Monday, 11 July 2022

July 2022 Forth and Clyde Area Group Meeting

And so they came; pipes skirling, drums a-beating, flags flying, plaids swinging, claymores and pikes in hands: the Forth and Clyde Area hordes of the 2mm Scale Association marched on the rural hamlet of Almondell to ensure that the banner of 2mm Finescale was, once again, raised in defiance of all non-believers. The Loyal Few, holding out against the rabble assisted by bulwarks of Easitrac and 3D printed locomotive wheels. Few came to see them, but they marched onwards driven by a righteous pride and a fervour unknown to those who worship at the false gods of other scales and gauges. Not for glory did they march,  nor for the seeking of riches. No! They marched to get to the hallowed portals of ESME, there to partake of the time-honoured rituals known as gabbing and drinking tea. Will our descendants see the like again?

Yes indeed, it was the gallant hordes of 2mm modellers who gathered together once again. Hordes being defined by this scribe as the maximum he could count to, using only the digits on his hands. Mind you, that includes the one he was using to count. (Higher numbers would entail him taking off his socks and shoes. Which may well have caused a stampede for the doors, as it is some years since he has had to count such big numbers.)

The 1001 (for those who are binary) attendees this month were the full complement of Als, being 3 in number, an Andy, 2 Js, a Martin, a Nigel and new boy Miles. The last had caused some consternation amongst the older members. It was by no means certain the the Group could put up with yet another North British enthusiast, but tolerance prevailed, although it was a close thing. However, he has been warned to be on his best behaviour as we will be keeping a sharp eye out for any NBR evangelism breaking out within the Group. Perhaps he'll see the error of his ways in due course.

This month, Nigel had a full car as had brought the embryonic layout along with the factory equipment for the mass production of pcb sleepers for the Association Shop. First of all, the layout created from Nigel's design, laser cut by Chris, and put together by Nigel. A nifty piece of work and craftsmanship, which is easily broken down to form a box, it goes together nicely. Unfortunately, the scribe is not much use as a journalist, as he forgot to take any photos. Come back, Press Officer! All is forgiven (nearly). Fortunately, the new boy did take a photo, which shows the beast in its built-up state surrounded by an assortment of other beasts.

Much discussion of electrification to suit both DC and DCC operation (at different times) and point operation took place. We even reached agreement with very few blows being exchanged. Outcome being simple isolation by turnout for DC operation, slide switches with wire in tube for point operation and slidey under board turnout operation units available from the 2mm Shop.

The factory production of sleepers for the Association shop was underway in the next room and out in the sunshine. The Overseer made sure that production was underway at full blast in the four stage process. (It's actually three stages, but the Overseer had being doing some prior homework with the first stage, by cutting down the muckle great sheets of pcb into more manageable 17mm wide strips. (We were creating 8' 6" sleepers.) 

Second stage was slitting the copper on the strip to provide the insulation gap on the sleepers, using a Fonly type apparatus created by Nigel, with a slitting disk and table over which the 17mm strip was pushed by the operator:

Third stage is the noisy one, using the sleeper chopper. An impressive beast, it fairly chunks out the 1.7mm wide sleepers, with the operator (wearing ear defenders) pushing in the strip and a guillotine driven by a Deltic engine (possibly) chopping off the sleepers. Wonderful stuff! The sleepers are collected in a margarine tub, cunningly hidden under the base.

Fourth stage is weighing and packing the sleepers. Nae pictures, but.

James had brought along some models built by former member, Fergus, in the 70s or early 80s. Some nice scratchbuilt Highland Railway carriages and Banking Tank (missing its bogie) and some goods stock.

By the way, the photos were taken on ESME's N Gauge layout which is being built in the same meeting room. We are not moving to The Dark Side...

