About Me

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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.

Thursday, 31 December 2020

Bachmann Class 08 shunter.

The Bachmann Class 08 pick-up issue.
I think we are all fairly aware of this, both of my Bachmann Class 08s have had problems over time.

The pick-ups seem to create grooves in the backs of the wheel flanges and thus they refuse to pick up sparky stuff from the track.
I have a solution.
Cut them off.
I have replaced them with 0.33 nickel silver wire touching on the actual wheel treads. It's invisible as well.
A simple fix.
While I was at it, I always find that the keeper plate is to tight on the axles so I filed a small half moon shape out of it. You will see where the axle have been rubbing..
There you have it.

Tuesday, 29 December 2020

New Road, it's had an on going problem!

Always look for the obvious.
I've had an on going problem with the station throat trackwork.
It all looks good, everything runs through it quite happily without derailing or stuttering. That is, except for my Bachmann 2HAP set. It shorted out on one of the diamond crossing frogs everytime it went through it in either direction. Scratching ones head, I just couldn't work it out.
As you may know, the layout is DCC and most of the stock is sound fitted, so everything would come to a grinding halt and silence would prevail.
DCC is not to everyone's taste, some might say, it's more complicated, there is, i would agree a lot more to go wrong, or is there?????
While on the phone to a good friend of mine last night, we were trying to work out why this was happening, the only piece of stock fitted with a 'stay alive'  this lead me to the thinking process that this had something to do with it. likely you would think, especially after trying my Hornby Sentinel, also fitted with a 'stay alive' thingy.
It stopped dead in exactly the same place.
That's weird, again, has to be something to do with the 'stay Alive' thingy.
Bearing in mind that these Two frogs are controlled by Two frog juicer, or juicy frogs as they have become known in our little circle of friends. Another piece of electronic trickery known to DCC layouts. Frog Juicers, Stay alive's, so my mind wonders off on allsorts of scenario's thinking, "this DCC stuff is ok until it goes wrong" what the he'll do I do? Frog Juicers and stay alives dont mix. Again my mind wondering off to all sorts of dodgy stuff that might be happening. 
Bearing in mind that all this is happening while on the phone to a friend.
Now, I do like DCC, yes it is only Two wires but Two wires to each section of track taken from your 'Bus Wire' it is not complicated. None of those wires back to a control panel for all those section switches taken through a few multi pin plugs and sockets.

Running the Sentinel back and fourth through the crossing, thinking, this isnt doing my NCE power cab much good, keep shorting things out. I even turned the light off to see for any 'sparks" but of course, DCC is to quick for that.

If your still with me on this, and havn't wondered off for more Turkey, i am getting to the point of all this. You never know it might help you one day.

I was running the little old Sentinel up and down the layout as it hadn't been run for a while. It jumped over a check rail on one of the points. Using my vast years of experience and knowledge ???? and knowing that everything thing else ran through this with no problem and I built the track " that will be the back to backs then"
14.07, really, should be 14.4 at least.
They were duly adjusted. Testing it over the check rail, absolutely fine. It then sailed off through the diamond crossing, absolutely fine and in both directions, back and fourth she went, not a short to be seen anymore.

I should know better. 
So before you blame all the gubbins that you might have flashing away under your layout or in your loco's.
One of the axles on my 2HAP set was set at 14.28mm, it was just enough for the back of the flange to touch another rail and thus deposited everyting into scilence.
So, thank you "friend" I may not have ran the Sentinel and found the problem had I have not been chatting to you at the time.
My faith in DCC has been restored. Never again shall I blame DCC.
It's a dam good system, it works.
It's the future.
If your just starting out in this wonderful hobby, then DCC is they way to go.
Some say it's exspensive, yes it can be but be more choosey in what you buy.
Would you preferre 10 locos that just trundle up and down or 3 that make all the noises under the sun.
I know which I preferre.

Monday, 28 December 2020

New Road. Time for an update.

Wishing everyone a happy New Year and hope you had a fabulous Christmas.
Not having posted much recently, I thought it time for an update.
So, what have we been doing.
The backscene has been painted a dirty grey colour to represent a damp, rainy day. I have tried my hand at painting some silloeutes to represent some sort of distant city but painted it out again ready for attempt No2. I think this is going to become an on going practice.
We have also installed the island platform. Taking time laying the track straight, true and parallel with each other made this a lot easier to install.
The arches have also been permanately affixed in place.
Remember this photo.
Your going to see this photograph repeated many times on this blog.
Now your getting the idea of what I am trying to achieve, bearing in mind that the layout is only 9 feet long including fiddle yard.
There has also been a new addition added to the family, we have ourselves a Lima class 31. This is to become a future project, adding details and that 'can't line needs to be removed. Re-wheeled at some point, buffers, buffer beam detail, lights, who knows how far we shall go. I flatly refuse to 170 quid for a new one from Hornby, it's old tooling which makes me think it has paied for it's self many times over.

Wednesday, 16 December 2020

Bachmann MLV 31-267Z

A Christmas present to myself.
I think this concludes the passenger services needed for New Road.
Bachmann MLV (Motor Luggage Van) 31-267Z.  Class 419 in BR Blue.

This was a limited run comisioned by Invicta Model Rail LTD of 512 units, i have No, 138 according to the certificate inside the box. 

