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Everything posted by justin1985

  1. Thanks Mark! I was aware of Trainini, but hadn't noticed the translations - another rabbit hole opens up! Point taken on board length - but then this layout isn't really intended to be an exhibition layout at all. Just portable in terms of being able to get it out onto a table, and put away onto shelving. I wouldn't rule out taking it out once or twice, but I feel kind of loathed to compromise how it looks at home to make it easier to exhibit, if that makes sense? I'm planning to fully box it in, cameo style, so it should be robust enough to survive being loaded in a car at a funny angle / through folded down seats, etc, if it had to be. After discussion in the "German Railways" forum here I think I've decided on swapping the turnouts to make the main loop longer, and turning the goods siding info another loop passing the front of the station, using A5 turnouts. I'll try and post an updated track plan tonight. J
  2. Many thanks for everyone's comments - really appreciated! I'm a bit of a beginner when it comes to the details of German railways. I was pretty good at reading German back in school days (although never as good at speaking). Are there any quite general books anyone would recommend? I just thought to myself "I wonder if there is a relevant MIBA Special issue?" - I looked at their online store, and sure enough a recent special on branch lines seems to have a nice little feature on "Typische kleine Bahnhöfe an Nebenbahnen" on p.8 here: https://shop.vgbahn.info/media/pdf/Blick in diese Ausgabe/12012119.pdf . It looks like my prototype photo is much more like the third example down, but I see what you mean about loops! So this would effectively be a second loop on the top side of the layout - I'd definitely want somewhere I could leave wagons while still passing through trains on the main loop. The second plan actually uses A5 turnouts for the goods siding (rather than B6 for the rest) so I guess I could accommodate this without too much trouble. I like this idea - a nice simple way of keeping room for one wagon by the goods shed without a loop, and without forcing it too far across the layout. But perhaps less prototypical? I'll have a bit more of a play in Templot and see how the options look J
  3. I've been working on a plan for a Z gauge layout, to "finer" standards, with a small station and passing loop next to a single track viaduct over a typical Black Forest valley. Loosely inspired by the Hollentalbahn. More details in the thread here: I've bought a very nice little station building kit from MBZ which is based on Kollnau, on the Elztalbahn. Like most German stations, it has a small goods shed directly attached to the station master's house. From what I can deduce from pictures, it was typical that a goods siding would approach from that side , with a buffer stop overlapping the station building (but not blocking the door) so that a wagon could get directly adjacent to the goods shed. But trying to squeeze my layout plan onto the board I want to use, I'm left with either not really enough room for a meaningful length of siding, OR a loop that is too short to really pass meaningful length trains. However, I've seen some photos of stations where the goods siding crosses the front of the station building entirely - such as in these photos of Emmelhausen in the Rhineland in 1990. So, my question is, how typical or unusual was that kind of layout? Could I get away with running my siding across the station entrance to make my track plan work in terms of both a longer station loop and a siding that can hold at least two wagons, without pushing the station building too far to the centre of the layout? Two versions of the track plan: Cheers Justin
  4. Now I've built the return curves as separate boards I've been working on a new track plan to fit between them. I'm sticking to the 1200x500mm size of a slab of pink insulation foam as a convenient total size, not least because it is also the length of the short edge of a sheet of ply - and I have a stock of suitable strips of 6mm ply leftover from another aborted project. I felt like this would give me plenty of space to model a small station and viaduct scene in Z, but once its all laid out, I'm still quite short of space! Here is a draft plan drawn up in Templot with a gentle S curse over most of the length to give it a bit more of an organic look. The turnouts are all B6 size, which I'll build using code 40 rail and PCB sleepers as per the samples further up this thread. Posing a few buildings and bits of stock on the plan gives a sense of how it will look. A very random selection of stock (what I happened to have unboxed) but it makes the capacity of the loop and sidings clear: the platform loop only just accommodates a loco and two coaches; the goods shed siding holds two 2-axle wagons, and the headshunt / dock holds one wagon. This all feels a bit tight! I'm torn between ideally wanting a longer station loop and sidings, and the feeling that it would take away from the scenic side of the layout. While I like the idea of doing a little bit of tokenistic shunting, really I want the layout to be about watching trains go by, through some nice scenery. Perhaps that still points towards finding a way of making a longer passing loop though, to create a regular operating pattern of letting meaningful length trains pass. Swapping the loop turnout to the current location of the goods siding turnout would give that extra length, but would mean the goods siding would probably have to cross the station entrance in order to be workable! (but not without precedent in small German stations? e.g. @2mmMark 's post with photos and a plan of Emmelshausen in 1990). I'd be pleased to hear any thoughts on this! Final photo: the two "train set" wagons I've weathered and fitted with Microtrains couplings posed on the Faller viaduct - the open wagon now with a load courtesy of a random bush in my front garden! Justin
