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Everything posted by Ravenser

  1. just a remote possibility - but were either of the two target locos called up for WD service in WW2?
  2. Some thoughts from a not very finescale perspective: I try to get wagon numbers correct on kit built wagons. This is generally a question of finding a correct databox transfer on the mass of transfer sheets though. I am a little uncomfortable with applying a number that isn't valid. With coaches, I would try to apply a correct number to anything that has been worked over. But I admit that I've never renumbered an unmodified RTR coach. Weathered, yes, but renumbered no. So long as it has an E or M prefix , it will pass. I assume that the RTR manufacturer has applied a number correct for the vehicle modelled - there's no urgent reason to say that particular coach couldn't have appeared on a layout set in a quite fictional location . Why renumber then? The layout is small enough to avoid duplicate items With locos , I apply a correct number to anything worked over. But in two cases (Bachmann 20 / Lima 37) a loco came with the number of the intended target anyway. I think I've renumbered one RTR loco - That was a Bachmann 57 - someone in a club group bought the same model, and I renumbered /replated mine to preent confusion . I don't recall renumbering any RTR DMUs . Again - if it's the correct type of DMU in the correct livery , why am I saying that the factory-applied number is wrong, on a fictional layout? I don't quite see the argument "but that one couldn't have run there - and this one could". In principle any Central Trains 156 could have turned up at Blacklade - why not this particular one? And nothing has been done to the kettles, because running a steam-era session on the layout is flagrently out of period on the layout, it's "funny trains" . And so renumbering is way down the vast jobs list. In any case what is the "authentic " number for a loco running in an unprototypical period on a layout set in a fictional area??
  3. Here you are. At the back - best shot I have on file
  4. Sad news. Condolences to his family
  5. Try POW Sides . \their range should cover nearly everything A smooth floor without planking sounds more like Slaters than Ratio
  6. It's worth pointing out that there was - and is - no single standard sleeper spacing on the network. The commonly quoted 4mm value of spacing at 10mm centres equates to 2'6" in real life and appears to date from the original BRMSB standards of 1943. It is accurate for 1930s mainline practice. The BRMSB themselves also quoted 12-14mm centres on sidings : I doubt if many people have been bold enough to do that in recent years. We would probably regard it as shockingly spidery after years of viewing tightly spaced HO sleepering conditioning our expectations. By the 1950s , BR mainlines were being relaid wih sleepers at 2'4" centres (a whisker over 9mm) and I think even tighter spacing is used nowadays on high speed main lines. Going in the other direction , I have seem values of 2'8" to 2'10" quoted as specified by various pre=Grouping companies (I think buckjumper posted some values on here long long ago...). These will apply to main lines - branch lines will often have had more widely spaced sleepering. Sidings were even wider spaced So "4mm prototype spacing" could be anywhere between about 8.5mm centres and 14mm centres, depending on how heavily trafficked the piece of track was, and when it was laid. Plenty of wriggle room there. Peco Streamline has traditionally been made at 7.5mm centres - a lot tighter than any prototypical 4mm spacing. In the extreme, lightly laid sidings might be laid at almost twice that spacing. I have seen 9mm centres quote for the new Peco bullhead , though I don't have any to hand to measure. I assume PMP's 6mm figure is the gap between the sleepers. This raises another issue - HO Peco Streamline also looks wrong for British practice because it uses matchstick sleepers, that are too thin and too short for 4mm British track. With wider centres you can also have wider sleepers without the gap between them looking wrong. A 20% increase in sleeper centres (7.5mm to 9mm) could easily support a 25% widening of the sleeper itself. That's a big change in sleeper size. A comprison between Peco's code 75 concrete sleeper track and it's code 100 equivalent is instructive. The code 75 concrete sleeper flexitrack is not accurate for 4mm - but it has modestly increased centres, and wider, longer sleepers , so it looks a lot more authentic than the old code 100 flexi
