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locomotives

A post post!

Originally I wasn’t going to really have ‘through trains’ on Brettell Road – the through line was only going to be used by the industrial shunter but like most of the plans for this layout it all went a bit wrong.  So now that the branch is used by BR as well it made sense to have a short parcels train.  I had already done a LMS GUV from the Lima model but in another hark back to my childhood train set I always liked my Lima Siphon G as well.  I’m not quite sure what happened to the original one I had but I found a bashed up one on Ebay for a few quid and set to work. The Lima body has had the lower vents added from the cooper craft (ex blacksmiths) etch.  Kindly picked up for me from Scalefour southwest last year by Steve Carter of the Scalefour Society.  The bogies are MJT on the brassmasters frames, as are the buffers, with small steps from the Frogmore Confederacy Range (both available from here).  The gangway is a Hornby DMU one which I cut into from the bottom and glued back together to give that characteristic drooped look. The other side with some of the vents left open. In terms of somewhere for the guard to sit, the good old Mainline LMS BG.   just new handrails, glazing and underframe bits on this one.

A couple of RTR wagons from Bachmann.  the Grain wagon has had its axleboxes replaces with Parkside spares and the brakes moved to line up with the wheels.  Finally below just a few images of my Jinty pottering about.


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 cut 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.


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.


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!


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.


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


Kirtley finished (well nearly)

First up a short video of the inside motion doing its thing.

There’s still a bit of work to do on the Kirtley – add a crew and the weather sheet, some coal and the wet weather effect but its pretty much done. Below are a few pictures.

I have been doing a few wagons as an aside to the soldering iron. Another lowfit from Red Panda.  This one has a Parkside chassis and buffers from my supply. I don’t know who made them or what type they are but they matched some of the pictures on Paul Bartletts wagon site  Thanks to my friend Brendan for the lowfit transfers. The Dapol lowmac kit. Reworked with Lanarkshire models buffers, archers rivets and new axleboxes from the spares box. The brake lever is an etch and the ratchetey looking guide is from a piercing saw blade.  This wagon is really too long to be rigid and there’s not a lot of room for any sort of springing or compensation units so the solution here (which I remember from a P4 society digest sheet years ago) is to file the bearings into a slot and use a bit of scrap etch in the centre of the axle to allow it to rock.


Kirtley part 3 – ready for primer

My Kirtley project has reached the stage that its ready for primer. Buffers are from Lanarkshire models whilst the whistle and safety valves are from Markits. I’ve replaced the steps and cab roof with brass.

Rear view. Some Kirtleys had a simple weather hood to protect the crew. It stretched from the cab roof to the tender front. Anyone got any thoughts on how to replicate this? It will need to be flexible.


trying a little tenderness.

I never planned for Brettell Road to be populated with anything other than tank engines but as with most things I have planned it’s all gone a bit wrong!  So…

brassmasters-4f-chassisI present you the Brassmasters easychas for the Bachmann 4f, not that its going in one mind you. I found a picture of an interesting little loco at Saltley in one of D.J. Nortons West Midlands books and there was a ancient kit for it too. However the chassis supplied is literally 2 bits of brass with 6 holes in it. It wasn’t really going to do!

The chassis has been built kind of as intended although I needed to shorten the tender wheelbase a bit. I also added a few Alan Gibson frame spacers to the chassis and a high level gear box (smaller motor is in the post) . The p4 frame spacers were a tad wide and I wonder if the EM ones might be better if you are following a similar approach?

inside-motion-paintedHaving never built a tender loco before and figuring if you are going to do something you may as well go for the ultimate solution (or potential failure) I decided to have a go at Brassmasters working inside motion too.   It certainly ticks the fiddly details box that’s for sure but was fun to build.

inside-motionThis is what it looked like before fitting to the chassis.    But what loco is it you might wonder?

kirtley-mock-upA Kirtley goods, I was attracted to its ancient appearance. These loco’s (the 700) class were introduced in 1869 and the last one made it to BR as 58110 being withdrawn in 1951 when she had seen 71 years service!  The body and tender (shown losely mocked up) are the Keyser kit and the kit itself is nearly as old as I am.  I’ve removed the springs to be replaced with something a little more refined and shortened the footplate so that it doesn’t overhang the bufferbeam, All the rivets have been sanded off, the ones on the  smokebox were too crude and the tender of 58110 was flush riveted in the end.  I’ve also reduced the with of the tender footplate slightly to add some 0.7mm L section from Eileens (the actual prototype being very thin in this area and nothing like the chunky cast floor thee kit comes with.

