Blog Archives

Portchullin at St Neot’s – 11/12 March

Portchullin’s next outing will be this forthcoming weekend at the St Neot’s show:

Come along and see some noisy diesels like this?  I rather hope to have a type 1 make an appearance over the weekend and any HR enthusiasts might wish to see a Barney put in an appearance (still in brass, don’t get too excited!)

07_26046_13819-21-sml

 

 

 

 

A New Ending (and Beginning) for Portchullin

Don’t worry, it is not as dramatic as all that, I have not burnt it or anything……………………oh hang on a minute, I have – well a bit of it anyway!

One of Portchullin’s quaint little foibles was it did occassionally like to derail trains as they left the fiddleyards; especially the fiddle yard representing Kyle.  There were various reasons for this; including some proper cr*p woodwork on my part, the hand shunting that occurred every time a train was turned around, the effects on thermal expansion that was not catered for and, something that I had not seen until recently, a bit of a dogleg at the baseboard joint.  Add to this the rather Heath Robinson approach to the legs for the fiddle yard boards, electrical connections and facia support and it was fundementally a b*ggers muddle.  So something had to be done and, a mere 8 years after the layout’s first exhibition, it now has!

IMG_1423 compress

So with lots of thanks to Tim and Julian at the Electric Loft Ladder Company again, we have a new fiddle yard at the Kyle end and redesigned legs at the Inverness end.  The design adopted is an adaptation of the sector plate that was in use before but with a refinement that it uses cassettes for the locations that the loco arrives and departs at.  The idea being that these are both storage points at the end of the fiddle yard roads but also the means to move/turn the locos ready for their next duty.  This is a development of the system used by Simon Bendall on his layout Elcot Road, but with a rotating sector plate rather than a traverser.

IMG_1427compress

Other halfway novel ideas are the use of the tray below the traverser as a storage tray for stock (and maybe tea!) and the projection of the sector plate beyond the end of the fixed board to make the ensemble smaller to transport.  The facia also folds up rather niftily as well – photos of this will follow once I have taken them!

The new fiddle yard has not yet been tested but will very shortly get its chance to prove if it is a good’n.  Portchullin will be out at the Barnstaple MRC’s show in Bear Street, Barnstaple – you can find details here. If you are in North Devon at the weekend, stop by and say hellow?

A Quiet Day at Portchullin…………

Although it may be that there is a train in the yard as the shunt signal is off…… I suspect it will be one of the class 24s?

IMG_6259

Portchullin is just back from a trip to the St Alban’s show and its next outing will be in Telford, for the Diesel & Electric Show on the 20-21 February.

With thanks to David Brandredth and Tim Venton for the cracking photo.  Now my fav of the layout!

Gresley Buffet – Part 3; Corridor Connections

I guess that it is pretty difficult for the RTR manufacturer to take a stab decent corridor connections because they have to design for toy train set curves and clumsey hands but it is a weakness of all proprietary coaches.  Hornby’s buffet also seems to have overly skinny corridor connections and most noticeable they are mounted too low – they should finish at the meeting of the roof with the ends.

Whilst it is possible to simply slice off the connections off and move them up, I chose to remove the and them with some produced by Comet – as this is an LNER vehicle, you need the Pullman type.  The core of the operation of the corridor connections are the bellows which are formed with a pair of sheets of fairly stiff paper.  These have slots cut to half their width and are then folded into a concertina shape, with the slot between the folds.  Two such pieces are then offered up to each other, with the slots opposing and these then slide over each other as shown in the first picture.

photo 34

To create a concertina bellows like this.

photo 29

Thereafter, the etched end plate is attached to one face.  Whilst not provided in the kit, I formed a second plate from plasticard and affixed this to the other end.  it is important to ensure that no glue gets on the concertina sections of the paper, as they need to be capable of compressing with minimal effort to correctly operate without derailing the carriage.

