Thursday 21 December 2023

Dunallander 21st December 2023

A brief update following on from the layout's showing at the Aberdeen Exhibition in October which threw up some changes required but in the main much more positives.

Roy, as usual, has done an immense amount of work on the layout and is replacing a large amount of the wiring on the station board with a heavier grade of wire to improve electrical reliability.

Tony and John have been covering of the goods yard with a house repair filler as recommended by Alisdair. (We didn't realize that we had so much fun doing the ballasting).

The paved area on the island platform has been extended after a miscalculation by your's truly (another senior moment).

Mike is continuing with the layout buildings.

We had originally planned to attend the Perth exhibition with Dunallander in June 2024 but the consensus within the group was to defer this until the layout is in a more completed state, although we may still be attending with one of the boards as a demo but this has still to be confirmed. We are however planning to take Dunallander to the Elgin show later in the year.

We are aiming to have the layout completed early to mid 2025 at the latest and allow Roy to finally be able to start on his own layout which has been unfortunately delayed due to Covid.

Again a massive thank you must go to Alisdair Campbell, Jim Watt and the Forth and Clyde Group for their invaluable help, advice and Modelling skills throughout the year and looking forward to meeting up again in 2024.

Last but not least we would like to wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and all the best for 2024.

Dunallander looking quite appropriate for this time of year.

Sunday 5 November 2023

Dunallander 28th /29th October at Aberdeen Exhibition

This was definitely a touch of the 'Show must go On', between floods, Covid, Colds, train cancellations, and a flight of stairs we finally made it and had Dunallander up and running come the Friday evening.
Prior to Friday we completed work on the ballast and the permanent platforms, but special praise must go to Roy for the immense amount of work he put into getting the layout operational, and his new cassettes and cab control worked extremely well over the course of the weekend.
Despite flooding in his area, Mike delivered his buildings to Roy's in time for the exhibition but unfortunately tested positive for Covid and could not join us for the weekend.
It was great to meet up with Scott who joined us on Friday to help with setting up, and operating on Saturday when we were also joined by Jim Watt and Alisdair Campbell for Saturday and Sunday.
The weekend went very well and highlighted a couple of issues to improve on for our next outing but nothing major. The only downside was Jim tripped on Sunday and ended up for quite a few hours in A & E accompanied by Tony.
Thanks must go Aberdeen Model Railway Club for thier assistance over the weekend especially to Karl for transporting the layout to and from the venue. A special thanks must also go to Roy's wife Margaret, not only for puting up with Roy disapearing for hours to work on the layout but for helping with the breakdown on Sunday.
Below is a photograph of some of the members of the team. From L to R John Galbraith, Jim Watt, Tony Heywood, Alisdiar Campbell and Roy Bremner. Unfortunately Scott had to leave prior to the photograph being taken.

Sunday 1 October 2023

Dunallander Sunday 1st October

We are currently meeting every Tuesday evening preparing for the Aberdeen Exhibition on the 28th / 29th October.

Roy continues his work on the non scenic boards and cassettes and recently discovered a problem with some of the wiring on the scenic boards which he has resolved.

Tony has completed tidying up the ballast and has been testing some of the layout's locomotives and discovered a few problems. Tony attended this weekends Locomotive Workshop organised by the Forth and Clyde Group and took the opportunity to take a couple of the problem locos with him and enlisted the help of Jim Watt and Alisdair Campbell. Mick Simpson has also come to our aid and is looking at a couple of locos.

Work is progressing with the new platforms.

Mike has continued to produce the layout's buildings, the latest of which are shown below.

The Weighbridge

Dunblane Hotel

The Garage Showroom and Rear Workshop

Saturday 9 September 2023

Dunallander Saturday 9th September

Although this is our first blog since May we have not been idle, but unfortunately the tasks we have been carrying out have been of the more 'Less Sexy' but necessary catagory. Ballasting of the main lines has been completed and Tony is now busy carrying out the tidying up operation following a good vacuming and ensuring all the lines are clear of those odd annoying little pieces of ballast that get stuck to the inside of the track.

Roy has again completed an immense amount of work on the scenic boards and has now turned his attention to the non-scenic boards getting ready for the Aberdeen exhibition on the 28th / 29th October. Roy has also made new Cassettes, which are a great piece of model engineering and will be the subject of a later post.

Tony has also been carrying out work on some of the layout's locomotives, again in preparation for the Aberdeen exhibition.

