Taking stock

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One project that has been bubbling away at the back for a while is this LMS Diagram 1790 Period 2 Brake 3rd.
It started life as one of those bargain Dapol knocked-down kits that in my opinion offer some of the best kit-basher material around.
Modifications include replacement of the bogies with Bachmann version which were easily re-wheeled with EM sets.
Comet cast underframe parts replaced the old 1970s vintage mouldings, the sides have been drilled out to receive grab rails and the vent holes in the roof have been filled pending re-drilling so the torpedo vents can be mounted in the correct configuration.
Once painting has been completed and the interior suitably decorated, I intend to add the Shawplan glazing.
It’s a tribute to the excellence of the original Airfix tooling that this model still scrubs up well the better part of 40 years after introduction!

The Coo’s ither tail!

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Modelling has been a wee bit slow of late due to being off work on leave. The fact I’m not on shifts means I have more energy and coupled with the extraordinarily good July weather in these parts this results on my getting a lot of necessary jobs in and outside the house done that I’d normally feel a bit worn out and apathetic to do!
Nevertheless, last week I did get this model to more-or-less completion.
Another of the part-builds I acquired from my friend. I completed this Parkside ex-LMS, Fowler era brake, finished in unfitted early-mid 1950s er grey she will be a temporary stand by until the Stanier is ready.
The worst part of the whole job was making the handrails. I absolutely hate this job as however hard you try with measuring and bending the wire, there is invariably a discrepancy that means the rail is either slightly long or short sufficient to provide just enough visually jarring distortion in the rails and generating a generous amount of industrial language from this builder.
Nevertheless, I managed to survive the handrail phase in this one although some weird primer-related clumsiness on my part led to a hint of re-planking as viewed here.
It’s not too bad though, I hope you’ll agree! As standard with my builds this one has LMS Models buffers and EM wheels.

The Coo’s Tail

A sufficient amount of stock has been gathered for the first EM goods train and attention now focuses on the rear of the train. Since this first train has a specific purpose in mind, (hauled by an ex-CR Jumbo of which more in future instalments), it makes some sense to have an appropriate brake bringing up the rear. Enter the Stanier 20 ton brake.
The basis for this model is the old Airfix 20t Stanier which dates from 1977-8 which is about as long as I’ve been modelling railways!
Still, it’s a testimony to the quality of these models that they still have potential to become show stoppers.
In this instance, my model is fitted with Lanarkshire Models cast buffers and drawhooks. The same manufacturer’s underfloor ballast box is used to fill the very noticeable void underneath.
The moulded on handrails have already been removed and I’m in the process of drilling out holes to accept the new brass ones,. Finally, after basic painting, I intend to fit Shawplan glazing.

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One niggling shortcoming of this 1977 model is the representation of brake shoes and it’s difficult to remove them without causing damage elsewhere.

On the other hand, EM wheelsets drop in, unopposed.

More later concerning this van.

Really Useful Track Bits

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Wills have just introduced a selection of useful track parts for the 4mm modeller in the form of point rodding.
Included are rods and stools, cranks, compensators and down set drive joints. A facing point lock is also included.
If you are serious about the appearance of your track work you will certainly appreciate these kits.
SS89 is the basic kit and SS90 provides further lengths of rodding.
Such track-related goodies are almost enough to push me towards a micro layout just so I can go to town with the PWay details!

Tender Process

More work carried out on the tender to allow a satisfactory mating between the chassis and the main body. This involved removing a lot of material fore and aft to accommodate the frame ends.
The forward end is now attached by an 8BA screw and the rear is retained by a plastic lug which is attached to the reconstructed buffer beam.
I suspect more material will need to be removed from the side frames though as the axle ends are still a bit neat on them. Not a great deal to be done now until the wheels arrive. After that, brake gear and detail fittings.

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Dia. 1829; further.

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Construction, now completed, I can lay the model aside overnight to dry.
Tomorrow she can cross the workshop to the painting department.
In summary; a nice, satisfying build requiring just enough attention and experience to keep it interesting in a pleasant, relaxed way.
Everything I expect from a wagon kit in fact.
Finally, before anyone points it out, I spotted the slightly errant brake lever as I was typing this and corrected it!

Cambrian Diagram 1829 build.

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Today I’ve had a nice afternoon and evening tackling a Cambrian kit.
This is my first build to EM and depicts the LMS diagram 1829 12 ton steel van.
Not a difficult build by any means but a degree of previous experience helps with the kit. Whilst I’m not in a position to check the dimensional accuracy the part assembled model looks sufficiently close to the image I’m working from; taken by Don Rowland in 1962. Don’s photo is of a Metro-Cammell built van though the kit depicts a Gloucester-built example. I can’t honestly see any glaring differences other than the Met-Cam possibly having less riveting on the upper body’s outer sections. They may be just hiding, free of surface rust though.
The build has provided no dramas so far though it benefits from a wee bit of fettling here and there.
I’ve enhanced the build with Lanarkshire Models pewter buffers (B003 in this instance) and coupling hooks. Other than these the van currently bears no further enhancements beyond the Gibson wheels and bearings.
I’ve always fancied doing one of these vans because they seem to weather in an almost marine fashion.
You may see the finished example on Culreoch next year !