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mullie

Pott Row and Upbech St Mary a journey through 00 and then into EM

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Occurred to me this week that the cassette fiddle yard I had been using at the right hand end wasn't the best use of space so decided to reinstate the original five road traverser. My worries before were that when fully extended there was a danger that the traverser could over balance and crash to the garage floor so today I decided to install some extendible arms to balance things out. Ironically with a fiddle yard at each end of the layout I now don't have enough stock so had better get building!

 

first shot shows the empty traverser

 

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Second shot the extendible arm that is hinged and held in place with a bathroom style bolt, there are two arms one at each end.

 

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Third shot shows the traverser resting on the extended arm.

 

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Fourth shot shows a short goods arriving behind a class 24.

 

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Fifth shot, the loco runs round via a short cassette at the end that means a steam loco can easily be turned if necessary

 

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Sixth shot, the class 24, now on the middle road awaits its next duty. The brake van has swapped ends.

 

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Lastly a general view, Derby Lightweight in front, pair of coaches for local train on the right, previously seen goods train on the left.

 

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The other end now has additional aluminium angle cassettes and some complete trains can be seen under the right hand fiddle yard. Both types of fiddle yard have their merits. All timber used is recycled from other bits and pieces and discarded furniture so this change was made relatively cheaply. I always keep usable timber.

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New fiddle yard seems to be a big improvement and with the loco cassette at the end being dead a train can't overun into the brick wall! Video below shows a short train of fruit vans being tripped to join an express freight running through on the main line; remember this is the branch platform so the main line is represented by the right hand fiddle yard where trains head for Cambridge via Ely or they do until I work out a proper scenario. This type of traffic is highly perishable.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPIWHJMl5XE

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Clearing the scenic board tonight so it can be removed for some maintenance tomorrow, I used the 08 to remove some fruit vans from the factory siding. This loco was bought for around £20 on Ebay because it had no cab handrails and was a bit erratic because it had the pick ups touching the tops of the wheels which were very prone to picking up dirt. New pick ups were installed, the loco was not DCC ready, so has a basic Lenz decoder fitted with shunt control that I had spare. It has become a real stalwart of both this layout and Upbech with good slow speed control. I do also have a Hornby 08 but that is in a box waiting to be checked over as it has become very erratic lately after 5-6 years of good service. Video below shows the Bachmann 08 in action tonight. Sometimes it pulls away so slowly it picks up the van couplings one at at time! Like most of my locos it need renumbering, then it will need a coat of weathering.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5qAeYv41kA&feature=youtu.be

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Hornby 08 is working again, problem with the pick ups that were adjusted last night but I find them so fiddly. Problem was that some simply didn't seem to be touching the wheels. Loco is seen being tested on the layout and then alongside the resident Bachmann 08 which having the pick ups on the underside of the loco is easy to maintain. Sorry about the wonky ground signal, must have knocked it when cleaning the track.

 

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Lastly, the slightly modified J72 chassis was tested under DCC as well today. It will eventually have a J72 body modified to look like a J65 on it, body is mainly finished. Unfortunately all the decoders I have in stock are too big so will need to order another one but at least I know the installation should work.

 

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Edited by mullie
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Not a lot of progress this week but made a start on developing the paint scheme of the J70s, all using artists acrylics.The short spells of time have actually helped as I haven't had the time to overdo things. The only colour photos I've seen show the brown bodies to be quite dark. Next stage is to install the floor, internal panels, motorise and weight the model as being resin they are incredibly light, Getting the numbers above the front buffer beam will be a challenge, I might investigate creating them on a printer using sticky labels as I've read somewhere before (Railway Modeller I believe) and then blend them in. I will also need to buy some small crests as I don't have any. Once all is finished more weathering will be applied to blend everything in.

 

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Still some way to go!

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Strange times at the moment as work keeps getting in the way of any serious modelling. Gave the track a clean last week and as I have some time this week will clean some wheels etc. to maintain running quality but little seems to have changed on the layout recently. Yesterday we took delivery of some new furniture and within the packaging was some thin ply so used that today to begin creating the back scene for the mpd board. I have quite a limited budget with major purchases mainly limited to Christmas and birthdays so I tend to recycle a great deal of things and much of the wood used on the layout is recycled.However, I am very careful, nothing that might lead to poor running is used. Photos below, although rather dark show the board with back scene added. Next stage is to fit a hinged lid and a fascia so the board is dust proof when not in use.

