Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Dornoch HR56 more progress.

HR56 superstructure nearing completion, the smokebox dart arrived from LGM this morning.

I chose to build a second model of one of Stroudley's Lochgorm Tanks simply because they make a very attractive and jolly little model. It would not be exactly the same by any means as all these little engines differed in detail. I had quite a few parts in hand, including an ABC motor-gearbox as well as a set of etches for the wheel overlays, which gave the project a flying start. The first HR Stroudley Tank that I built was a model of HR57, this was in 2013. This particular engine is comparatively well documented as there are far more photos extant of Lochgorm than of her other two sisters in the class. My choice of a second engine fell on no.56 rather than no.16 mainly because there exists a very detailed photo of the former in HR days as the Dornoch Tank and in addition I have the transfer lettering for the name Dornoch to hand. In all I unearthed five pictures of Dornoch in HR days and six of her in LMS livery, not all of which were uniformly helpful; perhaps this dearth of pictorial evidence is the reason why so few models of either 56 or 16 are built in gauge 0. Nevertheless, these few pictures provide enough information to build an authentic and well detailed model. My primary reference was the Laurie Ward drawing of Lochgorm in original condition, to which I added the differences, culled from the written record as well as from photographs, which characterised Dornoch. There are a surprising number of differences between the three engines of the class, particularly in the braking arrangements, which I'll deal with in my next posting when the chassis is complete.

HR56 was built in 1869 and originally carried the name Balnain, the others of the class, HR 57 and HR16 were built in 1872 and 1874 respectively. My model takes up the story of HR56 in about 1910 when, now named Dornoch (1902), a rear bunker was fitted in place of the tool box. In 1917 the tank which arched over the boiler was extended back to the cab which did little to improve the appearance of the engine which was compromised further in 1920 when the HR modified her elegant Jones chimney by adding a clumsy flared top.

Most of the brass and nickle silver castings used in the model are from Laurie Griffin (LGM) who, I believe, intended to introduce a kit of this engine into his range and though this never materialised, the castings for the kit did, which is a great help. Agenoria Models produced a rather dubious kit for a Lochgorm Tank, though it is no longer available. My own model of HR56 is built without the aid of a kit which not only lessens expense but also cuts out the aggravation of wrestling with a bottom end of the market kit.

In the Blog Archive in the right hand column you'll find postings from July 2013 which cover the building of my earlier model of HR57 Lochgorm in some detail.

A rear bunker was fitted to HR56 in 1910 and the previous coal space in front of the cab was faired over and given a hand rail. The rear lamp irons were removed at this time and the rear cab windows modified becoming square rather than rectangular. The removable roof is a modified white metal casting from Laurie Griffin Miniatures.

The coal hole has a vertically sliding door. In the cab corners are what I think are sand boxes though by 1910 braking arrangements left no room for a rear sanding mechanism.

There is an inner skin to the front cab plate to which the boiler back-head attaches. The whole assembly can then be removed for painting. Wooden flooring is made from model ship planking.

Awaiting the smokebox dart which arrived today from LGM. Note the triangular bracket right of the coupling hook which accommodates the vacuum pipe, though the route that this takes out of sight remains uncertain, I think it probably runs behind the footplate valance. The coupling hook is made from 1.2mm sheet n/s, the single link comes from my spares box.

Not a great many models in gauge 0 have been made of HR56. Note the 2" gap between the water tank and the cab forward extension. A fairing, oversailing the boiler, provides seating for the dome and safety valves.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

HR56 Dornoch, progress

A coal bunker was added in 1910 with a coal-hole in the cab.  

The original bunker of HR56, which was in front of the cab spectacle plate, was sheeted over and a hand rail added to match that on the other side when a rear bunker was added in 1910. The new coal bunker replaced the tool box behind the cab and photographs suggest that at this time the rectangular rear cab windows were remodelled rather smaller and square, similar to those at the front and a mesh screen was added to protect the glazing. In addition a coal-hole was added which I've given an elegant vertical sliding door similar to that seen in Stroudley's later Terriers, which he designed for the LB&SCR

There is a 2" gap between the front saddle tank and the original bunker which is not evident on the other two HR Stroudley tanks, only Dornoch displays this. A fairing, on which the dome is mounted, covers the boiler in front of the cab and partly covers the gap. There is an outer and an inner cab front between which the glazing will be sandwiched. The boiler backhead, which for want of information, takes as its model that of the related Stroudley Terriers, is mounted on the inner sheet and this assembly will be removable.

HR56 showing progress to date, chimney and dome from LGM.

My intention is to complete the sheet metal work first and then add the castings and fine detail. The cab is still joined to the bunker assembly by a structural device which ensures accuracy of construction, this will be removed when the structure is complete, before the cab stanchions are put in place. The buffer beam on these engines was a sandwich of metal plates with a wood filling which I hope to replicate. I intend to experiment with Milliput coloured with weathering pigment, to simulate the wooden part as I find real wood, box in this case, hard to work and rather toy-like in appearance.

The frames of the engine are 27mm wide and are cut short just beyond the front driving wheels. The frames are visible in the gap in the footplate between the smokebox and the buffer beam, so they are modelled full scale (actually 29.5mm) and attached to the footplate behind the buffer beam so they fit over the working frames. The join between the dummy front frames and the working frames will not be visible as the front brakes cover it. The smokebox front plate extends below the buffer beam to the cylinder covers so there's a lot of detail in this area and I intend to maximise its potential...

