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Keith Addenbrooke

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Everything posted by Keith Addenbrooke

  1. Hi James, I hope it goes really well for everyone next weekend. I’d have really liked to come along to the non-members’ day on Saturday, not least because the location is just a stone’s throw from where I lodged as an apprentice in the late 1980s at the YMCA, also on London Road in Alvaston (I’m fairly sure at least one other RMweb member was resident there too, though I doubt I’d be remembered now - particularly as I didn’t work for the railways). As it is I’m not able to make it, but have a great time, Keith.
  2. I bought a second hand Hornby 14xx a bit back that also came with very worn traction tyres, simply due to its age. As with your locomotive, they removed themselves very quickly when running in (anticipated). I did find it helpful to clean the track again afterwards just to be sure I’d not left small bits of rubber on the rails. Again, as with yours, it didn’t need them anyway - guess it was just standard to fit them at that time.
  3. Hi Nick, not sure if this is a recommendation or a word of caution (bit of both) I bought this from a pet shop: It’s nice and fine, cheaper to buy in bulk than specialist ballast and looked exactly as I hoped it would when laid, before sticking it down (note: my track is H0e / 009 Narrow gauge): But note, it changed colour when soaked (water with a bit of washing up liquid) then glued (50:50 mix of water and DIY store PVA): It is now much more of a sandy colour. A close up: I’m happy enough with the overall effect, and this is a test circuit (like Hurst Lane Halt). The learning point for me was that a non-specialist ballast may look great - and be cheaper - but can’t be expected to ‘behave’ like a modelling product: fair enough, but worth noting. Hope that helps (all photos borrowed from my Narrow Gauge Layout thread), Keith.
  4. It's a fair point - in the introduction to his second book, "Creating Micro Layouts" Carl wrote: “Micro layouts are small model railroads, usually less than three or four square feet in area, that nonetheless have a clear purpose and excellent operating capability.” (Carl Arendt (c) 2003). However, I think some confusion creeps in as Carl also ran his "Small Layout Scrapbook" as part of the same website, which featured both micro-layouts and small layouts together. I've subsequently seen a fair number of examples of small layouts described as micro-layouts - including one magazine project that involved four 4' x 2' modules. They were very good, but to my mind were examples of compact layouts rather than micro-layouts (eg: they still had plenty of room for conventional scenery, and just needed short trains to work in the same way as many larger layouts do). For me, the 4 sq. ft. constraint imposes on the design process a need to do something innovative, creative or different to fit in a working layout that goes beyond either selective compression or switching to Z Scale. I’ve always seen the purpose of ‘the rule’ as to get me to think imaginatively in a very small space: at which point it becomes a guide rather than an imperative. However it is seen, as Carl demonstrated and Ian is now curating, the possibilities still seem to remain endless.
  5. Hi Clive, most definitely it could be classed as a micro-layout - if you follow this link to Carl Arendt's Micro-Layout Gallery: Single-Level Micro Layouts (Cont'd) then scroll down to an article "Round and Round They Go!" you can see how Carl and I worked out a scheme for a continuous run double track layout that fitted onto a baseboard with a surface area of just 4 sq. ft: I started with a design for a circular baseboard with a radius of 19.1" (surface area 8 sq. ft.). If you cut a hole with a radius 13.5" into the board you will remove 4 sq. ft. of baseboard, so the remaining doughnut ring must also have a surface area of 4 sq. ft. and is therefore a micro layout. If you just wanted a simple continuous run without any points / operating features (often called a 'pizza layout'), then you could use Hornby or Peco Setrack (easy to get if you're in the UK): my original calculation was for a simple twin circuit of 1st radius and 2nd radius track that fits comfortably on the board, but note, some modern r-t-r locomotives and rolling stock won't run on 1st radius curves - older stock is fine (and comes with the 'pizza cutter' wheels you may need too ). I suppose the key thing then is how big your Christmas tree is! (To this day, this remains perhaps my only real contribution to the advancement of model railroading / railway modelling as a hobby!)
  6. Something I’ve seen on photos / videos of contemporary Austrian Narrow Gauge railways are remote control locomotives, where the driver walks around the yard operating the remote control while the cab is empty (rather like my model locomotives ). I’m sure it happens elsewhere, but it’s the first time I’ve seen it - these are the ‘main line’ NG railways, not heritage lines.
