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009 micro modeller

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  1. That’s what I thought. Two steps is probably going to look wrong for this (it’s a board running the whole length of the vehicle rather than steps at each end), but I think roughly halving it should do the trick.
  2. I’m currently building a model in 1:32 scale, of a freelance 20 or 21 inch gauge coach. This is right on the boundary between narrow gauge and miniature railways, especially considering the type of park or leisure railway that has inspired me. Currently, when on a piece of code 100 track the floor and the bottom of the doorways are about 22mm above ground level, despite the coach sitting relatively low on its bogies. Assuming rail level (rather than absolute ground level) platforms are used, this actually reduces the step up by about 3 or 4mm, taking it to just under 2 scale feet. I find myself wondering whether this is still too much of a step up and whether I should be providing a footboard, and if so at what sort of height. I’m reluctant to try and derive any ideas from standard or 2ft gauge practice (or measuring 009 coaches that I already have), especially given that it’s for a 20 inch gauge park/leisure line - the obvious prototype inspiration is Scarborough North Bay, however this uses raised platforms (in keeping with its more obviously miniature aesthetic). For my purposes slightly raised platforms are a possible solution but may not be very suitable given how wide the coach is - ideally future stock to run with it will be slightly narrower, which would not be an issue with rail level platforms but would introduce a noticeable gap with raised ones. On the other hand the footboards will make the current coach even wider… Any thoughts?
  3. But much more recently Kato and Peco have also announced one. I don't think Heljan ever has. I seem to remember that, at the time, many of those who might have been interested were unsatisfied with the fairly unspecific level of information provided by Roco at the point when they were expected to pre-order, leading Roco to decide it wasn't worth it. If they'd gone about it slightly differently perhaps it might have been different. At this stage the revived Minitrains hadn't got going yet either, so the closest thing there was to 009 RTR was Roco, Bemo and Lilliput Continental H0e. I also wonder whether Roco would have found it hard to access the UK market in the same way as Bachmann, Heljan and Peco have done. All of these are well known here, especially to 00 standard gauge modellers who can then be attracted into 009 by the availability of new items (the market of people already modelling in 009 who were doing so prior to the current RTR stuff is probably still too small on its own). On the other hand, Roco is relatively unknown in the UK, outside of those of us who model in 009 and use some of their H0e equipment, and those who model overseas prototypes. I'd also be interested to know whether Roco has the same coverage in terms of retailers stocking their items as UK manufacturers do (I suspect not but I could be wrong). There was also concern from some people (unfounded but again relating to Roco's Continental items and the lack of 4mm NG RTR at the time) that the Roco Fairlie might end up being 3.5mm scale, rather than "proper" 009.
  4. I've now painted the coach end pieces. They are likely to need a second coat and some tidying up round the edges so won't be going on the coach yet. Another job, assuming the coach will be braked, is to source some suitable brake pipe fittings (whitemetal, plastic or similar). I'm assuming that nothing suitable exists that's made specifically for 1:32 NG but items intended for 7mm NG should do the trick. I know where I'd get such fittings for 009 but will have to have more of a look around for large scale versions. I haven't decided if these will go on the ends of the body or on the bogies yet - if the latter, I will also need to make a decision about couplings - to be compatible with other 16.5mm gauge stuff (in either 4mm or 7mm scale) that I either already have or might be able to borrow, it would need to have either tension locks or Kadees, although since this is in a different scale anyway I'm also looking at this: https://www.eurorailhobbies.com/product.asp?mn=4&ca=76&sc=HO&stock=R-40243, due to its similarity to the 009 couplings that I'm used to, and which would be equally appropriate for the type of line this might run on in future (if I have time for that). Currently the bogies have the Jouef/Playcraft couplings they came with, which I'll probably be replacing, especially given that I don't have a source of similar couplings to fit to other stock.
  5. Do truss rods ever have transverse rods joining those on one side of the coach to those on the other? I have seen this on some old models but assumed it was just to make the moulding easier to produce and wasn't sure if it existed in reality.
  6. Not very visually interesting as it's mostly the same as the last post, but I've now completed the wood and "metalwork" for both ends of the coach - 57 rivet/bolt heads on each end.
  7. I thought it was Dick Wyatt’s Dovey Valley that featured in that sketch. Some of the lyrics are perhaps quite accurate for the sort of line depicted: ’We’ve overtaken lots of snails/ But only when we go downhill.’
  8. Some people did do that (usually half a kit each to make two). But the point is that that rule made people actually engage with the idea of kitbashing the original kit, rather than just gluing a few of the kit parts onto something else.
