Sunday, 25 December 2011

To all 3MM Modellers worldwide, may I wish you all a Very Happy Christmas.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

All things come to those who have patience.

No pictures today but a few thoughts! Teignford is at present being wired by my good friend Nigel. It has been converted fron a continuous circuit to a terminus to fiddle yard layout. This is mainly due to the fact that I could not get the curved Peco points to work properly. I am of the opinion that they are not true curved points- for this reason the layout has been changed as described in earlier posts.
However, this is being resolved and with Teignford booked to be exhibited in May things are moving on apace.The buildings are being built and new stock is being sourced. Allan at Worsley Works has produced a new 'B' Set coach kit -one of the original type that was made for the 3mm Society by Ian Kirk. They should be delivered soon after the current festivities and are eagerly awaited.
I have ordered some new etches of windows by Brian Golding, of Brynkits fame, which are of Bodmin station. I have it on good authority that these etches are the Bees Knees and will be used for Teignford and the next planned layout, an Ashburton type Terminus.
I am looking forward to the next Dorset Group meeting when hopefully the main boards and fiddleyard can be reunited and finally work as I had intended .Hopefully the first loco to traverse the rails will be my rebuilt Prairie Tank- Thanks Peter. This will be on the 7th January 2012 at our usual meeting place. If you would like to get details of this please mail me. Look tomorrow for this yaers Christmas Card!

Friday, 23 December 2011

The cutting edge!

 The Goods Shed and Loco facility both will have round top windows (probably a correct term for this somewhere) and cutting these in card with a conventional modelling knife can be tricky.
When in The Grange I found this knife, no makers name on it i'm afraid. The blade swivels in the head of the knife making it easier to produce cuts around curves.
Replacement blades are available and simply push into the cutting handel. Usage can be fairly high but the saving on having a straight curved edge is worth it.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Tools of the trade.

For marking out, these are some of the aids used.
Most important is a straight edge, in this case a 1ft/30cm steel ruler. Also have a six inch rule for use when something a little smaller is needed.
Two types of compass, self explaitory really-large and small. To mark out there is a Rotring propelling pencil with .5mm lead-this I have had for at least 25 years and proves that it pays to get  the best you can afford. A rubber, this one bought in Majorca erases all unwanted lines or mistakes and is fairly soft.
Not shown are the knives I use, mainly a snap off type as the card can be fairly high on usage of blades.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Take a sheet of card.

 Whilst the wiring is being finished it is time to start the many buildings needed for Teignford. For this I use offcuts of Daler Mounting Card obtained as offcuts from my friendly local art shop. These come in various shapes and sizes and the ones being used are approximately A4 size with a slightly uneven finish on one side-this side is also green but no matter as it will be covered with brickpaper anyway.
The lower pic shows the start of marking out with the main dimensions marked.
Next post see's the tools used for this process.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Prototype Inspiration

 Before commencing the construction of the buildings we need a plan-literally. However, the eventual creations will not be slavish copies but an interpretation of those buildings which existed on various locations around my chosen area.
So, a search through my modest library came up with these tomes in the top picture.
These books contain much information and more importantly-Plans! The infrastructure of many railways followed a theme - builders and architects, materials used in construction etc.
The drawings also importantly give a good idea of the size of the finished model- will it fit the available area, nothing more daunting than finishing a model to find it wont fit or the available space is too small (been ther and done it).
 The drawing on the right is from a book detailing the Helston Branch. Included with it are a set of drawings of, not only Helston, but Nancegollan and Praze. These were three sheets attached to the rear inner of the cover. The drawings were to 4mm Scale but a trip to the local printers produced a set in 3mm Scale- for my own use -Not for gain I may add.So now I have a good idea on how the sizes of the buildings will be and can move on to making them.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Worsley Works BR Mk1 Full Brake.

