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6029 King Stephen

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  1. I'll try and take a picture later and upload it so that you can see what they are. The bags say class 7P - my caliper's battery is failing so the display kept fading. I will get a new battery when in the UK and bring the wheels back with me too. Sorry, should have read 29-30mm! I thought they were long but not that long..... Regards, Steve
  2. Ok, I have checked the axle lengths and these seem to around 129-130mm in length. The wheel thickness is less than 3mm. the axles are round along their whole length and the wheel centres have a plain round hole. Crankpins are fitted to the wheels and each has a very small nut that screws in and out on them. There are six driving wheels and 4 bogie wheels but no pony wheel or axle. There are three axles for the driving wheels and two axles for the bogie wheels. All wheels have black plastic spokes and the driving wheels especially look very fine and fragile when compared to the set of Romfords that are also supplied. I assume that Alan Gibson can supply P4 as well as EM gauge axles (if the axles above are not suitable) and the wheels would fit them. Would these be of interest/use by anyone waiting for their Ultrascale wheels? Please note that there is no bogie wheel or axle. They look particularly finescale and I can understand now how people can get such slight clearances when the wheels are correspondingly thin (much thinner than the Romford RP25 profile wheels that I am used to using in OO). Please PM me if interested with your email address if you want some pictures and your offer. I will be returning to UK on Saturday 10 September for two weeks and will be staying in the south east and south west of the country, travelling down via M25 clockwise, M4, Bristol, M5 and A30 so could drop them off in person if you live along this route. Alternatively, I will post them via 1st class recorded delivery. Payment in person or via Paypal. Regards, Steve
  3. I am probably wrong and this will amount to nothing but I recently bought a DJH Britannia kit off ebay and the wheels were described as included. When I opened the box the other day to have a look at the kit, I discovered that there are actually two sets of driving wheels included. One is the Romford OO wheelset that I was expecting and will use but the other is in a bag annotated as Class 7 wheels and the axles seem to be much longer than OO axles and the wheels have much smaller flanges than even RP25 profile wheels. Although I haven't yet measured the axles, I suspect that they are either EM or P4 axles and the flange depth is probably more appropriate for one of the finer standards. The wheels look like Alan Gibson as they do not have the locking nut that you get with Romfords and there is just a round hole in the wheel centre. Whether they are EM or P4 wheels and axles, I won't be using them and I think they will be difficult to sell on eBay and even less so in Cameroon. However, I am returning to the UK in a fortnight for two weeks (spending time in Kent and Cornwall) so if anyone is interested and lives along my route (Sittingbourne to Perranporth) I would be open to offers and could deliver them. I will get my caliper out this evening and measure the axles and the diameter of the wheels from the outside of the flanges so you have a better idea of what I have. If they turn out to be OO axles and coarse wheels, I apologise in advance..... Regards, Steve
  4. What chassis have you used for your streamlined duchess, assuming that you haven't used the Minitrix Britannia one? I have the Langley Merchant Navy kit that uses the same Minitrix chassis but looking at the Britannia, I am wondering if it is perhaps a little too crude nowadays and perhaps I should look at getting a second hand Farish one? In 2009/10 I went through a phase of buying Hornby streamlined duchesses (before they became so expensive to buy second hand on ebay) and used Fox transfers and brass nameplates to have all the blue ones and the crimson ones up to and including the first non-streamlined one. Sadly, in 2010 or 2011, the clutch went on my car and I needed to raise the £500 required which meant I had to sell them all. I have since bought City of Birmingham which was the first of the crimson engines with a double chimney and want to get a blue one as I have been ordering and building the Coronation Scot train in OO using Comet kits. I have been starting from the Brake Third Composite and am about a third of the way through. I will be using the Fox transfers sheet for the whole train to provide the stripes. Regards, Steve
  5. In the Right Track 10 DVD, Norman Solomon demonstrates how he uses plasticard to build a quick jig for the 1:Whatever and then uses ample liquid flux and a quick in and out with a hot soldering iron to make the vee without melting his jig. I haven't tried this myself yet but have considered making some similar with some thin wood pieces. Regards, Steve
  6. Thanks for the tip on the long Peco pins - I will get some when back in UK. Re the filing jigs, I have two; one has 1:5, 1:6, 1:7 and 1:8 and the other has 1:9, 1:10, 1:11 and 1:12. These jigs are suitable for filing the rails that you use for the Vee and can also be used for forming the rails that lead the wheel from the point blade and through the Vee (I forget what these are actually called!). I don't have filing jigs for the point blades but just run them lengthways across the course and then smooth wheels on my bench top grinder until they are thinner at one end than the other and have the foot and top of the rail tapered. Regards, Steve
