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Brettell Road

Return of the rain

Up until now I have been using various gloss varnishes to attempt to make Brettell Road look wet. The results have been somewhat mixed especially on the ground itself. So I’ve given a few AK interactive products a try, still water and wet effect. Here are a few pictures of the results so far (Yes it is dry)

The Still water is a self levelling resin and it’s quite thick.  The wet effects is an enamel.  What you see in the pictures is a mixture of both products.

https://ak-interactive.com/


Dapol GWR Railcar, finished off

I can draw a line under my Dapol GWR railcar project as its now weathered and finished. The new numbers came from Steve at Railtec transfers (click here). Here are some pictures of the end result.


More on bananas, couplings and a short time lineside.

With the motor sorted out I cut away the molded hump (as well as the seats) and added a new floor from 20thou plasticard.  The replacement seats were from DC kits (I think).  The interior was then sprayed a reddish colour as that’s what pictures seemed to show. I added some curtains (drawn up in photoshop and printed) along with 3 passengers – Brettell road being very sparsely used by the public.

Although I will be keeping the railcar as no14, I removed the numbers in preparation for adding the later off white version at the other end to the way Dapol had them.  The numbers came of very easily with a spot of turps substitute on a cotton bud.  Be very careful around the lining as that comes off almost as soon as you look at it!

Returning to the coupling conundrum

If you remember I was toying with the idea of using a UV torch for my coupling pole but the one I had gave out a lot of visible light. I’ve upgraded to a much better UV laser torch and since photographing it is quite difficult I did a video instead.  I did try adding a filter to block the visible light completely but it made it extremely hard to use.

On the subject of videos, may I invite you to get a comfy chair and a mince-pie and spend a while line side watching a bit of shunting. (this one is all diesel)


The Dapol flying banana – part 2

As mentioned last time I planned to use a Brassmasters 7ft bogie for the none powered end of my GRW railcar. The Brassmasters bogie is longer overall than the Dapol one – you can see the adjusted one at the top of the picture. Here is the bogie in position with pick ups on the far side. The near side picks up through the bogie itself.   If all you want it a p4 railcar then you can stop here. I tested mine at this point and all seemed fine but its worth noting that the pickups  are wired the opposite way round at each end. The red wire at this end goes to the opposite rail at the other.   A bit odd!

Naturally I didn’t stop there. This is the interior without the body. That huge moulded lump has to go. The culprit is this huge motor. No idea why its this big, the thing only has to move itself and you can’t couple it to anything anyway!  The Mashima sitting on top is a 1020.The good news is the motor and its mounts simply unscrew from the underframe.  I mounted my 1020 on a  bit of 80thou plasticard and on the floor. By moving the motor back from its original position you can mount the flywheel lower too. A bit of 1.5mm ID/ 2mm OD tube meant I could use the original flywheel which contains the universal joint. The drive shaft was cut in half and lengthened with a bit of tube. There’s a small lip in its channel at the motor end that needed to be ground away. While I was hacking the chassis about I cut a hole to allow me to represent the engine. Spares from the Heljan class 128 underframe sprue did the job. Next, the interior and finishing.


The Dapol Flying Banana

Dapol have recently released a 4mm scale model of the GWR streamlined railcar.  The model depicts one of those ordered in January 1935 to lots 1546 and 1547 meaning it can cover railcars number 8 to 16 (number 17 was ordered at the same time but was a parcels version).  Overall first impressions are good. Not being all that familiar with the real thing it looks the same as the pictures in ‘The History of the Great Western A.E.C. Diesel Railcars’ by C.W.Judge.   There are a few things that stand out immediately though as room for improvement. The interior isn’t great being a 1 piece moulding with a huge lump in the middle to over the underfloor (well below the window line anyway) motor. With something with such big windows this isn’t ideal. The bogies look very under nourished.

First steps in converting to P4

The model uses a single driven bogie which has split axles, picking up through the bearings. The other end is a more traditional coach type bogie with wipers on the backs of the wheels. You might be able to use the Branchlines class 108 conversion for the power bogie as it looks a similar arrangement but as I didn’t have one I can’t say for sure.

