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Barry Ten

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Barry Ten last won the day on April 23 2011

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About Barry Ten

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    Aberdare
  • Interests
    Trains. I'm also into running, hillwalking, guitars, and trains. Mainly trains to be honest. I need to get out a bit more.

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  1. Here's the progress on that USRA pacific I was detailing a few weeks ago. I added new handrails, repainted it, relined it and added a smidge of weathering. These locos were retired (in or around 1953 I think) and got a bit grimy near the end of their working lives.
  2. Ps-4 pacific 1391 at the coaling stage in Paynesville locomotive terminal, GA. It's actually a USRA pacific masquerading as a Ps-4, but they were pretty similar designs. This is a detailed and repainted Model Power loco with a Bachmann tender chassis for extra pick-up.
  3. I've completed most of the work on the pacific, and added some weathering. I think this brings the green nicely into line with the other locos wearing the same livery. These locos were for prestige trains in their heyday, but began to get a bit grimy near the end of their lives after the war. I'm not sure if the tender top should be red, but I've left it for now. I've also - at last - been able to do some renumbering of freight locos, beginning with this 2-10-2 light Sante Fe. Getting the right size numerals has been the problem. As mentioned, a new firm (k4 decals) has begun to fill some of the gaps and I was pleased to be able to order some Southern freight loco decals. The old number (5210) was removed with T-cut and gentle burnishing, then I applied the new identity. Doing the small numbers on the cabside and dome was a test of patience, and I drew the line at the tiny numerals on the lamp at the front of the smokebox. Not a hope in hell! I think I'll just paint over the existing ones in red as I'd rather have no numbers than wrong ones. This would be a good niche for a manufacturer to supply a sheet of pre-made-up numbers for common loco types. Once decaled, the loco was weathered using acrylics in the same fashion as its stablemate, another 5210 (see a few posts above). The K4 decals need a little care in their application as the gold effect can flake off, but any damage is easily masked by a weathering coat. Incidentally, the repairs I did to the return cranks on the two 2-10-2s is holding well after extensive running, so I'm confident that it's a good fix for this known issue with these models. Weathering really brings out the finesse of the models, too. I would have done it years ago except I was stuck, waiting for a solution to the decal problem. A new addition to the fleet is a heavy Mike, just in from Broadway Limited: This is a cracking model and pulls like stink. I did find it was finnicky about my fiddle yard trackwork in a couple of locations, but a little tweaking (of the track) sorted that out. Once I'm satisfied that it's a keeper I'll move it onto the weathering queue. Cheers!
  4. Back to the Model Power USRA Pacific, which is passing as a Southern Ps-4, I've begun adding lining and numbers. This is using the Micro-scale Crescent Limited sheet which I've had in my stash for years, so I'm glad to have used it finally. What's left to be done is the lining around the domes, and a set of numbers on the front one. It's all very fiddly and time-consuming since the rectangles have to be made up from individual bits of lining.
  5. Glimmers of progress on the layout in recent weeks. My mojo for this project seems to peak and dip every 6 - 9 months. I've barely touched it since early in the year, then had a welcome spurt of enthusiasm this autumn. Perhaps it's because I had a good run of progress on various 4mm projects, so felt ready for a change. One of the things I've started revisiting is the station area in Paynesville. A while back there was some discussion about whether the spacing between the two main tracks was enough to allow a paved area and the possibility of two passenger trains pulling in at the same time. The consensus was that it was a bit tight between the rails, but after some reflection I decided on a compromise: there is a paved area, so passengers can get on and off from the other side of the train, but it's not intended to allow two passenger trains to arrive at once. It just gives a bit more flexibility in handling longer passenger trains. Now a six coach train and loco (as above) can stop within the paved area, without passengers having to jump down onto ballast. It also allows me extra scope for a bit of detailing, as I can add a few passengers, luggage trolleys and so on scattered along the platform. The train in the picture is the Con-Cor Crescent Limited set which I think is largely fiction (I don't think the Southern had a dome car of any kind!) but it looks pretty enough for now. When it comes to Southern passenger stock, one can't be choosy.
