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  1. Well it's been a while since I posted anything on this thread, almost since the beginning of the first lock down in fact. Whilst I have been concentrating on my Stonehouse St James covid layout in the intervening period, I did decide to complete the signal box for Cheddar. The box itself is a Saxby and Farmer Type 3 and as I noted last time, this was drawn up in Coreldraw and the parts cut by York Modelmaking. What followed was a fairly simple assembly of parts, correcting the various mistakes I made along the way or, as is normally the case when I unearthed a photo after the event showing that some of my assumptions weren't correct! The sides are 1mm MDF with the brickwork pattern rendered . The windows are Rowmark, stuck to perspex with spray mount. The plinth is Slaters plasticard. The interior is an old Springside kit I had kicking around. I think the levers are painted correctly! Tiles are York self adhesive and other bits and pieces are odds and sods of plasticard, wire and a bit of perspex for the lamp. The nameplate was custom etched by Light Railway Stores. As with all things, now it's finished I can see a few things that niggle me but the funny thing is the front of the box will face the operators, not the public when it all gets plonked onto the layout. There's a bit of weathering required to the soffit boards but overall it's getting there. Happier to report that a house move shouldn't be too far away now. Rest assured the new abode has suitable space for layout erection, albeit not all at the same time!
    20 points
  2. I have been relaxing a bit, doing some layout maintenance and just running trains. All is now running smoothly and I can sit back and watch….. Well that was the idea. One of the problems with having a real good clean up of the railway room is that you end up with a nice clear workbench. All the tools put away tidily, the materials stocked in the right drawers. Yes, well. They say nature abhors a vacuum. I think we should change that to plasticard abhors an empty workbench. So a read of the wagon book, a look at some diagrams. Diagram 21 Loco Coal wagons. All easy shapes to cut on the silhouette, stick them together. Add a few bits of wire and brass and I end up with a couple of wagons. A pic of them in the raw state ready for a spot of primer. Compared to a photo. In the last blog Mikkel noticed the old dumb buffered pig iron wagon sitting there as the GCS passed. It is a funny wee thing, pre diagram and based on a photo. It is a bit of a pet wagon, probably the first scratchbuilt EM wagon I made way back about 1990. It really does look like wood, because it is made of wood with brass bits stuck on. The bolt heads are just spots of epoxy. Rather crude perhaps, but I’m rather fond of it.
    11 points
  3. FROM THE ARCHIVES Colour footage of various locos engaged in shunting at Tidmouth Docks in the early 1960s. Visible on the quayside are USATC S100 'Marcus', Bagnalls 'Liberty' and 'Atlantic' of the Tidmouth Docks Authority. North Western Railway 'Perseus' also makes an appearance, handling a private owner wagon rather roughly. In reality this is a bit of shunting filmed on Bob Edwardes' marvellous M Shed (Bristol) diorama at the Thornbury Model Railway Show last weekend. The locos were being run on a mix of DC and RC.
    11 points
  4. I’m building an 1854 Pannier Tank for Farthing in ca. 1919 condition, using a modified Hornby 2721 body, a Bachmann 57xx chassis and various parts from SEF and Brassmasters. Pure it is not. The project has been described on occasion in my workbench thread, but in a fragmented manner. This post summarizes progress to date. Prepare for many close-ups of green plastic Background It's a bit of a nostalgia project. I wanted to do something with the old Hornby 2721, a model I've had a liking for since first seeing it in the magical Hornby 1980 catalogue at the tender age of 11. Note the "X", it was high on my wish list back then. When I finally got one several decades later the running was a disappointment. So it went to sleep in The Big Box of Lost Souls, until I decided to bring it back to life. The original plan was to make a backdated 2721, but along the way I decided to do the outwardly very similar 1854 PT class instead. The components I'm using match an 1854 PT a bit better, including the plain Bachmann conrods and the absence of visible springs behind the Hornby splashers (a feature of the 2721s). The 1854s were also a bit more widely dispersed during the period in question. Above, I have plotted the 1921 allocations of the 1854s and 2721s into Google Maps. See details below this post. So the goal is a pragmatic 1854 PT in ca. 1919 condition, a period I have a growing interest in. Ironically I have yet to find a 1919 photo of an 1854 PT. Instead I'm extrapolating from early 1920s photos (including a couple on the gwr.org.uk pannier page), and drawings in the Finney/Brassmasters kit instructions and Russell's "Pictorial Record of Great Western Engines" Vol 1. Thanks to Brassmasters for making their instructions freely available, I try to repay by purchasing fittings from them. The RCTS "Locomotives of the GWR" part 5 is a key reference. Jim's book "An Introduction to Great Western Locomotive Development" has also been useful. Chassis and body I’m using a Bachmann 57xx/8750 chassis for the project. Various chassis versions exist, including 32-200 (left) and 31-900 (right). I’m using the former, which is shorter and lower. Closer look at the chassis. The weight block has been removed to test the fit. Later it went back on. The Bachmann chassis and Hornby body. There are various well-known issues with the Hornby 2721. Hornby used a Jinty chassis, and so the splashers don’t line up with the more correctly dimensioned Bachmann chassis. The frames and bunker are also too long, and there’s no daylight under the boiler. The chimney is appealing, but wrong shape. I disassembled the body and was surprised to see that the tank/boiler top is a separate component, well disguised under the handrail. Butchery The first job was to get some light under the boiler/panniers. I used a scalpel, scoring repeatedly along the edges of the moulded sides with a used blade, then eventually cutting through with the tip of a sharp new blade. And there was light. Then the interior was cut, carved and hacked about until the chassis was a good fit along the sides and ends. The photo is early on in the process, a