Meanwhile, in other parts of the room, some folk were creating creations. Alastair continues with the 3D model of an NBR (tch!) mineral wagon:

And Martin continues with his production line of some Caley (hoorah!) wagons and carriages,

Talking of Caley (hoorah again!), Jim showed progress on his new Jumbo from his own etch:

Note Jim's creative use of the space in the tender to mount DCC chip and stay-alive components by mounting the motor off-centre.

James was creating a turnout for the layout, using pcb timbers and etched chairs.

And that's all I remember. It was a very long time ago now.

Next meeting on Saturday 13th August.


Monday, 27 June 2022

June 2022 - Further North roadshow, Perth show

The FCAG brought the 2mmSA Further North roadshow to Perth last weekend - here's a couple of shots to give the flavour. First a selection of scratchbuilt locos from Jim Watt and Alisdair Campbell:

followed by Jim in full fettling mode, finding the point where a worm and worm wheel were not meshing properly.

2mmSA treasurer Noel Leaver was visiting with his club's N gauge layout Wickwar, and he had some interesting competition for Nigel Cliffe's remote-controlled bus which he ran around the 2mmSA stand for a while:


Another enjoyable Perth show, much more relaxed for the FCAG attendees this year since we had stumped up for a larger space - well worth the money! Many thanks to Stan Moug and his team from the Perth club.

Wednesday, 22 June 2022

June 2022 Forth and Clyde Area Group Meeting

Welcome to this month's somewhat belated blog, celebrating the gathering of that fine group of folk, the Forth and Clyde Area Group of the 2mm Scale Association, on 11th June. For those regular readers who have been so on edge with the late delivery of this blog posting, I apologise, but real life got in the way.  As a result, The Press Officer released the announcement of a few members of the Group visit to the enormously enjoyable DJ+2 in Derby (held a week later). His efficiency he has shown this writer up to be the tardy and indolent chap what he is. 

Incidentally - Derby! What a cornucopia of delights! The organisers did a remarkably fine job, which cannot be found fault with. Really top-notch organisation and great to meet all those people from South Britain and, indeed, from the Antipodes.

The meeting was held, as usual, at the Almondell premises of the Edinburgh Society of Model Engineers (ESME), who have acknowledged our monthly interruption of their, normally peaceful, activities on their website:

We in FCAG appreciate the hospitality being shown by ESME and are very grateful. The size of the premises is such that we are thinking about using it for housing an Association Supermeet next spring. Watch this space...

The numbers were slightly depleted again, at seven attendees, but still more than double last month's attendance. Only two Als (#1 being held against his will in Skye), Graham, J#1, country member Mick, and Stephen were present. Andy showed up briefly, but had commitments elsewhere.

We had hoped to have the shell and baseboard of the new Group demonstration layout present. Nigel had designed it, passing the design to Chris, who had then laser cut the ply which Nigel then constructed. Holidays had intervened and transport arrangements could not be made to deliver it in time, so the bulk of us are agog, to see the beast. It must be admitted that some are agoger than others, as is always the way when agoging is so much in fashion, with much competition to see who can be the agogest. Andy had brought along the full size track plan, just in case anyway, and here is a picture for your delectation.

It's to be a bit of a locomotive depot, based very loosely upon that at Forfar. 

Speaking of the new layout, some members had been busy building turnouts. We had a duplicate of the key tandem turnout and had to settle on which one to use. Poor Mick, being the only person present who did not know who had built which, had the unenviable task of judging which one to use. (He could have had prior warning, but that would have given him a chance to back out...) It was a very close call, but one was selected based on a very minor shoogle on the losing beast, which would only take minutes with a soldering iron to rectify. Here's the two tandems, along with the victim sitting in judgement:

Another couple of turnouts appeared, with Graham showing his second attempt at a fully soldered chaired beast. He had obviously got the knack, this time, as it fair looks the part.

Stephen had made one of the pegged Easitrac point kits. Except that the crossing needed a wee tweak for alignment, he found construction to be a doddle. (So much so, that he bought a few cwt of the beasts being sold off at bargain prices at the Association shop, the following week in Derby.)

