Saturday, 8 July 2017

July 2017 meeting

Back to sunny (for once) Glasgow this month, where Alisdair hosted and Andy, Jim, Stephen, Simon and Graham appreciated the three different varieties of home-made cake on offer.

The main business of the day was to install a new lighting pelmet for the group's Sauchenford layout. Reversing the traditional roles of Scotland's two largest cities, the scenic part of Sauchenford lives in Glasgow and the functional part (the cassette fiddle yards) in Edinburgh. The two were temporarily reunited so the pelmet fixing points could be drilled.

Here it is in place.

The length of garden string in this view was drawn taut while the three boards were adjusted to check they were horizontally in line before the drilling points were chosen. The gardening theme was extended by the bag of rhubarb which was mysteriously hung on the door-handle of the layout room for the duration of our visit. The Visitor's Guide to Scotstoun implores visitors to respect the natives' cultural habits, and avoid prolonged eye contact. Polite enquiry yielded nothing. For all we know, every Scotstoun house stores its rhubarb thus, just as the citizens of my native Arbroath keep their coal in the bath.

The choice of LED lighting strip was then the subject of much experimentation and discussion, but we finally settled for yellower light, which seemed to give a summery feeling; the whiter LEDs worked with the layout's colouring to give a more autumnal tone.

With that settled, the customary bacon rolls were washed down with tea and coffee in the usual lavish quantities. We discussed the next 2mmSA Scottish Supermeet: the date has been fixed for 21 April 2018, at the same venue as before, Perth's Moncrieffe Hall, which worked well for the 2016 meeting. Mark it in your diary now.

At this point, the elephant(s) in the room were finally discussed. Two Jumbos in fact, or to give them their formal title, Drummond 294 class 0-6-0s. Alisdair's mostly-complete BR-period version from a Worsley Works etch met Jim's Caley-era scratchbuilt version, head to head. Click on the photo for a larger image.

"Caley Blue" is a subject of endless conjecture and discussion. One thing is for certain, it was a very attractive livery. My grandfather had no special interest in railways, but he travelled to school daily on the Caley over the Sidlaw Hills from Alyth to Dundee in the early 1900s, and sixty years later he recalled the vivid blue of the 0-4-4 tanks to me with genuine pleasure. But which blue, exactly? Well ... that depends. Look at the difference between these two shots of the same blue loco, taken a few seconds apart, first with the sun behind a cloud, then blazing forth.

Jim has written up his loco in the 2mm Magazine, and the interested reader is referred to the October 1982 issue, available in the Magazine archive. Alisdair's loco is close to completion, so a few more shots before it gets painted may be of interest. Like Jim's, the boiler has a detailed backhead.

Unlike Jim's, the smokebox door is secured with dogs, typical for most of the class in their last days.

The motor is in the tender: in this view from above, the coal load cover is removed.

Underneath, the brake rigging has already been fixed in place.

The drive to the loco is by a wire shaft with tee-pieces engaging in driving slots in the motor shaft in the tender and the gearbox shaft in the loco. (The right-hand tee-piece is hard to see here).

The loco chassis uses the Worsley Works etch frames with Association bushes.

The view from below.

We ended the meeting by playing trains for a wee while. Here, Jim's Jumbo draws a train of pit-props, explosives for shot charges, and empty mineral wagons into the colliery sidings, while Alisdair's 08 shunter from the Association kit strikes an anachronistic note in the background.

For a change, next month's meeting will be in deepest South Lanarkshire. We don't know how they hang their rhubarb there, but we aim to find out.