Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

966 Good

1 Follower

Profile Information

  • Location
    Sydney, Australia
  • Interests
    GWR, BR(W), Hornby Live Steam, H0 model trams

Recent Profile Visitors

333 profile views
  1. G'day, all, I had to do the same repair earlier this year and also found that there are no longer any genuine spares available. Here is the patient: Here is a summary of the job: 1. Hornby Grange parts used, as 61xx parts no longer made or in stock 2. Cylinders: X9349 3. Valve gear: X9348 4. Cylinder stretcher packed up and reinforced with card and wood 5. Original connecting rods re-used 6. Grange crossheads removed from coupling rods and drilled 1.4mm 7. Grange crossheads attached to 61XX connecting rods with M1.3 bolts, nuts & washers And here are the results: Not a perfect job, but it now works! Regards, Rob
  2. G'day, all, EddieB is correct in respect of the NSWGR 0-6-0s. The E17 class did arrive here in the 1860s, with the A93 (later Z19) class from 1877. Both were long-boiler locos from BP. I have been toying with the idea of modelling one of the early GWR long-boiler locos, such as the ex-West Cornwall Railway's "St Just". With that in mind, I recently drove to the NSW Railway Museum at Thirlmere, to photograph preserved E18 and 1905. Here are my images, taken in the restricted museum spaces. They were taken to provide insight into the details I will need to add to my models. I hope they are of some interest to others. Regards, Rob
  3. Lubrication and Model Trains “What should I use to oil my favourite locos and rolling stock?” This is a recurring question, with a variety of answers and opinions. The following thoughts reflect lessons and experience including over 20 years as a professional chemist in the NSWGR labs, looking at such materials as paints, alloys, fuels, lubricants, cleaning chemicals, and occupational health issues associated with the use of chemicals, fumes and dusts. They also include over 60 years of railway modelling and maintenance. However, the following paragraphs are just one man’s musings: they are not the last words on the subject, by any means. Background First, one has to understand what lubricants do: · They separate moving parts to minimise wear · They provide a slippery interface between moving parts to minimise friction and facilitate movement. · Some lubricants also have anti-oxidising agents to minimise corrosion and/or conserve mechanisms during storage Historically, lubricants were based on natural oils and greases, such as lard, tallow and vegetable oils. These had several disadvantages: · They oxidise easily, forming sticky gums · They become less viscous (ie, they become thinner) when heated, permitting them to escape from bearings and so allowing metal-to-metal contact, resulting in seizure or excessive wear From the late 19th century, most lubricants have been based on mineral oils and (later) their synthetic derivatives. In automotive oils, they also contain additives which: · Resist oxidation · Keep contaminant particles in suspension, to eliminate blockages of oil passages · Maintain viscosity (“thickness”) over a wide range of operating temperatures, so the oils are not too thick when cold or too thin when hot · May contain special additives for extreme pressure applications (such as the odorous sulphur compounds in gearbox and differential oils) Some of these additives and the base oils may be incompatible with materials found in model trains. Modern industrial and automotive greases typically contain a mineral oil mixed with a water-insoluble soap, such as those based on lithium. It is unlikely that the mineral oil component is “plastic friendly”. Materials in Model Trains Model train locos and rolling stock make use of a wide variety of materials, which include: · Brass · Copper · Bronze · Zinc-based die-cast alloys · Aluminium · Lead-based white metals · Pewter · Steel · Polystyrene · ABS · Polypropylene · Rubber · Nylon · Card · Modellers’ timbers · Alkyd resin enamel paints · Acrylic paints Not all of the above are compatible with all lubricants (or the potential cleaners that may be used before re-oiling our models). For example, ethanol (“methylated spirit”) will attack acrylic paints. “EP” grade lubricating oils, although great for car gearboxes, will attack bronze or brass gears, causing them to wear out rapidly. Acetone will attack cyanoacrylate (“super glue”) adhesives. Most white spirit solvents, including “mineral turpentine” will attack polystyrene and ABS, due to their aromatic