Friday, 19 November 2021

Lochgorm Tank No.16/49

Lochgorm Tank No.49 running with a fish truck on my track in the studio. There are four points and crossings to negotiate in a run of 16ft, which provides a pointer to how the engine will perform when a return to normality allows a visit to the CDOGG layout in Carlisle. The engine has been built without the aid of a kit, though using many castings from Laurie Griffin. Wheels are from Slater's, with my own design of etched wheel overlays. Motive power is provided by an M1824 motor with flywheel, mounted in an ABCgears Mini Gooch gearbox.

The livery is plain unlined Drummond II which was introduced on the Highland in 1902. My model depicts No.49 c.1910 when a rear bunker was added. I mixed the Highland green myself as Precision Paints no longer carry stock of  their own version of the colour. The transfers are Guilplates and again are no longer available, they are Methfix and have no carrier film, which can be a problem with those available from Fox.

The fish truck seen in the video is made from my own cast resin sides and ends, the model being completed from commercially available bits and pieces and a few parts cut from nickle-silver sheet.

The sand boxes, which sit on the footplate beside the smokebox, are my own w/m castings, the sanding  mechanism was contrived from rod, tube, washers and n/s sheet. The right hand forward bunker carries a handrail, presumably the bunker had a hinged lid and the handrail acted as a handle. Some photos of these engines show the bunker open with the lid in a vertical position.

The domed roof of these engines is a challenge, I made it from four equal triangular segments, soldered onto a voided rectangular base, to which I added a surround from 1mm right-angle section brass.

Cab interior showing the forward coal bunker still in use after the rear one was fitted. I think there should be a driver's brake valve in there somewhere too. Reversing lever and boiler backhead scratch-built with fittings modified from LGM castings.

Cab interior showing the coal hole and the brake stanchion. The corner boxes may have originally been sand boxes though by 1910 no longer used. Shovel and oil can are my own castings.

Salter safety valves, showing the manner in which they were fitted to projecting lugs on the base of dome. Also in view is the tube which leads inside to the pressure gauge.

A driver and fireman from Invertrain's  "Heroes of the Footplate" range help bring the engine to life.

The poses of the crew help make the most of the limited space available in the cab. Note the protective wooden plank and mesh covering to the rear windows. 

Thursday, 7 October 2021

A Tender in Search of a Loco.

My model of an early Highland Railway tender was built using as a starting point an etched sheet of nickle silver parts, provided by John Percival of Walsworth Models which, with some revision, will be issued under this label as a kit. The tender is much in evidence in early photos of Small and Medium Goods engines and of the Glenbarry class. These locomotive classes were all rebuilt and upgraded by Mr. Jones in the later years of the C19 and the tender similarly underwent changes, in particular the braking system was modernised; the most noticeable feature of the changes was the replacement of the old wooden brake blocks with metal brakes and my model includes the features of the rebuilt version of the tender. There are no kits in 7mm scale of any appropriate locomotive to run with this tender and I know of no plans to remedy this omission. For my part I have an "18" class, Small Goods, in rebuilt form, in the early stages of construction in my studio, this will be no. 27, built in 1863, which survived as the last of her class until 1923. 

The design of the tender is derived from earlier HR four-wheeled ones and owes a debt to LNWR practice. The buffers are from Slater's, revised and altered to self-contained ones. Note that the tank is the full-width of the tender, with platforms, which sit on the frames, front and rear. 

Most of the castings used to complete the model are from the Laurie Griffin range, Laurie produces a list of useful parts for a Small Goods building project. The white metal springs and tender-top tool boxes are my own castings. The water filler will be replaced by an LGM casting of a more appropriate Jones design. 

I used a drawing of a Jones "Loch" tender for the details of the brake cylinder, pull rods and linkages beneath the tender.   

Sunday, 25 April 2021

Drummond Drop-Side Fish Wagon, Resin Sides and Ends.

