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Showing content with the highest reputation since 08/06/20 in Blog Entries

  1. 33 points
    Over the few years I've been a member of RMWeb, I seem to have erroneously created several blogs. My clumsy grasp of computers has been a bit frustrating as I never know where I've posted and have a horrible habit of posting new material on the wrong blog and so on. Therefore a little bit of belated Spring Cleaning is required and I have copied the info from my previous 'George England 2-2-2' blog to this one so that I can have it all in the right place. So, apologies to those who have read the first bit before and I hope that the new material is sufficiently interesting to make up for it! The Railway Chronicle for December 16th 1848, carries an article on 'a specimen of a light locomotive, called the 'Little England', which, with its tender on the same frame, will work the ordinary stock of a company. The 'Little England' and tender weigh together when roadworthy 9 tons 5 cwt. It has a 7-in. cylinder, a 12-in. stroke, and 4 ft. 6 in. driving wheels. The diameter of the leading trailing wheels is 3ft. The distance between the extreme centres is 14ft.' The article goes on to describe the journey from New Cross to Brighton station with three first-class carriages containing 31 persons of note. Its sprightly performance was much praised and George England went on to produce several versions at his Hatcham Iron Works just off the Old Kent Road. In the Summer of 1849, George made his first sale of his little 2-2-2 engine to the Dundee, Perth & Aberdeen Railway. Before the year was out, a further example (named Dwarf) went to the London & Blackwall, and the following year six more were sent to a variety of destinations. Of these, three (named England, Samson and Hercules) went to the L&B, one (also named England) travelled north to the Edinburgh & Glasgow and another to the Liverpool, Crosby & Southport Rly. A further locomotive (named Little England) was prepared for the Great Exhibition, becoming exhibit no.509 and receiving a Gold Medal for it's efforts. A charming contemporary illustration apparently shows 'Little England' and is probably the Great Exhibition engine with a wheelbase of 15ft. Clark also illustrated one of George's engines with a 12ft. 6in. wheelbase, so there were different versions along the same theme sometimes with the same name. Finally, a photograph of 'Dwarf' on the Sandy & Potton confirms the 15ft wheelbase version. The aforementioned etches provide a good basis for what is essentially a scratch build. Motorising such a tiny loco is always a challenge and I chose to hide an H&S mini motor in the bunker and drop the gears down under the footplate, up into the firebox, to a 40:1 worm and pinion on the driving axle. The gears themselves were robbed from an old toy engine from my childrens wooden train set, (don't worry, the motor was burned out beyond redemption - I'm not that mean)! It all seems to run very sweetly and does the job at a total of 90:1. I'm going with the 15ft wheelbase for my model although I'd like it to be 14ft to represent the original 'Little England' I can't face 'cutting and shutting' the etches and it's not obvious where to loose the 4mm without making it look very odd indeed. I suspect I would need to steel 2mm from behind the drivers somewhere and 2mm in front which is just too much hassle! I appreciate this little locomotive has graced the pages of RMweb before thanks to the excellent contribution by chris p bacon, however, thanks to the aforementioned gent sending me a set of etches to aid the scratch building of my own attempt, I thought I'd share the progress here. The Railway Chronicle for December 16th 1848, carries an article on 'a specimen of a light locomotive, called the 'Little England', which, with its tender on the same frame, will work the ordinary stock of a company. The 'Little England' and tender weigh together when roadworthy 9 tons 5 cwt. It has a 7-in. cylinder, a 12-in. stroke, and 4 ft. 6 in. driving wheels. The diameter of the leading trailing wheels is 3ft. The distance between the extreme centres is 14ft.' The article goes on to describe the journey from New Cross to Brighton station with three first-class carriages containing 31 persons of note. Its sprightly performance was much praised and George England went on to produce several versions at his Hatcham Iron Works just off the Old Kent Road. In the Summer of 1849, George made his first sale of his little 2-2-2 engine to the Dundee, Perth & Aberdeen Railway. Before the year was out, a further example (named Dwarf) went to the London & Blackwall, and the following year six more were sent to a variety of destinations. Of these, three (named England, Samson and Hercules) went to the L&B, one (also named England) travelled north to the Edinburgh & Glasgow and another to the L.C&S.Rly. (although what that stands for I'm not sure - help me out someone)! A further locomotive (named Little England) was prepared for the Great Exhibiton, becoming exhibit no.509. A charming contemporary illustration apparently shows 'Little England' and is probably the Great Exhibition engine with a wheelbase of 15ft. Clark also illustrated one of George's engines with a 12ft. 6in. wheelbase, so there were different versions along the same theme sometimes with the same name. Finally, a photograph of 'Dwarf' on the Sandy & Potton confirms the 15ft wheelbase version. The aforementioned etches provided a good basis for what was essentially a scratch build. Motorising such a tiny loco is always a challenge and I chose to hide an H&S mini motor in the bunker and drop the gears down under the footplate, up into the firebox, to a 40:1 worm and pinion on the driving axle. The gears themselves were robbed from an old toy engine from my childrens wooden train set, (don't worry, the motor was burned out beyond redemption - I'm not that mean)! It all seems to run very sweetly and does the job at a total of 90:1. I'm going with the 15ft wheelbase for my model although I'd like it to be 14ft to represent the original 'Little England' I can't face 'cutting and shutting' the etches and it's not obvious where to loose the 4mm without making it look very odd indeed. I suspect I would need to steel 2mm from behind the drivers somewhere and 2mm in front which is just too much hassle! Having cobbled together a working gearbox the rest of the loco could be built up. It's a combination of etches and bits of brass and nickel silver. The copper firebox top, dome, chimney and other round parts were turned up on the lathe, an essential tool when modelling engines of this period as one can certainly never expect to find the correct size and shape from proprietary sources. The final chassis has wiper pick-ups to the leading and driving wheels, but the trailing wheels had to be cast from resin. An issue I hadn't foreseen was that the usual steel-tyred wheels ran so close to the sides of the motor that all they wanted to do was stick to it. The only solution was to make them from plastic and the resulting wheels work just fine... thankfully! Facing right. Facing Left, and not quite on the rails...!
  2. 29 points
    ‘Mess about’ [British, informal] > to spend time doing things that are not useful or serious: to waste time Merriam-Webster dictionary Here’s a 1½ minute video showing my new traverser in action. Or frankly: Just a bloke enjoying his layouts. The trains run daily at the moment, maybe it’s operating in a living room environment that makes it a more natural and sociable part of my daily routine. To my surprise, I hardly miss my man cave in the old house. Not to everyone’s tastes I’m sure, but I’m enjoying it
  3. 21 points
    The correct gears arrived and so with a fully assembled and tested gearbox I have been able to push ahead. Soldering needs a bit of a clean up, but thats the chassis built up and running smoothly. Driving the front wheelset means I can have a compensation beam at the rear. The kit suggests driving the centre axle, since driving the front axle would mean losing the view through under the boiler. However by using a roadrunner box and an extender with a narrow motor I was able to get the motor right up into the boiler and the drive goes down behind the front splashers. The slot in the bottom of the boiler is only 9mm wide and cannot really be seen from normal viewing angles. A pic with it paired up to the tender. The mini connectors are from Express Models. I didn’t want slop in the little end bearing causing fouling with the leading crankpin so I soldered a Gibson crankpin screw through the rod from the rear and so the piston rod runs on a steel crankpin bush to help keep it in line. A view from below. I managed to get a bit of weight in there and a fair bit in the smokebox and firebox areas. AJs are on small copperclad pads, removable if they ever need repaired. A side view. It all runs well, I am happy with the solution for the motor/gearbox allowing a view through the whole thing. Some primer and filler, then off to the paintshop.
  4. 20 points
    Evening all, Good lockdown progress has been made on the dries since the last update the end of April - a few hours at the weekends chipping away has certainly accelerated where I thought the layout would be at this stage. Aside from adding gutters and drain pipes to the first building, I wanted to make a start on the second one and get them both to the same status. Using the same build as previously a foam board base was formed onto which various plastic sheets have been applied. I moved a few holes so that the programming track remains hidden but have opened up two bays to give some depth. Again I have gone for construction ease on the roof, so no internal roof trusses have been modelled. For the roof I wanted to capture the slight randomness and not have everything perfect. To do this each of the panels have been cut and laid individually. Whilst it has taken more time I think it is worth it as it has given some slight relief which I can pick up on when I come to the painting and weathering. A slither of plastic sheet at the top of the sheet allows the slight sense of overlap on the sheets. The building was then sprayed grey to help flush out where more work is required and also give a base for the detail painting. At 2.2m long it’s quite some length of buildings! A few drain pipes need to be added to this building as well as glazing the two windows but aside from that it will be time to start adding paints. I think I will work these up off site and then bed them up before any final tweaking and weathering is added. As always, comments welcome and stay safe all, Thanks, Pete
  5. 20 points
    Some initial pictures of my latest scheme. Like most of us modelling fanatics I haven't been idle during the lockdown period! These are strange times indeed and I have no doubt that many of us have worried about income and job security so, with the exception of purchasing a second hand Hornby Q1, I have managed to construct the layout with materials and track I had to hand. Folgate Street is a fictitious slice of third rail London and is an old scheme that has been revamped for the purpose. The original station throat was constructed about 11 years ago and was made at the start of my railway modelling journey. I was still fumbling about at this earlier stage hence the use of Code 100 and Insulfrog points. It was a copy of a throat drawn up by the famous Cyril Freezer. The original layout was actually once used as the basis of my 1984 model (see previous posts) and was gathering dust in a forgotten corner of my loft so I thought I'd put it to good use. The fabulous Hornby Q1. This was picked up cheaply from Hattons. It had a missing sand box and steps which have been knocked up from bits out of the spares box. Despite a thorough wheel clean it runs intermittently and I wonder if has anything to do with the DCC decoder that it is fitted with? I don't need it as I'm analogue and I know they'll run on DC current. If I remove the decoder will I need a blanking plate? - any help would be greatly appreciated as it's a smashing model and it deserves to run properly. The roof is another of my soldered wire schemes - to add a bit of interest I've used a downloadable texture from CG Textures for the roof lights. Note the cardboard strips at the side of the track. These have been made form thin card to replicate the wooden boards used at Southern stations to contain the third rail - they help to hide the absence of insulators and also disguised the oversized profile of Code 100 track. A Hornby 2 HAL emerges from the right hand scenic break. The Lyceum Theatre is a freelance structure made from Scalescenes Textures whilst the buildings on the overbridge are downloaded photographs from CG Textures. These have been layered to give a little relief. The superb Heljan Class 33. The station tower is another freelance structure loosely based on the Towers found at Cannon Street Station. Again, I've used Scalescenes sheets to construct it. The station roof is loosely based on the Suburban station one at the side of Kings Cross Station. Two tracks on a slight incline were added to the front of the original layout to add a bit of operational interest. The signal box gantry, based on the one found at Holborne Viaduct Station over the Widened Lines incline, has been made from Plastruct girders and bits from various Dapol kits. All the signals work apart from the one on the signal box - I think super glue seeped into the fine electrical wires and have caused a short circuit! The 5.5 foot layout is an end to end scheme with a main 5ft long fiddle yard to the right hand side. The half station side is fed from a three foot long 'black box' section during normal operation. I utilised a mirror at this end to lengthen the look of the station for the above photographs. More pics to follow.
