CAG Meeting Reports for 2012

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Will L
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CAG Meeting Reports for 2012

Postby Will L » Tue Jan 17, 2012 3:51 pm

With the start of yet another new year, I’d like to welcome you all to a new chapter of my blog of the Crewe Area Groups activities.

One feature of the classic blog is that it allows the reader to have their say too, and I would encourage you all to do so here regardless of whether you are a CAG member or not. I would point out that there are “Post Reply” and “Quote” buttons scattered liberally through each thread which will allow registered forum members to add their contribution. Visitors too may comment, but only by visiting the guest book and entering your comment their.

I would encourage all Scalefour Society members to register to use the forum and have your say, and all non members to consider joining the society.

While the Crewe Area Group is, apparently, comfortable with me publicizing our activities in this way, please remember that the opinions expressed are mine and are not necessarily representative of other members of the group.


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Meeting 8th Jan 2012

Postby Will L » Tue Jan 17, 2012 3:55 pm

Another Year Another AGM

Somehow our year seems to have slipped, having had our AGM about 3 months late last year, we seem to have waited a full 12 months before having another. Clearly a good decision because, as you can see from the photo, we had a good turn out and there were very few absentees.
Jan 2012 meeting 2.jpg

At this meeting we did what we do best, that is talk, drink tea/coffee and eat chocolate biscuits. The meeting was chaired ably by David who can be seen comfortably chaired on the sofa with his “minute book” open in front of him. Beverage cups are much in evidence. Strangely, as this is four different photos taken at various times and stitched together, nearly everybody but Don appears to be taking due note of what ever Adrian is saying, though Phil R is obviously a little concerned with what I am doing with the camera. My own personal prominence is something to do with the length of my arm.

During the meeting we inspected our accounts for the year, agreed that David should continue as composite chairman, secretary and treasurer, and that I should continue to blog. We also talked about the level of subs, unchanged since I joined the group a number of years ago, volunteered various peoples homes as meeting locations (some times even our own) and discussed topics for the next years meetings plus possible visits. Finally we talked over the outstanding exhibition invites for Knutsford East, next up Stockport in May. That all can’t have taken more than about thirty minutes but somehow we managed to keep ourselves fully amused from 2 to 5 o’clock. I will leave David to document what was agreed.


Our thanks go to Tony W for the loan of his sunny and warm extension, and for the copious supplies of tea/coffee and chocolate coated temptations.

A happy new years P4 modelling to all of you out there, from all of us in the Crewe Area Group.

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Meeting 12th February 2012

Postby Will L » Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:16 pm

Telling and Showing and Poking and Playing
(with apologies to Dusty Springfield)

To celebrate February, and why not, the Crewe Area Group forgathered at Jeremy’s, otherwise known as the home of the Scale4stores. Ten members all found space in Jeremy’s workshop, though there was a tendency to overflow into the kitchen, and there was no question of sitting down.
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This month’s meeting theme was Show and Tell, so various members had brought along items we could poke at and play with. After a great deal of telling and showing the time had somehow evaporated and another excellent group meeting was done. As for what was told, seen, poked and played with, a selection, but by no means everything, is given below.

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Adrian had brought along one of his latest productions, an O gauge GCR 4-6-0, a type the group does seem to have a certain affinity with, although not normally at this size. Pity John B wasn’t there to see it. Adrian brought it along in a rather smart stock box. Purpose made for O gauge stock and designed to hold one large or two small locos, it sits flat when opened, unlike some designs. If anybody wants to know more about the box, Adrian can put you in touch with the man who makes them.
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John S is pictured here with his latest production. Not on this occasion another nicely made loco or item of stock. Instead an ingeniously simple concoction of battery and a gapped piece of copper clad strip. This he uses to provide power to the wheels of a loco that requires cleaning. A quick touch of copper clad to wheel rims and the wheels turn, exposing another segment for cleaning. Simples.
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John also brought along a new purchase, a Bachman F3 which you can be quite sure did get thoroughly shown poked and played with. David, Brassmasters man with a CAD package, was able to tell us that the EasiChas will soon be on it way. I can personally confirm that the CSB fulcrum points for the replacement tender chassis have been calculated.
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Dick brought along a modified MTJ bogie. Dick’s coaches, including many of those running on Knutsford, all run on MTJs. While he swears by the basic concept, experience has shown that they are prone to failure when a critical solder joint on the single torsion bar brakes. As a result he has modified the bogie design. This includes twin torsion bars and puts much less stress on the solder joints, as well as making the connection between the two sides of the bogie more robust.

