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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

‘Sir Watkin’ for Bullo Pill

As the end of another year approaches, I’ve been looking back over the last few rather strange years, very much influenced by the Covid-19 virus. As it happens, 2019 was also the year when I acquired my 3D-printer and embarked on a new phase of model-making. Lock-down provided me with ample opportunity to practise 3D-model making.   A couple of years before that, I had moved my attention to the Broad Gauge era of the GWR, following the discovery that several of my wife’s ancestors work

MikeOxon

MikeOxon in General

A Coal Wagon for Bullo Pill

When I started to build my model of one the Broad Gauge ‘Bogie-class’ engines, it was purely on a whim, because I was attracted by their jolie-laide appearance. At that time, I thought they were South Devon engines, generally confined to the West Country.   I had brought my model close to completion when some further research revealed that they were also familiar engines in the Bullo Pill area, which was exactly where I had started my Broad Gauge modelling!   My model o

MikeOxon

MikeOxon in General

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

MikeOxon

MikeOxon in General

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

MikeOxon

MikeOxon in General

An Ugly Duckling - 3

If my last post was about ‘making choices’, the subject of this one is definitely ‘rivets’. These earlier engines seem to have been covered in the things so, thank goodness, 3D-printing software tools have come to my aid in reproducing them all. In fact I only had to draw one or two and all the rest were produced by tools such as ‘pattern on path’ which instantly created long rows of the things, following the contours of the surface on which they are placed. There must be at least 350 rivets on

MikeOxon

MikeOxon in General

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

MikeOxon

MikeOxon in General

An Ugly Duckling

Having been inspired by a recent post by @Annie, I’m having a go at creating a 3D-print of one of those ‘ugly-duckling’ 4-4-0STs, much liked in the West Country as very successful engines.   As usual, I’m applying ‘quick and dirty’ methods, to create as much as possible by extruding ‘bodies’ from existing drawings – in this case those by Ian Beattie, reproduced in the Broad Gauge Society magazine ‘Broadsheet No.73’   I imported the front-elevation drawing as a ‘canvas’ into ‘

MikeOxon

MikeOxon in General

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

MikeOxon

MikeOxon in General

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 e

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

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

‘Fire Fly’ class – Part Three

It has taken me a considerable amount of thought before deciding how to proceed with the next stage of building my my ‘Fire Fly’ class model. The obvious method would be to construct a strong frame around the outside, as I have done for previous models, but it doesn’t really work with this prototype.   Fire-Fly replica at Didcot showing Boiler Support   As I showed in the previous post, the prototype was built with four short frames linking the smokebox and firebox. Two

MikeOxon

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‘Fire Fly’ class – Part Two

As I carried out my research for this project in Part One (Research), I realised just how difficult it can be to decide what these old engines were actually like!   One of the problems seems to be that, in those days, engines were hand-built by craftsmen who. perhaps, were not so keen on trying to follow a drawing but knew how things should be done!   I noticed, for example, that the shape of the firebox casing on the ‘Fire Fly’ replica is actually quite different from that seen in an

MikeOxon

MikeOxon in General

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 predecessor

MikeOxon

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‘Fire Fly’ class - Research

Introduction   One thing leads to another and what, for me, started as a small project to build the interesting-looking ‘Posting Carriage’ from the early years of Brunel’s Broad Gauge railway, for the GWR, rapidly extended to include a Luggage Truck and Horse Box.   All these vehicles appeared in some of the beautiful lithographs by J.C Bourne, published in 1846. In particular, his illustration of Bristol Temple Meads Station, shows an engine of Gooch’s ‘Fire-Fly’ class headi

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MikeOxon in General

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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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

MikeOxon

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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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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

MikeOxon

MikeOxon in General

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

MikeOxon

MikeOxon in General

Adding Skins to Carriages

One idea leads to another; in this case, I have tried extending the idea that I showed in an earlier post of adding cladding to a brass-tube boiler by 3D-printing an outer sleeve.   3D-printed boiler cladding   During my early ‘learning curve’ with 3D-printing (i.e. about a year ago), I made some broad-gauge carriages, as described in a short series of blog posts.  Printing the complete carriage as a single task had several advantages, such as including internal partitions

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

Small Things

I make no secret of the fact that I find it hard to keep up momentum once I’ve completed the main structure of an engine and have to think about adding the various small details.   Gooch Goods ‘Tantalus’ – bare bones   One particular irritation with my Gooch Goods was that there were some things that I could easily have included in the main 3D-printed components but had neglected to do so. This was largely because, like most of my projects, it was experimental in that I

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

'Rob Roy' - Bits and Pieces

Readers with long memories may recall that, back in March 2017, I started to think about construction of a Waverley Class locomotive – ‘Rob Roy’. This was a part of a project to build the components of the two trains involved in the Bullo Pill accident of 1868.   My modelling of ‘Rob Roy’ became a test bed for many different ideas – how to build sandwich frames, adapting a brass kit intended for a Goods engine, exploring the working of early valve gears, and so on.  In between, I was e

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

Adding Cladding

In commenting on an earlier post, Michael Edge pointed out that the visible diameter of a locomotive boiler is greater than the diameter of the metal boiler itself and he suggested that I should have bought a larger diameter tube for my model of 'Tantalus'.   I had already been thinking about how to add the visible boiler rings and then had the idea “why not 3D-print the boiler cladding?” After all, the prototype boiler was metal, whereas the cladding was initially of wooden planks, th

MikeOxon

MikeOxon


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