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Saturday 14 December 2019

0 Gauge Class 33 Scratch Build - Final Part

The windscreen wipers were made from two pieces of wire with the blade soldered to the double arms (fiddly assembly).

The off white coach line filled me with dread. It would be quite tricky to paint a clean straight line even with masking tape where the paint might leech under. I opted for a strip of sticky paper. This worked well but with age could unpeel itself. It will be simple to repair in this event.

The BR totem is a transfer taken from a HMRS transfer sheet for 4 mm scale models. It looks about the right size compared to prototype photographs, even though this is a 7mm scale model.

The side windows in the centre part of the body with their grommet surrounds were made as before and still suffered from glue overspill. I am putting the resulting frosted look in places down to dirty windows!

Deciding on a loco number was left to the last minute. I wanted a number that is recorded as having worked the South Western area of BR(S). The number  also had to reflect the original exhaust arrangement and pierced step sides and be from an early manufactured batch. D6504 fitted my requirement.

Numerals on the transfer sheet are coloured yellow. They need to be white so, I created a green background for a white legend and printed it onto sticky backed paper. The green match is perfect and the number looks like a transfer rather than the printed label that it is.

It sounds as though I paid great attention to detail but there are two notable exceptions because I could not see an easy way of producing the parts or they are fairly insignificant. These are a row of triangular supports between the overhanging body sides and sole bar and protruding 'eyebrows' above the front windows where the wipers attach.

This has been a very enjoyable project with many challenges overcome and just a few curses along the way. Looking back it has taken about 3 months of intensive work and instilled in me a greater appreciation of the efforts and skill of designers and manufacturers who create and deliver to the market place highly detailed models . The high ticket price of 0 gauge scale models is justified in my view.

My attention now turns to building a layout to run my growing 7 mm stock on.

To Part 1 of this series.

Sunday 8 December 2019

0 Gauge Class 33 Scratch Build - Part 9

Since I started my 0 gauge journey back in March I have waited for the Guildford 0 Gauge Group Trade Show to come around on 7th December. Being a beginner in 0 Gauge I was keen to see what was on offer and I had a small list of items to buy.

It was held at the Rivermead Leisure Complex in Reading. The first thing to say is that it has a large Pay and Display car park but only two ticket machines in operation! Consequently 15 minutes was wasted standing in line to get a ticket. At least the first 3 hours are free of charge. Ample time to peruse the show.

The attendance was very high. 0 gauge seems to be popular, unless it was busy because the show is held only once a year. Well over 100 trade stands occupied by businesses large and small.  Surely I could get everything on my list? What struck me was the extent of locomotives and rolling stock available, both RTR and kits. I think these dominated the show. Surprisingly, there were few stands offering track work. I was after some Peco code 124 rail - none available. I did find a loco crew for my Terrier, some electrical connectors and most important of all BR loco green paint for my Class 33. I looked at Phoenix Paint offerings, my fist choice, but their green paint and spray thinners together were more expensive that the RailMatch spray can I found on another stand. This product was purchased and I am happy with its colour match and quality.

The end of the class 33  project is now in sight and I can count down the remaining tasks.
  • Apply a coach line
  • Apply BR totem and numbers
  • Make and fix windscreen wipers
  • Make and fix side window glass and frames
  • Anything else I have not thought of.
To Part 10.

To Part 1 of this series.  

Thursday 28 November 2019

0 Gauge Class 33 Scratch Build - Part 8

There is more than one way to add accessory control to a model locomotive. I am not intending to use DCC as the track plan and range of locomotives will be very limited. It has been suggested that a small Raspberry Pi  computer is a good way of providing remote control of the loco accessories. I might consider that in future but for now I purged my existing stock of components.

This is my second implementation. The first had a pulse width modulator electronics circuit for adjustment of LED brightness (Search 'led dimmer circuit' for examples). This was driven from 4 x button cells with a separate AA cylinder battery to drive the fan motor. The dimmer circuit was not really required as the LEDS gave best light on full illumination so, to simplify matters it was removed. LEDS are now driven from 2 x AAA batteries with the fan power drawn off of 1 of the batteries.

Below is a view of the controls through the hole in the roof with the translucent access panel removed. You would not believe I spent nearly 25 years in electronics design and manufacture when you look at this birds nest of wiring. I'm not proud of it but it does work!

