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John Arkell

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  • Location
    Rusthall, Tunbridge Wells UK
  • Interests
    SE&CR, Private Owner Wagons, Southern Railway,

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  1. Thanks to Alastair Murphy I have now received the parts I need. Thanks for all the other comments John Arkell
  2. Useful book for anyone wanting to model Manning Wardle locomotives is 'The Locomotives Built by Manning Wardle & Company' volume 2 is standard gauge. ISBN 0953531317 I have a copy of vol 2 and I think vol 1 covers narrow gauge which I don't have. The books have photos and lot lists giving dates and purchasers. John Arkell
  3. Thank you, I had seen that 247 do them but as they haven't any stock I thought I'd ask if anyone knew any other source, I just missed out on a pair on eBay that were Fourmill brand. Anyone know if they are still in business? John Arkell
  4. Does anyone know a current source of Dean 6ft 4in coach bogie kits in 4mm scale? I have two Worsley Works kits which need this type. Regards John Arkell
  5. I have just seen the news of Roy's death in the Railway Modeller. I met Roy when I was employed as his assistant in the Modelrama at Peco. I started working for Peco on 1st January 1977 and was there for three years and a bit. During that time I learnt a great deal from Roy and other modelmakers at Peco including the chief designer Bob Phelps. To my modelmaking it was the equivalent of going to university. After Cyril Freezer left in early 1978, Roy was promoted to do the graphic design for Railway Modeller and I was promoted to run the exhibition. I had an assistant appointed to the exhibition, Andrew Beard, who I believe is still employed there. I last saw Roy quite a few years ago at one of the Swanley narrow gauge shows. I will remember Roy as an excellent modelmaker and graphic artist. He did the excellent instruction sheets for the Peco O16.5 locos taken over from Stephen Poole and he made the patterns for the Cackler kit, one of which I have running on my layout. Regards John Arkell
  6. Glen Woods was a fellow member of the Bluebell Railway Museum Archive volunteer team and will be missed, though his collection will be available in the Museum Archive and the legacy of his book will remain for those modelling the mid 1950s. Now more than ever is the need to progress with the Bluebell Museum Archive Room so that the vast records of railways in the south of England that the archive holds can be better made available online or in person. He was also instrumental in setting up the South Eastern egroup on Yahoo in 2003 which has been very useful source of being able to ask questions on the pre-grouping period. John Arkell Membership Secretary, South Eastern & Chatham Railway Society
  7. Looking at the SE&CR version I note that the lining on the cab front should carry on down over the top surface of the splashers. If Rails want a copy of the Ashford works livery diagram I would be happy to supply it. John Arkell Membership secretary, South Eastern & Chatham Railway Society.
  8. Quite prototypical using sand as ballast if you are modelling the SE&CR or the LBSCR who both used beach shingle as top ballast. The SER and later SE&CR got theirs from a ballast pit at Dungeness and the LBSCR got theirs from the Crumbles at Eastbourne. It was not good as ballast as the rounded nature of beach ballast did not lock together well and was a factor in the poor track condition leading to the Sevenoaks accident in 1927
  9. I should have pointed out that the drawing in the R W Rush book on railcars is also inaccurate. it has the same fault as the MRC drawing plus the saloon windows are drawn with square corners which is not correct. Also it is drawn with external window bars. As far as I am aware the window bars were only external on nos. 1&2, all the later coaches had the bars internally. John Arkell Tunbridge Wells
  10. I have done a lot of research into SE&CR railmotors and have copies of plans from the HMRS. Be warned the Model Railway Constructor drawing is not accurate. There should be a wider spacing between the windows where the partition between the two saloons is. There is a drawing of the livery of numbers 1&2 which is an SE&CR Drawing. There are also drawings in Railway Magazine and Railway Engineer in 1905. I have a drawing of the loco portion of numbers 3 to 8 which comes from the paper on Railmotors submitted to the International Railway Congress at Berne in 1910. There are also drawings that originated from the SE&CR but neither of these is correct as it shows a mixture of designs. The panelling on the coach portions of 1&2 are different to those of 3 to 8. With regard to the extended smokeboxes not all were fitted with them as photographs of the pair of derelict railmotors at Crystal Palace HL clearly show one of the two still had a short smoke box. It is my opinion that numbers 1 & 4 were not so fitted. I could go on at length about these vehicles and would dearly love a model (4mm EM) but there are many pitfalls in the available information. I tried to work out the full allocations of these as I was able to see the visits to works and their subsequent postings but it was not possible to fully nail down their operations. I have the text for a monograph on the Railmotors which may be published by the South Eastern & Chatham Society in the future. Regards John Arkell
  11. Hi Pete I suspect the light grey bearers you saw were the result of rapid prototyping. Forty years ago that was not an option. The drawing office took parts already in production, for instance one left hand and one right hand point and with saw, scalpel and other tools combined them into a mock up of a three way point. These days you just do a 3D CAD drawing and send it to a 3D printer. Regards John Arkell
  12. I used to work for Peco about forty years ago and it seems nothing much changes. The drawing office used to make up samples of things like three way points that looked as if they had just dropped out of the moulding machine. These would be shown to the trade at the toy fair in January and if sufficient interest was there it might go into production. The perennial joke was to tell customers 'it'll be out by Christmas' but don't say which year.
