Sunday 31 October 2010

Expong 2010

I'd have to say one of, if not the, best Swanley shows. The standard was very high, and I was not alone in thinking that judging by the comments around the room. Ted Polet's Rae Bridge was outstanding. I've been a big fan of Ted's work for years and I'm still completely drawn in to the scenes. At least he didn't hand me the controller as he did some years back. The reply to which has gone down in the annuls. The other high spots were a small cased On30 layout-from France I think - and the dragline in the 16mm layout. I will eat my words here as they were both I believe DCC operated. Though I will say that if you are going to use sound in a large room then you need large speakers. Not for volume, but for sound quality. Piddly 1" speakers going tss,tss,tss for steam sound doesn't cut it. If you want to do that buy an old s/h bass amp with a 15" speaker and a big space behind it and dump that behind the layout. Then your viewers will feel the sound rather than just swat it away.

Apart from a tea and a pound spent on a pair of dividers (S/H British Thompson [Houston?]) no cash left my wallet. Is there less to buy? Or despite the high standard is there a stagnation period just around the corner for narrow gauge modelling?

Friday 29 October 2010

Fiddle yard for Rhiw part 1

Fiddle yard for Rhiw model railway The Rhiw fiddle yard as it stands. Yesterday three lengths of track were purchased to finish it. (it's like being 15 again; going the to Hobby Box and buying Peco code 100).

The left hand side is obvious - the right will have a line coming in from the bottom of the photo with a dead-end kick-back into the dead space in the centre. Just enough to hold a loco, brake vans or possibly a rake of three VDAs. The l/h side represents the 'rest-of-the-world', the right the industrial park with the feed shippers and the scrap transfer site.

It did occur to me yesterday the the operation won't be a million miles from CP's Paradise Mining Company (at Expong tomorrow) with the added bonus of passenger traffic.

All this is very much a leap in the dark. I'm still not sure what the end result will look like and if it will all work as a whole. I'm leaning quite heavily on other's knowledge and loads of research, and I'm still not sure if it's right.

Tuesday 26 October 2010

More wires on Rhiw

Once I'd worked out that I'd forgotten to gap a set of copperclad sleepers, and it was this that was causing the controller to go ping, the testing of the two main boards of Rhiw could continue with this ancient ( father-in-law's) Airfix Cl 31. So worn that it actually shakes in one direction. I have to admit that the ease of running with the weight of 4mm standard gauge is refreshing.
Dead-end isolation gap to wire-up and that's the technical bit more or less done.

Monday 25 October 2010

Wealden Railway Group Sunday Afternoon

Sunday saw the gathering of Messers. Willett, Payne, Ford, Knights, Hill and Barnabe at an outdoor location in West Sussex to peruse a 7 1/4" line. Cups of tea and chat abounded, but then the wind changed and froze three of the party into a sleeping state.This allowed a kindly old gentleman to shout 'I'm free!' and have the entire line to himself on his rail adapted mobility scooter.

Sunday 24 October 2010

Wiring for Rhiw

Rhiw has been put on the back-burner for a while for various reasons, academia being one. It has been described as a bit of a millstone, but I don't regard it as such, only that it's taken a while to get it over the 'hump' to where the fun bit starts. And I have spent more than enough of my limited funds on it already; so it has to get done. I can't get the facia on until the bridge is fitted (for height reasons). I can't put the backscene board on until the wiring is done.

Wiring. Possibly not my favourite job, but needs to be done. This is the main board of Rhiw - simplicity itself: two point feeds (to switch the polarity) and two track feeds (the black and the yellow/white). I don't complicate my life with point motors and rarely section anything unless it's critical. Keep it simple has long been a motto in this and anything else.

Wednesday 20 October 2010

Alan Fall

Alan Fall


A gentleman of the hobby and an old friend who will be much missed.

Monday 18 October 2010

Scenic work on Unnycoombe

Sunday saw a little work being done on Unnycoombe. A proportion of the groundcover had left the scene and needed to be re-laid, the steps to be fitted, and the ballast touched in just to stop the nagging. Plus Nigel brought in the work so far done on re-building the shunt/starter signal.
Then off to the Uckfield show. The usual high standard, but a little short on running. I looked at Horselunges three times in an hour and a half... nothing moved. But then I suppose it's now (in it's rebuilt form) is both P4 and DCC. My point is proved yet again. All that expensive technology and nothing moves. Real shame as the modelling is exquisite.

A chat with an old friend known for his large scale NG modelling found him in thoughtful mood and hovering around the 3mm and S gauges. I'm glad it's not only me who wanders around and tries other things.

Friday 8 October 2010


I was asked at Scaleforum if I had the photos that I took of Mr. Savage setting up his HDLR layout. I have but only these as I wasn't making a point of a blow-by-blow photo montage.
Some people make clever look really easy. If he wasn't such a lovely bloke....