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Pixie last won the day on May 7 2011

Pixie had the most liked content!

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  1. Hello all, An informal thread for all your 2mm-based wants and surplus stock touting. Has anyone got any of the below that are looking for a new home? Will happily pay a fair price via all the usual means and give the firm promise they will be built rapidly... I have some fully painted wagon bodies ready for them! If you can help please PM. 2-377 LNER fitted 15' w/b for Peco plate/Twin Bolster Chassis (2-off) 2-379a/2-379b Dapol Grain Hopper Chassis (12-off) 2-323 18’6" BR Style 8 Shoe Fitted Underframe for Chivers Tube (2-off) Not from the Association, but if anyone has any Taylor Precision Models 1208 Folding headcode discs I’m after a couple of sets. Cheers, Pix
  2. Hi Izzy, Which Bachmann bogies do you need? I bought a couple for motoring a 123 that are now not required, having been swapped for a Farish CEP chassis. Love the layout and that 15 is a masterpiece! Cheers, Steve
  3. I’ve got a number of 7.12mm roller gauges, suitable for 1067mm gauge modelling in 1/150th. I’m indebted to Alan Smith for producing them - his details are in the Association listings. Pix
  4. Afternoon all, It's been a busy couples of weeks with Parkend appearing at the 2mm Meeting Tutbury and the Gakunan plank making it's debut at the German Railway Society's GLOBALRAIL show in Didcot. Two shows in two weeks more-or-less equals the amount I've exhibited in the last decade. I was a bit hesitant about taking Parkend to Tutbury and I really do owe John Aldrick an apology for deliberating for so long. Since moving house last September it has quietly sat at my parent's place gathering dust, allowing plenty of time for gremlins to take residence. Additionally, I've never taken it to a show that's not within easy running-home distance if anything failed or was forgotten so I felt a bit.... 'exposed'. Messrs Davies, Matcham and Singleton ultimately talked me into it and on the Friday before I hit the road with the layout in tow. Parkend theoretically does just about squeezes into my little Fiat however I decided to hire a van for the trip which made transport vastly easier, I think for any future outings I will probably do the same. The Friday was booked off work and I was soon sat at Bryn's place being shown various clips of very modellable American shortlines and sipping tea. He's a nightmare; this whole 2mm adventure is his fault. Not long after, Matt arrived from his 18,000km trek from NZ allowing the three of use made the 180m journey from Bryn's flat to the exhibition venue - I think it's safe to say between the pair of them they hold the awards for longest- and least- distances travelled for the show! Parkend was soon set up and, much to my relief, seemed to be working. It was great to have it set up once again, along it did remind me there so many half-finished and bodged elements that I really need to attend to in time. I completely failed to take any photographs of the layout itself during the show, so if you have any then please feel free to share. Parkend ran faultlessly and seemed to be well received which has boosted my confidence in the layout; I think it's time to start accepting a few exhibition bookings rather than leaving it stowed away at my parents. I really enjoyed Tutbury and returned south with a heavily boosted mojo. In the following week I began to prepare Gakunan Tetsudo for it's inaugural outing at Didcot. This included settling the name 'Gakunan Testsudo' for the layout, until then I had simply referred to it as the JAPlank! Some final details were added and things weathered in; although I still have to finish painting and weathering the little single car unit that features so heavily. The layout was easily put across the back seat of the car and we headed for Didcot. It's definitely a low maintenance layout to transport - aside from the board itself, a curtain and a small stock box there's nothing else to take, save for four plastic boxes that raise it up off the table. I'd already warned exhibition organiser and friend Alan that I may leave the layout in shuttle mode for a while, and having watched the unit shuttle up-and-down a couple of times I headed for the railway centre to take a look at the recently completed Saint whilst the exhibition got underway. Abandoning your layout on it's first outing to operate itself isn't the most traditional of methods but it worked absolutely fine, I returned an hour or so later to the unit still happily trundling away. The JAPlank layout seemed well received, despite my capers, picking up another exhibition invite and a few photographs being taken for one of the magazines. I even remembered to take a few photographs..! The last week has seen the commencement of a project I've been meaning to experiment with for sometime - Arduino-based atmospheric sound. The JAPlank, when in shuttle mode, is currently controlled by an Arudino UNO with an Adafruit MotorShield used to make communicating with the motor in the unit a little easier. From a programming perspective, it's very simple - the Arduino turns the voltage on for 30 seconds in one direction, off for a couple of minutes, and then back on in the other direction. The track has a couple of off-scene isolation points bridged with diodes, like a normal shuttle unit. This simple, set routine has made me look at adding an Adafruit WaveShield for a while which would allow the application of track power to be synced with the sound. A couple of eBay-clicks and a bit of soldering later... The sounds for the WAV file were taken from a couple of YouTube videos and processed with Audacity to make something that lasts about the right length of time for the unit to roll across the layout. 