Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Help and advice for those starting in, or converting to P4 standards. A place to share modelling as a beginner in P4.
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Allan Goodwillie
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Allan Goodwillie » Sun Jun 10, 2018 11:02 pm

That's Great Tim. :)
Thank you very much, I must say it is all looking good and you are doing a good job of covering all your work as you go along which is very encouraging. The starters group meet regularly once a month and all are making some progress,like yourself and I have suggested following your thread and one or two others who are just building their first layout and feeling their way. Colin's test track is also being followed in this way. All good.

Remembering to dust before taking photos is a good idea. I have a large soft brush which is ideal just for that - make-up brushes are ideal for the task.

Allan :thumb

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Colin Parks
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Colin Parks » Tue Jun 12, 2018 2:52 pm

Great photos of the latest progress on your rodding and rolling stock Tim!

The rodding run looks very neat indeed and all the more impressive in that it operates the switches prototypically. As Allan says, it is very encouraging to see and follow what others are getting up to.

All the best,

Colin

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Le Corbusier
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Le Corbusier » Tue Jun 12, 2018 3:28 pm

Colin Parks wrote:Great photos of the latest progress on your rodding and rolling stock Tim!

The rodding run looks very neat indeed and all the more impressive in that it operates the switches prototypically. As Allan says, it is very encouraging to see and follow what others are getting up to.

All the best,

Colin

Thanks Colin,

Not quite up to your's and JFS's standards with clevis rodding connections to the cranks et al, but to the naked eye I am pretty pleased with things. I am chomping at the bit to finally get the next batch of cradles so I can see if linking the two switches will work as hoped. Thankfully nothing has broken yet so fingers crossed ;) I am looking forward to having a go at one of the MR vertical compensators ... I have some ambis etches which I believe I will be able to adapt to look like the prototype photo a few posts earlier.

Its brought a whole new excitement to the prospect of modelling Monsal Dale's signal box :thumb

Monsal Dale SB.jpg


..and that's before I start thinking about the frame and interlocking. The debate on your thread on this subject has been really interesting and educative.

Tim
Tim Lee

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Allan Goodwillie
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Allan Goodwillie » Tue Jun 12, 2018 4:01 pm

A cracking little signal box, ;) hope you model the lad and dog. I have a model I have built of the signal box at Scout Green and included the dog which went with the signalman every day to his work. It is sitting curled up in front of the fire. I also made a model of my wife's dog Pat which sat on the station on my Dubbieside layout. It was made in plastiscene and forty+ years later it still survives although now it is hard as bricks!

When I had my Model Railway museum in Melrose Station in the 1980's I used to have to repopulate the railway every season with various animals and birds as I found that they all disappeared over a season. I never did see anyone take one! Pat was placed in a hard to reach place on the layout as was the engine shed cat, so both of them survived, but pretty much everything else small and cute went.

I did not feel too bad about it as they were only minor things and fairly easily replaced, but it was also a sign of people enjoying the experience and wanting to take a souvenir home with them of a good day out. All the pieces ended up probably on other layouts somewhere. I have quite a collection of items made by friends who have passed away and cherish them as well as a collection of tools which I have added to my own knowing that certain models were built with them being held by my friends and also my father, I am sure he would be happy to know I was still using them and making models with them after all these years. :)

Allan

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Le Corbusier
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Le Corbusier » Tue Jun 12, 2018 4:09 pm

that's a poignant back storey Allan ... thanks for sharing.

I think the bike is also a must alongside the dog ... much fun to be had me thinks :thumb
Tim Lee

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Allan Goodwillie
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Allan Goodwillie » Tue Jun 12, 2018 4:26 pm

HI Tim :)

These are the little fun things that act as a contrast to the more serious (if that is the word) aspects of what we make. At the recent show where we met up the only items I came away with was a range of animals and birds for populating the new layout. There is a section of woodland towards the end of the layout and I do love to make trees in particular, something to look forward to. I am refurbishing some trees from my Grayrigg layout, on my workbench and may put some photos up there when I get time.

