Sunday, 28 June 2009

A7 point kit

Where has this week gone...? It doesn't feel like over a week since I started this point kit. This weekend being first opportunity to pick this kit up again since the 18th. Thought I would put up a few more photos showing progress.... mainly for anyone who does not know these kits, or is hesitant about having a go.

This is what you get in the kit.

I had already started to solder a wire dropper onto the V before taking this photo. As with the previous kit I found the instructions to be daunting, along with seeing all the small chair components. When seeing the kit laid in the above photo there doesn't seem much to it.

I was not happy with using the plastic sleepers on the first kit. This must be something to do with reading Ian Rice's books on track construction and his use of ply and rivet construction, also due to my early results in staining wooden sleepers. I have been very pleased with the stained plywood sleepers and think I will find it very difficult in achieving the same result using plastic. So picking up from my last blog on this point kit I discarded the plastic sleepers.

I have purchased Templot software to help design the track plans for these projects and find it an intriguing piece of software. I thought I'd build this kit over a Templot template using wooden sleepers.

Above photo shows the V in place and so far so good. The plastic chairs seem to be sticking to the wooden sleepers well.

Apart from the sleeper spacing and overall length being different between Templot and the kit, there is also a difference where the V to closure rails end and start. I only realised this once the V was fixed. Don't think this will affect the points operation just the visual look. It was not until later that I spotted Martin's comments attached to my previous blog and read the form entries on this link to RMWeb.

This photo is showing the closure rails going in place.

Next day (Sunday morning) and daylight.... switch assembled.

At this point other events took control of the day. Not sure when I'll get back to this kit but hope to finish it during this next week. I've taken note of a comment re the check rail. It is thought that making the check rail live improves running though the point, something I hadn't thought of with these kits. Coming from Paxolin sleeper construction this was never a problem.

Being new to P4 standards (I really consider myself a novice to railway modelling - full stop), the questions that have been thrown up regarding these kits accurate are beyond me for the moment. Using these kits as supplied enables anyone to make a very functional P4 turnout that certainly looks the part. Exactoscale have got to be commended in bringing P4 standards closer to the masses. Beautifully made they give anyone, with a modicum of kit building experience, the capabilities of building P4 track. I need to finish the kit before deciding which standard to follow, Templot (reality) or Exatoscale (functionlity). In the end there will be few people that will be able to notice the difference. It will all be down to me accepting any inaccuracies.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

57xx coupling rods

Some Bill Bedford coupling rods for a 57xx arrived in the post this morning. Now I've got no excuse to complete the conversion. That's if I can work out how to put these coupling rods together!!!

I've found some assembly instructions for a NER E1 here on Bill Bedford's web site . This kit looks to have similar coupling rods to the 57xx so may be able to use these instructions as a guide.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Ultrascale order but more to the point

My Ultrascale order has arrived : P4 wheel conversion packs for a Bachmann Pannier and a Class 29. Hmmm ........ which one to tackle first.

While I am now excited by the thought of quickly having a P4 loco, I am also bathing in the success of the B7 point kit. So this evening I've made a start on the A7 kit but using wooden sleepers.

Templot template PVA'd to 3/16th balsa with the pre-stained sleepers.

Templot's sleeper spacing or the length of the point does not match the P4 Track Company's kit. Not sure that this will cause too much of a problem. I hope to be using Templot to build other points and the rest of the track so this should be a good starting point .... sorry about the pun.

All ready for tomorrow night...!

More posts will follow along with photographs hopefully in the next few days......
Sorry .... just noticed that posting date for this blog was wrong not sure how I manage to post this before I'd started doing it!! Amended posting date to 18/06/09 (20/06/09).

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

At last I've built it

Last night I finally finished my first B7 P4 Track Company point kit. I'm really pleased with the result and the crossing V seems to be OK. Ran a couple of wagons through the crossing V with no problems, nice and smooth. I still feel the V is out of specification but this does show that there are some tolerences within P4. Next test will be a six coupled loco.

I only broke one fishplate and lost one very small part chair component from the switch assembly. I also seemed to be two slide chairs and three S1 chairs short. Replaced most with spares that come on the sprues but had to resort to some C & L S1 chairs to finish the job. There are a few chairs that may need tweaking in the future but at the moment I am just pleased I've got this far.

Next task it to work out how to weather the sleepers to match the wooden ones I'm producing for the plain track. My first attempt is not good need to rethink colours and how to apply the paint. I also need to think about how to operate the point. Tortoise motors seem to be the favoured option and I've purchased a pack of P4 Track Companies base plates. Just need to purchased some motors.

Overall I think these kits are superb and more will be purchased, just a shame that the sleepers are plastic and not wooden.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

North Cornwall Railway (An Illustrated History of)

For anyone that is interested in the North Cornwall Railway this book has got to be part of their collection.

Bought by my partner as a birthday present, I have only, up until the last few days, scanned the pages. While I've been away I've started to read more and found this book to be a very in depth book on the NRC. Chapters cover the history of all stations from Okhampton to Padstow, including track plans and signal diagrams and a few drawings of typical structures. Also chapters on freight and passenger workings, and loco diagrams along with excellent appendices containing coach diagrams and timetables. Included throughout the book are many splendid photographs with very informative text, in many cases itemising train make up with coach numbers and freight descriptions. So far I have not read anything that might alter my proposed layouts or my alternative history for Grogley Junction but there is plenty of information that will help to enhance the project.

A truly excellent book.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Sunny weekend or a point kit. No contest.

Still not much practical progress on this project. Firstly, when starting my first B7 point kit from the P4 track company the crossing V seemed out of specification. Secondly the Pannier and Class 29 (22) wheel conversion sets have still not turned up. Thirdly my wargaming interests (MI Territorials and planning a game for last week) have recently had to take priority.

The point kit was a disappointment. One side of the V seems very tight and had this confirmed by a another Scalefour member. But after speaking to the P4 Track Company they assured me that the crossing V should be OK. So I put this last weekend aside to start the kit and hopefully complete it.

But how could I spend this last weekend indoors with the weather forecast and a suggestion that we might go camping. Out came the tent and we swanned off to the Lake District to spend a fantastic weekend bagging five Wainwright's (Cat Bells, Arthur's Pike, Loadpot Hill, Wither Hill and Steel Knotts).

Ullswater from Loup Knott on the way up to Arthur's Pike

On my return home Monday evening I set out the point kit, reread the instructions and put a little thought into how to match the plastic sleepers with wooden ones. Got stuck into the kit Tuesday evening. The V is in place complete with all chairs, sleepers painted but not sure I have achieved a good enough result. Then realised I should have soldered some wire droppers off the V before applying the chairs. Oh is said that success is buried in the garden of failure. I am learning as I go along. I'm now away from home until Friday evening and working this weekend but hope to find time to complete the point kit.

On the plus side I have just received a reply from my email to Ultrascale enquiring about my order and the wheel sets should be with me in the next couple of weeks. I've also ordered a few MJT components from Dart Castings for a some wagon kits I have to build and I hope to see these soon.