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  • Location
    Near (but not in!) the service station on the M11
  • Interests
    Singing and conducting classical choral music and modelling railways in the Great Eastern territory

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  1. Before I moved to Scotland, John Dutfield was my local model shop. I still use them, although it's now by mail order, as their service is excellent, especially during the last few months.
  2. I've just read the whole blog, and what you have ended up with is a very creditable model of a B12. Brilliant. The one thing that let's it down, which you can do nothing about, is the 8mm that Triang cut out from the front end - it really does make such a massive difference to the looks of the loco. The proper length loco looks lean and svelte, the Triang/Hornby shortened version looks squat and dumpy. I want to get a B12 for myself, but as an EM modeller who enjoys building locos, I will be buying the PDK kit, however, I've got a few more kits to build before I buy that one! Phil
  3. PGC

    Some more videos

    Since uploading the first two videos, I have now uploaded more, some of which show my J15 (No, it's not a Hornby one! :-) ) and N7, as well as other members stock including the club J15 (No, that's not Hornby, either! :-) ) I hope you enjoy. Phil
  4. PGC

    Some videos

    Thanks both for the comments about the smooth running - the quality of loco performance is highly important to me. I'm afraid you do see the Youtube stabilisation feature in action - Youtube suggested the videos needed it and not knowing what effect it would have I accepted the suggestion. I'm not sure if that's a good idea or not? I will upload the same video and leave it unstabilised so you can pass comment. Phil
  5. PGC

    Some videos

    At the East Anglian model railway exhibition over 14th and 15th March, 2015, I had the opportunity to take some videos of the layout, two of which show locomotives that I have built (but not quite finished yet!). The first video shows my J17. It is built from a Stelfox kit, powered by a Mashima 1224 motor through a High Level gear box at 54:1. I have yet to add crew and cab glazing, two faults that are quite obvious when watching the end of the video! At the start of the video, there is also a quick clip of my Y7 0-4-0T that was being used as a shunter in the exchange sidings and appears in earlier blog entries.. The second video shows my E4 which is built from a NuCast (ex Stephen Poole) white metal kit. The chassis, however, is built from Alan Gibson milled brass main frames with a Mashima 1024 with a flywheel motor driving through a High Level gear box, again at 54:1 ratio. I took the videos on my 'phone, so the quality is not bad, but it's not as good as it could be if I had taken in on a proper video camera. One of the results of the exhibition was 5 invites to future exhibitions, so I will be taking a video camera to those and see if I can get some good video footage. I hope you enjoy the videos, I certainly do. Not that I'm biased! :-) Phil Edit added 27 March 2015 In view of the comments from other RMwebbers, I have now uploaded unstabilised versions of the videos so you can see the difference the Youtube stabilisation function makes. I would welcome comments on whether it's worth stabilising the videos or not. Thanks Phil
  6. until

    Had a great weekend. Venue excellent, catering good, facilities beyond reproach, great choice of layouts and traders and a very friendly atmosphere. Well done to the organisers and thanks for a superb show. Phil
  7. Last night I was at the club. We were titivating BBC (Blackwell Brewery Company) for the St. Neots show next weekend (14th / 15th March). With all the layouts we currently have under construction, we don't have room in the clubroom to keep the layout permanently erected so this was the first chance I have had to run the E4 and the J17 on the layout. Frustratingly, they didn't run perfectly! The J17 suffers mysterious short circuits, which shouldn't happen so I will have to find out what's happening today and rectify the trouble. Otherwise, the loco runs as I expect it to, very slowly and smoothly. The E4 doesn't get round the curves without derailing. Last September, at the Mid Essex show, an EM layout allowed me to run the loco and it was fine, since then I've added the fall plate between loco and tender so I suspect the inability to get round curves now is because the fall plate is restricting the movement. This is easily sorted with a file and then touch up with a bit of black paint, so I now have two more jobs for the workbench today that I didn't expect. However, frustration can always be tempered with good news! I also have a Lima Class 20 and a Heljan Class 15, both of which have been converted to EM and ran very well, the Lima Class 20 in particular as it now has the Ultrascale produced worm gear and wheel. I will be taking some video at the show of the loco running and then will be posting this to the site, if you're reading this and interested, you can read more about this conversion here and Ultrascale are prepared to produce the gears for other modellers. Other jobs I have to do on the workbench today are to fit the detailing both locos and also flush glazing for the Cl 20. This won't be the end of the work on the Cl 20, however - it currently has headcode boxes and the early locos didn't, so I will have to remove them. As Tony Wright says in his thread, for some of us, the joy of railway modelling is making things, and this is definitely very true for me! Another frustration is that I have to re-apply the numbers to the Gresley 51ft full parcels brake that I made from a Kirk kit. I had numbered it, but then when I got it home, discovered the numbers had rubbed off in transit so this time I will varnish the coach once I've reapplied the numbers and before I do anything else. That's an easy matter to fix, but just annoying I have to redo a job! The last frustration was pointed out by the rivet counters at the club last night. Bless them! I have purchased a totem sign for the Saxlingham fascia that I will be redoing shortly, and thought the blue I'd ordered was the correct one. It turns out I'd ordered the Scottish region blue, so I'm going to have to reorder that or move the location of Saxlingham 400 miles North. I don't think Norfolk will be very happy with that so I'll just have to swallow my loss for being stupid! Hey ho. At least I'm on my own today, so the volume control on the music is heading clockwise! Phil
  8. PGC