  6. 19 points
    Well, there we are, a slap of paint makes all the difference. Rivets are Archers, easy to apply and they make a big difference on a model like this. No idea what is under that sheet, but it is heavy so this wagon moves as if it does have 16 tons on top. The chains and shackles were fiddly, but add to it all I think. Catching a bit of evening light. You can see that this wagon is properly scotched. There is a good reason for this, D27s like the other wagons in the same style, had no handbrake. Run as specials they would have wagons with handbrakes either side. Given that loaded it might be 27 tons that sounds a bit dangerous though I doubt they ever travelled outside the industrial areas served by the Caley and probably only in special short workings rather than as part of longer trains. So just for fun and I think typical of how it might have run here it is passing through Kelvinbank. Archibald McGregor hanging on and hoping it isn’t going far. I now have parts for the Cl.670 gearbox, so it is hopefully going to progress a bit with that.
  7. 19 points
    Progress on the 670 is delayed at the moment until I get the parts for the gearbox. Can’t be helped, difficult times slow things down. Anyway, I need to build something. I had a browse through drawings and books and settled on a D27 Machinery wagon. ( the CRA does sets of wagon drawings on a cd ) So with a bit of luck here is one I can make from the stuff I have. The body is laminated from 10 thou styrene cut on the silhouette. Bit of an odd wagon, big plates on the sides riveted to an internal frame of angle sections with a planked floor. Nice and simple. As you know I like to be able to drop wheelsets out, makes it all easier to paint too. Personally I think it also makes wagon building easier. All that faffing about getting it perfectly square and making sure all the wheels sit on a perfectly flat surface so they touch the perfectly flat track? Not something I ever managed to do very well. Anyway all that really means is just a pair of low profile internal compensation units soldered to a bit of coppeclad. Lands for ajs if I decide to fit them. Some lashing points made up from bits of scrap etch. Some primer, then the invasion of the rivets…..
  8. 19 points
    I've been working on a small 0:4:0 shunting locomotive for Fun Town's market stall's. I decided early on to design a new locomotive drawing inspiration from the transverse cylinder engine "Albion" and a small shunting loco De Winton. To make things even more interesting, the loco would be operated with DCC and include a DCC uncoupler with an animated operator and also, other as yet undetermined animations to be added as the project progressed. The project starts with a compensating chassis machined from solid brass featuring the same flexichas system as developed for the Flexichas Motor Bogies blog. Work then turns to body and reasonable progress is made before switching to the steam assisted uncoupler gearbox. The gearbox has been a real challenge for me and there are major issues yet to be resolved. To speed things along, I searched the bay for small motor's / gearbox solutions, chose a candidate and then purchased 6 units. First off was to determine whether the motor / gearbox unit was useful for model railways and then determine whether the gears were of any use for the 'steam assisted uncoupler' gearbox. During this project, I was reminded numerous times by JFK's famous moon speech : We choose to make these gears, not because they are easy, but because they were hard. Regards Snitzl
  9. 16 points
    I had a chance (or was it that I finally got around to it?) to finish these three, two for the GNR and one little wagon with no owner (hashtag sad face). The first two are the Horsebox and Open Carriage Truck designed by Archibald Sturrock and built by Joseph Wright for the Great Northern Railway. Horses were conveyed in this box three abreast with their heads in the overhanging section above one of the dog-boxes. Hinged removable partitions separated the horses, and left the animals a width space of not much more than 2ft, quite a squeeze. The livestock conveyed in the dog-boxes themselves require no further explanation, although in the absence of suitable canines, they may have been used to carry extra feed or even tack. Almost identical horseboxes were made in 1855 for the New South Wales Railway. Fortunately a very clear photograph of one of these exists, providing a good general impression of the appearance. These boxes had two extra vertical ribs on the outside framing at one end. The vents in the side doors were also more generous but perhaps that is a reflection of the warmer climate for which they were destined. A simple wooden brake and lever is also evident on the NSW version but such a fitting was almost certainly not on the vehicles supplied to British lines. These would have had no brakes at all, requiring a scotch block or bar when stationary. Horseboxes of this pattern were built for other lines but evidence is sketchy. Photographs suggest that the first horseboxes for the LCDR were to this design and possibly the SER as well, although that might just be my own wishful thinking! The jury is out on colour, some say varnished teak, others say painted brown, I've gone for brown. The same applies for the OCT, a good photo of the NSW version also exists. The little wagon below is something of a mystery, it was built by Smith & Willey of Liverpool but it is not known if this was for a specific customer or if this was simply a 'stock' design for anyone who required such a sturdy little general purpose wagon. Early details of this company are sketchy, however Smith & Willey were operating from their Edge Hill & Windsor Foundry at Smithdown Lane, Liverpool from the mid 1830s. It was gutted by fire around Christmas 1845 but restored, and by 1847 the arrival of the iron merchant John Finch brought much needed capital. Further works were established at Seville Place in Dublin as The Irish Engineering Company. In 1849 the retirement of Henry Smith caused the partnership to be dissolved and henceforth it was known as Finch & Willey. The firm continued to enjoy some success supplying a wide variety of ironwork and machinery, railway trucks, wagons and carriages but by 1851 the company was in such financial difficulty that a stock sale was held and the business much reduced. However, the company were able to claim some fame in the construction of a bridge designed by I. K. Brunel to carry the South Wales Railway over the river Wye at Chepstow, a model of which was exhibited at the Great Exhibiton of 1851. The Seville Works also supplied the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway in excess of 800 tons of ironwork for the extension of their station at London Bridge. Final closure and sale of the remaining plant and premises in Liverpool came in 1853, but the Irish side of the business continued. By 1860 the works had turned their hand to the manufacture of bedsteads and an advertisement of 1863 once again promotes wagons and rolling stock to be built both in Dublin and at Goswell St., London. Who knows what colour they might have been, I was in a SER mood so it ended up red.
  10. 15 points
    One idea leads to another; in this case, I have tried extending the idea that I showed in an earlier post of adding cladding to a brass-tube boiler by 3D-printing an outer sleeve. 3D-printed boiler cladding During my early ‘learning curve’ with 3D-printing (i.e. about a year ago), I made some broad-gauge carriages, as described in a short series of blog posts. Printing the complete carriage as a single task had several advantages, such as including internal partitions and seats, but also created difficulties in making window openings and other features on the vertical sides. For the window openings, I had to include support structures which proved quite difficult to remove without leaving rough edges around the windows. 3D-printed Broad Gauge Carriage There is the additional point that each print took about 8 hours to complete, which is a serious deterrent to much experimentation - my preferred method of working. As a result, the completed carriages lacked detail, so one solution that I explored was to use my Silhouette cutter to add outside frames to plain carriage sides, as shown in my Pre-Grouping blog My new ‘cladding’ idea, however, is to add a thin skin to the previously printed carriage body. This ‘skin’ can carry the additional detailing to represent external mouldings and other fittings. My initial experiment was to make a ‘skin’ only 0.5 mm (20 thou) thick, which could be laid flat on the printer bed. With this method, cut-outs for windows could be made with no requirement for any support structures, while slots in the surface could be made to mark the edges of doors. External mouldings could also be extruded, by simply increasing the thickness of the skin in the required locations – again with no need for any support structures. The other major advantage is that a detailed skin of this type prints in a few minutes, so it is easy to correct mistakes and make improvements, without committing to extended time-scales. As usual, there were some lessons to be learned. I made the initial drawings of the carriage side in ‘Autosketch’ and then transferred these to ‘Fusion 360’ in DXF format. I placed the drawing on the horizontal (XY) plane and then extruded the main panels to a depth of 0.5 mm, excluding the window areas and door edges and mouldings. After this first extrusion, I selected each of the door edges and extruded these by only 0.25 mm, so that they were recessed below the main surface. In a similar way, I extruded the mouldings by 0.75 mm, to raise them above the panels. 3D-model for side overlay For the louvres above the doors, I raised each rectangle and then applied the ‘chamfer’ tool to achieve the required angle of each louvre individually. chamfered louvres above window My first print, which took about 9 minutes, showed that some of my details, especially the raised mouldings, were too fine to appear in the final print. In fact, I should have used the pre-view facility in the ‘Cura’ slicing software, which would have warned me that this was going to happen. It is all too easy to draw details that are too small to be realised by my printer, in which the print head has a diameter of 0.4 mm. It is interesting to note that narrow slots (0,25 mm), as at the edges of doors, do appear but similarly-sized raised features do not appear. Modifying the drawing meant that I had to get to grips with the drawing tools in ‘Fusion 360’, which are broadly similar to those in ‘Autosketch’ but with some key differences. One important aspect when creating drawings in a 3D program is that you have to decide in which plane the drawing is required to appear. This can sometimes be tricky, especially after the initial drawing has been extruded to create new surfaces above the original plane. The first action, when entering ‘drawing mode’ is to select the drawing plane. By selecting the top surface of the carriage side, I could draw new profiles for the arc-shaped mouldings at each end of the carriage. I could then extrude these new sections by 0.25 mm above the top surface, to match the original mouldings (which had been extruded by 0.75 mm from the original drawing plane). It is essential to keep a clear head when making these modifications! For the straight side-mouldings, I used a different method by selecting the vertical edges of the moulding, where they rise above the carriage side. The ‘Move’ tool can then be used to move these edges in order to increase the width of the mouldings to a printable size. Changing the width of a moulding After making these changes, I transferred the 3D model to ‘Cura’ and this time, I remembered to use the ‘Preview’ mode, to check that the details would actually print! I also set the line-width to 0.3 mm, even though my print head is 0.4 mm diameter. This can improve the smoothness of very thin panels like these. I suspect this is because the nozzle is circular, so that a rectangular grid of lines benefits from slightly closer spacing between successive passes of the print-head. All looked good in the pre-view, so I proceeded to another print, which again took only a few minutes to complete. When printing these very thin ‘skins’, the ‘Cura’ software automatically produces frames around the window openings and the edges of the sides, which, in the case of the windows, provides a fair representation of the bolections. The main panels are very thin indeed and peel off the printer bed like plastic tape but I found they were sufficiently robust to resist tearing. Peeling side-skin off printer bed I smeared some PVA adhesive on the original carriage side and carefully laid my new cladding in alignment with the existing window openings, which already had the droplights represented. Since I had previously sprayed the carriage body with red primer, the droplights automatically appeared in a suitable red colour. As early GWR carriages were painted brown overall, the final painting job was very straight-forward. Although diagonal lines from the printing process were visible on the surfaces of the printed panels, these were sufficiently fine to cease being noticeable under a coat of paint. Skin applied to Carriage Body I shall continue to experiment with different parameters for the printing process and, if making new carriages, I would make the original sides a little thinner, to allow a thicker surface skin to be applied without increasing the overall thickness by too much. I think my present skins are on the limit of what my current printer can reasonably accomplish. Mike
  11. 14 points
    Further work on the buildings continues with the 'new' sand dryer building, which from aerial photos in my my possession was built in the late 1940s . I found a stock of old Formcraft bricks which I decided to use to build the front with it's pillars and use slaters english bond sheet for the remainder. On reflection this was probably not my best idea as it took rather longer to build than anticipated. My first attempt at adding 'sand' by using talc did not convince so I raided that grand daughters covered sand pit - with permission - a borrowed a cup full. Next building project is to clad the arches of Barrow Road with Wills coarse stone........
  12. 14 points
    I make no secret of the fact that I find it hard to keep up momentum once I’ve completed the main structure of an engine and have to think about adding the various small details. Gooch Goods ‘Tantalus’ – bare bones One particular irritation with my Gooch Goods was that there were some things that I could easily have included in the main 3D-printed components but had neglected to do so. This was largely because, like most of my projects, it was experimental in that I was exploring new methods of construction. In fact, I had found a simple and sturdy method to construct the engine around a brass tube for the boiler barrel. When it was pointed out that the external dimensions of the boiler should include the thickness of the cladding, I simply added a 3D-printed sleeve, which also carried details such as the boiler bands. Since then, I have found some text about boiler cladding in an early book about locomotive construction: ‘Railway Machinery’ by D.K. Clark (1855) “Cleading [sic]. The boiler should be completely enveloped, at all approachable points, in a non-conducting garment, consisting of several plies of felt, covered with ¾ inch pine battens grooved and tongued, and finished with sheet iron, No. 17 wire gauge, strapped well down.” This text indicates that, in the early days, the cladding was rather thin and that its main purpose seems to be have been to protect personnel, rather than reducing thermal losses. Another surprising statement from the same book is: “There should not be any brass ornamental work about locomotives; as, to appear well, it requires continual cleaning.” It seems that, as early as 1855, cleaning was beginning to be considered an unnecessary expense! Detail Painting One advantage from having built my boiler with removable cladding is that I could paint the brass fillets, at the firebox and smokebox ends, with no risk of over-spill of paint onto the cladding! One of the many ‘fiddly’ details to be attended to was painting the ‘bright-work’. Fortunately, I still have steady hands, although I need to work under an illuminated magnifier to be able to see the details clearly, as shown in the photo below. Credit must also go to my excellent Winsor & Newton series 7 brushes, that maintain the fine tips that are essential to be able to place paint accurately. I used to prefer enamel paints for models but now find that acrylics have advantages, although they have to be used in a different way – more like water colour painting. The important thing is to keep the brush suitably moist from a clean pot of water to hand. I then add pigment to the tip of the brush and sweep it across the surfaces, making sure that they stay moist. Keeping the surface wet, I add pigment until the depth of colour is sufficient. The ‘Rustoleum’ ‘Dark Green’ I used is a water-based paint and I added black to achieve my required tint. It seems strange that the colour, as I perceive it, appears to become less blue as I add black! As I mentioned in my post about ‘Rob Roy’, I find the colour feels ‘right’ to me for early GWR locomotives, although it is very different from the later chrome green. For comparison, I photographed one of my Gooch boilers, painted in my interpretation of ‘Holly Green’, placed in front of my ‘1854’-class saddle tank painted in ‘Precision Paints’ 1881-1906 GWR Green.: I also used acrylic paint for the outside splashers on the goods engine, which have half-etched central recesses between the upper and lower edge beading. These are components from the Broad Gauge Society (BGS) kit for the Gooch Goods and I found it easier to paint this detail while the frames were still on the fret, as shown below: Adding details An important omission in my initial construction was that I failed to add a plinth for the safety-valve cover on the top of the firebox. It was a new challenge to work out how to add this feature on top of the curved surface of the firebox. The method I devised, using ‘Fusion 360’ software, was to create an ‘offset plane’ at an appropriate distance above the crown of the firebox cladding. I then drew a square (using ‘sketch’ mode) on this plane and used the ‘push/pull’ tool to extrude this square to meet the curved surface of the firebox. Finally, I used the ‘hole’ tool, to make a central hole to accept the spigot on the base of my lost-wax casting of the safety-valve cover. My method is illustrated by the screen-shot from ‘Fusion 360’, shown below: Because of my modular method of construction, it would have been easy to replace the original firebox with this revised version, although I had already completed some tricky painting of the original firebox, including the polished brass trim. When I added this extra plinth, however, ‘Fusion 360’ offered the option to make the feature a new ‘body’. This new body could be separated from the original firebox and exported as a separate file for 3D-printing. I was somewhat sceptical that such a small item would print successfully but decided to have a go. Considering that my ‘Geeetech E180’ printer is an inexpensive machine, I was pleasantly surprised by the result. Two adjustments to my usual print routine helped to capture the detail: Firstly, I selected ‘extra fine’ in the ‘Cura’ slicing software, which reduces the layer height to 0.06 mm and, secondly, I reduced the ‘line width’ to 0.3 mm. The ‘help’ information in ‘Cura’ suggests that, even though my printer nozzle is 0.4 mm in diameter, there can be an advantage in selecting a smaller line-width and this appears to have been borne out in practice, as shown below. These changes extend the printing time by at least a factor of two but, for small items like these, the time is still only a matter of a few minutes. These plinths are suitable for both my ‘Rob Roy’ and ‘Tantalus’ models. After cleaning up the stray bits of filament, I painted the plinths by threading them on to a cocktail stick then brushing all the exposed surfaces. Engines Compared As I stated at the beginning of this post, the aim of my models is to capture an overall impression of the prototype, rather than the small details. Apart from a few replicas, the Broad Gauge is well beyond the memory of any living persons, so making models that help me to appreciate the ‘look and feel’ of the period is my strongest motivation. In the case of my current models: the Waverley-class ‘Rob Roy’ and the Goods engine ‘Tantalus’, I have been struck by the difference in ‘grandeur’ of the two designs, despite the fact that they both carry the same type of boiler. Two factors strike me as important: the more obvious being the size of the exposed driving wheels on ‘Rob Roy’, which conveys an immediate impression of power and speed. As a consequence of these large wheels, the boiler had to be pitched considerably higher on this engine than on the smaller wheeled Goods engine and this second factor adds to the imposing impression given by the express engine. In fact, the difference seemed so marked, when I first placed the models together, that I made copies of the relevant drawings and placed them head-to-head, in order to confirm that my impression from the models is correct. Drawings Comparison – Waverley class and Gooch Goods And below, a similar comparison between my two models: Waverley 4-4-0 and Gooch Goods compared Not complete yet, I fear, but I’m pleased to see that the broad outlines reflect some of the ‘spirit’ of the prototypes My model of a Gooch Standard Goods Two sprues of lost wax casting for lamps, whistles, and injectors have just arrived from the Broad Gauge Society, so my next task will be to add these small fittings. I also have a nickel-silver fret for coupling rods and some valve gear parts. Mike
  13. 14 points
    When you start to look at running in boards you soon realise that they are as individual as the stations they adorn, even within the same region. It's quite fascinating when you start studying their various designs. This site has some useful pictures of various Southern running in boards and may be of some interest to anyone modelling the Southern areas: http://www.semgonline.com/infrastr/ribs_01.html Some aspects of the Hawkhurst branch differed from station to station, the platform construction being one. But many other elements were exactly the same across the board, including, by all appearances, the running in boards. This gave me less flexibility in terms of design as I wanted to be as true to the prototype as possible. They appear to have been constructed from a pair of metal beams attached to a central board, an enamelled sign was affixed therein. A simple bracket supported both elements either side. The rounded tops and bolt detail is simple but striking. Older photos seem to suggest the outer frame of the name board would have been painted paler, possibly white. I'm not certain when enamelled signage would have come into use. Most photos I can find that clearly show running in boards were taken in the 50's and after - I'd be interested to learn what might have been used before if anything. The image above is the only one I have of this particularly curious setup on Goudhurst's second platform. The board looks to be identical to the others but the (enamelled?) sign is almost comically smaller! I suspect this was a spare that was placed here in lieu of something designed for the purpose. Or else the board itself is significantly bigger, it's hard to say for sure. Many of the plastic kits and parts that feature running in boards are rather generic and I couldn't find anything that matched the design exactly. So I decided to build my own. I happened to have a sheet of rivets from Slater's Plastikard... yes, for the first time ever, my modelling takes me into literal "rivet counting" territory! I selected rivets that looked about the right size for the bolts featured on the posts. I cut two strips, one for each leg. I aimed to keep them the same width a some plastic strip I already had. Then came the tricky task of removing some of those pesky rivets as the spacing and amount wasn't right. I used the flat of a sharp craft knife and removed the remainder with some very fine sand paper. The result wasn't perfect and there were some scars from some dodgy blade wielding, but overall the effect was satisfactory to my eye. The strips were glued to plain strips of plastikard for strength and thickness. The tops were rounded off by cutting the corners and using a sanding stick to even out the shape. Then another piece of identical strip was bent and wrapped across the top as shown below. I tried heating the strip in boiling water to aid bending, but actually found that caused the plastic to break instead of being more flexible. I also found adding too much liquid cement caused the plastic to weaken and split too, so this part took some patience. I had a name board lying around from another kit - likely Peco/Wills/Ratio - which rather conveniently suited the size of the printed element I would be attaching later on. I backed this with another piece of Plastikard for the sake of width and stability and then glued between the posts. Next, some small strips for the brackets underneath the name board. These were half the width of the strip used so far, bent and glued in place. I got a bit excited and sprayed with primer before attaching the brackets, hence the images below! I followed this up with a coat of primer (again!) and then, once dry, a coat of Phoenix Precision Paints Southern Middle Chrome Green. I'm quite pleased with the overall effect and the bolt head details on the side were well worth the (slightly) extra effort. Finally, a custom made name board courtesy of Sankey Scenics. Even the miss-matched greens at work here seem to be prototypical! All for now, Jonathan
  14. 14 points
    Just featuring a couple more photos of my Bakewell layout which were published in the May 2020 issue of Model Rail magazine. The feedback from the article has been amazing. Am currently adding a few more features to the layout such as ground signals and the odd repair to soldered copper clad points caused by the summer heat in my cabin. The points are now over 6 years old so wear and tear is inevitable
  15. 13 points
    Not much progress, but the loco and tender are now connected. The loco and tender kits are from different periods of design and manufacture and the adjustable draw bar supplied with the loco is far too long for the later tender. The fault really lies with the tender because the draw bar pivot is far too close to the buffer beam whereas the earlier tenders were about scale in this respect. The more recent tender is not easily modified to correct this aspect, so the only solution was to make a hybrid draw bar using the etched bar at the loco end and a new part, incorporating a formed eye, made from 0.8 mm brass wire at the tender end. It took a couple of goes soldering the two pieces together to get just the right pivot centre distance so that the rubbing blocks touch but allow the required movement between loco and tender. Although the gap between loco and tender is almost scale, the fall plates on the loco do not land on the front platform on the tender, so some further work is required on this aspect. Dave.
  16. 13 points
    I see it's been over a year since my last posting on here. To be honest, I find the constant pop up adverts which now appear a constant irritant, so am less inclined to participate. Anyway, I have made some limited modelling progress during the gap. Nothing on the layout, but work has been done on locos. We left the Ivatt tank at the stage of making the injectors. This and all other work on the chassis is now complete. It is currently stripped to its component parts, ready to be painted. I left it like this in anticipation of demonstrating at this years Scalefour North which, inevitably, never took place due to the corona virus. No progress has been made on the body. I was pondering whether to cut out and replace the boiler with a spare cast white metal DJH and decided to re-start another loco whilst I made up my mind. Well, it's still not made up and the other model is now well on the way to completion! This latest project is a Brassmasters Stanier Black 5 - 45232, of Newton Heath. The basic frames had been assembled years ago but had not been wheeled. It has now reached the stage of the loco being complete, except cab glazing and fixing the cab roof, both of which have to be done after painting. The tender is also well advanced but not yet finished. Dave.
  17. 13 points
    Over the last couple of weeks I have managed to get the valve gear completed and also add some cosmetic pieces like the drain cocks and drain cock linkage and the balance weights on the wheels. I also managed to complete the tender chassis thanks to an order for the wheels from Alan Gibson (thanks Colin for the excellent service). The loco has done a few miles on my DCC Concepts rolling road (to which I added a 3D printed block to support the bogie, looks better than a pile of plywood!) There is a little clip on Youtube of it all running Given I'd never made Walschaerts valve gear before I'm pretty happy with how this has gone. The kit from Dave Bradwell has been great fun to put together, I've had a few problems (mostly of my own making) along the way and Dave has been incredibly patient and helpful via E-mail and the Scalefour forum. I've got some cosmetic pieces to do on the locomotive, the kit includes replacement brass footsteps and, of course, I have to take the whole lot apart again to paint... Many more hours of play-value. David
  18. 13 points
    Built by the North London Railway in 1864 as a four compartment, all-first class, 4 wheeled carriage, this vehicle was purchased second hand, over 30 years later by the Isle of Wight Railway (IWR), along with six other carriages. It was numbered 46. It retained the varnished teak livery, but bore the garter motif of the IWR, with its number in the centre. One of the first class compartments was down-graded to second class. When the Southern Railway took over in 1923, these 60 year old carriages were quickly withdrawn and disposed of, still in IWR livery, although it had officially been renumbered to 6336 and the second class compartment would have been down-graded again to third class. Over 50 years later, the body of 6336 was discovered as part of a bungalow at Hayling Island. It was acquired by the Isle of Wight Steam Railway, restored and mounted on a luggage van chassis, and returned to service 11 years later, in the olive green Southern Railway livery it had never previous worn. So, this carriage is almost completely wrong for my 'Freshwater' layout based in the late 1940's-early 1950's, but Etched Pixels have a 3D printed model of the body, and David Eveleigh produced a 2mmFS etched nickel-silver NLR chassis, so I thought it would make a nice quickie addition for the layout. Well, not as quick as I had hoped, of course. Here is the 3D printed body as it came, and the chassis under contruction, just two and a half years ago: The body received a coat of primer, and the chassis completed, and sprayed black earlier this year. It is seen in company with an ex-LBSCR Stroudley carriage, which I will decribe in a later blog: There then followed some rubbing down, painting, addition of Fox transfers (two sheets needed because lots of 6's and 3's are used here). Some glazing and passengers were fitted, and then some gentle weathering. Finally it is ready to take its place in the stock box.
  19. 12 points
    I really love photographing my layouts and my ultimate aim is to make the locos and settings as realistic as its possible in 00 Gauge. Getting as much as possible in focus has always been a bug bear of mine. The relationship between F-Stop, shutter speed and ISO is complex to understand and I should imagine professional photographers spend a long time to master it. I haven't quite managed this and have always found that the higher the F-Stop then the yellower the image simply because the more depth of field (or more in focus you want) then the smaller the aperture. In addition, my camera will only stop up to F8. A medium aperture but one that still restricts the amount of light you need. This always spoils the photo and no matter how long you keep open the shutter you can never get rid of the yellowing effect. Camera's therefore love loads of light where this is concerned so I decided to cobble together my own powerful lighting rig. It had to be on the cheap because professional lighting rigs are an astronomical cost. The above shot under the rig. F8 at ISO 400. The camera sets the shutter speed itself and I set a two second timer delay to defeat any camera shake. The 'Heath Robinson' style lighting rig. I found an old overhead projector at my local tip and took it apart. I put the fan and bulb assembly into a wooden box, created a reflective direction device out of hangers and mounting card and put the whole thing on top of a stand that I bought secondhand from a builder for a fiver. It was really cheap to construct and it works quite well. Mind you, despite the fan it gets very hot so I don't leave it on too long in case the whole thing falls apart! The rig is about as good as it gets in creating artificial sunlight. It's either that or lug the layout down from the loft and wait for the sun to come out and you could wait a long time over here for that! Now to get rid of those pesky shadows on the backdrop! This is my take on a smashing prototype picture in Hornby's latest mag regarding coloured light signalling on the Southern. The picture was of a Class 33 double heading with a BR Standard 5MT out of Waterloo in 1966. A summer afternoon at Folgate Street. Note how the light rig casts realistic shadows under the signal box gantry. Light and shade. Notice how the focus drops away and yet this is the best my Fuji Bridge can do. It's a lot better than my other smaller 'snap' Panasonic Lumix which has a much narrower field of focus. The only other route is photo stacking, but this seems like a magic trick far beyond my capabilities. I guess I'll always be an analogue fuddy duddy!
  20. 12 points
    It took a while for the early railway companies to decide on the best design for points / switches / turnouts. Personally I've always liked the "stub point" design in which the running rails move to set the road, rather than the typical blades. Perhaps it's a design for sleepy sidings rather than high speed main lines: A broken PECO streamline point seemed an ideal starting point to add a stub point to the layout: Pulling off the blades was therapeutic for the eight seconds it took, and cutting through the running rails was quick and easy with a mini-tool. It's actually a rotary tool used by nail technicians to work on nail extensions. I bought it for around £7 on eBay, and it's been an excellent buy. I hoped a tool designed for work on delicate fingers would be useful for delicate modelling work, and it does have very manageable slow lower speeds. It's the first tool I've had that actually lets me cut and grind rails accurately. I wouldn't want to cut through massive sheets of brass with it, but it's perfect for softer materials. The last few inches of the track before the stub point aren't glued to the baseboard so the flexible track can move from side to side to match up with each road: Control is by a coffer stirrer super-glued to the front sleeper of the flexitrack. I haven't decided whether to power the sidings or use rope shunting, so I'll probably do both. The clearances do look as if they were inspired by Triang Series 3 track. Leaving a couple of centimetres of the blades superglued to the sleepers would produce a more realistic model with less flexitrack movement and smaller gaps between the rails.
  21. 12 points
    I'm surprised to see how long it's been since I've posted a blog update - doesn't time fly? Thinking back, a lot of the modelling I've done in the last few months either hasn't been very exciting (wiring, ballasting, tidying up fascias, that kind of thing) or hasn't been relevant to the blog (Mustangs, radio control etc). Not that that's stopped me before! As an attempt at something vaguely relevant, I thought I'd post a few shots of the current project, which is the provision of a new Comet chassis for an elderly Hornby Fowler 2-6-4T 4P locomotive, to be followed by some remedial work on the loco body. The story behind this model is that I've had it for about 40 years, since its original release in around 1980. Mine never ran terribly well, alas, being grindy and prone to stalling, and with a pronounced waddle. It was in LMS red livery which was very well applied, but when I returned to the hobby in the 90s, I set about updating all my older models to BR condition, and so the 4P was modified and repainted and relined in black. The mods consisted of filling in the rear cab cutout,, which was altered on the real locos under Stanier's tenure, adding outside steam pipes, and a few other details. I also added extra pickups to the chassis, but it was still not a great runner. With the old-style open frame motor, I considered it not a good candidate for DCC (aside from the running qualities) so a few years ago I acquired a Comet chassis kit for this class of engine. Getting the wheels then took another year or two as there has been a problem with Markit's supply. Last week I made a start on the basic chassis: It looks very weird without the other wheels and gubbins but importantly it works and was already a better, quieter runner than the original! The motorgearbox, by the way, is a DJH AM10 with 50:1 gearing. It's more than enough for my layout but as these things could get up to 80 MPH, a 40::1 gearset might also be appropriate. The next step was to add pony and bogie wheels - already looking a bit more presentable: In this condition I did some extensive testing and found that the model ran quite reliably once I had a bit of weight in the body. A slight tendency to derail was cured by adding more weight in the smokebox. It was then time to start adding cylinders and motion: In this picture, the cylinder etches are in place, with slidebars added, but nothing else. However, it's enough to establish that there aren't going to be any clearance issues with the moving parts. There's ample room for the crossheads not to foul the coupling rods, and the bogie swing is unaffected by the cylinders. One thing I did do, to help with clearance, is to file a rebate into the front of the double-later coupling rod, so that the first crankpin washer is able to sit a bit nearer to the wheels than the second and third one. Once soldered on, the crankpin washer was also filed down as far as II dared, while still enabling it do its job. However, as mentioned, the clearance turned out to be generous. As a note, I also added one fibre washer to the front axle to restrict the side-play to the minimum. Then into the fun zone! Connecting rod and cross-head (with drop link) fitted. I do this one side at a time and test thoroughly before carrying on. With these Comet slide bars, I make up the slide bars as per the instructions, then do a minimum of fettling on the slidebars themselves. The crosshead, instead, gets all the major attention with files, until it's free to move the entire length of the necessary travel with no resistance. Any slight stickiness at this point tends to vanish with a drop of lubrication. Note that the connecting rod is unconstrained on the center axle, but the model runs quite happily in this condition. The lost wax crossheads are supplied over-long so need to be trimmed to length. I've learned the hard way to take this slowly, nibbling away a bit at a time, rather than ending up with a crosshead that's too short! Onward: In this image, the front bit of the valve gear has been fitted and tested, but the return crank is still be assembled. Again, it's a question of testing one bit at a time. Valve gear isn't that hard to assemble, compared to its reputation. The trickiest bit is settling on a preferred method to articulate the moving bits, be it rivets or soldered pins. My first two sets of valve gear were rivetted, because I couldn't get to grips with the pin method (mostly because I was being thick - see footnote below!, but the pin method turns out to be much quicker, easier and is more easily reversed if a problem occurs. With Comet gear. as here. there shouldn't be any snags because it's all well designed and works as intended. I didn't have to adjust, shorten, lengthen or do much more than adding a few subtle bends to aid clearances. The only thing where valve gear can cause a little trouble, I've found (and bear in mind I've only done five sets) is that the connecting rod can snag on the ends of the slidebars when the wheels are at 6 or 12 o'clock, or indeed both. This can be solved by a combination of adding a slight but barely detectable bend to the connecting rod, near the crosshead joint and/or filing or very slightly bending the ends of the slidebars. The desired clearance only has to be a tiny, so sometimes only a tweak is needed to get it all running smoothly. In this case I added a slight bend and then filed the backs of the skidebars - but really only minimal work. What's the white thing at the front? It was pointed out on Wright Writes that the ride height appeared to be somewhat high. So I made a jig set for the 8'6" boiler pitch, and the lower edge of the horizontal bit should line up with the midline of the boiler -- which is doesn't! After some discussion, it appeared to be the case that the Comet frames make life a bit difficult in this regard, so some modification needed to be done to lower the cylinders a smidge and get the body sitting as low as possible. Over the next couple of days I worked to reduce the body height as much as possible, within my means, while also plugging on with the rest of the valve gear: The valve gear is now complete and working. No hitches were encountered, but as always, the last major bit - fixing the return crank. rod and associated gubbins to the motion bracket, was a pain! It's not hard, just fiddly and swear-inducing. At least with this loco, the return crank doesn't get anywhere near the other moving parts, so no further tweaking was required and I was pleased with how smoothly the valve gear worked as assembled. And finally, a coat of paint begins to help it all look a bit better: However, we're not done! Work now turns to the body. When I upgraded this model to late LMS/BR condition about 25 years ago, I didn't do a great job of filling in the rear cab cutout or of applying the lining, so some remedial work is needed. Whether it will amount to a complete repaint and relining--job is up for grabs but at the moment I'm hoping to do some patch repairs, as the BR black is nicely applied. Compared to the earlier photos, you'll notice how the entire outer layer of varnish and weathering has been largely removed - mostly because it was coming away anyway, just by handling! I removed the rest with a cotton bud and alcohol. I've no idea which varnish brand I used at the time, but it obviously wasn't very durable. Hiwever, no bad thing in the long run... Hope this has been of interest so far and I'll aim to post an update on the body mods in due course. Cheers! Footnote: regarding rivets versus pins, I couldn't get pins to work for the following reason. I was thinking of forming the joint between two moving parts in an analogous manner to a rivet, which retains the two pieces but isn't fixed to either of them. What i didn't realise was that a pinned joint can (and must!) be soldered to one of the two moving parts. As soon as as I got my head around that, and stopped trying to form a soldered blob onto the pin without it being attached to either moving part, it all became a lot easier! Just use a paper space between the two bits of valve gear, plenty of flux, a hot iron, a dab of solder, and get in and out fast, and it works! The pins need to be genuine brass dressmaker's pins - I got a lifetime's supply from ebay for a few quid.
