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When i left school back then i was lucky enough to enroll on an engineering apprenticeship. I think this lead me in good stead. I was always one of those children that pulled things apart but actually put them back together again. My first engine given to me at the age of Seven, a Triang Princess Elizabeth. The rest as they say is History. Later in life i got back in to Model Railways and started building Pine Road. This could lead anywhere so i hope you enjoy my Blog.

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Rotorail, Parkstone Goods and some Cromptons

We went to Rotorail yesterday with Parkstone Goods.
A good day was had by all.
A good show was put on, well organised, very friendly and helpful guys.
I have to say that the layout don't aff look good fitted with its lighting rig.
A comment was made that the Double arrows on the Parkstone sign should have been Red, to match the two on the information panel.
Well, you do your best don't you. In my defence i was trying replicate the Platform signs that are usually attached to lamp posts, so technically the 'Double arrows' shouldn't be there anyway.
But,,, you know, you just can't win can you. 
Parkstone Goods

Parkstone Goods
 Every layout should have something that tells the viewer, what it is, where it is, the idea and if possible in this case, before during and after photos.
Parkstone Goods Information Board
 Also, i picked up a Crompton, actually a "slim jim" Why do i need a "slim jim" well i don't but for 43 quid i couldn't say no. It just meant that one would have the full set 33/0, 33/1, 33/2. Did one ever run down to Poole, that i can't say, other than them running to Eastleigh for maintenance.

Heljan Class 33 Number 33206 "Slim Jim"
Heljan Class 33 33 206
 A treo of Heljan 33s
Number 33059 on the left.
Number 33117 in the middle
Number 33206 on the right
A treo of Cromptons
  It would appear that Exton Quays has become a bit of a Photographic Arena.
Will Exton Quays have a DCC option ????????

Exton Quays River test pods

Exton Quays has a river come dock area, 
based on the idea of Wareham, where there is a quay side then a road bridge and turning into a rather scenic river scene, ie; the River Frome.
 As Exton Quays is based somewhere in Devon, near the River Exe, i was looking at pictures of Devon rivers and came to the conclusion that some of them are made up from a sandy river bed, with a dark browny grass growing from it, with the river itself tending to have a brown tint to it.
How to achieve this look in "model form"
I thought it might be a good idea to do some tests. After grovelling for a piece of timber and hacking 8 holes in it, we have a test bed.

The water used for the test is Woodland Scenics Realistic water C1211.
Same amount for each test (half of one of those plastic shot glasses you find in Supermarkets) Stir gently, you do not want any air bubbles.
First thing i noticed is that it shrinks, believe me it shrinks.
To be fair, on there video of this stuff,  they only pour in a layer of 
1-2 mm, but me being me, and being impatient just poured the stuff in to the level of the surface so equating to around 6 mm. 

 Here are the results of the test, that's if you're not bored already and thinking, what the hell is he up to now.

Base painted Burnt Umber acrylic. 
Fine beach sand (wont say which beach)
 Dyed filter fibre (the blue stuff used for fish tanks) 
Citadel Paints, earthshade 10 drops.  

Base painted Burnt Umber+gray acrylic.
Dark Brown fine ballast.
Mixed static grass.
6 drops of Woodland Scenics B/U C1222

Base painted Burnt Umber + Green Acrylic.
W/S Grey fine Ballast
W/S coarse Umber ballast.
Dried Moss.
Citadel paints. 4 drops Drakenhof Nightshade.

Number Four
Base painted, B/U + Green Acrylic.
W/S course Umber Ballast.
W/S fine Umber ballast.
Water, as it comes from the bottle.

Base Painted B/U + Grey.
Fine Dark Brown ballast.
That beach sand.
TP 00713 sage read
NOCH forest cover 07010
3 drops Raw Umber Acrylic.

Come on , stick with me, it's taken ages to do this. All in the name of some Cameo Competition.
Base painted Grey acrylic.
fine beach sand.
acrylic Burnt Umber 5 drops 

Base painted acrylic green.
Javis course brown flock.
TP 00891
TP 00892
Burnt Umber acrylic 1 big dollop.

NUMBER EIGHT (last one)
Base painted Acrylic Green/ Burnt Umber.
Dark brown static fibres, short 2mm.
W/S long grasses (cut with scissors)
Dry grass static fibres.
Citadel paints Biel-tan Green 8 drops  

I am leaning towards Number 2 or Number 6 but i will use Deluxe Materials Solid water, Why, i hear you ask, I have used it before on Pine Road, that was Nine Years ago and it still looks the same as it did the day i poured it.
Perhaps this little test may be of some use to you, perhaps not now but who knows what you may build in the future.  

