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Blog Entries posted by Sasquatch

  1. Sasquatch
    These blogs are few and far between of late, still better late than never. Not the subject of base board legs predicted in my last blog but one which I’m sure you will enjoy.
    Working ground dolls aren’t a necessity and probably not on most modelers to do lists. However on Dunster everything had to work so I set about making fully functioning ground signals from the ones supplied on the detail sprues in the GWR signal kits.
    Having used the Ratio signals to great effect, I utilized their signal-remote-control kit available for N scale.

    The first job is to light the lamp. Model-Power-grain-of-sand 14V bulbs are suitable. The Ratio lamp had its lens removed and was drilled from beneath to accept the bulb with a 1.5mm drill bit mounted in the pin vice. Another hole is drilled just below where the lens was with a 1mm bit. Not as fiddly as it sounds if the part is left attached to the sprue. The bulb is test fitted while lit to ensure it shines through the lens hole. I use somewhere between 6V-9V to power up my lamps. The 12-14V recommended is too bright for my liking, will probably melt the plastic and the lower voltage will prolong the life of the tiny bulbs!
    Now for the disc, two discs of 10 thou, (0.01”) plastic card were punched with a file hole puncher. A little over size I know but much better than any other method I could come up with. One disc is then scored with a sharp blade where the red chevron is to be painted. This helps keep the paint where it should be. A tiny 0.45mm hole is drilled in the center of the discs through which a Peco track pin is inserted to hold the two discs together while two 1.5mm holes are drilled in the discs to line up with the lamp lens and a small 0.45mm hole opposite in the center of the red chevron as close to the edge of the disc as possible.

    Red and blue (not green as I have since found out) sweet wrapper is sandwiched between the discs and glued up using cyano (super glue).Glue a length of .45mm wire in the center hole and when set trim off flush with the front. Leave >10mm on the back.
    Drill out the pivot hole for the disc with a 0.5mm drill bit.
    A 2mm hole is drilled in the signal base directly below the lamp before the ground doll frame is glued to the signal base supplied in the remote control set. The actuator mount is then glued to the underside. Paint all the parts and allow them to dry before proceeding with assembly. All other parts are then assembled dry leaving the ½” sleeve (which should be a tight fit) free for removal as the operating wire is made using the trial and error method. I introduced a bend in the wire to enable fine adjustment. Unless you're lucky 2 or 3 attempts are normal. The blind on the back should just be a push fit over the pivot wire if the clearance hole is .4mm. Trim off the excess wire with cutters.
    Poke the lamp up through the 2mm hole in the base and feed it into the lamp.
    Any method of actuation is possible if you don’t like the Ratio lever.
    Half inch holes for the lever and assembled signal were bored into the base board and control panel with a 1/2"-forstner-bit . A round file comes in handy if the fit is too tight.

    View from the rear.

    This one is at the up end of Dunster's platform.

    Avon Park my shelf layout terminus which has been abandoned was to be fitted out with LMS style shunt signals. Some of those supplied in the LMS signals kit have been made to work the same way as the ones out lined above.
    Not happy with these I have set about scratch building them from Plastic card and styrene strip.

    The last build has been detailed quite considerably.

    The extra detailed element added to train workings was well worth the effort above all else they are a lot of fun. If only the onlookers at shows noticed.

    Questions welcome.
  2. Sasquatch
    No doubt most of you will be at Alley Palley for the show (count yourselves amongst the lucky ones).
    This week’s blog is something a little different. A scenic item that was made as a compromise to a Hogwarts Castle that would fit in with the Goathland Layout. Whitby Abbey! My attempt is more a representation of it than a true model. The pictures on the internet (Not been lucky enough to see it in the flesh/stone) fall into my category of "Just crying out to be modeled".
    Construction utilized some old Linka moulds I picked up in a high street toy store well over 20 years ago, the full set with 12 rubber moulds for £5!!! I cast these using two part casting plastic and built up arched windows and a side section out of which new RV rubber moulds were made then these were cast again in two part plastic over and over (a speedy process). The whole lot was hot glued together on an MDF base and spray painted.
    The abbey is situated on a lift off scenic plywood box that sits over the tunnel and hides the sharp curves that exit the layout to the fiddle yard.
    This week has seen a repaint in my preferred style of blackened stone found more in the Pennines.
    Credit to Mrs. Sasquatch for her wonderful scenic work and her endless patience!
    measurements: 17½"L x 10½"D x 8½"H

    Here are some more pictures as requested. This time without messing about in picasa3.
    The back side has not been modeled as it is hardly ever seen, so no views from the other side.
    Shame you don't like my stormy sky Halfwit, I'll try and take some more later but posty just knocked on the door with something new from Heljan so much too engrossed right now.