hydrocarbon content. In the same way, many common lubricants, such as WD40 and sewing machine oils, will degrade some components of our models. I had the sad experience of writing off two NWSL gearboxes due to the use of the wrong lubricants. Similarly, the plastic axle centres of some Mainline loco axles embrittled, cracked and fell apart after using the wrong oils. Expensive lessons! Isopropyl alcohol can be used as a general purpose cleaner. It is relatively safe to use, with minimal health issues, but is still flammable, with a flash point of just 13 degrees C. It should be used with plenty of ventilation. It is relatively benign to most plastics, but may affect some paint finishes. Applied with a syringe fitted with a 25 gauge needle, it can even flush out the driving wheel bearings of Hornby live steamers. Lubricating Tips 1. Don’t over-oil. Excess oil may contaminate the rails and degrade traction tyres, cause poor electrical conductivity and cause your locos to slip. 2. Don’t over-oil. Excess oil will attract dirt and dust, which will build up to a thick sludge that will cause bearings to seize. 3. Don’t over-oil. Excess oil will be thrown off rapidly rotating parts to contaminate areas that should remain clean. In some cases such oils may cause embrittlement of plastics and their eventual collapse. 4. Use oil that is fit for purpose. For example, Hornby steam cylinder oil is too thick for use elsewhere. Fleischmann wagon bearing oil is too thin for use in Hornby live steam cylinders. Suitable Lubricants My experience has led me to use the following: · Fleischmann 6599 oil: coach, wagon and loco axle and armature bearings · Labelle 102 gear oil: metal locomotive gears and gearboxes · Hob-E-Lube HL657 white grease: plastic/nylon gears · Hornby steam cylinder oil: Steam passages of Hornby live steamers Servicing tips 1. Test your models periodically to verify that they still roll freely. Those that don’t will be straining your locos and causing avoidable damage, especially to their motors. 2. Vehicles that show resistance to free rolling should be inspected. Any sludge in the bearings should be cleaned with isopropyl alcohol, while ensuring that no excess solvent goes where it is not wanted. Fine cotton buds may prove useful here, particularly to dry away all solvent when cleaning is complete. Look out also for wads of hairy sludge that may need to be removed with tweezers. 3. Use a fine applicator to place just enough oil to where it is needed. The Fleischmann oil has one supplied with it. Such applicators can be easily made from a cork and an old sewing needle. 4. Check that the model is rolling freely again. If not, check for other issues, such as misaligned axles, tight bearings, foreign matter, etc. I look forward to reading the thoughts and suggestions of other modellers. Regards, Rob
  4. The St Luke’s 32nd Annual Model Train Exhibition will be held over the weekend of 4-5 May. This year’s display will showcase about fourteen displays, both large and small, including home layouts belonging to club members young and old – each one displaying different modelling techniques. There will also be a craft stall, jumping castle, Devonshire teas and other light refreshments. Details: Saturday 4 May: Exhibition 9am to 5pm Sunday 5 May: Church Service 9.00am – 10.15am Exhibition 12noon – 4pm Where? St Luke's Anglican Church 155-157 Galston Road Hornsby Heights, NSW, Australia For additional information phone 61-2-9477-3140
  5. G'day, all, My original Airfix model had no daylight under its boiler and still lacked it when I first converted it to a 517 class. When its chassis died, I built a new one, as detailed here: http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/137953-gwr-517-class-no-848-–-a-tale-of-three-chassis/#entry3315390 As rebuilt, it now has daylight showing under the boiler and it now runs far better than it ever did. The new motor is perfectly adequate for its duties. My chassis replacement scheme would work just as well for an otherwise unaltered Airfix 14XX. I hope this helps. Regards, Rob
  6. G'day, all, These BR diagrams may also be of help: http://www.barrowmoremrg.co.uk/BRBDocuments/British_Railways_Standard_Locomotives_JDF_Issue.pdf Regards, Rob
  7. G'day, all, Here's a link to the writeup of my TVR brake van project, which includes some prototype info that may be of some use. Rob Regards
