July 2021

July 2021

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!


June 2021

June 2021

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.

May 2021

May 2021

Following our AGM on Zoom, we have a new Chairman – Ed Pickup – and a new Treasurer – Dave Haines. All other posts remained unchanged. Even more importantly perhaps is the long awaited re-opening of our clubroom – albeit strictly controlled to comply with the Government’s continuing restrictions. A one way system has been applied to ensure social distancing, and a current negative Covid test will be required for a visit. To this end, Secretary Simon is maintaining a rota to ensure that the ‘Rule of 6’ is met with Wednesdays and Thursdays having two designated sessions.

On the modelling front there is still plenty to report starting with the Allan’s superb model of Prestleigh Farmhouse.

The represents the farmhouse as it was in the run-up to the closure of the railway. It has since been much extended at the rear which would totally change the view that the public would see on the layout. More views of it in situ below.

The underframes for the six wheeler Shelf Queens are coming on. Brake gear is all done – very complicated on these old carriages. Dave H likes to have it all there – some people do this in 4mm scale which he modestly tries to claim would defeat him.

Yes there should be two more pairs of wheels!  The mechanical bits are from an underframe kit marketed by Slaters, the details are castings and etches now marketed by the Broad Gauge Society, but suitable for these kind of coaches (what Jim calls prehistoric). The wheels are Alan Gibson and very good – much better than the Slaters ones in my opinion. The frames and buffer beams are scratch built in brass. Footboards, gas tanks, buffers and vac pipes still to do.

In a nice view of the loco body we can see that the 7mm scale Claude has gained its boiler bands.

Peter has finally finished the two SR brake vans from the Cambrian kits, a 25t one ex WD, i.e. fitted, that passed to British Railways from the Shropshire and Montgomery Railway and survived well into the sixties, and the 15t version for branch line use.  They’ve used Dave and Steve’s 3D printed brake shoes as the ones in the kit aren’t correct, Peter might retrofit the completed one that was built some years ago. All are 4mm EM Gauge.

Continuing the EM Gauge theme, Peter’s son Adam thought we might like to see these – a rather involved conversion of a Hornby Trout into one of the SECR’s antecedents (built by the Leeds Forge Company) now completed and weathered, along with a BR Pipe and a GWR P7 which would be ideal to feature on Evercreech New (it’s based on a picture taken at Evercreech Junction) were it not a tad small…

Verwood has not been forgotten and a lot of time has been spent on the canopy roof this month, firstly after a false start a much more satisfactory way of glazing the roof light was devised. The correctly spaced framing was drawn up in CAD and printed out. The glazing material was taped to this drawing and the supporting framing glued to the glazing material with Liquid Poly. The glazing material was then turned over and the assumed (overlapping) panes of glass scribed on. The glazing beads were then applied to complete the job. The completed assembly fits neatly in the hole in the canopy prepared for it, Flushed with success a start was made on the corrugated sheeting which had very visible lines of fastenings. There were four rows per sheet on most of it, and two rows on the rest. A jig centred the hole on the top of each ridge, with every fourth ridge being drilled – representing five ridges on the prototype. Each hole then received a short length of fine plastic rod trimmed to length. The rolled leadwork at the top of the skylight was also modelled.

The next challenge is to find a satisfactory way of gluing the various layers together in a way that won’t distort.

We Have:

  • The brass framework
  • A thin plastic sheet with the rafter detail
  • A thin card layer with cutout for the glazing
  • Corrugated plastic roofing sheets that need to be shimmed to look like they overlap.

Hopefully that will all be sorted out by the next blog.

Although Verwood has more than its fair share of unfinished loco projects, Steve its impulsive Loco Superintendent is attempting a Maunsell Q Class using the old Crownline kit to convert the Airfix Fowler 4F. The kit is supposed to use the unpowered loco chassis and powered tender drive, but the SE Finecast loco chassis kit for the Q will be substituted – if one can be obtained. Quite a comprehensive kit this as it includes a complete brass tender, and for the loco only the 4F boiler and backhead will be visible once the 4F smokebox has been wrapped as instructed.

Work commenced with the running plate which in common with the Roche drawing doesn’t have the characteristic narrowing of the front half that the prototype had so that was the first challenge. The half etched splasher tops fell through the resulting holes once frame tops and splasher fronts had been folded up, so slightly wider ones cut from thin nickel silver were substituted. The half etched buffer beam was narrowed to match the reduced width of the running plate and laminated up for robustness before being soldered in. With half etched lines on only one side of the etch it was quite a relief to see the etched ‘underneath’ is indeed underneath! At that point the Airfix body was still in the post, so attention turned to the tender.

