Friday, May 27, 2016

Friday Night Update – 27 May 2016

Next weekend is one of the highlights of my modelling year – the annual trip up the Mountain (well hill if you are Swiss or live anywhere near a European mountain range but for around here, it’s a mountain) to Toowoomba and the Toowoomba Model Railroad Club’s annual Exhibition.

In past years, I’ve been either demonstrating modelling techniques on the British Railway Modellers of Australia stand or I’ve been with my layout, St Alban’s Priory with the other members of our little gang operating one of the larger British N set ups around down here (at least that’s our claim based on what we’ve been told!).

This year a different approach has been made owing to changing circumstances.  To start with, two of the three musketeers won’t be going – one is spending time out in western Queensland doing the Three Corners (look at a map of Queensland and you’ll see where they are and how they get their name) and the other leaves a couple of days before for 2 months of fun and frivolity in the South Australian Outback with his employer.  Lucky Ben!  The other complication was I had promised Hollie we would go back this year after her debut last year shunting Sturminister Newton for a day and a half.

So with limited numbers and a keen sidekick, I’m going up as the assistant on Hollie Wharf. 

Now regular readers of this blog will have seen the post I made about Inspiring Modelling.  Ken, as I think I’ve mentioned, had a clean out under Management instructions and offered me the shunting puzzle.  Hollie has shown a lot of interest in operating it and we have done some minor detailing bits and pieces on it – not as many as we’d planned but that’s models for you!

2016-03-06 Hollie Wharf 002

First up to set the scene, Hollie testing out the operation of a 4F.  We would prefer to run 0-6-0Ts but they tend to be a bit temperamental over a pair of the points so the tender loco is a better option.  For safety’s sake, we are taking a J39, an Ivatt 2-6-0 and a class 24 to Toowoomba.  A Farish 04 with side plates and cow catchers fitted (from Etched Pixels) is going too but may be limited in its operation.

All the stock is Peco chassis.  I think there may be a Farish body on one but essentially you use the cards you see in front of Hollie to form up trains (or break them up) similar to the Inglenook concept.

A previous post has pictures of the bollards I drew up with Autodesk Inventor and then printed with my Aldi printer.  These have since been painted but no photos I’m afraid.

To fill in the large area of roadway to the right of Hollie we decided some kind of memorial would be a good idea.  Back to Autodesk and about 15 mins later I’d drawn up and sent to print the design below:

2016-05-14 Hollie Wharf 0012016-05-14 Hollie Wharf 002

It didn’t really work out there on its own so I designed a traffic island for it to sit on, allowing for cars to park and pass around it.  Obviously it needs painting – currently not really sure of the best colour but that is tomorrows problem.

2016-05-15 Hollie Wharf 001

We also hope to have a small vessel dockside next weekend. 

If you are coming to Toowoomba, please stop by B7 and introduce yourself.  You can even have a go at shunting the Wharf.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Beer Vans - Part 1

British Railways – as many readers will know – was obliged to carry anything which someone brought in for transportation.  Well, maybe not “everything” but pretty well anything you can think of, the goods department had to come up with a solution for.  Similarly, the preceding railways – the Big 4 and prior to that, the pre-grouping Companies – had to carry everything too.  This service was especially vital before the development of road transportation with lorries and such.
One of the more interesting (at least for me) traffics was the movement of beer from the big brewing houses to various locations around the country.  The interest was first fostered by seeing a picture on the back of one of Essery’s volumes on LMS Wagons showing a picture of an LMS Beer Van.  Further research showed that the LNWR had built specific vans for Beer traffic from as early as 1866 and had, according to the notes in LNWR Wagons Volume 2, 270 examples by the start of World War 1.
Now being interested in such a vehicle is one thing but having reason to operate one is another.  However, when in doubt, apply Rule 1 and go for it.  So when we were planning the First Australasian Gathering of 2mm Scale Association Members in 2014 and the idea of a souvenir wagon was put forward the LMS D1817 was suggested. Consultation with people in the UK suggested that Vans weren’t especially interesting and it was suggested that we do something else – so we did the tar wagon which was written up in the February-March 2016 Magazine (don’t blame the Editors for the delay...). The second Gathering in 2015 approached fast and with no other inspiration we returned to the Beer Van and it was produced.
2016-05-06 Beer Vans 003
With my developing CAD skills and armed with LNWR Wagons Volume 2, I drew up the LNWR D15 version so I could have both.
2016-05-06 Beer Vans 001
This print was adequate although there were some significant issues around how I fitted the roof, and the thickness of the bottom two planks.  I was ready to do some work on the redesign when it was announced in the December-January Magazine that the opportunity to get some etched D15s was available. So I held off and purchased two (as mentioned in an Update a couple of weeks ago).  I have since had another look at the drawings and photos in LNWR Wagons Vol 2 and decided that the roof on both my original (based on the Gladiator Models 7mm one) and possibly David E's etch are wrong.  The prototype vans, it turns on out on actually reading the accompanying notes to the drawings and photos in the book, had a wooden roof covered in canvas.  This is born out by the pictures, especially one of p127 of the aforementioned book for those who have a copy.  So I think I need to remove the ribs from my drawing, and possibly from the etches too.
2016-05-06 Beer Vans 002
I have also learnt that British Railways converted some Meat Vans into Beer Vans.
Finally – Rule 1 doesn’t actually have to apply it turns out. Beer was supplied by rail to St Alban’s Abbey for delivery to the local Pubs – and I would imagine, as does my source, that it came in... Beer Vans! So having a few in various liveries to match time periods is kosher after all.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

