Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Crawley Model Railway Society Exhibition April 2018

On the weekend of 14 - 15 April, Lightermans Yard was a guest layout at the Crawley MRS Show held at a school hall in Horsham. Summer struck on the Saturday, when apparently, most punters took advantage of the sun. However, the show was reasonably well attended on both days, and especially on Sunday when the weather abandoned it's attempt to launch summer!

The layout was transported to Horsham on Friday evening and set up by Pete K, Alan S and Keith. They were joined by Gordon and Richard on Saturday, and Richard on Sunday. Operating got off to a good start, but the uncouplers failed again, resulting in the 'hand of god' appearing rather too often.

After some investigations by Keith and Pete into the power supply, the problem was resolved and we were able to restore proper working.

As operators we had a great time running the 'Yard' as it should be; trip locos - steam and diesel - bringing in a train to be distributed into Beresford's warehouse or the Express Dairy siding (by a 'Terrier') by the G6; outward trains being assembled on the exchange siding by a 'Jinty' or a Class 8 before finally having a brake van added by the G6 and being re-united with a trip locomotive and disappearing into the fiddle yard.

Pete in discussion with the show organisers.

Views of the main hall and some if the best of the rest.

Above; LARAMIE an American '0' gauge model of part of the loco shed and turntable at Laramie in Wyoming.
ARUN a charming '0' gauge model of a riverside dock.

...and finally, ready for OFF. An enjoyable weekend!

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

April 2018 Meeting

At this month's meeting we used the afternoon to check the layout in preparation for our next outing to the Crawley Model Railway Society exhibition (at Horsham) the following weekend, 14/15 April 2018.

Having assembled the layout to track level, we discovered that, although we had locos running, the magnetic uncouplers were failing layout wide.

We sometimes forget we meet in a church hall, but there was no apparent external help (beats me boss!) when confronted by the control panel trail of wiring.  

The fault was finally diagnosed and fixed.

This month's guest locomotive is David Smith's recently completed Black Five 4-6-0. There are a few problems over weight distribution which at the moment causes intermittent wheel slip. However, the locomotive looks very good, and after discussion about how to manage the the weight problem, the loco will no doubt be seen on Lightermans Yard in the future.
(below) The Black Five joins last month's locomotive, ex-LSWR G6 built by Pete King and Alan Smith's 2mm Jinty conversion.

Final track inspection ready for packing and loading into two cars ready for the exhibition build on Friday for the weekend show.

An exhibition report will be posted here on the blog.

When are at 'home' we operate our 2mm scale Lightermans Yard alongside 'N' gauge colleagues of the Swanley Model Railway Club.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

March 2018

This month's meeting clashed with Mother's Day which meant a couple of people had commitments elsewhere. However we were able to assemble the layout to track level. Main priority was to clean the track and ensure that the electrics were working. We have one meeting before the next show at Crawley on 24 and 25 April.

This month's; locomotive, ex-LSWR G6 built by Pete King' specifically for Lightermans Yard. The G6 was built at Nine Elms and was taken into Southern stock at the grouping and then Southern Region at Nationalisation.
Pete King bought his recently completed ex-LSWR G6 0-6-0 loco and some stock to run through the layout, both a test for the loco, stock and for the track and turnouts (points). Note the handrail and extended running board behind the cab on the loco, a detail observed by Pete from photographic references - this was apparently for the 'shunter' to hitch a ride during yard operations.

The layout as assembled to track level, here showing the 'slot together' ply structure that is rigid when constructed and the baseboard supporting the track-bed, fiddle yard and electronics. The scenics and backscene fit onto the white baseboard. For shows, the completed layout is viewed through a 'window' at the front.

Track cleaning was the first priority, and searching for any unevenness or misalignment.

The loco yard getting a clean. Some more work to be done on ballasting!

Alan making final adjustments to the cleaning process - shiny tracks!

 Having bunkered, the G6 sets out to work the goods traffic (really testing the cleaned track).

Working a wide collection of stock.

A view of the control panel and shunting yard. A great feeling when everything is working as it should!

Further discussion centred on prototypes for servo controlled point mechanisms that Keith and Alan have been developing.

