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Everything posted by steverabone

  1. Yes I like a challenge but the real reason is that by modelling in a scale that very few use and in a material that is often looked down on I end up with models that are unique, even if they are nowhere near the standard of some modeller's work or ready to run models.
  2. I thought some of you might like to see my latest S Scale models which are DB Silberling passenger coaches. These were the standard regional/ suburban coach found every where in Germany. The had a distinctive fish-scale like pattern on the special no rusting steel used for the bodyside. This is difficult to reproduce in model form but as you will see there is a way! They are once again built almost completely from card - just the bogie inner frames and wheels are metal. The sides are print outs of photographs of the sides of the latest Piko HO models which have been re-scaled from images found on a review of the models on a German website. The roof is card with a little epoxy resin used as a filler on the roof end domes. The models are run as a two coach push-pull train with my BR212 diesel - this makes an ideal 1970s/80s branch train. Full details of construction are on my model blog on my website: https://www.steverabone.com/sscalewebsite/building_a_silberlinge.html
  3. I'm afraid that my layouts are not portable and the baseboards are actually supported by the walls on brackets. In any case my exhibiting days are over as I ceased to enjoy it. This link will take you to a short video of the layout in action. http://www.steverabone.com/sscalewebsite/German video with sound.mp4
  4. The latest digital issue of TRACTION is now available on Pocket Mags and the print issue will be on sale on October 1st. We start this issue with a detailed look at Irish Rail in the 1990s when the railways of the Republic of Ireland were a Mecca for railway enthusiasts wanting to experience the locomotive haulage of almost all trains outside the Dublin suburban area. David Clough and Steve Turner take us back to those years when orange and black diesels ruled the rails. David Hayes concludes his study of the UKF fertiliser trains whilst David Ratcliffe provides details of the distinctive wagons used on these trains. Dave Allen remembers how difficult it was to find information about railway operations in the 1980s; fortunately he recorded some of the workings of Class 25s in the Aylesbury area. Jason Hickling, a driver from Saltley depot, describes his experiences of driving freight trains from the Birmingham area to Crewe and how he used his break there to photograph locomotives in the diesel depot. Our two photo features show the contrasting scene in the Peak District and at Finsbury Park depot. John Baker concludes his series of articles about the paint schemes applied at Eastfield depot in the final years before it closed. In TRACTION MODELLING…. we feature the marvellous 4mm scale layout Perry Barr set in the Birmingham area which is complete with scratchbuilt overhead catenary. In the review section there is a look at the superb Irish Railway Models A Class/001 locomotive
  5. Since I'm mentioned above I thought I should chip in. I model in S Scale (a brilliant scale by the way and I can't imagine going back to 2mm or 4mm again). I think it's important to remember that there are basically two approaches to modelling in most scales. The first is one where you use what are termed finescale standards - these usually need sprung or compensated chassis. The second one, which I've adopted because I don't want to go down that route is a pragmatic one which I know I can achieve given my skill level/ lack of anything approaching a workshop. Everything on my layout has been built on a slightly strengthened card table. Using wheels with slightly more forgiving profiles - e.g. Alan Gibson EM gauge flanges or Markits - I do not need to compensate my loco chassis. If you look at my website "blog" you'll see that there are a 2-4-0, a 0-4-4Ts, an outside framed 0-6-0, a 0-8-0 and a 2-6-2T all built using the simplest of chassis - in many cases I have even cut the metal for the frames using heavy duty scissors rather than using a piercing saw. They run well and didn't take that long to build. Obviously they won't be able to run on a layout where the track is constructed for finescale wheels but I doubt I will ever want to do that. http://www.steverabone.com/sscalewebsite/indexpage.htm There is a mention in a previous post of using tender drive units based on the old Airfix Fowler 4Fs and Royal Scot models - these are still available quite cheaply on Ebay. I've now started using these for more modern locos. The ones in the photo are intended for two German outline electrics - an E44 Bo-Bo and the one on the right is for a small 4 wheel loco used on the Oberamergau branch. They use Alan Gibson wheels on S Scale 1/16th axles but could also use Markits disc wheels. Now all I'm really saying is try a simple approach to make a start in S Scale and if you want to upgrade to a more demanding type of modelling do that later.