Allan :)

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Colin Parks
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Colin Parks » Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:17 pm

Hi Tim,

That signal box will make a lovely model. Is that some species of shunting signal on the pole by the bicycle in your picture? Re. the rodding on my ouvre, the liklihood of me getting all the surface-mounted scale stuff working is, er, less than likely! The clevises are really not that hard to solder up once you get the knack.

Colin

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Le Corbusier
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Le Corbusier » Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:27 pm

Colin Parks wrote:Hi Tim,
That signal box will make a lovely model. Is that some species of shunting signal on the pole by the bicycle in your picture?
Colin


Colin,

This was the explanation I was given by Dave Harris at the Midland Railway Study Centre

The post your refer to also caused some excitement at this is a quite rarely photographed feature -- and even less so in such sharp detail. It was worked from a lever on the stage at the far end of the Down siding, which would cause it to rotate through 90 degrees presenting the ‘disc' (and lamp) we can see facing the running line, toward the signal box. This would be the indication to the signalman that the guard or shunter at the lever stage wanted it unbolting. The indicator would be returned to the position shown in the photograph when the stage could be rebolted. It was later replaced with a circular brass disc about 5 inches across mounted on a flap in the signal box. The rodding from the lever stage acting in the same way, causing the disc to move upwards and face the signalman.
Tim Lee

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Colin Parks
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Colin Parks » Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:41 pm

Hi Tim,

That is some explantion of the lamp on the pole! The communication methods were quite diverse back then, with each company finding their own solution. The signal/lamp would make a nice working model and would only require a simple mechanism.

All the best,

Colin

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Le Corbusier
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Le Corbusier » Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:51 pm

Colin Parks wrote:Hi Tim,

The signal/lamp would make a nice working model and would only require a simple mechanism.

All the best,

Colin


Yep ... that was my thinking too.

Tim
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Le Corbusier
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Le Corbusier » Sat Jun 16, 2018 6:04 pm

I am considering buying a Coffman clamp to aid in wagon and coach building. Branchlines have the two options - The Combo and Mini Combo that are suitable for use when soldering. If anyone regularly uses one could they advise which would be the most suitable for P4.

thanks

Tim

Coffman Clamps pictures.jpg
Coffman price list .jpg
Tim Lee

dclift
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby dclift » Sun Jun 17, 2018 3:16 am

Hi Tim,

I purchased a Coffman Original Right Clamp from Micromark in the U.S. https://www.micromark.com/Original-Right-Clamp for USD23.50 in 2014, but I see that the current price is now $29.95, though there is a sale price of $22.95 at the moment. Micromark seems to have a sale every other week, at least according to the emails with which they bombard me. With regard to the clamp itself, I do not use it very often and find that a system that I have cobbled together myself is easier to use and more satisfactory for assembling wagon kits. It is also a lot cheaper! It consists of two clips and a short section of 1"x1"x1/16" aluminium angle, which I happened to have already and is very useful for other things as well. I made square cutouts in each side at one end of the of the angle in order to clear the clips, and drilled and filed out the inside of the angle at the other end to enable me to get solvent or soldering iron into the join between wagon side and end. I also had to put a slight bend in the arms of one side of each of the clips to ensure that they grasp the side and end of the wagon securely. Here are some photographs which should make it clear.

Now that I have extracted this Cambrian wagon kit, purchased last millennium, from storage, I guess I shall have to clean up the mouldings and get on and finish it.

For metal kits my jig needs a slight modification, as being aluminium, it makes a very effective heat sink which complicates soldering. It is simply a matter of slipping thin pieces of card between the aluminium angle and the metal of the wagon. I have done this without difficulty when soldering up whitemetal wagon kits.
Attachments
Clamps.jpg
First the home made jig components shown beside the Coffman Right clamp.
View from outside.jpg
The jig in use shown form outside the wagon parts.
View from inside.jpg
From inside.
End view.jpg
End on.
David Clift.

DougN
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby DougN » Sun Jun 17, 2018 3:33 am

That's quite ingenious David! :thumb
Doug
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dclift
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby dclift » Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:10 am

Thanks, Doug. I thought that you had seen it at a meeting at my place last year. Not sure where I got the idea from but I am pretty certain that I didn't think it up all by myself, though the cutouts are my own idea. I actually made up two such jigs so that I can use them simultaneously to hold two wagon sides to one end, or vice versa, to ensure that there is no twist in the wagon, i.e., that the tops of all four corners lie in the same plane. I tried to add this latter information to my previous post, but couldn't figure out to insert it below the photographs. Any suggestions?

