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Dr Al

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  1. Yes, You can simply paint the visible areas with a dark grey paint. Done it countless times on Farish and Dapol with this type of pickup system. cheers, Alan
  2. Crossings are SL-393s x2. I'll need to check, but I think there may be one or two points. Cheers, Alan
  3. I have a couple of Peco code 80 crossings and a Peco curved turnout, all new or virtually new. Cheers, Alan
  4. Tony, Would you maybe quantify what you think is actually poorer with your later builds? I'm sure you'll pick them out as all builders know what they cut corners on etc (I speak from experience!), but genuinely these all look of exceptionally consistent standard. The only thing that jumps to me are the slightly war weary cylinder drain pipes on the very last one! Is it also the case that over those 30 years your perceptions of quality, mistakes and standards have become higher and more critical? Cheers, Alan
  5. We've been asking the same in N Gauge for 30 years! It's much better now, but still not fully solved - even the occasional new tooling Farish model can suffer it on occasion. Cheers, Alan
  6. Split gears! This is not a new phenomenon, and indeed, those of us who work in N gauge have contended with it for the last 30 years, mainly on Farish diesels, but also some steam (opening up quartering problems when trying to repair) and some Fleischmann continental N. The reasoning is fundamentally over-stressed interference fit. This can be coupled with weaknesses in the gear moulding (e.g. on some recent Bachmann Farish gears, splits have been noted to occur where bubbles are in the moulding - apparently indication something wrong in the injection moulding process). Some plastics weaken with time too, but failure by splitting should not be inevitable (I've got gears 35 years old that are still absolutely fine). The cure is simple - open out the central hole slightly with a broach, to ream it to a point where the stress of the interference fit is less, but the gear is still securely held. This may need doing gradually to get the exact best fit, but should massively reduce the chances of a re-occurrence. I've been doing this kind of repair since around 2004 in N gauge, and of the (literally) thousands of gears that I've done, I only know of a few early ones (where I did not ream the holes) that have split again subsequently. Hope this helps, Cheers, Alan
  7. Hi, Thanks for that - yes I'd be interested in that if you don't need it. Cheers, Alan
  8. Interesting to hear some saying that layout are run too fast - obviously I didn't see the specific instances cited, but my experience is often the opposite. Too often layouts appear to be run too slowly IMHO, particularly steam era. Looking at archive film, many passenger, express passenger runs were fast! As was some freight. As such, layouts like Tony's Little Bytham from what I've seen, particularly the BRM Youtube video seems to be running at the 'right' speed - A3s and A4s, as well as early diesels running as proper greyhounds. I think correct scale, but good high speed running is a pleasure to see and draws an audience. But that's very much personal opinion. On N gauge - as an N Gauger, I spend considerable time fettling locos to run reliably at all speeds, and it very much can be done - I think I've seen as much bad running in other scales as in N. One area though are baseboard joins, where N needs to be done with much more precision to avoid massive chasms or bumps - even a 1 millimeter step in N gauge is enormous!! Cheers, Alan
  9. Now that it's actually at the end of the year, I've reflected as others on what's been achieved this year. Looking back, apart from a load of repairs and servicing, I'm surprised quite how much that got done. The year started out with a rebuild job - LMS patriot which showed potential: Mid rebuild, with new tender, and stripped and detailed body: Completed model: Next was a detailing job on a Union Mills B12, starting with a pretty solid but very basic model: Mid detailing with handrails, wiggly wires and suchlike: After completion, it's probably the lining that stands out the most from the starting point: Next was another rebuild - not by usual region but so unique it had to be done: [/url] Mid rebuild showing added side detail, and general clean up. The wheels were replaced with modern spoked Farish units too: [/url] Completed: Beyond this I started to push to complete unfinished models, and models that'd been cluttering the workbench. First was a Atsocad V1 to complement another I'd previously built: This became 67664, a model I had from Bachmann in OO many years ago: Next, was a massive superdetail build of a GEM Fowler 2-6-4T. This used only the base of the kit, completely different chassis, superdetailed: Next was an extreme restoration - basis being made by an unknown builder, and never completed. I think most folk would have chucked this body out, but it was actually well made and well shaped, so I took the plunge, from