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Model Railway Noob

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  • Location
    East Midlands
  • Interests
    The Great War, military medicine and now model railways

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  1. Very impressive and a great area to model. I admire people who work in N gauge. I am working with a mixture of 009 and 00 and the 009 is so tiny. It's made me want to do 0 gauge next time
  2. Hi all, I know some of you were interested in the books I use for research and posts earlier show many of these. However, I have been reading quite a few more since I last posted so I will detail these below. They are really useful not just only for historical detail and documented facts but sometimes the anecdotal first-hand accounts. For example, a nurse on an ambulance train described the British/Belgian armoured train on the line next to the ambulance train including the colours. It is sometimes more difficult to discern colour from black and white 100 year old photos. Some of these publications were hard to find and others now rare which means costly. ROD Livery In all of the books and online information I have searched though over several years now, I have yet to see any evidence of khaki locomotives. I am aware that a preserved locomotive at some time in its life was likely to have been painted khaki for whatever reason but I haven't seen evidence of that locomotive being in France with the ROD at the same time. The only colours/shades mentioned time and time again are black and grey. If model manufacturers found evidence of khaki used by the ROD, I would be very interested in seeing it from a historical interest point of view. I do know that the ROD wouldn't have used two-tone khaki as Oxford Rail did! Incidentally, I think the railgun camouflage is wrong too. The black lining is missing. Maybe that accuracy was sacrificed because of cost. It is unfortunate, that I believe Hornby are about to make the same mistake again by producing a khaki painted ROD locomotive. It is more unfortunate and says something about the company that they removed my post when I posted asking them to make a black version, rather than just the khaki. They would probably sell more too. If they had evidence, I would have expected them to show it then, rather than hide a legitimate criticism. It seems that all locomotives produced in Canada or by the Americans were painted grey. Some stayed grey and some of them the ROD painted black. Locomotives produced in the UK were sent into theatre in either black or grey. I do know that all of one company's locomotives came back grey from France. If you think about it from a strategic point of view, there was no need for khaki because the standard gauge locomotives didn't get that close to the front. Indeed the French got a pounding when they did earlier in the war. That included some early French rolling stock used in British ambulance trains. There is evidence although no photographic proof I understand, that a few locomotives that did go nearer the front were tried in a zebra stripe or dazzle camouflage with black and white stripes. However these were repainted black shortly afterwards. If anyone has got any evidence of khaki locomotives, please share it and the source. If there is any, it certainly wasn't common practice, so it would surprise me that a model manufacturer would go with this. I plan to spray the majority of my locomotives black and the odd one grey. I won't be spraying or buying dirty brown locomotives however appealing they may be as a model. I suppose this is where rule #1 applies and each to their own etc ROD numbering I have posted on Callum's post about the sizing of ROD lettering. My calculations are as follows: 20 " = 508mm Scale to 1:76.2 = 6.67mm Whilst there was some variation in font point over time, particularly with the old printing presses, an agreed standard was reached years ago. In metric, this is 0.3528mm per point. 6.67mm / 0.3528 gives a font point size of 18.91 There may be some variation in fonts. I did a test print and length-wise is was an exact match for the Bachmann 2-8-0 (they traced an original photograph of a ROD locomotive) but the text I used was not quite as high. If 20" is correct, a font size of 18.91 is the 1:76.2 scale representation. I will include a an image of where I have got with my ROD lettering. I had some great help! Cabside number plates Simply some were removed and some were not. It seems to have depended on the railway company sending the locomotives over as they would sometimes remove the number plates before they got to France. Some locomotives kept their number as the ROD number, others had to change or simply add one digit.
  3. I took a few photos of the Baldwins as I ran the two new locomotives in. I will upload some running footage to Youtube probably later today. There are no vehicles on the layout at the moment as I still have repair work to do and a dodgy point to change.