  7. An update with a couple of blog postings relating to the Boxfile: Wagons from the cupboard Commissioning and running things The Boxfile has seen a reasonable amount of use in the last 15 months. It's easier to get out than my main layout, and most of the bugs seem to have been knocked out now. The Hornby Peckett and Ruston Ds48 are excellent runners , well-suited to the job, and have made operation more satisfactory. On the strength of that I've also finally succumbed to a Hattons Barclay 0-4-0T , as the 14" version was available at a discount, in a decent livery. This awaits coupling bars fitting , but seems to run very well. With reliable traction and nearly all the wagons sorted out, operation has become a lot more satifactory than it was. Consequently it's getting run reasonably often I've made a big push on the container flats - the principal remaining pocket of unreliable wagons. One Bachmann Conflat has been bumped to Blacklade's service fleet with a wagon bogie load, and two kit-built Conflats drafted in as replacements. The Conflat V is still a problem, and needs further thought - this will all make a fresh blog post once I finish writing it up. I've also acquired a couple more vans : an ex SR van from a Ratio kit, and another ex Airfix LMS van from a detached body that surfaced in one of the boxes in the cupboard. This has now acquired a claspbraked underframe and just needs couplings fitting : something that has been delayed since I returned to work. And flushed with success on the wagon front, I've started trying to sort out the reliability of the Sprat and Winkle couplings, which is probably the last major sourtce of unreliability. In the process I've relocated two of the three uncoupling magnets I originally installed, and one of them actually turns out to be useable. So auto-uncoupling is starting to be practical on occasion, and I'm getting much closer to the original reliable hands-off vision. (That will be another blog post once it's all sorted out)
  8. Hornby will, of course, be set up to provide all the necessary documentation/permit holders etc for CE marking. They need to do it for the Hornby International range. They should also already be set up as VAT registered in a lot of countries in the EU - again because they already need to be, as they operate there This is one case where the manufacturer will certainly already be able to ship into the EU. Better even than Hattons Yes, you will pay full RRP if you buy from the Hornby website but otherwise I cannot see any reason not to order from them. Bachmann should be a similar situation, though I don't think they sell direct in the same way Bachmann and I think Hornby already have the relevant "not intended for children under 14 years old" statement printed on all packaging, and have done for years As already noted , scale models and parts for scale models are explicitly exempted in the Regulation from the "toy " requirements, so etendam's warnings seem rather over the top France apparently bans sending of books to its territory from outside the EU by post/courier, to protect the Republic from subversive literature. So if you order a Middleton Press line history - French Customs will sieze it to neutralise the threat it poses to the Republic....
  9. My efforts at cleaning up a Hornby 29 (or at least the bits that make one up) is here: Class 21 - 1 Class 21 - 2 Class 21 - 3 Having robbed the 5 pole motor bogie out of a late production Hornby 25 to power it , that leaves me with an unpowered Hornby 25 body and chassis. I then acquired a Bachmann Rat with a slightly damaged (and somewhat inaccurate) body and the medium term project is to detail the Hornby body and mount it on the Bachmann chassis for a blue 25 that has a good modern mechanism and is better than Bachmann's effort The two 25s cost me about £90 in total as second hand . Add in the 29 bits and detailing parts and that should give two Type 2s for under £140 total. In contrast a Dapol 29 and Heljan 25 would cost about £350 total
  10. I can't see someone in East Anglia shipping through Glasgow when London was far closer - and a much bigger port.
  11. Gainsborough is not GE territory, though the Joint line was one route serving the town. Marshalls are more likely to have sent their products via the GN or the GC than by the GE One further point - I can't see why anyone would export agricultural machinery from an East Anglian manufacturer through Glasgow. In pre-container days , ships would spend up to a month working their way round Britain loading at 4-6 ports - London, Southampton, Liverpool, Glasgow, Hull, maybe Bristol. Why rail shipments from E Anglia to Glasgow for export when you could rail them to London or Hull??
