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  1. Apologies all if I am introducing subject creep into this topic, but something said by The Johnster sent me to do a survey of my rolling stock, the bit about eliminating plastic wheels. In my vast collection of wagons, I have 70 with plastic wheels. Well I don't run them a lot, preferring to run carriages. Of my 50 or so carriages, I have 12 with plastic wheels, mostly Hornby and a few Lima's, probably about £80 to rewheel them. I'm not even going to consider the prohibitive cost of rewheeling my wagons. Oh yes, OO gauge, running 5 to 6 carriage trains. What I'd like to know is...... How significant an improvement would it make to cleanliness and free running, to replace the plastic wheels? If it's 'slight' then I'll probably not bother and save the money. But if it's 'significant' then I'll consider it. Thanks
  2. A few years back at an exhibition (possibly Warley), I spent some time admiring a French layout in O gauge. It was a street scene with cafe's, tabacs, figures on the street with french sticks under their arms, and a couple of those 'corregated' citroen cars. I think you get the picture. No doubt Rene was there somewhere too. The buildings looked absolutely fabulous. Then I peered closer and looked in the windows above one of the cafe's.... The place was a bordello!!! And it was doing a roaring trade too!!! Suffice to say, I just laughed.
  3. Hi Houndog, Is your costing right? For my layout, I went to Travis Perkins and purchased ten sheets of 5mm ply, 2.4 x 1.2m. Current cost £25.62 each. With that, I was able to construct all the baseboards I wanted, all crossbraced, and I still had 2 sheets left over.
  4. Well that experiment was an interesting exercise in what not to do. The result was terrible and showed me that I do not know how to paint. So I have been looking at videos on youtube and experimenting with the various techniques that I have seen, with dubious success. Then it occurred to me that in all these videos, it's about making a painting. What I am trying to do should not be the subject of my attention and it's considerably larger than a painting canvas. So by changing my search criteria from 'painting sky' to 'painting model railway backdrop', I am presented with completely different approaches. For a start, the roller brush did not get a look-in on the first set of videos, but was widespread in the second set. If anyone has any advice, I would be most interested to hear. Not least of all, do I stick with household emulsion, or should I work in acrylic? Thank you.
  5. I have been experimenting with applying various shades of grey onto backing paper with a small roller brush. The effect gives a suitably moody and overcast day. I'll see what the effect is like when I have fixed it to the wall and put some cut-outs in front. Then I'll consider a few sparingly added blue highlights. 10m of backing paper, four tester pots and a roll of double sided tape from Wilco's, about £12.
  6. So I have finally started to think about producing a backdrop for part of my layout, but it is proving to be not a straightforward process. I have bought some sheets from Freestone models and have cut out a terrace of houses that I want to use because it matches the style of buildings. The constraints are: (1) That this is a corner. (2) To the left is a window that I want to leave unobstructed. (3) To the right is the end of the fiddle yard and hence not landscaped. (4) The walls are light brown, softwood cladding. In the first picture, I have positioned my cut-out where I want it, the right end partly hidden by a building at the end of the street. It looks hopeful, but lacks a skyline. In my second picture, I have added a sheet of scrap card that I painted with light blue with some streaks of white. Ouite frankly, I think it looks sick and I hate that it contrasts with the wall and that the two ends are in view. Then someone took a look at it and suggested, 'try a mirror'. So I did! I think it would be the right solution somewhere else, but not here. Besides, glass is heavy and I don't want 'accidents'. Lastly, I remembered that I had a roll of wall backing paper. Of the four, I think that this shows the most 'promise'. The colour is a matt off-white. I have seen layouts use a light grey backscene and thought that it always looks 'passable'. So I want to see if I can find a plain wallpaper in dove-grey. I have also been pondering about what to do at the end of the road going off to the right. On the Freestone sheet, I found a building that looked like it could be at the end of a cul-du-sac, you can just see it's roof sticking up behind the right end of the terrace at the front. I could add a wall and gate in front of it going across the road. Although in the 5th picture, its image looks most odd, fortunately this is not a normal viewing position. On the other side of the room, I have several feet of wall that I can cover with something a bit more industrial. So what do people think? Am I going in the right direction with a neutral colour backing paper? I have also been looking at a large sky scene that Gaugemaster produce, but I am still left with the problem of a discontinuity where it stops at the window?
  7. Thank you cypherman, much appreciated. I am going to wait until I can source the in-line electrical connector before doing anything, so that I can do both jobs together. Can anyone help with the connector?
