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.
A short month, but still plenty going on. Our big news, and a huge relief to members, is that our long running Business Rates problem has finally been resolved. A successful appeal with professional help to the Valuation Office has taken the Rateable Value of CS2 to below the 100% small business rates relief threshold, and as a result our very large back-dated business rates bill has been reduced to zero!
For Evercreech New a start has been made on the farmhouse that will live behind Prestleigh Viaduct. The photos show the front elevation – yes, the nice view no one but the operators will see! It has a card carcass faced with Slaters random stone sheet. Plastikard is used for the stone window and door surrounds which are flush with the random stone which has been cut around them, with stone mullions in a thicker Plastikard let in. The casements with central glazing bar might be in soldered brass, glazed of course, set behind the card carcass. A small area of white mortar has been added which picks out the stones nicely. The random stones aren’t quite a match with the original but in our view close enough.
The Triple Roman tiles employed on the farmhouse appear to be unique to Somerset and are not available commercially in any scale. An attempt was made to 3D model a small sheet of these tiles from an original tile. A small element of randomness was introduced to tile height and lap of each tile to improve appearance. The only successful print (of many attempts) was at 25° to the build plate giving a massive 12 hour print time. This print might have been the basis for a mould to resin cast the rest, but the plan now is for the roof to be made from Slaters corrugated sheet cut into horizontal strips overlaying each other and scribed down the roof slope to define the individual tiles. This produces a very good replica of this pattern tile. Painting should be fun – in a way that only a true artist could appreciate!
The now completed Parkside LMS meat van. In what will prove to be a disappointing blog for the rivet counters out there, purists may query the under scale lettering, Allan being too mean to buy one sheet of 0 gauge HMRS Pressfix transfers for just one model (actually two – there’s the other LMS box van previously published on this site). He used the largest lettering that he could find from a 00 sheet as the transfers included in the kit don’t work for him. There are no heating pipes fitted – the assumption being that these vehicles were attached to express fitted freight trains not passenger trains.
Out of the blue as far as this blog is concerned is this very nice Claud Hamilton D16/3 in 7mm has been leaded and now weighs enough to balance nicely on the driving wheels which are beam compensated. Not shown are the boiler backhead which is solid lead and awaits detailing and the underside of the cab roof.
The Clauds had splashers for the bogie wheels which were quite decorative and the locos retained these on rebuilding. None of the etchings acquired over the years had parts to build them, so these are made out of three pieces of brass and the photo shows where they will be located. A club e-mail exchange has established that these parts are being assembled on a well used example of the very finest sort of ceramic soldering mat! We would definitely like to see a lot more of this engine!
Peter discovered a couple of Cambrian Kits in his stockpile, the 25T one will be built as a WD one like the one at Yeovil Junction. The kits aren’t the best but with a bit of work and replacement parts they come out OK. A bit like the early Ian Kirk kits, which became Parkside and are now Peco. The tooling was all hand sunk just like Airfix. With the ‘benefit’ of being able to work on the real thing, the supplied brake shoes were obviously the wrong shape, so photos of the real thing were traced and a 3D model produced with a view to getting some 3D printed.
For Verwood the month produced a complete painted ground frame hut – though not much else! There wasn’t much of a plan when started, other than to attempt a modelled interior. The same corrugated sheet that was used for the lamp hut was employed, but this was laminated in two layers using epoxy resin to make it stiff enough without risk of solvent warping. The internal framing is purely decorative and applied with solvent. Rivet counters should look away now, for in counting the corrugations (as you do) I came to the conclusion that there were four corrugations where there should be five, something not noticed on the lamp hut. In addition, the timber framing is a square section and that’s unlikely too! As this is for an EM Gauge layout, I shall fall back on this being only an artistic impression. All photographs show the ledged and braced door to have been left open when the station was manned. This may allow a glimpse of the four lever knee frame, one that may have to be 3D modelled and printed from an example now at Midsomer Norton station when the law finally permits a visit. The only colour picture shows that the exterior had faded to a sort of gungy grass green. This same photo seems to show that the roof was the same green, when the Southern painting spec says it should be grey. I’ve assumed that the door was closer to a normal Southern mid-chrome green
It is most unlikely that the interior was ever lined or painted so is light grey to represent galvanised zinc ,and the framing is bare wood. The window is far too fresh looking and needs weathering. No laser cutting or etching for this one – it was all done the old-fashioned way. Of the three corrugated iron huts at Verwood that were in the immediate station environs and therefore should have been painted green – the lamp hut was black (ish), the ground frame green (ish), and the only colour photo showing the weighbridge hut (in next month’s update if your editor is spared) appears to show it to have been pale blue. This last is now thought to be a colour cast in the Instamatic photo, and it is actually just grey (ish) with a white window- but what colour to paint the door? It does seem to be a darker shade as does the roof.
The smooth rolling chassis of DaveS’s 7mm Black 5 is the featured image this month and what follows is a truly epic update on how this came about in our hero’s very own words:
Best start with the frame modifications. Small filler pieces were cut from the etch that the frames came from – correct thickness. These were soldered in place and filed to shape. The extra holes in the frames were also removed apart from the black triangle in the second picture. I decided not to cut that out as I’d have to make up extra supports for the Weigh Shaft that uses the small hole.
Once that was done the slide bars and their support casting were attached. The slide bars had already been fettled to ensure that the crosshead slid nicely in them. The support casting was modified to accept the slide bars. I did not attach the slide bars to the support casting, I did not see the need. Assembling the connecting rod, crosshead and centre drivers we find that it all works well with no binding.