  12. Of those routing options, the first is commercially most likely since it would have maximised m ileage on GE metals (and therefore the GE's share of reciepts). They were running the Cathedrals Express into York, so I assume they had running powers that far north. And in any case up the Joint then up the ECML to Edinburgh is going to the the most direct route , or nearly so, for most of Scotland. Glasgow via Newcastle/Edinburgh should be shorter than via Leicester, Leeds and Carlisle The issue would only seem to arise if Richard Garrett were consigning to a buyer somewhere on the Caley system not readily served by the NBR or GSWR Given that there doesn't seem to be an actual loading gauge issue , and it's restricted to one company, I can only assume that this is a commerical issue. It smells like there had been a serious dispute between the companies over an implement wagon, or portable wagon shipment, in which the GE felt the Caley had behaved in a wholly unacceptable manner, but had failed to obtain redress. (The CR management might have felt that the GE was a long way away, not much of a freight railway, and they didn't need to bother about good relations). It smells very much like a directive to prevent any further problems by ensuring the CR had no involvement in any implement wagon shipments. It looks like the GE had a small pool of special wagons essentially dedicated to the business of two or three agricultural engineers doing business across Britain. They will have been closely monitored, and the appropriation of one would have caused significant issues. There will have been wagon demurrage penalties through the RCH , but whether they were adequete to deal with non-return of an expensive special wagon in relatively intensive use is another matter. If it had gone further - eg a wagon reported back through the RCH as stopped for repairs for months which is subsequently reported to be in regular use for Clydeside shipyard traffic while the CR blandly deny any knowledge of it "Portable engine wagon? I see no portable engine wagon..." - then this becomes understandable. There must have been agreed procedures within the RCH for writing off wagons damaged in traffic. If, as an extreme case, a GE implement wagon had been reported "written off" by the CR and it was subsequently learnt it had been repaired and used for CR traffic, I can imagine all hell breaking loose in the Chief Goods Manager's office at Liverpool St. Alternatively this may relate to a dispute over the division of receipts , where the CR were demanding terms for handling implement wagon traffic that were wholly unacceptable to the GE, so a routing instruction was issued never to route via the Caley - reflected in the wording on the wagon (Which might have been aimed as much at shunters in Scottish yards or at Carlisle as at anyone else)
  13. For what it's worth I've endured similar problems with uncertain closure of point blades in one or two places on Blacklade. It has happened where points were tighter radius and blades short (and therefore stiff) - the crossover and the single slip, which approximates the geometry of a Peco slip and was bespoke Marcway. Close examination suggested that the issue was the throw wire from the Tortoise bending in preference to moving a stiff point. I can offer two solutions: DCC Concepts Cobalt motors are equivalent to a Tortoise, but smaller. The throw wire is shorter and therefore less flexible: it may also be thicker. Certainly it seems to cope better Otherwise you can replace the throw wire supplied by Tortoise with something stiffer . I used steel wire from (I think) Eileen's . This is harder and stiffer - and it chews notches in the blade of a Xuron. The one place I still have an issue is the one point where I didn't replace the throw wire because it had become awkward to do
  14. As I noted here the two quickest wins amongst the possible coach projects were commissioning the Bachmann Mk1 BSK and upgrading the old Lima Mk1 SK - since those two projects didn't require me to do a complete paint job. So upgrading the Lima Mk1 it was. And after getting a fair way with painting the SK interior (along with all the other interiors) the penny dropped that I had two Replica TSO interiors in the coach box, and conversion to a TSO should therefore simply be a matter of swapping interior mouldings and painting . So I did just that - the Replica interior fits witout any noticeable difficulty, although the table tops possibly sit a shade high. (Or the Lima windows are a fraction too deep). I found some suitable figures to represent passengers in another box and painted them up with acrylics: some are resin castings from Peter Goss bought at Southwold one year when World's End was there, while others are Slaters and Prieser figures which had already been part painted by me. The Bachmann Mk1 BSK also needed some weork to commission it: the seats were painted a light grey, but no passengers were added . There are only 4 compartments, and by this period compartments were less popular with the travelling public. They might well still be empty on a train which will not be departing for some minutes. A Kadee #5 was jammed in the hacked NEM pocket at the brake end with superglue. Somewhere in my boxes I have a Keen Systems replacement