Monday, 21 December 2015

Lybster at CD0GG

HR 53 Lybster on the CD0GG layout.  

I added as much weight as possible to HR53 before her outing at the club running day at CD0GG on Saturday. Though she performed creditably she proved not to have the hauling power of my little LNWR 2-4-0T Chopper Tank which romped round the layout with six full size coaches, a feat that Lybster could not match, she simply didn't have the traction, the wheels revolved but there was no forward movement! I noticed that in reverse however, that is running in effect as a 4-4-0, her performance was noticeably better, so there's still some work to do to improve matters.

Construction is almost complete though I've not finished the cab doors, sand pipes and the brake rods and linkages which I've taken pains to construct even though much of this detail is masked by the cab steps. Then there are more rivets which I plan to add with Archers' surface detail transfers, I hope they're as good as it says on the packaging...

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Lybster Tank...a question of weight.

HR53 "Lybster"

I took these photos of HR53 as I was assembling  her ready for the monthly Running Day at the Carlisle club yesterday. I was however disconcerted to discover that her tractive effort was rather feeble. I know that my rolling stock is mighty heavy... nevertheless I'd not expected that a four truck train would be beyond her! Though the motor whirred and the wheels went round, nothing was moving, I didn't want this embarrassment at the club, I wanted her to make a good showing, so I spent the rest of the evening experimenting with various lead weights in various positions and found that weight was needed up front. I packed a roll of lead into the boiler, 125g in all, and matters improved. Another similar weight, experimentally carried over the buffers, had even more effect, so though I was only able to add the weight in the boiler I had at least found the solution. Ultimately, in addition to the weight in the boiler, my intention is to pour "liquid lead" down the chimney into the smokebox to get weight over the front driver.
On the day, at Carlisle, she performed very well despite carrying only half the weight I plan on adding, effortlessly cruising round the layout with a creditable ten wagon train.

HR 53 

The backhead and cab interior detail is at an advanced stage as is the superstructure. I've modelled one of the tank top water fillers which will serve as a pattern from which I'll make a mould next week to cast out its companion. The brake cylinders, which sit under the footplate between the rear bogie wheels, will similarly be cast from a silicone rubber mould in the workshop.

In the unlikely event of there being anyone else out there who's making a "Lybster" and who would like castings of these items... they will be available, just give me a ring or send me an e-mail.

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Running Day at CD0GG

Today on the Carlisle club layout Yankee Tank HR54 complete with "Heroes of the Footplate"crew, having disgraced herself on two previous attempts to make a circuit of the layout, performed impeccably, hauling a train of ten laden goods wagons. 

The station and scenic section of the CD0GG club layout provide a fine backdrop to Pete's Yankee Tank despite the rather anachronistic BR rolling stock. 

HR54 in action today.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Lybster Backhead

Backhead for HR53 Lybster.

Lochgorm Kits supplied the etches that make up the basic shape of the backhead, the castings are from LGM's "Jones" backhead set. There's little information available to work from, photos that show part of the cab interior are tantalisingly blurred so the model is a reconstruction based on minimal evidence. I think there should probably be a driver's brake valve in there somewhere but I'm really not sure and there's no room for it anyway!

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Lybster HR53 Recent Progress

Lybster HR53 ready for a run at the CD0GG Running Day

The sheet-metal work of the superstructure is nearly complete now though it's been a case of one step forward and two steps back recently as the shape of the cab cut-out is still not right and needs to be carefully re-shaped to capture the character of the prototype. Before I took the engine to Carlisle to the club running day today I cleaned the wheels, which were starting to show signs of rust, due I'm sure to fumes from the flux I'm using, I'm tempted to return to "Fluxite" though the greasy nature of this is in turn a cause for concern, it being difficult to eliminate entirely .

Lybster's previous outing on the club layout revealed a problem which hadn't showed up at home on my test track. Each time the engine passed a particular place on the layout she faltered slightly, or at slow speeds stopped entirely! Opinion leaned towards a short caused by the bogie wheels coming into contact with the splashers and indeed it proved that this was indeed the case when I experimented back at home...too much play on the wheels. A simple slim washer remedied the situation. Today on the club layout she ran smoothly past the place which had so recently proved her nemesis and, despite carrying little weight as yet, she made light work of a dozen chunky wagons.  

