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Everything posted by mick

  1. Another enjoyable video Iain along with some impressive new stock. Have there been any new additions on the OO gauge side or are you leaning a little more towards the larger scale? I've been so disappointed with some of my recent purchases that I'm reluctant to keep on splashing out on products that fail to meet expectations. I used to be more of a 'collector' than a modeller but now I can't see any justification in continually hoarding models and I actually find myself saying "I don't need it" whereas before I just had to have it whatever the region or era it represented. Maybe that's go
  2. You're a brave man Andrew - it's been pretty cold out there of late. The Intermodal is looking good. What have you got now - 6 pairs? How many are you looking to add?
  3. Of course. I remembered soon after posting that you'd mentioned springing the points. They should be fine just inside the tunnel - mine are fully exposed and still work okay. At least there's no need to worry about that little over-centre spring going rusty anymore. I've never had a slug on either of the viaducts so the abrasive nature of the blocks must not be to their liking. I don't worry too much about spiders either but they do sometimes build their webs inside the tunnels which then wraps around the leading vehicle if I don't notice it beforehand.
  4. Nice work Barry. I'm glad to see you're still able to make some progress in spite of the weather. It all looks good to me. It actually doesn't seem quite such a sharp radius curve in the photo, especially where the coach is standing. Is that the actual track layout and if so how do you propose to operate the point in the tunnel entrance? Did you say you were planning on bunging up the entrances when the railway is not in use to deter the little creatures? I imagine slugs will be the biggest problem.
  5. There's been a bit more progress with some of my HEA hoppers although at the moment it's been mainly experimental. Photographs of HEA wagons usually show a number of different liveries within rakes but as mine are starting off as all Railfreight 'red' versions I've decided to stick with that and, for now at least, just try to introduce some different shades. It appears that the red faded very quickly so wagons varied from bright red to a light pink. Photographs also show that whereas some wagons had the 'Railfreight' branding either removed or painted over, other wagons retained it even d
  6. I believe some decoders allow a limited use of the soundfile under DC control but if you're really thinking of getting into sound fitted locos then I'd suggest starting out with DCC in the first place because once you've heard one 'decent' sound fitted loco you wouldn't want to go back. Even without sound you'll only require a basic decoder in each loco to reap the rewards of finer DCC control which is superior to analogue control and you can then add sound as and when you please. The garage door lifting section sounds interesting but should be possible - just don't forget and raise the
  7. Welcome to the forum! Well I hope that the few outdoor layouts featured on the forum here show that it's not impossible and that you can share the enjoyment of a model layout outdoors equally as much as you can indoors. I'm fortunate to have both an indoor and an outdoor layout and what I will say is that the outdoor layout gives me much more enjoyment than the indoor one. Much like the full size railways, an outdoor model railway needs a good solid foundation to begin with and regular maintenance to keep it operating to its full potential. The base for your track is the mos
  8. The FOOL that is me!! Did anyone else receive a promotional email from Hattons' a couple of days ago with details of their Festive Sale? They're advertising price reductions on several items including their O gauge A3, A4 and OO gauge class 66s locomotives. Despite the problems I had with my previous purchase of a class 66 loco that I ended up returning for refund, I decided that a 'festive' price reduction from £150 to £119 was worthy of another chance and that I could perhaps rectify any similar problems that I came across. After all, there's plenty of advice available online now due to
  9. I had to do the same with my loaded MGR wagons. Some might question the idea of using Parkside moulded loads when they need additional work to enable them to fit correctly but they are convenient, sturdy, and relatively cheap to get hold of. I find it easier than producing my own loads entirely from scratch. For the canopied wagons (HBA,HFA) I still found it necessary to adapt the moulding otherwise the canopy wouldn't locate on the edge of the wagon as the central bracing of the canopy rests on top of the moulded coal load.
  10. I've had 4 packs of Parkside moulded coal loads for fitting to my rake of HEA wagons for some time but it's been one of those things I've never got round to doing. The moulded loads, in my opinion, are just a little too big resulting in the load sitting right at the very top of the wagon whereas in reality they were rarely ever loaded that way. So today I set about cutting a few millimetres off each end to allow them to sit a little further down inside the wagon which I feel looks much better. I also enlarged the central cut-outs with a couple of passes of a needle file where the loads fits ov
  11. Fortunately there's not a lot of scenic work involved on Skew Bridge - it's mainly been a case of planting a few trees and other vegetation. Construction has been limited to a scratch built roadbridge and a plastic porta cabin kit. One day I would maybe like to try my hand at something more elaborate and involved but for now I'm happy to go along with how things are. The only area that really needs any work is the sidings and even here I've limited it to the very basics. In my experience the porta cabin usually sits on four slabs but I've plonked this one on a concrete base. It's supposed
  12. Yes, they look like being really nice but I've also been keeping an eye on the TMC/Bachmann 24.5t minerals too - it seems ages since I first saw them advertised, in fact I thought they'd given up on them. 2021 is going to be an expensive year by the look of it!
