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  • Location
    Nr. Henley-On-Thames
  • Interests
    Primarily Great Western Steam, but British outline OO in general.
    Member of MERG and RDMRC
  1. I'm currently building the Brassmasters GCR Diagram 17/17a/17b and CLC Diagram 49 10T van, but struggling with the brake gear. Would anybody have a picture of the underside of one built with the vacuum brake in place? The wheels are braked from each side, with a total of 8 brake shoes, my problem is working out the layout of the various levers etc. Thanks
  2. Thanks to Brassey on this forum I now have a copy - thanks everyone
  3. I wonder if anybody can help me, I have a Malcolm Mitchell 517 Kit (4mm) that I am currently building and I have just found I have a page of instructions missing. Well actually page 13 is duplicated twice and page 14 is missing. Does anybody happen to have a set who might be able to scan the missing page an PM me with it?It is the second page of the superstructure assembly instructions. I would be much obliged if anybody could help as I am planning to continue the building of this at Missenden next weekend. Thanks in advance Mark
  4. I realised it had been a long time since I last did an update when Daniel asked me if I was planning to post about our recent weekend at Missenden Abbey. I decided that before doing that I really should do an update on the things that I have been up to between the spring Missenden Weekend and the Autumn weekend. At the spring weekend I took a break from my usual locomotive construction topic and spent the weekend with Ian Rathbone in the painting and lining room. This is not a subject I am good at and my expectations going into the weekend were, in retrospect way too high. I thought I would come out of the weekend being a master painter - not so of course. As Ian righty said it takes lots and lots of practice. So since that weekend I have done a little more painting, it can not be called perfect, but it is possibly passable. I plucked up the courage to paint a couple of the models I took with me, namely the Nucast GWR Steam Railmotor and the Mallard Duke. The rail motor still has a few issues, some of my masking was not accurate enough so I need to touch up the chocolate in places. But it has a base coat now, it needs window detailing, glazing, interior and of course the roof needs fixing. The roof is not joined exactly straight, so it sits up too high in the middle, I will adjust the joint to bring it level and then make it sit correctly. After that a quick spray with white primer and some black on the pane above the motor bogie should see it look a bit better. It is now fitted with DCC sound and manages to haul itself along reasonably well. It is never going to be a perfect model, the engineering of th white metal bogie is too crude for that. Plus it is a bit of a lump with the white metal body and roof. The Mallard Duke is a slightly better paint job, but there is some touch up needed on the splasher tops and the spring details. Once that is done I will matt the finish down a little and add the plates - when I can find where I have put them! This too will get DCC sound shortly and I am thinking it needs some brake gear - there was none in the kit, but I should not let that stop me. The backhead looks a little strange in the picture as it is laid in and not exactly straight. It will be fixed once I have painted the floorboards in the cab. I also managed to break off the brake standard on the tender - careless - so I need to reinstate that. I also need to add the buffer heads and front coupling hook. The current high gloss finish does show off the ripples in the tender flare where I did not do a perfect job, but hopefully the will be less obvious after some matt varnish to dull it down. The high gloss finish did allow the transfers to bed down nicely however - much better than my previous attempts. I even had another go with the bow pen. Using a Mallard 57ft rail motor body I tried my hand at panel lining. Not my most successful experiment, this will eventually be stripped off for another go at some point. I think I will do more painting however before I try to move on to lining. I have also started to paint my Black Hawthorn, but I will post that later when it is more advanced than it is now, and back in one piece. At least I have filled some of the gaps between spring and autumn, there are other things that I will post over the next few days before the update on the Missenden Autumn weekend.
