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About rowanj

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  • Location
    Newcastle upon Tyne
  • Interests
    Modelling ECML from mid 50,s to 1963/4 or so. Enjoy modifying locos and coaches though have less success with scenery!. Have far too much stock already but keep buying and building more.

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  1. rowanj

    Little Benton Sidings

    When we "spotted" at Little Benton, known locally as The Powder Monkey, the signal by the bridge was our guide for "down" trains. Usually, only the Home was pulled off, and a J27 would trundle by. When the Distant was also pulled, we assumed an express was due, and excitement reigned. Here, we spotters were in luck, and the train is head by 60086 Gainsborough, from Neville Hill. I often saw the loco at Newcastle, where Leeds locos invariably turned round and went back south. On this occasion, it is heading The North Briton to Edinburgh, and possibly on to Glasgow. Apparently the timing of this Leeds-Glasgow service was so poor, it was known as the Ancient Briton. The loco is a re-named Hornby from Sandwich. Like many folk, I accumulated for too many locos, and now I am trying to make them suitable for the location, I have been disposing of a number. Sandwich was due to go to Ebay, when I noticed it was missing the dummy front coupling and vacuum pipe. As I already had plates for 60086, I decided to just repair it and renumber it to a more likely visitor than was Kings X's original. Why people pay other folk to do such simple tasks is beyond me. The 9- coach rake includes a number of etch sides on Hornby donors, and includes the 3 coach dining set of Kitchen Car, FO,and SO, operating as unbranded dining cars.
  2. rowanj

    Little Benton Sidings

    I've been busy with a PDK B16/2 (and a dose of shingles) so not much time has been spent on the layout. However, the laying of another storage track in the fiddle yard means the oil train can leave the storage sidings behind the Hornby Q6. I've done nothing to the loco, but will re-number it one day. The wagons, however, were a motley bunch of colours from Bachmann and Mainline, painted black and lettered with Modelmaster transfers to be suitable for trains which ran through Little Benton. After one more siding is laid, I'll concentrate on more scenic work to try to get the basic layout completed, befre thinking about detail such as point rodding, telegraph posts, barrow crossings, etc. On another thread, I posted a link to a pretty dodgy video of loco kits on the layout, so I'll copy it here too. It's not very long, you will be relieved to know. John
  3. Thank you for the tips. At some point, I must actually see what my 'phone camera can do!. I did have a stab at a better photo, which is attached, The boiler is soldered , but not to the footplate, - it, the cab roof and chimney are just "perched". The chimney is one of the worst I have seen for quality of casting, and I'll see if the spares box has anything better. The dome is almost as bad.
  4. rowanj

    Wright writes.....

    That last picture looks suspiciously like a PDK B16/1, Mr Wright. If so,will you illustrate how to organise the leading bogie to go round curves. It took me about 3 attempts. Best wishes
  5. Brian -what are using to "bush" the frames for the thinner axles, or do you find that Romfords do the job? John
  6. I take Jol's point, so include a better photo. I'm afraid my "camera" is simply a Pay As You Go mobile phone. I think taking pics indoors without appropriate lighting doesn't help. it has been so cold in Newcastle that I've needed along-sleeved T-shirt to go out. A dose of shingles hasn't helped with the LH side of my face resembling Elephant Man, and an eye like a post box slit. But I'm better now, and so is the photo. Cheers, Jol. John
  7. rowanj

    Wright writes.....