I used standard wheels and drilled the center gear out 2mm to fit. I disconnected the wire from one side and used a little bit of copper clad and phosphor bronze wire to arrange new pick ups.

At the ‘trailing’ end things don’t looks so easy.  The bogie is very, very narrow. No doubt a compromise to allow any sort of swing on the full skirted versions on 00 curves. You can see from the picture that a standard 26mm axle is wider that the bogie.   You might be able to fit P4 wheels on the original axles as they do just about fit between the sideframes but…

… lets face it the super skinny bogies look more than a little bit naff. The quite low relief details really don’t help either. No doubt another compromise for the skirted models. The powered end has plug on sideframes, like a Heljan diesel so these can be easily spaced out to something approaching the real thing. The difference is quite marked to my eye for as good as no effort.

This is the driven side after its been re-spaced – the additional drive details go some way to mask the low relief nature of the basic sideframe.

I await a Brassmasters 7 ft bogie to redo the trailing end with new pickups which should kill both of the problematic birds with the same piece of small aggregate!

EDIT – Tony on the scalefour society forum has tried the Branchlines class 108 conversion and reports they don’t fit.


Hornby hacks 1 part 2 (and a few wagons)

My class 25/0 is now done. Here are some pictures. I don’t normally like a pre-weathering shot as its not finished yet. But some people do. Below some now customary moody shots.(well you kind of expected the last one didn’t you?)

Wagon News

As I mentioned in one of the post scaleforum posts I found i had more wagons than really necessary. So im planing to just finish off those in the to do pile and try to resist adding any more. Nearest is a diagram 2049 wooden ended open with steel reinforcement. this uses the Parkside sides and underframe with a Rumney Models kit for the ends.  Behind is another standard 20 ton brakevan, this time from Bachmann.


Hornby hacks 1 part 1

I currently have 3 projects lined up that involve taking a razor saw to old Hornby models. This is the first one and to be fair there’s a lot more Bachmann in it than Hornby (but that wouldnt fit the title as well!).

Class 25/0

This has been on my to do list for years. When we used to help my friend David exhibit Amlwch we had all of the main variations of class 24 and 25 except for the 25/0. But then David sold the layout and it just went in to the abandoned project pile. With class 25’s being one of my favourite classes it made sense to resurrect the project for Brettell road so……following the same pattern as my late body style class 25s this is a hybrid of Hornby cabs on a Bachmann body. The Bachmann model having the correct raised bodyside grills for a 25/0 but the wrong cab roof shape while the Hornby cabs having the right shaped windows (more of that in a moment) and the headcode boxes. As I am doing an original condition loco with valances the effect of chopping up the underframe as I did on my other 25s isn’t so much of a win but I did rearrange the bits of underframe you could see to better match my prototype. The original 25/0’s had no steam heating so there is no water tank.

The beading on the roof was redone in the correct place and the panel Bachmann missed off was added. These panels seemed to vary a lot.  The grill is from Shawplan. Moving on to the cabs the comment of the windows being correct isn’t strictly accurate. The important thing is that the top of them is right but the center window is too small and the main windows, although right for a later 25 are too big for a 25/0.  The side window is also a bit high and a bit too far forward. Filing and microstrip sorted them out.  I re-used the bottom section of the Bachmann cab and but the buffer beams off and mounted them to the body. After a blast of primer to check that the joins were good I set to work adding in panel lines, the tail lights, cab front handrails and the row of rivets around the base of the base of the cab (archers transfers). The cab vents and exhaust are from the Brassmasters etch.  Next stage will be paint.