  5. I'm jealous of your train shed, its the sort of thing I have planned for my long planned but never started model of my home town branch terminus, Falmouth Docks as it became known. Know all you need is the signs with the platform numbers and I might be able to remember which order they go in, 1, 2, 3 or 3, 2, 1 ! Mark
  6. I'm glad it's all working, I'm a sucker for making things move (as well as the trains of course), so this sort of thing is right up my street and a pleasure to be able to work on. I am impressed with how quickly you got the gates installed. If it as me I would have had to contemplate the installation for at least a couple of weeks! It's always a pleasure to come and operate Buckingham West, a really enjoyable, if at times slightly hectic layout to run. I'm really impressed with what you have achieved and really happy to be able to repay you in a small way for the enjoyable evenings. Mark
  7. In the end the weekend did not go to plan. So none of the models I prepared received any paint, other than some primer on the Friday morning before I left. The things that did get paint where the two secondhand bodies, lots of lines on some sheets of metal as lining practice and some tins of Humbrol with lids lined in yellow. Learnt about techniques and the things that I had previously been doing wrong, so hopefully I will be able to put that into practice in the next couple of weeks and move some things forwards. Trying to fit so much into such a short weekend was, in retrospect, over ambitious and also underestimated the enormity of the skills to learn. Lining with a bow pen is something that is not learnt quickly, let along all the complex operations of creating neat corners with a brush or tracing edges. I think my plan moving forward will be to shelf the lining side of it for now and concentrate on the painting to a good finish before, maybe, going back to the lining topic. However for now a break is in order following the intensive lead-up period and a tiring weekend concentrating on making oil based liquid do things they just didn't want to do. I very different Missenden experience from the norm, much less in the way of practical results but hopefully some new skills have started to develop as a result. This was always an area in which I struggled, trying to learn from n expert in the field is perhaps a rather drastic way of taking the plunge, it certainly has a way of highlighting ones deficiencies, but maybe also some of the greatness starts to rub off. Although at the moment it doesn't feel too much like that, maybe in the privacy of ones own home without the time pressures all those words of wisdom will play their part.
  8. Well, with less than 24 hours to go things have not exactly worked out to plan. The Neilson, Black Hawthorn and Duke are ready to be painted, or at least have primer applied. I applied primer to the tender of the Duke tonight but stopped short of doing the same to the locomotive as I was having to use a rattle can etch primer and I am a little concerned by how thick the primer coat seems to be. Not so much detail on the tender, so I can get away with it there. But at least I finally got the top feed sorted and cleaned the Duke considerable. So maybe the best I can hope for is to have a primer coat on some of the others. The Mallard 57 foot steam rail motor had some more details added, a major cleanup and was primed with said etch primer (Precission Paints single pack can) on Tuesday. After leaving for more than the required 24 hours it received a top coat of Coach Lake - not the best finish in the world, but hopefully good enough I can try lining it. I suspect I will strip the paint off and have another go once I have learnt to do a better job. The NuCast Steam Railmotor (70 foot), had a new set of steps made from the DK1 etch, unfortunately I could not fit them because there was not enough clearance behind due to the long tanks. So I fixed the originals for the time and spent some time cleaning the model up and filling some of the worse surface pitting of the white metal. My plan had been to give it another primer coat with a Halfords spray can. Unfortunately this has to be done in the garden because of the smell, but the weather was against me, it was blowing a gale and really not the sort of day to spray outside. I'm not sure how I will proceed with this one, I was hoping to get the first colour applied over the weekend - we shall see on this one. I had a couple of cheap loco bodies I picked up secondhand that I wanted to strip and repaint. The stripping has happened, but they are not as clean as I would have liked, and again they have not been primed because of the weather. I did clean and prime the body of Daniel's tool van, so that at least should be able to get a top coat over the weekend. So all in all not exactly where I wanted to be at this stage, but I have some things done and will just have to make the most of what I have. I does mean I have moved a number of projects forwards significantly in the last two weeks, so every cloud has a silver lining - it would just have been better not to have the clouds or the high winds - you can never rely on the weather working in your favour! I have also resolved to be more careful and cleanup more as I go along in future. I thought the models looked ok until I started to really look hard and find all the solder fillets and grunge on them.