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Exton Quays and the riverbank.

I have just realised that this blog is exactly Two Years old.
Exton Quays is exactly one year old,
With 13,000 views, i would like to thank everyone for the help and support you have given me.
All stand in a big circle and give yourselves a dam good pat on the back.
lets get back to Exton.
I have started on the river banks of Exton Quays. Hoping to get the Brown colour of Devon.
Still lots to do, perhaps next week we may be able to pour some water.
After some tests i will use Deluxe Materials, Solid water, slightly coloured. I have used this amazing stuff before and know that it works, so i shall stick with what one know. 

Exton Quays

Exton Quays river bank
We shall be at 'ROTORAIL' Fareham College this Saturday with 'Parkstone Goods'
Pop in and say Hello.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Fiddle yard Latching mechanism.

Scratching one's head, for a way of selecting the Three tracks on the sector plate for Exton Quays.
Obviously there are a number of tried and tested ways of doing this, the "bolt" type, the thing with some angle iron and a bulldog clip. I have seen plugs of various descriptions used. They all work well but, me being me and completely ignoring the K.I.S.S, rule. How difficult would it be to make some sort of mechanism to operate this. 
Talking to a friend of mine (Nigel, yes, you are the culprit) he directed me to a blog who had explained an idea how this might work. Have a look at the link below.

 After a couple of dry runs we get to Version 3.0, it works.

Looking from above, i will put some sort of wooden handle on the lever.
Exton Quays sector plate lever
 The selector plate mechanism. The lever goes up above the sector plate on the left of this picture. The indexer is slotted in to Two 'U' shaped brass sections solder to the main plate, this must be a good slide fit with NO sideways movement. The slide plate was originally pivoted in one corner in Version 1.0 but found that the whole sector plate wanted to move when you wanted to De-latch and index to the next track, it became fiddly, to fiddly for a fiddle yard. 
The whole mechanism can be built on the workbench and screwed to the layout after.
Exton Quays selector mechanism
 As the slide plate locating slot is 'V' shaped it is self centralising. Imperative that the pins are located in the right place or in Hindsight it may even be a better idea to locate the pins and then lay your truck on the sector plate.
Exton Quays indexing mechanism.
 This is the spring that keeps everything locked in place.
Exton Quays The spring.
 Just pull the sector place across using the lever handle and it will locate automatically.
Exton Quays locating pin.
On Michaels blog he suggested using the mechanisms to carry the  power for each track, i wasn't sure whether a big lump of brass here may have caused some sort of resistance to the 12v power supply. I decided to use Three micro switches, one for each track on the sector plate. There are Two added advantages to this, No1: nothing is going to move unless the sector plate is located properly and No2: you only have to pull the lever back and the sector plate is isolated should you just be doing some shunting on the main layout, no accidental movements of trains.   
Exton Quays Micro switches.
 To limit the travel of the lever and to add some rigidity to the whole thing.
Exton Quays sector mechanism
 Even made up my own split pins. I made a few extra just in case.
Exton Quays selector mechanism.
 Soldering up for the spring mount.
Exton Quays
 There we have it, perhaps some may say a rather complicated way of doing things but i like making "stuff" and it can be operated with one hand, electrical connections and location of track is done in one operation. The test will be at Poole Exhibition in November.  

Monday, 2 April 2018

Exton Quays First Train

A milestone has been reached.

A bit of time off work over the Easter weekend gave some time to get on with Exton Quays. The Fiddle yard is now working and wired up, i will post about the fiddle yard later as to how complicated one could make it, anyhow, back to the first train. 

Now the fiddle yard is sorted you just have to try it out, bolting the Two halves together, plug in Two wires, switched on the electrics and the whole lot shorted out, wasn't the outcome i was hoping for. Looking at it, scratching one's head, thinking it must be the fiddle yard as the main layout ran ok during testing. There it was staring me in the face, you haven't gapped the PCB on the rail joints on the sector plate. 
This was duly sorted and YEAH we are up and running.
So, if you have nothing more exciting to do, here are a couple of very sort videos.
It just had to be the Adams Radial!
Built by me from a PDK kit.