Thursday, 19 December 2013

A Better Roof for HR57

Milliput roof (above) and metal former (below).

The roof in this picture is made by filling the spaces between the ribs of a former similar to that pictured below it with Milliput and soldering an edging of 1 x 1mm angle strip onto the base plate. It looks good from the outside but has a flat roof inside the cab, hardly noticeable really. was noticed at the CD0GG running day in Carlisle and commented on which prompted me to re-open the case!
The bottom illustration shows the start of the new sheet metal roof. I made a former from the drawing and bent four triangles of 0.3mm nickle silver sheet to fit the four sides very accurately, butting up against each other nicely. One segment is in place on the former in the photo. The former of course could have been made out of wood or of Milliput. I then cut a voided rectangle of 0.45mm metal as a base plate which slightly overhung the sides of the cab. Then, with a scrap wood support in the middle, I tack soldered the four plates together and onto the base. When all was accurately assembled I flooded solder onto the underside to ensure a robust structure. The 3" strip of metal that runs across the top helped strengthen the roof too. Finally I added an edging of 1 x 1mm brass angle strip and a lamp bracket.

The concave metal roof inside the cab
The roof is soldered to the rear of the cab to form a solid assembly which is held in place on the footplate by screws from below. The front of the roof locates against a tongue attached to the cab front plate by means of a slot formed under the base plate of the roof.

HR57's new sheet metal roof in place.

And... as a final flourish to the project, I'm sculpting a crew who'll do nicely for any of the Stroudley Tanks, they're well under way at this moment on my desk and will be featured on this Blog as soon as they're finished.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

HR57 Construction complete

HR57 Construction complete
I made a more accurately profiled roof for the engine with sheet nickle silver and Milliput modelling putty.
Here's how...
I first cut a rectangle of metal to overlap the cab slightly then soldered on an upturned rim all round from right angled material. I cut profile shapes, using the drawing as a guide, in sheet n/s fore and aft and corner to corner, soldering these in place to form a shape reminiscent of the Union Flag. Then I simply filled in the spaces between the formers with Milliput and smoothed it into shape. A little cleaning up and fettling when the Milliput hardened finished the job. 

 Note the brake cylinder and return-spring nestling beneath the footplate and partly obscured by the cab footstep. The brake pull-rods were a sore trial to get right. The coupling rod bosses just dip into the angled alcoves of the pull-rods without the crankpin nuts touching them.

Cab interior detail.
 Most of the cast detail on the backhead came from LGM, the rest was scratch-built. The floor is made from planks from a model ship kit, coal tumbles onto the floor from the bunker on the right of the backhead. 

HR57 from above.

Transfers for the name "Lochgorm" are a problem as there are none on the market; I hope to rectify the omission. I've had one false start already, a set of transfers which I returned as of too poor a quality to use. My second contact though promising the world has as yet produced nothing and seems to have gone to sleep on me. I'm working on it...

HR57 at CD0GG Kinchley Lane Station.
The engine ran very smoothly on the Carlisle Club's layout today despite picking up on only the four outer wheels and running with solid rather than jointed coupling rods. She pulled a quite prodigious train for her size though of course she was never designed for such feats being a little shunting engine, a role to which she'll adhere in future. Here she stands at Kinchley Lane Station with her train headed by a Caledonian Railway horse box.

Friday, 13 December 2013

Ben Klibreck and Ben Clebrig

Pete on Ben Klibreck 927m
I have been asked why I chose Ben Clebrig, as Ben Klibreck was known in earlier days, as the name for my 7mm HR Small Ben. I climbed Ben Klibreck in the summer of 1996 with my wife and our two Jack Russells,  it was one of the earliest of our Munros in a long campaign that started on Carn Dearg in the Monadliath in '93 and climaxed on Ben More on Mull in 2012. Ben Klibreck is one of the most northerly Munros and stands in uncompromisingly Highland territory, it's simply a great name for a great little engine.

Saturday, 30 November 2013

HR57 at Preston G0G

HR57 on the Main Line at Preston G0G.

Today HR57 was put through her paces on Preston G0G's layout. The Preston club is a large one and their extensive layout mirrors this. It was a busy Saturday and I was lucky to be offered a free line to run the engine almost as soon as we arrived. Though dwarfed by most of the locos on show she's nevertheless proved her ability, running with a heavy train of eight assorted coaches, a task she was never really designed for. Though some slipping was evident on the notorious "uphill corner" of the layout she invariably recovered herself and ran smoothly over the rest of the circuit with elegant ease...diminutive in stature she may be but not in prowess!