  6. Yes it is a fascinating story and one which the author, David Hayes, had to do and enormous amount of research to discover how complex these flows were. I'm sure you will enjoy part 2 and the collection of images with it. There is also a feature about the wagons used in the next issue.
  7. Anybody who is interested in writing about this subject please contact me.
  8. I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed this issue. I really enjoyed researching for the Cambrian Class 25 articles as I missed out on travelling on the Cambrian between 1965 and the 1990s. Traction 266 preparation is well underway and I can confirm that both UKF articles will be in that issue.
  9. We start this issue of TRACTION with a look at the neighbouring stations of Manchester Victoria and Manchester Exchange. Whilst Exchange has long been closed, Victoria remains a major station albeit totally different in appearance compared to the 1980s. David Clough’s images take us back to this once fascinating location with its varied traffic. Former railwayman John Baker returns with his account of the development of loco liveries at his home depot at Glasgow Eastfield, this time concentrating on the ‘large logo’ period. David Hayes starts a new series about the UKF fertiliser trains and reveals that UKF did not mean United Kingdom Fertilisers! Bill Jamieson describes his impressions of his visits to the Woodhead Line concentrating on the last day of operations. If you have ever wondered why rail travel is so safe Colin Boocock’s article ‘Cracks, documents and standards’ will go some way to explaining this. The days of locomotive haulage on the Cambrian are long gone but we can relive them through photographs. Gavin Morrison’s photo feature recalls the last few summer Saturday’s when pairs of Class 25s brought long trains of Mark 1 coaches to Aberystwyth. TRACTION MODELLING features a superb N gauge layout, Bluebell Summit; it’s based on the West of England main line in the blue period complete with ‘Westerns’, Class 50s and HSTs. It features stunning scenery, including a large viaduct, and full length trains. Our review section looks at the marvellous new Bachmann Class 24/0.
  10. Inspiring model making. I bet they were horrible coaches to travel in though.
  11. We start this issue of TRACTION with the first part of a series of articles about the liveries applied to locomotives at Eastfield depot in Glasgow. A former member of staff, John Baker, reveals some of the intriguing details behind the development of the ‘Eastfield Style’. David Hayes concludes his description of coal traffic to Ironbridge power station, this time concentrating on the period from the 1990s until its closure in 2015. Our European feature looks at the development of Swiss electric locomotives in the 1960s and 1970s which produced some of the most successful Bo-Bo and Bo-Bo-Bo designs ever to run in Europe. To coincide with the announcement of the forthcoming Accurascale’s Steel Coil A wagon model, John Dedman has searched his photo archive and looks at one of the last flows of traffic that used these wagons. It conveyed imported steel coils from Hamworthy in Dorset to Llanwern in South Wales. Keeping main line diesels in running order is a mammoth task and the Western Locomotive Association ‘Western Ranger’ bogie overhaul is no exception when it comes to funding this type of work. Members of the society explain what is happening. The humble Class 73 electro-diesel drew Lancastrian Tom Heavyside down to the south of England to photograph these locomotives hauling freight trains. He has chosen a selection of images for our enjoyment. Keith Widdowson’s contributions to TRACTION are well known and this time it is the turn of his travels behind the Brush Type 2s. He first encountered the class on suburban trains out of Moorgate and King’s Cross in the 1960s. The ‘Little North Western Line’ between Settle Junction, Morecambe and Carnforth has always been in the shadow of its more illustrious neighbour the Settle and Carlisle Line, but it is by no means an uninteresting route. Gavin Morrison’s selection of photos gives an idea of some of the types of traffic that used the line before it became a real railway backwater. In TRACTION MODELLING we look at an intriguing N gauge layout based in spectacular scenery in the north of England and features lots of variety in the traffic to be seen. In our review section we look at the superb O Scale model of the ill fated ‘Clayton’ Bo-Bo diesel.
  12. Ring 01778 391180 and ask for back issues.
  13. You can almost certainly get it from most WH Smiths shops otherwise the subscription dept should be able to help Tel. 01778 392012
  14. The model has now been painted and will be weathered shortly to make the lining less obvious. Everything above the footplate except boiler fittings is from cardboard.
