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  1. I wanted some Private Owners for Farthing, so have built a couple of Powsides kits, i.e. painted and pre-lettered Slaters kits. I opted for two Gloucester designs to RCH 1887 specifications, one a 5-plank side-door wagon, the other a 7-plank side- and end-door job. I like the overall appearance, although TBH the small lettering isn’t quite up to current standards. Perhaps I was unlucky, they look fine on the website. The kits have blank interior sides, so the moulding pips were filed away and planking was indicated with a scriber. The instructions recommend joining all sides first, then mounting the floor inside. I struggled a bit with this, the floor wasn’t a perfect fit and the sides were lightly curved. Some dismantling and remedial work ensued, but I got there in the end. I used waisted pin-point bearings from MJT. Split spoke wheels on one wagon, and plain spokes for the other one because I ran out. Did some of these wagons eventually receive plain spoke wheels? Otherwise I’ll swop the erroneous set later. Some of the small lettering was a bit damaged or missing as the kits came. I touched it up as best I could. Some bits I simply painted over. I’d rather have absent lettering than odd lettering. The built-up wagons. Having admired Dave’s lovely builds of the 7mm versions of these kits, I decided to indicate the interior ironwork as he has done. For this I simply used strips of Evergreen (painted darker after this shot). Good interior photos of these wagons are rare, so drawing on discussion by Stephen and other helpful RMwebbers I drew up the above sketch to guide my detailing of the interior. Please note that this is my own rough and ready rendering. There are various unknowns and no one has “signed off” on this sketch. Anyone interested should consult Stephen’s drawing and info here. Interior ironwork in place. The kit does include a hinge for the end door. On some wagon types this was positioned above the top plank, but in this case I fitted it just behind the top plank, based on this discussion. Archer’s rivet transfers at the fixed ends. Stephen pointed out the “big nuts” that appear on the ends of many Gloucester wagons, extending from the diagonal irons inside. Looking at photos they seem to have been present on both 5-, 6- and 7-planks as seen here left to right (obviously only at fixed ends). The nuts don’t feature in the kit, so I added them. On the 7-planker I drilled holes and stuck in bits of brass. This proved tricky as it’s just by the corner joins, so on the 5-planker I Mek-Pak’ed on bits of plastic rod instead, as seen above. As usual: Liquid Gravity and 3mm Sprat & Winkles. I'm always amazed how much difference weight makes to the "feel" of a wagon. The couplings too: Ugly they may be, but they turn it into a working vehicle. Weathering the interior with pigments. The “Sinai Dust” seen here is courtesy of the late Mick Bonwick. Thank you, Mick. The Ayres wagon. Phil Parker uses a fibre glass brush to fade the lettering on printed RTR wagons. But these are transfers, so would tear (I did try). Instead I lightly dry-brushed base colour over the lettering. Helps a bit, but not quite as effective. C&G Ayres still exist as a well-known Reading removal company and former GWR cartage agent. This (very) close crop shows one of their removal containers at Reading ca. 1905. But a search of the British Newspaper Archive showed that C&G Ayres were also at one time coal traders [Source: Reading Mercury Oxford Gazette March 9, 1918]. So I need to decide whether to designate the Ayres wagon for coal or furniture. I wonder if this explains the difference between the red Powsides livery and the green wagon livery that I normally associate the company with. The Weedon wagon. You can just make out the nuts on the ends, but they aren't really noticeable. The effort would arguably have been better spent detailing the brake gear! I had assumed the Weedon Brothers were mainly coal and coke merchants, but again newspapers and directories of the time offered further info. [Source: Kelly's Directory of Berks, Bucks & Oxon, 1911]. It seems that manure was also a key aspect of their business. The company features on the right in this directory clipping - amongst lime burners, loan offices, lunatic asylums and other essentials of progress! Though based at Goring, the Weedon Brothers had stores in a number of places, as illustrated in the above 1889 advert. I’m inclined to designate the wagon for manure rather than coal. I wonder what that would mean for the weathering? Richard's latest book on Wiltshire Private Owners is firmly on my wishlist. Anyway, the wagons are now running at Farthing. Here's No. 1897 knocking them about in the sidings behind the stables. Overall I've enjoyed the build. May have a go at applying my own transfers next time. It's just a couple of plastic wagons of course, but I learnt a lot along the way. That's one of the great things about modelling, every build is an entry point to railway history. Thanks to everyone for the help.
    36 points
  2. Over the past month I decided to try and resurrect an ancient locomotive from my collection. It's not that we've discovered a source of high pressure Geo-thermal steam in Clare, it is just that I fancied trying to get the old Impetus Andrew Barclay fireless to work again. I first built this loco about 20 years ago and I can remember my son, who was about 5 at the time, drawing steam locomotives with their cylinders at the wrong end for months afterwards! The loco was built with a split axle design but still suffered from intermittent pickup. I had a little room left in the locomotive so I wondered about fitting a modern DCC decoder and stay-alive capacitor which might be better able to deal with this. I asked for some recommendations on the MERG forum and then opted to order a Zimo MX617f and KungFu stay-alive 27x9x6. I order these from Digitrains online at 13:30 on a Friday, Order acknowledgment was immediate, an email telling me that the goods had been dispatched arrived at 14:30 and the chips arrived in the post at 10:30 the following morning - Kudos to Digitrains and the Royal Mail. Soldering the stay-alive to the chip was nerve-racking but achievable (I believe that Digitrains will do it for you if asked) and the decoder inserted into the top of the reservoir (note: not boiler) . The chips were installed within 24 hours of being ordered! The stay-alive is sitting in the cab but is pretty well hidden. The result is incredible. Before the loco would stutter along and needed to be traveling at an over-scale speed in order not to stall. At this speed the motor was rev'ing very fast and generated an unpleasant whiny sound. After fitting the stay-alive I can now make the locomotive crawl along with its wheels going around at 1 r.p.m. It really does make for a most unusual model (and as such is bound to be released R-T-R before too long!) My second little project has been to work on some tests for a potential little side project. I rather fancy building a small single board 'cameo layout' for the fireless to run on. Many years ago I started a layout based on Mistley in Essex. The layout even got as far as a Scaleforum at City university (I said it was a long time ago) but was eventually abandoned because the maltings buildings were just so damn big and would have taken decades to make in plasticard. But now I have access to a laser cutter! One section of the building looks like this, the actual building being about 8 storeys tall and ten or so bays wide... My first attempt was to cut a test section using 3mm MDF for the base and 1mm MDF for the buttresses and detail. Each of these sections is 50mm wide x 70mm tall. While the buttresses were fine the detail on the brickwork was way too course. For my second attempt I purchased a sheet of oiled manilla card from Tindall's in Ely. (I corrected the closures around the windows etc. on this too) This gave a better look but the tiny pieces of card were extremely fragile to fit. The multiple layers needed were also very time consuming to add. For a last attempt I tried 3D printing just the decorative brick work. The part between the buttresses was printed as one piece and the part which wraps around the buttress was a separate piece. I also modeled the decorative diagonal brick course which had previously been cut in 1mm MDF and fitted into a slot in the 3mm MDF base. As I was in 3D printing mode I added some windows and grills to the print job. This was so much easier to assemble and could be made even easier if I cut some alignment holes in the base with the laser and added some location pins on the back of the 3D printed parts. I had a go at painting the test piece with two different colours of brick and then adding a mortar coat with some fine surface filler. Finally a wash with Vallejo grey wash. I think a building nearly 50cm x 25 cm could look rather impressive, particularly with a fireless and a couple of grain wagons shunting in front of it. I remember an enjoyable operating session on Enigma Engineering (what they make is a mystery) a few years back, this might be a case for Mistrey Quay (who knows what ships from there?) What do you reckon? David
    27 points
  3. It has often been said that the camera is the harshest critic. I tend to agree with that so I thought I would post a couple of photos of completed sides to see how they look in the context of the layout before going ahead with the other two. So, here we are. Diagram 96 all third, compartment side. Diagram 94 composite, corridor side. Those look reasonable to me, apart from the dust. Getting there.
    24 points
  4. Thankfully, in my case at least, lack of blog updates has not meant lack of activity. The past few months has seen slow but steady progress towards completing the cattle yard at Bricklayers Arms c1845 and therefore entering the final straight in terms of completing the first baseboard of this four baseboard exhibition layout. The following pictures are a collection of various cameos and scenes which hopefully go some way to telling the story of a busy (ish) mid 19th century yard in 4mm scale. The first scene shows a couple of chaps having some difficulty with a new chaff cutter. Chaff, or chopped hay/straw was an essential part of a horses diet. This particular model was Ward & Colbourne's Patent Chaff Cutting Engine, new in 1844. I scratch built it using brass scraps, following a drawing on the cover of Mechanics Magazine August 4th 1844. It's unusual in that it is a guillotine cutter and probably quite dangerous too! I modelled it so that it works. As you turn the handle the tiny crank turns and the blade goes up and down. Utterly pointless I know but fun all the same. The figures are modified ModelU 3D prints. I've fettled the clothing and hats a bit to take them back to mid-19th century labourers. Farmer Thompson is pleased to finally arrive at the cattle yard having driven his prize bull all the way from his farm just south of Peckham Rye. He got a good price for it so once it's on its way to Kent he'll reward himself with a pint in the Greyhound before heading back. The bull started life as a large white metal cow from the Dart Castings range. I cut the udders off, added some 'cahunas' and horns and beefed it up a bit with some judicious soldering before filing to shape. The characters are more modified ModelU figures. Of course a cattle yard would not be complete without a cattle wagon. This one is from my own range of kits, an early open South Eastern Railway type. Strictly speaking it's about 5-6 years too modern for the period I'm modelling but it's as near as I can get to an authentic vehicle. The characters hand-shunting are in fact me. I was lucky enough to be scanned by Alan Buttler from ModelU at the Severn Valley Railway a few weeks ago. He's done a fabulous job tidying up the scans and printing these out, and for once I haven't felt the need to modify them! It amazes me that even details such as individual fingers are reproduced. The only concern is the the painting does them justice, especially in 4mm scale. At the end of a busy day, Abraham is exhausted. He's diligently swept and shovelled to keep the cattle docks clean and is ready to go home to tea.
    23 points
  5. Work continues at pace since the last blog, mostly taking advantage of the good weather to carry on with the body work before the winter comes and its difficult to do anything externally in the wind and rain. All of the major welding has now been completed, we can see the cant rail area has had new steel put in place, the entire lower half of no 2 end has now been ground back and filled and a base primer applied (several more coats of primer are due yet. Extensive corrosion was found above the door, and this has also been cut out, this has all since been re-plated, the engine room door will be "modified" to prevent a re-occurrence of this , as water tends to run down the bodyside and pool on the top of the door. B Side radiator frame, corrosion had comepletely pulled the skill away from the frame causing a large ripple, this two has now been completely replated. The window frame steel itself in the door was found to be de-laminating which would have meant it would have been impossible to re-seal the window, this too has now been repaired More views of repaired steelwork below the vents for the boiler room control resistors And here you can see the aluminium strip applied to seal the bodywork against the weather, the reason for using aluminium is the cant rail grills and surrounding structure is aluminium, and replacing with steel would corrode the aluminium quite quickly, the aluminium is riveted with over 400 rivets, and also sealed with a NON setting sealant, which will keep the whole thing water tight, this is where the water ingress started which caused all of the corrosion seen in one of my previous blogs, a profiled finishing strip will hide the join between the aluminium and the steel, and the rivet heads will be ground flush and filled. Its very easy to fix corrosion, but its better to stop it happening again The bodyside windows have now started to be re-installed, however a shortage of the correct profile seal has stalled this, a lot of people dont realise its the simple things that can trip you up, originally this seal was £3.10 a meter and readily availiable, the distributor decided it was obsolete 5 years ago (despite it being one of the most common rail profiles) and now charges £15.45 a meter with a minimum run of 120m! One of the perils of putting a bit too much pressure on the glass when re-installing it :) The hole at the front has also had new steel applied. Elsewhere work has returned to the roof, where the grills have al l been cleaned out unblocked, and had new threads to retain the grills installed The fibreglass domes have also been sanded back and any damage to the gel coat repaired, more work is required on top though. A view of the locomotive roof with the engine room cover removed. Work has also been taking place above the radiators, the, holes that retain the fibreglass covers drilled and re-tapped to a metric size, you can see BCRW were not to good when it came to drilling straight holes! The fibreglass covers being repaired and re-painted, they will have there holes re-drilled, this is an undercoat they will be rubbed again down and have top coat applied later. Another major area of work is the fibreglass roof cover itself, which after 60 years is in a pretty poor state it was split, had many botched repairs and was falling apart. Re-enforcement of a corner of the section that had snapped completely Some examples of damage to the roof, from big holes to splits and a complete section that was snapped off A new aluminium section being trial fitted, also many "friday afternoon" repairs are evident as is splitting and cracking in the frame. The roof had split 3 of its 4 bearers, as the roof was originally created in a mould you cant replace these very easily and retain any strength, as a result strengthening plates have been fitted and riveted with special fibreglass rivets over the crack. The newly formed aluminium section awaiting and riveting into place A corner was also missing after a hard life this was also repaired The roof had cracked entirely across this section (due to the missing section that was repaired with aluminium) now that its back in place a patch and be applied with out the roof re-fracturing. FInally a complete new top skin was applied after the old one has been "peeled" off as can be seen one of the lifting lugs is missing, this one done by a passing tree when 043 has been on lorry on its many travels... A new lug made and awaits sealing.
