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mick

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mick last won the day on January 12

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  1. mick

    Camdale layout

    Sorry to hear you've been incapacitated since New Years Eve Tony. You certainly pick your times - don't you realise inebriation is supposed to be the condition on that night? I'm not sure whether you're still confined to a ward or have manged to make it back home but I do hope all is well and I wish you a speedy recovery.
  2. mick

    Leasingham Poacher

    Good to see things are still operational Shaun and by the smile on the smokebox door it looks like all is well. Nice rake of teak coaches behind too!
  3. mick

    Looking for a new Train speed controller.

    I can't help with suggestions for a decent DC controller I'm afraid. I also rely on the standard Bachmann or Hornby 'train set' controllers when I need to test anything under DC control but being primarily DCC I've never taken any notice of the latest offerings for DC controllers. I remember an old Gaugemaster controller I once had many years ago provided some excellent slow speed control (simulation setting) and I imagine they've improved again since those days. I see they still manufacture a range of controllers for single through to four-track operation.
  4. mick

    Worsley Dale Garden Railway

    Yes Griff, for the main part the layout has stood up well to the elements over the past seven years almost. I'm going to need to replace some of the ground level boards this year but that was planned anyway. The viaducts have been almost problem free other than a few of the top parapet walls becoming dislodged due to enthusiastic children and a local feline (which appears to have . The snow hasn't reached us yet although a cold spell is around the corner, but at least the days have started lengthening which is always welcome.
  5. mick

    Bird Photographs

    Welcome to the forum Squidlette! I know it's not recommended that we become too acquainted with our local wildlife but when they're content in our company what's the harm. And had you not taken her in she probably wouldn't have survived in the wild anyway. How does she react when you place her outdoors? Does she stay close by? Have you any plans to release her back into the wild?
  6. mick

    Worsley Dale Garden Railway

    Firstly a rather belated Happy New Year to everyone as well as my most sincere apologies for my very late 'thank you' to Andrew for the 2019 Dorking Garden Railway calendar. We have been busy closing down our caravan for the winter period but now have several free weeks during which I hope to make use of my insulated shed along with my little heater in order to get the layout put back together in readiness for running to recommence. You won't be surprised to learn that it's all very much as it was and I'm sure you've come to expect nothing more from me. I do tend to work in little spurts as you know but even when you have few commitments there still never seems to be enough time and opportunity to do the things you want to do. Anyway, in answer to some questions no Tony, I still have that small bit of shed wall that I never completely finished lining but it's no big deal and won't take long to remedy. I also still have some electric cable that needs enclosing in plastic trunking to tidy it all up. Again not a long job once I get started. The weather's pretty mild here at the moment but it's forecast to get cooler by the middle of next week so it might prove the first test of the shed insulation. The class 67 didn't replace the class 66 - it's just a smaller Bo-Bo version introduced for passenger type work whereas the class 66 Co-Co was intended for heavy freight workings. Roddy I would love to recreate the steam day sleeper too but my current 'Scottish themed' modelling period already extends from the 1980s to present day and the necessary stock costs a small fortune. On top of that Hornby go and announce even more Scottish liveried models for the coming year and I'm really tempted. Andrew, thanks for the Calendar as already mentioned. Yes, the weathering on the viaduct is certainly more effective on the sheltered side. We normally get rain from the west and the weathered side faces north-east so little rain and sunshine mainly during the summer months.
  7. mick

    Worsley Dale Garden Railway

    It's been very quiet again on Worsley Dale but there's been a fair increase in rolling stock, many of which will be featured on the layout in the coming months. I've been reading up on the Scottish railway scene lately and devouring lots of photographs and although it was mentioned by someone when work initially began on Worsley Dale, I never really took to the idea of modelling the Caledonian Sleeper because I just thought of a long rake of coaches running from London to Edinburgh that would look totally out of place on my little single line railway. But I hadn't really seen the opportunity that it presented upon arrival in Edinburgh and its forward movements with varying numbers of coaches and array of motive power. The trouble with modelling the Caledonian Sleeper is that it can be very expensive. The MK3 sleeper coaches are in great demand and command a correspondingly high price while there are no commercially available models of the day coaches. In model form, much like in real life, the RLO and BUO day coaches must be converted from other MK2 coaches and while there are some examples occasionally listed on eBay the quality of workmanship isn't always that great. I was lucky to drop on a pair that I'm quite happy with. The correct day coaches are not absolutely necessary however as there is plenty of photographic evidence to show that even when the train was in First Scotrail Caledonian Sleeper livery (as on the accompanying photos here) there could often be seen standard MK2 coaches in InterCity Executive livery for example. I intend to recreate some of those images at some point and have obtained the correct coaches in order to do so. I'm not sure why but to me the class 67 looks like it was made for hauling the sleepers through the Highlands. Below is 67024 in EWS livery hauling three MK3 sleepers and the two day coaches over Low Shott viaduct. The class 67's are being replaced by class 73's for the Highland sleepers but not before 67004 (below) was repainted in Caledonian Sleeper livery. This is 67004 'CAIRN GORM', a Hornby model fitted with TTS sound. Double heading is not uncommon on the sleeper service and so as I had both locomotives out on a cold day down in Worsley Dale I decided to put them together for another photo with 67024 leading 67004. And after what, five years or so, just look at how Low Shott viaduct has weathered and withstood a number of harsh winters without any undue damage. I would really like to recreate the sleeper service with InterCity liveried sleepers but I've yet to see any offered anywhere and I dread to think of what the asking price would be. I might have to console myself by modelling the Scotrail HST's just announced as part of the Hornby 2019 range.
  8. mick

