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Author Topic: Tales from my Stock Box  (Read 3465 times)

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Offline JohnBS

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Tales from my Stock Box
« on: May 14, 2018, 10:46:41 pm »
I have two layouts with common themes – each is set in South Devon in the heyday of steam on the Great Western Railway. Both use N-gauge track and share a collection of locomotives and rolling stock. Ashburton is a small working diorama of a well-known branch line terminus while Totnes is a larger continuous circuit.
 
Ashburton was first exhibited at Bletchley way back in 1997 and appeared in Model Railway Journal issue 94 in the same year and more recently in the Railway Modeller of January 2011 and British Railway Modelling of July 2012.
Its next outings will be at Mere 16-17 June 2018, then at Wells 11-12 August 2018.
 
Totnes made its exhibition debut at Railwells in August 2008 and was featured in the January 2009 issue of British Railway Modelling magazine and issue No 205 of the Model Railway Journal. Outings included Doncaster in February 2010, when it received the British Railway Modelling "Layout of the Year" award, Aylesbury in May 2010, St Albans in January 2011, were it was awarded the Denis Moore cup for the best scenic layout and Uckfield in October 2012.
After several quiet years, its most recent appearance was on 8-9 April 2017 at Trainwest, Corsham.
 
By now, I have accumulated over 30 locos, many either scratch built or heavily modified proprietary models. I thought that it might be of interest to document how these were constructed and illustrate the results. Almost all are (understandably) Great Western but I will begin with a couple of strangers.
 
No 910 "Merchant Taylors" 4-4-0 Southern Schools class   c.1935
Built 1933 Withdrawn 1961 *

This model is proprietary, by Dapol, with a tender-mounted skew-wound motor and a cardan shaft drive to the driving wheels. The model awaits modification - weathering, footplate crew and the replacement of plastic coal in the tender with the real thing - therefore it is in reserve at the moment.
 
No E 430 4-4-0 Southern L12 class   c.1930
Built 1905 Withdrawn 1951


The model started life as a Poole Farish Midland compound – with major modifications. The mechanism was adapted with a replacement worm and worm wheel and a modified drive chain giving a two-stage 56:1 reduction instead of the original 25:1 (only possible with the early metal worm wheels). Cosmetic frames with springing and brakes were bonded to the chassis block and a new keeper plate was made from copper-clad fibreglass, with phosphor-bronze wire pickups.  Beaver driving wheels, of scale diameter, where fitted, with scratch-built nickel-silver rods. The bogie truck was scratch built, with new near-scale wheels. The motor pole pieces were thinned down and rounded at the top to fit in a new firebox/boiler/smokebox of brass tube. This sits on a new footplate, splashers and cab assembly of sheet brass. New boiler fittings and details, of polished metal, were added. The tender chassis has current collection (a new keeper plate of copper-clad fibreglass with phosphor-bronze wire pickups) linked back to the loco and axle boxes, brake gear and other details were added. The tender superstructure was scratch-built in brass and was pivoted on the chassis to bear on the rear of the locomotive, increasing adhesion (always a problem on 4-4-0 locos) and crushed coal was added. The crew includes a driver, a fireman and an inspector.
 
*     On a regular basis, a Southern locomotive was diagrammed to head a GWR train on the Plymouth – Totnes – Exeter route to gain route familiarisation. The converse was done on the Plymouth – Okehampton – Exeter  route.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2018, 11:27:17 am by JohnBS »
For more information see my blog: http://ashburton-and-totnes.blogspot.co.uk

Offline Hailstone

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Re: Tales from my Stock Box
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2018, 11:06:03 pm »
Welcome to the forum John, I look forward to seeing more of your stock having seen Totnes a while ago

Regards,

Alex

Offline RailGooner

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Re: Tales from my Stock Box
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2018, 11:21:05 pm »
Hi John. :wave: I'm loving the L12 class. :thumbsup:

 :wonderfulmodelling:
Per Ardua ad Astra | Mens Agitat Molem | Victoria Concordia Crescit

I'm supporting Project Railway Honour

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Tales from my Stock Box
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2018, 09:58:48 am »
Likewise.
I'm looking forward to seeing more.

Offline Graham63

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Re: Tales from my Stock Box
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2018, 08:51:10 pm »
Saw Ashburton at Doncaster, really is time I got to see it again. Would like to see Totnes as well the buildings article in MRJ a while back was brilliant.

Offline JohnBS

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Re: Tales from my Stock Box
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2018, 10:59:29 pm »
Some more locos, etc, this time of the Great Western persuasion.

