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Everything posted by PJT

  1. I know, Brian; I read that in Wright Writes the other day and as I did so I thought 'Blimey! It seems so hard to believe that what he's referring to is sitting in my loft!' Of course I was already aware of the esteem in which Maindee East Engine Shed is held by so many modellers, but Tony's comment certainly helped to put the pressure on - in the nicest possible way - to ensure I do justice to it, both in the restoration work I do on it and also what I ultimately decide to do with it. No. The auctioneers' approach to the vendors to see if they would mind me getting in contact with them (it had to be done that way because of data protection rules) met with no response at all, which was very disappointing. I've no idea who the vendors were, whether they were members of Steffan's family or completely unrelated. However I did, a few months back, receive a good suggestion from another RMweb member as to how I might be able to find a way of contacting Steffan's family but I have to admit I haven't tried it yet. I do have a D&S Cowan Sheldon 15T breakdown crane kit which I've thought once or twice would look good on Maindee East, along with one of Brassmasters' GWR match wagons that I'd get to go with it. I rather fancy doing that, but I really need to apply a bit of self discipline and get a bit further on with restoring the layout itself, first, before I start getting sidetracked onto exciting little projects like that. Thank you again for your interest; I do appreciate it. Pete T.
  2. Hello Brian, The answer is 'Yes, I've made some progress, but nowhere near as much as I'd wanted to by now'. In fact, the last two or three months of last year and the first month or so of 2020 I made very pleasing progress repairing damaged buildings and scenery, given the limited time I had available to spend on it while also sorting out my mother in a nursing home. I hadn't begun to repair the damaged telegraph poles and yard lamps, but I felt satisfied that I'd done the layout justice in the repairs I'd done up to that point. I did take some photos before starting, so I can eventually come up with some 'before and afters' that you and one or two others asked if I could do. In view of the fact that I didn't get any 18.83 locos or rolling stock with the layout when I purchased it, I also bought a cheap Bachmann Class 25 diesel and converted it to P4 with secondhand Ultrascale wheelsets from eBay to give me something to try out the track with (everything of mine is OO and all the locos that came with Maindee East were unfortunately OO, too). There was a length of track at the front of the layout that had been damaged. I assume it was hit a glancing blow during handling at some point in the last year or two, one of the rails having broken away from the sleepers; that's been repaired and the Class 25 has successfully ventured smoothly around all of the layout, using temporary wiring. I've yet to really begin to work out Steffan's wiring underneath but I will, in time. Talking about underneath the layout, I've also taken photos of some of the workings Steffan created and I'll post those here in time, too. Not only was he an incredibly observant artist and model maker, he was extremely resourceful and quite an ingenious maker of mechanisms. The drive and indexing for the turntable probably only cost him a couple of pounds (if anything at all!) in components, but they work perfectly and just make me smile when I look at what they're made from: basically a motor attached to a Tonka Toy wheel with a soft rubber tyre turning against the edge of what looks like a black vinyl 45 record mounted directly under the turntable. The toy wheel and record diameters were clearly chosen to create the gear ratio he wanted and slots in the record provided the indexing to pause the turntable at the appropriate times. It's not neat and tidy at all, but it works and it's cleverly done. Unfortunately, Covid-19 has forced Maindee East, along with my own model railway, to take a back seat and nothing further has been done to either while I've been splitting my time between family things and keeping my work going (I'm self employed). That's not to say my enthusiasm to get on with Maindee East has waned; it hasn't at all and I'll get back to it just as soon as I can comfortably spare the time. Pete T.
  3. Mike, though the pre-release Hornby images had lined cylinders, if you Google 46211 Queen Maud and look at the images of the real thing (as I've just done, following your post), several colour photos show it with plain black cylinders. I was a bit surprised, too, though unlined cylinders isn't unknown on BR green locos of course (A3s, for a start). Pete T.
  4. You won't be disappointed, Robbie. When you get it sitting in front of you, it's just gorgeous. Hornby really excelled themselves on this one. Pete T.