  7. On the cost comparison I made in my earlier post, I was referring to turnout construction rather than plain track. If a Peco large radius turnout costs about £12, then making handmade turnouts with copperclad and bullhead rail works out much cheaper than this if you make your own vees and using a bench grinder to make your own point blades. Initial extra costs include a soldering iron, solder, flux and some jigs to file the vees to the correct angles but as has been shown in a few photos before this reply, many jigs or aids can be homemade from scrap material. For the tiebar, I have recently been using a supply of P4 ply sleepers and rivets that I bought from the Model Railway shop in Stevenage a few years ago. I drill a second hole to match the OO gauge width that I am using and then insert a couple of rivets, punch them on a miniature anvil and then solder the point blades to these. I had wanted to use the small pin advocated by Norman Solomon - a pin is bent over to form an L, the pointed end is pushed through the tiebar and then rotated 90 degrees so that it fits flush to the point blade and is then snipped off for length before being soldered into the web of the rail - but I have not been able to source some soft iron pins suitable for this. I think I might pay a visit to Hobbycraft when back in the UK. Plastic individual components might be more expensive than the £12 Peco point but the end results will look much better and be 4mm track rather than 3.5mm track. Copperclad soldered trackwork, once painted can look like chairs from a normal viewing distance in my opinion. Regards, Steve
  8. Thanks for the replies. I didn't do a search before typing my enquiry to be honest. I am back in UK for two weeks in mid-September and then won't be back until around August/September next year. I will do some research during our visit in September and buy something before I leave. I will check out the Badger 150 and others in their range. I keep hearing good things about Iwata (spelling?) as well. Regards, Steve
  9. Hi, In the same way that the general advice before buying a DCC system is to try before you buy, are there any shops in either Kent, Devon or Cornwall that offer a similar service for airbrushes. In the past I have bought airbrushes on line without having the chance to try them out beforehand and for one reason or another I seem to have three airbrushes that don't seem to be delivering the results that I want. Perhaps this is because I have previously bought due to the cost rather than buying a known brand such was Badger or Iwata but I am now considering buying on quality and paying a bit more in the hope that what I buy delivers the results that I witness by people on YouTube and on videos etc. I currently have a gravity fed double action airbrush, a gravity fed since action with trigger grip and a bottom feed double action airbrush - this latter one being the Expo airbrush. For convenience I would prefer a bottom feed airbrush but would consider another gravity fed one if it provides a better airbrushing experience. I already have a compressor and am satisfied with its performance. I always strip my airbrushes down to their component parts after airbrushing sessions in the hope that my next session will be a success. However, I am not able to obtain cellulose thinners here in Cameroon as I could when I was in UK but as I paint with acrylics, I simply run water through the airbrush between colours to clean it and then do the strip down after. Any suggestions on airbrushes to buy based on personal experience or satisfaction would also be welcomed. Regards, Steve
  10. I am considering something similar for a Triang/Hornby Blue Pullman power car and dummy that I bought off eBay. I am thinking along the lines of fitting a spud bogie unit and dummy unit to fit to each power car, which will enable easy conversion to DCC. Given the anticipated re-release price of almost £600 (!!) for the Bachmann product, I think this will be a much cheaper solution. All I will need to do then is source suitable coaches to attach vinyl overlays to and I will have a full set. Maybe a spud bogie would be suitable for you HST upgrade? Regards, Steve
  11. I bought my Slater's 3 point gauge from Wizard Models for about £4, if I remember correctly. For your first attempts, I would suggest trying out a copperclad turnout as soldered construction is easier to fix if something goes wrong. Plastic components fixed with Butanone solvent can be difficult to put right without causing damage to sleepers and the chair. Once you have perfected the contruction technique, you will be ready to move on to plastic components which overall, will look more realistic than soldered pointwork. For ease and speed of construction, you cannot fault soldered pointwork. For joining lengths of code 75 bullhead, Norman Solomon suggests using Peco Z gauge rail joiners but I prefer to use the Exactoscale working four bolt plastic fishplate. If you use a dropper wire on each section of track, as recommended for DCC, then you don't need metal joiners. Regards, Steve