HR57 on the Branch Line

Construction of HR57 is almost complete, it has taken me since early July to get to this stage and there are still a few things to work on...a new roof with a more accurate domed profile is sitting on my desk nearly finished.  And...The brake pull rods are a bit low for comfort, though I may be able to fix that this week. Here the little engine is seen in one of the scenic sections of the layout away from the busy main line, she has come into her own, quietly working a goods train on the rural branch line... just her line of work.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

HR 57 Details

HR 57 mechanism and wheels.

I commissioned an etch from John Firminger, from drawings I made, to simulate the solid center drivers. The spokes have to be cut away a little towards the crankpin boss to seat the etched plate which is then glued in place.

I used part of the same etched discs for the outer wheels though I reversed them and cut them to shape so they covered the four spokes opposite the crankpin. I filed the irregular (trapezoid) opening between the outer spokes to shape, cut the spokes down to seat the plates and glued them in place. Later I filled the openings with Milliput, filling between the spokes with the modelling putty, then I made the shallow recess behind the openings with the wrong end of a small drill which made a good modelling tool for this job.

Behind the rear wheel, inside the frames, is the vertical brake shaft which connects to the brake standard in the cab. Just outside this is what I think may be an injector, I can't see the complete mechanism in any photos that exist, so as I didn't want to leave it out, I resorted to "imaginative reconstruction". It will lurk behind the cab steps in the shadows under the footplate so I think I'll get away with it!

The coupling rods are not the correct profile, they should have raised bosses, however I think the rods need to be filed away between the crankpins to make the bosses, otherwise, if I add metal, they'll be too wide.

HR57 chassis details

At the back, behind the rear wheel, a brake cylinder connects to an arm which is attached to the horizontal brake shaft which runs just in front of the rear well tank. A return spring passes from the arm under the cylinder and anchors to a vertical plate. I'm uncertain about this last detail as it's hidden in shadow under the footplate on photos which are the only reference. Charles Wrigley brought my attention to this mechanism and provided me with information to help model it from his forthcoming article in the HR Journal on braking systems of the Stroudley Tanks.

 Lochgorm Tank backhead arrangements.

Photos provide only a tantalising blurred glimpse into the cab of the Stroudley tanks; however, I think the reversing lever on the left is correct and so is the gauge on the cab front plate, though the rest of the detail is of necessity a "reconstruction". Some castings from the LGM range were used on the backhead, helped along by some scratch-built parts. The irregular plate on the cab floor will support a wooden planked floor soon ; a suitable crew is under way too.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

HR 57 More Progress

HR 57 Stroudley 0-6-0T "Lochgorm"

The smokebox assembly is held in place by a screw passing through the front of the tanks, the front sandboxes are separate castings and will be fixed to the running plate. Detail beneath the running plate is at an early stage though information based on a forthcoming article on the braking systems of the three Stroudley engines, to be published in the  HR Journal, has proved both timely and useful...there's more to it than I thought! The author, Charlie Wrigley, also provided me with information on the inside motion, part of which can be seen in photos of the prototype through the pear shaped cut-out in the frames in advance of the center driver  

HR 57 roof details

The rear of the cab is a separate assembly, fixed in place by screws passing through the running plate.
The roof plate seen here will be soldered only to the rear of the cab and locate onto an angle section affixed to the top of the cab front plate. This arrangement which allows the cab to be dis-assembled greatly assists building the cab interior and will help later when the crew are posed.

HR 57 with roof casting in place.

The white metal roof casting will be glued to the underlying roof plate which will form a slot at the front to locate into the tongue protruding from the top of the cab front plate which can be seen in the following photo.

HR 57 Cab interior details.

I know that the gauge on the cab front and the reversing lever are in the correct position and so is the rod that leads into the cab from the whistle, but apart from these details I'm in the dark and have had recourse to drawings of the Stroudley "Terrier" for the remainder of the cab interior. The floor has a sheet overlay which will form the base for a wooden floor which will be made from miniature wood planking.  LGM castings provide the basis of the backhead detail which, when the pipework is added, should add to a convincing and busy interior. And there'll be a crew, coal on the floor, tools and a shovel too, to help bring the engine to life.

HR 57

The lamp, an LGM casting, seen above the smokebox door is soldered into its holder then the assembly is drilled, threaded onto the handrail and  soldered in place.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Detailing the Lochgorm tank.

Lochgorm Tank  detailing in progress

The backhead of this engine remains an insoluble mystery due to lack of reference material, however I bought some parts from LGM's "HR Boiler Back Pack" which I think will help create, if not an authentic backhead, at least a believable one. The cab is spacious and much of the interior detail will be visible so it needs to be fairly busy inside. Of course there'll be a crew in the cab too which will help, I'm working right now on them and have a couple of good poses in mind for them.