Pete's latest Aids to Scratch Building have just arrived from the casting workshop and they look just as crisp and well detailed as usual. These latest additions to the Highland Railway range are sides and ends for a Drummond open fish truck with drop sides, based on the drawing on page 139 of Peter Tatlow's "Highland Railway Carriages and Wagons", which you will need as reference to complete the model. The additional parts needed are available from the trade, so in effect you're creating your own multi-media kit and all the components are your own preferences. Some parts, such as the brake lever and handles, can be simply cut from n/s sheet or in the case of the underslung vacuum cylinder, built up from metal tube, sheet and rod. You might find a few parts in your spares box too, I found some etched brakes and hangers which saved me cutting them out of sheet as there are eight of them needed for this wagon. As these fish wagons were designed to run in passenger trains the braking arrangements, as can be seen in the accompanying photo, were more complex than on a simple open goods wagon, which gives these wagons much added interest. 

 I have not come across a picture of a Drummond fish wagon in Highland Railway livery so can only show one in LMS days. In earlier times, as HR No.1867, the wagon would have carried Highland green livery with yellow lettering. (DLG Hunter)

Aids to Scratch-Building, sides and ends for a Drummond Fish truck.

The parts are available right now as detailed below...

Resin sides and ends £20.00 per set, plus postage at cost £1.29 (UK)

If you buy 2 sets then they're post free.

Buy three or more and there is a discount of 10%.

You can email, 'phone or message on...

017687 71302

07342 637 813

Suggested parts and suppliers...

Wheels: Slaters' 3ft 7" Mansell disc coach ref. 7124

Buffers: HR Short Web. Invertrain

Springs: Slater's Plastikard

W-irons and brakes: Slater's Plastikard ref: 71551

Axleboxes: Invertrain

Couplings: CPL Models or LGM 9-008

Safety Chains & Hooks: LGM 9-006

Brake Cross Trees x 4: LGM 36-006

Vacuum Pipes: LGM 32-010 or 62C Models: LWB113

Westinghouse Pipes: 62C Models: LWB108 

Structural Members: Plastruct

Floor & Deck Planking: Slater's Plastikard

There are tongues and grooves on the wagon corners to assist assembly, so I assembled the sides and ends dry, then ran ZAP Medium glue inside the corners. When dry and firm I dropped a floor cut from 1mm Plastikard into place between the sides. When all was set firm I found there was a slight twist to the structure which I corrected in a bowl of warm water, all is square and solid now so I will add structural bracing next under the floor using Plastruct Styrene Strip 2.5 x 6.4mm (90779).

Sides and ends assembled with Plastikard floor

The Plastruct beams under the floor add structural strength, they are not intended to be prototypical.

Brake Cylinder and linkages in position.

As my scrap box was deficient in useful parts I made the brake cylinder and linkages from brass tube,  sheet and rod as a separate module, on a small base of its own, which will glue into place later. The w-irons and wheels will be fitted next then the rest of the brake mechanism. 

The following pictures show the completed wagon underside, all components were sourced as suggested above. The etched clasp brakes, all eight of them, came from my scrap box and I do not know their provenance. I mounted them on 0.45 n/s sheet, to make them a respectable thickness, then cut them out, repositioning the brake shoe at the same time to fit their situation. The vertical brake legs were soldered onto a piece of "L" shaped brass so they could be glued in place on the wagon bed. Slaters offer a possible solution to the w-irons, brake cross-trees and the clasp brakes with their... 
Van Type 3' 7" Dia. Wheels, Compensating Etched W-Irons Ref: 71551.
I've not used this etch yet, though I intend to do so when I build a second example of the truck, I think it will provide the answer to most of the parts below the solebar, though not the cylinder and cross-shaft assembly.

Underside complete


Here you can see how I attached the vacuum and Westinghouse brake pipes to the wagon. The pipes are extended under the wagon and soldered to "L" shaped supports glued to the wagon bed. 

Close-up of the hand brake arrangement and the under-slung vacuum cylinder

Drummond Fish Truck complete. 