  6. USRA Light Mountain 1491 runs into Paynesville, Georgia.
  7. Here's a moderately amusing development. Cast your eyes up the page to the picture of the Model Power pacific before I started hacking it about. Notice the missing window glazing on that side of the cab, compared to the picture above of the other side, where it's present. Initially I thought I must have lost the glazing last week while taking the loco apart, but in the fact the first picture above shows that it was missing a good ten years ago, probably being lost after the first round of tweaks I did to the engine. I looked in the box just in case it had popped off in storage, but no sign of it. So, no chance of finding that bit, right? I started looking at the materials in my stash with a view to scratchbuilding a new window frame, when it occurred to me that there was a bit of scrap on the layout that might do the trick. It's a piece of boxcar walkway that must have dropped off at some point and has been lying beside for the track for, literally, years. I never moved it because it looked just like the sort of junk that might end up by the roadbed, and besides, I thought one day I might find the boxcar it belonged to. Could it, perhaps, be repurposed for the new window frames? It was the right colour, and from memory had about the right size and shape ... I was on my way to examine it when a weird thought occurred - could it indeed be the window frame itself? And it was! A dab of glue and it was popped back into position. Two mysteries solved for the price of one.
  8. I hope this is the appropriate place to put this. As some of you will know, Kalmbach publications is based in Waukesha, which is where the distressing events at the Christmas parade just took place. I reached out to Carl, the editor of MR, and was pleased to hear that to the best of his knowledge, no one from Kalmbach is directly involved, and that he hopes that continues to be the case. All sympathy, of course, to all affected parties at this sad time.
  9. That's the Gresley/Howlden funicular set, isn't it?
  10. Progress: Why's it green when it used to be black? Because these Ps-4 pacifics spent most of their days painted green, except for a small number at the start of their lives. Given that I had to repaint it anyway, I thought I might as well do a proper job. In 1925, when most US steam locos were black, Fairfax Harrison (Southern's boss at the time) visited the UK, and was taken by the look of our passenger loco liveries. Upon returning, the instruction was issued for the Ps-4s (when were then only a few years old, with other still under construction) to be adorned in Virginia Green henceforth. They kept this scheme until the end of steam in 1953, along with most of the passenger-rated steam locos on the Southern. I don't have the right paint, but eye-balling a couple of other locos in the same livery, I decided that Railmatch Malachite would be a fair approximation, and that any variations in hue would be exceedingly minor after a dose of weathering. Decals for Southern steam in N have been a bit hard to come by, but luckily Microscale do a sheet for the lined green passenger scheme of the Crescent Limited locos, which will suit this one fine. And better still, a newish firm, K4 Decals, seems to be covering some of the major gaps for both locos and freight cars, which should be a great help in renumbering and individualising SR stock.
  11. I completed the handrails on my N model of a Southern Ps4 pacific, and have begun repainting the loco: Since I don't have Virginia Green, I've used Railmatch Malachite as a good-enough compromise, based on comparisons with other models in my collection. The Southern Railway's director, Fairfax Harrison, visited Britain in 1925 and came back with the instruction that these locos should be painted green, supposedly after being inspired by the LNER. The lettering and double yellow lining, once it's applied, is also very reminiscent of our Southern so perhaps Harrison took his inspiration from more than one railway. Al
  12. Hit the North!

