Wednesday 15 November 2023

November Forth and Clyde Area Group Meeting

 It was a damp and driech morning at the Edinburgh Society of Model Engineers premises at Almondell near Livingston.  Not that this discouraged attendence at the monthly Forth and Clyde Area Group meeting.  Some eleven members assembled for some or all of the meeting - Alisdair, Alistair, Alastair, Graham, Jim, James, Stephen, Andy, Richard, Stuart and Martin being in attendence.

The main theme of the meeting was a presentation from our comrades of the Grampian Area Group on their project, Dunallander which was recently shown at the Aberdeen Model Railway Show.

Dunallander is the legacy of the late Neil Ballantine which was taken on by the Grampian Area Group after his passing.  The 8.5 x 2.4m layout is based on Dunblane, but strays from the prototype and so bears a name drawn from Dundee and Callander, two places important in Neil's life.  The presentation went into the history of the layout, it's acquisition and development to the present day.  Our thanks to Roy, Tony and John for the presentation.

Less thanks go to Graham who, to much jeering and grumbling, asked "so what can we do to help...?" at the end of the presentation.  The motion of discommunication and associated voting slips shall be in the next Association Newsletter...

Dunallander is due to be displayed at the Perth Model Railway Show held 29th and 30th June 2024.  And for the benefit of those members in the Southern Hemisphere, Perth, Perthshire, Scotland.

For more information on Dunallander and its development, the Grampian Area Group website/blog has tracked the project.

In addition to the presentation there was a great deal of work going on around the room.  In the case of this Junior Press Assistant, so much he forgot to take photos not only of his own work, but of several other people's too - so my apologies if I've missed you out.  The motion of discommunication and associated voting slips will be in the next Association Newsletter...

Jim, The Glorious Leader (as Alisdair now insists we call him, what is it they say about power...), and Graham are seen here working on the Group Layout, Mearns Shed.  The trackwork has now passed the Track Engineer's testing and is released for general use, allowing us to start populating the scene and thinking about making it pretty.

Several of the Area Group had been volunteered into making some sort of structure for the layout, and one-by-one we were called over and given clear and concise instructions by The Glorious Leader as to what we'd "agreed" to do and what it was to look like.  Markings were made on the baseboards to indicate rough positions.

There was additional discussion, with heavy involvement from James, regarding electronics, electrics, supply and storage of all the associated bits in relation to a layout.  There was a suggestion that an additional box would be required, and this should be of a suitable size to allow its use as a pedestal for the layout to sit on should the table at an exhibition be too low to the ground for most viewers.

Elsewhere in the room, Stuart was working on more scenics for his layout.  Having completed the behemoth that is the mill building, he was continuing to work on the various outbuildings and what looks like a card former to help inset it into the layout.

Alistair had brought along some drawings of a rather complex farm building he intends to manufacture in Plastikard to practice building structues in this way.  The top drawing shows the structure broken into seven simpler structures.

Stephen had brought along a new purchase - an N Gauge BR Stanadard Class 5 with a rather potent wee speaker that ran, much like the 4F of a few months ago, on DC, although it did highlight some areas of ESME's track that needed cleaning.  Sadly no photo.

Alastair continued working on his Class 03 chassis from the workshop at the end of September.  Here pictured attaching the crankpin washers to seal the coupling rods in place.

Other, unphotographed work was ongoing, with Graham sweating over his soldering iron, removing and replacing the innards of his Class 08, and Jim with a new wagon etch, both sadly unphotographed, and I had brought along some heavy machinery to assist with tracklaying - motivation having abandoned me about May and now resurfacing as the nights draw in.  Four pieces of track were ready for gluing by the end of the session, with holes drilled in the baseboards for droppers and turnout motors.  Sadly no photographs for this blog as I forgot...

Our next meeting is the final of the Year, to be held at Almondell on Saturday 9th December.  Any interested parties, or waif and strays from the broader assocaition can make contact through the email address in the Association Newsletter if they are in the area and fancy attending.

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