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Everything posted by chris

  1. I run with JMRI, but with a NCE PowerCab as the command station. Old phones as throttles and an old iPad as the signal box. I run it on it's own wifi network provided by a retired broadband router now living in the shed. No problems with signal range or interference from traffic on the home wifi. It all works well and friends can join the network with their phones and get driving. Handy in these COVID times when you don't want to be handing things around.
  2. Our On30 railroads are taking very simmer routes. May be i'm following you down the scavenger path. On my garden railway I have two areas of baseboard that need replacing. I really should crack on with it. You're beyond repair message is a warning to me.
  3. Spent a bit of time sorting the Kadee's on my rolling stock so they are at the correct height for the magnetic uncouplers. The easiest option for some stock was to rewheel them. Had a play. Uncoupling and shunting wagons is a lot easier. It is fun rather than frustrating. Some branches I've had lying around the garden for 3 years finally got chopped to length for my logging cars. I connected up my Snicket Way baseboards and ran onto them. Turns out the track power connector between the two layouts is wired the wrong way wound. My red rail at the front, black at the back rule should prevent this kind of cockup, I'll have to figure out what I've got mixed up. Its a 2 minute fix with the soldering iron. With the recent DCCing of my Porter it was its first run on the 20cm (8") curves of the Snicket Way. There were no issues. I'm currently thinking about the buildings for Paltryville. They need to be weather proof. Mainly because I'm running out of space to store all of my moveable scenery. From this photo it appears the there is a strong gradient to the peak. There isn't, My camera was a few degrees off level.
  4. And now the Museum of Items joins the rebuild club. Wasn't planning on reskinning the Cinema, but it will happen at some point to fit better with the new style.
  5. This half of the back scene is almost complete. Just the Museum of Items to reskin. It's been a big upgrade since I February. Need some nailed on good weather so I can set it up outside for a running session.
  6. Another rainy day in lockdown. Another building upgrade for the Snicket Way.* I'm getting rather good at these now. Window frames are down to 1mm wide, which is fine enough for OO buildings. *actually took a couple of days to build, but in lockdown, who's counting.
  7. One thing that adds to the time of designing with the plotter cutter is rearranging the cuts so they use the card efficiently. With black, white and cereal box card I don't worry too much, because I have plenty of it. But the coloured card is a rarer resource. I actually reduced the hight of these building by 1 cm to reduce waste. However careful I am, there is still off cuts. Heres the pile form this last build.
  8. As the weather switched from too hot for being outside to too wet for being outside I cracked on with an indoor task. My biggest project yet with the plotter cutter. The backsence to The Snicketway is currently stored in view. I decided that it was worth an upgrade. I searched the streets of Harlem for a prototype and found some suitable brownstones, painted in bright colours. They were quite complicated. but I worked out that i could fit three of them in the space to replace two simple houses. Three of very similar design really plays into the strengths of the plotter cutter. The time spent on the design pays back three fold. I'd recently got some new sheets of card so had plenty of colours to choose from. There were 3 or 4 nice challenges in the design. The roof line is fancy, and required several layers of card. The bay windows require a bit of trig to workout the angles. And I had 6cm depth and 9 width to play with the steps and their right angle turn. The plotter cutter is great for knocking out a paper prototype. A quick check that the layers are fitting together to create the right effect. It gets very confusing creating all the layers spread out on a sheet of A4 rather than on top of each other as they will end up. I built a prototype stairway first to check it worked. I spent a week on and off on the design. On Sunday I was determined to crack on and get it done. By 10pm. I had all the parts constructed, but all in separate sections. This is 12 different sections placed together for a photo. Monday was another mammoth build session. I joined the three main sections with a backing sheet and attached the rooflines. So far so good. It became apparent the the bay windows were too big for the building. They fitted, but didn't look right. I stuck them on anyway. This was a mistake. I couldn't live with them, they looked wrong. I pulled them off. But having used Roket Card Glue, this ripped up the wall card. I redesigned the bay window smaller. Built one. It was much better. New sections of wall were cut to cover over the trashed bit and two more bays were cut, built and attached. These fitted with the balance of the building. The steps were added while trying to keep everything perpendicular, always tricky in 3D. And the result is rather impressive. Still need to be added to the scene, bu this is where they will sit once I've removed the current housing.
  9. I use streamline spacing. No issues.
  10. @mick, Any chance you could write up a quick Topic on Sprung Points. I'm already struggling to find the posts this topic. It's a genius idea and it would be helpful to have it as a stand alone subject. Cheers
  11. One of my friends has found your YouTube channel and shared it with our "Modelling Mates" WhatsApp group. A summary of the responses is... Wow! Keep up the good work @mick
  12. Hi Chris, I like the look of your work so far, that's some good quality construction which will stand you in good stead. I think your track plan is a great idea. How long will the loop be? and how long will it take for a train to reappear at the station from the garden? cheers chris
  13. The 156 (Hornby/Lima) was my first lighting job. I went for headlight and makers lights. It looks good, but I've tended not to bother adding marker lights since then. The roof comes off this model, which makes it very easy to work with. But you will need to add power pickups to the wheels of the trailing car. A skill I have yet master.
