Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Workbench Witterings’ Category

It is now less than two week to go to Canute Road Quay’s appearance at the excellent Railex exhibition organised by friends at the Princes Risborough and District MRC, being held at Stoke Mandeville Stadium, Stadium Approach, Aylesbury, Bucks, HP21 9PP on the 26th and 27th May  and I have been busy with final preparations.

An overall view of Canute Road Quay. Picture copyright and courtesy C Nevard and Model Rail

Even with a small layout like Canute Road Quay good preparation is required to ensure things go as smoothly, and just as importantly enjoyably, at the show. Canute Road Quay being only 5ft x 1 ft is somewhat easier to load and set up at a show than Fisherton Sarum but the steps for getting ready for a show are pretty much the same. The preparations, some are more obvious than others, include the following:

  • preparing packing the stock being taken and just as importantly in my case deciding what stock not to take!
  • track and stock cleaning, to ensure good reliable and slow speed running
  • checking coupling heights and uncoupler operation
  • general layout cleaning and dusting etc.
  • preparing and packing the loose detailing items (vehicles and packing crates etc.)
  • layout ancillaries, including:  transformer box, cables, lighting transformers, trestle supports, extension leads, curtains, spare controller, name badges, and relevant tools
  • operator comforts including: high stool, mugs (for the all important tea) and sweets and snacks (to keep up energy levels and act as a bribe for my fellow operator(s))
  • paperwork: show information and layout information sheets for prospecting exhibition managers
  • arranging operators to assist me at the show, somewhat easier with Canute Road Quay (in this case just the the one, in in the form of  friend and fellow modeller Simon Paley), than the larger number required for Fisherton Sarum!
  • overnight bag, if required, but not in the case of Railex as it is only 20 minutes from home

The revised fiddle yard arrangement the split cassettes feed arm can be seen

I have also made a small change to the way the cassettes in the off scene fiddle yard (a grand title for what is really just a shelf…) are handled and the electric feed provided. This is to make it easier to connect the cassette as previously I had two phosphor bronze spring clips fixed to the base which both provided the power feed to the aluminium section on each side and also ensured correct  alignment with the exit road. This arrangement also meant that the cassettes had to be aligned and slid in from the left hand end which was not all that practical due to the overrun protection at that side of the yard.

A closer view of the power feed arm and spring clip

I have now changed the nearest power feed and cassette alignment clip to be on a small lifting arm made from a suitable shaped piece of wood, complete with a nice little brass drawer handle. This enables the spring clip to be moved upwards and out of the way of the side of the cassette.
This arrangement now gives two advantages: firstly the cassettes can slid in and aligned easier from the front operating position; and secondly means that even with cassette in position the arm can be lifted isolating the cassette, where previously the cassette was live when the layout feed it adjoins to was live.

The feed arm in the up position

The cassettes I am using on Canute Road Quay, as I have mentioned before on this blog, are the 12″ loco cassettes from Fisherton Sarum and the some of these are made up on one side with two 6″ lengths of aluminium angle which I bridge electronically with a bulldog type clip and this allows for further isolation of a tank locomotive at the far end of the cassette.

Further to my previous post here about visitors to the quay  I have making some changes and or finishing touches to a couple of the locos in my fleet which may make and appearance the weekend, both are examples of the latest releases from Hatton’s in the shape of their delightful ex SECR P class 0-6-0t,  see my review here, and also their 14″ Andrew Barclay

A Hatton’s P Class now detailed and weathered

The P Class No 1558 already suiting my 1946 to 1949 modelling period being in post war SR black with ‘Sunshine’ style lettering has had crew fitted (in case the excellent ModelU 3D printed examples produced by Hatton’s specifically to fit the P Class), real coal added to the bunker and has been weathered.

The modified and weathered Hatton’s Andrew Barclay

My Hatton’s Andrew Barclay 14″ 0-6-0t has now been modified by replacing the existing buffers with wooden dumb buffers. The original standard buffers simply pull out and then the area of the bufferbeam filled flat to remove the rivet head detail. The wooden dumb buffers have been fashioned from rectangular plastic rod and suitably painted.

