Thursday, 18 July 2019

Exmoor on the East Coast

Just before I packed away the 'Beck Bridge' diorama at its recent showing I posed my Exmoor tank 'St Edwin' on it an took this snap...

The next day I headed coastwards to Cleethorpes where the Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway was playing host to two Exmoor locomotives. The first, 'Sandy', a blue 0-6-0T from the private Wotton Light Railway was doing a very good impression of what my model would look like in reality...

The second was the familiar 0-4-0T+T 'St Egwin' from Evesham Vale, looking really at home on the seaside line.

The day culminated in a triple-headed journey over the presently closed extension to Humberston, running with the blessing of the railway inspector over a level crossing with non-functioning lights with the road closed to traffic by flagmen.

There are a few more photos in my Flickr collection. I've also just found a good video from the Saturday on Youtube.


Sunday, 14 July 2019

Dioramas on Display

Yesterday I displayed my two larger O9 dioramas at the 009 Society members day in Mansfield alongside 'The Old Quarry Line'. Here everything is set up and ready for action, the layout sat on it's box and one of the dioramas on the cardboard box I had created to carry 'Beck Bridge' in.

Days before the show I assessed the lighting options for the layout, having purchased two Ikea Jansjö lights that I had planned to clip to the box itself. Realising more height was required I fashioned an upright from a spare piece of timber and I opted to paint this in a black finish. Time was running short and I actually hung the timber from the washing line with a piece of wire and sprayed it with a Halfords matt aerosol...

A bonus was being able to mount the second light to illuminate the dioramas on the upright. 'Beck Bridge' was home to my pacific  and a Chivers coach...

Whilst 'The Headshunt' hosted the Exmoor tank and the recent works coach.

Interest in the layout and the dioramas exceeded my expectations and I was on the receiving end of many compliments and dodging out of the way of cameras (no-one wants a checked shirt backdrop to their picture!).

With everything packed away at home, the next day I ventured coastwards to see a pair of real Exmoor locomotives, but I'll leave that for another time...


Tuesday, 2 July 2019


I've been carrying out some tests as part of planning for (potential) future projects in O9. Looking at what I have achieved in 13" x 19" in 009 I am keen to see if something similar is possible in the larger scale in a just little more space. My 009 layout 'The Old Quarry Line' uses a 4.5"radius curve and I know that most of the O9 locos struggle with this, especially longer 4-wheel ones as it throws the couplings too far out on the curves.

So I laid a 6" radius test piece, added power connections and had a play. With diesel testing out of the way I decided to see if 'St Edwin' the Exmoor 0-6-2 could cope with it...

This is probably the limit this loco should go down to, and probably not something I'd want to see in a visible part of a layout, as the swing out is noticeable. The couplings are almost at their limit here on both loco and wagon but it does show the flexibility of the MicroTrains design.

I then relaid the curve to 5.5" just to see what happened...