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Everything posted by steverabone

  1. Ha!Ha! I was sure you'd recognise the sound of a JNR electric multiple unit suburban train....Mind you we had a washing machine that sound just like an LNER HST leaving a station. There are some fascinating tips in their such as using fine emery paper for smoothing joints in card. He also uses what looks like a 90 degree curved "chisel" to cut window corners. Where can they be obtained in the UK I wonder?
  2. With all this talk of hi-tech methods of producing bogies I thought you might find some of these You Tube videos by a Japanese modeller scratch building electric multiple units thought provoking. The models run on 16.5 mm gauge track and a scale of 1:80 and what look like Tenshodo motor bogies for power. He uses card for the entire model including the bogie frames with brass bearings and coiled wire for springs - go to 13mins 10secs for the start of that part of the construction. Even I haven't tried to use card yet for running gear! It appears that he is using PVA glue often applied with a toothpick. This link will take you to the thread of his videos but the film I've embedded is the one which shows bogie construction in detail. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCu30DOMjaeEWj8PzsHOGi0A
  3. Inspiring model making. I look forward to reading more.
  4. Welcome to TRACTION issue 262 which is on sale from 29th January Don't forget if you can't obtain a printed copy you can order by post or subscribe to our digital issue. Details can be seen below. David Hayes concludes his feature about the operation of the tanker trains for the British Oxygen Company with a look at their final years in the 1990s. To complement this article David Ratcliffe has provided details of some of the wagons used on these trains. Railwayman Robin Morel talks about the variety of Class 47s that turned up at Wembley Yard on freight trains and the problems that these differences could cause. Long after British Rail steam finished it was still possible to see steam locomotives hard at work and Jeff Nicholls visited Bickershaw Colliery in 1978 to photograph National Coal Board steam working side by side with Class 47s on MGR coal trains. Another type of freight operations attracted Chris Lenton when he photographed aggregate trains in Norwich during the 1990s which were hauled by a surprising variety of motive power. Heading north, David Lindsell’s photographs of Class 37 hauled trains in the Fort William area will bring back many memories of their use on freights and the sleeping car trains even after they had been displaced by ‘Sprinters’ from most passenger services. The long summer evenings were often used by enthusiasts to get out and about watching trains that might otherwise not be seen during the darker months of the year. Alistair Fyffe had two favourite locations on the West Coast Main Line near Warrington and at Wigan and ventured out on several beautiful evenings. Colin Boocock returns with another of his contributions about European railways; this time it is about a chance discovery in the Netherlands of a remarkable collection of classic diesel and electric locomotives. Many enthusiasts ignored the interesting variety of industrial locomotives that could be seen all over Britain at one time. David Ratcliffe continues his series of features about them, this time considering the products of Hudswell Clarke. Change on the railway is a continual process and in 2021 we can expect to see dramatic improvements on the railways in the Liverpool area with the introduction of the new Stadler Class 777 trains. It’s a good time, therefore, to look back over the years, using photos from Gavin Morrison, of the Merseyrail Class 503, 507 and 508 in the Wirral area. In TRACTION MODELLING we feature the superb 4mm scale Riddings Junction which is set on the Waverley Line between Carlisle and Edinburgh. There is also a close look at the new Graham Farrish Class 31.
  5. Sadly, I've almost come to the end of the range that Alan Gibson made - The ones I've completed are MR 3F 0-6-0T 'Jinty' (Alan built this but I've modified it and repainted it) Fairburn 2-6-4T (I believe this was built by Alan but I've modified it very slightly to run on my layout and finished its livery off) Stanier 2 cyl 2-6-4T (I have a couple of the 3 cylinder versions in unbuilt format, one of which I'm going to use some of the parts of to build a Fowler 2-6-4T) MR 4F 0-6-0 Hughes Crab 2-6-0 Stanier 2-6-0 Stanier Class 5 4-6-0 Patriot 4-6-0 Jubilee 4-6-0 Stanier 2-8-0 There's also a LNWR 0-8-0 There are also probably enough bits to cobble together another LMS Fowler 4F and a MR/LMS 2P 4-4-0 if I can be bothered to do so. Sadly I also had part built Fowler and Stanier 2-6-2Ts which I sold when I had damage to my hand and thought I'd have to give up constructing locos. If anybody knows where these are and would like to sell them back to me I'd love to know.
