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Mike at C&M

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Everything posted by Mike at C&M

  1. I am delighted to inform you that Dapol have told us to expect these coach sets to arrive with us in mid-September. Many of you opted to pay when the coaches were available, so could I ask that if you have a set reserved and still need to pay, please can you phone us with your details now, so we can concentrate on sending the sets out to customers, once they are here. Our phone number is 01228 514 689, and the shop is open Tuesday to Saturday, 10a.m. to 4.30p.m. If anyone would still like to order a set, we still have some available. The easiest way to order is to phone us, and we can take your details that way. Or an e-mail to [email protected]
  2. For those of you who appreciate a light show, an energetic thunderstorm is currently approaching Plattling from the south. Should be on screen around 20.45 (BST) or shortly after.
  3. Delighted to report that this went very well. Once the 'scenic island' is re-instated, a light covering of the meadow grass mix will cover the join nicely. Lots of other jobs now await before the grassing machine comes out again.
  4. This week, I have mostly been doing grass, in the attic There is some damage from the collapse of the backscene to repair. One of the overhead span gantries has two broken supports, and the road bridge railings will need replacing. Also the backscene needs "tightened", so some strategically placed holes and taut string will be put in place. But as said previously, it could have been a lot worse. The next job is one that may work perfectly, or be a major disaster. The board upon which the farm building stands is a 'scenic island'. It can be removed to provide access to otherwise inaccessible parts of the layout. The grassing (deliberately) was done across the join in the boards. And now, I will have to gently take this board away whilst disturbing the grass as little as possible. In the pictures below, the first picture shows the 'scenic island' as (roughly) the white area where the bare plaster bandage is, the second shows the grass in place over much of this board. Eagle-eyed viewers may see some nails sticking up which show where the border is. The area behind the DB InterCity train is painted plaster bandage, and awaits it's static grass. Fingers crossed that all will go well.
  5. At last, grass is beginning to grow. One area that required some careful thinking was the farm track that will lead from the road up the slope to the back door of the barn. Rather than scrape away the grass once it had been laid, instead I cut out some thin plastic sheet and taped it to the painted landform. In order to prevent the 'breeze' caused by spraying the layering spray from lifting this plastic, I laid some bolts on to it. Once the grass had been laid, the plastic was then lifted to reveal a still clear area which will have gravel and short grass laid to imitate a farm track. The one down side of this, anyone want three grassy bolts?
  6. pm sent regarding contact with the author of a number of books on the Brampton area.
  7. It could be worse. Still to investigate why, but the backscene became dislodged, and split where the tape was not strong enough to hold the two halves together. I will need to reposition the backscene on it's mountings, and it will get 'fixed' to the attic beams at either end. Plenty of dust came down, but the newspapers covering the layout did their job. Thankfully, nothing too large came down to cause any damage. Worst task is going to be clearing the spiders webs. They were obviously disturbed by the work going on on the neighbouring roof, and have registered their displeasure by spinning lots of webs around the apex of the roof and the Velux windows.
  8. With a big thank you (irony!) to our immediate neighbours on the terrace for telling us that as of this morning, the builders are on site to completely replace the roof next door to us! A hurried covering up of the layout will hopefully protect the layout which has already received a coating of dust. Replacement bus services are not available, as I can't remember which box I have put them in within the attic!
  9. Time for one final watch of those Youtube videos showing how to make a static grass meadow.
  10. For an alpine-based layout, it has been somewhat lacking in Alps.... until now. There is limited potential for meaningful backscenes due to the slope of the attic roof. However, one side is a huge chimney breast which was crying out to be covered. Faller backscene "Karwendel" is from close to the area I am modelling, so I chose this. Because of the limitations of the attic hatch opening, this would have to be mounted on a series of small boards, and then "wrestled" into position. Deluxe Materials Backscene Glue did it's part very well, but the difficulty of using many small boards and having to twist and turn it into position has resulted in creases, in addition to several noticeable air bubbles. There is a narrow gap between the layout boards and the chimney breast, and the backscene slots down into this gap, resting on a number of pieces of wood which are screwed across this gap on the underside of the baseboard. The length is a snug fit between the two beams, and a couple of well placed screws holds the backscene vertical, and prevents it tipping forward.
  11. One of the problems with operating the fiddle yard is knowing what trains should be stopped where. The view of the operator is from the left hand side, and not from an elevated viewpoint. So when I was offered a batch of (cleaned) coffee stirrers, I had a 'Eureka' moment. 14 holes and 14 stirrers placed therein indicate the stopping positions where a train will not foul the exit pointwork from the fiddle yard. There is still a degree of randomness to which tracks their positions relate to, so a piece of numbered card placed on the top of each stirrer shows which road the stopping point relates to.
  12. C&M Models, 1 Crosby Street, Carlisle We will re-open on Monday 12th from 10.00 to 16.30. Thereafter, hours are back to normal: Tuesday to Saturday, 10.00 to 16.30
  13. Does 509 weeks equate to "the coming weeks"? After the layout had to be partially dismantled, The past couple of months have seen: - The boards re-erected - Track re-instated where it had to be lifted - Layout thoroughly cleaned, including the track. - All point decoders have been tested and they now all work. There was some wiring which had never been completed previously. - All the signals now work by digital switching, subject to a few tweaks to achieve exactly what I want as regards aspects shown. Another project which had never been completed before. A stocktake of rolling stock is under way, including fitting decoders to locomotives bought recently. Also, everything is being re-boxed rather than being scattered around the attic in drawers, boxes or loose on the layout. Hopefully, the re-opening of the shop next week will not prove too onerous, and slow but steady progress can continue. Trains have been run, and the purists amongst you are more than welcome to squirm at the following picture of the 're-opening' trains.