  5. Perhaps a mix of Bachmann and Parkside Dundas wheels? Parkside's plastic centred wheels were very popular for re-wheeling old Farish pizza cutters and PECO plastic wheels in N. I have a vague feeling I heard something about PECO intending to use them to replace their own in kits etc. when they bought out Parkside, but I don't think that has happened. I don't even know if they still sell them now? The plastic that PECO use for their chassis seems to deform very easily, so if some have had longer than original axles forced in already, 14.8mm axles probably wouldn't run so well in them anymore. The HEA you've got there looks like the Farish model, rather than the TPM body on PECO chassis, as they have better detailed brake levers etc. Rather than chucking them away, the plastic "coal" inserts look like a nice base to apply real coal over the top of
  6. The train I was on was the 10.00 Norwich service, which is first stop Colchester (due after about 47 mins). I saw another Stadler unit just now on way back toward London, which would have been the 15.00 Norwich from Liverpool Street. I didn't get to see it's number so unsure if it's the same unit working the same diagram? Either way that suggests it/they are working the xx.00 fast departures, but not yet the xx.30 which stop at Stratford and Chelmsford, which might be better if you wanted a shorter jaunt. Interestingly my train back to London, significantly delayed ("due to train late from depot") 15.30 ex Colchester (14.30 ex Norwich) is a MK3 set "the wrong way around" - DVT facing London and first class at the back. I think this might actually be the first time I've seen this on GA Intercity services? How would they have even turned it around at all? I can't think of any electrified triangle of track on the GE route?
  7. Definitely better than effectively sitting on the floor on the original 321 seats! I never understood why that generation of BR trains had such weirdly low seats - many class 150s seem to have the same abominations. I always seek out the refurbished Renatus set within a 8 or 12 car formation of 321s. My first commute on a new 745 set this morning. First thoughts : seats are very upright, but well contoured and comfortable. The leather headrest in standard feels just right. Definitely more comfortable than an IEP / Azuma seat, in my opinion. And obviously lightyears ahead of the Thameslink 700 seats Inside feels less spacious than continental FLIRTs I've travelled on, but of course that's the loading gauge. The strut from the seat in front does somewhat limit the legroom of the window side airline seats though. The tray tables also seem a bit small - I thought I'd heard they had a pull out section for laptops, but none in evidence. They do have notches to help prop up a tablet though. And no shortage of 4 facing table seats. Small touch I quite liked : vestibule doors stayed open during boarding, rather than constantly opening and closing, but then shut when the outside doors shut. Not sure how that would work out on a cold windy platform, rather than at Liverpool Street. The acceleration is very impressive. This service picked up several minutes of delays between Liverpool Street and Stratford, but seemed to start making them back up quite quickly. Justin
  8. Exactly this - this has always seemed to be a lot of my difficulty with quartering. If you set one side to full forward or down position, and then go to adjust the other side by eye, I find the amount of force required to actually shift the stub axle is such that it's next to impossible to ensure the other side is still at exactly the same position. If the muffs had been opened out enough for it not to take so much force, it seems far too easy to then shift the quartering accidentally. Perhaps it's actually easier with a big express engine, where more of the spokes are visible above or below the frames, than on a small 0-6-0? J
  9. What, for next time you get a Cl.90 / Mk.3 or unrefurbished 321 set, where the seats are all so knackered that the bottom seat cushion seems to want to spend more time slid out onto the floor than attached to the chair frame? (Regular London - Colchester commuter speaking)
  10. A few more wagons have made it off my workbench over the last week or so. Another one of the GER butter wagons from my 3D prints. This one is isn't yet weathered like it's neighbour. One more to go, and I'll have the complete fleet (of three)! Inspired by Izzy's recent post in his layout thread, I finally finished off one of the PECO grain wagon kits I'd started to try and improve ages ago - it's perfect to run on my distillery layout in BR Blue mode. As per Izzy's approach, the chassis is just the PECO one, but with the brake shoes thinned down with a razor saw. I also attacked the mouldings that carry the vacuum cylinders etc with a file to try and thin them down and make the representations of the linkages stand out as 3D objects a bit more. Below the chassis I added a hopper chute from a 3D print, with handwheels from a random leftover etch. Painted with a spraycan Tamiya blue that looked like a good match, and I happened to have in the cupboard (with stickers on from the Modelzone closing down sale!). Transfers from Railtec. I've got several more of these which I'll do in different variations - one brown, one with advertising boards still in place, etc. J
  11. I went to go and place a pre-order for a Calvalex cl.91 set, to show support, but alas still no pre-order option for N / 2mm! Presumably the CAD for the externals of the models is the only commonality between the OO and N projects, and if that is already done, there is no reason not to progress the N gauge model, even if the OO one has been gotcha'ed? You'd think, anyway ...
