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0.87

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About this blog

A place to post loosely related projects and activities where they might entertain. Very unlikely to present a consistent narrative.

 

0.87 is the ratio between 1:76 and 1:87, two scales which I work to when I play with model railways. Both the scale ratios are obscure. For those modelling the railways of the British Isles, the existence of both scales has been inconvenient and uncomfortable ever since they both emerged in the 1930s. For anyone, it should be obvious that picking a scale ratio simply because it broadly represents in actual millimetres (or fractions of actual millimetres) a prototype imperial foot is a silly thing to do.

Entries in this blog

Composing a layout with a photo editor

This evening I took some smartphone photos of my current layout project, something that I quite often do as it progresses to get a sort of scale eye view of things. I think of the layout, in scenic terms, as a set of cameos shaped by images and recollections. In the case of this layout, although I can contribute to the scenic setting from my own memories and photos, the details of the railway must all come from photos in books and online.   Because I have been thinking about backscenes

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readingtype in Wasserbach

UK FREMO meeting July 2021

Following the lifting of legal restrictions earlier this month in England, and observing the good practice we have all got used to in the last 16 months, the UK FREMO group met last weekend (unofficially -- this was not a formal FREMO event).   Over the period of the pandemic everyone has been able to make progress in various areas from rolling stock to scenery, timetables to waybills. The new abilities we shared made the event more enjoyable than the last one way back in February 2020

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readingtype in FREMO

Two H0 wagon W-iron projects in progress

Firstly, I have some replacement W-irons (Achshälter) from Epoche3D in Germany [one is on the right hand end of this E-wagen]. They travelled (adventurously but very slowly, once they reached the UK) through the semi-blockade. These are 3D printed replacements for the rather wibbly units used quite widely on Klein Modellbahn H0 wagons. The photo isn't great but you can see that they correct two faults in the original versions. Firstly the shape of the 'irons' is too narrow at the top. Secondly t

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readingtype in wagons

Revised cabside numbers for the Roco S160

The loco Roco chose, 2255, appears in a great dynamic photo of February 1945, crossing the temporary span of a viaduct just east of Aachen that had been blown up by retreating German forces the previous Autumn. 2255 pilots another loco and is considerably cleaner than the second S160. I'd love to have a print of the image which is credited to the US Army Signal Corps. I found it reproduced fairly small in Züge der Alliierten, published by Eisenbahn Kurier-Verlag, 2017.   More details o

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A Hunslet diesel hydraulic edges forward

Time for something in 1:76 scale. This is my frst brass loco kit build, a Judith Edge kit. Started four years ago and still unfinished now.   Despite the very slow progress the experience of building it has been valuable and although I wouldn't like to stick my neck out too far there seems now quite a reasonable chance it may even be completed. I am very glad I took Michael Edge's advice at the time I bought the kit to try a relatively straightforward prototype. Thank you!  

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Fitting nicer couplings to a Roco ÖBB 93

Today's activity, as it turned out, was to install Originalbügelkupplungen (OBKs) in my Roco H0 model of the Österreichische Bundesbahnen (ÖBB) Reihe 93 (formerly Reihe 378, see Wikipedia page (German, the English one has very little text)). More about the loco below; but to introduce them OBKs are a brilliant way to improve the look of an H0 model by replacing the large clumsy coupling. They simply disappear, while working perfectly with the conventional NEM loop coupling. You can just about se

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First go at a whitemetal loco kit build: the Weinert V36

There's nobody coming round, and I can't get to the club, so I have decided the time is right to start on my first whitemetal loco kit build.   This is an H0 model of the Deutsche Bundesbahn BR V36 (later BR 236), a three-axle, 360hp diesel-hydraulic shunter that was originally ordered for the German Army in the second world war and proved to be a (rough and ready) survivor, with examples travelling beyond Europe and remaining in use for several decades. It is a Weinert kit, manufactur

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February 2020 UK FREMO meeting

A couple of weeks back I attended a meeting of UK FREMO members. It was a weekend running session following the FREMO norms as far as possible, although our group is quite small and our arrangement (the way the modules are combined into a minature railway network) was fairly modest. Lots of our modules don't yet have scenery, but we were able to borrow a set of club-built modules allowing us the luxury of a pretty large terminus complete with a running shed. We did have a phone system, and ran t

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Another N7 goes to EM gauge

OK so I'm one of the (Oxford Rail) N7 fans.   I pretty much have to be, as I am working on this layout project.   Fortunately I already was a fan as I currently live in Homerton (on the east side of Hackney in London) not far from the  the Great Eastern Railway line on its viaduct running up through Cambridge Heath, London Fields and Hackney Downs. This was one of the chief routes on which the N7 was used and a little bit of reading got me interested in the whole history of t

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Tidying up a Fleischmann BR 86 (H0)

One thing always leads to another.   I decided long ago that my H0 locos would get replacement Originalbügelkupplungen (OBK) couplings. Here after work over the last few days is the front of my Fleischmann BR 86. For sure there is a still dirty great hook but the NEM pocket is gone, it's far more subtle than anything the industry could provide and to my mind the incorporation of the scale coupling hook and turnbuckle is very neat.   It's got lovely wheels made and fitted by H

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Märklin and Gibson united beneath a toad

Today's fun: trying to fit Bill Bedford BR 'modern image' W-irons under a Cambrian SR/BR 25t Toad.   Catch is: the gauge is EM and the van has the narrowest frames. Evah.   I chose the (sprung) W-irons because for some reason I thought the van wouldn't ride nicely (old moulds, my dodgy construction skills, runes consulted etc). I trimmed them to broadly the right shape with a knife (note the ones on this van, at least following the mouldings in the kit, are unusually wide and

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140.C: just another black 2-8-0

This is Liliput's 140.C from ten years ago or thereabouts, in 1:87. The real thing was made by North British in Glasgow and shipped to France in 1916 as part of an order for the French artillery (see Wikipedia article).   I acquired this one recently. It did not run well; very hesitant, and prone to stopping with the gear in the same position on each revolution of the driving wheels. I dismantled it and found numerous interesting features, any one of which would probably be enough to p

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A pony down

My intended conversion to EM of an old Bachmann Austerity was coming along so well until I put the chassis in the body and then picked the loco up by the body :-(   The pony truck is the only casualty. But it's a functional component. So it goes...   Here's the rest of the chassis. It rolls along, but lots of work lies ahead to make the crank pins happy and to reconcile the connecting rods and valve gear. And now I also need to work out what to do with the broken pony truck.

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