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6 hours ago, Chamby said:

 

John, I have installed working lamps on three of my locomotives as I have been interested in developing this aspect of railway operation.  The DCC Concepts lamps are a good product in this regard, much closer to scale than some Springside products, for example.  With a bit of experimentation using resistors, the level of illumination can be set so that the illumination is unnoticeable in daylight but becomes visible in a dimmed or darkened room.  Using ‘daylight’ LED’s and a coating of yellow tinted varnish, I am happy with the effects that can be achieved but as to whether it is worthwhile, it’s very much a moot point, unless you regularly run your models in the dark...  which is why I haven’t fitted more.  I have also fitted working tail lamps to my guard vans and some coaching stock, again with 50,000 ohm resistance and these are very effective.  The following photo taken in a dimmed room (but the digital camera has compensated with the background exposure, so the lights show a little brighter than actual).

 

65F4C755-A33C-4A43-A741-01996A423CDD.jpeg.f6233a5ae10fb3b7a19be809e9a87a98.jpeg

Phil

 

 

 

 

I share your fondness for those DCC lights Phil - for loco fronts and brake van rears - and have been using them for a while.

 

I can also understand peoples' misgivings about them (and other similar products) though, as they don't always look entirely realistic.

I sometimes think - purely in regard to my own modelling activites, I'm not presuming to speak for anyone else - that the lighting side of things taps into a simple boyhood fondness for things that light up. The combination of things that move and light up is a powerful one for the imagination...

 

Coaches with internal lighting are a similar case. As has been commented already, typical model coach lighting is often far brighter than the prototypes ever were, but the fascination with seeing them work, creating that little world inside the carriage and then being able to see the passengers enjoying their journey, never diminishes for me. I particularly like the Train Tech Coach Lighting strips, that use motion sensors and light when the carriage moves. I detach the coin cell holders and re-locate them under the carriage body, so that the batteries can be changed without dismantling the coach.

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10 minutes ago, Barry Ten said:

Since I've got three more of these to build,

 

Four would give you the outer ends of two typical S&DJR local sets of the 1890s-1920-ish period: brake / 5-compt third / 4-compt first / 5-compt third / brake. The thirds are straightforward, being the same as MR Diagram 493.

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51 minutes ago, Compound2632 said:

 

Four would give you the outer ends of two typical S&DJR local sets of the 1890s-1920-ish period: brake / 5-compt third / 4-compt first / 5-compt third / brake. The thirds are straightforward, being the same as MR Diagram 493.

 

The four kits (four different types) came up for sale as a job lot a year or two ago so that's all I've got for now.

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4 hours ago, Tony Wright said:

Your model scene looks incredibly realistic Al,

Apart from the lights in the signal box...

 

Sorry, it's a pet hate of mine.

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Posted (edited)

I won't fit lights to anything on principle. I detest night-time running on layouts and stay away from group sessions when I know it'll be happening.

 

No doubt it's OK if all you want is to watch trains go by, but if you actually need to do anything, working in the dark is a prototypically accurate PITA that doesn't get 76 times smaller.

 

The difference is, of course, that I nowadays have a choice in the matter.:jester:

 

John

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I do have sympathy with those who don't like or don't want (unrealistic?) lighting on their models. I, too, am not very interested in night time modelling, and viewing and operating a layout in the dark. Where's the fun in that - you can't see where you put down your glass of wine or beer (or cup of tea). And, to a large extent, is where do you draw the line at what you add lights to?

 

For me, modelling an inner city urban scene would mean that not only would the trains (including their head-codes and inside passenger compartments) and stations (buildings, platform lights and signals) be lit, but I'd have to also light road vehicles (front and rear and inside buses - and doesn't that just draw attention to the fact they are stationary?), lots and lots of buildings, street lamps, advertising signs, illuminated road signs and so on just to create a vibrant city night-time scene with the usual excesses of lighting to ensure that it never sleeps. That would mean a huge investment and workload. 

 

No, I'll just stick with daytime modelling when street and station lights are turned off, and, in the
1980s unlike now, cars didn’t drive around with their headlights on before at least lighting-up time or it got dark.

