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muir

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    New Zealand
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    model railways, old cars,

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  1. Tip loco upside down to remove excess smoke fluid, then a few drops added again and life is good. It's interesting that you've said the controller overloads after a small amount of running: sounds possibly long enough for the smoke generator element to warm up and then short out. is it one of the plastic bodied heating elements? By the the sounds of things, some people do have issues with that period smoke unit and often deactivate them: Is it really smart to put a heating element into an all PLASTIC housing? I think not. My dad had to cut the wires to the smoke unit and hard-wired the headlight to the former smoke unit leads I have the same type of engine with the same type of smoke unit. Plastic and heat really don't mix..... Mine melted (I was young at the time, didn't really know to keep it full of fluid) and burned out. My dad bypassed the smoke unit resistor so I could at least run the engine and have the headlight in operation. It isn't exactly one you can work on like the newer units or the postwar ones, so replacing the whole unit would be best. Just thinking it may be pragmatic to just try and bypass the smoke unit Muir
  2. Thanks Spitfire2865, Yeah, it's not the most useful scale I agree - I've got Hornby Dublo (00), and Lionel Standard Gauge, and I wanted something a bit more as well. Anything sized too close to what I've already got, even it's of a different style, wasn't really going to hit the spot as it were. I'm quite a DIY woodworker, it's just the annoying things like journals and leaf springs I'd rather get as add-ons. Lots of dollshouse bit's available around that scale so making buildings can be fun. At least the amount of rolling stock should be manageable! The whole is basically modular so I can set it up in the garage when I want to do some running. Many thanks Muir
  3. Thats awesome! Dumb question, what tools are you using? Really impressive
  4. 'morning. I'm slowly building up a bit of a branch station layout in 3 1/2" gauge live steam, this being ground level and non rideon. What I'm really asking does anyone have a source for 3.5" gauge commonwealth bogies? this is for constructing the good old BR MkI's and suburban corridors. I know there's loads of 5" gauge available, all nicely sprung with laser cut frames etc, but I'm just after essentially some sideframe castings for 3.5" gauge. Kind of like big Hornby Dublo. Also Castings for the wagon axleguards and the like, Even finding wheels isn't that easy. Anyone got some simple ideas on how to make basic axleguards and bogies that look the part? I'm thinking about the possibility of getting some 3D printed (scaling up an existing drawing maybe?), but do admit that the coaches (wood framing, perspex sides) are still going to be weighty, so maybe printing isn't such a hot idea. I've got a cheapy little lathe, and milling machine which I can do a few things with. Anyone got any ideas on beginner casting??? Any and all input is mucho appreciated Muir
  5. I think one of the ways it's stoved on old trains was at a low(ish) temperature, but for a long time I just have to mention that for some insane reason when I saw the youtube image just in the screen there, it immediately struck me as people waiting at an underground platform for a 20" gauge train arriving. Really weird.
  6. If you're interested don't start typing and then get distracted by something like an auction closing or the wife yelling something as you end up losing all the stuff that you've been typing. You guys have given me a whole lot of thoughts and different directions, examples (1950's Birmingham New Street, Kings X, Ranly GWR etc) and what I've done is actually removed the TT and MPD totally from the Terminus, giving me lots more room from Carriage sidings and the like, so i can actually have more of an "on-site" staging yard, and plonked the MPD alongside my main thru station so engines from Terminus proceed light to MPD, and to a certain extent it's added a major operation to my thru station which it didn't have before: trains can now terminate at my thru station, tender loco's turning and taking their turns on the next train that terminates, it's actually opened up quite a new operating experience. One thing is I think that loop tracks that run all the way through a turntable look very aesthetically pleasing, but can take up a lot of room. thanks everybody
  7. Must say, there's been an awfully good amount of help here, Ranelagh Bridge is extremely close to what I want but there's a whole lot of surrounding buildings, Kings Cross Bottom Shed is probably closer (and it's NE). Luckily, seeing as I don't want to actually do a copy of a prototype, I can involve a bit of abbreviating and modellers licence. The indirect access of Bottom shed from the platform roads is neat, bit more points changing and light engine work, and of course the start of the MPD is more beside the platform ends rather than a few feet forward of them. Water supply probably just stands, coal not too sure, I'm a little dubious as to the overhead coalers which would be more akin to servicing A4's but involve a lot more trackage, with wagon lifts and bypass tracks etc. Maybe the Coaling gets done off site. Hang on - I've suddenly remembered: the tenders are always full when I have a look at my steamers. Good show!
