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When ignorance is not always bliss and improvisation has its cost

Entries in this blog

 

Practically at a standstill

Hi all! Since before Christmas I have been able  to do nothing. The Christmas period was spent in part away from home and then occupied with family events. Then in January I had vascular problems in both feet and the specialist had me shut up in hospital for twelve days. I still have problems and difficulty in walking due to a constant pain in the lumbar region. The cold weather and lack of a suitable heater make working in the garage difficult.  However, since this web is for airing modelling t

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Getting closer

To-day I finally managed to get the two new street lamposts correctly wired up after several failed attempts. I had got one to light up, but the other one didn't, not because it was wired the wrong way round, but because of a faulty connection and, possibly, a slight fault in the post itself.I say getting closer, because the stage has been reached where uit can be said that the layout is almost finished I suppose that you can never say that a layout is finished, because there are sdtill umpteen

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Slow progress

Good evening all. Since my last post modelling has been almost stopped. I had got to a stage where I had to wire up two new platform lampposts and two street lighting posts. This obviously meant working on the underside of the board, which is now a problem. My physical conditions no longer allow me to tip the board on edge like I could a couple of years ago to work upright. Working seated is not comfortable, but after a week turning the matter over in my mind, I decided to put into practice an i

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New platform

I mentioned in my last post that I was building an additional new platform so that I could have two trains running simultaneously and both would have where to pick up and set down passengers as required or otherwise one would have to run continuously with nowhere to stop. I can now report that the new platform is in an advanced state and enclose some photos of its construction. In the first place I would point out that do not have any CAD program, silhouette or laser cutter, 3D printer or instru

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I am still alive, in spite of all.

I have just realIised that six months have passed since my last post and a lot of things (not all pleasant) have passed in the meantime. To be brief, In May I was rushed into hospital with a lung edema (lings full of blood) and was discharged a week later with a new addition, namely a stent. Then I had a couple of short visits (a few hours each time) for a nose hemorrhage and a heart block). On the pleasant side, there was a trip to the UK to visit relatives and old friends (in spite of my age a

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I am still alive, in spite of all.

I have just realIised that six months have passed since my last post and a lot of things (not all pleasant) have passed in the meantime. To be brief, In May I was rushed into hospital with a lung edema (lings full of blood) and was discharged a week later with a new addition, namely a stent. Then I had a couple of short visits (a few hours each time) for a nose hemorrhage and a heart block). On the pleasant side, there was a trip to the UK to visit relatives and old friends (in spite of my age a

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New material received

Further to my post of last Friday, I have received the new material, the Jinty was pre-owned and i decided to have the chip hard wired by Hattons themselves since it is becoming increasingly difficult for me to handle very small parts like the screws used to hold the bodies in place on the chasses and other small accessories. I fitted both the autotrailer and the locomotive with kadee couplers, put a composite brake coach between them and set them running. The whole outfit runs very smoothly. I

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An update

Good evening all!. I have just seen that it is nearly 4 months since my last post. Since then there have been events such as I got the Fowler tank to run but, as mentioned on the Forum, I cannot get it to run well through the points. In November I purchased a new Hornby R3553 and in December part of the crank mechanism fell apart. Since sending it back from here for repair under guarantee would have cost me more than twice what it cost me to have it sent out, I used devious means to have it take

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Some success

I have been rather under the weather for the last three days but, while far from being OK, I can at least get out of bed and do something other than watch TV. So, after lunch to-day, I decided to have a look at one locomotive that was a poor runner, namely, the Hornby R505 Fowler LMS tank. From previous tests I hd the feeling that something was binding and blocking the motor or, less possibly, the chip settings were interfering with each other. A quick check showed that the loco answered to its

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Another type of modelling

It has been over three weeks since I have been able to lower the layout from the garage ceiling since the floor has been, and still is, occupied with Christmas material. Firstly, it was the boxes containing the Christmas decorations, then it was the boxes containing 37 5-litre bottles of olive oil (we buy first press virgin olive oil for all the family and friends for the whole year direct from the mill) and, after the oil had been delivered to its destinations, the floor was filled with boxes o

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Railway Model shops in London

Hi all! This is probably not the best place to request information, but in view of its nature, I don't know where to place it. I need to have the names, addresses and e-mail adresses of model railway shops in London with good repair facilities for Hornby models. Can anybody help? Thanks in advance

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One hard task finished

Good evening all. Two and a half years after relaying the track I have finally finished the ballasting. Unfortunately, in spite of my efforts, it has not been a tidy job, in fact it is rather messy, but it is the best I have been able to do. Some of the earlier work will need touching up but, after a clean up, I can start start fixing down certain buildings and other scenic items now that they don't represent an obstacle for working. The engine shed will not be a fixture, since it will surely ha

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Signal Box repair

Good eveninng all. I think (i.e. hope) that the end of ballasting is reasonably near. There are only a few metres lest to be done. The downside is that, no matter how hard I try, I cannot do a neat job. On the other hand, one of the two signal boxes (Metcalfe) kits was a bit decrepit and damaged, namely, it had lost its steps (kept safe in another place) and the top storey had become separated from the ground floor on three sides, whereby it could be opened like a box. Its chimney also fouled th