 

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Next job is to fit the spud bogie's and DCC Concepts decoder with stay alive to the J70s and order and fit a decoder for the J65. Hopefully at least get the J70s working by the end of the weekend, fingers crossed

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Some locos caught passing through Pott Row on their way to the mpd. I've set tonight aside to clean loco wheels and dust stock, hadn't realised until I started taking photos just how dusty some stock had become despite precautions.

 

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More progress on the trams. Both are now working under DCC. The very light nature of the resin bodies means I put lead directly over the bogie inside the body as seen in the first photo:

 

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Next photo shows the weights covered in insulation tape to prevent any possibility of a short on the decoder. I don't know if lead could cause a problem but chose not to take a chance:

 

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Next one shows decoder in place above the lead weights having been programmed on Pott Row and undergoing a test run. The main part of my layout is also the main programming track. I simply disconnect it form the boards either side and move any locos. Simple!

 

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Last photo shows trial run with body in place though not quite sitting down correctly.

 

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Next job is to number them, maybe tonight and add coupling loops for the S&W couplings. I think I will add working screw link couplings and the body sides still need some work to get an appropriate colour. The trams did double head on occasion (apparently). What a great DCC consist!!!!

 

Tried to get the J65 up and running but the decoder couldn't be read. I think I need to speak to a friendly tec teacher to drill and thread a couple of small holes in the chassis.

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Both J70s ran on the layout for the first time after a good wheel clean as the Spuds hadn't been used for some time. See below, not a pacific with ten on but it amuses me! Locos are numbered. I created a file in Word, put in the numbers in a more or less correct font at 6 point and then stuck them on with a Pritt stick. Now need sealing.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVZsehzutVk

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A selection of stock for Pott Row as I was adjusting couplings etc last night. Rivet counters please look away now!

 

First one shows the numbering on the J70; achieved using Microsoft Word then sticking on with a Pritt stick. Eventually it will be fully blended in, and sealed with a coat of varnish once I'm happy with the body colour. Coupling loops will be toned down this afternoon.

 

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Next a mineral wagon produced from a Parkside Dundas kit, lettering is really too late in style for this layout so it might find its way onto the new micro layout I'm planning. Compensated chassis

 

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Next, a mainline wagon body on a chassis built form Parkside, MJT and Mainly Trains parts, chassis is compensated just as an experiment.

 

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Lastly, a Parkside LNER five plank, really should number it, not even sure it's it's in the right colour scheme.More research needed.

 

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Aren't close up photos harsh! Under normal viewing distances and lighting they look a lot better!

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Working with Point work built in situ throws up some interesting situations. For some time there has been a problem with longer wheelbase non bogie stock derailing on entry to the goods loop on the mpd board. Solved it this afternoon by extending a check rail, in effect getting the track to work in a more prototypical way. The radius is two feet easing to three feet at either end through the point work. Ten minutes work with a soldering iron, problem appears to be solved. I tend to run the layout for some time to check any changes have really worked. Having rebuilt both three way points earlier in the year I have started to think about painting and ballasting the track. This time I will try ballasting the sidings the 'Nevard' way using Das modelling clay.

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Progress on the layout has really slowed due to pressure of work and some fun stuff such as a trip to see The Overtones in Portsmouth last weekend. I still run the layout regularly and it seems to work well including my hand built point work, something I've never built before. With some time off over Christmas I hope to catch up with a few things:

 

Lay check rails through the factory and infill with DAS modelling clay

Dig out and relay the ballast on the factory siding

Spray track work and blend in with dry brushing etc once I've ironed out a few uneven bits

Fill in the gap in the factory between the two sections

Finish fitting the decoder to the J65

The J70s are currently working on Upbech St Mary so I can tweak the decoder settings

Start work on the D16, need to buy a donor loco for the resin body picked up cheap on EBay. Going to try the railroad 2p as I've read it is based on the old L1 chassis. Failing that I do have an L1 that could be rewheeled and motored but don't like the way the motor protrudes into the cab.

 

Then start on the extension mpd board. Come to think of it, at the speed I model this is about a year's work!

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Wife decided to buy a tumble dryer today so I had to clear more of the garage including moving my bike which is rarely ridden anyway due to back problems. Apparently as a condenser it will remove moisture from the air, something that can be a problem living so close to the sea and even give out some heat, useful on winter days. Hopefully won't affect the layout, only time will tell.

