Wednesday, 19 September 2012

THE Turntable

Earlier this year I was the happy recipient of a Steam Era Models 'J' Class locomotive, built for me by none other than Frank Kelly... a beautiful piece of work, which goes without saying. To my dismay, however, I had asked a little to much of her, wanting her to go happily around my 20" curves. We had tried the mechanism at an early stage on a sample radius and it seemed to work. The finished loco nevertheless just didn't have any side play in the drivers - which, I guess, is as it should be.

The result of this situation was that the loco had to be sold, which it duly was within 2 hours and it was replaced by Precision Scale Models J 529. She wasn't quite as nice as Frank's masterpiece, but I had to be practical. I  later did the 'J' a good turn and increased the radii to 22" and 22 1/2" respectively.

Well, now there was a 'J' and it had to be turned at Alexandra. So, where to get a VR 53' turntable ? My butterfingers or the lack of skills would never produce one.After a fruitless search, when I nearly gave up, who should come to the rescue but another man of many talents, one Trevor Doran, the well known former proprietor of the 'Bufferstop'. He produced in no time at all a beautiful model that was operated by a little hand crank via an intricate set of gears. I decided on a little artistic, or rather practical licence for my own convenience and requested that the bridge should be a little longer, actually 56', in order to be able to place the loco more easily. I had no problem with this variance from the prototype.

All that was left for me to do was to place the turntable (unprototypically) at the Down end of Alexandra  yard and landscape it. It looks very good to my eyes and I would like to express my thanks and appreciation to Trevor.

                                                                Nearly complete 

                       Alexandra yard will have to be ballasted soon - it just doesn't look the part