We had hoped that we might be able to get back to meeting at Moorfield Hall, but a combination of tighter national Covid-19 restrictions for England, and more stringent conditions covering Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull coming into force resulted in this being cancelled at short notice. However, our back up plan was available so we met online using Teams, with 5 members making the meeting.
Trevor Street showed us his latest layout – a doughnut track from Jelly Models fixed to a wooden Waitrose Turkish Delight box and powered by a variable transformer. This was set to 4.5 volts to allow an RT Models Lister Autorail powered by a Kato Portram bogie to run very smoothly.
Mac Strong showed us progress on his modular base boards having recently finished some slotted legs to fit his curved return boards.
Julien Webb had unearthed Xavier’s Creek so that he could test run a pair of Os.Kar. Emmina railcars – one for passengers and one for carrying goods – bought as a set via eBay.
Tim Williams updated us on Insulation Lumber, his HOf project on an off-cut of insulation board. Landscaping work had started (including 3D printed girders for a bridge) and Tim had been making extra points using a mix of 3D printed plastic bases and code 65 rail from Peco. There was also some discussion as to how to operate the points (wire-in-tube versus point motors / servos).
Ben Powell also joined us after his weekend firing locos at Statfold Barn to show us a mock up of a new industrial 009 layout and his essentially finished model of Peckett 0-4-0ST ‘Oakhill’. It was surprising just how big this loco as, being about the same size as one of Hornby’sW4 locos for OO. Also in the works was Ben’s second 0-4-4-0T mallet and a Kerr Stuart NG4 4-6-2T using a 3D print body and Farish 08 chassis.
There was also some discussions on lighting up and cleaning full-size locos (paraffin- versus diesel-soaked rags) and the effects that the Covid restrictions are having on preserved railways amongst other things.
All to soon our 2 hours were up, and as Mac sank slowly into the West (or his chair at least!) we all signed off until next month.