close-coupler cam, left over from my upgrade of the Hachette Mk1 SK , which ought to be a drop in replacement to bring the NEM pocket to the right height. However I couldn't find it despite searching - so for the moment the coupling internal within the set is a Hornby/Roco close coupler, which will tolerate a slight varisation in height However the TSO interior is much more open so passengers are necessary. The white-topped tables catch the eye, even with the coach roof on and glazing in place. I didn't want the job of neatly repainting the interior of the bodyshell in white in order to represent the last phase of Mk1 construction with white melamine interiors and strip lights. So the target for the model became Lot 30525, Wolverton 1959-60: plenty of vehicles from this Lot were still listed in traffic as late as 1992 (the earliest coach listing I have): they were fitted with B4 bogies not Commonwealth or BR1, and had broader aisles with the later seating style , but they retained darkish timber interiors. (The photo above shows the TSO with a new interior, and bogies and underframe items replaced , but glazing and roof still to be sorted out) The major faults of the Lima model have now to be addressed. - Lima's bogies, trussing and underframe detail are unsatisfactory, malnourished, missing or wrong. I removed the Lima bogies, chopped away everything below the solebars and made good the holes with plasticard plates and milliput. - The glazing is totally unsatisfactory, with deep slab sides. Fixing this is make or break for any upgrade of this model to modern standards - The ends are a complete mess : footsteps that were removed in the early 1960s, moulded handrails that should extend onto the roof but don't, self-coloured black plastic (the ends were blue with markings), gangways with random holes in them, mickey mouse buffers... - The roof vent arrangement is quite wrong for a TSO. (I'm not sure what, if anything, it's right for. These were generic roof mouldings for the whole Lima Mk1 range) So - I soldered up MJT rigid 8'6" etched bogies. This was the first time I'd attempted these, and although they proved quite a bit of work (not helped by several errors on my part that had to be reversed) I'm pleased with the results. I used the press-stud system and find the ability to remove the bogies at will quite convenient. It also means that such bogies can be added to a body that is sealed up without needing to break into it, and there is no risk of a bolt or nut coming loose inside which you are then unable to get at and repair. I added cosmetic whitemetal B4 bogie sideframes from stock (They are actually MJT B5s, but you have to be pretty knowledgeable to spot that something is not quite correct). I also used the etched tongue that folds up into an NEM socket, which MJT supply separately. These need to be cut down a little to avoid fouling the rocking bogie pivot. (I used a piercing saw). They project rather further out than Bachmann /Keen Systems CCM cams, so you need a supply of short NEM Kadees A replacement underframe truss was stuck in place - I used the plastic Mk1 trusses available from Phoenix Precision in the ex NNK range. These were obviously intended to sit behind a solebar, so the plastic base needs to be cut away. A little bodging with scraps of microstrip under any short legs was needed. Comet underframe castings were used . Unfortunately these are designed to fit behind solebars on an etched fold-up floor plan, not to sit on a plastic floor at the level of the bottom of the solebar. So the battery boxes and other castings had to be cut down to suit. These and the bogie sideframes add a lot of weight to the finished coach, which helps road-holding. Since I can only run 2 car sets there is no question of this making traios too heavy for the locomotives. For future projects I will use the Replica underframe equipment mouldings, as these can be stuck to the base of a coach without needing to be cut down. The ends need extensive reworking. The footsteps on the ends of Mk1 coaches were removed after 1960 because climbing up to the roof became an intolerable risk once there was 25kV overhead on the network. Normally the bottom step was left in place. The footplank above the gangways was also removed, leaving only the brackets. However every manufacturer of Mk1s throughout history has produced them with end steps even though the real things carried them for less than a quarter of their service lives. Apparently everyone models the 1950s - nobody models the Sixties, Seventies, Eighties or Nineties. Taking them off the Lima Mk1 with a sharp craft knife is fairly simple, since the whole end needs repainting in blue. Removing them from the Bachmann BSK is rather more difficult as you need to make a neat job without requiring a repaint of the ends - I'm afraid there are still slight witness marks, (although a plate was often left at the base on the real thing). As the photos reveal I didn't dare attempt removal of the upper footplank on the BSK. On the TSO I did remove them, leaving vestigal plastic bumps , which are very representational attempts at the support brackets for the missing footplank, left in place by BR. I also removed Lima's moulded representation of the end handrails and filler pipes, and replaced them