good deal of material was removed. The chassis and modified body. There’s ample room for the Bachmann weight block, so that was re-fitted. The backhead was cut away to allow room for the gears. The motor does protrude a bit into the cab, but will disappear behind a new backhead. From the side. Footplate The Hornby body is too long for both an 1854 and a 2721. This is in fact the 2721 drawing from when that was the aim, but the principle is the same for the 1854. So I shortened the footplate by about 2,5 mm at each end, doing cut-and-shut. Splashers The center splashers, being out of line, were then attacked along with the toolbox. The incorrectly positioned toolboxes, half-relief injectors, and very low sandboxes were also chopped off. I considered scratch building the replacement splashers as per my Dean Goods rebuild, but wasn’t in the mood. So I dug out a broken old Finecast 1854 that came with an ebay job lot. The Finecast splashers were cut off, cleaned up and fitted to the Hornby footplate. There are no rear splashers on the Hornby body, so these were also fitted. Will fit bands to the front splasher later. Bunker and Backhead For the bunker I again turned to the old Finecast 1854… …and cleaned up the parts as best I could. The 1854s and 2721s had the same frame and cab width, so in theory the 1854 bunker should be a direct match, but it was too narrow. I thought the Hornby body must be wrong, but checking the measurements again showed that the Finecast bunker isn’t as wide as it should be. Food for thought! Anyway, I rebuilt the bunker with styrene panels. Later, plated coal rails were fitted. The original Hornby weight block was filed to suit. Along with the weight block on the Bachmann chassis, the loco now runs quite nicely. The worm and gears were concealed using an old Bachmann backhead, moved slightly back and with a raised section of cab floor beneath it. I’ve done this before, once the crew are fitted I don't notice it. Beneath the tanks The Hornby balance pipe is a blob one each side of the motor block, so I made some new blobs. New firebox sides and rear tank supports (adapted to allow room for the injectors) were also made. Drawings of 1854 and 2721 PTs show the balance pipe fitted just behind the front splasher, but photos suggest that they were soon relocated to a position nearer the center of the tanks. So that’s what I have done. Removal of the “skirts” on the Hornby body exposes the Bachmann motor and lets too much light in. Strips of brass sheet were curved, painted and fitted each side to hide the motor. Testing for shorts showed no problems. Fittings The Hornby tank top isn’t that bad, but the chimney (odd shape), tank fillers (too small) and grab rails (moulded lump) had to go. I'm wondering what the small pipes/cables running along the top are for, and when they were fitted. The chimney was sawn off, and the tank fillers removed (vertical slices in both directions, followed by a parallel cut along the bottom). The bluetack is for protecting details. Finney/Brassmasters chimney from the 1854/2721 kit, the rest is from Alan Gibson. Dry fit of the Finney chimney and tank fillers. The safety valve cover is so far an RTR item, can’t seem to find the appropriate shape in brass. I'm confused about the chimney position, forward or center on smokebox? I'm aiming for a pre-superheated version, but despite good photos on gwr.org.uk, I can't work out what it implies in my case. Tank vents from bits of filed styrene, seen here with the Alan Gibson tank fillers. Smokebox The front also needed work. As it comes, the Hornby body has a Churchward pressed steel front. I rather like it. But pre-1920 tank smokebox fronts tended to be plain, so it was all sanded away. Difficult, and it shows. A ring was added to the smokebox door, not quite the dished look but better than nothing. Alan Gibson door darts fitted, and new steps from scrap bits of brass. Tank and cab sides Pannier tanks fitted before ca. 1917 were flush-riveted. After that they were snap head rivetted (1917-1924) and then had welded seams (after 1924). I decided that my loco was fitted with panniers before 1917, and therefore sanded away the Hornby rivets. That took the shine off her! The lower cabsides are too narrow on the Hornby body, so these have been extended. This photo also shows the plated coal rails on the bunker (which is still loose). After a hiatus the project is now on the move again. I'm making a new cab roof and have started fitting details. More on that later. Thanks to all who helped with info and advice
    6 points
  5. Given Graham Farish produce a Mk2A BSO it’s not surprising that they haven’t produced another half-brake variant. The BFK is a very useful model though; it was a staple of many loco-hauled services on secondary routes and appeared in a range of liveries during its life. Fortunately converting a coach from BSO to BFK is a fairly straightforward business. I took a second-hand Farish model (cat no. 374-680), applied yellow line transfers to half the length, added ‘1’s to the passenger doors, swapped out the open seats for a corridor insert (from a Mk2 FK I’d used in another project) and swapped out the passenger windows for ones with first class markings on them (from the same FK). The only other alteration, aside from the 2mmFS wheels, was to correct the roof vents. These were carefully filed and sanded back before drilling holes at the correct alignment, adding track pins for vents, and painting. Hopefully it looks convincing; now I only need to decide whether to add ScotRail branding or not! Graham
    6 points
