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

Thursday, 12 September 2019

AGM 2019 at Steam, Swindon

The 2mm Association 2019 AGM was held at the Steam Museum in Swindon on 7 September - deep in GWR territory.

KAEG was represented by Pete King, Allan Smith, Keith Gloster, Howard Watkins and Richard Doust, joined by Pete Townsend (Somerset member) who had come with the Association Chairman Jim Allwood and the 2mm Shop, their intention to also attend the September KEAG meeting the following day.

The AGM competition entries were described by this year's guest judge Tony Wright, as '... it was the hardest judging I've ever had to do, it's because the standard of the entries was so high, as was the consistency'. He was also impressed with the speed and efficiency of our AGM business.

Of the competition awards, Keith won two of the 9 awards for the same entry, four BR wagons. The Dreadnought Trophy for passenger rolling stock and the Members Choice Cup.

 We had the chance to browse and buy from the 2mm shop, and also visit the Steam Museum.

Apart from the mainly full-size exhibits, Keith and Pete K discussing Caerphilly Castle, there were several 2mm Association layouts; Tucking Mill (Jerry Clifford), Corrieshalloch (Anthony Yeates), Ivybridge (John Aldrick), Ashburton (John Birkett-Smith), and also other gauge layouts among the museum displays. Notable was Sidmouth a P4 layout.
The four 2mm layouts Ashburon, Ivybridge, Tucking Mill and Corrieshalloch (close scrutiny by Pete and Keith). Also on show in the AGM room was Nigel Ashton's Drws-y-Nant layout in progress. Below Sidmouth P4.

Finally, last minute discussion and time to pack up!

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

August 2019 Meeting

This month's meeting turned out to be an history lesson as those present scoured their collective memory on how and when Lightermans Yard came about and how it developed into the layout we now proudly exhibit.

This much we now think we know; In the early 1990s, a 2mm Scale Association group was formed by Andrew Cox and Arthur Adams in Swanley Kent. The group became SELAG - South-East London Area Group of the 2mm Scale Association, and eventually Kent and Essex Area Group as we are now known.

Our first piece of concrete evidence comes in five multi page photocopied and unedited newsletters called 'The Loading Gauge' initiated and collated by Andrew Cox, with contributions by other SELAG members and friends. Number 1 is dated June 1992 and contains editorial, meeting reports and illustrated advice on files. This was the pattern for the subsequent issues.


A leaflet 'At Home with SELAG' dated 13 December 1992 celebrating three years of previous meetings and suggesting there was an exhibition (there were 15 members). It also described a number of members' layouts, possibly those shown at this 'minimeet', and includes names and layouts of some current KEAG members. 

In an effort to establish a group project, Andrew Cox suggested a layout to which everyone could contribute. The design chosen was based on an Ian Rice  design, 'Cannonsgate Goods'. For some time this consisted of track boards and an ingenious cascade DC system of which Andrew was the master. After he retired from the group, a decision was made to rewire the layout to DCC, and the conversion started around 2010.

Since then, and with the collective support and contributions of the current KEAG members, Lightermans Yard has developed into a working, fully scenic, exhibition layout which has scored highly with visitors and other 2mm Association members. 

One of our next tasks is to establish a running schedule, with operator responsibilities for train movements better established, particularly at exhibitions.

Howard bought in some Mathieson wagons and Dapol milk tanks to discuss re-wheeling them to 2mm scale standards. Included in the discussion was a tool made by Keith to enlarge the axle housings on commercial N gauge chassis to take Association 'tophat' bearings and pin-point axles. 

Above Mathison wagons and a Dapol milk tank, and the axle tool for tophat bearings. We also marveled at the private owners' printing detail on the Mathison wagons (and a blank wagon for DIY). Below Howard's van and chassis etches, many hours to complete! Everyone should own up to a box like this.... 

Howard suggested a way of neatly balasting parts of Easitrac point kit base before fixing the track (as illustrated below)

The next topic was the track plan for Evercreech Junction, the scenic section of Somerset and Dorset layout (work in progress). Previous blog entries - March 2019 -  have shown the extensive running and fiddle yard track bases - there won't be much room for anyone else when and if this is setup in the hall. Pete K has been working on the Templot templates to match the scaled period track layout. The geographic map detail shows much of the scenic surround too. 

Next meeting 8 September

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

July Meeting

Sunday 14 July was a typical mid summer meeting. Bright, sunny and warm outside and interesting from the inside for innovation and discussion.

Howard demonstrated his Railcom device that displayed a locomotive’s DCC identity as it passed along a section of track. So far it only works on some decoders (Zimo,Lenz, ESU?) and not (CTElektronics). At present it only works with the Lenz Command Station. It is planned to be added to the MERG Command Station at some time. This looks like a very useful operator tool.

