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Izzy

Priory Road - North East Essex in BR days

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I have looked at whether EZ line would be feasible for me, but I am not sure. The idea behind using the steel wire is too be able to fit it without adding any strain to the posts, indeed to help strengthen the whole structure. I’ll try and explain a bit more when I next post. 
 

Izzy

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Making the OHLE

 

The N brass cantilevers are two layer etched nickel-silver arms fitted to brass H section posts. These are the bridge type.

 

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These were all made up using my 15watt antex iron with a 1mm tip, holding the paired up arms with a couple of pairs of sprung tweezers to keep them all aligned. I actually found I had to solder one bit at a time and then make adjustments to keep them properly aligned.

 

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Using the iron with a small tip meant that when it came to soldering them to the posts there was plenty of time to hold the tip in place and make small movements to get the correct position as it took a while for the amount of heat needed to build up.

 

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The insulators are small fold-up etches fixed in place after putting the arms on the posts. Meant to be made into a V shape and then squeezed onto the arm I decided to use some scrap etch soldered up into a double layer the same thickness as the arms to shape them. Folding/squeezing them up around it with snipe nosed pliers. These were then hung on the arms, soldered into place, and the bottom edges then squeezed up again using the pliers.

 

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My original idea was to just drill a hole and plug the posts into the baseboard. With the bridge cantilevers this was possible because the arms were located at the top of the post, and at the height I had decided on there was plenty of post left beneath the concrete plinth (some plasticard glued in place) to go right down into the board a considerable distance. Indeed the locations I had picked for these turned out to be just where an underneath baseboard support existed and the holes went right down the middle of it giving the posts a good firm seating. They felt nice and secure, and being very close to the bridge it seemed unlikely they would get caught/knocked and pulled about.

 

However, the main cantilevers with their larger arms extending further down the posts meant there wasn’t much left to push into the board. So I decided to put lengths of 8ba studding on the bottom and bolt the posts into place for secure fixing. These were soldered onto the ends of the posts with the 15watt iron using a much bigger wedge tip.

 

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And bolted in place. This means that not only are they nice and secure but can/could be removed at any time if needed, make adjustment or repair damage etc.

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One other simple cantilever made was a home brew job, two arms on one post, needed for where the two separate lines join just before the signalbox. In these kind of scenarios how the contact wires are held depends on how long/short the divergence is, the angle of the turnout. As this was quite sharp, an A5 wye if I remember correctly, I could use the two arms on the one post as exists at the passing loop in Kirby Cross on the Walton-on-Naze branch. If it had been more shallower two separate cantilevers close together would have been needed. Although it doesn’t really show one arm is set slightly higher than the other since the diverging wire sits over the other.

 

898986702_RMwebOHLE12.jpg.ee4d16268f5aa154061f1ce24bbf7da9.jpg

 

The support wire for the arms I added using 9thou guitar wire. This is the ad-hoc arrangement I used to hold the bits while they were soldered into place.

 

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I think this may show the different positions of the arms, which is slight and all that is required. It might need adjusting further when the wires are actually put in place.

 

As this cantilever required only one post with the two arms this gave a spare post which was used for the Termination post at the end of the platform. Some are made with variable tensioning but in this case with end of platform use it seems fixed tension is used. This makes for a much simpler construction, so is just a couple of bits of spare etch made up like the cantilever arm ends with insulators over them. And spaced at the contact and support wire distances.

 

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All that left were the fixtures for the platform. Two lattice type support arms. These involved a little more work which I’ll show next post.

 

Izzy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The single platform OHLE supports at both Walton-on-Naze and St Boltophs are basically lattice type half portals. Elsewhere most stations are two platform and use a complete portal over both the tracks and these use the smaller H girder section as used with the cantilevers both for the posts and the cross beam.

 

Looking at the N brass range it seemed it would be possible to make these single track platform stuctures from the light lattice portal kits with a 4 track one being cut in half to make the two required, a two track one not being able to be sited towards the back of the platform. The design of these is that they are etched as fold-up box section parts, both the posts and the lattice crossmember.  Formers are available to assist in making them up this way, but as I intended to cut them up it was suggested that slicing them into separate pieces and soldering them up to form the sections might prove better.

 

After looking at the etches I chose to cut the lattice in half as the complete etch, and decided to try my hand at folding one bit up as a complete unit just to see how it worked. For this I used my home made folding clamp. This is just two lengths of steel flat drilled and tapped near the ends to take 6ba bolts and with one set of edges faced off with a end mill to produced clean sharp 90 degree edges to help with producing a good fold.

