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Coldgunner

Modelling mojo and state of mind

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This week in counselling I have accepted that I have a few addictions which are not helping my state of mind and also wasting many hours of the week.

 

I realised a couple of weeks ago that one of my addictions was buying trains, I was buying several items I and I recognised the feelings before and after the purchase as being the same ones went I went on a mad spree of buying EMUs last year before selling them all this year. Luckily the recent purchases are in line with what I want to model and I have got good at restricting the urge to buy but I have to realise that buying has to be planned and I can't just play on EBay.

 

Today I deleted 8 apps off my iPad, all those time wasting games that suck the life out of you but somehow keep you playing.

 

This afternoon I aided my wife in her training to be an instructor by being her class in some yoga poses - bow pose, up dog and strking cobra.

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Buying trains should be a pleasurable experience (as should owning, using, or improving them), but if you are buying things you don't really need for the sake of the buzz you get from buying, then you need to be assessing the situation; sounds like your counselling is proving useful!

 

I only buy locos or more expensive items like coaches on the basis of instruction from the shed foreman or traffic manager at Tondu in the early 50s; if I don't need it to run the service, it stays in the shop.  This works on my relatively small BLT, but might be a slippery slope if you model a large main line station with trains appearing every 5 minutes from all over the country.  General merchandise goods wagons are cheap enough (just) to be impulse bought, but even then I am quite strict with myself; no weltrols. cattle, bogie brick, or per way wagons, and I attempt to maintain a ratio of opens to vans of about 50/50 which I reckon is about right for the early 50s. Minerals were bought to plan, 22 for two trains of 11 wagons each one loaded and one empty; I am quite proud of the fact that I have 22 RTR mineral wagons of 4 basic types with no duplication of running numbers!  

 

Maybe you would be helped by a purchasing plan for your railway, woods; a list of stock you haven't got but reckon you need, and stick to it, with a fixed, but low, amount out of each monthly income set aside for impulse buying; you don't want to deprive yourself of the fun completely, just keep it under control

 

It may be just as well in this respect, however, that I am but a poor pensioner (cue violins) on a limited and fixed income; purchases are subject to strict budgetary control.  And if doesn't work as well as I would like you to think; most trips to my local model shop end up costing me about 40 to 50% more than I'd budgeted for, mostly because I stock up on small items that add up!!!

Edited by The Johnster
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I have got better with my purchasing, only ex LSWR and GWR locomotives and appropriate stock.

 

I've resisted the B4 as it would put not be found on a branch.

 

Today has been a positive day, first deleting the apps then getting on with woodwork on my layout. I've been wanting to expand the layout to have better Goods facilities and a coach siding but my fear of cutting wood held me up.

 

Well I decided to get on with it, I followed my plan and for the first time I sawed ply in a straight lines, sounds daft but in the past I have really struggled with handling the woodcutting even with a mitre saw and a jigsaw. Today was all plain old handsaw and the results were excellent.

 

post-165-0-87677500-1534624872_thumb.jpg

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I have got better with my purchasing, only ex LSWR and GWR locomotives and appropriate stock.

 

I've resisted the B4 as it would put not be found on a branch.

 

Today has been a positive day, first deleting the apps then getting on with woodwork on my layout. I've been wanting to expand the layout to have better Goods facilities and a coach siding but my fear of cutting wood held me up.

 

Well I decided to get on with it, I followed my plan and for the first time I sawed ply in a straight lines, sounds daft but in the past I have really struggled with handling the woodcutting even with a mitre saw and a jigsaw. Today was all plain old handsaw and the results were excellent.

 

IMG_4462.JPG

Looks great, you must be very pleased with your progress. It sounds like you Have grabbed the bull by the horns and just gone for it! Fits with Dava's philosophy above :)

 

Have you set up a layout topic yet?

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There is a layout thread, http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/114825-south-west-on-a-big-plank/

 

You'll see the progression from GW branch to Southern EMUs and back to just steam.

 

I am at the point where I usually rip it all up and start again, this time I have decided to progress from the base I have. Once this extension is down I intend to paint the track.

Edited by woodenhead
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I have been self-employed for most of my working life and was used to waking up and planning.  Since taking semi-retirement, I have depended largely on waking up and thinking about 'todays project' on the railway layout. It is having no project to dive into that sends me in a spin, but this is what happened to me in early summer. It took a while to realize I had achieved what I had set out to do, that of building and all-but completing a layout based on Carrog. But when it came to gathering in the fruits of my labors, the layout was actually operationally boring. 

 

I wasted July through doing nothing and I thought back to my wife's father who started his day picking hit bets, then going ot the betting shop and sitting around in the afternoon hoping his nags had won. In short, he had no hobbies to retire to.

 

Since starting considering what to replace Carrog with, I have woken up each morning with a project in mind. Sorted!

