Sunday, 27 October 2013

ExpoNG 2013 at Swanley

ExpoNG is an exhibition put on by the Greenwich and District Narrow Gauge Railway Society which took place on 26th October at the White Oak Leisure Centre in Swanley. If you didn't get there - it was a fantastic exhibition with so many layouts there for our delight and education. I took around 75 shots and have put them together into a slide show rather than dump them all on here.

Firstly, a little bit of an apology. Skip this if you are not interested in either photography or my problems - grin. I regularly take the photos at our local plastic model club - IPMS Clacton - and have honed my photographic methods to enhance the depth of field in the images so that all of the photo is in focus. This is not something that most digital camera do as they generally make the setting for the best exposure and not for depth of field. If you are interested in cameras, I am using a Canon 700D digital SLR with a Tamron 18-200 lens attached. Normally, at the club, I use a tripod and have all the time in the world to get it right. I didn't have those luxuries yesterday. What I do is set the camera to manual (I know - it sounds like in an aircraft - Doors to Manual!). I then set the aperture to F18 to start and set the shutter to 1/40th. That was the general setting but I had to adjust on some photos depending on what I was taking. As I didn't have the luxury of unlimited time,I had to judge from the on-board display and hence the images are just a little under exposed. Note that I couldn't reduce the exposure too much as that would have brought camera shake into the equation. However, the depth of field is OK so I am reasonably happy. Where the only image I have is slightly out of focus, I have included it for completeness.

OK here goes. I have created two sets of shows. One uses Adobe Flash so cannot be displayed on any Apple iPhones or iPads. Hence, I have made a second set using standard HTML. This should work on any device.

Flash -

Standard HTML -

Thursday, 24 October 2013

The Engine Shed is complete

I have finished the Engine Shed and have "placed" it on the layout. I still have to weather it and set it into the ground.

I am going to lay the ground with cinders and bed the building it with some grass around the edges etc. It is amazing how much work is involved in a single building.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Bhynsell is now working nicely

I now have all of the track down and have started to do a bit of scenic work. I have also been making a few wagons plus finishing off the two locos that I have bought.

As you can see we have a complete round-roundy layout with a nice little station and a raised branch area. What you can't see is that there is a small station off to the left which will be hiding the fiddle yard. 

The engine shed is currently under instruction and you can see the Kitwood Hills Models 90mm turntable in place.  The turntable is fully powered and is controlled by a DCC decoder that will run it extremely slowly. Underneath is a Tam Valley Frog Juicer that fixes the inevitable short that arises when the turntable is turned through 90 degrees.

I have two nice little locos - both from Chris Ward. I have named one after my wife, Valerie and one after Valerie's pet dog Henry.

Val (the blue one) is absolutely loaded up with liquid lead and can manage most trains that I give it. However, Henry (the green one) has the little Kato bogie chassis and, in spite of putting liquid lead in every available space, it is not able to pull much at all. I think that I will have to double head it most of the time. I am going to ExpoNG at Swanley this weekend so I will probably do something there.

The most recent activity has been two fold. Firstly, I have been fitting out the new Peco Lynton and Barnstaple coaches, that I bought at Kegworth, with Microtrains couplers so that I can pull them with my locos. This is what they look like in a train now.

Secondly, I have been ballasting and fitting out the Engine Shed. You can see the coal stage and the Water Crane in the image above. I have also been scratch building an engine shed which is partially finished.

This is constructed with a shell of 3mm foam board covered with Scalescenes random ashlar sheets. I am in the process of fitting the roof and there are still the windows to go in - my order for inkjet printable clear sheets has yet to arrive!

Lastly, I have fitted two sound chips into the baseboard. These are Digitrax units and have the same DCC addresses as the two locos. This means that when I select one of the locos, I also select the relevant sound chip and they both work together. It is an easy way to put sound into these little locos. 

This is what it comes out like - this is a video of Val and henry in a consist (latched together so that they operate as a single unit) with both sound chips in play and the L&B coaches in tow.