  8. Hello, I bought the Peco turntable and it looks jolly good, quite like the real one at Didcot. It also takes the longest of my locomotives, a Princess. My only criticism is that I also used the Expo motor kit.... The metal spindle which transmits the drive from the motor to the bridge, is a smooth, round cross section, just press fitting into the lug in the bottom of the bridge. So I suspect that mine might be turning in it's lug. It should have been a splined shaft or square ended. Next, There is a selection of gear options and you can easily set-up a gearing to your taste. The output is to a worm which engages with a large cog on the other end of previously mentioned shaft. But the kit does not provide anything to hold them together, you have to improvise that yourself. Mine keeps disengaging, so the bridge often just stops turning. Lastly, despite liberal quantities of cork sheeting for sound dampening, the noise from the motor is very loud and objectionable. Also, when I cut the power, there is still a bit of over-run, making alignment a bit of a dark-art. Why couldn't Hornby do a turntable that looked like the Peco one? Why couldn't Peco do one that had indexing, like Hornby? I may just seriously consider the ADM turntable.
  9. There is one fundamental issue that everyone seems to have forgotten. It is more important than any technical consideration, indeed its relevance and ability to scupper any plans must not be understated. Before you do anything that involves coming into the home..... Get the approval from 'The Boss' first!
  10. Hello. Some years back I purchased via Ebay, second hand, Hornby locomotive, R1048 Castle Class 7028 ‘Cadbury Castle’. The locomotive runs fine and looks good but..... It was soon apparent that the previous owner had trouble with it because the locomotive chassis was only secured to the top via the front screw under the pony truck; The rear screw under the cab had seized with the threaded ferrule that fixes into the body and the ferrule had pulled away with the screw. There was evidence that attempt had been made to glue it back. This was something that was not much of an issue for me up to the point that I went all DCC. Now the tender is permanently attached to the loco by three wires, making for a very tight access. I have written to Hornby, asking if they can replace the screw fixing and fit an in-line electrical connector, so that I can disconnect the tender from the loco. Hornby has just replied saying that they cannot take this model. I have also looked on the Peters Spares website, nothing doing. So over to you folks, any suggestions please, for a replacement screw fixing and where I can source a small in-line connector, preferably without having to do any 'buchering' of the tender ? Thank you.
  11. My layout is composed of 11 sections that join together, including one that raises (drawbridge fashion). This is the method that I employed: 1. All sections aligned with close fitting brass dowels. 2. Copper-clad sleepers glued and pinned either side of the joins, for soldering the track to. Note, if the sleepers are clad on both sides, strip the copper off the underside before securing. 3. Ensure that the track makes contact with the sleepers without causing it to rise up at that position causing rolling stock to bump over a ridge. 4. Then I laid the track across the join, secured in place, soldered the rails onto the copper-clad sleepers and finally used a razor saw to cut through the rails across the join. 5. With a sharp blade, strip back segment of copper between the rails to maintain electrical isolation. BUT!!! This is absolutely fine when the track crosses the join at right angles. What I discovered to my cost is that when the track crosses at an angle, and doubly so if it is a curve, cutting along the join of the boards means that the cut is not perpendicular across each rail. Meaning that there is an sharp edge which can catch the flange of a wheel and cause a derailment. If you have track crossing at an angle, I would recommend cutting each rail separately, possibly using a powered cutting disk, to ensure that the cut is perpendicular across the rail. If you are concerned that the thickness of the cutting disk will leave an unacceptably wide cut, then you could compensate for this by clamping a very thin spacer between the boards before laying the track. But do it with care because it affects how track aligns afterwards.
  12. Hello all, This thread touches on something that has been on my mind recently. During the construction of my model railway, I have been keeping a photograph diary of its development and this has included a section on several card buildings that I have recently made. I have been thinking of putting these photographs together (just the card buildings, that is), possibly as a slideshow with an audio commentary. Well putting the slides together was the easy bit, I now have to think about a script for a commentary. The 'story' I have is: Look to the real thing (photographs & google street). Tools and materials used. Prepare a mock-up first (check that it fits). Construct the model. Lessons learned & references. I suppose the big question is 'why?' To which I would answer, to showcase what I have done and share a technique with those that don't know where to start. I realise that there is no such thing as a definitive 'right' way to do something, we each develop a technique and others may disagree with mine. So I want to ask, is this something that is likely to be well received, or would I be wasting my time? Also, if I do this, what would be the appropriate platform, Youtube, or this forum (and if so, which section)? I'd like to hear peoples thoughts on this. Thanks.
  13. Hello Mr Tea, It's not the same as what you are after, but I have been hanging onto the 'Village Shop & Cafe' PO254, unopened, and I'm never going to make it. So it's yours if you want it. Gratis! You will have to come and collect though. I live about half hours drive from Reading.
  14. Thanks for that stubby, but I think that you have misunderstood my question. From Google street I have counted rows of bricks on the property that is in the photograph. The 2nd floor windows are the same height as those on the 1st floor, 5ft. I also have the total height of the building. What I need is photographs of a 3-storey building that would be in the same style as what I have already modelled. The big question is, what does the back look like? So far, my search has returned nothing.
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