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Rolling stock progress time around. 

3 years ago, at the start of the first Covid lockdown, I took to making up a number of 2mm association chassis'. One of these was a shark brakevan. I had plans to use the N gauge society body for this and I wanted one because I have seen a photo of a shark at Wadebridge. 



Having built the chassis so long ago, in the time since, EFE have released their N gauge shark. This is a lovely model, but as I had this chassis built, I didn't want to waste it. 


For a birthday present I asked for a second shark so that I could convert it for use on the built up chassis. The time finally came so I set to transferring the body across. 


There were a few tweaks needed. I was going to build my own buffer beams, but I ended up cutting the RTR ones off of the EFE one which worked well. There is a slight differnce in the chassis lengths, say half a millimetre, but I have managed to hide that fairly well. 



I also managed to use the ploughs off of the EFE one which was a relief as it would have taken ages to bend up news ones out of brass. 



Finally, B&B couplings were added, the vac pipes and a touch up of the paintwork. Im pleased with the way it has come out and will not form part of a ballast or engineers rake. 


Just the vac cylinder and some weathering to complete it now. 



A comparison of the RTR EFE model on the left and the modified one with a 2mm chassis on the right. 


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A very successful evening at the club last night with a number of members working on the Cornish Lines project. 


Keith has installed another MTB motor. This is an extra one in comparison to what we had planned to fit before its first show, but the old Peco solenoid was damaged. Therefore, it made sense to change it over.


This one controls the points into the yard sidings behind the station. 


Neil continued re-wiring the frogs/changeover wires on all the points on board 5. The new motors were wired in but we didn't manage the reconnect the polarity changeover wires at the time. 


I finally managed to install the backscene on board 3. This needed blocks putting in underneath the trackbed which were made up from sections of 6.5mm birch ply. I then then drilled out the wood and glued in the threaded dowels so that the backscene could be screwed in. 





Finally, forward planning is very important. Once Wadebridge is exhibitable from next year, we will be moving straight on to the 'new Padstow'.

Two boards have been built for a number of years as they were originally going to be used to construct Bodmin North. Sadly, that is a project that is many years away so I have donated the boards for Padstow. 


2 more boards were in flatpack form ready for construction so I asked David and Jeff to put them together last night using our trusted jig. Countless boards have been made from that over the years. 


Another two boards of this size are still to be made and then 2 squares boards will see the subframes for the layout completed. 


An overall view to finish. More shortly. 


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Sweating the small stuff.


Over the past couple of days, I have made progress with building up some of the smaller items that add the finer detail to a layout. I always like to get a lot of this done part way through a layout build, otherwise it tends to get forgotten about. 


First up, I have folded up 2 Eckon greenhouses for use in a couple of the gardens along the large row of terraced houses. One, I have glazed with glue and glaze, the other using thin clear plasticard. I must say that I prefer the traditional use of thin plasticard as I think it gives a better finish. 



The second construction was a Shire Scenes cast iron victorian gents lavatory. This was a nice kit to build, the only tricky part was some of the valance on the top.



I then made up what I beleive is a Severn models set of steps. It was tricky to get the steps to line up perfectly but otherwise it is a lovely kit.

Screenshot_20230411-092343_Gallery.jpg.3e42fea7da91b77fcb086c6843e1969e.jpgThese will be placed just beyond the turntable where the old 12 wheel LNWR coach used to be that was used for training purposes. 


Next, I made up some Shire scenes LSWR platform barrows and trolleys. These are fairly simple to construct if you have a hold and fold jig. 



Finally, I made a a couple of LSWR platform benches. These were a real pain to make up as the slats did not want to slot into the legs. In the end I separated each slat at the ends to enable them to fit.

Next time, I am going to try a different technique by separating the decorative loop from the legs first. 



All in all, a successful few days and more progress should be achieved at the club tonight.


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  • 4 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Another month has gone past. Where does the time go.....


Anyway, this last couple of week's focus has mostly been the locos that will run on Wadebridge.


My Union Mills T9 has been the first to get 'the treatment'. Looking at my 4mm model of 30313, I felt I could extract more potential out of the model.



Union mills Models were a small company up in the Isle of Man the owner of which has sadly now retired and closed the business. Each model had great haulage capacity, but lacked the fine detail of modern releases.


I set to by filing off the old moulded handrails. Once smoothed, I then drilled holes for the N brass handrail knobs and bent a 0.25mm piece of wire to the correct shape for the handrail.



Next, I added the cab roof supports which are also not supplied. I filed off a little bit of the cab side and then cut the wire to the correct shape which was 0.3mm if I recall. These were then glued in. 


The loco also needed lamp irons and vacuum pipes, so again, I used N brass vac pipes on the tender and a Dapol M7 example on the front. LSWR lamp irons were also from N brass, these were cut down a little to make a more scale representative height.





On the tender, I have added a proper handbrake stand and filed off the original moulded one. The coal door has also been drilled out. A shovelling plate will be added shortly. 



I have made a fall plate out of thin brass chequer plate to make the gap between loco and tender less noticeable.



The vacuum and steam pipes that run along the running plate have also been added and finally, I have made a start on the brake rigging using blocks from a Worsley Works T9 kit. 



The job which has made the biggest difference so far is the blackening of the wheel rims. It makes the loco look so much more pleasant to look at. 



