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Everything posted by mick

  1. Tony has asked me to inform everyone that he has been in hospital for the past 6 weeks with a heart condition and is currently unable to make any further progress on his layout. I'm sure you will all want to join with me in wishing him a full and speedy recovery.
  2. Everything's fine with me Barry but apologies to everyone for my lack of input recently (and also my lack of weather updates!) I'll post further details on my thread in a day or so.
  3. That looks a much easier method than the one I adopted Joe and I'm really pleased to see someone else constructing a viaduct using those aerated blocks. Brings back memories just seeing them lined up like that! Let us know how you get on and I'd love to see photos of the finished product once it's complete. Oh and if you can come up with a better solution for the parapet walls then let me know as the pigeons have recently flattened some of mine again during their mating rituals!
  4. Hi Rob I've had most success with the 'central locking' type motor and one I installed several years ago is still operating as reliably as ever. It needs protecting from the weather as any others would but they do seem more rugged than anything designed specifically for indoor model railway use. I tend these days to limit use of point motors to indoor locations using the traditional SEEP types inside my shed along with a peco side mounted motor right where the outdoor line enters the shed but is under cover. The drawback with the central locking type is their size as they are a fair bit larger than a SEEP or Peco motor and you will probably need to construct linkages from motor to tiebar but if you are determined to have points outside then they are something you might want to consider. I've also gone down the route of having 'sprung' points in locations where the direction of travel allows it to be possible, such as my passing loop, hence there's no need for any type of motor at all. This involves some modifications to the points themselves (something you might not wish to do) as well as ensuring all your rolling stock, essentially your wagons, are of sufficient weight to push the point tiebar over without the wagon riding up onto the point and derailing. It was a process of trial and error but I'm pleased with the way it turned out and with very little maintenance they work perfectly reliably. Some of my wagons that had no easy access to the interior needed holes drilling through the base and up into the wagon itself, before adding a little bit of dry sand to weight them down before sealing the hole, again something you might not be keen to replicate with the price of present day models being as they are.
  5. Sorry to learn about your illness Iain but certainly glad to hear you're back up and about again. I hope you're fully recovered or at least well on the way to that. I enjoyed the video and as I mentioned after watching @Andrew's video with the added soundtrack, I quite like them that way. I will have to look out for some appropriate music for accompaniment and have a go myself one day. You've made a good job of yours.
  6. I've just added a selection of 9 Hornby matchboard side Pullman coaches to my eBid store. These were a mix of new and used purchases so while some are in almost as new condition, others have some insignificant marks or damage and are priced accordingly. All have working table lamps though reliable operation does require clean wheels and track to reduce flickering. Here's just a selection of images of some of the coaches listed starting at £22 post free. You'll find details in the store itself https://stores.ebid.net/toomanytrains Rosemary (below) is available for £22 post paid https://www.ebid.net/uk/for-sale/hornby-r4143b-pullman-1st-class-parlour-car-rosemary-199912796.htm Niobe (below) is priced at £26 post paid https://www.ebid.net/uk/for-sale/hornby-r4143a-pullman-1st-class-parlour-car-niobe-199908678.htm Sappho (below) is also priced at £26 post free https://www.ebid.net/uk/for-sale/hornby-r4145a-pullman-1st-class-kitchen-car-sappho-199908610.htm
  7. I'm not sure exactly where to place this just yet so for now I'm going to post here in the Buffet section until I decide later. It's mainly just a heads up that I've once again set myself the task of thinning down my overly large collection of models. Now I've settled on the types of layout I want, i.e Scottish outdoors in the garden and Yorkshire Coalfields up in the attic, I find I've got a load of stock that just doesn't have a place anymore. In addition, the fact that I've amassed so many items over the years means there's very little chance of them getting any track time in the foreseeable future so I think it's better that I let them go to someone who might make better use of them either on a layout or perhaps even on display. I've found it a bit overwhelming recently having so many models and in a way it's been holding me back from getting on with the things that really matter. I'm short of storage space! It's not just needing somewhere to put the models but even when you make things easier by storing them in trays for easy access you then need space for all the empty boxes meaning you really need twice the amount of room you did previously. So a fair number have left me already and there's a good number still to go so from now on. At least I've made some headway so I'll post new listings here too in case anyone is interested. I'm currently listing on eBid and have a 'store' set up (TooManyTrains) with a number of items already 'on the shelves'. https://stores.ebid.net/toomanytrains Ebid is pretty quiet with only occasional visitors so it takes time for your listings to get noticed but I've been a member for several years now and there's a maximum of 2% selling fees so it's okay if you're not in a hurry to sell.
