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  1. This Vanguard diesel-hydraulic was built by Thomas Hill, at their Kilnhurst, Rotherham, works, sometime around 1966. It was built using the frames and running gear from a Sentinel vertical boiler steam locomotive. It was bought for the Shelby Group's warehousing and storage division and is believed to have worked at an oil storage depot, in Essex. It was transferred to Watery Lane for overhaul and possible sale, but could be found in use at Strong's yard during the mid to late 1970s. It continued in use well into the 1990s, right up to the cessation of rail traffic in 2000. It was popular with the staff at Strong's as it was very easy to drive and also quite powerful, with the turbocharged version of the Rolls Royce C6 diesel being fitted.
    6 points
  2. Following the lifting of legal restrictions earlier this month in England, and observing the good practice we have all got used to in the last 16 months, the UK FREMO group met last weekend (unofficially -- this was not a formal FREMO event). Over the period of the pandemic everyone has been able to make progress in various areas from rolling stock to scenery, timetables to waybills. The new abilities we shared made the event more enjoyable than the last one way back in February 2020. Slowly we are becoming closer to a fully-fledged FREMO group. Here are some of my impressions of the arrangement. One day I might be able to control the camera on my phone properly; until then everything is a bit more pointilliste than I would like. First up, a view of my own small branch station, Wasserbach. It's still a 'plywood desert' with foam and Bristol board providing only the broad outline of the scenery. I've left some of the curved fascia of the small end board in shot. This board is a semicircle of 300 mm radius that finishes the end of the station off quite neatly. The track and turnouts are now pretty reliable but as is obvious there is a lot more for me to do. The buffer stop is a massive one designed to slide on the rails and take up the energy of a heavy train running into it. I hope to swap that out for something much more lightweight. One suitable model is available from Auhagen. Unfortunately the kit that just arrived has turned out to contain N scale mouldings in a box labelled H0! Happily, elswhere there was plenty of nicely finished scenery. Here's a 'joker module' -- a small board, in this case 400mm in length, that can be used to make transitions between distinct scenic areas on larger modules either side. Joker modules are often used between hill profile and flat profile modules, for example. This one features the classic trope: a second railway line running at a picturesque angle under the track used by trains on the arrangement. Some deer graze in the rough pasture alongside the track on this 1800mm stretch which is scenically complete, and, as used this time around, formed a picturesque curved stretch for trains to be viewed in the landscape on their way to Wasserbach. There are two boards making up this section and though they were designed and built together and pair nicely in a single curve, they could be connected to form an S bend or split and used in different parts of the arrangement -- that's up to the arrangement planner. I'm happy to say that the two modules I've built that are similar in proportions to these ones were included -- their first outing, and no issues were revealed. By far the busiest station was Schwarzhausen, which was the junction station for the branch line to Wasserbach. The stationmaster and shunter were kept extremely busy breaking up and re-forming the local goods services passing through. In shot is a good variety of stock, and a couple of loaded wagons are visible. The loads will be removed on arrival and might end up going out again on a later service. There were quieter moments at Schwarzhausen, as here with a railbus waiting at the platform, but these were few. Finally, more timber awaiting shipment in the sidings at Werfen. Covid-19 kept two of our group away and prevented visitors who are still shielding from coming along, but it was a good weekend and I feel hopeful that the next meeting will not only be to a higher standard still but also accessible to the whole of the UK FREMO group and any visitors.
    5 points
  3. This project is a source of light relief from other projects and as I needed to clear the lathe away to make space for the airbrush in order to work on stock for the main layout, further work on the locomotive was paused. But I used the corner of the work bench and the paint drying time to make a tiny, 40cm x 10cm, display mount. The purpose of this mount was two-fold. Firstly to have something to display the loco and wagons on since a layout is a very long way off. And secondly to adapt my scenery building skills to a much larger scale than I am used to. My eventual aim is to produce either a small layout or a set of cameo sections that suggest a small industrial tramway set in the 1920s. Like the actual Brede tramway my imagined tramway links a works with a small wharf on a tidal creek. I'm thinking more brickworks than waterworks though with the bricks being shipped on on a small sailing barge, hundreds of which plied their trade around the Thames Estuary. Like the real Brede wharf though the imaginary wharf can only take fully laden barges on the spring tides so the line to the wharf is only used a couple of days each fortnight. The surface of the rails should not be shiny, but again not as heavily rusted as the web. The loco is intended to be battery operated with radio control precisely so that this sort of rusty track can be modelled. A short length of track is modelled here to test the track laying method. Sleepers are the sort of beech sold for beading, cut to the same dimensions as those used on the Sand Hutton Railway, i.e. 1 1/8" long, 5/32" wide and 1/4" thick representing the 3' x 5" x 4" of the prototype. The beauty of 1:32 scale is that Imperial measures can be used throughout. The modern internet was a help though in determining the dimensions of the 20 lb/yard rail used at Sand Hutton and that came out as code 80 flat bottom rail being appropriate. The rail was spiked to the sleepers, though pilot holes of 0.6mm diameter do need to be drilled first. I worked out from photos of Sand Hutton that sleepers were spaced at 30" intervals, so they were spaced here at 15/16" intervals. I assumed ash and cinder ballast and the coarser grade of ballast sold for 7mm scale gives a very nice result. This imaginary line is assumed to run on private land without crossing public roads, i.e. not requiring a Light Railway Order or anything bureaucratic like that, so I thought the most likely route would be to skirt the edges of fields so that the main field could still be used for grazing or crops. The back edge of the display mount is therefore modelled as a hedgerow, a mature one that was already there before the tramway was built. The main scenic feature is a farm gate. The thinking is that the farmer, possibly a tenant, grazes cows in the field beyond and these need to be taken down for milking every day. That means there is a very muddy track and a boarded crossing over the tramway. No railway runs over completely flat land, not even in Holland, so some small level changes were created using bits of foam salvaged from packaging. This was then smoothed over with Polyfilla to create the base. The churned up track was modelled by repeatedly poking a broken off cocktail stick into the wet Polyfilla. It was coloured using acrylic paints, yellow ochre and burnt sienna mostly with tiny amounts of red and blue - no white or black. I think the effect of a track churned up by livestock has been achieved. Plans for a farm gate were found on the internet and a model made to 1:32 scale out of ply. Not the entire thickness of ply but a single layer carefully pared off. This was 1/32" thick corresponding nicely to the 1" thick dimension of timber used by the repro gate manufacturer I found on the internet. The gate was then painted with