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ba14eagle

Summer Hampton Railway

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Nice work with the pond Iain - a major project in itself. One thing I quickly learned when I built my first small pond (before the Koi pond I have now) was that during rainfall they overflow, so you might want to bear that in mind if you haven't already, especially if there's anything close to it that might possibly get damaged.

It will look great once the plants have established both round the pond area and around the borders.

Foreign objects coming over the fence - oh dear. That's not good news, even if they are smaller than they used to be - a space hopper could certainly cause a great deal of damage. Never liked them myself - just couldn't get the hang of em! Have you had a quiet word?

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Tony - yep, thats a space hopper :D

Mick - Yes, Ive had a quiet word (after the space hopper incident) but not yet convinced it will have a long lasting effect. Im still working on a reasonable approach, after all, Ive had kids and know how accidents can happen, but if reasonable doesnt work, I will have to consider some more serious steps to rectify the problem.

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A well set layout, maximum use of space, nice long realistic platforms, very nice.

When the vegetation takes it's place in the whole set up, this garden will be a joy to spend with the family during warm summer evenings, TOP, well done!!!

Cheers,

Danny

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pppp said:

I think it would be really neat if you could take a photo with the same camera,from the same window, one photo portrait one landscape each time you do some work, and once a month.

That way, when the railway is looking really good we can go from grass, to destruction, to progress, to amazing layout like a flip book.

http://i.imgur.com/QZG4Rkc.gifv

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Despite the grim weather reports for my area over the last few days, I have been brave enough to have a go at a couple of running sessions.

Firstly, last night, my Dad came round with his growing collection (a rather eclectic mix) of steam era models. This was the first visit for his whole collection of locos and rolling stock. It mostly went off without too many problems and we had about an hour and halfs running before it got a bit gloomy. Unfortunately I didn't get much footage for YT, but there is a bit.

We established a few limits :) -

Hornby "King" can only manage load 5 up my gradients - the 6 Hornby Pullmans were definitely out of the question :lol:

"Cock of the North" is an absolute animal :shock: - it handled the 6 Pullmans with no trouble at all (other than the stupid couplings pulling them off.....) and absolutely flew around with 7 of the old Hornby "teaks" in tow.

The Hornby 8f trundled round with a dozen coal trucks with no fuss at all.

This morning, it was back to the home fleet to have a run out. Now, ok, Ive been daft enough to build in some pretty fierce gradients and sharp curves into this layout and so, Ive expected a few issues. Not quite as many as Ive been getting though. Again, it seems to mostly come back to coaching stock and couplings. I can set a freight off and leave it running quite safely but any coaching stock has to be watched like a hawk.

Most of the problems develop between the locos and the leading coaches and my magnetic couplings within the rakes are not consistently / reliably strong enough when on the upgrade (if that makes sense :oops: ). I think I may have to have a new standard, where locos and leading vehicles, in all rakes, are fitted with Kadees. Whether I have to go down this road within the rakes, remains to be seen, as I don't want to go back to the original couplings, as I find the gaps between the coaches unsightly.

Anyway, I managed a few bits of footage (without stuff appearing, in the shot, derailed :lol: ) before the heavens opened and I had to get the electrical bits indoors :o Most of the stock and me got a good soaking, but it was good for the new plants in the garden!

 

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What a difference the landscaping makes! And the ballasting makes it look like a proper railway now. How have you done the ballast? Are you confident it'll stay in place? I think you'll stand a better chance with not having anything beneath it, like roofing felt. I'm sure that's part of my problem so It will be interesting to see how you get on.

Enjoyed the video.

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The ballasting was a bit of a test - a test to find out if Johnsons floor wax would hold the ballast down - it doesn't :lol: With the recent rain, the ballast is now going off in all directions and has got into the mechanics of the points (why I did the test near them, I do not know :? especially, as I said before, if there was any track work I was going to re do, then this would've been it...)

So, I will be moving onto the next brand and see how I get on with that. That might be easier said than done however, as locally, there seems to be a shortage of actual floor polish brands. I need to reference the previous thread about the subject :)

Alternatively, I could go back to my old method of using waterproof pva, as I think I have a little bit left - somewhere!!

I must admit, I did enjoy running the steam locos on the railway - will have to do it more often.

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4 bottles of Astonish floor polish procured today (at 99p a bottle - bargain) from Home Bargains, so will be able to crack on with fixing the ballast, once and for all!