West Byfleet saw another addition to the fleet of coaching stock needed for Teignford.
Another of Alans offerings, in brass, with the tumblehomes already formed. These sides together with a floof, ends, trusses and a roof are supplied. This leaves just, bogies, wheels, sideframes , roof , corridor connections and undergubbins to find. These are easily obtained from the 3mm Society or 3SMR.
The difference is that the Society bogies are sprung whilst 3SMR's offering is rigid but both do an acceptable job.
So out with the soldering iron-Again!

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Wiring continues.

 Slow progress is being made, wiring has to be right before I can proceed with ballasting.
The group has been very helpful, Nigel especially.
Seen in the top picture is the control panel, a simple diagram with switches positioned on the drawing.
The wires will eventually be harnessed into a loom with cable ties.
The lower picture shows the controls attached to the main board, the control panel folds up when transported or stored.
All for now, hopefully more in the near future.

Thursday, 27 October 2011


I am no artist so it may come as no surprise that my wiring is functional, not pretty. The layout was, initially, a continuous circuit which, for various reasons,
disussed in an earlier entry, redesigned as a terminus to fiddleyard design.
However, the wiring has to be adapted and here is shown the resultant mess. Luckily, one of the group members is an electrician. He has kindly drawn a circuit diagram that hopefully will be implemented shortly. So, it's a matter of attaching the two main boards and getting the soldering iron out.
The connector, by the way, is a 15 way type with covering attached.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Baseboard wiring

A good opportunity to complete the wiring of Teignford at a recent 3mm Dorset Group meeting.
Shown are a few of the ingredients of this process, plus a view of the station layout. I feel that the two sidings-top left, are too close together and compromise the site of the Goods Shed.
The point is going to be removed and a single siding substituted. This will balance the use of  the area for an end loading dock and coalyard facilities.
It is really useful to discuss ideas and in this instance has made me realise that the initial idea was too cramped.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Baseboard Alignment.

Alignment of baseboards is extremely important. It is a requirement that all baseboards should line up exactly whenever they are assembled.This can be done in a variety of ways. Split hinges are a popular method as are machined aligners from precision engineers. Me, I use 3mm Society  products. A simple 8mm male and female plug amde of brass inserted into the end of each board. Kept in place with a dab of UHU (other glues are available) I have complete confidence that the rails will line up every time. Inexpensive for the peace of mind they give.
These are also to be found on E-Bay under various guises, although the brass one's are, in my opinion, the favoured option.

Saturday, 15 October 2011


The Multimeter is very useful when trying to wire up a control panel.
Without having to connect the lot up to a transformer, this piece of equipment can show wher the current is going- or- conversely, where it's not.
Two probes make it easy to use, this is an analogue example- I prefer ir to a digital type. Being greedy I have both types but the original as shown here is my preference.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011


This is the wire stock control system and storage facility. As can be seen no expense has been spared for this vital component!
In this basket are several thicknesses of multicored wire. Clad in various colours, each will have a part to play in the routing of current around the layout.
I must, sometime, sort out the cats cradle, it will save a lot of time in the long run.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Control Panel.

The control Panel for 'Teignford' is not state of the art, just functional.
The plastic box used was free, so no contest there then!
The layout for the station section has been drawn on the front and the layout name added-so we don't forget which one we are operating-I'm getting older you know!
Several holes have been drilled where the switches are going to go and some already inserted.
Once the rest are done then it's time to get the soldering iron out and wire it up.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Elecrical Gubbins.

How we get the electricity to where we want it is the next task.
Here are a selection of what will be used. From left to right-simple single throw on-off switch. Next a single throw on-on type used to divert feeds. Finally the connection to and between baseboards is made with 'D' type connectors. These are made with various numbers of pins, this one happens to be 9 pin. They can be sourced ready wired from some electronic component suppliers.