  12. You should also seek out the articles written by Norman Solomon in Model Railway Journal a few years ago with step-by-step guidance on how to build trackwork. There was also a Right Track DVD, No. 10 with Norman demonstrating the whole process of building your own track. He builds a junctions using C&L plastic components and ballasts it. There is also a demonstration of how to build a copperclad turnout. Norman uses ready milled switch blades available from C&L but I usually use a bench grinder to produce these and have some jigs that assist in producing Vees and check rails - the latter cost me around £46 a few years ago. I also have the Iain Rice book which concentrates on building copperclad pointwork to P4 standard but the principles remain the same. As already mentioned, you will need some roller gauges and Peco produce a track gauge that has the right gauges for OO, EM and P4 on it. I have also recently bought a Slater's triangular gauge which I hope will enable some gauge widening for curves and crossings because I have found that some of my points seem to narrow in gauge when I do crossovers which can make them a bit tight for all locos to use. Don't be put off if your first efforts don't meet your expectations - this is one area of the hobby that benefits from lots of practice and learning from your previous mistakes. Once mastered and your loco and other stock runs through smoothly without derailing, you will be eager to get on with making more adventurous pointwork. Overall, it will work out much cheaper than buying RTR track and will look much better because you can produce bespoke pointwork. Good luck.
  13. I decided not to stick the templot plan to the foam and then lay the track on this. Instead I slid the plan with the track on it to one side and then moved sections across on to the trackbed and marked where the point motor operating wire would come through. I then cut a square out of the foam and initially used an 8mm drill bit to drill a hole and then cut another square of foam and inserted this with a slot cut in the square for the operating wire to poke through and through the turnout switch. A few times I found the turnout switch had moved slightly and was no longer over the hole - I remedied this by using my router to drill a hole and then expanding with into a small rectangle. The square cut out from the foam and to replace it became slightly larger but it was easier to cut the slot in it. I had previously soldered wire droppers onto each bit of track and so by drilling small holes for these to pass through, effectively anchored the track to the trackbed. The whole of the goods area and neighbouring mainline have been laid now. The next tasks are to spray unpainted parts of the track with Revell 47 Mouse Grey paint, fit the separate sleepers that go under the rail at track joints and then spread ballast dry, spray the lot with water with some washing up liquid in it and then use an old plastic contact lens solution bottle filled with diluted PVA over the whole of the trackbed. I will be using grey ballast on the mainlines and cinder ballast in the goods yard with an extra layer of foam between the tracks so that the roadways are level with the rail tops. On the scenic side I have decided to retain a viaduct at the left end and move the station to the right. Below the viaduct will be the townscape (like it is at Tavistock) and after the viaduct the line will curve round 180 degrees to enter the fiddleyard, with a road overbridge and a tunnel to disguise the curve. There will have to be a tunnel at the right end too. Once I have ballasted the track and it is all secure to the board, I will be able to cut the track and foam at the baseboard joins and then flip the boards onto their sides to fit the bus wires and connect all the dropper wires. I will also then fit all point motors and fix them to the underside of the trackbed. It will then be ready for testing before I start on the scenery. In the meantime I will try to upload all the photos that I have taken since starting this project. One thing that I have noticed during the construction so far is how badly by eyes have deteriorated with regards to long vision. I have always been short sighted and have worn contact lens for over 30 years but was surprised a year ago to be told that I would need to wear reading glasses over my lenses in order to do modelling or reading books. Many times when connecting track I had to don my magnifying headband to see what I was trying to do. This will be my only foray into N gauge I think and I will stick to OO for any new layout builds. I bought a second hand Britannia off eBay so I can make a start on building the Langley MN kit and now have three SR Mk1 coaches. I also bought a couple of N Gauge Society wagon kits off eBay and these have been added to my pile. I bought a Lima SR Mk1 coach but realise now that it made to the continental N gauge scale of 1:160 and looks much smaller than the Grafar ones it forms a train with. I'll take that back to the UK when I next visit to see if I can part exchange it for something else or sell it on eBay. Regards, Steve
