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Steve Hewitt

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Everything posted by Steve Hewitt

  1. Hi Mike, Thanks for your comment. I wish I had your knowledge, or just a small part of it. Never having worked on the Railway, I have to rely on books, photos and the wishes of clients when constructing the models. In this case the bracket signal I have just completed was inspired by that at Waddon Marsh, as shown as Plate 103 on page 89 of my "Pryer". Plate 88 on Page 75 also shows quite clearly White painted Weights on a two doll bracket. Thanks one and all for your comments. I learn something new most days. Unfortunately it is often after I've committed my lack of knowledge to a completed model Steve.
  2. Hi, The LSWR finials are Brass castings from Alan Gibson. 3D printed versions are also available from Modelu. I've got some, but not used them yet. MSE also have a White Metal version, but they are quite delicate Steve.
  3. Well, there's not a lot to say....... The rest of the structure followed my usual methods, using MSE, Gibson etc. etches, and Les Green 3D prints. The pile of MDF blocks is to represent the height of the signal on the Railway above the baseboard. It is on elevated ground. Getting all the operating linkages in was a bit of a squeeze. More soon, I hope....... Steve.
  4. Moving on.......... The second signal for Churminster is the Up Home. Number CH3G This is a SR Rail Built left hand bracket with three dolls, carrying four arms. The main doll reads to Platform 3. The left hand doll, a smaller one, reads to the Goods Yard, to the left of the main line. The right hand doll carries two arms, the upper full size arm reads to the Bay Platform 1. The lower, small arm reads to the entry to the Shed / Yard. First job was to build the main post from C&L bull-head Rail. This was soldered together in pairs, which were drill for the spacers (.45mm Lace Pins). The two pairs were then joined with temporary cross plates to make the basic post. So far, nothing unusual, but followers of my topic will know I like very firm foundations for my signals. To achieve that I first turned up a "plug" for the base of the post, which is a good fit between the four rails. It is hollow to accommodate the fibre optics which will be installed later. A socket to take this plug was turned and fitted to the into signal's base-plate. You can see here the four guide tubes for the operating wires, and fitted below the base-plate is the half-inch dia. brass Foundation Tube. This allows the bottom of the post to fit closely and be supported both inside and out. More soon about the rest of the construction..... Steve.
  5. White Weights..... I quote from the layout owner's statement about his railway : "my interest had settled on the Southern Railway and on a period stretching from just before WW2 until just prior to nationalisation." i.e. Before BR(S) had developed its paint protocols. The "Visibility" issue was very relevant during wartime, and not just for Train Crew. Thank you all for your interest and constructive criticism, which is always welcome. Steve.
  6. Hi Jonathan, Thanks for your kind comment. I don't use Brass wire for anything! I always use Nickel Silver of various diameters from 0.31mm up to 0.5mm for operating wires. The thinnest is usually reserved for Ground Signals or very short runs on others. The problem is that it buckles and kinks too easily. In real life the signal wires are always in tension, but in our models they are required to push as well as pull! Most operating wires are made from 0.4mm dia N/S wire. I always blacken the wire with "Gun Blue" before use. If you need to solder it, you must clean off the Black first, as Gun Blue makes a good solder resist. Hope this is helpful. Steve.
  7. Hi Chris, The short answer is "Visibility". Easier to see in dark conditions - particularly wartime. Still used today by Network Rail in places. Steve.
  8. Happy New Year to all my RMweb followers. I hope I'm able to stimulate your continued interest in the signals I build and if my ramblings encourage some of you "have go", so much the better. Here is my first project for 2020 - the semaphore signals for Tony Teague's "Churminster & Stowe Magna" railway. Here's a link to his Topic: A very good article about Tony's layout appears in the current issue of Hornby Magazine. My contribution is going to be the Semaphore signalling - the colour light signals have already bee installed. Starting first with Churminster, where all the signalling is semaphore, the first to be built is the Platform 3 Up Starter. This is an ex-LSWR tall lattice signal with co-acting arms, converted to Upper quadrant operation. I have already posted a few "work in progress" shots on Tony's topic Here a few shots of the completed model, with a short video to follow (don't hold your breath). You can see here how the co-acting effect is achieved. The operating wire passes through the lower weight bar and continues up to the upper weight bar, ensuring they both move together and by an equal amount. Very careful measuring of the links between the weight bars and the their signal arms is necessary to ensure both arms are parallel. More soon... Steve.
  9. Hi Tony, Here's a little taster of what's to come in 2020......... This is the Platform 3 Up Starter. Its a tall ex-LSWR lattice post with co-acting arms, necessary because of sighting over the footbridge. These work-in-progress shots were taken a while ago now, so I'll show some later shots when I can. They will probably be on my "Semaphore Signals" topic elsewhere on RMweb. Best wishes for 2020. Steve.
