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Michael Edge

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Michael Edge last won the day on November 12 2013

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  1. It's 1:48 which gives 3ft 6in gauge with S scale track - S scale is commonly used in New Zealand with 00 gauge track but it is also the O gauge scale used in the USA. I am now doing work for the Kiwis in 9mm scale (uses O gauge track), 1:48 and 1:64, we've also done some at 1:120 but bizarrely the only commercial scale which exactly correct for 3'6" gauge is not used at all in NZ - so called HOm is too wide for 1000mm but just about spot on for 3'6" in 1:87 scale. We have done a few NZ diesel etches in this scale - sold to a customer in Canada! I don't choose all this, the customers do, I would personally pick the scale I wanted to use and change the gauge to suit - that's the easiest bit to alter.
  2. The new O4 on test earlier this week. Trying it out on the heaviest down train (westbound steel) it needs a bit more weight to get this one up the WJ starter but more problems came in the fiddle yard. The 15mm square motor is very slow running and probably needed a higher gear ratio - the banking locos al run faster and finished up telescoping the back end of the train in the fiddle yard. 63745 may find itself restricted to up trains, should be no problem on Herculaneum Dock next month though. This and the B7 are now with Barry for a good coat of Mexborough filth.
  3. A new job this week, I've had this test etch for a while now. Back to New Zealand in 1:48 scale, this is an Eb Genset loco which will run on an NWSL Stanton drive. I had to lay an extra rail on the test track (nearest) for this gauge. This is a preserved one in Auckland, they were rebuilt from the original battery electric by adding an AEC powered genset and conventional cab. The very noticeable gap under the engine part makes construction a bit awkward to say the least. The original looked like this. I'll get round to this version later, the platform and running gear were more or less unaltered.
  4. Work started on the scenery now. The land falls quite steeply from above the tunnel down to Moorend Lane, the cutting sides are steep and partly exposed rock and it's all covered in trees now. I'm building up the ground with polystyrene blocks first, then carve them to the final shape and add some filler. Then it's into the (very unfamiliar to me) green stuff....
  5. I always fit slightly smaller wheels to these GN 4-4-2s, as Tony says they did get turned down during the loco's life. I don't really like lengthening the wheelbase, DJH did the same with (with less reason) for the 9F. In the only one of our kits where this problem crops up, the Consett A class 0-6-0PT, we provide an alternative set of frames and coupling rods with .5mm added between the trailing and intermediate axles.
  6. ? There is one apostrophe there, in its proper place - no others needed.
  7. I can assure you that we still use physical films, even though they are created from digital files. For most of our work I get the films made, sent to me, checked and then sent to the etchers. I imagine most others in this business use the same process but without necessarily seeing the films themselves.
  8. The etch tool is a pair of films, one for the front, one for the back. The sheet to be etched is coated and put between them then exposed to light, the unexposed coating washes off and the sheet is etched. These films are normally kept by the etchers, what matters is the original artwork if they don't and the permission to use them if they do. Almost all etching artwork is now done with digital files but early stuff was all hand drawn and a lot of of it effectively worthless now.
  9. The EM2 looks nice, I presume the pans are just cosmetic but we can supply our kit in 3mm scale.
  10. We operate Cwmafon on much the same basis - with the added complication that Cwmafon Iron & Steel also use the same exchange yard.
  11. It's not the only one with an ROD tender but at least they are both 2-8-0s. This is the operator's view which Barry is referring to - and the shed was fairly empty on this occasion.
  12. Well, if you see an ROD tender at least you know it's a 2-8-0. The thick brass frames look a bit antiquated, also the coupling rods filed up from bullhead rail but it all works and "if it ain't broke don't fix it" - it even has n/s pickups! The 15mm square motor has more than enough power fitted to the High Level Roadrunner +, it's fairly slow but that hardly matters for its duties on WJ and Herculaneum Dock. On test this morning on WJ it was quite happy on the Northwich - Barrow coke empties (23 + brake) and in the up direction it pulled the heavy mixed goods which defeated the B7 last week. That was at its current light weight of 235g and it not only got to the starting signal but halfway up the hill before it slipped to a standstill. On the dynamometer rig it pulled quite well, adding a 388g V block on the boiler top increased this to a ridiculous length but the wheels were still spinning. So at lighter weight than the B7 it pulls much more (the B7 couldn't get the Barrow empties out of the fiddle yard) and they are both on Romford wheels, the theoreticians always tell us that adhesion is only related to weight, the number of driving wheels is irrelevant but in my experience more wheels means better adhesion.
  13. Can we please get back to my workshop now. O4/5 63745 finished and ready to paint now. There's plenty of variety among these GC 2-8-0s, O4/5 is one we haven't had before, a rebuild with a Gresley boiler and new smokebox on a saddle. The reversing screw had to be moved outwards on these resulting in the small step out in the cab side. 63745 ran with an ex ROD tender, no water scoop and the coal plate moved back on this JE tender. The loco uses some of my own etches with a brass boiler and steel cab and smokebox.. I now have to work out how to paint the frames since the original builder made no provision for the crossheads to pull out back past the motion bracket. I can get the coupling rods off but not the connecting rods so they might have to be masked. I've had these frames for more than 30 years, it's taken a long time to get round to using them but it does run very well.
  14. It was very easy to shunt the bankers at Wentworth junction using the banker siding (with the ashpit) and the colliery siding because they came out on a facing crossover unlike the trailing connection at Bromsgrove. It's rarely clear what sort of train is being banked in the photos though and extra locos were often added at each end of a train, I think in practice it was just a case of next train, next loco.
  15. Locos were rarely allowed under screens, operation was normally by gravity but this doesn't work very well in a small scale model. On my colliery layout (Cwmafon) the empties are hauled up past the screens and propelled underneath to be loaded, another loco takes the fulls off at the other end. Brake vans were a rarity on colliery systems, only a few ever used them.
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