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2FS GWR Loading Gauge

Ian Smith



At last nights meeting of the Midland Area Group of the 2mm Scale Association, along with working on some of the items that were started at the previous meeting we continued to identify some more of the things that we still need to add to the layout.


Obviously, like so many other layout projects there is still plenty to do. One of the things that we all feel is missing is a loading gauge in the goods yard. A quick search of t'internet for GWR loading gauges in N gauge showed that although there are a couple available that could be suitable they looked a little chunky (to my eyes at least). So this entry relates to my endeavours today to construct a (hopefully) more reasonable model in 2mm.


Initially, I drilled a 0.5mm hole through the web of a couple of pieces of code 40 bullhead rail, a length of roughly 0.5mm diameter spring steel was poked through these holes and the lot soldered together to form a gallows structure. A suitable drawing of a typical GWR Loading Gauge was located and the "multi-arced shape" of an "opened up" gauge was bent up in 0.45mm brass wire. This embryonic gauge was sandwiched between two pieces of steel plate and laid on the concrete outside the workshop where I laid into it with a hammer to flatten it (in reality the hammering was rather subdued as every couple of blows the wire was checked to ensure that the flattening process was equal along the length).


Once I had the hanging gauge, I twisted up some lengths of 0.044" phosphor bronze wire to simulate the chains that the gauge is suspended from, and these and the hanging gauge soldered to the spring steel gallows. The next stage was to add the gallows supports that cantilever out from the rail upright. Holes were drilled through the rail webs to accommodate the upper support which was bent up from 0.3mm brass wire, threaded through and soldered in place at either end of the spring steel cross piece. A further piece of the same brass wire was fitted below the tail of the cross piece bracing it to the rail uprights.


Small loops of thin phosphor bronze wire were made to slip around the gallows to provide a support for the ropes/wires that operated the hinged sections at the ends of the hanging gauge, and were soldered in place before adding the operating ropes/wires from even thinner phosphor bronze wire (which were anchored in place through a hole in the lower half of the rail uprights, and secured with more solder).


Once all was carefully cleaned up, and following a spray of white primer, and the lower portion of the upright was painted in an off-black (black that had a very small amount of white added to it to tone it down a bit), the wires/ropes were touched in with a suitable brown/grey colour, and a little dirty thinners washed over the whole to tone down the stark whiteness of the primer completed the job.


Hopefully, it will be planted within the St Ruth Goods Yard soon and will be another item ticked off the list.



Completed GWR Loading Gauge - standing all of 4cm tall.



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Had I thought about it I could have drawn one up for Andy (D869) to include on his latest etch, however in reality the bending of a bit of brass wire and the subsequent flattening is only a matter of a few minutes work - it would have taken me far longer to do the artwork.  Obviously if I (or the group) needed loads of them then getting some etched might be the way to go but for a one-off it would be a bit over-kill.


It's now sited on St Ruth and hopefully it survived long enough for a photo session.  It was a bit of a mad rush to get it ready for Friday night, and I may make a better replacement for it at some stage but it will do for now.


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