Thursday, 12 March 2020

March 2020 Meeting

Our March meeting was somewhat overshadowed by the coronavirus scare, however, five braved the journey to prepare and the now familiar task of loading the cars for our next exhibition appearance at the Abingdon & District MRC (ABRAIL) on Saturday 21 March.

This month we were also pleased to see that the current Spring issue of BRM has included a ten page article on Lightermans Yard in it's London feature. The photographs were taken by BRM's Phil Parker at Alexandra Palace last year. The basic text provided by ourselves. 

We have been experiencing a mysterious locomotive stall on the Back Yard Feed despite 'stay alive' being fitted. David and Alan checking for light showing a dip in the track.

We eventually discovered that the addition of an anchor bolt to the underside of the track board to the base frame - to solve another joining problem - was to blame.

David produced his two diesel brake tenders now with running detail and weathered colours.

Alan showed a custom crossover with servo controlled point motors, an intended test for Evercreech Junction.

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

February 2020 Meeting

Big thanks to Pete King for this month's meeting report and photos.

In spite of Storm Ciara, Alan, David, Gordon, Keith and Pete K managed to make the meeting (will nothing keep these madmen away?). Once the unpacking of the cars, after Eastleigh, had created the usual pile of parts the meeting proceeded.

All present unanimously agreed to accept the offer of a place at next years’ Portsmouth show.
Keith making the “right way up” repair.
The first and most important item was to make a more permanent soldered repair to the errant wire, see the Southampton blog. Keith was happy to be soldering the right way up for a change!

Brake tenders.
David opened a box of goodies which included two diesel brake tenders, a class 37 body and a track maintenance vehicle. The class 37 had been heavily modified and 2 millisized. The resizing was achieved by reducing the length and making two cuts lengthwise either side of the roof to reduce the width. David said the ends of the bonnets should be slightly inclined so that was also part of the extensive mods.

The class 37 showing some of the mods including etched cab windows.

Some class 37 details.
Track maintenance vehicle.
Keith showed an Evercreech Junction fiddle yard crossover he had constructed this using the Templot templates provided by Pete K.
Under the crossover showing one pair of tiebar droppers.
Keith’s toolbox craving some limelight!

It was then time to face Ciara once again for the journey home.

Loco of the month; Modified Class 37!

Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Southampton Exhibition 25-26 January 2020

Lightermans Yard was invited to show at the Southampton Model Railway Exhibition at Eastleigh. This two day event was well patronised with good layouts and some trade stands. The exhibition was set in several large spaces in the 6th form college, including the theatre and sports hall.

Gauges from 0 to N were represented with a good showing of fine scale layouts; P4, EM, 009, 3mm and 2mm FS.

The 2mm Association Roadshow and Jerry Clifford's demonstration of modeling in 2mm FS, were busy for most of the two days.

Pete, Keith and Alan Smith ferried the layout down to Eastleigh on Friday and setup Lightermans Yard and checked that everything was running and functioning properly. Of course, the next morning one or two niggling faults appeared, one of which sent Keith underneath the track to re-attach a drifting wire! Apart from that, a point blade on the back road lost contact with loco wheels causing a stall in one direction. Later we encountered uncoupling problems on the reception road, not always the magnet's fault.

Otherwise the operating crews experienced an enjoyable and fulfilling two days, particularly overhearing the complimentary comments from 'out the front'. On Saturday the operators, working mainly in pairs, were Pete, Keith. Alan and Richard. We found we had too few locos to be able to assemble trains in the fiddle yard - added more locos on Sunday. Howard joined us on Sunday. Important 'driver experience' for Richard and Howard.

Always pleasing to see a large crowd around the front of the layout!

Pete and Keith on the operating side, and Keith's very occasional intervention to help the annoying uncoupling snag.

We ran a mixture of steam and diesel traction placing this almost in the final days of steam.

Moments from the rest of the show;

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

January 2020 Meeting

The first meeting of the new decade! Apart from the annual membership fee collection, our meeting consisted of ongoing business and preparing to take Lightermans Yard to the Southampton Exhibition at the end of the month.

Howard showed a servo mounting kit that he had recently bought and suggested a servo selection that he (and MERG) were considering.

DINGO SERVO MOUNT 'low profile' ( parts and built kit.

Howard has provided some information from MERG about servos (see note at the end of this blog entry).

Alan Smith showed the progress on the brass split chassis for the Peckett 0-4-0 that he is manufacturing for the 3D printed body. Richard hopes to use the completed loco on a 'Challenge' layout he is constructing.
The two parts of the chassis and the gear set and the axle buffs in place. Below; Matching the chassis to the body, the weight should help the running performance of such a small locomotive.

