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Posts posted by chris

  1. Quote

    My New Hornby class 66 “Golden Jubilee” on my layout today. One of the most quietest smooth locos I have used.

    I've got a couple of these 66 from when they were manufactured by Lima. Quiet and smooth they are not. I re-motored one as an experiment, but it didn't improve things much.

    By the looks of things the new 66s have the same motor as the Class 91 I bought a few years back and that can haul a 10 coach train with just two powered axels, so I guess that the new 66's will be equally as impressive.

  2. Cheers Andrew.


    I've become too reliant on having my scenic bits on boards that live in the shed and are only plonked by the railway when I'm running. I'm going to have to face the challenge of weatherproof modelling and create a few more areas that are permanently out there. With that in mind I've spent the afternoon making planters to go on station platforms out of pan scrubs and off-cut correx. I'm going to hot glue gun them in place. They will be up against the fence which should stop the fence falling over!


  3. Thanks Mick.

    Just spent another hour sorting out track power to all the rails in all the points. It never ceases to amaze me that every single type electrical connection I use on my railway will fail. Had to replace a crimp-on connector to allow power to flow to a frog.

    Also got my JMRI software working again ever since one feature had started crashing it after I had upgraded to the latest version. One day I'll do this kind of snagging before my mates come round for a running session, rather than the day after...

  4. Needed to do some repairs and spring cleaning on a few of my scenes today. 4 of my baseboards live outside, but under cover. The local cats like to walk and sit on them. Yesterday and today I repaired the damage and removed the cat hair form 3 of the boards. The 4th, a campsite, will need to be completely stripped and started form scratch.

    Anyway, after rebuilding all the fencing the building site looked the part in the afternoon sunshine.



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  5. My Snicketway is going to run outdoors. This has always been the plan, but I haven't got around to it. 

    Each year in out village there is a May Day Street Fair and this year we are going to take a couple of railways down to our coffee shop to make a bit of an attraction. I'm setting up the Snicketway outside and I will have me tramway inside. I've built it to be weather resistant rather than weatherproof, so I'm hoping the weather will be OK.

    It will be the first outing for a couple of new buildings, both of them have benefitted from the use of my crafting paper cutter.



  6. Spent a bit of time yesterday adding feeds to the frogs of my electro frog points. I tend to use insufrog points outside because they need a lot less wiring. But for historical reasons I have 4 for 5 electros outside. I've used a mixture of mechanical switches and frog juicers depending on the location of the point. If there is room to fit a mechanical switch I take that option, otherwise a Gaugemaster DCC80 Autofrog goes in. Yesterday I installed one of each.

    These points had been in for years and nearly all of my stock could pass over the dead section of frog without a problem. But not this year. After close inspection I could that bridging wires I have soldered inplace for DCC operation had failed and this meant that most of the point was dead. The solution was to power the frogs and things are now running through smoothly again.

    This reminds me that a belt and braces approach always pays off in garden railways. Knowing how often bonding wires fail I think that in future I will add a pair of connections between rails in points as this significantly improves the odds of them not failing.

  7. 10 hours ago, mick said:

    Yes just a simple backscene is all I'm looking for Roddy but I would like to show that there's a reason for a tunnel at each end of the station. The trouble is my tunnels are just about on the backscene which gives me very little space for building up scenery behind so it'll be an inch or two and then the rest will be simple washes as you suggest.

    Stick some low relief trees around your tunnel mouth. Trees are best for hiding what the landscape is, or should be doing. When I look out my window I can't see the road on an embankment climbing to bridge over the railway, I just see trees and sky.


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  8. 17 hours ago, mick said:

    I'm finding it difficult to get motivated or make much progress with the indoor scenery. It's certainly the part I like least of all but something that might become easier once I've figured out what needs doing. As I've said before, maybe if I'd sat down and planned things from the start then there wouldn't be a problem but I've built platforms and laid tracks without any thought for the surroundings.


    I can relate to this. 

    Personally I think it is impossible to plan a project as large as a garden railway. At the start we can sketch out a general intention, but over the years things change and need to be adapted as we go along. If we planned everything in detail from the start we'd never get anything done.

    When I'm stuck and can't make progress I've learnt to ask myself a simple question.

    "What is the one thing that you haven't made a decision about?"

    When I stop to answer that question it alway clarifies what my problem is. I then have a choice as to whether I make that decision and get on with work, or ignore it and keep procrastinating. Either way, I have to face up to the real issue.

  9. A quick reminder to you all that most of my scenery is built on moveable baseboards which only come outside when I'm playing trains. So they aren't weatherproof.

    The grass on the slopes is just different shades of scatter material dropped on to a surface I'd covered with PVA.

    Modelling the current railway I realised that I could save myself a lot of trees if I they had all just been chopped down. There is a lot of line side clearance going on these days as they try and reduced the number of leaves getting on the line. A few cocktail sticks and some brown scatter created the right effect.

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  10. Had a bit of a play time over the weekend. There were a few maintenance tasks which needed attending to. The main thrust was to sort out electrical connections that had failed over the winter. One point motor was brought back into service and a couple of sections of track.

    Trains wise, things were running well. Helped by the servicing of much of my fleet got over the winter ready for last months show. I was pleased that a couple of old Lima Class 66's ran without the need for attention.