 

Still no real progress due to work pressures but the J70s are now shunting the factory and seem to be working ok. Each spud has different chareceristics so need careful driving. No point posting photos as nothing has changed, hopefully get some stuff done whilst off work over Christmas.

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Ran the layout for about 90 minutes today, longest session so far and I think the fundamentals of the layout are good, it is very enjoyable to operate, just need some time to do some scenic work and add some stock.

 

Happy Christmas to all.

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Finally after what seems like months of no real progress managed to get out into the garage and do some real work on the layout. Soldered in the check rails through the goods warehouse so I can begin to think about creating the inset track using DAS modelling clay. I might try 'cobbling' the Nevard way. Photo shows the heat of the action; roller gauges are holding the check rails in place whilst super glue is setting on a small section that goes onto plastic sleepered track. The wagon in the back ground is the first ever Parkside kit I built; it now has three buffers and disintegrating brake gear but is still useful for checking clearances. 

 

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Second photo shows the infill panel between the low relief factory and the goods warehouse that I finally started to build last night, well had to do something whilst East Enders was on! Hopefully it will be further detailed today. The bare wood is the bottom of the hinged lid that frames the layout and keeps the dust off and provides lighting.

 

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I always give the track a good clean whilst this board is down on the work bench. It is now three years since I started on this layout, hopefully 2013 will see this board more scenically detailed so I can start on the mpd board.

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The infill section between the warehouse and the factory is completed and has some basic weathering, but at least the big joint in the back scene is no longer visible.. Now needs final detailing and bedding in. The resident jam factory shunters await their next duties although they could do with more weight to increase pulling power.

 

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Time off work over Christmas has meant completing some mundane but necessary jobs. First up is a tray to hold all the fiddle yard cassettes that are stored under the right hand fiddle yard when the layout is packed away as it always is when not in use. As is usual with me this was built out of wood 'acquired' through various recycling measures; in this case an old shelf  and some thin ply that was used to protect a mirror we recently bought. Corners were reinforced with Aluminium angle left over from constructing the cassettes. All was glued and pinned. There is also a close fitting lid to ensure half decent dust protection. Layout lighting wasn't turned on so these were taken with a flash. It's basically a flat tray that fits in a designated space!

 

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Last  photo shows some progress with the mpd board in that the fascia has been added at the right hand end. This is an important job so the dust sheet doesn't catch on any stock left on the layout. It also means I can begin thinking abut adding lid and lighting in the not too distant future so as to frame the scene

 

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This layout has had its own thread for just under a year and all things considered quite a lot of progress has been made. A lot of it has been really basic things to get the layout running better. I have also installed a working turntable, rebuilt two three way points, got the extension up and running and reworked the fiddle yard. It remains a great layout to operate and quite challenging. The photo below is fairly typical.; the 08 is shunting the ECS of a recent arrival the train  loco having gone to the mpd, the J39 has just arrived with a train of empties for the factory and the J70 is waiting to shunt them to the correct siding. Without DCC this would be a lot more complicated. A certain amount of space is available either side for head shunt purposes using the mpd board and the fiddle yard but not much. It is easy to tie yourself in knots!

 

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Hopefully this year I'll move onto scenic and stock detailing

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No work done on the layout this week due to work pressures but at last tonight I did get out into the garage for about an hour to play trains operate the layout. The video shows a class 24 and brake van running the length of the current layout and showing the differing levels of completion. In so doing it runs past the mpd, into the station and past the jam factory where two J70s can be seen. Of course this is historically impossible as the trams were withdrawn in 1955 I believe but who is to say that they weren't retained. Their diesel replacements were very unreliable in the early days and maybe couldn't work on the lightly laid fenland lines that these locos occasionally trip out to! 

 

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Still precious little time and Christmas has left a big hole in the finances. Why is everything going up except wages! Still should at least be grateful I have a job. This has led to a forage through boxes etc. to see what projects can be undertaken at minimal or no cost and in the very small amount of time I have available. The garage has also been freezing lately which doesn't help.

