Sunday, 7 December 2014

HR 54 Yankee Tank; detailing the engine

HR54 chassis with cylinder detail.

Beneath the cylinders, the cylinder drain cocks (three on each side), await the fitting of the centre unit to make a trio. Each cock is made from a small hand rail knob soldered into a hole in the cylinder bottom behind which a short arm is held in place by means of a pin through the hole in the knob. The arms support the pull-rod which is attached at its further end to a lever below the slide bar support bracket which is about all that can be made out of the mechanism from the drawing and existing photographs though I think there's probably an operating rod attached to the latter lever leading inboard.

Yankee Tank chassis with brake cylinder under cab.

The brake cylinder under the cab is cut away to clear the shaft of the rear coupling hook. Despite scrutinising the drawing I can't understand how the linkages to the brake cross shafts are arranged. Photos don't help clarify the matter as this area is masked by steps and sand boxes. Now that the inside motion has been removed and the driving axle changed from the rear axle to front one I have space in the firebox below the motor for extra weight, in exactly the right place, between the driving wheels. One of the 3ft driving wheel springs which are my own w/m castings is in position below the front right hand driving axle bearing.

HR54 superstructure progressing.

The Roscoe Lubricators on the smokebox sides are brass castings from LGM (ref: 19-35). Slaters' Hand Rail Knobs (S) proved to be just the right size for the cab doorways and tank sides, apart from these knobs all other linkages on view are scratch built. Visual evidence suggests that there was only a sand box operating mechanism on one side of the engine, I'd be interested to know how in this case the right hand sand box worked. Photographs show that the large cab roof was not devoid of interest as it had four thin metal strips riveted across it and, though I've not managed the rivets, I think the cross-strips work well. There's another lamp iron to add when it arrives from Laurie Griffin and also a handrail towards the rear of the roof; photographic evidence, though leaving no doubt as to its existence, is tantalisingly imprecise regarding its exact position.

HR54 showing cab interior.

I have left the cab until last; there is little precise information available for the cab interior of the Yankee Tanks, nevertheless I think the cab will be a busy place eventually. There are rods and pipes protruding in profusion into the cab through the spectacle plate that need handles knobs and terminating points, there are pressure gauges to fit, a reversing lever and hand brake stanchion and all the pipework and oddments that go to make up the backhead itself. The hollow backhead houses the fly-wheel now that the motor has been repositioned and can still be removed at this stage which will help while completing the cab interior.
I've made a master pattern for the tank top water fillers but have not yet made a mould or cast them, this is a job for next week. Any other modellers who would like a pair of these for their own Yankee Tank project should just let me know, they'll be available very soon.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

HR54 Design Changes

Yankee Tank in sidings at CD0GG Running Day

I took my Yankee Tank, though far from complete, to the Carlisle Club (CD0GG) on Saturday to the November Running Day for her first run in a club layout situation. The engine hadn't run very smoothly on my test track at home so before I went to the running day I removed the inside motion which I hoped would help matters. It didn't seem to help much however and I was rather less than pleased with her performance on the club layout, though she negotiated the curves and turnouts easily enough, running was simply not as smooth as I was aiming for. There was some discussion among the members present about the relative merits of fitting a flywheel, I'm much in favour of this, an advocate of the flywheel in fact, as I think it does much to improve performance. However there was no room for a flywheel in this case because the gearbox was mounted on the rear axle and the M1824 motor sat upright in the boiler.

As I'd already removed the inside motion from the front axle (it's hardly noticeable anyway) I decided that a radical design change was feasible; I would mount the gearbox on the front axle, forget the inside motion and fit a flywheel.

In the process of doing this I noticed that the motor when mounted horizontally on the axle was skewed to one side, I thought at first this was due to a faulty gearbox but found on closer investigation that the problem lay with the front axle, it was not square in the chassis, it was out of true, in fact it was askew! So...I stripped the chassis down and remedied the fault with the aid of my invaluable Hobby Holidays chassis jig.

On reassembly in its new form, with axles running true and complete with flywheel, I found that the chassis ran very smoothly both forwards and backwards, round the curves and over the points and crossings. It remains only to fit the new configuration into the superstructure which involves a few minor alterations...I think.