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, Headstock said:

Whilst awaiting the drying of paint, I began the first course of action in rescuing my sad RTR A2/3.


Hornby have made quite a job of paying tribute to the problematic front end arrangement of the original locomotives.  Five points required my attention at the front end, as shown in the image below.

 

189395767_MushyPeas.jpg.9a3d7c0d4afe891996d7ecd19a36d040.jpg

 

1. The right hand superheater cover was badly positioned on the smokebox. Fortunately, it was also badly glued in place, it was easily removed without damage, by pressure applied from a finger nail, carefully inserted under the edge of the cover.


2. The middle platform, alongside the smokebox of the right hand running board, was sloping down hill from left to right. Who ever put the deflector on, put it on straight in relation to the Smokebox and boiler handrail. However, this left a gap at the bottom edge, one that increased in size towards the front of the deflector. On the front lower platform, above the bufferbeam, the gap was about half a mil between the platform and the underside of the deflector. 


On dismantling the loco body, it was discovered that the saddle was distorted, it being higher at the front than the rear. As a result, when the running board was screwed on to the body, the saddle distorted the middle platform, bending it downwards towards the front.


3.Not visible in the photo is the  daylight gap between the chassis and the body. This was caused by the brass insert threads for the body retaining screws, being glued in place at an angle and the body being force screwed in place on the chassis. The fore and aft positions, are shown in the photographs below, after I had filed the wonky brass thread inserts, flush with the underside of the body. This was required in order to get the body to sit down on the chassis. The body retaining screws have been inserted to show the extreme angle of the threads.

 

1998703217_forwardbodysecuringscrew.jpg.95ea64568707c14afe083d7168010a75.jpg1214836564_Rearbodysecuringscrew.jpg.6836ddbd872babd3ccb163fa1aea816d.jpg


4. As pointed out by Tony G, the cylinders are wrongly located in relation to the running board, with a rather unsightly gap. This is due in part to the problems mentioned in 3. but all areas of the chassis and its associated brackets, that came into contact with the body, required fettling to get everything to sit down nice and square.


5. I removed the sandbox fillers from the upper platform for a number of reasons. They were interfering with straightening out the running board, a certain amount of flash/ sprue attachment required removing and they were misaligned and were also standing to vertically compared to the real thing. The running board itself, required a combination of carefully support and robust tweaking around the dropdown to straighten it out.


Most of the above is now complete, with the cylinders on both sides fitting snugly up under the running board. The Saddle has been reprofiled, the unsightly daylight gap is now gone and the running board is now nice and square, The body now screws on to the chassis without distortion.

 

83705898_A2-3frontendremodeling.jpg.ecb4da855d32f7a40c47d1ee2fd0569f.jpg


In the process of the above work, the valve gear fell apart on the right hand side, par for the course with RTR I'm told. It has now been repaired and is fully operational. The reversing leaver and speedo bracket both fell off and will be re-fixed along with super heater covers.  While the deflectors are off, I will fit brackets, as they are rather flimsy in their attachment to the platform, it will also look better.  I will also cut off the lubrication and atomiser pipe runs on the smokebox and replace them with 5 amp fuse wire. I will probably make my own drain cock pipes as well. For whatever reason, to my eye, the little plastic RTR ones supplied, always look super fake .


I can start to see the attraction of modern RTR. I didn't appreciate in the past, the amount of hours of modelling enjoyment they provide.  The loco is starting to look a little happier and so am I.

 

P.S. I also sorted out the return cranks, both were facing backwards. Much improved bogie wheels though.

Meanwhile, there's some guy (or gal) from the Chinese sweat shop that put that loco together, swiping his iPad, saying: 'dammit - thought I might have got away with that wonky screw insert ...'

 

That's awful, isn't it? I know that the whole Chinese manufacturing thing makes our models more affordable than our European counterparts but ...

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52 minutes ago, LNER4479 said:

Meanwhile, there's some guy (or gal) from the Chinese sweat shop that put that loco together, swiping his iPad, saying: 'dammit - thought I might have got away with that wonky screw insert ...'

 

That's awful, isn't it? I know that the whole Chinese manufacturing thing makes our models more affordable than our European counterparts but ...

