Monday, 30 December 2013

January 2014 Meeting

I hope everyone has had a good Christmas, and wish all a very happy New Year.
The next group meeting is scheduled for January 19th at Keen House, from 2pm to around 5pm. The meeting will be a general 'Show and Tell' session, where we can all show off our work from the last year, or simply re-set the modelling enthusiasm following the festivities.

The group needs to start to formalise our relationship with Keen House, and at this meeting we should be able to set a diary for 2014, so that we can plan our meetings, so please bring diaries and ideas for future meeting topics.

I hope to see you there.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Report of the November MRC Open Day

The November 17th meeting was replaced by an MRC Open Day, for both 2mm Fine Scale and N Gauge modellers.

 Most of the basement was filled by Copenhagen Fields, and the surrounding crowd of spectators.

Tucked away in one corner was Lambourn, a 2FS layout which hadn't been seen for many a year, being operated by Richard Wilson and Richard Brummitt.

On the ground floor the new MRC N gauge layout Lacey Dale was on display, in its part-finished state.

Upstairs was Llangerisech, Nigel Ashton's 2FS layout. In its current incarnation it is basically running re-wheeled proprietary N gauge stock, representing the 1970s.

 As a complete contrast, next to it Stewart Hine was displaying some of his stock, handbuilt (including most of the motors) GWR models, some of them over 50 years old.

On the other side was Jerry Clifford, demonstrating some of his models. Also present were the 2mm Association Central Shop, and an N Gauge Society stall.

Expectations were for "somewhere between 50 and 500 visitors". I think the actual turnout was towards the lower end - about a hundred.

From my perspective it was an enjoyable day - the chance to help run Llangerisech, to see a couple of other interesting layouts, chat to other modellers, and to spend some money at the shop.

Friday, 18 October 2013

2mm/N Gauge open day

It's just a month now to the open day at Keen House  (sunday17th November)
Keen House will be open from 10:00 to around 16:30.

On display will be the MRC' s acclaimed layout 'Copenhagen Fields', Llangeresich, and Lambourn in 2mm fine scale,  'Lacey Dale' which is the MRC's new N gauge layout, and a couple of junior , demonstrating their N gauge layout.

It is hoped that we will have a retrospective display of Stewart Hine's models as well

there will be an official attendance from the N Gauge Society, in the form of a demonstration stand, and (for 2mm Association members) the travelling shop will be available.

I have to remind everyone that 'MRC Club Rooms KEEN HOUSE are not fully accessible for some disabled persons as there are steps & stairs to all areas'' .

There will be a small door entry fee of £3.00  ( accompanied under 16's get in free) to cover costs for insurance etc. Parking is restricted, so travel by  public transport would be a good idea, and will give you an opportunity to see the Newly opened King Cross Square, and inspect the original Cubitt entrance to to the station itself.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Report of the September Meeting - Trackwork

Only three hardy (or foolhardy) souls fought their way through the miserable weather to this meeting - a rather disappointing turnout, but we knew that some of the regulars had clashes with other commitments.

We waited until a bit past the scheduled start, in the hope that latecomers would arrive, but then Richard Wilson dived into a demonstration of Templot. Instead of the expected "Here is how to draw a turnout" approach, he started with "Here is my Templot representation of Birmingham Moor Street Station". Having worked on the rebuilding a few years ago, he had access to a full set of site plans, and had previously used Templot to generate a trackplan that closely matched the original.

He then dropped to a more realistic level of presentation, starting with a single turnout, extending track in both directions along the main line, adding another turnout to create a crossover, adjusting curvatures, saving various stages as new templates.

After a break for refreshments, we moved on to discussion of  practical trackbuilding. Unfortunately most of Richard's jigs had apparently been mislaid during his escape from a waterlogged Traction Engine Rally at Bedford the previous night, but I was able to provide a range of examples (all in pristine condition). The main part of the demonstration followed on from the Templot start - put double-sided tape onto a printed Templot turnout, add sleepers cut to appropriate lengths, then chairplates and appropriate rails.

Time didn't permit the boring details of soldering the bits together, so a Blue Peter approach was adopted - "Here's some I finished earlier", including two or three turnouts and a double-slip, now all surplus to requirements on Copenhagen Fields.

There was also some discussion and demonstration of alternative approaches - using Association base and templates for PCB sleeper-based turnout, and using milled bases for Easitrac-type turnouts. We finished with a brief discussion of tiebars/TOUs, with the moving sleeper method being recommended.

Plans for the near future:
Next meeting, Sunday 17 November, has been replaced by an MRC Open Day, 2FS and N gauge, with all members of the London Group invited to come along and "play trains" for a while. Copenhagen Fields, Lambourn, Llangerisech and the Central Shop should all be present.

