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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

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’ bre

MikeOxon

MikeOxon in general

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" +

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

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

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

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

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

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

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

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,

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

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

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

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 of

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

There's Nothing New ...

More than three years ago, I wrote about some experiments I did to add to the debate about GWR red wagon livery. I showed photos of wagons at Cinderford Iron Works, taken around 1890, which had marked differences in (monochrome) image tone.     I thought, at the time, that I was doing some ‘original’ research but recently I have been looking through back issues of the 'Broad Gauge Society' magazine ‘Broadsheet’.  There I found that this ‘well known’ photograph was discussed

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

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

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

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

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 ...

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

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

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 attr

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


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