    1. Mallard60022

      Mallard60022

      Not by HS2 you won't.:boast:

    2. The Stationmaster

      The Stationmaster

      Don't worry - 75% of the 'trunk rail network' willl be electrified, sorry decarbonised, by - maybe - 2045 (that's the year, not the time of day).  It would appear that Wales and the West Country don't count in this calculation. 

  13. I was stuck in Cardiff Central for a hour or so on Sunday, waiting for a train to Pencoed. It's normally the Maesteg service, but it wasn't showing on any of the destination screens, which only ran up to a certain time. I went looking for the old, printed timetables (on hinged boards) that give all the services by destination, listed alphabetically ... and they've gone. There were none on any platforms. I was given no explanation other than, no they've gone mate. Because there was a rugby international I couldn't get down into the main concourse to see if any still remained but I still found this astonishing. Are such things now deemed too old-fashioned on our app-driven, screen-obsessed age? It reminded me obliquely of a time when we were looking for trains from San Francisco down to Bakersfield. We went to the Amtrak office and the guy started listing the available services. I asked if there was a timetable and with some amusement he dug into the dustiest drawer and came out with the printed schedule. He said: "I don't need to tell you guys how to read one of these, do I. You're Europeans. No American has a clue."
  14. I read a good quote in The Guardian a few weeks ago about the power of boredom (which I'll paraphrase): "boredom isn't particularly enjoyable, but when you're denied input, you generate output". I thought it was a pretty good dictum.
  15. I've also been doing some work on a Model Power USRA pacific which is meant to represent one of the Southern's very similar Ps4 locos. Excuses for the poorly seated tender body in this shot from nearly 10 years ago. I substituted a Bachmann tender chassis for the better pickup arrangement, and the model still needed some adjustment at the time. I liked everything about the model except the cast handrails, which to my eye are a nasty throwback to the 70s and 80s, all the more so when all the other details are so fine, and often done with separate mouldings. Biting the bullet, I ordered some N handrail knobs and wire from N Brass Locos, and very good the service was as well. The new handrails just needed the old ones filed off, new holes drilled, and the job's a good 'un ... or so I thought. The first order of business was to dismantle the Model Power loco to get at the body shell, and also extract the can motor embedded in the casting. These things are incredibly fiddly to take apart (and reassemble, as I discovered) and I was forever in terror of breaking or losing a tiny part, or that it wouldn't run as well when back together. I put all the bits into a glass jar until I was ready for the reassembly. Removing the handrails was time-consuming but went reasonably well. I had to work carefully around the cast boiler detail and then file and sand back the casting as well as I could, until as little trace remained of the original. I then started re-drilling the holes - and that's where I rapidly run into trouble! My small drills wouldn't touch the alloy this thing is made from. All I managed to do was break several. I kept going up a size until I found a drill that would consistently cut the metal but not break, and this resulted in holes that were much too large for the handrails. I was intending to fill them with plastic padding, but over on Wright's Writes (one of the best bits of Rmweb) Jerry Clifford mentioned that he used brass tubing in similar cases. Unfortunately I didn't have any of the right diameter, but I did have a good selection of plastic rod, so small bits were inserted into the holes and cleaned back. I still needed to redrill them, but this was (relatively) easy compared to going into metal. I say relatively as it was still a pain. What's up with drill bits these days? All the small ones I seem to find (0.5mm or thereabouts) break if you so much as look at them, and the tips don't seem to have any "bite", so they wander all over the place before beginning to dig in. Anyroad, the holes were made, filled, re-drilled, and the handrails prepared. I'd never worked with 2mm handrails before so I was a bit anxious, but if anything they worked better than some 4mm products I've found, with the wire going through the knob very painlessly. I think this is because there is a decent working clearance, rather than the wire being a tight fit, so any burrs don't make a problem threading the wire. I was worried about dropping them (I had 24, and needed 16 to do the loco) so I first prepared a length of wire by adding a 180 degree crimp at the end, to stop them sliding off. I threaded on eight and then crimped the other end as well. One the knobs were secure on the wire, I trimmed back their stalks with a Xuron cutter - far easier than trying to do them individually. I then offered them up to the loco and inserted them into the holes, back to front, with a dab of cyano to secure them. I added a few bends, trimmed off, and voila: one side of the loco done: Onward!
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