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Tony Wright

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9 hours ago, Tony Wright said:

I hope some of the above comments are of some little interest. One note of caution, if I may? When your hobby effectively becomes part of your job, then what do you do in your spare time?

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 


It’s a fair point and something I’ve struggled with. It is one reason I’ve started modelling something ‘fictional’ as it’s different from the day job of weathering.

 

I’ve also become involved with volunteering on steam locomotives, which also gets me out of the house as well as still working with railways.

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I volunteered on a well known narrow gauge railway in Wales for 15 yrs.  Worked on the full time  staff for 10 yrs. I did'nt   do any modelling  during that time, although I made some base boards which I gave away! I suppose I had 12" to the foot to play with!  When I left Wales  I started making models again.  Wonder what Freud would have to say about it?

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In the absence of any Summer 1957 carriage workings, I have been summarising the Monday to Friday 1956 Summer workings for East Coast and GN trains through Retford, excluding most of the Monday or Friday only trains. 

 

It's still work in progress but if anyone is interested, a PDF of the file is here.

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On 03/08/2020 at 21:48, Tony Wright said:

 

It would seem that the Viessmann solenoids (despite their now being protected against burning out) will not be the means of operating Bytham's signals in future. Graham Nicholas has valiantly replaced the over 100% failure of them in the last few years, but it's just throwing good money after bad. I cannot tolerate things not working reliably and consistently. 

 

If you're reading this, Tony Gee, then I have a commission for you with regard to installing servos to operate the signals. 

 

Good Evening Tony,

 

If you are to have the Viessmann solenoids replaced by servos for signal operation I urge you to consider using a Megapoints Servo Controller for their operation. A single controller board can operate 12 signals and, perhaps you may already be aware, has a "bounce" facility built into the electronics. Not only that, when the signal switch is thrown the arm moves about half way up, pauses momentarily, then completes the upward movement. I have never seen a more realistic representation of the effect when a signalman pulls the lever in the box half way out of the back of the frame then strains to move it to the full off position at the front of the frame. 

 

For me though, the best effect of using a Megapoints controller is the bounce which is built into the circuitry for when the signal is returned to the on position. There are four different bounces of varying degree and they are randomly chosen and very realistic. The facility can also be turned on and off when set up so that, for example, ground signals simply move with no bounce. 

 

There will be those who don't like the Megapoints system but have a look at some of their videos on YouTube and you may be persuaded, if you haven't seen it before.  You may have seen their stand at the York show. The change to servos is the perfect time to install one as part of the upgrade.

 

I think you recently asked that with all the point rodding now in place what more could be done to LB to make it any better. I venture to suggest to you that signals which work so much more realistically would be quite a dollop of icing on the already tremendously realistic LB cake! 

 

Archie

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My hobby became my full-time job around 2004. I can't speak for others but as soon as you monetise something and introduce contracts and delivery expectations it ceases to be play and becomes something else ... it can still be challenging and enjoyable but it essentially becomes something you are obliged to do whether you feel like it or not, come rain or shine, which is not how I would characterise a hobby. However, each will have their own experience. I suspect most of us probably have a few backup hobbies we could fall back on if trains got stale.

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It has been very interesting reading the various comments started by Tony talking about when the hobby becomes the day job. I have been full time at this for five years now, and like Tony, I came from the classroom. 

 

I started with a view to providing a complete service, ie building, painting and lining, but I have reached the stage where the lead time for a build is longer than I would like, so I am now receiving more painting and lining jobs. A number of the clients for whom I build often give me another kit or two, each time I pass them a completed project. Whilst I therefore have a rather full work load, I do enjoy the way of life. I can start as early as I like, without the need to travel to and from a place of work, or I can go for a cycle ride first. I also like to bake, so occasionally I will get something in the oven between tasks in the workshop. There are some very  entertaining  programmes to listen to on BBC sounds, and I get through a number of jazz programmes during the week. It has to be music whilst spraying, but it can be a drama or a comedy whilst lining or building. I also quite often have the phone on hands free. When friends or clients call, they are generally concerned about taking up time and stopping me from working. Unless I am spraying, for the most part, it is easy to chat whilst working.

 

Handing over the finished models is normally a very rewarding part of the process, which I try to do face to face, as I like to see the client's reaction. I am fortunate to have a number of clients, and they are virtually all very patient. I will not rush something, and will redo something until I am happy with it.