The centre driving wheels (on my prototype) have stiffening webs round the crank pins. This detail was added to the wheels along with the balance weight etchings. Note to self, do not use the thick end of a cocktail stick to paint with – a brush may give better results.
Looking ahead one wonders about the best way to attach the return crank to the crank pin. Reminded by Keith, I looked at Bob Alderman’s instructions when he did his 8F. “Solder a Tapped Top Hat Bearing (TTHB) to the inside of the return crank”. This is all very well if you have TTHBs to hand. Here’s how I made mine.
Take six 12BA nuts (you’ve got 6 cranks to do) and assemble them on a long 12BA screw. Put the assembled nuts and screw in a small drill, the threaded end being held in the chuck. While the drill is revolving, use a file to take the corners off the nuts until they are round and about the size of the screw head. Measure the diameter of the filed nuts so that you can stop when you get to the size of available drill – I used 2.1mm. Next put a Top Hat Bearing (THB) in your lathe. Drill into the THB to a depth not greater than a modified nut. Other methods of doing this are available. Put a modified nut into the hole in the THB. They were a tight fit and needed to coaxed in with a hammer. Check that a 12BA screw goes nicely through the assembly. Add a small bit of solder round the nut. I had an oiled 12BA screw in place so that solder did not go down the thread. A quick filing finished off the assembly.
I used a mixture of pins and 14BA screws to assemble the valve gear. Not too many pictures were taken here. One side was a learning curve and some of the rods had to be shortened due to replacement casting being used which were slightly larger than the supplied white metal ones. The right hand side valve gear was eventually assembled and worked well, again, without binding and without the coupling rods. The thinking was that if they work individually then they’d be ok when assembled. And yes they did, but that surprise came later.
The expansion link trunnion castings needed modification on the inside to allow the link to rock. This trunnion casting was the one that was missing from the kit and supplied by Dave H from Bob A’s box of white metal castings. On modifying the casting for the left hand side, brain fade struck – I modified the wrong side! Could I make a recovery? In a word – no, so a fabricated one was made up from nickel silver sheet.
Once that was completed the final assembly of all the valve gear, con rods and coupling rods was done on both sides. [Ed] – a video with a most unexpected soundtrack has been circulated to members that proves the complete assembly to not only look good, but to be very free rolling!
With widespread vaccination and an end to lockdown finally mapped out, we can possibly look forward to a return to CS2 after 17th May 2021 – applying any government guidelines that would be necessary for such gatherings. A trustee meeting this coming Wednesday may discuss a way forward to the re-opening of CS2.
The start of another year, still in lockdown, CS2 still shut, but with the hope that the huge vaccination effort will eventually bear fruit. Plenty of bad weather still to be expected and therefore lots of scope for railway modelling – many previously legitimate distractions being out of bounds!
The month kicked off with us submitting our professionally prepared rateable valuation challenge to the Rating Office. We gather that it could be quite a while before we hear anything from that august body. In contrast, part way through the month the Charity Commission very speedily accepted our application for charitable status. As a result YMRG are pleased to report that we are now registered charity no. 1193100!
The lovely Kingsferry appeared as a very worthy Railway of the Month in the Railway Modeller generating a lot of interest.
There has been steady progress on the shelf queens. The photo shows the spraying and brush painting done on one of them, and the E.58 Tricompo having some running repairs after some bits fell off it during cleaning. It’s next for the paint shop – dated 2005 on the underside! Dave H is still getting good results spraying Phoenix paints even in this cold weather.
The lining of Queen No. 1 is coming along. The gold is done with a bowpen, then the corners are painted in with a small brush – gold then black works best for Dave. Finally the black lines are ruled in and the remaining gaps brush painted. Then all the mistakes and splodges are fixed. The ‘gold’ is actually an ochre colour paint a bit like M&GN loco colour. Gold paint is a nightmare in a bowpen as it clogs up and then waits until you’re not looking to splurge all over the place. Queen No. 2 is also coming on – Dave is going to try to get them both finished before starting the lining on the others. It takes a while to get your hand in again if you don’t do this very often. It’s in danger of turning into a Spring project at the current rate!
Allan popped along to CS2 (in splendid isolation of course) with card mock-ups of the farm only to find the baseboard had been removed from where the farm would be located. Nevertheless, with a little improvisation the attached pics show where it may be located and should give you all an idea of its scale relative to the viaduct. The road that curves round the farm is indicated with a strip of veneer he found. He did not include the ugly large flat-ish roof shed that fits between the farm and viaduct for the present, nor the pig sties beyond. The hefty old viaduct does an excellent job of concealing the farm from the viewing side!
The alter ego of Evercreech New is another layout that has been in the limelight with the BRM video of The Summit finally premiering on Youtube.
In 7mm scale a 5000 gallon Maunsell tender for a Southern Railway S15 4-6-0. Hopefully we’ll be seeing much more of this build of a proper engine over the coming months.
Also in 7mm scale Dave S has managed to sort out a very poorly 55H 9F. A change to the pickups, a different motor and mounts were required to achieve the fix. Needless to say this is a very different arrangement to what was there before. Dave wants the pictures to do the talking.
