This weekend at Scotland’s premier exhibition Peco’s have prototypes of the medium radius bullhead points on display.
Planned release is 2022 for both these new additions, and will follow the release of the OO bullhead crossings and single/double slips, of which production has started. From these images it looks like the medium radius are following the same construction format as the previously released large radius point. Blades are a single rail rather than split with a mechanical pivot point. The design is of the Unifrog DCC/DC compatibility, which is being introduced across a number of the Peco track ranges.
Catalogue numbers are:
SL-U1195 Right Hand and SL-U1196 Left Hand
Also on show are examples of the crossings and slips on their stand this weekend. Hopefully these will all be available in the near future.
My thanks to Paul David Smith for the brief update and images.
This past weekend I went to my first show in two years. And I’m pretty certain the last show I went to was the Doncaster show in 2020.
I wasn’t sure what to expect on arrival, obviously C19 here in the UK is still very much an issue. I was pleasantly surprised to see that there was a high turnout of visitors, I’d got there at 14:00 and it was still busy, and there wasn’t the notable afternoon drop off in numbers. People were giving each other space and I’d estimate about 40% wearing masks (non compulsory). It was still busy around some layouts and stands but not oppressively so.
One thing I did note was I felt the overall quality of layouts was biased towards the D&E sector, and seeing Blueball Summit was really pleasant.
Blueball Summit is one of those layouts that is really well executed, runs very well and demonstrates the scenic potential of the 2mm genre.
In 4mm scale the layout that caught my attention was Burnroyd Works.
The element of both these layouts that really worked for me, was the attention to detail, simple things like how the equipment on Burnroyd was placed, nothing had you thinking, why? Also making them stand out was the coloring, and the overall presentation, the whole ‘look’ of the layouts and their operation for me just ‘worked’.
In terms of presentation there were a couple of layouts without any lighting at all, I still find that surprising, as it’s not making the best of the modellers effort, and I think I’d now find it very frustrating to operate a layout in poor lighting.
Trade looked busy, those I spoke to had had a good day and were pleased with the punters turn out.
There’s a short uchoob video here of the EP’s Rails Doncaster So what motivated me? Well seeing a good number of people I’d not seen for two years and just catching up was nice, being able to look at a good cross section of trade too and picking up a few bits to complete outstanding tasks, like paint!
This wagon above is one of those projects. Finding the Parkside chassis kit, wheels, and plastic strip at Eileens is just one of those nice experiences it’s all to easy to forget. So all in all a motivating day!
Today is probably one of the final sections of modifying this Bachmann 4575xx. Dug out by a friend from his scrap pile the footsteps were broken and it had the original Bachmann chimney, and no chassis. It’s one of the last locomotives I wanted for the Forest of Dean project, already having two small tank 45xx prairies converted. To be true to the FoD these weren’t common, but with a bit of rule 1, I can add them as a more frequent occasional movement, and depict them as Gloucester based engines.
Along the way I’d also acquired this Korean built OO 45xx as a non runner. A quick mess about with it determined it was faulty due to broken wiring, (40’ish years old) and the pony truck wheels having been replaced with the ultrascale wheels illustrated. That was a problem as the pony trucks acted as one sided pickups, and the ultrascales are insulated. (My thoughts were this chassis could go under the 45xx and move the body on.) The chassis ran well and shorting one side of the pony wheels worked. Having got it sorted the final nail in the idea was that the motor assembly was too far forward to easily fit into the Bachmann body. So the brass one left the building to a buyer whom was after a brass version.
The first task I do with these early bodies is to change the chimney.
The replacement chimney is from the Alan Gibson range, catalog number 4M687. Thus is lost wax cast and requires cleaning up for fitting. The original chimney is removed and the area cleans to allow the fitting of the replacement casting. I fit this with low viscosity superglue as it forms a filler seal around the base.
The GWR logos are ‘cut off’ using cotton buds and T-Cut, the car paint restoration product. This gives a highly polished clean surface for undercoating in due course. I also remove the cab and with access into the bunker remove the molded coal mound and a plastic cross shelf that opens up the full depth of the bunker space, using a pepper pot drill technique.
With the cab removed I usually ‘open’ one or two of the ventilation doors. On this one I’m only doing the rear cab doors.
This is a quick technique, drill out a line of holes within the area that requires removal. Once you have a chain of holes you slit between them and then remove the waste section. Clean the new aperature with files and you’re ready to go making new doors or hatches to fit. These will be either brass or plasticard depending on what is to hand.
