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Pixie's Workbench - 2mm/ft Diesels and a 305mm/ft Cavalier

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Posted (edited)
On 28/05/2019 at 06:42, Pixie said:

The eagle eyed may spot a new layout on the wall – this is my DJLC entry that’s based around an IKEA Lack. The prototype is the Gakunan Railway in Japan; a 1067mm gauge industrial line that threads its way through various industries near the city of Fuji.

 

Wow, the Gakunan in finescale - I’m intrigued. It’s one of my favourite private railways, but I’d be interested to hear why you chose it for a subject. Although I’m modelling in #16 gauge, or 1/80th if you prefer, I’m always keen to see what people are doing in the smaller scales. At the moment I’m building a two-car Keio Teito 3000 series EMU, which is what your single car started life as. I’m a big fan of electric cars with Shonan-style fronts.

 

All the best,

 

Mark.

Edited by dullsteamer

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27 minutes ago, Pixie said:

 

 

 

Thanks Jerry.

 

Love to! What's my word limit and how many photographs do you need?

 

 

 

 

Great post Steve, playing with the big Warship looked like fun.

 

Regarding MRJ, not prescriptive, as many words as you need to say what you want to say. As for photos, lots please and then we can choose our favorites. Pm or email me and I can give you more details.

 

Just spotted the Tom Waits in your signature, great stuff.

 

Jerry

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Err... jealous!

 

Looking forward to seeing you at Tutbury on Saturday.

 

Regards Andy.

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On 04/06/2019 at 23:40, queensquare said:

Just spotted the Tom Waits in your signature, great stuff.

 

Wow, there's three of us?!!!

 

Mike.

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On 04/06/2019 at 22:05, Pixie said:

My recommendation would be to go for something before the 1980s when things were largely mechanical (as opposed to electronic) and you have a personal connection with.

Thank for the encouragement - the obvious choice would be a Hillman Imp (or Sunbeam or other variant etc.) which was my dad's weapon of choice up to the 1980s. He must gone through four or five of them, probably because of the endemic corrosion. They've got bags of character but I do rather fear that I'd have to become well acquainted with skimming warped cylinder heads and digging about with that horribly congested cooling system. But I guess it would also be an interesting challenge to design a layout that would fit into the tiny "load bay" through the rear window (about 100cm by 20cm, I reckon). 

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I love that track plan! It’s so simple and yet complex. Mind if I borrow it?

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On 08/06/2019 at 08:51, chrisveitch said:

Thank for the encouragement - the obvious choice would be a Hillman Imp (or Sunbeam or other variant etc.) which was my dad's weapon of choice up to the 1980s. He must gone through four or five of them, probably because of the endemic corrosion. They've got bags of character but I do rather fear that I'd have to become well acquainted with skimming warped cylinder heads and digging about with that horribly congested cooling system. But I guess it would also be an interesting challenge to design a layout that would fit into the tiny "load bay" through the rear window (about 100cm by 20cm, I reckon). 

 

Yes, and have plenty of spare water pumps to hand - mine used to go about once a year (seal  failure) - and of course keep all your tools, as many and as heavy as possible, right at the front of the ‘boot’. Was interesting in the really hot weather to barrel along with that rear window hooked up open as well as the rear side ones...........

 

Izzy

 

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On 05/06/2019 at 07:05, Pixie said:

Cheers Mark - it started with finding chance photo on Flickr of one of those units threading it's way through a vast array of pipework. That lead to finding photos of all those vintage electric locos shuffling wagons around with Fuji In the background and before I knew it I was hooked. I ended up going there with a friend, and then a few years later we dragged another friend there to have a look around whilst travelling between Tokyo and Hiroshima. It's a great little line, although I fear it's most interesting period is now over. I fear for the future of ED403 and ED402; although I think ED501 may live on. I'd be really interested to see some of your stuff, have you got any links or photos?