    One longstanding issue I managed to resolve was a coach that kept riding up and derailing. It is part of a permanently coupled set, so it was a pain to un couple to work on, so I had been ignoring it for a year or 3. On close inspection I noticed that busy wasn't siting snug to the under frame. I pulled it all apart and the metal weight was not sitting right. Careful alignment of everything and it all went back together snuggly and the derailing is no longer and issue.


  11. At the moment I'm making a lot of windows with my paper cutter. My technique is to laminate three laters of card to create the depth of the window frame and then glue it onto the background window pane. The cutter is so accurate it is easy to glue the pieces together using a cheap PVA which takes a while to go off and therefore give me the time to get them properly aligned before I leave them under something heavy so they glue flat.


    The kiosk for the cinema is now in the finished building.


    Its all rather chunky because it's On30 (1:48ish) and themed on a children's book.

  12. Wiring up is very easy. Heres an  image form the DS 52 manual  which shows the way to do it.


    Its the lower, 2 wire motor that you need to copy. Basically you don't use the common outputs (2 and 7).

    Sorry I can't help with a UK supplier. For the last few years I've bought them when even I've seen them an a stall at an exhibition, so I've always had a spare or two when came to install a new point. Although I've now run out so I'm looking for one or two for myself.

    ds 52.png

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  13. Hi Tony. It is a Silhouette Portrait and cost about £150.

    The software is a bit clunky to use, but it has all the features you will find in graphics software and I got used to it very quickly.

    It's great when you need to cut out a shape a few times, like window frames or lintels. Draw the shape and Copy and Paste it as many times as you need it and then let the cutter get on with the job.

  14. I've recently acquired a crafting cutter to assist me with my modelling.


    It works in a similar fashion to the plotters that were all the range in the 1980s, except this cuts lines rather than draws them.

    it can do very intricate and accurate cutting and scoring.


    I created a name sign to mount of the roof of a warehouse build. Which I then stuck to the backsence.


    But it's real value is in cutting and scoring bits for building 3D card models. Using cereal box and OHP acetate as my mediums I've created a kiosk for a cinema.IMG_7252.thumb.JPG.6ca6ae8203a8a0f22bdd0c739f6388e7.JPG

    The accuracy is amazing. I used trigonometry to calculate that the strips that went above and below needed  to be 1mm longer it's scores nudged by 0.2mm so it wrapped round snuggly. IMG_7253.thumb.JPG.248e96f750e5e4ac254884df0e5e2875.JPG

    The next step is to start working with styrene, but I will need to do some test cuts to get a feel what it can cut and score.


  15. Had a bit of a disaster on Saturday. while moving one of the barrels of Colwick roof I dropped it. It broke into two large pieces and lots of small ones. There was swearing involved.


    10 years of modelling has taught me that anything is fixable. Fortunately I had spares of everything that broke into small pieces and after a suitable length of time, once I had calmed down, I set about putting it back together again. I left it over night to let the glues fully harden and added some extra strengthening where required on Sunday morning. 

    Time was pressing because Colwick was part of a show I had organised on Sunday. 

    It gave me a tale to tell the visitors.





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  16. Reconstruction of my station started today. The platform surfaces have stuck well, so the furniture could return. Here's a shot of the columns going back in.


    Yesterday I built a small baseboard to hold the station building. I decided to build up the ground level around the station building so it is closer to the platform level. I've removed the flight of stairs in from the front of the station and the building will now sit in the well in the baseboard. Construction was from off cuts of correx, so it is very lightweight. This is handy because the station baseboard is heavy enough already. I glued paper on the correx and sprayed with grey and black primer to get an asphalt colour.


    Hopefully I'll get the roof back on tomorrow and see how it looks with all  the modifications in place.

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  17. 5 hours ago, mick said:

    Anyway, it's something that's been holding me back and it's now out of the way so it might encourage me to get something else moving forward.

    I have noticed that this is an issue for me. When I'm procrastinating over a job, or simply not getting on with it, I now take a step back. I ask myself, "what is the one thing I have yet to make my mind up on?" Once I've clearly defined what the issue is, I confront myself with it. I then have a clear choice. Either I decide what I'm going to do and then get on and do it. Or I have to walk away form the job and do something else. Sitting there  pondering wastes time and doesn't get it done. I've started referring to the procrastination as "stroking my beard". It's now become a term my friends and I use when we spending more time thinkings about our railways than building them.

    I'm amazed how often my progress is stopped by one simple thing that I can't make my mind up on.

    Anyway. Great to see you back at it Mick. Looks like your end of Yorkshire is getting the same weather as mine. Love the Scotrail units. However, I don't need the temptation placed in front of me. It's taking a lot of will power not to buy myself a rake of a push-pull Scotrail Express. Loved that livery when I did a rail rover north of the boarder in August 1987.


  18. Still working on the station, but took the opportunity that the early spring weather presented and had a little running session this afternoon. A once-over the tracks with the garyflex block and trains were looping round Amblethorpe. I had the usual detrainments in the usual locations. Things will need tweaking around the lift out sections, but they always do.

    Forecast is good for the next couple of days so I plan to have things moving again. I may even take photos.  

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