Hot Rodding on a Wednesday!

Sheet 2 of the J27 concluded tonight with the assembly and fitting of the coupling rods. The only additional tools beyond the soldering irons were a cocktail stick and wooden clothes peg, used to align and clamp each laminated rod section whilst assembling. My method is to put the cocktail stick through the boss end of both sections to be joined. I then apply Powerflow flux to the inner faces, one them up and clamp with the peg. Once aligned correctly I apply the solder.
In the case of these rods it was very easy indeed and the rods were then placed on the loco and a rolling test done on the work board. No trace of tightness in the movement whatsoever. Next week I will do a proper test under power. I also took the opportunity to fit the rods to the J39 too. In this case, with an older, less advanced etch, the job took longer and more care was required but the end result appears successful.
I’ll get both locos tested next week but there’s a wee NBR tank loco belonging to somebody else that needs a bit more attention meantime!



Inevitably at the end of a stage like this, there comes the temptation to play around and get an idea what the finished item is going to look like.
In both cases, some clearance work is going to be required internally but this is unavoidable when you work in wider gauges than the 00 for which these kits were designed.

Still, it’s a wee indulgence that gees you on to the finish of the project.



I also recall that I have a couple of wee Glesga tramcars to sort out for another friend too, so I’d best put these aside for a bit!


Christmas Comes Early

Fellow Southern Scotland modeller, Stuart Porteous outlines his plans for creating another tranche of rolling stock. A creative and resourceful modeller, Stuart has produced some unique and lovely stuff. I recommend you follow his blog if rural Scottish railways and esoteric rolling stock flick your switch.


Well not really, but it’s more acceptable title than “D’you wanna see my etchings ?” which was my first idea ! This lot dropped on the mat this week, having learnt that 247 was discontinuing carriage sides I helped Gary’s stock clearance along a little and ordered this lot:  photo DSCF70512_zpsb2fbcb52.jpg I sent some more of my pocket money in Bill Bedford’s direction too, there’s one of his Porthole BSKs there along with an LMS horsebox. The latter of course proves one of the Universal Laws of Railway Modelling, namely that an RTR version will be announced shortly after you’ve bought/built the kit. This lot, together with a couple of sets of Comet sides from the stockpile and a large pile of Airfix coaches, will form next year’s carriage building programme. The end result should hopefully be two complete prototypical sets for Newton Stewart formed BSK/CK/BSK and BSK/CK/BSK/SK along with a couple…

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Further on down the tracks now

While I took the evening off tonight, I continued with sheet 2 of the J27 instructions the previous evening, attaching finer details like the leaf springs and guard irons. Pete devised a rather nice method of mounting these; corresponding holes in the frames and irons. A piece of .45 wire was inserted through each iron, the frames and lastly the opposite iron.
Three holes in total provide solid location whilst the irons are soldered in place. When soldering was
Complete, the wire between the frames was cut and dressed down.
After that I attached the wheels and gave the loco a n





Ten reasons why reducing automobile dependency makes sense

Wanted to re-blog this article as it makes so much good sense.
When my own car gives up the ghost I won’t be able to afford a replacement now but it would be nice if there were realistic alternatives for those in the more rural parts of these islands. Westminster transport policy since the 1950s put paid to that though there is a glimmer of light to the north…


Like many places throughout the world, Australian cities’ transport systems are dominated by the private car. The car has offered unprecedented flexibility and reach in our personal mobility and dominated the form and lifestyles in cities since the mid 20th century. They can be convenient and versatile and fast, and now account for about 90 per cent of the total urban passenger movements (up from around 40 per cent in the late 1940s). In Australia there are about 17m cars. Worldwide, we are up there in terms of cars per capita at around 7 cars for every 10 people.

But over the last two decades or so, we have heard increasing calls for reducing automobile dependency. Like here, and here!

I’m on board with this – it seems to me that a more balanced transport system is the key to the future livability, economic success and social inclusiveness…

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Parallel Lines

Since it was the weekend, I’ve taken a little time out from the R Class to advance a project that’s been waiting in the wings a long time. The second kit I built after entering the builders’ world properly in 2009 was an Alexander Models J27 0-6-0. I do have a soft spot for the northern end of the NE region, particularly in the DeathSteam* era and as these machines were in right at the end, they occupy as special place in my affections. It’s a matter of record that it was intended for the NE Region to operate the last of these machines into 1968 but changing and declining traffic patterns meant that there was sufficient diesel traction to finish the job by September 1967; pretty much a year ahead of schedule.
I had originally sold this model on a couple of years back but an original intention to re-do the chassis for the new owner stalled (sorry Tom!) and I eventually bought the model back. As it transpired I’m glad I did because I really liked the loco but for one thing; the original chassis was pretty underweight and the frame too appeared to stop short of the footplate in a visually jarring manner.
Having since converted to EM, I took this opportunity to use the 52F Models chassis underneath.
Tonight I worked through sheet one, assembling the gearbox, setting up the frames and attaching the footplate support brackets. I even managed to install the hornblocks without trouble.
It’s not a bad days’ work at all and a test fit to the loco hinted at the great aesthetic improvement this chassis makes to the model.
I’m a big fan of Pete’s kits and the ease with which this one is going together bodes well, both for the wee stash of NB kits I’ve got waiting and for any future Caley-inspired kits.
If this is the future of my kit building then it’s so bright I gotta wear shades! 😊




*DeathSteam – a ‘SteamPunk’-esque post-modern generic term for the 1965-8 later BR transition era where steam locos began to look really rough and unkempt.
Ian Pritchard is credited with coining the phrase in one of his less sober moments…

London Road Models NBR ‘R’ Class

I’ve been asked by a friend to build one of these kits.
In truth, this is the first wholly etched kit I’ve had the bottle to tackle but so far, not too bad.
The loco kit is an old Ian Rice design from the late 1980s and this is reflected in the nature of it.
That said, it’s not been too difficult this far though tonight I’ve had fun fitting the fiddlier parts of the footplate.
That malt in the background was needed by the end! 😄



Anyway, that’s the footplate complete and the rest of the bodywork will follow in due course.
I think I need to have a long hard look at my soldering techniques though; messy doesn’t come near!

I’ve also made a start on the chassis, attaching spacers to each frame. I’m taking this part in baby steps though as the chassis is designed for compensation (suspension of sorts for my non-modelling readers!)
This is something else I’ve never tried before so laxative will be redundant round here for a bit!
Another steep learning curve but hopefully one rewarded with more success than Jackie Baillie’s elocution teacher. 😉