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Found 166 results

  1. After several years of planning I have finally made a start on my n scale layout of Kensington Olympia. My previous layout Minty Colorado had to be dismantled to make room for the new layout. Kensington Olympia will initially be based in 1980 and will include Motorail services the Kenny Belle and various freight workings taken from the Working Timetables. In addition using my research for 1S76.com the fledgling Manchester to Brighton services will be included. I will post some pictures here shortly but for the time being progress can be found HERE. I have plenty of photos, maps and track layout drawings to work on. The layout is 10ft x 8ft in size. The track layout for Olympia will be reduced to fit but will still include the 4 tracks through the station including the scissors crossover. Motorail bays will be reduced from 4 to 3, the NE and SE bays reduced from 3 to 2. I have already made a start on building some Carflats for the Motorail services. Progress can be found HERE.
  2. Hello all, Revolution Trains are offering the powerful Class 92 electric locomotive as our next model. image (photo courtesy Tom Smith) This project has been in development for some time and we have secured the cooperation of Brush Traction, who have already supplied us with complete drawings and other assistance. image1 (10) The Class 92 is a logical follow on from our Pendolino, class 321 and has even hauled our TEA tank wagons. 92032 23/08 by wetbag, on Flickr These locomotives were originally built by Brush Traction for Channel Tunnel freight and sleeper trains in the early 1990s, and while some of the traffic did not materialise, in the years since they have proved to be stalwart performers on intermodal, steel and general freight traffic both in Britain and abroad. image (photo courtesy Tom Smith) Some have recently been introduced onto Caledonian sleeper services. Brush have advised us on minor alterations being made to the class for this and where appropriate these will be incorporated into the model.. IMG_5701 (photo courtesy Tom Smith) We have in place permissions and licences from all major operators and we are proposing models in original Railfreight, EWS, grey with EWS branding, DB Cargo red, GBRf and Caledonian sleeper. Details about the specific loco identities, and why they have been selected, are our website. Images are shown below, but these are illustrative artwork only and not to scale. The model will feature an injection moulded body with, where appropriate, etched components, detailed poseable pantographs, working switchable lights, flywheel drive, DCC Sound and DC options and some exciting and new additional features that will be revealed in due course. /Having seen deliveries begin this week of the UK's first crowd-funded models - the Revolution TEA tankers - and with progress well underway on our Pendolino, KFA flat among others - we feel we have proved that our crowd-funding methodology works and that Revolution Trains are best placed to deliver a high quality model in a timely fashion. We will be opening the order book in the next few days, and are investigating a staggered payment system as feedback is that this will help our supporters and will give more information on this, and the expected prices, in due course. We will be attending this year's Warley National Model Railway Exhibition with Rapido Trains and look forward to meeting supporters and discussing our plans there. cheers Ben A
  3. I started this layout in 2008 and it was the subject of a blog for a time. After a while I got more involved with my 4mm modelling and gave up the blog. Now that I am regaining my interest in 2mm modelling I have decided to resume work on Kylestrome and show progress on this thread. The first few posts will contain some of the (edited) blog entries, by way of introduction, and then it will continue with recent work. My only finished 2FS layout to date is called 'Chapel Wharf' and was built small enough to be carried in a small suitcase. The suitcase layout idea came about because I don't drive a car and so I rely on public transport to get me, and sometimes my layout, to my destination. Being within the size limits for airline hand baggage Chapel Wharf has been flown to exhibitions on three occasions now. I started thinking about making another minimum space layout that would be easy to store and came up with the cardboard mockup you seen in the pictures. Kylestrome is basically the layout that I have been attempting to build for the last 24 years, and is my attempt to capture some of the atmosphere of Kyle of Lochalsh on the west coast of Scotland. I have built two versions of it already, both of which were scrapped before they reached the scenery stage, and I have designed countless variants of it on paper, all much larger than the current plan. This time I have ‘down-sized’ it a little in the hope of actually finishing it! David
  4. Thought I had better post some pics of what I am currently working on. First up is the Dapol 08 which is getting YouChoos sound fitting to it. Turned out to be a total dawdle to do- less than 30 mins and that included setting up my z21 for the first time. Loads of room inside for the speaker and stay alive capacitor. Next up is this rather run down Heljan class 37 loco. Bought from Hattons pre-owned section for a reasonable price. Obviously missing a few parts but a bit of research and I was able to locate suitable replacements. £30 of spares from Howes later it looks like this........ Quite a big improvement, but I have already stripped it down to get painted into BR blue! 37151 is my current thinking as it has all the right details once I do a bit of filling and blank off the boiler port. During the striping I noticed two wires poking out from the fuel tank area. Pleasantly surprised to find this inside! More pics as work progresses.