 

Knowing Japan, I wouldn’t be surprised if all three locos end up plinthed somewhere. I did read an article that suggested the Oigawa Railway was interested in buying ED501. So it’ll be interesting to see what happens with them.

 

As for my modelling, I haven’t got much to show at the moment. I have a small “photo plank” that I’ve used to practice scenery techniques on. It can be displayed with or without overhead wiring.

 

large.9A761C56-9A0C-4A38-B43E-A8FEDB0CC2

 

large.BA5A1D70-430A-4B24-B86B-8E6F2463E9

 

I’m concentrating on modelling the JNR in the late Showa era, when steam locos were running out their last miles. I’ve got RTR models from all mainstream manufacturers, plus many kitbuilt freight cars and a few kitbashes.

 

large.gallery_22_66_84329.jpg.b32c1f173c

 

large.IMG_1124.JPG.9e066236f135b471bab29

 

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The permanent home layout is on hold until I can afford to renovate the shed that it will live in. So in the meantime, inspired by an Iain Rice book, I’m building a cameo layout based on Bakuromachi station on the Sakai line in Yonago, Tottori prefecture.

 

1280px-Bakuromachi_station.jpg

 

Prior to electrification there was a crossing loop there, but I intend to bend the truth a bit and keep the loop along with the overhead. So far I’ve got the base and some structures built. 

 

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I was intending to use this base for another, unrelated project, but it will accommodate Bakuromachi nicely.

 

Anyway, apologies for the thread hijack. I’ll be following your progress on the Gakunan with interest.

 

All the best,

 

Mark.

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, dullsteamer said:

 

Knowing Japan, I wouldn’t be surprised if all three locos end up plinthed somewhere. I did read an article that suggested the Oigawa Railway was interested in buying ED501. So it’ll be interesting to see what happens with them.

 

As for my modelling, I haven’t got much to show at the moment. I have a small “photo plank” that I’ve used to practice scenery techniques on. It can be displayed with or without overhead wiring.

 

I’m concentrating on modelling the JNR in the late Showa era, when steam locos were running out their last miles. I’ve got RTR models from all mainstream manufacturers, plus many kitbuilt freight cars and a few kitbashes.

 

https://s3.amazonaws.com/jnsforum/monthly_2018_06/large.IMG_2088.JPG.ab9a5cce97d0edb3f616d6134da71ae7.JPG

 

https://s3.amazonaws.com/jnsforum/monthly_2017_08/large.gallery_22_221_1162550.jpg.fb4d624acccdd72008e45a5ccbf454e3.jpg

 

The permanent home layout is on hold until I can afford to renovate the shed that it will live in. So in the meantime, inspired by an Iain Rice book, I’m building a cameo layout based on Bakuromachi station on the Sakai line in Yonago, Tottori prefecture.

 

Prior to electrification there was a crossing loop there, but I intend to bend the truth a bit and keep the loop along with the overhead. So far I’ve got the base and some structures built. 

 

I was intending to use this base for another, unrelated project, but it will accommodate Bakuromachi nicely.

 

Anyway, apologies for the thread hijack. I’ll be following your progress on the Gakunan with interest.

 

All the best,

 

Mark.

 

Hi Mark,

 

Don't apologise when your post includes things of interest!

 

I'm interested in the 3 wheel trucks and in the centre cab electric.

 

What more can you tell us?

 

Then - you should set up your own thread or blog about your modelling.

 

Thanks

Phil H

Edited by Scottish Modeller
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On 10/06/2019 at 19:48, Izzy said:

 

Yes, and have plenty of spare water pumps to hand - mine used to go about once a year (seal  failure) - and of course keep all your tools, as many and as heavy as possible, right at the front of the ‘boot’. Was interesting in the really hot weather to barrel along with that rear window hooked up open as well as the rear side ones...........