    Bird Photographs

    If you recall, back in October 2018 I managed to capture a few photographs of a female Sparrowhawk that had begun visiting the bird feeder in my garden. It had no intention of feasting on the goodies I was offering but rather hoping to land itself a meal of one of my smaller feathered visitors. Luckily for them they always managed to evade capture but their good fortune was bound to end at some point. As on previous occasions, I had to dash to grab a camera as soon as I saw the Sparrowhawk arrive but by the time I returned to take a photo it had already grabbed this little sparrow. Within a few seconds it was away carrying its prey with it. This time I'm told it was a male Sparrowhawk.
  9. mick

    My cobbled together layout

    Looking good Griff. Will be nice to see it filled and sanded.
  10. mick

    Worsley Dale Garden Railway

    Don't worry Griff, I'm not about to eradicate my feline intruder but it is extremely annoying when a cat from a good distance away is causing damage to something I've spent a great deal of time putting together. I've only added anti-climb spikes on top of the fence adjacent to the viaduct so if it uses common sense it will jump over a little further up the garden and not end up with sore feet.
  11. mick

    Worsley Dale Garden Railway

    Since I reported on the damage to Stack Gill viaduct, and after having repaired it, I discovered a few days later that it had been damaged again. I now believe it's a cat that's causing the damage and so I've nailed some security spikes along the top of the boundary fence where it seems it's jumping over and down onto the top of the viaduct. It appears to have worked so far. I've not finished work inside the shed so nothing has been replaced and thus there's nothing new to report, however, I have managed to get hold of some new Bachmann MK2F coaches which I'm looking to forward to seeing on track. I've also ordered a Mk2F DBSO which, as far as I'm aware, I've never seen in operation in real life but which appear to offer me a way of running back and forth between the two stations without the need to remove the loco in the terminus station and stick it back on the other end. I'm probably going to be operating a model railway with vehicles and liveries that might never have been seen together at the same time but that's the way I enjoy it.
  12. mick

    Camdale layout

    It feels like where getting close to seeing some action on Camdale now that the transformers have made an appearance. I'm looking forward to seeing a view of the entire layout. Have you had any thoughts regarding scenery or is that looking a bit too far ahead?
  13. mick

    Bird Photographs

    I've not managed to photograph any of those yet Roddy and we see loads of Red Kites but it's always whilst were driving. I thought I'd add a few photos of young Blue Tits this time. I've taken quite a lot though very few are worthy of displaying and just about all of them were taken around the bird feeder which does nothing for the natural setting. The ones below weren't quite ready to feed themselves Youngster and parent. Strange how the young ones have all the markings but not the adults colours. The one below was a quick snap of a youngster that settled on a neighbours fence.
  14. mick

    Bird Photographs

    Hi Tony. The 5D is a full frame Canon Digital SLR, (Canon EOS 5D) the latest version of which I believe is still the MKIV. I have the earlier MKII from a few years ago as well as the MKIV. The largest native bird in the UK is apparently the Sea Eagle (had to Google that one) although we don't get any round these parts. The largest bird we get to see is probably the Heron as it takes an interest in my Koi. I photographed the one below near Long Preston, just outside Settle in the Yorkshire Dales. They have a wingspan of between 1.5 and 2 metres. It's amazing to see just how steady their head remains while they search the streams for food. I have some video, taken on a blustery day, which shows the birds neck swaying about in the breeze but the head absolutely still while they focus on their prey. I've had them stalking my pond on a number of occasions but its covered with a netted frame to keep them out.
  15. mick

    Bird Photographs

    I've taken so many photographs of birds recently that trying to choose a selection to include here is no easy task but the Blue Tit was proving quite an enjoyable challenge. Here's another selection of photos featuring a Blue Tit taken 2-3 weeks after the previous ones. Normally they don't hang around long enough to be able to take a series of photos but when they're searching the tree foliage for caterpillars you get a decent opportunity. I particularly liked the photo below which appears to show the little bird having a great time swinging to and fro. There are more Blue Tit photos to come!
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