    I enjoyed my trainspotting by video at Little Bytham and congratulate all concerned. Mo is an admirable engine driver. I was interested in the Blue Spot Fish, which has been seen before, with the two added vans behind the brake van. In the commentary, Tony suggested they could have been added at Arbroath. This may be possible, but I am sure I have read that it was permissable to add no more than two vans in this fashion to give the gaurd a mor stable and comfortable ride. Or am I dreaming?
  8. I took Mick's advice and tweaked the footplate. On the photo, it looks like the cab is leaning slightly, but, for the life of me, I cant see it in the flesh. I'll keep an eye on it as the body construction continues. Anyway, the LH side of the chassis is almost completed, and the RH just needs the bits and bobs around the cylinder block finished. The balance weights were a problem, as no 2 rebuilt locos seem to have the same pattern, I found a photo in Yeadon which I used as the basis for my model, but it meant I couldn't use one of the etches on the PDK fret. I now try to use stiff rod from the motor to chassis when the chassis is live, as this one is. Apart from giving the return to the track, it Prevents the gearbox flopping around. In this case, I used a small length from the rod supplied for the vacuum ejector pipe, which I think, in any case, is a bit underscale. I've tested the loco on the layout and it does what I'd hoped on all my curves. Whether this is a result of narrowing the chassis, or just that I'm getting better at this loco building malarkey, I don't' know. But the additional work doesn't take long, and re-assembling the sides is no harder than any conventional etched chassis kit. Unless I hit any further snags, I'll wait until the loco is in glorious grey primer before posting again. John
  9. You are right, Mick . penalties of taking a photo with the footplate just sitting on the chassis top, The PDK and Crownline kits provide 2 sturdy etches which incorporate the loco valances, pierced to include, below the long series of holes which will be the valance bottom edge, more metal to provide reinforcement. The instructions tell you to leave this intact while assembling the footplate-- good advice as they allow you to make accurate footplate curves and keep the footplate rigid while working on the loco superstructure. However the valance etches are so long that they wont fit over a cylinder block or clear crankpins on wheels, so if you want to build the chassis, loco body and tender roughly simultaneously, which I think is good practice as it allows you to check fits, etc. the metal below the pierced holes needs to come off a bit sooner . Once the boiler is fitted, the footplate becomes reasonably rigid again, and as Mick says, can be gently tweaked. In my case, as I'd assembled the LH valve gear and fitted it, all bar the last soldered part to the driving wheel, I actually screwed down the footplate and it looks OK. There will be some final tweaking when the boiler goes on, as this will pull the cab slightly forward. I've more or less decided that, rather than cut the bolt coming up through the smokebox saddle, that I'll drill a hole in the smokebox/boiler and add a second nut just for extra security. The instructions all show the fixing bolts going down and then the nuts fixed from underneath, but I prefer the other way with the nut soldered to the loco body. I suppose the kit's way means there is less chance of gumming up the threads with solder.
  10. rowanj

    Wright writes.....

    I had to search my conscience before posting this, because I quite enjoy seeing the "likes" when I put up an example of my work. I've convinced myself it is because its good to know that folk have actually looked and either seen some merit, or at last something of interest in my work. If a comment, either good or bad, is forthcoming, then so much the better. I'm certainly not a master modeller, nor will ever be, but if I have, on my own threads, helped others to have a go, then I have achieved what I set out to do It would be a shame if only gifted builders felt able to post their work. But, other than the number of views, use of the buttons or an actual comment is the only way for a poster to gauge whether carrying on is worthwhile. Perhaps a button which means "why on earth are you posting this rubbish" would be helpful? John
  11. rowanj

    Rich's de-stress project

    Rich - I suspect you are not managing to get enough heat from your iron directly into the joint - looking at the pics, there is a lot of brass which will be dissipating the heat around the boiler and tank sides, You need to clean out the existing solder then try again with at least a 50watt iron, probably running at 450 degrees. Do it slowly along the join from the inside, make sure that the solder passes through the join, and don't go mad with flux, which will bubble away. It's the old story - repairing is always harder than doing it the first time. I've seen references recently to a "gas pencil" which would be a handy addition to a toolbox. Antex do a version which seems to heat to 400 degrees. Best wishes John
  12. I've been picking away at the B16/2, and now have the chassis carcase complete. The valve gear will just be the normal Walchaerts fight. Other than completing the work around the cylinder block and fitting pick-ups. that will be that. the motor is my last Mashima 142o matched with a Highlevel Compact+. As the photos show, I'm going to need to remove dome metal from below the boiler to get it to fit. I hope it wont be too visible once the loco is painted, but we shall see. I also completed the tender sub-chassis and footplate to check relative ride height, Finally, another photo shows how the boiler design allows the smokebox etch to be fitted maintain the same diameter over the full length.
  13. rowanj

    Wright writes.....

    As the new layout seems to need a post to get it into the Activity list, here is a Class 40 heading back to the Midlands. The split code versions were rare beasts in NE England, and I was going to dispose of it. However, it's posted here because I weathered it having re-watched Tom Wright working on a Deltic with chalk pastels on one of the DVD series. In my case, I used Tamiya products, but basically the same stuff as Tom.
  14. rowanj

    DJH D20

    I'll be interested to see if the motor location works. I don't see why it shouldn't, on the face of it. I'm currently building a B16 with the motor driving that way round, albeit on the rear wheels, and previous builds of the class worked out fine. You may have trouble getting the body on and off with that big motor in the boiler. I suggest you drive off the leading pair as per Mike's photo,cutting off the rear shaft. For extra balance, I replaced the awful bogie swing arm with an etched pivot from Wizard/Comet to provide greater adhesion. That, alongside using the tender connection to keep the rear driver's on the track, was enough. The kit is heavy enough without packing more lead into it, in my view. Hope all goes well..there is no right way to build locos,..just the way that works. John
  15. rowanj

    New forum software

    I may have missed it, but has the previous features of "number of views" and "people currently visiting" been lost on threads with the update (which I actually think will be an improvement, once I get used to it} ?

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