Wednesday, 21 July 2021

Lochgorm Tank HR49

HR16 at Gollanfield about 1899. Courtesy of Am Baile from the HRSoc collection

Above is the only photo existing of HR16/49 in Highland Railway days. There are several later pictures of her in LMS livery which show that a rear bunker was fitted, lamp irons added and the Jones chimney was replaced by one of Stroudley design. It appears that the rear bunker was fitted around 1910, though when the other changes were made, in the absence of pictorial or other evidence, is not clear. In 2/1901 No.16 lost its name and was renumbered 49 by the HR, the number plate being taken from an old 14-Class 2-4-0, presumably recently scrapped. No.16 went to newly built 4-4-0 Ben Avon. It is a matter of regret that no photo is known of no.49 in Highland livery.


The engine is built without the aid of a kit though with the aid of commercial castings, where available, mostly from Laurie Griffin Miniatures. I believe there was a kit, designed by Mike Williams, which was available at one time from Agenoria. However, scratch building undoubtedly produces a better result. 

HR49 chassis complete. 

Motive power is supplied by an M1824 motor with flywheel which just fits inside the tanks and certainly improves the engine's running qualities. The coupling rods were fitted last of all, which is the wrong way round, as they should have been matched to the chassis initially. I ordered some coupling rods from Premier Products at the outset of the project but they never arrived, so I gave up and ordered some from Dave Brooks at JPL, these did arrive, though by this time the chassis was complete and I had to fit the rods as best I could, which involved opening out the holes in the rods as they didn't quite match the wheel spacing, my fault entirely. The rods, as delivered, were rather chunky to say the least and needed a good deal of attention with files before they assumed  the correct shape. It was laborious, time consuming work, though worth it as the engine runs smoothly with no apparent slop on the coupling rods, so I'm pleased. If you click on the photos to enlarge them you'll be able to see most of the detail that I indulged in, the unpainted stage is much the best for appreciating constructional detail. The etched brass wheel overlays, which can be used for all the Lochgorm Tanks, are my own design, the triangular openings, particular to no.49, were cut out with a fine saw and shaped with files. 

Attaching the rear cab steps to the chassis allowed me to include the step supports, which are fixed behind the steps and soldered to the frames. The holes in the water tank and the brake cylinders are to house the coupling and buffer shanks. Brake detail is scratch built and derived from a drawing by Charlie Wrigley in HRJ 107. The brake pull-rods are cantilevered out and down slightly to accommodate the bosses on their downward travel, an awkward feature to make in model form, involving much measuring and a good deal of trial and error.

Sand boxes are from my own w/m castings, the mechanism is fabricated from wire, tube and washers. The vacuum pipe began life as a casting from 62C Miniatures. Buffers were sourced from Walsall Model Industries and have additional 1mm brass fastening bolts.  


Reverser and back head are scratch built, fittings on the back head are from various sources, much modified.

Details of the cab interior where obscure are taken from drawings of Stroudley's Terrier class.
I suspect there was more to the cab interior than this, perhaps a driver's brake valve, I just don't have the information.

The bunker in front of the cab may have been plated over when the rear bunker was fitted. However, photos of no.57 suggest that the cab side bunker had a hinged lid, the handrail acting as the handle and this may have been the case with no.16/49. So in the view above the lid is seen closed. The Salter safety valves are attached to small brackets at the base of the dome, they are fabricated from odds and ends. The fine Jones chimney was given to me by Laurie Griffin who is also engaged on a model of this engine, which is now at the painting stage. 


The cab roof is not a casting, though I think one is available from LGM, it is constructed from four triangular segments of 0.4 n/s soldered together, fixed to a voided rectangular base and edged with 1mm "L" section brass.

The cab roof can be removed to examine detail in the cab and to fit the crew who will be added to the engine after painting. Livery is intended to be plain green unlined Drummond II with brightwork. The side tanks will carry the lettering H . R and the green buffer beam will display H.R and the number 49. 

Sunday, 25 April 2021

Drummond Drop-Side Fish Wagon, Resin Sides and Ends.

Pete's latest Aids to Scratch Building have just arrived from the casting workshop and they look just as crisp and well detailed as usual. These latest additions to the Highland Railway range are sides and ends for a Drummond open fish truck with drop sides, based on the drawing on page 139 of Peter Tatlow's "Highland Railway Carriages and Wagons", which you will need as reference to complete the model. The additional parts needed are available from the trade, so in effect you're creating your own multi-media kit and all the components are your own preferences. Some parts, such as the brake lever and handles, can be simply cut from n/s sheet or in the case of the underslung vacuum cylinder, built up from metal tube, sheet and rod. You might find a few parts in your spares box too, I found some etched brakes and hangers which saved me cutting them out of sheet as there are eight of them needed for this wagon. As these fish wagons were designed to run in passenger trains the braking arrangements, as can be seen in the accompanying photo, were more complex than on a simple open goods wagon, which gives these wagons much added interest. 