    21 points
  6. Well its been a long time coming, but life is beginning to return to some kind of normality after the Covid 19 crisis! I've had my three jabs, caught the retched virus and recovered, so hopefully I'm full to the brim with antibodies I've really missed going to shows both as a spectator and as an exhibitor, so knowing that exhibitions are once again possible is very pleasing! I've definitely suffered a lack of modelling motivation over the last year, exhibition deadlines are great way of rekindling enthusiasm and getting some projects finished! I'm thoroughly looking forward to taking Sherton Abbas along to the Uckfield show in a couple of weekends time, I'm sure a good weekend will be had by all Hopefully the show will be well attended by RMweb members, pop over for a chat if you do come along to the show Best Wishes Dave
    16 points
  7. Below are some of the improvements I have attempted on the Lima LMS GUV/CCT. The coach was a chance find item in a chance find model shop on a day trip to Gravesend. The model was in "as new" condition before an inital brake fluid bath to remove the paint. The fluid did not manage to shift everything but as I intended to file and sand away alot of tge beading detail I felt removol of the lettering and numbers would be enough. Detail was scraped away with a brand new chisel blade. Preaching to the converted I know, but a sharp chisel blade must be used for good results but more importantly to avoid injury! I removed alot of the beading to match a vehicle photograph by Paul Bartlett in 1968 https://paulbartlett.zenfolio.com/lmsparcels/h157ec466 Additional beading was added to match the photo. All the chisselling and sanded was made harder by detail I wanted to keep like hinges and doors bumpers. I decided to just go for it and replace later with door furniture made of comet brass hinges I had in the stores, brass .45 wire for door bumpers and .33 wire for hand grabs and handles. Lanarkshire buffers, hooks and torpedo vents were also added. At this stage the the chasis was untouched and I looked around for ideas on how this could be improved. I came across a thread by @brossardabout the upgrade of this coach and decided to essentially copy his method. The most obvious fault with the lima model are the bogies, using BR1 type bogies, not the LMS 9ft bogies. Bogies are in the process of being built and I have opted for the comet welded type as there is a picture of a vehicle fromt he same lot as mine with the welded type. I have never scratchbuilt anything in brass so decided to tool up with a piercing saw and .41mm brass sheet to build the truss work underneath. The reason for the amount of work is that the battery box side is a little crude and the trussing is more exposed on the real thing. LMS v hangers, dynamo, vac cylinders, lighting regulator and battery box were used from the comet range. I mounted the vac cyinders so they hang too low but at this stage I felt the butchery required to correct them would be too much. The truss work is cut with a piercing saw and made use, like @brossard of the tatlow book on NPCS vehicles. The side trusses were made with 1mm brass L angle and .41mm brass sheet cut witht he saw. I hope so far that this account shows how modellers influence and inspire the work of others. I have done nothing original here but have enjoyed my first efforts using brass to scratch build with. I hope to get further along with the project this weekend!
    15 points
  8. Accuracy of Drawings In an earlier post, I wrote: “I used the same method that I described in my previous post to extrude the saddle tank from a drawing – this time a pencil sketch by F.J.Roche, reproduced in the ‘Broadsheet’ article. This drawing was useful for the front elevation but I feel the drawing in Mike Sharman’s compilation by the Oakwood Press is more dependable for the side elevation.” Some recent correspondence within the Broad Gauge Society (BGS) e-group suggested that the drawings in the Mike Sharman compilation may not in fact be that accurate, I quote: “The Sharman's book drawings were transcribed from originals published in the Loco Magazine. The one in question here* was published in 1903. The transcribers varied greatly. The originals are believed to be accurate but ... this particular transcription was one of the least accurate.” * This quote refers to a drawing of a Dean 2-4-0 convertible of the 3501 class, not my engine, but it sowed seeds of doubt in my mind. On looking more closely, I noticed for example, that the spokes of the bogie wheels on ‘Aurora’ were not placed accurately on the drawing, which showed up clearly when I designed my own wheel, using ‘Fusion 360’s Pattern command to produce nine equally spaced spokes. 3D-printed wheel laid over Drawing It’s a small point but a warning not to believe the correctness of all the details on the drawing. I have now measured the wheel base and other key dimensions on my 3D-printed model and have been relieved to find that they are all accurate. I shall pay more attention to the accuracy of any drawings I use as a basis for extruding models in the future. Front Elevation Looking through my own small collection of drawings, I found three showing the front elevation of one of these 4-4-0ST engines. Two of these, by F.J.Roche and by Ian Beattie are said to be of ‘Lance’ (both drawings are from the BGS magazine ‘Broadsheet’ no.17), whereas the one by Alan Prior (in his book ‘19th Century Railway Drawings') is of ‘Corsair’. Putting these three alongside one another shows that there are many significant differences between them: Front elevation drawings compared Faced with discrepancies such as these, I turned to photographs and, in particular, the one of ‘Aurora’ that I showed in an earlier post The tank seen in this photo appears to have the more rounded profile shown in the Roche drawing above, although the sand pipes are not so arched. Of course, those early engines often showed a iot of individual variation, so the dictum to work from photographs as far as possible is very sound but can be difficult to apply, when photos were so far and few between. Following ‘rules’ may not be best Another interesting point appeared when I started to create the trial prints of the wheels that I designed for my model of ‘Aurora’ I made the initial prints by laying the inside of the wheel flat on my printer bed. This meant that the widest part of the wheel, with the flange, lay on the bed so that there were no overhangs as the printing progressed, which is the ‘preferred’ method. In practice, the flanges came out thinner than expected and were damaged when I removed them from the printer. This may be a result of using a printer with an unheated bed but it was another case where disobeying the rule book yielded a better result! My later prints were made with the outer face of the wheel on the bed, so that the flanges actually overhung the main part of the wheel, as it printed. Nevertheless, the flanges printed cleanly and, by printing in this orientation, I could include sleeves extending from the backs of the wheels, to guide the pin-point axles and ensure the correct back-to-back measurement between the wheels. 3D-printed wheel-sets with integral axle sleeves Each sleeve contains a clearance hole for the 2mm axle, while the wheel itself is an interference fit onto the axle. I assembled each wheel-set by dropping a pin-point axle into the sleeve and then tapping it gently home into the wheel with a light hammer, as shown below. Once one wheel had been attached, I turned the part over and tapped the axle into the other wheel, until the two spacing sleeves meet at the centre line. Assembling a wheel-set Once I had produced a set of wheels, I could place them under my model, so that it began to look like a real engine! It has a purposeful look, well matched to its task of hauling important passenger trains over the South Devon banks. The famous Gooch singles may have stolen the limelight but it was these tank engines that maintained services across the more difficult routes of the South Western peninsular – they must be lauded for that capability ‘Aurora’ on her Wheels A few years ago, I could not have contemplated making a model like this and I am pleased that, during its design and construction, I have gained an appreciation of the prototype’s remarkable qualities. No longer shall I call it an ‘ugly duckling’ As usual, there’s a lot of finishing still to be done. One day, I must get together my collection of unfinished Broad Gauge locomotives and have a session of handrail fixing,-plus all those additional fittings and polished brass-work that make make them into beautiful swans.
    12 points
  9. Now, wake up at the back there, @Mikkel, this is a new post on this subject. At the end of my previous post, I wrote “Next, I shall turn my attention to designing and constructing a suitable chassis.”, so that’s the subject for today. Frames The frames of these early engines were rather unusual in that they stopped short in front of the leading drivers. The front bogie was attached directly to the boiler in traction-engine style. The frames were also quite light, with sizeable cut-outs between the driving wheels. Following my usual method, I imported a drawing of ‘Aurora’, originally shown in ‘The Locomotive Magazine’, 1896, into ‘Fusion 360’ as a ‘canvas’. I copied over the outlines of the frame, using the sketch mode, and then extruded the enclosed area to a depth of 1 mm, to form the frame. I used the ‘offset’ command to create a rim 0.5 mm in depth along the top edge of the splashers and then extruded this area a further 5 mm, to form the tops of the splashers. Similarly, I made an offset below the outer edge of the extruded splasher tops, to form the front valance. 3D extrusion over imported drawing Experience has shown me that my printer can cope with this amount of valance overhang, when printed with the design laid flat on its back on the printer-bed. There was no need to create a different frame for the opposite side of the engine, as all I had to do was apply the ‘mirror’ command before printing. Alignment The next step was to align the pair of frames at the correct separation and create components to represent the buffer beams and footplate. Rather than do this by measurement, I simply used the ‘move’ tool in ‘Fusion 360’ to align the frames with existing boiler and tank components. Once they were in correct alignment, I sketched rectangles to represent the front and back buffer beams and extruded these to create the appropriate ‘spacers’. At the back of the engine, I also extruded the upper part of the buffer beam forward, to represent the footplate for the crew and support for the firebox end of the boiler. I find it useful to assemble the various parts in the computer, to check that everything aligns correctly, even though I print them individually. The following screen-shots shows how I designed these parts in ‘Fusion 360’: Additional spacers aligned with Frames Bunker Once I had set the correct separation of the frames, the next part to consider was that splendidly curvaceous bunker. I tackled this by first sketching the profile over the drawing that I’d imported into ‘Fusion 360’, as shown below: Extruded drawing of bunker side I then created two duplicate sides and placed them into their correct positions on the 3D model shown above. I sketched a rectangular backplate and extruded this to form another body that I combined with the two sides. Finally, I used the fillet tool to provide the curved corners between the back and sides of the bunker, to create the overall design shown below: Bunker created to fit onto the existing computer model Boiler Fittings Three fittings are needed on top of the engine: chimney, sand-box, and safety valve cover. In the past, I have made a bit of a meal of creating such items but it is, in fact, extremely simply to create circularly-symmetrical objects in ‘Fusion 360’ To take the sandbox as an example, the first step is to sketch the half-profile and then to use the ‘Revolve’ command in the ‘Create’ menu to create solid body. Using the Revolve tool in 'Fusion 360' I used the same method to create the chimney and the safety-valve cover. I added these parts into their correct positions on the computer model, to complete the assembly, as shown below. 'Aurora' components assembled in 'Fusion 360' Having checked that all the parts fit together, I simply transferred the various parts to the 'Cura' slicing software and printed the resulting files. Most parts only take a few minutes to print. Bogie One more component is needed to complete the main features of this engine and that is the front bogie. In the prototype, the bogie pivots on a central ball-and-socket joint attached below the boiler. I feel that this arrangement would not provide sufficient side-swing for a model engine on practical track curvature, so I have decided to adopt the more usual swinging link method of attachment. Lessons learned (so far) I feel that I’ve learned a few more useful techniques with ‘Fusion 360’, such as the use of the ‘Revolve’ command. I’ve also appreciated the various modes of the ‘Pattern on Path’ command. Moving separate parts into the correct registration with one other, within my computer, has proved to be very useful for ensuring that everything will fit together when printed. I am now much more aware of the limits set by the fused deposition method of printing. The extruded filament has finite diameter, which sets a limit to the details that can be printed. If too small, features are simply ignored by the ‘Cura’ software, so it is essential to check the appearance with the ‘Preview’ option before committing to print. Very tiny adjustments to the computer model can make significant differences to the final appearance. The software can still tie me up in knots sometimes but I think I’m now better at getting out from them Printing and Assembly Now comes the easy bit, once the design has been completed. By printing parts separately, the print times can be very short. I made a list of the ‘Cura’ estimates for print times of the various components: Tank 1h 2min Firebox 39 min Footplate & Buffer Beam 27 min Smokebox 21 min Frame (each) 19 min Bunker 15 min Chimney, Safety Valve, Sandbox (together) 14 min Backplate 7 min Front of Smokebox 6 min It’s easy to refine the prints, in order to optimise detailing within the limitations of my printer, in view of these short times. Printing individual parts also minimises the need for support structures, by choosing the orientation of individual parts to eliminate these wherever possible. Printing more at once can be appropriate, once the details are known to be correct, but small print-times encourage ‘trial and error’ improvements. My current printed set of parts is shown below, after assembly of the individual components. A bogie frame appears in front of the engine itself. ‘Aurora’, assembled from 3D-printed components, including bogie frame The way ahead for this model will now follow conventional lines, adding wire handrails, pipes, and similar details. I have not yet decided about wheels but may consider these in another post. My method for constructing 3D-printed wheels has already been covered in an earlier post. I expect that here will now be a pause, while I continue through to the painting stage. Mike
    12 points
  10. If my last post was about ‘making choices’, the subject of this one is definitely ‘rivets’. These earlier engines seem to have been covered in the things so, thank goodness, 3D-printing software tools have come to my aid in reproducing them all. In fact I only had to draw one or two and all the rest were produced by tools such as ‘pattern on path’ which instantly created long rows of the things, following the contours of the surface on which they are placed. There must be at least 350 rivets on the tank surface alone. ‘Aurora’ Tank with added rivets Compare this illustration with the one in my previous post, where I had just completed the basic tank structure! It is the sort of job that could have been a nightmare, when using traditional construction techniques, but was relatively simple with 3D-modelling software – at least with ‘Fusion 360’, by means of its ‘pattern on path’ commands. I consulted several different drawings and found discrepancies between all of them. A consistent failing was in the width of the outer cladding of the smokebox, which was insufficient to surround the 24” diameter cylinders. I have widened the wrapper around the cylinders, as on many other engines of the period, although this does not appear on the drawings I have. The cross-section of the tank also varies between drawings although all agree that the tank is wider at the sides than the space above the top of the boiler. This is different from the full length tanks on, for example the Bristol & Exeter engines, where the tanks appear to be concentric with the boiler. Apart from that, the modelling and printing of the major components has gone extremely smoothly. I thought I might have a printer problem, since the print head was very slow to warm up, when I first used it after a break. My printer is unusual in that the head is part of a separate, plug-in module that contains the head itself, with its heater and thermocouple. I wriggled it a little in its socket and all was well again. I suspect that the heater draws quite a large current, so there will be a substantial power drop if there is any resistance at the electrical connector. Following my usual practice, I printed the main body of the engine as three major components and a couple of minor ones. The Firebox, Smokebox, and Tank were all designed to fit around a length of brass tubing, which forms the boiler and provides the main structural component of the model. As on the prototypes, one only sees the ‘cosmetic’ outer skin. The two minor components are the backplate and the front of the smokebox. 3D-printed Main Components I’ll not go into much detail about the construction of the main components, since my methods have been described in earlier posts. Note, however that I have included a filler cover for the tank and holes to provide mounting points for the chimney, sand-box, and safety-valves cover. I shall single out the front of the smokebox for some more detailed comments. This small component could easily have been combined with the main smokebox in the 3D drawing but could then prove difficult to print, with my fused deposition printer, which needs a flat surface to start from and no major overhangs. The inside of the smokebox needs to be a clear space to accommodate the brass tube, which forms the ‘spine’ of my model. The front of the smokebox can be made very thin so that, when laid flat on the bed of my printer, the complete job prints in only about 6 minutes. Once having copied the profile from the cross section drawing that I had used for the smokebox itself, I then added details to the front surface as described below. ‘Aurora’ Smokebox Front After sketching the outline in ‘Fusion 360’, I extruded the sketch to create a flat plate, 0.5 mm in thickness. Using this surface as my drawing-plane reference, I first drew two pairs of concentric circles to represent the cylinder covers. I also drew one small circle to represent one of the bolt heads and then used the ‘pattern on circle’ to create a ring of 16 bolt heads for each cylinder cover. I find it best to extrude the deepest parts first, so that the drawings for other parts remain visible on the surface. So, I selected all the smaller circles and extruded these by 0.5 mm. I then selected the annulus between the inner and outer large circles and extruded this area by 0.25 mm. Next, I tackled the smoke box door. This is made up of a series of three-point arcs and straight lines, to create the outer rim of the door. Then I sketched one of the door latches and used the ‘copy/move’ command to replicate the other catches at the required locations and orientations.similarly, I drew the outlines of the two hinges at the bottom of the door. As before, I extruded the drawings of the latches and hinges by 0.5 mm and the rim of the door itself by 0.25 mm. For the rivets around the edge, I created a single rivet as a ‘New Body’ at the top of the smokebox front and then used the ‘pattern on path’ command to create replicas all around the edge. I selected the ‘symmetrical’ and ‘align to path’ options, to spread the rivets evenly in each side and at a constant distance from the edge. The distances that I quote are all the result of trial and error, a process that is greatly facilitated by the very short print times of components such as this. I made the backplate in exactly the same way, although this is thicker to allow for curved fillet round the edge, which was polished brass in the prototype. I sketched and raised the firebox door and the minimal controls The end result, with the components all mounted onto a brass tube (visible through the chimney aperture), is shown below: Complete boiler assembly with components mounted on brass tube Next, I shall turn my attention to designing and constructing a suitable chassis.
