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Patrick Blake

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  1. Looking at the specs for the RTR 1938TS, it seems likely that a coreless motor with a twin axle will power both bogies on both driving motor cars. That being the case, it will most likely have a cardane shaft linking the axle to a worm gear driving the bogies. The problem that I had with the conversion is that it required cutting openings and holes into the white metal chassis. Many people complained about the reliability of motorising the static EFE Carriages and everyone responded the same way by recommending placed weights on top of the Tenshodo spuds without actually realising what the problem was. Firstly it didn't help that the Tenshodo spuds were made to drag all that white metal in the chassis under not just the motor cars but trailing cars too. (EFE Rail obviously took this onboard and produced a plastic moulded chassis instead.) Secondly, Tenshodo spuds are noisy /rattly, not built for lugging large weights /were prone to overheating in my experience and lastly poor at performing under controlled /slow speeds and thus impractical for DCC. I bought a 4 car 59TS in LUL Livery and never bought any other EFE Model since due to the amount of effort that was required in motorising them and the poor result that I got from the conversion that I did myself. Patrick
  2. This announcement has excited many modellers of LU/LT like myself who have been eager to see the EFE Static models reproduced into a ready-to-run variant. A step in the right direction! This is the first off the shelf model of a r-t-r "Deep Level Tube" Train produced in a very long time. Nothing like it has ever been done since the production of the crude tin plate Ever-Ready Battery Powered London Underground Set over 60 years ago! The only possible exemption was the rather specialist Metromodels 1992/95/96TS which were produced in very small numbers and rather hard to acquire these days. Looking at the specs of this model, this is a definite improvement to what we had before. Whilst the exterior body shell remains relatively unchanged in the pictures, the chassis has been massively improved! It's plastic so it weighs less and has with it a NEM Socket for easy coupling. There is a coreless motor and a low-floor drive mechanism powering both bogies in the Driving Motor Cars "A and D Ends" and pick ups on all four carriage bogies will supply power to the interior lights. The sample pictures show very little changes to the exterior detailing. The grab rails on the corners are formed as part of the body shell moulding rather than added on separately and both the head and tail lights appear to be painted on. Though as these are sample pictures, these may be details that will be added to the production models. It should be pointed out that the conversion of the static EFE models had always produced mixed results. The conversion method which required the use of Tenshodo Motor Bogies and heavy modifications to the chassis was not very straightforward at all. My personal experience with the Tenshodo spuds was that they were under-powered, noisy and prone to overheating. The chassis was white metal so very heavy and cutting a hole wasn't straightforward unless you had an angle grinder and a cutting disk! Additionally, you had to insulate the chassis if you had to wire in lights or a DCC Decoder and you had to swap out the bogies with ones with free rolling pin-point axles for smoother running. I have never bought any more static EFE Models after buying the LUL Liveried 59TS Model and attempted to motorise it. It was a headache to do right and didn't work very well! I'm very glad that this model has been produced. If this first batch is successful and something tells me it will, EFE may do a re-run and produce the same model in a later livery or possibly even a 3-car variant to make the complete 7-car formation or even a 2-car variant of the Isle Of Wight Units.
  3. Hello I am currently after a model of the 'Metromodels' 1992 Tube Stock which came ready to run. Though some were also sold unpainted. Sometimes the odd 2-car set appears for sale. Thanks
  4. I personally find any attempt in motorizing 4mm scale deep level tube stock to be an arduous process, whether it be EFE, Metromodels or Radley. Bachmann's low floor motor/shaft arrangement works really well, pity they didn't make an additional power car from one of the 4 add-on cars you could buy. In the mean time, for what there is that isn't Ready-to-run, we're stuck with Blackbeetle and Tenshodo motor bogies which are neither cheap or easy to come by and from my experience not very reliable either.
  5. It's a very interesting proposition. Depending on the type of overhaul work that is required, I might be able to assist. I'm not so familiar with LNER. However I have vaguely familiarised myself with many of the LNER - LT transitional periods on sections of the Central and Northern Lines. My strongest point is definitely London Underground if it helps. Sadly, I struggle to see how I can assist with finding a location to carry out the work. Perhaps you may want to consider joining the Chelmsford & District Model Railway Club? At least you could advertise your layout or to get a better chance of finding people to assists you with restoration work. Patrick
  6. Good luck . I was tempted to buy a MPV myself to do the very same. I believe the couplings are designed to split open in the middle and the contacts sit inside. If you do attempt to have a look, feel free to post any pictures, as I will be very intrigued. I may just do the very same with the dummy versions to see if I can suss out where the contacts are meant to be.
  7. I own two 4 Car sets and have carried out modifications to both to improve performance. The contacts on the trailing cars are causing excessive drag so I removed them and I added the traction tyres. I would like to install my own interior lights and sound but the problem as you pointed out is that you can not feed electrical wires through a conductor coupling and power everything through a DCC Chip from one end. Bachmann cheaped out on the option of adding more interior detailing and lighting that would be compatible with DCC with Conductor Couplings. I asked them if the same couplings with contacts could be supplied and the refused to answer. These couplings were already use before for the Bachmann Windhoff MPV. For the S Stock, they used dummy versions. I was quite annoyed when Bachmann released the Blue Pullman with the conductive couplings and DCC powered lights. I can never seem to get an answer as to whether these couplings can come available as spare or be purchased separately.
