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Charlie586

Wantage Road 1880 4mm Broad Gauge

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Rock breaking was what they used to set the chain gangs to on Dartmoor. I buy in the commercial model ballast, but model in 7mm, and normally use smaller stuff for 4mm and even 2mm, which looks ok. I haven’t tried it, but folks do recommend aquarium sand or chinchilla dust as cheaper alternatives.

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Rock breaking was what they used to set the chain gangs to on Dartmoor. I buy in the commercial model ballast, but model in 7mm, and normally use smaller stuff for 4mm and even 2mm, which looks ok. I haven’t tried it, but folks do recommend aquarium sand or chinchilla dust as cheaper alternatives.

 

Thanks, Northroader. I did think about a trip to the garden centre to see if they had anything the right size and cheapish, aquarium sand sounds like it might fit. There's a few people on ebay who are selling small granite chips in homemade bags, so they must be getting them in larger bags from somewhere. I've also noticed on a local trail I walk the path is in places quite fine white stone (I've got a pocketful), but like rock breaking, it means sorting into the right size.

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Hi there.

Have you tried using an old coffee grinder to smash up the rocks it's always worked for me.

Regards Lez.Z.

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Hi there.

Have you tried using an old coffee grinder to smash up the rocks it's always worked for me.

Regards Lez.Z.

 

Hello Lez

I hadn't thought of using a coffee grinder. I've not got an old one, but next time I'm out I'll have a look in a few charity shops. I suppose a food blender would work as well, though would get blunt eventually.

Charlie

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I like the ballasting idea, I'm a believer in "real" materials, (coal, wood etc) for modelling, but it doesn't always work. 

A friend of mine once thought he would ballast his layout with real Meldon Quarry Granite.  So got a lump from the railway and tried to smash it with a hammer...

He didn't get very far, and damaged the concrete on his garden path before making any impression on the granite.

 

Great project by the way,

Cheers, Dave.

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I like the ballasting idea, I'm a believer in "real" materials, (coal, wood etc) for modelling, but it doesn't always work. 

A friend of mine once thought he would ballast his layout with real Meldon Quarry Granite.  So got a lump from the railway and tried to smash it with a hammer...

He didn't get very far, and damaged the concrete on his garden path before making any impression on the granite.

 

Great project by the way,

Cheers, Dave.

 

Thanks Dave

 

I'm building most things from scratch so seems appropriate to at least try the ballast too. I had a little go at splitting some stones with some old pliers last week and obviously blunted the pliers, but I also nearly took half of my finger off as I was stupidly holding the stone in my other hand.

 

Cheers Charlie

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Another week of fun.

 

post-28891-0-89370800-1540142775_thumb.jpg

 

The chasis that I soldered didn't quite work properly. It's slightly bowed in on one side and the spacers are in the wrong places (no room for a motor gearbox to reach the axle) so I'll resolder it. It has highlighted that some extra chassis bits need cutting away and also I think the wheels are about 1mm too low which I think is me forgetting half the axle width. Worst thing of all is that I gave it a push across a sheet of glass and it ran fine even without bearings. Very tempted to just solder the bearings in for now, but the height at least needs sorting out.

 

post-28891-0-51569100-1540143240_thumb.jpg

 

While thinking about some form of compensation / springing for the front wheels, I remembered the (unfinished and untouched for a while) six wheel carriage kit that has a bogie like system to help it round bends. I made a start on a few bits, but it will probably come to nothing.

 

post-28891-0-10839000-1540143564_thumb.jpg

 

Superglued the packing to the baulk, then glued the rail on top. Maybe a bit too fiddly and difficult to keep it dead square while gluing. I'm thinking of soldering the rail to brass strip instead then gluing that to the baulks. Oh yeah, I also forgot to drill a hole through the wood first so I can add power. Still a bit of glue sheen that needs sorting plus the rail needs weathering, the retrospective power lead adding then I'll do two more for a set.

 

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Slightly different angle, the packing looks too deep to me. I think brass strip will solve that problem though.

