The 7mm Narrow Gauge Association exhibition (and AGM) at Burton-upon-Trent is always an interesting opportunity to discover layouts that I might not see at other shows. Being centrally located there is a degree of layouts appearing that don't often come much further North (and vice versa for our friends in the South).
It was therefore good to meet Simon Andrews and view his 'Ramma Woods' layout, a minimum space O9 circuit sat on top of an Ikea 'Apa' box.
Laid using Shinohara track and taking advantage of their small radius points this really does fit a lot into a small area. Simon uses the smallest wagons from the Black Dog Mining range which really gives the image of a small 15" gauge railway in a forestry setting, taking inspiration from the 'Woodland Railway that once ran in Kent.
Simon is presently working on something even smaller, an O6.5 layout using PMT Technomodell track and Rokuhan Z "Shorty" chassis. This is a bogie unit but cunningly disguised as a 4w loco. The wagons are again the Black Dog tramway items and Simon demonstrated that he had managed to get working coupling and uncoupling. This will be an entry into the Dave Brewer competition at Expo NG later this year.
It was good to meet up with other O9 modellers at the show and discuss various ideas, which has been quite beneficial as I consider future projects. I also caught up with the owner of another layout from the South, David Malton's O14 'Abbey Light Railway'. As the designer of the 3D print Simplex I have recently completed it gave an opportunity to hold an impromptu gathering, only the blue locomotive here isn't a print (although a hint was made that it may now get a rebuild!).
Monday, 11 June 2018
Wednesday, 6 June 2018
Aside from adding couplings the 3D print O9 Simplex is now complete, having been treated to a coat of matt varnish and some light weathering.
I've added a few bits and pieces to add character and more importantly, help to hide the Kato chassis. The oil can and pot are (probably) Duncan Models castings, these were already painted from previous projects, whilst the wooden tool box is one of the blocks from the Dapol Railbus underframe with lock and hinges added from styrene strip. Whilst the details have been secured with Araldite the driver has been placed using Tacky wax, he's a bit more vulnerable and there may be options for the loco in the future where he needs to be removed.
Designer David Malton reminded me that there were holes in the running plate for a handrail at the radiator end. Rather than fit a simple bent up-and-over rail I followed David's drawing in the Railway Modeller and added a cross bar, carefully soldering it together. Of course I then opened up Facebook to be confronted by a picture of a Simplex with a simple up and over bar handrail... either way, I'm very pleased with how this has turned out.
From the side the slight disparity between actual wheelbase and the axleboxes can be spotted, but this isn't usually visible from normal viewpoints.
Overall I'm pretty pleased with how this has turned out, it isn't a true miniature railway machine but as an accessible way to an O9 model it has worked out very well.