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             Rating                           Building Yeovil Pen Mill in EM
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81st message | this message only posted: 13 Aug 2018 12:32
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from:
Nigel Brown
 

 

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Andrew Duncan wrote
The textured paint sound interesting. Is it like a fine version of Sandtex the exterior paint? Have you, by chance, got a close up photo of it that you could post?

Andrew





It's used in the goods yard. The first pic is as laid, the second has various washes of dilute acrylic paint sloshed on it. The focus in the second pic is a bit odd; everything is a bit out of focus.

As it comes it's a bit thick, and can dry out a bit in the bottle becoming a bit thicker, but it can easily be thinned using water. Goes on fairly easily; you need to work it a bit to avoid clumping. But you can get it pretty smooth with just the odd "stone" showing.

Nigel

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82nd message | this message only posted: 13 Aug 2018 22:00
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Andrew Duncan
Reigate, United Kingdom



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Hello Nigel

Thanks for the pictures, nice layout and very neat trackwork. I can see what you mean about effect you’ve got in the goods yard which although as you say is a little unfocused it has a good feel. Have you written up the construction of the layout anywhere on here or any of the other forums? I’d be most interested to see more, there aren’t many 3mm layouts around and I presume much of it youve built from scratch?

Thanks again
Kind regards
Andrew

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83rd message | this message only posted: 13 Aug 2018 22:22
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Andrew Duncan
Reigate, United Kingdom



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A ,little more progress over the weekend and this evening. I’ve finished the carriage siding walk way now and made a good start on the barrow crossing for which I used Evergreen v groove board which was a bit of a cheat not using separate planks for it, but I think it’ll look ok when finished?  It’s quite long and an odd mix of planked surface and then where it crosses the sidings they just used ash built up,to height. So for that I’ve sanded three layers of plastics Into the rough shape and I’ll use some filler to smooth it out finallyA couple of pictures below to show what I mean. Sorry about the orientation I’m not sure how to correct this when it happens



Operator error I’m afraid, this ones also lieing on its side
Andrew


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84th message | this message only posted: 13 Aug 2018 22:44
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Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Please do not send requests for help direct to me via email or PM.

Post your questions on the forum where everyone can see them and add helpful replies.
Hi Andrew,

I have rotated the pictures for you.

The answer when using a phone camera is to turn it the other way up. The camera lens on the back should be at the top. If you use the the phone near-horizontal, first tip it up vertical and then back down. The orientation sensors don't work while the phone is horizontal.

cheers,

Martin.

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85th message | this message only posted: 13 Aug 2018 23:33
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from:
Nigel Brown
 

 

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Andrew Duncan wrote: Hello Nigel

Thanks for the pictures, nice layout and very neat trackwork. I can see what you mean about effect you’ve got in the goods yard which although as you say is a little unfocused it has a good feel. Have you written up the construction of the layout anywhere on here or any of the other forums? I’d be most interested to see more, there aren’t many 3mm layouts around and I presume much of it youve built from scratch?

Thanks again
Kind regards
Andrew
Hi Andrew

No write-up yet, partly because I'm a slow builder! I get side tracked by building rolling stock. Some pics have appeared in Mixed Traffic, the 3mm Society newsletter, and on RMweb. At the moment I'm forcing myself to build the cassettes for the fiddle yard, which I've been avoiding for years. Once that's done I can retest the whole of the trackwork then it's a question of finishing off the scenery. The first board (essentially the second pic) just needs scenic details, there's more to do on the shorter second board.

The buildings are scratch built, the stock mainly from kits. The coaches in the second pic are a clerestory composite from Blacksmith and a toplight brake third from Worsley Works etches. The Dukedog is a Blacksmith body on my own etched chassis. For wagons the Society has a large offering mainly from Parkside, some Cambrian models, and a few other sources. More 3mm stuff can be found on
https://sites.google.com/site/3mmpublic/

Nigel

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86th message | this message only posted: 14 Aug 2018 00:20
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from:
Rob Manchester
Manchester



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Hi Andrew,

If you want very fine powder to mix with paint etc for textured surfaces you could try Aluminium Oxide powder. It is often sold for air-eraser guns used to clean paint/rust/etc of equipment or models.