I used Phoenix P725 HR Mid Green (1875) with a liberal addition of matt black as the basic colour of the truck. Transfers are HMRS sheet 20 Methfix and Modelmaster 7PCS 1 water-slide, which are available from the HRSoc. A light spray with a dilute weathering mix completed the job. 
Note that Phoenix P727 HR Dark Green (1885-1912), is no longer available, I think the earlier green mixed with black achieves the same colour. I have not made a number plate for the truck as these vehicles do not appear to have carried them.

Thursday, 8 April 2021

HR 56 Dornoch Tank in Action

Blogger now offers a video facility, so here's a video of HR 56 Dornoch with a short train passing through the station on the CDOGG club layout in Carlisle. The open wagon is built from a Lochgorm kit; the brake van, a Type A, called a Klondyke, is from the same source, both kits, particularly the latter, have been modified and improved. For the best effect click on the Full Screen button...

Sunday, 28 March 2021

Aids to Scratchbuilding, Jones Open Wagon.

Pete has produced a new set of cast resin ends and sides to add to his expanding range of 7mm scale Highland Railway wagon scratch building aids. The parts are for a HR Jones open wagon, they are available direct from the author at a cost of £20.00 per set plus postage at cost, £1.29.

If you buy 2 sets of castings postage is free (UK). 
Buy three or more and discount is 10%.

You can e-mail, phone or message on...
017687 71302
07342 637 813

The wagon corners are mitred and there are slots behind the solebars to allow room for sprung buffers to move. Once the sides and ends are assembled a 1mm Plastikard floor is cut and faced with 4mm spaced planking; this locates in a groove between the sides and on the rear of the buffer beam to complete and strengthen the basic body structure. All components below the solebar can be obtained from the trade, or can be scratch built from sheet metal. In effect, with a little help from the scrap box, you're creating your own multi-media kit, and all the components are your own preferences.  

HR buffers and 3ft 6" wagon springs are available from Invertrain.
Axleboxes from Lochgorm Kits
Wheels are Slaters' Ref. 7123 3ft 7" 8 split-spoke.
Horse hooks and brake pin rack from 62C Models.
Slaters' Plastikard Ref. 0434 4mm spaced planking
W-irons; Slaters or Furness Wagon Co.

Resin sides and ends for Jones 15ft 4-plank open wagon HR diagram 19

Completed wagon; brake gear from spares box, with parts cut from sheet and from 62C models

HR Jones d.16 open wagon

Jones Open Wagon 1470 complete

A purposeful Jones open wagon with a timber load, ready for action.

Things to Come...

Pete's next project is already underway, so watch this space. On the drawing board at this moment is a Drummond open fish truck with drop sides...and what Highland train would be without one? The detail underneath may stretch the resources of your scrap box more than the Jones wagon, nevertheless I think it'll be interesting to build and make a fine addition to your Highland stock. 

Friday, 12 February 2021

Lochgorm Tank 0-6-0T No.16/49 New Project

HR 16 Fort-George c.1899 at Gollanfield. (Am Baille, HRSoc collection)

I started work on this project, my third of the Lochgorm Tank class, at the beginning of January, the engine is being built without the aid of a kit, though using a good many brass castings, mostly sourced from Laurie Griffin's extensive lists. Only a single photo exists of No.16 in Highland Railway days and this is shown above. The engine carries the name Fort-George and is resplendent in Drummond I livery, the Jones chimney suits her lines and at this time there was no rear bunker fitted. 

In 2/1901 No.16 lost its number, which went to newly built Ben Avon, and became No 49A, the number being taken from a Barclay 14 class 2-4-0. This engine was recorded as "withdrawn " 9/1901 though it was said to be "idle" 7/1899 so it is probable that the actual number plate was taken from it for use by the Lochgorm Tank and presumably surmounted by a painted letter A. 

There are a few photos of No.49 in later LMS days and these show her with a rear bunker which was probably added about 1910. They also show the engine with a different chimney with a flared top, though when this change was made is open to question.

My model will represent No.49 in the plain post-1902 Drummond II dark green livery, without a name, which was removed when the engine ceased regular work on the Fort-George branch. 

Jones chimney in place, a quality brass casting from LGM.

