It is now less than two week to go to Canute Road Quay’s appearance at the excellent Railex exhibition organised by friends at the Princes Risborough and District MRC, being held at Stoke Mandeville Stadium, Stadium Approach, Aylesbury, Bucks, HP21 9PP on the 26th and 27th May and I have been busy with final preparations.
Even with a small layout like Canute Road Quay good preparation is required to ensure things go as smoothly, and just as importantly enjoyably, at the show. Canute Road Quay being only 5ft x 1 ft is somewhat easier to load and set up at a show than Fisherton Sarum but the steps for getting ready for a show are pretty much the same. The preparations, some are more obvious than others, include the following:
- preparing packing the stock being taken and just as importantly in my case deciding what stock not to take!
- track and stock cleaning, to ensure good reliable and slow speed running
- checking coupling heights and uncoupler operation
- general layout cleaning and dusting etc.
- preparing and packing the loose detailing items (vehicles and packing crates etc.)
- layout ancillaries, including: transformer box, cables, lighting transformers, trestle supports, extension leads, curtains, spare controller, name badges, and relevant tools
- operator comforts including: high stool, mugs (for the all important tea) and sweets and snacks (to keep up energy levels and act as a bribe for my fellow operator(s))
- paperwork: show information and layout information sheets for prospecting exhibition managers
- arranging operators to assist me at the show, somewhat easier with Canute Road Quay (in this case just the the one, in in the form of friend and fellow modeller Simon Paley), than the larger number required for Fisherton Sarum!
- overnight bag, if required, but not in the case of Railex as it is only 20 minutes from home
I have also made a small change to the way the cassettes in the off scene fiddle yard (a grand title for what is really just a shelf…) are handled and the electric feed provided. This is to make it easier to connect the cassette as previously I had two phosphor bronze spring clips fixed to the base which both provided the power feed to the aluminium section on each side and also ensured correct alignment with the exit road. This arrangement also meant that the cassettes had to be aligned and slid in from the left hand end which was not all that practical due to the overrun protection at that side of the yard.
I have now changed the nearest power feed and cassette alignment clip to be on a small lifting arm made from a suitable shaped piece of wood, complete with a nice little brass drawer handle. This enables the spring clip to be moved upwards and out of the way of the side of the cassette.
This arrangement now gives two advantages: firstly the cassettes can slid in and aligned easier from the front operating position; and secondly means that even with cassette in position the arm can be lifted isolating the cassette, where previously the cassette was live when the layout feed it adjoins to was live.
The cassettes I am using on Canute Road Quay, as I have mentioned before on this blog, are the 12″ loco cassettes from Fisherton Sarum and the some of these are made up on one side with two 6″ lengths of aluminium angle which I bridge electronically with a bulldog type clip and this allows for further isolation of a tank locomotive at the far end of the cassette.
Further to my previous post here about visitors to the quay I have making some changes and or finishing touches to a couple of the locos in my fleet which may make and appearance the weekend, both are examples of the latest releases from Hatton’s in the shape of their delightful ex SECR P class 0-6-0t, see my review here, and also their 14″ Andrew Barclay
The P Class No 1558 already suiting my 1946 to 1949 modelling period being in post war SR black with ‘Sunshine’ style lettering has had crew fitted (in case the excellent ModelU 3D printed examples produced by Hatton’s specifically to fit the P Class), real coal added to the bunker and has been weathered.
My Hatton’s Andrew Barclay 14″ 0-4-0t has now been modified by replacing the existing buffers with wooden dumb buffers. The original standard buffers simply pull out and then the area of the bufferbeam filled flat to remove the rivet head detail. The wooden dumb buffers have been fashioned from rectangular plastic rod and suitably painted.
I have removed the original WTT branding in my usual way by rubbing with a cotton bud loaded with enamel thinners. As coal bunker space is pretty non-existent on these locomotives, having seen it photographs of the real thing added a couple of sacks of spare coal on just inside the cab and the other balanced on the running plate. She has then been weathered to represent a pretty unkempt condition of such locomotives that were used on some of the other lines and private wharfs that existed in and around Southampton area especially along the River Itchen. Like the P Class crew has been added using the ModelU 3D printed examples produced by Hatton’s.
If you are planning to visit Railex please make sure you come and say hello. I am stand 61, towards the right hand back corner (as you come into the hall)