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About this blog

This blog complements my earlier 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.

Entries in this blog

3D-printed Broad Gauge Carriage, Part IV

3D-printed Broad Gauge Carriage, Part IV

This post is a miscellany of ‘lessons learned’ on my journey to incorporate 3D printing into my railway modelling work-flow   Removing window in-fill   All the carriages I’ve printed so far have an amount of supportive in-fill within the various window apertures. This has proved surprisingly difficult to remove since, although the infill is very thin, it clings very tenaciously to the edges of the window opening. I tried several tools, including small cutting tweezers, wax-ca

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

 

3D-printed Broad Gauge carriage, Part III

After printing my 1854 Composite body and its chassis, described in my previous posts, I turned my attention to making the very similar 2nd class carriage, built to an 1857 design.     Model conversion to 2nd class carriage   The prototype had the same overall dimensions as the Composite, so I decided to see if I could easily ‘convert’ my computer model into this different type.  In essence, all that needed to be changed were the window locations and the compartment partition

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

 

3D-printed Broad Gauge carriage, Part II

In my previous post, I described making a 3D print of a Broad Gauge 1st / 2nd composite carriage, based on a prototype dating from 1854. With a bit of ‘Photoshop’ colouring, the 3D model of the body looks like this:   3D-printed Broad Gauge Carriage Body   After printing the body, I have now turned my attention to the under-frame and running gear.   I have mentioned before the many useful ‘out of copyright’ books that I have found on the web, mostly in the ‘Inter

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

 

3D-printed Broad Gauge carriage

I have already described my halting progress with 3D printing on my other Pre-Grouping blog, with the previous post having been made there on 3rd May.   Since then, I decided to have a go at printing a Broad Gauge carriage of a type I have previously constructed using layered card sides, cut with my Silhouette Portrait machine.  This meant that I had already produced side elevation drawings of my chosen prototype in 4 mm scale.     Thus, my latest ‘build’ was mainl

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

 

A Christmas Special

It’s that time of year again, when Christmas shopping, finding presents for the Grand-children, etc., mean that modelling has to take a back seat for a while. In fact, I seem to have had more than the usual number of distractions from modelling throughout most of the past year.   So, to have a bit of fun and to show that I’ve not forgotten my aim to build ‘Rob Roy’ with its train, I have placed my model of this engine, in its current state, at Trowbridge Station – with a little help from Photo

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

 

Fire Fly valve gear

I joined my grand-children for a visit to ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’ at Didcot Railway Centre on 7th October. During the afternoon, I slipped away for a while, for a look inside the Broad Gauge shed. Fire Fly replica at Didcot After my exploration of early valve gears, while working on my 'Waverley' model, I decided to look at some gear 'in the flesh', so to speak, since I find it hard to read engineering drawings sufficiently well to get a real 'feel' for the hardware,. It's always a bit o

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

 

Luggage Van - Underframe

I notice that I have not written anything here since June and, recently, Mikkel wrote in his blog : "I hope we get to see some more of your BG work soon?" so, here goes:   The heat wave has made my work-room very uncomfortable, so I decided to do a few small jobs on carriages. In my previous entry, I commented unfavourably on the perspex undergear parts in the Broad Gauge Society kit for a luggage van : "I’m not sure why the designers chose this material and method of construction but I may

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

 

Waverley - Adding some Details

Half a year has slipped by since my last post on this blog! I remember those heady days, exploring the possibilities of my new Silhouette cutter, when a week between posts seemed a long time. This model has been a different challenge and there have also been many distractions, including a persistent virus infection through the so-called (very cold) Spring and then, more pleasantly, the arrival of a second grand-son.   I have always described myself as an 'impressionist' modeller, so venturing

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

 

Update on Waverley Valve Gear

Someone once said that “I assume ...” is one of the most dangerous statements that can be made.   In my previous post , I described my study of the valve-gear of early locomotives, starting from the Stephenson ‘Patent’ design, which set the template for much of the first half of the 19th century. I managed to find detailed drawings of the valve gear on Gooch’s Goods locomotives and I assumed that the arrangement in the Waverley class would have been similar – after all, the boilers were of th

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

 

Waverley - Between the Frames

Looking at the frames of my ‘Rob Roy’ model, I realised that there is a very visible ‘yawning gap’ between the frames, which really needs to be filled with something. It never bothered me with ‘narrow’ gauge ‘double-0’ models but a 28 mm gap is a different matter altogether.   The instructions for the Broad Gauge Society (BGS) kit of the Gooch Goods, on which I have based my model, contain very little information beyond: “note: the kit provides for two slidebars per cylinder but it was probabl

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

 

'Rob Roy' on track

I've been putting off cutting out a second set of frames for too long, so have now made a determined effort to finish this task, before the Christmas hibernation period.   Of course, it's always easier the second time and the techniques I'd developed for building frames worked well, the second time around. As before, I printed the drawings that I had made, using Silhouette Studio software, to paste onto brass sheet for use as cutting templates. Once the frames were cut out, I attached strips

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

 

Splashers!