  5. Handful of new acquisitions. Firstly, I won a Hornby Dean Single & two clerestory coaches in a raffle through one of my clubs; This did not come in the original box, so I don't know how old it is. Doesn't look half bad, though. Open armature motor, but there was an 8-pin decoder socket. Odd combo, in my mind. Backhead was detail-painted, as well. Runs fine, though she will creep with the throttle closed. I don't think I'll pursue super-detailing, but the tender and the coaches will receive Kadees at some point. I might add a crew, as well. That cab is very open. I also received a pair of resin diesel bodies from Parkwood Models; The Armstrong-Whitworth 'Universal' 2-6-2 diesel prototype, and a GWR/LMS English-Electric switcher. I thankfully already have a donor for the EE. I mentioned in earlier blogs I had intended to use that example to approximate a rebuilt Buffalo. I think the EE will be more straightforward. The shell has a notable 'cock' to it, though. I'll need to try to straighten that out. I do not have a donor for the AW yet. Parkwood suggests an old Minitrix chassis; I'm curious if anyone has tried a newer, possibly cheaper donor? We'll see.
  6. Some months ago, I contacted John Redrup of London Road Models to enquire about the possibility of him producing a set of 2mm etches of LRM's Coal Tank kit. There was sufficient interest within the 2mm community and from elsewhere to make this a goer in terms of numbers and last week the first batch of etches arrived. It's by no means a full kit but there are enough parts available commercially to build the body save that the boiler on the 4mm kits is a resin casting. We've been lucky though that Mike Bryant's son, Alex, found the master that Mike did for a boiler casting together with a couple of whitemetal castings so having got my hands on the etches I'm now putting together a test build of the body etch to see what, if an, alterations are required to make another master and get some more boilers cast. If that doesn't work, 3D printing might be an option, but a metal boiler's going to add some much needed weight. Chris Higgs has also kindly agreed to do a specific 2mm chassis and work is in hand on that at the moment, but I thought it might be a good idea to open a thread to record the build and lessons learned and if anybody else who's building one wants to chip in that's great. Whilst the initial batch of etches and more are all spoken for, more are being ordered, so if anybody's interested and hasn't contacted me already then please drop me a PM. Right ... let's get this show on the road. First off, the etches as supplied by LRM ... ... and then the first stage of the build - tank trunks added to the running plate ... Initial issues: the slots from the 4mm kit haven't etched very well and need opening up; the slots for the valances on the underside of the running plate are too close to the edge to open up sufficiently to accept the valances, so they'll have to be replaced by 0.8mm brass angle; and depending on how Chris designs the chassis etch the running plate is going to have to be isolated from the chassis to facilitate split frame construction. I think this could be something of a challenge! Regards, David Varley
  7. t was a quiet 2mm area meet last night, just Martin and I and we spent the evening discussing various things mainly to do with CCMRC latest n gauge layout while my Brighton Belle circuited the clubs test track, the first time it has been really run. Converting this will be difficult due to the traction tyres and Hornby's reluctance to reply to spares requests! However we eventually turned to the DJLC Martin showed me his proposal although he is still reluctant to partake, while I showed my latest thoughts on the subject. It is as usual a Colonel Stephens line but as alluded to on another thread with a narrow gauge twist. Earlier attempts at design had proved too track heavy and swamped the available space making achieving a viable country feel impossible, I reduced the track-work until I achieved closer to what I wanted. I wanted to be able to join this to line No20 at home and this has and will dictate the direction height etc. As to history a bit of a lot of might have been. The Guildford Guilford Tramway ran within a mile of the East Kent Light Railway with 3'6" gauge was initially surveyed by Stephens and was planed to extend to Hastings ! Line No16 was projected by the East Kent Railway to serve a proposed colliery at Ripple The proposed colliery would be to large so I needed a industry and eventually I hit on the idea of a Hop Garden, so very rural and so very Kent. Now to build a suitable baseboard Nick
  8. With the current situation I thought it was about time to start a thread for my new N gauge layout. The name Around Cornwall is just a filler for now before I come up with a proper name. Any suggestions are very welcome. The idea is a west country themed area with the inspiration from par but in no way like it. I like the idea of a cross over under a bridge leading into a yard with the mainlines carrying on bye. The main problems I have with layouts is I never settle with what I have and and get bored and with space at minimum, some thinking needed to be done. So after a few discussions with my brother we finally came up with a plan . Now for the interesting bit ( hopefully) The board size is 35 x 28 inches ! It features a double track main line and yard with head shunt, there will be an island platform near the yard and a road over bridge will have a station building on top to create the break for the tunnel, there is no fiddle yard (yet). There will be a hidden siding which I will look at adding a connection to a small fiddle yard board latter down the line. So i can have trains running but at the same time I can shunt which I enjoy doing, so best of both worlds. I have settled on 1970s but no specific time really. It will be DCC and hopefully when funds allow I will start to add sound. I know it won't be everyone's cup of tea but I think it captures what can be done in n gauge. I am a big fan of Steve farmers layouts on here and is great source of inspiration for me. All the credit so far goes to my brother (shanks522) thanks Graham ! Without wishing to bore you all to much I shall leave you all with some pictures of progress Many thanks Stuart
