A bumper blog with lots of activity this month in the clubroom (CS2), and in homes across the South West of England and further afield. With Covid now somewhat behind us, attendance (and output) at CS2 on Wednesdays has increased significantly. The biggest change has been in the 7mm scale, with “Evercreech New” dismantled after what seems a lifetime and “The Summit” re-erected in its stead. Evercreech new boards can be seen in their stillage in the first view. These can (just about) be wheeled onto the tail lift of the 7.5T truck that we would hire to transport them.

In the view below glimpsed across the spine boards of The Summit is the Evercreech New board for Prestleigh Viaduct with a start made on some very extensive landscaping.

It was nice to see “The Summit” back so that all sorts of stock could stretch its legs. In the shot below, Jim’s 4F (purchased already constructed, but now modified) is sitting in the lay by siding by the signal box whilst the driver complains to the signalman about the poor current collection, affecting its slow running. The signalman is suggesting (a) installing pick-ups on the tender wheels and/or (b) cleaning the driving wheels!

At the other extreme in N Gauge our mini-modellers are busy installing pointwork and wiring the new fiddle yard boards for ‘The Bank’ (based on Hemerdon Bank in Devon). Dean has rejoined the crew, and Dave S continues to help out, along with Alan.

Point motors have been installed with associated wiring now well in progress. Note the wiring diagram in top left corner of the above picture – always useful to have! Work continues on Holly Junction and Heyno Junction (00 Gauge DCC), and minor repairs and upgrades continue on the venerable South Junction (EM Gauge DC).

With the exhibition invite to the 2022 Taunton Show in October getting closer, Gary has been beavering away at the top end of his 7mm scale Halsdon Road on the station building (an architectural signature piece!) and the multi-storey car park.

Dave H has finished off one of the plastic wagon kits of a “prehistoric” prototype that were donated to him. Dave takes up the tale:

“I finished one of the free half-built wagons that Jim gave me just before Christmas.
This was the most advanced of them, but the solebars were too close together which meant that buffers couldn’t be fitted – I suspect that’s why the builder had given up. I had to hack them off with a blunt scalpel blade then fit them back trying to keep the wheels all in line.

There were no buffer beams for some reason, so I made some from bits of plastic, and fitted some buffers, couplings and brake gear from other kit leftovers. The brake lever is a bit of bent nickel silver, and I added the metal capping strip along the tops of the sides in plastic strip. Lettering is cut and shut bits from old Slaters and Fox transfer sheets to do the 1896 style lettering. It was meant to be a quickie, so I’ve left it with oil axleboxes – they might have been fitted by 1902.”

Peter B has sent us pictures of a few items that he has built for use on Market Bosworth (his P4 layout). To quote Peter: “The deal wagon and the Midland 1400 class are both London Road models kits built to P4. Not quite finished yet. The deal wagon needs chains to secure the load.”

“The building is a scratch built one for use as a coal office. Furniture is by Severn Models and scratch built. There were two agents at the station. Again, it is still not quite finished. I need to make some signs with the agent’s names on”:

David S has been increasing the loco stud on his S&D 7mm scale layout. The SR Z 0-8-0 is a DMR kit, now sold by Phoenix, and built by a (very good!) local builder for David:

Below are two photos of the S15 kit he is building – a Northstar kit from Gladiator. The tender and chassis are largely complete, the motion has been fitted and removed (with help from Dave S!). David is currently working on the body. He is hoping to have the S15 running by the end of the month.

Allan H has now applied some black paint to his Templecombe shedded 4F, constructed from a Connoisseur kit.

Allan has done a brilliant job bodging the inside valve gear from bits of scrap, rather than just purchasing Laurie Griffin castings – he is after all a 4mm scale modeller with 4mm cost expectations!

With the heavy metal monster (Wills T9) ready for paint, Steve decided to resurrect his Hornby T9 conversion to EM started in 2014 as a ‘quick win’ – roll eyes!

It uses a Perseverance chassis with twin beams and HLK hornblocks. By the time the correct ride height had been gained the frames had been reduced to a ‘power pod’ and a vestigial bit of frame above the bogies. The bogie has side control using coil springs and due to the twin beams takes the weight of the front of the body which is applied centrally between the bogie wheels. Steve’s usual Multi-box had been fitted with a Mashima 1224 motor, but in truth there wasn’t really room for this setup, so the more compact HLK RoadRunner has been fitted instead. The “Persy” brake etches were wrong on so many levels that a scan of the GA from Bradley was scaled and traced in QCad. This was printed it out and UHU’d to some .015″ nickel silver sheet and a set of brake parts was laboriously fretted out.

In the process of fitting the brakes it was realised that the chassis was set at the wrong height in the body all those years ago, so that had to be fixed too! Anyway it ran on South Junction last week, but despite packing the many voids in the etched chassis with lead it was only capable of hauling four heavy MK1 coaches due to those slippery nickel-slither build wheels that will be replaced with steel tyred AGW wheels after the chassis has been painted.

This engine will become 30729 which spent two spells at Bournemouth post-war. Still to be addressed is the cab cut-out which is 1.5mm too narrow for a narrow splasher T9, but fixing that will give me solid mounting points for the correctly stepped stanchions/handrails. Oddly Hornby have fitted brake pipes down both sides of the valance when one side should be a steam pipe, but happily one of those was made for the Wills T9 before realising it was almost always hidden on that sort of T9.

The Hornby tender hasn’t escaped Scot free either. Hornby supplied the 13′ wheelbase tender with their T9 even though most if not all T9s post-nationalisation had 14′ wheelbase tenders. Hornby did supply a 14′ wheelbase tender with their 700, and since the tanks are the same, and it is possible to buy the 14′ frames and keeper plate as a spare, the 13′ wheelbase chassis can be converted to 14′ with just a little bit of soldering to refit the loom. The uncompensated chassis didn’t ride well on EM track, so a Comet etched chassis has been fitted instead, and as none of the supplied brake blocks looked remotely LSWR, a new set was fretted out as per Steve’s Jidenco 700 conversion.

Bringing up the rear is another of Steve’s projects that was partially prompted by him being sent a photo of the back of the box at Verwood – a view he thought he’d never see. This photo has allowed him to attempt a very detailed and correct 3D model of the LSWR Type 1 Signal Cabin at Verwood with a view to getting it 3D printed.

QCAD has been used for the basic 2D drawings, and OpenSCAD to extrude, and move the pieces into position – all on a trusty Windows 7 laptop from 2011! The canopy elevation of the box is also complete and was probably unique in that the original diagonal framing had not been weather boarded and was mostly hidden behind poster boards. I’m contemplating modelling the whole box with and without the weatherboarding and fancy valancing because it’s really not much more work compared with all that crazy brickwork on the chimney, where the depth of the mortar can be varied with another parameter!

For the roof the slate laying is completely parameterised so that the size, spacing and lap of the slates can be changed on the fly and everything stays centred! Because it could be done, the boarding and rafters on the interior have been modelled, but not the bosses for the finials that Verwood probably had, and that survived on the downgraded box at Downton.

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