This is a lengthy post, containing a lot of detail about the methods I devised. When I started to write it, I realised that I had already forgotten some of the steps, so I have made this detailed description as a support to my own memory!   From the very start of my plan to construct a model of a Broad Gauge ‘Waverley’ class locomotive, I realised that those bicycle-like splashers were going to be difficult! They are a very prominent part of the locomotive and fit closely around the rims of th

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

 

More Waverley Thoughts

Over two months have passed since I last wrote about my attempts to build a model of a Waverley-class 4-4-0. To re-cap, I have built a boiler, by using the Broad Gauge Society (BGS) kit for a Gooch Standard Goods, and have cut out some inside frames from card, to carry 24-spoke driving wheels taken from a Tri-ang ‘Lord of the Isles’ model. After putting these parts together, rather roughly, I felt that I had achieved an approximation to the appearance of the prototype.   As I continued to look

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

 

Six-wheel Luggage Van - 1861

One of the vehicles I need for my planned 1868 Mail Train is a Luggage Van, which was the last vehicle in the train that was involved in the Bullo Pill accident.   When I noticed that the Broad Gauge Society (BGS) has launched a new series of laser-cut plastic kits, which included an early luggage van, I thought it would be interesting to try building one. As readers of my blog will know, I like to scratch-build as much as possible but there is always a lot to be learned from building kits and

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

 

Simple Carriage Build

As a diversion from the problems I am experiencing in completing my Waverley-class 4-4-0, I have put together a Broad Gauge carriage body, using photo-printed sides.   I have previously described making various standard-gauge coaches by using my Silhouette cutter to cut out several layers, some of which I pre-printed from photographs of actual coaches. I gradually refined and simplified my methods, resulting in the construction of an early Passenger Brake Van (PBV), which I built back

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

 

What big wheels you’ve got!

I reached something of an impasse at the end of my previous entry in this blog. Lots of problems to be addressed but no clear routes to solutions.   Possibly the most striking feature of the ‘Waverley’ class 4-4-0s was their wholly-exposed coupled driving wheels. I therefore felt strongly that this was an aspect that my model had to capture. Unfortunately, there seems to be no commercial source of 24 spoke, 7 foot-diameter driving wheels and, while I fantasised a little about building my own,

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

 

decisions - decisions

It’s a while since I’ve posted anything here and this entry is more in the nature of a ‘placeholder’ than a description of actual progress. It is hard to believe that it’s almost three years since I started building my model of GWR No.184, which was the (standard gauge) locomotive that started my interest in earlier locomotive designs.   That model was a fairly simple build, although I did manage to make some basic errors, largely by failing to understand the compromises needed, when designing

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

 

Smokebox – or Can of Worms

After my previous entry about the Gooch Standard Goods, I had thought that adding the smoke-box would simply be a case of copying the method I had used to fix the firebox. In the event, things were to prove not so simple!   The main parts for the smoke-box comprise front and back plates, a wrapper (with a hole for the chimney) and a ring, described as “boiler ring (back of smokebox)”. A moment’s thought pointed out to me that this ring would have to be threaded around the boiler before attachi

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

 

Next Stage – Making Rolls

In the previous entry, I described my approach to making sandwich frames. While that was only a small part of building a chassis, I decided to change tack and have a look at how the ‘super-structure’ of the Broad Gauge kit goes together. As I have mentioned before, I am considering how the boiler in this BGS kit for the Gooch Standard Goods might be used to create a model of the ‘Waverley’ class 4-4-0.   To put it mildly, the instructions with the kit are somewhat terse in their description

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

 

Making a Sandwich

Having sorted out my ideas about the make-up of the Mail Train involved in the Bullo Pill accident, I have been turning my attention to the locomotives. The Mail Train was headed by one of the big ‘Waverley’ class (a.k.a. ‘Abbott’ class) 4-4-0 engines, for which no model kits are available. The unfortunate cattle train, which the Mail Train ran into, was headed by a Gooch ‘Standard Goods’, for which the Broad Gauge Society (BGS) supply a kit.   The Gooch ‘Standard Goods’ engines were the mos

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

 

Planning a Mail Train

Having ‘cracked’ the main problems with building my Mail Coach, I have started thinking about the other vehicles that made up that ill-fated train. According to the accident report, the engine ‘Rob Roy’ was pulling three passenger carriages, and a luggage van. It is stated that the leading carriage had a break compartment in it, and that the third carriage, which was the mail carriage, also carried a guard.   This leaves me trying to decide what the other carriages might have been. A M

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

 

Broad Gauge Mail Coach - part 5

My progress, since the previous post in this series, has been slower than anticipated, mainly because of the need to build a chassis that deviated from that intended for the BGS kit. I also took a few false turns, which led to a significant amount of re-work.   In the comments following my first post about this coach, I said that I prefer scratch building to kits. I suppose what I really meant is that I like to do things my own way. The down side of the scratch building approach is that it nee

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

 

Broad Gauge Mail Coach - part 4

I’ve been spending quite a lot of time thinking about undergear for my Mail Coach. Apart from building a kit for an N6 Horse Box, which included fairly detailed brake gear, this is an aspect I have tended to ignore in most of my scratch-built models.   I have described myself as an ‘impressionist’ modeller but, somehow, now that I am exploring the Broad Gauge and an earlier period, I feel a certain responsibility to try to be more historically accurate.   The Broad Gauge Society kit instruct

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

 

Broad Gauge Mail Coach - part 3 (research)

Much of what we now accept as standard railway practice was actually developed towards the end of the 19th century, so that it is easy to forget that there was a long period of evolution, before the 'norms' with which we are so familiar became established. Whereas we have plenty of photographs to guide our perceptions of the later years of the century, our 'picture' of the earlier years remains much hazier, so it is easy to lose sight of the many major changes that occurred.   For example, my

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

 

Broad Gauge Mail Coach - part 2

My previous post in this series ended on a 'cliff-hanger' – how was I to escape from the 'hinge' problem?   After a little thought, the solution proved very simple. I used my jewellers' snips to cut a 1mm strip from the edge of some brass sheet and then folded the strip to make three staples, which pressed into the slots on the adjacent compartment doors. It was fortunate that the doors were hung 'back to back' so that the staples could be kept quite short.   I did discover a small problem l

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

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