A further view of the Andrew Barclay

I have removed the original WTT branding in my usual way by rubbing with a cotton bud loaded with enamel thinners. As coal bunker space is pretty non-existent on these locomotives, having seen it photographs of the real thing added a couple of sacks of spare coal on just inside the cab and the other balanced on the running plate.  She has then been weathered to represent a pretty unkempt condition of such locomotives that were used on some of the other lines and private wharfs that existed in and around Southampton  area especially along the River Itchen. Like the P Class crew has been added using the ModelU 3D printed examples produced by Hatton’s.

If you are planning to visit Railex please make sure you come and say hello. I am stand 61, towards the right hand back corner (as you come into the hall)

 

Read Full Post »

This week saw the first of the new Hornby ‘Original’ Merchant Navy Pacifics hitting  the retailers, see my Talking Stock #35 post here for more details and also the full size ‘Rebuilt’ Merchant Navy Pacific 35006 Peninsular & Oriental S. N. Co. steaming in public service for the first time in 2017 on the  Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Railway (GWSR) for the week of services allied with the Cheltenham Races Festival. With this in mind I thought it was time that firstly I finished my model of 35006 in her as preserved guise (being a shareholder), and also that I mentioned the Rebuilt Merchant Navy Pacifics on this blog, although they are of course out of my usual 1946-49 modelling period.

Rebuilding the Merchant Navy’s

21C6 in original condition on Fisherton Sarum

Although in general the Merchant Navy class as introduced were a success, proving to be powerful and very free steaming, one of the outcomes of the less than scientifically carried out Locomotive Exchange trails in 1948 and further performance and efficiency tests carried out at the Rugby Stationary Test Plant between March 1952 and January 1952, showed them to be costing a lot in: coal, water, oil and secondly maintenance when compared to other classes. These costs along with issues of leakage of oil from the enclosed motion oil baths and the reliability and accuracy of the steam reverser / cut off setting led to the Southern Region looking at options to improve the engines.  The option chosen as opposed to trying to overcome the individual issues was to rebuild the engines with more ‘standard parts’.

Rebuilt 35006 in the sunshine at the Gloucester and Warwickshire Railway.

The task was given, in 1954, to R.G. Jarvis of the Chief Mechanical and Electrical Engineer’s Department at Brighton, his new design replaced the encased oil bath and chain driven valve gear with three sets of  more traditional Walschaerts valve gear, new style piston heads and rods, regulator and a screw-link type reverser. The ashpan and grate were also replaced and included hopper bottom doors and front and rear dampers. A new fabricated smokebox, superheater header and steam pipes were also fitted.
The frames, outside cylinders, boilers were retained along with the: Bullied-Firth-Brown wheels (although now needing balance weights to be fitted), axleboxes, the efficient ‘clasp’ locomotive brakes and the ‘Stones’ steam generator for electric lighting both for the engine headsignals and in cab lighting. The same tenders were utilised, albeit with the side raves cut down to ease water filling access and reverse running view. The drawbar between the loco and tender however was replaced.

Reflecting on  superb standard of external finish on 35006.

Externally the ‘Air Smoothed’ casing was removed giving the look common to the recently introduced BR standard classes, although the characteristic oval shaped smokebox door was kept. Sanding, from replacement sandboxes, was also added to the leading driving axle, whilst rearward application was incorporated to the middle driving axle and new mechanical lubricators were accessibly mounted on the running plate alongside the boiler.
In 1955 the British Railways Board gave authority for fifteen of the class to be modified and authority for rebuilding the remainder swiftly followed. In February 1956 Eastleigh works released 35018 British India Line in its newly modified form (35018 as the prototype rebuild remained unique to the rest of the class as the front sandbox filler position and injector pipework differed), by October 1959 all the class had been rebuilt.
Performance of the rebuilt engines was indeed successful, solving most of the maintenance issues, although one drawback was that they put greater loads on the track, than the largely self balanced originals, as a result of increased hammerblow, caused by the balance weights required for the Walschaerts valve gear.