Lybster HR53 superstructure progressing well though the shape of the cab opening remains to be refined.  

One of the benefits of being a member of a club is the expertise among the members that can be called on to help a project along; both chimney and dome in this case were turned for me by club members with more engineering skill than myself. I drilled the dome for the safety valves which are mounted on top, these are short lengths of tube to which washers will be soldered to form the upper rim. It is my intention to use rivets from the "Archer Surface Detail" range of relief transfers to represent the circle of rivets on the rear of the smokebox and indeed in several other locations around the engine including the long row of rivets along the tank tops that hold the outer casing that bridges the boiler in place. I've done a little experimenting with Archer's relief transfers and I think they're robust enough for the job as well as looking the part.
The brake cylinder is in place beneath the cab and so is the transverse brake cross shaft, there's a good deal more detail to make in this area.
I'm working on a master pattern for the tank top water-fillers as there is no commercial casting available. I'll make a Silicone Rubber mould from the pattern and cast them in white metal though the upright closing handle will have to be made from brass due to its vulnerability.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Talyllyn Railway

Pete and his team, that's Lyn and Bella the Border Terrier, visited the Talyllyn Railway when they were in Wales recently on their adventures. This was a day off, a rest day, from their main purpose which was to walk the Welsh Threes, that is the 15 Welsh peaks over 3,000 foot in height. The days following the Talyllyn outing were perfect for walking and they finished their final 3,000 footer, the newly renamed Carnedd Gwenllian in celebratory style. See our walks on...

The morning train stops for lunch at the station at Abergynolwyn.

At the terminus before running round the train our driver poses proudly with "Douglas" in immaculate condition.

Modelling News.

It hasn't been all holidays mind, Pete's been working on his HR53 project too and will be keeping you up to date with progress very soon.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

A Driver for a HR Yankee Tank

Yankee Tank Driver about 1900

I used this photo of the driver of HR14 as the basis of my own 1:43 scale model. The driver here is standing on the fireman's side of the engine however, so I had to model him on the other side. Apart from his cap there doesn't seem to be any clothing that could be described as a uniform, he's dressed in his own working clothes.

Yankee Tank Driver in 1:43 scale.

The figure is posed similarly to the photograph but on the driver's side of the engine. The entry to a Yankee Tank is very tight and the cab is similarly cramped so poses have to be designed to maximise the space. You can just see the fireman, who has adopted a space saving pose too, on his side of the engine. See the "For Sale" page for further details.

Yankee Tank crew at work. Note how the poses of the figures maximise the space available in the cramped cab.


Friday, 14 August 2015

HR 53 Lybster, progress.

Lybster pick-up arrangements.

On the right side of the engine all the wheels, both drivers and bogie, are shorted out with a wire soldered between the tyre and the brass centre boss. Pick-ups on the left side are wipers bearing against the back of the wheels and mounted on copper clad insulation board. The bogie pick-ups can be seen clearly above, the red wire is soldered to a metal tab which is screwed to the copper clad and is easily removable. The screw goes through a hole larger than itself in the metal mount to which the CCIB is glued. The red wire leads to another piece of CCIB near the motor from which it is also dismountable.

Base of roof in place
The bunker and cab rear unit is held in place on the footplate with two screws inside the bunker, the roof, of which only the base is in place above, will be attached to the cab rear and will slot into a tongue on the top of the cab front plate. 

Domed roof and jig.

 The domed roof was constructed from four triangular pieces of 0.4 n/s with the help of the jig on the right. When all four pieces were accurately lined up on the jig they were soldered together using thin paper as a barrier to prevent the roof being soldered to the jig. The roof was then removed from the jig, squared up and finished with files and abrasive paper.

Lybster with domed roof in place.

A raised edge to form a rain channel and a transvers strengthening strip need to be added to the roof before it is complete. The backhead can be seen in place inside the cab, the flywheel fits neatly inside this, however it had to be made a little slimmer before it would fit inside on my mate Bob Goodyear's lathe.
The backhead itself is constructed from a Lochgorm Kits etch, it fitted well and needed no alteration, it's a good starting point and will be detailed with LGM components which are on order.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Heroes of the Footplate.

