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

Thursday, 16 November 2017

November: Tolworth Exhibition

Yet another regular meeting was replaced by an invitation to exhibit, this time at the Hampton Court Model Railway Society Exhibition at Tolworth on November 11th and 12th.

Setting up, by Keith and Pete K, was on Friday evening and went smoothly and without fuss. All the trackwork was cleaned and found to be in working order. The Yard was then put to bed for the night.

Saturday morning Keith and Pete K arrived expecting to be the only operators for the day but while enjoying a cup of tea a knight in shining armour was seen in the shape of David S.

Audience admiring the 'Yard'

After a few hours of good running one of the points developed an electrical problem. It would allow access to the brake van road but not ahead through the run round loop, needed for forming departing trains. David S again came to the rescue by prodding around in the dark under the baseboard and curing the problem for the rest of the weekend.

Working round the problem
Sunday, the staff was Alan, Keith and Pete K who enjoyed a good day of running.

Alan over the top again!
Throughout the weekend the viewing public were making very complementary comments about the layout which is always good for lifting the spirits when tiredness begins to set in.

Discussing the 'Yard'
After the show everything was packed away and ready to go in what may be a new record time of around 30 minutes.

The next showing will be Crawley April 2018 so that should give the team time to catch up on some of those “little” jobs that we never seem to get round to.

Thanks to Pete King for this report and pictures.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

October: Uckfield Exhibition

Our second outing in October was at the invitation of the Uckfield Model Railway Club, generally considered a fine scale event. The layouts shown and the commercial stands present confirmed this reputation.

This year the Uckfield club introduced a new memorial trophy in memory of their former President Keith Nock. The voting was by fellow exhibitors and Lightermans Yard has become the first winner of the trophy. It was presented on Saturday evening at the after show. We had it on display all day Sunday and photographs were taken with the mayor for publication in the local press. We had to give it back on Sunday evening but we will be receiving an engraved plaque to keep.

Pete King, Alan Smith and Keith Gloster with the Keith Nock trophy

To add to our weekend, once again Lightermans Yard was awarded second in the best layout vote by the public.

Images from the exhibition;

The now familiar exhibition set-up

Audience view


Lighting detail in Berisford's warehouse, courtesy Pete Townsend.

2mm Association demonstration of scratch building a set of prototype buildings in 2mm

Demonstrations, painting figures and soldering advice for all young and old

Monday, 16 October 2017

October 2mm AGM and Farnham Show

October's meeting was replaced by the 2mm Association Annual General Meeting and an invitation to exhibit at the Farnham and District Model Railway Club's show.

Lightermans Yard was stand number 2, very well situated by the show entrance with two other 2mm finescale layouts. Considerable spectator interest was shown throughout. An important addition to the layout is the recently completed Beresford's warehouse. Our West Country now honourary but long time member, Pete Townsend, had taken on the completion of the project started by Alan Smith. The warehouse finishes the layout in terms of scenery with the external and interior detail we have come to expect from Pete's buildings on the rest of the layout, and which rightly hold the attention of the punters, old and young.

Beresford's Goods Store in position and perfectly blending in with the street and industrial setting.

Close-up of the warehouse showing some of the interior detail

Visitors in front of the stand and the 'behind the scene' operators, two to control 2 locos and one on fiddle yard duty
Motive power and goods stock awaiting the arrival of a train for shunting, distribution and dispatch.
A very pleasant surprise at the 2mm Association meeting; The Geoff Jones Layout Award.
As a bonus, after very tight voting results, the 'Yard' came in second 'best in show', a good weekend!
A likely load?

Exhibition showings continue next weekend, 21st - 22nd October at Uckfield Model Railway Club.