Project progress

Kyle of Sutherland Mk 3

Posted on November 5, 2017. Filed under: Project progress |

KoS Mk 3 2 171104 4593

Over four years since it was last operated at a public event and the presentation of the latest Kyle of Sutherland is now very different. Here’s a preview of the extended diorama, which will be seen at Railex 2018, being tested at a local event on Saturday.

Proceeds for the event are going to RVS (Royal Voluntary Service), formerly WRVS.

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Culrain Trains

Posted on October 15, 2017. Filed under: Project progress |

Train 09.15 1958 171015 4592 Mercury       06.40 Inverness-Wick/Thurso

Taking a break from work on the lighting for Kyle of Sutherland, I updated one of my early train pictures. The first north-bound passenger of the day is calling at Culrain about nine-fifteen sometime in 1958, on what looks like a hazy start to the day.

This lengthy train includes several parcels vehicles, and the ex-GWR Siphon G was not unusual at this time (thanks Allan and Roger for the loan of this vehicle). Page 155 of Gavin Morrison’s book “Scottish Railways Then and Now” shows a similar train entering Brora in 1957.

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Culrain Trains

Posted on October 15, 2017. Filed under: Project progress |

Train 09.15 1958 171015 4592 Mercury       06.40 Inverness-Wick/Thurso

Taking a break from work on the lighting for Kyle of Sutherland, I updated one of my early train pictures. The first north-bound passenger of the day is calling at Culrain about nine-fifteen sometime in 1958, on what looks like a hazy start to the day.

This lengthy train includes several parcels vehicles, and the ex-GWR Siphon G was not unusual at this time (thanks Allan and Roger for the loan of this vehicle). C.J.Gammell’s book “Then and Now” shows on page 155 a similar train entering Brora in 1957.

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Push-Pull Train Development

Posted on July 22, 2017. Filed under: Project progress |

Scenery 42 170722 4528

54495 drew its five coach train forward from the south cassette until the rear coach was alongside the platform, and after a suitable interval slowly moved off onto the north cassette. It then reversed the procedure, several times. Each time it negotiated the transition from cassette track to layout track, and vice versa, and also the reverse curves of the loop point. And at various speeds.

Of course, this was to test a new engine. I started out with a target of only two coaches for a 4-4-0, thinking that was the minimum I could get away with at exhibition. After running in over several days its pulling (and pushing) power continued to increase. Similarly with 54458. The locos now weigh around 200 gm each, and the tenders a further 80 gm. The weight was distributed so the locos balanced horizontally about half way along their length, slightly ahead of the leading driver axle. The bogies have side control springing and take their proper share of the load.

That was only half the job. The train consists of four Hornby coaches, converted to P4, and a hand built TPO. The back-to-back measurements were carefully checked, and re-checked, and the wheels were accurately centred with respect to the axle pin-points before I could get them all to turn freely.

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Views from the Paint Shop

Posted on June 10, 2017. Filed under: Project progress |

Here’s a couple of recent photographs taken outside the Birmingham paint shop, courtesy of Ian Rathbone.

54458 Scratch 9 170608

The painting and lettering of 54458 was a joint effort. I first brush painted numerous thin coats of primer and top coat, aiming for the appearance of a very run down, early post-war engine. Tim Shackleton lightly airbrushed the model at Missenden to “blend” my brush strokes and produce a more even finish. Finally, Ian Rathbone lettered the tender and added the cab side numbers. The hand painted number plate was my own work, though it is unlikely to have been carried at the time period represented.

54495 Scratch 9 170608

As with 54458, I painted the chassis of 54495 very light before sending it off to the paint shop. Ian has since darkened the colour of the frames to correspond with this very clean engine. Curiously, the Dunalastair IV is without a cab roof. Less surprising, neither engine has brakes and the Pickersgill is minus buffer heads and screw couplings.

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

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