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Showing content with the highest reputation on 29/01/15 in all areas

  1. So with the D95 coaches rather stuck awaiting an order of some new 0.5mm drill bits, it was time to get started on the next project. Detailing an Airfix autocoach as a diagram A30, with the Dart Castings detailing kit. The first step was to completely dismantle the donor coach, followed by preparation of the shell and chassis removing moulded detail This consisted of the removal of hand rails, door handles, lamp irons, end steps, underframe trusses and battery boxes. Unfortunately I was a little hasty in my reading of the instructions, and completely missed that it included new side steps…. The first job was the replacement of the underframe truss. As I was unaware of the replacement steps, I kept the truss that goes through them, fabricating a replacement truss for the remainder (missing 12mm or so from one end.) This was soldered up from square section brass to match the plastic remains. This was followed by the battery boxes (for which I did away with the etched handles replacing with brass wire.) These didn’t go together quite so easily as the Frogmore ones used on the D95s. Next up the auto working equipment, this was formed slowly working step by step adding more and more material. Before adding the final rods I replaced the bogies (now fitted with P4 wheels) and drilled the holes for screw couplings. Moving to the body, it was a simple case of adding the replacement details (thankfully a few spares are also included). Managed to get through 4 of my 0,4mm drills in the process….. With the outside finished, all that remained was to paint the interior and then glue the cab interior fittings into position, and the model is now ready for painting (once it warms up!) along with the E116 B Set, D95s and H33. Hopefully will get a couple more coaches finished in the near future as well…. I think a couple of sunshine stock conversions would be good, then there is the thoughts about modelling a Weston-Super-Mare set after the Centenaries were transferred post war……… But first I want to get on with some kit building, Manor or 2251 body or maybe a chassis for my County……
    6 points
  2. I've been struggling for a while to think up a catchy title for this one. It was originally intended as a Christmas project which would obviously have been 'Deck the Halls' but I didn't actually get around to starting that soon so the moment was lost. For old times sake, I waited until the loft was again at sub zero temperatures before testing the Hall on Taw Bridge. I wanted to check that the coupled wheels would negotiate crossovers successfully (they did) and that it could pull a train - in this case 4 Ultima Hawksworth coaches plus an old Farish Mark 1 with an 'N' gauge coupling on one end. The chassis for this has been in the gloat box since I was part way through the Manor build and was originally intended for a second Manor but I rather hankered after a Hall. It took me a while to actually acquire a Hall for conversion - they seemed to be going for some tidy sums. In the end I managed to acquire this one on Ebay as a pile of bits, the previous owner having dismantled it to replace a traction tyre. This was ideal for my purposes since I was going to take the thing apart anyway, The only snag was that it was in GWR livery (and still is). There's not a huge amount to say about the chassis build - it went together as per the instructions, albeit more slowly because I spent a lot more time fettling the gears and polishing the wheel treads given what I've learned since building the Manor. Being not quite the intended loco sat on the chassis, there were a few bits of extra work. I had to make my own balance weights from brass sheet to suit the bigger wheels. The body also needs a few other bits cutting back - namely the clip that secures the front of the footplate to the Dapol chassis. I also needed to file away some plastic from the insides of the front corners of the firebox. There is plenty more to do - conn rods and crossheads being fairly obviously missing just now. I also need to sort out the centre axle on the tender - the Dapol chassis has much deeper recesses for this axle than the others so the middle wheelset flops around too much and the tender is prone to derailing. Longer axles aren't an option because there is a limit to how much I'm going to risk bending the tender frames to fit the wheels. Finally of course there's the question of nameplates and livery. I'm hopeful of salvaging the original paint job but time will tell on that score. Nameplates are a vexed question given that the 'N' Gauge society is currently unable to supply any nameplates and I have not been able to find another source. A couple more photos from the loft test session
    6 points