 

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With the 1mm ride height diff, I thought I'd go back to the plasticard version and build a bit more as this was supposed to warn in advance of problems but only works if you actually build it in advance. Good job I did as I remembered how tight it gets around the splasher firebox area. Metal thickness may be a problem here. The splasher should be 2.9mm which with 2mm wheels and 2 thicknesses of 0.4mm metal seemed impossible, so I made the splasher 4mm. In the cad version I can make the thickness half etched, but I've cut the metal now so might have to cheat around the back of the firebox.

 

post-28891-0-81849000-1540145330_thumb.jpg

 

Part of the chassis is sort of designed to be cut away after the splashers are glued / soldered in, though it might need temporary bracing until the boiler's fitted.

 

post-28891-0-02212600-1540145792_thumb.jpg

 

I dug out the Grantham Steam Car body as I thought it about time i started on that for the Tramway part of the layout. By some weird coincidence the length is very close to that of a Rover (without tender). It needs 10mm wheels, which I don't have, but I've got some 12mm ones so I'll cut some metal for a chassis as a start. There really not much room for a motor, especially if internal detail is added.

 

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Finally, I did a scale diagram of the station in Inkscape using the 1878/80 OS map. The green boxes are 3 x 2 foot which is where I think baseboards should roughly be. The red section is how much of a trainset I'm actually allowed, which is one shelf in an Ikea bookcase that's called Billy or Bobby or something. Actually there is room under the beds to store 6-10 3x2 boards if I make them right with detachable buildings etc, but am wondering far, far ahead if making them all red box sized might be worth planning. You never know, I might be allowed a few more shelves one day. 

 

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I was mildly ill this week, so managed a bit more on the bits than normal

 

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looking again at the plan, if I do Ikea shelf sized chunks ( the top diagram, red boxes) as individual pieces then they can be squeezed together to form the lower picture. The Red black bar is metres, so the bottom diag is about 4 x 1 m, and the bluish outline boxes would be sort of fiddle yards. The goods shed will need its own little board, and the yard can be stretched a tad to make it thinner without totally ruining the effect. I still haven't got the room to do this, but the boards can live under the bed and be placed on a few trestle tables temporarily. I've got 2 sheds in the garden, but both are full of stuff and I don't think a P4ish standard of track would stand the heat extremes, leaking rooves and mice that seem to get in.

 

As regards traffic, Bulkeley and A N Other Rover express would really just fly through the station most if not all of the time. There was stopping passenger traffic but I've yet to find out the make up of these, so I'm going to use a Hawthorn and older carriages (there's some carriages on Ebay at the moment but I can't buy them this close to christmas). The yard was horse shunted as well which doesn't help, but I'm sure I remember reading that tramway No4 and others helped occasionally. I'm guessing most goods traffic would be of the narrow gauge by the period I'm doing, but a Gooch standard could just get away with the odd drop off and collection. But all that's a long way off, I've got to sneak some wood into the house first and pretend I've always had it.

 

post-28891-0-46879300-1540748423_thumb.jpg

 

Back on large splashers. I marked out some brass that had poundshop permanent marker on to make it stand out (the stuff rubs off fairly easily).

 

post-28891-0-53785800-1540748803_thumb.jpg

 

Then banged through some rivets (one of which, as usual, is out of line).

 

post-28891-0-66783000-1540749189_thumb.jpg

 

Repeat it, then I bent them, but (I'm not going to pretend this was intentional) over bent them. 

 

post-28891-0-68821400-1540749827_thumb.jpg

 

When I placed the splasher round the back, the over bendiness meant it held itself in place. I quickly soldered it up before it popped out then bent the other one a bit more and soldered that too. I haven't soldered them to the footplate yet as the spacing between them, the chassis and the firebox is virtually nil. They're a bit tight, clearance wise, to the wheel as well but the splasher will sit a mm above where it really should so it's not as bad as the photo. I also need to cut part of the splasher away as it's not quite a semicircle (the wheel centre is below the footplate) and obviously it needs the centre of the splasher taking out for the axle.

 

post-28891-0-70476800-1540751272_thumb.jpg

 

I've never had much success in scoring then folding up metal (suppose it may come in handy someday for tender flaring?)

 

post-28891-0-32483400-1540751016_thumb.jpg

 

but I had a go at a frame spacer for the chassis (still messing around with the chassis) and a firebox support. I realised after folding that I'd have to cut the middle bit away before I could solder it up, so that's the next job.