HTH
Rob


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87th message | this message only posted: 14 Aug 2018 21:48
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from:
Andrew Duncan
Reigate, United Kingdom



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Martin Wynne wrote: Hi Andrew,

I have rotated the pictures for you.

The answer when using a phone camera is to turn it the other way up. The camera lens on the back should be at the top. If you use the the phone near-horizontal, first tip it up vertical and then back down. The orientation sensors don't work while the phone is horizontal.

cheers,

Martin.
Thanks Martin
Oddly enough I think I did have the phone held upright / portrait but obviously got something wrong?
Andrew

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88th message | this message only posted: 14 Aug 2018 22:01
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from:
Andrew Duncan
Reigate, United Kingdom



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Rob Manchester wrote: Hi Andrew,

If you want very fine powder to mix with paint etc for textured surfaces you could try Aluminium Oxide powder. It is often sold for air-eraser guns used to clean paint/rust/etc of equipment or models.

HTH
Rob

Hello Rob
Thanks for the idea. If the stuff I have in stock doesn’t satisfy then I’ll give your idea a go. First I’m going to try wood ash and possibly a roller if necessary which I anticipate will give me a bit more variation then talc.

Then we’ll see!

Earlier this evening I was trying packing up the ground level to sleeper top height with thin card. A lot of work which ended up in the bin eventually! Nothing ventured nothing gained. 

Kind regards
Andrew


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89th message | this message only posted: 14 Aug 2018 22:28
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from:
Andrew Duncan
Reigate, United Kingdom



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Ian Allen wrote: Andrew, I don't know if this is of interest to you: http://www.ukrailwayana.com/ At Stafford Railwayana Auctions. It didn't sell in May. Ian Hello Ian
Lovely sign but rather outside my pocket at present, I suspect. 
Thanks for thinking of me. 
Kind regards 
Andrew

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90th message | this message only posted: 14 Aug 2018 23:24
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Rob Manchester
Manchester



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Andrew Duncan wrote:

Earlier this evening I was trying packing up the ground level to sleeper top height with thin card. A lot of work which ended up in the bin eventually! Nothing ventured nothing gained. 

Kind regards
Andrew

Andrew,
I have talked to people who have built models with goods yards, carriage sidings and the like in the past and they often use very thin sleeper material in the parts that will be ballasted to the sleeper tops. I seem to remember one chap used 30 thou plasticard 'timbers' on the normal track and switched to 10 thou on the ones where the ground level was to be nearly up to the sleeper tops.

10 thou ( 0.010" ) is about 0.75 inches in 4mm scale which could be suitable. Maybe try that on Yeovil Town :D

Regards
Rob


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91st message | this message only posted: 16 Aug 2018 20:07
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Andrew Duncan
Reigate, United Kingdom



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Rob Manchester wroteAndrew,
I have talked to people who have built models with goods yards, carriage sidings and the like in the past and they often use very thin sleeper material in the parts that will be ballasted to the sleeper tops. I seem to remember one chap used 30 thou plasticard 'timbers' on the normal track and switched to 10 thou on the ones where the ground level was to be nearly up to the sleeper tops.

10 thou ( 0.010" ) is about 0.75 inches in 4mm scale which could be suitable. Maybe try that on Yeovil Town :D

Regards
Rob

Hello Rob

That’s a really good idea and thank you passing this idea on...if only I’d thought of doing this before! BUT as I’ve  alread laid the track I think my compromise will be to try a layer of PVA and ash and if that looks ok great. If it still looks a bit low I’ll try another layer of glue and ash. I’ll post a photo once done and you can judge for yourself how it’s come out. 

