Monday 3 May 2021

Quick 4F and 40 Conversions

Before clearing the modelling desk ready for tracklaying operations, I decided that it was worth doing a 'quick' conversion of a Farish 4F that I'd had the bits for lying round since getting them at a Supermeet in Chelford some years ago.

Saturday was spent prepping the wheels, giving them initial coat of paint and then using the quartering too to mount them in the bearings and the axle muff.

The coupling rods were soldered up from those on the old faithful 3-205 etch, which despite being designed for the old Poole Era Farish/Ballantine Wheels was still an exact fit. These are, in my view, more robust than the more recent Jinty coupling rods designed around the current Farish Jinty loco. That said, I did use the 4F balance weights from the more recent etch.

After discovering I'd got some of the wheels mixed up between the leading and middle axles I was able, by early Saturday evening, to have it up and running on the rolling road -

A bit of running in confirmed that the basics were OK and the quartering was pretty much spot on for once!

So, when the inevitable rainy Bank Holiday Monday came, I soldered on the crankpin washers and cut them down to size, and this is how it looks so far on my test plank -

It's still in MR livery pretty much as it came from Farish, so it will be probably renumbered to LMS 3842, a loco shedded at Buxton though I imagine it'll be used to help to fill a current gap for LMS 0-6-0s on Lightcliffe so that number isn't finalised as yet.

A much quicker conversion was for a blue Farish Class 40 - much simpler with 3-308 16t geared 7.5mm wheelsets for the driven axles and a pair of the new 3-313 6mm/1.5mm axles for the pony truck axles. Dead quick to do and it works a treat!

This will be staying as 40 012 Aureol, as it was towards the end of it's life in the early 80s but before it was renumbered to a 97/4 for the Crewe remodelling works, this does mean that I'll have to fill in the slots in the nose for mounting the headcode disks as I've not been able to find any pictures so far of it with the numbers painted on the nose and the discs still mounted. It'll also need the wheels painting black and a some appropriate weathering.

Thursday 29 April 2021

Back after Lockdown

Since the last post a lot has happened, and over the last almost year and a half of lockdown chances to get to Keighley have been few and far between - mainly to check up on things and that's it.

However, with a hopeful return towards normality group meetings should be starting up again soon and we've been at work on various projects - to start with here's a bit of an overview and recap of what I've been up to over the last year or so.

First up are a couple of loco conversion projects, starting with the Diesels - converted by either having the wheels turned down or by means of replacement wheelsets.

I've done a lot of 37s - 37 425 is an example, destined initially for my Cameo project, of which more anon -

I've done a lot of work to lower the 37s, based on the work detailed in a number of RMWEB posts here, here and here

This, compared with an as yet unmodified one, is the result...

The main thing I can contribute to the techniques described in the links is using Scotch double-sided mounting tape (which is just over 1.5mm think) to fix the tanks on to the chassis to accommodate the lowered body. It's worth noting that since the above picture was taken the wheels have been painted!

Next up is a few Western influenced projects, firstly D9555, a Class 14 which was a 2nd attempt to get it right after a botched initial conversion some years ago -

In short - turned down wheels, with 1mm diameter brass tubes inserted in the wheels in the old Farish crankpin holes to allow association crank pins for a replacement con rod from a detailing etch by Steve 'Pixie' Nicholls, which also included replacement buffer beams and finally I needed a load of spare parts from a non-running chassis acquired via Ebay to recover from my first conversion attempt!

Also is a Pannier tank, 3615, converted from the Dapol roughly following Pete King's method in the Feb/Mar 2016 2mm Magazine -

The main difference between mine and his is that the geared drive is just to the middle axle, I ditched the spur gears to the outer axles. After finessing the quartering it runs quite nicely.

All the above do need some weathering as well once I've refined the techniques and more importantly built up the courage!

Finally, there has been some work I've been able to do at home on Lightcliffe, mainly from the perspective of rewiring the control panel and replacing the feedback controller with one with a purer DC output which more suits the newer coreless motors.

Friday 11 January 2019

Looking back over 2018

Having realised I've not done an update for 2018, I reckon I'd best do one quick before we're not too far into 2019!

First off we're still working on Lightcliffe, recently concentrating on wiring but at the beginning of the year David Varley brought along some of the buildings he was working on -

Firstly, the signal box -

Next, two views of the main buildings, and a footbridge abutment -

The layout is now also wired and both main lines can be run from end to end, although some refining of the feeds to each main line remains to be done.

With the main lines running, it's given us a chance to test out some locos. Over the last year I've been progressing my 3F conversion to the point that it's now running smoothly and is painted and weathered - here's a couple of pictures of it on a test run or two shunting a few wagons about -

This Jinty has had new brake rods, salvaged from an old Bob Jones 3F Chassis kit, to replace the original plastic ones and it needs a some extra coal, crew and weathering as well as a few fire irons placed on top of the tanks to complete.

It will be then ready for service - I have a Golden Jubilee project 'in the works' and the folding test track is also still in progress - AVRMC are having an open day in April so I'm hoping it may be ready for then.

Friday 22 December 2017

Back building buildings

For various reasons, time for modelling has been in short supply in 2017, but an enforced absence from work since the beginning of October has meant that I've had quite a bit of spare time on my hands.

So what have I been doing with it?

Well, cast your minds back 18 months or so ago, and I'd just finished my model of the signal box for Lightcliffe. And before that I'd almost finished the main station buildings. 

Due to changes in Photobucket's image hosting, the photographs of those models have disappeared from this site so I'll post some more of them as a reminder of where I'd got to and then we can go from there.

First the signal box ...

... then the main station buildings ...

... and finally the staircase between the footbridge and the Bradford bound platform.

