Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Highland Railway Brake Van

HR d.39 Brake Van
The characteristic HR bottle-necked buffers were a problem to replicate, the nearest I could find were on Invertrain's website, listed as... "Wagon Buffers Midland", they looked about right. The cast w/m shank was separate from the mounting plate by which they were attached to the buffer beam; I found that this was the wrong shape anyway so I substituted a n/s disc which I soldered to the buffer beam first then soldered the buffer shank to it.

The axle-boxes are my own castings which I made for Lochgorm's HR 6-wheel brake van. The d.39 GA drawing shows no detail of the axleboxes. There are no extant photos of the vehicle in HR days to confirm that these were correct but I thought they were a good bet.

It's a busy place under a HR d.39

I soldered a length of  4mm angle section behind the solebars which added strenght to the structure and also served as a base on which to mount the "J" hangers which were made from strip bent to a "z" shape and soldered in place. The upper arm of each hanger was drilled to take a 7mm wire which went through the hole into the solebar. The springs were mounted on this wire which passes through holes drilled in their extremities and holds them in place. I found that once I'd soldered the sand pipes in place I couldn't remove the wheel assemblies so I soldered these in place too at this stage.

HR d.39 structure underneath.

I finished off the "J" hangers by threading a couple of small discs onto the wire that protruded below the hanger and then added a final 14BA nut to the bottom of each one. I cut away some of the metal on top of the axlebox, where the spring sits, to allow a tiny bit of  movement to the "rocking axle"; it's all a very tight fit and there's brake gear and rigging still to add.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Ben Clebrig HR No 8

HR No 8 Ben Clebrig, progress to date.

Guilplates supply a number of name transfers for HR engines, however the only useful one they have for a Small Ben is "Ben Slioch". I had to make up the name "Ben Clebrig" from letters derived from three separate names for other classes of engine...expensive and fiddly.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

HR d.39 Brake Van Progress

HR d.39 Brake Van from a Lochgorm set of etches.

The window openings have been thickened using the etched shapes supplied by Lochgorm, in addition to these I've made an inner skin to further thicken the walls, this is distanced from the outer skin by spacers to provide a slot into which the glazing slides between the two skins. The inside of the van will be detailed with Slaters' plasticard planking, a section of which you can see in place on the far end wall above the sand box. I've just received a GA drawing from the HRSoc which, though they describe it as "poor", I found readable and very helpful, in fact half of it might be described as being in quite good condition. There'll be a stove and a brake stanchion with wheels and as much additional detail as I can contrive in the van, and of course, I'll model a guard in authentic Highland Railway uniform.

I think I've identified what may be a goods brake van guard in a photo in Tatlow's "Highland Locomotives", he's on page 57 standing in front of Loch an Dorb with a lamp in his hand. I can't identify the lamp unfortunately, it seems to be neither a loco lamp nor a goods brake van lamp.

There's a fine group photo of the station staff at what may be Kyle of Lochalsh among the photos on the HRSChat site. One of the group is a guard, identified by the word appearing on his cap. He looks like the sort of guard you'd see on a mixed train on a branch line or on a goods train. I think the main line passenger train guards were far more impressive in appearance, more like the staff of a Grand Hotel.
I'd like to model an authentic figure for my d.39 van, if anyone knows of any other pictures of HR guards I'd be pleased if they'd let me know.