Autumn 2022

Autumn 2022

The big event for the club in October was the much delayed appearance of Gary’s 7mm Scale 0 Gauge Halsdon Road at Rail-Ex Taunton. In the week leading up to the show, Gary went down with Covid. Consequently, it was left to Dave S and the Gang to take it down from CS2, cart it to Taunton in the horse-box, put it up, operate this private layout for two days and take it back down again.

This exceedingly long layout erected, awaiting curtains, and almost ready to roll the evening before.

This excellent show was much, much busier than it seems here – honest!

Halsdon Road is set in the post-privatisation period and this is the MPD with Classes 37 and 60.

Dean has been soldering up a 2mm scale Langley GWR 57ft double-ended slip coach, which he claims has been in the cupboard for far too long – hopefully he still thinks that!

A glimpse of Deanswear, Dean’s 12ft end to end N Gauge layout, loosely based on Kingswear circa 1930 – halcyon days for the GWR.

Dom is making good progress with his 00 Gauge Coombe Town. He has weathered the Autocoach making a world of difference to the ‘look’. He is now moving on to the rest of the rolling stock, and has also started ballasting as seen below.

Dave H was busy in the run-up to Guildex at Stafford, just completing in time the Bob Alderman Memorial Trophy – to be awarded for the best use of modern technology – well, The Rocket was modern technology of its day, and a 3D scan of Bob is driving it!

Bob’s last layout Hobson’s Brewery was at the Wimborne Show, the same weekend as Rail-Ex Taunton. These are the locos normally available for the layout. Hobsons Brewery (7mm) was a runner up in the Small layouts competition at Guildex.

This is one of a pair from Dave’s 7mm scale rake of GWR 6-wheel coaches that did well in the rolling stock category at GuildEx. Their construction from styrene sheet has featured before in these posts.

This is Jim’s 2mm finescale cameo layout Bordesley North set up in Hall 5 at the NEC for this year’s Warley Show. Much midnight oil was burned to create the new left hand scene, which shows the edges of the Lawley Street container terminal and associated diesel servicing depot. Not 100% finished in time but it gained good comments – and an invite to another show, this time Macclesfield in Cheshire, even further from home!

John M has been putting the finishing touches to his 7mm scale D16/3. The loco is now painted, lined and numbered, and ready for the fitting of the bits and bobs that needed protection from the paint, such as cab windows and the cab backhead. The tender has to be coaled and when this work is done it will be weathered and finished. The tender is from a ancient Mallard kit, the loco body is scratch built except for the fancy valance.

What a pity one was not preserved. Alan Bloom at Bressingham wanted one, but considered BR’s asking price of £1,500 too high. This was in 1960 when that was a lot of money. Richard Hardy, shedmaster at Norwich, managed to ‘hide’ the J15 and the B12/3 (now on the NNR) from the suits at Stratford, but the last D16/3 no. 62513 was scrapped.

The front has been tidied up. The smokebox door is a brass casting the origin of which John is unsure. Not all the class had the steel ring bare metal, but this one was a Melton Constable engine, and that wonderful place in the middle of beautiful North Norfolk countryside looked after theirs to the very end. The steel effect on the model is polished 60/40 solder.

The lubricator priming wheel was the last piece to do until installing fireman Dave S and driver Simon W in their cab after weathering. The casting is exquisite, but John can’t remember where it came from either.

Allan’s LMS all steel open third from a Sidelines kit nearing is completion also in 7mm scale. The door and grab handles are yet to be fitted as well as more detailing of the corridor connections. This is the first of a fleet of LMS coaches that could run on Evercreech New. Next up: a panelled open brake third…..

Pete C (who clearly has a bit of a thing about brake vans) has finished his 4mm scale EM Gauge LMS brake van (Parkside Kit), and has started an Oyster ballast plough as a conversion from the Cambrian Models Shark ballast plough kit:

To finish with, on what looks like a lovely Autumn day following a storm, some fiddling on a roof:

Not the first time, and proably not the last time!