Though I've sacrificed the inside motion to the flywheel I think it worthwhile; I can still model the visible part of the inside works in front of the motion plate, which hardly move anyway. All I have for this however is a pair of rather long spindly valve rods, I doubt that in reality that this was the full story but I've no further information to go on.

Tractor Story... Update.

I ordered a Dragon Models Cambrian Railway machinery wagon to carry my Farmall tractor which features in the post below. When the wagon kit duly arrived it looked very nice indeed; but on reading the accompanying description of the wagon I realised that these wagons were sent for scrap in the 1920s before my tractor was even built, the Farmall being introduced in the 1930s! So now I have a wagon without a load and a tractor still without a wagon.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Tractor for...

Universal Hobbies 1:43 scale Farmall F12

By way of a light diversion I thought a posting about my new tractor purchase might find favour. This is a McCormick-Deering Farmall F12 of 1935, though when I first saw it I thought it was a rather earlier beast. The F12 is one of 27 1:43 scale tractors listed by Universal Hobbies, the earliest one being the Fordson F of 1917 which, though an excellent model, does not compare with the Classic Commercials version, though as the latter is in kit form, this might be an unfair comparison. The tractor is intended as a load for an appropriate wagon, which I have yet to decide on though there seem to be only two agricultural machinery wagons available, those in the Connoiseur and Celtic Connection ranges. I don't think I'll try to add any extra detail to the tractor, it's a very fine little model, though I will tone down the toy-like paintwork and add a little light weathering so that both tractor and wagon display a unity of finish. I hope to feature the model in a later post. You can read an earlier article I wrote on this subject in the G0G Gazette Vol.18 No.12 Pg.57.

Friday, 24 October 2014

HR54 Yankee Tank Superstructure

HR 54 Yankee Tank

The nickel silver sheet superstructure of my HR Yankee Tank is almost complete. The boiler backhead, which is a much altered LGM casting, slots into place between the side tanks in the cab and can be removed which will help when I come to add the backhead fittings later. I have no information on these fittings, nor does any exist, so I'll do the best I can by basing the details of the backhead on what I know of other Highland engines of the time and include injectors, water gauges, a regulator and lubricators which should be a good start on what I'd like to be a busy cab interior. The vacuum ejector pipe which is mounted on the right side of the boiler, leading from the smokebox back to the cab, needs to connect to something inside the cab. Hmmm...I'm looking into this matter now.
The cab rear has been constructed as a separate assembly which will be soldered in place but not until I've done as much work to the cab interior while access is relatively good. The upper cab side sheets butt together above the cab entrance where the joint will be partly disguised by the half round beading surrounding the cab opening.

7mm Yankee Tank superstructure

The brass boiler fittings are very accurate castings and were supplied with the "Lochgorm" Yankee Tank kit, however they're practically the only parts that I've retained from the kit. The "Jones"chimney is a two-part casting which allows a common base to be fitted with different tops to enable modellers to build all five versions of the Yankee Tank that were built by Dubbs & Co. in Glasgow. However the safety valve casting supplied, being of different provenance to the chimney and dome, was much oversize and needed drastic time consuming surgery before it was acceptable.

Yankee Tank cab detail

The cab appears spacious enough from outside but in fact the interior is cramped by the bunker which protrudes inside the cab and by the over scale side tanks which leave little space between them for the crew. I intend to design a driver and fireman for the engine who should fit nicely into the cab but it will be quite a challenge. They will of course be available commercially in my "Heroes of the Footplate" range.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Laa'l Ratty

Waiting for the train to appear on the RER

Instead of blogging about grappling with near impossible modelling projects I thought a posting and a few photos of a trip to the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway that I made recently might provide some light relief. It's called Laa'l Ratty in popular parlance of course and as you can see by the pictures the trip was before the onset of the rainy season. With wife and dog aboard I motored over to Eskdale Green, an unspoilt haven of peace in Eskdale through which the railway winds its way on its seven mile journey from Ravenglass to Dalegarth, the terminus, higher up the valley.