'Clickity-Clacks' were taken and added for when the unit passes over the level crossing and pointwork. I was quite worried about retaining the synchronisation at first but the system has proved to be reliable as long as the track is kept clean. Presently the sound is piped into a couple of layout mounted small speakers which provide a nice quality of sound. At first I did have it playing through my stereo which soon led to threats of divorce and, in time, an ASBO from the neighbours. Next step is to add crossing LEDs which should add to the overall illusion. I'm pretty pleased with how it's come out and with a little tweaking I think it could be more than a gimmick. I'm unsure if I would utilise it for the duration of an exhibition however; at Didcot I had the shuttle unit set for a train to appear every 80 seconds or so. That equates to around 315 cycles of bells at an 7-hour exhibition which will lead to death threats from neighbouring exhibitors; indeed if I wander off and leave it unattended (as per at Didcot) I may come back to find it on fire. And rightfully so, I have to admit I find DCC sound a little testing at shows sometimes. At home, it's led me to a neater solution and one that pleases my OCD to no end. This is the real Gakunan's timetable: In programming the delay on the Arduino, it is completely customisable allowing me to program my layout to match the Gakunan's real time table. As the layout is roughly based around the location of Yoshiwara-honchō (吉原本町) this means that the unit passes by every 15 minutes or so which is about right for my sanity, relationship and neighbourhood. Taking this to it's extreme however, I have edited once version of the code so if the layout is turned on at 07:00AM UK time, it is in sync with the real Gakunan Railway and the 9 hour time-zone difference. Therefore each time I watched a unit shuffle across the layout today, I knew a real one was doing precisely the same, 5966 miles away at Yoshiwara-honchō station. At the time of writing, the layout is silent as the real Gakunan has stopped for the evening but at 21:16 tonight UK time, the layout and real-Gakunan should burst back into life for the first train of the day. Neat huh? I wonder what the drivers and passenger would think if they knew? Fine choice Chris. My great-aunt had an Hillman Husky stored away in her garage until the earl 2000's having been kept off the road since the late 70s when her husband died. She started to lose her marbles towards the end and ended up giving it to some travelling folk looking for scrap metal... no comment. Had it clung on for another few years I would of been old enough to at very least made sure it went to a good home. Sometime I wonder if it's still out there somewhere. Sure, feel free! What setting are you thinking about using? I'm loving the prototype Mark - top stuff! There's that slight air of dilapidation yet still cared for, a very Japanese feeling. The 1:80th models look superb; they have a very 'heavy' look to them, just like a smaller version of the real thing. I will follow your thread with interest. Good to meet you Ian - looking forward to seeing your entry progress too! Take care, Steve
  5. Well, if you're free on the 14th/15th July - https://www.svr.co.uk/Footplate_DieselDrivingExperience.aspx See you Saturday, Pix
  6. Thanks! The layout is a shunting puzzle disguised as a through-line setting. It's based around a 110cm IKEA LACK floating shelf with a sector plate at one end that accessed a couple of sidings hidden in the large factory buildings. Excuse my doodles; but this is the rough idea. Whilst scenically it's quite small, the intention is to hint at a lot more happening off scene to allow wagons to appear from all places and can be shuffled anywhere. It's mostly using WAMU80000 vans (a bit like a Japanese VDA van), but container flats and the odd tank can be thrown into the mix. The railcar is simply there to get in the way of shunting to make things a bit more interest - I was thinking of having a countdown timer that you would have to clear all stock out of the running line to let it through. This is what the layout looks like when naked. The trackwork was raised on very thin ply to give some clearance to wire-in-tube mechanisms leading to Cobalt point motors hidden behind the backscene. The sector plate can be seen in the foreground, leading to the on-scene factory siding and hidden siding. The Roco Z21 is a new experiment