Summer 2022

Summer 2022

This Summer has seen us start the arduous process of realising our Chairman’s scheme to re-organise our clubroom. With a predominance of large layouts – almost all of which will be moving to optimise walkways. It’s a bit like 3D chess and the full scheme may not be realised until the Autumn. The opening gambit has been to erect the ‘Plywood Origami’ AKA Heyno Junction in an area just vacated by Yeovil Town.

Our venerable layout Gasworks has been invited to the West Camel Show on Friday 30th December, and we look forward to meeting at least some of you there. Gasworks was of course the work of the late great Bob Alderman, and so was St. Martin’s Wharf, so I’m very happy to report that this rather special layout has recently been donated to the club.

Dominic had some ballast samples from Geoscenics to try out on the “Photo Plank” ready for Coombe Town. He is also working on a Parkside coal wagon cameo for the other side of the plank. Also shown are a number of Modelu figures painted ready to hit the layout.

If the S15 and the N Class weren’t already so useful and therefore intensively utilised by the Southern, I’m sure that both classes would have appeared on the S&D. Shown on his Nethercreech (S&D) layout, this is the nearly finished S15 that David S has built from a Gladiator kit (with a little bit of help). Smokebox plate, backhead, coal and weathering required to finish it off. It is powered by a very lively Maxon motor and ABC gearbox.

Pete C is working on a Parkside LMS Brake Van and a Bedford MOD lorry from a JB kit:

Dave H is busy converting Hobson’s Brewery to DCC operation ready for GuildEx, and has started on a model of Rocket which will become a prize for modelling innovation for the Gauge 0 Guild.

At the start of the summer, in an unplanned development, Steve fitted a tapered brass boiler to the Q in place of the plastic 4F parallel boiler. The taper is very slight, but it is visible and hopefully worth the extra aggro. A start was then made on the cocks for the sand pipes. In the photo is the Q sporting tapered boiler, with in front, demountable brake gear, sandboxes and one of the phosphor bronze sandpipes with teeny sandcock. This is the old Crownline Q Class conversion kit for the Airfix 4F, but the instructions were discarded long ago in pursuit of something that is a bit more of a challenge to build.

The cheap Mitsumi motor with a modified 40:1 Branchlines gearbox is fitted, and it’s ready for what should be a sprightly test run on South Junction. The build for the Q was paused by a nasty bout of sciatica leaving the builder unable to sit at the workbench for much of the period. Luckily(?), suitably prone, this gave him plenty of CAD time, so he transfered to working up the interior of the signal box for Verwood.

This is the frame at Verwood pretty much as it would look to receive a train from Fordingbridge. Levers 1-10 have LSWR style plates, and ‘new’ Lever 11 an early SR oval plate. Also shown are the LSWR style locking labels.

In contrast this is a 3D render of the much longer frame at West Moors, still to Stevens pattern, but shown here as manufactured by Evans O’Donnell & Co. This frame had some shortened handles and the later SR Oval Plates. Both frames are built from a parameter file, so it is relatively easy to cater for other Stevens London style frames.

Next up is the Instrument Shelf based on photos of Verwood. This therefore has instruments for a passing loop with bell at one end and gong at the other, plus an extra bell possibly for the ground frame hut or shunter. Next to it is my interpretation of a Tyer’s No.6 Electric Tablet Instrument. Verwood should have had two of these, but the West Moors instrument was in a part of the box that wasn’t photographed so I’ve assumed that this was logically at the West Moors end of the frame mirroring the Fordingbridge instrument at the other end. The poles that the shelf was mounted on will be replaced by holes for wires in the final print.

Below is the rear corner of the box with stove and corner cupboard, and next to it the front of the box with lever, shelf and tablet instruments. The box also now has a 3D printed floor with the tread plate built in and holes for the shelf. It has to be said that in 4mm this stuff is almost impossibly tiny! The cupboard has since acquired a sloping writing desk, with open register and writing instrument.

At the rear of the box was a grey painted signal cabinet with the batteries for the switching out mechanism installed as an economy measure.

And that is quite enough for what should be a quiet modelling season. New members are always welcome and an introductory visit to our club room can easily be arranged from the contact page via our Secretary.

