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  1. Hi all - had a bit of a hectic December so the crane took a back seat, however things have settled down a bit now and I had the chance to finish it off this week. After several attempts to get the colour right I think I got somewhere near, even if it might be a bit too blue - it's quite hard to tell from the prototype photos, as Gibbo points out, some look more grey, some look blue. Initially I wasn't going to bother with the glazing but once it was all painted it did seem a shame not to have it so off came the roof and in it went. It actually allowed me to tidy up a slightly messy job I'd done on fitting the roof anyway so it was worth it. Then it was a case of adding the transfers (CCT) and weathering it, using the prototype photos as a guide. I also added some extra bits to the jib runner - lifting gear and an oil barrel. Again, inspired by the prototype photos. In all, I'm happy with the results - it looks the part on the layout and runs pretty well too. I'd definitely recommend it to anyone looking to take on a bit of kitbashing/scratchbuilding. Special thanks to Gibbo 675 and Southernman46 who both sent me some really handy info.
  2. Hi all! Firstly, Gibbo675's efforts have put my little build to shame - particularly like the jib extension and how fine the work on the bogie wagon. Also, thanks to him for posting that link to the CCT sheet - sadly they don't seem to be processing orders at the moment, but it does answer a question I was going to ask about markings! I got lucky on a certain auction site and got a Hornby bogie bolster for a very reasonable price - it arrived a few days ago and although it's a much better length, it rapidly became obvious the plasticard bits I'd done for the old wagon weren't going to be usable after all as they were too long so I got cracking on a new lot. Thankfully it gave me a chance to correct an earlier mistake - I'd missed off the little rise in the middle of the metalwork which seems to cover the crossbrace that the jib rest sits on - doing it for a second time allowed me to correct this. Fruits of my labours below - I'll put a few more little details on it shortly and then it'll be on to painting.
  3. Thank you both - I think you're right, I need a new Bogie Bolster. Thankfully the old one was free anyway so at least I've not paid twice - I've also not glued any of extra bits onto it, so they can still be used on the new one. Tempted to use the ratio kit as it's probably easier to modify before I put it together, though I can see the Hornby version for very similar amounts of money online too and the couplings/wheels will be better - guessing they'll be similar lengths, which is the biggest issue tbh.
  4. Bit of an update on progress of the crane. Had a really productive day today, the top of the crane is all put together and the rigging added, so that just needs a paint. The chassis is all made up too and detailed. It's currently upside down as I glue some lead shot into it to add a bit of weight. I'm pretty pleased with how it's come out. All that's left to do is to put the wheels in and paint it. I also did a bit of work on the runner. I'm a bit perplexed what I've done but the jib seems to only reach mid way down the runner, which isn't ideal and hasn't seemed to happen to others doing similar conversions. Maybe the mainline bolster bogie is longer or something? I'll get the coupling as close as possible to counteract it - any other ideas welcome! I have considered cutting it down somehow but it seems like a lot of work.
  5. Sorry to answer for John, but there's a link to the first one is in the first post of this topic - there are 4 showing how David altered the Dapol kit and put it together as well as modifying the GWR bolster bogie into a runner and then turning a brake van into a mess van (which I'm also considering!). Here's a link to his whole youtube channel - loads of good modelling videos there: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCf19i6XrVOK99d9PWJ9ZZrA I completely agree with John, they're really good videos and I've learnt a lot from them - glad I'll be giving it a different paint job or I risk just making a dodgy copy! Couple of photos of the fruits of my labours below - not quite as neat as David's work but I'm happy with it so far. As you can see, I've mainly focussed on the runner as I'm waiting for a couple of bits to arrive for the crane conversion.
  6. Hmmmm, it's more likely to be part of a longer train on my layout I guess rather than moving about in a yard so might keep it simple for now. That said, I wonder if a Hornby pacer motor would fit in there.....
  7. Hi all, For my next project, I've decided to have a crack at the Dapol Crane kit. I've done some research, particularly on some of the threads on here, as well as looking at Paul Bartlett's photos: https://paulbartlett.zenfolio.com/brbooth0-8-0 And watching this superb video from David Hyde, which is along the lines of what I'm planning (I even have the same GWR bogie bolster for the runner!): So, off the bat, I know the bogies on the crane have to go. Initially my plan was to use an A3/4 chassis but I'm now thinking it might be easier to do what David did in his video and make a new chassis from plasticard instead. One thing I'm still not sure on is whether these cranes were self propelled or if they were shunted around by locos. If they were able to move on their own then part of me likes the idea of trying to get it motorised somehow, though that'll make it a bigger job (as well as more expensive than the cheap project I'd originally had in mind). I'm aiming for early 60s which I think will be the light greyish colour on Paul's photos (though any guidance on that too would be appreciated).