My model of rebuilt 35006 as preserved

The release by Hornby in the year 2000 of the rebuilt Merchant Navy locomotive heralded a new generation of model steam locomotives by Hornby and was a step change of standard of models reactive to competition in the market place and gave us a new super detail standard featuring blackened finish handrails and wheels with etched brass valve gear, detailed cab interior, and a five pole motor housed and driving within the locomotive itself. Over the years a number of the class have been released with a few modifications to the tooling along the way, although as yet none of the first series engines as rebuilt have been released as the 5000 gallon style tenders they were paired with have not been tooled.

My model of 35006 in as preserved condition

As 35006 in preservation has been paired to a brand new built larger 5100 style tender I have used a Hornby R1038 35012 United States Lines (split from a train pack) locomotive as the basis for my model.
Firstly I removed the cabside number numbers via my usual method of soaking the Hornby printing in enamel thinners and rubbing off with a cotton bud and replacing with HMRS Pressfix decals.

A front 3/4 view of 35006 based on the Hornby Rebuilt Merchant Navy with detailing parts and etched plates from RT Models and Fox Transfers

New nameplates and smokebox door number plates were fitted along with an extched 72B Salisbury shedcode plate on the smokebox in the slightly higher position than usual, level with the lower smokebox  hinge, on 35006 which was a charactoristic of her when in service. All the plates were obtained from Fox Transfers.
I replaced the front steps as supplied by Hornby by the more robust lost wax cast versions, along with a set of the cylinder drain pipes to complete the front end look, obtained through RT Models, from his excellent Albert Goodall range.
As I am modelling 35006 in her preserved condition I want to to also represent her superb external paintwork finish with a reflective and classic oily rag polished hue and have therefore given the model a coat of Kleer floor polish to give a such a finish to the paintwork (and also seal in the decals).

More details of 35006 and the locomotive Society can be found on my dedicated page here.  Also it is worth mentioning the 35011 The General Steam Navigation Locomotive Restoration Society that was formed last year with the intention of not only restoring 35011 back to working order but doing so back in original air smoothed condition condition complete with Bulleid’s oil bath encased valve gear incorporating chain drive elements to fill the gap in preserved examples left by the entire class having been rebuilt.

Read Full Post »

With a nod to the fact that today, 23rd April, is not only St Georges Day, but also the date on which William Shakespeare is understood to have both been born and this year the 400th anniversary of his death, hence the stretching of a few quotations from his writings (so much more than witterings) in the title.
My last Workbench Witterings #4 post detailed some of the locomotives I have been working on and finishing over the last few weeks and this Workbench Witterings #5 post shows a few more.

The Kernow Model Rail Centre O2 number 225 now weathered

The Kernow Model Rail Centre O2 number 225 now weathered

First up is a pair of the Kernow Model Rail Centre ex LSWR Adams O2 class, 0-4-4Ts in the form of two mainland versions in SR post war black livery. Number 225, Kernow Model Rail Centre release K2105, was already in post 1946 SR black so has been lightly weathered, crew added

O2 Number 225 will be coupled to a Pull Push set using a prototypical screw coupling

O2 Number 225 will be coupled to a Pull Push set using a prototypical screw coupling

(nice and simple to do as the cab roof is designed to be easily removed) and real coal added to the bunker.
She will generally be seen on Fisherton Sarum sharing duties with an M7 class loco coupled to my Pull Push set number 734 or the Kernow Model Rail Centre ex LSWR Gate Stock Pull Push sets when they arrive.

O2 Number 193 on shunting duties

O2 Number 193 for use on shunting duties

Number 193 started life in BR lined black livery as 30193, Kernow Model Rail Centre release K2106,  and repainted into unlined SR livery, unlike 225 is non pull push fitted.
Now backdated to number 193 as well as crew on the footplate and real coal added to the bunker she has been fitted with both red and white lamps at each end on the lamp irons above the buffers, as per a locomotive carrying our shunting duties.

