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  1. It wasn't just the plastic Bachmann locos which had issues, one of the brass ones had them too ...........
  2. I spent most of yesterday checking/testing locomotives. I found loads of problems - kept me busy! QJ 7207 had a missing cab door window - lost. Also it's an enclosed cab and so the first thing was to gently disassemble it. I cut some plastic glazing, it wouldn't be a flush fit, but it's better than nothing .................. While I had access to interior of the cab, I decided to paint it. The cab was molded in yellow plastic, I assume that was because the cab interior was yellow, but the floor wasn't! I wanted to paint the seats as well, but I couldn't do that without getting paint all over the figures and so I compromised on that aspect.
  3. No need to be sorry at all, that's a very good point. I had just parked the taxi in the best place to hide the hole in the baseboard with my head sticking up through it. I will see if I can move the taxi forward so that it looks like I'm coming out of the back door.
  4. Luke As you know there are many features (gimmicks?) on the layout in order to broaden its appeal. The layout has always been well received (even when it wasn't perfect by any means) by those who knew China in the 1980's/90's and early 2000's - but they are a VERY small percentage of the viewing public. There will always be a minority who will just walk by muttering, "foreign rubbish" and so it, as a layout. and we, as a team, have to reach out to a wider audience. How we engage with that wider audience is something we will need to experiment with. All these features (gimmicks?) are very subtle (not to offend the serious modeller) and so to an extent they need to be highlighted so that others who would appreciate/enjoy them don't miss them. All I know from my experience in the past is that when the average exhibition attendee has had these 'features' pointed out to them, they have loved them. So, the trick is to make them very obvious to those who will love them without offending the serious modeller. I am aware that some of my team are not keen on these 'features' and so it might end up that when I am operating I will personally point out these 'features' and when they are operating they won't. We will have a better idea of how popular these 'features' are after Tolworth and how best to bring them to the viewers attention.
  5. Yes, this was just a mock up and the best of 3/4 attempts today - that's because I only have two boards up (hence just a light loco) and so the loco had to start off much closer to the taxi than when the whole layout is up. With the whole layout set up at an exhibition I will appear 5-10 seconds earlier depending on the speed of the approaching train. This will give mums and dads time to call their children over. Trains running clockwise on that single track have a magnet under the chassis, that runs over a reed switch which operates a relay which sends me up. About 18 inches past me there is another reed switch which sends a message which brings me down again so children don't get bored waiting for me to get back in the car. Trains running in the other direction do not have magnets and so do not trigger the action - I've never liked 'going away' shots!
  6. Here is a video I made today as a test/demo. I may have posted something similar some years ago, but anyway it's quite short. The theme of the layout is my friends and I visiting China many times to photograph the last operating steam locos in normal service. In this clip I am sitting in a taxi, I hear a loco approaching, I jump out, take a photo and get back in the taxi once it's gone. YES, that is a 3D printed version of me and a camera, done for me by Alan at MODELU.
  7. Ok, back to reality. Here are a few photos .... The wing mirrors needed to be vertical on the trucks and so couldn't just be superglued to the (angled) cab frame, so I decided I needed to add some wire supports. I didn't have any suitable wire, until I remembered that I had a load of reed switches with long 'tails'. I added wing mirrors to the MB 207D but then discovered that it had a missing part of its front bumper and so I had to fabricate a replacement.............. it was still a work in progress at this point .....
  8. Oh NO! You've done it again! "We still couldn't separate the two top layouts when it was pointed out that we were wrong, both layouts' vehicles did have wing mirrors. But then we noticed that the vehicles on one layout all the same licence plate number and so the cup for best layout goes to ....................."
  9. I hate you! I had a dream where an EM was handing out the cup for best in show and he said, "It was a tough decision, there were two layouts absolutely locked together in the the judges' opinion. Then we noticed that one layout's vehicles had wing mirrors and the other layout's vehicles didn't and that was the tie-breaker for us and the cup goes to ........... Consequently, you have got me obsessed with wing mirrors and licence plates - I spent virtually all day yesterday improving just one vehicle, it started with wing mirrors and just grew like topsy Here's a clue as to which vehicle..............
  10. As you all probably know, I have been working on the Faller roadway for four years and whilst it was, in theory, fully installed by our first exhibition (Spring 2018) we have never used it due to reliability issues. Here is an early photo taken in January 2018 .. the roadway design was slightly different then, I have simplified since. This week I have managed to get the final piece of the jigsaw in place - the stopping magnet by the gates and the time delay to hold the vehicle until the barriers are fully open.
  11. Back in March I received 'harsh' words that my new van and some other trucks lacked wing mirrors and licence plates and I promised to do better next time and return to the issue at some point. At the time I had other more pressing things to concentrate on, but now, as a '.gentleman of leisure', I'm looking to deal with things which have been on the back burner for too long. I carefully lifted the three trucks which sit by the freight shed and made some wing mirrors for them and some licence plates. Haven't tried anything on the van yet, but tomorrow is another day.
  12. I'm working on that problem at the moment - only took me 6 months!
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