG

 

The breakers in place on the cross member waiting to be wired in.

 

protected wires.JPG

 

A piece of laser-cut card (offcut from the shed roof I mangled up making No Place) being used to hold down the wires leading up to the jack plugs as inter-board connectors.  This acts as a protection for the soldered joins on the copper strip, rather like the bit you used to tighten up to hold the wiring in place on a three-pin plug.  I'm showing my age, being not only old enough to remember when plugs weren't moulded on but old enough to have taught kids the safe way to wire up a 3-pin plug in science lessons.

 

Les

 


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#41 Les1952

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 20:01

A similar pic to one in the last post but the circuit breakers are wired in.

 

power up.JPG

 

Not only that but I've powered up this end (the farm end) of the layout, admittedly standing on end, AND THERE ARE NO SHORT CIRCUITS!

 

That means I can test it with a loco when I get back from Sleaford then connect up the other board knowing that if I get a problem at that stage it will be on the station board.

 

Meanwhile a week in Manchester working next week then Sleaford Show with No Place and the start of the marking season.  I'll not be marking after this year as I'm retiring.  I get my state pension at the end of next month so won't need to top up my occupational pension with marking.  Plenty else to do, however.....

 

Les

 


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#42 Les1952

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Posted 30 May 2017 - 07:57

The layout is still on end - will be re-erected on Saturday when No Place comes back from Sleaford.

 

In the mean time I have got the latest NERA magazine, which has pics of 42085 on parcels duties around Darlington in the sixties (1965 I think).  It has an EARLY LOGO - which means it may never have carried a late crest.  Accordingly I've got from eBay a Farish Fairburn with early logo to renumber (it is the version with the correct rivets).  Perhaps just as well I never managed to buy and renumber a late-crest version.

 

However it seems to be another wobbler - I sent three back to Hattons as they wouldn't run straight.  I'll give it a go at the club this morning before deciding whether to chip and renumber it or just sell it on.

 

Les


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#43 millerhillboy

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Posted 30 May 2017 - 09:37

Morning les
Have enjoyed your recent NGS society magazine articles, just been reading them in the last few days.

Edited by millerhillboy, 30 May 2017 - 09:38 .


#44 Les1952

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 08:10

Morning les
Have enjoyed your recent NGS society magazine articles, just been reading them in the last few days.

 

Many thanks.

Shame Graham published them in reverse order.  At least he didn't lose a paragraph of text from the A3 articles as Neil did in the Dapol club mag....

 

The good news on 42096 is that once run for an hour it decided to straighten up so it won't be gracing eBay again for at least 5 years (the expected minimum life of Croft Spa).

 

All the very best

Les


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#45 Les1952

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Posted 05 June 2017 - 17:12

IT WORKS!!!

 

The two halves of the layout have both been powered up first separately then together.  I managed to tear one piece of the copper tape while joining the two sides electrically so the layout was split again and stronger connections were put in.  

 

The layout ran first time, but I had to dive under and reverse the connections on the output side of one circuit breaker so the crossover would work properly.

 

 

 

Test trains are 60096 on a rake of 7 maroon and a blood-and-custard brake, and 60156 (yet to be renumbered) on the Tees Tyne Pullman.  Perhaps someone will have the answer to this- were the first class coaches at the South end like most other ECML trains?

 

Plenty still to do.  You may have noticed the knitting in the middle of the layout.  The halves are still only connected by bare wire twisted together.  I've abandoned the jack plugs as they were leaking signal across too-tiny air gaps due to my inept soldering.  Plan B is to use a 4-way chocky block with a dummy on the side with the male to plug into for transit.  I'll look to see if there is any left-over from Rise Park tomorrow, and if not get some at Quorn next week.  

 

Meanwhile the running lines need soak testing with as much of my stock (particularly locos) and tweaking until all runs well.

Plenty to do...

 

Les

 


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#46 Les1952

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 17:41

Simplest is best.

 

I've got the inter-board power connectors finished and installed.

 

A 4-way chocky plug from one side plugging into a chocky socket on the other, with a "travelling" socket behind to plug into before disconnecting the boards.  Above the boards and hopefully idiot proof.  Pics to follow.

 

Les


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#47 Les1952

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Posted 09 June 2017 - 07:12

The joiner

 

First pic shows the chocky connected across the board join.  The layout runs in this position.  The position is a little close to the board edge and low-mounted because I had cut the wires very short on the right-hand side.

 

running position.JPG

 

To transport the layout the chocky plug is unplugged from the socket on the right and plugged into the socket on the left, its own board.  This one isn't wired up as it doesn't need to be.  The plug and lead are now protected for travel.  It fouls the running lines in this position but there isn't any running happening.

 

travel position.jpg

 

The backscene will run just the other side of this, and it fits neatly into the space between it and the running lines, a space also occupied by the three point motors.  Point wiring and the cab bus will cross under the boards in the usual way.  The cab bus is detachable as on Hawthorn Dene and I'm still thinking about the points.

 

On the loco front Sir Nigel Gresley (a Dapol Outlet purchase from Bristol) is now sorted completely and running.  Also running again is Flying Fox which has had some attention to the loco to tender wires and a service.

 

Testing this weekend will involve Mr Simon's fish and ore trains, and Trevor Webster's fast freight, mineral and cattle trains ready for Rise Park going to the GCR next week.  I'll leave the Fairburn and class 47 as analogue until after the GCR show, and probably get one of the J39s running in analogue mode together with the three-car 108.

 

Plenty still to get on with.  More pics later.

 

Les

 


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#48 Les1952

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 06:19

Gresley in service.

 

Sir Nigel has now completed fifty trouble-free laps of the Northbound circuit and has negotiated all six fiddle yard roads without derailing.  Next one to get running through all roads is Golden Fleece, back from DCC Supplies after a service and repair.  SNG needs some coal adding to its tender then is available for use, largely as a Rule 1 loco.

 

Gresley.JPG

 

I know the preserved SNG is out of period for the line, but it is just about in the condition I particularly remember it.  The wagons in front are the late Trevor Webster's iron ore fulls originally put together as a rake of 25 for Parnhams, and now being checked over to run on Rise Park at the GCR next week.

 

 

SNG Darlington 1975.jpg

 

Not the best scan but SNG at Darlington Bank Top in 1975.  I'm not even going to attempt to get a set of red-backed nameplates unless I'm desperate for other nameplates to go with them.  I may well gloss varnish the loco, but not yet.

 

Nottingham beckons today, then some marking before Doctor Who.  Workshop again tomorrow.

Les


Edited by Les1952, 10 June 2017 - 06:21 .

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#49 millerhillboy

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 08:17

Les
Don't know if this is of use but I succesfuly changed black hacked plates to red by simply over painting the whole plate with red, letting it dry and then very very lightly running the smallest of flat files over the top.

Here's a cruel close up

20170610_091600.jpg

Edited by millerhillboy, 10 June 2017 - 08:17 .

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#50 Les1952

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 21:53

Les
Don't know if this is of use but I succesfuly changed black hacked plates to red by simply over painting the whole plate with red, letting it dry and then very very lightly running the smallest of flat files over the top.

Here's a cruel close up

attachicon.gif20170610_091600.jpg

 

Before or after fitting to the loco?

 

I might give it a try the next month is comparatively quiet (just ballasting to do.........)

 

Les


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