  14. Timing is everything. Yes there was a wait, but surely the viewer knows what is coming and that adds the excitement of anticipation.
  15. Hi Barry I think you have done great job. The 158 is one of my less successful lighting projects. I think I was lazy, leaving uninsulated wires exposed and a short or two has taken out an LED. The website you link to is an invaluable guide. I emailed the author, Martin, quite a lot when I was doing most of my upgrades. As I say in this thread, he designed the simple circuit switch that enabled parking lights control. Brightness levels are very tricky to judge. What looks right on the workbench can't be seen outside. Although I want my lights to be realistic, it's more important for me to be able to see them from the other end of the garden which means I have them very bright. I think we forget that lights on trains are very very bright, they have to be seen by track workers from a distance much further away than even the scale length of my garden. Hopefully this has got your confidence up. You have started with a tricky model to convert and done an excellent job. If you tackle any more units I strongly recommend adding the yellow door warning lights. They make a tremendous difference when a train stops at a platform.
  16. The sleeper waiting for the freight to clear was a real highlight.
  17. Two steps forward one step back. Most of yesterday was spent working on the trailing bogie. Getting the wheels to pick up power took an age. After a few test runs I found that my simple pivot system wasn't good enough and I will require a second pivot point. This shouldn't be too difficult to achieve, but having snapped one bogie yesterday I can't make that mistake again with my backup one wheel set.
  18. Styrene cab Just the roof to cut, and some tidying up of those edges.
  19. With The Paltryville Ridge and Peak Railroad now running services it is time to increase the size of the working loco fleet. Task one was to DCC a Porter I bought 3 years ago. For 2 years I thought it couldn't be done because taking it apart was next impossible. Turns out, it was quite easy. So I did that last year. Then I spent a lot of time trying to workout how to hide the chip and wires. As is my usual practice, I left it in a box in bits for year. Yesterday, with the new determination of lockdown life I had another go. This time it was going to happen. And low, it did happen. I chose a different location for the chip, between the pistons rather than in the cab. this simplified and shortened the wiring. It became a simple job: cut, strip and solder wire. More surprise than relief, it worked first time, headlight an all. So on to the next loco that has been in bits for a year, or nearer two. Good ol' Smokey Joe. Its a classic loco to convert to O-16.5 for UK modellers. I'm going freestyle American. I hacked the cab off with a razor saw, the buffers had been previously been liberated by the same tool. The digital calliper went to work on the dimensions and graph paper sketches were draw to get a feel of a design. Lots of prototypes were viewed until something I liked emerged. This afternoon I fired up the plotter cutter and knocked up a cardboard prototype cab and coal bunker. I'm adding a bogie to turn it into a 0-4-4. Seeing USATC 2253 "Omaha" on the NYMR last summer, I was taken with the design of having bogies under the tender. A trailing bogie isn't uncommon on US narrow gauge locos, and I had a spare... I plan to make the cab from styrene. This will be the first time I've used it with the plotter cutter so there will be a learning curve.
  20. It's an interesting idea. But at the price and bearing in mind the manufacturers track record on this kind of innovation I would worry about its reliability.
  21. The AD1-HP don't appear to have a discharge capacitor so I doubt they will work CDL off track power. May be OK with it's own 12v power supply.
  22. Your construction technique is similar to Roy's on the FAULCONWOOD AND SPRINGBRIDGE RAILWAY. However, you are building yours with deconstruction in mind. Roy ended up demolishing his outdoor railway because it wasn't as weather proof as he had hoped and his construction technique didn't allow for replacement of individual sections. Not sure if its your technique or your personality, but by heck you are making impressive progress. I think it took me 4 years to complete a loop of my small garden.
  23. Half my On30 rolling stock has been stored loose. With Paltryville up and running it is time to improve the storage for the rest of my fleet. Today I converted a box file to hold some 4 wheel wagons and coaches. I was going to house some locos in there as well, but it wasn't suitable for my 2-6-0. I used the space for my cars and vans. I have a simple technique using cardboard, polystyrene and a hot glue gun. I've got another box ready for the loco fleet. Probably time to crack on and finish the job of DCCing my Porter, which has been in bits for more months than I care to remember.
  24. I built a three unit version of one of the kits for a mates back scene. I had to trim it down to size by 1 cm per unit, but this was done in the software and the plotter cutter did the hard work. Got through another 9 cereal boxes on this build. I think I cut up a dozen cereal boxes to build a 1.2m retaining wall for another mate.
  25. Any chance you guys could write about these great new materials in the Track Base construction section. It would be handy to have a separate topic for each material so we can point people to it when they are after advice. Cheers.
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