  6. I I imagine that if you want a Jubilee you will either have to scratchbuild it or try to find one of the old Alan Gibson kits. I've just finished putting mine together from the kit. I had to make the boiler (out of a plastic tube and layers of card) and fabricate the slidebars out of nickel silver strip. These are rather crude although a Fairburn 2-6-4T built by Alan has something similar. Once painted a mucky brown/grey they become less obvious. And yes it goes happily around my checked-railed 36" radius curves. The wheels are all set to gauge with an SSMRS back to back gauge and are either Markits RP25 or Gibson. There is still some filling work needed before the final paintshop visit.
  7. As mentioned above I have managed to build a series of "big" locos that will go round my ridiculously tight 36" radius curves on one of my layouts (and if I chose at even more ridiculous speeds without derailing!) . Point radii are at least 48" on my British layout. These are all LMS locos - the Class 5 and Patriot and Jubilee 4-6-0s (the latter is just about to enter the paint shop) as well as several 2-6-4Ts and a Stanier 2-8-0. I've used a mixture of wheels - some Gibson and some Markits with axles as made for the SSMRS. None of the chassis needed to have flangeless wheels although my LNWR 0-8-0 prototypically does have one set of wheel like this. The chassis were built exactly as designed except that I've chosen to move the cylinders/ slidebars and support brackets out about a millimetre to give me a little more clearance behind the slidebars. What I have found is that on the 36" radius curves it helps to have a continuous check rail which stops any of the wheels which want to go in a straight line and ride up over the outside rail - just like the real thing. I always think of that horrendous curve on the Leeds to Harrogate line at Crimple viaduct when a driver took the curve too fast and luggage came flying down off the luggage racks.... As Simon says I won't be able to run my locos on other layouts so if that is important to you best stick to the standards and 48" radius curves.
  8. Some years ago Simon Dunkeley encouraged me to scratchbuild a model of a Midland Railway 0-6-0T using a series of articles in the old Model Railway News. I'd definitely recommend something like a 0-6-0T or even a tender loco - this would give you more space for batteries and RC controls. I actually found it easier in many ways to build it from raw materials than some of the kits I've built. It was built, like most of my models, on a card table in my box room using only simple hand tools. I wrote a description of the process on my website so that when I decided to build the "half cab" version I wouldn't have to try to recall what I did. I still haven't got round to that though! The wheels are Alan Gibson's and it has proved to be one of the best running locos (and very powerful) I have. If you are interested I've put a link to the description below. http://www.steverabone.com/sscalewebsite/building_a_johnson_0-6-0T.htm
  9. This looks to be an absolutely superb model. I wonder what else 3D printing will produce for us in the future. Of course it requires the skill of a good model maker to put it all together so well.
  10. You are absolutely correct - I suspect that the English translation as Silverfish was a marketing idea used by model manufacturers - when clean the lower sides did indeed look like the scales of a fish. After years of using the term Silverfish I'm now determined to correct my ways and use the German word!!
  11. Hi Paul Thanks for the comments. I've used the photocopied method for both panelled and plain side coaches. For panelled coaches I've used Mekpak to secure the microstrip to the card. My coaches were all square panelled but dropping a tiny amount of PVA in the corner should produce a rounded corner especially after painting. The method of construction I've used is on this page of my website; http://www.steverabone.com/sscalewebsite/lms_coaches.html The internal part of construction is exactly the same for both panelled and flush sided vehicles and also whether you are using card or etched brass sides. I don't used shellac but Ronseal wet wood hardener. This is painted on the card in several thin coats and hardens the card considerably. For thin strips such as the metal sliding window frames I run a layer of superglue along the rear of the card which produces almost meta (e.g. brass etch)l like strength.