  8. Hi, Needing some help with ideas please - I have a 4 platform terminus with attempts at mainline, A4's, N2 Commuters, maybe the occasional Deltic - not based on anywhere, just a secondary mainline. Anyway, I'm needing some clues for loco depot - I want it to be (and am limited for space) more of a quick turn and service facility i.e turntable, coaling, water, diesel fueling - what I don't want (and have no room for) is bulky engine sheds and lots of loco storage roads with 144 loco's on them (was Bournemouth really that big?) - but I'm well aware that a typical secondary terminus: Bath, Bournemouth, Dover et al, they all had monster engine shed / Facilities, and even larger rosters. I was thinking about just having a shed facade - just the door frontages with at any one time maybe two loco's either on the ready road, getting turned, or maybe coaling, at best maybe 3 in view, all the supposed others out on the road. What I'm asking is does anyone have any piccies or plans in model form of what I'm thinking? I'm finding it hard to visualize, and while realism isn't something I'm good at, I at least like it to look plausible... Many thanks Muir
  9. I'm sure that Hal Joyce came up with the name "TT", but when you consider Wesa in '45 (yes I'm aware of their 13mm gauge) and Lytax again in '45, I get the impression that the size that we know as TT was coming to fruition in a variety of places, bit like "S" which seems to have been looked at and used by a lot of manufacturers in a lot of different countries but never really took off commercially, AF exempted.
  10. Hi Shaun, Well, one month later I finally got round to doing a bit of a video demo of the signal set Apologies in advance over the quality of the video! Admittedly when one is actually using the unit without trying to operate another one blind, trying to hold a camera and trying to drive a train, the signal set is a hoot! Muir
  11. Tricky, would there be any chance you could possibly outline some operating practices you engage in with your magnificent layout? I still can't get over it, every time I read this thread it's just a delight to see your skills. Curiously enough, for me, it's not just about the realism, it's about what you've achieved with your model, the trains, the design, the architecture, the control panelling, and everything you have made through your own creativity. I was about to start a thread asking for operational ideas and design for a "shelf" layout in standard gauge with sector plates I'm building but I see this and some similar layouts so I get all depressed and I don't post things anymore. I'll just look at yours instead
  12. What frustrates me is that with my 1929-30 Lionel 390E - the frame is cracked but usable, the cylinder block okay, smokebox okay, wheels a little bit swollen but usable. This is, what, 87 years old?!? My 1933-34 400E is good, wheels have been replaced, but all other castings excellent. All my postwar dublo is excellent (of course). I recently bought 11 (don't ask) NOS BTTB/Zeuke TT scale BR81's from the early 90's - 6 unusable because of badly swollen/cracked castings. It's just that everybody knows that mazak casting has to be exact. They figured this out before WWII. It's a bit like "I'm going to fill up my petrol car with diesel. Oh, yes, of course I've read that it won't work well, but I'm going to give it a go anyway and maybe it'll run okay and get me home."
