Monday, June 28, 2010

Garage Progress

Over the weekend the sockets where finally installed and wired up, luckily all of them work, only painting and sorting out needs to be done. Sunday I used my FR Staff Pass to get a rare 'down' journey on the line. In the Pothmadog shop I bought two Parkside Dundas Kits, Vale of Rheidol 3rd Class Bogie Coach Nos. 1-12 and a W.W.1 War Dept. Class D Dropside Bogie Open Wagon, from the money I got from selling three of my old 00 gauge locomotives.
Hopefully a kit for the FR Guards/buffet number 124 (my ride home from work 90% of the time) will be purchased soon.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

And God said "Let there be light!” (And a book)

Yesterday with Gods help and an act of miracle, me and my dad managed to get the lights in the garage to work! We then installed 5 sockets and now are going through every box too get rid of all the junk we have got. Soon the layout will be put back up in the garage! woohoo! Then, I can start to pin the track down permanently on the harbor boards and get the board joints flush.
Soon, a trip to the York Railway Museum will hopefully be followed to the IKEA shop in Manchester for some lights and a 'dimma' to control the intensity. Also I got a birthday present from mum, ‘’Ffestiniog in the fifties’ it’s full of interesting photos, and soon I will buy ‘Ffestiniog 1946-1955’ which shows more pictures of the era I’m modeling

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Double Fairlie (Livingston Thompson) progress

For the last few weeks I’ve been going to a model railway 'gathering of friends' (because insurance will get involved if we call ourselves a club, and it's not worth the hassle). Overall there is about 20 people 'involved' but only about 5 turn up every week, all together there’s 3 narrow gauge enthusiasts including myself, I approached one of them in his shop for advice/help with Livingston Thompson's chassis, after a disassembly to clean, I found a problem with a piece of the bogies that hold the cylinders in place, and the drive shafts.
The problem with the bogies is that the glue the previous owner used has 'dissolved' through the plastic, and there’s not much that holds the cylinders in place. So he confirmed my worst fears, unless I unexpectedly wanted a pole-vaulting fairlie, I needed to replace them. The problem with the shafts is that they broke when I touched them.
Coincidentally as we where talking about the bogies the third narrow gauge enthusiast walked in, and said he has a box of Bachmann GP50 bits he has got spare (luckily he has about 5 FR Fairlies). He said he will have a dig around for them, and might assemble the chassis for me :D)
Some people don't think that having others do your modeling for you is rite, I agree and disagree. If anyone that asks 'how did you do that' is answered with 'I didn't someone did it for me' I think it should be ok, only if you don't take credit, and mention any business (like I do in a slide show of the FRs history behind my layout).

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The plan changes... (Again)

I was thinking about what to do with the layout, and I’ve got thousands of ideas going through my head, these are the most useful/likely to be done;
1) Remove the rear board completely; I’ve recently had an accident that damaged my knee (badly) so it will be easier for me to access by not going 'under' every time
2) With the removal of the rear board it will become an end-to-end layout, so on the board directly behind the works, a sector plate/traverse/cassette system will be added.
3) Eventually converting all of my present locomotives to DCC, and any 0-4-0's will be accompanied with companion wagons to help electrical pick-up
4) I’ve been thinking how I could make the joints between two baseboards solid, and I came up with an ingenious idea... have none! I’m going to build a metal frame and legs for the layout which will hold lights, legs, the layout, info boards and crowd barriers. I then thought that I could make the 'front' of the layout in one piece and then the harbor station extension and cassette/traverser/sector plate/fiddle yard board will be able to come apart from the layout.
5) Rebuild a (smaller) control board, the one I built could be shrunk about 80%, which will save space!
6) Unfortunately rebuild the Boston Lodge board; I placed the track on polystyrene then plastered it… with plaster, not a very good idea! So sometime in the far future (3-4 yrs) I will build another 'Boston Lodge between exhibitions in the same way as the harbor station was built, by building up the track work on a raised section with polystyrene filling in the gaps.
7) Buy some Ikea lights and a dimmer to control the brightness

The lights are self assemble so the base will be removed and possible the light will be attached to a bar that will run just underneath the top of the backboard. Also I’ve added my (hopefully) final plan.

At the bottom right there will be a fiddle yard, bottom left is the workshop board, middle is 'Y Cob section, above it (top left) the first harbor board and secondly is the harbor station extension board. The layout will be viewed from the left, looking right and from the top looking down.