I can't believe that it has been well over a month since I've updated the blog, I've been busy at work but now we're locked down again I guess things will be quieter. Any which way up, I did change the scenic flavour of the field which had hitherto been a not very convincing sand dune. Fundamentally I just covered the sand in PVA and went for it with the static grass. I've left a path of sand which leads to the derelict building, it works well being underneath the grass. A definite improvement.
Next port of call was the new ROCO diesel chassis, I decided that one of the motor replacement kits from Tramfabriek might help, it was always a bit of a limping Lulu which I had put down to the poor quality of the ROCO motor.
However, having swapped it out for the new unit I was not happy to find that there was not much improvement. At first I just shrugged and put it to one side but it niggled at me that it didn't run properly despite being brand new with a good quality motor fitted.
I gradually dismantled the chassis to its component parts and inspected them closely for bits of dirt in the gears etc etc but there was nothing. After much head scratching and reassembling and disassembling, swearing and so on I finally found that one of the gears had a rough edge to the moulding which was rubbing on the chassis block. A quick smooth off and all was fine. The quality control at ROCO needs some work.
I added a handrail on the bonnet too, a set of plates will finish it off nicely.
Fourdees locos had always attracted me except for two reasons, They were too expensive; not in themselves but for my budget and the ones I could afford had KATO 103 chassis which I think are not nice. However they have recently started using 109s which Are very nice and have introduced a few new models which I could nearly afford. When I saw 'Elizabeth' I fell in love and pushed the boat out.
Here it is in action, despite being quite light it will still pull three PECO L&Bs up the line. It is a little shiny and I don't like the 3D printed dome which I have plans to replace with a brass one. To make it my loco I've removed the surplus air brake pump and added a little weathering, I'll probably give it a waft of Dulcote too once I change the dome. Otherwise a cracking loco which looks right at home on the island.
With added weathering and hauling the tramway coach converted from a Chivers Five79 Innisfail coach. More of this latter.
I mentioned my dislike of KATO 103s earlier and I have a gradual replacement scheme for the ones I have used in the past. One such replacement has been under the Omnidenominational, multi faith, mobile contemplation vehicle. This is a Rushby Resins kit and was actually on a 104 so I duly purchased a 110 to replace it, unfortunately the plastic superstructure of the new unit is slightly larger than its predecessor so some surgery was needed on both the KATO and the coachwork. I extended the bonnet slightly and carved away as much of the insides as I could; the end result is great and now runs nicely. I need to sort out the interior lighting now as the stained glass windows look good when illuminated.
The arrival of 'Elizabeth' and the Minitrains tram loco, 'Brigitte' have meant that the tramway origins of the IoSR are becoming more obvious. The long term plan for layout extension includes a section of roadside running as I have a bit of desire for this. As I mentioned the Innisfail conversion looks rather good with the new loco so I set about creating a whole train to suit. I started by converting the spare Dundas VoR van kit, somewhat inspired by David Taylor's 7mm vans, I used a NP balcony etch to give an outside balcony rather than the duckets of the kit as intended. I tried adding a lower footboard but ended up removing it as it didn't look right.
Here are the two coaches and the van, spoiling by painting awaits.
I always keep an eye on evilbay for interesting n gauge locos for a good price and this Minitrix dock tank popped up, I got it for a good price and it appears to be virtually brand new. All the gear train is nice and tight and the wheels are bright and shiny. My very first 009 loco which worked was one of these which I converted by making a new cab from styrene and adding a new chimney. Long gone now but it made quite a handsome looking loco and so I thought I'd have another go and see whether I'd got any better at it since 1975... possibly not.
First job was to remove the cab roof and side which just clip on, remove the buffers and chop the chimney and safety valves off. I also rubbed down the sides to get rid of the transfers. I remember on the original you could always see the shape of the BR crest and fleet number under the green paint.
Starting to add new bits from the odds and sods collection, so far so good. Cab next.