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Wright writes.....


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Just to let individuals know, I've posted parcels off this morning to Duncan Chandler, Iain Dainty, Stephen Phillips, Craig Warton and Brian Torrance. All have been sent guaranteed/insured/tracked. I'll confirm individually by PM or email. 

 

Thank you all for buying the kits.

 

I'll be posting more later in the week.....................

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5 minutes ago, Jesse Sim said:

That reminds me when I ran LB all on my lonesome for a couple of hours whilst you were swearing at something you were building. 

Although I’ve always found it much easier running trains by yourself, as soon as there’s a crowd things go wrong. 

You operated it perfectly Jesse.

 

On many occasions when friends/visitors arrive, after a few minutes' operation I'll leave them to it. Many have been astonished by this. However, Little Bytham's controls (I'm told) are very intuitive, where switches/studs are in the expected positions on the mimic panels and the cab control is plain to see. In fact, one DCC-user thought it easier to operate than his own railway - no faffing around putting in addresses for locos and all the ancillaries.

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

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2 hours ago, LNER4479 said:

You can sit some people down in front of the control panel, explain how it is supposed to work, talk them through each move ... yet no matter how many times you (patiently) do that, they just don't 'get' it. Conversely - and we've had this happen - you sit someone else down in the exact same circumstances and within ten minutes they've got trains zipping around, doing things that the builder never even thought was possible with their own layout. In other words, you can teach people all you like but 'operating' (as we might understand that term in a layout context) is a skill just the same as - say - soldering: some people have an instinctive feel (gift!) for it whereas for others it will always remain a mystery. (Fortunately, in Grantham's case, we have six different operating positions, each of which require a different skill set so generally there's somewhere for everybody)

 

Hello Graham

 

Totally agree here...and that has been part of my 'argument' when it comes the old chestnut of 'kits vs RTR'.

 

If you don't have that key word of competence - aptitude - you are probably more likely to fail.

 

Brian

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30 minutes ago, BMacdermott said:

 

Hello Graham

 

Totally agree here...and that has been part of my 'argument' when it comes the old chestnut of 'kits vs RTR'.

 

If you don't have that key word of competence - aptitude - you are probably more likely to fail.

 

Brian

Is it really kits vs RTR Brian?

 

It sounds like a contest. 

 

I've just shot a video for Hornby's YouTube channel whereby I extol the (many) virtues of Hornby's current locos. In it, things like A3s and A4s romp through Little Bytham on long, long-distance expresses. Granted, I had to be careful that they didn't attempt to haul the 14-car heavyweights, but 11/12, mainly modified RTR cars, were well within their capabilities. It was a similar case with the freights, hauled by O1s, a 'Brit' and a B1. None was 'straight from the box', and the idea was to show what could be done with Hornby's locos by way of detailing/renumbering/renaming/weathering/etc. Things well within the 'average' modeller's abilities, and certainly not needing all the know-how required to build a full-blown, say, complex etched brass loco kit.

 

I hope the video encourages folk to have a go, because (in my opinion) there are too many 'modellers' who aren't prepared to 'model' at all, or just get others to do their modelling for them. That is there choice, of course, and I can understand a perceived lack of skill to be a barrier (modern RTR is not a cheap way of messing things up). I've never 'got' the 'It'll mean it's worth less if I alter/improve/weather it'. 

 

As is well known, I prefer to make my own locos. Why? Because I can, and how they run is up (or down) to me (how they look when finished is often down to excellent painting, which, I admit, I do farm out from time to time). But the main reason is, I can tell a story about them to visitors. In the same way those who've built locos which they bring can tell me the stories of how they themselves built them. I don't think it's kits vs RTR, I just think what's the more-interesting? 

 

I have to say that, historically, well-built locos from kits were always superior to RTR equivalents. That's not the case now........................

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

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6 minutes ago, Tony Wright said:

Is it really kits vs RTR Brian?

It sounds like a contest. 