  4. I used to collect WWI militaria and exhibit at county events. The museums service used to loan me display stands. I had quite a large to collection but sadly had to sell it to pay for a very costly divorce. I do remember how exciting it was bidding for something and being around all that history. All that I have now is my battlefield finds which I display with photographs and VR media from time to time. This tends to be Mayoral events or Royal British Legion in my area.
  5. Hi, I've been researching the letters and numbers for some time. I've put off doing mine as I wasn't quite there with the font or text size. In terms of the test size, the ROD lettering was supposed to be 20 inches high. This is certainly stated in some of the better books such as Aves' ROD: The Railway Operating Division on the Western Front: The Royal Engineers in France and Belgium 1915-1919. Whilst there may have been some variation, that was the Royal Engineers requirement I understand. I have calculated the font size as follows: 20 " = 508mm Scale to 1:76.2 = 6.67mm Whilst there was some variation in font point over time, particularly with the old printing presses, an agreed standard was reached years ago. In metric, this is 0.3528mm per point. 6.67mm / 0.3528 gives a font point size of 18.91 There may be some variation in fonts. I did a test print and length-wise is was an exact match for the Bachmann 2-8-0 (they traced an original photograph of a ROD locomotive) but the text I used was not quite as high. If 20" is correct, a font size of 18.91 is the 1:76.2 scale representation. I have added an image of where I have got to in manipulating fonts. I had some great help in finding the best font and how to apply them with waterslide transfers from the author of the build Lollipop mentions on page 1. I plan to colour match the black and grey of the locomotives when they are sprayed in Photoshop and then print out some waterslide transfers on a laser printer. Apparently they don't need a cover before applying as the inkjet versions do in order to prevent bleeding. It's impossible to say if these will look very good until I have done it. I have all the materials although there is one loco I still want to get and I have still to find a replacement or alter the Baldwin tender.
  6. Good afternoon, I have been working on a project to produce a 9.2" railway gun. I have made two trains. There were several types produced during the course of the war and they fired over 45,000 shells. I decided on a mid-way version which was a Mk III* / Mk VI gun on a Mk I well-wagon. The BL 9.2" guns were former naval guns. This early version was painted all green. Later in the war they wore the distinctive three-colour and black WWI camouflage. This early version was simply lowered onto the rails to fire and had a limited elevation and traverse. This improved by mounting better gun platforms and arms that were moved out for stabilisation. The last guns produced in WWI were used for home defence in WWII. Calibre: 9.2" (233.7 mm) Filling weight: 40 lbs (18.14 kg) Shell: HE 360 lbs (172.37 kg) Filling: Lyddite, Amatol explosives Muzzle velocity: 805.6 m/s Maximum firing range: 29,200 yards (26,700m) Manufacturer: Elswick Ordnance company (mostly), Vickers, Beardmores In service from 1899 and withdrawn 1950s Some of the guns can be seen in museums in the UK, South Africa and Australia. There was around 16/17 9.2" guns in service (depending on what source you read) by the end of WWI. 4 guns operated in the army area that covered Boisleux-au-Mont. The railway station had gun spurs for railway guns. Other guns used were 8", 12" and the massive 14" railway guns. I have read several books on railway guns. The trains were generally made up of 6 wagons. There was certainly a fire control wagon with windows, a repair wagon and a secure ammunition wagon. There was also crew accomodation but I am not certain if the two remaining wagons were crew vehicles. However officers and men were likely to have their own separate sleeping quarters as they did on the ambulance and troop trains. The guns were operated by the Royal Garrison Artillery Siege Batteries. The Railway Operating Division were responsible for providing and maintaining the locomotives (they did not use their best for this) and the French the maintenance of the rolling stock. I looked around and found some used wagons suitable for converting based on descriptions of each wagon and photos of the American versions that were modelled on the British and French. The repair wagon would have been a double bogie but I could not fit one on the exhibition layout with everything else. The guns were from a Hornby D-Day set as the calibre/size was very similar and I bought some artillery troops, although I only used a few for this project. Scale: 9.2" converts to 233.68 mm 233.68 mm / 76.2 = 3.07 mm The gun is 0.75 mm too big but it's close This is where I have got to at the moment. The tarp' needs proper colouring, transfers need to be added and then weathering. I plan to print many of the transfers myself, so I will do a lot of them in one go to save on waterslide transfer paper. I tried scratch building the cranes with thick cardboard and then balsa wood but they didn't turn out well, so I compromised on the N scale cranes as the size was about right. The gun isn't very straight at the moment. I bought an already made set and tried to bend it back but the gun snapped. It was made as a two-piece gun. At some point, I will gently heat it and try again.
