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Train spotting at Finsbury Square


31A
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3 hours ago, Clive Mortimore said:

can you order a 7th set of custom transfers?

 

Transfers for these are on one of the Cambridge Custom Transfers sheets  - most probably the ex-LNER NPCCS one, but if John happens by he might tell us.

 

Since AFAIK there's never been a kit, I always assumed John must have built himself one at some time.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 25/02/2021 at 12:08, 31A said:

Here's a thing you don't often see modelled.  The latest Great Eastern Society Journal had a picture of a BR CCT, that was converted from an ex Great Eastern Railway suburban coach.  It's quite an elegant vehicle, as parcels vans go.  There were two types, bogie CCTs and PMVs.  They were quite short lived, the CCTs were converted in 1956-7 and withdrawn in 1962-3.  Originally they were used on the Anglo Scottish Car Carrier service and some had big lettering on the sides to that effect.

 

I unearthed this, which had been lying in a drawer for too many years:

 

IMG_3889.jpg.a4f23d6002d8ac40e635a597250b428e.jpg

 

It's a few millimetres longer than the vans in question (2mm at each end - does that sound better than saying 4mm?), but the profile is just about spot on to the drawings of GE coaches in "Historic Railway Carriages".  I decided to have a go at using it to make the CCT version, which naturally has end doors.  The PMV version might have been less work, but I suspect they retained the curved under ends which the Grafar coach doesn't have.  I didn't have any drawings to work from, but by re-scaling the BR outline drawing in Longworth I was able to get the sizes and positions of the doors.

 

So I cut sides from 10 thou plasticard; normally I would have used thicker but I didn't want to make the coach much fatter than it already was.  Droplight frames were also made form 10 thou., and holes drilled for handles etc.

 

I then cut away bits of the donor's sides that coincided with the new windows.  The seats are part of the body moulding, and had to be nibbled away in a couple of places so as not to be too obvious from the outside.

 

IMG_3897.jpg.b9ccfe51c59cc8012eec95b0fd11a9eb.jpg

 

Bearing in mind that they were made from thin plasticard, I stuck the sides to the body with Dl Limonene solvent which I hoped wouldn't melt and distort the outsides.  I'd scribed the outlines of the doors on the ends, and then built up the end door detail from Evergreen strip, rod etc.  I copied a Lima CCT for this (the doors seem to have been very similar); in fact I did consider cutting the ends out of the Lima van and inserting them into the Grafar body, but that seemed too much like extreme surgery!  Door handles were made from wire and brass pins with the heads squashed, and with the body temporarily back on the underframe, it looked like this:

 

IMG_3898.jpg.8a4016569228d1d3112375b0700bed85.jpg

 

The underframe is a modular construction in four parts, which made things easier in some ways.

 

IMG_3899.jpg.d8266fa5c775444ea18f1903bbdaf858.jpg

 

The bogies have the correct wheelbase and are pretty much spot on in other details, so didn't need much doing to them.  They have a particularly nasty tension lock coupling moulded on one end, but the other end has mountings for a 'standard' T/L coupling, so I sawed off the integral ones and attached Bachmann short couplings at the other end (the holes needed enlarging slightly.  The wheels that came with it were pretty nasty too, but a rummage uncovered enough suitably - retro Romford Jackson wheelsets (new enough to have pinpoints) which fitted nicely into the bogies and have produced a very steadily running vehicle.

 

IMG_3920.jpg.eff425114e6dac65f34dde2f7f7f9b73.jpg

 

Underframe details were mainly guesswork based on the aforesaid drawings of different GE coaches, and photos.  Some of these vans seem to have kept more of the lower stepboards than others; I decided to model them inn full as they are quite a distinctive feature.  So step boards were made from etch scrap; truss rod posts from split pins and wire insulation; hand brake wheels from a 51L Models fret.  On the end sections, some nice turned brass buffers (from a packet labelled Cav'ndish Models), and drawhooks.  I looked in the usual places for some proper GE buffers, but the GE seems to be poorly served for coach bits.  The brass ones I've used are reasonably similar, the bases should be square - if I ever find some better ones, they could be replaced.

 

IMG_3921.jpg.acf2124eb000afb7b2ba2c10fca5f9ab.jpg

 

From there, it was all downhill really.  Other underframe details (Battery boxes, brake gear, dynamo) were arranged as best I could guess from the photos, using various castings soldered to a metal sub base which was then glued beneath the body.  The roof had all the moulded ventilators removed.  Rain strips on these vans also seem to have differed; some retained the original long ones whereas others had them replaced with short ones above each doorway; I retained the long ones.

 

The modular construction meant the different elements could be sprayed separately, which was a bonus.  Transfers were HMRS Methfix, but I had to compromise a bit.  The real vans were labelled CCT(E) but I had to be satisfied with CCT.  The tare weight markings on the sheet are for BR standard vans so the TARE 25T is a bit of a fudge, hopefully doesn't look too bad, and the dimensions in the tiny insignia also apply to BR standard vans but are only legible under a very good magnifying glass!

 

So there we are, something a bit different!  In the lower picture the outlines of some of the original windows are visible but in reality  this isn't normally obvious; some pictures of the real vans show that the new panelling wasn't always too smooth, anyway,

 

P1030045.jpg.bb5d28fdebc1415cb94acaa2c102d8cf.jpg

 

P1030046.jpg.6029dbcbe7e79ea557a3ed9df9ede949.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excellent project Steve, I agree with others that it's great to see older stock - that might not otherwise ever emerge from the drawer - converted and re-used like this and it really looks the part.

