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Everything posted by 37Oban

  1. Hi, I've always though that it was hydrofluric acid (nasty stuff) used to etch glass. Our school chemistry lab store had some in small wax bottles precisely because it dissolved glass so easily. Roja
  2. Hi, there's a saying about gorse flowers: "When gorse is not in bloom kissing is out of fashion!" If you look carefully at gorse, especially the larger clumps, you can usually find a few flowers at any time of year. When I lived in Oban a few flowers could be found even in the depth of winter. And, as far as I know, kissing is never out of fashion! Roja
  3. Hi, it's looking good! The best advice I can give is keep trying the track over the transition, making adjustments, testing using some rolling stock, until happy with it then repeat when fixing the track down, making more adjustments if necessary. Seems like a bit of a hassle but it pays dividends in the long run. Roja
  4. Hi, speaking from experience it would be best to relay that section of track now rather than later. If you don't the poor running of some of your locos will continually annoy you and spoil your enjoyment of the layout and you'll end up either a) wishing you'd done it earlier, or, b) do something more drastic, possibly involving a hammer! Roja
  5. Hi, I'm not sure what the procedure was with down Fort William sleepers in the 80's, but in July 1983 I travelled from Oban to Euston, leaving Oban at 18.10 and changing at Crianlarich. The train from Crianlarich consisted of 7 coaches, of which the sleeper portion consisted of 2 sleepers and a sk, which was my coach, hauled by 37 178. At Cowlairs junction the train stopped, the front four coaches uncoupled and headed down to Queen Street. After a wee wait a 37 (I didn't get it's number) was coupled up and away we went for tour of the southern environs of Glasgow, ending up at Mossend. Here the 37 was changed for 86 218 Planet and off we went to Carlisle, just 3 coaches! At Carlisle another 11 coaches, a mix of sleepers, parcel vans and a TPO, I believe from Stranraer but I could be wrong, were attached and we set off for Euston, arriving almost an hour down. As I said, I don't know what the procedure was in the opposite direction. After a quick breakfast and mooch around I caught the "Royal Scot" back to Glasgow Central: 10 coaches hauled by 86 209. A daunder over to Queen Street and I was back in Oban at 21.25, 5 minutes early. Happy days! Roja
  6. Hi David, I thought I'd return the favour with a couple of my own drawings from years past! The Highland Railway loco was drawn way back when, and the cafe was one of my first attempts at pointillism, about 6 years ago, and yes, the left hand end is that abrupt! Last night I remembered that I had done a plan of Oban last year so I searched it out. It needs doing again but I think the passenger station and harbour tracks can be fitted into a room 10' x 8' without too much compression, although, as always, more space would be useful! Something to think about when house-hunting, hopefully in Oban next year! I think a silhouette cutter would be useful when making the station building! The locomotive drawing cd arrived from the Caledonian Railway Association arrived today but I haven't had a chance to look at it yet. Something to look forwards to tomorrow, unless I start drawing! Regards Roja
  7. Hi David, I've been a fan of railways around Glasgow, especially the Cathcart Circle, for many years, although, thanks to holidays in the 60's and 70's I became interested in all Scottish railways, and, due to living there for a while, Oban in particular. A model of Oban, set between 1960-64 is a dream of mine, money and space allowing! Ever the modellers cry! Thanks for the offer of the drawings of 439. I've just ordered the cd of locomotive drawings from the Caledonian Railway Association, so I'll see what's on there first before taking you up on it. I love your model of Embo. I've never thought of doing a diorama but this has got me thinking! I don't think, if I make one, it will be 3" gauge, but "O" would be a possibility. Somewhere, in the depths of my modelling pile, I have a partially completed kit of a V4 locomotive, so a diorama could be the incentive to complete it! My fiancee and I are having a few days in Oban in October. We shall be travelling up by train from Hull. Much as I like Waverley, the trip really starts at Queen Street. I have many fond memories of the station, and I'm looking forwards to seeing it after the recent works. I like your drawing. I shall have to root out a couple of those I've done in the past and put them on here. Regards, Roja
  8. Hi, well I've managed to get the hateful task of wiring done! I've said it before, I hate wiring! Anyway, it's done! All rails wired to the buses, turnout crossings wired to a frog juicer which I had in stock. All that needs doing now is to wire a socket to the buses to allow a controller to be plugged in and the wire in tube connected to operating switches. Wires are carried across the baseboard joint by cctv power jack plugs. Rails are soldered to screws at the baseboard joint. Should have done it this way before, so simple and effective! Apologies for the last two pics being upside down. They're the right way on my computer but this insists on rotating them, but you get the idea of the trackplan and wiring. After a dram I went and joined the Caledonian Railway Association! Should have done it ages back! It's a great resource, and the magazine is a great read. I found one article in it particularly interesting: a composite West Coast Joint Stock sleeping coach on the Oban route! Looks like a challenge, but, hey ho! One day! It's also helped set the second date for St. Mungo's: 1919-1923. I've also bought a used Hornby M7 with a view to converting it to a Cl 439. I've already made a note of the main changes to be made, and it doesn't look like it should be too difficult. Famous last words! Next thing for St Mungo's: testing, testing and more testing! Once that's done the enjoyable part can start! Roja