Figures from Pete's 1 :43 scale Heroes of the Footplate range 

Pete has sold Heroes of the Footplate to Chris Smith of Invertrain who will continue to manufacture the range of 1:43 scale figures. The sale will enable Pete to spend more time on creative projects, progress will be posted on this Blog at regular intervals.
A tutorial on painting gauge 0 figures can be accessed on this blog, see... "Painting Figures" above.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

HR53 Lybster...update

HR53 Lybster with cab rear in place.

I added pick-ups to the bogie by gluing a strip of copper clad insulation board to a support on the underside of the bogie to which n/s wiper pick-ups were soldered. I ran a wire to the motor and ensured that both ends of the wire could be removed easily so the bogie in turn could be removed without fuss. The wire was soldered to a small plate with a hole in it through which a 10BA screw passed into a threaded hole in the copper clad board. The extra pick-ups have definitely improved the running quality of the chassis.

I ordered some conductive paint from Maplins to experiment with as I thought it might be a quick way of shorting the bogie wheels on the return side. However my impatience got the better of me and, though I know it's in the post, I did the job the conventional way just now with a wire soldered between brass centre and rim, running in a groove cut behind the wheels.

HR53 Lybster

The cab is double-skinned to facilitate glazing later on, though I've only made the extra front plate of the cab as yet. I intend that the cab rear will have the roof attached permanently and will be screwed in place on the footplate to be removable so the glazing can go in from underneath.

Meanwhile...I added pick-ups to my Yankee Tank's front bogie and intend to try the conductive paint on the return side wheels when it arrives...I'll let you know how it works.

Monday, 22 June 2015

HR53 Lybster progress

HR53 Work in progress

The chassis runs smoothly, though as an 0-4-0, as I've made no provision as yet for pick-ups on the bogie wheels. I have all the parts I need to hand now including the dome which together with the chimney was turned by pals at the Carlisle club. These need a good deal of file work to finish them, nevertheless they're looking the part. When the front splashers are in place they should mask most of the area under the boiler so I don't plan to model any inside motion. A metal fillet will be added inside the cab corners which will help when I round the corners off . The front and rear of the cab will be double-skinned to facilitate glazing.


The MSC fly wheel much improves the running quality of the chassis. It protrudes into the cab and will run partly inside the backhead though it will have to be reduced in width to fit. There is a circle of rivets behind the smokebox, clearly visible on photos of the prototype. I've left room for them on one of the rings behind the smokebox and plan to use resin transfer rivets from Archer Surface Details to model them. There's an instructional video linked to their website which shows how to make a circle of rivets. I made a trial circle and thought the results were encouraging, the backing to the resin transfer rivets is very fine and won't show behind the smokebox and the rivets themselves seem robust enough for the job. I plan to use these transfers to model the little lines of rivets that surround the window openings too.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Yankee Tank revisited

HR54 at CD0GG Running Day.

The Carlisle club's running day was a quiet affair this month so HR54 had plenty of opportunity to show her paces on the layout and very well she ran, hauling a respectable train with seemingly little effort, until a crankpin nut loosened and a coupling rod was shed, curtailing further running for the session. Clearly my fault... running along the test track at home is simply not the revealing test that a club layout provides.

HR54 rear view

There's nothing like enlarging a photo of a model to exaggerate the faults, not only do the crankpin nuts need attention but I note that there's an obvious bare patch behind the cab handrail and several other areas of paintwork that could do with attention.

HR54 front view.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Yankee Tank Completed.