Spring 2022

Spring 2022

In the run up to the appearance of Evercreech New at the Bath & West Showground a huge amount of scenic work was carried out on the Prestleigh Viaduct board. This board is the size of a small car, albeit a very strangely shaped one!

What a difference!

Normans’ Bridge is the scenic break at the Shepton end of the model and the model was completed during an extended stay in Wimborne from where Shepton stone was recalled as having a greenish tinge that simply isn’t evident in the real location where the stone is somewhat browner in hue. Hopefully a brown wash will fix that! The wing wall capping is of an unusual design, but those level sections can still be seen on surviving under and overbridges along the Bath Extension.

Normans’ Bridge ‘planted’ on the layout. The arches are sections of 110mm drainage pipe which just happen to be the correct radius.

Above Normans’ Bridge is the wooden fence that had been insisted on by the Farmer Norman in charge when the line was built, so that his cattle wouldn’t be spooked by those ferocious steam ginnies.

Over a long weekend in April the collective YMRG membership were involved in transporting, erecting and operating Evercreech New in support of Heaton Lodge at the Royal Bath and West Showground. Heaton Lodge can be seen in the background, Evercreech New in the foreground.

A closeup of Prestleigh Viaduct (and that elusive farm) from sort of balcony launched drone. After three very successful and trouble free days of exhibiting, members continued to rally round to take down, reload the 7.5T lorry and unload it back at the club house. One aspect of large 7mm scale layouts is the volume and weight of the rolling stock required to operate it all to be taken back to homes in member’s vehicles.

In other news the Claude Hamilton build continues with the Westinghouse pump. First up is one of those on something apple green that is very real, but not a Claude Hamilton. And John’s Claude – showing what is possible on 7mm scale model!

Allan H has completed his superb 4F to run on “Evercreech New”. Genuinely his first attempt at any locomotive – all his own work too. Not only beautifully finished, it runs as well as it looks!

The battered Wills T9 was finished as Bournemouth loco 30304, and returned to its owner after a longish delay due to problems with the DCC wiring. Full story of the build is on Western Thunder. Happily there is a photo of this loco with Southern in sunshine lettering and Gill Sans number as this was an unusual combination. With twin beam compensation and High Level motor and gearbox running quality is more like a bogie coach than a loco.

A donor Hornby cab interior – an excellent upgrade for a Wills T9:

February 2022

February 2022

Last month “Evercreech New” was dismantled and the track and rear scenic boards of “The Summit” were re-erected in its place. However, the board containing Prestleigh Viaduct was deliberately left accessible so more scenic work could be carried out on it. How prescient was that! Out of the blue, we were invited to take “Evercreech New” to an exhibition at the Bath and West Showground in early April. The main purpose of this exhibition is to show off “Heaton Lodge Junction”, a huge 7mm scale model of said place, which is north east of Huddersfield in West Yorkshire. However, unlike its first solo outing in Wakefield last December, the owner Simon George has decided to show it with other layouts. Given the venue, a mainly S&D theme was chosen. Consequently, Evercreech New will be there, along with a superb 4mm rendition of Bournemouth West, other layouts and well known model traders.

The scenic work on Prestleigh Viaduct has gone into overdrive, with only five weeks or so to the (three day) show. Good old fashioned papier-mache ,chicken wire and cardboard is coming to the fore and lots of old newspaper being gobbled up in the process. It’s a team effort with everyone mucking in. The Holly Junction gang will be majoring in grass and hedges, Allan on the farm module, Pete C on running repairs to existing scenery and miles of fencing, snd Rob G is doing the huge backscene boards. Ed, Dean, Christopher, Konrad and others will produce the vital scenic substructure, Steve a model of Normans’ Bridge which will mask the fiddle yard entry, Keith will look over the pointwork, and Dave S will make sure we have all the necessary DCC equipment lined up and ready. Given our scenic ambitions for Prestleigh Viaduct, we are unlikely to have time for a test run before the exhibition, but then we do have a whole day before the show to set up and get it all working again.

