Sunday, 17 July 2016

Little Jobbies

A quickie! just a quick job and another wagon added to the stock box this week.
This is a Bachmann RTR 21 Ton mineral wagon, All i have done is replaced the tension lock couplings for Instanter types, added vacuum pipes and given it a light weathering to tone down the plastic sheen.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Follow me!

Ever had the feeling some one or some thing is following you?

It seems my stalker is a steam locomotive!  Black 5 44871 seems to be following me around.
 I first came across 44871 back in 2010 when it was the regular engine om the Cambrian Coast Express,
seen here at Abererch  near Pwllheli

Five years later and the same locomotive was my train engine on a visit to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway seen here approaching Pickering.

On a recent trip to Perth Scotland where I was exhibiting "Steam on the Cambrian" we took the opportunity to stay over an extra night at Fort William. Inevitably we ended up at Mallaig where in the station I "Copped"  Ex LNER K2 62005, unfortunately i couldn't get close enough for a picture and the Scottish weather (Same as Welsh weather!) was prevalent.
However there are now two trains a day running on the Jacobite steam service from Fort William so a stop at Glenfinnan station on the way back seemed a good idea and the chance to see and photograph the train.

   And, Yes, you guessed it!

44871 shows it's face again!
I now have had the pleasure of copping the same  locomotive in
England, Scotland and Wales!
I don't suppose there is much chance of it being re gauged to 5ft 3in and sent over to Belfast so I could get a picture in Northern Ireland?

Sunday, 10 July 2016

A Smorgasbord Power supply

Whilst I was in Scotland a few weeks ago exhibiting "Steam on the Cambrian" I took the opportunity to join MERG (Model Electronics Railway Group). After model and steam railways Electronics has always been another hobby of mine so it made sense to join MERG if only for the chance to be able to purchase their kits for electronic modules for various projects I have in mind for various layouts and so on. So, before I progress on to ordering any kits or parts I decided to build this "Smorgasbord" power supply unit.
Basically it's 4 power supply units in one case, It converts the domestic 230V mains power to the safer low voltages needed to operate locomotives and any electronic accessories that I will be building in the near future.
The unit is designed just for workbench use, once modules have been tested then they will be powered from the layout power supply. The unit gives several outputs. A 0-12v variable supply for testing locomotives and motors on the bench, and fixed voltage supplies of 12v A.C. 5v D.C. and 15v D.C.
These being the most common values of voltage used on model railway electronics.
I have ambitions of adding a certain amount of automation to "Steam on the Cambrian". Mostly to be able to control both fiddle yards remotely including indexing the (soon to be rebuilt as 5 road) train turntables at both ends.
I intend to make the turntables longer and wider so that i can accommodate more trains on the layout.
I must add that i do NOT use DCC at all, not that I have anything against it, It's just that all my layouts to date have always operated on the "One engine in steam" principle and I just don't see the point as far as operating is concerned, Added to the fact that to add decoders to all my locos would cost a fair bit and being as I'm now a poor pensioner it would stretch my budget somewhat, I would much rather spend the money on building layouts and stock. Having said that on board sound would be nice but again to be honest I've not been convinced by the steam loco sounds i have heard so far. I've not set any time limit on this work as i'm still working on the design and interlocking to make it idiot proof.
Not that those that take the time and trouble to help me operate at shows are idiots of course!
More about progress as and when it happens.
Cheers for now

Saturday, 2 July 2016

North of the border.

I had the pleasure of taking "Steam on the Cambrian" out to the Perth model railway club's exhibition last weekend.  I must admit I was a bit dubious about accepting the invitation because of the high milage and travelling time. It's a 6 hour minimum journey from "Dukedog Towers"!

However, i needn't have worried, the Perth guys really made us welcome, and the people north of the border are so friendly and willing to help.

This picture was taken from the balcony of the cafeteria and bar.

"Steam on the Cambrian" can be seen centre left in front of the restored Scammell and with the usual green drapes.
What I liked about this venue (The Dwear's Centre) was being able to drive the car right into the exhibition hall to unload and set up.
Same again with the knock down on the Sunday evening. A real blessing as the Scottish weather was doing it's best to form a lake outside!

This magnificently restored Scammell mechanical horse was on display immediately behind our layout.

80002 is a Bachmann 2-6-4T recently acquired from Ebay only a few days before this exhibition.
I managed to do a bit of work before the show so that I could run it for the first time.
I changed to couplings to screw links, added real coal, fire irons and lamps. I have given the loco a light weathering using paints and powders.

The layout performed well during the show apart from a big operating error on my part which saw my Dukedog fall off the turntable fiddle yard and hit the concrete floor! Initial inspection shows just a broken loco/tender coupling. Nothing that a drop of superglue won't fix!

While I was there I took the plunge and joined MERG (Model Electronics Railway Group), Well worth the membership fee for the access to their members only web pages and the kits that they produce.
More about MERG in another blog entry.

Cheers for now