  7. Hi Paul, having seen some of your contributions as one of the ‘Top Posters’ on @St Enodoc’s Layout thread, I must admit I’d assumed you also lived down under, until I read a recent reference to the Wirral and realised my mistake ! Natural curiosity brought me here to see something local and I’ve had a look through the story so far - very impressed! I can’t pretend to be anything other than at the very far end of the scale when it comes to layout complexity and / or electronics (even suggesting a comparison is probably an offence against using the term ‘scale’), but I am intrigued by the project: my family came from the Wolverhampton area and my Dad worked for WMPTE for many years - he was involved in the re-opening of Snow Hill, for example. So I’ll be interested to see how the project develops: looks great so far, Keith.
  8. Hi Mark, I read somewhere else you have a house move pending - hope it all goes through OK. I've often found moving reawakened my interest in model railways, (fresh start, new opportunity and all that sort of stuff), so here's hoping for that sector plate, Keith.
  9. Thank you for the kind responses to my post yesterday. I imagine there are a lot of people interested in model railways like me who, for various reasons, would like to have a layout but struggle to get one built. After all, even though I can account for the delays of the past eighteen months, it is now forty years since my N Gauge table top layout was dismantled (see post on 10th Sept) - so what explains the other thirty-eight and a half? In my case, for all the ideas I may have, I think it boils down to simply not being a very practical person. But it means I now run the risk of looking at any plan I might come up with, deciding “it’s not perfect,” and going back to the drawing board instead of pressing on with what I can build. As far as I know, the only real solution to this is to make a start and keep going. It’s been sunny here today, but with the grass too damp to cut until the afternoon sun had reached the garden, I’ve had the chance to take the boards outside and fit the DCC Concepts Alignment Dowels: (The top board is the side board for the secondary station - the dowels are spaced differently, to avoid the screws holding that baseboard to its frame. I did have some problems aligning the boards to fit the dowels, but this is not down to the product: it would have been easier to fit them to the frames before putting on the baseboard tops, as my drill is wider than the frame).
  10. Thanks Woody. Including a possible expansion track is something I missed with my Test Circuit, so it’s good advice. In my case, after so many false starts, the thing I think I’ll find hardest is seeing a project through (I’ve built plenty of baseboards that have got no further!). I’ve ‘road tested’ this idea against some other possible options over the past week, and am happy to say I haven’t come up with anything more appealing. For me, that’s a very important test! With another rainy afternoon, I’ve therefore taken a few more preliminary photos, which I hope will help keep me motivated to press on when I read back through the thread later - these are therefore just for future reference, but don’t aim to show anything new - well, in my case what’s ‘new’ is nothing has changed : Secondary Station without US Depot and with Short Spur points measured for position per plan: Open Run with end of Main Station Loop now in position, per plan: Main Station with all points measured for position per plan: My apologies for the poor quality of the photos (these are the best of the bunch). The combination of the position of the window, trying to take overall photos instead of close ups, and navigating everything else in the room doesn’t help, Keith.
  11. I’ve just had a bit of time to watch two of the Subscriber videos that come with BRM: Phil’s Practical and Howard’s Feature. A couple of easily-overlooked things stood out for me, which made me think (this is a good thing): 1. Full marks to @Phil Parker for leaving his minor ‘out-take’ in the video, and clearly not being bothered by it. That’s the learning point for me about scratchbuilding - it’ll happen, it’s not a problem (can be a big advantage over kit-building). 2. If I can be forgiven a plot spoiler, I also enjoyed @Howard Smith’s video on DC / DCC. I wouldn’t always watch a piece like that to be honest, but I was intrigued as to the approach taken as no track appears in shot. By focusing on the DC Controller and the DCC Decoder however, I found it made a lot of sense - in each respective system, those are the places where the action happens. Do I need to know this? Of course - at any moment anyone of us may be asked to explain the hobby to an prospective newcomer, and having accessible ways to unpack it all could be just the start someone needs. Thank you, Keith.
  12. Jumping back a bit, thanks for this pointer - I don’t often get control of our TV, but I’m up first this morning so have had a chance to have a watch: an enjoyable way to start my day off . Despite the shortcomings, I do enjoy this series. I don’t watch these travelogue shows as a rule, but having the narrator off screen keeps the focus on the journey (plus you get Bill Nighy’s unique approach to pronunciation). As for the journey, it’s not one I expect to ever take - after all, head West from here and you get to Caldy, but that’s another story… Have a good weekend, Keith.
  13. With a bit of free time this evening I’ve had a very enjoyable read / re-read through this thread. It’s a very nice layout - really well proportioned and looks very effectively. I hope you have a good show weekend and a safe journey, Keith.
