Category Archives: 2014

November 2014

Despite my hopes that the updates to the site would become more regular after Gordon’s retirement in April and my continued life of leisure, what has actually happened is that we modelled at a high rate instead. As Doug is working a four day week, we modelled on Friday mornings as well and this made a big difference.

We had a good summer and used this to carry out repairs on our clubhouse – including demolishing a 120ft portacabin which also kept us pretty busy!

Here we are starting to lay track in the staging yard – if all else fails, hit it with a hammer! Even my daughter came in to lend a hand on a visit back from her midwifery course. The track laying progressed well. By August it had pretty much all been laid.

In the meanwhile, Steve was working on customising some SW7s and SW9s for the CNJ. Athearn and Proto-2000 stock was used as the starting point. Both jigs and hand bending were used to prepare the CNJ-style handrails – some were soldered, but most were superglued.

Handrails were added to different styles depending on the prototype, as were minor variation in the vent stacks. Once handrails (and some grab irons) were complete, the bodies were airbrushed with my own mixture of gloss green. RBH water slide decals were then applied carefully and the models were then sprayed with matt cote. Finally all were weathered with a mixture of techniques. Three were chipped and one set up as a dummy as not all the motors were usable.

Meanwhile, back at the club, the hard work of wiring up the track and switches was proceeding – led by Doug, but with all three of us taking a share. Later, Doug withdrew from this exciting activity due to pressures of work and other interests, but we continued to fit and wire switch motors (Peco) with the help of Bill, and MERG DCC switch controller boards. These latter were mostly built by our club specialist (Derek) and wired in by Steve. Derek then configured them for us.

We set up computer control with the Big Bear software package – which works well. The track panel component (left) can be downloaded for free.
..and all the time the trains kept running round! We are now cutting and reconfiguring the old baseboards, removing the old staging yard, and hope to have finished this stage before Christmas.

April 2014

Although the five 4ft by 33 inch staging yard boards were already constructed, we still had to make the curved end boards. The photos show their construction. We again used a ply base and softwood bracing, but the sides were from 4mm MDF board which bend nicely. All held together with screws and white glue (PVA).

Doug came up with a support system reminiscent of that used on the scenic board, but this time using a softwood T-section. This fits into slots on the top of the trestles. and is very strong. The last two shots show the end boards and the first staging yard boards erected a couple of weeks ago (that’s me being smiley!). Finally a few shots of the stock running while we extend – I’ve been weathering the F3 units and cabooses with Pan Pastels after the article in Model Railroader. Generally we’ve been very impressed.

Paul and Dave are still modelling nearby us in the clubhouse on their EM (4mm scale, 18mm gauge) layout of a local station and we often go for a drink with them after the modelling sessions.

Hopefully the update to the site will become more regular now. Gordon is retiring this Friday (Easter Friday) and I was made redundant last October so am semi-retired at 58. Doug is working a 4-day week so often has Fridays free. All-in-all this should mean more modelling time as we start on track laying and wiring.