Primitive Cool

Terry Bendall
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Re: Primitive Cool

Postby Terry Bendall » Wed Nov 16, 2016 8:13 am

Paul Townsend wrote:He has another shorter box of similar design just for locos.This makes it easy at an exhibition to take valuable locos from layout to digs overnight.


In the last few years my son and I have started to use the plastic crates sold under the Really Useful brand for stock. These are not cheap but are very robust. The 4 litre size is used for locos - a Co-Co diesel loco will fit in nicely and you can get 5 alongside each other, with room for a shorter one across the end. The box is lined with flooring underlay and each loco is wrapped in a piece of this as well arranged so that it can be used to lift the loco out. A piece of thick card covered with the same material rests on top of the locos. 7 litre size boxes are used for coaches and wagons and these are stacked in a double layer with thick card between. Wagons tend to be wrapped in pieces of kitchen paper towel. Both sizes have the same size base so they lock into each other and are then carried on a large shopping bag.

The stacking cassette system that Robin uses is a good space saver but at an exhibition once I saw a similar system which was not as robust get jogged and several cassettes fell off. :( Not nice at all. Keeping the stock in cassettes saves time when setting up and packing away but if you want to check things for damage, displaced wheel sets, or to clean wheels each item has to be removed from the cassette and then replaced. Stock that is wrapped individually can be checked as it is unwrapped.

Terry Bendall

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Re: Primitive Cool

Postby Armchair Modeller » Wed Nov 16, 2016 10:49 am

Thanks again Terry - some more interesting and valuable advice and experiences! :thumb

At the moment, my thoughts are aimed solely at what to use for storing stock whilst operating the layout. Using the cassettes for transporting stock, or for storing stock when the layout is not in use is very much a secondary consideration. I am only just starting to build up the stock for the new layout. Even if I build everything I would like to, the sum total of everything is likely to be quite small. I don't think putting it all out on the layout at the start of an exhibition,or taking it off is going to be much of a chore, whatever system I choose. One thing for sure though - I won't have lots of Hornby and Bachmann boxes to put things in ;)

Having some shelving at the front of the fiddle yard area to store trains struck me as a particularly good idea, especially if the public can see the stock from the aisle. Much of my stock is likely to be very unusual - so probably as interesting to discerning modellers as the layout itself. A cassette system on shelving would be like a showcase - enabling the public to get up really close to the stock, whilst minimising the danger of anything getting stolen. The idea of padded cassettes would go against this idea, so it may be a case of just using the cassettes for operating the layout and storing the stock some other way.

From an operating perspective, I think cassettes will offer me much more flexibility than a conventional fiddle yard. My trains are likely to vary quite a bit in length. Most will be very short. Some will need to be turned before they go back onto the scenic section. Others won't. Cassettes have their shortcomings but like most things, they are good in the right circumstances.

I very much take your point about robustness. I had always intended to make (or buy) a very robust shelving unit and mount it solidly on the baseboard when in use. I have experience of wheelchairs colliding with layouts in the past (for example), so I know something of the kind of things that can happen. In one such incident, the wheelchair almost knocked a trestle clean from under the layout I was operating. Such incidents are probably very unusual, but it pays to be aware they can happen - and plan for them.

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steve howe
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Re: Primitive Cool

Postby steve howe » Wed Nov 16, 2016 2:47 pm

Terry Bendall wrote:
Paul Townsend wrote:He has another shorter box of similar design just for locos.This makes it easy at an exhibition to take valuable locos from layout to digs overnight.



The stacking cassette system that Robin uses is a good space saver but at an exhibition once I saw a similar system which was not as robust get jogged and several cassettes fell off. :( Not nice at all. Keeping the stock in cassettes saves time when setting up and packing away but if you want to check things for damage, displaced wheel sets, or to clean wheels each item has to be removed from the cassette and then replaced. Stock that is wrapped individually can be checked as it is unwrapped.

Terry Bendall


Pendlenton's original design and I think, from what I can see of Robin's, used L shelf brackets to support the cassettes, I used these too but bent the last half inch or so of the horizontal part up at right angles to form a lip which stops the cassettes sliding off. I agree with Terry though that, tedious though it is to take every bit of stock off each time, it does allow for items to be singled out for attention. Having said that, there's always the issue of stock which is regularly handled being damaged by this process. Horses for courses I suppose :?