    A new start

    As you'll see in other entries on my blog, I build models of BR ex GER stock, and as the E4 and J17 are now virtually finished, I've started on a new build, a J19 (I've just edited this entry, I originally called the loco a J17. It's not!) 0-6-0 tender loco. As you can see from the photos below, I have used a High Level gear box (Road Runner +) at 60:1 ratio. The motor is currently a Mashima 1620 although I may change it for a 1624 or 1630 I have available. One of the things I dislike is seeing motors or gearboxes intruding in to cab, under boilers etc. With the modern range of gearboxes, I believe (although I would be happy to be proved wrong!) that you should be able to hide the motor and gearbox away, and this is why I have mounted the transmission the way I have. The one difficulty with this is that I have had to make a bracket to hold the gearbox in position when the body is mounted on the chassis, and it's fiddly to fix in place now, I dread to think what it will be like when I've got brake gear, pick ups etc in as well. However, that's my problem and as it's me who's created it, I'll live with it! Oh, and if you want to know whose wheels they are, all I will say is that the proprietor of Precision Paints and I are members of the same club. Phil
  9. PGC

    So close now

    In my previous post, I showed pictures of the E4 in ex works condition, without means of propulsion. In view of the loco being used on "Blackwell Brewery Company" (an EM layout of the Mid Essex MRC that's appearing at the St. Neot's show over 14th and 15th March 2015) I spent a little time tonight adding the propulsion fuel and making the loco look as though it's been working in the real world, rather than living in a shed. There are now 2 jobs to do and I ill then declare the loco finished - the first is to finish the front coupling and the second is add the fire irons in the tool tunnel of the tender. After all, although the fireman is obviously looking after the most important job of the day, getting the cuppa sorted, he does have a real job to do! For those who look at the pictures and wonder what the stock is behind the loco, the two carriages nearest are a 51ft Gresley Full Brake (can't remember the diagram, sorry!) from a Kirk kit and a Thomson 6W PBV from Comet sides with scratch built chassis based around a Brassmasters Cleminson chassis kit. Both will be at St Neot's, should you want to see them. Behind the kit built stock is the R-T-T stuff - some Hornby Gresley and Thomson coaches. And Yes, they will look the part once weathered! Phil
  10. Stunning. Simply stunning. Phil
  11. You find me the kit and I'll build it for you! :-) Phil
  12. I hadn't realised it's been so long since I last posted an entry. It's not as though I haven't been doing a lot, I have, but I just haven't recorded a lot to put on here. Apologies! In earlier posts, I have put up pictures of the BR (ex GER) E4 2-4-0 that I've been building from the Nu-cast (ex Stephen Poole) kit. It's now nearly complete - the only work left to do is put balance weights on the rear driving wheels, complete the front coupling (the hook's in place, the rest isn't!), weather the loco then coal it and it will be finished. I've put some pictures below. The greatest compliment I've received so far is someone who should know better asking me if it's an Alan Gibson kit! As well as almost finishing the E4, I've started weathering the J17 but haven't got any pictures yet. I've also nearly finished a Gresley 51ft Pigeon brake and ex GNR all third articulated set. I've also started building a PDK kit for a J19 which I will take some pictures of and add to the blogshortly. Any questions feel free to ask, and if you want to see the E4 live, it will be running on the Mid Essex MRC layout Blackwells Brewery at the St. Neots exhibition on March. Phil
  13. It's been a few months since I last posted anything, if you've been waiting for another entry, apologies. I titled this thread about a deliberate mistake. Well, I got the tender chassis the wrong way round. In reality, the wheelbase of the real thing is 6' 6" + 6' 0", whereas I thought it was the other way round. Once I'd discovered this error, I had to work out how to turn the chassis round, which eventually I managed. I've also had to find a different way to fix the chassis in to the tender body, which I've also done. Needless to say, as I'm bodging a 1980's kit together, there have been no instructions and I've had to work out bits and pieces, but I feel as thought I'm getting there. As you can see from the pictures below, there's not a lot of work left to do to finish the model - cab and tender handrails, rear guard irons, fall plate etc. so all small details, and of course, these are the bits that take the time to work out, but I feel as though there is a definite light at the end of the tunnel. Phil If you're thinking the front buffers are wrong, perhaps they are. The loco I'm modelling, however,is 62785, the last of the E4's, and I have a photo of the loco at Cambridge in 1958 which shows that the buffers are definitely not the group standard that are on the tender. I had a set of Kean Maygib Midland coach buffers (No, I don't know why I had them!) in my box of spares that are very close to the buffers on the loco in the photo, so that's why I've used them.
  14. This is a very nice build indeed, David. I'm almost finished my build, but it's an old Nu Cast white metal kit that I've "modified" ! It will look all right, but an etched one like yours would be nicer. I look forward to seeing picture once it's painted etc. Phil
  15. PGC