 

Good morning Graham,

 

looking around, there seem to be quite a few modern RTR locomotives that are not that well assembled. It's quite common to see big gaps between cylinders and motion brackets, and the running board. I assume they are not designed to be that way? It's one of those things that people seem to just accept without giving it much thought. To be fair to the Chinese workforce, the design of this locomotive is somewhat overcomplicated, with much of that overcomplication being due to the unsuitable nature of the materials used. There is plenty of opportunities for the assembly process to go wrong, as the fit of the parts doesn't appear to be that good. I would love to have a go at putting together the full kit of parts, just to see if it's possible without a great deal of fettling.

 

Value for money is a recurring theme on this thread. Perversely, I am getting my value for money by tinkering with my object of desire. If it was perfect straight out of the box, the power of purchase would only last so long before another fix would be required.
 

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5 hours ago, LNER4479 said:

Meanwhile, there's some guy (or gal) from the Chinese sweat shop that put that loco together, swiping his iPad, saying: 'dammit - thought I might have got away with that wonky screw insert ...'

 

That's awful, isn't it? I know that the whole Chinese manufacturing thing makes our models more affordable than our European counterparts but ...

Interesting Graham,

 

In recent conversation, it would appear a batch of Thompson Pacifics got through QC by mistake. In fairness (though it's really none of my business), the problem is being addressed.

 

I don't know whether Andrew's (Headstock) A2/3 was one of the batch, but he seems to be enjoying himself...............

 

Is 'assembling' an RTR model akin now (on a much larger scale, of course) to 'assembling' a kit? I have to say, I've seen far more badly-put-together kits (particularly locos) than I have ones which have been built properly. Not even mentioning their running qualities (or lack of them), most kits are badly assembled (particularly those with white metal parts) because not enough attention has been paid to cleaning the castings, ensuring an excellent fit. This means the absolute removal of all flash.

 

Here's a case in point.....................

 

1909006852_DJHA301.jpg.ba9d93def0c51b62852478487821b467.jpg

 

1612534497_DJHA302.jpg.9a3fbaeea5fb2e8a300f6b311ee47ba4.jpg

 

 

I'm just starting building (another) DJH A3. This is the one-piece footplate casting as supplied (were this kit bought new, I'd be tempted to ask for a replacement). That nearer valance is going to require a lot of work. Though it's not a direct fit to anything else, the crisp appearance will be lost unless I'm very careful in cleaning it up, especially over the cylinders where a snug fit will be required. Also, unless I'm extra careful in cleaning out the splashers, then running might be compromised. The cross-feed nibs will easily go. 

 

What's my point in showing this? Although not as complex, modern RTR locos now come with separate footplates, separate cabs, separate boilers and so on........... Unless any 'flash' is diligently-removed prior to assembly (in a Chinese sweat-shop?), then a poor fit will be the result.

 

In many ways, I have a sympathy with the RTR manufacturers. The 'market' has dictated that all sorts of variations are catered for in each type (there are two different cabs and two different boilers in the case of the A2/2s produced by Hornby, and two different boilers in the case of the A2/3s; not to mention different chimneys/domes/sandbox fillers and smokebox doors). All of which means the need for assembly.

 

What was the 'assembly' required on the body of that ancient 'Princess Coronation' you showed us some little time ago? Unless I'm mistaken, the body is a single lump of mazak, with only the tinplate smoke deflectors and the wire handrails (only on the smokebox/boiler/firebox, not on the cab ends) as separate items. Can you imagine a 'serious' RTR manufacturer offering that simplicity today? They'd sell next to none! In contrast, its 'rival', 46245, is made of hundreds of separate parts, all too easy to get out of alignment.

 

My own childhood Tri-ang locos had one-piece moulded plastic bodies (including the handrails!), with only the buffers as separate fittings. No chance of misalignment there, unless they were made of the earlier (bendy) plastic or were left out in the sun! 

 

As Andrew alludes to, the modern RTR locos are good value for money (if only because he has to work on them), despite the occasional QC issues. Going back to that DJH A3, I don't think the kit is now available (so commands a premium on eBay?), but, if it still were, with all the parts needed to complete it, it would probably be near twice as much as the RTR equivalent. Just think how much that would impact on Grantham, were the RTR A1s/A3s not available. 