A rear 3/4 view of O2 number 193

A rear 3/4 view of O2 number 193

I have also, carefully using a small razor saw, cut out the cab doors as these were only found on the pull push fitted mainland O2s (although those on the Isle of Wight also had cab doors). To reduce the distance that the tension lock coupling extends past the buffers I also shortened the NEM coupling pocket slightly by cutting off a few millimeters from the front face and holding the tension lock coupling in with a spot of glue.
If you own one these Kernow Model Rail Centre O2s it is also worth checking that the back to backs of the driving wheels are correctly set to 14.5mm, as some have reported issues with haulage which has mainly been due to the back to backs being slightly too wide and simple to rectify by pushing the wheels in slightly, not that mine needed any such adjustment.

A repainted and weathered Bachmann E4

A repainted and weathered Bachmann E4

Next up is a Bachmann ex LBSC Billington E4 Class, 0-6-2T repainted and numbered as 2486. Although ex LBSC locomotives they could seen seen across a wide area of the Southern network. After the closure of the Salisbury Western Region shed in 1950 the ex SR shed was allocated numbers 32506 and 32486.

A rear 3/4 view of a work stained E4 number 2486

A rear 3/4 view of a work stained E4 number 2486

This was reported as being much to the annoyance of the ex WR crews on the duty shunting Fisherton Yard as they preferred their previsous GWR pannier tanks! So modellers licence regarding the bringing date of allocation to Salisbury slightly earlier will apply on Fisherton Sarum. She has been finished in a condition where she could benefit from a good clean and a bit of an overhaul.

Van B number 231

Van B number 231

Finally for now, it is not just locomotives that I have got round to finishing off with a bit of weathering, also seen here are a couple of Non Passenger Carrying Cars.
Firstly the Hornby Bogie Van B that I  mentioned on my Workbench Witterings #1 post after repainted into malachite green a while ago as non stove fitted version number 231.

A weathered Bachmann PLV

A weathered Bachmann PLV

The other is a Bachmann PLV, Parcels Luggage Van (coded PMV in BR parlance) and is still in Maunsell green under the layer of grime.

As I said before I have managed to catch up with finishing a number outstanding projects and these last two Workbench Witterings Posts don’t yet cover them all but I wont bore you with more pictures of weathered black locomotives for now  so watch this space for something different next time around.

Read Full Post »

At long last, assisted by a few days off work over the recent Easter weekend, I have finally completed a few outstanding items on the workbench. This has mainly been around renumbering, naming and weathering a few items of rolling stock so I thought I would share with you some of the locomotives that I have now finished.

I have detailed a few times on this blog my method of renumbering (see Workbench Witterings #3 here) and also weathering (such as in this post here) so I wont repeat all those details this time.

Battle of Britain Class 21C149 'Anti Aircraft Command'

Battle of Britain Class 21C149 ‘Anti Aircraft Command’ with her distinctive orange background to the emblem

First up, is a Bullied Battle Britain Class 21c149 ‘Anti Aircraft Command’ for friend and fellow post war period modeller Robin Sweet (Gwrrob on RMweb) for use on his excellent, albeit GWR,  layout ‘Brent’ based on South Brent in Devon to represent one the regular SR crew route familiarisation turns, via Dawlish to Plymouth that also took WR engines over the ex LSWR north Dartmoor route.

The other side of 21C149 the addition of the RT Models front steps and Cylinder Drain pipes certainly complete the look.

The other side of 21C149 the addition of the RT Models front steps and Cylinder Drain pipes certainly complete the look.

21C149 was in this period a Salisbury engine, so again like the N Class I have done for Rob before, again a nice link to Fisherton Sarum, but Exmouth Junction must have hijacked her for a while…
She started as a Hornby 21C159 split from one their train packs as this was in the correct condition with the original forward position of the safety valves, She gained the wedge shaped cab modification in March 1948, was named in April that year and not fully renumbered to 34049 until April 1949. In addition to the renumbering and naming using HMRS Pressfix decals and Fox Transfers etched nameplates, I also fitted front steps and cylinder drain pipes from the excellent RT Models range, Springside Models front lamps and real coal in the tender.