Work has commenced on the goods yard and replacing the temporary platforms.

Mike has been busy on some more of the excellent buildings, the Mill and the buildings at Bridgend, photographs of which are shown below.

Hopefully we will be at the stage soon where we can get back to posting more regular updates and be able to show our progress.

The Mill

Saturday 27 May 2023

Dunallander 27th May 2013

On Saturday 20th May we had a 2mm Mini-Meet organised by the Forth and Clyde Group at the Almondell Model Engineering Centre near Livingston. This was the first one for five years and it was really great to meet up with everyone again and a big thanks must go to Alistair Campbell and the Forth and Clyde Group for setting this up which hopefully, will be the start of regular events.
There were some excellent layouts on show, some complete and some at various stages of completion and we were also invited by the engineering group on a tour of their outdour minuture railway.
The Grampian Area Group took along the Viaduct board of the Dunallander layout and the following photographs, taken by Tony, show the progress of the Viaduct and river being modelled by Roy and some of the Dunallander stock mostly converted by Tony. The Caley Jumbo is by Alistair Campbell.

Sunday 30 April 2023

Dunallander Saturday 29th April

After all the disruption over the past few years it is great that we are now getting back to meeting every Tuesday evening and have now had a very enjoyable and productive meeting on Saturday. We have managed to get the bulk of the ballasting done on the points at the station throat which we should be able to complete at our next meeting. Roy has also made massive progress on the scenics of the Viaduct board which we intend to take with us to the Mini Meet on the 20th May and Mike has continued to put together his very impressive buildings which we put in situ on Saturday to take photographs for this post. A very special thanks must also go to Roy's wife Margaret for a very welcome break in the ballasting to supply us with some delicious butternut squash soup for lunch. (It was noted that we all had more than one helping). The following photographs are all from the station end of the layout and it is intended to take photographs of the scenic work at the viaduct end of the layout at the next meeting which is scheduled for Tuesday Evening 2nd May and will be on our next post.
L to R Tony, Roy and Mike
The following are of the abattoir which Mike has just completed.

Sunday 16 April 2023

Dunallander 16th April 2023

Since the start of the year we have had Dunallander working sessions on most Tuesday evenings, which will be supplemented by a full-day Saturday on the 29th April. We have put most of our effort into ballasting and the viaduct board, which we will be taking to the Scottish Mini-meet on 20th May. Crudely this board is about 4' x 3'. The width is required to get the Oban line away from the main line and then straighten it before its curve back to the fiddle yard. The viaduct itself, which is about 400mm in length with four arches, takes the main line over the Allan Water river, after which the line climbs away in a deepening cutting, Using ballast from Woodland Scenics, we have completed all the planned ballasting on this board. We have also done some further tweaking of the main line's alignment to try to get the largest possible radius to the rear. We're very keen to accomodate Nigel Hunt's ex LMS Pacifics, which struggled on our original alignment back in 2019. This version ought to be the final one, so the wiring has been reinstated. Disguising the transition to the off-scene curves has been quite a challange. For the Oban line it's easy. The obvious place for the scenic break is a small overbridge that gives road access to the Springbank Mills a little way off-scene up the river. The bridge is roughly in line with the north end of the viaduct. Here on the main line the lack of an overbridge has been a pest. Long story short: we have continued the scenery northwards for about 2 feet across the whole width of the board (about six square feet) and also a little way onto the adjoining end-board. This includes a representation of part of the river and mill, but hopefully the result will be an effective illusion, especially for a viewer by the station or junction. The contours for the cutting and hillsides have been formed from foamboard, with heavy brown paper (from wrapping paper rolls) glued in thin strips and then small rectangles of newspaper glued over the top. the footpaths along the river as well as the roadways near the mill are made of card. The river has a ply base with a number of protruding large rocks formed from styrene. These have been painted in appropriately mucky colours. A sheet of transparent Perspex has been glued to the tops of the rocks and the side supports formed from thin ply. Finally, shaped styrene has been glued to the Perspex to represent the exposed tops of the rocks, and the Perspex has been painted to produce a representation of ripples. Away from the viaduct board, the scenery has been formed on the junction board on the east side, between the track and the river, and the ballasting is nearly done. The buildings have been made for 11 - 13 Bridgend - the final major structures in the town area. On 19th March we did a zoom presentation about the layout for the East of Scotland 4mm Group, and we plan to repeat the performance for the Forth and Clyde Group in October. Perhaps next year we could offer an updated show as an Association zoom event.