 

One thing that caused me stress whilst teaching was not getting enough time to do some modelling. By making it the day job, that issue was instantly solved! It is fair to say that I have a number of my own kits that are partly built, or yet to be started, and will not be touched in the immediate future, but I am happy working on other peoples projects. As such, I have encountered a variety of liveries and models that I would not otherwise have encountered.

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I would also recommend the mega-points unit for servo signal operation.   I have two units and am very happy with it.  Since all my signals are made from Ratio plastic kits and are a little bit fragile I like the ability to control the speed thus minimizing the shock load and I can set the end points with some accuracy.  However I have managed to break several weight arms and now use MSE metal ones.  I do not use the bounce mechanism because I don't find it realistic.  I suspect it is the old problem of scaling time.  Since the operation is controlled by a simple on/off switch it should be possible to interlock with points.

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24 minutes ago, GH in EM and O said:

It has been very interesting reading the various comments started by Tony talking about when the hobby becomes the day job. I have been full time at this for five years now, and like Tony, I came from the classroom. 

 

I started with a view to providing a complete service, ie building, painting and lining, but I have reached the stage where the lead time for a build is longer than I would like, so I am now receiving more painting and lining jobs. A number of the clients for whom I build often give me another kit or two, each time I pass them a completed project. Whilst I therefore have a rather full work load, I do enjoy the way of life. I can start as early as I like, without the need to travel to and from a place of work, or I can go for a cycle ride first. I also like to bake, so occasionally I will get something in the oven between tasks in the workshop. There are some very  entertaining  programmes to listen to on BBC sounds, and I get through a number of jazz programmes during the week. It has to be music whilst spraying, but it can be a drama or a comedy whilst lining or building. I also quite often have the phone on hands free. When friends or clients call, they are generally concerned about taking up time and stopping me from working. Unless I am spraying, for the most part, it is easy to chat whilst working.

 

Handing over the finished models is normally a very rewarding part of the process, which I try to do face to face, as I like to see the client's reaction. I am fortunate to have a number of clients, and they are virtually all very patient. I will not rush something, and will redo something until I am happy with it.

 

One thing that caused me stress whilst teaching was not getting enough time to do some modelling. By making it the day job, that issue was instantly solved! It is fair to say that I have a number of my own kits that are partly built, or yet to be started, and will not be touched in the immediate future, but I am happy working on other peoples projects. As such, I have encountered a variety of liveries and models that I would not otherwise have encountered.

 

Ive been at this full time for about ten years now and my experience is very much as above. I too came from teaching and if you switched veg gardening and playing guitar for baking, blues and country listening for jazz and walking the dog for cycling I could have written the above post. I started out with layout work and structures but its almost all locos now, mainly 2mm and 3mm with some 4mm and 7mm. I'm reluctant to do painting but I do have a couple of customers who like me to do it. I'd quite like to do more in the larger scales but I guess I'm best known for small stuff and have a healthy order book so I'm not complaining.

I still enjoy what Im doing and try to put time aside to build stuff for myself but that's not always easy though the variety of work that comes in keeps me fresh.

 

Jerry

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On 03/08/2020 at 21:48, Tony Wright said:

 

It would seem that the Viessmann solenoids (despite their now being protected against burning out) will not be the means of operating Bytham's signals in future. Graham Nicholas has valiantly replaced the over 100% failure of them in the last few years, but it's just throwing good money after bad. I cannot tolerate things not working reliably and consistently. 

 

 

Tony, get a lever frame and some fishing line, and make some of these.  Very cheap, easily made by anyone who can use a soldering iron, and almost nothing to go wrong (gravity never fails)!  Bouncing can be arranged, if you wish.

 

P1020537.jpg.253d455d0bfd9027c8ea98c9027738c4.jpg

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1 hour ago, Manxcat said:

Good Evening Tony,

 

If you are to have the Viessmann solenoids replaced by servos for signal operation I urge you to consider using a Megapoints Servo Controller for their operation. A single controller board can operate 12 signals and, perhaps you may already be aware, has a "bounce" facility built into the electronics. Not only that, when the signal switch is thrown the arm moves about half way up, pauses momentarily, then completes the upward movement. I have never seen a more realistic representation of the effect when a signalman pulls the lever in the box half way out of the back of the frame then strains to move it to the full off position at the front of the frame. 

 

For me though, the best effect of using a Megapoints controller is the bounce which is built into the circuitry for when the signal is returned to the on position. There are four different bounces of varying degree and they are randomly chosen and very realistic. The facility can also be turned on and off when set up so that, for example, ground signals simply move with no bounce. 

 

There will be those who don't like the Megapoints system but have a look at some of their videos on YouTube and you may be persuaded, if you haven't seen it before.  You may have seen their stand at the York show. The change to servos is the perfect time to install one as part of the upgrade.