  6. Progress of my entire ‘Shelf Island’ system and indeed my British 1:87 scale effort has faltered this Autumn as I completed ‘Shelf Marshes’ as far as a basic railway with all of its tracks and electrics in place but no landscape. For some reason, I don’t want to do the scenery, even though this is always one the most enjoyable parts of building a layout. I like the ‘bare but engineered’ look, above as well as below the baseboard. I suspect, my stumbling block is working up the track to look realistic in its industrial setting. This needs a lot of experimentation on scrap track. At the same time, I feel we are living in a golden age of railway modelling and I am missing out on some incredibly good RTR models because I am devoting my efforts to a niche application of 1:87 scale, where all commercial support is accidental (like Continental ferry wagons) or archaic. Added to this, my near-distance eyesight is not as good as it was. I only really see my models clearly in photographs, which is probably why I take so many photographs. Almost all of "Shelf Island" has no scenery and this is because I need to bring individual baseboards out into the middle of the room to work on them. When I do this, I need to put up a folding table; it works well enough but it dominates the room and I have to slide it backwards and forwards to move around the room and get to cupboards. Back in the summer I tidied this table, but instead of doing the sensible thing and extracting ‘Shelf Marshes’ from its alcove and starting the ballasting, I set about building a Pola G scale windmill. Something for the garden. This started badly because the fumes from the solvent are far too heavy too do the job indoors, and doing a few pieces at a time and then vacating the room has taken me to start the build as an irregular octagon. This is going to be difficult to put right so I can get the rest of the model to go together. And now it is too cold to do the model out of doors. So I treated myself to two yards of of Peco 0 gauge track instead. This being somewhere to run the Minerva Manning Wardle I bought during the summer. So I wasn't missing out on this golden age. The K class is a rather beautiful thing and shorter than most of my H0 locos to boot. A way to build a light railway, and a prototype which looks good in 7mm scale. The model ran perfectly from the box but then it looked a bit lonely so I bought it two Dapol wagons to keep it company and give it a bit of purpose, and then I added a Setrack point and a third yard of track to this arrangement. Then I built a simple baseboard to keep this on. And now I am finishing off my third kit-built wagon. The good thing now is I can see my way out of British H0: an 0 gauge micro (and a garden windmill), and the option to build a small 0 gauge set up in another room or possibly the garden. This will satisfy me, because I know 00 gauge will not, and I can feel myself running out of steam with H0. I have not been happy with 00 since my teens (I am now in my late 50s) and successive attempts at N, EM, 00 and even S have not satisfied or not worked out or both. There are two design faults in my original ‘Shelf Island’ module, a too-abrupt change in a gradient and a mistake in my wiring for DCC. It would be sensible to choose this baseboard to extract first to put these right, and to pick up the scenics here. The practice/revision gained would help me to make ‘Shelf Marshes’ better, and this last module is the most promising one for exhibitions. I can also add a Magnorail installation to 'Wellwood' and I think ‘Shelf Island’ would then reach its completion. I will have a model railway where short trains can go from one destination to a variety of others, and hopefully this will be more interesting for a home layout than a simple terminus to fiddle yard. I will neatly side-step returning to 4mm scale, and still end up with model trains I can run on my friends' 16.5 and 32 mm gauge layouts. Looks good to me.
    5 points
  7. I was mulling over the design of the (to me at least) strangely appealing 1948 15xx. It was a pure GWR design, and it appears from the NRM drawings list that it was actually on the drawing boards as early as 1944. As Cook tells us it was designed as a "24 hour shunter", not needing to be serviced over a pit: a worthy aim, but rendered largely obsolete by the early 350HP diesel shunters that were being introduced at the same time. I've seen an interesting comparison made between the GWR 0-6-0PTs and their theoretical equivalents on other lines, the Riddles Austerity/J94, the LMS Jinty and the USA tanks used on the Southern. The numbers indicate that the GWR locomotives have considerably greater boiler capacity than the others, but a similar tractive effort. A pure shunter doesn't really need much boiler capacity, since there is plenty of time for boiler pressure to recover, whereas a locomotive used for traffic work does need continuous steam, and 57s and 94s were regularly used on branch and even short trip main line services. A flaw/feature in the 15xx design is commonly held to be the relatively short wheelbase, which is reported as rendering them somewhat unstable at speed, and it seems they rarely if ever undertook the traffic roles of other pannier tanks, although the survivor with the Severn Valley seems to do well enough at preserved line speeds. The actual wheelbase is 6ft 4in + 6ft 6in, 12ft 10in. Its interesting to compare this with dedicated short wheelbase dock shunters, such as the GWR 1361 and 1366 classes , 6ft + 5ft - 11ft, , the USATC S100 at 5ft + 5ft for 10ft and the Riddles Austerity 5ft 9in + 5ft 3in for 11ft. The shortest wheelbase regular 0-6-0T on the GWR was the 850 class, 7ft 4in + 6ft 4in - 13ft 8in. The short wheelbase on the 15s is commonly held to be intended to improve their ability to traverse curves, and their work in Newport and on the Paddington ECS workings stated to support this. Its interesting that the wheelbase on the 15s is intermediate between the pure shunting types listed above and traffic locomotives such as the 850, and even more the other large pannier tanks, 94xx, 57xx and their 7ft 3in + 8ft 3in 15ft 6in wheelbase. As such it has occurred to me that the 15xx wheelbase might be for other reasons than curves. My theory is this: having inside cylinders, the 57 and 94 cylinders are set partially between the wheels. The big outside cylinders on the 15 can't be, so the leading wheels have to be set back relative to the smokebox in order to clear the cylinders. In addition, whereas on the inside cylinder locomotives the cylinders themselves brace the frame, on the 15xx there's a large structure between the cylinders to perform the same function. All this makes the locomotive heavy, and in particular front heavy. This in turn means that the trailing wheels have to be set forward for the locomotive to balance. The 15 is heaviest on the leading wheels and lightest on the 3rd pair, whereas the 94 is opposite. It would be interesting to know what someone better versed than I on the subtleties of steam locomotive designs makes of that idea. Its often claimed that the 15xx was inspired by the S100/USATC 0-6-0T. The locomotives are indeed superficially similar, with prominent outside cylinders, outside walschaerts valve gear, external steam pipes, water tanks that do not flank the smokebox and no footplate. However this