Friday, 28 December 2012

The Festive Season

NBR / LNER Agricultural Implement wagon Dia 99

The Festive Season has not proved unduly distracting this year, I told the relations I was in Australia and spent the time saved in the studio building this NBR "Imp", with a minimum of modification, from a Celtic Connections kit. It runs well on a solid wheelbase. The buffers and draw hook are solid too, not sprung. I don't think its a problem to have a wagon with solid buffers in a train, though it might be a good idea to put it between two wagons with sprung buffers.

Fordson "F" awaiting tracks

Fordson "F" Trackpull Crawler

This is the load for the NBR "Imp"...a Fordson "F" crawler tractor built from a white metal and brass kit by "The Model Company" of NZ. I bought it from ABS models at a show last year. It's a well engineered product with plenty of fine detail, takes a bit of building though. You can build it with steel field wheels too, as I did myself some time ago; this alternative version can be seen in the "Wagons" section of the Blog.

Fordson "F" Crawler Tractor load on NBR "Imp".

The tractor is the 1926 version so I'll probably finish the wagon in LNER livery...the earlier NB livery includes a fearsome amount of script lettering along the solebar which I don't fancy confronting. I'll have to contrive some rope lashing and wooden blocks and wedges that I know the railway company would've used to steady the load when in transit.

As I mentioned in my previous Post... I bought Geoff Holt's book "Locomotive Modelling", wrapped it up and opened it Christmas Day. It was indeed a slim volume but it was a good buy, a great book if a trifle overpriced. I'll be ordering vol. 2 without a doubt...good one Geoff!

What else was lurking under the Christmas Tree?  Well, the only thing of modelling interest was a Meteor Models' 14 Ton Rail Tank kit which looks a decidedly interesting build. Oh... and I bought the wifey a Highland Railway timber wagon kit from Invertrain which I thought she'd enjoy seeing going round...I think I'll probably build it for her. 

Sunday, 16 December 2012

A Slim Volume and a Running day at CD0GG.

On Friday a rather slim package dropped through my letter box, I knew it was Geoff Holt's new book on locomotive building...Volume 1. I'd only ordered it the day before at some considerable expense. This was good service on the part of the bookseller, however I was a little taken aback by the slimness of the envelope it came in, it seemed as if the contents were no thicker than a magazine. I viewed it with some trepidation and considered opening it but gave it to my wife to wrap for Christmas Day. I will give my reactions on opening the said packet in a later posting.

On Saturday I took my completed Coal Tank to the Members' Running Day at CD0GG at their premises in the basement of Carlisle Citadel Station.

LNWR Coal Tank at CD0GG

 The superbly modelled scenic section of the Carlisle group's generous layout makes a fine backdrop against which to photograph models.  The Coal Tank is running through the station with a short train comprised of my Highland Railway D9 composite coach and a well modelled Maryport & Carlisle Railway Horsebox belonging to one of the members. The engine ran very well and I was pleased with her performance. I've a backlog of models awaiting the paint shop here in my workshop so a painting session is my next priority. I've already stripped my HR D19 coach down ready to paint so I'll start with that and afterwards my long neglected "Wee Ben".

NW Coal Tank and HR composite coach glide smoothly through the station at CD0GG.

Coal Tank waits in the sidings at CD0GG
I modelled the fireman from photos of  typical Coal Tank crew, he doesn't have a uniform or railwayman's cap but wears an old flat cap and his "working clothes". The driver's out of sight on the left...both the crew members are now available in my "Heroes of the Footplate" range and will be added to the Website soon.   

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

HR D9 Coach, More progress

HR D9 Chassis wheel-springs and hangers.
When assembling and mounting the springs and their hangers on the solebars the sequence of work is important. The spring-hangers and the leaf-springs, along with a length of rod on which four brass discs, a washer and a terminal nut are mounted are soldered together in the flat. Then the spring-hangers are bent to shape and soldered in place on the bottom of the solebar. The centre wheel-springs are different to the outer ones and are more of a fiddle to build, however the sequence of assembly remains the same.

Buffers, couplings and safety chains on the buffer beam
 The couplings are made from castings by CPL and work prototypically. The safety chains I made myself from 0.6 wire; the hanger is a short pattern brass hand rail knob with the sides of the head flattened with a file and the hole enlarged and countersunk.

HR D9 Third Class compartment.

HR Third Class compartments were designed to seat ten passengers, it looks like a tight squeeze. My passenger is from my Heroes of the Footplate range... SP2 Seated Gent 3rd Class passenger. I haven't made any First Class passengers yet though I intend to do so. The inner skin of the coach is in place and this forms a slot, between it and the outer skin, into which the glazing will slide. I'm waiting for some cast brass grab-handles from LGM but they'll not be available until after Christmas, so I can't solder the inner skin in place yet.

HR D9 Roof fittings.
When the oil lamp that lit each compartment was removed a bung was fitted in the hole to make it watertight, a lamp top and a bung are in place on the coach roof; these are castings from my own range of HR accessories which you can see at