Gardening and other pursuits seem to be distracting some elements of the club from the really important activity of railway modelling. At the start of the month there was an outbreak of helicopter spotting. This started with n Ex-RN SAR Mk5 Sea King being seen (and heard) over Odcombe, making a change from endless Wildcats and Merlins. Over another part of Odcombe this was followed by a sighting of an Ex-RN SAR Wessex flying from its base near Crewkerne to Westlands and back, with speculation that it might be the Lift West bosses’ new toy to go with their Whirlwind.

With some relaxation of lockdown taking place during July, there is the welcome news (to some at least) that we are working towards a safe re-opening of CS2 following all the rules, with lashings of hand sanitiser and strict social distancing – not too hard in a 7000 sq ft clubroom!

This month there have been further additions to Bob Alderman’s Modelling Musings this time covering such interesting topics as ‘landscape and the model railway’, ‘modelling steam locos’, ‘chemically blackening components’, ‘building a Roxey gear box’ and his thoughts on testing locomotives and test tracks in general – points not essential!

At last, 995 is ready for painting! The model is entirely scratchbuilt except for motor, wheels, tender axleboxes, smokebox door, buffers and a few detail castings. Nickel silver sheet was used for the platework, and other parts are turned brass. It has an old Sagami can motor fitted with a flywheel and a Zimo DCC chip which together make it run well, and it will start seven of Bob’s heavy metal bogie coaches with lead packed in fore and aft. The tender is weighted and bears on the back of the engine.

The 990s were the mainstay of express running on the Settle & Carlisle until the late 1920s, and 995 was loaned to the S&DJR briefly so it can legitimately appear on EN as well as the Summit (note splash guards – see below).

700 hours have been logged on the build spread over nearly three years which is slightly horrifying – unless we take the view that it kept Dave off the streets for the whole of that time! It just needs paint now, and luckily exactly what constitutes Midland red/crimson/lake is another world of pain… The model breaks down for painting into twelve parts plus a few detail bits that will be glued in after painting.

Our featured image is an expected arrival from the Southern at Kingsferry, but above is an unusual visitor from the LMS, also from the days before colour photography. The eagle-eyed may spot that one of the splash guards is missing and this triggered much discussion as to whether it should have none or both. It was suggested that the missing splash guard would only turn up once the other one was removed!

In the discussion that followed it seems splash guards were progressively removed when the Black Fives and Jubilees were introduced in the 1930s as this almost eliminated double heading. The purpose of the splash guards was to protect the oily bits on the bogie of the second loco from spray while picking up water from the troughs. Sometimes a train headed by one of these larger engines would need help which was more likely as not provided by a 4-4-0, but to retain these splash guards would be more trouble than they were worth, and to fit them to the new engines was deemed unnecessary.  No doubt they would have to be removed to inspect the bogie bearings on a regular basis. 

Next up is an actual working ground signal built for our 0 Gauge Evercreech New layout. It sits in a tubular socket with a weight and paddle which will be pushed up from below by a servo underneath, the signal returning to danger by gravity. The etched kit from MSE is ‘challenging’ and needs a lot of work. If you don’t want it to work and be lit then the new cast brass kit from Scale Signal Supply is much better and less taxing to solder up. Making these signals work, be lit, and be removable for track cleaning is a real “what was I thinking” job but it looks like it can be done. The tiny LEDs used in ‘The Shed’ (see May2020) should push up inside the lamp casing so that will be tried first.

The SB diagram for Evercreech New shows seven ground signals.  Two each on the crossovers, two on the goods shed entrance crossover and one on the lime kiln siding entrance. Just six more of the blighters to go! Only the ones facing away from the SB need back blinders (because they showed the signalman when the signal was on), so that’s four of them by our reckoning.

This apparently incomplete point is a finished handbuilt GWR style trap point for Heyno Junction. The guard and wing rails are a scale 2″ higher than the running rails so the switch rail runs up a gradient that takes the wheels over the top of the mainline running rail. It saves the expense of constructing a crossing (V) and the mainline rail is unbroken so you don’t get the wear that a crossing suffers. It seems to work even in model form with the out of scale wheel flanges.

This superb DCC Sound fitted BR Standard 9F in 0 Gauge has just been allocated to a local shed. Built from a DJH kit bought twenty years ago; it will be very appropriate both for Evercreech New, and the S&D themed garden railway it will normally work on.

This is the finished goods lockup for a Coombe Town a very promising new layout that we haven’t featured before. Just awaiting weathering now, but we understand it may be some time before Dom plucks up the courage to do so! 

Even more dirt on Kingsferry; these are Ratio’s GWR 4-wheel brake third and all third coaches with additional detailing, notably full interiors not included in the kits, and heavily weathered – by the time these were in use on the branch they were reaching the end of their lives!

Lastly this appeared at Yeovil Junction on the 10th June.  It was used for testing and route learning the Yeovil Junction and Yeovil Pen Mill link as it hadn’t been used for a while. Talking to one of the drivers, he said they were supposed to do four trips but had decided that three were enough before returning to Exeter.  They were bemused by the train crew depot, apparently they’re still trying to recruit staff.  The Class 37 is nearly 60 years old, i.e. considerably older than a lot of locos they replaced.

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