To prove the fix a video of this smooth and powerful loco being tested (also in splendid isolation) on Evercreech New. Watch out for debris on the track, red knickerbockers at the ready…
Having finished the 9F our hero moved onto a long term project – another completely unique Black Five – no two quite the same! Hope that you’re sitting down because an awful lot was achieved in January, and this could take a while. The full story in Dave’s own words will be the subject of a dedicated web page, or ten… Anyway this Black 5 kit is an old one. The detail on the chassis is lacking and also not quite right for the later prototype chosen. With the help of a side frame template from Keith and one of Dave’s Black 5 books, the side frames were modified, a job that should have been done before putting the spacers in.
Checking the angle of inclination of the cylinders.
The wrong sized hole; cut it out; fill the hole; put the cutout bit behind the new hole.
The finished sides ready for Holiday Hobbies horn-blocks to be fitted. These have bearings and are being fitted with a jig he bought at the Bristol O gauge show in January 2020 – remember when that sort of thing was possible?
Next the wheels were put on the chassis just to get a feel for it, and to see about the fitting of the springs under the horn blocks. The gearbox is an ABC one with a Maxon motor fitted. Basic cylinder thingies fitted too. The springs supplied in the kit nor the cutouts in the frame were suitable for the engine being modelled, So using a drawing from LMS Loco Profiles No 5 (The Mixed Traffic Class 5s – Nos. 5000-5224) publication, Fusion 360 was used to “knock up” a fair representation of the spring and hangers.
Six springs were printed, but with only a 50% success rate. Some prints had bits missing – cause unknown – but that’s 3D printing for you.
And so to the valve gear; from the fret, through assembly of the bits, to a set of valve gear ready for assembly. During that process Dave decided that it was not satisfactory to have the loco always in mid-gear. Working forward/reverse gear is required. In the third picture the Eccentric Rod is already located in the Expansion Link and can move up and down, and it will be very interesting to see how that bright idea pans out!
The next three pictures show progress in fitting the end fixtures onto the right hand cylinder. Most of the fittings are from Laurie Griffin (LG) as the white metal fittings supplied in the kit were not considered to be adequate for the job. Dave did use the white metal main cylinder front cover as it was slightly bigger than the LG version. The valve from the LG version was fitted to the kit supplied cover.
Up in the grim north the little photo plank is shaping up nicely. Dom has plucked up the courage to experiment with weathering powders. The first attempt was the bridge deck, and then onto the terraced houses, which he’s quite rightly pretty pleased with!
So with proper cold weather set in and now a third lockdown, your editor decided that it was time to start making the signals for Verwood – something he’d quite sensibly been putting off for years. First step was to collect together all the photos of the signals at Verwood, and other than what should be a bog standard Southern lattice Upper Quadrant of known height, it turns out that everything needed is available. Next, similar examples were sought to fill in details particularly for the unbalanced lattice bracket signal, which being Verwood is an unusual variant of the type. To further delay starting the actual build the two starting signals were drawn against scaled bitmaps, and dimensioned ready for the right moment to make a start – it’s never too late to procrastinate!
The build phase was commenced with something (very) small – the only ground signal at Verwood – a Southern Railway Westinghouse disc that controlled exit from the goods yard. An MSE etch that ‘with care’ can be made to work was used. Well, all the holes to do that have indeed been added, and lots of tiny washers have also been added to remove the floppiness in the moving balance arm – and we shall have to see once it’s painted. The largish iron plate that it would have been mounted on has also been represented leaving me more scope for ballasting round it, with the intention that it should appear to be fastened between the ends of two extra long sleepers.
Next up was a rail built signal post for the down starting signal made from, well rails. A jig was made to space the holes for the spacing bolts. Apparently the rail head should be to the rear – in case you were wondering. Signals need ladders, so emboldened by the ground signal a very long length of ladder was assembled on a newly acquired and built Southwark Bridge Models (SBM) ladder jig. The stiles are a very skinny phosphor bronze and the holes for the rungs needed to be opened out. not capable of doing that to the 0.2mm specified and owning a lifetimes supply of 0.3mm wire – this was used instead. The 0.3mm drill bit managed over 60 holes without breaking! By rights the end result ought to be a little fragile, but it seems well up to the job.
The next pictures show that the first stop signal (a rail-built Lower Quadrant (LQ) is now well on the way and about to get its ladder fitted. A SR/LSWR hybrid in real life it’s quite a hybrid in model form too. MSE contributed the balance arm, cap and lamp. Martin Finney etches contributed the arm, platform, all bearings and the lamp bracket. SBM provided the handrail. The rest including the Annett’s Shield was scratch built. For the 0.3 mm wire stanchions a representation of the knobs was added using a slice of microbore brass spaced with a piece of card. The curved safety loop was crafted from the strip provided to brace long ladder runs. With safety loop added something that looks really very flimsy is surprisingly robust. Paxolin jigs have been made to set the platform height relative to signal arm pivot, handrail height above platform, to bend and twist the handrail and to assemble the balance arm bearing. Only electricians multicore solder was used apart from attaching the whitemetal cap and to correct the shape of the lamp. It’s not perfect and the modified SR lamp isn’t glued straight yet, but good enough to add the SBM ladder and move on to the next one which will be the lattice LQ Up Starting signal.
As promised last month the current test build for signal box is now glazed, and has its 3D printed nameboard and wonky vent fitted. The mortar joints need to be more pronounced and hopefully this will be tackled on what should be the final version. I have since learned that Verwood signal box was probably unique in that the elevation sheltered by the canopy was never weather boarded and the cross braced frame could be glimpsed behind an array of poster boards, so this version is sadly not quite correct for Verwood.
