2019 April 17th Wednesday at Badlesmere
Battery power and radio control came to “The Circuit” again in the form of D3120, Allen’s diesel shunter. The loco was working, controlled by an app. on Chris N’s mobile when I was let loose on it, switching on lights and speeding up with a swipe of the finger – and it didn’t need a track cleaner.
The lines were having good use, both DCC and analogue; a selection of little diesels taking centre stage. The NCB green pannier followed small saddle tanks and a large prairie. John B ran a large Austerity ST, which he plans to name after his Army unit. Now motorised, after several decade’s wait, a small crane tank had a run. It was Geoff’s first O gauge loco, made with plasticard and OO wheels, while his ship waited off Jedda in the Red Sea.
A gentle drizzle of ladybirds descended on “Sarre” before heading off through the open windows. Jackie was kneeling to creosote its fences, while John P seemed to prefer hanging over the backscene as David Ho. placed newspaper to protect scenery from paint.
As we finished lunching, Tim brought us up to date with his ideas for our new shunting diorama, useful points being made by the fifteen of us. Sizes for this mini-layout were fixed after much experimenting with eye levels and measuring of the tail gates of several cars, so we’re on our way with a new project.
2019 April 13th Meeting of EKOGG at Faversham
It was a small, select group that met this day. Just three were able to make lunch in the Sun but five more joined them at the hall. We began with one of the BRM modelling DVDs, wagons volume 1 hosted by Ian Rice. This one talks about research and the need to make one’s models as homogenous as possible to maintain a realistic over all look to the layout. About half way through we paused for tea. After tea we changed DVD to a brief (three minutes!) look at the Welsh Highland in the ‘30s. Following that interlude we watched “The Night Mail”, first the original but then an updated version showing how the night mail worked in 1986 (and in colour). This included the first train in the bright red livery adopted by the Post Office in 1986 and the naming of a class 47 locomotive as “Night Mail” painted in the InterCity livery. The updated version included aircraft and vans in the distribution network but still had forty Travelling Post Office (TPO) trains in service, sadly now gone. For the detail fanatics, it should be noted that only the first red TPO had red roofs. All subsequent repaints had grey roofs. And then we went home.
2019 April 3rd Wednesday at Badlesmere
Diesel shunters gently ticked over, switched on their lights then took to the inside track, while an 03, 04 and D3459 ran in turn on the outer. Attempts for Manning-Wardles and large Prairies to share the Circuit weren’t so successful. “Sarre” continues gaining detail, with many small touches added. One of the “Edington” traverser’s buffer/support units was having its electric connections beefed-up.
Light railway stock abounded on the construction table, alongside a tank wagon production line and figure painting. Over lunch, the twenty-one of us mentioned future meetings along with calls for operators at shows. Geoff R. suggested and is looking into a visit to a railway collection to the north of the Dartford crossing. From North Kent John G arrived, with Jim P, and has decided to join us. Allen W. made a welcome comeback, bringing battery power and radio control. Terriers appeared once more, testing running with goods stock.
Running ended about 14.20 after we’d seen a SR/LBSCR K class Mogul and ran Colin’s D16/2 1Co-Co1. He hopes that a few more penny-weights added over the leading wheels will improve running. With plenty of hands to help we had soon stowed away and were off.
2019 March 20th Wednesday at Badlesmere
A practical explanation of DCC by Paul H started our session as we drank coffees (and ate doughnuts provided by D.Ha.). With swift selection of functions Paul’s GWR locos gently hissed, greeted people with whistles and chuffed in sync. as they moved along their dual tracks. Paul answer some questions during the demo, then spent time with all those interested during the morning.
You could tell that it was “Terrier Day” as a dozen of the little locos were on our ‘Circuit’. They seemed happy pottering around, sometimes forming little queues, buffer to buffer. Our three visitors looked a little bemused at times having seen our ordered selves at shows and now finding out what we do when nobody’s watching. Paul W had quickly soldered a new connection for our DCC users so their Terriers could join the pack. Varied liveries went by, nearly all from Dapol.
Over lunch we talked over ‘Diorama’ ideas. Making our own track and suitable county town buildings is planned. Opinion on whether the mini layout should be of boxed in type or of open aspect, was fairly evenly divided. Tim is now getting together full-size plans. Over on ‘Sarre’, the platform had gained a white edge and the photo backscene was being tried out. Kit building continued on the table throughout another bustling day.
March 16th 2019 Saturday in Faversham
The wind whistled and the trains slowed, branches brushing their windows, but at least were regular. Motorways being closed caused long journeys for some of us. Gremlins got to the dvd player, but David G found links to films of Tornado striving for 100mph through the night.
Tim introduced ideas for a diorama that could go on an EKOGG table at events, so we were soon discussing form and presentation. Bombarded with my sketches, and comments from all, Tim will have large sheets of paper with him at the next meeting as he firms up plans.
