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“FLIGHTS OF WHIMSY”


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  • 6 months later...
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IMG_0083.jpeg.01a7ea52b8b8a3b773a45c29ba9e7be7.jpeg

“Now look here, I suppose we’ll have to have the annual board meeting fairly soon, what shall we tell em, eh?”

”we can’t really admit there hasn’t a wheel turned or a passsenger been carried since the last one, really”

”they’re expecting some sort of show, even if they won’t put a penny piece into it”

”well, actually, Major, the track gang did a bit yesterday afternoon, but then I was called away, the SWMBO wanted to take supplies to her sister.”

”wimmen, eh? I’ve got a big gap in my life with the “Five Bells” being closed for the duration, I’d come and lend a hand, but the memsahib thinks gardening’s the ticket. What was happening on the track, then?”

”well, I’ve laid my hands on a surplus of copper clad sleeper strip from Washbourne, now we can replace the plastic sleepers with that. The curvature is very tight, and soldering the rails will hold the gauge better.”

”Well, the trackbeds going to need filling with something, the board will like the sound of that.”

”Then while we’re at it, I’m simplifying the pointwork and sidings, and making a bit more clearance every where”

”stout fellow, that’s the sort of news the troops will want to hear. carry on, what?”

 

Edited by Northroader
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On 04/03/2021 at 12:22, Northroader said:

I’ve laid my hands on a surplus of copper clad sleeper strip from Washbourne

 

Smart move, but I foresee trouble. Board members tend to occupy several boards at once. So I am wondering whether the news might not easily spread to the board at Washbourne?

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Right, young Northroader, stay in after school, 200 lines: “I must be more careful building narrow gauge layouts and not objectify women”.

But they’re fabulous! (Hilda especially) Anyhow, careful thought and research, and I’m keeping the oval shape, but altering the sidings and electrical sections to get a simpler look. First step is relay the track, which is getting lifted in stages. The plastic sleeper strip is coming off, the underside of the rail (code 100) is being cleaned up and tinned, then 6mm copper clad fibre glass sleepers, from Marcway strip, is soldered in.

 

This time the end curves of the oval are being made as a semicircle in one smooth 10” radius, rather than the irregular curvature which existed. I’ve made some 16.5mm gauge blocks, and spacing the sleepers at even intervals, well spaced to get a proper narrow gauge look.

Edited by Northroader
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Thanks for that, Kevin, it’s all happening in West Norfolk. Looks most interesting, and as he’s using Rowland Emett sketches and names, his heart must be in the right place. I like his use of old carriage bodies in particular, I was surprised how many are around up there, I’ve seen them in plenty on the Isle of Wight, and at Dungeness, both seaside holiday locations. Another thought of what could go on your seaside thread, even if not quite narrow gauge?

anyway, I must try and follow how this one develops.

 

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  • 4 weeks later...
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Here’s a small bit of progress, the first point being constructed. I’ve saved the switch blades from the old point, but they might need to be shortened rather a lot.

(sorry, loss of picture)

 

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That point is now done and ready for painting. This will give me enough track to lay half of the oval. I’ve kept the switch blades from the old Peco point, as I liked the hinged join in the middle, but the outer ends away from the join have been trimmed right back, and the taper reprofiled.

55D1FF5C-1ACF-4AE9-A807-3BEBC7E1C6F8.jpeg.bc35a09af0d3058ff1fc3e1c903d472f.jpeg

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The left hand side of the oval is now finished and laid in. Putting the track down I created a short, but as I had done an insulating check before, I realised one of the panel pins had managed to bridge the gap in the copper clad, and I just had to go along with a halfround file to widen the gps until I found it. There’s two electrical sections and a short siding in place, and the platform in the corner has been reprofiled to suit. I’ve decided this will be the Lochnecky stop in future. The check rail on the inside of the curve has been extended past the point crossing, as test running showed the loco was a bit unsteady round the start of the curve. There are rail joints and insulating gaps in this area, and these tend to have more of an effect when you’re running on very tight curvature (around 10” radius)

The loco is the best 16.5mm chassis I have, a Hornby Desmond, but it still goes faster than I want, so I must see what a new controller with feed back can do. Then the magnetic couplers need another rethink, I feel. In the meantime I can now progress to the right hand side of the oval, lifting the old track, platform bashing, and make up a new layout.