Thursday, 12 April 2018

A New Locomotive Project, Stroudley HR56 Dornoch.

 All 6 of HR56's wheels are similar and solid with 2 small opposed holes. 

Three 0-6-0T engines to William Stroudley's design were constructed at Lochgorm Works, the first and the subject of my model was number 56, built in 1869 and originally named "Balnain". The engine was substantially rebuilt in 1896 when it gained its Jones chimney. By 1910 a rear bunker had been added and the engine, renamed "Dornoch", was turned out in unlined olive green livery, which rather suits my painting skills. In 1917 her good looks were compromised when the tanks were extended back to the cab, thus drawing a line under my interest in the engine. My model will be built to illustrate HR56 in the condition in which it ran between 1910-17.

Photos of no.56 in Highland Railway livery are in short supply, I have found five though non of these shows the engine in my chosen time slot. There are a further six photos extant which show the engine in LMS days and these are of value as they show details inherited from earlier days. The model will be scratch built, though it will depend on castings from Laurie Griffin, who made fittings for a kit which never materialised, and without which my model would be a non-starter.

HR56 is in most respects similar to HR57 "Lochgorm" and a  drawing by Laurie Ward of the latter is my starting point. There are a surprising number of differences between the sister engines each of which will be noted and incorporated in my model. In addition to Laurie's drawing there is a very useful article by Charles Wrigley in HRJ 107 (Autumn 2013) concerning the differing braking arrangements of the Stroudley tanks.

The chassis has already had a test run on the club layout in Carlisle and proved a good runner. The motor gearbox is an ABCgears Mini7S with an M1824 which provides ample power though there is no space for a flywheel. Pick-ups are wires bearing on the back of the left hand wheels while the wheels on the right hand side are shorted out.

The overlays to the wheels are etches from my own design left over from building HR 57 some time ago.

Saturday, 7 April 2018

Klondike brake van in action.

 HR Klondike brake van at CDOGG
Stroudley Tank and Klondike brake van in the scenic section of the CDOGG layout.

Hauled by Highland Railway Stroudley 0-6-0T number 57 "Lochgorm" my newly completed Klondike brake van was in action today on the Carlisle club layout and a very fine pair they looked together.

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Klondike brake van in grey Primer

Klondike d.24 brake van in Halford's Acid 8 primer.

There's a rectangular recess to take a blackboard on this side of the van below the handrail which carried the name of the guard and the station of origin of the van which my wife says she'll contrive on her computer. The vans were numbered 1-19 and painted red oxide, the number in white appearing on the side ducket. I think it'll be an Aberfeldy van in the charge of either R. Bruce or W. Wallace.

Klondike van viewed from the step end.

Friday, 9 March 2018

HR d.24 Klondike brake van.

HR d.24 brake van c.1900

Though these vans seem to have plenty of room inside for packages and consignments of small goods the single 2ft 3ins wide door seems unnecessarily restrictive, a comparable design of similar length belonging to the neighbouring GNoSR has double doors which must have made goods handling far easier.

The interior of this van was probably much the same as that of the restored Highland Passenger Brake Van No.5. I did not build an interior however as I thought it lacked the interest provided by my previous G &SW brake van project.

The roof can be removed to fix the glazing in place, it is screwed to a cross-member which is located just below the top of the side wall, the fixing screw is concealed inside the holder for the lamp hole bung, between the chimney and the lamp top.

Lamp irons are replacement brass castings from Slaters and will support a lamp, one of which can be seen on the step-end of the van.  I made the couplings, both hooks and links myself, the wide shank of the hook fits nicely in the deep slot in the buffer beam. The safety chains, which went out of use, about 1901, hang from slimmed down hand rail knobs mounted either side of the draw plate.

Highland Railway Klondike brake van.

The sole-bars are inset a few inches below the van sides, not flush with them, a feature which shows up on photos but is not allowed for by the kit. Narrowing the gap between the sole-bars to the correct width creates another problem...the rocking axle won't rock! A good deal of judicious filing is necessary to reinstate this feature. The buffer beam needs to be redesigned altogether both to fit the narrower gap between the sole-bars and to conform to the prototype drawing.
I replaced the cast white metal springs provided with ones of my own design which I originally modelled and cast for Lochgorm's earlier Open Carriage Truck kit, this allows more clearance between the bottom of the sole-bar, on which the springs are mounted, and the axle bearing, some modification of the axle-box castings was also needed to fit them into the space available.

The rocking-axle end of the van.

There appears to be no sign of a vaccum cylinder beneath the van on the photos that exist which simplifies matters below the sole-bar. The corners of the axle trays are cut away to make space for the buffers and similarly a central cut-out allows for the coupling spring. The couplings have been chemically blackened, the hook and its spring are retained by a transverse pin. The main advantage of a sprung coupling being that it facilitates removal when the van is being painted.

Pete's next brake van project will feature a fully detailed interior complete with a guard...so watch this space!

Thursday, 8 March 2018

G & SW Brake Van in primer

G & SW brake van in Halford's Acid 8 Primer.

G & SW brake van from a Taff Vale/Dragon kit with improvements and interior detail.

The rather scrappy appearance of the finished brass model is much improved by a unifying coat of Halford's Acid 8 primer. The wheel treads have been masked off with Tamiya masking tape, the buffers and couplings have been removed and chemically blackened. The running gear and footboards, all below the solebars in fact, will be airbrushed matt black though the remainder of the model, including the interior, will be hand painted.