Friday, 31 December 2010
My method is nothing ground breaking, all ideas have been borrowed from other modellers. I decided at an early stage to adopt Tortoise point motors and install all motors under the baseboard using Exactoscale's Tortoise Mounting Plates which gave me the horizontal motion. I just needed to decide on how to transfer this horizontal motion vertically through the baseboard to the switch blades.
Also a couple of guys stated that on their P4 layout they used 16.5mm as the distance between switch blades. This sounded too narrow to me but in checking dimensions it seemed OK for the centre to centre measurement between blades. My rough calculations are - P4 standards state a distance of 17.47mm between outer faces of the check rails - in reality on my points this has become 17.38mm - minus 0.9mm for width of rail gives a nominal 16.5mm. No doubt purists will put me right but at the moment it seems to work for me.
Hopefully the diagram below will help to explain the following verbal description.
I've used 0.5mm brass wire for the wire droppers soldered to the blades. Both wire droppers are bent slightly so that they are vertical to the centre of the blade when they pass though the baseboard. I then drilled the motion arm from the Tortoise mounting plate with two 1.5mm holes at 16.5mm centres. The hole was drilled to pass though the arm. Into each hole I then glued a 13mm length of 1.5mm brass tube. An 18mm length of 1.0mm brass tube, with an internal dimension of 0.5mm, was then soldered into the 1.5mm tube (18mm being the distance from the base of the motion arm to the top of the balsa wood track base). When installed, this will leave just the 0.5mm brass wire passing though the ballast layer. To help with installation when threading the motion arm onto the wire droppers under the baseboard, I cut the wire droppers to different lengths, 24mm and 22mm. When fitted, the wire droppers will protrude through the motion arm which means that the motor cannot be directly under the point but will be offset to one side of the point under the baseboard.
It is all very simple really..........that is, once you know what to do, what to use and how to use it.
Wednesday, 29 December 2010
We have spent the last few days away visiting family but in quiet moments I've managed to skim read through most of the book, picking out a number of helpful tips in the process. I will need to read the book in more depth but it comes across as one that any budding P4 modeller (or possibly any modeller) should have in their collection. It is especially useful for myself due to the area in which St. Merryn is based covering many aspects that I need to consider: differences in track in the area; LSWR tiebars; Bachmann 45xx conversion to P4; Airfix 'B' Set conversion/detailing; Cornish hedges; layout lighting; and stock boxes being just a few. St. Merryn is a fine example of P4 modelling by an accomplished group of modellers and the book is written in a easy friendly style that should encourage rather than discourage. If it had gone into more detail it may have become a tome of information but unfriendly, certainly to the P4 newcomer. It is one book in my library that will not spend much time on the shelf.
The second book that Santa brought me was Colin Marsden's, 'The Diesel Shunter'.
This was a book that I discovered a couple of months ago while kicking my heels in Lincoln waiting for a new timing belt being fitted to my car. Apparently fitting the timing belt was a specialised job requiring special tools which non of my local garages had, so a trip to the main Peugeot dealer was arranged. I had to wait about 4 hours and while browsing W.H. Smiths I came across the above book. Having very little knowledge of anything relating to BR shunters, knowing I will need an 03 and an 08 for Tredethy Wharf, I immediately thought 'I need that one'. Unfortunately the dust jacket was damaged so, noting down the ISBN number, it was one destined for my Amazon Wish List. Then, when searching on Amazon, I realised that it was out of print...... second hand fetching a price far higher than its RRP. After mentioning this to my partner she came up trumps again by making a visit to W.H.Smiths to purchase the book, apparently getting a good discount in the bargain.
The little lady is a true treasure.
Friday, 24 December 2010
While waiting for the above orders to arrive a WWII war game was arranged. This awoke some interest in looking though my mass of unpainted lead and I was side tracked a little by a couple of gaming projects. First a building that had been languishing in a box for many a year. I slapped a little paint on it and after gaining a feeling of achievement, I then picked up a second building to complete. One thing led to another and before I knew it I'd also started and finished a German artillery unit. Wargaming has definitely taken a back seat during this last year and I was gradually loosing interest in picking anything up to paint or finish off. So it was good to get stuck into some old projects that had been hanging around for far too long. I think it has also helped to clear and refocus my mind on the railway project. As they say 'a change is as good as a rest'.