I have a couple of similar ideas brewing, so this is quite inspirational...:read:

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2 hours ago, Chas Levin said:

Excellent project Steve, I agree with others that it's great to see older stock - that might not otherwise ever emerge from the drawer - converted and re-used like this and it really looks the part.

I have a couple of similar ideas brewing, so this is quite inspirational...:read:

 

Thank you, Chas!  When I started measuring up the Grafar coach I was quite surprised by how well it compared with coach drawings in general, although a few millimetres short for the LMS coach that I believe it was intended to be based on.  I think I originally got it with the idea of making a representation of an ex GE non gangwayed coach that had had its beading replaced with flush panelling, but as far as I know it has the wrong number of compartments for any Great Eastern coach, so I'm glad to have found a use for it after all.

 

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12 hours ago, 31A said:

 

Thank you, Chas!  When I started measuring up the Grafar coach I was quite surprised by how well it compared with coach drawings in general, although a few millimetres short for the LMS coach that I believe it was intended to be based on.  I think I originally got it with the idea of making a representation of an ex GE non gangwayed coach that had had its beading replaced with flush panelling, but as far as I know it has the wrong number of compartments for any Great Eastern coach, so I'm glad to have found a use for it after all.

 

I'm of an age to remember when the Graham Farish oo coaches first came out.
I had a five coach corridor set which, I'm afraid, I got rid of.
I still have my four coach suburban set, now rebogied with Bachmann LMS bogies. The Farish bogies literally wore out. I didn't think I'd be able to put bearings in them.
As a stand alone set, I'm very happy to run them alongside more 'scale' models I have built. They are a 'Belt and Braces' set. All of the same quality. They are part of my model railway history and I love 'em.
If you look at the superb model of Liverpool Lime Street, you will find rakes of Farish suburban coaches running.
They have the origional bogies that have been fitted with bearings.
RESPECT.
Chris.

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  • 4 weeks later...
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That valve gear is really nice isn't it Steve? Lovely weathering mate. Once again I find myself feeling jealous of you weathering skills! Those Thompsons look really lived in! 

Regards Lez. 

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11 minutes ago, lezz01 said:

That valve gear is really nice isn't it Steve? Lovely weathering mate. Once again I find myself feeling jealous of you weathering skills! Those Thompsons look really lived in! 

Regards Lez. 

 

Thank you Lez, glad you like it!  Yes, the valve gear is a huge improvement on the earlier LNER engines I've got.  I don't think I appreciated all the detail until I started doing the weathering, and it makes it easier to see once it's done.

 

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  • 1 month later...
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Very nice Steve. I do like a working ground signal mate.

Regards Lez.

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42 minutes ago, Mallard60022 said:

Just magic Steve. Love the 'bounce' too.

A work of intense concentration I bet.

P

 

Thank you, Phil!  I'm afraid some "non RMWeb" language was used at times!!

 

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17 minutes ago, LNER4479 said:

Very enjoyable afternoon playing  ... er ... operating trains at Finsbury Square.

I think your post has shown me more of Finsbury Square than I have been able to see in one place before. It all looks magnificent. I have to conclude that 31A, with his very selective photography, is actually rather modest about just how good the whole layout truly is. No need - this is mustard!

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27 minutes ago, LNER4479 said:

Very enjoyable afternoon playing  ... er ... operating trains at Finsbury Square.

 

 

 

Lots of lovely buildings and all round atmosphere. And not forgetting the ground signals. Very impressed with the simple but effective weights to give a satisfying clunk-thud to  accompany their operation. And not a milli-volt in sight!

 

I think Steve and Peter Denny would have got on rather well.

 

Thanks for coming over, Graham - it was great to have someone else to operate ... er ... play with the layout, the time seemed to go really quickly.  Glad you enjoyed running it!  Thanks for  putting the pics up, too.

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8 minutes ago, Oldddudders said:

I think your post has shown me more of Finsbury Square than I have been able to see in one place before. It all looks magnificent. I have to conclude that 31A, with his very selective photography, is actually rather modest about just how good the whole layout truly is. No need - this is mustard!

 

Thank you for those kind words!  I think I crop the pictures that I take quite drastically to cut out unwanted background stuff.  Also I tend to take photos by putting the camera / phone down on the baseboard in the absence of a tripod, particularly as the lighting isn't very good and long exposures are called for.  Graham's hand held ones have come out very well, though!

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

I can’t think what adjective would describe this layout. Words like superb, excellent, and breathtaking seem inadequate. It really is , too my mind one of the most outstanding layouts I’ve ever seen . 

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On 31/07/2021 at 21:34, Chas Levin said:

Lovely job! :)

 

On 31/07/2021 at 21:47, jazzer said:

I can’t think what adjective would describe this layout. Words like superb, excellent, and breathtaking seem inadequate. It really is , too my mind one of the most outstanding layouts I’ve ever seen . 

 

Thanks both for those kind words!  I didn't think it was really that special myself, but glad people seem to like it!

 

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13 hours ago, 31A said:

 

 

Thanks both for those kind words!  I didn't think it was really that special myself, but glad people seem to like it!

 

It is small things such as this that makes the hobby such fun to do and watch Steve.

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