  14. I have worked out how the mistake with the single slip was made. On the Ordnance survey layout plan, a double slip is indicated whereas in the Okehampton Line book by Irwell Press, a single slip is annotated. With the OS plan scanned into Templot and the track sections plotted on it, I had not looked at it again to check which slip it was where on my plan it was now showing as a diamond crossing. Having looked through other layout plans and deciding that I wanted to continue with the Tavistock theme, I have had to make a few compromises to the original plan. Instead of the mainline curving and then going up a 1 in 75 incline with the goods yard also curving to sit on the left of the mainline (looking towards Lydford), I have straightened the mainline and to then curve round 180 degrees on a 12" curve to what will become the hidden fiddle yard. The goods yard curves slightly in order to fit all the pointwork and general layout in the inside of the curve. The station platforms will now be sited at the right hand side of the layout on the straight track section and the crossing that was on the viaduct will be moved so that it remains at the left hand side of the station. At the left side, after the pointwork for the goods yard entrance, there will be a viaduct and then the line will curve to the right 180 degrees to enter the fiddle yard. This will allow me to have the Tavistock North trackplan in the 12' space and the tight curves necessary to fit in the 30" width. The scenic aspect will have to change and this will need to be freelance but drawing on Tavistock and Dartmoor for inspiration. The town area will be in the centre with moorland to left and right. The lines will go into tunnels at either end. At the left hand side, the viaduct will remain but instead of going over the town, it will draw inspiration from Shillamill viaduct or Lake viaduct with fields and stream/river below before heading into the tunnel. Fortunately, I had not fixed any track down before so it was a simple process of removing the track sections, ripping up the foam and unscrewing the ply track bed. I then cut two pieces of 6mm ply in 4' x 30" sections and screwed these to the ply framing. I have used all the offcuts of 3mm foam that I had left to cover the station and goods yard entrance and part of the curve at the right hand end. I will order more of this from Hobby Holidays in Doncaster. I had previously soldered feed and return wires to all points and track sections but may have muddled things slightly by soldering wire to track sections after the frog when the fishplates had been soldered together. I am fearing the possibility of a short, so I shall unsolder any wires that are on a rail after the frog and before an insulated fishplate is fitted. I have received all my Peco point motors and fixing bases, so after the desoldering, I will mark where the holes have to be drilled for the operating pin and then remove that piece of foam, remove waste wood and replace the foam with an oblong of foam with a slit cut into it for the pin to come through. I will use a wooden clothes peg to hold pin through the track bed, foam and turnout and then fit the base underneath. I will also drill holes for the feed and return dropper wires to fit through. When working in OO with C&L or SMP trackwork, I have used PVA to glue the track to the foam and have then applied the ballast immediately, waited a few minutes and then hoovered it off, leaving nicely ballasted track. Previously, I have used the water spray and glue dropper method which is applied to dry ballast but I find this to be the more tedious process. I am not sure how the first method will come out with Peco N gauge track given the thicker sleeper depth but I will give it a go and if it results in a thinner ballast depth look to it, I will supplement it with more ballast and then a spray of water with washing up liquid, followed by a diluted solution of PVA. My ballast preference is Woodland Scenics ballast using a mix of colours. For the tracklaying, I have been toying with the idea of gluing down the templot plan on top of the foam and then laying the track on this. This provides the advantage of ensuring that the track follows the plan that I produced. By placing the track on the plan to form the plain track sections and then moving them to the foam when the glue has been applied can result in an error and these are not usually discovered until after the glue has dried - at least in my experience! Hopefully, by the time that I have laid the track in the area that I have prepared so far, I will have received more foam from the UK and have built the trackbed for the viaduct and left hand part of the fiddle yard. I still need to try to work out how to take a picture on my iPad that I can then upload to the website. I tried sending one to myself but it did not give any options for resizing them. Regards, Steve
  15. I had another look at the station track plan and you are right, the slip at Tavistock North is a double rather than a single! I don't know how I muddled that but should I buy a double slip for £35 or stick with my single slip? Being in Cameroon, makes it difficult to sell the single slip on eBay or elsewhere because we are not able to send parcels, only receive them plus I have painted the point with grey paint but not the switch area and I have cleaned the rail tops so it still works OK but I have thrown away the packaging. I think I will have to get a double as otherwise I will forever be frustrated when operating the layout and unable to switch directly from the up line to the goods yard without having to reverse onto the down line on the viaduct and then reverse down the down line and across into the goods yard. I'll have to sell the single slip when next back in the UK. I have printed off another 18" curved section in Templot to bring the line round within the 8' length of the station and goods yard and just need to cut some ply trackbed, glue on some foam and then lay the track, remembering to retain the 1:75 incline. Then I will build another 4' x 30" board to site the viaduct and 18" curve with 1:75 incline to come round to the other side of what will be the fiddleyard. I have ordered all the point motors and fixing plates so should be able to glue the track down, ballast and wire it all up to get something running soon. I will then try again at uploading some photos. Regards, Steve
