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Posts Tagged ‘Railex’

It is now less than two week to go to Canute Road Quay’s appearance at the excellent Railex exhibition organised by friends at the Princes Risborough and District MRC, being held at Stoke Mandeville Stadium, Stadium Approach, Aylesbury, Bucks, HP21 9PP on the 26th and 27th May  and I have been busy with final preparations.

An overall view of Canute Road Quay. Picture copyright and courtesy C Nevard and Model Rail

Even with a small layout like Canute Road Quay good preparation is required to ensure things go as smoothly, and just as importantly enjoyably, at the show. Canute Road Quay being only 5ft x 1 ft is somewhat easier to load and set up at a show than Fisherton Sarum but the steps for getting ready for a show are pretty much the same. The preparations, some are more obvious than others, include the following:

  • preparing packing the stock being taken and just as importantly in my case deciding what stock not to take!
  • track and stock cleaning, to ensure good reliable and slow speed running
  • checking coupling heights and uncoupler operation
  • general layout cleaning and dusting etc.
  • preparing and packing the loose detailing items (vehicles and packing crates etc.)
  • layout ancillaries, including:  transformer box, cables, lighting transformers, trestle supports, extension leads, curtains, spare controller, name badges, and relevant tools
  • operator comforts including: high stool, mugs (for the all important tea) and sweets and snacks (to keep up energy levels and act as a bribe for my fellow operator(s))
  • paperwork: show information and layout information sheets for prospecting exhibition managers
  • arranging operators to assist me at the show, somewhat easier with Canute Road Quay (in this case just the the one, in in the form of  friend and fellow modeller Simon Paley), than the larger number required for Fisherton Sarum!
  • overnight bag, if required, but not in the case of Railex as it is only 20 minutes from home

The revised fiddle yard arrangement the split cassettes feed arm can be seen

I have also made a small change to the way the cassettes in the off scene fiddle yard (a grand title for what is really just a shelf…) are handled and the electric feed provided. This is to make it easier to connect the cassette as previously I had two phosphor bronze spring clips fixed to the base which both provided the power feed to the aluminium section on each side and also ensured correct  alignment with the exit road. This arrangement also meant that the cassettes had to be aligned and slid in from the left hand end which was not all that practical due to the overrun protection at that side of the yard.

A closer view of the power feed arm and spring clip

I have now changed the nearest power feed and cassette alignment clip to be on a small lifting arm made from a suitable shaped piece of wood, complete with a nice little brass drawer handle. This enables the spring clip to be moved upwards and out of the way of the side of the cassette.
This arrangement now gives two advantages: firstly the cassettes can slid in and aligned easier from the front operating position; and secondly means that even with cassette in position the arm can be lifted isolating the cassette, where previously the cassette was live when the layout feed it adjoins to was live.

The feed arm in the up position

The cassettes I am using on Canute Road Quay, as I have mentioned before on this blog, are the 12″ loco cassettes from Fisherton Sarum and the some of these are made up on one side with two 6″ lengths of aluminium angle which I bridge electronically with a bulldog type clip and this allows for further isolation of a tank locomotive at the far end of the cassette.

Further to my previous post here about visitors to the quay  I have making some changes and or finishing touches to a couple of the locos in my fleet which may make and appearance the weekend, both are examples of the latest releases from Hatton’s in the shape of their delightful ex SECR P class 0-6-0t,  see my review here, and also their 14″ Andrew Barclay

A Hatton’s P Class now detailed and weathered

The P Class No 1558 already suiting my 1946 to 1949 modelling period being in post war SR black with ‘Sunshine’ style lettering has had crew fitted (in case the excellent ModelU 3D printed examples produced by Hatton’s specifically to fit the P Class), real coal added to the bunker and has been weathered.

The modified and weathered Hatton’s Andrew Barclay

My Hatton’s Andrew Barclay 14″ 0-4-0t has now been modified by replacing the existing buffers with wooden dumb buffers. The original standard buffers simply pull out and then the area of the bufferbeam filled flat to remove the rivet head detail. The wooden dumb buffers have been fashioned from rectangular plastic rod and suitably painted.