with brass handrail wire - in the case of the filler pipes, these extend onto the roof. Only one end of a TSO has these filler pipes. Lima's representational buffers were quietly cut off and replaced with MJT castings. The ends were painted blue , though there was a slight mismatch between my Railmatch BR blue and Bachmann's rendering when touching up the the BSK ends. Transfers were then added - Bachmann omit electrification warning flashes so these were added to both vehicles. A corporate image Mk1 has a noticeably bare end compared with a 1950s Mk1 festooned with steps. The roof is held on by clips that fit into holes in the end within the gangway. I painted the outer gangways grey, but the holes looked horrible, so a piece of paper cut to match the gangway door was painted rail grey and stuck in place to hide them once the roof was back on. At the other end the plastic gangway was cut down to half thickness and a working gangway made up from black card stuck to a plasticard plate using an old MJT etch as a template: a thin plate of plasticard was glued across the passenger end gangway of the BSK as a bearer plate to let it slide without catching As already mentioned, the glazing is the most critical part of the whole project. Shawplan's Lazerglaze will not help you here - it's back to an earlier generation of upgrade parts. I used SE Finecast vacuum-formed glazing. The edges of all window apertures were carefully painted in thinned anthracite black to disguise them. In order to get a genuinely flush-glazed effect I had to trim the flushglaze for the main windows neatly around the base and push them well forward. This won't work with the ventilators, and vents with the glazing recessed by about 1.5mm - which is what you get if you simply fit the flushgalze from behind as it comes - would look pretty unrealistic and spoil the project. Initially I tried glazing the vents with Rocket Glue and Glaze. This worked, sort of: it sagged under its weight, and even a second application left the glazing dished. It was also a very slow process . Eventually I fitted the flushglaze anyway, and poured Glue and Glaze on top of it to fill up the recess. The Glue and Glaze is now supported by the flushglaze underneath so it stays flat, and a lot less is needed so it dries quicker. The vac-formed pieces for the main window had a noticeable gloove around the edges - I tried carefully filling this with a filet of Glue and Glaze using the microtip. At least it should ensure the windows don't get pushed inside if I pick the coach up carelessly. Which just leaves the roof, which Lima moulded in clear plastic and which incorporated the glazing. The moulding was scored underneath the gutter line and the side glazing snapped away. All existing ventilators were carved and filed away. Since the moulding is actually clear plastic a full repaint is therefore needed. Parkin's book includes sketch drawings of the roofs and ventilators for most types, and the roof was drilled for new whitemetal MJT dome vents in appropriate locations , as shown in the relevant drawing. The whole lot had then to be repainted - with several coats required to cover the clear moulding properly. The top coat was Railmatch roof dirt mixed with a dash of frame dirt. The resulting 2 car set can be seen in the photos. The Bachmann BSK is a touch track-sensitive and can derail if run the other way round , but the new TSO, with all that weight from whitemetal castings, is rock-solid reliable. That said, it's not quite to the standard of the Bachmann coach. At normal viewing distance , the glazing is okay, but at 12"-18" the glazing though flush is undeniably a bit rough and untidy , and noticeably so when compared with the crisp neat glazing of the BSK. And I have a suspicion there is a slight difference in the actual windows between Bachmann and Lima. Also I forgot to add a strip of microstrip along the roof edge to represent the gutter, so the roor profile is subtly different between the two layout coaches. The TSO is numbered using some Modelmaster transfers, which include at least one E-prefix number from the correct Lot So the TSO is definitely a "layout coach". The medium term plan is therefore to finish an upgrade of my vintage Hornby Mk2a BFK and run it with this TSO. Both vehicles will then be glazed in the same manner, and since the windows on their prototypes are different anyway awkward comparisons are avoided. This will also mean that the finished set gains some first class accomodation. (This of course leaves the BSK without a partner, and the longer term plan is to floow on by building a second, rather better, Mk1 TSO to run with it using the Kitmaster plastic kit I have . Kitmaster's flushglazing should sit much more comfortably with a Bachmann Mk1) In the meantime I have a decent second loco-hauled substitute set for the layout. All items used were already in stock , where most of them had sat for a good few years, so the project cost me nowt at the point of construction. As an aside the original Lima box survives with a price tag of £3.50 on the end
