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chrisstiffer

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  1. Just a point on the Penzance-Paddington postal the sorting vans were actually diagram 721 - similar to the Bachmann diagram 720 but with two small doors instead of the traducer arms and net opening. The other side identical. The formation throughout the 70's was BPOT dia 723/POS 721/POT 726 with radio pod/721/721/723 plus various GUVs added/taken off along the way. Later on in the 80's a dia 727 was added at the Paddington end.
  2. By coincidence I was just searching on this very topic, I've also got a Hornby 50, 50018, which I bought second hand and has always run very slowly in DC (I'm not DCC) and I was wondering if it was an endemic problem. It goes a little faster than crawling and is not really a problem for me as I have a terminus layout but wouldn't be acceptable if I was running a through layout. If anyone's got a solution I'd be glad to hear it.
  3. I’ve got a MK2 rake (Some Bachmann 2a/Some detailed Lima 2bs) but for some time I’ve had an itch that it is not right without a couple of Mk2c BSOs as ran in the early 70s. Although of course the ‘Riviera generally has a BFK as supplied by Bachmann. I could of course bought a couple of kits but time is tight and I was after a quick fix. Lying around I’ve got a few Lima Mk2b coaches that I don’t use and so after a lot of pondering and studying photographs it struck me that I could probably make a Mk2c BSO by splitting a TSO and using the brake portions from two BFKs. As always with a modelling job it’s the unforeseen that causes most problems, in that case that different batches of Lima coaches had different thicknesses of coach wall but with a bit of judicious filling and sanding and after painting it is not noticeable. The roofs were smoothed and Southern Price roe-vac vents fitted. After fitting flush glaze, transfers and a bit of weathering paint to the under frame they don’t look too bad. I did consider detailing the under frame but in the end just stuck with the original. So after that little diversion it is onto the XP64 rake for the Worcester to PZ motorail of summer ’72. As an aside after I’d finished this I lined up my rake and noticed that the bottom of the grey window panel, when aligning Bachmann and Lima together, is lower (broader overall) on the Lima than the Bachmann. Oh no - I cursed myself – why didn’t I think to check and repaint my Lima correctly rather than following the original Lima paint line! I was rather gratified to find out when I looked at a few prototype photos that it is actually the Bachmann that is incorrect; their grey paint line is far too close to the bottom of the windows! One among a number of errors of which most obvious to me, and not especially correctable, is the ridiculously over-tinted windows. Also I time-consumingly reduced the ride height of all my Mk2 Lima coaches before discovering that it is actually the Bachmann that ride too low – grrr.
  4. One thing I needed to run Penzance was a TPO rake. It sounds straightforward but it took me a long ages to work out what diagram the coaches were in the rake because photos of the TPO are sparse (it ran at night naturally) and generally only show the loco and one or two coaches. Finally I established the rake was made up of Dia 723 brake stowage/Dia 721 sorting vans. Whilst in the interim a Bachmann Dia 720 would suffice for the sorting vans I wanted a correct looking stowage van and the Paddington-Penzance service used the unusual looking Dia 723 which has a full guards section. Making the first one of these was a long task. My first stop, the excellent Southern Pride, don’t produce a Blue/Grey dia 723 and despite my mild cajouling it doesn’t seem like they are going to. And I couldn’t find anyone else that made a kit. Then I came across some etched sides produced by Marc Models which I duly ordered and was initially overjoyed with. I thought I could fit these to a Southern Price kit to produce the requisite carriage. Unfortunately once I sat down to think about making it the joy turned to despair as I realised the etch was overscale by about 10% amongst other errors (e.g. the guards window came below the blue/grey divide). All credit to Marc though once I pointed out these errors he did give me a full refund. Rather than chucking it all in the bin I decided to take on the challenge. So the Marc etch had to be cut up and reduced in size top and bottom. I then glued these reduced panels to a Southern Pride kit. For Finescale purposes it’d be all wrong because the windows are overscale as mentioned above but for my purposes I’m very happy with the result. I’m now making a second which is much easier and will turn out much better.