photo 23

This is how Comet envisage that the completed connection should look like but I felt that the bellows did not look very realistic, especially from above where the crossing point is all too obvious.  In practise, the top of these connections had a fabric roof and applying this dramatically improves the appearance of the connection and has the added advantage of providing some control to the operation of the connections which do tend to expand out and look rather flabby!

photo 4

I dealt with this by putting the rain hood on the top of the connection, which is afterall prototypical (and makes a huge difference to the appearance as you can see).  I did this in a manner that meant it acted as a restraint to the movement of the connection.  I acheived this by only gluing it at the very back and front of the connection, so that the bellows could move unimpeeded but once they had moved to the required extent, the rain hood pulled tight and stopped them going any further.  I found that doing this at the top was not sufficient as their movement continued at the bottom and they took on rather drunken appearance – however, this was solved by simply repeating this at the bottom.

Key to getting this to work was to use material for these restraints that was ultra flexible.  I did think about trying silk but settled instead on the rather more mundale – plastic from a bin liner.  This is remarkably thin but is still tough enough to hold the connections.  A tiny dab of super glue at the front and back and then it can be laid onto.  It is important not to sigh with releif for some time though – the stuff is so light that it blows away at the slightest.  So this is what it looks like:

photo 1

I think that I have still allowed the connections to be too big and if there were two together this would definitely be true but next to a rather skinny Bachmann corridor connection, I think they look pretty good (and a big improvement on the originals).

photo 2

Portchullin – Recommended Reading

Portchullin is in the press!

Rail Express have for many years included a modelling section to what is otherwise a prototype magazine.  This year (and going forward in future years I beleive), they are producing a yearbook which is dedicated to only modelling features.  Portchullin is the leading article with a series of photos from Tim Easter – and it is no less than 13 pages long.

Here is a taster and if you want to get a copy, it can be obtained here:

http://www.classicmagazines.co.uk/product/5464/rail-express-modeller-yearbook-by-simon-bendall-bookazine-

Portchullin Article (2)

Portchullin at the Great Central Railway this Weekend

PC7developed

Portchullin’s next outing will be at the Great Central Railway‘s model event on Friday 20 June through to Sunday 22 June.

I have been looking over the stock and we should be up to around 7 trains, which is close to an all time record!  Might even break out one or two unusual ones, even if they do still need some detailing work on them.

Whilst we have seen these pictures before, they are worth showing again……….

IMG_5889

 

A Week on Tour – Part 2; Strange Happenings at Warley

The other section of my travels last week was with Portchullin to Warley.

It mostly behaved itself; although I did seem to cook a servo board on Sunday lunchtime; which did annoy me lots as until this time we had all of the signals working which was a first.

We ran diesels all weekend, although we could not resist getting the Small Bens out to stretch their legs.  So two examples of chequebook modelling……….  Ben Alligan at the front and my father’s Ben Clebrig at the back

_DSC0263compress

P1020810 wee bens

_DSC0269compress

And to complete the Highland outing, Paul Bannerman’s (hard sweat not chequebook) model of a Yankee tank was out too.

_DSC0267compress

Hopefully to be ready for Warley

Slightly prompted by a comment on an early post, I have completed a BR (S) utility van; which I think British Rail called NQVs.

This was made from a Parkside kit, with a chassis from Masokits.  The former were so simple that you hardly need instructions but the other was less so and it was a bit of a pain to find that it came with only quite limited instructions – I wonder if I did not get the full pack as Masokits are normally fairly good?

100_2677compress

The other things that I changed with it were to avoid the use of the really grotty buffers from Parkside and used some very good Lanarkshire Models buffers – but I have managed to break a drill bit on one, so I may be stuck with one end being unsprung.  I also changed the rather poor handrails over for 0.45mm wire.  I have not done the rainstrips yet, but looking at this picture I am going to have too!

So it should be to the paintshop tomorrow.  Hopefully by the time I have finished it will look like the one in Paul Barlett’s photo thus: http://paulbartlett.zenfolio.com/srcct/h11744058#h11744058

It should be done for Warley, which is Portchullin’s next outing.

