Sunday, 25 September 2016

HR Loch 4-4-0 Chassis Details

HR Loch class 4-4-0 chassis detail

The chassis frames are cut from 0.7 nickle silver sheet. The slide bars and connecting rods are from Laurie Griffin though they have had to be modified to suit the engine. A start has been made on the inside motion which is Allan's Straight Link Motion which is somewhat different to Stevenson's motion. Behind the motion plate can be seen the reversing shaft from which are suspended the levers to which are attached the lifting links that support the valve gear. Eccentrics will be mounted on the front driving least that's the plan at the moment! I await parts from LGM to enable more progress.

Loch chassis with superstructure in place.

The superstructure is mounted on the chassis here so you can see the position of the M1833 motor which will have to run without a flywheel as there's just not room for one inside the boiler when the motor is mounted upright on the rear axle. The motor is held in place by a fork mounted on the cross member which allows some recommended on the ABCgears website. There is room to add some weight to the chassis in front of the motor.
The 14BA screws retaining the front axle bearing in its slot can be seen, the axle needs to be dismountable so that the eccentrics and their straps can be fitted. These will be supported by the links depending from the brake shaft (or will appear to be) and the valve rods will pass through the motion plate and locate into a gland in the valve chest. The forked end of the brake lever can be seen on the left of the brake shaft passing behind the splasher.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

NBR Covered Van

NBR Covered Van from a Parkside Dundas kit.

I ordered this Parkside Dundas van by mistake, my intention being to purchase an NB open wagon, of which more later. I took the kit on holiday with me to Co.Wicklow and worked on it as much as I could in a gloomy corner of our holiday cottage during the evenings. Later, in better light in the studio at home, I replaced the rather clumsy brake gear with parts I made myself. I also did some artwork for a wagon plate which I printed on the inkjet as described previously in this blog on 10/2/2016 in "Wagons and Wagon Plates". I used transfers from HMRS as these have no surrounding film and definitely give the best results. Apart from the brake gear and the addition of door chains and a little weight the kit is built as supplied and despite being less than an enthusiast of plastic kits I'm quite pleased with it.   

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

HR123 Loch Class 4-4-0 Progress

HR123 Loch an Dorb

I bought only the superstructure kit from Lochgorm Kits, the chassis I decided to scratch build to my own design. All castings are lost wax cast brass and have been sourced from Laurie Griffin at LGM.
A substantial number of the etched components in the kit have been replaced with parts that I've made myself. The boiler as supplied had rather oversize bands so was the first item discarded followed closely by what seemed to be a rather clever cab interior fold-up which it proved on closer inspection was better replaced by something nearer the real thing. The boiler backhead was scratch built as LGM had run out of castings of this item; making this was quite a mini project in its own right. The boiler castings, chimney and dome that is, are very good however the safety valve casting leaves much to be desired, the upright valves are too far apart and too slim, and will need working on.

Wheels with the correct crank pin position are only available from JGM, these are cast iron ones which it seemed a good idea to try. As supplied the wheel castings needed a good deal of work to clean up and still need attention with some sort of filler here and there, I doubt that I'll go down this road again.

Power will be provided by an M1833 running in an ABCgears Mini gearbox which will be mounted on the front axle, pointing backwards towards the cab, which just leaves room for a flywheel which I consider essential, the running qualities of the engine being paramount.
Inside motion is a possibility however I'm not sure at this stage whether to complicate matters further, you can't see much under the boiler.

HR Loch Class cab details.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Four Recent Scottish Wagons.

GNoSR coal wagon

Built from a Dragon Models/Celtic Connections kit with minimal improvements, though I did make a wagon plate from a hand drawn original, sized on the computer and printed on the ink jet. Though flat, without relief, these "trompe l'oeuil" printed wagon plates nevertheless fit the bill nicely. The coal load is real coal laboriously glued with thin wood glue to a Plastikard support.

HR d.6 coal wagon

Built from a recently issued Lochgorm Kits "aid to scratch building" with a good many improvements to the basic etches, addition of a printed wagon plate and coal load. The wagon sides were thickened to scale with Slaters' Plastikard planking which was glued to the interior; the join along the top edge of the wagon was disguised by the addition of a thin metal strip which was soldered to the top of the outer skin and slightly overlapped the inner.

I painted all three of the HR wagons with Precision Paints' P953 Dark Brick Red (Matt), transfers are from HMRS. Weathering was by hand dry brushing helped along by a judicious air brushing of my own weathering mix and a good deal of scrubbing with a stiff bristled brush.

HR d.15 open goods wagon.


The HR d.15 wagon above is described in an earlier blog posting of March 2016 and is included for comparison with the d.16 open goods wagon below which is built with the help of Lochgorm Kits' recently produced kit for a d.16 open wagon; it is 6" longer than the d.15 above and displays a number other subtle differences of detail which give interest to the pair of opens.

