Monday, 20 October 2014

Seeing Double

I'll make no excuses for posting some more pictures of my 2nd model of the KMX tamper.

Building the first one was enough of an achievement - and I still think it's the best thing I've done yet - so I'm chuffed that the second has turned out more or less identical to it.

Before handing it over to the client in Hull in a couple of weeks time we took the opportunity to pose it on the layout with our own one.

I think they look rather good together if I say so myself. So, I'm pleased to say does my client who also keeps a blog Penlowry.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Ghost Trains

I mentioned a few days ago that Himself is hoarding a drawer-full of un-painted carriages, mostly complete but still in virgin white styrene.

(In his defence he has been rather busy building Bron Hebog so we'll let him off)

Among this fleet of ghost carriages are models of the current Barn 106, the original Barn 105 with a toilet in place of the first class compartment in the centre, and unique 1970's carriage 116 as rebuilt as a 3rd class saloon.

These models were all made a number of years ago now and knowing the FR as I do my very real fear is that the actual carriages will be rebuilt once more and altered before Himself has got these models finished.

The latest carriage in the queue for the paintshop, of course, is 2046 which had a try out on Bron Hebog to check the ride height against the other WHR carriages.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

A Lovely Couple

There are some jobs you can't do from 400 miles away and one of them is setting coupling heights.

So the new tamper match wagon I'm making has had to be transported south so it can be stood next to the KMX tamper and have the coupling fitted so it matches precisely.

With that small job done it can be dispatched back to Scotland to be finished off.

With a bit of luck and a following wind it might even be ready for the exhibition in Hull next month.

You may also notice that the rail webs on this section of the layout have now been weathered.

It makes a huge difference and Himself is slowing making his way around board by board.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Taking Stock

Taking a new layout on the road has prompted Himself to rethink the storage of our rolling stock.

We've used these very safe and sturdy bespoke wooden boxes for a number of years now with Dduallt but the order in which the carriages were laid out in the rows was becoming increasingly anachronistic.

The formation of FR carriage sets changed greatly in the years between us first showing the layout in the mid-1990's to the present day, with new carriages being built, others rebuilt and re-using the numbers - and in many cases that was all the shared with the previous one - and the order in which they were marshalled mucked about with.

All the new models we built to keep up with developments on the FR, and all the new WHR stock, was stored in an ad hoc fashion in a new set of boxes and not in any formation that related to the order they were running on the real railway.

As the years went on it was taking longer and longer to get the stock transferred from the boxes into their formations on the layout, and became a right faff when it was time to dismantle the layout at the end of the exhibition.

So this is how the boxes are laid out now.

Here's the main WHR carriage fleet...

And the main FR box...

It still contains some glaring anomalies for a 21st Century WHR layout - like the push-pull set in its two tone green livery. Yes there is enough replica building to keep me occupied for a number of years.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Match Point

With the tamper finished for my client I can, at last, get around to working on our own KMX. Or at least the match wagon which goes with it.

Making a match wagon has been a long-term ambition, as I wrote a few weeks ago.

This project is going to be a 'kit bash' and I'm using one of the OO9 Society's latest in-house kits for a generic RNAD wagon which is the basis of the real WHR wagon.

The key bits I need from the kit are the solebars and axles boxes and I'm also making use of the plank effect wagon top.

I got Himself to measure the wagon for me at Boston Lodge Works a few weeks ago so I have some proper data to work from.

Interestingly, if you're building the RNAD wagon kit you need to chop the ends of the solebars because they are over-long (they are also from a mould for another kit) but it just so happens they are the perfect length for the match wagon.

The floor, however, is too short in the kit, which made it harder to use it as intended to set the solebars the correct distance apart.

So what I've done is to cut a piece of styrene to do the job because there is plenty of clearance above the wheels.

The kit does come with two floor pieces (that legacy of its design for another kit, again) so I was able to cut a slice from the second one to make my floor to the correct length.

Now I have started to add the side extensions before setting about making the storage boxes on top.

The floor on this wagon sits much higher than the typical FR / WHR wagon so before going much further I think the next job is to compare it to some of our existing stock to work out how to mount the couplings at the correct height.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Emergency Stop

Finally my 2nd KMX tamper is ready.

This one is for a client who has decided to paint it himself so there are some bits left off for the photographs such as the hydraulic lines on one side and some pipework which disappears into the engine compartment at one end.

The last job I needed to do was to cut and fit all the small emergency stop buttons, which the tamper is festooned with, and that involved cutting many slivers from styrene rod less than 0.5mm thick, for the buttons, picking them up in the jaws of pliers and gluing them into place.

I hope I've made as perfect a copy of the original Bron Hebog tamper as I can. The test will come at our exhibition in Hull next month when I plan to hand it over to the new owner. He's already indicated he'd like to see the two of them side by side.

And, yes, I do realise I've got the roof on the wrong way round in the photos. Doh!

Wednesday, 8 October 2014


A few days ago I wrote a post about making the master for the new bogie design for 2046.

At the time I was just about to pour the RTV mix into the casting box. I left it for a day to set, then removed the mould and filled it with resin for the first time.

The first casts can sometimes be a disappointment but this one was perfect. Very soon I had another three cast, cleaned up, and ready to fit to a brass bogie frame.

And here they are at home under the carriage.

So that's 2046 just about complete - or as much as I'm going to be doing to it.

I shall now pass it onto Himself to paint and finish off - he'll have to cut and fit the glazing and solder up a set of the handrails which go each side of the entrance doors. (He won't thank me for that)

Don't hold your breath to see it in traffic on Bron Hebog, though, because Himself has a whole rake of virgin white carriages waiting to be painted.

More on that soon....