Sunday, September 15, 2013

F&WHR Great and Small

Well, I know it's a week late, but it has been a busy week between work, the army cadets, college, firing on the FR and various household tasks. The layout (almost) ran beautifully all weekend. The most obvious problem was the failiure of the headshunt point. No idea why, it just stopped working. But we still managed to run trains along the layout, it just meant a lot of light engine moves to collect the carriages from the station.
For me, the best part was being able to exhibit next to a phenomenal layout, Bron Hebog.
I'd like to say thanks to Rob, David and Francis for being kind enough to share some modeling know-how, allowing K1 to escape for a quick photo charter, letting Prince to run with a slate train on Bron Hebog and testing the abilities of 'Voulenteer' the Peckett as it hauled a 6 car WHR train along their layout. A link to Rob's blog is to the right of your screen.
There were some other great layouts there too. John Wooden showed his layout which unfortunately I didn't see running, but did inspire me to buy some Chris Veicht resin slate loads for some waggons and tempted me to buy a Chris Ward Fairlie kit.... in the future perhaps!
Other layouts included Dinas Ddu, Tipton and Clydach Valley with it's superb Garratts and Peckett that even had a moving lubricator drive!
Seeing all of these wonderfull layouts has inspired me to get on with my own, using points noted from the Great and Small weekend, I've put together a to do list, which will appear in the top navigation bar shortly.
Here are some photos of the event.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Up and almost running

Well, the layout has been set up at Dinas' goods shed. We're sharing the shed with 3 brilliant Layouts. Bron Hebog, Tipton and Anne Wharff.
We're also sharing it with the F&WHR shop, the Bar and the chippy van is just outside.... this is heaven!
Anyway, there are a few small issues that need to be sorted, bug trains are running. I spent some time taking pictures of the other layouts, but by the time I arrived at my layout, the camera was dead.
So for now, I leave you with some photos of the other layouts.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Weighty matters

The Earls chassis has been mostly built. The two N-drive chassis has been wired together and a cradle made to hold both together in double Fairlie fashion.
After a spin arround the test track, it's lacking the power to pull 4 carriages (maximum amount it can pull due to size of station platform).
So lead was placed on top untill it would pull 4 carriages, it weighed 150g when it could finally pull 4. So now I need to fill the inside of the engine with lead untill it weighs 150g.
Some people might think it'll be difficult with the amount I need to put in there.... But I have a plan!

Seeing double.

Well today the four N-drive chassis' arrived in the post, so I can finally put a decent chassis underneath the Earl and start to build Merddin Emrys (in 1962 condition).
The photos below are of two of the N-drive chassis under the earl. N drive chassis on their own and a photo of the parts I've collected to make Merddin.
Hopefully most of the work on these engines will be done tonight.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Don't worry, things are still happening.

Well, firstly I apologise for my absence on here. It's been a busy 2 months, with car failures, work, ACF courses and family stuff. TMR will appear at the F&WHRs event 'Great and Small' on September 6-8th at Dinas. More info will be shared closer to the time. The layout is coming along nicely. There is a new scenic 'cob' board that should be operational at G&S along with a new larger fiddle yard. More info will be posted on the layout and rolling stock that will be running soon. Meanwhile it's back to modelling!

Sunday, June 30, 2013


The weekend was spent with Marrin Neeves building two new baseboards. A Cob board was built to go between the Workshops and Porthmadog Board that is 6ft long.
The second board that was built was a fiddle yard. It is 50% longer than the previous so it could hold more than two full length trains.
There will also be enough space for a digital photo frame for photos of the layout being built etc.
Now some tracks and wiring need to go in.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

More work on the panel.

More work is being done on the control panel. All of the switches and most of the LEDs in the mimic panel have been installed.
The switches have been colour coded similar to usual signalling practices.
Red 'levers' control the signals, black control points. Then the yellow ones control the insulating sections and the green switches control which controller will power a specific section.
Now i just need to wait for some LEDs to turn up in the post, throw in some wires and it will all be finished!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Control Pannel

Most of the bits have arrived for the control panel. I'll start work on wiring it up tonight as there is enough to get on with for now.
I'm still waiting for some relays and bi-colour LEDs for the signal and point position indicators.
Hopefully things will be working this weekend.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Controlling matters

Well, I'm glad to say Martin, one of the other operators and a skilled woodworker has almost finished the control panel.
It only requires internal wiring to be put in and it will be ready to connect to the layout for testing.
Below the panel is the design of the mimic panel on two A4 pieces of paper. Hopefully it will be up and running in a week or two.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Not much been going on.

I haven't been able to do much on the layout over the last few weeks, work and firing have been in the way. This last weekend I haven't been able to do anything due to my assistance was required to help put the new shop front onto Mum and Dad's shop.
If you're ever in Blaenau, out of the station, and turn right, walk down the road about 200 meters. Almost directly across the road to 'Y Meirion' pub there's a needlecraft and photography gallery. So you can treat the wife to a gift since you've dragged her on the train ;)
Hopefully over the next week I'll be able to do a bit more.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Some 'Real world news'

I thought I'd share this. It's in prep for the Steam 150 celebrations on the F&WHR this weekend (3-6th of May)
I'd recommend anyone that can to come. It's going to be good.
The photo is of all surviving George England locomotives at Boston Lodge.
Left to right Palmerston, Prince, Welsh Pony and Princess. Prince and Palmerston are in steam.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The tide is coming in.