  9. Time to share my Progress on the layout continuing on from my thread on the old RM Web. Background For any readers who had not passed by the thread, that was started in Feb 2009 I will briefly re-introduce Vale of Oxbury. Set in the Western Region, early 1960??™s, a freelance design inspired by the track layout at South Brent, Devon but located in my mind in the Wilts, Oxon / Berks area. So, plenty of Swindon Work??™s finest products from Kings to Westerns. Souhern visitors welcome from nearby as I have a soft spot for their loco's as well! The layout is 12 ft by 4ft built on 3 Boards from Birch Ply, supplied by Brilliant Baseboards, it will be exhibited at an height of 4 Ft 6???. Code 55 Peco Track, DCC control throughout. Double track Main line, Branch line, small yard with Goods & Engine Shed with Turntable. Rail served Dairy. 8 track Fiddle Yard to store 16 trains. Latest Progress Having wired in the DCC Track Bus I was able to run trains on both up and down lines, only 1 Snag to address, the Branch line exit track from the double slip has a short! A problem yet to be resolved so, I may be asking for help later! The left end baseboard with the tunnel now has the topography 90% complete, it was time consuming but, strangely satisfying to hand carve the Kingspan Insulation foam board. Main focus over the last 2 months has been the centre board, I was able to negotiate with SWMBO to have the board in the house, I now work in our rarely used Dining room! Winter modelling in a cold garage no more, fingers crossed. DCC trickery has continued, I have installed Team Digital SMD82 Point decoders, I was amazed that I got all 8 Seep PM1??™s to work from the unit 1st time, from my NCE Powercab. I have yet to attempt route settings, just changing 1 at a time for now. The platforms have been built using Peco Brick edging with plasticard surface. When the buildings are placed, it??™s starting to look like a real railway at last. Having planned the roads on the layout, they have been laid using Hardboard; the road under-bridge has been scratch-built using Ratio brick sheets and cut down Peco steel girders. Next jobs Will be to finish the roads on the centre board, fit the Motorised Peco Turntable that is currently being modified by Andy at DCC Supplies to be fully DCC controlled and fix the short on the slip!! A couple of pics to show progress, taken with a flash so a bit underexposed at the back. As always feedback and suggestions appreciated. Carl
  10. Some people may have already seen this, as I posted it on the Scalescenes Facebook page last week. I've just entered the staircase part of it into Round 4 of the See It/Make It Challenge, so I've reposted it here on RMWeb in case anyone was interested in how I went about adapting the kit. OK, so this is my N-Gauge reworking of the LY02 Canal Wharf built into an A5 boxfile. Here's a brief summary of how I went about it. I'll also share a few of the "complications" that I faced along the way. I started off by printing the kit at 52% scaling, to give a rough conversion to N-Scale. Following the instructions, I cut out the wharf base layers and fitted these to the boxfile. It turns out that an A5 boxfile is proportionally larger than its A4 sibling. Not a problem though, I simply printed off an extra section of wharf to fill the extra 2" of width. I then kitbashed a 2" wide warehouse using the base layers for "structure A" (the stone building) and textures from the T026a Factory. I continued building, hoping that I'd overcome the biggest hurdle. But no. The side walls of the boxfile are the same height as the A4 version. This means that Structure B (the white building) doesn't fit. This received extensive modification to realign the green doors to the edge of the boxfile, rather than sitting on it. The frontage of the building has been shifted about a ¼" to the left. Every single piece of the kit needed modifying to make it fit. Even then, the clearance between the structure and the far track is very close. The bridge has been stretched to account for the extra 2" depth of the boxfile (something that I should've spotted earlier in the build). Obviously this allowed me to have a much wider canal area. Structure C (red brick) went together without any real headaches. Unfortunately it was too deep for my wharf base and hung over the water! This was resolved by adding a small extension to the front of the wharf. I'm pretty proud of that bit because it doesn't look out of place. If I was to make it again, I would extend the entire wharf forward by about 2cm to improve clearances and also make the entry under the bridge at least a cm wider to allow a bit of breathing room Extra Details: The extra piece of towpath at the front right of the boxfile is made from the canal lock in T018 Narrow boats. Lifebelt and wharf bollards are from Langley Models. Windows are a mix of Brassmasters, Scaleglaze and Sticky Labels. Fencing is the recommended Ratio 246 and boat detailing is TB1 solid 1.4mm tube from Squires. Foliage/Buddleia is homemade from scatters. Light Card is the printout stuck to another sheet of 100gsm paper, Medium card is Cornflake Packet, Heavy is 2 layers of cornflake packet. Glue used was Roket Card Glue. I think that covers everything , but if anyone has any questions I'm happy to help. Andrew
  11. Does anyone know if R Parker models are still operating at the moment or have a current 2mm scale catalogue that could be posted here. Thanks
  12. Hello all, Revolution Trains - which uses crowd-funding principles to offer niche models - is offering the HOA stone hopper as its next N gauge wagon. This model follows the very well received TEA tanker wagons and is a logical progression as it utilises the same bogies. The wagons were introduced in 2006 for EWS Construction. A large number were repainted into Cemex blue livery, and some are now carrying DB red. Since then, more have been built for wagon lessors Ermewa, for Tarmac traffic, and VTG, in operation with Mendip Rail. These vehicles are used for stone traffic from quarries in the Derbyshire Peaks, the North East and the Mendips to customers across Britain, and have also seen service in Anglo Scottish sand traffic. We plan to produce all five variants so far in service in both single and differently numbered triple packs. We have been working closely with VTG and with the manufacturers to prepare drawings and are ready to begin CAD work. At this time we are only seeking expressions of interest via our website, and no money is required. At Warley today we have been asked by many people whether we plan to offer this model in OO and the answer is possibly, but we are making no further 00 announcements until we have actually delivered the 00 TEA tankers that are currently in development. Cheers Ben A.
