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  1. The story so far. After years of playfully browsing eBay, buying up all sorts of mismatched 00 gauge model railway track and rolling stock and putting it on parliamentary expenses, the chickens finally come home to roost in our hero's herb garden. Grassed up by person or persons unknown for crimes against finescale modelling, the charges are severe. They include TWO Evening stars, mixing Eastern and Western region coaches in the same train, getting the buffet car in the wrong position, running a DCC sound loco on DC , using foam track underlay and the heinous crime of Tracing (train racing). Our hero now faces the full might of THE RIVET POLICE. Read on if you dare. Chapter 2 - Banged up. Mercifully the trial was very short, I was fast tracked, just 3 days in court. My barrister advised that my case was hopeless so I threw myself on the mercy of the court and pleaded guilty. I asked for 43 other cases of poor signalling, out of scale wheels, bad scenery and a ducking giraffe to be taken into consideration. The sentencing was all a bit of a blur, I just remember a few key phrases from the judge such as “the worst case he'd seen in months”, “a shocking example to the youth of today”, “depraved acts” etc. When the sentence came there were gasps from the public gallery at a stretch of 7 years hard modelling. I’d be an old man by the time I came out - mainly because I was an old one going in. I looked up to the public gallery, where I saw my tearful wife being comforted by the man next to her. I only caught a glimpse, but he looked very much like Eric from no 52, I couldn’t be sure, what with the false beard and Groucho Marx glasses. Still in shock I was led away by one of the guards. He tried to cheer me up “Don't worry son, keep your nose clean and get up to exhibition standard and you'll be out in three." The model prison was not quite what I was expecting, as I was led to my cell with my pile of regulation uniform - maroon carpet slippers, brown corduroy trousers and beige cardigan. The first thing that hit you was the smell, a faint mixture of PVA wood glue, copydex, and plastic cement. And the noise - there wasn't any, just the quiet tinkering of inmates working on their layouts. They had the pale ghostly modeller's complexion of people intently working on layouts for up to 18 hours a day. My cell was originally designed by the Victorians for three people - but it was just me in there. On the wall was a tatty centrefold of a class 52 western locomotive and a pile of dog-eared “Rail Only” magazines lay in the corner. The cell was bare of the usual prison comforts except for standard 8x4 ft layout board, a big pile of balsa wood and polystyrene, basic track components, an airbrush, some spray paints, PVA wood glue, soldering iron, a cutting mat, Dremel drill & bits, a collection of of blades, jewellers’ screwdrivers and two boxes of plasticard. Luckily for the prisoners we had several well-heeled music industry patrons on the outside who saw us alright. You soon got used to endless repeats of Atlantic Crossing, Tommy and Kylie's Greatest Hits quietly playing over the PA. It was a small price to pay for siberian goose down duvets, memory foam mattresses, 50-inch TVs, 4 course dinners with a lunchtime buffet and a free vend coffee machine which served a great cafe latte. When the Market Deeping Just Giving restoration fund passed the £1m mark, some of the club members came out of retirement and got back to their old trading jobs. Speculating wildly on the London derivatives market, the club lost its charitable status and was now regulated by the FCA. They didn’t care, the fund was now over £23m and they were officially the richest model railway club in the world, soon to bring out their own range of Class 66 locomotives. In Hogwarts colours. It was only fair that they chipped in for the deep pile carpets, soft close toilet seats in the ensuites and a complete repaint in Farrow & Ball colours. In the model railway brotherhood we look after our own - “we wuz faaamily”. Inevitably in such a powder-keg pressure-cooker atmosphere things were bound to kick off occasionally, like the time they ran out of grilled salmon on lentils, or substituted custard creams for bourbon biscuits at elevenses. The guards were well prepared however, and had a Jenny Agutter look alike on standby that could be there in 30 minutes. When the smoke machines kicked in and she ran down the main hall in her Victorian Railway Children bonnet and cloak, shouting “Daddy! my daddy!” the commotion stopped dead. It was hard to riot when you’re blubbing your eyes out. My first day in one of the re-education classes - scratch build track assembly - came as a bit of a surprise when the tutor walked in. She was a striking woman in her late 40s, cream cashmere sweater and tight pencil skirt. You could just imagine her taking off her glasses and shaking her hair loose in slow motion like some