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About this blog

Mainly GWR/WR modelling in 00

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Fun with Ratio coaches

About ten years ago I came back from Warley with three Ratio Midland clerestory coach kits. My vague intention at the time was to paint and line them in full S&DJR blue livery, possibly with some minor modifcations to the bodies and roofs, just to have a semi-acceptable period-looking train to run behind my one or two S&D blue locomotives. However, time went on and I never got around to it. Eventually I decided that, if I were to go to the trouble of painting and lining a set of coaches,

Barry Ten

Barry Ten

 

Pug improvements

This Dapol pug was one of the first models I bought after returning to the hobby in the mid 1990s. Living in the Netherlands at the time, my purchases were confined to occasional visits to the UK or those few Dutch retailers who sometimes had British stock for sale. This model, if I'm remembering rightly, was bought at one of the big Eurospoor model shows in Utrecht, for the princely sum of 115 Guilders, from the stand of "De Spoorzoeker". This friendly Dutchman (Harry, if I'm also remembering r

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94XX finished

A couple of snaps of my just completed 9449. The camera has cruelly picked up a couple of fingerprints in the weathering which I certainly didn't notice on the model, but will be attended to!   Note also the absence of rivets on the cab step on the lower photo, which was fabricated in plastic since the tatty model I bought second hand didn't have one. I think I'll add some rivets ... so, er, not really finished, strictly, but then they never are.   Cheers!

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Barry Ten

 

Pannier papers

Just a quick update on a couple of RTR-based projects that have featured on here recently and not so recently...   Work continues on my Tri-ang 57XX which as I mentioned a few weeks back has been fitted with a surplus Bachmann chassis. The body is now in that state of maximum tattiness before - hopefully - things start moving in the right direction again!     The top feed and associated plumbing has been carefully removed and the resultant scars addressed

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Barry Ten

 

Fancy a pint?

The last week has seen some relaxing, low-stress scenic modelling around the area of the level crossing. After fiddling around with loco chassis and so on, it's nice to cut loose and just hack away some polystyrene with a kichen knife.   Perhaps the most obvious development here is the sudden arrival of a pub, where previously there was just a steeply sloping hillside. This has caused no end of comment in the King's Hintock parish newspaper, but since the establlshment appare

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Barry Ten

 

SE&CR E1 and a few other loco projects

Just a few brief mentions of some loco projects that have been on and off the workbench this week.   First up, the SE&CR E1 class has had some reworking of its pipework and associated details following the photos in the David Maidment book on Maunsell 4-4-0s. There's not much left to be done now, and I've already started filling and sanding in preparation for the painting.     Next up is this Dean Goods which has been featured on these pages before. A

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Barry Ten

 

SE&CR E1 class - brakes

In possibly the least exciting blog update ever published on RMweb, I've added some brakes to the E1.       There weren't any with the kit so I selected some more or less suitable ones from a Mainly Trains etch of Southern brake gear types. These are supposedly LBSC tender brakes but they look about right based on photos, having a curve to them. Railwells saw me coming back with some nice brass clack valves, as well as a copy of David Maidment's book on M

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Barry Ten

 

SE&CR E1 class - boiler details

I've soldiered on with the DJH E1 class, adding handrails and some boiler fittings.   The instructions are a bit vague, and my available photos a little murky, so I'm going to be prepared to redo some of these pipes when I get a better sense of how they run, for a given loco. Also, I've held off from adding all the DJH castings as some of them look very sketchy, such as the feed connections (I think that's what they are!) that are meant to enter the boiler half way up. P

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Barry Ten

 

South Eastern and Chatham Railway E1 class

Over the last few weeks I've putting together a DJH kit for the SE&CR E1 class.   These were Maunsell's rebuilds of the earlier (and very handsome) Wainwright E class locos.  They were all but identical to the similarly rebuilt D1 class and the kit caters for both variants. All you do (ignoring minor issues of wheelbase and driver diameter) is choose between fluted and plain coupling rods.   I've had the DJH kit in my SABLE-* for some while, and with the Bird class behind

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New signal box and other things

As mentioned, I've built a new signal box to replace the old platform-mounted one for which there was unfortunately no place on the layout following the addition of a bay.     Final exterior detailing is still to be done, but the painting is more or less complete and I think it looks quite smart. I followed the guidelines for signal box painting from the table in Vol 2 of Stephen Williams' GWR branch line books, using dark stone for the woodwork around the windows, and leavi

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Barry Ten

 

Recent developments

This year has seen slow, if steady developments, around the area of the bay and double junction.   The two signals here are both modified Dapol, both of which had failed and were therefore modified and re-equipped with bounce-controlled servos. The platform starter is very low to permit sighting under the footbridge, whereas the bay starter is normal height. The signals are controlled using a Megapoints board, which I thoroughly recommend for ease of use.   Whe

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Barry Ten

 

Fun with 7mm

It's that time of the year when I set out an oval of Peco track and wait for the rain to come in...   Most of it's been on here before but to recap, the loco is a Tower Brass Prairie which I painted, and the wagons, with the exception of the Minerva Iron Mink, are from Slaters and Parkside kits. Still a few more to build!

