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Discussion Starter · #402 · (Edited)
So here I am at my desk ................. New Years Day 2022. Every year at this time I think back to that famous line from THE WHO, "hope I die before I get old". Well thank goodness that this insensitive wish has not stood the test of time. Ok, so I maintain an enthusiasm for life. That's good; and the fact that I still have work to do, have interests and hobbies, enjoy a stroll down to the pub ............. all good. However, the one bugbear that I cannot seem to shake off is procrastination .......... despite this stimulating Ted talk by this talented Australian lady, Andrea Jackson. As I get older I find ever more complex justifications for my chronic habit of putting off doing anything. Each New Year's Day I ponder that which has remained undone throughout the last 12 months and what it is that must be acheived in the coming 12 months. Nothing works as well as this to remind you that you have feet of clay.

It's at this point that I caste around for positives and in the particulars of this WSJ thread there are some. I intend to cut up and use the baseboard of my grandchildren's layout to construct the loco shed diorama ............... so I couldn't just go ahead and take th saw to it. No. First I had to make sure that the soon to be 18 year old and mid term sixteen year old were happy that their layout would be no more; they had to be consulted and I sprung the question upon them on Christmas day at breakfast. Thumbs up from them .... but ............. of course I couldn't just take myself off to the shed during the festive season so I have planned the "cut" for January 2nd ........... gulp .............. tomorrow. (Now I have to do it).

In the meantime I have been what I call "fettling". Tittivating that or cleaning up this. Basically stuff that can be done with no real effort. In the past couple of days it's been this:

Train Vehicle Motor vehicle Rolling Gas


Cleaning up the electrical surfaces of my Gaugemaster/ Marion Zeller rolling road test unit. This is where I wrote about the conversion in 2014 on MRF.

Just why I bought a GN tank engine for an exclusively GE layout escapes me but I do know that a solitary J50 was allocated to Norwich. It had to get there from Hornsey somehow so could have rested awhile in any depot when en route. Such is the licence allowed a modeller. For anybody who produced a decidedly disappointing effort from the K's Kit or purchased the ham-fisted offering from Lima this Hornby model was a real temptation. The model needs chipping (a useful occupation for a procrastinator) and I calculate that my Esu Ecos could power 24 x Hornby J50s at the same time. Ah that reminds me of another project that as yet has not be completed ........ when I take the Marion Zeller rolling road off the Gaugemaster LT unit and hook it up to my DCC controller I lack the easy to read amp meter. I bought one but so far have not created the planned small DCC test and formatting station. That initiative has withstood the best intentions of many New Year's Day resolutions.

So ............ today the hair shirt ............... tomorrow the saw.

Best regards for a happy and successful 2022 to all on MRF .............. Greyvoices (alias John)

PS. Two positives from Andrea Jackson's Ted Talk .............
  • head down bum up (must be an Australianism - what ever happened to strine?
  • productive procrastination ................. I'll buy into that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #403 ·
"............. tomorrow the saw". Well not quite. I spent Sunday catching up on council paperwork ...... now isn't that a tyical illustration of procrastination .......... I do something far more tedious than cutting up a baseboard to avoid cutting up a baseboard. However, today I managed to dig the baseboard out of the garage and proceeded to strip off the track:

Brown Rectangle Wood Font Tints and shades






Wood Creative arts Loom Metal Fashion accessory


I managed to save all but one of the Hornby track sections even though it had been glued and pinned. I will box up the track and put it with the grandkids Bachmann controllers, buildings and scenery, locos, coaches and wagons so that when great grandchildren come along they have access to their parents first set.

In the meantime I measured up the baseboard which will become the top and bottom of the 50mm x 1650 mm cameo style layout.

I know that this is all a bit basic but it's no less enjoyable. Sort of the bedrock of our hobby. Tomorrow I have three commitments but I hope to be able to find time to scrape off the residual glue.

Best regards ................ Greyvoices (alias John)
 

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Discussion Starter · #405 ·
There's nothing so sad as a loco that can't be run... I look forward to seeing how your idea progresses and whether you can stop it becoming an 'L' and then a 'U' ... ;)

David
Peter, in an attempt to answer your very shrewd character assessment I have referenced back to what David wrote way back in early November last year because it well illustrates how my mind vacillates between alternate possibilities. As I lay in bed last night, in the wee small hours unable to sleep, I was mulling over the dimensions that I would apply to the cutting up of the sandwich baseboard and the possible shed complex track layout. I was planning to use the two 50mm by 170mm sections as top and bottom and I was thinking about the ends that would need to be manufactured. Then I remembered Dave's post which I quoted above. In an instant the layout became L shaped. I had to get up (I was going to anyway because there is a reason why that time of night is called the wee small hours), grabbed my tape measure and proceeded to measure around my desk. It all works.