 I have not come across a picture of a Drummond fish wagon in Highland Railway livery so can only show one in LMS days. In earlier times, as HR No.1867, the wagon would have carried Highland green livery with yellow lettering. (DLG Hunter)

Aids to Scratch-Building, sides and ends for a Drummond Fish truck.

The parts are available right now as detailed below...

Resin sides and ends £20.00 per set, plus postage at cost £1.29 (UK)

If you buy 2 sets then they're post free.

Buy three or more and there is a discount of 10%.

You can email, 'phone or message on...

017687 71302

07342 637 813

Suggested parts and suppliers...

Wheels: Slaters' 3ft 7" Mansell disc coach ref. 7124

Buffers: HR Short Web. Invertrain

Springs: Slater's Plastikard

W-irons and brakes: Slater's Plastikard ref: 71551

Axleboxes: Invertrain

Couplings: CPL Models or LGM 9-008

Safety Chains & Hooks: LGM 9-006

Brake Cross Trees x 4: LGM 36-006

Vacuum Pipes: LGM 32-010 or 62C Models: LWB113

Westinghouse Pipes: 62C Models: LWB108 

Structural Members: Plastruct

Floor & Deck Planking: Slater's Plastikard

There are tongues and grooves on the wagon corners to assist assembly, so I assembled the sides and ends dry, then ran ZAP Medium glue inside the corners. When dry and firm I dropped a floor cut from 1mm Plastikard into place between the sides. When all was set firm I found there was a slight twist to the structure which I corrected in a bowl of warm water, all is square and solid now so I will add structural bracing next under the floor using Plastruct Styrene Strip 2.5 x 6.4mm (90779).

Sides and ends assembled with Plastikard floor

The Plastruct beams under the floor add structural strength, they are not intended to be prototypical.

Brake Cylinder and linkages in position.

As my scrap box was deficient in useful parts I made the brake cylinder and linkages from brass tube,  sheet and rod as a separate module, on a small base of its own, which will glue into place later. The w-irons and wheels will be fitted next then the rest of the brake mechanism. 

The following pictures show the completed wagon underside, all components were sourced as suggested above. The etched clasp brakes, all eight of them, came from my scrap box and I do not know their provenance. I mounted them on 0.45 n/s sheet, to make them a respectable thickness, then cut them out, repositioning the brake shoe at the same time to fit their situation. The vertical brake legs were soldered onto a piece of "L" shaped brass so they could be glued in place on the wagon bed. Slaters offer a possible solution to the w-irons, brake cross-trees and the clasp brakes with their... 
Van Type 3' 7" Dia. Wheels, Compensating Etched W-Irons Ref: 71551.
I've not used this etch yet, though I intend to do so when I build a second example of the truck, I think it will provide the answer to most of the parts below the solebar, though not the cylinder and cross-shaft assembly.

Underside complete


Here you can see how I attached the vacuum and Westinghouse brake pipes to the wagon. The pipes are extended under the wagon and soldered to "L" shaped supports glued to the wagon bed. 

Close-up of the hand brake arrangement and the under-slung vacuum cylinder

Drummond Fish Truck complete. 

I used Phoenix P725 HR Mid Green (1875) with a liberal addition of matt black as the basic colour of the truck. Transfers are HMRS sheet 20 Methfix and Modelmaster 7PCS 1 water-slide, which are available from the HRSoc. A light spray with a dilute weathering mix completed the job. 
Note that Phoenix P727 HR Dark Green (1885-1912), is no longer available, I think the earlier green mixed with black achieves the same colour. I have not made a number plate for the truck as these vehicles do not appear to have carried them.

Thursday, 8 April 2021

HR 56 Dornoch Tank in Action

Blogger now offers a video facility, so here's a video of HR 56 Dornoch with a short train passing through the station on the CDOGG club layout in Carlisle. The open wagon is built from a Lochgorm kit; the brake van, a Type A, called a Klondyke, is from the same source, both kits, particularly the latter, have been modified and improved. For the best effect click on the Full Screen button...

Sunday, 28 March 2021

Aids to Scratchbuilding, Jones Open Wagon.

Pete has produced a new set of cast resin ends and sides to add to his expanding range of 7mm scale Highland Railway wagon scratch building aids. The parts are for a HR Jones open wagon, they are available direct from the author at a cost of £20.00 per set plus postage at cost, £1.29.

If you buy 2 sets of castings postage is free (UK). 
Buy three or more and discount is 10%.

