Sunday, July 26, 2009

New me!

I have written a book - a photographic journey of the FR and WHR - 80 pages, over 140 photos. The profit will go to the WHR reconstruction fund.

Click on the link below to preview/buy...

A Photographic Journey
By Colin Lea

Thursday, July 23, 2009

NGG16 loco policy

So, I have three NGG16s:

- 1 - is complete in SAR black livery, but with all the SAR details that the WHR locos lack (sun visor, cab roof details etc), and riveted tank/bunker.
- 2 - is mostly complete as a WHR engine with smooth sided tank/bunker and is modelled on 138. Work is stopped on this until the real 138 reappears so we can check details such as pipe runs etc (and colour! - although it is expected not to be green, perhaps red?)
- 3 - is a kit that arrived yesterday.

The actual WHR stud is as follows:

- 87, which sports a shorter cab (no window at the back) and riveted tank/bunker amongst other details. Currently in light aircraft grey, but expected to go black in the next few years.
- 143, in SAR black livery but expected to be withdrawn next year for overhaul. Expected to stay black as it is the last steam loco built by Beyer-Peacock. Flat sided tank/bunker.
- 138, currently in bits under overhaul, expected to return in 2010 in a new livery. Flat sided tank/bunker.
- 109, recently purchased from Exmoor by Pete Waterman and expected to run on the WHR in 2011 in LNWR lined black. Flat sided tank/bunker as shown here and images on the July 6th story here

So, what's the plan?

-1- to gain new flat sided tanks/bunker from the new kit -3- to make it into 143. Cab details to be amended and repainted. Plates to be painted blue, smokebox colour to be toned down from the current silver.
-2- to be completed as currently once details known of the prototype following overhaul
-3- to gain riveted tanks from -1- and be built as No. 87 with shorter cab etc. Outshopped in grey.

So, if we assume that 138 comes back red, we then have black, grey and red engines. A lined LNWR black No. 109 can come next year once these three are up and running.

The target is to have these 3, plus K1 (marching forward apace and ready to be transferred to the valve gear workshop in Cheltenham asap), Russell (practically complete already), Merddin Emrys (even closer to completion) and the two funkeys (Vale of Ffestiniog and Castell Caernarfon) ready for Autumn 2010. Other engines that will likely make that deadline are:

- Criccieth Castle and Harlech Castle as the new 08 shunter chassis with outside frames is a joy to run.
- Taliesin as this kit is 70% done.
- Blanche (complete already)
- Beddgelert (needs detailing)

A push to get ready (in priority order):

- Conway Castle (new doors needed plus a way of attaching the bullant to the body)
- Upnor Castle (kit to be purchased in the next few weeks, thus behind in the list)
- Baldwin 590 - in need of lots of detailing and work to improve reliability of front pony truck. etc
- Moel Tryfan - needs rods.
- Lyd, Dad's kit and no work started.
- Prince, I'm not happy with the ibertren chassis, so will probably swap for the mercian kit
- 4415 Kerr Stuart diesel, again not happy with chassis.
- Palmerston - no kit yet, buy another mercian?
- Lyd2 'Eryri' - no chassis yet and likely to be very expensive as an 0-6-0 + jackshaft, custom bullant seems best way, but not a priority at all.
- Gowrie - don't have a kit or chassis yet.

No plans at present:

- Other double fairlies especially DLG - await roco (although a recent story in the 009 news states roco have cancelled the project!)
- Linda - await new parkside chassis with outside frames launch
- Britomart/Lilla/smaller FR diesels - too small for DCC
- Dick Kerr diesel WW1 - very ugly indeed.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Board 2

Board 2 has moved upstairs for treatment. Already the ballast has been tended to - Thomas is hoovering up the loose bits! I have also decided to remove the very yellowy-green conifers and to respray them a better green. There is one in the corner of this board and 3 others on the next board. 2 new conifers have been ordered from here:

This board features the first point to be properly degummed.

The edges of the first three boards have also been painted black for presentational reasons.


Monday, July 20, 2009

First board ready

As well as creating some very fiddly busch flowers this weekend, I also finalised board one - the bridge handrails were added, scenery tidied up, sleeper grime reapplied and now this board goes into store as materially complete (save for the backscene).


Saturday, July 18, 2009

lay out the layout

I have decided to take each board upstairs for the following work:

- to complete outstanding scenics such as grass patches, fencing, station area details etc
- to improve the area around the board edges
- to complete wiring where it needs to be done (mainly the points decoder installation)
- to de-gum the points anc chekrails and reinstall (if necessary) the point motors
- to remove stray ballast from the railhead and spot reballast where gaps are found
- to apply a second coat of sleeper grime to the alignment
- to test the electrics
- etc

Moving each board upstairs will ensure I can get very good light and also makes it a bit more social than spending hours in the garage!

The first board has been taken upstairs, spot reballasted, board edges improved and tested. Tomorrow it will have its sleeper grime painted on and the bridge handrails will be attached. It will then go into store (i.e. back to the garage) as a complete board (save for the backscene, which will be a winter photoshop panarama job).


Monday, July 13, 2009

What's been happening?

Lots as usual, just not had the time to report on here yet.

Much work has been focused on K1 - a key loco for obvious reasons. This kit was bought from the 009 second hand sales stall with just one pair of cylinders complete. Dad has helped me get the bogies square, mount the wheels square on axles and add the crankpins (things that could have gone very wrong), but apart from that I've done the rest myself, which I'm quite pleased with given how fiddly these kits can be!

The tanks, firebox, boiler cradle and cab were started last year, and it has been relatively easy to join these together with 14BA screws (after the firebox and boiler were joined), add white metal castings and to create the bulk of the boiler/cab unit.

I then turned my attention to the bogies - detailing them with the sandboxes, brake rigging (very fiddly) and overlays. The other cylinders were also completed with their wrappers soldered and the various bushes etc reamed and installed. [cylinders not shown below]

I have now started on the gearboxes, with the central 12T gear installed on a short axle.

and the main shafts carrying the two worms to the two wheels cut to length. Unfortunately I need a larger vice to install the worms on this axle though.

So, putting it together (more detail has been added to the bogies since this shot) and balancing it all for a photo (note that the tanks are not square as they are just placed on at the moment), the loco looks a bit like this:

For some light relief, I've also started work on my Baldwin... a white metal chivers kit on a farish 08 chassis.

It needs detailing yet but the main bodywork is all on and looking pretty good. These white metal kits are just an exercise in filing until pieces fit workbench is covered in little bits of white metal!

One further job which has been mind-numbingly boring has been fencing - over 100 small posts have had 4 holes in each drilled out with a 0.7mm drill. They're all done now thank goodness!

Taliesin has had some attention to correct the shape of the rear toolbox - the kit has the earlier type of angled top toolbox included, but this has now been altered to a flat top box, as per the real engine.

Pickering Brake - I picked up a kit off ebay a few weeks ago and this has entered the carriage works for cleaning up, folding and de-fretting. It hasn't got any further than that though.

Platform benches - Dad has completed these fiddly benches for me. They just need little dragons for the sides. cool!

NGG16s - the prototype railway has announced that a fifth NGG16 (no. 109) has been bought by Pete Waterman for restoration at Crewe, and use on the WHR from 2011. I currently only have 2 NGG16s, and given that these are the main motive power for the line (and my progress at making Taliesin and K1), I have decided to sell the unmade double fairlie and Linda kits I have, to buy another NGG16 kit.

Upnor Castle - Allen Doherty tells me that this kit will be available for mid August. I already have a bullant motor bogie for it, so this will go straight into the works when I receive it, as it's such an important loco for the layout.