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Tony Teague

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Everything posted by Tony Teague

  1. Well it seems I got that completely wrong! I thought there were 20 per page but there are 25, so actually when we get to the end of the page that will be 62,500 - which will be all the more amazing. So for the time being I'll just say that was very late to mention the achievement of 50k! Apologies! Tony
  2. Tony Hearty congratulations on what must now be 50,000 posts! An amazing achievement. Tony
  3. A very productive visit by Giles over the last couple of days made for good progress! First we finished off the CCTV installation started further up this page, by adding the remaining camers and illuminating the darker nooks & crannies with LED strips; the latter will prevent the cameras switching to night mode and emitting infra-red light which would be likely to interfere with the numerous IRDOT detectors around the layout. This is now what the operator sees at the main control console (the untidy wiring was never designed to be seen on the big screen but is unlikely to be re-layed!), so there will be little excuse for not knowing what is happening or whether a train is moving according to instructions. The CCTV control box has recording capability but I can't for the life of me think why I would want to replay a particular train movement! With this job completed we turned our attention to the Faller Road system - the running track for which has been in place since very early on. The route loops around Churminster Market Square and then runs the full length of the room / layout before descending to a turning circle hidden beneath RAF Charmy Bottom. So this was our starting point, and we first fitted the space with our last remaining camera so that the operator will be able to see the status of the turning circle. We then removed the turning circle (which is cut from 6mm ply) and fitted it with side "safety barriers" made from plasticard off-cuts - although no vehicle so far has ever managed to fall off! - plus 4 Faller 'Parking Stop' devices and 4 miniature IR detectors (one detector only shown here): Now re-installed, this set up will facilitate the running of up to 4 road vehicles in turn, along the roadway and back, with fully automated control being achieved via an Arduino and a bank of relays linked to both the detectors and the electro-magnetic coils within the Faller devices: We managed to complete and fully test the installation, with only some refinement of the Arduino program left to be completed, however, as the eagle-eyed will have noticed, one problem remains - which is that Faller only make HO vehicles of faily modern vintage, and so whilst I can run the system, there is a significant amount of work to do in converting vehicles to my 1938 - 48 era of choice! I'd welcome hearing about any experiences ffrom others having done this! Finally - the road turning circle as seen from the Control Console: Tony
  4. Looks more like a spam fritter to me!
  5. I decided to take a day out on Monday, and having recently heard about the permanently exhibited "Famous Trains" layout in Derby, I paid it a visit; sadly I'm afraid that I was not that impressed. I wouldn't normally criticise, but this layout is as I say, on permanent display and whilst it is certainly large - at about 60 feet long - and the centrally featured station of Chinley is scale length and very nicely constructed, the layout's name and it's marketing, implies that what you will see is a succession of named 'famous trains' - and I didn't see a single one! It was very quiet and there were more staff present (volunteers I imagine) than customers, but the famous trains remained firmly at the back in their storage sidings whilst an HST, a coal train and another modern freight rain continuous loops at high speed. Nothing was seen of what must be the considerable operating potential of Chinley Station, whilst in the subsidiary displays two derailments within a few minutes were distracting,. So whilst I am certain that the layout has considerable potential, it wasn't displayed at it's best for me. Fortunately the entry fee is modest at £2.50 = but parking cost almost twice this and when you add a 120mile round trip, I was certainly hoping for more! Sorry guys! Back to the layout........ With Mike having made progress on the backscenes there is now little excuse for me not to work on what is in front of it! This week I have been working on the platform canopies for Stowe Magna Station, where platform 1 has been completed for a long time, with the canopy over platforms 2 & 3 part built but never finished. At close of play today, the platform 2-3 canopy is complete barring some Southern cream paint, whilst the new canopy for platforms 4 & 5 is structurally completed, part painted but lacking any supports! (Shown here just retsing in place). The decision at this point has been to leave passengers on platforms 6 & 7 without any shelter from the elements, but whether I will change my mind once these are completed, only time will tell. Progress has not been as quick as I would like, partly because each canopy has two lengths of 0.45 brass wire threaded under them, to which some LED pendant lamps are soldered, but I am hoping the end appearance will justify the effort. Tony
  6. .....but I had always believed that size was not important............ My mistake - I had forgotten that you had migrated to the 'senior scale'!