    12 points
  11. The welcome return of High Level Kits caused me to order, amongst other things, one of Chris' 'Rustlers'. I've had an 4mm Impetus Ruston 48DS in various states of rebuild for the 35 years I've had it. My attempts to motorise it have been many and varied but I'd always been stuck driving only one axle. The advantage of the Rustler was that it drives both axles using High Level's usual high quality gears. I had to make my own 4-wheel chassis to fit the gearbox in but this wasn't too difficult using one fixed axle and one which rocks in some 2mm hornblocks. I purchased another Zimo decoder, this time with a slightly smaller keep-alive. The fictitious 'mill siding' I'd planned for Clare might just have a locomotive! I also had a chance to print up another batch of Cavan and Leitrim vans. These were quite fun to model up as each one is a little different from each other. It would appear me as someone with no knowledge of the inner workings of Irish narrow gauge railways that the workshop pretty much made it up as they went along. Wagons got modified as bits dropped off them and the variation seemed to depend on who was in the workshop on the day and what wood they had available. So we have one with a low profile roof, end ventilators only and planked side doors. But hey, why change both doors when only one is rotten? and this one still has side ventilators. And finally this one needed a whole new roof. Four wagons made pretty effective use of the Phrozen Sonic Mini 4K build platform. There wasn't much spare space. I just hope the chassis department can keep up with all this! David
    9 points
  12. The hobby room has a chest of drawers standing on the floor, this has always been a part of the design of 'Shelf Island' as it holds the fiddle yard tight against the main baseboard, as well as holding my socks and so on. The fiddle yard is to the left and 'Wellwood' is to the right: I keep most of my stock in Train-Safe tubes hung on the walls. I began with one tube for my Rapido APT-E (4mm scale of course) and then added eight more. Eventually I ran out of wall. Anyway, I fitted a connector for the tubes onto the fiddle yard some years ago. This worked fine until I pulled the chest of drawers out from the wall to let me run a track behind it, whereupon the side of the cabinet blocked the connector. So the mock-up of Wellwood had a siding to let me connect the tubes there, but this was unwieldy and really they were pointing in the wrong direction for most operations. The chest of drawers is the Ikea 'Malm' with a hinged lid. It is supplied with a mirror so it can double as a vanity unit. A few weeks ago I realised I could lop about 20 mm off the bottom of the Malm, open the top and lay the tubes across the corner of the opening: The 600 mm tubes will rest on the edge of the Malm cabinet, the longer ones need support from a hand or a camera tripod: The space below the lid now holds the tools for running the railway, and the bike and cars for the Magnorail: I have fixed some card over the mirror, it was too much of a distraction. When I shut the lid it hides the edge of the fiddle yard, and the new 'Wellwood' doesn't need a siding for the tubes. Quite why I never thought of this modification several years ago I don't know, but it is going to work. The carcass of the Malm is still structurally sound at the bottom. I rotated the bottom trim (the kick panel) inwards through 90 degrees and re-fixed it so all of the original strength is still there. I am tempted to build a control panel for the whole layout into this space too. It is in the right place in the system.
    9 points
  13. Link To Previous Posts Having completed the station road bridge my attentions have turned to the Gallery and Footbridge. Many may remember this the 3D Printed Station Footbridge frm Shapeways printed many moons ago. Unfortunaltely these parts are very delicate and it became apparent that transportation to venues and continual handling would not bode well for this item. With the station road bridge permanently attached to the layout and the Station platforms and buildings removeable for transportation it was apparent that the footbridge would also need to be a removeable item. Many iterations of the same concept have been explored but i feel the latest is by far the best solution. Footbridge Support Trestles These have always remained a 3D printed item. Although relatively thin wall profile by there very design nature they are quite rugged. I attempted home printing of these items and although they came out looking like the items the definition when it came to change in cross section of the diagonal braces was slightly underwhelming. In fairness the change is cross section is only 0.30mm in this scale so it is hardly surprising. A 3d CAD view of the offending items The solution was to have these printed by Shapeways as the layer resolution was 0.016 opposed to 0.05 with the elegoo. 44 The LH one is the shapeways version and the surface finish isn't as smooth the originals are made of wood so theywouldn't be smooth The 4 plynths painted and ready to fit Luggage Chute This was also printed by shapeways in the same material The Gallery Above : The Real Thing. The Gallery is scratch built from brass and sits on a brass sheet. This then sits onto the PCB that forms the roof of the Station bridge. This allows the entire footbridge and gallery to be removed for transportation The plynths and luggage chute will be glued to the underside of the gallery and staircase structure. This is still being worked so the woof cladding has only been taped for measuring purposed For the Gallery Windows i created an etch. This has the gallery windows and gallery window platform on. Left: Main WIndow - with internal version below and bars below that. Centre: Gallery falsework that holds the 3 handrail supports. Below are the walkway and Kickboard. Below that the 2 side windows and bars RH: Gallery Window platform Handrails and Brackets. Smoke Deflector Brackets (?) Each of the windows is formed of 2 etches. These are housed within a carrier. The carrier has holes areound it to aid alignment when the 2 parts are brought together. The red (1/2 etched) portions with the window, house a full metal bar to give the necessary relief. Additionally an extra 1/2 etch bar is added to the main supports (wide 1/2 etch section) Once each window section is soldered together they are painted and then a clear styrene sheet is sandwiched between the 2 layers before they are cut from the carrier. Current state of affairs Above: Main Gallery Windows Above: Side Gallery Windows Above: Gallery Window Platform Handrails These are all awaiting assembly to the gallery once the staircases are attached Footbridge Staircases Above : The Real Thing I had considered making the flights of stairs from brass strip but that was a totally insane idea ! Then i thought of having them etched which was not so insane. But finally i found my sanity whilst tinkering with the 3D CAD for the staircase structure and combined the staircse to the kickboard to give the some rigidity and had them printed. As these are hidden from sight mostly i chose to get them printed in versatile plastic from shapeways which has a grainy surface but is cheap, unfortunately they don't fit in my Elegoo Mars printer in one piece. The top stair incorporates the angle which will throw the staircase off at the correct angle to align with the canopy columns and gallery sides (Hopefully !) They have been designed to fit into the rebates in the staircase plynths and into the rebates on the underside of the gallery floor. Why Southern Region couldn't extend the gallery and make them at 90 degrees i will never know. Obviously to challenge the modeller ! Staircase Structure Above : The Real Thing. Having given some thought about having these printed and attaching them to the gallery by means of some glue i felt that this would then be the weakest link in the combined structure and with the constant handling and transportation may lead to future issues. For that reason i have gone for another etch. 44 This is a hefty 0.90 mm thick (wanted to be 1mm as the posts are 2mm square) etch. Each of the 4 sides have to have the 3 main vertical posts soldered to them (the 4th is on the gallery). In doing this the top of the post are half etched to form a channel for the upper roof support to be fitted into. On the upper edge of each side runs a wooden handrail on the original structure, which sits flush with the vertical post on the inside but protrudes by 3 inches on the outside giving them a total thicknes of 9 inches or 3mm scale. This means that the handrails need to scratch built and then added to each side. Each of the relevant pairs of sides is then oined by the horiontal upper roof braces (pictured bottom of etch above). I have never tackled an etch this thick before and had therefore had not realised how much each part would need to remove the cusps from the etching process. That said - "it's the journey not the finishing that counts" Above: LH Staircase Pair (inner face) with vertical posts added. Above: RH Staircase Assembled Above: RH Staircase Structure Cleaned and Etch Primed Above: Temporarily assembeld with staircase More to follow once i had more time to model. Mark
    8 points
  14. Some progress has been made with the Lima GUV/cct. A coat of red oxide on the the body revealed some nasty gouges where I scraped the beading away. Obviously lacked the finesse/patience!! Imperfections were sanded, filled with revell plasto (only thing they had in hobbycraft but rather good) and further sanding. The bogies where sprayed black, wheels popped in and sides glued on. It is quite tough getting wheels in and out without bending the frames out of shape once the sides are fitted. Contact glue was used. A further coat of red oxide on the body to cover the filler. Rivet detail was added to the underframe using plastruct rod. The sole bar rivets are drilled holes. Alot easier and they look fine if not better than my plastruct efforts. The underframe was primed then sprayed black. A general view of the work so far. Vac and steam heat pipes are added before the black spray coat. These are vac pipes by Lanarkshire model supplies, the steam heat bent and cut to mimic a steam heat pipe.
    7 points
  15. SEPTEMBER 2021 VIDEO Its taken since mid August to put this video together and edit but finally here it is. A broad selection of weekday and Summer Saturday workings from the 1957 timetable including the Pines Express. Freights both up and down the S&D and on the Mangotsfield line and some ‘on shed’ shots. Watch out for banking up the steep 1 in 50 through Lyncombe Vale with train engine 7F 53802 and banker 4F 44560. Both R/C battery operated and with sound. I hope that you enjoy the latest video from BATH GREEN PARK https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHUbtMpVDBo&t=3s
    6 points
  16. For continuity i have kept the title of this section of the blog the same as Part 1 and 2 of the Road Bridge build. Anyone wishing to view these can do so HERE I would never have thought that it would take me this long to complete this project but it has ! I guess that the loss of our old club building to acquiring the new premises did not help much. As Richard Stevens (Club Member) said " Its not the fiinshing but the journey that matters" how true he is Last week i finally planted the Road Bridge on Eridge for the final time and it now resides as part of the scenery. Having re-read those entries its clear that much changed during that build. The original structure was built from styrene sheeting and the warp effect took its toll over a relatively short time so that version was sent to the scrap heap! The new version will not warp. Each of the 4 bridge pillars are made up of numerous layers of laser cut MDF clad in platikard brick sheeting. The Up and Down Mainline Pillars and the Down Bay incorporate the drop in which is on the original bridge structure quite noticeable if viewed from the northern and southern side of the bridge. During this transition the exposed steel beams change to arched brick recesses as pictured below. I wanted to keep this feature on the new version , although never seen by the general public, i believe that when a photo is taken looking through the bridge this will be clearly evidient and so worthy of the effort needed to model it. The original plastikard bridge used styrene homemade "I" Beams to replicate this, on the new version these are brass. The reason for this is the pillars will be permanently fixed to the board (bolted down ust in case the track needs major repairs) so the roof of the bridge structure is now removeable for minor repairs. These brass "I" Beams are mounted on PCB Board and the arched brickwork then formed onto the "I" Beams. Unfortunately it appears no photos of the build process were taken (note to self). EDIT: Found Them Pictures Inserted The curved butress walls were 3D printed on my Elegoo Mars and then the brick cladding appled. Brick Cladding was applied to all faces of the bridge and curved walls before colouring them. On On that note Thanks to RexAshton (of this manor) for the advice on using Watercolour pencils to colour the brickwork without which this structure still would not be finished. i love this technique Before ruining it After Weathering The Almost Finished Article. Brighton Side London Side I'll add a photo view showing through the bridge later
    6 points
  17. Mike Ainsworth has been busy with the Station platform area. Platform Canopies He has built the canopies from scratch using brass sections to form the main canopy structures. The canopy columns were reused from Eridge mk 1. These structures are suitably robust enough to remove them for transportation of the layout to exhibitions They were then clad in plastikard sheeting and individual sheet join ribs were represented with semi-circular plastic rod before the structures were glazed. The end face were clad with 4mm wood cladding represented plastikard. Finally given there coat of paint and weathering Platform Edging Brickwork Following the trial of the 3D home printed Brick Edging Strips (More Information Here) these have been applied to the platform surfaces before the face brickwork was re-applied. The platform upper surfaces have been lightly coated in chinchilla dust and await painting.
    6 points
  18. After a mere seven months later, I have almost finished the first of the two PO wagons. The lettering on the side was not too difficult, although one side took two goes. I had real trouble getting nice sharp corners on the letters, especially the wagon number, but I think it looks all right from normal viewing distances. The spacing and shape of some letters is a bit wobbly, but looking at the photos in the S&W books, the lettering on various wagons with nominally the same livery is less consistent than I imagined, so my inaccuracies turned out to be prototypical (luckily). The lettering on the wagon side was assembled one letter at a time with HMRS methfix transfers, which is how I discovered that acrylics are alcohol soluble. It took about a week to letter the first side, but by starting all three lines of text at the same time I was able to cut down the time significantly for the second side. This lettering is in keeping with the rest of the wagon when it comes to regular spacing and correct alignment, as I found the process rather fiddly. The transfers on the solebars are by Fox. I am a bit uncertain about how to weather this wagon. Pre WWII PO wagons seem to be in unexpectedly good nick in many photos, so I think I'll keep it relatively light. S&W vol. 5 has a photo dated 1908 of a rake of PO wagons in Lydney with what appear to be almost spotless sides but considerably dirtier running gear, which struck me as a bit odd. While I think about that, I have started lettering the next PO wagon. As you can see, the lettering is still very much in the wibbly-wobbly phase, I hope I'll be able to tidy everything up and add the proper black shading to the letters. The completed wagon side should read PATES & Co / college coal exchange/ 22 Cheltenham, plus the various "Return empty to" and so on, which I'll do with transfers again. I have also painted the shunting truck and added some transfers. I think I will have to be a bit inventive with the HMRS GWR transfer sheet to assemble the writing on the side of the toolbox. My plan is to use this as a conversion wagon between coupling types, but I an not sure whether I want S&W on one end and tension lock on the other; or S&W and 3 link, considering the amount of brake detail I'd have to remove to fit a tension lock. Lots to think about, but at least things are moving again.
