Sunday, 27 April 2014

How about Grogley Junction as a roundy roundy??

A question has been asked recently as to how I'm getting on with finalising the track plan for the Grogley Junction project. This was during a conversation in which I received an offer of help to build the track... Now I do like building track but due to the complexity and the time it would take me to build this proposed layout I'm of a mind to accept some help. So state of play with the track plan is as shown below:

After having a few discussions during Area Group meetings along with witnessing large tender engines negotiate 3 foot curves on a P4 layout, the track plan has been developed into a roundy roundy. I do like the idea of having the ability to run trains continuous for running in purposes and for occasionally sitting back to watch them go by. This is only if the layout will still give me the option to run sequences that have a purpose and marshalling goods trains will continue to be my main focus of interest.

The addition of the fiddle yard in front of the window does mean it is taking up more space in the 'Cave'. With the layout bowing out into the room this is an area that needs some further thought. There's not much space in front of the window for a multi road yard so cassettes will probably be the order of the day. Beneath the track plan I've pencilled in some possible train movements as a rough guide to requirements for the fiddle yard.

It might be time to start drawing this track plan in Templot...

Monday, 21 April 2014

"Better late than never" - Scalefour North 2014

Where has the year gone? It only seems a short while since the last Scalefour North. A new venue which was easy to find with good parking. It has lost the cosy feeling of the previous venue but with all traders and exhibits in one room, wide aisles made it easier to navigate than the previous venue which gave it the feeling that it has 'come of age'. There is now certainly more room for one or two large layouts to be on show in future years.

I spent an enjoyable day and a half at the show. Most of Saturday in the company of a good fiend who I'd not seen for a while. He was, 20 years ago, a member of the Society and his first reaction from a very quick initial tour of the floor was "not much has changed in the last 20 years". At the end of Saturday I hope he came away with a different opinion.

It was disappointing that a few of the layouts were having running problems on Saturday. This is no doubt an inherent problem when moving layouts to an exhibition and operators that may be unfamiliar with the layout learning movement sequences. Though I was a little more forgiving than my friend due some problems I'm experiencing in building Tredethy Wharf, he was disappointed. He pointed out that, though scenery and the stock on the layouts were very good, the constant running problems let them down. A comment was made that they where not a good advert for a modeller to convert from either EM or OO to P4. I'll have to take that comment on-board if I am to exhibit Tredethy Wharf again and attempt to have rolling stock that performs well.

However, there were three layouts that during the two days performed perfectly each time I stood to admire them: Croft Bank, Alt-Y-Graban Road and Flintflield. Flintfield was voted best at show and in my opinion truly deserved, a well presented layout, beautifully modelled, with stock that performed faultlessly and friendly operators that shared their experience and techniques in building the layout…



There were some excellent demonstrations especially Tim Shackleton's 'Hands on Weathering' and 'Modelling with Machine Tools'. I managed to get a good half hour with the Machine Tools demo. Unfortunately I was not able to take advantage of the 'hands on' bit with the weathering demo but did learn some useful techniques during an open discussion.

My purchases were kept to a minimum during the two days due to my inactivity in the 'Man Cave'. A nice looking BR 8 shoe Clasp Brake Chassis kit from Rumney Models, a BR Brake Van Underframe kit from Dave Bradwell along with a few Hollar Models transfers from Parkside Dundas where my only acquisitions. That was until Sunday lunchtime when I fell very lucky on an item on the bring and buy. More of this in a later posting...

Overall a very enjoyable day and a half, a friendly show with excellent trade support for all 4mm modellers. You don't need to be a P4 modeller to enjoy Scalefour North.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

April 14 - Scalefour group meeeting

Last Thursday saw my wife and I hosting the monthly Scalefour Area Group meeting. We had six members in attendance. Gordon brought his latest interesting project along. He is investigating how to convert a Hornby Class 08 to P4 by building a continuous springy beam compensated chassis. Graeme brought along his latest casting project, a Gresley V2 body which is a big improvement on the Bachmann model.

I'm thinking, only thinking mind, of building a chassis for a Beattie Well Tank. Clive brought along an outside cylinder 0-4-0T loco to demonstrate how the cylinders could be tackled and point out some pit falls. Since the meeting I've had it confirmed  that Beattie Well Tank 30585 will be performing at Lincolnshire Wolds Railway over Easter... a photo opportunity that I cannot miss.

Finally all were introduced to the 'Man Cave'

Clive test ran the 0-4-0T on Tredethy Wharf which again proved to be a smooth running loco.

Overall an informative meeting hopefully enjoyed by all.