The switch bank is for power, leds and fan. The bluetooth speaker has an internal rechargeable battery and is controlled remotely from an iPad.

When it comes to operation, the fan and appropriate LEDS are activated/deactivated manually from the switch bank before/after the journey and the sound controlled during the journey.

I am not concerned that 'the hand of God' is evident because it mimics the prototype where the roof panel was removed for some maintenance jobs on the engine.

To Part 9.

To Part 1 of this series

Saturday 16 November 2019

0 Gauge Class 33 Scratch Build - Part 7

Well that was satisfying - my idea for head code display and cab interior lit by one clear LED works. But first, about window glass.

There are two concerns about fitting DIY flush glazing. Firstly, obtaining an accurate fit and second keeping the glass clear of scratches, debris and glue.

Accuracy was surprisingly easily achieved. The width and height of the window frame was measured and drawn onto a sheet of paper. The transparent acetate was laid over and the lines on the paper scribed onto acetate with a scalpel blade. The 'glass' was then cut from the acetate with scissors following the scribes. A little trimming was necessary to give a perfect fit.

The cab side windows on the prototype are held within the metal frame. On the model a thin layer of Superglue was laid inside the window frame and the glass placed into the frame (1st photo). The process of fixing the glass was troublesome with evidence of debris, glue overspill and scratches causing most to be reworked several times to get a reasonable finish. Even so close inspection still reveals some imperfections here and there.

On the prototype the cab front windows are held in place with a black rubber grommet. For the model a black plastic frame slightly large than the window aperture was 3D printed and glued to the glass before gluing the assembly in place (2nd photo). Needless to say with two gluing processes involved, instead of one, overspill was even more problematical causing several reworks.

And so to the head code display unit. The front of the display unit is transposable to facilitate either red bars, white bars or, alphanumeric characters.

The frame was 3D printed with an open base, top and front. (In the cab a clear LED located in the base of the display housing illuminates the display panel and throws light onto the ceiling of the cab illuminating the cab too).

The front panel was 'drawn' in my graphic editing application. Two with blanks and one with alphanumeric head code. These were printed onto sticky back paper, The parts cut out and stuck to thin black card. The bars and characters were then cut out and the panels stuck to their respective 3D printed frame.

Red transparent acetate was stuck to the rear of one front panel.

Clear actetate was cutout and stuck to the front for the appearance of glass and over this a black 'grommit' was glued, as for the front windows.

I now have three removable panels. Each can be placed into and removed from the middle window of the cabs.

The next photo shows the lighting effect  The glare from the display panel  upset the camera. The bars are much sharper than shown and the red more intense. Strangely, the blue light is not as intense as shown. I think it is reflecting pigments in the 'grey' painted interior.

The alphanumeric characters (not pictured here) indicate the freight train route within the region. Choosing which code to use posed a dilemma since the layout I shall build later will be fictitious, albeit following Southern practise. The layout will be a shunting yard alongside a waterway. On perusing the list of actual codes (linked to in Part 6) I noted that SW destinations with a wharf or harbour carried the letter E. But, this is no means exclusive and the whole code could be replicated across different routes n practise. Therefore, I had no issue choosing the number one to give a head code of 1E, which was also used for Lymington Pier and Southampton E. docks among others.

To Part 8.

To Part 1 of this series.

Sunday 10 November 2019

0 Gauge Class 33 Scratch Build - Part 6

The reference source for the cab detail came from YouTube videos. There is even one where the driver explained the function of the controls.

The wiring is for the LED headlamps and head code display board. The head code can be two white bars indicating the front of the train, or alphanumeric characters indicating a freight train route* within the BR(S) region, or two red bars indicating the rear. The usual method of lighting a model display unit is with switchable red/clear bi-colour LEDS for a bar configuration only.

* The loco is destined for freight working on a shunting type layout.

I am trying a different approach because I want the option of all configurations. The display unit is fitted with one clear LED giving upward light from the base of the unit. The top of the unit is open to let light into the ceiling of the cab, thus serving to light up the cab as well as the display unit. The illumination is a bit fierce so a dimmer circuit may be needed.