Thanks again
Kind regards 
Andrew










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92nd message | this message only posted: 16 Aug 2018 21:44
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Rob Manchester
Manchester



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Andrew,

The track that is laid on the thinner sleepers has packing underneath to make the rail to baseboard height the same as the normal height sleepers. Just in case anybody was thinking of the layout looking like it was suffering the roller coaster effect :) I have a couple of layouts planned with normally ballasted track leading into goods yards that will use the technique. A standard sheet of plastikard will make a lot of sleepers so it's good value too and I am not sure the 'grain' on moulded or timber ones shows up that much at 4mm scale.

Keep up the good work with the layout - it is looking good.

Rob


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93rd message | this message only posted: 17 Aug 2018 07:18
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from:
Andrew Duncan
Reigate, United Kingdom



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Rob Manchester wrote: Andrew,

The track that is laid on the thinner sleepers has packing underneath to make the rail to baseboard height the same as the normal height sleepers. Just in case anybody was thinking of the layout looking like it was suffering the roller coaster effect :) I have a couple of layouts planned with normally ballasted track leading into goods yards that will use the technique. A standard sheet of plastikard will make a lot of sleepers so it's good value too and I am not sure the 'grain' on moulded or timber ones shows up that much at 4mm scale.

Keep up the good work with the layout - it is looking good.

Rob

Hello Rob 

Thanks for your comments and encouragement, much appreciated. 

I also wondering if in building the track for the next baseboard I do as you suggest with the thin sleepers? The only problem that I foresee in doing this maybe in trying to match the two different approaches in construction at the baseboard joint and I suppose in the overall in the look. I shall have to see how the ash on PVA works and take it from there. 

Kind regards 
Andrew






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94th message | this message only posted: 17 Aug 2018 11:32
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from:
Nigel Brown
 

 

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If you need a source of thin sleepers, I'd suggest looking at Plastruct and Evergreen strip. I've used them entirely on my 3mm layout, although in my case they're not thin. Plastruct and Evergreen are slightly different materials, so you need to check that the solvent you use works on whatever you choose.

Nigel
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Tony W
North Notts., United Kingdom

 

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The track in goods yards and sidings was often lower than the adjacent running lines anyway. I achieved this effect by using 1/16" cork underlay for the sidings and 1/8" cork under the running lines. The difference was achieved by sanding the thicker cork down to match over a foot or so. The sleepers were of the same thickness 1/32" ply.
Regards
Tony.

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96th message | this message only posted: 19 Aug 2018 07:34
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from:
Andrew Duncan
Reigate, United Kingdom



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Nigel Brown wrote: If you need a source of thin sleepers, I'd suggest looking at Plastruct and Evergreen strip. I've used them entirely on my 3mm layout, although in my case they're not thin. Plastruct and Evergreen are slightly different materials, so you need to check that the solvent you use works on whatever you choose.

Nigel
Hello Nigel
Yes I think I’d be inclined to this route with Evergreen as that’s what I normal use and probably have in stock. 
A ndrew

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97th message | this message only posted: 19 Aug 2018 11:53
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Andrew Duncan
Reigate, United Kingdom



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Tony W wrote: The track in goods yards and sidings was often lower than the adjacent running lines anyway. I achieved this effect by using 1/16" cork underlay for the sidings and 1/8" cork under the running lines. The difference was achieved by sanding the thicker cork down to match over a foot or so. The sleepers were of the same thickness 1/32" ply.
Regards
Tony.
Hello Tony
 As far as I can tell the main line and goods yard are all at the same level at Yeovil which makes life simpler. But I wasn’t aware that this was often the case. Do you know why they would make goods yards lower?
Andrew

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Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Andrew Duncan wrote:Do you know why they would make goods yards lower?Hi Andrew,

Unbraked vehicles don't roll away uphill. :)

Gravity has nothing to go wrong and never fails.

cheers,

Martin.