HR d.16 open goods wagon.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

HR58 Jones Tank 4-4-0T

HR58 Jones Tank in Drummond II plain green livery 1902-1912

HR58 was built some time ago with the aid of a Shedmaster/LGM kit or rather an "aid to scratch building" though the precise amount of aid derived from the etches, the provenance of which is shrouded in the mists of time, is hard to determine; precious little I thought at the time. Perhaps they could best be described as providing more in the way of moral support rather than being of any practical use. However on a positive note the castings that came with the etches were good quality and quite indispensable. When construction was complete the engine languished for a deplorable length of time in the sidings of despond before I got round to painting it...this month in fact.

I built the engine originally as it would have appeared in LMS days with appropriate buffers, lamp irons and steam heating fittings. Between building the engine and painting it not only did several years fly by but my interest changed, so despite the attraction of the post-grouping red livery which suited these engines so admirably, I decided in favour of  finishing the engine in its pre-grouping guise, in the unlined Drummond II livery of 1902-1912. The HR green livery of that period before the Great War though plain endowed an engine with gravitas which when enlivened by an abundance of brightwork could never be considered dull.

HR58 Note the bottle shaped buffers characteristic of this particular engine in HR days.

 As I considered the as yet unpainted engine it became apparent that by some curious process of thought I had made the boiler too small, a mere 3' 8" rather than the 4ft clearly shown on the drawing and the more I looked at the engine the more the deficiency glared at me! I think the confusion may have had something to do with the diameter quoted in Cormack and Stevenson which I now realise must be without the outer cladding. So I decided that, along with a few other modifications to set her back into HR days, I'd have to re-model the boiler.

De-construction was the easy part of the process... and rapid, a couple of saw cuts and the offending boiler was off! Rebuilding was more painful as not only the boiler but the front of the tanks had to be reconstructed though the end result, as I think is evident in the accompanying illustrations, was well worth the bother. The profile of the smokebox, boiler and side tanks not only conforms to the drawing but also, being correct now, carries its own conviction. The steam heating pipes were quickly stripped off the engine as they were an addition of the LMS as were the lamp irons which were altered to HR pattern.

The buffers were however a problem as there were no commercially available castings for the characteristic bottle shaped ones used by the HR on this particular engine. I can find no other instance of HR engines being fitted with these curious buffers so the lack of available castings is unsurprising. My mate Bob Goodyear turned a pattern for one of these buffer housings on his lathe and had a set cast in brass from me by one of his mates which solved the problem, I think they look the part. A set of number plates and a builder's plate for the bunker rear were commissioned from Guilplates who also provided the HR transfers.

HR58 The brightwork enlivens the plain HR green livery. The fireman in nonchalant pose sculpted by Pete himself.  

As a base colour for the engine I used Phoenix P727 HR Dark Green 1885-1912 Dull to which I added just a touch of black to give the colour a little additional gravitas. I then added some P727 Gloss to the mix, just enough to enliven the surface, the amount of gloss is a matter of personal taste. I masked up as much of the brightwork as I could then airbrushed the basic green overall. A lot of work then went into cleaning up the brightwork. The smokebox, chimney, footplate, roof and other black areas were brush painted with matt black, these areas were scrubbed gently with a stiff bristled brush later to give the surface a dull glow rather than remaining completely matt. Light weathering was applied with thin washes of paint in all areas and some dry-brushing of lighter tones was used to bring out highlights.

HR58 running through the station with six bogie coaches at CDOGG on Saturday

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

HR 53 Lybster Complete.

HR53 served on the Wick to Lybster Light Railway from the line's opening in 1903 to withdrawal in 1929 running the 13 miles between the two towns several times a day. I have modelled the engine in the plain unlined green livery of the Highland Railway in which she ran throughout her service on the Wick to Lybster until repainting in LMS passenger red after the grouping of 1923.


Lybster had her first outing on the club layout at Carlisle at the weekend and performed very well indeed apart from some squeaking which I'm sure is coming from the wire pick-ups. I'll need to fix this before she turns out again I can't keep attributing it to wonky wheels on other members' stock.
Almost the first remark that greeted Lybster's appearance at the club was one that called attention to the fact that the name transfer on the left hand side of the engine (out of sight) might be a bit high, and indeed much to my chagrin it proved to be so.  How that happened I just don't know but it'll have to be fixed. I've detailed the cab interior which shows up well in these pictures but have still to model the crew. 

Friday, 11 March 2016

An Open Wagon and a Covered Van

HR d.29 Covered Van

This d.29 van was built from a Lochgorm kit with a few improvements and a number plate printed on the inkjet as detailed in my last posting. I dispensed with the rather complicated inner structure of the roof supplied in the kit and simply thickened the edges with 1mm square nickel silver section and soldered the roof in place. I added a bracing piece inside at mid point to stiffen the structure too.

HR d.15 Open Wagon and d.29 Covered Van

As promised in my last posting here's the d.15 wagon and a Highland van to complement it. They're part of the train of goods stock I've been constructing for Lybster to turn out with at the club in Carlisle tomorrow. The wagons were painted with enamels with transfers from HMRS. Weathering was largely done by hand and entailed a lot of dry brush work finished off with a light weathering mix applied with the air brush.

You'll see the wagons at CDOGG, in action with Lybster, which I finished painting just today, in my next posting.