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  1. Today
  2. 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.
  3. Yesterday
  4. 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
  5. Last week
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. One class 56 buffer located!

  10. 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
  11. 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.
  12. The next bit of planning i've got is to sort out how the railway will exit the shed. Currently, i'm thinking of building an extension piece on the left side of the shed. This should hopefully give me the room for two full length sidings in the shed to serve as a fiddleyard. I've got a curved point to help with this. One thing i'm keen to avoid is tight curves, so i'll be making a template right angle 3ft radius curve out of cardboard. When I start to lay track, i'll use this to check i'm not going below this radii. One thing i've not decided on its control of points. I'd normally just go with a CDU + srung center off toggle switches, but this would make computerised control harder later on. I could use DCC with jmri, but this means I need to buy expensive decoders. Alternativly i could develop a hybrid system with arduino and microcontrollers... ideas on a post card...! I've had a note from my swedish language expert.. and thus the correct name is 'Stenbrottkulle Järnväg'
  13. I've managed to motorise two of the points using bits and bobs that I had to hand. It isn't how I would choose to do it but I think it's necessary to keep costs to a minimum now, especially in areas that aren't intended to be publicly viewable. For the point operating switches I want something that indicates which way the point is set and I don't want to go to the expense of fitting panel LED's or to create more work for myself as I have enough of that as it is. Before deciding to use the Cobalt point levers in the shed I had purchased a couple of Peco passing contact point levers to try and as they're still not being used I decided to try them in the attic. I've connected them up via a Gaugemaster CDU running off an old Hornby train set transformer and they're working just fine. Not fancy but functional. I've had to think about the train operating position, as in where to position myself in order to control the layout when trains are running. I was going to position the controller centrally along the storage road side of the layout but I'm now thinking of staying at the far end of the storage road area (the east end) where I've been temporarily plonked. I've actually wired the two Peco point switches to a position mid way down the storage roads but now feel it would be better to move them right along to the east end which is easy enough to do. By doing that, as I think I've suggested before, I can then manually change the points at that end and not have to worry about the financial aspect of more point motors and switches and so on. I managed to source some Peco point levers today at half the usual price and have ordered some more Gaugemaster point motors in order to motorise the remaining points at the west end of the sidings. Being able to route trains into any siding without the need to walk back and forth across the attic will be a real boon - not to mention a huge relief.
  14. Works here too! They look really nice though more suited to your style of layout than to mine. I've really taken to the new LNER Azuma trains here in the UK - I love the shape and the LNER livery, but neither of my layouts could accommodate such modern traction and I'm trying to get away from buying models for display purposes only. Hopefully it won't be too long before we get to see and hear the Fuxing on Maximilianshafen.
  15. Well, shopping is known to raise the spirits and therefore after some haggling these two super-fast exotic are on their way from HongKong to me: Fuxing CRH400AF, eight parts, digitized with sound.
  16. Such a bridge but of smaller size I will have in my layout later...
  17. Work is well under way on Camdale HO scale garden railway MK2 , Yesterday I decided to pull up the track on the old approach module, get a bit more done after tea , to hot 36 degrees air con is on, I have made some changes to the track plan and finished the main line, even the first stage being 44 feet long is quite large, have drawn the plan to scale . ON the track plan Left hand corner of the track plan I have drawn a curve temporary curve section till I start onstage two and three be a permanent curve section connecting the suburban track and stage one track. The whole idea is to run the Ghan train train around so it be going the right way into Alice Springs station,coming from Darwin , will be having two reverse loops coming off stage two and be a second station hopefully four tracks and three platforms Now I have a bigger shed will be making use of it , have a 8 foot long by 5 tracks maybe double deck vertical staging yard , work shops and refuelling , sand dock. Plenty of room to put a Ro-Ro port , too hot to be able to set up the bridge, weather unstable very humid storm predicted for the afternoon, so long as I can get my power walk in . Have done no more work on the ship yet, have to make a start one night this week, only have two more bulkheads to mark and cut out, on the stern section. Where the module is I can get around it on one side, get the mower out then be able to get around the other side. The planning of the new bridge is coming along , I be buying two lengths 3 meter by 19mm thick pine for the sides , bridge rail deck be joined together to make one 14 foot bridge, to make it easy to set up, other way too hard , the top arch be in one peace as well. Tony from down under keeping on moving ahead .