Next up is the test build for the 7mm Verwood Yard Crane as kindly 3D printed by Dave S. It is the 4mm version simply scaled up in the 3D printing software. Happily the only changes needed from the test build are to increase the number of supports on the separately printed gear wheels.
Lastly a very heavy, but securely fastened warning to us all. And yes, there was some debate as to whether the crumbly half brick wall that lurks behind the modern plaster was up to the job! A much appreciated Christmas present, it has been carefully positioned to caution anyone rash enough to approach my tiny railway workshop.
There has been much club activity over the year, but none recently in CS2. Covid-19 had already made it a difficult year for a very sociable hands-on club, and then to compound our pandemic related woes, we received out of the blue a large back dated demand for business rates from South Somerset District Council. As a result we have spent money that was earmarked for layout development on professional help to appeal the rateable valuation of CS2 as a commercial warehouse – a valuation that seems to us unrealistic for what remains a chicken shed no longer fit for chickens. The result is that, like a number of leading model railway clubs, we have felt obliged to apply for charitable status.
Back to what makes us happy. Providing a nice view of the line ahead for the few, a newly acquired Class 120 escapes into the garden on a sunny day reminding us that much of December was unseasonably mild. The visit of this unit to the S&D is featured in Ivo Peter’s second volume with it pictured on 10 May 1958 coming through Midsomer Norton – the owner also has a shot of his as it approaches Masbury. Yes, the headboard really was wonky, but the coach should not have white at the roof end – that will be corrected.
And next….the completed 7mm Slaters LMS coach, just in time for Christmas! Though the roof has yet to be attached and the lining straightened in places – noticed only after taking the photographs! LMS purists will note the anomaly between the lining and lettering/numbering; the yellow lining would have been added after 1934, the shaded gold door numbering etc dating from before 1934 (should be yellow). In truth few of these Clayton ex-Midland coaches would have been around by the mid-1930s anyway, and probably in a sorry state.
On the “What I have been doing” front Dave S thinks that some of you should sit down. He’s started on his Black 5 again. Coupling rods and axle bearings. The coupling rods are needed to position the horn blocks in the chassis.
At the same time, looking ahead, he went looking for two casting for either side of the loco. There was only one. Looks like fabrication time unless someone has one in an odds box somewhere!
At Verwood work proceeded on the canopy with the styrene rafters and framing for the skylight being applied to the brass frame. The original plan to solder the brass frame to the supporting beams was found to be impractical, and instead some means will have to be devised to positively locate the supporting beams at the correct points on the frame so that the columns will remain correctly aligned, and in particular vertical. Most of the prototype canopy was covered in corrugated sheeting and this will be modelled in corrugated styrene sheet (as used for the lamp hut), and this will probably be cemented in place with epoxy resin to try to avoid distortion of the thin plastic sheets and shimmed to simulate the skinny overlaps. Repairs to the stairs and painting of the laser cut card version of the signal box continued – windows and sign next.
In other Verwood news the first 4mm scale Verwood Yard Crane kit was delivered to its new home on Semley, with the second kit spending most of the month either waiting for custom’s clearance or in transit with Canada Post.
Dave S has since printed a 7mm scale version of the 4mm crane by simply scaling it. The printing process ‘only’ took 16 hours – from a stupid o’clock start so that the necessary superheating of the workshop could be closely monitored. The picture was taken prior to removing any printing supports. The pillar and jib halves being printed vertically required no supports which saves material and the work of removing them.
As part of the same print run a very smart line up of wonky roof vents was printed for the Verwood Signal box. Towards the end of the month thoughts turned to reproducing the signalling arrangements at Verwood and there will be more on that next month. With the benefit of a tiny bit of hindsight at least some signals will have been built, if not actually painted!
Looking a lot like fresh cowpats, Dave S has 3D printed some pattresses straight onto the build plate, and some with supports to see what difference there was, if any. The supported ones were slightly cleaner at the base, but that will not be noticeable when applied to the viaduct. Just a positioning template to laser cut so that we can position them accurately on the appropriate pier of Prestleigh Viaduct.
Next for mini-modellers out there – in the picture are two Seacows (bogie ballast hoppers) plus a cocktail stick to show the true size. The top model is a Farish RTR version – current unavailable, but over £30 a pop if you can find one. Some may recognise the lower one as the [adjective removed] N Gauge Society Kit No.11. This is a “mixed media” version of the earlier all-etched kit No.4 for a Sealion, which apparently is even more of a challenge. The three Seacows and nine Sealions were taken to a cottage in Penzance in October [kidnapped perhaps], and it was quickly ascertained why they have been sitting in the UKD (unbuilt kit drawer) for probably 15 years…
To (almost) finish a blast from the past. Circa 1986 South Junction was set up in the Great Hall at Coker Court for the Railway Modeller to photograph. This is the original South Junction that could just about be squeezed into the attic room that was then our clubroom several long flights of stairs above the hall. The photos pre-date canal tunnel and pub, and of course the two extensions permitted by ever larger clubrooms.
Much more recently in December 2014, Chris Nevard visited to photograph Gasworks and South Junction for Model Rail. One of the splendid pictures taken that day that really deserves an airing is our featured image of Rebuilt Bulleid Light Pacific 34108 Wincanton hauling John’s splendid rake of green Kitmaster coaches. The engine is the Hornby model re-gauged to EM by Adam. This train is very popular on our Open Days and with vaccinations going ahead, let’s hope an Open day is something we look forward to in a Happier and Healthier New Year for us all.