  8. It was a splendid end to the month of March weatherwise with temperatures reaching their highest March peak temperature I have ever recorded with 25.4 degrees centigrade on the final day of the month. As a change from my usual blurb I thought I'd just post these two charts comparing the respective data for each of the past 10 years up to and including 1st April.
  9. Great little video Andrew that just goes to show you don't need DCC sound to create an enjoyable viewing experience. I really like it with a nice soothing soundtrack in the background - much better than some of the awful diesel sounds I've been fortunate enough to acquire! I'd been thinking of doing something similar myself up in the attic and been searching for some complimentary music but it's not until you actually see what someone else has done that you appreciate just how pleasing it can be. The attic acoustics really distort and reverberate DCC sound to a point where it becomes overbearing even for me sitting up there but made even worse on video for everyone else.
  10. I'm sorry to hear that. You're not having much luck recently are you? Things tend to go like that sometimes but hopefully you'll be able to source them elsewhere - there's nearly always a way to get hold of something you want.
  11. That looks amazing.... Looking forward to seeing at least one of those on Clay Mills Junction!
  12. Looks a bit like the one here Barry https://www.custommodelrailroads.com/cmr-train-beaver-bridge.html might give you some ideas
  13. Sorry to hear that you've had to dismantle parts of your layout after you seemed to have been making good progress. Still, at least you're back in the planning stage so it's not all bad news. The 'modular' type build you mention with linking track sections sounds interesting and it will be good to see how you get on with it. An outdoor line with lots of scenery and detailing isn't something I would personally recommend but perhaps with a suitable cover for protection against the elements, as well as all the little critters that are to be found out there, you could make it work. A lot of what we do outdoors in OO gauge is trial and error and what works for one might not work for everyone. Some of us may get substantially more rainfall that others, or maybe higher temperatures even when the distance between our respective locations isn't so great so all we can do is try it and see if it works. Will be following your progress!
  14. Nice work again Tony. I take it you're far enough away from the areas which are experiencing flooding at this time? Geography isn't my strongest point but I believe you're somewhere over towards the east aren't you?
  15. I've just had Worsley Dale powered up for the first time in 3 weeks or so and had a very brief running session. I'd hoped to get away with just going round with the track rubber and then IPA in the track cleaner but found it necessary to get the garden vacuum out too as there was so much debris and fallen leaves along the tracks. It wasn't until I'd started that I remembered I have still to replace the auto frog on the spring points just off Low Shott viaduct. I didn't fancy getting tools and soldering irons out just yet as they are all up in the attic so I left it as it was for now and it didn't cause any problems. I'd already been up in the attic once for the track cleaner and trusty 26024. There's also the cliff face to complete along Buttlebank at the bottom of the garden. We haven't had the weather to even thing about restarting work there just yet so that's something else that will have to wait a bit longer. I'm also determined to get the double track section ballasted this year and as @ba14eaglehas had good results using SBR as a ballast fixative I'm inclined to give that a try rather than the exterior varnish I've used previously along the viaducts. The exterior varnish has however worked fine for me during the 3 years or so it's been down - it's just that it can get a bit messy. Hopefully we 'll get a sufficiently long dry spell so that I can get that done. It should make the layout look a bit more realistic.
  16. Great work Thomas! It's amazing, though certainly not the type of layout you'd find in the Hornby Track Plans book. Strangely the first thing I thought of was "how on earth is he going to clean the windows!" but your planning has been so meticulous that I'm sure you've already thought of a solution to that. That storage/stabling yard really would be perfect for my needs but sadly I just don't have the space to accommodate that number of roads. Is this going to be a DCC sound layout? Has that been mentioned previously?
  17. On one of my 37's the previous owner had separated the fans from their mounting and carefully glued just the fans directly to the rim of the fan grills. Looks very neat. I also remember on one of my models I fastened the fans on top of the speaker itself but directly below the grills. Where there's a will there's a way...
  18. I've put two videos together today, one featuring the Tilcon stone hoppers and the other the BZA steel coil wagons. Both are just about finished (though some of the BZA's are not quite dry) so unless I see something that bugs me I'll move on to something else shortly. Here's the Tilcon hoppers..... ....and here's the BZA steel coil wagons.
