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Pillar's Road Vehicles - North East England 1970s-1990s (loosely...)


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39 minutes ago, laurenceb said:

Copydex with black acrylic paint added?

 

5 minutes ago, wainwright1 said:

Might work. Need to experiment.

 

All the best and stay warm.

 

Ray

As long as there is some sort of 'fixer' to bind it to stop it crumbling. PVA might help.

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While we're on the subject of moving buses, below is the furthest I've got so far with my magnet-based system.

 

Unlike the VW T4, this model is based on a kit with a DIY chassis. The wheels the kit comes with are made from a sort of hard rubbery plastic. It doesn't roll particularly well at the moment, but that may just be because the tolerances need loosening up a bit. The Britbus chassis on the Metropolitan has similar hard tyres and it runs very freely, so I'm inclined to think the problem is with my DIY axles and bearings. Adding some weight might also help as the resin body is very light.

 

As has been said, the road surface makes a big difference to the grip. A slightly rough surface gives the best purchase to get the wheels turning, but on a magnetic rail type system it has a drawback in that the vehicle magnet meets additional friction and resistance from the road surface.

 

Cheers,

 

Liam

DSC_3756.JPG

Edited by Pillar
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31 minutes ago, Pillar said:

While we're on the subject of moving buses, below is the furthest I've got so far with my magnet-based system.

 

Unlike the VW T4, this model is based on a kit with a DIY chassis. The wheels the kit comes with are made from a sort of hard rubbery plastic. It doesn't roll particularly well at the moment, but that may just be because the tolerances need loosening up a bit. The Britbus chassis on the Metropolitan has similar hard tyres and it runs very freely, so I'm inclined to think the problem is with my DIY axles and bearings. Adding some weight might also help as the resin body is very light.

 

As has been said, the road surface makes a big difference to the grip. A slightly rough surface gives the best purchase to get the wheels turning, but on a magnetic rail type system it has a drawback in that the vehicle magnet meets additional friction and resistance from the road surface.

 

Cheers,

 

Liam

DSC_3756.JPG

 

Hi Liam.

 

More good stuff.

Can you advise me which kit that is, and do you have a picture from above showing the motor you have used and how it is mounted.

What are the two things in the outer middle sections ? I would guess a reed switch for one of them, but the top one does not appear to have any wires. I assume that your battery will go in the middle ?

Are the wheels the Little Bus Company ones that are a complete one pieces wheel and tyre ? Those are the ones that I might use just for the rear wheels, and are moulded in a hard rubber. I have fitted them to an earlier experiment and after some careful preparation, they run fairly true and do offer a degree of grip which could perhaps be enhanced with a coating of something.

 

For the front wheels there are some options:

I think that the wheels on Oxford and BT Models are plastic, not well moulded and too hard to get traction.

Those on EFE buses are rubber and have potential. The problem is that they are force fitted onto the knurled end of their axles and it is difficult to get them off without damaging the holes in them. I have few new unused ones and have not been able to measure the inside diameter. It appears to be less than 2mm, but more than 1.5mm. It can also be difficult to get the tyres to seat properly on their hubs to prevent wobbling.

I have not had a close look at the Corgi Original Omnibus ones yet.

There are also the Faller wheels which can be purchased separately. These have an approximately 1mm hole which is a tight fit on the pins on their steering units. The problem with these is that they only produce one diameter and one style suitable for older type British buses. (There may be others that suit more modern ones and in different sizes). These do have rubber tyres, but again are too small in diameter for mainstream 1/76 traditional buses, but might be used if the clearances in say a mudguard on a half cab bus prevent the use on a scale size wheel, obviously juggling the height of the steering unit to achieve clearance. 

 

I mounted my 2mm back axles in brass reducing bushes or bearings available from Branchlines and they seem quite free rolling.

 

I have not made my own guides for the steering unit yet, but have some small magnets similar to yours to play with. Will also experiment to see what length these need to be, although this will probably vary according to where the front wheels sit in relation to the front proper of the bus. i.e. on the Beadle coach the wheels are right at the front, whereas on the RF bus the wheels are behind the entrance.

