Sunday, September 30, 2012

Today's progress

Today, the layout is now 90% wired up and operable. It only requires the lights etc to be connected then the fiddle yard to be sorted.
A good portion of time was spent building Parkside Dundas FR bogies to fit under the carriages. (see picture attached) An additional 6 where made, only another 14 to go!! I've also built a Parkside Dundas 4 wheel Hudson Steel bodied wagon,kit a Carriage 10 / Van 2 kit and FR style 3rd compartment bogie waggon.
As for the Earl, I'm getting more and more frustrated with the chassis. The poor quality of the whitemetal castings mean that it teeters on two wheel sets, which means it will wobble whilst moving and slip with minimal load, I need to find a solution, quick!
By the way things are going, I'll only have a ALCo, Prince, Cricieth Castle and Taliesin working at Warely with Oliver Bennett's Welsh Pony. The Earl will most likely parked outside works! A shame really...

Saturday, September 29, 2012


Here she is, the Earl of Merioneth with shiny brass domes. She still requires modifications to the chassis to make it work, which will hopefully be done tomorrow.

Another Fairlie from Boston Lodge

Almost all staff, voulenteers and any enthusiast that visits the Ffestiniog Railway, will know that the FR, is where Robert Francis Fairlie finally developed a working (efficiently) double engine, and waved the patent fee for all Fairlie locomotives built there. But I can bet that Robert Fairlie never anticipated that a 4mm/1ft Fairlie would be built!
Today was spent machining a boiler barrel for my next project, a Merddin Emrys in 1963 condition, just after it's first Major overhaul since voulenteers had started to rebuild the FR.
It was a very basic machine, it had no sandpots or cab, square edged tanks which where painted in red-oxide primer. It was oil fired and the crews where exposed to the elements, the driver had a little more protection, as his side had 'half height' can sheet (as high as the top of the tanks) whilst the poor fireman had a quarter cab sheet, with handrails at tank top level to stop him tripping over the cab and falling out!
For me, the 60s and 70s are the most interesting period of the FRs history, locomotives where made to run, not to look good, the line was quickly being extended towards Blaenau and locomotives such as the Ladies, ALCo, Peckett and a little known of Austrian Tank was purchased for potential mainline use. Most of which are still in use today.
Here are some photos of the bits I made (including some brass domes for the earl.) The boiler barrel for Merddin is still unfinished, it hopefully, will be finished over the next week. Merddin will have similar shaped domes, but made from steel, painted black.
If anybody requires some domes for they're engines (instead of horrid brass painted ones) let me know, I'm sure I could help.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


This post surprisingly, is about bogies!
For the 8 new carriages i have for the layout, built by Colin Lea ( originally were going to be put on modified Lima n gauge bogies. That idea, soon went through the window, they where only chosen in the first place as I was given quite a few of them.
Instead, I decided try out the Parkside Dundas 'Standard Ffestiniog 3' 6" w/b bogie' kit. One was bought from the FRs shop and assembled. It took a while to figure out how many 10 BA washers the bogie needed underneath for the bogie to have adequate swing, and not look silly, but eventually I settled for two per bogie.
Some 009 couplings were superglued on to the bogie frames, which resulted in a coupling which is the perfect height. The pictures are of carriage 112 with the bogies, parked against Cricieth Castle and the modified Lima bogie.
More of the bogies and couplings will be bought tomorrow, so all of the carriages that I have will be rolling by the end of the weekend.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

More wires than the Thunderbirds!! (Part 1)

Tonight, the wiring for the workshop board was completed. This is the most complicated board.
It has 5 point motors, two track circuits, 5 buildings that have lights, several small accessories (Welders' lights etc) the controls for the layout's lighs and 'accessories' circuit and finally the input from the 16v AC (points + track), 12v DC (bright lights) and 9v DC (Accessories and dimmer lights).
Tomorrow evening, I will start on the station board, which only has 3 points, 2 signals, lights and accessories circuits. Much simpler!!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Raising the sea...

I spent a few hours today, getting on with a few odd jobs, Warely is coming closer!!
The sea level was raised from 'empty' to a (scale) 10ft deep. This was done with a simple wooden frame and plywood. It will be painted, then varnished several times to get a sea effect.
You might notice a station and coaches has appeared in the attached photo. It's a old FR station, which still exists but not Porthmadog, any guesses?
As for the coaches, they are the ones that Colin Lea kindly agreed to build for me ready for Warely more details to follow.
Throughout the next week, the electrics in the boards will be sorted out.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Weekend Progress

Over the weekend, some good progress was made. The backscene was shortened in height and permenantly fixed, Controll panels and controllrs were mounted, they will be wired in within the next week.
A length of plastic cable conduit was bought to try out a fiddle yard cassette system, a post will soon follow on the results of a few test pieces I've just finished making.
Here's some pictures.