With a little bit of luck I'm back on track (pun intended). I'm definitely not on schedule as I had hoped to have finished laying the track during Christmas with wiring completed and something running. I have made a start on finishing the switch blades for the second point, and now the extra bits from Exactoscale have arrived, I can start on the final point. A little progress has also been made on the 7 plank wagon but not enough to shout about. I've also been looking at some Bill Bedford W irons to see where I've gone wrong in folding them, more of which later........
May I thank all who have read this blog during the last year and for the encouragement and comments left. I truly hope you all have a happy and memorable Christmas.
Friday, 29 October 2010
Not sure if this has been done before but it is only a twist on the plywood and rivet method. At the baseboard edge, holes have been drilled through the plywood sleepers, and through the balsa underlay into the plywood track base. Then 20mm long panel pins have then been pushed and lightly tapped into place.
Pin heads were cleaned with a light rubbing of a file and then tinned with a little solder. The underneath of the rail was also cleaned with a file and tinned before soldering the two together. I still need to apply cosmetic chairs to cover the joints. My soldering technique has been a little dodgy of late but after a little demonstration the other evening from a P4 area group member (Gordon), I'm hopeful that these joints will hold.
As can be seen from the above photo, I'm going to trial plastic chairs glued directly to plywood sleepers on the opposite side of the baseboard joint to this point. If these fail I can always revert to another method..............
Saturday, 23 October 2010
I was at Grimsby library today to peruse a photographic exhibition put on by North East Lincolnshire Photographic Society. There were some fine photographs on display all by local amateur photographers. While browsing some posters in the entrance to the library I noticed the following event that might be of interest to some locals in the North Lincolnshire area.
At Cleethorpe's Memorial Hall on Thursday 11th November there is a 'Grand Film Show' titled 'Railways Remembered - Along LNER Lines'. Starting time 7:30pm but cannot remember who is presenting the show nor the ticket price. I remember the poster stating that the film show has a special tribute to the GCR and something about Immingham Docks, possibly the opening ceremony in 1912.
I've searched the web to check my memory and found nothing about this event.......typical.... should have taken a photo of the poster.
Sorry about only having half the information.....hope the info is of use to someone.
Saturday, 16 October 2010
On arriving home yesterday evening I had the surprise of finding a nice bulky envelope containing two Ultrascale wheel conversion packs. One for another Bachmann 8750 Pannier (to be 4694) and other for a Bachmann Class 08 Shunter. Better get my next order placed......... AND place my order for some 08 cranks that are being etched by my local P4 area group (Hi guys... could I have three sets please?).
As for progress on the layout............. my evening modelling time has again been difficult to find recently but track laying is progressing on the plank, all be it very slowly. One thing I've been struggling with is how to secure track at baseboard joints. I've been mulling over options and it looks like I'm going to trial at least three different methods.....
Method 1) At the joint at one end of the layout I'm trying C&L's Baseboard End Track Protectors. They look like they will work well but I'm a little concerned about the width of these protectors and the difficulty in disguising them. At the end I've chosen they are the perfect width for soldering the running rail and check rail to. This end they will also vanish under a covering of hard standing. I may be able to disguise them at the opposite end of the layout but at the middle joint I'm not sure how I can without extending the hard standing area across the baseboard joint.
C & L Baseboard end track Protectors (C1012)
Method 2) One suggestion that has been made by a member of my local P4 group is copperclad sleepers and brass chairs. At the moment I'm not that keen as, so far, no matter how hard I've tried I have not yet been able to paint a copperclad sleeper to match the wooden ones. I'm still going to give this method a trial on the layout though.
