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Everything posted by mick

  1. Another two loco's have been back on the layout this afternoon, the first of which was purchased back in March 2011 so it's getting on for a decade old now. Hornby class 50 50037 'Illustrious' is a factory sound-fitted loco that looks like it's had a bit of a rough ride with some of the front end detailing askew and other bits missing. I'd really like to upgrade the sound on this one as it's one of those loco's I never got to see in operation but was fascinated by the sight of one standing outside Doncaster Plant Works one day after its refurbishment. It's the only class 50 in my collecti
  2. I've had the airbrush out again today and finished weathering the remaining wagons on one of my EWS HTA sets. Part of this set had been previously weathered so there were only about 9 wagons that needed doing today. I have another set where all the wagons are in need of weathering but that's left for another day. I've also 'dirtied up' a set of empty canopied MGR's, just to take that shiny new look off them. I don't see any point in spending too much time on them because it's the effect of the whole set that's required and not the appearance of any individual wagon. 3 of my MGR sets have
  3. I hear you Iain but there's no substitute for proper current collection. I've personally fitted stay alive capacitors to 2 loco's in my collection but you'd be hard pressed to see which ones they are. Out in the garden I rarely ever get a break in sound and even rarer still do I get a loco stalling at any point on the layout no matter which loco is in operation. Stay alive capacitors offer added benefits but they aren't needed at all if you have good electrical contact in the first place. The Bachmann class 40, or at least the versions I own, have poor electrical pickup which is disappoi
  4. Once again I've not been doing any work on the attic layout but as I've been up there I'll continue posting here. I'm still working through my collection of loco's trying to work out which ones could be used where and whether any of them need work doing to them. Today I've been running two Bachmann class 40's, although both of them are in green livery and don't really fit in with either layout as things stand. Still, it's always useful to have something you can use for excursions and who knows, perhaps I could always backdate things and have a BR green session one day - though I don't re
  5. Hi Jon and welcome to the forum. Yes I think most of us have had time on our hands this year - certainly the forum was 'rockin' by its usual standards earlier but it seems most have returned to their more usual business now and it's gone pretty quiet again. It's strange how you can often get inspiration just by seeing someone else's layout. I would say I've always had the urge to run scale length trains but it was seeing the Balbeggie Sidings layout on another forum that inspired me to build Skew Bridge the way I did. I'm not really one for constructing scenery and buildings along wi
  6. Well it was a sign I'd have to look elsewhere and without too much trouble I've located some so hopefully by the time I've posted this they should be picking them off the shelf and sending them my way. I'd actually just been out into the garden to take a look at the track to the rear of the shed and I just felt that perhaps double track wouldn't be so bad. It is sometimes handy to have that additional space to put a train in order to clear the station for some purpose or other and I've always used the double track section on the other side of the layout - but that's not as easily accessib
  7. Yes it needs more work yet Griff but it's something I can continue to do at my leisure or at least when the weather allows. As for single or double track, I had a quick look online yesterday for some Peco points and discovered to my dismay that they're currently unavailable in the stores I normally use. Peco must still be playing catch up.
  8. There's nothing really to add to yesterday's progress. I've done very little today other than run the log train round onto the elevated boards to check clearances for the possibility of converting to a double track section. There's ample room should I decide that's the way I'm going to proceed. The trouble is that as nice as double track would be, looking at the above photo with the additional line it doesn't seem to offer the same sense of remoteness or solitude that a single line within a deep sided cutting would give. It's probably because the single line route is how I'd always
  9. Congratulations Barry. That's the first milestone reached. It's always good to see something running no matter what level you've reached in the build. I used to spend hours just running trains back and forth along the short sections I'd completed up to that point and it spurs you on to keep going.
  10. Yes I'll be making provision to allow rainwater to drain away Thomas.
  11. I've made a start on one of the tunnels which will form a scenic break at that end of the elevated section. It all looks a bit messy in the photo but it's actually not that bad. I just need the ground at the top of the tunnel to slope upwards to the same level as the rock backdrop but I've left that for now until the first bits have dried sufficiently. I've used the chicken wire as a former for the tunnel itself and the wet cement bandage is pretty heavy. If I add a second track then the points will be located in that area just before the tunnel so there's enough room for two tracks and a
  12. Thank you for those responses. I suppose in a way I should look upon a passing loop as being more of a double track section because I would want the convenience of using spring points again. It could only be as long as the straight section of elevated boards in the photos because after that the track splits to enter the two stations inside the shed. That bottom section has always been just an approach to the large viaduct and I've rarely captured it on video but that's why I've decided to change it. I'd like to be able to film trains passing along it but it's also an area that
  13. A valid argument there Griff and ordinarily I would have introduced a gentle curve along those boards but there's always been the possibility of adding a second track in the form of a passing loop in that location which was the reason I initially left it straight. I want to keep space at the front end of the board for a low rocky area and with the board being rather narrow I don't have too much room to play with. I intend breaking up the straightness by having a footbridge or some other type of bridge but my plans evolve as work progresses. Talking of work progressing, a start has been ma
  14. There's some really inspirational videos available online where people create rocks and rock type formations using cement based products but don't confuse any of those with what I'm about to produce on my layout!! I'm just looking for a backdrop and at this moment in time I'm not planning on any intricate carving, but we'll just have to see where the mood takes me. I never quite know what I'm doing until I happen to be doing it.
