Tuesday, August 31, 2010

News update from the south

Visited the southern works yesterday and have much to report:

Castell Caernarfon has come on very well and just needs a few details like the upstand handrails, vac pipes and lights adding.  cool eh.

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138 has also had a lot of extra detailing added, especially to the smokebox saddle and tanks.  The headlights look superb (amended versions from the 140 kit I just bought) and I’m really pleased with the oil tank representation and the steam pipe covers which look great.  A bit more to do, but this loco should easily be ready for expong.

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I left Dad with the 14 washout plugs to install too! 



Here all the new track is laid and pinned down.  Holes for feeds have been drilled and wires cut to length and poked through.  Right where’s that soldering iron…

Updated expong post

The expong list of layouts has been updated and further info added about traders and socieities here: 


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Beautiful Australian modelling


check it out!



The headshunt has been cut back, turnout positions marked at holes drilled for frog wires and point machines.  Further filler has been added where the cork base was stripped away.  I’ve also added rail joiners where I can, but have found to be 6 or so short of the conducting variety.  These should arrive by post today. Once they arrive track relaying will commence, followed by wiring and testing, then ballasting and painting the track and finally the reinstallation of details.  simples.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


The vast majority of the trackbed has now been stripped ready for new track laying.  The headshunt however requires to be stripped further back.


Digging it all up (again)


Firstly, I spent a while last night drilling 1.3mm holes (12 in all) into 87’s boiler for washout plugs – here is one shown test installed.  Also attached were steps on the other side plus the large ejector casting ready for the pipework. 

Then I got on with the job of stripping out the pointwork on the yard board (for the second time) and looking at how to arrange the new, longer, different angle turnouts.  There is good news – no need to change any of the board joins, but of course all the holes for the point machines are in the wrong place!

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and from the southern works, 138 is making good progress, here the tanks are basically finished.  Lubricators are to be added (once markits have delivered them), but otherwise they are done.

138 build progress 003 138 build progress 004

Monday, August 23, 2010

in alignment


Here is the first board join bolt set for the transitions between hidden bits and scenic bits.  The 1.5mm OD, 1mm ID brass tube will be soldered to the rails and the 1mm steel bolts used to plug into these tubes and make the join line up.  Thanks to JdF of county gate for the idea and to eileens for stocking the materials – the albion alloys stuff you get at most model shops is no good as the wall thickness is too great.

Some titbits

Found an error in the SAR brake which I had not noticed before – one side is etched correctly, the other has three blocks of windows that now don’t exist and one extra window to be added.  Here we see the three blocked up with filler after a plasticard section was added behind (final sanding required before its finished) and the new window filed square from three small holes made into one blob with a piercing saw. 


The post today brought some fun: copper wire of varying diameters for loco detailing and…


washout plugs for the NGG16s:


The peco mainline points have been attended to for DCC friendliness:


and some filler added to the primed roof of Vale to hide the blocked up holes better.


Finally Dolgarrog was finished (although some light weathering will be applied too when the airbrush is out):

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What else do you do during that boring bit of a wedding?

Wedding in Tadcaster, 2 hours to spare – do we hang about the wedding venue trying to keep the kids amused, or find something else to do…ummmm I wonder…?

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Friday, August 20, 2010

Turnout wet again!

Another wet day but the post duly delivered 4 new mainline peco points. These were converted to dcc friendly over lunch in the usual way and the springs were removed.

All handrails on the B wagons, the ballast wagons and the SAR brake have been added and the vent on the roof of said brake added too. These are all now ready for the red oxide primer once the weather improves. The bogies fit as is and so couplings are already done.

Dolgarrog got a second coat too.

wagons roll

Here’s some shots of where I’m up to on the B wagons.  The handrail jig (bill bedford) is excellent! The trial footstep is on wagon 3.  You will note that not all the wagons have a full complement of the small handrails, and that is as per the prototypes.


I also gave Dolgarrog an initial coat of paint – blue and black on the body, red on the buffer beams and yellow on the handrail.


Thursday, August 19, 2010


I've given up for the night after drilling out 126 holes and installing 63 minute handrails in 0.45mm wire. I also bent up 8 footsteps and trial installed one successfully. Well worth doing but proper fiddly!

Two county SAR update

Painting of the funkey in Gloucestershire has progressed very well indeed:

 Funkey latest 001Funkey latest 003 

 Funkey latest 004Funkey latest 005

and in Warwickshire, I’ve been drilling holes in the B wagons to take the tiny hand (foot?) rails to finish off the B wagons (and the ballast wagons need 8 handrails too).  My 0.45mm drill however was very difficult to use in the pin vice as I couldn’t rotate it fast enough to ensure the drill didn’t get stuck.  After a few attempts at putting this tiny drill bit in various drills etc I thought of putting the actual pin vice in my bosch drill – brilliant – works perfectly. 