Sunday 19 January will thus be the next conventional meeting. Provisionally scheduled as a "Show and Tell" session - bring along your current projects to talk about them, or just have a general chat.


PS Apologies - uploaded photos weren't displaying earlier. I think the problem is solved now - they don't do justice to the examples of trackwork on display, but they are (I hope) better than nothing.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

September Meeting

September’s meeting will be held at Keen House on Sunday 15th, formally from 2pm to 5pm, There will be someone to let you in earlier than that to allow for travel timings. This month’s topic will focus on track making- with the emphasis on pointwork. It is proposed that we have a look at the basics of ‘Templot’, and how to create pointwork templates using that software. This would be followed by a practical session on point construction, and turnout operation methods. A copy of the Association book on Trackwork will be available for reference (if you haven't already got your copy!)

The suggested order of the day would be:
1-2pm  Arrivals and general open meeting (bring a packed lunch if it suits)
2pm -3 discussion on Templot
3-3:15  Break for refreshments

3:15pm to close Practical session.
But I guess all times will be  a bit flexible

 It would be a good idea to bring along some basic tools and gauges if you want to join in the practical session. I have to say that I have not tried any of the plastic components for pointwork, and if any attendee who has used these systems would like to bring examples this would be very welcome.
Suggested tools:  Soldering iron flux etc, track gauges, a selection of files, tweezers and other small clips. Sleepers and rail would be handy too!

I look forward to seeing you there.

Monday, 29 July 2013

July Meeting - Wagons and Wagon Building

The topic for the most recent meeting held on July 21st was wagons and wagon building. Some confusion about the start time meant that the meeting re-started at least twice as the attendees arrived. Richard apologised and the 'correct' start time for future meetings has been agreed. He promised to get it right in future.

We had 6 members in attendance and most had brought along relevant sections of their libraries and there were plenty of models on show and to discuss. There was plenty of lively discussion and debate about all aspects of prototypes and methods and ideas for their reproduction as models. Despite having taken a camera I didn't take it out of the case so there are no photographs, for which I must apologise.

The meeting date for September is to be agreed but the time will be 1pm! The topic will be trackwork. It is hoped that we will have a live copy of Templot for a demonstration and some time for a hands on session to get people started on making 'points'.

Advance notice is also given that the November meeting will be something a little special as Keen House opens it's doors for a 2mm themed open day. This should feature all sorts of demonstrations among the usual social activities and even a layout or two. More details nearer the time.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

May Meeting - Locomotive Chassis Building

Today's meeting was mainly a talk by Richard Wilson.

Also included was distribution of a draft of his "workshop tools" list, which will probably finish up on the VAG - this gave rise to some discussion of various individual items on there, such as optical centre punches, with Richard and Justin using their tablets to look up suppliers, specific models and prices.

Richard had brought along about half a dozen varied locomotive chassis to accompany his talk, and a wide range of tools, as well as his "test track in a snooker cue case", and various other members had brought along examples they wanted to talk about.

There were wide-ranging discussions on various different techniques, and their advantages and disadvantages, with Richard contributing some of the history behind them.

The afternoon concluded with a brief tour of some of the machine tools available at Keen  House

Next meeting is scheduled for Sunday 21 July, 1pm to 5pm, Keen House again, and will be on the subject of building wagons.

Topics earmarked for future meeting include trackwork, weathering, DCC, and more on loco-building (probably bodies).

Monday, 25 March 2013

Starting up

This blog is intended to record the activities of the newly-resurrected London Area Group of the 2mm Scale Association.

An inaugural meeting was held at Keen House, at the invitation of Richard Wilson, on Sunday 3rd March 2013. Unfortunately this clashed with a maintenance session on Copenhagen Fields, prior to its appearance at Alexandra Palace later in the month, and free space was a bit limited, so the meeting adjourned upstairs to the Library.

Also present (apart from the author) were Noel Leaver and Richard Brummitt.

Unfortunately nobody took pictures for the blog, so you will have to make do with my verbal description. The main item on display/under discussion was brought by Noel Leaver, a somewhat mangled chassis from one of Damien Johnson's 2mm Locomotive kits, and shortcomings in the design and possible cures were discussed.

For the short-term future, the following plans were agreed:
  • Timetable of one meeting every two months, probably on Sunday afternoons at Keen House.
  • Each meeting to have a pre-defined topic
  • Next meeting to be 19th May, starting at 2 p.m. with the topic "Building Locomotive Chassis"
Richard Wilson has agreed a preferential rate for room hire - £5 per head per meeting. This is limited to the usual £35 room charge,. so if more than 7 members attend, the charge per head comes down.

So an invitation is extended to members in the London area to come along to the next and subsequent meetings. Even if the listed topic doesn't interest you, there will probably be enough topic drift during the meeting to cover other areas that are more relevant.

David Walley