  5. After a long hiatus of mostly working on stock I've decided I really need to get the platforms up to scratch. After the disaster with the cardboard topping warping in the variable atmospheric conditions I've gone for all all plastic platform top. Wills york paving cut up does the job just great. Just need to weather it a bit and add the tarmac centre strip. Takes quite a long time though as the platforms are roughly 12 feet long. I've also made a couple of signals for the platform ends out of the excellent (although blinking fiddly) Ratio kits, chopping them around to get the right format as it were. At the moment they are just sat on the platform but will be properly blended. Finally I've constructed a prototype platform light. I couldn't find an off the shelf example and so made my own chopping around one from a cheap pack bought off ebay. The lamp head itself was made from a disc of plasticard with a decorative item that I bought in a pack of 100 stuck to it. I'm quite pleased with the result after a few minutes work. Here's a view of the down Cornish Riveria arriving which shows the progress on all three areas. I note the prototype lamp (too close to the signal, it will be moved) is a bit skewiff here although it's not really noticeable in the flesh. I'll have to make sure the production version is spot on.
  6. Thanks very much for the reply RJS, not quite the same as PZ has a hanging pendant but the pole shape is good enough for me and saves scratchbuilding. I'll go for the street light variant as the 90mm height is closer to my estimate of 20ft for the PZ platform lights.
  7. Trevor, did you ever find an answer to this question?, as I'm searching for exactly the same thing. Chris.
  8. I haven’t done a lot to the layout itself since Christmas. I was hoping to get the platforms sorted and after a lot of consideration of materials came across the excellent Metcalf paving slabs. They produced an excellent result and I was really proud to produce my first section of platform. That was until after putting it in place I discovered the slight dampness caused by the atrocious weather conditions in the new year made it warp and bend. That’s somewhat taken the wind out of my sails. Being a philosophical chap though I at least feel thankful I didn’t complete the whole lot of platforms in the summer! I’ve gone back to the drawing board and am going to try the plastic York paving produced by Wills and give that a go or I could just go back to my original plan of scoring and painting the slabs on. That’s the last thing I did to the layout from a scenic point of view as my time has been taken up with the stock. I’ve produced a couple of vans to make a satisfying mixed parcels rake which is seen arriving here behind a Brush 4. I’ve also been detailing some Hornby Mk1 sleepers, now some people might say (quite often it seems) – why bother and I considered that myself, as I could after all easily afford the five Bachmann’s I’d need for my rake. But that’s not why I’m a modeller and this layout is only for my personal satisfaction and not for the exhibition rivet counter who would no doubt point out that my application of the Inter-City Sleeper transfer is actually 2 scale inches to the right of where it should be. I’ve also finished of the long winded saga of producing a diagram 723 brake stowage van to top my TPO. Here it is arriving behind a Western. The production of this coach is worthy of an blog entry in itself, although when I get around to it the production of a second will be a lot quicker. I’ve also invested in the points, motors and wiring to put the crossover in between platform 2 and 3 and just need the time to add it. But every spare moment I get I seem to have some new stock project to tempt me, I'm currently got on the bench a couple of Mk2c BSOs to complete the Paddington set and obsessing over the make-up of the Worcester-Penzance Motorail which in 1972 was made up of the XP-64 set with a lounge car. Plenty to get stuck into there. And then there's actually running a few trains now and then.
  9. I did a huge amount of research on the track layout using photographs in order to get the track layout ‘right’ within my confines. As part of that I realised that the current Penzance layout has been much simplified and that prior to about 1980 there was a crossover from platform 1 to a head shunt which incorporated single slips on platform 2 and 3 and a double slip on platform 4. At this time I was getting also getting fed up with having to set everything up every time I wanted to run some trains and realised that I could move the whole layout into the roof space of the garage. Doing that also allowed me to add about a metre of space in the middle of the platforms so that I could accommodate a 12 coach train. So up it went. It took me ages of playing about to get the crossover track at the station throat correct without compromising the gentle curve away of the tracks to the mainline. Here’s a photo of the final trackplan at the station throat. It looks like D1022 arriving with a Paddington train, probably the 07.30 SO with 4TSOs and a GUV at the back. I used as underlay some sort of foam flooring underlay that came in sheets and has been ideal for the job and eventually I’ll cut it back to the track profile. Putting this photo’s up encourages me to get on with ballasting which I still haven't gotten around to.