acrylics to look like weathered wood from pre-creosote days. Gateposts were made from the same beech as the sleepers but planed to be a scale 4" square. Three techniques were used for the hedge. The core of the hedge is assumed to be something tough and resisting like hawthorn or blackthorn. This is modelled using rubberised horsehair - a good old traditional railway modelling material - pulled apart quite drastically. After shaping to fit it is sprayed with blackboard paint and then with spray glue. While the glue is still wet the pieces are rolled around in a tub of Noch (or Gaugemaster) leaves. I blend different shades of green leaves to reduce uniformity. I discovered by accident that polyfibre teased out very thin and then covered with Noch leaves in the same way as described makes good brambles. The final touch is to spot white acrylic paint over the "bush" to represent the flowers that bramble bushes are covered in in early summer. The final touch is to use small pieces of lichen - another old favourite - to represent the miscellaneous bits of herbage at the foot of the hedge. That left the grass. I have a Noch Grassmaster, a retirement present from a major computer company would you believe, and used that. This has to be done in stages. A base layer of short stuff, 2.5mm, is laid first. This looks like a well manicured lawn but bear with it. On top of that is laid a layer of long stuff, some 6mm long but mainly 12mm long bristles. Very small amounts are put into the Grassmaster tank and the hairs are teased up using the static electricity from the empty machine. Some three or four passes are needed to get a decent effect. I scattered some yellow flock on after the final pass while the glue was still wet to give the impression of a good mix of celendines in the grass. No matter how hard you try to cover everything, there are always bare patches. No matter, a dab of glue and a few Noch leaves and you have the start of some dandelions. Spotting these with bright yellow acrylic paint completes the effect. In the end I found this a far more satisfying exercise in 1:32 than I ever did in smaller scales, and to complete this entry a photo with my half built Bagnall 0-4-0T nosing its way along the hedge.
    5 points
  4. A shortened version of this account appeared in an article on 'Lockdown Modelling' in the August 2020 edition of 'British Railway Modelling'; this blog entry is longer and has some more photos. I started the lockdown period in England full of good intentions, one of which was to build some of my personal stockpile of kits – I am a “stock acquired beyond life expectancy” (SABLE) sort of person. This activity began well enough with a Faller tank farm deemed ideal for my next layout. This was my second recent Faller kit after their industrial metals processor and it went together so well I was inspired to look online for something to go with it. A short moment of madness happened and two days later I had the kit for the chemical plant outside my door. A Faller kit is somewhere between an Airfix kit, where you buy the parts and stick them together, and a Wills “craftsman” kit, where you get a pile of raw materials and make the parts to a drawing. Faller supply dozens of sprues of generic parts – girders, tanks, pipes and so on – and a book of instructions. Notably what you do not get is any kind of scale floor plan or general arrangement drawing; and so when you begin construction you do not really have a clue where to fix anything down onto a base. For the chemical plant you have 32 pages of instructions (these begin with the terse word “option”!), 54 sprues, and an inspirational colour picture on the box. The model uses around two-thirds of the parts supplied; of these, many of the smaller pipes and nearly all of the railings need trimming to fit. The instructions give you a build sequence but this only works if you are leaving the model unpainted. I scanned through the instructions to identify the major elements of the model and proceeded to build them as subassemblies, painting them as I went along. The assembly of plant equipment for the ground floor is identical to a part of the tank farm, and seems absurdly intricate for something almost invisible inside the finished model, but at least I began on familiar ground. From time to time, the instructions tell you to cut parts to a specific dimension. I am convinced, Faller created their instructions by measuring from a test build – parts of their build are clearly crooked in their photographs, and you can best take the dimensions with a pinch of salt. I cut the parts so they would fit. The instructions also call up parts you do not have, like eight specimens of a part where they only provide four. But life would be dull if everyone’s models turned out identical, so I improvised along the way, especially with the pipes. Eventually I had to tackle the main section of structural steelwork and a mate gave me a scrap of MDF board to build this on. The steelwork builds up in layers, one storey at a time. This is logical enough but it makes for a model difficult to build “square” in all three planes. The numerous staircases and railings are a bright but slightly soapy yellow plastic. It is good to have these pre-coloured, but they would not stay put with my EMA Plastic Weld or Carr’s Butanone. I bought some Revell Liquid Contacta, and this worked. The colour scheme was inspired by photographs of the refinery at Grangemouth and a visit to the power station at Bradwell, and so the model is a selection of shades of grey. I used Tamiya sprays for the large parts, especially their TS-32 Haze Grey for the steelwork and TS-81 Royal Light Grey and TS-76 Mica Silver for the tanks. When I needed a brush to hide mistakes and marks from solvents I used Revell acrylics. After I added the last storey, I thought how nice the model would look with some internal lighting. I bought a pre-wired string of 30 white LEDs to do this, these came from JS Models of Keighley. The LEDs came encapsulated in clear resin, so to make their installation easier I ground down the resin on the back of each one and attached a disc of black styrene. I chose black to stop light leaking through what is supposed to represent steel girders and decking. Well, the grinding disc went in a bit too far for one LED but fortunately, this was near one end of the string. I threaded 24 LEDs into the steelwork, and added the other five good ones below walkways. By now, the subassemblies with their wires were completely unmanageable so I made a permanent base for the model. This is 3mm plywood, braced with strip wood and more plywood. It was tricky to fix the structural steelwork onto a wooden base. I used loops of brass wire hooked over the plastic mouldings and soldered up underneath. I fixed everything else down with PVA. The base holds a simple voltage regulator PCB and two AA batteries. The batteries let me run the LEDs when the model is outdoors for photography. The model looked a bit bare so I garnished it with some parts from other kits. The terminal pipe-work at the front is from a Kibri kit for an oil storage tank, and the demountable office building is Kibri as well. I used some parts from a Faller old-time cement works to add an extra storage tank at the back, and there is even a scrap of an Airfix tank wagon in there too. I put a row of street lights along the railway side, these are N gauge ones from Kytes Lights, extended with short lengths of brass tube. The Faller kit builds into a good-looking if somewhat under-scale model. Really, the footprint is barely larger than a couple of detached houses with good-sized gardens, and a prototype could easily be twice the size. Nevertheless, construction kept me occupied for 85 hours spread over five weeks of the lockdown. I have posted some details of the build in the topic for 'Shelf Marshes' starting here: https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/152888-shelf-marshes-first-attempt-at-a-cameo-layout/&do=findComment&comment=3929446 This model is now the centrepiece of the 'Shelf Marshes' module of my Shelf Island project.