  3. Nuremberg Toyfair 2015 – Part 2 Day 1: Several appointments today, but the intervals between allowed me to have a good look around Hall 4A, dedicated to model railways. Immediate impressions (confirmed by others) are that the number of exhibitors is fewer than in previous years and that those attending have, in many cases, opted for smaller stands. The result is that where, a few years ago, model railway companies spilled out into neighbouring halls, the reverse is now true and various unrelated companies now fill out the hall. There’s also been some careful arrangement to make the space look fuller than it actually is. But, that doesn’t mean that there are no stories out there, and that’s what you really want to read about! Trends: Apart from radio controlled drones, which seem to be everywhere in all shapes and sizes, there were a few noticeable trends visible in model railways this year. Options: With a drive to attract younger modellers at one end and provide ever better detail and features at the ‘top end’, whilst keeping prices realistic for those in the middle, there’s a noticeable stratification in the offers of many companies. A good example is Brawa, which has started offering ‘Basic’ (DCC Ready), Basic+ (DCC Ready with extra lighting features) and ‘Extra’ (DCC fitted with sound and extensive lighting features) options on its new HO locomotives. Would this work in the UK? Would enough British modellers fork out around £350 for a high-quality diesel locomotive with all the bells and whistles? And is it practical for manufacturers to split production runs down even further? At the same time, the big German companies such as Roco and Maerklin are pushing their very basic train set ranges aimed at young children (6-12yo), as well as much more sophisticated models aimed at adult collectors and a great deal of items in between. Crossover: Another relatively recent phenomenon is the appearance of certain models in the ranges of more than one supplier; the result of co-operation to broaden distribution across Europe and share development costs or exclusive editions for certain countries. ESU’s ‘Engineering Edition’ HO models also fit this category – being upgraded versions of models produced by more established manufacturers. Barrel Scraping: A crude term, but appropriate as manufacturers search for interesting new subjects to extend their ranges. Just as in the UK, where numerous obscure subjects and one-off prototypes are appearing, the German market in particular is seeing some esoteric new models being announced – for example Liliput’s 1970s/80s Henschel DE2500 experimental diesels and Roco’s USATC S160 2-8-0 in HO scale. To balance this out slightly, the big manufacturers are also upgrading the most important classes with new tooling, such as Roco’s upgraded German Class 143, 151, Bombardier TRAXX electrics and Brawa’s BR290-294 diesels. 3-D Printing: It’s been around for a few years, but is really starting to make its presence felt in mainstream model railways. As it was with laser-cut card kits, Noch is an early adopter of 3-D printing for mass production, introducing a small selection of highly detailed station and lineside detailing packs. Laser-cut kits also continue to march on, with a large number of suppliers (large and small) including them in their ranges and encompassing everything from weathervanes to giant industrial buildings. New Product Highlights – Day 1 A brief summary of interesting and relevant bits seen today at the fair… Oxford Diecast had decorated samples of its new 7-plank coal wagons on display (dodgy mobile phone snap below). When asked about the red painted inside of the bodies, Oxford told us that this will be painted in appropriate colour on production models. Also confirmed is that the tension lock couplings will be shortened in response to customer feedback. Several new products are promised by Peco across its own ranges and those of Wills and Ratio. Pre-production samples of the 4w Glyn Valley Tramway coaches and wagons were on show, along with a 4mm scale laser-cut small wooden station building (LK-200). Track-wise, new O gauge Setrack No. 2 radius turnouts and OO9 Radius No. 1 turnouts are planned, along with an SM-32 gauge bufferstop track. From Ratio a new family of modern level crossing components should be popular. It includes gated or ungated crossings, a relocatable equipment building and CCTV cameras on posts. Meanwhile Wills has also gone ‘modern’ with a modular modern industrial/commercial building system known as ‘Wills Modern’. Components will allow various styles of industrial units, out-of-town retail unit and supermarket frontages, loading bays to be assembled in full or low relief. Deluxe Materials’ next new product will be ‘Strip Magic’, a safe, effective paint stripping liquid that softens up paint and printing, which can then be removed with a cotton bud. More details soon. Fans of the Kato 9mm gauge 1:150 scale ‘Glacier Express’ set will be able to add a Rhaetische Bahn ‘Allegra’ EMU set to complement it in April. Despite the discrepancy between scale and gauge of these models, they are reported to be extremely popular. Piko has developed a new DCC system ‘Piko