The results you see above, it is upside down so you can see the works. This is Version II. Version I had the twin torsion bars mounted further away from the basic frame, but this couldn’t always be hidden behind the bolster. Dick has commissioned an etch of the modified central section which will be used to apply this modification to his existing MTJ bogies. There will also be a full bogie frame version for new builds when the stock of MTJs runs out. Again I am happy to pass on any expressions of interest…
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A couple of sets of mechanics in progress were also on show.

(left) Dick has produced some insulated axles for the Knutsford MOD deport shunter, a 4 wheel pre-war diesel, which is destined to have split chassis pick ups. N.B. the jack shaft has not been forgotten. The diagram does explain his method.

(Right) Phil B has his heart set on driving a classic 0-6-0 loco via a gearbox under the cab floor, with the motor in the tender, and leaving a big empty space between the frames for inside valve gear! He brought along the necessary gear///box that he has crafted using a Highlevel 80:1 gear chain. This has been modified to reduce the gearbox width so it will go between standard horn blocks. (I've been there) Study the photo and you will see that Phil has split one of the spur gear pairs to achieve this. The gearbox frames are all his own.
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Let’s finish off with a trio of recently completed D&S kits, the LNWR brake van and private owner coal wagon from John S and the Midland ballast brake from Ron.
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CAG Meeting 11th March 2012

Postby Will L » Thu Mar 15, 2012 5:29 pm

CAD as CAG can
Would you like to come over and see my etchings?

Our meeting in March was originally intended to be a trip away, possibly to Pendon, but for various reasons this was not to be. The net result was there was a need to look round for a possible venue and topic in a bit of a hurry. Fortunately I was able to offer my front room, complete with a reasonably sized, and PC compatible LCD screen; and David was able to deliver a session on the gentle art of 2D CAD (2 dimensional Computer Aided Design) which he has long been promising.

Considering this meeting was arranged at fairly short notice, it worked very well. We had a highly informative session during which David was listened to with rapt attention. Once that is, the nine of us that had turned up got over asking awkward questions and let him get on with it.
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David is responsible for drawing etches for Brassmasters, notably their EasiChas RTR loco EM/P4 chassis conversion kits, so he has been getting a lot of CAD practice of late. He started off by introducing us to the basic concepts of on-screen drawing. Once he had got these techniques across, he then showed us how he applied them to producing the etches for the next Brassmaster production, the EasiChas for the Bachman F3. We also had a good look at the techniques needed to convert an accurate drawing into an etching tool, such that the finished etch will actually folds up into parts the size shown in the original drawing.

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This picture was taken before David began to overly these drawings of the 3F’s wheels with assorted frame shapes and other associated details. By then I was thoroughly absorbed and had put down the camera. The meeting ran well over time.

So our thanks go to David for a thoroughly absorbing afternoon. What we want now is for fellow CAG member John B, of Robinson 4-6-0 fame, to continue the teach-in, and extend our prospective. He does his CAD in 3D.


P.S. Anybody wondering quite what is creeping into the bottom left of the second shot should be aware that I share my life with a lady who is something of an art potter. I live in awe of the things that her imagination produces and in fear of accidental falling over and breaking any of them.