  13. A couple of years ago, whilst having a wobble around whether my man cave (converted garage) layout would ever begin to see fruition, I dabbled in the idea of an imaginary island existing in the North Sea, not unlike the Isle of Man, or for that matter the Isle of Sodor, in the Irish Sea; Only "my" island would be larger. Based on this premise, I hit upon an idea to design a layout that operated as a complete system, i.e. a terminus at each end, and a couple of intermediate stations in between. In this way I laid out Bournemouth West as the first terminus, and then a Settle and Carlisle inspired station next, complete with freight holding loop sidings. Further on there was a terminus station that necessitated trans reversing to carry on further up the main line; a cement works and an oil loading facility (the island being rich in Lime and hydrocarbons, as well as granite). It was a grand scheme and really quite ludicrous, with a peninsula, helices and double deck arrangement akin to an American Model Railroad. But it was a welcome distraction and, designed on AnyRail, I still have it tucked away in a folder of fantasy layouts that will never see the light of day; I've rarely thought about it since. The wobble mentioned above revolves around the complexities of my "lifetime" layout. This has had a long and painful gestation, moving through divorces, house moves, financial issues, health issues, Nelevator issues to name a few, but I've always rested safe in the knowledge that this is the layout I "want". Lately, however, with the most recent wobbles I've realised that the layout plan has become a bit of a millstone around the neck and I've come to the conclusion that I'm ploughing on with "Perth Caledonian" (plan attached) belligerently for no other reason that that's what I've been doing for the past 8 years, and because I've bought so much stock that is tailored to the project; Having spent time reflecting on it, I've come to understand that the very notion of building and financing the railway is causing more harm than good to my health, and stepping back to look at the financial and time undertaking I simply cannot justify something on that scale anymore. Not only that, I've become disillusioned with the whole concept of the layout. Whilst I'm of the view that fiddle yards and storage yards serve an important purpose in a model railway, much as the backstage changing rooms do in a theatre, the plan as it stands involves a 16ft scenic section, whilst 35ft is hidden for storage yards and approach tracks. In other words, two thirds of the room available is being used just to get trains onto the stage. I've no reservations that I have the skills and abilities to complete the project (the bench-work is already largely complete), but the project as it stands is no longer what I want, and for health reasons, no longer what I feel I can take on. Dejected, my first thoughts were (as is usually the case) to jack it all in and list everything for sale. However, this last wobble has coincided with an item that popped up on my Pinterest feed, a map and article about pre-historic Europe, the landmass that existed before sea level rises, and the gradual disappearance of Doggerland, penultimately resulting in an Island between the UK and Denmark and finally Dogger Bank as we know it today. This immediately reminded me of the "system" layout I had dreamed up and the kernel of a new idea was nourished. The system plan was still out of the question, arguably as unwieldy as Perth Caledonian, albeit for different reasons, at its heart was exactly what I wanted: more on stage time for the trains.
  14. Here are some pics of an almost completed model of a Black 5 built from a Bob Jones Fence Houses kit. I added a smokebox ring to the front of the smokebox. It was turned on my lathe, not etched. I added a smokebox door support bracket. It could do with being a half mil wider really. I should have tested the fit of the cab doors against the tender front before soldering the cab floor and roof in place! Two side views showing my attempt to represent the top feed pipework. I soldered some filed down to D section 0.3mm diameter rod to some strips of 1 thou brass sheet, then bent the pipework to shape as best I could. It came out as well as I could have hoped for. An extra pic for Simon. Nig H
  15. Bridgtown So who, why, what, when & how? Well I definitely know the answer to the first bit; I am Mark Pelham living in Crawley Down, West Sussex and work for Virgin Atlantic Airways as an Aircraft Certifying Engineer at sunny Gatwick. Why? Well I guess largely because I have had an interest in railways for as long as I can remembers and then a bit more. Been through the usual history of Hornby OO on a 6' x 4' baseboard with changing track plans every fortnight - early signs of my biggest hurdle with layout planning, more to be said on that later. My father, who started me off in the world of model railways, decided to change to N gauge from OO gauge, largely due to the benefits of space so I inherited his OO equipment. However the appeal of running scale length trains soon bit and the OO equipment was soon part exchanged for more N. Around half way through my railway modelling life I took an interest in the West Coast Main Line, particularly in the West Midlands. I don't really know why but the hand-me-down appearance of the older infrastructure with modern stock appealed to me, and with the striking colours of Mr Bransons rail company livery being applied to some then-becoming aged stock I was sold. That leads neatly in to what, and also my biggest hurdle. I know what I like, the problem is deciding out of the many things I like which ones I can fit into a layout and retain a realistic and justifiable appearance. Similarly, as with my old Hornby "Train Set", I kept changing my mind. I have started several layouts in the past, none of which have been fully completed, some not even seeing the track fully laid. I purchased my first house around three years ago which has a nice garage with around 6m by 2m (sorry but timber is generally sold in metric now so that is what I tend to work to) that I could play with. My previous plan was to be loosely based on Wolverhampton with the main running lines on an embankment and a lower level steel transfer depot. I was rather disappointed to see Horseley Fields appear in the layouts forum, it is a stunning layout but being exactly what I had in mind scenically it blew the wind out of my sail a bit. That was not my main reason for making a significant decision, but a possible future house move where I would be lucky to have another similarly sized garage. I decided to shorten my available space to something that would be more manageable A- to relocate into a smaller premises and B- for me to be able to actually finish a layout - a 4.8m semi-urban layout requires a lot of buildings and scenery! I have always had a hankering for large stations and the approaches to a large station could be modelled in a smaller space. With my interest in the WCML I have always found Birmingham New Street