  5. Well, the replacement traction tyres - described on eBay as Railroad ones - arrived this morning. I took them out of the envelope and thought 'Shame, they look too narrow, just like the ones I got before.' However, I've just fitted them this evening to my Blundells and they fit just like the originals - not quite filling the width of the grooves on the driving wheels, but a whole lot better than the sloppy, under-width 'Castle/Schools' replacements I got 18 months ago. The loco runs perfectly with them fitted too. So, success. Thank you again, Robert. I'm not sure I'd have given traction tyres described as being for the Railroad Hunt/Schools/D49/County models a second glance if you hadn't pointed them out. I now know that X6451 traction tyres definitely fit the super detail Schools as well. Pete T.
  6. What really shocked me about mine was the speed at which the Mazak rot manifested itself. In the space of absolutely no more than 2 months it went from an outwardly fine looking model to something that looked like it had been repeatedly dropped to the floor, on either end (a lot worse at the front). It's a salutory lesson to check more often in your model railway collection the locos that are publicly known to be Mazak rot suspects. I've always worked in car and car parts manufacturing and I'm well used to seeing wrecked pressure die cast impure Mazak car badges and bright trim from 'the bad old days' (we used to call Mazak 'pig metal', which is a little unfair because when made and used correctly it's a remarkably useful material), but they usually self destructed over a period of years from the point where the cracks first appeared. I spotted cracks (crazing in the paintwork) on the chassis of my Cheltenham and put it to one side to investigate; next time I looked at it, it had exploded. It was certainly a challenge to sort it out but very satisfying to get it back to how it should have been. However I won't spend that sort of time again, rebuilding another Mazak rot stricken loco as bad as that one was. Pete T.
  7. Yes, it's hex head screws, Barry. Actually, Hornby do a rather neat nut spanner or 'runner' (Part no. R913, usually £4.00-5.00 or so) with the two most common sizes for valve gear/con rod/coupling rod screws at either end. Saves chewing screw heads up with something that's not quite the right size and does the job in seconds. It's a bit expensive for what you get when we're all used to seeing so many tuppenny-ha'penny Far Eastern tools these days, but it's absolutely the right tool for the job and it fits most Hornby and Bachmann locos in my experience, so for me it was a good investment. And no, I don't work for Hornby Sales... Pete T.
  8. Lovely photo of my Pam's favourite loco. Virtually all she knows about steam locos is that she cabbed Silver Fox with her Grandad, at Retford (they lived very close by the station, in Darrel Road). Heavens, I wish I had! However, it must have been taken a few years before 1965. Silver Fox was withdrawn in 1963 and in the photo she hasn't got overhead line warning flashes which puts it back before 1961-ish, I think. Pete T.
  9. Thank you, Robert, I've just looked at them and ordered a pair. By the description in the eBay listing, the Schools they fit are the Railroad ones - R3158 Dover and R3172 Cheltenham - whereas my Blundells (and that of Barrymx5, above) is the super detail issue Schools, R2744. But, hey, they've got to be the right sort of diameter and looking at the photo on eBay they certainly look wider than the ones I bought before, so they're worth a try for £1.99 plus p+p. Thanks again - when they arrive I'll try them and post the results here. Pete T.
  10. Yes, you're absolutely right, I should have been clearer. What I should have said (and what I meant) was that the deformed running plate is the most obvious symptom of the chassis block's expansion. Mine was horrendous to look at - it was a bit like The Incredible Hulk bursting out of his clothes at either end to look at - very dramatic. I ended up buying a very cheap, badly cared for, non-runner Schools to donate its chassis to my Cheltenham. The parts of the body that had been distorted by the chassis expansion from within took a long time and a lot of intricate, careful persuasion to straighten out again - the running plate in particular had really set hard in its distorted shape. I managed to get it all straight again and I'm very happy with it, but I daren't tot up the hours I spent doing it. Written off the time to experience, as they say. Pete T.
  11. Me again! My model of Blundells (coincidentally) shed its traction tyres about 18 months ago. Unfortunately traction tyres are not listed on the Hornby Schools service sheet, but a quick Google revealed several recommendations to use the Castle traction tyres, which are Hornby part no. X9763. I ordered some on line; they were called 'X9763 Castle and Schools Class' tyres by the shop selling them. When they arrived I was a bit disappointed to find they were appreciably narrower than the originals from my loco but were, if not exactly the right diameter, very close to it. As a result I decided to see if they would fit anyway. They did in diameter but, as expected, not in width. In fact, they were so narrow I was sure the loco wouldn't run smoothly, but it did. I haven't done anything further about it since then other than run the loco, and 18 months later it's still a smooth runner and the traction tyres still work ok... I just don't turn it upside down and look at the driving wheels too closely. Pete T.