We stayed a few nights in Eskdale at the King George IV pub which is within easy walking distance of The Green station. Fell walking was the main aim of our few days in the West and we planned to bag a few of  Alfred Wainwright's "Outlying Fells of the Lake District", however the lure of Laa'l Ratty was irresistible and, after a strenuous day hiking round the tops above Devoke Water, we resolved to visit her the following day for a more restful outing.

We walked from the George IV past The Green station, along the overgrown lane and on over undulating Muncaster Fell (757ft) then down through the grounds of Muncaster Castle, past the excavations beside the Roman Fort and into the pretty little seaside village of  Ravenglass, about a 10k walk altogether. Lunch we had at the railway station in the sunshine, then later we took the train back up the valley, riding in style up magnificent Eskdale in a carriage open to the sky to alight at The Green station, a matter of a few hundred yards from our base, it was a great day out and much to be recommended.


Hercules of the RH & DR

Mighty Hercules, a 4-8-2 of the RH & DR was on loan from that railway due to a shortage of steam motive power on the RER. He was a bit too long for the turntable and had to be disconnected from his tender to be turned round; a great favourite with visitors.

River Irt in Ravenglass Station.

River Irt was also in service that day. Built in 1894 and named Muriel originally, she is the oldest working 15" gauge engine. She was rebuilt in 1927 and altered in 1972 to her current appearance. I'm sure that these engines and their attendant rolling stock would make great models in 7mm scale, though I really must resist the temptation, I've enough to do without that! Click on the link below for more info about the engines of the RER.

And no... the Yankee Tank project has not been abandoned, nor has it been shunted into the great siding in the sky, in fact I'll be posting some pictures of progress in the next couple of days; so watch this space!

Friday, 3 October 2014

Yankee Tank, Basic Structure.

Yankee Tank  HR54

The basic structure of HR54 is progressing slowly. I've struggled recently with the riveted side tanks though I think I've made an acceptable pair at last after a good many failures. I used a G W Models riveting tool to make the rivets but found that due to the amount of play on the carrier that it was far from straight forward consequently it took me some time to tame the machine and get it to do what it was supposed to do, namely to press equally spaced rivets in a straight line! I scored guide lines on the back of the tanks and steadied the carrier with my finger to ensure that each rivet was plumb centre of the line, spacing was less of a problem as the machine handles spacing accurately. Once the rivets were pressed the side was then cut to shape. It is possible to side step the rivet problem by building HR102 which was built with plain tanks without rivets and displayed significant differences of detail from the other members of the class. In fact all five of the HR's Yankee Tanks display appreciable differences, no two are quite the same.

I realised at a rather late stage that the front spectacle plate does not form a corner with the cab side sheet, the latter overlaps the former slightly, a revelation that resulted in another cab side sheet ending in the bin.

The Yankee Tank cab is ideally suited to double-skinning. I made an inner skin for both the rear and front spectacle plate so that the glazing will eventually slip between the two. The front plate will have the back-head attached and the unit will I hope be removable to facilitate detailing the cab interior. I note that Nick Baines describing the construction of his latest LNWR Problem class engine uses double-skinning to facilitate not only the glazing but also to make the backhead assembly removable... I'll take a leaf out of his notebook.

The cab entrance is a mere 1ft 3in wide, which suggests that the Highland did not encourage fat engine drivers. One of the few components that I used from the original kit is the footplate and I found that to achieve this small gap I had to add 3in to the rear of the footplate which was under size. I soldered a strip of metal under the rear footplate up against the buffer beam to form a protruding ledge which supported the 3in wide footplate extension.

The edging that surrounds the cab and runs along the tank tops is quite a substantial half-round section that I'm using 1mm half-round brass material from Eileen's Emporium to simulate. Half -round is not easy to persuade into shape! As you can see I've made a start on the cab rear where the edging will both strengthen and help conceal the join between the cab front and rear.

HR 54 Yankee Tank

The side tank fronts will be made as a separate component, overlapping the inner side and making a flush joint with the outer skin. This is part of the basic platework of the superstructure along with the roof, steps and tanks inside the cab which I'll tackle next. The cab and tank edging will be added in the flat and the boiler bands will have to be soldered in place before the separate rear, side tanks and the boiler are soldered together to complete the basic structure.

