|Club Goings on!
Not all of our members can get to the club on a Friday, so our beloved Chairman suggested a new page on the website to keep everyone abreast of what's happening on the layouts - cheers Mr Chairman - if you'd like to join in the chaos there's a list of contacts on our last page.
Space - the Final Frontier
Carrying on the theme of last week we have been clearing out more "stuff". Therefore we have space!
The fiddle yard boards from Hazelhurst have gone to the wood equivalent of Cashmores scrapyard.
After last week's work stripping out the track and electronics it was time to get rid of the baseboards. At 7 ft long they are too big for the average estate car so they had to be cut in half. Here's how we did it.
First cut through the side beams. Then support one end on a chair and
take a running jump!
But a result.
To prove it could be done better in P4 Mike had a go
Technically a cleaner break.
The resulting sections ready to depart.
Which ended up as two car loads.
Next week is rationaling the Hazelhurst scenic boards.
If you've read the section on the Thornbury show itself, you'll gather it went well. We were very happy with the performance of Frecclesham, and even better that that, we had fun playing trains. And there are some potential invitations to other shows.
The true measure of the level of success came this Friday night when we went through the usual post-show ritual of analysing the weekend and writing a to-do-list. Normally this contains upwards of 12 items. This time there were only five, and only one of those was a major one. So not a lot to do and in fact nothing immediately as the next outing will be at the Odeon cinema in Newport itself during the first weekend of June. Here's a link to the details.
So, back at the club its time to tidy up time. I insisted on recycling much of the debris, so the back of my car was filled with old Railway Modellers, bits of wood and old electical equipment. The place looked a bit tidier, bu there's still more to do. As we no longer need the fiddle yard boards from Hazelhurst, a serious effoert was made to strip these of valuable items before disposal, There was a good bit of electronic parts reclaimed, Peco points and some track and rail. From one board only. We have another two to work on.
Pretty mundane stuff so no pics this week.
The first May Bank Holiday is the Association show in Thornbury - there is a separate page for this event.
Friday 26th - Last before Thornbury!
So with less than a week to the Thornbury Show the emphasis was mainly on getting the stock running and testing a sequence. We did do a little tidying up, final treeplanting and some groundworks but by and large it is now ready for it's first full exhibition. There is still lots of detail to be added and the signals won't be operational this time out. It is surprising how much a small layout can swallow up!!
The Signal box windows are in place, Dave has finished it and added lots of small details that will probably go unnoticed, but we know he put them there. Here are a couple of photos looking thru the Barn area across the trees. We tried to achieve this type of setting where possible to give different views. Difficult to achieve in such a small space (for 7mm), but I think we achieved it in this case.
This was a combined effort - TYS soldered it up from a Churchill kit, but just couldn't paint in the paint in the panels accurately - The Chairman then stepped up to the plate and finished the paintwork and added all the internal details to bring it alive - alas the levers contrary to rumours do not move in tandem with the point work! Somewhere there is a name plate for the front!
We ran a couple of sequences and established the stock orientation (we changed it to improve operation) as we pack away we'll mark it up this time!!!!! Anyway couldn't resist taking a few pictures of the layout, background of the club room mess detracts from the image, hopefully we'll take some better pictures with the layout fully up. Rhobat is hiding behind a tree in one of them.
LazyBones Hall's addition of point rodding adds to the overall look. I know this took longer than he anticipated, just as well we didn't do a more complicated track plan!
If anyone who reads these pages (other than club members) is at the Thornbury show then drop by and say hello.
Some further progress, some going backwards....
May well be a wealth of pictures this week as Dave and I (TYS) took some pictures.
So Chinchila (sp?) dust wasn't a great success, not aided when I tried to weather it down with some weathering dye.
On the plus side Rob fitted the end walls to the station area ....
Meanwhile Dave has picked up finishing the Signal Box and it is coming along nicely, there was some muttering about levers pulled off in the wrong sequence (I thought they were going to move prototypically!)
Signal box again.
And again, showing some of the inside detail before it gets hidden by the windows.
There are now some buffer stops at the end of the Goods shed road. Note the effort made with the inside of the shed. Its a pity few will see it.
What we believe to be the last tree to be positioned on Frecclesham was tested in place today. It will be finished soon.
And we attached the fiddle yard to the layout so we could test the running and do some pre-Bristol Show practice.
With ground work largely done the next task was weathering the track! Now we just need to get it all working again!!!!
Here's some before/after pictures.
This is the station throat/demolished engine shed area before........
and after ..
