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MoonMonkey

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  1. @Mikkel - quick - if you look carefully, the lady in red is back! She must have emerged from her covid lockdown hybernation :-)
  2. I use Humbrol spray acrylic primer for Modelu / Hardys figures. Plus some ones from a company which isn't trading anymore. It worked fine for me. FYI, I then painted using Humbrol acrylic paints, and perhaps a very thin wash of watered down Humbrol black acrylic afterwards. Then finished off with Humbrol spray matt acrylic varnish. I think they came out ok.
  3. He's just showing off. What we can't see is who (or what) is just offscreen to the left.
  4. I agree (for what that's worth!). We can't all be experts on everything, so if we are improving ourselves in something then it makes sense to learn, and learn by asking and being inquiring and interested. I've done quite well at work by being prepared to ask the 'back to first principles' questions and then finding out that no one or very people few people know the answers because they'd either been afraid to ask or weren't curious enough. Same applies to this new hobby! I'm trying to create something with some thought behind it, but in many areas I don't have any knowledge. So the only way I can learn is to ask, unless I want to create something totally based on my imagination and preconceptions. So, thank you for being one of those people who asks the questions, so that others may also learn. Thank you to those who share their insight and knowledge and ideas.
  5. Thanks for bringing this topic up. I've been wondering which way to do the levers as well, although I haven't got as far as being ready to stick them on to the frame (although I'll probably go with tacky wax so if they get knocked they might be less prone to breaking. Just to add to peoples' options (or at least considering other options), I got some white metal ones from a firm called Knightwing (no connection by the way, just commenting on my purchase). I selected the two best mouldings to avoid trimming flash and seams too much, and popped them on. It's a first go, so I'm not sure if the level relative to the sleepers/track is quite right, but it needs to clear the point mechanism (although I did cut off the little upright protrudence for this one, I’m using standard Hornby track by the way). The ground level is the top of a layer of picture card, so I cut a hole into the card and so the frame is supposed to part-embedded in the ground. That said, it needed enough room for theta bit of the point mechanism which sticks out as I didn’t want to cut that bit off. The picture card was already down as I'm using it as the base for the goods yard floor. Photos below in case these are of interest. The level assembly is just popped on at the moment, hence it isn't quite aligned properly... that’s me being a biff, it isn't to do with the product!!
  6. Reminds me of a joke... Why is gaffer tape like The Force? Because it has a dark side, a good side, and it holds the Universe together.
  7. I've never looked at the adverts before. But I just spotted one with pictures of sheep and pictures of sheds, combined in the same add. Then it morphed into an advert for 'thinking huts'. So, presumably Google ads (or whatever) thinks I'm the kind of person who would like to take a sheep into a hut and then do some damn good thinking. Now, I'm not an expert in AI/Artificial Intelligence, but if that's what AI is coming up with as its vision for the future of mankind, then that may be perceived as slightly worrying. Unless its trying to tell me to move back to Yorkshire?
  8. Hmmm, I haven't seen anything about the use of rasberry jam and ketchup on model railway scenes. Perhaps Woodland Scenics are missing a product range... general gore, and a set of people staged to look like they are running around with their arms in the air, flapping like gooduns!
  9. It's a GWR yard initially as traffic comes in from the mainline. It's a small rural yard off the main line, and nominally it is associated with a minor station on the mainline which is not modelled due to space constraints. Then, based on the potentially rather dubious back story to justify the model layout set up!, the extension through the arch is to another part of the yard. I hadn't considered really whether it was to be a GWR or private land beyond that arch. For ease, I guess I'd go with GWR. But I see that if it were to be a private siding then some sort of demarkation would be required.
  10. Thanks Dave. I think that's the way I'd play it too, if I had to. I shall leave the capstans and pulleys for another layout (?!?!?!?), but I like the look of your working ones. That must have taken some doing.
  11. Thanks JimC, thats useful. Sounds ike going for an ash ballast effect using DAS clay might be on the cards!
  12. Just picking up on this notion of a yard featuring an arch with no engines... lovely signs by the way, JimC, thanks for the link! I am working on the assumption that the bit of the yard beyond the narrow arch would be worked by horse. Thus, there would be a need for the horse to drag the wagons along the track through the arch, in both directions. Would this have been done by a rope/line tied directly to the horse on one end, and the wagon on the other, and the horse trudges along the track? In this case, the horse would need to be either in the middle of the track or to one side where there was clearance (but not through the arch where it would need to be between the tracks)? Or would a capstan and pulleys be used? There is a nice looking set from Lanarkshire Models and Supplies, one large one and 4 smaller ones. If the capstan and pulleys are appropriate, how would they be placed? I'm thinking of just one, maybe two, to give the notion of a horse-worked yard. However, I'd like to get them located about right, rather than having them in totally the wrong place.