  13. Notes from a locked down workshop After I wrote this article, I found out from the Railway Modeller that the designer of these Mallard kits, Fred Blackman, died in January this year. I am sure he would have been pleased that almost forty years since the kit was produced someone is finally assembling it. As some of you will know I build models for customers as well as trying to do some for myself. Just before the lockdown I was able to buy on eBay one of the old Mallard First/Third (formerly Second) 51ft 1in lavatory composites with the first-class saloon in the centre (SR Diagram 306). Although they are definitely a product of their time and a bit sparse on detail, I decided to work on it and one of the reasons I continue to make models is that each one presents some new problem to solve. This kit is made in such a fashion that the sides and floor are designed to be folded up from a single piece of etch. It also has no markings for door handles and grab rails and no holes for hinges or door bump stops. The bonnet vents have been etched as if there are several louvres in them but the SE&CR vent was a smooth tin pressing that was lined out when new and the Skinley drawing which came with the kit shows lines on the vent which is where Fred Blackman probably got the idea he should etch the vents with lines. SE&CR vents were also sloping slightly and I have previously achieved this on other kits. I made provision for hinges and drilled all the necessary holes using jigs made to ensure that all the holes were correctly spaced. Assembly followed which included making extra compartment partitions and thickening up the footboards with a second layer of brass from scrap etch as the single layer bends easily when heated. Here is body in its current state. The next job will be to fit the roof and detail the underframe, which I will work on later. For a bit of light relief over Easter I built two cast whitemetal wagon kits from 5&9 models. One is a dumb buffered lime wagon with a peak roof which I have done in the livery of the Dorking Greystone Lime company and the other is a mineral wagon which is based on the wagons built by Gloucester Wagon Company for Beadle Brothers of Erith. I had transfers for the Dorking wagon but am having to signwrite the Beadle wagon. The Beadle wagon came with solid cast whitemetal buffers, but I like to spring my buffers (except dumb buffers obviously!) and the prototype came with self-contained sprung buffers which have a much larger shank than the normal buffers. This meant that I had to drill out the whitemetal casting in the lathe 2mm and then 0.5mm for the tail. The shaft of the steel buffer head is only 1mm diameter so I had to drill a length of 2mm diameter steel axle with a 1mm hole and cut short lengths to go over the 1mm shank as a sleeve which was then soldered in place. All in all, a bit of a fiddle but it was just another small problem that needed solving. Here are the two wagons. Beadle needs the signwriting finishing (both sides!), the interior painting and the buffers & couplings fitted and then both need weathering. So now it is Monday morning and I will be back on my customer’s coaches which are now spread round the workshop and shed in various states of being painted. There are four to do in L&YR livery and eight in various Southern Railway liveries, mercifully five of those don’t require lining. To be continued……… John Arkell 20th April 2020
  14. This layout was in place when I was working for Peco in the Modelrama between 1977 and 1980. It was fully automated by Len Rich of ECM controls with colour light signals. Ruling gradients were about 1 in 30. Regular locos in use included Wrenn rebuilt west country and Airfix Class 31 with an Airfix 14xx and auto coach on the branch. The Airfix Class 31 was the most reliable, indeed we had a great deal of difficulty wearing it out. I spent three years working for Peco and to my modelmaking it was the equivalent of going to university, I learn so much from Roy Link and Bob Phelps. John Arkell
  15. The latest edition of the South Eastern & Chatham Railway Society journal 'Invicta' issue 94 contains the first part of Geoff Stenner's article on the locomotive livery of the SER. In Previous issues John Kingsland has chronicled the liveries of the London Chatham & Dover Railway locomotives, carriages and wagons. In due course it is planned to collate all the livery information for the HMRS to publish in its series of livery registers for the Southern Railway area. John Arkell
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