A debrief from the excellent Stafford show of last weekend. I did draft up the post last week but as I was getting used to the new software I managed to delete the entry just as I was about to post it Start again, fresh eyes...
As previous entries have described, I decided to replace the two turnouts to try and improve running as they were built almost 10 years ago. This turned out to include other remedials and more than I had anticipated in the last few months. The two turnouts were laid, tested, painted and ballasted. I had removed the front fascia to make access easier and the backscene, ramp and bridge was also removed as part of the upgrade. I had printed three backscenes originally so had two spare - the previous one was removed to reveal the curved vinyl sheet I had found in our studio - I had forgotten it had a gold outer side so it made for an interesting in progress shot I then applied the backscene and the two new fascia pieces laser previously cut from 3mm plywood. Whilst I was at it, I decided to upgrade and simplify the operators side fascia. This has removed the redundant switches from the DC operation and now has just the two turnouts and the five uncoupling slots. The fascia was cut from 1mm veneer and the trackplan and slots formed using a sharp scalpel, changing the blade regularly. To achieve the red effect it is mounted onto a sheet of stout red card from our studio. Finally the fascia was repainted and the lettering reapplied.
So all all set to go but the weekend before revealed some inconsistencies with the two turnouts which was still there Friday morning 3 hours before I was due to leave for Stafford My thanks are due to Mark F (2mm Mark of this Parish) who kindly came to help resolve it...By various tests with my meter and probing Mark found the station turnout had a dead frog feed and both switches to operate the turnouts were dead Knowing was there little time to replace them we set upon a temporary lash up to get me through the weekend, with two new switches hanging out the backscene to change polarity and the old switches disconnected but used for changing the point throw only. Shortly after I was on my way to Stafford, arriving to set up the Friday evening - have never been to a show where you can back up your car virtually to your exhibition space Was also extremely honoured that Kylie (as Mr Yorke refered to it ) was depicted on the front of the show catalogue - many thanks Colin.
The layout performed well at the show, bar some loco failures (prompting a bit of an overlap between time periods) and I have a few things for the to do list. I received a lot of nice comments on the layout, a lot of people surprised how small it was...one commented the picture on the catalogue was bigger
My thanks are due to Bryn, Andy H and David L all of this parish for helping out some periods allowing me to get some breaks as well as see the show. A lot of nice layouts, it was great to see some old faces and meet some new ones. I also trialled the new Kylie T-shirt (when temps changed from early morning cold to very busy hot) which Mark B (46444) joked that I should produce...it has the current Kylie tour dates on the back...the layout just needs some roadies now
Here are a few pictures showing some progress as well as the layout at the show.
As always, comments are welcome...
Evening all and a very Happy Christmas to you,
Have been chipping away at progress and almost ready to start scenic repairs again.
The second turnout was installed in position yesterday having first gapped it, cleaned with Vim and then sprayed with a coat of primer...as before sky blue was all I had at hand
One thing you will note is the backscene and also the ramp/bridge have been removed now. This was twofold, firstly the bridge railing was getting damaged and secondly the tie bar was sitting right beneath it so installation of the turnout aligning with two diverging roads at one end and the traverser board was difficult
They have been set aside for repairs and reinstallation. The turnout was added, new wires added where necessary and the wire in tube has been replaced with new run partly as it fell in the next sleeper bay. Once levelled and aligned using work business card slithers, it was attached with superglue.
This morning I got to run a few tests with the locos and most locos run through a lot smoother now including to the siding at the front. It looked a bit loco heavy at Kyle this morning during testing
The wiring despite being simplified to DCC now is still a bit complicated for my liking involving lots of chocolate box connectors and 4/5 wires streaming from them ...before I tackle the scenics I might just take a look again at this with fresh eyes and see if I can install some busbars.
Overall, a lot happier now and hope to do some more over the festive period.
A couple of pics from earlier and vids if I uploaded correctly...
Best wishes to you,
Following on from the last entry I have since managed to simplify the wiring and the new turnout is in place and trains run through it - a couple of locos need a check on their Back to Backs before I start tweaking the frogs...which was a downfall of the previous ones I think.
With this in mind I decided to build the second replacement turnout under the road bridge as the layout has quite a few shows over 2019/2020. I started this yesterday afternoon before bad light stopped play and continued fresh this morning. A test wagon and coach appear to run through smoothly so next week it will be gapped, primed and then a few key wires added as before.
This will be an interesting fit as just overlaying it with the two diverging roads means the tiebar will sit right at the edge of the scenic baseboard so I will need to rip out the existing wire in tube under the platform and reroute a new one.
I will try to get the old turnout cut out and the new one installed this side of Christmas to leave redoing the fascia and scenics in January.
Overall, progress is on programme I think
A few pics...
Old School on the turnouts using the 2mm Association jigs...
A few easitrac sleepers on the ends to keep alignment...
Dropped in place for test fit...
Comments welcome as always...
Viewers alerted by wiring nightmares should avert their eyes now... As per usual with my blog entries they are a mix of positive and negative experiences but it’s all about the process and how we get there, right?
This weekend I looked to test the turnout in situ before spraying and glueing in place. The loco ran smoothly up to the turnout and onto the frog area then kept shorting out...I swopped over wires and checked for gaps on the PCB...then it occurred to me that I had not gapped the tie bar made from a PCB sleepers turned on its side... Once this was sorted it ran through, but then shorted when the blades were switched the other way As you know, electrics are not my forte so I pondered whether to re-wire the layout from scratch. The main problem is the basic electrics were done 10 years ago as a DC layout and then modified more recently for DCC. So switched sections all add to the extra wires underneath.
