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Castle last won the day on April 8 2012

Castle had the most liked content!


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    Never too far from 81E!

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  1. Hi Noel, Long time no chat! They are some of, if not the most popular freight vehicles on the layout for the visitors. We get more questions asked about them than any of the others. Thanks again for producing the kit! All the best, Castle
  2. The Fawley Flyers, triumphant after a good day’s running at our first show. We were all, what is best described as ‘well pleased’! Left to right: Miss Trees, Captain Phil (being a twit), Laura, yours truly, Alice, Leigh, Harry and, Moses like with his staff (!) Alan. As the designer of the layout, I always said that if it takes longer to put the stock out than to put the layout together then I shall be a happy man. Turns out, this is the case! Hours to put up and take down a layout is time taken away from playing with it as far as I’m concerned and it means that it is easy for us to include at Fawley and Didcot Running days. We already have two bookings at Didcot this year and all the Fawley running days but we are of course open to other offers. If you want any more details then please send me a PM. The day wasn’t perfect and there are a few jobs still to do so we will concentrate on those in the next few posts. Still- well pleased! All the best, Castle Stay tuned for the next exciting installment of William Street Yard! PS: William Street Yard's Next public show is the Railway Modeller's Weekend at Didcot Railway Centre on 11th & 12th July - for more information please click the link here: https://didcotrailwaycentre.org.uk/product.php/66/railway-modellers-weekend We hope to see you there!
  3. Serious business this shunting lark! Captain Phil and Leigh, hard at work. We found that at table height, it is very difficult to shunt the front yard from the back. We are pretty sure that if the night is increased then it will change the angles that people are trying to operate at and make it easier. Legs required me thinks... A few overall shots to give the idea!
  4. Show Time! Hi All, Bacon Seeds Definition: We were once shown a lovely picture of some really cute little piglets. You know the sort of saccharin heavy, insta-vomit sort of a thing. Awwwwww! One of our members stepped forward to the picture profferer and uttered the immortal words: “Those aren’t piglets - they are bacon seeds.” Now try looking at a piglet the same way again... Well, the Beaconsfield Model Railway show 2019 awaits... How did we get on? Pretty darn well for a first try I would say! Undoubtedly, the worst part about was the traffic on the set up evening. There was a short window of opportunity to get in and get set up and the traffic was awful! We managed to deliver the layout but not set it up which is not how we wanted to play it. Thankfully, set up of the actual layout takes far less than 30 minutes on a good day so that was a bit of a bonus in the morning. We were there and it all worked so I guess that is section one of the mission completed! There was a fair bit of interest in the layout. With a larger than normal crew due to giving people a bit of down time from concentrating on the shunting, there were explainers as well as operators. I always quite like chatting to layout personnel at shows so this went down well. Here we see Harry and Miss Trees. Shunt those POLLEN Es one at a time - it avoids incidents! Laura operating the fiddle yard. Alice and her looked after the fiddle yard most of the day.
  5. ...and to balance it out at the other end, a suitable and relevant genuine BR wagon label! The lighting rig went home with Alan and Miss Trees and then primer. A black top coat occurred later... Nothing we can do now but turn up to the show. All the best, Castle PS: As I hope is obvious, the posts up until this point are very much history providing a background to the layout and how we built it. Here is a 'future echo' of what we got up to last weekend at Didcot. A write up will occur in due course. What an amazing setting by the way! PPS: Thanks for the kind words 7812! Stay tuned for the next exciting installment of William Street Yard!
  6. Captain Phil and Leigh having a mini - shunt with the room lighting off to prove it can be done. It passed with flying colours! The recent batch of figures are in too. Here, Sir William chats with one of the shunters as a driver looks at the loco lamps and ponders the coming day’s exertions. I like to call this one “Hurry up and finish your tea driver, we are going to be late!”. There are a pair of P/Way workers in the background by their tools. A robin is sat on the grindstone, expectantly in hope of a small crumb of food from the monkeys in clothes. A number of display items were added, including the logo of the GMRC to tell people of its now far-distant origin...
