Monday 28 August 2023

Mech-horse holiday

I may have put this up before, but it's worth repeating. The 'different time' tag is evident and some of the commentary flies in the face of modern environmental sensibilities. However there is much here which could be taken as ahead of its time and it's a shame that it was not seen as worth pursuing.


Sunday 27 August 2023

The cinder path

 Before getting the back board and profile on I started on the platform area. Some thick card (ex-ring folder I think) brought the level up to the rail. This was cut to shape and sealed around the edges with some neat PVA. When this had gone off the two piece were stuck with UHU and given a couple of coats of Wilko 'smoke grey' emulsion from a tester pot. This will seal and give a base colour before the cinder ballast top coat goes on later. A piece of thin card was shaped to form  the base of the narrow access path and was also treated to a drop of paint. Already shaping up.

Thursday 24 August 2023

009 fiddle yard

 For the first time ever I remembered to paint the fiddle yard deck before I laid the track. Unless you go to extreme lengths to put up 6' high screens, the yard is always visible and in many cases appears to be more interesting than the layout to exhibition viewers. This is a bodge being the rump of the board that I used for the demo layout for the Welsh book. Now lopped off to 29" x 10" it sits uncomfortably staggered back on the main board. Yes, I could have done a custom board, but hate wasting stuff. In any case there were so many cut-outs and holes I had to resurface it with a bit of hardboard. It's bordered front/back/end with off-cuts of 6mm MDF set at jaunty angles, more to stop stock falling off than for any aesthetic reason. Seen here with one point of a pair down giving a minimum length of road of 16" (more or less the max for the loop) and plenty of room for placing stock/tea etc.

Tuesday 22 August 2023

Track painting

 Need to get a move on with this as time is ticking and there are other projects on the horizon. Fiddle yard now painted up, and here all the track is sprayed with the now usual mix of primers and camouflage brown. With this done it is a relatively gentle run down of scenic bits. The buildings are done and are simple drop-ons, so just landscaping and fluff addition.

Sunday 20 August 2023

Dury's Gap - For sale


Recent events and a need to to create some space has had me umming and ahhing over the future of Dury's Gap. It only managed two shows, but has been around for quite a while having been used as a photo plank for numerous small projects including some Peco publicity material. There are photos scattered throughout the blog and of course its own page on the tags not to mention a three page piece in this months RM. I've come down to the fact that it needs to be moved on and mention this here ahead of any other advertising.

The package would include the layout and FY, but no stock. It is a tad over 6' x 1' in total and sits on a standard exhibition table. It's a simple plug and play needing only suitable OO gauge stock and a simple controller.  It's a ready to go small exhibition layout.

Cost: £300.00, collection from Sussex.

Thursday 17 August 2023

Squeaky testing

 If I go back in time to an earlier 009 layout the optimum curve was eight and a bit inches. This being the curve on the wall on Wood End. The stock on this was fairly small excepting a pair of cut-down VoR coaches. The above however is a WHR coach built for the last book and which uses the same VoR kit, but in its full length. The question hanging was would it run happily around a standard Peco 9" radius setrack curve? Quite a while ago I grabbed an off-cut of chipboard and badly laid an oval with a point on it in N gauge track to replicate the worst possible situation, that is, a screaming 7" curve into a point. The thinking being that if a piece of stock will cope with this, then it should cope with anything else.

Using a van as the push-along loco replacement to simulate towing all went well. OK I had ground the side frames down to facilitate a little more swing on the bogie, but that's what you do.

Monday 14 August 2023

Dead 009 railcar


This tiny 1.75" long railcar has been running around various 009 layouts for a decade. A marriage between a Parkside coach, an Arnold Kof 3 and a few scraps of plastic. A test came up with a fail. Dead, no buzz, no nothing.  Disassembly found no problems with gears or electrical contacts. The motor though was another story and seemed to have self destructed inside.  Not particularly urgent, but now I've found a problem it would be nice to sort it. Tramfabrik do a replacement motor kit, but this seems to be for earlier models/chassis shapes in the 206X range, whereas this is a 2070 model as far as I can ascertain.

Saturday 12 August 2023

Saturday Ramble: Five years and still counting.

 Partly reposted from Friday, 6 April 2018

New layout thoughts

There is always the 'Five year plan' to consider. 

Regulars will know that this has become a bit of a joke recently as it took eight years and didn't get completed. The original FYP was the following:

1. American HO switch yard or similar.

2. South Wales 80s OO.

3 Norwegian HO secondary line.

4. Small 0-16.5 as a warm up to...

5. O gauge early or light.

2, 3 and 4 got built. . 1,2, and 3 were originally designed to use a common FY which worked to a degree with the Rhiw yard being quickly transferred to Svanda. That's the history, but what about the future? Here's the possible new list:

1. American HO switch yard or similar.

2. Something  Southern Region (possibly Kentish) in 00.

3. Rhiw Mk2. The first version was abandoned after a few shows and the RM article for various reasons, but mainly the front operation which is just stupid as far as I'm concerned.

