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Wright writes.....


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1 hour ago, Headstock said:

 

Good evening Andy,

 

That is not my premise, that you are not accepting. My premise Is that it is not possible for me, I repeat, me, to model the east coast mainline to a the standard that I am reasonably happy with on LSGC, so I wouldn't bother. There are many greater modelers out there than I, that can do plenty of stuff that I can't. All power to them, its very inspirational and a great incentive to push yourself to improve.  I know my limitations and cut my cloth accordingly, in order to get the most satisfaction out of what I can do.

 

You may deny my premise and believe that I could model the ECML to my satisfaction, I assure you, it's not true.

Fair enough Andrew. I can certainly agree that you couldn’t model the ECML on LSGC!

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20 hours ago, Headstock said:

 

Good morning Tony,

 

that's not what I said. I said using my methodology on the ECML, then a high degree of fidelity goes out the window. For example there were seven weekday daytime express trains running  in each direction on the GC. Two named trains, three Manchester expresses, one Great Western express and one Southern region express. If I wanted to, I could model the lot! On the east Coast route 80% of passenger trains by necessity are straight out the window. As you can see, it is not ''impossible to represent everyone'' on a large, mainline layout.

 

If I was doing the percentages on the GC mainline expresses, I could nock that down to one named express in each direction, one or two Manchester expresses, a northbound Western region express and a southbound Southern region express. That would be four expresses, each with unique features running in each direction and losing nothing as regards representation. I think 8 expresses, 70 or 80 carriages, say 8 locomotive, plus a couple of spares, is enough for most modellers to build, or buy one of the trains nowadays. This has nothing to do with criticising anybody's modelling, I don't know why you would bring that up? To reiterate, its not my brilliance, rather my choice of prototype that allows for greater fidelity.

 

How many express trains ran on the ECML? Fifty, a hundred. How do you chop them down, inevitably in the long history of ECML layouts, the culling is massively skewed towards Pullmans and named expresses, with the majority of unsung formations excised, or represented by a single generic rake or two. 

Good morning Andrew,

 

I don't think I was suggesting that you were being critical of anyone's modelling, though you did state you couldn't see the logic of my approach.

 

To be frank, some of the writing in your posts is a bit ambiguous, with 'curious' spellings and the jumbling of words. It needs the 'eye of faith' to understand it at times.

 

No matter, your comments are always welcome and the standard of your modelling unsurpassed, so, please, keep 'em coming. 

 

If it's possible to represent everything on a large main line layout, why not do so? Why bother with percentages at all? Go for 100% and represent all the trains. I have to admit, I have never made a list of all the trains one would have seen passing through Leicester GC on a typical (1950s?) day (24 hours, to include the newspapers and the 'Starlight Specials?), but would you really have space in the fiddle yard of LSGC to accommodate every one? It would be brilliant if you could, but, to me, (as a trainspotter, of course) it would be meagre pickings compared with the ECML. That's why, in my trainspotting high-summer of 1958, having the choice, I always travelled eastwards from Kiveton Park. That's why I can only represent 20% of the expresses on Little Bytham (actually, rather more).

 

If you see Derek in the near future, please pass on my best wishes for his retirement from model railway photography. Would you mind including some more shots of LSGC taken by him, please. They, and the modelling, are brilliant!

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

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19 hours ago, Headstock said:

 

Is there anything more exciting than a rake of hoppers in the world of model railways? Don't all rush to answer. My two new plastic hoppers have received their white metal ultra buffers and are ready for a good wash. Also nearing completion is a Bradwell brass hopper, currently on temp wheels and awaiting an ID. Three new hoppers arrived this morning, delayed by being sent to the wrong town yesterday, courtesy of Royal Mail. I probably should of got some axleboxes at the same time, I shall see what I can make up.

 

 

13 ton hopper raft.jpg

Excellent!

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15 hours ago, Headstock said:

 

Certainly Clem,

 

I thought it a bit mean to order all five, so I went for three and left two for someone else. I figured that by the time I had completed the first two and the new three, there would be more available if required. Get in fast and happy hoppering.

 

https://www.derails.co.uk/index.php?route=product/product&path=127&product_id=1451

 

 

Thanks Andrew. Now ordered!

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Just to wrap up my query on the livery of Duchess locos, I started a separate thread and it has been established that 46251 did indeed carry BR lined black livery with the crest, probably from when it was in the works in November 1951 until it was painted green, in 1955.