  16. I spent some time last night poring over the trackplan for Tavistock and not finding a replacement, I have decided to continue with the build but to alter the track layout at the Lydford end so that it curves round rather than go straight so that I will have half of the station and all the goods yard within 8 feet and will use the other 4 feet for the rest of the station, the viaduct and curve. I am thinking of having straight fiddle yards with a loco turntable at each end but may also plump for an oval to allow the opportunity of just watching trains go by. With regards to the slip, according to the plan that I have, it is indicated as a single slip rather than a double so I went for that. The difference in price was only £4. The space I currently have is about 12' x 4.5' and is the third bedroom, sharing space with a treadmill and large bookcase - my wife refers to it as the "toy room" which suits me fine! I had considered Bridestowe as I have walked along the old line (now part of the Granite Way) each way up to Lake Viaduct towards Okehampton and Lydford the other way, taking several photos on the way. Sadly it is not easily possible to walk across Lydford viaduct but I did find a road that went under it. I would also like to find the short bridge/tunnel where the GWR Launceston branch went under the SR mainline just before the former arrived at Mary Tavy - welly boots and suitable clothing will be the order of the day..... Regards, Steve Steve
  17. I seem to have reached a stumbling block - not sure why I didn't foresee a problem when I started out with this project. I have built four boards now, giving an area of 12' x 30" and have realised that I don't have enough space in the room to accommodate the viaduct and then a reverse curve to create an oval nor an end to end layout! Rather annoying as I have purchased all the pointwork and 30 lengths of plain track for the Tavistock North trackplan. When I consider that I have the equivalent of 24' x 5' in OO, I am surprised by how much space has been taken up trying to create a simple through station and small good area. I have painted all the pointwork and soldered dropper wires to each piece of track and have ordered the point motors and fixing plates but I am growing dissatisfied with what might be a compromise too far to continue with the current layout format. To make it fit, I would have to create a station on a 180 degree curve and then have the viaduct before the fiddle yard to complete an oval. I have already started to look at prototype plans for an alternative - possibly doing Plymouth Friary in N Gauge, using Peco code 55 trackwork - in the space I have, I should be able to fit in the station and some of the good yard, the station throat and MPD and then have the mainline descend and curve under the layout where the fiddle yard would be. I also like the idea of St Germans with the viaduct but the goods yard is a bit limited in size and for operational interest. Anyway, I have the four GWR selected station trackplans books and the Southern volume to seek an alternative location - I prefer to use prototypical trackplans rather than something freelance although I have to admit to looking through the Cyril Freezer trackplan books for inspiration. My loco fleet at the moment consists of a Merchant Navy, King and M7 so perhaps something on the GWR mainline such as Brent or something on the Southern in North Cornwall might suffice (this will require some licence for the use of a King). I am now back at the research stage but eager to get going again and having something running soon. Regards, Steve
  18. As some may be aware, I have recently started to build an N Gauge layout using Peco code 55 track and having laid the track, I am looking towards wiring it up. I am using electrofrog turnouts and want them to be electrically operated, using a separate power supply to the DCC that the track will be wired for and am undecided between using the Peco PL-10E (extended pin) point motor which is available in a pack of 6 from Hattons for £34 or the Seep PM1 that comes with a built in switch for changing polarity or accessories for £4 each which, when buying 16 could save me over £30. What would others recommend? On the subject of wiring the turnouts, when building PCB and C&L plastic-based pointwork in OO gauge I have had to use a switch to change the polarity of the frog. However, according to the instructions provided with the electrofrog N gauge turnouts it states that they are ready for use and it doesn't make any mention of needing a switch to change the polarity. It suggests feeding power to the toe and ensuring that all turnouts are connected in series. If the diverging roads face each other, as in a crossover, then insulated joiners should be used. I have followed this advice when laying the track but have not connected any power to the trackwork to test this theory. Do I need a polarity switch? Regards, Steve