  8. Hi all - happy to say I've emailled in my entry for the challenge, which meant taking some proper photos of the Coal Stage. Obviously you can only submit 3 properly so thought I'd put up some of the ones that didn't make the cut. In the end I decided to leave the loco off as I preferred the uprights of the stage being visible. Enjoy!
  9. This is brilliant, so atmospheric - I love the tree and the ivy particularly
  10. It's finished! Got around to snaffling some more coffee stirrers to finish off the platform of the stage. That was then filled with coal and weathered before I added a few tools and a railwayman with brush in hand sweeping up before gluing it in place on top of the frame. I also added some coal to both sets of tracks - I figure a fair amount would go astray during all the loading and unloading - as well as a couple of sacks and barrels dumped under the steps. The plan was always to stick a loco on the lower line too, waiting to be reloaded, but having done it I think I prefer it being empty, starts to look a bit cluttered I think, I'd be interested to hear peoples thoughts though. I also painted the sides black to make it look more presentable and that's The Coal Stage finished really. Had a lot of fun making it and will be properly entering it into the competition for the sake of it (though, given the competition, I'm not holding out much hope!) - I'm also toying with having a crack at another one before the deadline, this time in N Gauge so keep an eye out for that!
  11. A little update from me - had a very productive day yesterday on my cakebox - really coming together. after my first post I decided to add some more clay to sharpen the edges on the side and, whilst I was there, add a bit to the bank behind the higher coal line, just to give the idea that that bank might rise further off scene. Once that had dried I added the second piece of track and some steps I had in the bits box to allow our coal shovellers up to the stage. Next i added some grass, ballast and loose bits of coal that have gone astray under the stage. I also added a little beaten path up the bank from the railwaymen trudging up there to transfer the coal over from the waiting wagons. Then I weathered the whole thing with my airbrush, adding some much needed grime and soot. I'm pretty happy with the results - one other thing I added which I hadn't thought about when starting off was a little wire fence at the top. I think it adds something and is a nice cut off to the edge of the scene. Continuing my theme of not spending a penny on this challenge, The posts are bits of sprue and the wire is some black thread. Holes were drilled in the end posts and notches added to the posts in the middle which hold the thread in place once it's wrapped around them. The thread then had a brush with some glue to give it some wire like rigidity before a brush with some metallic paint. Next job on the base is to add some more lost coal to the tracks and surroundings and maybe add a barrel or two to add some variety. The top of the coal stage needs a dividing wall added but I need to wait until I'm back in work to pilfer more coffee stirrers as my supply has run out! Then i'll add some coal to the staithes and maybe a figure before glueing it on to the frame and then it'll be pretty much there. It's odd that the finish line is already in sight, but I guess that's the point of these things, they don't take long!
  12. Hi all - having read about some of the incredible efforts in the cakebox challenge so far I thought I'd have a pop at one myself. My main goal was to not spend any money at all - just use stuff I had in the bits box or things I could scrounge from somewhere and any rolling stock would just come from my main layout. One thing I've made recently is little cameo involving a BR coal wagon and a workman taking a well earned break from shovelling - it's a static model that normally sits in a disused siding. So, it had to be something to do with coal. I also liked the idea of having two tracks at different levels to give the cakebox some height - this all led me to the idea of a coal stage served by an elevated track at the top of the bank. For a bit of inspiration I did an image search for coal stages and came up with an old photo of a wooden one. Due to a faulty kitchen hob I happened to have a pot full of half used matches which made perfect building materials for the frame, I also had a load of modelling clay going spare for the bank too so decided I was on to a winner and got to work. The base is made from an off cut of 18mm MDF. I used a bit more of this to create the height for the bank, all of which was then covered in modelling clay. I sunk the matchstick upright into the clay and cut them all to the same height. It was then left on the windowsill to dry overnight. Or so I thought, because then the cricket season got in the way and I'm ashamed to say that was about 4 months ago and I've only just come back it (the cricket's not gone well, so thought I'd come back to trains!). Having painted everything a muddy brown colour and glued a bit of track in place, I set to work adding cross braces to the frame. I'm pretty happy with the results so far. Having pilfered a fair amount of coffee stirrers from the tea point at work I was also able to make the deck for the stage too. Next up will be adding some ballast and grass I guess - having looked at the sides I may also add a bit more clay to the sides to get a nice sharp edge - currently it's a bit too rounded for my liking.
