April 23rd - the finish, for now
The shuttle unit is back and on its best behaviour (another switch problem, probably my cack-handedness). The project is now nominally finished. Always tweaks to do of course, but what is really required is an appreciative, not to say awe-struck, audience at the Railway.
Not going to happen for a while unfortunately. Love those pliers though.
March 22nd - the shuttle, again
A rather frustrating time recently, with the shuttle unit playing up when let loose on the layout. Not stopping where it should was diagnosed as a faulty reed switch, promptly replaced by Geoff Garside, tech guru of Timpdon Electronics.
However further playing of the up variety has resulted in the unit being returned to Geoff, for a severe talking-to on its responsibilities as a quality customer-focussed model railway gadget. Hopefully it will see the error of its ways and come back ready and willing to take up its assigned duties, with no more prevarication.
The other frustration is the coronavirus, which means that even with a fully-compliant shuttle there is no West Lancs Light Railway to show it off at (at which to show it off?).
Patience is a virtue apparently, and I will have to be especially virtuous and like many other people just sit it out until better times arrive.
February 10th - the shuttle
Storm Ciara was a good opportunity to hunker down and do some serious loco work.
The body was finished in Honda Grey and the Timpdon shuttle gear fitted. After much studying of the instructions the wiring was eventually completed and a successful test firing carried out.
The final stage will be calibration of the magnet positions on the layout, with a full load of coaches. Waiting on weather, as they say.
February 7th - the motion
A significant milestone in the loco build - a working chassis.
To repeat what is fast becoming an over-used word, it was more than a bit fiddly, with several false starts and 'now what's happened?' moments.
Fortunately the system was well enough engineered to cope with my assembly technique, and operation with only 4 AAA batteries seems feasible.
February 4th - the real wheels
One more detail to the shed and on to the loco build. 60+ components for the drive gear, some very tiny and very loseable.
February 1st - more finishing touches
Spoke too soon about things to do. Some bags of coal and boxes of kindling have appeared.
January 29th - the finishing touches
Yet more fiddly detail, which adds interest and is one of the more enjoyable aspects of modelling. Two more seats means two more people required, or to be exact one-and-a-half, as I just happened to have a spare head lying around.
Starting to run out of things to do on the model itself, need to crack on with the diesel loco.
January 28th - the roof
Recycling at its best - the bean tins are cut open, straightened and tacked into place. And a cunning plan has surfaced to take the shine off them, namely covering with a damp cloth impregnated with a vinegar and salt solution. How that works remains to be seen.
January 23rd - the jobs are ticked off
The tea party is now present and correct, and good progress has been made with the shed roof. Further roofing work will await accelerated corrosion of selected bean tins.
Off-camera, the two coaches have been painted and varnished, and a start has been made on solvent-gluing external detail to the NCB loco.
Wood has been acquired for the support legs, to remove reliance on locally-provided tables, which can vary in provenance. Also Ms eBay has come up with some rather smart green fabric to curtain off the lower sections.
January 18th - the scenery
More fiddling, this time to complete the ballasting on both boards and add some assorted varieties of grass and mud.
The points now have operating levers and connecting bars, and two people have reappeared, plus a loco and driver.
The other three staff members are waiting for the paint to dry on their new tea mugs
- the original set are somewhere about, but it was quicker to just replace them.
A blog on building a model of the West Lancs carriage shed.
January 14th - the big push
Lots of fiddly woodwork added, ready for the tin roof to go on. Beginning to look the part don't you think?
January 11th - growing the structure
The left side and extension walls are up, and a start made on the roof supports, secured with a combination of filler and glue. The flickering back light is already irritating.
January 4th - the panels
The holiday season has been put to good use, with all but one of the wall panels and doors complete and ready for installation (spot the odd one out). Big decision looming on how to get them all vertical and rigid.
December 20th - the walls
At last the building proper gets under way, with the first of the wall panels going in. I decided prefabrication was the easiest way, ensuring all the glue was set first of course.
December 12th - the electrics
Some cable knitting today, with multicoloured wires and four LEDs, one flashing to represent a failing light, overdue for an electrician's TLC.
Also did a trial laying of some scale ballast, held in place with PVA glue.
December 10th - the doorway
Back to the cool of the workshed. The cement floor has been laid, using wall filler, and the doorway assembly cautiously erected into place.
Painting of the coaches is also underway, using a similar colour scheme to the West Lancs prototypes.
December 4th - the locomotive
Some dining-table modelling on a chilly winter's day, and yes India was great, thank you for asking.
The loco is a PDF Models kit of the NCB loco Alf, which will form the motive power for the shuttle, assuming all the electronics will fit.
November 7th - the workers
The figures are by Motley Miniatures, with tea mugs courtesy of the Lego Group. Any resemblance to current members is entirely coincidental.
There will now be a short intermission whilst I visit the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, and other eastern delights.
October 30th - the layout
A publicity photo for the newsletter, showing the shed's foundations and the end wall and doors, the latter rather precariously propped in position. I may need more pliers.
October 20th - the track
With the baseboard boxes complete, much playing about with point angles and track lengths produced the layout shown in the photo.
The shed will go where the coaches/brake van are, with the train running back and forth from there to the left hand end of the track.
Also shown are the wired-up shuttle unit and the first part of the building, the left-hand door.