Cheers,

David.

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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby grovenor-2685 » Sun Jun 17, 2018 5:22 am

Hi David, You need to use the "Place in line" function when adding photos, that allows you to put the photo anywhere in the text.Initially it puts the photo where the cursor is, if required you can move it by cut and paste.
Regards

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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby dclift » Sun Jun 17, 2018 6:38 am

Thanks Keith. As you know I am very infrequent contributor to this forum despite my best intentions to contribute more of what little I know, so I hope that I can remember your advice the next time I want to embed a photograph in a paragraph of text, or at least remember where to search for it.

Regards,

David.
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Le Corbusier
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Le Corbusier » Sun Jun 17, 2018 7:41 am

David,

Thank you for this tip .... I'm definitely going to have a go and make one - for once I have all the materials to hand. :thumb Clever, simple and effective.

It reminds me I must go back and re-read Allan's 'West of Scotland's Starter Group' thread as I have a number of self made jigs there to build as well.

I have to say I was rather Baulking at the Coffman price ... and there is also a pleasure in making your own stuff. I really need to get my head attuned to designing these kind of things myself .... hey ho ;)
Tim Lee

dclift
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby dclift » Sun Jun 17, 2018 12:45 pm

Tim,

I have made numerous jigs for various purposes. The problem is that I cannot remember what about half of them are for, and for half of the remainder I cannot remember how to use them. I have now started to document each new jig as I use it for the first time in the hope that, in the future, I will no longer have this problem. As you say, there is a pleasure in making your own stuff, especially when it both saves money and uses material that is already to hand. Like you, I have been reading Allan's thread and found a lot of useful material therein.

Good luck with the wagon and coach building. I am really enjoying your Monsal Dale thread.
David Clift.

BrianW
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby BrianW » Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:55 pm

I too prefer home made jigs (nice idea David), but just a word of caution. Before spending time making a jig from aluminium angle, check that it's actually 90°. Some of the stuff in Wickes and B&Q isn't, it's nearer 88°.
I made a nice chassis building jig from aluminium angle based on the WOSAG guide, but couldn't get the spacers to butt up squarely to the frames, eventually found the aluminium angle wasn't 90°. I put packing under the base to rectify it, but now check angle before purchase.

BrianW

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Le Corbusier
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Le Corbusier » Sun Jun 17, 2018 5:58 pm

Thanks for the heads up Brian,

Luckily the angle I have was given me by a mate who is a fabricator ... have just checked it and it is nice and true.

Tim
Tim Lee

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Allan Goodwillie
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Allan Goodwillie » Mon Jun 25, 2018 6:18 pm

Lots of good advice there Tim. :thumb

I too have a home made jig for squaring up things,just been too busy lately to get some photos to you, but next three weeks completely filled with non-railway stuff - family coming over from America! :D

Allan :)

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Le Corbusier
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Le Corbusier » Wed Aug 22, 2018 8:40 am

A quick update on progress with the point rodding so far. Things have been progressing steadily if somewhat slowly. Having received the single rod cradles from Alan at Modelu I have been able to finish the linking run to the second point on the test track and link the two runs together.

22-8-18 - 5 (2).jpg


I have had a bash at a prototype compensator which I think with a little tweeking and refinement can be made to look like a fairish representation of those on the Monsal Dale line. On the next itteration I will ditch the metal sides creating a simple armature for the pivot frame.

22-8-18 - 1 (2).jpg

Midland compensator.jpg


I have used a fairly simple linkage approach between the two sets of rodding runs. I soldered together along the length two off cuts of 0.5mm capillary tube and set them one above the other. The main rod length is set higher than the crank for the length crossing the tracks. I then soldered in to the lower tube a length of 0.45 wire with a 90 degree dropper. I then threaded the upper tube onto the main rodding run and soldered into place. The stools hold the 90 degree dropper into the crank very effectively. The dropper length will eventually be reduced so it is less visible but I am currently using it to actuate the system via a pair of tweezers. (the soldering could be a little neater and the length of tubes shorter but even as is viewed with the naked eye the set up is very discreet - close up photography is pretty unforgiving ... hey ho!)

