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About this blog

This blog aims to follow the conversion of my existing layout to an earlier time-frame. I hope that others will find it of interest and helpful,

 

Entries in this blog

Old Model Updated

Introduction   The last few months have been busy ones for my household, with little time to think about model-making. The spells of hot weather have not been conducive to spending time in my workroom either and, on top of all those things, I have had another failure of the feeder mechanism in my 'Geeetech' printer.   Broken Filament Feeder   I think the root cause of the problem was a faulty temperature sensor in the print head, which caused the feed tube to j

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Printing 'Edith'

Despite what I wrote in my previous post , I decide to add a ‘rolling’ chassis to my model of ‘Edith’, to help me assess the overall appearance of this little engine. Printing and assembling some of the very small parts created some new challenges.   Our heating system failed last week, just as the weather turned colder. I had not noticed before how sensitive my 3d printer is to the temperature in my work room. For the first time, I experienced a fractured filament as it wound off the

Modelling 'Edith' from Buscot

In my previous post in this blog, I described my chance discovery of the former narrow-gauge system that linked the farms on the Buscot Park estate to a distillery and other works, located at a wharf on the upper River Thames.   This was especially interesting to me because I had introduced an imaginary narrow-gauge (NG) line on my ‘North Leigh’ layout, to serve the local quarries for Cotswold stone and the sawmills around Wychwood Forest, by connecting them to a railhead at North Leig

Oxfordshire Narrow Gauge

North Leigh Station, with Goods Yard and Narrow Gauge System Beyond   When I first decided to attribute the location of my small layout to North Leigh in Oxfordshire, the only basis I had was a map dated 1849, which shows a branch line from the OW&WR main line running south from near Stonesfield to Witney. Of course, this line was never built and Witney was eventually served by the now closed Fairford Branch described at http://www.fairfordbranch.co.uk/ , from which website the fol

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3D-Printed Horses

After reading some recent posts about horse drawn wagons and the like, I started to wonder if it would be possible to 3D-print my own horses.   A look at the 'Cults' website yielded a 3D-printable horse  by David Mussaffi, described as ‘FDM printer ready’, so I thought that this would be a good place to start.  I looked at the file after loading it into my ‘Cura’ slicing software and found that the model was cleverly split into three parts, such that there were flat surfaces to lie on

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A new ‘Old Engine’- Re-visited

I find it hard to believe that more than six years have passed since I started to build a model of one of the early standard gauge engines, transferred to the GWR when they acquired the Oxford, Worcester, & Wolverhampton Railway (The Old Worse & Worse, as it was colloquially known)   I have been reminding myself of what is in this, my older ‘Pre-Grouping’ blog, before I changed over to (became obsessed with) the Broad Gauge!   My model of No.184, shown below, was the last model

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Lock-Down 'Pastime'

Finding things to do in lock-down is something of an ‘art-form’. A friend recently introduced me to some software called 'Pixbim ColorSurprise AI'.  He showed me some remarkable results, where it had automatically coloured some of his old monochrome photos.   So I thought I’d try it out on some of my collection of 19th-century railway photos.  There’s a ‘free trial’ version but, as is so often the case, it is hobbled by printing multiple watermarks all over any saved results. To show t

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Christmas Break

With the holiday period now upon us, many of North Leigh’s locomotives are now ‘on shed’. In the following photo can be seen my first ‘scratch build’ - a GWR ‘Queen’ class, with a ‘Stella’ 2-4-0 next in line. Disappearing out of view, the back of ‘Lord of the Isles’ can just be glimpsed, while on the front track is a Dean Goods, together with an early PBV.  (The 'back scene' is by Photoshop)   Locomotives ‘On Shed’   Looking back into Broad Gauge days, I remember a comme

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Track Maintenance

Most of my train-running recently has been for the enjoyment of my young grand-children. For this, I tend to use my reliable ‘1854’ saddle tank, with its heavy ‘Wills’ cast body and ‘Hornby’ chassis that make it fairly ‘bomb-proof’   Trains at North Leigh   Suddenly, after what has been many months (if not years) of reliable running, the engine de-railed on the three-way point at the West end of North Leigh station. Following application of the ‘big hand in the sky’ brea

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Armstrong Goods - Adding a Tender

At the end of my last post, I felt that I had solved all the main problems associated with building my Armstrong Goods engine, although a lot of detailing remains to be done.   To complete the model, I needed to add a tender, which I intended to contain the drive unit. I have made several powered tenders based on 'Hornby' ring-field mechanisms, around which I used components from either plastic or white metal kits. I have used two different 'Hornby' mechanisms: type X9105 with 7' 6" +

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A Standard Goods for North Leigh - part 6

There is one problem that has been lurking in the background throughout my design of this outside-framed locomotive – how to fit the wheels? The wheels need to be pressed onto their axles and set to gauge, before fitting them to the locomotive.   I had already decided that this engine will be tender driven, so I do not have to make provision for a gear train. After considering various options, I decided to adopt the method used in the tender-drive ‘Mainline’ Dean Goods model. Since I h