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99th message | this message only posted: 19 Aug 2018 12:47
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Nigel Brown
 

 

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I wondered if that's why Machynlleth yard had two hefty Iron Minks used as buffer stops!
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Tony W
North Notts., United Kingdom

 

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Andrew Duncan wrote: Tony W wrote: The track in goods yards and sidings was often lower than the adjacent running lines anyway. I achieved this effect by using 1/16" cork underlay for the sidings and 1/8" cork under the running lines. The difference was achieved by sanding the thicker cork down to match over a foot or so. The sleepers were of the same thickness 1/32" ply.
Regards
Tony.
Hello Tony
 As far as I can tell the main line and goods yard are all at the same level at Yeovil which makes life simpler. But I wasn’t aware that this was often the case. Do you know why they would make goods yards lower?
Andrew
Hi Andrew. As Martin has already explained, it is for safety reasons. Although the exit from the yard would be protected by Safety points, it is better not to allow vehicles to roll away toward them in the first place, with all the attendant problems that would cause.
As far as I can tell the goods yard of my current modelling project Brimsdown wasn't lower than the running lines either. Nor was the siding adjacent to the running line at the regulation track centres being standard track spacing as far as I can tell.
Regards
Tony.

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101st message | this message only posted: 19 Aug 2018 20:57
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Ariels Girdle
 

 

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Does it not have something to do with ballasting too - at least in recent times? Main lines tend to be deep-ballasted whereas sidings usually have little or none at all.
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102nd message | this message only posted: 19 Aug 2018 23:09
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Andrew Duncan
Reigate, United Kingdom



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Tony W wroteHi Andrew. As Martin has already explained, it is for safety reasons. Although the exit from the yard would be protected by Safety points, it is better not to allow vehicles to roll away toward them in the first place, with all the attendant problems that would cause.
As far as I can tell the goods yard of my current modelling project Brimsdown wasn't lower than the running lines either. Nor was the siding adjacent to the running line at the regulation track centres being standard track spacing as far as I can tell.
Regards
Tony.
Hello Martin and Tony
Very sensible and practical idea. Great stuff gravity, utterly reliable.
Thanks for the explanation. 
Andrew

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103rd message | this message only posted: 27 Aug 2018 20:35
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Andrew Duncan
Reigate, United Kingdom



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Hello everyone
 A bit more progress over the last few days. I’ve played around with ground surface between the sidings which is ok but still not quite right, but I think I’m gradually getting there. 

I’ve been looking around to see if anyone does a locally hand operated point lever, the type thats attached directly to the turnout in goods yards and mpds and operated by the shunter or fireman. I couldnt see that anyone did, so flushed with bravery from watching some really excellent modellers at work at Missenden I thought they’d couldn’t be too hard to fabricate myself. By chance Iain Rice was up our way last weekend and popped in that Saturday to see how I was getting on. I asked him how he’d do it and to cut not too long a story short, we came up with a simple solution. 

I extended the sleepers either side of the tie bar by about 3 scale feet. Cut some plastic strip to represent the planks covering the tie bar. Drilled a hole in the baseboard at about the angle of the point lever at rest. Fashioned the lever out of brass T angle with one side(viewing side) filed flat, the other side I left to add strength and filed the top roundish to represent the handle. Crude, but to my eye ok I think; you can judge for yourself. Then guesstimating from one of the Wild Swan books on GWR branchlines I bent up some 0.9mm steel wire for the guard ( what was that guard for? Was it to keep ropes clear of the lever when using horses to pull wagons around?) into a squared off C, drill two holes in the baseboard for them to be planted in. This stuff is pretty robust and as I’ve already damaged my newly installed point rodding I thought I wanted something pretty tough as its a lot more vulnerable than the rodding. 

Then, as I was on a roll, l assembled two of the rather nice LMS  GWR cast buffer stops for a siding in the marshalling yard and one at the end of the carriage siding that sits between the up and down lines. I made the first one up free hand but it was a bit nail biting so for the second one I made up a very simple jig which allowed me to finish the model and spray it before installing it. 

Well The Bridge is calling me now, I refer to the Danish / Swedish detective series not he Abbotsbury road bridge. 