  9. Hi, be careful not to over think this. In my experience some so-called lightweight plywood boards can be almost as heavy as a more traditional board, depending on the thickness of the plywood and method of construction. Extruded foam, not expanded, is a must, and if your worried about its strength, even 25mm thick foam can be very strong if a sheet of 3mm ply is used to skin the lower surface and sides without adding too much weight. This can also be used to help support point motors, but on St Mungo's I use wire in tube, with the tubes hidden in grooves in the foam then covered with picture framing tape. My wiring is all on the surface too, and will be be hidden by scenic work. I didn't find cutting the foam to be an issue. I mainly used a very sharp, plain blade, not serrated, kitchen knife. If I did have to use a saw I wore a mask. What I will also say 2 things, although I feel I maybe teaching my grandma how to chew cheese! Firstly, plan and plan again until you are happy with the result! Even then, be prepared to make minor alterations when you start to lay track. I made a couple of alterations to St Mungo's as I laid the track as I realised that, although it looked good on paper; even after more than a dozen iterations, it didn't work "in the flesh". I found this out by pushing items of stock around before doing any wiring. Secondly, when wiring, test, test and test again, then play trains for a good while before commencing any scenic work. Much easier to fix faults at this stage than when scenic work has been commenced, or even completed. This applies to whatever type of baseboard you end up using. It has been my experience that the most, if not all the problems I've had have been dry joints, especially when attaching a wire to the rail, and this can happen no matter what type of baseboard you use or wiring regime. At the end of the day (who came up with that expression!?) it all comes down to personal choice and what you're happy working with. I've used traditional 2" x 1" with ply top, all ply, card and have now settled on foam for St Mungo's and future projects as it suits my needs and situation. Whichever way you go, I shall follow your progress with interest. Roja
  10. Hi Don, I am in a similar situation. After a stroke many years back I can only lift items, such as baseboards, with one hand. My latest layout, which I'm currently building, is called St Mungo mk 3, comprises 2 2' x 2' boards made from 50mm insulation foam and 1" x1" L-shaped stripwood hinged together. I originally tried making the boards from card board. I know others have been successful with it, and it is light and strong when sealed, but it just didn't work for me. Foam is light, stable, strong and very easy to work. Roja
  11. Now, I'm not anywhere near being an electronics guru, and I hate wiring with a passion, but it makes me wonder why a timed auto cut-off circuit wasn't used? Roja
  12. Hi, I am no expert on such matters, but having experience a similar situation many years ago at New Holland Town station with the Barton branch train, I would assume the passengers would have to disembark, for safety and insurance reasons, then regain the train after the shunt was completed. I would also assume the points were clamped/padlocked, although this may not be necessary as the shunt would only involve empty stock. Roja
  13. Hi, well, there's been a bit of progress here. The insulation foam arrived, and proved to be a revelation! Should have used it from the get go! With aid of a sharp knife, razor saw, salvaged timber and pva even I managed to build two decent baseboards. A few days later I had the two boards hinged together, using some plywood plaques, screwed and glued to the timber frame, and paste table hinges. Suitcase catches were added inside the hinge supports, on top of the frames, to keep the boards tight when the layout is opened. A rough track bed was added from 2mm foam. The track plan can be seen in the photos. A wee bit of track has been installed, using a thin film of pva, weighted and left to dry, with the w-i-t for the point operation installed at the same time. Much easier than trying to do it later. Guess how I worked that one out! As these bits of track were drying thoughts turned to wiring. Some people hate ballasting, some scenic work. Wiring is the thing I hate most! I'd sooner ballast a station throat with a mix of slips, three-ways and ordinary turnouts than wire track! Anyway, I gave it a lot of thought, and decided to do it the simple way, bearing in mind all the wiring is on top of the baseboards. I routed feeds to the track already laid, then all all the track feeds and common crossing feeds, were installed on the first board. Grooves have also been cut ready for the w-i-t. As you can see in the photos, this board looks a bit of a mess, but this will change when the track is laid and and the wires connected. The bus wires will run along the operating section behind the backscene. As each track