  19. Drop Richard a line at Roads and Rails and ask him which speaker he recommends for fitting beneath the fan grills without needing any modifications. He's normally very helpful. I have iphone speakers in some of mine and they can sound pretty decent but I think he will recommend you try something other than those now. The fuel tank way is just an option and not the only way to go about it by any means. Wait until you start milling chunks out of the chassis to fit the biggest speakers! Just be careful installing speakers with TTS decoders as those decoders require 8ohm speakers and iphone types are generally 4ohm. Again best to ask just to be sure - don't take my word for it!
  20. Oh, that slippery slope.......I remember it well!
  21. The BZA set is almost complete and I'm just waiting for some of the cradles to dry before adding the final steel coils. I'll then take a close look and see if any of the wagons need any further colour or weathering but they're not looking too bad at the moment. I think the rake would look better with some variation in the size of steel coils rather than them all being the same. A lot of the photos I've seen appear to show various size steel coils so I'm not sure if there was a standard load or not. Steel wasn't really my thing but I'm not a fan of uniform loads and a bit of variation always looks better. This type of train used to pass by me, often slowly as they approached the junction, and you always got the impression of a heavy vehicle. Looking at the photo of the pristine model above it doesn't portray that feeling but now with the added dirt and grime, to me it looks a true heavyweight and instead of being parked up in a siding it's going to be running regularly.
  22. ..and it appears they're multiplying!
  23. Time for a coffee break and so an opportunity for an update on the BZA wagons. You'll see from the photo below I have managed to get 6 wagons reassembled so far and I'm pleased with how they're looking. I should be able to manage to assemble another 6 by this evening. In close up I can see a few areas that need attention where stray blobs of paint appear like giant puddles, and the left hand cradle in the photo below looks much more prominent than the rest but that's more to do with the attic lighting than anything else. Getting a finish that's acceptable on the layout isn't quite so difficult as one that withstands much closer inspection but these look fine to me and are much more representative of the recollections I have in my mind than the out of the box models. I thought the job of cutting all the straps would be most tedious but it was actually quite enjoyable and I was gradually able to make them finer as I progressed. I've done all 96 straps and fitted them around the steel coils.
  24. I agree Barry, many of the sound projects out there just don't meet expectations, perhaps because our expectations are sometimes greater than what the current technology can provide. However, one thing is for sure and that's that speakers have come a long way since the early days of DCC sound and there's now a much greater choice. If I can just return to the sound decoder itself, although Biffo generally get's good reviews I've found that the best 37/0 sound files are the ones from Jamie Goodman on Loksound v5.0, and Locoman Sounds on Doehler & Haass decoders. We all know the Loksound chips of course but D&H was an entirely new brand to me when I first tried them and the bonus with them is that they are currently selling for £95 which is a fair saving towards a decent speaker when compared to the prices of Loksound versions. I absolutely love my 37/0's from Jamie and Locoman - they blow the socks off almost all other sounds I have apart from maybe the work by paul Chetter with SLW class 24's and the Rail Exclusive class 47s. In the attic or the garden the 37/0 sounds really good and it's a pleasure to operate them. As for my opinion on speakers, and this is just my limited experience of them as I'm far from being an expert, I've tried many combinations and currently have several different setups, but I would have no hesitation in saying that the fuel tank is the best location. My go-to speaker now is the Rail Exclusive Chunky Boom Box speaker available for £18. I usually get them from Coastal DCC as they are very prompt with delivery. https://www.coastaldcc.co.uk/products/railexclusive/speakers/4-ohm/chunky-boom-box It's such a pity that you can't get these to simply fit inside the loco bodies as they 'don't half' enhance the sound. The trouble with the fuel tank location is that you need to dismantle your class 37 in order to get them fitted in and that includes unsoldering the bogies and lights. Depending on your model there may also be the switches located in the fuel tanks for tail/cab lights and you'll probably have to lose them like I did, though it's not something that really bothered me. If you've got a model without the switches down there then it's a much easier decision to make. There's some hacking of the fuel tanks themselves in order to get the speaker to sit flat inside but that's easily done with the dremel. I'm sure there are other options available and others may recommend something entirely different. I'm also sometimes running a bit blinkered once I find something that suits me and don't really listen to anything else so perhaps it's best to take a good look round before following my advice.
  25. That's good to hear Iain. I might just give that a try this year if I can find the time and a decent spell of weather to get round to ballasting.
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