HR Lochgorm Tank... detailing in progress.

The dome is surmounted by an 8BA screw which, with the addition of a washer or two, will serve nicely as part of the Salter safety valve assembly, the uprights of which are from "Hobby Horse". The cab roof is a white metal casting from LGM which fits snugly without any modification. There's a hole in the chassis through which the inside motion can be glimpsed in photos, so I may have to make some representation of this myself.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Lochgorm Tank at CD0GG Running Day

Running through the station at CD0GG

You may have been wondering how my Lochgorm Tank was progressing...well the four accompanying photos should answer that and give you a flavour of the busy running day on the Carlisle 0 Gauge Group's layout today. It has taken three months to get to this stage, busy summer months that offer only limited opportunity for modelling, so I'm pleased with progress. The basic platework of the engine is complete now though some parts were quickly fixed in place with double-sided Sellotape just for the day. And Yes, that is eleven wagons in the train behind her, which she pulled with ease with power to spare.

The station and other buildings in the scenic section of the extensive layout were built by club member David Gibson and took first prize in their section at Guildex in Telford last week, demonstrating that the Carlisle club is undeniably a modellers club.

Lochgorm Tank in action

In the sidings.

The scenic section of the layout.

Though the basic outline of the loco has been built there remains a good deal of detail to be added to bring her to life. The cab area is spacious and the interior will need detailing though pictures of the loco frustratingly allow us only a glimpse inside. Most of the detailing components have been obtained from either LGM or Hobbyhorse with some being scratch built by myself.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Lochgorm Tank progress

Lochgorm Tank "up and running".

You can see the lead weight here which fills the ash pan low down between the centre and rear wheels. The fly-wheel is a screw fitting one and was obtained from MSC Models, it greatly enhances the running qualities of the loco which is running smoothly even though there are no pick-ups on the centre wheels yet and the coupling rods are not jointed.

Wired up and weighted

A cross member at the back of the underframe fits under a retaining angle strip fastened to the inner side of the rear buffer beam; an 8BA screw holds the front of the underframe tight against the running plate by means of a nut which will be hidden inside the smokebox. The ash pan has a rivetted bottom plate and is filled with 200g of lead sheet.

Electrical pick-up is from the brass hornblocks which run in Slaters' insulated hornguides. Wires take the current from the hornblocks to strips of copper clad insulation board glued to the side frame above each axle, the wire acts as a sort of spring. Current is fed to the motor through wires via another piece of CCIB above the center axle.

Running plate in place.

Dummy side frames of full scale width are soldered to the rear of the front buffer beam, the slightly narrower working side frames fit neatly between the dummy ones, the joint will eventually be masked by the brakes and sandpipes.
A start has been made on the superstructure... at the moment I'm working on the plate-work in the flat.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Ben Clebrig at CD0GG

Ben Clebrig in action today

I took Ben Clebrig up to Carlisle today to the CD0GG running day at the club room at the Citadel Station for her first real test on a club layout.
Here she is rounding the bend into the station on the scenic section of the layout with a local passenger train of four assorted coaches. Today was a "timetabled" day and the Wee Ben had the privilege of heading the local passenger service...she performed her role in the unfolding drama admirably, gliding smoothly into Kinchley Lane Station right on time.
I spent time the previous evening cleaning wheels, tightening crank pin nuts and checking electrical connections which paid off, she ran smoothly without a hitch and I was most pleased with her running qualities.

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Highland Railway No.8

HR No.8 Ben Clebrig;  Drummond II livery 1902-1912

 Crew from the "Heroes of the Footplate" range of 1:43 figures
HR No.8 in ex-works condition
Phoenix P 727 paint has not reproduced well photographically.

I've been putting the finishing touches to Ben Clebrig for some time now, just adding a detail now and then when I've had a spare moment and now at last she's complete; the crew were painted ages ago, they've been waiting idly about for me to get on with the job and now at last they're in the cab and ready for a run. But they'll have to wait until I take the Ben up to Carlisle to a CD0GG running day towards the end of the month. I added a good deal of weight to the engine during her running trials on the test track and I think she'll pull a respectable load now. I'm told that the next running day will feature a "timetable"! No doubt this intimidation has rules and regulations and possibly the CD0GG police to enforce them! The Wee Ben performs well on the test track here in the studio, so I've great expectations that she'll hold her own when pitted against that timetable!

