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Firecracker

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  1. Another quick update, with the aftermath of today’s visit to Monk Bar models. First up, one of the Dapol bogie bolster E’s followed me home. Very nice, the brake rigging and exquisite stanchions stand out in particular. Only issue I might have is with the coupling pockets, I can see why they’re mounted so far out on the bogies, but even with short kadees the gap between the buffers is a mite excessive. It’s getting quite heavily weathered, plan is a wagon still in its last BR livery that’s still plugging on for the S&T department. It’s planned to get a load of bits of signal gantry as well. The next round of projects arrived as well, including one of the new dia. 1/142&1/124 13t hoppers. Now a while ago I built one of Five79’s lovely 21t minerals and said did Peco fancy redoing the Parkside instructions to the same standard? Well, if these are what Peco will produce going forward, I’m suitably impressed. Owain
  2. Just a quick photo, the meeting of the two Rustons. So whilst Queenie (aka ‘Charlie Strong’) shunts the station groups wagon and the tool van into a position where it can be unloaded, the soon to be named ‘Alfie’ passes with a short working for the S&T department. Owain
  3. A bit more, following it’s decoder being addressed correctly, the class 24 got gently weathered, with the usual games workshop and MIG products. Mostly focussed on the roof, the intention is a machine that’s used regularly, looked after, cleaned and stabled outside. As it may be noticed from this, the foam core back scene has been finished. Which makes it easier to get photos like this without the background clutter distracting from the subject. At the northern end, an idea occurred which is because the layout is used sometimes without the northern fiddleyard board in place, to prevent accidents and improve the cosmetics there would be a removable panel in the back scene (yes, that bridge us getting a wing wall at some point) thus: Finally, some Woodland Scenics fencing bought on spec a while back has been added to one of the field hedges. Owain
  4. A little bit more progress. First up, the yellow Ruston has had its decoder fitted and has been reunited with its runner (which in turn has had the spurious lettering removed). The result on the deck of the conflat incidentally is a wash of Games Workshop ‘Nuln Oil’ over a coat of Humbrol 121. The idea is this is staying pretty clean, to suggest its recently ex-works. Then, a catch-up session with decoders, with the Ruston, the W&M railbus and the class 24 getting their addresses sorted. Finally, after over a year the MF135 tractor that sits in the field above the PWay yard has been weathered, with a mix of MIG and Games Workshop products. The bale spike also gained some paint at the same time. Owain
  5. Right. Apologies for the prolonged absence, it’s been a crazy busy summer (following on from a busy spring, but, to quote Ned Kelly, ‘Such is life’). Anywhere, where were we? For those who haven’t already discovered it, have a look at Ruston’s ‘Charlie Strong Metals (and watery lane sidings)’. If you like excellent workmanship, he’s got it in spades and if (like me) you’re a Peaky Blinders fan, the name dropping is brilliant. Anyway, he’s done a Ruston in the fictional livery of Alfie Solomons (Civil engineering) of Camden Town (in the series, Alfie’s a Jewish gangster from Camden, played by the superb Tom Hardy. But I digress.). Anyway, I’d already tipped my hat with the suggestion that the other Ruston 48ds had entered preservation from Charlie’s yard, so when he suggests in his thread that preservationists are after the one ex. ole Alfie, what’s a man to do? Especially when Hornby releases one in (incorrect) Grant Plant yellow which Monk Bar happened to have in the case when I popped in today. So a quick dab with a bit of white spirit on a cotton wool bud later, it poses on its first trial run in Sedbergh yard. The sign writing is next to do, rumour has it it’s being named as well. In reality, it’s getting the wheels repainted and a gaugemaster 6 pin decoder fitted. It might end up with a stay alive shoehorned in as well (I do fancy having one that runs reliably without the runner wagon). Also picked up (well done amazon, you’ve finally, after 5 years, started to produce recommendations for things I’m actually interested in) some new stuff to try. In less positive news, following some customer work, I decided to attack (finally) one of the chassis blocks of the Heljan duff’s seen earlier with the milling machine. It skimmed up Ok, however during machining a crack appeared. So during... And after. That wasn’t supposed to happen. Anyone want a Heljan duff with a very duff chassis block? Ah well, another flat battery in the car park of life.... Owain
  6. Today’s running session has yielded a few more photos, so here’s a selection of the standard mogul (this appears a lot because a) I like it and b) it runs smooth as oiled silk) and the class 24 in passenger services. A charter with the vintage carriages and the 56xx also makes an appearance, the bubble pops in and the little Ruston gets in on the fun with a short pway working. Owain
  7. That was my understanding as well, so I’m glad you confirm it! Think Hatton have said they’re covering the NER in later releases. Owain
  8. A very quick update, breathing on the Hornby coaches. I’ve focussed on the brake van and the SECR first, because the NBR efforts are page holders, to represent vehicles in NER livery. Anyway, they’ve both gained running boards from Evergreen styrene and the brake has been relettered as a Caledonian vehicle, with the ends retouched in Crimson. Now I know there’s a lot of errors with this, the paneling on the van is wrong, the livery details are wrong, the colours aren’t quite right, there should be a single rather than the double door into the guards compartment, but in my defence, it’s closer to the Caley vans than anything that the LNWR had (at least the Caley vans had the glazed end and duckets) If anyone who likes my ‘what if’ ramblings wants to know how these survived, the SECR coach was a recovered from its retirement as a summerhouse at St Bees and originally arrived in Cumbria in WW2 as transport for workers at ROF Drigg. The brake was recovered from a small holding outside Wigton, where it had been used as a feed and tack store. It owes its survival to being protected from the elements by a second shed being built over it and it’s fortunate discovery by a supporter of the railway, one Ben ‘Monkey’ Harris, who happened to also own the local company ‘Harris Plant’ who’d been contracted to clear the site for development. So it’s brisk recovery and despatch to Sedbergh on a Hiab lorry resulted. Owain
  9. Finally managed to get a photo I was happy enough with to put on this thread. 76080 departs Sedbergh with the 1100 departure for Ingleton. Owain
  10. A couple from today’s services, with the 8f on the lunchtime diner and the standard mogul on the passenger service, plus the bubble filling in. The class 24’s stabled in the yard, ready for tomorrow’s service (one diesel and one steam loco, no diner). The 8F propels the empty diner stock to shed for stabling and servicing, returning with the maroon rake. This runs the last train, the mogul will propel its coaches to shed to stable in Jackdaw siding and the maroon rake will stable in the platform overnight, to be taken out by the 24 as the first train of the day tomorrow Owain
  11. It’s one of the two that were staff accommodation at the Bungalow Hotel, Sandsend, that were recovered to Blennerhasset mill. It’s been rechassised onto the PMV chassis following the discovery of the condition of the LMS ex tube wagon chassis it was on (which the railways CME condemned on the spot). As an aside, the class 24 owes its survival to one Bill Fredrickson (who worked in BR management on the LM and GE regions). He purchased it (along with the class 25 and the class 15 (which was dumped at Stratford, awaiting scrapping, after its second life as a carriage heating unit) from BR and ownership was transferred to the railway trust in return for life membership. The class 24 has been a long term overhaul project, including major bodywork, a full engine overhaul, rewinding of the traction motors and retyreing, but has now reentered service, allowing the class 25 to be withdrawn for an overdue top end overhaul on the power unit and some bogie work. Owain
  12. So, when I splashed out on the new controller, Martin (being the shrewd gadgie he is) instead of plopping something simple onto the track to demo it in the shop laid temptation before me in the form of a very nice sound fitted class 24. After token resistance, I caved in and allowed him to order one in for me. It arrived today. Itsa verra noice... You feeling alright Bachman? The NEM pockets are even at the right height.. Now the last time I played with DCC sound was a while ago and it was a bit gimmicky at the time. Now, however, I do like it. Another project was purchased, following a bit of playing. Take a Hornby generic 6w coach and the chassis out of a park side SECR PMV kit (which will also yield a grounded body) and (hopefully) you’ll end up with something that’s definitely got that preserved edge and is different. Owain
  13. What is it with Bachmann and NEM pockets? On the mark 1’s, they’re too high. On the LMS porthole, they’re too low (as a kadee shows against the test gauge). I decided I wanted to keep the close coupler mechanism and for once it’s not the pocket’s too slack, so the pocket needed to be raised. So file out the lower edge of the groove in the arm where it runs on the floor and add a shim to the the top edge to raise it. Think that’s called a result. But WHY!? And running in the diner rake. A couple more photos, the signals have been sited with the 8F (still needs a little dirt) on the diner and the 4F on a passenger. The diner departs southwards. Owain
