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Posts Tagged ‘hornby’

Hornby 08 R3261 R3342 R3343 R3484 R3485 R2933

Hornby 08
R3261 R3342 R3343 R3484 R3485 R2933

‘Finescale’ is an odd thing, its a bit like pornography, in that I’m not sure I can define it, but I know it when I see it! One of the barriers for people who want to explore the more accurate gauges in 4mm scale is the barrier of no ready to run models in the wider gauges. Phil Sutton sulzertype2.co.uk has recently broken that barrier with the options available with his class 24, but for the moment, if you want any other locomotive it’s DIY. Hornby’s 08 is an excellent candidate for a quick gauge change using the Ultrascale CAT007/378 conversion set. With the latest batch of this excellent model hitting the shop floors, there will be modellers out there wanting to convert them to either P4 or EM. The Ultrascale conversion isn’t cheap, but you do get a drop in wheel and gearset manufactured to the highest standards, ready quartered and pretty much a drop in replacement. The real beauty of it is that its engineered so that the set up and fixing of the external cranks are all sorted for you, so whilst this isn’t one of my fifteen minute heroes, it is a conversion that can be done in an evenings work.

Hornby 08 R3261 R3342 R3343 R3484 R3485 R2933

Hornby 08
R3261 R3342 R3343 R3484 R3485 R2933

I found the easy way to kick this conversion off is by removing the connecting rods. They are of a soft and pliable white metal so do take care when handling them. They are retained with a captive crankpin screwed into the hub casting of the Hornby wheelset.

Hornby 08 R3261 R3342 R3343 R3484 R3485 R2933

Hornby 08 R3261 R3342 R3343 R3484 R3485 R2933

I don’t have a spanner or socket set for these very small nuts, however I used a set of smooth faced tweezers to remove the crankpins, again being careful not to bend or damage the coupling rods.

Hornby 08 R3261 R3342 R3343 R3484 R3485 R2933

Hornby 08 R3261 R3342 R3343 R3484 R3485 R2933

Coupling rods removed and crankpins replaced. There seems to be a market for these wheelsets so they may have a value on ebay, or alternatively keep them so if you sell on in due course you can convert the locomotive back to OO and sell both loco and the ultrascales separately.

Hornby 08 R3261 R3342 R3343 R3484 R3485 R2933

Hornby 08 R3261 R3342 R3343 R3484 R3485 R2933

Hornby 08 R3261 R3342 R3343 R3484 R3485 R2933

Hornby 08 R3261 R3342 R3343 R3484 R3485 R2933

The next two tasks are the removal of the brake gear and the keeper plate, both are easy jobs, this then gives open access to the wheelsets. Make sure you note the location of any of the plastic shims as these are also insulating pieces from the electrical pickup to the baseplate.

Hornby 08 R3261 R3342 R3343 R3484 R3485 R2933

Hornby 08 R3261 R3342 R3343 R3484 R3485 R2933

Hornby 08 R3261 R3342 R3343 R3484 R3485 R2933

Hornby 08 R3261 R3342 R3343 R3484 R3485 R2933

The Hornby wheelsets can then be removed, my chassis’ had square phosphor bronze type axle bearings, you’ll note the Ultrascale set axlebearings are turned brass. If you ever wondered what the difference was between EM/P4 and OO the gauge difference can be seen easily in the above image. There is fortuitously space between the external frames for the replacement wheels to drop in with no remedial work required.

Hornby 08 R3261 R3342 R3343 R3484 R3485 R2933

Hornby 08 R3261 R3342 R3343 R3484 R3485 R2933

The wheelsets are supplied set up and quartered, the bearings have a lip on them which needs easing into the slot on the Hornby chassis where the original sets were located. Make sure this slot is clear from debris and gently press the wheelset into place. At this point I reassemble the chassis apart from the brakegear and turn my attention to the coupling rods. Prior to fitting them, run the chassis with no rods to make sure the gears are meshed properly and the wheels turn without any significant restriction. You will need to adjust the pick ups so they bear gently but positively on the rear of the wheel tread, this will give a slight resistance to the free wheeling, but not enough to stop them or make them run unevenly.

