Sunday, 22 December 2019

December 2019 Meeting

This was the last regular meeting of 2019, and as tradition has it, a mince pie event on top of the serious business of the day.

Once again Evercreech Junction took centre stage for the first part of the meeting. Richard provided large digital prints (6m) representing full scale at 2mm and including a contemporary map background and track overlay with the Templot point templates that Pete K has provided. Easy to see that we need the floor of the church hall to take in the whole picture.

Pete K examines point templates printed on semi transparent paper and matched to the main image, to help with the construction of individual points.

Lightermans Yard returned to base following the Beckenham show. We set the track baseboards up to check for any faults and necessary repairs. Thankfully it all worked and this gave David the opportunity to test run his Dapol Class 50 blue diesel, the only modification at this stage being 2mm wheels and a sound chip. Looked and sounded good.

David added a rake of four coaches, strange visitors to the ’yard’.

Keith demonstrated the work he has done on the chassis of a terrier to accommodate a DCC chip and ’stay alive’. This involved re-making the footplate throughout.
Keith also showed a resin cast loco body he has made to provide re-modelled parts for the conversion to a West Country class as used on the S&D.

Loco of the month is the Class 50

Apologies for the late arrival of this blog post.

Merry Christmas, and a happy modelling year ahead from all at KEAG!

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

November 2019 Meeting

This month’s meeting was another opportunity for Alan and Keith to set out the baseboards for Evercreech Junction. As previously seen, the Church hall is one of the few areas where all the baseboards can be assembled to form the whole layout and check for fit, and on this occasion the accurate fitting for the final section.

The baseboards ready for assembly. Eventually these will be transported in two purpose made boxes that will also support the layout.
Acknowledging that this very ambitious layout is Alan and Keith’s initiative, the group is becoming more involved, not unwillingly, in various supporting ways. Pete has become the Templot master in providing point and track templates. These have been overlaid on period maps and run out on a large digital printer, making the scenic part of the layout true to scale and, the track geometry as correct as possible.

The segments are bolted together ....

As the fiddle yard boards are added, it soon becomes clear how extensive the layout is and why it needs a large flat area to set it up in.

Two large semi circular feeder lines link the fiddle yard to the scenic section on the right. The layout will be operated from the space in the middle.

The final part of the scenic section is measured for fitting. Having the full layout connected ensures all the sections of baseboard fit tightly together.

Part of the track plan is checked. Templot templates for points and track have been overlaid on a map image relating to the period accuracy, the position of buildings and other topographical features etc.

The baseboards unbolted and ready to be loaded for transporting back to the workshop.

Return of the loco of the month! Alan showed his 4F that has been re-wheeled with the Association 3D printed steam locomotive driving wheels.

The 4F looks good and runs smoothly on its new wheels. Howard added a coach with interior lighting operated by an external switch (magic wand for demonstration purposes!)

Monday, 21 October 2019

Beckenham Exhbition 19 October 2019

The Saturday following our October meeting found us exhibiting at the Beckenham and West Wickenham Model Railway Club's one day show.

The exhibition is held in what is normally the church with the pews set aside, a dauntingly high roof and very few visible signs of Sunday's use.

The space is very large and very easily catered for several large layouts. Two other spaces held trade stands and smaller layouts a club shop.

Lightermans Yard was in the main church on a raised stage near the hidden alter. There was a large array of organ pipes in the wall behind our stand.

Pete KIng and Keith Gloster had set up the layout and checked the running on Friday evening. The day crew consisted of Pete K, Keith, Alan S and Richard, roughly working on two on two off throughout the day.

Thanks to early track cleaning and 'stay-alive' now fitted in the operating locomotives, running the trains was very smooth. 

The vast space made the large number of visitors look small, but the numbers grew throughout the whole day. The organisers were very pleased by the turnout.

Behind the scene, we were enjoying trouble free running (even the uncoupling magnets were mostly behaving!). Just one occasion of an enthusiastic audience helping to make the day!

The Mayor doing the rounds. Clearly an enthusiast, he spent some time with Lightermans Yard and made some very well informed comments, and his knowledge of London in the fifties and sixties pointed to some helpful historical facts.

Some other layouts; Three Gates (N) a folding box: Portsea (3mm) a Southern electric display of Portsmouth and the harbour station: The Bridge at Remagen (N) loosely based on the film of the same name.

Vintage Trains (0 gauge) tinplate 3 rail collectors club - ran frantically all day!

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