Was it you , John, that coined the phrase: I used to be indecisive, but now I'm not so sure? ;)
So Peter, in answer to your question, yes it was me.

Wood Shelf Shelving Building Engineering


Now I am filled with urgency to actually get cracking before I start to think about how to shoe horn David's suggestion of a U shape around the desk. So .......... back to the shed.

Best regards .................. Greyvoices (alias John)
 

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Discussion Starter · #406 ·
I have surprised myself and bought an 00 scale model, specifically aimed at the shed layout:

Train Rolling stock Wheel Track Vehicle


Bachmann's Ransomes & Rapier 45T Steam Breakdown Crane. It was on offer at a reasonable price ............... by that I mean that it was still expensive but nowhere near the price some are asking. Part of the attraction was that Ransome's & Rapier were an Ipswich company and, although this prototype was intended for The GW and SR a couple were built during WWII to replace a brace of LNER Cowan Sheldon cranes sent overseas; one being based at King's Cross. My fiction will be that the crane has attended an incident in mid-Anglia and rests on shed awaiting travelling back to the home depot.

I researched my colour choice as I have a fondness for the red painted era. I knew that in early BR days the cranes were painted black but my reasearches unearthed the information that the BR Department of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering (DM&EE) issued a directive in 1959 that all rail cranes should be painted red. My depot covers the period 1950 through to the early 1960's up until the introduction of Class 47s so I claim modellers licence to assume that Top Shed immediately carried out the repainting of their crane in 1959. S'my railway.

I have photographed the crane being hauled by an E4 but I imagine that a J15 would be more appropriate. However, as must have been done at many a shed throughout the land, this depot manager used what was readily to hand. I have seen a breakdown train hauled by a WD 9Fso that might be a future consideration. Now all I have to do is source a suitable coach and odd wagons to make up a representative breakdown crane. I know that Hornby modelled a modifed Gresley coach, pained red for their breakdown train set and if one of theose coaches came up for sale I would be interested. I seem to remember another departmental coach was produced by someone, painted black .............. failing that I must have enough spare coaches to butcher skillfully modify myself.

I know that I didn't have to buy this crane but my BR career did include some involvment with rail cranes so there is a deal of nostalgia involved. I was sent on crane supervisor courses during my time with British Railways and I was passed out to supervise cranes up to a capacity of 90 tons. Of course I would have been a mere ornament at a difficult crash site but I knew that I would never be asked to manage anything complex as there were depot staff with years of experience who really knew what they were doing. I only supervised the loading of infrastructure materials such as track panels and rails .......... oh and once, sometime in the mid eighties in Norwich Yard I loaded the girder frames that were designed to enable heavy, out of gauge loads such as bridge beams to be transported using the ex GWR Pollen wagons (now to be seen at Didcot). Sadly we used a modern Plasseur and Thurer 12T raill crane for that job. I never worked with a steam crane.

Best regards .................... Greyvoices (alias John)
 

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Discussion Starter · #407 ·
The inevitable has happened; I buy a rail crane and then obsess about what coaches and wagons I need to make up the breakdown train.

A search on eBay provides many opportuities to purchase secondhand Hornby breakdown coaches and even full breakdown sets complete with crane but these all seem course scaled when compared with the far better quality of the Bachmann crane. So I keep looking ................. and then find these for pre-order:

Train Vehicle Wheel Product Rolling stock

Train Vehicle Wheel Rolling stock Mode of transport


Hatton's generic 6 wheel coaches turned out in BR Breakdown train livery. They fit the time frame of 1959 ............... I think. But being generic should I compromise?
They do look good and are fitted with lights and DCC sockets .......... for £30 & £36 you get a lot for your money. Not exactly LNER in profile, more Southern/GWR but in BR days departmental coaches and wagons started to stray far and wide. I remember the infrastructure rail crane based on Leyton Depot (in the east end of London) being accompanied by an ex Great Western Toad brake van.