 

post-28891-0-47102200-1540751607_thumb.jpg

 

Finally, glued some plasticard for the Grantham bench seats. It still needs the internal cupboards that the two small vertical boilers were housed in. At some point it was changed to a single boiler, and then was just towed as a carriage as it struggled on the slight climb after The Elms in Wantage. Pictures are scarce though, so I'm going with the two boilers, one either side of the gangway. Still 'researching' how to motorise the thing, current reckoning is some form of micro motor. It'll only have to move a foot so I could just wobble the baseboard, but it would be good to have it run under its own power.

Edited by Charlie586
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By 1880, Bulkeley and her sisters would be chasing through with West of England trains, Exeter and beyond. You’d have through bg goods traffic for the same area passing as well. The great bulk of the traffic would be standard gauge by then, there’s a great range of 2-2-2 express locos, hauling trains which could divide on the way, say to Weymouth via Chippenham, to Bristol, to South Wales via Gloucester. Stopping trains probably 2-4-0s. The majority of goods traffic would be all standard gauge, and I would think broad gauge goods wagons would be a rarity in the yard.

Edit, by the way, if you want to bend brass sheet, it’s best to clamp it in a vice along the bend, then bend it over, and hammer it flat, which should give a tighter bend.

Edited by Northroader
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Thanks Northroader, that really helps fill in the gaps.

 

Shame it's mainly standard gauge, though I had suspected it (and probably read and forgot it) for goods. Hadn't considered stopping passenger trains to be standard, but it makes sense with the lack of any new (of that period), smaller passenger class loco. I need to acquire some form of working timetable for that era and start planning a few actual combinations that would have appeared, to sit alongside the things I want to run.

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A bit of progress this week.

 

post-28891-0-87146400-1541353937_thumb.jpg

 

A small splasher and half of a large splasher have been soldered to the running board, plus some other parts plonked on for show. I'm about halfway through sorting out the chassis's problems, but I'm ready to ditch it and start again but using thick brass instead of nickel.

 

For the smaller splashers, the initial plan was to solder the back to the top as in the above, but I now think the front is more important to solder first as, after all, you won't really be able to see the back. The fronts have a little cut out and I'm currently in splasher hell cutting and shaping the rest of them. There should be a sandbox inbetween the small and large splasher in the above. If I'd have thought that through, I could have saved some filing and about 20 rivets.

 

post-28891-0-90230800-1541355492_thumb.jpg

 

Splashers in progress. I've switched to nickel silver for the fronts and backs as it's the thinnest metal I've got at moment (10 thou). It's very tempting just to send off my half finished artwork to PPD, at least I wouldn't have to cut anymore blinking splashers out. But I'd have to do the tender, smokebox and some window frames seperately, so it would be 2 set up charges.

 

 

 

Part two of the 'Wantage Tramway engines that didn't really work as intended but need to modelled' is the Merkarski compressed air tram. They had 2 as a brief trial in 1880, so I have to model at least one. The look quite distinctive as well. I haven't found any pictures of the actual ones at Wantage, but it must have been the early variety as below.

 

post-28891-0-40079500-1541356626.jpg

 

I'm thinking a 3d printed bodyshell like the Grantham. I've done a few trams now so it's just a case of moving bits around and altering other bits. The air tanks on the front platform look interesting too.Should keep me busy for a while.The motion looks quite complex in a different photo to above, but luckily it's covered over so I'll cheat.

 

More on the Merkarski trams at Tramway information and Graces Guide

 

http://www.tramwayinfo.com/tramways/Articles/Compair.htm

https://www.gracesguide.co.uk/L._Mekarski

 

post-28891-0-42167900-1541358063_thumb.jpg

 

Last up, two more bits of baulk, this time with hole drilled through before attaching the rail. The plasticard padding is clearly too thick, Eileen's do brass strip but it's not cheap so I'll cut my own from sheet. I'm not happy with the colour either, so I'll be fiddling with other paint in the future. I've only got one track gauge and the BGS don't have any in stock so I'll need to make my own jigs before doing anything irreversible track laying wise. I also haven't got an EM gauge either for the narrow/standard line, but Ii think that's the least of my problems.

