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mick

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Everything posted by mick

  1. The Intermodal video from this afternon
  2. I'm amazed that something that had taken me several years to begin can be accomplished within a matter of days. I'm talking about the Intermodal wagons of course, the ones I made a start on only on Saturday and which today are, believe it or not, nearing completion. There are still some containers that need attention and there's a couple of problematic wagons which also need looking at as they very occasionally derail (close couplings I believe are at fault) but on the whole I'm very pleased with how it's turned out. I set out yesterday with the intention of weathering the chassis on the 7 wagon pairs I'd removed containers from but ended up spraying the whole lot so I'm now working my way through the remaining containers. As usual, I'm not loking for perfection as I only want something that looks the part when running in train formation and not individual wagons for display. This is one of the as purchased 'seaco' containers on a now weathered chassis and this is one that I've weathered. Nothing too involved, just a dirty wash of thinned enamel paint, wiped off with paper towel and then some rusty coloured enamel dabbed on and wiped with a piece of sponge. I'm sure there's more I could do but I don't see much point in doing too much more with them. Maybe some repair patching would be an idea. 66522 has also had some chassis weathering though I have yet to do anything with the upper body. Although I find the darker coloured containers are easier to weather the lighter coloured ones also need substantially toning down, and this white 'axis' container looks so much better for some added dirt. It's also great to get rid of those bright green wagon chassis'. With the entire rake coupled together there isn't a storage road on Skew Bridge that can accommodate it so if I keep it on the layout I'm going to have to split it to allow me to run something else or reluctantly remove 2 or 3 wagons. Something I have been doing is removing the weights from the containers. There are fixed to the removable base of the container but are easily removed and weighing in at 12 grams they add a fair amount of weight to the trailing load. The empty flat beds run perfectly well without any additional weight (apart from the 2 that cause me problems) so I don't see why it's needed. There's in the region of 25-30 containers in total so we're talking probably 300g additional load by leaving them in place. I've taken some video clips of the train in action this afternoon which I'll upload later if it turns out okay. I haven't even downloaded them from the camera yet to take a look at them but watching the train circling the layout it is much, much better than before and it will certainly feature regularly now in future videos.
  3. The weathering on the 121 looks really nice and along with the added details certainly finishes it off. The brass linespeed signs are a handy purchase for outdoors and seldom found these days which is a pity. It seems everything is either laser-cut MDF or moulded plastic. I'd really like to be able to add small details like signs, signals and telegraph poles along the outdoor line but I just know that they wouldn't last more than a few days before the birds had knocked them over.
  4. Hi Chris, it's great to see you back posting another update. The information board looks fantastic and you've made an excellent job of framing it. It's just amazing what you can do/achieve with these little micro controllers especially when in the hands of someone who knows what they're doing! It's mind blowing to learn you can actually couple them to track sensors for automatic updates.
  5. After spending the afternoon running trains I eventually made a start on adding some weathering to a few of the Intermodal containers. I have 13 twin wagon sets and have so far managed to work my way through 7 of them. I've added just a light wash to the containers, wiping most of it off again with paper kitchen towels. It'l probably take a good 24 hours to dry as it's cold up in the attic but when it does I'll begin adding some rust and general marks. Then the wagon chassis themselves wil need weathering. During the earlier running session I swapped the Gypsum train from the outer (clockwise) track to the inner (anti clockwise) track and the Tilcon stone train was swapped in the opposite direction. It just makes a change from seeing them going the same way all the time. Here 60070 'John Loundon McAdam' is in charge of the Gypsum in its new anti-clockwise running direction as it passes 66068 waiting with HTA's in the down loop. 60070 still needs some pipework adding on the front and the blank deflector/snowplough in place of the one with the slot for a coupler. (below) 56127 sits in the sidings at Skew Bridge having just propelled a loaded MGR set into No.1 road.