  15. I think perhaps I had better show my hand... Dogger Light Railway using OO9 to represent 2'6" gauge , on a line operated by the military. At this stage a proposal and a collection of stock Discussion up thread about the W&L 0-6-0Ts suggests I might be justified in having one, since the gauge is right and the back story for the line had them starting off with 0-6-0Ts before the military took over I;m also hopin g I can get away with Baldwins stretched to run on 2'6" , given that they were re-gaughed for 2'4.5" However heavy the Peco rails, they ought to look less wrong for a fairly substantial 2'6" line than they would for a smallish 2' gauge line A sort of prototypical operator (the back story suggests that the line doubles as an interwar training establishment for narrow gauge lines rather like the Longmoor Military Railway for standard gauge operations) , and using ex ROD equipment from WW1 would be entirely natural. I'm also intending to borrow the "CIE collection of relics from other lines" concept , by assuming that the line was partly re-equipped during prewar rearmament in the mid 1930s by buying up surplus items from the Leek & Manifold and the Lynton & Barnstaple after closure
  16. If you are leaning towards Beyer Peacock, it is worth looking up another very large customer of theirs , the New South Wales Govt Railways, whose locomotive design team seem to have been located in the suburbs of Manchester rather than the suburbs of Sydney until about 1910. The MSWJR 2-6-0s were - until the GWR got hold of them - a trio of entirely Antipodean NSWGR moguls , some of which survived into the 1960s Down Under (There were also very similar classes from Dubs and Neilson). Clearly the MSWJR were thumbing through a builder's catalogue when they bought them. A batch of Beyer Peacock derived "Standard Goods" 2-8-0s being built for the NSWGR were commandeered by the ROD in 1914 and ended up with the Belgian Railways, Sydney recieved a decent sized batch of IoWCR Beyer Peacock 2-4-0Ts, and the late 19th century NSWGR had several classes of 4-4-0 whose lineage from the Met 4-4-0Ts is rather obvious. If your line can run to something as big as a small-wheeled 4-6-0 the NSWGR C32 class (a Beyer Peacock design of 1892) might suit you nicely... The Cambrian was responsible for both the W+L 0-6-0Ts and the VoR 2-6-2Ts as far as I'm aware, so they did actually design NG stock It's interesting to speculate what might have happened if the Furness had similarly become responsible for a 3' mineral line in Cumbria (although they showed no interest whatsoewver in the R&ER) or the NBR for some narrow gauge line in the Highlands or connecting with the Waverley Route
  17. This is half of the critical point. Building models of fictitious railways is very common amongst standard gauge modellers in all scales. It's just that creating a fictitious railway company to operate a part 9of the national networkis very difficult. Mainline companies built their own locomotives and rolling stock to their own design. It is a huge task for anyone who isn't a professional railway engineer to do that credibly. So the normal approach is to model a fictional line operated by your favourite real companty The two areas where freelance standard gauge modelling does happen, of course , are minor light railways and industrial railways. It's not an accident that the two critical conditions in standard gauge modelling don't apply here - minor light railways were not operated by big national combines , so each line had it's own company and if you create a fictional light railway, you create a fictional railway company to run it. Secondly these lines were too small to design and build their own stock - they bought in , either second hand from mainline companies , or new from the major builders. Therefore you don't have to design fictional rolling stock - you simply assemble a collection of models of suitable prototypes to operate your line. (Something similar applies to trams - invent your own town and equip the system with cars from the recognised tramcar builders. ) I think I'm correct in saying that the Cambrian was the only pre-grouping railway to build and operate narrow gauge lines as well as standard gauge (VoR and W&L) . The Southern acquired the L&B, the LMS got the Leek & Manifold, and the GWR acquired the ex Cambrian lines plus the Corris - but otherwise narrow gauge companies were small independent stand-lone companies that only operated one line. Hence if you want a fictitious narrow -gauge line you invent a company to operate it and summon up a motley assortment of available models to operate it. There is prototype narrow gauge modelling . The list of subjects commonly chosen is instructive: IoMR , CDRJC, other Irish 3' lines (often as a fictional line operated by CIE using cast-offs from actual Irish NG lines), the Southwold, the Lynton and Barnstaple, the Festiniog, and also the War Dept 2' gauge lines behind the Western Front in WW1. These are all based on the largest heaviest NG systems , and quite often they are fictional locations operated by a prototypical company with it's real rolling stock , just like standard gauge modellers. (Think County Gate, or every WW1 narrow gauge layout I've seen, or Hugh Dougherty's CDR layouts) In the US most railroads buy their locos from the main manufacturers' catalogues, wagons (sorry cars) work through , and you can do a freelance railroad simply by reliverying common RTR models. That simply won't work in a British context