claim doesn't appear in any of the memoirs of contemporary GWR staff that I am familiar with. Given the design aim declared by Cook, a 24 hour shunting locomotive that did not need to go over a pit for servicing, then when examined in detail the comparison is less certain, and there's a strong case to describe it as convergent evolution. The design aim forces outside valve gear and outside cylinders. GWR practice was to use walschaerts gear on (their few) outside valve gear locomotives - notably the railmotors and the VOR 2-6-2Ts. By this time external steam pipes were standard on GWR outside cylinder classes. The S100, with its very short (10ft) wheelbase drives to and has the eccentric on the rearmost driving wheel. Apart from anything else there would be no room for the valve gear driving on the middle wheel. The 15xx, on the other hand, has 12ft 10in wheelbase, and a connecting rod driving the trailing wheels would be some 13ft 6in long. The longest connecting rod on any of the Churchward standards was 10ft 8½ inches. I wonder if 13ft 6in would be practical. Here's a list of similarities and differences. Similarities No footplate Outside cylinders with prominent steam pipes Outside Walschaerts gear Wheel size 4'6 v 4'7.5 Differences coal capacity (1 ton , 3.25 ton) parallel/taper boiler driven wheel wheelbase (s100 as short as possible, 15xx longer) boiler proportions (much bigger boiler on the 15xx)
    2 points
  8. Something a little different that my usual G.W.R. offerings! "Lady Jayne" will be employed on my proposed layout to propel wagons along a private line, leading from a yet decided industry and onto an exchange siding. The loco was built using the Slaters kit as a base, with a lot of additional detail. Before anyone spends time looking through their Manning Wardle archives, the loco Lady Jayne never really existed and is a feeble attempt on my part to keep Mrs Wenlock sweet!
    1 point
  9. You may be wondering why things have been quiet at Wednesford. Or not. The reason for the long radio silence is I've decided on yet another rebuild. Having already rebuilt the main layout after the original plan of an island platform immediately posed problems with track cleaning, threading a rubber between platform structures and the OHLE, I then rebuilt it to have a single platform at the back. Trouble is this introduced a nasty reverse curve under the raised scenic board, which has caused some awkward derailments and poor running, which has annoyed me. So, this summer I took time out to have a think, helped by me spending six weeks helping a friend move house (my Swedish State Barge, the Saab 9-5 Estate, having a carrying capacity not far short of a small van and loads of canny little cubby holes to pack smaller items into) and decided that rather than persevere with iffy running, I'd completely rejig the layout, do away with the mainline station, radically alter the branch and basically go back to Square 1. So, I'm now engaged on Wednesford v3.0, which will be the final one. The new plan is based on a section of plain line approaching Wednesford Station, the entrance to which is at the back of the old square. It's inspired - if that is the correct term - by the approaches to New Street, or Walsall from the Rugeley direction with a retaining wall, which will now be moved forward by nearly 9 inches to allow a street of buildings to be modelled behind the track. This has been made possible by me permanently fixing the drawbridge which allowed access to the shed but which was difficult to stop the track from causing derailments, into a "duck under", which means I no longer need to hit the joint with a straight length. In effect, I can introduce a curve over the old joint which allows me to shift the track closer to the middle of the board. After the curve, the branch will diverge at a single lead junction, meaning that trains coming off the branch will approach the main "station" on a section of bi-directional line. The attached sketch plan gives some idea of where I am going. Personally I enjoy running trains, the variety of trains is more appealing than shunting for me. The junction and bi-directional running will give an operational interest. More to the point, adjusting the fiddle yard will allow bi directional access and running to a timetable, should give about 30-40 minutes running before needing to change locos or stock. The revision of the branch will provide low relief scenery which will allow me to access the fiddle yard easily whilst the scenery will hide it at normal viewing height. At the moment having taken a couple of weeks to remove the old track, ballast and cork, new cork mat is being laid before track laying. This time I will make absolutely sure the track is perfect before ballasting and installing the OHLE. I've learned the hard way. However, whilst waiting for the cork mat glue to dry I had a go at seeing how the raised area over the two three car branch loops will work. I recycled one of the scenic boards, reused the shelf brackets I used to support the previous branch backdrop as supports, used some plastic bottle tops as cups to stop accidental knocks and it all works fine, plenty of space to reach under without taking the board off, ease of leaning over to reach the main fiddle yard behind if necessary, whilst increasing the area for scenic modelling compared to the traditional fiddle yard. The raised section is meant to be a "decked over" railway cutting adjacent to a former engine shed which occupied a cramped site just off the branch at a lower level. In our fictional scenario, the shed was destroyed in the Blitz, and being a small and awkward site was never re-opened, the land being made over for industrial development. The old staff halt was extended slightly - and cheaply - pending a decision on the future of the branch, and an awkward pedestrian only access via a subway was provided. In the 1960s it was felt the bus would replace all local rail services, so keeping the station and providing proper access to it was very much an afterthought. So, the "booking office" is a Portakabin (which did happen at some Midlands stations) and the platform an easily dismantled wooden structure. The retaining wall into which the subway dives is polystyrene insulation from my regular order of Cornish Pasties by post. It will be painted a suitably grim grey when I come to finally fix the scenery in place following track laying, this was just a trial to check track geometry, accessibility