  6. The Accurascale versions are a bit cheaper at £74.95 per triple pack, or at least they will be when they are released. It still seems remarkable that there's going to be 2 manufacturers releasing new MGR wagons at around the same time.
  7. Don't worry about it, most of us take a break now and again and there's usually little that can be done at this time of year anyway. We're just lucky to have a settled spell of weather at the moment although as you point out, it can be bitterly cold out there even in the winter sunshine. The bubblecar looks great waiting at the platform - nice present!
  8. I think it's sufficient for Skew Bridge, though if I'd got room for more sidings on the scenic side of the laytout then I'd consider filling those up too for effect! I think they're decent enough runners, very little wobbling around, and on the whole they stay on the track as they're supposed to. The buffers are wrong as many are keen to point out but who notices when they're in motion? As I've remarked elsewhere, the majority of my MGR's were purchased 10 or more years ago, mostly secondhand, and I was averaging around £8 per wagon. Later purchases cost me up to £41 for the triple wagon packs which is as much as I'd be willing to pay. Nowadays they're asking over £20-£25 per wagon? Well if I operate it as intended, the loco's used on Skew Bridge shouldn't ever be seen on Worsley Dale as they're supposed to be entirely different layouts. On the odd occasions some loco's have found their way across however but generally it's better for me, and less hassle, to keep them in their proper places.
  9. I've just been looking through some of the video clips from earlier today and yes, to be honest some of the loco sounds aren't brilliant but I'm beginning to think that it doesn't really matter so much as I used to think it did given the right situation. From the outset Skew Bridge was designed and built for running scale length trains and I try to film them as I remember them - running at speed and passing by often at close quarters. So the loco approaches and passes and the sound is gone - but the noises from the wagons, the clickety clacks over rail joints, they last for so much longer. I'm barely hearing the loco's now because I'm focusing so much on the wagons behind. I try to position the camera close to rail joins or pointwork that can accentuate the track sounds. When the loco passes I want the loco sound to soften or stop because it's unnatural to hear it continuously as the loco circles the layout and with long trains the loco can be on the opposite side of the layout while the rearmost wagon is still on the other. I now use a directional microphone so that it picks up sound mainly from the front. I agree that some loco sounds are extremely realistic, I have several that I would say are very good indeed, but it's not everything and the best sounds of all in my opinion are the ones from the wagons - which are absolutely free. For it to work however you do need to be running long trains at a realistic speed but if you get it right those little plastic wagons will sound much beefier than they actually are.
  10. Well I'm hoping that there'll be nothing else to tempt me into ordering anything. I imagine that come next year the Coronation coaches will probably be released as alternative versions but it doesn't matter to me, I just want the original 1937 set. Hornby are sure to want to get every little bit out of them so they will eventually do all later liveries. I still don't know what I'm going to do with them - only that I want them! I think Skew Bridge has all the stock it needs. I know Cavalex Models are releasing a brand new class 56 but when I look at my Hornby models in motion I don't see a lot wrong with them. Likewise my MGRs, they look the part so why would I want to replace them with either the forthcoming Cavalex or Accurascale models? I'm sure that in a display case there'll be noticeable differences but taken as a whole picture I'm certainly happy seeing my MGR trains running as they are. Worsley Dale also has more than enough stock.
  11. There are 141 MGRs in total on the layout, 1x34, 1x35 and 2x36 wagon sets. 2 sets are loaded and 2 empty. They're all the later Hornby models. I never intended running all 4 sets together, the idea was to have MGR rakes standing in the down sidings along the scenic length of the layout as other trains passed by, much as they used to be in the 80s and 90s. If I'd had the space I would have had more sidings! A video I've just put together shows 1 set departing the sidings (the only non-weathered set) and 2 being propelled back in because that's all they ever seemed to do in real life. I have some standard Hornby factory-fitted, some Biffo, and some TTS, though I don't reckon much to TTS to be honest. Exactly which is which I will have to take a look because off hand I can't remember as I've done a bit of swapping round. I know 048 is standard Hornby as that was one of the first sound fitted models I ever purchased.