 

Hello Tony, 

 

I have never turned the subject into a contest - others have always spoken first, to which I have had to reply.

 

I speak with the experience of having run RTR Wishlist Polls and similar since about 2009 on the old MREmag.

 

Brian

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1 hour ago, Tony Wright said:

You operated it perfectly Jesse.

 

On many occasions when friends/visitors arrive, after a few minutes' operation I'll leave them to it. Many have been astonished by this. However, Little Bytham's controls (I'm told) are very intuitive, where switches/studs are in the expected positions on the mimic panels and the cab control is plain to see. In fact, one DCC-user thought it easier to operate than his own railway - no faffing around putting in addresses for locos and all the ancillaries.

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

I do agree that it’s very easy to operate and I also agree about DCC being a little more complicated with the address etc. However, I think the way I have used DCC is the way to go for ease of operation, I hope I don’t sound like I’m talking myself up. DCC is used only for the running of trains on Brighton Junction, points and eventually signals (email coming your way shorty Graham) are all DC. You get the best of both worlds, well I think so, you still need to add the address’ into the controller but you get so used to what locos on which train you don’t even need to look at the loco. 

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7 minutes ago, BMacdermott said:

 

Hello Tony, 

 

I have never turned the subject into a contest - others have always spoken first, to which I have had to reply.

 

I speak with the experience of having run RTR Wishlist Polls and similar since about 2009 on the old MREmag.

 

Brian

And, to be fair, in terms of today's poll (on Gilbert's thread) the particular topic is wagons, where the percentage of RTR offerings available compared to possible prototypes is somewhat limited. And you might even extend that argument to say that, even with kits added to the mix, there are many, many wagon types where scratchbuilding (or at least a healthy dose of kit / RTR 'bashing') is the only viable option.

 

There's more to life than just locos, Tony! (says he, with tongue very firmly - and obviously - placed in cheek)

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Wagons - aghhhhh

 

I managed a few I needed by the simple method of nagging.

 

Nagging got me quite a few BR Tube wagons, and quite a few BR 21t hoppers.

 

Yes I nagged Parkside for ages.

 

A BR plate I made by converting a pre BR Parkside plate (not sure which railway).

 

Over half of my VB stock is Parkside, the rest is mainly Airfix.

AB was well catered by Cambrian who upon my nagging made sure they did chassis for their 4W AB stuff.

 

I am afraid that is my full list of nagging acheivements all thanked with multiple purchases.

 

I now need some ex LMS ironstone wagons, no kits, no RTR and very fiddly to chop out of plastic card. Hmm who would I bother now?

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Posted (edited)

There's several of the 7mm Parkside kits that I'd love to see made in 4mm, but my nagging clearly wasn't as persuasive as yours.....

 

GW Y8 Fruit van, plywood body Mink and Mogo, SR & LMS Banana vans and the SR Meat and insulated vans would do very nicely for starters!

 

Diagram 107 mineral removed from my wish-list list by the announcement of the Accurascale r-t-r version.

 

Maybe an opportunity for Peco to expand the range without having to do a load of new research?

 

John

Edited by Dunsignalling
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37 minutes ago, Dunsignalling said:

There's several of the 7mm Parkside kits that I'd love to see made in 4mm, but my nagging clearly wasn't as persuasive as yours.....

 

GW Y8 Fruit van, plywood body Mink and Mogo, SR & LMS Banana vans and the SR Meat and insulated vans would do very nicely for starters!

 

Diagram 107 mineral removed from my wish-list list by the announcement of the Accurascale r-t-r version.

 

Maybe an opportunity for Peco to expand the range without having to do a load of new research?

 

John

 

I did make the point when I met them at Warley a few years go on thanking them for the ones they did and buying a few hoppers.

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4 hours ago, Tony Wright said:

You operated it perfectly Jesse.

