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Dave John

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About Dave John

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    Pre grouping railways, particularly the Caledonian.

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  1. Well, a long time back I decided to model pre-grouping Caledonian in 4mm. I messed about with track and wheels , made a few wagons to OO and EM and decided on EM. The first layout I made used what was then K+L parts , plastic sleepers and chairs. I had a go at interlacing the sleepers, but the resultant points were always a bit prone to movement and needed a fair amount of messing about with. It was ok, but as time went on and the CRA published more info I could see my errors. So when I came to build the new layout I had all the info to get it right. To an extent that defined the parts , 8' 11 1/2 " narrow sleepers, 4 bolt chairs , 30' rail length. I also had drawings showing the Caledonians sleeper spacings for running lengths and joints and the interlaced sleeper patterns used. When I started making points for the new layout I thought about the bits of a point that give problems if they get a bit out of position. The toe of the point, and the bit at the crossing vee. So I used copperclad at those places to make sure they were solid and stayed put. Particularly important at the vee since the interleaved sleepers in plastic could be a bit wobbly there. All the track was laid and sorted, the cosmetic chairs glued on afterwards. As Martin Wynne says you have to be careful to ensure that the copperclad insulates. Hayfields point about using a bit of double sided copperclad as a riser is a good tip. I used a burr on the minidrill and filled the gap once it was all down. I'm also a bit vicious about testing stuff, all my track was hit with 250 V off a megger. That shows the stray faults up quite quickly. A lot of this falls down to finding a method that suits your own style of building. I think you have the right approach; get samples and mess about. Examine the prototype and see which method creates track which looks like the prototype to you. Hope that helps James.
  2. Just for interest James. This is a mixed method point. Mainly C+L 9 foot plastic sleepers and 4 bolt plastic chairs, but with 6 copperclad ones with a bit of narrow scrap etch as a riser in strategic places for strength. Rail is the HiNI stuff which is a better silver colour ( to my eye anyway ). Ok, its pre grouping Caley but it shows that once down and painted you can hardly tell the difference between the two sorts.
  3. Might be simpler to play about with non polarised electrolytic capacitors for straight DC operation. The motor would always swamp the LEDs with regard to discharging the capacitor, but if its just to reduce flicker caused by very short ( fractions of a second) loss of supply it might help a bit. Try it and see how it looks to the eye. You could start getting sophisticated by using a bridge to charge a capacitor (thus losing the motor as a load) then detecting polarity and switching the leds in but thats getting a lot more complex.
  4. Ok, a shot from below. The flywheel goes neatly into the bit where it widens out for the firebox.
  5. Yep, a narrow slot, just 9 mm wide. It means that the line of the bottom of the boiler is about right when viewed from the side since it is not perfectly round but drops a tiny bit. It is enough to fool the eye into thinking it is round. I'll take a pic when the primer is dry.
  6. The correct gears arrived and so with a fully assembled and tested gearbox I have been able to push ahead. Soldering needs a bit of a clean up, but thats the chassis built up and running smoothly. Driving the front wheelset means I can have a compensation beam at the rear. The kit suggests driving the centre axle, since driving the front axle would mean losing the view through under the boiler. However by using a roadrunner box and an extender with a narrow motor I was able to get the motor right up into the boiler and the drive goes down behind the front splashers. The slot in the bottom of the boiler is only 9mm wide and cannot really be seen from normal viewing angles. A pic with it paired up to the tender. The mini connectors are from Express Models. I didn’t want slop in the little end bearing causing fouling with the leading crankpin so I soldered a Gibson crankpin screw through the rod from the rear and so the piston rod runs on a steel crankpin bush to help keep it in line. A view from below. I managed to get a bit of weight in there and a fair bit in the smokebox and firebox areas. AJs are on small copperclad pads, removable if they ever need repaired. A side view. It all runs well, I am happy with the solution for the motor/gearbox allowing a view through the whole thing. Some primer and filler, then off to the paintshop.
  7. If you fancy a DIY version this is a general 2 position servo driver.
  8. Very good design with the whole gearbox assembly and I am impressed by the brightwork on the engine details. To be fair it really is well worth posting twice, and liking twice.
  9. Great atmosphere, really does say London.
  10. Hmm. Here is a curved crossover on my layout . The inner radius is a bit over 50 ". The whole thing is a bit over 3 feet long, so it's not far off the layout the op is proposing. Now I actually built it flat. EM, C+L parts . However the end of the board decided to have a warp, there is a drop of about 2 mm from about where the far signal is to the board joint at that cross wall. Call it about 1in a hundred ish. I had to give things a bit of a tweak at the nose of the point but now its all fettled things go through it with no problem. I can push 20 wagons back across it buffer to buffer, they all stay on despite being a complete mix of weights. All my stock is compensated or sprung, get round all this flatness thing. So 84f I'd say have a go and enjoy the build. Might work fine, might not, but you never find out till you try.
  11. Well, there we are, a slap of paint makes all the difference. Rivets are Archers, easy to apply and they make a big difference on a model like this. No idea what is under that sheet, but it is heavy so this wagon moves as if it does have 16 tons on top. The chains and shackles were fiddly, but add to it all I think. Catching a bit of evening light. You can see that this wagon is properly scotched. There is a good reason for this, D27s like the other wagons in the same style, had no handbrake. Run as specials they would have wagons with handbrakes either side. Given that loaded it might be 27 tons that sounds a bit dangerous though I doubt they ever travelled outside the industrial areas served by the Caley and probably only in special short workings rather than as part of longer trains. So just for fun and I think typical of how it might have run here it is passing through Kelvinbank. Archibald McGregor hanging on and hoping it isn’t going far. I now have parts for the Cl.670 gearbox, so it is hopefully going to progress a bit with that.
  12. In addition to the excellent book by Jim Summers the CRA publishes a CD of 278 period signalling diagrams. Looking at the CRA site it may be sold out at the moment, but if you were to join the CRA someone might be able to generate a copy. Similarly copies of "the true line" are available on CD and there is much interesting reading over on the CR forums. 1920 would be interesting, the CR ( like most other railways) struggling to recover from wartime shortages. As Becasse says, not only would the signalling be distinctly Caley the track would be as well.
  13. Just had a look at my GSWR wagon, made from the same kit years ago. There is a slight misalignment of the solebars, same as yours. I always cut the W iron /spring/ axle box off with a razor saw then rub away the whitemetal W iron to just leave the spring/axle box. These are then attached to my usual rocking/fixed brass W irons. What I seem to have done in this case is fitted the W Iron so as to have a slight misalignment on both sides. The crown plate is about 0.5 mm out with respect to the W iron both sides, but since it is across the depth of the solebar it is only noticeable if you view the wagon side on. Side on . The RH end is the rocking one, sits square when the wagon is the right way up. The tabs on the fixed part of the W Iron can be given a bit of a tweak to achieve the best sit of the W irons. Might get round to some proper transfers one day......
  14. Small magnets would be an elegant solution, but you have to glue them in place. Even a fast touch with a soldering iron kills their magnetism.
  15. Hmm, I think Magazine Boots were a heavy felt boot, Sort of like wellies but made of a heavy felt material.
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