Archive for January, 2017

Finished unfinished

Posted on January 17, 2017. Filed under: Project progress |

One year on from “Unfinished projects”, 17/1/16, the part welded Stanier 4000 gallon tender for Black Five 44722 is ready for painting and lining, as noted in “December progress”. All the locos and tenders currently needing P & L attention are now in the Birmingham Paint Shop.

44695-tender-5-170102-dscn4425       4000 gallon part welded tender

Completion took only a couple of weeks, considerably helped by the ERSA RDS 80. A key motivator was the opportunity to include it in the paint shop delivery earlier this month. It will be painted with the later BR large totem, while 45473’s tender will have its large totem replaced with the lion-on-wheel small totem.

44695-tender-6-170102-dscn4426       Rear view

The tender is 60% to 70% scratch built, although the brass overlays for the part welded tank, the original castings and a few brass parts recovered from the Brassmasters kit as first assembled in 2001, make it seem less. The complete underframe and tank body shell were all fretted out from new, and the chassis was substantially re-worked with a new compensation system (as per the original kit) and with front/rear extensions to replace earlier tom foolery.

Why did I bother when a new kit would have saved a considerable amount of time? 45473’s tender made straight from the later nickel kit is a much neater and cleaner model. I think most of us hate to see our ambitions thwarted and I didn’t want this first attempt at serious modelling to be forgotten. If nothing else our hobby is about nostalgia, and not just for the prototype. I bought the kit off the manufacturer’s stand at Scaleforum almost a quarter of a century ago.

In the short term, this will give 45473 a choice of tenders and periods on Kyle of Sutherland and allow more variety in train photographs. In due course, when 44722 is ready, we might see a train of 9 or 10 coaches double-headed through Culrain in a 1950s Highland Summer.

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December progress

Posted on January 1, 2017. Filed under: Monthly progress |

2015 was the “Year of the Tree”, 2016 was the “Year of the Train”, but what’s 2017 going to be?

54495 Scratch 8 161212 4417       Pickersgill 4-4-0 54495

54495 is now boxed up for transporting to the paint shop to receive its fully lined 1960s livery with the later BR large totem. The buffer heads and springs, screw couplings, and mechanical lubricator drive mechanism will be fitted when it returns. And there are additional small holes in the cab front and footplate in case I get the urge to fit 0.2mm copper wire to represent (some of) the prototype oil pipes. Hopefully the job lot of loco number and shed plates I ordered some time ago, including those for 54495, will then be ready.

The paint shop will also number 54458 and letter the tender in immediate post-nationalisation style, which was applied until 1949. In this form, with its existing well-worn paintwork, 54458 will represent a run-down, early 1950s loco.

44695-tender-4-161231       New Year’s Eve in the Packing Dept

Two Caledonian 4-4-0 locos (big box), two matching CR tenders (rear bottom), one fully-welded Black Five tender from 45473 needing a change of totem to lion-on-wheel (rear top), and one newly completed part-welded Black Five tender body ready for painting with the later BR large totem, with its chassis in primer (front small box). All destined for the paint shop.

The latest Black Five tender, intended for long wheelbase Black Five 44722, has taken almost sixteen years from picking up a soldering iron through to completion and deserves a longer write-up. I’ll post something in “Project progress” later in the month.

Now, 2017 could be the “Year of The ERSA RDS 80” digital soldering station. I bought this second hand from a well-known 0-gauge modeller and all-round good egg (moving up to a 150W ERSA) back in October. I can now tackle jobs that would have been very difficult with my aging 18W and 25W Antex irons. As for the 75W Weller, the bit could only be used where there was plenty of access space. I’ve been contemplating an ERSA for some time, but hadn’t taken the plunge. You get used to particular soldering irons and I was concerned I might not get on well with a change of iron. The RDS 80 has not only made soldering easier and more enjoyable, it’s brought about a step change in my modelling.

However, it finally looks as though 2017 is going to be the “Year of The Train, Again”.

There are some big decisions to take this year, such as which loco to start next. And what to do scenically to make Kyle of Sutherland ready for exhibition.

Happy New Year!

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    The epic struggle to build a model railway exhibition layout at 4mm to the foot


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