The 'glass' front of the unit is a removable panel with fitted transparent coloured bars or characters. Hence there is a number of panels that can be manually swapped for different displays. I know the lighting will be effective but have not yet designed the glass panel so, am hedging my bets that the system will work.

With regard to driver my plan was to place one driver in each cab for either direction of travel but I learnt that in my period (1960s) and right through the 1980s the policy was two crew who normally sat in the same cab. One was the driver and the other named Second Man who never drove the engine but took on ancillary duties.

I placed two crew in one cab to match the policy and none in the other. (Not ideal for one direction of travel where the cab will be void of crew.)

I wanted 3D printed uniformed figures for high definition and realism. The layered plastic method of my 3D printer is not suitable. I looked at Modelu and Hardy's Hobbies offerings. Only Hardy's had a uniformed seated driver of the period (and is a little cheaper than Modelu with fast delivery). The quality of the model is good and acceptable for inside the loco but, not quite as 'crisp' as I expected.

The way I designed the loco overall means that once the cab is in place it cannot be removed. I just hope the crew do not 'leave their seats' as it may be impossible to reseat them!

To Part 7.

To Part 1 of this series.

Sunday 3 November 2019

0 Gauge Class 33 Scratch Build - Part 5

The roof is made in five sections.The first photo is of No.1 end and shows the roof fan grill.

A couple of methods were tried to 3D print the grill. The problem is the ribs are very fine and to print this in situ requires supports to stop droop. The ribs were just too delicate and came away when the supports were removed.

Another consideration is that the grill centre sits proud of the roof and each rib is at a different angle to fit the roof curvature.

The solution was to print the grill as a separate flat component and to print a central column in situ with the roof. The grill was placed on top of the column and each rib gently bent to locate in a slot in the rim of the fan hole. The column was then cut away when the glue had set.

Second photo is of No. 2 end. The brown marks are sanded Wickes wood filler used to fill imperfections.

The printer threw a wobbly and failed to print the last few layers so, plastic padding had to be applied and sanded to complete the roof curvature.

The body and roof sections were sanded with coarse sandpaper to remove most of the layered plastic stratification. Then a coat of acrylic matte medium was applied and this sanded with fine emery paper to completely smooth the plastic.

Finally, details like door handles and ribbing were applied. This part is now ready for the paint shop.

What about the gap between roof ends?

The centre of the roof on the prototype is a removable fibre glass translucent panel finished in a beige colour that serves two purposes. First, to gain access to the top parts of the engine for service and second, to flood the engine room with natural light.

On the model it is the same except used to allow access to a control panel for lights, fan and sound. (no DCC here.)

The panel was printed in transparent plastic and then coloured with brown, fawn and black pastel scrapes; finishing with a coat of hairspray used as a fixative. Unfortunately, the diamond grid of inner plastic fill* has showed (I should have configured the print for solid infill). I have convinced myself it is fibre glass reinforcement.

* 3D printing thick sections normally results in the core being printed as a grid to save on plastic use.

The other part in the photo is one of two panels that fit to the sides of the roof. Not sure what it is, either coolant radiators or vents? What it does have is an array of vanes in each square covered with mesh.

This could be tricky to make. However, the first method I thought of worked first time. The core is one piece comprising square holes with printed in vanes (vanes just discernible in the photo). This is covered with mesh (described in Part 4). An overlaid frame is glued over the mesh. This frame was printed flat and then moulded to shape over a metal rod of required diameter under heat from a hairdryer to soften the plastic.

Interestingly, I can now feel the body & roof assembly has weight (100 gms) with more to come, which shuld help with track adhesion.

To Part 6.

To Part 1 of this series.

Thursday 24 October 2019

0 Gauge Class 33 Scratch Build - Part 4

The raw body shell is in place, held to the chassis with one central nut and bolt. There is a lot of finishing and detail work to do, which will be done after the roof is permanently fitted (roof still in development).

I have four model magazines with Class 33 articles. On perusing these again after printing the body, I discovered in one article the comment that the cab sides taper towards the nose. I had not accounted for this. It is not on the plan drawing I am using and it is imperceptible in photographs of the prototype as it is only about a one degree angle. Fortunately, I made the body sides thick enough to form the taper by sanding it, which has thinned the sides by half at the nose. Like the prototype it is imperceptible on the model. Why bother doing it? That is a good question, I guess it would niggle me every time I looked at it if it was not present on such a large part of the model.