Hornby 08 R3261 R3342 R3343 R3484 R3485 R2933

Hornby 08 R3261 R3342 R3343 R3484 R3485 R2933

The original rods can be used again as I have done, and this is the fastest conversion. The Ultrascale crankpins are slightly larger diameter than the original Hornby crankpins so the holes in the coupling rods will need opening out. I use an engineers cutting broach for this, theres a link at the bottom of the article to a supplier. This is the best tool for the job to gently open out the crankpin hole, working from both sides you can cut away tiny amounts until you have a comfortable fit. It needs to be a very close fit but still revolve around the crankpin with no resistance at all. You could also use a fine rat tailed file or try drilling it but I really, really wouldn’t suggest it. It will be far too easy to take too much metal away leaving poor running or to damage the rods irreparably. The Hornby rods don’t need any thinning either so it really is a straightforward replacement. Once the rods are on, test run the chassis to ensure there’s no binding before adding the tiniest dab of superglue on the end of the thread of the crankpin. Capillary action take this into the lead thread and helps lock the nut in place.

Hornby 08 R3261 R3342 R3343 R3484 R3485 R2933

Hornby 08 R3261 R3342 R3343 R3484 R3485 R2933

Next steps are finishing, I paint the wheels using Humbrol or Revel enamels, and fit the brake gear back in place. I run the locomotive for a while to be happy everything is bedded or ‘run in’ well before filing away the ends of the threads protruding from the crankpin nut. If you want to use the Brassmasters etched rods for this conversion, I wrote up a Bachmann 08 conversion here /trinity-08-brassmaster Apart from the soldered rod construction the conversion would be almost identical. So then, that’s an evenings work to get an EM 08. No where near as daunting as some conversions can be, and a real booster for your confidence if its the first one you’ve done. The same principal can be used for a number of their conversion kits for simple steam locomotives, such as Panniers or Jinties, so, have a go!

Hornby 08 R3261 R3342 R3343 R3484 R3485 R2933

Hornby 08 R3261 R3342 R3343 R3484 R3485 R2933

Here is one supplier of Engineering Cutting broaches, hobbyholidays.co.uk at the better exhibitions you will find either Phil with Hobby holidays, or other similar suppliers for this sort of tooling. Its worth getting good quality,when you buy too, good equipment will last a lifetime, and good suppliers like Phil above, will have a range to suit your budget. Tell him I sent ya ….

_B6O4719.CR2

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Hornby J15 R3232

Hornby J15 R3232

This is copied across from my other blog Albion Yard, I’m left wondering what to do with the Gibson kit now!
One of the latest items released by Hornby is the Great Eastern Wordsell designed Y14. The type first entered service in 1883 and was reclassified to arguable its more common designation of J15 after Grouping by the London & North Eastern Railway. The model as received depicts one of the class in their twilight years with the British Railways late crest, the subject locomotive being withdrawn in March 1963. The class was popular with both crew and enthusiasts. With a light axle loading the type was suitable for use on the light branch lines of East Anglia, for example it’s easy to locate images of the class working the Snape Maltings branch in Suffolk.

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The model I’ve been poking and prodding is the OO 4mm scale late BR logo J15 R3232. It is supplied in the contemporary packaging of a vacuum formed protective cover which fits inside a cardboard tray with an outer sleeve. The locomotive was well protected and no components are loose or have suffered any damage in transit.

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Included in the packing is a detail set including brake pull rods and the locomotive front coupling. Despite the models small size it weighs in at approximately 185g for the locomotive, the chassis block, footplate and boiler being metal castings. An additional weight is provided within the tender.

