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About this blog

An O Gauge BR Branch Line Terminus Model Railway set around 1980 in or about Somerset. Ish.

 

The lock-down diorama kind of got out of control.

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Entries in this blog

Baseboard Building With Off-Cuts

A day sorting through bits of baseboards that started out life for one layout, got chopped up for use in another and are now doing it all again. Amazingly there's exactly enough! Had to stop when next doors kids go to bed, so it will be finished tomorrow. Even more amazingly, not one of the timbers fouls a point motor! This is in breach of the laws of physics and must be a mistake. And I had the loft so tidy... All done - creative carpentry rocks. No, sucks. Pretty chuffed that I got it all

Miserable

Miserable

Baseboard Building With Off-Cuts

A day sorting through bits of baseboards that started out life for one layout, got chopped up for use in another and are now doing it all again. Amazingly there's exactly enough! Had to stop when next doors kids go to bed, so it will be finished tomorrow. Even more amazingly, not one of the timbers fouls a point motor! This is in breach of the laws of physics and must be a mistake. And I had the loft so tidy... All done - creative carpentry rocks. No, sucks. Pretty chuffed that I

Miserable

Miserable

Old Metcalf Kit

Amongst the pile of stuff I didn't sell back then was a couple of Metcalf kits, one low-relief front of a pair terrace houses and one low relief of the rear of a pair. In all this time I never noticed one is stone and one is brick. Ooops. I picked these up at the that garden centre, with the controller way back when Metcalf decided to abandon O gauge (bet they regret that now!). There's probably not a whole lot of point in doing a complete build as there's nothing tricky making these kits, the o

Miserable

Miserable

Mucho Plunder Arrives

A couple of days drift by... Much excitement! All four sets of points turn up, so up to the loft with a gallon of coffee. First to be laid was the curved points that connect the the, er, 'West' end of the double slip, forming the exit to the main line. This straight forward really, drill assorted holes as outlined earlier and there we go. Here's a picture. Above : The first curved points in place. Some sleeper shoving to do, see later. Next I decided to lay the link from the reception

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Miserable

Geometry. Curse it.

The point motor for the home-brew points arrived and was promptly fitted. Then the fun started. Fitting was fine, marking the fixing points in advance worked out just dandy, but the motor is non latching and the blades would not stay hard over. Damn. The reason, probably should have been obviously, was that the 'spring' in the point blades, which are quite long and made from flat-bottomed rail. Out came the desk-tidy tippler. This is a wobbly wheel and the other three aren't quite square anymore

Miserable

Miserable

Electric String Time

So, now, to wiring it all up. Although it's all a bit of a lash up for now (until I get correct wire and know where I'm going a bit) I did still need to mount the point motor switches, as trying to use them dangling about seems likely to lead to cooked point motors as I fumble about with them. To this end I marked out the control panel with something representing the layout and mounted the switches. This will be re-visited later when I've worked out exactly what I want. Putting the 08 on the tra

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Miserable

Set The Controls To...

So while that sorts itself out, time to start wiring the double slip. Pretty quickly it became apparent that having somewhere to mount switches might be an idea! Well, I've got some ply - nope, too thick. Dammit, why have you never got some hardboard lying about like it always was (for some unexplained reason) back in the day. Eyes cast round the loft... oh look, the wallpaper pasting table. Reaches for saw... Above : I feel no guilt. I hate wallpaper. One control panel.

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Miserable

The Pointless Points Get A Point

Some more bits turned up, so time to make a start on getting the home-brewed points to work. First thing was to add a second tie bar. This isn't cosmetic, it really is needed to keep the gauge correct over the sliding chairs. I know everyone has their way to do tie-bars, this is the way I went, unobtrusiveness being the main aim. Working would be good too. Basically all I do is make two 's's out of wire stripped from some scrap twin-and-earth, with one longer arm and the other squashed flat with

Miserable

Miserable

Radio Control... ?