  12. From the album: Skew Bridge

    56127 stands in the down loop at Skew Bridge sidings with an MGR train. This photo is used as my YouTube channel banner image.
  13. Do you ever wonder, after spending several hours messing around on your layout, what the heck you've been doing? I must have been up in the attic for almost 7 hours today and I would be struggling to tell you exactly what I've managed to achieve. I've filmed a few more video clips, trying to capture something a bit different from what's gone before, but I've come across a few problems that need sorting out, mainly with couplings, and yet I haven't got round to doing anything about them. The problem with swapping locos around is that I'd got everything running nice and reliably and all of a sudden some couplings are coming apart and others riding up on top of each other. Even considering the fact that I use a Kadee height gauge to ensure the couplings are at more or less the same height, some just don't like being next to each other! To be honest it's not that bad and there's only been a couple of problematic vehicles made worse by the fact that I've been doing some propelling movements and it's primarily the fact that MGR sets are extremely weighty when there's 36 of them. It puts a lot of strain on those little plastic couplings and NEM mountings. I got there in the end and eventually managed to safely propel 2 full MGR sets into the sidings on the front of the layout while the video camera was running. Earlier today I decided it was time to change my YouTube banner image. The previous one depicting Stack Gill viaduct has been there long enough and it felt a bit dated but I couldn't really think of anything to put in its place so ended up using one of a class 56 on MGR's. It's a bit awkward trying to choose a photo that's the right format for TV screen, desktop, and mobile devices. It always seems to want to chop off the bits I would most like to use but at least the one below retains the loco and wagons for desktop use. It will do for now until I come up with something else. I'm going to have lots of work to do on the log carriers when they eventually arrive but I'm actually considering weathering up the Intermodal wagons and containers. They aren't currently on the layout because there's no room for them until something else is removed but I don't like using them while they are in pristine condition anyway as they just look out of place. I think they might be my next job.
  14. I doubt any of us could have anticipated things turning out as they have done over the past 2 years so delays can be expected and I appreciate that. I'm not too happy with the fact that the log carrier wagons are now available from shops while those who have paid, and paid well in advance, are left waiting for their pre-orders. I suppose that's how things are when you are dealing with cottage industries rather than large manufacturers but I'm sure (at least I hope) they'll be worth waiting for.
  15. There's a good chance these could see delays too but I think we've all become accustomed to that in this hobby over recent times. Anyway, I've submitted my order and all I can do now is sit back and wait. As I've mentioned previously, or at least in another thread, I'm awaiting delivery of a rake of log carriers from RevolutioN trains which are in the process of being dispatched and I actually took the decision to pay in full for those approximately 18 months ago! At least with the Coronation coaches there's nothing due until the items are ready to be delivered.
  16. I decided to have a decent running session in the attic this afternoon. We'd had a nice long walk in the morning so I'd had my exercise for the day and felt happy to take things a bit easier. I'd been up in the attic swapping locos around for some time before I noticed one of my LED batten lights wasn't working. It was the very far one opposite the bridge which was strange as they're supposed to be good for 'up to 25000 hours' and I've had them a little over one year so even if I left them on continuously they should be okay until the end of 2023 at least. What a waste...you can't replace a tube as they're sealed units so the whole lot has to go in the bin. Anyway, I managed to remove the LED batten positioned over the curved end of the layout and placed it opposite the bridge so that at least the running straight is fully illuminated. I will have to see about getting a replacement...or two even so that I have a spare. I filmed a number of trains running round to try add a bit of variety to my videos, swapping locos from the sets they'd been attached to for what seems ages and putting them onto something different. 66068 was added to some MGR wagons - I don't think I've done that before or at least not for some time. One thing I won't be doing is putting any class 60's on HTA wagons because in my days it was only ever class 66's on the HTA sets. I almost forgot to take any photos today and I like to have something appropriate to use as a thumbnail so I quickly took this one of 56127 waiting in the down loop while the 100t tanks were about to pass on the mainline. The video is below.