  7. Last Chance Saloon! Hi All, Badgers Definition: For some reason, one of our number has a thing for Badgers. Little white metal badgers to be precise. We think it derives from his fascination with the famous foreign version of this animal, the Honey Badger. This animal (if you don’t know) is about as close to indestructible as is possible, is evolution’s answer to the biker gang and a seriously good escapologist - all rolled into one furry little psychopath. They will eat anything at any time and disable Male opponents by, well, you get the picture. Really - look it up! He wants badgers (European) to be acting as footplate crew, guards, stationmasters, signalmen, you name it, he’s suggested it. When asked why he doesn’t want the badgers painted as Honey Badgers, he claims that it ‘wouldn’t be authentic - Badgers in the UK have a different livery so that would just be, well, wrong...’ Words often fail me. Sorry for the late upload for last weekend - the show at Didcot was very successful if very tiring and it completely slipped my mind that I hadn't done it! Double rations this weekend. We return you to your regularly scheduled nonsense... The gangs all here to make the final push! Even Henry the Hoover is here... The centrepiece tree has been ceremonially planted by Miss Trees. Very nice it is too! The lighting rig is also in! Captain Phil really did a fantastic job on this one. The old school industrial shades really make top it off too. Phil and Leigh make a few adjustments. It sits on a shelf arrangement at the far end that the bell code box and cheat sheet sits on. There is even room for a mug of tea... Even if we end up in a dark corner, shunting can continue. It gives off a really nice even spread of light across the whole layout. The only thing we want to do is to tone down the shiny a bit - we reckon a nice coat of black paint is in order. Miss Trees and Alan have kindly volunteered to sort this one out for us.
  8. Hi All, Thanks for the likes people! Mikkel, - by lamps, I mean light bulbs. They are of the 24v type used in passenger coaches of a certain era... The lamp shades MIGHT have a railway origin but we aren't sure. All the best, Castle
  9. Hi ADB968008, Thanks for posting that - it brings back fantastic memories. I was one of the very privileged few that rode inside No. 93 on that trip. The best bit was Sonning Cutting where three of us stood in the rear cab on a moonlight night with the GWR main line paying out behind us and the steam rolling off into the blue - black night sky. One of my two friends who was in the cab then is no longer with us. He was such a great guy - he is deeply missed by many of us at 81E. He wasn't well then, but he managed to get to see this with us. It makes me think of the three of us stood there looking though those big windows, in silent awe of just what madness we were involved in at that moment, all of us grinning like idiots... Good times. All the best, Castle
  10. Another shot of the Dean Goods - ready to go! A look down the belly of the beast from the fiddle yard! Right at the end of the day, Captain Phil came through, sending us photos of this little beauty! Amazing stuff! Fitting will be next weekend. The all important list of stuff left to do on the last Sunday before the show: 1) Fit the lighting rig. Obviously! It will need a 24v transformer as it uses the same fittings and lamps from a railway carriage. Are we taking authenticity too far here?! 2) The centre tree needs to go in. Miss Trees is nearly there with this one! 3) The last few figures and detail parts need to go in. That’s it - after that it is ready to go! I doesn’t seem possible that we have come this far in just a few months but here we are! All the best, Castle Stay tuned for the next exciting instalment of William Street Yard! Remember: The completed William Street Yard will be on display at Didcot Railway Centre over the weekend of 15th & 16th February for the 'Delivering The Goods' Event alongside a whole host of other exciting events and demonstrations. We hope you can come along and enjoy the fun! For more information please click the link here: https://didcotrailwaycentre.org.uk/product.php/55/delivering-the-goods
  11. Dress Rehearsal - places people! Hi All, Tactical Greenery Definition: You can’t quite resolve that bit of scenery. You don’t know what to do. You have a piece of layout hardware you can’t remove. There is a really obvious gap in what you are working on but you can’t get to it to sort it out. What to do? Slap something on it to hide it obviously! Hence - Tactical Greenery. It may take the form of a weed or grass for smaller problems, a bush for mid-size issues or a tree for any utter disasters. It has related sub- genres. If greenery is inappropriate. These are called Tactical Ballasting, Tactical weathering and Tactical Flocking. Be VERY careful with the spelling of the latter... Well, did the rehearsal go well? Yes, yes it did! We enjoyed using the layout at the end of the day and hopefully that will be reflected in the public enjoyment of the layout. It really only fully comes alive when it is full of stock and here it is. This really is the perfect environment to show off the Little Didcot freight fleet. The layout and stock really gel together. Here we look out over the rear of the layout. The end of the departure road is where the brake vans live. The sheer variety of stock preserved at Didcot means that the variety on the layout is excellent too! Here, a fitted freight has just pulled into he arrival road while a Dean Goods awaits the off in the departure road. The Dean Goods Train consists of a pair of girders supported on the POLLEN E Wagons. A Grange is refreshed after its exertions while a pannier prepares to shunt a CORAL A in the middle yard. The panniers that will be on shunting duty on the day will both be equipped with a shunting trick with additional pickups installed.
