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Although I have been exhibiting Fisherton Sarum since November 2006 feedback from my operating team has resulted in suggestions and ideas for ways to continually improve the way we operate and exhibit. The main and largest change to date was as reported in my Controlling interests #1 post that added a third controller to enable independent up and down main line operation whilst still allowed movements to carry on in the shed area.

The Fiddle Yard Indicator panel.  The lamps are switched by the rotary switch at the opposite FY.  The red ready send button is pressed when a train is set up  and illuminates the green lamp at the other FY. The light green push button is the new switch to energise the track feed at the opposite FY exit.

The Fiddle Yard Indicator panel.
The lamps are switched by the rotary switch at the opposite FY.
The red ready send button is pressed when a train is set up and illuminates the green lamp at the other FY.
The light green push button is the new switch to energise the track feed at the opposite FY exit.

We now operate with each fiddle yard operator driving trains towards them, each fiddle yard operator has a small indicator panel to communicate the type of train to each other (as different length trains require different length fiddle yard cassettes to be positioned) and this also shows them that a train is set up in the opposite fiddle yard and ready to be driven. Following this modification the indication panels gained a switch to enable them to operate the approach signal without having to move across the to the main control panel.

With this method of control now having been used at a couple of exhibitions there have been occasions when the next departing train is set up the previous train is either still moving or the controller has been left on causing the next train to start too early. To overcome this a push button has been added to fiddle yard indications panels that an operator will have to press to energise the power feed to the train they about to drive in the opposite fiddle yard. Once on the main board the push button can be released and the train will carry on.

These indicator panels also reduce the need for the operators to have to shout at each other which prevents viewers of the layout from hearing the fact that my locos’s are neither DCC or sound fitted!

This latest modification to Fisherton Sarum will be used for the first time on 8th / 9th March 2014 at  the  Basingstoke and North Hampshire Model Railway Society show being held at the Aldworth Science College, Basingstoke, RG22 6HA  i hop[e to perhaps some of the readers of this blog there, please make sure you say hello.

There are some who will wonder why we do it… we spend hours building a layout and its rolling stock to then transport it miles around the country, set it up, intensively operate it then pack it all away again and transport it back home.  No matter how careful we are some damage will inevitably occur to something along the way.  The reason why I do it, is for the enjoyment of exhibiting something I have built, have fun operating the layout with my family and friends and to meet a wide range of fellow modellers, many of whom have a common interest in all things Southern, and it is great that they take the time to show an interest in what I have done.

Last week Fisherton Sarum was at the excellent Watford Finescale exhibition, amongst a very high calibre of other layouts,  it was a very enjoyable weekend. I met and chatted with a number of readers of this blog and it is always great to see you.

As the title of this post implies there was a couple of casualties at the weekend, which is something I come to expect and do not generally get too upset about, some things  get fixed / replaced on the spot such as wires coming adrift or couplings breaking as it is necessary to keep the layout working. Others such as physical damage (although amazingly a once dropped locomotive only suffered a broken coupling that was fixed on the spot), broken detail (even when trying to avoid handling stock as much as possible), failed locomotives (although they all get cleaned and tested before each show) get put to one side for fixing at a later date.

My rake of SR Dia. 1774 40T ballast hoppers behind a Drummond T14 class 4-6-0

My rake of SR Dia. 1774 40T ballast hoppers behind a Drummond T14 class 4-6-0

One of my signature rakes is the Meldon Ballast train of SR diagram 1774 40T bogie hoppers, made from modified Lima Sealion wagons. These were fitted with Ratio diamond frame bogies (as they were the only ones of the type available at the time) and over time have proved to be quite fragile due to their method of construction and last weekend I was down to only 4 of the 8 usually in service.  I have now this week had a pleasant evening replacing the damaged bogies with replacements from Cambrian Models, these comprise of a single piece moulding for the bogie itself which should be far stronger in exhibition service, and I am now back to a full rake of eight 40T hoppers.

Although such damage is / can be frustrating it is all part of the hobby when exhibiting and does mean a little extra time modelling to put things right again but sometimes this can result in an improvement to the models such as the case of the Cambrian Models bogies.

Fisherton Sarum will once again be hitting the road on 8th / 9th March 2014 for the  Basingstoke and North Hampshire Model Railway Society show being held at the Aldworth Science College, Basingstoke, RG22 6HA  and if you are popping by please say hello as it’s always nice to chat.

Further to my post here last week exclusively announcing that the Cads for the Kernow Model Centre ex LSWR O2 class have been signed off for tooling, they have today announced a further livery variant.  

O2 no. 207 in Maunsell lined green.  Picture from my collection  and British Railways Southern Region archive

O2 no. 207 in Maunsell lined green.
Picture from my collection and British Railways Southern Region archive

In response to demand they have added a Southern Maunsell lined green liveried model as number 207 fitted with pull-push gear (Kernow Model Centre reference item no. K2107 ).  You can place your pre-orders through their website here

Number 207 gained its Pull push gear, along with class members 182, 183, 187 & 255 between Oct 1931 & Sept 1933 and remained in this  livery until the early 1940′s when wartime restrictions meant she was outshopped in unlined SR Black . For completeness number 207  was  later renumbered 30207 in repainted in lined British railways black black in 8/49 and was finally withdrawn in June 1957.

Fisherton Sarum will be making the first of its four appearance on the exhibition circuit in 2014 at the Watford Finescale Exhibition this coming weekend 15/16th February.
The exhibition is being held at the Parmiters School, High Elms Lane, Watford, Hertfordshire, WD25 0UU. The opening times are 10:30 to 17:30 on the Saturday and 10:00 to 16:30 on the Sunday.