Now the fascia has been removed it’s not so easy to flip the layout upside down anymore so a few temporary card sides were cut to give a good surface to review the base. It really is a mish mash and although has been reliable at shows (bar the intermittent turnout) it is too complicated and am not sure why I compounded this by using about 6 different coloured wires!
What a mess for such a simple layout!...
So I pondered over lunch and a few glasses of white wine what to do. Decision was made. Strip out and renew as much as I can, but simplifying in the process. I will leave the DC capability but permanently wire the sections together. I also drew one of those wiring diagrams with the two coloured pens as a I tend to use blue and red these days for + and - and yellow for turnout frogs. This was drawn reversed so I can compare when the layout is upside down.
Wiring diagram from below...
I then took out the cutters to start snipping. It reminded me of that 70’s movie with Richard Harris (I think) where they had to defuse a bomb...”cut the blue wire...no, cut the red wire” ...So I cut most of them and then labelled as I went along with simple blue and red tags as to what I think they ought to be.
Wires cut and tagged ready to be rationalised...
That’s pretty much where I left it as the light was fading and I think I need to start this with fresh eyes and a few hours run at it. Hopefully next weekend I can make a start. It means a slight step back in programme however in the long run it seems to be the right thing to do as I have quite a few shows lined up for 2019 and some in 2020.
Hopefully once it’s complete, the layout will run a lot smoother and the simplified underside can match the simplified top side!
Hard to believe that a layout with just two turnouts could be a mess of spaghetti underneath!...
As always, comments welcome...
The trip to Wycrail yesterday allowed me to make a few purchases and undertake some further work today on the new track insert(s) - A set of Xuron track cutters, new soldering iron 2mm chisel bit and a soldering iron cleaner were ticked off the shopping list.
First thing today I finished the tie bar started with Mark the other week. This was first drilled to allow for the wire in tube mechanism. Once installed it allowed me to trim the frog ends of the turnout to match the existing trackwork diverging roads. The new track cutters are perfect for this. Then the toe end was trimmed to suit.
To pack up the height a tad, I cut up a few of my spare business cards - a good stout piece of card and a little free advertising before I cover with paint and ballast I could then drop in the turnout and check fit and look at connection to the existing wire in tube which protrudes from the platform face. A slot was also cut as the tie bar is a sleeper turned 90 degrees.
This has been modified by inserting a new fresh piece of wire and I need to do further work to get the throw right with the switch - previously had an omega loop but have cut open the back of the fascia incase I need to reroute it.
I then soldered some feed wires to the turnout namely outer rails and frog and holes were drilled through baseboards accordingly. Gapping the turnout was completed once I had run a through bits of stock through it and so far it seems to have taken to its setting quite well. Next weekend I will look to hook up the wires and check running ideally before glueing it in place. The last exercise was to wash and scrub the turnout with Vim using a toothbrush - must remember to stash it in my tool box than let it find it’s way back into the bathroom...although my teeth could do with whitening
Here’s a few pics from today and as always comments welcome.
Something I mentioned in my last blog update was that I wanted to replace the turnout(s) which had intermittent faults. The more troublesome being the turnout in the station having power issues as well as the odd derailment when running around. The other suffers the occaisional derailments when reversing wagons.
Mark Fielder of this parish kindly offered to help me as viewers of my blogs know my track building skills need improvement Seeing as how I took this week off for 1/2 term, a day was arranged with Mark and yesterday we started by first analysing the problem. Essentially no power was getting to part of the frog area so generally the 37’s made it across it but the 26’s and 24’s were temperamental. It had to go rather than remove offending material.
We started with an overview of turnout building in PCB and rail as the previous turnouts I recall were built as a hybrid first easitrac kits with a few interlaced PCB sleepers. This time I wanted to use all PCB. We used the 2mm Association jigs and began with the straight rail, followed by constructing the V and then dropped this in after adding the curved rail. At this point I was happy for Mark to take the lead and I watch as the frog was always my downfall. Mark had lots of great tips and techniques which I hope to employ on the next turnout I construct. The tie bar is work in progress not helped by me leaving it at Mark’s house that afternoon!
This afternoon I decided to remove a few areas to make the work easier. Firstly, the removal of the telegraph pole, pallet and very fine TPM mesh fence which will be reinstated. The small projecting sign was also removed from the station building for good measure.
Next up, the fascia had to go to actually get into the area as it will need some creative thinking wielding a soldering iron at some point The fascia will be recut at work on the laser cutter but I will probably opt for a different material as card is a bit too vulnerable.
I then cut out the old turnout which had to be in pieces due to the ballast holding it firm. The wire in tube operation can just be seen poking through the platform so I hope to be able to link up with that. We made the turnout oversized and once I purchase some Xuron track cutters will trim it to the required length and then look at packers to bring it level. I will finish the tie bar and gap the turnout ready, cut to size and then (after a clean up) spray it grey primer before inserting it. Painting will only be completed once it is in place and trains are hopefully running smoothly. I will then make a judgement on whether I replace the other turnout which is located partially under the bridge
The deadline is to have it revamped in time for the Stafford show early February 2019 as that is a weekend show so I need the running to be much better than it is currently.
I would just like to extend my thanks to Mark Fielder again for his time, patience and help in building this turnout and I hope I can get it looking as good and as smoothing running as all his layouts
Here are a few pictures...
As always, comments welcome!
An update from the Billericay show yesterday. A nice small friendly show set in 3 buildings joined by a garden...the Mayor arrived for a scheduled 30 minute visit...and ended up staying 2 hours! His driver was well impressed by the sounds from the 37’s just as he remembered them.
Overall, the layout behaved although some stock has been withdrawn to have a look at on the workbench - my once reliable 37/4 seems to suffer from cut out of the lights and sound regularly - might remove the body and see how it runs without it. The corridor connections from the previous post were actually removed just before as they need thinning down - together with the knuckle couplings it seems to derail them so that’s another one to look at.