HR Yankee Tank, Drummond II livery

Highland Railway 4-4-0T Yankee Tank complete except for the crew who are still gestating on my desk and in a very unfinished state as yet. Most of the bright work was masked off before I air brushed the engine with Precision Paints P727 HR Dark Green (1885-1912) though I added a little gloss to the "Dull" finish of the paint and darkened it slightly with a touch of black. The black of the chimney, smokebox and footplate is Revell SM301 a semi-matt black, which I sprayed on after appropriate masking up. There was a good deal of cleaning up, scraping off and painting by hand to do before the engine looked smart. Transfers are methfix from Guilplates as are the number and builder's plates. The little red lamp on the smokebox front came from Laurie Griffin, unfortunately he doesn't produce a dual aspect one for the roof, however I'm working on this myself. The jauntily posed workman with his shovel is one of my own "Heroes of the Footplate" figures.

HR54 in Drummond II livery c.1914

HR 54 began life as HR14 in 1893 and was one of the later batch of three engines of this class, built entirely to HR specifications. The engine acquired the name "Portressie" in 1901, after that branch of the HR on which she worked in her early days. In 1900 the engine was renumbered HR54 becoming ultimately 15017 in LMS days and in who's ownership she lasted in service until 1927. My model depicts the engine in Drummond II livery, clean and well kept by her crew, in the days before the First World War.

HR54 Cab Interior

The cab detail is to some extent conjectural or an informed reconstruction. The cab seems from the outside to be very generously proportioned, however when you subtract the coal space at the rear and the overscale side tanks the space for the crew to work in diminishes alarmingly. The side tanks are wider inside the cab than outside because of the need to house the rear driving wheels, the backhead takes up more of the space and so does the reversing lever; because of the constricted space my choice of pose for the crew is restricted too, a fireman in shovelling mode just wouldn't fit. I'm having to design a slim-line crew. I can't help feeling that the tops of the inner side tanks are rather bare, this of course reflects the lack of information on the Yankee Tank's interior. When compared to the busy cab of my Coal Tank (see below), an engine of similar vintage to the Yankee Tank, the latter's cab is Spartan indeed.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Lochgorm at CD0GG

Lochgorm in the scenic section at CD0GG

Lochgorm ran at Carlisle on Saturday on the CD0GG club layout with a short train of HR stock, a fish truck, a covered van and a guards van. And very well she did too, not only by her smooth performance on the layout but also, with the help of the crew that Pete designed especially for her, winning the annual model competition.

Monday, 6 April 2015

Lochgorm Tank Painted

HR57 Lochgorm Tank 0-6-0T

I completed the construction of this scratch built Lochgorm Tank engine in time to have a picture of her included in Vol.7 No.108 of the HR Journal for early 2014. It was not until later in that year that I realised that the transfers that I had hoped to have printed for the name "Lochgorm" were not going to materialise, the quotes I had from transfer printers were sky-high and interest in the job was marginal to say the least so reluctantly I abandoned the idea and turned to Dave Studley, a painter of some repute whom I'd heard was good with lettering.

The Highland Railway water slide transfer sheet supplied by Guilplates was Dave's starting point. The lettering on the sheet provided the initial "L", which is slightly larger than the rest of the name, along with the letters "G" "H" and "R". The numerals on the sheet supplied the "0"s  which left only the final "M" annoyingly missing. Dave contrived this from an "M" from Guilplates' LBSCR transfer sheet, some subtle work with a fine brush was necessary on this letter to persuade it to adopt the uniformity of the rest. I think you'll agree that the lettering works well.

The crew were painted by myself and are figures from my own "Heroes of the Footplate" range, they are designed specifically for this loco though I'm sure they'd fit nicely in the cab of many another engine.


HR57 Stroudley Lochgorm Tank

On Saturday HR57 will be taking to the rails in finished form for the first time on the Carlisle Club's layout, I hope to have some photos of her in action at CD0GG with a train next week. 

Sunday, 5 April 2015

HR 53 Strathpeffer Tank 0-4-4T

HR 53 0-4-4-T Chassis motorised

I think it's important to have a locomotive project under way to maintain readers' interest in this Blog and in pursuance of this idea I've made a start on a new HR locomotive project. This is that little Strathpeffer 0-4-4 Tank, built in Jones' time as loco superintendent of the HR. In original form and numbered HR13 until 12/1899 the engine ran as a saddle tank, her rebuilding in 1901 as a side tank much improved her appearance and this is the condition in which I intend to model her.