 

So the model will be able to appear in that combination of colours in the knowledge that it isn't a fictitious livery.

 

Many thanks to those who helped.

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Yesterday, I collected some 50 'professionally-built' locos from a widow, to be sold on her behalf (with 10% going to CRUK).

 

Most appear to be well-made and beautifully-painted (though none is signed). However, here's the potential rub. I've only examined a few at present, and many have Portescaps. They were built some 30-40 years ago, and most are locked solid. I've come across this before. For all their existences, they've lived in glass cases. 

 

What's next? Several are wired the opposite way, and those which do run are noisy and/or stiff. Quite a few, though nicely presented, have detail deficiencies/inaccuracies - banjo domes on BR locos (apart from the V4s), for instance. As for some of the tenders...........................

 

It would appear that they were built by several different people (there is some paper provenance), some of whom were clearly ignorant of LNER loco features (the collection is mainly LNER/BR/NER/ScR). With one exception (in EM), all are in OO with Romford/Markits or Gibson wheels. Interestingly, the paperwork for a DJH A1 (not a particularly good runner) states a total cost of £350.00 (1980). I wonder what that is in today's money? 

 

My intention is to get as many going as I can, though not to the extent of stripping down to the frames - how does one do this successfully with friction-fit drivers? I'll then be offering them for sale. Clearly, those which don't work will be much cheaper. I'll post pictures on here in due course...........

 

The more I get to see of collections like this, the more I realise that few locos (if any) were ever made to work on a layout (the late owner didn't have one). Their existence, then, is confined to a display case, to be looked at and admired. Not my style of 'modelling' I'm afraid. It makes me wonder, why fit motors? Especially as they now don't work in many cases..................

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20 minutes ago, Tony Wright said:

Yesterday, I collected some 50 'professionally-built' locos from a widow, to be sold on her behalf (with 10% going to CRUK).

 

Most appear to be well-made and beautifully-painted (though none is signed). However, here's the potential rub. I've only examined a few at present, and many have Portescaps. They were built some 30-40 years ago, and most are locked solid. I've come across this before. For all their existences, they've lived in glass cases. 

 

What's next? Several are wired the opposite way, and those which do run are noisy and/or stiff. Quite a few, though nicely presented, have detail deficiencies/inaccuracies - banjo domes on BR locos (apart from the V4s), for instance. As for some of the tenders...........................

 

It would appear that they were built by several different people (there is some paper provenance), some of whom were clearly ignorant of LNER loco features (the collection is mainly LNER/BR/NER/ScR). With one exception (in EM), all are in OO with Romford/Markits or Gibson wheels. Interestingly, the paperwork for a DJH A1 (not a particularly good runner) states a total cost of £350.00 (1980). I wonder what that is in today's money? 

 

My intention is to get as many going as I can, though not to the extent of stripping down to the frames - how does one do this successfully with friction-fit drivers? I'll then be offering them for sale. Clearly, those which don't work will be much cheaper. I'll post pictures on here in due course...........

 

The more I get to see of collections like this, the more I realise that few locos (if any) were ever made to work on a layout (the late owner didn't have one). Their existence, then, is confined to a display case, to be looked at and admired. Not my style of 'modelling' I'm afraid. It makes me wonder, why fit motors? Especially as they now don't work in many cases..................

I think many of these people build up collections whilst still working, fully intending to build a layout later in life. A good friend of mine has showcases and boxes of lovely Great Western & Southern locomotives and rolling stock, all professionally built, some by 'names' in the hobby.

It is only now he's reached his early 70's that he has concluded that, realistically he will never build a layout to run his superb collection on.

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Such a shame (as others have remarked) if we have seen the last of

Leicester South GC on the circuit, surely one of the finest layouts around

in the last few years. I and others in our group will be "leaning" on Roger

Sunderland and Dave Bayman to think again about retiring B'm'th West

from exhibitions, although I fully understand their reasoning behind

this decision. Other members,including myself, have decided to take

a layout to the Hornby mag. GETS show in Milton Keynes in October,

taking the view that we believe the organisation will be top drawer

and the enjoyment and social elements involved in exhibiting again

worth any risk involved.

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1 hour ago, Tony Wright said:

Yesterday, I collected some 50 'professionally-built' locos from a widow, to be sold on her behalf (with 10% going to CRUK).

