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mick

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mick last won the day on January 22

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. One class 56 buffer located!

  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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?
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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!
  11. 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.
  12. I've fitted another 3 Gaugemaster auto-frog modules today and, along with the points I installed yesterday, they have now been added to the power bus so electrically at least I can now run out of the nine available storage roads. I've taken some point motors out of their packaging in readiness for fitting at the non-scenic end, which is the end to the bottom as you look at the previous photo. I'd just like to get the furthest points motorised for now as at the moment I tend to perch myself at the top end in easy reach of a whole bunch of points at that end of the storage yard. I can do those manually until I get round to motorising the whole lot. I've had a go at highlighting some foliage on the trees along the backscene near to the tunnel entrance. I've not yet got the hang of it but I'm getting there. Through trial and error I worked out that I needed to thin the paint when trying to add branches otherwise I just ended up with a very thick blocky line. It doesn't really need much more than this I don't suppose - I'm happy enough with it as it is. It's now heading towards 8pm but I think I might just go back up and see what else I can do.
  13. Glad you manage to get the photos arranged correctly - it takes a bit of getting used to but once you get the knack it's fine. So, I was about to say it's been two years since you posted your original plans for a garden railway but in fact it's been almost three! You've certainly had plenty of time to mull things over in the meantime. I hope after the upheaval at your previous home that you're now settled and can plan for the future. Splitting up the construction into phases is a good way to go about it. Even the smallest garden layout can be a lot of work so it's wise to plan ahead if you can. It's probably best to do it so that you can use the sections you've completed in some way, even if it's only for out and back running. I've done that with both my garden layouts and it's much better than having nothing to play around with while spending days on end working away at it. Returning to the OSB point, I think it's clear that few, if any, members would recommend using it but you're never going to know for sure until you've tried it yourself. I doubt anyone would have recommended me using exterior plywood at ground level on top of concrete footings for part of my own layout but I thought it was the way to go and believed it would work. It did for a good while but in the end it resulted in failure and ultimately renewal of the complete section. At least you're going to be off the ground which tips the balance more in your favour. It looks like you've got some serious work on your hands but take it from me that doing little and often is a good way to make progress. I've been on with my present one for 7 years and as basic as the layout is, it's still not finished.
  14. I've resisted the temptation to run any trains today so that I wouldn't get distracted from doing other tasks. There's still a heck of a lot of work left to do on the layout but I'll keep chipping away at it and I'm sure it'll eventually get done. There's now a long section of lineside ducting in place in front of the embankment and I've altered the backscene slightly around the tunnel area to create a denser backdrop of trees. The trees still need going over with a highlighter to suggest leaves. The lineside ducting can be seen in the following photo and there's also a couple of relay boxes which you might just be able to make out near the tunnel. I'm not sure where to position those just yet. I think when it's all ballasted it will bring everything together and look much better. On the storage side I've added some more points enabling me to bring the available storage roads up to 9 on this side. The two latest roads are yet to be connected to the power bus so that's a job for tomorrow. If I'm lucky I'll probably be able to add another 3 roads once I've extended the baseboard width fully but in order to retain maximum storage length they are going to be dead end roads. I could probably do with a total of 18 or more but I suppose I'll just have to rotate stock every so often. There are already 10 rakes of wagons on the layout, the 7 you can see in the photo below and another 3 stabled on the scenic section.
  15. Really good Chris. The sections across the viaducts have been done for a few years now and they've been no problem at all. It's best done using a good quality roofing felt. I cut it into strips just a little wider than the sleeper base and glued it down with roofing felt adhesive. I find the roofing felt also helps grip any track pins you insert into the aerated blocks. I also ballasted some of the track afterwards using granite ballast held in place by exterior varnish (thinned slightly using white spirit) and this has adhered to both the felt and the bare face of the aerated blocks. It's why I decided to relay my ground level section using a similar technique, albeit with slices of aerated block cemented on top of the concrete footings replacing the original plywood base. It would definitely be my first choice for any future construction.
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