Edited by coachmann
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I think Coach that you're spot on. You have to actively plan a retirement, particularly if work has been all encompassing.

 

I had a 4 month period not working a couple of years ago and found that it was very helpful to make a plan on what to do each week/day. I did far more modelling during that time period than whilst working!

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It's a point to consider when you are planning your layout, coachmann; I know I'm preaching to the choir as you are a very experienced and skilled modeller, but you found Carrog, something we all enjoyed reading about here, boring to operate.  It's basically a passing loop with a siding that saw little enough action in reality.  Perhaps you are a more of a builder, who needs to move on to the next project once the layout is 'complete'.  

 

I am by nature an operator; while I enjoy the building process it is not the 'main event' for me, simply something that has to be done so that I can have a realistic (to my mind; I'm not a particularly good modeller...) backdrop to a track layout designed to operate trains on according to the 1955 Rule Book, General Appendix, and imagined instructions from the Sectional Appendix, to which I overlay a Working Time Table.  My layout is pretty simple, a BLT with run around and two sidings, and would not satisfy my need for operational intensity and variety were it a rural branch line with 5 trains a day and a pickup, but it is not a rural branch line; it is an intensely worked very busy South Wales colliery branch with a siding serving a thriving, though small, post war industrial estate.  

 

The real branch it is (very) loosely based on, Abergwynfi, had a WTT which, in 1960, you would be hard pushed to find a spare path for additional traffic on during weekdays from about 6am to 6 pm, and the last train turns up from Bridgend at five to midnight.  I operate a sequence timetable, with moves and shunting taking place in real time and the assumption that it takes 15 minutes to clear the section to the junction and block back, more if a train is using the imagined ground frame into the colliery.  There is limited room and time for the pick up to shunt and the coal trains that come up to the terminus to run around because the imagined colliery junction faces that way have to get a wiggle on to keep out of the way of the passenger service, against which I try to operate at realistic shunting speeds* and not bang my wagons around too much.  Realistic operating procedure is observed as much as possible, for instance locos backing on to passenger stock at the end of the running around procedure do not unceremoniously push it back into the platform, but stop to couple up, connect the vacuum bags, and carry out a brake continuity test; 2 or 3 minutes.  Time is allowed for locomen to walk to and from the box to hand in or collect the electric train staff.  Real railwaymen walk purposefully, but do not run as it frightens the passengers (unless the opposite line is blocked; you run then!).

 

There is a degree of challenge to this, and the sequence timetable imposes order and discipline; shunting mistakes cause delays!  I can operate the layout on a more ad hoc basis should the mood take me, but find it much more satisfying this way.  If it starts to become boring, I can throw a spaniard into the works, auto gear failure necessitating a run around, or a loaded wagon failing the C & W examination and having to be put aside for unloading as it's too far gone for a green card, that sort of thing.  Perhaps the pick up is delayed because a customer has not emptied a mileage wagon in time; the sort of thing that everyday railwaymen had to cope with every day, and huge fun!

 

This was 'designed in' to the concept before the baseboards were set out, and has proved extremely successful from a sustained interest/positivity/mental attitude point of view in my case.  It is as if I worked at Cwmdimbath, without the stress of actually having to hold down a job, but with the sense of purpose and structure that a real job might provide.  It does this while fitting in to it's space and not intruding unduly on the rest of the bedroom, which is more than can be said for it's owner...

 

A bit of thought as to operation, if that's what floats your boat, at the planning stage will pay huge dividends later.  Some people like to watch trains running around, but this is not for me, and any through station layout I build would need to be the junction for a branch so that I could operate the terminating branch trains and handle the goods transfer traffic; I have not got space for this so have gone down the well travelled BLT route, but chosen a location and period that allows intensive operating.

 

 

*Shunting take place at what I consider realistic speeds; around 10mph for most movements but very much slower when propelling into the goods or trading estate sidings where men may be working on vans or wagons out of sight of the driver.  Shunting on exhibition layouts that is too fast or too slow annoys me; real railwaymen had times to work to and wanted to get the job done so that they could go home/up the pub; 'hanging the pot on' might be indulged in to gain overtime but was not encouraged!

Edited by The Johnster
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There is a layout thread, http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/114825-south-west-on-a-big-plank/

 

You'll see the progression from GW branch to Southern EMUs and back to just steam.

 

I am at the point where I usually rip it all up and start again, this time I have decided to progress from the base I have. Once this extension is down I intend to paint the track.

Thanks woodenhead I will have a peruse...

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My track laying is nothing like as productive as Woodenhead, but I made a 2nd length of 21mm gauge track out of old Streamline rail and used it to double the length of my test-track for the Ruston 48DS. I'm also experimenting with wagon parts. Ideally I need some 'W' irons about 15mm deep, bigger than 4mm and smaller than 7mm scale. Who knows where this will lead?

