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  1. I’m a little surprised no-one has covered how to turn the Bachmann Thomas range’s Henrietta into something a bit more detailed and authentic, given its the only semi-accurate passenger stock for these engines.
  2. Can anyone advise me on the best way to fit kadee couplings to the older Bachmann carriages which don’t have NEM pockets? Im a big fan of the Hornby close couplers- I have them fitted on my Pullman and maunsell rakes where they are reliable and discrete. The biggest problem I have is that when I put carriages back in the box they sometimes push the plastic lining and get distorted, sometimes to the point where they can’t be used again.
  3. It did change but only one week to the right, to during my holiday to America which meant I couldn’t watch it. I was told last time it took 6 weeks to edit an episode of 2 crews filming for 24 hours into 45 minutes (for the heats, the final had 3 crews and 36 hours of building), so they just have been a lot more disciplined on what they filmed and what they knew they needed to film. Unless they’ve given it a longer episode run... I’ll be watching for sure!
  4. I recently fitted a TTS chip to a Bachmann engine using a 21-8 converter chip. Are there points on the standard 21pin plate where a stay alive could go?
  5. Why not wait until Hornby’s Q6 TTS chip comes out- they’re both 8 pin, and the engines had the same sized wheels and boiler pressure. The cylinders of the J27 were 1.25” shorter stroke than the Q but who will notice that....
  6. I was advised to use a zen as mine (the LMR one) didn’t run too smoothly. I would advise taking the wheels out and cleaning the axles- these are part of the circuit so if they are gunned up with lubricant the engine won’t perform well. Any chance from DJM of another LMR one? There are certainly plenty to choose from.
  7. The amazing thing is that this is a well-stocked model shop covering a range of hobbies in a prime city location, with no shortage of clientele to keep it going. What it needs is an owner to take it into the next 72 years of operation. It has recently featured on local television which apparently brought in a number of new clients, which in conjunction with GMRC should have given it a future.
  8. I was in there yesterday, it was looking very sorry for itself but the shelves are not yet bare and there are plenty of bargains left over. Apparently the original owner has been running it for 72 years and is now 88, the doors are expected to close between the 15th of January and the start of February. I went in and took advantage of their 20% off everything- I could have spent even more if I wasn’t trying to keep my engine numbers down.
  9. Our timetable during filming: Thursday and Friday- 12 hours of railway modelling Saturday- judging day, found out we won, Malcolm articulated his enthusiasm to the camera Have the London Olympics idea Sunday- 3 of us go to Gaugemaster to see what little figures can be bodged into an Olympic scene Monday and Tuesday- design the layout whilst doing our day jobs Wednesday evening- drive to High Wycombe ready for the final We never thought we were going to win before we started as we had so little preparation done before we left. It wasn’t until we were told Missenden were as good as disqualified that we realised we might be in with a chance and started thinking about the final. They cut quite a lot from the final- Basingstoke’s broad gauge deserved a mention and the (slightly rubbish) wagon bashing competition wasn’t featured at all. We would have had far more buildings on our layout but we didn’t have the man-hours to get all our kits built with 5 down to 4 during the second day.
  10. Funny then how we had one 17 year old, and the Railway Children were all 17 or 18... I thought the rules said no under 16’s.
  11. My biggest takeaway would be to use the 4-track DC controller- ditch any idea of showing off your collection of sound fitted engines- the judges have seen it all before. Instead minimise the opportunities for things to go wrong by getting the track down, wire in a few wiring breaks and get trains moving. The editing will mask out any good ideas you have about synching sound, smoke and movements, as long as something goes around in circles you’re in with a chance.