sort of shampoo ad. The guy next to me nudged me out of my trance and whispered “Miss July 1995”. Over the coming weeks it soon became apparent that the rehabilitation tutors were all former glamour models and Playboy bunnies from the 80’s and 90’s. It was supposed to reduce the re-offending rate but for some reason that nobody in senior management could quite work out, it seemed to increase it. Initially saying they wanted a job in modelling, the tutors were universally all warned against it by their school careers advisors, citing the shame and dishonour this would bring their families. I guess the world had a different attitude back then. Instead they turned to taking their tops off for dodgy magazines, and it was only now, years later that they could fulfil their childhood dreams of serious railway modelling. Linda Lusardi knew just about everything there was to know about block signalling techniques, while Samantha Fox demonstrated an amazing skill with an airbrush for weathering locomotives and wagons. Melinda Messenger was first rate at static grass and making superb trees from pipe cleaners and coloured lichen, but refused to talk further about trimming the perfect bush, complaining we weren't taking it seriously. When Abi Titmuss delicately took my hand and guided it in our track ballasting class I felt electricity run between us. I looked hopefully into her eyes, had she felt the spark too? Evidently she had. She looked at me crossly “I told you to turn the bloody power off when doing this, you and your sweaty palms I just got 15 volts thank you very much!” For a while I thought I was really getting the hang of finescale modelling, what with managing to lay nearly three feet of track in the first month: a few short years and I’d be out. Unfortunately, my hopes were dashed at the next layout inspection when my sleeper spacing was found to be out by 2 and in some cases 3mm and I had to rip it all up and start again. I could see I would have to knuckle down, stop watching Netflix box sets of the world's most scenic railways and get on with some serious modelling. Life at the model prison turned into a dull routine, the days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months, gradually putting together an exhibition-quality layout that would get me out of here. Then one day I got the call that I really didn't want to hear. A small weasley man appeared at my cell door. “Hello trackpin, what can I do for you?” I said. He winced - he should really have been grateful that we all called him TrackPin, as his real name was Ivor. Ivor Lowcock. “The Fat Controller wants to see you in his office. Now. This was serious, when Grouty asked for a favour you better not refuse if you knew what was good for you. I gulped and walked down the corridor, wondering what dire fate lay in store. In Part 3 - An Offer I can't refuse, we discover that every man has his price. Do you know yours? Readers are reminded that a GCSE in nuclear Physics is not mandatory but would be beneficial for the next part.
  2. Today being New Year's Day it seems like a good time to have some Scottish photos. Today's batch is from Ayr. Ayr 318255 17th Feb 90 C13963 Ayr 08586 08561 and Class 26 18th Feb 90 C13993.jpg Ayr 08586 and 08561 18th Feb 90 C13994.jpg Ayr 2 Class 37s and line to Annbank etc 18th Feb 90 C13995.jpg Ayr Harbour 18th Feb 90 C14001.jpg David
  3. Harrogate today, but first a Christmas card - there is also a thread for Christmas things at: https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/150018-2019-christmas-greetings-thread/ Basford N7 69628 pass Nottingham Victoria to Derby Friargate Jan 54 JVol7005 copy.jpg Harrogate 142074 Leeds to Harrogate May 87 J8920.jpg Harrogate Class 101 up June 89 J10031.jpg Harrogate 141112 Leeds to Knaresborough 11th April 90 C14307.jpg Harrogate 144017 York to Leeds 11th April 90 C14310.jpg Harrogate 144008 Leeds to Knaresborough 11th April 90 C14313.jpg David
  4. Oh dear. Oh dear oh dear. Not only are Hornby risking a repeat of the 2012 disaster by ploughing a lot of effort into a range which might not sell, they're devaluing the Bassett-Lowke name in the process. The Bassett-Lowke name will mean nothing to Steampunk fans, and to use a name historically associated with well-engineered premium products on models derived from Smokey Joe and the Hornby 4 wheel coaches is somewhat akin to putting a Vanden Plas badge on an Austin Allegro....
  5. We stay at Winning today to look at some Class 56 workings. Winning 56091 to Blyth Power station Jan 86 J8482.jpg Winning 56127 empties to Butterwell Jan 87 J8742.jpg Winning 56115 coal to west staithes Feb 88 J9431.jpg Winning 56124 coal empties 23rd Feb 90 C14063.jpg Winning 56112 Alcan empties Lynemouth to North Blyth March 1990 J10636.jpg David
  6. Here comes 60523, running down to wait for the arrival of the Up Sunderland. It was followed fairly quickly by the 9.18 West Riding relief, with another very nicely turned out loco.
