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  1. Further progress had taken place during the layout's build. The point motors have all been fitted and tested. They just need to get the switches wired into the main panel where we will operate the layout. This is a slow process as there is quite a bit of wiring to do and a lot of connection plugs to solder to. Our joiner, who helped make us our baseboards, was in the process of moving house so until he gets himself sorted out with his new workshop, we'll have to wait a bit for Tidmouth's boards to be made up. In the mean time, ballasting has begun. Before ballasting we painted the track with kamiya spray paint and rusted the rails with Humbrol Rust. Best we did that then rather than later. We had different ideas as to what ballast we were going to use. One member wanted to use some ballast that he got, but it was too coarse for what we wanted. We decided to use PECO's PW medium weathered brown ballast as it had a nice colour to it once laid. We applied the ballast using a small balaster jig that I bought from Amazon, which made quick work of laying it in place, and then used a spoon to tap any loose ballast in to place in the sleepers. Then using two spry bottles that I got from Boots Chemist, a fine mist of Isol Alcohol was sprayed before Deluxe Materials' Ballast Bond was sprayed on afterwards. I found later on that spraying the glue on rather than using an eyedropper gives a better finish because the eyedropper method causes the ballast to swell up. With the mist spray, you get a better coverage and the ballast doesn't swell up. We got the ballasting for Knapford junction all laid but that was when the Cop-19 lockdown happened and we had to leave the layout till it was safe for us to go back. However I went down to the layout as I needed to check that everything was fine and that nothing was damaged while we were away. They layout looked fine, ballast had set really well however some points have stuck fast from the glue but with a small bit of Isol along the areas where the glue has stuck, they work themselves back into motion
  2. I'm looking for replacement carbon cubes for the Tri-ang X67 brushes, does anyone know a good source on where to find some? It's just the carbon cubes that I really need. 

    1. RedgateModels


      Sadly stocks of these seems to have dried up. Barry Marsh's wife and daughter used to sell them on ebay - I used to buy in bulk but have not been able to get any for a couple of years. I have some left but am keeping them for my motor refurbs .....


      Peter's Spares sell complete brushes which they claim are made in China, this will have to be my route once my stocks are exhausted.

  3. Progress on the NWR is starting to take shape with the tracks for Knapford Junction now laid and point motors are being wired up. While this is being carried out, the beginning of Thomas' branch line is also being carried out. Following the route of the original plan, the branch curves away to where it passes a small quarry that is in operation before curving again to continue further along. We hope at some point in the future see about making up more of the branch but for now we'll stick with the main line. Tomorrow evening, while I'm busy working on the point motors, we're going to start and get the track painted before ballasting can commence. But we must also see about getting the platforms made up before ballasting.
  4. Thanks for your comments. So tonight no more track was laid as we wanted to see about getting the next two boards fitted and see what way it's going to look. So the board leading for Tidmouth was the first fitted and we noticed that we were 2ft short of what we needed. So this will need to be made once we get back from the holidays. The other board is for the fiddle yard entrance and the small quarry at Knapford where Thomas' branch starts. It too is short for what we need so this too will be looked at. At the bottom of this attached photo shows the current set up of the layout from tonight. You can see how the main line will connect with Thomas's branch which will also have a goods yard located before the curve. I've decided to locate our controls to the board where the Tidmouth tunnel will be built as it's just a single track. Still thinking on getting a walk about controller or have a panel one from Gaugemaster. With the walk about, we're able to...well-walkabout, but we'll need to have a holder for the controller to sit when we've finished or when we're taking a break from running. The panel one will give a nice professional look for our panel but I'm wondering if it might get in the way of our point wiring. Must think about it. Anyway that's all the updates for now until 7th January.
  5. A few months ago I joined a Men's Shed which had formed in my nearby town and it was there that an old friend of mine had decided to set up a model railway club there. he'd been trying to find a suitable location for it to be set up but could never find the space. Here however he was given a space and so our club came to be. So we meet up for the 1st few weeks and discussed on what we were looking to do or make. It then came to one evening where one of us said, 'What we need is a layout that has 2 stations-one of them a terminal and the other a country station." I then remembered a layout that had such a feature and dashed home to find my folder of research which I brought in. "What do you make of this?" I asked and presented them with this track plan. This track plan was of the 1st ever Thomas the tank engine layout, built in the late 40's by the creator the Rev W Awdry. I explained that this layout never got finished when the Reverend moved house and suggested that we'd give it a try and complete it. Surprisingly the result was very positive and everyone was all in favour of building it and completing it. We each chipped in to pay for the timber and wood and set to work on building the baseboards. Now one item that we had to take out was the return loop, in return switch it with a revolving fiddle yard. The baseboards were 2x2 timber with 12mm plywood on top. Steel plates were secured to the bottom of each joint so that each board will be level once it is bolted together. I should also mention that we hope to exhibit this layout at various shows in the future. So after 2-3 weeks, shown in red, is how far we've gotten with the boards. It is here we decided to see about getting some track down. We had chipped in enough to buy the tracks and points to make up the junction station, Knapford. Pictured shows use planning on where the track is to go and where it will run. Once everything was marked out, the track laying began. The track is PECO code 100 Streamline with medium points for crossovers and small turnouts for sidings. The track is laid on 3mm cork roadbed which you can get in rolls of 10M. The evening passed by so quickly that we only got as far as getting the entrance to the station laid. The next meet up we got the main line section of Knapford Junction laid and ready to start connecting it to head towards the terminus of Tidmouth. But we've still yet to make that board so we can start that come the new year. In the mean time we're going to finish up the junction tonight with the addition of the goods yard and the start of the Ffarquhar branch line-so chances are we might see a little blue engine at some point. Now you will note that some points are placed in areas where they don't show on the track plan, this is because we're using 2 track plans to make this layout. The other track plan shows these additional sidings and points as they were originally planned to be installed before the original got dismantled. I was the one who in charge of laying the track out as the other members have never worked with flexible track before and so thought it best to leave it for me to work out. Once I had a section laid, I go the others to follow behind by pinning the track down with track pins, PECO 6ft way gauges and Tracksetta straight templates. We used a 21inch radius for the curve and after testing the whole thing with a set of coaches, we agreed on how smooth everything turned out to be-which is how it should be. As mentioned more work will resume later this evening with the start of the branch line and goods sidings being installed.
  6. Currently helping out with my club with the building of it's layout, will do a thread about that later today, and have decided to take a look at one of the engines we might be running on it. As our layout is a replica of one built in the late 40's, it might be interesting to try and get replica versions of the original models that ran on it. This one, which was documented as being the most difficult, I'm currently seeing about getting it run in. Although it shows in this clip that it is running alright, once the motor stops it doesn't move again unless you take the tender shell of and flick the dial slightly to get it in motion. It could mean to give the motor a complete service but will need to do some research on these old locos and see what way would be best to service them. 


