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  1. 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....
  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. A number of locations along the Cumbrian Coast line southwards from Carlisle this afternoon. Dalston Class 108 Carlisle to Whitehaven and 37025 22nd April 87 C8411.jpg Nethertown view south 22nd April 87 C8382.jpg Seascale looking south 7th Aug 87 C8792. Seascale Class 108 up going away 7th Aug 87 C8795 Silecroft A4 4498 Sellafield to Carnforth Cumbrian Coast Express Aug 79 J6591.jpg Grange over Sands looking west, west of the station. 8th Aug 87 C8860 David
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. 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..
  7. Today I had the good fortune to be invited to Little Bytham, and to be issued with a photographic permit on arrival. I can't hope to show anything of the standard that Tony achieves, but I wondered if my smaller camera would permit access to some angles and places which may not have been seen before. 56 images later, I returned home, and have started to do some processing. This will take a while. A view along the approach road to start things off, with a partial view of a train on the M&GN.
  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. 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
  10. Derbyshire today, with a mix of infrastructure and trains. Belper looking north April 90 J10709 Chinley Class 142 eastbound 24th Aug 90 C15313 Cromford MR viaduct over River Derwent March 72 J2835.jpg Great Rocks 37684 and 37678 l e from Buxton 19th April 90 C14405.jpg Peak Forest 37425 shunting 19th April 90 C14394 David
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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....
  14. 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
  15. 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
  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. 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
  18. The East Coast Main Line in Northumberland again today, over several years. Goswick Class 37 down cement Mar 87 J8791 Alnmouth 43060 up 22nd Aug 87 C9121 Buston Barns 55018 Edinburgh to Newcastle Aug 80 J7120.jpg Buston Barns 47297 up freightliner 24th Oct 87 C9171.jpg Buston Barns 142021 Berwick to Newcastle 16th Feb 91 C15577.jpg David
  19. 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.
  20. A few PW bits have been left lying around: The trees have also now been installed around the road overbridge:
  21. 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.
  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. A very nice day at Little Bytham, where I took rather a lot of photos, a few of which may appear here, but most on the appropriate thread. When a relief runs, the main train is usually not far behind, as here, where Silver King appears with the 9.55 Newcastle.
  26. The view from the top of the embankment:
  27. 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.
  28. Surely this must be the shortest gap between a Poll and product announcement ever? When Mr Macdermott speaks, the manufacturers listen. Or else.
  29. 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
  30. 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.
  31. Doncaster is now off to Grantham. And regular B1 61282 is waiting to take the 1.12 to Kings Cross.
  32. ROD 2-8-0 now finished, ready to go for painting. Quite a few small differences from the GC version, as well as the obvious Westinghouse pump. The French style buffers were fun, I had to produce a pattern for the buffer housing. This was moulded in resin and buffer heads (somewhat modified) from NMRS fitted.
  33. 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.
  34. 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!
  35. 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
  36. GBRF have to hire the loco from the other company for a fee or maybe they will borrow it to them if they can borrow something else later in the week! as long as I sign the loco type I can drive it, I even asked if freightliner had a 70 knocking about I could have used but they didn’t as for last night it was a ballast drop on the Cheshire lines with top and tail 66s 66788 locomotion 15 into Chester to change ends 66744 Crossrail at the other end job finished and out of the possession at 7am at Mobberley in thick fog and -2 and a slow drive home in the freezing fog! quick hop over to trafford park tonight with 66777
  37. Please find below the production schedule for our OO gauge terriers. Subject to any approval issues the aim is to have the first two models arriving before Chinese New Year. Production will continue once CNY has finished, the remainder will continue to arrive with a goal of full delivery completed by April. The majority are expected to be with us in March. This includes the reworked Boxhill and Brighton models. Before CNY: 1. KESR Bodium 2. LB&SCR 643 Ex Gipsyhill Immediately after CNY: 3. Boxhill NRM ) ) these 2 to come together 4. Boxhill Rails ) 5. LBSC Brighton 6. BR 32665 7. BR 32661 8. Southern 2644 9. SECR 751 10. BR 32650 11. Southern 9 Fishbourne 12. WC+PR 4 13. GWR 6
  38. 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.
  39. 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.
  40. 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.
  41. 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
  42. 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)..
  43. Finding Nellie this weekend, or, rather, placing her on the test track this morning, proved to be a Madeleine Moment. I'm involuntarily lost in lost time, with the sense of loss and of the waste of years that usually it would take a whole afternoon of Elgar to induce ... B*gger
  44. 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.
  45. Happy New Year! Sadly Percy isn't feeling any New Year cheer, as he sidles about the yard, shunting! 'Get a move on No 6! We haven't got all day!'
  46. 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.
  47. 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!
  48. 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 .....
  49. 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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