  7. Harrogate mainly in 1990 today. Harrogate Class 101 York to Leeds May 87 J8892.jpg Harrogate 144008 Leeds to Knaresborough 10th April 90 C14284.jpg Harrogate 144008 Leeds to Knaresborough April 90 J10770.jpg Harrogate 144001 York to Leeds 11th April 90 C14315.jpg Harrogate 141112 Leeds to Knaresborough April 90 J10790.jpg David
  8. The Midland Railway again today, at Trent and Loughborough. Some very similar photos have already appeared of Loughborough, that is because both Dad and I were there that day! Trent 150129 Birmingham to Lincoln Dec 89 J10560.jpg Trent 56065 down freight 9th April 90 C14263.jpg Loughborough 150120 Coventry to Nottingham June 89 J10028.jpg Loughborough 43086 down 10th June 89 C12006.jpg Loughborough 43115 and 43077 up 10th June 89 C12009. David
  9. Today's photos are a few miles to the south at Peterborough, most of the locos are Class 47s. Peterborough Class 47 Leeds to Kings X 27th July 74 C1692.jpg Peterborough Class 47 Kings X to Edinburgh 27th July 74 C1705.jpg Peterborough 47435 Kings X to Newcastle 27th July 74 C1719.jpg Peterborough fly ash wagons. Class 08 in the distance 27th July 74 C1721.jpg Peterborough Class 47 up ex pass 27th July 74 C1722.jpg Peterborough Class 47 possibly Birmingham to Harwich 10th Aug 77 C3447.jpg David
  10. Water feature.. I enjoy doing these. My greatest weakness is I never follow instructions and just throw it all in. This stagnant pool consists of deep pour water with a murky tint, AK interactives mud at the bottom of the pool (still wet) and all sorts of junk like the bedstead and tyres. The slight cloud on the resin will disappear soon leaving a grubby colour. Above all this will shortly appear a big tree with a tyre and rope attached to a branch. I remember this being here..
  11. I wonder if I might be permitted a personal anecdote? When Bachmann brought out 10000/10001 in BR green I decided to buy them using Rule 1. My layout is set in the Chilterns but I'd never seen photographic evidence of them either through High Wycombe or Aylesbury, despite the WCML being quite close. I reasoned it was quite possible an excursion or diverted goods wouldn't be out of the question. Today, I've just stumbled across this shot of 10001 with a brake tender to boot passing Beaconsfield. Rule 1 consigned to the bin! April 65 Beaconsfield Stn 10001 by jon L1049H, on Flickr
  12. First job of the new year, derby to Hendon with 37099 and 37057 on a plp train derby new EMR livery meridian 37099 on the traverser 37057 on the other end, new domino head code boxes after the blinds got damaged a busy moment while I waited to leave, DCR 60s, 156, NMT and 37612 minions 37612 and NMT 37099 now leading from the station to Hendon DCR 60 passing through the station and into Hendon where it carried on to Woking 37057 on the rear and off I went to St Pancras, over to Euston and home trafford park tomorrow
  13. Well I'm off to a flyer and its not even 2020 yet. kim had a sleepover at daughters last night so I went down the workshop for the evening and made a Deeley smokebox door so my 1F is now ready for a thorough scrub and painting - plain black so shouldn't stay in NSLR livery for long! I've never seen a picture of a halfcab at Bath but I like them so........ it will be 1741, a Saltley engine in the early 1920s. I now need to source one of the very small CT chips that will fit between the frames and a crew. Jerry
  14. KNP

    Little Muddle

    I understand that the discussion as to what gets the priority with regard to labour allocation, a meeting which incidentally I was not invited to, until a definitive answer was resolved work proceed to a limited extent on 2251. All the accessory fittings how been fitted - once I worked out what went where! Then, bizarrely I noticed there was no top lamp bracket fitted to the boiler - checking all Bachmann pictures of models over the years of this type of loco they didn't have then fitted either!! How strange, so now one has had one fitted so the balance to the universe has been restored....
