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

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Much swearing

I will admit that soldering is not my strongest suit these days. However, it definitely wasn’t helped when I took the tip off my iron and discovered the element all clarted up. A quick polish and a new tip and it made all the difference.

Even so, the first time I tried I got the dreaded “beeeeep” from my multimeter set on resistance when I tested the two sides to see if I’d accidentally soldered the two sides together.

Some swearing later all was well.

I also took the opportunity to start putting primer on the body since the sun was out and it actually seemed like quite a nice day.


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On wheels

With the holes cut, I set about fixing the chassis in place and soldering the pick ups for the trailing bogie. Not my finest effort and I decided late on a night after a long day at work was not the time to be trying to solder the wires on to the chassis so I left that for the next time.

I also had a trial run of fitting the chassis to the body and looking at how to put the seats in. Finally I dug our various odds of plasticard to knock up some underframe detailing.

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Pink Panther

The next stage for the railcar has been to fit the bogies. The chassis I’m using is the Kato 11-105 “shorty” which, as the name suggests, is short, far too short in fact.

However it is a simple matter to pull the trailer bogie from the Kato chassis, leaving the motor bogie intact.

The plastic chassis for the railcar had the bogie positions marked out (the centres to line up with the road wheel arches) and drilled.

I printed a copy of the Kato chassis diagram which is readily available on the web, drawing in the bogie centre point. The drill was then run through this, then through the chassis, with a bit of UHU to stick the paper template onto the plastic.

I then had a guide to cut out the hole for the chassis block. I did this using my usual method of using a mill drill. I also cut holes each side of the trailer bogie centre point so as to be able to wire up the pick ups on the bogie.

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Following footsteps

For the construction of the railcar I wanted to use the method that Rob Waller of Bron Hebog uses for his carriages. The chassis, complete with interior is a push fit into the empty body shell.

I therefore needed a stonkingly solid piece of plastic for the chassis. For this I dug our a piece of thermoplastic used for sink splash backs left over from when I fitted a new sink in our bathroom (never throw anything out kids!! I cut this to an approximate size and then cut the corners at about 60 deg as the corners are actually quite difficult curves and it would help in getting the chassis in and out.

I wanted to fix blocks inside the body to stop the chassis being pushed in too far so having cut some from off cuts of the chassis, I blu-tacked then onto the chassis along with one of the seats from Boston Largs Works and a seated coach passenger from Bachmann.

He was there to make sure the chassis floor didn’t end up too high up. The position of him was irrelevant so don’t think that’s his final resting place! The blocks at the front will be used to help represent the driver’s desk and the side ones are in the doorways which will be very difficult to see in so size wasn’t an issue.

Again this showed the benefit of the total glue I mentioned in the last post. I pushed the chassis with blu-tacked bits into the body, lined it all up, used the fine needle point on the glue to get the glue only into the gap between the block and the body shell, then before it had a chance to run into the gap between the chassis and the body shell I blitzed it with the UV light setting it solid.

Then it was a simple matter to extract the chassis leaving the blocks cemented in place.

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A gripping read

Yes I told you so. Glue. Sticky stuff.

While perusing Kickstarter some months ago, having backed Pokit, a multimeter for your keyring which uses your smartphone for the screen and the analysis (clever!) I came across a “you may be interested in” and I was. The interest in question was a product called “Total glue”. I backed it too along with about a billion other people and it is here to use. And it is fantastic stuff.

Basically it is the glue that dentists use. It will cure in 60 seconds without external input but exposure to UV light will cute it in 5 seconds. It comes with a UV LED cap so you are all set for the job. It means you can hold a piece in place with one hand, shine the UV light on it, and job done.

This made doing the outside bits of the railcar an absolute doddle because, unlike superglue, you have plenty of time to position it, but then it goes off when you want it to not when it feels like it.

The first external part of the railcar was roofbars a bit like a Galloping goose has. These you may recognise as the tie bars I cut off the bottom of the Ashover coach sides.

Next I used a piece which I presume is something to do with the couplers or footsteps but having never made an Ashover coach i wouldn’t know. They are C shaped pieces and were a perfect size to be the end fiddles to the roof bars making it a luggage storage area.

I also fitted a footstep to each side of the doorway. Finally I fitted a big central headlight at each end as supplied by RT models.

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Progress, I kid you not!

Straight after my last post I managed to find some time to get on with the railcar, time now getting rather short.

The plastic Ashover sides were bonded into the railcar body and then the lower portion that protruded from the metal body was cut off with the exception of the doorways.

And here, finally is my idea. The wooden slat sides are now on the inside of the railcar forming the teak interior. The doors, being the only lower section seen from the outside are reversed to show the wood on the outside.

Next post I shall show the adding of external details with a short treatise on glue. Gripping stuff!


Rivet counters need not apply

I’ve not posted recently but then there’s been nothing to report.

However I thought I’d just show you this gem – my model railway, my rules and all that.

Setting my model railway to be between 1947 – 1949 allows me to model the locomotive exchange trials of 1948 which began on the 8th April that year.

However what I will be showing is totally fictitious – LNER P2 vs Hawksworth Pacific.

What may not be obvious to everyone is that when the exchange trials were put on, each company prepared their locos including repainting them. The SR and LNER turned out their locos with “British Railways” emblazoned on the tenders; the LMS a mixture of British Railways and LMS; with the LMS and LNER “British Railways” was in the early standard sans serif while the SR used the corporate sunshine yellow lettering.

The Great Western however turned out theirs in full GWR livery. 150 years of habit and tradition could not be turned off overnight.

There’s lots of pictures on the web depicting the different liveries and Ozzie Nock’s and Cecil J Allan’s books have plenty of detail too.

My P2 therefore has been retendered with one from a Hornby A1. The colour is the same btw, it’s the lighting that makes it look different. The NE dynamometer car did make it into Western territory in 1948 so that at least is prototypical!

I can hear the anguished cries of the rivet counters from here. I could not care less!