 

 


Class 11 finished off.

class-11Not a lot to say really, the class 11 is done and ready for service. Here’s a few pictures. class-11-cab-end class-11-at-night shunters-comparedOK so the irony isnt lost on this one but its a good comparison between the class 11 and class 08 shunters. Of course class 08’s never carried LMS livery in their early days while the class 11s did.   It will be interesting to see if anyone ever notices that 12049 is a bit more than a repainted 08!

m1-suburban-weatheredWhilst I had my airbrush out the Mk1 got all mucky too!

night-shunting-fxI haven’t done any photo-shopped pictures for a while but here’s a spot of shunting.


revisiting a class 47

One of my early class 47s featured a Lima body on an Athearn PA1 chassis as below. 47433-on-platform-6This was done before I settled on the windscreen modification for the Lima 47 (I don’t think Shawplan actually had done them at the time) so I wanted to revisit it to make the face match the others on the layout. Along the way I had been collecting cheap ViTrains 47s so while it was in for an overhaul I swapped the chassis too.   The results can be seen below. 47433-redo


back to the class 11 and a thought on coaches

My class 11 is ready for a visit to the paint shop class-11-frontI prefer to give models a coat of undercoat when the basic work is done before adding details as this allows me to see any areas that need attention first. The rivets are archers and the ladders are Colin Craig’s.class-11-rearOne thing you can’t do is just refit the brake gear as it will now sit too low and too far from the wheels. My solution was to trim the mounting blocks down and add new pegs from microstrip set to bring everything back in line. class-11-brake-gear-modWith plans afoot for my what if the Flatirons weren’t scrapped idea I have decided a short passenger train might be in order to go with it. As such I picked up an old Bachmann Mk1 suburban for a fiver on eBay and set to work. Starting with the bogies. br1-bogie-tweakThese are the older style Bachmann bogies and P4 wheels would have simply dropped in but the out of line brake shoes kept catching my eye so I mounted them on my own etched subframes (available from Brassmasters). The top image shows how much of the original sideframe is reused. mk1-suburbanThe principle work done to the mk1. Starting from the top the roof ribs have been reduced in size, Replica Railways windows have been added, bufferbeam details and steps along with underframe details from Masokits and Replica.


Some more plastic bashing

I fancied a diesel shunter for Brettell Road.  I was quite taken with the idea of bringing my decades dead mainline class 03 back from the grave with a High Level Chassis but as I though about it I drifted away from the idea. A quick win would be just to get a Black 08 and swap the wheels but where is the fun in that?  class-11-startedSo what I have ended up with is basically the class 08’s older brother, the class 11.  Work so far started with a Bachmann 08. I fitted the smaller 3ft 11 wheels and Brassmasters coupling rods. Some general underframe detailing has been started along with the spring overlays from Mr Horn.  Rather than file off all the bodyside doors I thought it easier to just replace the bodysides so that I had a nice flat base to work on. shunters-comparedThe cab roof of a class 11 is a lot more like a continuous curve than the 08 and it just so happens that when lima did their model they completely cocked it up!  So much so that it appears they might have been working from class 11 drawings as it seems to match pretty well. So it’s a no brainer to swap the cabs over.   I have also reduced the depth of the bufferbeam and will need to relocate the buffers.


A modern takeover

If you can call diesels modelled as they appeared 30 years ago modern, a few have escaped from New Street and ventured to Brettell Road. They have since been rounded up and shepherded back to their own world! 31-at-brettell-road 45012-at-brettell-road 58040-at-brettell-road VGA-at-brettell-road


More progress on the warehouse

warehouse-sidingsWork has progressed on my warehouse. Starting with bedding in the building and adding the now familiar neglected feel to the end of the sidings.  Just need a light airbrush of general gunk colour to tie it all together. warehouse-lightsI’ve installed the second floor which means the final lighting for the first floor is also in place. I used self adhesive copper tape instead of wire and found it made things so much easier. Something ill definitely be adopting for the other floors and buildings

Finally a couple of pics of the Deeley tank parked up for the night. warehouse-at-night deeley-resting


The what if factor

What if? We all do it at some point usually with regards to layouts. What if such and such place had a railway or this branchline stayed open to the diesel era? What if Clapham junction was a bit smaller so that it could fit on an 8×4 sheet of plywood?  Where we don’t seem to do ‘what if’ as often is with regards to the stock itself and this is where I am heading with this post.

mrsalt73One of the few steam locos that appealed to me before I started Brettell Road was the Midland Flatiron or ‘hole in the wall tanks’. Although not a great success the designed by ruler and no other drawing aids look of the things appealed to my interest in things that look less than pretty. While they made it to the LMS and were reboilered by them (you can tell by the square firebox and the protruding smoke box) the last of the breed went for scrap in 1938. But what if they didn’t? What if at least one managed another dozen years? I could have one on Brettell Road then!

