There has been much club activity over the year, but none recently in CS2.  Covid-19 had already made it a difficult year for a very sociable hands-on club, and then to compound our pandemic related woes, we received out of the blue a large back dated demand for business rates from South Somerset District Council.   As a result we have spent money that was earmarked for layout development on professional help to appeal the rateable valuation of CS2 as a commercial warehouse – a valuation that seems to us unrealistic for what remains a chicken shed no longer fit for chickens.  The result is that, like a number of leading model railway clubs, we have felt obliged to apply for charitable status.

Back to what makes us happy. Providing a nice view of the line ahead for the few, a newly acquired Class 120 escapes into the garden on a sunny day reminding us that much of December was unseasonably mild. The visit of this unit to the S&D is featured in Ivo Peter’s second volume with it pictured on 10 May 1958 coming through Midsomer Norton – the owner also has a shot of his as it approaches Masbury. Yes, the headboard really was wonky, but the coach should not have white at the roof end – that will be corrected.

And next….the completed 7mm Slaters LMS coach, just in time for Christmas! Though the roof has yet to be attached and the lining straightened in places – noticed only after taking the photographs! LMS purists will note the anomaly between the lining and lettering/numbering; the yellow lining would have been added after 1934, the shaded gold door numbering etc dating from before 1934 (should be yellow). In truth few of these Clayton ex-Midland coaches would have been around by the mid-1930s anyway, and probably in a sorry state.

On the “What I have been doing” front Dave S thinks that some of you should sit down. He’s started on his Black 5 again. Coupling rods and axle bearings. The coupling rods are needed to position the horn blocks in the chassis.

Lonely casting seeks similar mate

At the same time, looking ahead, he went looking for two casting for either side of the loco. There was only one. Looks like fabrication time unless someone has one in an odds box somewhere!

Stygian gloom under the canopy at Verwood – the real thing was no better

At Verwood work proceeded on the canopy with the styrene rafters and framing for the skylight being applied to the brass frame. The original plan to solder the brass frame to the supporting beams was found to be impractical, and instead some means will have to be devised to positively locate the supporting beams at the correct points on the frame so that the columns will remain correctly aligned, and in particular vertical. Most of the prototype canopy was covered in corrugated sheeting and this will be modelled in corrugated styrene sheet (as used for the lamp hut), and this will probably be cemented in place with epoxy resin to try to avoid distortion of the thin plastic sheets and shimmed to simulate the skinny overlaps. Repairs to the stairs and painting of the laser cut card version of the signal box continued – windows and sign next.

In other Verwood news the first 4mm scale Verwood Yard Crane kit was delivered to its new home on Semley, with the second kit spending most of the month either waiting for custom’s clearance or in transit with Canada Post.

Dave S has since printed a 7mm scale version of the 4mm crane by simply scaling it. The printing process ‘only’ took 16 hours – from a stupid o’clock start so that the necessary superheating of the workshop could be closely monitored. The picture was taken prior to removing any printing supports. The pillar and jib halves being printed vertically required no supports which saves material and the work of removing them.

As part of the same print run a very smart line up of wonky roof vents was printed for the Verwood Signal box. Towards the end of the month thoughts turned to reproducing the signalling arrangements at Verwood and there will be more on that next month. With the benefit of a tiny bit of hindsight at least some signals will have been built, if not actually painted!

Looking a lot like fresh cowpats, Dave S has 3D printed some pattresses straight onto the build plate, and some with supports to see what difference there was, if any. The supported ones were slightly cleaner at the base, but that will not be noticeable when applied to the viaduct. Just a positioning template to laser cut so that we can position them accurately on the appropriate pier of Prestleigh Viaduct.

Next for mini-modellers out there – in the picture are two Seacows (bogie ballast hoppers) plus a cocktail stick to show the ‎true size. The top model is a Farish RTR version – current unavailable, but over £30 a pop if you can find one. Some may recognise the lower one as the [adjective removed] N Gauge Society Kit No.11. This is a “mixed media” version of the earlier all-etched kit No.4 for a Sealion, which apparently is even more of a challenge. The three Seacows and nine Sealions were taken to a cottage in Penzance in October [kidnapped perhaps], and it was quickly ascertained why they have been sitting in the UKD (unbuilt kit drawer) for probably 15 years…

To (almost) finish a blast from the past. Circa 1986 South Junction was set up in the Great Hall at Coker Court for the Railway Modeller to photograph.  This is the original South Junction that could just about be squeezed into the attic room that was then our clubroom several long flights of stairs above the hall. The photos pre-date canal tunnel and pub, and of course the two extensions permitted by ever larger clubrooms.

Much more recently in December 2014, Chris Nevard visited to photograph Gasworks and South Junction for Model Rail. One of the splendid pictures taken that day that really deserves an airing is our featured image of Rebuilt Bulleid Light Pacific 34108 Wincanton hauling John’s splendid rake of green Kitmaster coaches. The engine is the Hornby model re-gauged to EM by Adam. This train is very popular on our Open Days and with vaccinations going ahead, let’s hope an Open day is something we look forward to in a Happier and Healthier New Year for us all.

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