Day trip to Cuarto

I’ve found an old phone at home, not only does it have a better battery than the phone I have been using for the last few years but it also takes better photographs than my camera. I’ve not figured out how to work the camcorder function on it though, so I can’t make videos with it yet, but I have created a slideshow of a trip from Grande to Cuarto and back.┬áThe outward journey is with railcar number 30, returning with number 21.

All the images are raw, with no photoshopping at all, not even cropping to hide the mess that is the rest of the garage, so they are an accurate record showing the current state of the layout a lot more clearly than recent photographs have done.

One of the images of #21 at Grande is badly blurred, for which I apologise. I didn’t spot it when looking at the thumbnails and only noticed when watching the completed slideshow on full screen after uploading to YouTube, by which time it was too late to do anything about it.

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

Going big on the FCPyF

Following a link from a conversation on the NGRM’s Facebook page took me to a retailer of large scale NG railcar bodies. One of the models on sale was a Sentinel steam railmotor, which got me thinking.

I have a Tri-ang Big Big Trains coach body that has been shortened for use as an On30 vehicle but, as a standard gauge coach on NG bogies, it is far too wide to look right. Major surgery would be required to make it fit the On30 loading gauge, in effect only the sides would be used with new ends, roof and floor, so why not go the whole hog and convert it to a railcar?

I would not make the railcar articulated, like the colonial one above, but the body style would be quite similar. Only one driving cab would be needed because the FCPyF has turntables at the termini, so the blind end would be much easier to model.

The idea of a steam railcar for the FCPyF holds particular appeal for me because I owned one of these delightful Egger Bahn HOe models when I was a teenager. It eventually got rebuilt on an N scale diesel chassis (it was never a good runner on its original mechanism) and played a big part in my introduction to narrow gauge modelling.

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

Go to hell in a handcart

You could pay silly money on Fleabay for a 1:24 scale wheelbarrow.

Or you could make one for nothing.

No prizes for guessing which route I took.

Coffee stirrers for planks, matchstick legs and barbeque skewer handles/frame, finished off at the front with a rubber tap washer glued to the wheel from a dismantled toy car.

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

Recharging the batteries

I built the battery electric loco in these photographs to fit a Hornby “Smoky Joe” chassis some years ago.

Blackcloud Estate Light Railway No.7, at work on the Castle Hill Quarry Tramway.

It was one of the older British made mechanisms and never a as good a runner as the later Chinese versions so it seldom got used on my Gn15 layouts.

Two locos, one wagon? The diesel must have failed and be getting assistance from No.7.

As a second loco for use on the Castle Hill Quarry layout it now rides on a wagon chassis pulled by fishing line. Problem solved!

Note to self – Buy a decent camera!

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

Data protection

On the 25th of May this year new laws come into effect regarding data protection. One specific change, that could result in large swathes of the admin area of a certain railway modelling forum being hastily deleted, is described as follows:

“Part of the expanded rights of data subjects outlined by the GDPR is the right for data subjects to obtain from the data controller confirmation as to whether or not personal data concerning them is being processed, where and for what purpose. Further, the controller shall provide a copy of the personal data, free of charge, in an electronic format. This change is a dramatic shift to data transparency and empowerment of data subjects.”

I’m sure there are several modellers who may well take the opportunity to read what is being, or has been, said about them in the admin and moderators’ private section of the forum. At the time of posting this blog entry the company concerned provides on its website a telephone contact number for all the main departments, except data protection.

I wonder why?

As for Playing Trains, there are no private or hidden blog entries on this website, all are available by scrolling from one to the next or by using the archives and categories options in the side bar to the right of the page.

All static pages are also available for public perusal, linked via the navigation bar at the top of the page, via the layout index page or via links within the text of related pages.

Posted in Toy train chit chat

Going green

Another warm and sunny day so I’ve taken the opportunity to crack on with the scenery on Castle Hill.

The expanded polystyrene bedrock has been covered with hanging basket liner, painted green, with a sprinkling of commercial scenic scatter to make a start on the grassy areas.

For the cutting the polystyrene has been coated with clay and shaped by brushing with diluted PVA. It doesn’t matter if the clay here cracks as it dries because it’ll give a fractured rock appearance when it does.

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

The hazards of a bank holiday Monday at the seaside

Having put the finishing touches to the scenery on Muston Sands I placed the layout to dry outside in the sun then turned my attention to Castle Hill.

With the quarry tramway’s track well and truly buried in the mud I took that outside to dry, which was when I spotted some freshly applied “weathering” on Muston Sands, a bird turd on the track!

Just like walking along the seafront at Filey!

On the subject of Castle Hill Quarry, I’ve decided to use (fishing line powered) locomotive haulage, the theory being that the quarry stayed in business until the 1960s. After the Great War the original hand worked tramway was rebuilt to 18 inch gauge using ex WD equipment and extended down Hilltop Road, across North Road, to a transshipment point on Cemetery Road. The military surplus steam loco was scrapped in 1947 and a small diesel loco was acquired to work the line. The fairly steep gradient where the line followed Hilltop Road was not an issue because the loads of stone were travelling downhill and uphill traffic was confined to fuel oil and stores for the quarry.

I’ve not used fishing line power on a tuning fork layout before but running the line as close as possible to the turnout blade’s pivot (inset) and attaching it to the rear of the loco means that the train can travel far enough onto either siding to drop or pick up a wagon as required.

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