I have a pair of HR number plates which I commissioned from Guilplates as well as their transfers for the name "Lybster" with which she ran in later HR days in plain Drummond II livery; though I must admit the engine probably looked her best when the LMS painted her in their red passenger livery as 15050... I'm much tempted by this.

This is a scratch building project of course as there is no kit available and I doubt whether there ever will be a kit for a pre-grouping class which only ever had one member! I've been collecting parts and fittings for some time and have a chimney and dome, which are not available commercially, which have been turned by pals with a lathe at the Carlisle Club, more of this later. The gearbox is an ABC Mini Gooch with a Mashima 1824 motor and an MSC Models flywheel. The wheels are Slaters' and the machined coupling rods are from Premier Productions. The chassis runs smoothly so I intend to cut out the main components of the superstructure next from 0.4 nickel silver sheet.

For reference I have a reasonable selection of photos of the engine from Am Baille and a drawing from Peter Tatlow's "A History of Highland Locomotives".

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Steam Roller Wagons

Aveling Porter steam roller on NE 20T MAC-L

Initially I was uneasy about mounting such a mighty machine as this on a 4-wheeled truck as I thought  it overpowered the wagon and I had no evidence that rollers were in fact carried on these. I knew that the GWR had four bogie well wagons to carry their own departmental rollers, these were dia. F-2 steam roller wagons of which a kit is available from Scorpio Models. I thought it would be a better idea to put the roller on one of these.

Meanwhile, however, I noted in "LNWR Wagons Supplement No.1" that the LNWR built a 20ton Agricultural Engine Trolley (diagram 78) about 1910 that was designed "to cope with the increasing size of traction engines and so forth", presumably this encompassed steam rollers. This ill-documented wagon was a 4-wheel low-loader with sloping ramps down to a 15ft long flat bed, rather a longer load space than the MAC-L that I had built, so ample to take a roller. I began to think that perhaps steam rollers were indeed carried on 4-wheel wagons after all.

Then...a breakthrough! My Internet searches came up with the photo below, from the NRM collections, of a steam roller being unloaded from a 4-wheel low-loader at Derby Station in 1906. So I know that I'm right to mount a roller on the similar 4-wheel NE Mac-L as pictured above... I can sleep easy now!

Steam Roller at Derby Station 1906

The above photo is copyright National Railway Museum and SSPL and is from the collection "Derby photos"  Here's a link to this that you'll like...

Saturday, 7 March 2015

LNWR Chopper Tank revisited.


LNWR Chopper Tank from an ABS kit with additions and improvements.

I had the superstructure of this engine painted by Conrad Cooper of Criccieth who also expertly added the boiler bands and LNWR lining. I asked him not to work on the cab interior as this was a job, along with painting the crew, that I wanted to do myself. This is a time consuming process and relies on hand painting methods rather than air brushing and lining techniques, I thought it more my line than his.

2-4-0T Chopper Tank

I hand painted everything below the footplate myself, paying particular attention to the firebox for which I used colours from photos of other engines then brought it to life with a good deal of dry brush work. I applied matt black to the smokebox wrapper and front then scrubbed this with an old brush to relieve the lifeless effect of dull matt paint. I dry brushed some metallic gunmetal onto edges and rails though when I saw the effect of this in better lighting conditions I thought I'd overdone it, so I'm in the process of removing some of this.

Chopper Tank cab interior

The HMRS publication "LNWR Liveries"suggests using two parts indian red to one part ivory black to reproduce the colour of the cab interior above the splashers. I found that a touch of black was enough to produced an acceptable effect, the HMRS recipe being too dark. Cab detail is from the ABS kit with some additions though I suspect it is not the full story, the pipe on the right hand side of the boiler does not enter the cab; if it did I know it would have given rise to a good deal more pipework. (see the coal tank cab below). Those wooden plinths beside the fire door for the crew to stand on are topped with real planking. The works inside the cab were lightly dry brushed with metallic paint then scrubbed with an old brush to achieve a metallic sheen which I think works well in the cab. The brass pressure gauge on the spectacle plate, which is a white metal casting, was first given a coat of metallic paint well darkened with black, this was then given the slightest of touches of rather brighter brass paint just on top where it catches the light and then doesn't look as good as a real brass gauge though, even after all that fiddling about. I'm not convinced that brass, silver and steel paint, even the so called "metallic" paints, however skilfully they're applied are successfull in representing these metals. It's a much better option to obtain a real brass gauge or a brass hand wheel than to attempt to paint a white metal one to look like brass. Note that the window surrounds are real brass!