    4 points
  5. My 'Polybulk' is a freelance grain wagon someone has created by refinishing a Rivarossi bogie hopper wagon in the livery of Traffic Services Limited (London). The source model is the Hornby-Rivarossi bulk freight wagon originally released under the Jouef brand in 1977. This particular example had Rivarossi reference HR6030, and was issued in the bright yellow livery of CITA. The result is a 1:87 scale model of a European wagon which was too wide and too high to run in Britain, presented in the livery of a TSL cross-channel ferry wagon: I don't know who did the repaint but I think the workmanship is excellent. I wish I could put transfers on this well. And somehow the wagon seems to look much more 'natural' than a factory-finished and factory-weathered specimen. The wagon was a gift from another member of the RMweb who had bought the model through eBay and then found it to be surplus to their requirements. It is a bit quirky but it looks so good it has to have a home on my layout. Details of the original prototype: Length: 15.39 metres Tare: 22 tonnes Payload: 58 tonnes Capacity: 94 m³ Bogie type: Y 25 Css Maximum speed: 120 km / h Commissioned from 1970 This wagon runs internally on the Shelf Island railway, transferring some kind of bulk granular material (I have no idea what) between the chemical installations at Fairport and Shelf Marshes.
    4 points
  6. More "out of period" operation here. This time going back in time quite a bit. In fact, it seems they didn't even have flush-glazing back then . The year is 1867, and it is early days at Farthing station. Mr Crummles gently guides his wife towards the first class carriage, while Mr Doyce looks on in anticipation of the journey ahead. Mrs Crummles is somewhat apprehensive. It is only a few months since that dreadful accident at Warrington, and who knows what could happen? Meanwhile Mr Doyce, ever the optimist, studies the magnificent engine that will be whisking them to Salisbury. For him there was never any doubt: These fine machines have forever changed the world! Plucking up her courage, Mrs Crummles asks her husband one last time if he is quite sure that it is safe to get on? While the last passengers finally board the afternoon departure, an undecided sky develops over Farthing. For worriers and optimists alike, the future seems uncertain but exciting.
    2 points
  7. I have two Bulleid brake third (BTK) coaches by Fleischmann to make my "period" passenger train as a BTK + BTK formation. This is not a prototypical formation for BR Southern Region operation, but I think it is plausible for Shelf Island, which needs lots of luggage space for airport passengers. These models came supplied with Fleischmann "Profi" couplers fitted. I like the Profi coupler for coaches because it reduces the slop during changes of direction, but the factory arrangement sets the coaches with about 8 mm between buffer heads. This is the overall effect with a BCK (not used) and one of the BTKs: Most of this post describes how I arranged for closer coupling, reducing the space between buffer heads by about 5 mm. The coaches still run on 18-inch curves, but they look a lot better on straight track. I have also added a Kadee coupler at one end and some gentle weathering. Close Coupling I used two Fleischmann 6574 couplers, one on each coach. I mounted the coupler heads as high as I could (just below the buffer heads) because this makes them look best - however, this makes them incompatible with couplers at the standard Fleischmann height, and I cannot use uncoupling ramps. My conversion puts the 6574 couplers inside the coach, on top of the floor. If you try putting them under the floor they appear to fit but they foul the backs of the wheels. Please be aware, this conversion is irreversible. This is what I did: 1. Take the first coach to pieces and cut out a section of the chassis moulding 6.5 mm deep: 2. On the underside of the new coupler housing, file off the moulded writing "Fleischmann" to make a flat surface and then glue the assembly onto the top of the chassis - I used super glue reinforced with blobs of hot glue. I tried Mek-Pak but the coupler box fell off. Then cut a hole in the floor of the body to accept the coupler box and the full travel of the coupler, and cut a rebate out of the interior moulding so it fits down over the coupler box: 3. This is how the coupler mount looks from underneath: 4. Put the coach body back together. Remove the original coupler from the bogie to go below the new coupler and cut off the coupler mounting. This is necessary to make a clearance for the bogie to swing. Fit the bogies back onto the model. 5. Fit the Profi coupler head onto its mount as high as possible, just low enough to clear the bottoms of the buffer heads. Repeat this for the second coach, and try them out! If you want to be able to couple up coaches on the track, you have to have some space between the buffers to let you compress the coupler heads and let them latch together. When I put my two coaches on the track, on a straight track, I found there was just enough free space to let me do do this. This leaves the buffers about 2 mm apart under compression, or 3 mm apart under tension. The coaches will propel around an 18 inch curve like this . . . . . . and propel on an 18 inch reverse curve like this. Weathering I don't have an airbrush and I'm pretty hopeless at painting so I paid someone to waft some frame dirt over the underframes, allowing it to go up onto the lower sides and a little higher at the ends. Then I picked out some highlights with acrylics and a brush. This photo is with the original couplers: Here is a shot with the close coupler done: Kadee coupler This is a Kadee #149 long under-set coupler in one of the #262 narrow gear boxes. The pin holding the original Fleischmann coupler pushes out with a jeweller's screwdriver, then I cut out enough of the bogie moulding to fit the gear box into the space above the existing coupling hole: The bogie is moulded from a soft flexible plastic with a slightly soapy feel, so I used a M2 screw and a nut and washer to hold the box in place. The bolt passes through the original mounting hole, and the conversion is easy to reverse if the need arises. With the long coupler, it is easy to bend it downwards a little to get the proper height: This is the finished job on the coupler. It would look better with one of the Kadee "scale head" couplers but unfortunately they only make these with a centre-set shank at the moment: These coaches are Fleischmann reference 5148.