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Water Tower

Helo again. My layout is based on a track plan from the 1975 Hornby catalogue and does not contain a water tower and, from the range of accessories illustrated in the catalogue, it does not appear that any was available. The front cover of te catalogue, which is a colour photograph of this same plan, shows an engine shed and steam locomotives, so water would have been required. Some time back, I purchased a Peco Water tower and, when placed on the baseboard, it seemed very low. So, I made a base

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Story of an Engine Shed, part 2

I can now update on this subject. In the last entry, I placed several photos and will repeat one, namely, the shed in the wrong place In the end, I decided to chop the shed down to its original height by removing the supplements I added several years ago. The photo also shows the door posts I had to remove. When I relaid all the track early last year to improve the dcc feeds I did not take into account the track centre-to-centre distances nor was I too careful in seeing that the straight sectio

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The story of an Engine Shed

When I started placing scenic elements on the layout, I discarded resin made items because of their weight (to avoid overloading the electric motor raising and lowering the baseboard) and price and opted for a Metcalfe Card Kit. I then decided to place it in a different site from the one shown on the layout. It was not fixed in place because, at that time, I had Hornby buffer stops which clip onto the rails and any slight blow from a locomotive can dislodge them and it would have been very diffi

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More sessions of fitting Kadees

As mentioned in a previous post, around July last year i came to the conclusion that my UK 00 fleet was very poor in comparison with my continental H0 fleet. Namely, I had two DMUs, three steam locomotives and only four passenger coaches. So, I lashed out and purchased four passenger coaches (Dapol) and seven goods vehicles, all Bachmann. I had the idea of fitting them all with Kadee couplers. I managed to fit them to the passenger coaches with some trouble, since these did not have the NEM pock

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Lima Collection - Trams

In October, my wife and I had a holiday in Geneva with a daughter who was working there with the WTO. On the Saturday, she took us to the flea market where there was a lot of rubbish on offer, but one lady had 3 or 4 of the Lima Tram collection. I didn't buy then, because I wasn't quite convinced of its suitability for my layout. Nevertheless, a few weeks later another daughter went to see her sister in Geneva and I asked them to buy one for me, It is the Düwag Partywagen, nº 208041 as shown bel

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A decorative defensive wall

While I am still pondering on the best way to set about finishing the ballasting, as a diversion it occurred to me that I should protect the last unprotected side of the layout, where the track hovers over a precipice and, fortunately, in nine years only one locomotive has fallen to the floor. For a time, I had a programming track fixed along the edge but I decided to remove this and set up a portable programming track so I could work on the dining room or kitchen table when it was cold in the

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Ballasting

Since I relaid the whole track using cork underlay instead of the previous foam underlay I have been faced with the problem of decent ballasting. Since, for reasons explained in previous posts, I used a 5 mm thick cork, I now have the problem of how to disguise this steep step. I tried gluing 7 mm wide cardboard strips at an angle to form a hypotenuse and, in some places it seems o.k. but in others not because I did not get the ballast to stick properly. Finally, I decided to glue a twine in the

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Ballasting

Since I relaid the whole track using cork underlay instead of the previous foam underlay I have been faced with the problem of decent ballasting. Since, for reasons explained in previous posts, I used a 5 mm thick cork, I now have the problem of how to disguise this steep step. I tried gluing 7 mm wide cardboard strips at an angle to form a hypotenuse and, in some places it seems o.k. but in others not because I did not get the ballast to stick properly. Finally, I decided to glue a twine in the

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Success confirmed

As mentioned in the last but one post, it is now nine years since I started out on this adventure and I think I can now say that we are in in a position to play trains. The layout is far from finished scenically, as ripping up and relaying the track caused a lot of damage. but no dead spots appear on the track. It seems, however, that some vehicles do not like the track, as mentioned in a previous post, and one of my best runners, the Class 150 DMU, started playing up again. When travelling forw

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Still alive

Hi all! Between my last post and this there have been five heart blocks and a pace maker. Fortunately for me, the last block, which lasted nine seconds, occurred when I was in bed in hospital, being monitored. Eight hours later, the pace maker was installed. Apart from this, I am struggling along with the ballasting of the track. I try to do a bit each day, but 20+ metres of track is a lot of track. Also, since I had ripped up the foam underlay and used cork, since the cork portions were hand cr

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Some success

It is now nine years since I had the bright(?) idea of building a layout. Originally conceived for DC operation, I upgraded it to DCC, but inadequately and this year, as mentioned in a previous post, I made the drastic decision of ripping up the whole track and relaying it with a multidude of droppers and bridges across rail joints in places. I think I can now say that I have solved the electrical problems, but soldering droppers and relaying the track has left a few imperfections to be sorted o

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Some hard work done

Since my last post, I effectively refitted the point motors, then turned the layout edge on to be able to work underneath without contortions and set about getting the droppers connected to a bus. I made a query on the Forum, got some good advice and, while I did not follow it too closely, it was a a great help. After almost two weeks, in sessions of 1-1/2 to 2 hours or a bit more at a time, I to-day managed to connect the last droppers and wire up the bus wires. I still have to wire in the plug

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