S15 number 829 with Urie flared topped tender

S15 number 829 with Urie flared topped tender

Secondly are two Hornby S15s,  one as number 829 from the first batch of the Maunsell S15s built in July 1927 paired with a Urie style tender and one as number 845 from the third batch of Maunsell S15s  built in October 1936 paired with a Maunsell flat sided bogie tender.

S15 number 845 with Maunsell flat sided tender

S15 number 845 with Maunsell flat sided tender

Number 829 was a Salisbury allocated engine during my 1946 to 1949 modelling period, whilst 845 was initially allocated to Feltham but in 1947 was moved to Exmouth Junction and therefore would also have regularly been seen at Salisbury.

Schools Class V 929 'Malvern'

Schools Class V number 929 ‘Malvern’

Finally for now, is Hornby Schools Class V number 929 ‘Malvern’ whose repainting and numbering was the topic of my Workbench Wittering #2 post way back in June last year! Now finally her weathering is complete. As I mentioned in that post Schools class number 929 “Malvern” was one of only seven members of the class not to regain malachite green livery after the war, but stayed in SR black until January 1949. The Schools Class V were not often seen at Salisbury in SR days but as she was a Brighton allocated engine from 1947 my excuse is that she has arrived on one of the Brighton to Plymouth services that changed locomotives at Salisbury.

That’s all for now, I will post some details of some of the other items of rolling stock that I recently completed in due course.

Read Full Post »

This weekend I finished changing the identity of one of Hornby’s excellent S15 Class 4-6-0 models to represent 30847 one of the locomotives preserved by the Maunsell Locomotive Society. I carried out the work on behalf the Company Secretary of the Society and it was a pleasure to assist him in getting a model of 30847, that has been lovingly restored by members of the Society, and has seen frequent service on the Bluebell Railway.
Further details on the actual 847 / 30847 can be found on the Maunsell Locomotive Society’s website here, in addition to 847 they also have U class 2-60’s Nos. 1618 & 1638, Q class 0-6-0 No. 541 and Schools Class V 4-4-0 No. 928. If you are interested in joining and supporting the Society click here. 

Carrying her new identity as 30847 just prior to the cabsides gaining a coat of satin varnish.

Carrying her new identity as 30847 just prior to the cabsides gaining a coat of satin varnish.

The donor locomotive was a Hornby R3328 No. 30843,  although I have detailed my method of changing model identities on this site before and I generally followed my usual processes, I detail them again here for reference. In this instance I did not require to repaint the model and for a change I would be giving the locomotive a BR identity.

Another view of 30847 the replacement smokebox door number can just be seen.

Another view of 30847, the replacement smokebox door number can just be seen.

I actually removed the entire number on each cabside rather than just try and change the last digit (as generally the available transfers never quite exactly match the factory applied numbers) using good quality enamel thinners on a cotton bud, this also leaves the are where the numerals have been removed as a shiny surface finish which is good for the application of the replacement transfers. I took care not remove the existing small 6F power classification printing. I then replaced the numbers starting with the centre digit ‘8’ and working outwards on both cabsides, as this I find it easier to keep the numerals level, using HMRS Pressfic transfers sheet 14 BR steam era loco and coach insignia.   To seal the number transfers and retrun the cabsides to an ex-factory finish I masked off the model just leaving the cabsides exposed and sprayed with a light coat of Railmatch satin varnish.
The smokebox door number plate was changed using transfers from the Fox Transfers FRH4099/003 – Southern Region Smokebox Numbersets 30726-31059 set which simply and neatly covers the existing printed number plate.
To complete the identity change I fitted one of the very fine (and small!) etched shed code plates for 72B (Salisbury) also from Fox Transfers. Finally I finished the model by adding its detail pack of brake rigging on both loco and tender, front steps and cylinder drain pipes, although it should be noted that the packing does require some trimming to allow the model to fit back in once these items have been fitted.

I hope the owner will be pleased with his S15, now 30847, and if readers are able to support the Maunsell Locomotive Society in anyway, I am sure you will be more than welcome.

