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1860 and all that
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Blackcloud Railways



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 1993
Location: Sandbach UK

PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some bare wood planks, as recent repairs, might help with the missing/incorrect lettering. Wink
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Bob Hughes
Playing Trains

Once there were mountains on mountains and once there were sunbirds to soar with and once I could never be down.
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 2023
Location: London

PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll bear that in mind, Bob. The reason Swansea is missing the final letters is that modelling time had run up against meal time!

I've given provisional notice to show Salop Street next Spring, so with a thought to saving construction time I'm about to strip the ply top and track off Great Sutton and fix a new top on. The fiddle yard will probably be a slightly lengthened yard from the other layout, but without the gimmicks (traverser/sector table). I managed to pick up a couple of very cheap Peco 3-way points recently, so will use one of those. If I then lay the sidings in diagonally, I can fit in the longest likely trains, and keep the fiddle board to 30 inches in length - trials are ongoing, but it looks possible. The problem is not to overhang a six-foot table too much, as I can then travel without full-height layout legs.
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 2023
Location: London

PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2017 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of the re-geared locomotives has been away receiving some adjustments to the conversion. It was returned to its home metals over the week-end and a new body is already taking shape. This is using most of a GWR 101 with Nellie smoke-box and (probably) bunker. Apart from slight differences with the boiler fittings it will be the same "class" as one of the red unconverted engines. Pictures in a day or so.

Tomorrow should see the top going onto the new baseboard, and if time allows the cork underlay, as well.
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 2023
Location: London

PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very much a warts-and-all shot of the new locomotive, with construction still in progress. I like the overall look, so just need to finish off the filling and fettling. More Kadees arrived this morning, so those Hornby couplings will soon be a thing of the past. The blue bits of the model are Nellie, and the green are GWR Holden tank loco. White metal boiler fittings by K's and Wrightlines.

This may also become a "spare" loco for Shellsea, as it looks a little more modern than the other re-geared locomotives.

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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 2023
Location: London

PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nearly there. I've managed to add some cable-sheathing, split lengthways, to the safety valves to make them a bit more realistic. Also mended the broken cab-steps by grafting on the steps of the Nellie body.

Now after a touch more paint and a coat of varnish, plus some Kadees, we'll be done. Must look and see if I've got a spare coat-of-ams transfer for the tank-side.

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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 2023
Location: London

PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of the annoying things about the Hornby 0-4-0 chassis is the way the connecting rods are in an open channel (the cylinders) once the body is removed. Inevitably, while juggling the body back into place the rods come loose, or jam up inside the tanks.

No more! While mending the rear coupling on "Jumbo", I realised that a thin slice of styrene or card might be worked into the top of the slot. Turns out that a thin strip of mounting card works best (presumably because the con-rod can cut a groove into it, if it needs to). Now getting the body on and off is less of a struggle, and it seems to fit onto the chassis better, too.

This conversion is well suited to the GWR loco body; on the saddle tanks the metal footplate clicks into place more securely, so this modification is not really needed.





The brake van in the background is new and only partially complete. Can't make up my mind whether to leave it as it is, or else add sloping roofs over the open sections, and side doors, and call it a road van. Meanwhile, the other news is - the station tracklaying is done.
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 2023
Location: London

PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Modelling time seem to be at a premium, just now, although I have started to letter the Mid-Shropshire Railway's goods wagons, with creative use of some LMS wagon transfers. This is using up a lot of sheets as only the smallest lettering - around one plank high - is appropriate for the period. In any case, the larger lettering just looks wrong on such tiny wagons.

I'll try and post some pictures tomorrow.
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 2023
Location: London

PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

At last the MSR is getting a corporate image - if such a concept existed in 1860 Smile These three wagons are for minerals or coal traffic. The bodies use the outer corners of Hornby cattle wagons.


Having used up my cattle wagons, I needed to go elsewhere to provide for livestock traffic. These open cattle trucks were formerly a NER hopper wagon, now on a Jouef vintage underframe, and the body from a stake truck lorry, with the unused cattle doors, mounted on a conventional British style chassis plus a large wooden brake block (just visible). "Right" and "wrong" lettering styles - the large letters are due to be replaced.


Finally a pair of opens, as yet unfinished. Once all the wagons have been lettered, I'll do any necessary touch-ups and add some weathering.
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 2023
Location: London

PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Modelling time has only come in occasional 30 minute slots recently, hence the work on lettering the rolling stock. However, over the last few days I've started laying in the wiring, which is due to terminate in some choc blocks fixed to the rear of the backscene dividing the scenic are and the fiddle yard. The control panel will fit over this, so it can be reached from either side of the baseboard. All this is extremely un-photogenic, so there are no new pictures.