HR Yankee Tank details of side tanks and cab interior


Yankee Tank side tanks and cab interior detail

As details of the interior of the cabs and back-heads of these engines are practically non-existent I'll probably build a typical Jones back-head with appropriate period fittings. The side tanks run through into the cab. However the rear drivers run inside them and to allow clearance for them the inner tanks have to be made wider than those outside which makes for a cramped situation in the cab which will have to be considered when I design the crew for this engine.
The narrow entrance and the double-skin of the cab are well seen in this view, the splasher/inner tank tops and sides are not yet in place.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Coupling and Connecting Rods

Coupling and Connecting Rods for my Yankee Tank

The basic shape of these rods was cut using my oversize patterns on a pantograph cutting machine by Malcolm Wright of Wrightscale. They were cut from solid nickel silver bar to which I added the detail; cotters, oil boxes and the front cover plates mostly by reference to photographs. The cross heads are castings obtained from LGM's lists though they have been much modified to resemble as far as is possible those of a HR Yankee Tank and to ensure that they slide in the slide bars without fouling the motion plate or the support mounted on the rear of the cylinders. The connecting rods fit inside the coupling rods so the omission of the covering plate on the big end of the former will not be noticeable.

The chassis runs well with the coupling and connecting rods in place but I've removed the inside valve gear as this is not running properly yet and needs attention. In fact you can hardly see it when the footplate is in place and I wonder if it's really worth the trouble.

I moved the pivot for the front bogie back 4mm and this seems to have improved cornering; the engine will now go round the curves on my test track, which I think are just under 6ft radius, without the bogie wheels catching on the cross heads, which of course shorts the works out.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Yankee Tank etc.

HR Yankee Tank slide-bars and cross head detail

Progress on my Yankee Tank has not been rapid hence the dearth of recent Blog postings, I've waited to post some photos until I had something that looked like an engine rather than post a picture of a messy desktop. This is really a scratch building project rather than a kit building one, I've abandoned the etchings supplied in the kit altogether. It is some small source of consolation that there are some good castings with the kit that I can use. The slide-bars and cross-heads shown above are the nearest I could find for the engine, they are from Laurie Griffin's range ref: 10-11 ; they needed a good deal of modification to look anything like those of a Yankee Tank and even more modification to work properly. There are no driving wheels on the market that exactly suit the Yankee Tank, the nearest I could find were dimensionally correct though the oversize throw of the cranks resulted in the cross-head fouling the front and rear mounts. I had to reduce the width of the cross-head and modify the piston rod before the assembly ran freely.

HR Yankee Tank chassis

The inside motion I fitted is designed for Martin Finney's Adams Radial Tank and fits the Yankee Tank without modification. The connecting rods and coupling rods were made from my own patterns by Malcolm Wright of Wrightscale. they need detailing. The connecting rods of a Yankee Tank are inside the coupling rods which doesn't leave much space for the rear bogie wheels to move when cornering, I have not addressed this problem yet. The chassis seems to run smoothly without binding under finger power; putting the motor gearbox in place and adding the pick-ups is the next step.

Safety Valves modified.

The safety valve castings supplied in the Lochgorm kit looked very nice on first examination but when I matched them to the drawing to my annoyance I found they were oversize. I cut the base in half, removed a slice of metal and soldered it back together. The resulting shape was then filed to shape. A new lever had to be made too which slotted into the spring casting, the lever protrudes into the cab through a slot in the cab front plate and still needs a little more refining to look right.

This is my second HR fish wagon, I completed it recently as light relief from the Yankee Tank project. There are only a few additions and improvements needed to the Lochgorm kit to build a good scale model of a Jones d.12 fish wagon. It's a good addition to my on-going Highland Railway train which now numbers four wagons, two coaches and a choice  of either of two goods brake vans or a passenger brake van.

I hear that Andy Copp at Lochgorm Kits is releasing a kit in September of a HR open goods wagon which will build several variants...I'll have one of those Andy!

