Summer is finally here and with CS2 re-opened in a Covid compliant manner, there is plenty to report.

With work parties back in CS2, Dick attached the wee pattresses to one of the arches. The overall effect is rather fine we think – it looks like it might well have collapsed without them. Dave H put in the drain pipes on the farm side of the viaduct (for which we had a photo showing where they appeared), but we’ve managed to mislay the photo showing the pipes on the other side. Daves S and H spent some time leafing through all the S&D books they had to hand. It’s amazing how much time we modellers spend doing that. They still couldn’t find it!

This is Allan’s finished poultry shed for the farm that is tucked behind Prestleigh Viaduct. The design is based on very limited information, and surviving local examples. Photos of the original show one more bay and window than modelled, but there is limited space at our disposal. The vents are Allan’s own design – vents of the period (1950s) are many and varied from what can be gleaned. The farm is known as Mill Farm and a search of the archives has indicated that the mill building was the one behind the poultry shed in the aerial view, the arrival of the railway blocking the course of the old mill stream and changing the use of the building.

Dave S slipped Dave H the second version of the 3D printed buffer housings for his Brake thirds. Here they are being Araldited in place. Dave H reports that they are excellent – much better than any casting could be, and very robust. Unlike 99% of buffer castings, the hole through the middle is in the right place, so nothing should be wonky! Dave found that the holes could be gently reamed out with a tapered broach. If you try to drill them then the plastic tends to fracture, which is odd because it’s quite tough otherwise. This is an excellent tip! [Ed].

A superb example of 21st century model making, the Shelf Queens have a mix of etched brass, white metal and lost wax brass castings, 3D printed parts, steel turnings, and styrene in them, but no wood in these two!

And with those buffers fitted and a coat of paint two Shelf Queens are now finished – both six wheel brake thirds. Our picture (and featured image) shows them top and tailing the first three which were finished in 2002! So his winter project has delivered about one third of its output with an overrun of 100% in time – though on a very low budget. The rest of the Shelf Queens will have to wait until another winter, but then as the days are already drawing in….

On the 7mm Claude Hamilton, one step back and two forwards. After many unrepeatable words and scorched fingers the boiler bands were attached – see last month. But they have had to come off because they appeared hopelessly out of scale on the photograph. Instead, John will use his usual method of putting the lining onto black paper and cutting them with a very sharp knife. It was then time to put on the vacuum ejector exhaust pipe, so the positions of the fastenings were marked out using a surface gauge. The handrail positions were also marked on both sides of the loco at the same time. The oak table was flat enough for this purpose. If John had wanted the use of the gauge to be even more accurate, he would have used a piece of plate glass.

A picture of the no longer dodgy Duchess that was promised last month and here she is! It has been claimed that onerous DIY duties (namely replacing a bathroom suite) have robbed Jim of the spare time needed to replace the former LMS insignia and numbers with BR ones, Ready for next month then?

This is an LMS horsebox photographed on Kingsferry, but built by Simon K in 4mm many moons ago from a PC Models kit. Simon, no longer a 4mm modeller, kindly gave it to Allan. Allan has added 3-link couplings (probably should be screw-link but he’s none left) and weathered it. We definitely like to see a nice, fairly rare, model of an interesting vehicle! Kingsferry incidentally has been easily our most visited web page since April.

For Verwood the 4mm Q Class makes steady progress. Utilising the old Crownline Conversion kit for the Airfix 4F, there is very little 4F involved and therefore surprisingly few compromises. Although a goods engine, their role on the Salisbury & Dorset seems to have been limited to hauling the summer Saturday holiday specials carrying Welsh miners and their families to the seaside at Bournemouth.

The kit includes almost everything needed to build the Maunsell 3,500 gallon tender, It was supposed to take the Airfix 4F tender drive, but instead rolls very smoothly on a twin beam compensated Comet tender chassis, and I did have to fabricate and fit a coal hopper. The fit of the Crownline etched brass parts was excellent, and of the castings only the water filler was out of register requiring a fair bit of rework and detailing.

Not a lot of the old 4F left! Only the backhead, boiler and smokebox (wrapped) will make it into my finished model. The flimsy half etched cab sides were reinforced and the shape of the cutout corrected. Then a complete replacement roof was fabricated so that the curve was continuous and appropriately peppered with rivets, complete with that characteristic front overhang. The 4F backhead and cab floor was heavily modified to look more Q like, with the backhead now lined up nicely with the cast whitemetal firebox that had to be raised 1mm to be where it needed to be. For overall layout and proportions, the Eastleigh Weight Diagram has proved invaluable. The build is being blogged on RMWeb, the original thread being hijacked halfway down the second page.

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