Felixstowe Area “N” Gauge Group

Iain and Graham – We would like to thank you for inviting our layout Clinton’s Bend to your Open Day on June 11th. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves explaining about the layout and the story behind it, met some interesting people, and had some good railway modeller chats. We would be happy to bring one of our layouts down to Felixstowe for any future open days/exhibitions.

Trevor - 'Overseas Event' Roundup & Future Exhibitions
First a big thankyou to those who either brought along their layouts or came along to help setup, take down and run. We had very good support from members and this made the event much more enjoyable. It was interesting to see that we had a number of new faces visiting us, specifically as it was non UK layouts / trade. I've heard a number of favourable comments about the range of layouts on show, from small layouts practical for the home to the larger layouts able to show prototypical stock formations.
As you know this was something of a test event following the cancellation of the previous two years shows. We now think we can return to planning a more normal show with pay on entry for next year. We will adopt a cautious approach and hope to use the Memorial Hall in Trimley St Martin. This is about 3x the size of the Welcome Hall and has its own car park. This gives us more scope for exhibits, trade & refreshments. The financial risk is small so we think this is a sensible step forward.
With this in mind can I ask that any of you currently planning / working on building a layout consider early June 2023 as a completion target. It would be nice to see some new layouts at this event.

Chris - Members have requested that we have another open day for members only. Suggested dates are 3rd or 10th September, I am awaiting confirmation of availability of hall.

Trevor - Events Diary
I have seen on the Bury club website that they have had to cancel their planned exhibition for 2022. They hope to be back in 2023.
The Ipswich club (IRMA) have another Open Day at their clubrooms on Sat 17th September. This is a free event with club layouts on display, second hand stall and refreshments.

After a few years of our layout looking like a child had done it I decided to update it and make it look slightly better.
I have taken up most of the grass mat that was on there and replaced it with flock. I also replaced certain bits and moved others just to make it look different.

Hope to see most of you with it on Colin’s open day on the 22nd October

For a few years now I have been looking around in the N gauge vehicle range for a Swiss bus to go with mine and my Dad’s Swiss layout Hindenbach, but the findings have been poor and any I do find have in fact been mislabelled HO vehicles.
So recently, my search changed to finding a suitable donor bus to be painted up in the Swiss rail and post livery. This had much more fruitful findings, as I soon came to have two options: 1) a static 1980-90’s Mercedes bus by Wiking and 2) a moving Faller car system Mercedes O302 bus from 1960-70’s.
Here is the original Wiking:

And here is the original Faller:

Then I needed some clear photos of the old liveries from the two periods. Finding these was relatively easy, but getting some that were close to the two buses I wanted to paint up was a little harder. But I eventually found two reference photos that I felt gave me enough to work with the make a pretty good representation on my two vehicles.

The Faller Bus
I quickly decided that I wanted to keep the lower half of the bus just as it was, and looking closely there is a set of twin lines in relief that go right around the middle of the bus, and that drop down slightly at the front. Using these as a guide I took a narrow tipped glass fibre pen and lightly scuffed the top half of the bus’s body so that it would give the paint something to hold to.
Next, five thin layers of white paint were added to the top half, using a flat 4mm brush to stop any streaks or painting lines showing. Between each coat and before the last had dried a damp brush was passed over the layer of white to smooth it off further, with any paint lumps or stray brush hairs removed.
Once the white top was done, I moved to a tiny 0000 round brush to paint is the red line around the middle, using and painting between the twin relief lines. This took three coats to get a nice smooth and solid colour.
Lastly, using the tiny brush again, I added and highlighted the small details on the bus, using some black and dark silver to: handles, roof frames, rubbers, wheel rims, grills, etc.

The Wiking Bus
This was a bit different as the base colour of the bus was all wrong, so a light layer of spray white was used over the whole of the body shell to give further coats a key. Then, using a new scalpel black and a metal ruler, I lightly scored two lines 1mm apart around the middle of the bus where the red line would later be.
Next, in the same way as with the Faller bus, five thin layers of yellow paint were applied on the lower half and five white on the top half. Painting up to the lightly scored line for the yellow and above them for the white.
A red ribbon was then added around the middle, between the scored lines. This was not as easy as it sounds, as I had two little slips where the brush went over the lines and I had to correct it by using the tip of a blade to lightly scrap off the paint and then retouch the white.
Finally, I adding and highlighted the details again, and I must say the clear and neat relief details of the Wiking model made this a nice and easy job.

MY MIDDLE LEG… by yet another Chris (we have several!)
Now, last time I told you all about the supports for my shunting layout, and Mike kindly pointed out the hinged leg on the main board which I'd left out of the story - probably the most crucial part of the whole story!
What a plonker, as Del Boy used to say, so thanks Mike for your words, I must pay more attention to writing articles in the future!
So yes, carrying on from the last edition's explanation, the shunting layout is kept under the main board on wheeled stands and when it's pulled out, first the leg on the main board hinges up, to be kept captive by a magnetic catch, and then the wheeled layout is pulled out.
In fact, all the legs on the main layout are hinged, this is to allow access to the storage cupboards (which have sliding doors) under and behind the layout.

Only one leg can be lifted at a time, but it's enough for me to get under and get items from the cupboards - luckily this manoeuvre isn't required very often, but is handy when it is.
The frames of the boards are just 2" x 1" frames, but when complete, will have the contoured plywood running along the front adding to the strength (like the front of the shunting layout in the photo) a this will be enough to hold the board straight while the leg is momentarily raised. You'll notice that as a stop gap measure, I currently have a length of 3" x 1" screwed to the front of the main layout to brace it.

Not much headway on the actual shunting layout lately, which is unfortunate as it was invited to the model railway show in Sheringham on Saturday 6th August at Sheringham High School.
Sometimes you have to admit defeat and this is one of those times. I don't want to rush it and have run out of time, so it's better to pull the plug on attending the show this year and hopefully take it to the next one.
For those interested, the show runs from 10am until 4pm and entry fee is £5, the postcode is NR26 8ND and it's being run by the M&GN Society.
I understand that James from Smiths Model shop in Sheringham will have a stand there as well as other traders.
On the subject of Smiths, James is now offering the same discount as Rails of Sheffield and others on Graham Farish locos so it can be worthwhile having a chat to him about your requirements.
I have no commercial connections with the Sheringham show or Smiths, just a satisfied customer.

The show went much better than many of us thought, being a display of ‘foreign muck’ as some BR only fans might put it. We did have a pretty good and large turn up of people come to see the various layouts on show. A couple came all the way from Cambridge just because it was a continental show.
Apart from the morning rush to get things setup and running, plus the usual tinkering needed to get bits working the way they should, the show ran very smoothly with little or no issues to speak of. Which makes for a good show in my book.
I had a good time in the side room, chatting to the visitors and other members about my German tramway, and from what I saw and heard the other operators also had a good time running their trains and chatting with the viewers.
All together I feel that this was a real success and I would be interested in doing another fully continental show again in the future some time.

NEW TOYS Showcasing member's new purchases
You'll all know my love of the Graham Farish WD locos by now - well, I was in Smiths the other day and he had one in there in LNER livery as well as an 8F in LNER livery too.
Needless to say, both came home with me and I can happily say, are superb runners.

I seem to be collecting more LNER stock now, also the occasional LMS item - as I'm fond of anything that ran or possibly could have run over the M&GN system, both companies are 'fair game'.

I've also just taken delivery of two N Gauge Society Hunslet shunters - absolutely beautiful models, very pleased with them.