St Alban’s Abbey Goods Shed – Part 1

I developed an interest in St Alban’s Abbey LNWR station back in 1998 when a mate and I first started kicking the ideas around about an exhibition layout.  Whilst my current incarnation is a “based on” rather than an accurate model, I have long harboured the desire to build a more accurate model, using the correct buildings, track plan and rolling stock.  I have had plans for the station building for some years but have never managed to get around to building it.  A friend built a model of the good shed for me back when we first exhibited the layout but it was a bit over scale and built from fairly thick card so wasn’t really suitable.  Additionally, whilst it was built in brick (well brick paper) – which in itself was outside normal LNWR practice of wooden sheds – the colour chosen was red, where as I have since learned the buildings at St Alban’s were built out of a yellow shade.
Fast forward to 2014 and I have become a Tech Drawing teacher with access to a CAD program and my thoughts turned to drawing the building from the plans I had and getting it printed.  Whilst this was going on, I obtained a copy of LNWR Portrayed by Jack Nelson and wonders of wonders, it had the plans of the St Alban’s Abbey Good Shed in it.  I assume Rodger had a copy of the same book back in the late 90s – can’t ask him, he returned to the UK some years ago and we lost touch.  Anyway, the idea of printing a building continued and I drew up the Goods Shed and uploaded the file to Shapeways to see what it would cost – and I wasn’t impressed!  Allowing for the various “free postage” deals Shapeways offers from time to time it still wasn’t a price I considered worth paying so there it stayed.
We got a printer at work last year and I looked into it again – but decided that 9 hours of printing was going to be a bit hard to hide from the power that be and in any case, I wasn’t too impressed with the quality of prints.  As it happens, I have learnt how to drive that particular printer better since and had a rethink on how I was going to finish the building but even so, the length of the print time for a private venture wasn’t going to endear me to anyone.
As I mentioned in my Update in April, I purchased a printer from one of the local Aldi stores when they were selling them in February.  A few test prints later, and I was ready to try producing the Goods Shed.

The first print was of the square base.  In fact, I printed this upside down as I had learnt that doing it the other way was likely to cause issues with the door ways – the printers don’t like trying to print over thin air. 

clip_image002By printing it upside down the door ways were fairly clean and only require a little bit of cleaning up with knife, file and sand paper.  (LNWR D88 from the 2mm Scale Association in the railway door on the office side – office not yet printed at this point.)

The next print was the office on the buffer stop side of the Shed.  This was printed correct way up as the angles for the roof needed to be included.  I decided to print the steps at this stage because I thought it would be easier to draw it than file a block to fit.  The office window was included as I was interested to see how the arch would go – and it went much better than I expected to be honest.  I suspect the stepping process (I print at 0.08mm and so each layer can build on the next so long as it isn’t too shallow an angle) worked ok where as trying to do 90° wouldn’t work.  I glued the office bit to the main bit with super glue.  I print with PLA plastic (that’s what came with the printer – other options are available, one which apparently will respond to plastic weld) and my normal glues wouldn’t touch it.

Having done so well with the original prints, I next drew up the gable ends and printed them.  I had tinkered with the settings on these and the result was as seen above.  On investigation I had made the top layer too thin – as mentioned, I print a 0.08 layer and tried printing only a couple of layers for the final layer and they sagged into the fill.  Changing the setting to make a 0.4mm thick layer meant it was much better the second time.  The gables were likewise fitted with super glue.