  9. As I said in my previous post I am now less than a week away from my next Missenden weekend, this time I am down to do painting and lining with Ian Rathbone, so my plan is to try to get as many of my current projects ready to be painted, at least in some state. So I have spent much of the weekend, and last week, doing those last little jobs, you know, all those things you have been putting off because they are fiddly. In my mind at east none of them would take long, but of course I was deluding myself. I have to thank my wife for putting up with me taking over a corner of the kitchen and spending so much time on modelling, especially given it was the weekend of our wedding anniversary. The Black Hawthorn needed one little job, as it now ready for cleaning and primer, the Neilson needed more work, especially in the cab area, but that is now done, although I did note after taking the picture that I have still to add the makers plates. The under frame still needs work, it only has half of its brake gear for instance! The Duke I know needed more work, in particular I had been putting off the handrail due to lack of holes for the handrail knobs, but that is now done. The only thing left is the top feed - although to be honest it has been on once, but I detached it (broke it off) when adding the pipe run. After taking the picture I noticed it was not on the rails correctly, why is it you only see this when you upload the picture! I hope to add th topped, again, on Monday and do the pipe runs from it. I need to think of the best way to do the pipes, my issue was using stiff brass wire that as I bent it around the boiler put to much pressure on the topped and pinging it off. Maybe this time I will use fuse wire. the handrails turned out to be easier than I had thought, thanks to a tip I picked up from Tony Wright about how to mark out the positions. My next project was my NuCast Steam Railmotor, the main job to doing being the steps. After my last post it was suggested I look at the Dart Casting Autocoach detailing kit to get a set of the folding steps. So pending a decision on that I put off the NuCast for now in favour of a different Railmotor. Many years ago I picked up a Mallard 57ft Railmotor for £10 at an exhibition. It was part built but missing its bogies and all the white metal fittings. My thought was I could make use of some of the bits on the NuCast version, in particular the bits of valve gear it had. However that never happened and it has sat in a cupboard for nearly 10 years. Over time I have collected all, or most of the bits to complete this, but not actually started. I decided it would not take much to get the body ready for paint, with the thought I could paint it in GWR Lake and use it for lining practice, even if I would need to strip it later so that I could complete it. When I got it out of it's box it looked like this... First order was to clean of some of the tarnish and then make a start cleaning it up, removing excess solder, before adding body detail, after making sure I have added the captive nuts that would allow me to fix the under frame on after it was painted, and once I had made it! These things have a lot of handrails, so a lot of .45mm brass wire has been cut, bent and soldered on. A few of them still need a little bit of tweaking, but now they are all in place. As are the lamp irons, steps on the front and those that hang off the buffer beam. Also some buffers are now in place. Once thing I did discover was that the original builder had soldered the body together but glued the overlays for the droplights - the glue was not very good and did not stand being drilled into, these are fiddly to put back when the body is soldered together and the internal partitions are in place. Then I was struck with the idea of tinning the body side and using a rubber block to manoeuvre the droplight in place whilst looking from the outside. I could then apply the RSU to the outside of the body, having attached a clip on the body itself and generate enough heat to have the droplight tack solder themselves to the body. Then I simply applied the RSU on the droplight itself to get a permanent bond. This solved the problem of lining the droplight up and getting them soldered in such a cramped spot. By the end of the night it looked more like this As a footnote, whilst researching handrail positions for this railmotor I looked at lots of pictures and noticed the different door arrangement, some with single doors and some with double doors. So I need to look at a DK1 kit from Dart Castings to see if it is for the same door arrangement as my NuCast has, otherwise I might be back to square one on this one. I still may look at taking this, since my plan is to paint it in chocolate and cream, much of that work can be done without the steps in place, so maybe it will get some paint after all. In the few days left I want to at last apply primer to a few models, so I can practice top coating them, and hopefully have at least one I can use to do some lining. If that is to happen I really only have one more day to attach any more bits to these models. I also have a couple of ready to run body shells to play around with and a scratch build loco I picked up secondhand for £10 - that spent a few hours in paint stripper, so will hopefully make a good thing to experiment with. Maybe one day I fix it up and have it running again. What all this does prove, to me a least, having a deadline really does focus the mind to get things done. But even then I put things aside as "too difficult", like the second go at the top feed and those pipes!
