Penlowry

Chronicling the development of my 5-gauge 4mm scale model railway with a few off-topic insights thrown in for free


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The little grey cells

As I said in an earlier post, my modelling appears to have currently reached a temporary hiatus. There is little I can do about it. I have two sons who are hardly independent, a job that has gone into overdrive, and, as my previous but one post said, I am getting to grips with the new pump world.

One of my regular readers, who happens to write a blog about modelling that does happen, said to me recently, “You like to have several projects on the go at once don’t you?” He may well be right, but I think my blog is misleading because I haven’t anywhere near as many projects actually on the go as I make out. Many have reached the drawing board and are no further.

This doesn’t concern me greatly, because the day will come when the kids are busy doing homework, and when not doing homework, chasing girls, and I will get some time to build things. All I am doing now is the planning.

Although I don’t get much modelling time, what I do get are 10 minute breaks between jobs in the office, and a lunch break where I need to think about anything but High Speed Rail in Canada, buying trains for Mexico, looking at recently scrapped trains in Australia, and has the right team won the latest franchises in the North of England (to give an example based on this week just endeth).

These 10 minute breaks are ideal for research. So for the last couple of weeks I have been resurrecting an idea I’ve had for some time to build a 1988 built steam loco in 009, and the last couple of days in amongst the hectic world of modern day Colonial railways, examining GWR tenders, Hawksworth ones in particular, both for my Pacific project and also for something else. These dabbles in online research keep the creative juices flowing and ensure I don’t end up in the loony bin.

More on 1988 steam locomotives and Hawksworth tenders another time. I may also do a piece on Hawksworth himself. The more I look into his work, the more I’m saddened he didn’t get a chance to show what he was really capable of.

One of the results of this week’s research: Did you know that Charles Collett did an 8 wheel version of his standard 6 wheel 4000 gallon tender?  No I didn’t either. He only did one. I presume it was an experiment to see if you could get the same capacity on a wider route availability. Presumably it wasn’t worth the bother.

Anyway, here it is attached to a Hall.

Collett 8 wheel tender


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Further reading

Continuing the theme of weighty volumes, another one I’ve used to hold things down and flat is the Machinery’s Handbook. 

  
If you only ever have one engineering volume in your library, this is the one to have. My copy is the 1928 third edition. It covers pretty much everything, except perhaps how to get to the moon since they hadn’t achieved it back then (in fact if you think about it, the frontline fighter planes of developed countries were biplanes back then). 

It also is well presented with finger hole bookmarks and coloured edge paper.   

 
It also is weighty and hold things flat. What a book! 


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Shameless

Construction of the Metcalfe goods shed continues apace. I’ve shown a few photos here of construction showing again the sheer variety of clips and clamps I’ve built up over the years that make model making easier. 

  
This photo also shows my chosen glue. Metcalfe say to use UHU clear but I’ve always used Copydex because it is great for getting you out of trouble. Doesn’t come out of trousers though so be warned it can get you into trouble too. 

  
Apart from the mini sash clamps seen here I want to take the time to shamelessly plug a friend’s business. 

I first met Paul when I was learning to fire Blanche on the Ffestiniog. It was my first day on a single engine (instead of a double) and I was hopeless. My fireman wasn’t Top Shed either and Paul said we proved that two half wits don’t make a full one. We’ve pretty much been friends ever since and even more so once I could fire locomotives for him because then we could talk about anything but the loco we wee on because we both knew what each of us, what each other, and what the loco was doing. 

I then moved to Australia joining the same engineering company Paul worked for which meant we worked on the same project in Wellington NZ, and volunteered together for Mainline Steam while there. 

Paul now runs EDM Models as a full time job, which can be found at ngtrains.com. 

Amongst everything not useful to me because the scale’s wrong, Paul does sell some very useful tools. An imaginary shopping spree on his website normally costs me the best part of several hundred pounds. One tool that I’d definitely recommend is the corner clamps seen in these photos. They just make life easy. Worth the money to avoid the pain. Trust me. They’re at the bottom of this page. Get them. 

  


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Bulldog

No, I don’t mean the great British variety. And no, I don’t mean the Churchward variety either, although The Elder has a whitemetal Keyser one tucked away somewhere that he built before deciding to move onto the 7.25″ gauge variety of GWR locomotives.

I mean, clips. If you do railway modelling you will know there is no such thing as too many. I used to wonder if there was. But there isn’t. Whenever I see those “fun” stationery shelves in shops, I always have a qucik look to see if they have any mini bulldog clips, or pegs, or other clamping device, particularly if it is just after Christmas or just after the schools have gone back and they’ve all been shoved onto the Clearance shelves.

I thought I’d share this photo with you to demonstrate what I mean. I usually do a couple of bits of a Metcalfe kit in parallel so that I keep up a steady flow. If I had such a thing as a whole day free, it would be quite easy to complete a Metcalfe kit in a day. But I don’t, but I still want to maximise my time. However, it was only when doing these bits of the goods shed kit I realised I really don’t have enough bulldog clips. Still. I used all the ones you see in this photo to hold the laminations together to form the wall that has been residing under Modern Railway Working, which left me insufficient to do the other wall.

Maybe I’ll just have to add my wants to my Christmas stocking list. We’re in October aren’t we, so Christmas IS just round the corner according the shops…

 

Bulldog clips


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Modern railway working


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Newcastle Brown

I’ve got a new favourite. As regular listeners will know I like an oddity. Something off the norm for me is just really interesting. I think it is the designer in me, I like to see the results of other engineers experimenting. Sometimes there are successes, and sometimes there are failures. But if you don’t try, you/’ll never know. My list of “one day in the future” models includes (for example) the LNER streamlined B17/5s. They only did two of them and I think they were probably a pig to maintain, but it was an experiment for publicity – something the modern railways can forget about sometimes.

Gresley B17/5 East Anglian

Gresley B17/5 East Anglian

The list also includes the LNER C7 with booster tender. Booster tenders never seem to have survived much wherever they were tried but I love the experimentation that went into them

Gresley C7 with booster tender

Gresley C7 with booster tender

My new favourite class is the Consett long boiler tanks. There is something about the way they look, almost narrow gauge in appearance. I also like the ingenuity that went into solving a particular problem. Again, it was an experiment, partially successful, partially not. At high speeds the long boilers, with their firebox behind the back axle made them waggle their arse – a bit like a salsa dancer waggling their hips as they walk. However, the tractive effort packaged into a small locomotive with small wheelbase made them ideal for hauling heavy loads on branchlines with tight curves and steep gradients. So that is what they were used for. Evolved over time, the details of the design changed although the concept remained the same. One remains, preserved by the North Tyneside Steam Railway Association. It has just been returned to steam and looks fantastic. Railway Bylines has just done an article on them in the latest issue (Vol 20, Issue 4, March 2015). Worth a read.

(c) North Tyneside Steam Railway Association

(c) North Tyneside Steam Railway Association