Brass chairs and copperclad sleeper
Method 3) I'm also thinking about hammering some panel pins into the plywood track sub-base through pre-drill wooden sleepers. Rail can then be soldered to the head of the pin and cosmetic chairs applied.
I'm now going to set myself up to be shot down in flames by all those who have much more experience than me. So here goes............
Method 4) With all the above said I still have a thought about using plastic chairs glued to wooden sleepers at baseboard joints. My theory is.....as the glue joint between chair and sleeper will be a weak point any damage should at least leave the sleeper and ballast intact. The above three methods would possibly stand rougher handling but any damage might be drastic. Not only would there be damage to rail and chairs but there might also be damage to sleepers, ballast and possibly the balsa underlay. With plastic chairs any damage should only require the rail and any damaged chairs removed then new rail and chairs installed. Hmmmm..... not sure if I'm brave enough to give this a try though................ I'll wait for the sound of those guns being fired..........
Hopefully with the longer evenings setting in I'll manage a few more hours each week and a few photos of my meagre progress.
Friday, 15 October 2010
The first anomaly was the Up 11:30 goods train passing the ACE between Launceston and Tower Hill. This must have been a problem created by using timetables from different periods. I've altered the timing of the goods slightly by shortening its stay at Launceston so that it reaches Tower Hill just before the ACE. Not sure if this is correct so if anyone has a 1961 goods timetable for the line please let me know.
The second anomaly was with the Down 7:15 Halwill departure which, when compared to other down trains, seemed to take too long to travel between Tower Hill and Launceston. I've double checked the 1961 timetable and the times are correct. My only assumption is that the timetable does not show the arrival time at Launceston it only shows the departure time. So I've altered this to have a 13 minute stop at Launceston, to drop off newspapers and parcels.
Neither of the anomalies have affected what I'm trying to do at Grogley Junction and the surrounding area but I like to try to get things as correct as possible with what information I can find (please note I did say 'try').
The thought of creating a time/distance graph had not occurred to me until Micky suggested it in a recent comment. Creating one has shown how valuable these graphs are to confirm timings for timetables. From now on I'll be trying to use one or more time/distance graphs while creating a timetable for the local workings around Grogley Junction.
Saturday, 2 October 2010
His layout is called Winterschlef-Rhb and is based on the Engadine line in Switzerland. The scale is 1:45 (Continental O) with track gauge set at 22.5mm to represent Swiss metre-gauge track. All buildings are scratch built and are based on structures either on the line or in the vicinity.
Interestingly for me is that he has recently converted the layout from DC to DCC. I can see the potential for adding operational interest on layouts larger than my Tredethy Wharf. Also, the ease of use and extra features that DCC can bring ...... hmmmm .... it's not something I can justify the investment on at the moment but will definitely have to consider it in the future.
PS - I do apologise for the spelling and grammatical errors previously in this posting. My only excuse is that it had been a long day with a 5:15 alarm call!
Thursday, 30 September 2010
Best in show for me, and I know I'm very biased in my selection because of the subject matter, has to be St. Merryn. I think the overall feel and consistent standard of modelling across the layout from the South London Group is excellent. They also seem a down to earth friendly bunch and with the publication of their book they are sharing the trials and tribulations during the layout's construction.
St. Merryn is closely followed by Wheel Elizabeth, Horsley Bank and Portchullin as my favourite exhibits. What can I say that has not been said about Wheel Elizabeth....... not a lot apart from "superb".
Initially I wasn't sure about Portchullin but the more I looked the more I liked. It has a openness / remoteness about it which, though I have not been to the area, placed me up there in Scotland.
Finally I have to mention Bank Hall Sidings which was at the show as a 'Guest Gauge of the year' layout. This was the first S gauge layout that I've seen for a while and certainly the first that was this complete. A very high standard of modelling with everything scratch built.......!
My thanks must go to the organisers of the show who organised and ran a fine show. My pass-out is already signed for next year when I might try and spend two full days there.
Thursday, 23 September 2010
I am quite excited by this little project..... more updates to follow...............