On the 5th November several of the EN team met to get the viaduct back into running order as a last protest against the impending lock down. We did it – both tracks are now wired and running well ready for balasting. Traffic seen included a 9F, the prototype Deltic, Dave H’s 990 4-4-0 with Bob Alderman’s LMS coaches, a Pannier with all the wagons we could muster and a blue diesel belonging to Tim. Sadly Dave Sapp’s class 40 didn’t make it out of the box in one piece – get well soon class 40. The Goods train advertised its presence round the layout by a squeaky axle on the brake van – no change there then (Ed)! Rob did some final tidying up on the scenic baseboards, and Steve is kindly sieving genuine Mendip stone ballast for us. Work on Holly and Heyno Junction continued.
We were then back into Lockdown for the rest of November and now under Tier 2 Covid restrictions ensuring that CS2 has remained closed for meetings. This has not prevented Jim from ballasting on Evercreech New in productive but extremely socially distanced (lonely) sessions.
Note the neatly formed ballast shoulder on the approach to the viaduct that was so typical of the real S&D. Jim has used up the first pickle jar of Steve’s patent Mendip ballast and is into the first plastic tub of same. Still not glued – that will be done once all the dry brushing into place is finished – no sneezing until then! The approaching 8F may still be for sale on the 0 Gauge Guild website…..
Progress is being made on drawings for the farmhouse that was just behind (or in front of) Prestleigh Viaduct. This is the revised drawing of the rear elevation of the farmhouse. The proportions of the elevations are now entirely based on the photographs (rather than the estate agent’s particulars used before) and we’re pleased with the outcome. The rear elevation has been much changed since the railway closed so there is an element of speculation as to exactly how this looked. We have been aided by the recollections of Bert Whitehead who lived there at the time.
This is the current state of play of the five bogie clerestories in the Winter Shelf Queens project. They are from the rear: – E.57 tricompo – just needs painting – C.10 third mostly from a Slaters kit – needs stripping and repainting – E.27 tricompo – needs some correction to the body but otherwise ready for paint – E.28 1st/2nd compo – body under construction now – C.4 third – body finished, needs underframe and paint All are different lengths and with many design differences – typical pre-Churchward GWR. It seems every coach was handbuilt in those days, but with lots of standard features.
The very first 0 Gauge coach from Allan (of Kingsferry) awaiting the paint shop and then door handles etc. It’s a Slaters Midland 43′ Clayton lavatory brake third. He thinks they fobbed him off with the last of their grey plastic panels, hence the colour difference; we think it’s just luck of the draw! The sides, floor roof etc are in sections which means (to Allan) imperfect joins.
Whilst we were on the subject of coach building we received an instructional email from John on Slaters brake pipe fittings. Bottom right there should be two of these in the kit (without the 5p) – they represent the coach to coach joiners. They also serve as an airtight seal when the vacuum brake is not continuous say in a part fitted goods train and the front of the loco and the back of the last coach on the real thing as seen top right. Main photo shows how they join together between vehicles. Apparently they really do work and we’re told that enabling this level of faffing about makes 0 Gauge a ‘good thing’! 🙂
The sun was low in the sky (and apparently visible) one afternoon this month and lit the goods yard at Kingsferry through the window of the railway shed as a Small Prairie shunted the yard. Allan thought it was worth sharing and he was right. With a bit of essential cropping to centre the subject it makes a lovely featured image this month beating the Verwood canopy to top spot.
For a complete change this is the first step on the long and winding path to an S&D 7F in 0 Gauge. Much cleaning up before some of these bits are fully soldered and the tack soldering is made permanent. The difficult bit of lining up and fitting the sprung horn blocks comes shortly! We look forward to further progress reports.
And in that not quite so sleepy corner of model railways, the brass canopy framing for the station building at Verwood being assembled ready for soldering. The red lines are the rafters which will be styrene and the blue lines the glazing bars of the roof light that was added to illuminate the waiting room. Needless to say much thought and resulting inactivity went into exactly where the brass should finish and styrene take over for this structure.
A mounting board was then made up so that the canopy could be attached to the station building. This is the soldered up frame resting on the beams, columns and bracket made many moons ago. Note the fancy bracket finally able to do its job. Work continues on the canopy roof and adjoining signal box that really was ‘joined at the hip’ to the canopy – this required a narrow extension to the board through some particularly inept planning ahead on the part of the author. More on Verwood in the next instalment.
October saw three meetings a week allowing three groups of up to six people to work on the different layouts. As we are back into lockdown our meetings have been suspended for November. More opportunities for railway modelling at home!
This is the first stage of Dave H’s ‘Winter Shelf Queens’ project, which is to finish all the unfinished carriage projects he has lying around.
The photo shows two short coaches mostly built back in 2003 then forgotten about. They are now detailed ready for painting, but still need underframes building. The longer coach is a GWR 40ft bogie Clerestory 3rd. The sides were made on holiday somewhere also in 2003, but as there wasn’t much time for modelling in those days they sat on a shelf too for seventeen years! They are still in good nick so who says styrene doesn’t last? Below later in the month the Clerestory 3rd with ends and roof added – lovely!
