Sunday, March 07, 2021

Video: Making model hedges


Another of my BRMTV videos - this time making model hedges.

Saturday, March 06, 2021

Saturday Film Club: Steam turbine TGV in Gauge 1


The story of the development of a Gauge 1, steam powered, tilting TGV. German with translations throughout. I don't claim to understand the technology, but it's fascinating.

Friday, March 05, 2021

Plastic trams

Dad's birthday - and I spotted that the Wythall Transport Museum shop eBay account had some of the Atlas Editions tram models for sale for a fiver each. Well, I couldn't think what to get him, and I rather like the look of them.

I'll confess, I've not carried out any research into these - so they may be horribly inaccurate, but neither of us is bothered, they just look so good. 

To be honest, if the partwork that these hail from re-appeared on the shelves, I suspect we'd sign up for it. We're not into foreign trams really, and don't need any more models, but how can you resist? All the models are HO scale, and moulded in plastic. This wasn't cheap to tool up.

Still, a present bought, and money gone to a good cause. Now, I wonder if we could build a very small transport museum, with a display of trams from around the world...

Thursday, March 04, 2021

Fixing the front door lock

I like taking apart mechanical things, especially those with chunky fixings. When the catch on our front door stopped working properly, after being allowed to slam shut in the wind a few times, it needed investigating. 

OK, it needed replacing with an identical one, but after that I took the old unit and had a play. 

The basic device is simple enough, there's a bit that turns which shoves a cage back and forth, on to which is fitted the brass tongue bit that locates in the other side of the unit to hold the door shut. Obviously, I've not looked up the correct technical terms...

The fault was that every so often, the handle inside the door seemed to lose contact with the slidy cage and flop around. My first thought was that the cage could move out and miss contact, but there didn't seem to be a problem there - no obvious wear in the plates holding the thing together, and the two, chunky retaining screws were tightly fitted.

Eventually, after about half an hours tinkering, I spotted the cage was slightly distorted. Slamming the door on the latched unit had whacked the tongue and moved the metal. Five minutes with pliers (it's quite soft) and a hammer and the whole thing moves silky smoothly. As good as new. 

Now, we have a spare front door lock all parcelled up in the garage, where it will probably manage to vanish if we ever need it. 

Anyone else like this sort of job?

Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Backwoods Miniatures 0-4-0+0-4-0 Garratt


Spotting that James Hilton has been working on a Backwoods Miniature industrial Garratt kit prompted me to dig out my model for a couple of photos. 

Despite the age of the model, I don't think I did to bad a job with it. This isn't the easiest kit to build, but that's mostly to do with the prototype. The only niggle I remember (it was a long time ago) was squeezing the motors into the thick brass boxes that form the tanks either end before being wrapped in thnner, half-etched brass. 

I made holes to correspond with the ends of the spinning bit of the motor. Only 1mm gained, but just enough for really free running. 

The valve gear looks fearsome, but because it's all etched in thick nickel silver, there's no pesky laminations to do. I riveted it all together and the last side took about 20 minutes.

Given some juice from a 9V battery, the model still runs, although only backwards. I remember this being an issue, one end is a bit lazy and years of standing around haven't helped. Given the need, I''m sure I could have it back and working. We used to shunt with it on Melbridge Dock!