Friday, 9 June 2017

When the mainstream met modelling miniature railways

I received a couple of messages last Friday night to the effect that the new edition of ModelRail magazine (no. 236) contained an article by Paul Lunn suggesting the modelling of 15" (or thereabouts) railways.
 

Having purchased a copy the article within has ideas based on Dungeness, Cleethorpes (Lakeside) and a room-filling Fairbourne. As is usual with Paul's plans, the presentation of them is well thought through with an equal dose of compromise and practicality. 

Looking closely at the plans there are a few pieces of artistic license, but that is typical of many plans published in the mainstream press, with track spacing, turnout length and curve radii the usual suspects.


Naturally I am quite taken with the Cleethorpes plan, despite it being a solid 8' x 3' lump. It could certainly be made to work, I recall making a plan for this part of the railway (in terminus form) myself in a length only slightly shorter.

One of my contacts did make the comment that no attempt is made to identify what locomotives or rolling stock could be used, maybe in part 2 we shall get some suggestions, though based on previous content in the magazine I suspect we may see a Farish diesel with a hole cut in the roof at some point.

I was only observing to someone at the Hull Summer Show last weekend that it was probably easier now to recreate a miniature railway in O9 now than ever before. Take your pick of quality N gauge steam loco, open up a driver's seat in the tender and build up some of Roger Chiver's plastic coach kits...

Colin 

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Ravenglass Visitors

Just a few pictures of 'Shifting Sands' from the Hull club's Summer Show in their HQ building. We were lined up with the two other narrow gauge layouts, 'Moorton Bottom Yard' and 'Mill Lane', giving the public a taste of O9, 009 and O-16.5.

We entertained a couple of visiting locomotives from Peter Leadley of the Clee Valley Railway. Here the N-Drive 'Katie' gives a demonstration of Estate railway motive power past and future with my own 'St Edwin':


The eagle eyed will see that 'Katie' is posed with something suitably Ratty....one of Roger Chivers' Theakston wagons:

 

'Bonnie Dundee' had a good run around the layout too, but due to coupling compatibility issues couldn't actually pull anything.


The opportunity was taken to recreate an image that I took of the real 'Bonnie Dundee' and 'Flower of the Forest' at Cleethorpes last year:



The club sales stand wielded a couple of 50p bargains that may find their way onto future projects and I picked up a scenic detail for the "other scale" from the trader present, Caistor Loco.

My thanks to the Hull club for the invite, I understand it is the first time they have invited a layout from outside the club to the Summer Show, we're honoured!

Colin

Sunday, 28 May 2017

The Road to Hull (alternative title: Keep You Motor Runnin')

With less than a week to go until Shifting Sands appears at the Hull club's Summer Show, I thought it worth showing off a few new details that I have added to the layout for this appearance.

The first is a Harley Davidson 'Heritage Softail' motor cycle. This is from a range being sold at shows by A1 Models, moulded in plastic and if I recall correctly are left-overs from a promotional collection. With a little work to lessen the appearance of mould lines on the chrome parts, some touching-in of paint, a coat of matt varnish and a gentle touch of dry-brushing it is ready to go on the layout:


I have added the pins underneath to enable it to locate on the layout, you may also just see that I have flattened off the base of the tyres so that it sits more easily on the ground. On the rear I have added a licence plate from Tower Models 4mm scale bus decals, with a little tinkering a 1970s mark becomes something that the DVLA has made a little money from:


This isn't the only scenic addition. I have also added and moved around some of the items in the shed area, a bit like real life really! In the workshop can be glimpsed some new items in the form of the wheelsets and pillar drill I made last year, plus a coat hung from the shelf bracket that dates from the same time (the drill sits on wooden blocks awaiting further use, they aren't using it on the floor!):


Another item created last year was a locomotive cab, which has been added to the area of junk near the front of the caravan, along with one of the containers displaced by the new items in the shed:


I look forward to meeting O9 Modeller readers at the show on Saturday 3rd June.

Colin

Thursday, 18 May 2017

It isn't O9, but I like it...!

Just a quick glimpse of the main structure for my 009 project, a conversion from the Wills 'Station Garage' kit into an office and workshop, with a few added parts. I was surprised to see that the instructions for this kit are dated 1979, so it's been in production nearly all my life (but at least the mouldings are still sharp)!