  22. 12 points
    Readers with long memories may recall that, back in March 2017, I started to think about construction of a Waverley Class locomotive – ‘Rob Roy’. This was a part of a project to build the components of the two trains involved in the Bullo Pill accident of 1868. My modelling of ‘Rob Roy’ became a test bed for many different ideas – how to build sandwich frames, adapting a brass kit intended for a Goods engine, exploring the working of early valve gears, and so on. In between, I was easily distracted into simpler tasks, such as building Broad Gauge (BG) carriages. GWR Mail Train 1868 Then, in early 2019, a revolution hit my modelling world, as I struggled to get to grips with the use of computer-aided design and 3D-modelling. This spurred its own series of experimental projects, including making a model of a Gooch Goods engine ‘Tantalus’, using a mix of traditional brass construction with 3D-modelled parts. Through all this, ‘Rob Roy’ has taken a back seat, partly because I was otherwise occupied and partly because the main outlines were complete. The fiddly job of adding the small bits and pieces (those bits that are crucial to a ‘good’ model) is all to easy to keep putting off! I have also considered the thorny question of ‘colour’ in BG engines. The general opinion is that the colour was ‘Holly Blue’ and it was also referred to as Dark Blue-Green. Early copper-based blue pigments, such as Malachite, tended to have a bluish tinge and I began to speculate whether the early GWR colour was actually more like that later used (or continued) by the Wolverhampton works, when Swindon changed to Chrome Green. I had already used Rustoleum ‘Painter’s Touch’ Dark Green paint for a Wolverhampton locomotive model but it seemed rather light to match the BG descriptions. For ‘Rob Roy’ I decided to try this paint again but with added black pigment to darken the colour. Whereas the original, lighter colour looked distinctly blue (to my eyes), it seemed to look ‘greener’ as I darkened the mix. Painted Boiler I find the result very satisfying and, for some reason, I find myself believing that this is a very appropriate colour for that period. It has a ‘distinguished’ appearance and sets off the brass-work very well. Others are, of course, entitled to disagree, as reliable evidence is lacking. One thing leads to another and, once I had applied a couple of coats of paint, I began to think about how to deal with the awkward rounded ‘fillet’ between the firebox and the boiler. This is always a problem when building etched brass kits but I had side-stepped the issue with my model of the Gooch Goods ‘Tantalus’ by 3D-printing the firebox, with the fillet included in the Computer design. Then I thought, why not simply extract the curved front of the firebox from the Goods engine model and print it as a separate component? The dimensions were already correct since ‘Tantalus’ and ‘Rob Roy’ used the same type of boiler. I ‘sliced’ the front of the firebox in my computer modelling tool, ‘Fusion 360’ and also cut the resulting ring just below the mid-point of the boiler to leave a horseshoe shape that would clip around and hold itself to the boiler, intermediately in front of the firebox. Once 3D-printed, I applied a coat of ‘gold’ paint and clipped the fillet into position on the engine. In my opinion, it looks good and solves an awkward construction problem. 3D-printed Boiler Fillet After that, I decided to apply 3D-printing to those strange inverted springs between the two leading wheels of ‘Rob Roy’ Although my computer model looked quite good, the detail of the springs was too fine to be rendered accurately by my printer but I think they are adequate for 4mm scale. 3D Printed Spring As my title indicated, this has been an ‘odds and ends’ post but it got me working on some of the finishing stages of ‘Rob Roy’ There are still many minor items to add, such as buffers, whistles, handrails and the like but I already have the necessary parts to hand and the same additions are required for ‘Tantalus’, so I will tackle them on a ‘production line’ basis Mike
  23. 11 points
    This mostly completed railbus has been sat around on my workbench for absolutely ages, just waiting for figures to add to the interior. Painting people is another task I don't particularly enjoy, so I did a whole batch in one go for this and two other locos. Then stuck the roof on, which is loaded up with lead to try and keep the unpowered front wheels turning. This works on the whole, so I'm happy to call it done and it can take it's place on the layout (once the layout is eventually done) as the workmans' train. The model itself is the KESR Ford, built from a kit I designed a while back. It's not the easiest thing to build and get running, so I'm not planning to offer it as a full kit, but if anyone wants a set of 3D printed parts for it, let me know and I might be able to make some for you...
  24. 11 points
    After a delay while I ordered some suitable brass tube, I've finally added the front splashers. I didn't fancy trying to bore these out of brass bar, and in any case didn't have any of large enough diameter. Instead, I had the idea of using brass tube. First step was to solder a sheet of 5 thou brass to the end. This was then cut as close to the tube as possible with a Stanley knife. Then, it was chucked up in the lathe and turned down to the correct diameter, which was slightly less than the 1/2 inch of the K&S brass tube. This left quite a thin top to the splasher (also about 5 thou), but thick enough. The resulting hollow cylinder was parted off carefully with a parting tool. I made life tedious for myself by leaving the splasher rather over-width, mainly because I had no definite measurements for the width. This just meant additional filing later. The two splashers were then carefully cut from the same part using the piercing saw. (Apologies - I thought I had taken a photo of it at that stage!). The next photo shows my crude method for holding them in place for soldering, using a sliver of balsa from underneath. I actually cut off most of the balsa so that I could sit the loco upright on the bench, and then used a cocktail stick to hold the splasher from the top while bringing in the iron. One of them soldered on first time, and the other one came apart (Sod's law), necessitating a repair before trying again. I just about got away with it! Doing things properly I should have used different temperature solders, but I didn't have them. Here's one of the finished items. A bit of filler is needed at the tank end where too much of the thin front has broken away. I don't want to risk filling it with solder!
  25. 11 points
    Our story is set around the nationalisation of British Rail at Holborn Viaduct. The kent coast expresses and the continental boat trains have long been diverted to more prestigious terminals, and it is obviously now an uncomfortable relic of the Southern Railway's quarrelsome pre-grouping past. Holborn Viaduct in 1920, already well into decline despite the Edwardian splendour in evidence The station's relatively light service schedule makes it an excellent candidate for the first electrification of suburban lines under SR in 1925, and testing (the world's first) four aspect colour light signalling in 1926. The evidence of its tenuous position is readily apparent - the Low Level station (and cross-London services) wrapped up before the Great War, and Ludgate Hill, less than a stone's throw from the tip of the platforms has been shuttered for a decade - a long cry from the Midland, Great Northern, and LSWR services that terminated from points north in this An ex-LNER N2 passes a derelict Ludgate Hill, a picture of the colour light signals is visible between the canopy supports While all suburban passenger services are multiple units cobbled together from pre-grouping coach bodies on modern underframes with the occasional 'all steel' new build - some semi-fast passenger trains to the kent coast are yet still steam hauled (and will be until the completion of the Kent Coast electrification scheme reaches Ramsgate) - and steam plays a vital role in the terminus' newspaper and parcels traffic that benefits from the proximity to the city. An all-steel Bulleid 4Sub sits cheek by jowl with an unidenfitied steam loco at the unelectrified Platform 3 The station was designed as a mini-terminus by the LCDR on a tiny, narrowly tapered plot of land bordered by the road on one side, the metropolitan extension snaking underneath and Ludgate hill on the other. The already tight environs were further cramped by platform extensions to support eight car suburban trains in the 20's, and were taken further in the 30's which cut off the loco shed and left one island platform as a vestigal stump. The concourse was reduced to a narrow strip a few yards wide, and the outermost platforms were extended at the barest minimum width into the throat in order to support the trains lengths required. Despite that, a pair of 8-car EMUs would need to kiss the bufferstops to give each other clearance at the point formations leading into the station - and even then, would block movements to adjacent platforms. Two eight-car EMUs on P1 and P4 show just how congested the throat of the station was in this 1940's aerial photograph. The war has brought down the famous station hotel, and the station building itself limps on as a war damaged and shuttered relic. For long periods the station sits forlorn and impassive, between surges of rush-hour passengers arrive to head out towards the garden of England - and the conveyance newpapers and parcels to places far and wide courtesy of Fleet Street's printing presses and sorting offices of the Royal Mail. Underneath, the vast amount of cross-London freight rumbles through the Metropolitan Extension: An ex-LNER J50 leads a freight train past HV in the 50's The next thirty years will not be kind of Holborn Viaduct, reduced eventually to a single island platform before its unceremonious closure in 1990 - but for now, it's time to take Southern for Speed!
  26. 10 points
    The Fowler tank has been mostly completed, just needing a few details to be added/reinstated and then further testing before the addition of DCC control. The bodywork needed some attention. I reworked the entire rear bunker/cab-cutout to get a better/neater finish than had been on the original model. This entailed respraying and relining the bunker, and since I was about it, i also attended to some areas of bad or missing lining on the tank sides. I'd used HMRS pressfix lining when I did this original conversion in the 90s, and for consistency (and since it was all I had in stock) I carried on with it. I also took the opportunity to put on the earlier BR emblem, and when I redid the bunker numbers, i went up a size compared the originals, as they were slightly too small. Still to be added are wheel balance weights, sandpipes, cylinder drain cocks, and the usual buffer beam gubbins. Summary: a fun, satisfying updating of an older model, and one that now runs nicely, thanks to the good design of the Comet chassis and the effortless performance of the DJH motor and gearbox. Going back in time to pre-nationalisation days, I've also been revisiting a loco that was mostly built last year, but still needed to be lined and finished. This SE&CR E1 class was made from the DJH kit and coincidentally uses the same gearbox/motor as the Fowler tank. The basic body colour was airbrushed last year, but I didn't have the mojo to tackle the lining until I'd got my eye back in by doing the Fowler. Having lined locos using a bow-pen, I'm still not where I'd like to be in terms of neatness and consistency, so for Southern lining of this type I fall back on the cheat of using LNER waterslide lining. This comes in white-black-white stripes (at least on the Modelmaster sheets I use) so is fine for boiler bands but not for cab. tender and so on. But, it can be easily adapted by applying it as it is, and then cutting back the unwanted extra white line by use of a fine brush loaded with black, a bow-pen (easier than doing the main lining) or even a permanent marker. There are still a few things to do on the E1, such as front guard irons, and I've only numbered it on one side as my HMRS sheet ran out! But at least it's on the way to looking finished. I've since added lamp irons and buffer beam detailing. Finally, progress on a short rake of LSWR corridor coaches, from the Roxey Mouldings kits. I've got three to build, and then the option of buying a second, ,mirror-image brake to form a typical LSWR 4-coach fixed formation. These will be in unlined malachite as I simply don't have the skill to do Southern passenger lining to my satisfaction, much as they would look nice in olive. But, hey, malachite looks nice as well. Cheers, all.
  27. 10 points
    I've been trying out a technique several people have told me to try, one which I haven't managed to get working in the past. For some reason, it now seems to work - don't know what I was doing wrong before, but at least it's another technique to add to the arsenal. It involves boiling water, and dipping the warped part of the print in for a few seconds. Then bend it to shape (with something heatproof) and hold until it cools down again. It's not perfect, you do end up with a slightly wavy surface, but it can make warped parts far less obvious. The buffers on this SER brake had a distinct upwards angle to them, but it now seems a lot better. I'm struggling to work out why this works though - the resin is cured, not melted, so I don't know why heat would soften it again. One theory is that the resin is actually a composite containing tiny thermoplastic particles, or maybe that it breaks down the cross-links just enough to enable it to move. That will remain a mystery!