Here are a couple of pictures which may help in understanding my description 




I don’t know what I’ve done to this photo. I’ll try again later and include the point lever as well. 
Kind regards 
Andrew



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104th message | this message only posted: 27 Aug 2018 23:34
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Andrew Duncan
Reigate, United Kingdom



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Here are a couple more pictures. This one shows the point lever installed. 




And this one the end of the carriage siding buffer stop. 



And lastly the other buffer stop with some rather overgrown grass that needs a trim and perhaps a little green colour added sparingly. 



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105th message | this message only posted: 28 Aug 2018 00:06
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from:
Nigel Brown
 

 

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Think the ground surface is looking good. Having the colour not too dissimilar to the ballast is the right way to go; mine at the moment is a bit too grey and needs some dilute earth sloshed onto it.

Somebody does do a kit for hand levers but can't remember who. But yours looks fine anyway. Must try it myself!
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106th message | this message only posted: 28 Aug 2018 07:11
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Phil O
Plymouth, United Kingdom



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Dornaplas/Springside Models do point levers,I can't remember if they are straight or curved levers though.

Phil
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107th message | this message only posted: 28 Aug 2018 08:06
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from:
John Shelley
St Ciers Sur Gironde 33820, France



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Nigel Brown wrote: Think the ground surface is looking good. Having the colour not too dissimilar to the ballast is the right way to go; mine at the moment is a bit too grey and needs some dilute earth sloshed onto it.

Somebody does do a kit for hand levers but can't remember who. But yours looks fine anyway. Must try it myself!Ambis Engineering do point hand levers.
 http://www.ambisengineering.co.uk/

I couldn't find them on the site, but they are in the price list, which is downloadable.

Cheers for now

John frrom 33820 St Ciers sur Gironde

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108th message | this message only posted: 28 Aug 2018 09:13
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from:
John Palmer
 

 

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Various designs of levers are available as etched kits from Roxey Mouldings as part of the Southwark Bridge Models range - see this page.


The kits are quite fiddly to assemble and a good test for your soldering capabilities (well, that's what I found with the Summerson lever), but produce a most acceptable result.  I guess that on the full size railway the most commonly used lever reproduced in the Southwark Bridge range is the Wiliams, two of which I have just purchased for our Burnham layout.


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109th message | this message only posted: 28 Aug 2018 19:02
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Andrew Duncan
Reigate, United Kingdom



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Hello Nigel 
Thanks for the thoughts and the compliment. Looks like Phil has remembered that they come from Dornaplas. Are they the ones you were thinking of?
Andrew

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Rob Manchester
Manchester



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Andrew,

Wizard Models - Andrew can supply these levers :

Yard Levers

Bet they are cheaper than the others mentioned :) although more basic I think. More types on his site but not many pictures.

Rob


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Andrew Duncan
Reigate, United Kingdom



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Thanks PhilKind regards 
Andrew

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Andrew Duncan
Reigate, United Kingdom



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John Shelley
Ambis Engineering do point hand levers.
 http://www.ambisengineering.co.uk/

I couldn't find them on the site, but they are in the price list, which is downloadable.

Cheers for now

John frrom 33820 St Ciers sur Gironde
Thanks for the  info John. I too thought they did them, but couldn’t see them when I looked at his website. Didnt  occure to me to look at the price list!Kind regards 
Andrew



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113th message | this message only posted: 28 Aug 2018 19:22
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from:
Andrew Duncan
Reigate, United Kingdom



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John Palmer wrote: Various designs of levers are available as etched kits from Roxey Mouldings as part of the Southwark Bridge Models range - see this page.


The kits are quite fiddly to assemble and a good test for your soldering capabilities (well, that's what I found with the Summerson lever), but produce a most acceptable result.  I guess that on the full size railway the most commonly used lever reproduced in the Southwark Bridge range is the Wiliams, two of which I have just purchased for our Burnham layout.

Hello JohnThanks for the info, must admit I didn’t think of Roxey when doing my search 
Kind regards 
Andrew

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from:
Andrew Duncan
Reigate, United Kingdom



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Rob Manchester wrote: Andrew,

Wizard Models - Andrew can supply these levers :

Yard Levers

Bet they are cheaper than the others mentioned :) although more basic I think. More types on his site but not many pictures.