  15. Here's the next 'Tractor' pairing to leave the workbench! 37170 and 37185 by James Makin by James Makin - Account 2, on Flickr 37170 in Transrail-branded 'Dutch' and 37185 Lea & Perrins in faded classic 'Dutch' join the fleet, both standing out to me as worth modelling amongst a veritable sea of Dutch 37s still floating around in the late '90s. 37170 and 37185 by James Makin by James Makin - Account 2, on Flickr There's a number of minor differences between the two, which was great fun to model... 37170 and 37185 by James Makin by James Makin - Account 2, on Flickr Although Bachmann have recently released a centre-headcode Dutch 37, these are actually much older, using the 2007 release of 37035 in both cases, with new ends liberated from the spares box! 37170 and 37185 by James Makin by James Makin - Account 2, on Flickr Armed with some top tunes on the iPod, the numbers and brandings were removed with thinners, modifications made to the roof and bodysides (including locating new airhorns on the roof) before new plates and transfers were put on, and the final coats of varnish added before weathering began. 37170 and 37185 by James Makin by James Makin - Account 2, on Flickr '170 was in pretty good condition in 1998, whilst '185 was looking a bit more ropey! A wash of white was added before any further weathering, to tone the colours right down and give the muted look required. 37170 by James Makin by James Makin - Account 2, on Flickr 37170 stood out to me as it not only had the Transrail branding to set off the Dutch colours, but it also had a full set of snowploughs and was still, just about, clinging on to a pair of gorgeous Eastfield terrier depot plaques in my time period - it didn't carry them for much longer though, as photos show! 37170 by James Makin by James Makin - Account 2, on Flickr Little details on the ends included adding the headboard clips and installing the handrails on the end - as luck would have it, my donor ends didn't have them - only later did I find I actually did have a set of ends with handrails, which I then had to remove for another 37 project...talk about organisation and forward planning..! 37170 by James Makin by James Makin - Account 2, on Flickr Next up is actually one of my all-time favourite models so far... 37185 by James Makin by James Makin - Account 2, on Flickr Now by an enormous margin, 37185 stood out due to it's nameplate! I love adding a splash of Worcestershire sauce to most things, namely spaghetti bolognese or livening up some cheese on toast, so when looking at a list of 'Dutch' 37s in my notes, this was at the very front of the list! 37185 by James Makin by James Makin - Account 2, on Flickr The livery was also somewhat faded and had great weathering opportunities! 37185 by James Makin by James Makin - Account 2, on Flickr With the livery faded down after the whitewash, subsequent layers of light brown (Humbrol 62 & 186) and darker brown highlights brought out the rust patches and oily, rusty water marks down the side. Small rusty bolthole patches also reveal where a crest was once affixed below the nameplate too. 37185 by James Makin by James Makin - Account 2, on Flickr 37185 by James Makin by James Makin - Account 2, on Flickr Again, snowploughs set off the livery and enhance the whole appearance somewhat, why do they make locos look so good? 37185 by James Makin by James Makin - Account 2, on Flickr These two locos are now frozen in 1998-condition, but like all my other '37' projects, the real pair have had very different lives in the period since; sadly 37185 fell by the wayside shortly after, and was scrapped in 2006, whereas 37170 miraculously survived a period of stay at EWS' Wigan CDRC and now lives on working for Network Rail as 97302, still doing a valuable role and pounding the network to this day! 37170 and 37185 by James Makin by James Makin - Account 2, on Flickr I'm glad to get these two into service, they have 'miserable ballast train' written all over them...cue some rust bucket fish-based wagons needed to accompany them in 2020... Cheers, James
  16. Now that it's actually at the end of the year, I've reflected as others on what's been achieved this year. Looking back, apart from a load of repairs and servicing, I'm surprised quite how much that got done. The year started out with a rebuild job - LMS patriot which showed potential: Mid rebuild, with new tender, and stripped and detailed body: Completed model: Next was a detailing job on a Union Mills B12, starting with a pretty solid but very basic model: Mid detailing with handrails, wiggly wires and suchlike: After completion, it's probably the lining that stands out the most from the starting point: Next was another rebuild - not by usual region but so unique it had to be done: [/url] Mid rebuild showing added side detail, and general clean up. The wheels were replaced with modern spoked Farish units too: [/url] Completed: Beyond this I started to push to complete unfinished models, and models that'd been cluttering the workbench. First was a Atsocad V1 to complement another I'd previously built: This became 67664, a model I had from Bachmann in OO many years ago: Next, was a massive superdetail build of a GEM Fowler 2-6-4T. This used only the base of the kit, completely different chassis, superdetailed: Next was an extreme restoration - basis being made by an unknown builder, and never completed. I think most folk would have chucked this body out, but it was actually well made and well shaped, so I took the plunge, from this....: ...to this (yes this isn't finished, but I think getting this far warrants some form of completion!): One large task I took on this year was a request to build 3 (!) Z class 0-8-0 tanks - quite something for a prototype I've never looked in detail into, but the task has been challenging and enjoyable (apart from the the DCC fit requested....): Back to my own builds, again, clearing the bench completed this second D49. Tony will be the first to scream that the valve gear is wrong, and that's absolutely true, but I've yet to work out the best modification to it. She's a runnable model in the mean time: And to round off, just to show I do other than steam, this conversion of an 86/2 electric to 86/4 with full repaint and front end pipework detail: All the best to those for the coming year, and hopefully this thread will continue to provide inspirational work of others in the year to come, Best, Alan
  17. A London Road Models 50' turntable. It took at lot of adjustment but I got there in the end. Also a scratch built garage (well, modified some plans from an old Railway Modeller).