  12. Not only is this a remarkable shot of Leigh performing the worst photo-bomb in history(!), it also demonstrates the working side of the layout. On the left is the model section. The small switch panel bottom left controls the model lighting (on/off and dimmer) and the water crane display (a start and a reset button). Next is a cheat sheet to refer to and the ‘signal box’. Then the centre box for the bell code machines. Under that is the main power on/off for the converted ATX (PC) power supply. A few scenic shots to finish off this post. The far end of the scenic section. About 2/5ths down from the entrance. The entrance from the fiddle yard. The bridge still needs starting so won’t be in place for the first exhibition. Then an overview with Harry working hard on a something... This was the last full technical set up, the next set up is the final one before show one! We spent rest of this day was spent playing with the stock and seeing what worked. I guess you would like to see that looked like... Don’t you just hate a cliffhanger? It's really awful when people get to the exciting bit and then just stop isn't it? All the best, Castle Stay tuned for the next exciting installment of William Street Yard! Remember: The completed William Street Yard will be on display at Didcot Railway Centre over the weekend of 15th & 16th February for the 'Delivering The Goods' Event alongside a whole host of other exciting events and demonstrations. We hope you can come along and enjoy the fun! For more information please click the link here: https://didcotrailwaycentre.org.uk/product.php/55/delivering-the-goods
  13. Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock... Hi All, Gus The Rhino Definition: Fawley has a full size, fake rhinoceros. His name is Gus. He occasionally gets dressed up. last time he had a Hawaiian motif with garlands of flowers and very stylish he looked too... Gus lives on a sheet of plywood that is, itself mounted on castors so you can simply and conveniently move your fake rhinoceroses where you need it. Quite WHY you need a fake full size rhinoceros called Gus to roll about and dress as you please is, however, up for debate... The first item in the agenda for this post is that our battle flag has been reinstated! This sign was made up by Miss Trees for 81M William Street Shed and had been attached to that layout since. The sign needed a little light touching up to bring it back to A1 condition so Miss Trees took it home and waved her magic wand over it once again. The loco numbers are, of course Fawley’s Hudswell Clark 0-6-0 No. 31, Fawley’s Swindon built Class 03 No. D2120, with former McAlpine engines - 4472 Flying Scotsman and 4079 Pendennis Castle. Note the earlier version of 'Flyer' spelling... Now we have all the correct leads, the re-purposed monitor, displaying the DVD from a lap top in this instance. The displays are going in. A number of cheap plastic photo frames from one of the multitude of bargain emporiums that litter the landscape these days were employed. They are attached with those brass plates that are supposed to screw to a wooden frame but have been bent and bolted ion here. The wagon labels under the monitor are the real deal. The rear of the fiddle yard showing the cassettes in a stack, the bell code system at rest, the monitor at rest and the only extension lead required to power the whole shooting match. There is an 8 gang adaptor on the main layout board. The mains power connection for both the photo frame and the monitor are looped up ready to connect up to the main layout which is already in position behind it. 5 bolts and a few electrical connections later and it is ready to go. The speed of set up was vital for us. With a full team on site, the layout can be running in as little as 20 minutes... An end view. This session was a test of all systems except the lighting rig which had sadly been delayed. The temporary positioning of the bell code instrument and the cheat sheet is shown here.