and general feel. The high rise estate fits nicely onto the board. Unfortunately the glue used in it's previous life proved difficult to disguise with paint, and whilst the road surface is probably correct for modern Black Country roads, as I will be covering the years 1968, 1975, 1988 and 1993, when roads generally were reasonably looked after, I will be resurfacing them with emery paper. The idea isn't to fully disguise the main fiddle yard, just to distract the eye. To that end the old engine shed is literally two industrial units (Hornby Skaledale) and some retaining walls which provides an effective visual block without compromising access to the main fiddle yard beyond. I'm pleased with how this section is turning out and how it will allow me access to the fiddle yard and have a meaningful scenic treatment as well. It might seem a bit of a waste to now be on the third iteration of Wednesford (or fourth if you include the various rebuilds of "Wombourne" but for me it's about getting reliable operation, capable of accepting all the new models being released soon which will require good track alignment, and taking my time to get it right. Given I'm recycling and recovering a lot of scenic items, buildings and even wood, apart from some track which didn't survive being ripped from blast proof ballast, this new build will not be as expensive or as wasteful as first thought. Greta, you can cut the frown, this is model railway recycling 101.
    1 point
  10. Just a quick update on one way to plant a building in the landscape. Borrowed the idea from someone on YouTube . The idea is to cut a bit of material (in this case black perspex) approximately the same shape and size as the building , embed in the landscape which gives a flat surface on which to plant the building. Disguise the join between the building and the perspex as required.
    1 point
  11. So, I'm back on the staff of a civil engineering company, which is pretty much the last thing I expected for what is likely, the last lap of my career. There's a general purge going on, of contract employment as IR35 bites deeper. There's a lot of pushback, because civil engineering simply doesn't pay enough for what it demands, the work-life balance is seriously lacking and working conditions are no better than ever. However there is an acute shortage of labour and skills and rates are rising. I still wouldn't travel any distance for work under the conditions offered, having become accustomed to conditions in other sectors. Who knows what Boris is doing with HS2, but the next couple of years are going to be pretty nuts on the recruiting front ... and 2-3 years is a long time in my present career state. But, right now I'm in steady work within an easy commute, so I'm going with that. As ever, PPE is an issue and I can't wear my drillers wellies (until I get the Risk Assesment signed off, anyway). I've also thrown out my old lace up boots and gone for the Red Wing Boa boots I got from the Slimdrill rep in Yarmouth (freebies are back on the oilpatch, folks!). Same goes for my full brim hard hat. I've got a big issue of cheapo stuff from Arco which has gone straight in the back of the car, I've got Helly Hanson and Cofra, Black Lader (blackadders as they are known over here), I don't need Arco cheap junk for a British winter!
    1 point
  12. The final task on the coach sides was to add the additional grills to the side of DC975280 following the usual approach chain drilling holes around the edge and splicing in a new grill cut from a pikestuff door. With that done the two coaches were primed, with 975280 this was pretty straightforward with a good result. With 975081 it was a little more difficult, while the coach side looked in a good position as soon as primer was added it showed up pretty much every joint needed rework. In particular slight dips in the filler, these were resolved by adding a line of superglue over the joint which was filed back 24 hours later. With the support coaches done it was time to start on the actual optical car, while there is a 3d printed kit available for this vehicle it bares so little resemblance to the prototype it is of no value as a basis. I think Britannia Pacific Models also produced a RTR version, however this appears to be only for the Network Rail version (and is very expensive), so the most sensible route is converting a Bachmann VBA as per Mick Bryan's posts elswhere on the forum (and in Update). I dont think an accurate drawing is available, so I have been working scaling from a number of photos on Fickr. I have deviated slightly from Mick's approach and instead of using the VBA body (with the doors filed flush / holes filled in) I have used just the roof on a plasticard body. So far I have only prepared the chassis and the first end, the next is to follow this evening before I need to decide upon how I am going to model the centre narrow body...
    1 point
  13. Stephenson’s built the first three locomotives of the R class in 1907. Although based on the design of the Ms, they had quite different boilers with a slightly larger barrel and a Belpaire firebox, and cylinders with the valves between the cylinders rather than above as in the Ms. Two more Rs followed in 1909. The last batch of Rs, known semi officially as the AR class, were delivered in 1921 and will follow in another entry. The Rs are commonly held to be the major influence on the GWR 56xx, although to be honest the family style was so strong between all the Rhymney inside frame types that making a distinction seems futile. The most obvious difference between the Rhymney locomotives and the 56s is that the GWR design had piston valves above the cylinders, whilst the Rs had slide valves mounted between them. This is not, of course, evident in the sketches. This sketch is based on a 1908 Stephenson's drawing of the 1909 batch. Later in their Rhymney lives there were safety valve and front suspension changes. The GWR changed safety valves again, and in several cases installed Std 2 boilers. I have a drawing in preparation for the Std 2 boiler, but I am uncertain of several details. That may have to wait until the AR article. The earlier R conversions were, as might be expected, all of the pre war engines, yet the GWR drawings I have, although prepared before the first conversions were made, shows AR frames and I am not clear whether the converted Rs received the suspension and frame changes which would be needed to exactly match the drawings.
