Monthly progress

February Progress

Posted on March 1, 2019. Filed under: Monthly progress |

On the mat when I returned after several weeks in the West Country was the latest issue of Highland Railway Journal No 128 Spring 2019 containing my article “Culrain Dilemmas”. I read that “(Kyle of Sutherland) is now dismantled, though part of it may form a small, working diorama on which to run the occasional train from the Railway Cabinet”. That’s mostly true, but has a different conclusion.

It had certainly been my plan to retain part of the layout as a diorama, but as any seasoned railway modeller will know, this is easier than it sounds. I compromised by saving the tree modules, buildings, and all the small architectural and railway items that contribute to a model railway, for re-cycling. The scenic baseboards are now at the local dump, with the exception of a 3’ by 2’3” framework for an unrelated diorama yet to be made. The photographs in “December Progress” and “January Progress” were taken on the very last piece of scenery to remain intact as Kyle of Sutherland was being dismantled.

The HRJ article was a fitting obituary to this seventeen year project: the layout-to-be was first mentioned in HRJ No 61 Spring 2002.

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January Progress

Posted on February 1, 2019. Filed under: Monthly progress |

scenery461812314891ws       Station Cottage garden

The trees on the right were the first I made for the layout back in 2005 while on Barry Norman’s first Scenic Modelling Course at Missenden Abbey. They were subsequently modified to correspond to their intended location on Kyle of Sutherland. The view is taken from the lineside facing in the opposite direction to that seen by exhibition viewers.

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December Progress

Posted on January 1, 2019. Filed under: Monthly progress |

It’s off with the old and on with the new. It’s 2019.

scenery 45 181231 4908       Remember summer?

A Happy New Year to Railway Modellers Everywhere.

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November Progress

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

KoS Mk 4 180526 Heading North      A north train slows for Culrain
(Courtesy Ian Harrison, Railex 2018)

An article bringing the story of Kyle of Sutherland up to date has just appeared in MRJ No 267. This features the excellent photographs of Philip Hall taken at Railex, and a superb photograph by Ian Harrison set across two pages showing the whole layout from the public’s viewpoint. My thanks go to both of them.

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October Progress

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

My track record with pick-ups is not brilliant, so I took the opportunity of building a split-frame chassis under the guidance of one of our local gurus (thanks, Frank). I already had a conventional P4 chassis underway for a Peckett 0-4-0, so decided to experiment by way of making an alternative 00-gauge chassis to compare pick-up performance.

1151 181022 4880

There are a number of potential shorts to resolve in a split-frame chassis, and here is one of them. The gaps in the split axles are off-centre, for example to avoid clashing with the gearbox. However, the gap entered the chassis top hat bearing, which had to be filed back to the frame. The space between the chassis and gearbox frames was padded out with fibre washers to maintain the central position of the gearbox. There are lots more gotchas still to come.

In the middle of the month I demonstrated tree-making (I was one of about ten demonstrators covering most of the skills from signalling and electronics to loco and layout building) at Expo Bowland 2018, appropriately held in the Forest of Bowland AONB at Newton in Bowland. It was a small, friendly gathering organised by the Ribble and Craven EM Group with an excellent cooked lunch, which should ensure my attendance next year.

This was also a good preparation for my first tree-making workshops at Pendon Museum in June and November 2019, which are now open for booking.

Finally, towards the end of the month, I continued by making more slow progress on detailing coaches. The next job, at long last, is to make a batch of Stones ventilators before I add glazing to some early LMS coaches

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September Progress

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

I’m continuing to upgrade my coaching stock, but haven’t yet reached the level of detail I achieved with an LMS D1720 BCK, the very first coach I made over ten years ago. This coach was from an Alastair Wright 5522 kit and I detailed the underframe right down to the dynamo safety chain. However, the gangways, as on most of Kyle of Sutherland’s coaches, need upgrading.

Coaches 19 180929 4872       Gangway upgrade

This LMS/BR D2161 BTK was intended to be paired with a Stanier 3P for the Thurso Branch Mixed on Kyle of Sutherland. I bought a loco chassis test etch from Mike Edge, but decided this would not be a quick build for Railex, and put it on the back burner along with the part-finished coach. It now has an interior and glazing, and I have just prepared a set of parts for the gangways with late LMS/early BR suspension arms.

I travelled in M24718M, on which the model is based, from Carstairs to Edinburgh in 1967. The photograph shows there is still an amount of detail to model, such as the locking arms for use when connecting gangways between coaches.

My beautiful picture       The prototype in 1967

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August Progress

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

At long last there is progress to report.

Coaches 17 180828 4840       Sunshine modelling

This LMS D1807 Open Third didn’t make the cut for Railex, so is only now getting its interior. I then have to decide between 8 Stones and 2 hooded vents (early coach) or 3 Stones and 7 hooded vents (later coach). I should have added the hooded vents before painting.

Most of my modelling time in August went on the Swansea East Dock Peckett I worked on during my Missenden Abbey Summer Holiday. And a dozen or so trees not native to the North of Scotland.

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July Progress

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

Railex Cabinet 180718 4802       Exhibition Stock Display

When the workshops re-open, a first job will be to carry out minor repairs following the Railex Exhibition, and then continue by adding further details to this and other rolling stock.

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June Progress

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

The Kyle of Sutherland workshops are on annual shutdown.

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May Progress

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

Thanks to everyone who made Railex 2018 such a great success for Kyle of Sutherland, and most especially the dedicated band of operators who kept the layout running over the busy bank holiday weekend. I had the enviable task of sitting out front chatting to the viewing public and watching the trains go by – awesome.

KoS Mk 4 180524 4794

I’m now on holiday.

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


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