 

Izzy

 

Come to think of it, Dad had a variety of other interesting cars apart from Imps - in hindsight his car attrition rate must have been ferocious. There were a number of 3-litre straight six Vauxhalls, an Austin Princess (the Oxford/Cambridge-like body, not the awful 70s wedge) and - prize of prizes - a 3.0 V6 Granada coupe. Now that would be a worthy project. 

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My dad was like that, buying old bangers, keeping them running for as long as he could, doing de-cokes and changing clutches out in the road in front of our house, until they fell apart, then getting another one. Only one at a time, of course.

 

I remember we had a Morris 8, Ford Popular, Standard 8, Austin A40 Countryman, Jowett Javelin, Hillman Minx and Hillman Super Minx (not necessarily in that order) in the 1960's and 1970's.

 

My own list up to when I started getting company cars is Ford Anglia, Vauxhall Viva HB90, Hillman Avenger GLS, Wartburg, Morris Marina, Ford Escort Mk2, Mk1 Vauxhall Cavalier GLS, Volvo 240 estate and Volkswagen T2 Westphalia camper van.

 

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On 12/06/2019 at 22:25, Scottish Modeller said:

Don't apologise when your post includes things of interest!

 

I'm interested in the 3 wheel trucks and in the centre cab electric.

 

What more can you tell us?

 

Then - you should set up your own thread or blog about your modelling.

 

Thanks Phil,

 

I’ve started my own thread here.

 

All the best,

 

Mark.

 

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I was fortunate enough to see Pixie's Gakunan Railway layout in the flesh at Didcot yesterday. It is really nice looking, and presented so neatly too. Good things come in little packages of course.

 

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Posted (edited)

Afternoon all,

 

It's been a busy couples of weeks with Parkend appearing at the 2mm Meeting Tutbury and the Gakunan plank making it's debut at the German Railway Society's GLOBALRAIL show in Didcot. Two shows in two weeks more-or-less equals the amount I've exhibited in the last decade.  

 

I was a bit hesitant about taking Parkend to Tutbury and I really do owe John Aldrick an apology for deliberating for so long. Since moving house last September it has quietly sat at my parent's place gathering dust, allowing plenty of time for gremlins to take residence. Additionally, I've never taken it to a show that's not within easy running-home distance if anything failed or was forgotten so I felt a bit.... 'exposed'. Messrs Davies, Matcham and Singleton ultimately talked me into it and on the Friday before I hit the road with the layout in tow. Parkend theoretically does just about squeezes into my little Fiat however I decided to hire a van for the trip which made transport vastly easier, I think for any future outings I will probably do the same.

 

IMG_4861.JPG.4a24f9ef6b8d8441194f4650d388988d.JPG

 

The  Friday was booked off work and I was soon sat at Bryn's place being shown various clips of very modellable American shortlines and sipping tea. He's a nightmare; this whole 2mm adventure is his fault. Not long after, Matt arrived from his 18,000km trek from NZ allowing the three of use made the 180m journey from Bryn's flat to the exhibition venue - I think it's safe to say between the pair of them they hold the awards for longest- and least- distances travelled for the show! Parkend was soon set up and, much to my relief, seemed to be working. It was great to have it set up once again, along it did remind me there so many half-finished and bodged elements that I really need to attend to in time. I completely failed to take any photographs of the layout itself during the show, so if you have any then please feel free to share. Parkend ran faultlessly and seemed to be well received which has boosted my confidence in the layout; I think it's time to start accepting a few exhibition bookings rather than leaving it stowed away at my parents.

 

IMG_4865.JPG.5564c97ecd8290cf9cc3a21315366808.JPG

 

I really enjoyed Tutbury and returned south with a heavily boosted mojo. In the following week I began to prepare Gakunan Tetsudo for it's inaugural outing at Didcot. This included settling the name 'Gakunan Testsudo' for the layout, until then I had simply referred to it as the JAPlank! Some final details were added and things weathered in; although I still have to finish painting and weathering the little single car unit that features so heavily. The layout was easily put across the back seat of the car and we headed for Didcot. It's definitely a low maintenance layout to transport - aside from the board itself, a curtain and a small stock box there's nothing else to take, save for four plastic boxes that raise it up off the table.