Brake cylinders and cab steps are attached to horizontal extensions of the side frames. The footplate fastens to the chassis by means of a tongue which goes into a slot on the rear of the buffer beam. Note the etched brass wheel overlays which simulate the "solid" wheels of the Lochgorm Tanks, these are my own design. I have some left overs if you need them. 

Monday, 11 January 2021

Dunrobin, a joint effort, Painted.


Some notes on the livery of Dunrobin 1895 to 1965

Dunrobin’s livery can be generalised as described in Cormack and Stevenson's, Highland Railway Locomotives Book 2 “…dark green with black lining double-edged in gold.” This livery was carried throughout the engine’s varied career.

Photo Paul Moore

I received the accompanying photos of Dunrobin from Paul Moore this week, he painted and lined the model and has done a great job on it. It was intended to depict the engine in its earliest livery in the service of the duke of Sutherland, so reference was made to the photograph of Dunrobin of 1895 which shows the engine newly built at the Atlas Works of Sharp Stewart in Glasgow. The engine is shown in works grey and displays an elaborate though elegantly designed livery with double-edged lining in panels with a black border. The angle of the photo does not allow detail to be seen of the buffer beam, nor the tank front, cab front or the rear of the bunker. 

A photo from the Highland News of 17 Sept.1921 shows Dunrobin under the station canopy at Inverness decorated with a leek in front of the chimney, awaiting the arrival of the Prince of Wales. Closer inspection of the photo reveals a rather different livery to that shown in earlier photos, Dunrobin appears to have been recently refurbished in response to the royal visit. The black border to the lining on the tank and cab sides has gone, though it is retained on the front splasher. The lining panels, though still the same black double-edged gold as before, have been widened on the tank sides and double edged-lining can also be seen on the cab front and tank front. Evidence does not confirm that there was a panel of lining on the tank front earlier than this photo. An earlier photo does however show that there was no panel of lining on the cab front before 1921 and this is reflected by the model. It is probable, though the photo is not clear enough to confirm this, that the lining on the tank sides was changed at this time from a simple rectangle to a shape that enclosed the side window. 

The 1921 photo provides the first evidence of how the buffer beam was lined and panelled, it is thought that the buffer beam remained essentially unchanged throughout Dunrobin’s chequered history... green with a red central panel lined black. The buffer shanks may have been green originally too, or possibly red, there is no conclusive evidence. I like them green, so green it is for the model.


Dunrobin at Inverness 1921

It is intended to put the preserved Dunrobin into service in as near as possible original condition and carrying the pre-1921 livery, based on the works grey photo. After much deliberation Paul Jarman and his team at Beamish have decided that the full size engine will look the part in classy Landrover Bronze Green. Dunrobin’s original dark green was not Highland Railway green, nor was it the blue-green in which she was repatriated from Canada in 2011. Though the lining is described as “black, double-edged gold” this is not thought to refer to a metallic gold, but rather to a colour somewhere between straw and yellow. 

Paul Moore mixed the basic green for the model Dunrobin, it is not Landrover Green, it is his interpretation of the colour of the engine and the black double edged straw/gold lining was agreed between ourselves as being the most likely as well as the best looking lining to enliven the overall green. The brass incised nameplate was commissioned from Narrow Planet.

Dunrobin 1899 in works grey. Photo courtesy of the HRSoc

Photo Paul Moore

Photo Paul Moore

In 1946, after war service with the Royal Navy, Dunrobin was overhauled and repainted with the lining following the previous scheme of 1921. 

In 1949, the duke sold Dunrobin to Capt. Howey of the Romney, Hyth and Dimchurch Railway and in 1950 the engine travelled to New Romney partly under her own steam. Publicity surrounding the event led to a renewal of interest and a large number of photos which record the engine showing the livery unchanged during this period.

Initial interest waned and by 1965 Dunrobin was in the doldrums, she was sold to Harold Foster of British Columbia and shipped to Canada. Many changes were made during her 46 years of exile, which have fortunately now been removed at Beamish Museum, her new home. 

 If you look carefully you can see that this photo of 1902 shows Dunrobin in the livery of the works grey photo of 1895