 

Most appear to be well-made and beautifully-painted (though none is signed). However, here's the potential rub. I've only examined a few at present, and many have Portescaps. They were built some 30-40 years ago, and most are locked solid. I've come across this before. For all their existences, they've lived in glass cases. 

 

What's next? Several are wired the opposite way, and those which do run are noisy and/or stiff. Quite a few, though nicely presented, have detail deficiencies/inaccuracies - banjo domes on BR locos (apart from the V4s), for instance. As for some of the tenders...........................

 

It would appear that they were built by several different people (there is some paper provenance), some of whom were clearly ignorant of LNER loco features (the collection is mainly LNER/BR/NER/ScR). With one exception (in EM), all are in OO with Romford/Markits or Gibson wheels. Interestingly, the paperwork for a DJH A1 (not a particularly good runner) states a total cost of £350.00 (1980). I wonder what that is in today's money? 

 

My intention is to get as many going as I can, though not to the extent of stripping down to the frames - how does one do this successfully with friction-fit drivers? I'll then be offering them for sale. Clearly, those which don't work will be much cheaper. I'll post pictures on here in due course...........

 

The more I get to see of collections like this, the more I realise that few locos (if any) were ever made to work on a layout (the late owner didn't have one). Their existence, then, is confined to a display case, to be looked at and admired. Not my style of 'modelling' I'm afraid. It makes me wonder, why fit motors? Especially as they now don't work in many cases..................

Oh dear…I can see me having an expensive trip to see you on Wednesday!

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Tony

 

you can wash the gunk out of portescaps and their gearboxes while in situ.. @Michael Edge has done it.. I clean as much gunk out manually using a very fine jewellers' screw driver, then add dome GT85 while rotating the loco drivers... seems to work as I did this to two Model Loco Black 5s I acquired from the "not for conversion" pile of  OO  locos from Carlisle. Before I started you could not move a driving wheel (all Romfords by the way). Once I got them moving I then continued to get rid of any remaining gunk using the screwdriver and lint free cloth.

 

Baz

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10 hours ago, Clem said:

Thanks Andrew. Now ordered!

 

Good evening Clem,

 

good to here.

 

One of the photographs I have of the Hotchley Hill gypsum train, has a replacement Charles Roberts hopper at the head. I would like to replicate this, could you send me your recipe for converting the RTR version into your very accurate looking model. I can't remember what was your choice of chassis?

 

Many thanks.

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3 hours ago, Tony Wright said:

It makes me wonder, why fit motors? Especially as they now don't work in many cases..................

When selling kits I always used to ‘push’ a basic motorised fit to people whom were thinking of unmotorised. Their reasoning was two fold cost, and the fact it would be normally be a display model.

My recommendation was always that you’ll get more in resale at any time in the future if motorised. If these engines were motorless, you’d likely be saying I’ve no idea who’d want in effect a push along model, especially if built to a good standard. Most of your readers would likely think, that means I’ll need to disassemble them fit a motor/gears. With a fitted set you have a chance of resurrection potentially without a deal of heartache.

 

£350 in 1980 would be quite a high price for a  built loco, in today’s money that’s £1500 equivalent.  Many of those  professional/Pro-am built kits sold at KX from the showcase around that time were between £150-200

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6 hours ago, gr.king said:

Retail prices increase since 1980 appears to be about 4.75x.

Thanks Graeme,

 

So, four figures! At least!

 

Here's the A1 in question...............

 

323169727_DJHA160147.jpg.6d04503d5f3915db0160fbf5196b74d3.jpg

 

Certainly not worth anywhere near that. It's not badly-made (though deficient in detail) and the paint job is pretty good. However, a couple of the boiler bands are losing their lining slightly.

 

It now runs the right way (by simply turning the motor's magnet through 180 degrees, reversing the polarity) and runs better (after adjustment and cleaning), though more-noisily than I'd accept, with it's D13 open-framed motor and single-stage Romford worm/gear set. 

 

Pick-ups are 'American', a system not for me. 

 

Were it mine, I'd strip the chassis to the frames, install a modern motor/gearbox and wiper pick-ups. Even then, it wouldn't be worth near four figures....................