fascinating but that would again require a lot of structures which obscure a lot of the railway, plus Jim Smith-Wright is already doing it in P4 and making a superb job. I also like the grandeur of Carlisle and Preston, so what if a station existed west of Birmingham, perhaps on a more southerly route of the Trent Valley or possibly a similar location to Wolverhampton, or better still – it’s my train set and I'll do what I like! When working on my last plan I had been considering names and whilst consulting the great Internet oracle Google (second only to RMweb, of course) I spotted the name Bridgtown which I believe is part of Cannock. This is similar to a name I had thought of using but didn't quite suit a British town in its spelling; given the nature of my work I have had the opportunity to travel a bit and quite enjoy lying on the beach in the Caribbean. Having been to Barbados a few times I had pondered on the idea of using the name of the capital Bridgetown. So I now have a name and a track plan as below: It is intended that I can run express passenger services from London, some terminating similarly to Wolverhampton with others travelling on further north. Cross country trains and local services from Central Trains will also pass through from both the main and secondary routes, as well as Arriva services into Wales. Freight traffic will be the usual intermodal, coal, steel etc as seen in the West Midlands, with an adjacent off-scene steel transfer terminal. So as for when: well it has taken me a long time to get to this stage. Now that I am planning something a bit more manageable I hope to make a start sometIme this year. I still have a lot of planning to do, I prefer to have everything drawn out & documented before I start, even if I have to make changes as I go along. At least that way I have an aiming point and shouldn't get too many surprises! Don't expect a flurry of updates, there is no way that I will be able to work as fast as many people I see on here, shift work and a young family puts pay to that but now I have started this thread I intend to keep going with it. And lastly on to how: I have had a very kind offer from a very good friend to assist with the carpentry. I am ok building baseboards but my friend works to a higher standard than I have the patience to achieve. It is one of the areas where once things start to take shape I rush to get it done so that I can start putting track down. Beyond that I will be using Easitrac plain track with hand made turnouts using jigs provided by Mr Noel Leaver to N Gauge 'standards'. I have too much stock to convert to 2mm fine scale; it would cost a fortune which rules that out for me. The fiNetrack looks interesting but appears to only be bullhead rail where I will be using flat bottom rail. I am not interested in mucking around with wheels too much so will be happy with the compromise. On the electrical front I will be using MERGs CBUS for layout and traction control with the layout wired for DCC operation. I intend to make good use of the Scalescenes range having purchased a number of kits and most of the scratchbuilders range. I was hoping to use the overall roof to help disguise the fiddle yard entrance from the station but found it difficult to get the alignment to look right. Having looked again at some of the prototypes that inspire me I have concluded that a network of buildings and road over bridges similar to Birmingham New Street could suit nicely. The "green and fluffy" will be largely static grasses with foam materials to add detail as necessary. I don’t foresee much requirement for trees, just bushes and other vegetation that creeps up around urban railways. So there it is; who, why, what, when and how, and congratulations if you're still awake. I hope in time you will see images up to the standards often seen on this site, I know I have been inspired by many others and have seen alternative approaches to things that I may not have previously thought of. Having spent many hours browsing the site admiring other people's work it will be nice to offer something back.
  16. Picked up the attached flyer from the Realtrack stand, looks to be a very useful wagon for contemporary modellers in both 2mm and 4mm - something for the model 47, 57, 70, 86/4, 86/6 and 90 to haul! I'll need quite a few for Ingatestone ! https://www.themodelrailwayclub.org/layouts/ingatestone/ Chris. Realtrack FSA FTA wagon flyer.pdf
  17. Dapol working signals review Dapol will shortly be releasing the first 2mm and 4mm versions of their signal range with GWR Home and Distants and LMS Home and Distants. 2mm GWR Home Signal The signal post, base and arm are in a painted finish plastic with a pleasing matt finish. The ladder is a black painted etch. The signal arm has translucent spectacle plates which as the arm moves allows the LED to shine through the appropriate spectacle. Although fine in appearance the signals are quite durable as the following video will show. Fitting of the signals is very easy, drill a 14mm hole for the threaded base to pass through and secure with the nut. The footprint of the signal base as supplied is 30mm x 20mm so some thought needs to be given to position, the modeller may choose to reduce and disguise the size of the base. The height of the signal post from base to finial tip is 54mm, the depth of the threaded base and motor housing is 52mm from the top of the baseboard top surface so provision needs to be made for this. The red and black wires must be taken to a 16v AC supply (not DC!!) and the two yellow wires to a push-to-make or spring-loaded toggle switch (not supplied). Each wire is about 12" long so it should be easy to route to a convenient point for extending the wiring as necessary. The instructions are clear and concise and it really is a plug and play product. The motor is sealed within the threaded base and is connected to a capacitor to store charge for operation. The circuitry includes an auto-reverser so each press of the switch will move the signal in opposite directions. The activation rod comes through the base to the rear of the post and up to the arm mechanism. The signal is a respectable representation of a square posted GWR signal, the modeller could go further and add the handrail and support at the top of the lamp platform and add counterbalance weights at the base of the signal. Possibly a finer finial would set it off nicely too. The LED may be too bright for some tastes particularly when viewed from the side but this could be dimmed with a touch of translucent paint. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WJVKbrapz4&hd=1 Overall this is an impressive and innovative development, particularly in the 2mm arena, and sets a new standard for widely available RTP signalling. The signals are packaged in blister packaging which should fit on retail hangers, the RRP is £24.95 for both 2mm and 4mm versions. The 2mm version will be shipped to retailers who have ordered them in around two weeks with the 4mm version to follow shortly after. It is hoped some stock will be available at Alexandra Palace.
