Sunday, 24 November 2019

Heljan Lyn at the Warley model show

This weekend I was able to attend the Warley Model Railway show and take some pictures of the prototype Baldwin Lyn displayed on the Heljan stand. I was also reassured that the new Manning Wardle in the form of Lew ( shown here ) and Lyd have had the problems as seen with earlier production models rectified.
I hope that the pictures here of Lyn show what a very nice model we have to look forward to in 2020!








Heljan Manning Wardle running test

In my last post I explained how I attempted to improve the running quality of my first generation Heljan Manning Wardle model. The problem had been that the model refused to ride through the Peco points without derailing. This was way back in the Summer months. At the time I did take some videos of this improvement.The videos show Yeo negotiates all points very well but I was not totally happy with the video quality and intended to re shoot the sequence. Well as it turns out this improved video never saw the light of day so I have decided to show one of the original videos anyway. Something being better than nothing. Work on the layout has taken a little break for a while due to domestic work ( the DIY and decorating type) and work for a living!

I hope the short videos here help show the improvement in performance following the modifications mentioned in the previous post.

Monday, 5 August 2019

Upgrading the Pilton Ponies

I have never been totally happy with either the cab roof on Lew which was a horrible big lump of white metal, perhaps even a scale 6 inches thick , or my terrible attempt at the cylinder covers on my old original Chivers Lew and the Stennnig Taw. By pure chance,  whilst pottering in my spares box , I came across some very handy left- over parts from the Backwoods Manning Wardle Kits. A spare unused cab roof for Lew and two sets of cylinder covers. Never throw anything away !
So two evenings later - due in part to not understanding how white metal and brass don’t bond easily and I now have much improved looking models. The cow catcher on Taw ,which is the Langley kits version, fell off in the process but will be re attached now that the cylinder covers are in place.
The cow catchers are in fact a much sturdier design than those on the Heljan and I need to invest in a few more sets to replace those on the Heljan. My Heljan models have lost theirs repeatedly! The chivers model of Lew awaits the same.



Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Fixing a Heljan L&B 009 Manning Wardle

As mentioned in previous posts on this blog I purchased three of the new Heljan L&B Manning Wardle locomotive models. These  are to supplement my Backwoods ( built for me by Brian Love and one purchased on e bay) as well as my two originals built way back yonder from the Rodney Stenning and Chivers white metal kits. 
The Heljan models do look superb but it seems I’m not alone in finding that the performance of these models struggles over Peco points. The main issue seemed to be that the pony trucks would not cope with Peco points . Thanks to the internet I have followed a fix for the pony trucks. 
One of the theories being that the Heljan pony wheels are too fine scale and the pony trucks too light. My first modification has been applied to a first generation Heljan model of Yeo with the product code 99501. You can identify this first generation by the fact that the pony trucks don’t have any brass connectors that guide the pony trucks. This was a modification by Heljan to improve the problem of the pony trucks adopted to all the second generation models. I have two of these second generation models but my experience is that the modification does not seem to make much of an improvement to the same problem. That is the pony trucks seem to have a will of their own in negotiating my Peco “ Mainline” 18 inch radius points. So following what I write below I have modified my first generation Heljan and I’m very pleased to report that all issues have been rectified. The model runs beautifully across all points in all directions and very slowly. As my models will never run on the smaller radius Peco points I will, in addition to the pony truck modification remove the coupling attachment that is built into the pony trucks and add Greenwich couplings to the front and rear buffer beams. This seems to work perfectly well on the Backwoods models. 
So how to modify and get your Heljan working ? 
Shopping list ; 
1- Romford 8.00 mm metal wheels 6 hole Disc . I purchased mine from DUNDAS models ref: DW 82 
2- brass round Tube - 2.5 mm outside diameter 1.5 mm diameter . I bought mine from Eileen’s Emporium ref BRT 2515D. 
3- Superglue Gel 
Tools - X Acto metal cutting modelling saw and a table top Modellers’ vice. 

How to modify 
1- unscrew the pony truck and remove the Heljan wheel set from their lugs (?) They simply flip out. 
2- cut a length of brass Tube to 5-6 mm in length for each Romford axle to be inserted into.
3- remove each Romford wheel from their axle ( they slide off with a little subtle pressure by finger)!and cut off each pin point leaving an axle of approx 12 mm length . 
4 - add one Romford Wheel to its original cut down axle. 
5- insert axle into the brass Tube 
6- add second axle and using a back to back N gauge push fit the Wheels to correct back 2 back. 
7- push fit the new assembly into the lug vacated by the original wheel set.
8- super glue gel if desired can be added if required to help bind the brass to the lug - but I haven’t as yet and all seems fine. Total time taken per Pony truck was approx. 15 minutes.
I hope the following photographs help explain this simple but effective modification.









Sunday, 2 June 2019

Heljan L&B at Lynton

I have recently purchased a couple of the new Heljan Lynton and Barnstaple Manning Wardle models. As many other Modellers’ will be aware these are shall we say a mixed blessing. Superb in looks but some attention had to be made for me to achieve satisfactory running. I’m not fully finished yet in trying to get these models to run smoothly but I do hope that with some persistence it can be achieved.
For now I’ll let the videos do the talking ..





Excelsior and the ballast train

Re writing history somewhat here are a few views of a Mintrains Bagnall ( not yet in full conversion to its Excelsior condition  ) inspecting the line ready for ballasting the track.





The Greenery bit

The hillsides have now had a covering of hanging basket liner and the addition of static grass using a Noch puffer bottle. I’m quite pleased with this combined effect as it produces the depth of grass I hope and think comes close to what I see in the old black and white photographs.
This is just my initial ground cover and is just a starter. I hope to increase the cover with additional static grass.
I’ve also painted the wood facia with grey primer to help bring everything together and neater. The aim is to finish the facia surrounds off neatly so this is just an addition of paint to reduce the amount of bare woodwork . For the road surface I first attempted using dilute acrylics and as any of you could have anticipated it caused the card to warp. Fortunately this was not too severe and I hope can be remedied by using texture paints. So my initial remedy was then a repaint with the same grey primer as used on the wood work.One shot below shows a landscape view and in doing this shot it slightly distorts the view. My track laying is much smoother than this landscape shot demonstrates!
So for now a few views of the greenery...all structures shown simply placed for the photograph so please excuse any unsightly gaps and how they appear.
Next is more track testing and moving on to ballasting.