  18. It's that time of year again when I give my very best Christmas wishes to the friends, followers and contributors of this thread here in the UK and overseas. Merry Christmas and a happy 2020. Castle class 5011 Tintagel Castle on a down express does the honours.
  19. Well, I've been doing a rather poor job of keeping this thread updated! I hope to do a better job this year. So to kick things off again here are some pics of the station area which I've just started to build. I'm having a go at representing some lifted track which was commonplace during the 80s. I've used some laser cut sleepers from scale model scenery and then ballasted the area using a mix of different ballast types from various manufacturers. I've then airbrushed the area with various Vallejo colours. Aiming for a very dirty scene with plenty of oil spills, litter & sludge. Think it needs a few weeds for a splash of colour. The ballast on the main & relief lines will be much cleaner which I hope will provide a nice contrast to this area. Added some litter and almost went blind cutting it out! Tiny stuff but I'm very pleased with the effect. Continuing to work on the platforms now which are the concrete style ones that Peco do. Seen these on loads of layouts over the years and always wanted to have a go. Should be making some more progress over the week if all goes to plan. Cheers
  20. Now comes a loco that is very much in the news at present. Its progress was closely followed as it came in from the North. This time my new efforts to make shopping of lattices easier worked better. Still those overlapping signals give problems from this angle, but the result is nevertheless better than before. Another visitor today, who has kindly agreed to give me a tutorial.
  21. A few PW bits have been left lying around: The trees have also now been installed around the road overbridge:
  22. 29 points
    I have started to convert some of my Bachmann short firebox Jubilees to P4 in order to run them on my layout. This project had been stalled for a while as I pondered on the best way to do this, however a visit by Dave Holt, David Clarke and Steve Ridgeway in September gave me the necessary push to get on with it. My conversion replaces the wheels with an Alan Gibson 3mm axle set of drivers plus bogie and tender wheels. Replacement crankpins are Markits stainless steel products. The only other modification is to use a Dave Franks Stanier chassis kit on the tender. r. Here is a youtube link to a video showing Bengal moving in the shed yard. Sorry but the media link refuses to work. https://youtu.be/IzwQGyGImDw Seasons greetings to all readers of my blog. Robin
  23. Another B1 tonight, but in sharp contrast, although numerically close 61207's condition is typical New England. The train is the Doncaster parliamentary, and the loco is from Bachmann this time.
  24. Something different for Christmas day. My own photos, and of a French test train in England. Singlewell loop 27 April 2003 and this ensemble was in use testing HS1.
  25. The view from the top of the embankment:
  26. Surely this must be the shortest gap between a Poll and product announcement ever? When Mr Macdermott speaks, the manufacturers listen. Or else.
  27. Some from today, driving a road learning loco bescot to hams hall and Landor st, a few trips Back and forth Bescot with 66751 Whitacre jn to turn back into hams hall, I do like 66751 with its extra pipes, huge horn housing, weird lights and square buffers! It’s also a non low emission loco Outside hams hall where we swapped with 66737 (it’s certainly been a busy loco over Christmas, it’s been to Clitheroe, Wolverhampton, penyffordd amongst other places! You can just about make out 3 66s in the yard as well as the 2 on the reception! and back to bescot before heading off again to water Orton and back to bescot
  28. After a 4 year wait for these bracket signals (I kept asking Dapol every year at Warley, always to be told, "This time next year") I was very pleased to see them. It seems the delay was in working up a design which would be an improvement on their much criticised single post signals, while not requiring too big an aperture in the baseboard. My own requirement was for platform mounted versions to replace the non-working Ratio items already present, so I knew a bit of adaptation would be needed. I'd need to severely reduce the signal's baseplate, almost to the level of the threaded tube, drill/carve a hole in the platform surface, mount the signal on the baseboard surface below, modify the ladder and paint scheme, and make good afterwards. I soon realised that, 7 years ago, not only had I placed the main/branch starter bracket signal directly above a baseboard cross-member, but I'd also placed it above a stripwood cross-member holding up the platform surface. Double whammy - grrrr! After loads of drilling, carving and fettling I got the result I had in mind. The Dapol signal is a bit chunkier than the Ratio item it's displaced (which looked a bit more refined, but was beyond my skills to make operable, given its platform mounted location). But aesthetically it's a big step forward from Dapol's earlier single post signals, which looked like nothing on earth and required major surgery to be acceptable. The servo operating mechanism is a big step forward too, and unlike the earlier ones (which go "woo - woo - woo" when operated) moves silently. BUT - just a warning. As with all electrical items I decided to test it before installation, by plugging the signal into the servo base unit and lashing up temporary power. Bad idea. All worked perfectly, but when I came to pull the signal back out of the base unit it wouldn't budge. When I eventually pulled it out it came with a broken plastic cam and bent spring. Sixty quid down the drain. Dapol told me to send it back to Hattons for a refund: Hattons (understandably) said that as they'd sent it me in one piece it was my responsibility. So I bit the bullet, wiped my mouth, and ordered another. At least I ended up with extra wire to extend the (rather short) switch leads supplied! So don't think these are ideal for portable layouts, to be merrily plugged/unplugged for transport. Dapol told me you could perhaps uncouple signal from base unit a few times, but that was all. I couldn't even do it once. Anyway, here's the replacement signal, modified and partially repainted, being offered up to my platform excavations, and in final position. Just a bit of touching up and making good to do now, then back to coaches before the single doll bracket signal appears. John C.
