Wednesday, 18 May 2022

May 2022 Meeting

Just thinking about our new found semi-freedoms and the need for some rejuvination in our forward plans. As individuals we have two major layouts in addition to Lightermans Yard, Evercreech Junction (Keith and Alan) and Brixham (Pete K). Whilst the last 3 months have been short on atttendances, we have been doing necessary work on 'The Yard'. As witnesed below, balasting has become a priority taken on by Alan with Pete K, who have provided a master class in scale and colour. 

Below, from our West Country member,
Pete Townsend,
The latest addition to Leigham Road loco stock. A Southern C3 class.

Next meeting 11 June. Closly followed by the Diamond Jubilee, Derby 17 and 18 June.

Sunday, 1 May 2022

April 2022 Meeting

As we come out of lockdowns and social distancing, and as other restrictions are lifted. Looking back, it was difficult to use this blog as a simple report of our monthly meetings. However, thanks to Zoom we were able to communicate and show progress on projects and keep our spirits up. As we are now able to meet in face to face at our base, we hopefully will be able to see more in detail.

Lightermans Yard continues to to attract invitations to shows. We still have work to do, principally to complete balasting the track and yard. 

At KEAG there are also two major projects underway (reviewed below) for which there have been glimpses in the blog. The very ambitious layout, Evercreech Junction (below in Nov 2019), is Alan and Keith’s initiative. 

Pete King's Brixham (shown below) is also progressing well. Although these two projects are more personal, the rest of the group are ready to help where needed.

News from Brixham. A source close to the railway has sent this video clip of trials on the outskirts to Brixham Station. Using a loco hired in from a goods yard somewhere in Southeast London, tests were carried out as seen but also over the crossover. Apparently the camera man had to put down his camera to assist in holding the point blades over as the S & T department has not yet connected the pointwork to the signal frame. The source informs us that the company General Manager (Mr Pete King) is personally working hard on the next phase which will enable running into the station area.


From Alan, a couple of progress shots of the Evercrech Junction track works

Next meeting; 8 May 2022

Sunday, 27 March 2022

March 2022 Meeting

From Pete King Guest Editor (thanks for standing in Pete). Always nice to have another viewpoint from within the group.

The previous users of the room kindly left out a table and chairs for us to work on but in the end The Yard remained slumbering in its storage area. It was decided that next month we would bring along the necessary materials and push on with the remaining ballasting.



David brought his latest toys along to show us and left, at least your blogger, in awe of his excellent craftmanship in loco building.

David has modified a Farish Class 31/1 by removing the head code roof boxes, adding details such as head code discs and repainting as they would have appeared at Stratford Depot complete with “Stratford Bull” around the buffers and pipe work. This work effectively makes it Class 31/0 which is their original form.

The other loco David showed us was a scratchbuilt Class 15. This loco has quite complex roof end shapes as can be seen in the photos. The body is mostly solid brass machined internally with scribed side panels. Underneath is a solid brass chassis. David explained that this loco is an “as and when” job which he works on from time to time

Alan brought along a bag of 10mm loco wheels for Keith to put through the testing process so for any one waiting on this size, they are in the pipeline! 


He also showed us some photos of the latest track laying developments on Evercreech Junction. As can be seen this is a mammoth project and, even in its unfinished state, will be quite impressive to see at the Jubilee bash in June.

‘I’m proud to be called a nerd!’ Guardian Wed 23 Mar 2022

There is more in the article - Click here to read 

Next meeting Sunday 10 April 2022

Saturday, 12 March 2022

February 2022 Meeting

We were few this month, although restrictons appeared to be easing, or maybe it was just February. Perhaps we had got too used to zoom!

Our conversation rambled around ideas for the future - over cups of tea, of course. There are three major issues that we are mostly thinking about; the first being that we are now few in regular numbers and would welcome anyone who would like to help us operate Lightermans Yard at exhibitions and at our monthly home meetings too. Secondly we would like to share our 2mm expertise by organising regular mini workshops to help members, old and new, develop their own layouts and contribute to a possible new collective layout. The third issue is the question of a new layout. Whilst we still have finishing touches to make to Lightermans Yard, there are ongoing projects to contribute to. This blog has previously touched on two layouts in progress; Evercreech Junction and Brixham. Planning and building a new layout will provide a new and exciting focus for the group.

February's discussion touched on thoughts around the provision of 'drop-in' wheel sets for Dapol diesel units. especially as the wheel turning service is currently not available. We may return to this later.

Apologies for the lack of illustrations for this entry. We will have more to say and see later in the spring!


Next meeting; 13 March 



Monday, 7 February 2022

January 2022 Meeting

Apologies for this late posting for January and a guarded welcome to 2022 as we cautiously proceed towards a hopefully post-Covid world. At least we have now managed three face to face meetings and an exhibition at points when there was some easing of restrictions. 

