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The sleeping giant (1887)

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Mikkel

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Farthing, 1887. The Great Western is a sleeping giant. The system is plagued by gauge inconsistencies and circuitous routes, and the Churchward revolution is yet to come. In the bay platform at Farthing, a Buffalo tank sleepily knocks a few wagons about.

 

 

 

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For the past ten years the world has suffered from a global economic depression, but Workman P. Quince has never read a newspaper and is more concerned with the stinging pain when he urinates. Perhaps he should find a better way to spend his meagre wages.

 

 

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The Buffalo tank shunts the empty Open and brake van into the storage siding.The locos and rolling stock carry the features of a vanishing age. The livery follows Atkins, Beard and Tourret when they state: Before about 1898, a light red colour had been adopted for the wagon stock with white lettering, but the goods brakes were grey.

 

 

 

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A bird's eye view of the scene. The timber sheds are a bit crude and don't feature in the normal 1907 set-up of the layout, but I thought they suited the slightly Wild West atmosphere of the early days. They were loosely inspired by similar sheds at the old Newbury station.

 

 

 

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As if rebelling against the slumbering nature of his railway, Driver P. Appledore demonstrates his uncanny ability to make even the slowest shunt look like a mainline express. "It's not what we do" he would tell new firemen, "It's how we carry ourselves. Look sharp!".

 

 

 

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The shunt brings the wagons up against the buffers. This is a 3-plank Open of 1881 vintage, and a pre-diagram brake van of 1882. The former was built from the David Geen kit, and the latter was restored from an old van originally scratchbuilt by Chris Edge.

 

 

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The brake van is left in the storage siding while the Open is propelled to the loading dock. Certain aspects of the loco are not, I fear, entirely correct for the period. Eg I am unsure whether the curve of the cabside is right for 1887. The otherwise appealing number 1234 is also problematic, as I am not sure that this particular loco had yet been converted to narrow gauge by this time.

 

 

 

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The loco has left and brought the brake van with it. The bay has gone quiet, and Porter C. Walker appears to be lost in thought. Or is he secretely savouring the whisky fumes from the load he carries?

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A lovely post to accompany my Friday lunch.. let's hope that P Quince's day wincing when he pees will be over soon (nice name - I liked that one ;) ).

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Great stuff as always - cracking modelling and a great story to go with it!

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Agreed - always a pleasure to read your posts Mikkel - Inspiring modelling, great photography and narratives that make me chuckle :D

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Cheers gents. I do realize that this is stretching things to the limit. Basically it's just a flat baseboard and a handful of stock :D. But there's something about flat uncluttered spaces that I really like on a layout. Gives a sense of space, I think. Having said that, it's time to get building again!

 

 

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Delightful as ever Mikkel.I think Mr Quince needs to see a doctor. :lol: Where do you get your characters names from ? Dickens perhaps ?

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Hi Mikkel.

Does Driver P appledore bear a striking resemblance to the mad professor in Back to The Future?

Hmm..

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Where do you get your characters names from ? Dickens perhaps ?

Hi Robin, yes some are from Dickens: There are people with hobbies even stranger than ours, who keep extensive lists of characters, eg: http://charlesdickenspage.com/characters.html. But as far as I remember P. Quince is a Shakespeare name, and I've forgotten where "Appledore" is from.

 

Does Driver P appledore bear a striking resemblance to the mad professor in Back to The Future?

Chris, with a certain stretch of the imagination maybe, but it's quite a stretch! :D

 

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Good to see the Buffalo out doing some work especially with the red wagon. I can't help thinking that someone at Swindon must have been at the whiskey and put the wrong number plate on it, though. Perhaps it was meant to be 1243 which was also a convertible, but was narrow gauge until 1888. 1234 was built as a BG engine and wasn't converted until 1892. Mind you, I've yet to think up a plausible excuse for the post-1899 S4 boiler and three course tanks :unsure:

 

Nick

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Mr Quince would certainly 'wince' if he visited his local doctor for that complaint... The treatment hadn't changed much from the times of his forebears. An injection of mercury in the relevent aperture... (see the relevant syringe in the 'Mary Rose' museum at Portsmouth)(Ohhh nasty!!!).

 

Lovely modelling as usual Mikkel!

 

Regs

 

Ian

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Mind you, I've yet to think up a plausible excuse for the post-1899 S4 boiler and three course tanks

Thankyou Nick for once again helping with the detail info. I lack the RCTS volumes, and that is becoming a real problem when it comes to the details of individual engines and the dates particular features were introduced. I was of the impression that the long tanks were introduced in 1876, but did not realize the three courses came so much later. A basic issue of course is that most of my stock is really intended for the 1900s (although I'm sure there are one or two inconsistencies there too!).

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Mr Quince would certainly 'wince' if he visited his local doctor for that complaint... The treatment hadn't changed much from the times of his forebears. An injection of mercury in the relevent aperture... (see the relevant syringe in the 'Mary Rose' museum at Portsmouth)(Ohhh nasty!!!).

Very nasty! Unfortunately we do not know if P. Quince learnt his lesson, but it is on record that he stayed on at Farthing station and eventually became a ganger, known for his somewhat cynical view of the world. ;) Here he is 20 years later and looking rather shiny (good thing we have matt varnish).

 

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Yes, the first full-length tanks were six-course with the later three course tanks fitted from some time in the 1890s. Most were built with S3 boilers which have the dome further forward and the filler was placed between the dome and safety valve. Some acquired S2 boilers during the early 1890s, but many were fitted with the S4 type (as on yours and mine) from about 1894 onwards. I assume the three course tanks were usually fitted at the same time. I did consider building my Gibson kit as an early S2 version, but gave up that idea when I realised how many extra rivets would be needed on the tanks :rolleyes:

 

Nick

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Buffalo has beaten me to the punch!

I looked in the RTCS Broad Gauge book to find 1234 converted to NG in 7/1892 "according to Swindon Records", the autors comment on "some confusion" in other sources.

He knows far more than I do on the types of boiler & saddle tank types!

A real mine-field!

As an aside there is an undated picture of 1229 working as a (NG)0-4-2T having "lost" the rear half of the coupling rods!.

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A real mine-field indeed, Don. I didn't mention the five course tanks :blink: There is much more info in the RCTS 'Six-coupled Tanks' volume.

As to the removal of the rear part of the coupling rods, I'm sure I've seen a photo of another example somewhere. I think I read somewhere that it was intended to reduce wear when working on some tightly curved branches, though whether that was the author's guess or based on documentary evidence I don't know.

 

Nick

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...the autors comment on "some confusion" in other sources.

There's my excuse :D.

 

Funny about the removed rear part of the coupling rods, I was just reading yesterday about the little Barry Railway 0-6-0Ts, of which two had the rear rods removed to work on improvised "autotrains" (in pre-GWR days, that is).

 

A model of an 0-6-0 converted to a 0-4-2 would be a fairly simple way to do something a bit out of the ordinary.

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