  12. I travel on Southern at least four days every week for at least six or seven years (before and after the move from "guards" to "On Board Supervisors"), and I can count on my hands the number of times I've actually seen either a guard or OBS do anything other than hide in a spare cab. The only exceptions are when I've been down the Uckfield Line, or down onto Coastway. When things go wrong, I'd say I more often hear announcements from the drivers on DOO Thameslink services than I do from guards or OBSs on Southern. In fact several times when I have actually heard a Southern OBS make an announcement, the driver has then done another announcement to clarify because they'd got it wrong. If the presence or not of an OBS makes no difference to passengers, because they don't actually do any on-board supervising when they are there, its easy to see why people won't care when they're gone!
  13. I haven't actually measured the travel, but it certainly looks like it is 1.25mm. The dials are marked out in 0.25mm gradations, with a further 0.25mm gap between 1.0 and 0.0. I don't read any Mandarin at all, and there is not really any English on the box or in the leaflet. It looks like it is listing 1.25mm as a key specification though. And the booklet lists three models - the smallest has something (I'm guessing travel per revolution?) of 1.25mm. On the middle one it's 1.5mm, and on the biggest it's 3mm.
  14. I managed to make some progress with this project over Christmas, but it's still coming together quite slowly. The main thing I've achieved is that I finished assembling the semicircular boards. I finished the board with a black "glaze" type finish (actually from IKEA) which I brushed on, then wiped off, and finally finished with Ronseal satin varnish for protection. The idea was to keep the nice birch ply texture, while still ending up with something that will sit in the background of the finished layout, rather than being prominent in their own right. The brass pattern makers dowels are from Station Road Baseboards, and are 3mm thick - exactly the same as the ply, so they sit nicely with another layer behind. I've now laid the track using Märklin "set track" second radius track (195mm radius), soldered to some PCB milled down to 0.9mm at the board edges, with some extra feed wires further around for luck. The board itself is equivalent to Märklin third radius at 220mm radius - so it's only 44cm across. 15cm/6inch ruler for scale! The other Z gauge activity over Christmas has been improving a bog standard Märklin "train set" wagon. End result next to a "fresh from the second hand rummage box" banana wagon version of the same moulding. Humbrol tin for scale! I've blackened the wheels and replaced the Märklin fish-hook couplings with Micro-Trains knuckle couplers - hopefully to build up a rake of wagons to shunt the station goods siding with. The magnetic delayed uncoupling works impressively well! I weathered the wagon beginning with a coat of Testors Dullcote and then some MIG weathering washes - "rust streaks" on the metal roof, and "dark brown" on the sides and vents - these were largely taken back off with white spirit. Finally, after another coat of dullcote, I used some Vallejo greys in the airbrush to tone down the roof. The inspiration was this photo on Wikimedia: Here's the before shot: So, now I'm convinced I'll incorporate shunting on the layout, now I don't have to worry about including the return curves on the main layout, I might see about revising the station track plan to allow a bit more shunting. Rather than the rather chunky Kaydee/Microtrains electromagnets, I might look at mounting small magnets on a servo arm for this. While I'll definitely build the turnouts for the scenic section from scratch, I've been buying up second hand Märklin straight turnouts for the fiddle yard. I'm aiming for at least three, or maybe four, hidden loops along the back, perhaps each divided into two isolating sections, along the back of the layout. Building the frame of the board and the fiddle trackbed will be the next stage ... J
  15. The one I ordered just arrived, but on mine, one turn = 1.25mm! It seems pretty solid and well made, but noticeably lower quality than the one supplied with my Proxxon mill. The mounting points are too wide to fit directly to the Proxxon, but I'm sure it will come in handy in due course. (I did have in mind to use this slightly larger travel table on the mill, and fit the small Proxxon table to the Proxxon drill press that I also have)
