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  1. Actually, at risk of being a bit pedantic (and going a bit further off topic), robot built cars can be quite different in dimensions from one side to the other, too. In most cases it doesn't matter that much - so long as every bodyshell made for a particular car model is consistently 3/4 inch longer on one side than the other, you can account for the deviation from drawing and everything will consistently fit together the same way on each body made. However, the problems rack up very quickly when dimensions vary from one assembly to the next - i.e. the consistency goes out of the window - for example, one car body is significantly longer or shorter in a particular dimension than the next car body coming down the line. That's far less common (but certainly not unknown) with robot built cars, which I think might be the point you meant to make. As an example of an assembly that's dimensionally way out, I could show you a robot-assembled car from a premium German marque where one front wing sticks out 20mm (your '3/4 inch') wider than the front wing on the other side of the car, because of a simple miscalculation in the assembly design - and it is visually very obvious when you're looking exactly square-on at the front of the car. However, because it was consistently 20mm wrong on every car made of that particular model, it didn't make any difference to the build quality or reliability of the product, so the decision was taken to 'let sleeping dogs lie'. Pete T.
  2. That's not the bit that qualifies you as 'old' (in my book you can get excited about having 'the right tool at the right price' for the job at any age). It's the bit beforehand, saying how the people in the shop don't know anything about the stuff they're selling; that definitely means you've joined the club of grumpy old so-and-so's. And I expect you're right, too. Pete T.
  3. And on how many other affordable cars could you open the bonnet and sit in comfort on the front wheel while you worked on the engine? Pete T.
  4. 'Hark, the Herald axles swing', as we Triumph drivers used to say. At least with the Italian Michelotti design of the Herald and Vitesse, the back end of your car would hop around a roundabout in a reasonably stylish sort of way. Pete T.
  5. It really has, hasn't it? It's brim-full of that unique Manchester Victoria character of the 1970s and 80s: grimy, grim, busy and bristling with throwbacks to the steam age. So much more interesting than Piccadilly! One of my favourite railway haunts in that era. Pete T.
  6. Would you be trying to get a job as my entertainments manager? Pete T. P.S. Thank you, again. I'm always as happy as Larry for as much time as I have available, reading a good map. Just as absorbing as a good book to me.
  7. That's lunchtime's entertainment sorted then, thanks again! During my time as an engineering student I had a short period of industrial training at Vulcan Foundry, during its GEC Diesels period. Even back then I regretted not having sufficient time there to go out and explore the railways of the area and somehow in nearly four decades since I've still not got around to it. Pete T.
  8. Liverpool's railways are largely a mystery to me. The complexity apparent in the map you've posted perhaps explains why, at least in part. Whatever, I'm having a lovely time at the moment (ahem, when I should be working - I shall have to make this an official tea break) poring over it and learning about pastures new. Thanks! I've also really enjoyed the photos posted here about Liverpool Central. Absolutely fascinating, especially for their atmosphere. Pete T.
  9. Yes, that one was the best, if not one of the best threads on the subject. I couldn't remember enough about it to be able to find it to quote in my post, so thank you! Hopefully our man now has enough on the subject to be able to sort out his sorry loco with confidence. In my experience, probably 80-90% of split chassis failures on Bachmann 4MTs are down to expanded wheel centres, whereas the B1 (that Silver Sidelines deals with) suffers about 50/50 expanded wheels or split muffs (and sometimes both at the same time). I'm just going to hide now, before Tony reads that we've been discussing how to repair split chassis again... Pete T.
  10. It depends on what's wrong with the wheels. At a guess, if you're saying the wheels are scrap, what you mean is the wheel centres have expanded to the point where they foul the coupling rods, either making your 4MT limp like a lame duck or jamming movement altogether. That's far and away the most common fault with the 4MT split chassis. The second most common fault is split plastic 'muffs' in the centres of the axles, but since you're not complaining about wheels going out of quartering and you're saying the wheels themselves are scrap, I suspect you've got expanded wheel centres. There's an easy fix for expanded wheel centres; when I say 'easy', it honestly isn't hard to do (it's a lot easier than any of the other Bachmann split chassis problems). If you do a search on RMweb for Bachmann BR Class 4 Woes you'll find one of the many threads on here (just happens to be one I contributed to, so I knew what thread title to look for) that details how to deal with Bachmann split chassis expanded wheel centres. If you read it from the top, you'll do ok. Half way down the thread is guidance on releasing the coupling rods from the crank pins on the centre drivers - that's important to follow. Good luck! If your problem isn't expanded wheel centres, I'd be happy for you to PM me and we'll try to sort out what the problem is and decide whether it's curable or not. Pete T.
  11. Good evening Tony, It looked like 'Lowfield' to me on the name board, so I Googled Lowfield and up came the advertisment on RMweb for the Wolverhampton Model Railway Show, 2016, where Lowfield was exhibited. Other attractions for the show included modelling demonstrations by a chap called Tony Wright... The description for Lowfield was '00 Gauge – A small city centre terminus station exhibited by Cliff Homer'. Pete T.
  12. 'The gun may have been waved but not fired'. Yes, Andy, of course you're right. And I do remember the bad press and flinching at the time as I read it. However the owner and his shop Loconotion had a very good reputation, up to the gun-waving incident, as most if not all us customers of the shop would testify. He was a good guy and a genuine one and I didn't like the idea of people reading the posts in this thread and drawing the conclusion he was some sort of fly-by-night, here-today, gone-tomorrow sort of character. He wasn't. I think we could all agree he made a very foolish decision, maybe understandable given the distraction of his personal circumstances (ok, that's just a hunch), in allowing the name of his business to head up a project that was instigated and run by someone else who was not connected to Loconotion other than being an unofficial part-time helper in the shop. If the Loconotion shop hadn't shut suddenly because of the owner's choice to care for his wife full-time, I'm sure the owner would subsequently have struggled to sort out the PR mess brought about by his dreamy-eyed enthusiastic amateur of a helper, who formed my main reason I thought the project would fizzle out (I didn't express an interest and certainly wouldn't have put money into it). But, that impending PR mess certainly wasn't the reason the business closed or 'disappeared'. Pete T.
  13. Absolutely right. I was going to say that in my previous post but thought it was superfluous detail. Loconotion backed the project, but it was the 'helper' who actually started it and ran it. Pete T.
  14. Actually, the owner of Loconotion (my nearest model shop at the time - a very small but enthusiastically run business that was well supported by us locals) had a wife whose chronic illness greatly deteriorated without warning to the point where he decided to close the business immediately to become her full-time carer. That happened only a couple of months after the Loconotion Leader project was launched and finished it off conclusively before it even started to succeed or fail in its own right. I readily concede that my opinion at the time of launch was that the project would probably fizzle out, for one or two reasons. I was however quite impressed to see only a month after the launch that the record of expressions of interest/tentative orders had amassed well over five or six hundred names and addresses in it. Pete T.
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