Of course the armchair experts will delight in pointing out that its wrong but we seem happy to basically make up history for locations, why not locos?  Id be interested in people’s thoughts on this.

Wanting to see how one would look in BR livery I got my digital crayons out and drew it. I think it looks quite smart myself.

flatiron-drawing

Prototype picture ©Warwickshire Railways and used with permission. www.warwickshirerailways.com

 


Deeley Done

deeley-paint-1Aside from a few little details, adding a crew and grease on the buffers, The Deeley tank is now complete. Just got to make it look wet now!deeley-paint-2


More brass bashing

deeley-frontI’ve been busy fiddling about with more etched kits. This time a Brassmasters kit for the Deeley 0-4-0 tank engine.  It’s all gone together pretty well with just a few areas that needed a tweak or 2 to get right (if that’s down to an error in the kit or my ham fisted effort to bodge it all together ill leave up to you).  For the benefit of those who might want to try the same kit i’ll share my findings.  On the valve gear the connecting links (part A36 in the kit) are too long and needed reducing in length by about 1.5mm. While the eccentric rods (parts A37 and A38) are also too long and needed shortening by about 3mm.  I didn’t bother using the supplied buffers and new etched heads and replaced them with some A1 models sprung oleos. (part A81) Don’t worry as I know the real loco didn’t have oleo buffers but the A1 models ones don’t look much like real oleos anyway.deeley-rearI found adding the rear lamp irons to be a bit of a faff and lost some anyway. Its much easier to use a bit of fine strip to form a lamp iron with a long foot so that you have something to hold on to while soldering them in place. I decided to make the roof removable by soldering some scrap etch to the edges so that it can be gently sprung into place under the sides.  Brassmaters supply the sides for the earlier flush sided loco as well as this one. I prefered the look of the later ones as it looked more antiquated somehow.deeley-sideI’ve never done valve gear before. The instructions say that valve gear rivets make the job easier but I elected to use brass pins with the heads filed down and located out of view. A slip of cigarette paper and a drop of oil means that the whole lot doesn’t solder together in one big, rigid lump.  I’m pretty pleased with how it came out if I am honest.


One of those finished things posts.

The advantages of working on more than one project at once is that, firstly, I don’t get bored and secondly every so often you seem to finish a lot of things together.  This is one of those instances with several things that have featured recently have reached the finish line sort of together.

loading-gaugeMy loading gauge has been painted for a while but now its been planted too. I love stuff like this as its one of those things that I hope disappears into the scene and becomes unremarkable. Perhaps once in a blue moon someone will notice it but, much like the real thing I like stuff like this just to be ‘there’. It’s not supposed to get people’s attention. (don’t worry about the big gap under the wall – that’s not been permanently attached yet)Thames-and-AustinMy Ford Thames and Austin A40.  The colours of the Austin have a somewhat obvious Birmingham influence. Cartwrights was a furniture store in Brierley Hill but I have no idea if they used Austin vans or even if they had any road vehicles at all. ex-coke-wagonThis was a quick win project – Started life as a Bachmann Coke wagon which I imagined was sold to Round Oak and had the coke rails removed. I just liked it because it had a local livery and i’ve never done a distressed private owner before. The lettering was attacked with one of those brass brush wheels in a mini-drill and then the wagon was weathered. The w-irons needed a but more work with the mini-drill and a burr to get the wheels in but this was really minimal effort modelling! DE2-paint-1And so to the big project of the last few weeks – the DE2 shunter.  I have to admit I didn’t relish the thought of painting its striped livery but by using some 4mm making tape from a company called Jammy Dog it wasn’t too bad at all. (click here for their website)      A few more pictures below.DE2-paint-3 DE2-paint-2coal-emptiesThis is the sort of train I had in mind for the loco – Pushed up the hill with the loco at the rear and no brake van. I will need to add a shunter to the front wagon at some point.

van-train-bwFinally another moody shot of the Jinty heading out of the yard on a train of vans.