 

Granted, there should not be QC issues with any product.  For those who can't build a complex loco, or can't afford to have one built for them (in my case, at seven times the price of an RTR equivalent!), then I think modern RTR locomotives are rather good, especially at the prices asked.

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

 

 

 

 

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I don't think assembly "issues" are anything new. I remember when Bachmann introduced their all-wheel-drive mechanism to their inherited Swindon Warship. 

 

I fitted two of the first releases with frame-mounted Kadee couplers along with full skirts and pipework at either end. It was a task that required a pretty comprehensive strip down because (amongst other things) the bogies had to be modified to maintain their flexibility while clearing the coupler boxes.

 

When reassembled, both locos ran significantly better than they had before.

 

While I could still remember how, I did a couple more for friends (but without the mods); in motorsport, it's called "blueprinting".

 

John

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12 hours ago, grahame said:

I do have sympathy with those who don't like or don't want (unrealistic?) lighting on their models. I, too, am not very interested in night time modelling, and viewing and operating a layout in the dark. Where's the fun in that - you can't see where you put down your glass of wine or beer (or cup of tea). And, to a large extent, is where do you draw the line at what you add lights to?

 

For me, modelling an inner city urban scene would mean that not only would the trains (including their head-codes and inside passenger compartments) and stations (buildings, platform lights and signals) be lit, but I'd have to also light road vehicles (front and rear and inside buses - and doesn't that just draw attention to the fact they are stationary?), lots and lots of buildings, street lamps, advertising signs, illuminated road signs and so on just to create a vibrant city night-time scene with the usual excesses of lighting to ensure that it never sleeps. That would mean a huge investment and workload. 

 

No, I'll just stick with daytime modelling when street and station lights are turned off, and, in the
1980s unlike now, cars didn’t drive around with their headlights on before at least lighting-up time or it got dark.

 

Fully undertand your position Grahame and lighting effects are definitely not to everyone's taste. A bit like sound effects, which I don't like but many do.

I agree about operating in the dark; perhaps I should have explained that I attempt to simulate something like dusk - by the use of different lights and/or partial curtain-drawing - so that there's enough light to see what I'm doing, but at a sufficiently low level that the lighting on the layout is still effective.

I'd also agree about the need to provide lighting for other things, but I enjoy lighting buildings, platforms and other structures too, so I've always done that in tandem with the locos and rolling stock.

I haven't yet done so for road vehicles, but they are on my list...

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2 minutes ago, Chas Levin said:

 

I'd also agree about the need to provide lighting for other things, but I enjoy lighting buildings, platforms and other structures too, so I've always done that in tandem with the locos and rolling stock.

I haven't yet done so for road vehicles, but they are on my list...

 

I wish you good luck with your lighting endeavours. Perhaps you'll post up suitable pics when all the lights are installed.

 

But TBQH installing lighting in N/2mm scale cars is probably rather trickier (but not impossible) than OO/4mm ones and I'll need many dozens lit as well as tens of buses. And with several 20 storey tower blocks on the layout (along with shops and a whole host of other buildings) I wouldn't relish the challenge of lighting them. Plus those little lights that shine down on road signs, all the traffic lights, street lights, illuminated hoarding boards, etc.,

 

But never say never, perhaps one day . . . 

 

 

 

 

 

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I should point out that the 'technique' in my previous post for detecting shorts, only works on DC. With DCC (in my, limited, experience), the moment a short is detected, the system switches off. 

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9 hours ago, Tony Wright said:

The only time I run my trains 'in the dark' is to identify a stray short on the locos' frames.

 

Impossible to see in 'daylight', at 'night' the sparks really show up!


I have also found that my current (old and due to be replaced) DAB radio provides excellent warning of RF arcing.
 

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10 hours ago, Chas Levin said:

Fully undertand your position Grahame and lighting effects are definitely not to everyone's taste. A bit like sound effects, which I don't like but many do.

