Last year, as 2020 drew towards its close and we prepared for the holiday season, I showed a collection of my North Leigh engines ‘on shed’. I think that, at that time, we were all hoping that the difficulties caused by Covid would soon be over. Sadly, as another year draws to its close, we are still in a period of uncertainty, waiting to learn what sort of threat the latest variant may pose.
Whatever else has happened, I have found plenty of time to practise my modelling abilities with my 3D-printer and its associated software. I have reached a point from where I can look back on my earlier efforts and think that I learned quite a lot over the course of the year! Tasks that I found rather difficult are now just routine matters although, as with all complex software, I’m sure that I still have a great deal to learn. After all, I’ve been using Photoshop for processing photo images for very many years and am still learning new tricks!!
In particular, I have developed my method of designing parts by extruding from drawings and then making a test assembly in the software, to ensure that everything will fit together correctly.
Overview of my 3D-modelling Method
I feel that I’ve had a creative year, which started by my producing models of a train from the early days of the GWR, based on a lithograph by J.C.Bourne. These models included a Fire-Fly class engine, together with a train including a Passenger Luggage Box, Open 2nd-class Carriage, Posting Carriage, Horse Box, and Carriage Truck.
My Model of Fire-Fly class ‘Argus’
As any regular readers of my blog will know, I started my Broad Gauge modelling by creating models of the engines and stock that were recorded in the official report on the accident which took place near Bullo Pill in 1868.
I then branched out into building various other models, until the wheel unexpectedly turned full-circle. I set out to model one of the Gooch ‘bogie-class’ engines, which I had thought of as South Devon engines, only to find that several worked the Forest of Dean line from Bullo Pill! I also discovered that some members of the Sir Watkin class were allocated to Bull Pill for a few years, before gauge conversion took place there in 1872.
My model of Sir Watkin class 0-6-0T
For the lining on the side tanks, I returned to a method I described in detail a few years ago. The main difference now is that I used my Silhouette cutter to create the shapes from self-coloured adhesive vinyl, which I teased into position with cocktail sticks before pressing down firmly.
Bullo Pill & The Forest of Dean Branch
Bullo Pill lies on the railway from Gloucester to South Wales, at a point where the line runs between the Western bank of the River Severn and the Forest of Dean. At the beginning of the 19th century, a tramway was built to bring coal and iron ore from the mines and quarries in the Forest down to a small dock at Bullo Pill. The tramway passed through what was then the longest tramway tunnel in the world at Haie Hill. In the 1850s, Brunel was tasked with converting the tramway into a Broad Gauge railway, which involved widening of the Haie Hill tunnel and the construction of additional tunnels further up the line. It was at that time that my wife’s Gt-Gt-Grandfather arrived in the village of Soudley, at the upper end of the Haie Hill tunnel, where the family lived near the Iron Works.
Soudley Iron Works – Haie Hill Tunnel entrance is behind the dark tree on LHS
Several of the sons from this family, including my wife’s Gt-Grandfather, started their GWR careers at Bullo Pill in the 1860s, as I have described in an earlier post. Bullo Pill Junction connected the Forest of Dean Railway to the GWR main line, with additional branches into the dock area. Tipping machinery was installed at the dock, to transfer coal and iron ore from railway wagons into barges bound for South Wales and across the River Severn.
Bullo Pill Dock
There was quite a complex network of railway tracks around the dock and to loading jetties on the banks of the River Severn, as shown in the section of Ordnance Survey 25” map, below:
Map of Bullo Pill Dock
Th site of the Mail Train accident, which started my interest in Broad Gauge modelling, was about one mile (1.6 km) South of here, on the main line than can be seen on the LHS of the map, running North-South.
End of Year Overview
My modelling activities this year have added several items of stock which are appropriate for operations on the Forest of Dean Branch, down to this dock.
I thought that, as an ‘End of Year’ overview, I would show my Broad Gauge models in a ‘Bullo Pill’ context. Collecting them together has revealed just how much detailing remains to be completed. Please don’t look too closely! I even had to have an extra 3D-printing session, to produce some additional roofs, wheels, and other small parts, which had been ‘shared’ between different vehicles!
After taking my photo, I spent some time with Photoshop, blending in a ‘Bullo Pill dock’ back-scene. It’s given me some ideas for creating a diorama – something to think about for next year.
My BG Model Collection, set in a Bullo Pill context
May I conclude by thanking my readers for all the encouragement you have given me over the year and send you my best wishes for the coming Holiday season.
Edited by MikeOxon