  14. The results of the latest wringing out of my wallet at my local. First up, I picked up two packs of the whitemetal figures Hornby have released as the Basset Lowke steampunk effort. Now, the detail on these is exquisite, they scale to between 5’4” to 6’4” tall and for a preserved railway they’ll add a nice cameo or two. Not everyone’s cup of tea (other beverages are available) but I think I’ll have fun with these. Just got to loose the bases first. Next up, a Stanier porthole composite at a reduced price (I saw this last week and resolved to look for it the following week). Idea is it’s going into the diner rake as non-dining accommodation. Also passengers for the rail busses and a coach or two lurk in the background. On the modelling front, I’ve made a start on the signals, from the Ratio kits. Some of these were built for a previous layout, they’re being tarted up and breathed on. So from L to R, we have Pl 1 northbound starter, pl1 southbound starter, pl2 northbound starter (with disc for Waterside siding (I’m not 100 % sure how correct this signal is, so if it’s wrong, shout)) and finally pl2 southbound starter, with doll for movements to the shed. Apart from a ground signal to control the run round movements, that’s the lot, I’m assuming all other signals are off stage. Owain
  15. Because we haven’t had some for a while, I fancied a few photos showing the overall progress. So, the pway gang natter to one of the station lot, who’s tidying up the grass with the fergie and topper. Their steed waits on the headshunt along with the gunpowder van that’s used as a mobile store. The class 15 sits on a southbound service. The northbound DMU it’s waiting for runs in and tokens are swapped. The shop stores vans in the car park and someone’s taking their dad out for a day on the train. The Ruston sits in Waterside siding with a short works train. The trout’s to be loaded with fresh ballast for a spot ballasting job later in the week. The top of the car park, a snapper waits for the DMU to depart, a new running in board for Barbon gets its paint and a joke’s shared outside the S&T workshop container. Finally the class 15 departs southwards. Owain
  16. A quick update on yesterday’s purchases, having spent the morning in a testing and development session with them. The prodigy express - very taken. I know I’m used to using an out of date system, but the large backlit LCD is easy to read, it’s logical to use, plays nicely with every decoder it’s been introduced to (Zimo, Lenz and Gaugemaster (it BETTER HAD play nicely with the last!). Seems to have a finer speed control, more user friendly than the lenz (however see earlier comment, in 18-20 years I hope usability would improve on a system). Very pleased. The Hornby coaches, apart from Hornby adopting the slack NEM pocket off Bachmann (hence requiring the micro strip trick) I’m happy, they’re exactly what I was expecting. I know they’re not accurate replicas, but the paint finish and lining is far better that I can achieve, so their generic-ness for me can be summed up in the words of my grandfather as ‘They won’t notice that going through Crewe station at 60’. Certainly they look the part trundling around behind the 4f with the suburban tagged on. There’s a few little details, as I said the brake’s getting relettered as a Caledonian vehicle, I’m going to fit proper foot boards, loose the Westinghouse cylinders, loose the gas tanks and fit vac cylinders, but certainly they’re less of a pageholder than I first expected. Mind you, I also sat a southern PMV next to one, I do fancy a bit of a kitbash with the park side chassis at some stage. Owain
  17. So, my local (along with several other establishments I wanted to visit) reopened, so off I ventured. First up, the 20 year old lenz had grown increasingly unreliable (and had also started doing some strange things with decoder functions). Now I’ve received excellent support and advice from A&H models, but I wasn’t happy pouring money into a 20 year old hole with no guarantee further issues weren’t going to show up (plus it’s got the limitations of an older design). So, on Martins advice (and because I’d always rather see my money go into my local shops rather than Amazon) a modernisation occurred. He then tried to sell me a sound fitted class 25, but that hasn’t happened (yet!). To irk the purists, a few of the Hornby coaches followed. The idea here is that the LNWR ‘thing’ is being relettered, to represent a Caledonian vehicle. I know it’s not exact, but it’s near enough for me for the moment. The NBR third is a page holder, waiting for Hornby (or Hattons) to release some in NER livery. Finally the SECR first is there because I understand it’s the most accurate livery (and I’m open to correction on that). It’s also there as a ‘how did that survive in Cumbria?’ (Local history has it’s due to being commandeered for worker transport to Vickers and ROF Drigg in WW2.) A more accurate coach has joined the fleet, in the form of a mk1 suburban. Finally, the W&M railbus visiting from the KWVR has gained its destination blinds, care of rail tech. Owain