  13. After building the shed I decided it was probably time to crack on with the jobs I've been putting off on Southwell. I should've documented them all a bit more to keep this thread going really but what usually happens is when I finally decide to crack on with something, I then focus on it until it's done, only afterwards realising I've not taken any pictures of the progress along the way. I'm getting to the point now when I consider Southwell to be finished - I can't think of much more to do. I might rethink the fiddle yards a bit at some point, but the scenic section hasn't got a lot left to add, which feels a bit sad in a way as i've had a great time making it and the idea of just running trains now seems a little dull! Seems odd to say that as that's been the goal all along but that's how it feels. Anyway, the first thing to finish was the magnetic back scene. I did toy with getting some photos of industrial buildings and editing it all together but quickly realised I didn't know what I was doing so opted to paint it instead. Knowing that attempting to put any detail on it at all would look pants, I went with the idea of greyscale silhouettes of nearby buildings and a decent amount of fog (to fit in with the general feel of the layout). The first attempt looked ok but the buildings still looked too sharp to me, so i got the airbrush out and covered everything in a decent layer of light grey which seemed to do the trick Next up was the point rodding, which was tedious, but i really think works. I added some concrete cable trunking too (inspired by being stood too long at Finchley Road tube station) which was just 2mm card cut into squares and painted. Once I'd ballasted it I took the airbrush to it all to cover it in the usual railway muck colour. Other developments are some additional bits and pieces outside the sheds as I thought it looked oddly tidy. I may add a few more bits and pieces, particularly some more axels as two seems too few. I made another cameo for the extra siding which can be swapped for the static prairie, just for some variety (and to make use of a wagon kit that doesn't run well). This fellow's having a break from shovelling the coal into the staithes - the picture also shows the (tiny) Wickham trolley which caused me no end of problems to DCC. An arty one, showing off the 03 and the Wickham, as well as the worker emerging from the plate layers hut to change the points (I also added point levers to all the points of the sidings, you can just see them in this photo but they're very blurry!). Everything else i've been doing has been rolling stock, but I thought i'd include them anyway to justify how little I've been updating this. First is a new sand wagon with a custom load. Second is an old Hornby Autocoach to compliment my recently acquired 64xx. It was a bit of an auction site bargain which i've added some detail and lights to - much cheaper (and more fun) than buying the Bachmann version for 60 odd quid. Finally, I've spent a lot of time recently building a motorised Dapol Park Royal rail bus, complete with scratchbuilt interior and working headlights. The motor's from an old Hornby pacer - it took a lot longer than I thought and, at points, I wanted to throw it all in the bin but i'm really glad I persevered with it as it runs reasonably well and I learnt a lot doing it. Here it is sat on the platform at Southwell, which seems a good place to end.
  14. Thanks for the replies guys, starting to suspect it’s the decoder and I must’ve shorted it at some point. I’ve only got a basic DCC controller so can’t reset it until I get enough cash together to upgrade. The motor control still seems fine though so the plan is to swap the decider out with another loco with no lights on it and then start again - the new one is a little more robust too.
  15. Hi all - i'm trying to put some DCC concepts bi-colour LEDS into a loco but it's slowly driving me mad. There's 4 of them, 2 in the front, 2 in the rear and obviously when the front are white the back should be red and vice versa. As such i've wired them up like so (excuse the dodgy paint diagram): So resistors on all the -ves (not sure if that's right tbh as the whites are still brighter than i'd expect) and It's got a Digitracks DH126D decoder in it. Clearly something's wrong because the red lights on the front are constantly on at a low level (whether the lighting function's on or not) and the directional lighting only seems to work when it's set to reverse. I've ruled out some dodgy soldering because I've redone it twice with different LEDS and the same result. Has anyone got any ideas? I'm not the best when it comes to electrics so I wouldn't be surprised if i've done something stupid.
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