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Saturday, 11 February 2017

Newbury MRC Expo 2017


A railway is an object of length. Space for it is the biggest challenge for modellers. Where space is limited and you still want a railway of some expanse then you might choose one of the smaller gauges like 'N' or smaller still 'Z'. But, have you heard of 'T' (tiny)? The track gauge is just 3mm and the scale 1:450 I saw it for the first time at the Newbury show. Someone had modelled the Forth Railway Bridge (the prototype is about 8,000 feet long) in 'T' gauge and you know what - the layout was about 25 feet long! It seems even a ridiculously small scale still requires a lot of space.

'T' gauge is not for me and my companion had to turn away feeling ill at the thought of modelling trains and buildings that are hard to see.

My Best in Show goes to Lydgate (OO gauge, 1950s ex-L&Y), an industrial theme with detailed cameo scenes containing people in realistic, static poses. This photo shows one end of the layout, a micro layout in itself that is connected to, but visually separate, from the much larger vista beyond the bridge.

In the Trade

I have been wanting a Class 117 DMU for my own Misterton layout for some time. I had been holding off buying the obsolete Lima in preference for the expected higher detailed Bachmann that was announced a couple of years ago but still no forecast of its availability.

I started to reconsider the Lima offering but following auctions on eBay I was put off by the high demand and high price. Do people not know of the shortcomings, like the trailing car being woefully inaccurate to the prototype?

At the Newbury show a trader was offering a boxed Lima 3 car set for about £10-£20 cheaper than eBay sellers. I scrutinised the models carefully. The condition was excellent although the trader could not test run it for me. I took a chance and bought it. On getting it home I test ran and found it worked ok. I decided to open up the power car to check over the motor and give the cogs a light oiling and to my delight discovered that the previous owner had fitted working headlamps! The implementation was a bit crude being a filament pea bulb pointing at two plastic light tubes and the electrical connections held in place not with solder but with blu-tac!

I corrected the wiring and shrouded the lamp and tubes with black insulation tape but I'm afraid the bulb light is too strong and shines through the black tape giving the appearance of  a camp fire inside the passenger compartment! That will need more work at some point.

Due to the incorrect trailing car style I am thinking of getting a conversion kit to put it right and install flush glazing throughout.

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