About two years ago I decided to dismantle Colonel's Crossing part and extend the Benson section of my American Switching layout.
The GWR shunting plank was mounted on the back of the joining section between CC and Benson. As I no longer needed a joining section I had to find a new home for the GWR plank.
I put it on the top of some cupboards on the opposite wall to the Benson layout. At long last I now have attached a fiddle yard and laid the track so operating can now be done in earnest. It is all very much a work in progress at the present time.
Hopefully the photos will show what the set up looks like now.
I have done a little more work on the plank and taken a couple of pictures of my latest acquisitions. They are both Bachmann models and each one runs very well. They have been weathered very slightly. The purchases fit in with my modelling covering from the early fifties through to the mid eighties.
I think the small prairie is a re-vamped Lima model but I think it captures the look of the real locomotive very well.
I was worried about the tension lock couplers having KD's on all my USA stock but I have found whilst shunting I don't notice them.
You ask about tension lock couplings. They are fitted as standard to virtually all ready to run British outline stock when purchased.
They are made of plastic with a curved loop at the front and a plastic or metal hook at right angles to it. See photo of front of diesel shunter. The curved loops push against each other to prevent buffer locking. To uncouple you push an L shaped plastic tool under the hooks between the vehicles you want to un-couple this lifts each of the hooks. I know of no reliable method of automatic un-coupling.
The couplings that come fitted to modern British is much smaller than they used to be and therefore less obtrusive.
With the prototype in the period I am trying to portray the couplings would have been three link chains. The locomotive would have a special three link coupling with a screw thread to allow the stock to be coupled up tightly to the buffers, especially if the stock was passenger or vacuum fitted stock.
A few modellers in OO scale use scale three link couplers but they are tiny and very fiddly to use. They are a little more practical in O scale being that bit bigger.
Closest thing over here would be the old Mantua couplers,. which uncoupled by a springy plastic ramp between the rails. Reliable as taxes, but didn't look like anything in the real world. When KayDee came along, the fact that they looked like std. American couplers, it finished Mantua--even though they weren't as reliable at that time, and are much more fiddly.
I'm familiar with the three link chain UK couplers---but would think twice before trying to use them in even 1/12 scale
____________________ Fix it again, Mr Gates--it still works!"
A few more pictures of the still un-named plank showing some recent second hand purchases.
A view showing a 57xx pannier tank behind the small coaling stage next to the concrete surface of the goods yard.
The yard surface is made of several layers of card glued to the base board surface. The top layer is an oversize piece of card placed face down on the track that has a coat of acrylic paint on the rail top. With gentle pressure downwards the paint marks the rail edges and the card is cut to the inside mark. The card then fits against the rail edges for a near perfect fit. When the glue is dry I gave the surface several coats of a light grey
concrete colour with thin washes to vary the colour. When thoroughly dry fine black lines drawn with a pen to
represent cracks on the surface were added.
Three pictures showing the 57xx shunting the yard in the mid 1950's.
I have fitted the small tension lock couplings to some Ratio kits that had three link couplings, not a practical proposition with my eyes. All the wagons have been lightly weathered with acrylic paint washes and chalk.
The Clee Hill Granite wagon makes me think the layout is set in the Ludlow area.
48xx and second hand B set with repainted very dark grey roofs and the bogies painted a very dark grey with a little brown colour added. The B set being almost compulsory if modelling a GWR branchline. This shot represents the very early 1950's.
45xx and B set early days of nationalisation again the early fifties. The photo is taken from the road over-bridge. With one brake end coach of the B set one can run a short mixed train, as with the real thing into the early 1960's.
BR class 3 standard with second hand con flat container wagon this would be the late fifties.