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Kelvinbank, a Caledonian Railway project.

Entries in this blog

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
A gap filled in.

A gap filled in.

Scenic work is not something I am very good at, but there we are a gap filled. I wanted it to look like one of the old estates that got enveloped by the progress of Glasgow to the west but has yet to be developed. The  result is some lengths of very old boundary wall in some odd locations if you dig about in the area.   Anyway, it fills a gap.       If you are going to have a gate, you might as well have a working one.     Modelling

Dave John

Dave John

A useful timer.

A useful timer.

I have had a couple of weeks sorting out a few problems on the layout. I have had some difficulty with the long crossover to the storage sidings which had decided to get themselves out of gauge a bit. Add to that a couple of other electrical problems and all in all it has taken a while to fix.   Of course getting it all sorted meant running a few trains to test it all. Which led me to improve the traverser control panel a bit. I haven’t really mentioned the traverser much, its not the
Operating the Caledonian

Operating the Caledonian

I have been reading “Operating the Caledonian Railway”, volume one, by Jim Summers. It is an excellent book, explaining many of the technical, economic and social reasons that led the railway to operate in the way that it did, and I have learned a lot from it.   Let me give you an example. Here is a picture of a goods train passing through Kelvinbank. It might be argued that it is a bit on the short side and that there should be a few more sheeted opens, but generally the stock and the

Dave John

Dave John

Cleaning and a wagon.

Cleaning and a wagon.

Time for spring cleaning so I have given the railway room a good  going over this week. Dust accumulates and I’d rather be making stuff but if I don’t keep on top of it I will have twice as much to do as all the stock fills up with fluff. Not to mention all the points, signal and things that just seem to jam up if you don’t.   However essential cleaning is it cannot be described as photographically interesting.   This is a LNWR D 466 open carriage truck made from the 51L etch

Dave John

Dave John

Filling in a gap

Filling in a gap

Mikkel asked what was between the main part of the layout and the Viaduct sections. The simple answer is a gap. The boards need to move towards the window wall to give them enough room to swing round into the room to be worked on, so they stop short of the window wall by a foot or so.       I always had a vague idea that I would build a lightweight scenic extension to take the eye round towards the window. Well, I have finally got round to it. Its mainly made out of foa

Dave John

Dave John

Some sheeted wagons.

Some sheeted wagons.

My wagon fleet is a bit imbalanced. Over the years I have built about 80 wagons and of course I have made the interesting ones. Ok,  I have made quite a few open wagons and a good number of mineral wagons but I have long been aware that those dominated traffic and that the rest of my wagon fleet should make up at most 8% of the total number. Probably about the same sort of figure for any railway company of the period.   So, Plan A . Build about 230 mineral wagons and 150 open wagons an

Dave John

Dave John

A Caledonian ROD 2-8-0 part 2.

A Caledonian ROD 2-8-0 part 2.

All things considered the modifications to the body were straightforward. It all comes apart easily and the plastic seems to work well. The list of things which need to be altered to make a Caledonian version are as follows;   Replace buffers with continental style ones. ( these are from shapeways) Fit westinghouse pump, smokebox rhs. Remove safety valve cover, fit ross pop valves. Square off and slightly reduce chimney height. Reposition and fit single whistle.

Dave John

Dave John

A Caledonian ROD 2-8-0

A Caledonian ROD 2-8-0

Following WW1 the Caledonian, like many other railways, were short of locomotives. They therefore hired 53 surplus Robinson ROD 2-8-0 s from the large pool available locally at NBL . They ran 1919 to 1921. A comprehensive thread is available on the CRA forums   Really it is a decade out of my time period, but Hattons were selling them at low prices so I bought one ( BR, ex GWR version ) just to see what I could do with it.   First off loco chassis. I could buy all the stuff a

Dave John

Dave John

A Dunalastair 1 part 7, in service

A Dunalastair 1 part 7, in service

Well, it has taken a while but there it is. Number 729 is running and in service. As I have said I find painting and lining difficult but it does look reasonable from normal viewing distances. I am pleased with the way it runs, smooth and with quite sufficient tractive effort for my needs. Watching it in motion I think that the closed doors do make a difference, if I make another tender engine I will repeat that bit.   Anyway a few pictures .          