 

post-14654-0-92989500-1534710054_thumb.jpeg

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Ideally I need some 'W' irons about 15mm deep, bigger than 4mm and smaller than 7mm scale. Who knows where this will lead?

 

attachicon.gifimage.jpeg

 

Have you tried 'S' scale suppliers?

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Have you tried 'S' scale suppliers?

You'd think so, but I've not located anything available by that route so far [bill Bedford & Alan Gibson catalogs] and I'm not joining the S scale society just for these parts as they don't supply non-members. A 3D print designer is working up some underframe designs for me.

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My track laying is nothing like as productive as Woodenhead, but I made a 2nd length of 21mm gauge track out of old Streamline rail and used it to double the length of my test-track for the Ruston 48DS. I'm also experimenting with wagon parts. Ideally I need some 'W' irons about 15mm deep, bigger than 4mm and smaller than 7mm scale. Who knows where this will lead?

 

image.jpeg

Glad to see progress Dava, as ever you work is an inspiration to me and I love to read of your progress. That 48ds is lovely and offers something a bit different to the usual standard gauge version. You do plough a unique and very different furrow and I can only applaude you for your ingenuity and unique approach! :) Keep it up!

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On a weird lull again, been fighting with a chain drive to convert my sm32 diesel to all wheel drive, its fouling the power switch so may need to operate on it more.

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One thing that affects 'modelling mojo' is having to do stuff that either we don't like or are crap at, or both. Let's call it the 'make or buy' decision.

 

Back in the 'golden years' of Edward Beal, Peter Denny etc, which I read about but they were a bit earlier, they made just about everything, unless Hamblings were fortunate enough to provide some cast axleguards or something. We'll come back to axleguards.

 

The Airfix kit and RTR changed everything because you didn't have to start from scratch unless you wanted to. So there is vast choice of most things. But what do you enjoy, or loathe, doing? I have friends who hate building baseboards, there are solutions advertised on this site.

 

I have been trying DCC in Gauge 0 for 2 months, I have yet to successfully program a chip with the NCE Powercab, they don't follow the instructions, you can't see what you've done, it's highly frustrating and expensive. I would dearly love a mate who would do it for me. I have one loco running and an Ixion 060ST with its innards out trying to get a Loksound V4 to make any sound and run as it should. I am not thick but it's not intuitive for me and a field of expertise all of its own. Future purchases will be factory-fitted but I have a prized collection of Gauge 0 locos and a few kits to retrofit.

 

The side project has been to see what 21mm gauge is like, using a surplus 48DS in the process. Time to build a wagon. I have a surplus of Slaters 17mm wagon wheels if anyone would like 10 or 12 sets. I made some U shaped axlebox brackets from sheet aluminium as you can't get axleguards to fit. The rule is always make 3 when you need 2 as one won't fit, gets broken or lost. A wagon floor from a Crumpler camerabag label card, nice, thick brown card cut & scribed. Solebars & headstocks from thick card, 1 plank sides from coffee stirrers. Axleboxes made from basswood & card, they have to be thick to conceal the bearing cups and there are no visible springs [some 3ft lines had springs behind the axleguards]. A coat of shellac a la Jim Read.

 

Brake gear? Folded aluminium bracket, florists wire, wooden brake shoes and plasticard brake levers and brackets, the only plastic on the model. Yet to fit couplings because I had to build a wagon to decide the coupling height. It's a chunky old-style wagon because of the wheel size. Crude but look at the real things.

post-14654-0-07336900-1535571970_thumb.jpeg

 

post-14654-0-60556900-1535572013_thumb.jpeg

 

I've decided to use mainly smaller wagons with 14mm wheels, back to 'make or buy'. A young designer is working up a 10ft underframe as a 3D print, the first visual looks good, so that's the likely solution. It was a common 3ft wagon type and no-one makes one. Its sometimes better to buy than make yourself!

 

Dava

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Get yourself a SPROG unit, makes programming a doddle as the UI on the PC is pretty decent and informative. Set the unit ID and all the variables and it should be picked up by handheld units no problem.

http://www.sprog-dcc.co.uk/

 

Edit: You'll want JMRI too http://jmri.sourceforge.net/

Edited by Coldgunner

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Get yourself a SPROG unit, makes programming a doddle as the UI on the PC is pretty decent and informative. Set the unit ID and all the variables and it should be picked up by handheld units no problem.

 

http://www.sprog-dcc.co.uk/

 

Edit: You'll want JMRI too http://jmri.sourceforge.net/

 

Thanks....I dont think I need more digital technology just now, I need some help using the technology I've bought. Buying more DCC kit doesn't help. Its the human element, ie me and the user interface, not the tech. 

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I keep away from DCC and keep my DC very simple too.

 

The weekend before last I did some woodwork and widened my main board, then I decided rather than add to what was already an unsatisfactory station layout I would clear the board. Having done some research on the North Cornwall line I designed a new layout and set about building it last weekend.