 

IMG_4910.JPG.126cc365275e77d91b5c577a30b8a79f.JPG

 

I'd already warned exhibition organiser and friend Alan that I may leave the layout in shuttle mode for a while, and having watched the unit shuttle up-and-down a couple of times I headed for the railway centre to take a look at the recently completed Saint whilst the exhibition got underway. 

 

IMG_4992.JPG.6eec753baa4c97e0699b2ccb17051e64.JPG

 

Abandoning your layout on it's first outing to operate itself isn't the most traditional of methods but it worked absolutely fine, I returned an hour or so later to the unit still happily trundling away. The JAPlank layout seemed well received, despite my capers, picking up another exhibition invite and a few photographs being taken for one of the magazines. I even remembered to take a few photographs..!

 

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The last week has seen the commencement of a project I've been meaning to experiment with for sometime - Arduino-based atmospheric sound. The JAPlank, when in shuttle mode, is currently controlled by an Arudino UNO with an Adafruit MotorShield used to make communicating with the motor in the unit a little easier. From a programming perspective, it's very simple - the Arduino turns the voltage on for 30 seconds in one direction, off for a couple of minutes, and then back on in the other direction. The track has a couple of off-scene isolation points bridged with  diodes, like a normal shuttle unit. This simple, set routine has made me look at adding an Adafruit WaveShield for a while which would allow the application of track power to be synced with the sound. A couple of eBay-clicks and a bit of soldering later...

 

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The sounds for the WAV file were taken from a couple of YouTube videos and processed with Audacity to make something that lasts about the right length of time for the unit to roll across the layout. 'Clickity-Clacks' were taken and added for when the unit passes over the level crossing and pointwork. I was quite worried about retaining the synchronisation at first but the system has proved to be reliable as long as the track is kept clean. Presently the sound is piped into a couple of layout mounted small speakers which provide a nice quality of sound. At first I did have it playing through my stereo which soon led to threats of divorce and, in time, an ASBO from the neighbours. Next step is to add crossing LEDs which should add to the overall illusion.

 

 

I'm pretty pleased with how it's come out and with a little tweaking I think it could be more than a gimmick. I'm unsure if I would utilise it for the duration of an exhibition however; at Didcot I had the shuttle unit set for a train to appear every 80 seconds or so. That equates to around 315 cycles of bells at an 7-hour exhibition which will lead to death threats from neighbouring exhibitors; indeed if I wander off and leave it unattended (as per at Didcot) I may come back to find it on fire. And rightfully so, I have to admit I find DCC sound a little testing at shows sometimes.

 

At home, it's led me to a neater solution and one that pleases my OCD to no end. This is the real Gakunan's timetable:

 

2019kudari3.png.845f80a66069b907da9100ddc14d3a19.png2019nobori1.png.261e69282039163e66fbc67f9f4834fe.png

 

In programming the delay on the Arduino, it is completely customisable allowing me to program my layout to match the Gakunan's real time table. As the layout is roughly based around the location of Yoshiwara-honchō (吉原本町) this means that the unit passes by every 15 minutes or so which is about right for my sanity, relationship and neighbourhood. Taking this to it's extreme however, I have edited once version of the code so if the layout is turned on at 07:00AM UK time, it is in sync with the real Gakunan Railway and the 9 hour time-zone difference. Therefore each time I watched a unit shuffle across the layout today, I knew a real one was doing precisely the same, 5966 miles away at Yoshiwara-honchō station. At the time of writing, the layout is silent as the real Gakunan has stopped for the evening but at 21:16 tonight UK time, the layout and real-Gakunan should burst back into life for the first train of the day. Neat huh? I wonder what the drivers and passenger would think if they knew?