4. N gauge WR. A revisit of the Unnycoombe stock with a slight lean toward the diesels. 

5. Son of the AotC. 

Now 2023

The above is what was originally planned and then the review of this in 2018, for no particular reason it's worth seeing what got done and what didn't (and why not). The Five Year Plan was a list of possibles drawn up by self and Mr. Hill to try and maximise what was in stock and avoid flights of fancy and buying frenzies. To some extent it has been a great success in that it channelled the planning and kept costs down to a ridiculously low level. I don't take this point too seriously, but Mr. Hill will actually work out what his modelling costs him in a time/material/spend ratio... it's pence. Really. Pence. 

From the original list only the American was not built, the O gauge could be said to have been done under the Peco-funded layout Oake. This never made the intended Warley show due to Covid, but boxed ticked.

The second list: American again, the AotC Mk2 is very unlikely and the Unnycoombe Mk2 has, like the O gauge been covered by a recent Peco build: Half Acre. As an aside, the other Peco layouts were returned to me; this one ... disappeared. This leaves the SR, and it is this which has been getting quite a bit of thought as between us we have all the rolling stock. This would yet again be lashed to the 2011 built Rhiw Mk1 fiddle yard and probably be the same sort of scenic footprint.

There are questions though: as I have asked in an earlier post, is it worth building a new exhibition layout in 2023? Or should I just give up on this and build an 009 layout around the room? In any case the Five Year Plan has been somewhat of a winning idea, long live the Five Year Plan.

Friday 11 August 2023

Dury's Gap in Railway. Modeller

 It's been a long time coming, but Dury's Gap has eventually made it into print in this month's RM, tucked away in the Junior Modeller section. Regulars are probably sick of it as it's been used extensively as a photo backdrop on many of the things that I've built regardless of whether they have been OO gauge or not.

It is still extant and available for one day exhibitions.

Thursday 10 August 2023

Norfolk and Suffolk 009 group member's day

In the rush to do other things, I'd not done a little report on this one held back in June. The N&S group member's day is annual and well established in a small hall in Beccles smack in the middle of the town with parking available and a rail service. The standard was high, Graham Watling's layouts are always a joy and push the twee, and the 16mm was a fascinating surprise. Much to several people's horror the 009 Society sales stand could not attend, but the slot was ably filled by Great Eastern Models.
The hall is worth noting; possibly not ideal in many ways as it consists of a near warren of rooms and stairs. The catering was moved to a separate room outside facing the street (which may have had some passing trade benefit) and was fully stocked with stuff and some outside seating in the sun. The date for next year: June 1st.

Show 9
Parking 6
Rucksacks 0
Catering 9


Wednesday 9 August 2023

009 track down

 With only a single piece of point wire and a foot or so of siding to lay, the trackwork for the new 009 is almost done. After much pontificating the proto-scenario has come down to something east coast, mainly in honour of its driving force, the 009 member's day at Beccles which is the target point. This could of course change suddenly, but that's where we are for now. It also means that quite a bit of stock is in hand, as are the buildings, making it a 009 layout kit... almost. The main two being the altered Wills station building, which is impossible to disguise, and the corrugated store which was built for the GWR book and is based on that at Hemyock. Now suitably repainted from GW colours into something more generic. A general running test was carried out and all appears to be well at this stage with only a couple of minor tweaks needed.
A name was required and I landed on a small village north of Beccles called Seething with an airfield and, at least now, a pig farm. Seething Pigs had a nice ring to it and could be lifted wholesale for a thrash metal band. It also opens up a the door to a list of places to put near it with anger management bents (Werry Cross, Wrage etc.) and will have Mr. Hill working overtime.

If you've enjoyed this waffle,  show the love.

Tuesday 8 August 2023

Wiltshire 009 Member's day

Lardy cake. And some layouts. Every two years the Wiltshire Group of the 009 Society hold their member's day, colloquially known by its placement in 'Pewsey'. For one reason or another I can rarely get to this and this was only the second visit. Personally it's a bit of a press the flesh day with a large number of those attending being friends and associates. Therefore this was just as much a day of chatting and catching up as much as looking at layouts.

The later were a mixed bag and typical of Society days with a spread of subjects and skills being shown. Quite honestly it was just what the doctor ordered and gave me a little uplift especially as there is an 009 layout on the bench at the present time. My only query was the catering which was a little limited. Bearing in mind the average age in the room, and therefore a high chance of Type 2 sufferers, there was little on the menu which wasn't sugar laden. A walk to the shop in the rain provided some protein for lunch. Possibly something to look into.

Show 9

Rucksacks 3

Chat 10

Catering 5

Parking 10


Friday 4 August 2023

Dry Brush

 Time for a new dry brush implement. I've had the old one for around five years in its secondary role, but now it's time for a replacement. How do I create this? Simply take a life-expired No.1 or 2 - the one with the excited bristles -  and a pair of nail scissors and lop a third of them off. Short, more or less inflexible and ideal for dragging a small amount of paint over a plastic surface.

Thursday 3 August 2023

A new 009

 And a return to the home base. I always say that there will be another 009 layout if you wait a few minutes. This one is an arm twist and is purely down to Mrs. F. who deliberately replied to manager of the Norfolk/Suffolk 009 members day when he asked if I had a layout for the next show. 'Oh, he'll build one.' Thanks...

Therefore, a lightweight baseboard built and now the first point down and wired. 

I don't think I need to explain to the regulars here how this is done or why I do it this way.