Sorry for the late update, but as
always things have been manic.
Once again we had a great weekend.
Once again this little show was packed with a great variety of
model themed trades, layouts, demonstrations and rides.
|With a trailer tent on one
car and a trailer on the other we finally managed to get
through the Friday night M25 traffic to arrive, set up
and have beans on toast before 8pm. The only trouble is
being early May, the nights are cold and Drena forgot to
pack the double sleeping bag. We had a duvet but ended up
raiding the cars for travel rugs.
big thanks to Ryan Manning for bringing and lending me
his excellent Y6 tram engine.
Another thanks to Simon Pugh who
allowed us to borrow his Quarry Hunslet which was in the
workshop having a bit of paint work being done to it.
Due to work changes Simon has decided
to sell his Hunslet. It has only had a few days running
and with its new paint is in as new condition. If you are
interested in it please get in touch. Given the extras of
brake lever, reverser lever, coal bunker, whistle,
pressure gauge,water gauge and a smoke system in the
smoke box, asking the list price is more than reasonable.
|The driver is a Busy Bodies man which I bought
with some Christmas money. He is not for sale but if you
are interested you can find details on their website -http://www.robbennett.org/
Merstham was also the
first public appearance of the improved 7 1/4" gauge
Improvements include -
- Lifting the deck by 20mm
- Extending the deck by 75mm
- Extending the rear bonnet by 75mm
|The initial idea of the
large gauge Hercules was to use the 5" gauge parts
as much as possible. With modifying the chassis and body
I was starting to think the whole project was a bit of a
waste of time.
Having driven it
at Merstham for what was estimated to be over 10 miles I
have grown to like the loco.
What it offers is a loco that can whizz
about, pull a reasonable load but most importantly it
went to and from Merstham in the back of a car.
|With car insurance,
service and house insurance all coming up in the same
month I was under strict orders to not spend any money. I
did treat myself to one thing - an Underground
sticker of Mill Hill East was the embossed enamel of
Elstree. Bit of a gamble but the sticker came off and
with a bit of solvent I was able to reveal the name which
is in a fairly good condition.
I never did see the Aldenham bus works
which was supposed to be a tube depot but the few
reminents and history of the Northern Heights extentions
have always fascinated me.
A big thanks to the organisers of the show and
especially the Merstham Valley Railway group who very kindly let
us play trains up until 11pm on the Saturday night. In all there
were only two things which spoilt the weekend. During Saturday
night/Sunday morning some of the traders tents/awnings were
broken in to and quite a few bits were stolen. The other thing
was packing the tent away in heavy rain.
Finally on Merstham Tuxcraft
- thanks for putting up with Clark,
Jasper and Faith who seemed to use your stall as a meeting point.
Your kindness was much appreciated, although I still do not know
why Clark wanted a concrete letter box and Jasper wanted a
concrete oil drum.
7 1/4" Gauge
As mentioned above the new
Hercules had a really good thrashing at Merstham. I think
most of the people who had a drive were taken a back by
its speed and performance.
took to Merstham a prototype 4 wheel driving truck I have
been working on.
- 5" diameter wheels on
- Disk brake to leading axle
- 6mm steel frame
- Self aligning take up bearings
- Adjustable running boards
The plan now is to construct a second
to sort out a few early issues before commissioning a
batch. The main issue I have is the weight but then if we
are moving in to 7.25" gauge I need to get used to
Big to Small
|After playing with
7.25" gauge I have also taken things down a size.
Intially planned as a base entry loco with 1 battery and
2 motors, a conversation with a fellow club member lead
to what can only be described as a wolf in sheeps
The small tram engine
is based around a Jasper chassis (520mm x 250mm deck). We
have constructed 24v Jaspers before but the larger body
makes it a bit easier getting everything in.
For this one we had to cut a hole in
the deck and poke the wires from the control board down
in to the chassis.
One new feature was a battery powered
front light. Before painting I welded a pocket in the
roof to take a AAA batery pack to power the LED in the
front light. This means there are no wires between the
body and chassis.
The new motor mounts now include a drop
down piece which acts as a guard to help protect the main
The Hercules sales are
going from strength to strength. We currently have 3 in
the workshop and an order for another, all ready to run.
We are also now being asked for extras.
As can be seen from the picture on the right,
adding all these extras can get pretty complicated. The
4qd relay board is not powerful enough to drive the hi lo
horns so we end up putting in an extra set of 30amp
All this takes time.
Trax Controls "Sound Box".
This will be a prewired box with easy connections -
- Hi lo horn
- Engine noise which ties in with
- Accessory relay
- Full control from 4qd bell
- 24v supply
- Speakers supplied with phono plugs
on 300mm leads (for body mounting)
- Box mounted seperate volume
controls for horns and engine
Open day 22nd May. I will try and remember to
take some photos. Promise of steam.
All the best for now - Paul