I've started work in earnest on Underhill Town. The baseboard is complete apart from the back scene supports but those are in hand. I also need to construct one more set of trestle legs.
It rests on the end of the quarry board with a single 2x2 leg and one of my standard trestles
The track plan was in my head but has now been transferred to the real world by laying out the track on the board and I'm pleased to say that it will nearly all fit as I hoped. The only facility I've had to scrap is a bay platform as the board isn't wide enough. I have all the track in hand except two pairs of left hand points. I also have all the electrics available; this board will have it's own controller so that a second operator could control the station if one was available. It also opens up the possibility of using Underhill Town on it's own with just a fiddle yard attached.
The town is raised above baseboard level by a couple of inches at the back and slightly lower at the front, this will slightly obscure the railway from the end on viewing position as intended. It will also be viewable from the long edge of the board in exhibitions where there is space for this.
The left hand end
The right hand end
It's all still to do but I'm happier that it can be done in the time frame, i.e. by the 20th of August...
Well, I'll have to make some progress now. Underhill and I have a booking for late August so today I removed the end of the station board and started laying out Underhill Town in earnest. I suspect that the board I have bought is slightly too short. I want the run round to be long enough for three PECO coaches and at the moment it will take two.
The remains of Underhill mk1
The new board resting in place.
I think I may add a foot more board as I will forever be disappointed if I don't. Not sure how much of the previous station sidings to remove or whether to just leave them as sidings for the town quarry. Anyway a start has been made which is good, now I have to get a shift on...
As part of my current 'finishing things' purge I've made some progress on a couple of locos and a coach.
Gloria has had a coat of matt varnish to calm the gloss paint down a bit and looks much better for it, a spot of subtle weathering and she'll be finished. The coach just appearing in the picture above is one of my PD VoR bashes and I have just changed the bogies to KATO ones which run much better than the supplied PD versions. I have these bogies under another coach which runs very well so I have been meaning to swap these over for a while. A brief test suggests success so I will convert the other coach in the same way. The only fiddly bit is gluing the new 009 couplers onto the n gauge shanks.
Coming along nicely is the Narrow Planet Hudswell Clarke which will be known as Alice. A working chassis has been cobbled together and basic paint work is complete.
My plan is to have her in Southern Railway livery as I think it looks quite like the L&B Manning Wardles only smaller. In my world the SR bought her for shunting and light duties in the early 1930s and come the auction when the L&B was shut Lord Stoner bought some rolling stock and this loco; I thereby have an excuse for running SR livery L&B stock and also having a small rake of re-liveried L&B coaches. My railway, my rules.
The other loco which has been in for a service is the rather tidy little Kerr Stuart alike from 2A-Rail. It is a 3D print on a Minitrains chassis but I had managed to get it to sit not quite level on the chassis. Having fettled it level I then found the rear coupler was too high so snapped it off and re glued it on at the correct height.
It needs a spot of paint on the rear buffer beam now but otherwise 'jobs a good un'.
The railway had a visitor this week in the form of a Minitrains Boehler loco in black which we now have back in stock. It is seen in the above picture with my modified one which started life as a green one. I prefer my one.
Alice is caught in a patch of sunlight, it looks rather stormy out to sea
I'm a bit of a lightening artist and so end up with half finished projects in draws and on shelves all over the place so yesterday I decided that it was time I sorted out a few locos that didn't run properly or had other problems.
First thing to do was to raise the height of the rear coupler on Gloria the new Hunslet. This was straight forward enough and all is now well. The only problem with Gloria echoes an issue that Jerry M had when it visited the FR a few years ago; the buffer beams are very low and bang into the platform. Jerry M snapped a bit off on the platform in Harbour Station but Gloria just gets wedged on Underhill. It is fine at Three Bridges and Rocky Beach so I'll just have to make sure Underhill Town platforms fit it ok.
Next on the list was the Farish 04 chassis under my EuroNG NS3. It never ran very well and I suspected that it was the usual Farish badly set pick ups. A quick dismantle and fettle up and all was well. I've never used this loco much so it may end up on the transfer list now it works ok.
Oberon had only ever ran intermittently which was annoying as I really like the look of the little loco. There was nothing wrong with the chassis when it was out of the body but as soon as it went back in it just hummed in an alarming way. I unbolted it and moved it back slightly and it ran which confirmed my suspicion that I had drilled the mounting hole slightly too far forward and the flywheel was binding on the inside of the cab. Fortunately I had drilled it so far forward that there was room for another hole in the right place without weakening the footplate. With this done all was well so a touch up to the paintwork and the crew back in place and some lamps in place and he was ready to join Titania for a picture.
A right pair of faeries
I'm not sure if I mentioned sorting out the fiddle yard physical connection but anyway I have so it now works properly and I have been, ahem, testing it. What absolute luxury, I've never had so much off stage space. I just need to make Underhill Town so the trains have somewhere decent to go to...