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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

Family Saloon - Hybrid Construction Method

Family Saloon - Hybrid Construction Method

I thought it would be easy to modify my U29 model, to represent the body of a diagram G13 Family Saloon but various gremlins struck with a vengeance!   Omit reading the ‘Gremlins’ sections, if you just want to follow the progress of the model itself.   Gremlins   I have now learned the necessity for taking great care when selecting entities to modify in Fusion 360.   For example, when selecting parts of a drawing in, say, the X-Z plane, it is easy to inclu

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

 

Diagram U29 Revisited

I write two blogs, one on pre-Grouping GWR and one on Broad Gauge GWR but, while I am experimenting with 3D printing, I shall be hopping between the two so, if you wish to follow my various trials, it’s necessary to look at both.   From 2D to 3D modelling   It’s almost six years since my modelling aspirations took a great leap forward, through my acquisition of a ‘Silhouette Portrait’ cutter.  The first prototype that I chose to model with my cutter was the Tri-composite carr

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

 

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.   Although the Fusion 360
 

Into a New Dimension - Part Three

I am grateful for the patience shown by my followers, while I have been wrestling to make progress on 3D modelling, against a background of many distractions!   In my previous post on this subject, I described my progress in understanding how ‘slicer’ software turns a 3D computer model into a file suitable for 3D printing.  This enabled me to make a few test prints by downloading 3D models from the web.   3D printed carriage from file on web   The experience h

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

 

Before I went Pre-Grouping

I am very grateful for the appreciative comments on my recent posts and very pleased to know that some of my earlier posts are still considered to be a useful resource.  I confess that I am still finding it hard to adapt to the ‘new’ (well, fairly new) RMWeb format and don’t seem to dip into here as much as I used to do – it’s an age thing I suppose.   Progress with the 3D printer continues to be slow – two small grand-children do take up a fair bit of my energy resources and I have ma

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

Into a New Dimension - Part Two

Into a New Dimension - Part Two

I am beginning to feel that I have managed to absorb at least some some of the information I have been reading about 3D printing. It’s proving to be a good example of an old dog trying to learn new tricks. As with my previous post, this is a ‘warts and all’ description of a raw beginner’s attempt to get to grips with the basics of 3D printing.   The first stage in developing my understanding was to learn about the ‘slicer’ software that is needed to convert a 3D drawing to a printable

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

It was 40 Years Ago ...

It was 40 Years Ago ...

The new format for RMWeb sent me into reminiscing about ‘the old days’.  I realised it is just forty years, since my young son provided me with the excuse to move from thinking about a model railway to putting those thoughts into practice!     It started, of course, with a lot of avid reading of magazines, followed by sketching out various plans.  The railway had to be small, to fit the available space and, initially, 009 was an attractive format but my wife had some old Hornby-Dublo t

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

Another Learning Curve

Another Learning Curve

Just as I am deeply immersed in learning about 3D printing and also struggling with the complexities of Broad Gauge locomotive design, along comes a completely new website format.  I've added a little introductory text but, as yet, have no idea how to re-create the contents list, which aimed to help readers to find their way around. I'm not sure when/if I shall get around to this additional challenge of learning the new format but, at least, all my earlier posts on how I have tackled modell

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

Into a New Dimension

Into a New Dimension

Five years ago, I came across JCL's splendid thread about the Silhouette cutters at an appropriate time for dropping heavy hints before Christmas. This resulted in my acquiring a 'Silhouette Portrait' machine and loads of ideas for making my own coaches and buildings.   It proved very fortuitous since, only a few months before, I had decided to return to railway modelling by re-furbishing my old small layout and turning back the clock to the 19th century period. The cutter was a great

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

 

North Leigh Creamery

It's been a cold, wet, dull, Spring and I have been finding it difficult to gain much inspiration for modelling. I got somewhat bogged down in the intricacies of what Amy Wilcote calls those 'old broad gauge things'. I have, however, been enjoying viewing the splendid work shown by other modellers, in various threads on this site. So, in an attempt to get my own ideas flowing, I have been wandering around some of the less familiar parts of North Leigh.   The creamery is not a very attractiv

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

 

A Tender for No.184 - part 2

I realise that I left matters hanging with the tender for No.184, in my post of almost two years ago!   The awful truth is that I rather lost interest, when I found that I had made the frames of the locomotive too wide, so that the outside cranks tended to bind. I simply couldn’t face starting again from scratch until, quite recently, I hit on the idea of simply cutting off the folded edges of the plate which supported these frames and fitting new support members, made from short lengths of Br

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

 

Red Wagons - Experimental Archaeology - update

EDIT - before getting excited about this 'new evidence', please see the reply from K14 at Didcot GWS, below. The 'red wagon' mystery continues....   This is just a brief addition, to draw attention to new evidence regarding 'red' GWR wagons. I am grateful to Miss Prism, who referred to it in Mikkel's Pre-Grouping thread.   This new information adds further support to one of the conclusions, in the discussion following my previous blog entry, that red lead may have started to be used on the G

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

 