  15. To complete the trio of LMS two-cylinder 2-6-4Ts that I remember from my boyhood days in the North of England in the late 1950s and early 1960s I decided I wanted a model of the original Fowler class . The model uses the chassis and footplate from a spare Alan Gibson Stanier 2-cylinder 2-6-4T S Scale etch with some minor alterations, but l needed a scratchbuilt body, which has been built largely out of cardboard. The chassis for the Fowler is now complete and has been built in much the same way as the Stanier version except for the method of constructing the crossheads. Rather than fabricating them out of three small pieces of nickel silver sheet, which was extremely fiddly I've used the method I tried with my Deutsche Bundesbahn 2-6-2T. This German loco only has one slidebar and the crosshead was made from a strip of nickel silver folded at the top into a D shape which slides along the top slidebar. Using the same method for the British engine means that the crosshead doesn't actually use the lower slidebar. The piston rod is soldered onto the back of the strip whilst the connecting rod is pivoted from a pin passed through the strip. Obviously, the crosshead is more clunky in appearance than the fabricated ones but isn't significantly worse than the Fairburn model that was built by Alan Gibson which has an equally large crosshead. Once the chassis is weathered and the loco is running I doubt it will be really noticeable. I found a good scale drawing of the Fowler 2-6-4T on the internet showing all the necessary elevations. Having resized the drawing to S Scale I printed the cab, side tanks and bunker onto thin card. I joined them together with a extra piece for the rear bunker and then backed the majority of the thin card with a layer of mounting card. The cab roof extensions, the rear of the bunker and fronts of the side tanks were left as a single layer of card. The resulting net is shown below. It is very flimsy at the moment but will become completely rigid as construction progresses. The tank sides, cab and bunker have now been secured to the brass footplate using strips of mounting board glued to the footplate as location points. I've now added the front and rear of the cab and folded the roof to shape and secured it in place. The inside of the cab roof and the upper curved cab sides have been coated in a layer of epoxy resin to give it some rigidity. The cast metal firebox has been glued to the front of the cab and is also supported underneath by a strip of mounting board secured to the tank sides. The rear of the cab has two circular windows which were cut out by making a series of cuts with a scalpel held vertically. A large circular file then tided up the edges of the card. The boiler was made from a length of plastic central heating pipe. Several lengths of thin card were wrapped around the tube until the desired diameter was achieved. In order for the boiler to be secured to the curved extension at the front of the firebox this card wrapper was made about 2mm longer than the boiler tube. Two layers of card were the wrapped around the front of the boiler tube for the smokebox which on the Fowler boilers is very obviously of a different diameter to the boiler. The boiler is now secured in place to the firebox and to the base of the smokebox saddle using epoxy resin. The loco superstructure is now complete. The various castings are by Alan Gibson. The cab roof and upper sides have been strengthened by coating inside with several layers of epoxy resin. As usual the card has also been given a coat of wood hardener. This rear view shows the rear spectacle plates with the wire protection for the glass. These were made by soldering four lengths of fine brass wire across the end of a brass tube. After trimming the wire to the correct length the tube was cut about 3mm from the end and pushed into the holes in the cardboard. Various pieces of wire and metal strip have been used for the bunker steps and the balancing pipes for the rear water tank at the back of the cab. On the other side there are various pipes all made from wire and a few lost wax castings. The curious tank overflow outlet was fashioned from a length of thick brass wire and a shaped piece of solder for the domed top. The final details have been added and the model now awaits painting. Now of course there is another Fowler 2-6-4T I could build - the one with an enclosed cab - there is another etching in my kits box. Should I build one?
  16. Markits do a 4mm scale wheel of 32mm which will be the right size. They also do S Scale axles. I used them on my Jubilee - http://www.steverabone.com/sscalewebsite/building_jubilee_460.html Highly recommended as quartering is automatic with screw fixings and the wheels are, I think, RP25 profile. Markits (UK) Ltd. PO Box 40 Watford Hertfordshire WD24 6TN UK. OrdersTel (44) (0) 1923 249711 Monday to Friday 11:00 - 16:30 (UK TIME!!!!) e-Mail: [email protected]
  17. Publication date is the 1st April so should be available in the shops and sent out by post any time now. There can obviously be delays caused by Covid issues in the various supply chains.