The big decision of the day is that I have decided to replace both the turnouts...or rather elements of them, especially the common crossings. This will be an interesting manoeuvre for the soldering iron due to the fascia...I may have to remove it and remake this if it proves cumbersome. The turnout in the station has had for sometime an intermittent electrical fault and the occasional derailment so I have decided this needs to be sorted for the two day show in Stafford February 2019. After all, the track dates back to its original box file incarnation which was for 2010.
Two other outcomes from the day were Stoke City getting relegated (lifelong supporter) and my youngest son deciding that this would probably be the last show he attended with me as he is now not enjoying it as much as he used to. He is nearly 15 now so I was assuming he would follow the same path as his brother did around this age. Shame though, as he has been a reliable operator, great helper in setting up/dismantling and also good company
Back to the show, I had some very nice comments and received three verbal invites, two already sent by email. The seethrough black cloth also gave way to the original black drape I bought for my CJM layout...thankfully and hopefully now the attention is refocused on the layout not the supporting structure
A few pics of KoL from the show...I have posted some other pics of the day on the exhibition thread here if of interest:
My son already distracted by his phone after set up...
New black curtain tidies the base...
37025 was the star of the day...great sound from this tractor...different to 37414...
On standby next to the inspection saloon...
Overall a good day out and expect to see the next update on turnout replacements...
As always, comments welcome
Evening all - smashing weather the last few days
Last year I accepted an invite to the Billericay Model Railway Group one day show on 5th May 2018, so Kyle is Essex bound.
It’s a small one day show which is my preference at the moment juggling the hobby with work and family commitments as many of us do.
I wanted to try and do some work on the rolling stock for the show, having now got two class 24’s sound fitted. My priority was to try and get 37025 (purchased from TMC as 37035) also sound chipped to go alongside 37414...so I could run the layout with 24’s in the late 70’s period and the 37’s as the early 80’s period - all with sound - thanks again to Nic Bastable for sending me in this direction - not green Nic, more red in terms of my credit card
I purchased the same sound chip and sugar cube speaker from Digitrains for the 37/0 with Paul Chetter sound - which is impressive. As before, they kindly pre soldered the chip wires to the speaker. To get it to fit I repeated as per 37414 by removing the lid of the speaker, cutting off the top by a few millimetres and then made a new top from 5 thou plasticard coloured with a permanent black marker pen. This then sits better inside the loco which has less room as I lowered it as with my previous 37...note I prefer this approach than the raising the bogies method.
The other thing was to hard wire the lights. The wires are so thin and temperamental so getting rid of the PCB at each end made for some more room but the thin wire I purchased kept snagging so I ended up using normal layout wire as I call it. I know some peeps think the lights are a bit bright compared to the reality...but the high intensity light is pretty cool...and it does help see which way the loco is about to move off as the Daisy II has a continuous knob for the throttle.
The 37 has been renumbered with Precision Decals, detail added one end and a DG coupling the other end. Final touch was to weather it with some powders.
Next up was some corridor connections which Andy Stroud (Blueball Summit) kindly told me about for the MK II rake. These are MBM and good value for money and close the gap left by use of the Dapol knuckle couplings. I was going to also add them to the MK I rake then realised that the BG was always centred in the three coach trains to be close to the ramp. So I kind of guessed you wouldn’t let people walk through the train...unless someone can show me evidence to the contrary.
Finally (thanks for the tip off Steve Nicholls) some work on the new Bachfar Kyle line coaches which although only available as the digital train set pack, were seen as split out from a pack on E-bay. A must have purchase having asked them at Alley Pally if they would release the coaches separately and been told possibly next year. Would be great if they could replicate the Met Cam observation coach too as per the 00 version.
The coaches were joined with the corridor connections and lightly weathered. They always look pretty clean in the pics I have however the rooves were a bit shiny and so I toned these down and brushed some powders into the bogies and underframe too.
Am looking forward to run the layout at the show in two weeks time and see how the new stock is received. I will ask the exhibition manager if he can set up a thread on here for the show, failing that, perhaps I will.
Here’s a few photos of progress off the workbench...the next update after the show will perhaps have them on the layout itself.
Please do come and say hello if you are coming to the show
37414 and 37025...
Both locos visited Kyle...
Early MK II rake with corridor connections...
Close up of MBM connections...
Kyle line stock...
Close up again with MBM connections...
37025 and Kyle line stock...
37414 and 37025...layout too small to double head them...
Cruel close up...love the lights...
As always, comments welcome
Back from the one day show at Oxted School today. Nice little show with a mix of layouts although as my youngest son couldn't attend today I didn't get to see much. Nice Spanish HO/009 layout San Maria Gandia.
Overall the layout behaved itself and as always a couple of little things for the 'to do' list prior to the next show (DG couplings and tweaking one of the turnouts)
The layout was primarily run with the 24/0 and 37/4 sound chipped locos and a 26 and 27. The 24/1 appeared to have a short but I am due to send it to Kevin at Coastal DCC to sound chip it, so thought best to leave it for its strip down. I receieved some nice comments with people intruiged by the sound and the coupling mechanism. I also received a couple of informal invites for shows next year which will be followed up.
Nice to talk to a few RMWebbers. Hope Mark (Portchullin) enjoys the U2 concert tonight (not jealous ) and thanks to Nigel Ashton who held the fort allowing me to grab some lunch and have a quick nose around. Nigel grasped KoL operations within about 3 minutes flat
Show finished at 4:30pm and 25 minutes later I was packed and on the road, getting home by 6pm to a cold beer - Job done
A couple of pics of the layout as didn't manage to grab any of the other exhibits.