  12. Hi Everyone, Oli from The Strangers team here. Been following the incredible number of comments that have gone up on here. It’s certainly very flattering to read so many people saying ‘the best team won’ or words to that effect. I’ve only just seen it as I’m on holiday at the moment so decided now to respond. The strangers team were put together by the production company, we all applied individually and then tried to rope in any modelling friends. The team went through a number of incarnations before the last 5 survivors came together- I hadn’t met Jack (incorrectly named as me) and John before we started filming. Advanced filming was done at Malcolm’s house where some preliminary work was done, but there wasn’t space in the final edit of the episode to include this. Some of us met to plan the ideas we had and we settled on ‘The Longest Day’. Someone asked why there weren’t more WW2 vintage engines on the track- in the end we used our budget to get an E4, Adams Radial and Q1, but we later checked with other teams who had used their own engines, if we had known this we would have had way more appropriate stock. Jack painted the ambulance train on the first day and we all thought it really looked the part. Harry (aka Skrillex) created an amazing soundscape which synchronised to the Spitfire and parachuting pilot, but unfortunately the final editing meant this wasn’t demonstrated as well as it could have been. We didn’t really know what Missenden we’re doing until towards the end of the second day as we were so frantically busy. I can believe that Missenden asked in advance, and a combination of a team knowing exactly what they meant and a production team with limited understanding of railway modelling meant the answer got lost in translation. It was an education for everyone, but rules are defined by precedents and the judges decided that the rules weren’t being followed so took action. I expect the rules to be clarified in future, and for the production team to improve their handling of queries about them. On that subject the production crew really were fantastic- the exec producer apparently used to do the same job for Top Gear- and they all were always trying to put the hobby in the best possible light while making great television- something I think they succeeded at. They did film excerpts on different elements of railway modelling (I saw one presenter push to film one when a contestant explained what he was doing) but the time pressures of cutting 3 days of filming down to 45 minutes meant this wasn’t shown for this episode. One day when the ‘extended directors cut’ dvd is released these will be seen. Or maybe when the second season gets a 90 minute running slot.... Speaking of second series, plenty of well established TV series’ ended up looking completely different to their first episode, so don’t be surprised if it has a few issues. The exec producer had lots of ideas for how to improve it going forward so if you like it, watch it repeatedly on catch-up to take viewing figures even higher so channel 5 commission a second series. The layouts which didn’t win could be taken home on completion, the winning layout was moved to a store room in case any further filming was needed during the filming. ‘Normandy Road’ was saved and there are plans to exhibit it (we had to run a saw through the back scene to get it in a van) but we need to dedicate some time to it first. It’s incredibly heavy so we need to make it a bit more portable and the wiring and electronics will need upgrading. But we have lots of ideas for how to improve it which we want to look at. I’ve seen a lot of comments about how the hobby has been trivialised or the technical elements rushed through. The only TV show I had seen before about this was ‘The joy of (train) sets’ on BBC 4, where it was never going to attract new and young followers. When the production crew approached me at the Ally Pally show I thought it sounded like a great idea which worst case scenario might attract a few new people while not changing opinions of the hobby for the most people. Everyone I know who saw it but isn’t into modelling really liked it and I’m sure after Christmas this forum will have plenty of new members whose first posts look like ‘I watched every episode and then for Christmas I was given a train set’. New hobbyists are what the hobby needs and this is the best recruitment tool we have at the moment and I’m proud to play a small part in bringing them in. If you’re sceptical then look at how much more popular baking became after Bake off, same with ceramics after the pottery throw-down. More followers creates more demand and choice, which increases variety and drives down cost, which everyone (including manufacturers and model shops) benefit from. In summary, I’d recommend it to anyone who thinks they could do better, and to those who think they’re not at competition standard (that included me). It is a test of teamwork and planning as much as experience, techniques which require weeks to deliver the desired effect are useless- our grass mat is the epitome of the phrase ‘perfect is the enemy of good enough’.
  13. I’ve just spent the evening trying to fit the DCC concepts zen 6 pin without luck. I bent the pins to get a better angle in the smoke box but still no joy. I think it could be the hardest steam locomotive with a socket I’ve ever had- why would they make someone remove the base of the chassis thus exposing the axles to unscrew the body? My leading axle fell out immediately, along with the piston rods from the cylinders.
  14. Would this vehicle be suitable to work in conjunction with Gladiator? HO scale but would struggle less with loading gauge and look effectively the same. http://www.gaugemaster.com/item_details.asp?code=MPW98665&style=&strType=&Mcode=Model+Power+98665
  15. I’m convinced that’s the first class section of a class 700. Makes sense for someone to make them given they will soon be covering from Cambridge and St Albans through to Brighton and Littlehampton.
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