  10. Hi Jon, I heard second hand that Geoff Helm (Helmsman) had passed all his stock of the LEDs to Peco. I was going to try to buy any stock he had left! I then contacted Peco via their website with the following: "For many years I have used "Gaslight" LEDs from Helmsman Electronics to illuminate my Semaphore Signals. I understand that you have taken on Helmsman's products, and would like to know when these LEDs will be available for purchase. Kind regards, Steve Hewitt." Peco responded with: "Dear Mr Hewitt Thank you for your email At present we are in the changeover period from Helmsman to Peco, and we are aiming to start reintroducing parts of the Helmsman range in the first few months of 2020. We cannot advise which items will be released first, but should have a clearer picture early next year, and we will be announcing details after this. Kind regards A Beard" I think it might be a good idea for all users of these LEDs, which I believe Geoff Helm had specially made, were to make similar inquiries of Peco, to encourage them to get them back on sale asap. There are certainly several who follow my Topic who have followed my advice and used them. All the best for Christmas, Steve.
  11. Hi Phil, I glaze the spectacles with MSE glazing. I punch out the correct size disc with a "leather punch". Fix with Clear Glaze or any PVA glue to rear of spectacle. When dry, cover front face of each spectacle with Clear Glaze or Gloss varnish. (This ensures the glazing is fixed securely.) If you need to colour any clear glazing, use "Glass Paint" which is available in Craft Shops etc. For later WR signal posts, try "Aluminium" paint. Good luck, Steve.
  12. Here's one I made previously.......... I recently completed a few more signals for Carlisle, which included a Banner Repeater. This was unusual in that it will be installed on an existing Signal Gantry which already carries Colour Light signals. The signal is made from an MSE kit, but I turned a more robust bezel as the etched one in the kit is a bit of a fiddle to use. I also illuminated this signal with three tiny LEDs, buried in the white metal casting. The signal is mounted on a piece of copper clad to facilitate its installation on the existing gantry. Double sided adhesive tape on the underside of the copper clad will allow the signal to be fixed in place on the Gantry. To simulate the Gantry, and its height above rail level, I used a piece of MDF. The copper clad carries the fine wires from the LEDs in a conduit of brass tube. The Banner is operated by a servo motor mounted under the baseboard in the usual way, with a crank mounted on the copper clad to transfer the wire pull along the Gantry. You can see the 30k resistor in the heat shrink which gives a much less intense light than would otherwise be the case. I have a few very shaky video clips on my phone, which I'll try to edit together and post on YouTube...........don't hold your breath. Steve.
  13. Praise indeed, mentioned alongside Pendon. Steve.
  14. More on the detailing of the trackwork.............. I've quoted below a post from 2013 which explains how John prepares and fits the C&L chairs to the track. The track was originally built about 2003, before the C&L method was available - certainly in "4-bolt" LMS design. (Couldn't possibly have used "3-bolt" GWR chairs, which were the first style available.) This is a subject to which John returns whenever there is a period where the layout is partly dismantled. Close access is necessary for this fine work. Steve.
  15. Sorry its been a bit quiet on here for a month or so....... First, LMS2968, you are correct about the "Artistic Licence", but not sure its just "a little". Following our late but unavoidable withdrawal from the Wigan show, I'm pleased to report that John has been back in the "Shed" and is continuing his "elephant task" of detailing the trackwork. This involves adding Chair detail, Point Rodding and Ballasting. This photo shows part of the Station Throat trackwork as it has been since Chris first laid it many years ago. It is constructed with rivets through the sleepers to which the rail is soldered. First John has to grind away the sides of each rivet to give space for cosmetic "half chairs" to be fixed. The white line is a guide for the Point Rodding, which will be constructed before Ballasting is done. It has to be removed in sections for Ballasting to done and painted, and then re-installed. Because the track is all "bi-directional" alternate chairs have to be fixed with the wooden wedge in opposite directions. Cosmetic Fishplates are also fixed in place. As you can imagine, a very time consuming process, but one you'll see the benefit of when we take the layout to Bristol next year.......... Steve.
  16. That's lovely Jon, please let me know when you reduce the etches to 4mm scale. Steve.
  17. Thanks Tony. In a word, "no". Not sure whats involved in obtaining, storing, transporting and using it. Steve.
  18. A Testing Time or Smoke Without fire.......... Last Thursday I was able to take the chimney to John's for a trail installation prior to it going to Rob for painting. This is the Smoke generator John has made. It has a "Vaping" heating element to boil the Smoke Oil, and a Fan to assist the draughting up the chimney. The larger of the two brass tubes I made locates the chimney on the baseboard, and the smoke unit on its shelf below. The smaller diameter tube is fixed into the base of the chimney, and slides into the larger tube. The chimney is then fixed onto the base, with the tube giving accurate location and strength to the join. It me and the camera leaning, not the chimney. From the viewing side of the layout, we can see the first "test firing" We are left with two concerns. 1. The smoke isn't very visible and requires a deflector of some kind in the top of the chimney to break down the very smooth flow of the smoke. 2. There is the question "where does all the OILY smoke go?" We don't want it falling all over the station rook, and or the trackwork! John is investigating alternative smoke generation methods, and we'll try the Water Vapour type used in modern "electric fires" and room humidifiers. These generate no heat, and create the water vapour by ultrasonic vibration. We'll get there eventually, because we can! Steve.