A further view of the Andrew Barclay

I have removed the original WTT branding in my usual way by rubbing with a cotton bud loaded with enamel thinners. As coal bunker space is pretty non-existent on these locomotives, having seen it photographs of the real thing added a couple of sacks of spare coal on just inside the cab and the other balanced on the running plate.  She has then been weathered to represent a pretty unkempt condition of such locomotives that were used on some of the other lines and private wharfs that existed in and around Southampton  area especially along the River Itchen. Like the P Class crew has been added using the ModelU 3D printed examples produced by Hatton’s.

If you are planning to visit Railex please make sure you come and say hello. I am stand 61, towards the right hand back corner (as you come into the hall)

 

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It has been a busy period recent both in the arrival of some new ready to run models such as the Hatton’s ex SECR P class 0-6-0t,  see my review here, and also their 14″ Andrew Barclay along with some time spent applying some finishing decals prior to weathering of a couple of kit built models namely the ex LBSC D1  0-4-2t and ex SECR S Class 0-6-0st. All these models still require a little work, including in some cases repainting and numbering and also weathering. Some of you may have seen some of these pictures before on my twitter feed. 

SECR P Class 754 in WW1 grey livery

With the arrival of the Hatton’s P class I took the opportunity to temporarily move the location of Canute Road Quay further South east and backdate to earlier than my usual 1946-49 modelling period, including some of my earlier style wagons that do not usually get an outing. It is one of the advantages of having such a layout that has no real identifiable items to identify the actual time period.

ex SECR P Class 1555

Eventually to suit my preferred time period: No. 754 will be repainted and numbered to become  her later identity of No. 1557 in SR post war black livery, being one of the first two built with the slightly higher cab; whilst No. 1555 will be renumbered and lettered as No. 31555 with full ‘British Railways’ Sunshine lettering to represent her condition in early 1948.

ex LBSC D1 Class No. 2357

The ex LBSC D1 0-4-2t is built from a South Eastern Fincast white metal kit. In fact a couple of examples of the class, including No. 2286 are know to have been used at Southampton docks for a while in mid 1930s up to WW2 so I am not actually stretching history too far by running my model of no. 2357 on Canute Road Quay albeit in a slightly later post war-time period, although she was technically allocated to Ashford at the time so she is obviously on loan.

Andrew Barclay 14″ before being modified with wooden dumb buffers and weathered

The Hatton’s Andrew Barclay 14″ 0-6-0t will be modified to replace the existing buffers with wooden dumb buffers, have the WTT branding stripped off and suitably weathered to represent the condition of such locomotives that were used on some of the other lines and private wharfs that existed in and around Southampton  area especially along the River Itchen.
I also have a Hornby Peckett on order, that I will likewise modify with wooden dumb buffers to give some further variety to locomotives at Canute Road Quay and differ from the standard RTR versions. I will post details of this conversion in due course.

ex SECR S Class No. 1685

The ex SECR S Class 0-6-0 saddle tank No. 1685 is also built from South Eastern Fincast white metal kit. The S Class was in fact only one locomotive due to a requirement for a heavy shunter at Richborough Port during WW1 and so was converted from a C Class 0-6-0 tender locomotive, after the war she was transferred to Bricklayers Arms until withdrawal in 1951. Like the ex LBSC D1 she must be on load to Canute Road Quay.

ex LSWR B4 Class No. 100

With Canute Road Quay’s appearance looming at the excellent Railex exhibition organised by friends at the Princes Risborough and District MRC, being held at Stoke Mandeville Stadium, Stadium Approach, Aylesbury, Bucks, HP21 9PP on the 26th and 27th May 

USA Tank No. 70

I have started to return Canute Road Quay to its intended Southampton-ish location and the ex LSWR B4 0-4-0 and USA 0-6-0 tanks have returned along with suitable rolling stock and uncouplers etc all wheel cleaned, tried and tested in readiness for what I know will be an enjoyable weekend playing trains, shunting and talking.

USA Tank No.68

If you are planning to visit Railex please make sure you come and say hello. I am stand 61, towards the right hand back corner (as you come into the hall) and will ably assisted by friend and fellow modeller Simon Paley for the weekend, he being the much younger looking operator!

I hope this post has been of interest and as stated above it does show the advantages of having a layout that is not an actual real location but endeavours to capture a flavour and also is not easily identifiable to a specific time period. I also intend to occasionally run in a later 1960s period with a few diesel shunters so more on this in a future post.