The exit to the fiddle yard will be the twin portal Normans’ Bridge a substantial structure some 60′ long, so on the way to being a tunnel. The first overbridge north (Whitstone Lane) was not typically S&D so the next one along was chosen, the left portal being added when the line was doubled. The Normans are the local farmers who still farm the land around the cutting that they filled in, and live nearby. Your editor likes to imagine that there continues to be an army of them (hence Normans’). Farmer Norman at the time the bridge was built insisted that a six foot high solid wooden fence should be built along the top of the bridge embankment to stop his cattle having ‘kittens’ at the sight of the trains, and the fence was there right to the end. The mostly MDF carcass that Steve has made is pictured above. Clearances on the S&D were quite tight, so a test was carried out to check that the tall chimneys on our 7F 2-8-0s will not get chopped off by this unforgiving structure.

Dave Haines has started making some trees, using twisted wire and sisal string to thicken it up, coated with PVA/Polyfilla mix and painted with acrylics – mostly burned umber, greys and green. They represent trees about 60 feet high:

Next up some pictures of Holly Junction.  Never let it be said that the Gang of Four ever waste any baseboard space – it is action everywhere, usually with lights on - great fun!

This castle is spectacular – all railway layouts should have one!

Jim’s 2mm finescale “working diorama” is due to appear at the Warley Show in late November as part of the belated Diamond Jubilee celebrations of the 2mm Scale Association – it was formed in 1960. They have their own event at the Derby Conference Centre in June, but Warley MRC offered them a “show within a show” by inviting some of the best 2mm layouts around. As Jim says “Somehow they even included mine!”

Although late November is a long way away, the full details are required by the organisers by late March, so Jim had to quickly put a lot of it together, including some idea of what is going to be in the second diorama, which shares the cassette fiddle yard with the original one. The photos below show what has been achieved so far.

Above is the original diorama that appeared at “Railwells” in August 2019. For six years, Jim worked on the 13th floor of the tower block on the LH side!

The lower exit from the fiddle yard (just behind the 2mm FS logo) needs a visual blocker so Jim rummaged around in his drawers for a suitable building, and came across a Langley etched LNWR signal box, part built. Although it seemed unlikely a freight yard would have a fully fledged box, rather than just a shunt frame, it was ideal to fit between the first and second track. The photo below shows the pieces, including an etch of levers, along with a £1 coin for size comparison. The real anoraks will notice that the levers do not have the traditional LNWR hoop shaped catches!

Bringing up the rear are a couple of views of Steve’s completed model of a LSWR Type 1 signal platform mounted box in its full pre-grouping glory with frame exposed and valancing.

And the 3D model of the Stevens frame to go in it.

There is a thread covering the design process on RMWeb for those who would like to know more: RMWeb 3D Model of LSWR Type 1 Signal Box

January 2022

January 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

December 2021

December 2021

Despite seasonal distractions, members made progress on several fronts. Our featured image is the painted and assembled chassis for the battered Wills T9 that Steve S is building to 00 Gauge for a friend. The Zimo chip is in the Hornby tender and the Hornby loco harness has been wired into the loco PCB. This means that current is collected from the driving and tender wheels.

Shown above are the various painted assemblies built as per the SE Finecast instructions with the addition of a Perseverance bogie to replace the SEF bogie that had been used elsewhere. The SEF etched chassis is implemented as a ‘power pod’ that despite being twin beam compensated runs perfectly well standalone, plus a vestigial section of frame above the bogie. The brake arrangements in the kit are closer to those of the saturated T9, but not actually correct for either version. The steam pipe was not needed by this engine as only two of the wide cab T9s seems to have had them running down the outside of the running plate. Happily, it will come in very handy for a Hornby narrow cab T9, which came with the smaller diameter brake pipe with the tighter bends down both sides – perhaps they all do! News of that EM conversion should feature next month.

This is the very smooth running T9 (on DC) waiting for a test run on its new home layout – and there lies a tale in a future blog! The cab cutouts had to be modified to get the handrails/stanchions to line up with the Hornby tender. The front footsteps had originally been fitted too far back, and initially I just put them back where I found them, having noted the very poor location there. Once correctly centred on the rear bogie wheel the fit was much improved!