First impression often counts for me, and the J15 doesn’t disappoint. It immediately looks in proportion, edges are well defined and thin, particularly the cab roof and the color is a good opaque dull black with a very slight sheen to it. There are no paint blemishes and the detail printing is legible and clear. Like the K1 reviewed earlier on the blog, the yellow numbering looks to me a little too far towards a ‘lemon’ shade rather than a more cream color which I feel is correct. The wheel tyres and coupling rods are a pleasing steel color rather than bright chrome which blighted models in the not too recent past. Detail fittings are all correctly fitted and square and no evidence of excess glue around them. The prototype over its many years of service underwent a good number of detail changes. For the late livery as supplied it appears that Hornby have all the variations correct on this model and cross checking my available drawings the dimensions are correct too. The locomotive superstructure reflects the late chimney and dome in the forward position. Handrails reflect later era fittings with a continuous handrail above the smokebox face. Boiler mudholes are correctly offset on both sides of the engine and smokebox door is has the bevel edge and seating ring around the circumference. Smokebox dart is a separate fitting as are the lamp irons. The cab is represented with the later replacement steel plated roof and the cab sides the later smaller cut out. These are easily identified by the pronounced bowed effect of the cab profile and for the cab sides the tender rail and cab rails being of matching height.

IMG_3887

Looking at the assembly of the superstructure components the join lines all indicate that If in the future Hornby want to backdate the model to an earlier Great Eastern or LNER version that will be possible. Cab detail is delicately modelled with separate fittings, the screw reverser aligning perfectly with the external rod to the mechanism. In front of the off side cab sits a Westinghouse brake pump which is well proportioned and crisply moulded.

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The chassis is an interesting piece of model engineering. In terms of detail, it matches the superstructure above. Below the firebox on the right hand side you can see the strengthening plate and Westinghouse pump drain. Brake shoes and pull rods are moulded in plastic and are correct shape and size. Wheels on this particular locomotive have balance weights as they should, for a ‘last forty’ batch engine, and non fluted coupling rods. Both locomotive and tender have the correct number of spokes ad profile wheels. The top of the chassis shows a representation of the inside valve gear and the underside of the boiler, allowing full daylight to be seen through the locomotive.

IMG_3850

The chassis core is a metal casting with a plastic keeper plate that has phosphor bronze wiper pickups bearing on the rear of the tyre. All were in contact and the locomotive runs very smoothly through its full speed range without hesitation. The axles sit in circular brass bearings within the chassis block. The drive is to the rear axle, this is quite a challenge with a small open cab locomotive for it to remain hidden. The motor sits in a cradle which is the underneath of the boiler, and is fitted with two brass flywheels on extended shafts either end of the motor. Drive to the rear axle is taken via a plastic drive shaft to a gearbox tower that sits within the locomotive smokebox. The tower converts the drive via gearing to a plastic final drive gear to the rear axle, with all the mechanism enclosed within the chassis block, (more on this later). There is lateral movement of all axles though not excessive and clearance on the insides of the running plate splashers too. I’ve not measured it but my feeling is that the current chassis and running plate would likely accommodate an EM/S4 conversion with little (if any) modification.

IMG_3859

All wiring is tidy and accurately soldered, another neat touch being the channel within the chassis for the wiring loom from locomotive to tender. The tender coupling has two positions to allow for normal operation and close coupling for display or gentler radius curves. I’ve had no issues on 36 inch radius curves with the close setting used.

IMG_3879

The tender is correct for prototype and era. Like the locomotives they underwent changes throughout the life of the type. In terms of detail the tender shows the same degree of finesse and accuracy to era. Tender frame cutouts are correctly oval as opposed to ‘D’ shape on earlier engines, and the brakeshoes in line with the OO whelsets. The Fire Iron shield with the holder is in place as are external curved coal rails and the water gauge, all appropriate to the era portrayed. The brake cylinders for the Westinghouse pumps have been omitted; these are unlikely to have been visible and would probably have fouled the electrical connection between engine and tender. The molded coal insert for the tender is removable and shows the peculiar rectangular spaced coal bunker underneath, no gravity assistance for the poor fireman here!

IMG_3860

The tender houses the 8 pin DCC chip blanking plate. The tender floor has slots which if fitting sound will help with the acoustics. Space is limited however and a sugar cube type speaker would seem a probable choice if fitting sound, and possibly the removal or reduction in size of the tender weight will help.

IMG_3893

Whilst looking at the chassis of the J15 I wondered how it compared to a typical Bachmann product of a similar nature. In stock I had access to a Bachmann 3F and ‘C’ class. As the ‘C was more recent I thought it’d be interesting to see them side by side. As far as the prototype goes they were similar designs of similar sizes for similar work. Clearly this is not a true like for like, but interesting in looking at how the models differed.