You can e-mail, phone or message on...
017687 71302
07342 637 813

The wagon corners are mitred and there are slots behind the solebars to allow room for sprung buffers to move. Once the sides and ends are assembled a 1mm Plastikard floor is cut and faced with 4mm spaced planking; this locates in a groove between the sides and on the rear of the buffer beam to complete and strengthen the basic body structure. All components below the solebar can be obtained from the trade, or can be scratch built from sheet metal. In effect, with a little help from the scrap box, you're creating your own multi-media kit, and all the components are your own preferences.  

HR buffers and 3ft 6" wagon springs are available from Invertrain.
Axleboxes from Lochgorm Kits
Wheels are Slaters' Ref. 7123 3ft 7" 8 split-spoke.
Horse hooks and brake pin rack from 62C Models.
Slaters' Plastikard Ref. 0434 4mm spaced planking
W-irons; Slaters or Furness Wagon Co.

Resin sides and ends for Jones 15ft 4-plank open wagon HR diagram 19

Completed wagon; brake gear from spares box, with parts cut from sheet and from 62C models

HR Jones d.16 open wagon

Jones Open Wagon 1470 complete

A purposeful Jones open wagon with a timber load, ready for action.

Things to Come...

Pete's next project is already underway, so watch this space. On the drawing board at this moment is a Drummond open fish truck with drop sides...and what Highland train would be without one? The detail underneath may stretch the resources of your scrap box more than the Jones wagon, nevertheless I think it'll be interesting to build and make a fine addition to your Highland stock. 

Friday, 12 February 2021

Lochgorm Tank 0-6-0T No.16/49 New Project

HR 16 Fort-George c.1899 at Gollanfield. (Am Baille, HRSoc collection)

I started work on this project, my third of the Lochgorm Tank class, at the beginning of January, the engine is being built without the aid of a kit, though using a good many brass castings, mostly sourced from Laurie Griffin's extensive lists. Only a single photo exists of No.16 in Highland Railway days and this is shown above. The engine carries the name Fort-George and is resplendent in Drummond I livery, the Jones chimney suits her lines and at this time there was no rear bunker fitted. 

In 2/1901 No.16 lost its number, which went to newly built Ben Avon, and became No 49A, the number being taken from a Barclay 14 class 2-4-0. This engine was recorded as "withdrawn " 9/1901 though it was said to be "idle" 7/1899 so it is probable that the actual number plate was taken from it for use by the Lochgorm Tank and presumably surmounted by a painted letter A. 

There are a few photos of No.49 in later LMS days and these show her with a rear bunker which was probably added about 1910. They also show the engine with a different chimney with a flared top, though when this change was made is open to question.

My model will represent No.49 in the plain post-1902 Drummond II dark green livery, without a name, which was removed when the engine ceased regular work on the Fort-George branch. 

Jones chimney in place, a quality brass casting from LGM.

Brake cylinders and cab steps are attached to horizontal extensions of the side frames. The footplate fastens to the chassis by means of a tongue which goes into a slot on the rear of the buffer beam. Note the etched brass wheel overlays which simulate the "solid" wheels of the Lochgorm Tanks, these are my own design. I have some left overs if you need them. 

Monday, 11 January 2021

Dunrobin, a joint effort, Painted.


Some notes on the livery of Dunrobin 1895 to 1965

Dunrobin’s livery can be generalised as described in Cormack and Stevenson's, Highland Railway Locomotives Book 2 “…dark green with black lining double-edged in gold.” This livery was carried throughout the engine’s varied career.

Photo Paul Moore

I received the accompanying photos of Dunrobin from Paul Moore this week, he painted and lined the model and has done a great job on it. It was intended to depict the engine in its earliest livery in the service of the duke of Sutherland, so reference was made to the photograph of Dunrobin of 1895 which shows the engine newly built at the Atlas Works of Sharp Stewart in Glasgow. The engine is shown in works grey and displays an elaborate though elegantly designed livery with double-edged lining in panels with a black border. The angle of the photo does not allow detail to be seen of the buffer beam, nor the tank front, cab front or the rear of the bunker. 

A photo from the Highland News of 17 Sept.1921 shows Dunrobin under the station canopy at Inverness decorated with a leek in front of the chimney, awaiting the arrival of the Prince of Wales. Closer inspection of the photo reveals a rather different livery to that shown in earlier photos, Dunrobin appears to have been recently refurbished in response to the royal visit. The black border to the lining on the tank and cab sides has gone, though it is retained on the front splasher. The lining panels, though still the same black double-edged gold as before, have been widened on the tank sides and double edged-lining can also be seen on the cab front and tank front. Evidence does not confirm that there was a panel of lining on the tank front earlier than this photo. An earlier photo does however show that there was no panel of lining on the cab front before 1921 and this is reflected by the model. It is probable, though the photo is not clear enough to confirm this, that the lining on the tank sides was changed at this time from a simple rectangle to a shape that enclosed the side window. 

