Felixstowe Area ďNĒ Gauge Group

Another short newsletter, not really surprising with so little going on!

John - Last year I agreed to take my German layout to the World Wide Group convention on July 31st at Potters Bar. I feel that I don't want to let the group down and will attend if possible assuming that the virus will allow the convention to go ahead. That said, I would appreciate a helping hand by one club member if possible. Hotel accommodation will be provided for Friday night.
Also, if anyone has a non British layout that they would be prepared to take to the convention please let me know and I'll forward the information to John Brady.
Thanks in anticipation.

Trevor - Clubroom access
A reminder that the clubroom has been opened up for use by small groups (5) of members either to work on projects or for a chat. So far only a couple of meetings a week are booked. Therefore, there are plenty of free slots available. We appreciate that the number of members with keys is limited, therefore either Chris Shum or myself should be able to unlock or lend a key should others need access.
Booking diary is online; http://www.felixstowengauge.org.uk/clubdiary


In the March newsletter I wrote an article about conversions I built around the transit vans produced by Oxford diecast. Since then Iíve been working on a couple more of these conversions along with some on Tomytec lorries.

First up is conversion of transits into the tipper truck version. As a future project will involve a Network Rail depot I chose to use the small transit in Network Rail livery as the basis. I have made a pair of tippers in two wheel base lengths. As per the previous conversions the first stage is to remove the body from the chassis and cut the cab off. The back was then filled in with piece of plasticard. I decided to keep one with the short wheelbase and the second I cut in half and extended. Some filling down of the top of the chassis is required to give flat surface to mount the body. I only needed a small touchup of the paint on the cab rear and black on the chassis was needed to complete. The tipper bodies were formed from a rectangular piece of plasticard for the base with the sides from some Evergreen channel. These were sprayed aluminium and the base painted a brown shade. The sides are a little thicker than Iíd like but smaller section is prone to warping. The following shows the parts ready for assembly.

The assembled vehicles still need mudguards to be added for the rear wheels but are otherwise complete.

I recently spotted a couple of Network Rail vans working at a level crossing and spotted that one had roof rails and ladders on top. I therefore decided that this would be a fairly simple update that could be made. Using another small Network transit as the basis I formed the roof rails from some stiff wire and drilled small holes in the roof to locate. In my spares box I had some etched ladders. These were first sprayed alluminium, then gluded to the rails. Although Iíve not touched the paintwork on the van I spotted in the image that Oxford have left the front right headlight white!.

Part of the future project will include a major roadworks scene which will need a number of construction vehicles. Over the years Iíd picked up some Tomeytec lorries that are suitable for the UK. First I had a couple of sets that contain a 6 wheel tipper truck and 6 wheel ready mix cement lorry. These were in rather garish colours, lime green and turquoise. I there decide to strip down and repaint them. I chose to try and make them look in a livery from the same company. The bulk of these were sprayed from rattle cans with detailing via brush. Drivers have been fitted along with amber light bars. I found that Peco wagon loads fit the tippers perfectly. Overall Iím pleased with how these have come out.

I had also obtained some 8 wheel ridged lorries that carried a 30í foot container. These are a rather strange wheel base that appears to be unique to Japan. The lorries are Hino brand, that does appear in the UK. Having removed the container I was able to cut down the chassis and glue back together in a wheelbase suitable for a tipper truck. The cabs had a good cream / blue livery, so other than adding amber lights to the roof and drivers these were left as supplied. Observing tipper lorries moving soil from a nearby building site I was able to see that many have alloy bodies and are now fitted with load covers. The tipper bodies were made in a similar way to the transit tippers with a plastic card bottom and channel for the sides. I also made the rollers covers Iíd seen from some bent wire and thin black paper.

Finally I had in my vehicle box a selection of excavators. These were around a few years ago and are Caterpillar models made by Norscot. Iím not 100% sure which scale (probably 1/160) these are but they are suitable for Ďní gauge, although the front loader does look quite large. For these models Iíve added drivers, amber lights and glazing. They could do with a bit more weathering / toning down, but will do that to fit in later.

As promised last month, here is my latest acquisition. Totally out of period for my layouts as I model 1950 and 1965, but it is at least Western Region! I have finally surrendered to Kevinís philosophy of run whatever you like at homeÖÖ.

It is of course the newly released Kato boxed 800 set, their first venture I believe into true British N Gauge 1:148.
I absolutely loved this prototype when they first appeared on the railways, and couldnít resist it when the model was announced.
If you want to run a longer train you have to buy the alternative set, which has different running numbers, but comes with a controller and an oval of track. This pack includes enough track and a buffer stop, for you to display your model.
Sadly, the coaches are too long to run on Weston, my exhibition layout. The curved platforms were sized to fit Mk1 coaches, and this set jams. I had to take it to Kevinís to test run it. I think it sounds the death knoll for Weston, which I was already considering selling, to make room for a bigger home layout Ė with a straight-through station!
Iím hoping to take the layout to our October open day if restrictions allow, then I think it may be sold.