Friday, 18 June 2021

June 2021 Meeting


Just as we were hoping to come out of COVID lock down and meet up face to face again, we have been put on hold once again for at least a month and possibly longer.

We received a very nice letter from 'Virtual Railex' thanking us for our Lightermans Yard contribution to their virtual show last month and inviting the Yard to the next 'real' show.

So, to report on another Zoom meeting! This session could be labeled 'points' as discussion covered two approaches to turnout construction.

Howard: Playing around with points - Easytrac and Finetrax. I have experimented with curved pegged pointwork, all these examples are using B6 Finetrax points but similar observations apply to Easitrac.
The Geoff Jones method works fine, but means I have less point base between all the sleepers. 


I prefer to keep as much of the point base between the sleepers as possible because I like to paint & ballast the point, then add the rails.

 
I later discovered the Rod McCall method but when I tried this a slit appeared right across the point base. 

For my N/2mm test track I plan on having a crossover for each gauge. Finetrax do a complete crossover. 

To align the plain track and the point base, I had to cut the sleepers on the plain track at the bottom right, otherwise there is a large gap (shown at the top left). It might have been better if the crossover had been extended by about 3 sleepers. I may have to use some PCB point sleepers and solder the track at these positions.

Unlike the Easitrac points, the milled crossover in Finetrax does not have a tapped hole for the dropper. I intend to drill and tap a 14BA hole for this.

I also need to experiment with soldering brass chairs to point sleeper base in order to electrically join the switch rails with the stock rails. I intend to use this instead of filing the point base and adding some copper strip. 

Alan said that both Easitrac and Finetrax are to include the chairs in their point bases replacing slotted chairs so only the rail needs to be added.

Tom Cutting: Showed progress on the point and track work for the Richard's cameo layout 'Clyde', adopting a more traditional way to produce bespoke turnouts and a crossing using Templot templates. 


 The point template. The proposed angle of crossover was discussed.


 

Alan S: Just one picture of some of what Alan has been up to this month. More jigs (quartering) for the shops.


Pete K: I have just spent a very pleasant long weekend at The Isle Of Wight Steam Railway for their 50th anniversary gala. These guys model at 304.8mm/foot and it’s very impressive. The weekend featured 2 Terriers and an O2 and they ran beautifully.

 
As we all know locos with a 0-4-4 wheel arrangement and Terriers, because of their size, are difficult locos to get running smoothly but they managed it brilliantly. I asked one of the drivers what sort of stay alive unit they used but he was just obsessed with cleanliness and all he kept repeating was “Muck Off!”, at least I think that’s what he said!

Meanwhile the Island’s electric railway was not running at all. The official word was because of engineering work but you only had to look at the track and it was obvious….. it just needed cleaning!

 

Pete Townsend: Locomotives under construction in Somerset.

In the above photo are 5 locos that I started building before moving West.

I have taken advantage of some spare time and made progress with all of them. They are two E2's one with extended tanks, a C Class that predates the Farish model, 
A Q Class and a Lord Nelson.
 
All except the C Class are 3d printed bodies from Shapeways. The C Class is a N Brass Models kit. 

All are mounted on Farish chassis converted to finescale using the Association replacement bearings.
 
 
Next meeting Zoom? on 11 July


 






Thursday, 13 May 2021

May 2021 Meeting

May is the first anniversary of our monthly meetings in cyberspace courtesy of Zoom! On the whole these meetings, shortened to 40 minute online get togethers, have been interesting ventures into the modeling we been doing during lockdown. From track laying, rolling stock building and RR conversion, cameo layouts to DCC point motors and tool manufacturing.

There is a strong possibility that face-to-face meetings will be possible again within a couple of months. We are long overdue for putting Lightermans Yard together again. The layout has spent the last year separated north and south of the river.

The video clip of Lightermans Yard has now had movie action added (kindly contributed by Ian Morgan) and edited into the slideshow. The final version has been sent to Railex who are very pleased to have it for their Virtual Railex exhibition.