 

1422022792_RMwebOHLE15.jpg.d9c97abe30aecd99b80b87bcb41b3de3.jpg

 

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All worked okay in producing the U shape with two folds but I got stuck trying to make the third fold to get the square box finish as one side seemed longer than the others. So I flattened the etch and then sliced it up using a scalpel. Multiple cuts were needed to get through the half etched tabs as they run the whole length of the etch to keep it square.

 

1539410241_RMwebOHLE19.jpg.90b7e92d2a0bd8c5959b8ff3dc5b3d74.jpg

 

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These all then needed filing off. The shots show them after this was (mainly) done. Once done they were made up as L shaped pairs and then tack soldered together to get the box shape before finally running solder along all the joints. One side on both the legs and lattice did indeed prove larger/longer than the others and so care was taken to keep them square before filing off the excess. This all seemed quite laborious compared to making the cantilevers so I was glad I didn’t require lots of portals.

 

As with the cantilevers I added 8ba bolts on the bottom to help retain them in place. Luckily the platforms being made in my normal method of printed paper covered mountboard meant cutting the square apertures to sink them in was fairly easy to do with a drill and then scalpel.

 

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An etched base plinth was soldered into place on the posts to seat them hard down on the platform surface. This was done after these photos were taken. I also added the insulators to the contact wire hangers, which you may notice I had forgotten up until the shots were taken. This is one benefit of many with present day digital photography, the ability to double-check work as it proceeds. Some posts were sunk into concrete rising above platform level, others were not and just had the steel plate base, so I chose the latter. I presume the posts go down into the ground beneath for some distance whichever is used.

 

At this time all these parts have now been packed away awaiting painting. As I have said previously it’s not warm enough for spraying with a Halfords rattle can outside and I don’t think hand painting would give the best finish with regard to the lattice work so that’s it until the warmer weather returns in the spring.

 

Luckily I have plenty else to keep me going, too much actually, and the desire to concentrate on Priory Road and another small project using mostly the same rolling stock means some of the 2FS stock I’ve acquired/built/converted over the last decade is hopefully going to be sold off. It will at least give some room for the 2/3/4 car blue grey 309 EMU which is on the starting blocks alongside a pair of Peco ‘Whisky’ grain hoppers nearing finishing……….

 

Izzy

 

 

 

 

 

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Have you considered chemically blacking the brass OHLE posts before painting? Makes it much easier to paint and less easily paint chipped. 
 

Tim

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Blackening doesn't just make it easier to paint the brass and subsequently reduce the tendency to chip, but it also means that any damage to the paint which does occur tends to just look like weathering - and the blackening can easily be re-added to the painted post if it does become necessary, just "paint" it on with a fine brush.

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On 25/11/2019 at 11:33, CF MRC said:

Have you considered chemically blacking the brass OHLE posts before painting? Makes it much easier to paint and less easily paint chipped. 
 

Tim

 

On 25/11/2019 at 13:35, bécasse said:

Blackening doesn't just make it easier to paint the brass and subsequently reduce the tendency to chip, but it also means that any damage to the paint which does occur tends to just look like weathering - and the blackening can easily be re-added to the painted post if it does become necessary, just "paint" it on with a fine brush.

 

Oh what a good idea, that you both. I have some Birchwood Casey blue which I use on DG's by default and some other brass and N/S things but never thought about it for these. It doesn't like solder but apart from that it's very useful. I usually brush it on, let it go black, and sometimes leave it a day or so before washing the bits. I'll give it a go.

 

Izzy

 

Edited by Izzy
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And this is the results of the blackening. Quite reasonable.

 

7620497_RMwebOHLE25.jpg.d05083312dd51b2deb8e95d962ac0bbe.jpg

 

All packed away now until spring, as is the layout in it's storage cupboard, while work is concentrated on other matters.

 

Izzy

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On 24/11/2019 at 19:46, Izzy said:

Luckily I have plenty else to keep me going, too much actually, and the desire to concentrate on Priory Road and another small project using mostly the same rolling stock means some of the 2FS stock I’ve acquired/built/converted over the last decade is hopefully going to be sold off. It will at least give some room for the 2/3/4 car blue grey 309 EMU which is on the starting blocks alongside a pair of Peco ‘Whisky’ grain hoppers nearing finishing……….

 

Progress on Priory Road looks excellent, and this sounds intriguing! 309s and grain hoppers - Witham perhaps? 