Whilst working on the body, a Bachmann spare chassis was found, albeit in BR lined green livery. It’s an early DC only chassis too but it fits, and runs very well. If I choose DCC there’s actually plenty of space for a chip including a sound installation, but that’s not yet determined. So that’s the basic core completed, ready for relivery to plain BR black in all about an afternoon’s work. I’ll pre-shade the model in black prior to the final coloring in, that’ll remove the chances of any of the green base model being visible.
The techniques I’ve used here aren’t just applicable to this model, there’s nothing stopping you using them in any scale on anything in the man-cave that needs a makeover, or a lift off the shelf of doom!
All I have to do now is trawl through the library to pull up a Gloucester based plain black 4575, ideally with late logos.
Shelfie2 was due to have its first exhibition as a completed layout this month at the well respected Define modellers day. Regrettably due to the recent surge in the pandemic numbers they have had to cancel/postpone the event.
There are a couple of events later in the year that Shelfie 2 is provisionally booked for, again subject to confirmation and Covid-19 developments. In the meantime if you want to see more of the layout it is currently featured in the January 2022 issue of Model Rail with photography by Chris Nevard.
Such is life, but hopefully we’ll be back on the road this year!
Last year on First one in I wrote about Geoff Taylor’s Barmouth layout and his very clever use of ‘space’ to achieve a multi location layout. In December (21), I had the privilege of helping out with Simon George’s Heaton Lodge Junction at it’s first public showing at Wakefield. With it being the Christmas/New Year season I often get time to spend reflecting on what I’ve done and experienced, and thinking about how I can use those ‘lessons’. This year’s no different.
Heaton Lodge (HLJ) is big, by any standards, and is in 7mm O gauge. It is a very different and thought provoking use of space. Obviously at roughly 200ft long and 50ft wide, you need a healthy budget and a suitable location to build, test and store it, but above all else, you need the imagination to build it.
Both Simon and Geoff’s approach for me are interesting in that both modellers have achieved something very different to the norm for the UK, Geoff with a 4mm scale multi location layout and Simon with an exhibition layout of significant size, even allowing it for being in 7mm scale. Both layouts use DCC too, something I’m still deciding on for future projects. I’ve been fortunate to use several systems on friends layouts at home and at exhibitions, so if I go that way I have a basic understanding of some of the potential available.
The use of space is something I’m regularly drawn back to, HLJ above, has taken O gauge and shown full length trains working in a realistic landscape. The fact that it’s transportable makes that all the more remarkable, and has got me thinking again about what I want to do, and how to achieve it. Previously I’ve written about train length for my nascent Forest of Dean project and what I felt would be appropriate train lengths. Having spent time with Heaton Lodge, I wonder if I’m on the right path regarding that. Not necessarily needing full length trains, but perhaps longer than the nine wagons I’d been considering as my ‘standard’.
If I take this path of longer trains then it means the design will need to change to reflect that, just as well no wood had been cut! It’s also going to mean defining more accurately what I want to capture. The prototype trains were roughly 30 wagons maximum due to the gradients, I’m thinking of a fifteen wagon maximum, including brake vans. In simple terms that’s at least another fifteen inches or so per road for any storage track or colliery sidings. Then there’s the additional stock acquisition that’ll be required, which will be primarily mineral wagons.
Shelfie 2 is one of the parts of the original planned FoD system, however if I go large, it’ll need extending or scrapping, scrapping being the more practical solution. It won’t have been a waste of time or effort though, it’s given me plenty of lessons as far as scenery, automatic couplings and lighting are concerned, and much of it can be recycled.
For anyone interested in reading more on it, there’s a Shelfie3, Guyzance, feature in January 21’s Model Rail magazine in its D&E guise. The magazine images are taken by Chris Nevard with his superb ability to capture the layout as I envisage it.
So where does this lead me to? Well last year a friend and I spent time replacing the roof of the mancave, it’s now steel roofed and will outlast me. Part of the delay in starting anything ‘big’ was the knowledge that without a new roof, there was potential for damage from leaks or subsequent roof work. With that tasking I took the opportunity to reconfigure the storage in there, and will likely reduce the car and bike content too this spring/summer.
That’ll leave me standing in a decent space with a tape measure. What could possibly go wrong?
Wishing all the readers and followers of the blog the compliments of the season. Thank you for taking the time out to read the blog, and please take a look through the blog roll at the other bloggers work.
It’s important to note this is the first hand assembled version of the model, and there was no facility to see it running. A quick look at the chassis, and subject to confirmation, the pick ups look like they are a split axle with insulated axle bearings. The core chassis block is metal and the model has a reasonable weight for its size. DCC sound, again subject to confirmation will have a cab location for a small iPhone type speaker.
An O gauge sample has also arrived but wasn’t available to look at. No delivery date of both types is available, but with both scale EP’s having been produced, they are clearly well underway.