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Weekly Newsletter – 18th November 2017

Weekly Newsletter – 18th November 2017

Model Railway Scenery News…

Good Morning,Hope you’ve had a good week. It’s been very busy here this week as always as we’ve been ironing out a few minor niggles on the club website, and we were also out for the evening on Thursday so we had a bit of a rush to get parcels all dispatched before having to get Lola over to Tina’s parents and make our way to Nottingham for Mr Big! Not sure Tina enjoyed it 100%, as she prefers seated venues, whereas Rock City is all standing. There’s not even a Bar Stool to sit on! Elizabeth was also rather nervous when she walked in as the whole place is painted black, and all she could see was a real mixed room full of long hair, shaved heads & tattoos! But once the band started she actually really enjoyed herself, and grinned as she recognised a few of the songs I’d been listening to the night before. I however thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing! My bass guitar mentor, Billy Sheehan, was on top form as usual with a fantastic bass tone and a cracking performance. Tina wasn’t keen on the self-indulgent bass solo, but for me it was worth every penny! It’s payback time this weekend though as I’m taking them to the NEC tonight to see Little Mix… Totally the opposite end of the scale or what!?

We’ve also been very busy this week ironing out a few issues with the new club website. A couple of folks have had issues with their subscription payments, but that’s all been resolved now I think. We’ve also added a link to the old club website, and updated a few sections in terms of presentation, but there’s still more to do. I’m really pleased with the feedback we’ve had so far since the re-launch, and I think we’ve now got the right team on board to make the club a massive success over the next year, in terms of making it the “Go To” website for railway modelling info and guides. So please keep the feedback, and of course articles, comments & questions coming, and the new Article Submission Form is really easy to use.

It would be really good to get the Q&A section running at full steam but I think that’s one area that will take a few weeks to get going. But if you have a question for us, or your fellow modellers, please do jump on and post. There’s no such thing as a silly question.

Right, as time’s getting on now, we’d better get on with some videos & proper railway modelling stuff. First up today, Ben is back with an update on progress at Westmills yard. Click here to see what he’s been up to.

It’s Snow Time – How To Create A Winter Scene
Our second video this morning is from Iain who, as you probably know, has added a new winter scene to his layout, Kilbreck. In this video he walks us through how he created the fantastic wintry scenes on the layout using some realistic snow effects which are actually pretty easy to use. Click here to watch the video and see how he did it.
Bass – How Low Can You Go? Improving DCC Sound With Bass Reflex Speakers
If you’ve ever dabbled with DCC sound, or seen / heard locos at shows with sound fitted, you may, like me, bit a bit unimpressed with the sound of some of them. There’s a lack of substance to the sound on a lot of them, with them sounding a bit like cheap tinny toys. But there are ways to improve things a bit with some basic physics. To get a good sound with a decent bass component (we’re back to bass tones again, but diesel ones rather than stringed instrument ones), you need to move a good volume of air. That’s difficult inside a model loco of course as there’s limited room in OO, let alone even thinking about it in N gauge. But it is possible to improve things.

Without getting two scientific here, when you put a signal of a particular frequency through a speaker, the speaker vibrates at the frequency of the signal. As the speaker vibrates, it moves air, creating the sound. Now, with lower frequencies, bass tones, when you put that through a plain speaker that isn’t mounted in any sort of enclosure, the air just moves round from the front of the speaker to the back, cancelling out most of the bass tone that’s being generated. So the back of the speaker needs to be isolated from the front to make the sound project. (apologies if this sounds complicated… it’s hard to explain!). The speaker basically needs to be mounted into something that’s either sealed or large enough to stop the air from the front moving round to the back and vice versa as it vibrates, thus causing the sound to be projected outwards, rather than cancelling, resulting in you hearing a better tone.

Again, due to the limited space inside a loco, it’s tricky to do, but you can use simple tricks like mounting the speaker in a tube. This is how the Train Tech SFX units work. The tube isolates the front of the speaker from the back and projects the sound away from the speaker. But there is a better way… Now, if you’ve ever owned a hifi of some sort or indeed an ipod dock of any reasonable quality, there may be a hole on the front of the speakers… That’s the clever bit… It’s Bass Reflex… What it is, is a tuned pipe. It’s not just a whole, it’s a pipe of specific dimensions which takes the air from the back of the speaker, swaps it’s phase (so it’s moving in the same direction as the air from the front of the speaker) and pumps it out the front… basically moving more air for any given movement of the speaker cone… (I’ll get to railways in a minute, honest!). This creates more bass than just the basic speaker mounted in a sealed box (That gets even more complicated).