  13. Hi, Dunno if this'll help any but the piccy is of one of my units. They're actually a wonderful example of a quality mechanical toy... or something. By this I mean it's got activating solenoids to make the gauge needle move like an actual instrument, there's just enough voltage so the solenoids can stay on without overheating with tiny little wires. And they go "ding" using bell clappers, no digital noises allowed here. Be aware - the plastic is old - I've had a couple of issues with some bits breaking because of brittle plastic and spares... I did try the NZ Triang service station, but the four digit phone number didn't seem to work.... I do have boxed with instructions if you need a copy - I just had a look on youtube and it doesn't look like anyones done a video of a set. Maybe I should do one this afternoon... Muir
  14. I can see this plan as being quite exciting as a comprehensive suburban service. I'm picturing Commuter trains orbiting a couple of times than terminating at either the high level or branch with something like the early 60's cross-London style goods hauled by EE or NBL type 1's and their ilk picking up and dropping off in a fairly continuous orbit. Could almost consider two of them running .opposite ways picking up and dropping off to each other, somewhat improbable but if it's only interrupting the busy commuter traffic possibly not that noticeable. I'd imagine that for one operator it would be pretty full on to operate, and yet there's the opportunity to sit back and let trains just do there thing when you want to enjoy train watching. I like it. I actually have a feeling that the CJF plan in question done well with the right scenic breaks, possibly even a few backscene dividers to create little diorama areas would look pretty cool. I always feel that it seems to be very easy lately to knock layout designs in the CJF idiom. I think it's a bit of a pity that simple scenery layouts designed for operation no matter how simple or complex seem to get frowned upon as being too toy train. Almost a bit of a pity that seeing how it's just not cricket anymore to have a 3 coach pullman with bulleid fleche d'or sprinting for Southampton, we have to put with having some technicoloured metroland pacer unit or a GWR branchline (not knocking those that like pacers and GWR branchlines of course) but we can't be seen to possess less than scale length express' anymore. I'm reading some 1930's US model builder magazines, and the editors are describing shunting puzzles and operational patterns with one loco, an oval and a couple of sidings. I feel the modelling publications have quite a tendency to overlook publishing shunting puzzles and operations for very simple layouts. Might help to give a few proprietary modellers' a bit more encouragement to work with and enjoy what they've got and can achieve with, rather than displaying too many unapproachable heights. As everybody knows: a great layout that you can capably build, run, enjoy and actually like is a whole lot better than the incomplete unachievable masterpiece thats progressed well beyond enjoyment or even interest. Muir
  15. Hi, I just noticed your post, I don't know if anyone has responded or not, but I thought I might as well give a bit of my experiences. I used to run O gauge, but now just standard gauge which needs big volts. Now, and this is solely my experiences; avoid any of the electronic items, this being the Lionel or MTH digitals, the MRC handhelds etc, they just don't seem to work with 50Hz (NZ being the same as the UK). My MRC 027 dualmaster (can't remember exactly) was entirely electronic and I just could not get any control out of it - The electronics just plain didn't like our house current. Persons I know with the modern ZW's MTH Z4000's all the electronic stuff, just doesn't run any good, and loco's with sound boards can be disastrous (as in burn outs). If you're looking for what I would consider the best all rounder, that would be the older Lionel 1033. They also possess different voltage posts to give two different ranges of variable volts - 6 - 16v and 0 - 12v - the lower range being great for modern can motors. The 1033's are cheap (ish), reliable and compact so they don't cost to much to ship, and if you need lots of power you just stack 'em up. Use a 240v to 110v converter (higher amp rated the better) and use commons earths, it's easy to make sure the transformers are in phase. The famous ZW's are heavyweights, legendary and popular, and this all adds up to they are expensive. Yes you can "control" 4 trains at once (a bit like DCC's "control" 99 trains at once): well, no. You can control one train at once, and just have all the others running) Myself personally I run standard gauge, and dual supermotored loco's need a hefty amount of volts, hence I use the prewar V's and Z's, they have four variable voltage controllers each, are compact, they don't have whistle controllers but I can live with that. They thump out up to 21v, a V is 150 watt, the Z 250. Phase them together and thats a lot of muscle. I used to have a youtube video demonstrating slow speed running with a 90 year old loco and an 80 year old transformer, and they're quite an eyeopener. Now, don't get too perturbed by thinking these things are old, and by extension, dangerous. They are not. If neglected and with obvious defective wiring they can be, like anything electrical. These were exceptional quality items when they were new. And they still are. They are simple: there is not a bean of electronics in them. If the wiring is good, they are good, and even the wiring tended to be good quality. Muir
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