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About this blog

This blog complements my Pre-Grouping Blog by covering my modelling activities in the Broad Gauge era of the Great Western Railway.  As with the earlier blog, I intend to cover the various methods by which I construct elements of the Broad Gauge scene.  For more background see https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/blogs/entry/17705-a-different-type-of-railway/

 

Entries in this blog

Planning a Mail Train

Having ‘cracked’ the main problems with building my Mail Coach, I have started thinking about the other vehicles that made up that ill-fated train. According to the accident report, the engine ‘Rob Roy’ was pulling three passenger carriages, and a luggage van. It is stated that the leading carriage had a break compartment in it, and that the third carriage, which was the mail carriage, also carried a guard.   This leaves me trying to decide what the other carriages might have been. A M

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One Step on a Broad Road

After spending a long time reading and thinking about Brunel's broad gauge railway, I knew I had to make a start somewhere. The thought of plunging straight into a layout was proving too daunting so, I decided to buy a display case of the type sold by Antics models This case has a plain wooden base, measuring about 330mm x 80mm, onto which I could build a short length of broad-gauge (BG) track.   I wanted to build my track base using materials and techniques that mirror the original co

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Into the New Year

A New Year opens up all sorts of new possibilities!  I spent much of last year discovering what I could do by means of 3D printing.  In fact, it now seems as though almost any prototype is within my reach – at least in terms of static display models.   I have given one of my recent model photos, the ‘early photograph’ look, as shown below: ‘Argus’ and ‘Rob Roy’ at Bullo Pill   The only additional model I have printed since my last post was a 4-wheel tender for ‘Argus’, w

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Hinged Doors for a Luggage Box

By the end of the previous post, I had completed the chassis for my planned Luggage Box. I expected the Luggage Box itself to be a simple construction: two panelled ends, two sides, and a roof.   Following my now usual practice, I created each of these parts as a separate ‘body’ in ‘Fusion 360’, so that each could be laid flat on the printer bed and could be printed in a few minutes, to the required panel thickness. A wave of a 200° soldering iron to seal the joints and that would be t

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GWR Posting Carriage – Part 3

In this post, I turn to the design of a chassis for my model Posting Coach. Fortunately, there is a detailed contemporary description and illustration, given in Whishaw’s book ‘The Railways of Great Britain and Ireland’, published in 1842.   According to Whishaw: “The under carriage is formed of two soles, 7 feet 8 inches apart, 9 inches deep, and 4 inches thick, and projects 10 inches at each end beyond the body ; and six cross pieces, one at each end without the line of the body, whi

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GWR Posting Carriage - Part 2

I hadn’t expected to make quite such rapid progress with this model – I must be getting slightly more proficient at using the ‘Fusion 360’ CAD software!   In part 1, I showed how I created the rather complex profile of the sides of the Posting Carriage by extruding a drawing of one end. I drew the end profile as a series of straight lines and arcs, traced over a drawing contained in one of the very useful Broad Gauge Society data sheets.     While this process gave

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GWR Posting Carriage

After having constructed a range of models that were intended to replicate the two trains involved in the accident at Bullo Pill, in 1868, I have been casting around for ideas for new subjects.   The trouble with a 3D printer is that it opens up so many possibilities that it is hard to decide what to tackle next. It would be easy for me to continue modelling various carriages, wagons, and locomotives but I have been looking for something that’s a bit ‘different’.   One of the

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GWR Luggage Box

Following my recent series about modelling the GWR Posting Carriage,  @Mikkel asked “But where did the luggage go? Next project?”.   In response, here is my next project!   In the early years, the GWR addressed the need to transport passengers’ luggage by providing separate ‘luggage boxes’ – and it seems that Victorians always travelled with a very large amount of luggage! It should be remembered that, at that time, passengers’ ‘luggage’ might also include their personal carr

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Gooch Goods – line of development

Following my recent post about research into the ‘Fire Fly’ class engines, @Mikkel remarked “I was wondering when and why Gooch abandoned the Haycock firebox for his own round topped version, e.g. on the Pyracmon class.”   my model of ‘Tantalus’   It reminded me that, when I was preparing my model of ‘Tantalus’, one of Gooch’s ‘Standard Goods’ engines, I had collected together a number of drawings by G F Bird of various engines from this class and its immediate predecessors.

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From the Stars to Fire Fly

It’s been a wet Bank Holiday here and, stuck indoors, I found myself thinking about what it was that made the ‘Fire Fly’ class so special. The following notes reflect my musings:   After all, these engines looked very similar to their immediate predecessors, the ‘Stars’ that the GWR bought from R Stephenson & Co. This similarity is obvious in the first engine photographs ever taken, which include ‘Polar Star’, outside Cheltenham shed in the late 1840s.   ‘Polar Star’

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Fire Fly Class – Part Four

Angled Spokes   I ended the previous part of this series by noting that my next subject would be wheels. This subject, once again, raised questions as to what were the real facts! An ‘official’ GWR drawing shows alternate spokes sloping in opposite directions between hub and rim, as below :     Drawing of ‘Firefly’ Driving Wheel   On the other hand, another ‘official’ plan view of the frames shows one set of spokes fitted radially, while the other set is a

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Fire Fly class - Part Five

Adding some details   After a rather intensive period of model building, I’ve slowed down a little, while other activities have called for my attention. The train of early Broad Gauge vehicles, including the Posting Carriage etc. still raise a smile as I pass by them on their shelf. They are, however, still waiting for their engine, so I need to press on with my ‘Fire Fly’ class model.   my three recent GWR Broad Gauge models   I always find that momentum is ea