Over the last couple of days I've been checking out Protocab, a radio controlled battery powered control system that eliminates the need for power to the track. This appeals immensely - no track cleaning, no wiring and you get to drive down the rusty little-used siding without coming to a grinding halt. I'm happy battery life will meet my needs, and I like the idea of re-charging via the engines normal pickups (the induction version, at over £100, is not justifiable on a small layout). There's o

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Miserable

Cork, Cork, Lovely Cork!

Cork... I went for 3mm to allow a nice shoulder on the ballast where appropriate. Elsewhere cork goes pretty much everywhere, effectively raising the formation 3mm in general. Right Here is the posy controller I talked about above. When I bought it I thought it was pretty gimmicky, but did like the 'throttle lever'. However I'm quite converted now, it adds something having to brake to stop. I guess you can do this with DCC, but expense. All is now set for tomorrow's (hopefully) triump

Miserable

Miserable

The First Parcel Arrives.

So here we are, a nice parcel arrived... Being in big kid mode, I opened the slip first. There's just something about them, isn't there? Ok, just me then. There's not a lot else to say other than in O it's pretty impressive. And big. So to the 08. Sad old me had watched an unboxing video of one, luckily as it happens, because getting it out of the foam had no obvious route. The bod in the video broke his, so with some trepidation I tried tipping it out into my hand - all was good, except one

Miserable

Miserable

The First Parcel Arrives.

So here we are, a nice parcel arrived... Being in big kid mode, I opened the slip first. There's just something about them, isn't there? Ok, just me then. There's not a lot else to say other than in O it's pretty impressive. And big. So to the 08. Sad old me had watched an unboxing video of one, luckily as it happens, because getting it out of the foam had no obvious route. The bod in the video broke his, so with some trepidation I tried tipping it out into my hand - all was good, except on

Miserable

Miserable

Inevitable Irrational Rationale For Highly Improbable Scenario

The era wasn't going to be an issue : BR blue is the best train livery ever (there, I said it), not least because that was the colour when I worked on the Railway. It is going to be set in Somerset. Or Wiltshire. Or, for technical reasons, Aberdeen. Plan A was a simple wagon repair facility but... Technology Ramble Alert ... I had bit more room than it looked, about 14ft x 3ft, with a 4ft wide bit for the last 3ft. So, out with Templot and... well, I admit it, building one set of points was g

Miserable

Miserable

Inevitable Irrational Rationale For Highly Improbable Scenario

The era wasn't going to be an issue : BR blue is the best train livery ever (there, I said it), not least because that was the colour when I worked on the Railway. It is going to be set in Somerset. Or Wiltshire. Or, for technical reasons, Aberdeen. Plan A was a simple wagon repair facility but... Technology Ramble Alert ... I had bit more room than it looked, about 14ft x 3ft, with a 4ft wide bit for the last 3ft. So, out with Templot and... well, I admit it, building one set of points was

Miserable

Miserable

Old Endings & New Beginnings

So this is where it ended, and this where it started. After just putting my soldering iron down to open the door to get my nice new shiny (but not very good) guitar I never went back into that side of the loft, except to round up all the 30 odd wagons (O gauge) I'd built, brass and plastic, to sell on eBay to buy a moderately seriously expensive (but gorgeous) new guitar. Not a yard of track had been laid. All that was left was a set of home made points (the Great Plan required about twenty sets

Miserable

Miserable

Old Endings & New Beginnings

So this is where it ended, and this where it started. After just putting my soldering iron down to open the door to get my nice new shiny (but not very good) guitar I never went back into that side of the loft, except to round up all the 30 odd wagons (O gauge) I'd built, brass and plastic, to sell on eBay to buy a moderately seriously expensive (but gorgeous) new guitar. Not a yard of track had been laid. All that was left was a set of home made points (the Great Plan required about twenty sets

Miserable

Miserable

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