There's still work to do on the main station buildings - signs and timetable/poster boards need to be added to the platform side and five chimneys need to be added to the roof of the WC block at the rear. I had been struggling to work out the chimney arrangements for the WCs from the drawings and photographs that I had, but thanks to some aerial photographs of from Historic England's archive, that particular mystery has been solved.

Mysteries still remain though, particularly as regards the other building on the Bradford bound platform, which can be seen to the right of the first three pictures at

Whilst it had a goods yard, Lightcliffe didn't have a rail served goods shed, so I'm assuming that this is some sort of store/wharehouse that also served as accommodation for the station porters (as far as I know there wasn't a porters' room in the main station buildings, and there are a couple of photographs showing the Bradford end of the building - the end furthest away from the photographer in the above photos - with platform trollies parked against it).

There are several good photographs showing the front of the building and a couple of distant ones of the wall at the Bradford end, which was plain, but I've yet to see a photo of the rear and until recently the only photos I'd seen of the Halifax end were partial ones that seemed to indicate that that wall was plain as well.

Then a photo turned up on Ebay which showed that there was a door in the Halifax end of the building and that the building appeared to be lower at the rear than it was at the front (as with the main station building).

Looking at the Historic England aerial photograph again, there was also the possibility that there was a road access door in the rear wall. Anyway, the building has to be built, and I've now almost finished making the walls - a custom made running-in board has been ordered but has yet to arrive and guttering downpipes need to be added, but otherwise the walls are ready for assembly.

Platform frontage with timetable/poster boards losely positioned (the larger board is actually too big and I'll need to make another to the correct size) ...

  ... the rear wall ...

 ... and the end walls (Bradford end on the left and Halifax end on the right) - there's no evidence that there was a flight of steps but it looks right to me).

The building bug have rebitten me, next on the list was the gentlemens' toilet on the Halifax bound platform where I had the benefit of some lovely dimensioned drawings by Chris Arthur to work from.

Again, the walls are almost finished - there are still some guttering down pipes to be added to the Halifax end wall and the front wall, as well as a "Gentlemen" sign and associated ironwork. The rear wall of the building was plain and abutted a retaining wall for higher ground behind the platform so won't actually be seen once the buiding's in place on the layout.

Bradford end wall and front wall ...

... and the Halifax end wall.

And then there's the weighbridge hut in the goods yard. The dimensions for this were taken from the drawings that were obtained from Calderdale archives for the main station buildings and the aerial photograph has also helped in determing the roof structure, but otherwise it's guesswork as to what the building looked like. At the moment, just the basic shapes of the walls have been cut and window and door openings made, though these still need some cleaning up.

I've not just been working on Lightcliffe though - also underway are three Furness Railway horseboxes of 1871 vintage (as below) and planning and baseboard construction is underway for a layout for the 2mm Finescale Association's Diamond Jubilee challenge (no pictures of that yet but it's going to be based on Tewkesbury engine shed).

Come the New Year, I need to get down to Aire Valley Railway Modellers' clubrooms to play around with the platforms and have a look at the work that John and Sam have been doing, but for now it's Merry Christmas to one and all ... and hopefully see you again in the not too distant future.

David V.

Friday 22 September 2017

AVRMC open day and double success.

On the 27th of August, the Sunday of the bank holiday weekend. AVRMC held an open day for the public to see what we do.
The day generally went very well with only complementary comments received and a few interested people.

In the months and weeks leading up to the open day we had been concentrating on getting all the track on Lightcliffe operational and reliable. This had been achieved but only with one controller for all tracks. During the morning, after settling in, track cleaning etc, I investigated getting both controllers available so we could run two trains at once. This seemed to just need some wires connecting with a choc-block. This was done in stages, to check at each point, that I hadn’t stopped the other controller from working or created a short. Once the second controller was connected to the track it was tried, but.. nothing! A look underneath the control panel showed that the controller didn’t have a supply to it so a link was added from the supply for the first controller, then… it worked!

Sadly I can only upload this one video due to size limits on Blogger. I have two other, better, ones. Anyone know an easy way to reduce video file sizes?

Edit to add that the videos should be viewable on these links:

Friday 9 June 2017

Quick milestones.

A fairly brief but successful visit to the club on the 27th.

After my last visit I wasn’t able to get to the club for quite a few months. This time I didn’t get there as soon as I’d have liked but despite the reduced time available I was able to make progress.
Firstly, after removing the cover from the layout, I carried on connecting the droppers for Brookes sidings to their buss bars. Then I made a link from the buss bars to the temporary ‘choc-bloc’ plug that connects to the next board, and inserted temporary jumpers on that plug to connect to the wires for the main lines.
Next, the big moment, so out with a loco and do a bit of track (and wheel) cleaning. Then, connect the controller and see what happens.
The result… TRIUMPH! :-) The loco was able to run over all parts of the layout, especially Brookes sidings. The photos below show this and hopefully I’ll be able to upload a video.

Tuesday 6 June 2017

Jinty Progress and the new Test Track

With moving house there's been little time for modelling, however I have been getting some done - firstly my Jinty conversion, using the association conversion for the current Farish model, is progressing nicely - indeed all it needs now is painting, renumbering and weathering once I've done a bit more fettling on it to discover why it seems to rock a little on the centre axle.

So here it is thus far, complete with a replacement N Brass Lines chimney...

My other project has been working on a new folding test track for use at AVRMC, this follows the pattern of Chris Arthur's test track as described in the August 2003 issue of the magazine, based around some MDF cut and stuck back together to allow a 2 foot radius circuit to be made -

It's almost ready for laying track, and it will be able to be set up on either a pair of trestles or flat on a suitable table.

Next Pennine Area Group meeting is on Saturday June 10th at Aire Valley MRC where more work will be carried out on this to cut holes suitable for carrying it when folder and also painting it in a suitable colour, probably green of some sort!