Steve

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Paul Townsend
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Re: Primitive Cool

Postby Paul Townsend » Wed Nov 16, 2016 3:21 pm

Armchair Modeller wrote:Those photos should be very interesting. I look forward to seeing them with anticipation :thumb


So here are some pix, liberated last night. I have 25 high res pix from Robin but they are around 8MB each.

So I have picked the 8 most useful and downsized them a lot to < 50KB each to be suitable for uploading here.

If anyone wants the high res versions or the other 17 let me know and, if more than one or two are requested I will send them perhaps via Dropbox or similar.

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They aren't in any particular order and should be self explanatory. Refer to Robins word a few posts above.

I believe that I finally persuaded Robin to join this forum and explained how last night.
Subject to moderator delays I hope he will appear here shortly so I can bow out and you can communicate directly without the middle man.

The BS4 Group dearly love Robin and respect and admire his modelling skills but we know he sometimes takes a while to commit to something new. However there has been a revolution here in that he has bludgeoned all the BS4 Group and Terry into a takeover of demos for Scaleforum 2018. We are still reeling from the shock!
Watch out for the formalities around Spring 2018.
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Paul Townsend
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Re: Primitive Cool

Postby Paul Townsend » Wed Nov 16, 2016 3:31 pm

Terry Bendall wrote:
Paul Townsend wrote:He has another shorter box of similar design just for locos.This makes it easy at an exhibition to take valuable locos from layout to digs overnight.


In the last few years my son and I have started to use the plastic crates sold under the Really Useful brand for stock. These are not cheap but are very robust. The 4 litre size is used for locos - a Co-Co diesel loco will fit in nicely and you can get 5 alongside each other, with room for a shorter one across the end. The box is lined with flooring underlay and each loco is wrapped in a piece of this as well arranged so that it can be used to lift the loco out. A piece of thick card covered with the same material rests on top of the locos. 7 litre size boxes are used for coaches and wagons and these are stacked in a double layer with thick card between. Wagons tend to be wrapped in pieces of kitchen paper towel. Both sizes have the same size base so they lock into each other and are then carried on a large shopping bag.

The stacking cassette system that Robin uses is a good space saver but at an exhibition once I saw a similar system which was not as robust get jogged and several cassettes fell off. :( Not nice at all.


Robin's are stabilised by large nails as described in my first descriptiopn above. It would take much more than a jog to cause trouble I reckon....will test when next out with Rolvenden (January 2017 at Erith)

Terry Bendall wrote:
Keeping the stock in cassettes saves time when setting up and packing away but if you want to check things for damage, displaced wheel sets, or to clean wheels each item has to be removed from the cassette and then replaced. Stock that is wrapped individually can be checked as it is unwrapped.

Terry Bendall


My untested attitude to that would be to withdraw any suspect stock from their cassette at derig time and carry it home in a separate naughty box. There is then no need to handle or disturb trouble free stock.

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Re: Primitive Cool

Postby Armchair Modeller » Wed Nov 16, 2016 3:52 pm

Paul Townsend wrote:
So here are some pix, liberated last night. I have 25 high res pix from Robin but they are around 8MB each.


Thank you very much for posting those photos, Paul - and to Robin as well. Glad to hear he is joining the Forum.

Those pictures you have just posted and the article in MRJ 27, plus a few photos I found on the Internet should do me fine.

Many thanks again :thumb

David Knight
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Re: Primitive Cool

Postby David Knight » Wed Nov 16, 2016 5:33 pm

Armchair Modeller wrote:
Paul Townsend wrote:
So here are some pix, liberated last night. I have 25 high res pix from Robin but they are around 8MB each.


Thank you very much for posting those photos, Paul - and to Robin as well. Glad to hear he is joining the Forum.

Those pictures you have just posted and the article in MRJ 27, plus a few photos I found on the Internet should do me fine.

Many thanks again :thumb


Yes, I would echo that, :thumb :thumb there is much food for thought here. Am I correct in assuming that each cassette becomes "live" when placed in position on the layout?