 

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Not much done this week as I managed to injure my arm in a freak accident while trying to catch a pack of onion bhajis that fell from the fridge. Being only really able to use one arm for most of the week, all I could really do was filing, marking out, the odd bit of rivetting and a little soldering today. I tried some CAD, but for inkscape you need to hold shift or ctrl when clicking for some things so not much got done there.

 

post-28891-0-87631100-1541958280_thumb.jpg

 

A few rivets on the smokebox front and wrapper (should have done that before bending really) and a bit more splasher related rivets.

 

post-28891-0-08619700-1541958468_thumb.jpg

 

The firebox with support was clamped so I could solder it

 

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A large and small splasher soldered, but the smaller one is slightly skew so I gave up trying to solder then.

 

Looking ahead to the tender, it's got one or two rivets

 

post-28891-0-88372400-1541959895.jpg

 

I've got no chance of banging all those out by hand with a blunted pin, so I've decided to finish off the CAD first for etching. I think in 4mm scale they might be too close together to work (it's about 0.5mm spacing for the two worst bits) but I'll try it. I'll do a reserve overlay or two as well with both 0.5 and 1mm spacings just in case. Hopefully I'll be back up to full speed in a day or two and can get cracking on a few things.

 

 

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Hi Charlie,

 

I am enjoying your thread for obvious reasons as I too tried to scratch build a Rover about 18 years ago which was fretted out using mainly nickel silver sheet.

 

Not having a decent workshop to hand my efforts were mainly done on the kitchen table !

 

Your ongoing build prompted me to dig out the still unfinished model and I hope that you don't mind me posting some photographs of what I found.

( I will remove them if you feel its a thread invasion ).

 

Very cruel close ups using my iPhone 

 

post-20303-0-93845100-1542297818_thumb.jpg

 

The chassis in the background laying on its side is a rather larger model in progress of a Dean Goods in 7mm.

 

post-20303-0-27221600-1542297835_thumb.jpg

 

post-20303-0-97451500-1542297850_thumb.jpg

 

post-20303-0-17940900-1542297869_thumb.jpg

 

post-20303-0-99442200-1542297885_thumb.jpg

 

Time has moved on and the crude rivet details were done using a sharpened compass point back then. If I were to do this again I would now use my riveting tool which would probably make a better looking tender side detail Hey Ho !

 

I may go back at some point in the distant future and look at this again.

 

Grahame

Edited by bgman
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Hi Charlie,

 

I am enjoying your thread for obvious reasons as I too tried to scratch build a Rover about 18 years ago which was fretted out using mainly nickel silver sheet.

 

Not having a decent workshop to hand my efforts were many done on the kitchen table !

 

Your ongoing built prompted me to dig out the still unfinished model and I hope that you don't mind me posting some photographs of what I found.

( I will remove them if you feel its a thread invasion ).

 

Very cruel close ups using my iPhone 

 

attachicon.gifIMG_0061.JPG

 

The chassis in the background laying on its side is a rather larger model in progress of a Dean Goods in 7mm.

 

attachicon.gifIMG_0062.JPG

 

attachicon.gifIMG_0063.JPG

 

attachicon.gifIMG_0064.JPG

 

attachicon.gifIMG_0065.JPG

 

Time has moved on and the crude rivet details were done using a sharpened compass post back then. If I were to do this again I would now use my riveting tool which would probably make a better looking tender side detail Hey Ho !

 

I may go back at some point in the distant future and look at this again.

 

Grahame

 

Hello Grahame

 

That is very impressive, especially the smokebox door. Thanks for posting the pictures. The tender rivets must have taken ages. I wish I'd thought of making the running plate so it could be curved around the driver axle, mine will be overlays. You ought to finish it at some point, it doesn't look far off from being able to fit a motor

 

I need to treat myself to a GW rivetting tool, hopefully I'll have a bit of cash for christmas that I can use. A lathe would be handy as well, but I think that may be pushing it.

 

Charlie

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I thought I'd have a week off splashers as they were getting on my nerves. Did some filing of various bits, including going back to the outside frames, and unpicking the poorly soldered bits from my one armed attempt last week, but nothing really worthy of a photo yet.

 

I stuck two baulks with rail down to the test track mkII. The first was glued down against a drawn line, then I used my single track gauge and a piece of plasticard cut to somewhere in the region of 28.08mm to stick the other down.

