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  1. And it is worth bearing in mind that wagons are not necessarily symmetrical. End door wagons require different artwork for each side as the location of strapping affects the layout of the lettering. Inkscape makes it possible, if tedious, to trace everything from photographs as below to ensure that the apparent preference of the signwriters to 'fill' the woodwork between the straps rather than working around the iron work.
  2. Indeed. I had tried that on a Metro and it sucked so was keen to keep motor and chassis attached. It goes together with a satisfying click as the back of the boiler gets trapped by the firebox and the smokebox locates in a pocket behind the inspection doodah on the front footplate. It now needs to go back in the gloat box for a few months until I can forget about the frustrating/annoying bits . . . might even clean the crud off first. Andrew
  3. Perhaps this should be subtitled "making a sow's ear out of a silk purse." I have long had a penchant for the GWR 517 and decided to give it a go based on the Chris Higgs 14xx replacement chassis from the shop. That is the silk purse in this build. After a bit of umm-ing and ahh-ing about reducing the wheelbase between the rear driver and the trailing wheel I eventually embraced the fact that a combination of my cack-handedness and the sheer variety within the prototypes meant that that wasn't worth the effort this time around. The build may not come off or it may simply look ungainly by having to accommodate the extra mm of length. Instead I opted to see how quickly I could throw everything together by committing a rigid hour a day to the build. In truth I spent about six hours to get the chassis to a rolling stage on a Saturday afternoon. No problem with the kit, it is great, but I managed to repeatedly put the wheels on in the wrong places and then spent ages tweaking and twisting them back off again. Other than that I stuck to the hour a day and the pics reflect the six hour chassis build plus nine hours on the body. It ain't great but I wasn't sure if it was going to be possible to fully assemble the chassis and affix a 7mm coreless motor and then work out a means of sliding the boiler over the motor and securing everything. Did Mr Higgs design the worm centre on the boiler centre line? Certainly near enough for me and it facilitates the sliding on and off of the boiler over the motor. I confess I am surprised at how big the loco has turned out in the flesh as they always look piddly in the photos and I haven't compromised the dimensions too much. It all looks promising at this stage and the major parts all fit together adequately but I have a question for the more learned out there regarding weighting. Is it best to limit the weight but ensure that the centre of gravity is over the drivers OR just pack as much lead in as I can? So far I have simply put lead between the chassis frames and they are balanced over the rear driver. The motor throws the CofG well and truly between the driving wheels but the weighting of the body could significantly alter that. In the meantime I will try to maintain the enthusiasm to do an hour a day . . . and recommend yet again the joys of using the association chassis kits as a short cut to a pragmatic solution. Cheers Andrew
  4. I did attempt to reduce the size of the handrail knobs as suggested by Tim. Methinks I need to try again. Finished as far as I am concerned. Attempting to add more detail is unlikely to overcome some of the other shortcomings but a useful exercise for the next one. Time to scrape off the vim and throw on some undercoat.
  5. Bit more broad gauge. Quite a few problems to work out even though this was meant to quick and simple first bodge to get a feel for any peculiarities that seven foot gauge might throw up. Open cabs are always a pain but a semblance of back head has been added. Crew will obscure most of it. Hand rails are not attached so they have moved about a bit in the pictures. A lot of filing to be done below footplate level and, because of some very ill thought out construction, the lip of the valance will need to be simulated by adding some fuse wire. Most other broad gauge locos are going to need working crossheads and probably hand made wheels as the throw on the Associations ones is a bit too large. The eagle-eyed will see that the connecting rods on the pics of the VofN tank have to run in a slot in the footplate. Either that or jacking everything up by half a mil or so which causes different problems. Going to have to bite the bullet and make the boiler fittings next and a particularly awkward dished, oval smokebox door. If this was the simple one I am now dreading the 4-4-0Ts that have to follow.
  6. I had a go at the side tank version. Unfortunately it lacks any finesse and doesn't compare to Ian's version! The sister, saddle tank version reached footplate stage but stalled when I saw that Ian had upped the game by adding rive detail. That, in itself, is impressive. From my perspective the ability to then apply that detail completely squarely to the tank former and retain all registers neat and true is little short of phenomenal. Andrew
  7. ' Sprung buffers? Stewart Hine's 1961 articles on building a small prairie.