Cheers,

David

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steve howe
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Re: Primitive Cool

Postby steve howe » Wed Nov 16, 2016 6:25 pm

I found a good supply of 15mm aluminium angle on eBay, which arrived today. I also found some old 20mm chipboard in the garage that can be used for the bases of the cassettes. It was used to temporarily seal a window when burglars smashed their way into my kitchen a few years ago. Technically it was free, as the window company supplied and fitted it. Nice to find a use for it after all this time. The longest cassettes will be 750mm long,


I think I would be wary of using chipboard for cassettes, in long narrow strips it could warp readily, even with the ali. angle attached. Ply would be more stable, mine were made from 70mm x 15mm (from uncertain memory) of good quality pine, sealed all round. They are also about 800mm long and in 5 years no sign of movement.

Steve

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Flymo748
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Re: Primitive Cool

Postby Flymo748 » Wed Nov 16, 2016 9:49 pm

Terry Bendall wrote:In the last few years my son and I have started to use the plastic crates sold under the Really Useful brand for stock. These are not cheap but are very robust.


This jogs my memory that a member spotted my use of Really Useful Boxes for stock storage at Scaleforum and appealed for me to write an article on them.

Whoever you were (see, I do have a lousy memory!) I will get around to it. In the meantime, here's a teaser picture:

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Cheers
Flymo

PS I know this is nothing to do with cassettes, and it does mean more handling of the stock, however I thought I'd throw it out there ;-)
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Re: Primitive Cool

Postby Armchair Modeller » Wed Nov 16, 2016 11:25 pm

steve howe wrote:
I found a good supply of 15mm aluminium angle on eBay, which arrived today. I also found some old 20mm chipboard in the garage that can be used for the bases of the cassettes. It was used to temporarily seal a window when burglars smashed their way into my kitchen a few years ago. Technically it was free, as the window company supplied and fitted it. Nice to find a use for it after all this time. The longest cassettes will be 750mm long,


I think I would be wary of using chipboard for cassettes, in long narrow strips it could warp readily, even with the ali. angle attached. Ply would be more stable, mine were made from 70mm x 15mm (from uncertain memory) of good quality pine, sealed all round. They are also about 800mm long and in 5 years no sign of movement.

Steve


Many thanks for the advice Steve. I think will try the chipboard first, as it is to hand - and if it warps I can easily change to ply. The chipboard withstood quite adverse climatic conditions, without warping when it was covering up the big hole in my kitchen window, so (fingers crossed) it should be OK for the cassettes.

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Paul Townsend
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Re: Primitive Cool

Postby Paul Townsend » Fri Nov 18, 2016 6:35 am

David Knight wrote: Am I correct in assuming that each cassette becomes "live" when placed in position on the layout?

David


The process of prepping a train to depart fiddle yard is:
1. Lift rolling stock cassette from rack, preferably using the nail/handle device, place on FY bed and rotate if needed.
2. Ditto for loco cassette.
2a. Remove sponge plugs.
3. Plug two or more cassettes together, ensuring the electric buffer is NOT in place.
4. Couple all stock. Robin uses 3 link.
5. Plug cassette group onto scenic end, this connects juice from one live rail only.
6. Ensure section switch at main control panel is off ( Robins layouts are DC).
7. Mount the electric buffer. This is illustrated in the pix I posted a few posts up. It has a trailing wire which enlivens the other rail.
8. That completes FY operator's task. It is now up to station operator to switch the FY live and drive train out.

Obviously for a DCC layout the section switch and electric buffer are redundant.
In practice the FY bed has plenty of space fore and aft so most of us on FY duty will have several cassettes on the deck for the previous arrival and next departure. Only when overcrowded does it become essential to restore some cassettes to the rack. It is worth mentioning that cassettes vary in length and where a pair are joined and destined for the rack they must go to a location with an intermediate support bracket.
Restoring a cassette to the rack without end sponges is a capital offence :shock:

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steve howe
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Re: Primitive Cool

Postby steve howe » Fri Nov 18, 2016 8:26 am

My untested attitude to that would be to withdraw any suspect stock from their cassette at derig time and carry it home in a separate naughty box. There is then no need to handle or disturb trouble free stock.