 

post-28891-0-73144500-1542566957_thumb.jpg

 

After that, I couldn't resist getting part of my still unsorted collection of smashed stone and the 1st class carriage wheel carrier and playing trains.

 

 

post-28891-0-86940100-1542567343_thumb.jpg

 

The circled part of stones are roughly the size I think I need, so need a lot more breaking up and a proper sort through. Obviously the paint work needs a bit of touching up, especially the rails but I don't want to make them too rusty. I also need to add the standard/narrow rail but haven't got an EM gauge so that will have to wait. The test plank is roughly as long as the bookshelf I have in mind, so this will probably form part of mk I layout for a while. Next job is to fill the rest of the plank with baulks and rails, and then do a platform side / top.

 

 

Talking of rails, I've had my eye on these for a few years up the allotment.

 

post-28891-0-67538300-1542568562_thumb.jpg

 

There's 3 of them that had been used as makeshift fence posts, each about 4ft long. Obviously there not actual bridge rails, being as they are in a Derbyshire allotment and only an inch long across the rail top, they'll be from the old coal mine. They're now in my allotment shed ready to sneaked home where I'll eventually do a very small piece of baulk road in the garden (subject to approval from the relevant authority)

 

 

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Looking very promising, and i think it pays to take time away from one piece of modelling and start with a fresh mind,

 

As for the baulk rail, I was lucky to have some cut off for me by an structural engineer friend when he spotted some during a demolition of a building in the Torquay area many years ago. He kindly brought it to my office and it was gratefully received by me and duly mounted.

 

post-20303-0-95171600-1542572003.jpg

 

Its my nod to the Broad Gauge and resides at home.

 

G

 

 

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I think you're right, as soon as something becomes a chore, put it down and do something else. I'll work on the chassis and frames for a bit.

 

Good idea to mount the rail. It still looks in good shape for its age. I wonder if anymore will ever come to light? I suppose it's dependant on whoever finding it knowing what it is.

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Hi Charlie,

 

The rail is in excellent condition for its age, with the exception of the obvious pitting and small areas of rust ( to be expected ) I'm surprised.

 

I did consider having it mounted to this........

 

post-20303-0-83544000-1542579276_thumb.jpg

 

...........my other artefact from way back when, but decided to leave well alone and enjoy them for what they are.

 

Grahame

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I'm still having a break from splashers, so I painted a few more baulks.

 

post-28891-0-33761300-1543168546_thumb.jpg

 

After all the faffing about and mixing colours in the past, I've done these in just The Works burnt umber acrylic. Possibly needs to be a tad darker, but colour wise, there's only really Didcot railway centre to go off. I'll give them another coat and mix a touch of black in.

 

post-28891-0-22651300-1543168998_thumb.jpg

 

Did a bit more to the frames. I suppose I should have soldered 4 sheets of brass together and shaped them first. Still a fair bit more to do.

 

post-28891-0-40374300-1543169344_thumb.jpg

 

However, I did sweat 2 pieces of nickle together before marking then cutting out two chassises (or whatever the plural of chassis is) for the Wantage tramway Grantham tram (top) and the Hughes (bottom). The Grantham is a longish wheelbase in comparison, especially as the wheels are only 10mm, so instead of just putting bearings in, I might have to give one axle a bit of movement. Once I've made them up, I'll get a better idea of what room is or isn't there for a motor. I also need some 10mm wheels (the Hughes is spoke the Grantham solid) but the nearest I've got is only 3 12mm wheels. I don't know how I ended up with an odd number, I guess one's got lost somewhere

 

post-28891-0-76298900-1543169795_thumb.jpg

 

Finally, I marked up for the sandboxes and started to cut to shape. I'll try to fold them up, using Northroader's advice about a vice,  after scoring the lines a bit more.

 

Hopefully work will continue on the splashers this week, as I've got some bits to solder on and could do with them in place first to check the chassis and wheels meet the footplate correctly (or nearly correct if not.) 

 

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Had a doctors appointment (just an annual medicine review) on tuesday and since thursday I've been full of a cold / flu ish thing, so I've not managed to take any pictures of the work I did earlier in the week. I'll try and post them in a few days, not a huge amount of progress but I'm close to having a chassis and body that actually join together and hold wheels without them falling out.