  13. About modifying the Dapol motorised signal mechanism to go under a baseboard where there isn't enough clearance. Clearly anything like this is going to invalidate the warranty. Obviously this is relatively high risk as some of the wiring is very fine and the components may be fragile. This entry here is just how I did it out of interest, presented by way of 'lessons learned' and for entertainment. This is not presented as an instruction or how-to. If you decide to have a go at this, it is at your own risk. Don't blame me if it goes wrong, you crazy fool! I took a deep breath and had a go at modifying a Dapol motorised signal to fit onto my baseboard, given that there is insufficient clearance under my board to accommodate the assembly containing the workings. I wondered if it was possible to rotate the housing somehow. Here's what I found. Mainly that it is tricky work, and there is a fair chance that the thing will be knackered completely. I managed to split the casing easily enough using a couple of small screwdrivers (xmas cracker ones, the size for speccy people who wear giggs) to prize the 2 halves apart. The screw sheers easily enough. This left me with half the cylinder-shaped housing attached to the signal base, and half that comes away. Presented inside were the electronics on a rectangular circuit board, and a motor assembly. Some of the wiring is very fine gauge. Both the circuit board and the motor came out of the respective halves of the housing, one half of which remained attached to the signal base. The half of the casing which was attached to the signal base was then cut (i.e. shortened) using zuron cutters or something. I have to admit, I had a go on a damaged one first... my main lesson learned was DO NOT cut the circuit board in two, and neither will it work if the circuit board is removed completely by cutting those wires. It appeared that the wiring to the bulb (the wires that disappear up into the signal post) will not, on their own, allow the bulb to illuminate (even if the yellow wires were connected). The circuit board therefore needed to be left intact. This could, however, then be rotated to be fixed to the underside of the baseboard. Having learned that, I moved onto the 'good' signal that I hoped to modify... The red and black wires were wired as usual to the power supply as per instructions, and the bulb still worked, because really the only thing I'd done was to split the casing and have the assemblies inside loose albeit rotated 90% to their normal orientation. Some very fine wires came away from their points on the circuit board, but even I managed to solder these back on by applying a little heat from the tip of the iron onto the solder that was already on the board (once I'd gently rubbed off the insulation to expose some bare wire). Fortunately, I'd take a photo of the items before I started messing around with them, so I know where the wires needed to be relocated. The motor assembly could also be oriented parallel to the underside of the baseboard. At this point it got tricky. I have to say, I lost the will to carry on with the task, so the motor assembly (in the casing half that was not attached to the base) and the yellow wiring are just bundled up and taped to the underside of the board alongside the circuit board (obviously the ends of the yellow wires are now taped up with electricians’ tape to prevent any unplanned connection being made for the motor). The signal therefore requires the 'hand of god' to change it, but the bulb works. However, for what I want that's fine as the signal is unlikely to change anyway at that point on my layout. In case it's of use to anyone else... having reoriented the assemblies and got the light working... How could I get the signal arm working? My thoughts for if I pick this up again in the future are: I think it could be possible with more time and material options than I had. The motor assembly will need to lie in the half of the casing that separated from the signal base, so don’t break that half of the casing. The motor works on a worm wheel, so I needed to identify the point up the half of the casing where the worm wheel pushes the 'pusher' (ie the pusher that would normally engage with the base of the signal wire) beyond the point when it becomes detached. I found this point easily, and simply cut a shard of picture framing card (any material of a few mm thick would do) and superglued it to the inside of the casing. Thus, the worm wheel still pushes the 'pusher' up but it doesn't disconnect. That assembly could then be attached (maybe using superglue) to the underside of the baseboard. The tricky bit will be changing the direction of movement from the now horizontal motor assembly and pusher, to the vertical base of the signal wire. The base of the signal pusher wire (the wire that goes up through the base to the signal arm, perhaps calling it the pusher rod may be better?) is a small bit of plastic with a small spring attached. The end of the pusher on the motor assembly is a flat face. I worked out that, in theory, a small length of electrical wire insulation (I used Peco wire, the kind for point motor wiring) with the metal wire taken out (i.e. strip a good length to start with, maybe 10 cm, but then shorten to fit your gap) will flex - but only in a limited way - if it’s only a few cm long. So, the horizontal movement from the motor pusher should translate into a vertical movement onto the base of the signal wire, presumably due to the slight rigidity of the hollow tube of insulation. This would mean (if I could get it to work) that there was no need for a crank pivoting around a bracket to change the direction of movement. I found that the stripped insulation will fit into the spring at the base of the signal wire at the base of the signal pusher rod, and a small amount of superglue on the end of the insulation would keep it attached, although I then ever so slightly crimped the spring onto the insulation tube. That end worked fine. I then came unstuck (literally) because I couldn't get the other end of the insulation tube to stick to the end of the pusher on the motor, it just wouldn't stick. I tried a small strip of plastic which was glued to the pusher on the motor assembly, and then glued the plastic to the insultation, but the bond wasn't strong enough. So... if in future I choose to give this a go again, the difficult bit will be gluing/fixing the insulation tube to the end of the motor pusher. If I can crack that, then I've probably got a viable method of rotating the Dapol signal mechanisms under the baseboard. To be honest, I found it to be a lot of faff, and perhaps adding some extra baton under the board to create the necessary clearance might be a better bet, depending on board set-up in future. I did take some photos but I'm not sure they'll be much use. It was an interesting challenge. Next, I shall lock myself away and paint a large area of wall Black. And then some more black. Then, I shall apply an eye mask and listen to white noise.
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