Really pleased today to see Kernow Model Centre's announcement that Bachmann are producing a 4TC unit for them, with delivery, hopefully, early next year. This is a piece of rolling stock Ive wanted for a long time, finally giving my Heljan 33/1 something to "shove". People may think it a touch pricey, for what is basically 4 unpowered coaches, but it looks fairly high spec, so I will happily part with the cash. Hats off to KMC and Bachmann!

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ba14eagle said:

....People may think it a touch pricey, for what is basically 4 unpowered coaches, but it looks fairly high spec, so I will happily part with the cash..

It's in line with some other recent announcements so I expect upwards of £70 per coach (!) will be the price people will have to expect to pay if they want to own one. It remains to be seen just what effect the current pricing structure has on the hobby.

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I'm starting to think that in some cases priceing is more what they think Joe Public will pay rather than what it will cost. Having said that it's something that l've been waiting for but will l pay the price? So when can we expect a REP and how much?

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I have spent a couple of days lifting and relaying the 2 outer tracks, around the corner by the washing line post, as I had a set of coaches which didnt like running around the outer track at this point. I have also fitted the front few vehicles in this set with the Hornby 8220 close couplings. The set now runs around both the outer 2 tracks with no problems, although I dont know if it was the change of couplings or the relaying of the track, which cured the problem :lol:

After seeing Mick's drivers eye footage taken on his Mobius Action Cam, I too purchased one of these and have now done similar - the videos are now on YouTube. I am really pleased with the video quality, although it still takes hours and hours to upload even a 8 minute film :x I am doing my best to try and stay out of the shot, but without running indoors, Ive nowhere to hide whilst the filming takes place :lol: I also bought one of those little tiny, flexible tripods, to put the camera on, for the lineside shots.

JSP-IgwlfsY

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Bits and pieces of progress have been made, but with a couple of backwards steps taken too :roll:

I have managed to ballast nearly half the layout, but this is slow progress, when doing 4 lines at once. The other problem i have had with doing this, is that fishplate connections have started to fail, meaning i have had to push on with bonding rail joints - which isnt so easy after ballast has been glued down :roll: . Lesson learned, I am now just concentrating on bonding rail joints - I have completed about 40, but still have at least 50 more to do :(

I have progressed fitting of a backscene board. I had a 6ft length of plastic soffit board which came for free - hurrah! - and went and bought another 5 metre piece. These will do about half the layout in total. I am using combinations of the old Peco backscene sheets, which, after drying on the soffit board, have had 3 coats of spray lacquer, followed by 2 coats of exterior varnish, which combined, will hopefully prolong the life of the backscene sheets. These backscenes have been screwed to the fence posts, so could easily be taken down and stored indoors for winter.

The first backboard is shown below.

Backscene 1.JPG

Ive also had the first water lillie flower in the pond - something I didnt expect to see this year - very happy 

Water Lillie.JPG

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Hi Iain, nice lot of pics, like your station platforms and back drop scene with the city building, where do get them from .

Do you get any snow where you live would the pond freeze over in winter, be awesome to see.

 

Quote

Mick wrote

It's in line with some other recent announcements so I expect upwards of £70 per coach (!) will be the price people will have to expect to pay if they want to own one. It remains to be seen just what effect the current pricing structure has on the hobby.

Prices have gone up over here as well, say a Walther's UP smooth sides coach I wanted to buy $110 had very good detail ouch also wanted to buy a set of 5 double stack container wagons till I saw the price, nearly $200 wanted two sets, the RTR stuff is getting out of the reach some of us modellers.

What bugs me is the prices should be cheaper as 90 percent of the hobby is being made in China why you see Chinese container ship full of Chinese green containers.

Keep the good work up and pics flowing Iain.

Ton from down under

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Its not often time off from work and good weather coincide, so earlier this week when it did, I took full advantage.

After soldering another 15 or so pairs of bonding wires, completing this job on the inner part of the circuit, I polished off the track and had a little running session. I had already put the majority of the buildings and bits and pieces away for the closed season, so the layout looks a bit bare, but its nice to see the plants maturing.

 

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As we are now well into the new year and the weather is improving, thoughts turned to returning outdoors to the gaden railway.

A visit from my Sister and her Grandson, prompted me to spend a couple of days getting the railway running.

Having cleaned up the track - including vacuuming up a lot of unstuck ballast :-( - I set about checking each circuit for power. Needless to say, a number of the bondings, which I had done last year, had failed. Not only was this probably due to my poor soldering skills, but I think the wire (single strand copper) was too thick and so has just come adrift with movement in the rail. I replaced the failed bondings with new ones, formed with a thinner, more giving, wire which I found in the shed - I dont think this was necessarily electrical by design, but it does the job very well! I also needed to finish the bonding of the joints, which I hadnt got around to last year. Having just about completed that task, I dropped the soldering iron and it broke!

