Sunday 26 February 2012

Painted Tram

The last couple of evenings have seen the paint brushes hard at work on the driving trailer and it is pretty much finished. There are still some touching up bits to do but I'm pretty happy with it. I haven't worked out a coupling for them yet as the buffers are purely decorative, I think they are Mikes models Talyllyn coach mouldings. Both Nursie and Queenie my two railcar sets have a similar arrangement and are linked with a length of stiff wire which pivots on both vehicles. Pulling is no problem and because the wire is stiff pushing is fine too, they are both quite light though so this may present more problems.

I've been designing a portable layout for them to run on too, nothing huge but something I can use at exhibitions and to play with in the house. It will be the Underhill branch terminus of the Northern line on the Island which the trams were designed to serve. I'm looking at two boards which will fit in the back of the Focus and form a self protecting box for travelling. It will be an L shape with the main station and the 'Town Quarry'  on one board and some countryside and the fiddle yard on another. the plan is to keep it simple but to be varied enough to keep operation interesting.

Wednesday 22 February 2012

Finishing the tram and starting another one

Yesterday evening I added all the bits and bobs to the steam tram (except nameplates) so it now has a whistle and a bell, coal and a water filler and pipe to the under floor tanks.

Then I started the driving trailer, it went together pretty easily and having just built one I had the basic idea of what goes where. By bed time I had a basic body and roof complete with seating. Not much more to do to it except add a few bits like some controls and a couple more lengths of microstrip.

Monday 20 February 2012

Painted Tram

The tram is pretty much finished, the roof is still loose but is a reasonably good fit so I may leave it like that for now. I may paint the boiler barrel as it does vanish rather with the lid on.

The name on the roof was made in Publisher and printed out, cut to shape and stuck on with PVA. It has been pointed out that this is only a single ended unit and so will need turntables or a driving trailer to pair it... I do have another VoR kit and some other bits and bobs so I suspect that this may come to pass. Which has the effect of finishing one project from the pile and adding another to it. Lucky I like building trains.

I want to add some works plates so a missive to Narrow Planet is in order, it also needs a slight bit of tarting up of the roof paint but I've run out of Bleached Bone. It will also need some weathering on the roof and I know somewhere I have a turned brass whistle to mount on it somewhere, maybe some more pipes in the loco bay and some coal and a water filler.

Sunday 19 February 2012

Steam Tram

You know how it is, I've got a layout to build, 0-8-0 Hunslet to finish, carriage to finish, various other projects to finish etc etc. So I build a steam tram instead. I convinced myself that it was an unfinished project... well i did have all the bits and it was something I'd been meaning to do for a while. I started a similar thing when I intended to have the overhead electric branch, I would have finished it but it didn't go round the corners, now I've eased the corners this one will fit however it needed to be diesel or steam powered. Steam is nicer.

The main body is a Parkside Dundas VoR carriage chopped about and mounted on a KATO chassis. I can't remember the serial number but it is a powered coach from a Japanese modern train. The chassis is very flat, having a motor with flywheel in the middle and both bogies driven by flexible shafts, it runs very smoothly.

The locomotive is a selection of bits from the big box of stuff with a biro for the boiler barrel with some Evergreen strip making the firebox.

The roof is made from 2mm Evergreen sheet and various sizes of strips. It is laminated and forms a pretty stiff structure which fits snugly inside the top of the tram. I've left a hole for the loco fittings as it seemed easier than drilling holes which would inevitably end up in the wrong place.

The sides of the roof will have either adverts or the railway name on them. Spoiling by painting next, then I can add people and stick the roof in place. I'm pleased with it so far but of course there is plenty of time to spoil it yet.

Thursday 9 February 2012

Making tracks

I've found sound time today and have finally started to lay some new track. I had to cut the rear platform line back somewhat to get an undamaged bit to join new track to. When I originally ripped up the old loop points and part of the loop I pulled the rail out of the chairs but all is now nicely connected up. The new platform lines and the goods loop are nailed down and cut to length, I need to make holes in the baseboard for the point motors, but before I attach these I will wire them up to make life easier at the control panel end.

One up shot of laying the track this far is that I can now work out where the river bridge needs to be and build appropriate abutments and then make the river bed before I install the bridge and make life difficult for myself as usual.

Sunday 5 February 2012

Moving and grooving

Well, as I suggested yesterday I got up early and had a major sort out in the garage which will allow the re-positioning of Port Lucy and the attendant lengthening of the run. It will add a good six feet to the run and will also make my train set bigger, which can't be bad.

The bridge is now painted, weathered and sporting the decorative doodah on the arch.

I may get some time to start laying the track now... then again.

Saturday 4 February 2012

Hmm, been thinking...

I've been having a think about gradients and all the advice I've had about it. I was originally planning to drop about 2 feet in too short a distance so I've been scratching my head about how to gain some more distance and I think I've cracked it. I've done a sort of a plan but basically if I re arrange the other side of my garage I can take the line round the end of the room on a removable bridge past the door and have Port Lucy on the opposite side of the room from St Ruth. This will give me an extra 6 feet or so of main line and it can be higher up as there won't be layout above it. It will also leave extra room for carriage sidings and a loco shed where Port Lucy was previously to be.