To watch the final version on YouTube click on the image above, or use this URL in your browser; https://youtu.be/ahWfQf5POI8 

Alan Smith: Modelling!! has progressed slowly however progress is progress. I mentioned last month my mini drill had broken and despite many web visits I could not make my mind up what was a good tool to buy. So I bought a replacement chuck and I am now up and running again.
One of the tracks through the station has been laid in and stuck down I CNC machined a plastic template to aid the curve through the station so the track should now match the platform edge. The central track between the main running lines is very tight, not giving the 'six foot' at the buffer stop end. I hope to make some 'six foot' gauges to set this correctly unless the S&D broke the rules and had tracks less than six foot apart on main running lines. This may effect the other running line in that it may require moving a couple of MM.
Point blades have been made and a little more progress made on the 3 turnouts but I needed my drill to work on the holes for the droppers and track feeds.  

Another visit from Alan's 7F  (loco of the month).

Alan claims not to have much to show for this month, however, a lot of Association work has been done. The tooling Alan showed last month worked out and the shops now have stocks of the 16T mineral wagon. From this run he collected the tooling and made further parts and modifications to take a whole bunch of further tool plates. At present these are still with the moulders.
As there were 4-5 kits to 'shoot' and the bank holiday he doesn't expect to see anything for a week or so. Work has continued on jigs and parts for the shops a lot of this is now packed and ready.

Richard Doust; Some progress is being made on the shipyard cameo, mainly on the buildings, now to be painted. Tom Cutting is starting on the track.



 


Pete Townsend: Another image from Pete's layout, 'A busy morning at 'LeighamRoad' (below)

Next meeting June 13 at13.00




Monday, 26 April 2021

April 2021 Meeting


 At last out attention turns to the possibility of a 'real' meeting in the months ahead. A chance to closely inspect and handle, and discuss techniques and practical solutions.

The blog will still play it's part, as it did before restrictions, a running digest of our work around Lightermans Yard and individual projects.

Here is April's account;

Pete King; Brixham. I’m not exactly breaking any records here but the track is now laid on both the main station boards (below). On the lower right of the layout (as viewed in the photo) the track will carry on up a 1 in 78 incline for a short distance before diving through a hole in the sky. The incline starts just past the first turnout (lower right).

I have also been working on an adjustable mount for the crossing polarity micro-switches. Photo below shows the assembly with the centre screw locking the switch to the adjustable base. The other two screws pass through this base into the fixed base and hold the whole assembly together. By slackening these outside screws it allows the adjustable base to be rotated right and left via the radial slot. Photo 3 shows how it will look when fixed under the baseboards.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alan Smith: Evercreech Junction. Progress has been slow as I have been tied up on other projects.
From last month the track through the station was laid but not fixed down. I needed to check for clearances against the platform edges. As there is a central track I had nowhere to go if things got tight.

After a couple of attempts at the platform I clad both facing edges with stone Plasticard, only to find that the up platform was indeed built from brick. The stone facing was duly stripped off and brick facia applied. I now have to fabricate the platform flag stones and line the edge. At least now I have a uniform curve with the platform edges from which I can lay in my track and know that locos and rolling stock will pass through.

The sidings and point work in the station yard have progressed a little I have now to fit the point blades and open out the tie bar areas on the underside of the boards to allow the servo arms to fit.


Because of the location of some of the points an extended arm
will be required, more of this next time.


The other projects....
Are a die set for the association tools.
The main blocks for this are supplied precision ground all over and bored to fit the guide pins and bushes. The pins and bushes are a press fit into the blocks the rears of which locate further blocks behind. My main job was to machine a socked in each die plate to take the tool plates.
As received from the original moulder and maker of the plates only the front edge and rear edge were parallel to each other. The sides of the tool were just rough sawn and looked like they had been attacked by a hungry beaver! the sides were duly cleaned up to make the plates 95mm wide with the ingate in the centre. these then had to be fitted to the die plates and secured with screws. It was found that some of the proposed screw holes interfered with old existing tooling holes, these were duly plugged up and re machined flat so that the new screws could fit unhindered.
The next job was to fit the push pins and ejector pins. The location of these was already laid out in the tool plates so these were duly transferred into the main blocks 4mm pins for ejectors and 6mm for the push backs. A further 2 off 1.5mm pins were also duly transferred. Drilling through 38mm of steel plate with a 1.5 drill was achieved by multiple 'pecks' and lots of cutting oil. Not applying too much feed also assisted in keeping the bore straight. All the holes were then reamed to their correct diameters.

