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    Many - but in railway terms, all pre-BR buggeration, and preferably pre-Grouping...! GWR primarily, but shades of LNWR/Midland/LMS. (I'm modelling a Joint' line.). The best model railways represent a real place at a specific period. The location has to fit the space available - but the period...? So much choice.... :-). 1890's - to about 1920 is my favourite.

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  1. I'm what you might term a 'returning modeller' I've been out of it for forty years, and some things at least have changed. We now have the easy ability to include sound and tiny lights - yet - I see relatively little use of smoke. My interest is in 4mm steam era - so the scale may be a disincentive as there is precious little space available inside some small tank engines for example. Certainly, I have seen some of the larger American and European models producing prodigious amounts of smoke. Not only that - it's being 'chuffed-out' at a realistic rate in puffs. Over fifty years ago, Triang had a basic unit - which they later enhanced with a simple piston to give a puffing-effect. It seems this basic and excellent idea has fallen by the wayside. When my son was a kid - he used to watch the original Thomas the Tank series. I watched one today to refresh my memory - and the smoke effects were generally superb - and that was over thirty years ago.... Admittedly - these were at a larger scale (7mm...?). I wonder if anyone on this website knows the scale and how they achieved the effects...? There are a few clips from behind the scenes on You Tube which give some hints. It looks like a piston or diaphragm mechanism. Here is en example of some serious smoke - admittedly at G-Scale, but what I've seen thus far at 4mm is the merest wisp compared with this;- KM1 locos, Gauge-1...? The dogs-danglies methinketh...!!! Here is an informative YT video about the unit's used in the American Lionel locos;- The German KM1 locos - these have to be the best out there - but bear in mind - these are Gauge 1, 1/32 scale. If only we had this level of effect at 4mm scale....! Back in the real world - here is more, this time in 4mm - very worthwhile effort - and with sound, it really brings the loco to life ;- The excellent Roco puffer-unit in HO scale to show what is possible. Hornby and Bachman please take note...! Note the smoke-bleed to the cylinder areas etc. Could this unit be used in UK 4mm-scale locos...? I purchased a Seuthe unit to experiment with, and to be frank - was rather underwhelmed. I experimented with some commercially-available smoke-fluid, as well as Baby-Oil, with similar results. Since I couldn't see much discussion of this subject when I searched this website - I thought it'd be useful to start one to pool knowledge and experience. I have noting to offer - but I'm all ears... :-) Questions to discuss;- Which are the best and worst units at 4mm scale? Which are the best smoke-fluids to give the densest smoke? Oil-based or water-based best...? Have any forum Members adapted or copied the old Triang/Hornby Synchrosmoke 'puffer' units into other models? What about the use of increased reservoir sizes to allow longer smoke-runs without having to refil every couple of minutes...?l (The old Triang/Hornby puffer-units came in several sizes - how did this effect running-times...?). Has anyone used the Roco puffer-unit in an OO/4mm loco...or adapted any other units...? Can DCC allow a fan-based unit to synchronise with the sound using the existing decoders that are currently available...? I do not claim any knowledge of this subject - but I'm betting some of the subscribers to this website will have some fascinating and informative insights to share. Any videos of the effects achieved would also be very encouraging....!
  2. MikeOxon;- Are the available transfers then of the correct width for either period?
  3. Whilst I’ve always subscribed to the school of ‘If you’ve nowt to say – keep schtum’, I have noticed that it’s been over a year since I last blogged here. Even worse, I see that I will have returned to railway modeling for three years in January, yet still cannot run a train…. Unfortunately, before I can erect the new woodshed extension to accommodate the model railway, I have to complete other building works at the farm – and I’m still living off-site, just to complicate matters. Model-wise, I have not been wholly inactive, since I have continued to build an alarmingly large pile of supermarket banana-boxes, stuffed with….well, modeling ‘stuff’… The really good thing is that time has allowed the maturation of my plans, and I haven’t seen the need to make any serious changes for some time. The direct blockage to progress at the moment is that the site for the building extension is partly above a large rainwater collection water-tank that I have to dig a vast hole to bury. I’m renovating a very ancient building, and at the same time turning it into an off-grid ‘eco-house’ for want of a better description. It will have a private water-supply as well as drainage, and next year, hopefully, will be off-grid for power too. It’s been a really massive undertaking for an old bloke – so the modeling has had to take a back seat for now, as you may well imagine. Some of the lessons learnt on the main house will be incorporated into the model railway extension to the woodshed, principally in the form of vast amounts of insulation to walls, floors and ceilings. I’ve used the German ‘Passive House’ standard as my inspiration ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passive_house in case your curiosity gets the better of you…!) – but have not been able to follow it slavishly, as it’s intended for new-build, and the farmhouse is about six hundred years old… Railway modeling is not exactly noted for exercising one’s cardiovascular system, and, since I absolutely cannot abide being cold, and since the main heating system will be next door, the railway room will have some radiators, and the small internal control cabin will have it’s own small solid-fuel stove to avoid heating the main room every time – and handy for a brew as well. The space available will be approximately 50' x 15', so to be usable in summer – as well as warm in the winter, all that insulation and some heating is vital. Years ago, I bought a vast site hut that was surplus from Tarmac. It was an all-wooden structure and was entirely sectional, with one-piece roof trusses. It was easy to erect, and although I sold that property about twenty-five years ago, it’s still standing and in use today. Whilst that was pretty huge – I seem to recall about 25’ x 75’, the new building I’m going to erect will utilize some of the modular ideas so that I can make sections ahead of time and the actual erection should be quite rapid. I may blog about these works in case any of it is useful to readers of this blog. As well as being warm, cost is also, of course a factor, so whilst durable, it will be as cheaply made as practicable. I’m always loathe to get pinned-down to a fixed schedule when there are so many variables, but suffice it to say that the plan is to erect next year, 2020. The tank will go into the ground soon, clearing the way for the footings, once I have tidied-up the site. I’ll make the modules in the workshops in the dry, and by the time I have enough to start erection, I’m sure we’ll be back to the warmth and long days of summer. More once the footings are in.
  4. Just a Pre-Grouping Luggage Label from Woofferton - a minor link with the past... :-)
  5. The embossing with the adapted paint-brushes certainly seems to give the best aesthetic result....but it's pretty laborious. Fine for smaller areas of course. The roller in the video is what I had in mind, but it's rather too perfectly well spaced and perfect. Perhaps for larger areas, a home-made roller...? One could use the embossing method to do a strip of suitable material glued around a cylindrical armature, add a release-agent and smear-on an even layer of silicon. When dry and trimmed, this could be peeled-off (As a rubber-tube in effect.) and turned inside-out and streteched/glued around a new armature. Result - a custom cobble-roller to suit one's own preferred pattern and width and regularity etc. Just a thought...
  6. When I was a kid - most older towns and especially cities, had a lot of exposed cobbles. At the time, I hated them. They rattled my bike to bits, were slippery as hell when wet, and the remaining tram-lines they were usually laced-with were a real hazard on a bike. Now I love them....! The colour, sizes and patterns varied a lot and was a very regional thing. When the trams were all scrapped, many cobbled roads were just asphalted-over, so there are acres of cobbles still hidden. Colours seemed to range from near black, through shades of grey, to shades of brown. Fancy patterns were less common. About 5" sq on top seems average, although I recall them being bigger, maybe 6" sq 'oop norf' - and a warmer, lighter shade of granite. Oddly enough, I'm having a lorryload delivered this year to lay, but there will be no fancy patterns.... Hats-off to the guys who originally laid all those millions of the critters. I'd also been codjitating about how to model cobbles. Years ago, I used embossed card sheets. Not bad, but useless for curved roads. The idea that I've been toying with is to make a roller, and emboss the pattern onto a partly-set medium such as plaster of paris etc. My thought was that this might be persuaded to lay a curved pattern - failing that using a tapered version for curves....?
  7. Was the DH crane based on a real prototype..? What was it called - and are there drawings...?
  8. In future, it'd be a good idea if threads like this were routinely split, perhaps by the Moderators, so that all the ordering, returns and other commercial issues et al, were in another linked thread, so folks could see some interesting dialogue about the MODEL itself, and directly-related subjects.
  9. What that book called please...?
  10. w to get rid of these inane 'Status Updates'...