Thursday, 18 July 2013

A new Loco project.

Lochgorm Tank... first moves.

My new loco project is a scratch built Highland Railway 0-6-0 Lochgorm Tank. There were three of these engines and the one I've chosen to model is HR57, built at the HR's Lochgorm Works in 1872. The engine was rebuilt in 1897 and it is in this condition that I'll build her. There are a good many castings available from LGM for the engine to help the build along. The essential boiler fittings are available including a "Stroudley chimney" which, with a little modification, should prove acceptable.
I'm using a split-axle pick up system on the outer axles which run in sprung brass hornblocks in Slater's insulated hornguides. The centre driving axle is solid and pick up from the centre wheels will be arranged later if necessary.
The centre wheels of HR57 after the rebuild were "solid" which is a problem that needs to be addressed at a very early stage; I think the solution may be to commission an etching to go over the spokes which will need to be reduced in depth a little for the etched part to fit over them. Well, that's my thinking at the moment... I'll work on it.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

HR d.4 van ready for traffic

HR d.4 Box Van complete

Built as a much needed addition to my Highland Railway train this is the second HR goods vehicle that I've completed, it's still a short train! My mate Grahame Brind sent me a jar of Floquil "Tuscan Red" which apparently he'd had for ages. He assured me that it was the best match for HR "claret" in which colour these vans were painted before 1896, and I think he was right. I've dry brushed the van with lighter tuscan red and air brushed my weathering mix from below for a lightly weathered effect.

There appears to be only a single photo of these vans in existence, and that hardly a close-up; it's in Peter Tatlow's "Highland Miscellany"...Plate 230; there is no visible insignia to identify the van as belonging to the HR and it may be that these vehicles simply relied on the cast plate on the solebar for identification. I've similarly allowed my van to display reticence regarding its identity.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Highland Railway D.4 Van

Plate 1. Railway workman RW6 in nonchalant pose beside HR d.4 van

The nonchalant workman is ref: RW6 from Pete's own "Heroes of the Footplate" range of 1:43 scale figures.

Plate 2. HR d.4 Van from a "Lochgorm Kits" etch, with additions.

I made a few additions and alterations to Lochgorm's Highland Railway d.4 Van...

I dispensed with the "rib and stringer" construction inside the roof and simply added a curved rib at each end and doubled the thickness of the roof all round with 0.45mm strip. I think this ensures an adequately robust roof structure. The roof can be removed though I can't see any reason why it needs to be; I think I'll glue it down to stop it rattling over the points.

I added a simple door fastening with a security chain made from twisted 0.2mm wire for the peg.

The ride height of the van needed adjusting which I achieved by adding more metal to the vertical rib that supports the rocking-axle tray.

The upper riveted corner plates when soldered to the side top rail and folded didn't meet the end top rail, they were in the air. I thickened the end top rails with short lengths of 1 x 1mm brass section which allowed the corner plates to seat snugly, you can see this modification in Plate1 above.

I made new brake levers as I found that when I'd removed the cusps from etched levers there was practically nothing left! I added lamp irons to the sides and ends in the positions indicated on the drawing supplied... and I made those little chains and pegs that dangle from the brake guards and are used to peg down the brake levers.

The axle boxes I found were oversize, so I modified them by sawing a square of metal out of the back so the bottom of the spring sat on the axle box. Then I cut away enough of the top of each axle box at the front to ensure that they didn't mask the springs, which I think much improved the look of the van below the sole bar. I had to cut away even more metal from the axle boxes at the rocking-axle end to ensure some rocking movement was retained.

Couplings were made up from CPL castings. Safety chains, which hang from modified hand-rail knobs, were made from 0.6mm n/s wire.

The completed van weighs in at a satisfyingly chunky 250g...possibly a little overweight, but undoubtedly adding to her smooth running qualities.


Sunday, 26 May 2013

A new project...HR d.4 van

Lochgorm Kits' HR d.4 Goods Van, ends erected.

I'm not at my most fertile as a modeller in the summer as the seasonal distractions, not least of which is my role as a mountain guide in the Lake District, prove overwhelmingly diverting However, Andy Copp of Lochgorm Kits recently sent me one of the first production kits of his new Highland Railway d.4 Goods Van and despite the calls of fell walking, tennis, gardening and the like I found it irresistible and made an immediate start. I worked on the parts as time allowed adding as much detail as possible and cleaning them up as I went "in the flat" and I'm now ready to put the van together.

