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Jack's Present Day Workbench - EMR 222 & MHA/MTA/MFA Ballast Wagon Improvements


Jack374
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Thanks for the kind words Graham!

 

A little update on the MFAs, which are now finished. Some steps were cut from 0.1mm brass, with a ~3mm square soldered to a ~1mm strip. They were cleaned before and after with a glass fibre pencil, and will be painted with the other details later.

 

8A4DD151-2DFF-4DD9-8AA1-1BFC966E7DED.jpeg.3326193bfbf8d6ab02f2a35acfee749c.jpeg

 

The disc brakes from Stenson Models look excellent and were glued to the wheel faces with Deluxe 'Glue n Glaze', which doesn’t show where any leakage has occurred. I previously superglued brake discs but Mr Makin mentioned PVA for securing them so I tried it and it works well! Where I’d used 3 hole wheels from the MTAs which I swapped, some other brand (which escapes me) disc brakes were glued on backwards, as they were a little crude for my liking. I don’t normally do inner face disc brakes but needed to hide the 3 holes - these inner discs are visible bottom pic.

 

9991A9FC-F6EF-4AB1-9C54-8C297C90228D.jpeg.06f520e36909e3dd67a861c76126ef83.jpeg

 

Finally, as the wagons will be used and loaded on Fordley, I thought the best way to unload would be to remove the body and tip out the load while the chassis remains coupled and on the track. Therefore, the mounting spigots were chamfered to a loose fit and the screws and coupling pockets removed. This left the weights loose, so these were attached to the chassis using some 0.3mm wire, which I thought was the most secure way to attach them and doesn’t rely on glue...it looks crude but works well! The two ends were simply twisted with pliers, whilst a couple of plastic strip pieces ensure when I tightened the wire it didn’t pull the chassis inwards.

 

70E9EC88-41C9-4722-854B-0D9BCC2E5FAD.jpeg.b07d9c0af88c0eb2b341eabd5481a67e.jpeg


So the 5 MTAs and MFAs are now done bar painting...now for the MHAs/MPAs! So far this has been a very enjoyable project and I'm less than half way through and haven’t got to the painting/weathering/paint detailing stage yet! :paint:

 

Jack.

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22 hours ago, Jack374 said:

Thanks for the kind words Graham!

 

A little update on the MFAs, which are now finished. Some steps were cut from 0.1mm brass, with a ~3mm square soldered to a ~1mm strip. They were cleaned before and after with a glass fibre pencil, and will be painted with the other details later.

 

8A4DD151-2DFF-4DD9-8AA1-1BFC966E7DED.jpeg.3326193bfbf8d6ab02f2a35acfee749c.jpeg

 

The disc brakes from Stenson Models look excellent and were glued to the wheel faces with Deluxe 'Glue n Glaze', which doesn’t show where any leakage has occurred. I previously superglued brake discs but Mr Makin mentioned PVA for securing them so I tried it and it works well! Where I’d used 3 hole wheels from the MTAs which I swapped, some other brand (which escapes me) disc brakes were glued on backwards, as they were a little crude for my liking. I don’t normally do inner face disc brakes but needed to hide the 3 holes - these inner discs are visible bottom pic.

 

9991A9FC-F6EF-4AB1-9C54-8C297C90228D.jpeg.06f520e36909e3dd67a861c76126ef83.jpeg

 

Finally, as the wagons will be used and loaded on Fordley, I thought the best way to unload would be to remove the body and tip out the load while the chassis remains coupled and on the track. Therefore, the mounting spigots were chamfered to a loose fit and the screws and coupling pockets removed. This left the weights loose, so these were attached to the chassis using some 0.3mm wire, which I thought was the most secure way to attach them and doesn’t rely on glue...it looks crude but works well! The two ends were simply twisted with pliers, whilst a couple of plastic strip pieces ensure when I tightened the wire it didn’t pull the chassis inwards.

 

70E9EC88-41C9-4722-854B-0D9BCC2E5FAD.jpeg.b07d9c0af88c0eb2b341eabd5481a67e.jpeg


So the 5 MTAs and MFAs are now done bar painting...now for the MHAs/MPAs! So far this has been a very enjoyable project and I'm less than half way through and haven’t got to the painting/weathering/paint detailing stage yet! :paint:

 

Jack.

 

Very neat work Jack, looking great as usual!

 

First time I've ever heard of body removal to load/unload wagons and the method to secure the weights to the chassis but hope it works out fine!

