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Captain's Blog

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More RTR running in

Whilst I am waiting for the weathering paint on the 74XX chassis to harden off, together with the matt varnish on the loco body, I've set up my circle of Lima track again, to run a few RTR offerings in.   Yesterday I gave a Hornby W4 Peckett (PoLA blue livery) and a Model Rail Sentinel (WD livery) a good few hours stretch each. Both are destined to be 'military' locos on 'Bethesda Sidings', making occasional trips down the light railway to Bethesda yard. New nameplates were obtained fr
 

Modifying a High Level gearbox

My current project is the conversion of a Bachmann 64XX pannier tank to a 74XX (almost identical, but not auto-fitted and thus much more suited for a goods-only branch in the Welsh borders), which will be used on my new OO layout 'Bethesda Sidings'. I've been posting occasion updates on the project on my layout thread here -  Being generally far too fussy and anal about smooth, slow running for my own good, I have once again found that the Bachmann RTR chassis just doesn't 'cut the mustard
 

Loco changes

Following the sale of my first layout 'Engine Wood' in 2018, there is little, if any work for the large tender engines that used to work on that layout. Most of them are really too large for my remaining S&D layout 'Bleakhouse Road' and aren't suitable for 'Bethesda Sidings' either.   With no realistic prospect of another 'main line' type S&D layout in the offing, I have decided to dispose of one of the largest tender locos, West Country No. 34001 'Exeter'. I am keeping the oth

Captain Kernow

Captain Kernow

 

Helping out on the Southern

I was at Scaleforum last weekend, helping Rod C (10800) and John F (Re6/6) with the massive Ouse Valley Viaduct and Balcombe station layout, representing a chunk of the Brighton main line in P4. It is truly a project on an epic scale, both in size and the understandable gestation period of the layout.   Also of this parish, Brian H (Taz) and Nick R (Brinkly) were also on the team. Although the layout itself is essentially the work of the first two gentlemen (John and Rod) only, both Br

Captain Kernow

Captain Kernow

 

Hattons/DJM 14XX - now completed

I've now finished weathering 1458 and the loco is now considered 'ready for service'.   1458 and 1420 were the two regular locos on the Kington and Presteigne goods services in the early 1960s, until the lines finally closed in 1964. Both continued in service for a few months, with 1420 getting preserved by the Dart Valley Railway and 1458 seeing her days out on the Chalford auto trains, shedded at Gloucester.   In my timeline, the railway beyond Kington to New Radnor was not

Captain Kernow

Captain Kernow

 

A Dean Goods

Whilst the 14XX 0-4-2 is more closely associated with the last years of goods services to Kington and Presteigne, Dean Goods locos did once work through from Rhayader to Leominster, when the through route via Capel Bethesda, New Radnor and Kington was open. It seemed appropriate, therefore, to have an example on the roster for 'Bethesda Sidings', working the occasional goods train from Leominster and back.   I am aware that much has been written about the Oxford Rail model, not all of

Captain Kernow

Captain Kernow

 

New chassis for the Hattons 14XX - Part 5

The project to replace the chassis on my first Hattons/DJM 14XX is now almost complete.   Following the replacement of the number plates and the minor repair to the steam heating pipe arrangements mentioned in previous blogs, I have now painted and weathered the chassis and re-assembled it.   The chassis, minus the driving wheels, was first brush painted with Halfords red oxide primer (sprayed into the aerosol lid). I didn't want to remove the motor and all the associated hassle of excessive

Captain Kernow

Captain Kernow

 

Hattons/DJM 14XX - a small repair

Although I have complained about the Hattons/DJM mechanism and chassis at length, I have never had any major criticisms of the body on this model and this remains the case, apart from the fact that you have to dismantle the body, in order to get the Hattons/DJM motor out, without resorting to the use of a mains Dremel.   The level of detailing is very fine and some of the components are, by their very nature, somewhat delicate.   The pipe runs along the edge of the footplate are a case in po

Captain Kernow

Captain Kernow

 

