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Showing content with the highest reputation on 25/01/17 in all areas

  1. 11 points
    On Twitter today: Anyway, enough fooling around. The wagon sheets (aka tarpaulins) seen in these photos are the preliminary results of experiments with aluminum foil. My original plan was to go the whole hog with cords and ropes etc, but as I started fitting sheets to my wagons I got cold feet. My wagons are nothing special but I like to look at them, and here I was covering them up! So as a compromise I have decided - at least for the time being - to go for removable “shells” made from 0.05 mm aluminum foil and a paper skin, as seen above. The foil is self-supporting and maintains the shape, so the sheets do not need an actual load beneath them. This means I can add and remove them as I please. They can also be exchanged across different wagons of similar dimensions. I initially used pre-primed foil for military modellers from Dio-Dump, but then found that I could buy the "raw" foil here in Denmark and prime it myself. Incidentally I also tried ordinary kitchen foil, which is thinner and therefore easier to fold, but it is also more fragile and less self-supporting than the 0,05 mm stuff. I first tried using transfers directly on the foil as seen here (details in my workbench thread), but making the transfers was a bit time-consuming and they proved difficult to weather. So instead I printed the designs onto ordinary printer paper, gave them a coat of varnish and glued them to the foil with a thin layer of PVA. The designs are appropriate for the 1900s and were originally drawn up by Ian – thanks again Ian! The sheets were then folded and “massaged” into shape, and given an oily but not too shiny look. This was done by applying 3-4 layers of matt varnish, brushed over with weathering powders when each coat was almost dry (hence the mess!). Perhaps this technique could also be used to give the popular ready-made sheets from Smiths a less “paper”-like look. Photos show that in general the sheets were more “loose” than one might think. They also show that at the ends, the top was usually (but not always) folded down first, with the side flaps folded down outside that. The foil-plus-paper combo does add thickness to the sheets, so folding them naturally is not always easy and requires patience. Above are the sheets fitted to two 5-plank Opens to diagram O4, the first GWR designs to feature sheet rails. The sheets look older than the wagons, I always overdo the weathering! The biggest compromise is of course that the sheets have no cords or ropes. For the time being I’m prepared to accept this in return for the ability to add and remove the sheets as I please. My excuse is that the sheets were normally tied down with short thin cords, which can be hard to see in prototype photos. Actual roping was only used on particularly tall or bulky loads. Even so, the method is obviously a compromise and I may return to these experiments later to see what can be improved. For now I’m a bit tired of wagon sheets though. And politics. Plus, we still don't know the secrets of GWR wagon red. The livery instructions can't be found. I bet the Chinese have them. James, got a minute?
  2. 2 points
    Its been a while, but I've not been too idle.... Commissions have been keeping me busy (or as busy as a 2+ son and a 10 month old daughter allow) with P4 dominating over EM for the last few months (but I'm due to pick up a loco for converting to EM at the weekend. The Bachmann Hall was straightforward, although huge amounts of filling was needed to fit the P4 wheel sets to the tender. The Gosport Guru also prevailed on me to convert 3 Bachmann L & Y radial tanks as a rush job for an exhibition. Having made the deadline with hours to spare I handed them over to the Guru who then decided he would fit the dingham couplings and found that Mazak chassis blocks are a swine to file away. So back they went to his contact who had milled out the mazak tank sides to make space for the P4 wheels so have slots milled in each end of the chassis, which meant they didn't get to the exhibition anyway. Still he's very happy with the end result. D
  3. 1 point
    One day there will be a long network rail train handled by 73's................... Looks like I've got some other "get round too"s in the bottom of that box too!
  4. 1 point
    Very little work has been done on the layout recently. My focus instead has been on locomotives and rolling stock. After adding a firebox LED to Whitechapel a few weeks ago, I thought about adding a more conventional cab light to the Class 08. This is wired to the decoder in series with a resistor and placed in the cab in place of the speedometer. Quite pleased with the result, I went about adding an LED to the cab of the Hornby Sentinel as well. The Sentinel has the same type of decoder as Whitechapel, so it doesn't support functions - or so I thought until testing the pads on the PCB with a multimeter. The X9659 decoder used by the Sentinels is very similar to the R8249 decoder, which supports forward and reverse lighting and two additional functions. The location of each function on the PCB is included in the manual - DCC function 1 is at J9 and the common supply is J6 (you'll need a magnifying glass to find them). Very carefully soldering onto these pads, and hey presto! A controllable cab light. One last thing - I discovered derailments when rolling stock with different sizes of tension lock coupling are used in the same train. It looks like the hook on the larger coupling was forcing the smaller one off the track. I built some new narrow couplings without hooks out of plastic card and replaced some of the larger couplings with the smaller type. On a lot of Hornby wagon chassis, the large coupling is riveted in place. The rivet can be drilled through and the new coupling fixed with an M2x10 bolt and nut. Every wagon has either two Bachmann couplings or one Bachmann and one home made coupling, with all the home made couplings facing the same way - not a problem for Haroldston East as there's nowhere for wagons to be reversed.
  5. 1 point
    Another recent project on my workbench: an LT pannier tank, L91. This is actually a new locomotive wearing old clothes! L91 was an earlier release from Bachmann with the dreaded split chassis. I hard-wired a DCC decoder into ti, and the running was good apart from a constant waddle. I replaced several of the wheelsets, but still none were entirely concentric. Eventually, I managed to get a much newer pannier (BR black 9759) with a decoder already fitted. With some very minor modifications, the old pannier body sits very nicely on the new pannier chassis. I replaced the cheap Bachmann decoder with a TCS DP2X-UK decoder for better running (not that the Bachmann one was too bad, but the TCS one allows a lot more fine tuning). I need to repaint the wheels and coupling rids on the new chassis, but that won't take long to do. L91 is seen here with much newer DCC-ready L89 behind. The shades of red are quite different, but looking at photos of the real ones, it seemed to darken considerably over time with age and weathering. I may try to sell off the old chassis and the black pannier body later. The new body doesn't fit the old chassis particularly well.
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