 

I've actually had a load of PECO grain hoppers half finished in a box for a while. Including some I tried to rebuild into the refurbished type with fewer solid ribs, rather than the many L ribs on the PECO version. I'd been meaning to print some new parts for the brake gear that tucks under the ends, and a new air brake type chassis, now that I have a 3D printer. But haven't got around to it!

 

I'd love to see what you've done with yours?

 

J

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Some nice looking work going on there Izzy, love the layout. Being Romford born and bread this is right up my street. I can remember trips to Clacton on 309's and always used to look forward to getting to Colchester and seeing what would be at the depot, happy days! 

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Just to go back to the beginning, I wonder whether the base supports have proved to be sufficient for you so far, or whether you might use more or less in future? I’m about to start cutting and thought I’d check.

 

thanks again 

 

John

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2 hours ago, John57sharp said:

Just to go back to the beginning, I wonder whether the base supports have proved to be sufficient for you so far, or whether you might use more or less in future? I’m about to start cutting and thought I’d check.

 

thanks again 

 

John


Not quite sure what you mean by supports but presume the side and crossmembers which are 40mm deep and 4 layer thick. These are okay for the baseboard width of 10” which is also 4 layer thick, but I think adding more layers would be advisable if the baseboard is wider or the members are deeper. The crossmembers were actually spaced to take account of where the pointwork was and allow for the tie-bar units and rodding working them so aren’t spaced uniformly. 
 

One of the distinct advantages of this type of construction is that extra layers can always be added on to what already exists if needed or more crossmembers just be shoved in.

 

I would suggest that perhaps 6 layers should be used for the top whatever the width though if not putting down a thickish cork top layer ( which I glued well down with pva).

 

Izzy

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3 hours ago, sb67 said:

Some nice looking work going on there Izzy, love the layout. Being Romford born and bread this is right up my street. I can remember trips to Clacton on 309's and always used to look forward to getting to Colchester and seeing what would be at the depot, happy days! 

 
Thanks Steve. Living in Holland on sea up until marriage, and Frinton since then I travelled on the 309’s from when they first arrived in the Maroon so having some has been a very long term aim. With the maroon done some Blue/grey are now intended. 
 

Izzy

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8 hours ago, justin1985 said:

 

Progress on Priory Road looks excellent, and this sounds intriguing! 309s and grain hoppers - Witham perhaps? 

 

I've actually had a load of PECO grain hoppers half finished in a box for a while. Including some I tried to rebuild into the refurbished type with fewer solid ribs, rather than the many L ribs on the PECO version. I'd been meaning to print some new parts for the brake gear that tucks under the ends, and a new air brake type chassis, now that I have a 3D printer. But haven't got around to it!

 

I'd love to see what you've done with yours?

 

J


I’m afraid the projects mentioned are separate. The next 309’s are intended to be a 2-car set in blue/grey to be able to run this later era on Priory Road with other stock mostly made. The advantage of the 2-car sets were that in the early ‘80’s they were made up to 4-car sets with converted standard mk1’s, and then reduced to 3-car when some of these extra coaches were given to the 4-car sets with buffets when these were withdrawn. This was all before refurbishment when they all became 4-car sets. So they can be used as 2/3/4 car sets during this time as in this later period they did do local services between Clacton/Walton & Colchester like this at times instead of the 302/308’s. Doing the blue/grey livery will be another challenge for me.

 

I have some of Chris Higgs nice underframes for a few Dapol grain wagons to do, but picked up a couple of the Peco whisky ones secondhand at the local show recently to make a change. Surprised how good and accurate both the bodies and underframes are. As there are no etched replacement ones I have just ‘thinned ‘ the Peco down, added a few bits of plastic for the bottom of the hopper, some hand wheels and better buffers and after removing side boards and plugging the holes have given them a coat of blue. Railtec do the right decals, but the two sets needed will cost as much as the wagons.....if I can find any pics I’ll post them. 
 

Izzy

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The Cement Siding

 

One of the aims with Priory Road is not only to depict both the Green and Blue BR eras but to be able to run as great a variety of stock as possible. So EMU’s and DMU’s as well as the odd loco hauled passenger can be run along with parcels/newspaper trains. The latter is what the shorter platform road is mainly meant to be used for alongside DMU’s.

 

While the real St Boltophs only ever had the single platform it did have extensive goods traffic and sidings and was situated right next to the garrison, being used to load military equipment up to and including both gulf wars, but on a general day-to-day basis it’s large goods shed became the area centre for BR parcels from the early ‘60’s until their demise, the nearby Hythe station becoming the location for the area coal concentration depot.