 

Photos show a couple of Airfix open wagons picked up cheaply on E Bay before Christmas. Couplings have been added so last night I decided to begin the weathering process. The photos show results so far achieved with a  thin Games workshop black wash and then I decided to experiment with some oil pastel sticks I've had knocking around for a while. although some way to go result are interesting. This is also a job I can dip into with the odd spare half hour etc. Next job pick out the iron work.

 

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Progress on the layout has really slowed due to pressure of work and some fun stuff such as a trip to see The Overtones in Portsmouth last weekend. I still run the layout regularly and it seems to work well including my hand built point work, something I've never built before. With some time off over Christmas I hope to catch up with a few things:

 

Lay check rails through the factory and infill with DAS modelling clay

Dig out and relay the ballast on the factory siding

Spray track work and blend in with dry brushing etc once I've ironed out a few uneven bits

Fill in the gap in the factory between the two sections

Finish fitting the decoder to the J65

The J70s are currently working on Upbech St Mary so I can tweak the decoder settings

Start work on the D16, need to buy a donor loco for the resin body picked up cheap on EBay. Going to try the railroad 2p as I've read it is based on the old L1 chassis. Failing that I do have an L1 that could be rewheeled and motored but don't like the way the motor protrudes into the cab.

 

Then start on the extension mpd board. Come to think of it, at the speed I model this is about a year's work!

The only modelling I'm doing at the moment is reading about my own layout! Just looked at the list, this could be two years work at least as nothing has been done since Christmas. Still I have a week off next week so will give the layout a thorough clean and see want can be done.

 

Having scrapped Upbech St Mary I've decided to concentrate on just one layout for a while so at least some progress is possible. I can't see work getting any easier so I tend to operate the layout rather than any substantial work but then that's why the layout exists, enjoyable release from daily pressures. Would I prefer any other hobby; of course not!

 

I keep contemplating an American themed micro layout in N gauge, not sure if this can be cured?

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Resist the temptation and continue with this one.

 

Having just caught up on this thread, I shall be watching with interest.

 

Keep up the good work!

 

Regards

 

Ian

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Finally some modelling time! First shots show some wagons that have been through the weathering shop, the two Airfix opens and a Bachman fruit van. Tried a new technique on these using oil pastel sticks and artists acrylics, seems to have worked ok. The insides of the opens haven't been touched as I will be sheeting them up with tarpaulins.once I buy them.

 

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Major surgery to the layout today is to remove the over bridge and signal gantry. Not sure how this section will end up looking at  the moment but the bridge if it is to go back needed replacing as I want to build a two sided version rather than the low relief one that has stood here for the last few years. The signal gantry was removed to give me a free run at the space and I'm not sure it will go back either. I'm inclined to install semaphore signals of GE/LNER ancestry. All the Ratio ground discs I installed have got damaged and they weren't correct for the layout anyway. This end of the layout looks quite different.

 

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The plan is to catch up with all the jobs that need doing whilst I have some time off work. Also gave the track a thorough clean today

Edited by mullie
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It's been too cold to venture out into the garage this week so I've caught up with some jobs that can be done in the warm. The layout is currently limited to two coach rakes of coaches although the 'bitsa' concept means trains could be at least ten coaches long you just don't know! Nearly two years ago I bought one of the new Grelsey brake coaches by Hornby and a Bachmann SO but have never fitted the S&W couplings until now as a lot of time has been taken up in layout construction.

 

The photos show how I have used the mounting plates to fit to the Bachmann bogies using scrap plasticard to bridge the gap and secure the join. The mounting plates were narrowed using a mini drill to cut down the amount of swing and couplings fitted at one end only , the Bachmann supplied close coupler is used at the inner end using the NEM pocket.

 

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Final shot shows the couplings installed on the Gresley brake although I think the angle of the paddle end may need adjusting. The paddle has been folded back on itself to save space. This close up, the couplings do look like instruments of torture!

 

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The old maroon Gresley coaches will now be withdrawn which is a shame as it was one of my better weathering jobs  and it means yet more unweathered stock is on the layout but I will catch up eventually.

 

I have now turned my attention to a pair of Lima CCTs picked up cheap before Christmas. I know I could rebuild the chassis but to be honest I don't have time so for the moment will content myself with re wheeling and flush glazing. The prevailing radius is three feet on the layout apart from entry to the goods loop that is closer to two feet and so to avoid problems shunting across point work I have drilled out the S&W mounting plates so they can swivel. Be interesting to see if it helps. Will post photos once I have made more progress.

 

 

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