Dominic has very sensibly (and successfully) been trialling static grass on the other side of his “photo plank” in preparation for some scenic work on Coombe Town.

Dom’s other picture shows progress on the Goods Shed with the guttering and roof on the office. It is a mirror image of the goods shed at Washford and is getting more convincing with each appearance.

Allan H’s 7mm scale Fowler 4F (complete with tablet catcher) is now ready for the paint shop.

Allan is justly famed for Kingsferry, but it is still quite extraordinary that such a superb model should result from his very first loco build in any scale, and he only started it in the Autumn!

In EM Gauge Pete C has been busy; the two SR Brakes are almost finished, having been sprayed with Halford’s Matt lacquer to blend the transfers, “much nicer to use than Dullcoat – even the Americans have apparently banned its manufacture!” If Pete made a left hand ducket SR Brake van – then he reckons he’d have a complete set of SR brake vans. A Parkside Medfit and David Geen GW Conflat A have now been finished and are shown in a brake van sandwich.

The Trestol is now painted,

Pete’s Ivatt 2-6-0 has had some final adjustments, including polishing the treads of the tender wheels to improve pickup performance as the Gibson finish wasn’t that great. It now runs very smoothly at a nice slow speed.”

Next up a couple of completed 7mm Slaters cattle wagons from Dave H which his kids bought him for Christmas in 2020 (he thinks) – just to prove he does weather things sometimes! They are modelled c. 1900, with the lime wash they used to use in those days to disinfect the insides. Wagons were no cleaner in 1900 than they were in 1950 as far as he can tell.

While he was in the mood, Dave H weathered the two Stephenson Clarke coal wagons he built some time back from HMRS resin body mouldings. You can see how good the detail on the mouldings is – he’s not altered them in any way, just added running gear and brakes mostly from spares.

CS2 layouts have their very own ‘Cripple Sidings’ where wagons and locos go when in disgrace. John M has been attending to some 7mm scale examples. Generally they need replacement axle boxes, couplings or brake gear that have come adrift. This month we end with two such wagons, repaired and ready to go back into service.

November 2021

November 2021

This month our featured image is the late Bob O’s Wills T9 on a Perseverance chassis (so correct 10′ wheelbase) with Escap motor and gearbox driving the rear axle. Weathered, with Sharman wheels and compensated on the Sharman principle some 30 years ago – somewhat ahead of its time. Destined to go to a new home within the club for a lot of TLC. It’s very likely to feature on the ‘Western Thunder’ forum at some point!

Jim’s 2mm Freightliner wagons are making steady progress. The 40 bogies are now finished and painted but the lattice work of the wagon etches need completing and a means of fixing said bogies to said wagons needs firming up – 12BA nuts into bolts or 12BA bolts into nuts!

Top left are the 10 Worsley Works “simple” etches. They need bogie mounting points adding, plus some form of brake cylinders etc. Top right are the more complex Stephen Harris etches which have still to be finished. For example, bottom left are two folded etches that create kerb rails that need soldering onto the sides. When they are done, there are a further 18 like them! On the track are two Worsley Works etches that Jim acquired from a fellow modeller some years ago. For some reason, he chose to ignore the marks and put the bogie pivots much nearer the buffer beams – and used the wrong bogies! The former can be changed – the latter can’t as Jim has no spare correct bogies.

Gate-crashing the photo is the brilliant new Hunslet shunter from the N Gauge Society. It comes provided with a DCC chip, and just (!) needs the wheels turning down or changing for 2mm finescale ones.

Steve’s 00 Gauge Wills T9 ‘for a friend’ continues to progress. The upended ‘power pod’ is shown above with brake gear and sand pipes fitted. The SEF 00 chassis spacing is exceptionally wide for 00 Gauge and there is very little room round the wheels. Good for footplates, but bad for running clearances! The drive is an HLK RoadRunner paired with a HLK (High Level Kits) 1219 coreless motor. Whilst this is a superb combination on straight DC, it did very odd things when tested with a donated black Gaugemaster controller – it seems that black Gaugemaster’s come with feedback control!