  14. Read together, I’ve found these three posts particularly helpful: Valid point: I know I’ve learned a huge amount from RMweb - and got more modelling done - in the three years since joining than the thirty plus years beforehand. I’ve been a happy BRM subscriber for around a decade, and plan to remain so, but the interactive nature of the Forum has helped take my hobby to another, more active, level. Many of the contributors I’ve learned a lot about UK modelling from are Gold members, usually long-standing Forum members too, so they already pay to support the Forum anyway. But I’m personally modelling in a different area, away from the mainstream (Overseas / Narrow Gauge). There, I have read four posts in recent days on threads I follow from contributors indicating they’re scaling back their engagement with RMweb as they feel the new ads diminish their user experience sufficiently. Might I find there’s less for me to read in future, which could translate into me being less keen on using / subscribing to RMweb for the bits I want…? …which is why I found Phil’s post helpful: I don’t think I’ve ever posted anything in the RTR part of the Forum, and hardly ever go there to see what’s being discussed. And I really don’t enjoy a row (I have my hobby for relaxation). So if I am a cat I’m a stray anyway (in other words, not a typical user). Knowing that is actually helpful: I have an opportunity to contribute positively in those areas I’m most interested in, to try and add value there and do my little bit to help make RMweb something people continue to want to engage with. Which is neatly summed up in Andy’s post: first, I hope what I do post is positive and encouraging, or at least factual when neutral (I’m not skilled / experienced enough to be a ‘go to’ expert on anything). And second, as someone with more of an interest in fringe areas, it’s helpful to know what the overall data is saying: thank you for sharing this (it could be considered commercial information). So, my apologies for waffling rather - but what it ultimately means is I ought to get on and do some more modelling, so I have something new to share! Which I suspect was the original point behind the Forum when it began anyway…
  15. Trouble is, your scratchbuilding is that good it’s better than kits - I suspect (but wouldn’t know) that once someone crosses that line there’s no coming back! I’ve only done a very small amount of rather rough scratchbuilding, but one thing - apart from the sense of achievement - it was definitely cheaper, even if the time spent making components can get frustrating. The models you’ve shared are inspiring: thank you for posting them here., and keep up the good work, Keith.
  16. Hi Ben, just to explain what’s happened - a few years ago RMweb was getting so big that the software was upgraded and the old version / posts archived. I wonder if that’s what’s happened - as I understand it, user names were transferred so still work. RMweb is even bigger now!
  17. Hi Roger, I wonder if it might be more visible if this were to be posted ‘next door’ in the ‘Narrow Gauge Prototype’ part of the Forum? I’m afraid I can’t answer the question, sorry, but welcome to RMweb, Keith.
  18. Using Safari on an iPad I am also experiencing this more frequently - it did used to happen before sometimes though, suggesting it isn’t solely attributable to the new pop-ups / ads in my case. On a different note, yesterday I posted this: Since posting this however, these pop-ups have gone back to reappearing at the beginning of each RMweb session I start… …I could start an AI conspiracy theory (best not to). Hope it’s a better week for AY, Keith.
  19. I’ve had a bit of free time this afternoon to draw up my track plan: Building positions are just indicative, and I haven’t thought about wiring: this was to check track / alignments: (The scanned drawing isn’t quite clear - the second station has just two loops - the 800mm straight line is a measurement only). Realistically, I don’t expect to be track laying before the spring now. I’ll ‘finish’ the boards as I have done before: paint and cork sheet, so this will be all for a bit on this layout project. I’m sure I’ll find something else to do soon enough though, Keith.
  20. If I might note another factual observation with regards to pop-ups by way of data collection / feedback: There are two types of pop-up, so to avoid confusion I am here referring only to the static ads which appear full-on in the middle of the screen (and everything behind is ‘clouded’). I am not referring to the inset little videos. I think I can report with confidence that these do still appear each time I start a new session on RMweb (note: I don’t log out at the end of a session). This is usually a few times a day. However, it also appears to be the case that they seem to appear consistently when I try and look at the second thread I try and read in a session, not the first. I think these were originally intended to appear just once a day, but I believe it’s been reported previously that they do appear more often, and that is my experience. I am a non-gold user accessing RMweb on an iPad. Hope it’s Ok to feed this back here, Keith.
