Saturday, 30 April 2022

Fixing up WD wagons

 I've been acquiring WD wagons for my Ashover based layout. I picked up a job lot of them from a good friend but also picked up some from the 009 Society Sales Stand at Narrow Gauge South. Some are Bachmann and some are Dundas. They all need their couplings changing and several of them are missing their brake stanchions.

My choice of coupling is the Greenwich coupling but I have to confess a desire to switch to DG for a shunting layout so that I have the remote uncoupling capability. For now I am going to ignore that itch and focus on converting stock to Greenwich. The locomotives and the wagons all have the standard Bachmann coupling in an NEM socket. Now I know you can get a variant of the Greenwich coupling that is suitable for NEM sockets but I decided it should not be that hard to print an adpator.

Here it is. My version of an NEM socket to Greenwish adpator. All you have to do is take a regular Greenwich coupling, cut of the tang as far as you decide and smooth off the edges. It simply pushes in and then, when you push the adaptor into the socket that helps hold the coupling tighter. They are quick and easy to print and you can get a large number on a build plate.

The brake stanchion is not so simple. I did think about asking Dundas Models for some of their sprues but I do have a thing for trying to do things myself. I considered what would be the best material to use. The answer was brass, to provide the strength. However, cutting out parts and folding them and soldering them didn't appeal so I experimented with 3D printing. 

The real life stanchion is a vertical piece of angle iron with fixings to support the rod of the brake wheel. There is also a traingular plate used to bolt the assembly to the bogie. 

 I'm still refining this. I had some concerns about strength but it seems to be okay. On the right is the stanchion in the support asembly needed for printing. I could try and add more detail but it's not going to show, except on the screen.

I'll post a picture of an updated wagon when I have this finalised.

Wednesday, 6 April 2022

Coach No 1

Nailsea has been and gone. It was a good show and the layout and stock mostly behaved itself. I did have to return a borrowed engine in a completley dead state but it turned out to be a broken wire. Not something I could fix at the show when I was operating all day. It was great to see friends and to see some quality layouts and be inspired to get on with my own modelling.

I've been lining my first Ashover coach since forever. It's just tedious and the transfers were not always sticking. I had to take advice from Matt who is the master at lining and eventually I developed a technique that worked sufficiently well. It's still tedious and there are 41 individual transfers on each side since I split the long lines into 3 parts.

The lining itself is Fox transfers FG1292 Off white/Straw and I expect one sheet to be enough for all 4 coaches. The lettering and Carriage numbering I commisionned from Custom Model Decals and they have gone on really well. Finally today I put on a coat of Army Painter Satin Varnish to seal the transfers on. I wasn't going to do that today since the weather was foul and I spray in the garden but there was a good break with some sunshine so it got done.

I also finished off the roof. I previously sprayed it with primer before I had put on the rain strip on each side so I stripped it back with and soldered on some 0.3mm dia brass wire. A quick spray with Halfords primer and then a liberal coatning of Humbrol Dark Grey Wash which is then dabbed away with a tissue to leave a mottled appearance.

One confession. I've only done one side! That's good enough but won't do for the planned layout since the Ashover Railway had triangles at each end so both sides will be seen at different times.

Tuesday, 22 March 2022

First Outing of the Year

Progress on Ashover models has slowed to a crawl. There is news to report but that will have to wait for another post. This weekend I am taking Melin Dolrhyd out for its first exhibition this year.

I will be at Nailsea Exhibition on Saturday and Sunday. I've checked the engines still run and am digging out all the extra bits I need to take for the layout. I've been thinking what can go wrong and trying to ensure I have enough bits to effect the more likely repairs that could be needed. It will also be the first time with the new car. I did buy the car to fit the layout but I never actually tried putting the layout in it...

If you are down near Nailsea then do pop in and say hello. Nailsea Club do have a website but it is lacking in detail due to some technical issues. If you want to see details on the exhibition itself  I suggest you check out the UK Model Shop entry.

Tuesday, 28 December 2021

War Department (WD) Bogies

 Tryng to make this a quickie I have taken a leaf out of Matt's book and have been trying to build in bulk. To that end I have spent some time each day working on the bogies for the coaches and for the two wagons that fell into my shopping cart at the same time.

The bogies are very straightforward. First there is the matter of cleaning off the flash, of which there is a reasonable amount. Once done it was a case of adding the brake blocks, slightly tedious to have to glue 24 of the same thing but you get into a rhythm.