  9. How much of the model has to be used though? Presumably if we’re not limited to 00 scale then larger scale NG would be included, but would 009 and 00n3 (i.e. using only the body) also be allowed? Arguably this would be more in the spirit of things than a larger scale model that used only the chassis and none of the body. Even in 00 standard gauge some people would choose to replace or heavily rebuild the chassis. Either way, I’d be interested, as I have ideas for a few different scales - I’m just wondering what the constraints would need to be, to keep within the spirit of things while allowing people to be creative. Would a double Fairlie be disqualified because it needs two Pugs to make it? As an example, another 009 Society Chairman’s Challenge, some years ago, was the Hudson coach bash one, in which participants had to modify one of the then-recently released Society exclusive Hudson toast rack coach kits. As I recall, the “rules,” such as they were, were fairly loose, but did stipulate that the finished item should be ‘recognisably’ made from a Hudson coach kit. This worked out well, allowing a variety of very creative responses but preventing anyone from, for instance, using only the floor and bogies, or constructing an entirely scratchbuilt and unrelated model and incorporating a single token part from the kit.
  10. Unfortunately the lighting is very bad in this photo but at a local group meeting today I planked one end (supergluing directly to the main body shell) and then made some progress on the metalwork (plastic) for one end. This is not yet stuck down as it hasn’t been painted, and the other end hasn’t been started yet. Rivets are made from sliced styrene rod.
  11. A quick bit of work on this this evening has been the painting/staining of the basswood planks. This is done with a mixture of enamel paint and white spirit, the same technique I used on the crossing here, to give a dark stain. I used black and brown paint; the idea is to hopefully give the impression of creosoted rather than painted wood, hence the paint thinning, to make sure the grain of the wood is still visible. Unlike the crossing, which was painted in situ, these have been done before being glued to the coach. This has probably made getting paint on the edges of the planks easier, as well as avoiding getting any white spirit on the paint that’s already been done.
  12. I’ve started work on this again now so it should actually be finished within the next few weeks. I should be acquiring another set of figures shortly, which will mean I have a reasonable number to go in the coach and will be able to put the roof on. This in turn makes it possible to do the ends, though I’m now wondering whether it is strictly necessary to wait until the roof is in place before doing the ends after all - it may even work better if the ends are done first as the coach becomes harder to handle once the roof is on. Yesterday a trip to Hobbycraft allowed me to purchase some 1/4 inch basswood strip. This is 8 inches in 1:32 or about 7 1/2 in 10mm scale, a reasonable size for planks of wood; it looks much better than the previous choices of coffee stirrers (too narrow) and large lolly sticks (much too wide) and fortunately wasn’t quite as expensive as I was expecting. In larger scales especially I do like to use real wood for these kinds of things. The photo shows the size difference between the purchased basswood and coffee stirrers. I also visited my local model shop and have some similarly-sized L-section Plastruct which will finish the ends off nicely. Today I’ve essentially made a kit of parts to do the ends, which should allow me to assemble everything next weekend. I’ve cut and sanded the planks and placed everything on one end of the coach to test that it all fits and looks OK. The thin red diagonal plastic strip pieces are actually from a set of 4mm scale building details, and there are two layers to allow them to cross over each other and sit on the Plastruct at the sides. The middle is a bit of a mess if you look closely but will eventually be plated over by a thin X-shaped piece of plastic. So far the plastic pieces are only done for one end. The painting and gluing on still needs a bit of thought. I’ll be painting the wood using black and brown enamels mixed with thinners, probably before they are stuck on to prevent the paint and thinners damaging the paint I’ve already done. From previous experience I don’t think the basswood is soft enough to create the same effect with acrylics. I then need to stick the plastic pieces over the top, but they need to be pre-painted so that I don’t have to paint them in-situ and get paint on the wood. I did also wonder whether it would be better to build each end onto a thin piece of plastic card rather than directly onto the end of the coach but I’m not sure I really want to do this as it will effectively increase the thickness of the wood. I’m planning to do some bolt/rivet heads on the vertical and diagonal metalwork at the end - I was just going to use thin, small slices of either round or square section styrene rod but is there a better way? I’m also wondering about the colour - it seems to be a choice between black and the blue used as the main body colour but I did consider picking out some of it, and some of the C-section Plastruct used elsewhere, in the red used to do the scalloped bits on the roof. On the other hand this may look too garish even for the seaside/park railway look I’m going for.
  13. I briefly had access to this through university. I generally found Digimap better and easier to use than old-maps.co.uk (for which I’ve only ever used the free version, for model railway research), although I did get the impression that there isn’t really a ‘free version’ of Digimap, whereas old-maps is basically free until you want to download anything.
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