In lieu of our Open Day usually held in July our Group met up in a reasonably far away place to see big big trains (some of them fitted with sound) running in a lovely garden with excellent food and company. The weather gods smiled on us for the second possible date, and a great time was had by all. As a previous Chairman said “we are as much a social club with a railway interest as we are a model railway club”. £60 was raised for a local charity dear to the hearts of our wonderful hosts, but revealing which one would give the location away! In other news we are back to a single club night on a Wednesday, and the requirement for a recent negative PCR test has been dropped. Other Covid secure measures remain in force in line with current government guidelines.

Dave H has continued to assemble the model of the Rocket to act as a trophy for a new Gauge 0 Guild competition in memory of Bob Alderman. He figured out how to make the thing screw together so that he can paint the boiler barrel separately from the rest (which is mostly black). The rear boiler plate was soldered to the firebox, then the front plate (which will have the chimney soldered to it) was screwed on using a bit of channel soldered across the inside of the boiler near the front. After that the whole boiler was secured in place with a screw from underneath, locating onto the back plate. It’s a bit rough and ready ([Ed} this is most unlikely), but it all fits together quite solidly.

The tapped hole in the footplate is for a 6BA screw to attach it to its plinth – hopefully it shouldn’t be too visible. He’ll need to put one up into the tender too – it would be a shame if it fell off! The slot in the bottom of the boiler at the front is for the motorising kit if it’s being used – it’s offset to one side to clear the working inside valve gear which is supplied with the kit!

The really touching news is that because ModelU have 3D scans of Bob Alderman from a few years ago, they have kindly undertaken to print a figure of him wearing a top hat and waistcoat to drive the engine – just how cool (and appropriate) is that!

Allan finished another outbuilding for Mill Farm and has further weathered the roof of the chicken shed. He feels both of these buildings as well as the farmhouse of course will benefit from plant growth, moss, farm debris, old tools, machinery, hens etc when they’re placed in situ on the model.  One kind and considerate soul felt they just had to point out that the paving slabs were perhaps just a little bit overscale!

Some of you may remember this striking image of the S&D at Pitcombe as a teaser for an art exhibition at Pitcombe that featured some of Allan’s railway images a while ago. No doubt due to the pandemic this was rescheduled for September this year. The updated Flyer is reproduced below:

How could anyone resist Allan’s LMS Beer Van built from a 7mm Parkside Dundas kit – also perfect for The Alderman’s Hobson’s Brewery layout! Purists might notice the rather small ‘beer van’  lettering. Actually the wording is from a 4mm HMRS sheet as Allan is (in his own words) ‘too mean to pay out for a full LMS wagon sheet in 7mm’, He also didn’t like the waterslide transfers supplied in the kit. It seems Allan hasn’t yet fully entered into the spirit of 0 Gauge if he baulks at the price of a sheet of transfers! 🙂

Up in a big smoke, Dom continues to make progress on Coombe Town.

The stonework for the Goods Shed is now painted and ready to be varnished once the crane and its supports have been added to the interior, then this can all be weathered. The main roof structure was made up of 45 pieces of styrene and 3D print, before the tiling was added… the result is a solid, removable structure that will allow access and further detailing in the future.

The final picture shows the fiddle yard. The traverser was removed as Dom was finding it slightly irritating having to pick up locomotives and brake vans to switch ends, so have replaced it with Cassettes, two of which are shown.

Dave S has been shunning his 7mm Black Five and Fowler Dock Tank to build this N Gauge double slip in copper clad for our mini-modeller’s layout based on Hemmerdon Bank. It’s either for the fiddle yard or will need deep, deep ballasting! Perhaps due to the clubroom being closed for so long, there has been some movement in the long heavy fiddle yard boards and replacements in proper poplar ply are being mooted.

Finally we arrive at the engine that Verwood doesn’t really need apart from on High Summer Saturdays. Here pictured on some gash Romfords for fettling the suspension and drive unit.

July saw the chassis built, and the firebox rebuilt – square this time. The PDK supplied Lemaitre chimney appeared too tall, but after studying photos of the real thing it was realised that the rim was overscale with too much material above it, and also that the prototype chimney did not have the lovely heavy flare onto the smokebox that the supplied one had. Cue much removal of material from both ends, and a large chimney that does now look shorter than the dome – albeit posed slightly too far back.

The original shallow etched running plate valances were replaced with 1.5mm deep brass angle, and new fastenings for the loco body provided to suit the modified SEF 4F chassis. The body was then raised 0.5mm on the chassis to get the correct ride height. The wheels are nicely centred on the splashers with just enough clearance – two different manufacturers getting it right – or at least wrong in the same way! The tender needed to go up another 1mm to match the loco ride height, and a tender coupling installed. In the fraught process of removing the old valance from the tender one of the leaf spring ends was caught with the iron. 😦

A shiny very Q shaped butterfly emerging from that ratty old Airfix 4F chrysalis!

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