Dave John

Dave John

A motley crew....

A motley crew....

I have been slowly painting and lining the D1. It must be said painting and lining is something I have never been good at. I know how to do it but I just don’t seem to have the artistic flair for it. More than half an hour and my eyesight and hands become two entities with wills of their own, so it might be a while longer while I do the D1 bit by bit.   Mind you, I have no shortage of crew ready to drive it. Figures by Andy Stadden, The close up pic shows me where I need to just correc

Dave John

Dave John

 

A Dunalastair 1 part 6

I made up most of the tender body and then spent a while getting things level. Set the buffer heights and shim the compensation beams so the footplates are lined through. Then place the loco and tender on the tightest curve I have ( about 48 inch radius ) and that gives me the minimum length for the tender - loco drawbar. The Caley coaches tender kit includes these, but the size I needed was between the two. Easily adjusted. I put the whole thing together and ran it up and down for a while. Ten

Dave John

Dave John

 

A Dunalastair 1 part 5

I have got on fairly well with some free time over new year. The last difficult bit of the body was getting the roof soldered on neatly and adding the cab handrails. The spectacles were giving me a bit of grief, and awkward thing to form in brass. So I stopped and thought about it. 10 minutes later I had enough to do a fleet of engines thanks to the silhouette. The dome and chimney from the DJH kit fettled up reasonably, safety valve and whistle are from Caley coaches.   So next step c

Dave John

Dave John

 

A Dunalastair 1 part 4

Getting the boiler and footplate fitted together was a time consuming task. Try, file a bit, try again, file a bit more. When in place I could make the spectacle plate and get the whole thing looking a bit like a D1. So here it is actually sitting on the track. Also seems to pass the push along through points and curves without the wheels fouling the body test. In theory that means the Gibson wheels will be fine.   From the rear with the motor and gearbox in for a trial fit. There is roo

Dave John

Dave John

 

A Dunalastair 1 part 3

Boiler next. Hmm. I had a look at the DJH one and decided to give it a bash. Well, quite a few bashes. Removed the alignment tags which didn’t align, got it in a jig of scrap wood bits and whacked a lot of lowmelt solder at the gaps. I then filled all the bits that needed filling with lowmelt and attacked the whole thing with a variety of knives, sanders and files. Most of the “detail” on the castings was overscale and I would have removed it anyway. So after a fair amount of work I now have a

Dave John

Dave John

 

A Dunalastair 1 part 2

Having got a rolling chassis I turned my attention to the footplate. The one from the kit was unusable so a brass plate cut out and the valance added. Next part, splashers. The DJH Dunalastair 1 is a kit for OO. With EM you need about 23 mm to clear the wheel fronts, the cast wm ones were much too thick to be any use. That also made the cab too wide. I rather think that the kit was always a bit too wide, in EM it was going to be far too wide. There was no way the outer splashers would clear th

Dave John

Dave John

 

A Dunalastair 1 part 1

A very long time ago I bought a second hand Dunalastair 1 DJH kit . Well, it was 18 quid a go complete with a set of Jackson/Romford wheels and an XO4 motor? Plus some other bits. There was even a spare tender in there which ended up behind 583. So why had someone sold it? Well to put it politely the castings were horrible. Looked like they just hadn’t got the whitemetal hot enough and it set while flowing. The footplate was junk, the edges and lip were all over the shop. The boiler was laug

Dave John

Dave John

 

A backscene in place

Well there we are, a backscene in place. I’m not completely happy with it but it is just pictures stuck to cardboard and I can look to improvements over time. Taking a break from it and thinking about it while standing back from it all and running some trains is more likely to inspire me to better things than flogging on with it at the moment. The mirror across the end does give a feeling of depth. Again I think I’ll leave it there for now, if it begins to look wrong I could try and generate s

Dave John

Dave John

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