SmartControl’ – the handset combining touchscreen control with a proper wheel for speed control, selection of features etc. Capable of storing up to 16,000 locomotives, 1,000 accessories, running 28 functions per locomotive and consists of up to four locomotives it will soon be available in the UK via Gaugemaster. Preiser has been persuaded to reintroduce a small range of 1:76 scale figures for the UK market; 11 sets include a range of passengers (seated, running, waiting), British police and BR station staff plus a set of cows. The many British enthusiasts who have visited Germany’s Harz narrow gauge network may be interested in Tillig’s new range of HO scale (HOm) locomotives and stock for the Harzer Schmalspurbahn and its predecessors. The magnificent 99 72xx 2-10-2Ts will be added to the range this year, joining a good selection of modern and vintage coaches, wagons and an 0-6-0T. Turkish firm Proses is to release two fully-wired switch boards with LED indicator lights for controlling up to six solenoid point motors or signals or the same number of lights, turntables of accessories. These neat and easy to install units should be available in the UK via Golden Valley Hobbies. Proses is also releasing a modular helix system in clear acrylic (N) or PVC (HO/OO) which can be assembled without tools. That’s it for today. I'll post more photos when I can - RMweb photo file limit is 1MB and I have no way here of reducing the file sizes to suit!
    4 points
  4. Pavement and road are in place. So I can start with the factory. I started with the wall at the end of the diorama and the factory chimney. The wall is build straight forward using TX24 Dark Brown Brick and the coping from RO11 Arched Bridge from Scalescenes. The wall is weathered after building using in the Schminke pastels mentioned in the previous entry. To give you an impression I made a picture with the finished wall on a piece of clean printing on Fine Art paper. Then I started with a TX24 chimney. Before I started I had a look at several picture of chimney’s on the internet. I liked that metal bindings along some of the chimney’s I saw. I decided not to use card for modelling them, but to use a black pastel pencil. I “colored” the bindings on the chimney before gluing the texture on the template build chimney. With a cotton bud I worked the pastel on the chimney. Then I glued the texture om the template. I did this step by step, side by side. The used template was too large and after drying for 24 hours I cut the glued part at size. After I the chimney was finished it got a light pastel weathering. Here are some pictures of the wall and chimney glued in place on the diorama. The chimney looks too high on one of the pictures. It has the same height of the diorama. When everything is finished it isn’t possible to have the low street view. I will do some additional weathering at the edge of the wall and the pavement as the factory is finished. If anyone has useful information, comments or suggestions please let me know. Kind regards, Job
    2 points
  5. Now that the baseboard is built, things are moving on, and tonight I have been able to get the track out and see if it all fits together as planned. This is always a worry, especially when you are converting an electronic plan to a full-size one, but on this occasion all seems to have gone has planned. As mentioned last night, I'd like to include a gradient, and with a 3/4 inch rise decided on, I was quite pleased to find a CD box (Driving Rock, inevitably! ) which matches the correct height. This then is the layout 'as planned' - on all of these pictures you will have to use your imagination a bit and ignore the detritus around the edge! - the white strip (Peco point instructions!) represents the road, whilst the aforementioned CD box creeps into the scene holding the track at the relevant level. The problem is though, to me, it looks a little cramped. The gradient leading offstage was supposed to be at a visibly different height, but the proximity of the headshunt means, to me, this looks a little silly. Something had to give, and the next incarnation saw a more simple affair with the removal of the engine shed. I was quite happy with this, if a little disappointed with the loss of the shed - which prompted another look. This version moves the set of points leading to the engine shed into the goods shed road - with the headshunt running behind the engine shed as originally planned. I really quite like this version, which is one I hadn't previously considered. I dug some stock out for this one too - the van is sitting on the stop blocks with the siding finishing before crossing the road, the coaches sitting in the platform road and today's purchase of a Bachmann C Class sitting 'on shed'. From the end on view: The advantage of this plan is that there is more of a gap between the main and the sidings, meaning I should be able to make something more of it, from a scenic perspective. As always, I'd be interested in your opinions and thoughts!