Back on Thurso track next week
It's been a while since I posted on this blog as I have been developing Thurso as an entry to the MRJ Cameo layout competition.
Back at the Tonbridge show, I was invited by Dakota Dibben, to a one day show he is organising next Sunday 9 July 2017 in Oxted. Details as below:
Hopefully there will be a few new things on show. First up, Kevin of Coastal DCC has sound chipped my 24/0 so now there are two sound locos on the layout. Kudos to Kevin who replaced the chip f/o/c after the first one fried
After the show I will be sending my 24/1 conversion to Kevin to also sound chip it. Am hoping to do the other 37 myself later in the year so at the Stafford show in February 2018 I hope to have two class 24's and two class 37's with sound. Addictive this sound malarkey
I have now weathered the class 24/1 and am awaiting a decoder to get this in service. It's a bit grubby but then again so was the photo of 24124 that it is based upon.
The class 37 has also had a little more weathering to the roof as the LL liverys did tend to get grubby on the roof. I have just used weathering powders dry brushed on as per usual.
Finally, the inspection saloon which I bought some time ago has been weathered, DG's added and rewheeled to 2mmFS. The latter represented a challenge as the 15.2mm axle coach wheels are rarely in stock at the 2mm shop and I only had a supply of 12.25mm axle coach wheels.
I decided to improvise by drilling a sheet of plasticard and inserting some brass top hat bearings. The plasticard was coloured with a permanent black marker pen and then small squares cut out around the bearings. These were tapered with a scalpel and the assembly located in place with superglue after reaming the hole in the bogie a tad. This then closes the gap and allows the use of 12.25mm axle wheels
Here's a couple of photos and do come and say hello if you drop by next Sunday
In between work deadlines, I have been trying to finish my 24/0 conversion to a 24/1, in this case 24124. This is essentially the Farish 24 with Alan's (etched pixels) nice set of etches allowing a 24/1 or 25/0 conversion.
24/1's were a staple of Kyle and more regular than the 24/0 so it really needed doing. It didn't quite make the last show but it is now almost ready to be weathered and represent a nice grubby version using the pic I have seen of 24124 at Kyle. It may well be that this gets sent for a sound chip conversion after I get to hear the one Kevin is undertaking on my other 24.
In addition, fuelled partly from my experiences at the last show, I have prepared some business cards for the layout as when people asked for details, I had left the pre-printed A4 information sheet at home Thanks to Pixie for the idea as detailed on his excellent layout thread.
These were designed in Indesign and then saved as PDF files and uploaded to Vistaprint. They turned them around in a few days and the quality is very sharp considering the size.
Whilst in Ryman's yesterday I noticed a small acrylic stand (meant for other uses I think) and I had the idea to scale down my information sheet to A5 size and have this as a small stand alone display adjacent to the layout. The card is actually a copy of the above mentioned information sheet so it contains a small description of the layout and on the rear the operating dimensions should someone enquire.
Here's a few pics...
Class 24124 awaiting final tweaking and weathering...
Pete Awaiting next turn of duty at Kyle...
The business cards...
Display stand holds information sheet and business cards...
Rear shows critical,layout operating dimensions...
Am now considering my next move and whether I start to make the boards for Thurso or whether I get side tracked again on my 7mm project
Food for thought indeed.
Comments welcomed as usual...
Yesterday was the one day show at Tonbridge with the layout operating to the paying public for the first time on dcc and with the sound chipped 37/4.
Nigel Ashton and I were flying the 2mmFS flag at the show, each with a corner slot although I think Nigel faired a tad better in his location in one of the main halls Fair play to the exhibition manager who came to check everyone an hour before doors opened and realised his floor plan had been a little ambitious given we were 7 exhibits in a fairly small room annexe. The placing just meant if peeps were viewing the adjacent MPD layout the fiddleyard was out of view...when in reality I consider it to be as much of the display as the scenic portion.
Despite setting up at home and testing the day before the usual gremlins struck but it was my class 27 and 24/0 which were the star performers on the day, both having been given some TLC by Pixie the week before. The 37/4 with sound chip was well received and the feeling was the level of sound was spot on without causing undue annoyance to my fellow neighbours - this is untouched and how it came from Digitrains FYI with no fiddling from myself.
The layout settled down in the afternoon and apart from the odd DG occurrence of random uncoupling the only thing I need to crack is the station turnout which I still can't fathom if its electrical or the loco. The Dapol class 26's seem to cough and stall on it, the Dapol class 27 is fine, whilst the Farish 24 has no problem. The class 37/4 was having its moments too yesterday. No regrets moving to dcc though and some people commented on the smoothness and slow running qualities.
Overall I received some nice comments on the layout and I always get a few stories from people who visited the station in the 70's and tell me which part of the platform they stood on, which I enjoy.
I received about 3/4 enquiries for shows which will be followed up in due course. Nice to meet up with some RMWebbers too who came over for a chat whilst my son kept things moving.
I never managed to finish my class 24/1 for the show, despite a last minute surge and thought better to keep back for the next show as I had plenty of motive power. I left the class 24/0 with Kevin of Coastal DCC who is going to install a sound chip for me...involves some milling of the chassis which is a for me. I will follow this up with the 24/1 later in the year and I am hoping to chip my 37/0 myself so I will be able to run it with sound using either 2 x 24's or 2 x 37's. The Dapol locos are a little more challenging to get sound in I understand.
My son holding the fort in our corner slot...
Still some painting tweaks, headlights and front end detailing to add to the 24/1...
Thanks for all the nice comments and I do need to get the baseboards up and running on Thurso as the mock up for the extension seemed to be well received too.