  18. Happy new year Thomas, not good that happening , good thing is it can be repaired or rebuilt new idea what you are doing, I have started work on Camdale MK2 yesterday afternoon, started pulling up the track on the old approach module will cut the module up to build a 3 inch wide x 6 ft section . I hope I don't have any issues with neighbours as the layout in places is right on the edge of the fence, good thing is fence is closed in . Look forward to more progress, snow not as bad as the US east coast. Tony from warm down under.
  19. I hope it wasn't intentional, I didn't realize it until later. Outside, I can't do anything about the layout, the weather doesn't give it away. And inside I was just too unmotivated, although November, December and January are not the months where I am particularly active in every respect, but that legal annoyance in the past year has of course increased this. But in the meantime I calmed down a bit again and also came to the conclusion that this will probably take a long time (Justitias mills grind very slowly in Germany too) and will eventually lead to a manageable result. I simplified the track plan because I came up with an idea for a new route, which is less complex and easier to build, and which also includes a better possibility of intervention in the parking stations. Which is also quite a good thing, because I think if I had been blundering with the old plan in November and December I would have had quite a bit of frustration. So I have now managed that according to the new plan, the two tracks leading upwards in the spiral are next to each other on the outside and the track leading downwards on the inside. According to the old plan, the downward track would have been between the two upward tracks. This greatly simplifies the track layout of the large train station indoors, as I can now build on the principle of directional operation.
  20. Oh dear....that doesn't look good. I assume it was accidental and not a neighbourhood feud? Rocket fire would seem a bit extreme for a feud I suppose. Has the weather been keeping you away from the layout or is it simply a case of lack of motivation? You don't sound as enthusiastic as you did in the middle of last year so I hope you can get yourself back into the swing of it soon. Maybe a spell of warmer weather will do the trick? Why have you decided to simplify the track plan?
  21. I was looking forward to making more progress today but as sometimes happens I seem to have spent ages up in the attic and achieved not a lot. I remember not so long ago saying I was content with the Hornby buffer stops at the ends of the scenic storage roads - well I changed my mind and have replaced them with some cheap Peco ones that look a bit more realistic. I thought I'd taken a decent photo of them but it's not as good as I thought though it shows I still have to cut the pips off the buffer face. This area has changed slightly since the photo was taken as there's now a bit of grass in the space behind the stops. I've made a start fitting point motors on the storage side. It seemed a good idea to keep as much wiring as possible above baseboard so I'm trying it like this for now to see how it goes. It's much better than crouching down underneath. I still haven't decided how I'm going to operate them as decent point levers like I've used in the shed are quite expensive. I imagine it will be either stud and probe or passing contact switches. I'm not really bothered about anything fancy so as long as they work reliably they'll be fine. It's the first time I've used these Gaugemaster surface mounted point motors but at least installing them is easy enough.
  22. As I don't run trains on a beautifully scenic layout, I do try and at least make my trains look a little more prototypical. I don't go to the lengths some on RMWeb might, but I satisfy myself. TBH, the sleeping cars required very little work and were deliberately chosen, as they provided motivation to do the rest, being a fairly quick win. I have removed the white windows at one end on 2 of them, so they now represent a SLE (non pantry, 13 berths) as opposed to a SLEP (pantry with 12 berths). Then they were renumbered, weathered and varnished. Yes, Chinese people have to be used, by virtue of the quantity I use. I've about 60 or 70 that need some colour adjustment - perhaps a job for tonight. As soon as someone produces an O gauge class 50 in unrefurbished condition, I will be buying one. I am looking forward to really being able to go to town with the weathering on that!
  23. At least I used the time of doing nothing to rethink the plans. And there I managed to significantly simplify the track plan for the connections between the layout part inside and outside as well as the parking stations without having to sacrifice the travel options. So also an advantage.
  24. I admire your attention to detail. I don't even seem to be able to get round to completing the weathering and adding loads to some of the vehicles I started on a year or two ago. What work have you had to do to the sleeping cars? I would imagine it's a great feeling to recreate a particular train formation yourself rather than simply purchasing a representation of it in RTR form. I don't really know enough about trains to either want or know how to do it. The closest I can come by comparison to your 1S19 is the Caledonian Sleeper but I'm happy to have the standard Hornby vehicles for now and a high level of imagination. It's still exciting to see it circling the garden. Do you use the usual 'Chinese' passengers for your coaches? I've looked at some higher grade seated figures such as 'Bachmann' and 'Presier' and it would cost as much as the coach again to populate the vehicles using them. I was wrong. I've been expecting you coming onto the forum saying you'd got the class 50.