  10. Spurred on by Flood I thought I’d start a blog on the progress of my layout – a model of Penzance based in the mid 70s. As I didn’t intend to start modelling again my approach has been ramshackle and in hindsight I can see the benefit of good planning beforehand! But I’ve been too impatient to get things running. I am newly returned to the hobby. I had a layout in the mid 80s but packed everything away when I was 18. Almost exact two years ago my parents insisted on me removing the boxes of train stuff from their loft and I thought I would sell it on ebay, but instead I purchased some rolling stock. I think just to scratch an itch I had never fully satisfied. My teenage days were characterised by relative poverty and the most I managed was about four second hand coaches and two or three locos that were repainted and detailed so many times very little of the original remained. So I put together a rake of nine coaches and laid a track along the carpet and just sat there running it up and down. I was instantly hooked. Why Penzance? Again I’m not really sure but it has got something to do with the romance of the West, days spent on the Sea wall at Dawlish or by the Cornish mainline whilst the family were on the beach. I haven’t got space for a run around layout and so a terminus seemed the obvious answer. Quite a limiting factor for me is time. With a young family and work commitments I only get a few hours a week and that means generally, rather than focusing on the scenic elements I end up running trains or constructing rolling stock so at present scenery has taken a back seat as you’ll see. Initially I threw some track down on an L shaped board about 4m x 4m and which I used to set up on trestles in the garage. The track plan was simple, three platforms based on the current Penzance track plan leading round the corner to a couple of fiddle sidings, with a crossover at the station throat. As time went on I expanded it to include the fourth platform and that gave some pleasant running. My biggest regret is that I initially splashed out on a lot of concrete sleeper track (Peco code 100) which on reflection is wholly inappropriate for the station area but I am too tight to replace it again with wooden. My hope now is that ballasting will hide it. In any case if I’d done more planning I would have probably opted for code 75 and if I replace it that’s what I will do. One decision I am glad I made was to use the largest radius point as my pet hate is sharp corners (so that the ends of the coaches elbow out) and I was determined to avoid that. Anyway I had a working layout, the control point set in the middle of the L so that I can reach all the points as they are not yet motorised, and I set up auto un-couplers and isolated sections at the platform ends so that I can uncouple the locomotives and move the coaches out without leaving the centre position. The other decision I made is that I wanted to run scale length trains and initially could accommodate 9 coaches. A couple of photos of that initial simple layout are here. More on the development of the layout to its current state in due course.
  11. I've got similar for Summer 69, Summer 75, Summer 76 and Winter 79 (if you want to run more Mk2fs and a couple of HST) - although I find running the full timetable for a Saturday takes so long that you've run out of time in a session before you get to 10.30 in the morning. Plus I find you need so many coaches at some points - I think I worked out you'd need 25 Mk1 SK/TSO. I'd also be happy to share my files - what's pm, personal mail? I'm currently making a couple of Dia 723 BPOT's so I can run a realistic TPO which is the only rake I can't make at present. Although to my charign just this week I finally found a photo of the seaboard side of the 1970's TPO revealing the sorting vans are dia 721 and not the 720 Bachmann ones. Oh well I'll have to squint. Chris.
  12. I've also got a Penzance layout based in the 1970's where I'll often run a full timetable and my favorite train to run is the 8.00 Bristol to PZ which had an buffet at the front, was regularly Western hauled and in your interest formed of mark 1's. The typical rake was RUB/2SK/FK/2SK/BG on a weekday (Saturdays BG/2SK/FK/2SK/RMB/CK). There was only one other train in the mid 70's that brought a buffet to PZ. But to me you can't beat a Western on a rake of Mk2a/b/c of which the Penzance portion was usually 3TSO/2xBSO/FK, which as mentioned above should have been marshalled with the brakes facing each other but wasn't always, I like both brakes facing in the same direction, (and with or without a BG or a GUV) and later in the 70's more fixed at BG/4TSO/FK. regards, Chris.
  13. Rugd, It's quite a coincidence you posting this as I've just purchased and taken delivery today of this very book. Hoping to get a little more accuracy to my Cornwall based layout. Interesting to read the corrections, in my version (reprint 1974) the caption on page 9 now just says 'A 'Brush' Class 47...' so someone must have realised the error. And fascinating to read your analysis of the picture in the frontspiece - spot on I'd say. Chris.
  14. I note that Jim S-W say that he uses replacement window frames from Shawplan - is this the excellent class 50 frames as I can't see that they do class 47 ones. Also what did you use for the glazing, make your own or try to cram some extreme etchings glaxing in there? I've got two lima 47's that have been on my detailing list for some time. Once the 45 and 50 that are on my bench at the moment are complete. Chris.
  15. Thanks Both, I agree the, Bachmann model looks great, especially now, and if I see a cheap body I will get one, I am just deliberatly trying to do it on a budget. I've found the thread for Plethora of Peaks http://www.rmweb.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=49957, and it makes very interesting reading. And cutting the nose and lifting it - that's a great idea and I can see that working. Chris.
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