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Meeting 15th April 2012

Postby Will L » Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:08 pm

Smash Bang Wallop what a picture

Our April meeting was hosted by Don and was attended by the 9 group members who had managed to find Shropshire. Topic for the day was a talk by John Sherratt on model photography. John, who has been paid for his photographic talent in the past, has often provided (free) photos for this blog. He had taken the days task seriously and provided a hand-out, covering two sides of A4, with tip on what can and can’t be done to produce a half way decent photo of a model. Here is some of his audience holding said crib list.
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We discussed all sorts of aspects of model photography, from the sublime software tools for dealing with the otherwise inevitable depth of field issues to the ridiculous effects possible with tilt shift lenses. See the start of the How real do your photo's look? Thread if you want to know more. Getting away from these more esoteric ways of cheating, he led us through such topics as getting the illumination right, via consideration of the whole topic of “white balance”, the problems with direct sunlight, and the value of a good clear north light. While thinking about light, we contemplated the need for small apertures to gain depth of field, leading to long exposures and the use of bean bags to support your equipment. John came equipped with two of his favourites, and the one perched on his lap in the previous shot is shown in more detail here.
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John is happy with the Cannon he uses even though it isn’t a very compact compact and neither is it all that new. He feels there are benefits to be gained from using a relatively simple digital compact camera over a full function SLR. It’s not just the advantages derived from digital photography, like post processing with Photoshop. Most compact digital cameras, including your phone, now have sufficient definition (mega pixels) to give clear and sharp photos of normal size and are quite small enough to be safely inserted into the layout. Thus getting away from the birds eye view typical of many model photos, and allowing instead interesting and realistic viewpoints. For example this photo of John’s previously published here this time last year.
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Meeting April 11-1
He also pointed out that the use of some level of telephoto avoids the distortion inevitably introduced by using the wide angle setting of our zoom lenses to try and get everything in. Another trick is to shoot more of the scene than you need and crop the picture back to the size actually required, because the centre tends to be sharper and any optical distortion will be found at the edges. This does imply the use of some sort of editing software. Perhaps I should point out that all the shots that appear in this thread are Photoshoped in one way or another.

Once John had had his say, we adjourned into Don’s railway room and tried out John's hints and tips on various views of the Central Cheshire line contained there within.
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John demonstrates what he was talking about while Ron looks on. Photo by Bill N. I would have included the resulting photo too but it turns out the horse wasn’t very photogenic.
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Tony M’s had a go at getting in close.
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But it was up to John to show exactly what he means about a more interesting and realistic viewpoint.
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Central Cheshire Line developments

Later in the afternoon, Don let us in on his future modelling plans. These which revolved around experiments he has been conducting using radio control and battery powered loco’s. It is his belief that the technology to enable us to move away from loco’s powered and controlled from the track is now with us, leading to a considerable electrical simplification, and enabling our model T&S free of the considerations of supplying power to our loco’s. If you really do want to carry on worrying about electrical continuity, it will be because you want to include track circuits in your signalling. It seems he has some quite radical plans for the future, so expect revelations from the Whitchurch area.

Next Month.

No meeting in May as we shall be at the Stockport show May 12th & 13th. Hope we’ll see some of you there.


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May 12th and 13th - Stockport show

Postby Will L » Tue May 15, 2012 10:47 am

Pictures at an Exhibition

As promised last month, no formal group meeting this month, as Knutsford East was to do its stuff at the Stockport and District Modellers do held at the Stockport Grammar. And do its stuff it has. The membership of the host club voted us “best in show”.
2011 Stockport 3.jpg

For this outing, the extension is approaching completion, although there are a few significant jobs yet to be done to bring the signalling up to scratch. The big new thing for Stockport was the working gates in the fence round the MOD Deport.
2011 Stockport 1.jpg

Here we can see the gate over the siding closed, and marking the MOD boundary. The little Peckett Tank is on the internal line’s head shunt. This loco is currently standing in for the diesel mechanical which really belongs here. It is transferring a couple of wagons from the arrivals loop, next to the main line, where the mainline loco’s can go, to the internal lines which are reserved for its own private use.

Next comes that open sesame moment.

The way having been opened, our old friend the O4 brings in its train of anonymous box vans.
2011 Stockport 2.jpg

The goods arrival road is in fact a loop, with a second connection on to the main line about a quarter of a mile further toward Manchester, well off scene. The Loco will use this to regain the main line, then run back this way to pick up the guards van and return, tender first to where ever it came from, probably using the Northwich triangle to regain a proper sense of direction. Once everything has gone quiet, the Peckett will set about transferring the wagons off the train delivered by the O4, two at a time, into the depot.

Visitors book

This may not have been a formal Area Group meeting, but none the less we did get a good turnout of our own members, as well as a smattering of society members from elsewhere. On Saturday it was good to see Iain Kirk made good his promise to pop by, and after greetings and some nice compliments he went on his way. On Sunday we had two further visitors who didn’t get off so lightly. They both turned up not long after opening time and were still with us as closing time approached. In fact they spent much of the day running the layout for us. Well we do like to make our visitors feel welcome, or do I mean useful.

