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34017Ilfracombe

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  1. Trying to fit the body of 4111 to a pair of Hornby 2 Hal underframes, modified to close-couple at the inner ends, has convinced me that this is NOT the way forward! The model is almost complete (though not yet fit to be photographed) and it will be OK in the end - it was just a lot of hard work! Instead, it was back to the drawing board to design bespoke underframes, bogies, etc. so as to make up a complete kit, less motors. I have been working with Tim Evans of CW Railways to set up a joint venture to produce and market these models and - ta-da! - we are today launching Eastleigh Model Rail (eastleighmodelrail.co.uk) with an initial range of post-war all-steel 4 Subs (both the final 'standard' 4621 type and an earlier version with an all-compartment layout and EE339 motors), 'Tin Hal's and the unique 2700. The complete kits are inevitably rather pricey but we offer the option of only buying the bits you need for those who want to do their own thing. Re-scaling to 2mm may also be an option - contact Tim through the website to discuss possibilities. Bulleid-type EPBs and HAPs are in the pipeline, as are some older EMUs - more anon. Do please have a look at our website at eastleighmodelrail.co.uk and let us know what you think. Ideas welcome! Stephen Grant
  2. This sparked an idea...... As I am not sure I want to set up a business selling these designs as 3D printed kits, with all the hassle of processing orders, managing payments, etc., one option could be to make the STL files available to fellow Southern Electric enthusiasts in return for a donation to the Smile Train charity. Of course, the recipient would still need to get the files printed and that Sub cost about £500, just for bodies and interiors. Readers' thoughts please.
  3. 3D prints just in from Tim at CW Railways, well up to his usual high standard. If all goes well, this will be the first of a family of Bulleid-type Subs, Hals, EPBs and Haps, designed to fit Hornby Bil/Hal donor chassis though, as contributors here have suggested, other options should be possible. The tricky bit is going to be the sides - so thin they are translucent in order to get the glazing to fit as near flush as possibe. Experience so far with the 1945-type augmentation trailer for my 1925 bull-nosed Sub suggests that the assembled model is reasonably robust; it's getting there without mishap that will be the challenge!
  4. CAD artwork for a 4111 type Sub for my own layout is with CW Railways for printing. I will use this project to identify and shake out any glitches for a possible run of 4621-type units.
  5. The 1925 Sub with its 1945 augmentation trailer is finished (apart from number decals still to be applied) and running on my layout. Overall, I am pleased with the result, which seems to capture the bull-nosed character of the original, though the photos below show that my spray painting skills still have some way to go. The "layer" effect of the 3D printing seems far more obtrusive in the photos than it is in reality - I guess it has something to do with the way I lit the model.
  6. Thanks for the suggestions and I am following up the High Level option, which could avoud the problem of the motor housing intruding into the coach interior. I have successfully used a mix of etched sides and 3D printed ends on previous projects but I could not get etched sides to bend to match precisely the Bulleid Subs' characteristic profile and high roofline, even after 3D printing a press for the specific purpose. My concern had been that it would not be possible to 3D print sides thin enough for flush glazing but an experiment with the 1945-type augmentation trailer in my 1925 bull-nosed Sub unit has worked out well (though my first attempts at spray painting have worked out less well!) Although these coaches were built using traditional methods with a wood and canvas roof, the profile is the same as the 1946 all-steel units and the model has the high roofline but with a plastic strip added at cantrail level and the area above painted grey. Next on the stocks is a 4111-series all-steel Sub.