 

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Here is an area map I made some years back to help me with my then aim of producing a circular layout with a small through station based upon a line that was prosposed and started but abandoned before completion. ( There is a road bridge at Mistley over which traffic still runs that never saw a train underneath except contractors ones). The same happened in succesion with both the layouts I made before I finally concluded that I just didn’t have the room to make them viable for me, the second being smaller than the first before giving up on the idea/desire. As I had returned to 2mm specifically to be able to have such a layout (circular) I was then lost as what to do until came up with the plan for PR. So I now have far more rolling stock than I need and yet am still building more. Funny old world isn’t it……..

 

With the very small siding space that exists on PR trying to find suitable goods workings that would exist through both eras wasn’t all that easy, the conclusion being that most traffic would be trip worked from the main station of Colchester North seeing as how goods facilities on the Clacton/Walton branches had disappeared in the mid 60’s along with the Brightlingsea branch. It was this which has prompted me to feature as much parcels/newspaper traffic as feasible since without the space for a goods shed or more sidings copying St Boltophs in this respect wasn’t possible and led to the conclusion that the rear road behind the platforms would be best used for fitted van and conflat traffic, the idea being that the Military Barracks might generate quite a bit of the demand for both.

 

Having acquired wagons and made buildings for a cement distribution centre for a previous layout which never got completed it seemed a good idea to consider that the other siding was used for that purpose. I had wagons to use to span the time frame(s), the original presflo’s and later metalair types for a Blue Circle branded one and the location could be seen as a good one to serve the whole Northern Essex area around Colchester.

 

Unfortunately when I went to retrieve the buildings from their storage box to try and decide how to place them on the layout I made the discovery that they had started to disintegrate, a lot of the plastruct sections I had used turning powdery at most joints. I tried to rescue them but when this was unsuccessful decided that most weren’t really needed and they were ditched. However I had made a cement hopper based around the article in the first MRJ compendium on that at Barnstaple and sketches I had found online. As the basic body which I had produced in plasticard was okay, as was the soldered metal ladder structure, I made a replacement steel frame structure for it in brass.

 

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Not being able to find suitable size brass section I made it all out of thin brass shim sheet cut to size and bent up to form the U channel I used instead of H sections (as it was easier to make) with a bit of brass wire thrown in. You will understand that like most (all probably) of my modelling it is ‘representative’ rather than totally accurate.

 

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The corrugated sheet covering the higher parts is card crafting embossing foil (from my wife), which is slightly thicker/stiffer than cooking foil. This was squeezed to shape between two liquid glue (serrated) bottle tops. The ladder/walkway is mostly brass wire with some scrap n/s etch material. The Blue Circle signage was printed onto label paper and the small hut housing the compressor machinery is Scalescenes.

 

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Feeling that a building to hold/store bagged cement might be another source of wagon(van) traffic I made a concrete provender type one. A lot of these were produced and used for differing purposes in a variety of sizes based upon the basic pre-cast parts and so I chose to make one that was narrow to fit the width available between the siding and the rear wall and still allow lorries to get to the rest of the siding and the hopper, but twice the standard length so two 12T vans could be parked at the two sets of doors for unloading if desired.

 

This I made almost entirely in plasticard, a change from my more normal card/mount board and label paper construction, and bearing in mind the problems with the previous cement buildings I had encountered used thick sheets well braced and just overlayed with thin sheet for details.

 

782056969_RMwebCB11.jpg.243a2a088e44f1b7393c994b61e77f83.jpg

 

Once again the corrugated roof sheets were also produced from the embossing foil, this time using coffee-jar lids for a bigger corrugation. These were fixed in place with d/s tape.

 

423573715_RMwebCB12.jpg.1950461d47250f22fa34cc796eb4d532.jpg

 

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Not being able to locate octagonal tubing from which to make the cast feet on which these buildings stood I once again turned to brass shim sheet scoring and folding up lengths to the shape needed.

 

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I am not quite sure if the store is really a bit too big for it’s purpose, but it’s fills the space nicely and looks okay so it will have to do. You might notice that it actually has drainpipes. It is the first structure on Priory Road to receive them. The Signalbox and Station buildings will get theirs in due course…...well sometime.

 

427163800_RMwebCB16.jpg.195fb98d3bdbf4ac2c060d2d610df5a1.jpg

 

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And the complete siding.

 

925471175_RMwebCB18.jpg.a71391c70eed58a716dc1211894d52cd.jpg

 

As ever a long way still to go, but it’s getting there, and as is often said the journey is half the fun (mostly).

