Saturday, 4 March 2017

Tredethy Wharf at Lincoln show 2017

Last weekend was an excellent experience on a number of fronts.

Firstly for the help I received from Gordon prior to the show and during. Also from a good friend, Nick, who travelled from near Ilkley just to play trains on the Saturday before nipping to Derby to visit his son. He enjoyed the show so much he called in on Sunday morning on his way home to offer help for a few hours. To both I offer my sincere thanks.

Secondly for the organisation of the show. From setting up on the Friday to leaving on the Sunday I cannot fault Alan and Nigel for their help and organisation (along with the friendly banter). May the show grow.

Thirdly my thanks to all the people who stopped to have a chat. I think this was the icing on the cake and what made the weekend a truly excellent experience. Not just because of the kind comments but because people took the time to stop, look and try to appreciate what I was trying to achieve with the layout. This is something that I have not done enough when visiting shows as a member of the public, I must change that in the future.

One couple kindly gave the two characters on the layout names, the Wharfinger is now Nancy, the farmer is Tom. One surname proposed by Nick is Trevorrow. So Nancy Trevorrow it is, just need to decide whether Tom is her husband or neighbour.

My only regret from the weekend was not being able to fully appreciate the other layouts at the show. Though Diesels in the Duchy was very close by I was able to sneak off a couple of times to take in this excellent layout.

A few pics of Tredethy Wharf taken over the weekend.

Overall view of Tredethy Wharf

A very busy Wharf

Wharf close up

Tom and Nancy

A less busy wharf towards the end of the show.
Show outcomes:
Apart from building up my own loco roster, Beattie Well tank is a must, other outcomes from the show are:
1) The layout requires more storage cassettes,
2) One point needs looking at as it stopped working,
3) A few wagons need looking at due to poor performance,

Other work required on the layout will include:
1)  The installation of auto-uncouplers and finally decide on type of couplings,
2) I'm not sure about the back screen. Might look at creating one the wraps around the corners and is continuous which will remove that join line,
3) I'd always had plans for a couple more trees and still think they are needed,
4) Tom requires a dog,
5) Some live stock are required at the right hand side of the layout, not many just enough to add a little cameo.

Item one on the "other work" list is because I became very aware that shunting wagons in the wharf meant standing in front of the public and blocking their view. Oh... and operating three link couplings while being watched gave me the willies, the result is often pulling a wagon off the track after ten attempts at coupling the darn thing :-).

So enough to get on with and keep me busy for a while.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Test running session

Sunday afternoon saw the "Three Amigos" put the layout through its paces. There were a few gremlins dispatched by my compatriots and a couple left over for me to sort during the week. It was a productive afternoon.

Once I've sorted the final two gremlins the layout would seem to be almost ready for the weekend. That said, I don't consider it completed, I'll not get time during the week to do all that I would have liked. The extra bits are just that, extras that I doubt will be missed until added to the layout.

Empty clay wagon train

Well, I think, for the moment, the empty clay wagoms might be finished...

In the future I might do a bit of extra weathering but they will definitely be OK for the Lincoln show next weekend.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Farmer and wharfinger (maybe his wife?)

Being regularly away from home for work has stopped me progressing Tredethy Wharf as much as I would have liked. This has had a major effect in the preparation of the layout for next weekend's Lincoln show. I'm hoping that what I've been able to achieve will be enough to show the layout and the Scalefour Society in a good light.

Anyway this week I decided to take with me a couple of figures to paint while staying in a hotel for work. After my colleagues had departed during the day on Wednesday, I found myself being "Billy no mates" for an evening, so I broke open the paints and splashed a bit about on the figures. After a quick dry brushing last night and a coat of matt varnish I think they are ready to be installed on the layout...

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Empty Clay Wagons

Just to prove I have been doing something relating to Tredethy Wharf during the last few weeks. I've posted a couple of pics below of the next batch of china clay wagons that are now ready for the paint shop.

These five clay wagons are being built using the Ratio kit with modified axle boxes and brake gear. The intention is for these wagons to be empty versions of the early unfitted British Railways Dia. 1/051. British Railways built the first 300 unfitted but quickly converted to vacuum brake but I'm hoping that a few might have remained unfitted until the early 1960s. The next batch will be the vacumm fitted versions.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

The next project - Polbrock Engine Shed?

During more nights away for work before Christmas and last evening while in rainy Stalybridge, I've been continuing to consider what comes after Tredethy Wharf. Though I was now fairly certain it had to be Grogley Junction there was still doubt it might be one huge step too far. Ullypug made some good observations on one of my recent RMWeb posts and, though I've been wondering if I could split Grogley up into manageable projects, his comment spurred me on to think a little deeper.