The first to arrive was new Editor James, that’s James Moorhouse who begins his stint as Snooze editor with the next addition. James is North West resident, and could aspire to be a CAG member. However I’m sure he came with ulterior motives, and several ears may have been blandished in, hopefully successful, attempts to elicit future Snooze content. James is that reassuring thing, a keen P4 modeller who is definitely well below the society median age. He was soon joined by David Murrell, a slightly more mature P4 modeller, whose main claim to fame on this occasion was being a very long way from home. David is also the member of the Sydney Area Group. I think it only fair to point out that, fascinating as a visit to our fictitious bit of Knutsford might be, and no matter how skilfully modelled, it may not have been David’s primary motive for visiting the UK. However he did seem very receptive to being invited to join us on the exhibitor’s side of the layout, and he too spent several hours, controller in hand.
2011 Stockport 4.jpg

The picture shows David (left) and James (right) being tutored in our operating habits by real CAG member Tony W (centre).

Knutsford performed as it should, and we had a good day. I hope David and James had fun too.


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Re: CAG Meeting Reports for 2012

Postby randallb » Wed May 16, 2012 10:19 am

Will & CAG et al,

The pics of the layout which have appeared on the site recently look superb. Wish I could have made it so far Nth to stand a chance of an invitation to operate......

Still, hopefully I'll catch up with it "live" at some later date ! :D

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Re: May 12th and 13th - Stockport show

Postby Will L » Wed May 16, 2012 11:09 am

The picture shows David (left) and James (right) being tutored in our operating habits by real CAG member Tony W (centre).

When I chose that photo, I wasn't looking very hard at the train. Now I have, I feel I may have to explain our operating habits. The goods train in the platform is not running wrong road. It is a LMS freight which arrived on the up (Manchester bound) line, and is due to depart up the branch to Chelford, It has just set backed over the crossover in front of the box from the up line to the down platform, and is now awaiting the flag signal from the bobby in the box to depart up the branch, there being no fixed signal for this move. And yes we do expect to be able to perform backing movement over point work in public with unfitted freight trains.


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Re: CAG Meeting Reports for 2012

Postby iak » Wed May 16, 2012 12:28 pm

And the shunting movements work too. Honest! No wobbles just nice gentle movement - excellent...
As I said Will, impressive to see the beastie in its new form and to see some GCR engines 8-)
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it....

Perfection is impossible.
But I may choose to serve perfection....
Robert Fripp

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Meeting 10th June 2012

Postby Will L » Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:44 pm

Cream teas and wide open spaces.

It has become our tradition that our June meeting is dedicated to eating strawberry cream teas, in the company of our WAGs, and enjoying the sunshine in somebody's garden. Some hopes this year I hear you cry.

Tony M had volunteered to host this year’s cream tea fest, and, fearing the elemental worst, last minute arrangements had been made to hold the event in the comfort of his capacious lounge. So would you believe the day dawned sunny and warm, and the 9 members and 7 WAGs who attended found themselves seated on the patio, and very pleasant it turned out to be. In fact we had to arrange extra shade to protect the pates of our more folliclely impaired members.
2011 June 5.jpg
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So here is the evidence, a very pleasant setting. Note the shadows. The ladies were already settling down to discussing a common interest in embroidery, I gather. They were interrupted when Denise produced the meetings main subject matter, which she and Tony had been working on all morning. And very tasty it was to. Denise looks justifiably pleased with the result.
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We wouldn’t want you to run away with the idea that they day had no railway content. Tony has posted on the forum before about his layout plans, and the railway room developments that goes with them. See his Onward from Ambergate thread. This meeting was an ideal way of catching up with progress.
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The most noticeable thing about Tony’s new railway room is just how big it is. Lots of work still needs doing but it is now weatherproof. Laid out corner to corner was a full size 4mm scale Templot plan of the proposed Buxton stations (LNWR and Midland) layout which contains pretty much all the features of the real thing. Two boards from Ambergate had been set up to show the position that layout will take when Buxton has been built and connected to it.

The variety of paths that are going to be possible round the layout are just mildly mind blowing. As well as the assorted convoluted paths made possible by the various triangular junctions incorporated into the plan, there will be an outer circuit which runs close to the wall all the way round which must be 100 foot long if it is an inch.
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While Ambergate is itself quite a substantial layout, it fits into rather less than half of the room. It’s the bit not covered by the Templot plan.

We spent quite a bit of time inspecting, discussing and feeling rather envious.

Our thanks again to Denise and Tony for the very excellent spread.


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July Meeting Report

Postby jsherratt » Sun Jul 08, 2012 8:27 pm

On Sunday 9 July, some eight of our members resisted the temptation to watch Jensen Hamilton race at Silverstone or some chap named Andrew Merry have a crack at the All-England Table Tennis Championship to meet up at Tony Walker's house at Crewe.

Surprisingly after the torrential downpours in the area in the preceding three days, the weather was kind enough to allow the meeting to be held outside in Tony's garden as shown in the photos here.

Dick, Don, John and Tony M in Tony W's garden
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Phil, Tony W and Ron
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The theme for the meeting was signallling and block working, a subject Tony is well qualified to talk about, as in his professional life he was a signalling engineer on the full size railway. Tony began with an explanation of the basic principles of block working and then moved on to look at an example of Whitchurch station on the Crewe to Shrewsbury line.

Diagram of Whitchurch station
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Whitchurch was a junction for lines to Chester and to Oswestry over the Cambrian system. It had three signal boxes in quite close proximity, the diagram above being for the south box at Cambrian Junction. Tony explained how the signalling worked together between the three boxes. It seems likely that underbolts were used, and it is interesting to note that Levers 44 and 45 in Cambrian Junction box both work the down distant signal.

Tony shows some of the more interesting details on the second plan of Whitchurch
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Tony also showed us his copy of Railway Signal Engineering by Lewis, dating from 1912, a very interesting book. It was this book that Tony referred to when calculating the route of the point rodding on Knutsford.

A very pleasant afternoon, thanks to Tony for his hospitality and for teaching us a bit more about the finer points of signalling.

Our next outing is over the weekend of 14 and 15 July which involves taking Knutsford to a general modelling show at Manchester Airport, under Concorde no less. This should prove interesing and I'm sure our regular scribe (who was unable to join us this afternoon) will be back to supply a report on this.

John S

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Meeting July 14th 15th 2012

Postby Will L » Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:04 pm

Manchester Airport Transport Fair

A small team of CAG members spent a pleasant weekend being, in a very real sense, overshadowed by Concorde. .

The Manchester Transport Fair is held at the Manchester Airports Runway Visitor Park. The Park, as the name suggests, is adjacent to and overlooks the runways. Its main attraction, apart from watching the planes come and go, is that it has a hanger full of a Concorde with the very appropriate registration letters G-BOAC. There were all sorts of vehicles at the fair, mostly in the open air around the hanger. These were primarily road or air related but there was even the cab end of a blue class forty something on the back of a lorry. I’m afraid I never got close enough to find out forty exactly what.

In the hanger, sheltering under the looming shape of Concorde where many more stands that weren’t waterproof. There nestling comfortably under the two right hand side jet engines (is that starboard on a plane?) was Knutsford East.
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The organisers we pleased to place us there. Of the 5 layouts at the show, we were the only ones to come with our own lighting, and therefore we didn’t mind that it was distinctly dingy under there. The layout you can, more or less, see next door was a Diesel deport. It was just as well that their deport buildings were well lit and that they featured DCC fitted loco’s with lots of working headlights etc, as dusk was definitely upon them. The continental layout further round was not so fortunate.

There was another issue with our location. They had fired up the planes hydraulics recently and as a result the engines were still occasionally dripping oil! But not on the layout fortunately.
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This wasn’t really our normal sort of show, but it was very local. The man who booked the layout was a pilot who said just how well we had captured the look of ground seen from the air, so we could hardly turn him down could we. We had a pleasant enough weekend and Knutsford attracted much favourable comment. We even had a couple of visitors who had worked on steam on the CLC and who could talk all to knowledgeably about the locos we were running. Many more people were able to identify the features in common between our layout and the real Knutsford station.

Editor James again turned out to swell the numbers of the operating team. Pictured here I suspect he may be gathering editorial content. He has his camera somewhere in the guts of the layout. For those who have yet to meet James, he’s the one in this picture with hair above glasses level.
2012 july 4.jpg


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CAG Meeting 14th October 2012

Postby Will L » Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:23 pm

But first - Missing meetings

My apologies, it seems I’ve been most remiss in failing to document our last two meetings. This might be something to do with a clash with a much needed holiday in August following my daughter’s wedding, and a further family visit in September, although it does appear that there wasn’t much to miss. September did of course include an exhibition that ought to count for something. Then there was, in August, a planned visit to a preservation site, although I don’t believe all the members who went managed to go to the same one. But I wouldn’t know as I wasn’t there.

Doing it by remote control.

Now October is with us, order has been restored and a proper meeting took place. Thus a small select group of CAG members visited Don’s to view progress on his latest project. If you can cast your mind back as far as Snooze 179 you will remember that Don is now into the wonders of radio remote control. As a result, the Central Cheshire Lines, Rhuddall Heath station Alpraham Sidings and all have migrated to fellow CAG member John S's, outbuildings. (See here). Don’s conservatory come railway room now seems very empty, and the newly exposed floor and patio doors has allowed the establishment of a right of way giving easy access to the garden. But he has not been idle, new base boards have already begun to appear.
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One of the great advantages of the radio control option, is that the loco’s are battery powered, abolishing at a stroke all the problems associated with powering our trains off the track. Don’s plans take full advantage of this and centre on a small(ish) passenger terminal feeding a double track out and back loop which forms an apparent double junction outside the station. This produces the potential for holding several trains, permissive block wise, on one line while running trains out and back on the other. So no fiddle yard required.

The baseboards to carry the out and back loop are no more than two tracks wide and have already been constructed, so you see that the grass is not growing etc. Don plans to get the out and back loop completed and in use for testing radio control fitted loco’s before moving on to the station proper. This doesn’t mean that the station design hasn’t been considered, plans were on display for a 4 platform terminus station located, for the sake of argument, in the Cheshire town of Tarporly. This will have extensive coach sidings but almost nothing in the way of freight facilities.
2012 october 1.jpg
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Here Don points out the features of Tarporly station. The black construction behind the drawing is the first erected section of the return loop baseboards which sits on the windowsill of the conservatory/railway room. Don’s not wasting any space.

Those with some knowledge of the real geography of central Cheshire will realise that the focus of Don’s railway world hasn’t moved far, though it has gone quite smartly up hill. And yes you did read right, despite Don’s known fondness for freight stock in all its forms, this will be a passenger stock only railway. Don has already pruned his freight stock count well down, to the sort of levels the rest of us might one day aspire to.

As well as the plans, and some unusual looking based boards, the first radio control converted loco was also on show.
2012 october 3.jpg
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The sort of gremlins that always affect such debut prevent him from showing us it's paces. It is not just that it wasn’t quite all on the track. In fact one of the things he was coming to grips with was that derailment does not necessarily stop such a loco, so narrow base boards need parapet edges! As the photo shows, power and control all reside in the tender leaving a loco that, coupled to a different tender with ordinary pick-ups could return to service on a more traditional layout. The next step is to get it all in a tank engine, for now I think we can assume it will be a big one.

For anybody wishing to keep up with Dons efforts to show the rest of us the way to the future, I’m sure further Tarporly based writings from Don’s own word processor will grace one journal or another in the not too distant future. I carefully haven’t provided legible versions of his drawings so as to leave the way clear for future articles to reveal all.

Next Month the traditional CAG annual dinner

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Re: CAG Meeting 14th October 2012

Postby Will L » Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:17 pm

Will L wrote:For anybody wishing to keep up with Dons efforts to show the rest of us the way to the future, I’m sure further Tarporly based writings from Don’s own word processor will grace one journal or another in the not too distant future...

...even sooner than I expected see MRJ 218

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Will L
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Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2008 3:54 pm

CAG Meeting 4th November 2012

Postby Will L » Sun Nov 04, 2012 6:27 pm

If All Else Fails, Eat

As always our November meeting was our annual dinner where we invite along the ladies, and take an opportunity to sit down and to have a long relaxed chin wag over a drink and a good meal. The difference this year was a change in venue. We have abandoned the fading glories of the Crewe Arms in favour of somewhere rather less faded and regretfully, rather father from a railway line. The Cottage at Allostock in the heart of rural Cheshire hosted our happy group of 18 diners (ten members plus 8 wives) and produced a very acceptable spread. It was all good, but the cheese and biscuits platter proved particularly well adapted at filling up any lingering spare internal corners.