 

On many occasions when friends/visitors arrive, after a few minutes' operation I'll leave them to it. Many have been astonished by this. However, Little Bytham's controls (I'm told) are very intuitive, where switches/studs are in the expected positions on the mimic panels and the cab control is plain to see. In fact, one DCC-user thought it easier to operate than his own railway - no faffing around putting in addresses for locos and all the ancillaries.

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

Hello Tony and All

 

Tony do you remember the time Richard and I were visiting and you had to pop out for about a hour. You were brave enough to leave me in charge of the fiddle yard control panel while Richard worked the main line. I won't say it is an easy layout to operate, I think the terminology more suited is designed for operation which makes it easier.

 

I find many layouts the operation side of things is an afterthought and can lead to complications. I do my best to design the layout's track plan around how I will operate my layout. Most people who visit Sheffield Exchange seem to take to it like ducks to water, which might mean I have things nearly right. I did have one visitor who chatted so much, and sadly didn't drive anything. I think he was so busy talking with me to notice I only ran DMUs.

 

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Tony,
Ii think it’s fair to say that Roy’s approach to the wiring on Retford was somewhat eccentric in that he did not use conventional cab control. The choice of controller was determined by the setting of the points. This meant that there was nothing intuitive about operation, you had to know how the system works to be able to operate it. However it is easy to just run trains around on either the GN or the GC but to do more than that means you do have to learn how to work it properly.

 

I have owned the layout for nearly 11 months and I haven’t completely worked out all the moves possible. However me and Robert did run through the sequence some time ago and I must say the railway worked reasonably well. It is possible to operate it quite reasonably with just two people if they know what they’re doing. As others have said the secret is to have operators who are familiar with the railway and know how it works. Once you do know it does actually run very well. A couple of times I did suggest to Roy that we should have practice sessions but he wasn’t keen. 
 

It must be said (I’m sure it’s been said before) that it would all be much easier if the railway was DCC. This would allow all the various optional moves to be made as well as make it easy to accommodate more trains in the fiddle yards. You could have as many or as few operators as you liked and they could operate any part of the layout. I do think that very large layouts like Retford are the most suited to DCC.

 

Whilst I have considered DCC it is probably impossible to install it now. The railway would have to be completely re-wired. and about 100 locomotives fitted with decoders, it doesn’t bear thinking about so it will remain analogue.

 

Sandra

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6 hours ago, BMacdermott said:

 

Hello Tony, 

 

I have never turned the subject into a contest - others have always spoken first, to which I have had to reply.

 

I speak with the experience of having run RTR Wishlist Polls and similar since about 2009 on the old MREmag.

 

Brian

Good evening Brian,

 

I never suggested it was you who turned the kit/RTR debate into a contest. In fact, I personally don't think it is.

 

I'll happily run RTR stuff on Little Bytham, particularly Mk. 1 coaching stock. Life is too short (and getting shorter!) for me to build everything.

 

I never look at Wishlist polls, so I don't know what others have said about the debate.

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

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3 hours ago, Clive Mortimore said:

Hello Tony and All

 

Tony do you remember the time Richard and I were visiting and you had to pop out for about a hour. You were brave enough to leave me in charge of the fiddle yard control panel while Richard worked the main line. I won't say it is an easy layout to operate, I think the terminology more suited is designed for operation which makes it easier.

 

I find many layouts the operation side of things is an afterthought and can lead to complications. I do my best to design the layout's track plan around how I will operate my layout. Most people who visit Sheffield Exchange seem to take to it like ducks to water, which might mean I have things nearly right. I did have one visitor who chatted so much, and sadly didn't drive anything. I think he was so busy talking with me to notice I only ran DMUs.

 

I do remember Clive,

 

It was a rather fun day. 

 

Next time you come and operate LB, I think you'll soon find it easy enough to work. Operation by visitors is essential to the enjoyment of the day for me. Most drive very carefully and slowly. I soon put them right; open up a Pacific's taps on a heavy train and go well over the ton! That's my my kind of railway.

