Standing on my own 4 feet

Just a quick update.  The new boards are complete, painted (apart from the sides to be a darker colour) and standing on its own legs.  I should be laying track next week.


And just a few more legs to keep you all happy.  I love the way the beards match the guitars….

Posted in Jon's layout ramblings, Layout design | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

ESNG meeting – 19 January 2022

Another meeting failure – only 3 members by 7:40, so we didn’t set up the layout.  Then a couple more arrived.  So we made tea and had a good chat.  We will have to think about meeting plans for the months ahead……

It was Paul’s last Wednesday meeting, and he commented….

An ESNG meeting at which all trains were cancelled owing to a shortage of staff. 5 members attended, so we had lengthy discussions on various topics including trains large and small, and the joys and pitfalls of motoring. My last regular ESNG meeting is on Sunday.

So no club pictures, but a little alternative entertainment follows…..

I know our trackwork is bad, but not this bad!


Posted in ESNG, ESNG meetings | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Potpourri #1043

A couple of modelling challenges today….

You think our your post office or delivery drivers are bad.  Try this!


Of course, Newcastle Central is always good for a track building challenge.  Has anyone actually modelled this (and remained sane.)


British railways (small ‘r’) history is full of fascinating byways and oddities.  And the same can probably be said of the rest of the world.  I recently came across one of these, and couldn’t resist buying the Oakwood Press volume on it.

Harton Book

Harton Electric Railway was built by the Harton Coal Company to transport coal from their collieries in South Tyneside. The electrified system opened in 1908, and originally employed a fleet of electric locomotives built by Siemens (probably related to there being German shareholders in Harton Coal Company at that time).

The network included a line which ran from Westoe Colliery via St Hilda’s Colliery, to the company’s Low Staiths on the River Tyne (near the site of todays ferry landing) in South Shields. There was also a line from Harton Colliery up to Westoe Colliery, and also a line from Boldon Colliery to the High Staiths, by the River Tyne in South Shields. The Harton Electric Railway closed in 1989.

I don’t intend modelling it, but it would make a fantastic model, and the Oakwood Book is a wonderful read.  I got my copy at a very reasonable price and condition through Abebooks – and wisely ignored the £150 Amazon copy!

Posted in Inspiration, Out and about, Prototype | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

ESNG exhibition 2022

We’re going to take a chance and try for an ESNG show in April.  It will be small one – more an Open Day really, but we’ll have about 8 layouts on show, 2 traders and 2 second hand tables.  Plus an N Gauge Forum table.  And of course, our usual cakes and real coffee.

Most of the layouts will come from club members, plus Nick Falconer with his new Bahnbetriebswerk Königshafen layout, that was booked for the NGSE show in 2020 – but of course that didn’t happen.

We’re not sure how many will come through the door, but hope to break even and if nothing else, we’ll have a sociable day playing trains.  Of course, this all depends on the state of Covid-19 at the time, but I’m hoping that rates will have dropped considerably by then.  But this is a low risk, low cost venture, so should be relatively stress free, and easy to cancel if we have to.

It will be great to get exhibiting again!

Posted in ESNG, ESNG meetings, Exhibitions, Out and about | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Potpourri #1042

With the theme of stations…..

This kit for Paris Bastille is nothing short of spectacular! Expensive, yes, but a wonderful model.


Or how about one of these?


I was sorry never to visit this station when I was working in Thailand.  Now it’s closing.


I have visited this one!  But not to catch a train, just to visit.

Stuttgart’s new station is a bit of an epic….  Makes Crossrail look easy.  I note that the new airport and Messe station is mentioned.

And why would anyone put Redhill station in a computer simulation?  Still, it looks a lot tidier than the real thing! 

Till next time, when I may have made some progress with my legs…..

Posted in Inspiration, Out and about, Prototype | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Legs, legs, legs

Many moons ago, just before the first 2020 lockdown Derek Apps used the end of the plywood we used for the new ESNG fiddleyard to cut me the parts for two 4′ x 1′ boards, to make ‘super’ dashboards for the club.  I wanted to make boards that were small enough and light enough for regular club use, but a little wider to prevent stock falling to the floor.  A year later, I thought that I would make a start on them, and found that the plywood surfaces had warped significantly – the ply was still usable in small pieces, but could not be pulled back into shape as a baseboard top.

Another six month of 2021 pass, then I get a sheet of 9mm ply cut to provide two new baseboard tops, and some spare ply for other uses.  I get the basic frame built, then start thinking about legs (baseboard legs, that is – see the end of this post for other distractions.)  I wanted to have folding legs with a simple stay, rather than slot in legs, that are easy to leave behind when you go to an exhibition.

After another few months, when my modelling inspiration was, in any case, rather low, I was searching RMweb for inspiration, and came across this very neat design.


