7mm Birmingham Moor Street

Discussion in 'Layout Progress' started by Focalplane, 9 April 2019.

  1. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer


    One of my Large Prairies used to be yours! 5198. They are great models and this really is the only problem I have had "out of the box". The ponies do seem to jump off the rails at the slightest provocation so I will try weight first before anything more surgical.


    No further news yet on our personal re-confinement. This weekend is the end of Toussaint an important holiday in France so part of the President's speech allowed families to return home at the weekend. Unfortunately our travel day will be Monday. But as we have a ferry reservation and can write up an "attestation" to show any official along the way we should be OK. One way or the other we won't really mind where we are confined but after being marooned away from family in Texas following 9/11 my wife doesn't like the idea of being separated from her children and grandchildren. We do get used to the idea of freedom of travel until it is taken away from us.

    A bientot! Paul
    LarryG likes this.
  2. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    I should add that my comments on the track layout are really to pose questions for other modellers to consider (and not answer) when selecting track for their 7mm layouts. Peco has a monopoly which means that some of its inherent weaknesses will not be addressed until there is a competitive alternative. That is not likely to happen any day soon!
  3. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    An update on the "reconfinement" here in France. Today has been somewhat hectic, somewhat nostalgic. I went to the local wine co-op to stock up on alcohol, then we had a couple of drinks outside in the sunshine on La Place de la Republique. Some sad farewells to friends as we really doubt we will be back until 2021.

    Then a visit to the local supermarket to stock up on supplies to take with us for quarantine - UHT milk, 12 litres! - And finally a visit to the beach as it was actually both sunny and hot. At 7 p.m., though, everything has shut down, not a car on the street outside moving. All restaurants closed.

    The government has yet to stipulate the new rules as I write this, so I am guessing as to what happens on Monday when we drive to Caen to take the overnight ferry to Portsmouth. Everyone thinks that as long as we have an attestation with us explaining why we are out and about, and the ticket for the ferry, the gendarmes will let us continue the journey north. We will not be interacting with anyone, taking an ice box of food for the journey and another one with fresh fruit and veg for the quarantine. If that changes I will report here in case there are others planning to make a similar journey.

    I have packed the car and can report that the Castle kit is in as are two Side Lines coaches, a comprehensive tool kit and maybe there will be room for the Finney 7 51xx kit. Other loco kits have been put to one side to accommodate much needed food and drink for the next 2 or 3 months. I hope I have the right priorities!

    Pencarrow, Deano747 and 3 LINK like this.
  4. simond

    simond Western Thunderer


    you can always order another kit or two, but decent wine and cheese...

    bon voyage
    Deano747, 3 LINK and Focalplane like this.
  5. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer


    Thanks! Oh yes, the cheese. The teenage grandchildren love Pyrenee Vache Noir so plenty of that as well as the usual favourites. I have to admit though that Stilton still remains the King of Cheeses.

    I reckon there may still be room for the Finney7 Hall and tender kits, at least they will then be in the right place even if they aren't started this side of Covid-19.

    A bientot, Paul
    Deano747 likes this.
  6. paulc

    paulc Western Thunderer

    Hi Simon , my thinking was similar but more about plunger pick ups and the spring not being able to push the pick out far enough if the other side has compressed. This depends on how much side play there is on the wheels of course . Gravity is a wonderfull thing .
    Cheers Paul, we have just come out of six months of Covid lockdown in Melbourne , not pleasant but if you stay the course it works .
  7. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer


    There is a lot of side play in the Heljan Large Prairies which could explain things, I need to have a look. Trouble is things are rather hectic at the moment as we pack things up for what could be a long winter. We had three months of lock down in England during the Spring so we know what to expect. I will be thinking about the track problems while away from the Railway Room and will no doubt decide what must be done on our return in 2021.

    Cheers, Paul
  8. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

  9. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    After 8 glorious weeks in France and many hours spent on scenery work, we managed to escape the serious start of the "reconfinement" by driving through the night on Saturday and taking the morning ferry to Portsmouth. No traffic at all even though the government allowed those returning from the Toussaints (All Saints) holiday to do so before Monday morning. We had heard of the news that England would be starting Lockdown 2 and thought we should make haste - now we discover that it won't happen until after bonfire night (coincidence?) - so at least 2 days scenery work has had to be postponed until next year.