  19. A chimney has to smoke..... John installed a conventional smoke unit in the top of the chimney, but it wasn't a great success and burnt itself out quite quickly. Not one to be put off, he decided to build his own system of smoke generation, which he has done. No pics at present, but it comprises heating coils from "Vaping" whatits and has fan assistance. All very well, but the chimney is solid! My job has been to make a working flue - should be easy to drill the chimney out, its only made of resin. The problem is its size - at 320 mm or 13 inches. I decided to drill it in my lathe - a Myford Super 7, but that was complicated by the fact that the chimney's diameter is greater than the bore of my lathe's spindle. I also don't have any "long series" drills of 8mm diameter which would do the job. Here's how I solved the problem: To hold the chimney, I wrapped the lower section in masking tape to eliminate the taper, this gave the chuck something to get hold of. I used a live centre in the tailstock to support it whilst tightening the chuck. Having used a centre drill to get things started, I drilled out the top of the chimney very carefully in increasing sizes up to 8mm. I had drilled as deep as the drills available would allow, but this was only less than a third of the total depth required. To get deeper, I extended the drills be fixing them with super glue into close fitting brass tubes. This gave me the following selection of drills: I eventually reached the bottom of the chimney with the smallest drill. I was very pleased that the drilling had kept very true to the centre of the chimney, I now had a hole in steps from 8mm down to about 2mm To open up the hole to the required 8mm, I used first a twist drill to get as far up as I could, and then used a "flat bit" from each end to complete the job. I also had to drill the shorter square section base of the chimney, which was relatively easy, having received a self centring four jaw chuck from Father Christmas a few years ago. To locate to two sections together, and locate the chimney in the baseboard, and the smoke generator, I used brass tube. The 5/16" tube aligns the chimney on its base, and the 11/32 tube into which the chimney is a sliding fit, will be fixed in the baseboard and into the smoke unit, The flange on the top of the 11/32" tube sets its height and requires a recess in the bottom of the chimney base. So there we have it - a "solid" chimney hollowed out and ready for painting and installation on the layout. Steve.
  20. Hi Euan, Thanks for your kind comments. It was news to me that Helmsman had ceased trading, and as yet I don't know what the future will hold for the several excellent products they sold. If you see their website at http://www.helmsmanuk.co.uk/ you will see that all inquiries are referred to Peco. In the short term I would suggest you do that. If the situation becomes any clearer with regards to supply of the LED's I'll let you know. In the meantime, I hope you have success with building your signals. Steve.
  21. Hi Paul, I hope the following link, to a post in my Topic, is helpful. https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/59687-semaphore-signals-4mm-scale-mainly/&do=findComment&comment=3628656 I've tried to edit it down to just the relevant post, but I keep getting the whole of my topic. Sorry. Steve.
  22. The "Lime Street Crew" will comprise Les, Rob and Myself, and we are exhibit no. 2 in the first Hall. Please come along for a chat about anything "Lime Street", or anything else for that matter. Steve.
  23. Hi Mark, I can't help with info. on the disposal of the 60ft turntable, but I can explain a little of the history of turntables at Lime Street. The period of our model is 1947, just before Nationalisation. We therefore have the smaller turntable which had replaced the early LNWR turntable formerly located to the north of platform 1 where two short sidings now exist. Very soon after Nationalisation the Lime Street Power Box was introduced along with extensions to some platforms etc. This has just been decommissioned in the recent upgrades. The platform extensions had required the demolition of the manual box, which is on our model. The Power Box is/was built partly on the site of "our" turntable. This in turn was replaced by the 60ft table shown previously. We will be modelling the early ground work for the new table on our model. Hope that helps a little. Steve.
  24. I have heard a story about its use following electrification: If an electric loco sustained damage to its windscreen on a trip to Euston, it would not be repaired there as it should have been, but it was sent back to Liverpool, with the damage at the trailing end. To return the favour, the loco was turned at Lime Street and sent back to Euston, who not having any turntable were then obliged to undertake the repair. Fact or fable????? Steve.
  25. WIGAN Exhibition, 5th & 6th October 2019. I regret to have to announce that due to ill health we will not be able to exhibit the layout at the upcoming Wigan exhibition. Three of the Lime Street Crew will instead be demonstrating their skills (or lack of them) as a small compensation. Please come along for a chat and to ask any questions about the layout. Steve
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