    2 points
  8. This 165HP diesel arrived in 1975, from a shipyard in the North East of England. It was only recorded working a couple of times, before being shunted into the scrap line. A shortage of motive power at Shelby Group's subsidiary, White Peak Limestone & Tarmacadam Ltd. saw it taken into the Watery Lane workshop for servicing and an overhaul of the brakes. IRS records show it as being seen on the 10th of August 1976 on the back of a Shelby Haulage low-loader at Stafford Services on the M6. A 1979 visit to WP, by a group of IRS members found it in the loco shed under repair.
    2 points
  9. Progress has slowed recently due to warm weather and some health issues. However, the loco is now complete except for the smoke deflectors and cab side cinder guards. The tender is well advanced, the main outstanding tasks being fitting the axlebox/spring castings and completing the front platform and draw bar. Here we see the current state of play. Dave.
    2 points
  10. This is an early Poole chassis model fitted with gaugemaster dcc92 decoder and marwick brush. The model has a brass drive gear and surprisingly copper pickups which look like they have been a replacement for the original silver ones as the lower plate retention screw is cosmetic, there is no chassis screw hole in which to insert it so it has been cut short at some point. It runs remarkably well on dcc as can be seen here https://youtu.be/-gGwGoswxpE Does anyone know the exact vintage of the model?
    1 point
  11. The following are my notes on GWR stable blocks – a subject that does not seem to have received much attention. I am about to build one for Farthing, and have noticed various style differences that may be of interest to others. Chipping Norton stables in 1983. Built 1904. Rebuilt with end doors to serve as a garage, but otherwise it features the main elements of the "archetype" standard design, ie "hit and miss" vents in windows and above doors, and those characteristic boxy roof vents. Image copyright and courtesy Alan Lewis, at Ipernity: http://www.ipernity.com/doc/pinzac55/21761627 I first became interested in GWR stables some years ago, and received some very helpful advice and material from several RMwebbers on here. Many thanks gents! However, I wanted to obtain an overview of the designs of stables built by the GWR, and this proved tricky. While there are a number of drawings and photos in various books and line histories, I couldn’t find an actual overview anywhere (or have I missed it?). Janet Russell's wonderful "Great Western Horse Power" comes closest with a handful of selected GWR plans and descriptions, but no attempt to provide an overview of the different styles. Vaughan’s "Great Western Architecture" and Stephen Williams’ "GWR Branchline Modelling vol 2" have a few pictures and drawings each. The stable block at Uxbridge Vine Street, illustrating how stables were sometimes located well away from the center of stations. Source: Britain from above. Embedding permitted. So I have tried to make my own overview. Please note that this isn't based on extensive archival research or a systematic review of the various line histories. I have used a few key books and what others have shared. I first divided the stable blocks into three overall types: * The standard design, with 3 major permutations * The small "ad hoc" designs, sometimes inherited * The very large designs for major goods depots In the following I focus especially on the standard designs. The standard designs Various books refer to the emergence of a "standard" design of stable blocks around the turn of the century. However, looking at drawings and photos I realized that there were detail differences in this design, which could be divided into 3 main “styles”. Two immediate caveats: Most of what I have found seems to have been built from approximately the 1890s to grouping. I have not found evidence of standard designs before this time, but that may just be my lack of information. Little seems to have been built after grouping as horses were disappearing, but many stables remained in use for other purposes long after that. Although I identify 3 main styles, there also seem to have been hybrids and possibly also “retro-fitting”. So rather than seeing the three styles as entirely different designs, it is probably better to see them as different expressions of a standard design that evolved over time. The standard designs were single-story and followed classic GWR style features, i.e. red brick structures with blue engineering bricks around doors and at corners. The main style differences were in the ventilation, windows and doors. Sizes differed widely across the same style, from a few stalls to 20+. The footprint was simply stretched in length to accommodate the necessary no. of stalls (thanks for pointing that out, Ian). They were mostly rectangular, although there are one or two examples with a V or U shaped footprint to fit in the surroundings. In the following I have used sketches of quite large stable blocks to illustrate the styles, as they are of particular interest to me at the moment - but the same styles could be found across different sizes. STYLE A “Simple” Plain stable doors and sash windows with 3x4 panes. Limited ventilation. No roof-mounted louvred vents, no vents in doors and windows. Examples: Uxbridge Vine Street, Castle Cary. I’m having trouble dating this style, but my theory is that it is the earliest expression of the standard designs, because it pays so little attention to ventilation. My ham-fisted rendering of Uxbridge Vine Street, illustrating Style A. An attractive option for the modeller who doesn't want to model the complicated ventilation seen on other types. Based on the original GWR drawing in Russel's "GWR Horse Power", which also has a drawing of the smaller stable block at Castle Cary to the same design. STYLE B “Archetype” Classic boxy louvred roof vents. Stable doors have “hit and miss” vents above, while windows have the same vents below a 3x3 glazing pattern. Examples: Abingdon, Chipping Norton (see header photo), Westbury, Hayes (original), Hayle, Park Royal, Thame, Little Somerford. Again there are dating difficulties. Chipping Norton’s stable was built in 1904. Westbury was totally rebuilt in 1901, so maybe the stable is from that date? Park Royal doesn’t seem to have been developed until the late 1900s. Park Royal, illustrating the archetypical features of Type B. STYLE C “Later” Stable doors have 2 rows of small windows/lights above doors, main windows are 4x5 panes. No vents in doors and windows, but large roof vents that are flatter and longer than the classic style. Examples: Weston-Super-Mare, extension block at Hayes, and the unidentified large new stable block in Russel's Great Western Horsepower p. 209-210. I’m calling this the “later” style because (i) the roof vent design seems more modern and functional and (ii) the original block at Hayes was style B design, but when it was extended (no date) the new blocks were to style C. Weston-Super-Mare, illustrating what I call Type C. Twenty stalls is a lot, there weren't many stables this big. A much smaller version of Type C. This 5-stall block was erected to extend the existing Type B block at Hayes & Harlington. A comparison with Weston-Super-Mare shows that the style is the same, and was simply shortened or stretched according to need. HYBRIDS/REBUILDS One or two stables I have seen could be hybrids between the main permutations. However, this is confused by the fact that (i) stables may have been retrofitted with new ventilation by the GWR, and (ii) stables were often rebuilt when no longer used for horses, and so latter day photos may