And here it is on the first of the two boards.  A single leg, as the second board will have two, then the two will be hinged together to give an 8′ run.  When upside down, the stay won’t stay in line, but turn it the right way up and the weight of the timber holds it rigid in place.  I may add an extra piece of timber to allow the stay to be clamped as in the first two pictures – not necessary, but perhaps useful for exhibitions to give it a little more strength.

And here is the leg folded.  I think (modestly) that this looks neater than the original RMweb design.  Legs on the other end of the board will fold flat between this set.


The second board is already well under way, and we’ll see what comes out of the build in due course.

And to introduce a little culture into the blog – here are some more legs!

Posted in Jon's layout ramblings, Layout design | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

ESNG meeting – 9 January 2022

A rather more successful Sunday meeting – 10 members present, even though we were missing the Chai(r)man (with a genuine cold) and Simon (with genuine Covid.)  Paul reports…..

Another ESNG meeting, but more attendees this time with 10 members present. A variety of trains graced the modular set up without too many issues. My contribution was an E3i, the 500 series Kasenger, 2 E233 sets in different liveries and an EF81 in Cassiopeia livery hauling a 15 coach type 24/25 sleeper set.


Plenty of interesting trains on display today.  Pride of place goes to a pair of N Gauge Society Hunslet shunters.  Lovely little models, and they ran very well.  Nice NGF anniversary wagon, too….


An interesting selection of stock from Lucas….

A full fiddleyard….


A little wiring carried out on a corner…..


Neil was testing a range of stock…..

At the end of the afternoon, I ran in my new ‘N’ class 2-6-0.  I like the black Bulleid livery, with yellow lettering shaded green.  It then headed a short goods train.


The usual suspects! 

And Brian recorded it all on film….

Posted in ESNG, ESNG meetings | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

More diversions!

Another couple of diversions from the true faith of N gauge trains……

Firstly, I spotted this plastic kit a while back.  It took a while for it to arrive from deepest China, as the model is sold out in the UK (and Japan – the same stores that supply us with trains are also good for plastic kits.)  The Sexton was a Canadian Ram tank modified into a self-propelled gun, carrying the standard, and excellent, British 25-pounder gun.


The attraction of this particular model can be seen in the markings.  They are for the Royal Artillery (Herts Yeomanry.)   The family significance is that my Dad served in 341 Battery of the 86th Field Regiment, from Normandy to Berlin (or thereabouts), with Sexton and Priest vehicles.  Plus some US half-tracks as command vehicles.

The photo below (from Wikipedia) shows the Herts Yeomanry in action somewhere in Europe in 1945.


I am looking forward to modelling a little family history.

And the second one…..  Airfix recently re-released their old kit of the magnificent HP42 Heracles.  These flew from Croydon airport in the 1930’s.  Reviews suggest that the aged Airfix tooling on this kit has held up well and is actually pretty good.  As it’s close to ‘N’ 1:148 scale, it will look good on my N-club airfield module as an alternatives to the current F-111’s!


This film is of the identical HP45 – the 42 had less seats and did long distance flights – the 45 flew European routes.  There were 16 in total of both types and three even acquired camouflage at the start of WW2 as transports, though all had been damaged by 1940.

There’s some fun to be had with both these models.  And I’ve spent some time in the loft this week doing a little woodwork.  More to follow….

Posted in Jon's layout ramblings, Layout design | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

ESNG meeting – 5 January 2022

The first meeting of 2022 was a bit of a non-event.  As Paul sums it up….

The first ESNG meeting of 2022 was abandoned owing to a shortage of staff. The rule of six wasn’t threatened with an attendance of just four. Another meeting on Sunday.

With a sub-zero evening and Omicron, we didn’t hurry to get the layout set up, and at 7:45pm thought no-one else would coming and gave up.  Unfortunately, Chris phoned later to say that he’d just arrived, after a horrendous journey with the A25 closed due to an accident.  And I’d remembered the milk….

We shall try again on Sunday.

To keep you entertained, here’s some trackwork that’s almost as bad as ESNG’s.  Ukrainian narrow gauge – some lovely scenery and railway.

And some wonderful Japanese model making….

Posted in ESNG, ESNG meetings | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Potpourri #1041

Some more odds and ends.  I’ve ventured back into the loft, so some modelling may get under way in the next few days!  But for now….

Mr Dawes sent me this most excellent link.  He knows how I like Terriers, and Jago Hazzard is always entertaining to watch.

New Year action from the USA.  I’ve no idea what the car driver was trying to do, but he must have had a drink or two to chase his car down the line having been hit by the train!

Another seasonal video – a bit long but some great Swiss rails in the snow….

A full size fiddleyard in France.  The ground even looks like a plywood baseboard.  The TGVs stored at the disused military camp at Ambronay.  (The soundtrack is terrible and well worth turning off.)  I think it looks a bit like Paul’s new living room…..

I’ve had complaints that this site isn’t educational enough.  So here’s a useful link.  English subtitles are available if you are not conversant in Finnish…..

Posted in Inspiration, Out and about, Prototype | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment