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Showing content with the highest reputation on 21/03/11 in all areas

  1. 2 points
    An apposite title in both sense, as this is a cobbling together of 54398 Ben Alder, the last Highland Railway 4-4-0, which was withdrawn in 1953 and set aside for preservation, only to be scrapped in 1967 as it had a replacement Caledonian boiler, so was deemed as unworthy of saving. A great loss to the Scottish preservation scene, I'm afraid. Anyway, in common with a lot of modellers of my generation, I have a stache of whitemetal loco kits dating back thirty odd years, and also painful memories of trying to put them together and then persuading the often laughable lump of metal that passed for a chassis block into a moving object. They were usually configured for an X04 as well, and in my experience, un-runnable. I must add that building engines and chassis is not my forte, and is done only as a means to an end, although I have built two or three Comet ones that worked well enough. These days, however, the current R-T-R puts my efforts to shame. Over the past few years I have on occasion taken some of these onto the workbench and had a few half-hearted attempts at breathing life in them, but have always given up and packed them away again- my only successes to date being the two Caley tanks- the 0-4-4 and 0-6-0, both of which having commercial chassis. More work has been done on a Caley Pickersgill 4-4-0 using a Hornby T9 chassis, which is quite accurate, but I haven't managed to get it to sit right, and had been sidelined again. Just a while ago I came across Kingfisher 24's gallery (link at bottom of post)of his loco conversions, much along the same vein as myself, but with more output , and include a Small Ben conversion using the T9. This was something that hadn't really clicked with me as the driving wheels are too large and the boiler is about 9mm too long, but his pictures showed he had captured the look of the engine. So, spurred on by this, and the knowledge that I don't have the luxury of letting decades pass by while I decide what to do any longer, the kit and Hornby chassis were taken onto the bench and the butchery began. The Southern and Highland Drummond 4-4-0's are very similar, fortunately, and the removal of the smokebox and reprofiling of the cab sides went a long way to changing its appearance, and the addition of the kits smokebox and chimney shows the start of a Ben. The next stage was to add the boxes to the front splashers and because I wanted to retain the Hornby tender pick-ups, shorten the T9 tender to a more suitable length, as seen in these pics. The cut out piece of the tender is leaning against it in the second picture. The tender underframe had to be trimmed back a bit to fit the shortened body. And a view of most of the work done, with it sprayed with black to show any imperfections that needed filling- plenty there . I opted for the engine as it was in the latter half of its life with a Caledonian boiler, so all the original Hornby fittings were removed. The boiler and dome is a casting, so I took the lazy way out and just filed and filled the dome into something approaching a Caley shape. Getting there- the tender has the kit sideframes fitted to it and my usual Tony Wright loco/tender coupling is in place. The kit smokebox is devoid of rivet detail, and I thought of leaving it like that, but when I posted the first pictures of 54398 up here, the only three people likely to know that immediately spotted their omission , so a remedy had to be applied. This came in the form of Archer transfers of 3D rivets, little bits of resin on a carrier sheet, and designed for the military modelling side of things. The catalogue was very interesting, the levels of detail and precision would put some of the diesel detailers to shame- I took a pass on the human eyeballs sheet for example.However, the rivet sheet is worthwhile, and I can see a lot of uses for it, and here is a shot showing them applied, along with guard irons and pipe attached. I put a coat of Clear on the loco and floated the transfer on while wet and some Microset after, then when dry, matt varnish, followed by more weathering to tone it down. The curved rivets on the front had to be in two's or three's, but it doesn't take long, although I should have taken the paint back to the metal to see what I was doing, as putting black rivets on to a black background was a challenge to my diminishing eyesight, but it was worth doing. Transfers came from Modelmasters, and I put the smokebox number onto a strip of plasticard to provide some relief. A rather crude photo shows the method used. And finally, the completed conversion on shed, minus the lower half of the front coupling I never noticed before I posted it up here in my layout thread It'll be replaced soon. The only other work to be done is to replace the Hornby drivers with Markits wheels to get rid of those awful traction tyres, and am waiting for these to arrive. I decided to stick to the T9 diameter rather than have a correct size looking lost in the splashers, and just accept the fact that the whole thing is a bit beefy compared to the original, but at least I now have something running rather than living in a cupboard for decades. Whether this is the ruin of two good models or an acceptable compromise depends on ones viewpoint, but I can live with it. Addendum. The traction tyred axle has been replaced with a plain set of wheels from another T9, and the engine now runs very smoothly. There is enough grip without these tyres for my needs, and it pulls a couple of coaches and eight or nine wagons without any problems. I had to resort to using this method as the axle diameter of the T9 is not a standard- it measures up at c1.6mm- and I did not wish to ruin its good running qualities by my attempts at increasing the diameter. I would have attempted this if it were an enclosed space but as it is a half open one it is beyond my engineering capabilities. Here is the link to Kingfisher 24'sgallery. 23/2/13 Edit. Recent work on another Small Ben conversion made me realise that for some reason I had made the sandboxes too large. These have been trimmed down, and now give a more proportioned look to the loco. A photo is included to show the difference.
  2. 1 point
    Some time ago, Miss Prism suggested that I could add a mezzanine floor to one end of “The depot” for extra goods storage. I liked the idea, and sought inspiration in some of the larger GWR depots, including (very loosely) the arrangements at Hockley. I tried to build the structure to look like an afterthought, added by the GWR when it ran out of storage space on the ground floor decks. The visible part of the mezzanine is imagined to connect to a more expansive off-scene section. After various experiments I built the structure right across the middle of the depot, thereby dividing up the layout both vertically and horisontally. Visually, what used to be a single large space is therefore now four spaces, as illustrated here, plus the yard outside. The “cut-away” effect at the front follows my preference for see-through structures at the front of layouts, which I think adds to the impression of depth and forces on-lookers to view the layout up close and at eye-level height, thereby placing him or her “inside” the scene. The main structure was knocked up from various bits and pieces, including Evergreen H sections and tubing, Slaters Plastikard and left-overs from various kits. The stairs and fencing are modified and detailed Scalelink etches. These save some fiddly work but are fairly basic as they come and do, I feel, need some detailing to look right. The fences were detailed with Evergreen strips and drawing pins for posts. I ended up extending the stairs with plastikard to fit the necessary height. The r/h side shows the original folded-up etch. Goods will be moved to the mezzanine floor by way of cranes that I plan to build for the ground-floor decks at a later stage. If I’m not mistaken, that was the arrangement at Hockley, with goods lifted to balconies such as this one. In retrospect there are various things I would have liked to do differently. A lower and more expansive mezzanine might have increased the visual interest further, and I wish I’d copied the structure at Hockley more closely, to increase the GWR imprint on it. Probably best to move on though, it's about time this stuff recieved some paint!
  3. 1 point
    After a little prompting from a few friends on the LNER Encyclopedia forum, I've started work on modifying some Hornby Clerestories I got on the cheap into some pseudo Great Central Stock, to eventually go into carmine livery. So here is one of the coaches before: And here it is after its been stripped back, tension lock couplings removed, and the roof filed down to the correct style: I'm currently scouring the net for a source of roof vents suitable to fit onto the roof, but as yet haven't found anything. The next photo shows the difference in the roofs: I filed down the plastic vents and edging to smooth it out, Great Central style. Have ordered some paint - these will be going carmine (the last were condemned in 1958, so a few most have had it), and will be painted, weathered and fitted with three link couplings, as an exercise and overall guinea pig in some techniques for future models. Until next time - hopefully with a matching set!
  4. 1 point
    Good luck with it then. I am waiting for the 4 wheeled version to be re-issued by Old Time Workshop(?) if I remember correctly so if & when it comes along I'll have to check the bonnet etch carefully! I know you can get a resin body kit but etch captures the airy cab structure so much better. Regards John.
  5. 1 point
    Have you overcome the bonnet/cab front mismatch yet? John.
  6. 1 point
    Thanks for sharing Paul - I do enjoy reading about your industrial shunters
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