Post Scaleforum part 2

Couplings

The subject of couplings tends to come up at most shows. Each have their own ideas whether manual or autocouplings are best. I’m firmly in the manual camp and within reason I like couplings to look like the thing they are supposed to represent. Yes I know the infamous ‘hand of god’ grates to some but, to me, I like to suspend my belief for a second or 2 while an operator couples up rather than something looking wrong 100% of the time due to some weird design of autocoupling. On Brettell Road I have kind of the best and worst case scenario at the same time for the hand of god problem. Best case because its dark and its easier to hide it. Worst case because if the operators have any hope of seeing what they are doing you need a light! I can appreciate that this might well be the ultimate per peeve for some. Bit like my own of tipped from the box road vehicles or magnificently modelled signals with a flat etch for the ladder, so is there another way? Well there might be!The couplings on this wagon have been modified do that they can be seen in the dark.  in the light there are no derogatory side effects but in the dark……and under a UV light coupling hook they are clearly visible. Potentially easier to see than inter the normal pen torch. The UV torch I have does still give out visible light so the next mission is to find a truly black light source. By marking the coupling link, the wagon hook and the end of the coupling probe with a UV marker I might have a reasonably invisible manual coupling method.

Cassettes

Of the 5 layouts I have regularly helped to exhibit 3 have used a cassette system and this always seems to generate interest at shows. Cassettes are one of those weird things in model railways that everyone seems to be aware of but no one ever really explains to anyone. I have to hold my hands up and say I am not really a fan of them but for Brettell Road I didn’t really have a lot of options.  This is how my cassette system works (other methods are available).The baseboards were designed with a recess for the cassettes. The connecting end of the cassette itself. this is the third revision.   The track is only actually stuck to the cassette at this end via the copper clad. the rest is merely clamped between the cassette and the inner piece that runs down it’s length.

I say third revision because the way it connect to the layout has been a tad problematic. initially I had extra rails outside of the running rails that transferred power to the copperclad sleepers by sitting over the top. This worked for the vertical alignment and at the test session at Phil’s seemed to be fine for horizontal too. However in terms of transmitting the power it wasn’t 100% and as Simon (one of the operators) pointed out – it was likely to wear through the copperclad at some point.

For Scaleforum I retained the extra rails for alignment but added phosphor bronze strips for electrical connection. these were better but fragile. Also oddly we had horizontal alignment problems that hadn’t shown up before.  This is my revised arrangement that I am happy with so far. It seems reliable in tests but until the layout goes to its next show we wont be absolutely sure. It does look a little bit more complicated than it needs to be due to 2 tracks feeding in from the layout. The basic idea is that a piece of flatbottom rail mounted sideways and into the web of the running rail does all the alignment and power transmission. you might have noticed that the rail in the cassette picture wasn’t attached to the first sleeper. this is because it’s slightly tweaked outwards and is held in line by the flatbottom rail. The advantage of this is that its robust but easily adjustable if needed. So far in tests the derailment problem hasn’t re-occured. The cassette in place. I also have some half length ones too.


Uh-oh – hes got distracted again!

Well sort of! When I was a kid my mum and dad took me and my brother to Matlock for the day. I might have been one of those family away day rail tours BR did back then. I can’t remember why we were there but I do remember wandering down the platform waiting for the train home and finding a little loco shed. Inside was this! (picture © Philip Wheldale and used with permission).

I can’t remember if it was exactly the same and I seem to recall some sort of tarpaulin on the roof but I had absolutely no idea what it was. I could only see the front and it looked kind of sad sitting there.  On getting home and checking my early loco numbers book I found out it was the last surviving co-bo and ever since they have always held a certain appeal.  definitely weird and pretty much hopeless from the very start they were like the runt of the early diesels litter, whats not to like?

Anyway given that Brettell Road is a what if and none to serious. What if one made it to there in the late 50’s?  Remember I have set it to be more midland railway than it should be so it’s not a leap of imagination to presume that Derby might have sent one to the area to see if they could find a use for it. So, just as Hatton’s stocks of the Heljan model were dwindling I ordered one. They only had the full yellow end version left by then.