No 19 Diesel railcar c.1940
The “Flying Banana”
Built 1940 Withdrawn 1960

The model was basically the Farish unit with a fairly heavily modified drive mechanism. I isolated the drive to one bogie - it now free-wheels but no problem as the railcar just has to haul itself. The drive to the powered bogie now has a small flywheel and a double reduction via a simple lay-shaft to achieve an overall ratio of about 50:1. Current collection is from both bogies. The superstructure has had cosmetic couplings and hoses fitted in place of the redundant Rapidos and has been weathered  It will crawl along, albeit rather noisily!


No 4820 0-4-2T 14XX class c.1935
The branch line autocoach passenger train.
Built 1935 Withdrawn 1964


The model was a coupled engine and autocoach. The latter was the powered component, based on a proprietary diesel railcar with a chassis of 60thou black plastic card and a Fleischmann motor and bogies. The drive mechanism was only to one bogie and includes a small flywheel and a two stage reduction gear with a lay shaft, giving an overall ratio of about 50:1 – great for slow running. The coach superstructure was scratch built of plastic card and the bogies have white metal sides and axle boxes. The unit will easily haul a second trailer, when required.
The dummy engine has a split frame chassis and Mike Bryant wheels, giving current collection from all wheels; current is transferred to the coach by permanent fine phosphor-bronze wires. The engine superstructure was based on Langley etchings with turned brass replacements for the white metal components.
More to come.
John
« Last Edit: May 19, 2018, 11:24:08 am by JohnBS, Reason: Correction of withdrawal date »
For more information see my blog: http://ashburton-and-totnes.blogspot.co.uk

Offline JohnBS

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Re: Tales from my Stock Box
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2018, 07:16:33 pm »
Yet more - some tank engines.

No 1425 0-4-2T 14XX class c.1935
Branch line locomotive
Built 1933 Withdrawn 1956

The model is proprietary, by Dapol, with the basic modifications - coal, crew, and weathering. It is usually a reserve.

No 5741 0-6-0T ‘Pannier Tank’ c.1935
Maid of all work.
Built 1929 Withdrawn 1957

This model started life as a Farish 94XX pannier bought many years ago. The mechanism was largely unchanged but with a shortened footplate and chassis, a new copper-clad fibreglass keeper plate and phosphor-bronze wire wipers. The superstructure was totally new, of plastic card with metal details and fittings and as much lead in the tanks as I could get.

No 1435 0-4-2T 517 class c.1922
A diminutive tank engine.
Built 1877 Withdrawn 1932

This model was my first essay in scratch-building using metal – essential to achieve a reasonable adhesion weight in such a small engine. The chassis was of split frame construction (2mmSA method) with Mike Bryant wheels, so pick-up was from all wheels with no need for wipers. Power is provided by a Sagami motor in the cab and firebox with the worm in the boiler and a copper-tungsten flywheel in the bunker. A two-stage gear train gives a 65:1 reduction.
To achieve the maximum adhesion weight, the boiler and smokebox, the side tanks and even the tool boxes were all made of copper-tungsten.

Copper-tungsten has a Specific Gravity of about 18, depending on the alloy, and is up there with gold and uranium, compared to lead with a SG of 11. However, it is quite hard to find and very hard to work!

This model won a Silver Medal at the Model Engineering Exhibition in 1985.


More to come.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2018, 02:00:49 pm by JohnBS, Reason: Additional information »
For more information see my blog: http://ashburton-and-totnes.blogspot.co.uk

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Tales from my Stock Box
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2018, 08:14:36 pm »
Super models, John. I especially like the 57xx pannier.

Offline JohnBS

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Re: Tales from my Stock Box
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2018, 09:09:49 pm »
Three more tank engines.

No 5505 2-6-2T 4575 class ‘Small Prairie’ c.1935
The Totnes station pilot.
Built 1927 Withdrawn 1957

The model started life as a Fleischmann German tank engine and retains the core of the chassis with the motor, gears and wheels. The cylinders and slide bars are ex Farish with scratch-built connecting and coupling rods and cross-heads. Then new split-frame pony trucks were added. The superstructure is in plastic card with metal fittings and details.

No 1506 0-6-0T ‘Saddle Tank’ c.1922
An antique tank engine – many were later converted to panniers.
Built 1878 Withdrawn 1937

Buried under this model is a Farish pannier. The mechanism has a replacement worm and worm wheel set, giving an improved reduction ratio of 21:1 instead of the original 16:1. A new keeper plate was made from copper clad fibreglass with phosphor-bronze wire pickups. Brake gear, sand boxes and guard irons were fitted and the coupling rods were thinned down as far as I dared.
After separating the superstructure, the cab and bunker were removed and all the boiler fittings were filed off to leave a flat top. To this, a nice fat sheet of nickel silver was epoxied, then the whole lump was ground and filed down to the correct profile, checked with a simple metal gauge running on the footplate. The footplate itself was shortened slightly and new smokebox and boiler fittings were added. The back of the Farish motor, where it projected into the cab, was pared down to the minimum and footplate crew were positioned judiciously. The old-style cab and bunker was formed of sheet metal.