  28. 10 points
    I've finally managed to print an SER brake without too much warping - there's still a bit, but much less noticable now. So here it is in primer. I've already broken off and re-attached one of the buffers, so I'll have to be more careful with the rest of it. Next job is to fit all the handrails, which is not going to be fun as there are a lot of them...
  29. 10 points
    The Oxford N7 in my eyes is something of a bargain and Oxford have captured the look of these distinctive engines nicely. It is representative of the N7/4 sub-class I believe so is only suitable for a small number of members of the class. I wanted to model a Cambridge 31A example and discovered a number were allocated there in the mid-1950`s. Choosing an identity was made easier by finding a snap of 69620 at Cambridge Station in 1957. One of the problems identified with the Oxford model was how much the couplings protruded. To solve this I cut back the existing NEM pockets. Then by using a modified Bachmann coupler I was able to glue these in place. 31A of this parish also kindly highlighted that there should only be a reversing lever on the driver's right side so the one underneath the boiler on the left was gently cut off with a sharp scalpel. Wheel rims were inked in with a Sharpie black indelible pen as were the silver painted window frames and cab door beading. The whistle and safety valves were also touched in with Vallejo black acrylic. Following on from this the coupling rods were lightly distressed with a fibreglass burnishing pen then had a number of washes of a combination of German Grey and Dark Rust. Buffers were also given the fibreglass pen treatment then brushed with Birchwood Casey Aluminium Black which was cleaned off with a cotton bud. Vacuum pipes were painted in with Vallejo white then red for the buffer beam area. The cab roof and running plate were sprayed with Vallejo German Grey. The smokebox door had the printed numberplate/shedcode plate removed with T-Cut. Also the undernourished smokebox door handle was replaced with a brass Eileen's Emporium example sprayed with Hycote grey primer and satin black. The smokebox was sprayed with German Grey having masked the boiler off with Tamiya masking tape. The existing bunkerside loco numbers were also removed with T-Cut. A piece of Tamiya masking tape acted as a straight edge to renumber to 69620 using Fox Transfers. These were sealed with a light a light dusting of Johnson Floor Polish. The loco received several brush applied coats of the same product to lift the finish. The bunker received a load of real coal glued in with a PVA/Water mixture. New smokebox numberplate from the excellent Pacific Models. The 31A shedcode plate was from Fox also. Weathering wise a dusting of Vallejo home brewed track colour on the wheels and lower body. On the top of the smokebox/boiler a few passes of Vallejo black/German grey. Other than crew and lamps all done. A nice project worth completing and in my eyes lifts this lovely model. Cheers, Mark
  30. 10 points
    Its been a while since the last blog.... we start where we left off....me and my fellow 26 workers beavering away all over the depths of winter...changing windscreen seals....cutting out rot....repainting yellow ends....all for the start of the ever promising 2020 season . Two visits already planned, 1 to Somerset and Dorset, and one to the severn valley....even my fellow diesel dept members thought we wouldn't make it...but we did...we finished all our body work and repairs to internal systems, and were ready....one last job needed to be done and that was an oil change.... the oil sum on a 6lda holds 130gallons of your finest straight 30 engine oil, the frequency of oil changes generally depends on the condition of the engine and turbo charger, 26043 on average has an oil change every 2 to 3 years, and this is commonly due to fuel contamination, which is caused by a lot of cold starts...something which all preserved locos suffer from, which thins the oil. 26043 has the additional issue of a high soot value in the oil but we will touch on this later....so what does an oil change look like It looks like this...2 oil drums on brand new oil....best part of £1k not cheap....this year 26043 has had the addition benefit of a full filter change, £500....but this is the first filter change its had since it had been withdrawn. Inspecting the filter turned up good news...the only thing in there was paint flecks...and lots of it....but NO METAL which corresponded with what I read on the oil sample results. (the insides of Sulzer engines are painted) no it doesn't make sense to me either! the engine side cover off allowing access to the crankshaft main bearings and big end bearings, and allowing for general inspection of the engine to the right is piston 6, this is what's known as "B Side" (non air compressor side) Now seasoned BR depot staff reading this will say...to change the oil all you do is get the engine hot....connect the hose to the oil drain and open the ratchet and just wait....easy....no I know full well if open that valve after 25-30 years its not going to seal....and just like 26010....it will just drip and drip and make a mess everywhere. So...what I do is pop the engine access door off (3 man lift) and stick a barrel pump down to the depths of the sump to suck the oil out....its a tried and tested method.....it just takes a while Its here....things started to go down hill a pear into the depths of 043a engine, the oil sump (currently full of oil) reflecting the flash off my camera, note the surface rust on the crankshaft counter weights...this isn't unusual as condensation over the winter forms internally (as the engine has a large vent) and this ends up with inevitable surface rust. Nothing unusual here Piston number 4, the piston and rod assembly for all sulzers is about 4 feet tall, its held on the crankshaft using an end cap (not unlike a car) with 4 bolts...the toothed wheels prevent one bolt undoing another. the piston has a 28" stroke hence the name 6lda28 again on the left we see standard rust....its the right hand side counterweight which shows something is amis, we see a fresh streak of rust indicating a flow of water has occurred recently....its at this point I asked one of my colleagues to run the triple pump to bring the water system up to pressure, and while the cover was off I could see if any was escaping from the water jacket above and into the crank case, after a short period of running the pump I could see a bead of water form at the bottom of the cylinder liner....after wiping away the water it then returned...its at this point I knew the cylinder liner seals had failed on at least piston 4....and after close inspection I could see they had also failed on cylinder liner 1. So this then wrote the season off....the engine would require a full strip down and rebuild..... So what's first... first there's the rocker gear and fuel pumps....sadly because of the sheer amount of fiddly work we didn't get pictures of this...but its a fairly straightforward process. Then... the heads a 6 LDA like all sulzers and EE loco's have individual cylinder heads....unlike your car which has one head for the engine (or bank if its a V) the heads are held in with 6 nuts on studs, its common for these studs to snap and require drilling out of the engine block...thankfully we avoided this....but the nuts are sighted up to 650nm and, you have absolutely no chance with a spanner so a torque multiplier is needed, and a strong man....up steps fireman sam (his real name is fireman Jon but fireman sam is more humourous) with fireman sam pulling funny faces and me providing a little finger of morale support all 6 heads were undone ins about 3 hours....at which point fireman sam departed for a 12 hour night shift at his Bristol fire station! the heads weigh roughly 1/4 ton and are a minimum four man lift...you first need to remove the handy fibreglass cover so you can lift them out the engine bay with an overhead gantry. 3. of the. 6 heads after steam cleaning, they were covered in a 1/4" of grime and will be full stripped down and inspected before re-use each head is a minimum 4 man lift! you can see the twin valves and the studding which holds the rocker gear, the angled port to the right is the exhaust, and the port to the left is the inlet. next... the pistons... a piston being lifted out the roof with a gantry, each piston has a threaded hole for an eyebolt in the crown All six pistons weighting to be lifted into the racks All 6 pistons (well 5 you can see) awaiting clean up and piston ring inspection piston 3 had a broken piston ring and this will be replaced. The pistons with the bearings and end caps in situ, its vital that these are kept together the end caps are not interchangeable, the bearings are in excellent condition with only minor scoring, but very very little wear. finally...the liners...and liners are the biggest pain to remove, they have been in place for over 35 years and are reluctant to give that up, they are pressed into position and held in with the liner seals, a base plate and two 1.5" diameter bars are passed down the liner and installed at the bottom, at the top the a top plate sits over two head studs and the two bars pass through it, and then two 1.5" whiteworth nuts are installed, which clamps the liner against the studs....then with two ratchets and two people you wind the liner out using the two nuts, but doing the nuts up the bars pull the liners up...its slow and painful process until the liner jumps up (which is when the seals have been released) the base of the liners showing the 3 liners seals which are nothing more than overgrown. O rings...yes an £18.50 o ring has caused this failure! you can see above where the water circulates round cooling the liner, the lower portion protrudes into the crankcase. the liner bores...these are in fair condition, a few scores and a little corrosion evident where the locomotive sat for long periods after withdrawal, lack of spare liners means these will have to be re-used. after a light honing. finally a view into the now dry cylinder jacket looking down the bore at the liner sealing surface down to the crankshaft. at this point lockdown hit and min waiting to go back to carry on. thanks for reading.
  31. 9 points
    I've had to take a few days annual leave from work and I've utilised it to finish off a couple of vans. Working on the basis you can't see both sides of the van at the same time I've played with timeframes and put different liveries on each side. The white patch on the LSWR van is the light reflecting, it looks fine in real life. I can also see the camera cruelly brings out the worst in my painting (and transfer setting) some of which I need to touch up and some of which will need the willing suspension of disbelief,or I'll just drive it round the layout (which I haven't built yet) at a scale 200 MPH so no-one can see it!.
  32. 8 points
    I had previously made the cylinders and motion but not actually mounted them to the chassis. After pondering how to do this for some time, I settled on the idea of a removable unit to mount both cylinders. As you see in the first picture, this is made from a piece of thin PCB, which will be horizontal on top of the chassis block, held in place by the body fixing screw. At each end I soldered pieces of brass tube that will hold the previously-made cylinders, increasing them to something like the correct diameter at the same time. Usually the cylinders would be mounted in a vertical plate going across the chassis, but this wasn't possible with my solid chassis block design. This photo shows the unit before drilling the fixing hole: As you see in the next photo, I filed a recess in the top of the chassis block to locate the PCB: And here is a view of the underside. Note the gaps to maintain electrical isolation. The cylinders are just held in here by friction, but I subsequently glued them in with Araldite. The cylinders in place with the motion attached: They're not actually fixed in place until you screw on the body: Now it's beginning to look like an engine! The pistons still need trimming to length at the front, and I need to tidy up the fronts of the cylinders somehow - perhaps with some thin discs stuck on. It was very satisfying to find that (with the motor detached) the loco rolls freely up and down a tilted length of track. But I have to admit that this wasn't achieved without a bit of effort. Firstly, the coupling rods were too tight, and I had to gradually open out the holes until the chassis would run freely. Then I found that there wasn't quite enough clearance between the slide bars and the rods, so I had to unsolder the brass tubes from the ends of the PCB and shift them outwards a bit further. Luckily there's no scale drawing looking at the loco front-on, so I had some freedom in the side-to-side positioning of the cylinders. Even so, I won't be able to fit crankpin washers on the front wheels. In fact, it still won't run up and down with the body properly in place, because the other crankpins haven't yet been trimmed and just foul the bottom of the valance. But it's getting there! The next job is to sort out the motor.