A quick win would be to stick some P4 wheels in, weather it and jobs a good-un but that would be a bit too simple really so I set to with files and opened the cab windows out to their original sizes. A bit of wire restored the framing. The actual windows were cut from the packaging the model came in to get the curves edges. The cab front was re-sprayed back to green (Precision locomotive green being a very close match) and then it was weathered. Ok A quick win-ish!The other side (yes I know it’s not the right headcode arrangement for a passenger train) I know this shot is rapidly becoming a Cliché but I am not bored with it yet!

For more of Philips photos click here.


Back to the bridges

As mentioned in the last post, I did get the bridges in place for Scaleforum but they weren’t as bedded in as I would have liked. Well now, they are! Going right to left for a change, these are the bridges over the canal.Closer view of the main branchline bridge. one of the 2 bridges for the sidings (both are the same design)The overbridges at the left hand (or Stourbridge) end. another view of the same bridges. The final view along the alleyway.And a night-time view, after all that is the point of the layout!


Post scaleforum, part 1

Brettell road seemed well received at Scaleforum and for a first show I was very pleased with how it went.  That’s not to say there isn’t a list of things that need looking at for the future though.

One of the things I did before the show that I didn’t really have time to post about was this derby lightweight from a Bachmann model. I have long-term plan for a DMU but this was a quick win to have something for the show. I wired the 2 cars together and disconnected the red tail lights. A swap of the destination blinds, a few passengers and some weathering and it was good to go.  I still need to redo the gangway at some point. I found at Scaleforum I had more wagons than I needed. this meant withdrawing ones that played up wasn’t a problem and to be fair my cripple train is reassuringly short. The class 20 didn’t have enough rotation in the bogies so that’s been fixed too.

I’ve toned down the streetlights as well as several people remarked that they were too bright. finally a quick shot of the Deeley parked up under the bridges (well why not?). I still need to finish the bedding in of the bridges so that will be a future post of its own.


Testing times and building bridges.

Been a bit quiet around here recently as I’ve been busy on the run up to Scaleforum in 2 weeks time.

A few weeks ago Phil kindly let me set up the layout at his house for a pre-show shakedown. I have to be honest it all went very well indeed with some great feedback and suggestions from the guys who will be helping at scaleforum. The main thing I wanted to decide on, and the operators were pivotal to this decision was if the layout was going to have a roof or not. I think we all decided it should so a roof is currently under construction. Another thing changed for the show is the point motors. Although the ones I had didn’t give any trouble I decided to switch them over to tortoises for reliability. There are an awful lot on Calcutta siding 2 (there was an awful lot on Calcutta sidings 1 as well!) and they have never given any trouble. I’ve also set up routes (no laptop required, you can do it with digitrax) so hopefully we will at least create the impression that we know what we are doing!

What about building bridges?  Well that’s what I have been doing. The bridges on the layout are perhaps the ultimate example of how far away from the original idea Brettell road has come. I could have just used a pile of wills verigirders and got on with it but I really wanted to get back to etching things after several years so I drew up 4 different designs.

Starting from the left hand end, this is going to be the road over bridge. Next is the footbridge. These 2 bridges and their locations take inspiration (and measurements) from the bridges at Moor Street Sidings. moving to the canal. this will be the bridge that carries the branchline over the canal. Its based on one close to home that’s the other side of where the real Brettell Lane station used to be. Finally the bridges for the sidings themselves. This is based on one at round oak.


The not so dirty dozen

I’ve nearly finished of another batch of a dozen wagons. Some are repeats of types that have gone before, some are variations and some are typed I’ve not done before.

Below are the repeats A LMS 5 plank open from the Cambrian kit.  2 shockvans and a 9 plank private open from Parkside kits. A couple of standard 12t vans from Parkside kits. The plywood one (furthest) is built as per kit with my usual mods to detail the underframe a little. The nearer planked example with plywood doors runs on the Red Panda 10 ft clasp brake chassis. This one is a mix of old and new Parkside. The body is one of their old kits mounted on their newer LMS clasp brake underframe to produce a diagram 1927 vac fitted 12 ton goods wagon. Nearest is a diagram 1379 Southern railways 8 plank open from the Cambrian kit. Furthest a 6ton LMS fish van  from Parkside. 2 palvans from the Parkside kit. Furthest as supplied and nearest converted to a clasp brake variant using parts from the red panda underframe. Not quite as simple as the 12 ton van shown earlier as I needed to retain the palvans slightly odd springing and solebars. Finally a diagram 2111 LMS banana van. The body is from the ratio kit and the underframe is a little bit weird. It is basically the standard LMS clasp brake design but with a shorter 9 ft wheelbase rather than the usual 10 ft. I think it gives quite a nicely proportioned vehicle . Above shows how I did it. I’ve been finishing the bodies first for a while now and adding the underframe later as, provided the underframe is supplied in black plastic, it saves some time painting, especially the visible bits on the insides.  This one uses spare bits left over from other wagon kits. The solebar is from Cambrian and the handbrakes are from Parkside. W irons are Bill Bedford with Wizard models brakes and Rumney Models axleboxes and springs.  Question is, will anyone ever notice?

Some thoughts on Parkside Dundas

I’ve mentioned parkside a lot in this entry. In fact the first wagon kit I ever built was a Parkside Grampus (the unfitted one). Well the people behind Parkside have decided to retire and the range of kits has passed to another supplier. I will no doubt continue building Parkside kits for as long as they are available and i’ve built an awful lot so far. They were always accommodating and it was always a pleasure to stop by for  a chat at shows. So to the guys behind Parkside Dundas, I thank you and I wish you all a happy retirement.


Bring on the rejects!

When a magazine want images I usually take a load of new ones and send them over for selection. Invariably they don’t pick them all so here we find a selection of rejects!


the end of the green stuff

Well I’ve reached the end of adding green stuff to the layout with the slim strip of it at the front. There’s only really the bridges, some more road vehicles and some industrial clutter still to do on the scenic side now.This is the view of the Stourbridge end. there are 2 metal over bridges still to build for this end. a view from inside the yard showing the new retaining wall on the left. The Dudley end. there are 3 under bridges to build for this end. I decided to revisit an older picture i quite liked, well why not?


Basically just an excuse for pictures!

Brettel road now has its final front and backscenes added. More work to do on the fronts yet but its starting to look like a proper layout!Here is a view of the warehouse with the new backscene in the distance.   Ive decided to take some pictures of trains too. (sorry this post isn’t a bit more, erm, informative!) Railcar 22 trundles past towards DudleyPannier tank arrives with the sausage train. Kirtley shuffles some ballast wagons aroundClass 20 descends the bank.Jinty waits for something to do. Deeley takes its turn at some wagon worrying. The railcar climbs back up the back towards Stourbridge.Yeah I know this looks a bit wierd but there is a prototype practice for it.


A visit to the woodworking shop

I spent the early part of this week visiting my friend Tim to get the extra bits of wood cut for Brettell Road. With Scaleforum looking at the end of September I needed to turn it from a plaything to something that could survive on the exhibition circuit. My list was as follows:

  • 2 fiddleyards
  • Cassettes for the fiddleyards
  • New sides and ends for the layout itself
  • Fronts for the layout
  • Legs for the layout

The reason for the new sides and ends were that when I built Brettell Road it wasn’t supposed to be taken out. I used 3mm MDF for the backscenes and it was too weak The entire construction was MDF and while this is absolutely fine for small, simply shaped boards the design of Brettell Road was a little too ambitious for the material. So the 3mm MDF has been replaced with 6mm ply instead.Pictured above is the right hand side (as the viewer will look at it) fiddleyard. Quality control dog Earl doesn’t seem all that impressed!

Laser cutters can be quite hypnotic to watch. Here is the large cutter cutting out a test piece for the layout logos.

The logo test. the scratches on the acrylic were not caused by the laser but by yours truly cleaning the dust off with something a tad too abrasive!

As always, thanks to Tim for allowing me to take over his machines for a couple of days.


Light, dark and the bigger picture.

The last actual building for Brettell road is now finished which means I can now give you a reasonable overview of how the layout will look. There is still more to do and more clutter to add yet. I want to add a couple of cranes to this scene too.  Here’s how the area looks at night. The courtyard for the building shown last time and below at nightA couple of overviews from the left side …and from the right side.Probably should include a couple of trains really!

 


Buildings and the march of progress

Work continues on buildings for Brettell Road
The big warehouse now has a roof (thanks to Mr Horn for his laser cut tiles.  Just the bridges and front/backscenes to do on this board and I can call it done. Looking the other way, I knocked up a very low relief building to go behind the pub.  Across the alley way is this small building based on a local one I found in Brierley Hill.  Work in progress on its neighbour. Again local influences but nothing specific.  I don’t know if I will need a small outbuilding here to fill up the space or if ill just leave it open for clutter. The other side – I’ve a vague idea that this will be some sort of woodworking industry or perhaps a commercial vehicle repair shop.

 

If you have explored the site you might have come across this picture before,  I brought this loco years ago just because I like class 27s but thoughts have turned to doing something useful with it.  This loco has become a bit of a clone of Brettell road itself in a way as it started out with the simple idea of just fitting a chip and sorting out the bogies and that would do. nothing to serious but like Brettell Road it’s all gone a bit wrong! moving the bogie springs in a bit and fitting the decoder was easy enough but the roof fan looked horrible. unfortunately the hole is too big for Brian’s nicely etched replacement so that ended up being a bit more of a faff than I hoped!  Then there were the nose end doors.  They needed adding along with the details. I renumbered it to an example I found at Saltley (Class 27s were quite regular visitors to the midlands in their early lives) and re-weathered it.   Also while I remember the yellow panels were too wide so a spot of Pheonix BR loco green sorted that out. On the mention of roof fans this is one of Brian’s for the class 20.  I always quite liked them.  I think it stems from a pair sitting outside my bedroom window one Sunday as a kid while the down North Warwickshire line was being relayed.  I quite like the idea of them working on their own so I decided to get  a green one.  The grill is made up of 4 parts. A plain ring that goes onto the roof first. The ring with with the bracing and then the mesh, finally the last ring goes on. Zap pink is ideal for this and make sure you get the mesh the right way up!

On the loco itself I replaced the bogie sideframes with Heljan Baby Deltic ones as first suggested by my friend Shane. I had done this on my Lima ones and, this being my first Bachmann example, I was surprised to find the supplied bogies were quite poor too. I filled the lower beam on the bogie ans sanded it smooth as I was doing one of the first batch. Buffers were from Lanarkshire models.


Just a spot of finishing off

Recently attention has returned to the main warehouse with the top floor being finished off and the ceiling added. I decided on a sort of rest room that wasn’t lit. I quite liked the idea of light from deeper in the building coming through the internal windows and bouncing off the tables and chairs. On the main floor, again just a hint of activity.

After much experimentation and having tried different materials (thanks to those who made suggestions) I have settled on black latex from a surgical glove for the Kirtley weather hood. After some good, constructive feedback I’ve made a few tweaks to the 94xx tank. The chimney cap has been swapped back to the original lima one which was mounted in my mini-drill and ‘improved’ with a sanding stick. The whistles have been replaced with a shielded set from Modelu and the toolboxes have been made 20 thou deeper. The 2 latest loco’s together. Is it me or does the pannier look like it dwarfs the Kirtley?  Finally below another mood shot!


Haven’t had a loads of finished things post for a while.