70 odd holes drilled out.


Other layouts at expong

Did some research on the layouts that will be with us for expong (more may yet be confirmed):

Ardez HOm  - http://www.flickr.com/photos/fairlightworks/4510640543/

Belgian Country Tramway (1:50 scale, 18.2mm gauge) - no details on web available

Black Hall sidings (O-9) - http://stevebennett.fotopic.net/p44224935.html

Cwmfelinfach 7mm 16.5mm gauge - http://www.staffordrailwaycircle.org.uk/layoutscwm.php

Fen end pit - http://homepage.ntlworld.com/david.barham/fenendpit.html

Feltwell road 009 - http://www.flickr.com/photos/fairlightworks/4511343214/

Helford Valley Railway - Gweek North Quay (O-16.5) - http://www.fmrc.co.uk/c_layouts.html

Johannnesdorf 1/45th 7mm - http://www.smithslayouts.com/page2.html

Koonunga Junction On30 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KhT52acv3NM

NG sand and gravel - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TtuZ_GPrlo

Paradise mining co. 1:25 - http://www.jackymolinaro.com/reportages/Amis/PMCO/PMCO2.htm

Picture this O 16.5 - http://www.uckfieldmrc.co.uk/memberslnf.html

Punta marina - http://www.009.cd2.com/images59/2.htm

Quahog Lumber Company On30 http://ngrm-online.com/forum/index.php?topic=2361.0

Rae Bridge 009 - http://www.009dutch.nl/main/pages/erae%20bridge2.htm

Twin Falls Logging & Mining railroad On30 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAe3aN8-hew

Uivernest 009 - http://www.009society.com/uivernest.php

For completeness here are the trade stands:

  • Andrew Neale Books
  • Atlantic Publishers
  • Avalon Line Models
  • Backwood Miniatures
  • Black Dog Mining Co.
  • Blackham Transfers
  • Branchlines
  • David Provan
  • Dorset Kits
  • EDM Models
  • Eileen’s Emporium
  • Golden Arrow Productions
  • Gramodels
  • Jonathan Clay Transport Art
  • KBscale
  • Mercian Models
  • Meridian Models
  • Model Railway Developments
  • N-Drive Productions
  • Nigel Lawton 009
  • Parkside-Dundas
  • Paul Webb Drawings
  • Plateway Press
  • Port Wynnstay Models
  • Roxey Mouldings
  • S&D Models
  • Smallbrook Studios
  • Smoky Bottom Lumber Co.
  • Sullivan Bindery/ RCL Publications
  • Victors Models
  • Worsley Works NG


  • 009 Society Display
  • 009 Society Sales
  • 2mm Scale Narrow Gauge Group
  • 5.5mm Association
  • 7mm NGA
  • Amberley Working Museum
  • Association of 16mm Narrow Gauge Modellers
  • British Overseas Historical Railway Trust
  • Corris Railway Society
  • Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Society
  • Greensand Locomotive Trust/ LBNGRS
  • Greenwich & District Narrow Gauge Railway Society
  • Lynton & Barnstaple Railway Association
  • Mosely Railway Trust/ Narrow Gauge Railway Society
  • Penrhyn Railway Society
  • Railway Modeller / Continental Modeller Photo Studio
  • Slim Gauge Circle
  • SNCF Society
  • Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway Society

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Coupling up

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Firstly we’ve visited two miniature railways, both recommended at nearby country parks.  The Echills Wood Railway is at Kingsbury Water Park and is a superb run of over a mile.  The odd engine shown above bears a kind of resemblance to the funkey ‘Vale of Ffestiniog’!  The other is more of a standard miniature run at Ryton Pools – a green class 37 this time.

I’ve also managed to wire up the question mark board with it’s 4 feeds now attached to the track and the bus.  Furthermore the ends of the bus wires have had their connectors added and all is good.

Last night I decided to have a play with greenwich couplings (well expong is organised by these guys and gals).  I found them excellent to fold up and use as simple loco couplings and extension backwards with three mounting holes should make them great for adding to brass bodies with just a vertical wire inside the ends.  The black colour is how they come – ready blackened! 

I then tried to make one up into the full coupling.  I didn’t need the magnetic uncoupling and was aware that the extended leg would catch on the exit from the down gradient on the layout, so I snipped this off. However this means that the very small and light loop doesn’t like to return to the normal position, and so I have decided to give up on that one and just use ordinary bemos.  However I think they are well worth using as loco couplings.