 

Will you use a resin load or a granule load? I'm also debating about what I should load my wagons with and how I should load/unload wagons (ie at the spoil tip or virtual quarry)

 

As always, good luck mate

 

Jules

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11 hours ago, Departmental203 said:

First time I've ever heard of body removal to load/unload wagons and the method to secure the weights to the chassis but hope it works out fine!

 

Will you use a resin load or a granule load? I'm also debating about what I should load my wagons with and how I should load/unload wagons (ie at the spoil tip or virtual quarry)


Thanks Jules...Fordley will have a working loader (which is being finalised and installed at the minute...keep an eye out on the layout thread!) which loads actual ballast (currently using Woodland Scenics but may change), so the loads will not be permanent. For making fixed loads in the past I’ve used a cardboard base, with some paper or foam to create a 'hump', then glued ballast on top, usually with a thicker glue mix than for track ballasting, applying the glue first then sprinkling the ballast on last.

 

I thought long and hard about how to unload the wagons, as I’ve got various types - some deep, some shallow, and some Autoballasters. I even toyed with the idea of working bottom doors for the latter but saw sense! :no:

In the end I’ve decided to remove the bodies of wagons where I can, meaning no uncoupling. Where I can’t I’ll probably use a 'desk vacuum cleaner' you can pick up in pound shops for not much more than a pound or two. I’ve yet to have a play! :senile:

 

Thanks,

Jack.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Lately I’ve been cracking on with the MHAs/MPAs, and I’ve now finished all the chassis. The standard improvements have been Accurascale 13" sprung OLEO buffers, resin cast brake distributors (shown last page and primed since) and Smiths instanter links made into 3 links with some 0.7mm plastic coated wire.

 

A couple of wagons needed remedial work...one needed a new vertical brake distributor, from Stenson Models, mounted on a small piece of styrene...

5F263009-ACBC-4273-8796-061E85D89E86.jpeg.765f74821a108bc20773753263900c81.jpeg


Another needed a new handbrake guide, made from a small strip of scrap brass etch. This wagon also has an attempt at a screw link coupling I kept because of a lack of instanter links

B3D00A32-6A7C-480B-9691-27BC94A540F5.jpeg.81335f004ff5e932566edb88a7295e59.jpeg
 

Finally, one wagon was missing a whole handbrake lever on one side, so a new bracket was made from styrene sheet and a handbrake lever was made from scrap brass etch. The link between each side was added from 1mm steel wire. It’s a bit crude but it’ll do...

A0C11C52-A88E-4F1C-BCF9-CBDEB67BF8D7.jpeg.103eb05feb6c4c84e0a90f25a0a5beaf.jpeg

 

Below is a picture to show the new buffers and couplings. On one wagon I used some aluminium adhesive tape - found on eBay, basically adhesive silver foil - wrapped around the buffer spindle, to represent the shiny spindles which all OLEOs have. It makes all the difference IMO and I’ll be doing it to the rest of the buffers, but decided to do the rest after painting/weathering so they’ll stay shiny.

D926287C-C35A-486E-B29C-39E40567AFB4.jpeg.247c603ab866b8adec683d22e159a2af.jpeg


Finally, this evening I made up another Dingham coupling, to bookend the rake as I already made one for an MFA as my first test coupling. I built it as per the instructions and the one I did previously, but modified both with a method shown by Kylestrome of this forum on their workbench. Some 0.45mm steel wire was soldered to the loop to make it wider which will help with longer locos like a 66...I suppose proof will be when I test the couplings with long locos and on longer bogie wagons!

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I imagine the project will slow down now as I need to await warmer spraying temperatures to get the bodies and weathering sorted, but there are still one or two bits to do in the meantime.

 

...This means I’ve got more time to focus on other things though...I wonder what?......

 

Thanks,

Jack.

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  • 1 month later...

Thought I’d post something today after a lengthy gap, due to university mainly. It’s going to be loco-heavy, be warned! :locomotive:

 

Firstly, a quick update I did to my 68 was to add some engine bay lights, which are visible through the two grilles. It was relatively quick and adds another feature to my already butchered model, making the best of Dapol's offering, which is superb externally but IMO lacking internally. 4 SMD LEDs were soldered to two parallel veroboard strips, and simply connected (through resistors) to a spare function output from the decoder...

 

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Next is another revisit to the 'bench...EWS livery, DB branded 60065. This time I’ll be doing very little externally, but internally I’m completely re-wiring to enable prototypical lighting. I started however by fixing the bogies.

 

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Hornby's effort to attach the cosmetic bogie sideframes is through use of the plastic mount shown, which only contacts the bogie in one place, at the pivot. As a result, the frames can droop and move all over the shop which was really noticeable on my model (which has been dropped from chest height before :O ), so the solution I chose was to create a new brass mount from scrap etch pieces:

 

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This was then sprayed with Halfords gloss black. The sideframes were superglued on, and are now solid, with no twist or vertical movement but with a bit of flex from the brass if they're knocked - they can also be slightly adjusted to the correct height:

 

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Next I turned to the internals. The model was factory-fitted with a LokSound V3.5 - notorious for having limited speaker choice as they must be 100 Ohm. After trialling a "bass reflex" speaker, this was very poor and didn’t capture the bass of the prototype at all. So I sold the chip and speaker, and replaced with a LokSound V5 and EM2...plenty of function outputs for the lighting and if an EM2 can’t give enough bass then I give up! :music:

 

This inevitably required some butchering of the chassis to accommodate the EM2, which was a more simple affair than say a 68, and was achieved using a junior hacksaw. Some roof material under the silencer was also removed using a Dremel and cutting disc:

 

B83EBD16-B0DF-4BC5-8242-C64405330680.jpeg.06d9711b064ea4e41074a59f6d16f7eb.jpeg
 

Unfortunately, I didn’t take any photos of the circuit board. It was relatively simple; I need 13 (!) function outputs to control the lighting. This is because of the headlight-off feature on 60s and 92s when the loco is not in forward or reverse drive, or in ‘neutral' effectively. With thanks to Jo for clarifying this for me :good:

 

The 3 outputs on the 8-pin interface were used (FOF, FOR and Aux1), as well as Aux2 to Aux11 from the solder pads on the decoder, simply wired to an 11- way plug on the board because I also needed a ground connection. A ground was needed for 3x 2N7002 transistors, due to Aux9 to 11 being logic only. They were connected as shown on Martin Claydon's superb 'DCC Updates' site, with gate as input from the decoder, drain as output to the load and source connected to ground. This was the first time I’d used transistors and it worked perfectly!

 

826D8A67-C2AC-4BF5-AADD-7F92D4CF9FFF.jpeg.9135aa4432d3a1ed590af791b2e5b9f6.jpeg

 

A 7 pin plug at each end will connect to the body-mounted lights, these being marker (x2), headlight (x2), tail lights, cab light and common positive. The whole chassis now looks like this:

 

3DE0551E-1DB4-4746-B0F0-A9D1DF42DC25.jpeg.02348445192836827d32df0b2322bd71.jpeg

 

Next job was to modify the cab inserts and lights. The Hornby PCB is actually one of the most well-laid out I’ve seen, with one common positive, and resistor for each LED. The resistors were 33 Ohm however, so these were replaced with 3.3k Ohm - I find any value between 1k and 10k works well. The springs were de-soldered and two track cuts were made to separate each marker from its respective headlight, as Hornby have connected these, which allows prototypical day and night options but not markers only or single markers when the headlight is auto-off.

 

F7E716AC-A172-48D3-A2AE-4881E69906FF.jpeg.f17615947b3ceabf3777ad64b0600886.jpeg
 

Then a wire was soldered to each pad and each newly-separated headlight. This was soldered to some adhesive copper tape strips, which is marketed as slug barrier tape for the garden, but works really well for electronic applications. This was used to transfer the connections up the back of the cab, which is visible through the (open) cab doors, so will be painted grey and be nigh on invisible unless you look really closely!

 

F735F9C6-B101-4848-925B-4D1A46EFAE3B.jpeg.8852004ca354e9ae0b6312129d1ad087.jpeg

 

All that remains is to add a plug for connection to the chassis, and to add the cab and doorway lights.

 

Finally, a short mention of Hattons sheds. I bit and bought 2 - EWS and Freightliner - when they were discounted. Both ran well once the axle boxes were removed, and after experimenting with keeping them rotating, I decided life was too short so cut off the caps and glued them in. Problem solved!

 

Another issue to me is the light clusters, which appear too square and deep. This was sorted with a needle file, and I think improves the look a lot. The light lenses were sanded too and will be painted with a thin wash of white or red to capture the look of the prototype:

 

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(The lines on the buffers were done when I resin cast them as they're the best I’ve seen, to be used for future projects....)

 

Whilst the EWS shed features a LokSound V5 and 2x megabass speakers from Roads and Rails, I had a Hornby TTS chip for a 66 so this has gone in my Freightliner loco. I used a LokPilot V5 MKL to control the lights as intended, then wired in an 8-pin socket for the TTS chip. I decided to add a DPDT switch to select which decoder powers the motor: useful for programming to get the command station to see the decoder when it uses motor pulses to communicate. I’ve also yet to confirm whether the TTS chip functions correctly without a motor providing back EMF so need to try it out. The black tape below secures a piece of foam above the speaker which makes the speaker sound better...not the best of pics...