  18. I've just done a few Hornby couplings -these have metal hooks. I turned the model upside down and let the coupling drop so that is vertical. Then using a pair of tweezers (or a very small pair of pliers) give a very, very gently squeeze to compress the metal part by putting one of the jaws under the plastic and the other on top of the metal loop. If you compress it to much it will stop the loop falling back under gravity. Not easy but possible.
  19. Thanks everybody for your suggestions - the "nipping" technique seems to work best for me. Quite why the manufacturers keep producing couplings that aren't well made I don't know!
  20. The decline of coal traffic on Britain’s railways in the last few years has been rapid and dramatic, with once busy locations loosing much of their railway importance. To commemorate the end of this traffic David Hayes looks at one such power station at Ironbridge in Shropshire in the years until the mid 1980s; the later years will be covered in the next issue. In his article ‘The Wandering Weedkiller’ Keith Widdowson recalls a day chasing and photographing a Class 20 hauled weedkiller train around Kent in spring 1989. Class 40s had a great following among enthusiasts in their later years in the 1980s and Steve Ireland, like many others, set out to photograph them; here we present just a few of his many images of the class. The Swiss railways have always been at the forefront of electric locomotive developments. Colin Boocock begins an examination of the post war electrics starting with the 1944 built BLS Bo-Bos from which all modern electric locomotives have been derived. Gavin Morrison’s multi-part photo study of the Manchester to Leeds Trans Pennine main line concludes with the section between Huddersfield and Leeds. Jeff Nicholls takes us on another of his family holidays to Scotland when he combined visits to depots in Motherwell and Glasgow with trips around Fort William and Oban. The editor spent many happy hours watching trains at Guide Bridge in the early 1960s but missed out on visits there in later years. Ray Briscall’s feature describes this Manchester junction during the late 1970s when the Woodhead line was still busy. Chasing after the ‘Westerns’ in the 1970s became a passion for Graham Callaway and his friend as they attempted to see as many of the class as they could before withdrawal. He tells his engaging story with its successes and disappointments. In TRACTION MODELLING the featured layout is Steve Farmer’s layout Lymebrook Yard in N Gauge and is a compact layout set in Staffordshire in the 1970s. There is plenty of railway action and some delightful urban scenes.
  21. I'm sure that I am not the only one to experience this problem. I use the plug in NEM type coupling on my models, both on rtr models and on my scratch or kit built S Scale models. On numerous occasions the coupling hook - metal on Hornby couplings and plastic on Bachmann couplings - comes away from pivot point into which the hook clips. It's almost impossible to get the hook back in satisfactorily and often comes away again. Has anybody found a solution to this issue?
  22. Having built the first of potentially three Deutsche Bundesbahn "Umbauwagen" (there were 3 types - 2nd class, 2nd/1st class and a baggage/2nd class) I obviously had to tackle another one and the most useful for my layout is the baggage/2nd. It's built in much the same way as the full 2nd, but strangely proved a little more difficult because of those odd things that can happen when building from cardboard. As usual the photo shows up all those small faults that you don't tend to notice when it's running on the layout. Will I build the 1st/2nd coach? Time will tell but I have the transfers so probably.
  23. Some years ago I built a Kirtley 0-6-0 outside framed loco which has a free rolling loco chassis and a powered tender - my preferred method for steam locos. The construction is rather rough and ready compared to the work of many S Scale modellers but it runs well and so far the loco chassis has given no problems and happily romps round 36 inch radius curves on the goods lines of Halifax Midland. I used Alan Gibson wheels and their plastic crankpins which I found easy to use on a non-powered chassis. As you will read assembly of the wheels was done by inserting the wheels between the normal inside chassis axle holes and the cosmetic outside frame and pressing the axles through the wheels in situ. It sounds horrendous but the method worked first time. http://www.steverabone.com/sscalewebsite/building_a_kirtley_0.htm The other outside framed loco I have is the 08 diesel shunter built from a kit. This has a normal inside chassis whilst the outside frames are attached to the loco body and drop down over the extended axles. The crankpin method I used has, I believe, caused raised eyebrows!! I originally tried plastic crankpins but didn't feel that they were secure enough for long term use. http://www.steverabone.com/sscalewebsite/class_08.html As Regularity says above there are many ways to tackle most S Scale constructional matters and trial and error is often necessary to get what you want.
  24. Yes those look to be the tools he is using. Not cheap - about £25 for one made in Sheffield.
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