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About this blog

My various attempts at modeling and building bits for layouts

Entries in this blog

 

Absent but not idle

I realised it had been a long time since I last did an update when Daniel asked me if I was planning to post about our recent weekend at Missenden Abbey. I decided that before doing that I really should do an update on the things that I have been up to between the spring Missenden Weekend and the Autumn weekend.   At the spring weekend I took a break from my usual locomotive construction topic and spent the weekend with Ian Rathbone in the painting and lining room. This is not a subject I am g

GWMark

GWMark

 

Desperately Trying to Finish Things

As I said in my previous post I am now less than a week away from my next Missenden weekend, this time I am down to do painting and lining with Ian Rathbone, so my plan is to try to get as many of my current projects ready to be painted, at least in some state. So I have spent much of the weekend, and last week, doing those last little jobs, you know, all those things you have been putting off because they are fiddly. In my mind at east none of them would take long, but of course I was deluding

GWMark

GWMark

 

Preparing for Missenden

It's less than two weeks to go before the Missenden Abbey Spring Railway Modellers weekend. This year, in a break from tradition I am booked on the painting and lining course with Ian Rathbone. My chance to learn to finish my models from probably the best around. Although rather daunting I am looking forward to hopefully gaining some new skills. To this end I thought I should try to finish a few items to the state that I can try to paint them at Missenden, time allowing.   My Black Hawthorn wa

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GWR Diagram R2 - first coach kit

I'm not normally a builder of coaches, although there is no real reason for this, just that I got hooked on building locos and the occasional wagon. As part of my desire to finish some of those long started and put aside projects I pulled this Blacksmiths coach kit out of the cupboard. I was given this for Christmas many years ago and got as far as doing a fold and soldering the two ends before realising I had messed up by not putting the tumblehome in the ends. Annoyed with myself at making a m

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Successful attachment - GWR Steam Railmotor movement

Following on from my previous post regarding the day Daniel and I spent in Princes Risborough working on valve gear, tonight I cleaned and degreased my eccentric cranks before having another go at attaching them to the ends of the crankpins. This time I used cyno rather than loctite and I appear to have had more success. So now I have all the valve gear attached and the rail motor runs with the rods all moving as they should, maybe not exactly as the prototype, but the best that can be arranged

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A day of mixed motions

Today Daniel and I spent the day in Princes Risborough community centre at the club's modelling Saturday. We both choose to spent the day working of value gear, in my case the valve gear of my NuCast GWR Steam Railmotor and Daniel on the inside motion for his Finney Hall.   In my case it was adding the cylinder covers, soldering the slide bars and adding the eccentrics. It all went really well, with the exception of the eccentrics that just would not stay attached to the crankpin end. I must h

GWMark

GWMark

 

Daniel's Various Project

I realised after Captain Kernow's comment on my last post that I had not been true to my word and posted some of my son's projects. So this post is really to redress that. I apologies for the heavy photo content. These are things Daniel has put together either at the Missenden weekends or when he was at home from University during the summer.   The first item has been here before, at least in incomplete form, it's the High Level Hawthorn Leslie that he has been building. All finally ready for

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Neilson 12" Mineral

Not to forget my other project, and true to the promise I made myself about not starting new projects until I finished some of the ongoing ones, I have fitted the crossheads and connecting rods to my High Level 12" Neilson that I have been building at Missenden Abbey.   It's not running perfectly yet, but I did some fetling this evening and have improved it somewhat.     Still some way to go before I am happy and will attach the rest of the bits - I have assemblies for the brake gear an

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GWMark

 

An old project resurrected

The very first locomotive kit, if you can call it a locomotive, was a NuCast Steam Railmotor. In retrospect this was a poor choice for a first kit and could easily have put me off kit building for life, but I have liked the look of the rail motors since I first heard about them and the guy on the exhibition stall where I purchased it said it was not that heard to make. Oh well, you live and learn.   Anyway, I started on this kit back in 2004 (as far as I remember), managed to solder the body t

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GWMark

 

Missenden - Another day in paradise..

...or at least that is the battle cry when the day starts.   This autumn's Missenden Railway Modellers weekend has come and gone again, all to quickly as usual. After some organisational changes the team did splendid job of organisation so that it was seamless to those of us that attend, a big thank you to them.   My project this autumn was the continuation of a High Level 12" Neilson Mineral loco that I started a couple of session ago. Although there were some problems, well only really on

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GWMark

 

Movement from the Mallard Duke

It has been a couple of weeks since my last post regarding the Mallard Duke. You may recall I had a bit of a problem with it that meant a slight rebuild and some remedial actions. That complete I have now done a bit more detailing, but more importantly I decided it was time to have it move itself along the rails. So I completed the task of making up the cranks, reaming them out and fitting them. After a bit of tinkering I had the cranks in place and quartered.   I then looked at fitting the co

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Duke relocation

Just to close this sequence of entries for the bank holiday weekend and my attempts at fixing the mistake of a few years ago I thought I would show where I was in the process of getting the dome and chimney in the right places. Basically I had fitted the smokebox and boiler the wrong way around and this resulted in the chimney and dome being further forward than they should have been.   Today I had less time than I had hoped, domestic duties meant the toolbox was employed on garden gates rathe

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Patching the boiler of my Duke

I thought I would document the latest steps in my efforts to resolve the build issue with my Mallard Duke. As noted in earlier posts I have built it with both the boiler and smokebox the wrong way around. The problem manifests itself in the chimney and dome being in the wrong place. This entry is about my latest steps to resolve the problem.   The smokebox is simply a wrapper on nickel silver and white metal formers, so was relatively easy to remove and will be reattached the other way around.