I returned briefly to a project that has stalled at the moment for lack of an engine. This is my LNWR 1800gall. tender which is still sitting in a siding in my studio looking forlorn. I found some little padlocks on Martin Finney's website and added them to the tool boxes as a finishing touch.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Yankee Tank chassis

Yankee Tank; structure of chassis


Only one of the original three turned brass 25.5mm frame spacers is still in place and this will be removed when the cylinder cross pieces, which slot into the frames, are soldered in place, these replace the turned spacers which can then be re-used. The third cross piece, behind the cylinders, is the motion plate, which extends beyond the frames to form the support for the rear of the slide-bars. The front steps are attached to the ends of this which makes it difficult to see what's going on in this area, though there is a 3/4 front photo of HR52 extant which helps clarify the shape of the support. The valve spindles are in place between the frames; these are part of the Martin Finney kit for the inside motion of his Adams Radial Tank which fit the Yankee Tank very nicely and which I hope to make work.

I'm using a 3-point suspension system based on the ideas illustrated in the late Geoff Holt's book "Locomotive Modelling", the suspension points being the rear fixed axle and the front bogie pivot point, the front driving axle moves in Slaters' brass  hornblocks in slots in the side frames. I was at the G0G show at Cleckheaton recently and discussed this method of suspension for a 4-4-0T with the man on the G0G Technical stand, Nigel Smith no less. He didn't think much of it and said that he prefered to compensate all four driving wheels, which he thought would give better hauling power. Well I've opted for Geoff's method now so we'll just have to wait and see.

The coupling and connecting rods are a project in their own right which is underway at the moment. Malcolm Wright of Wrightscale in Aboyne is machining a set of rods from a pair of oversized patterns that I made. These should enable me to get the engine up and  running soon.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Yankee Tank progress

HR54 Yankee Tank. Inner side tanks in place.

Progress on my HR Yankee Tank has been less than spectacular, as I mentioned in an earlier post, I'm treating the kit simply as a starting point in my quest for a scale model of a Yankee Tank, so to this end I've re-made some of the parts rather than use those in the kit, which is a time consuming method of progress. My mate Bob Goodyear, in nearby Dumfriesshire, has a lathe; he turned me a set of frame spacers which are designed to temporarily hold the frames in position while nickel silver spacers are soldered permanently in place, these are 25.5mm wide and will result in an overall width of 26.9mm for the frames providing negligible side-play on the driving wheels. The rear axle will be rigid and carry an ABC Mini Gooch gearbox fitted with an M1824 motor mounted upright that should just allow space for a small flywheel. The front driving axle will be sprung and the bogie pivot point will be solid to provide three-point suspension.

Several apparent similarities between the Yankee Tank and the Adams Radial Tank were pointed out to me by Sandy Harper which prompted me to compare drawings of these engines. I found a drawing of the Adams engine in J N Maskelyne's "Locomotives I have Known" and realised while perusing this that the inside valve gear was not only Stephenson's in both cases but also that the works from the Adams engine should fit the Yankee Tank. I promptly ordered a set of Adams valve gear from Martin Finney,who sells this item as a separate kit. The space between the frames beneath the Yankee Tank's boiler is very visible and I think Martin's finely engineered kit of parts should fill it nicely.

The boiler itself is 4' 3" diameter according to my drawing and this is the diameter I made it despite reading in Cormack and Stevenson that the maximum diameter of the boiler was a quarter inch under four foot. I presume this latter misleading measurement to be without the cladding.

I've added window surrounds inside the cab front and rear plates (a necessity rather than a luxury) using Geoff Holt's method, which I derived from his recently published book on locomotive modelling.

My next next task is to get the engine up and running and first of all I need to address the coupling and connecting rods, which need to be re-made...


Tuesday, 8 April 2014

HR OCT and Chummy.

HR d.47 OCT with Austin 7 Chummy c.1923

The Austin 7 Open Tourer known affectionately as a "chummy" was in its first year of production in 1923 and here's one being delivered by the Highland Railway on an Open Carriage Truck. The car's number plate begins with SO... the S being for Scotland and the second letter denoting the area, in this case Morayshire. The wagon plate lettering reads silver rather than white and as I couldn't dry brush it to read white, I relied on the weathering to simply dull the metallic lettering which I hope works. On Saturday the model's bound for Carlisle to the CD0GG meeting, for a run on the layout, a few photos in the scenic section and entry into the annual modelling competition.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

HR Yankee Tank Project

HR Yankee Tank 4-4-0T front bogie.

