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  1. IT BEGINS! While my woodworking might not be great, I've now managed to fit alignment dowels between two of the baseboards, and clamped the boards together. There's a bit of a gap, but nothing that can't be solved with some Polyfilla (which incidentally will be arriving later today, along with some new printer Resin). This does, however, mean that I can now start tracklaying on the next board, and even on building up the platforms. [Edit: I messed up my calculations when building the platform, and had it 18' wide. I've trimmed it a bit to 12' wide, and I think it looks much better] I'll be going down the cheat's route for this, using Peco platform edging (although with added brick plasticard), with Wills paving slabs sheet tops. I'm not quite sure if I'm happy with the Wills sheets - there are a few slabs which are decidedly wonky, and the cracked ones put me off a little, but they are at least the perfect thickness and add a decent bit of strength to the platform itself. I might later try to repair some of the cracked slabs with some filler, which ought to be easy enough. The photo also shows how I intend to hide this board joint, with a removable barrow crossing, which will hopefully come all the way into the goods yard. Working with the Wills sheets isn't too bad, but it took a fairly big leap of faith to start working with them, as my first (and last until now!) experience of them was buying two house kits, aged about 11, to go on my newly-built baseboard for my first layout. I had successfully built a Hornby Dunster signalbox and GWR footbridge, and was ready to try something a little harder... I'd never heard of Wills Craftsmans kits before. They never did get built, as they were far beyond my skills at the time. I've also been doing some running trials and have come to the conclusion that I don't want to mix bogie and 4-/6-wheel stock in trains unless the shorter coaches have large-head buffers. An attempt to run a 42' LSWR bogie coach and the 24' LSWR composite through my double slip led to buffer locking 7 times out of 10, even when being pulled. This is not helped by the early design of buffers on the composite, which have rather small heads, and long shafts.
  2. Regular readers may remember that a page or two ago I was bemoaning the lack of D-ended LSWR open wagons in currently-available kit form. Well, I've decided to do something about that. As @Compound2632 pointed out, there are 4- and 5-plank variants of the D1309 open wagon, and I have gone for a Fox-pressed-steel-underframed, sheet-rail-fitted, 5-plank variant for now. I might end up doing a 4-plank wooden underframe version at a later too, as a fair amount of the detail components look to be similar, including large amounts of the underframe fittings (easily the most fiddly bit of the model to CAD). The 3D print will require a bent wire tarpaulin bar, as this will be far too fine to print nicely and have any sort of strength. I'm especially pleased with the pleased with the distinctive Panter axlebox covers, which pivot at the top to allow access for lubrication without removing the cover, which just swings to one side. There's a small compromise there on the 3D model, where the cover is made rather thicker than scale, but only towards the solebar so hopefully once painted black that shouldn't notice too much. I've been chatting with someone with access to a somewhat better 3D printing set-up than my own, and if there would be interest, and this design works out well, we might be able to produce a run of these as kits.
  3. Well, a lovely relaxing few days has been spent with my partner (as we're an extended-household bubble-type thing, what with each of us living alone) and I've been gently CAD-ing away on an 1894 LSWR covered carriage truck. Being built after the Regulation of Railways Act 1889, I would have expected these to be fitted with vacuum brake, but the drawings show only a single-shoe hand brake, with no mention being made in the text of Weddell of vacuum brakes being fitted. A similar, 1860s design shows an even stranger combination - again a single-shoe hand brake (with a huge, 15" wide wooden brake shoe!) on the inside of one wheel, with a completely separate system of vacuum braking acting on the outsides only of the four wheels. Add to that the fact that the book says only that the authors can't pin down the colour that horseboxes and carriage trucks were painted in, nor do they have lettering details for the covered carriage trucks (not even if lettered in white or gold, though a suggestion that horseboxes may have been lettered in white)... and this is going to be rather an exercise in plausible guesswork as far as modelling goes. Following on from the success of using Plastruct strip for the footstep supports on the 24' composite above, the wheel-plates (not sure of the correct term there?) over the buffers will be Plastruct 0.5x6.4mm strip, allowing a thinner plate than 1mm MDF, but with more strength than card. I still won't be using it for structural bits, as I can't laser it, but this is a case of using different materials to suit their strengths.
  4. There's a rather nice etch of generic bits and pieces of various types from Mainly Trains, now available through Wizard Models. I don't see the same style of regulator handle as you've got there, but there are plenty of different types of handwheels, reversers (lever and screw), damper handles and some tiny little handles I can only assume are for gauge glass cocks! https://www.wizardmodels.ltd/shop/locomotive/mt227/
  5. Thanks all for the support. It's been a rough week - my friend whom I put up reported having a fever and a cough starting the day after she moved out from here. She immediately ordered a COVID test, which came back negative today, to both of our great reliefs! The practical upshot of this is that my self-isolating is now at an end, a full week earlier than expected! I am going to celebrate by going for a walk, and possibly by getting a sausage roll from Greggs. And then, I intend to shut myself in my room again, and do a whole load of CAD work for laser-cutting. It also looks like furlough may be partly coming to a close for me - I've been invited back to work on reduced hours next month. I'll be discussing with the boss on Monday and we'll see what that might look like.