Just a quick plug to say KoL will be appearing next Saturday at the 1 day exhibition in Tonbridge, Saturday 18 February 2017.
This will be the first time (other than a preview at the 2mmFS AGM) that the layout appears in DCC mode and since then 37414 has been sound chipped. Have been testing the fleet and big thanks to Pixie who managed to breathe life back into two of the locos
Due to work commitments I haven't been able to finish 24124, 37025 and 26040 but they are chipped and await detailing, respray and final decs.
Here's the fleet in totality during testing yesterday - all are chipped and the next one for sound will be one of the class 24's...
Do come along and say hello - I shall be there with my youngest son Jo who is chief operator now
After the AGM the other week, 2mmFS mojo has been topped up and it was time to start looking at the rolling stock for KoL. I had always had the intention to have a class 24/1 as they were more frequent on the line than the 24/0 and the Etched Pixels etches were getting a little fidgety in the gloat box.
Following some filing away to the front cabs to remove door hinges etc. some filler has been added to create the distinctive smooth fronts. The roof fan has been drilled out and replaced as well as the addition of the head code boxes - very nice conversion kit of etches here. There are also some roof modifications required which were started this morning...some for 24/1's and some to correct Farish's errors.
Ploughs fitted it had a first coat of primer to flush out any filling errors...and there are quite a few judging by the close ups! More filler was applied earlier. The loco will end up as 24124 which I have a pic of at KoL. Lastly the front will be drilled to have to white jewel headlamps similar to what I did with one of my class 26's. Am not sure I will use the working lights as the lamps were all a bit dull in those days by accounts.
First coat of primer...
Some further filling and sanding required to the cab front...
Secondly, sound for my Farish 37/4 - it's all that Nick Bastable's fault for running his green 207 on the layout at the AGM The sound was impressive and the next day I took the rash move of ordering a sound chip from Digitrains just to see how it was. There was away thread on here recently that showed a new Zimo chip which could plug in and the speaker attached was buried in the 37/4 nose/roof - instant sound was what I was after.
What I hadn't taken into account was that they had not lowered their 37 so it did not fit Following various arrangements to try and locate I set about making my own lid for the mini speaker. This proved to be problematic so it was parked and slept on overnight - next morning I had a solution.
Cut the lid off the speaker housing using a razor saw, profile the shape to that of the 37 roof and then add a slither of 10 thou plasticard to make a new roof. This was then coated with a permanent marker black pen and then inserted back into the loco - this time it fitted a lot better and the lights were still working.
Attached is a short video of it in action. Must admit, I was never a fan of this sound stuff...but now I am bitten by it It's only money preventing me from working through my whole fleet ...and perhaps any necessary hacking of the chassis block which I would prefer not to do. The aim is to put a sound chip in the other 37/0 and in future the 24, 26 and 27's can follow.
Am tempted not to have the lights working in these as per above but the high intensity light on the 37 is quite nice.
Am hoping to have the 24/1 and the other 37 ready for the Tonbridge exhibition 18 February 2017.
An update on the 2mmFS AGM yesterday and KoL's appearance.
Whilst presenting at exhibitions is still a relatively new thing for me, putting your work on show to your fellow 2mmFS peers with a common interest is a somewhat slightly nerve racking experience This was my first attendance at an AGM, mainly due to AWOL in BCN but it was Mick Simpson who suggested at Warley last year that I bring the layout along. Set up was pretty smooth and this was the first outing with the layout in DCC mode. I am using the Uhlenbrock Daisy II system and am very happy with it.
http://www.uhlenbrock.de/de_DE/produkte/digizen/I000C683-001.htm!ArcEntryInfo=0004.4.I000C683 - Which is available through a couple of suppliers in the U.K. - usual disclaimer
My thanks again to Nigel Cliffe for all his help and even packing his laptop and software to be able to correct a few things I hadn't quite got to grips with yet. Nigel even added some loco bitmap icons for the handset as well as tuning my 37 which was a little on/off in its responsiveness...due to the chip I think.
Setting up the morning before at home and the layout behaved itself - 24 hours later at a show and we had derailments, uncoupling issues and a dodgy wire to a turnout...again the latter identified by Nigel with my meter...I also took the mock up of Thurso which we propped up against the layout to show the next phase of this project. Thanks for the nice feedback all.
The AGM itself was fairly rapid and congratulations to all those who won prizes. Tim Shackleton was the judge and followed with a few inspirational words about finescale modelling.
For me, it was an enjoyable day out and very nice to meet familiar faces (some I haven't seen since the 2mmFS Goldern Jubilee) and meet some new ones. My thanks to my youngest son Jo who came to help set up and operate which allowed me to chat with peeps. It was also nice to have a few interlopers on the layout some of which has been captured in the iPhone pics below.
If you are wondering about the title, it's because I have never made it to Kyle yet, only getting as far as Inverness about 30 years ago...although I do feel I know the place quite intimately
If of interest, Kyle is due to appear at the following exhibitions planned to date:
February 2017 - Tonbridge February 2018 - Stafford
Here's a few pics...
the t-shirt...my son was wearing his but beneath his hoodie as he was cold...
the formal proceedings...
nigel identifying the problematic turnout...
pixie laid out some stock on the thurso mock up...
nic bastable's 207 finally get's north...without third rail...
dave strattons class 33 - farish on Dapol chassis...
bryn's 24081 and some of his wagons...
a few more of bryn's wagons...my grampus was only chucked on as it has two loops at each end...
pixie's class 25...looks really at home...although 25's never made it there I believe...
pixie's class 24/1 - etched pixels mods to a class 24...
All in all a fab day out and thanks to all for their kind comments.
The layout is due to appear at the 2mmFS AGM tomorrow...in fact it's the first AGM I have ever managed to attend having joined the Association just before departing for BCN.
Having made the break to DCC at the end of last year, chipped a few locos, then got distracted by the senior scale, it was time to try and get it working....and this seemed a good milestone. A few extra wires to solve some dodgy track connections and things seem to be running...albeit no sound. One step at a time.
Most of the locos don't have lights as when I detailed them some time ago the fragile Dapol wires seemed to detach very easily...though am not so worried as the lights weren't as intense from my memories...37's excepted
I took the morning off today to set up and do some test runs. The class 27 is out of action but I think help is on its way for that tomorrow
I would just like to thank Nigel Cliffe for his advice and knowledge on DCC (and replying to my numerous numpty emails on the subject) and suggesting I look at the Uhlenbrock Daisy II system...very happy with it so far.
Here's a few shots of the set up from this morning and I shall take my Thurso mock up along to get some feedback.
There might be a few visitors to Kyle tomorrow so I hope to report back with some shots capturing this.
Just a word of warning though - the same rule applies for the layout as the Contractors tell me when I snag the building cladding...don't stand any closer than 3 metres to view it...
Firstly, many thanks for the kind comments received on the Model Rail article this month. I was really pleased with it and it was good to meet the MR team at Warley last weekend...although CJL was always busy when I tried to speak with him in the short time I was there. I have also picked up a couple of show invites on the back of the article which was nice.
I think I mentioned in my new Thurso blog that I would be making the break to DCC with that layout and with this in mind, I ended up leaving Warley with an Uhlenbrock Daisy II starter system from DCC train automation. James Hudson was very helpful in showing me said product and talking me through it. Many thanks are also due to Nigel Cliffe of the 2mm Association for all his guidance about the various systems around/decoders suitable for 2mm motors.
Having also purchased from TMC a Scottish 37 (37027) on offer for 80 notes and a basic decoder to get me started I rigged up the system last night. First job was to quickly construct two other test tracks for my portable workbench to aid in testing - am assuming the programming track ideally needs to be built somewhere in the fiddle yard of a layout.
Having swapped out the decoder and test run the 37 (having first run it in on the rolling road to check all was well) I had my first DCC experience switching on and off lights and running up and down he short length of track...and I absolutely loved it....haven't even immersed myself in the world of sound yet Next I need to get my head around programming the 37 which incidentally will be modified to 37025 which was a regular at Kyle.
From this I have decided that I should upgrade Kyle to be DCC as I understand it shouldn't be too much rewiring to do and I have a few additional wires to be installed following the last show. Am hoping to look at this over the Christmas period as I have some time off work.
Daisy II system...quite like the look and feel of the handset...
The two new test roads added to the workbench....
TMC unweathered limited edition Farish 37...will become 37025
I think the addition of this to Kyle will hopefully give a new dimension to the operation of the layout with the sound a later addition when I have recovered financially from Barcelona
A quick update on last weekend and decisions going forward.
Really enjoyed to exhibit at the Uckfield show last week, the first two day show for KoL...must admit I was knackered at work on Monday - might be better to take the Monday off in future rather than the Friday.
Overall it didn't perform too badly and it received some nice comments from peopleseemingly fascinated by the fiddle yard and back scene...and the compactness. Saturday it performed better than the Sunday and only one point in the show on Sunday morning where the turnout at the end of the layout stopped running, I had to flip the scenic section of the layout on its side One of the drawbacks of the layout being built for box files was that all the wiring is trapped between the layout and support structure - in the end we think it might have been some fibreglass fibres trapped between the turnout blades Thanks to Nigel A and fellow operator Andy H for helping in sorting that one due to my lack of electrical prowess!
Good to see Nigel and his rolling stock and as he suggested, the first kettle on Kyle - shame it didn't seem to see eye to eye with my Pictroller...which my Farish and Dapol blue boxes run nicely with. Good to also seem some fellow RMWebbers at the show too. Still one or two issues with DG's to resolve but I need to make a new jig and set them all to this - hope that irons that one out.
Also received 2 potential invites to shows whilst there so just waiting formal follow up of these. Someone arrived on Sunday morning to tell me he had seen the layout on the Uckfield news website so nice bit of coverage there.
I had previously decided that next year I would concentrate on rebuilding my CJM layout however after this weekend I was left with mixed feelings. At 4.4metres long it will be a bit of a beast and we don't really have space to accommodate that at present plus there were a lot of nice comments from the show about the size of the layout and the atmosphere that had been incorporated into a small space. Together with the support structure, legs, rolling stock and workbench it all takes quite a bit of space in our VW (clean diesel) Touran
So with this in mind, I have decided to resurrect my previous idea to build an extract of Thurso, which will use the existing fiddle yard (slightly modified) and will keep within the constraints of Kyle so be 132mm wide. The length may be longer pending mapping out of the track plan. This will use very similar stock to Kyle, namely class 26's and 37's and some freight.
Am quite excited about this and the idea is to try and improve upon my track building skills as well as make the break to DCC...a sound fitted class 37 will add an extra dimension, something that perhaps is lacking from Kyle.
I have started sketching so expect a new blog, some sketches and mock ups to appear soon. Whilst I would still love to redo CJM, I think the compactness and time available to me at present makes this a more realistic proposal. Whilst a separate line to Kyle it could even be added to form a double ended layout giving a '2 for 1' option for shows, which was what my original sketch of a few years back had hinted at.
Here's a few pictures from the show including some interlopers
In other news, Kyle will feature in Model Rail next month on sale 19 November 2015 and I must say Chris Nevard has taken some fab pictures...