Tea and coffee in hands, we introduced Thirza to tinplate modellers, circulated, viewed the Bring & Buy and caught up with news. To wind up we watched LMS film of a Duchess being built; just about everything being manufactured “in house”. Amid flaming metal and crashing drop hammers only a few leather aprons spoke of safety measures. Barring rain, “Sarre” should be at the next Faversham meeting on Saturday April 13th, so do bring an interesting loco and piece to run. Full supporting programme: “Bring & Buy”, film, etc.
March 6th Badlesmere Wednesday session
It was Pannier Day on the Circuit, at least to start with. New member Jack B’s Pannier is non-running for now, but Paul W’s green GWR version was nipping round one track as mine slowly propelled its auto-coach along the other. A Dean Goods had an outing or two and we saw Jim P’s big Prairie. If Paul H had speeded up construction on the modelling table, we’d have had a fleet of Western engines operating.
Chris N solved the puzzling lack of water by locating another stop cock in the kitchen as nineteen members arrived. Our DCC users plan to bring in their systems over the next months for us to learn from. As usual, we had a Bring & Buy stall. David Ho. organised refreshments; luckily with some help in the kitchen. After constructing his large base boards, Chris M was preparing pipework for Sarre’s warehouse while John P was added detail at the other end of the tracks.
Over on the tables a bogie carriage was being assembled, figures painted and light railway locos made for old Metropolitan coaches. There was muttering over a resin wagon and fixing draw gear into vans. Modern aggregate wagons were taking shape too. We briefly saw a Standard 2-6-4t before a large LSWR H16 came out, looking for a transfer freight. A delightful tiny Manning Wardle K 0-6-0st was pursued along the track by a Terrier, but, when it had the line to itself, Ross added suitable vans and a 4-wheel carriage to the blue loco. Steve S had wagons to run a goodly freight with his BR mogul before running ended with a pair of Gronks; Roger’s with postal vans.
February 20th Badlesmere Wednesday session
It was a fresh sunny morning with swathes of snowdrops across the Lees Green, when eleven of us met up and set out the Circuit when Jackie had arrived on the 666 bus, members helping with the kitchen, chores and baseboard moving. Barry K’s Class 60 was soon out next to the big Standard tank brought by David G., while a Terrier nipped around, checking wagon weights and running. Chris N had his little 4 wheeled tram on the line and was thinking about roof detail for a pole pickup or bow.
Jim M’s loco shed has the ridge line smoke hoods fitted and a circular louvred vent over the doors, one of which has inexplicably disappeared. I was adding missing grab handles to an American boxcar, when David G began a brass carriage kit nearby. David suggested we have some themed running sessions; diesels; Terriers (if there is enough room for them all); South Eastern; etc. That sounds like fun, and I expect we’d let other items creep onto the tracks when no one was looking.
Jim P unpacked a brand new WR big Prairie tank, but I’m not sure that he got as far as fitting the pony wheel assemblies to the chassis. Down his end of the table they seemed to be taking turns swapping pairs of glasses as John B and Roger worked on wagons. Sawing a hunk off the back of a storage shed didn’t seem to need such finesse. That had been passed over from ‘Sarre’, as they need a slither of space for a new back scene. John P and David Ho. were on that layout improving the platform area and baseboard joints.
February 16th EKOGG AGM & model display at Faversham
Rob M (photos by Ross S & Rob M – More are on our Gallery page)
Twenty of us met for our AGM and display of models in the Fleur Hall, quickly setting out chairs and tables for our models and Sales. The AGM was relatively painless; the committee remaining unchanged, expenses dealt with and info gleaned from the members. Ideas for a diorama, about 4 feet long and allowing moving locos, are welcomed, as are views on the development of the Circuit, while, DCC users are to trial control systems. An open day on July 20th is to go ahead and a trip to Pendon is on the cards. It was interesting to hear from recently joined members just how they’d found out about us, as we hope to have a stand at several Kent area shows.
Over tea and biscuits (chocolate if you were quick) we examined the Sales table and had a good chat. David Hopkin’s helpers and David G managed to join the rest of us, voting slips in hand, to carefully inspect the competition entries and those projects which were on display. These were fewer than last year’s bumper crop, but impressive as always.
David Hayes and John Minter displayed their Victorian locomotives on the Project table. The usual suspects took the first places, but there were close contenders, particularly in the Scenic section. The two which caught my eye were a wonderfully overgrown siding with forgotten wagon by Stuart and the towering barrel warehouse by Tim. Certificates went to David G for a SDJR loco and a compartmented carriage, Mike P for his very detailed bridge with stable built into the arch and to myself for a LSWR stone wagon.