Monday, 20 September 2010
References used have been a SR British Railways' timetable for 1961; timetables published in "An Illustrated History of the North Cornwall Railway" (Irwell Press); engine diagrams and timetables in "The Bodmin & Wadebridge Railway" (CFD Whetmath, Forge Books).
I am also hoping that the timetables will help to curtail random purchases, and enable me to work towards a stock list that is relevant for the whole project. Since creating the images for posting I've discovered photographs showing a couple of different train make-ups that will alter the entries slightly within the above timetable headings. These are still a work in progress...........
Timetables for all the local workings between Padstow, Bodmin, Wenford plus the fictitious workings to Mawgan Porth and Par are also being worked on. This is being a more difficult task than the above and will take a number of lunch breaks over the next couple of months before it's in a readable state. Once done I'll be able to work on and justify track plans for any proposed station/junction in my alternative universe.
Friday, 10 September 2010
As a slight distraction and with the encouragement of a recent article in the MRJ 200, I've picked up the RCH PO wagon again. A few months ago I'd put this wagon to one side after becoming dissatisfied with my attempt at painting the internal planking. It has been a long time since I've used enamels as all my wargaming painting has been with acrylics. The other barrier has been a mental one about painting a weathered wood effect. In my OO/EM days I'd made a few attempts at this and tried to represent replaced planks, and I never really captured the effect I was after.
Mulling things over I'd started to consider using acrylics when MRJ 200 arrived with the excellent article by Craig Welsh. This lead to a quick purchase of paints followed a couple of hours work, and I'm starting to feel I'm getting somewhere.
It's early days yet........ the planking needs toning down a little with grey washes; the metal work needs rust applying; the whole wagon needs weathering; need to apply running numbers...... but over all I am now feeling more confident about painting wooden wagons. Thanks Craig.
Saturday, 14 August 2010
Boscarne Junction with a view of a short clay train from the guards van taken in 1982 here which also shows excellent detail/condition of the inside of a empty clay wagon.
Bodmin General with empty clayhoods here
Pencarrow Woods water trough here This is the first photo I've seen without a train in shot. Must have been taken from a Guards van.
Dunmere level crossing here
I like the last two photographs as they do show the intimacy that this line had with its surroundings. I do hope I will be able to portray this intimacy on Tredethy Wharf.
Saturday, 7 August 2010
- Holidaying in a leaking tent.
- Doing some more work on the garden project.
- Painting and basing new elements for my 15mm Napoleonic Austrian army which were used for an inaugural game in my regular opponents new gaming room.
- Track laying being started on Tredethy Wharf with the first point in position and the Tortoise point control mechanism in place under the baseboard (motor still to be installed).
- Legs being constructed for the two scenic boards for Tredethy Wharf and nearly completed.
So very steady progress is being made on the layout but, at the moment, not enough to really shout about.
Thursday, 15 July 2010
Last Saturday a group of us spent a most enjoyable day at a devout Great Central Railway modeller's house in Oughtibridge. After seeing Bridgehouses at Wakefield North show this year I was intrigued to go along and see his model of Brackley. On the other hand I was hesitant as Bridgehouses is far beyond anything I could expect to build myself and felt I would be way out of my depth in such company. Also being the new boy to P4, with little knowledge of things GC and being a BRWR devotee with SR leanings, I did wonder what my reception would be ....... but I needn't have worried as I was made to feel extremely welcome.
A few of the guys had taken locos to run around Brackley to run them in a little. One loco on test was a J63 which received a lot of praise. This is a loco that I was unfamiliar with but I do like the smaller 0-6-0 tanks, especially with outside cylinders. At the other end of the scale someone else also brought along a Robinson 04 which, when pulling a rake of coal wagons, looked the part and well at home running through Brackley. What I got out of the day more than anything is seeing and hearing how others tackle and solve problems. This was all helped by seeing someone else's layout in the flesh, part complete, in the nude if you like. I do find it difficult to engage exhibitors across a layout at an exhibition while they are busy operating, trying to entertain the punters, even at Scalefour Society exhibitions. I came away from the day wanting to crack into track laying on Tredethy. I was also encouraged by all the talk to start on one of my loco kits. Which one to get to grips with first is the question? The High Level 03 chassis is favourite, but I do fancy giving the Nu-Cast 16xx a go. The DJH 1366 will have to wait until I've built up some confidence and it is all to do with confidence........and after that Saturday I have a little bit more confidence to have a go.
