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Kelvinbank, a Caledonian Railway project.

Entries in this blog

CR D38 Glass wagon part 1

I seem to be in a wagon building mood these days. Dunno whether I’m locked down, locked up or or which tier of the cake I’m on, so wagon building is a cheap and time consuming activity.   Now it might be argued that I’m getting my ratios wrong again, too many unusual wagons and not enough of the bread and butter diagrams. I’d agree, but the fun is in the odd stuff. I therefore decided to have a shot at one of the 1896 built D38 glass well wagons. Decent pics in the wagon books and a di

Dave John

Dave John in General

Wagons, real and imaginary.

An odd title you make think, but I shall explain.   Firstly the real one. The CR had large numbers of pig iron wagons, in practice used whenever a low sided wagon was needed. Another of those general types you can never have enough of. This example is built from the 51L kit, though I have used my usual method of a copperclad sub chassis for the W irons and sprung buffers.           Ok, the imaginary wagon. I mentioned that I cut some extra bits when

Dave John

Dave John in General

CR Dia 25 Lime wagon, part 2

For various reasons this one has taken a while to finish. I had a bit of a fight with the lettering, harsh closeups show my errors.   I wanted to weather it as photographed in the wagon book with the lime getting well into the grain of the timber. That was done with rotring white ink and powders, my lack of weathering skills shows up, but it gives the right overall impression I think.   A few pictures in the on the layout;          

Dave John

Dave John

CR Dia 25 Lime wagon, part 1

Back at the bench again. The Caledonian built 40 Dia 25 lime wagons from 1886 to 1888. They were essentially a Dia 22 mineral wagon with a roof.     The CRA do a drawing of it, which gives the wb as 8’6’’.  I don’t think that is correct. The Dia 25 is essentially a Dia 22 mineral wagon with a roof, and they are definitely a 7’9” wb. The Diagram book gives the Dia 25 wb as  7’9” as well.   So I scanned in pics of both types of wagon, scaled them to size and superimposed t

Dave John

Dave John

When I'm cleaning windows.....

There are some things which just don’t scale, no matter what you do the real thing looks wrong in model form. Smoke and water are the obvious ones, but I’l add another. Dust. Scaled down they are not particles, they are lumps.   So I have been enjoying running the railway a bit, collecting info and deciding what to build next. However I couldn’t help noticing that the station had become a bit dusty and once you have noticed it it sticks in your eye. Time for some cleaning, after all we

Dave John

Dave John

A CR 670 Class part 6. In service at last.

There are times when I can see the appeal of BR unlined black. About half way through decorating the No. 252 was one such occasion. However bit by bit it all came together. The final result is a bit bright, but the brass does tend to develop a patina of its own over time. As ever close photos show errors the eye misses and it needs some builders plates as well.   A few pics ;                        

Dave John

Dave John

A CR 670 Class part 5

The correct gears arrived and so with a fully assembled and tested gearbox I have been able to push ahead. Soldering needs a bit of a clean up, but thats the chassis built up and running smoothly. Driving the front wheelset means I can have a compensation beam at the rear. The kit suggests driving the centre axle, since driving the front axle would mean losing the view through under the boiler. However by using a roadrunner box and an extender with a narrow motor I was able to get the motor righ

Dave John

Dave John

CR D27 machinery wagon , part 2

Well, there we are, a slap of paint makes all the difference.   Rivets are Archers, easy to apply and they make a big difference on a model like this. No idea what is under that sheet, but it is heavy so this wagon moves as if it does have 16 tons on top. The chains and shackles were fiddly, but add to it all I think.           Catching a bit of evening light.       You can see that this wagon is properly scotched. The

Dave John

Dave John

CR D27 machinery wagon , part 1

Progress on the 670 is delayed at the moment until I get the parts for the gearbox. Can’t be helped, difficult times slow things down.   Anyway, I need to build something. I had a browse through drawings and books and settled on a D27 Machinery wagon. ( the CRA does sets of wagon drawings on a cd )    So with a bit of luck here is one I can make from the stuff I have.  The body is laminated from 10 thou styrene cut on the silhouette. Bit of an odd wagon, big plates on the sid

Dave John

Dave John

A CR 670 Class part 4

The engine body is not far off complete. A close photo shows areas that need some cleaning up. The gap between the rear of the boiler and the cab needs to be filled, the cab is square to the footplate so I’m not sure how that bit of drift happened.   As you see there are a lot of holes, but I have the pipework bent to shape ready to go on post painting.       The frames are ready to go. The cylinders have been moved out slightly and solid brass cross pieces an

Dave John

Dave John

A CR 670 Class part 3

I am awaiting some parts for the engine, so I thought I would push on with the tender.   The kit does provide all the spacers and a basic compensation beam for the tender chassis. But as usual I have odd ideas about these things. So the chassis sides are adapted for High Level hornblocks and then connected by a length of double sided copperclad. This gives two large lands on the top for pickups and suppression components.     The semi circular compensation beam wou

A CR 670 Class part 2

I have made a decent start on the body.   The boiler is in two parts, I would have preferred the boiler etch to go all the way to the smokebox front and have the firebox wrapper go round that. Way round it was to find a bit of tube the right diameter and make a ring to support the smokebox wrapper and solder that to the smokebox front. The boiler and its spacer band can then be formed to the diameter of the tube and just slide into the wrapper.   Someone will tell me I ought

A CR 670 Class part 1

Sometimes you have to treat yourself. All the better if it supports the hobby as a whole. So I think a bit of loco building is in order.   One of these from a caley coaches kit.     Many thanks to Jim of Caley Coaches for getting it to me so efficiently, and to AGW and High Level for wheels and gearbox.   The 670s were built in two lots and had a varied history with several rebuilds and swapping of tenders. Numbering is the usual Caley nightmare, indeed N

A corner improved

I have added a bit of scenic detail to that corner. Much improved in taking the eye round at the end of the viaduct. I am going to have a go a tree making to disguise the rather abrupt end of that big retaining wall, but for now thats the layout back together and some trains running again.    A couple of rough snapshots.         Hope everyone is managing in these strange times.         

