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A Duchess Delight

11 Oct

On a work trip today including changing between Chiltern and XC at Leamington Spa and this was the delightful sight once the 68 departed.

Practice makes P4rfect

30 Jun

Risborough & District MRC are currently building a new P4 layout based on Aylesbury.

I have recently started building up freight stock with the aim of running it on the layout. Today was my first chance to try them out.

I now have a better understanding of the perils of P4 but with steady examination and rectification, we were able to fine tune both track and rolling stock so by the end of the session, the train ran multiple circuits without incident. We treated each failure in turn, an out of gauge switch blade, out of level or aligned joints, wobbly wheels etc.

The rolling stock is a mix of Bachmann, Accurascale & Oxford Rail RTR wagons fitted with Gibson or Wizard P4 wheel and Smiths couplings. A bit of weathering and jobs sorted. Traction is a Heljan class 35 Hymek fitted with Ultrascale wheels.

The perils, by the way, are the minuscule flange depth requiring a degree of luck for stationary stock to not fall off and the need then for track to be defect / imperfection free. The next step is I need to check and adjust the weight of the wagons, the Accurascale HUOs being particularly lightweight.

So an interesting and rewarding day. The layout will be on show next week at the free to attend, Festirail open doors show.

Hattons Barclay

23 Jun

Day 1 of the Perth show has been the perfect opportunity to fine tune and test run the new Hattons Barclay.

I had completed the conversion to EM and fitted extra pick ups but when bench testing, the gears had gone out of mesh. The motor isn’t fixed in place other than a push fit into the chassis block so it has plenty of scope to rock and demesh.

To cure this, I have inserted a blob of blue tack on top of the motor which then presses against the inside top of the boiler.

Once this was proved to work, a trip to the Digitrains stand secured a 6 pin Zimo 622 (as sound files not yet available). I shortened the pins to ensure a tight fit in the 6 pin socket and clearance to slot back into the body.

Once reassembled and given some running in, it was introduced to the layout. It drew quite a few comments and admiring glances from the crowd (and other exhibitors).

Next and final step is a 5 plank coal tender with pickups and a sound chip.

Wide Boy Barclay

9 Jun

Today was modelling Saturday in Princes Risborough si the perfect opportunity to strip the new Hattons Barclay 0-4-0 down to fully assess the surgery needed for conversion to EM

The chassis units drops out in one piece, a bit tight / stiff initially but removed with out damage.

I had pulled the wheel out previously so knew that was easy but that the cast running plate wouldn’t accommodate the wider wheels.

I took the decision to attack the inner face of the running plate with a grinding disk and sanding drum. Black and Decker modelling at its finest! The running plate has small recesses for the 00 wheels so it was simple to make these bigger. A few trial fits proved I had done enough.

Next was the cylinders and valve gear / motion. Taking the same approach used in the Hornby Peckett. I removed the cylinders and cut & shut them with an insert of 1.5mm plastic strip. The hanger bracket for the motion was similarly moved out and joint reinforced. Reassembly proved the clearance before power was reapplied.

All in all, a good morning work. I need to finish running the chassis I now then fitting a coupling bar. I will also need DCC sound at some stage but nothing yet released by Digitrains / Paul Chetter.

A Barclay Holiday

28 Apr

The Barclay brothers have had their cousins over and have been playing together.

Introducing the Hattons 14″ and 16″ 0-4-0 Barclays.

I just need to convert them and chip them so they can actually run. Here they are posed just balanced on the rails.

Up cycling for Harkness

4 Nov

Harkness has been based on the North Sunderland railway in Northumberland and so needs a rake of 4 & 6 wheel Compartment coaches. We have a few Connoisseur Models kits in our stash and eBay has given us a couple of D&S kits to build plus a couple of second hand models. In addition we have a P C models brake on loan from Fellow RMRG member, Mr Worthington.
Today has been about up cycling the two eBay purchases which have had their running gear tweaked and wheels swapped. Upcycling starts with a full grit blast with my badger cleaning kit, a wipe down with isopropyl alcohol before pruning with Alclad microfiller primer.
A light railway bespoke colour scheme will be applied next (but not lined Highland Railway red which the NSR used).

1) second hand white metal coach


After grit blasting

After primer

2) brass kit built coaches


During & after

Another great show

15 Oct

We are back home and packed away after another great show. Lots of comments and conversations, lots of great layouts to watch and a great host club in Farnham. Hopefully a few more invites too.

We had a few gremlins saturday morning, one of which, an intermittent electrical failure on a point, couldn’t be traced or fixed. A revised operating sequence was invented so no impact for the viewing public and it made us operators think deep to not get boxed in.
Here are a few short clips of our new steeds  showing themselves:

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