A few days leave over the Christmas / New Year break provided me with an opportunity to devote some time to sorting-out a few outstanding issues.
- I kit-bashed my first item of rolling-stock (see 'How I made an open wagon')
- I bought some items of rolling stock
- I replaced an Aristocraft point (turnout) with its LGB equivalent.
- A couple of building kits were purchased
- The patio viaduct has now been 'plastered' ready for scribing (see 'How I made the viaduct').
More rolling stock
In addition to making the kit-bashed open wagon, some judicious bidding on eBay resulted in the purchase of:
- An 0-4-0 'Rusty' loco from a Lehmann starter set. I intend to either 'bash' this into something more Anglicised - or use its chassis with a GRS body kit (see - http://www.grsuk.com/docs/34.asp#_Toc90802237 ), depending on funds and/or time availability
- A Lehmann van with balcony from the same starter set which will be bashed to become a more UK-friendly version, or modified into a guards van using the GRS kit (see - http://www.grsuk.com/docs/53.asp#_Toc90802296 )
- The chassis from the ubiquitous LGB Stainz 0-4-0 which will, one day, become another British outline loco.
When laying the track for the cross-over in the terminus station I was tempted by a 'new' Aristocraft electrically operated turnout which was compatible with LGB. This was duly laid and wired-up. What I hadn't realised was that whereas LGB point motors operate from 16v DC, Aristocraft motors require 16v AC. As I had wired these to work in tandem (ie one switch operating both points), there was immediately a technical problem. Furthermore, after only one season in the British climate the steel screws holding everything together showed signs of rusting. Obviously, the US manufacturers had not anticipated their products being used outdoors anywhere other than California! A pity, because otherwise the point was robust and cost effective. For example, the point-motor includes an inbuilt switch useful for activating isolating sections which is an optional (£14.00) extra for LGB point-motors.
Fortunately, the cement-based ballast in the terminus station had set to a crumbly consistency which was sufficient to hold it in place in some of the more torrential downpours we had experienced since the summer but fell apart when the point was lifted. More significantly, attaching the two wires to the point motor resulted in instant, co-ordinated remote point operation.
The revised cross-over
Some building kits
Some building kits
I was also attracted by the signal box and station building kits sold through eBay by T&M Models (http://stores.ebay.co.uk/T-M-MODELS-Railway-Buildings-G-16mm). These kits are very cost effective and highly detailed. A visit to Mike Cullen who, it turns out, lives locally resulted in the purchase of his halt kit and a signal box. These will be made-up and positioned in due course.