Another example of the Water Tower area before...
plus at the end of the session we tried to take a picture looking down the layout...
It was Dave's idea to put a short section of backscene in place - just a pity neither of us noticed the electrical cable hanging down - I managed to get quite a bit edited out but you can see remnants behind the yard crane arm!!
With just 3 weeks left to Thornbury show the scenic work in raising the finish on the Station end has been the main focus of late. We have even found a site for yet another tree!!
Rob and Alistair put a finish on the Platforms, which was entertaining to watch!
First was the "let's mask vs remove TYS's carefully modelled water column" debate - masking won - TYS closed his eyes as he'd done the Water Column!
Next up was a liberal spraying of glue followed by careful "P4-esque" scattering of Chinchilla dust, unfortunately records of this phase were lost but we do have a picture of the outcome!
That went well!!
So next phase was the old fashioned PVA and liberal scatter approach (this time more in keeping with O Gauge practise), and hey presto...
Success! The surface needs spraying grey colour once dry.
The surface scatter really is Chinchila dust, used by proud owners when grooming their pets' coats. The material contains ground pumice, from the Andes - I am led to believe.
With the ground covering is now mostly in place, the goods yard area will probably need one more coat.
Jobs left to do....
- Fit ground signals.
- Weather track.
- Spray platform surfaces
- Get Track working after weathering!!!!
- Finish/fit Goods Shed
- Fit end walls
- Fit Signals/Servos
- Tidy up wiring harness
- Adjust Coupling Heights
- Shelf for control panel
- Signal control (waiting order of switches)
Overall despite the length of this list the layout appearence over the last two weeks has started to accelerate and come together. It also shows the value of the Monmouth show in terms of driving us forward and proving outteh stock/track, to a large extent the above being cosmetic/minor.
The demountable backscene, whilst aiding transport and appearance for shows, does mean we don't have a good background for taking pictures. If we can get the fascia/backscene up in the next week or so then we can take some better pictures.
Hot off the Press
Rod brought along his Hornby 42xx that arrived earlier this week. (Kind of late for a Christmas present!) It's very impressive.
And for comparative purposes we put it next to a Cotswold whitemetal kit of a 72xx from about 40 years ago. The 72 used to haul the 100 wagon coal train on Long Suffren and Over Wellmyn. It once hauled a total of 218 wagons, a typical end-of-show stunt.
Also from the production lines we have a Mink produced by WagonMan of course. You saw this being started on 8th March if you look back.
On the layout rodding continues (note the compensator)
and yard point levers arrived. (no rodding required of course)
The goods yard needs the ground level raising closer to rail height, so several layers of card need to be stuck down.
We've got plenty of heavy metal to hold it all in place while it sets. You'll notice we have a yard crane ready for installation too.
Work has progressed further on Frecclesham
There are point rodding stools in place, with some temporary rodding. There are more to do and also cranks to add.
You'll notice a bit of new ground material has been scattered around.
Extra uncoupling magnets have been energised.
The watertower is weathered. Some more hedges have sprouted in the background. How they manage to do this with the weather as cold as it is, I have no idea.
Some railings now improve the old shed area.
And a buffer stop has been added to the headshunt.
It was decided to reposition some of the point operating servos to make them easier to hide amongst the scenery and easier to get at for maintainance.
The two furthest away in the shot below were originally hidden under the platform, which was discrete but does give access problems if we need to get at them. While we are happy with the reliability of these servo motors and don't anticipate having to work on them at all, the presence of access panels in the platform surface is a bit of a compromise. They are difficult to disguise properly and anyway one of them was under the station building.
There is a new wire-in-tube drive evident below, along with the start of a new tree and a hoarding for the end of the platform. This isn't the finished article, being another 'lets see how it looks' from MockUpRob.
Mind you, this Goodshed from Rob is not one of his mock-ups, but is the real thing. Nearly ready for placement, we have to decide on the nest ground cover surface for the goods yard. TheYouthSection has been active in the tree field as you can see behind.
Menwhile, on the station the double starter reclaimed from Hazelhurst has been tried in place at the platform end. There will eventually be a calling on signal next to it.
Here is a driver's eye view. Apologies for the messy background, but this is taken in the clubroom. The two locos have been successfully testing coupling and uncoupling wagons in the goods yard, though we need to energise two more uncoupling magnets yet.
All these signals and points need to be operated from the signalbox, so LazyBonesHall has taken on the role of RodtheRodding by installing the bases ready for the point rodding stools.
More fun next week.