confuse. For example, the latter day photos of Witney (built 1905) show windows like a Style A, but with the boxy roof vents of a Style B. However, the stable block was rebuilt to house motor lorries, and a closer look at the photos suggests to me that the windows and doors did originally have vents, but were replaced/modified (ie it is a rebuilt style B). The stable block at Minehead is more tricky, as described in the caption below. The preserved stable block at Minehead. As seen here it would seem like a Style A, but an earlier hand-drawing (not GWR) shows it with hit-and-miss vents in the windows, suggesting a Style B - except that the drawing does not show vents above the door or on the roof. Were they removed before the drawing was made (when the end doors were installed, for example), or was Minehead a hybrid? Shared under Creative Commons license. Attribution: Chris Osment/West Somerset Railway. Non-standard designs This included "all the rest", worthy of a whole study in themselves, but broadly speaking: Ad Hoc small designs A number of usually small, non-standard ad hoc stables, typically built during the early years, and often by independent companies. In some locations, the GWR simply hired space in a building for the local shunting horse with private individuals. Examples: Henley-in Arden, Princetown (built ca 1910), or how about Camborne! Very large and unique designs Very large stables for the major goods depots, including (i) single-story designs such as Hockley, (ii) two-story designs, rare but see Handsworth & Smethwick (and Paddington originally) and (iii) in a league of its own, Paddington Mint. The stables at Paddington Mint. Copyright Getty Images, embedding permitted. So those are my notes for now. Many thanks to all who have provided info and allowed use of photos so far. I am hoping that this will also bring new insights to light from others, as I have probably only scratched the surface.
    1 point
  12. Posted 2 February 2018, rewritten November 2018, last update 28 July 2021 This post is a compilation of resources especially or exclusively useful for modelling British railways in 1:87 scale. The contents here are limited to resources I have found to be useful or inspiring ... other sources exist and I do hope this list will grow. I have omitted those suppliers who I have found to advertise more than they can deliver. Drawings As 4mm RTR gets better and better, many models are the best 'drawings' you can hope to get. If you are scaling from a 4mm scale model (but not an 00 track plan!), the conversion factor is easy to remember: 76/87=0.87. RTR Information British 1:87 Scale Modelling (www.british-ho-com) is by far the best resource (on-line or elsewhere) for information about RTR models of British railways in 1:87 scale, past and present. In broad terms, the content of the web site is consistent and technically correct, but some models seem to be missing. These are the models I cannot find on the site as at 25 March 2019: Atlas Editions: 1931 Feltham tram Atlas Editions: 1937 Brush single deck tram, Blackpool Pleasure Beach Atlas Editions: 1960 Blackpool balloon tram Modellbahn Union: Zafns tank wagon 2018 release (the 2017 release is described there as 2018) Modellbahn Union: Tcefs ferry van 2018 release Modellbahn Union: Rbmms 55 / Lfs-t 569 stake wagon 2021 release Trix: NS class 6400 (BR class 21), cleared for Eurotunnel operations to Ashford and London St Pancras Trying to understand the scope of the web site, it includes models of some Continental-outline prototypes used in industry in Britain, such as the MaK Di 8, but omits prototypes found only in preservation such as those on the Nene Valley Railway. Lima British H0: a site with descriptions of the former Lima range. Scenic Models Gaugemaster are selling some of the former Heljan and Pola 1:87 kits for railway buildings under their own "GM Structures" brand. Models include Mortimer station, Teignmouth station and Teignmouth signal box. 87thscale.info: has details of model cars. Peco Modelscene: some models from the old Merit range are to 1:87 scale, these include the coal office, bus stop, shipping container. Sources and Suppliers eBay.co.uk: easy to search and ideal for finding obscure models. Beware of dealers touting battered Lima and Playcraft models at silly prices. Elaine's Trains: Elaine Harvey has a dedicated page for British H0 models. ModellbahnUnion: in-house commissions of ferry wagons. Model railway exhibitions: worth looking at boxes of Continental stock for ferry wagons. Toy fairs: Lima and Playcraft models occasionally turn up at toy fairs, but these events are better for suitable road vehicles rather than trains. Parts Lincoln Locos: dedicated and helpful 3mm scale supplier willing to print their designs at 1:87 scale upon request Nairnshire Modelling Supplies: The 'small' size handrail knobs are smaller than those from Markits and sit well on a 1:87 scale model Markits: 4mm scale 'dome and ridge' roof vents measure 3.0 mm diameter, this is technically 0.5 mm too big for H0 but they look ok to me Scale Model Scenery: laser-cut wooden sleepers to the usual British dimensions, also lineside hand rails and other scenic parts Shapeways: some designers produce marvellous prints, some do not - buyer beware Steam Era Models: wheels are available with 24.5 mm axles, drop-in replacements for Lima Ultrascale: wheel profile described as 'finescale 00' works with British H0, but turnaround is funereal York Modelmaking: first-class laser cutting of bespoke designs Solvents Carr's Butanone: welds Lima coach parts permanently (I have had joints using EMA Plastic Weld fail) Dettol (used neat): strips paint from modern Roco models and probably many others Methylated spirit: strips the factory paint from Lima coaches Public Forums 3.5 mm - British HO, scale-specific forum on RMweb https://www.facebook.com/groups/british187scale/ Online: Blogs, Articles and Galleries Modelling the 1840s in HO, on the RMWeb https://chippedblade.wordpress.com/blog/ http://www.euram-online.co.uk includes articles for a BR class 12 shunter and a Transfesa ferry van 'Watlington', gallery of the layout by 'Vernon Wedge' hosted on Flickr
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  13. As my posts on this project have been a bit few and far between I think a quick catch up is in order - 7mm scale Dudley trams running on 24.5mm track and starting on the rolling stock first. Although I am quite prepared to hand build the real track I really needed something a bit quicker and simpler for to test out the tram chassis design. At the end of the day if we can't get the trams running properly we will not proceed with the project. Set track would be ideal but unfortunately Hornby don't do 24.5mm gauge - or do they? A few years ago I put down some track that had belonged to my late Father in Law so we could play trains with his stuff just as he had enjoyed doing. This board was still hanging around and then I had a brain wave! I took up the double track and re-laid it with the gap between the two circuits being 24.5mm. The scale 3ft6in stock can then run on the outside edge of the inside circuit and the inside edge of the outer circuit. I 3d printed some very simple track gauges to keep everything in place with the only other inconvenience being having to cut a couple of pieces of track to make everything join up properly. It is running on DC at the moment with my trusty old Clipper but once happy with the design everything will go DCC. I put both the test chassis through their passes which has been most useful and various changes are to be made for the forthcoming models. I will devote a blog to the delights of these chassis soon.