    4 points
  19. This project is reaching it's conclusio and I am pleased with the results. I opted for hand painting the body which was achieved using 5 thin coats of Phoenix Precision BR Blue. The Roof was painted humbrol 166 light grey. I failed to spot the cantrail and roof ends are painted br blue so I am currently applying coats in the correct places. Transfers are modelmaster, the numbers being applied individually. The body was sprayed halfords matt laquer which I impatientpy sprayed on a cold afternoo after work which did not leave the best finish. There was also a bit of froating on the underframe from humbrol matt spray, again applied in poor conditions. Weathering is carr's powders applied by brush and fixed with a vigourous but short shake of a humbrol matt spray varnish. Anymore and the colours become muted. 5 amp fuse wire was used to model the safety bars on the windows. Couplings are roxey etched screw links which will be manually coupled and uncoupled. Finally, the roof will be completed with light weathering and completion of the blue painting. A spot of white on the brake wheel should draw an end to this most enjoyable project. Lima BR GUV and Lima BR CCT next I think.
    3 points
  20. This model is my second attempt at a mess hut for 'Shelf Marshes'. The first ended up as a pleasant enough structure, but looking more like a village scout hut or sports pavilion. So I have tried a more neutral subject, a straight build of the Faller kit no. 130130 for a snack bar, they call this an 'Imbiss' or 'Imbissbude'. This model represents a prefabricated building, made in two halves and joined together on site: The 'joining on site' part went slightly askew for me, only a half millimetre or so wrong but enough to stand out like a sore thumb in photos, so the model has a downpipe here, two pieces of 1mm square styrene: I do think the printed interior looks good from this angle. In reality it is a piece of coloured card glued against the inside of the glazing. This is my sixth Faller kit in the last year or so ... I don't have shares in Faller, I just find their Industrial kits will work in a British setting. My only modification to this one was to paint the steel frame in blue to hide the original orange-red. Doing this seems to Anglicise the building quite well. I see plenty of barns and warehouses with blue paintwork, but never orange-red. Also I omitted the roof boards and their advertising slogans because this is supposed to be an in-house facility for railway staff. The warning signs are Sankey Scenics ones for 4mm scale. The paint job here was Halfords grey primer on the steel frames, overpainted with a Tamiya matt acrylic. The roof panels are the same grey primer with no top coat. I left the walls and window frames unpainted, and finally finished off the whole model with a dusting of Humbrol matt varnish. This hides the worst of the coloured-plastic look. I need to have a think about the foundation for this model. I think, some thick card to represent a concrete pad.
    3 points
  21. I've been busy working on the engine, there should be plenty of room to hollow out the interior to fit a motor.
    3 points
  22. While it's possible to run trains automatically on a layout by relying on accurate measurement and knowing exactly how fast your trains are moving, in practice you need feedback about where your trains are to make automation reliable, otherwise positions will drift due to all sort of variations and inaccuracies. There are several ways to detect a train on a track including optical detectors, switches, magnets and by measuring a voltage drop on a section of track. However in most of these scenarios there is no information on exactly what has been detected, a bit like your neighbourhood fox tripping you PIR activated lights around the house where what you really want is to know when a person is there. As I wanted to know which loco was where on my layout, I went for a Railcom based system because I think this is the only way to do that right now. This allows a Railcom enabled decoder to send its ID and direction of travel back to a feedback detector module and then to the controller and finally to the control software. The best bang for your buck in Railcom feedback detection is probably the Digikiejs DC5088RC which has 16 detectors on it for about £100-ish and that's what I went for they are easy for a geek like me to setup - you just plug them into your laptop taking care to only c9onnect them via USB isolator if you want to test them while the DCC system they are connected to is on. Here you can see my APT-E (ID 152) showing up in the Digikeijs software: The next question is how many feedback detectors are needed and where do they need to be? Here's my plan (with thanks to Iain Morrison for getting me started on this): You can see I have 5 feedback detectors giving me detection across a maximum of 80 sections of track. You can also see I have two reverse loop modules and I'll discuss those in another post, when they are installed and working. I am using iTrain and this works by using a combination of detection, accurate speeds for trains and recording the lengths of all the sections of track and points that make up a layout. So when a train is detected iTrain can predict when it will enter the next detection section and use this to set points and stop trains in a station and so on. However it is not precise - Say there is a 1% margin of error on a 2m length of track. By the time a train comes to the end of that section you could be 2cm out, so having more detectors where trains are likely to brake and stop reduces this error. For example in my 3m long station I'll assign 3 detectors , two short ones at either end of the platform for stopping depending on direction and a longer section to connect them. Precise positioning is also important for shunting and uncoupling and that's another thing I plan to automate later on. iTrain has a concept of a block that mirrors how real railways work where a block can only be occupied by one train (where a train is made up of one or mor locos plus other rolling stock) at a time. Each block can have many feedback detectors but does not include points, so just one way in to the block and one way out or none if it's a siding. As an example in my main station I have a block for every platform each with 3 detectors in. It's pretty simple if a little tedious to describe blocks and feedbacks in iTrain but then I need to make that real by making changes to my layout: Wire up the feedback detectors to my track, Connect them via Loconet (Lnet in Roco speak) back to the DCC controller (Z21) Enter the details of the feedback detectors in iTrain. Test, Test, Test That and splitting my single bus setup into a track plus accessory bus configuration required a lot of rewiring. Part of that was to add track power to each outside rail of all my points as I planned to fully insulate them from the adjacent tracks as I may want to add detection over points at a later date. This means the only things I have directly connected to the track bus are the detectors themselves - all power to detected sections, point rails and frogs flows through one of these units.. so I sort of have 7 buses on my layout! One for each of my 5 feedback detectors , the track bus and the accessory bus. I am aware this might be overkill but it works. It's also worth noting that both rails must be gapped between one detector and the next so that the common rail (pink in my diagram) gets power from the same detector that's doing the detecting Of course drawing diagrams is easy so here's the spaghetti under my layout.. I guess I could have invested in a more Technicolor wiring scheme but the sticky labels I have attached to the wires are good enough for me. I know I do now have a real mess of wires like my DC friends and some of the runs of dropper wires are longer than usual as the black wires all need to go to one of the five detectors. However, the difference is that I now know exactly where my trains are as we'll see next time. Finally thanks to my new friends Rich at YouChoos and James at DCC Train Automation who have been really helpful
    3 points
  23. Been doing some scenic work on The Stables. I wish I could settle on a fixed set of approaches for the surface textures, but I seem to be trying out different methods on every new layout The yards at Farthing tend to feature a cinders/ash/dirt mix for ballast, as seen in period photos. In the past I’ve used Polyfilla (handbuilt track) or DAS (RTR track). But I wanted a more textured look, so tried Chinchilla sand this time. I say Chinchilla “sand” because that’s what was available here in Denmark. Not sure it’s the same as “dust”? Anyway, the fine grain meant that extra careful cleaning of the sleepers was needed, and even then I missed some. Hmm. Once wetted and stuck down with a PVA mix it set nicely - but close-ups revealed an unsightly shine from the quartz. So I applied a couple of fairly thick coloured washes, dispensed as drops from a brush. The sleepers did need touching up afterwards. Well, I got my texture and can live with the result, but I'm not completely happy. Next time I may try mixing in some grout or real ash. For the yard's ground texture I have previously used Polyfilla, but wanted more control so tried a base of DAS, rolled and cut to size. Bacon sandwich, anyone? DAS on a PVA base, smoothed with a wet finger. Antarctic railway. The grey DAS I use dries up white. OK as a base, but a bit too smooth for what I wanted. So I experimented with terrain paste as used by the diorama and wargaming communities. Got some for my birthday. I ended up using mostly the AK Terrains Light Earth. Although coarser than Vallejo Sand Paste, I found it takes paint better and dries up dead matt. I think it's supposed to go on neat, but I found it could be thinned with water to control how coarse I wanted it. My best sable brush, not! Experiments showed it can be sanded down for more smoothness. Adds a bit of variation. In other areas I tried thinning the paste a lot, then stippling it on to add a slight gravel effect. The pastes would be an expensive solution if applied neat over large areas, but with thinning I think their potential increases. The whole thing was lightly coloured with thin washes of Vallejo acrylics. The layout has a slight embankment that separates the yards. This was treated to static grass. I haven't tried static grass before, what a superb mess you can make! I don't have much hair left, so I wonder… Although it’s summer I wanted a subdued colour, so used Mini Natur 2mm and 4mm "Late Fall", and a bit of Woodland Scenics 4mm straw. The phone camera exaggerates the yellow, it’s a bit greener in reality. Edwardian photos suggests that grass was fairly carefully controlled in yards back then, so I resisted the urge to apply it in patches everywhere. Lastly I tried working over the whole area with pigments. It helped blend things together. Note to self: This is MIG Light European Earth (P415), now rebranded as Abteilung 502 Light European Earth (2260). Also a bit of Vallejo Pigments Light Yellow Ochre (73.102). I suppose there’s an un-intended seaside look to it. Shades of Neil’s Shell Island layout. I wish! Where it’s at. Now onward with the trees.
    3 points
  24. Hello all, Apologies for the lack of updates recently. Yet again other things get in the way of railway modelling! A couple of weeks ago I attended the first exhibiton since my appearance at the Gartell Light Railway back in February 2020. Although not a huge exhibition, from what I gather the show at Yeovil Junction was a success, and I have been invited back for their Exhibition in April 2022, so I didn't put the events manager off too much it appears! That said, preparation for the show was a little difficult as during the weeks I am away from my layout, so a seccond Peco Smartswitch was partly installed the weekend before the show, as well as replacement board electrical connectors and a general wiring tidy up. It turns out I was far too ambitious and I ended up installing the last few bits of it the Friday evening before the trip up to Yeovil, so the first day of the show was test day. Not ideal, but by the end of the show it was all running well again, having solved problems with dodgy point blades, and a solder joint insistent on becoming disconnected from the track. (ABOVE) Images taken the weekend before the show. I decided to set the layout up and try and tackle all wiring at once, which fortunately worked. New connectors and servos can be seen underneath the board. (ABOVE) A couple of images taken during the show. The response to the layout from the general public was very positive, although nothing beat the compliment given at the Gartell show that my cows were the correct colour for the period! Some stock statistics for you then: 17 locomotives, 40 wagons, and 22 coaches came with me (Thankfully all returned) and I found these numbers to work very well, enabling a lot of different stock to make an appearance before it entered for a second time. So what next? A couple of new extensions are being built for the layout. One will double the length of the storage yard to 6ft, as the current length is a little too short now I have much more stock needing to come in and out. The other extension will add about 10cm onto the front, purely scenic, so that I can develop the goods yard a little more, as well as adding a new cattle dock I have in production to replace my scratchbuilt variation which is slowly falling apart. Overall then lots to keep me busy over the next few months, and hopefully I can get cracking with the front extension soon, I can't wait to get that new cattle dock in place as I feel its a significant improvement over the one in place currently. Onwards we go!