  7. This is a former ROD locomotive photographed in 1939 in France
  8. Thank you for the support. I have mentioned that I still have several narrow gauge kits to build and I was put off by working with white metal and brass kits. I have now got together the glues recommended above so may finally get on with that soon. However, I have bought a couple more locomotives. One is 009 and the other HOe. I will enclose photos of each and a comparison for size. It is unlikely that I will have on display them both at the same time. Similarly the same will apply to 00 and HO stock. I particularly wanted a US model because the Americans were responsible for narrow gauge in the Boisleux area and I have several photographs of them from September 1917. Railway gun probably tomorrow. I won't have completed them but they are mostly there.
  9. Sorry for the very long delay. I have still not moved and all this has been delayed due to the pandemic. After retiring from the NHS after 35 years as a nurse, I have been tempted back to a full time job with a large care home provider, so I may not have as much time as I was hoping to and may have to move somewhere else in the country. It will give me more funds for a fixed railway layout at least when I finally find a home. It took quite some time and resulted in a bit of damage to get rid of the winter snow. I decided to pull out the telegraph poles and have bought some better made versions. I wasn't happy with how much glue I had on there. I have some touching up to do and have to stick back on some of the pieces. I removed the crane too. I felt it was too flimsy so I have a different kit to build now. I am planning a few updates over the next week as I have been working on some projects. The first is an HO set I saw and could not resist. It's made by REE who seem to make some quality models. It is a 100 year 1918-2018 special edition set and I could only find one UK seller with it in stock. The wagons have sprung buffers and come with coupling pockets. They are supplied with Roco of course. The set is US rolling stock. Originally all rolling stock was sent over as kits from the USA (locomotives too) and assembled in two main railyards in France. The locomotives were the Baldwin Consolidation 2-8-0s named, Pershings. However this was supposed to take three weeks and actually took much longer. The Americans appointed someone else who instructed that they be brought to France almost ready to steam. This improved things considerably. I found a Bachmann HO model that was modelled on one of the three surviving US examples (photo enclosed). However the specification was a little different for operating in France. Two are now in US museums and one of these at least served in Korea. The French theatre did not have a light on the front and the steps at the front were removed in favour of supports. The Railway Operating Division used this specification widely but I have decided on a US conversion for my layout to pull these HO wagons. These Pershings were black and mostly navy grey. I will enclose photos of the ROD and US army versions as well as the model before conversion and USA version. Note the tender is different in the US home version and French service version. The model unfortunately is the US home version and not that which served in France. I have been unable to find the correct tender. However there are a couple of British tenders that are pretty much the right shape but they may not be long enough for the chassis. I have found a used tender to try and I am waiting for it to be delivered before starting work on the conversion. In the meantime, I have bought some buffers, couplings and spray paint. After the war France bought most of these locomotives. On one of the photographs I saw in the little booklet that came with the set of wagons. it shows them being built from kits and one of the in-service wagons was transporting us artillery. I have bought some of these artillery models and will add them with some stores and troops. The troops are part-way through painting at the moment and I have yet to add stores. My next update will be railway guns mounting the BL 9.2" navy gun. More on this including the history of these railways guns in the update. They are almost finished. Interestingly I was excited to read that several ROD locomotives were based at Boisleux-au-Mont and there was railway gun firing sidings, as well as the hospital line! For those who use Train Simulator, I have posted some WWI screen shots, including the HMG Scene Shifter and some tank carrying rectanks.
  10. The Dean Goods with some War Department rolling stock.
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