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Railway Modelling Ramblings

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Progress on D16/3 livery

I've put a spray of gloss over the cab side and tender side so that the transfers would slide. I had the usual fun and games trying to get 5 numbers to line up and sit square. The spraying has also just 'lifted' the colour slightly so it doesn't look quite so matt and uniform. I also got around to fitting the balance weights on the driving wheels and painting the rims which greatly improves the overall look.   I've got a couple of pictures from Colour Rail to help with the weathering.    

Fen End Pit

Fen End Pit

Preparing for the Palace

That's Alexandra Palace and the London Festival of Model Railways next weekend.   So, time to take Fen End Pit out of the cupboard under the stairs where it resides and do a few 'pre-fight checks'. Fortunately the whole layout goes up in our back room with the kind permission of the domestic authorities.     A quick bit of scenic work with a hoover, removing the spiders, was followed up with a new coat of paint on the backscene and on the facia panel. The work then turned to the stock, fi

Fen End Pit

Fen End Pit

Preparing for ExpoNG

As next Saturday Fen End Pit is off to Expo Narrow Gauge at Swanley this afternoon was spend checking and preparing the stock. Several couplings needed adjustment, lots of wheel cleaning but nothing serious in need of repair. I had realized I was one driver down so have also been trying to convert 'Larry the Lister driver' into 'Sidney the Simplex driver'   I took the opportunity to take a few photographs and a short clip of the Simplex 40S with the sound chip.   http://www.youtube.com/watch

Fen End Pit

Fen End Pit

planted signal, with bounce

Well the bouncing signal got painted and planted, at least temporarily. I've still got to 'matt it down' a bit and add the green spectacle glass.   I've slowed the bounce down from the first attempt on the starter, the shunt signal is still a little on the fast side.     David  

Fen End Pit

Fen End Pit

Planning J39 drive - rebuilding tender chassis?

Well the time has come for serious thinking (some would say I should have done this before).   The North Yard gearbox I got from Branchlines runs very smoothly, and sticking a mini-drill on the back turns the wheels quite nicely! However this isn't exactly the most prototypical drive so I need to work out how to get a universal joint through to the tender and mount a motor.   First problem is that the shaft of the gearbox comes out only slightly below the cab floor. I think I'm going to have

Fen End Pit

Fen End Pit

Plan of layout

I realized I hadn't posted a plan of the layout on the blog yet and thought folk might be interested.     This afternoon I painted most of the remaining track on upper level. Unfortunately I had run out of the ballast I used on the first part and have had some fun trying to match up the colours. Note to self, next time make sure I have enough to do the whole layout before I start.     An F5 approaches Empire Basin hauling a short parcel train. The works of National Motors and Switchgea

Fen End Pit

Fen End Pit

Pipes, handrails and steps on D16/3

Alan Gibson handrail knobs got used for their intended purpose over the weekend, i.e. holding handrails rather than 'continuous springy beams'.Trying to bend the handrail for the front of locomotives with a continuous handrail is always a pain. The large pipe down the right hand side was held in brackets made for thin brass strip and soldered through holes in the boiler.   Finally this evening I fitted the two footsteps on the curve of the valance. There are also two more tiny ones to go on th

Fen End Pit

Fen End Pit

Pictures of 'The Works' - ON14

While sorting out the new railway room I came across a packet of old photographs including several of my old 14mm narrow gauge layout called 'The Works'. This was a cement works that featured lots of skips, war department bogie wagons and even 3 feet of standard gauge with an Impetus models Hudswell Clark. I sold the layout about 10 years ago to a chap in Essex (Romford I think) and I was told by a couple of his friends at a show a few years back that he had sadly died so I have no idea if it is

Fen End Pit

Fen End Pit

Penpits sprung chassis - with video

After several evenings of fun, and I guess something about 20 hours work in total I have now got to the point of getting the replacement Penbits bogies under my Class 24. The initial 'rolling test' where you leave out the gears so you can just roll the locomotive along was great fun! I had used Black Beetle wheels in the original conversion and these went back into the bogies with no problems. Being insulated on one side only they made opting for what some people call 'the American System' of pi

Fen End Pit

Fen End Pit

Penpits sprung chassis - progress on a springy diesel

I spent most of this afternoon with soldering iron, files and a 'hold and fold'. My 'Traction Ears' now slide smoothly in my 'Traction Horns' and even the job of dismantling the Bachmann chassis and modifying the gear drive was only made difficult by not being able to find a sharp drill that could cleaning cut the rather soapy plastic of the bogie easily. So far I am vary impressed with how this is going together and I'm looking forward to the 'rolling test' to see how the springing works.  

Fen End Pit

Fen End Pit

One step forwards - and a few backwards

Progress on the Slaters Simplex took a step back , a combination of 'Chemo lethargy' and 'cock up'. I was dismantling the loco prior to getting it ready to prime the body work and decided to try and test run the chassis having slightly increased the back-to-back to make it run through my points correctly. Unfortunately disaster struck and the DCC sound chip let the magic smoke out. A repair/replacement is on its way I hope thanks to Digitrains.   I also decided to revisit my decision to abando

Fen End Pit

Fen End Pit

North lights on Scalescene warehouse

A Bank holiday seemed like a good time to do a bit of building work and finish off the roof of the big warehouse behind the viaduct. The Brassmasters etchings made the northlight units quite rigid though cutting them all to a different length to match the profile of the backscene was a bit of a faff. I had decided that one end of the building would house the lift shaft so this got a block house on top to house the lift mechanism.     From track level the building now looks quite impressive.

Fen End Pit

Fen End Pit

Norfolk interlude - with added diesel thrash!