I have also been designing and printing some of the details to be added later. I am particularly pleased with the radiator grill and the roof fan turned out well to.

The fan will be driven directly from a small motor. Running off only 1.5V. It spins less vigorously than if a higher voltage was used, which the motor is capable of.

The wire safety mesh of the grill was cut from a nylon mesh bag used for small gifts like wedding favours. This one had a yellow tint. I turned it black by sponge dabbing black acrylic paint over both sides taking care not to block the holes with paint. The green bar across the middle will be over painted with a pale grey coach line after fitting to the body.

To Part 5.

To Part 1 of this series.

Tuesday 15 October 2019

0 Gauge Class 33 Scratch Build - Part 3

Bodywork Commences

Like any diesel locomotive the body is just a rectangular box - right? - wrong! There are complex curves and angles going on here that are a real challenge to model in 3D CAD.

The first decision was where to make the split line since the entire body length is too long to fit on my 3D printer bed. The best place is either side of the central door as the split lines mostly fall in the gap between the door and its frame. Thus, the body is in three parts with the roof being a separate entity also.

The three sides of the body shell shown in the photo is one piece printed from the base up (except for the curved base explained below)

The design must take into account printing limitations with respect to overhangs and bridges. For example, the ends of the body have overhangs that curve below the buffer beams. Clearly, they cannot be printed below the print bed. I could have configured 'infills' that fill the gap beneath the body sides and the overhanging end, these being cut away after printing but, the complex curve of the overhang and the curved bottom edge of the sides just compounds the problem. I chose to split the body again just above its base and print the base upside down. This printed part is seen on the right in the photo above.

Most of the apertures in the sides needed infills configured to support their top frames, otherwise they would droop.

I was unsure whether it would print satisfactorily at all.  Thankfully, it did. Sanding needs to be done to eradicate the stratification of the print layers and there is a lot of added detail yet to be designed, including the radiators that fit in the biggest apertures.

The roof has even more complex curves. It had to be designed along with the sides so that a convenient split line could be identified.

To Part 4.

To Part 1 of this series.

Friday 4 October 2019

0 Gauge Class 33 Scratch Build - Part 2

The chassis floor was made in two halves due to the limited size of my 3D printer bed. The halves were butt glued together and a strengthening bridge glued across the join, perhaps not long enough as there is minor bowing. When a body is fitted it should pull it straight into line.

The chassis design turned out to be just as complex as the bogies! Below the floor in the centre is an early period fuel tank and battery box. The battery box spans full width but in the prototype there are two separate boxes with some other mechanical gubbins in between that would not be seen on the model. There are other small fittings to the chassis sides faithfully reproduced from photographs but I don't have a clue what their function is!
The next photo shows the speedo cable. that connects between chassis and bogie axle box. The axle box speedo connector is removable so that bogie and chassis can be separated for maintenance purposes. The cable run is a little lower than it should be.

Note the green chassis side indicating the finished model will be a Class 33/0 in green livery.

I assumed the buffer beam was a simple rectangular block with buffers and coupling. On closer inspection it is far from it. The ends are angled and  there is a mass of fitted pipework and ports, about half of which are hidden by the buffers in the photo below.

I looked at the intricate screw link coupling and decided it would be too difficult to make (or was I getting bogged down with the model and wanted a quick way out). So, I purchased the Dapol Terrier spare (shown in the photo below). Unfortunately I misunderstood the suppliers product description thinking the 'set' on offer was a pair for each end of the loco. In fact the 'set' was one hook and one link array, except they failed to supply the hook! I needed a second 'set' but, this would become a very expensive solution for what are very small parts. I had a think about it, had a eureka moment and devised a simple, Dapol look alike, yet fiddly method of making a link array from wire. It was so successful I should have taken photos and write a tutorial. Maybe later.

Sprung buffers use an adaptation of the innovative Peco method, the method is shown in the photo below. The springy wire is cut from square section 4mm scale point roding steel wire that I had in stock The buffer shank is a nail with a plastic disk stuck on the head.
The question is, will it traverse a curve without impediment. I don't yet have track so I tested it satisfactorily on a Peco turnout paper template. If problems arise in practice I'll need to rework the chassis side fittings that hang down to increase bogie swivel.

To Part 3.

To Part 1 of this series.

Friday 27 September 2019

0 Gauge Class 33 - Scratch Built

Class 33 33202
I tried to recall how I came to scratch build a Crompton Class 33 diesel locomotive. It is probably the most complex and time consuming modelling project I have undertaken to date.

Without doubt the styling proportions of the 33 make it a pleasing sight to my eye, compared to other Southern diesels. I was also attracted to the r.t.r. Lima 0 gauge offering, which is remarkably inexpensive to buy off eBay - around the £50 mark. But, the reviews I read revealed it to be woefully inaccurate dimensionally, so bad that some serious 'cut and shut' work would be necessary to bring it into line with the prototype.

With a 3D printer to hand I decided to design and make one. First point of reference are a drawing and photographs. There is a partially dimensioned drawing in a book that I own -  Diesel and  Electric locomotives of the Southern Region by N. Pallant & D. Bird. I copied this and enlarged it to 7mm scale and from this most dimensions could be measured. There are also drawings available from the web. Despite this some fine details are missing or obscure in the drawings so, recourse to the web for photographs was in order. Most are distant profile views like in the example above. It required much time to find suitable close up and side views to work from.

The bogie's were tackled first as I considered these to be the most difficult items to design and make, firstly because of the large number of details on them and secondly the precision fitting of motor and gears, particularly optimum gear meshing. Before starting the design I had to source wheels and motor & gears. All were eventually found on ebay. The wheel sets are Peartree Engineering 3' 7" finescale diesel wheels. These do not have locating spigots but use bushes mounted on the axles and fixed to the bogie frame. The motor and gear set are by an unknown manufacturer. There is a risk the motor would not be adequate and even having made the bogie and run successfully there is still uncertainty over whether it will pull the body weight and train.

The bogie is essentially two separate parts screwed together. An inner part is the motor frame containing motor, gears, wheels and pickups. If there are issues with the motor/gears performance needing change then only the motor frame would need to be redesigned for a different motor (in theory). The outer part of the bogie is the decorative part.

The parts were printed in black, which had an undesirable effect of hiding the details from sight. Weathering was applied with brown and beige pastel scrapes to highlight the details. Some mechanics of the bogie were omitted from the design either because they were too fine to be printed, could not be easily discerned from drawing or photo or, would not be seen from normal viewing angles.I think most details are included though.

In the above photo we can see the motor mechanics, noise suppression capacitor and electrical pickup, which rubs on the axles. One of the wheels on each axles is insulated. The metal can of the motor connects to the one side of the armature coil and the pickup for the power return. The power feed is collected from the other bogie.
The other bogie with its power pickup is shown above. The design and build is identical to the motorised bogie without motor/gears fitted.
And here are the two bogies alongside a scale drawing. Not yet obtained track so am using two lengths of Hornby 00 gauge Super 4 track for now

At the end of the day the cost will be about the same as a second hand Lima 0 gauge model. At least mine will be more accurate and making it from scratch fulfils my creative need.

To Part 2.

Friday 16 August 2019

0 Gauge Vanwide Box Van

This box van was chosen because I have a dimensioned drawing from a magazine. It is an interesting wagon because it was probably the last 10' wheelbase box van to be made by British Railways (in 1962).

Given the name Vanwide because the open doors reveal a large access space 9 feet wide. The doors close flush with the body. When opening the doors pull outward and slide over the van sides being guided by top and bottom runners. The prototype is also noted for its flush plywood sides and lack of angle iron bracing. The end panels are corrugated from pressed steel.

Bizarrely, the two page article in the reference magazine (see below) only showed dimensions of the side panel. The chassis, end panel and roof had to be scaled from photographs.

For the model the doors are not operational, being embedded in  the side panels.

I was able to use some chassis components designed for previous models but this van still required much time over a two week period to design, 3D print and build.

Components were glued together using Super Glue, Added strength to joins was achieved by sprinkling sodium bicarbonate powder into the wet glue, a tip give by Monty's Matchbox Makeovers on YouTube.

This van is considered new for the modelled period so, it is finished in ex works condition. The red bauxite was mixed from Humbrol 100, 20 and 160. Two of these are matte. The gloss finish was applied from gloss cork tile sealer diluted with white spirit. All the above was chosen from what I had in stock The roof is Halford's grey primer and black pastel scrapes brushed over.the dry paint.

