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whart57

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    North Sussex, just short of Surrey
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    The unusual, the offbeat, the quirky and what triggers the imagination

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  1. Bit of a boo for the makers of The Bletchley Circle, currently streaming from UKTVPlay. Grouping era carriages for a film set in the 1950s is bad enough but Southern Railway trains supposedly going out from St Pancras? In the second series another researchers boo-boo, a murder victim apparently having a book of second class stamps in his pocket a good ten years before they first appeared.
  2. The film Invisible Woman about Charles Dickens' mistress, Ellen Ternan is on BBC iPlayer at the moment. Not sure which heritage line was used, I suspect the Bluebell, but the producers did go the extra mile to reproduce a Victorian train for the action shots. It looked like the repro Lion was used for the traction power plus varnished teak four and six wheelers. Of course it wasn't the South Eastern Railway that used varnished teak but their bitter rival the London Chatham and Dover. A fair attempt made at reproducing the wreckage after the Staplehurst accident as well.
  3. Picked up today, from the pile of secondhand books in the cafe at Pendon museum would you believe, The British Railway Locomotive 1803-1853, published by the Science Museum in 1958. A pound well spent as it's an interesting little booklet, with side views of all the famous early locomotives plus a few more unusual ones like a Tayleur goods loco for the Leicester and Swannington and Sharps standard passenger 2-2-2 of 1847. Also a history of the SECR but covering the years up to 1845 - i.e. before the line was complete to Dover.
  4. Michael Portillo spends time at the real Reculver - i.e. the remains of the Saxon church and the Roman fort.
  5. A couple of pictures - with and without firebox.
  6. For most of this year I have worked on getting Maenamburi, my 3mm scale layout based on Thai railways, far enough advanced to show at our Club Open Day. As is usually the case with me after that period of sustained activity on one project, once a target has been reached I need a change of emphasis. It's why "Life, the only thing he ever finished" will be my epitaph. Anyway while clearing things away I brought out a Slaters 7mm scale kit of a Manning Wardle K class that I had started many years ago. This kit had been designed - according to the slip in with the instructions - to fit around a motor that was no longer available. We are talking 1990s here. At the time I bought the kit there was no recommended alternative and one reason for parking the kit with most of the body assembled and the basic chassis likewise was this lack of alternative. However, on a previous distraction I had bought this sort of electric motor off Amazon. I've used this N20 motor before, my Thai class 158 railcar set is powered by one, as are a couple of other 3mm chassis so I'm not put off by the dirt cheap price. The previous attempts have been all spur gears and I had to use a crown and pinion arrangement on the axle to get the transmission to the wheels. (A call out once again to Geoff Helliwell of the 3mm Society who did the original designs I modified.) This time though I thought I would skip the crown and pinion and use one of these worm gear variants. The drive axle was easily knocked out with a few taps from a light hammer and then I tried to put in the Slaters axle. No go. A vernier quickly pointed to the problem. The Chinese provided a 3mm diameter axle, Slaters is 1/8 inch. So a lengthy afternoon with broach and reamer later and the Slaters axle was a nice sliding fit in the brass bearings but a tight force fit in the final drive gear. The cheapness of the motor meant this was done without a palpitating heart. A couple of wires were soldered on and connected to the DC controller. All good, a good range of speed and a fair bit of torque. At mid voltage and upwards it's impossible to prevent the axle turning with finger pressure. Finally the Slaters wheels and bearings were put on the axle and the whole lot fitted into the chassis. Most of this motor fits inside the firebox ashpan. I suspect that is where I will have it as the alternative is cutting away some of the brass tube that makes the boiler and that is pretty thick. I suppose the choice of motor is a little unconventional for 7mm scale, but then the loco in question is one of the smallest and I will not expect it to pull much more than a few wagons or four wheel coaches. We'll see how it does. Right now I don't have any 32mm gauge track to try it on anyway.
  7. Players still look like human beings at that level.
  8. Michael Portillo is shooting past in his latest series of Great Coastal Railway Journeys, the episode from Birchington to Whitstable due to go out Thursday night (24th) but is already on i-Player.
  9. Those 10xx railcars sound as if the engines aren't really powerful enough, high revs in low gear to get them moving. Might extract the horn sounds though to use as notification sounds on my phone 😁
  10. This is interesting. http://www.worsleyworks.co.uk/Image-Pages/Image_N_2HAP.htm I know Allen Doherty and I've built some of his stuff. I also know a lot of others that have. Basically the kit is an overlay over a commercial coach. So you get a suitable coach - probably a bit of battered second hand - cut out the window separators where they are in the wrong place, smooth down all surface detail and then stick on the new sides. Put the glazing back, and then fit a motor bogie, again that could be the works from a second hand job.
  11. That will be a Tonbridge to Reading service via Redhill, Dorking and Guildford. These days that is a First Great Western franchise so I suspect there have been times when it was operated by BR(W). According to Wikipedia Class 119 and 109 DMUs were introduced to the line in 1979 and NSE's DEMUs withdrawn in 1981. Redhill to Tonbridge was electrified in the 1990s and Reading line trains ran to Gatwick Airport instead.
  12. This route is a possibility: https://www.shapeways.com/product/YGZJR29S9/class-207-dms?optionId=299296428&li=shops I've used this sort of stuff in 3mm scale and it's pretty good. In N gauge I guess you see what second hand you can pick up at swapmeets and the like and cannibalise them for the underframes and motorised chassis, no scratchbuilt mechs like I had to do in 3mm scale.
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