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 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.

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Joy's Valve Gear for an LNWR Precursor Tank

Joy's indirect valve gear module.

The removable valve gear unit seen here is built from a set of nickle silver castings produced by LGM. The mechanism is non-working or cosmetic, it does not include a crank axle nor the connecting rod big-ends, though the front parts of the connecting rods, which attached to the piston sliders, are present as the swing links and their dependant linkages are attached to them below the radius block. Only the "front end", that is the parts of the valve gear that can be seen below the boiler, has been modelled. The jointed, pivoted and sliding parts of the valve gear do indeed move, they're not soldered solid, so it's as near working as possible and everything moves in an appropriate manner if you tweak the connecting rods. I think with what I've learned making this model I might be able to build an actual working set for a future project. Laurie's instructions are helpful though I found the best guide to building Joy's valve gear was Geoff Holt in "Locomotive Modelling" Part 1.
The centre frame member, which protrudes to the rear of the motion plate, provides a third point of support to the crank axle in the prototype. In the model the inverted "U" shaped cut-out provides clearance for the front axle.

It's a busy place between the frames under the boiler and rather murky too!

If you peer carefully under the boiler you'll find that quite a lot of the valve gear is in evidence, in addition the anchor link and its supporting stirrup are visible below the frames, behind the front brakes and below the sand boxes. The brackets which carry the transverse shaft, on which the anchor link is mounted, are attached to the lower slide bars, these are out of site though they have been situated and designed so as not to foul the bogie wheels on corners.

Joy's Indirect Valve Gear in situ.

Joy's indirect valve gear adds another layer of complexity to an already fiddly business by the inclusion of rocking levers, seen here between the curved radius rods and the valve spindles.

The red electrical wire that can be seen is a pick-up wire, which is struggling to find a way through the valve gear to its connection on the front bogie.