 

I've also done some thinking about the track. Remember this ?

 

post-28891-0-22684400-1543772944_thumb.png

 

Breaking the track up into small chunks will obviously lead to several track joints, which is going to be a problem in sort of P4 and EM. What I'm thinking now is to make a long, straight track board or two, either the length of a trestle table or half the length and only wide enough to fit inside the platform faces. Another board, wider, would hold 3 tracks for the mainline and goods shed. This will cut down on joints and make the station a separate scenic bit. This would also let me do a later era by plonking down some Peco OO set track so I can run all the other stuff I've got in boxes. I'll probably change my mind again, but that's where it's at today.

 

This rather distinctive gentleman appears in a photo of Wantage road (though about 12-15 years after my chosen date) but he (or some similarity of him) will be the first inhabitant of the layout. 

 

post-28891-0-70863100-1543773907.png

 

I'm thinking his jacket and trousers are faded brown? It's certainly a much lighter shade than the rest of the station staff. I've got a couple of very old plastic figures, probably HO, that I might play around with before spending money on a decent figure or two. I also need to learn beard adding skills, which should be fun. I wish I knew what his name was.

 

Thanks for reading. More fun and games, and actual pictures, next time.

 

 

 

 

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Couple of pictures that I didn't take at the weekend.

 

First up, Bulkeley

 

post-28891-0-05383000-1543944866_thumb.jpg

 

The chassis now sits inside the frame, but the cab and firebox haven't been soldered on yet. It's looking a bit battered and bodged now, but very little of the nickel running plate will be visible once all the other bits are plonked on. I'm not overly happy with the back small splasher (again) so may take it off and have another bout of deja vu. Also the bearings aren't yet soldered in, but ...

 

post-28891-0-71502400-1543945205_thumb.jpg

 

I've fired up the squareomiser again to fit the leading and trailing wheels. Just need to solder them in place now. The bearings are 2mm inside 1/8 inch outside and the plan is to open them up a bit in the up/down dimension should it not run very well. I'll use some spring steel on the axles if need be. I'm still undecided how to sit the driver. I've got some square bearings from London Road models that I'll probably use. I might build a hornblock type thing around them or just solder them rigid and open up if needed. I meant to take a picture shewing how much room is in the firebox for a motor but forgot.

 

 

post-28891-0-27727900-1543945968_thumb.jpg

 

 

I folded up the sandbox, but the top isn't long enough and back should be angled in like this.

 

post-28891-0-54099800-1543946043.jpg

 

I'm trying to work out the angle to bend the side and rebend / shape the back (the back can't really be seen so isn't important if a chunk is missing) then I'll add a different top so it sits proud rater than flat.

 

 

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I folded up the sandbox, but the top isn't long enough and back should be angled in like this.

 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/public/style_images/master/attachicon.gifbulk10.jpg

 

I'm trying to work out the angle to bend the side and rebend / shape the back (the back can't really be seen so isn't important if a chunk is missing) then I'll add a different top so it sits proud rater than flat.

 

I think you have it right as it is. Looking at the photo there's a black-painted curved support for the boiler hard up against the face of the sandbox, however the lining on the box is angled giving the impression that the box is wedge-shaped.

 

Pete S.

 

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I think you have it right as it is. Looking at the photo there's a black-painted curved support for the boiler hard up against the face of the sandbox, however the lining on the box is angled giving the impression that the box is wedge-shaped.

 

Pete S.

 

 

Thanks Pete 

 

That's what I originally thought and then convinced myself otherwise when I was looking at that photo and relooked at the GA. I'll dig out some more photos later.

Thanks 

Charlie 

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Bearings are now soldered to the chassis (apart from the driver)

 

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It runs with gravity, however the second leading axle is a bit sticky so I'll open out the bearings a bit more. One of the back wheels has a slight wobble so I may need to change the axle (I think it was from the end of the rod I used so it may be slightly bent) If it's not the axle then I'll have to either sort the wheel out or buy some more. I might have been too eager with the broach when I was mounting it the first time. There's a lump of solder under the firebox that prevents it sitting properly at the moment so I'll give that a clean up. I left the running plate oversize when I cut it out (seemed a good idea at the time) so I've got a big chunk at the back to cut off now. I'll put the smokebox bits together before the boiler tube so it's a perfect fit. I'mm been putting off soldering up the smokebox as I think I need to build a support to get it square.

