Sunday, 29 March 2015

This weekend

Hello again :o)

This weekend has been crammed full of railway modelling bits and bobs so I am feeling a little inspired right now. Firstly on the Saturday I was fortunate to attend the London Festival of Railway modelling at Alexander Palace on behalf of the 2mm Scale Association to do a demo at the show.

The show was good and I enjoyed myself. I don't normally do shows on the Saturday because of the crowds but this is the exception, mainly because I spent most of the day sat behind a table talking to lots of nice people. It was once again nice to speak to lots of people and it always helps with the enthusiasm when I get some positive comments about my modelling. I am just sorry that my style of demo is a bit 'traditional' to some but it is hard to come up with new approaches to doing such things.

This year was especially good for me, I had the company of Andy Hanson for the day as I gave him a lift to the show, and a specially thanks also goes to Alex Duckworth who agreed to spend the day sat next to me on the demo table. It really felt a bit of a honour to be able to chat to him and admire his models close up. Somehow (and I still don't know how) I managed to pick up a Farish 2mt for £57 too, its going to be added to my 'for finescaling' pile of engines!

The food to me wasnt quite upto previous times so I had to liven it up a bit. It tasted really nice though.
Alex's Janus Engine. Simply superb modelling.
Before and After: My new Farish 2mt on the right and Alex's newly converted 2mm scale engine on the right. The difference is noticeable and worth it in my opinion.
Once I got mine home I just had to try it out on the layout. At the very least it needs toning down, its way too clean and shiny.

On the Sunday Andy H came over and we both decided to pop over to Pendon Museum to catch up with progress on the Vale Scene amongst other things. The modelling still amazes me and the fact its being done on such a grand scale more so. I really should go more often as I live so close to the place.

The classic Pendon scene, even the reflection looks right!
The amount of detail put into the lorry was impressive. Its amazing to think that this level of detail is being applied so the whole thing.
I was quite surprised how this photo came out considering it was taken with a camera phone.

So overall I enjoyed myself this weekend and as I mentioned above I am feeling very inspired now. The only problem is I am away for most of this week coming up so I wont get chance to funnel the enthusiasm to my fingers much. See some of you at York!

Julia :o)

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Can't see the wood for the trees

Hello :o)

This is the result of this weekends work. I have been back working on the layout and I took the opportunity to finish off the trees that I started before work was interrupted by the narrow gauge engine.

Following on from the trees that I made for the front of the layout I had another four to complete and place. I really wanted something that would obscure the public's view to make them either look around the trees or even better look through them towards the railway. These trees seemed to work well as at ground level there isnt much in the way or greenery to obstruct the view. There are now eight trees planted which makes for a nice little wooded area...

The good bit to me though is when you get down to ground level...

It was just what I was trying to achieve.

I also experimented with another type of tree using the same sort of technique once again inspired by the German blog...

I would be interested to hear opinions on it. Close-up I think it definitely has the feel of an evergreen to me but I am not sure about the shape of it.

Julia :o)

Friday, 20 March 2015

I think I am going to put this down for now...

Hello :o)

I have been working on this little engine for a few weeks now and its progressing along quite nicely. The problem is I have now reached a point where I need to step away for a bit and think through what, and more importantly how, to do the next bits. That plus I am feeling a little guilty for not working on Highclere so I have now packed it up, ready to move onto the next thing this weekend. Below are a few pictures showing what it looked like before it was bagged up...

One of the problems which I had to overcome was the fact the slidebars for the cylinders covered a wheelset. I got around this by drilling and tapping the chassis and bolting on the cylinder block with a single M1 screw. I still need to work out how to add the slidebar bracket to the chassis which will also need to be removable. The main problem with this bracket is although the wheels are 4mm diameter, the flanges are still oversize and therefore the wheels are bigger and the bracket cannot be fitted in its 'correct' position. The photo also shows me testing the motor fit, its a 6mm diameter motor from Nigel Lawton but I haven't figured out how to hold it in position, I am leaning towards some sort of formed Brass tube with a spring clip of some sorts. You can also see that I had to cut out the chassis around the worm because I didn't realise until I tried it that the worm is 2mm diameter, not much use when the chassis only has 1.5mm clearance between the frames! The final problem worth mentioning which I also didn't realise until they came was the fact I had ordered 1mm thick gears for the drive. Not thinking about it too much I then realised I needed to get two gears side by side within the frames. Of course now I have placed another order to get some 0.4mm thick gears...!

