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

Making excuses

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I admit it has been some time since I posted any pictures of actually doing any modelling on here. There are any number of excuses I could use for this ranging from just having moved house to being too busy drinking my Uncle’s good health.

Here are two which I thought were worth recording.

1. Designing layouts. I do this a lot for Mini-me. For his Brio. Recently he has started coming into our bedroom in the morning and saying “railway, railway, railway”. To translate this means “one of you parents, get your lazy @rse out of bed and play trains with me”. As my wife points out, “it’s all your fault”, and with that she pulls the covers over her head and leaves me to pacify the budding enthusiastic railwayman.

A Mini-Me / Me creation

A Mini-Me / Me creation


2. Restoring my Big-Big train to service. When I got my Big-Big train out of the box it had arrived in from my parents’ loft, it had a loss of traction tyres and droopy couplings made worse by the continual uncoupling and subsequent collision on the next circuit. Mini-me is fascinated by this train set (it really is a train set) so I have set about restoring it. I found some 7/8″ Lionel made traction tyres (suppose they should be tires being American) which have revolutionised the Hymeks (I have 2) from being incapable of hauling one 16 ton mineral wagon to being able to haul 2 Mk2s and 2 mineral wagons (the sum total of the rolling stock), each.

Traction tyres - Copy

On the coupling front I have decided to fit Lego couplings. I was going to fit hook and 3 link but since I want this to be workable by a toddler ( a very smart one, but still a toddler), Lego ones seemed the best option, and he already understands magnetic couplings from Brio. By making two cuts in line with the rear tab edge of the coupling buffer beam assembly, I should be able to drill through the rear tab and attach the couplings to the original mounting holes on the rolling stock using a bolt and nut (and perhaps a dab of 222).

Lego couplings

However, if you’ve read this far, I’ll let you into a secret – as I predicted in my earlier post Final Pieces, they weren’t. By procuring another tender frame I can sell off the Princess tender complete on eBay which makes sense and allows me to recoup a small amount of the capital cost of the Cathedral project. Now I have no excuses left not to get on with making it!

Tender frame - Copy



Author: Chris H

Having now officially reached middle age, I am a rolling stock engineer and have worked in many different locations including a 7 year spell in Sydney, Australia, where I arrived with a suitcase and left with a wife and a son. I am now based back in my home county of Yorkshire where I juggle full time work, being a Dad to two rascally mini-mes, and trying to fit in railway modelling, assisting the GWR 1014 County of Glamorgan project, and visits to the top left hand corner of Wales. In addition to my heavily railway themed life, I am interested in rugby, cricket, reading crime novels, falconry, and medieval re-enactments.

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