  7. Andy I've probably got an HMRS LNER sheet that I bought just to do a couple of pigeon vans; I'll have a look and if they are on there, you will be welcome. Tony
  8. Is there any further news as to what has happened to the 4mm ranges?
  9. The long gap between posts seems to have become the norm, but there has been some activity even if it is only slight! First off, Arun Sharma has been working for some time on a kit of parts for the LB&SCR C3 loco & tender which is one of those on my 'Missing List'; during this time it became apparent that the C3 tenders had been exchanged during the 1930's for tenders from older, & by then scrapped, B2X locos. Arun delivered the loco parts a little while ago, and then in the last couple of weeks he has produced the parts for the B2X tender - so now both have been despatched to my chosen builder to await their turn in his build queue. This was the first test build of the loco (courtesy of Arun Sharma); and all will be revealed in due course! Secondly, and after a pandemic-enforced absence of just over 18 months, Mike Gascoigne has recently returned to complete the backscene along the Churminster side of the layout. If one looks at this image of platform 1 at Churminster Station, the current end of the backscene can clearly be seen (or scene, perhaps?). After a couple of further sessions, Mike has now completed the 4 remaining panels which will stretch from here towards the mouth of Stowe Magna tunnel, where they will join up with work already completed. Parts of the first two of the four new panels are shown here propped in position but not yet fixed: I think they make an immense difference! The paint on the last two panels is drying on the workbench: In the meantime I have been working to complete the platform canopies for Stowe Magna Station, and so there is now little excuse for me to avoid finishing this work and fixing them in place! Tony
  10. Tony To my way of thinking it is the effort and discipline which you put into understanding every single fault that inevitably occurs, that enables you to learn, and the performance of the layout as a whole to steadily improve; the two examples above demonstrate this. I share your intolerance of poor or unreliable running but have some way to go in order to reach LB's performance! Tony
  11. Interesting question Jack, and back in January I covered their relative haulage ability at that time: Now that it is fixed, I think the SEF model will easily outhaul the OO works versions and cope with the Sunny South Express, but on a broader basis, neither model is up to what I perceive as being 'modern RTR standards': Whilst both have cast bodies, so are heavy, and equally are pretty good representations of the overall body shape, but the buffers on the SEF model (2091) look a bit chunky, whilst the lettering on the OO Works model (2023) looks a bit heavy. The OO Works version seems to have sharper, less rounded corners, and a skinnier chimney than I am seeing on prototype images, but it also has a modern coreless motor which is quieter but not necessarily more powerful (it won't pull the Sunny South Express for example). So for me it is a very close thing, and with No.2091 now having the edge on hauling capability, I think it is that one which will be on the front of the SSE from now on. Tony
  12. I spent a most enjoyable, and successful, day at Little Bytham today with Tony Wright - successful because I took 3 under-performing locos with me and he very kindly fixed all three! [all three images below courtesy of Tony Wright] The first was ex-LB&SCR double domed C2X No.2525 which was built for me some years ago from either a DJH or Nu-Cast kit, however, it has not even been run in because it was an unreliable starter and intermittent runner. Tony fixed a couple of pick up issues and it immediately pulled away with a 40 wagon coal train! Not bad for a little 0-6-0 with an open frame motor! The second loco to receive attention was ex-SE&CR U class No.1624 which I bought some years ago on E-Bay - always a risk; I think it is from a DJH kit, but could be SEF, and again it has an open frame motor. Whilst the builder is unknown, the build and finish looks good but it suffered from jerky, intermittemt performance on curves - which Tony quickly diagnosed as being due to the front pony occasionally shorting on to the live chassis. He fixed this by applying a thin coat of araldite as an insulator and again, she romped away with somewhere over 40 coal empties; very gratifying! Finally, this ex-LB&SCR I3, No.2091 had so far failed to pull the skin off a rice pudding, despite being a very heavy loco. The model is from an SEF kit with yet another open frame motor, and had been intended to haul the inter-regional 'Sunny South Express' which the original I3's did with aplomb, all the way from Rugby to the south coast. Tony opened out axle holes for the rear pony, as it seemed that this was carrying about half of the weight, causing some wheel slip and preventing the loco from hauling much more than its own body weight. Subsequently it easily hauled one of his 12 coach rakes of mixed RTR and kit-built coaches - considerably heavier that my own Sunny South rake! Thanks again Tony for fixing each of these, which will all now take a trip to the weathering shop! Tony
  13. Thanks Tony for a most enjoyable day, and as ever, thanks also to Mo for her hospitality. The three errant locos had each spent some time on my 'naughty step', and whilst Tony's solutions may sound simple they were clearly beyond me as a mere mortal! The ex-LB&SCR double domed C2X No.2525 was built for me some years ago, but to be honest has not even been run in; I had noted it as being from a DJH kit but it may well have been Nu-Cast in origin and was built using the open framed motor as originally supplied. Aside from the small pick-up problem, the build & paint job are pretty good but I was really very surprised to see this little 0-6-0 pull away with a 40 wagon coal train! I bought the ex-SE&CR U class No.1624 some years ago on E-Bay, which is always a risk; I think it is from a DJH kit, but could be SEF, and again it has an open frame motor. Whilst the builder is unknown, the build and finish looks good but it suffered from jerky, intermittemt performance on curves - which Tony seems to have correctly diagnosed and fixed within seconds Again, to see her pull away with somewhere over 40 coal empties was very gratifying. Finally, whilst the ex-LB&SCR I3, No.2091 is a very heavy loco it didn't seem able to pull anything much without the wheels slipping. The model is from an SEF kit with yet another open frame motor, and is intended to haul the inter-regional 'Sunny South Express' which the original I3's did with aplomb, all the way from Rugby to the south coast; it now looks to me that it will be more than capable of that task - so thanks again Tony for fixing each of these! Tony
  14. In terms of RTR price comparitors, could you perhaps draw contrasts between these two new Hornby locos and those offered a little while back by Golden Age?
  15. Hi Jack You're recent posts show that you are reaching a level of detail that I just can't aspire to! It's to be admired, so keep at it!! Tony
  16. A very brief update today, in that I can report that the canopy for platforms 2 and 3 at Stowe Magna station (see above) is now complete and in the paint shop, whilst a further canopy for platforms 4 and 5 is under construction; I remain undecided about whether platforms 6 and 7 should have a canopy, but it is clear that some form of platform building - toilets or a waiting room might be required to complete platforms 4 and 5. Meanwhile the small side control panel now has her malachite livery: Aside from its potential use by a visitor wishing to control either of the otherwise "shuttle-controlled" lines, there is one key function which can only be controlled from here. If you look at the two blue/grey lines shown at the centre of the track plan on here, you will see that there is a headshunt leading away from the lower of the two standard gauge platforms; access to the headshunt - which is only likely to be used for the storage of vans, warflats or similar, can only be controlled from here as it would be impossible to see what was going on from the main panel, and the shuttle mechanism must be switched out to do this. Conversely, at the top / fiddleyard end of the same line (where it appears dotted on the panel), a link is shown diverging away from the line; this is an exit connection from the shuttle line into the main fiddle yard and this may only be controlled from the main panel where the overall status of the fiddle yard can be seen. Entry to the shuttle controlled section is directly from the left hand end of the track shown as dotted, and is also controlled via the main panel. Tony
  17. I cleverly arranged for Giles to visit on the two hottest days that we have seen for a while, and so it was that we laboured in some considerable heat - despite the efforts of my ageing and very noisy air-conditioning unit which just can't cope on days like that! (I should stress that it is Giles who does all the strenuous bits - thank you!). Nevertheless, I have progress to report! Firstly we installed the remaining LED's into the new side control panel which is now complete, excepting that I shall give the sides of it a coat of glorious malachite, to match that on the main panel: This panel is on drawer runners and so it can be pushed back under the layout when not in use. As the track diagram shows, this is set up to allow optional local control of either of the two lines that are otherwise operated via Heathcote shuttle mechanisms, the orange line being the narrow gauge line from Churminster Quarry up to the small station next to RAF Charmy Bottom (which is currently under military control - it being 1938 - 48); the grey / blue line being the requisitioned short standard gauge branch from the main line that brings in fuel, munitions etc to the air base from the wider network. The green loop with 4 LED's will illustrate progress on the Faller Road System but will not allow any control of it; of this, more in due course. The second shot shows the location of this panel, 2/3rds of the way along the railway room beside the line from Churminster Quarry to the line under RAF Charmy Bottom. Completion of this panel seemed like a simple enough task until we found that both of the two shuttles were mis-behaving, in that points were only firing intermittently; having checked every possible connection that we might have disturbed during our work, we traced the fault to two separate fractured solder joints on the Gaugemaster CDU circuit board (which is standalone and only fires these points). Once repaired all was well - but that cost us about 3 hours!! Moving on, we decided to attack the CCTV project - which is vital because once the remining backscene boards are installed, the operator (i.e. me) will not be able to see the fiddle yards, which will truly be 'hidden': Longer term followers will recall that our first attempt at installing CCTV ended in tears when we discovered that the cameras that I had bought at great expense (about £3 each!) got red hot within about 2 minutes - and additionally would not focus....... [Lesson = you get what you pay for!]