My Yankee Tank kit arrived from Lochgorm Kits a couple of weeks ago and though I've not made a great deal of progress yet I have been able to assess the merits, limitations, omissions and faults of the kit which will be evident as description of the build progresses. I've no doubt that the kit built straight from the box produces a reasonable Yankee Tank, however my intention is to use the parts provided by the kit as the starting point of a fully detailed scale model of the engine based on available photos and the drawings in Peter Tatlow's invaluable "Highland Locomotives". For the prototype my choice lit on HR 14, built in 1893 and renumbered 54 in 1900 and it is in this latter guise that I'll build her. There is a superb photo extant of the engine as HR14 which provides most of the information I need to supplement the drawing.

The bogie illustrated has been built using the parts supplied with some modification, in particular I had to adjust the width of the spacers. An 0.7mm washer outside each axle box allows the wheels to revolve freely without fouling the centrally mounted bogie spring which protrudes beyond the frames slightly. I'm not sure what effect widening the bogie frames will have on the loco main frames which are I think rather narrow at a bare 26.4mm overall and may need wider spacers in turn.

 I will sign off for now as I need to order some scratch building materials!



HR Fish Truck

HR Fish Truck from a Lochgorm Kit

I decided to build this wagon in a short interlude between loco projects which presented itself before the Glasgow Show in February where I intended to buy a "Lochgorm" Yankee Tank kit which I knew, once started, would be a time consuming project and leave little time for this kind of indulgence. It's a Jones Open Fish Truck d.12 and is the second I've built to add to my Highland Railway train of mixed goods and passenger stock. However, whereas the first was finished in HR passenger green livery I intend the second, as there is much uncertainty about the actual colour of these vehicles, to take to the rails in goods wagon oxide. It needs a few more details to complete and an interesting and appropriate load of the fishy kind to bring it to life. I'm considering the possibilities... 

Thursday, 20 February 2014

A NW Tender in search of an Engine.

LNWR 1800 gallon tender c.1885
The 1800 gallon tender was introduced to the LNWR by F.W. Webb in 1874. From 1882 these tenders were built with a single side plate 14ft long in place of two shorter ones and it is this version that is the subject of the "Gladiator" kit which was the starting point of this model. At this point in time it remains a tender in search of a locomotive. However... there is a suitable locomotive kit in the pipeline and a good deal of development work has been done already, and though it's still under this Blog for news of developments.

LNWR 1800 gallon tender c.1885

Some additions and improvements were made to the basic Gladiator kit, the tool boxes and their plinths were a particular trial and took a good deal of work before they were acceptable. The handle below the spoked brake wheel operates the water scoop which I have yet to model.

It's a busy place underneath an 1800g tender.

The outer brake pull-rods can be disassembled to enable removal of the wheels. The outer rods are held in place by 14BA screws which pass through spacing tubes and thread into the rear pull rods which are soldered to the inner chassis and tapped to accept the screws. The bushes carrying the center axle slide in a vertical slot and are sprung by a wire attached to the chassis, otherwise the suspension is solid. The tender is arranged for the American pick-up system by having the wheels on one side shorted out.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

A Crew for HR 57

On the footplate of HR57, this pair were the inspiration for my own crew c.1895
 The driver on the left of the picture has a "drivers cap", possibly issued by the HR though it's the only cap of this style I've ever seen in a photo. Neither figure displays any other uniform item of dress, like most working men of the period, both driver and fireman are wearing their own working clothes. The light coloured jacket of the fireman may be of unbleached linen similar to the fatigues worn by the lower ranks of the army in barracks when on work detail, the so called "Regimental Sports", which involved getting the coal in and suchlike.

HR 56 shunting at Perth in Highland Railway days c.1920

The pose of this figure was the inspiration for my own driver (below) and is eminently suitable for a shunting engine. This is a rather later photo than the one above and the driver now has a uniform cap, his overalls and jacket are presumably his own working clothes.