IMG_3883

Paint finish is excellent on both as are the lettering and logos. Hornby has a matt finish and the Bachmann, satin. In terms of detail the Hornby model has the edge in terms of finesse, in general lamp irons and small details are finer from Hornby.

IMG_3873

The J15 tender chassis has brakes in line with the wheels where the ‘C’ class are integral with the outer frame. This doesn’t sound much but when seeing the two side by side there is a noticeable difference, but nothing a bit of old fashioned modelling can’t sort out for Bachmann’s ‘C’.

IMG_3865

The loco chassis is the most interesting though. Bachmann choosing a centre axle drive and an enclosed motor, the model runs well and with this prototype Bachmann haven’t encroached into the space underneath the boiler. With the J15 and the smaller firebox Hornby could also have taken this ‘easy’ route, but have come up with an excellent design keeping the motor and mechanism hidden. The running properties are slightly smoother than Bachmanns, no doubt aided by the double flywheel. Both models have similar connections between engine and tender, but no close couple option from Bachmann. The tidy wiring from Hornby also being of note in this context too. The Hornby configuration has a good number of possibilities for small prototypes, length reduction can be achieved with one flywheel removed and a shorter cardan shaft to the gearbox.

IMG_3912

For interest I placed a 14XX next to the J15 chassis. The current motor, gearbox and flywheel configuration would all work in a 14xx chassis with no cab encroachment. With quality cast superstructure like the J15 and a metal chassis with the metal boiler motor cradle, the possibilities for future development of detailed and well running smaller locomotive prototypes is intriguing indeed.

IMG_3888

Overall then, a very competent and pleasing representation of the J15, to a high standard of finish and detail. Being the follow on release after the K1 the J15 keeps the same standards and possibly with the chassis and motor engineering, exceeds them. If these standards for toy train sets are kept this high we’ll be thoroughly spoilt. And frankly, why not?

Hornby R3232 J15 DCC Ready
Product ref LOT01-P91569
R3232-03-078

_B6O4719.CR2

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This week we shall have visitors, some image tomfoolery awaits!

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At Model Rail Live this year I was particularly taken by the Y1, so much so that I bought one! It’ll need converting to EM which looks quite straightforward, it’s a pretty simple assembly, and then straight into operating stock, a nice easy win! Heljans Class 16 is very tempting too, so far I’ve resisted. Double click the images for a really good look at the Y1.

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As far as the layout goes I’ve had a couple of offers for exhibitions for 2014, which if I can get the weekends, I’ll be doing. There’ll only be a few, and I’m hoping to give the ‘presentation’ of the layout a rework to. Once Albion Yard has had its swan song at Warley in a few weeks and the layout for the DVD I’m working on is complete then I’ll be able to attend to a simple, and clean makeover. Bawdsey will appear in the DVD too, there are some very clever design features to it, which aren’t apparent when the layout is set up, but are huge benefits for the storage and transport. More on those in the DVD and on here in due course.

_B6O4719.CR2

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IMG_1136

This is the first of three grain wagons for Bawdsey. Built from the Parkside kit, it’s not the easiest of builds. Being one of the earlier kits in the range it is showing its age, but with a bit of work scrubs up well. I’ve yet to add a few more details such as the handrails and refine the end steps.

This is an example of the kit completed to P4 standards on Longcarse West and shows just how well it can turn out. I’m hoping my three will end up a similar quality.

This picture was taken at Scalefour North, one of the shows where the layout was exhibited. You can read more on Longcarse West here
 

http://waveydaveysmodellingblog.wordpress.com/

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You know those days when everything seems to have gone well, and you sit back thinking, ‘the boy done good’, well heres one of those bring you down to earth moments. Looking through the images taken a day or so ago, I found this little gem. Fortunately I’d taken several very similar shots so I don’t have to unpack the trainset again.

I took the opportunity to see how the Hornby Gresley Suburbans looked on the layout too, apart from being a bit too clean, they capture the look and atmosphere of the Suffolk branch line well. When the Thompsons arrive I’ll weather them all together in a batch, to get a uniform finish in terms of overall color and texture. Then I work on the details. More to follow soon.