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  14. This W5 Peckett, of indeterminate age, was registered with the British Transport Commission and despite the steam ban arrived at the yard in 1973 under its own steam, via BR metals. It's former workplace was just up the line at Small Heath gas works. It was a regular performer at Strong's and was found to be useful in the winter months, with its Stones turbogenerator and large electric lamps. In1977 a group of enthusiasts attempted to buy it, but found the frame was bent and it also required a new firebox. It disappeared soon after, presumed scrapped.
    1 point
  15. Phase 2 of Northumberton involves the track bed up as far as the entrance to the station level (Phase 3). I have already cut the track bed - (see entry "Frames complete - now the track bed). I use an extended 1m straight edge/rule to measure track height from the frame work which was levelled in the early stages. I'm rising from 1005mm to 1105mm above floor level. I was able to take the levels where track crossed the frame work from the SCARM software I'm using, (see entry "Backscene") Sections of ply and softwood have been cut to raise the track bed to the correct height. Pine battens for mid way supports and plywood profiles where the route is a bit more tricky. This does take a long time, I'm also using a great little spirit level that I have which has a digital readout including one for gradient percentages which made checking the track bed much more straightforward. I'm still using metal washers on the outside edge of curves to induce a very slight camber, especially on the tighter hidden curves. Also I'm allowing plenty of room for long coaches on tight hidden curves by cutting away the curved section shown below in the support for the upper track. My trusty glue spreader from Amazon filled with Woodland Scenics foam glue, this spreader works so well and as I'm also using DCC concepts Power Base I have a lot of gluing to do. I split all the track bed in two down the middle to ease installation. I coat the track bed and the foam underlay separately, leave for about an hour and then lay the underlay following the centre lines shown. This method means no pins required or additional drying time, just make sure you place it very carefully as once its down its down! Same method for laying the Power Base, coat the foam track bed and the metal plates. to hold the metal plates whilst applying glue I use double sided tape in strips on an old board, place the plates in place on the tape and then go over with the glue roller. After an hour the plates are lifted off the tape and placed onto the foam - again an extremely strong bond is achieved. I'll carry on now until Phase 2 has all it's track down and has been tested. Just trying out the new Peco twist lock point motors with the switch attachment, so far so good, certainly fitting the motor is easier but the wiring of the accessory switch does not look clear to me, I'm using it to change frog polarity, has anyone used these? Which terminal on the switch goes to the frog? Cheers for now, P.S. no prizes for spotting the glass of wine, it was very late in the day Note: Peco Twist Lock motors, fitted one and then decided to test it. I'm using a Lenz LS150 which is designed for solenoid motors and indeed runs my Peco PL10E's perfectly. The Twist Lock motor switched once and then stopped, I tried a few times to get it going, it only worked intermittently but not at all with the micro switch fitted. Fortunately I carried out the test before fitting it to the layout as I had purchased 6 of these from Hatton's. A bit of research later found others had also been having some issues with these. Luckily for me Hatton's agreed to refund me for the motors including the one I opened to carry out the test, many thanks to them. Back to PL10E's for me, I'm sure the twist lock motors must work OK with other power supplies/switches but did not like my Lenz LS150. I am not so sure about the micro switches, there does not seem to be enough throw for them to function reliably IMHO.
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  16. Having spent years in my display case in it's original form as 10001 a rainy day saw it 'updated' into a new guise as 34001. The story goes that the Research Department at Derby rescued it and have now used it as a testbed for Traction Motor research. Seen leaving Watford heading a southbound Parcels service. Looking south through Harrow as a 47 hauls a northbound freight through on the Down Slow Line. A pair of 501s head off for Watford. Heading north out of the tunnels at Linslade. An Express overtakes the North Wembley to Widnes BOC tanks. Heading south out of Harrow. A Willesden bound Freightliner passed by an Express for Euston, and a pair of 501s clatter off all stations for Euston. Traffic is at a standstill on the road bridge ! 47164 heads a northbound Freightliner past the Sports Ground at Headstone Lane as an 87 heads for London on a service from Wolverhampton. The Stirling to Kensington Olympia Motorail service swings round the curve on the approach to the tunnels at Linslade.
    1 point
  17. Hello all! Hope you are all keeping well. As usual, it has been a while since last posting on here. The recurring theme has always been losing interest in the hobby followed by regaining it for a short while, I guess it applies to all hobbies. I've hit the buffers well and truly this time due to personal circumstances. My marriage fell apart last November and the situation got really out of hand to the point where the ex got me arrested under false allegations, I was forced out of the house too. Her actions cost me the house, my job and my mental health was blown to pieces all because she lacked rationality and her family added fuel to the fire. Nearly 8 months on things have picked up, got my own place again and returned to my employer, there is still a way to go in regards to my mental health but we'll get there. I had to sell a good chunk of the fleet to get money together and also to get rid of reminders of my ex as she bought me a good number of them as gifts. My interest in the hobby has died off, I have no desire to restart and rebuild a layout but I do enjoy looking at other people's work.