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GWMark

 

Duke Dismantling - starting to resolve build issues

If you read my previous entry you will have seen that I managed to mess up somewhat when I did the assembly of the smokebox and boiler on my Duke. Both the boiler and smokebox had been assembled the wrong way around, this resulted in the chimney being too far forward and the dome being on the wrong ring on the boiler.   I had thought of two option, reverse both the boiler and the smokebox or reverse the smokebox wrapper and move the dome without removing the boiler. I have had to go for the se

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GWMark

 

Dusting off the Duke - return of an old project

I've recently made myself a promise not to start any new projects until I finish some of the part built, stalled projects. We will see how long that one lasts, but by way of a start on this new resolution I got my Mallard Models GWR Duke out of its box and have done a little work on it over the last week.     Although it may not look like it has progressed much, there has been a fair bit of fettling going on. I removed the pickups I had put on before, they were a little fragile and prone to

GWMark

GWMark

 

High Level Black Hawthorn - ready for paint

I completed most of my Black Hawthorn at Missenden Abbey, however there were a few bits to finish off that I thought I would do at home, pipe runs, stays etc. Of course I didn't get around to it until today, needless to say those "little" jobs took a long time, very fiddly in places those pipes. However here it is, I think it is now ready for painting, after a bit of cleaning up.     I added some lead shot in the smokebox before putting the door on and also in the base of the bunkers on eit

GWMark

GWMark

 

Arduino's, DCC, Servos, Stepper Motors & Cranes

For some time now I have been thinking about ways to make things other than the locomotives move on my layouts. Radio Control servos have become an accepted way to control the points and semaphore signals, but we could use them for more if we had a good way to integrate the proportional control of them into our control systems. So instead of just having something move between two positions we could make it move to any point we wanted.   It was with this idea in mind that I started playing arou

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GWMark

 

Hawthorn Leslie - Catchup on Daniel's latest project

This post is a bit of a cheat, since it is not my work I am showing. In my post yesterday I showed the stock I weathered, including Daniel's (my son) first loco build at the age of 11. Eight years later he is still going and here is his latest project, as promised.     The loco is a High Level kit of a Hawthorn Leslie, he has been working on it over successive Missenden weekends under the tutorship of Tony Gee (t-b-g). It's now really at a stage of a few final tweaks before painting, a job

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GWMark

 

More weathering

I was rightly criticised on two counts by Daniel for my previous post, I didn't include any pictures of his stock and I also said all his stock was all ready to run. So by way of redress here are a couple more pictures from my weathering efforts on his stock.     The 4MT is a Bachmann model, Daniel has added the crew, lamps, detail parts and a real coal load. I made an attempt to weather it. This loco is due to haul a rack of coaching stock bunker first, so hence the ugly tension lock coupl

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GWMark

 

Catching up, GT3 finished and first weathering attempt

I see it has been a while since I posted here, this doesn't mean I have done nothing, just not written about it. I even failed to do my post-Missenden entry that I normally do - more on those projects in another post.   This week I have been doing some weathering, mostly of Daniel's RTR stock that will be appearing on Hinton Parva when it goes to Quainton for the May Bank Holiday Steam Gala. However I also thought I would have a go at my GT3 since it now has the transfers on the tender, from C

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GWMark

 

Not so quick, quick project

The project I undertook as a quick diversion ended up, like all the rest of my projects, languishing in an unfinished state for quite some time. However, spurred on by the desire to take a couple of locos to the weather course at Pendon the other weekend I actually made a push to finish it off. All it needed was plates, transfers and some bits that had been painted separately to be attached.     I also needed to do something about the bright brake gear I had added, it was still raw nickel s

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GWMark

 

Hot Spots & Speedos

Continuing in my catch up of things I have done in the last 12 months… I am a bit of a sucker for gadgets, so when I came across a chip that offered simple and cheap WiFi I started to think about using it for model railway purposes. I found on ebay a little board that had the WiFi chip on it, along with all the circuitry needed to make the thing work, the ESP-01 board. It was available for about £4 from the UK or about £1 direct from China - I had to have a play. The chip in question, an ESP826

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GWMark

 

Prolonged absence - the two Highlevel kits

I noticed it had been a very long time since I wrote anything here, March of last year. I didn't even do my customary write-up following the Missenden Abbey weekends last Autumn and this Spring. This does not mean nothing has been happening, just that I have written nothing about it.   Both Daniel and i went to Missenden in October and then again this March, in fact the March weekend may be the last for a while with both of us going as Daniel is about to depart for University life - although t

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GWMark

 

Spring Weekend Over Again

The Missenden Modellers sprint weekend is over for another year, once again the weekend went really well, with both Daniel and I making significant progress on our projects. My High Level Black Hawthorn has seen some significant progress with the super structure, with a few steps back along the way. I used my newest toy, the RSU for some items, to great effect, but was a little cautious of some things, so used the standard iron and regretted the mess I made with it compared to the neat soldering

GWMark

GWMark

 

Missenden Coming Around Again

Following our last visit to the Autumn weekend at Missenden I was sold on the idea of an RSU, fortunately I had a "significant" birthday a few weeks again and my wife bought (let me buy) an RSU as a birthday present. With about 3 weeks to go before the next Missenden weekend I as keen to try out my new toy. I did not want to go straight into attacking my High Level Black Hawthorn that I had worked on last time, so I looked around for an alternative. Fortunately I found a wagon kit I picked up a

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