  29. As usual the Grimsby local is followed by the semi fast to Kings Cross, with regular performer 61130. While 61130 is waiting for passengers to join, 60030 comes into view at the head of the Fair Maid.
  30. Photos of today's running session now. First we see that very neglected Gateshead A3 backing down the engine road before crossing to number 4 bay. Very bright and sudden sunlight as I took this, so some details have been completely blasted away. Then we had another Leicester local, and one of our rare looks at a tank engine, apart from the pilots, of course.
  31. More on couplings shortly, but first, the last images in the bank. Fortunately today looks good for light, so I can build it back up again. We are still with 60065, which has now got as far as this. Quite nice, but I reckon this one is better.
  32. All very topical at the moment with me. My father has just passed away (3/1/20) at almost 72. A intelligent man and a veterinian but when it came to his own health, well made very poor decisions. Smoked all his life. Over weight at times. Which was a surprise as he worked with large animals all his life. His risk was the smoking. It caused vascular issues and a family history of type 2 diabetes. How ever the hard to diagnose pancreatic cancer was the thing that did him in. It is making me think at 45 I need to have a good MOT on the body to avoid some of this nastiness. I have too many kits to finish and i want to see a long retirement!
  33. Apologies for the lack of updates, photobucket has gone down and I can’t get photos to upload however I’ll have a go with the forum upload feature instead a few from last week shrewsbury to crewe with a stone train I then went over to basford hall to work an MOD southbound as far as Leamington spa next day it was a cement to Clitheroe where after loading I left in the siding for the next driver back in on Christmas Day night and Boxing Day night on a possession in Wolverhampton
  34. I've done a fair bit of modelling this year but most of it has been to do with layout construction rather than locos and rolling stock. Nevertheless, I found time a few months ago to convert my Bachmann 64xx into a 74xx. Not up to Tom Foster standard but, most importantly, as a layout loco it is already earning its keep moving china clay trains around.
  35. Golden Fleece again, another candidate for Timming. and 61130 again on its way south. I like this shot as it requires almost no shopping.
  36. After BR steam finished on Tyneside in September 1967 I began to explore my local area for something else to observe and photograph. The NCB line to Ravensworth Park Drift Mine, near the Team Valley Trading Estate, was a short cycle ride from my home at the time in Gateshead. When I first arrived on the scene the usual working loco was a cute little 0-4-0ST (Peckett no 1748 of 1928), in a clean light green livery with the NCB number 66 and named 'Charles Nelson'. The following three pics were taken in 1968: No 66 propels its train of loaded coal wagons towards the viaduct over the Trading Estate. This area is now covered by the car park for 'Retail World'. No 66 starts the run over the viaduct. The loco propelled the wagons whichever direction it was travelling. The viaduct crossed the main dual carriageway of Kingsway. There is now no trace of it, although remains of the approach embankments can still be found. More to come, including the next loco to arrive on the system and some views of the regular crew. But feel free to add any pictures which fit the brief! Trevor
  37. A final look at 61558, as it moves into the shadow of the bridge. Shortly afterwards, Wild Swan runs through wit the Tees Tyne Pullman. The fireman swears the headboard was on straight when he fitted it, and I agree with him.
