Not much happening here!

Not much to report from deepest Earlswood.  Crisis last week when I needed some more plywood and Champions saw was broken.  So a quick trip to Dorking was delayed till Monday.  A little bit of modelling has occurred, but nothing to ‘show and tell’.

So I’ll resort to two more pictures.  Blackpool Central in steam days.  So many sidings and coaches parked for the holiday traffic.  Enormous, and impossible to model?

And second, a picture from RMWeb (with apologies, couldn’t resist this one).  What happens with Australian ‘O’ gauge garden railways when the spiders come out!  One hopes that they are the friendly kind!

Could be worse, I guess – this is spider’s webs, not snow!

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Three pictures

Two contrasting prototype locations today.  Not sure of the copyright of the photographs, so apologies if they are spoken for.

First, a photo of 60’s Redhill in colour.  Nick Halewood writes on Facebook….

I recently posted a picture of Redhill shed featuring a representative of each of the ‘Big Four’ and a Standard taken in July 1964.  Here is another view on the same occasion taken before or after the line-up; you can see the Black 5, Manor and Standard 2-6-4T (at right) from the line-up.  LMR and WR locos were regular visitors to Redhill, the LNE B1 in the first image being unusual.

Such a good picture of our present home!

Photo: R Hobbs

In contrast, two shots of the Lehigh Valley Railroad in 1925.  Easton was a bit different for an American railroad depot, as it was on a viaduct with railway ‘arches’ underneath.

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Covid-19 diary #23

Well, project complete!  I’m sure that there will need to be a little fettling and further track cleaning to get things moving, but it is almost there.  A simple 2-road 2′ or so fiddle yard bolts onto the main layout.

The point is one of those very useful Peco OO-9 mainline Y-points.  Compact, but with a larger radius than the SetTrack points.  Purely manual control at the moment.

And here’s the full length of the railway – a tad over 5′.

So I got some stock out and did a little switching.  This did indeed show that there’s a little work to be done on the track and the stock’s couplings.  Nevertheless, very satisfying….

What have I learnt from this build?

  1. Small is most definitely beautiful.  Of course, each to their own, but I can’t imagine building something the size of, say, James Street (wonderful as it is.)  There’s a lot to be said for a small railway that can be built in a short time (even without the help of a pandemic.)
  2. Don’t be afraid to rebuild or change things if you’re not happy with them.  I suppose that it has really taken five years to get this far – but there have been a couple of false starts along the way.
  3. Work steadily.  I’ve done a little bit to the line most days – and taken a few off – and it’s surprising how quickly things get done.  Don’t be afraid to do a little bit of work, go away to let the glue or paint dry, then come back for another go.
  4. If it’s not co-operating with you, walk away, do something else, and come back.  Particularly true of the fiddly bits!
  5. It’s my railway – I’ll learn from everyone, everywhere, but then go and make my own mistakes, thank you very much!
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Covid-19 diary #22

Progress on the layout continues.  I fitted LED strip for the lighting, that has enabled me to take some better photos, below.  Scratching around the railway room, I have found enough plywood and track for a fiddle yard.  I’m going to do what I did on the final iteration of my ‘Earls Wood’ layout – a single point and two roads for storage.  Most of the wood is cut for the board – just need another session to put it all together.  It’s getting near time to choose one of about 20 new projects, or to run a few trains.

This panorama is a bit wobbly, but it shows the whole little line.

The local inhabitants and their dog are still waiting for a train…..

But the demo outside the factory is just warming up…..

All quiet at this end of the line…..

I’ve also had a pleasing purchase.  A ‘missing’ Terrier, ‘Ashtead’ came up on eBay, so I pounced for my collection.  And I couldn’t resist a well priced Pannier tank on the NGF Emporium.  No, I’m not going GWR….

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ESNG meeting – 2 July 2020

No, we didn’t start (illegally) meeting, but we managed a Zoom meeting.  Good to see people, rather than just talk on the phone.  There seems to have been some modelling, and quite a lot of buying, going on amongst the members.

We’ll be trying again on the next normal club night, Wednesday July 15, and will carry on until we can meet in person once again.   Hopefully, a few more will risk the joys of Zoom and join us then.  Pity Zoom doesn’t have a curry option….

Chris didn’t make Zoom, but he sent me this picture of a very nice EMU….

Simon was on Zoom, but didn’t show off his latest face mask, the ultimate in sartorial elegance.  He did, however, produce an impressive 3D print for an American smokestack.