So lets start with a buildings and a request,  When I posted the image of the pub at night I was asked for a picture of the area in the light so here it isThis also shows the water tower I was working on too, speaking of which…Remember the lower part of the Hornby water tower I was fiddling with and how I didn’t worry too much about details?  This is the reason why – you can just about see it, if you know where to look! Moving on to some wagons. This is the Chivers kit for a Dia1674 LMS Bolster wagon.  A nice simple kit to build although given the long wheelbase I did opt for Bill Bedford springing.This was supposed to be a quick win. I liked the local livery and thought that it would break up the sea of grey and bauxite wagons. Its a Bachmann product but an older one that was stretched to fit their 10ft wheelbase steel chassis. Some careful cutting in 4 places lost some of the extra length and while it is still too long it does now fit the longer Cambrian wooden chassis. I’ve finished off the vans I was working on too. Not a lot more to add about them really but here’s the pictures.  LMS 6 wheel fish van – Chivers Kit.LMS GUV Palethorpes 6 wheel vanAnd the larger bogie version – Transfers are from Cambridge custom transfers. Sheet BL153 covers the 6 wheel vans while sheet BL154 covers the bogie vans.

Finally aside from the crew and some coal (plus a slight warping of the footplate) the 94xx tank is done too. Here’s a few images.


94xx tank – thoughts on the footplate

With the chassis complete and test fitted thoughts turn to the footplate. Left hand side. One little point to mention, I mounted the valve gear rivet backwards on the coupling rods as the hollow appearance seemed to match prototype pictures better.

I tend to carry forward things from one project to the next and stuff I’ve worked on before seems much more obvious in the future. In this case the splashers are too big and the rear one is in the wrong place. so these will need changing. Somewhere in the history of owning the model the forward footstep has broken off and been long lost. The lower part of the firebox is much wider than the upper part – no doubt to accommodate the RTR mechanism. So this will need looking at. It also means that the details on it are all a bit flat. And after!  I filed up new forward tank supports from a bit of H section. The forward steps are from a mainly trains etch, I replaced the steps under the cab too and the rear-most steps are knocked up from a bit of brass. The splashers were cut off about a mm from their base and remounted. the ones behind the toolboxes coming from a scrap chassis I carefully cut away the lower firebox sides – leaving the front bracket in place and made new sides from plasticard. The injectors were an enjoyable little project, soldered  up from bits of brass and tube.   Below is a close up of either side.


Return to the 94xx

A while ago I started work on a Lima 94xx tank I’ve had from my childhood. The idea was to match it to a high level pannier or Collett chassis as a quick project. However after speaking to Chris at High Level he decided that the 94xx wasn’t really like either and said he would be interested in doing a specific kit for the loco – the , at the time, recent announcement from Bachmann that they intend to look at the class too might have helped.Top view of the chassis before fitting the wheels – at this stage I decided to give it a basic coat of paint.   Below is the underside. High Level Kits website


One thing leads to another

On a couple of forums people asked for more details on the Lowmac compensation shown last time so…
This is the underside. It’s best to set everything up with normal bearings first so that the rise height is correct. Then a  simple case of adding a bit of scrap etch for the axle to rest on.Once happy you can replace the bearing with ones that have been filed into a slot. This means the ends of the axle can move up and down, it really is that simple! On the subject of track holding…This is the Chivers kit for the LMS fish van (diagram 2115) of course ive done plenty of 6 wheeled bogies before but never a 6 wheeled wagon.  Brassmasters do a clemenson chassis for 6 wheeled vehicles but as the fish van has stretcher bars I didn’t think it would work. To the right of the picture is a Bill Bedford pedestal suspension unit converted to inside bearings, the outer axles use normal suspension units. The plan is to join them all with wire so that the center axle can slide side to side.  Speaking of 6 wheeled vans and clemenson chassis…A black country icon, the Palethorpes sausage van.  this uses the ancient Hornby model (well 2 of them) and chivers sideframes.  You can see from the picture where the 2 vans have been cut up to correct the length of the van as supplied.  Note also the strange backwards brake lever.Where the fish van is quite open underneath these vans are not. They were fitted with onboard lighting and internal fans thus the dynamo and battery boxes. It’s all a bit cramped really!! Speaking of palethorpes…The 6 wheeled vans bigger brother. Surprisingly you only need 2 vans to do one of these too!  the underframe is from the comet kit.  And finally on the subject of bogie vans…the good old Lima GUV, fitted with new bogies and underframe details.