  38. Last weekend saw 40936 finished, just got to paint it now. Loco frame ready for painting. The crosshead etch worked perfectly on the 1mm square slidebars (I wouldn't do them like this now but this job was started last century), there's a half etch rebate on the inside of back and front pieces. Two thicknesses of .015" connecting rod pack these out to a sliding fit on the bars, pin soldered between them and the two halves united by the piston rod. The Compound brake gear is a bit complicated, the pull rods should be narrower but these are about as small as I can drill .5mm holes in. Balance weights on this late LMS example are built up rather than cast crescents. The rest of the loco ready for grit blasting, some additional rivets added with Super Steel epoxy. The etched overlays (produced for an earlier 7mm job) fitted the cab side but not the driving splashers - I said this was started from a notoriously inaccurate drawing. Mudhole door covers are insulation tape punched out with a leather punch, most of the cladding bands left off - they will go on with the lining. Frames after painting - Halfords etch primer followed by Hycote satin black. The motor and gearbox are taped up but the paint doesn't really do much even if the gearbox can't be covered. This is the inner tender frame after cleaning the paint off the wheel treads and fitting pickups. These are .35mm phosphor bronze wire soldered to two double sided sleeper strips which were previously soldered to the brake cross wires in the frames. I used to put pickups on all the wheels but have found that the outer ones are enough - pickups on the centre wheels tend to make these stick a bit instead of revolving. Plug and socket attached to the pcb strips, wire will go to the loco pickup pcb strips. The whole loco ready for testing, buffer heads temporarily fitted, they will be removed for grit blasting then re-fitted for painting. The con rods are fitted inside the coupling rods (because of the size of the outside LP cylinders) so the rods are spaced a long way off the wheels. The rods are actually in the correct place, just the 00 gauge wheels are too close together - the con rod passes very closely behind the leading step.
  39. Well, who ever has the job within Hornby that gets to decide on what to release has not done a good job and needs sacking. Some of the stuff is alright, most of it is random "Sugar Honey Ice Tea" that quite frankly knowone wants. There is no new GWR Steam Loco's apart from one Star Class, the Class 20 looks like something you would get for free in a magazine from Lidl and then they are doing stupid things like the Stephensons Rocket Train Pack. I mean, where are the Class 68's, GWR IET's, Castle Set HST's, TPE and Caledonian Mk5's, GA 755's and 745's, Class 70's, full detail Class 20's, Manor Class, a decent GWR Panier tank and also a 3 car SWR Class 159. There are two good models in this years January announcments, and those are the GBRF Class 50's and the GBRF 47's, the rest is junk. If this is the standard are the class of model that Hornby are putting out, no wonder the company is basically bankrupt. They are appealing to the wrong people, old LMS and LNER steam is fine if you like that stuff, but don't forget the superior GWR stuff and of course modern image stuff that Hornby's future customer base are growing up with. Eventually Hornby need to realise that the kids of today don't give a toss about LMS coaches and their numbers, a stupid amount of old wagons and Stephensons Rocket. What they want is modern Sprinter units, pacers, aventras, CAF 195's. I am sorry if I come across angry, but I am.
  40. First half of 2019.. Now I wonder if I can get hold of a couple of these First trains begin to run.. Now this is the real bridge.. The one thing I never agreed with Allan Downes about. He thought I was mad modelling stuff you can’t see. Well you can if you get down on your knees.. here’s the underside of the aforementioned bridge.. Theres often problems to overcome. A steep embankment meant the catches holding the frames together haven’t room to close. So had to resort to aluminium sheet to get the clearance.. I couldn’t work on my own without this. Best £400 I ever spent .. A CAD of the model set up in a marquee for outside the shopping malls More of the bridges (the best is yet to come on bridges early next year)..
  41. KNP

    Little Muddle

    Well, intrepid follower, you are going to have to make do with odds and ends until after the 25th of this month as the railway room is being used to store certain wrapped items..... Including one for me that will be appearing on these very pages after the seasonal event...... 2322 passing over Overbrook viaduct
  42. Interesting debate on reliable running. One issue I have from time to time is starting. You know, you roll a train to a perfect stop at a platform, then when you open the throttle to move off it just sits there. Aye, usually when folk are round to have a look at the layout. Harumpf ..... So on Kelvinbank 2 I added a small pushbutton with a quite stiff action down there on the bottom lhs of my walkabout controllers. That button, via some electrickery, fires the coil on a hefty old contactor, one mounted up at the back corner of each of the main baseboards like so. This imparts a knock to the baseboard quite sufficient to get over the moment of sticktion or tiny amount of dust and lo, the train moves off neatly without the hand of god or the operators knuckles being hurt by a sharp rap to the baseboard top. Also you can see a small LED on the top of the controller. Thats a loco present light. Comes on if the controller senses the resistance of a loco motor, even with the controller shut. So if its not on then you look at section switches and point settings as a first thing, rather than prodding the loco and then realising the siding is switched off. It also has another function. It is fast enough to detect tiny open circuits to the motor and amplify them a bit. If it starts to flicker while a train is running then that tells me that track or wheels need a clean. A couple of dirty tricks perhaps, but if it keeps the trains running without the hand of god I'll go with them.
