Monday, 29 September 2014

Not the Scaleforum News

This was going to be a photo-report on my first trip to Scaleforum.

Unfortunately cumulative flight delays to and from Amsterdam meant that by Saturday there was no way I could face another day of travelling. I was beginning to feel a bit brighter on Sunday, but so was the weather which persuaded me both to clean out the garden shed and to re-visit the saga of the baseboard legs.

Fairly quickly it became apparent that what I thought was a design fault I'd built into both pairs of legs was actually a constructional fault that only affected the one pair and which was quickly rectified with a hammer and a screwdriver.

That still leaves me with the problem of adding stability to a high and narrow baseboard that needs to be assembled around existing furniture in my home office, and which can standalone without the baseboard in place. I suspect I might be on a fools errand, though I have a couple of ideas to try out still.

I also found the time to assemble the Tim Horn laser cut baseboard kit I bought with the tramway layout in mind. Not that it needed much time, it just fell together with minimal effort on my part.

Now the baseboards I've already built for the Art of Compromise are OK, but I'm beginning to think Tim's might be a better bet for long term use, if only because they are deeper and the alignment between boards is so well thought out. My tramway plan might also need a bigger board if I adopt the plan so that the trams never need to reverse, avoiding the trolley pole and the driver position being out of synch.

The reason I built my own boards in the first place is because my slight variation on the design meant the turnout to the coal staithes siding would be right over a baseboard join if I used 3ft long boards.

But having rethought the design I think it works best as Roy first drew the plan, which means that 3ft boards aren't an issue. The trouble is that means returning to the arcane universe of Templot to make the revisions,

The photos feature one of my Airfix 14XXs. The good news is that the Ultrascale EM gauge wheelsets for it arrived last week. 

The bad news is today an email arrived from Mainly Trains to say they no longer stock the 14XX detailing pack, or the chassis to fit the GEM Cambrian 2-4-0T. 

Both bits of news are a very serious blow to my plans.


  1. Bad news for me too. I was going to use a 14xx pack in an article!

    1. Phil, It seems a lot of useful sets of parts are no longer available from them, like the replacement Ratio 4whl coach underframes.

      As far as the 14xx goes it looks like some comparable parts are available from 247Developments so all might not be lost. It is the smokebox door and chimney that most need replacing in my eyes

  2. Makes you wonder if they are winding down. There are an awful lot of !4xx's out there that could do with work.

    1. The thought crossed my mind about them winding down. As for the 14xx's needing work - hmm perhaps an article on alternative ways of obtaining the same result then?

  3. They have header on their adverts that they are winding up.
    Bad news about the 14xx kits as I have two airfix a dapol and a hornby awaiting attention and only one kit !
    Have tried the website to see if any parts can be purchased separately but only the backheads are in stock? :-(

    1. Mark,

      When I looked the backheads were one of the thigns not in stock! I'm presuming though I can use a 247D GWR small belpaire backhead bHH5 instead.

      Also suitable

      CH44 Chimney
      SD6 15mm smokebox door

      I'm not sure about the correct safety valve, whistles, whistle shield etc.

  4. James,

    Nice to see you are making progress, the boards look really good....:-)

    Dave Cleal has been winding down his stocks for several years now, after all he is getting on but he won't thank me for saying that :-) The detailing kit for the 14XX and a lot of Mainly Trains etches were produced by Iain Rice under his 'Riceworks' label. The 14XX detailing kit was produced around the same time that IAR wrote his own account of improving the Airfix model in the MRJ preview issue No.0 and No.1. Dave used to list some of the parts individually and his list is till showing these items and as you point out most of the other parts can be obtained from 247 models including wheel balance weights.

    MT329 (Mainly Trains) Smoke Box Door Small 15mm Drumhead GWR 14XX etc W/M
    More info £2.00
    MT332 (Mainly Trains) Push Pull Regulator Box ex GWR 14XX Lost Wax Brass
    More info £1.40
    MT333 (Mainly Trains) Vac Pipes with AWS Terminal Boxes ex GWR 14XX Lost Wax Brass pair
    More info £1.85
    MT334 (Mainly Trains) Steam Heating Pipes with Push Pull Control ex GWR 14XX Lost Wax Brass pair
    More info

    1. Hi Geoff,

      Behind the scenes there has been a lot of progress on the buildings front as well. I'm hoping to get as close as I can to Roy Link's original concept without using the Prototype Models kits he had in mind, which are either no longer available or not up to today's standards.

      Despite my struggles with the strange user interface Templot has been an invaluable aid and has made getting the track plan to work whilst also allowing space around it for a scenic context.

      I ordered a couple of sets of the various 14xx parts from MT when I discovered the full detailing set wasn't available. I now need to run through the 247 list. The short term plan is to convert one of the 14xx using the Ultrascale drop in wheelsets - which now come with balance weights - and the other one with a Comet chassis at some point in the distant future. With a Bachmann pannier and 45xx I think that will, be more than enough motive power for the next few years.

    2. Hi James,

      I always liked that little plan but think its a wise decision to drop the buildings that Roy had in mind.

      It might be an idea to get your hands on one of those Comet chassis while you can, I assume you have heard that the business is up for sale following Geoff Brewin passing away.

      I agree with your choice of locos, add the railbus and your are sorted.

    3. Geoff,

      Oh no, I hadn't looked at the Comet site since buying the pannier chassis. That is terribly sad news.