I like the idea of a 'naughty box', mine would probably be larger than the stock box! :D
Steve

Paulhb
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Re: Primitive Cool

Postby Paulhb » Fri Nov 18, 2016 12:53 pm

Paul Townsend wrote:
David Knight wrote: Am I correct in assuming that each cassette becomes "live" when placed in position on the layout?

David


The process of prepping a train to depart fiddle yard is:
1. Lift rolling stock cassette from rack, preferably using the nail/handle device, place on FY bed and rotate if needed.
2. Ditto for loco cassette.
2a. Remove sponge plugs.
3. Plug two or more cassettes together, ensuring the electric buffer is NOT in place.
4. Couple all stock. Robin uses 3 link.
5. Plug cassette group onto scenic end, this connects juice from one live rail only.
6. Ensure section switch at main control panel is off ( Robins layouts are DC).
7. Mount the electric buffer. This is illustrated in the pix I posted a few posts up. It has a trailing wire which enlivens the other rail.
8. That completes FY operator's task. It is now up to station operator to switch the FY live and drive train out.

Obviously for a DCC layout the section switch and electric buffer are redundant.
In practice the FY bed has plenty of space fore and aft so most of us on FY duty will have several cassettes on the deck for the previous arrival and next departure. Only when overcrowded does it become essential to restore some cassettes to the rack. It is worth mentioning that cassettes vary in length and where a pair are joined and destined for the rack they must go to a location with an intermediate support bracket.
Restoring a cassette to the rack without end sponges is a capital offence :shock:


Not forgetting the entertainment factor of making up a train to give the station operator something to think about :D

Paul

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Re: Primitive Cool

Postby Armchair Modeller » Fri Nov 18, 2016 11:47 pm

Paulhb wrote:
Not forgetting the entertainment factor of making up a train to give the station operator something to think about :D

Paul


Maybe I need a naughty box big enough to hold the Fiddle Yard Operator as well ;)

This fiddle yard cassette thingy really deserves to be in a separate topic of its own, but probably too late now.

Meanwhile, back to Neversay............

Bits and pieces are arriving in dribs and drabs, so I may soon be able to make further progress on my motive power and rolling stock. In the meantime, track building is getting perilously close to the grand climax.....the 3-way turnout.

More news on that soon after the weekend, I hope :(

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Re: Primitive Cool

Postby Armchair Modeller » Tue Nov 22, 2016 9:31 pm

The soldering iron has been anything but cool over much of the last few days as I have made good progress with trackwork on the second scenic board.

All the rail on the plain track (apart from a very short section next to where the turntable will be) has been laid. I have also laid much of the 3-way turnout.

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The complex end of the 3-way turnout went in without any real problem.

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I still have a few special chairs and all the inside halves of chairs to add, but that won't take too long. I will give each track a thorough test with various track gauges and do any adjustments before I add those.

I have paused for a while to contemplate how best to approach the pointy end of the 3-way turnout. Never having done anything quite like it before, I don't want to jump in feet first and hit lots of unanticipated problems. Here is a drawing borrowed from the Templot site showing the general arrangement I hope to replicate.

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Things to note are as follows...

1. The two inner point blades are hinged at the joint, whereas the two outer blades aren't hinged but flex.
2. There are lots of rodding and stretcher/tie bars going through holes in adjacent rails.
3. The short blades in particular are going to be a challenge to get operating reliably, as there is very little room to work with.

Reliability is more important than authenticity, I think - especially as it will be nigh impossible to get a soldering iron in-between the blades once everything is in place. One dodge will be to have some planking over the tie bars and stretcher bars - not a cheat in this case, as staff and maybe even the general public would be walking round in the vicinity on a regular basis. This could hide some surreptitious operating gubbins from view. I do have a few ideas, but please be patient! It may be a case of trying one method to see if it works satisfactorily and then trying something else if need be later. As an absolute last resort, I can always rebuild it as a 3-way stub point :D

I think I currently am well on target to get the trackwork done by the start of the New Year, which will be good! That will of course inevitably include the turntable. Good news here is that the slip ring arrived this morning. I also now have the High Level Pacemaker kit to motorise the railbus. It looks like it might be a reasonable fit.