  43. My guest today was Andy, The Green Howards, so not unnaturally there was much talk of train formations, cassettes and the like. We also discussed Hornby A2/2 and A2/3, and the temptation placed in our paths. I even stopped talking long enough to run two or three trains, which did not fall off too often. A very pleasant day indeed. A different angle from the bridge cuts out the floating part of Crescent Bridge, but places the main point of interest even further to the side of the composition. No such problems when one comes back down to ground level.
  44. This film was on the television, about 30 years ago and I only caught the last three or four minutes. I've never seen it since but I found a Youtube link, posted on Facebook, today. Enjoy
  45. It's your layout. Don't get hung up on what other people think. The whole idea of this or any other hobby is to enjoy it. Do what makes you happy. Most of all, have fun. Mike.
  46. It isn't often I blow my own trumpet but sometimes, when a modelling task goes just right, I get the urge! A few pages ago Tony mentioned the noisy running on some of the locos on Buckingham. One of the offenders was the very first loco built by Peter Denny in 1946/7. Not the GCR classification but better known as a J11 or "Pom-pom". During the running session last night, the loco failed with the previously just noisy gears now slipping completely. A strip down today revealed that the driving axle is now 3mm in diameter where it touches the frames and the wear in the coupling rods means the centre axle can slop up and down enough to make the worn gear teeth miss. A replacement axle (why did the steel axle wear, not the brass frame, must be very hard brass) and a replacement gear wheel and she is good to go. As a slow running test I ran her for 3 minutes and she covered 1.25 inches. Dead slow, smooth as silk and responding superbly to the controller. Any running problems on the layout are down to wear and tear. Too much slop, sideplay, springs sagging, that sort of thing. Breathing new life into these lovely old models is just so satisfying!
  47. If I may take you back to February 2016, not much more than a week after we began this Sternesque digression of a topic, we might contemplate WNR No.1, the Achingham Branch locomotive, and my version of the Colne Valley & Halstead's version of the GER T7. As the locomotive list has it: 1877: 0-4-2T, Neilson & Co/SW Johnson of 1877, WNR No. 1 - same as CV&HR GER T7 derivative Note that she is the WNR's second No.1, replacing an E B Wilson tender locomotive, one of the Castle Aching & Birchoverham Railway's original engines from the 1850s. Move forward a year and something has been done ...... Unfortunately, that is where matters stalled. I had created two problems. First, I had shortened the chassis at the rear and reduced the wheelbase, bringing the trailing wheel in closer to the coupled wheels. This left me with no means to attach the rear of the keeper-plate. Second, I had severed the wire from the motor to the pick-ups. As you know, for me, electricity might as well be magic. Don't understand it. Can't get on with it. Here is what I discovered yesterday, on giving the thing a look over. There are two wires. A red one and a black one. Both emerge from the rear of the motor, one each side. They then go into a couple of strange little things. I have no idea what these are, so let's call them the 'warp coil' and the 'flux capacitor', which, for all I know, is exactly what they are. So, let's assume these devices are important and leave them well alone. So, where do the wires go after that? Well, the red one is soldered to a connection on the metal chassis block. Perhaps this makes the chassis a 'live chassis'. The red side pickups must, presumably, draw magic through the chassis to the red wire and then the motor. The black wire disappears down a hole and emerges under the keeper plate where it is soldered to the pickup strip for the black side. Now, I fixed the trailing wheels and managed to spring it so there is a modicum of downward force, just enough to keep in on the rails. I bravely soldered the black wire back. I bodged a screw to hold down the rear of the keeper plate. It should now, I reckon, work. I put it on the test track. It was as dead as a Norwegian Blue. B8gger. Presumably the crappy wiper pickups were not doing their job. They looked rather the worse for wear. Perhaps there was a short circuit somewhere, or perhaps it was under an immobility spell, or just plain cursed. So, my weekend has been taken up by Making it Go. And now it does. I had an "oh, sod it!" moment, and decided to install my own pickups. Never done this, you understand, but there's a first time for everything. Disconnected the red wire from the chassis block and fed it down the same hole as the black wire. Tore off Hornby's crappy pickup strips and wiper pickups and glued some copper-clad PCB to the bottom of the chassis. Soldered wires and phosphor bronze (probably) wire to PCB. Happily discarded keeper plate; it had modern brake shoes and inside brake rigging, neither of which I need for this engine. One of the traction tyres was loose, so I ditched those, too. As Hornby intended on the right, and my sawn-off bodge on the left. Doesn't look very pretty, but does it go? Yes .... It runs strong and true. I'm gradually running it in, and it's running better each length of the test track. Now, where did I put that body .....
  48. Having thoroughly upset the East Coast Tourist Board, I think we should have another picture. Woolwinder again, just a little further along its journey to Leeds.
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