    But we had room in the car for both wine and cheese and more Gauge O kits than planned. The stash included a soldering station, tool kits, Dremel, and the DA Castle, MOK 16xx, 2 Side Lines coaches and unstarted Finney7 Hall and 51xx kits. These join the Finney7 47xx and 2 Haywood coaches that were suspended Lockdown 1 projects. So plenty to do in the winter months ahead.

    As a result I missed the Gauge O Guild's open online "show" but will try to catch up in the next two weeks which also happen to coincide with enforced quarantine.

    As an aside, I happened to be outside the front door this afternoon when a door to door salesperson came trotting down the drive. "Stop right there! You cannot come any further, I am in quarantine." It worked a treat!

  10. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    Oh dear, it's Wednesday evening and no workbench. Well, a few emergencies have arisen since arriving (blocked drain being the worst) so no time to set up anything to do with modelling. However, we seem to have brought some good weather with us!
    Deano747 likes this.
  11. Steph Dale

    Steph Dale Western Thunderer


    Actually, that's not quite right, it came into effect at midnight last night, so we're all locked-down again now. Not that you'd know it from the traffic this morning!

  12. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    Thanks, Steph

    And we had our bonfire last night just in case (lots of dry garden debris to get rid of!). Now we can have another one tonight!

  13. LarryG

    LarryG Western Thunderer

    You should have kept your Welsh cottage Paul. We come out of 17 days lockdown next Monday. Can't wait to catch up on "unnecessary shopping" .
    Last edited: 5 November 2020
  14. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    I can wait another week, plenty of “honey-dos” to keep me occupied!
  15. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    I recently noted a link recommended by DavidB on LarryG's building thread. Sometimes we think we know all the suppliers out there, particularly for Gauge O as it's such a small market.

    Yet Scalelink Fretcetera was out there all the time. I was wondering how the canopies at Moor Street could be copied and constructed. Building the Goods Station was an interesting exercise and got me some way toward understanding how the overall roof over the concourse could be assembled but the industrial strength brass strips really wouldn't look right. The passenger station is, after all, the most important building on the layout. It still exists today (with a few alterations which need not be incorporated) and there are plans and elevations available. Once built in 1908 the structure did not change until closure so historical photographs are useful go-bys.

    I cannot afford to get ahead of myself, so no bulk ordering just yet, but I will acquire a couple of frets to get the feel of the products. The mesh sheets can be used elsewhere (on the turntable deck, for example) so that would be one fret to get. Others include the "working sash windows, etc." which can always be incorporated in low relief buildings forming the cityscape. However, I have used York Modelmaking for a previous engine shed construction and their products are probably less expensive for that purpose. I need to check to see if any of the window etches will fit the station building.

    In short, there is a surprising number of retailers out there, we just have to find and share them!
    Last edited: 8 November 2020
  16. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    I have ordered a diamond mesh, a K6 telephone box and a sash windows fret. It will be interesting to see how I get on. I can build the telephone box while in England and play with the sash windows to see how they work.
  17. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    The etches have arrived and look good. A closer look at the web site shows that the frets were taken over by an assistant as part of a retirement distribution, the fretcetera name being a new adoption. The window fret looks very crisp and, with thin ply and brick paper will make a very realistic background scene “flat” poking up above the Bordesley Viaduct.

    The diamond mesh grid will be a good replacement for my turntable bridge deck.

    And the red telephone K6 box should build into a nice accessory for the station concourse. It will need glazing which was not included in either the kiosk or the window fret.
    Pencarrow likes this.
  18. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    Hands bu&&ered up by gardening yesterday so no chance to progress with the Porthole until fingers recover. Ivy is one tough lady!

    Oops, wrong thread! Still as no progress it really doesn’t matter.
    Last edited: 20 November 2020
  19. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    Yesterday I took delivery of a dozen yards of bullhead flexible track. Why? Well, that problem with the super elevation is still bothering me and I also need some test track here. The test track could always evolve into something bigger. . . Oh dear.
  20. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    Oh no, not another pannier tank! Well, it was originally bought for Penmaenpool but there is no reason for not having a 64xx on the roster at Moor Street/Tyseley. So the build continues.


    Chassis is complete, mostly brass castings to finish. MOK kits are a delight to build, the tab and slot design taken to the max. I feel sure you could almost complete the nickel silver structures without any solder!

    Currently fitting the sandbox mechanism to the footplate.