    1 point
  14. Here's the first coach to break cover from the Workshop and one that's been worked on in the background for a number of weeks. This started off life as a Farish Mk2A BSO in Blue & Grey livery and it's had a number of mods, including the open interior swapped for a corridor interior, roof vent alterations and water tank added, toilet window amended and vent added, first class/no-smoking signs added (thanks to Railtec for introducing the 2mm-3007 transfers), wheelsets swapped for 2FS and a full repaint. These coaches plied the country in XC rakes in this livery throughout the late 80s before they were displaced to lower-profile workings by the Mk2D air-cons. Most of them had the window bars painted the same Exec Dark Grey as the upper body, but I've found photographic evidence of at least one with silver bars which is not only more visually appealing but also saved me a lot of time.
    1 point
  15. This is a blog about *finishing* rolling stock conversions! The last year has seen an increasing number of locos and coaches in various states of disassembly filling up all available flat surfaces awaiting an upgrade of one sort or another. Sound familiar? As the end of 2021 approaches, it’s definitely time to start finishing some! For those who’ve not yet taken part of the paint finish off one of their £100+ locomotives or £35+ coaches, read on… I’m aiming to finish four conversions/upgrades per month for the next few months, using this blog as a vehicle to keep momentum. All the models are derived from the latest-standard Graham Farish products and converted to 2mm FS by swapping the axles for 2mm drop-in wheels. Varying amounts of work are being undertaken to either individualise them or convert them into the types of rolling stock needed for BR operations in the late 80s/early 90s. Hopefully the results will show it’s not particularly difficult to create something a little bit different or unique that can add up to recreate a prototypical train formation. To start with, something pretty straightforward with some custom transfers that I ordered a while back; conversions of 47535 into 47526 Northumbria and 37407 into 37412 Loch Lomond. The conversions were very straightforward. The original white printed-on numbers and nameplates were carefully scraped off with the end of a cocktail stick. After that, I created a gloss surface to best accept the transfers by masking the surrounding area and using circular motions of a cotton wool bud dipped in a little toothpaste. There is just enough abrasive in the paste to create a shiny surface on the existing paint finish after 2-3 minutes. Once the toothpaste was wiped off, transfers were applied from Railtec Transfers. I’ve no connection with Railtec other than being a very happy repeat customer, because their transfers are high-quality and simple to use. The detail in the transfers even goes down to the correct spacing of the numbers for a particular locomotive and the location of rivets on the 3D printed nameplates; they really are so much simpler to use than etches. Both engines still require a couple of light coats of varnish to seal. I probably shouldn’t admit this, but I’ll point it out first before someone else does - 47526’s BR Large Logo should be at the No.1 end, but given that the factory finish had it at the No.2 end and I didn’t want the hassle of a repaint, I’m going to live with it for now… I’m also undecided whether or not to lower 37412 by a mm or so, but I’m treating them both as ‘finished’ enough for the purposes of this blog!
    1 point
  16. 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.
    1 point
  17. I've been fairly quiet for a few months, partly because of work getting on top of me . But after finally managing 2 weeks holiday , having previously not managed more than an odd day off since I started the new job just over a year ago , I'm feeling human again , and I'm trying to resolve some of the various unfinished projects . One small project is nearly there - an ex GW MICA meat van. At present the main vehicle available for the cold store on the box file is a Blue Spot fish van from a Parkside kit. Nice kit - but it's really a bit big for the box file. The thought occurred to me that I should repaint the Blue Spot van as a BR Blue example in parcels service , for use as tail traffic on Blacklade - and replace it with a reworked RTR body from the junk box - either the Hornby ex NER refrigerated van, or an elderly Hornby Dublo GW MICA. As I didn't fancy scratchbuilding a 9'6" wooden underframe using castings, I went for the MICA. There is nothing original about the conversion - it's based on one of the first "proper" wagon-building articles I ever read as a boy - "Taking the MICA" by Grp Capt Brian Huxley , in the Railway Modeller for July 1977. It was the first of a whole series of articles covering different headings in the GW wagon diagram list - he was trying to build a "representative collection" of GW wagons, meaning a model of pretty well every wagon diagram However as most people won't have access to 40 year old Railway Modellers, the details of this exercise are worth summarising here. The old Hornby Dublo MICA is a hybrid. Most MICAs were 16' long and had full width bonnet vents on the ends. The last diagram, X9, was on a 17'6" RCH underframe with bonnetless ends . Hornby Dublo, Wrenn and Dapol sold you a 17'6" van with bonnet ends. There were therefore two approaches in the article. Firstly you could cut out the van sides neatly, reduce them by 3mm each end, chop 6mm out of the rest of the body moulding , stick the whole lot back together , add a suitable underframe (Dean-Churchward brake gear, anyone?) and get any type of 16' MICA. Or secondly, you could cut out the ends, replace with plain planking . add a standard RCH 10' wheelbase fitted underframe and get X9 of 1929. The world has moved on since 1977 - there is now a recent Parkside kit for the 16' X7 MICA , and that is probably the easiest route to the 16' vans. And these days most folk model post war, not - as was the norm in 1977 - the interwar GWR. The earlier vans are probably much less relevant now. So finally, after 40 years, I've done the deed. (Since the wagon had a cast Hornby Dublo chassis it must be nearly 60 years!) The ends are Slaters planked plasticard , as recommended by Brian Huxley. However the planks don't line up exactly these days, despite my efforts - mind you some of the preserved examples have the same issue.. The steps were removed from the original ends with a chisel blade in the craft knife . I seem to have found this rather easier than it was in 1977 , though there are plenty of spares. A Parkside 10' wheelbase underframe has been fitted from the spares box, built onto a 40 thou plasticard floor. Unfortunately, at that point I realised the kit was clasp-braked, and the prototype had 4 shoe Morton brakes. A rummage in the cupboard produced a packet of ABS Morton brake gear, and this was added with cyanoacrylate. I couldn't find the buffer beams so used some which I think came from a Cambrian PO wagon. They were rather too deep so had to be filed down top and bottom, and cut to an angle at both ends. The buffers had to be replaced with more ABS whitemetal castings for RCH fitted buffers. I had glued a couple of strips of lead flashing inside and with the whitemetal parts the total weight was up to the desired 50g (25g per axle) These later vans used dry ice, and had a single hatch at each end, not two - so the roof hatches had to filed off the model and replaced with new ones (7mm square in 20 thou plasticard). Brake pipes are DMR brass from the bits box, and spoked wheels are Bachmann It now needs only the end handrails and axlebox tiebars adding, priming (I'm not taking a chance with different coloured ends and white paint) and painting into BR (grubby) white