  18. For the fourth edition of The Beginners Guide to 2mm Finescale Modelling, published in 2006, I built a small layout "British Oak" as a worked example of the techniques described in the book. Here's the description of the layout from the book: British Oak is located in West Yorkshire, alongside the Calder & Hebble Navigation canal at the Eastern end of the Denby Grange colliery line. Coal was transported from the pits to the canal, from where it was loaded into barges for onward transportation to Thornhill Power Station. It was a surprisingly long lived enterprise, lasting in service until the mid 1980s. The scene is a highly compressed version of the scene in reality, but it contains the main elements from the overbridge to the canal drop. It makes a conveniently self-contained little diorama which can be operated by a single loco and a few wagons, either hoppers or bottom door mineral wagons. All the necessary items are available in N, ready to run or in kit form. The line was home to an ex-LMS “Jinty” sold by BR into industrial service which sported an unusual black, orange, blue & red livery. Other plausible locomotives would be an Austerity (J94) saddle tank and for later years, a variety of small diesel shunters. The inspiration for this layout came from “Model Railway Planning and Design Handbook” published by Santona Publications in 2004 (ISBN 0 9538448 5 4) where it is featured in some detail, including scale drawings of the canal staithe. The design was by Paul Lunn and I've been in correspondence with Paul, who's provided some useful additional information, including an NCB subsidence plan! At the close of the book, the layout reached the stage below: and was fully functional from an operating perspective. One of the problems I had with progressing the layout beyond this was a lack of photos. I had a handful of pictures from various sources but a few more would have been welcome. As is the nature of things with the Internet, pictures have a habit of turning up and most recently these series of images turned up on the Flickr photostream of "ee20213", so whoever you are, sir or madam, you have my thanks! These images are dated 18th July 1973 and are very useful scenic references. Elsewhere in the photostream are views of the canal and surrounding landscape. https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/with/36173168172/ The loading staithe was rebuilt in the 1960s, replacing an earlier wooden structure. The new staithe was designed to accept bottom door wagons whereas the earlier one relied on tipping end-door wagons. Anyway, back to the layout in question. A start was made on some scenery. The staithe itself had already in constructed in a basic format as it was a necessary part of the layout. Plastic sheet and Evergreen I-beam sections were employed and the handrails came from a Peco turntable kit. The next piece to be made was the overbridge forming the scenic break. Girders were made from some I found in my bits box, I think they may be Peco but the packaging was long gone so I cannot be sure of this. The line running across the bridge will be modelled as the disused Barnsley branch. The foundations of the trackbed are a length of brass bar. An attempt was made to represent timber baulks going across the bridge using the old style cast chairpins but as will be seen later, this wasn't terribly successful so the track was subsequently relaid. Nowadays, the Easitrac moulded chairs would be the automatic choice but British Oak predates this by some years. The next step was to "block in" the scenic landforms using Dow Corning Floormate 25mm thick extruded polystyrene insulation. This was my first attempt at using this material. I had expected the 25mm material to be easy to work. Unfortunately that proved not to be the case. The major difficulty was persuading the blocks to adhere to each other. Previous experience with expanded polystyrene led me to believe that PVA glue would be OK. It was not, as the impervious structure of extruded polystyrene prevented the PVA from drying. I changed over to a solvent free contruction adhesive and pinned each block together with cocktail sticks. The end result was not as neat as I'd hoped it to be. The following series of photos shows the process. The end result wasn't too bad and is certainly strong. Hindsight shows that it would be better to shape the forms from larger blocks of the material. I also tried to work too cleanly, using knifes and a hot wire cutter. Sawing and shaping with a Surform would have been a better, if messier, technique. The polystyrene was covered with strips of heavy duty paper towel then painted with tinted Sandtex textured paint. This helped unify the whole landscape. I like using Sandtex, it provides a good base for subsequent scenery, it's strong and flexible so less susceptible to damage than filler based substrates. Unfortunately the lack of neatness in the shaping left the whole thing looking rather unsatisfactory and to be perfectly frank, was rather demotivating. Something would have to be done. For some considerable time, British Oak languished inside its storage box while other projects occupied my attention.