On shed at Fisherton Sarum (picture coutesty C Nevard / Model Rail)

On shed at Fisherton Sarum (picture courtesy C Nevard / Model Rail)

Fisherton Sarum will not be the only Southern related layout at the Watford Finescale Exhibition as the line up includes BR(S) 3rd rail electric ‘Ashington’ (built originally by my friend and excellent modeller Dave Kent) and Alkham representing BR Steam in Kent.

The term ‘Finescale’ is a much debated one, sometimes heatedly,  in the hobby as it often is applied to gauge only such as those modelling P4, EM or S7, however in many cases, as per this exhibition, it is also applied to the modelling standard in general. Just because a layout is one particular gauge or another it does not mean the rest of the modelling can be so judged only on the distance between the rails!  I am therefore pleased that Fisherton Sarum being oo gauge is so associated, and has been invited to this show.

I will be as usually, and with much appreciation, being assisted by members of my family and also the High Wycombe and District Model Railway Society. If you are planning to come along to the show please say hello.

I am pleased to exclusively announce that the CAD drawings for the 6 versions of the Kernow Model Centre Adams 0-4-4T O2 class locomotives have now been signed off to enable tooling to commence.

Kernow models K2101 W24 Calbourne

Kernow Models K2105 No 225

As regular readers of this blog will know I have been assisting the Kernow Model Centre with the development of these Adams O2 models and it’s nice to report this bit of good news.  As originally announced back in July 2012 some  might question the time taken to get this far and indeed this has

Kernow Models O2 K2105 No. 225

Kernow Models O2 K2101 W24 Calbourne

been longer than anticipated for a number of reasons; however what I can say is that the time taken has been worth it to get all the variants correct to a high standard of detail.

Work is still continuing with the Kernow Model Centre Gate Stock Pull Push Sets with a further set of CAD drawings recently received but these still require a few more minor amendments before we will be happy to sign these off for tooling. I am pleased to also confirm that the tolling will allow for the later characteristic steel panelling modification that was applied to set 373 in its later life.

In other 4mm 00 news…

Bachmann have now added images of the painted samples of the latest version of the ex SECR Wainright 0-6-0 C Class locomotives, click on the links below for the image, both are now shown as being available in July / August this year:

31-463   C Class 0-6-0 271 SECR Plain Green
31-464   C Class 0-6-0 593 Southern Railway Black Green Lining

Dapol has advised that work is still progressing on their Class 73 Electro Diesels with JA version (class 73/0) nearly released for tooling whilst final corrections for the JB version (Class 73/1) are taking place.

In 2mm N Gauge news…

Dapol have also now received  a further set of CADs for their Maunsell 4-4-0 Schools V Class for checking whilst the previously signed off  Bulleid Light Pacifics have been held  from tooling to allow for further corrections to the CADs to take place.

In 7mm 0 Gauge news…

The Dapol ex LBSC A1/A1x ‘Terrier’ is towards the end CAD development stage and is being developed in such away to allow for the variations within the A1 and A1x classes to be correctly produced. I have been providing additional information to the Dapol development team with respect to the 25T ‘Pill box’ brake vans and they should be receiving livery samples in due course.

Further to my last post with the first Bachmann E4 class Engineering Prototype pictures I am now also able to post the following images that are copyright and courtesy of Andy York (clicking the images will enlarge).

1sThese further images clearly show the fact that the smokebox door dart handles are indeed separately applied items, as this was not originally fully clear from the initial pictures.
Mention has been made of the size of the front wheel splashers being oversize, this 4sis indeed the case, but like previous models such as the Bachmann 3F and 4F models, this is a compromise due to 00 gauge wheel standards and the depth of the flanges. Any 3sother compromise such as reducing the wheel diameter will result in other issues such as buffer heights etc.
The whistle on this sample is also mounted on the cab roof this will be correct for the LBSC livery version but this was later moved to the boiler to meet the SR composite loading gauge post Grouping. I am sure that Bachmann will be reflecting this.
Engineering Prototypes by their nature are often an amalgam of some of the tooling options.

In other news, to coin a phrase, Hornby have released details of what will be hitting the shops in the next 6 to 8 weeks or so, so presumably are already on the high seas from China. The full list can be seen here, but for BR(s) modellers the items of interest are the following listed as being due before the end of February:
R4534A BR(s) Maunsell Converted Pull Push set No. 616
R4534B BR(s) Maunsell Converted Pull Push set No. (Edit: 03/02/14 Set Number 603)
R4536B  Bogie B van in BR Green

The ex London Brighton and South Coast 0-6-2 E4 class of radial tanks were first announced by Bachmann at the 2013/14 product launch in March last year and detailed on this blog here. Work on their development has been ongoing and Engineering Prototype (EP) samples have now been released by Bachmann 

E4EP_front

E4EP_back

Just from the photographs alone this looks to be a fine representation of the E4 Class, noting the characteristic Brighton style buffer beam extended lamp irons for the middle positions and the two different coal rail arrangements (the front view has the later style backed rails). I also note following criticism of some of the recent Hornby models the smokebox door dart handles also appear to be moulded rather than a separately applied item, I wonder if this will gain the same level of criticism?

A preserved example of the E4 class can be found working on the Bluebell Railway.

Edit: 21/01/14 Bachmann have now confirmed that the Smokebox door dart handles will in fact be a separately applied item and they also accepted that the front wheel splashers, that some have mentioned as appearing slightly to large, are a compromise due to the 00 wheel flange standards.

Edit: 24/01/14 further pictures of the E4 EP can be seen here.

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