We've had a bit of a tidy up around the clubroom, done some fettling of trackwork on Frecclesham and progressed with scenic work. All regular stuff and not very photogenic, so no pics this week.
As I have mentioned before, we keep in contact as a group through email and this week an historical item came up. With LazyBonesHall heading to the theatre in Cardiff to see Rape of the Fair Country, he posed the question as to what was its link with Newport MRS. Apart from the obvious local connections and associations with the Industrial Revolution, it turns out that the club once had a layout called Garndyrus Top. This was back in the days of the club occupying the Church Hall in Lyne Road and the layout was for the youth section, when it really was youngsters and not "the less old".
Details of the layout are thin, but perhaps a candidate for some industrial archaeology? Where are Time Team when you need them?
29th June 1937 - 10th February 2013
Yet another sad day for NMRS members and friends.
Tony was a valuable member of the club, always willing to take his share of tasks, and a great collector of models.
We attended his funeral on a freezing cold day last Monday.
After the successful Saturday Open Day, its back to more menial tasks.
Wagonman dipped into his collection of kits awaiting construction and brought out this 7mm GW mink kit.
So the evening was accompanied by lots of taps and thumps while rivetting was in progress. The tool, loaned by Rob Foot, has a brass weight which is dropped from a height to form the rivet.
Meanwhile Rob himself was carrying on with fencing for the end of Frecclesham
And on the layout itself I was checking and adjusting clearances on the goods yard pointwork. I decided it would be best to replace at least two of the point blades so worked up a sweat filing these. It definitely takes more effort in 7 mm rather than in 4 mm.
Friday 1 March 2013
Happy St Davids' Day.
One day to go to the NMRS open day and a lot of organising to do. First job was to unload the cars of all those who had arrived with layouts to show...Rod Hall - Llanastr, Rob Foot - Crockherbtown, Bernie Baker - Alt Y Graban and Mike Edmunds - Cwm Du....Bit of a Welsh theme!
The queue of stuff waiting for the bingo ladies to finish and be set up...so while we waited, we played, oh yes and some entertainment to be had. Mr JJ Newitt - he of sprung diesels fame - had been with us for a few days proir to this and had brought with him some of his wonderful milk tanks that he's been developing to enhance the tank from the David Geen range of models.
Friday 22nd February 2013
Wagonman has been busy again. This is a GW parcels/mail van from way back in the Victorian age, about 1880 if I recall correctly and they lasted into the 1920s. There are various members interested in producing some early period stock to run on Frecclesham and it shouldn't take too much building to get enough for a basic timetable. However, thats a while off yet.
Rather more urgent is the Bristol Show at Thornbury. TheYouthSection has been busy again on the scenic side making the water tank for the 'shed' area.
As with most of the structures on the layout, this is based on the original at Westerham.
TheYouthSection is making a play for the title of Scenicman. However, there has also been a lot of scenic work done by Rob Foot - the station building and platforms, with the Goods shed is in progress, and continuing around the station with fencing reclaimed from Hazelhurst.
And, of course, another reminder to all our readers that out Open Day is next Saturday where you're all welcome. See Home page for details.
Our usual reporter is on holiday this week, so you're stuck with me.
After the great outing Frecclesham had at Monmouth, it was back to LMJ and electrics. Last week we left our hero's in the midst of a wiring problem. Turns out that the wires that had been pushed in and soldered up created a short. Well we could not find it..so after about 30 seconds the impatient one of the group - the youth section - grabbed the wire cutters and out came last weeks work. Mind you this was the best of the options presented too those assembled, the other being to wire it to the mains and let 240 volts do the rest.
So, now it was just a case of repeating last weeks work.
Here we have Rhobat putting in the last of the wiring, The youth section was off putting in more electrickery pieces. He did try to explain it to me but I'm afraid my eyes glazed over after about 10 seconds - sorry about that Steve!
After you with the spaghetti! On the plus side I brought an old project down with me my Royal Scot. Never did get it to run nicely, that's probably because it didn't run at all! Fortunately I have a good friend in Tewkesbury that's far brighter than me! 6 hours later and a drop of the good stuff - Brains Dark - and I have a running loco. I won't bore you with the details but there was a lot of egg-on-face after a while. Needless to say some salient lessons learnt and stored away for future use, I am very grateful to Morgan Gilbert for his help in rescuing this engine.
The other idea I'd had concerned a rake of coaches I built over 10 years ago. They had MJT bogies on them with those awful clip together bits. I replaced those and then drilled through the chassis to put nuts and bolts in to hold the bogies in place. Well it was partly successful, but I think to be honest I am going to have to replace the bogies of all those coaches. But one thing I did prove to myself was that the coaches with the Bill Bedford couplings will run through the point work without forcing the coaches off the rails.
