Junction Dock 2018

Well 2018 was a very quiet year for Junction Dock – I did precisely nothing! No, sorry, I take that back – I fitted one piece of ~A4 card to complete the curved back scene in, I think, April… Club commitments, and 12-inch-foot commitments, mean I’ve not done much ‘home modelling’ this year. I have had fun with a few wagon kits though, so I thought I’d round out the year by posing them in front of the half-finished ‘goods shed’ on Junction dock.

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LNER Fruit, GWR V16, LNER 5-plank, LMS 3-plank – in various states of not-quite-finishedness

Pushing the wagons about was useful – the trackwork is simply not good enough. I have serious gauge narrowing at the tips of the point blades (all hand filed, probably not finely enough, and with not enough set), there are steps between sections which are very noticeable (not sure why — to few sleepers perhaps?), and the turnout mechanisms aren’t positive enough. This is the real reason I’ve not done anything on the layout for a while – the fear that the fundamentals are not quite good enough… That and the terror at trying to cover the entire lot in scribed DAS setts!

My initial idea – misguided I now realised – was that I could mask my first attempt at trackwork in setts. The ugly soldering, lack of chairs, mis-shapen sleepers etc would all be hidden. Of course the opposite is true – if you’re going to encase your trackwork in clay, you’d better be damned sure it is up to snuff first! So I think Junction Dock needs some serious rework on the fundamentals. A shift of EM is appealing, given I feel I’m unlikely ever to have/want a big empire populated by a stable of RTR stock. Perhaps after a year dormant the project should be marked ‘DNR’ and I should consider something more classical?  I have a few ideas of things I’d like to do, but don’t want to just flit around.

The good news from 10 minutes of pushing wagons is that I do still like the concept of the layout, and can see what I want. So perhaps it is not DNR but WIFLI – When I Feel Like It! After all, the rest of life is stressful enough there really is no point getting worried about a lack of progress with little trains :-\

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A quick brake (sic)

Between club model projects, preserved railway projects, house projects, work projects, and of course two young children, there is not much of my own modelling going on at the minute. I felt the need to do something though, so I’ve spent an evening or two playing with wagon kits.  That fairly quickly led down the rabbit hole of brake gear. A few books later, and last night’s attempt was at a simplified Rice-style LNER AVB rigging. 0.7mm rod to represent the brake linkages, and 1mm rod for the cross-link. Attachment to the plastic brake gear is a combo of melting in and epoxy.  It’s far from perfect, but fairly happy for a first attempt. The enlightened will notice the main link is the wrong way round though…

Second picture reveals a disturbing non-squareness in the wheel sets :-\ Maybe I need to put the compensating W-irons in after all…

Work In Progress Wednesdays

A very quiet summer from the modeling point of view with work building up to a peak at the end of this month. Most evenings have been spent reading and writing documents, with only the occasional escape to the garage.  I’ve made very slow progress on some buildings for Junction Dock and, somewhat fittingly, a GWR van…  neither is finished yet!

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Long distance freight – a half build GWR Mink A in front of a half-built Scottish goods shed

Why do you only notice misaligned brick courses when you take a picture? At least none of the roofs are fixed down yet!  The slate roofing is benefiting from good tips on rmweb.