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Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Project 20 - 0 Gauge Layout - Part 23

What to do about this -

It is the hinge mechanism that joins together the portable baseboards. It needs disguising during operations. My first thought was to cover it by extending the quay wall forward in that area with a removable wall - simple but boring. What would be better is to place a cargo boat in front of it. Not only would it cover the hinge but add interest to the scene. After all, a quay should include a tethered boat.

So, I made this.

It is the Scalescenes downloadable card kit of a Clyde Puffer.

Now, I thought I was making a model railway but for the past few weeks I have researched and built a boat!

I wanted a small cargo boat and this was the best inexpensive model kit I came across. £5.99 + ink and materials.

The first hurdle to overcome was the period of the model. Clyde Puffers in their original form did not survive in commercial use to the 1960s (The period of my model railway). However, during the 1940s The Admiralty ordered a number of Puffers. After the war those that were still serviceable were sold off for commercial use and some survived into the 1960s and beyond. I looked through the lists of Victualling Inshore Craft (VIC), as they were known, and selected VIC 24, as this is reported as being on the south coast in the 1960s renamed Advance. What use it was put to I don't know.

The next hurdle to overcome was the kit itself. The Scalescenes offering is for an 00 or N gauge model not 0 gauge. Every component of the 00 gauge kit (and there are a lot) had to be scaled up to 0 gauge (a factor of 1.75). This entailed using a graphic editing Application to cut each component from the original .pdf pages and then scale up. A few components extended to A3 paper size. Either they needed cutting at an unobtrusive point to fit A4 or cut an A3 sheet of paper to A4 wide for top feeding in my A4 printer. I used both techniques.

The 00 gauge kit requires 3 thickness of card and board (0.15ish, 1mm and 2mm). Scaling up to 0 gauge (0.2ish, 1.75 and 3.5) corrugated packing box board was used for the thickest. This worked well with the corrugations entirely hidden during construction.

The kit has adequate details to pass as a 'Puffer' for railway modellers but there are some notable omissions covered by a supplementary enhancement instruction .pdf available freely from the product listing on their web site. I strongly recommend applying the enhancements. Even so, there are still small details evident on the prototype that are not included. Furthermore, there appears to be subtle differences between builds of the prototype! For a boat enthusiast wanting a detailed and faithful model of the prototype then this may not be the kit choose. Further research would be needed to faithfully model a specific prototype. I have seen some very fine, highly detailed scratch built Puffer models on the web.

Having studied photographs of VIC24 I included some details specific to that Puffer but the most significant discrepancy is the width of the wheelhouse, which stretches to the full width of the deckhouse on the prototype. On the Scalescenes model it is narrow like the original Puffer prototype builds.

My 3D printer was brought into play again to fabricate the davit, pulleys, vents, railing uprights, anchor and ladders. Ropes were made from tightly twisted electrical wire.

The final hurdle was to devise a way of suspending the boat against the quay wall and be removable. I decided to make a platform depicting a stretch of water on which to place the boat. The platform is made from corrugated cardboard with water made from toilet paper, paint and gloss cork tile sealer. Tutorial here. The platform temporarily fixes to the quay wall by means of three cocktail stick 'skewers'.

Well, the boat is a bit heavier than expected and caused the platform to droop. This could have been a show stopper. I had to find a way of temporarily fixing the boat to the quay wall but without introducing obtrusive fixings.

The solution was hinged latches mounted on two of the pilings. When not in use they fold down out of the way.

In use they are lifted up, the boat placed and then let down over the bulwark of the boat.

Now I need to add mooring bollards on the quay and tethering ropes.

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