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    Playing trains...wooh-wooh goes the whistle, chuff=chuff goes the engine
    Riding my tricycle...ting-a-ling goes the bell wheeze and gasp goes the engine.

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  1. OK, I have walked away so I can think about what I want to do here. But what I find really annoying is that Gordon Gravett managed to do it on Arun Quay. See 6 minutes in on this video. I know that it is the senior scale, but still annoying. Andy ps this is now down as a layout on the Southampton Show in January. So I had better get a wiggle on.
  2. I will look forward to seeing your solution in action. Hopefully in the not too distant future. It's a cracking layout.
  3. The backscene, now painted smog yellow is a great improvement and it certainly drew a crowd when I was looking at it on Sunday afternoon. My only complaint, if you will allow me, is that it suffered from roundy-roundy layout syndrome. That is that the same train(s) is allowed to circulate continuously. But I think that the crew were having issues at the time. Apart from that I remain impressed, the running was done at a convincing speed, the sound was good and I am looking forward to seeing it again.
  4. So thanks for the suggestions. Please keep them coming. But to look at what we have. PaulRhB nice idea. But I have found that AJ's need free movement and I suspect that the extra springing of the flap might resist the coupling dropping properly. Pauls 3 link couplings. I did think of replacing the iron wire with iron chain. But I was reminded that this is also a test track for my AJ's. [it was said in the hope that it would encourage me to set them up properly, so that work correctly - which they do now.] I am a fan of 3 links but not for this application. Now the grill idea. Have a look at this screen shot from the 1954 Express Dairy film. But first I shall measure up how much depth I have between the rails. I might have to go to a ballast mix. Andy (I got a great idea lads)
  5. I was feeling pretty pleased with myself, having infilled the track and given it a quick coat of concrete paint. Yes, that is exactly what I was after. A little bit of cleaning up as I had to get the paint off the rails. The little 48DS doesn't like having any interruptions on the rail front. Then it was time to have a quick play...errr run through an operating sequence. And this is where I realised that the design had a flaw. Mr Ruston had asked about seeing the sleepers and baseboard being visible, I have that covered. I was concerned that there may be tightness of the back to back clearance, also covered and ready to some adjustments. But what I had not considered was the space required for the AJ coupling. For those who are not familiar with this and for people like me who thought that they were... The AJ coupling can be described as a wire that protrudes out of the end of the wagon with a bent end that hooks onto the next coupling. The other end being fixed at some point further along the wagon. Hanging down from it is a 1mm iron armature located behind the wheel nearest to the coupled end. When this runs over a magnet it pulls the coupling down and causes it to uncouple. The armature must be 1mm to 1.5mm above rail height and when pulling the coupling down will move 3mm. If some fool has infilled the track flush with the top of the rails then the stock won't uncouple as the armature hits the infill. As a short term remedy, I have cut a slot in the middle of the 4' to clear this. The coupler now works. I will also have to do the middle road and rethink the scheme of the infill. Does anyone have any ideas?
  6. I was walking around the area a couple of months ago and I think that you have the incorrect location for the station site. The siding to the left of the 455 is for the sub-station. The actual site is the brightly painted portacabins going into the concrete tower block with the black windows. These portacabins were the training rooms and are now something to do with film making. They are still accessed by steel stairs. The frontage is still in place. The building to the left is the concrete block. When looking at the station plan the entrance was off to one side and there were buildings between the end of the platforms and the road. Considering the bomb damage, I would not think it unreasonable that the station could have been repaired with lengthened platforms and using the station frontage. Passing through were the concrete building and up to the Westminster Bridge Road. Perhaps even going over it. The station would be nearer to Lambeth North Underground station than Waterloo so that might be a name for it. Andy
  7. Hi Dave, I took the precaution of painting the area inside the groove a dark colour. John Pryke used black, but I preferred a dark grey as I think that it will be less of a conflict with the other colours. I took some photos trying to be a cruel as possible. By the way, I only painted the areas that were likely to be seen. This photo is really zoomed in. Yes I am still painting on the concrete and it does need both rubbing down and a few more coats. The problem is that we have to compromise as our track and wheel standards let us down. HO/OO wheels and flanges can be quite thick and the tighter radii that are possible in 16.5 means that the gap will be wider than the broader gauges. A study of JP's Union Freight Railroad shows what he did with Peco short turnouts. That included narrowing the flangeway gap for NMRA HO wheels. This track is in EM, that means that I can't have curves that are as tight. These points are A5's so are approx 3' radius. Of course the real problem is the flange thickness and to get that shallow flangeway you would have to go for P4 or even S4. Yes, you can still see sleepers and baseboard. But I think that in this case it will work. I am hoping that the combination of a suitable colour fill with a smaller flangeway gap coupled with a restricted view that only allows it to be observed both side on and at a shallow angle will hide the compromise. Andy
