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  1. I would be delighted to see them do just that, though I realise that there are many products that, primarily because of complexity and therefore labour cost, just can't be made here if we want to buy them at anything less than what most would perceive as an extortionate price. I was delighted to see a few years back that a plastics moulding company near to us in Newhaven had got the contract to produce the Airfix 'Quickbuild' kits; however I think they've now gone abroad again, I believe back to India this time. Pete T.
  2. As someone who's always worked in tooling and manufacturing environments, mostly in the UK, it gives me a nice warm feeling inside to read Dapol's post there. I wish them all the best of luck with it all.
  3. PJT

    Model Rail Sentinel

    Labelle 102 gear oil for me. It's a proper gear oil, with PTFE additive, plastic and nylon compatible and comes with a very fine applicator that helps prevent accidentally swamping the mechanism. I've used it on all my locos for several decades and I know there are quite a few on RMweb here who, like me, swear by the stuff. Pete T.
  4. PJT

    Bachmann B1

    Also, the earliest split chassis B1s (mainly if not entirely consisting of the ones marketed by Replica Railways but made by Bachmann with 'Bachmann' lettering on the keeper plate underneath) have a ring field motor in a large white plastic case, whereas later Bachmann split chassis B1s have a more orthodox motor, either a can or an open frame, I can't remember which. The ring field motored versions are by and large much noisier, probably not surprisingly. Pete T.
  5. Hi Andy, Curiously enough, my Pam brought up the subject of Maindee East Engine Shed quite literally just this last weekend, observing that I've now got sufficient time to get going on it again. She's right, I have, so it's finally got to the top of the 'To Do' list again after way too long. I'll be setting the two boards back up again next weekend and working out where to restart. The good thing is that during the last 15 months or so it's been kept in a very clean, constant temperature, gently dehumidified environment, so it'll be in pretty much the same condition that it was in when I last worked on it. Once again, thanks for asking, Andy, and also thanks to Brian (polybear) and everyone else who have shown interest and concern for this lovely model. Pete T.
  6. Hi Robbie, Bachmann do have A1 detail packs in stock (they're one of the items I order from Bachmann quite regularly) but they split the detailing parts into two packs: one includes small parts - hoses, cab doors, front screw link coupling, front steps, lamp irons with electric lamps and a pair of separate white lamps, while the other includes large parts - loco and tender brake rods, plus drain cock pipes. You'll need to specify which pack you need, or specifically ask for both, if that's what you need. If you just ask for an A1 detailing pack you'll get the one with doors, steps and lamp irons but not the other one with the brake rods and drain cocks (I made this mistake a couple of times - slow learner!). Also, I don't think they currently have any packs left with BR dark green doors, but seemingly plenty with LNER/early BR (ER) green - I don't know the situation with packs including BR blue doors. The packs are currently priced at £5.00 each, same price for either type, plus postage. Hope that helps. Pete T.
  7. What a great image. Reminds me of a well-known image from almost the same vantage point, taken in 1955 during the prolonged ASLEF strike, that depicts a similar wonderful selection of loco classes in the shed yard. Many a happy hour spent poring over the details. Pete T.
  8. In fact, just to finish the point, if you and your company trust your stock control - which these days you should be able to - the only time that having allocated stock on the shelf alongside free stock becomes a problem is when you're doing a physical stock taking, as Hattons are preparing for now. Unless the person doing the counting in the warehouse location has the details to hand (which they're not supposed to have in a physical stock take), it's most likely quite unclear to them visually as to what's free and what's allocated stock. That's why Hattons want to ship all the trunk contents before they start on the stock take, to get rid of everything from the bin locations that might pollute the count. Pete T.
  9. Ah, well, I didn't just 'used to be', I still am very much in that industry. That's been my job for the last 35 years, working in and managing car parts manufacturing and distribution. That includes working with/for Jaguar Land Rover, BMW, MG Rover, Unipart, Caterpillar, Autoflow, etc. (used to be an employee, now freelance, doing exactly the self same work), so I do have a fair degree of experience in current warehousing and distribution techniques. Doesn't mean I always know what I'm talking about - far from it - but I assure you I wouldn't have written what I did above if I hadn't got it from the horse's mouth and understood it from a professional viewpoint. Pete T.
  10. You're welcome. I've had it happen to me before paying, too, but I've also had it happen a handful of times after paying, which requires manual intervention on the part of someone at Hattons to sort it out, as you can probably imagine. Pete T.
