Friday, 25 February 2011

Pick me up

Tonight I added pickups to the Lbt chassis I built earlier this year and to the new milled lay chassis. I found some shorting problems with the latter (pickups touching the chassis) so I altered them to touch the top of the wheel not the back.

Tested them and all good. Must get a longer test track though. Sn3 track here we come.

Also ordered the woodland scenics 4% incline starter and a large pack of 1015 microtrains couplers from mg sharp today.

2ft versus 2ft 6

At Shepton dad bought a cracking scratchbuilt model of Prince. It has a faulhaber coreless motor and has been nicely put together. The name chronus is a bit odd but that will soon be gone! However it runs on 16.5mm gauge.

Dad us also making good progress with a model of Countess also to 16.5mm gauge.

Now of course the real Prince runs on 2ft gauge track and Countess on 2ft 6. Put them next to each other as in the photo and the difference is striking. You couldn't run these together on a layout.

So should Prince be converted to 14mm or run in a separate 16.5mm layout?

the problem with the 14mm option is that the track would have to be built and its not as easy as my o14 jubilee track!

16.5mm is so appealing for mainline narrow gauge as the rtr peco track is so readily available but it really does look wrong for locos like Prince! Why can't peco build 14mm track and points?

A third loco


So, I saw an opportunity on ebay and went for it.  I purchased another ruston LBT, this time with the milled (almost RTR) chassis.  After discussions on NGRM, KBscale have been very generous to send me (FOC) the LAT style buffer beams which are not as deep as in the LBT.  This means that I can put it together as a ruston LAT.  cool.

Thursday, 24 February 2011


Are, it seems, not suitable for rugga chassis and O-14.  They are just too large both in the mounting and the depth of the trailing legs.  So I’m reverting to an idea I was advised on a while back (should have listened!).  This is to use micro scale N gauge couplers.

There is a good post on their use here:

They are much smaller and thus far less obtrusive on the chassis.

However the starter kit is not all lost, as the tools, magnets and lubricant is still useful.  But if you need any kadee No. 43s let me know!"

Digging down

So as mentioned I took prototype information from my new Thakeham tiles book and decided that the hopper could be sunk into the ground.  Previously I had calculated that the ramp up to the hopper would have to be as steep as 1 in 9.  This was just too much to be operational sound or believable.

Thus I dug a hole in the sundeala and sunk the start of the conveyor into the board.  I then shortened the hopper and the result is a ramp that is about 1 in 16.  Much better.

Now to make the ramp.



Monday, 21 February 2011

Shepton mallet 2011

The Shepton show was a cracker as Expected.

I got hold of a copy of the extraordinary thakeham tile railway book that has really got the thoughts going - do I need an incline or should I sink the hopper into the ground? I also bought a nice little booklet on rustons. It's a great general history of the types but if you want detail on the differences over the years in a single type then it's not good enough. But then it was only a fiver.

I also added to the collection of 7mm details some of which dad picked up for me from a 7mm show. Here be ladders, sacks, boxes, pallets etc.

And finally after some discussion with the experts I took the plunge with a kadee starter kit. For £26 I got 4 packs of couplings (8 pairs), a proper coupler height gauge with included coupling, special tweezers, lubricant, manual uncoupling tool and a magnet uncoupler - bargain. I have no idea if I went for the right type as there are many versions, time will tell. I went for number 43 which has the shortest reach and should thus allow for close coupling, centre set as that seemed a good point to start at (you can buy couplers that are slightly higher or lower by their setting in the pocket) and metal of type 40 rather than the plastic type 30 as they are sturdier.

I have opened one packet and shall now experiment. In the meantime I need a test track and so sn3 track is being sought.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

A design wrap

The trackplan is decided and sellotaped down, building positions finalised and thus work on the incline can commence.

Today I also filled the holes that were created by the removal of 4mm scale ladders etc on some of the buildings and created some scrap pieces of corrugated iron by hacking at some wills sheet. One piece of this was glued over some 4mm doorways. With weathering it would look good I think.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Buildings multiply

The two extra scenecraft 7mm concrete huts arrived whilst I was in Canada. Here is the latest potential setup.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

The latest thinking

A quick update on my thinking...

The locos I have mean we can say this is a 1960s diorama.

I am creating a small batch concrete plant where aggregate is delivered by rail, tipped into a hopper and (via a weigh station) is combined with cement (from a silo) and water (from a water tank).  The concrete is then transferred to a moulding building (a converted scenecraft 7mm concrete lineside hut) and thence to a kiln (brick sided building - an upscaled (extended sides and overlaid 7mm brick plasticard onto a hornby 4mm building) where blocks are created.  These blocks, once fired, are placed onto hudson platform wagons for onward transport to site. 

In fact I shall use three of the scenecraft 7mm buildings, each one modified to suit its location/uses.

I think that this is believable... as to uses for the to suggestions...
I now have all the parts necessary to complete the layout and have also purchased a better gaugemaster DC controller rather than depend on the terrible hornby controller I've used up to now.