    1. Show previous comments  7 more
    2. Hroth


      Yep, this is a safety valve!


      BTW, how do you access previous "status updates"?  There used to be a link at the bottom of them on the old site inviting you to "view all".


      Don't tell me, its here but in a completely different place....  :rolleyes:

    3. AY Mod

      AY Mod

      @Hroth - you can create your own Custom Activity Stream just for Status Updates (or anything else) such as this - https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/discover/886/

    4. Hroth


      Activity Streams?  Too ruddy technical.....


      Thanks, I'll have a go!

  11. Is it just me...? Members List, gone. Friends - gone. Followers, gone. Followed Topics, gone. (Used to be very usefully on the HomePage.) I realise I'm old and not a computer whiz, but where have these things gone? I can't see them any more.
  12. This is an 'improvement'.....? :mellow:

    1. Show previous comments  4 more
    2. Huw Griffiths

      Huw Griffiths

      Hmmm … .

      Seems to be the case, most of the time - but some people seem very sensitive about certain issues.

      I have no plans to wind these people up - as I intend to remain a member of this site.

      As for me saying how the site looks where I am, the site seems to be in a "testing / bedding in" phase - so I hope nobody minds me saying what I see, in case it's any help.

      If not, this might offer a chance for testing out any "delete post" function which might be available to selected people … .


    3. AY Mod

      AY Mod

      @The Midland Mole - at a busy time it's not exactly a useful contribution.

  13. I was trawling through some newly-acquired old books and spotted a few interesting references to the Marches Line. One which particularly caught my eye was in relation to Churchward Counties, and mixed-stock trains. County 4-4-0, 3814, County of Chester, between Shrewsbury and Bristol. Typical formation;- One GWR 6-wheeler. One LNWR 8-wheeler. One LNWR 6-wheeler. Six GWR 8-wheelers. One LNWR 8-wheeler. Two GWR 8-wheelers. Twelve vehicles in all with a tare of about 300 tons. The Counties were sometimes double-headed with 2-4-0's such as No.240. Amazing to think the Counties hauled eight to twelve vehicle trains.
  14. I must say that, over the years I have also come to the conclusion that there is something about 4-4-0's. A certain aesthetic simplicity and often, a clean elegance. They must often have been pretty efficient too, looking at the number of coached hauled and all by a relatively small boiled loco in most cases. Some were fast too.
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