There are another pair of sides for a compo, and two more finished compos waiting for paint. The two six wheelers will top and tail older short carriages when finished, and the clerestories will sit between the two 40ft PBVs that were actually finished and painted a few years ago. A six coach train in 0 Gauge in about 7 feet!
On Evercreech New the scenic boards at the rear of Prestleigh Viaduct are now complete and in place. The views below show plenty of scope for scenery. Forced perspective will be employed starting by modelling the farmhouse just behind the viaduct in 6mm scale.
Dave S and John spent some time getting the track alignment right off the viaduct and towards the end of the scenic section, and Dave H reconnected the track wiring on the viaduct. We are allowing for two separate power districts so that at least one track will keep going in event of DCC gremlins on the other.
Painting the track and adding fibre glass to strengthen the rear scenic boards were just some jobs performed. 1.5mm gridding tape (thin masking tape) was used to mask the top of the rails.
In a faraway place (well, Manchester) a super little photo plank is taking shape. The lattice work on the bridge is all individual styrene strips. The bridge deck alone came to ~130 individual pieces.
You were promised news of Verwood, and the first development is that the 3D Printed post box has been painted and attached to the front of the station building. I then sourced some more laser cut self-adhesive slate strips and finished slating the roof. This time the required gauge was worked out and guide lines ruled on the slopes before starting! The roll top ridge tiles were made from plasticard and secured with good old Uhu. In the background can be seen the second attempt at the rafters for the glazed toilet vent. Second attempt because the original pitch was not as steep as the toilet roof which I suspect is a little too steep. Ho hum.
The step and apron flashings were represented using more self-adhesive paper. The step flashing can’t actually be made out on photos of the real thing, but it must have had them. The paper slates were then primed with White Knotting (a clear Shellac) before painting with enamels. The rendered end wall is starting to go a warm grey colour that should contrast nicely with the creamy-orange bargeboards.
Next up was the Down Platform Shelter. This was another ‘Shelf Queen’ from the Noughties with a fully modelled (and calculated) roof structure. The plastic strip weatherboarding had caused the thin walls to distort (solvent abuse) and these were replaced with laser cut and engraved phenolic card panels (inside and out) attached with Roket Glue. Clamped flat overnight that did the trick. In a rare moment of inspiration it was realised that the slender curved ‘T’ section brackets could be fabricated from the base of a bullhead rail. A gutter was improvised from plasticard and a downpipe made from copper wire.
Painting is in progress, but it’s hard to find the right shade of weathered grey-green (or orangey-cream) seen at Verwood. These colours varied between the buildings according to their exposure to the elements. The bench that is against the back wall is not clear in photographs, but does appear to have waisted supports similar to some Victorian school benches and that is how it is modelled. Just like the real thing the interior is in heavy shadow!
Lastly thanks to Dave S and his 3D printer we have what should be the actual Verwood crane just waiting for chain and hook. More progress on Verwood in a month than in the previous two years!
Where have the last three months gone? Well in my case I was digging for drains, but that’s already far too much information. The even wetter weather is back with a vengeance and it’s time to take cover and contemplate a new modelling season.
In the middle of July – fully in line with government guidelines we re-commenced our meetings at CS2. Hand sanitizer, masks, social distancing, hand washing/wringing, recording attendance – by now you know the score. Since the rule of six came in we have observed that too by spreading our attendance over two afternoons.
Our featured image shows the running session on Evercreech New that we held on 22nd July for Sheila Alderman and family to showcase Bob’s handiwork. Below some of Bob’s wonderful work waiting for the off:
On 27th July we bade farewell to Bob. Bob Alderman was a founder member of Yeovil MRG and made a huge contribution to the success of our club. Twelve members formed a socially distanced guard of honour at the Crematorium entrance presenting soldering irons in a tribute that we think would have appealed to him. Sheila and the family no doubt used to the odd ways of railway modellers seemed to appreciate the gesture. The touching funeral service was planned in great detail by Bob, and many members were able to gather just outside the entrance lobby for the ceremony.
A 3D CAD design for the body of Bob’s GT3. In the process of producing it DaveS is steadily getting to grips with Fusion360. In 7mm scale it proved a little too large to be printed in one piece on any of the 3D printers immediately available to the membership, but could be filament printed in two parts with a lot of supports. DaveS was on his way home after picking it up and took it to show him on the day Bob died.
From the pen of the mastermind of Kingsferry, this stylish drawing of the branch local at Pitcombe in late summer 1964 was taken from a photograph in the book ‘Heyday Of The Somerset And Dorset’. Apparently to some this is a ‘Baby Castle’ – who’d have thought it? I’m now looking forward to running a ‘Baby Nelson’! Allan’s sketches and drawings, mounted and some framed, with those of his partner, will be on exhibition at Pitcombe Studio near Bruton for two weeks at the end of November (details below). All will be for sale and will include limited edition prints.
Much admired at CS2 in August, this exquisite engine is awaiting plates, with the varnish at this point just touch dry. Almost entirely scratchbuilt with a few castings thrown in, Dave had cut the frames three years ago almost to the day. He’s glad it’s not the only thing he’s been up to, but it’s sometimes felt like it! What got lined, and particularly what didn’t, according to the somewhat idiosyncratic Deeley lining scheme, has been faithfully reproduced! We can report that tested on Evercreech New (EN) this engine runs as well as it looks. Packed with lead it is very sure-footed and can haul six bogies and five 6-wheelers.