 

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This provides a way to have full lighting functionality and a TTS chip, for half the price of a V5.

 

Apologies for the length of the update, I’ve been plodding on with a few of these for a while but wanted to wait for some good progress. As the weather warms, I’ll hopefully be able to get spraying, and already have a list of projects to do. Watch this space! :senile:

 

Thanks,

Jack.

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Some great projects!

I've resisted the Hattons 66 so far but yours does look good following your mods. 60s wise i ended up just scrapping Hornby's ligthing (my main era the LEDs are too white) but I think if I was to ever do another one then I'd have a go and try your suggestions!

Great stuff 

Will

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 14/03/2021 at 20:45, Jack374 said:

Cheers Will, Jules and Will!

 


I tried to resist the sheds until they were knocked down in price. But for a few reliability and cosmetic mods, they're great models...just require some kit building! :no:

 

The LEDs on most (all?) Hornby's diesels are pure/blue white out the box, and the lights were never this colour for the 60s. My favoured method to tone them down is using Tamiya yellow masking tape and standard masking tape, as well as black permanent marker, to get a better hue/brightness and stop any light bleed. Below are the cab inserts with a few layers of tape added, and some lines to prevent light bleed across the lenses. Hornby got the design bang on over a decade ago...yet Bachmann's latest DRS 20 doesn’t even have marker lights. Hmm.

 

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And while I’m typing, here’s a cheeky in progress pic of today's efforts...the first cab insert is wired up and the engine room and cab lights have been added, both which I’ll explain later. And of course, after saying about toning down the lights, there’s still work to do to get the hue of the other LEDs right...

 

C6766067-1C6F-4922-B255-1474E54FC580.jpeg.37c7dc7812357b749cc6c205182b9a41.jpeg

 

:D


Thanks,

Jack.

Cracking 60 jack internal lights in rad compartment look brill.....even if it's a pet hate when staff leave then on! Even worse a certain depot in west yorkshire leave all the internal compartment doors open on hst....bloody lazzzzy sods...if you need to set the fire suppression system off no good been sucked in to rad compartment and out to atmosphere! But funny doesn't bother me any more?? Some one else's problem!...G

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

You can’t have a container train without a MOL container. 

Those tacky modern pink ones just aren’t as good as the classic MOL alligator. 

They are still around though increasingly rare:

A1BAE105-4549-48C7-92F7-61962866A49F.jpeg.6d5c7bb2fac4515ed439b1d52716ec68.jpeg

 

 

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1 hour ago, Mol_PMB said:

You can’t have a container train without a MOL container. 

Those tacky modern pink ones just aren’t as good as the classic MOL alligator. 

They are still around though increasingly rare:

A1BAE105-4549-48C7-92F7-61962866A49F.jpeg.6d5c7bb2fac4515ed439b1d52716ec68.jpeg


I can’t say I’ve ever seen a MOL 'box, although I have a sheet of C=Rail transfers which I'm pretty sure have a MOL set, so could repaint my 20 foot Bell into MOL if the transfers are there!

 

Last uni exam tomorrow morning so hopefully more free time in the coming weeks! :dancer:

 

Jack.

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  • 2 months later...

Well, I’ve been doing bits and bobs on the workbench over the last few months, however most of my efforts have been focused towards my layout, Fordley. That thread is looong overdue an update…

 

The main focus has been to see my container flat rake over the line, insofar as it can now be run in either Freightliner or GBRf guise, and the decks are now varnished to provide some scratch resistance.

 

First though, my second KQA 'pocket' wagon had the awful buffers changed. My preferred method now is to use styrene tube and insulation tape, with a dab of glue underneath to hold the tape firm. The styrene head was then glued on, making sure the tape line was underneath:


305A9CB2-9E27-44D2-8FAC-9E55796D9B2C.jpeg.87708d67c01036238a6bbabfdfc8535f.jpeg

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On other projects, I’ve acquired a second class 68, which has been partially dismantled to become a free-running dummy for my first 'Cat'. I thought I’d do a comparison between front ends on my modified 68002, which has featured multiple times in this thread, and the 'out the box' loco…spot the difference…

 

6C121ED4-96C1-4BEE-89B4-64F36B0C21EC.jpeg.9590088d8e65239202ca080f5e170842.jpeg

 

Part of the reason for getting another 68 was the arrival of these beasts…

 

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Hopefully I can achieve as good a weathered finish as Phil Mc has!