    More E4 progress

    With Sally, the better half, visiting her sister in Scotland for the week, I've been able to get to the modelling bench a lot and have made use of this time. Last night I started putting together the tender body for the E4. Being a white metal kit of old heritage, there will be a lot of filling and messing about to make things as good as they should be, but that's part of the joy of kit building! When I built the chassis for the loco, I compensated it and wanted to do the same for the tender, so I ordered a pair of milled frames from Alan Gibson. When these arrived, I compared them to the side castings that include the axleboxes etc., and the wheelbase is different. Needless to say, the milled mainframes are correct! This was a little bit of a set back and I wasn't sure what to do. After a little thought, some whisky, a little more thought, some more whisky, some sleep (whisky induced!) and some more thought, I had a brain wave (whisky induced? If so, back to the bottle!). Would the white metal chassis block have the same wheelbase as the castings? Theoretically Yes, and after checking a definite Yes. OK, I'd use the white metal chassis block, but how to get compensation? To go with the Gibson frames, I had some MJT detailed horn blocks that I was going to use. These horn blocks include a plate with a hole for a bearing etched in, should a solidly mounted axle be required, so what I've done is solder the bearings in to the plates, cut away some white metal on the rear axle holes and stuck the plates in so the bearings allow the axle to sit at the correct height. I've then increased the depth of the slots for the middle and front axles and used the white metal retaining plates to hold the axles in the slots, with the axles sliding up and down in the slots. The next job will be to solder a wire across the rear of the loco mainframes as a draw bar and arrange for the loco to tender coupling (which will be solidly mounted on the tender) to sit on this wire, so transferring some of the weight of the tender on to the rear driving wheels to aid adhesion (as though, with a white metal body, the loco needs it!). I will then add some springs to the tender front and middle axles to keep them on the track.The theory's good - and so far it's holding up practically as well! In this photo, you can see the tender chassis with the body as currently completed behind. Here is the tender chassis turned upside down - it you were wondering what I was talking about with plates, bearings etc. added to the rear axle, you can see these at the right hand end - hopefully this clears up any confusion. This is a picture of the front of the tender - I don't know why you'd be more interested in this than the back (which I haven't got a picture of), but you are!!!!!! And here are a couple of pictures of how things are at the moment. In the background of the last picture, you can also see a couple of other projects I've got on the go - to the right is an ex Great Nothern section articulated all third. This is an Ian Kirk kit that I picked up second hand and partially built for £5. I've added MJT compensated bogies and truss rod underframe, and I've got some MJT cosmetic white metal bogie frames to replace the Kirk plastic ones so the bogies have some weight on them. To the left is a Weltrol (I believe Bachmann) that has been dirtied and I've added a boiler as a load, I'm now putting in chains etc. to hold it down, for which inspiration I'd like to thank Jonathan Wheelans. To go with the Weltrol I've also got a Trestrol kit from Macgeordie of this parish that, when built, will have a load of sheet metal plates, and to go with these wagons I've also got a DS kits Lowmac to finish that will carry a ships propeller that I bought from a model shop somewhere - the intention is to make up a nice little cameo train of low loader wagons carrying materials that would be used in the construction of a ship to a ship yard. Well, I hope you enjoy what I'm doing, I'm certainly enjoying doing it!!!!!! Phil
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