The 1921 photo provides the first evidence of how the buffer beam was lined and panelled, it is thought that the buffer beam remained essentially unchanged throughout Dunrobin’s chequered history... green with a red central panel lined black. The buffer shanks may have been green originally too, or possibly red, there is no conclusive evidence. I like them green, so green it is for the model.


Dunrobin at Inverness 1921

It is intended to put the preserved Dunrobin into service in as near as possible original condition and carrying the pre-1921 livery, based on the works grey photo. After much deliberation Paul Jarman and his team at Beamish have decided that the full size engine will look the part in classy Landrover Bronze Green. Dunrobin’s original dark green was not Highland Railway green, nor was it the blue-green in which she was repatriated from Canada in 2011. Though the lining is described as “black, double-edged gold” this is not thought to refer to a metallic gold, but rather to a colour somewhere between straw and yellow. 

Paul Moore mixed the basic green for the model Dunrobin, it is not Landrover Green, it is his interpretation of the colour of the engine and the black double edged straw/gold lining was agreed between ourselves as being the most likely as well as the best looking lining to enliven the overall green. The brass incised nameplate was commissioned from Narrow Planet.

Dunrobin 1899 in works grey. Photo courtesy of the HRSoc

Photo Paul Moore

Photo Paul Moore

In 1946, after war service with the Royal Navy, Dunrobin was overhauled and repainted with the lining following the previous scheme of 1921. 

In 1949, the duke sold Dunrobin to Capt. Howey of the Romney, Hyth and Dimchurch Railway and in 1950 the engine travelled to New Romney partly under her own steam. Publicity surrounding the event led to a renewal of interest and a large number of photos which record the engine showing the livery unchanged during this period.

Initial interest waned and by 1965 Dunrobin was in the doldrums, she was sold to Harold Foster of British Columbia and shipped to Canada. Many changes were made during her 46 years of exile, which have fortunately now been removed at Beamish Museum, her new home. 

 If you look carefully you can see that this photo of 1902 shows Dunrobin in the livery of the works grey photo of 1895

Tuesday, 29 December 2020

HR Swivel Cradle Wagon Resin Parts in 7mm scale.


These accurate 7mm scale resin castings are designed to take the strain out of building a HR swivel cradle wagon, they are not a complete kit, they are aids to scratch building, they are the difficult parts of the wagon. Everything else needed to complete the multi media model can purchased from the trade or can be simply hand made. Below I'll show you how I completed the wagon, my build is not compensated, there are no rocking w-irons or sprung axleboxes, however these could be contrived, it's up to you how you complete the model.

Price for one set of resin parts...£22.50 plus p/pkg at cost £1.50

Order a pair and it's post free.

Order 3 or more and discount is 10%. 

Contact Pete on...

07342 637 813

017687 71302

Or by mail at..

21 Manor Park

Keswick, Cumbria,

CA12 4AB

The wagon bed is made from Slaters 7mm planking glued to a thickening sheet of 1mm Plastikard. The deck fittings are made from the drawings of this wagon on page 161 in Peter Tatlow's book, Highland Carriages and Wagons, the drawing is essential in order to complete the wagon. Buffers are HR single web type available from Invertrain. The underframe cross members are made from Plastruct 90779 styrene strip, the central section has a sheet of lead inserted for weight. The brake lever suspension point is only needed on one side so the extra one is removed.

The cradle is in place on the wagon bed, the brass corner eye bolts were purchased from Prime-Miniatures. I made a stanchion by turning a length of rod to shape using a file and an electric drill, the little eyes for the retaining chains were added later. I suppose I could have made all four this way but as I had some silicone rubber to hand I made a mould and cast the rest. Tensioning rods, made from 0.6mm nickle silver wire, can be seen in place alongside the cradle side members. The cradle swivels on a central 12BA brass nut and bolt.

I made two wagons as examples as I think they probably worked in pairs in service. The combined w-iron, spring and axle box castings are from my own master patterns, cast in silicone moulds in my workshop. It's a simple expedient and both wagons run very well indeed without compensation. Couplings are hand made, the hook being cut from 1.25mm nickle silver sheet and the links formed on a jig from 0.8mm wire. Suitable couplings, which match the square holes in the buffer beam, can be obtained from CPL. Horse hooks are brass castings which I source form 62C Models along with the brake lever guides, which can be seen to better effect below. I have added a few holes and the pin, which goes into these, dangles on a fine chain attached half way up the guide.

The simple one piece castings were drilled for Slaters' axle bearings then glued to the solebars with the axles in place, providing the axles are parallel in all planes the wagon will run smoothly. Castings similar to these can be obtained from Invertrain.

The brake arm and shoe was cut from 0.7mm n/s sheet and the brake lever from 0.45mm n/s. Retaining chains have been added to the stanchions and the chains, turnbuckles and hooks that secured the load can be seen attached to the corner eye bolts, these can be obtained from CPL Products.  

Watch this space for a picture of the painted wagon complete with number plate.