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Extending my 3D Modelling

3D- Printed Track Base   At the beginning of the year, my thoughts turned towards making some track for my Broad Gauge (BG) models. I have already built a short section of track using traditional methods but I decided to see if 3D printing could help.   After some experimentation in the early days of the GWR, the design of prototype broad gauge track settled into the form shown below:   Construction of Broad Gauge Track   The longitudinal baulks were

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Easy-Peasy Carriage Build

Easy-Peasy Carriage Build or ‘How to build a carriage with no drawing, no measuring, and little time’   One of the vehicles I wanted to add to my collection for use with my ‘Firefly’-class locomotive was the early type of 6-wheel ‘open’ 2nd-class carriage. There is a full-size replica at Didcot Railway Centre, as shown below:   Didcot Railway Centre – Replica ‘Fire Fly’ and train   At first glance, those panelled sides might look to be a modeller’s nightmare but 3D

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Creating a Pantechnicon

Even after a long career in research, I am still frequently surprised by the new information that emerges from small beginnings!   After completing my Britzka model, I placed it on my BG carriage truck model for some photos. The Britzka was rather a tight fit between the truck rails, so I went back to Eddy’s Data Sheets from the Broad Gauge Society (BGS) to check the dimensions. It turned out that it is my carriage at fault and I shall revise my model to make it a little narrower (easy

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Creating a ‘Freak’

I completed the draft of this post just before RMWeb went off-line, during its transfer to a new hosting service.  I have made more modelling progress during the last 10 days, so will upload a follow-up article, once I have seen that the current post has settled down in its new home.   Last year, in May 2021, I wrote a post in my blog called ‘From the Stars to Fire Fly’. I drew on contemporary illustrations by E.T. Lane to show some of the engines to which I referred. I now find myself

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Cautionary Tales

Accuracy of Drawings   In an earlier post, I wrote: “I used the same method that I described in my previous post to extrude the saddle tank from a drawing – this time a pencil sketch by F.J.Roche, reproduced in the ‘Broadsheet’ article. This drawing was useful for the front elevation but I feel the drawing in Mike Sharman’s compilation by the Oakwood Press is more dependable for the side elevation.”   Some recent correspondence within the Broad Gauge Society (BGS) e-group sug

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Brunel's Britzka - part 2

At the end of the previous post I had printed a set of parts, which needed to be assembled into the complete carriage. I must admit that it was a bit of a shock to see how tiny some of the parts can be in reality, when they had looked quite substantial on the computer screen!   The springs were by far the smallest parts but I had chosen to print them separately so that they could lie flat on the printer bed. This orientation ensured that the hollow centres of the elliptic springs would

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Brunel's Britzka

It’s some time since I modelled horse drawn vehicles but recent discussion on @Mikkel's blog raised my interest in the subject again.  In Janet Russell’s book: ‘Great Western Horse Power’, there is a photograph of the Britzka carriage in which Brunel travelled while surveying the route of his planned Great Western Railway.       This vehicle caught my imagination and the first question it raised was: “what on earth was a Britzka?”. The question led me to research many lo

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Broad Gauge Mail Coach - part 5

My progress, since the previous post in this series, has been slower than anticipated, mainly because of the need to build a chassis that deviated from that intended for the BGS kit. I also took a few false turns, which led to a significant amount of re-work.   In the comments following my first post about this coach, I said that I prefer scratch building to kits. I suppose what I really meant is that I like to do things my own way. The down side of the scratch building approach is tha

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Broad Gauge Mail Coach - part 4

I’ve been spending quite a lot of time thinking about undergear for my Mail Coach. Apart from building a kit for an N6 Horse Box, which included fairly detailed brake gear, this is an aspect I have tended to ignore in most of my scratch-built models.   I have described myself as an ‘impressionist’ modeller but, somehow, now that I am exploring the Broad Gauge and an earlier period, I feel a certain responsibility to try to be more historically accurate.   The Broad Gauge Soci

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Broad Gauge Horse Box

My ‘Geeetech E180’ printer seems to be performing exceptionally well at present, so I have been cracking on with some items from my ‘to do’ list.   After the poor results I was getting last year, I made a point of going through the long list of adjustable parameters in the ‘Cura’ slicing software. I suspect that the most significant change I made was to the ‘line width’ setting. The default setting matched the print-head diameter of 0.4 mm but I reduced the setting to 0.3mm. Since the

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Bodies & Components

I’ve had one or two messages from people who say they have enjoyed reading through my blogs. I should therefore sound a note of caution, especially in the field of 3D printing – my posts follow my own, often halting, progress along a learning curve and I still feel myself to be a long way from an end-point. I was looking back at some of my earlier designs and although they came out reasonably well in the end, my methods were something of a ‘dog’s breakfast’. I hope you won’t repeat too many of m

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An Ugly Duckling – Part Two

As I commented to @Mikkel, following my previous post on this project, this bit of modelling was a spur-of-the-moment idea after a fallow period when I was lacking imagination.    It was triggered by a post on @Annie’s thread about modelling one of the B&ER 4-4-0ST engines but now I’m not sure whether this is the prototype I want to model. While thinking about the possibilities, I came across an appraisal of Broad Gauge 4-4-0ST engines in an early issue of the Broad Gauge Society m

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An Ugly Duckling – 4

Now, wake up at the back there, @Mikkel, this is a new post on this subject.   At the end of my previous post, I wrote “Next, I shall turn my attention to designing and constructing a suitable chassis.”, so that’s the subject for today.   Frames   The frames of these early engines were rather unusual in that they stopped short in front of the leading drivers. The front bogie was attached directly to the boiler in traction-engine style. The frames were also quite lig

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