 

 

 

Warley National Show

Trying to plan ahead a bit more than normal, I am just sorting out van bookings and the like for Portchullin’s next outing, which will be Warley  on the 23 & 24th November.

We will be running the 1970s both days and there will be a few tweaks to the layout (a full set of working signals for one – our last troublesome one is getting a firm talking to at the moment!).  Stop by and say hello if you are going.

We will also run the videos as usual.  I have just come across my fav one of these on Youtube.  This is The Line to Skye; which is firmly the inspiration of the layout.  This film was commissioned by Ross & Cromarty Council’s campaign to try and save the line in 1973/74.  It is firmly nostalgic and more than a little poetic in its content and style; which frankly makes it even better in my mind.

Anyway, as they say – you don’t just arrive at magic; you have to conjure it………………….enjoy!

My suggestion is to look at the youtube link soonish; I had to ask and get permission for the showing of this video and I sort of think that the poster on youtube might not have done……………………..

Been Quiet – Sorry!

Whilst I have been quiet with regard to postings, I have been both modelling and doing other things.  I just have not really had the camera out much!

One of the “other things” I have been doing was exhibiting Portchullin at Wigan.  The layout threw its only real spanner at us on the first morning where we found that one of the Fulgerex’s had sent one of its electrical contacts into orbit (it has happened before) and thus would not operate.  A little bit of cussing and work below the board managed to get it to manually change to the loop and we thus did without the front siding all weekend.

I did not manage to get any pictures myself but “Black & Decker Boy” did take a rather good video:

This compliments the other really good video of the layout taken by “Highlandman” at Epsom a couple of years back:

Model Railway Musings by D827 Kelly

Model railway planning, design, building and other things related

Pembroke:87

Modelling the Canada Atlantic Railway into Pembroke in Proto:87

SOUTH PELAW JUNCTION

Documenting and Modelling the History of the Tyne Dock to Consett Line

Liverpool Range

Modelling a small section of the New South Wales Railways between Kankool and Pangela

highland miscellany

My modelling musings on Portchullin, Glenmutchkins and anything else that takes my fancy.

Llangunllo

Modelling the WR in the 1950s

Keynsham and Somerdale Models

Model railway rolling stock in 4 and 7mm scales

Matt's Railroad Blog

Minnesota themed model railroading

GrahamMuz: Fisherton Sarum & Canute Road Quay

The model railway world and mainly Southern meanderings of Graham 'Muz' Muspratt

Gene's P48 Blog

Quarter-inch Scale Modeling

Dales Peak

Set in the Derbyshire Peak District, this is a shed based, OO Gauge, modern image, DCC, model railway

P4NewStreet

Building a Model of Birmingham New Street, set in 1987

DEFine

Modern railway modelling in the Midlands

petesworkshop

My modelling musings on Portchullin, Glenmutchkins and anything else that takes my fancy.

Llangunllo.

My modelling musings on Portchullin, Glenmutchkins and anything else that takes my fancy.

Loco Yard

Heritage & Model Railway Blog

The Erratic and Wandering Journey

Railway Modelling in S Scale (1:64)

Ouse Valley Modeller

Ouse Valley Modeller is a blog about my 4mm OO gauge modelling, my observations mostly about Sussex railways in the 1950's and my layout Herstmonceux

cardigan bay coastal railroad

A fictious railroad in 0n30

Morpeth In O-Scale

Why Settle For Half When You Can Have The Whole O?

Portwilliam

Southwest Scotland in 00 Finescale

westhighlandmodelling

Modelling the West Highland Railway & Beyond

Oswestry Works

Locomotive works diorama in 4mm

Port Rowan in 1:64

An S scale study of a Canadian National Railways branch in Ontario - in its twilight years

clecklewyke

from little acorns...

P4 Walsall

Building Walsall in P4 1:76 Scale