No pictures this year as my camera didn’t make it to the venue, and John was busy elsewhere, but then regular readers will have seen us all before and so perhaps further illustration is unnecessary.

I don’t know what the restaurant thought of us, as various slightly unusual goings on were observable as the day progressed. For instance, there was Adrian taking photos, on a window sill, of one of his latest completed commissions, a knotty tank in pre grouping livery; Phil as our electronics expert was being handed for inspection a defunct controller for possible repair; and Dick and Jeremy were closely inspecting a made up sample of one of Dick's Torsion suspended bogie kits. So, when not eating, it was business as usual.

The change of venue was obviously successful as we rebooked for next year before we left.

Next month
Normal service will be resumed, Mrs Bateson will serve mince pies and it is highly likely that the design of CCR loco kits will get a further airing.

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Will L
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Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2008 3:54 pm

Meeting 9th December 2102

Postby Will L » Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:03 pm

Carry On….. (possibly eating)

The Crewe Area Group is nothing if not traditional. As a group we are fully signed up to the “getting it all right” approach to P4 modelling and the auguries of Christmas demand that at the December meeting mince pies should be consumed. Therefore, the nine assembled members of the group who had managed to make the perilous border crossing into Wales did exactly that. For this pleasure we must thank Ann Bateson, who apart from being a stalwart supporter of John’s forays into kit production has also proved to be talented at producing mince pies.

So as we should not be seen as being, according to our own recorded doings, more interested in eating than playing trains, this meeting was also a show and tell session to which we were encouraged to bring along models of interest. It was not long before an eclectic mix of models had appeared on the seasonal themed coffee table set in our midst. Picking over my photos I find that I have failed to capture the essence of this display in a single shot so we will have to make due with a few close-ups.

Main Line offerings

For starters there was this fine brace of black fives, belonging to Adrian and John S (who was hors de combat but had sent his model along anyway).
2012 dec b5 .jpg
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These locos were both fresh from successful trial runs on Slattocks a couple of days earlier. They have the same general parentage, Hornby body Comet chassis and tender, but peering underneath revealed different approaches to the suspension. Adrian’s loco exhibits the sort of sprung suspension arrangement of which I was bound to approve, though he did seem to have chickened out when it came to the leading bogie. By contrast John’s version was pretending to be a classic compensated 4-4-0, a compensation beam across the bogie and leading axle with a rigid rear axle, with an additional sprung driving axle in the middle to make up the numbers. In the photo, Adrian’s is the one which has progressed that bit further through the painting process, and took the pulling power honours on Slattocks I gather, but John would want it to be known that his loco has still to be fully weighted.

Something to give you a lift

Ron had brought along his MR brake down train, which runs to a loco, riding and tools vans, the crane itself and a match truck. Unfortunately the available photos do not do the whole train justice, but there is this satisfying view of the crane. Photographed or not they are all to the same quality.
2012 dec bd .jpg
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This is the D&S kit, which I believe I too have a near finished version of, or I did have about six years ago. Since then it’s been away helping Brassmasters perfect some add on detailing bits which, they tell me, should be available some time reasonably soon.

Come up and see my etches

As documented here before, Dick has recently been developing his own improvements to the MTJ style torsion bar bogie. This has got him involved in producing assorted etches to his own design and has led to the production of a number of etches for detailing parts for both coach and bogies. He brought along a fine selection of his current range which includes a production etch for his torsion sprung bogie design.
2012 dec1a.jpg
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Heavy Metal

To keep us amused, Adrian had also brought along a, regrettably OO, model of the GWR/BR Brown-Boveri gas turbine loco 18000, that he is currently working on for a client. As this was in the black/silver livery I’m afraid it didn’t take well to low light photography, but the shot I do have may indicate why cast white metal hasn’t become a format commonly used by modellers whose interests run to the boxier sort of loco. This is a model with gravity.
2012 dec tm.jpg
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And now for something completely different

Bill produced a couple of models that had no relationship with railways at all. However they did have everything to do with excellence in modelling. Bill’s other interest is in racing cars, and the two models he brought along definitely did give an edge to the “getting it all right” tag line even though they would have come into the Ready To Run category. Just look at that tubular steel chassis for instance.
2012 dec car.jpg
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Out thanks go again to John and Ann for the venue and the mince pies. This will mark the end of the 2012 meetings tread, so Happy Christmas to any regular readers.


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