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Everything posted by KingEdwardII

  1. Don't be silly - of course you need one. How could you not need such a beautiful and detailed model. What is money for, if not to acquire such wonders? At the very least, the Manor could be hauling a "special" - and Henley is such a "special" place . Roll on, summer Saturdays... Yours, Mike. PS I am sure I shall fall victim to Manor envy once they are released - I may indeed get examples of both the Accurascale and Dapol versions. You can't have too many Manors. OK, I have to admit to having stood in the sunshine too long at Aberystwyth station as an 8 year old... I'll come quietly now.
  2. Ah, but the preservation boys love a bit of pristine. No weathering and grime for them, except for the wrecks that they have yet to restore. It should always look like it just arrived from Swindon (or whichever works suits your preferences...). No rust, no rot, no faded paint. Welcome to preservation land. I've been watching the GWSR volunteers beavering on the newly constructed footbridge at Broadway station. The care and attention to detail is awe inspiring - and the number of coats of paint applied almost beggars belief. They are defying weather and rot to spoil their new creation. Yours, Mike.
  3. Yes indeed - right angles. And the hook is miniscule and painted red to match the buffer beam on KEII as in attached photo Yours, Mike.
  4. Lift-outs rule #1: Don't have curved track spanning the gap at either side of a lift-out. I guarantee that you will get problems if you have curved track crossing the gap. It is very, very hard to get the alignment right. And it will probably change each time you open and close the lift out. My advice is to set up the lift-out with track that is: a) straight where it crosses the gap b) has a straight section each side of the gap of 3 to 4 inches minimum (this is to avoid the kinds of sideways throw that longer stock has as it goes round a curve) c) ideally the track crosses the gap at 90 degrees to line of the gap It's OK to have curved track on the lift out itself, as long as you stick to these rules. Yours, Mike.
  5. Well, your question intrigued me and after a little searching, I came across this, which appears to have been written in 1890 and interestingly relates to railway practices (in Scotland): https://www.electricscotland.com/history/transport/railways3.htm And towards the end of that page it says: "Arrived at the cattle dock, the animals were walked out of their trucks almost as easily and quickly as a train-load of passengers, and off into the covered yards of the different salesmen. Hardly arc they out of the trucks, when men with great jets of water from a fire-hose set to work to wash out the trucks, and to cover the floor with layers of fresh sawdust,..." So I think they were canny enough to realize that jets of water from a hose were a quicker way to clean up after the cattle! It certainly shows that things were done this way pre-grouping. Amazing what you can find via the internet! Yours, Mike.
  6. Indeed, let alone the kind of space required. It might make a good layout for a club somewhere, as long as they had plenty of space and enthusiasm available! Yours, Mike.
  7. To which I say - well, it shouldn't be. I'd investigate the stiffness. You may find that something is binding as the switch blades move. Prime candidates include the switch blades themselves on the underlying sleepers or the tie bar against the adjacent sleeper/connectors on the outslde of the rails. A little bit of filing or scraping in the right place might deal with that problem. Yours, Mike
  8. Well, you could always have a go at Kirkby Stephen You'd be forever changing points and signals! Bit of automation called for, I think... Yours, Mike.
  9. This is one reason that I've chosen to model a preserved line, rather than an original line at some time in the past. Preserved lines have plenty of action, even on a former single track branch line. They pack in more locos, more stock and more activity than most of those lines would ever have seen historically. They give you the opportunity to mix locos and stock from many eras - and it is not out of place to have some humongous express locos trundling in to a single platform terminus. Just look at the trains the GWSR haul into sleepy Broadway today... Empty platforms? Not likely - there are plenty of folk milling around even when there are no trains due. Plus the volunteers looking after the place. Perhaps the one area that is less well served is the humble freight train, since few preserved lines have any freight traffic. However, many preserved lines have their freight enthusiasts and have exhibition freight trains - no pinch bars or loose shunting, however! No so much use for weathering, I'm sorry - the preservation boys tend to like "pristine". Although there are always the unrestored wrecks... And then again, the preserved lines certainly have engineering trains, though usually with more modern stock and more typically moved using a diesel. I was given the Pen & Sword book on the Severn Valley Railway for my recent birthday (and an excellent book it is...). It's great because it first deals with the history of the line before preservation - with lots of old photos. The contrast of the passenger traffic then - typically small trains or railcars - with the regular fare today is amazing. 7 or 8 coach train behind a Castle or an A4 - very nice. And they have that stunning rake of LNER teak coaches - utterly out of place historically, but a wonder to behold crossing the Victoria Bridge at Arley. (It would be wonderful to have the space to model something like that...) And because of the pressure to do all the preservation activities on-site, there is every excuse to have engine sheds, engineering sheds and so on, with some activity all the time. Not sure I fancy modelling the enormous carriage shed at Kidderminster, however. And as much stock as you can muster. Makes shunting operations into an art form. Yours, Mike.
  10. Nah, for that you'd have to build the platforms round a corner turning through almost 90 degrees. It'll never catch on... Yours, Mike.
  11. Ah yes, the preservation boys love a bit of spotless - zero weathering there!! Those are the wagons - and coaches - for which a shiny gloss finish is often true to life.