  25. I hadn't thought of that Chris. Might be worth trying the next time someone or something decides to dislodge some of them. The problem up to now has been me using unsuitable 'No More Nails' grab type adhesive which just goes soft and crumbly over time. 'Gorilla' grab adhesive appears to work much better but it does state it can be used underwater too so perhaps it should be more suited to outdoor conditions. Metres and metres of it!
  26. You could reenforce them with copper wires. Drill holes in vertically through the parapet wall into the structure. Insert in a solid core wire. Seal over the top with what every you are using as an adhesive. If you are anything like me you will have metres of earth wire coiled up, striped form twin and earth. Cocktail sticks will probably survive OK if you seal them in.
  27. Crikey! Its been over a year since I've posted anything in here. I would like to say I haven't been idle, but until recently I have really - other than dismantling Summer Hampton - but we wont revisit that unhappy event. New decade and everything, lets look forward again. Here is a quick overview of where I am currently. The resurrection of the garden railway currently amounts to one cast piece of concrete - about 15ft long so nearly a quarter of what is to do. OO stock wise, I've completed 4 x mk3 sleeping cars (for 1S19/1V32), a mk2 BFK (long overdue for the Exeter to Waterloo set) and a mk1 RMB (for a cross country working) this last week on nights. I am sat looking at 4 x mk2 TSO, a pair of mk1 BG's and a mk2 BSO, all in a dismantled state, waiting for renumbering, passengers to be added and weathering. These are all for 1S19 / 1V32. This shortened representation of the Bristol to Glasgow & Edinburgh overnight sleeper service is 12 vehicles long (the real thing had at least 1 more sleeping car in each portion, thus loaded to a minimum of 14 vehicles, and often up to 16 vehicles) and looks a great sight, snaking around the garden. Pre-ordered items expected for delivery this year are a Bachmann Class 116 DMU, a pair of Cavalex PFA MOD wagons, a Revolution Trains IZA Twin Cargowagon, a 5 car Accurascale TPE Nova 3 set and, fingers crossed, Dapol TPE class 68 to haul the Nova 3. Thankfully, most of this has been pre paid for! O gauge stock wise, my "Western" is about to be returned from Youchoos, having had sound fitted and it sounds fantastic! (I went to the workshop last week and saw it running) There hasn't been anymore freight stock joining the fleet, but I'm thinking about purchasing my first coaches - these will probably be from the Darstaed range of BR Mk1's. And its about time I had another loco to run - the Heljan class 25 is high up the priority list. It is a shame I will be at work this time next week, so wont be able to go to the Bristol O gauge show Lastly, a shameless plug, if its allowed. Have you ever considered owning a share in a steam locomotive - 1:1 scale? A year ago, I became a shareholder in the 5637 Steam Locomotive Group and so far, have enjoyed 2 separate trips on the footplate, hand on the regulator. Shares are currently available and offer a very affordable way to become involved in a real GWR tank engine. Check out the 5637 steam loco group website for more information. The loco is due a 10 year, heavy overhaul in April, so is likely to be out of traffic for 2 years whilst this is carried out and selling the last shares will see the overhaul fund get over the winning line (I know, I'm not selling it yet am I ) The loco should be appearing at both the East Somerset and the Swindon & Cricklade Railway's Spring Galas, in March 2020.
  28. Thanks Iain. I've been watching a few painting videos online and copied ideas from there. I was going to say it's more luck than anything that it's turned out the way it has but I think I could probably do it better if I were to do it again now that I understand how the paint works. So anyway, 8pm or not I've been back up in the attic and stuck down another long section of lineside ducting, this time between the main lines and the loop. I don't want to detail it too much, in fact I don't really want to spend much time doing any detailing but I think just adding a few little railway signatures helps fill in a lot of the otherwise empty spaces. I've 'broken' one of the top covers but I'm not going overboard with having covers all over the place even though I know that's generally how things are and used to be. The following photo shows part of the ducting, some newly added bushes and the relay boxes near the tunnel entrance. I'm really glad I took the plunge and painted the backscene now - it looks much better than before when it was just a blank area. Here's a similar photo but this time with 56128 hauling the TEA 100t tank wagons. I've only just taken these out of their boxes again so they've been packed away like much of the other stuff for close on 9 or 10 years! It's a good job I didn't decide to dispose of all these wagons when it seemed I'd never have a layout large enough to ever run them. The TEA's derailed on the first curve due to the bogies being very tight so I've had to go round loosening the bogie retaining screws where required to loosen them up. They're fine now.
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