Comments welcome as usual,
Just a quick entry to highlight that KoL will be appearing at the Uckfield MRC show next weekend 17/18 October 2015 - Details of the show can be found here:
The support structure has had approximately one metre trimmed from it now, meaning the layout is about 1500mm overall now. I have added a base at the bottom which not only allows more stability to the supports but also allows operators to see over the back scene - especially my sons.
I have also taken delivery of the new 2FS badges so have dropped on my RMWeb avatar so please come and say hello if passing by
Need to do some tweaks on the layout and stock between now and then before it has its first 2 day show.
3 months since last post Actually have been suffering the post exhibition dip, loss of mojo and snowed at work...however, am on hols for a couple of weeks now so might try to make some headway. My two boys also want me to progress their 4mm shelf layout too which I promised I would do.
Following the one day exhibition at Burgess Hill I have now had confirmation of invite to this years Uckfield exhibition which I am rather excited about. One of the main objectives was to give the layout support structure a trim as it was using the system built by my brother for the Paddock Wood layout two years before. That was a longer layout having a fiddle yard at either end.
The overall length was 2500mm and considering the total length of KoL is approximately 1500mm, it was clear that there could be some pruning. I produced some simple diagrams which proved that shaving 500mm off each end would do the job as well as make the support structure lighter and take up less room in the back of the car. To compensate for this I will build a small wooden deck that will sit between the Draper legs and act as a platform to stand on...this will help my youngest son who spent most of the time at the BH exhibition standing on the base supports as this gave him an added 150mm or so to look over the back scene.
I have also been drafting a small flyer leaflet of information that could be sent to exhibition managers if the layout is of interest...This gives an overview of the layout in addition to the space requirements for the set up. I have included the short version here so you can see the modifications, all of which will be hidden courtesy of the black sheet which sits below the layout to complete the display.
I have cut the excess timber off this afternoon and will start to make the lower support structure this week. I am also hoping to start work on a 24/1 conversion having bought a s/h class 24 off e-Bay recently....that and building 5 Stephen Harris 2mmFS mermaid kits
In other news, the layout was recently visited by Chris Nevard...watch this space on that one
A resume of the day yesterday where KoL 2015 had its first exhibition since it was flown over as a box file layout in 2010 - same venue BHMRC one day exhibition.
The first show resulted in a number of changes to be made namely, viewing height, lack of lighting, redoing the back-scene, build the station building, build a fiddle yard, more appropriate rolling stock, general running qualities etc as depicted by the image below:
Following the two makeovers since (the first was to the IKEA shelf, the second removing it from said shelf!) addressed a fair number however the most recent in London tackled the lighting and presentation. I also prepared myself a 3 month programme of activities which was knocked into a final 'to do' list in the last few weeks - this has helped me focus and prioritise the works.
The layout set up was very quick and trains were running before 10:00am concentrating on 3 rakes, passenger, parcels and vans. This was carried throughout the day with help from my youngest son and also Jon020...including our usual 3pm G+T reviver
Overall the layout received some very nice comments and it was really nice that people recognised it and told me stories of visiting the station from days gone by. The main two areas that need attention are the turnout in the station had a few stalls at times which we think might be a power issue and also some DG coupling loops/buffing plates need some height adjustments.
It was nice to see Nigel and David from the 2mmFS Association along with some RMWebbers too.
Overall I was pleased with the exhibition and I have since received my first invite to appear at the Uckfield show on October 17/18 later this year - well chuffed about that.
Here's a couple of pics and I need to think about trying to get a 24/1 and 37/0 to boost the motive power and if I feel brave enough build the 5 Stephen Harris grampus wagon kits I have
Many thanks for all the support and encouragement for the layout in the lead up to the show.
Just a quick update to say that work on the layout has now seized ready for the one day exhibition at BHMRC tomorrow.
Today the layout was erected on its support structure and last minute jobs ranging from works to the front fascia including a few descriptive images and storyboard to the rear fascia track plan diagram with notation for the magnets, isolating sections and turnouts - old school stuff this
Here's a few pics and I will report back after the show on whether Kyle will get to stretch its legs further afield or its a disaster and will get early retirement
Many thanks to Don, David, Mickey and Mark for their PM's of good wishes - will respond when I can.
Work has been plodding away on the layout of late but haven't had time to do an update so thought I would take the opportunity this b/h weekend.
I had made a mini target programme of activities for Feb/Mar/Apr and May but this has now been converted into a final 'to do' list as the exhibition is two weeks yesterday
This update concentrates on rolling stock, particularly locos which span the eras. I have been doing some research and found pics of Kyle of all locos modelled - essential to be able to whip out that photo at an exhibition should the question arise
For the early part I will use 24113 which is the Farish model as featured previously on my blog - this has mainly had a DG coupling fitted at one end and very little other work to it. This will see some overlap with the class 26's and then the class 26's will overlap with the class 37's. The 26 previously modelled is 26038 which has the two headlights at the front - again, apart from adding the DG at one end, little extra work has been done to this one.
To supplement this 26027 has been modelled to feature the tablet catcher. This is using the excellent TPM etch from Bernard and involves taking a knife to the body and small file using the template provided. This loco also had a small BR blue logo at the cab ends rather than the middle so nice bit of quirkiness there.
And something of a rarity at Kyle, a class 27. I couldn't find any pics and an excuse to buy the Dapol model until Gary (of Glenuig) showed me a pic of 27108 at Kyle - result! Perfect excuse to have one.
The other loco which has been worked on is a 37/4 in large logo livery. This is the recent Farish model re numbered to 37414. This is awaiting weathering and isn't a rat so couldn't form part of this entry!
