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!)

Monday, 21 October 2019

Beckenham Exhbition 19 October 2019

The Saturday following our October meeting found us exhibiting at the Beckenham and West Wickenham Model Railway Club's one day show.

The exhibition is held in what is normally the church with the pews set aside, a dauntingly high roof and very few visible signs of Sunday's use.

The space is very large and very easily catered for several large layouts. Two other spaces held trade stands and smaller layouts a club shop.

Lightermans Yard was in the main church on a raised stage near the hidden alter. There was a large array of organ pipes in the wall behind our stand.

Pete KIng and Keith Gloster had set up the layout and checked the running on Friday evening. The day crew consisted of Pete K, Keith, Alan S and Richard, roughly working on two on two off throughout the day.

Thanks to early track cleaning and 'stay-alive' now fitted in the operating locomotives, running the trains was very smooth. 

The vast space made the large number of visitors look small, but the numbers grew throughout the whole day. The organisers were very pleased by the turnout.

Behind the scene, we were enjoying trouble free running (even the uncoupling magnets were mostly behaving!). Just one occasion of an enthusiastic audience helping to make the day!

The Mayor doing the rounds. Clearly an enthusiast, he spent some time with Lightermans Yard and made some very well informed comments, and his knowledge of London in the fifties and sixties pointed to some helpful historical facts.

Some other layouts; Three Gates (N) a folding box: Portsea (3mm) a Southern electric display of Portsmouth and the harbour station: The Bridge at Remagen (N) loosely based on the film of the same name.

Vintage Trains (0 gauge) tinplate 3 rail collectors club - ran frantically all day!

Friday, 18 October 2019

October 2019 Meeting

The meeting began with a discussion over a Templot template for a 3-way point that Pete K had made for Evercreech Junction. Pete said he had learned a lot more about Templot with this task. The discussion centred on adjustments to the exit tracks and the positioning of the check rails, and how the revised template fitted the overall track plan for the layout.

Alan S showed a prototype in progress for an Easitrac milled and pegged base for crossover kit.

The main task for the meeting was to prepare Lightermans Yard for the Beckenham exhibition on the following Saturday, 19 October. Although this is a fairly local one-day show, we still need to ensure the Yard is in running order. All the components were made ready for transportation, and the track boards were assembled for track cleaning and an opportunity to test the locomotives fitted with 'stay alive'.

Track cleaning above and cleaning and checking 'stay alive' below

There was a short discussion about the progress on 3D printing of Association steam locomotive driving wheels.

As work advances on 'Evercreech Junction' by Alan and Keith, there was a comparison of details on different sets of drawings showing some of the station buildings.

All the layout boxes were assembled for transportation and moved to Pete k' and Keith's cars for the Beckenham exhibition.

Friday, 13 September 2019

September 2019 Meeting

Following on from the AGM at Swindon on Saturday, we met again the next day for our normal monthly Sunday meeting at our home base in Wilmington. Pete Townsend and Jim Allwood were welcome visitors, having decided to detour and join us before returning to the West Country.

First up Q; how many model engineers does it take to fit 2mm drop-in wheels to a Class 25? A; 6 hands.

Keith, Alan and Pete K take a tea break with the 2mm Association Chairman, Jim Allwood.

Keith deserves another accolade for his double award at the AGM for (best passenger & NPCS rolling stock) - rake of ex-LMS, Southern & BR CCTs

Alan, David and Pete K matching Templot templates to an enlarged geographic map of Evercreech Jubction, Pete Townsend contemplates the scale build.

Time to get the layout for a test session, and give Jim a chance to operate.

Next meeting 13October 2019. Next exhibition appearance 19 October - Beckenham