Monday 15 October 2018

Carriage paid

I've been really busy at work so haven't done half the things I'd like to have done on the railway front but I have sneaked a few hours, here and there.
I've done quite a bit of 'testing' and found that a fair proportion of my rolling stock doesn't run very well so I've been modifying it to improve matters which isn't very visual but quite satisfying.
Also in using the fiddle yard I've found that a couple of changes would make life easier and I've made one of the changes which has added a second short, kickback siding. This will be useful for trams and rail lorries etc.
The other changes needed are to make section breaks in the two long sidings so that I can fit more trains with locos attached.
These two rail lorries are the full and half truckles used to transport cheese.
Previously the full truckle would not negotiate my curves but now all is well.
Peggy is my ROCO HF bash and after a clean and a run in is working fine

The bogie brake van never ran well on its PECO bogies as the wheels touched the floor, now it has KATO coach bogies it runs very freely.

My train of varied cattle wagons never ran anywhere as the clearances were too tight and they were poorly built but clearances are not and issue now and the chassis have been sorted out.

My little Jelly Models Badoni diesel

Even with the new improved clearances the steam tram was too tall so I moved the headlamp down and put the bell on the side of the roof and after a bit of repairing the roof all is well. I really like the tram and I'm glad that I can now run it and that the O&K tram coach makes a happy trailer for it.

I've finished the modifications to my second Bachmann Baldwin. It started life as a 778 and is now called Marina. Apart from name plates over the painted numbers it has lost its headlights and gained some coal 'greedy rails'. These are made my usual way from the etched brass slatted seats from Langley Models L&B coaches. A very hand etch is available with the seats and a pile of coach door handles. Crew from Preiser and an RT models jack finish off the mods. After that it was just some nasty weathering so it sits well with Clarice my Hummy rename.

I have a new indoors work bench. It is a bed tray from LIDL. I bought it with building a small layout on it in mind but it is just too small for what I wanted but sits happily over my lap on the sofa.

The first project to be completed on the new tray is a Meridian/Narrow Planet TR coach kit. I've used the Patented Prof Insley bog roll roof technique, which is still unpainted here.

Here the roof is painted but still unattached as glazing and passengers are needed to complete it.

Tuesday 25 September 2018

A few bits and bobs

Having been very busy at work over the last couple of weeks I haven't found much time for railway modelling, however I had a day off yesterday and ticked off a few jobs from the never ending list. The first of which was to finish the wiring for the fiddle yard, this was relatively simple as I just needed to wire in a couple of section switches and a feed. I may add a couple more section breaks on the two sidings which are the full length of the board as nearly every train is about half the length of the board.
Fiddle yard during 'testing'

Clarice passing what will be the beach

The full truckle, cheese rail lorry in action. One happy result of curve easing on the new arrangement is that this peculiar thing will now happily run the length of the line.
A few weeks ago I acquired a strange plastic toy/static model of a Garratt with the vague idea of converting it for 009 use. The static wheels are to 9mm gauge but what scale the thing is supposed to be, I couldn't say. The cab doors are about the right height for a 3.5mm person to stand in them. Anyway I contemplated putting 2 of those little Japanese Tsugawa (?) chassis under it but it would require an awful lot of re building and to be totally honest I get my fill of real NG Garratts at work.
Taking it apart, several options are revealed. Use the cab and boiler bit for a conventional loco... use the cab and the water tank as a little i.c. loco... It's in a box at the moment and will probably stay that way for now. A last ditch idea was to paint it with rust and park it at the end of a siding - awaiting work.
In bits
As a little i.c.
You may have spotted in the above picture that there is a ghostly simplex too. This is a 3D print which will sit on a Portram chassis, I know I have one somewhere but I'm buggered if I can find it. I've filled the engine cover with liquid gravity and once the chassis is fitted there might be some room for a few little bits of lead. I'm not a big expert on Simplexes but it will look close enough for me.
At our recent Super Power event I invited the lovely chaps from Narrow Planet to attend and it would have been rude not to make a purchase so I bought a TR coach will I started to put together last night. Nice clean castings and some delightful cast brass buffers which I probably won't fit. It should go nicely with my little rake of 3D printed Ratty style coaches, so it will be painted in faded green and wood rather than TR red and wood. I suspect a couple more might be needed and I've always loved the TR brake van...

Monday 3 September 2018

Fiddling while flux burns...

A very weak title, however I have now installed the old fiddle yard board and re arranged the track on it. I still need to do some wiring and the lighthouse board requires wiring up properly but fundamentally I have a whole train set. I feel some 'testing' is required.
Woodwork complete
The old track plan

The new track plan
In the relaying I've gained a long siding and lost the terrible join between the fiddle yard and the cheese factory board that is no more.
I think the next thing to do is to have a massive clear up of all the accumulated tools and clutter so that I can actually see what I'm up to and stop tripping over the piles of cack all over the garage.