. The new kit is really designed for home surveillance but was heavily discounted because all of the latest equipment now has 4K capability which is certainly not needed here. We made very good progress with 5 of 8 cameras fully installed, a 6th connected and located but needing a bracket to complete the job (top right on screen), and wiring for the remaining two cameras all in place. 5 of the 8 locations will require the installation of a strip of LED's so that the stock can be seen in otherwise very dark locations; I had a considerable concern that the infra red capability of these cameras would destabilse and interfere with the numerous IRDOT derectors around the layout but fortunately this capability can be disabled, and we can make up for the loss of 'night vision' through installing some small LED strips. So all in all, two very satisfactory days of progress - it will now take me at least a week to clear up the mess that we made in achieving it! Tony
  18. Having taken 5 months to complete the weathering of the last three locos I thought that I would do better this time, and so I have completed the three started on Sunday, with the addition of some powders and fluids: First the pair of C2X locos - the single dome boilered No.2546 - the camera cruelly highlights some blotches...... Following completion of the weathering each loco has had a wheel clean and a run on the rolling road to make sure that there were no other faults present; No.2546 is already back on the Churminster coaling stage. The double domed No.2540 is next; I used some 'Old Grease' on the rods of this one And already backing onto a train of flat wagons; speaking of which: This pair had also been half completed back in April and so I got them off the workbench at the same time Lastly N class No.1847 in malachite livery Sitting here in platform 2 at Churminster, waiting for the calling on signal so that she can move onto the shed (apologies for the blurry nature of this - I should have focus-stacked the shot!). Moving on to what comes next - whilst there is still acres of stock to be weathered, I feel the need to make some scenic progress, and you may recall that back in December I had started the refurbishment of the Stowe Magna side of the layout by rebuilding St Giles chrch and then making my way slowly down the hill towards the station - but I didn't get very far! So now what I want to do is to complete the building of Stowe Magna Station - which was started about 15+ years ago, but was never finished! It currently looks like this, with an incomplete canopy of platforms 2 & 3 and nothing whatever of platforms 4 - 7. I did also have a debate about whether to replace the central station buidling, which is the Hornby / Skaledale model of Rye Station in Sussex, but although it is actually a fairly poor pastiche of the real station I have decided just to titivate it for the time being, whilst reserving the right to go back later! Platform 1 is the only area that is all but complete, so the aim is to bring everything else up to this standard, and this will involve some tweaking of the buildings on the street to the rear of the station. As usual, I shall report progress. Tony
  19. Sometimes, yes! I doubt it will ever be finished, and it is not only too big, but too complex (my design!), and I largely work on it alone - with occasional help on bits that are beyond me, but then when I find the time to just sit back and 'play trains' it gives me a lot of satsfaction - so I have few regrets. Tony
  20. So for once I decided that I would do what I said I was going to do - some weathering! I have spent the last couple of weeks clearing off my workbench and doing sundry jobs - like 'doctoring' a batch of relays ready for use in interlocking my signals - and the last three items on the bench were three locos that I started weathering back in April............ I had done what I wanted with the airbrush and they just needed the odd bit of powder here and there to complete - a visiting LNER J15 that arrives from time to time with a coal train via the East London line. The ex-LSWR K10 built so heroically for me by DLT And Brighton Atlantic No.2038 'Portland Bill'. Having made what I regard as the final touches to these three, I moved on to airbrushing a new batch, again of three: These being a pair of ex-LB&SCR C2X's and one of the unbiquitous Bachmann N's. My intention is that these will be completed in less than the 6 months that the last batch took...............but you never know . Tony
  21. Just worked through your thread from the beginning - and what stunning modelling! Really beautiful scenic work; keep it up and let us know when you will be exhibiting. Tony
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