    1 point
  18. No 92 is one of five small 0-4-0STs, superficially rather similar in appearance, but which were not treated as a class. With one exception they were late 19thC Wolverhampton reconstructions of older locomotives, and probably retained few original parts. The first of the group was no 45, built in 1880, which was a new engine, albeit given the number of a Sharp Stewart built locomotive withdrawn a very few years earlier. It had the odd feature of a cab that was only accessible from the right hand side. The next to appear were 95 and 96,which were originally Sharp Stewart built for the Birkenhead Railway, and their cabs only had entrances on the left hand side. In their final form they had rather vestigial spectacle plates at each end of the cab and a rather minimal roof. They were substantially reconstructed at Wolverhampton in 1890 and 1888 respectively when they received new boilers. No 92 started life as two 0-4-2 saddle tanks, 91 & 92, built for the GWR by Beyer Peacock in 1857. In 1877/8, one good 0-4-0ST, 92 was made from the two. In 1893 it received a very major rebuild at Wolverhampton to gain basically the appearance shown here. Amazingly, it then survived until 1942, albeit only as a stationary engine in its latter years. A similar loco, 342, was built by Beyer Peacock in 1856, and bought by the GWR in 1864. This had a similar life to 92, converted to 0-4-0ST in 1881 and rebuilt in 1897. A peculiarity of all these five was that the design had the firebox behind the trailing wheels with a distinctive long overhang. The result was much greater weight on the trailing wheels than the driving wheels and this high load on the second axle meant they were prohibited on uncoloured routes. They had long lives, mainly in the obscure northern reaches of the GWR around Wrexham. At least two were cut down at one time or another for use on a route with a very low bridge, and this sketch of 92 is based on a photograph of the locomotive in cut down condition.
    1 point
  19. The balance of the #15 build project was adding the various roof and piping accessories and the access steps. WC&PR having mostly railside stops these were an essential. Moving on to #16, a five compartment all Second also ex LSWR. The dimensions of the Parkside/Ratio GWR Kit 610 differ slightly but are near enough for my needs, hence the build was nothing remarkable. Here it is shown with the seating and the typical "open window" settings as usually seen when in operation. This is now on hold while I move on to #17 which requires major Cut and Shut surgery.
    1 point
  20. It's been a long time since I posted anything on here. Time doesn't seem to be what it was and a painfully slow divorce coupled with Covid restrictions has hampered modelling progress. But in a rare alignment of planets, stars, work and other more domestic arrangements I've actually had a couple of days at the modelling bench. Must be a holiday or something... I've been building a little Covid layout using the EMGS track and turnouts, details of which will follow I'm sure at some point. The layout is a small inglenook style affair and goes by the name of Stonehouse St James. It is set in the err, Stonehouse area of Plymouth some time in the 1920's and is of PDSWJR origin but having been taken over by the LSWR and now SR. The GWR has running rights so a variety of rolling stock will be seen. The primary role is goods for the navy's victualling Royal William Yard but an occasional passenger service will operate. There's still plenty to do but at only 4ft 6in long, it doesn't tale up too much space. I've converted a Dapol B4 'Guernsey' to EM by skimming down the wheels and the next engine I wanted to tackle was a GWR 1361 saddle tank What started out as an optimistic attempt at converting a DJM/Kernow 1361 GWR saddle tank has turned into a full kit build. The DJM tank is impossible to convert to EM. It's hard enough to get apart. No fault of the model, but the way it's been designed means a replacement chassis cannot be done. So having optimistically opened the CSP models chassis kit, I've actually taken it further and started building the kit which I had anyway. It's always been a favourite loco, ever since I saw Bob Haskins's one on his Cornwallis Yard layout. It'll look nice with a shunter's truck when it's done. The origins of the body kit certainly are Peter K and I think the chassis is a shot down 7mm etch from Pete Stamper of Agenoria vintage. I've built one of these chassis before in P4 for a 1366 tank and they're really quite straightforward. The chassis has been built with full springing via CSB's so an additional secti0n was cut out from the frames for the rear axle horn block. I decided to use EM frame spacers instead of those in the kit as they were too narrow. Hornblocks are High Level and wheels Alan Gibson. The gearbox comes with the kit and is a High Level Road Runner driving the rear axle. I had a bit of a disaster when one of the rods sheared at the half depth layer when I was enlarging the holes but thankful I had a universal rod set in the spares box from Alan Gibson so a new rod was made up without bother. Quartering was by eye viewing through the spoles and all is rolling well so far. I forgot to take a piccie of the chassis with the rods on but you'll just have to trust me on that one. The slide bars and cylinders bolt to the front of the chassis and can be removable. The brake shoes and rods are removable using a spigot for the top hanger and pivoting about the rear shaft. Something I've copied from High Level kits. The footplate is made up of a basis carcass with overlays for footplate top, buffer beams and valences. With just the coupling rods to fettle and connecting rods to add, I'm not far off a working chassis. Hopefully the body won't be too complicated but that's for another day.