Thursday 30 August 2018

The Sky at night

For once I'm trying to build this bit of railway in a roughly sensible order so I thought the next bit to do was to fit a backscene. I didn't want it to have a right angle in the sky so I bought a sheet of hardboard with a white side. I didn't know you could get such a thing but it turns out you can. I should have bought two sheets as I couldn't finish the job but the I did the tricky bit.

Plan A is to get a printed backscene to go here.

Meanwhile in Parrott Cutting there is a footbridge to get access to the UFO club

I spent a couple of happy evenings sofa bound modelling converting the famous Russian mediaeval rowing boat into a little fishing boat.
Clarice now complete with nameplates.

Sunday 26 August 2018

Siding sliding

It has been a busy week at work so I didn't get out to the layout very much but I did get some virtual modelling done in my head. One thing I did do was to marry up the fiddle yard from the exhibition version to the new version... basically it will need considerable work as it was round the other way and had to lines entering it before. Not the end of the world as it should all be re useable.
The fiddle yard

Having started wholesale dismantling of the old beach board I have tried this building next to The Parrot Inn. I really like it and so the bakery has crossed the street which also scales better there.
I had originally planned to have the siding for the lighthouse coming from a point immediately by the join to the fiddle yard but looking at the whole picture I decided that it would be better as it has ended up in the picture below. I have also moved the mainline a couple of inches onto the board which will help the fiddle yard alignment and also allow the back scene to have a space behind it so that the light switches can be operated.

Points installed and all wired up - needs a small control panel now

The view past the pub to the lighthouse

Lighthouse halt

Oh, and I wiggled the light over the gents and it came back on... hurrah.

Tuesday 21 August 2018

And what's more...

Two posts on one day! Outrageous.
Anyway, I got a chance to pop back out to the garage and in that time I decided that the passing loop was a step too far and so I just laid two meters of track which gets me almost to the fiddle yard join.

With the power reattached to the track a quick test with the MW and all is good. Fun with scenery and a rebuild of the fiddle yard next. Sadly I have to go to work tomorrow...

Board by the sea

I had to take a day off work today as the immersion heater had packed up but with an early start I got that sorted by 11.30 so I decided to crack on with the layout.
So the next phase is to add the replacement beach board, I've tried to find all sorts of ways to incorporate the original, exhibition unit but it is about a foot too long for the space available and it needs to go round a right angle bend to access the fiddle yard. I also needed to remove the sharp reverse curve that was hidden by the tunnel as it was too sharp for the L&B Manning Wardle. So out with the Dremmel and a hammer and it was demolition time. It always seems a bit radical and drastic to be chopping up scenery but I've got quite good at joining up the old and new bits. Fingers crossed anyway.

The hill as it was...

The hill as it is now

Next came my least favourite bit of layout building, the woodwork. I've been planning what to do for a while so it was just a question of chopping up some wood and screwing and gluing it into the vague shape I had in mind.

It all seems to have gone quite well and now I have a baseboard to play with. The beach will slope away to the back as before but there will be slightly less of it as the hill needs to continue and then turn into the beach.

Plan A was to have a passing loop at the end of the scenic section so that I could still operate the layout without the fiddle yard attached but this reduces the running line even further so I think this is going to get ditched. The halt will have a siding for the lighthouse though.

The new baseboard, quite exciting.

Monday 20 August 2018

Lights, camera, action!

I've finally bitten the last wiring bullet and added a few more street lights and illuminated The Black and White Cat pub. I'd always planned for it to be lit internally so had lined it with black card and left some windows clear so it looks like some rooms are occupied and others not. I put a strip of three LEDs inside and it is quite effective. The only problem with all these lights is that they all need wires to them and it caused a bit of a rats nest.

The Rat's nest
The newly lit up pub
With all the wiring in place I have been able to restore Station Road and glue all the buildings etc back in place. Some new greenery and a bigger tree next to the skool have improved the look of the area so now I can move onto the next bit of scenery and add plaster bandage etc.



Thursday 9 August 2018

The road less travelled

After getting a blister on my thumb from the appropriately named hot glue gun, I had a bit of sulk and didn't do much. However I had a couple of hours this morning with time to kill so I popped out to the garage.

I realised that somehow I'd managed to cut a wire feeding power to the quarry points so I started the day with some excavation of scenery as I had a feeling that I had snapped a wire in my enthusiasm. It turned out I was correct so after a quick mend, all was well.

Being careful not to glue my sore thumb again, I put the scenery back together again. Back to square one.

The  next thing to do was to start joining the old road to the new bit. I've been hoarding some textured stone set sheets and so I cut those to size and shape and with a few more squirts of glue gun it was done.