Heroes of the Footplate : Driver for a Stroudley Tank Ref: R.23

The miniature driver at work on the footplate of my own model of "Lochgorm". Both the driver and fireman are designed to fit nicely into the cabs of a wide range of shunting engines, not just HR Stroudley Tanks, they'll fit just as well into that more famous Stroudley engine, the LBSCR Terrier.  The colours I have used are those I think most probable judging from the tonality of the two b/w photos above. Below you can see both figures in the cab... I think their contrasting poses work well together. Ref:

Heroes of the Footplate : Fireman for a Stroudley Tank  Ref: R 24


Wednesday, 22 January 2014

HR d.47 Open Carriage Truck with load.

HR d.47 OCT with Austin 7 Chummy.

The Austin 7 Open Tourer was introduced in 1923 and became known as the "Chummy". The white metal kit for the car came from South East Finecast and was the earliest car kit I could find. The spokes of the wheels are etched nickel silver and really set the model off well. The only addition I made to the kit was a gear lever and some blobs of glue for headlights. The car would have been secured on the wagon with wedges under each wheel. In addition there may have been straps or ropes from the side rails too as suggested by the photo on page 79 of "Hunter".

I made a master pattern for the springs and cast a set as I couldn't work with those in the kit; the axleboxes needed only a little modification before the springs sat comfortably on top of them. The retaining cross rails were made from square section metal with reference to fig 35 in "Hunter" as were the little chains that hang from the brake lever guard. Vaccum pipes and Westinghouse pipes are from my own castings. I added a Westinghouse cylinder and a vaccum cylinder with their linkages all of which make for a busy and interesting model.

The inspiration for this model came from the frontispiece to Tatlow's "A History of Highland Locomotives" which shows Inverness Station in the early 1900s. In the centre of the picture is an OCT, probably a d.47, carrying a car of the period which I cannot identify. The rear cross rail of the OCT seems to be tight against the rear tyres of the car and there may be additional restraint in place though I can't make out any detail of straps or other retaining devices, nor for that matter can I see any wedges, though I'm sure there's one on the deck of the OCT in "Hunter". I suspect more could be learned if the original photo could be studied rather than a scanned reproduction in a book. Perhaps Peter Tatlow's eagerly awaited and soon to be published "Highland Railway Wagons and Carriages" will add to our knowledge of these fascinating wagons.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

HR Open Carriage Truck

Lochgorm Kits HR d.47 Open Carriage Truck

I managed only a peek into the packaging of this latest offering from Lochgorm as I unwrapped my presents on Christmas Day, it was not a day of modelling opportunity. On Boxing day however I managed to sneak an hour or so to make a start on what I intended to be my Festive Season project. The above photo shows the stage I reached by New Years Day when I more or less ground to a halt as the wheels haven't arrived yet.

I made a few changes to the kit, in particular I removed the buffer beam, which was attached to the floor, and used it as an inner beam. The buffer beam overlay was discarded though I salvaged the coupling plate which I soldered to a new buffer beam that I substituted. This extends upwards to meet the floor which, taking note of the "Tatlow" drawing included with the instructions, I made flush with the top of the bottom side-rails. Apart from this modification I made only minor changes and additions to the design of the kit.

HR d.47 OCT  Brake Details

Below the sole bar of the OCT is a busy place. The brake cylinder and its associated parts were built from tube and various metal sections as these parts are not included in the kit. The truck was Westinghouse fitted too but I don't think the fittings would have been visible, being mounted under the floor, so I probably won't model them; the underneath will be busy enough when the brakes and brake rigging are in place.
The truck weighs in at a hefty 150g at the moment so it'll not need additional weight and there's still a good deal of detail to be added below the sole bar.

I bought a very nice S E Finecast Austin 7 Open Tourer kit, which I thought would make a very apt load for the carriage truck, but I now realise that the wheel track of these little cars is only 3' 4" which means that the wheels would fall between the wheel plates mounted on the deck of the truck which enabled cars to be loaded from the platform. However I'm sure the loaders could have overcome that problem with a little ingenuity, a plank maybe? I considered the option of a die-cast car as load for the carriage truck but found that a good die cast model, as opposed to a toy, is not only expensive but hard to find, so I opted for a kit which I'm sure will set the truck off a treat. I've made a start on the car too.