    1 point
  21. Just a couple of minor detailing jobs and a tidy up of the underside electrical contacts were all that remained to be done. Westinghouse and vacuum braking pipes has been added to the buffer beams and Steam heating. The grossly oversized Hornby exterior brake rodding has been removed and replaced. The finished product: The phosphor bronze wheel wipers were tidied up to improve positioning and operation, replacement of brake rods was in progress at the time: And the finished Terrier went out for a run.
    1 point
  22. A couple of friends have encouraged me to post this, an extract from my blog stpetrock.blogspot.com. I hope some of you find it interesting. Once upon a long time ago I was privileged to be a regular operator on Peter Denny's famous Buckingham model railway. My station for the best part of 37 years was Grandborough Junction, where one of my important jobs was to communicate with the signal box up the line at Quainton Road... except that there wasn't a Quainton Road on the model! To simulate this station, Peter built an amazing electro-mechanical computer that ran the timetable, controlled the clock, set points in the storage sidings and communicated with the 'up' block instrument at Grandborough. Hitherto, the 'Quainton Road' storage sidings had been operated by Peter's youngest son Crispin, but sons don't stay at home for ever. The computer that replaced him was therefore known as the Automatic Crispin. Peter wrote an article about it for the Railway Modeller and I well remember the title - "Buckingham Goes AC". It will therefore come as little surprise to friends and followers of the St Petrock saga that my station should also have a computer to simulate the signal box up the line. However, time and technology move on, so rather than building it from plywood and Meccano, I've used a Raspberry Pi single-board computer. In honour of its illustrious ancestry, though, it too is known as the Automatic Crispin. Mine has a slightly simpler job to do as I don't have points on my storage sidings, but I did want it to display operational notes and the timetable for the St Petrock operator. My first task was to learn how to instruct the Raspberry Pi to perform to my wishes, so I spent several weeks teaching myself Python, then writing a program. Here's a little bit of the code that checks the St Petrock bell button and trip rail near the storage sidings, and displays the 'hours' value. It would probably turn expert programmers to drink, but it works and I'm actually rather proud of it. def get_button_push(after_push_time): GPIO.output(12, GPIO.HIGH) while True: if (GPIO.input(20) == GPIO.HIGH): time.sleep(0.1) else: GPIO.output(12, GPIO.LOW) time.sleep(after_push_time) return() def get_storage_exit(): while True: if (GPIO.input(16) == GPIO.HIGH): time.sleep(0.1) else: time.sleep(2) return() def display_clock(hour,clockhr,minute): if (minute == 0): rect = Rectangle(Point(377,10), Point(417,50)) rect.setFill('black') rect.draw(win) if (clockhr)>9: txt = Text(Point(397,30),clockhr) else: txt = Text(Point(407,30),clockhr) txt.setTextColor('white') txt.setSize(30) txt.draw(win) The screen is an Elecrow 5 inch LCD display that plugs directly into the Raspberry Pi and sits on top of it. Here's a close-up. You'll see that the operator has a couple of instructions to carry out before train working No.2 can depart for Tregarrick North at 6.40am. Now the M7 has been attached to its auto coaches and waits at platform 2. A light beneath the bell-push reminds the operator that the clock has stopped – trains at St Petrock never run late! After checking that the rotating storage sidings are set to road 5, the operator presses the bell once (call attention). The signalman at Sladesbridge responds with one beat on the bell. The St Petrock signalman (or frequently signalwoman) sets the points, then pulls off signals 15 (platform starter) and 12 (advanced starter). The Gas Street crossing keeper also obediently opens the gates. St Petrock now rings '3 pause 1' – 'Is line clear for a stopping passenger train?' Sladesbridge responds by turning the block instrument to 'LINE CLEAR' (green). The M7 then sets off with its train. As the train passes the signal box, the signalman observes that it has a tail lamp (and therefore hasn't left its tail behind) and rings 2 bells (ding...ding... train entering section). Sladesbridge turns the block instrument to 'TRAIN ON LINE' (red). As the train enters the storage sidings it crosses this trip point (two breaks in the nearside rail) that momentarily energise a relay, instructing the Automatic Crispin to ring '2 pause 1' (train out of section). The clock restarts and the Gas Street crossing gates close once more. The sequence is complete.
    1 point
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