  12. With some point motors, at least, you don't need to remove the springs - they work just fine. I use MTB MP1 point motors and some of my points have the springs still installed. Yours, Mike.
  13. It depends on what you want to model the wagon as carrying. Coal tended to be hauled in the wagons with more planks - 7 or 8 typically in the early 1940s. Wagons with fewer planks tended to be used for other commodities, like stone, china clay and so on. Coke - even lower density than coal - often used wagons with extra planking tacked on top. However, there could be examples of smaller wagons carrying coal - so you are probably free to choose. Yours, Mike.
  14. PECO Parkside kits do 2 versions of a wooden 12T coal wagon: https://peco-uk.com/collections/parkside/products/rch-1923-design-12ton-coal-wagon and https://peco-uk.com/collections/parkside/products/rch-1923-design-7-plank-coal-wagon ...the second has fixed ends. You should be able to pick up one of these for £10 or so, but you will need to have paints and transfers for them. The kits have the advantage over RTR models in that you can assemble them without couplings (tension lock etc) which is probably what you need for your diorama. Alternatively, as Cypherman says, buy one on eBay. Yours, Mike. PS Since I'm a GWR fanatic, you could always base your livery for the wagon on this as used by Dapol on their 'O' gauge version : https://www.petersspares.com/Dapol-7f-071-032-7-plank-wagon-gwr-06579-o-gauge.ir
  15. No, not in all cases. In your example, the thing that does not look right is actually the 16T mineral wagon. They were painted a BR freight grey on the bodywork (bauxite brown if vacuum fitted, rarer). When pristine they were a lot lighter than you're showing in your diorama and usually had a white diagonal stripe on one side plus some lettering on the lower sides. Usually they were heavily "weathered" in use with rust and peeling paintwork in ever varying quantities. Bachmann sell their OO versions with various amounts of weathering. Eric Kemp has a selection of beauties on his site here: https://erickemp.smugmug.com/BR-16T-Mineral-Wagons/ One other item to note from Eric's pictures is the flash of white (usually stained to grey) on the end of the brake lever. He also has an exceptional almost pristine vacuum braked example in there, which is a simply gorgeous colour. The chassis was painted black when new and it usually stayed that colour although the paintwork soon lost its lustre. There were occasionally spots picked out in white on the chassis as Eric's pictures show. I lived in South Wales as a child and remember trainloads of these wagons regularly rumbling past the end of our street. Happy modelling! Yours, Mike.
  16. It's very good what you achieved with those. However, the main drawback with physical drawings like that is that it is usually very hard to make any changes once you've applied pen to paper. Either to deal with a mistake or to handle future changes. That is where the computer drawing programs really score - editing is straightforward. Yours, Mike.
  17. Ah yes, the preservation boys are sticklers for a bit of spit'n'polish Not so much use for "weathered" finishes there... Yours, Mike.
  18. Hmm - starting from scratch, that will take a while! I've been using versions of LibreOffice for 15+ years and I've probably forgotten how much I've learned! I'll start out by saying that something like the Burleigh Street Cabin should not be so hard, but the Alexandra Dock example looks very complex, especially the multiple intersecting sweeping curves. You can't realistically "cut and paste" from a picture such as those - those are bitmap pictures and taking pieces and placing them into a new diagram will be very hard - basically you can't change the shapes of pieces of a bitmap, which is what you would need to do. I would approach the problem in Draw (that's the component of LibreOffice that you use for drawings) by creating some basic elements and then combine those into a diagram. Draw diagrams are essentially "vector diagrams" based on lines and areas, which can very easily be modified in size, shape, colour, etc, - very different from a bitmap picture. So, to attempt something like Burleigh Street Cabin, I'd envisage doing the tracks as a form of line - some straight, some curved. I'd create elements for signals out of a grouped set of lines and coloured areas. Same for the black rectangles for turnouts. These elements can then be cut and paste into the diagram where required. In a sense, you'd be building a set of drawing elements to create such diagrams - there would be up-front work to create these elements before you start to draw the diagrams. Some of the tricky stuff is creating the double curved elements like the representations of crossovers. The help document for Draw is here: https://documentation.libreoffice.org/assets/Uploads/Documentation/en/DG4.3/DG43-DrawGuide.pdf ...but that's like climbing the Matterhorn, since it contains everything! As with any new tool, it is better to start simple and learn to to simple things and work out from there. Here's a plan I created earlier this week for one of the bathrooms that we're remodelling - not in any way the same as a signalbox diagram, but it can give an idea of what Draw can be used to produce in a short timescale: Top_Bathroom_Plan_3.pdf Yours, Mike.
  19. Gimp is a great tool, but it is designed for editing photos/images and that is what it is best at doing, rather than drawing diagrams from scratch. Of the Office tools, Powerpoint is the best drawing tool by far. If you need something free, that can be installed on most operating systems, try LibreOffice. It has a Drawing tool that is as good as Powerpoint. I've been using it to draw diagrams of a couple of bathrooms that we are in the process of remodelling! Yours, Mike.