O9 service will resume soon...

Colin

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Take a Fence, a Ratty Fence

I was lucky enough to receive the latest Graham Whistler DVD of the Ravenglass and Eskdale railway for my birthday and I couldn't help notice some seemingly portable fencing between the platform lines at Ravenglass station. Further research finds pictures of this fencing in use at both Ravenglass and Irton Road stations.

This picture proved particularly useful as it clearly shows how the posts are separate to the panels, the details of the posts and how it fits together.


I figured that I could quickly put together a couple of panels from a leftover piece of the Parkside Dundas fencing used on both 'Shifting Sands' and in cut-down form on the diorama 'The Path to...'. The length used here was destined for that project but had unfortunately snapped during construction.


The posts are simply constructed from Evergreen styrene strip and as an added detail I split Grandt Line rail joiners in two to create a representation of the metalwork.

I have assembled one panel with two legs, the other with one. To aid holding during painting and to strengthen the future central joint 0.5mm wire has been inserted in the top and bottom rails - so at this stage it cannot be fully assembled as the wires are over-length!


This has proved a very quick Bank Holiday project. the paintshop awaits...

Colin








Saturday, 29 April 2017

Peco Skips as RTR O9?


Having been seduced by the Peco 009 'Rugga' V-Skips as a fine example of UK-made ready-to-run model railway equipment, my mind has started to wonder if they could form the basis of O9 models. This may seem a wild idea but there are two factors to consider:

  • Real skip wagons came in a variety of sizes.
  • The necessities of RTR 009 manufacture mean that the models are closer to 5mm+ scale than 4mm.
So some research started, firstly by posing a wagon with a 7mm scale figure to see how it might look:

It doesn't look too ridiculous so I carried out some further research. Two sources were consulted:
  1. The 2016 NGRS reprint of the Robert Huddson 1915 Edition 'Light Railway Material', p49.
    This contains dimensions of a 20" gauge 13.5 cubic feet 'double side tip wagon'
  2. 'The Blakesley Miniature Railway', Dr Bob Tebb, Silver Link 2009, p94
    This describes skips made by Busch of Bauten, Saxony, which may have been the type supplied to Blakesley Hall.
From that information I compiled the following table of dimensions at 1/43rd scale:



Peco (mm) Hudson (mm) Hudson 1/43 Blakesley (mm) Blakesley 1/43
Wheel Diameter 6.0 225 5.2 300 7.0
Height from Rails 18.5 1000 23.3
0.0
Width over all 25.0 1250 29.1 1160 27.0
Length Over all 31.0 1500 34.9 1530 35.6

As can be seen, the Peco skip is a little smaller than these examples but not beyond the realms of possibility. However, if you re-calculate the dimensions to 1/48th scale....


Peco (mm) Hudson (mm) Hudson 1/48 Blakesley (mm) Blakesley 1/48
Wheel Diameter 6.0 225 4.7 300 6.3
Height from Rails 18.5 1000 20.8
0.0
Width over all 25.0 1250 26.0 1160 24.2
Length Over all 31.0 1500 31.3 1530 31.9

That brings the dimensions even closer and makes the Peco V-Skip a realistic prospect for O9 (or indeed On18) use. Just be mindful that is is a lot smaller than most other commercially available O9 wagons and locomotives (which may be larger than scale). I posed my wagon with SMR no.3, which is a reasonable 15" gauge pleasure line sized machine and it doesn't look too bad, but a shorter loco such as a scale length Lister would look even better....



Food for thought?

Colin

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Shifting Sands - North of the Humber

You may have seen mention last time that I needed to get Shifting Sands out of storage and wondered what on earth for....

Well, our friends in the Hull MRS have given the opportunity to show the layout in public on June 3rd at their 'Summer Show' held at the their clubrooms at the Walton Street Leisure Centre - details here. As usual I will need to check everything over, test the stock, make a couple of scenic tweaks before the show and find all the bits to make it look like this:



There is the prospect of some visiting locomotives on the day, and the usual real-life 15" gauge problem of non-matching couplings...

Colin