The next phase is to organise couplings. I use Greenwich couplings and these can be easily fitted by cutting and filing a groove in the top of the bogie (one has a very fetching matching groove in the underside. Don't ask!). Once done, I file off the paint from the underside tail of the coupling and then superglue them in. I usually do build Greenwich coupling in bulk and discovered that I did not have a sufficient supply for this project so there was a temporary diversion when I spent spare time on Christmas Day folding and building the couplings. Now that is definitely an item best built in bulk! 

Lastly, the brake assembly needs putting together. Here I fought the tempation to 'improve' it and lost. The pillar is fine and was glued on as is but the shaft on the brake wheel is just too long and the plastic shaft too fragile. I replaced the shaft with some brass wire. I also drilled out the handwheel to take the wire. They were superglued together and, once dry, I cut away some of the brake wheel shaft. This assembly was then glued to the pillar. It's definitely better to have less of a blob under the wheel but some of them are not as level as they should be.

After that it was a case of painting. I elected to hand paint so I didn't get paint in the axle boxes nor the rubbing plate but that meant tediously painting them first with primer (Humbrol Number 1). This struggled in a couple of palces to stick and I realised I had not washed the parts to remove any moulding remover but it wasn't too bad so I persevered. The topcoat was with a Games Workshop "Base Corvus Black". This is a good contenter for a colour that isn't too black but neither is it obviously grey. Again, this was tedious to put on.  

Here they are, a collection of bogies sat on the diorama, just!

Sunday, 5 December 2021

Ashover Temptation

 I recently helped out at the Great British Model Railway Show, operating The Clydach Railway by Richard Holder. Next to the layout was another exquisite layout by David Wright based around the Ashover Railway. I did a bit of research and decided that this could really form the basis of a quickie layout for the simple reason that the stock is all available as plastic kits and the engines are mostly available as ready to run from Bachmann.

More research and more spending has resulted in the necessary books, engine and kits arriving over a period of a few weeks - "another parcel for you" was a repeated refrain in our house!

I've made a start on the Meridian coaches. The kits have been around for a few years and are very popular. Studying them closely I realised I didn't like how the chassis was formed and so, despite the desire for it to be a quickie, I took the opportunity to extend my 3D printing learning by producing my own chassis.

In the picture you can see two Meridian Ashover coaches. The left one is from many years ago and sits on N gauge bogies. The right coach is the Meridian kit with my own chassis sat on the WD bogies that are provided. The locomotive is "Bridget", the excellent Baldwin from Bachmann.

Hopefully, that will get me back on track to it being a quickie!

Saturday, 20 November 2021

Butterley Pulp Wagons

There are a couple of ideas running at the moment for the next layout. I'm pretty sure what will get done next so more on that when I finally make a decision. For now, it is back to the plan to produce a layout based on the Bowaters Paper Mill system.

In real life, they had hundreds of what were known as pulp wagons. These were large flat wagons with vertical ends. Two forms existed, the earlier wooden version and the later steel variant. If you want to see examples then some are preserved on the Sittingbourne and Kemsley Light Railway. There is a good Flickr group here to see their photos.

There are two kits on the market for the steel wagon ut availability is mixed and I do want quite a few. It made sense to try my hand at printing them. I've struggled with flat surfaces not being flat with the printer and it took me many attempts to make this work but eventually, I found an orientation that worked. The base and the ends are printed separately. In the picture below you can see the parts glued together and sprayed in primer. The stays between the vertical panels are 0.3mm dia brass wire.

This is definitely good enough for now so bogies need to be designed and then the whole design will probably need tweaking to make it robust and repeatable.

Friday, 12 November 2021

In the news

Quite a while ago I was asked to write an article for Railway Modeller. I'll cut a long story short and say that there was recently a request to get it finished as there was only one week till the deadline. Needless to say, it got sorted and I am pleased to see that my layout, Melin Dolrhyd, is in this month's Railway Modeller, available at all shops that sell it and, let's face it, only real shops sell railway items!

Chris Ford has done a great job with the text and Andrew Burnham produced some excellent photos so thanks to them and the rest of the team at Peco. There are some other excellent articles in the issue but forgive me for being biased and just giving a taster of mine...

Fixing up WD wagons

 I've been acquiring WD wagons for my Ashover based layout. I picked up a job lot of them from a good friend but also picked up some fro...