  8. G'day, all, Introduction Like many others, I’ve been building, adapting and using Airfix/Kitmaster/Dapol plastic model railway kits for many years – beginning around 1964. The loco kits were made originally to just “gather dust”, but I had a long-term aim to motorise at least some of them from duplicate kits. Rolling stock kits were always meant to run, but polystyrene axles in polystyrene bearings did not work out well. Replacing plastic wheelsets with modern metal ones with pinpoint axles running in 2mm brass bearings made a world of difference. Here are pics of some of my collection. As you can see, some are now showing their age! The Models · Mineral wagon · Lowmac wagon · Cement wagons · Cattle wagons · Brake van · Meat van · Tank wagon · Interfrigo wagon · Prestwin silo wagon · Brakedown crane · Coaches · RFO · BSK · CK · SO · SK · FK · Stirling Single · Railbus · Diesel shunter · City of Truro · City of Truro derivatives: - 2251 - County - Earl Cawdor - Tre Pol & Pen - Saint class - Stella class - 388 class - Weedkilling train Reflections Construction these kits provided the foundation of the skills I have used and developed for more than 40 years. I can’t recommend them highly enough for new modellers. References/Links · Kitbashing Coaches: http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/70799-kitmaster-fk-coach-kitbash/ · Motorising Kitmaster Stirling Single: http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/67037-motorising-a-kitmaster-stirling-single/ · Motorising Kitmaster diesel shunter: http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/59875-motorising-kitmaster-08/ · GWR 4-4-0s on Carmarthen Junction: http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/70438-gwr-4-4-0s-on-carmarthen-junction/ · Stella 2-4-0: http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/134586-gwr-stella-2-4-0-kitbash/ · 388 class 0-6-0: http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?app=core&module=search&do=user_activity&mid=17793 · Track cleaning train: http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/141543-track-cleaning-train/ · Carmarthen Junction Miscellena: http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/70550-carmarthen-junction-miscellena/
  9. G'day, AndrewP, Here's a link to the step-by-step instructions posted in my club's web page. http://stlukeschurch.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Wheel-Replacement-in-Old-00-gauge-models.pdf The bearings used in that approach were not top-hat ones, but those similar to those listed here: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Alan-Gibson-G4M63F-4mm-Flangeless-Bearings-x-40-00/401525926017?hash=item5d7ccf6881:g:8VYAAOSwPcVVln-q:rk:25:pf:0 The plain bearings were used to avoid the need to bend out the (possibly brittle) Tri-ang frames so as to insert the top-hat variety. I've had lots of success replacing old Tri-ang wheels with the modern Hornby equivalents - both coach and wagon. The only issue with them that I have come across is making sure that the back-to back distance between the wheels is 14.3mm. Check and adjust them if necessary. On my layouts which use Peco Code 100 track, 0.1mm can make a difference between a "troublesome truck" and a reliable one. I hope this is of some use to you. Regards, Rob
  10. G’day, all, I am also not impressed with the design of the tender drive used for Mainline/Hornby 4Fs and Dean Goods. I have been slowly working through my original stock of three to either kitbash them into other models or replace the mechanism with something more reliable and smooth running. Nevertheless, I have found an interim solution which gets away from the original grooved plastic wheels that require the use of traction tyres or Bullfrog Snot to keep them on the track. Hornby make a suitable metal tyred 16mm dia wheel for their Grange: Part No. X9357, still available through Peter’s Spares. My upgrade follows this sequence: 1. Remove the original wheelsets from the tender. 2. Carefully take each wheel which has a gear moulded behind it off its axle. 3. Using a belt sander, grind the wheel away from the gear. (Try not to grind away your fingers at the same time!) 4. Clean up the gears. 5. Remove one wheel from each Hornby Grange axle, taking care to not distort the plastic centres. 6. Fit one gear to each axle, then refit the Hornby wheel, adjusting the back-top back distances to 14.3mm and check that each wheelset runs true, without any wobble. 7. Refit the wheelsets to the tender. This procedure results in a tender that runs much sweeter, but with greatly reduced tractive effort. I imagine that pickups could be added, as the Hornby tyres are metal. In my case, I still rely on the loco’s pickups. To restore the model’s tractive effort, I also apply a thin and even coating of Bullfrog Snot to the wheels on one side only and have replaced the plastic wheel keeper with a heavy metal one. For me, the best solution has been to make use of the loco body moulding and use a powered loco chassis. This has resulted in my collection now including a Stella class 2-4-0 and a 388 class 0-6-0. Links to those rebuilds are here: http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?app=core&module=search&do=user_activity&mid=17793 http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/134586-gwr-stella-2-4-0-kitbash/ I hope these ideas are of some interest. Regards, Rob