(sorry, loss of picture)

 

Edited by Northroader
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Thinking a bit more about the cheap, but slow-running, motorisation conundrum, something struck me: what about a tender loco?

 

I'm thinking of the good old Triang Dock Authority shunter chassis, which has much better slow speed characteristics than Nellie and her sisters, under the tender, and a loco that draws inspiration from those Skye Bogie 4-4-0 engines. You might pastiche it into a 2-4-0, to cope with sharp corners, shortened in proportion to a four-wheeled tender. Pick-ups on all wheels except the pony ought to give good running too.

 

Anyway, its all looking very good, and I'm glad to see this one breaking surface again (like the Loch Ness Monster?), although am slightly worried about midges at this time of year, because I tend to wear shorts all the time.

 

 

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I’ve never been in Scotland in high summer, Kevin, but I gather the midges are hell. I’m another who is trying to brazen out the summer in shorts, not going to give up until mid September, although today is not the best of days for it. Tenders get in the way of short trains, but that Dock shunter is worth a look, good idea. The whimsy motive power situation will be firmly based on 0-4-0 pastiches*. I would have been able to pick one up from the Model shop in Swindon, but he’s recently retired, and we have a very useful “collectors fair” once a month in Bassett, but the Memorial Hall won’t do such activities yetawhile.

Mikkel, about the hole in the middle, well, I suppose it s just me being a traditionalist. Thinking about the old 6’x4’, one of which I attempted in the 1950s, they always had a hole in the middle, and although it’s got shrunk right down to 4’x2’, the hole has stayed. I think it’s useful as a kind of scenic break, if you had an unbroken top, there’d be problems filling the middle. The layout needs to be viewed from the one side, I like a backscene behind it, and having a central vertical feature which happens on “pizza” style layouts wouldn’t work at all, as it would block too much out. You’ll see that although it’s a full ellipse, the left hand side has two cross beams. One is structural, but the other is just a support. I’m thinking of having an interchangeable “water feature” inset on those beams, just for that end of the layout, and leaving it open for the rest.

 

 

*This kind of thing, which really has a few more wheels.

(sorry, loss of picture)

 

Edited by Northroader
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I've always liked those ridiculously small L&B vans and opens. Exactly the same were supplied by the makers to the West Carberry Tramway (aka Schull & Skib.) and the Alford & Sutton Tramway, so they make quite a good generic, which doesn't need to shortened, even for tiny layouts. I've built versions in 15mm/ft, and even they are small.

 

So, you need a tram engine.

 

Also: Darjeeling & Himalayas. Their early rolling stock was very silly. And, the Kiso logging railways in Japan, vehicles wider than they were long, which is always good for a laugh.

 

 

Edited by Nearholmer
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Here’s some nice whimsy coaches I’ve come across recently on the preserved Connemara Railway thread. A composite and a brake third, so you’ve got everything you’d ever need for a train

 IMG_0085.jpeg.cb9fda62d9bf368a972d09c2cca38b81.jpeg

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On 18/06/2021 at 11:35, Nearholmer said:

I've always liked those ridiculously small L&B vans and opens. ..... so they make quite a good generic, which doesn't need to shortened, even for tiny layouts.

Not sure which way to go with this... :scratchhead:

Option 1 - Mr Northroader Esq. won't like that!!

or, Option 2 - that won't stop Mr Northroader Esq. from trying!!  :mosking:

 

Which one does the audience think more likely? Shall I set up a poll? :blum:  :tomato:  :jester:

 

 

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I’ve got a terrible confession to make, I’ve gone and spent some money on a new controller, trying to slow things down to a more whimsical pace.

 

 

 

 

This is the old controller, a Hammant and Morgan, fifty plus years old, bought second hand. You’ll say that it’s an “add-on” type, mating up up to a controller giving out a 16v ac feed, but actually I’ve found there’s enough room in the case for a transformer, making it a “stand-alone” job, with a few extra holes added for ventilation. There’s a high/low resistance feature, I’ve been running it on high. On the half oval that exists for now, there’s about three feet available for test running, so I’ve been timing the loco over this stretch, coming in at around six seconds.

 

 

 

This is the new controller, a neat little job from Gaugemaster, brand new, with the transformer built into the back of the mains plug, connecting this up, and I can push the running time up to around nine seconds. It’s a step in the right direction, and I think with a Hornby Desmond with that gearing it’s the best I can hope for. “Welcome to the Twenty First Century, Granddad.”


(sorry, loss of pictures)

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