  7. Is it possible to set up a bracket signal kit so that it has 3 signal arms, but you can operate each arm seperate with having to rig it to move 2 signals at once? Reason is that I'm trying to convert one to something like this but have each have it's own lever. Can that be possible?
  8. I'm looking for a drawing of a non corridor coach from Model Railway News 1927. It's for a piece of reaserch but also for a model that I'm thinking of making up. If anyone has an issue of MRN from 1927 with a coach drawing in it, could they please contact me? Thanks.

    1. Pacific231G


      I have a complete run of pre war MRNs in bound volumes and the only carriage drawing in 1927 is in the March edition and is the fifth and last carriage drawing in a series of GWR prototype drawings by Captain F.H.G Layland-Barratt. This is though a corridor 1st /3rd composite.

      Being in a bound volume it doesn't scan very well. I'll look back to 1926 for his earlier drawings but I think they too will be corridor as he talks about the five coaches being enough for a complete train. 



    2. WhitehouseFilms


      Thanks. This is just what I was looking for. 

    3. Pacific231G


      I looked through the previous and several subsequent years and, in this quite long running series of GWR Prototype Drawings, there were only about three or four of actual carriages, the others included a brake third and a restaurant car with central kitchen and pantry and separate 1st and 3rd class dining saloons at either end, There was a suggestion that the drawings would allow a five coach express train to be built Apart from those there was a passenger brake van with no corridor connection but most of the drawings were of locos and some tenders. At around that time there was a separate sequence of goods wagon drawnings by a different author.   