  11. G'day, Neil, There's a wealth of photos of suitable prototypes here: https://paulbartlett.zenfolio.com/wrdeptcoach Happy browsing and regards, Rob
  12. G'day, all, I've just completed a project to convert an old K's Dean tender into part of a weed-killing train, whose real function is to clean my layout's track. Details are here: http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/141543-track-cleaning-train/ Regards, Rob
  13. Introduction How does one keep railheads clean on large permanent model railway layouts? Over my more than 50 years of railway modelling, I’ve tried several systems, including: Tri-ang track cleaning wagon, with lighter fluid (eg “Shellite”) Cotton cloth rags soaked in white spirit or lighter fluid Peco and Fleischmann track cleaning rubbers In my experience, some solvent based systems are aggressive to the plastics used in 00 scale models, dissolving some (such as polystyrene) or embrittling others by leaching out their plasticisers. Lighter fluid, which is gentler to most plastics, is a significant fire hazard, so I have shied away from it. Track rubbers have been satisfactory for most uses, although not fully effective on rails covered in Hornby live steam oil. These still require some solvent based follow-up and are awkward to use in tunnels and under signals and footbridges. As I get older, I am also finding it harder to lean over my baseboards to reach some of my tracks to hand clean the rails. A fellow club member recently showed me a track cleaning wagon of US origin, but modified to be a NSWGR model to fit in with the rest of his H0 collection. This relies upon an abrasive pad mounted below a heavily weighted bogie wagon. It functions in a similar way to that made by Roco: http://www.omnia.ie/index.php?navigation_function=2&navigation_item=%2F2024904%2Fphotography_ProvidedCHO_TopFoto_co_uk_EU048516&repid=1 As my friend’s experience with his wagon was very positive, I looked around for something compatible with my 1930s period GWR layouts Gennigael and Carmarthen Junction. I discovered nothing RTR that I found appealing, so decided to cobble together something suitable. So, what was in my collection of bits and pieces? In 1973, I built a model of Tre Pol & Pen (see Ref.8). To improve traction, I utilised a second-hand K’s Dean tender that its previous owner had heavily weighted and adapted to lean on the coupling to the loco, thus increasing tractive effort. It wasn’t fully successful, so it was replaced in due course by the plastic tender now in use. The K’s tender was slowly stripped of anything that would enhance other models and sat, wheel-less in a cupboard for over 30 years! It was really too heavy to use in the usual way. Light-bulb moment!! Why not re-fit two axles and mount an abrasive pad between them, with foam rubber providing the resilience needed to keep it in contact with the rails? The model could be adapted (in combination with other vehicles) to resemble a weedkilling train, as shown in the images in Refs.1 to 4. No particular problem, as I had at least one other Dean tender available. I could use an existing all-brown Ratio 4-wheeled compo (part of my breakdown train) to be the mess coach and include an existing GWR Toad brake van. It was never going to be a fine-scale model, but would look more in keeping with the rest of my collection than most RTR track cleaning wagons such as https://www.Dapol.co.uk/shop/model-accessories/track-cleaning/b800-ooho-gauge-Dapol-motorised-track-cleaner-1039. Please note that nothing was bought in for this project. Everything came out of my scrapbox or parts bins. In some ways, it was inspired by the old British TV series “Scrapyard Challenge”. Parts K’s Dean tender, with supplementary lead weights Foam rubber Fleischmann track rubber (trimmed to size) Airfix City of Truro tender (body only) Tri-ang Hall class tender frame