Zoom AGM today (Wednesday 12th May) with a new Chairman and Treasurer to be elected, and re-opening the clubhouse the following week to look forward to. Some of us have been very busy in the garden taking advantage of the dry weather, but still plenty to report on the model railway front this month.

There are quite a number of MTH Stanier coaches that run on The Summit/Evercreech New. Simon K discovered through the 0 Gauge Forum that someone was laser cutting windows to flush glaze them. He obtained a couple of sets and put them in one brake coach, with pics below showing the before and after. The flush glazing completely transforms these coaches though fitting them is a slight challenge as some windows seem to be a bit big and others slightly small.

Our Secretary Simon was keen that more 4mm stuff was included so below is a photograph of some wagon kits he has built recently, along with a very interesting Lego creation, apparently driven by an App on Simon’s phone. Lego clearly not what it used to be! 🙂

In the now really rather seasonally pleasant north, Dom has made a start on the Goods Shed cladding for Coombe Town, two walls of the main shed are now complete. He is detouring from the other two to build the exterior platform and cattle Dock before returning to the final two walls.

He has also got around to painting and weathering the Wills Brick bridge kit that forms the scenic break. Seen in the attached photo with my latest locomotive acquisition, the Bristol Port Authority Peckett. Although not GWR, the livery is exquisite and is a nice nod to his degree days spent in Bristol.

To continue the 4mm scale theme this is the lovely EM Gauge Claude Hamilton that John built around the time that he joined YMRG in 1984.

Back to 0 Gauge and John’s Claude Hamilton in 7mm will clearly have a live chassis, since two wheels have had some five amp fuse wire soldered across the backs of the treads, after being wrapped round the axil to short through the chassis thus saving a full set of pickups. This has to be done very quickly with a very clean large iron. NB. Slaters guarantee is now void! The etched balance weighs are stuck on with Araldite and they and the rims are chemically blackened

Also on the Claude the lubricator has now been piped up and fastened to a bracket fixed to the frames by a twelve BA screw and nut. I did it this way because so much else is soldered to the lubricator with different grades of solder and it is a solid brass casting which would be a perfect heat sink! This is a Ragstone product. The exquisite cast priming wheel will be removed until the loco is painted. Lacking a pipe and rod drawing I haven’t a clue where the pipes went and all the pictures I have show them in different places. As the lubricator is on the right-hand side of the loco and there isn’t one on the left-hand side it is obvious that some pipes go across the loco. Imagine having to repair one of those pipes between the smokebox and the slide bars. Steam engines ain’t romantic!

Dave H has not had much modelling time for the last two months, but is determined to finish at least two of the Shelf Queens before the summer.  A start has been made on the two underframes for the 6 wheel coaches. Dave has adapted the Slaters parts from their GWR Siphon kit but using a separate brass frame  – so far so good.

They will be finished with Slaters footboard supports and some old IKB parts for brake gear and axleboxes, and of course the buffers which Dave S is kindly 3D printing for him. Yes Dave H has shambled into the 21st C. at last! With some help he created a 3D drawing of the buffer housings, and we’ll see how they come out.

The first photo shows the frames so far – they use inside bearings on the Gibson wheelsets but they are quite free running nonetheless. The long spring rods are 1/2mm piano wire, and the centre wheelset slides from side to side while the outer trucks swivel on the pivots. It’s all a bit floppy but it works. They will go through all sorts of pointwork at breakneck speed without any extra weight, which is a good start. The second photo shows the buffer housing drawn using Fusion360.

Back in 4mm scale the road bridge that carried the B3081 past Verwood Station was laser cut in Frome.  It did not go well as the lasering software changed all the colours and line thicknesses.  By the time the unfortunate operator had (unknown to me) ‘fixed’ the files – much intricate detail had been lost, and the brickwork only very lightly scribed!  Anyway, the output from that exercise was test built to chase out as many bugs as possible.  Just for effect it was (partially) coloured with pencil – and yes there were things to change and add! There remain some questions as to exactly what went on where the piers meet the wing walls which will only be resolved by examining the real thing which survives though now bypassed by the B3081 that surprisingly can be followed all the way from Ringwood to Prestleigh near Shepton Mallet.

A huge update on the Black Five just missed the cut for the March blog and saw the working chassis complete apart from the DCC Chip. The full story of the chassis is in Black Five Part 1, with the March update starting from the fitting of the ‘snot’ green brake hangers. One of the many highlights from this massive update is the bogie for the Black Five fitted with a design of deluxe side control picked up from Bob A.

And the finished job:

The chassis was then painted matt black and the inside red. What price those lovely 3D printed springs now!

Once painted it was just a matter of putting the valve gear back on and trying it out on his yard of O gauge track with little low speed control from my Hornby Dublo controller. [Ed] I would add a link to the video Dave made, but as is customary now the soundtrack is a little disturbing for Youtube. It does still run as well as it looks!

Dave S took a break after the chassis was primed and made a 2mm Fine Scale wagon chassis. He asked Jim if he could have a go at making one as he had a few to do. Satisfyingly fiddly.

Later in the month Dave S moved onto the body and this is covered in considerable detail in Black Five Part 2.

From this the very lovely cab:

April saw firebox, boiler and smokebox finished, and a trial fit could be made of the body on the chassis.

Before continuing further Dave S needs to sort out a DCC sound chip for the loco. The chip will need to be able to work the servo for the forward/reverse mechanism from a function key.

And finally, according to our only 2mm finescale modeller, the best scale left to last. The photograph below shows Jim’s “cameo layout” Bordesley North, which appeared in its first form at Railwells in 2019. On it are the 10 “Clam” ballast/spoil wagons, made from Parkside kits but on etched brass underframes (of which Dave S assembled one). Also lurking are two “Shark” ballast ploughs, which are N Gauge Society kits but again sitting on etched 2FS underframes. Only (!) painting and decals left to do, plus fine wire couplings.

The layout is due to appear at the 2mmFS Diamond Jubilee “Show within a Show” at Warley this November, delayed from 2020. However, before then, I need to install the backscene created from photographs I took of the Birmingham skyline and stitched together in Photoshop by Richard Doust (a member of the 2FS Kent & Essex Area Group). Also, a second board, depicting either the end of a Freightliner Terminal and/or a diesel depot, needs designing and building. This will be attached to the left end of the existing layout so there will be two separate cameos, fed by one central (cassette based) fiddle yard. Watch this space…

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