feed is connected it will be labelled and drawn on a wiring diagram. It may use more wire, but it will make fault finding a lot easier. I speak from experience! Board 2 will have to wait to the beginning of the week as I had to order more wire today! Although the layout is set between the years 1964-70, I have recently become fascinated with the Caledonian Rail, and have done some research and bought a couple of books and magazines with CR articles. The outcome of this is I am getting some CR locomotives and stock! It wouldn't take much to change the layout between the two periods: remove the ohle and change the signals and people. All the years of disparaging steam locos (kettles!), and now , here I am, looking at CR loco classes 104, 439, 812, the various Dunalastairs , Pickersgill "Oban Bogie" and even the wee pugs! I'm even considering joining the Caledonian Railway Association! I need a good dram! Roja
  14. Hi, I've just had a wee catch-up after missing a couple of weeks of updates, so apologies if I appear to to be rehashing previous posts. Like a lot of modellers, I have an issue with the quality control of a lot of the models sold today, especially the running qualities and finish of new models. It could be said that they are "not fit for purpose". Now, that being said, people are fully entitled to return the item and either request another model, and to keep doing this as long as it is necessary to get a model of required standard, or to get a refund. This can be very time consuming, and not helpful if you need that particular model. There is a forlorn hope that the manufacturers will take notice of all the returns and improve the manufacturing and quality control issues. Then there is a second group of modellers, which don't help the situation, and of which I am one. We moan about the problem for a while, then get out our tools, paints etc and do something about it! After all, we are modellers, not just box openers! Yes, we are spoilt by the high standard of detail of todays models, and yet... It's not too many years ago a modeller would buy the latest coach, locomotive or whatever, then set about adding details etc that many of todays modellers expect, almost as a right. At the same time some modellers expect this highly detailed models at a rock bottom price. If a manufacturer cannot make a profit they will not make the models, and if the modeller refuses to pay a higher price they will manufacture the model to the lowest possible cost that gives them a profit. It's the same with every thing we buy, from cars to clothes, furniture to kitchen utensils and everything in between, even food. Yes, there are bargains to be found, but how many of us have bought a cheaper item, only to have to return it as faulty, or just chuck it, after it's failed after a few weeks and ended up buying a more expensive, and superior product which we should have bought in the first place!? I am disabled, only use one hand to make my models, and with a limited income, cannot afford many of the new models that come out. What I do is buy used models and tittivate them up. I bought a Lima cl20 as a non-runner, had a look, sorted out the gear-train and now have loco that runs sweet as nut, so changed it to dcc added a tts sound chip. I still have to do a few bits to the body, but that can wait. If a new model came out that I actually wanted, and had some detail or running issue, I would still buy it and take my tools to it to make it right. I know I probably shouldn't, but to me it's a couple of hours versus possible weeks, even months of to-ing and fro-ing. No contest! I know this is my opinion, and a lot of people will take issue with it. That's fine, we all have our own opinions, just as we model different scales, eras etc and none is "the right one". However, until people are prepared to pay the actual worth of the manufacturers costs for the standard of details they demand the situation will not change. Roja
  15. 37Oban

    Little Muddle

    Sounds like a line from the GWR version of a well known Christmas carol! Roja
  16. Well, it's been a wee while since I updated this thread, so here goes. Life has a habit of getting in the way of modelling, and before you know it, months have passed. A loss of modelling mojo earlier in the year didn't help, but there have been compensations. The first is that just before Christmas I took a parcel in for a neighbour whom I had seen around but hadn't talked to. Long story short, we hit it off as if we had known each other for years, and we are getting married at Christmas! Another thing I have found is a re-found love of doing drawings. I work in ordinary pencil, coloured pencil and, a personal favourite, pointillism, using 0.05mm - 0.4mm fine pens. I have also recently started experimenting in using acrylics, which is great fun! Before the mojo went for a holiday I'd started building a Judith Edge cl06. It just needs a motor and gearbox then it's ready for painting. A few items of rolling stock were finished then the mojo left and never even sent me a postcard! So what has this got to do with St Mungo? Well, I have being very lucky with my intended as she is keen on railways, both prototypical and model. We got to talking about models, so I decided to show her St Mungo. Out it came, opened the boards and placed a few items of stock on it and she was impressed, asking all sorts of questions about it. After she had left I ran the stock around, and I wasn't happy with the way the track performed. I could have spent hours trying