Time flies when you're having fun and also when an exhibition is hurtling towards an unfinished layout. Numerous things happened in this time space including the first part of a trilogy of articles being published in Narrow Gauge World. Part two is in the forthcoming issue and the third part is yet to be written as it is about finishing Underhill Town and exhibiting it. I need to check on the deadline as I'd like to take some pictures of the layout in the Wigan exhibition at the beginning of October.
Well Great & Small III came about and with some fudging and flexibility we fitted all the layouts in thanks to the easy going nature of most of the layout owners. This show organising is not good for my blood pressure but once it was all set up and working I had a nice weekend playing trains. I managed to acquire a spare operator at the BYG show in the person of Martin. It was really helpful to be able to leave the layout to make sure that all was well and to get some footage for the video of the weekend. I also had two roving cameramen out and about with the main video cameras. They got some cracking shots between them and the finished video can be seen here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FkyK2EOD7M Mostly the big trains but there is also a section about the layouts in the middle.
The whole empire up and running
Underhill Town in action
During the run of the show I had a few guests on the layout, starting with David Malton's pre production set of the new PECO tipper wagons. They were great and I look forward to getting a few for the layout.
Three wagons in a box, just right with Eigiau
A comparison shot with the classic ROCO wagons
At one point there was a line up of Narrow Planet Pamelas even though the red one, belonging to James Hilton is named Eleanor. The Blue one is Tim Easter's one and spent a while hauling trains - very smoothly.
Three little maids
On Sunday morning just as the show was getting underway, James and I were comparing Bagnalls on his lovely Creech Bottom layout and then things got really out of hand...
Twenty three Minitrains chassis under these babies, and there were quite a few more we could have collected up. I suspect between a few of us we are keeping Andreas in business.
The layout behaved itself pretty well apart from two point motors which half failed. I haven't tracked the problem down yet. I previously thought I had fixed the gremlin on one of them but after about half a day of operation it appeared again. I suspect that it might be a switch problem which means that I will have to carefully demolish some of the buildings and the road at the back of the layout. Bugger.
The only other real issue to make itself felt was the inability of PECO couplings to stay coupled. I suspect that this is a problem many people have experienced and it can be traced to the plastic, rather than metal loop part of the coupling. On perfect straight track they stay done up but as none of my layout really has either of these two qualities my PECO coaches were a pain in the bum. So post show I have added BEMO couplers to my rake of red L&B carriages and we'll see if that helps at Wigan. If so I guess it will have to be a program of replacement.
Needs a spot of paint on the microstrip used to strengthen the join.
Post show I've taken a bit of rest from modelling but in the last few evenings I've felt like it again and so I've put together the Colin Ashby coach kit I got from the 009 Society stand at the show. Nice little four wheeled open, reminiscent of FR Zoo Carrs but an exact copy, ideal for the IoSR.
Awaiting a roof and some people and paint
Station Road has had a gap in it so I decided that a warehouse in low relief would make a good gap filler. It was my daughter's birthday this week and a trip to Chester enabled me to pop into Chester Models and purchase some Ratio random stone sheet to build it out of. I ended up with 'n' gauge as they didn't have the right thing in 4mm scale but in actual fact I rather like the finer moulding.
Here is the unpainted warehouse
This is where the building will go
I've also filled in some ballast round the points but it needs toning down still
I still haven't found room in the shop for Lancey Brook so for now it is perched onto of the DVD printer and duplicator in my office.