:geek: Busy times ahead!

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Re: Primitive Cool

Postby Armchair Modeller » Sun Nov 27, 2016 7:39 pm

Not as much to report as I had hoped at one time today - but I have made good progress with the 3-way turnout. Here is a photo with two of the point blades loosely placed in position.

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I added a couple of check rails and some more chairs on the approaches to the point blades. This allowed me to test the crossings very thoroughly with some wagons. All seems to be well. I also shortened a check rail that was far too long (no one spotted it last time - I could have kept it a secret!) :mrgreen:

Then, the point blades were filed to shape and cut to length. I undercut the bottom flanges of the rail slightly - including the stock rail - to help them fit closely together. I am using Peco code 60 rail, so the bottom flange is slightly wider than the top one anyway. They will probably require a little more fettling, including careful adjustment of the straight-cut sections at the tips, so that everything fits snugly together. Early impressions are that it is probably going to work OK.

I decided to start fixing things in place with the stock rail furthest from the baseboard edge. Apart from a joggle, this was quite straightforward. I did the joggle with some pliers. I am aware of the method of using shim and a vice, but it won't work with the Peco code 60 rail I am using. I plan to add everything in geographical order from this stock rail over to the far stock rail - a contrast to my usual policy of putting both stock rails in first. After careful thought, I think this will give me the best chance of getting everything in the right place, with careful use of track gauges. The Templot plot is not totally reliable in this case, because I didn't work out how to reproduce the GER 3-way turnout totally accurately - though it must be pretty close. In any case, the outer (short) blades and continuation towards the crossings are virtually straight, so it should be fairly reliable to measure everything from these as I go along.

Before I fix the point blades in place, I will need to do some drilling to create various holes in the blades for stretcher bars, tie bars and operating rods. These will need to match for each pair of point blades. The final stock rail will also need a hole through it for an operating rod.

Thinking I was on a winning streak, I went to where I thought I had stored the rivets I will use to attach the rail to the tie bars and stretcher bars - but can't find them anywhere! I have had several tidy-ups since I last used them. They are no longer on sale, so I have placed an order for some alternative ones. I can't do much more now until they arrive. The tie bars and stretcher bars will be made of 0.5mm brass tube.

I am thinking of using some 2mm wide strips of very thin PCB to operate the turnouts. These will slide in-between the sleepers. More of that when I get a bit further with the build.

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Re: Primitive Cool

Postby Armchair Modeller » Mon Dec 12, 2016 11:09 pm

It's been a busy time recently with organising things for my mother's birthday (90 today!) and other things, so trackwork hasn't progressed quite as quickly as planned. The rivets arrived for the tie and stretcher bars, but they are too big for the tube. I expected that, to be honest, but filing and trying to force them into 0.5mm tube isn't going to work, as I soon found out. I have ordered some 0.6 and 0.7mm tube, which is on the way, but may resort to using L shaped pieces of 0.3mm wire instead of the rivets - like on the test piece I made at the start of the year.

In the meantime, I realised I need to get on with the turntable, which will be sited right next to the 3-way turnout. I did a search through lots of photos to find a turntable well that I fancied modelling. I bought the TT well kit that is an optional extra for the 42ft London Road turntable. It is a bit flimsy though and doesn't really have much character. I will be using the curved rail that comes with the well, but have decided to scratchbuild a completely new well that fits in better with my plans.

My spec requires a concrete well, such as might have been installed during WW1 to help cope with increased traffic etc. In the end I decided on this one, which has some very nice features and superb weathering.........

aCuzcoTT.jpg


It is a bit bigger than my 42ft turntable, but I can still copy the main features.

