Friday, 18 October 2019

Industial steam locomotive

This popped up on FB. If you are looking for an excuse to purchase one of the plethora of small industrials on the market in 7mm or 4mm scales, then this might be the push you need. It would be hard to find anything more atmospheric. Some Wills stone sheet suitably sanded flat and some Woodlands scenic 'cinder' ballast would get you in the game along with some basket liner/carpet underlay and some short static grass. I think the loco is a Barclay and similar to the model produced by Hattons, but any of the current 0-4-0s and 0-6-0s would fit.

Although the actual clips are short they are worth viewing carefully for the very tiny details. I suppose I'm thinking along the lines of a 4mm scale micro and these little touches such as the sacking-wrapped point lever would lift a layout out of the hum-drum.

Thursday, 17 October 2019


Hornby trainset
Possibly on the back of the Tri-ang post of a couple of days ago here . This was spotted at the Worthing show. I can't quite put my finger on it, but I'm always drawn to this type of layout. Not the HD 3-rail type, but the expanded and improved trainset idea. This may go back to me drooling over the 'Simply for Pleasure' layout that was mounted at Pecorama here when I was about 10. This is a bit bigger, but has the same elements in its build. As you can tell, things are belting round at a fair old lick, but that's not the attraction. I think it's the hole in the middle. Peter Bossom's Thunder Hill has the same hole and stuff doesn't belt round on that - it's much more thoughtful and intellectual (if you listen carefully you can hear Pete laughing). Maybe one day I shall build such a beast and I will have (no pun) come full circle.

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

009 track wiring

Pen-lan. Small 009 layout
Tops of the rails scrubbed and polished and time for a quick check. Bzzzzzzt! Hmmmm small short. Well big short really as proportionally this is pretty simple. The controller was moved and the board flipped over, the problem was quickly traced to a point and a wandering wire on the switch. A modicum of bending sorted it out and all was well. Only I could short out a two-wire feed inglenook.
Some initial scenery profiles are in at the near end. It looks huge here, but it's only 3'7" x 10".

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Tri-ang Tuesday

I was tipped off today about this channel. Yeah OK, so he's a collector - or is he? There's a fine line between collecting, and running the stuff that you've accumulated. This guy obviously enjoys seeing the stuff run and the  range of accessories is quite impressive.
The Tria-ng/Hornby green 31 was where I came in; none of your O gauge tinplate and HD three rail, but proper plastic toy trains.
You can shut your eyes, breathe in and almost smell those warm XO4's.
When I'm old, this what I want to do.

Monday, 14 October 2019

Painting 009 track

The current damp atmosphere is not ideal for painting. Into the dry, but not un-humid garage for some track spraying. Two coats: first some Halfords 'camouflage brown' from sideways angles, followed by some grey primer misted on from above. This a technique nicked from Mr. Nevard and one which I have now enthusiastically adopted; what would have taken me a couple of hours by hand with a pot of Humbrol now takes five minutes.

I got momentarily confused by the wiring, but suddenly realised that if I were to feed from Orne I'd need to run a line up to the far end where the main feed is, plus an independent feed for any independent use. It's the simplest things that trip you sometimes. This is essentially an elongated inglenook so only needs a feed from the left hand end, but hypothetically the power comes (or may come) from a separate layout on the right.

Sunday, 13 October 2019

Svanda at Poole model railway exhibition

Svanda HO scale norwigian model railway

The penultimate showing for Svanda this year at the Poole MRS exhibition next SUNDAY - turn up on Saturday and you'll be on your own. It's quite surprising to me that this small slice of the NSB is still generating enough interest to go out once or twice a year especially now that it's had a total outward refurb. 

At it's first outing six years and one week ago here at Croydon (can't see that happening again) I don't think we'd have imagined that it would have a) lasted with us and b) still have a steady trickle of invites. Any yet out of all the layouts built before or since it's the one that I actually enjoy operating the most. As always when there are new plans for other things, I soon wave the Svanda shape as being the ideal for operation in a sub 8' space.
It's probably time that it had its own page here...

Saturday, 12 October 2019

Saturday Ramble - comfort zones

laying 009 track accross baseboards
Taking a short break from getting the track down on what may be called Pen-lan. I really need to get it all down by the end of the weekend, which shouldn't be too much of a push as...

It crossed my mind that the way I work now is within small sets of comfort zones. I can't imagine that other people are any different. The above shows some just laid pinned copper-clad at the edge of the board designed to minimise damage at the rail ends. Simple enough stuff and I've done this for years and years. Is there a better way though? Am I in a rut? The next job when I step away from the keyboard is wiring the first point (slide switch, wire in tube, three wires etc.) Again I've been doing this for almost thirty years without deviation. I've used solenoids once and never returned, but now there are newer versions of these, smartswitches, relays and so on. Should I invest more cash and move with the times? Or just stay with what I know works cheaply and well for me?

These comfort zone issues are all around me and mostly go back to income, or lack of it. I can turn out a pretty good layout, but it's all budget ideas a lot of which have stayed with me since my teens. Where some people will spend what I consider to be huge amounts on scenic stuff, I'll happily stick to card and things out of skips, simply because that's what I've always done and for no other reason. Should I invest in DDC, smartswitches, ready to plonk buildings, and so on? Will that make my layouts better?

Sometimes it's good to question what you do even if it leads nowhere.

Friday, 11 October 2019

Baseboard for a 009 layout

009 layout baseboard
Board for the new 009 layout basically finished and time for a little 3D planning to make sure that stuff still fits. There will be a cut-out dropped section at the front and logically I should have done this during the build. As there are a lot of buildings near the front I elected to get the final positions of these clear before I started cutting this edge. I need to get this project completed fairly swiftly so narrow gauge simplicity is the key. No Great Western branch track plans here.

Thursday, 10 October 2019

Railway Modeller

Railway Modeller magazine

Out today in your local Smiths. The first part of the Hopwood saga, not to mention some grinning pictures of self.

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Festiniog Victorian Weekend

Ffestiniog Double Farlie gravity train up
I'm not a fan of repeated 'holiday' break destinations, but this is the forth year in a row that we've attended this event. I should point out that it is Mrs F. that drives the booking of it, and not me. It's up to the limit running by the preserved line with all the useable steam power brought into play. This does mean that any small problem causes delay and there was a running coal issue throughout the weekend causing some slipping of times. This actually doesn't matter in the slightest as the atmosphere surrounding the event is overwhelming with people decked in period costume and there being a general continual shifting between bar area, platforms and trains in an almost random manner. You just hop on what ever train is running and bundle into coaches the best you can. It's very much enthusiasts and not the usual family groups so nobody cares much - or not that we noticed anyway.

Mrs F spent most of the time in the bar filming and photographing to shift straight onto Facebook and will happily sit at the lineside waiting for the next up freight to point the camera at, with me shuffling my feet and wanting to move on. One or two of these may appear here later.