On South Junction Pete’s tiny Planet chassis was run in for far more miles than the prototype would ever have done. Above are the pictures of the Planet chassis and what it will eventually look like.
The superb new bracket signal on South Junction in fully working order.
Tracklaying continues apace on Heyno Junction.
And so to the current state of play at the Prestleigh Viaduct end of Evercreech New (EN). DaveS thought he’d do a bit of terraforming. It’s all held together with masking tape and so is easily removed/changed/forgotten about. Because the viaduct has the correct orientation to the station, the land in front of the viaduct needs to rise up towards the viewer outside the layout. It looks good to us!
And to prove it, covered with a thin film of plastic the recreation is nearly there. The original photo does look a little squished and the exposure could have been better, but there’s no going back for another try now!
Rob glued up the last scenic board behind PV (well almost the last – apparently there might be another one). The picture shows DaveH being permanently built into the scenery by Rob. This way he’ll always be available for viaduct maintenance…
The work John did on the fiddle yard approach board means we now have a flat approach to the viaduct both ends. DaveH (EN Chief Honcho) continued his obsession with getting the track joints and sleeper spacing looking right – he’s finished the inside line, with outside line still to do. Once that’s done and proved the running again, then the rails will be sprayed with grime colour and Jim can get ballasting.
After much deliberation we will be laboriously producing our own ballast using Morris & Perry stone dust from their Gurney Slade Quarry. Ballast for the S&D seems to have been sourced from the nearby Emborough Quarry which is a nice touch. The raw stone dust is passed through kitchen sieves (retired), removing the large stuff with the coarser one and then as much dust as possible using the slightly finer one. A 25kg sack at £2.50 or so yields about 5kg of ballast and 20kg of mostly dust that can still be used to repair walls. The colour of the ballast doesn’t quite match the station area but the Chief Honcho think it’s better, and may even be a suitable substitute for that other railway’s ballast from Dulcote Quarry.
Our plan for Prestleigh Farm when it was a farm is largely garnered from an aerial photo and some stale estate agents particulars. The farm and house were much changed when it later became a dwelling only, with the ‘catslide’ roof to the rear of the house replaced by a pitched roof extension and all outbuildings removed.
We have all wondered why Jim went all the way to Aberdeen a year ago to collect an unwanted 30ft long 18 road fiddle yard in 2mm FS. He couldn’t possibly have enough trains to fill it, we said? Well, slightly bored during lockdown, he unboxed all his RTR stuff (Dapol, Farish, C-Rail and RevolutioN) and filled all 18 roads of the middle board (sitting on the 7mm station throat). Only 59 merry-go-round wagons are showing – they are another 40 sitting in boxes! Excluded are the kit projects sitting in the gloat cupboard – one day! Asking for a friend, it turns out that all but the most recent purchases (mostly C-Rail and RevolutioN) have already been converted to 2mm FS!
Next month there will be progress on Verwood to report, in fact this has already happened (in October) and you’ll just have to wait!
It is with great sadness that Sheila has asked us to tell you that Bob passed away peacefully last night after a courageous battle with Motor Neuron Disease. She has asked not to be contacted by phone for the time being.
Bob was a founder member of YMRG, and for many years our Secretary. He was a prolific and inspirational modeller, who has passed on his skills and knowledge via books, magazine articles, Missenden, the O Gauge Guild and EMGS manuals.
His company and friendship will be sorely missed, and our thoughts are with Sheila, David, Ruth and family at this sad time.
Gardening and other pursuits seem to be distracting some elements of the club from the really important activity of railway modelling. At the start of the month there was an outbreak of helicopter spotting. This started with n Ex-RN SAR Mk5 Sea King being seen (and heard) over Odcombe, making a change from endless Wildcats and Merlins. Over another part of Odcombe this was followed by a sighting of an Ex-RN SAR Wessex flying from its base near Crewkerne to Westlands and back, with speculation that it might be the Lift West bosses’ new toy to go with their Whirlwind.
With some relaxation of lockdown taking place during July, there is the welcome news (to some at least) that we are working towards a safe re-opening of CS2 following all the rules, with lashings of hand sanitiser and strict social distancing – not too hard in a 7000 sq ft clubroom!
This month there have been further additions to Bob Alderman’s Modelling Musings this time covering such interesting topics as ‘landscape and the model railway’, ‘modelling steam locos’, ‘chemically blackening components’, ‘building a Roxey gear box’ and his thoughts on testing locomotives and test tracks in general – points not essential!
At last, 995 is ready for painting! The model is entirely scratchbuilt except for motor, wheels, tender axleboxes, smokebox door, buffers and a few detail castings. Nickel silver sheet was used for the platework, and other parts are turned brass. It has an old Sagami can motor fitted with a flywheel and a Zimo DCC chip which together make it run well, and it will start seven of Bob’s heavy metal bogie coaches with lead packed in fore and aft. The tender is weighted and bears on the back of the engine.
The 990s were the mainstay of express running on the Settle & Carlisle until the late 1920s, and 995 was loaned to the S&DJR briefly so it can legitimately appear on EN as well as the Summit (note splash guards – see below).
700 hours have been logged on the build spread over nearly three years which is slightly horrifying – unless we take the view that it kept Dave off the streets for the whole of that time! It just needs paint now, and luckily exactly what constitutes Midland red/crimson/lake is another world of pain… The model breaks down for painting into twelve parts plus a few detail bits that will be glued in after painting.