I decided to start with the piece of ply I cut out to make the hole for the turntable in the baseboard. Firstly, I put a pivot hole in the centre and stuck some tubing into the hole to form a bearing for the turntable pivot. I stuck this in place with Unibond Extreme power glue, which is superb stuff. It allows plenty of time for adjustment, but sets really well. I checked the angle of the bearing in the hole with an engineer's square and left it to set. Later, I added epoxy round the outside of the bearing to give it greater rigidity. In an ideal world, I would have used a lathe to get a really accurate pivot, but my lathe isn't big enough. The bearing sticks up 5mm above the ply, which is exactly what I need. The bearing sticks out further below. I can cut this later to the precise dimension I require. The result has been pretty accurate - though in the end it will be the positioning of the rail round the well that really matters. I put a very thin coat of acrylic varnish on both sides of the ply to protect it from moisture.

I then worked out a profile to represent the shape of the well floor, based on observation of the photo and the actual shape and dimensions of the turntable. I transferred this to a piece of PCB which I am using as a former. This has a piece of 1/8" rod soldered to it, which fits in the pivot hole.

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The PCB rapidly blunts saw blades and drills, so it ought to be hard enough to cut through filler!

I am now building up the shape of the well with filler, using the form tool to remove any excess as I do it. The filler I am using is Wickes Ready Mix Lightweight Filler. This is so light, the tub feels empty when you pick it up. It has a peculiar texture, looking and feeling a bit like clotted cream when wet. It can be sanded to a nice finish though. I did a small test piece first to test its viability.

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This is a shot with the former in action - I just rotate it to make sure I am filling to roughly the right level. The ply is temporarily screwed down to a piece of chipboard. The screws are strategically placed where drains will be modelled. The drains have large rectangular holes, so I will model those when the main shape has been formed - and after removing the screws.

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This is what the well looked like after a few layers had been added. I didn't try to do too much at once because of the consistency of the filler. A couple more layers and I should be finished. The aim is to fill just slightly more than I need and then scrape the surface down to the correct height and shape using the former. That should give a fairly smooth finish.

aDSCF4832.jpg

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RobM
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Re: Primitive Cool

Postby RobM » Tue Dec 13, 2016 6:55 am

I used the same method for the domes on the kilns but used Das to make a pattern for casting.
The last shot just needs a few birthday candles.... ;) .....never a contender for Bake Off though...... :o
Wish your Mum a happy birthday from me........
R
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Updated December 2016

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Re: Primitive Cool

Postby Armchair Modeller » Tue Dec 13, 2016 9:56 am

Thanks Rob. Reminds me more of the cream cakes used in good old-fashioned comedy shows. I managed to put another layer on late last night just before my post was composed and it really does look a lot better. Was charging up the camera at the time, so couldn't take a picture.

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Re: Primitive Cool

Postby Armchair Modeller » Wed Dec 14, 2016 8:11 pm

The turntable well is starting to look more the part now. Unfortunately it is very difficult to work on in anything other than good daylight, as the hollows don't show up very well under artificial light. Just a bit more touching up and it should be done. The outside edge will be hidden by the well wall in due course, so doesn't really need to look good.

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The slight furrow is where a drain from the loco shed opens out into the pit. I will square the sides of this up when I have got the main shape finished. I have also (belatedly) ordered some etched drain covers for the 2 drain holes in the pit. I will be sticking smallish trapezoid slabs of PCB sheet around the edge of the pit to solder the circular rail to.

A little early, but I have now got my Christmas treat to myself for this year..........

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A bit out of place on the tramway perhaps, but I have several excuses for running it without invoking Rule 1. It is a beautiful model. I won't get it converted to P4 for a while, but thought I ought to buy one whilst they are still available at a decent price. The lettering, numbering and a few other details will have to be changed in due course. Browsing through the Forum, one or two conversions have been done using an etched chassis from a kit. I guess I will have to scratch-build a chassis - another opportunity to try out CSBs, maybe? I need to find a good drawing.

Bigger brass tubing for the tiebars and stretcher bars has arrived. I should be using around 0.45mm diameter, but 0.5 or 0.6mm diameter tubing doesn't really look overlarge - except perhaps in a real close-up. The 0.4mm rivets I bought earlier are a comfortable fit in the new 0.6mm tubing. I have no excuse now not to try and finish the 3-way turnout......starting this evening!

