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    OO Railway modeller from 1960s. Was editor of “Engineering in Miniature” until I retired.

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  1. CV266. It is by default 65, but can easily be raised, but be careful - too loud and you will destroy the speaker in the loco. Bill
  2. Thank you very much, Ian. I am very pleased with my model which arrived today, but the model does not have any electrical connection boxes on either buffer beam, nor the electrical wiring, but I can fit those myself with not too much trouble. I was rather disappointed by the volume of the Zimo sound chip in my model - I could hardly hear it! I use Gaugemaster’s DCC equipment, and know how to alter overall volume, etc but all my locomotives use ESU chips, not Zimo, and the CV code for ESU sound chips is different. Telephoned Tower Models who supplied my loco, but Roger couldn’t help! He suggested I call DCC Supplies who fit all the sound chips for Dapol locomotives, and the lady there very helpfully sent me the full (over 80 A4 pages!) DCC chip manual. I found the overall volume CV and increased it slightly and now I can hear the sounds much better (not too loud or they won’t be realistic!). I also lowered the top speed of my model as it was doing a scale 150mph when screwed up to its maximum! Now it is a much more realistic scale 50-60mph. The firebox flicker is a disappointment - it is hardly visible at all when the fire is being stoked (F4), but I can live with that. My footplate crew (ModelU figures) aren’t doing much driving - they are standing about and looking out! Anyway, thank you for your help with the matter of the auto gear at the rear of the loco. Now I can modify it with confidence. Bill
  3. I have bought this model (GWR unlined green with G W R lettering), and it will arrive soon. I was particularly interested in the article “A Cornish Autotank” in the July 2020 issue of Railway Modeller about how the modeller modified his locomotive with the fine auto gear, but I have a few problems. (a) I have only ever seen a 14xx 0-4-2 tank loco afar - never close enough to be able to take photographs of the auto gear. (b) I have spent AGES looking for photos of these locos showing the auto gear, but again, the ones I have seen are not exactly good photos of what appears to be a rather dirty lower front of the locomotive. (c) The Railway Modeller article shows wonderful pictures of the front auto gear, but none of the rear of the locomotive. So I thought I’d look on the internet for photos of the rear of an auto-fitted 14xx! Did I find any? NO!!! Not one! My problems which the more knowledgeable of you may be able to answer are: Does the auto gear continue in a straight line from the, err, port side of the loco’s front buffer beam to the port side of the rear buffer, or does it somehow get transferred to the starboard side of the rear buffer beam? (Apologies for using nautical terminology, but ‘nearside’ and ‘offside’ don’t really apply to a locomotive. The port side is, of course, the left side of the engine!) The author of the article in Railway Modeller shows the battery connection box on the starboard side of the front coupling, but again, I have no idea where the connection box goes on the rear buffer beam, or indeed where the wiring to it runs. Does the wire(s?) go behind the buffer beam, or along the bottom edge? And how are they fastened? The author also shows some triangular supporting plates under the footplate, near the sandboxes. I have not seen any supporting evidence that any 14xx locos had these plates, but that could be because they are in a very dark, probably very dirty, position where photo images just do not show. Below the front buffer beam, just behind the screwlink coupling, is a device about which I know nothing! Can anyone tell me what it is, and is there a similar device below the rear buffer beam? I would be very grateful if my queries can be resolved, and I thank you knowledgeable modellers for reading this post. There are a lot of questions to which I need answers, as I don’t want to make lots of mistakes. The boiler shown in most photos of No. 1432 has a topfeed, but my model will not have topfeed! I realise that boilers were often swapped about when the engines were being repaired, so the lack of topfeed on my model is not a concern. My model will have the cut-out on the rear steps, and the steps and handrail up the fireman’s side of the bunker and cab, so I know they are correct. I cannot discover whether the steps below the footplate are ‘joggled’ as they were on later locomotives, or merely angled inwards as they were on early locos. Photos of the Dapol model do not show this detail! Problems, problems! Thank you, everyone! Bill
  4. The grain store building is now being demolished! Sad times, I reckon, but I am glad that I took lots of photos and dimensions when I did! The building will probably be gone in a week! I am sad for the building because it was so interesting. There will never be another structure as nice as this was. Bill
  5. Here are the pigeons I purchased as kits from Giles. Bill
  6. Thank you, everyone! I have just ordered a superb 1/43.5 scale figure of a (rather well-padded!) signalman with token, ftom Hardys Hobbies (who I had never heard of previously). My layout is a heritage line set near Exeter (so I can have SR and GWR locos) and is set early in the 21st century, so people would be more my size, ie 6ft. Anyway, I am looking forward to getting him - he will be working hard as my heritage railway (The West Exeter Railway) is a very popular venue and always has lots of steam trains and diesel hauled passenger trains (and demo. freight trains) running, especially on gala weekends. On my layout the local vintage/veteran car club has a ‘stand’ beside the station, and vintage buses are also bringing visitors. I know this type of layout has been done by lots of other modellers, but it gives me a lot of pleasure, which is what railway modelling is all about, Bill