  15. Well here goes with my initial effort at creating a rock backdrop along 'Buttlebank' which is the straight elevated section that runs along the bottom of my garden. I've decided to create a lightweight former out of chicken wire and then cover it initially with a layer of cotton, or some other thin material, soaked in a cement mixture. It should be a similar method to the way I created the embankment up in the attic using plaster bandage which I quite enjoyed. Once the 'cement bandage' has dried I'll then use a light cement mix just to add additional shape and definition. At least that's
  16. An interesting idea. I'm planning to build a length of rock face along the bottom section of my garden layout where the track bed is elevated on boards but I was looking at a more down to earth method of using something based on traditional cement! Yes, ugly I know, but it's all about creating a natural appearance with something I can get my head around and which will withstand the weather outdoors. Looking forward to seeing what you can achieve.
  17. I've been rolling back the years again this evening and turfed out another pair of Bachmann class 37s, this time in the striking Loadhaul livery. These were purchased pre-fitted with Loksound v3.5 sound decoders and factory soundfiles and first featured on a SGR video back in March 2011. The sound quality isn't all that good but it will have to suffice for now. Here 37884 'Gartcosh' heads along the down loop with sister engine 37713. Loadhaul stablemate 60007 is on the down main with the Gypsum train. 37884 'Gartcosh'
  18. You wouldn't think so by looking at the embankment but I've added in the region of at least 30 more trees of all shapes and sizes today, trying to fill in any large gaps. I'd really like to see it just a mass of foliage but there's only so much you can do at a time. Here's just a few of the ones I made up earlier today awaiting fitting on the embankment. I managed to fit some in around the bridge end of the layout, including a couple of taller ones But in the main they were placed towards the top part of the layout where the embankment is slightly more substantial. S
  19. Wow! Isn't that just amazing. It gives a completely different view of your layout which looks so much more expansive than it appears on photos and standard video. I'd love one of those but unfortunately, unless you can get them smaller, I can't see it fitting through the tunnels in my shed. The 4K quality footage is stunning. Better start Googling.....
  20. Here's the video of the weathered PFA containers. I'm quite pleased with how they've turned out and they certainly look more like the actual wagons than they did before. I need to add some Gypsum dust and it would be great to depict some of the overloaded containers where Gypsum was piled up from the bufferbeam to the top of the container - but that's perhaps not practical on a model railway. Maybe just some piles on the container tops with the doors unable to close!
  21. Yes I have Dave but I'm pretty happy with the results you can get from the Hornby model and I don't see what benefit I could possibly get from changing. There's also the fact that the Cavalex models are priced at £89 for sets of three wagons, so that's more or less £30 per wagon, or approx £1,000 per set! Ouch!! The amount of detail they are able to include these days makes them more display models rather than models for running on your layout. I think I'm better with something I can stick some coal into, spray some paint over, and generally hack about to meet my needs. I hope these
  22. Plenty of excuses there to run them in any way I choose - In fact there's almost a valid reason to get another pair double-headed! I've spent the best part of the day since lunchtime up in the attic and although it wasn't something I had planned to do today I've actually gone and weathered my rake of Cawoods PFA containers as well as all 42 containers on my Gypsum train. I've not done the wagons themselves yet or the interiors of the coal containers but getting the exteriors done makes a huge difference to their appearance on the layout. I've done the Cawoods in a similar way to how
  23. I'm not sure which is the best thread to post this on but seeing as I've been running on the attic layout I guess it's as good a place as any. That's the trouble with having more than one layout! I mentioned in the Worsley Dale thread that I'd now got two coal sector class 37's fitted with sound with the intention of double-heading them. They were intended for use on the garden railway as in the sector days it was pretty common by the look of it for Scottish traffic to be double headed using class 37's in all their respective liveries but they would be equally at home on the attic layout
  24. Here's the photo of my rather crude attempt at fitting the Kadee coupling. Actually it isn't too bad and more importantly it works really well. My filing down could do with cleaning up by the look of it but it's not that noticeable until you start enlarging photos. The only thing I did was to remove the cam coupling entirely and I did that with the coach dismantled. Not sure if you can get the coupling out without dismantling it but mine had come adrift when I pulled out the old tension lock and I was attempting to put it back in position before deciding it was probably better to replace the w
  25. Yes sure. When I go out to the shed I'll grab a photo of the one I've modified but basically I used a piece of plastic from the side of an unused speaker housing. You'll discover that there's only room to glue the plastic over the hole towards the bufferbeam and down each side - unless you begin carving away some of the underframe details which I didn't think necessary, hence the stout plastic. The bufferbeam end also has a small dimple which I left in place but shaped the plastic to fit around. I then used an NEM mounting block with the bottom filed flush by removing the 2 legs, gluing t
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