Best regards .................. Greyvoices (alias John)
 

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I would have to go for something of LNER group profile. A GNR six wheel full brake would be my top pick, I believe Andy Edgson (son of John Edgson of Isinglass drawings fame) was developing a 4mm 3D print kit.

Fall back, either a knocked about Kirk kit (like the Gresley 52'6" brake end that hung about for years in departmental livery on the down side near Finsbury Park) or from RTR knock about Hornby's Gresley 51' non gangwayed brake end to suit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #409 ·
I would have to go for something of LNER group profile. A GNR six wheel full brake would be my top pick,
I tend to agree 34C. No need to drop standards.

Best regards ................ Greyvoices (alias John)
 

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Discussion Starter · #410 ·
Following on from the last post I started to think more along the lines of converting what I already own ......................... and I do own a lot of Thompson, Gresley and ex GER carriages. I actually need to sort them all out as they are distributed in sundry boxes and drawers. Many beautiful kit built examples. What a waste to leave them in the dark, never to be appreciated.

The first drawer I looked in produced this:

Wood Rolling stock Train Rolling Track


Kit built metal full brake with a fine paint job, even down to correctly painted wheels. Surely too good to tamper with though I note a slight warp in that roof line. I have many others including a variety of Ian Kirk kits........... though I sadly lack an example of the GER mainline shortened Gresley coach. If I remember correctly one such was co-opted into departmental use and resided at Chesterton Depot CMD for many years.

Train Rolling stock freight car Wood Wheel


Best regards ................... Greyvoices (alias John)
 

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...Kit built metal full brake with a fine paint job, even down to correctly painted wheels. Surely too good to tamper with though I note a slight warp in that roof line...
Much too good for what would be a pre-group design (ex-NER?) now a tool and stores van for a breakdown train. There's a fine picture credited to RC Riley on page 32 of Hugh Ballantyne's 'Eastern Steam in Colour' A J6 'knick knack' on a breakdown train, the first vehicle of which is a clerestory vehicle of probable GN or GN/ECJS provenance, in the tattiest black 'livery' and more than a little warped.

... I have many others including a variety of Ian Kirk kits........... though I sadly lack an example of the GER mainline shortened Gresley coach...
As I am sure you are aware, not least of the joy of the Kirk kits was the ease with which they could be cut and shut. All those convenient vertical guidelines on the bodysides...
 

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Discussion Starter · #412 ·
Nothing much has happened with my British modelling, the loco depot mini layout, in the last few months. My civic duties were very time consuming, made more intense by an influx of Ukraine refugees. My term as mayor ended in the middle of May and I had hoped to have much more time for modelling.

Gradually this is becoming possible and my thoughts turn to track laying. My chosen period is post WW2 up to early 1960's, roughly encompassing nationalisation of BR to the introduction of the Brush Type 4 (class 47). Track therefore has to be bullhead and I have a load of DCC Concepts metre lengths plus one of their point kits to assemble. I have also had delivered a point kit from British Finescale and I will see how I manage with both. I am aware of the new Peco bullhead points but thy do seem to be very expensive.

The concept is for an "L" shape but the trackplan is a moving feast and it's about time I commited it to paper. The basics are a 4 track steam shed plus turntable, another 4 track steam shed re-purposed for the emergent diesel locomotives plus a 2 track new diesel maintenance shed and a small diesel fuelling point. Ash drops and coaling are imagined off scene but there may be room for a decrepit steam engine inspection facility like those erected during WW2 to avoid the glow of dropped ashpans being detectable from the air.

Onward and upward.

Best regards .................. Greyvoices (alias John)
 

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Discussion Starter · #413 ·
What a difference a day makes .......

Last Wednesday was a good day as I started on the baseboards for the depot layout. Measured up around my desk to work out the adjustments to furniture and shelves needed to accomodate the "L" shaped baseboard. Thursday I felt like rewarding myself. I had a meeting planned for late morning in Leicester and decided to top off the day by going onward to London to have my first ride on the Elizabeth Line. Bad timing what with the Jubilee stuff going on but I worked out that the flag waving crowds would all be above ground whilst i would enjoy a comparatively comfortable ride underground. But ..................

