Much improved weather, and still considerable progress being made on members projects despite the increasing demands outside. Although still on target to re-open CS2 from May, our much delayed AGM will be held over Zoom in the next few weeks. A comprehensive agenda is being prepared that tradition now dictates will not include ‘Any Other Business’! On the model railway front Dave H has finished lining and lettering two of his shelf queens – our featured image above. Now they just need some undergear. Only five more to do – and the rest of those working ground signals for Evercreech New…

The resumption of garden train services this month must mean that much nicer weather is already here!

Last month mention was made of the Southern pillbox brake vans that Peter is building from Cambrian kits. As recorded then, with the ‘advantage’ of having access to the real thing, he was all too aware that the distinctive brake shoes needed were quite unlike any provided in the kit, so he took a photo of the real thing and traced it in a CAD package with the overall dimensions. This was turned into a 3D CAD model in OpenSCAD and an STL file produced, with Lychee being used to add the supports and produce the sliced file for the AnyCubic Photon 3D Printer. The final photo shows the very fragile brake shoes (insufficient material round the brake rod) fitted to the 15T version – a proper team effort and all in a month!

They say that a fool and his money are soon parted, so apparently that’s DaveS and Jim so far. Might there be others in YMRG? Anyway, at the York exhibition one year, 2018 we think, we were exhibiting St Martin’s Wharf for Bob. Jim spotted a small O gauge loco, a Fowler 2F dock tank, for less than £100 and bought it. DaveS bought a Pug at the same dealer, Agenoria. The dock tank was an incomplete model but had wheels and motor. Jim decided to move it on as he had done nothing with it in the intervening period. DaveS thought that it would make a useful addition for Gas Works and could get it working reasonably quickly, and so he bought it. Needless to say there has been substantial rework since then with Part 1 of this cautionary tale here.

The 7mm scale 16/3 Claude Hamilton appeared out of the blue last month and I at least hoped for more. The mechanical and electrical parts have been successfully completed and this will hopefully constitute a fuller Part 1 of the build in due course. It is, or rather was a Mallard kit, but it seems very few Mallard parts will find their way into the finished locomotive. Fine detailing has now commenced and more can be found in Part 2.

Covered in Part 2 this is the D16/3’s smokebox door finished and ready for eventual fixing. John had the whitemetal one that came with the Mallard kit. The master had obviously been lathe turned because the tool marks were still visible. Useless, so it will form part of the ballast in Simon’s ex WR toad. The other was picked up at some show and is a brass casting. Because he wanted the loco to have the attractive steel ring featured, and doesn’t like metallic paint he lightly tinned it. The number and shed plates are from Guilplates. If anyone has difficulty painting the white numbers, here is a useful dodge. Pick them out in white gloss paint being careful not to fill the voids of the noughts and sixes too deeply. Allow a couple of days for this paint to harden and then paint the whole plate black and while still wet drag the plate face down on a piece of paper which has to be on a hard surface. It works every time. [Ed] Easily tip of the month/year – possibly century!

In the seasonally less Grim North, Dom has managed to finish the work on the photo plank for the time being. Overall, he’s pretty happy with how it has turned out, getting the look of the road correct was definitely a challenge though. In time it will get ballast and he’ll produce the embankment on the other side

At Verwood the weighbridge hut has been taking shape. The window has proven particularly troublesome and this is the third attempt to get the right ‘look’, just 1mm taller/lower than the previous effort. There was a gap in the base underneath the window, presumably this was to do with the mechanism for the weighbridge platform which was directly in front of the hut. The colour is still a moot point. Two credible colour photographs (in that other objects seem to be the right sort of colour) show the Dorset Farmer’s Depot to be a light blue, one of those shows the weighbridge hut to be the same light blue. Not a colour associated with the Southern Region of BR, but that’s where we’re probably heading.

Progress has also been made on the Overbridge with the artwork ready for a test cut and build. The intention is that the brickwork of the prototype will be very accurately reproduced.

The signal box artwork has been laboriously converted from CorelDraw format to AutoCAD dxf format, and further changes made to upgrade it to bring it into line with the overbridge. Most of the changes involve improving the appearance of the toothed brick joints, and also removing any raster engraved thinning to try to cater for 1.0mm MDF that turned out to be 1.1mm. Dimensionally accurate 1.0mm PresspahnK board will be used instead.

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