  16. So, I gather that Santa might well have picked up on my hint about a Proxxon mini milling machine (much to my surprise!). It looks like it's relatively simple to fit these machines for CNC. At least simple to buy / make the brackets and couplers to fit the stepper motors to the existing axis screws of the machine. But there seem to be many ways to drive them, and I'm a bit lost on what to start with. It looks like you always need both controller and a separate driver for the motors. But an old PC with a parallel port can act directly as the controller? So options are: - PC with Parallel port and 32bit Windows, running Mach3 software, plus a driver board for the motors - SmoothStepper or similar controller board with USB or Ethernet connection to any Windows PC, PLUS driver board for the motors - Arduino based kit with controller shield and driver modules. Arduino needs GRBL code to be flashed to it (but how do you load the gcode for thing you want to cut?) How do the options compare in practice? Arduino seems by far the cheapest option. Parallel port seems initially appealingly simple, BUT finding a suitable PC (and space for it) would be pretty tricky these days. I'm sure I've seen some forum members mention having tried CNC conversions of the MF70 and similar mills. It would be great to hear about your experiences! Cheers Justin
  17. Talking of filthy units, the 156 working the Sudbury branch today has been de-branded with the Greater Anglia vinyl lettering removed. The shadows of the missing text are the only clean bits on the unit! That 156 must be getting ready to leave the franchise soon then. Has there still only been one test trip of a 755 on the branch?
  18. I actually found a 1.2mm O/D, 1mm I/D brass tube stocked at Eileen's, so that should make a slightly more delicate version of the fibre optic lamp. The other jobs I've been doing on Dailuaine have just been packing under the sleeper gaps where I'm planning to lay DAS cobbles, to reduce the depth of the clay, and stop any bubbling up between the rail and check rail. Tedious! I also laser cut some foam for a box to contain all the wagons I'm intending to operate the layout with in BR blue period. I find the perfect fit for the wagons very pleasing!
  19. More than 6 months since the last post, but I promise this project hasn't been forgotten! For a long time I was mulling over the track plan, and wasn't entirely happy with how short a run I got at the front when trying to squeeze the return curves onto the same 120cm board. Eventually I decided I should give up the hope of getting a layout I'd be happy with onto a single board. I've gone with a pair of "end caps" for the return curves, which I'll bolt onto the ends of the scenic board to give a continuous run. As a bonus, with each being a 180 degree semicircle, the idea is the two end caps could be bolted together to form a circular test track. I guess I could have simply built square boards for the ends, but I liked the idea of them being circular. So, having joined a MakerSpace with a very nice Trotec laser cutter, I decided to draw up some plywood origami using a "living hinge" pattern to allow some 3.2mm ply to take a 220cm radius. This was quite a design job ... And I'm less than sure about my geometry skills. So first off I scaled the plan down to fit on A4 and cut it from 160gsm card on a Silhouette cutter. To my surprise, it worked first time. So, off to the MakerSpace to cut from 3mm ply. Which, of course, they'd run out of, and I hadn't brought enough from home. Still, I managed to cut the pair of flexible curves, and one of the four semicircle parts. Proof of concept - it works! So as soon as I can get another slot on the laser cutter, and some more 3mm ply, I'll have a complete kit for a pair of semicircular boards 220mm radius, to accommodate a circle of 195mm radius Märklin track (2nd radius). The idea is to then clad the outside of the curves with some thin (1mm?) ply as a decorative skin, which should make things even more rigid. The end plates have circles cut for pattern makers dowels, plus M6 bolts. I'm thinking of finishing with a black pigmented oil type finish to keep the nice birch grain on the outside faces of the boards, while toning down the colour ... J
  20. I'd love to claim the Digby M&GN book if possible! Justin
  21. Hi Jerry, I'm not totally convinced it's the way to go. But worth a try, I think. These the LEDs in their packet. Basically a case of waving a soldering iron in the right direction, with plenty of flux and a very small solder ball, just hoping for best really! This was the previous experiment with 1mm fibre-optic running up a brass tube replacing the post. Three years ago now, according to the time stamp on the file! I guess this is better in a lot of ways, not least maintenance/what if the LED fails. This uses a flat-topped LED glued to the bottom of the fibre-optic with canopy glue and covered in heat shrink. I guess I used warm white? It would be tricky to do with a wall mounted lamp though, I think. I don't know if the fibre optic could be bent into a sharp enough angle? (Perhaps with heat of a soldering iron?) J