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For the first time in well over a year the layout is up and a few of the newer items snapped on it. I’ve put Albion Yard and Bawdsey up together for the first time, and its very interesting to see the differences in approach by Chris Matthewman who built Bawdsey, and how I’ve done Albion Yard. Having said that I have used a very similar structure for Albion Yards supports based on Bawdseys’, after all why re-invent the wheel? The next few items to convert and shoot are the Hornby Gresley Suburbans, and with the Thompson Subs a week or so away (according to my sources) I’ll have a fully authentic coaching stock roster, ready for a photo shoot in the near future.

The reason for the assembling the layout is for a couple of people to see it, my good mate Paul Lunn is over tomorrow and the layout will be an example in the book project we’re working on, and the other visitor is for a potentially very interesting media project to run in the future.

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In my previous post I mentioned that I’d got an idea for the Derby lightweights corridor connections. Unfortunately that didn’t work out as the mountings were too wide, full story here http://albionyard.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/108-connections/

However what it did do was spur me on to get the soldering iron out and brush up on rusty skills, so it’s not been wasted effort, see below.

Practise results!

I’m now looking at Masokits range to try their connections for double scissors connections as a suitable replacement. From the improvement with the 108 (see link above), I know the effort will be worth it. I’ve also taken a provisional booking for the layout for the Autumn next year, so I’ve still got a little while to sort the DMU’s out!

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Bawdsey BR Eastern Region (Originally ‘Strove’ LNER)

Many introductions to a layout description start with a brief rundown of the authors start in the hobby, and then into the basics of how they built the layout. I’m no different to many of us who’s interest started as a child from my father’s interest. The difference with this layout is that I didn’t build it, I bought it. If you’ve been in the hobby for about fifteen years or so, bought the Railway Modeller regularly, and visited exhibitions on the northern circuit in the first half of the ‘noughties’, this layout may seem familiar to you. It was built by the late Chris Matthewman, appeared as ‘Strove’ Railway of the Month in September 2001, and took part in twenty one exhibitions under Chris’ ownership. This then is a look at the layout today, and some things to consider if you purchase a second hand layout.

I visit Roy Jackson and his EM layout regularly, on one of his running days David Woodward had some EM locomotives for sale, from Chris Matthewman’s estate. I was captivated by an LMS 2-6-0 ‘crab’ from DJH origins which I subsequently bought. Whilst talking to David he advised me he was helping with the estate sale after Chris had died, and I asked what had happened to ‘Strove’ as I’d seen the layout once and had been considering making an East Anglian branch line. He advised me it was available and with the families blessing arranged a sale with myself. At the time I had quite a few other projects under way both at home and modelling. To get a layout that was ready to go, and that I could just play with was a key motivation too.

How it started

Buying a second hand layout can be difficult. ‘Strove’ hadn’t been used for about two or three years, so David arranged for it to be set up so I could view it working and see its condition prior to purchase. Having viewed it I was pretty certain that I wanted it, and we agreed a couple of weeks for me to think about it and decide definitely if it was for me or not. No stock would come with the layout and not unreasonably it was ‘sold as seen’. This was not a problem, as I had stock of my own, and Chris’ reputation as a builder who’s layouts were of good quality and reliable made the choice to go ahead relatively easy. One thing to bear in mind if you do a similar purchase is that there are no warranties and you are on your own as far as maintenance, see later. The layout had been built with old equipment and very much a typical 1960/70’s style. This means that you can’t go to the local model shop and expect to get a replacement component. If a problem occurs you will have to repair or replace the component, and possibly modify it to make sure it fits. I’ve described this layout on occasion as a ‘heritage’ layout, and if you think in terms of prototype diesels and multiple units, and look underneath, whilst well executed and tidy, its most certainly got some age to it. Having said that, it has been very reliable. Chris used to attend exhibitions with his layouts and his attention to detail, practical design and reliability really come to the fore at those events. To date I’ve had two point blades fail and one point throw arm from the motor to the microswitch. This last fault meant that I had to re-make the component, bending cutting and forming aluminium tube, there was no ordering it on-line, and this is a real consideration when you buy someone else’s layout. The layout didn’t come with a transformer either and one was made for me specifically for the layout. Unfortunately one of the components failed burning the unit out. John Mcrea was very helpful in coming to my assistance, and rebuilt the transformer box upgrading components along the way, and this resulted in a reliable unit.