Our featured image is an expected arrival from the Southern at Kingsferry, but above is an unusual visitor from the LMS, also from the days before colour photography. The eagle-eyed may spot that one of the splash guards is missing and this triggered much discussion as to whether it should have none or both. It was suggested that the missing splash guard would only turn up once the other one was removed!
In the discussion that followed it seems splash guards were progressively removed when the Black Fives and Jubilees were introduced in the 1930s as this almost eliminated double heading. The purpose of the splash guards was to protect the oily bits on the bogie of the second loco from spray while picking up water from the troughs. Sometimes a train headed by one of these larger engines would need help which was more likely as not provided by a 4-4-0, but to retain these splash guards would be more trouble than they were worth, and to fit them to the new engines was deemed unnecessary. No doubt they would have to be removed to inspect the bogie bearings on a regular basis.
Next up is an actual working ground signal built for our 0 Gauge Evercreech New layout. It sits in a tubular socket with a weight and paddle which will be pushed up from below by a servo underneath, the signal returning to danger by gravity. The etched kit from MSE is ‘challenging’ and needs a lot of work. If you don’t want it to work and be lit then the new cast brass kit from Scale Signal Supply is much better and less taxing to solder up. Making these signals work, be lit, and be removable for track cleaning is a real “what was I thinking” job but it looks like it can be done. The tiny LEDs used in ‘The Shed’ (see May2020) should push up inside the lamp casing so that will be tried first.
The SB diagram for Evercreech New shows seven ground signals. Two each on the crossovers, two on the goods shed entrance crossover and one on the lime kiln siding entrance. Just six more of the blighters to go! Only the ones facing away from the SB need back blinders (because they showed the signalman when the signal was on), so that’s four of them by our reckoning.
This apparently incomplete point is a finished handbuilt GWR style trap point for Heyno Junction. The guard and wing rails are a scale 2″ higher than the running rails so the switch rail runs up a gradient that takes the wheels over the top of the mainline running rail. It saves the expense of constructing a crossing (V) and the mainline rail is unbroken so you don’t get the wear that a crossing suffers. It seems to work even in model form with the out of scale wheel flanges.
This superb DCC Sound fitted BR Standard 9F in 0 Gauge has just been allocated to a local shed. Built from a DJH kit bought twenty years ago; it will be very appropriate both for Evercreech New, and the S&D themed garden railway it will normally work on.
This is the finished goods lockup for a Coombe Town a very promising new layout that we haven’t featured before. Just awaiting weathering now, but we understand it may be some time before Dom plucks up the courage to do so!
Even more dirt on Kingsferry; these are Ratio’s GWR 4-wheel brake third and all third coaches with additional detailing, notably full interiors not included in the kits, and heavily weathered – by the time these were in use on the branch they were reaching the end of their lives!
Lastly this appeared at Yeovil Junction on the 10th June. It was used for testing and route learning the Yeovil Junction and Yeovil Pen Mill link as it hadn’t been used for a while. Talking to one of the drivers, he said they were supposed to do four trips but had decided that three were enough before returning to Exeter. They were bemused by the train crew depot, apparently they’re still trying to recruit staff. The Class 37 is nearly 60 years old, i.e. considerably older than a lot of locos they replaced.
The splendid weather in May seems to have led to rather more socially distanced activity outside in member’s gardens than inside at their model railway workbenches, with a number of claims being made about the wildlife to be found in member’s gardens. It looks like a grass snake going for a swim trumps slow worms, and chickens given the opportunity eat wood mice and chase dogs – so now you know!
First up we have a Morris Commercial Parcel Van by Springfield Models for Kingsferry. Not an easy kit to build, but then it was a whitemetall kit soldered using a normal temperature soldering iron – so actually quite an achievement! Those with x-ray vision will spot that the propshaft is ‘in the post’. Our featured image also comes from Kingsferry with a not quite so big green engine arriving with a Comet Collett coach in tow.
Progress continues to be made with the Deeley 990 Class with a very handsome cab interior being produced. It’s based on a Slaters backhead and castings but modified quite a lot as the Slaters one is for a smaller engine. A photo of a MR Compound cab was used as a guide, assuming the 990s were the same. Lots of bits knocked up from bits of tube and scraps of metal, plus the contents of Bob’s scrap and castings box. The very nice oil box castings are from the same hoard. They are by Microcast, and they are very, very good castings. The rest is copper and brass wire plumbing and a bit of plywood planking.
The Modelling Musings of Bob Alderman continue to grow. Most recently his thoughts on baseboard construction and a set of hints and tips for model construction have been added. Both of these are in presentation format and run to around 50 pages. Bob’s thoughts on Baseboard Construction feature a lot of previously unpublished views of YMRG layouts and it’s probably fair to say that dear old South Junction falls firmly into the ‘how not to do it again’ category!
The last time we showed you what was going on with Bob’s GT3, attaching the bogie to the chassis was the next job.
After some thought about the pivot bought for GT3’s bogie, it was decided that more movement was needed (side to side). Although Bob’s method of bogie attachment would give up/down, yaw and side to side, there was no pitch. The pivot had it all (up/down, yaw, pitch) but no side to side. In a simply brilliant bit of model engineering a way was found to combine the pivot with Bob’s springs. The end pictures show the result installed in the laser cut ply and MDF chassis. The bogie frame has been 3D printed. The next update may see progress on the loco body for GT3.
And I think that’s probably enough excitement for now…