 

On ‎08‎/‎06‎/‎2019 at 08:51, chrisveitch said:

 

Thank for the encouragement - the obvious choice would be a Hillman Imp (or Sunbeam or other variant etc.) which was my dad's weapon of choice up to the 1980s. He must gone through four or five of them, probably because of the endemic corrosion. They've got bags of character but I do rather fear that I'd have to become well acquainted with skimming warped cylinder heads and digging about with that horribly congested cooling system. But I guess it would also be an interesting challenge to design a layout that would fit into the tiny "load bay" through the rear window (about 100cm by 20cm, I reckon). 

 

Fine choice Chris. My great-aunt had an Hillman Husky stored away in her garage until the earl 2000's having been kept off the road since the late 70s when her husband died. She started to lose her marbles towards the end and ended up giving it to some travelling folk looking for scrap metal... no comment. Had it clung on for another few years I would of been old enough to at very least made sure it went to a good home. Sometime I wonder if it's still out there somewhere.

 

On ‎10‎/‎06‎/‎2019 at 19:13, garethashenden said:

I love that track plan! It’s so simple and yet complex. Mind if I borrow it?

 

Sure, feel free! What setting are you thinking about using?

 

On ‎12‎/‎06‎/‎2019 at 11:48, dullsteamer said:

 

I'm loving the prototype Mark - top stuff! There's that slight air of dilapidation yet still cared for, a very Japanese feeling. The 1:80th models look superb; they have a very 'heavy' look to them, just like a smaller version of the real thing. I will follow your thread with interest.

 

On ‎16‎/‎06‎/‎2019 at 15:43, Ian Morgan said:

I was fortunate enough to see Pixie's Gakunan Railway layout in the flesh at Didcot yesterday. It is really nice looking, and presented so neatly too. Good things come in little packages of course.

 

 

Good to meet you Ian - looking forward to seeing your entry progress too!

 

Take care,

Steve

Edited by Pixie
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It was good to see you and Parkend at Tutbury Steve and glad that the other show went well. I guess you have seen the photos on the Tutbury thread that I and others have posted.

 

I'm not sure what to make of automating a layout to be in sync with the real thing in Japan. It's certainly original but I can't see it catching on for folks modelling freight lines with just one train per day :boredom:

 

Regards, Andy

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Posted (edited)
On 24/06/2019 at 02:22, Pixie said:

In the following week I began to prepare Gakunan Tetsudo for it's inaugural outing at Didcot. This included settling the name 'Gakunan Testsudo' for the layout, until then I had simply referred to it as the JAPlank! Some final details were added and things weathered in; although I still have to finish painting and weathering the little single car unit that features so heavily. The layout was easily put across the back seat of the car and we headed for Didcot. It's definitely a low maintenance layout to transport - aside from the board itself, a curtain and a small stock box there's nothing else to take, save for four plastic boxes that raise it up off the table...

 

Abandoning your layout on it's first outing to operate itself isn't the most traditional of methods but it worked absolutely fine, I returned an hour or so later to the unit still happily trundling away. The JAPlank layout seemed well received, despite my capers, picking up another exhibition invite and a few photographs being taken for one of the magazines. I even remembered to take a few photographs..!

 

 

The layout looks great Steve, and I’m glad to hear it ran without any dramas. The crossing is particularly nice!

 

I’ve got a few book-off days coming up that I hope to spend working on the cameo, so I’ll have some progress to report.

 

All the best,

 

Mark.

Edited by dullsteamer

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On 23/06/2019 at 19:53, D869 said:

It was good to see you and Parkend at Tutbury Steve and glad that the other show went well. I guess you have seen the photos on the Tutbury thread that I and others have posted.

 

I'm not sure what to make of automating a layout to be in sync with the real thing in Japan. It's certainly original but I can't see it catching on for folks modelling freight lines with just one train per day https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/emoticons/default_boredom.gif

 

Regards, Andy

 

It might suit busy work/life schedules to run just that one train each day?

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