Lastly I drew up and printed the interior platform.  I again drew the two sets of stairs and left a gap around the whole to allow for interior decorating.

The next step involved sorting a roof and then dealing with the blue.  The roof was done with a couple of sheets of 0.5 plasticard and the bricks were sourced from Scalescenes (their London Brick option for the Scratch Builders Yard).  As my wife is into paper crafts and scrapbooking, she has a large range of suitable tools for working with paper so one evening while she was out I availed myself of them.  She also has a collection of inks for stamping designs and one of them was a good match for blending in the cut edges.  The slate roof came from Shapeways too.  D15 Shapeways print lurking in the doorway this time.

Lighting on the Shed was principally supplied by two massive sky lights as fars and the drawings and indistinct pictures show.  So I drew where they were to go on the roof then cut out the rectangle with a slitting disc in my trusty Dremel.  A piece of OHT was slipped under the tile paper and then various sizes of plastic strip were used to put the framing on.

Annoyingly leaking plastic weld discoloured the print – I hadn’t sealed it yet and paid the price however I am not sure that I could have glued it all had I sprayed clear varnish over it all.  In the end I glued a second sheet of tile paper over it and this had the unexpected bonus of helping to blend the framing in.

After both sides were done, I painted the bars grey.  There is still some work to do but overall it looks pretty good.

I noticed after I took this that I need to get the blending ink out again – not sure how I missed that!!

The corner has been reglued with PVA – using a UHU glue stick clearly wasn’t a good idea as this wasn’t the only bit which lifted.  It is also obvious that I haven’t done the inside walls yet.  They are going to end up painted bricks.
So pretty pleased with progress.  I still have to put the boards on the gable ends, fit gutters and down pipes, sort out the stairs, door and window and then weather it all.  While there are those two big sky lights and I am therefore going to have to detail the interior more than I had originally thought, I don’t imagine they were cleaned that regularly!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

South East Queensland Area Group Meeting – 14 May 2016

I thought I should get back into providing a monthly update on what we get up to.

Only a small turn up this month owing to people being on holidays or ill.  Nevertheless the meeting was successful with all attendees getting something done.  Your loyal correspondent was slack and didn’t take photos – sorry.

Hollie (our youngest member) painted the 3D printed bollards for the shunting puzzle dock which was mentioned in Post 200 and is now mine with Ken having had a clean out of his modelling area late last year.  We also discussed other scenic details and there has been some progress on that front since yesterday’s meeting.

David had a lesson on using the puzzle (named Hollie Wharf for its exhibition debut at Toowoomba on the 4/5 June – stop and say hi if you come.  We will even let you have a play) as he has volunteered to be the third operator over the weekend.  Having done that, we discussed modifications to the N6.5 Turntable pictured at the end of April in the update and designing an engine shed to go with it.  David then cracked on putting together some Easitrac for the last siding on Toshalt.

Ben brought over his UFO box and continued working his way through the various things in it.  Some mutterings about chassis were heard – I didn’t really notice what he was doing as I was trying not to burn my fingers doing some minor repairs to 4 of my etches which had things either missing or loose.

Our next meeting will see us put together a shopping list for me to take to the UK – departure in four weeks!  Hopefully there will be a big turn out to the Supermeet at Tutbury so I can put faces to names.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

LNWR D33 Covered Goods Van

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I recieved a number of these etches as part of the organised run in March.  The D33 was, until the building of the D88 (at least as I understand it) the most numerous of the LNWR’s goods vans and some lasted well into the 1920s and even the 1930s from an original construction date of 1893-1904.  Since I have hopes of a layout spanning the period 1918-1958 (well the means to ring the changing scene at least) some of these were a must and so 6 came down to me.

2016-05-01 D33 001

This is what you get out of the packet.  Now I didn’t get any instructions – or if I did, they came via email and I didn’t notice.  Certainly there was nothing in the packet but having built more than a few vans, and being armed with LNWR Wagons Volume 2, I set to building the first.

I started with the sides.  The picture below shows the various bits for the side with the large door (which has the roof door above it) with the etches for the small offside door contained there in.  Threw me for a bit as I thought it was the door to fit the space and it didn’t.  Quick check of the bits left on the etch sorted it out and progress continued.  I don’t use the locating bits as I find it difficult to release the bits I want from the waste so I cut everything out, clean up unwanted tabs and then carefully solder it all together, usually without incident but sometimes I need to unsolder and reposition – this can often result in burnt fingers as the job heats up with the to and fro.