  21. Hi @halsey, as I like to look through both the Layout Planning and the Narrow Gauge Modelling Forums (Fora?), I’d been reading the updates to this thread shortly before I saw your post asking for pointers in the NG section of RMweb. I’m not an experienced NG modeller so others will be able to add more, but if I might share a few basic pointers I’ve found helpful: 1. Simple statement of the obvious: while scenery is the same size (big advantage: the Metcalfe / Superquick kits you use don’t get smaller), when it comes to track laying and rolling stock it can be like working in N-Gauge, so things like fishplates and bogies / wheel sets are half the size (which means one quarter the area and one eighth the volume). Don’t worry - I’ve found it just takes a bit of getting used to - the only time I’ve wondered if switching to NG was wise was the first time I tried to fit an 009 bogie underneath a coach. So it is worth persisting. 2. If you’re looking at r-t-r 009, some of the stuff available now is fantastic, but it’s not going to be cheaper than OO (if budgeting to buy new, assume the same per wagon / coach / locomotive - sometimes more, due to lower volumes). Again, this may be obvious, but some people still think NG modelling will be intrinsically cheaper than SG. 3. If you’re looking at Peco 009 Setrack, please be aware of the following: Short wheelbase 009 locomotives can have a tendency to stall on the Peco Setrack Insulfrog points (larger Streamline points have live frogs). Some of the new r-t-r 009 locomotives will only go round 12” radius curves, not the Setrack 9”. The range of r-t-r track is more limited, so some modellers use N-Gauge track anyway - for a Quayside where the track may be inset anyway, this shouldn’t be a problem. 4. As of today, I think it’s fair to say that DCC is not as widely used in NG as in SG modelling, just to be aware. I’m afraid I don’t have any spare NG track to pass on (it’s been as scarce as every other sort), but I hope this helps. You will have fun, Keith.
  22. A rainy afternoon has given me the chance to have another look at a possible layout plan: As mentioned above, I wanted to try replacing the Fiddle Yard (I’m just not a fan) with a second small station: I can make the passing loop long enough if I angle the tracks across the boards. I’m not planning for it to be an HOn30 American Station - ‘Home Depot’ just happened to be to hand. I do like the idea of an open run even on this small layout: But the design for the main station hasn’t been feeling right (to me). The photos I posted on Tuesday (28th Sept, above) would definitely fit, but after thinking about it for a few days I realised I wasn’t convinced. One reason was the way the engine shed / workshop encroached on the open run, but something was nagging me. So I spent some more time playing around with track and rolling stock this afternoon to try and fit a terminus onto the final baseboard, without success. I even gave up for a bit and went for a walk in the rain, before having what I hope is a breakthrough: What’s changed? I’ve just spread it out a little bit more, eased the reverse curve on the scenic baseboard and given the whole thing a just bit more breathing space. This I like. What I want to do now is to get back to some actual modelling - I have quite a queue of unfinished (and unstarted) models to tackle. Progress on this layout project will hopefully continue - although it gets harder as the weather turns and the nights draw in (due to needing to major work outside), but I’m not short of things to do: 009 anybody? (an unfinished Ratio GW Station untouched for over a year now - still neatly wrapped up in my stash): Take care and stay safe, Keith.
  23. A free morning has seen the third baseboard assembled. I’m toying with the idea of dispensing with the Fiddle Yard in favour of a second small station, which I can then operate as a simple point-to-point. As this is a portable layout, the board sizes are determined by the available space and portability requirement (as well as available timber), so for this layout it’s been OK to press on making boards before deciding on a track plan. As I don’t plan on using point motors, I haven’t had to worry about the position of cross-bracing. Have a good weekend, Keith.
  24. Good to see RMweb up and running again, thank you (I think the scale of the disruption and size of the reboot task does demonstrate the size of the site rather effectively - although not in the least stressful way for @AY Mod unfortunately). Purely factually, if feedback is helpful on the pop-up advertising test (per the banner at the top of the page), as a non-Gold member: 1. I generally access RMweb from an ipad. 2. I am no longer seeing the “creeping banner” ads (at all). 3. It seems to be the case that a video pop-up appears each time I move around the site from one thread to another, or to or from an index page (etc), but not when I move from one page of a thread to any other page of that same thread. Hope that is useful data, Keith.
  25. Fair point - I did lose the thread of why some of the switching moves were taking place because of the editing. That said, it seems to me be a very high quality film (as in: expensive camera, not just a phone) and the aerial shots, presumably filmed with a drone (based on the end sequence), are very clear and stable and that made for an enjoyable watch.
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