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

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6 hours ago, LNER4479 said:

And, to be fair, in terms of today's poll (on Gilbert's thread) the particular topic is wagons, where the percentage of RTR offerings available compared to possible prototypes is somewhat limited. And you might even extend that argument to say that, even with kits added to the mix, there are many, many wagon types where scratchbuilding (or at least a healthy dose of kit / RTR 'bashing') is the only viable option.

 

There's more to life than just locos, Tony! (says he, with tongue very firmly - and obviously - placed in cheek)

Of course there's more to life than locos Graham,

 

Though I never took carriage or wagon numbers in my 'spotting days.

 

I agree, I've built more locos than I have carriages, but the latter can't be far off a hundred. Not as many wagons, granted. 

 

Speaking of wagons, does anyone know what a 4mm D&S DS255 GN 3PLK wagon kit might be worth (untouched)? 

 

Or a nicely-made/painted 4mm D&S GN 10' brake van in LNER condition (built years ago by the proprietor of the model shop in Lincoln Road, Peterborough). 

 

Or a 4mm D&S GER/LNER/BR Y6  tram loco kit, complete with a D&S chassis (untouched)? 

 

Though not ill, a friend is cutting down on his model railway equipment pending a move to a smaller house. 

 

He's also got several brand new RTR locos. I'm out of touch with the prices of such things but does anyone know what an unused Hornby O1, 8F or a Heljan O4/6 (all in BR condition) might be worth each? Ten percent, of course, going to CRUK.

 

Thanks in anticipation. 

 

Oh, and two more sales of those loco kits today! Thanks Roger, thanks Dennis.....................

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

You operated it perfectly Jesse.

 

On many occasions when friends/visitors arrive, after a few minutes' operation I'll leave them to it. Many have been astonished by this. However, Little Bytham's controls (I'm told) are very intuitive, where switches/studs are in the expected positions on the mimic panels and the cab control is plain to see. In fact, one DCC-user thought it easier to operate than his own railway - no faffing around putting in addresses for locos and all the ancillaries.

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

One thing I have noticed on those occasions I've showed folk how to operate a layout is that many people seem unable to relate the mimic diagram on the panel to the track layout. The person isn't stupid, they just seem to be blind to the similarity.

Edited by JeremyC
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1 hour ago, sandra said:

I do think that very large layouts like Retford are the most suited to DCC.

 

Whilst I have considered DCC it is probably impossible to install it now. The railway would have to be completely re-wired. and about 100 locomotives fitted with decoders, it doesn’t bear thinking about so it will remain analogue.

 

Sandra

 

I can sense Tony's immense disappointment from here......:laugh:

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8 hours ago, polybear said:

 

I can sense Tony's immense disappointment from here......:laugh:

Disappointment, Brian?

 

It's Sandra's now, so it's up to her. 

 

Trying to be 'sensible' (difficult for me, I know), on a practical level something like Retford (and on the grand scale) illustrates the futility of considering DCC as a control option. I'm not sure that it would have to be completely rewired, but the number of locomotives needing to be chipped renders the notion a non-starter. I'm not talking necessarily about the costs. Like me (and many other die-hards), Roy Jackson never built his locomotives with the provision of being able to fit a decoder. I have two he built running on Little Bytham (an immense privilege), in OO. Both have the 'American' system of pick-ups (they're both DJH kits), where the loco and tender are live to opposite sides (a system I dislike, but the pair works beautifully). It's not DCC-friendly. From what I've seen on Roy's Retford locos, he didn't employ this system, though many metal locos he built might well have live frames. Though not as unfriendly to DCC as the live-to-opposite-sides system, it's not the best practice (though it works perfectly on DC). Not only that, like mine, where it's a sheet metal loco, it's packed with ballast, with absolutely no space for fancy electronic gubbins. 