Compensated chassis uses the rocking yoke method previously explained and sprung buffers use an adaption of the Peco method, also previously explained.


Another BR Box Van - Railway Modeller February 1968 (drawing)
Wagon Page BR Box Vans - Railway Modeller August 1971
Paul Bartlett's Photographs


Plastic: £1.48
Wheelset: £8.75 (including postage) Peartree Engineering bought on Ebay.
Extras: pennies
Total: <£10.50

Also available from the trade: Kit £38 (Slaters Plastikard) or RTR £52.50 (Dapol).

Wednesday 7 August 2019

0 Gauge Conflat Container Type A

The A container is half the size of the B container. I have 00 gauge models of the B container so, to model the smaller one for 0 gauge provided greater motivation. and it requires less plastic, thus cost.

I found a drawing and example on the web (see references below).

The box shape should be simple to make but I saw difficulties ahead due to the extensive detail of the panels. I tried to 3D print the panels with their narrow boarding twice but the print quality was very poor. On the verge of giving up and making it in paper and board I discovered that a small number of the prototypes had panels made from plywood with a pressed steel end. This was easy for the 3D printer to fabricate.

The livery is my own 'faded bauxite' mix of Humbrol 100 with a little 160 and then weathered with black and white pastel scrapes.

As with the wagon the chain securing hoops were made functional using phosphor bronze wire.

The decals were designed and printed onto sticky paper.

The large information panel required extensive research to identify data that could be read in a photograph.

I gave the container the same identification number (A3705B) as that in the reference below.

The shackles were very fiddly to make from 0.5mm galvanised wire and are rather crude compared to proprietary offerings. They can be applied and removed from container and wagon to operate the wagon with or without a container but they are delicate and I can see I may need to permanently fix the container and shackles to the wagon if they break due to handling.


Container A3705B photos
Container A photos and drawing


Plastic: £0.42
extras: pennies

Total: < £0.50

A variant of the container type A is available in kit form (Slaters Plastikard, about £13) and shackles (CPL Products, about £8.75)

Next up is a BR Box Van.

Friday 19 July 2019

0 Gauge Conflat A Wagon

There are variants of the Conflat all looking the same except for component style details like buffers and brakes. I did not have a drawing of it but found one here that is a modified version for 'speed freight' containers. It is not the speed freight version that I modelled but the chassis is identical (me thinks) and the scale drawing was most useful in setting dimensions for the model. Photographs on the web also helped in the model design.

It should be a simple construction but I made a rod for my back by installing the more complex Clasp Brake (dummy) mechanics and functioning chain securing loops (photo left).

This macro photo also shows up the plastic layering of my 3D print. It could have been smoothed with sandpaper to represent the metal construction of the prototype. But, it is not noticeable at normal viewing distance so I left it. For wooden structures it is passable as wood grain!

Sprung buffers use an adaption of the simplistic Peco method. Springy steel wire locates in a notch at the end of the buffer shank and passes through a hole in the coupling hook back end. Outward travel limiter is 1mm wire sealed in a hole in the shank with both ends extending beyond the shank (just about see it in the photo behind the headstock).

Chassis compensation uses the rocking yoke method explained here.

This time I used a wheel set made by Peartree Engineering bought off an ebay seller. It is IMHO better than the Peco offering because it is black all over, weightier and cheaper. In fact, additional weight for wagon stability need not be added to the chassis, which is a blessing for this low profile wagon.


Plastic : £1.20
Wheel set : £8.75 (including postage)
extras: pennies

Total: <£10

Also available from the trade: Peco Parkside Kit: About £33.

Design References

See links in text above.

Next up is a container load for this wagon.

Saturday 6 July 2019

3 Railways in 1 Week

Whilst holidaying on the South East Coast the opportunity was taken to see some trains. First up was the Romney Hythe & Dymchurch Railway. We choose to visit New Romney Station as that is where the loco works are and there is also a model railway exhibit. There was not much to see in the loco yard, just some foreign looking diesel. On duty this day was Hurricane, a 1926 built 4-6-2 pacific one third full size.