Philip Hall
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Re: Primitive Cool

Postby Philip Hall » Wed Dec 14, 2016 8:48 pm

I suppose people will expect me to say this by now, but unless you really feel enthusiastic about building a new chassis, or are mortally offended by the lack of detail beneath the boiler, there is no need to do so. Converting it to P4 is perfectly feasible and with good wheels it runs like a dream. There is some slop in the chassis bearing slots which will help it to cope with less than perfect track. Cosmetic frames to remove the resultant gap behind the wheels are available from Ultrascale (intended plug!) as are balance weights to fit Alan Gibson wheels.

Whatever you decide to do, it is a lovely engine.

Philip

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Re: Primitive Cool

Postby Armchair Modeller » Wed Dec 14, 2016 10:16 pm

Thanks Philip - I would never have realised that it might be that easy without you mentioning it! :thumb

One good reason for opening my big mouth about what I intend to do before jumping in at the deep end!

If anyone is contemplating or has already done a DJM Austerity 0-6-0T, Model Rail USATC tank loco, Heljan Hunslet shunter I would be interested in sharing ideas too...... not that I have purchased them all yet. That just about exhausts the RTR market for things I could legitimately run - and one or two of those are pushing it a bit. For the DJM Austerity, I have just purchased an RT Models chassis kit, but have no plans as yet for the others.

......and then there's the Wickham Trolley :shock:

Philip Hall
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Re: Primitive Cool

Postby Philip Hall » Thu Dec 15, 2016 3:16 pm

Anything by DJ Models is unfortunately very difficult to convert so a new chassis, as you have chosen, is the best route here. A shame as they run so well. I spoke to DJ at a recent show and I understand their reasons for going down the path they do, so c'est la vie... The USA tank is made by Bachmann and seems to have 3mm axles, so should be easy to convert (not that I've done one yet). I believe most Heljan models are fairly easy to convert although I've only done a Class 33 so far.

My feeling is that if it runs well to start with, it's worth considering a conversion, simply because of the time factor. Often they look very good as well. Leaves more time for the things that have to be built or that you really want to spend time on.

Philip

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Re: Primitive Cool

Postby Armchair Modeller » Tue Dec 20, 2016 9:18 pm

Philip Hall wrote:My feeling is that if it runs well to start with, it's worth considering a conversion, simply because of the time factor. Often they look very good as well. Leaves more time for the things that have to be built or that you really want to spend time on.
Philip


I completely agree, Philip!

Meanwhile, one week on and I have got very little done. My enthusiasm was tempered by the need for some urgent DIY. I also took advantage of some rare, nice weather to do some walking. So no work has been done on the pointwork - but I have progressed with the turntable well.

I finished smoothing the surface of the filler. I left a few minor defects, as the turntable well I am roughly basing my model on has some degradation of the concrete surface too. Then I cut the drain that runs down one side of the well. After that, I unscrewed the base and removed the screws from the chipboard sub-base I was using to temporarily anchor the turntable base in place.

Looking at photos, I decided the drain holes should be at the bottom of the straight drain and one on the directly opposite side of the well. I filled in the screw holes and cut new holes for the drain covers in the correct place. These were cut to suit some Langley etched covers I now have in my possession. The filler is incredibly light and easy to cut with a knife when dry. I think I will be using a lot of it for the scenic work!

I put several layers of plasticard around the outer edge of the well. These bring the diameter out to the correct size for the inside of the well wall. The other job was to cut small squares of PCB sheet for the chair supports. These are 10mm square and will be placed evenly around the well. I needed 2 layers of PCB to get the rail up to the correct height. The layers are soldered together. My next job will be to glue these squares in place with epoxy adhesive. The Masokits chairs holding the well rail in place will be soldered to these squares - hence the need to use PCB.

Here is a photo of the well.........

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and here, a photo with the turntable very roughly in position.

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Armchair Modeller
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Re: Primitive Cool

Postby Armchair Modeller » Fri Dec 23, 2016 10:38 pm

Well, well..............

Work has continued on the turntable as remarkably, I have managed to stick with just one project for the last few days. I stuck the PCB squares onto the outside of the well using UHU epoxy adhesive. After 24 hours, I began soldering the well rail in place. I adapted the PCB radius arm I had used to grind the well to shape. I cut some of it away and then put a notch in it where the rail would go. I had calculated from the turntable that the radius ought to be 80mm. Here is the radius arm in action...