February 6th Wednesday at Badlesmere
From foggy Folkestone and murky Medway, fifteen of us sploshed into the hall. The Circuit was organised by John J and John B, leaving just enough room for Edington to stretch to the doors. David Ha. repaired a storage box that had come to grief. When hot drinks were shared out, work started on the modelling table: resin coal and one plank wagons were at one end and plastic van kits at the other. Between them, Paul H seemed overrun with brass number plates while Jim M and Geoff R were surrounded by locos that had been brought in. Roger was hoping that Sarre could gain a mention in the Guild’s forthcoming book on smaller layouts.
Work on improving the Edington traverser’s sliding electrical contacts went ahead; Chris M preparing parts for Paul W. David G and Chris N commented on how much wear layouts and stock cope with when going to shows. Nearby, David Ho. began readying our tortoise point motors for installation should older ones fail.
Early BR diesels, from Colin S’s stable, were seen on the Circuit besides Terriers and Barry W’s SR 4-4-0. As we lunched, we were joined by Jack B, who’d seen us at Longfield, and Steve B who’d read about us. They bravely talked to some of the throng while having a good look around, so we hope to see them again soon. Kitchen tidied, Circuit stowed and Edington carefully packed for transporting, we wished Doncaster’s operating team well and headed off.
January 25th – 27th EKOGG at the Erith MR Show, Longfield Academy
Roger H & Ross S
Having collected the van, Paul W and David G loaded it and set off to Longfield where Roger joined them to set up. Roger and David G returned on Saturday, the operating team of David Ho, John B and John P arriving in good time for the opening. A switch had to be replaced (broken in storage?), and the layout was soon operating fully, with lots of favourable comments from the punters, enjoying this large show in superb surroundings (including indoor trees and shrubs enhancing the EK0GG stand). Facilities for the exhibitors were excellent, with splendid hot lunches (even a roast dinner on Sunday!).
On Sunday, the operating team of Chris M, David G, Paul W, Roger and Tim assembled in goodtime, and after a quick replacement of a failed point motor, ran a full timetable without hiccup. It was good to see Ross call by, who commented on how pleasing it was to see the layout running so well. This has stimulated ideas for further improving the new fiddle yards and to be implemented as soon as possible.
Again, lots of interested punters, including a ten-year-old who had walked some of the S&D line itself, and another older man who used to live close to Edington station itself.
January 19th 2019 Saturday at Badlesmere
Rob M with photos from Ross S
We set the lunch table between a pair of radiant heaters and huddled. Feeling a deal warmer, Jim M and John B set out a loco shed and a van kit to work on.
Once those from the Red Lion had joined us, we got Edington up on its trestles for further checks. Paul W soon had one traverser opened for its sliders to be cleaned and lubricated, with John P cradling the track bed, which is wired to the base. That done, the facia board was fitted. David Ho. was replacing and checking point motors and connections. Colin S and Ross S added a grove of saplings by the west goods siding and are planning for seedlings nearer the cattle dock. Scenic boards assembled, a sunshine lettered Terrier tested the tracks. It was joined by a gleaming Brighton Works version; the two locating places where tweaking was needed.
Stuart H breezed in from the Canterbury Show clutching Richard B’s connections for the newer traverser. David G and Paul W now went into overdrive to install them. We formed the baseboards into their travelling crates and carefully stowed them ready to go to Longfield Show. Water turned off at the mains, we departed under a clear winter’s sky.
January 16th 2019 Wednesday at Badlesmere
The hall was buzzing when I rolled up, and so it continued with our work/lunch table growing to four sections to cope with seventeen of us. Under the heater at one end brass kits congregated: Barry W with a new chassis, Paul H adding GWR backhead detail, David Ha. preparing van sections, and Tim assembling a grain hopper van. Jim M’s loco shed was much admired, with its embossed brick paper, all the way from Greece. Roofed with crafted strips and single slates, the smoke louvres have been started and the coffee stirrer doors are prepared. John B fettled a six wheeled van underframe, while Richard produced a train’s worth of pre-grouping wagons from a large box.
Several of us dropped into the kitchen to lend and help with tidying with David Ho., who organising the production of numerous mugs of tea.
An 08 diesel with tank wagons ventured onto the layout, where the Brighton Works Terrier and another were in the platform. Liveried SECR tank locos, including a crane tank, lined up on a siding with an appropriate period freight train.
Preparing “Edington Junction” for its forthcoming exhibitions was the major task for the day, with all the sections being assembled. An upturned traverser with three people holding it down while thumping the end unit hinted that damper conditions had tightened some clearances. Chris M viewed the greenery he’d been working on, then added stronger tones where needed. The newer traverser at t’other end was speedily fixed up, its electrics checked with a SDJR saddle tank and the operating switches explained. At one stage, we got rather carried away with the facia board clips, immobilising the sliding section – easily cured. The clips to hold the controllers are done, with neater wiring into the main sections.
Members had tidied the hall when I left, leaving David Ho., David G and Paul W replacing worn micro switches beneath points and planning to tweak some fiddle yard wiring.