  7. Not sure if this is the right place for this topic, being about Southern Electric models rather than the prototypes themselves, but it seems like the best way to get informed feedback. I have been experimenting with 3D printing as a way of creating unusual or unique Southern Electric models. A 2 Wim unit, rebuilt from the LBSCR’s original South London a.c. stock, worked out well so I pushed my luck with a Southern 1945-type augmentation trailer for a bull-nosed 1925 Sub. Despite the ultra-thin sides being almost translucent it did not crack, twist or crumble during assembly and the completed model feels robust enough to withstand normal handling, giving me the confidence to tackle units from the long production run of jig-assembled Bulleid all-steel Sub and EPB units. Potentially these include: 4111-type 4 Sub 4621-type 4 Sub 2693-type Tin Hal 5001 and 5101-type 4 EPB 5601-type 2 Hap 5651-type 2 EPB Although I am doing these projects primarily for my own satisfaction it makes me wonder whether there is a viable market for a wider range of Southern Electric stock than is currently on offer from the major manufacturers. The first issue is running gear. I use Hornby 2 Bil/2 Hal units bought secondhand on Ebay - these usually cost about £70-£80. For 2-car units such as the post-war Bulleid Tin Hals it should be possible to re-use the complete underframes and bogies whilst the Bulleid 59xx 2 Haps and 2 EPBs would need minor changes to the underfloor equipment. Things get a bit more complicated with 4-car units on SR standard underframes as one has to improvise some kind of close coupling arrangement between cars 2 and 3 - I use Kean delta plates but these need some butchery to the outer ends of the Bil/Hal driving tralier underframes. The 8ft 6in trailer pickup bogies also need to be replaced with standard SR 8ft bogies. The 2 Wim and the 1925 Sub need 3D printed underframes as they were not of standard length or construction so for these units one is really buying secondhand Bil/Hals for the motor bogies alone, which raises the second issue - alternative motor bogies. Sadly the Black Beetle is no longer available and I was not impressed with the running of the Tenshodo Spuds that I used back in the day, though maybe they have improved since. The website locosnstuff.com offers 3d printed 35mm motor bogies as ‘Spud’ replacements - does anybody have any experience of these? All of which brings us to the issue of price. Even with a very modest markup the cost of 3D printing a complete coach body kit - sides, ends and roof - costs over £100. Adding an underframe, a motor bogie housing and an interior pushes the cost up by at least 50%. So a 3D printed Bulleid 2 Hap on an Ebay-sourced Hornby 2 Hal donor chassis is going to work out at £350-400 for a kit of parts, compared to about £260 for the Bachmann ready to run BR standard version. I would be willing to make 3D printed Southern Electric kits available to fellow modellers but is there a demand at these sort of prices?
  8. I doubt a partial repaint would work as you would need to obliterate the underlying yellow completely and you will never match the exact shade of green. A better bet might be to sell your Hal on Ebay and buy one that matches your requirements.
  9. I don’t know much about the printing process but there are some details on cwrailways.com and Tim can probably give you more information - suffice it to say that I am very happy with the quality of the prints. I was concerned about the very thin sides of my prototype for the Southern’s postwar suburban fleet but it has worked out well:-
  10. The bottom picture is almost certainly one of the Portsmouth-Cardiff cross country services with its Western Region stock. The top photo could well be the daily Brighton/Portsmouth to Plymouth service.
  11. All-stations passenger services would typically be hauled by a 4-4-0 tender locomotive such as a T9 with a 3-car set. In the late 1930s the set would probably have been LSWR non-corridor stock, replaced in the 1950s by Maunsell corridor coaches displaced from longer distance services by new Bulleid stock. These local services were modernised in the 1950s by 2-car "Thumper" diesel-electric units (Bachmann used to make a 4mm version which can still be found secondhand). The 2-car units soon gained a third centre car but this is not readily available as a model.
  12. I should make it clear that the bending of the experimental side had everything to do with my design and nothing to do with Tim’s 3D printing!
  13. 3D prints just in from CW Railways for the latest project - a Soutern Railway 1925 bull-nosed suburban electric unit similar to the one preserved at the National Railway Museum. In 1945/6 these units were augmented from 3 to 4 cars with ewly built 10 compartment trailers. Most of these were of the ‘1941’ type with the characteristic Bulleid/Lynes wide-body profile but conventional steel panelling on wooden frames. I am using this car as a prototype for a potential new series of 1946-type all-steel units - the issue being, can one successfully use 3D printing to produce curved bodysides that are thin enough to allow almost flush glazing yet robust enough for normal assembly and handling? The printed sides certainly pass the thinness test - at 0.5mm they are translucent - but it remains to be seen whether they are too eggshell-thin. Previously I had designed an experimental side with thicker cross sections above and below the windows but this bent like a banana, admittedly after I had left it lying in full sun. The new bodysides have lighter internal reinforcement in a matrix pattern that is intended to produce a more equal balance of horizontal and vertical strength. We shall see whether this works - if not, the next step will be to increase overall thickness slightly. If I can get the bodysides right it would open the door to a whole series of projects - 1946-type all steel 4 Sub units, a ‘Tin Hal’ and the SR-type EPB family. The Eastleigh production line was turning out these units right up to 1959 using reclaimed underframes from pre-war electric stock.
  14. Not sure if I should respond to AndyID’s Hercule Poirot in the character of Captain Hastings (“I say!”) or possibly Miss Lemon? All the motor bogies are from donor Hornby 2 Bils, bought at the same time and identical as far as I know. The only modifications are cosmetic - Cor-type equalising beam bogie sideframes - but these do not touch any of the moving parts as the bogies have inside bearings. No traction tyres. Removing the motor bogies would be a bit of a pain as it would involve unsoldering the connections to the trailing bogie pickups but it would be do-able if worthwhile. My meter is analogue and of a certain age. My fellow Club members think Noah used it to set up the electrics in the Ark. Pushing the train down the incline is an interesting idea - I’ll give it a try and report back. I will also try measuring the resistance of each motor as Steven B suggests. More anon.
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