The above shows how the chassis looks at the moment. The wheels have been temporarily fitted so I don't loose them. It also shows how the cylinders look fitted. I am pleased with how the wheels have turned out, especially as I have made them from scratch.

And this is with the body (badly) fitted. I had to cut away the body a bit around the cylinders as the cylinders are a little bit wider than the prototype (to accommodate non scale wheels). I have noticed that I have made the cut out on this side too big (I didn't notice it on the model itself) so I might replace that bit and try again.

So thats how it looks, the size of the thing is making it a little harder than normal to build. I think I am going to do something less demanding like some more scenery.....

Julia :o)

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Can I make it? I dont know....


Ok, so this is a bit contrary to my last post where I said I was gong to focus on Highclere to get it finished but somehow things have worked out this was during the week.

In my last post I mentioned that I had upgraded the spindle on my CNC mill which now allows me to use a wider range of cutters than before. Well, one of things it has meant I could now do was to use some 0.3mm diameter milling cutters and so to try them out I produced some wheel centres as shown in my last blog post.

As you can see in the above picture I have now made some wheel rims using some free cutting steel and a wheel profile tool purchased from a guy in Germany HERE as Graham kindly posted in a previous post. These were pressed onto the centres producing a nice set of 4mm diameter driving wheels.

Next on the list of things to make were the chassis sideframes. I previously got some etched but I really wanted to make them out of something thicker plus I needed to provide some support for the motor and gears. The logical thing to do was to draw them and CNC cut another pair out of some 0.4mm thick Brass.

These were then soldered together with spacers to make a chassis a teeny 2.5mm wide. I couldnt resist it so below is a picture of how the engine looks right now...

There is still lots to do (obviously) and I am still not sure if it will actually work or even if I can build everything for it! One thing I know for sure is that its making me think hard about how to make things but more importantly I am quite enjoying the challenge. It will probably sit in a box now for a month or so until I figure out what to do next and how to do it!

Julia :o)

Sunday, 1 March 2015

This weekends stuff...


This weekend has been another busy one and I am say here on Sunday evening wondering where the weekend has gone once again.

Saturday was the Abingdon Model Railway Clubs annual show in Abingdon and once again I was kindly invited along to sit and talk to people about my models. Although for some weird reason I was a bit nervous at the start of the day I ended up thoroughly enjoying myself in the end. Thank you to everyone who came and had a chat. Below are some photos that Mike (MikeOxon) took of some of my bits...

Thank you Mike for allowing me to post them on my blog.

I have been just as busy today which started off by stripping apart the Proxxon CNC mill to change the spindle to a ER11 collet holder. This now means I can use upto 8mm diameter tools on the mill and not limited to the 1/8" diameter shafts of the old spindle anymore. This is quite a significant step for me as it now means I can use 4mm diameter shank carbide tools which are significantly cheaper than the 1/8" equivalent.

Of course to celebrate this fact I spent the rest of the day playing with some bits and bobs on the mill...

From left to right there is...

1. My first attempt at a driving wheel centre for a 4mm diameter wheel. I think a few things went wrong here but mainly it looks like the plastic was way too soft.
2. The second attempt using regular plasticard and although its better than the first (it couldnt be any worse really!) it still wasnt good enough for my liking.
3&4. This was done with PCB material and they came out really well.
5. As I was happy with the way the wheels turned out I decided to have a go at a 0.3mod gear too. I think it might even work!

So you are all now upto speed on what I have been doing....

Julia :o)