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Image restoration from pre-May 2021 continues and may take an indefinite period of time.

A Year in Retrospect


MikeOxon

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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.

 


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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.

 

 

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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:

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

Mike

Edited by MikeOxon
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It's been really good to follow along with your modelling activities this past year Mike.   The last picture with all your Broad Gauge models together in one place makes for a fine sight.  A nice piece of Photoshop work it is too.

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  • RMweb Gold

A very productive year for you, Mike. Looking quickly over your 2021 posts the output is impressive and includes a large share of the models shown in your last photo here. The fact that they are printed does now detract from it, as I'm well aware how much time the study, design and trials of each has taken.

 

I like the diorama idea. Maybe even a printed structure or two? Bring on 2022!

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Many thanks for an interesting blog over the last year Mike. I do like the photo of the collection of stock against that background.

 

It has been fascinating to watch the way you have adapted the print designs to overcome the  limitations of the printing process.

 

 

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11 hours ago, Florence Locomotive Works said:

That last photo is very nice Mike. Do you have any plans for motorizing an engine in the coming year?

 

Douglas

i have all sorts of plans, Douglas, although whether they get put into practice is another matter!  I think Sir Watkin would be relatively easy to motorise and I've thought of motorised tenders for others.  I had mapped out a few designs when the Mashima range of motors disappeared.  I must review the possibilities again.

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4 hours ago, Mikkel said:

A very productive year for you, Mike. Looking quickly over your 2021 posts the output is impressive and includes a large share of the models shown in your last photo here.

How time flies!  When I made that reference to my earlier post about lining, I was amazed to find that it was posted 8 years ago.

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37 minutes ago, Lacathedrale said:

Wonderful models and ingenious techniques - thank you for sharing.

Thank you for looking.  I know you have spent some time yourself researching early railways so I'm pleased you like what I've done.

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I must ask - when are you going to plump for a resin DLP? Your designs are wonderful and clearly work a treat, but wouldn't the surface finish of a resin printer better reflect the hard work you've put in?

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12 minutes ago, Lacathedrale said:

I must ask - when are you going to plump for a resin DLP?

 

I chose my Geeetech E180 because it seemed more 'domestic friendly' than most 3D printers - no exposed hot parts or heated bed and it uses non-toxic PLA filament.  I feel I can use it when my grand-children are around and it is easy to pick it up of a shelf and put it on my desk for use.  It reminds me of a sewing machine!  I realise that a resin DLP would give a better surface finish but I don't want to have to manage the various chemicals and deal with all those support structures. 

 

I make these things for my own interest and enjoy the challenges of researching and designing the models.  I look at them after printing and still feel amazed that I can make something like that :)  At normal viewing distances, the surface imperfections are hardly noticeable and don't spoil my enjoyment.

 

I continue to watch how the technology develops and, if something better comes along that suits my needs, then I shall try it out.

 

Mike

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The collection of models you’ve made will form a good basis for some really appealing dioramas, and I’m looking forward to seeing these.

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  • RMweb Gold

Excellent work Mike.  It has been a pleasure to follow what you have done.  You have quite an extensive range of models for a short period of time.  Well done, I look forward to more next year.

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