Hornby buffers (X6206) Hornby X171 couplings – chosen for robustness Hornby Dean tender wheels (X9652) Ratio GWR 4-wheeled compo coach Bachmann Toad brake van 8BA & 10BA screws & nuts Miscellaneous brass rods for handrails, small piping and brackets #10 aluminium knitting needle for large piping Brass fishing line spinners for large valve bodies H0 wagon handbrake wheels – for valves Braided electrical insulation for hose Dapol figures Construction/Modifications Apart from fitting the abrasive pad to the K’s tender, modifications were minimal, including: Fitting/refitting buffers and tension-lock couplings to both front and rear of the tenders Removal of former coal loads and fairing over the coal space with card Installation of suitable “piping”, inspired by that shown in Refs. 1 to 4 and 11 Installation of appropriate handrails, valves and control valve wheels Repainting the upperworks gray and frames black (see Ref.9) Lettering in a similar way to the tenders shown in Ref.10 Before painting and lettering, they tenders looked like this: The frames were painted Humbrol 85 satin black and the bodies and fittings Humbrol 67 matt grey. Bodyside lettering (fictional!) was achieved by printing complete panels in a dark grey, with white lettering in Calibri font. After cutting them to size, the edges were coloured grey with a felt marker pen. The panels were then affixed with PVA glue. Each model was then completely varnished with Humbrol 49 matt clear. The “canvas” hose was coloured brown with a felt pen. Results I’ve made up a train with only two tenders, as that’s all I had in my scrapbox. Should I find another, it will be simple to convert it to the middle one shown in Ref.4. The modified K’s tender is too heavy for most individual locos. It can be propelled by my Wills 1854 class double-heading with my kitbashed 1076 class. My Centre Models Victory class (No.2161), fitted with Portescap motor/gearbox is up to the task. The completed train will happily go around the 3 ft radius curves on my home layout, but was unhappy with the 3rd- and 4th-radius curves on my club’s layout. Time will tell whether it will be as effective for me as my friend’s wagon is for him. Even if it isn’t, the track cleaning tender can easily be restored to be a 6-wheeled vehicle and I will still have an unusual (and different!) train formation to operate from time to time. References and Further Reading http://www.omnia.ie/index.php?navigation_function=2&navigation_item=%2F2024904%2Fphotography_ProvidedCHO_TopFoto_co_uk_EU048526&repid=1 http://www.omnia.ie/index.php?navigation_function=2&navigation_item=%2F2024904%2Fphotography_ProvidedCHO_TopFoto_co_uk_EU048518&repid=1 http://www.omnia.ie/index.php?navigation_function=2&navigation_item=%2F2024904%2Fphotography_ProvidedCHO_TopFoto_co_uk_EU048540&repid=1 http://www.omnia.ie/index.php?navigation_function=2&navigation_item=%2F2024904%2Fphotography_ProvidedCHO_TopFoto_co_uk_EU048516&repid=1 http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/67522-carmarthen-junction-engine-shed/ http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/70550-carmarthen-junction-miscellena/ http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/83929-gennigael-a-fictional-mid-wales-branch-terminus/ http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/70438-gwr-4-4-0s-on-carmarthen-junction/ John Lewis et al: Great Western Way (2nd ed., HMRS, 2009) https://www.mediastorehouse.com/steam/planes-trains-automobiles/rolling-stock-weedkilling-trains/weedkilling-train-tenders-12100242.html D.A.Sackett: “Here comes the weedkiller” (Railway Modeller, Sep 1990)
  14. G'day again, Among many early published pictures on books in my own library, I did find one showing lining on a Barnum in the pre-WW1 period. On page 31 of Roger Carpenter: "An Edwardian Album of Great Western Passenger Classes" (Wild Swan, 1983) there is an image of 3207, with round-top boiler, taken in 1904 heading a local train to Didcot. Other images of Barnums in that book do not clearly show any lining. Lining of this class seems to have disappeared during the pre-WW1 period. I look forward to comments from other contributors. Regards, Rob
  15. G'day, p8kpev, I've been gathering data on the Barnums for some time, as I prepare to scratchbuild my own 00 model. One of several images I have found on the Web is this one, taken in 1910, which does show lining clearly on the tender. http://www.warwickshirerailways.com/gwr/gwrkd1602.htm I hope this helps. Regards, Rob
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.