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The amazing "Tin Turtle"


Phil Parker

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Take a look at the Warley 2014 thread and you'll see that if there is one thing that unites railway modellers, it's a need to “see something moving”.

 

Never mind how much effort goes in to a layouts scenery, if there isn't a train operating then visitors won't hang around. Some will only pause to make their exasperation clear to everyone within a 40 foot radius before moving on.

 

This means that I approached the show with some trepidation. Although Owen's Bridge wasn't billed a layout in the conventional sense, it's model railway and people expect it to work. I knew it did, but worried how long this could continue.

 

My problem is a lack of rolling stock. Total number of locomotives available = 1

 

As any layout owner will tell you, operating at a show is very different to operating at home. The model has to work for 8 hours a day without pause. If a loco fails, you really need something to replace it with straight away or the crowd gets restless. Poking around and fixing things isn't an option – it's not what people have paid to see.

 

Mechanism.jpg

 

Well, I'm pleased to say that my worries were unnecessary. The little Meridian Models loco with it's oddball rubber-band powered chassis and heavyweight whitemetal body ran like a Swiss watch for over 9 hours on Saturday and 7 hours on Sunday. Apart from being turned around occasionally so the motor could spin in a different direction and a few short stops to allow the taking of photographs, it didn't miss a beat.

 

Mind you, this is just one show. The layout has at least three more weekends out next year and I don't care how well engineered this little mechanism is, that's a big ask so I need to build some spare motive power.

 

Obviously I don't want another identical loco so I'm wondering if any 009 fans have suggestions for a second suitable loco. I'm wondering about the Langley Hunslet but know nothing of the Minitrix N205 it requires other than this will have to be acquired second hand.

 

Suggestions welcomed.

 

Oh, and there were many discussions about the Simplex paint job. I'll write these up next week.

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There was a very good blog on building the Hunslet recently on this very site http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/blog/861/entry-13284-spencer-the-hacked-about-wd-hunslet/

 

Meridian also make a great Dick Kerr petrol electric or if you want to be adventurous there is Nigel Lawton's 20hp Simplex.

 

Mind you, if you can wait long enough I believe you will be able to just open a Bachmann box to get something suitable!

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"Never mind how much effort goes in to a layouts scenery, if there isn't a train operating then visitors won't hang around. Some will only pause to make their exasperation clear to everyone within a 40 foot radius before moving on."

 

 

Only 40 feet?

 

No chance.

 

We're not that tolerant - more like 40 metres, if you ask me!!

 

Oh - and, by the way, we also want 2 trains passing each other - NOW - in plain view - and in opposite directions - or it's not a proper layout!!!

 

 

"As any layout owner will tell you, operating at a show is very different to operating at home. The model has to work for 8 hours a day without pause. If a loco fails, you really need something to replace it with straight away or the crowd gets restless. Poking around and fixing things isn't an option

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