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This latest “A view from the line”  post takes for the first time a closer look at Canute Road Quay and more specifically the track work inset within concrete along the quayside.

USA Tank No. 72 shunts across the inset track. Picture copyright and courtesy Model Rail / C Nevard.

There are a number of methods of re-creating inset track and this post describes the method I have used on Canute Road Quay and hopefully its relative simplicity and the effect gained will be of use to other modellers. Although I have covered the process before in multiple posts about Canute Road Quay I thought it would be useful to details the steps I used in one post.  The trackwork on Canute Road Quay  is  a mixture of open sleepered and inset track as seen around such docks / quays to give some variety to the surfaces. For the open track I have used C & L Finescale flexitrack whilst utilising Peco small radius LH / RH  and ‘Y’ turnouts and within the inset track areas plain Peco track.

Stage one.

Stage One

To start with check rails were added inside the running rails, by gluing with lengths of code 75 rail, obtained from C & L Finescale,  to every 3rd or 4th sleeper using cyanoacrylate glue (super glue). Then the first layer of 2.5mm cork, the approximate height of the sleepers, was  glued down either side of the track, and also a strip added between the check rails.

Stage Two

Stage Two

Another layer of  cork, this time 1.5mm thick was then glued on top of the original base layer of cork from stage one, that also extends right up to the outside surface of the main running rails totally covering the sleepers. Any gaps were filled using air drying modelling clay. I was careful around the one inset point to ensure that the check rails and the cork were spaced to ensure that the switch blades can still operate correctly (this does leave a slightly larger gap than one might ideally want but it is a necessary compromise).

Stage Three

Stage Three

The surface was then painted with Green Scenes textures concrete paint ,I also smoothed the texture slightly once dry as to my eye it was slightly too textured for the effect I was trying to achieve, but was a good starting point. It was then slightly weathered.  A representation of the expansion joints between the concrete panels was drawn on, pushing down into the painted cork surface, using a sharp HB pencil , spaced every 60mm to represent 15 foot concrete panels. Then weeds,  creeping grass and the such like added using a mixture of grass tufts and static grass. Etched brass Drain and manhole covers, from Langley Models (F73), have been also been inset into the surface at relevant locations.

USA tank No. 68 passes the quayside office. Picture copyright and courtesy Model Rail / C Nevard.

I hope this post helps explain the process I used in simple stages and will be of use for any others looking to replicate inset concrete trackwork.

Check my exhibition diary here to see where Canute Road Quay will be exhibited next. At the time of writing it will be Railex organised by the Princes Risborough and District MRC, on the 26th / 27th May at Stoke Mandeville Stadium, Stadium Approach, Aylesbury, Bucks, HP21 9PP

 

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It has been a busy three weeks exhibition wise.  Starting with a great weekend exhibiting Fisherton Sarum in its spiritual home at the excellent Salisbury and South Wilts exhibition. It was an honour to be involved with their 50th anniversary exhibition and meet so many visitors to the show that were familiar with Salisbury Shed including  a number of ex drivers. I enjoyed meeting and chatting to all and it was also great to meet some of the regular readers of my ramblings on here.

Buckminster Ironstone

Buckminster Ironstone

Last Saturday I enjoyed assisting fellow High Wycombe and District MRS member, and regular operator with Fisherton Sarum,  Alan Paley with his exquisite pre-grouping Midland Railway based Loughborogh Roaad layout at the small Thames Valley Model Railway Exhibition. A very pleasant day was had playing trains.

A picture says a thousand words

A picture says a thousand words

This weekend is the final third, so to speak, and the largest of the three exhibitions being the excellent Railex show organised by friends at the Risborough and District MRC. I shall be joining the talented model railway builder and photographer Chris Nevard with his latest little master piece Buckminster Ironstone. It is only a small layout but it certainly packs a punch visually following on from a long line of iconic layouts from Chris.

I shall be assisting Chris on the Saturday so if you are coming along please say hello. Also in attendance at the show is the latest H0 and narrow gauge logging layout from the High Wycombe and District MRS, Prospect Point which is well worth a look.