More wiring to be completed next week and your usual correspondent will have returned from sunnier climbs.
That's it for this week, more fun next week.
The tasks for this week were
a) tidy up. We spent most of Tuesday night chucking out and sorting stuff. The rush to prepare for Monmouth meant nothing got tidied away so there was plenty of junk about. Not that we bother that much to tidy away normally, anyway. I managed to find 11 separate containers with white glue inside, but of course most had the spout gummed up.
b) get Little Mill fiddle yard back in place. Which wasn't too difficult. It's now in place connected up and some parts re-tested. This identified some failures, so these were fixed and further work planned. No pictures, you've seen what it looks like before.
A final word on the success at the Monmouth Show, from TheYouthSection; "I never had to get my meter out, nor crawl under the baseboards to fix things"
The Monmouth Show
This is how we transport the layout, in a long Transit. We don't lift the whole thing in, its far too heavy. Instead it breaks down into three sections.
On the top is the fiddle yard which is slid into place between the ply sides. Next comes the station end board with convenient hand holds cut in the ends. All of which rests on the entrance end board with again ply sides and ledges to support the board above. This photo was taken after our return back in the clubroom. Of course, there is lots of other stuff to take away - legs, fascias, electrics, stock, lights, mugs, and most importantly, Cold Tea. And there's something we always forget. This time it was the long length of wood that forms a stabilising diagonal brace. We improvised with shorter lengths.
Here we are on show and operating. It didn't take too long to get set up - we arrived just after 8 and were running 15 mins before opening time at 10. A very good result for our first time out.
The stock was reliable and the uncoupling worked well with very few incidents of "the Big Hand from the Sky"
All operation is done from the front of the layout with a main driver nearest the camera ( Prof Mike E), a signalman facing with control panel (Wagonman), a yard driver behind him (Chairman) and a yard shuffler around the corner (Rhobat) visible on the previous shot.
LazyBonesHall is deep in conversation with TheYouthSection and oblivious to instructions from the Signalman (Rob)
We had plenty of members present (thank you all for your efforts) so could have two on the fiddle yard to keep things going. One person can do this job but its more pleasant with two.
Towards the end of the day we experinment with moves and stock. Here we have Rob's industrial tank on a Pull-Push train. Not a prototypical move but it runs very well and looks good.
One of WagonMan's productions. A Southern Railway horsebox.
So we all had fun, raised some money for charity (the show was run by Monmouth Rotary Club), and are looking forward to the next outing at the Bristol Show in Thornbury (May 3rd - 5th)
Work has carried on apace with the Monmouth Show imminent.
We needed to erect the fascias and put the backscene in place. You can see some extra scenic work has been done extending the bank away from the signal box.
Now with the backscene in place its starting to come together. The backscene is a commercial product which has been taped together, then laminated. The result is stiff enough to stay erect with a little help from some aluminium framing behind it and some clips.
A simple timetable seqence has been devised and needed to be tested. After a bit of faffing about with coupling heights and other adjustments we were ready to try the stock. We have two pull-push sets and three passenger sets. There are two locos to each passenger set. When one arrives back in the fiddle yard, the second loco drops on the back of the set ready to depart in the next sequence. This provides some variety for the viewer.
Some locos at the othe end.
Then it was time to pack up ready to go.
Thursday18th January 2013
Yes, it does say Thursday at the top of the paragraph. With the show in Monmouth fast approaching we decided to put in an extra evening to push things on further. Just as well really as the snow prevented us getting there Friday night.
We put in some work on Tuesday too. The couplings on the Birdcage set were fettled and adjusted so we were able to test this. In the timetable sequence this set is operated by the C class and the I3, and these were both tried last Tuesday night. We were able to run in, set back and uncouple automatically, then run round and couple up. This was done several times reliably for both locos. A great feeling of satisfaction all round.
On Thursday we had the backscene present, which TheYouthSection had got laminated. We tried this in place and took some tidy photos for the Bristol guide. You can see below the effect with the Pull-Push set Alastair has been working on making an entrance. The empty space is for the signal box which is not yet painted, so we moved it out of shot.
There was more scenic work undertaken as well with Modroc being applied, platform supports going in place and railsides painted. All the stock except one set has the Dingham autocouplers fitted, so running a full timetable sequence is very close. Meanwhile Sheward has returned to his woodbutchery roots and made up supports for transporting the two scenic boards.