 

With regard to friction from the guide, I think that it will be a question of determining the weakest magnet that will actually keep the guide on the wire and therein keep the friction to a minimum. It will also reduce excess wear on the road suface.

Speaking of road surface, I have been thinking about the options for that. Faller do a paint which provides a texture, though probably quite expensive. Some time ago I bought some Fablon type self adhesive sheet with a matt black finish which might work, but the guides will probably scrape through it quite quickly. I have also looked at some aerosol type texture paints, but these actually look too coarse. So I will continue to look for what else might be available.

 

Lots more experimenting to do.

 

All the best

 

Ray

 

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24 minutes ago, wainwright1 said:

Can you advise me which kit that is, and do you have a picture from above showing the motor you have used and how it is mounted.

 

Hi Ray. It's a Marsden Models Leyland Leopard with ECW B51 bodywork. It doesn't have a motor inside the bus, as it's only meant to be dragged along by an under-board magnet.

 

Quote

What are the two things in the outer middle sections ? I would guess a reed switch for one of them, but the top one does not appear to have any wires. I assume that your battery will go in the middle ?

 

The electrical gubbins are just terminal blocks for wires to the various LED lights. There are four micro switches to control them. The battery goes in the middle as you say: 3x LR41 in a mode-made plasticard holder. When all the lights are mounted and wired up it becomes a horrendous spaghetti junction. On future models like the Metropolitan I'm planning to cut traces into a copper 'PCB' to cut down on the number of wires. The orange wire to the middle of the steering arm is the common pole for the indicator lights, so that they switch depending on the direction of steer.

 

Quote

Are the wheels the Little Bus Company ones that are a complete one pieces wheel and tyre ?

 

The wheels are supplied with the kit from Neil Mortson at Marsden Models. I'm not sure if he makes them himself or if they are from another supplier. From your description they sound very similar.

 

Quote

Lots more experimenting to do.

 

Truer words never spoken :). I'm hoping it will work as a moving model in the end, but if not it will still make a nice static addition to the layout. I hope you get yours working also as moving road vehicles really add to a layout I think.

 

I think the setup I have on this Leopard is a bit over-engineered and I doubt if I'll repeat some of it. The rear axle for example is split to mimic a differential when cornering, and is compensated like a model railway wagon to allow for any uneven surfaces. Comparing with the factory-built chassis I took off the Britbus Metropolitan, it seems none of this is necessary, and much less important than making sure the wheels run freely. The Britbus chassis has enough 'play' in the axles to provide compensation anyway.

 

 

Edited by Pillar
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I have seen some video of the Magnorail system which uses something similar to a plastic bicycle chain with magnets set into it at chosen points running in a dedicated channel below the road surface. Assuming the the magnets on the vehicles and in the chain are well matched, you can run quite a number of vehicles on it which will keep spaced and not catch each other up. The only issue I can think of is how flexible is the chain and can it go around in a circle or similar. I also thought that it appeared quite noisy.

 

All the best

 

Ray

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6 minutes ago, wainwright1 said:

I have seen some video of the Magnorail system which uses something similar to a plastic bicycle chain with magnets set into it at chosen points running in a dedicated channel below the road surface. Assuming the the magnets on the vehicles and in the chain are well matched, you can run quite a number of vehicles on it which will keep spaced and not catch each other up. The only issue I can think of is how flexible is the chain and can it go around in a circle or similar. I also thought that it appeared quite noisy.

 

The setup I've been experimenting with is similar but based on a plastic chain and sprocket system sold by EMA Model Supplies. It isn't intended specifically for moving model vehicles, but it's capable of doing so with magnets glued to the chain.

 

The chain is capable of going round very tight turns - so tight in fact that the vehicles can't steer enough and just end up skidding round. I need to get hold of some more chain and cogs to try and space it out around a more gradual loop; rather than a simple bike chain around two gears.