  12. To scratch build these coaches is a challenge as representing the body side finish is difficult. In the end I decided to use close up photographs of models (the latest version by Brawa in HO scale) that I found on the internet. As the vehicles are in S Scale about 16 inches long I broke the sides into three pieces. One section was made from photographs of the short compartment at the ends of the coach with the ends spliced in between the end section as below: The longer central compartment also included the double doors at each end. It is obviously essential to get the height of each section exactly the same but this is easily done using a photo editing program. I use the freeware program Irfanview. After printing out on thin card the windows were carefully cut out and the centre window bar hardened by running superglue along the inside edge. I now cut the end sections into two along the dividing line of the corridor connection. These will later be joined together when the body is assemble. The three sections of the sides were joined together with strips of card under the body sides near the doors. The glazing strip was now glued to the inside of the sides using tiny dabs of epoxy. A card strengthening pieces was added with the window areas cut out and a strip above the windows folded at right angles to act as a strengthening bar and a location point for the ceiling of the coach. The ends have now been rejoined and the basic body shell is complete ready for the floor and ceiling. I've also added the orange curtains which were a distinctive feature of the real coaches. The carriage floor has been added - it is made from two layers of mounting card cut to fit tightly inside the body. Great care had to be used to get the doors on opposite sides to align with each other. The floor was permanently glued in place. Then the six internal partitions were glued in place after cutting out a hole to represent the sliding door windows. The toilet walls were added at each end and the walls in these areas and the door lobbies were painted light green. The carriage ceiling was placed loosely in place to ensure that it still fitted correctly after the partitions had been added. The Silberlinge had a considerable number of seats - 96 in total in the second class coach plus some tip up seats. I've modelled them by making 48 double seat units using the net above. The mode seats were supported at one end by gluing them to a representation of the heating duct that runs along the side under the windows. The seats at the end of the compartments were simply glued to the compartment walls. The rest of the seat units were glued back to back before gluing in place - a touch of epoxy underneath the base end fastened them to the coach floor and another dab held them against the heating duct. The seats were painted in the reddish brown of the original seats. The body has now been sealed permanently with a ceiling made thick card glued in place on top of the longitudinal tab above the windows. A thin layer of epoxy was also spread along the joint between the ceiling and the top of the body sides. This will ensure that the card above the windows stays completely straight. The roof is going to be a separate unit to avoid damaging the body whilst it is constructed. I've cut two templates - one is for the cross section of the roof and the other gives the end profile for the domed ends of the roof. The transition between the end domes and the rest of the roof has been marked by adding curved profile strips. The roof profile has been built up using strips of mounting card. At the ends the domed shape will be built up using epoxy resin filed to shape. In the photo I've masked off the end from the rest of the roof ready to begin this process. The roof is now complete with the domed ends filled with epoxy resin and sanded to shape, the main part of the central curved roof is thin card sheet reinforced underneath with epoxy. The ventilators and rain strip are plastic strips. The bogie side frames and centre stretcher bar are made from a single piece cut from brass sheet and then folded into a U shape. The springs in the centre are short sections cut from a brass bolt and soldered onto the side frames. Brass wire is soldered across the ends of the side frames and a length of wire soldered along the top of the side frame on the front to represent the strengthening bar on the original bogie. A thin piece of card cut to the shape of the side frames as in the small diagram above and glued to the brass. This includes a square shape either side of the axleboxes which is presumably a type of compression spring. Another thicker piece of card was cut out for the shape of the heavy main frame and glued on top of the thin card. The corridor connection and buffers have been added. The corridor connection are circular section plastic from 4mm scale wagon kits.The buffers are made from nickle silver sheet cut to the correct shape and soldered to a length of brass tube. The tube is the passed through a short length of plastic tube from a biro pen and glued into a hole in the lower body. The rather complex steps for the doors were made by: Removing a small amount of the body side under the door so that there was a recess. A strip of thin card was glued in place under the body for the top step. The outer step support with its triangular ends was added together with a backing piece of card. This was then glued in place under the doors with strengthening pieces behind to hold it vertically in line with the body side. A thin strip of card was glued to the step cut out. The model is now largely finished with just a few unde rframe details to add. The roof was secured to the ceiling of the body with epoxy resin and held tightly in place with elastic bands. The handrails for the shunters are nickel silver. The roof was painted with Humbrol silver and then the panel lines drawn in pencils. Finally a dirty grey/brown wash was applied to tone down the silver to the more typical grey of the original roofs after the end of steam. For comparison this is a composite 1st/2nd coach that I photographed in 1980 at Wilhelmshaven.