  3. Sasquatch
    The subject of my first ever blog is more about learning as I go on this topic rather than profess to that which is already known.
    Intending to further prototypical operation on the Goathland layout I have set about building fish vans. Goathland, being on the Whitby to York line must have had fish traffic. There must also be some RMWeb brotherhood members with some knowledge of this subject, who I hope to fish out and interrogate.
    Progress so far has been sought from Peter Tatlows excellent volumes on LNER wagons. Construction of two diagram 143 vans from Parkside and a diagram 37 from scratch using products from Evergreen have been completed albeit the weathering.
    Plans are afoot to build a North Eastern Railway diagram F6 and LNER diagram 23 from scratch also, as I`m quite pleased with the 23' build. I have no evidence that any of these vans ever ran over the line making it a red Herring but the picture in An Illustrated History of LNER Wagons Vol4A just cried out to be modeled.
    Both the NER & LNER recognized the need to run fish traffic in passenger trains and this will be considered when running trains on the layout. Would the fish vans have been attached to local passenger services to coincide with the tidal landing of the local catch one wonders, and even more baffling is how would the empties have found their way back.......
    LNER diagram 37 from plastic card.

    LNER diagram 143. By mistake these vans received 3 coats of paint. Krylon red brown primer,LNER dull teak (because I neglected to label the jar) and Precision red oxide P67. Next time I`ll just stick with the primer as it is spot on!
    The older build on the left (about the time parkside cast it on to the market) sports brushed Railmatch bauxite done in the days before airbrushing was an option, and shows the vivid difference to the Phoenix oxide. This matt paint holds weathering powder fast as can be seen on the LMS van, which also received LNER oxide. The grime covers even the worst sins.

    During a search conducted this afternoon I quite by chance came accross this photograph of Whitby yard. Having already received a reply from the website owner Mr D. Heys most kindly allowing me to reproduce it here, I waste no time.
    Getting back to all things fishy, there apears to be a small rake of fish vans in this fantastic shot. My eyesight not being as good as it was I`m going to stick my neck out and say that looks like a diagram 37 second from left. This is definately good enough evidence for me!

    At last this has been dug out to finish it , however I have moved the build here
  4. Sasquatch
    Well time for this entry which I hope will be of some interest. Please do not take my basic approach as too simple as there is a need for simplicity in regards to such construction.
    My choice of material is 1/2" ply wood. This stuff is a great invention as it has built in strength thus no need for bracing and reinforcement.
    For sturdiness in the boards a depth in the side rails of around 20% top width should be sufficient thus 1 foot wide boards needs 2 1/2" rails. A 2' wide board requires at least 4" rails.Anything less will sag.
    The 3 basic rules of cabinet making are measure everything twice, cut the largest/longest parts first and if at first you don't succeed. Cheat!
    Start by making a drawing and a cutting list with number required, rips (cutting along the wood) and cross cuts for each part required.
    If you need wood ripped take your cutting list to the DIY store/lumber yard and get them to do it.
    Never cut large heavy sheets of material with small machines!
    Here are the basic tools needed.

    I am using OFB for this step by step and have used it for at least one baseboard in the past!
    Start by marking the lenghts out.

    If you don't have access to a chop saw.
    Clamp two or more bits down with 2 clamps and cut from corner to corner.

    Then cut the same but opposite corners and finish off.

    Take 1 cross member and mark for two holes to drill for 1/4 inch coach bolts (or thicker if required)

    Using two clamps, clamp 3 pieces flush and some scrap down tightly and drill through all three.

    Hammer in the coach bolts

    Mark the edges like this so not to mix sets up.
    One diagonal mark for the first set two for the second etc.

    Number them for easy identification

    If you require holes for wiring use the same technique

    Mark a double thickness on one end of the side rails.