  19. OK, I have taken some photos. The first stage had been to add track to the track plan scanned into Templot and once this had been done, to then print it out and join it together. This allowed me to cut out the track bed onto some 5.5mm ply that I had. I had already decided that I would be using 8mm ply to build the open frame and this would be boards of 4' x 30", two initially. The sides would be 100mm high with cross members of 30" wide and 250mm high. The viaduct was 75' tall (150mm in N gauge + 100mm side height). Once the two boards had been built, the Templot plan was placed on the cut track bed and my limited stock was placed on it to get a flavour of things to come. I placed my order with Hattons for Peco code 55 flexible track (30 yards) and 13 items of pointwork including a single slip and large radius points. I also ordered fishplates and insulated rail joiners, Peco goods shed kit, re-railer, Peco double tunnel mouths and Peco stone walling sheets. Only when the items arrived in Cameroon a fortnight later did I realise that I had miscounted the turnouts and was short of one right handed. I will be ordering that plus Peco point motors and switches on my next order. Stage two was to glue 3mm foam (bought some time ago from Hobby Holidays) to the trackbed. I then placed the Templot plan on this and placed the turnouts in position and marked their toe ends and used a piece of plasticard as a template to remove a rectangle of foam and then drilled a 6mm hole in the centre of where the turnout would go. This turned out to be a mistake for two reasons. Firstly, because Peco N gauge turnouts do not have a hole in the centre of the tie bar (the point motor's pin goes through a hole at the ends of the tie bar) and secondly, because the plan had been drawn for B8 and other pointwork but I had decided to use Peco rather than code 40 rail and hand built pointwork or even tried moving into 2mm - I wanted a layout that would offer quick results to get something running quickly) and when laying the track the turnouts were no longer where the drilled holes were. Fortunately, I had produced foam rectangles to fit over the holes and so I fitted these in place. I also painted the whole of the track work with Revell acrylic 47 mouse grey. The next stage will be to dismantle sections of the track work to solder dropper wires to lengths of track which in turn will be soldered to bus wires under the boards, drill holes for those wires and then glue the track to the foam and spread ballast onto the wet PVA. This is left for a few minutes and is then hoovered off, leaving (hopefully) nicely ballasted track. It is the lightly stapled to hold it all in place until it dries. Prior to gluing and ballasting, new holes will be drilled for the point motor wire, which will be installed from below using the Peco fixing plates. Reading the instructions for wiring, it would appear that I do not need a polarity switch for the live frog providing all the turnout toes are towards the feed. I have problems uploading the pictures as they are deemed too big - any ideas? Regards, Steve
  20. Since my last update, I have become increasingly dissatisfied with certain aspects of this layout that I have decided to dismantle it. Among the reasons for taking this decision include the fact that some lengths of track from C&L were nicely bent in the box by the Royal Mail but despite this I used them but there is an obvious kink in the platform roads that means the lines aren't straight, several of the tiebars have failed since being glued and ballasted and some of the turnouts seem to have narrowed in gauge meaning that some stock struggles to go through, I didn't leave enough room to model the approach road and since getting some plans of the station, it became apparent that the platform ends are elevated above the road that goes round the back. It is likely that I will return to having a Plymouth Friary layout but it will most likely be in N Gauge to do it justice and might tie in with an extension of my Tavistock North N gauge layout that is currently under construction - only time will tell. I still wish to continue with a layout in OO but I think that for operational interest, it will have to be something of a continuous run and thoughts are leaning towards St Germans or Penryn on the Falmouth Branch. Both have been printed using Templot and I have built one C10 point for the latter. I have also decided that I will use the L-Girder system so that it will be easier to build the scenery, especially if the former is adopted and will include the viaduct, either built from the Wills kit or scratchbuilt - most likely the latter as I mocked something up in card in 2007 to check its viability but abandoned that because the viaduct was built on a curve and I hadn't worked out that the piers on the outside of the curve need to be longer than those on the inside but retaining the same 50' arches. Layout size would need to be restricted to 16' in length x 9' wide to allow 4' radius curves for scale couplings to be used. All pointwork from the Friary project will be retained and modified to address the shortcomings noted above and reused in some way on future layouts. I have already started a new thread on my Tavistock North layout and will create new threads for any new layouts. Regards, Steve Steve
