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RichardClayton

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  1. The Bradwell one does seem to ride a mm or so higher, and that might be because the springs are not yet optimised. And the extended smokebox does give it a slightly more aggressive stance. But it’s mainly the angle.
  2. I have been to pick up a late crest version from Rails today. It appears to be structurally intact, although I have not yet tried it under power. I thought it might be interesting to compare with a Bradwell. There are some obvious differences — 65871 has a diag 57 boiler, kept its extended smoke box, has a 3 rail tender, and has space between the frames (there’s an RCTS photo to support this configuration for the early 60’s). But the Oxford Rail version doesn’t look too bad at all in comparison. From this angle. Comparing the front view is a slightly different story. The smokebox door is not only too flat, as mentioned by Porcy, but as well as being undernourished it seems too small. Not sure what to do about that. But some of the other detail, sandbox fillers, cab, and the little etch of fire irons, are really exquisite. And you can buy it ready made …
  3. The next project will be a Dave Bradwell WD 2-8-0, acquired as part of an estate disposed of over on Tony Wright’s thread. I’ve wanted to build one of these kits for a while, and today’s visit enabled me to take a look at 90074, which is a Bachmann conversion I did a few years ago, and so is bit of a benchmark. It’s a superb runner, looks the part, and is a reliable exhibition loco. It also pulls the 21 x 21T hoppers up the bank without any trouble. So why build the kit? The Bachmann model is very good, but close up some of the deficiencies become apparent. The footplate detail is just a bit chunky, the smokebox door joint is very visible, and the cab and tender sides are noticeably thick. Having built a number of Dave’s wagon kits as well as the J27, I’m looking forward to the new project, but I’m also expecting it to take a while. But the prospect of a side by side comparison with 90074 is an intriguing one.
  4. Degreaser worked well on etched brass and nickel silver — but I’m a bit wary of deploying it on the J94 in case it damages the plastic. I’ll probably go down the more traditional detergent route. Today’s outing on South Pelaw was encouraging — 21 loaded 21T hoppers were managed satisfactorily, and the slow speed running was very pleasing. An attempt take all of the wagons up the bank towards Consett was less successful — but given the normal load without a banker was 7 x 21T hoppers, perhaps this failure was fairly prototypical.
  5. So now we are getting close to the end. Here are the component parts. The opening in the firebox is quite small, so the gearbox needs to tip up so the motor can sit snugly in the boiler. I’ve therefore kept the cab and boiler/saddle tank assemblies separate. The gubbins in the bottom of the boiler is lead wrapped in tape, with some gaffer tape for extra insulation — I’ve had some expensive experiences with fried DCC chips in metal locos and am now rather paranoid. All the different parts slot together as Hornby intended. The RT models chassis is held in place by a plasticard keeper plate on the rear buffer beam and secured by an 8 BA bolt at the front. There are some final jobs still to do — sand pipes, brake gear, coupling hooks, and surface fettling. But she’s looking very purposeful, runs well on the rolling road, and is off to Tyneside for an outing on South Pelaw this weekend. If all goes well then the paint shop beckons …
  6. I placed an order by email last Tuesday, Colin called me on Friday for my card details, all the items (WD wheels) were in stock and arrived today. A few months ago I ordered some J94 wheels, which took about eight weeks to arrive. After a while I got in contact by email, and had a swift response to explain that he didn’t have any in stock and would I be OK to wait until the next batch were made. So I wonder if some of the variability in delivery times reported in this thread is due to the manufacturing cycles for different types of wheel and other items. The increased demand from us lot over the last 18 months as well as Parkside is bound to have depleted his stock.
  7. Marcus — many apologies for taking almost a year to reply. To be honest, I can’t remember anything about the tender wheels and I can’t check because the loco itself is currently sitting on our South Pelaw layout, which is rather a long drive away.
  8. Worth celebrating though . Of course my comment about almost everything being kit or scratch built applies to pretty much all of the pictures in this thread not just the most recent ones, especially the excellent ones taken by Tony Lambert, as well as other fantastic layouts on RMweb -- Blackgill being a geographically adjacent (in prototype terms) example. We do run some modified and re-wheeled RTR locos (9Fs, Q6s, WDs, K1s, and the odd diseasel (sic) etc), and some modified RTR wagons (e.g. the oil train), so there are exceptions. Richard --
  9. Here are a couple of photos from last Saturday, with more fruits of lockdown. The first one shows J27 65871 on a running in turn, but looking at home with a train of 21T hoppers. You can tell it is running in because there is no coal in the tender, no crew, it is suspiciously clean, and a few other details are missing too. Who needs to wait for Oxford Rail deliveries when you've got a Dave Bradwell kit ... and the time to make it. Speaking of which, Martin brought along his Bradwell Q6, which not only looks good but also runs nicely. The other Q6 in this shot, 63379, is an Alexander Models kit running on a Pete Stanger chassis enjoying a pleasing run before the DCC chip self destructed. Incidentally, everything (locos, wagons, signals, etc) in these two pictures is either scratch or kit built. Just saying.
  10. Some progress to report on the J94 -- the chassis fits underneath the body nicely, and the RT models castings look the part. The steps and handrails are also an improvement on the Hornby offering. I made a new boiler to fit underneath the tank from brass, after several futile efforts to shape plasticard to a consistent radius. It is lined with tissue soaked in epoxy to reduce the likelihood of fried DCC decoders. Lots more detail to add, and I'm starting to enjoy this :-).
  11. Thanks John — another great looking vid! The Q6 will acquire coal, crew, lamps, and a layer of grot in due course, but it was nice to give it an opportunity to stretch its legs on Saturday, and pleasing to see the fruit of lockdown(s) trundling round South Pelaw without too many mishaps — once I had fixed a couple of errant back to backs.
  12. I have also started on a new project to turn a cheap eBay purchase .... ... into a better representation of J94 68038, which spent time at Blaydon and Tyne Dock sheds, so could plausibly have made it to South Pelaw. The first part, as is often the case with RTR enhancements, has been complete deconstruction, and it was considerably more drastic than usual this time. Gulp. But the horrid seam along the saddle tank has gone, and I have been greatly helped and encouraged by Ruston's thread that covers a similar conversion -- -- many thanks to all who contributed to this thread. The reconstruction stage has begun already, with an RT models chassis kit that made up really nicely. With a bunch of RT models etchings and castings to come. Richard --
  13. The Trestle wagon is now nearly finished -- just need to fix the trestles in place, add some chains and maybe a load. I'm quite pleased with the overall finish though, despite the slightly wobbly TRESTLE lettering. The transfers are a mixture of HMRS and ancient and rejuvenated Woodhead. The number may not be completely correct -- it is right for a Plate, and among a batch that were (according to David Larkin) converted to Trestles. So it is plausible. And will anyone notice?
  14. A couple of coats of paint and some Railtec transfers later, here is a test assembly of the J27 loco and tender. I’m not 100% happy with the paint finish, and I hope the very slight orange peel will vanish once a layer of dirt is applied. The re-insertion of the tender wheels was quite tricky, as was the re-assembly of the loco chassis. There is still some way to go; fitting a DCC chip, glazing, buffers, smokebox number plate, cab details, crew, coal, and so on. I’m also planning a tarpaulin folded on the cab roof. But I do feel we are getting there. As well as the J27 and introducing some variety, I’ve also been working on some North Eastern signals for a friend. These use MSE components, with a home made bracket scaled from photos. Again, these aren’t quite complete, but look the part I think.
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