Continuing on the track theme, Alastair was putting together some Easitrac for the Group layout.





Jim had brought along his finished Caley Conner 2-4-0. A splendid (very wee) beast!

He also brought along his etch for his next project - a Caley 6-wheel bogie first class carriage to diagram 102. This is to allow the etches of the body, shot down from 4mm by Jim Smellie of Caley Coaches, to be pulled along in style. Apparently the bogies had been Nigel Hunt's design, amended slightly by Jim (Jimised?) to suit his own preferred means of construction:
Alisdair had brought along his finished his exNBR class M (LNER class C15), in push-pull mode for the Cragendoran to Arrochar service, complete with mysterious gubbins hanging from the smokebox:

The next Group meeting will be held on July 9th. 

Before then, we will be manning the 2mm Roadshow at Perth Model Railway Exhibition in the Dewar's Centre in Perth on 25th/26th June. Come and talk to us, if you're there. We don't (often) bite and will even talk to N Guagers in the hope of delivering them from perdition by converting to the much more logical scale of 1:152. It's part of our mission on Earth.





Monday, 20 June 2022

2mmSA Diamond Jubilee Exhibition, June 2022

Several FCAG members made the journey south to Derby to sample the delights of the 2mmSA Diamond Jubilee exhibition, and we were not disappointed. The standard of modelling on display was very high indeed, but the best part, of course, was the opportunity to ask direct questions of the experts with plenty of time and space for unhurried and thoughtful answers. It was also a chance to meet new people from other area groups and put faces to names. In short, a great weekend.

 Here are a few snaps to console those who for one reason or another could not be there. The uneven coverage has got more to do with my incompetence in using a camera (quite a few ended up on the darkroom floor) than my admiration for the modellers concerned.

First the Challenge layouts, in no particular order. (A prize was awarded, to Steve Nicholls' "Gakunan", but every display was fascinating). Each scene is 60cm x 9.42 inches. The descriptions are from the show programme.

Clyde (Richard Doust) Set in the Clyde shipbuilding yards in Glasgow

Callington (Chris Carlton)  The terminus of a BR(S) branch to the tin and copper mines of the Tamar valley

Line No 16 Ripple (Nick Bastable) A standard/narrow gauge line in the Kent hopfields

Golden Mile (Tom Cunnington) A modern-day 'might have' take on the Brentford branch in west London

End of the Road (Bryn Davies) The recovery of an old branch line in the 1970s 

... and it's the Milwaukee Road, before you ask.

Ale Dock (Kevin Knight) Inspired by a photograph of an ale loading dock in Burton-on-Trent

Coal Road (Rod McCall) A small part of Rod's layout Coal Road

I somehow missed taking photos of Rod's  Challenge entry, but Coal Road is featured later on.

The Coal Hole (Nick Mitchell) Part of a loco shed

Gakunan (Steve Nicholls) Japanese narrow gauge industrial railway near Mount Fuji

Port Jubilee (Anthony Yeates) A rail-served pier somewhere on the Scottish coast

Merchant Bridge (ex programme, so I don't know who to credit)

Then there were the invited layouts - again in no particular order.

Evercreech Junction (Alan Smith and Keith Gloster)

British Oak (Mark Fielder). Unfortunately I messed up most of the photos I took by incompetence :-(

Coal Road (Rod McCall)

Ivybridge (John Aldrick) (Nigel Ashton)

Moretonhampstead (Pete Warren)

Copenhagen Fields (Model Railway Club)

Freshwater (Ian Morgan).

A mantelpiece clock??? In 2mm scale ??? Oh come on ...

St Ruth (Midlands 2mm group)

Fencehouses (Bob Jones and team)

Wadebridge and Padstow (John Greenwood)

Very many thanks to the exhibitors, stewards, organisers, and the hotel staff.