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Avonwick 2mm association golden jubilee challenge layout

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A new life?

I never thought that I would be adding an entry to this blog again, however 7 years later here it is. Just over 6 years ago I moved away from South Devon, taking Avonwick with me. Whilst the main part went on display in a spare room the layout has not been run since. About 5 and a half years ago Avonwick was wrapped up and put into deep storage, I no longer had anywhere I could leave it up. Avonwick has since spent the passing years on its end wrapped in a plastic bag in my garage, generally get

Kris

Kris

 

Further on the fiddle.

Right, after several sessions of wiring and a session of fettling the new fiddle yard for Avonwick is nearly finished.       As can be seen I have ended up with 4 through sidings and a pair of sidings, one for each direction. Doing this has tightened up the minimum radius that I was using so I will have to do some tweaking of the couplings to ensure that all the stock runs happily. The wiring is currently a real mess and will need sorting out at some point in the future (after the RM mee

Kris

Kris

 

Rebuilding the fiddle yard, a work in progress.

Well several weeks have passed since the last update and it feels like there has not been a huge amount of progress. Part of this has been down to my own stupidity, placing an order for the wrong type of rail, thankfully getting the right type only took an extra week or so. Since getting the extra rail a couple of other issues have taken my mind of modelling a little but I have go some done.   I have completely stripped the fiddle yard. On one of the boards I have built 3 new points that a

Kris

Kris

 

The point where you say enough is enough and cut your losses.

This morning I posted the following update in a previous blog Well having spent a couple more hours looking at this point this afternoon I have been unable to resolve the issues that were occurring. I did manage to get a partial improvement but nothing that could be relied upon. It appears that at some point the track work immediately before the point had been knocked at some time destroying the angle that the stock approached the blades. This meant that the wheels would lift over the blade a

Kris

Kris

 

Newbury a quick photo update.

Right photos are now on the computer so I'll pop a few of the better ones up here.       A quick view showing the front of the layout. I was in the centre and the layout could be seen from both sides. Lucky that I had modified it so that it was viewable from both sides!       And a view from the back. Something that strikes me having looked at this is the expanse of hardboard that you can see on the back of the main board. I know that at many exhibitions this would not be seen but I

Kris

Kris

 

An exhibition update, the farmer Giles viewpoint.

"Weird it were, one day all was quiet, my view was normal and the next there was all these strange people looking at me, loads of trains were trundling through Avonwick and most stayed on the line, and some even didn't stall!     Well, the exhibition finished three hours ago and I've made it to my bed for the night. So what are my initial reflections? In general I was reasonably please with most aspects of the layout at the show.   The good   There were some great comments made about

Kris

Kris

 

Ground frame huts and other odds and ends

By popular(ish) request this is a brief update on the preparations completed this week in the run up to Newbury exhibition.   1st Avonwick had 2 ground frames both covered by huts, my good intentions were to have had both of these built but work this week has meant that I only got one completed today. It's far from brilliant but it is about right. At some point before Easter I will try to get the second one completed and maybe get some point rodding in.     I have also been sowing som

Kris

Kris

 

Exhibition countdown

Well the last month or so has seen less done on Avonwick than I wanted, Part of this has been down to me getting more work over Jan than before Christmas but mostly down to me being a lazy oaf.   What have I done?   Some of the spot lights that I put in before Christmas have been replaced with ones which have diffusers on them. This has significantly improved the shadows on the back scene, although these do still show. It's more a case of bright spots now rather than dark ones.   The wood

Kris

Kris

 

More on the info board and other minor developments.

Well Christmas is over and the goose is decidedly not fat anymore.   I spent much of the Christmas and New Year period away from home so was unable to do any work on the layout, but I was able to work on the information display board that I talked about at the beginning of December. I think that I have come up with a final design. My aim for this was to avoid a cluttered look with far to much information. (I'm not sure that I have achieved this). The space that this will be printed on is ab

Kris

Kris

 

Throwing a little light on the subject.

The lighting at Avonwick has never been fantastic, a fact that was commented on several times at the 2mm Soc expo when it was exhibited. I had used 150 LED's to provide illumination, a good idea but not one that proved to be effective. With the layouts second exhibition rapidly approach I thought it was about time that I did something about this situation. I didn't want to be fiddling with 240v's and was looking for something to supplement the LED's rather than replace them so I trundled of to W

Kris

Kris

 

Getting the information across

Having gone down the route of adding the extra sections to Avonwick I have been intending to add an information board as a visual break between the old and the new layout. This has to happen because of the fixed nature of the backscene on the original Avonwick board. I have though about a few things that I want on this board, and some things that I don't.   I do want Information on the layout and reasons for it. Information on the Kingsbridge branch line. A map showing where this all is

Kris

Kris

 

The greener side of life

"Weeeelllll, ye see err" Snorted Giles ", T'wer like this. The ground be all grey when I went up to bed. In morning I opened my eyes and sneezed, but it bint never been like tis now"   With the other half being away for the week I have been able to get down and do a reasonable amount of the scenic modelling these past few days.   First up I got the sand paper out and attacked the sulptamold to give me better, i.e. smooth, surface to work on. Having done this and hovered up, the carpets, me,

Kris

Kris

 