The signals are all operational apart from those that are ground mounted, and are operated by Fulgarex electric motors, however the mechanism reflects its age in that there are lead weights and cotton cord all in the mix, making it a ‘unique’ arrangement in terms of maintenance. Obviously with Chris having passed away there’s no one to ask how to fix something, I have to work it out myself or ask friends if they have any advice or experience that can help. If you are buying or are going to look after a layout these sorts of issues must be thought over. A previous owner may not want anything to do with their layout once they’ve handed it over, and I imagine it’d be extremely frustrating to have an unserviceable layout especially at an exhibition.

When I bought the layout I had a firm idea of what changes I wanted to make to it. One of the assurances I gave Chris’ wife was that any development would be sympathetic to the layout and of a similar quality. My main interests in railways are predominantly BR era 1950’s through to the 80’s. The layout was firmly based in the 1930’s and fortunately little changed through the war years and it was only when BR got into its modernisation plan that we saw wholesale changes across the rail network. I wanted to run early diesel initially, and then also have steam introduced to my stock at a later date. The buildings are all permanently fixed to the boards and are of mounting board and Superquick paper construction. Any changes to them would mean very careful work. Over the years the layout coloring has faded slightly resulting in a toning down of the colors, so any changes would need great care to carry off. To date the main changes have been removing the majority of the people on the layout and things like horses and carts which whilst appropriate for the earlier era, would have reduced significantly by BR days.

I’ve shown the layout as being re-signed using Modelmasters transfers for BR station lettering. On the platform one of the porters has just dropped off the running in board and two BR totems to complete the signage change. The signal box is in early LNER colors, by the 50’s it should have been cream or white main panels with the framework in either green or black. I looked at changing this but decided that it would be too difficult to effectively mask the layout, windows and panels to get a suitable quality finish. I did carefully remove the original signal box name plates and replaced them with nameplates for Bawdsey. I do have a mind to do a few further changes to the layout in particular, a new backscene depicting winter together with new trees are under consideration as is a row of houses to be added to the front of the layout. Any changes like this will need careful design as the layout all packs into a custom built carrying frame and also I don’t want to disrupt the visual balance of the existing display.

The layout has a regional design element that places it firmly in East Suffolk. Chris took Aldeburgh as his starting point and based the layout on that station. As it had key elements of Aldeburgh it was logical for me to look at that area and see where a railway may have been built in addition to the Aldeburgh, Snape Maltings and Framlingham branches. Having an aviation background I looked at the area Great Eastern lines through Norfolk and to south of Ipswich. During the war Orford Ness and Bawdsey , (south of Ipswich), were very secretive areas, Bawdsey having a major part in the development of Radar, as did Orford Ness. I imagined that the original railway served Bawdsey and that the Quay with its ‘ferry’ to the Felixstowe side of the River Deben had in the past grown to a size that a Branch line to Bawdsey and the Quay could have been built. I also imagined that the branch had a Junction at Alderton with a further branch to Hollesley and then across to Orford. After the first world war these lines would have been ripe for rationalisation even then, but the second world war provided a lifeline in helping supply the military establishments at Bawdsey, Orford Ness, and RAF Woodbridge. The layout is now set in the period where the old traditions and working practices of grouping and pre-grouping companies are being absorbed into post 1948 British Railways, and prior to the arrival of Dr Beeching’s infamous axe. Even by this time the decline in traffic and modernisation changes would have signalled a grim outlook for the railway. At exhibitions I’ve had a number of ex RAF personnel mention they were stationed at Bawdsey too.