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A Standard Goods for North Leigh - part 5

At the end of the previous part, I had printed the main body components but was experiencing difficulty in printing small boiler fittings. The difficulty was that, on their own, these had no flat surface to lay on the printer bed. My next idea was to ‘slice’ these components just above the curved flanges that fit around the boiler and print the upper and lower parts separately, so that they could subsequently be glued together across their flat faces.   To my surprise, the tiny compone

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A Standard Goods for North Leigh - part 4

Never become complacent! After a long spell of trouble-free printing, I started to encounter problems a couple of weeks ago. First off, the old problem of lack of adhesion to the printer bed returned. I had become lazy about replacing the blue masking tape and the surface had become worn. After replacement and re-levelling, all seemed well again ... until the heat wave struck. The next problem was uneven printing.  It was too hot for me in my work room, so I left it alone while I got on with des

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A Standard Goods for North Leigh – part 3

In my previous post, I showed the brass components that will form the ‘hard’ skeleton of my planned model of an Armstrong Standard Goods engine. The fireman’s side of No.661 is shown below to complement my previous illustrations of the driver’s side of No.31: Armstrong Standard Goods No.661   Now, I shall describe my procedures for producing 3D-printed parts to form the ‘flesh’ of the model, which will carry the details of the outside frames, footplate, boiler cladding, smok

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A Standard Goods for North Leigh - Part 2

It’s some time since I’ve scratch-built a standard gauge locomotive, having been spending my time recently on Broad Gauge models.  I learned several lessons, however, during the construction of my previous 00-gauge models, the most important of which was to remember that 00-gauge is actually a narrow gauge – closer to 4’ than 4’ 8 ½”, when scaled.   My first scratch-build, described in 'Railway Modeller', July 2014, was of a 2-2-2 ‘Queen’ class engine, which was a simple choice because

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A Standard Goods for North Leigh – part 1

On a number of occasions over the years, I have posted comments indicating my dis-satisfaction with the ‘Mainline’ Dean Goods that is currently serving on my North Leigh layout. It’s really too late for my period, with Belpaire firebox and other details that place it long after the turn of the century.   My model Dean Goods at North Leigh   I have recently been following Mikkel’s conversion of a ‘Belpaire’ Dean Goods into an earlier ‘round-top’ version and have thought o

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Into a New Dimension - Part Four

I find it interesting to observe how, having broken the ice, the waters of enthusiasm start to flow!     I’ve been experimenting with some of the tools in Fusion 360 and while it’s still very early days, I can now produce carriage sides with ‘tumble home’ curves and I can also add curved tops to the ends, for fitting to roofs.     So far, this has just been an experiment, as I explore some of the possibilities for future designs.   The Fusion 360 software

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A Different Type of Railway

In my previous entry, I mentioned some of the research that I have been doing into Brunel's 'Broad Gauge' railway. There are several old books that provide a detailed survey of the early days of the GWR. One that I found particularly useful is the 'History of the GWR' by G A Nokes (2nd edtion, 1895). The preface begins: "I would remind the reader that it is 'The Story of the Broad Gauge' that is here chronicled, so that while in the first thirty years or so of the Great Western Railway's existen

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"Read Me First"

(the following explanation is intended to help any new readers to find their way around this blog)   Since I started this blog in 2013, I have used it as a diary to record my progress in creating a Victorian GWR branch line. Since the blog follows the meanderings of my mind, it has no real structure and this 'introduction' is, therefore, an attempt to help a new reader to find his/her way around.   There are two main strands: firstly, the documenting of my exploration of the

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Figure Painting - First Steps

Last Saturday I visited my local model railway exhibition - AbRail 2015. I was looking for ideas on scenery and there was a good number of interesting layouts. Several featured canals and water and, of these, I particularly enjoyed the 'Aldford Brewery' (Wimbledon MRC) and the canal-side inn at 'Mulldale' (Letchworth MRC).         I also thought that there were some impressive trees alongside 'The Abingdon Branch'. Initially I thought 'Highclere' (Julia Adams) looked rat

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On the Victorian Cat-Walk

Having built a Victorian train, I now have to think about providing some passengers. Since I know far less about 19th-century styles of dress than I did about 19th-century railways, when I started, I decided it was time for some reading.   As I pointed out in a previous post, I have found the Internet Archive ( http://archive.org/ ) to be a very useful resource. Old 'out of copyright' books can either be read on-line or downloaded in formats such as PDF. In my current search, I found '

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Horse Power

One of the things to remember when 'turning back the clock' is the former widespread use of horses, which continued up until WW2 and lingered even into the 1950s. I felt I needed to learn a bit more about how they were used, so that I could replace some of my more modern traffic with appropriate period vehicles. I found the book 'Great Western Horse Power' by Janet Russell, which proved to be a mine of information but seemed to concentrate on large depots and cities, whereas I was interested to

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