I have also added Hornby dcc point springey wire things in all my points, to aid power delivery to switch rails, which seems to have improved running greatly.

I have aquired quite a bit of rolling stock over the Winter months, so was looking forward to giving it a run.

The motive power department has been bolstered by the arrival of a Hornby class 56, another Heljan class 33 and a Bachmann GWR 8700 Pannier tank (:eek: steam!!). Yes, a steam loco has arrived - actually 3 have arrived but 2 are still waiting dcc chips - along with a fair bit of appropriate freight stock to go with them...

The Hornby 56 is a great loco, with bags of pulling power. However, the silly cam coupling unit insists on pulling the leading mgr wagon off at every corner, so will not be used. Instead, I am fitting a wire bar across the buffers, so as to try and avoid this problem.

The Heljan 33 has gone into works, as there is a problem with the pick ups - it runs great in a straight line, but very poorly on the curves - it may have to have a stay alive capacitor fitted, if the problems with the chassis cannot be overcome.

The Pannier tank has been fitted with a basic chip and stay alive capacitor, which works really well, although it does fill up the cab space. This loco will be seen on both Summer Hampton and Bunker Wood Bunker, as will the other 2 tank engines.

The steam era rolling stock is slowly being fitted with 10g tyre weights, to assist in smooth running and keeping it on the road!

Hopefully, the link below will take you to the first YouTube video of the year.

And yes, my Great Nephew loved the trains!

   

 

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I managed a quick operating session on St Georges day, Sunday.

The Hornby class 56 still frustrates, as it continues to pull the mgr's off the road, rather than along it. Its all down to Hornby's ridiculous cam coupling system - I had the same problem with the class 50's and coaching stock - and reading up, on line, it appears that Im not the only person who has found this. The class 50's were put right by using Hornby R8220 couplings and that is what I plan to do with the 56. Of course, my mgr's are tarted up railroad models, so Ive had to fit one with a nem pocket - I hope the glue is strong enough!

As you will see in the video, I have started fixing some scouring pad foliage to the backscene. I hope to expand the backscene this Summer, but wont be using any more Peco sheets, as these havent faired well, despite being very well varnished.

 

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Some glorious weather this week motivated me to do a little bit of running on the railway.

In one of my recent posts I described some new locos which have joined the fleet over the closed season - 2 of the diesels had issues which needed overcoming and Im glad to say, I have done just that.

33056 went off to the repairman at my local model railway shop, in an attempt to get the pick ups / contacts sorted. Repairman said the loco was completely dead :? so loco was returned to me. I went back to basics and took out a couple of cotton buds and some white spirit, with which I completely cleaned the wheelbacks and treads - hey presto! the loco runs beautifully in a straight line and around corners! To be fair, I was to blame for the problems, having done the weathering on the loco and obviously not being careful enough where i sprayed paint and varnish :oops:

A word of warning to all though - When Modelzone closed down, I bought a few bottles of "Rail-Zip" fluid, which is supposed to reduce corrosion on metal parts and improve conductivity - even through dirt. Well, ive used a fair bit of this stuff and ive ended up throwing it away as it doesnt do what it says on the tin (to coin a well known advertising slogan) but attracts more dirt and seems to inhibit conductivity.

56084 was causing me problems with its daft cam - coupling system and Im pleased to say I think ive fixed the problems I was having with that. I had tried just about every coupling system I employ and still didnt have any success with getting the mgr wagons to stay on the rails. The loco was destined for internet auction when I had one last try with some thin wire, looped between the buffers. By bringing this down a few millimetres below the buffer heads, allowing the wagon hook to travel right across the wire when negotiating corners, I seem to have solved the problem. I have left my heath-robinson attempt as it is at the moment, but maywell go back and refine the design and make it a bit more permanent at a later date.

I have noticed that I have some broken track in places on the railway, which is no doubt caused by expansion / contraction in the recycled plastic sheeting trackbase (o to go back to a ground level rubbercrete trackbed!) This seems to be on corners and where the track is pinned down too tightly. Funnily though, rolling stock seems to negotiate these stretches of line better than in some other places, which, when you consider the chances of rail gauge going to pot, is quite extraordinary! If I do re-lay these bits, I think I will allow a little more slack in the pinning down and I will cut the sleeper webbing on the underside of the track.

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