  9. Right so apologies for lack of updates. So what way are we with Ffarquhar Mark II? So in the last post I showed that the two board frames were now made up and ready for the top surface. Like with the original, the top surface was made using hardboard. Now this will sound odd as hard board is mainly used for back scenes and not the best material for a top surface board. But seeing as these boards are on the small side and are well braced, this wouldn't be an issue. With the hardboard on I had to put down a soft surface to allow the track pins to go into to. The Talyllyn railway were generous enough on this side by providing some information on how the layout was made and it is revealed that the 2nd top surface was layers of pulp board. Before hand I did a small test to get an idea on how many layers of the stuff was needed. $ layers proved to be enough and so I ordered around 40 sheets and began gluing down the first layer. Now I'd like to skip this bit of the build, but it must be addressed if anyone is wanting to go for the original methods. To stick the first layer down, I used UHU glue. What I didn't know at the time was that the tube I used to stick it down was the only one I had left and sticking the first layer down pretty much used it all up. So what could I do?. The shops were closed and I needed to get the boards stuck down in order to get to the next stage. Now next to me, while I was gluing the boards down, was a bootle of PVA glue. the same glue I used to strengthen the frames of the boards. I wasn't sure if it would work or not but something inside me urged me to use it instead. Now what I forgotten was that PVA is a water based product and pulp board is a card based product. My friend Knuckles can relate with me as to what happened when I went to check on the boards the next morning. Each separate sheet of pulp board had a bowed warp in the middle and there was no hopes of levelling it out smoothly. So I had to remove every bit of board, including the ones I stuck down with UHU, sand it back to the hardboard and start all over again only this time glue it down with UHU glue, which I managed to get more tubes of the next time I was in town. A day later, the two boards soon had the pulp boards glued on top. I also decided to attached some extra bits of 2x1 timber which will support the boards tower once they are packed up into a box. But there was one bit that was still bothering me and that was joining the boards together. Now I did say that I had modified a box hinge to ensure a strong alignment was made to the boards but the trouble of putting the pin back into the hinge was quite troublesome and so I decided to scrap this method and instead use some box clamps, Same ones I used for connecting the boards on the Mark I replica. This made things much easier and connecting and disconnecting the boards was far more easier to do. So now came the first stages on laying the track. Like with my Ffarquhar Mark I, I printed out a 1x1 scale track plan of the track layout and laid it out on top of the boards. At first I was worried incase I didn't get the right measurements for the boards. but thankfully after a few slight trims from areas in the plan that weren't essential, The plan fitted snuggly into place and that was then I knew I got it right. On the original, the track was mostly laid on a strip of specially grooved cork which had the sleepers already fitted so all that was needed was to spike in the rails to the correct gauge and that was that. I decided instead to keep to what I know best and used Noch cork underlay and PECO streamline & Set track. The track plan was copied on to the board with carbon tracing paper and the cork was glued in place with UHU as with the pulp boards. Now this is where I leave it for the time being because as you all know by now, there is another railway which I'm also working on and quite a bit of my time is focusing on keeping it running as best as I could so I'll leave this update with a current photo of the layout in it's current appearance. Till next time.
  10. Ok folks, Ffarquhar MrkII replica's build has commenced. Yesterday I began on making up the two baseboards for the main station area. The fiddle yard will be built once I get more timber bought but for now we'll focus on the station section. Now the timber has warped slightly during storage so I've clamped the two boards with each other to try and straighten them out. I've read that hot water works for helping straightening wood so I might give the two boards a going over before I put the top service on. Like with the original, the two boards are concerned together using the box hinge method. The original pin for the hinges has been removed and a new one, made from a masonry nail, is put in. This gives a good strong connection between the two boards so there will be no trouble of the two boards separating. But with this installed means I'll have to scrap the original idea of having the two boards hinged so that it can fold up. Thats no bother really but I will need to see what to do to keep the boards together when folded. Perhaps there was another set of hinge locks for this? Who knows. Will have more progress on this build later in the month.
  11. In the TV series, the models used were made to the scale of 1:32 or Gauge 1 using a series of Marklin parts and perspex sheets and tubing. Recently I've seen fans of the show tackle at making replicas of these models using the same parts that were used, some going as far as to fitting a working eye mechanism and smoke. It's quite impressive. But I've also seen fans and also a few modellers making their own Thomas by means of a simple conversion of a simple toy. The die cast company ERTL once made an RC Thomas which was a larger version of their pull back and go toy. Two versions of this toy were made, the second being used as a money box. But the boy it's self is a suitable size of gauge 1 and this is where some modellers use it for their advantage. Some years ago I came across modeller Ronald Pointer's model of Thomas which was made using an ERTL body as it's basis. He simply made an RC chassis for it to run on as well as adding a few extra items such as steps and a chimney cap and that was that. You can find photos of that model via the link here: http://www.wisbechstandard.co.uk/news/gallery-hundreds-celebrate-100th-birthday-of-thomas-the-tank-engine-author-1-919838 Having a g-scale garden railway of my own, I thought it would be fun to have a gauge 1 Thomas to run on it. So using Ronald's model as a reference, I set to work on gathering up the items to make it. The first thing to get was an ERTL Thomas. Luckily for me I managed to obtain one off eBay for £1 - what a bargain. I next then had to see about what chassis I was going to fit it with. The best one i could find which also had the correct wheel spacing was the PIKO motor blocks which can be available to buy from g-bits.co.uk Finally are the buffers and couplings. These have been ordered from Walsall Model Industries so once they arrive I can fit them on. In the mean time I can see about getting the motor block to fit onto Thomas' body. The body comes away by two screws and the footplate the same. Now I had to cut a small amount away from the middle of the footplate to allow the top part of the motor block to fit in snuggly. This also gives me enough room as well to store the LGB MTS decoder as well. Now lets see how Thomas looks with his body now back on. So far so good. There are a few gaps that can be filled with some postcard which will also give the motor block extra support. I will also see about making up some steps as well to add a bit of extra detail to the model. Finally I had these side rods made for me by a friend in the USA. They slot into these plugs which are made to fit into the holes in the wheels. Just need to get some E clips to secure them on and that should do it. So for now this is how Thomas currently looks. As soon as the buffers and couplings arrive, I can make a start on fitting them on and start repainting the foot plate as well as repainting the motor block. Part will cover all of that.
  12. Was anyone at Warley's show in 2005? The original Ffarquhar Branch MrkII layout was there and I was wondering if anyone took any photos of it that could help me with a new project which I'm hoping to start later in the year.