Dave John

Dave John

Round the corner or round the bend ?

I have been with pottering on with the far corner of the layout, signals are installed, then unplugged and a lightweight scenic extension knocked up from foamboard and card. All a bit rough at the moment, but taking shape. I think it will enhance that corner and take the eye round to the storage yard in a more transitional way. Some sort of wooded area perhaps.           I also painted a couple of figures and added them to this very odd thing that I made quite

Dave John

Dave John

Some more plugin signals.

So like many I’m stuck inside unable to work, so keeping optimistic I’ll treat it as a rehearsal for retirement. Time to take stock, have a good dig through all the boxes and see what I have available to make things with.   Signal parts come on frets or bags of several bits. Of course all the spare bits are put away, so having sorted through them I realised that I had enough bits for a couple more signals. An ideal project, fiddly and time consuming. Takes the mind off other things.

Dave John

Dave John

Caledonian Railway pre-diagram open wagons.

These are made from the latest True Line Models resin body produced by the CRA. Many thanks to all involved.   The description pre-diagram means that they were built bfeore the introduction of the official diagram book and therefore don’t have a diagram number. More details here;   https://www.crassoc.org.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=1479   I have built them in my usual way, copperclad sub chassis, rocking W irons, internal sprung buffers, all the bits from 51L

Dave John

Dave John

CR Stevens pattern dropflap signals

A pair of these control movements across the trailing crossover beyond the platforms. The Stevens pattern dropflap signals themselves are the 51L etch, I had them powered with a servo via a linkage. It was designed to cope with servo overthrow under transient conditions, but it didn’t. So for quite a while now they have been cosmetic. Time for a rebuild.   The signals are mounted on a bit of double sided copperclad with some 6mm U section brass on the other side. The flap and conterwig

Dave John

Dave John

A Lampmans hut.

Following the excellent discussion on the storage of lamp oil I have built a combined lampmans hut and coal store.   A dimensioned sketch of the type favoured by the Lanarkshire and Ayrshire ( and other CR lines built later on ) can be found in "Signalling the Caledonian" by Jim Summers. A very common feature in many stations and yards, clearly having a separate small building for maintaining signal and general lamps would minimise damage by fire should an accident occur.   

Dave John

Dave John

A pair of brake wagons in service.

Some photos of the brake wagons. Both have a rather rough appearance, but I doubt they were high up the list for maintenance.     I have made a few guesses about the final finishing.   Firstly, I’m not sure about the running numbers. I know that No. 185 was of this type so I have just used a couple of close low numbers. Being built on early wagon frames they might just have been painted on rather than having number plates.   Secondly, it was CR practice t

Dave John

Dave John

A pair of brake wagons , part 2

I have pushed on a bit with the brake wagons, just about ready for some primer. They are small, but I have managed to get enough weight in there for them to run smoothly enough and keep the compensation working properly.   Here’s a harsh picture of the underside, nothing particularly special but the use of a copperclad sub chassis does give decent fixings for W irons, ajs and the buffer springs and allowed me to get a slab of 1mm brass in as a spacer. Brake gear is a chopped up etch fr

Dave John

Dave John

A brake wagon, or two.....

Happy new year to everyone.   So not one for celebrations and fed up with the dead time twixt Christmas and New year I decided to make something. I looked about and ferreted in various boxes, what did I have at my disposal? One last sheet of 10 thou styrene. An idea formed, a brake wagon. Something that has been sitting in the back of my head for a while. So I dug out the wagon book, scanned and sized the the drawing and re-read the section about them in the book and the CR forum.

Dave John

Dave John

Dreaming of a blue Christmas.

I wish everyone a good Christmas with a chance to drive a few trains and enjoy some modelling time.   So here we are, a Christmas special.             Many thanks for all the encouragement, discussion, hints and tips you have all contributed. I enjoy reading and learning from RMweb, keeps my enthusiasm going.   All the best, Dave.

Dave John

Dave John

Playing with sound, part 2

Well, there it is. I made up a circuit that plays one of nine tracks at random, with selectable intervals. Two sounds can be triggered by the IR detectors which will go out of sight beyond the end of the layout. A whistle as a train enters the station and a different one as a train approaches the traverser.   The whole lot is sat neatly in  an old pa amplifier case with its own mains power supplier. This seems to make it immune from transients on the railway itself triggering sounds. T

Dave John

Dave John

Playing with sound.

Sound on model railways tends to be a bit of a contentious issue. Some folk love it, others hate it. I’m not sure. Many would advocate the dcc and on board sound route, when done well I’d agree it can be very impressive. Well, it could be if anyone starts doing sound chips for CR locos.   A decade or so back I had a go with dcc. No technical issues, I got it all to work but I really didn’t like it. My mistake was probably to use a Bachmann dynamis controller. I just didn’t get on with

Dave John

Dave John

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