  19. KMS Railtech are delighted to announce we’ve commissioned Dapol to produce an HST set in the ScotRail Inter7City livery. These types of sets usually come in a 2+2 pack, but since the prototypes currently run a 4+2 it made sense to produce these as a full rake. You'll therefore get two power cars and four coaches. These sets are limited to 300. ScotRail plan to make 5+2 rakes too, so we’ve also commissioned an additional 100 coaches so you can make up a 5+2 rake. Pre order now on the website for a 25% deposit. We expect to see these around September. They are selling fast too since our launch at Model Rail Scotland. You can find both the set and the additional coach HERE
  20. until
    Each November, the South Hants Model Railway Club hosts the annual Portsmouth Model Railway Exhibition. Please note: The SHMRC portsmouth Exhibition is NOT connected to the Victory Club Exhibition (4th/5th April 2020). Our venue is the Admiral Lord Nelson School on Dundas Lane, Portsmouth, between 10:30 and 16:30. Not only is this the longest running model railway show in the area, but it is rapidly gaining a national reputation as an exhibition that shows the very best of this fascinating hobby. Each exhibition has a carefully chosen selection of top-class model railway layouts and demonstrators. We are supported each year by a loyal band of traders and ‘gauge’ societies. Full details of layouts, traders, demonstrators and societies, plus details of how to get there, can be found on the Club's website - https://www.shmrc.org.uk/exhibition/
  21. In my first post on the modular fiddle yard design I mentioned B8 turnouts had been chosen for the fiddle yard. There is very good reason for this which I can now show. For several weeks I have been working on a few designs for 2mm finescale flat bottom turnout construction fixtures. I started off with Templot to create the turnout drawing then imported this into Autocad as a DXF. This is where the fun began as I had to change some sleeper spacings in order to incorporate a 'hidden' moving sleeper to change the turnout. While this is nowhere near accurate, it suits me and removes the headache of soldering thin wire to the switch blades, feeding them under the baseboard surface and connecting to some sort of operating unit before it even connects to the motor to change it! The above is what I came up with. Some of you will notice it looks like a carbon copy of a Fast Tracks turnout fixture. This is no coincidence as after speaking to a few firms based in the UK I soon realised it would cost from £150 per fixture and all they would do is create a part from my drawing. The risk going down this route was my drawings may not be as accurate as I thought despite my best intentions. I then spoke to Tim Warris of Fast Tracks and he said there would be no problem converting my drawings into proper working fixtures but he would require a sample of rail to ensure the tolerances were perfect. This was sent off to Canada and two weeks later I had a package with my four turnout fixtures, a 'Frog Helper Tool', No8 and N010 frog/switch filing block and a 'Stockaid' tool to file away the foot of the flat bottom rail: While not cheap, I know these are exactly what I wanted and have been tweaked by the guy who produces these for a living to North American prototypes. These tools will likely last my whole modelling life and hopefully produce hundreds of turnouts. They are designed to work in exactly the same way as their American counterparts in that you have several key copper clad sleepers which slot into the machined pockets, the flat bottom rail slots into the grooves ensuring the 9.42mm gauge is maintained perfectly to allow you to solder the rail onto the copper clad sleepers. Once this has been completed you can proceed with removing the turnout from the fixture: The next stage involves a laser cut sleeper base which I have also designed from the same drawings as the fixtures. The few I have at the moment were samples created by Tim Horn and look fantastic but I have since edited the drawing to take the laser kerf into account. This sleeper base is glued to the bottom of the rails: This leaves you with a working turnout and all that is required is a few cuts with a jewellers saw to isolate the frog from everything else so it can be switched. The photo above looks really rough as it is a test turnout and I went a little crazy with my rotary tool while removing blobs of solder from the PCB sleepers. In future I will use a lot less solder and fill the isolation gaps in the PCB sleepers before painting to ensure all the sleepers blend in. This photo shows how much different the turnout is to an American one which is usually created with Tim's fixtures and looks miles better than the Peco Large radius code 55 turnout. The turnout I have built here is a B8 and will be the smallest turnout I will use on any layout. My other fixtures allow me to build C8, C10 and D10 turnouts too so I'm well covered for the future. The lighting isn't great but you can just see the subtle overhang of the class 57 on the curved road of the turnout. This is acceptable to me for a scenic section but I will likely use B8's exclusively in my fiddle yards. This turnout was a rush job but I reckon if I take my time and am careful with the solder I can build a whole turnout in around an hour. I have ran a few wagons and locos with 2mm finescale wheels through this test turnout and they are as smooth as silk. There isn't a bump over the frog and the travel over the switch blades is flawless - Something I never quite managed building by hand! I am currently waiting on an order of rail from the 2mm Association shop which should hopefully arrive tomorrow. If all goes well, I will be demoing these fixtures and tools on the DEMU/Scottish Modellers stand at Model Rail Scotland over the weekend. If you fancy a little look come and have a chat. Cheers Martin (NB: I have no connection with Fast Tracks other than a happy customer)
  22. There has been limited time this week for modelling due to a trip abroad with work (didn't get back until 6pm on Saturday). Next week doesn't look good either as I am away all week. The point construction for board 2 has stalled pending receipt of supplies from shop 1. I was hoping to post a picture of the first finished board, however, after assembling the laminated sides and leaving to dry (not long enough, I was rushing to get the board finished for this post) I knocked it of the workmate as I was shaping one of the insert top boards . Of course it split apart at the corners, I tried to recover the situation with No More Nails (rushing again!) but the tube was rather old and the garage where I was working very cold. As a result this just left solid white gunge on the boards without appearing to offer any adhesive quality, to compound matters the glue didn't compress properly so left the joints open and out of line even when clamped hard. After a calming cup of tea the offending joints were split apart and cleaned up, then assembled again with PVA and clamped neatly. I'll leave the board to dry properly this time! I then decided to make the cut outs in the top boards for the point motor on board one. This progressed nicely and the cut outs neatly made, however my smugness was short lived when I noticed I had two templates stored in the boxfile, for some reason I had kept hold of one the earlier trial template and placed this in the box with the final version, guess which one I'd used to mark out the point location and corresponding cut outs? I guess it's one of those weeks......
