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  1. And now for something completely different I've always been inspired by John Allen and his layout; The Gorre & Daphetid RR. What some do not realize is that he built almost everything himself, including the locomotives. Many of them had no direct prototype for the model, but was built to suit his fictional railroads requirements . I myself have had a project that has had the time to mature for a little while (about 20 years .....), but now the parts that I needed to do it miraculously had ended up in the same box at the construction table . My layout was in need of a bigger switcher, I have a 0-6-0t saddle tanker and it's a bit small. A 2-6-4t would probably be the model, as I´ve always liked the look of that particular type of locomotive. I had half a chassis from a Mantua-locomotive, and some mixed bits and pieces .... I had found this scrapped shell a while ago, now it became useful: Here's how it looked after the first fitting, shorter tanks, another cab, a two-axle bogie, rebuilt drive etc. etc. I had a Mashima open frame motor that runs like a clock, so I decided to use it for this project. I made the driveshaft from old Athearn parts. Here you can see some of the new parts on the locomotive made of white plasticard: The shell is fixed with a single screw under the smokebox: I sandwiched a nut between some pieces of plasticard. It will probably not come off sometimes soon.... A little painting, marking and weathering later it looks like this: After an hours break-in it runs like a watch! I'm very happy with how it turned out, and that it hasn´t got a prototype? It doesn´t bother me at all!
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  2. So, firstly Taunton Wonderful event, glad I went. Long tiring drive there (for me 100+ miles is very tiring and painful), but by the time to go came, I left with a feeling that it was all very much worth it! Having better access to the layouts to actually see them working and admire the handiwork of those who have lovingly created them was the best aspect. Shows such as Ally Pally and so on are great, but the sheer number of people who go means actually seeing and admiring or talking to the people who built/operate said layouts is often simply impossible, even for me being 6ft tall and wielding my walking stick! So with being able to get better looks at some layouts I'd admired pretty recently on this site and others, and to complement the owners of the layouts and get a good look at them (never any substitute for seeing it in the flesh as it were imo!). The other layouts that were there were equally good to see, especially the 2mm efforts and the array of Southern stock and locos on show. I wants me one of them Golden Arrow Leader kits I do. Came away with some idea and some inspiration. Previously I had never really paid much attention to certain layout types/subjects, not often because I viewed them in a poor light, but simply because they didn't appeal my tastes and fighting the crowds to see didn't appeal and a cup of tea and painkillers appealed more so. This was certainly very true of 2mm layouts, as I found them too small for me to consider working in such a scale. So it was very nice to get a very good look at some rather excellent 2mm layouts on display at Taunton. Got a chance to discuss various aspects of 2mm modelling, which was very welcome as I'd decided about that time on the 3rd module for the layout plan I'm working with Natalie on. Was lovely to meet various members of this site and put a real face to a name, etc. A big thank you to all of those of the SWAG group for putting on such a wonderful show. Now if only there were a West Midlands AG to do something similar? ... Photos I will later look through the photos I (and Natalie) took, clean then up a little, resize and upload them on this site. I think next week I shall order a gorilla pod + adapter for smartphones to better be able to balance/steady phone when using it as a camera. It certainly has proven so far to be better than the Sony digital compact camera I have and as I cannot afford a better quality compact or a DSLR camera will have to suffice for the foreseeable future! A small selection of photos from Taunton are attached below: Elm Park Elm Park again Catcott Burtle And showing what can be done in 2mm! They're unedited, but reduced in size. Will be cleaning up and uploading the rest of the photos I took and Natalie took sometime later. The layout with no name So, the reason I was glad I saw so much of the 2mm layouts up close? well I decided then that I'd reevaluate to some extent how the layout in planning (and currently with no name) with Natalie would consist of at least 3 modules, as follows: Narrow Gauge layout module, with small simple plan leading to storage bunkers. Standard gauge and narrow gauge layout module with standard gauge MOD depot and narrow gauge leading off of transfer shed to narrow gauge layout module Mainline (Salisbury) and exchange sidings to MOD depot module. As yet it has no name. But it is inspired by RAF Chilmark and based currently on a plan of Dean Hill. The plan is to do the NG module first, as a simpler introduction to the concepts involved in building a layout as this will be my first one I've ever attempted. The idea is to have all 3 modules able to: Work independently Work together as a single layout Be DCC controlled Have interchangeable (except NG) fiddle yards to save construction thereof. Speaking of fiddle yards. I have currently in my head the crazy idea to have a rat run going underneath the main module to link fiddle yards at either end of the mainline module. Thus needing a stacker module for the fiddle yards so they can go up/down between the levels. How well this might work in practice is another idea, but I have (with Natalie's help) uncovered prior work on this type of thing by the likes of Iain Rice. More later when I've had time to have a cup of tea and rest some more as I am still tired from yesterdays excursion! Kelly
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  3. Yesterday I came across this fantastic image, purely by chance. I have sent a copy to the MRS to see if anyone can shed any light on it. I can't think there can be any copyright issues with reproducing it. All I know is that it came from a local family collection, it was taken circa 1905, is somewhere in Long Eaton and get this : it is thought to mark the occasion of the end of shunting with horses on the old Midland. What interests me in particular, is that my maternal great grandfather was driving a 1F in this area at that time, and there are 2 in the photo, unusual in itself I suspect. I can only wonder... I have done only a little on my layout since the last post. The 1F is now ready for the motor, but it is not yet fitted. I am considering putting a resistor in the circuit as it seems to help on my first 0-6-0T. The Johnson goods sngine has been tested throught the pointwork and runs through ok, without derailing, though I still have a couple of slight wobbles in places. Lastly, I have tried a bit of ballasting on a 6" section at the end of the board. The ballast used is scenics, and I've gone for the lighter, slightly buff colour, as I think with a light final wash of grey, it should give about the look I'm after. The thinned latex is odd, it seems to have left some rubbery bits on the sleepers, which seems like they will peel off easily. Bye for now. Chris
    1 point
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