A few weeks ago on a Thursday, I wrote about using double sided tape to hold down or rather ‘up’ Tortoise point motors. albionyard-back-on-track/ Well all went well overnight, or part of it. In the morning I arrived to find two of the point motors on the floor and one hanging ready to join its mates. This was officially ‘disappointing’, I’d thought my solution would be a quick and easy fix to get the track up and fully functioning. I tried a second time with only slightly better results, it was clear that the tape would be unable to hold the motors.
At this point the benefit of the blogging community and readers stepped in in the form of todays hero, Brian Patterson from South Africa. He suggested that I search out Unibond double sided tape, I did, (see UK packaging above) and got some from a local B&Q store. I replaced the old tape with the Unibond product and the difference is incredible. Overnight the motors were held firmly in place, a month on they show no signs of loosening, and the 6ft long (9mm thick MDF) track board can be physically moved laterally holding onto a point motor body. Thank you Brian, your suggestion potentially saved a huge amount of messing about! Over at Llangunllo, radnorailwaystrack-finishing-touches Geoff too has been working on track, with an interesting comment regarding linking to blogs and using suggestions from the community. The point motors are acoustically uncoupled from the board and you can only hear the low volume whine of the motor/gears as it performs the switch function. All the motors are wired up and running from a mobile phone charger.
The chassis of the baseboard is made up as can be seen here, at this stage I haven’t got the full footprint worked out which may seem a bit weird, but I’m still thinking through some lighting concepts for the presentation. Pete Kirmond’s Laramie being a big influence on how I might manage the lighting and fiddle yard. Many readers will note an unashamed influence and connection to the Ian Futers style of terminus design. On this view you are looking to the station throat, and the fiddle yard length and style will be determined by the scenic join and as previously mentioned, lighting. Its highly likely it’ll be a peninsular type of design with the viewers able to walk around at least three sides of the layout. This view will be one the public gets, looking down the layout to the fiddle yard. Multiple unit use will reduce the amount of presence required by the operators in the scenic section. At the moment I’m thinking the right hand line may drop and curve away from the current alignment to give a Kings Cross, York Way, widened lines feel. That will also give challenges to the building alignment and heights. Its quite interesting working in this very fluid way at the moment, because this won’t be part of the Forest of Dean project I can afford to experiment a bit with the design and construction. The FoD project has the potential for a peninsula or two, so I’ll learn the craft with this one!
On the Forest of Dean project I was fortunate enough to spend a while looking at Hattons 14/58XX pre-production models a week or so ago, and talking to Dave Mylett about them. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised at the initial model samples I was shown, and only had the opportunity to take a couple of phone snaps of them. ehattons.com
On the basis of looking at them and speaking to Dave Mylett, I have ordered one of the plain black top feed versions. There are some clever ideas with them, for the DCC sound fitting the bunker coal is removable allowing a sugar cube speaker to be fitted easily with I understand connections ready for the speaker to be attached. The sound will be helped acoustically with apertures in the base of the bunker to allow the sound out. Turning them upside down briefly indicated that the splashers may have sufficient clearance for the EM/P4 contingent. Axle diameter looked to be in the 3mm area but I wasn’t able to determine if the chassis would be an easy conversion. Visible behind the leading driver was a cross head screw into the side of the chassis, so it could be the there is the facility to dis-assemble the chassis to swap wheelsets for those that wish to. Please note these are just my very brief overview of those shown to me. The colors of the black versions looks particularly good in the flesh, a dark charcoal grey or ‘light black’ giving a nice eggshell finish. I wasn’t so keen on the BR green version and lined black, the lining on both appearing to be too heavy and thick. I don’t think they’ll be the best steam outline models we’ll see, but feel they will stand favourable comparison to the major players, and that any cosmetic shortcomings will be a relatively easy fix.
Also to be seen were the J94 samples for Hattons, to be frank they didn’t catch the eye or imagination like I hoped they would have. The detail and appearance of the 14/58XX appears far finer than for the J94, and they will be almost contemporary products from the same manufacturer. Note the J94 is a standard range DJM model with limited edition liveries for Hattons, where the 14XX is a Hattons commissioned model. Having looked at the J94’s I’ve no compulsion to place my Brassmasters kits on ebay on the basis of looking at these admittedly pre-production examples.
To close, a week or so ago a friend advised me that John Hayes had passed away which is a great loss for the hobby. I’d lost regular touch with John over the past few years, usually catching up at scaleforum, but am eternally grateful for the help he gave me after my fathers passing. We had an engineering workshop to dispose of, and John helped dispose of machinery and tooling to friends in the vintage motorcycle restoration field. It was good to know they were going to a good home and something my late father would have appreciated too, he like me being into, and riding motorcycles. I was also extremely fortunate enough to spend some time over the years with John learning skills, (you really felt like the sorcerers apprentice watching him), and still have some of the tooling and jigs he made to help me with some of my earlier projects. John’s skillset was immense and he was very, very modest about that talent. For those of you familiar with his modelling skills, if you can imagine those transferred to full size historic motorcycles, you get an idea of the quality of the bikes he maintained and restored. Older vehicles like those rarely capture my attention, they’re just not ‘my bag’, but I always asked for a sneaky peak at the bikes, just to appreciate the quality of the art of engineering he achieved, and to see what a proper English bike should look and sound like! Good luck to ya mate! RIP.