  18. As inmdicated earlier, the most likely generic livery is unbranded varnished teak. Teak is notoriously difficult to do yourself, so there might well be a modest market among the builders of fictional light railways The North London Railway seems to have sold off coaches to a num,ber of light railways - and the NLR livery was varnished teak
  19. I suspect the market would not be for actual undecorated models - but a generic teak finiosh without lettering, which could be lettered for the light railway of youir dreams. A lot of light railways do seem to have run varnished teak coaches - although by their latter days the varnished part of the description might have been questionable
  20. In February I had the layout up after a couple of months and all was not well. Things stuck and stalled because they needed a thorough cleaning, the 128's body sat visibly too high, the NBL 21 needed a wheel adjustment, I was reminded that the NRX van needs one Kadee re-setting... And most importantly, the point that leads into the fuelling point (and which forms part of one end of the run-round loop) stopped throwing . I tried adjusting the motor to release it with my fingers, tried adjusting the throw wire. And all I achieved was a motor that ground and whined without moving anything. There had already been a problem here - about 18 months ago locos with limited pickup started stalling on the frog when the road was set for the fuelling point. Checking wires, remaking screw connections didn't fix it. In short - a new point motor required. Because of the very constricted space under the boards in the throat area I had used a Hoffmann motor on this point . And on searching the forum I found an old post from Dagworth reporting that he'd had problems with Hoffman /Conrad motors when the switch failed. Clearly that had also happened to me. The Hoffmann motor was originally sourced from Finney & Smith, who have been gone for years. A cheap grey clone was available from Conrad, and one or two people swore by them; but on checking the Conrad website these motors are no lonnger available. A like-for-like replacement was therefore not possible. The original installation is described in an old post here but here is an old photo of the relevant area: It is the upper board that concerns us, and the Hoffmann motor is the little black and red thing in the bottom left corner of the board. Here we are again - and the tightness of the location is obvious . You can also see in this shot that the point itself is located to one side , under the board framing , a piece of which has been chiselled away to allow the throw arm to operate. Dear reader - do not create this kind of situation, except from dire and compelling need. Clearly a Tortoise was never going in here, and the best and smallest thing I could find was a Cobalt Blue . One has already been used satisfactorily for a good few years - the blue motor just below the Hoffmann. So a Cobalt Classic Omega motor was ordered from DCC Concepts as the cheapest option. This now comes with 3 switches: one low-powered LED connection and two high power switches. The Hoffmann motor had only one switch, which is why the Erkon ground signal controlling movement off the fuelling point was never installed. Now, potentially, it can finally go in. (I should say here that the colour-light signals on the main board have been a minor disappointment. Because the platform roads are not in line with the board edge, the signals are slightly turned - so it's difficult for an operator to see the aspects without deliberately moving to look. As a result they don't really serve as an indication to the operator of what route is set) There is, of course, a catch. Cobalts and Tortoises are designed to work a point immediately above them. The throw wire is driven from a mounting in the centre of the casing, through a fulcrum hole positioned on the side of the casing. Making them work a point which is off-set to one side of the motor is not exactly obvious. And quite clearly there is no way a Cobalt (or for that matter a Tortoise) can be positioned directly above that hole right up against the baseboard frame. Which is the whole reason [sorry, pun not intended] why I orginially used a Hoffmann motor in this location. Fortunately there is a commercial solution, at least for the Tortoise. Exactoscale have for many years sold a moulded plastic mounting plate to which a Tortoise can be screwed, and which is then fixed to the baseboard by further screws. The throw arm then moves a thick plastic bar which slides from side to side beneath the mounting plate - and a secondary pin projecting up from this then throws the point. The arrangement should be pretty clear from the photos below. I bouight a number of these adaptor plates when Blacklade was originally built, but only used one of them. Now a Tortoise won't go in this location - but the adaptors aren't designed for Cobalt motors. But they can be adapted to take a Cobalt motor - so this posting may be of wider interest to anyone who needs to use Cobalt motors in an awkward location. Details should be fairly obvious from the two photos below. The recess in the Exactoscale mouldings is just too small to receive the lower flanged base of the Cobalt. But it will take the sticky pad supplied with