I have been very fortunate with the rolling stock for the layout. The coach and wagon stock I already had in OO gauge. They were converted to EM gauge by either replacing wheel sets or re-gauging the existing sets. I’d previously worked in EM gauge so there were no challenges there and the motive power comprises two class 24’s(Bachmann), two class 15’s(Heljan), one class 08(Hornby) and a Vulcan models whitemetal 04 kit. For exhibition purposes I carry a spare class 25(Bachmann) and a couple of Western Region steam locos in case of any irreparable damage to normal stock. The Bachmann class 24’s have had quite a bit of work done to them. They were used to prototype develop the Shawplan laser cut glazing for that model, (as was the Hornby 08), they also have had roof panels changed and new exhausts fitted, as the Bachmann roof is a compromise from class 24 and class 25 details. Once you compare before and after the difference is particularly noticeable.

The Heljan class 15 like the class 24 is particularly appropriate for an Ipswich area branch line, all these needed were the wheels changing, the rest of the locomotive is as far as I’m concerned is excellent. Wheelsets across the diesel fleet are a mix of Ultrascale and Alan Gibson, both of these types are easy to fit. There are two types currently operating on the layout that aren’t entirely typical for a Suffolk branch in this era. They are the class 08 and the class 108 DMU, these have been used to enable me to get the layout up and running to a consistent standard which is important when attending an exhibition. For the future both these types are being replaced with further Cravens class 105 DMU’s and a converted Bachmann class 03. Also in the wings are potentially a Hornby/Lima class 101 and typical Suffolk steam types with an Alan Gibson J15 and London Road J69 to be built in the next year.

The layout isn’t on the exhibition circuit as such due to my occupation, but when it does go out I try and get the operations as authentic as possible. As mentioned above the recent introduction of Heljan’s class 15 and Bachmann’s Cravens DMU helped in giving the layout an immediate regional flavour. The layout’s regional design element is based firmly on Aldeburgh. The track plan has been mirrored, with a couple of sidings added, but the buildings are very close to direct copies of the prototype, with one or two detail and dimension alterations. Together with the layout I received a pack of notes made by Chris, and there are some charming hand written notes and sketches which are a pleasure to look at. It underlines the quality of the work, when you look at the buildings they are all square and straight lines are straight. The realism of the model is emphasised by these critical touches, and it takes a while for people to notice that the buildings are made from as simple a product as Superquick brickpapers. Chris had also developed an operating sequence for the layout, where each part of the track plan is used at least once in the sequence. It rotates through approximately twenty moves and returns the stock to original positions at the end. Having had the time now to do a little extra research changes are being made within the sequence. I started by swapping the steam locomotives for diesel and running the sequence. This worked ok, but we found that with modern stock some of the moves wouldn’t work, specifically due to length of vehicles. It also became apparent why some moves were now unrealistic, the influx of diesels in real life meant that local trains were now DMU operated, rather than coach stock, and no coaling and watering would need to be done.

These cut down on running round passenger stock and the opportunity to run mixed trains, so I came across the benefits of BR’s modernisation programme in model form. The sequence does operate very well and now there’s just some fine tuning to be done. I’ve recently added a DMU with parcels tail traffic into the mix, it took a while to get the operation into a logical gap in the established sequence, the parcels van needed to shunted and removed by other trains without unbalancing the flow of the traffic. Couplings are currently three link, but I’ve done some promising experiments with Dingham auto couplings and in addition some stock may be fitted with those. I’ve been fortunate in having some expert guidance on exhibitions from my late father, Roy Jacksons ‘Retford’ team, and Peter Kirmond all giving valuable common sense assistance. I must also thank Ian Mellings and Al Reynolds for also coming out to play trains with me, it makes the job of a layout owner much easier with such valuable help.

Finally I should also thank David Woodward, Cheryl Matthewman, and the late Chris Matthewman. It’s a privilege to own and operate this layout.

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The Manchester show is just over a week away, and this will be the last showing of Bawdsey this year. The above image shows the latest arrivals of stock for EM conversion, a OO Bachmann 03 and Cravens Class 105 DMU, these are shown on a section of ‘Albion Yard’ which is featured in the links menu on the right hand side. The DMU will be an easy conversion, utilising the replacement wheelsets supplied from the ‘Branchline’ range for the Bachmann 108. The Cravens units ran in the Ipswich area as did the class 03, so both items will help firmly set the regional area as a rural Suffolk backwater.

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