    2 points
  6. Introduction This is about my freelance model railway, the London & Mid-Western Railway (LMWR). The main purpose of this blog is to provide a reference point for people wanting to know what the LMWR is. Breifly it is a pre-grouping railway that runs from London to Oxford independantly of the GWR, where it connects with the West Midland Railway (which didn't merge with the GWR in 1862). Historical background. In 1849 The Oxford, Worcester & Wolverhampton Railway (OWWR) was formed to connect the towns in its title. Conceived as an extension of the GWR, relations between the two companies were strained by matters of finance, gauge and the GWR building its own line to Wolverhampton via Birmingham. Although the line was nominally dual gauge, the OWWR only ever operated standard gauge trains. When it opened throughout in 1855 it ran through trains to London over the LNWR via Bletchley, as the GWR line to London was broad gauge only. It was around this time that its backers first looked at building a direct line to London, the 'Mid-Western' proposal. Below is an old map of an early scheme. The first attempt at parliament in 1855 failed. Things went quiet for a while. In 1860 the OWWR combined with the Newport, Abergavenny & Hereford Railway and the (yet to be completed) Worcester & Hereford Railway to form the West Midland Railway (WMR). Another bill for a Mid-Western scheme was sent to parliament. Then just as things were getting interesting peace broke out between the WMR and GWR, resulting in merger in 1862. That was the end of any Mid-Western schemes, the GWR dual gauged its line to London for OWWR line trains. So the LMWR was a line proposed several times but never actually built due to changing railway politics. I've taken the original idea as a basis for my freelance modelling. In my parallel universe things happened slightly differently. The WMR did not merge with the GWR, but remained independant until the grouping, with a large network of lines. In 1860 the LMWR act was passed, creating a nominally independent company that was part owned by several railways, including the WMR, LNWR and Midland. In 1865 the main line was completed from Yarnton Junction, North of Oxford, to Willesden Junction in West London, connecting with the LNWR. There were branches to Aylesbury and Rickmansworth, both connecting with LNWR branches. This map shows the LMWR at its opening, along with nearby and connecting lines, including the under construction London extension of the Midland Railway.
    1 point
  7. Not down at all actually - it was really good! Hats off to those Mickleover chaps who put on a surprisingly extensive and comprehensive little show even though it was only really an open day sort of thing. After a slightly hesitant start while things warmed up a bit and rather too long trying to track down and mend a faulty lead (must make up a couple of spares for a quick swap), things settled down nicely and we had some real fun with a very unrealistically busy operating schedule. Many thanks to Simon who (apart from the gross liberty of a lunch break!), kept things moving while I stood there and chatted - oh OK - and had a lunch break as well! A good thing about having someone else run the trains was that I could stand back a bit and see how they were actually running. This identified a couple of areas that can be improved on. The significant one is that most of the wheels are falling into the frog gap on the points with a bump that was sometimes leading to derailing or locos stopping. Experiments are now underway to find the best way of building up the gap so that the flanges will actually support the wheel. Favorite at the moment is a couple of pieces of 1.2mm brass wire in the frog gap. Am going to make up a test point and see how it does. Anyway some pictures; The layout - or what is only actually half of it - with it's temporary fascia. It was actually rather a nice size and a bit more manageable than the full 20 feet - lesson for next layout perhaps? Busy scenes in the yard with the removable roof of the Hunslet doing it's best to remove itself. And finally a very important (but poor quality 'cause it was dark by then!), reminder of how it all went in the back of the Freelander so I know how it went for next time - if the is a next time (for the Freelanderthat is), as the gearbox blew up (again!), the very next day........
    1 point
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