The super-detailed face of the loco is above, with scratchbuilt bufferbeam courtesy of the superb GW Models riveting tool, and a delicate home made ‘Daddyman Dart’. The smokebox door clamps and dart are correctly positioned for 30314. Good proportions really help the Wills T9 which responds well to such treatment. More details can be found on the Western Thunder build thread linked in the last post.

John M continues with his Great Eastern D16/3. He says: “The vacuum brake exhaust pipe has been fitted. The vertical copper pipe is to drain any condensation in the pipe. When releasing the brakes after a station stop, without a drain, the condensate would go up the sooty chimney and shower black water in the surrounding area. The handrail knobs on the left side of the loco have also been fitted. These complete that side of the loco except items that also concern the cab such as windows.”

Dom has started construction of the signal box locking room for Coombe Town. It is based on the original at Crowcombe on the West Somerset Railway, the one that featured in “A Hard Day’s Night”.

In 0 Gauge, Halsdon Road (now booked for Taunton Rail-Ex 2022), has had a small extension featuring a multi-storey car park and a couple of S&T men admiring their new cabling.

Also in 7mm scale the beginnings of the farmyard module for Evercreech New with the foundation for Prestleigh Lane in front of it. The problems of compression in large scale model railway layouts may well come home to roost on this one!

Dave S is helping the N Gauge Group with new baseboards for the fiddle yard of “The Bank”. Built in genuine Poplar ply the result is shown below – they look strong enough for Gauge 1, let alone N, and are surprisingly light! The Overton sign is Jim’s. It was purchased on impulse from the late lamented Collectors Corner, and travelled home first class on the Manchester Pullman!

Bringing up the rear, the extensive fiddle yard of Yeovil Town under its super new covers, but apparently bereft of trains. In 00 Gauge and DCC controlled, layout operation will be fully automated.

October 2021

October 2021

Our featured image for October is Jim’s latest mega micro-project. He has sold off his N gauge Graham Farish RTR models of the traditional FFA/FGA Freightliner wagons, and is replacing them using etched kits. He claims the GF models are ‘crude’, but your author doesn’t know how he can possibly say that with such tiny models! 🙂

Anyway, two rakes (ten wagons) are from a fairly intricate design by 2mm Scale Association member Stephen Harris and a further two rakes are a much more basic (and simpler) etch by Worsley Works. They all need bogies – 40 of the little blighters – and these are constructed from a fold up etch (also by Stephen Harris), to which are soldered top hat bearings and then clothed with white metal cast sides. Needless to say, they take 2mm finescale wheels with 12.25mm long axles, not N gauge wheels with 14.8mm long axles.

The first picture shows the components, the second one shows most of them constructed and awaiting the paint shop. (Below are the “Clam” ballast wagons mentioned many months ago – no nearer being finished!)

In EM Gauge, Peter C has been finishing off the Cambrian Brake Vans that needed those 3D printed brake blocks that YMRG designed and printed for him. First up the WD/SR 25T Brake van undergoing final painting, using transfers from assorted sources. Sandboxes still to be fitted.

Next the SR 15T Brake van undergoing final painting, using transfers from assorted sources:

Finally bringing up the rear, although perhaps it should probably be on the front, is a Yorkshire Shunter in a nice understated ‘wasp’ livery. Built from a Judith Edge kit some years ago, and finally fitted with a cab side number and windscreen wipers, Pete only had to make six in all, he still hasn’t found the ones that flew away!

Next up is Allan H with rapid progress on his 7mm scale 4F, being built from a Connoisseur Models etched kit. The loco chassis looking very smart – and even better, it moves!

Moving onto 00 Gauge, Steve S has been repairing and upgrading a battered Wills T9 for a friend whose father must have started it over fifty years ago. As far as it had got, it had been assembled with a tinman’s soldering iron on a gas ring, using some sort of medium melt solder.