Just about to leave for a few days up in the Lakes then back to a little more work on the Garden Project but I'm sure I will find a few hours to get to grips with some modelling, I can't wait.
I know this will not be read by the host or his wife but I'd like to publicly thank them both for the day and their hospitality. Many thanks.
Thursday, 8 July 2010
On the plus side.......I was able to complete all sleeper laying for the plain track before the layout boards were put into storage while the visitor is with us. I have also been able to test a couple of old AMR handheld controllers at this week's meeting. They worked but not as well as a Gaugemaster W handheld unit. So the two AMR controllers will do for now but I'll have to save a few pennies for a Gaugemaster controller in the future. I've also received a recent order from Squires for brass tubing and rod for point control, wire, switches, solder etc. for the layout. So when the layout does come out of storage I hope I can press on fairly quickly with track laying and wiring.
Wednesday, 16 June 2010
At this point I was looking at an old Mikes Models LSWR buffer stop while waiting for the glue to go off under weighted down sleepers. I could vaguely remember purchasing a buffer stop many years ago but was starting to think I'd lost it. The previous evening, after one last ditched attempt at searching for it, I eventually found it in one of the many boxes of old railway stuff in the roof. In checking out what buffer stops were used at Wenfordbridge and Wadebridge it should be OK for the siding at Tredethy Wharf.
Thursday, 10 June 2010
I'm using Exactoscale 1.6mm thick sleepers hoping I'll get some good variation of depth to the ballast. May well be extravagant and use wooden sleepers even where they will be completely covered by roadways and hard-standing in the Wharf area. Initially I'd purchased some copper clad sleepers for these areas. Now my thoughts are as the hard-standing looks like it was compacted earth, not completely up to rail height, tops of chairs and sleeper edges may well be seen in places.
(Note to self - Staining recipe used for this batch : 100ml water + 100ml isopropyl alcohol + 4ml black ink + 5ml sepia ink - each sleeper individually dipped quickly and shaken)
Saturday, 29 May 2010
Wednesday, 26 May 2010
Apart from a fettle with some Bill Bedford W Irons, progress on the layout has been at a standstill from mid April through most of May. Work and social commitments have taken their toll, along with yet more furniture moving and rearrangements. This is all down to my daughter moving out into a flat and the rest of my partner's furniture coming out of storage. With all this going on I had to, yet again, reluctantly loose my 'man space' in the garage. But the upshot of all this is that I've negotiated some space for the layout in the house!
The baseboards for Tredethy Wharf now reside on a bench in what has become my 'man space' in the house. There's not enough space for the eventual complete layout, only the two scenic boards (beggars can't be too choosy) but this has enabled me to dabble a little on the layout for the last couple of evenings.
A while back I mentioned to the local P4 group that I was planning to use cork for the track bed. I was immediately informed that Balsa wood is starting to be recognised as a better material for the track base. Holes have been cut through the ply baseboard under the tie-bar locations for point control and 5mm Balsa has been glued in position. One part completed turnout has also been dropped into place. I was hoping to get the track plan glued in place but I've been side tracked a little this evening staining some sleepers.
The next update should show some good progress........
Monday, 10 May 2010
If my little project comes close to this standard I will be well happy.
Monday, 26 April 2010
The second is a passenger ticket for the goods only Wenford Bridge line. As my 'Plank' Tredethy Wharf is based on this line, again I thought this also had to be added to the collection.
Apparently passengers were allowed to travel in the Guards Van. I've also been informed that a Queen Mary brake van was sometimes added to the daily goods train when passengers were being conveyed. No printed tickets were available so tickets had to be hand written. What a nice piece of railway history.
