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About this blog

My various attempts at modeling and building bits for layouts

Entries in this blog

 

XpressNet Interface

Tonight's little triumph on the work bench was to finally work out what I got wrong with my XpressNet computer interface I was building. The result a fully functional interface between an ageing laptop and my low-end DCC kit (a Lenz Compact), however this gives me access to do things over Xpressnet, and if I every do get around to upgrading the compact I will be able to control lots more.   The immediate gratification came in setting up WiThrottle and driving a sound equipped loco from my Andr

GWMark

GWMark

 

Wet weekend in Bucks

Well, it was forecast to be a wet weekend, at least on the Sunday, and with the looming return to school this week Daniel and I decided to make Sunday a modelling day. The idea was to setup on Saturday evening and then spend the entire day on Sunday making progress with our various projects.   My aims being to get my 72xx to a state in which it could be painted, to get the GT3 to the same point, the finish the interior of my Railbus and maybe to drop my 802 in boiling water and sort out the wa

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GWMark

 

Transfix disaster

Tonight was going to be the night I got my 72xx to a runnable state, buffers, plates, a little paint touching up, coal, crew and transfers, Not too much to ask.     It went fairly well, I had the buffers in place, the plates attached, the cab interior finished, except for crew and the transfer went on well. The I noticed my mistake, I had spaced the lettering differently on the two sides. Looking at my picture in Russell of 7240 I decided it was the side with the most spread out lettering t

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GWMark

 

Train detection to the nth degree

Following a trip to see the excellent McKinley Railway, and a conversation about the RFID projects I had done before I have started another project - just what I need, one more thing to add to the list.   What I am looking at is something that can read the train id and feed it back to the computer that is running the layout, however there is more to this than just reading the RFID data. The RFID readers I have used can not be placed close together, they interfere with each other.   So I need

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GWMark

 

The things we do, can it really be counted as railway modeling?

When someone asks me about hobbies, I always say I am a railway modeller, but actually, in casting around for anything to put in my blog I begin to wonder what I have done in the past few weeks that could be counted as "modelling railways". Apart from layout operating at Wycrail and Warley the closest I have got to anything that might be seen as a modelling task is painting some figures and turning a piece of plasticard into an uncoupling ramp, scoring planks and rivets and painting it. The rest

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The most precious things....

Having just returned from another weekend of modelling at Missenden Abbey I intended to write up my progress on my workbench thread, then, last night I looked at it and realised I have not made an entry since the last time I was at Missenden, back in the Spring. This got me thinking, my plan had been to show off the progress with the model I had taken and talk about the events of the weekend, but I soon began to think that this gap in my workbench was more indicative of something else, at was at

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GWMark

 

Successful attachment - GWR Steam Railmotor movement

Following on from my previous post regarding the day Daniel and I spent in Princes Risborough working on valve gear, tonight I cleaned and degreased my eccentric cranks before having another go at attaching them to the ends of the crankpins. This time I used cyno rather than loctite and I appear to have had more success. So now I have all the valve gear attached and the rail motor runs with the rods all moving as they should, maybe not exactly as the prototype, but the best that can be arranged

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GWMark

 

Spring Weekend Over Again

The Missenden Modellers sprint weekend is over for another year, once again the weekend went really well, with both Daniel and I making significant progress on our projects. My High Level Black Hawthorn has seen some significant progress with the super structure, with a few steps back along the way. I used my newest toy, the RSU for some items, to great effect, but was a little cautious of some things, so used the standard iron and regretted the mess I made with it compared to the neat soldering

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GWMark

 

Return of the Duke

Following a good weekend at Missenden Abbey with my new High Level kit I didn't want to just ditch the Duke in favour of the new kit. I had decided not to take it to Missenden this Autumn as there was little new to do on it and also the Black Hawthorn would fit better on my little shunting puzzle. It seemed sensible to make the most of the time with expert advice on hand to start something very different from my previous modelling attempts.   So this weekend it was the turn of the Duke again.

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GWMark

 

Resprayed Neath & Brecon Saddle Tank

Some time ago I made a Dean Sidings Neath and Brecon Tank loco, which I managed to mess up the spraying of. I finally took the plunge and stripped the resin body, using Phoenix Paint Super Strip. My initial concern was what it might do to the resin, but I need not have worried - it was fine. The only casualty of the stripping was one lamp iron that was easily replaced.   The loco now sports a respray - using aerosol cans this time, Phoenix GWR Green and Halfords Matt black. The result is much

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GWMark

 

Railbus returns

In the last few days I have returned to a stalled project, my Dapol Railbus. The interior has been painted, and some passenger have been painted and added.     I have also painted the lining on the doors and the kick plates. Glazing has been added and the Railbus put back together in the hope I might get to run it at the club open day tomorrow. Unfortunately I have yet to find a crew that will fit in the rather confined cabs, so it has host drivers at the moment. Also I need to add windscre

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GWMark

 

Prolonged absence - the two Highlevel kits

I noticed it had been a very long time since I wrote anything here, March of last year. I didn't even do my customary write-up following the Missenden Abbey weekends last Autumn and this Spring. This does not mean nothing has been happening, just that I have written nothing about it.   Both Daniel and i went to Missenden in October and then again this March, in fact the March weekend may be the last for a while with both of us going as Daniel is about to depart for University life - although t

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GWMark

 

Preparing for Missenden

It's less than two weeks to go before the Missenden Abbey Spring Railway Modellers weekend. This year, in a break from tradition I am booked on the painting and lining course with Ian Rathbone. My chance to learn to finish my models from probably the best around. Although rather daunting I am looking forward to hopefully gaining some new skills. To this end I thought I should try to finish a few items to the state that I can try to paint them at Missenden, time allowing.   My Black Hawthorn wa