Red Wagons - Experimental Archaeology

Some time has elapsed since I first decided to paint the wagons red on my GWR 'North Leigh' railway but I still look out for any further information that may shed further light on when and where this colour was used.     My 1st edition copy of 'Great Western Way'(GWW) stated: "it would seem to be about the end of the 1870s that wagons and vans first sported a standard pattern of painted lettering. It was about this time, too, that the change from red to grey as a body colour was apparently

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

 

Still Here

It's quite a while since I've posted anything here - too many (pleasant) distractions have got in the way of modelling, of late. I keep getting 'flash-forwards' to a strange 21st century world, full of confusions - so different from the settled era we enjoy under our gracious Queen Empress Victoria.   I've been playing with a new ultra-wide-angle lens on my Olympus camera and it creates some interesting perspectives, if placed very close to a model and stopped down, to provide a reasonable de

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

 

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

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

 

Visit to Abingdon Show

As I have been delving into 19th century history, I have inevitably become interested in the broad gauge period of the GWR. Throughout the Winter I have been doing a lot of reading but very little modelling. Almost everything about the broad gauge was 'different' and I have been 'stalled' over how to make a start.   Last year, I joined the Broad Gauge Society and then, last Saturday (19th March), I visited the annual exhibition by the Abingdon Model Railway society. I was looking for inspirati

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

 

Truncated Posts

As others have already noted, recent 'updates' to this website played havoc with many entries.   EDIT 21st Feb -I am very pleased to see that the problems have now been sorted, This blog appears to be readable again .   I am sure that this has given sleepless nights to the administrators, so appreciate their efforts. I hope, too, that their service provider has learnt some lessons about managing data for an international audience.   At present, many of my posts in this blog are severely

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

 

A Year in Retrospect

Whereas 2014 was a time of heady excitement for me, as I started to realise the possibilities of my new Silhouette cutter, 2015 has been more a period of consolidation.   The potential to build my own timber-framed carriages meant that my aim of re-creating a small glimpse of the Victorian railway scene became a reality through 2014 and, inspired by these possibilities, I also embarked on a spree of kit building and locomotive construction.   Locomotives at North Leigh Station – the square

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

 

GWR 19th Century Carriage Development

Whereas there are 'umpteen books about the development of the steam locomotive, relatively little has been written about early railway carriages. One of my aims in making models of some earlier carriages was to hep me visualise the changes that took place in the mid-19th century.   As railways moved from purely industrial uses to the carriage of people, the first thought was simply to mount benches inside ordinary wagons. The next step was to adapt the road carriages of the time to run on rail

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

 

Early GWR Passenger Brake (Break) Van

It's been a longer interval than usual since my last entry in this blog. Readers of the forums may know that this is because I recently spent a month in SE Asia and, in passing, took a few photos of the Sabah Railway   Before I left, I had decided to build a brake van to accompany the early 4-wheel coaches that I described in a previous post . Like the coaches, the brake van is based on the photograph taken at New Milford shortly after conversion of the South Wales lines to standard gauge in 1

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

 

A Tender for No.184 - part 1

It's been a while since my last entry in this blog - lots of summertime activities getting in the way of modelling! I've also had that common modeller's problem of having so many things to do that it's been hard to decide where to start.   I'm afraid that I have, once again, ignored Blanche's petulant pleas for new dresses and got down to the more mundane task of building a tender for No.184. I produced an outline drawing for this tender by starting from a side-on photograph of what appears to

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

 

Comparing Armstrong 2-2-2s

It's now over two years since I built my first locomotive from scratch, using brass sheet. It's still looking quite good and helped to inspire me to continue with building lots more scratch-built stock. For more information about my model, see 'Railway Modeller', July 2014, "Simply Victorian".   My model of the GWR 'Queen' class   It really was simple to build - basically a brass tube over a brass plate, with a very simple 'chassis' to hold a set of wheels at the right distance apart! As I

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

 

Making Curved Coach Roofs

I meant to mention, in my previous entry, how I made the curved plasticard roofs for my early GWR coaches. I have read about wrapping plasticard sheet around an empty wine bottle, filled with boiling water, in order to 'set' the curve. Somehow, I'm always uneasy about pouring boiling water into glass bottles, so looked for an alternative - beer cans came to mind but these seemed of rather too small a diameter for my coach roofs. After searching around the kitchen (strange, alien place), I fou

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

 

Two More Early Coaches

As an excuse for not having added all the finishing touches to my early GWR composite coach, I wrote that I was planning to build its companion coaches that appear in the 1873 New Milford photo.     Whereas I found a good side-on photo of the composite coach, I have not found anything similar to help me determine the dimensions of these other coaches. Because of their small size in the New Milford photo, and their angle, I found that I could not estimate their length with any accuracy. So,

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

 

Early GWR Coaches - Building the Body

Having shown my printed coach sides in the previous post, 'all' I had to do to complete the coach was to assemble the 'box' structure and add wheels. These small tasks have taken some time, as a result of other distractions but, apart from final detailing, I can now show the coach on the track and alongside some later (1870s) GWR designs.   In order to complete the coach body, I needed ends and a floor. I used my 'Silhouette' cutter to make curved-top ends from 20 thou plasticard and cut addit

MikeOxon

MikeOxon


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