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Barry Ten

 

GWR Bird class - finishing touches

Bullfinch is just about done, apart from some small but enjoyable final touches such as crew, glazing and some suitable lamps. Here it faces off against City of Truro!  The plates are from 247 Developments and It's numbered for the post-1912 numbering scheme.   The kit has been terrific fun and while the end result is more impressionistic than anything else, it does look different enough to the City to represent the small-drivered 4-4-0s and is certainly a nice runner.   I ca

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Barry Ten

 

GWR Bird class - smokebox extension

I had a spare hour this afternoon, and itchy fingers, so I set about correcting the too-short smokebox. As far as I can gather - and my OS Nock books on GWR 4-4-0s haven't really helped clarify things - it''s the fact that the boiler is superheated which leads to the longer smokebox on the Birds and Bulldogs. From what I could glean from photos, the chimney stays where it is, and all the extra length is ahead of the smokebox saddle. I eyeballed the necessary extension distance, based on photos o

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Barry Ten

 

GWR Bird class - Back in Black

After some snags with the gear-meshing, the Bird is now running nice and freely and I've began priming and tidying up the bodywork ready for painting.     This is after several applications of Games Workshop Chaos Black, which is a very good flat black and excellent for priming and general painting. I found that the bodywork had acquired a lot of scratches and gouges from the process of removing the surface detail, little of which was obvious in the bare plastic state. I see

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Barry Ten

GWR Bird class - running trials

GWR Bird class - running trials

With the major work on the loco complete, the Bird has temporarily borrowed City of Truro's tender for some running trials:       Initial results are quite encouraging from a haulage and general smooth-running point of view, but one thing I'm  struggling with is the outside cranks tending to go out of quarter if I handle the model. They were a very loose fit on the extended axles and the usual Loctite retainer I've used in the past quite successfully doesn't seem
 

GWR bird class - on with the fiddly stuff

As mentioned in the comments to the previous entry, I found that the way I'd put in the motor gearbox resulted in smoother running in reverse than forward. It might have run-in but not willing to take a chance, I bit the bullet and swapped the gearbox from driving on the rear to the front axle, and after some predictable faffing around, was very pleased with the outcome. The loco's now dead smooth at all speed in forward, and only a bit grindy in reverse gear. That's much like the City, which is

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Barry Ten

 

GWR Bird class continued

Progress continues on the Bird class, proving if nothing else that I need to refine my riveting techniques, but I hope the overall effect will be satisfactory once the frames are painted and less attention-grabbing, as they are in plain brass.   The major work on the body is now done, with the cutaway parts of the boiler and firebox reinstated with plastic card and filler, and as seen by the safety valve, I've begun to put back some of the detail.    Minor gaps arou
 

My Bird Performs

With apologies to XTC...       On and off the workbench these last couple of weeks has been a new GWR outside-framed 4-4-0, following my earlier exploits with a City class.   I fancied building one of the Bulldog/Bird/Fllower types with smaller drivers, so an order was placed with Branchlines for their excellent mixed-media kit (also the basis of the City), only this time specifying the 5' 8" driving wheel options. All the other variations are already ca
 

Maudslay ML3 bus plus gratuitous T9

This week's project has been this Maudslay ML3 bus from the very old Peco kit.   I built one of these for my old layout back in the 80s, but for some mysterious reason it never resurfaced when my train stuff finally came out of storage a decade and a half later. Everything else did, but not the bus, which was always considered a bit of a shame as I was fond of the model and reckoned I'd done not too bad a job on it considering my teenage modelling abilities.  

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Barry Ten

 

Double-tracking the layout (with added junction).

Oh well, I've gone and done it now. Not just double-tracking the entire layout, but also removing the old "Winter Module", which to be honest was looking quite tatty after recent work in any case.     Here it is in its glory days; nothing wrong with it as it stood but I'd found that photographically it was very challenging to shoot well, being a sod with regards to exposure and colour balance, as well as not providing quite the number of nice angles I'd hoped for. However, I'd have happily

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Barry Ten

 

Branching off

The addition of a bay platform, as covered in the last entry, begs the question of where the branch trains are meant to go once they travel off around the layout.   There's nothing to stop them going into the fiddle yard and occupying one of the main roads, before reversing direction and coming back out again, but given that there are only six storage roads (plus a few cassettes) it seems a bit wasteful to tie up a whole road with just a railcar or dmu when it could be taking a 7 coach train.

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Barry Ten

 

Platform alteration #2 - adding a bay

As mentioned in the previous thrilling entry, I thought I'd add a bay platform to the layout.   Once the new point was in, I laid some track in a temporary formation and then went through a process of cutting a recess in the old platform and gradually trimming and adjusting both the platform and the track curvature, until I felt that things were satisfactory and a variety of test vehicles were able to enter and exit the bay without clouting anything. These included an Airfix and Bachmann auto-

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Barry Ten

 

Platform alteration

Something that's been brewing for a little while is a plan to add a bay platform and/or loading dock to the down platform, partly to add a little operational interest, but also to enable me to run my 14xx and autocoach and various railcars, which rarely get a spin on the current layout. It seems a waste of a whole storage loop just for a small train or unit, so they only occasionally get put on and given a run, but whenever I do, I find myself wishing I had a way to keep them on a layout. A bay

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Barry Ten

 

Platform extension

Last night I tackled one of those inessential but niggling jobs that I'd been meaning to look at for a while, which was to extend the up platform a bit.   Here's a before shot:     And here's the slightly lengthened platform, which has now been brought forward a bit:     Sorry about the difference in display size; the forum seems to handle images differently if they've been linked to from elsewhere, as opposed to just uploaded.   I cut the old platform back at the point where the r

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