to operate the layout from an iPhone - I'm on the fence at the moment, it's certainly got it's advantages but I miss the physical knob (steady!) of a traditional controller. I've since wired in an Arduino-based shuttle unit, so the Z21 can be switched out and the unit shuffle back and forth every few minutes. A couple more 'dressed' views with the backscene and fascia in place. The depot on the right hand side is bogus - just a scenic feature with no rail access but an attempt to hide the access to the fiddle yard and, again, to give the illusion of things happening off scene. On area I really want to work on is the level crossing and view down the street - I want to capture that look of Japanese backstreets with all the telephone and power cables zig-zagging across. Fuji in the background feels quite cliched but wholly prototypical! I've recently written up a piece for the Association Magazine that will give a little more detail too. Thanks Jerry. Love to! What's my word limit and how many photographs do you need? Give it a go Chris! My recommendation would be to go for something before the 1980s when things were largely mechanical (as opposed to electronic) and you have a personal connection with. Like all hobbies, you can make it what you wish - be it restoring some obscure heap that's the last one on the planet to buying a good-to-go car with decent trade support for light tinkering, weekend driving and a little personalisation. Some people seem to make out that classic car ownership is hugely expensive but I think it's overstated. Classic insurance can be around £100 for example and if you're going for something 40+ years old then it's tax and MOT exempt. I'd recommend going along to one of the restoration shows (as opposed to the Classis shows which are full of £million cars) - there's one at the NEC in March and the Festival of the Unexception is next month. If I can help; drop me a PM. Cheers Mark - it started with finding chance photo on Flickr of one of those units threading it's way through a vast array of pipework. That lead to finding photos of all those vintage electric locos shuffling wagons around with Fuji In the background and before I knew it I was hooked. I ended up going there with a friend, and then a few years later we dragged another friend there to have a look around whilst travelling between Tokyo and Hiroshima. It's a great little line, although I fear it's most interesting period is now over. I fear for the future of ED403 and ED402; although I think ED501 may live on. I'd be really interested to see some of your stuff, have you got any links or photos? In other business, a long-term ambition was achieved on Sunday when I partook in a driver experience on D821 at the SVR. Having waited some years whilst they tinkered with it at OOC,I jumped at the opportunity when some dates were announced late last year. I had no idea what to expect, fearing that it would all be kept very slow and sedate but my worries were unfounded. The noise and vibration the loco makes at notch 2 upwards is incredible; it's something that no model or sound chip will ever convey although hardly surprising when you realise there's a pair of MD650s thumping away just behind the bulkhead. In some respects I feel sorry for the poor drivers that would spend an entire shift in one of these, although utterly envious of taking a pair of them over the Devon banks. My turn was the last of the day, taking seven Gresley teaks back from Bridgnorth to Kidderminster. As we approached left Bewdley I ask if I could slow it down and have a good run at the tunnel. "Sure, bring it to a stop and take it up to Notch 7 if you like". I didn't need asking twice - apologies for the poor quality video below, you can even hear me make a slight muling laugh at 7 seconds in. https://youtu.be/EK_sjy87TTE Brilliant day out and an absolute beast of a machine. Cheers, Pix
  7. Evening all, As seems to be standard for my updates on this thread, I must start this update with an apology for 18 months of radio silence. It wasn’t intention, I promise, and I have good reasoning. I (finally!) bought a house after talking about it and saving for a very, very long time. It’s been very good to finally have a front door to call my own although, coupled with a chaotic period at work, did mean that I had to drop out of the Aldershot exhibition mentioned in the previous update. A lot of free time has been spent trying to bring the new house into the 21st century – the previous owner’s hobbies seemed to include questionable DIY bodges, horrific pink carpets, Anaglypta wallpaper and cigarettes. Many, many cigarettes. It’s been quite a battle but I’m now on top of the nicotine-stench and the house is a sea of neutral colours and wood floorings. As a 30th birthday present to myself, I pushed on and completed my office--workbench ready for the Winter Modelling season. I’d vastly outgrown the small space at my parents so it’s nice to a home for everything at last; it’s odd to have some spare bookshelf space too. Whilst the office is intended for little modelling jobs, there’s a rough plan to build a ‘proper’ workshop