to sort it, but, taking my own advice, and not for the first time, or last, I bit the bullet and dismantled the track, saving as much as I could. In a way, this wasn't as drastic as it sounds, as when we are married I'm moving into her cottage, and space is at a premium, so any way of shortening the length would be advantageous. Out came the squared paper and pencil and planning began in earnest! The end result being a layout that only measured 4' x 2' but still kept all the main features of the original St. Mungo, minus the double slip and station throat. This was achieved by using the turntable fiddle yard as the station throat! Genius! One lucky outcome of this as that I was able to lengthen the loco release head shunt just enough to take a 37 comfortably! Now, with the mojo back in full flood building began again, using the same cardboard and strip wood technique, but using paste table hinges attached to plywood plaques instead of 1" x 1" strip wood with flat hinges, which saved a bit of width. I also used 1" L-shaped wood strip to deepen the sides and to support the card surface instead of card tubes. So far so good. This is when I bit the bullet for the second time! I looked at the salvaged track, decided that only the turnouts were worth saving for the scenic section, the hand-made track only suitable for the fiddleyard so I purchased 10yds of SMP track. Whilst waiting for this to arrive I took another look at the fiddleyard, realised it wasn't fit for purpose, so I'm currently rebuilding that. When the track arrived I laid it, then left it for a few days before wiring. Which didn't happen! Somehow, no matter how careful I'd been, one of the tracks didn't quite line up after being folded then opened. After only a few minutes of trying to sort it I realised that it was a fool's errand, resulting in more hours of fiddling, so I bit the bullet for a third time. Yes, it's got bite marks! Up came the track, with hardly any damage, the wood salvaged, the card sent to recycling and I'm now waiting for delivery of some 50mm extruded foam. Yes, I'm sticking to my lightweight theme! All good fun! In the past month I've also bought some new, well, second-hand stock: a cl 31, a Lima 121, a couple of coaches and some detailing parts. I'm beginning to hate the taste of the bullet, but I've bitten it for a fourth time! After struggling with scratch-building a cl100 dmu I've noted that Shapeways do a resin print so I'm going to treat myself. I know that Worley Works do etch sides in brass, but I'm loath to spend money on something that I know I will struggle with forming the tumblehome. Likewise, Silver Fox do a cl 120 so I shall get one of those too. I've also, in my doodling moments, designed a branchline terminus to fit in a space of 2'6" x 18", using the rotating fiddleyard, although an extra 6" makes a big difference. Maybe I should be getting some more foam? So, that's the state of play for now. Hopefully, by this time next week I shall have a photo or two to show the state of play with St Mungo mk3! Roja
  17. I tried acting as if grown up. Worst day of my life! Roja
  18. Hi Jesse, I agree with t-b-g. Making your first turnout can be daunting, but after that you soon realise that prototype track formations are your oyster without the constraints of commercial products and you'll wish you had taken the plunge earlier! Roja
  19. my vote goes for 8 Part of an over-looked fleet of department vehicles and ideal for a small layout. In the same vein, any of the earlier tampers/liners/ballast cleaners. Not very likely that they would ever be produced but you can always dream! Now, where's my scalpel and plasticard? Roja
  20. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought buffer locking was when the head of one buffer jammed behind the head of the one one on the adjacent vehicle when being propelled through reverse curves? This doesn't look like buffer locking, especially as the vehicles are being pulled around the curve, rather it looks as if the buffer bodies and shanks are too long. Easily rectified by either a) commit surgery and shorten the buffers, or, b) replace with shorter, or even sprung, buffers. Roja
  21. Hi, I've "converted" a football fan to the delights of Le Tour! He's grown fed up of the myriad excuses of over-paid wusses who complain about being tired if they play two games a week! He watched the stage yesterday and was blown away by the riders, and has trouble getting his head around that they are doing the same again today. I wonder what he'll think when they reach the mountain stages!? Roja
  22. Hi, I spray all home-printed card and paper with artist fixative which contains a u v blocker, ultraviolet light being the main cause of inks fading and changing hue. I've had one card model sat in a south facing window for almost 18 months ( I really must move it!) and, touch wood, it's not faded. On most model layouts that don't get much direct sunlight the fixative is a good investment. It also has the advantage, if you get the correct one, of waterproofing the paper/card so you can repaint areas with acrylics or use a pva glue to attach additional details. Roja
  23. 37Oban


    A man after my own heart! Roja
  24. 37Oban


    Looks like a good clump of brambles back there! Roja
  25. When I worked with my father as butchers we had a Jewish couple as occasional customers. They would phone in a wee order then collect at a very quiet time! They loved the crackling on belly pork! Roja
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