  14. At the risk of being branded a lazy so-and-so for not looking back through the 74 pages of this thread..... I am about to activate my fleet of the BR blue 87s, and I would appreciate guidance as to what decoders I can use. I believe space is limited within the model. Thank you.
  15. Happy to provide an update, Paul. Since my update at the beginning of November, there has been a further problem with a CoVid outbreak that shut the factory down for a short period. Peco are dealing with an unprecedented demand for their products from across the world - remember, their ranges are popular in many other countries, not just the UK. Their production is still spread out across the site at Peco, and where possible two shifts are being operated. It physically is not possible for them to produce any more. Indeed, just this afternoon, we heard from Peco that despite the national lockdown, production will continue. The back ordering system is not a problem for this retailer. Quite simply, if you do not receive an item, it is just another line you type on your next order. This way, we know exactly where we stand, and the system is easy to operate and understandable. There is definitely a rotation in items that are unavailable. One week you might not get some points/track you want - a couple of weeks later you get these items, but others will them become temporarily unavailable. The simple answer to the problem is defeat CoVid and then when everyone is back at work, they won't have as much time to build layouts. A rather blunt answer, I appreciate. Other than this, Peco may gradually claw back the supply/demand, but this will not be a quick fix. I will repeat my earlier comments. Peco are doing their very best to deal with the incredible demand for their products, and I applaud them for their efforts under difficult circumstances.
  16. A customer of ours received a "Princess Elizabeth" 'Coronation' class 4-6-2 locomotive from his family. He has a circular layout of track from the 'North Eastern Freight' train set which he has extended with Peco Settrack and Streamline track. He also received a couple of Graham Farish Mark 1 coaches. The layout has curves no tighter than 11" radius, so within the radius 2 recommendation for running the 'Coronation' locomotive. When the locomotive is running light engine, it runs perfectly, but add the coaches and when it reaches a set of points coming off a curve, the front of the tender lifts upwards and derails. Upon further investigation, the locomotive and first coach are becoming buffer locked. The NEM coupling fitted to the locomotive is of the 'long' version. We are stumped as to how to solve the problem, so any advice would be gratefully received. Thank you, in advance
  17. As I understand it, if you are a personal customer, the supplier in the (remaining) EU will not charge you VAT on the price, so it will appear that you are suddenly getting a bargain. However, you will pay UK VAT, and a customs charge before/or as the parcel is delivered in the UK. This will more than cancel out the perceived saving of not paying EU VAT. It is therefore worth looking at buying from British suppliers. For example, I buy in direct from ACME (Italy) and LS Models (Belgium), and we buy a case full of models at a time. Therefore our UK customs charge is very much diluted over lots of models, rather than being applied to each single model. This (hopefully) will allow our prices to be more competitive to sourcing your models direct from the EU. (Please feel free to correct this if I have mis-understood how this will work)
  18. Another aspect to this is that whilst many perceive Brexit to be a barrier to trade with the EU, there are shops within the UK that stock many of the brands listed thus far. The adverts in the "Continental Modeller" are a good guide as to who these are.
  19. Could someone please post a link to where the presentation will take place. Thank you
  20. I am not sure of what my source was (probably Bachmann), that the 8Fs would appear before the 31s. We have a predicted date of December/January for the 31s, so a lot may depend if the container spends time off the shores of Felixstowe.
  21. To commemorate the 20th anniversary of Carlisle & District O Gauge Guild Group, in conjunction with C&M Models, a local private owner wagon was commissioned from Dapol. The Carlisle SouthEnd Co-operative Society Ltd. 5-plank wagon was previously done as a 'OO' commission by C&M Models several years ago, and was seen as an appropriate wagon to scale up for this special run. The wagon number was changed to No.20 to reflect the milestone of the group. There is a small surplus of these wagons available, and these can be order online at https://cmmodels.7.ekm.shop/ekmps/shops/cmmodels/cmm015-carlisle-south-end-co-operative-society-5-plank-open-limited-edition-15226-p.asp . Price is £49.95, plus £4.50 for postage.
  22. Fran, From a retailer's point view, I prefer a bit of notice so that it builds up a demand from potential customers, and we get an idea of what quantities we need to order. The Bachmann approach of announce on Tuesday, and be sold out by Friday is of no use to us. We need a chance for Tom, Dick and Harry to say I would like one of these, two of those and half a dozen of the other to allow us to get our orders right. The Bachmann approach sees Tom come in for his Saturday visit to order a couple of 'Thingy' diesels, but Bachmann and you are already sold out within hours of announcement and the order book being opened. Tom has to do without his much desired 'Thingy's The approach you use now is ideal. A prime example is the Class 37. Many of our customers have asked us to order models, and the numbers are different to what we would have anticipated. With yourselves inviting Class 37 trade orders prior to finalising your production run, we know we will be able to satisfy all our customer requests. Keep it as it is, and that includes your excellent chain of information, keeping us all informed of how things are progressing. Mike at C&M
  23. These Class 86s, and a few of the Class 47s are now showing on the Gaugemaster Trade Portal, so yes they will be available through many other retailers. Most of the Gaugemaster Collection are standard models, but with different liveries from those available within the general ranges of the manufacturer. For example, Heljan have announced a number of Class 86/4s and 86/6s in different liveries, but it is Gaugemaster who have commissioned the Freightliner Powerhaul livery. The main difference between normal limited edition commissions and Gaugemaster's commissions, is that Gaugemaster then make their models available to their trade customers.
  24. Something else to consider in the supposed astronomic increase in prices. £161.49 quoted for the original batch is a discounted price and potentially subject to increase when these models actually appear. £229.00 is the RRP at what will be the new price, and is likely to be discounted by many shops, ourselves included. The perceived gap is not as large as it might at first seem.
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