  21. Some may have seen my now stalled progress on my OO layout of Plymouth Friary - I will update that thread separately. I have decided to make a return to N Gauge and have always had an interest in the Tavistock North station because the viaduct in the centre of town is still standing and can't be missed when travelling through on the way to Lifton. The line in from Lydford passes over another viaduct before it entered the station and in the other direction, after passing over Tavistock viaduct the line passed under several road bridges in a cutting before crossing another viaduct and disappearing into a tunnel. I have printed the layout plan using Templot onto a scanned image of the Ordnance survey map obtained from Plymouth library and the plan will be for it be a continuous run layout coming in from the left from Shillamill tunnel, then over Shillamill viaduct, through the cutting with overbridges, across Tavistock viaduct, into the station and then out the other side, across the other viaduct (name escapes me at the moment but it is above a quarry, across a few other over bridges and then into another tunnel (this will have to be modeller's licence as there wasn't a tunnel at this end just a bridge where the Southern mainline went over the GWR Tavistock to Launceston line. So far I have build the boards using 18mm ply for the open framing and 5.5mm ply for the trackbed. this will be covered in 3mm grey foam and then Peco code 55 with large radius electrofrog points and track will be laid. I will be using Woodland Scenics fine ballast and once wired and tested, I will profile the track bed supports to enable scenery to be carried out. Control will be DCC using my existing Gaugemaster Prodigy 2 system. The plan has been printed so far for the station area and line across Tavistock viaduct and two boards of 4' x 30" have been built. The third board will accommodate Tavistock viaduct and then the boards will have to curve around to make the continuous circuit (in reality the line continued straight. My track order has arrived as have ratio kits for the GWR signalbox (I know, it's wrong but I like the kit) and goods shed and the Peco goods shed which is similar to lineside goods shed used by the Southern in devon and Cornwall. I also have Peco road overbridges, tunnel mouths and stone walling sheets. I will have to scratchbuild Tavistock viaduct rather than use the Ratio item because there are three arches of 32' and five of 50' plus a kind of "jack arch" in the middle. I have taken some photos already and will upload these in due course. For stock I currently have a Graham Farish Merchant Navy, Dapol M7 and Graham Farish King, three Mk1's in green, a full brake in crimson and cream, four Peco PO wagons and a Langley kit for a rebuilt MN what requires a Minitrix Britannia chassis. Regards, Steve
  22. I currently have OO gauge running on DCC and have decided to also have N gauge. To save on buying extra controllers, I would prefer to run the N gauge on DCC but am unsure as to the DCC readiness of N gauge locos and what decoders I would need. So far I have bought a Grafar Bachmann Merchant Navy in orginal form, a Dapol M7 and a Graham Farish King. I suspect the MN will be DCC ready wih a 6 pin socket in the tender but doubt that either the M7 or King will have any DCC provision. I read some years ago that Graham Farish locos required some kind of plastic top hat thing that replaced a part of the mechanism to enable conversion to DCC. I would be grateful for any advice. Regards, Steve
  23. I also prefer to use 3 link, instanter and screw link couplings on my stock but also use the Dingham auto-coupling which is compatible with the hook in the buffer beam couplings. The latter are reasonably priced and the etch comes with plates to cover the drilled hole in the buffer beam and lots of hooks that are useful to fit to locos. For coaching stock, I intend to use the Dingham coupler on the end coaches and then use Bill Bedford etched screw links that are fixed to the underside of one coach and have a post at the other end to hook under the buffer beam of the next coach. I had thought about using screw links between coaches but it is just too fiddly and time-consuming to try and couple up. I have decided to also model in N gauge and don't want to use the Rapido coupling that is fitted to N gauge stock but what are the alternatives? I used to model in N gauge until I sold everything about 20 years ago and I had trialled DG and Sprat & Winkle couplings for shunting but now I am wondering if there is a N gauge version of 3 link available commercially that I could fit to wagons and the end of coaches that wouldn't be shunted or marshalled? I have some other questions regarding track etc but I start a new thread on that. Regards, Steve