The model railway exhibit is advertised as "possibly the largest in the UK" (a tad overstated me thinks). It was a typical tourist attraction being a 00 gauge fictitious layout with trains endlessly chasing tails. One freight train had an unusual pitachio shell load and another weird locomotive was a motorised rat with red flashing tail. Of course the kids there loved it all and I found myself worryingly attracted to watching the rat make its circuit.

Of most interest to me though were the cabinets of locomotives and rolling stock. Some being displays of vintage models, I was amazed to see the highly detailed vintage hornby dublos that would not look out of place on today's model railways. Other cabinets had stock demonstrating the range of model scales available.

A visit to Bodiam Castle was contrived since the K&ES Railway is just a short walk from the castle. Bodiam Station is a pretty little station painted in K&ES colours of cream and red. I had a long and informative conversation with a volunteer there until he remembered he had to open the crossing gates for a train that was due. In fact the train was patiently waiting for the gates to be opened!

In the yard was a small selection of wagons and I was delighted to see there a 15T ballast wagon, a model of which I recently scratch built.

On the journey home from hols' we stopped off at Sheffield Park station on the Bluebell Line. A £3 platform ticket gave us access to the loco shed, museum, shop and restaurant. The shop had the largest railway book selection I have ever seen at a heritage railway. The restaurant was plush, the loco shed full of clean stock and the museum large and informative. This station is well worth a visit and we shall go again as this was only a one hour visit due to other commitments. Next time we'll also take a train ride to Horsted Keynes and back.

On duty this day was a Class 5. Was not too sure if it was a 4 or 5 but the nameplate 'Camelot' gave it away because some Southern Region allocated class 5s were given the names of engines from the King Arthur N15 class on their withdrawl.

Thursday 20 June 2019

0 Gauge ICI Chlorine Tank Wagon

Not such an unusual wagon as you might think. There are plenty of photos on the web and there is a vintage 00 gauge model by Hornby Dublo.

I came to model the ICI chlorine tank wagon because I have a drawing of it scaled at 1cm : 1 ft (see reference below).  A large drawing like this is best to realise all the details because it is a complex wagon to make, certainly the most difficult of the six wagons I have made to date.

The parts are designed and 3D printed by me with the addition of the Peco wheelset RO-7. About 60 plastic parts were designed and assembled plus other bits of wire, paper and 4 nails!

Sprung buffers operate like the prototype. For the model the buffer shank is a nail with plastic buffer disk glued to the end. The spring end nearest the headstock is glued to the shank a few mm away  from the headstock. It acts as a buffer movement limiter with the other end bearing against a chassis beam.

Decals are designed and printed on sticky back paper. There should be a second plate of information (safety information I think) positioned at the other end of the solebar but I don't know the words so will leave it off until I know. The yellow plate has two of the four lines of text unreadable in photos so I used lorem ipsum.

I have only seen black and white photos of this livery that show the small star. It looked lighter than black. I assumed other models that I have seen have got it right - yellow.

The white finish has been lightly weathered using black pastel scrapes. The white filler cap colour is also questionable as some models depict orange or yellow. The only colour photo I have seen of this livery suggests it was very dirty white.

The four tank straps are paper strengthened with a coating of Superglue after fitting. The RCH coupling hooks and instanter links are left over options from the Peco chassis kit that I used on other models. The axle box hangers are the plate variety, given as options in the Peco kit. I cut these into the correct W hangers.

I adopted the Peco method of sprung axles. The axleboxes slide in the W hanger and the leaf spring provides compression. However, my plastic (PLA) is not pliable like the Peco plastic so springiness is non existent, which is just as well because when I glued the tie bars in place the glue seeped into the axlebox - hanger join!

Extra weight is proved by a sheet of steel buried in the lower part of the tank.

When it comes to a model railway layout there should be a reason for freight arrivals. In this case chlorine was once used to bleach paper. This calls for a paper mill.

Wagon Design Reference:

Model Railways Magazine August 1990 - Tank Wagons Part2.

Model Cost:

Plastic: £1.33
Peco wheel set R07: £9.24 (discounted price including postage)
extras: pennies

Total: < £11
Not available from the trade but other tank wagons are available. Prices are about £66 (Dapol RTR) or £58 (Slaters kit).

Next up is a Conflat with container load.

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