 

 

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This coming weekend sees the annual Railex Exhibition organised by the Risborough and District Model Railway Club at the Stoke Manderville Stadium. Railex has rightly gained a reputation for being one of the top shows in the country with 16 quality layouts and an impressive range of specialist trade stands. This year is no exception and the floor plan and full line up can be found here.

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The colliery at Polbook Gurney. Picture courtesy and copyright of Chris Nevard

This year I again have the honour and privilege to be operating one of Chris Nevard’s layouts in the shape of his latest master piece Polbrook Gurney  once a sleepy Cornish Halt but now extended to include a colliery and moved to North Somerset! So not Southern, but fear not, there might just be the odd visiting engine on loan (if I can sneak one on when no one is looking)!

Southern fans don’t worry as normal service will be resumed on the blog next week back with the proper railway week. However  to help me survive the weekend there will be a couple of high quality Southern Region layouts at the show in the shape of ‘St. Merryn’ (North Cornwall) in P4 and Phil Hutchings’ delightful 3mm layout ‘Sandown’ (as in the Isle of Wight); both these layouts are set in the early 1950’s.

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Last weekend I had the pleasure of assisting talented modeller and photographer Chris Nevard at the annual Railex show, organised by the Risborough and District MRS, with his small but stunning Brewhouse Quay layout. Although apparently  set somewhere to the north of Bath, for a while at the weekend it was either transported further South East or a couple of aging Southern locomotives must have been on loan to the brewery company of Marriott, Dent and Foster (can you spot the connection?).

A view of Brewhouse Quay at Railex with muggins at the controls. Picture courtesy and copyright Chris Nevard

It had to be one of the hottest Railex shows ever with the metal clad Stoke Manderville Stadium sports hall acting very much like slow cooker. However with the quality of the modelling on show, from both layouts and demonstrators alike, coupled to one of the best collection of the specialist model trade under one roof ensured that once again this was an excellent show and the heat was a mere slight inconvenience.

Ex London Chatham and Dover Railway, Kirtley T Class 0-6-0T number 1604 of 1891 vintage shunts on the Quay. Picture courtesy and copyright Chris Nevard

Apart from one switchblade needing a slight repair, Brewhouse Quay operated faultlessly all weekend and it was only the shaky hands of the operators (well mainly me in fact) when trying to couple either the 3 link couplings or the shunting chain that challenged the illusion a little.
One of the features of Brewhouse Quay is the working wagon turntable complete with capstan and wagons are shunted  using the chain which in 4mm scale is no mean feat, but yes it can be done, and was a popular operation with the onlookers.

Ex LSWR Adams 0395 class no. 3441 of 1883 vintage must have been specially cleaned and is seen on Brewhouse Quay away from its usual duties as a Salisbury Pilot engine.

Surprisingly within the first 10 minutes of the show opening a couple of visitors plied Chris with various bottles of  beer, one of the advantages of a brewery layout perhaps? I was starting to think we would be inundated if this continued at that rate but alas no.

We did of course have to open and sample the malty beverage, each day,  purely to ensure the correct atmospheric environmental ambiance around the layout was created you understand…

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This coming weekend, 26th and 27th May,  sees the annual Railex Exhibition organised by the Risborough and District Model Railway Club at the Stoke Manderville Stadium.  This exhibition goes from strength to strength and has fast gained a reputation for being one of the top shows in the country with over  20 quality layouts and an impressive range of specialist trade stands.

The delight that is Brewhouse Quay. Image courtesy and copyright of Chris Nevard

I exhibited at this show with Fisherton Sarum back in 2008 but have been a regular attendee often assisting with other layouts. This year I have the privilege to be operating Chris Nevard’s little master piece Brewhouse Quay.   Built by Chris as a ‘quick little project’ based around the excellent Bachmann Scenecraft Oak Hill Brewery buildings, Brewhouse Quay protrays a brewery somewhere on the upper reaches of the river Avon in the suburbs of Georgian Bath.

Looking the other way on Brewhouse Quay. Image courtesy and copyright of Chris Nevard

In Chris’s new own world it is presumed that the railway serving the brewery is a spur off the former Midland Railway Bath to Mangotsfield line. Western Region control and the nearby proximity of the Somerset & Dorset Line ensures regular visits of small engines from the former Midland and GWR along side the breweries own engines.  Although for this weekend only a few other interlopers on loan from a proper railway might be seen.

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