    1 point
  18. I've been doing a number of projects over the last month. More on the etches for the 4mm J17 and also playing with the electronics for my level crossing. Meanwhile as a more practical modeling activity I've made a start on the shed which is my 16mm photo plank project. The sides of the shed were laser cut in 6mm and 3mm ply. I've deliberately made the back wall in two parts to give me some reasonable thickness for the wall. I have just sanded the outside and have the option to produce an outer shell in the event that I want to include the shed as part of a layout in future. The insides of the walls were covered in Sculptamold, a layer about 3mm thick. I've been really impressed by how Sculptamold sticks to the ply surface. After about 10 minutes of going off I rolled the surface texture with my 3D printed rolling tool. This came from the Thingiverse. I modified the original 'crazy pavement' version, doubling the diameter. This means that the stones became longer and more suitable for a stone wall. I also modified the shapes slightly adding a couple of extra lines with model filler. I turned the tool over so the pattern repeat isn't too visible, I also added some additional lines with a scribing tool while the Scupltamold was still green. Finally I used a stiff old toothbrush to add just a little more texture to the stone surface. The effect I'm after is going to be a weathered whitewash inside for the building like this at Threlkeld. The shed includes a inspection pit (which isn't full depth and will probably be covered with timber) and a wagon turn table which would allow a wagon (or loco) to be turned and moved off the running line. I had cut some ply to form the inset for the track but having seen how well the Sculptamold worked on the walls I think I may just use it on the floor. I'm thinking I want to go for a 'rustic concrete' effect - something that looks patched up and laid at different times. I'm thinking that maybe there were original pads installed for the heavy tools (power hammer, lathe etc) and then the rest of the floor was concreted later. The door lintels just had some scrap ply inserted when I added the Sculptamold, I intend to add proper lintels either of timber or maybe a modern replacement RSJ. The window lintels are just carved stone (I think I need to make these more pronounced). The windows are only a scale 5' wide which I think is narrow enough to cope with just a stone lintel. It has made a nice diversion from CAD and MERG electronics. David
    1 point
  19. I’ve been making my own crates and tea chests from printable veneer. Today I installed them in the goods depot at Farthing. The mezzanine floor at Farthing was used as a storage facility. Traders could have their wares stored while awaiting dispatch and distribution. Space was literally at a premium, and this floor was always tidier and more well organised than the busy decks below. Farthing wasn’t far from Britain’s first Nestlé factory, built at Chippenham in 1873 for the manufacture of condensed milk. This part of the goods depot was inspired by the balcony floor at Hockley Goods, which seems to have been used for similar purposes. The following is a description of how the crates were made, summarized from the workbench thread: I like the smallish wooden crates that could be seen in goods depots before cardbox boxes became common. So I began by designing a few of these. The top one above is photoshopped from a pic of an original Nestlé crate. The rest are tongue in cheek I wanted to capture that light wooden look of a new crate, and wasn’t quite happy with the texture of ordinary paper. After searching the web I came across these veneer sheets intended for creative photo printing. I bought mine from Crafty Computer Paper (no connection). It’s important to note that these sheets only work with top loaded ink-jet printers. They will jam if you use a printer where the paper bends over on itself. I have a cheap top loaded Canon IP2850 printer, which cost about 30£ a year ago (colour cartridge included). It does take the sheets, although each sheet needs to be pressed down gently when the rollers try to “grab” it. I would be weary to do this on a high-end printer! Test prints suggest that the wood effect is pretty much as I had hoped. The lettering comes out OK I think, although I’m sure a more expensive printer could give an even better result. The veneer sheets can be cut fairly easily with a normal scalpel. I've experimented with two different ways of building the crates. The first and most laborious method is to cut out each side separately, and glue them on a block of laminated plastic rod as seen above. This method gives a fairly neat final appearance, as seen above. This pic also shows the texture of the veneer, and how the different shades of the sheets can be used to add subtle variety: The ones on the left are from one sheet, the ones on the right from another. A quicker method is to cut each crate out in one piece, and lightly scribe the rear of the veneer at the corners with the back of a thick scalpel blade (a sharp scalpel or deep cut will break the veneer). The crate can then be folded and glued with a good quality card glue or similar. You inevitably get a light tear at the corners though - so this method is best for crates that aren't seen close up. I've made rows of stacked crates by glueing individual sides to the front of a long block of laminated styrene strips, as seen above. Saves time, and can't be seen once completed. The fake rows can then be stacked and glued or just blu-tacked together. The tea chests are based on real ones but photoshopped to fit my setting and period. The metal edges on the "East India" one didn't really come across as I hoped in the printing... ... so thanks to Dave and other RMwebbers I tried using the dull side of foil for the metal edges. I cut the foil in strips and then fixed it with card glue to one side first. It can then be bent around the edge and stuck to the other side. It’s worth the effort to spend some time cleaning up the edges afterwards. With a ruler and sharp scalpel, edges can be trimmed straighter and narrower as required. The superfluous foil can be scraped off leaving no visible mark. Small problem areas can be fixed with a quick lick of metallic paint. The veneer is very forgiving, so paint can also be scraped off if necessary. The crates are strenghtened inside like this. The tea chests represent different types and sizes, some with metal sides and some without. Judging by photos I have seen, the metal edges don't seem to have been common until the 1920s or so. As mentioned earlier, the sheet itself is quite forgiving and glue and paint can be scraped off without leaving much trace. The lettering is another matter. The print on the right has been treated to a light coat of Vallejo matt varnish! Finally a comparison between a veneer crate, an earlier paper-printed effort (right) and a parcel made from Manilla envelope paper. The crate has that nice and square look. Thanks to all who have helped and contributed to this little project, see the discussion in the workbench thread for more ideas and suggestions.
