Tuesday, 11 September 2018

September 2018 Meeting

The focus for this meeting was the upcoming Croydon MRS exhibition at Warlingham on 13-14 October. Our main concern being transporting the layout.

The Willmington show, which would have normally taken place on the second weekend in October, is not taking place this year. It normally displaces our regular meeting schedule and usually moves our meeting for that month forward a week. We were able to agree with our 'N' gauge colleagues to have the meeting on 7 October which is more convenient for transporting Lightermans Yard to exhibition. 

We set up and tested the layout in preparation for the exhibition and hopefully eliminate any electrical glitches that might occur. 

Checking electrical functions. In this case the uncoupling magnets
We also checked the scenery boards which provides an excuse to indulge in some of the backyard detail, including the hidden street under the bridge

For the November meeting, we decided on a masterclass/workshop on locomotive chassis construction and conversion. The probable first candidate will be converting a Dapol Terrier to 2mm finescale. (11 November).

As promised a plaque has arrived from the Uckfield exhibition acknowledging Lightermans Yard being the first winner of  the Keith Nock Memorial Trophy. Also we have to return the Geoff Jones Layout Trophy (below right) awarded at the last AGM by the 2mm Association for best layout.

Note; Next meeting Sunday 7 October at Wilmington; Croydon MRS exhibition at Warlingham Saturday and Sunday 13-14 October; Sunday 11 November locomotive workshop on conversion to 2mm finescale.

Thursday, 16 August 2018

August 2018 Meeting - visit to RAILWELLS

The August meeting was replaced by an outing to the Railwells show. Thank you to Alan S for agreeing to be photographer and guest editor for this month.

David and I set off bright and early at 7am sharp. We had arranged to meet with Keith and Gordon at the Church at Wilmington at 8am. Cars parked up we set of with David at the helm and what seemed like no time at all we arrived at the wells show just after opening time at 10.40.
Straight into the main hall we hit the ‘North Cornwall line’ and, it seems, most of the southern contingent of the 2mm Scale Association.
The North Cornwall line occupied most of the main front hall with only a few small side tables filling the rest of the area. We quickly decided to venture up stairs as the hall itself was quite busy and we could come back later when not so packed. Upstairs found us another three 2mm layouts:-
Bordesley North by Jim Allwood,
Callaton by Mick Simpson.
Mini MSW by Alan Whitehouse.
Bordesley North and Callerton are both new layouts and between them show a good few novel ideas with sound locos being much in evidence.
Mini MSW is another layout to feature sound on some locos but to me the revamped scenery was the major attraction.

Looking around the upstairs hall found some very nice P4 layouts along with the usual traders and societies. Off of the main halls were side rooms with further exhibits and traders a bit like Aladdin’s cave with wonders around every corner.
One layout, which had us all intrigued, was a T scale layout at ¾ of a mm to the foot. This appeared to run very smoothly and as none of the locos were powered everybody was wondering how it was done. The owner of the layout was not giving anything away and stated ‘All with be revealed at 4pm’ (now that’s something we just had to go back for).

The T scale layout. the whole thing was just over a foot long it ran very smoothly at a realistic speed. Quite a picturesque layout.

It was by now time for lunch so we headed off to the Crown Inn next door. We all enjoyed a pint and a very large house beef burger, now that was a beef burger.

Back to the show things were a little quieter on the North Cornwall line so we had a good look. The layout was really 7 layouts in one and considering the somewhat damp and humid conditions is was amazing to see Johns locos perform so well, these could be tiny 4 wheeled locos crawling along over all manor of track work,  without a hitch, or large express engines gliding along as though they really weighed the 70 tons or so of the prototype.