Collected at the end of September the body was repaired and sat on a new SEF etched chassis by the end of October – spectacular progress by Steve’s normal standards! Paired with the first of several iterations of Hornby six wheel tender – this was the view by the end of the month. A fairly comprehensive build thread for this rescue mission can be found here:

Also in 00 Gauge Dominic has been doing bits and bobs on at Coombe Town. He has got the first parts of the Modelu guttering installed on the Goods Shed and has completed the first sliding door. The door is made from various bits of styrene strip with 3D printed wheels, which are designed to sit on the rails to allow the doors to be posed – and just how cool is that!

Finally, in 0 Gauge Dave H has been wrestling with wobbly wheels. As he says: “The only modelling I’ve done recently is to build a couple of Slaters GW cattle wagons. However I got so fed up with wobbly wheels that I decided to turn the rims of all new wheels using this little gizmo (picture below left). It’s just a bit of brass with a clearance hole for the axle, a brass peg that fits between the spokes as a driving peg, and a 6BA screw to clamp it to the axle.”

“The picture above (right) shows it in use to skim the treads on my aged cheapo lathe – it only needs a few thou off generally to get them concentric, then the transition between the tread and the flange is finished off with a half round file. Without the gizmo, they just turn on their axles with the lathe tool stuck in them. The flanges may still be a bit wobbly, but that doesn’t affect the running. If the treads are concentric with the axles, then you don’t get that awful limping effect as they run past. I’m afraid all the plastic centred wheel manufacturers I’ve tried suffer this problem occasionally – some worse than others.”

“The picture above shows the two cattle wagons nearly complete – just brake gear and roofs to add, then painting. I’ve modelled one with old style grease axle boxes, and the other with those new-fangled oil boxes.”

September 2021

September 2021

September saw us busy on both Evercreech New and Halsdon Road. Halsdon Road’s long overdue appearance at Taunton Raile-Ex was again postponed, and will now happen in 2022. The plan was to do a single update for the whole Autumn, but there was too much going on over that period for one post!

The 7mm scale D16/3 Claude Hamilton continues to progress with John reported that the cab roof had been rolled and riveted using a rivet punch that he had converted from a leather punch.

The finished cab roof. Milled brass angle is used for the rain strips and milled ‘U’ section for the ventilator slides. This has been modelled open. John claims: “62578 was a Melton Constable engine, and it is always dry and sunny in North Norfolk. No, it does not open and close!” The inside of the roof had a T section stiffener inside. This is again from T section brass which was soldered to some scrap brass before being shaped then unsoldered before fitting.

Not to be outdone, having completed the tender Allan H has started on the loco body for his Fowler 4F to run on “Evercreech New”.

Changing tack entirely, Jim has dug out some of his recent N Gauge purchases to see what scope there was to replace the wheelsets with finescale ones readily available to members of the 2mm Scale Association – rather than have the N scale ones turned down in a lathe. The majority of the recent purchases have been various types of bogie container wagons, which have 5.25mm diameter wheels. However, something slightly different was a pair of KUA nuclear flask wagons, designed to carry fuel to and from Sellafield and Rosyth and Devonport for our nuclear submarine fleet.

They are impressive beasts and will look good on “Bungham Lane”, assuming it is ever built! Although the model makers, Revolution Trains, tend to use axle lengths that do not correspond with the Association’s standards, I found 16 axles that were suitable, and the result is above.

Pete C has been beavering away with various EM Gauge projects, including replacing the pony wheels on his Ivatt Mogul. Pete says: “They came from John Meakin and are Sharman wheels, Mike Sharman being an RAF aircraft engineer used 3/32” axles. The bogie bearings were for 2mm axles, so I had to make a couple of bushes on the Unimat, my Unimat came via Peter Bedding who was his commanding officer on Vulcans. Luckily I successfully made 2 bushes first time and fitted them with a smear of Loctite retainer:”

A Weltrol wagon now has trestles.

Also our featured image a 40 year old Mainline Warship now has new windscreens, the old glazing having yellowed: What a splendid model this was for its time – as long as it either has two motor bogies or a replacement mechanism…

Finally, for Peter B’s P4 magnum opus depicting Market Bosworth, an exquisite Johnson Class 1400 2-4-0.