Renumbering the Hattons/DJM 14XX

I decided to re-number my Hattons/DJM 14XX today.   Much has been said about the 'sunken' number plates adopted by DJ Models for GW prototypes (14XX, 1363) and I have to say that I have yet to meet anyone who likes them.   Some folk have decided that they're happy to live with the 'sunken' plates, which is fine.   Those who need to re-number their model, however, have a choice - either remove the existing 'sunken' plates or simply stick new ones over the top of them.   It's been said by

Captain Kernow

Captain Kernow

 

New chassis for the Hattons 14XX - Part 4

It's been a while since the last blog entry and part of the reason for that has been my having to devote time to a fairly major DIY job at home, which is thankfully now more or less completed.   The previous entry had concluded with a virtually operational chassis, which required detailing.   The brake gear was indeed added at this stage:   By this stage, all the work involved in modifying the Hattons/DJM body to fit the (also modified) Perseverance chassis had been done and in many ways,

Captain Kernow

Captain Kernow

 

New chassis for the Hattons 14XX - Part 3

Further work on the chassis has seen a rolling chassis, now powered by a Mashima 1220 and a slim flywheel and the High Level gearbox 'lash-up' that I described earlier.   Pick ups haven't been fitted yet, so the chassis has been tested on the still-embryonic 'Bethesda Sidings' with some very thin wander leads attached directly to a hand-held controller:       I'm pleased to say that I have now finally got the nice, smooth, slow speed control that I have always wanted for this loco. Th

Captain Kernow

Captain Kernow

 

New chassis for the Hattons 14XX - Part 2

I concluded the previous blog entry on this subject by saying that the next job would be to fettle the Perseverance frames to fit the Hattons/DJM body. These are the frames as provided on the Perseverance etch:   And separated from the fret:   The 'topography' of the underside of the Hattons/DJM footplate moulding called for some initial modifications to the tops of the Perseverance frames:   Further adjustments were subsequently made, particularly with regard to removing additional met

Captain Kernow

Captain Kernow

 

New chassis for the Hattons 14XX

I've been expressing my dissatisfaction with the chassis and mechanism of the Hattons/DJM 14XX for some time now and I have finally started to do something about it.   The background to this is that I need a 14XX as the 'signature' loco for my new 'cameo' shunting layout 'Bethesda Sidings', which is a fictitious location on a proposed-but-never-built GW route between New Radnor and Rhyader in Mid-Wales. With the addition of the outrageously improbable 'Vale of Radnor Light Railway' joining the

Captain Kernow

Captain Kernow

 

7mm test track

I've been diverted slightly from the construction of 'Bethesda Sidings' by the desire to get my 7mm test track up and running. I could easily have gone out and bought a yard of Peco track, but I wanted to build some myself, using some copper clad sleepers that I had.   First of all, the copper clad sleepers (spare 4mm ones) were cut to length and laid out on a piece of flat board, with a straight line drawn on to help things:   As this is only a test length of track, I didn't go for standar

Captain Kernow

Captain Kernow

 

A J72 for Bethesda Sidings - Part 3

It's been a while since the previous blog entry covering the refurbishment of this loco and in fact, the remaining work was completed fairly soon after the previous blog entry, but I've just not got around to posting the remaining photos.   'Jennifer' portrays an ex-LNER J72 that was sold-out-of-service to the Vale of Radnor Light Railway, which is an outrageously improbable line that ran to Capel Bethesda station on the line between New Radnor and Rhayader in Mid-Wales, near the English borde

Captain Kernow

Captain Kernow

 

Benefits of rolling road

I've had a rolling road for some time, but have always preferred to run locos in on a circle of track, in both OO and P4 gauges.   My 16XX (built from the old Cotswold kit, now available again from SE Finecast) was constructed a few years ago, but I've never been completely happy with the running.   I had given it what I considered to be a 'good running in' (several hours, all told) on my circle of P4 track, which has to be laid out on newspapers on the floor, but that didn't improve the qua

Captain Kernow

Captain Kernow

 

A J72 for Bethesda Sidings - Part 2

So now to the details of the chassis build.   This blog is essentially about putting a replacement etched chassis kit under an existing RTR body, but it's also about me finally realising a desire to get this long-standing loco running properly.   I do like Perseverence chassis kits. They are pretty straightforward and simple to build, they have helpful tabs and slots for the frame spacers (should you choose to use the manufacturers recommended configuration) and are, in my view, entirely ade

