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  • Chris

View From The Den

Hi everyone and welcome to all of the new members who have joined our community in the last month. It is my hope that together we can build an environment where we can just chill, chat and maybe do some modelling as well!

I have now scheduled the next six months’ worth of get togethers to give you all a chance to get them in your busy diaries and negotiate with your significant others! The meetups will take place online on the first Saturday of every month between 0900 and 1200 with the inaugural meeting being Saturday the 3rd of October. There is no fixed agenda and no obligation to do the whole stint, just drop in when you want. I would be really keen to hear what topics you would like to discuss and I would also like to try and arrange some expert guest speakers for us as well (please feel free to drop me an e-mail if there are any items you would be interested in covering). I hope you can join me and bring along some of your ongoing projects, I look forward to meeting you all.

If you haven’t done so already, head on over to the ChrisInDen Facebook page, give us a like and join our group or alternatively join the ChrisInDen membership at, hit the login button, top right and register your details to keep up to date with what is happening in the community.

So that’s the plan! And now here’s a quick update on what’s been happening in the den:

JMRI Course Part 2:

Another great weekend with my friends from RME diving in to the idiosyncrasies of JMRI, a truly global affair (Thanks Gregg, AUS), covering advanced blocks, NX Routing, Signal Masts and Signal Mast Logic. We did touch on scripts just to ensure that those that weren’t fried, were done to a turn! Thanks to Pete as always taking the technical lead, John for his objective approach and all who attended for keeping awake whilst I was presenting.

All in all a great event and a perfect precursor to our face to face courses scheduled next year, lockdown permitting. More to come as always.

The layout

To make things confusing, the layout is also called ChrisInDen, but I will try and make clear what I am talking about to avoid confusion, I really need to change the name. If anyone has a suggestion for a layout name, feel free to comment. (Keep it clean please)

The track building mojo seems to have fired up again and I managed to make further inroads on the ChrisInDen layout. I don’t know about you, but I seem to have to re-learn all of the techniques every time I do it. (Message to self: rinse and repeat, often). There are no major improvement photo’s I can show but I would like to call out Marcway models in Sheffield, for providing me with some much needed rail, one of the longest standing local model shops in the area. The proliferation of online services is great but, in my opinion, there is nothing better than visiting your local(ish) shop for face to face discussion and advice.

Observation from the media

I watched an interesting video from Charlie at Chadwick re track cleaning, a far-ranging subject with many solutions to a perennial problem. Here is a link to the video, make of it what you will.

Tip of the moment

When threading chairs to rail on hand built track, cut the rail oversize and file the ends of the rail to a sharp “V” to facilitate easy insertion of the chairs. Once they are all on the rail, cut off the taper and dress accordingly.

Future plans at ChrisnDen

I have a number of things on the radar subject to interest: -

Scalescenes Group Build – I will make available for a small fee a laser cut kit of of the Scalescenes free download Weightbridge/Coal Office kit. The kit will include all the heavy and medium card elements, the remainder of which you will need to print yourself (I can help here if necessary). We can then do a group build. For those not familiar with the concept, we all build the same thing within an agreed range across a certain period, culminating in a show and tell at the end. It’s a bit of a laugh and may warrant a prize for one of the entries.

A JMRI Taster - JMRI is an incredible free application, the purpose of this presentation will be to show some of the capability of this platform. It won’t be a long affair but will give a taste for those that are not familiar with it.

Other Potential Subject Areas

Air Brushing

Product reviews

Plastic kit construction

Tools & techniques part one

Latest from my friend at RME


Thanks for reading folks. See you on the 4th of October!

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