  13. Hi Marcus Firstly, I've merged your recent video links with your layout thread to keep things together in one place. Have you decided on a name for the layout yet? If you can let me know what it is I will then edit the title of this thread (which I've moved across from the planning section) so that you're up to date and in one place. Great videos by the way. It's always nice to finally see something running after following a layouts construction. I particularly enjoyed the final video of the Swiss Bavaria Express rounding the curve - such a natural looking setting which looks a great
  14. Going back to my last statement, and looking at prototype photographs, it appears that many signals were just 'plonked' among the ballast but I decided mine would be better raised on a concrete pad and so I've used some small pieces of plastic to create a plinth and raise them above the level of the ballast. I was afraid that by lifting them even by such a small amount it would mean having to extend the wires beneath the baseboard but fortunately there was just enough slack to enable me to wire them back up again afterwards. I'm not sure it's entirely correct but I do feel they look bette
  15. I've been busy trying to rectify more of my earlier mistakes. Firstly there's the points I recently fitted with Tortoise point motors. I wasn't entirely happy with their operation or the fact that I hadn't adapted them for automatic live frog power feed so I decided the best course of action, having taken up one already, was to lift the rest and do it correctly. So these were the two points I needed to sort out and after scraping away the ballast they were taken up.. For more reliable operation of the point itself I enlarged the hole through which the operating wire passes int
  16. October has been a disappointing month for outdoor modellers and whilst temperatures were only slightly below our October average it's been a dull, damp, and miserable old month. The October rainfall total of 63mm was down on the previous year but slightly above the October average of 52.3mm However, it's the sunshine hours that tell the bigger story with a very disappointing 49.9 hours of recorded sunshine - well below our October average of 88.0 hours.
  17. I'm surprised to hear that after the rave reviews they've been getting elsewhere but I suppose you don't really know until you've tried them yourself under the conditions you yourself operate. Most couplings work just fine with short trains and little trailing load but it's once you start increasing that load that your problems begin. I didn't really want to start butchering any of my coaches and wagons but it was the only way to achieve reliable and consistent coupling between individual vehicles. Shorter trains was never part of my agenda.
  18. I agree the brown does look better than the grey I've used previously, especially on the main running lines. I have stuck with grey for the sidings because that's how I remember them - in fact they could really do with some spilled coal to darken things up a bit as it's much too clean and tidy at the moment. I've yet to return to the track weathering on the mainline which needs more attention near the signals where loco's would be brought to a stand. So no photographs to show today but I have almost got all the point motors operational - there's just one in the sidings that needs some fin
  19. I like the idea of using names that mean something to you - most of the named sections on my layouts are place names from the area where I grew up, many of which are now lost in the midst of time. I've heard and read a lot about Hunt couplings recently but I'm still plodding along with the Kadee's. I prefer having the coupling attached to the coach itself rather than the bogie and so far, touch wood, they've proved pretty reliable in use. Does the decision regarding left or right through the station imply that you'll be having a form of sprung points? I assume it does otherwise you'd
  20. What better way to spend your time than an afternoon beneath the baseboards! But not to worry - at least now I've got my signals working even if it is only via manual switching. The two signals showing red aspects in the above photo are each simply wired to two SPST switches - the first switch selecting either red or 'off' and the second being either green or yellow which can only display if the first is set to the off position. The 'off' tag being used to transfer power to the second switch. Doesn't get any more basic than that does it? For what I need it works just fine. I still h
  21. I'm pleased to say that the three point motors I installed earlier are still in working order and are now fully operational. I'm not keen on working beneath the baseboards though so it's a job I'm glad to get out of the way. There's another two points that need motors fitting to them before I have full control of the down sidings area of the scenic section but it was never my intention to motorise them. From the outset I intended keeping them as manually operated points but now I might just change my mind. There's still the signals to wire up in that area and I think I can use the bu
  22. I'm sure you'd find additional uses for a reciprocating saw if you got one but as you say, for the sake of a few blocks alone it's probably not worth the expense. In my experience you'd definitely need a supply of blades to go with it as the blocks soon eat into them. That was the reason I chose to use old hand saws and I got through a number of them while cutting the blocks as well as files while shaping them!
  23. That looks a decent product Barry and the fact that the batteries are interchangeable throughout the range is an added bonus. I knew that the same battery could be used to power their drills, saws and other similar tools but was surprised to hear that you can use them with a lawnmower too. I wonder what the anticipated running time is for items such as lawnmowers and chainsaws? High capacity branded batteries look rather expensive compared to some of the cheaper 'compatible' ones out there.
  24. My switches finally arrived this lunchtime, exactly 10 days after being posted using Royal Mail's first class postal service. They arrived along with a number of other letters and packages that should mostly have been delivered during the past week but it appears we have had no post at all during that period. I suppose we should be grateful for the fact that things are at least getting through during these unprecedented times and especially grateful to those who are doing their best to ensure that they do. So I'm about to go up into the attic to begin adding power to those recently instal
  25. I decided it was time to add some of the remaining point motors, especially those furthest away from the 'control' area of the layout. There isn't an actual control panel on Skew Bridge only a place where the DCC controller sits, above which are a few lever switches for point operation. It's all very basic and prone to signalman error but it's also a very basic trackplan so there's really no need for anything more sophisticated. My experiences have shown that delicate electronics aren't entirely happy in cold and damp conditions anyway. I was about to order some cheap solenoid point motor
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