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Magpie's Nest




A couple of weeks ago I was meant to have someone round to see the layout . Unfortunately they went down sick on the day, Blacklade was up so I had a bit of a play - and things weren't running especially well. So I started fixing things and well...


In fairness I'm not sure the layout had been run more than once since Shenfield last September. My attention has been fixed on sorting out the Boxfile for the 4 months. If you don't use things it shows, so action had to be taken. I bought a rolling road at Warley, and while it proved very effective in freeing up the shunters on the Boxfile I hadn't used it for any of Blacklade's stock.


First things first. I treated myself to a Bachmann 4 wheel track machine a couple of months ago . It is best described as a small self-propelled crane/ballast wagon in yellow. I duly fitted the Gaugemaster direct decoder I had bought , and programmed it. It wouldn't run on DCC. It would run, a bit roughly, on DC but not on DCC . A session on the rolling road on the Boxfile failed to cure it, nor did a little oiling - eventually another decoder (too big to fit under the diecast ballast load) revealed the Gaugemaster Direct was a dud


The 37 was running badly. A thorough lubrication and a decent session on the rolling road along with wheel cleaning sorted that out. Unfortunately it kept stalling on the point at the entrance to platform 3, as did the Airfix 31, indicating that the whole frog might be dead. I decided to give the 31 some oil as well, and while I was about it a support clip on the motor bogie was reinstated , along with a whitemetal piece representing interior pipework that had fallen out and was glued back in - though you can't really see it through the grime on the bodyside windows.


By now I was on a roll and the kettle-tanks came into my crosshairs. The Ivatt 2-6-2T got the running in on the rolling road it never received when I bought it last year, plus a little oil . I'm convinced there's something very slightly bent in the motion of the Fowler 2-6-4T somewhere , though I don't know where , and doubt I am capable of straightening it without making matters worse even if I knew where it was. Certainly it doesn't run as easily as the L1 or Mickey Mouse tank, can "stick" occasionally , and certainly needs its motion kept well oiled if it is to run well (I have a shrewd suspicion why I got it "new second-hand" of a decent price).


The Bachmann Ivatt Co-Co had lost a bit of its sparkle . So I cleaned the wheels thoroughly, gave it a good run, and decided to take the top off, for a good lubrication. I then found myself confronted by a large metal block, with no obvious way of getting inside to get at the worm/gear. Oh, and there appeared to be a unit under the fan grill, with sprung prongs onto pads on the circuit board. The 150 equally has a massive block....


The man on the Bachmann stand at Ally Pally assures me you aren't supposed to break in, and that the gear trains oughtn't to require additional lubrication by the user. And the fan isn't supposed to work. It is possible to oil the axle bearings, but you need an electrically conductive oil.


Having done the 101 and 108, I got to the 155. And it wouldn't run at all, despite a current draw of 0.63 amps... I suspect that the central spindle of the Ringfield has seized (again) and that this is probably the reason for all the troubles with this mechanism over the last 2 years. The problem presumably originates from the years it spent in store without being lubricated , but I think we are probably past the point of no return with this motor bogie now - it's never going to run well. I tried to find a suitable replacement Beetle at Ally Pally (12mm x 34mm) but without success.


I now have two options - rob the motor bogie out of a second Hornby 155 which is languishing at the bottom of the stock pile and has been there for nearly 20 years, unrun - or rob the Beetle out of the Bratchill 150/2 kit which has been standing stalled on the bookcase for many years. I'm strongly inclined to the second option, as it should produce better running , and allow full seating throughout the unit. But doing that will probably finally kill the Bratchill 150. It might possible to finish the trailer car and use it as a trailer with the 150/1 - as was done with some of the real things to build them up to 3 car I've invested too much effort in upgrading the 155 to scrap the thing now.


Next on the list was the Turbostar - and the problems uncovered prompted a thread http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/132711-help-Bachmann-170-turbo-threatening-national-grid/


I haven't had the heart to open up the 158 which popped it's drive shafts to see if the same problem has manifested itself there....


Oh, and the feather had fallen off the starter signal to platform 2 and was nowhere to be found . I managed to rework a LH feather I had spare to replace it , and I was able to buy a spare LH and RH feather at Ally Pally - I still have a couple of Erkon kits in stock


My other find at Ally Pally was this:




which is going to be built as this https://transportsofdelight.smugmug.com/RAILWAYS/LOCOMOTIVES-OF-BRITISH-RAILWAYS-EASTERN-REGION/TYPE-C-442-LOCOMOTIVES/i-MxPHtMm


Honest! I even bought a Mashima motor for it from 3SMR (a 1024) . All I need now is wheels gears, courage.and time...


The real thing was shedded at Louth from 1925 to 1955, and then seems to have ended up around Peterborough , working the Stamford line until withdrawal in 1958 . So it's more or less in period and not far away from Blacklade - and it would look rather more sensible on a 2 coach train than a 2-6-4T


At £35 I reckoned I had a bargain - Craftsman had a good name , and etched brass should be readily solderable. On peeping inside the box, the kit is unstarted, and it has preformed cab roof, tanks and boiler. Very promising


Wheels - well that's a question. A full set of Romfords for this kit is listed at £44.74 - and that's the 2013 price. Those are 20 spoke drivers . and I'd like insulated wheels both sides, as this will be DCC. Meanwhile Scalelink offer plastic centred 18 spoke drivers for just under £4 a driver. Is 18 spoke right? I can't see the whole wheel on a photo. But if I count a half wheel - I get 10 spoke if I include both the start and finish spokes of the semi-circle, and 9 if I only include one. But if I include both doesn't that mean there are only 8 spokes left uncounted....?



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Based on what you've described, yes, there are 18 spokes on the wheels. You shouldn't count two spokes that are opposite - the second one's on the other half of the wheel! 

Another way to think about it - draw a line through the wheel *between* the spokes, then count the number of spokes on one side of that line. 

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You have done well with the C12. I've been after one for years.





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I now hav e the full set : J11 (Bachmann) , N5 (Millhome kit, built but needs motor replacing) and C12 kit. 


It looks as if the Scalelink wheels are the way to go . Bogie/pony wheels should be 10 spoke but Markits and Scalelink both only do 12 spoke

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