Captain Kernow

Captain Kernow

 

A J72 for Bethesda Sidings - part 1

Background   Having completed my first new loco for several years, namely the 'Planet' diesel, which will form the 'modern image' motive power for the Vale of Radnor Light Railway and still not being in a position to build the baseboards for 'Bethesda Sidings', my thoughts have turned to providing one of the steam locos for this outrageously improbable light railway.   All the locos of the VoRLR are authorised by the Western Region Sectional Appendix to run into the BR yard at Bethesda Sidin

Captain Kernow

Captain Kernow

 

Building the Roxey 'Planet' - Part 4 - completing the loco

Having got to the stage where the loco was running more or less to my satisfaction, it was time to finish the work on the body, paint the loco and weather it.   Part of the cab floor area had to be removed to accommodate the High Level gearbox:   Even though this probably wasn't going to be too visible, especially once a portly driver was installed, I decided to box the gearbox in with plasticard, to represent a kind of 'control desk':   All very basic stuff and it was indeed scarcely vi

Captain Kernow

Captain Kernow

 

Building the Roxey 'Planet' - Part 3 - getting it running

One thing I will say about the Roxey 'Planet' kit, is that is relatively easy to build, especially if you are happy to stick with the Tenshodo 'Spud' motor bogie option. Being whitemetal gives it the advantages of having some decent weight about it and also giving the builder the option to glue the main body components together, instead of soldering.   It is arguably a good 'starter kit' for someone wanting an industrial diesel and something with a bit of character. DJH do a 'starter kit' for

Captain Kernow

Captain Kernow

 

Building the Roxey 'Planet' - Part 2

With regard to this project, I wasn't planning on going into loads of detail about what this kit was like to build, as there are already two threads on RMWeb by others who have also done so. One is by Paul G ('5050') and the other by Gordon A ('Steamraiser'). Paul's thread can be found here - http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/97619-the-next-project-roxey-planet/ and Gordon's thread is on the older version of RMWeb, and can be found here - http://www.rmweb.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.ph

Captain Kernow

Captain Kernow

 

Building the Roxey 'Planet' - Part 1

A few years ago, I bought a whitemetal kit for a Hibberd 'Planet' 0-4-0 diesel, as produced by Roxey Mouldings. At the time, I intended to build it in P4, as (yet another) industrial loco to work into 'Callow Lane'.   The kit was originally intended to be used with a Tenshodo 'Spud' motor bogie, with a wheelbase of 24.5mm.   I'm no great fan of the 'Spuds' and in view of the fact that I originally wanted to build it in P4, I was pleased to hear that High Level had produced a bespoke 'Quad Dr

Captain Kernow

Captain Kernow

 

Running the 14XX in

Having received my most attractive-looking 14XX from Hattons last week, I have finally got round to running it in, as per the instructions provided with the loco.   I have added lubrication to the two locations under the chassis keeper plate, and also to the coupling rod bearings, as per the instructions.   I did test it briefly yesterday, but it wasn't a particularly good slow speed runner 'straight from the box'.   I have cut out a circle of Daler board this morning, to lay my circle of

Captain Kernow

Captain Kernow

 

Final test of the tandem turnout

Having now glued all the cosmetic half chairs onto this copper-clad point, I tested it with a few locos this afternoon, to ensure that I had cut the inner chairs down sufficiently to ensure that Bachmann etc. flanges wouldn't foul them.   Here is Peckett 'Plantagenet', which has RP25 wheels running over the point:   Ex-LNER J72 'Charlotte', sold to the NCB, may occasionally be found on hire to the outrageously improbably light railway that will have running powers into the BR goods yard on

Captain Kernow

Captain Kernow

 

Testing the tandem turnout

Further to my previous blog entry, I've now completed the construction of an A5 'right-hand' crossover in OO-SF for the new goods only shunting layout that I'm planning.   I was going to build another two A5 points for the entry to the yard, but most fortuitously found a tandem turnout that my good friend John (Re6/6) had scratchbuilt for me a few years ago.   John's tandem turnout had never originally been intended for this new goods-only shunting layout, of course. A few years ago, I had b

Captain Kernow

Captain Kernow

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