 

Remembering to plan ahead I actually installed the points for the run round first and got their point motors working and put in the basic wiring I needed under the board too. Knowing that was all sorted I could then concentrate on the track and by the end of Monday I had my new station and it gained a name too Port Isaac.

 

post-165-0-57278800-1535668970_thumb.jpg

 

This weekend I will complete some fiddleyard changes and then get some running time. The weekend after as the wife is away I will in between EM North be building the station and goods yard platform.

 

I am even contemplating a return to N as a side project.

 

And all because I deleted all those time waster games off my iPad, these were a great way to lose hours when I was feeling anxious or lacking confidence.

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One thing that affects 'modelling mojo' is having to do stuff that either we don't like or are crap at, or both. Let's call it the 'make or buy' decision.

 

Back in the 'golden years' of Edward Beal, Peter Denny etc, which I read about but they were a bit earlier, they made just about everything, unless Hamblings were fortunate enough to provide some cast axleguards or something. We'll come back to axleguards.

 

The Airfix kit and RTR changed everything because you didn't have to start from scratch unless you wanted to. So there is vast choice of most things. But what do you enjoy, or loathe, doing? I have friends who hate building baseboards, there are solutions advertised on this site.

 

I have been trying DCC in Gauge 0 for 2 months, I have yet to successfully program a chip with the NCE Powercab, they don't follow the instructions, you can't see what you've done, it's highly frustrating and expensive. I would dearly love a mate who would do it for me. I have one loco running and an Ixion 060ST with its innards out trying to get a Loksound V4 to make any sound and run as it should. I am not thick but it's not intuitive for me and a field of expertise all of its own. Future purchases will be factory-fitted but I have a prized collection of Gauge 0 locos and a few kits to retrofit.

 

The side project has been to see what 21mm gauge is like, using a surplus 48DS in the process. Time to build a wagon. I have a surplus of Slaters 17mm wagon wheels if anyone would like 10 or 12 sets. I made some U shaped axlebox brackets from sheet aluminium as you can't get axleguards to fit. The rule is always make 3 when you need 2 as one won't fit, gets broken or lost. A wagon floor from a Crumpler camerabag label card, nice, thick brown card cut & scribed. Solebars & headstocks from thick card, 1 plank sides from coffee stirrers. Axleboxes made from basswood & card, they have to be thick to conceal the bearing cups and there are no visible springs [some 3ft lines had springs behind the axleguards]. A coat of shellac a la Jim Read.

 

Brake gear? Folded aluminium bracket, florists wire, wooden brake shoes and plasticard brake levers and brackets, the only plastic on the model. Yet to fit couplings because I had to build a wagon to decide the coupling height. It's a chunky old-style wagon because of the wheel size. Crude but look at the real things.

image.jpeg

 

image.jpeg

 

I've decided to use mainly smaller wagons with 14mm wheels, back to 'make or buy'. A young designer is working up a 10ft underframe as a 3D print, the first visual looks good, so that's the likely solution. It was a common 3ft wagon type and no-one makes one. Its sometimes better to buy than make yourself!

 

Dava

Good stuff Dava. The side project looks very rewarding and it is must be nice to be taking steps forward with that. Little victories are often the most rewarding!

 

I do find the potential for modelling 3' gauge stuff very appealing and a highly untapped market. I love the 48ds - hoping to get one of the LLCo standard gauge versions when they are released (if I can justify it!).

 

Like the way the wagon is coming on. Just out of iterest, would it be the intention to offer the underframe on a commercial basis once your designer has finalised it?

 

David

Edited by south_tyne

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Thanks....I dont think I need more digital technology just now, I need some help using the technology I've bought. Buying more DCC kit doesn't help. Its the human element, ie me and the user interface, not the tech.

 

If you were closer I'd offer to help, either with sorting it out or swearing at it if it beat me too.

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If you were closer I'd offer to help, either with sorting it out or swearing at it if it beat me too.

Ditto.

 

Dava, are you at Telford this weekend? If so, I am sure there would be someone there who could lend some assistance! Just a thought.....

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My Sprog setup is why I didn't give up on DCC. No way I'd use anything else to program stuff.... I can't imagine how you'd do speed steeps or speed matching.

 

Trust me you'll love it.

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Going to try and get my 'mo-jo' and 'get up and go' mood back by visiting the Garden Railway show at Llanfair tomorrow, i've ignored my garden line for far too long this year. Hopefully it will inspire me with enough daft ideas to keep mi head going through the Winter. :jester: I find having at least one big project and something much bigger than you can sometimes really manage or afford(like the rotting old camper we have been restoring all Summer) plenty enough to keep the mind and hands busy, i find things always needs planning ahead on a daily basis and these days written down before i forget! :mail:   :mosking:

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