  8. Probably the ugliest broad gauge locomotive ever. I offer you the Vale of Neath's numbers 14-16 saddle tanks. 'Purposeful' is a word. A full length saddle tank that pretty much hides all of the doings makes for plenty of space to hide a motor. Obviously pic just shows a preliminary fit to test the running etc. but it all looks practicable. The motor will sit much lower in the cradle once the blue tack has been replaced with something better. When clearances etc are better understood maybe it'll be possible to do an improved version by photo etching these and he other locos in the Vale of Neath stable. The association etch of coupling rods will be cannibalized to add some texture to the bosses as the 15thou nickel silver is a bit too flat and wibbly wobbly.
  9. Hi Jerry Just a bit more on the Maclane tipper. 2.17 - 2.20 in this Blink and you miss it! Not great detail but might help with the atmosphere in the model as it shows the trackway on which the tipper runs and the associated debris. Andrew
  10. Finished the pointwork and it all seems to be okay though I confess the file was applied aggressively in one area to reduce a bit of rubbing. The eagle eyed will see a vague 'Minories-esque' feel to it. The station site is actually sandwiched in a cutting between two overbridges with an elaborate footbridge over the platforms. Lots of visual clutter to allow it to be run as a terminus. Unfortunately I don't have any more pcb strip so this will go on the back burner. Not sure it will be available in the particular thickness used - I bought the original pack in 1985 or so. The 'plain' mixed gauge lines will just use up stocks of the Associations's original plastic base for plain track with a bit of cutting and splicing. The difference in heights is manageable. In truth this was a project to test the viability of bendy stick trackwork planning in anticipation of the ultimate goal of a model of the Aberdare terminus which is much more interesting. That requires three 3-way, mixed gauge turnouts and setting those out accurately so that the glaring misplacement of vees evident in the pictures attached is avoided will require Templot. After years of practice and countless frustrations getting to grips with standard gauge, let alone mixed gauge, I fear that Templot will again defeat me but Aberdare offers an engine shed and turntable with standard gauge rails crossing sides plus a turntable with four rails. At scale it could be squeezed in to a 6' by 18" board. That will be done with chairplates hence the need for accurate setting out. But first I'll finish off the BG wagons I started in the 80s. And a loco. Maybe.
  11. Really impressive bit of lettering Jim. Did you mask the X on the Dixon wagons to ensure sharpness at the extreme, pointiest corners of the 'X' or is it down to a lifetime of skills and a steady hand on a small brush? Dare I say it that these are a step change from your examples in the old Association wagon building book. Andrew
  12. Most tedious weekend ever. Station approaches for Neath Riverside circa 1868 with BG2 and 2FS and the sidings serving the goods yard. A simple five turnout station and luckily the Vale on Neath had committed to cross sleeper track by this time. Just need to flare the wings and add the various check rails and blades. Then work out how to wire it all up . . . and make some stock. Bit confused by just how the narrow gauge stock would access the yard as the narrow gauge entry is limited to one track with no obvious route over - the cross over is broad gauge only.
  13. A few problems with the painting. The obligatory Halford self etching primer totally eradicated the rivet detail on the metro and didn't adhere particularly well to the boiler on the other. Not worth re-doing at this stage so hopefully they'll turn green fairly soon. Things like the springs are proving more vulnerable than I'd hoped. The .010" nickel silver stalk does penetrate the footplate but the outer supports are only twists of fuse wire. On future locos I'll ensure that they nestle against the splasher to guarantee a bit of rigidity. Re the chassis on the metro. It has a 7mm coreless in the boiler held in by a grub screw. Meshing centres were arrived at by wrapping the body in electrical insulating tape and progressively removing layers until everything ran acceptably. Driven axle has a 22t gear (I think). The second/first stage gearing was achieved by bodging. I lack the skill to do things properly and prefer to repeatedly burn my fingers. Ultimately it runs okay but clearance between the valance and the coupling rods is very tight. Used cut down Association etches for an 0-6-0 and initially included the bosses on the basis that I am too cack-handed to make delicate coupling rods by hand. Those bosses had to be removed subsequently. The double layer of .010" was also a mistake. Keeping a single layer would have been much simpler and provided more clearance but I wasn't sure about them possible flexing in use. Still got a part built 1076 saddle tank to finish off then hopefully there'll be sufficient confidence to do something a bit more suited to the grand plan.
  14. Not brilliant but certainly improving. Bit of work left to do under the footplate but the body is basically finished bar the backhead, cab floor and smokebox door handles. Might even paint this one.
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