Friday, 30 September 2011


I have been reminded that I haven't mentioned the track I am using for 'Teignford'.
Here are samples of the system used-PECO. This is their Hom track with 12mm gauged rail. I had considered using some of Hugh's excellent handbuilt points with Society sleepers but as I have been invited to an exhibition already, then this was the easy and quicker option. Don't worry- the copperclad points are earmarked for another project.
The advantage with the PECO product is that it is quick to lay and robust for exhibition purposes.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

BR Mark 1 Bogie Side Frame

This is the side frame casting that will be used with some of the rake of Mark1 coaches being made.
Part CBR 126 in the 3mm Society range, one of numerous types available, they are the first Mark1 bogie and applicable to Teignford's timescale. Later types are available.
Mastered by Bruce Hoyle, this cruelly enlarged picture shows the excellence of Bruce's work.
Needing a little cleaning up of flash, they are then ready for use. They will be fitted to 3SMR bogie frames and, when completed, attached to the underframe of the coach previously mentioned.
At least one coach will have the original Kitmaster frames attached to etched bogies-I look forward to the comparison.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Kitmaster Mark 1 Brake 2nd.

 I'd quite forgotten how easy these coaches are to make, it also brought back a lot of memories.
I am going to use etched bogie frames so the first part of the instructions are ignored, starting with assembling the body itself.
Firstly the lining guides have to be removed from the sides, this was done using a new Stanley knife blade held parallel to the plastic moulding and scraping from left to right.
At this stage I don't fully finish the removal, that I will do when the body is in one piece.
 One side is adhered to the floor after cleaning up the solebars from where the sprues attach themselves. One end and then the other come next, followed when dry , by the other side.
We now have a rigid body and will allow to thoroughly dry.
The lower picture shows how far i got in about an hour.This is the easy bit, the repetitive part comes next-windows!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Whether to Weather.

 As part of Westfest , Tom, The Weatherman kindly attended. He agreed to weather some of the groups wagons.The three pictured are wagons built by me some time ago.
Unfortunately the varnish decided to turn white in places, the reasons for this are not completely clear.
However, I decided that these three were ideal candidates for treatment and the results you see are how they turned out.
I didn't want really heavy treatment and am very pleased with the outcome.
In fact, Tom will be invited to one of the Dorset Group meetings in the future. He is going to supply us with a shopping list so each of us can replicate his methods ourselves.
 I am undecided whether all the stock will be so treated but the idea is growing on me after seeing the results Tom has achieved.
It will probably first appear on Teignford and then who knows?

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Platform edging

Althoug this has been seen previously, it is relevent to Teignford.
The platform edging has been painted to represent a stone built face, undercoated with grey primer and then drybrushed with a darker grey. stones were the picked out in brown and black to give, hopefully a realistic appearance.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Turnout Control

This shows how the turnouts are operated. The on-on slide switch controls not only the wire that operates the point but changes polarity of the selected route.
The wire is a fairly rigid steel which is housed in a sliding fit brass tube which really only serves as a holder.
The steel wire is turned at 90degrees to locate in the centre hole in the PECO tie bar. The baseboard is slotted beneath to allow the wire to protrude.
I try and keep the operating wire at right angles to the point, this saves bends which may cause looseness in the operating mechanism.

Sunday, 4 September 2011


First picture of the main boards of Teignford. The two station boards are made from 9mm ply braced by 2x1 inch softwood. Legs are attached to these two boards. A horizontal extension, to the left of the boards, contain the point controls and section switches. There are not enough switches to justify a control panel,plus the wiring is considerably reduced.
The whole lot is controlled from 'HH' controller connected by 5pin DIN plugs. Board connection is by 15 way 'D' plugs.
The end board is designed to fold in half when not in use, this is 9mm chipboard supported also by2x1 softwood. At the moment this is supported on trestles but will have bolt on legs attached later. The fiddle yard is also the same material as the main station boards.
Next I will try and explain the method of point, or turnout, control.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

New Blog-New Layout

The first of a series following the creation of my new 3mm Scale layout as construction progresses