 

Izzy

 

 

 

Edited by Izzy
image location!
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Really helpful to see how you've turned that mix of metal and plasticard into the finished, blended-in structures.

 

Thanks Izzy

 

Simon 

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Looking good Izzy, I enjoyed reading the latest update, I didn't know the yard at St Boltophs was in use during the 90's, are there any photo's around of that, it would be good to see them? 

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13 hours ago, 65179 said:

Really helpful to see how you've turned that mix of metal and plasticard into the finished, blended-in structures.

 

Thanks Izzy

 

Simon 

 

14 hours ago, John57sharp said:

Thanks for the update and the continuing inspiration Izzy.

 

cheers

John

 

3 hours ago, sb67 said:

Looking good Izzy, I enjoyed reading the latest update, I didn't know the yard at St Boltophs was in use during the 90's, are there any photo's around of that, it would be good to see them? 

 

Hi All,

 

Glad my posts are of help and interest. I've had so much help from that which others have written about over the years it's nice to be able to do the same.

 

The goods yard(s) at St Boltophs closed in the early 1980's. That right in front of the station where the goods shed was (being National Carriers at the end), eventually became a car park for quite some years ( which I used a fair bit). If you search there are a number of shots online of it through the years from when it opened up to the present day, but none seem to show what I seem to remember of military equipment/vehicles loaded onto flats etc on the release road/end dock after the yards shut. My memory is that this was when the gulf wars were on, it has stuck in my mind and I have no reason to doubt it, but shots seem to show all track as lifted past about 1990, which wouldn't quite add up. Hm.......

 

Izzy

 

 

 

 

 

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Whiskey wagons & 309's

 

A bit OT for the wagons, but as they might well get a run on PR sometime and were mentioned in an earlier post with subsequent interest in how they turned out I thought some odd shots might be worth posting.

 

The Peco whiskey wagons appear to be quite accurate 1:148 models along with the 15' wheelbase chassis they are on according to the diagram drawing I have. These are the initial batch on swing-link w-irons/roller axleboxes rather than the later variants. Mine were picked up secondhand cheaply and as there does not appear to be any etched replacements available for the Peco underframes I just thinned them down as much as I could and popped 2mmSA wheelsets in, 3-holes on 14.8's. Oh nearly forgot, sorry, I also cut up a few bits of plasticard to mockup the bottom of the hoppers along with a bit of brass wire and some etched handwheels - spares from the 2mmSA BR GUV kit IIRC.  ( edit - these shots are before they were added).

 

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The bodies came with the full length advertising boards they first carried and after removing these i plugged the holes and gave them a coat of paint that seemed to match the shade needed, well, you know, reasonably well, allowing for a wide range of variation......      I also carved off the buffer beams and glued on some spare ones from 2mmSA chassis along with fitting some better turned brass buffers - small coach  I had to hand from, I think, BHE. They seemed to be a reasonable match for those fitted.

 

436209904_RMwebWW01.jpg.6c77ea942947d7111c2619cb9b1d33fc.jpg

 

Decals came from Railtec with the usual service. First rate.

 

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When I was just about to apply them I realised I had not removed the side ribbing on which the hoarding boards were fitted, so it was out with the scalpel and another coat of paint to touch up.

 

186723923_RMwebWW06.jpg.62190321806bf54bdf0de3dee17d4d4b.jpg

 

After the decals were on a coat of matt varnish over them followed ( not the whole body) and then a couple of thin dirty turps washes to give some crude weathering.  The results seem okay, quite decent layout wagons when viewed at normal distance.

 

789997736_RMwebWW08.jpg.9906beec10d1922ba5a5f06d7052c51e.jpg

 

 

This is a workbench shot of the start of the 2-car 309 build. I have codged up a motor bogie unit from a old Poole era class 33 bogie with an ebay 7x16 mated to it using a spare brass worm I had - Tenshodo I think - as it matches.  It works well despite the very low gearing.

 

2022059241_RMweb309v201.jpg.6485015004e8a07d7ceaee6592f5f8ae.jpg

 

 

All very early goings on, and looks quite crude - it is - but will hopefully look a bit better as things proceed. The coach chassis is from a Farish Blue Riband Mk1. Seems a shame to carve up this quality of coach, but I got four recently - all Blue/Grey versions with the right type of commonwealth bogies - for just £10 each so no real loss for me. The 309 bodies are Worsley Works etches. I'll do  some more details when I get the units built and running.

 

Hope everybody had a good Christmas

 

Izzy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Izzy
reset type size & add a bit
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  • Craftsmanship/clever 1

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