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Twin set

The new DMU has been reassembled now the initial coat of paint is dry. The two car set ran to Grande under its own power for this staged photo of all four “Japanese” cars together.

The red single ended car alongside the carriage shed is number 30, with a parcels van as tail traffic. The sole double ended car, 305, is on the middle track and the two new cars are coupled together in front of number 30.

If you’re wondering why I refer to the railcars as being Japanese the theory is that the FCPyF bought them from… Well, you’ve probably guessed but the front end of this unit is what made me think they were of Japanese origin.

Posted in Bodging and Kitbashing, My trains, Narrow gauge, Toy train chit chat

No wind

I was quite surprised to find a “We’ve got something for you” card through the door when I got home from walking the dog on Saturday afternoon. Puzzled, I went to the Post Office to collect it while I was in town this morning. I wasn’t expecting this for another week or so, it seems postage from China is considerably faster than it is from certain UK based eBay vendors!

The wind pump is a bit smaller than I was expecting, but it’ll do for a background feature, and I’m not sure how effective the polystyrene solvent is with the 3D print material because it didn’t seem to stay together very well during assembly. If it comes apart again I’ll re-glue it using Bostic instead. Unfortunately the kit’s construction does not lend it to easy animation so the sails don’t turn. Presumably the wind has dropped today, which explains why the squeaking cannot be heard.

As I said I’m not sure how well the solvent will hold it together so I’ll leave it a day or two before painting.

Posted in Bodging and Kitbashing, My trains, Standard gauge, Toy train chit chat

New stations at Lago Cumbre and Cognito

Most trains heading for Cuarto stop at Lago Cumbre. Loco hauled trains take water and detach the banker here, diesel railcars often stand for a while to allow their motors to cool after the final climb from Rio Paleta, but very few passengers alight for the connecting lake ferry. The halt was originally provided with a small corrugated iron shelter but the Sierra Oculta Department of Transportation has funded a new station building to replace the rusty shed.

OK, so it’s actually the station that came with the Midnight Express toy train set purchased for the two new railcar bodies, but waste not want not.


The post today delivered the Sarissa kit for Cognito’s station building. I was a little apprehensive about the 20mm wargaming scale being compatible with HO but it’s actually quite a good match, it’ll be slightly lower than this when bedded into the scenery.

At the time of writing the kit has been partially assembled and is waiting for glue to dry before I add some strips of brown paper on the corners to hide the laser cut finger joins. Doors, windows and shutters will not be fitted until the building has been painted.

Posted in Bodging and Kitbashing, FCPyF 2016 rebuild, My trains, Narrow gauge, Standard gauge, Toy train chit chat

Off again, on again, gone again, Finnegan

Trials of the two new DMU cars, recently acquired to make up a three car train, have not gone well. The first trip, from Perejil to Grande, went smoothly as far as Bodjio where the centre car derailed on the junction. It was rerailed and continued to the terminus for inspection. The bolts holding the bogies to the chassis were still in place so the three car train set off on its return run.

The train derailed again at Bodjio, this time all three cars came off, though the rear one remained upright, creating quite a spectacular wreck.


The line was cleared by lunch time so I could continue working on the new cars.

I’ve cut away the floor of one so it’ll ride on a dummy F unit chassis. After using a drawbar to couple this car to the original single ended railcar, No.30, I tried running them as a two car set. No joy. The train would run in either direction with the powered car leading but it derailed in both directions when the unpowered car was being propelled.

So that’s it then, the end of the FCPyF’s experimentation with multiple unit operation. Both new cars (on the left) will receive a motorised chassis and all four will run as singles, though No.30 (on the carriage shed siding) is capable of towing a parcels van.

The project has not been a complete failure though, the similarity between the railcars is very obvious and gives the appearance of the railway having undergone a modernisation project with a batch of equipment supplied by a single builder. The four railcars between them will be capable of providing most of the timetabled services, thus greatly simplifying the railway’s day to day operation, though steam trains will still be run on market days when heavier traffic can be expected.

Posted in Bodging and Kitbashing, My trains, Narrow gauge, Toy train chit chat

Altiplan(k)o

There’s a challenge on the NGRM Online forum to build a photoplank, I don’t really need one because there are numerous places on the FCPyF where stock can be photographed from a suitably low angle, but it might be nice to have a suitable plynth for displaying a loco or railcar away from the layout.

The ground cover is in keeping with the FCPyF’s Andean location, there’s no way I’m going to fit 6,000m of mountain in but there are always the altiplano (high plains) instead so I give to you Altiplanko.

It took all of 30 minutes to make (plus an hour on the front room windowsill baking in the sun to dry the glue).

Posted in Bodging and Kitbashing, FCPyF 2016 rebuild, My trains, Narrow gauge, Toy train chit chat

The DMU and a big loco

The coaches from the Midnight Express have been temporarily mounted on OO bogies and tried for size on the layout. They’re shown below with railcar 305, this will provide the motive power for the three car set.

After that I turned my attention to the loco. Finescale modellers (if there are any reading this blog) might want to look away now.

The loco’s body is sitting on the Pacific chassis that was formerly loco No.9. As a 462 there is far too much overhang at the rear.

After removing the pony truck and adding a two axle bogie it looks better as a 464 (Hudson) but still has awkward proportions. On the plus side there’s a nice big gap under the grate for dropping ashes that’s not seen on the second Hudson.

A larger bogie looks much better but, despite removing quite a bit of material from the bogie it still carries the loco a bit high and takes weight off the drivers. Surgery to the chassis may solve this but the smaller bogie may be the easier option.

I’m in no rush to finish this so it’ll be left in abeyance for now.

Posted in My trains, Narrow gauge, Toy train chit chat