22-8-18 - 2 (2).jpg


The intention is now to fabricate a simple lever to fix at the end of the run to activate the points in tandem. On the actual model rather than this test piece I will run the rodding into the signal box and then link it through the base board onto an array of the society's lever frames ... but that is for the future.

The rodding has now been complete and up and running for about a fortnight of quite heavy use and so far appears pretty robust and all is functioning as hoped. The two omega loops ensure that positive pressure is transferred to both sets of switch blades and the drag within the system means that the positive pressure is maintained once the switch has been thrown. The omega loops also ensure that the rodding is protected from excessive force/shocks as they damp the system. They are discreet enough to be easily hidden under judiciously placed boards along the track.

22-8-18 - 3 (2).jpg
22-8-18 - 4 (2).jpg


Given how successful to date the simple right angle bend linkage has been to the cranks (in tandem with the cradles holding the rodding true), I am pondering a similar linkage as a possible solution to base board joints - again to be hidden by boards.
Tim Lee

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Le Corbusier
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Le Corbusier » Sun Sep 09, 2018 11:06 am

I have now rigged up a very simple lever operation for the rodding (in lieu of the society lever frame) to finish the rodding experiment for the time being. All is still working well and the resistance within the system means that the actuation is very positive and the omega loops keep a positive pressure on the point blades. I have also began the process of experimenting with weathering the track.

Track Weathering - 7.jpg


The next stage will be to finish off the final two bufferstops and then experimentation with scenic modelling on the test track starts in ernest. I think there is enough room to build a portion of station platform, some dry stone Derbyshire walling, maybe a couple of birch trees and have a play with static grass and herbage.

Alongside this I want to start my ballast train (Johnson 1F based upon the craftsman kit but using Gibson frames and csbs). 1F 1424 was housed at Rowsley in 1902 and could have worked the ballast train. The train I am aiming to model is based upon the photo from Bakewell station and will be made up of the 1F, 3 D299 wagons with ballast loads and the ballast brake van curtesy of LRM which you can just make out in the photo - should be fun.

RFBMCT24710 MR No 1424.jpg

bakewell(1905)old14.jpg
bakewell(1905)old14.jpg (66.46 KiB) Viewed 686 times

MR-Ballast-Brake.jpg
MR-Ballast-Brake.jpg (84.58 KiB) Viewed 685 times
Tim Lee

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Colin Parks
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Colin Parks » Sun Sep 09, 2018 1:15 pm

Hello Tim,

The track weathering looks very good. What paint are you using for the rails? I have some Precision Paints 'Dark Rust' but it still looks a little orange in comparison with your colour.

Re. the ballast train, is your chosen loco going to have enough space for the r/c equipment and battery too?

All the best,

Colin

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Noel
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Noel » Sun Sep 09, 2018 1:18 pm

Le Corbusier wrote: I have also began the process of experimenting with weathering the track.


The dark line down the middle of the track was usually seen where locos were standing for significant periods, such as sidings, platforms and, sometimes, signals. It was much less common on plain line (ballast which was grubby all over was another matter). I presume that it was the consequence of an accumulation of oil leaking from the motion, and also from the cylinder drain cocks, which would be open when a loco was standing for any length of time.

I presume from the colour that the weathering on the front of the loco is intended to represent the result of smokebox cleaning? If so, the smokebox door would have been wide open, so its outside would remain clean, except in very strong winds. Also, the last job for whoever emptied the smokebox would be to sweep off the footplate and any other surfaces affected. Even at the end of BR steam in 1968 this was generally adhered to, as photographs show, because it was a serious safety issue. Most death and injury to railway staff occurred in low speed accidents where vehicles were moving in close proximity to men on the ground, such as loco shed yards, sorting sidings and goods yards. A driver being distracted, or unsighted, by ash, etc blowing into his face would increase the risks to other staff. It might also threaten injury to his eyes, which could be a career ending matter.
Noel


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