  10. Thanks Mikkel, I'm really appreciate any help you can give me. Mark
  11. Thanks Flymo, I'll be there in part at least, Daniel is still doing 4mm loco building, so he will make his presence felt and I will no doubt be dropping in. Yes, Ian has sent out notes and plain panels do figure. I suspect I am possibly trying to hard to get as many things "finished" as possible, but it's good to get things done and I would rather have too many things than waste the opportunity. It's surprising how much you can get done when you have a deadline! All those projects you put aside thinking, "that's almost done, I'll just spend an hour sometime to finish it". When you get it back out again, like I am now, it takes days to finish it off, my Duke being a case in point. See you next Friday Mark
  12. Thanks Chris I shall take a look at that. Mark
  13. It's less than two weeks to go before the Missenden Abbey Spring Railway Modellers weekend. This year, in a break from tradition I am booked on the painting and lining course with Ian Rathbone. My chance to learn to finish my models from probably the best around. Although rather daunting I am looking forward to hopefully gaining some new skills. To this end I thought I should try to finish a few items to the state that I can try to paint them at Missenden, time allowing. My Black Hawthorn was already finished, or so I thought until I decided to clean it up ready for primer. It was then I notice I had failed to add the two T handle from the valves on the dome. So I drilled through the cab front and added these out of some bits of 0.45 brass wire. Next on my list was the Neilson, that I knew needed some more work to complete the cab detail, break gear and under frame. So I spent the last evening or so working on the cab detailing, I decided the under frame could wait, it was the body the I was more interested in painting. I believe that I now have the Neilson complete above the footplate. It needs the brake gear to the rear to be added, the clack valves below the footplate and some taps on the cylinder fronts. Next on my list of items to add those finishing touches to are my NuCast steam rail motor and the Duke. The steam rail motor needs some steps made up to replace the broken, and frankly not very convincing white metal ones. The real thing had complex folding steps on the passenger doorways to allow passengers on and off at locations without platforms. The white metal versions in the kit, which have since broken, where very simple and not a good representation of the original. There were also steps on the buffer beams to allow the crew to change the lamps etc. The kit makes no provision for these, but I am hoping I can adapt some etches intended for guards vans to represent these. The roof needs fair bit of cleaning up, but this could be done later, since the main body could be painted without the roof. The Duke needs a top feed, clack boxes, smokebox dart, lamp irons, cab interior fittings, whistles and handrails. The later being a bit of a pain since there are no handrail knobs positions marked on the kit. I also need to replace the middle step tread on the rear tender steps, sadly I was attaching it with the RSU and sneezed, the result was that the delicate half etched tread pretty much vaporised. Something I will have to learn to avoid in the future. Hopefully I will have time to get all these things sorted before Missenden. Then I need to think about priming all or some of them so that I can apply top coat at Missenden. Perhaps I should have started my preparations somewhat earlier!
  14. I'm not normally a builder of coaches, although there is no real reason for this, just that I got hooked on building locos and the occasional wagon. As part of my desire to finish some of those long started and put aside projects I pulled this Blacksmiths coach kit out of the cupboard. I was given this for Christmas many years ago and got as far as doing a fold and soldering the two ends before realising I had messed up by not putting the tumblehome in the ends. Annoyed with myself at making a mistake so early on it was put in a cupboard to be left for almost 10 years. So fast forward to 2017 and out it came, the ends were corrected and then the tumblehome added to the sides. The basic box was built, followed by the sole bars, buffer beams and retaining plates for the rocking W-irons. Steps have been added to one end. Last night I built the basic rocking W-irons, added the bearings and popped the wheels in. Now it looks like a coach and rolls up and down the track. Next stage is the under frame details, brake gear etc. plus the end details on the other end, but the instructions are unclear as to what is on the end without steps. It looks like there is some kind of pipe or bar across with the attachment points. However I have no idea if there are corresponding etches for any of this - the instructions simply do not say. Likewise the under frame detail is a little patchy in the instructions. The end wheels sets are covered in the diagrams and have enough detail to be able to work out how to build the brake gear. However the centre wheels are not shown, nor any of the casting locations. In fact the instructions are a fairly poor, difficult to read photocopy. Some the instructions have been cut off by the photocopier, ending in mid-sentence. There is a great part in the instructions that say "Attached as per diagram but" - it's anyones guess what the "but" might be! So some of this is going to have to be by guesswork or from interpretation of the pictures. If anybody has one of these kits with a better copy of the instructions or a complete model, I would really appreciate hearing from you. I would really like to get this to a stage that it can be painted soon since I am enrolled on the "Painting & Lining" course with Ian Rathbone at Missenden Abbey over the first weekend of March. If only I had planned better I would have more models ready for painting and not trying to do all those finishing touches to so many models in the next two weeks. EDIT: Since posting this I have now come across one photo of Diagram R2 in as built condition, http://penrhos.me.uk/Rdiags.shtml. This seems to show very little below the sole bar, certainly no brake cylinder or brakes of any sort. And not the very long take that comes as a white metal component in the kit. I must say I am struggling to find where to fit the tank that is supplied, it appears to be too long to fit between the articulated W-irons.
  15. Hi Castle, I thought those frames looked familiar. I built one of these PDK kits some time ago, on various Missenden weekends. I was very pleased with the result and found it a nice kit to put together. Some time ago Tony Wright built one of these and featured it in BRM. I found it a good reference to bolster the information in the instructions. Of course it helped that at that time Tony was also the Missenden tutor. One thing not in the instructions is the white metal casting that is included in the kit to form the refuge for the lamp at the rear of the bunker. I recently added a sound chip to mine, from Coastal DCC. With plenty of weight in it and a long coal train behind it does look the part. Hope you enjoy the build Mark
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