  33. 8 points
    I thought it was about time that I finished my Dean Goods, so here it is virtually done. It's taken an awful long time to do, although in fairness it has been resting untouched for long periods while I worked on other projects. The loco has the original twin flywheel Oxford mechanism that came with the lined pre-grouping version. Mine is a very smooth runner, which is why I found the project worthwhile in the first place. Indeed I've bought another one at a sale, which also runs very well. Below is a summary of the main steps since the first post on the project, with some further photos of the completed item towards the end. Cab The cab floor and interior splashers were built up from styrene. A cut-out was required in order to clear the motor when fitting the body. The cab detail is a bit quick and dirty. I found a backhead in the spares box, spruced it up a bit and moved it 0.5 mms into the cab to clear the motor. It’s too low, but don’t tell anyone. The raised floor section in the right hand side of the cab can be seen on No. 2516 at Steam, but I’m not sure if it was there in the 1900s? According to Martin Finney, cab seats were a later feature so I didn’t fit any. Brassmasters have some lovely Finney fittings for the cab, but I wanted to save my pennies, so modified the Oxford lever and springs to look a bit more accurate. The cab side beading was made from 5 thou strips, cut on my Portrait and curved gently with my warm and healing fingers. Stuck down with Limonene and secured by rolling a brush handle against it. Further beading and handrails were made from wire. The cab roof was built up with four laminated layers, here are the first two (10 + 5 thou). And the uppermost two (2 x 5 thou). The join between cab and boiler was also built up piecemeal, very close to the spectacles as per my prototype. Fittings Handrails were fitted using my well established formula: "Measure once, drill thrice !" Boiler washout plugs from Coast Line Models. Alan appears to have temporarily withdrawn these, I hope they’ll return. I fashioned a new reversing lever, and fitted a loco jack from the Broad Gauge Society. Photos of the uprights on which loco jacks were mounted during this period are rare, here's a crop from an image I found (left). Also a standing version, which I suspect was an earlier arrangement. The curvy “piano lid” cylinder cover was a feature of some locos during the short smokebox period. They were sometimes left in open position while running! Fittings on the smokebox side were cobbled up from bits of brass. Chassis The loco chassis required very little modification, which means it can be easily replaced in case of a major failure. However, an indication of the ash pan and nearby components was needed. So I nicked Coachmann’s idea and made a simple screw-on unit. Later the ashpan was painted and Archer's rivets applied. Tender The Oxford tender is generally a good representation of the 2500 gallon variant, but various mods were needed to backdate it to 1900s condition. First, the fenders were cut off using a scalpel, and the area was filed clean. The protecting plates at the rear and front were too high for my 1900s prototype, and were therefore filed down to appropriate height and shape. I left the casing for the water filler untouched. Subsequent discussions suggest that the shape may have been different during this period - but I will leave it for now. Next up were the coal rails. I first tried cutting some 10 thou Evergreen on my Silhouette cutter. It looks OK here, but as might be expected it was just too flimsy. Instead I used wire from Eileen’s Emporium, halfround as per the prototype. I considered soldering but thought the joints might come undone every time I applied heat, so used epoxy. The result is quite solid. The uprights were fitted into holes just inside the flare of the tender sides, taking care not to break through the sides. I think the top rail sits a trifle high. Ah well. Photos suggest that most of the fittings at the front of the Oxford tender are not appropriate for my period. Replacement toolboxes and air vents from Brassmasters (ex-Finney) were fitted. Maybe the latter should be smaller on a 2500G tender, not sure. Sandboxes were cobbled together from bits of styrene. The front steps of the early 2500g tenders had an inward curve. A couple of round files solved this. The plastic protects the chassis from metal dust. Here is the result. The finished tender (less brake gear). Loco and modified tender. Painting and lining The loco in primer. After recovering from an "orange peel" disaster I got the paint job done. The green is Vallejo 70.850 with a touch of black (5:1), the red is 70.814. Lining was done with HMRS Pressfix transfers. One side done. The triple panels on the tender were tricky. Halfway through I ran out of lining, and discovered that new HMRS lining sheets are a different colour from the older ones. The samples above show the old sheet, and three new sheets. The latter came directly from the HMRS, whose own illustration still shows the older shade. A Fox sheet is also featured. In the end I cobbled together the remaining lining from an old sheet, using 26 pieces for one cabside . It does show in places. Final details Cab windows were made by filing and sanding the teeth off watchmaker's cogs. The glazing was cut on my Silhouette cutter. Not perfect, but I can live with it. Bit of fun: The Oxford model comes with a choice of coarse or fine screw link couplings (bottom two). I modified mine by adding a “Tommy bar” (top), fashioned from a part that I found in my box of watchmaker’s spares. A last few shots of the loco. Photos of 2487 and some other Dean Goods shows the safety valve slightly off-set from the center of the boiler band, so I copied that. Annoyingly I forgot to add the safety valve lever. Too late now, I can't get in there to fit it properly. The big compromise is the seam line in the boiler, although I only notice it from certain angles. I had planned to distract from the join by carrying the lining all round, but experiments showed that it had the opposite effect, so I left it off. Were I to do it again I would give more attention to matching the angles of the two edges as they meet, which could have been better. Still, I'm happy enough with it. The short smokebox and piano-lid cylinder cover makes it a bit different from available kit versions. No other comparison intended! So that's about it. Loco lamps and crew are on the workbench, and I need to fit couplings bars between the buffers. I also need some work plates, the one seen here is a stand-in of unknown origin. Does anyone know a source of 4mm works plates?
  34. 8 points
    Another project that's been stalled for ages is this Martley F Class, also known as the Second Sondes class. It was printed long enough ago that I was still using the orange resin, but has been sat awaiting a chassis before I build up the body any further. I never attempted building the original chassis design, as it was a long, 3D printed one, so would probably end up at warp city - this needs a redesign! I've got a couple of ideas for the frames, so this might be a good loco to try them out on. I've semi-proved the concept on another loco, but that was a 4 wheel drive Diesel, a conrod driven steam loco is a much harsher test. Getting the outside frames working will be "fun" too. I still think it looks alright though, this is one of my better prints!
  35. 8 points
    I have now moved on from the cheese grater stage with the GVT tram loco and am convinced I made the right decision with scrapping my first attempt - not that this one is perfect and some bits are annoying me but not enough to abandon it now. It is now a very solid and stable body greatly helped by the additional metal but also by my building it upwards while having tack soldered the basic body to a sheet of copper clad PCB which really helped to keep everything straight. Here it is attached to the PCB which also makes a great return for the resistance soldering iron which I used to great effect in attaching the beading. Each outer panel was made up separately as per the original which has meant the panel lines are really beautiful which I fear does not really come out on the pictures. Using the double skin has also meant that the inner panels can be riveted, some of which are visible on plans and photographs but others I have had to interpret for myself. I have done something about powering it it that I have cut out an alarmingly large amount of metal from the boiler in order to fit a Branchlines chassis that I have available.I need to get on wit the cab now which is actually quite a complex area and is scaring me a bit, but I guess it does not involve a great deal of metal if it needs a few attempts. There may be a bit of a hiatus now in traditional modelling as I am planning to push on with the decorating of the house - been here 15 years and still not finished!. Unfortunately this will mean dismantling the front office/ modelling room, redecorating this and then turning this into a temporary lounge while I do the proper lounge across the hall. I have been stacking up a few 3d projects in my head to work on which should be possible to push on with though.
  36. 7 points
    I'm completely baffled by the interface of this website these days. Navigation seems like a challenge game. Anyway, here is some progress on the engine shed I'm building for my O.16.5 engine. It's modelled loosely on the shed at Maespoeth on the Corris Railway. Painting the stone blocks is a slow process and it'll take a while before I can move on to building the roof.
  37. 7 points
    Retirement beckons and, like many, I had set my heart on building the layout of my (youthful) dreams. Having decided that N gauge was right for me, I set about picking up rolling stock, track, etc. at auctions (not Ebay). I 'scored' some major successes with only a single failure and I now have much of the bits and pieces that I require. However, one of the 'Lots' that I won at an auction included a box of Marklin controllers, switches and track but, sadly, no rolling stock. I thought that it would be a neat idea to create a very small Z gauge layout (the Marklin track being Z gauge). When I spotted a batch of Z gauge locos being auctioned I jumped in (feet first) and bagged several items. However, I identified that I would need some points and started asking around. I got into a conversation with a guy who was selling off his collection of Z gauge track, etc. and he still had a few items left. In passing, he mentioned that he also had an ex-exhibition layout that he had started dismantling. For whatever reason he hadn't got any further than removing some of the electrics and he was going to throw it into a skip if no one was interested. Rather tongue in cheek, I made him an offer and was surprised (and delighted) when he accepted. I am now the proud but daunted owner of an end to end Z gauge layout that measures 4 m x 0.28 m. It has been in storage for a number of years and spiders have taken up residence - it will need a thorough clean before I do anything with it. It appears to have two names, one of which is "Hauteville". One of the tasks that I have set myself is to produce a track plan (using SCARM) and then add a wiring loom which might help me to work out what bits are missing and whether or not the whole thing could do with re-wiring. Sadly (for me) the previous owner was pretty experienced in building layouts and didn't feel the need to label any of the wiring - troubleshooting was either a real challenge or he got everything right first time! I have erected the layout in my dining room (not currently in use) but have had to place it diagonally, from corner to corner, because it won't fit in anywhere else.
  38. 7 points
    Over the weekend and Monday evening I pressed on with a bit more work on the Roxey Mouldings coaches I've been making. As covered earlier, the first of these is a brake third which I mostly finished last year, and the one on the right is a composite which I've made in the last week or so. Weirdly, the composite went together without any head-scratching, whereas I had to resort to a bit of guesswork with the brake. I was puzzled as to why this should be the case do decided to have a closer look at the contents. It turned out that the brake had been packed with the wrong instructions! Obviously they were still mostly relevant or I'd have been all at sea but I thought it odd that they made no mention of the corridor connections and left me in the dark with regard to the trussing arrangements. Other than the fact that you need to raid the scrap box for a few vital bits (I think queen posts are part of the basic structure of a coach, so should be included in the parts, similarly with cornice and rain strips) these are very good kits that go together without any difficulty whatsoever. The parts all fit straight off the etch and there's no need for any fettling beyond trimming back locating tabs and maybe opening up a hole or slot a smidge. With the first one, I followed the guidelines about forming the tumblehome. This involves forming the tumblehome first, then making a sharp fold beneath it for the lip or ledge which abuts the chassis. As I was forming the latter, though, I found that the lower beading at the base of the tumblehome was starting to crease inwards. With the second one, I took the route of partially forming the ledge first, then forming the tumblehome, then going back and completing the fold for the ledge. This seemed to work a bit better so I'll try to keep it in mind for the next one! I'm perfectly happy with the brake but it's one area where I wanted to improve things on the next build. Both roofs are now fitted and fixed in place and I've begun detailing and final finishing. There are no seats so these will need to be provided. Again, I tend to feel that some provision for these should be in included in a kit, although I know that many kits don't. But the Comet, Slaters and PC kits I've made did include seats so I've taken that to be the norm. I think I might be able to get away with some very basic scratchbuilding as there just needs to be a hint of the seats' presence through the windows. They''re not like Centenary coaches where the interiors are easily visiblle. Hope this has been of interest to anyone looking at the Roxey range. They made some good albums as well. Cheers!