I might have to get one of these, though.  Ideal for TINGS….

I’ve had a couple of days without modelling, spending time reading, and preparing Sunday’s talk for on-line church.  But I’d better get back to work and complete the fiddle yard for the layout.

Over here, the  government has unveiled PPE for model railway exhibitions and club nights.  Comes with a weaponised rucksack…..

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If you’re suffering exhibition withdrawal symptoms….

Try this – hours of watching and some brilliant layouts.

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Covid-19 diary #21

Amazingly, the layout is just about done.  The scenics went together surprisingly quickly.  And the end result is OK – it can always be better, but I’m pretty happy with the whole thing

Now to put a cover and some lighting on the layout, and build a fiddle yard.  Perhaps I’ll do something else first….

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Odd modelling ideas #721

This lovely picture is in the Bournemouth/Poole area.  Taken in the 1950’s or early 60’s by that ancient Hillman Minx at the crossing.  For the modeller, this is just what you need as a prototype for everything – two level crossings spaced at about a 60 degree angle on a tight curve.  Just what you need for your layout?

A shot of Lancing station, probably in the 1950’s with the Maunsell or Bulleid multiple unit coming into the platform (and by the length of the dresses on the platform opposite.)

In Japan, all elevated railways look like the Kato slab track viaduct.  Right?  Wrong?  I came across this photo that could just as well have been Brixton as Tokyo.  Or indeed Berlin – railway arches are similar throughout Europe.  But some of these early Tokyo lines were designed and built by British engineers, hence the design, I guess.

I then came across a fascinating document surveying all the old Tokyo and environs elevated lines.  Here are just a few pictures.  Again, a lot of them would be at home in Europe, and for modellers of Japanese railways, some European models could be adapted for the Far East.

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It Ain’t Half Hot Mum

Let off digging up the plum tree – it must have heard Maxine and I talking and immediately produced five plums.  Too hot to do much yesterday – how anyone can go and cram on a South Coast beach I don’t know.  Never mind the virus, the UV and sunstroke was lethal yesterday.

But I did get one useful job done.  About five years ago, I bought some UV and heat reflecting film for the loft room.  Fitting it looked a little complex, so it never got done.  But I’ve found my workbench unbearable in this hot weather.  It’s not just the heat of the sun – you can open the window, but the glare makes the usually helpful natural light too bright to work on little N gauge bits and pieces.

So I plucked up courage and fitted the first film.  Not too difficult, especially if one accepted one of two imperfections.  They would have been bad news on the lounge window, but no problems up there in the loft.  I managed to do a little modelling yesterday afternoon – still hot, but the heat and glare cut back a lot!  Just got two other windows to do now.

Still, my brick paint arrived in the post this morning, and a box of assorted scenics yesterday, so I’ll be making a little more progress over the weekend.

And here’s a modelling idea – how often do you put two locomotives onto a turntable.  Easier in the USA, where they were bigger, but I’m sure it must have been done in the UK with a couple of small tank engines.

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Covid-19 diary #20

Weather’s improved, and I may have to go and dig up some tree roots.  And Father’s day this weekend was graced by a phone call from Berlin, and socially distanced visits from the other two children on Sunday and Monday.

However, things continue to happen upstairs.  (Maxine joked that we achieve optimum social distancing  – one at the top of the house, one at the bottom of the garden!)

I trimmed a bit off my Rix overbridge to form one end of the scene and to hide the fiddle yard entrance.

The river/canal/whatever has been completed.  I bought some resin castings of sheet piled walling out in Stuttgart several years ago, as it looked good and “might come in useful.”  It has, and looks the part.

In the background, I have hacked about a DPM model transfer house, joining the walls to make a couple of longer, low relief structures.  These hide the over-long grass on the photo backscene, and leave the backscene buildings up the hill in the distance.  I started painting them, but dropped the paint pot.  Mess on floor and new internet order needed!

The final scene will look something like this.  One or two buildings may move a little, but it will look something like this.

So I really must start on that ballast.  No excuse till that paint arrives – together with some cobblestones, some road surface, bulrushes and a couple of trees.

And we have a name.  Roselle Park was no longer approproriate, and Earl’s Wood was the last layout, so I looked at my LV map, and came up with….

No idea why – it just has a nice swing to it.  The alternatives were ‘Interlaken’ to wind up our club Continental modellers, a Biblical ‘Nazareth’, or something very British.  But this will do.  In deepest New York State, it even has a lake to go with my layout….


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