No 8731 0-6-0T ‘Pannier Tank’ c.1935
Maid of all work.
Built 1931 Withdrawn 1962

This model is in essentials a Farish pannier with lots of minor modifications. The mechanism has a replacement worm and worm wheel set, giving an improved reduction ratio of 21:1 instead of the original 16:1. A new keeper plate was made from copper clad fibreglass, with phosphor-bronze wire pickups. Brake gear, sand boxes and guard irons were fitted. The solid skirt beneath the tanks was cut away and a new lower section of the boiler, fixed to the chassis, covers the gear drive. A new brass safety valve bonnet brightens things up and the chimney is raised to scale height by the simple expedient of adding a suitable metal washer under the cap. The coupling rods were thinned and sanding gear rodding, separate wire handrails and various bits of pipework finished the model off.

Yet more to follow.

John


For more information see my blog: http://ashburton-and-totnes.blogspot.co.uk

Offline JohnBS

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Re: Tales from my Stock Box
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2018, 09:45:28 pm »
Yet more tank engines

No 5185 2-6-2T ‘Large Prairie’ c.1935
A local passenger and mixed traffic engine.
Built 1931 Withdrawn 1960

The model began life as a Farish large prairie, The chassis and mechanism are largely unchanged with a reduction of 25:1. However, that's where the proprietary model stops. The engine was re-wheeled with Beaver wheels, scratch-built connecting and coupling rods and crossheads. Then a new keeper plate with phosphor-bronze pickups and scratch-built pony trucks were made. The entire superstructure was scratch-built in plastic card with lots of lead inside the boiler and tanks and with metal details and fittings. Painting was by airbrush (green) and paint brush (the rest) with Methfix transfers and etched number plates.

No 4536 2-6-2T 45XX class ‘Small Prairie’ c.1925
The branch goods engine.
Built 1913 Withdrawn 1959

The model is entirely scratch-built with a split-frame chassis. Power is provided by a Mashima can motor with a small copper-tungsten flywheel in the bunker. A two-stage gear train gives a 42:1 reduction. Wheels are from the late Mike Bryant range, all are used for current collection including the pony trucks. These use the pivot for one polarity and a fine phosphor-bronze wire spring for the other. The model was airbrush painted, with Methfix transfers and etched number plates.

No 45xx 2-6-2T 45XX class ‘Small Prairie’ c.1925
The goods banking engine.
Built 1913 Withdrawn 1959

The model is proprietary, by Dapol; it looks the part but its performance was somewhat limited. Therefore it has been 'filleted' by removing the motor, current collection and most of the weights so it could be used as an unpowered “banker” at the rear of goods trains. It is awaiting new number plates.

More to come, next time engines with tenders!

John


For more information see my blog: http://ashburton-and-totnes.blogspot.co.uk

Offline Graham63

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Re: Tales from my Stock Box
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2018, 09:52:24 pm »
I've found your work very inspiring for a long time, so many questions, like why did you build a new body for the Large Prairie?

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Tales from my Stock Box
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2018, 10:19:45 pm »
You seem to be a master in the use of plasticard to create superstructures and I look forward to seeing the larger stuff but, I have to ask, exactly how many locos do you have?

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Re: Tales from my Stock Box
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2018, 05:58:06 pm »
Graham63,
Thanks for your comment.
It was a long time ago (probably 1984) but I think that I had just had a first go at scratch-building a superstructure in plastic card (a Mogul) and found it quite satisfying. I wasn't very happy with the appearance of the out-of-the-box Farish large prairie so I set to and made a new one and was quite pleased with the result. It is still going strong!
Best wishes,
John
For more information see my blog: http://ashburton-and-totnes.blogspot.co.uk

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Re: Tales from my Stock Box
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2018, 06:05:00 pm »
Newportnobby,
Thank you for your comment.
I have had a quick count and find that I have 37 locos in total, of which four are in reserve at the moment (awaiting overhaul, detailing, etc), so that leaves 33 in operation.
Best wishes,
John
For more information see my blog: http://ashburton-and-totnes.blogspot.co.uk

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Re: Tales from my Stock Box
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2018, 08:42:31 pm »
Many thanks indeed, John, for these photographs of your lovely GW and Southern locomotives.

I well remember being very impressed by Ashburton when it appeared in MRJ (was it really that long ago?!).

I look forward to more pictures, please.

With best wishes.

John
'Why does the Disney Castle work so well?  Because it borrows from reality without ever slipping into it.'

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The Table-Top Railway is a train set trying and failing to be a model railway.

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