Crew from the Heroes of the Footplate range.

You can just make out part of the wood block floor that characterised many LNWR engines between the splashers in this picture, The fireman is resting his shovel on its rear edge, beyond the floor is of steel plate. The crew, of about 1900, are from my own Heroes of the Footplate range (Refs: R1 & R2) and are designed specifically for a small tank engine. They are posed to maximise the space available in a cramped cab, the space being additionally restricted by over scale wheels and the resultant narrow gap between the splashers.

Note that painted figures are available from Heroes of the Footplate, prices on request.

LNWR Coal Tank cab interior

Cab of an LNWR Coal Tank c. 1891 based on a drawing in Pete Skellon's recent book on the LNWR Coal Tanks. This is work in progress and more pictures of the engine will feature in future Blog postings.


Thursday, 12 February 2015

A Steam Roller

Duncan Models' Aveling and Porter 15Ton Steam Roller

I'm in the process of building this steam roller from a Duncan Models kit. When I bought it I intended it as a load for the 20Ton MAC-L featured in my previous blog posting; however it does seem rather large for the wagon, it only just fits on, so at the moment I'm really not sure if this is the wagon for the job.

I noted in the current Gazette that Scorpio Models list an F2 Steam Roller Wagon, a low-loader bogie affair, which may be better suited to transport this hefty piece of machinery. The white metal model complete weighs 400g ; wheelbase is 75mm ; overall length 125mm. It builds well straight from the box, I've soldered most of it together with ultra-low melt solder and made a few minor additions and improvements, I look forward to painting it... and perhaps getting some nameplates made.

Possibly an oversize load?

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Two Low Loaders

Dragon Models' Cambrian Railway Machinery Wagon

As light relief, alongside making a tentative start on a new scratch built loco project, I made a couple of low loader machinery wagons in January. This little Dragon Models wagon has made a very attractive model though it was not as easy as it looks to construct, I managed to tie myself in knots with all those split pins and rings, all 24 of them! I made no changes or improvements to the kit, though I scored the floor planks with a rough file to represent the grain of wood; I think this helps at the painting stage when dry brushing for a timber effect.

I had imagined that the Farmall tractor that I featured some weeks ago would be an ideal load for the Cambrian Railways wagon however on reading the instructions I discovered to my chagrin that these wagons were both scrapped by 1928, long before the Farmall tractor came into production in the 1930s... So I have a machinery wagon in need of a machine to carry.

I don't know the origin of the quote but...

"A wagon without a load is like a sausage without mustard!"    

Connoisseur Models' 20T MAC-L  Low Machinery Truck

Apart from changing the couplings for a chunkier pair and altering the coupling plate to suit I made no changes to the Connoisseur kit though I again scored the planks to give an effect of wood grain.

I have a Duncan Models Aveling Porter steam roller kit sitting in the cupboard here in the studio which looks a rather daunting prospect, it is intended as a load for the above machinery truck and though it looks a bit big to me I'm assured by Andy Duncan that it fits nicely and that it'll make an ideal load for this particular wagon.

Watch this space for details of Pete's new Highland Railway loco scratch building project.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

HR 54 at CD0GG Running Day

HR 54 running today at Carlisle

It was a busy running day today on the CD0GG layout in Carlisle and the best I could manage was a picture of the engine in the sidings waiting with a train of a dozen coal empties and a guards van, which when her turn came on the layout she pulled effortlessly, running remarkably smoothly and taking the points, crossings and the odd irregularity in the track in her stride, I must say that I was very pleased. The coal wagons were built by Peter Whiteside from Kendal, a skilled modeller in a group which is remarkable for the number of talented model makers it has attracted to its membership. It was remarked that the next stage, painting that is, would spoil what was in fact a piece of sculpture in nickel silver... nevertheless the paint shop will indeed be the next stage and I hope fairly soon to carry the project through to a finish and that HR54 will emerge resplendent in the HR's green Drummond II livery.