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My guess about the radius was perfect, as the ends of the rail met exactly. Only problem was, the wheels on the turntable didn't quite match the radius of the rail (add your own expletive here) :cry: I had the choice of moving the wheels slightly on the turntable or making the radius of the rail slightly wider. After thinking about it overnight, I did the latter. Fortunately, this proved easier than I expected. I soldered a short piece of PCB onto the radius arm with a slot in it, positioned at 80.5mm. I then forced the rail and chairs into their new position. I was expecting distinct kinks in the rail between chairs, but this didn't happen - the curve still looks pretty smooth. It now matches the wheels on the turntable. Only problem is that there is now a gap in the rail as the ends don't meet any more. I will splice a short piece of new rail in to bridge the gap. Fortunately, this is on the viewing side of the layout (deliberately!) so the turntable wall will hide the bodge. Here is a photo before I bridged the gap. I decided I ought to test things with the turntable more or less finished before I did this - just in case I needed to make further adjustments. Here is the well, as it now is...

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There are also a few minor cosmetic things to do to the well. One was to cut shallow slots to divide the well into eighths, something like the well I am roughly basing my model on.

Next, I turned my attention to soldering the running rails onto the turntable. The table comes with two options for fixing the pivot. The first is a fixed pivot. The second (which I decided to use) allows the turntable to float slightly on the pivot, so it rides on the well rail at all times. The top of the pivot rod is embedded in a substantial boss. This has a small hole for a thin bit of rod in the top, which engages in a hole dead centre of the turntable. (see diagram at the bottom). I opened out the holes for the thin rod and tapped them 10BA. This allowed me to temporarily screw the bush tightly to the turntable. I then checked the position of the pivot very carefully, to see how central it really was. Laterally, it was spot on. Longitudinally, one end was just very slightly longer than the other - probably my fault for not filing the sleeper down far enough. I filed it down so that both ends were equidistant from the pivot.

I then made a jig to fix the position of the running rails. I drilled a pivot hole in a piece of ply and put the turntable in position, with the pivot in the hole. I then stuck some pieces of wood along one side and one end of the ply, tight to the turntable. Getting the running rails in the right place is a perennially difficult problem when making turntables, as a fraction of a millimetre error can cause serious alignment problems when the table is in use. Here is the jig

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At one end of the jig, I put a track gauge, carefully adjusted to be dead centre to the turntable. I then soldered the end chair and rail for one side - just one chair and one rail. I then turned the table around and did the same at the other end for the other rail. I then worked my way along this second rail, adding chairs until I reached the far end. I carefully checked to make sure that this rail was dead straight and in gauge with the opposite rail at the far end. I used a steel rule from an engineers square to check for straightness. This is almost the correct width for a track gauge, by coincidence. The pencil in the photo is supporting the end of the turntable.

Once I had finished one rail. I turned the table round and soldered the other rail in place using track gauges. I then carefully checked the alignment of the rail by marking where the rails lay one way around and comparing this with when the turntable was turned 180 degrees. I am within a hairs breadth of 100% accuracy, thankfully - near enough for now. There will only be one position where both ends of the turntable need to be properly aligned at the same time, but it has to be accurate, as it is the through line to the docks.

Here is a photo of the turntable on the well. This is still with the pivot firmly bolted in position.

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I can turn it into a floating pivot simply by loosening the bolt slightly, to allow the table to rise and fall slightly on the pivot. The well rail is dead flat, so the only reason really to allow the table any freedom of movement is to allow for the pivot being very slightly out of the vertical. Here is a photo of the diagram in the instructions, which hopefully makes the arrangement a little clearer than mud...

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The only modification I am making, as I said earlier is to replace the thin rod at the top with a bolt. Apart from anything else, this should prevent the turntable from falling off when I turn the baseboard upside down. The top of the bolt will be hidden by a representation of the real central boss on the turntable. I will leave the inside half-chairs until I have tested the turntable in position on the layout and made any necessary hairsbreadth adjustments.

Well, that might not be how a professional would have done it, but all seems well at the moment :?


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