Rob
Hello RobThanks for the info and yes they do appear very good value. Seems I’m now spoilt for choice!
Kind regards
Andrew

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from:
Nigel Brown
 

 

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Andrew Duncan wrote: Hello Nigel 
Thanks for the thoughts and the compliment. Looks like Phil has remembered that they come from Dornaplas. Are they the ones you were thinking of?
Andrew
Not sure. some were reviewed in Mixed Traffic, the 3mm Society quarterly magazine; wasn't sure if they were 3mm or 4mm. Am trying to find out scale and origin! I'll need some. If not, I'll follow your method.

Nigel

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from:
Andrew Duncan
Reigate, United Kingdom



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Hello 
I’ve gone underground as break from trying to achieve road surface perfection and am doing a rewire. 

Whilst at Missenden I realised that I had to do something about my ability to do electrical fault finding on the layout generally and on this baseboard in particular, as it’s has 11 turnouts and two diamonds all of which need their crossings polarity changed reliably. When this little lot goes wrong ( and it has several times already) I’d  found it extremely difficult to trace where the problem came from. 

Now had I thought this through I’d have thought of having the layout split up into districts but somehow I’d just thought each baseboard would be a separate district. But as I’ve indicated above this isn’t adequate.  So discussing it with Tim at Missenden I decided to adopt a pretty standard approach of separate districts for Up and Down lines and then further separate the line to Yeovil Town and keep the goods and marshalling yards separate, totalling 4 districts. 



So now I’ve just about completed the rewire (see the picture above). The three districts that occur on this board all go to terminal blocks screwed to the underside of the board which in itself is much better than my previous arrangement. From there the 3 pairs of wires will feed through to an 8 pin DIN socket which in turn will be fed from the 4 district buses running round the layout. 

That’s about it for now
Kind regards 
Andrew 



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Tony W
North Notts., United Kingdom

 

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Hi Andrew.
Yes, it is all to easy to be seduced by the 'all you need is two wires' argument of DCC. All very well when things work, not so great when they don't, as you have evidently discovered.
Regardless of whether using DCC or conventional DC control systems, the ability to be able to easily break down the electrical system into smaller subsections to aid fault finding is invaluable and in my view, much under appreciated. I tend to go further than you have and connect all my point motors, which include the polarity switching for the crossings, via plug in connectors. Although this is primarily done to enable a point motor to be replaced relatively easily if needs be, this also makes it a lot easier to disconnect any individual crossing in the event of trying to localise a short.
Diamonds tend to be a common source of shorts as it is often possible to run through either road regardless of how the crossing polarity is set. However the crossings will only be correct for one road unless the settings of the approach roads are carefully thought about to avoid this. Effectively incorporating some basic interlocking.
Regards
Tony.

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from:
Andrew Duncan
Reigate, United Kingdom



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Tony W wrote:
I tend to go further than you have and connect all my point motors, which include the polarity switching for the crossings, via plug in connectors. Although this is primarily done to enable a point motor to be replaced relatively easily if needs be, this also makes it a lot easier to disconnect any individual crossing in the event of trying to localise a short.


Hello Tony
Having decouplable point motors is a good idea I agree. When first planning this layout I was going to use the modern version of the Tortoise ( the name temporarily eludes me, but you know the blue one) and a friend had designed a plug in base  which would have had a plug connection and been removable from above...no crawling around underneath ( trust you’re impressed?). 


I fear that in falling in love with Dave Fenton’s Megapoint servo control which takes much less space on top but is mounted underneath dashed all that planning and ease of replacement. Having said that I have used the Wago connectors to attach the crossing polarity wires to the micro switches ( making them unplayable) and of course the servos them selves by default come with plugs on their leads. It’s not the same as an unpluggable assembly however and only time will tell whether servos are more reliable than other forms of point motor. 