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

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3 hours ago, Barry O said:

Tony

 

you can wash the gunk out of portescaps and their gearboxes while in situ.. @Michael Edge has done it.. I clean as much gunk out manually using a very fine jewellers' screw driver, then add dome GT85 while rotating the loco drivers... seems to work as I did this to two Model Loco Black 5s I acquired from the "not for conversion" pile of  OO  locos from Carlisle. Before I started you could not move a driving wheel (all Romfords by the way). Once I got them moving I then continued to get rid of any remaining gunk using the screwdriver and lint free cloth.

 

Baz

Thanks Baz,

 

Some of the gummed-up locos have Gibson drivers. Attempting to un-stick the Portescap will result in their quartering going out, such is the solidity of the gears.

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

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2 hours ago, PMP said:

When selling kits I always used to ‘push’ a basic motorised fit to people whom were thinking of unmotorised. Their reasoning was two fold cost, and the fact it would be normally be a display model.

My recommendation was always that you’ll get more in resale at any time in the future if motorised. If these engines were motorless, you’d likely be saying I’ve no idea who’d want in effect a push along model, especially if built to a good standard. Most of your readers would likely think, that means I’ll need to disassemble them fit a motor/gears. With a fitted set you have a chance of resurrection potentially without a deal of heartache.

 

£350 in 1980 would be quite a high price for a  built loco, in today’s money that’s £1500 equivalent.  Many of those  professional/Pro-am built kits sold at KX from the showcase around that time were between £150-200

Thanks Paul,

 

£1,500 - phew! 

 

This might be worth that..............

 

2059701537_FinneyA3inEM60073.jpg.f69226dcfab43a005263ff713759203a.jpg

 

This is the best in the collection by many a mile. It's built from a Finney kit, in EM. 

 

Were it not for the fact that it's not signed, I'd say it's to the late John Hayes' standard of kit construction. Portescap-powered (a very-free one), it runs superbly. 

 

The painting is top-class.

 

I'll be visiting Retford soon, and I'll give it a spin on that. Pity I can't afford it..........................

 

I take your point about it being better to install motors in locos, even though the commissioner might never want to run them. However, with these gummed-up ones, dismantling might be the only option. 

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

 

 

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From the sublime (in my last post) to..................

 

2016938893_MillholmeA2260501.jpg.7913964ac5e04afcb973ab7d979ba741.jpg

 

I take my hat off to anyone who can build a Millholme A2/2. The trouble is, the maker has built this as supplied - overall too short, banjo dome and massively over-width tender, with incorrect turn-ins to the front of the sides. 

 

Actually, this one runs quite well (though its open-framed motor whines a bit - a different pitch to a Portescap), and it's different from the Hornby RTR example in that it has its original boiler (however, probably not with a lipped chimney).

 

It's going to take me a fair bit of time to go through all the locos in the collection and assess what needs doing to see if I can get them all running (probably unlikely). I'll then post a complete list, with descriptions.

 

To whet the appetite the list includes (in no particular order)  an A1, A3s, Austerities, a Q6, a K4, a B16/1, O2/2, V2, B1, A2/2, A8, D20, G5, GWR 44XX, SR N, a Japanese brass 45XX, K1, two J39s, L1, O1, two O4/3s, O4/7, Clan, Ivatt 4MT, T1, N1, A6, J27, K3, J6, Crab, West Country, O2/3, Twin-cab Sentinel, plus a scratch-built N1 and J50 (both by John Edgson). There are several others. It IS going to take me some time!

 

 

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Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, Tony Wright said:

Thanks Baz,

 

Some of the gummed-up locos have Gibson drivers. Attempting to un-stick the Portescap will result in their quartering going out, such is the solidity of the gears.

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

Would that be the case if, time and patience permitting, you do the initial "winding round" by manually rotating the gears (whilst picking the crud out with the screwdriver as Baz suggests) rather than by forcing the rotation using the wheels? 

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10 hours ago, gr.king said:

Would that be the case if, time and patience permitting, you do the initial "winding round" by manually rotating the gears (whilst picking the crud out with the screwdriver as Baz suggests) rather than by forcing the rotation using the wheels? 

Yes, shift it round by levering the gears at first, once the solidified grease has loosened a bit. I use GT 85 as Baz has said, once you can get to the grubscrew loosen it and carry on turning by hand until it will go under power. The supreme irony of all this is that the original Portescap instructions solemnly stated that removal of the "special grease" would invalidate the guarantee......

