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  • Location
    : Cornwall
  • Interests
    Great Central London Extension 1948-50;
    Cornish Railways;
    Swiss metre gauge.

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Chamby's Achievements



  1. But they would have to buy a second kit anyway, to model both the wagon ends that are still visible... and what about the underframe and wheel sets? It sounds much more trouble than it’s worth. I’m not convinced on that one.
  2. Good morning @Headstock. Yes I did lay it on rather thick, but the point seems to have hit the mark, given subsequent tales of ‘the journey’ that you rightly point out is what it is all about. Your mention of ‘some imaginary sweet spot over the finish line’ is very percipient. In my case it is epitomised by the desire for a Colwick based A5 (or two) that both runs sweetly and can hold its own well enough to complement, rather than detract from the standard I eventually achieve for the rest of my layout. I have no idea yet how easy or difficult that particular kit will be to build, but all in good time!
  3. We must not lose sight of the fact that there is a big hurdle to overcome to enter the world of kit building locomotives, that presents an enormous deterrent for newcomers. Anyone embarking on their first kit build is faced with a very different proposition from an experienced builder. The newcomer doesn’t have any of the tools required, doesn’t know any of the techniques necessary, and is faced with purchasing a kit that needs a gearbox and wheels to complete from different suppliers that may be hard to source from an unfamiliar marketplace. The kit will, likely, have inherent pitfalls for the uninitiated, requiring modifications using new and unfamiliar skills and techniques, and materials that they haven’t ever used before. This first model will cost not only the kit, but a load of expensive new tools, jigs and materials, it’s construction is a huge learning curve of unfamiliar techniques and skills. So it will have cost the newcomer rather more than an experienced builder in money, time and effort - and be of considerably poorer quality than most of the contributors on this thread can achieve. It will likely be a bit of a ‘dog’, something that would require rather a lot of ‘fettling’ should it one day find its way to Tony’s workbench! Of course, the newcomer’s second build will hopefully be of better quality (and require less financial outlay), and the third even more so, etc. until proficiency is reached. The point I am trying to make is that at the outset, it appears to be a very long and expensive journey for the newcomer to locomotive kit building, before they will reach a point where they can consistently achieve good results. Discouragingly long, for most. Add to this the fact that metalworking is no longer provided by our national curriculum, and that the end result will need a layout with minimum 3 foot radius curves to run on, it is not only a very daunting proposition, but very few will even be in a position to make full use of the end product. Therefore, those among us who are experienced enough in this field to take a kit and build it competently, will always be very much in the minority simply because the journey to get there is so daunting at the outset, that few will actually embark on it!
  4. I am surprised to hear about Peco bullhead track being brittle. I used it extensively for my own layout, built shortly after the stuff was introduced, and had no problems. A pin vice hand drill with a fine drill bit was used to make holes in the sleepers, and Peco track pins used to lay the track. I didn’t experience a single incidence of brittleness, laying three packs of the stuff. I wonder then, have they perhaps changed the plastic more recently?
  5. A couple of thoughts, Dylan. With a very narrow layout, you have to consider how to realistically model depth when you don’t have a lot. So something that hems in the railway, like a forest edge, cliff or retaining wall will help visually. Another trick, possible because of the 77 litre box’s height, would be to build the layout with a proscenium arch, thus restricting the viewing angle and making its narrowness less obvious. Alternatively, again thinking within the box, you can take advantage of the fact that a 77 litre Really Useful Box is taller than it is wide. So by storing the layout on its back within the box, your baseboard width could be the same as the internal height, thus increasing the viable layout depth to 34cm, though that would necessitate a lower backscene. However if your primary goal is to demonstrate your company’s existing baseboard product, rather than maximise the possibilities within the internal dimensions of the 77 litre box, my apologies.
  6. Bl**dy cheek... Pirate country, please. And remember, jam first!
  7. Indeed, I was disappointed to see the price of a pack of four Kadee NEM uncouplers suddenly rise dramatically during lockdown, after a period of poor availability: by as much as 50% at the majority of retailers. This will definitely be a deterrent to people currently making a decision upon which system to standardise on. As a result, I have started to use more of the Hornby/Roco couplers within ‘permanently’ fixed coach rakes, with Kadees installed just on each end.
  8. A vote for Kadee’s: they also allow you to simply lift coaching stock in and out of rakes. I find that the Hornby/Roco one’s are best for complete rakes that need to be pushed as part of their operating cycle... they have no ‘slack’ to take up when being propelled around curves, so retain better alignment.
  9. I would hope that LB might have the same fate as befell Retford and Buckingham, as one of those layouts that deserves to outlive their owner... but surely that won’t need considering for a good while yet!
  10. If it ain’t bust, don’t fix it, as they say. Are you trying to get something to work, that you don’t really need to, and might end up causing you more issues down the line? The GW standardised for a reason... Just asking the question
  11. Yes, the inconsistent curve was the first thing I noticed too, though I held back from mentioning it. One long smooth curve, with the crossover on the same radius and transitions at either end, would look much better.
  12. Tony, it sounds like it has been a lot of hard work, and some angst, but that figure above is an achievement. I am sure that both the widow and CRUK will be deeply grateful for your efforts, and that’s what ultimately matters here.
  13. 2400 - The Raven A2 City of Newcastle. As a non-RTR mainline locomotive, only available kit-built, that’s rather fitting for this thread!
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