Now… If you shrink that idea down into a tiny tiny box that’ll fit inside a loco, you instantly get a much better engine sound from your locos that’s nowhere near the tinny, horrible sound you get some some speaker units. It’s not going to sound like a full size loco, but it should sound much much better.

So quite simply… if you fit a bass reflex speaker inside your locos when installing sound, it’ll sound way better! And in this video, Chadwick TMD shows us how it’s done in a Hornby Class 50.

New Faller OO/HO Tree Making Kits Now Instock
Before I forget, if you fancy having a go at making your own trees, but don’t want the hassle of having to buy lots of different materials, and do loads of fiddling about, we’ve just started stocking the excellent Faller Premium DIY Tree Making Kits. Each pack contains at least one Tree Armature, some scenic fibres, flock and leaf scatter (depending on the tree) and full instructions on how to build the kit. They’re a brilliant way to get started in making your own trees, and need little or no extra work other than gluing on the supplied materials.  For a better finish though I’d recommend giving the tree armature a coat of matt lacquer or dry brushing it with grey tones for a bit of extra, added realism, but that’s entirely optional. The only other thing you need is a suitable spray glue to stick the foliage on with.

There’s a number of different trees available in the range such as Oak, Elm, Birch and Poplar, and that start at the pocket money price of just £3.80, and that’s for a Premium quality tree! They’re great for getting started in the wonderful world of DIY tree making, and once you’ve got your technique sorted, why not try seafoam for even more realistic trees? Click here to browse the range.

We shall be testing out a couple of these kits in the next few weeks as we need a couple for our Whitwick Grove layout.

Our Smallest Creation Yet – LX145-OO Not To Be Moved Signs!
We did manage to get a little design work done this week in between evening engagements and sorting out club stuff. These have to be our smallest creation yet, but I’m amazed how many people have been asking for these. They’re commonplace in pretty much every depot and yard around the country and are fitted to any locomotive or item of rolling stock that is being worked on in a yard that shouldn’t under any circumstances be moved!

The signs are laser cut from 0.4mm laserboard, to give as close to scale appearance as we can get, yet still make them practical to use on a layout. With the sign part themselves measuring just 4mm x 4mm they are small, but perfectly formed. They’re easy to assemble too, just cut out the printed sign parts and glue them to each face of the sign panel, then you’re good to go. Painting of the sign post part is optional. And we include extra printed sign panels that can be used as free standing / hanging signs which can just be say on buffer beams etc.

The signs are available now in OO and O scale and come in packs of 10. Click Here to find out more and to order yours.

Still To Come

Next week, it’s finally back on to the catenary and bus shelters. I’m making slow and steady progress on them, plus we have more exciting news too hopefully about an new range of products which we’re working on behind the scenes. There’s lots going on behind the scenes at the moment, but it’s well worth all the effort I can assure you. We’re creating some very exciting things for your layouts that you just can’t get anywhere else!

Right… time to sign off now as it’s almost shower time. I hope you’re all enjoying the new club website, and I’ll jump on again over the weekend from time to time and post a few things when I get chance. There’s more downloads to add for you to spend your points on.

I’d better get the oven on now for the Croissants then we’re off out with Lola for a couple of hours before Little Mix this evening! That’ll be interesting!

Keep on Shunting!

Justin, Tina & Elizabeth – Download and Print Model Buildings & Accessories – Laser Cut Kits & Accessories Delivered By Post!

P.S. And finally this morning, new items and restocks that came in over the past couple of days are as follows (Note the Network Rail Road On Rail Land Rovers won’t hang around long, so if you fancy one it’s worth getting in quick).

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About The Author


Favourite Scale: OO / 1:76 Likes: Making small stuff on the laser cutter Dislikes: Counting rivets Other info: Starting to dabble with the world of 3D printing a bit to enhance the products we create on the laser. Layout: Whitwick Grove

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