 

I think you recently asked that with all the point rodding now in place what more could be done to LB to make it any better. I venture to suggest to you that signals which work so much more realistically would be quite a dollop of icing on the already tremendously realistic LB cake! 

 

Archie

Good evening Archei,

 

The decision as to which servos and systems are to replace the dud Viessmans will be Tony Gee's. 

 

He built the MR signals on the little trainset, and used servos to make them work - perfectly.

 

Ironically, I've fiddled with the 'sticky' Viessmans and they now all work. I added a drop of oil to the cranks and all seems well. However, the words 'fool' and 'paradise' come to mind. 

 

They can't burn out now because some really clever bloke called Andrew Burchall made and installed some electronicky (is there such a word?) gadgets which cut the power if the solenoids stick. 

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

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35 minutes ago, queensquare said:

 

Ive been at this full time for about ten years now and my experience is very much as above. I too came from teaching and if you switched veg gardening and playing guitar for baking, blues and country listening for jazz and walking the dog for cycling I could have written the above post. I started out with layout work and structures but its almost all locos now, mainly 2mm and 3mm with some 4mm and 7mm. I'm reluctant to do painting but I do have a couple of customers who like me to do it. I'd quite like to do more in the larger scales but I guess I'm best known for small stuff and have a healthy order book so I'm not complaining.

I still enjoy what Im doing and try to put time aside to build stuff for myself but that's not always easy though the variety of work that comes in keeps me fresh.

 

Jerry

Good evening Jerry,

 

I wonder how many teachers have given up on that profession and become professional modellers? I think Mike Edge used to teach.

 

By the way, do you think the MRJ might be interested in a Retford update? 

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

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10 hours ago, St Enodoc said:

 

I'm lucky enough to have a decent-sized space for my layout but I still run shorter trains (60% of prototype length, rounded up) because that's how I have made room for the track layout I want to operate. It's not for me to say, but there are others on here who might comment on whether it is "effective" or not.

I think your layout is very effective John, and I gazed in awe at the lever frame.

 

You've probably got shorter trains than I've got, anyway - did many 12/13/14 coach trains run that far west?  

 

However, train length is not something I'm prepared to compromise on (as you know). If a real train is 100% in length, and I'm modelling it, then the model train is 100% as well.

 

Regards,

 

from a very happy (we won the test!),

 

Tony. 

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11 minutes ago, Tony Wright said:

Good evening Jerry,

 

I wonder how many teachers have given up on that profession and become professional modellers? I think Mike Edge used to teach.

 

By the way, do you think the MRJ might be interested in a Retford update? 

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

 

Hi Tony,

 

it was marking and admin that did for me - I loath the former and am hopeless at the latter!

 

Yes, MRJ would almost certainly be interested in an update on Retford, I was going to contact Sandra at some point. She has only recently bought the house and layout so I was going to give her time to settle in to the mammoth task she has taken on. In addition, I think there needs to be some time, probably twelve months or so, in order for some real progress to be made.

 

Jerry 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Barry Ten said:

My hobby became my full-time job around 2004. I can't speak for others but as soon as you monetise something and introduce contracts and delivery expectations it ceases to be play and becomes something else ... it can still be challenging and enjoyable but it essentially becomes something you are obliged to do whether you feel like it or not, come rain or shine, which is not how I would characterise a hobby. However, each will have their own experience. I suspect most of us probably have a few backup hobbies we could fall back on if trains got stale.

 

The same is true when you volunteer for an active role(s) within a society, as the age profile of the members ages the ability to say "I've done my bit now, time for some one else to come on stream." also diminishes. What was initially interesting becomes a chore once it becomes a repeating cyclical commitment but that commitment to volunteering, and then keeping going because that is why you volunteered in the first place, stops you walking away! Several societies I am involved with are having a volunteer crisis as existing members age, social interaction is changing as life evolves, but it doesn't help when you feel you have reached the I have done my bit now stage but there is no one to hand your role over to.

 

Edited by john new
Spelling and correction/clarification of bad wording.
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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, LNER4479 said:

Interesting views on commission building.

 

Since I 'semi'-retired (ha!) a couple of years ago, I have taken on a few commissions, as much to provide a bit of variety / interest as much as earning any money. Enclosed is the latest job on the workbench, for a guy in Australia who wants some interesting / representative vehicles to put behind his Locomotion Models GNR Atlantic (in GNR livery).