at the bottom of the garden later in the summer that will be kitted out for messy jobs - a lathe and spray-booth would be good for 2mm stuff; welding equipment and a grit blaster for Cavalier tinkering. The eagle eyed may spot a new layout on the wall – this is my DJLC entry that’s based around an IKEA Lack. The prototype is the Gakunan Railway in Japan; a 1067mm gauge industrial line that threads its way through various industries near the city of Fuji. Whilst the layout is to 1/150th scale, the track is to 7.12mm gauge – I’m unaware of the correct name for this combination but I’ve start to refer to it as JFS150. Being lathe-less at present, I’m very grateful to Alan Smith who turned up the roller gauges for the layout whilst the crossing nose gauges came from the unlikely source of 9/32” diameter throttle cable nipples intended for Triumph motorcycles. The layout is probably best described as ‘getting-there’; I really need to spend some time on the scenic details, however it will be appearing as a work-in-progress at GlobalRail in Didcot on Saturday 15th June (https://grs-uk.org/shows/2018/09/08/globalrail-2019-announced.html). Parkend hasn’t quite made it to the new place yet, but after much arm twisting from Bryn and Pete Matcham I’m very pleased to say that it’ll be at the 2mm Association Meeting in Tutbury on Saturday 8th June (Two exhibitions on two consecutive weekends – this is new ground for me!). The layout did make it’s exhibition debut at GlobalRail 2018 where it operated well and proved relatively easy to move but ever since has sat at my parent’s place gathering dusts. A lot of dust at that too; I was amazed at just how much it had acquired in a relatively short period of time. I spent several hours this weekend very carefully brushing and hoovering it off, before slowly coaxing everything back to life. Please go easily on me at Tutbury – I’m not quite prepared as I would like to be. The Cavalier has progressed a little too; the new place included a powered and lit garage which means I can finally get to work on it (Well, once the house is finished at least). Previously it has been stored in a relatively remote place without running water, electricity or any place to work on it so everything had been carried out in the street – not ideal, but at least the car itself was under cover. She will turn 40 next year which means MOT and tax exemption; the intention is to keep it running for a couple more years before taking it off the road to give it a full mid-life overhaul. Mechanically and structural it’s now very good, it just needs a few flaky bits of tin work dealing with, starting with the passenger wing. The intention isn’t really for it to be concourse as I want it to be a working car, but I’d like it to make approaching that level. Preparations for these works have meant traipsing around the country when another appears. An eBay listing lead me to an example in a scrap yard in Evesham that was so corroded we had to cut through the door skins to get to the glass, cut the boot off to get to the fuel tank and cutting the roof to salvage what was left of the interior. Being February it hammered it down with rain all day too – good times! I’m indebted to my two ever present friends for helping out with these recovery missions. Another road-trip to the East Midlands ended up requiring a van to cart home a huge amount of parts from two people’s collections. I certainly found out my other half is an open minded soul when I dumped most of the salvaged parts in our back garden for a week or so. I’ll give it a couple more weeks before leaving bits to soak in the bath, mind you. Not everything has ended up in the parts store; some life expired items have been turn into furniture for the house – I was quite pleased with my speedo clock and steering column reading lamp. So, that’s the last 18 month in a couple of photos. I’m hoping to resume some 2mm modelling properly this year now that things are calming down again at home – watch this space. See you at Tutbury and Didcot. Cheers, Pix
  8. It seems we were all on it! It certainly gave me an appreciation for how the guys on Apollo 13 felt. Still, good fun! Watching with interest and a mild desire to buy some of those TT wagon kits. Pix
  9. A quiet moment near Fujioka station on Gakunan Railway. A sneak peak of my GJLC comeption enty. Pix
  10. Dear Santa, One of those please! Pix
  11. Hi all, The Chevette's look superb; what a great little model! Who'd of thought there would ever be an easy route to a 2mm Chevanne too?! Does anyone know how the Antwerp-built Cavaliers were imported into and distributed around the UK? I'm guessing they came in via Harwich (?) but did they move by rail or road? The idea of a train load of new Cavaliers would be a great model, if it happened. Cheers, Pix
  12. Hi all, LP122 appears here - https://flic.kr/p/F4hrqG. I always intended to build one of these for Roath; a project to dust off sometime. Cheers, Steve
  13. The very rare 2-2-4-0 version of the Standard 4. Pix
  14. A little reminder to our Cardiff BEng days! Top stuff.
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