 

Unfortunately noise is indeed an issue. I'm using a geared motor (also from EMA) which has plenty of power, but is really too loud to use on a layout where I'm also intending to have sound fitted locos.

 

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6 hours ago, wainwright1 said:

I have seen some video of the Magnorail system which uses something similar to a plastic bicycle chain with magnets set into it at chosen points running in a dedicated channel below the road surface. Assuming the the magnets on the vehicles and in the chain are well matched, you can run quite a number of vehicles on it which will keep spaced and not catch each other up. The only issue I can think of is how flexible is the chain and can it go around in a circle or similar. I also thought that it appeared quite noisy.

 

All the best

 

Ray

For information, the recommended minimum curve radius for Magnorail is 7cm running in the normal track, but there is a special return wheel which allows a turn through 180 degrees with a radius of about 2.5cm. I use this at the ends of my N scale dogbone test set-up. It is not as noisy as a train hammering around at high speed, but often seems noisier on video because of way that small microphones seem to enhance the volume of the higher frequency sounds.

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I love the detailing and weathering on these vehicles, nice work.

A suggestion for grippy tyres. There is a product called Plastidip, its intended for providing a silicone rubber grippy coating for surfaces like pickup truck beds etc. But it works well as a coating for model wheels. Comes in clear as well as black, which allows you to use it more like a varnish and let a weathered colour come through. They do a small 250ml tin which will last forever.

I've used it on several of my OO radio controlled trucks.

Including, to refer to an earlier post on this thread, a Kiel Kraft B type bus which definitely does have enough space for steering. Especially if you add proper side rails under the running boards.

The Roden and WD models versions are probably similar.

 

Giles, in the radio control post has shared a simple design of front steering he has used on his OO RC trucks

 

 

I hope that helps.

Edited by otherplanet
Tweaked to be clearer about referencing
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I did think not so long ago of producing a universal chassis kit for r/c 4mm lorries etc, but I'm not sure it's worth the hassle. This is what it would have been 'made up'.  Still, it shows the front axle arrangement and motor drive arrangement. Servo control would have been up to the builder.

 

4mm chassis kit

 

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1 hour ago, otherplanet said:

I love the detailing and weathering on these vehicles, nice work.

A suggestion for grippy tyres. There is a product called Plastidip, its intended for providing a silicone rubber grippy coating for surfaces like pickup truck beds etc. But it works well as a coating for model wheels. Comes in clear as well as black, which allows you to use it more like a varnish and let a weathered colour come through. They do a small 250ml tin which will last forever.

I've used it on several of my OO radio controlled trucks.

Including, to refer to an earlier post on this thread, a Kiel Kraft B type bus which definitely does have enough space for steering. Especially if you add proper side rails under the running boards.

The Roden and WD models versions are probably similar.

 

Giles, in the radio control post has shared a simple design of front steering he has used on his OO RC trucks

 

 

I hope that helps.

That's very helpful.

 

Many thanks

Ray

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A few pictures of the Metropolitan's diminutive cousin: the MCW Metrorider.

 

This is the short version nearing completion from the Sunrise Models kit. Eventually it will be painted into the Wear Buses livery of the 1990s: like this one emerging from the murk of the old Sunderland Central Bus Station.

 

It's a static model only, so I get a welcome break from the complexities of steering mechanisms and indicators.

 

DSC_3757.JPG

DSC_3758.JPG

DSC_3759.JPG

DSC_3760.JPG

DSC_3761.JPG

DSC_3762.JPG

Edited by Pillar
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19 hours ago, Pillar said:

A few pictures of the Metropolitan's diminutive cousin: the MCW Metrorider.

 

This is the short version nearing completion from the Sunrise Models kit. Eventually it will be painted into the Wear Buses livery of the 1990s: like this one emerging from the murk of the old Sunderland Central Bus Station.

 

It's a static model only, so I get a welcome break from the complexities of steering mechanisms and indicators.