    3 points
  25. Since the last entry, the liners Pedro has worked his magic and the liners have arrived from sunny spain. 4 brand spanking new standard size Sulzer liners manufactured to the original drawings The Liner interior showing the cross hatching and the carbon brake the end of the cross hatching marks the top of the travel for the top piston ring. At the top of the stroke the piston crown is roughly flush with the top of the liner. The liners themselves are spun cast iron (not machined from tubing) the spun casting means that when the molten iron is poured into the mould the spinning action ensures a perfectly circular bore, and a completely even thickness across the liner walls, an uneven liner wall will crack prematurely. The reason for the cross hatching is to give the oil somewhere to go as it comes out from the piston rings, without the cross hatching the oil would gravitate to the to combustion area, but also could lead to something called excessive scraping, where effectively the oil is scraped during the stroke completely from the piston leading to piston ring where and at worse the piston jamming in the liner, which will lead to the rod exiting stage left through the crankcase leading to massive engine failure. too much oil in the combustion area leads to excessive carbon build up, dirty oil, and poor combustion, high oil consumption, and a general inefficient engine. Inevitably when cold some oil does get burnt and this is a where the carbon brake comes in and oil that does get burnt will carbonise and start to rise up to the top of the liner, when it gets to the carbon brake the carbon then falls off and can be ejected during the exhaust phase of the 4 stroke cycle so effectively the engine keeps itself clean. A common issue with preserved engines however is quite often the engine isn't stressed enough to dislodge this carbon, eventually it builds up and floods the carbon brake leading to a dirty exhaust and excessive wear on the fuel injectors. The distance between the carbon brake and the top of the cross hatching indicates the area of the piston stroke where the maximum power is generated and is therefore under the highest stress, and highest temperature. 6LDAs like all sulzers are NON interference engine, in that if the timing were to be incorrect (which is pretty impossible) then the valves and the pistons will never meet causing a bent valve and a very badly damaged cylinder heads. This is why on a car the cam belt is vitally important, it keeps the timing correct, it always keeps the valves and pistons away from each other. Car engines are normally interference engines. However what is vitally important is that the liners are the correct orientation, you can see at the side of the liners a cut out, and this is where the valves go when they open, conversely you can see a cut out on the piston crown which is also where the valves go. The cylinder liners therefore have a mark which lines up with a mark on the block which ensures the liner is in the correct rotation. The mark on the liner. There are 3 sizes of liner Standard - Classes 24,25,26,27 .5mm Oversize Class 33 1mm Oversize Class 45 and Class 47 As built all sulzers Baby, Juvenile and Big used the same liner, over time bore damage was observed on the higher powered engine as a result of excessive wear 45s and 47s it was commensurate with the size of the trains they were hauling, and the time they were spending at full power, 33s reflected the fact that they were running at a higher rpm due to the ETH, this meant that the liner vibrated in the bore and left an impression on the internal bore, this lead to sealing issues and damage to liners (fretting) so as a result the engines were bored to the sizes above to reset the issue. Elsewhere the bodywork continues as we follow the step by step guide to increasing your class 26s route availability by cutting out all the filler, rot and general detritus they are carrying around. B Side, the area we saw in the last post now completely welded up with new steel and framework in the area we saw in the last post, investigations revealed the source of the water ingress (the cantrail grills and this metal has been cut back to make a modification which will drastically cut down the water ingress into the locomotive in future., a few other areas of localised corrosion further down have been cut out, this is caused by the internal fire bottles sweating, and creating condensation on the bodyside. There are 2 problems at the cantrail level The first is the bodyskin has been applied too far up and riveted to the grills themselves, steel on aluminium is never ever a good combination causing electrolytic corrosion, this weakens the aluminium, although it has been cleaned you can see evidence of this, the other issue is that you will as a result of this process never ever get a water tight seal, you can see where the body was originally riveted on the girder. instead of riveting though we will seam welding (along the line of the original rivets), ensuring a strong 100% seal, an aluminium strip will then be applied to take the skin up to the bottom of the grills and then sealed to them with a very strong mastic, to cover the join a finishing strip of D profile aluminium will then be put over the join to cover it, this has the further advantage of disturbing the flow of rainwater off the roof and keeping it off the bodyside. Further down by the radiators we can see pooling water behind the skin has pushed it away from the frame which make it just look downright ugly, this is a process known as rust jacking. On the other side of the locomotive more is present because of the same issues this will be needle gunned before the frame is primed. The next area for cutting this is the opposite side in the boiler compartment to the picture you saw with the new plate welded in. However this rot isn't thought to be as bad this side hence the smaller amount to be removed. Cutting starts with the lower portion to be retained due the unique profile the bodyside is 3mm steel its very very difficult to recreate this with 3mm steel so this steel which is pretty much rust free is being re-used. What did surprise us was the sheer amount of detritus in a sealed area under the floor ( I say sealed because this had a cover which has been cut off to reveal this) it is full the brim with dirt flies, nuts and bolts and general crud believe it or not very little deep corrosion is present, it is though that this area has never been exposed since the locomotive was built. The now cleaned out area, and evidence of the larger lumps on the floor, the smaller dust filled the vacuum cleaner twice, this area will be needle gunned, and primed with a 2 pack zinc primer, the outer guttering (which was too corroded to retain on the other side, will be retained this side. The pipes are from brake frame which controls all of the locomotives air and vacuum systems. A Side prior to cutting, the cant rail will be cut just like the other side as well. 26043 is the gift that just keeps giving and we knew an issue was present at No1 end, on a previous blog we had an similar issue at no1 end, we knew at the time No2 was similarly affected but ran out of time to correct it, we patched it up and hoped to look at it next winter....of course after that fateful oil change....we have all the time in the world...., you can see myself with a suitable appendage knocking out the filler to expose random steel plates beneath which are padding out a rather large dent!!! Dent marked out for cutting dent gone! you are looking at what's left of the communications doors that 26s were built with, when the headlights were removed poor welding (too much heat) caused the metal to bow inwards due to expansion, when it cooled the weld prevented it from contracting back to its normal position, so to fill the dent they flooded with filler (over an inch!!!) and padded it out with steel plates which were held in place with a self tapping bolt. The tank was fitted when the 26s were dual braked. hopefully the next blog will show no more cutting and an re-assembly of the engine in progress.
    2 points
  26. This project started out as this a peco N gauge brake van in the BR civil engineer livery and looked like this- A small piece of planking piece was added on the inside but I quickly realised that you can't see the interior so I didn't bother adding any more details on the inside. The foot-boards ( I think that's what they are called) were painted brown with Humbrol Matt 186 as a saw I think a Southern pill-box brake van in the same livery with brown foot-boards. A peco unpainted figure was then painted to be a guard but I don't think it is the correct uniform but it doesn't bother me, was glued in place on the veranda at one end. A P and D marsh white-metal lamp was then added to the back or the same end that the guard is standing on and the centre painted red with Humbrol Gloss 19 so it is correct red for the lamp that is placed on the end of the train. It was then weathering quite heavily with DCC concepts Black weathering powders and then sprayed with a matt varnish to finish it off and seal the weathered powders in. The weathering is definitely not the best but I am happy with the weathering and every thing else on the brake van that I have added. It now looks like this- Sorry if I have made any mistakes this is my first time posting on Rmweb
    2 points
  27. A class of five small lightweight 0-6-0T, numbered 781-5 by the GWR. Two survived to join British Railways but were gone by 1950, whilst three went to industrial use in the 1930s and lasted to 1958/60. Only one received a really major GWR rebuild, which included a non standard Swindon designed boiler as well as GWR style cab and bunker. There are complexities around the E class bunkers! 781, 783 and 785 had an upward extension of the bunker with coal plates in Barry days, but 782 and 784 did not - or at least had lost it in their GWR time. I've drawn it in the Barry sketch. There are various problems with the GWR weight diagrams. Diagram A82, which was purportedly the locomotives as received shows the wrong shape cab entrance and the bunker too low. Diagram B5 ,which only applied to 782, shows a GWR shaped bunker that was never fitted. The locomotive appears to have had a new bunker at that rebuild, but it was a plain rectangle, taller than the Barry bunkers and about the same height as the extensions. 783 had a more major rebuild for Diagram B21 and did have a GWR style bunker. Another feature is balance weights on the wheels. I often leave these off as being tricky to manage accurately, but in the case of the E class only 782 appears to have had them. The generous supply of handrails seen on the Barry sketch may not have been present on every locomotive. They had quite an array of pipework behind the safety valve cover which I haven't managed to understand well enough to reproduce.
    2 points
  28. Started work on the 2nd baseboard using spare wood from older layouts. The construction I am using is the typical 9mm ply top with softwood frames. However at one end I am leaving the frame open as need to get access to the top deck from underneath. I have seen a lot of people build a second deck and then have to thread wires down through two boards but for me that would be an absolute pain so leaving the bottom board out with a gap seems obvious. Underneath the bottom board there is a crosspiece so the frame forms a square. I prefer to use handtools and im using joints to lock all the frames together together. Screw and glue (and countersunk screwheads in so they are flush). Bit of sanding to do now and the top deck to add. Hopefully it will fit through the loft hatch.... I want to get this board sorted plus the top deck of this one and the previous baseboard so I can start working on the wiring which I will probably do the majority of (the layout control bus and the DCC circuit bus) before pining down the track while the board is up on one side so I don't have to spend quite so much time working upside down under the layout.
    2 points
  29. Built by Sharp Stewart, the C class originally comprised four small 2-4-0T, without the standard boiler used by most Barry Railway classes. In 1898 two were converted to 2-4-2T, and the other two, one also converted to 2-4-2T, were sold to the Port Talbot Railway. Both the Barry locomotives were gone by 1928, even though one received a major rebuild with a Metro boiler.
    2 points
  30. These ten locos, built in 1914, discarded the old Barry standards and were a bigger loco overall with a much bigger boiler and a very large bunker. They were generally considered successful with the exception of a serious and strange flaw. When running forwards the rear coupled wheels had a tendency to switch points as they passed through them, sending the trailing bogie down the other branch. In reverse, they were fine. Naturally this resulted in an immediate derailment, and this was usually coupled with a fracture of a main water distribution pipe. This lost all the water, meaning the fire had to be immediately thrown out. On absorption, they were numbered 1347-1355 and 1357 and given diagram B. Four were rebuilt in 1922 with Standard 4 boilers, the first Welsh class to receive such a major change. This was allocated diagram C. In 1926, with the loss in traffic resulting from the General Strike, it appears the GWR lost patience with their reluctance to stay on the track and all were scrapped in short order. 1356, by the way, was allocated to an 0-6-0T locomotive that had been built for the Severn and Wye Railway, had been taken over by the GWR in 1895, rebuilt by the GWR in 1896, sold to the Alexandra Docks and Railway Co in 1912, and then resumed its 1895 number when it came back to the GWR at the grouping.
    2 points
  31. I have been making slow but steady progress. When I started I knew that it would take most of the summer, so I’m happy just pottering on with it all, learning as I go along. A few details. This is the luggage rack assembly, with the mirrored compartment wall. The brackets were a very fancy design, I have simplified them as they are less than 4 mm long. Not difficult in itself, but I have 64 of them to make. Seating is provided in the kit but it is basic and needs a bit of extra work. These are the first class seats. The silhouette cut the armrests and the wings, both trimmed in lace. How many antimacassers? Well, 78 of them. An internal view. The D96 is a nine compartment third. This photo was taken in dark conditions, I wanted to see how the level of lighting looked in practice. As I have mentioned in the past painting and lining is not my strong point. I gave a couple of sides a coat of rattle can, then left them for a few days to really dry. It is “Vauxhall Burgundy Red”. Now experts would tell me that I should be using an airbrush to spray a more accurate shade but there are limitations to what I can do in a flat. I really wasn’t happy about the idea of painting all those panels. Hmm, so I decided to have a go at making lined transfers on white transfer paper. Design was not difficult, but repetitive. I had some “Crafty” brand paper, first print, awful. Ink smeared all over. Second print, worse. So I learned that transfer paper degrades over time. New white transfer paper ordered, “Mister decal paper” brand. Printed well, transfers made and applied to a paint test card. Not bad but I still felt that the white part had too much of a pink tinge from the coach purple underneath. The answer would be to paint the panel white before applying the transfer, but that was what I was trying to avoid. I sat and had a think, what if I just put an identical transfer over the first? I tried it and it worked perfectly, nice white panel with the line round it showing up well. So here is a D 94 composite side as a first example. I am quite pleased with that. I wouldn’t claim that it is as fine as that produced by an expert painter with considerable skill with a lining pen. However I am not one and this method looks the part from normal viewing distances. It is also very fault tolerant. Make a mistake cutting round the transfer, bin it, next one. Realise that a panel is a bit squint, drop of water, adjust it. Having got the techniques sorted out I can push on and do the rest, still a fair amount to do though.
    2 points
  32. Projects over the summer have included trees. The original inspiration came from the tree-lined perimeters of Reading’s Vastern Road and King’s Meadow goods yards. Vastern Road yard, Reading, 1948. Source: Britain from above. The trees here were quite close to the track along some sections. Earlier photos from the 1900s show larger trees, so they must have been a feature from at least the 1880s. Vastern Road yard, Reading, 1948. Source: Britain from above. Apart from a bit of dabbling ages ago, this was my first real attempt at trees. It does show! But for what it's worth, here's a summary of how I did them. The basic armature was made from Treemendus 0.5 mm wire, cut to 150 mm lengths of which I used 45 per tree for my purposes. Similar wire can be obtained from florists. To form the trees, I used the method suggested by Treemendus, whereby one wire is twisted around others (rather than twisting all wires). This is certainly a quick method, but the outer wire does show. Treemendus recommend using masking tape in order to smooth out the trunk and main branches. This helps, but also adds to the thickness. Accordingly, I may use fewer wires per tree for the next batch. Once done, the armatures were coated in Treemendus bark powder. This can be sanded for a smoother look. For the crown and foliage I diverted from the Treemendus approach and instead used Heki sea foam, each piece glued to the armature with superglue. The pods can be removed, but I didn’t bother as the foliage I used conceals it. The crown was sprayed with a few quick coats of light brown/grey. I used Liquitex, these are low-toxic water based spraypaint for artists. Foliage was added using “coarse turf” from Woodlands scenic. This is the “burnt grass” shade. The foliage was attached using Hob-e-Tac- glue, non-toxic and very sticky. The foliage sticks to the outer reaches of the seafoam, leaving a nice natural branch structure behind it. A coat of Woodlands “scenic cement” was sprayed on to further stick things down. This darkens the foliage somewhat, so I only did one coat. As these are planted urban trees, they needed to be fairly uniform yet individually different. It helped to build them alongside each other. I found that it was possible to make up individual bits of sea-foam twigs and retro-fit them to the trees. That way, any areas that I was unhappy with could be improved. The species is nominally London Plane-ish, although I admittedly concentrated more on just learning the techniques. I did try to indicate the mottled/patchy look of the bark with a paintbrush, but it doesn't show up well and needs more work. The original plan was to have 3-4 trees at the front of the layout. I liked the views beneath the canopy. And the shadow effect when the sun came in through our windows. But from a distance the layout seemed too “front loaded” and forbidding. Trying out various configurations I was struck by how the different positioning of trees can give very different impressions. E.g., compare these two photos: In the end I opted for the arrangement seen below. This gives me street trees but also an open view. It requires an extension of the layout at the back, featuring another road and - you'll be relieved to hear - a backscene. This is currently being built. It's all been an interesting exercise. I will probably keep this first batch of trees for the time being, but have started experimenting with alternative methods, including natural plants. More on that later.
    2 points
  33. The latest incarnation of Hornby's Caley coaches suffer from the drawbacks of their origins; namely a representation of the two preserved coaches attached to their now dated Mk 1 chassis, still with no interior and those brass nuts holding the whole thing together. In the past I have attempted to blend the sides with a more appropriate vehicle, with none too much success, so when the Caley 123 train pack appeared I gave it little attention. It is the same old tooling, and although the engine now has a better motor, it has also acquired traction tyres, which is not a move forwards. However, the decoration is first class, and I got a set with the intention of doing an upgrade to the engine, but came to the conclusion that it was beyond practicallity- not for the first time BTW. The announcement of City of Truro finished any further ideas of modifying 123, but I was pleased with the coaches finish, and decided to do something with them. What follows now is not for the purists- but it gives me an acceptable coach for a minimum of that most precious ingredient- modelling time- and once again involved my stockpile of old Airfix LMS bodies and chassis. Rather than adjust the length of the body and damage the finish, I decided to leave the body as it was. The first line was to join two Airfix underframes to the correct length, but it proved easier to keep the Hornby chassis and fit Airfix ends and roof, to hopefully give a more pre-grouping feel to the whole thing. The coach was dissassembled and all underframe detail removed, and the new ends fitted. Trying out the new profile roof. A comparative shot of the two diffferent end profiles- I think it does make the character change. An interior was also added, but I forgot to photograph this before I stuck the roof on, so here is one of a old Mainline coach that is also being titivated- the old Peco kits being used. To be honest, its hardly seen, but I know its there. Two shots of the interiors as seen from outside- it is better than seeing straight through originally. Some shots of the finished coaches in service, and showing a before and after comparison as well. As I said, a very crude approach to coachbuilding, but it does make the most of the best bit of the original, the finish. I have been pottering about with some other coaches as well, and these will be here soon. Richard
    2 points
  34. I've not made an etched kit for a long time, so what better excuse to dust off the RSU than to put together one of Stephen Harris' kit for the 13T All Steel High. http://www.2mm.org.uk/small_suppliers/stephenharris/index.htm The etched contains everything except; vacuum cylinder, wheel sets, axle boxes and buffers. An interesting process is making the chain link dimples in the side of some wagon diagrams. This involves a 1mm punch and a sandwich of etched jigs, very well though out. Transfers are from fox and the base paint was Tamiya acrylics. This was then sealed in with matt varnish. The weather was built up in layers using various paints and the majority is done with brush work.
