News Archive 2023

25th January 2023

      The eye operations went very well, but it took longer than expected to get the new glasses.      
I now have my new glasses so I can see what I am doing OK, but the Jintys have been held up because I started doing the design for the LSWR T3 as I could do that without the reading glasses (the computer screens being at just the right range) and I want to complete that design before going back to the production stuff.     

Initially I thought the T3 would just be a hybrid of the T9 fitted with the outside cylinders and inside Stephenson’s valvegear from the Adams Radial Tank, but the dimensions turned out somewhat different – not just a simple substitution.
2D & 3D design are now functionally complete with just a few extra bits to add to the 3D drawings. Nothing significant left to add – famous last words!

With a bit of luck the T3 model should be in production by the time the real thing returns to service on the Swanage Railway (mid-summer maybe).

Hopefully by the time I have turned up and milled all the parts for the Jintys (and my other outstanding prototypes) the weather will have warmed up enough to do all the silver soldering for boilers etc. in the garage.

Depending upon time required for production work there will be plenty of new model developments this year – see the Prices & Dates page here.

15th February 2023

The etch layouts for both the LSWR T3 & SR Q1 (1/32 version) are now complete as is the 3D design for both. Both need to be etched, assembled & tested.

The Q1 is now to the latest standards with a modified T9 boiler, suspension, pump etc. and radio control. It has both gas & spirit fired options (also electric if you insist). As soon as this is tested I will start bringing the 10mm version up to the same standard.
see the SR Q1 page for more details on both versions – click here.

17th July 2023

Sorry about the long time between updates – I have been rather concentrating on the R/C system as it is fundamental to all my loco designs and forgot about the website.
Progress continues with the R/C system but it has completely changed as a result of the need for a more compact system in the locos and my realisation that mobile phones really are not suitable in sunny conditons. How does anyone ever manage to use them out in the sun? I cannot see a thing.
For a more compact system the main circuit boards are now ESP32 based instead of Raspberry Pi which has the added advantage of overcoming the sales limitation of only one per customer for the RPi Zero.
The transmitter is now a separate unit, coming in 3 varieties – Real Steam Loco, Battery loco & Railcar with the control layout optimised for each and actual moving controls for the regulator & reverser. Buttons remain as touch switches.
For safety reasons Li-Ion cells are no longer used, reverting back to NiMh cells.
This also simplifies charging and removes the need to raise the voltage for servos and some other components.
The ESP32 units provide built-in WiFi.
I just need to write and test the code now.

For customers waiting for their LMS 3F kits I hope to have those available for collection at the AGM although postal delivery is still an option.

30th July 2023

I will have one (and ONLY one) RtR loco for sale at the end of the AGM day.
This will be an LMS 3F. It will be the loco that is being demonstrated on my “Inglenook Sidings” style layout. The only running it will have done is my initial test to check it all works OK plus the minimal running it does on the AGM day, so will not even be run-in at that point. Cost will be the usual £2000 for the ARM1G version or £1870 for the OSM version. It will have my latest R/C system.
If you order it now you will get a choice of ARM1G or OSM and get the livery and company of your choice. If you wait until AGM day it may already have been sold or you will get whatever motive power & livery I have chosen for the AGM.

3rd October 2023

Sadly I missed my target of getting the R/C system running for the AGM show. On Friday night I had got as far as both Rx & Tx chips exchanging messages and then adding the servo operation code. I then realised that there was no way I could get it all assembled in the transmitter casing by morning, so I had nothing actually running at the show. I just needed another week (actually 2 or 3 including more functions) – the code is written for most of that and just needs integrating into the Rx & Tx programs and testing.
Two factors have caused this delay – the first was trying to correct my Saturn 3D printer losing the the first 1mm of every print (still not quite fixed) the second was that a lot of the sample code on the net showing how to program the ESP32 chips did not quite work, so a lot of time was wasted trying to correct the bugs.
I need to get this working so that I can deliver the batch of LMS 3Fs I have on order. I am a lot more hopeful of doing that before the end of this month than I was a week ago.
Looking around the show there seemed to be a lot of manufacturers offering laser cut wooden kits for carriages so I am reconsidering if maybe I should just concentrate on loco production. The LMS PI carriages for the Jinty will go ahead (as will the GWR railcar employing similar construction methods) but it is possible that I may just hand over my coach designs to Bowaters Models for production that is primarily laser cut ply instead of my variation with the outer shell made from etched nickel silver. I think that doing it my way produces a better model, but are customers prepared to pay about £150 extra for that sort of kit?
Please let me know what you think.