Not all of our members can get to the club for every meeting so here we keep everyone, current as well as prospective members, abreast of what's happening at the club - if you'd like to join in the chaos there's a list of contacts on our Contacts page.
Currently the clubrooms are locked up due to the COVID19 pandemic, however we continue meet on-line and are also working on a series of individual cameo layouts to keep us amused during our incarceration - see the Coronalayout page.
Tuesday 7th September
Stephen Bell continued the well-received series of talks on the smaller lines in Mid Wales, this time looking a genuine Cambrian branch - the Kerry Railway, and gave us a teaser on a follow-up talk on the Kerry Tramway
Friday 10 September
Four of us made it to the clubrooms where, for the first time since the pandemic, we heard again the once-familiar bingo calls from the main hall
TAFKATYS arrived and did not hesitate before diving under ABB's baseboards to sort out some electrical supply problems.
Having re-established DCC traction and turnout control we of course needed some locos to test the works which led to head-scratching as to where we had safely stored them before the lockdown. Thankfully they were eventually unearthed as we see below.
Tuesday 31 August
This week LBH introduced us to the mysteries of Templot, a piece of software for model railway trackwork design. With one PC running Templot and another running Zoom, there were some technical difficulties for LBH at the start, soon overcome. Its approach is different to usual CAD programs but the power and detail available from the tool was clear with good examples provoking plenty of questions.
Friday 3 Sept
Al, aka Wagonman, came along this week with three projects he has been working on over recent months.
First up is an 0-4-0 tank from a Gateneal kit he obtained back in the '70s, he thinks. This was first started about 20 years ago and has now made to the front of the to-do list. The chassis still runs even after two decades.
Next is the GWR 4-4-0 Tre Pol and Pen, to be completed in its early form before the loco was rebuilt a couple of times. 4-4-0s are such graceful locomotives.
Finally its the ex-Cambrian Jones Goods which has featured before but is now painted and finished.
Tuesday 24 AugustBack to a single presentation this week and Luke gave us a wonderful introduction to the railways of the Isle of Man, Part One, General Intro and Port Erin route. Part two has been booked for 21 September.
Away from the clubrooms Martin is building a vertical train stacker for his OO home layout
It is based on that depicted in Iain Rice's excellent book Shelf Layouts for Model Railroads. Martin had mostly built the moving portion of the stacker with its ten shelves only to decide that he had not positioned the shelves accurately enough hence each shelf being removed from the backing board, rotated through 180 degrees to put the existing fixing holes away from the backing board and then refitted hopefully more accurately.
This has now been mostly accomplished so it was time to fix the vertical timbers which carry the sliding door mechanisms which guide the backing board to hopefully ensure accurate side to side alignment. These are fitted in line with the 3x2 vertical members of the studwork which forms the inner wall of the garage. The 4x2 vertical members are fitted edge on for strength in preventing the moving portion from pulling away from the wall.
As can be seen from the first photo it was necessary to countersink the 4x2 to give the 6x120mm woodscrews sufficient bite into the 3x2 stud uprights. As is apparent fitting the 4x2 uprights in line with the 3x2 members has resulted in the sliding door mechanisms not being equally spaced on the backing board, this was accepted in order that both 4x2 uprights were strongly supported and not just top and bottom. Having securely fixed the support timbers the next step was to fix the sliding mechanisms to the upright timbers and to separate the detachable part of the slide mechanism and fix it to the moving section backing board. As the detachable section of slider mechanism was released by operating a nylon catch mechanism which could not be accessed once the moving portion was mounted the nylon catch was removed before the slider mechanism was fitted.
The second picture shows the sliding mechanism fitted to each timber upright with the left hand slider lowered to engage with the detachable portion which is fixed to the backing board flush with the top of the board so that the respective portions of the slider mechanism can be guided by hand when mounting or demounting the moving portion.
Picture three shows both slider mechanisms lowered to engage with the detachable portions. With both slider mechanisms engaged the moving portion was gently raised to its normal lowest operating position i.e. with the top shelf of the stacker in line with the running tracks. Picture three illustrates this. It was found that the considerable weight of the moving portion was not well restrained parallel to the wall during hand lifting due to the slider mechanisms being at full extension. Clumsy handling at this point could have resulted in distortion of the slider mechanisms. The hope is that once the counterweight system is fitted via pulleys at the top of the uprights then the moving portion will operate more smoothly.
Picture four shows the moving portion nearly at its highest operating position. Some stiction was felt in raising the board to this height, the alignment of the slider mechanisms will again be checked and adjusted as necessary though as said it is hoped that the fitting of the counterweight mechanism will provide equalised support for the moving portion which it is likely that hand manoeuvring did not provide hence the binding tendency.
Picture five shows that accurate parking will be required when using larger locos. Attention is now focused on the counterweight system, not forgetting that each pulley will need to bear the weight of half the moving portion plus the weight of one counterweight. This is thought to be in the order of 75-80 kg per pulley, washing line pulleys are considered not to be an option. Locking arrangements and power supply issues will be addressed once the moving portion can be reliably and accurately aligned to all tracks
Following last's week's feeble efforts this is what LBH got after 40 minutes work with IPA and a sliced wooden coffee stirrer:
Certainly a much improved result, quicker (and the red came away sooner) and less likelihood of breaking through the black completely. He did notice though that where the IPA evaporated it left a residue, but this is quite easy to remove.