I don't know the age of, or personal history behind either ticket, if anyone has any ideas please let me know.
Monday, 19 April 2010
The Plank with track plan.
Friday, 9 April 2010
It comes with two DVDs, the first covers the history of the line starting with brief footage of the North Cornwall Line then moving onto the main subject highlighted with many stills and brief cine film. Of more interest to me is the second DVD. It has cine film footage of two trips down the Wenford Bridge branch. One starting with footage of workings at Wadebridge and progressing to an empty clay train working hauled by a Beattie 30585. The second of a Brake Van special hauled by 1369. Both have anecdotal commentary from men who worked the line. Footage is not surprisingly showing its age but still fantastic to see.
Wednesday, 7 April 2010
Anyway I did manage to steal a couple of hours away from chores and paid a visit to the Lincolnshire Wolds Railway. It's only 15 mins away at Ludborough. I'd not paid them much attention to this project but 'her indoors' kindly suggested a visit for a break. This Easter weekend was the official opening of their second station at North Thoresby. In celebration they had organised a Steam Gala.
A big attraction, especially for me, was a visiting Pannier tank 6430. I dutifully took the opportunity to take photos of this engine for a possible future project. Some excellent photos of the weekend can be found on Dave's Railpics of Lincolnshire web site .
By all accounts the Steam Gala was a great success. It attracted a tremendous number of visitors over the weekend with many full trains. I'll have to pay them another visit soon.
Monday, 22 March 2010
The previous weekend I'd made an attempted to reorganise the garage. The intention was to create some space so that I could make a start on baseboard construction. Though I was not able to create enough space I did clear a path to the sheets of plywood I'd put on one side for this project. Knowing the timber was at hand put a thought in mind. After the boss had departed and while watching the final game of the Six Nations, I rolled out the full size printout of Tredethy Wharf. A few scribbles were made, a couple of sketches drawn, and I thought, 'if I don't go to Nottingham I could get them built tomorrow.......Hmmmmm..... With no room in the garage to swing a cat I've been waiting for good weather at a weekend or an opportunity like this to make a start. It was a tough decision but this was an excellent opportunity to get stuck into the baseboards for Tredethy Wharf.
Sunday brought mayhem to the kitchen and gradually it spread though the house. Was I glad the boss was not around? ....... At the end of the day I had nearly finished one baseboard.
The above picture makes it look like the baseboard has a bottom but it's only resting on a piece of scrap plywood to stop me scratching the table.
There was a bit of stumbling around, a couple of mistakes and plenty of 'thought time' involved but overall I think I've cracked it with the baseboards. Just need the boss to go away next weekend and I'll have both boards completed!!........
Tuesday, 23 February 2010
So what would the other side of the wagon look like? Are the brake handles identical? Should there be double V hangers on the side with no brake gear? I remember comments about rackets, reversing clutches, dog clutchs, cams and other technical terms concerning Morton Brake gear. What do they all mean? How and where were they all used? To those that are in the know about these things please remember that I am on a big learning curve with the whole of this project. The problem I've had is finding a wagon with Morton Brake Gear that has been photographed from both sides and/or ideally from underneath. While it might be possible to deduce from a single photograph whether a wagon has brake gear on both sides or not, it's difficult for a novice like myself to understand what the other side should look like.
Eventually, after rummaging through all my wagon books, I found a couple of pictures showing both sides of the same wagon. They're of a badly loaded NE 6 plank open wagon in J.H. Russell's book 'Freight Wagons and Loads in service with the GWR and BRWR' (figure 14 and 15). These photographs clearly show that the arrangment on the V hangers on each side was different. On the none brake gear side, there was a reversing clutch on the V hanger at the end of the brake handle. I've also seen photographs with a reversing clutch on the brake gear side of a wagon fitted with brake gear on only one side. But until I saw these two photographs of the NE wagon, I was a little unsure of the complete arrangement. But I now take it that the reversing clutch could be on either side of a wagon fitted with brake gear to one side.