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I also ordered the 4 new peco mainline points I need, and to pay for these and the NGG16 I bought, a few items have been added to ebay:


Monday, August 16, 2010

and here is 140


Hotfooting from North America, here is NGG16 No. 140.  She will stay in the box until the real 140 appears, or if that appears unlikely and 143 gets a repaint (soup orange or green?) then I might outshop her as an alternative 143). 

A quick rundown after an initial look reveals:

- all valve gear riveted together and stored safe

- both tanks constructed with rivets filed off, oil tank for rear bunker

- body partially complete including boiler bands

- mars headlights included

- one bogie complete except for valve gear, but motor installed, gears working.  but two wheels are loose on their axles – the curse of the dreaded plastic centred wheels continues!  The other bogie is not started, but the cranks have had their pins installed and all 4 sets of pony trucks have been assembled

- all other details present

So, my NGG16 roster (not all for expong!) is as follows:

143, black with welded tanks

138, red with welded tanks

87 – blue with rivetted tanks

109 – lined black with welded tanks

140 – red??? with welded tanks

75 ish days left, progress since T-100?

- woodworknew breakfast bar style legs need installing and new board covers need building.  Mostly done, board covers just need velcro now.

- trackwork – hidden sidings transitions need installing, work is needed to finally align board joins plus the installation of track in the new station approach point area  some progress but decision to relay yard points (again) means extra work beyond that planned.

- pointworktest tortoise.  done, but see above.

- backsceneorder mirror vinyl for ends, check backscene test print, if ok get printed on vinyl and install.

- electrics –reconnect up a few feeds to new improved bus, carry through bus to hidden sidings.  connect up feeds to hidden sidings storage area. in progress

- hidden sidings board alignment – do magnets work? in progress as above

- Curtain around layout base – add velcro on layout. awaits layout being fully erected

- scenics – tart up board joins, add signs and details. Extra trees to hide any backscene issues. left to end

- carriagesmuch progress, but bogies need couplings adding, glazing needs installing, some grab handles required plus ivory touch-up and transfers

- wagons – painting plus couplings etc.  Some extra work e.g. handrails to Rob’s excellent ballast and DZ wagons. hardly any progress here except that delivery of Rob’s wagons took place

- check van size as my calculations reckon we will need a LWB transit. done, but finding such a van locally is proving to be difficult

- locos

1) 143 – done in black and just needs a decoder and tanks varnished

2) 138 – Dad has begun painting chassis and detailing body

3) 87 – body detailing in progress, chassis with Dad

4) K1 – no progress

5) Castell Caernarfon – really getting there

6) Vale of Ffestiniog – basically just needs painting now in it two tone green livery. 

7) Merddin Emrys – needs pickups adding and lining, plus decoder.  Should be easy.

7) Russell – with Dad to finish electrifying and then ready to paint.

8) Upnor Castle – body to chassis link basically done, many more details added, coming on

9) Taliesin – built by me and nearly ready, at bottom of list though due to pressing priorities above.

10) Gelert – needs painting and conversion to DCC may be tricky due to live chassis.

87 progresses…

I was able to do 90 mins more work to 87 this weekend..with many holes drilled for things like steam pipes and handrails and a few bits fitted too.



On the layout, I did a little wiring on the new question mark board and have set up all the necessary tools in the garage ready for a final wiring sortie in the next few days.

I’ve also bought another NGG16(!) but more on that when it arrives from abroad.  Finally test running of Gelert has proved to be a success – with a little oil and a bit of running she’s a beaut.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wheely good

20 more liliput bogies arrived today and wheels have been duly installed/swapped such that goods stock will use 6mm wheels and passenger 7mm.  The 8mm wheels which were slightly out of scale are being sold.  For the record the greenmax and parkside FR bogies also use 6mm wheels.

I now have enough bogies in stock for all my stock. Hooray!

Piping hot


Spent last night adding details to the 87 boiler unit: chimney on, piping below the footplate etc.  

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Desk in return to normal shocker


Now that baseboards are stored away again, the desk can be returned to normal!

Progress has been concentrating on the bogie situation, with a decision made to standardise on:

- parkside dundas FR pattern bogies for all FR/WHR/NWNGR heritage stock

- greenmax DT21 bogies for all modern FR stock

- liliput bosna bogies for all WHR(C) stock including wagons.

This means that my stock of vale of rehisol bogies, worsley FR short and long, worlsey SAR pattern and rocobogies will soon be sold, together with a bag of pointless curved spoke wheels.