  7. I have made the Peco platform-mounted signal box, and fitted the interior detailing kit, too. I could have a signalman pulling off one of the point or signal levers, of course, but the figure would not be very visible, even with interior lighting. However, on the steps, below a working lamp above the steps, a signalman would be VERY visible. He could be waiting for a loco crew to pass him the token to his section of line, or returning after giving the token to the locomotive crew. My problem, though, is SIZE! I cannot find an upright figure (probably a man!) who would be about 6ft (42mm) tall! I have plenty of figures of people about a scale 5ft-5ft6” tall, but I think they are 1/45 or even 1/48 scale, and although people come in different heights, a figure only 5ft6” tall beside a door which is 6ft8” high just doesn’t look ‘right’! Does any manufacturer make 1/43 scale figures of a 6ft tall man? I apologise for the various dimensions being in Imperial, but that is what I am used to - metric measurements are either too big or too small for me! Thank you for any help, Bill
  8. Amanda, The construction of the grain store is quite simple really. I made a (rough) basic shape using 6mm foamboard, and the corrugated iron on the front, and the corrugated asbestos roofing, were one-sided corrugated cardboard available from most art and craft shops (different sized corrugations, of course). Living near the old grain store meant I could pop over and get lots of photos so that my finish of each section of the building and its weathering would be as accurate as possible. It is just a shame that I had to ‘cut off’ the rear side of the building to make it a half-relief model, though there was nothing but a large blank wall of corrugated asbestos at the rear! I had to considerably shorten the depth of the brick section of the building too, as the railway track into my steam MPD rather restricts the depth of the whole model. Here is a photo of my model as it was being tried out on the layout for size and position. The inverted jar taped to the baseboard protects a working footpath lamp-post (I didn’t want to damage it!). Thank you for your kind words - I really enjoy doing the ‘little’ details on my models (I won’t even start on the interior details of some of my houses!). Most people don’t notice them, but I know they are correct and that they CAN be seen, if only with difficulty! The tree began life as a 22cm tall tree from Woodland Classics (part of the Woodland Scenics group), and is the largest I could find! I had to butcher it by cutting off all the branches on the rear half of the tree in order to fit it beside the grain store without impeding rolling stock or locomotives passing by! Then I bent the remaining branches to a more realistic shape. I used the ‘cuttings’ as ground cover. Bill
  9. Doilum, email Giles Favell who makes kits of eight pigeons (£4 plus £1 p&p). His email is [email protected] He is a superb 7mm O scale modeller! I am getting a pack (it’s in the post, Giles says!), so I will be busy soon assembling the kits, rounding off the little birds with a needle file, and then painting them. Having eight will allow me to put a few around the grain store, and others can sit on the roofs of my village, cooing all day and driving people nuts! Bill
  10. I have now finished my model of the grain store discovered while taking my daily exercise during the coronavirus lockdown. I have been using each day’s walk to explore the field footpaths around my village (I have only been here five years!), and when I saw the grain store I just knew it had to be modelled - it has such interesting additions and changes through its existence. Sadly, the grain store will soon be demolished to make way for housing, so I have been fortunate to be able to frequently pop along to confirm details, measurements, colours and weathering details before it goes forever. Here are two photos of my model (which is only a shallow-depth backdrop, really). The first photo shows how the farmer used a bit of asbestos angle as a channel to direct rainwater from one gutter to another after a bit of downpipe broke. The second photo shows the grain store with a (shallow depth) birch tree finishing off the right side of the display. I guess I had better do some more ballasting now! Bill (GOG No. 22932)
  11. Err, that’s 2 or 3 BIRDS, not kits! I reckon each bird would be about 6mm long, but I am NOT a pigeon fancier, it’s just that our back garden is infested with them. They nest in all the trees surrounding our garden. Bill
  12. I would buy two or three birds! The birds look very convincing, though painting them may be a challenge! They look superb! All the best, Bill
  13. I have almost finished my grain store building, and where there are broken and missing planks which form the skin of the building, pigeons are always sitting and digesting the grains of wheat, etc lying about inside the building. I would like to have a couple of pigeons, too, but cannot find a company which produces convincing models of pigeons! I did consider using whitemetal seagulls and repainting them into pigeons, but I am not sure they would look right. Can anyone point me in the right direction to buy a couple? Thank you, Bill
  14. If you zoom into my photo of my grain store, you will see the (very rough) planking which the farmer put on the ‘inside’ face of the wooden tower. I had wondered about how to reproduce the rough planking adequately. I finished up cutting wooden coffee stirrers (from our favourite coffee shop) which gave me exactly the required widths of planks which matched the width of the Evergreen weatherboarding sheets. All the planks were then painted in the typically greyish shade old timber becomes, then each plank cut and glued to the underlying foamboard. I have tried to reproduce the broken and missing planks as closely as possible, but I cannot for the life of me model the pigeons which fly in and out of the tower. Here is a close-up of that end of the grain store. It is a shame that I had to ‘abbreviate’ the brick section of the grain store (which used to be the farmer’s storage building for his harvesting machinery). I would have enjoyed making that, and the derelict lean-to right at the end! Bill
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