John Greenwood's Wadebridge shows a King Arthur in southern brass livery I understand it is quite popular in the south!  The handrails were particularly fine and well proportioned. What a beautiful loco.
Wenford Bridge goods. the working crane and lorry still amaze me after all these years, worth the trip alone.
The sign of a good show is when you look up from the exhibits and realise its nearly time to go, ’have we really been here all day?’ we just had time to get back to the T scale layout to see how it works. Sure enough a 4pm sharp the room where the layout was displayed was packed to the rafters! The little black box on the front of the layout hid the gubbins. In true pantomime style we counted down the screws coming out of the box to reveal all…… A strimmer cable and some brass tube! well not quite as simple as that but a very clever way of producing a smooth running loco to a minuscule scale.

All fascinating stuff and so ended our day. Just the ride home and all the joys of the M25 on a Sunday evening which, indecently, did not disappoint due to a car fire after junction 9. This however only delayed us by around 30 minutes or so but overall we made good time.
Thanks again to David for doing all the driving and to Keith and Gordon for all the banter along the way.


Monday, 16 July 2018

July 2018 Meeting

This meeting was dominated by the unusual Summer heat, so everything appeared to take place in slow motion.

Our plan was to continue ballasting and we did manage to carry some of this out, or we should point out that David did the work whilst the rest of us stood around watching and making encouraging comments and discussion.

(below) David preparing to continue the ballasting, fixing the material with vinyl floor polish straight from the bottle.

We had also identified a slight curl in one of the foreground scenic boards - noticeable if you knew where to look, but a nagging sense that the situation needed attention. Pete took on the task with the aid of a hot air gun, weights. PVA and a little force, or a combination of all four accompanied by under the breath mutterings! We will see if this has worked when we assemble the full layout again.

This meeting’s guest locos were Keith's SR/BR T Class 0-6-0 under construction. This model is destined for Lightermans Yard. Shown below are the drawings (in 7mm scale) and pictorial reference.

So far the chassis and gearbox have been completed, once again demonstrating Keith's superb micro engineering.

David also has a 'work-in-progress' converting a Merchant Navy to a Battle of Britain. This involves reshaping existing bodies and casting new parts.

A visit to the Wells exhibition is planned to take the place of the August.

Monday, 11 June 2018

June 2018 Meeting

Someone once said "there's no such think as bad publicity" which sums up our reaction to the featured and simultaneous appearance of Lightermans Yard in both the 2mm Magazine (front cover and inside cover) and full colour spread in the N Gauge Journal (pages 28 and 29). Both unsolicited and a complete, and welcomed, surprise!

This meeting’s guest loco was David Smith's SER/SECR/SR/BR R1 under construction. This model is destined for Lightermans Yard, working alongside the G6.

Above; the parts under construction. Some important lessons passed on during discussions.

... and, left, a R1 reference shot of the loco in Southern days.

Abovet; Pete K contemplating the missing chimney situation on one of the scenic boards. Left; fitting a new chimney .

Below; A rare chance to view the back detail.

Meanwhile Keith and David testing for the malfunctioning uncoupling magnets again - possibly down to 'swarf' in the box this time.

The meeting closed with general discussion about an away-day to a heritage line possibly taking the place of a monthly meeting - most probable contender is the Bluebell Line (as long as we don't choose a diesel weekend!)

Monday, 14 May 2018

May 2018 Meeting

Lighterman’s Yard returned to base at this meeting having been housed at Alan’s and Pete K’s houses after an enjoyable, if at times stressful, Crawley show.

The control panel went home with Keith for investigation into the uncoupling magnet problem (Magnet-gate). At the meeting Keith reported that he had found a loose wire in the panel which he reattached, although all the switches were fully functional. We started the meeting no wiser as to where the problem lay.

David S and Keith proceeded to probe around in the live power box with a multi-meter just as Pete K took a photo with the flash unknowingly switched on. If a further photo could have been taken a split second later then this report would contain a picture of sheer terror!  After the excitement and some more, but flash free, probing Keith and David narrowed down the possible gremlin areas. There is quite a break before the next outing so there is time to gradually narrow things down until the culprit is caught.

This meeting’s guest loco was Keith’s S & D 7f complete with tender and now recognisable as a 7f as opposed to an assembly of parts on a chassis as seen previously.

Thanks to Pete King for this meeting's report and pictures.

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