    1 point
  35. This huge locomotive, built in 1955 at the works of W.G. Bagnall of Stafford, should have been cut up on site at the colliery where it had worked in South Wales, but a mix-up in paperwork saw it arrive one day as part of the trip freight from Small Heath yard. It had travelled as part of several British Rail good services with its rods off and its appearance was a complete surprise to the staff at Watery Lane. It was the most powerful locomotive to have worked at Strong's and was fitted with a 400HP National Gas & Oil 6-cylinder diesel engine. It's working life at Strong's was short as it spent most of the time stored in the shed. It was sold to an operator in Italy and is believed to have since been preserved there.
    1 point
  36. The two Metros have progressed in tandem. Boiler bands added as the latest stage. Next stage - attach the bunker to the whitemetal Wills kit after finishing the cab interior. I finally got round to starting the Rod Neep kit a few weeks ago and a week off work has seen it almost finished. It has filled -in coal rails on the bunker and will be finished in the pre-1908 livery hence the red wheels. It will be 1445 which was at Ludlow in the Summer of 1912. The backhead is set slightly deeper and back because the rear of the motor shaft just creeps into the cab. What these builds have in common with the OSF 6 wheel goods engines also currently on the go is that they all have springs above the footplate. So that is the next challenge.
    1 point
  37. A blog in several parts, due to photo size. The kit is designed so that the body folds up from the floor in two halves jointed at the floor centreline, with quite large gaps to be filled with card. The corridor wall is then soldered in. I thought about this and decided it worried me. The sides fold inwards about 5 mm at cantrail height narrowing the aperture to get in and do the interior. I made coaches this way in the past and it was a real hassle getting in to add details and glaze the windows. That was with full compartment stock, I don’t know how folk manage to paint the corridor side. So, a bit of lateral thinking. Firstly the roof and ends. Some delicate forming of the roof section, then the support structure and ends. I worked off a board with it all clamped down to keep it square. Lighting is in place, lamps are central to the compartments. Note the little tabs soldered to the support structure at cantrail height. They line up with compartment partitions. A coat of white primer on the inside. One of the features of these coaches was that the body sat on a set of rubber blocks. I haven’t quite gone that far, but here is the floor cut from 10 thou brass, studs to fix it to the frames and the corridor etch soldered in. Again, note the little tabs soldered to the floor. I spent a fair time thinking about lighting. I tried latching reeds a long time ago, temperamental and delicate.So I needed a switch, but where to put it? The obvious answer was battery in one toilet and switch in the other, but how to operate the switch? It dawned on me, there are four small holes in the roof for the toilet tank fillers. Made from 1.5 mm tube, three dummies and one leading down to the switch. Just push a bit of wire down to turn the lights on and off. So here it is on the frames. Plenty of access to fit the compartments and seating. Easy battery change. And the next bit ...
    1 point
  38. A bit of progress on the project. The first underframe. Relatively straightforward though I fixed it down to a flat board when soldering to prevent distortion. The kit provides for a variety of the brake systems fitted during the life of these coaches but for my period the simple westinghouse arrangement is correct. Some slight removal of the lower edge to clear the wheels on a curve, but that can’t be seen from the side. A row of bogies ready and waiting. An underframe in position, it pushes round the layout and through pointwork quite smoothly. Some more underframes then bodies.
    1 point
  39. I have recently replaced the platform lights hopefully giving more of a western region feel. The post was cut from cardboard repurposed from old sketchbooks. I have found this material gives a good representation of the concrete used for these 1940/50's lamp posts. The lamp fitting was turned out of some laminated plastikard, mounted in a mini drill and turned to shape. A small piece of brass wire creates the fitting . The post is painted a humbrol wood colour and weathered with powders to create the concrete look. The previous lamp posts were revamped to create under canopy strip lights.
    1 point
  40. This arises from the recent thread on Ally Pally. Blacklade's modest experiences at the show are matter for another post, but one aspect of the post-show discussion was the claim by several people that many or most of the layouts were not running trains, and somewhere [probably at post 358] the idea arose that this was because the layouts and their operators were using timetables or sequences or something of that kind. As will be evident from the subsequent discussion http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/117493-london-festival-of-railway-modelling-alexandra-palace-2526-march-2017/page-17 there was some confusion as to exactly what was meant , what it is called, and what might or might not have been going on. I've no wish to blow on the embers of an almost dead argument; but by that stage the discussion was largely about general principles, rather than the specifics of a particular layout or even show. And as the issue and argument seems to recur I think a few definitions and clarifications are useful, in the interests of light, rather than heat. "Timetable" operation I understand to mean that there is a WTT with actual times at which a train runs. And there is some kind of clock, and the train does not run until the clock shows the correct time for it . Moreover the times of the trains are almost certainly derived prototypically, from an actual timetable for the full-size prototype, or from how long it would take to make the move in reality. The Yanks do this quite a bit I believe on their big basement permanent layouts, which are designed for private operation by a team of operators. A "fast clock" - running several times faster than real time - is often employed (Apparently the NCE Powercab has a built-in fast-clock function) For obvious reasons this is extremely rare, if not unheard-of at British exhibitions. I've never encountered such a layout in over 20 years of visiting shows. (I believe the Sherwood Section and Crewechester may have worked like this but those layouts had a lot in common with the big US basement empires in their concept). Post 426 notes that Heckmondwyke tried it once - and then reverted to operating a sequence. Suggestions that some operators /layouts at Ally Pally were standing around waiting until it was the right time according to their timetable to run the next train were at best extremely sarcastic (and at worst misleading - some people evidently started to think that there were actually layouts at Ally Pally running to a timed timetable . To the best of my knowledge there were none.) Running to "a sequence" is a much more common practice. There is a list of each movement to be run, in correct order, and traction and stock is allocated to each. There may well be a list of what points have to be set. But, critically, there is no clock. Once you've run move 22, you then run move 23 . You don't wait until it is "the right time" (If you have to wait until someone else has finished doing something else , then the operator's instructions will say so - "Wait until move 21 shunting is complete, then run move 23") The sequence may be based on the prototype timetable, suitably condensed - or in the case of a rural branchline, augmented - and the time the real thing ran at may be noted in the sequence - "Move 22 - 3:10pm Peterborough-Grimsby semi-fast". Some layouts display the move and its details somewhere on the layout , so that spectators know what they are seeing. But none of this makes a sequence into a timetable. There is no clock, and no "waiting for time" - Move 23 still follows Move 22 as soon as practical. This point is worth stressing, because it seems some people are under the impression that running a sequence slows down the operation of a layout, and results in periods - perhaps frequent periods - of inaction. On the contrary, a sequence should speed up operation. You cut out all the "head-scratching time" while the operator tries to work out what is possible given the current state of the layout and how he can or should make his next move. In fact this is probably the only practical way to operate a large layout with junctions that set up conflicting routes at all intensively . Otherwise you end up tripping over your own bootlaces at regular intervals and operating becomes limited and erratic to avoid the possibility of conflicts. But if a sequence is in place, operators can make the next move quickly and confidently, knowing exactly what they are supposed to do, and having full confidence that the move won't conflict with anything else. All the thinking has been done for them by the person who developed the sequence. A good sequence will allow your "party piece" operations to be shown to the public on a regular repeatable basis, as well as ensuring a good variety of stock appears front of house and your choicest models. And for exhibition use it's essential that the sequence returns all the stock to their starting positions, so you can repeat it. t-b-g notes that Narrow Road operated to a sequence that lasted an hour, and as part of this there were often multiple trains moving at once, sometimes up to five at once. You can only do that sort of thing with a sequence - and also quite a few operators, since controlling two different trains simultaneously is extremely difficult. Since operators' accommodation is the most expensive thing for a show on the layout side, there are practical restrictions on having large layouts with clouds of operators [And at post 442 we seem to have a witness to the famous comment about Heckmondwyke, with its authentic block-bells to offer trains - "the bells ring but the bloody trains don't run!".] For the record there was another well-known 1970s continuous circuit mainline layout, Winton, which managed a kind of hybrid between the timetable and the sequence. The layout ran to a sequence, but instead of using flip-cards they recorded a commentary/explanation on cassette tape for the public, and the operators had to keep up with the tape... It was written up for the Railway Modeller in the late Seventies, but nobody since has dared to attempt anything like it since. One caveat is that a complex sequence is not something operators can be expected to deliver on the fly first time. You do need a team of operators who have practiced, so they know what they are doing . Effectively, you are putting on a model railway play, called "a day at......." and like any play you need rehearsals before attempting a performance. That implies a team of regular operators, and opportunities to erect and run the layout away from shows. Now such sessions can be rewarding in their own right. In fact - heresy of heresies - it is entirely possible that such sessions, not public exhibition, can be the main object of building a layout. That was the whole raison d'etre of layouts like Sherwood and Crewechester , two generations ago. I was fortunate to be invited along several times to a big coarse scale Gauge O garden railway that had several operating days a year , and ran to a sequence loosely representing a secondary MR main line And lest we assume that operational layouts are some kind of crude and primitive form of the hobby that went out with spring-drive , it's worth remembering that Peter Denny's Buckingham GC operated with several operators to a complex sequence covering both the Buckingham line and its minor branches for several decades. Buckingham GC didn't fade away when the constructional articles stopped - it was operated, for Peter Denny's pleasure, over many years. It's just that the British hobby, focused on finescale construction and exhibiting , wasn't really interested in that. In the US , on the other hand, operating a layout is very much the core of the hobby. Indeed I sometimes think that in some ways Buckingham was a rather American layout - it's just that Peter Denny was modelling the GC in the Home Counties, not some subdivision of the Union Pacific in the Rockies. But I digress...... The next group of ways of operating a layout might be labelled "task-based operating". This can take a variety of forms, moving from the switching micro up to the basement empire; but what links these forms of operating as a group is that there isn't a set list of choreographed moves. Instead the operator is working ad-lib, but to perform a set task or tasks within rules and parameters. "Shunting puzzles" are the most obvious example, but all shunting layouts work on this broad principle. A train runs in, you shunt and sort the wagons into the sidings, and then you form up another train to go out. The arrival and dispatch of trains is a peripheral, vestigial activity - there is no sequence, just a "rest of the world" to send wagons out to and receive from. In some respects this is a game of model railway patience played with wagons rather than cards - and each train in or out is a shuffle of the cards. Canada Wharf at Ally Pally was obviously being operated on this basis, and so was Kirkmellington Most branchline layouts also tend to work on this principle. The main task is shunting the pickup goods, which can take quite a while - subsidiary tasks are running some passenger trains and maybe one or two "special" trains. Leysdown seems to have run on this basis . The fact is that shunting a train can provide hours of innocent amusement for all the family - in sharp contrast to what I was once told, that "You can't shunt on an exhibition layout. We never shunted on X" The big US basement empires commonly fall under this heading. It's startling to discover that a 40' x 25' basement empire with twelve operators for a session lasting a half a day may in fact only run 8-10 trains. However, in U.S. prototype style each train (with 2 operators per train) wanders around the layout, shunting a whole series of separate locations in accordance with prototype rules. This is task-based operating with a vengeance. One potential problem with shunting is the question of "what do I shunt, and why?" In the US it is normal to answer this question by implementing a system of wagon waybill cards, whereby each location has defined traffic generation, in or out, and cards are produced representing the movement instructions for a wagon to satisfy this. Thus each train is accompanied by a fistful of cards - each one representing a wagon in the train, with its load, and telling the operators where the wagon is to go to, and what is to be done with it thereafter. At each location, the operators find cards for wagons already there, with instructions on what is to happen to them. Effectively the train runs much like the real thing, and the second operator is there to deal with the paperwork, much like the conductor on a real US freight. You can do something like this on a British layout - in fact PD Hancock apparently implemented a wagon waybill system on Craigshire in its later years. But in Britain card/waybill systems and other such practices are things tolerated between consenting adults in private but not to be mentioned in front of the children. Essex Belt Lines seems to have been running a US style operation at All Pally, with a central dispatcher calling the shots and individual train crews working around a series of locations, but I think they had left the car waybills at home. The very simple layout where the operator performs the same basic operational task over and over again belongs in this group as well. Finally we have what I think of as the "cavalcade" style of operation. In this style of operation, normally found only on a big continuous circuit layout, there is no timetable , sequence, or tasks - just a socking great 14 road fiddle yard at the back, filled with trains. The operators simply fire out a series of trains from the fiddle yard round the circuit in each direction. Some layouts may run them round once, some may send them round for two or three circuits. Then they run another train . This goes on all day I have to admit that the cavalcade is not really my cup of tea - certainly it's not what I want to do for myself with my own layout, and I don't have a 36' x 12' space in which to do it. But there is no doubt it is what a significant section of exhibition goers want to see, and some tend to regard anything else as in some sense a fraud on the public perpetrated by the layout operators . As I was once told by a member of another club, "You must remember that people don't go to exhibitions to look at the layouts. They're there to look at the stock". And therefore in his view the actual layout should be as nondescript as possible - the set should not distract attention from the star actors . For this reason the cavalcade is the natural layout format for those folk who are essentially stock-builders. They simply want a stage on which they can display the trains they have built to the public. I find I can happily took at a cavalcade layout providing there is enough high quality structural modelling interest around it. Layouts like Gresley Beat, Dewsbury Midland, and Sydney Gardens are fine by me - I am effectively admiring a high-quality scenic model with the trains as an agreeable supplement. It's when the stage is nearly bare that I start losing interest. It's worth pointing out that a layout running a sequence might look like a cavalcade layout to the punters. I strongly suspect, for example, that Stoke Summit ran to a sequence - it featured authentic ECML services with authentic formations, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if they ran in a set order, roughly corresponding to the time of day they ran on the real thing. But the average punter was probably unaware of these subtilties - he just saw a continuing passing parade of trains on a simple 4 track section. It was a very popular layout. At this point I ought to declare my own hand. I have 3 layouts (okay Tramlink has been dormant for years...). I've always tried to design in as much operational interest as possible, so that I have something to do with it when it's finished. All three in practice fall under the heading "task-based operation" The boxfile is a shunting puzzle. You have four wagons on-, and three off-stage. You have to work the three off-stage wagons on, under the hoist, and to the correct spot, and work off the three empties. You swap an empty for a full behind the scenes. Working your way through this can take over an hour. And there is a panel on the flap giving "The Rules of the Game" Tramlink, and to a certain extent Blacklade, were designed to work on the same principle as those puzzles where you have 8 tiles in a 3 x 3 frame , and one gap. With Tramlink there are two sidings on each board, and it was designed to operate with 3 LRVs, and one empty siding. So you have an empty slot, and a choice of two possible LRVs on the other board to run into it. Soon your choice is constrained (I've just run this in , so I must run the other out...) Blacklade has 3 platforms on the station board and 4 roads on the fiddle yard board, one of which (the fuelling point) can only be accessed from the front two platforms. So you play the same game with DMUs, and in the BR Blue period (as we ran at Ally Pally) with a Loco-hauled Substitute - 2 coaches, worked Minories-style by two Type 2s . This can only really fit in the long back platform , and the long front fiddle yard road, with comfort. There is a run-round loop in the throat, but that can only really serve the short centre platform. So there's a parcels train that runs in at the start and is run round , before collecting a CCT van which arrives as tail traffic on a DMU. That is then replaced by another DMU. In theory , every item of traction should spend some time on the fuelling point to refuel - think of it as a scenic road of the fiddle yard - and there's a TTA of diesel which either needs to be worked onto the layout and back to the fuelling point, or else worked off, by a loco. Cue some shunting.... And for the first time at a show I managed to run the engineers' train, which comes on, runs round and goes back. That was at the end, when we were starting to box up the DMUs. So there's plenty to keep you busy , and trains were worked back and forth in rapid succession throughout the show But it's worth pointing out just how unprototypical all this intensive operation really is. In real life, Blacklade would see 5-7 movements an hour. So something would happen every 10 minutes or so. That's on today's crowded high-frequency network. Things were a lot quieter in the days of steam. In 1962 there were 5 trains a day each way between Kings Cross and Edinburgh, excluding sleepers. (In 1910 it was only 3, with two Scottish sleepers and the Aberdeen mail). By 1975 that had grown to 9 trains northbound and 10 southbound, and it went to 11 each way from 1978 with HSTs . It's a lot more today. Louth was an important double junction on the GN secondary mainline from Peterborough to Grimsby. In the summer of 1922 it had a service of 13 trains a day each way, of which 6 were local shuttles between Louth and Grimsby and a further one a shuttle which ran through to Mablethorpe. There were 6 more trains each way to Mablethorpe, and 4 on the Bardney branch. The entire service on the E Lincs mainline south of Louth was 6 trains each way. And on Sundays the branches were shut, and the mainline service comprised 2 trains each way. Freight traffic in 1946 comprised 9 up trains a day and 13 down, plus a pick up goods on each branch. That's 68 movements a day, spread between 4:00 am and 9:45pm. Almost 4 movements per hour, or an average of nearly two trains an hour each way. For nearly all the day you could have sat on the platform at Louth for 20-30 minutes without seeing a train move. This is for an important double junction on a secondary main line , with additional local services running in 3 directions. An important part of the character of the steam-age rural railway in Britain was the long - often very long - periods of stillness when nothing at all seemed to happen on a sleeping deserted station. The Central Line in the rush hour - which is what people seem to want to see at shows, or else - it was not. [edited to tidy up typos and commas]. And in a futile attempt to remove underlining...