Alan also showed the new brass sleeper castings for flat bottomed track

Next meeting 8 April, followed by our next exhibition appearance at Crawley 14-15 April

Monday, 12 February 2018

February 2018

This month we prepared for 'Engineering Works'. This involved the track bed and some electrical modifications, both of which were in our 'New Year' resolutions list.

The continuation of ballasting the loco yard sported the addition of a water tower. Meanwhile Keith re-positioned a goods exchange yard uncoupling switch to counteract confusion when operating under exhibition pressure.

Intentions made clear at the start of the meeting.

Installing the water tower before continuing to ballast the track bed and surrounds.

Cutting a recess for the water tower base. Note the little black square, an experiment that later becomes a feature!

In position, and ready to continue ballasting the area.

'little-by-little' David administering ground colour, Pete adds some darker variation.

Fixing the ballast. Note the black square has become a puddle!

....Meanwhile, Keith re-positions a switch on the control panel.

And we end the day contemplating our achievements over a cup of tea.

Monday, 15 January 2018

January 2018 meeting

Happy New Year!

This year begins with a set of resolutions, some carried forward and some new and some for the future.

Our 'to do' spreadsheet looks like this!

Keith decided to make an electrical alteration to the control panel, that wasn't one of the reslolutions! But we have been here before

Meanwhile we set too on ballasting, (which is a resolution!)

Alan concentrates on spreads the base ballast colour by the loco coaling and water stand....

 ...adding local colour to the coaling stand....

...and applying fixing solution - neat Vinyl Floor polish....

David adding a 'pinch of salt' 

The electrics and the ballasting (for the moment) completed, a couple of loco made an appearance.

David demonstrated his new Class 40 (re-wheeled for 2mm) with sound!

The Class 40 and in the background, Keith's work in progress on his S&D 7f loco.

The second locomotive to feature (test shunting the 7f) is Pete K's G6

G6 built by the L.S.W.R. This particular one survived until 1961, so just scrapes into our time zone. I built it from an Nbrass kit. The chassis is scratchbuilt from solid brass milled out to provide clearance for the gears and wheel muffs. Outer plates of brass carry the bearings and are attached to the main block by screws into Delrin bushes. One of the side plates is insulated from the chassis block by a 0.13mm strip of styrene. The loco is finished, as near as I can get it, to a photo of the prototype in 1949. The photo shows the loco with modified steps under the bunker to form a platform, and extra handrails on the bunker sides so that the shunter can hitch a lift around the yard (what health and safety?). I thought this would be an ideal loco to run on Lightermans Yard as shunting is what we do! (Pete)

Observed, the critical running test for the G6, from all angles! It passed.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

December meeting

This month's meeting was disrupted by bad weather. Those from Kent and from just north of the river made it, but the North West London contingent was snowed and iced in! As a result there was no camera available to capture the event.

Pete K provided a short report, and a plea for pictures of mentioned models produced a couple of workshop images from Keith. (still time to add more)

Pete's report;

Keith and Alan both brought along partly built Somerset & Dorset 7f locos they are working on for a joint venture of theirs. David Smith brought along a Bob Jones Black Five that he is building. David’s loco is just about ready for the paint shop “once the weather warms up a bit”. 

As someone remarked, the table looked like Barry scrap yard with all the loco bits and pieces everywhere.

The “N” gauge lads said they had been rattling around in the meeting hall for the last two months without us there. Nice to know you’re missed! 

Two workbench shots of work in progress on Keith's Somerset & Dorset 7f locomotive

So to blow our own trumpet a little, a round-up of our most recent exhibition triumphs;


At the Farnham show we were judged by the public the second best layout in show, and at the 2mm AGM we were surprised and delighted to be awarded the Geoff Jones Layout Award (left). 

At the Uckfield show we became the first winners of the Keith Nock Trophy (above), voted by fellow exhibitors. We also came in second best layout in show, by public vote.

At Farnham/AGM we introduced the missing building. Pete Townsend had heroically taken the task of completing Berisford's warehouse away to Somerset allowing us to operate a more realistic train distribution and assembly.

As a festive contribution, here is a 3D rendition of Lightermans Yard. You will need red/blue 3d glasses (remember those?).

Thanks to this month's BRM for the inspiration, glasses provided with the magazine. You can easily make your own; link here and here