August 2021

August 2021

Things are slowly getting back to normal in CS2 with attendance steadily increasing on Wednesdays. Although Covid restrictions remain, some will be pleased to hear that from September, for a trial period, masks may be removed once one is safely ensconced in the centre of a layout whilst alone or in the presence of agreeable individuals.

In a faraway place Dominic has spent several nights painting 3 sets of 4mm scale crew to go in locomotives for Coombe Town. The first image is a Modelu set. The second is a set for the Model Rail 16xx printed by Hardys Hobbies. The 3rd and 4th also from Hardys are for the B2 Peckett.

In 7mm the Claude Hamilton is making huge progress.

The steps have been attached, as have the sandboxes. Those steps on the coupling rod ‘splashers’ were the very devil to attach. It would have been easy if John had three hands! The photos show some flux corrosion even though he rinsed it after each modelling session. A horrible glass fibre pen will need to be used which John has learned to use under water to minimise bits of fibreglass getting in his fingers.

The components for the loco brake gear fettled and ready for fitting and fitted. The blocks have been riveted to the hangers to stop them becoming unsoldered while the hangers are being soldered to the frames, a dab of Cyano will secure them when everything is lined up. The blocks on the pickup side will have a coating of Cyano in case they touch a wheel rim.

The Claude Hamilton Cabriolet ready for its test run

The brake gear was fixed before its successful test run at CS2. Keith raced it down the long straight in the fiddle yard and lost! This concerned John a little because fast engines are often weak engines, but when it was coupled to a lengthy goods train it had no trouble pulling it, making two circuits before the final gear drive became loose on the driving axle – apparently greatly disappointing our member for Ferndown when the grub screw failed to fall out.

The front sand pipes were attached next and that should finish the chassis. The sanding arrangements on these Locos were strange. The front ones were operated with compressed air from the Westinghouse braking system, and the rear sanding was by gravity from the sand boxes in the cab. The Westinghouse Company disapproved of the front arrangement, but no doubt the G.E.R. /L.N.E.R / B.R. who were good customers took no notice of their objections. There must have been an air reservoir somewhere on the loco, but the drawings that John has, do not show this. On many other Westinghouse fitted engines it was on the back of the tender. The castings on the model are from the now defunct Hobby Horse range.

From Simon K some Dapol O gauge wagons in a slightly distressed state for his non-S&D project.

Spurred on by a series of articles in the current editions of “Railway Modeller”, Allan has decided to build what he claims to be his first loco – a Fowler 4F in 7mm scale. Sensibly, Allan has built the tender first, before attacking the locomotive. Pictured above is the superb result – awaiting a visit to the Paint Shop.

This is one of the new entrances to the N gauge fiddle yard for The Bank. Layout Coordinator Alan has sourced double cross-overs giving much greater flexibility in the use of the fiddle yard. The track had to be taken up anyway as it had buckled with the excess heat in CS2. As can be seen, it’s all wired ready for connection to the point motors – MP1s for the single points and MP5s for the cross-overs. This is the work of Dave S, but Alan will be doing the other end!

And back to 7mm where Dave S has been assisting David S with the valve gear on his S15. The picture shows one side assembled on the loco:

Finally one of our Associate Members Peter B has been helping a friend build a model of Market Bosworth station on the Ashby and Nuneaton joint railway. The model is built to P4 standards and set in 1908. There is still quite a bit to do, although this is not at all obvious when looking at the photos. The line was constructed by the LNWR and MR. Track and lineside fencing was Midland Railway pattern. Signals and signal box LNWR. Other buildings and bridges etc were designed specifically for the line. This location was chosen as in addition to being a through station it had a good sized goods facility, and allows both LNWR and MR stock to be run.

As disruptive as the pandemic has been it has allowed good progress to be made on the layout and stock. The layout was due to appear at Scaleforum and Railex last year, but unfortunately the shows were cancelled. Pete B and friend are hoping for a new invite.