In the grey light of an early morning

Well every thing on the layout looks sort of grey, what did you expect a Technicolor dream coat effect?   This should really have been titled some general shots of the Avonwick extension project but that just sounded dull, almost grey.   Starting with the fiddle yard. This is now all laid and wired, one of the points could do with some tweaking though. At some point I might add a single spur off the main line facing away from the centre of the fiddle yard. This would allow for a cassette met

Kris

Kris

 

Bridging the Avon 2

Farmer Giles got out his steel toe capped wellies and has given the bridge builders a right good kick up the posterior, and with the words of "Oi, ya slackers shift yer selves" he persuaded them to get a move on in the building of the bridge over the Avon. Swearing was kept to a minimum despite cutting strips of plastic bricks about 0.5mm wide from a larger sheet to make up the arch detail. Oh this was described as "fun, honestly" but the effects seem to have worked even if the strips tried to t

Kris

Kris

 

Bridging the Avon 1

Having a bridge on the extension to Avonwick has been a desire of mine given the amount of times that the line crossed the Avon between South Brent and Kingsbridge. Somehow in doing this I have managed to chose the river bridge that was furthest for Avonwick on the line. There were several reasons for choosing this bridge. The real bridge is easily accessible for me, being in walking distance from my home. I felt that there is something about this bridge that was quite graceful. The bridge is on

Kris

Kris

 

Keeping things civil.

Well since running out of various bits and bobs required to keep making rolling stock I have returned to working on Avonwick. I have been tidying up the baseboards. This has been done by giving the end boards a skin of hardboard. This has gone reasonably well and these boards now look a hugh amount better. I have then been playing with some insulation foam that I had initially purchased to build the boards with (this was a dismal failure ) . In adding this I have also had to create the tunn

Kris

Kris

 

Getting hitched up

As I have said in previous entries I have been considering how to couple up coaches. This lead me to look at how coaches were coupled in the past. Coaches were never* coupled with chain, it was not considered safe enough, and using chain means the coaches would consistently crashing into each other, much like loose couples wagons did / do. Most freight does not complain about this sort of ride, but passengers do. To get over this GWR coaching stock used screw link couplings. These allowed the co

Kris

Kris

 

The first train.

After a day hard at the soldering iron, the first train completed a circuit of the new Avonwick. It has shown that there are a couple of areas that need tweaking but that's a job for tomorrow!   As an additional bonus I have found that I can get the layout up in the room it lives in. No photo's at this point, just a quick update.

Kris

Kris

 

Going round the bend

Progress over the pass few weeks has been slow due to several factors, mainly holidays combined with a little to much modelling relaxation.   However the other half went away for the last couple of days so I got to play.   1st job. Fit the legs. 2nd job put the whole thing together for the first time. Bodge a little to ensure that it fits, phew sorted. 3rd job repair a couple of weak joints on the board, darn. 4th lay some track ... and ... well all appears good so far. I have laid about

Kris

Kris

 

B Set bodging

So your passengers have become a little hacked off from travelling in a DMU one to many times, moaning about the whining of the engine and the uncomfortable seats. What do you do? Ignore them, they are only plastic after all!, or panda to their whims???   Now lets leave my little fantasy land for reality (it's not as nice here). At the 2mm expo I tried a quick and dirty conversion on a pair of Dapol "B Set" coaches replacing the wheel sets to increase the stock that I had to use. On the whole

Kris

Kris

 

Thoughts on fiddles

What makes for a good fiddle yard?   I suspect that there is not a single answer to this question but I think the closest I will get to an answer to this question is "One that works for the model in question". Now this is not a huge amount of help when you are trying to design one.   With the redevelopment of Avonwick I need a new fiddle yard. I have managed to impose some restrictions on what I can build through my desired operating location and maximum radius (caused by a wish to run Avon

Kris

Kris

 

A developing circle

It's just over 2 weeks now since the 2mm soc's golden jubilee exhibition, and the realisation that in it's current set up, Avonwick was not practical to operate at an exhibition. As previously discussed the poor running in the fiddle yards combined with the inability to run a sensible service with just one operator led to my decision to convert Avonwick to a continuous run. Things have not stood still in these last 2 weeks. Firstly I started to build some new baseboards utilising foam insulati

Kris

Kris

 

Going round the bend

I could have popped the title for this entry up for a couple of reasons.   Reason 1 On Wednesday I spent a few hours sorting out my class 11. By the end of the day it was running under it's own power (something it had never managed before). With the body work and cosmetic chassis on there was a slight sticking point that limited slow speed running, a bit of a pain but no more than that. On Thursday morning I thought I had identified the problem that was causing the sticking. Ah a couple of q

Kris

Kris

 

Avonwick the future....

Whilst driving home and last night I spent a few hours thinking about the development needs that Avonwick has at the moment. Considering this and the comments that have been popped on my previous blog I have now started to plan for the future.   Lighting is still an area I have not got any further with so there will be no illuminating comments about that from either myself or farmer Giles at the moment.   Continuing on to the continuos run theme I think I am now getting somewhere, in my hea

Kris

Kris

 

Reflections on expo

At the moment I'm about half way home from the 2mm expo, with Avonwick in the back of the car. I've got to say that I had a great time their despite the hall being so hot the failures were occurring right left and centre today.   This was the first exhibition that I have been to and exhibited, so what have I learnt about this and what have I learnt about Avonwick as a whole?   Plus points - I liked operating from the front. I found it very pleasant to be able to talk to anyone who wanted to

Kris

Kris

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