I am actually quite concerned about the micro switches( also operated by the  servos) not being held in place once the blades have been thrown. This is partly because the latest version of the software switches off after a second after it’s thrown the blades and does no further checking on the servo until it’s asked to switch back again. And partly perhaps because the servos I’ve used have the standard lenght  arm; would a long arm with great leverage be the answer? This means I get no twitching and chatter from the servos which is a blessed relief, but I also understand that there’s no power to keep it in position and with the micro switch pushing against the servo arm my fear is that it may allow the switch to return to the opposite/ wrong polarity for that road. 
Diamonds tend to be a common source of shorts as it is often possible to run through either road regardless of how the crossing polarity is set. However the crossings will only be correct for one road unless the settings of the approach roads are carefully thought about to avoid this. Effectively incorporating some basic interlocking.
Regards
Tony.
So I’m not sure if I’m making sense here, but I think I may end up using Frog Juicers of some sort to change the crossings polarity...certainly easier for diamonds! But at this point I’ve stuck to micro switches throughout and we’ll see how things go. What I haven’t addressed is your thought on interlocking. I’d be interested to know if you feel that frog juicers would obviate the need for interlocking?

Thanks for your continued thoughts and advice, both much appreciated. 
Kind regards 
Andrew





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from:
Andrew Barrowman
USA

 

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Andrew Duncan wrote: I am actually quite concerned about the micro switches( also operated by the  servos) not being held in place once the blades have been thrown. This is partly because the latest version of the software switches off after a second after it’s thrown the blades and does no further checking on the servo until it’s asked to switch back again. And partly perhaps because the servos I’ve used have the standard lenght  arm; would a long arm with great leverage be the answer? This means I get no twitching and chatter from the servos which is a blessed relief, but I also understand that there’s no power to keep it in position and with the micro switch pushing against the servo arm my fear is that it may allow the switch to return to the opposite/ wrong polarity for that road.
Hi Andrew,

It's good that you are concerned. I could write a book about the misapplication of servos in a model railway environment but I'm pretty sure, even if it was free, nobody would bother to read it :)

If you want to reduce the pressure on the servo from the microswitch you should use the shortest possible servo arm. That will minimize the torque that's tending to rotate the servo. Likewise with the mechanism that acts on the points. What you really want to do is make the servo rotate through the greatest possible angle. If the actuator arm rotates through 140 degrees it is almost impossible for the points to "back-drive" the servo.

The "pulse disable" feature that's intended to prevent twitch (which btw can also result in gigantic excursions capable of destroying tie-bars etc.) is a kludge. The servo is still receiving power and if there is sufficient interference the servo can head for never-never land and stay there. It's also a "roll of the dice". The drive pulses to the servo are only disabled after a delay. If interference strikes while the pulse stream is active the servo can assume an indeterminate position which will not be corrected if the pulse stream stops.

I can make servos operate with total reliability but it involves messing around with some electronics. Not a lot, but it seems to be much more than anyone wants to deal with.

Servos are seductive, but if you just want everything to work without a lot of potential aggravation, don't touch them.

Cheers,
Andy


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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Please do not send requests for help direct to me via email or PM.

Post your questions on the forum where everyone can see them and add helpful replies.
Andrew Barrowman wrote:but if you just want everything to work without a lot of potential aggravation, don't touch them.And the same for microswitches, the installation and adjustment of which is a form of cruelty in contravention of the Geneva Convention.

To switch the polarity of a V-crossing, use a sugar-cube relay. They cost very little more than a microswitch. They can be installed anywhere you like with just a dab of the glue gun. Given the typical model railway use, they will last forever and never need any attention whatsoever -- you can safely bury them under the scenery.

If you have an all-mechanical lever-frame setup for operating the points, all a relay needs is an on-off switch, not a changeover. That can be very easily contrived by grounding the frame, and having an insulated bit of springy wire making contact with the lever or rodding somewhere in the run. The contact quality is irrelevant for a low-voltage relay and will have no effect on the train running over the crossing.

Martin.

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