As this blog testifies, we kept our regular monthly meetings virtualy via Zoom, with moderate success. Allthough restricted to 40 minutes, our online meetings were focused, useful and informative. 

As mentioned we have managed 3 face-to-face meetings, November and December 2021 and this report, the first of 2022. We delivered Lightermans Yard back to its home. We have managed some restorative surgery resulting from off-home base storage, mainly electrics and track, as mentioned in December blog.

  Now to the New Year. At this meeting we discussed 'quartering', in this case applied to the conversion of a 0-6-0 Terrier tank engine to 2mm finescale. We had reached the point where the chassis had been built and the motor and footplate made sourced. The gear set to the drive wheels required the correct gears and motor attached and quartered. The photograph shows a pair of Association driving wheels, the chassis, the Terrior footplate and the motor.

Results of the discussion arround the Association quatering jig (thanks to Alan, Pete and Keith)
Further discussions were about our plans for the coming year (and beyond). One discussion thread was the suggestion that we should have more workshop style meetings, or bring examples of sucessful projects and practical demonstrations. We also should be thinking about 'after the 'Yard'.

As mentioned by Howard last month. Now available from Amazon Books (cheaper than directly from the publisher). It's a collection of N/2mm experience, looks really useful and encouraging.
Next meeting Sunday 13 February

Monday, 27 December 2021

December 2021 Meeting

Much to our relief Lightermans Yard is safely back at its home base having spent too long split up into car loads having been on the road, and then in different storage locations. Not that the team were inactive, we maintained monthly contact via Zoom as previous blog postings will testif.

Our most urgent task was to find out why, after a perfect set-up, we had operational problems on the day at the Portsmouth show last month. These were mostly track feed issues causing frequent stopping dispite track, stay-alive and loco wheel cleaning.

On reflection, and there's been plenty of time for that, is that we are a small group - sometimes very stretched at exhibitions, and we would welcome  anyone interested in operating 2mm fine scale model trains, to come and join us. (conact Pete King:

We are also begining to think beyond Lightermans Yard, which has been a great and popular success at exhibitions. Perhaps now is the time to start thinking about building another 2mm scale layout?

The 'Yard' works because it can always be active with plenty of train movements; from arrivals to shunting and train formations to be picked up by refreshed locos. There can always be train activity even if we have to occasionally encourage an engine. Our focus this month was to try and establish why we had apparent problems with the layout. The only way to find out is to set up and run! 

After some searching, an orphed wire appeared to solve our electrical problem, once reattached.

Recently announced the first of the new 2mm finescale point kits are now in 2mm Assocation Shop 1.

Alan has had a major hand in developing these kits with Finetrax. His comments are here; The base is a 3d print in resin. All the rails slide into chairs on the base.
The crossing and switch rails are pre machined with no further work required other than trimming to length.
The tie bar is another 3d print that takes the ends of the switch rails.  Locating pins and plates
Pre soldered to the rails locate in position.
The only other job required by the builder is to attach electrical feed wires.
Upon testing rolling stock passed through without hesitation.
The best  thing since sliced bread?
You bet.


Currently the first kits available in the Association Shop 1 are right and left hand B7, (1-455 RH B7 and 1-456 LH B7 - priced at £19.00 each - illustrated instructions. 

crossing detail below

Howard noted that Lightermans Yard gets a mention in Noel Leaver's new book "Advanced Modelling in N gauge" (and a photograph) on page 70 - Osbornsmodels)

Reflection on the past year(s) - mince pies and tea! Next meeting Sunday, 9th January 2022. 

Meeting Room. rear of St Michael & All Angels. Church Hill, Wilmington, Dartford, Kent DA2 7EH

Thursday, 25 November 2021

November 2021 'Back on Track'

The meeting at our home base this month was occupied by ensuring the layout was ready to be transported yet again. October's gremlins appeared to be just that. The layout worked well in readiness for its visit to the one-day South Hants MRC exhibition at Portsmouth on Saturday 20 November which was well attended by both exhibitors and the public. There was a definate feeling of relief and sense of enjoyment at being let out, and good layouts too.

 However, despite a faultless setting up on Friday, when it came to show time on Saturday, some sections of the track and some of the points decided to render themselves 'dead'. We struggled on with all too frequent nudges and interventions from above. Never the less there was much aprecation from 'those out front', the visitors.

Alan and Pete enjoy a moment of trouble free shunting.

Apart from Lightermans Yard and Ropley, the 2mm Association was well represented at this show, Jerry Clifford fronted for the Association as well as demonstrating William Smith's Wharf (above) that can be joined to his Tucking Mill layout.

The frst layout confronting exhibition visitors was an intreaguing 4mm hexagonal layout operated from the open centre. Cooper Wort (below) represents the brewing industry in Burton on Trent in the early 1900s.

Back to Lightermans Yard; A view of the transverser and the loco of the month the unpainted 3F by Keith for the S&D layout that he and Alan are working on.

Next meeting 12 December 2021