Tuesday 24 May 2022

SWING 2022

Last Saturday was the "SWING" narrow gauge and industrial model railway show, this year conveniently held just down the road. The Sussex Downs 009 group brought three small layouts - my Loctern Quay, my son's Slugworth & Co., and The Old Quarry by Tim Sanderson. 

Here's our three layouts in a quiet moment towards the end of the day. Simon Wilson is operating The Old Quarry, Tim is sat behind it, Joshua is on the right behind his layout. The chair is my operating position for Loctern Quay. 

My favourite layout was Tony's Forest in O14, by Robin Edwards. I've followed this on the NGRM forum and it was at Narrow Gauge South last month, but at that busy show I didn't have time for more than a quick look. It was nice to have a closer look, and talk to Robin. I love the forest setting which is superbly modelled, and reveals hidden details such as this waterfall. 

Getting the camera to focus on the trains is tricky, and this end-shot shows why. The railway sits naturally amongst the trees. I wasn't the only one who liked it though, as it was voted best layout by the other exhibitors - well done Robin!

Robin invited me to bring some of my O14 stock to run. This hasn't been out for some time, but this Hunslet and my O&K ran sweetly with some of the wagons from Landswood Park - my couplings weren't compatible with Robin's. Tony's Forest provides a very long run compared to Landswood Park or Thakeham, my locos were probably breathless by the end!

I also liked Goathorn in 7mm scale by Peter Hollins. The railway was beautifully modelled according to the 3' 9" gauge prototype, but the scenic details like this beach scene brought it to life. 

For something a bit different, Lesobeng in 009 by Paul Spray, was set in Africa. 

Holmeshurst by Ian Burford is an O gauge light railway set in East Sussex. Although small by 7mm standards it is full of character, with a detailed village street at the rear making use of Petite Properties kits cleverly adapted to the local building style. 

As well as a good selection of mainly narrow gauge layouts the 009 Society and 7mm NG Association had stands, the atmosphere was relaxed and friendly and it was good to meet a few friends too. The venue works well (the local railway club use it too) but being one long narrow hall it is difficult to tell how busy it was, it didn't get crowded. I've uploaded photos of some of the other layouts here.

Tuesday 17 May 2022

Preparing for SWING

Both Loctern Quay, and my son's Slugworth & Co., will be at the "SWING" narrow gauge show in Worthing this Saturday.

Since both layouts were out last month at Narrow Gauge South, and generally performed well, there is little preparation to worry about. However, one of the new trucks I'd made insisted on derailing through facing points. Strangely, it hadn't done this in testing, but after derailing repeatably at the show it was quickly banished back to the stock box. 

This kit uses the new type of wheels which have much finer flanges than older wheels, and a wider back-to-back measurement. For some reason the flange was hitting the vee of the point and riding up - clearly not checked by the check-rail. That reason was most likely to be skew axles. 

Can you see them? It is barely perceptible until looked at closely, and took a couple of attempts to get a photo that shows the skew. Of course correcting this means moving one of the sole-bars lengthways to align the axle boxes. I scored along the join between the sole-bar and floor and cut down the ends of the sole-bar, then flooded the joins with solvent. Some firm but gentle persuasion with smooth-jaw pliers got the sole-bar free in one piece, and with a reasonably clean break apart from some material left in the corners. 

The sole-bar and floor were cleaned up, then with one end trimmed slightly the sole-bar was reaffixed, taking care to ensure the axles are completely perpendicular to them this time! Surprisingly the botched fix is not visible, except perhaps right in the corners of buffer beam, sole-bar and floor - which you can't see in practice. I didn't even need to touch up the paint.

So the fix was easier than feared, and just shows how important it is to check the axles are square to the chassis. Testing on the layout seems to confirm the tendency to derail is fixed, though of course the only real test is to run it at an exhibition. 

Do say hello if you are at SWING.