Loco and tender are to be fully compensated, and with High Level Kits (HLK) furloughed, Verwood’s supply of ten full size HLK hornblocks did not stretch to loco and tender, but with great foresight there were six HLK ‘MiniBlox’ in the sorting box. The Perseverance tender chassis that was on hand was etched for full size hornblocks, so it was decided to go with a Comet tender chassis etch that was excellent value and Wizard Models were also able to supply the least unsuitable AGW wheels to go with it (3’11” diameter 10 spokes non-bevelled). Opening out the 2mm slots in the Comet chassis accurately to clear the bearings was a fiddle and there wasn’t a lot of material left when finished. The hornblocks were then carefully soldered into the frames before they were assembled using the supplied slotted EM frame spacers. The equalising beams were drawn up in CAD, printed out, stuck to N/S sheet with UHU and fretted out as were the brake shoes intended to enhance the flat looking Comet hanger and shoe.

Some crusty old Romford wheels were fitted on pinpoint axles whilst fine tuning took place, and the trim screw was adjusted and locked to set the chassis level. Quite stout mounts were required to position the minimalist Comet chassis correctly into the Crownline body, and it was a relief to see the pinpoints of the axles centred on the holes in the frames. The completed chassis runs through the crossover on the Verwood test track much as a bogie coach would, so that was pleasing.

The Crownline tender kit is designed to take the Airfix tender drive and has a very large hole where the coal should go. A hopper was drawn up based on the Ian Beattie and Russell (Eastleigh) drawings (they differed slightly in shape), and that was soldered in. Verwood is not very far from the halfway point between Salisbury and Bournemouth, so I’m going for a dip in the coal load. Progress (or more likely the lack of) is being blogged on RMWeb – a first for the author.

Back in 7mm Dave S asked the YMRG hive mind how they thought these wheels belonging to David S should be removed.

The consensus was that they were a press fit, and John hit the jackpot by identifying that they were in fact Slater’s wheels on a Morse taper. Dave S had already decided to try pressing the axle out from the wheel before John’s email arrived. So it was out with a collar that he had prepared earlier, and off to the garage where his 30 ton press lives. Not a lot resists Dave’s press and the Slater’s wheels and axles came apart easily. I’ll let the pictures do the talking now.

‘Engineer Dave’ has also been commissioned by Jim to sort out the chassis of a dodgy Duchess. For reasons your editor can’t quite fathom, this example of City of Nottingham is known as ‘Meghan’. She was built by a G0G member in North Wales, and purchased second hand via a dealer from Shrewsbury.

Just before first lockdown last year, Jim tried her round “Evercreech New” and she didn’t like the pointwork in the fiddle yard. Roll on a year and Jim realised that the B2B of the driving wheels are at least 1mm too narrow. The wheels were not Slaters, so he eventually bit the bullet and a few months ago purchased three new pairs of driving wheels. Of course, this was only the start of the problems as the whole loco is scratchbuilt, including the motion and valve gear, and this didn’t fit the Slater’s crank pins etc. Dave S takes up the story:

“I thought I’d take some pictures of today’s effort at fixing Meghan’s wobbly chassis. I started by removing (unsoldering) the centre axle bearings. As you can see, they were soldered over larger holes for adjustment.

The gearbox was removed so that new axle bearings could be inserted after expanding the existing holes.

The edge of the chassis was modified (both sides) to accept the new bearings in the gearbox.

The old front axle bearings were line bored (17/64″ diameter) to accept new axle bearings which were soldered in place. With the front and rear axles located and checked for “levelness” by fitting the wheels (it was level), the centre axle could be located.

I used my chassis building jig to locate the centre axle bearings. Springs were added at each side of the chassis to keep it central and press the bearing against the chassis side ready for soldering.”

Soldering of the centre bearings was duly completed, and the new Slaters’ wheels were fitted. No particular problems were experienced with refitting the coupling rods and valve gear since the original crankpins and return crank could be adapted to fit the new wheels. The not so dodgy Duchess is now ready for high speed testing on Evercreech New!

BR cab sides numbers and tender insignia will be added to replace the LMS ones she came with. Jim picked “City of Nottingham” as she was around to the end of the class so a good stable companion to his Black 5 and 8F. Photos of the whole loco to follow next month.

April 2021

April 2021

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…

March 2021

March 2021

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.

February 2021

February 2021

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.

January 2021

January 2021

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! 

One impossibly tiny ground signal

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.

Beware of Trains – yes really!

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.

December 2020

December 2020

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.

Lonely casting seeks similar mate

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!

Stygian gloom under the canopy at Verwood – the real thing was no better

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.

November 2020

November 2020

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 2020

October 2020

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!