  14. Hi Mikkel, Thanks mate! I really appreciate the kind words. The animals are the sort of thing I'm prepared to be a little over done in order to provide a bit of visual interest for patrons - we are supposed to be entertaining after all. Every now and then it just clicks and you get a shot which just looks right - we are really pleased with it! I'm glad the madness comes across too. Sir would have most definitely have approved... All the best, Castle
  15. He Talks To (and Paints) The Animals... Hi All, Surprise Cow Definition: Thankfully, this is not a species related to the Drop Squirrel (see eponymous previous entry). Can you imagine the mess that would make?! We have a soundscape file that runs on the layout. It took a while to track down a file that was right. All the ‘relaxing sounds of nature’ type things I could find had a babbling brook, watery sort of theme. There isn’t a watercourse of any kind on William Street Yard (and they invoke the need to use the facilities on the older members of the Flyer troop!) so these were inappropriate. Then, after chatting with Graham Muz of this parish at the Milton Keynes show, he put us on to Paul at Big Train Sound. (great products and customer service by the way! https://bigtrainsound.co.uk/ Usual disclaimer). He had the perfect sound file. It’s entitled ‘A Rural Spring Morning’ and its great! There are no vehicle noises to date or place it. It features birdsong, the wind rustling the trees, and a range of noises emanating from the sort of fauna you would expect to hear. No need for constant trips to he bathroom. Wonderful Right near the end is this single cow moo. It’s not out of place, it’s not wrong but it is a little louder than the rest of the animal sounds and quite sudden if you aren’t ready for it. The gentle rustle of the wind. The twittered conversation of the birds. And then... SURPRISE COW! It is funny to watch the unwary jump... Firstly, an update from Captain Phil - the conduit is rapidly forming a sort of layout sized hoop. The thought was to retain the industrial sort of theme by using electrical conduit. We are also luck that not only does Captain Phil have lots of experience working with this stuff, but he also has all the tools to manipulate it too... So, given that we have a bit of countryside , one of the things we don’t mind seeing is a range of wildlife. It has fallen to yours truly to ensure that they are all in the correct livery. A plethora of Dart Castings finest British beasties was ordered and a selection made from that. I know they are a little over scale in places but this is something that people like to discover on layouts so if they are a little more visible then so be it. Like human figures, action poses look strange to me so the sort of at rest thing is how we roll. Left to right: Grey and Red Squirrels: at the time the layout is set, the Reds were giving way to the Greys so the numbers here reflect that. Pigeons: Possibly, more accurately, collared doves. Weasels: They aren’t pine martins - they are stoatally different. The differences are weaselly seen in fact. I’ll get my coat... Hares: like rabbits, only more so. Then we have: Fox: whether he uses the prefix Mr or is indeed fantastic could only be determined by Mr Dhal. Pheasants: A Male and two females. Buzzards: Today, these would be Red Kites but they were still extinct in the UK at the time the layout is set. Sparrow: Male and female Robin: Male Hedgehogs: Snuffly. All our layouts get a model of Sir William so he was next under the paintbrush. Then we need to seal up the bothy next to the grounded IRON MINK so I did the driver with tea mug figure. Both of these figures are from Modelu of course. Then a little Easter egg - FLUFFY! His reputation at Fawley has already been described but it was decided to immortalise him in white metal form. Harry ordered the animals and saw Alpaca he pushed purchase straight away. He will be well hidden from the general public but we will know he is there. Waiting to strike... A few pictures of progress. Here we are looking across the fence into the yard. The spotter’s view? You can see Sir William in the distance. We had a guest pannier and some MICAs turn up so they had their picture taken. The MICAs were some of those used on the 81M William Street Shed layout in the heats of GMRC Series 1. You can see my driver in the bothy enjoying his brew. I want to make the driver part of a small vignette with his fireman outside looking in as if to say hurry up! I have more figures to paint before then however. Lucky me! So we have a few animals to let loose, the last few figures to paint and then the displays and lighting rig to fit. Then we were golden for our first show! This was last year's Beaconsfield show in July. How did we do? Did the layout have an utter electronic meltdown? Was there enough tea & bacon sandwiches? Keep reading to find out! All the best, Castle Stay tuned for the next exciting installment of William Street Yard! Remember: The completed William Street Yard will be on display at Didcot Railway Centre over the weekend of 15th & 16th February for the 'Delivering The Goods' Event alongside a whole host of other exciting events and demonstrations. We hope you can come along and enjoy the fun! For more information please click the link here: https://didcotrailwaycentre.org.uk/product.php/55/delivering-the-goods
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