  8. So this week... Today I have started on the scenic box that forms the backdrop, sides and wings etc. This I made out of hardboard. Perhaps not the best material, but I have a lot of it and I think that it will be strong enough if correctly braced and doesn't suffer a heavy trauma. Here is the box so far with some old Peco backscenes tacked on to test out the idea. It has gone a little awry at the left hand end. The level crossing will need some fettling to fit. But the corner should be hidden by the gate and whatever I stick in the corner. Probably a hedge. At the right hand end, after some fiddling around with yet more cardboard mock-ups, I have decided that a wall will mark the end of the layout. I am planning on having a road entrance between the front and middle sidings. ( to the right of the picture below) In the corner between the wall and the dairy building, I am thinking of a small nondescript structure. This week also saw me finishing infilling of the track in front of the dairy. I have always wanted infilled track. As a child I used to look at the Triang Minitrix road system, where the railway line was embedded in the road. I had never seen anything like that in real life until a visit to the Navy day at Portsmouth. It was here that I saw for the first time rails in the road around the docks. I was so enthralled that when I got home I started to make an inlaid trackway. This I did by pushing down hard a Triang fish van into the soft wood of the windowsill in my bedroom. Dad was not so impressed by my handiwork. But inlaid track is, to my mind, pure industrial,. With the exception of trams. There are several methods of filling in the tracks. The most common is to infill with either plaster or DAS and push a wagon along it to clear the flangeways. I have used both of these techniques in the past and found them unsatisfactory. First because of the weight of all that plaster. Secondly because any rough handling causes the plaster to crack. Third is that wear caused by passing rolling stock exposes the white plaster, that then needs retouching. So I was rather taken by an article by the late John Pryke in the Model Railroader of his layout Union Freight. This was a five part article in the four editions from September 2000. He later wrote a book called Building City Scenery for your model railroad, that I believe also describes the technique. The method is simply to use poster board on the areas outside of the 4 foot and to use Plastikard (I used 0.030") between the tracks. This should be more reliable and avoid the problems that I mentioned. The next task is to paint it. I have a pot of acrylic concrete by Mig. My local model shop advise that this is what the military modellers use. I'll let you know how I get on with it.
  9. Hi All, First of all congratulations Alan. I will see how you get on. Perhaps you can share at the next area group meeting, that I think is down your way. The past 3 weeks have seen some intensive activity in putting together the two Scalescenes buildings that were kindly provided by Alan. I have been playing around with their positions and was considering adding another structure in between. However I think that it looks quite balanced. The intermediate structure would have been a loading bay for the daily churn collection. But the layout isn't deep enough to have a flatbed truck backed up to the dock. Oh well! With the two main structures in place. I now need to think about the two ends. First is the end next to the sidings. I am thinking of either just an end of a building, made up of Will's corrugated asbestos sheet, or using the free low relief warehouse. Again from Scalescenes. If I choose the latter could line up the door next the office with the middle siding, making it look like the siding continues through the door. The door will be firmly shut thus restricting the siding length. Are there any opinions on this, or even other ideas? At the other end.... ... I fancy a row of trees against the backscene. I have some rather ancient conifers from John Piper. These are not in the league of that nice Mr Gravett, but they have been kicking around for some time and I think that they should work as a backgound effect. I am still pondering the foreground. Anybody got any suggestions? Meanwhile, it's time to place some rolling stock on the rails and take a step back to see how it's coming on. Yes, I am pleased with that.
  10. Another layout with point rodding is D.A. Williams Metropolitan Junction. Note that the rodding is NOT cosmetic, it actually operates the points and signals. I took these very hasty snaps on Thursday when Richard had set the layout up for a running session.
  11. Time to report in. Progress is ongoing with the buildings that bodmin16 kindly provided. On seeing the completed factory unit SWMBO commented that she has worked in buildings just like that. I have used the windows from Scaleglaze. These are printed directly on a clear film. A bit bright at the moment and of course lack the layers and depth that you can get from etched frames or even scratch build, but are effective and will suit the purposes of this project. I will tone them down a bit later on. I have also had an enquiry about showing this and having said yes, I have to fill in the exhibitors form and that is asking questions about footprint, lighting, power supply and do I want a table to put it on. So today I had a look at how I want to exhibit this. I think that such a small layout can be more or less completed in time to a presentable standard. Although there is scope for more detailing afterwards. This is the mock up. Height is 48" so it can viewed standing and sat in the high chairs. I know that this is too high for wheelchairs and very small children. However if a youngster wants to have a go we can sit them in a high chair and this should bring them up to the correct height. What do you think? It is intended to accompany the EMGS stand to provide a point of interest and to demonstrate an way of getting into EM without having to convert all of your stock and layout (if you are a OO modeller) or if you are new to the hobby that not all layouts have to go round and round or even that shunting planks can be fun. (Mr Wright?) TTFN
  12. Very good show. As said above, not too crowded a few traders less, well ventilated and a chance to say hello to few old faces. Lots of lovely layouts and it was difficult to choose the best. But standing out were Bridgwater...for decent sound effects. Especially the clunking from the signal box. Canalside, nice beam engine and a clever way of dealing with the background. Elbow lane, (see above). Nice compact layout and I shall take some ideas from it. Kaninchenbau, for the large number of trains running at one time, with only one operator. A clever use of computer control to create a very interesting layout. This is not to detract form the other layouts, it's just that these stood out to me.