The locos have all had a DG fitted at one end, with pipes etc to one end and as many that can fit around the DG at the other end without compromising the movement. They have been re numbered using the excellent rail-tec transfer range. Some basic weathering with powders has been undertaken although I will try and refine this a little more. Now need to get back on the coaching stock, parcels and wagon formations.
Here's a few pics - sorry they are a bit dark - the fascia light is on but I was shooting against the living room window
26027...tablet catcher left hand end...
head to head...
highly unlikely but couldn't resist all three together...
Comments welcome as usual.
Quick update on progress around Easter - my recently returned turned down wheels were reinserted and after a second period of running in on the rolling road the locos were tried on the layout - some fettling was required to the two turnouts so the bare solder may be visible in some pics below prior to getting retouched in with a paint brush.
With most of the big tasks for scenery, lighting and wiring undertaken my attention has now turned to the rolling stock. My primary aim is to keep it simple as per Gary's wonderful EM Glenuig and have three primary trains operating - 1 passenger, 1 parcels and 1 freight. Some shunting of these will hopefully break this down into further sub divisions...depending upon how many DG's get mounted in time
One primary requirement for Kyle was a rake of 12T vans. My earlier versions date back to a mixture of Peco, Grafar and Lima so this needed updating. One look at the chassis etches for the 5 Stephen Harris kits I have, with a note made 4 years ago to 'ring for instructions over the phone' was not something that I could see happening swiftly from my side and having only made one Association chassis etch so far for my China clay layout, now was not the right time.
My back up plan initially was to buy a fleet of Farish vans and re wheel them to 2FS standards and eventually replace the chassis for them, however when looking at the costs for a set of wheels for each it sort of made sense to put this money towards the new chassis as the axle lengths would be different and I would have the wheels surplus to requirements. Decision made, order forms completed and all the bits arrived just prior to Easter, which was perfect as I had taken this week off work to use up 2014 holiday.
My first chassis build took me 4 hours and that didn't include the axle boxes and DG couplings - I was feeling a little underwhelmed at the thought of the 7 others to complete...however I got stuck in deciding to get a production line going so as to see the fleet growing rather than on a wagon by wagon basis. One oversight made was that I had ordered all 10ft chassis however I also ordered a couple of the Farish cattle vans for a mix and these are 11ft chassis - my back up plan was to ream out the plastic, fit in some top hats and drop in some 2FS wheels - short term solution in case I run out of time to replace them.
As usual my soldering skills have been pushed to the limits and I confess to using some cyno adhesive in some parts...interesting fumes this gives off when you put the iron where previously there had been glue Today has seen the six wagons completed to a point where they need a good clean, scrub and prime prior to seating beneath the Farish rtr bodies. I have just rested them on top for now to see how they look.
A quick test run of the 26 pushing them into the sidings this evening was very satisfying as it does really make a difference to the running quality and they are visually more delicate in appearance too.
Need to move onto the locos quite soon...still plenty to do. Few pics below:
Farish cattle vans with 2FS wheels as short term solution...
Work in progress...
New chassis awaiting clean up and painting...
26 awaiting to leave...
Dapol 26 re wheeled...
Kyle finally has some vans...
Time is marching on...
Comments welcome as usual,
A quick update on general progress of late. Lots of small bits and pieces undertaken since the last update. First up the station sign. The original layout has had two different signs during the last two years starting with the Scottish blue one before I swapped it to the British Railways black and white sign.
I have always had a soft spot for the blue signage so set about recreating it. The previous one had been undertaken trying to match the typeface and colour to pics but this time I recalled the famous Michael Palin trip and the sign featured at the end...namely because he got to take one home and fix it to his back garden wall. I remember taking some screen grab stills of the DVD in BCN in order to help with detailing and using the shot from the garden I was able to import it into Photoshop and (with the help of a colleague at work) sharpen up the white text and tweak the blue colour.
This was then printed to a 20% reduction on our colour printer and duly applied to the wall of the ramp. So a real copy of the original two piece metal station sign shrunk to suit in case anyone queries the typeface at the exhibition
original pic screen grab from tv!...
packaged ready for MP to take home...
completed sign in place...
Next up was replacing the bridge handrail and roadway. The road was redone with fine wet n dry paper and the paving using one of the scalescenes downloads. The handrail took a few attempts and was formed using various sections of Evergreen plastic assembled using liquid poly.
bridge handrail redone...black out below bridge described below...
The quayside had some repairs including new metal bollards formed from small model wooden boat accessories from a model shop in BCN which specialised in boat models painted rust colour to match whilst the excellent TPM metal Herris type fencing was repaired following a disaster when the strip light fell from above during temporary positioning of it
Another important addition to the base of the ramp is the classic telephone box which is a rather lovely little etched kit from Shirescenes - this awaits a prime and red coat top colour.
A slightly bizarre and time consuming job was the alignment of the power connector between boards. This involved some reverse engineering somewhat as one side had been prefixed to the scenics board and now in an effort to simplify the wiring I tried to position the opposing side on the FY boards...except there was no end to this board as it had been hollowed out to get the wires in. What followed was a fairly Heath Robinsonish affair of locating the connector whilst continually checking the tracks above were aligned and then setting this within a surround so that when I plug the two boards together they align and do the power - Note to self: next layout I build will have this all resolved with C+L board connectors prior to track laying
Finally, a small experiment to help block the view when taking pictures. A small hinging flap made from cardboard and coloured in using a black permanent marker pen is located above the bridge on the inside face to lower and help block out light and hopefully get more realaitic pics - more done as a trial to see how I get on with it...the fourth pic down shows the benefit(?) of it in place...
small cardboard hinged mechanism...
which can be folded out of the way when not required...
still chipping away...
Now hoping to get onto rolling stock starting with the locos once the wheels return from being turned down.
That's about it - comments welcomed as always.