So......my current understanding is that, Morton Brake Gear, on wagons with no bottom doors, has to have a reversing clutch on one side of the wagon to change the direction of rotation of the connecting bar between the V hangers on each side of the wagon, so that the brakes can be applied from either side of the wagon. Makes sense..........if I'm right that is.......?
Now to the model..............To try and show the reversing clutch, I carefully cut a piece plasticard to shape and then slightly modified the Kenline brake handle. While not 100% accurate, hopefully I have been able to capture the essence of a reversing clutch on the wagon.
OK.......by blowing up photographs this size does show up some issues, but overall I'm pleased with my effort so far. Door stops have been fitted since photographs were taken. Just drawbar hooks to be added. I was going to use Smith's 3 Link couplings until I realised that they are larger than the ones I'd used on my old EM gauge wagons. It had already been mentioned to me that Smith's couplings are a little over scale but until I saw the difference, I didn't realise by how much. I'm now waiting until I receive some couplings from Exactoscale before progressing this wagon any further. Once the drawbar hooks are fitted I can start painting.............
Saturday, 20 February 2010
I remembered these pages in the July 1968 copy of Model Railway News being another article that started to change my concept of what a model railway could be like. I thought 'I might be able do that!' At about the same time as this article appeared I was allowed to take over a small room at the back of my dad's garage (but only being aged twelve it seemed large). It was a spacious 9'6" by 7'6" and had been his office but had declined into a junk/store room. What I would do for that amount of free space today.........
I had to modify the article's track plan slightly to fit it in the room by curving the track through 180 degrees from opposite the signal box, round to the road overbridge and beyond. Curving the layout created space for a better designed engine shed in the resultant corner. Locos ran off the main line on to a spur then back towards the station to access the loco shed and facilities. The loco facilities were also improved by the addition of a turnable in the same corner. Another addition was a parallel siding to the platform at the back which was to be used as a coach siding. The rest of the track plan was basically the same as the article.
This layout kept me occupied for a few years until I eventually found girls interesting. Sadly when I left home the layout was broken up. I've just sold the final three Peco code 100 points from this layout on ebay. This track plan still holds a fascination for me which must show by the fact that I've kept this article for all these years. I wonder if I could use this as a basis for the Mawgan Porth track plan?
The article goes on for a couple of columns to briefly describe the use of Superquick buildings which is probably as still relevant today as it was then. Below is the key to the above track plan, and interestingly, I'd ticked all the Superquick models that were built for the layout but now long gone.
Of interest is a book that is mentioned in the 'Bookshelf' column....... little did I think that nearly 40 years later I would have bought the book by Mr. Roche on the Withered Arm.......
Tuesday, 16 February 2010
This evening, however, I earmarked a little time to progress the RCH wagon and had a go at adding the axle boxes, springs and brakes. I started by looking over a lovely model of a MINK D built for me as a birthday present many years ago by my good friend Nick.
The compensation units that he used are very similar the the current MJT units and the wagon has been easily converted from EM to P4. The springs on this MINK are J-hangers and Nick had cut the spring away from the hangers on the rocking unit allowing a good 1.5mm of movement.
I thought I'd try and follow his example but after adding the springs on the rocking unit the movement has been restricted to 0.5mm which is most disappointing. The buffer beam height looks OK when compared to the 57xx so I'm not sure how I can achieve more movement?
I cut the springs away from the shoes thinking this would be the least obvious place rather than having a gap between the spring and axlebox. Perhaps I should rethink the way I'm doing this as I would have thought a 1.0mm movement would have been preferable? Also I'm not sure of the look of the gap in the springs?
While at the Leatherhead show I purchased one of the 'more modern' sprung subframe compensation units from Masokits. Looks like I'll have to learn how to use a soldering iron again! Perhaps give this unit a try on one of the many minerals wagons I have to build?
