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Modelling the 1840s in HO



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More on the John Bull tender

Posted by Ian Simpson , 13 March 2018 - - - - - - · 468 views
1840s, John Bull, horse box and 1 more...
More on the John Bull tender In an earlier post on Bachmann's John Bull locomotive I described the difficulty of converting the high-sided shed covering the tender drive into any British-style tender. My own rather lazy approach was to adapt the existing body to resemble an early van (although goods vans were rare beasts in 1840; most early railways simply flung a tarpaulin over ev...


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Ballasting Part 2 - the painty bit

Posted by Ian Simpson , in Track, Uncategorized 05 February 2018 - - - - - - · 319 views
1840s, ballast, emulsion and 1 more...
Ballasting Part 2 - the painty bit What did railway ballast look like in 1840? Obviously it depended on local geology and the tastes and budgets of the individual companies, but there were some common features that mark it out from later methods. We know that on most early railways the ballast completely covered the sleepers, hiding them from view (a feature that continued throughout most...


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Ballasting Part 1: first find your sandpaper

Posted by Ian Simpson , in Track, Uncategorized 24 January 2018 - - - - - - · 547 views
1840, ballast, early railways and 1 more...
Ballasting Part 1: first find your sandpaper Early railway companies were usually launched in a mood of heady optimism, only for the disgruntled shareholders to learn that building the damn thing was going to take a lot longer than anyone had expected. You may have noticed that the Middenshire & Fiddleyard Trunk Railway continues this venerable tradition. Even so, taking 18 months to ballast two...


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More Bachmann early locomotives – the "De Witt Clinton" and the "John Bull"

Posted by Ian Simpson , in Locomotives, Uncategorized 29 November 2017 - * * * * * · 992 views
early railroad, early loco and 4 more...
More Bachmann early locomotives – the "De Witt Clinton" and the "John Bull" In addition to the Norris 4-2-0 , Bachmann produced models of two other early US locomotives, the De Witt Clinton and the John Bull . Unlike the Norris loco, both these models have tender drives. Second-hand models frequently turn up at affordable prices on eBay (affordable, of course, if you don't have to use the US postal service :angry: ). The De...


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Joined-Up Thinking (using N gauge couplers on early stock)

Posted by Ian Simpson , in Rolling stock, Uncategorized 15 October 2017 - * * * * * · 698 views
1840, couplers, British HO and 1 more...
Joined-Up Thinking (using N gauge couplers on early stock) Working couplers can be a problem for early stock, as most commercial couplers are designed for the larger vehicles that developed later in the 19th century. Funnily enough, deciding on a coupler was one of the biggest challenges I found when I started modelling the 1840s, which is why I thought a separate post on the subject might be useful. Most Br...


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1840 wagon kits

Posted by Ian Simpson , in Uncategorized, Rolling stock 01 January 2017 - * * * * * · 826 views
1840, early wagon, birmingham and 1 more...
1840 wagon kits Chris Cox has recently been working on easy-to-build 4 mm whitemetal kits of some of the small and distinctive wagons of the early 1840s, as well as his better-known kits for the LBSCR. He has produced masters for three Birmingham and Gloucester Railway wagons (ballast, mineral and a fascinating general goods wagon with slatted sides), as well as two ea...


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Anglicising Bachmann coaches (part 2)

Posted by Ian Simpson , in Uncategorized, Rolling stock 24 August 2016 - * * * * * · 595 views
1840, early coach and 1 more...
Sorry this second instalment has taken so long to appear! Just one reminder before I continue my suggestions for the Bachmann Prussia coach: this post and its predecessor are meant to be a menu of ideas, not a recipe to be followed to the letter. Please use or modify the bits that you like and don’t feel that you have to do everything that I did! 6)...


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Anglicising Bachmann coaches (part 1)

Posted by Ian Simpson , in Rolling stock, Uncategorized 01 August 2016 - - - - - - · 682 views
1840, Prussia, coach, HO
Apologies, I realise this is quite a long post! And it doesn't finish here, either: there's a second part that I will post in a week or so. But I thought I would try and give as much info as I could about my attempts to use the Bachmann Prussia coach to produce a more representative British carriage of the early 1840s.  1) What are we working with?...


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Building the Traverser

Posted by Ian Simpson , in Uncategorized, Track 20 July 2016 - * * * * * · 923 views
1840, traverser, terminus and 3 more...
In the early 1840s architects, engineers and managers were still grappling with the problems thrown up by a new technology that could pick up, transport and deliver hundreds of passengers at the same time. As a result early station track plans often look cumbersome with their long rows of wagon turntables, their separate platforms for arrivals and departu...


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Notes on the Bachmann Norris loco

Posted by Ian Simpson , in Uncategorized, Locomotives 03 July 2016 - - - - - - · 1,089 views
1840, electrics, point control and 3 more...
There's not a lot of progress to report on the layout this week, although the wiring is now in place (except for the traverser: at my current rate of progress I will probably write about that in a couple of weeks). The underside of the baseboard is now taking on rather a Heath Robinson-ish appearance with wires running over the point rods and held in plac...


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Making progress slowly

Posted by Ian Simpson , in Uncategorized, Track 25 June 2016 - * * * * - · 593 views
1840s, track, point control and 1 more...
Well, the navvies have been hard at work and most of the trackwork at the Grand Terminus Station has been laid down. Or if you prefer I’ve finally managed to glue two Peco points and 26 inches of flexitrack onto a foamcore baseboard. 
 
There are a couple of changes from my original mock-up. I’ve used a Y point to give a few extra centimetres o...


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Why on earth would anyone model early British railways in HO?

Posted by Ian Simpson , 16 June 2016 - * * * * * · 1,153 views
1840, early railways, micro and 3 more...
A few of my reasons for modelling 1840s railways in HO:

1. I like microlayouts! In the early 1840s most trains were short (many mainline trains only had four carriages at this time, and even that could be a strain for some of the low-powered locos). And an HO layout takes up just three-quarters of the area of an equivalent OO layout, which helps as well...