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wagonbasher

The trams that time forgot

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For a short period in the late Victorian age the steam tram mobilised the masses in Britains largest conurbations, hauling large trailers filled with passenger numbers the previous horse traction could never have perceived.  Within 15 years they moved from state of the art urban transit to dirty, smelly, noisy and unreliable monsters as the miracle that was electric traction rolled across the land.

 

this is what I hope to capture on a small layout with a very  simple track layout and as a way of modelling buildings which is probably my main scratch building interest.

 

when,  1885 - 1900, 

where.   The Black Country 

gauge.  3' 6'.   

Companies:  south Staffs, Birmingham and midland and BET

scale  7mm to the foot.

theme.  Urban, industrial 

 

i have a few suitable steam tram drawings and I have started with a kitson 4 window locomotive as per Birmingham and midland.

 

locomotives and trailers will be scratch built mostly in plasticard using a silhouette cutter to produce sections in 10 thou which are then layered up to a suitable thickness. 

 

I will ill post some photos later.

 

chassis scratch built chassis in brass strip, 4mm Gibson wheels, high level 120:1 gear box giving a maximum scale speed of 9 miles per hour.

 

trailers will also be silhouette cut panels laminated up.

 

track made from 4mm rail with the groove created using metal strip.

 

buildings will be plasticard, scratch built with help from my silhouette cutter and some resin casting.

 

i will post some pictures this evening.

 

andy

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Great idea Andy. Nice to see another one of the team has seen the 7mm light.

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I promised some photos

 

There is a lot to do as everything except 7mm figures will have to be scratch built

 

that is locomotive, the trailers, the track, the street and buildings.

 

I have deliberately stated on multiple activities, I find it too easy for projects to stall because I don't have a 'xxxx' so progression on multipul fronts should mean that something is happening'

 

Locomotive

 

I have plans for a Kitson standard (4 window)

 

 

509403883_BirminghamandMidland4PanelKitsonLocomotive.JPG.3f59f6366205e7802a120d4df0ec7e63.JPG

 

This is a Birmingham and Midland Kitson with an Oldbury Carriage and wagon trailer'

 

There is a Kitson Standard in a museum in hull

 

1882 Kitson Steam Tram Locomotive  Streetlife Museum Kingston upon Hull Yorkshire

 

Crich has Beyer Peacock locomotive built to the Wilkinson patent for a trial in Sydney Australia, vertical boilered.  Its a bit of a beast, bigger than most of the UK locomotives but very similar to Beyer Peacocks on the South Staffs system and I have important dimensions from J S Webbs book on Black Country tramways.

 

Anyway, this is a 'snip' from the silhouette cutters design software, it took a bit to understand it but only because I have not used any design software in the past.

:1587104581_Cuttersoftwaresnip.JPG.2e59956472231d122dd989b7c77e2bf3.JPG

 

By using copy and paste I can create multiple images of the same component, this is because it wont cut more than 10 thou plastic (it will score 20 thou, but you wont get those windows out) and so I will have to laminate up many layers.

 

The cutter, the blade is in that small cylinder and can be adjusted to different depths

 

521540340_silhouettecutter.jpg.9db739ea52d14417c0e1b892bd220562.jpg737746808_silhouettecuttercutting.jpg.51c0f31c1c3ffbd9d730075cd90dccf9.jpg

 

The 10 thou plastic sheet is on a tacky cutting mat, it is in the process of cutting here, it takes a while, maybe 20 min's to cut this sheet but you can leave it to it

 

Once cut you peel of the cutting mat

671122918_kitsonpartssmall.jpg.364e042abddb727fb218a188416ea1fe.jpg

 

If you don't mid I'll stop there today.  

 

Modelling time is precious and Sunday morning whilst the family are asleep is golden.

 

Andy

 

 

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If you are cutting thicker sheets, you can pass the blade over the same route more than once.

 

Looking good so far.

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I've started some buildings as well, as I said I will model on a number of fronts so there is always something to do.

 

the cutter should manage windows, either as plastic or address labels.

 

andy

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I have not been idle

 

I am laminating 5 layers of 10 thou Plasticard to make the structural shapes.

 

Laminating is allowed to cure slowly between two pieces of glass (thought I was going to have to get some cut somewhere until I remembered picture frames - cheep as chips)  !!

 

The solvent is key to this D Limonene.   slow none aggressive, allows time to pint it out on bigger areas and time to move a little.

 

You will see I use a hard square surface to ensure the layers are all lined up.

 

Rob Pullman, of this web site produces some amazing woirk and uses a cutter like mine to produce full size 0 gauge coaches, he has given me advice before and after I bought the cutter.

 

The detail, panelling is added using Humbrel precision poly cement.

 

laminating.jpg.f8c6e3dca7ebb18ce0866756c32c2c38.jpg2097742441_kitson4windowside.jpg.97615ed2206905fd5c45be281d7abdce.jpg650179601_kitson4windowsidewithpanels.jpg.d9fc768450f4c27fe79c3fbcaa54113c.jpg

 

I said I had been working on some buildings.

 

The part of the Black country the trams run through would have been a common scene,  Back to back, industry at home, nail making, chain making, pubs and chapels..

 

First up the first part of a row of 8 back to back cottages (that is four houses to the front and four to the back,  The first building is lightly larger (just for interest) and the front is a shop.  There will be a yard with wash house, dry toilets and washing lines.

 

Using the National Trust Birmingham back to backs for inspiration.

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/birmingham-back-to-backs

 

1068574533_backtoback.jpg.bf0f81d8b778cee281f6feaee57f5b1c.jpg659972411_shopfront.jpg.56c956e53415e4f8ed7d0136a552996f.jpg1476463872_shopbricks.jpg.1bf6a57d511f778cc08e08753f65add8.jpg1459474589_washhouse.jpg.4dc7fe180781820928d1d7daa9a61605.jpg

 

I have ordered some bits to start the chassis for the Kitson.   I also see you can buy 3D printed gutter components, and ridge tiles and reasonable value chimney pots..   I need 6 for this building alone (one fire in each room / storey in both the front and the rear house.

 

More to follow

 

Andy

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Coming along very nicely Andy. Are you using 7mm Slater's brickwork? I gave up on it as I found the pattern drifted across the sheet and it wasn't always easy to get courses to match. Much prefer the SEF sheets and they do a wide variety of bond types. I do however sand down the front to make the sheet flatter and the mortar less deep.

 

Looking forward to seeing this progress.

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It is Slaters.  I do know what you mean.  In fact if you look at the close up of the corner you will see the bricks align but a look at the shop front picture, the ground floor  it has drifted out.

 

Andy

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Not 7mm but 4mm scale I have had 3d printed some Falcoln steam tram trailers but a future extension to my layout. Just doing the Kitson engine both 4 and 5 window version at moment

IMG_1856.JPG

20180801_165705-2.jpg

20180808_200754.jpg

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13 hours ago, Andy Bailey said:

Not 7mm but 4mm scale I have had 3d printed some Falcoln steam tram trailers but a future extension to my layout. Just doing the Kitson engine both 4 and 5 window version at moment

IMG_1856.JPG

20180801_165705-2.jpg

20180808_200754.jpg

 

 

That's a lot to take in....  More questions than answers.

 

What is the layout, is it on RMweb?

What is the company/ companies you are modelling.  The track looks narrow gauge like mine?

 

I think your work looks fantastic.  

 

Sorry, more questions,

 

Trailers.  So, 3D printed, could be printed in a bigger scale ??      Is this something you are doing yourself or have commissioned etc, Is there a way in which I could buy a 7mm version, happy to pay the going rate.   Trust me I am scratch building because there is nothing available.  What are you doing about stairs...  probably one of the trickiest bits?

 

Locomotive

 

Is that etched, your own etc?   That does not look like a worm gear?  how is it propelled? 

Condenser.  The drawing I have from Terry Russell shows the locomotive (this is a Birmingham Central Tramways locomotive) with a roof covering the pipes with the ends open and a full width gap in the roof to accommodate the chimney.  Is that how you are modelling yours with a roof hiding most of the 260 pipes, from the face of it the design was quite standard however looking at photographs if there were variants between steam trams it was often the condenser that changes.

 

I'm planning a trip to Hull to see the Kitson there and I have a reprint of Kinnear's 1894 'Tramways, their construction and workings' on order so hoping to fill in some gaps.

 

I've also no idea what the back plate / boiler fittings looked like.

 

I made a 4mm steam tram in my late teens (a long time ago).  It was built out of plasticard , around a BEC bogie (1 bogie off. a bogie car), the bogie filled the locomotive!!  Its was crude and I used to drag around an unpowered Blackpool dreadnaught as a trailer.    Like so many model trams, It went like a rocket, no one ever commented!

 

If you have a thread or a blog, let me know an I can follow.

 

Andy

 

 

 

 

 

 

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As I have chosen to model a narrow gauge system at 3'6" gauge there are no gauges available for Back to Backs or track contruction.

 

I hope to use the same approach as Red devil has written about where a sandwich of rail, spacer and a further, thinner upright metal section all comes together to form a slot for the wheels to run in as per tramtrack.  If I knew how to do It,  would add a link, he has covered it in his Grimestreet thread (I think).

 

This is todays efforts

 

One 16mm track gauge amended using 4M washers and one 3M washer to get the gauge correct (The 3M washer is also thinner).  In fact the 3M washer was a pain because the gauges are an imperial 1/8th and so I had to open out the inside of the 3M washer and then loose any burs....  After trying a round file, then my pillar drill, all to hopeless effect, I used a milling tool (sort of dentist stuff) on a mini drill.

 

track_gauge_2.jpg.8c0d7a74019c6b092f7b2dec6c1f6824.jpg

 

In action on test piece, not exactly central on the sleepers......   I had other things on my mind.