  22. I got the Servos working eventually, although I never managed to get rid of the not working when the application was re-opened. Happy to leave the point mechanisms alone for now! I haven't done the ballast yet, but I'm starting to work on the buildings a bit more. More importantly, I've done more testing, and found some tight (and wide) points on the diverging route of the re-used soldered turnout. Bad idea re-using an old early attempt at a turnout, I guess, but at least easy to adjust. Its all running pretty smoothly now though - albeit the short wheelbase J94 struggles at slow speed running using an old Bachmann trainset controller - but thats to be expected, I think. Tonight's other task has been trying out some roof slates. I like the idea of the York Modelmaking laser cut adhesive slates and tiles, so thought I'd try cutting my own, actually using the Silhouette cutter and normal black paper. I'm pretty pleased with the result. I think the silhouette actually gives a subtler result than a laser in this instance - the cut width is very narrow indeed. I stuck the rows down without any guides, just aligning one trip to the top of the notches on the previous, using Easitrack glue - because it bites quickly, and seems to stick better to plasticard than most PVA type glues. Wondering whether to seal with some kind of solvent based varnish before painting, to stop the paper absorbing paint and swelling? Finally, some experiments with lamps. I like the delicate appearance of the Ratio mouldings, and previously experimented with illuminating them using a fiberoptic as a "pole", which worked fairly well. For this layout I'd like some wall mounted gas lamps, which would make that approach trickier. This experiment has a 2.5mm dia. dimple drilled into the top of the lens moulding, and a similar indent "countersunk" into the lid moulding. Trapped between them is a 0603 surface mount LED which I soldered to some enamel wire. The idea is the wire will run down the corners of the lens, masquerading as the corner posts of the lamp at the back, with plasticard strip doing the same at the front. It does work! but I didn't have enough hands to photograph it in action. The really tricky thing was trying to glue it together, it seems like NOTHING sticks to the plastic Ratio used for the lens moulding! I might try 3D printing some parts instead - although I'd have to buy a whole bottle of clear resin for some VERY small parts ... I just found some pre-wired 0402 LEDs on eBay, so I might try mounting these into the bottom of the lens. J
  23. It seems pretty typical advice (including further back in this thread) that a small pillar drill is the best starting point for buying machine tools for modelling. But how far can you use a small mill to do the same things? I followed the advice and bought a Proxxon TBM220 pillar drill at roughly the same time I was long-term loaned a Unimat 3 lathe. I'll be honest that I haven't spent as much time with either as I'd have hoped, but even then, I don't think I've actually made that much use of the drill compared to the lathe. The only things I've really used it for where its capabilities have been crucial have been drilling things like loco frame materials and spacers. In 2mm, those are pretty small and thin - nothing thicker than 8mm tufnol or 1mm brass, and the odd small brass tube. But now I'm starting to think of things I'd like to do where milling would be the best way - solid frame spacers for loco chassis with cutouts for gears, etc. I'm a bit tight for bench space in my garage-workshop, so I'm wondering if I might actually replace the TBM220 drill with a Proxxon MF70 milling machine. Given how light-duty my drilling work seems to be, is there any reason why I shouldn't simply put drill bits in the MF70 mill and just use the vertical control when I want to drill a chassis frame hole, for example? Justin
  24. Sorry Jerry - it's the 10ft timber unfitted chassis that I'd be happy to let go of. Not the 9' ones that suit PO mineral wagons - I'll take the headstocks off, and use those with the Association 1907 moulding, I think. I don't think any PO wagons ever used the 10ft timber underframe? They are very noticeably longer when you see them together. I have built two each of the LMS and LNER ones from bodies that Bill had already built up. I finished them as earlier versions with 9' wheelbase and large lettering. Looking at Tatlow, at least for the LNER ones, the move to 10' wheelbase chassis was after the change to smaller lettering. That would make them definitely models for CF, rather than my own projects, if I did build up another of them. J
  25. Thanks for the suggestions! It sounds like the LMS and LNER 5 plank wagons are the main candidates for the 2-332 10ft wheelbase unfitted chassis then. I have built some of these wagons already, but they're really a bit late for my main pre-grouping / very early grouping interests - especially so many of them. Unless @CF MRC particularly thinks a good number of these would be welcome on Copenhagen Fields, I'd be happy to pass them on to someone who has a project they'd suit better? Justin
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