I never even made it to the meeting in Leicester because, thinking that I had a lot of time in hand I travelled via Nottingham and it was there that my left leg decided to intervene by mis-stepping on the station footbridge stairs. I ended up in Nottingham Queen's Hospital. A bit bashed about but walking. I had to return again to the hospital on Friday for further attention to this:

Hand Finger Gesture Thumb Material property


What a frustration. Finally start back modelling and now I have a bandaged and barely usable hand and wrist ... oh and my back's killing me. Still it could be worse. I survived a nasty fall that could have ended me. So now I wait to heal. At least I am an expert in armchair modelling; totally imaginery so no hands required.

No fool like an old fool. Sadly now back to productive procrastination.

Best regards ........... Greyvoices (alias John)
 

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Ouch. Hope it all heals well and dexterity is fully restored.

Were the A&E staff good with you? The past seven years experience with our parental generation as their various declines got underway, and independence had to be reluctantly relinquished to varying extents, have demonstrated to me the quality of the NHS A&E with respect to those richer in years. In my youth in what was then 'Casualty' it was always a very brusque reception, for my own sports and cycling injuries various, or when my future wife was knocked over by a motorcyclist; the contrast came as a real surprise!

What's the dividing line in age I wonder? I haven't been on my own account since turning 30, and certainly don't want to go, just curious...
 

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Discussion Starter · #415 ·
A&E were really good. First the NHS drop in centre nearby to Nottingham Station. They assessed me within 15 minutes but said I needed to go to casualty. Couldn't face the walkback to the tram so took a taxi. Early assessment at Queen's A&E within 40 minutes and then I got to see the hands on nurse within another 10 minutes .. then x-ray ......... back to nurse for some finger pulling ...... back to x-ray then back to nurse for her to assess her handiwork. Finally a doctor gave me the once over because my fall was deemed serious and I could have injuries not yet visible. Doctor gave me the ok and I was out the door within two and a half hours. By then, feeling much more myself I took the tram back to the station and then train to Derby ............. where I had a couple of pints before catching the local train home.

All in all I was impressed. I am sure that late on a Saturday night it's probably far more lively and time consuming. My return on Friday was to see the consultant .......... yet another bank holiday and the clinic was open for business to avoid a huge backlog on the following Monday.

I am still much slowed down but I should be back to pre-fall condition soon though I don't know how long it will take for my finger to gain full articulation.

Best regards ................. Greyvoices (alias John)
 

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Sorry to here of you mishap. Our experience of the NHS has always been poor at monitoring ang ongoing checks but great when it really matters. Here in Spain it's actually fantastic in both areas but then, if you are in hospital, all but the basics are supposed to be looked after by the family. Can't have everything I suppose. Hope the digit is back to full mobility soon.
 

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Hi Greyvoices,
It looks like a simple, albeit painful, dislocation, a common Aussie Rules injury when taking a contested mark, happens nearly every game. Trainer rushes on, slots it back in, 'now get on with the game, son'.
Stay healthy !
Impressive array of books there btw........
6991

PS From Hornsey, the 'chinese puzzle' would just follow the main line up to Hitchin, over to Cambridge via Royston, thence via Ely and Thetford to Norwich.
 

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Discussion Starter · #420 · (Edited)
Thanks to all for your comments of encouragement. I take your point 6991, it is but a finger. Australian Rules ............... does it actually have any rules?

The hand still not being usable for modelling I have cast around for something I can do. Came up with this:

Wood Plant Cooking Grass Automotive tire


I have had this mechanical points/signal control assembly for some time and never could make up my mind what to do with it. It's lanquished forgotten on top of a dusty cupboard in the garage for years and it suddenly sprang to mind as a light project untill my left hand returns to full articulation. A simple cleanup is obviously the first step and I am having thoughts about creating a control box for the depot layout. I was going to use DCC Concepts signal levers (I have twelve) coupled with the Alpha unit feeding into their 8 Channel Accessory Decoder CDU Solenoid Drive & Digital Relay SX (well the original version) as I am using up all my old solenoid point motors on the depot layout. I have all this kit to hand but then had the idea of using this old mechanical assembly instead of the DCC Concepts levers. Why not. I really like the action of these levers and to see the cranks moving is very satisfying. I just have to decide how to convert the crank throw into an electical signal feeding into the alpha unit. I know that this could be acheived without the cranks and an array of switches lined up behind the lever frame would be much easier but it does seem a shame to dismantle all those cranks.

Some of the pre-digital model railway kit retain an attraction. It's not all nostalgia ............. or is it.

Best regards .................. Greyvoices (alias John)
 
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