  8. Thanks for the tips. I'm going to experiment with waterside transfers and produce some orange stripes, roundels and other pieces, the rest I will attempt to do with an airbrush. I'm wondering if 3D printed parts might do the trick for the windows and bogies.
  9. This is news to me as the information I was given was different. This only raises more questions as to why the price went up by £60 and £5 for each 4 additional cars.
  10. AFAIK, Bachmann stuck transfers over the existing ones. There's no quick and safe way of removing the old ones without damaging the paint behind. That and relabelling the boxes was worth jacking up the price of the 4 car set by £60. While I would of preferred an A or D Stock, you have to remember that the S Stock was a safer choice on the basis that it wasn't in development as either a kit or 3D Model, and some 3D attempts weren't successful on the basis that the cab shape was difficult to replicate without a 3D Scan. The attitude with Ready-to-run models is often that it's not worth buying if modellers already own a kit built version. So much was the case when Heljan unveiled their prototype of the Sarah Siddons model and 4 other variations of the type. Weather Bachmann chooses to design the Class 230 is yet to be seen, but I can see myself converting one back to D Stock if I did get one.
  11. The S Stock was not cheap (and personally never great value for money), but it has opened up many opportunities for modern image London Underground modelling. Now we also have Heljan's Sarah Siddons and other Met Bo-Bo Electric Locomotives to add to the collection. On a separate note, Dapol have unveiled their new Ballast Turbot wagon, a few of which are still in use by LUL today and I am tempted to convert a few. It would be nice to see Heljan produce a LU Battery Locomotive to go with this. They would be far more popular at they can be produced in varying liveries to reflect different eras. As for the S Stock, well who knows how many LTM have left in stock. If they are still struggling to sell, another price reduction might be on the cards. Though you have to remember, the price for the 4 car set was originally £280 with additional cars costing £40 each before they were sent back for renumbering, so the current offer doesn't really reflect a massive price reduction. I currently own two sets but would ideally like 4. However I've currently resisted the temptation to buy them while they've been on offer since January as I believe they could be priced down further. Saying that, LTM are holding a 3rd open day at Acton this year so this does have the potential of increasing shop sales.
  12. Not sure if this correct place to discuss LO, though seeing as this and LU are both under the larger 'TfL' umbrella, it seemed appropriate. So I thought about converting a RTR Bachmann Class 170 into a LO Class 172 and wondered how difficult it could be. Has anybody else attempted this or does anybody else model London Overground? I thought that modelling one of these small DMUs which operate from Gospel Oak to Barking would be a good start, and would be a good addition to any small layout for anyone wanting to model modern image at home. Here are some photos showing what I've done so far, you can follow all my progress on my blog.
  13. So I bought a battered Class 170 in South West Trains livery for just £45 and will be now converting it into a Class 172 in London Overground Livery. This is will be an interesting project that will keep me occupied for next the couple of months. Feel free to check in now and then to see any progress that I make. I began by removing the body from the chassis, modellers who have done this before will know that two small pins are connected from the chassis to the body and these must be disconnected before you can continue. After freeing the chassis, I gave it a good clean and removed any muck to improve its performance. I now turn my attention to the body! First step is disassembling the power car. I've seen a lot of 'how to posts' about rewiring and installation off DCC + Lighting with modellers snipping of wires. It is possible to disassemble it completely without the need to snip anything off. The roof should just pop from where they are clipped on the body sides. Unscrew the cast bracket retaining the top headlight. It should then come apart to free the light bulb. I tried to unscrew the cast bracket for the bottom headlights first but it's recommended that you wait till you remove the cab from the sides first. Removing the cab was by no means an easy tasks as the sides are glued firmly to the cab, some careful prying and a lot of patience was required. In the end, I had to use a wire to try and pry the two pieces apart seeing as I was worried about fatigue from constantly stressing the plastic. The end of the body sides which are glued to the cab is a very narrow strip of plastic which forms part of the drivers cab door. I managed to pry the two pieces apart and the plastic was just beginning to crack in this region. If anyone can recommend any solvents for removing glued joints without harming the plastic in future, that would be great. Finally you can remove the cast bracket retaining the two bottom light bulbs with ease, and unscrew the circuit board from the body cross brace. I gently pried the body sides from the cross brace which also forms part of the cab door windows. The circuit board and lights can come off with ease and there's no need to snip any wires Finally, all pieces have been taken apart and are now ready to be modified. Next, we work on the cab.
  14. The two new 4 Car sets consist of number 21059 - 21060 and 21105 - 21106. The Destination boards are not different. In summary, the Model is your same S8 like the one released in 2015. This time, no intermediate cars come included, this is due to the large number of unsold cars the LTM was left with from before. The prices are steep, though this is in part explained in an earlier comment someone made. However, this model was never really good value for money. What sold it was the superb accuracy and detail. Not much else. At the time, buyers like myself believed it was worth purchasing one as it was seen as a one off limited edition model. Now it's back, and the best the LTM they could do is increase their price and not listen to customer suggestions. My final verdict is that people have a reason to be annoyed.
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