 

Talking of square,

 

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The squareomiser is loaded up with the Hughes tram chassis. I'll solder bearings first and then frame spacers.

 

Keen eyed readers may have noticed the third (inner or standard or narrow) rail above.The rail is glued to to packing and baulk but not the plank yet as I haven't got an EM track gauge. I might cobble a few bits of plasticard together using the calipers, as this is just a test plank (with no turnouts) it doesn't have to be spot on gauge wise.

 

I got out the paints this afternoon

 

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The Hughes tram on the left has had a first coat, needs a few more. I painted the rail sides a sort of rusty colour but it looks a bit bright in the picture. And I painted some of the figures I had. They're 20mm high so probably HO, but are in the right area until I get something better. I added the beard with a No Nails type glue and filler mix. It was supposed to resemble the porter I pictured last week, but the neck is far too thick, the beard goes too far around his head and the jacket needs to hang a bit more. I was going to cut his arm off and rotate it, but wasn't brave enough in the end. The other gentleman is too late for the period, but I'm thinking if I give him a top hat and extend his coat it might help. And as for the policeman, PC Finescale to give him his full title, I think he's beyond backdating.

 

Sorry for photo quality this week, I think I need to take them in better light. The last one especially as I took loads of it, but they were all wobbly, the above is the best. Using my actual camera instead of the phone is a real faff with having to upload them but I'll try different parts of the kitchen for future pics.

 

 

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Firstly, the photo that I couldn't get to work last week

 

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I've hacked a bit off the porter's shoulders, but it's not until I've seen it as a photo that I've realised it still needs more work. I tried to give the time travelling PC a 70s moustache, but it looks more like a hitler one from this angle. The other two are work in progresses, I tried a top hat on the rear one but it fell off so I'm going to try some other way. I ordered 100 plastic models ( 1/75 scale apparently) from the ebay for £1.29 and they're currently on the way, due by the middle of Jan. I'm sure at least one will be hackable into something.

 

The Hughes tram needs another coat of paint. As it's translucent and also sucks up paint, there's a fine line between not enough and overdoing it. The chassis is done (after the photo was taken) but still no wheels, only 3 of slightly too large. Another thing that has become apparent is as it's one piece, glazing will be a tad difficult.

 

I'm not sure what this thingy on the outer frame of the Rover is or does

 

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but I've done one, just need to do another. Little indents will need to be cut into the running plate. it probably needs to be thicker than a single strip of nickel so I'll solder another bit to the back (and probably unsolder the front while I'm at it)

 

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I've been doing the springs as 3d CAD, but it's hard with tolerances to get them not looking like a lump of plastic

 

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but while eating a mince pie I wondered if using the foil base would be acceptable.

 

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I cut the base of the pie tin into 2mm strips then bent them in half (width unfolded about 0.1mm) then roughly bent a 2mm wide piece of nickel. Needs a bit of tarting up and supergluing, the rod is I think 0.5 or 0.8mm and needs a few more bits of nickel cutting out and shaping for the ends plus some thicker bar. As much as I like mince pies, I'm on the hunt for slightly thicker foil base. I reckon I'll try a pukka pie or two, a readymeal type tray ( I can remember hot chicken wings in one that was nice about the right size), maybe even toad in the hole. The six springs are in 3 different pairs, but the trail run didn't take long, and was a lot quicker than doing the CAD, and that's before adding them to a sprue and paying to have them printed.

 

Good news is while getting the christmas tree out, I found a bit of mdf I must have squirreled away at some point. It's only about 10cm wide, but is long enough for the bookshelf. it's only about 1cm thick so not brilliant for laying track on, but it's a start. I'll try and get it into a frame over xmas. It might just be wide enough for the 3 track part I need for the main lines and goods shed but I'm not sure without measuring it properly.

 

Lastly

 

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The test track with a clearer photo than last week. It definitely needs to be more a dull silver/irony colour on the sides. I'll try to do some ballasting first before painting again in case the whiteness of the ballast improves it any, but I doubt it will.

 

 

 

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