The next jobs are to drill out the coal and replace with real coal. I will also add clack valves and separately fitted delivery pipes. New safety valves and a whistle will be installed as well. 

The model will then be painted and I will attempt to line it if I can and it looks right.

Next loco post coming right up. 


Edited by SRfanJV
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The next locomotive to get an upgrade is an old Graham Farish original Bulleid Light pacific. 
I renumbered this loco to 257 Squadron a while back as it was a Wadebridge regular and the loco that I had the privilege of my first driving turn on after passing out at Swanage last year. 


I wanted to upgrade one of these models to see how much I could get out of them, especially with the new Dapol models supposedly being a year or so away. 

The biggest issue I have with these models apart from the overall lack of detail is the bogie. the wheels are too small and it plainly just looks wrong. I looked at putting in one of the new Farish Merchant Navy bogies, which will fit, but I needed to make up a new pivot arm as the one supplied is too small to fit the older model. I therefore decided to try the N brass replacement bogie, which needed making up, but it had to pivot arms supplied and was a detailed example.



Upon arrival, it was made up fairly quickly. the most challenging part was the addition of the bulleid firth etch design on to the wheels as you needed to be absolutely sure that they were central otherwise it would look like the wheel doesn't run true. 



After bending up the pivot arm and painting the bogie, this was then end result. 

257wheelrepaint.jpg.aa28867fad0eba0fa8560485150cc09e.jpgI also painted the main driving wheel rims as per the T9, this makes such a difference to the overall look of the locomotive as it blends the wheels in and makes it look more of a model than a toy. 


Next, I decided to add the Stones generator which is seen on all light pacifics under the driver's side cab door. This provides the power to the front and tender lights as well as all of the lighting in the cab which can be seen below: 



This was a tricky fit as it initially fouled the bogie. I had to file of the bottom of the generator and push it up into the cab floor using the hole I had drilled as much as possible. you can see it in the photo below before painting. 



Finally, I have painted the top of the slide bar red which in reality holds and oil pot as well. The coarse nature of the model made it look worse, but adding the red paint has improved this area as well. The rear bufferbeam also received the same treatment. 



The next set of work will be to replace the coal with the real thing, add a fall plate, vacuum pipes and potentially add some of the pipework using the Farish Merchant Navy examples which I have ordered from Bachmann spares. If I can find some appropriate loco foot steps, then these will be added. SR route discs are also on order from Modelu.


A photo of the two locos in their current condition. More to do on both, especially the T9, but progress is being made. 



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  • 3 months later...

Progress on Wadebridge has been quite slow in recent weeks due to various commitments, but Keith has been doing a sterling job changing the rest of the point motors over from Peco solenoids to slow action MTB 1 motors. 


This has necessitated a number of cuts to be made in the baseboard tops to slide the MTBs into and these have been secured using pieces of right angle metal bracket. 



A couple of motors have been mounted so that they can be removed from underneath the layout due to the mounting for the backscene being in the way. 


This has a plug in it do that we can un-plug and remove them easily.



I have taken the time to continue with the backscenes so that by the end of the year we will have everything working the scenic section clearly identified and the track fettled so that 2024 will solely focus on the scenery. 


The curves have been made using my usual method of scoring lines in at 1 inch intervals and then pour hot water on to help create the curve. 



Finally, my other half is responsible for this one. I was coerced in to purchasing these three 'for the kids' so that when we take the layouts out to exhibition Thomas the Tank can make a sneaky appearance for the younger viewers. I suppose we can't be serious all of the time now can we. At least my bulleid pacific is going off to be weathered shortly. 


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  • 3 weeks later...
On 26/08/2023 at 15:47, grahame said:

This thread is new to me. There's some excellent and interesting work and developments on it.


Many Thanks for you kind comments. I am also following your outstanding work on London Bridge. A truly wonderful project in N gauge! 

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  • 1 month later...

The last couple of months has seen varied amounts of progress due to work commitments and holidays. 


However, we have now managed to get all of the point motors on board 3 working again and testing has taken place. There is one issue to rectify which is a microswitch in one of the MB1 point motors not switching. We have had this issue before so we'll look into that. 



To enable the changeover to MB1 motors away from solenoid motors on the scenic part of the layout. It has been necessary to change all of the point switches on the control panels from non bias sprung switches to normal DPDT switches. This has taken time and more expense than you first think. 



Wiring has taken a while and the process of tidying it all up is now underway.


Another large job to sort was that the LEDs used to change via a microswitch on the old point motors. However, this is now redundant so all of the wiring was removed and the changing of the LEDs occurs directly via the new switches. 


It's like Blackpool Illuminations in low light!



Finally, board 4 which has 13 points on has now had all of the new MB1s installed. The task of wiring the. Up and attaching the rodding to the points has now begun. We are currently complete on 5 out of 13 motors. 


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  • 2 weeks later...

Whilst Keith has been busy adjusting all of the point motor throes on board 3. I have finally finished wiring up the 13 motors on board 4.

In doing so, all 28 motors are now operational which is a big milestone. 


Some still need the rod and spring system to throw the points, but we are getting there. 


Down on board 6. I have finally repaired the level crossing gate mechanism. 

These gates have been scratch-built in brass. The control board for the servo's is a MERG kit that has been put together. This powers 4 Tower Pro SG90 servos. 


Once painted up again and detailed, these should be a real focal point in the town part of the layout.  

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