Bachmann have pretty much got the SR EMU fleet sown up. A 4 REP would be nice.

Some might say, how you can get exited over a square blue box but these went through a fair few changes in there lives. Originally built for extra luggage capacity on the Kent boat trains, they found other uses for them when these demise including the use of the by the Royal Mail.
Withdrawals didn't happen until the mid 1990s.
The model is superbly detailed in every way.
I'm a happy bunny.

Monday, 7 December 2020

Bachmann class 414 2HAP 31-391

I couldn't resist. I bought one of Bachmanns class 414 2HAP sets in BR Blue/Grey livery.
This is one superbly detailed model.
Bachmann I think has cornered the market for us more modern Southern Region modellers.
Some people might say, 'what is the fascination with EMUs' I was one of those people a few months back. When you delve into there history they have had a fair few changes along the way, it's a mind field and have got the bug for them.
I remember riding in them all those years ago and thought nothing of it at the time. Perhaps it's because us humans seem to be unable to forget the past and a bit of 'slam door' action brings back many memories.
Of course if you know me you will understand that it's far to clean, so we have already set about grubbing it up a tad, especially  the underframe. This one dosent look like it has visited a carriage wash for a few days.
My usual technique of just 3 colours through the air brush, sand/brown colour for the underframe and grey on the roof, this is purely to take the 'shine' off, who wants shiny roofs. A quick dab of Mig enamel wash in the door shuts and around the door handles.
Soon to have a decoder fitted, a driver and Some passengers. Job done.

Sunday, 6 December 2020

Looking at track, New Road

A strange title you may ask.
I have been looking at lots of photos from the 1970s of trackwork around London. I am not entirely convinced on this buisness of everything being painted with Railmatch sleeper grime and rusty painted sides of rail.
To me everything looks a more black/grey or has more of an oily nature.
The unused track to the left in this photo is indeed of a rusty nature but the used track is a lot darker.
One has been experimenting.
So below,
Railmatch sleeper grime.
This next one has been blown over with Railmatch 1201 BR Executive Dark Grey.
That, to me looks a heck of a lot better.
On a slightly different note, while looking through my collection of photos, I came across this one. Seems odd that 30 odd years later I might be building something of this nature.
A photo taken completely out of the blue but tells me everything I need to know for detailing the arches on New Road. Who'd of thought it.

Saturday, 5 December 2020

New Road test.

The testing has begun. Picking out each loco I have and running them through my track layout. The ones that seems to give the most problems are Bachmanns 08s. So I figure that if these will run through my point work then everything else should.
Here's a video
We had a few problems getting the 'frog's on the crossover to work, it just wasn't happening with the the micro switches on the servos without having a certain point set a certain way ( we have had issues with this on Parkstone)
Looking for a different way to do this, I have delved into using 'frog Juicers or 'juicy frog's as they have become known (you know who you are) It never seemed right to me, to actually cause a short circuit. Being a bit sceptical I bit the bullet and bought a couple, well, 3 actually from Coastal DCC.
The work. Just 3 wires to connect and it's all sorted.
Two videos in one blog, you lucky people. Just a quicky  of the frog juicer at work.
As you can see from the previous video there is no stuttering what so ever. I was advised by the nice fellow from Coastal DCC to keep the wires short from the bus wire and all should be good. It was.

Monday, 30 November 2020

New Road. up and running.

It's running. After a whole weekend of crawling about under the layout wiring up, fitting servos, fitting micro switches and wiring up the frog polarities. Yes, she's running.
You want a video don't you.

Friday, 20 November 2020

The new layout or New Road as it's known as

I thought it was time for an update on New Road.

It's been a busy week, installing servos, building control panels, finish building the track and wiring it all up.
Undernieth the layout looks a bit of a mess at the moment but this will get tidied up in time.
Will still have some servos to wire in.
I have gone down the megapoints system on this layout as cobalt are rare as hens teeth at the moment.
The Megapoints servo controller has been installed.
The upper level trackwork has been tested and seems to be fine.
The lower level trackwork is also fine, one sleeper I forgot to gap and a check rail was slightly to tight. Lots more testing to do before we go any further.
As you can see I have started to build the arches. We needed to cut out three of them as one will be a mechanics garage, another is to be a , well I havnt decided yet, the third is to be an access road under the arches to the other side. (Who knows what's on the other side) I thought it might be a good idea to hack these out before laying the lower level trackwork.
I have also cut out the bridge for the lower section to access the fiddle yard.
That's was awkward getting that to fit and look right.
We have also built and wired up the control panel.
Another mess. It's to early to say yet as to my thoughts on the Megapoints system is like. After being use to cobalt, this system is a lot more involved and can't really refere to it as a 'plug & play system. Saying that, the control panel looks the dogs.
 All in all a busy week. Just waiting for a crimping tool to arrive so I can make up some extension leads for the servos, fit micro switches for our frog polarity and the jobs a good'n.
Would you like a video, ok go on then. This one is a bit shaky as trying to hold points with a piece of wire the control and the camera, I'm male and unable to multitask.
Here it is. First run.

Back to work next week for a rest.

Wednesday, 11 November 2020

EFE/Kernow Beattie Well Tank.

Picked them up today.
The new batch from Kernow/EFE.
Beattie well tank. First the southern green lined version.
and I couldn't resist.
The lswr Pea green (as preserved) example.