I made a few changes to the buffer beams as the etched parts supplied were at variance with the drawing in the instructions. I thought the buffer beam was too wide as well, the drawing shows it narrower than the body of the van, so I shortened it, which meant removing the end fold-overs that make the thickness of the beam. I replaced these with an inner buffer beam which fits up against the sole bars to form the back of the beam; the gap between the inner and outer buffer beam will be filled with Milliput later.

I soldered the coupling hook solid into the buffer beam draw-plate instead of using the usual sprung coupling hook method after reading what Raymond Walley had to say on the subject of sprung couplings. Springing doesn't add to the realistic effect when an engine starts its train if springs start springing and wagons rebound from one another in an undignified manner. It's a state of affairs that can easily be rectified by omitting the offending springs.     

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

HR d.39 Interior and Guard

HR d.39 Interior

The interior detail was supplied by a GA drawing though I think some detail may not have been included. The interior walls are painted "buff"; the exterior is "red oxide", transfers are from HMRS. HR goods vehicle lamps are from my own range of castings.

HR Guard c.1923

I found a photo of a HR guard on the HRSoc website, he was among a group of station staff and was clearly a "Guard" by the title on his cap. As the Highland ran mixed trains of passenger and goods stock I presumed that guards were guards and that there was no distinction in dress between passenger and goods guards.
I intend to add him to my range of "Heroes of the Footplate" soon with a choice of right arms to make him a multi-pose figure.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

D.39 Brake Van at CD0GG

CR Pug on Carlisle & District 0 Gauge Guild layout
CD0GG's David Gibson built the fine station buildings and signal boxes that make a realistic backdrop for models running on the layout. Here my Caledonian 0-4-0 264 Class loco snakes her way through the goods sidings with a train composed entirely of  "Furness Wagon Works" stock, built by Mark and Jeff Dobson, proprietors of the wagon works. Ten fairly lightweight unloaded wagons with resin-cast uppers composed the train. It was only light work for a powerful little "Pug", in this case a largely scratch-built engine with an ABC gearbox and M1833 motor hidden away inside.

Unfinished but running well...LNER J36

Jeff Davidson's J36 is modelled as it would appear in its later days and will eventually be turned out in BR colours in well weathered condition. Here, with patched tender side she pushes a train of coal wagons through the scenic section of the Carlisle group's layout

Entries in the the April Modelling Competition.

The annual April CD0GG Modelling Competition was won on a vote by David Gibson's signal boxes and station buildings, which are in situ on the layout and form a realistic backdrop to the pictures I took today.

HR d.39 Brake Van brings up the tail.

A little light weathering at the last minute added a realistic touch to my d.39 van. Compared to the resin-cast wagons of the "Furness Wagon Works" train she's a heavyweight, weighing in at over 400g which I think adds to the realistic way she runs.

Bob Goodyear's late C19  Scottish Brake Van.

Bob shares my taste for early and rather obscure railway subjects and has indulged himself by adding a great deal of detail to the fairly basic set of etches which he used as his starting point for this model.

Pete's HR d.39 Brake Van at CD0GG today

HR d.39 

Towards the end of the CD0GG meeting my d.39 had her first taste of work at the tail of the "Furness" train.
There are new projects in the pipeline back in the studio, there's a new loco under construction and several more engines taking their turn in the paint-shop, all of which activity I'll feature on the Blog soon.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

HR d.39 Construction Complete

HR d.39 Brake Van of 1922

Construction of the d.39 van, complete with its interior, is complete, I think I've included all the detail I could see on the GA drawing. The double skin and other additional details all add to the weight, the van's remarkably heavy, weighing in at around 400g, and a very smooth running vehicle it is. I think HR brake vans carried two tail lamps, so there will eventually be a double-aspect lamp mounted on the bracket above the near door.

HR d.39 Interior detail

Information regarding the interior of the van comes from a GA drawing which does not quite provide the full story, particularly in the area around the lookouts, one feels there may be other omissions. The lidded boxes at each end are sand-boxes. There are seats in the lookouts each side but apart from these and the stove there seems to be little of creature comfort for the guard. The plasticard wood planking is from Slaters and is mounted on the brass inner-skin; the four door sections can be removed for painting. The stove is a brass casting from Slaters ref: x705301. The brake mechanism is one of my own castings, with hand wheels from Ragstone Models, mounted on a scratch-built pillar.

HR d.39 Brake gear and sanding equipment

It's satisfyingly busy under the van, adding much interest to the model. Apart from the usual brake rigging there  sand pipes which curve down towards the wheels in each corner and are supported towards the bottom by brackets attached to the buffer beam.

You can see a nicely made 4mm version of the d.39 brake van built for the Portchullin layout at...