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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

Adding Cladding

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

Building 'Tantalus' - Part Three

Building 'Tantalus' - Part Three

At the end of the previous Part, I wrote that I intended to turn my attention to the chassis. Before that, I had broken off from work on the chassis, to give some thought to the problems posed by the curved splashers over the driving wheels.   Now that I have proven the technique of ‘hybrid’ construction, combining traditional etched brass model-making with 3D-printing, I’ve decided to pursue similar methods for the chassis. For wheels, I recovered a spare set from a ‘Mainline’ Dean Go
Building 'Tantalus' - Part Two

Building 'Tantalus' - Part Two

Having acquired some confidence in making 3D extrusions from 2D drawings, I decided it was time to move on and try something slightly more ambitious.   While there are many good things about building engines from sheet brass – after all, the real things are made from metal – there are limitations when it comes to making components with significant depth or complex surface detail. Although it was an interesting challenge to complete the firebox and smoke-box from the BGS Gooch Goods kit

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

Building ‘Tantalus’ - Part One

Building ‘Tantalus’ - Part One

The goods train involved in the ‘Bullo Pill’ accident, which is described in some detail in the Accident Report, was headed by the locomotive ‘Tantalus’ and comprised 20 cattle wagons, plus a third-class carriage at the rear, in which 8 drovers and the guard were travelling.   ‘Tantalus’ was built in November 1862, in the last lot of those engines which, together, comprised Gooch’s ‘Standard Goods’ design. The name ‘Tantalus’ was taken from a figure in Greek mythology, whose name lives

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

A Tender for 'Rob Roy' - 2

A Tender for 'Rob Roy' - 2

Having suitably ‘girded my loins’, I decided to make a start on the under-frame for my Broad Gauge tender, initially described in my previous post.   Drawing of Gooch 6-wheel Tender   The section of the Instructions relating to ‘Frames and Spring Hangers’ starts by stating “Decide the type of brake gear to be modelled”. Not knowing much about such things, I set off in search of more information and the instructions helpfully referred me to ‘A Study of GWR Tenders, Broa

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

A Tender for 'Rob Roy' - 1

A Tender for 'Rob Roy' - 1

It’s been some time since I last tackled an etched brass kit, after spending most of my time recently in learning about 3D printing and, before that, Silhouette cutting. I had to refresh my memory on ‘the rules of the game’!   I bought the Broad Gauge Society kit (FL07) for a 6-wheel tender some time ago and have only just got around to its assembly. I was pleased to see that the instructions start with the reminder that “… some parts are a little over scale due to limitations of the d

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

Wooden Goods Brake Van

Wooden Goods Brake Van

In a previous post, I commented that I felt I was getting the hang of 3D-modelling. That didn’t mean that I can’t still get into a mess and sometimes things happen in ‘Fusion 360’ for which I have no explanation. For example, I was approaching the final stages of the chassis I shall describe below and found that one of the complete axle-box assemblies had moved about a centimetre from its proper place on the sole-bar. Back-tracking through the history made no difference, as the software seemed t

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

Wheels for my Wagons

Wheels for my Wagons

I got something of a shock when I saw the current price of Broad Gauge wheel-sets so that started me thinking about 3D-printed wheels. I realised that I wouldn’t be able to make metal rims but it could be a way of making basic wagon wheels in bulk.   Many early GWR wagons used the form of wheel ascribed to Losh and Bell, in which wrought iron spokes were cast into the hub and wrapped around the inside of the wheel rim, to give the characteristic appearance shown in the following illust

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

Open-top Cattle Wagon

Open-top Cattle Wagon

Whoo-hoo  – I seem to be getting the hang of 3D modelling, at least for simple shapes like carriages and wagons.  Whereas I had some infuriating moments when designing my first cattle wagon model, its open-top cousin has proceeded with scarcely a hitch.   I decided to follow exactly the same procedure that I used for my first wagon : floor and ends as one ‘body’ and individual sides as two separate ‘bodies’. After printing these separately, I used a soldering iron, set to 200°C, to ‘we

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

3D-Printed Cattle Wagon - 3

3D-Printed Cattle Wagon - 3

Building the Chassis   This is an addendum to my previous post about building a Broad Gauge cattle wagon body. Although I built a chassis at that stage, I found the construction was too light and would not support wheel-sets adequately. I should have remembered that I had the same problem with the first design I did for a carriage chassis, so this post is an aide memoire to help me avoid the same mistakes again.   My chassis is basically a rectangle to fit under the body, wit

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

3D-Printed Cattle Wagon - 2

3D-Printed Cattle Wagon - 2

Following my previous post, where I showed how I made a cattle truck side, I have followed a rather convoluted route to arrive at a model of the complete body.   I could have printed a flat floor and some ends and then pieced all the parts together but I got caught up in the idea of trying to print the whole body in one go. I soon abandoned this idea, when I realised it was going to involve a lot of support structures for the various horizontal openings, but I did get as far as forming

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

3D-Printed Cattle Wagon - 1

3D-Printed Cattle Wagon - 1

As I wrote in the previous post, I found plenty of inspiration from my research into Broad Gauge cattle wagons. It gave me the impetus to move straight on with the design of a 3D-printed model.   Whereas I created my 3D printed carriages by extruding the carriage from one end, I felt that the sides of these wagons might be better printed while lying flat on the printer bed. This would mean assembling the wagon from separate parts for the sides and ends, mounted on a rectangular base, r

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

Broad Gauge Cattle Train

Broad Gauge Cattle Train

Now that I have completed my research into, and constructed models of, the Mail Train that is described in the BoT Accident report of 1868, regarding the collision near Bullo Pill on the South Wales line, I am turning my attention to the Goods Train.   my Mail Train models, based on accident report from Bullo Pill 1868   According to the accident report, the goods train was headed by the locomotive ‘Tantalus’ and comprised 20 cattle wagons, plus a third-class carriage a

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

3D-printed Modelling Tool

3D-printed Modelling Tool

For some time, I have been feeling dissatisfied with the shaping of the frames on my model of the broad gauge engine ‘Rob Roy’ but couldn’t think of any ways to improve them, with the limited tools that I have.  The construction of my model is described earlier in my blog.     Recently I started to think about whether my 3D-printer might be able to help. I do like engines to be made of metal, so a complete plastic print wasn’t my favourite option, although I did find it a us

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

 

A 'Virtual' Distraction

A new distraction has been keeping me away from the modelling bench. There’s not much ‘Broad Gauge’ in this post except that it was triggered by spotting this entry  in Annie's Virtual Pre-Grouping Layout & Workbench thread     I’d never given much attention to train simulators before, although I have done quite a lot with the Microsoft Flight Simulator. Now, prompted by Annie’s posts, I felt that I should look more closely, so I followed her suggestion to try downloading Tra

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

A Matter of Colour

A Matter of Colour

I’m currently pondering what colour I should use for the body of my Broad Gauge ‘Rob Roy’.  References to the colour originally used on Broad Engines declare it to have been ‘Holly Green’ but opinions differ on what shade that name represents.   According to Christopher Awdry’s book: ‘Brunel’s Broad Gauge Railway’, the Boiler Cladding was ‘Holly Green (Dark Blue/Green)’ until 1881, after which ‘Chrome Green’ was adopted. (he quotes the Broad Gauge Society as the source of this informat

MikeOxon

MikeOxon

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

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

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

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


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