A couple of shows ago I managed to buy some Bilteezi building sheets in 3mm scale; these have now been swapped for 4mm scale equivalents, so I have some cut-out structures to help make up the parts of the town visible from the railway yard. The brick "terraced" cottage/shops should be useful, and possibly the half-timbered barn and other small matching sheds which can be used by the local feed and seed firm. There is also a half-timbered cottage, although I'll probably substitute tiles for its thatched roof.
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 2023
Location: London

PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just got back to modelling work after an enforced break of several weeks. Today saw the first coat of glue on the ballast "undercoat". As the ballast has to come above the sleepers I find it safer to do in two layers, so as to make sure the bottom level has bonded with the cork underlay.

Meanwhile, while the glue dries, I thought I'd do some quick research on Victorian-era salt companies. I've scheduled a weekly delivery of salt for the traders in Bridgnorth, and wondered if it might come in a P.O wagon. It turns out the Winsford Rock Salt Co was working from the 1850s, so OK for period. The mine was later part of the Union Salt Co, but not until 1888, so any wagon would perhaps have been lettered WINSFORD. I'm thinking of a peak-roofed wagon, about 12 or 13 feet long over the body, with a short wheelbase. I was hoping to cut up one of a couple of Jouef French wagons, but the panelling on the bodies works out wrong, so it looks like a Hornby Colgate open wagon will be the victim, although it lacks an underframe at present.
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 2023
Location: London

PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not a pretty sight, yet, but at least I got to New Year with the ballasting (almost) done. There's still some tidying up to do as I had to mix three colours of ballast in both OO and N gauge grades.

The landscaping has also been started, ahead of the planned sequence of events. It's an experiment with the "puddled loo-paper" method, although I have used PVA instead of the more normal acrylic varnish.
Some buildings (all ex-Great Sutton) being tried out for position.



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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 2023
Location: London

PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ballasting finished, thank goodness, the flangeways cleared of any excess stones, and any sticky point blades unstuck. Now the track just needs a little painting to pull it all together, plus an electrical re-test. I had added computer-printed stone facing to the platform sides, but this reacted with the watery glue and lost its colour, turning a nasty shade of green. I have re-printed the stonework, so will have another go as soon as possible.

Also managed to gain a Skaledale Engine Shed on eBay this evening- one of the last buildings yet to be found. It does need a little tlc, so I may eventually replace with a hand-built version, but it will do for now.
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 2023
Location: London

PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quite a bit of paint has been flying about, recently, as the ballast has been toned down a bit and finally looks as if it all belongs to the same railway company. It also took three goes to get the platform and road surfaces to a colour I liked, and which also toned in with the stone platform faces. The platform edges have just been finished, but it's too late for a decent picture; I'll have to wait until tomorrow morning.

The eBay'd engine shed also arrived yesterday. It needs raising a little as otherwise the doorway is just too low for the loco chimneys to get under. Also, I think I'll change the roof from corrugated iron - some of which is laid along the roof, instead of across it - to slates.
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 2023
Location: London

PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The new platforms and loading dock area is nearing completion. I managed to incorporate the cattle dock from Great Sutton, and it now has a horse-landing area, as well as an end-loading capability. I'm undecided whether to fence off the rear face of the platform, or not. In theory there is no need for a second passenger platform, but operations may suggest otherwise. I'll probably leave it until after the layout's debut. The original station has been re-used, but I've had to move the plain wall to the other side of the building, under the canopy, where it will be invisible to all - the doors and windows now face the station approach. The coal yard will fill the space beside the right-hand siding.


The engine shed fits the space quite well, but may need raising a little higher; at present the locos can just get inside. I'm re-using the back-scene board from Great Sutton, and luckily the holes for the old control panel will be hidden behind low-relief buildings, which belong to Ridley & Co, Seedsmen (a real firm that still exists in the town)..
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 2023
Location: London

PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finally unable to put off THAT MOMENT any longer; time to re-test the track wiring and points following the ballasting, done last week. Two points were not conducting the current between the point blade and the stock rail. Rather than solder in a permanent connection, I tried a home-made version of the commercial Track Clip, using small office staples. Much to my surprise, it worked Exclamation I've fixed the staples in place with a dab of Uhu, and will see how they survive handling.



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