  23. Today I really should have been finishing the carpentry for the boards and starting to laminate the sides together. That was before I discovered my box of rail components from shop 1 . I decided to try a combination of the easitrac construction and copperclad sleepers. I figured the copperclad would make the construction more robust. The layout of the sleepers can be seen below:- This time around I found the Easitrac chairs much easier to thread, the Slide chairs were still a pain though and need filing back as they prevent the switch rail from closing properly. After a couple of hours the point is nearly finished (below) , just a couple of detail half chairs to add, and no doubt some filing to smooth the alignment once placed in its final position. So trackwork started with no boards to lay it on!
  24. Well several weeks have passed since the last update and it feels like there has not been a huge amount of progress. Part of this has been down to my own stupidity, placing an order for the wrong type of rail, thankfully getting the right type only took an extra week or so. Since getting the extra rail a couple of other issues have taken my mind of modelling a little but I have go some done. I have completely stripped the fiddle yard. On one of the boards I have built 3 new points that are now complete except for tie bars and check rails. To these I have added 3 loops to the board joint. The 4th loop is waiting until I work out if I can fit in a siding for the DMU. On the second board I have part built the 3 points and have laid one of the loops. A general overview of the new layout at the moment. The most complete points are furthest away from the camera. The shortest pair of loops have ended up being about 5 and a half foot long, so enough to comfortably hold a 10 coach + loco train, something that would swamp the layout. The longest loop might end up being around 3 foot longer than this so theoretically would hold a 16 coach train + loco. The second image just shows the most complete pointwork. The single rail that goes very close to the track exiting the second set of points is not soldered down apart from the first 4 of 5 sleepers (at the point end) so will end up far further away from the other track than it appears at the moment. The soldering is far from neat and the sleeper gapping (where I have done it) has been done very quickly with a mini drill and abrasive pad. It's not a neat job but it does appear to work from the testing that I have done so far. What I am please with is the gap that I have achieved at the crossing point. This is far better than the other points on the layout and should help with the running qualities. The points have been built as a single unit to maximise the available space. I have a slight problem with the location of one of the points on the other board as it is over a baseboard frame support, so will require a little imagination in the mounting of the point motor. Hopefully I will be a little less distracted this week and will be able to get this finished for some extensive testing over the weekend.
  25. Having a bridge on the extension to Avonwick has been a desire of mine given the amount of times that the line crossed the Avon between South Brent and Kingsbridge. Somehow in doing this I have managed to chose the river bridge that was furthest for Avonwick on the line. There were several reasons for choosing this bridge. The real bridge is easily accessible for me, being in walking distance from my home. I felt that there is something about this bridge that was quite graceful. The bridge is on a footpath so it can be accessed for photos. Down stream side of the bridge. Upstream side of the bridge. From the start I never intended for this bridge to be an exact copy (as much as I was tempted to walk along with a tape measure, notepad and pair of wellies) but I wanted to give a good flavour of the original. Cutting the sides of the bridge is the easy part, as is adding the parapet and buttress. The hard part has been adding the underside arch. The air has been blue at times from this. Being on a skew has made it particularly bothersome (all this not helped by building in situ).In the end rather than cutting the underside to the correct size and slotting it in I have shoved a much larger sheet of brick plasticard in glued it then cut it to shape. This has proven to be the easier route as the skew on the bridge is not symmetric. This glueing and cutting stage has been completed on the left hand arch. The right hand arch has the glue still drying on it. There needs to be some filling done to the edge to cover a couple of gaps. As can be seen when compared to the real bridge, I have increase the depth of the sides a little. Hopefully this will become less apparent when I add the brick decoration. I have also been adding the foam substructure for the scenery shell. This should be coming along soon(ish). As I have been saying on my kit building thread rolling stock has been increasing. Goods stock is very much going 3 link as this seems to work (other than being rather very fiddly). For coaching stock I'm still not to sure. I am trying a bodged home made system on my B Set and Giant at the moment. It seems to give satisfactory close coupling - the pictures of the train on the bridge show the train coupled up. When being pushed the buffers are used. I'm still not sure as to whether the solution is discrete enough. What do you think? What you see in this entry is by no means a completed project, it's still very rough around the edges and Farmer Giles will be talking to trading standards about rouge builders if they leave things as they are. Farmer Giles has been seen talking to Dasiy about why she should not cross the river by the new bridge. He might be slightly mad.
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