The pins themselves are precision ground and hardened and as supplied are about 50mm too long so would need cutting down. Before I could do this I had to drill and counterbore the pin plates.
Again these are precision ground and one plate needs to be drilled and counterbored to fit the heads of the pins. These pin plates are screwed together trapping the base of the pin between them to drive the pin assembly back and forth, so the counterbores need to be fairly accurate or the pins could become sloppy in their action.
I made a few small CNC programs which enabled me to centre up each hole in turn and counterbore for the pin bases. Once I had the pin plates completed the die set was assembled and I could determine the final length of the pins. As I mentioned earlier these pins are hardened and ground so I had to grind these to length. I dug out my home made cutter grinder and duly rigged up a contraption to assist the grinding of these pins. This set up enabled me to get the lengths fairly consistent we shall see if they need any adjustment when the tool is run,
Fingers crossed....

Richard Doust: Following on from the animated stills of Lightermans Yard for the Virtual RailEX. Ian Morgan has come to our rescue with some great video footage of the layout. I am currently incorporating this into our video.

Next meeting; Sunday 9 May at 13.00 online


Saturday, 27 March 2021

March 2021 Meeting

It's almost a year since we found ourselves in Covid lockdown and unable to meet face-to-face. At the time we probably didn't think we would be in the same place a year on. Enter Zoom and other Internet meeting software. Our meetings went online and provided a means of maintaining contact and keeping up to date with our projects.

One of the casualties of maintaining our distance is that the exhibitions and events that we would normally visit or take part in were suddenly canceled or postponed - all that planning etc...

Richard
Lightermans Yard was to have been exhibited at RAILEX this spring. Railex canceled the live exhibition and have invited would be exhibitors to contribute to their alternative web based show. Of course, although well photographed, just as you need video footage all you have are stills! Below is a link to what has been made so far, it needs some more work. There are a couple of corrections to make before we submit the animation
to Railex.
 

To watch the movie in your browser,    https://vimeo.com/522447128   password:  LIk51g

David


 

 

 


The wagon photo is a steel coil conversion of a standard bogie bolster D, this really just involves the addition of two wooden cradles over the bogies, these are made from various scraps of plastic strip rubbed over with course wet and dry paper to give the hint of wood grain, the coils are rolls of paper covered with painted squares of tracing paper to represent the tarpaulin the coils are wrapped in, not entirely happy with them so a bit more to think about the base kit is the usual Stephen Harris etch.
 

The next photo is a bit more of a long term project!



 

 

 
 
Howard

Here is a picture of me scanned by Modelu, and (below) 3 figures - 2mm, 4mm & garden railway scale. "I borrowed a railway cap and waistcoat but forgot to wear a tie!!!"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alan

Photo 1 shows progress on board 2. This is the main station area and goods yard.
I found when laying track on board 1 there was a tendency to move as it was transfered from the building board to the layout. Copies of the plan were glued to the cork base and sleepers and track glued to this to eliminate the problem.


To check clearences of the 3 tracks through the station the platforms were fabricated from ply. The first attempt being cut on the band saw was not up to the job. The platform edge was anything but a smooth curve. Plotting from coordinates into CAD and cutting on CNC was much more successful.

The length of the platforms cut into 4 to fit the machine. Further experiment allowed the ramps at platform ends to be machined also.
Upon fixing stone sheet to platform faces it was noticed from studying photos that the platforms are indeed different in that one has a brick face with stone continuing about half way down the up platform. Some ammendments are to be made and once complete track laying can continue.










Pete Townsend

Most of my progress this last month has not been particularly visible. I have been tidying up the wiring, now that I know that it works correctly. 
One thing I have done is build and fit a couple of working semaphore signals. They are not up to the standard of some of the works of art that I have seen in the 2mm Magazine,  but they work well, servo powered, and look OK to my eyes. I can't show you a video of them working at the moment as I've got bits of the electrics disconnected to fit some sensors in the engine shed to stop me hitting the back wall with my locos.