  6. Oh but they chop up so beautifully! I really must take a break from all these carriages at some point and return to the 0-4-4t and 2-4-0. Could I suggest that an 0-6-0t would look very nice, too? Chop up the tender to make a bunker, and side tanks made from the tender sides could hide any motor block visible under the boiler, and would give some handy splashers (they're separately fitted) for the bits box. [edit to add: Actually, that's turned out even nicer than I expected! Do let me know if you choose not to do this one, as I might nick the design instead!]
  7. Other than being a fairly faithful replica of the Bachmann C class (right down to the brake shoes being part of the tender frames for some reason...) with some plumbing changes, a re-livery and a few smaller tweaks, it is very much a close match for the GSR D class mixed-traffic 0-6-0, although they were bought in 1887, and there is a suggestion that Mr. Wainwright might have been inspired by the GSR locomotives!
  8. Just a quick comment to say I've taken down the Linny's Laser Cutting website. I am still happy to do occasional bits of lasering for folks I know (and that includes the lovely denizens of the Pre-grouping section) but for various health reasons it's been harder and harder to predictably get to the laser cutter and the post office. I'm looking into the possibility of getting them produced by a third party, but while I really enjoy designing the models, I struggle with the organisation of actually getting them produced, packed and shipped, and the stress has been far outweighing the enjoyment. With that in mind, I'm going to focus on designing things rather than manufacturing. Watch this space!
  9. Haha, she is only here for two days - that's how long until she's been able to get proper accommodation (i.e. not sleeping on my sofa!). Work has been continuing on the 24' composite, and it's now painted up on one side, needing just the bolections mouldings and droplights picking out. I've used some 5&9 Models Stroudley buffers, the long shafts and curved shanks of which very closely match the diagram in Weddell. As this carriage will be running in a fixed rake, it'll be getting screw links at both ends (the rake will, like the Stroudley set, end in a tension-lock)
  10. A quick update: There won't be any new laser-cut things for at least two weeks, as I'm self-isolating. I've no symptoms, nor does anyone with whom I've come into contact. One of my friends has recently been made homeless. She was living in Germany, and has somewhere to stay in Edinburgh from Monday but spent last night sleeping rough, as she doesn't feel safe in a homeless shelter, and hostels are all closed. I've offered her my couch but as she has to self isolate for two weeks (having come from abroad) so must I for the next two weeks. Not to worry, I have plenty of food in the cupboards, unbuilt kits on the shelf, and half-finished projects to work on, as well as a few games on the computer which I haven't touched in far too long!
  11. Beading finished, and a coat of primer really brings everything together.The end steps are missing - apparently I forgot to add the little tags that hold the parts to the "sprue" card, and they disappeared into the laser cutter. I didn't notice until I had built it. Oh well! They can always be added later. Next stop, paint shop for salmon and brown...
  12. Well, I've just been told by the boss that I'm continuing on furlough for at least the next four weeks, so I could possibly be persuaded... I seem to remember that you were after some LSWR 42' carriages as well? I think we're getting somewhere here... Note that the body is just plonked onto the underframe (and not even level!) at the moment, as the underframe is about to go and be sprayed black as I work on the body. Today seems to be a very productive day (I wish I had more of them!)
  13. There was a free slot at the lab today so I've been in and recut the carriage. I think this says all I need to about the size difference. The walk in was not too bad in the heat as it's along the old Innocent Railway trackbed, mostly shaded by trees and with a lovely long, cool tunnel. The temperature in there must have been in single digits. Lovely!
  14. So a fresh look at that carriage this morning revealed two things. 1. I'm very happy with the paneling and beading. 2. The whole thing has been cut at the wrong size. The 24' carriage is 27' long. No wonder the wheels didn't fit! These carriage sides should be the same height. I've redrawn the file with a rectangle around the components of known size so that I can resize it all correctly and try again. Frustrating, to say the least!
  15. Well I managed to get a chance to do some lasering today; with social distancing, only one person can be using the equipment in that room of the Hacklab at a time. The 1872 24' composite got lasered, and I've spent a pleasant hour or so building up the underframe and the bodywork. Unfortunately I've messed up the floor piece, and the solebars are far too far apart, meaning that the wheels simply drop out! However, the carriage can be built with only that one part being replaced, so I'll likely nip in and re-cut that part at some point in the near future. I'm really happy with the footsteps - the steps themselves are a bit chunky due to the use of 1mm MDF (a 3" thick footboard would be pretty chunky!) but I lasered small holes in the upper footsteps and slots in the bottom ones to allow me to thread lengths of 0.5 x 0.75mm microstrip through, both to represent the fine strip supports but also to stop the long, thin MDF footboard from bending over time. The footboard is glued to the axleboxes, which is strictly inaccurate, but compared to the oversize footboards I think it's forgivable!
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