With a break from real work planned over the Christmas period I hope to be able complete a number of outstanding projects so watch this space for further ‘Workbench Witterings’.

 

 

Read Full Post »

Fresh off the workbench today is a Hornby Schools Class R2844 number 30934 “St Lawrence” in early BR lined black but in my time honoured fashion, as per my post here,  has been repainted and renumbered to appear as Number 929 “Malvern” in Southern post war black livery. Again this is one of those projects I started a while ago but felt was about time I progressed nearer to completion.

Hornby Schools Class now repainted into SR post war black, numbered and named as 929 'Malvern'. Now just awaits weathering.

Hornby Schools Class now repainted into SR post war black, numbered and named as 929 ‘Malvern’. Now just awaits weathering.

Following repainting and HMRS decals being applied, her “Malvern” nameplates, from Fox Transfers were fixed and the separately fitted details such as pipework, windows and safety valves refitted.  Real coal has also been added to the tender. She now awaits weathering as per my usual methods, I tend to wait until I have a number of items ready for weather to get the most from setting up the airbrush and spray booth etc.

Schools class number 929 “Malvern” was one of only seven members of the class not to regain malachite green livery after the war, but stayed in SR black until January 1949 when she was renumbered to 30929 and outshopped in British Railways lined black.
She was allocated to Bournemouth shed in 1946 before moving to Brighton in 1947> The Schools class were not often seen at Salisbury, but from the perspective of Fisherton Sarum, she might have arrived on one of the Brighton to Plymouth services that changed locomotives at Salisbury, that’s my excuse anyway…

Read Full Post »

As promised a few posts ago when I first opened the box on my Wild Boar Models  45T Ransomes and Rapier Steam Breakdown Crane I thought it was about time I started “a whats on my workbench” type series of posts, so welcome to the first of my “Workbench Witterings“. I am sure I am similar to many modellers in that I have a large number of both unstarted and or unfinished projects on the go,  so hopefully this series of posts might encourage me to actually get on with completing a few of the outstanding things currently on the go…

The Wild Boar Models $T Ransomes and Rapier steam crane is nearly complete, just the rigging to go.

The Wild Boar Models 45T Ransomes and Rapier SR steam crane is nearly complete, just the rigging to go. I have modelled number 1561S

First up then is progress on the above mentioned 45T steam crane. Following the comprehensive instructions for this kit has been pretty easy and all the parts, a mix of 3D printed and brass etchings have good together really well and enabled painting to commence. Where the parts needed to simply clip in place or be held with brass wire acting as hinge pins such as between the weight relieving trucks and the main carriage or the crane body and the jib the they have done so very easily. The rest of the items including the etched brass detailing parts such as handwheels and cast name and information plates have been attached with superglue. The components were then primed using the the trusted Halfords plastic primer rattle can and then top coat brush painted using Humbrol matt 32 to represent the SR Grey livery as first carried by  the SR steam cranes before they became black in early British Railways days. I took the opportunity last week to give her a test run on the High Wycombe and District MRS test track and all was fine, although a little additional weight has now been added to the underside of the main carriage truck. All that is needed to complete is the rigging from the fine cotton supplied as part of the kit.

The Hornby Van B is now in malachhite green as number 231. I have also replaced the roof ventilators with white metal castings.

The Hornby Van B is now in malachhite green as number 231. I have also replaced the roof ventilators with white metal castings.

Secondly is the repaint of a Hornby Bogie Van B from its original blue livery to malachite green, embarrassingly looking back at this blog post here I actually started this at the end of last year! Before reassembling the Van B I took the opportunity to replace Hornby’s representation of the roof vents. Although these are separate mouldings  I felt they looked a little flat so replaced them with some suitable cast white metal ventilators from my coaching stock bits box (but I think there were originally obtained from Southern Pride Models) and then repainted the roof. She now awaits some weathering before she enters my operational fleet on Fisherton Sarum.

Now to kick off / complete a few more projects so watch this space…

 

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: