A Quick One

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There’s currently a pause with the Pickersgill (which is actually a 113 Class as opposed to a 72 Class – more on this later) as I wait for an appropriate gearbox. Clearances inside the old clunker mean I have to use a smaller motor with a 1.5 mm shaft rather than the type I had intended.
Whilst I wait then I have decided to crack on with another stalled job, an ex – North Eastern J27 0-6-0 which I had been soft-pedalling through the winter. The model had a few problems which I gradually worked through today. Due to clearances (again!) it was only possible to attach wiper pick-ups to the leading two driving wheels. I also changed these from nickel silver to phosphor-bronze after some assistance from fellow Scalefour member, David Thorpe who provided some PB wire.
I elected to compensate for the loss of puck-up on the rear pIr of drivers by creating pick up on the outer four wheels of the tender which is now permanently connected.
I think I managed a pretty neat arrangement for the tender which I show quite unashamedly below.

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Fine tuning and a proper test run are really needed, but the arrangement has worked and I can now think about starting to make the rejuvenated model look good.

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Who’s Next?

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OK, I know I said I’d tell you last night, but I was cream crackered so I had an early night!
Anyway, some of my longer-suffering readers might remember the Pickersgill 72 Class last seen two years ago about to don a Hornby T9 chassis on its nether regions.
Just after that particular project commenced I decided to switch to EM. Attempts to adapt the chassis went slightly ‘Pete Tong’ and the model took fright, hiding in its box.
Until yesterday…
These locos, among the most elegant to emerge from the Scottish school of design, are very modellable and I couldn’t bear to have the poor thing languish any longer. The kit from which the model was built dated from the 1970s and I’ve no doubt it was dimensionally compromised to meet the limitations of the casting technology so since there is no proper etched chassis available I’ve used the generic GEM 4-4-0 chassis.
I believe this puts the coupled wheelbase out slightly but it doesn’t seem too noticeable. All I want at this point is a plausible representation of the type until such a day as Pete Stanger delivers a Pickersgill to the same level of epic loveliness as his forthcoming NB Scott kit! (Unsubtle hint klaxon)
In the meantime, some serious bodging is underway to adapt the body and chassis to each other.
So far so good.
Expect a further report later today!

Mr Mojo Rising

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While I’m off and in the process of regaining my fitness, I’m putting the time to good use at the bench and making the most of the creative buzz I’m getting right now.

The other night, following a crack with Culreoch’s Jamie, I decided I needed to bring some structure to my loco building projects without which I might hop from one to the other without making significant progress in any of them.
A lot of the work concerns modifications/re-gauging of RTR models and I got the list to 18 before getting anywhere near cracking open any of the kits in the pile!
That 18 isn’t an exhaustive list either, but it’s a start so I’m getting on with it, concentrating on ‘quick wins’ first.
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The first two to emerge then are long time drawer resident D8113, an English Electric Type 1 as Class 20s were known 50 years ago. This Bachmann model had the wheels pulled out to EM spacing, though I suspect a wee bit of fine tuning may be required. In addition, she had Shawplan etched discs and wipers applied along with LMS cast buffers and Shawplan air pipes on the buffer beam. It’s quite significant, the improvement the these cast buffers make to RTR models and I suspect Dave has struck gold with this new product line.
The other model was the J39 which had been a stalled project from the winter.
However the body and chassis are now, properly mounted and I’ve added some rudimentary fittings in the cab area to bring it more to life. While the loco still needs a crew and ideally a steam heat pipe on the buffer beam, it looks much more complete and ready for service.
I’d predicted having these two completed by the end of the week but I’m already onto another project and I’ll tell you about it tonight!

The Nostalgia Builds.

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Back in 1980 as a 16-year old who had just left School, I went on holiday for the penultimate time with my parents. The destination, as had become habitual, was Berwick; long a favourite of ours and a place I still adore. I’m convalescing from surgery at the moment but once I’m match fit I’ll be making another visit!
Back to 1980 though and I remember a couple of other things; I’d taken a couple of the then recently re-released Airfix rolling stock kits with me to amuse myself on those days when the haar rolled in, one of which was the 12t meat van; now known to me with the addition of some anorak-ness as the diagram 1/250 type. Another thing I remember from that holiday was taking a little radio with an earpiece with me and listening to John Peel whilst the folks were watching the telly!

I’d also managed to acquire a tape recording of Orchestral Maneovres in the Dark’s eponymous first album and it subsequently served as a kind of soundtrack to those two weeks for the daytime at least; at night my ears were treated to the sound of various Napier, English Electric and Sulzer powerplants dragging various combinations of rolling stock along the ECML, only a couple of hundred yards from the caravan which directly overlooked the action. This was also the first year I truly became aware of the railway systems of the Scottish Borders and Northumberland as I made a couple of friends during the holiday, resulting in a visit to the old station at Norham. Here I discovered the fascinating short trains that connected the main line at Tweedmouth and Berwick with the Waverley Route at St Boswells via Kelso. In their last years these trains were hauled by BR Standard Class 2 2-6-0 machines. This was little more than 15 years before my visit though that seemed a long time back then! Today, with the advent of the new Judith Edge etches it’s finally possible for me to create this class of locomotive using Bachmann’s Ivatt 2MT as the starting platform.
That then what I intend to do and I’ll cover the project in following posts.

Meantime however, back to the Meat Van.
One of the reasons I retained a soft spot for these vehicles is the fact that they were initially turned out in passenger stock crimson livery as opposed to the standard red oxide you’d expect a goods vehicle to be turned out in circa 1952. This implies the ability for the vans to be attached to passenger trains. I therefore thought one of these vans would be useful as tail traffic on a local passenger train for Culreoch and any project of my own that subsequently materialises.

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I have made some modifications to the kit, most notably by adding Parkside doors to the body and replacing the V hangers for the brake gear. I should really have done the same for the 4-shoe brake gear but the fact is that it doesn’t interfere with the running of the wheelsets, even to EM as here and will largely hide in the shadows so I’m accepting a bit of compromise here. Additionally I’ve fitted Lanarkshire Model Supplies buffers and drawhooks with instanter couplings fitted. I’ll attach the brake levers and vac cylinder today before the van heads to the paint shop.
Kinda brought back memories of a happy moment in my history when I was working on this van. There could only have been one soundtrack to activities in the kennel yesterday afternoon…