 

DSC10205.JPG

DSC10213.JPG

 

Both builds look excellent! May I ask about the clerestory coach? I've edited this post as I've just seen further up the answer that the prototype's an ECJS Dia.19, but is it a kit (if so whose?) or is it from different sources?

Edited by Chas Levin
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27 minutes ago, queensquare said:

it was marking and admin that did for me - I loath the former and am hopeless at the latter!

Before I retired from Inverness College, my line manager was a Mr King. I told him one day that I was having difficulty keeping up with his mother (Ma King).

Unlike school teachers though, we had to set the exams as well as mark them.

 

Lloyd

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14 minutes ago, Chas Levin said:

 

Both builds look excellent! May I ask about the clerestory coach? I've edited this post as I've just seen further up the answer that the prototype's an ECJS Dia.19, but is it a kit (if so whose?) or is it from different sources?

Hi Chas,

 

The Dia.19 is a Bill Bedford kit, although a certain amount of additional building has been required, notably the roof structure as only the central clerestory section is provided. Graeme King supplied me with one of his generic roof castings which I've made use of.

 

Graham 

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Posted (edited)

Back to this mornings waffle about operating, I said I enjoyed seeing my trains running around the layout and it was relaxing. A little taste of tonight's play. Three scratchbuilt diesels all must be 35 years old or older with some of last year's cut and shuts still waiting for the paintshop.

 

Enjoy.

 

Edited by Clive Mortimore
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9 hours ago, LNER4479 said:

Yep - spot on.

The other is an ECJS Dia.19

Graham

What's the source of the Dia19? It looks like it's more or less a full kit.

Andrew

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3 hours ago, Tony Wright said:

I've fiddled with the 'sticky' Viessmans and they now all work. I added a drop of oil to the cranks and all seems well.

So it was nothing to do with the Viessmanns after all?

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Tony Wright said:

I think your layout is very effective John, and I gazed in awe at the lever frame.

 

You've probably got shorter trains than I've got, anyway - did many 12/13/14 coach trains run that far west?  

 

However, train length is not something I'm prepared to compromise on (as you know). If a real train is 100% in length, and I'm modelling it, then the model train is 100% as well.

 

Regards,

 

from a very happy (we won the test!),

 

Tony. 

Thanks Tony. Per my subsequent post, my longest train will be 9 coaches, representing 15 on the prototype. There were a few of this length on summer Saturdays, all double-headed.

 

I finally finished the lever frame a few months ago:

 

522729973_20200418004PMsignalboxcompleteroutesset.JPG.80568d055eb142eda71813baaa35c668.JPG

There's another kit on order for the branch passing station and a further one to come after that for the terminus. I must be mad (don't answer that...).

Edited by St Enodoc
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3 hours ago, LNER4479 said:

The Dia.19 is a Bill Bedford kit, although a certain amount of additional building has been required, notably the roof structure as only the central clerestory section is provided. Graeme King supplied me with one of his generic roof castings which I've made use of.

 

Graham 

 

2 hours ago, Woodcock29 said:

Graham

What's the source of the Dia19? It looks like it's more or less a full kit.

Andrew

As above, Andrew. 

 

Just to add - standard Bachmann bogies (cheat!)

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I became very frustrated by my last job. Living away from home for 4 or 5 days a week was not good. I continued to do some weathering commissions which helped to keep me out of the pub.

 

I was lucky to get enough work to do as LNER4479 does..provide additional modelling tokens. 

Then I was asked to add dcc sound to some locos before weathering them..these are now on Carlisle. Trying to fit dcc sound into a kit built loco not designed to have sound fitting can be a challenge..but it can be done. ..and, unless I am told to put the sound in the tender, I fit it in the locomotive as near to the chimney as possible.

 

Over the years I have had some very good clients, only one had a problem..not with the weathering but on the sounds from the sound chip he supplied. (They were very unrealistic..). Most come back with work over the longer term. Only one has a lot of modern diesels but they are nice to do for a change.

 

Baz

 

 

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10 hours ago, Tony Wright said:

Good evening Jerry,

 

I wonder how many teachers have given up on that profession and become professional modellers? I think Mike Edge used to teach.

 

By the way, do you think the MRJ might be interested in a Retford update? 

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

You could also add, how many current teachers want to give up teaching and become model makers. Actually I could have just stopped with the first half of that sentence. I for one think most are looking for a route out because of the ever changing goal posts and raised expectations of what can be achieved in a day by one person. 
it is interesting just how many teachers/ ex teachers there are in the hobby. Is there a correlation between choice of profession and choice of hobby?

richard 

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