 

1876138528_trackgauge.jpg.3dbead53ef5f626719652d48c5eb37ba.jpg

 

I need to get some rail to play with in order to get my backs to backs correct, again no recognised standard or B2B gauge I could buy, even then it might not suite the slot in the rail approach.

 

The shiny cylinder between the rails is a spacer (unthreaded) that you can buy from electrical components suppliers.  I think they are used, threaded and unthreaded to mount PCB's.  they create a space behind the PCB for all of the wires to come and go.

 

This is 20mm long 5 mm wide with a M3 clearance and I hope its work.  I expect to use three like this as frame spacers.  I can use 3M threaded rod with nuts on the outside (one of the benefits of a chassis that no one will see).

 

I think that is all for now.

 

Please comment, this is not a  'how its done', this is a 'how I'm doing it'.   If I am doing something wrong or missing a trick please say.

 

Andy

 

 

 

Edited by wagonbasher
editted because it didnt make sense!
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The track with the simulated/fabricated girder rail I'm doing is in the Grimeside thread on here... Grime St was the Leeds tram layout now departed to pastures new.

 

This is done with code 75 bullhead, 0.8 mm n/s square bar and 1.91x0.25 mm n/s strip, 4mm EM. Road surface is Knauf Easy plaster from Wickes allowed to dry then scribed. It also has a Faller car system magnetic strip in it, I build the gaps between the sleepers up with 1.5mm ply which fits nicely between the 1.6 mm pcb sleepers, then the self adhesive magnetic strip has a nice evenish road base.

 

Hope that helps anyone interested!

DSC_0054.JPG

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Andy, have you looked at the Recreation21 shop at Shapeways for the 14mm. gauge paved track sections Simon is doing to 7mm. scale under O9?   All his 4mm. and 7mm. work is listed together under "14mm. gauge".   Colin.   

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1 hour ago, coline33 said:

Andy, have you looked at the Recreation21 shop at Shapeways for the 14mm. gauge paved track sections Simon is doing to 7mm. scale under O9?   All his 4mm. and 7mm. work is listed together under "14mm. gauge".   Colin.   

 

I haven't but will.....

 

Andy

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I took a quick look at Recreation21 drawings, but I didn't notice any parts or instructions for the moving point (or points for Germany),  or adding the inside part of the rail flange way. Are they coming?

 

Tim

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Hard to tell, ive now looked. 

 

Is the inside part of the rail moulded into the 3D model ?

 

I'm also less sure about points, switches and radiuses in that early period.  A bit more research required.

 

I like what Red devil is doing, I have also scribed cobbles in the past and I am reasonably happy doing that.  The early tramway contracts only required operators to maintain 18 inches beyond the outside rails so a strip of cobbles around the rails on a street of dust and mud was common.

 

Andy

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I've just taken delivery of a reprint of an 1894 book.

 

Tramways, their construction and working.  by D Kinnear Clake CE.   £10.00 for  758 pages and covers in incredible detail, track construction history and practise, development of horse and steam tram trailer cars, steam, cable, early electric, cost of running tramways, other countries practise...  it just goes on.

 

the original (which I see will cost you £150). had a few pull out sections that have been reduced to A5 but the one that interested me, the falcon steam trailer drawing I had already obtained from crich very helpful library.

 

Track seams to be laid very lightly, especially to my eye as I have watched out my office window the construction of the station approach at wolverhampton and seen the hundreds of tonnes of concrete used to create the base and then surround the rails.

 

i had better get reading.

 

andy

 

 

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Off to doncaster 0 gauge guild event tomorrow.  Not heavy on layouts but lots of 7mm trade, got my shopping list.  After that myself and the super patient mrs banks are off to hull street life to take some pictures of the uk's only preserved kitson steam tram.

 

it is stuffed and mounted and is not identical to my prototype  but I hope to further my knowledge and get a few snaps.

 

andy

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Doncaster and Bristol are the only 7mm specific shows I've not yet done. Was going to go to Donny myself but it clashes with something else on the family calendar. Let me know what it's like. Enjoy your day out.

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Interestingly this appeared in a local Facebook group this week (hoping from age it is out of copyright)

 

63CB3F16-0B4A-4C02-85E7-402738E7D901.jpeg

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15 hours ago, 2ManySpams said:

Doncaster and Bristol are the only 7mm specific shows I've not yet done. Was going to go to Donny myself but it clashes with something else on the family calendar. Let me know what it's like. Enjoy your day out.

 

If you want layouts, that's the wrong show.  There were about four layouts, smallish but then it's a one day show.

 

i knew this before I went, this is predominately a trade show with good demonstrations and society stands.

 

trade is so important to 7mm modellers as so little is available ready to run..  all trade was busy, the room seemed crowded with a good buzz...   I would have thought the organisers will be pleased with the turn out.

 

i wanted to catch up with Rob Pulham who was demonstrating his silhouette cutter but there was great interest in his work and he was always engaged in deep conversation whilst his cutter quietly worked its way down another sheet of plasticard.  

 

More about the kitson tomorrow.

 

 

Andy

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I need to drag you along to the Telford event later in the year Andy...

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