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  41. So, one loco drive Hornby 9F, plus two GBL 4MTs were attacked with a razor saw. There's a lot of bits.... Here's all that is left of the 9F body And I've cut and shut two sections of tank and cab from the two GBL Class 4s to make this Also been experimenting with a Triang Princess bogie for the rear. If this works ill replace the wheels with larger more prototypical ones and this will set how long the bunker needs to be. More razor saw!
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  42. The later reprints of John Ahern's excellent book 'Miniature Building Construction' contain an extra XV1th chapter not present in the original book. This last chapter features a drawing of a small, attractive hexagonal lighthouse which forms the basis of this build. I decided to make this building in card to 4mm scale using Scalescenes' papers. As this was an early scratchbuild in my 'buildings from card career' following my introduction to Scalescenes' card building kits, I began the process by using the Scalescenes' technique of producing 'base layers' which are glued to card before being cut out to give you the parts of the building. I drew out the lighthouse sides, roof and base on plain paper. This was copied on my home printer/copier and the copy was used as the base layer. The master was put away for safety in case the parts required making again in the event of a disaster during the build. Next, I fixed the six walls and base to 2mm greyboard using a glue-stick and similarly fixed the roof to 1mm card. When dry, the parts were carefully cut out. Here are the walls and base... The next stage was to cover the walls using Scalescenes TX49 - Dressed Stone, applied using glue-stick. Lintels were applied and window sills were cut from 1mm card covered in plain paper from the Dressed Stone sheet. The walls were now given a couple of coats of Artists' Fixative spray. These days I prefer to use Testors Dullcote matt varnish. I used some .20" x .30" Evergreen styrene strip to make the window frames. These days I would use thin card instead. For the window panes I had to hand a packet of Scene-Setters Glazing Bars 3x4mm, which are produced by Freestone Model Accessories. Basically, the glazing bars are a white grid printed onto a clear acetate sheet which you cut to size to fit the window. The grids are available in different sizes to suit larger or smaller window panes. Brilliant idea. I glued the glazing bars behind the frames using Microscale Micro Kristal Klear. With recent builds I have favoured 'Cosmic Shimmer' acrylic glue which will attach card to card and card to plastic. The Promarker was used to colour the edges of 1mm card strips which were fixed to the rear of the window to give the impression of some thickness to the wall. Below is a close-up of one of the finished windows... The remaining three windows were completed. The other two walls have no windows. The banana shaped walls are an optical illusion, but they do actually get progressively narrower from bottom to top. I made the door by scribing the planks on 1mm card using the back of a scalpel blade. The card was then coloured using blue and light grey Promarkers. These markers are very useful in that they are double-ended with a point at one end and a wedge shape at the other. I used the wedge-shaped ends to cover the door in broad strokes. A door-handle was fashioned from brass wire. Coloured pencils were lightly rubbed over the finished door to add some slight variation to the colour. The door frame was made with plastic strip in the same way as the window frames. Although the walls slope inwards, the door is vertical. It was fixed in place and a stone portico was built around it using card. The walls were glued around the hexagonal floor. I now fixed in place the lower outer walls, and what fun I had! Every lower wall had to be chamfered on the inside at both ends and had to match its immediate neighbours on both ends, all of which slope inwards towards the top. The lower plinth was glued in place. This job was similar to the larger plinth in that each wall had to be chamfered at each end. Like the larger plinth you have to remember to take the stone paper over the top edge. There will be a small step below the door eventually but that will be attached later as it would be a bit vulnerable at this stage. Next we will cover those gaps at the corners and detail the upper part of the walls. As always, feel free to comment or ask questions. Thanks for watching. Terry
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  43. I have posted bits and bobs of this project elsewhere but it has been a while since I have blogged anything and I wanted record the progress with a "lockdown" project. Back in January I was given two Dapol LMS brake vans by my Dad. They were missing bits but he thought I might want to do something with them. Both were missing roofs and one missing an inner door panel. The plan was to revive at least one which I did, replacing handrails and scratch building a roof. The second van sat in a draw for much of the year but I felt it could be revived. I decided to have a go at an LMS Stanier reverse version. This came after reading a blogpost by @46444 where after improving the new Hornby LMS Brake, he mentioned the potential for making a stanier reverse. This would require some more heavy duty work involving the removal of the rail moulding below the roof line and the "swapping" of the the veranda sides. The verand sides were carefully cut out with a scalpel as I wanted to use them in the opposing corners. Here is one side tacked in place. New ends where scratched up from styrene with individual planks laminated on top. Thanks to the knowledge of folk on RMWEB i realised the duckets for the later version are too big so new ones were scratched from styrene. Also scratch built is the cabin door panel. Rivets were added and handrails made from .33mm wire. Lamp irons were made from the rungs of an MSE ladder I had spare! Due to the fact I cannot seem to orientate some of the pictures I shall skip to near completion. The footboards needed rearranging to match the new positions of the veranda openings. The barackets were carved away and new ones made fro styrene. Part of the sole bar braces needed to be scraped away also. A roof was made from styrene and a stove pipe made from brass tube. Small brackets above teh veranda openings are added as per the prototype. Transfers are a mixture of modelmaster and railtec, the latter being superb! End details are added from Lanarkshire Model Supplies icluding buffers, coupling hooks and vac pipes.The veranda were glazed using Humbrol Clearfix. Here is a comparison between the two vehicles. Painting involved the priming of the entire vehicle with halfords red primer then humbrol enamel browns and reds. Left to dry, a coat of tamiya Nato brown is painted over the top, left to touch dry then soaked in enamel thinners and wiped with a cotton bud. Here we see the comparison between the ducket sizes between old and newer vehicles. So here is a final Before and after comparison... Weathering to follow!
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  44. As touched on before we answered an SOS from the Llangollen diesel group, in which 26010 was in a spot of bother with some traction motors....originally it was thought to be one traction motor at fault, but unfortunately the problems turned out to be far more serious than first thought. Here we see 26010 at the end of my duty on 26043 ready in the shed for a lift the next week, all the traction motors and pipework has been disconnected. And finally the next week is here, up in the air ready for the long hard slog to start. A general view of Bogie No1 you can see traction motor No2 and No1 in this picture the holes are the bellows connectors which carry a forced supply of cooling air from the traction motor blowers, most locomotives have 2 separate blowers, but a class 26 like most Sulzer type 2s has what's known as a "duplex blower" in that you have 2 rotors on a shaft with 1 motor, this greatly simplifies and cheapens the costs of this type of arrangement since there is only 1 motor to look after, but it does have distinct disadvantages in that a failure will affect all 4 Traction motors, and also duplex blowers live in the engine room, which means all the oil mist and fluids leaking off the engine get drawn in by the blowers straight to the Traction motors, which really doesn't do them any good. the long pole to the far left is the hand brake linkage. the round dish in the centre the bogie pivot point, like all locomotives it sits on the bogie, it is not attached to it, accept by means of pipe work the handbrake linkage and the bellows. Notice how oily everything is, this is because at No1 end above the bogie sit the Vacuum exhauster which when they are past their best leak a lot of oil everywhere. Just ;ike no2 bogie both of these traction motors will be removed. A close up of the pivot point, the main mystery is how the leaves got into a completely sealed area.....the pivot point is lined with manganese steel which is very hard wearing and has excellent lubricating properties, the discoloration is where the steel has been stained by the grease, not all around it is the years of road dirt build up. The associated pivot on the locomotive underside, this to is in good condition with no scoring and will be regreased when the locomotive is placed on the bogies. A moment of reflection had to be paid at this point to "miss tiggywinkles" sadly perished long ago, but on the plus side....I don't think any basher can come close to the mileage she's had!!! On the left hand side you can see the top of the metalastic bush mounting for No1 Traction motor. A top view of one of the reasons 26010 requires its traction motors removed, on the bottom side of the commutator you can see the severe damage caused by the roller bearing failure on the commutator shaft, the whole armature has tilted causing the commutator to strike the bottom brush box, the damage is very severe and this motor is unlikely a candidate for repair and will go into store, its likely a new commutator will be required which requires a rewind of the armature, which will cost in the region of £25k, you can see at the top and the side 2 of the 4 brush boxes, the CP171 traction motors on a class 26 are 4 pole machines, each brush box holds 6 brushes in groups of 2 as can bee seen by the 3 springs, with a total of 24 brushes, the cost to replace the brushes in each motor alone is £1200. The toothed wheel you can see at the bottom of the picture allows you to rotate the brush gear to change the brushes whilst the traction motor is installed in the locomotive. Traction motor No1 showing the early signs of bearing failure as indicated by the score marks on the commutator within the brush sweep. The traction motors themselves are not the difficult to extract, they are held in at the front by 2 caps, and at the rear by four bolts on the metalastic bush, they can only be removed with the locomotive lifted and the bogie extracted however. which is a total of about 12 large 1/14 bolts, with another 1" bolts holding a dustcover over the axle. The other item you need to remove is the gear case. To give you an idea of the scale of the traction motor, you can see myself preparing a stored one to be fitted to 26043, you can see on the rear the metalastic bush, and at the front the right hand end cap which I am removing the large hole is what the axle goes through. At the front of the you can also see the drive pinion. And this is one of the end caps the collar on the right indicates this is a right hand side cap, you can see in situ the plain bearing which sits on the axle journal itself, in the centre you can see cotton waste packing, its this packing which picks up oil from the reservoir in the cap and distributes it to the bearing surface keeping things cool and lubricated. The bearing is phosphor bronze with a whitemetal wearing surface. A close up of the bearing indicates damage has occurred with some of the whitemetal coming away, this will have to be rectified before re-use. Close up of the opposite bearing which indicates even more damage, this has been cause by poor preparation when the bearing was either manufactured or re-white metalled. After everything Is removed the first of 4 traction motors is lifted out. The bogie after the motor has been removed, you can see the resilient gear wheel mounted on the locomotive wheels on the right, and the axle with the two highly polished suspension journals, its imperative these are protected so no damage or corrosion can occur, in the foreground you can see the locomotives hand brake linkage, note the two bearing shells on the pallet, each motor has 4 bearing shells (two per side) and the rear ones cant be removed unless the motor is removed, the pallet is there so they drop on to wood rather than concrete which would damage them., you see at the centre the mounting points on the bogie for the traction motors metalastic bush. A fully refurbished and repaired traction motor ready for installation when the remaining 3 motors return from repairs from this...... to this
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  45. Not a lot to report on 26043...its making a few funny noises but nothing really of interest since the last update, things might get a little more interesting towards the winter when we start taking roof panels off.... In the meantime..... I took a help for request from the Llangollen diesel boys, owners of 26010.... 26010 was in a sport of bother in that it had damaged a commutator on the traction motor. long and short of it deal arranged for 26010 to visit Toddington to have this sorted out and the chance for a bit of nostalgic thrash for a pair of 26s in there 60th year. 26010 arriving at todd, sporting a fantastic "economy green" paint job, but she's hiding some very dark secrets... 26043 sat in the rain at broadway with the last departure of the day so 26010 has suffered a partial collapse of the commutator bearing in traction motor number 2, the original job was to get one of 26043s "spare" traction motors overhauled shoe horn it in to 26010, and the rest is history...... so whats the plan then....firstly we need to get the traction motor overhauled..... if we jump back in time to the dark days of a number of years ago we see errant traction motor no2 being extracted from 26043 in the very same car park as the one which 26010 is being unloaded, 3 months prior 26043 decided that it didn't like traction motors no2 and no3 and flashed them both over. in the case of these 2 motors it was an interpole failure, which meant a winding failed in one of the interpole coils and those nasty volts got their wish and got to earth, blowing a 3cm hole in the interpole in the process. Principally this is caused by a break down in the varnish insulation, mostly due to age or possibly moisture contamination.....26043 was withdrawn after a power earth fault while on snowplough duties....so you can assume moisture had a big part to play. The motor itself is quite easy to extract, in fact in a rainy car park yours truly (pictured with my back nearest facing the camera. and a number of other fellow workers extracted 3 motors in less than 24 hours (we had to send a bogie away for a tyre turn and due to the depot crane limit it couldn't be more than 10 tons, all successful many years of thrash right up to the present day.... those 2 motors went into storage....until 3 months ago they were then sent along with a suitcase full of money to a specialist contractor to be overhauled although you cant really see from the photo inside that motor is black filthy and full of "soot" externally its covered in grime and oil after last being overhauled in 1986! So as I said a lot of money and a specialist contractor and you get this..... yes that's the very same motor you saw being extracted earlier, 47105 basks in the background having a very extensive overhaul. ok looks shiny but its the inside that counts right? Here you see all of the brush gear overhauled the coils removed and re-taped, the armature baked and varnished and the commutator turned on a lathe and undercut, and new brushes fitted.....the brushes alone are £1200 Ok great all good to go get it in 26010 and the Llangollen lads are good to go right..... sadly not as I said 26010 was hiding some dark secrets.... 26010 inside the shed at Toddington over an internal pit for inspection with 26043 for company (the first time a pair have been together for quite a few years) When 26010 was delivered as I was the responsible person for her It was myself that gingerly shunted her into the yard with our trusty 04 shunter, whilst moving her I could hear a deep rumbling sound coming from axle 4.....if I heard it from axle 2 I wouldn't have been bothered as axle 2 was the motor due to replacement..... A quick chat with the owners who said they heard the same noise and thought it some incorrectly fitted brushes which had been fitted the day before.... as such I decided to put 26010 over a pit the following weekend and have a look to see if this was the issue..... sadly....it wasn't.... What you see here is another case of the bearing collapsing on the commutator side of the motor if you look carefully the first picture you see the right hand side of the brush box clear the commutator but as you advance to the left that gap is slowly being taken up and eventually it strikes the commutator on the far left causing serious damage to the commutator and possibly writing it off. Note also how dirty and black everything is compared to the refurbished motor. Close ups of the offending brush box which has caused all of the damage, the brush box is still fully serviceable and only needs minor work to No1 brush cavity to be serviceable again. after inspection I recommended to the owners that all 3 remaining motors would best be overhauled, and in a flash the repair bill for the owners went north of 22k! So after expecting to only have to replace 1 motor....we are now removing and overhauling all 4! None of us are being paid for this work, and by working together 26043 is left with an overhauled spare traction motor and 26010 is restored to working order after so far 12 months out of traffic, after repairs and period of running at the GWR, she will return home to wales, and hopefully after all this work run for many more years to come!