A day trip out in Norfolk culminated in sitting by the River Yare at Reedham with a beverage of choice. The swing bridge was open to river traffic and it was a quiet and peaceful evening with nothing to disturb of peace except bird song, the clink of boats in their moorings and a rather unremarkable band setting up for their gig in the pub. The bridge started to close and maybe ten minutes later an even more unremarkable 158 or such unit trundled over heading to Norwich from Lowestoft.  

Fen End Pit

Fen End Pit

New toy!

A delivery from Kernow Models this morning now waits to be rewheeled to P4.   David    

Fen End Pit

Fen End Pit

New parcels additions

Over the last couple of weeks I've rewheeled a Bachmann LMS 50 Brake and a BR GUV, two more additions to my parcels train. Actually it is probably going to end up as an 'Up Parcels' and 'Down Parcels' as the fiddleyard won't be long enough to hold all the stock! I did a bit of a foolish thing with the GUV, I brought one in Rail Express Parcel livery as the Maroon wasn't available and then tried to strip it and repaint it. By the time I got around to trying to line it and number it I found I cou

Fen End Pit

Fen End Pit

New 3d printer - Ender 5 Pro

My clever wife bought me a new 3D printer for Christmas (how did she guess what I wanted?)   I was a bit concerned because the box was shipped direct from China by FedEx via what appears to be a puddle at Cologne Airport. Creality customer service were very helpful and we decided it was worth trying to build it and just replace any bits if we found they had been damaged. In the end everything went together very easily ( about 30-45 minutes assembly to first print) and I managed t

Fen End Pit

Fen End Pit

Nearly the last bits soldered onto D16/3 body

A Bank Holiday gave the perfect excuse for some more soldering, but I'm running out of bits to solder on the body now. I put on the pipes along either side of the valancing, complete with little joints. Also got on the lamp irons and buffers.   The chassis now fits, but for the wrong wheels in the pony truck.       Still left are the guard irons on the front bufferbeam and the various bits of frame underneath the footplate but I'm waiting on getting the pony truck right before I do thi

Fen End Pit

Fen End Pit

N7 rebuild - first attempt with 'continuous springy beams'

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, I built a Wills N7 kit. The chassis was built using the etches for the kit, now sold by South East Finecast. The original chassis had the 'posh' hornblocks from Gibson (I think) which were the lost wax casting with a tiny springs pushing down on the bearing with a bolt through the top of the hornblock to locate the spring and set the ride height.   All of this worked fine until you took into account the sheer weight of the white metal body. The body c

Fen End Pit

Fen End Pit

N7 rebuild - filling a gaping void

The original Wills kit was designed to fit around a Hornby Jinty or such like with a massive X04 motor protruding into the cab. Having built the chassis with something a little less 'old school' it was pretty clear that the absence of a floor, or backhead or crew was going to be a bit noticable. It isn't as if you can see much in the cab through the windows, it is just that you can really seen the absence of anything through the windows, if that even vaguely makes sense.   So I decided to put

Fen End Pit

Fen End Pit

More work on warehouses

Christmas seems to be a traditional time for me to do some Scalescene's buildings and this year seems no exception. The large goods warehouse is at viaduct level with a street level entrance below track level. I spent a few hours cutting card to make up the road level and I am quite pleased with the view you get from under the bridge of the main line. I think the retaining walls looks like a suitable location for some bill boards.     I also decided to put some hipped roofs on the building.

Fen End Pit

Fen End Pit

More work on the warehouse

Last night and tonight I made up some Brassmasters etched windows for the warehouse. I think these make quite a difference. Next step is probably going to be working out how to do the roof. One the one hand I fancy doing something with a pitched (maybe hipped) roof, but on the other I'm concerned how that might look given that the backscene means there would be no straight lines.   I think this calls for some cereal packet mock-ups!   David    

Fen End Pit

Fen End Pit

More work on lever frame

I realized that the spring on the lever was effectively duplicating the one in the micro-switch so in the best traditions of trying to keep things simple I tried to build a version which doesn't bother using it. The revised lever arrangement is a bit simpler but it takes a little bit of adjustment to:- get the springing in the lever right, the micro-switch to change correctly as the catch handle is pulled and also the screw which fastens the attachment to the lever not to foul the mic

Fen End Pit

Fen End Pit

More work on 16 ton Minerals

Thursday night saw the bodies of the wagons fitted and Friday evening was spent fitting weight and Alex Jackson couplings. Still need to fit the dropper wires for the coupling.     I realized that having removed the toy hinges for the side doors I needed to replace them with something more to scale. A few pieces of plasticard from the scrap box were enough to fabricate something suitable. Painting was by brush with Humbrol acrylics.     Transfers from the Modelmaster range were applied

Fen End Pit

Fen End Pit

More track laying and the first point servos fitted

Inspired by an excellent day out at the Peterborough Festival of Model Railways I launched into more track building. The turnout from the down mainline into the yard got finished as well as the rest of the down line on this first baseboard. Much pushing of wagons and coaches around has followed. I'm generally quite please with the way it looks.       The mirror is not because i have suddenly got particularly vain about my appearance but because it is an excellent tool to look along the t

Fen End Pit

Fen End Pit

More shock(van)ing developments

A good few months back I was working on a Rumney models chassis and tried to fit a Parkside Shocvan onto it before realizing that it was planked and it should have been plywood to match the chassis type. http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/blog/186/entry-15555-a-little-bit-of-suffolk-or-learning-to-love-templot/   it was helpfully pointed out that Red Panda actually did a kit of the plywood version and so I purchased one of these from a trader at the Ely show. An offer over the weeken

Fen End Pit

Fen End Pit

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