Archive for January, 2018

Mock-up and Compare

Posted on January 23, 2018. Filed under: Project progress |

Today’s Scalefour Society Craven Area Group get-together gave me the incentive to see how it was all looking.

1649 180123 4701       1649 versus 1638

The boiler, cab and bunker sub-assemblies are individually bolted to the footplate, and the panniers are bolted to the cab. The masking tape around the tanks keeps the upper works reasonably tidy in the absence of solder and glue. I’m now adding more detail and, as luck would have it, Kevin Pile’s “The Pannier Papers No.5 16XX” is there to help me (thanks, Roger).

The next big job is to finish the chassis before I make the splashers and consider other footplate detail.

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A Month, A Day and an Hour of 1649

Posted on January 9, 2018. Filed under: Project progress |

Four thirty on Friday the eighth of December and I was ready to go. 1649 was planned as an enjoyable break from layout work, and so it proved.

1649 180109 4691       A basic running loco

The biggest hurdle was not only getting the smokebox, boiler, firebox and panniers to fit together, but making them dimensionally accurate with respect to the cab and footplate. And getting the panniers to sit down nicely on their support brackets.

Two blind lead bolts fasten the cab front to the panniers, and a bolt goes up through the footplate, through the smokebox saddle and the smokebox into the boiler tube. The holes were elongated to allow the necessary adjustment. Daylight under the boiler was achieved without cutting the boiler, thanks to the High Level gearbox.

As I expected the bunker proved to be the most difficult part to make.

1649 180105 4679       Cab sub-assembly

The bunker/cab join is in line with the bunker’s top edge, as with the prototype. A couple of weeks before starting 1649, I studied and photographed 4110 on the West Somerset Railway to see how the GWR went about things. However, as with so many things in life, to make a bunker you first have to make a bunker. At least I know how to do a better job next time, and I will certainly have another go.

From here on, it’s a question of adding detail as and when the mood takes me, hopefully in time for exhibition. And now for something completely different.

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December Progress

Posted on January 1, 2018. Filed under: Monthly progress |

Last spring and summer seem a long time ago.

Scenery 44 170914 CL
“A shady corner of the station yard” (courtesy Chris Langdon)

Back then I was rounding off the scenery and getting the layout ready for exhibition. The presentation was modified to allow either 2’6” or 5’ cassette tables, and the height in either case could be table top for home use or 4’3” for exhibition. Being able to set up a working layout at home was an important step to improving the operation, and Kyle of Sutherland was successfully exhibited in November.

2017 was the “Year of the Train, Again”, but didn’t really live up to its name. The objective was to ensure we had enough trains, and particularly locos, for Railex 2018. It started well with the two 4-4-0s going into the paint shop, but I delayed and delayed making a start on a new loco. It just didn’t seem so important while the Craven Area Group had locos, coaches and wagons to spare and there were so many other things to do. I finally decided in December that my next loco should be 1649, a GWR (BR) pannier tank for the 1960 Dornoch branch train, and made a start in the second week of the month.

1649 171231 4662       End-of-year mock-up

At the beginning of last year I said that whichever loco I make next, I need to complete it, and paint it, to exhibition standards well within the year. Of course, that didn’t happen, but after just over three weeks work, I’m not far off a basic working loco. The bodywork involved lots of trial and error developing the geometry for the smokebox, boiler, panniers and cab: the fabricated front and rear tank brackets helped with the heights. The boiler/firebox (bottom right) is only seen under the tanks in sideview on this prototype, the rest is hidden under the top plating (next job) joining the panniers, other than a sliver of firebox poking through. The chassis has a working and tested motor/gearbox driving the rear axle, the six hornblocks are in, the prototypically jointed coupling rods are ready to go, and all it needs is wheels. And don’t forget that bunker.

PR has been steady throughout 2017 with magazine articles and pictures, website appearances, and reblogging. Recently, Chris Langdon’s photo (above) was shown in Scalefour News, and a limited edition 2018 calendar from Missenden Abbey Railway Modellers features Kyle of Sutherland for May. The first video clips of the layout were made at the recent exhibition.

And what of 2018? Of course, it has to be “Exhibition Year”.

So, Here’s to Railex 2018 and a Happy New Year to Railway Modellers Everywhere!


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


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