First up the layout has has seen the attention of the Dyson and a soft brush, it is amazing how the coulours change when a layer of dust is removed. Its operation has been checked too, the polarity switching for a couple of points had been intermittant and while I cannot find a problem, I have cleaned up the contacts of the accessory switches on the SEEP point motors. As they were reclaimed from a previous layout they could be well over 15 years old, so a little tarnishing of the contacts is excusable!
I have also been working through my stock boxes. The three Parkside Glyn Valley Tramway coaches that I started last year at EXPO-NG have finally been finished, with couplings, lead weight, passengers, and a coat of paint. The lamp tops and footboards have been made up to match the Vale of Rheidol brake van which has the same dimensions, so making a nice rake that seems suitable for the Awn Valley Tramway. With hindsight I should have added door-handles in place of the moulded ones, and at some point some transfers and weathering might add to their appearance.
The loco in that picture, "Lucy Ann", has also had some attention, finally getting the lead added over 2 years after she arrived from Paul Windle. Roofing lead was stuffed into her boiler and tanks. This has made a big difference to her ability to pull anything without spinning wheels! The plastic body on a Lifelike chassis was far too light and rear-heavy. She could do with a crew when I get around to finding suitable figures.
Another Windle loco, "Toby" has also had extra lead added, although the Bachmann Plymouth diesel chassis has a reasonable weight in this scale more is always better! In this shot are a couple of Eggerbahn coaches that have just had a repaint. Although a little small and continental in style, they do fit the character of the line, and suit Toby rather well!
This loco is one I built many years ago, from plastic and some whitemetal castings, on a Bachmann chassis. It was, and still is, a good running chassis at a cheap price, hence the tramway skirts. The inspiration was the Tralee & Dingle Hunslets, although mine is very much shortened and not to scale! I have just changed the couplings, which meant removing the cowcatchers I had fitted previously, a shame as they added character but I couldn't find a way to make the Microtrains couplers work over them. I've also removed some rather over-sized nameplates, at some point I shall get some new ones but I am not sure how to get rid of the marks from the old ones, short of a full repaint ...?
Other jobs on the list for Awngate include:
- Add trees and bushes
- Improve scenics generally, particularly foreground grass. A fence would be nice too.
- Weather track? It doesn't look too bad so not urgent
- Add detailing items to yards etc.
- I still need to build a loco shed, but this is unlikely to happen before EXPO!
- Check and test more rolling stock
- Check set up of layout on trestles, they've not been out the garage for 2 1/2 years!
- I could do with adding shelves to the fiddle yard, and possibly more cassettes ...