  18. Another quick update - some more progress. First, some more Railtec goodies have emerged, in the form of these custom destination blinds. They're going into these (both of which are now chipped). The idea is the clear sheet they’ve been applied to will be trimmed to fit the opening and the original glazing fitted over the top. A gala visitor from the SVR has arrived and put in some time on the rollers. Still a bit jerky at slow speed, so a bit more tweaking needed. Some detail bits have also appeared, first up a gang of kids on their bikes (Woodland Scenics) The chap attacking the JCB’s found some tools Some more metcalfe picnic benches have appeared in the car park (these have been treated with Mig’s wood wash, then gently scraped with a scalpel blade to create some wear) along with the vending machine out of the above WS figures set. And a station nameboard (genuine Cooper Craft!) from a long ago scrapped layout (which bore no resemblance to Barbon at all!) was found in a box of junk. So two trestles and a bit of paint to suggest bare wood later, it’s a project for someone (presumably matey’s checking he spelled it right). EDIT- I realised that the containers behind matey had doors that would open (not sure of make, they came off a secondhand stall). So this tweak was added, with a tool chest, other bits and a second figure in the container. An improvement, methinks... Owain
  19. And following the usual impressive service from Railtec, the transfers have started to go onto the 8F. I don’t know if this one carried the yellow stripe, but I like it, so it’s staying. On its fictional survival, it was scrapped at Cashmores, so in my reality it ended up on a Woodham’s tender list instead. Also, it ran on the line at some stage, I’ve found a photo of it running through Ingleton when it was allocated to Carlisle Kingmoor, so it’s gained a 68A shedplate as well (as an aside, a lot of the fleet have gained fictional 12 J plates, as Sedbergh MPD). Owain
  20. Another bundle of goodies arrived from Steve this week, here’s some of the results on a Hornby 8F (another custom job turned round in record time) (I do like the 3D number plates and shed plates!) Owain
  21. A bit more on the 8F, transfers for the renumbering have been ordered from Railtec and the body’s had a session in the ultrasonic bath to remove dust and grease. On the chassis, it’s had a Zimo MX600R decoder fitted and addressed. Kaydees have been fitted, on the tender by securing with an existing screw and on the pony by drilling and tapping the casting 8BA and securing with a suitable countersunk machine screw. Owain
  22. Right, I’ve managed to unearth the book I mentioned earlier (Penmaenmawr Rails of Granite, by Mike Hitches, Irwell press). It didn’t add much, two standard gauge diesels being received from Avonsides in 1931, with the pug following in 1934. The whole lot being replaced by lorries in 1949. Reading between the lines I’m with Quarryscapes, there’s a reference to the introduction of the lorries saving the frequent moving and relaying of the tracks (which gives you an idea of the tonnages of rock being moved). Also the standard gauge fed the primary crusher with rock then being taken on to the mill in 3’ gauge wagons each carrying 3t, so I also wonder if the use of standard gauge was also to allow larger individual lumps of rock to be moved from the face, hence reducing blasting required and breaking up dislodged rock further at the face. Owain
  23. According to JIC Boyd’s ‘Narrow gauge railways in North Caernarfonshire-Vol.3’ Also a plan of the quarry(s), again Boyd. Somewhere in this house is a book on Penmaenmawr and it’s quarries, when/if I can find it I’ll see if it’s got anything to add. Owain
  24. A new arrival at Sedbergh, in the form of an 8F. So the tender rolled off the lowloader into the car park and following a inspection by one of the fitting staff, was tripped to the shed by the class 15. Here’s the new arrival on the test track (it came from a further slim down of the collection of the mate I got the 56xx, the class 15 and the W&M railbus from). It’s being renumbered as this, the last steam loco to be overhauled at Horwich Works. Incidentally, the bloke in the light suit to the right of the mayor (avec chain) is a great uncle, one Roy Yates. Owain
  25. Something slightly different, as mentioned earlier the railway has acquired several modern air braked wagons for pway work (replacing older life expired wagons in the process). So the 47 (itself on loan, although that didn’t stop the moaning about the state of the paintwork) trundles north with a short rake, then returns Southbound with a second for some drainage works around Ingleton (it’s acquired the Queen Mary brake because a) there’s a gang of volunteers to transport and b) the lowmac’s a swinger). Owain
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