 

 

Additional notes; Howard mentioned Posca pens for fine detailing, in this context - figures. They are available in "extra fine" with a 0.7mm tip. He bought his from Hobbycraft, (although currently out of stock).
They are currently on special offer here;


The Lifecolor acrylic paint sets are available from here and here; The most useful for us are "Dust and Rust", "Flesh Paint", "Weathered Wood", "Rail Weathering", "Shades of Black"
David mentioned Molotow pens with an even finer point.

Howard also showed a novel cut out and locomotive personalised birthday card


 

 Next meeting Sunday 11 April 2021 13.00






Wednesday, 17 February 2021

February 2021 Meeting

It is now ten months that we have had to present ourselves as virtual beings! All too soon it will be a full year and still doubtful that we will be able to meet in person. At least our 'lockdown' Zoom meetings have allowed us to keep in touch, and have even shown some modelling advances during this period! 

2020-21 would to have seen Lightermans Yard at a number of exhibitions and shows. We tend to be rather happy when we have the layout running for the public and overhear visitor's and other exhibitors, generally enthusiastic, comments. It will be good to get back on the circuit.

 

 

 

Alan Smith; Clas31


This is the new release model from Farish it has been updated to take sound and there are sound fitted versions available. It was bought to our attention that the 2SA replacement wheelsets did not fit.

Upon inspection it was found the Farish have changed the gears on the driven axles. the originals being 16T and the new ones 14T. Unfortunately 14T axles were not available from the shop so I got together the necessary parts from our in house manufacturers and assembled some. This proved to work out OK and the loco now runs as quietly and smoothly as original.

If anybody needs to do this re wheeling exercise the parts, ie complete axle sets will be available from shop 3 shortly.


The photos of Evercreach Junction (below) show progress with boards 1 and 2. Keith and I decided to make the crossover with fabricated crossings, this meant I needed to introduce some PCB sleepers in the formation to allow for electrical connections. this is also useful for anchoring the rails longitudinally. A lot was learned from this approach and on the next board I shall be building directly over the plan which will be glued down onto the cork subbase. This will save the issue of parts moving in the transfer between build board and layout. Brass sleeper sections have been used at board joints these are soldered directly to both 12BA and 8BA brass screws tapped directly into the ply baseboard deck. This makes for a really secure fixing at track ends the rail also being soldered to the chairs. The 8BA screws go all the way through the boards enabling electrical feeds to be secured to them.



























Pete Townsend; More from Leigham Road

Richard Doust; Minor developments on the shipyard project, buildings and background.




Thursday, 21 January 2021

January 2021 Meeting

Like most small publishing enterprises, specialized editorial content for magazines and blogs are always going to be a challenge. Witness pleas from the editors of the 2mm Association magazine for members' contributions. Even renown publications like the MRJ seems to struggle.

This is an observation not intended to be over critical of our own very limited group membership, the blog has been an important addition to our monthly face-to-face meetings. Even though we have been forced away and relying on Zoom to share our various projects, the blog report has acted as a worthy endeavour virtually keeping us together.

Maybe the addition of a regular feature; maybe an image and a small amount of text, describing an interesting discovery; a problem solved; advice, rather like pre-Covid meetings; rather like our 'loco of the month' we featured.

In addition to the meeting report for the new year, included are some photographs discovered in a file detailing the start of work on Lightermans Yard.

But first the January's report; 

David Smith, Work has continued on the tank wagon fleet just need weathering and a bit of detail painting to finish,applying transfers was a bit of an ordeal with each wagon taking about thirty individual transfers the numbers were made up of individual digits with each number repeated three or four times per wagon with twenty six wagons done that’s about 750 transfers in total!









The resized class 37 continues with work started on the roof and nose end details, really should start on planning the chassis now the body is looking passable.

Pete Townsend. Adding circuit breakers to Leigham Road. Who said DCC is just 2 wires? They are made by DCC Specialities, a US company, they normally cost about $40 each. The circuit breakers trip very quickly and reset automatically.They save the whole layout stopping if there is a short anywhere,












Lightermans Yard, the beginnings in 1998