I agree about operating in the dark; perhaps I should have explained that I attempt to simulate something like dusk - by the use of different lights and/or partial curtain-drawing - so that there's enough light to see what I'm doing, but at a sufficiently low level that the lighting on the layout is still effective.

I'd also agree about the need to provide lighting for other things, but I enjoy lighting buildings, platforms and other structures too, so I've always done that in tandem with the locos and rolling stock.

I haven't yet done so for road vehicles, but they are on my list...

 

Can I make a suggestion for someone to search regarding lighting on layouts please?

I'm away from home and only using my phone with a not brilliant 4G signal, but some of the best layout lights I have seen are on  Andy's (user name 298) American street running layout. There are pictures somewhere on the forum. It's not a big layout but it's certainly clever and highly effective in my opinion.

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I've been asking friends, but I'd like to ask a wider audience, if I may?

 

This is with regard to the price of second-hand (but un-built and complete) loco kits in 4mm. 

 

They're coming from at least three sources, and some are complete donations to CRUK (thanks Sandra).

 

They include Gibson kits for rebuilt 'Scots', and Brassmasters for the same. Also, various DJH kits (including Romford wheels) for 'Austerity' 2-10-0s and a couple of the limited-edition Highland/Caledonian 'River' 4-6-0s (rare?). There are various others from Pro-Scale (A1/A3/A4/V2!/K3/B1/etc), all complete and untouched.

 

I don't do eBay, but friends do, and some of the quoted prices are either incredibly cheap, realistic, or hugely over-priced (the last-mentioned, in my view). 

 

I'd just like a sort of ball-park figure to be able to price these sort of things fairly. At least 10% of all sales will go to CRUK.

 

Many thanks in anticipation

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I have never bothered with working lights on models until I was asked by a couple of people that I have built things for to put some in some semaphore signals and a few signalboxes.

 

Using LED types with plenty of resistors to bring the levels down was very effective and particularly with the signalboxes, was a nice way to show off the interior detail that is otherwise largely lost.

 

So I have added a low level light, which the camera has brightened in auto mode, to my new signalbox.20201028_170101.jpg.8e2f16fe41b5c7e445f01378eab89870.jpg

 

I have seen lights done well and I have seen them done badly. Done well, it adds a bit of a new dimension. At a show, a layout that goes into night mode can be a great hit with viewers. The 2mm St Ruth layout does it very well and it is a nice bit of showmanship and theatre.

 

It is one of those things that is like sound, or DCC. You either like it or you don't but there is no right or wrong, just personal preferences.

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I am guilty of having unnecessary lighting on my diesel depot layouts. After having made prototypical lights I had to illuminate them. One day the switch in my brain came on, like street lighting outside lighting at locations like depots is not needed, there is a big thing called the sun that does that. Plus like local councils the railways do not like spending money on electrickery when not required. So all layouts from now on do not have working lights.

 

As a 1960s modeller I do find the lights in RTR diesels annoying, and far too bright. Only one red light was displayed on the rear of a light engine, not two on every train. Even then it was rare for a light loco to use its red light more often than not the driver would wake the secondman up and get him to put an old fashioned oil lamp on the rear as that is what the signalman would be looking for. There were strict instructions as to when lamps were to be lit. Many diesel locos have far to bright headcode displays, look at period photos and do most look like they illuminated?

 

When I still had Hanging Hill I did try an operating session using the lights on the layout. I should have tidied the garage up first as I kept bashing into things or tripping over them.

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16 hours ago, richard i said:

Kit building, if not locos, these are as near as finished as I am going to be able to get them. Any more accuracy to prototype has either been stopped due to lack of prototype information or lack of skill on my part to replicate the prototype, mostly in the painting department.

8DE97F3E-F5A4-458D-8A2C-AA590BDC73DC.jpeg.0cc0e939e62288f3e7879ee01153e5a2.jpeg

the are another 5 but most would have to play spot the difference to know that I was not just putting up more pictures of the same carriages. Just as I can not tell most Mk2 carriages apart. 
to keep it on topic, care was taken with their assembly, which is why it has taken about a month to build each carriage.
richard 

Very nice work Richard especially the painting. May I ask what kits you made these from, or perhaps they are your own etchings?

 

William

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