  13. If you have travelled by train in Germany anytime from the mid 1960s onwards you will almost certainly have travelled in one of the 'Silberlinge' coaches used on most locomotive hauled suburban and regional trains. There were thousands of them and only recently have the last been removed from service. They were known by the British as "Silverfish" although that is really an incorrect translation as a Linge was a coin - their appearance was unusual in that the stainless steel sides had a cicrcular pattern on it which could be said to resemble the scales of a fish. In S Scale this model is very long being 412mm (26.4m in length). It's built entirely out of card apart from the inner framework of the bogie and the wheels. To get the patterned sides I found some really clear images on a German website of the latest Brawa Ho Scale models. The images were cropped and resized to S Scale and printed on card. Further details of construction will follow if anybody is interested.
  14. I've been working away on stock for my DB layout which as before are built almost entirely from cardboard. First off is a model of the post war bogie "Umbauwagen" which like the six wheel coaches seen in my previous posting about DB models were rebuilt using the frames and bogies from pre-war coaches. I modified the roof construction slightly to give a better profile to their distinctive shape. This time I used a slightly different method of construction using re-scaled drawings for the coach sides and only the recessed ends and doors came from the pdf kit that I used for the six wheelers. Bogies were built using etchings from British wagon W irons etchings and brass strip. The bogie side frames are from layers of card cut out from diagrams of the real things. The intention is to be impressionistic rather than detailed. I now need to build a composite 1st/2nd and a 2nd baggage to make up a typical branch line rake of three coaches. More details can be found here. http://www.steverabone.com/sscalewebsite/deutsche_bundesbahn_bogie_umbauw.html Another model is one of the numerous cement silo wagons. This uses a re-scaled pdf kit from Albrecht Pirling which does all the hard work of producing the complex shapes of the silos. There are about thirty pieces of card involved in the basic body shape. many of which are internal strengtheners. I use Devcon two part epoxy to add additional strength to the underside of the card as well as wood rot hardener to make the outer surface of the card much stronger. The chassis uses a modified British 17'6 " chassis etching, with brass for the handrail, ladders and platforms. Considerable amounts of filler have been used to hide the gaps between the various elements of the body. At the moment the model is unlettered as I haven't sourced suitable transfers yet. More details can be found by scrolling down this page: http://www.steverabone.com/sscalewebsite/db_freight_wagons.html
  15. Excellent article by Simon Dunkley and photos by Andy York. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the layout which I remember seeing at the York exhibition some years ago.
  16. The printed version was published on Friday 27th so should be in the shops already and if not in the next few days. The digital version is available a few days before the print version.
  17. Welcome to this rather special issue of TRACTION in which we celebrate the Rail Blue years of British Rail. It was an era which many readers of TRACTION remember with great affection as, somehow, those years of the 1970s and 1980s managed to combine something of the old steam age railway with an increasingly modern one. We start with the short period when pairs of Class 50s were introduced to speed up the principal services north of Crewe on the main line to Scotland. Jon Littlewood and David Clough take us back to those heady days when high speed diesel traction roared over the northern hills. David Hayes concludes his look at the Midland Main Line using photos by Kevin Lane; in this issue it is the turn of the southern part of the line into London between Harpenden and St. Pancras. I’m sure most enthusiasts have tales of unexpected events on their travels by train when something unusual happened to add interest. Barrie Rigg talks about ‘Those occasional oddities’ on his journeys around the north of England. We start a two part feature by David Hayes about the distinctive tanker trains run for the British Oxygen Company. The first part looks at the 1970s and 1980s with the later years following in the next issue. Staying with freight traffic, John Dedman recalls the short period in 1985 when Class 45s were scheduled to power Severn Tunnel Junction to Eastleigh Speedlink freights. The ‘Deltics’ were, of course, no strangers to Scotland although, as a rule, they were largely confined to the East Coast Main Line between Berwick and Edinburgh. Richard MacLennan has looked at how widely the Class 55s actually travelled on lines north of the Border with some surprising conclusions. Martin Axford recounts his photographic experiences with different cameras in his younger days with particular emphasis on his favourites, the Class 33s. Finally Gavin Morrison presents a selection of Rail Blue images ranging across Britain from Penzance to Georgemas Junction. In TRACTION MODELLING we feature a fascinating layout which imagines that the Somerset and Dorset Line did not close after all but was modernised and survived into the Rail Blue period. There’s also a detailing feature about weathering a Class 40 as a review of the new Bachmann Class 414 2-HAP unit.
