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    • I've got nothing to show again today which might make it appear that I've been doing very little but in fact I feel as if I've accomplished quite a bit over the past few days. I've now got all the points at the far end of the storage yards motorised, including the crossover, and so I'm trying to get used to which levers I need to change for a given route. It caught me out earlier when I thought I'd set the route correctly for No.5 road and the train ended up going along No.4 where a train was already standing. I scratched my head for a good while before finally realising that the point wasn't switching at all! I could hear the solenoid thump so assumed the point had thrown but there was no movement on the tie bar. A bit of realigning of the point motor was required to make things work correctly. With everything working fine it was time to tidy up the wiring, cutting wires shorter where I'd left them over length so that they all ended up neatly secured in the terminal blocks. I also made a start securing the controller wires so that they don't get in the way but I still need to build a shelf to house the controller itself in order to get it off the cardboard box it currently rests on. The receiver for the wireless controller has been fastened in the apex of the roof. My faulty point motor has been returned and I await its replacement which will probably be installed at the far end of the scenic loop which is beyond the backscene. By the way, it's amazing how much wire I've got through just installing the point motors! Hopefully I can now get back to the scenic side of things and have time to perhaps capture some trains in action once again. 
    • Hi all, the final main line drawing of the new Camdale HO scale garden railway MK2 track plan, stage 2 length is 16 feet, added onto 44 feet, total lenght 60, much longer layout, more running time for the Ghan and Indian Pacific, can't wait. The weather isn't so good very humid and we have had rain good for the grass, ouch more mowing, no work on the layout till it starts to get cooler, mid March, of course if there are any cool changes will make the most of it. With stage two be two reverse loops, hope to start stage two soon after I finish the first, stage two is needed, to get the most out of the layout, all I need to do is just run one train being a lot of fun, be enough work to keep me going a long while, trains only be run in the cooler months , I will have to put the level on the pergola floor,  going by the way the stays after rain it isn't on a grade, easier for the station module legs cut all the same length. Tony from hot down under keeping on moving ahead
    • My point motors and lever switches arrived and it took me from early afternoon until late evening to wire them all in. I now have 7 operational points at the west end of the storage yard with just the cross-over still to do.  I've been able to test them and confirm they work but it got so late that I just didn't have the energy to run any trains through them. I used some offcuts of MDF and 2x2 timber to add a narrow shelf in front of the points at the east end - nothing fancy by any means - so from this position I can now manually change the points directly in front of me and remotely change the points at the west end via these Peco lever switches. How long they will last remains to be seen but for now at least they work perfectly. I might countersink those screw heads and tidy the shelf up a bit later. The only downside today is that one of the Gaugemaster point motors doesn't work and will need returning - it's solid and doesn't move. Luckily it's not required at this moment in time.
    • Aerated blocks it is. I've got several bucketloads of pebbles lined up in the garden which should mean I can make a start in the spring. I'm continuing to improve my buildings. With the Bank's relocation it's left side is now very prominent so a re-skin was required and I cracked on with that yesterday, putting it all together today once glues and paints had dried. Here's a photo to compare with last weeks post. Several things have changed. "In Boutique" has finally got its name and the Church and "667 Dark Avenue" (the tall building in the back scene) have both received new steps leading up to their doors. A closer look at the side of the Bank shows that the plotter cutter has been hards at work. The shelves are now in place at the bookstore and it has received a chimney breast (see first photo). All these improvements are causing a problem. The plotter cutter has enabled me to work at a much finer level of detail. The style of the buildings were determined by bird feeders I purchased form Lidl. I've tried to follow this chunky style, but I'm now finding that I'm making details a lot less chunky. At some point I will have to make a decision on how detailed I want to make things. I'm not going to switch to fully realistic, the cartoon like feel is key, but I foresee some reworking of several of the buildings. Especially they ones I'm not happy with. For the Bank and the Book Store I've developed a new way of working. I'm creating a new skin for a wall from cereal box card and putting on all the paint and detail before attaching the new skin to the building. It is a lot less frustrating working with a flat surface rather than a 3D building.
    • Another unproductive day on the layout mainly due to messing around with my remaining class 56 and trying to rectify another. I purchased a 'brand new' Hornby 56003 in Loadhaul livery which proved to be anything but when it arrived. It had the correct body but a replacement chassis which had had modifications done on it. Some of the detailing parts had been fitted while the rest were missing. One of the cam couplings had broken clean off (not a bad thing really considering their usefulness) and both of the bogies were seized solid just like my own had been. I'll spare you the remaining faults. Anyway I finally got the bogies stripped, cleaned, and re-greased and it's now pretty smooth but sourcing spare parts to replace those missing or broken isn't proving very fruitful just yet. I just need to construct a coupling base to accept a Kadee and it can then commence its duties while spares are located. My own remaining 56059 has also now been stripped, cleaned, and re-greased and it too is now working well, albeit minus 2 of its buffers. I've managed to locate one buffer head but I'm still missing the little spring and without a reliable means of securing them in place. When the loco was reassembled there were no lights working so I had to remove the body again, clean the contacts, and eventually they were there - thank goodness. I used to think of the class 56 as one of Hornby's better diesel locomotives but I'm now thinking otherwise. 6 seized locos is beyond a joke.
    • Hi Thomas, nice bridge, here is a pic of my bridge drawn to scale quarter inch a foot, this time with the new design the arch be in one full piece, the main arch wont be in full piece will have to join  18 inches on to make up the arch, 10 foot in diameter not quite 12 foot half circle . Be on the hunt for 18mm by 1/1/2 wide pine at 10 feet in length, in metres 3 metres is not 10 feet, there is a demo timber mob just down the road now , handy indeed, hangers be 12 inches wide, the second pic is what my bridge be based on this time not a double deck, road bridge be beside the rail bridge. the only difference is on the pic the arch continues onto the pier, my bridge wont have that. Arch is still 2 foot high, still be able to have kite flyers jump off the top of the arch and easier for them to scale the arch too, lots of steps and hand rails , lots to do on those hot days work o the bridge in the hall way which is quite long in the nice  cool house.  Don't need the 12 foot curve decking cutting that up for the bridge arch, will have to ask my brother if he can bring over his battery jig saw wont take long to cut , be on the con for a 18 volt Ryobi battery jig saw. soon. another  hot day again tomorrow, hate this time of the year too unstable, hot night 24 degrees, keeping the air con on till we go to bed. Tony from down under keeping on moving ahead  
    • Hi Thomas, wow very nice indeed, I will have to wait for my birthday before baying any trains, but am  after a second power for my Mehano ICE 3 set of 8 only have one power unit need to win the lotto to buy any sound decoders . Look forward to seeing those new trains run lightening speed look awesome. Tony from very hot down under now we are copping bad storms, yesterday a storm passed through dropping 20mm's in 20 minutes and other one today very hot and humid hate summer here, need to come to the UK for summer.  
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