    Using a square mark where you want the cross members (avoiding any point motors etc)

    If you are a belt and braces man you may wish to screw each joint. Clearance holes and countersink for two screws at each joint and pilot holes in the ends of ply. I can't stress how important this is.
    Begin assembly on a clean and clear flat surface by running a bead of glue (using a forefinger to guide the glue bottle) along your marks.

    Do this upside down on the base board top.

    clamp things together and make sure things are flush and square.

    With the first two pieces of the drilled set bolted together clamp in place on the end with glue on the innermost one only.

    Remove the outer one to make sure no glue had squeezed out. Now add the third gluing it to the middle piece and linning up those diagonal marks.
    This forms the end of the next board. which will line up perfectly.

    Use the frame to mark the top side of the top and fix the top down with fine pins and glue on a flat surface.

    This fiddle yard serves two layouts and comes appart in minutes using my male-female technique.

    The close ups show the electrical connectors well but this type are hard to find.

    I will tackle legs in my next blog.
  5. Sasquatch
    About the age of 12 a piece of hard board became available to me on which a Hornby single platform station halt and crossing where mounted. Some simple scenery built up etc and for added interest the gates where operated with cotton thread, ever since I have wanted working crossing gates.
    One of the ideas bouncing around in the old grey cells for years was this simple system of mounting the gates on L shaped wires to be swung by the back and forth movement of a plate below the base board with grooves in it.
    One of the requirements on Dunster was to have the gates animated. When our DVD player broke the dreaded light bulb came on and I set about dismantling it. After about an hour the DVD drawer mechanism was up and running but much slower!
    The gates at Dunster are off set and move one at a time. To accomplish this, the groves in my plate would be “S” shaped with a straight and the other straight with an “S” shape. A drawing was then quickly made of angles, posts and swing from which I could work out the shape of these grooves
    ¼” MDF was used for the plate; the grooves being cut with a jig saw and sanded perfect (Five attempts before getting this just right).

    Two micro switches cut power which stops the DVD drawer. An on/off switch operates a relay which is wired as a DPDT current reverser to the drawer motor.
    For added realism another on/off switch is mounted in the Gaugemaster hand held unit used on the Layout.

    The relay is a plug in type and mounted under the signal box. Easy to replace if anything ever goes wrong with it.

    Dunster has attended the Rouge Valley Model Railroad Show on four occasions at which the crossing performed rather well.


  6. Sasquatch
    In between coats of varnish drying today I gave thought to blogging about this Heath Robinson style uncoupling system I have developed.
    For added interest on Dunster which has limited operating movements I set about making everything work, the signals including two ground dolls, the crossing gates and the possibility of auto uncoupling in the sidings and on the main line. Having employed Hornby uncoupling ramps in the past I knew of their ability to uncouple things when not required. That apart I needed something less conspicuous.
    Rising plates was the answer, and operated with Ratio levers like the signals.
    Firstly a master was hashed up from cut sleepers and cork underlay to represent the permanent way between the rails and this had a box built around it out of which a silicone rubber mould was made. Now I can cast as many uncoupling plates from two part liquid plastic as I need. The master has been retained in case the R.V. rubber mould ever wears out. Although I think a new master with more detail might suit.

    The system required springing as the weight of the castings alone was not enough to return the plates by gravity. Here comes another entry in my notes for a book I have planned “A Thousand & One Reasons To Carry Zip Ties in Your Pocket”. (I think that’s Cable ties in English English). Half a length of zip tie has just the right amount of tension in it for this purpose.
    The design is very simple utilising only a small ply triangle, block of wood, track pins and stuff from general household trash.

    The plastic tubing comes from cotton buds and I used square type nails from my nailer but any stiff straight wire will do.The last piece of the puzzel is the single connector cut from an electric connector strip which is used as an adjuster.

    A small piece of MDF is used as a jig to gauge the size of the required hole in the track and for drilling the two holes in the base board consistantly.
    Sleepers and underlay is cut with a Stanly knife and 1/4" chisel.

    Two plastic tubes are used one for the actuating wire and the other as a guide.

    Things are lined up dry and marked with a pencil then when satisfied hot glued in place.
    The Ratio point opperating system makes for a perfect and economic means for opperating.
    Here are the results.



    I have cpied and pasted Stu's drawing mentioned below.
    Thanks for taking the time Stubby!


    2,783 posts

    Sent Today, 05:32
    This is what I meant...
    Attached Thumbnails

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