Friday, 16 January 2015

New Bogie for Yankee Tank

New bogie posed in front of redundant one 

The original bogie, shown in the background above, was built from the etches in the Lochgorm Yankee Tank kit which began the Yankee Tank saga way back in March last year. Having long ago consigned the remainder of the kit etches to suffer the opprobrium of despatch to the recycling plant, I decided that the bogie should in its turn follow suit and be replaced by a better scratch built version with springing and with a more prototypical appearance...

The 0.7 n/s side frames are spaced 20mm apart, which necessitated using extended hornblocks which I made by soldering together two of Slaters' hornblocks, front to front and cutting off the protruding outer circular bearing. This produced a 6mm slotted hornblock which protruded 4mm beyond the frames. These run in cut-outs in the side frames and are prevented from rotating by slim vertical side strips, the extra unwanted slot in each hornblock was filled with a brass insert on top and finished with Milliput.

The compensating beams, outside the frames, are cut from 0.7 mm n/s and are mounted on 12BA screws threaded through the side frames. Although they are non-working there is a wire spring behind them bearing on the tops of the hornblocks. The cosmetic w/m springs behind the beams are castings that I made myself some time ago for my HR Wee Ben. There is no side play on the bogie, the pivot point of which is located some way behind its centre point which effectively allows the bogie to negotiate the 6ft radius curves of my test track in the studio without fouling the cylinders or drain cock operating rods.

Tomorrow HR54 goes to the Open Day in Carlisle for a run on the CD0GG layout where we'll see if she can negotiate that!

New bogie in position.


Monday, 12 January 2015

Yankee Tank construction complete

HR 54 complete and ready for the paint shop

Yankee Tank finished at last!

The paint shop is the next stage for HR54 and that means the garden workshop or shed as it's sometimes rudely referred to by a certain other member of the household. The engine will be finished in the unlined Drummond II livery in which she ran in the years after 1900. Note the tool box on top of the side tank which must have been necessary on the isolated Invergarry & Fort Augustus branch line. A traversing jack appears, possibly one of a pair carried on the footplate, in many photos of the Yankee Tanks...I must get round to making one. The crew are under consideration at the moment, they're at the design stage, in gestation and they'll not be ready for her trial run on the CD0GG club layout on Saturday in Carlisle, nevertheless I expect her to perform well as she has done on the test track here in the studio.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Cab Interior Yankee Tank

Yankee Tank cab interior

The boiler backhead can still be removed for detailing, which is now complete, and for painting at a later stage. The bunker has been filled with Milliput modelling putty along with a strip of lead which I like to distribute judiciously about the engine. More Milliput will be added to build up the coal level which will then be topped with real coal.

The vacuum ejector pipe can be seen entering the cab on the right hand side, below the window, where it makes a sharp left turn along the cab front plate, then left again over the backhead to loop and join the Gresham and Craven driver's brake valve, a very fine casting I acquired from Hobby Horse Developments. On the left, under the window, you can see the operating handle for the front sanding mechanism; to its right is the handle for the rod and crank blower control which is mounted on top of the backhead.

Cab Interior Yankee Tank.

The hand brake is mounted to the left of the coal hole and the rear sanding mechanism operating handle is to the right of it. The constraints imposed on the cab width by modelling in Finescale have left an uncomfortably cramped cab with little room for the crew who will have to be carefully designed to fit. Though the large cab roof suggests a spacious cab, this is not the case, it's minute!
A metal plate to fit the floor has been inserted into the cab to which wooden planking will later be added.

Yankee Tank Backhead

This disembodied view should clarify the arrangement of the backhead fittings and its associated plumbing. The fine quality of the cast brass fittings from Hobby Horse Developments can readily be appreciated in this view. In my last post I left the vacuum ejector protruding into the cab at very much a "loose end", joining it to the driver's brake valve seemed the best and most plausible solution to the problem, I hope you'll agree.