Author Topic: The "Met" and C.Baker  (Read 1329 times)

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Offline IanT

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The "Met" and C.Baker
« on: February 23, 2015, 03:42:49 PM »
I was really pleased to see the models of Mr C Baker shown at the AGM over the weekend.

I think I first became aware of him when I read his article in MRC (May 1962) - The "Met" in 1/2" Scale. This was one of the things that first started me thinking of larger scale railway modelling and eventually Gauge '3'.

I hadn't made the connection until Saturday but I also have two very interesting books by him (Models in Cardboard & Models in Wood). The latter has a very good description of building a "super detail model railway van". I was very excited to find that this same model was one of those on display and that it was even nicer in reality than the book. The other book details building locomotives and rolling stock in cardboard (well "strawboard" or Bristol board) and again the reality of the locos on show exceeded my expectations. He was a very fine craftsman - for example there are no transfers used on his models, everything (including coat of arms) was done in watercolours and then varnished over to seal them.

By the strangest co-incidence, I also picked up some old Model Engineers from 1939 and on browsing through them, there was a series of articles by Mr Baker called "Electric Traction" that described current practice in full sized electric railways and how this might translate to model use. He finished this set by describing a fully automated 2.5" gauge (folding) test track that implemented a simulation of full-sized practice with a controller and mechanical linkages to signals and track 'trips' which cut power to the engine (1/2" Metropolitan naturally) if the engine passed the signal at red.

In summary, I think that Mr Baker can probably lay claim to being one of the pioneers of G3 'Electric Traction'.  I hope the Editor can publish more details of his work eventually.

Regards,

IanT 
Nothing's ever Easy - At least the first time around.

Doddy

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Re: The "Met" and C.Baker
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2015, 12:04:56 AM »
A fascinating post Ian, lets us hope information more can be published.  8)

PS: Any pictures?

Offline IanT

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Re: The "Met" and C.Baker
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2015, 09:34:50 AM »
Yes, I took a few photos.

I'll try to "shrink" a few so I can post a sample of them here.

Regards,

IanT
Nothing's ever Easy - At least the first time around.

Offline IanT

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Re: The "Met" and C.Baker
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2015, 09:54:03 AM »
It may be hard to see from my photos but all the models are fully detailed inside too.

Regards,

IanT
Nothing's ever Easy - At least the first time around.

Offline IanT

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Re: The "Met" and C.Baker
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2015, 10:16:34 AM »
The van was constructed from 1/16" Red Cedar with discrete cant, upper panels and waist/lower panels glued together, which were then planed to give the turnunder. Mr Baker made his own veneers by shaving cigar boxes with a very sharp plane set to 1/32". These were then layered onto the side panels with the grain lying in the right directions. He was very keen on softwood veneers (which were not common) as he felt they were the only woods that gave the correct colour & figuring.

The motor coach is modelled on one of two 150HP units that ran on the Edgware Road - Addison Road shuttle line. Of interest to the discussion about 'powering' bogie units - he used an ex-Government 12-24v DC motor geared at 25:1 to the front axle - with chain and sprockets to the other axle. The trailing axle isn't powered. No suitable wheel castings were available so they were turned from brass bar and the spokes cut out with a fret saw.

All in all - wonderful examples of G3 modelling.

Regards,

IanT
Nothing's ever Easy - At least the first time around.

Offline Geoff Nicholls

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Re: The "Met" and C.Baker
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2015, 11:02:07 AM »
we really do need some 'Like' buttons on this site.
I shall investigate that book on card modelling.
Geoff.

Offline IanT

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Re: The "Met" and C.Baker
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2015, 02:37:21 PM »
I've just finished reading through the 1939 "Electric Traction" articles (fortunately I had all of them) and it's an excellent explanation of the various systems in use at that time.

He starts by describing the three main power systems in use (3 phase, Single Phase & DC), where they are (were?) used and the advantages/disadvantages of each system. He then goes on to describe the control systems required for a DC system and how a friend had implemented something very similar to full sized practice in '0' Gauge (including tiny 1/16th" mercury contactors no less).

It's about the best explanation of the way series-wound DC traction motors are started in series and switched over to parallel power that I think I've seen. He also covers automatic accelerators very well. The '0' gauge model used a miniature cam system to control current/motor switching but could reset itself if there was a loss of power e.g. when the power returned, the cam system rewound and restarted the acceleration process over. All very ingenious. Of course, this kind of mechanical control mechanism could probably be easily emulated using micro-electronics these days (Arduino based?).

I have a vague feeling that this could be useful somehow but unfortunately I don't know enough about the subject generally to understand how or why. Would custom wound series motors with a bespoke electronics controller help solve the power bogie issues - or are 'ordinary' DC motors just as good? I'm afraid I don't know but it's a thought perhaps.

And a very interesting set of articles even now - some 76 years later.

Regards,

IanT
Nothing's ever Easy - At least the first time around.