the Cobalt. All that then needs to be done is to mark locations for new holes for the fixing screws inside the recess. Using the Cobalt as a template to mark the locations I drilled a pilot hole with a pin vice then opened it out with something much larger. Several of the fixing projections have been removed from the Exactoscale moulding to get it to fit, and I also had to saw a sliver off the back of the moulding. The loss of these fixing points doesn't matter, as the fixing screws supplied with the Cobalt are long enough to go through into the baseboard , so the original fixing points are a little bit of a belt-and-braces exercise. The sticky pad is then inserted in the recess in the Exactoscale moulding, and the Cobalt added on top - this holds it well enough for setting up. The throw wire needs shortening and fits into a hole drilled in the Exactoscale bar (I left the wire too long, drilled too deep and found I'd effectively pegged the bar to the underside of the baseboard when I tried operating the motor. Once the wire had been shortened a little more all was well) The photos were taken before the main fixing screws had been inserted into the new holes, and before the wires had been connected up, but the details of installation should be pretty clear. The current design of Cobalt has 3 switches , compared with 2 on the original design (see the other blue lump in the picture). One of the high-current switches is used to switch the live frog. That leaves at least one switch available to control the Erkon ground signal that was originally going to be installed to control egress from the fuelling point. As there wasn't a contact available on the Hoffmann this never happened, but now it might. However now I am back at work time is limited and the list of outstanding modelling jobs is long so don't hold your breath... (I am not quite clear how the low current LED switch works. Does it switch either DC feed to a wire , meaning that an LED will light up /not light depending on which way it is connected to the wire??) The replacement point motor has been thoroughly tested through a full running session - it works reliably, and the frog is live and properly switched. Since it is part of a crossover it is connected to the same output terminals on the accessory decoder as the other point motor with which it works in conjuction. This ensures the crossover always throws together , and saves the cost of an extra decoder output. Since stall motors are low current devices the total current drawn from the output is perfectly acceptable
  21. An outsider's comment: If these shots are the same loco, and the same loco as the EFE model, then the front buffer beam is the same red as the coupling rods. Not yellow as EFE have done The blue is seems a litt;le lighter than EFE's rendering, although I takle the point about bluie fading badly. And the yellow seems rather darker on the real thing. I think it's the yellow that's the real issue. A minor point - the saddle tanks on the real thing seem quite shiny compared to the matt finish of the EFE model. I'm not questioning the authenticity of EFE's livery , which may well be colour matched. It's just that the result on the model sets my teeth on edge on a way I don't recall with any other RTR of recent years, and in a way the more muted pastel effect on the photos of the real thing doesn't. As to remedial action, I can only suggest painting the front buffer beam and buffer stocks in a suitable scarlet, a thin wash of gloss varnish on the saddle tank, followed by weathering. I'm no expert on weathering , but I would be sorely tempted to apply a very thin wash of a more suitable yellow over all the yellow parts to adjust the colour , then perhaps (if I had one) a light airbrush weathering over the whole loco to tone it down
  22. A useful idea. I'm toying with the idea of ordering an Ultrascale double motor rewheeling pack and using that to rewheel the motor bogies of both the NBL 21 and the Baby Deltic. However before I commit, I need to get the 29 I reworked and rewheeled years ago up and running on DCC. I can then be quite sure that the finer Ultrascale wheels won't cause any problems on my pointwork before I splash the cash. Obviously there will then be a wait of some months before I actually get my order, but it's not an urgent job - the locos already run. And having had to press a tyre back on a wheel centre last time , it may prove necessary anyway. The thought also occurs that I would get a better quality final drive gear, and it would be designed to mesh properly at the wider back to back
  23. My reaction would be, in order of attraction: 4. 2. 1. 3. Scenario 4 seems strangely plausible. The structure work could be a lot of fun, and the walk from the Festinog to the Village is rather long as I recall . Groundle Glen also comes to mind in this connection
  24. Someone posted in a previous thread a late 1930s Wills Cigarette card, obviously redone from a photo, showing a weed-killer train with a 6 wheel teak brake. I'm pretty sure ex GN and LNER. While the Hattons and Hornby 6 wheelers do not tick the boxes for GN stock, (see the relevant threads) one of those in teak might be the nearest RTR stock for a representational weedkiller train
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