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  46. Hi Folks, I thought I would share the results of a chance find in Hobbycraft, Basildon the other day. I was in for some bits and bobs for my daughter when I noticed a load of jars filled with decorative stones. As I was mentally scoffing at what I thought was a rather tacky interior design accessory I noticed this... The jar doesn't have any detail about what the material is but thought i'd take a punt as it looked very much like 4mm coal. The jar is about the size of a coffee jar and was priced at £3. I built a plastikard "shelf" on legs to sit loose in the wagons. The coal was poured on top of the shelf,removed from the wagon and a masking tape wall stuck around it to enable the coal to sit nicely on the shelf. It was then lightly sprayed with "wet water" then soaked in pva/water mix. As I poured the coal, I placed a magnet inside to allow the load to be lifted out with my shunting hook. I am often sceptical of cheap alternatives as they rarely match up but if you want a fine coal substitute I recommend this stuff...worth a try. cheers
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  47. Wow. Just worked out this is post no 100. It's been a while since the last one but that's just because it's taken so long to finish off the painting and lining. I've used Fox transfers again which I have to say are absolutely excellent just time consuming. Looking at the photos I've realised that the bottom of the splashers have a single red line to be added. I really struggled to get the numbers straight for some reason. They're still not right and I'm probably going to have to take them off again. Grrrr... The tender looks a little low at the front which is easily solved. I've cut down the crank pins and thankfully the wheels still go round. There's not much clearance in there. Still. I'm quite pleased with the way it's turned out, especially the pipe work.Weathering has obviously yet to be applied but you get the idea. Edit - you mean like this Adam?!
    1 point
  48. Here’s an update on the sidings at Farthing, or "Old Yard" as I have now dubbed this part of the station. I have reached the point where detailing can begin. I'm going for the uncluttered look, although a few weeds etc will be added at some point. Inside the "biscuit shed" we find an old timber built buffer stop. Like the shed itself, it is a survivor from N&SJR days, before the GWR gobbled up the proud little station and turned it into a goods yard. Being a modest lot, the N&SJR built their stops from coffee stirrers. Elsewhere, standard GWR stops rule the day. These were made from the rather nice offerings from Lanarkshire Models. I've modified the kits slightly by removing the left hand section of plain whitemetal rail, as I needed to have proper rail as far in as possible. The finished kits have a nice chunky appearance. They look like they could, er, stop a train. Close-ups can be so cruel. Someone will be having a word with the PW gang about those chairs, not least the missing one! Mind you, the real thing wasn't perfect either. This was cropped from a larger photo, to illustrate that it’s OK if you bend the stay bar... I've also made some point levers, originally from the Southwark Models range, now available from Roxey Mouldings. They appeared around 1900 and can be seen in some sidings, yards and sheds of the period. There were two types and the kit allows for both. I chose the simplest type. I chickened out on the soldering. Gel type superglue worked fine though. The only issue I had was with the weights, which are built up from layers. They do need opening out, and the handles need slimming down to accept them properly. As you can see, I struggled a bit with this. This cropped detail from a larger photo shows how the levers tended to be fitted on extended timbers, with the rodding often - but not always - boarded over. The boards were arranged in various ways, sometimes parallel to the track, sometimes perpendicular to it. I wanted to suggest something rudimentary so went for this arrangement, although these low shots suggest that I should perhaps add some boards at the side. I wonder how shunting horses navigated the levers? Another crop here, showing what seems to have been the standard painting scheme, ie weight and main lever was white, the rest was black (including the tip!). The points - so nicely built by John Jones - use a moving timber as tie bar. I laid the boards to accommodate this, so that the timber slides below the boards. I really must trim that pin! I've also added some fishplates. On my last layout I used the etched ones on the left, but felt that they were virtually unnoticeable. So I decided to experiment and use the plastic variant this time, which has more pronounced moulding. These are intended mainly for isolating gaps, so a slight modification of the rear side was needed. But alas, I hadn't thought it through. The result looks OK from a distance, but in close-up they appear quite thick. Of course it doesn't help that there is no actual rail join in this case! I also had problems with wheels bumping on them, so had to file them down a bit. I'm not blaming the product, it's probably due to my incorrect use of them. This is what happens when irreverent amateurs try to be clever with finescale products A loading gauge has also been made, using the Smiths kit of the simple, early variant. The light stone livery may be a little controversial, as many modellers paint them white. However... ...looking at photos from the period suggests light stone on this type. Above is one example cropped from a larger photo, PM me for others. Stephen Williams' Great Western Branchline Modelling is onto something similar in his livery guide (Vol 2 p71). He says dark stone for base of post and white for the rest, but adds that some may have been all over light stone. Could it be a period thing, or was there perhaps a difference between wooden and metal types? Finally, a note on the backscene. After much back and forth, I ended up with my usual solution: A simple embankment wall. Once again I used the vacuum formed product from Langley. It isn't particularly well detailed but I feel it works OK as an unobtrusive background that adds to the atmosphere but doesn't steal the show. Such heavy infrastructure may seem like overkill for a handful of sidings, but I wanted to avoid a rural look, and indicate that we are seeing the margins of a larger yard and station. The embankment wall thereby forms a recurring feature across all my 3 Farthing layouts, as seen in the medley of photos above. I’m hoping this will help emphasise that each layout shows a small part of the same overall station. So if you think it is all becoming a bit repetitive, I have achieved my goal....
    1 point
  49. Hi all, Superpig number ten (73010) is now complete. In the month or so since the last blog (actually a bit longer than that as I take a few days to write up this nonsense) I have managed to find a few quiet hours to complete number ten. Lets have a look a look around the loco and I will describe what has been done. Pipework, made out of various gauges of copper wire has been applied using a copy of a BR drawing obtained from NRM at York. (See previous blog entries). Basically it shows where all the pipes go and how they connect. The various boiler fittings are from Alan Gibson. These are cast brass items, the only complaint that I have is that they are really hard to drill into. The safety valves come from Branchlines and are included in their conversion kit. The clack valves on this model are from Markits. I am still undecided about them. They are much larger the home-spun ones that I used on 76009. They now look a little weedy. Has anyone got a drawing, or happen to be able to measure one? The plastic regulator rod has been replaced by a brass wire. The actuating lever on the side of the boiler was also made up from scrap metal. I think an improvement on the Dapol offering, which seems to be not as crisp as the older mouldings from Rosebud and Airfix. The loco spent an hour or so circulating the test track at ExpoEM. So it is well run in and proven. The only fault that came up was an annoying clicking noise with the loco in reverse. Investigation found this to be the speedometer touching its crank that had got out of position after I had removed and replaced the body to show off the motor installation. Anyway the crew are happy with it and can’t wait to try it out in service. A little peek inside the cab shows that in addition the crew I have put a bit more detail into this model. It certainly seems to add ‘weight’ to the appearance of the model. 76009 will now have to be upgraded to match. The crew are my own white metal castings. I wanted to see what I could do with casting, and I am very pleased with the results. My aim was to produce some figures in more natural poses based on published photos. A little gimmick I am trying out on this loco is a mechanism hidden in the tender to facilitate uncoupling the AJ anywhere on the layout. This is a simple lever with a paperclip on it arranged so that when I place a magnet onto the coal in the tender, it pushes the AJ down and so uncouples. Here it is, doing its thing. There isn’t much movement, so don’t get too excited. The pencil is pushing the paperclip up by the way. Of course there are a few errors. I am unsure about the position of some of the handrail knobs, pipes that are not quite at the correct angle etc. But I think that I am seeing more errors than really matter besides which you have to stop somewhere. My old art teacher used to say that many of her students used to ruin their artwork by stopping too late. With that thought in mind I will stick to the “three foot rule” and move onto the next project. The last picture shows 76010 ready to go into action with its Bournemouth Headcode. Moving on is to the DJH standard class 5. This was mentioned in the last entry. I won’t go into too much detail here, as I have entered this into the build a loco kit challenge, and you can read all about it there. But suffice to say that progress is happening and I am hopeful of completing it on time. Although it will have to have some major surgery. After that there is yet another Superpig, number 11. The chassis is still sat in its packet waiting to be opened. I am also pleased to report that we have two invites for Swaynton. So I had better get the standard 5 ready not just by the end of the year but for the Farnham and District show in October. The other show is a tentative invite in late 2016. Which reminds me that I had better update the Swaynton website and start creating a layout thread here on RM Web so that it can appear in the layout directory. As the layout hasn’t been out for over a year, it has been decided that a debugging session is required. So a hall has been booked in August so that it can be assembled and tested. More about this soon hopefully in layouts, if not here. Cheers Andy
    1 point
  50. Well it's been a very long time - in fact 223 days since the flood, but there is at long last a definite light at the end of the tunnel, even if it's still a way off. Eventually ten rooms were severely affected either directly or by secondary damage, and taken back to brick and concrete. Where there were timber frames they were removed and ceilings propped up, and my workshop was razed to the ground. It took until the end of July to dry the house out, but we've got one room completed with two more due for completion in a couple of weeks or so. Three rooms have yet to be started, so we're still in a process! Anyway, the main thing is my new workshop has risen from the silt, and is just waiting for the sparky to come and hook up the juice, which will probably happen at the same time as the two almost-completed rooms. What it means is that I now have somewhere during daylight hours where I can cut slivers of glass and slosh MEK without being a danger to the kids, though without electricity or lighting soldering and airbrushing is still not possible. RMWeb Live @ Coventry was my first opportunity to wield some new soldering equipment and sundry tools, but I've got a shopping list as long as your arm of things still to replace. Enough of that, you want pics. For those of you who take the MRJ regularly you may remember a lovely little essay in 7mm on the Mid-Suffolk called Debenham. The layout is now sold and the builder is constructing a new light railway for which I built a J68 and a J15. Last year he also asked if I would weather a couple of ex-GE 6-wheel coaches which he was never entirely happy with. So first up is a D&S kit of a composite to diagram 208. This was originally built and painted by Danny Pinnock many years ago, and in the interim given a little weathering, and this is how it came to me: Last winter I waved the magic wand over it, added some judicious drybrushing and I've now finally got round to reglazing it with 0.13mm glass, and this is the result:
    1 point
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