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Kelvinbank, a Caledonian Railway project.

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A CR 670 Class  part 3

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

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

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

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 ?

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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.....

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.

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

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.

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

The western corner

The western corner

I have been sorting out the western end of the layout so the boards have been wheeled out for access. Getting a bit chilly this time of year so pvas do take a while to dry for the scenic stuff.   Anyway, a few pics of that corner. I’m not entirely happy with the brick gable end of the factory. I keep an eye open for something more suitable but as ever its the problem of getting a good square on photo of it.           At least the trains a

Dave John

Dave John

A signal box completed.

A signal box completed.

There we are , a completed signal box. I am happy with the way it turned out, a fair amount of modelling involved.   So some shots of the box in general.             I have tried to make the inside reasonably detailed. All those windows make it very visible and I think it was worth the effort. I may have got some of the details wrong, but given the information I have it looks the part. I also found a photo of a locking frame and put

Dave John

Dave John

Some signal box parts.

Some signal box parts.

I have been making some more of the parts for the signal box. My idea is to generate a set of pre-painted assemblies which all sort of go together neatly at the end. Best laid plans….     So a snapshot of the main structure. Lower walls will be brick on this one. The 4 bits in the soffit are steel.     Those steel bits are there to catch the magnets in the roof section. The open rectangle they are on allows a bit of down flex at the corners .  

Dave John

Dave John

Starting a signal box.

Starting a signal box.

The signal box on Kelvinbank consists of a photo of Boness box stuck to a light bulb box. Ok, its the right style and size, but time to make something a bit more accurate.   So the silhouette has been busy. The windows are all done as a single layer, the frames both sides laminated onto that. Cutting all those soffit brackets took a while, but I’d never manage it by hand. This is the second attempt, I got my dimensions wrong on the go.       Some brickwork for

Dave John

Dave John

CR 29 class in service and shunting.

CR 29 class in service and shunting.

Well there we are, No. 203 in service. It looks all right from a distance, but harsh close ups show my lining inabilities. I did try some of the 2 part Fox transfers where you overlay black on a red/white line, but I just couldn’t get them to look right. The CR red/black/white was subtle with fine lines, hopefully one day a transfer maker will take pity on us.         Then again what matters is how it runs. These engines were built for trip and shunting work,

Dave John

Dave John

CR 29 class, a conversion,  part 1

CR 29 class, a conversion, part 1

Many years ago I made a CR 782 class from the SE finecast kit. There are some pictures of in in service in some earlier blog posts. The basic whitemetal body was fine, pretty accurate and it went together well. It was getting to look very tired, needed a repaint and some details were the worse for knocks and being stuck back badly.   I was never entirely happy with the chassis. Centre axle drive, semi rigid with slightly rocking outer axles. Never picked up really well, too highly gear

Dave John

Dave John

A bit of a cliche......

A bit of a cliche......

Fair enough, I know its a bit of a model railway cliche but the only place I could put the bus to get a picture was on the bridge.   So there we are, more of a minibus than a full sized one. By the Edwardian era trams were very much the commonest public transport but I have seen pictures of this sort of small bus in the area. I think they were effectively used as a family sized taxi with seating for about six people at a push. It is based on a Scale Link etch, the figures are Andy Stad

Dave John

Dave John

Some shots in the dark.

Some shots in the dark.

It was gloomy yesterday so I turned the layout lights on and tried running a few trains in the dark. Daft, but oddly fun.   Anyway, a few random pics of variable quality. The station in general, I need to lightproof the roof more next time it is off.               This is a lucky pic. I cant really see the from of the station building so its just done by point the camera at the mirror on the end of the layout and hoping. T

Dave John

Dave John

Another go at a sheeted wagon

Another go at a sheeted wagon

Another go at a sheeted wagon. Fair criticism of the way my early attempts at roping sheets down led me to consider a more realistic way of doing things.   Looks a bit better in terms of roping, but I think I could improve the sit of the sheet itself.               The starting point is a CR D15 dropside whitemetal kit from 51L. This is made up in my normal fashion. However in order to tie the ropes down I needed to fit cleats to the

Dave John

Dave John

A simple scotch derrick.

A simple scotch derrick.

Right, back to some modelling. I have said painting is not my forte, add full size painting to that too. Anyway, a scotch derrick. I made this a long time ago for the previous layout, but I haven’t got round to fitting it since its a bit vulnerable as it is towards the front of the layout.   Scotch derricks are a simple crane, they were used in large numbers throughout the railways and industry in general. Drawings of the size preferred by the CR were published in “The true line “ and

Dave John

Dave John

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