Sunday, 14 October 2012


Whilst there have been a few O9 based projects on the O9 Modeller workbench recently, they haven't really been anything two blog about.  There have however been a few other projects in other scales and gauges.  This 4mm scale Parksde Dundas 'Vanwide' has been completed over the last few weeks, whilst it was built several years ago, it has remained unpainted ever since.  It missed out on being completed with several others early in 2010 due to missing axleboxes, however that issue is now resolved and the paint job completed.  The painting is largely washes of Games Workshop 'Citadel' paints over a red oxide base. Hopefully it will match up with it's sisters when it arrives at it's new home.

In fact, the 4mm scale project jumped the queue for the paintshop.  Back in August I had completed an A1 Models etched brass kit for an O-16.5 loco, one of their basic kits designed to fit around a Bachmann 'Underground Ernie' mechanism.  I'm not too experienced with brass so this was something of a test piece.  The body went together well, but I then decided to build a complete chassis unit in brass that could accommodate either the intended chassis or a Tenshodo 'Spud'.  This was really pushing at my brass working skills and I almost gave in, but in the end I persevered and the end result is satisfying.  Adding some bits and pieces from Black Dog Mining  and a scratchbuilt cab interior has completed the look of the loco.

The reason it hasn't got any further is simply one of colour - I can't decide what the final livery should be, but don't worry, experiments are in progress.... Having built this kit (and it's home brewed add-ons), I feel confident to tackle some O9 brass from Minimum Gauge Models, and you won't have to wait too long to see the first results.

As to what I plan to do with an O-16.5 loco... I haven't quite figured that bit out yet!


Sunday, 7 October 2012

The ones that got away... No.6 'Big' Coaches

A long time ago, well, January 2005, my O9 modelling was in something of a state of turmoil.  Having found that my earlier models were perhaps too small to represent modern 15" gauge stock (and the more important issue of getting decent figures small enough to sit in them) I was searching for a way of creating larger models that were still 'miniature' in style but definitely more 'Minimum gauge' in size.  Everything before this point had been pretty much kit-bashed from Keil Kraft, Dapol and Tower Models kits, but this would be something new, all-scratchbuilt for the first time.

Compared to what went before, this was big!  It scaled out somewhere just over 20ft long, I did fret about this for some time, asking for some real dimensions via the 'UKminiaturerailways' Yahoo group got an informative answer from Michael Crofts, owner and operator of the Perrygrove Railway:

"Your coach length is fine.  Perrygrove coaches are based on standard steel stock so they are 6m long, near enough 20'. "

As can be seen in the picture, I was also building a diesel loco of matching proportions.  This eventually was completed and sold.  What happened next was that with growing confidence I started to build a replica of the Ravenglass & Eskdale tram loco 'Flower of the Forest' and the rest, as they say, is history.  When the final design for 'Shifting Sands' started to come together it became apparent that this coach was too big for the curved concept and it was  sadly scrapped.

Moving forward to May 2008, another 16 seat coach emerged from my workbench, but this time with a purpose.  Miniature railway enthusiast and engineer Craig Gluyas was drawing up several design proposals for real 15" gauge stock and sent me the CAD for a 16 seat coach design, featuring end 2-seat compartments.  In a rash of enthusiasm I built a version in O9, the excuse being that it could be shown to potential customers.

Again, this was not completed as planned and suffered from some warping in storage, so it had to go, although an attempt was made to rebuild it into something for 'Shifting Sands' first.  The bogies, which at some point after the photograph gained some axlebox covers, did survive and in much modified form have been used recently as cosmetic sideframes on MicroTrains bogies as a new set to go under the 'Shifting Sands' mess van.  It was during this process that I remembered these two coaches, prompting this ramble....