We just need no more snow cancellations to get it ready for Monmouth on Sunday 3rd February.
And for all our regular readers, advance notice of our Open Day on Saturday 2nd March at Shaftesbury Community Centre.. We'll be featuring many of the layouts linked to the club, more details to follow.
We're cracking on with Frecclesham now, with the club being a hive of activity both Tuesday and Friday nights this week.
The track has been checked over and missing chairs, and in one case sleepers, put in place. I'll spare you a boring photo of yet more trackwork.
All five roads on the traverser are in place with the kick-back roads for loco storage practically finished on Friday. Here we are working on it.
We have a shot of the sector plate/storage road boundary. You will note we have plenty of brass and screws to make things secure. Of course that means a lot of metal and so a chunky soldering iron is needed to get it all hot. In fact it's so hot that when we clean off the flux with water and toothbrush, we get clouds of steam from the brasswork. The securing/locating bolts are from a well-known store, but modified with a replacement bolt and holes drilled to size.
At the other end of the layout Rob is busy preparing the station building and platforms. Here the platform walls are in place and drying, with some test stock on the platform road checking clearances. LazyBonesHall is taking a break from the 100 watt soldering iron and painting a rust/track colour on chairs, railsides and the very obvious electrical droppers.
These card spacers keep the walls at the correct distance. For years we have had a chart on the wall of this room showing clearances on the permanent way. It has been an invaluable resource.
TheYouthSection has been beavering away with scenics. The carriage house has had a coat of paint, as have the retaining walls. So this section is looking close to finished.
The coal wagon hidden in the headshunt waits for the shunter to put it in the appropriate siding.
Good progress with Frecclesham this week. The track has been laid from the scenic section onto the fiddle yard board as you can see in the shot below. The I3 is testing this.
There is plenty of brass and screws under the track both sides of the baseboard joint so we hope it will stay put and not suffer damage.
In the background you will see some more of TheYouthSection's scenic work. More trees, and a building based on a real prototype where two old carriage bodies have been combined under a corrugated iron roof to make a home.
Here is the I3 merging into the main station area. Obviously plenty still to do but you get the general idea.
Note how the entry point from the fiddle yard is well hidden by the foliage.
There was a former engine shed at this point on the original plan of Westerham, a real line in the south of England that Frecclesham is loosely based on. So we have modelled it here, with a fresh coat of concrete paint and the former shed walls tried in place. That's an SECR D1 zooming passed in the background. It should be painted in time for the Monmouth Show.(3rd Feb -time is running out)
And nice to see Paul Sheward back at the club again. We put him to work straight away of course. Hence we have four electromagnets in place to do the uncoupling with the Dingham Autocouplers. We'll cover the nail heads (6 inch nails help the magnetic flux) with ballast to hide them.
And we have some more chairs to apply to the rails as you can see in the above photo.
The Great Cupboard Emptying
Christmas Party Time and the test track is out. Thanks again to Alastair/Wagonman for refurbishing all 14 boards.
With little 7mm running since January, and several purchasing opportunities having past, it was a good chance to rummage in store cupboards to dust off some stock.
So here's the test track set up in the big hall. (no Ladies Bingo tonight!)
Down in the right corner you will recognise a bit of Frecclesham. This was also erected, as we had the space for it.
TheYouthSection brought along some of his scenic work to put in place and check it worked OK.
And viewed from the back - its a pity this won't be visible to the public.
So out of the cupboard Alastair produced:
but best of all
and there was also a small prairie and a pull-push set.
TheYouthSection's cupboard revealed a Class 20
plus appearances from old favourites - Schools, C , I , ASHarris , D (tank engine), WC (though it failed!)
YoungWidger turned up with some things from TheRelic's stores
A search of the Club cupboard revealed this memorable set from TFC
And there was a rapid re-appearance of the Ixion Hudswell Clarke
Here it is coping well with seven coaches. Further loading tests were made through the evening. Some videos of these are on the videos page.
So the audience was well entertained with trains, mince pies, cheese, bread rolls, the traditional pate (supplied by Mr Waitrose this year) but no chocolate truffles of course.
And not from the back of LazyBonesHall's storecupboard, but from extensive internet searching we had
1944 - 2012
Seeing Tony off in approved fashion with a toast of 'Cold Tea'
Ernest Raymond Widger
25th April 1931 - 19th November 2012
Now that's the way to go
This week we have to report the loss of our two senior members.
Ray Widger (aka The Relic or Thor) died Monday 19th
Tony Bennett (aka TFC or The Fat Controller) died Thursday 22nd
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