  39. 7 points
    Right, that'll do. Enough of this blogging nonsense! Finishing the Bagnall (for now) feels like a good place to stop. It needs varnish and weathering, but those will wait until the name and numberplates turn up. Overall, I'm pretty pleased with it, the modified bits have worked well, so I'll probably do something similar for more locos in the future. Another project that's come up every now and then over the course of this blog is the AEC shunter, which now runs! Needs a flywheel adding to smooth it out a bit more, but I'm happy with where it is now, and looking forward to weathering it so it doesn't look quite so toylike. See video at the end of this post. But I'm stopping the blog here, mainly because I have to remember to post something each day, and if I have a less motivated day, or too much goes wrong, it just turns into trying to talk about nothing. So I'll go back to posting in my various threads, thanks to those who have followed and commented on this blog, I've tried to take onboard as much of the useful info as possible! If you do want to keep up with any of the things I've been working on, see these links: Workbench thread Layout thread
  40. 7 points
    Having done my first RTR wagon conversion I was overtaken by the urge to assemble what ever rolling stock I could that needed minimal work to run. The attraction was that I could assemble realistic train formations long enough to test any future track work. In the limited testing I had already done I realised that constructing track and not immediately testing it was a really bad idea. Right now I'm working with a layout that has taken 30 years plus of very slow construction and almost zero testing with the kind of workings I was dreaming of, and the consequences are, you guessed it, almost everything falls off the rails very quickly - boo! Interestingly enough the worst performers should be the best - my coaches running on compensated (MJT) bogies - somehow I have failed to build them flexible enough and they run no better than uncompensated stock, e.g. my converted Bachmann Mk1s. So I thought, lets P4 convert as much of my RTR stock as possible so I can assemble four to nine car rakes, and (purists look away) even leave on the tension lock couplings within the rakes. If I can get these uncompensated rakes to stay on my new track then I have really succeeded! Then I can build really proper (compensated and 'real' inter car couplings that won't result in a sharp intake of breath) at my leisure, knowing that they will run better (hopefully) .... And amazingly I can get these to roll almost without falling off - If I attended to the joins between my RTR flexi track, especially at base board joins then it would be even better, as these are now the source of most derailments. But actually half the source of these problems are 30 year old sagging base boards, that are lined up to be replaced by new ones made from 12mm ply ... So some pictures: So in platform 1 (nearest) stands a mixed express formation with Mk1 coaches supplemented with LMS catering cars, Mk1 BCK (Bachmann), LMS Period II RCO (Hornby ex Airfix), LMS Period III Dia 1999 SO (Mainline), Mk 1 SK (Hachette) and nearest Mk 1 BSK (Bachmann). With the addition of a CK and another SK that becomes a short 'Pines express' rake. One day I'll build the LMS Period III RS (dia 1902) and RCO to make the catering cars that ran in th ePines until the summer of 1961. In platform 2 is a mixed ex LMS and GWR rake typical of the S&D semi fasts that ran in the 60s, from the front a Hawkesworth BSK (Hornby), a Collett SK (Mainline), and two Airfix Staniers, CK and BSK. The stock siding has my BR freight train rake in the course of conversion, (wheels done, couplings in progress) and then in Platform 3 my two coach ex LMS local set (Airfix lavatory non corridors). All rakes have tension lock in between, Dingham at the ends. Now looking the other way, but now the mixed LMS / GWR rake has been changed to an all LMS 3 coach rake, all ex Airfix Staniers as worked both S&D and Bristol-Gloucester semi fasts, the Collett coaches are now in the bay now the above looking the other way .... now to get some more locos running .....
  41. 7 points
    Mike Edge has been busy producing a "Super 40" for use on Carlisle. It is very, very heavy and has the "Co" bits on both bogies driven. My task..fit sound and "gentle" weathering Sound.. Easy peasy as there is enough room to ge a Legomanbiffo Loksound V5 in and a speaker as well with no hacking or bodging to get it to fit! Then a picture of a close sister engine (D335..this one is D334) in "Diesels on the London Midland"by Michael Welch gave a good starting point and side on.. Now back to Mike to refit some windows... Baz
  42. 6 points
    The Bagnall 16" takes another step forward - the majority of the painting is done now, the cab interior added, the chassis finished. I'm hardly the best painter in the business, but it's passable from 30cm away, and weathering should hide a few sins. Next jobs are to make the cab roof, add a whistle, and then wait a few months for the nameplates that are on order! I'm quite excited to get a coat of matt on this, which should make it look a lot better, then weathering, but I'll have to wait until I've got the nameplates and numbers for that.
  43. 6 points
    This is a quick follow up. In my previous post I showed my third attempt at scratchbuilding in its pristine condition I have not tried any form of weathering before. But I have now tried using ground pastels. I started by tried it out on an old Superquick card kit of a cottage. This seemed to work ok so after taking a deap breath (not actually that wise when the tale is full of finely ground particles) I 'did' the station, and I am really quite pleased with the result. There is still some touching up to be done and the picture was taken before the matt varnish was completely dry. To my 50+ year old eyes it looks better than my merciless camera-phone thinks it does. One thing I am surprised about is my eye for sizing it. I planned the model entirely from photos and had no idea of the dimensions. Now my copy of an excellent book Branch line to Chard by Ian Harrison has arrived. In this book he states that the station building was 84' by 26' . In 4mm to the foot, that means the model should be 336mm by 104mm My model is 338mm by 105mm! The time I spent count bricks was not wasted. This book has given me a lot of useful information including the fact that The platform awning was still there in 1966. I had assumed that it was removed earlier than that so I am now going to have to add that.
  44. 6 points
    Now that the wagon is weathered, I'm much happier with the shade used, it's darker than it was. Unfortunately this wagon has come out in stripes! It was a reject from the current batch I'm printing for this reason, so it didn't pass QC. I thought I'd build it up myself to test the livery and the new brake design, and it's not nearly as bad as it looks in the photos, so will probably join the layout fleet. Not that I need another ballast wagon, I have three of these now, all in different liveries, and no requirement for a ballast train in my micro colliery! I'll probably be able to use one at a time as part of the shunting puzzle, so they're not all redundant.
  45. 6 points
    While the majority of passenger traffic at Holborn Viaduct was via multiple units, but between 1935 until the finalisation of the Kent Coast electrification scheme and the end of steam a number of semi-fast passenger services to the coast operated. Due to the axle-loading limitations of Holborn Viaduct (not least that the services with the antithesis of prestigious!) the locomotives used on these services and the pure parcels/newspaper traffic were previously top-link SE&CR passenger locos of Wainright's era such as the E1's, D1's - as well as the more workaday O1's and C-classes. C-class on a cross-london freight at Holborn Viaduct Low Level Not sure on this one, but looks like a D1-class to me! Though I appreciate it's hard to see, there's a C-class on Platform 1, just above the left hand Metropolitan extension tracks Another D1 after dropping off a mid-morning Parcels train into P2 in 1958. Without a runaround on P2 it seems a shunting move via the runaround in P3/4 would have been required, backing towards Ludgate Hill. ex-Wainright E1 No. 31507 on a Ramsgate to Holborn Viaduct service in 1961 Yet another D1, this time in 1960 with a mixed passenger-parcels consist from Ramsgate that continued until the line was electrified, albeit transitioning to the BR Standard 2MT's.
  46. 6 points
    I have converted my 2nd Jinty for the EM gauge layout. This time i bought a pre built set from Ultrascale, expensive but very nice indeed. The wheels are a straight swap and the coupling rods attach to the wheels with no modifications required. I had to cut the brakes off and glue some 40 thou plasticard to bring them out and file to shape. I then glued them back on to the chassis with a bit more filing to the plasticard. After a bit of paint the body went back on. Runs really nice. I have got a 3F tender and a 4F to do next. I have started the layout but will save that for another blog post once its working properly with no shorts..... Thanks. Paul.
  47. 6 points
    Time for something in 1:76 scale. This is my frst brass loco kit build, a Judith Edge kit. Started four years ago and still unfinished now. Despite the very slow progress the experience of building it has been valuable and although I wouldn't like to stick my neck out too far there seems now quite a reasonable chance it may even be completed. I am very glad I took Michael Edge's advice at the time I bought the kit to try a relatively straightforward prototype. Thank you! There have been two big challenges so far. The first was 'unsticking' the chassis for free running. That's where a lot of the intervening years went, to be honest; I feared I'd open out the crankpin holes too far and several times put it away to steep while I mulled over what I was doing. I also took it the the club more than once to solicit opinions. It turns out that pickups are difficult. A lot of the issues with running related to those, and I found it difficult to workout what was pickup trouble and what was sticking coupling rods. Running a loco on rollers turns out to be a lot different from running it on track! The second was a lot more recent, last week in fact, and that was curving the edges of the roof. That issue was resolved by fiddling with it during an evening phone call. The payback for this opportunism was that I wasn't paying full attention so it remains to be seen whether I remember what I did next time. I'm showing the side where the roof edges are slightly out of line with the sides of the cab, which is painful to do but so far I haven't found the will to take it off and do it again, because I'm not sure whether it will come out better or worse. So far, carefully dismantling and refixing has proved the way to go but each slight misstep means another evaluation. But following my success with the cab I felt like carrying on and the front and rear 'hoods' have been done over the last few days. These two photos confirm it's far from a perfect piece of work, there's loads more to do and I still have a lot to learn before it's finished. But I think it's worth celebrating the fact that now at least this model does have the outline of the real thing. Incidentally I discovered a very useful gallery on Flickr which will help anyone else wanting to build the model, from ukrail: Hunslet 50T 325hp 0-6-0DH
  48. 6 points
    After three weeks of decorating much of which being spent dangling alarmingly over the abyss of our ample hallway, I decided that today was going to be different i.e. a whole day playing with trains. Well, not quite a whole day as didn't actually surface until lunchtime but hey, I deserved it! After some consideration of which dormant project to continue with I settled on the Mk2 GVT loco a this would get me cutting metal the quickest. Think again - the revised structure meant a good couple of hours reworking the drawings for my templates but got there eventually. This version is using an inner shell made up of two pieces to which all the outer panels will be attached individually as on the real thing.So here is one half being attacked in the GW rivet press. There is one row of rivets on the inside and I made an indentation for each of the 'spot welding' holes. The second pic is the side having had all the holes drill through at 2.5mm. These holes will be on the inside and are for soldering the outer panels to from the back resulting in a sort of spot weld that can easily be dressed if necessary.The second pic is the side is in my modified bending jig with gauge blocks being used to set the precise location of the bend with no measuring or guessing involved. So a whole days work has ended up with this looking alarmingly like a cheese grater but it is far more rigid already than the previous version
  49. 5 points
    Having made a few posts about the general arrangement and a few details about Swan Hill, I'm just getting around to signalling so it might be a good moment to post the provisional signal diagram "for comment and suggestions" and see what comes up! Swan Hill is GWR and dates to 1927 (or thereabouts). The track layout is loosely based on a reduced version of Uxbridge Vine Street with the goods yard accessed on a reversal (from road No 3) similar to the arrangement at Windsor central station. Traffic is predominantly passenger and the branch is double track throughout (for a double track branch with nothing much at the end of it, see GWR Uxbridge High Street). As at Uxbridge Vine Street, engines can only run round by reversing stock out of the arrival road (No 2) and running round on the crossover (points 1a and 1b). Parcels, horses, milk and other perishables are unloaded in Siding 1 and the loading dock. Other freight - coal, timber, construction materials and so on - goes to the goods yard via Road No 3. Road No 3 can be used by a push-pull service in addition to providing goods yard access: all three roads have direct access to the Up Branch line. The layout is wired for DC operation with 4 controller "zones" - the Up sidings (siding 1, loading dock and headshunt) are on controller 1 (C1: coded yellow for wiring). The Up branch is C2 (red), the Down branch C3 (blue) and Road 3 and the goods yard are C4 (green). Switches, relays and a Megapoints servo driver reverse the points, change frog polarity and allocate controllers and track feeds. Thus, reversing point 11 on the diagram allows C2 to take over control from C1 and, similarly, reversing points 10, 23 and 24 allocates C2 to take over from C4. Reversing point 23 causes C3 to take over from C4 (except for the line to the right of point 24) so that access can be obtained from Road 3 to the Down Branch. The same actions remove power feeds to parts of the track so that conflicting moves are prevented. When all points are set normal, the 4 controllers can operate the different areas independently. What is needed now is signals... SwanHill-signalling01.pdf
  50. 5 points
    I've realised that adding handrails might be one of my least favourite modelling jobs - but at least it's over now, and I'll admit it does add a lot to the visual effect of the loco. I've also added replacement steps and buffers, which I managed to attach without gumming up the spring this time! I doubt that the springyness will survive painting though...
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