Alan S showed the new gear set as mentioned in the 2mm newsletter, replacing the faulty sets, the new version is for the Farish conversion, currently out of stock but soon to be available through Shop 3. 

Alan also showed us 2mm steam locomotive wheels which are currently under development. The latest examples have been 3D printed in stainless steel. The results look very good and accurate. Example below shows the steel tyre added.

A great advantage being that the specifications for 3D printing can be provided for individual manufacture.

Additional meeting material added to the blog after something prevented the blog content from being completed at the initial session.

Keith bought to the meeting the baseboards for Pete K's Brixham layout which he had recently worked on. As can be seen from the images, the track bases give a good idea of how the layout will look when the track is laid and the background and scenery are in place.

Locomotive of the month is by Alan Smith, one of a pair of converted Farish 4F destined for the S&D layout previously featured in this blog.

Monday, 10 June 2019

Tutbury 2mm Supermeet and June 2019 Meeting

A four man crew set off for the Tutbury supermeet on a very wet Friday morning with Alan, Keith and Pete K in a hire van and David in his car. Despite the miserably wet journey, upon arrival it was possible to reverse the van under a canopy so that unloading was relatively dry.

The now familiar Lightermans Yard setup at the Tutbury Supermeet
Waiting for the day to begin
David's R1 in finished colours
David brought along his finished South Eastern R1 although, because he was not happy with its running, it sat in the naughty corner for most of the day. Alan’s Jinties and pannier tank are now all fitted with stay alive units as were Keith’s trip locos and the difference in running reliability is remarkable. Pete did not have the G6 stay alive fitted in time so it sulked in the corner with the R1!

As always with Association meetings it was good to catch up with old friends and put faces to names. The show was generally thought to be a success with a lot more visitors than last year.

Lightermans Yard was packed away at a more leisurely pace than usual so no records were broken this time. By the time the crew hit the road the sun was making an appearance which made for a far more pleasant and stress free trip home.

June Meeting

Sunday 9th June was back to base for a break before the next show in October (see Association website calendar for details). Keith brought along his, now working, S&D 7F for us to wonder at. Running in DC mode it still performed beautifully. Keith is working on four of these locos and Alan is working on two. They will eventually be part of the loco stud on Evercreech Junction.

Keith's S&D 7F
Pete K told Keith of the recent exchange on the VAG about pony truck control and pickup. Keith obliged by turning the 7F over in his work cradle and then removing the pony truck to reveal a grownup version of Simpson springing. The spring legs were set out sideways and up away from the chassis to provide downward pressure and also control the centralising of the pony truck.

The day finished with a discussion on logistics for show invitations for 2020 and 2021.

watch the S&D 7F in action

Many thanks again to Pete King for being long suffering blog editor. Meanwhile Richard was feeling guilty again but managed to capture Tornado steaming through Wensleydale.

Friday, 17 May 2019

May 2019 Meeting

The meeting started with Alan distributing various electronic gizmos (decoders/stay alive units) that the group ordered as a bulk buy. This is all part of a master plan to improve running on Lightermans Yard.

David showed us the progress he has made on his scratchbuilt South Eastern R1 which is destined to work on The Yard. David said there is some detailing to be done followed by the paint shop and then it will be ready for work. Sadly there was no water in the boiler (no motor) so we couldn’t see it running.

Steam was heavily outweighed by diesels at this meeting. Keith and David each brought along a class 52, more commonly known as Westerns. David’s was in BR blue with Keith’s being in maroon. David also brought an 08 shunter and Keith showed us a class 33 which will most likely be a trip loco for The Yard.


An unusual shunting manoeuvre
An unusual shunting manoeuvre
Keith explained how he had modified the bogie bearings on various diesel locos to help improve the contact areas and general running.

He then showed yet another of his ingenious jigs. On this occasion the jig was being used to align the bogie side frames and centre moulding to accurately drill holes for pivots to allow the bogie to rock fore and aft.

And so it was time for the dreaded trip to the loft to bring down The Yard for transport to Tutbury. Alan managed to take the bulk of the items and Keith took the rest.

The next KEAG meeting is the day after Tutbury so the plan is to take the layout straight back home.
Because of the proximity of the Supermeet and the KEAG meeting, the next blog will probably be a combined Saturday/Sunday one.

Many thanks again to Pete King for being long suffering blog editor. Meanwhile Richard was 'down under' and feeling slightly guilty, so decided to add some local Australian interest (or not?).

Spotted in Armidale, New South Wales; One of two preserved 620 class railmotor sets being prepared for mainline working. Below, Australian outline in 'N' gauge at Hearns Hobbies in Melbourne. They knew about 2mm Fine-scale and actually got the Lightermans Yard blog on screen during our brief conversation!