    1 point
  20. What goes through a modeller’s mind? 'Very little', my wife would say, and she’s not far off . Am I the only one who enters a Zen-like state of mind when operating the layouts? It begins like this. You decide to run some trains, forget all the worries. Get the gear out, set up on the dining table. The engine purrs into life, pulls a train off the traverser. You get down to eye level, begin to dream. What if there was something else behind those windows? Distant spires maybe? Lots of spires! Then even that melts away, and you enter a world of dreamy blue skies. Floating freely… …in an uncomplicated world… …where time… …stops… …and the light… …is mellow. Peace, man. Then reality kicks in. It seems I’m expected to lay the table. Ah well!
    1 point
  21. Here’s a summary of my recent 'experiments' (a.k.a. mucking about) with Modelu and other 4mm figures, and how to store them. I have previously modified figures from the Andrew Stadden, Dart Castings and Preiser ranges. So obviously, the Modelu range had to suffer too! The resin used in these figures cannot be bent (it will break), but clean cuts with a scalpel worked OK. Joins were sanded, fixed with superglue and smoothed out with putty. Not everyone will think it’s worthwhile, but I find it relaxing and you get quick results. This driver was shortened and had his feet repositioned to fit in the cab of my Dean Goods. Another driver had a head fitted from an Andrew Stadden figure, in order to enhance the Edwardian look. That left a headless Andrew Stadden body, so a head was transposed from a Modelu station master who I felt looked a bit too modern for my Edwardian period. I have also been experimenting with painting, especially those difficult eyes. The pro painters do some amazing work in this respect, but as a mere mortal I’m just looking for a simple way to achieve a rough indication of eyes without spending too much time on it. The approach illustrated below has helped. First, two black stripes across the eyes. The stripes can then be narrowed and shortened by painting skin colour carefully around them. I find this much easier than trying to paint the eyes directly. The same technique can be used for the eyebrows and mouth. Eyebrows can be tricky when hats etc get in the way, but do add character. I suppose the next step on the learning curve is to fill in those blank, black eyes. Not sure I'm up for that! Reading up on brushes led to the purchase of these Windsor & Newton Series 7 brushes (not the “miniature” range). The sizes are 00 for faces (right), and 1 for larger details (left). These are bigger sizes than I have normally used. This is based on online advice from pro painters. The theory is that larger brushes give better control and the paint doesn’t dry as quickly on the way to the face. If you look closely at the lady above, you can see that her face isn’t quite smooth, because I let the paint become too dry on the brush. A larger magnifying glass has also helped, although I’m still struggling a bit with the weird hand-eye coordination that this requires. The field for extra magnification is useful and tells me that it may be worth investing in an even stronger glass at some point. Because we now live in a flat I have to pack away the layouts in-between operating sessions. This has led me to consider how to store the figures and other fragile items. If stored too casually the paint easily chips, noses are flattened or accessories break. So, inspired by Chris' storage box for figures, I had a look around the web and came upon “pick and pluck” foam trays. These are available on ebay, or from military modelling manufacturers like Feldherr. After plucking out the foam as desired, a base layer is added, and the tray is ready to use. The foam trays come in different thicknesses, this is 15 mm (0.6 inch) plus a base layer: For my horse drawn wagons I used 30 mm (1.2 inches). In retrospect it would have been better to go for something even deeper so the wagons could be placed upright. The trays can be stacked… …and fitted in an appropriate box. This is just a shoebox. I added an extra protective layer of foam on the top. In order to handle the figures, I fitted a bit of felt to a pair of old tweezers. Having made the trays you end up with a lot of foam cubes that are supposed to be discarded. This seemed wasteful so I decided to use the cubes for making additional storage boxes for my “second-tier” stuff. They have a sticky underside so it’s very straightforward. The box is a takeaway food container. Ever since Northroader pointed out the usefulness of takeaway boxes we have been eating a lot of Thai food! Some of my figures are fitted with wire in order to fix them on the layout, which takes up a lot of space in the “pick and pluck” boxes. So these are stuck into a bit of good quality dense foamboard... ...and fitted in yet another takeaway box (Phat Kee Mao, if I remember correctly!). There is room for a lot of figures this way, and the boxes stack up nicely. That's it for now, I'm off to run some trains
    1 point
  22. I've been working on the trackplan for the next Farthing layout, which will show part of a large GWR goods depot. In order to improve the operating interest, I've decided to incorporate a shunting puzzle in the track plan. For anyone interested in shunting puzzles, I can recommend the excellent Model Railway Shunting Puzzles site, plus of course Carl Arendt's site. The simple plan above (not to scale) is an initial design, and may be revised. Any ideas for improvement would be very much appreciated. I'll explain the visual side of things in a separate blog entry. The trackplan is similar to the famous "Inglenook" design, but the objective of operation is different: In the Inglenook concept, the aim is to assemble a goods train for departure. Here the aim is to distribute wagons from a reception siding by moving them into the goods depot in a particular order, while at the same time removing empty stock from within the depot. This was inspired by the practice at larger goods depots on the GWR (and I expect elsewhere), where incoming vans and wagons were met by a superintendent in the reception roads outside the depot, who then assigned them to particular sections of platforms (or "decks" as they were called) inside the depot. The diagram above shows an example of the challenge. This is the basic procedure: Prepare the puzzle by arranging the wagons as illustrated, ie with five inbound wagons in the reception road, and five outbound (ie empty) wagons in random locations inside the depot. Allocate each of the inbound wagons to a particular location on the two tracks within the goods depot. This is done by eg drawing the wagon numbers out of a hat. Shunt the incoming wagons to their respective destinations within the depot, while also removing empty wagons from the shed. The reception siding may be used to set down wagons temporarily during the shunting. The challenge is completed when all the incoming wagons are in their predefined location, and the outgoing/empty wagons are in the headshunt (any order). The puzzle has two difficulty levels: In Simple mode, any maneuver is allowed. In Advanced mode, two rules apply: The loco is not allowed to enter the depot (as was often the case in reality due to the fire hazard). A wagon that is destined for the far end of a platform inside the depot must therefore be propelled using other intermediate wagons. Wagons must not be left temporarily inside the depot during shunting operations, only outside.
    1 point
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