  20. My advice is to keep the track on a lift-out section as simple as possible. The fewer the number of tracks, the fewer the possibilities for alignment issues where the tracks cross from the lift-out section to the fixed baseboards. The track crossing the ends of the lift-out should be straight and ideally at 90 degrees to the edge of the lift-out. Curved tracks can give you horrible alignment problems (been there, done that!). In addition, if you place turnouts on the lift-out section, you then need to provide a means of operating them - more complication whether you use mechanical or electrical mechanisms. My own lift-out carries a simple double track. 4 alignments to deal with on straight track. It works well - trains don't notice they are crossing a gap in the tracks. Yours, Mike.
  21. Robin, The main thing I was commenting on with regard to Mr Crewlisle's posting was the sentence prominently highlighted by him in bold about not using polarity switches or other gizmos. My point is that such things are used on both DC and DCC layouts to deal with a specific problem, that of shorting caused by metal wheels bridging the stock rail and switch rail of an electrofrog turnout. I also pointed out that this problem can occur with modern finer scale wheels - it happened to me recently with a brand new loco and I have read other folks accounts of similar things. I don't think that the mechanisms used to control accessories are a relevant part of the discussion here - the problem exists whether the turnouts are controlled manually or are driven electrically. The solution is broadly similar in all cases: modified turnouts with a need to provide power to the frog which changes with the setting of the turnout. The mechanism used for frog power can vary and each person probably has their favoured one - my choice is the switch built in to the point motors that I use, but there are plenty of alternatives. It is certainly important for folk who plan to use electrofrog turnouts to be aware of this problem, since if they install the turnouts unmodified and later experience the shorting problem, it may be a difficult job to extract those turnouts from a fully-built layout in order to modify them to solve the problem. Yours, Mike.
  22. I am not sure why you think that curved points will cause problems. I have several curved points on my layout and they give me no problems at all. You need to pay some attention to the transition to/from curved points, but since you are are already using a computer tool to plan the layout, this should not be an issue. I am curious as to why you are using the 9' side of the garage for your station, rather than the 17' side - or do you already have plans for other things to occupy the 17' sides? I'd be licking my lips at the prospect of a couple of straight runs of 17' !! Yours, Mike.
  23. Peter, I can agree that it is possible to use Electrofrog points without any modifications at all and without any gizmos. All that is mandatory is the use of 2 IRJs on the rails leading away from the frog. And this applies to both DC and DCC operation. However, with no modifications to the points and with no gizmos, you are open to a potential problem with shorting. This is caused by the switch rails both being at the same polarity as the frog if the point is unmodified. This leaves open the possibility that the (metal) wheels of locos or of stock can bridge between the stock rail and the switch rail for the route not being taken. If this happens there will be a short, since these two rails will be of opposite polarity - for DCC and DC operation. Does this shorting happen? Well, it certainly did for me - with my shiny new Hornby GWR 2-8-2T when I was test running it. Supposedly it is a worse problem with older models which have coarser scale metal wheels, but my 2-8-2T shows that it can still happen with modern equipment with finer scale wheels. I suspect there is more "play" involved with long wheelbase locos and this is the root of the problem in my case. If this shorting occurs, then it is necessary to make the modifications to the turnout that have been described many times in these forums, to ensure that the stock rail and adjacent switch rail are always the same polarity. This then forces the isolation of the frog from the switch rails, since the two switch rails will be of opposite polarity. Following from that is a need to provide a means of powering the frog - which is where the gizmos come in, since the polarity of the frog changes depending on which way the turnout is set. If you have managed to avoid the shorting problem without modifying your electrofrog points, that's great. It works for you. However, please be assured that the shorting problem really does occur for lots of other folk - and that it needs to be dealt with. There are alternative approaches for powering the frog - and they don't really differ much between DC and DCC operation. I use a switch built in to the point motors that I use - simple and easy to understand. Other folk like to use frog juicers and so on. Yours, Mike.
  24. I think the issues of a) damp and b) dust are going to be significant concerns for a garage layout. Pretty well nothing on a model railway layout likes dampness. Dust is hard to remove from scenic areas and it isn't friendly to anything that moves. I think that you need to concentrate efforts on fitting out a garage to deal with these two factors. Good insulation, thorough draftproofing and a source of heat in the winter are all part of the solution. What to do about the main garage door is a significant question, since these are usually poorly insulated and are as windproof as a sieve. Yours, Mike.
  25. Yup. Here is a direct quote from one of the web pages of a planning control authority in England: "It is generally considered that basement conversions are the most expensive of domestic building work." As well as tanking (to deal with water/dampness) and thermal insulation, you may have to create a separate fire escape route, in addition to a regular staircase for access from the rest of the house. Plus provide ventilation. Dealing with water in basements is no joke. One of my friends has a large well appointed mid-Victorian villa with a superb cellar. It is built on limestone, which is generally very good, but it is porous, as they discovered in the summer deluge of 2007 when the cellar ended up under 3 feet of water that simply seeped in through the walls. Fortunately they were not storing anything valuable down there. My own Victorian place does not have a cellar, probably because the water table here is only a couple of feet down during the winter - they would have had an indoor swimming pool! Yours, Mike.
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