 

The 222 has been painted further, so all that remains is the purple colour then the transfers. Internally, I’ve replaced the motor previously, as the original went really slowly for some reason. The driveshafts were chopped and replaced with brass rod to lengthen them:

 

57E425A1-D6F0-44AE-9FF1-D840C911C3B0.jpeg.ea7eec7b36846e336470d7b348c2100a.jpeg

 

Finally, the whole lot was rewired using a 21-pin socket. I did this so that I only need 1 decoder and so that 3 of the 4 coaches with pickups will be connected to provide superior pickup. This means a 5-way (!) connector one way and a 7 (!!!) way connector the other, to include my plan for a pair of speakers spaced along the unit.

 

CB56350E-2145-4A56-A59B-61E062053F65.jpeg.ce1ea5496aa398e47a77943c27a2f34f.jpeg

 

And here are the pics of finished container wagons. The decks had white marks added from the container ribs (rather crudely), then the lot was airbrushed with RM 'frame dirt'. Details such as black, yellow and white were picked out, then all were varnished with AK Interactive matt acrylic. Most of my containers have now had rust added to the corners, while some are fully weathered and some have paint patches or other marks. When I get the urge, I’ll weather them all properly, although not half as well as Mr Makin…does he take commissions? ;)

 

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I also partly-weathered some other goodies, though these aren’t finished so I’ll share when they are.

 

Oh, and never say never…I’ve since seen 2 MOL containers since I last posted and said I’d never seen any!

 

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Thanks,

Jack.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 3 weeks later...

How it’s already September and the leaves are falling is beyond me…

 

This weekend I had an airbrush session, mainly to weather the track on Fordley - where most of my attention has gone the last few months - but I also weathered a few bits.

 

Firstly Hattons 66504. This has received the axle box cut and shut and steps mounted to the chassis as I’ve mentioned previously. A generous general traffic 'frame dirt' application, Railmatch 'dark rust' on the silencer, and matt black on the roof to represent the loco circa autumn 2019 when it looked particularly grubby! The whole loco was sealed with AK Matte varnish…

 

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Also my third and final pair (for now) of Bachmann 'multifret' intermodal flats received the same treatment:

 

686C9592-41DD-438F-836B-64E55EFBF5E6.jpeg.f83b28b6b4990b533f384e2e5f90c655.jpeg

 

And my Northern 150, which was dusted on the sides with frame dirt and received subtle exhaust streaks. The clean roof edge is intentional and observed from photos, clearly where the washer reaches!

 

286C3583-7164-4AA4-9615-C5707D3E88F0.jpeg.7053d44eaa9b2352ba9661dfbd8ebf88.jpeg

 

Before I weathered it I also sorted the face of the unit. I don’t know what Bachmann's original intent was but it didn’t represent 150204 around the top edge of the cab front, the cant rail should sit as shown below, at the bottom of that lip, not at the top as Bachmann portrayed. This was fixed with Humbrol orange and 32 dark grey; not an exact match but perfectly close when weathered. IMO it makes a massive difference to the look of the cab front. Also the front above the handrails was all painted black from just black window frames, to represent 150201 - my chosen prototype.

 

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Last night I applied the extra Northern bicycle and PRM door stickers courtesy of Railtec:

 

3E3A70F0-D5FC-450D-9CA4-819071766421.jpeg.454515e1ea241a03093e9232a39f6bfe.jpeg

 

Don't look too closely, I applied the bikes too high as it would seem Bachmann's window size or Steve’s sticker width is slightly out!

 

The unit will also receive CDL lights (on their way) and a new identity - when Steve gets round to my custom order including the 222 transfers…

 

Thanks for reading!

Jack.

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Very nice Jack.

 

I've also started weathering my Hattons 66s over the weekend with varying degrees of success. I think you can only appreciate the level of detail on the chassis by how long it takes to weather!

 

I'll be interested in knowing how you do the CDL lights as it's an area I want to do on all of my DMUs/Pacers

 

cheers

Will

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6 hours ago, Phil Mc said:

Renumbering a weathered vehicle (or two), I hate doing that !!


You and me both! I’ve included a few 1s on the custom sheet in a suitable typeface to renumber it, but as I had the airbrush out I though stuff it might as well weather the thing. It’s been sat waiting it’s turn for renumbering for months.

 

Think the way to get around it will be to make the whole number clean like someone’s wiped the dirt away. The real end numbers were a mismash of sizes and typefaces anyway, before it’s white repaint.

 

I was too keen with the white spirit on the shed too as shown in the photos…only that one cab side thankfully. in hindsight it would’ve been good to include a spare number set for that on the transfer order too! :rolleyes:

 

Jack.

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