  18. In the next issue TRA 261 there will be a detailed performance article about pairs of class 50s on the WCML in the 1970s. Hopefully this will please you! Stephen
  19. The latest issue of TRACTION has been published and the digital version is now available online at https://pocketmags.com Content of TRACTION 260 Even today one of the best locations to watch freight trains has to be Barnetby in north Lincolnshire. In 1989 and 1990 Michael Vanns paid several visits to photograph trains against the backdrop of the wide variety of semaphore signals that then controlled operations. In the last issue of TRACTION the editor described the night he spent on Stafford station in July 1975 and referred to Crewe being an equally interesting location to pass the hours of darkness. Earlier in the same year David Clough paid several visits to record night-time operations on film at this major junction. I don’t envy him on those cold January and February nights though! David Hayes continues his study of the Midland Main Line using the photographs of Kevin Lane. In this issue he concentrates on the Luton area in the days before electrification. Like many enthusiasts in the 1970s and 1980s Nick Edmunds was something of a loco haulage fan and spent much of his free time travelling behind ‘Westerns’ and ‘Peaks’ in the West Country. However he was also drawn to sample the many local trains that were powered by the smaller diesels such as Class 25 and 31. In his article about these local workings in Devon he relates his experiences. Colin Boocock has written several articles about German locomotive types for TRACTION but it was on a visit to Dresden, in the former East Germany, in 2019 that he had several chance encounters with those same locomotive types now in their declining years. History, as we know, begins yesterday and it doesn’t feel that long ago that EWS were running most of Britain’s freight services. David Ratcliffe recorded the variety of intermodal trains that EWS operated in the early years of the 21st century. Gavin Morrison continues his series of feature about the Manchester to Leeds Trans Pennine route concentrating this time on the section east of Standedge Tunnel between Marsden and Huddersfield. In TRACTION MODELLING we feature a superb N Gauge layout by Peter Latham called Wormhill which is based closely on the actual location of Peak Forest in the Peak District of Derbyshire. Heavy stone traffic is the main focus of this layoutwith close attention to the details found at this freight ‘HotSpot’. And now some special news to look forward to. The next issue, TRACTION 261, will be a bumper special edition with the theme of ‘Rail Blue’. It will be larger than our normal issues and will cover just those years when Rail Blue dominated the railway scene. So whether it is the early years of plain all over blue or the later ‘Large Logo’ livery this is an issue not to be missed.
  20. Thanks for this comment and it is much appreciated. We have lots more interesting features in the pipeline over the next few issues.
  21. Well seeing that BR05 running is a bit of a surprise. By the way my father saw one 05:003 still streamlined at Hamburg Altona in 1946.
  22. I am sure this is true in many cases and of course that is a perfectly good reason to read a book or magazine. I count myself very fortunate as I find almost any subject to do with railways or model railways of interest: steam, diesel, electric, multiple units, carriages, wagons, British, Irish, anything overseas, signalling, track, the commercial and operational side of railways, history, the future. In terms of model making much the same applies as I find that almost any aspect of model making is relevant in some way to my own. On this basis I would always encourage others to broaden their interest and not be, as one reader once told me, "I'm only interested in what happened in the Preston area." Stephen
  23. Thanks for these comments ThaneofFife. My aim robD2 was not just to list what I saw but to explain the background to many of the workings that I saw during that evening and night. With the help of several enthusiasts we've been able to piece together much of the complexities of operation at the time. The 1975 WCML is almost as far away from todays operations as is the steam age. By presenting the article in both a tabular listing and an explanation of the nature of operations I'd hoped that I could satisfy at least two different audiences - the number crunchers and those with an interest in operation. Look again at the text and see what I mean!! Stephen Rabone
  24. Beautiful modelling on that SER van. Once you've painted it I suspect the roof issue will be less obvious.
  25. I really like the way the track flows on this project. Keep posting your progress. Stephen
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