So... after yet more pondering, along with drawing a few more track plans and I've come up with a "cunning plan mi Lord".

How about building Polbrock Engine Shed as stage one?

Either with a single track main line,

or double track main line?

I'm errring on going back to the double track version of Grogley v.14, but even so which ever one I decide on;
  • Polbrock Engine Shed would allow me to build locos for Tredethy Wharf with the knowledge that they will also be used on the Engine Shed layout, then eventually Grogley Junction.
  • The layout would fit nicely above my work bench and could easily be extended when I gain the time and or courage to progress to Grogley Junction.
  • The track plan will give me more experience in building track, especially as it looks like there will be a 3 way turnout and a diamond crossing.
  • It will test my skills further in constructing buildings, whether that be kit bashing or from scratch.
  • Building a working turntable will be an interesting project in its own right.
  • Polbrock will introduce me to the skills of building a selection of signals, along with the task to get them working.
  • As Polbrock could be operated as an end-to-end it will allow/encourage me to gradually build coaching stock and further locos that could run between the fiddle yards and in the future be used for Grogley Junction.
  • Once built Polbrock may, depending on where I can position the baseboard joints, be a possible exhibition layout.
  • On an organisational level, to fit Polbrock into the "Man Cave" I'll have some major reorganising to do. This will entail lightening the load of items that I've collected over the years for projects that will not now be built. Once committed to Polbrook there will be no Taff Vale Colliery layout for starters and much less chance of that GWR branch line terminus.
  • The final bonus is that as the engine shed layout will fit into one corner I'll still be able to keep Tredethy Wharf up and running along the back wall of the "Man Cave" until I extend it onto the Grogley Junction.

I'm starting to really like this idea. It feels like a "no brainer", though there are a few thoughts to be pondered during the next 6 - 12 months before the first timbers are cut for the baseboards.
  • Will the main line be single track or double track?
  • Position of the baseboard joints (Grogley Junction was being design as a permanent layout so until now I've not had to think about point work missing baseboard joints.)
  • The design of the engine shed building. Will it be a timber shed as Wadebridge's, or a small version of Salisbury's brick built, or a shed built of stone?
  • Would the LSWR have positioned the water tower over the engine shed?
  • What signals will be required? To check this I'll need to create a signalling diagram and seek advice fron knowledgeable people. The diagram will include all signal boxes on my proposed route from Wadebridge Junction through Grogley Junction and onto Ruthernbridge
  • Is the track plan for the engine shed OK? I feel I've covered all activities and the shed would work quite well but I may need to confirm this by doing little more research into the workings of a loco shed.
  • Should I continue with DC or take the plunge and go DCC? (DCC would come into its own with an the engine shed, no need for any isolation sections so all locos, irrespective of size, would be able to be stored buffer to buffer).
BUT...and it is a big but... before I even think about another project in P4 I still have to convince myself I am capable of constructing a working loco chassis. There would be no point in building Polbrock Engine Shed in P4 if I can't build a Beattie Well Tank or two in P4...

When home I must put these thoughts to one side and get on with Tredethy Wharf...

Saturday, 31 December 2016

December 2016 update

Another month has passed and only a small amount of progress has been made on Tredethy Wharf. My wife and I hosted this month’s (December) Area Group meeting during which one member (Gordon) ran some locos on the layout that are being offered as motive power for the February show. This small running session did bring to light a few small problems that I have since worked on and hopefully solved. A further running session (dress rehearsal) will have to be planned for late January/early February...

What else have I been up to? Well... not much, certainly not as much as I'd hoped with building rolling stock. A couple of open wagons are nearing completion while the second rake of clay wagons have, for some reason, been problematic. On most of the clay wagons the sides had started to bow inwards, this is a first for me. So I spent some time dismantling the bodies then, after a little corrective work, reassembling them, they're now starting to look better but still much to do...

For me, the Christmas break never seems to be a good time for modelling. I find time is taken up with family and friends combined with relaxing in front of the log fire (glass in hand) reading a book or two received on the 25th. Over Christmas my son and I dismantled the layout and managed to squeeze it into the car, a bit of a two man job, but it looks like it will be possible to transport it in one vehicle...phew! Unfortunately, there will be no room for a passenger. My planning regarding transporting the layout to shows has not been up to scratch, mainly because I was never confident that Tredethy would develop into an exhibitable layout.

(End of Year School Report)  Yan must have more confidence in his modelling and better planning is required for transportation if he constructs something that might be taken to shows. Also spare time organisation needs to improve to allow him more visits to the 'Man Cave' during 2017.

May I take this opportunity to thank all who find time to read this ponderous blog and hope you have had an enjoyable, relaxing Christmas. May I wish you a stress free New Year with plenty of modelling time to boot.