Sunday, 24 January 2010
Last time I was at Hellandbridge I remember the approach down Tredethy Road from Helland being a narrow Cornish lane. Each side of the lane being bordered by typical Cornish hedges and, in places, trees hanging over the road giving a secluded valley feel. But three questions come to mind;
What is a Cornish Hedge?
How is it constructed?
Are the lanes slightly below the surrounding landscape or are they just high hedges?
Hopefully know the answers to the above will help me model one.
While driving along these lanes I've never been that observant, I've probably just been concentrating on not hitting them while avoiding any oncoming traffic. A little research found a couple of interesting web sites that I hope will help me. Nothing will replace good photos (dear partner this is a gentle hint, can we get down there this year?) but these do give details on how the hedges are constructed.
Cornish Hedges Library
Practical Conservation Online
After looking at the above sites I think I can say that, in brief, a typical Cornish hedge is a hybrid between a stone wall and an earth bank. The hedge sides are typically built tapered with an inward curve from the base to half-way up. The top of the hedge is normally about half the width of the bottom. The base is created by placing large stone blocks into the earth and packing them in with sub-soil. The sides are then built using smaller rocks that interlock randomly. When the hedge reachs the required height, the random laying of stones turns into neat rows of square stones called "edgers". To finish, grass is sliced from the ground and stuck on top of the structure with sticks. The internal core of the hedge is earth.
There is a good cross sectional diagram of a Cornish hedge here.
What we see, as we travel along Cornwall's lanes, as a green hedge is the result of years of vegetation growing on/over the base structure.
Well you learn something everyday.........This is what I like about this hobby, it's not just about the railway with its track, locos and rolling stock, it gets you looking at and understanding your surroundings.........
Saturday, 16 January 2010
The RCH open wagon was still out on my bench so I drilled out the buffers and glued then in place. While the glue was setting on the buffers I fixed the solebars in place (these had been prepared a previous evening). Finally, with a little filing off the ends of the floor and solebars, I glued the sides onto the wagon floor. I felt I made a bit of a meal putting the sides together as I was dry run testing different methods to get the sides true. Eventually I think they look OK.
I then started to prepare the axleboxes and springs for fitting onto the W irons but realised the ones I was using had 5 leaf springs and pressed shoes. The plastic moulding supplied with the kit are only 4 leaf springs with shoes that possibly represent cast shoes. Hmmm.......is the kit correct? Out came my wagon reference books only to realise I don't have a reference photo of a fixed end RCH wagon!!! D'oh....That should have been my first thought when starting this kit.........have I any references that I can base this kit on?
It was getting late so I stopped at that point. Only a small amount of progress but it was a bit of good therapy at the end of a bad day.
Sunday, 10 January 2010
While searching for "Aiden miniature figures" in Google I came across Brian William Knott Fayle's web site. He has painted some very nice figures in O Gauge which compare favourably with a good standard of wargaming figure. I do agree with what he says about figures on layouts and he has also posted a useful page showing his technique. With my other hobby I paint 1:100 scale (TT Gauge) wargaming figures and do try to pick out face detail. Above all else I feel a well painted face on a figure does give it character and bring it to life. Adding shadow detail whether it be just black outlining or shading in darker colours gives a figure depth.
Though more to the point of this posting ...........While browsing though Brian's site I was firstly impressed by the amount Brian has contributed to the hobby over the years, but when I open the Harlyn Junction page I was hit with a huge wave of nostalgia. I was just thirteen years old when Harlyn Junction appeared in the Railway Modeller. I remember it being one of the first layouts that started to make me think about modelling rather than playing with my train set. The layout oozed atmosphere, being based on Coaley Junction, with attention to detail taken from the actual location, and well worked scenics made the layout really come to life. I think I may still have that well thumbed copy of the Railway Modeller up in the roof..... where's my torch........?
In the end, I did find Aiden's site and eventually his figure catalogue and hope to be placing an order for some of his loco crew figures very soon.........
Monday, 4 January 2010
This is the first wagon I've built for nearly 20 years so I'm taking it steady but I've started to prepare the sides and solebars. Hopefully another evening will see these in place along with the buffers.