Lightermans Yard is stored in the loft of the church hall. We have perfected the method of getting the layout down for either working on it or running the layout at meetings. In this case we are readying it for travel the next exhibition. This involves loading the components into two cars for transportation.

Luckily most of the layout travels well in boxes and cases.

Having loaded  the cars we spent some time just talking about the past year and looking forward to the next decade!

The Lightermans Yard team. Standing from left to right; Alan Smith, Richard Doust, Howard Watkins, Gordon Reed, Alan Brasier, Pete King; Sitting David Smith - absent is Keith Gloster

MERG's notes on Servo Selection;
Good quality servos are now available at prices that could only be dreamt of a few years ago Based upon the experience of many members, we now recommend the HobbyKing servos for model railway applications.

•    For semaphore signals, we recommend the HobbyKin9 HKSCM9-5V digital servo. This completely eliminates any tendency to twitch at power up and is completely quiet when the drive pulses cease.
•    For turnouts, we recommend the HobbyKing HK15178 analogue servo. Although this can suffer from a power-up twitch, ii is ideal where, small amount of pressure is desired to hold the switch blade against its stock rail, Again, it is completely quiet and draws no current when the drive pulses cease. If you have a stock of TowerPro SG90 or similar servos, then they will be equally suitable for turnouts.

At the time of writing, there is only a small difference in price between the two HobbyKing servos recommended above, so it makes sense to chose the most appropriate servo for the job.
Next blog report will be from the Southampton Model Railway Exhibition 25th/26th January2020

Sunday, 22 December 2019

December 2019 Meeting

This was the last regular meeting of 2019, and as tradition has it, a mince pie event on top of the serious business of the day.

Once again Evercreech Junction took centre stage for the first part of the meeting. Richard provided large digital prints (6m) representing full scale at 2mm and including a contemporary map background and track overlay with the Templot point templates that Pete K has provided. Easy to see that we need the floor of the church hall to take in the whole picture.

Pete K examines point templates printed on semi transparent paper and matched to the main image, to help with the construction of individual points.

Lightermans Yard returned to base following the Beckenham show. We set the track baseboards up to check for any faults and necessary repairs. Thankfully it all worked and this gave David the opportunity to test run his Dapol Class 50 blue diesel, the only modification at this stage being 2mm wheels and a sound chip. Looked and sounded good.

David added a rake of four coaches, strange visitors to the ’yard’.

Keith demonstrated the work he has done on the chassis of a terrier to accommodate a DCC chip and ’stay alive’. This involved re-making the footplate throughout.
Keith also showed a resin cast loco body he has made to provide re-modelled parts for the conversion to a West Country class as used on the S&D.

Loco of the month is the Class 50

Apologies for the late arrival of this blog post.

Merry Christmas, and a happy modelling year ahead from all at KEAG!

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

November 2019 Meeting

This month’s meeting was another opportunity for Alan and Keith to set out the baseboards for Evercreech Junction. As previously seen, the Church hall is one of the few areas where all the baseboards can be assembled to form the whole layout and check for fit, and on this occasion the accurate fitting for the final section.

The baseboards ready for assembly. Eventually these will be transported in two purpose made boxes that will also support the layout.
Acknowledging that this very ambitious layout is Alan and Keith’s initiative, the group is becoming more involved, not unwillingly, in various supporting ways. Pete has become the Templot master in providing point and track templates. These have been overlaid on period maps and run out on a large digital printer, making the scenic part of the layout true to scale and, the track geometry as correct as possible.

The segments are bolted together ....

As the fiddle yard boards are added, it soon becomes clear how extensive the layout is and why it needs a large flat area to set it up in.

Two large semi circular feeder lines link the fiddle yard to the scenic section on the right. The layout will be operated from the space in the middle.

The final part of the scenic section is measured for fitting. Having the full layout connected ensures all the sections of baseboard fit tightly together.

Part of the track plan is checked. Templot templates for points and track have been overlaid on a map image relating to the period accuracy, the position of buildings and other topographical features etc.

The baseboards unbolted and ready to be loaded for transporting back to the workshop.

Return of the loco of the month! Alan showed his 4F that has been re-wheeled with the Association 3D printed steam locomotive driving wheels.

The 4F looks good and runs smoothly on its new wheels. Howard added a coach with interior lighting operated by an external switch (magic wand for demonstration purposes!)