  13. Does anyone own a working K's/Keyser motor bogie? I bought one some years ago and I'm trying to see if I can get it going. If anyone has one of these could they provide me with some reference photos so I can see how to fix it? Thanks.

    1. waggy


      I had one many years ago and gave up on it, i believe i had problems meshing the gears, think it was a design fault as i recall a club member having the same problems.

    2. DavidCBroad


      I had one with the Mk2 motor which I scrapped for the Mk 2 motor but it was very straight forward using oversize worms to mesh with small worm wheels. Maybe you don't have the right worms?

    3. locoholic


      I had one - it seized solid.

  14. Many would have seen my replica of MrkI. It was a fine model to work on and provided me with new ideas and also the chance to try out new methods which proved to be quite useful. But during an event last year, something came to mind. The event I was at was a 'Small projects' event that my miniature railway club was holding and quite a few of us had 00 model trains to show. One member had his Hornby Live steam set up and running. Unfortunately I couldn't bring my current Ffarquhar layout to this event for it required a van to take it over so I only had the engines on static display. Then I thought, wouldn't it be fun to have a replica of Ffarquhar MrkII to bring to these sort of events? That way I can show the models performing while showing them. But then I thought, I can't really build a replica of that layout incase anyone would think it was the real one. After a while I let that idea be but upon my last visit to Wales and seeing the original layout again, the bug bit hard. So I decided to at least give it a go. But for 2 reasons. This was to be my final model of the Ffarquhar Branch I will only show this layout at club gatherings and NOT to take to model railway exhibitions incase it gets mistaken for the real one. History of the layout. In the late 1960's, the Rev W Awdry moved to Stroud but upon moving in, found there to be a problem. The designated room that was to be his model railway room didn't provide much space for both his Ffarquhar Branch layout, himself and visitors to come in and see it. So after the layout's last showing in 1967, it was dismantled and rebuilt into Ffarquhar MrkII. The layout first exhibited in 1972 and continued to do so until the late 1980's. After which, the layout was stored in Stroud till the passing of the Reverend Awdry in 1997. It, the locos, rolling stock and items from the Reverend's study were donated to the Talyllyn Railway in Wales, where a replica display of the the Reverend's study and is to this day, the layout's new home. On special occasions the layout comes out of display and is operated by volunteers of the railway and in 2008, by means of a special request, it was transported to Northern Ireland to take part in the Friends of Cultra Model Railway Show. The Plan The plan of the layout is designed to go in an L shape. The main feature, the station, is mostly seen set up at shows. Originally the plan was to include a second station, Elsbridge, but this wasn't built so it was left to have the trains leaving the station and travelling through countryside before arriving at the fiddle yards. the plan was also so that it can be transported in the boot of a car and easy to set up by 1 person. MrkI required 2 people and a van to transport it. My Replica When I began modelling the Reverend Awdry's layout, I set my self a rule that I wouldn't make a replica of a layout that still exists incase it gets mistaken for the real thing. I've had some friends asking if I was thinking of trying it out and I very much nearly did at one stage in 2012, but that layout wasn't really a proper replica. After my last visit to Wales to see the layout, I thought that I suppose I could replicate it, but only show it at private events and not at public shows. Those sort of events will only be for my MrkI replica. So with that noted I slowly planned out what was needed to build the layout. The first thing was to know the size of the original. When you look at photos of the layout online you'd think it would be roughly a width of 2ft. But when I saw the layout again in 2016, I was surprised at how small it actually is at a width of 1ft 6inches. I will see over the coming months/years to replicate the original layout but also built the Elsbridge section which, as mentioned, never got built. A plan of the original plan can be seen in Railway Modeller January 1968. My plan for the replica Baseboard measurements not finalised yet. Folding baseboard plan Like with the original, this layout will be made to fold into a box for easy transportation. Where the hinges are will be hidden by removable buildings. Over the last few months, I have been slowly gathering the essential items to build the layout and just need to get the 9mm plywood to begin the build of the baseboards. I will be covering the build here and hope my methods would be of any use to fellow modellers here.
  15. 'Ffarquhar Branch' is featured in Railway Modeller. Not as original planned but still, it made it in there none the less. One achievement down, now for the next.

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