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

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A handy prototype

Not that I needed it for any particular reason, but when one goes to a friend’s house, it’s always nice to find some prototype inspiration for the model Railway. 

I was round at said friends house to have a play with this lovely wee beastie. 

And of course while I was there I was the one that discovered that the S&C was out of alignment having a repeated earth fault with the front pony truck. 

The prototype inspiration though was this: 

Yes this is a real pinion wheel and section of rack from the Snowdon Mountain Railway. Very useful in the flatlands of York! 

The chimney, well that’s another story. 

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One man’s tat…

I’ve been investigating building rock faces for the mountain Railway section. (Apologies for the capital R every time I write Railway – my phone automatically does it and I can’t ever be bothered to go back and change it). 

I watched a few YouTube videos (The Terrain Tutor is well worth a watch) but nothing really stuck. Then I remembered Rob of Brown Hebog said that in their opinion real couldn’t beat fake. 

With that in mind I picked up this rather terrible “ornament” from a bric a brac sale. Actually it was one woman’s tat and she seemed very concerned that I would like it. 

Truly awful but it was a quick way to get my hands on some gen-u-ine Welsh slate that wasn’t the usual pink stuff that inhabits garden centres. I will need more than this so next time someone from round here goes to N Wales I’ll commission them to bring back a lump of the stuff. The problem with most lumps by the roadside is they’re slate waste which by their very nature means they don’t easily split which is what I want this lump to do which is why I spent hard earned money on this piece – it shows sufficient seams to suggest I might get a few faces out if it. Let’s hope so.  

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Plan view 

So not much to report I’m afraid – hence the silence. I’m currently being a stay at home parent and a rolling stock engineer for the next two weeks while t’missus is away on holiday. This has rather limited progress. 

However tonight I marked out where the engine shed for the mountain Railway will go. The aim is to show a somewhat tiny operation where the loco and carriage share a shed at the end of the day. 

The template is for one of Bachmann’s resin sheds- this one in fact. 

So I wanted to make sure it fitted in the space and the stock fitted in to it. 

Once I’d done that I started to build up the trackbed with polystyrene but then Mini Me 2 called for my attention so that was that for the day. Hopefully I might get some time next week for a bit more progress. 

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Stairway to….

It’s been a bit thin on the railway modelling front recently as I’m a bit busy at work. 

Our company had a team building overnighter yesterday and today at Taplow. 

At Paddington, having last week paid my respects to the bear, this week I went to see the legend. 

Having got a class 165 in its redone exterior (but not interior) I set off up the Thames valley. 

Taplow station has all the hallmarks of a GW station with lovely station building here being modelled by two of my colleagues awaiting the train to Reading. 

Unfortunately the electrification of the route has caused the removal of the original footbridge with devastating results for anyone who wants to climb it….

Such is the result of the progress the GWR wanted to instigate in the late 1930s and has only taken 70 odd years to appear…! 

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Baby Riggen

With the mountain railway coming on great guns, it’ll shortly be time to lay some track on it. With that in mind I’ve started manufacturing the Riggenbach rack. As previously discussed this is Evwrgreen corrugated sheet cut into strips sandwiched in between channel sections. 

There is a fair amount to make but it is quite simple to do and Snoopy seems to enjoy having a dangling companion. 

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Well after a bit of a break I managed some time at the railway yesterday. The mountain railway viaduct has been fixed and a start made on modifying the road to curve under one of the viaduct arches as per Victoria Terrace in Llanberis. 

The viaduct is screwed to the baseboard rather than being fixed to the wall which was another option. This is because in the long term house plans my office and model railway room relocated from a bedroom into a downstairs office space so the railway needs to be built so it can be later moved. 

The curving wall shows how flexible an inflexible laminated length of cardboard actually is. The piece is one of the straight sections from when I inherited the railway. Gentle bending between thumbs over the course of about 20 minutes instilled a curve into the wall without causing it to crease. Once the wall has new capping stones and a road I think it will look the part.