  13. Hello again Tony and all, If you don't mind, I just want to go back to the churchman and the early layouts with loco's wired back to front or wired correctly and everyone else got it wrong. Well Richard Stevenson, (he who brought along the American and the Hogsback light railway loco & is still not signed up to RM web) was intrigued by my question as to how the wiring convention came about and has done some digging. Here is a summary of the correspondence, that he asked me to post. Hi Andy I have just seen your contribution to Wright Writes. The Metropolitan Junction locos were originally wired the wrong way round according to the EMGS manual sheet and, it seems, ready to run OO models. I was reluctant to change them at first in case there was some aspect of the layout electrics, possibly isolation breaks, which would fail to work if they were altered. However, as I got more of the layout operational and tried running some of my own locos on it with no problems appearing, the difference started to get exasperating. I concluded that it would have to be dealt with and devoted several modelling sessions to changing the motor wiring. Also, where refurbishment has involved removal of the wheels, I have replaced the insulated wheels on the side specified in the manual sheet. I must check my HO locos to see if they all conform to the same convention. The Americans were using 2-rail in the late 30's, so there could be an NMRA standard from way back. Richard The EMGS manual sheet 5.3.2.o was published in 1988. I wondered if there were earlier references. Perhaps in the old newsletter, The Marshallling Yard. Hi Andy, I have not found any mention of locomotive polarity in the issues of 'The Marshalling Yard' that I have or in the Technical Notes booklet. There is a very detailed three part article in 'The Marshalling Yard' on the conversion of a Hornby Dublo 'Castle' to EM which I thought might mention polarity, but it does not and neither does it state on which side the insulated driving wheels should go. The Model Railways Handbook 7th Edition, probably published late 1963 (an ad for the MRN shows the cover of the Sept 1963 issue) includes the BRMSB standard dimensions, but does not mention locomotive polarity. The NMRA Electrical Standard S-9 was revised Aug. 1984 and states: "Positive potential applied to the right hand rail shall produce forward motion." This is much more concise than the rather wordy manual sheet. (Issue 1 dated April 1988) There is nothing on the NMRA website to indicate when S-9 was first issued. I suspect that somewhere, in the early days of 2-rail in the UK, the opposite polarity was recommended. I remember a meeting at Philip Millard's house [MRJ77 - 40 years of building rolling stock] and finding that his locos were wired like that when I ran "Cardean". I have checked all my brass HO locomotives and find that they all conform to the NMRA standard for polarity. The insulated side is not consistent, however. I would guess that the current UK polarity convention was set by Rovex or possibly Graham Farish. As Graham Farish were attempting to export to the US, conformance with the NMRA standard may not be a coincidence. Richard So is this a logical explanation or is there another piece of the puzzle? If these layouts and locomotives were wired up without visiting another layout and the choice was random, then I would expect to see a 50/50 split on the direction. But on the early layouts we don't seem to be finding this and I believe that locos were run on other layouts. I wonder if there are other early layouts wired this way. For instance, Borchester, does anyone know? Andy
  14. I think the Churchman and TBG may be correct. Met Junction loco's are also wired the correct way around. And as these layouts were the first, everyone else is wrong. [Points trembling finger at congregation] Who set us on the wrong path away from the true and divine method of wiring up our loco's? So impressed was I at the rest of the layout that I forgot about the three link failure. It has puzzled me as to how this has happened. I like to run rakes of wagons with three links in the middle and AJ's at the end. I have only come across the problem of the coupling "knotting itself" after someone has tried to fiddle with it. I am also still bemused by the Crownline attempt at compensation. Thank you for showing it to me, it was interesting to see and has got my little grey cells working around what is happening to the loco to make it dance it's merry jig and more importantly how I avoid making the same error. I think that when Mr Crownline designed that chassis, he must either have lost faith in the principle or only read part of the book, or had some other idea that he only half pursued. (BTW, I have a strong idea as to what is happening and will make sure that my efforts will run as smooth as silk when on show) Either way it is a very unhappy loco, even if does look exquisite. Oh and I really enjoyed running the MR/M&GN bit. Thanks Muchly
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