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GWMark

 

Preparation - Missenden Autumn 2013

The autumn weekend of railway modelling at Missenden Abbey is almost here again, once again Daniel and I will be attending. This time I am going to start a new project, the Duke is to a stage now that I think I can probably finish it at home, plus I am keen to start a project that will run on my little shunting puzzle. Therefore my plan for the weekend is to make a start on a High Level kit of a Black Hawthorn 0-4- ST.   As part of my preparation I have started (several times) to read the ver

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GWMark

 

PDK 72XX Slow Progress

Well, I finally got around to doing some modelling tonight, so much for a long weekend of doing what I want. Following on from a few hours spent during the evenings, the 72XX is progressing slowly. The handrails have started to go on, on one side, I have added the rivet strip around the base of the tanks, the lips on the cab roof and soldered up the cylinders and added the drain cocks. It's also now a 2-8-2 rather than the 0-8-0 it has been up until now. The chimney has just been rested in place

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GWMark

 

PDK 72xx Haulage test on Hinton Parva

I've done a bit more work on my 72xx, steps have been added, vacuum pipes, smoke box door and a coupling loop. So I thought it was time to see if it would pull anything. So it went back to Hinton Parva tonight, I borrowed the coal rake normally pulled by one of the two Garretts at exhibition and off it went.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DqXNVKTKNzM     It seemed to manage with the 68 loaded coal trucks, but did have a bit of wheel slip if not driven with care. Still a bit more work to d

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GWMark

 

Patching the boiler of my Duke

I thought I would document the latest steps in my efforts to resolve the build issue with my Mallard Duke. As noted in earlier posts I have built it with both the boiler and smokebox the wrong way around. The problem manifests itself in the chimney and dome being in the wrong place. This entry is about my latest steps to resolve the problem.   The smokebox is simply a wrapper on nickel silver and white metal formers, so was relatively easy to remove and will be reattached the other way around.

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GWMark

 

Out with the airbrush - how brave do I feel?

After a small interlude to try my hand at building pointwork it is back to the long term project of the 72xx. More track work will follow, but that will have to wait until after Doncaster now - I'll pick up some more C&L components there.   My PDK 72xx has moved on a bit, the lamp refuge and the lance cock have been added, it was given two coats of etch primer, from a spray can and the footplate and smokebox have been spray with Halfords matt black. So the project for Sunday was to spray t

GWMark

GWMark

 

One Missenden Weekend, Two High Level Kits

Today saw the end of the Autumn Railway Modellers Weekend at Missenden Abbey. as is now the custom I attended with my son, now 17, for a few days of locomotive kit construction. This year the numbers of kit constructors was down, with people being seduced by the laser cutting, scenery, weathering and electronics side of the hobby. This meant there were two small rooms of us loco builders, we were placed under the care of new boy Tony Gee in a room with 5 other 4mm modellers, whilst next door Kev

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GWMark

 

Not so quick, quick project

The project I undertook as a quick diversion ended up, like all the rest of my projects, languishing in an unfinished state for quite some time. However, spurred on by the desire to take a couple of locos to the weather course at Pendon the other weekend I actually made a push to finish it off. All it needed was plates, transfers and some bits that had been painted separately to be attached.     I also needed to do something about the bright brake gear I had added, it was still raw nickel s

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GWMark

 

New Challenge

Obviously I don't have enough unfinished, or un-started, projects, so this weekend I decided to try something I have bean meaning to have a go at for a while - making my own track. To be precise A C&L B6 turnout kit that I have had on the top of the cupboard for nearly 2 years. Why did I choose now? I have no idea, other than I had to wait for some paint to dry on my 72xx, you know what they say about paint drying!   Anyway, after 2 evening, about 8 hours, I now have this....     One

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GWMark

 

Neilson 12" Mineral

Not to forget my other project, and true to the promise I made myself about not starting new projects until I finished some of the ongoing ones, I have fitted the crossheads and connecting rods to my High Level 12" Neilson that I have been building at Missenden Abbey.   It's not running perfectly yet, but I did some fetling this evening and have improved it somewhat.     Still some way to go before I am happy and will attach the rest of the bits - I have assemblies for the brake gear an

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GWMark

 

Movement from the Mallard Duke

It has been a couple of weeks since my last post regarding the Mallard Duke. You may recall I had a bit of a problem with it that meant a slight rebuild and some remedial actions. That complete I have now done a bit more detailing, but more importantly I decided it was time to have it move itself along the rails. So I completed the task of making up the cranks, reaming them out and fitting them. After a bit of tinkering I had the cranks in place and quartered.   I then looked at fitting the co

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GWMark

 

More weathering

I was rightly criticised on two counts by Daniel for my previous post, I didn't include any pictures of his stock and I also said all his stock was all ready to run. So by way of redress here are a couple more pictures from my weathering efforts on his stock.     The 4MT is a Bachmann model, Daniel has added the crew, lamps, detail parts and a real coal load. I made an attempt to weather it. This loco is due to haul a rack of coaching stock bunker first, so hence the ugly tension lock coupl

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GWMark

 

Missenden Spring 2013 - A family affair

The weekend of the 8th, 9th and 10th of March saw the running of the Missenden Spring Weekend, the 31st year of the Missenden weekends. Daniel and I were lucky enough to have once again received the weekend as a Christmas present from my wife - I suspect this is partially so that she can get rid of us for the weekend and partially because she knows we both enjoy the weekend and it is a present that does bring "more junk" into the house!   Normally we are unique amongst the modellers that atten

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