 

Without reopening the customary can of worms, DCC is best planned-in at the start in my view. Retrospective-fitting (to a layout and its locos) is, obviously, not impossible, but, in my experience, far more difficult. I have chipped kit-built locos for Gilbert Barnatt to run on his Peterborough North (changing motors, if necessary), but it's far easier if the loco had been built with electrically-dead frames. Or, as in most cases now, it's an RTR loco which has DCC capacity built in to it at source. 'Plug-and-play'? Not for me! 

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

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9 hours ago, dibateg said:

I remember a couple of times on Stoke Summit, or it might have been Charwelton. By the Sunday afternoon at a show the layout had settled down and was running perfectly. Sir would have disappeared off somewhere, so perfect running would be guaranteed.  Three of us would be running the layout - two operators and a fat controller. No words were exchanged, just a nod on the next move in the sequence and off we went. Happy days.

 

At last my J6 staggers towards completion - nearly there. I know we were discussing J6's who knows how many pages ago!

P1050884.JPG.b8eaf177986ea195b584e6057d8a62fa.JPG

 

I can't remember how many pages ago we were talking about these. It will look better once it is weathered...

P1050886.JPG.21506b7b9aac5e4ef99ec65a1e06612f.JPG

 

Regards

Tony

 

 

Quite-splendid work Tony,

 

Thanks for showing us. 

 

I'd rather hope that it would be long before the Sunday afternoon of a show when Stoke or Charwelton had 'settled down'. From memory, if neither were running perfectly by noon on the first day (at the very latest), I'd have gone ballistic! 

 

And, are you implying that both worked better in my absence? If my inference is correct, you're probably right.

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

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1 hour ago, Tony Wright said:

 

 

Without reopening the customary can of worms, DCC is best planned-in at the start in my view. Retrospective-fitting (to a layout and its locos) is, obviously, not impossible, but, in my experience, far more difficult. I have chipped kit-built locos for Gilbert Barnatt to run on his Peterborough North (changing motors, if necessary), but it's far easier if the loco had been built with electrically-dead frames. Or, as in most cases now, it's an RTR loco which has DCC capacity built in to it at source. 'Plug-and-play'? Not for me! 

 

 

Most of the DCC part of Herculaneum Dock has unaltered wiring - it just runs with all the section switches on. The dock locos are unaltered apart from having chips squeezed in, live frames, dead frames - makes no difference at all. 

Running a big layout with DCC brings its own problems though - you don't need to know where a loco is but you do need to know what it is and which way it is facing. That's not always easy when it might be 100ft away and a twin engined diesel.....

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11 minutes ago, Michael Edge said:

Most of the DCC part of Herculaneum Dock has unaltered wiring - it just runs with all the section switches on. The dock locos are unaltered apart from having chips squeezed in, live frames, dead frames - makes no difference at all. 

Running a big layout with DCC brings its own problems though - you don't need to know where a loco is but you do need to know what it is and which way it is facing. That's not always easy when it might be 100ft away and a twin engined diesel.....

Hi Michael, 

you beat me to it!


Sorry Tony but whilst I accept that it is your belief that there are all sorts of construction techniques that make installation of DCC chips in frames problematic, this is not my experience in almost all situations.  All my tender loco’s for Clayton use American pickup and are DCC chipped without any problems whatsoever. I do not attempt to isolate the superstructure from the live chassis either.   Similarly my tank loco’s are split frame and chipped. The only immediate problem I could see with converting Roy’s loco’s might be the space issue but the latest generation of chips are small and may fit between the EM frames.  The rule for installing chips in loco’s is simple, don’t allow an unshielded chip, or the wires between the motor and chip, to touch any metal part of the locomotive and all will be well.

 

The only situation where converting a loco to DCC is difficult is where the motor’s brush housing is shorted directly to a live frame.  This is true of many commercially built split frame loco’s and the early Hornby Dublo and Triang models.

 

I doubt converting the Retford layout to DCC would be that difficult either.  It is far harder to go the other way and convert a DCC layout to Analogue.  The cost of chipping all the loco’s on the other hand……..

 

Frank

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