Chronicling the development of my Cambrian and Narrow Gauge 4mm scale model railway

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The other thing which makes the approximate Saint look terrible is the front bogie which has a way too long wheelbase and is not centred on the cylinder centreline.

However a quick(ish) replacement with a Hornby Castle / County bogie improves the look.

I also took the opportunity to remove the reach rod ready for fitting of the cam reach rod which is higher.

Some way to go, especially with filling the yawning chasm under the front footplate but it is starting to look the part.


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No it wasn’t a flash in the pan. I am challenging myself to see if I can finish one model by Christmas so I set about the Hornby Saint model with relish. As an RMWeb contributor put it, “while you e got the body off, line it up with a drawing of a Saint and have a good laugh”.

He’s right, it’s not the most accurate model but with a bit of hacking, a decent looking model can be achieved. Things that bother me the most are the smokebox and front footplate being comically long and the curve to the front footplate being too shallow – this apparently back from the days of a Triang Hall which was an approximation at best.

I therefore hacked 2mm off the front of the smokebox, having removed the door and at the same time cleaned up the mould lines – the pictures make the lines look worse than they are. I decided to keep the smokebox door but removed the moulded dart and replaced it with a Markits one (remind me to remove that last bit of flash that missed my attention).

Additionally I replaced the safety valve bonnet with a W/m one and will replace the chimney with a lost wax cast one.

For the footplate I copied a dodge from our friendly RMWeb contributor. Rather than repeat it all you can read about it here. It looks brutal at first.

But the result is worth it. I’ll get some Dean buffers to complete the look.

The eagle eyed will have spotted the steam pipes have been removed. This is to make way for the Lenz Cam boxes which will be fitted next.

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Deliver what you promise

In one of the Facebook groups I follow, Accurascale UK posted a survey to fill in to say what you wanted to see in the way of ready to run. At the end it said “what should we do to stand out from our competitors?”

I replied “deliver what you say you will deliver and when you say you will, and if you don’t then at least give regular updates”. Usually I don’t sit around waiting for new models but I see the chuntering of many, particularly recently with the Bachmann and Heljan 009 offerings. However the other day I was on the receiving end of such a thing. Ages ago I ordered a GWR Flying banana in post war Livery. Then the other day I got an email saying the model wasn’t going to be produced. No explanation given. Just that it’s not happening. To be frank that isn’t good enough. You can’t promise something for a year and then pull the plug on it with no reasoning. So to me, that is the key the requirement.

If you want to do the survey, it’s here:

If you’re interested what else I wrote, here it is:

What locos would like to see?

15xx – the sales of the K’s kit suggests it would sell well

Saint – the Hornby one is terrible and with Lady of Legend on the way isn’t it about time we had an accurate one – and how about doing an Atlantic version

009 Double Fairlie – rtr Merddin Emrys or the newer Earl of Merioneth – what’s not to like!

What coaches would you like to see?

GWR Slip coach

GWR articulated set

009 Ffestiniog Barns and super barns

What wagons would you like to see?

Decent Toad – both the Bachmann and Hornby ones are compromises

Any Oddities – I do like a good oddity

Snowdon mountain service truck – impractical but it made up the numbers!

What DMUs would you like to see?

009 / 00-12 County Donegal railcars

GWR twin railcars

009 FR push/pull set – not truly a DMU but how cool would that be!

What EMUs would you like to see?

1938 stock particularly IoW version

Tyne and Wear metro


What accessories would you like to see?

009 stub points

009 working incline

GWR coaling Stage

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Super 7(30 pm)

Well amazingly I got a few minutes the other night and used my lathe. To keep up the image of having a million projects on the go at once, I set about making the cam boxes for the Lenz valve gear for Caynham Court. As I said to the Patriarch it’s nowt more than a twiddly bit on one end and parted off flat at the other so only took about 10 mins but it’s a start!

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Warley thoughts

Well, better late than never. I thought I’d give my thoughts on the Warley experience this year.

Well I thought it was good. I heard some mutterings about it not being as big as before etc but it depends whether you want to see lots or quality really.

I tried to have a quick catch up with Phil Parker as I’ve emailed him a few times but never conversed face to face (and to say I tried the fruit cake – substantial but I’ve had better) but the length of his fan club queue meant I had to give that up for another day.

Best conversation of the day was with Brassmasters where one chap read out my list, one got the bits, and one totted up the score. Well honed procedure over many years, said I. No, came the reply, the first bloke turned up half an hour ago with a list and it was a bloody shambles.

Some photos of things I found interesting in no particular order:

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P!ss poor planning…

…means p!ss poor perambulation. 

I have been preparing for the weekend. Normally at model railway events I just wander round, then find afterwards I’ve missed some stuff and also spend a lot of time going backwards and forwards to the same traders when I’ve forgotten something. 

Not this time! I have a map. I have a list. I have train tickets. I have an entrance ticket. I am ready. Warley, here I come. 

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Preliminary investigatory discoveries

There is no point starting any model of the Mighty Square without talking to those that have gone before and reading. What they have written, 

Huw, who in his day job mends poorly NGG16 Garratts at Dinas, has a blog of his railway, Traeth Mawr Railway, where he detailed his building of the Square in plasticard. 

I also talked to “The Scribe” Of Bron Hebog and Dduallt fame who pointed me in a very useful direction. More on that in a minute but suffice to say the Dduallt boys have built more than one Square over the years, one in plasticard and then a more accurate / reliable one in brass on a set of Backwoods bogies. 

Investigation of my Langley kit reminded me that I got it cheap because it was incomplete – it is missing smokebox doors, chimneys, domes, and a few other bits and bobs but nothing that would be a concern. The good point about the Langley kit is that it is relatively in good nick. The Bachmann chassis I have is a GP50 which is exactly the same under the “hood” as the originally required GP40 (interestingly I see Langley now offer the GP50 as the standard chassis).

The wheeze that The Scribe suggested was to use the entire Langley body kit and “skin” it with plasticard to create the recognisable outline. This means the plasticard isn’t structural and the loco retains the weight which is so useful for its tractive effort. If you’re familiar with the modern double fairlies and then have a look at Livingston Thompson in York you will note how much smaller the original fairlies were so one will fit inside the other.