Now, can he remember where he put those Powsides transfers to keep them safe?
Tuesday 17 August
This week we had another double feature; Albyn gave us the second part of his talk on Philip 'P.D.' Hancock and his Craig and Mertonford Light Railway which was very well received and LBH showed some of the collection of images available on the Rhondda Cynon Taf archive website, which triggered off a number of interesting discussions.
Friday 20 August
Clockwise - a bit more progress on LBH's Peckett; a bit more rodding laid by Mr Chairman (beyond the blutack!) and LBH is trying remove the lettering from a Dapol wagon prior to application of new, more appropriate transfers for his needs. He started off with Brasso and a cotton bud but, frustrated with the slowness of progress, upped the ante with glassfibre brush and some Bar Keeper's Friend (a fine cleaning/scouring powder). Next stop IPA
Tuesday 10 August
This week we had a double feature - both very well received; Rhobat completed his review of the Barry Loco classes with the J 2-4-2T, K 0-6-2T, and the huge 0-6-4T and a might-have been lookahead to the 2-6-2T that the Barry planned but the grouping stymied. Albyn then took us back to the early days of domestic railway modelling with the first part of a talk on Philip 'P.D.' Hancock and his Craig and Mertonford Light Railway.
Friday 13 August
Three in the clubroom again (same three), see what we did below.
First a revival of a club tradition - the first post-lockdown tea brew.
Secondly a tradition well known to modellers everywhere, Andrew spent much too large a proportion of the night searching on the floor for components that pinged across the room. In this case the brackets from an O gauge Slaters brake van footboard (anyone got a spare?)
Mr Chairman beavered away studiously laying more point-rodding on ABB to very good effect and LBH tried to give the impression that he had made more progress on the Peckett by placing these pert-finished sub-assemblies together,
Elsewhere in Maerun workshops TAFKATYS has returned to the his MR 1P; the chassis now done bar a few tweaks. Next up is detailing the body.
Tuesday 3 August
We returned to Stephen for our Zoom meeting presentation and he came up trumps again gaving us a fascinating account of the Van Railway.
Friday 6 August
Three in the clubroom again, read what we did below.
Clockwise from top-left
Mr Chairman laid some point rodding (and some the skin from is forefinger.
Andrew is working on an ex-LMS brake van in O gauge
LBH fitted one cylinder onto his S7 Peckett. One to go!
And away from the clubrooms TAFKATYS has completed another J71 for operation on Bwthyn y Rhosod.
Tuesday 27 July
Two parts to the Zoom meeting this week, the first was a joint meeting with Newport Makerspace, being the second half of our 'return fixture'. This time we talked about the way we used 3d printing, photo-etching and modelled trackwork and buildings.
Back by ourselves several of us gave short presentations on which layouts had inspired us. Interestingly we approached the subject quite differently with one looking at exquisite modelling (East Dean), another the possibility of creating an impression in a small space (Clecklewyke), another a layout from a magazine that he bought in his early teens which swayed his outlook on modelling (Rosedale) and yet another the the magnum opus that is Ffestiniog Odyssey, convincingly portraying the entire mainline in one room,
Friday 30 July
Closer to normal with real modelling occurring in the clubroom! Yay!
LBH got to work (it won't last) on a Peckett Class E 0-4-0ST in scaleseven from a Springside kit. MIraculously it turned easily without binding first time around.
Tuesday 20 July
Two parts to the Zoom meeting this week, the first was a joint meeting with Newport Makerspace, being the first half of our 'return fixture' (see w/e 2 July below). We talked or layouts Frecclesham and Abergavenny Blackbrook .
Friday 23 July
We decided it would be too hot in the clubrooms so we called the meeting off.
Tuesday 13th July
Stephen B continued with his talk on the Mawddwy Railway, this time looking at post-independence phase of the railway's existence.
Friday 16th July
Another evening of preparing the clubrooms for our return for 'normal meetings' whenever that may be. Locations have been established for three work stations - at 2 m spacings of course
The chairs mark the places for the workstations.
We have plenty of salvaged wood to work with but no suitable flat surfaces. So if you have worktop, plywood, MDF of suitable thickness and 500mm by 800mm or more, then they could be used.
Tuesday 6th July
Our Zoom meeting on Tuesday was quite different from the usual - Mike E gave a talk on Railway Control - starting with its origins on the Midland Railway to British Railways days
Friday 9th July
Another evening of preparing the clubrooms for our return for 'normal meetings' whenever that may be,
Tuesday Talks continued with first a presentation by Newport Makerspace who described what they do, where they are based and what equipment and machines they have available. It was a very impressive list and there are common interests between the two groups. We had a friendly chat with them afterwards. There will soon be a return fixture, when we will tell them about us.
Second up was Steve B and a varied selection of photos for our amusement and comment. Entertaining as usual.
We continued on Friday with clearing space and re-organising the clubrooms. The last of the staging was dismantled. This has served us well for a long time, but the timbers will be re-used somewhere in the changes.
Below left you can see the space created, and on the right, the start of the stack of LMJ baseboards