  11. Actually, Neil, no they don't. I've talked with Hattons about the process on a couple of occasions when they've given me a refund because 'the item wasn't there'. When you ask for something to be put in your trunk, it gets allocated to your trunk but doesn't physically move. It only actually moves when the picking list is raised, after you've asked for your trunk items to be shipped. So, in electronic stock control language, for 'picked' read 'allocated'. For 'the item wasn't there' read either 'our stock quantity was wrong' or 'you got pipped at the post by another customer', the latter being more likely than you'd think. There is a very short period of time when it's possible to accidentally allocate one item to two customers, if they both order it within a few seconds of each other, before the stock control system has allocated the item to the first customer. At that point, the system has to be manually unknotted, the customer who ordered the item first gets the allocation and the second customer gets the 'item wasn't there' email. I'm told this happens most commonly during the scramble of customers to buy items from the pre-owned list after it's published every day. Pete T.
  12. Where I worked thirty years ago, I was one of five 'Petes' who worked together, four of whom were interested in railways and railway modelling. The fifth, who wasn't really into railways, was always known as Pedro because otherwise he'd have a habit of answering every time when someone came in the door saying 'Hey, Pete', whereas the rest of us always knew instinctively which Pete was being spoken to. Covid aside, after all these years we still have a Meeting of The Petes on a more or less annual basis. Digressing a bit more (sorry!), it doesn't stop there... my partner's called Pam, her mother was Pam, my mother's Pam, and for many years I (genuinely by coincidence) had a car with a PAM registration. Pete T.
  13. You're welcome, Neil. You know, I bought my railbus as a non-runner and, knowing something of the history of the Heljan railbuses, I suspected one or both of the final drive gears were split. However, what I wasn't prepared for was the damage to one of the idler gears as well. Looking back on it, I strongly suspect that a previous owner had persisted in trying to run the railbus even though there was clearly an issue with the drive (which must have been audible as a loud clonk every wheel revolution, together with either very slow and juddering motion, or no motion at all) and as a result the incorrectly spaced teeth either side of the split on the final drive gear created the damage to the idler. A little sympathy a bit earlier might well have kept the replacement parts down to final drive gears only, instead of idlers as well. Incidentally, for those who haven't done it before, accessing the gears to check them could hardly be easier: two cast cover plates can be unscrewed underneath the railbus, then the axles and idlers can be simply lifted out for inspection. Pete T.
  14. Ultrascale do replacement brass final drive gears (axle gears) for the Heljan OO railbuses - I used them on my W&M railbus, to very good effect. See: https://www.ultrascale.uk/eshop/products/view/CAT015/557 If you ask nicely, they also do the idler/intermediate gears in brass too. The idlers weren't shown on the Ultrascale website at the time and, knowing Gaugemaster had zero stock of any of the railbus gears at the time I wanted them, I went into a flat spin when I realised that I needed to replace an idler gear that had lost a couple of teeth as well as the split final drive gear. I contacted David at Ultrascale to see if he could make a replacement for the idler if I sent him a sample, to which he replied that actually he had the idlers in stock but hadn't got around to putting them on the website yet. Result! My railbus now has brass idlers and final drive gears and, while it's marginally noisier in my opinion, the noise level is very acceptable and the railbus runs as smoothly as it would have done before the gear problems. The noise may reduce even further with more running, but I'm not bothered if it doesn't because it really isn't an issue anyway. Fitting a brass idler gear is no problem, since it should have a small clearance fit on its shaft and is supplied with the shaft anyway (at least, mine were). The brass final drive gear requires a method of fixing it very securely to the axle, since it can be pushed on to the axle merely by hand (quite tightly, but not tightly enough). There are several methods you could use of varying degrees of integrity, one of the simplest being to file a small flat on the axle and use a tiny bead of Araldite to secure the gear over the flat. It's worked fine for me. Oh, I nearly forgot: once ordered, the gears arrived within a couple of weeks. I can't remember exactly how long it was, but it really wasn't long - and, to be honest, it was a pleasingly small time when you consider that before contacting Ultrascale I'd been facing a situation of no genuine Heljan nylon gears being available from Gaugemaster (or Howes, the previous Heljan spares supplier) and no indication of when they might become available again. Pete T.
  15. Hmm, standing on Wood Lane Bridge, right over the hump, watching it all happen at Tinsley. My favourite railway location in my youth, bar none. Always something moving somewhere. I could have stayed and watched for days. For me, a Class 13 would be the best memento of a fantastic railway scene, now long gone. Not that tricky to make one myself, I suppose; about time I got around to it, or went for one of the Olivia's conversions (if they still have them). Unless of course a really lovely RTR one appeared... Pete T.
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