Going Home..

This weekend sees Herstmonceux making its way to Railex which is regarded as one of the best shows in the country. As I said in my post back in April, Herstmonceux hasn’t been out since last July so much of last weekend was spent cleaning the layout and tidying up bits that needed attention. Rolling stock was checked, fixed where needed and packed away ready.
Yesterday it was the turn of the locos to get a good clean and repair any damage. I usually give them a good run and oil as most of them haven’t been used for a while. Wheels are cleaned with a cotton bud and IPA, surprisingly most of the wheels were fairly clean.
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Why “Going home”? Well I was born in Aylesbury and grew up going to Railex with Dads trade stand, back when it was in the Civic Centre. One highlight was being lucky enough as 10 yr old to operate Jas Millham’s Yaxbury for the whole weekend, must be why I have an urge to build something in S gauge! So this weekend is rather special now that i’m getting to take one of my layouts to my home town show. All thats left is to make sure I’ve got everything and pack the van tomorrow.

 

 

 

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Summer is here

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One of the trains in Herstmonceux’s timetable is a Summer Special. Various inter-regional specials ran in the summer months. Some bringing holiday makers down to the Sussex coast and others taking people to different holiday destinations like Birkenhead or Blackpool. These usually had a SR Schools or Mogul replacing the loco that had brought the train in from another region although sometimes the loco from the other regions made it onto SR metals like Black 5’s, B1’s and even the odd 8F!

The idea for the one on Herstmonceux is it is on its way down to Hastings after being split at Three Bridges with the other part going to Brighton. The four coach train is made up of a couple of ex LNER Thompson’s, a Gresley and ex LMS Porthole and motive power is usually a Schools, K class or Black 5 if someone brings one along.
I had been looking to get a loco just for this train for a while but didn’t want to spend too much as it only runs a few times over a show weekend. So I recently picked up an older Bachmann B1 model for a good price. Being the older model it maybe doesn’t have as much detail as newer models but then I didn’t pay half as much as what the new ones cost and it gave me a chance to do a bit of modelling.
This was kept fairly simple, the plastic coal in the tender was cut out and a new inner made then some real coal added, new brake rigging made, loco crew added and some light weathering.
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I may add a bit more weathering but for less than £30 i’m pretty pleased.

Uckfield 2016

Just a quick one to say that Uckfield MRC’s exhibition is only a few weeks away. Its one of the best shows in the South East and always has a good mix of layouts and traders.
More information can be found on the clubs website.
I normally try and make it along and was lucky enough to take Herstmonceux a couple of years ago.

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You can never have enough…

BOOKS!!! I was lucky enough to receive two new books for my birthday. First up is “Southern Rolling Stock in Colour” which follows on from these previous books. I have only had a brief flick through so far but its packed full of great colour pictures and lots of information as you would expect.
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The other book is one that I was pointed in the direction of by a friend. If you’re interested in the Cuckoo line then you probably already have the book by A.C. Elliot and this is another must have. A few of the pictures have turned up in other books before but it also has a lot of pictures that I had never seen. One particular picture is very interesting as it is of something I am about to start work on for Herstmonceux – watch this blog!
There are a few accounts by people that used to work on the line, some of which were very amusing. For just under £15 its well worth getting.

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I have been working on a few different modelling things as well which I will blog about in the next week or so. A bit more work has been done on Tarring Neville and the Flint building is progressing nicely although modelling will now be focusing more on getting some bits ready for Herstmonceux’s next outing at Tolworth. Chris is hopefully coming over the end of the week to help work on the new timetable which will include fitting in the Birdcage set and one other new coach set.
Talking of Birdcage sets I have a extra one of these. I was originally going to try and convert into the pull push driving coach of set 661. I made a start on it a while back but decided that the work involved in converting it wouldn’t be worth it so put it back in the draw. I have now decided to get on and build it as the driving coach of set 660 and I will probably put it up for sale once finished if anyone is interested.

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It’s alive!!

So over the last few weeks I have managed to get the wire in tube laid and then got all the track fixed in position. For the few straight lengths of track and some of the point work I used PVA glue, while on the curved sections I used super glue. I’d used these methods before on Herstmonceux and it seems to of held ok. Plus more glue with be used for ballasting or where hardstanding areas will be.
Once the track was down the boring job of wiring it up had to be done… Now originally I was only going to put a couple of dead sections in but I have ended up with 7. A loco can now be left in any siding while another does some shunting. The switch panel was made up and set into the side of the layout below the switches for the points.

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With the wiring done it was time to do some testing but then I realised that I hadn’t finished the fiddle yard! I had already fitted the table for the traverser so add the three sidings and made the wiring simple. One side is always live while the other gets its power when a pin is put in place to hold the track in position.

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A few niggles with the track work were sorted out and everything is running nicely now. While testing I found that shunting the sidings needs some concentration, otherwise its easy to get in a muddle. This should get even harder once buildings are in place!

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And talking of buildings, I have made a start on the small flint building. My first test didn’t come out as planned. And since the picture below was taken I have had another go and got much better results. I will post more on how I have done this when I have a bit more to show.

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