After 7 layers of Mod Podge (left strip) it's looking quite realistic. The PVA didn't turn out like I hoped it would. I'm going to try to add at least another 3 layers to get a pretty rought wind swept effect.
The Mod Podge hadn't dried fully when I took the photos, hence the white patches, but I'm hoping the photo shows the texture of it. I think it looks very realistic.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

See the sea? No, me neither.

Today I found a good video on YouTube on how to make a realistic sea effect. I will post a link soon.
Start off by painting the baseboard with acrylic paints to suit. I used black, blue, green and a little white at the edge. Once dry, I simply dabbed it with Mod Podge. The more layers of Mod Podge, the rougher your sea gets (in theory).
So I gave it ago with a scrap piece of ply and a small pot of Mod Podge (I happen to have some!)
These are some photos on how it went. The top photo shows the things I used, second shows the acrylic painted on and still wet.
In the last photo the left patch is Mod Podge, but the right is simple PVA, just as an experiment.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

More parts

The 14BA nuts and bolts have arrived today for the Fairlie bogies' crankpins. The frames should arrive tomorrow, the wheel centres and crossheads should arrive either saturday or the beggining of next week. I'm looking foreward to assemble them for the first time now.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


The parts for the prototype Fairlie bogie I've designed has started to arrive. Within a week all of the parts should be here and I can start assembling.
Fingers crossed!!

Monday, April 1, 2013


i haven't been happy with the workshops that are on the layout. So after frying my brain trying to find a short in the track circuit (post discribing it to follow tomorrow), I went to draw up a new workshop building.
I've decided to alter the track layout a bit as shown in one of the photos below. The other photo is the scale drawing of the 'spectator side' of the new workshop building, with Prince posed next to it for an idea of size.
I've ordered some foam board ready to start building it soon. It is loosely based on the side of the blacksmiths shop at Boston Lodge.
It will be fully detailed inside with the two smaller windows on the right being a drawing office and mess room.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

90% Complete!

The wiring is now almost complete, the last 10% is the short somewhere in the track power circuit! That will be sorted Monday, I've got a stoking turn on the 'David Lloyd Merioneth' tomorrow!

Getting there

I'm currently in the attic, working on the Porthmadog board's wiring. At Warely, one of the problems I had was the track changeing shape due to the heat. Then because everything wasn't were it should be, I had problems with the point blades picking up the current.
So when re-wiring everything to go into a 25 pin D connector, I've added more track power feeds and used the built in switch in the Seep point motors to switch the power from one track to another.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Crossed eyes

It took a while, but I managed to solder up the 25 pin d connectors that will connect the layout to the control panel.
The Harbor board is partially done, I'm yet to start on the yard board.
In about 3 weeks I will be starting work on the cob board that will go between the Harbor and workshop boards. Around the same time I will hopefully be making the control panel.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Finally set up.

It's been incredibly busy over the last few weekends. Mostly LocoCrew training weekends, Fireing The FRs Megabash special and doing (a lot) of work to my new car.
But I've finally managed to get around to working on the layout! After a long lye in on Saturday, I moved the layout to the attic, where it will stay for the next few months untill Superpower.
I have already started to alter the wiring on the Harbor board.
I can now do some work on the layout in the evenings as it isn't squashed into a small spare room!!
More updates soon, promise!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Layout

Somehow I forgot to post this in November. But, for those who weren’t able to visit Warley, here's a photo of the layout set up.
I know it isn't the best photo in the world, but it's the only one I managed to snap. If anyone has videos or photos, could you email them to me? I'd like to start a section with 'views of the layout' but I would like to use photos from other people, mainly because it shows what people are interested in! Something I wasn't sure about was the height of the layout. I wanted everybody to see it, not only 'average height' people, but also kids and the disabled in wheelchairs. So guys, do you think it needs to be raised, or is its current height ok?
Firstly, i apoligise for the lack of updates. I've simply haven't had much time over the last few weeks. Things are more or less the same as the beggining of January. Hopefully, by the end of the day, i'll be able to run a train into the harbor, I'm busy re-wireing the trackwork.

Friday, January 4, 2013


The last few days have been spent adjusting the track at the station.
A catch point was put in place of one of the crossover points, another point was placed to access the slate wharf and a few isolating sections put in.
All it needs now is power droppers to be installed in various places and the wiring altered to go into a new Controll panel that controls the entire layout.
Hopefully I will be done this weekend if everything goes to plan.
Then I need to make similar (but not so drastic) changes to the works, a bigger fiddle yard and a cob board.
Hopefully I'm aiming to finish all of this work by about June/July so there is plenty of room to test and adjust before the layout's next appearance.
The photo shows half of the feed wires for the station. Black wires go to the crowd side rail which is the 'common rail' with nickel silver fishplates. Isolating fishplates and switches power the feed gg to the 'operating side' rail.
The power to the operator's side rail is determined by the Seep point motors' auxiliary switch. This should give more reliability to get power to travel through points.