Wednesday, March 28, 2012

All squared away.

Today, the majority of things was finished off on the Earl's body was finished. The toolboxes, smoke boxes, domes and cab where glued on. I then proceeded to make those little 45 degree angles at the base of the cab.
They where made by mixing some Milliput and shaping it with a scalpel. It will be sanded smooth once it has set. The excess Milliput was put against the 'greedy boards' on the coal bunkers to put a bit of shape into the bunkers.
I then went on to trying to make some handrails. There are only two each side of the doors, these where made by cutting a staple's arms short, then gluing it into place into small 'indentations' made by turning a small drill the wrong way. I'm not going to try to make the handrails for the smoke box, it looks fine without them.
The chassis still needs its rods etc putting on. I'm just trying to find a 1/32 inch reamer for the pins! Then it needs to be tested, and finally painted where you can see it (inside of the cab).

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Earl of Merioneth / Irallt Meirionnydd

I've made some good progress on my scratch built / lightly kit bashed Earl. The chassis is the chassis you build from the Langley Double Fairlie kit with parts from the Bachmann GP50 chassis.
The tanks and carrier frame are made from 20 and 30 thou plasticard. The ends of the boiler barrels and the smoke boxes are made from aluminium bar turned on a 'pencil sharper' lathe. The domes are made from a M8 steel bolt, turned on the lathe. The only 'off the shelf' items i have used are the Langley white metal castings for the smoke box door, chimneys, toolboxes and cabs.

This is a photo of how it currently looks. I still need to attach the cab to the body, and i need to make those slopes each side of the cab. I am quite proud of this model, it isn't perfect, but I think it's a good result for my first time scratch building a locomotive. I am still unsure what to so with the livery, I think the real Earl of Merioneth looked stunning in the black livery it carried during it's running in period and first few weeks in service back in August 2007.
Whilst on the 'Double Fairlie' subject, I’d like to ask other modellers about the condition that Langley Models send out they're kits. Is the one/ones you've bought of good quality?
The kit that I bough, I wouldn't have said it was worth £63. The casting quality was, to be honest, quite poor. The amount of 'flash' on the kits was unbelievable, especially on the casting for the tanks/boiler, the new chassis block and the carrier frame.
I am now tempted in the future, to save up for a bit longer to buy a Backwoods Miniatures kit, which are of unbelievable quality, rather than buying the (in my opinion) overpriced and low quality kits from Langley.
Anybody guessed what a 'Fair-ratt' is yet?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Square

For a while now, I’ve wanted to scratch build a locomotive from plasticard. I was thinking of making a simple freelance tank engine at first, but I decided to dive in and have a go at making the Earl Of Merioneth or ‘The Square’, nicknamed after it received it’s ‘modern’ tanks in the 1970s. I think it’s a good engine to start off with and to have for two main reasons;
1) As its nickname suggests, it’s square! There are no radiuses on the tops of the tanks, much simpler for a beginner.
2) I’m going to need one sooner to later; as it’s one of the most used locomotives on the railway. So I might as well have a go at it.
3) I only know of one other model of the ‘Earl’ with its ‘70s tanks. I think it would keep some people interested.
The photo's where taken on my phone, that's why they are a bit blured.

Picture 1- Most of the components that will be used to make the engine.
Picture 2- The plasticard carrier frames compared to the Langley whitemetal frame.
Picture 3- Progress as of 22.00 on 20-03-2012

I got some measurements of the tanks by measuring the prototype engine a few weeks ago, and after a few minutes with a paper and pencil, made some 009 drawings for the tanks and cab.
I had previously bought a incomplete un-built Langley Fairlie kit off Ebay, and I was planning on modifying the body, but it turns out that it would be much simpler to just build an entire body from scratch. The only parts I will be using is the chassis, a modified Bachmann GP50, and I will possibly be using the ‘Ashpan’ which secures the body to chassis and other white metal castings such as the chimneys and toolboxes. The nameplates from the kit will also be used.
The ‘Boiler’ will be made from a piece of mild steel round bar; turned to the correct diameter, and then milled for the chassis to fit underneath. I’m planning on painting it Gloss Black, the colour that the Ffestiniog Paint new/overhauled engines whilst they are being ‘Run in’, but the colour is the last job on the list for now.
I am also thinking of building a Fair-ratt, which is a possible engine that the WHR will build out of the remains of 140 and other NGG16s. There are no definite plans yet, but they are a very curious and strange engine, which is the sort of thing I like. But, for all of you readers what is a ‘Fair-rrat’? Post your answers in the comments box underneath.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Some sort of an update...

I've never done this before, but I thought I’d post, about someone else’s layout. So, here we go...
The layout is a 009, fictitious Lynton and Barnstable extension called Cliffhanger, by John de Fressynet, who also built the well known (and well admired) County Gate and Bratton Flemming layouts.
All of John's work has an unbelievable amount of research behind it and detail in it. If you are not aware of his websites, there is a link on the left for Bratton Flemming, County Gate and Cliffhanger.
I believe that the layout Cliffhanger, would be one of the best, if not the best exhibition layouts, with County Gate close behind. Below is a picture he has put up on the 'News and Views' section of the layout's website, which makes the layout look spectacular, even without all of the scenic work done!
Now, back to Traeth Mawr!
Not much has been done to the layout since the last update, but a lot of thoughts have been going round my head. Firstly, I’ve managed to find another operator for the Warley show, Oliver. He is a Buffet Steward on the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways who has recently started in 009. He has kindly agreed to bring some of his own stock to run at Warley. Also, the forms for Warley have been sent. A update of my rolling stock and locomotives will be posted shortly, along with potential candidates for future purchases.