  12. Oh, no problem; perhaps we both misunderstood each other a bit. I'll tell you what, though, with the number of secondhand locos that are sold without their manuals, service sheets or their detailing/accessory bags, there must be a hell of a lot of now largely useless bits of paper and anonymous sets of steps, draincocks and brake rods cluttering up drawers in modellers' homes! Pete T.
  13. Thank you for the advice, G-BOAF, and I did think about that aspect while typing my post. Aside from my engineering work I've also worked as a technical illustrator for nearly 40 years, so thinking about, dealing with and chasing up copyright and associated issues is far from lost on me. However, on this occasion, creating a copy of an obsolete document that the publisher has no interest in making available to give to someone for their own personal use, to replace a mislaid original, without commercial loss to the copyright holder and without technical liability, is surely not a problem (certainly wouldn't be to Hornby). Might be, if I was making available copies to all and sundry, but I wouldn't be doing that; I'm just trying to help out a fellow modeller. I realise ESU's own Loksound 4.0 manual is available to download from Hornby's site, but I think we could agree it's 80-odd pages of often very heavy reading if you're just looking for the basics to set up and operate your loco - that's why I offered the Hornby Britannia manual/leaflet. Pete T.
  14. Yes, I can. Also I can confirm it's a Loksound V4.0 decoder. Functions are (quoted exactly in Hornby's words, which are a little strange sometimes!): F0 - Not applicable F1 - Sound on/off F2 - Whistle long F3 - Coupler F4 - Whistle short F5 - Injector F6 - Shunting mode F7 - Coal shovelling F8 - Cylinder blow out F9 - Safety valve F10 - Curve squeal F11 - Rail clank F12 - Conductor's signal F13 - Sand F14 - Air pump (slow) F15 - Air pump (fast) Hope that sorts you out. However, since you say you can't get it from Hornby, if you want a pdf copy or a photocopy of the R2992XS operating manual I'd be happy to help. Pete T.
  15. That was my first thought, but without knowing the timescale of exhibitions getting going again, nor knowing whether or not you had a time limit on recreating Ardingly, I wasn't going to mention it. Funnily enough, my T9 rebuild statistics are the same as yours. That's a lovely sentiment. And a good excuse for a bit of legitimate modelling time! If I come across a later tender in Malachite, would you like me to PM you, just in case? Pete T. P.S. - Just thought about the Lemaitre chimney. Dave Ellis at SE Finecast will sell individual parts from his kits and may well be able to sort you out a chimney, if you ask him? Unfortunately a Hornby Lemaitre moulding from a gash secondhand body won't work on your loco, because Hornby Schools with the Lemaitre chimney have a socket in the smokebox into which the chimney fits, plus the smokebox has the mounting flange of the chimney moulded into it, separate from the chimney moulding itself - it'd be way too complicated to be worthwhile trying to adapt it for your use.
  16. Two more points to go with the cab windows comment above: 1. Ardingly was certainly one of the Schools to get a Lemaitre multiple blastpipe and chimney, but I don't know when the conversion was carried out. 2. It had the later style tender, with curved backing-plate steps that echoed those on the loco and toolboxes that ran across the tender rather than being sited longitudinally on each side, as in your photo of Wellington. Hornby certainly make the later type tender, and they've done it in the Malachite livery if that's what you're after. Unfortunately, the model Hornby made featuring that tender in that livery was the NRM 925 Cheltenham, which has the original chimney and is one of those models that had problems with Mazak rot (badly deformed running boards on models so afflicted). The Mazak rot problem with Cheltenham might throw up a later type tender in Malachite, looking for an undamaged loco to run with, if you ask around the secondhand traders. Pete T.
  17. Dart, dartboard, bullseye. Absolutely the nub of the problem. Well said, John. Pete T.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. '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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
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