Nicks workshop mutterings

Various railway orientated modelling projects in my new workshop/railway room.

Lakebank – update

As many will know, Lakebank was featured in the latest issue of Model Railway Journal, no. 250. Since it was published we have added more details to the scene. These include fencing along the edge of the lakeside, advertising around the station and steamer office and the appearance of the Swallow and the Amazon. 

These two dingies were made by making a balsa wood former for the hull and covering it in aluminium foil. Strips of cartridge paper were then glued with paper glue around the former, each one being overlapped to represent clinkers. When the whole had dried the former was removed. This was easy as the paper glue did not stick to the foil. The hull was then completed with seats etc using thin card. The mast is a thinned down cocktail stick and the sail is cut from paper and painted.  The details of the two dingies were found on a website devoted to all things ‘Ransome’. A Google search will find it. 


The next job will be to provide some more road vehicles and then to augment the freight wagon stock. 

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517 has progressed

The loco is now looking like it should. I must admit that I haven’t put on every part that the 4 and 7mm models would have, as many of the etchings are so tiny I can’t see them!! I think the overall effect shows what delightful locos these were.


Now to clean the whole body up and get it painted then move on to the next flat pack. Also, looking at the track in the photos, I must get the ballasting finished on Eggesford. 

GWR 517 Class

I have at last made a start on those draws of flat packs that every modeller has! Quite a few years ago I bought a 3mm Society kit for a GWR 517 Class 0-4-2T. The kit is a Malcom Mitchell kit which has been reduced to 3mm scale. I have looked at with all the etches and pages of instruction many times and tended just to put it back in the box!! With the need for an early GWR tank loco I decided I had to take the plunge. 

Actually the kit is beautifully designed and all the parts fit together with very little if any fettling. However with all the tiny parts supplied as well as having to laminate two or three layers at times this is not a kit for the faint hearted. 

As can be seen from the photos I have assembled the chassis with society Finescale  wheels, a High Level gearbox and Mashimas motor to 14.2mm gauge. The body has got as far as the main structure and a trial fit of the boiler and firebox. The next step is the smoke box and then lots of fine detailing. The kit comes with white metal castings but I intend to turn up a brass dome and safety valve on the lathe.

Eggesford-fiddle yard finished

The fiddle yard/traverser is now complete having added the storage cassettes. I now have an up and down continuous run and a third position feeding up and down cassettes. When not in use these will be stored on a shelf under the layout. The cassettes themselves sit on small brackets that hinge out from the side of the main boards. Electrical feed is done using small bulldog clips.


The next step will be the installation of the signals and their servos and linking them up to the locking frame. This will finish all the electrics. Then there is the updating of the scenery, more locos, more coaches, more freight……………..

Lakebank show success

Lakebank was shown at the Minehead exhibition run by Exmoor Modellers yesterday the 6th August. This was its fourth outing and many of the earlier glitches are being ironed out. So much so that we were awarded Best in Show judged by the lovely Maggie Gravett. Comments were made on the overall atmosphere especially the Lakeland clouds and the windy effect on the water of the lake. 


Sorry about the bloke holding the plate!!!

Eggesford- more progress

The scenery that the late Jeremy Dixon had done on Eggesford was very solid when I took the layout over. The finish was mainly done by painting the scene and lacked much texture.  The pictures below show the state before I started;


I have added texture to the rough area on the left along the river bank with Woodland scenics coarse scatter and bushes and to the field on the right with various grades of static grass mixed in with fine turf scatter. I have improved the trees using a mixture of scatter from green scenes and Carrs. Finally the river has been given a new coating of varnish.  

Canal locks update

I have now finished the detailing of the two locks including the gates in various stages of delay.

Here are some pictures of the end result.

Firstly the upper lock with the tail bridge and cut out to accept the lock keepers cottage;


Secondly the lower lock with more derelict gates;


Now to find the time to deliver them to the museum!

Canal locks progress

I have now finished the main carcass for the upper of the two locks. This one includes a limestone tail bridge used for getting horses from one side of the canal to the other together with a cut out to take the lock keepers  cottage when it is  installed in it’s scenic tray. The bleached carpet felt grass has been applied and now awaits painting and then the fun bit of adding all the weeds, brambles, ivy etc can begin. 

  
The canal was abandoned in 1914 but most of the pictures we have of their derelict state were taken in the 1990s. At that time there was still some evidence of the lock gates. As they would only have been derelict for some 15 to 20 years at the period we are modelling one can surmise that there would be a bit more of the gates and other bits still in situ. The lower lock will have very derelict lower gates and the remnants of the upper gate while the upper lock being near the lock keepers cottage will have more intact gates. 

  

Poppy’s loco building box

Following a discussion at the St Albans show I commissioned a 3mm scale version of their new loco building jig. It is made from laser cut plywood and comes complete with 1/8″ axles turned down at the ends to take coupling rods.

I am now trying it out to build a chassis for a 0-4-2 GWR 517 class tank. This is the 3 mm society kit reduced down from Malcolm Mitchell’s 4/7 mm kit.

The instructions suggest using the supplied silicon tube to hold the chassis central in the box but I was worried about keeping it square. The first axle is inserted in a central hole and the second is fitted through a slot and the wheelbase is held by using the coupling rods. I have threaded top hat bearings with the flange towards the centre of the box onto the rod first. When the side frames complete with bearings are threaded on they can be pushed tight up to the other bearings and this keeps it all square. 

I am building the chassis to 14.2 mm gauge but not compensated as there isn’t enough room to get rhe beam around the gearbox. If building a chassis with hornblocks this will be ideal to get them in the correct position before soldering up. 

The chassis spacers can be tack soldered to one of the side frames and then the whole lot is set up in the jig  before finally soldering up the spacers.

   
 
Overall I think that ,compared with other more complicated and expensive jigs ,at £25 this is good value. My only worry is that the central, fixed axle hole will wear in time. I may fit brass bearings to this hole to stop the wood wearing. 

Canal locks for Pendon

One of the last projects commissioned by the late Roger Haywood, Pendon modelling coordinator, was for the Wilts and Berks disused canal locks for the Vale scene and I was asked to make them. 

The canal became abandoned in 1914 and by the time of the Pendon scene they had fallen into a state of decay.

  
Two locks are required, one of which has a bridge over the lower end which carries a track from the nearby farm to the lock keepers cottage. Because of the distance the canal has to fall in the scene it has become necessary for each lock to have a 11 feet drop.

I have started work on the lower lock. The brickwork is being done with Howard’s Scenics embossed brick card as most of the brickwork will be covered in ivy and brambles. I have glued the embossed sheet to a card base and after painting it with a mortar wash I painted the bricks by the method described in the instructions. A mixture of water colour to the correct brick colour is applied by stamping with the cut surface of an eraser coated in the paint. When dry weathering powders were applied.

  
Because the lock is so deep I decided to make up one side and the base first. I then glued and painted plumbers hemp bundles to the base before assembling the second side and the associated  egg boxing for the scene. 

   
 
Once the scrim and plaster has been added work can start on preparing the surface of the lock and adding all the weeds etc. This lock will have the remains of the lower gates and part of the upper gate. 

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