2016-05-01 D33 0022016-05-01 D33 0032016-05-01 D33 004

Sides all done.  Next was to either fit the ends or look at the roof door bits.  I actually fitted the ends on the wagon but cleverly didn’t take a picture of this step (and I have now mostly built a second and still didn’t take photos!).  Straight forward allowing for the fact that the back two layers of the sides sit behind the ends and the front sits on the side. 

2016-05-08 D33 001

The roof door goes together in a rather neat and ingenious way.  Rather than trying to solder bits and pieces together as part of the roof as such, this frame is made up for the roof door and drops into locating holes on the inside of the sides.  The bits in the middle are for detailing and packing out for the chassis so they need to be removed before starting.  Likewise, I am not sure what the thin bits etched on the sides over the doors are for so I removed them.  Goes together ok so I assume they aren’t strictly needed and I couldn’t find any reason for them on the plans either.  If I am wrong, I am sure a Reader will Write.

2016-05-08 D33 002

All the bits cleaned up and ready to go.  I have found from experience the two thin bits are useful to make sure the non-door part of the roof fits in neatly.

2016-05-08 D33 003

All put together.  The thick piece with the half etch one it fits on the inside.  The half etch bit faces out – ie into the space – and helps to line the roof door up.  The medium bit goes on the outside and supports the roof pieces which cover the end sections of the van and then the two thin bits go on the inside as packing.

2016-05-08 D33 004

All done – I should have photographed this with something for scale purposes but the part measures 14mm x 15mm in real life.

2016-05-01 D33 005

It goes in here – I did this on the first one and made the box up on the second.  There are spacers which are supposed to go at the bottom, probably with captive nuts on them, to screw the chassis on to, but I didn’t fit them as I found I hadn’t quite lined everything up as well as I thought on the first one, and having done a better job on the second, they fell out at one point when I was soldering something else so I left them.

2016-05-01 D33 0062016-05-01 D33 007

So all ready for the roof pieces to be fitted.

2016-05-02 D33 001

The end pieces didn’t go on as neatly as I think they were designed to.  I had to fettle them a bit – not sure if it is the build (likely) or the tolerances were ok on the CAD but didn’t translate on the final etch the way it was imagined (possible). 

2016-05-08 D33 006

The chassis went together with no hiccups.  I packed it out with some spare etched buffer beams from other builds and filed them back, then drilled out for the buffers.  I have, since taking this, found the missing buffers and these have been fitted.  I chose to fit the single sided one shoe brake with a view to decaling this one as per the picture on page 12 of LNWR Wagons Vol 2.  With 6, I figure I can do most of the pictures including the LMS one a couple of pages later.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Friday Night Update – 6 May 2016

I was part of the group of members of the 2mm Scale Association who signed up for a batch of LNWR etches, designed by David Eveleigh, to be produced late in 2015.  Fast forward a few months and though the good offices of another member (cheers David V) a significant number headed this way. 

The full sheet produced three D33 Covered Vans, a pair of D15 Beer Vans, a D43 Explosives Van, a set of D13 Bolsters, a D26 Prize Cattle Wagon, a D436 Horsebox, a D445 CCT, a pair of D16 and a pair of D17B brake vans, some spare chassis and bits and bobs.  I opted for a second D436 and 3 more D33s as part of my purchase, while other members of the LAG availed themselves of the offer and added some D33s and D26s to their gloat boxes.  (If Neb updates his blog… and if David H gets one started… you can see how they get on.  No pressure though fellas).

I have been working my way through doing various builds – and taking pictures of same to write up for the Magazine chiefly but also for here.  To date I have done most of my D26, both the D15s, one of the D33s and started on the D43.

2016-04-30 D15 001

Three D15s – my Shapeways print is in Grey primer and having built the two etched ones, I have revised it and uploaded the revision to my Shapeways Shop here.

2016-04-28 D26 012

The D26.  Since the picture was taken I have fitted the chassis to the body (or the other way around!) and done some of the brake gear (like put the hand brakes one).  Still have to sort the chimney over the grooms compartment.  Destined to be in LNWR Quick Brown (which most sources suggest was the coach plum with less varnish over it).

2016-05-02 D33 001

The first D33.  Since the picture, the chassis has been built and fitted.  Out of buffers again so progress stalled until I find the packet I am sure I have somewhere…