Saturday, 3 November 2018

The Tazmanian Devil Returns

Having started building this loco from an A1 Models kit over a year ago and last tinkered with it back in April I thought it was about time I finished it off. Having looked at my stalled efforts the decision was made that I will actually power up the locomotive rather than leave it as a workshop dummy. I did consider whether the dummy chassis frame could accommodate the Tomytec power unit but I concluded it might be easier to start again and incorporate some of the parts.

The axleboxes are the A1 etchings but sat in the recesses I have created in the 20 thou styrene sideframes, this gives a much better impression of depth.

These are the home-brewed adaptors to take the Tomytec power unit, with the modified unit behind. I'd like to say that I soldered these up fresh but they are actually the ones out of the other A1 loco cleaned up - that locos is still awaiting a decision on it's future.

This is the underside of the new chassis frame, I may add some further re-enforcement to the frames and buffer beams in due course:


Wednesday, 31 October 2018

The Rise of the Minitrains Bagnall

'Twas all hallows eve and something stirred,
Down at the workbench strange noises were heard,
Chopping the boiler, changing the face,
But details aplenty slowed down the pace,
It looks pretty battered like Frankenstein's worse, 
Let's hope it's not caught by the paintshop curse!

My 009 Minitrains Bagnall has had a little cosmetic work - the chimney has been rebuilt using a Meridian Models casting, smokebox door replaced with a drawing pin and home-made handle (handrail knob and wire), the boiler barrel bottom replaced with plastic tube and details from split pins, brass and phosphor bronze wire and nickle silver etch waste.


Saturday, 27 October 2018

Kent's Mainline in Miniature

The first O9 model I ever really built was the Alphagraphix card kit of a Romney Hythe & Dymchurch Railway 'teak' coach. Probably not the best starting point as a 20-seat coach is a long item for a lot of 15" gauge railways.

Now imagine a train of 20-seat coaches, with an O9 RH&DR Pacific at the head... that is the vision of Jonas Sommer, German engineering student and RH&DR volunteer. Using CAD and 3D printing has resulted in stunning results.

Jonas shares his techniques and results via his Facebook page "Kent's Mainline in Miniature" - which you can access without logging in if that isn't your thing...


Saturday, 13 October 2018

The Day we Caught the Train

"You and I should ride the coast and wind up in our favourite coats just miles away,
Roll a number,
Write another song like Jimmy heard the day he caught the train"

So the scooter has arrived at Shifting Sands... and of course parked up in the least photographically accessible place!

I think I will have to revisit the registration plate on the Harley using the method used on the scooter as it really looks lacking in comparison.


Saturday, 6 October 2018

The Modern World

Shifting Sands is preparing for a one-man "Mod" invasion as I complete work on a 3D printed scooter I bought from Shapeways. This has proved to be something of a labour of love, the print actually snapped across the bottom of the front dash panel early on and despite being superglued back in position it went at least twice more during print preparation.

The last time was after the final coat of primer and I resolved to use Araldite to fix it in place, then hid the crack the best I could. Having almost given up I decided the quick way to a decent finish was to spray the using a Halfords 'Ford Meadow Green' aerosol and painting in the details afterwards rather than try and brush paint it all.

The only modification I have made to the print is to remove the folded-up stand and replace it with two pieces of wire bent around to use as a securing point on the layout. Plastic rod drilled out made new feet for the stand.

Registration and 'L' plates are printed on matte photo paper. The reg plates were created online from a plate generation site and reduced in size for printing. These are the full weight of the paper and marked around the cut edges with a black pen. The 'L' plates were carefully reduced in thickness by peeling off the back layer of the paper. Both are stuck in place using an acid-free glue stick. I need to add some weathering to complete the job but overall I'm a lot happier than I was with it!


Sunday, 9 September 2018

Moor Steam - Exmoor in Yorkshire

The Kirklees Light Railway held their annual steam gala over the weekend of 8th/9th September, the theme for 2018 being 'Moor Steam', with four visiting locomotives built by the Exmoor Steam Railway workshop. As usual it was a pleasure to see the visiting locomotives run up the hill from Clayton West to Shelley and relax on the way back down.

It was interesting to see 'Monty' (the former 'Markeaton Lady) and 'Anne' (the ex- Longleat 'John Hayton') together, as they collectively provided a lot of the information and inspiration for my model 'St Edwin'.

I really must add a headlamp to my loco, they do seem all the rage on Exmoors...

The other visitors were 'St Egwin' and 'Spirit of Adventure', seen here double-heading. With home fleet locomotives 'Badger', 'Hawk', 'Owl' and 'Katie' in service, plus long-term visitor 'Sian' and extra guest 'Count Louis', it was a very busy railway, so much so that I didn't get to ride behind everything! More of my pictures can be found on my Flickr site.


Saturday, 18 August 2018

Flower of the Forest - at last!

It is 13 years since I completed my first 'scale' locomotive in O9, constructed from drawings  of the Ravenglass-built tram locomotive 'Flower of the Forest'. These were published in the only copy of the 'Ratty Modeller' newsletter I ever got my hands on, obtained when Owen Ryder exhibited his 'Boot' layout at Wakefield many moons ago. It's all his fault...

Construction and finishing are covered here - the basic finish was all I felt I could achieve at the time and the name 'Cumbria' chosen as I had the plates and it seemed appropriate. As I reached one of those round number birthdays this year I decided to investigate what might be possible to commission re-finishing the loco to more closely resemble the real thing.

She arrived back on shed at Shifting Sands this morning, seen here raising steam with 'St Edwin'.

The model has been expertly re-finished by James Hilton Custom Model Railways with the green repainted to a more appropriate shade, and custom lettering on the sides and "smokebox" end.

I chose James for this work as I needed someone who could not only refinish the locomotive in the desired colour, but also to create the artwork for the lettering and plates as a one-stop shop. James took great care working from my reference photographs to get the lettering to look right, especially as the real thing is hand-lettered to no standard font.

Whilst the etched plates are not legible they do have the correct pattern of lettering, the real locomotive is dedicated to the memory of Ian Fraser, the Ratty supporter who commissioned the real locomotive to run in his garden.

Having the model in this condition is a great reminder of the time the real thing spent running at Cleethorpes, and the influence it must have had on Shifting Sands!

Some readers may be wondering why I chose to take the unusual (for me) step of contracting this work out. Well, my own time is presently quite limited and quite frankly I decided to treat myself!

I'm really pleased with the outcome and can recommend the service James provides, even working around existing paint finishes and details is no obstacle....