this....: ...to this (yes this isn't finished, but I think getting this far warrants some form of completion!): One large task I took on this year was a request to build 3 (!) Z class 0-8-0 tanks - quite something for a prototype I've never looked in detail into, but the task has been challenging and enjoyable (apart from the the DCC fit requested....): Back to my own builds, again, clearing the bench completed this second D49. Tony will be the first to scream that the valve gear is wrong, and that's absolutely true, but I've yet to work out the best modification to it. She's a runnable model in the mean time: And to round off, just to show I do other than steam, this conversion of an 86/2 electric to 86/4 with full repaint and front end pipework detail: All the best to those for the coming year, and hopefully this thread will continue to provide inspirational work of others in the year to come, Best, Alan
  10. Thanks Tony - I tend to post my progress mainly on the N Gauge Forum, but always read this thread for inspiration of folks building things, and see what kit you are rattling through building at any particular time! As I know you like seeing similar, a couple of snaps of my current projects for you - N gauge remember, so cruel enlargements: Southern region Z class 0-8-0 tank - one of 3 I've been asked to build with specific details relating to specific class members: Back on the eastern, I am coming close to finishing a second of Steve's (Atso) D49s - and yes, the valve gear is wrong, but I'm leaving it until a credible alternative can be thought of (origin is Dapol Schools class RTR chassis)! Cheers, Alan
  11. Certainly some of Farish's recent box vans have been very very draggy on wheels for some reason, and not at all easy to free up. I still feel that the CF example is certainly valid, but a very different usage scenario than your average modeller using standard N standards that the model was made for, and certainly shows the problem manufacturers face due to the breadth of usage cases the models will be put to - clear on Tony's layout too from what he reports of haulage. The N V2's certainly not the best design, but I can only go with my direct experience that they perform acceptably well for my needs. If Bachmann do consider re-tooling it now they have fresh OO research in the vault, I wouldn't hold one's breath though - it'd be years off if their current turnarounds are anything to go by! Cheers, Alan
  12. This is easy enough to bypass with direct wiring as has been demonstrated in the past. I can see why it simply would not work on your freights, which presumably have a large number of fairly heavy wagons with metal chassis? Sure, the V2 won't hack that, but for those who run standard RTR stock (what it was designed for), it's much more capable, though certainly not the best. I'm just surprised you use any RTR on Copenhagen Fields, given the wealth of exquisite handbuilt brass locos and stock you seem to have. Seems a bit like Tony's layout in that respect - one that's mostly beyond using RTR. As a mere mortal, I'll survive with my decent running RTR V2s for now! Cheers, Alan
  13. You were at the time - signing everything as H. Regardless, something has now been submitted, and as I say, willingness to do more will depend on response, as I have far more pressing things to do, including building three Z class 0-8-0Ts, a Caly 0-4-4T, an Ivatt 4MT, LMS's 6202 turbomotive, and a Standard 4MT 4-6-0. The NGS shouldn't underestimate that they are privileged to get content submitted given the effort it takes to generate it. Cheers, Alan
  14. I did offer to you on NGF but had no response sadly. Maybe it got missed in passing, but it was at the time you were crying out for submissions. We'll see, I have too much modelling to do, so if little interest is shown, willingness to write will evaporate. Cheers, Alan
  15. I've seen more that 25 of them over the last 14 or so years, two alone last week, and none performed as you describe - I had one return back in the day due to quartering, not haulage. So while a low sample set, 'can't pull their own weight' seems a potential exaggerated generalisation of any small number that might actually exhibit this extreme - and those would very much be ones that would have been justifiable returns. I can understand this happening on layouts like Copenhagen Fields, where the stock is likely primarily kitbuilt, heavier, but that's not hugely representative of the majority of the market. Moreover, as so often on forums folk complain loudly, but don't approach any methods of solution - some of which I try to constructively outline above. Those who are happy tend to say little, as I am with my V2s subsequent to minor modeller upgrades. Unfortunately, while more modelling instruction would be good as you say, I've simply had that ignored when offering it to appropriate outlets, like the NGS Journal in the past. I've tried once more with the current editor, so we'll see if my submission ends up published. Cheers, Alan
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