 

DSC_3757.JPG

DSC_3758.JPG

DSC_3759.JPG

DSC_3760.JPG

DSC_3761.JPG

DSC_3762.JPG

Wow, those lights are very impressive

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On 19/02/2021 at 12:12, Pillar said:

Thanks Ray. I'll take a look at it.

 

More gradual progress on the Metrorider below.

 

Cheers,

 

Liam

 

 

DSC_3766.JPG

 

DSC_3767.JPG

Coming along well. Please can I ask where you sourced the driver figure from? It looks very detailed.

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1 hour ago, birch1 said:

Coming along well. Please can I ask where you sourced the driver figure from? It looks very detailed.

 

It's from Modelu. It's sold as a train driver rather than for buses but I think the pose looks passable. They do have some dedicated bus driver figures but they're mostly for earlier eras.

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Now if you could turn back to the 1930's and produce some Dennis Aces, East Kent Coach with Park Royal bodywork, bus with Eastern Coachbuilders* or similar in-house bodywork and Maidstone and District with Harrington bodywork. Southern Vectis also had the Harrington bodywork and they were similar apart from the front blind box which was larger on the island ones. I did find a picture in a book which shows the back of two Vectis Aces parked in Cowes and one had a ladder up to the roof and the other had inset foot holes, so presumably there was more than one batch and they upgraded the specification ?

 

* Comparing pictures, I think that this version of Eastern Coachbuilders body was not quite the same as those which they fitted to the Eastern/Southern/Western National Aces. The M & D and Vectis ones look a bit squarer at the back end.

There is a preserved Southern Vectis example on loan to and on display in the Isle of Wight Bus Museum in Ryde.

 

All the best

Ray

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Way out of my era and setting I'm afraid Ray :lol:.  Looking at some pictures though it's definately an interesting prototype. I thought the minibus craze started with Deregulation, but this one was 50 years early.

 

I came across this website while reading that apparrently has some drawings of the ECW version: https://www.terrybloisbusdrawings.co.uk/900-999.html.

 

Cheers,

 

Liam

 

EDIT - Another version is listed on this page: https://www.terrybloisbusdrawings.co.uk/200-299.html

 

Edited by Pillar
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28 minutes ago, Pillar said:

Way out of my era and setting I'm afraid Ray :lol:.  Looking at some pictures though it's definately an interesting prototype. I thought the minibus craze started with Deregulation, but this one was 50 years early.

 

I came across this website while reading that apparrently has some drawings of the ECW version: https://www.terrybloisbusdrawings.co.uk/900-999.html.

 

Cheers,

 

Liam

 

EDIT - Another version is listed on this page: https://www.terrybloisbusdrawings.co.uk/200-299.html

 

Most interesting Liam.

I have not come across that website before, (there's so much on the internet), although I think that Terry Blois does attends the Model Bus Federation London Event at Ruislip some times and sells his drawings.

That Eastern Counties one looks a bit squarer than I thought it would be. But....

I just had a quick look on the internet. There does seem to be a bit of variation in the back end of these buses. Some have a fairly straight upright end, others have a curve inward towards the bottom and that Eastern Counties appears to curve outwards at bottom. I think that the curvature of the sides also come into play, so that when you see a bus in an angled side shot, you see a combination of the curve on the side and back together which makes it look more rounded.

All adds to the fun for the modeller.

 

All the best

 

Ray

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  • 1 month later...

Things have been a bit disrupted lately as I've mostly been painting 1:1 scale walls rather than 1:76 scale buses!

 

The Transit has been weathered and varnished, and is about ready for glazing with cutouts from a lemonade bottle.

 

The Metrorider is taking longer as the primer showed up a few imperfections which needed filling. Colour matching the Wear Buses green is also proving troublesome as the paint seems to turn duller over a few days as it fully cures. Initially I was happy with it but now I'm thinking of another coat in a lighter shade.

 

I'll post photos soon.

 

Cheers,

 

Liam

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