  24. Thank you for all the replies and advice so far. I will take a few pictures to show what is happening. Please note that I only use the white spirit to clean out any traces of paint in the airbrush (the places that cannot be dismantled. The Revell acrylic thinner is recommended for use with Revell acrylics and water is used to thin Humbrol acrylics. After using white spirit, I always rinse through by spraying with either the Revell thinner and/or water. Thanks for the suggestion to ask car painters/sprayers as they might be able to point me in the right direction for spray cans that might be useful - in the same way that I would pop into Halfords when living in UK. It is interesting the number of locals who I have shown my hand built plastic and soldered pointwork who have enquired if I am an engineer - which I am not. My list of items to buy when we visit the UK soon for 11 days is getter longer by the minute. A visit to the Bristol area to buy items from C&L is definitely on the cards! Before I came here, the prohibited packed items list included paint. When the packing day came, I had already given my enamels and Tamiya acrylics to my parents to look after because they had flammable markings on them, I mentioned to the guy that I now only had acrylic paints that were water based and he told me I could have packed my enamels and Tamiya paints. What they meant as prohibited paints was large tins of emulsion or gloss! Unfortunately, I was not able to add to my packed items without incurring a large fee (in excess of £200!). Regards, Steve
  25. I am sure there are hundreds of threads already on this subject but please bear in mind that I am currently based in Cameroon, West Africa and do not have the advantage of any modelling shops in the country, let alone in the capital where I am based. I first starting airbrushing in about 1991 with a basic humbrol bottom feed brush that worked off a gas canister. Results were a bit hit and miss and canisters cost me a small fortune. Fast forward to 2006 when I was living in Athens and following advice on this forum I decided to try my hand again with airbrushing and bought a gravity feed airbrush and a compressor. I still use the same compressor that incorporates a water trap before the air proceeds to the airbrush. I was getting good results using Humbrol and Revell enamels and when I moved back to the UK in 2010 I began using Tamiya acrylics that also gave good results. When I moved to Cameroon last year I was unable to bring any of my enamel paints with me nor the Tamiya acrylics because they are all flammable and cannot be taken on an aeroplane. Instead, I bought all the paints in the Humbrol and Revell ranges and brought those with me. Initially I was mixing them with water to a semi-skimmed milk consistency but found that Humbrol had a tendency to "spit" when airbrushing and I thought they might be drying in the airbrush as I was spraying. At this point I have three airbrushes; a gravity feed with trigger control, a gravity feed with dual action (Premiair) and an Expo bottom feed single action with bottle. Having read/searched for advice on this forum and others for advice on what consistency to thin the paint to, I discovered during a visit to South Africa that Revell had a product that was produced for their acrylic range to add to the paint (4 parts paint to one part Aqua clean) and this claimed to increase the drying time when using acrylics. I then read somewhere that people were advised to begin with a 50:50 mix and then add more paint or thinner to improve the performance of the paint through the airbrush. It is difficult to measure a 4:1 ratio when you only need a small amount of paint to spray a body, chassis or kit but I have been using mustard spoons that I was able to buy locally. In a local supermarket I found white spirit and use this to clean out the airbrush after I have used the Revell Aqua Clean and/or water. Now I am finding that whatever mixture ratio I use that the paint comes out of the airbrush in a spray but when I spray onto a piece of scrap plastic before spraying onto the subject matter, I get a thin coat of wet paint (possibly thinned too much) and the paint looks like rain drops of paint dotted on the surface. I have tried to alter the pressure of the spray and have moved my hand closer or further away from the item being sprayed but it seems to not make any difference. I always spray indoors as it is too hot to work outdoors and have sprayed with the air conditioning blowing at 16 degrees C or without the aircon. It makes no difference. I have tried to spray in thin coats and allowing each to dry but I still have a dotted finish to my models. I have contemplated buying a more upmarket airbrush such as Iwata or Neo but I am doubting whether that is the problem or not - perhaps I am doing something wrong? I would be grateful for any advice and if there is something that I need to get, then providing it is not pressurised or liquid, I can order it from the UK or buy it when I next visit UK next month. When in UK I used to use cellulose thinners after each session to clean the airbrush but that is not available here. Unfortunately, most Cameroonians are not paid enough to have spare cash to indulge in a hobby such as model railways or plastic modelling and consequently there are no model shops and very few even what we would call toy shops. There are also no art or craft shops. It is looking like I might need to resort to building kits and leaving them in sections for painting when I return to the UK in a couple of year's time. This is the first place I have ever been where the thought of pursuing modelling as a hobby might prove impossible. Fortunately, I brought supplies of Butanone and Carr's Green flux in the container that came with me so I am able to restock on rail, chairs and sleepers to continue building track and my layout and there is an abundance of wood available. I have even been able to restart my progress on my Friary Green layout. Regards, Steve
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