Sunday 26 May 2024

May Forth and Clyde Area Group Meeting

Delayed by a week due to the festivities of the Expo2mm down in Derby on our usual meeting date, the Forth and Clyde Area Group met this Saturday last at our usual haunt in the Central Belt.  Despite a near perfect day weather wise, or perhaps because of it, we had a high turnout with 10 members present, namely, Alisdair, Alastair, Alistair, Jim, James, Simon, Graham, Stephen, Martin, and new member Steve who signed up back at Model Rail Scotland.

With time fast ticking down towards its first public showing up in Perth, the weekend of 29th and 30th June, most of this months work focused on Mearns Shed.  James had custody of the "dead penguin" as the boxed up layout is sometimes referred to, and had been finishing work on the electrics - specifically the lighting, which is to be mounted inside the lid of the box.

At the meeting James finished fitting the LED strips, and fitted the supply wires, opening a hole in the baseboard for these to protrude through.  James is photographed here, deep in contemplation over routing of these wires back to the power source.

Alistair had also been working on Mearns shed at home.  He had been tasked to work on the backscene, and is photographed here putting some finishing touches on the canvas.

The backscene itself is  thing of beauty, it almost seems a shame to be covering bits of it with the railway...

The backscene was trial fitted once James had finished.  The layout will sit on top of the blue crate (hidden by curtains) t bring it up to viewers eye level.  Alisdair, wearing the Optivisor of Office, squints from afar at the framing.

The backscene was trimmed to size, and the structures and buildings that were ready for planting were put into place to give the feel of the layout.  An improbable pairing of locomotives was found and placed on the layout to help get the general feel.

And it looks alarmingly like a layout!  With the latest revision of the Engine Shed itself taking pride of place.

Alisdair had brought along his fleet of Locos and was using his Black Five with its outside cylinder blocks to gauge structure clearance.  Graham had brought along his latest revision of the Shed itself, and it was found that the shed doors were just marginally too narrow for the Black Five.  Graham was chastised for staying too close to the prototype and not taking into consideration these sorts of things.  A new shed frontage with approximately 0.5mm wider doors will be produced.

Martin will take custody of the Layout to put down the ground covers and some other scenic work.  Watch this space for further updates!

The light blue engine seen in the previous shots is Jim's complete CR900 Class 4-4-0, known also as a Dunalistair III.  Regular readers of this page, or indeed RMWeb will have seen this come to life from CAD drawing to bare etches to the finished article.

Whilst the main thrust was on Mearns Shed, others were involved in their own projects.  Simon was working on signals

Alastair was working on his 3D printed NBR Mineral Wagons, applying transfers.  Someone forgot to take a photograph and can only apologise for his misdeed.

Martin was working on Turnouts.  Having built a number of Fintrax Turnouts over the last two years, Martin had been having issues laying them, finding the crossing V or knuckle (or both!) were popping out of the 3D printed chairs.  Whether this is because Martin had damaged the chairs in the construction, or his methods of laying track require some more finess is unclear, but he had decided to try his hand at PCB soldered construction.

Starting from a Templot printout at the start of the meeting, by the end, a mostly functioning turnout had been constructed - this was just a practice to get the feel for building these by hand - this representing the second attempt, so fitting of a tiebar was skipped on this occasion.  Martin intends to use the "Standard" Chairplates available from the Association for "the real thing".

Our next meeting shall be the usual second Saturday of the Month, in this case Satruday 8th June, usual time and place - details in the Association Newsletter.  We are a mostly welcoming crowd - we have recorded at four meetings since last reported biting, and the last one was a provocation... - and accept waifs and strays from other Area Groups, or of no fixed modelling abode who may be visiting the area, and/or people interested in 2FS modelling and wish to see the one true way...

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