  17. From the album: Skew Bridge

    Coal sector liveried 56127 waits in the down loop at Skew Bridge for a passing tank train
  18. It's been rather quiet on the wildlife front this past couple of weeks and the few photos I have taken have yet to be sorted out but these are some I have already attended to. The first is of a Pied Wagtail sitting on a length of wire fencing just outside East Marton on the Leeds & Liverpool canal. It was totally unconcerned by our presence but the sad things is that on our return journey there was the remains of a similar bird on the towpath that had clearly been captured by a predator. The same bird? We'll never know. Another image of a Kingfisher but still not that perfect photograph. This photo was taken on the Leeds & Liverpool canal opposite Newton Grange holiday cottages between Gargrave and East Marton. And I really do enjoy taking photos of these little Stonechats below. This one was taken close to Long Preston and it's a spot where I've seen them before so while out walking it's a place I frequently stop to look for them. This dark faced bird is the male and they do tend to oblige by perching on top of the long grasses so that you can get a nice uncluttered view of them.
  19. I uploaded a short video yesterday evening with some clips of the coal trains running. It wasn't planned to become a video as I was just trying to discover some better viewing angles but these few go together nicely.
  20. From the album: Skew Bridge

    58048 with a loaded MGR set passes 56003 travelling in the opposite direction with another loaded rake of MGR's as 66068 waits in the down loop with empty HTA hoppers. Photograph has added sky effects.
  21. Still no sign of my log wagons being delivered but I've had an enjoyable hour or so up in the attic taking photos and video clips while running a few coal trains round. These are the sights and sounds I remember and it's amazing how even on a model railway layout it can all be reproduced with a carefully positioned video camera. It can appear very realistic indeed. The photo below (again with added sky effects) shows 3 of the trains I have been operating today. It's best not to try to do too much when there are points to alter. It would have made my job much easier, and performance much better, if I had been able to go round the layout with the track cleaner beforehand but with all the storage roads occupied it's not an easy task to accomplish.
  22. Well I've waited almost 25 years already so another one or two wouldn't make much difference. The Hornby website actually states an anticipated delivery during Summer 2022 so they must already be well advanced. It's going to be another rake of coaches that have little purpose on either of my layouts but sometimes there are just some things you cannot resist but if they do them properly, and Hornby are pretty good when it comes to coaches in my opinion, then they should look stunning. Fingers crossed.
  23. My mistake Dave as my 37403 is actually a standard ViTrains model which I always assumed was in some way connected to the old Lima models. Searching online it seems unclear whether these were newly tooled but if you notice the difference immediately then that would point to it being new tooling. Perhaps my assumed connection to Lima was due to the ViTrains chassis being used as replacements for the Lima models? I could well be wrong on that one too!
  24. Oh dear me! I know I've said there'll be no more new models for me but I never expected Hornby to release a set of LNER Coronation coaches as part of their 2022 range. Many years ago I purchased a set of Mailcoach plastic kits to construct the Coronation coaches but never got round to doing so and eventually sold them on at a time when funds were very tight. In those days my early interests were purely LNER based with 4902 'Seagull' being my first purchase from a local 'G.T. Smith' supermarket of all places. It cost me a little over £20, £22 if I remember correctly. Sadly 4902 was sold too but ironically it's one of only three A4 locomotives that I now do not have in my collection. I note the current RRP of an A4 for 2022 is to be £217.99. It's going to be very difficult for me to refuse to order the Coronation coaches despite the total cost of the full 9 coach rake being close to £500! But I suppose that's only £10 per week for a year and when I consider I was once a smoker getting through at least 20 cigarettes per day at a cost of £6-£7 per packet then it doesn't seem too bad. And I will probably live that little bit longer for giving up the cigarettes so I can get more use from them. They're beginning to seem like a bargain!
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