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28 minutes ago, Michael Edge said:

Yes, shift it round by levering the gears at first, once the solidified grease has loosened a bit. I use GT 85 as Baz has said, once you can get to the grubscrew loosen it and carry on turning by hand until it will go under power. The supreme irony of all this is that the original Portescap instructions solemnly stated that removal of the "special grease" would invalidate the guarantee......

Thanks Mike, and Graeme,

 

Yes, I'm doing that anyway, rather than attempting to turn the drivers (Baz said he'd turned the Romford drivers by hand, which certainly won't slip out of quartering, and is a useful dodge).  

 

I've freed-up two already (the O2/2 and the O4/7) and both now run very well. 

 

One thing I'm discovering is that many of these locos appear to have been built by DJH during their days in Banbury. So far, all of these are wired the opposite polarity to 'convention'. I'm changing each one, either by turning round magnets (gripping the magnet in a set of pliers' jaws to maintain the flux) or un-soldering and re-soldering wires. I wonder why DJH wired their custom-built locos this way?

 

It's not just their own kits they built...................

 

1516246251_SEFinecastA360084.jpg.3209afb8d228cc1501b546472507b802.jpg

 

A Wills/South Eastern Finecast A3 (this one was cheaper than the A1, at around £200.00 about 40 years ago). 

 

What does one do with a model like this (a general question)? It's well-made, runs very sweetly (the right way, now!) and it's nicely-painted. An attempt has even been made to give it the correct tender (a streamlined non-corridor type). However, it's got a banjo dome, something only carried by the last-built batch of A3s and then only until their first boiler change. TRIGO never had one, as did no other BR A3. It shows a remarkable ignorance on the part of the builder (who clearly used what was supplied by Wills; and since Wills used the dreadful Roche drawing to design the kit, then a banjo dome it is. SEF at least gives you three domes now). It also shows a degree of ignorance on the part of the late commissioner. Had I dropped such a blooper on building an A3 for a customer, it would have come straight back, especially if I'd wired it the wrong way as well. 

 

Are many 'collectors' as ignorant as this, I wonder (I use the word 'ignorance' in its true sense)? 

 

So, what to do? Changing the dome would be ruinous (it appears to have been soldered in place) to the paint job. Can anyone live with this anomaly? If so, please make me an offer (and I'm certainly not expecting four figures, if the inflation rate over the last 40 years is true!). Who'd pay four figures for this, anyway? 

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

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15 hours ago, Tony Wright said:

From the sublime (in my last post) to..................

 

2016938893_MillholmeA2260501.jpg.7913964ac5e04afcb973ab7d979ba741.jpg

 

I take my hat off to anyone who can build a Millholme A2/2. The trouble is, the maker has built this as supplied - overall too short, banjo dome and massively over-width tender, with incorrect turn-ins to the front of the sides. 

I’d suggest the comparison between the model here and a more accurate one, to a degree may not be ‘fair’. We’re going back roughly 40 years, and I think this is a good example of a well built, possibly commissioned model for that era. Not knowing the original client specification it’s difficult to assess what emphasis was put on ‘fidelity’. It may have simply been ’make the kit as supplied’. When you consider the contemporary RTR offering below, this A2, regardless of its accuracy shortcomings, would have been regarded as a high quality build and I’d have expected to sell it for £120-150 in a retail environment. The kit and components I’d guess coming in at around the £60 mark.

5E4D28A2-5CEC-413A-B553-0DFA0A47B708.jpeg.e14080220d2345899188eb586268b8a2.jpeg

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1 minute ago, PMP said:

I’d suggest the comparison between the model here and a more accurate one, to a degree may not be ‘fair’. We’re going back roughly 40 years, and I think this is a good example of a well built, possibly commissioned model for that era. Not knowing the original client specification it’s difficult to assess what emphasis was put on ‘fidelity’. It may have simply been ’make the kit as supplied’. When you consider the contemporary RTR offering below, this A2, regardless of its accuracy shortcomings, would have been regarded as a high quality build and I’d have expected to sell it for £120-150 in a retail environment. The kit and components I’d guess coming in at around the £60 mark.

5E4D28A2-5CEC-413A-B553-0DFA0A47B708.jpeg.e14080220d2345899188eb586268b8a2.jpeg

Still rather inaccurate though unless perhaps it represents the engine in preservation.

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