Wednesday 23 December 2020

A very merry chassis

It's the day before the day before Christmas so I thought I'd finish off the year with a bit of a waffle. 

Here are 'Arkwright' and 'Granville'. 'Granville' was fine but a bit gutless which I was going to live with and then someone said it would look better with a chassis with con rods, such as a Bachmann 04. This niggled and I couldn't help but agree... more later.

Work has started on the new bit, well I've put 95% of the stock away and dismantled the fiddle yard. I've also bought the timber. However it's been so cold and damp that I haven't got any further yet.

Here are some of the foxgloves next to Sandy Brook bridge. I'm really pleased with how they look and have made and installed a second batch, more will follow.

So anyway, I found and purchased a second hand 04 on evilbay but unfortunately it didn't run very well and on closed inspection it was missing a screw from the con rod. I didn't notice this so completely dismantled and cleaned it and adjusted the pickups. The pickups are usually the problem on these chassis. On putting it back together it was better but not perfect. I have several of these under locos so I know how good they can be. 

I went ahead and adapted the body and slightly extended the chassis so it all fitted together. A good call and now much more convincing. Not much ROCO loco left now though.

With a bit of a touch up to the loco and a dash of red on the rods here it is down at the wharf. This evening I spent ages trying to find a screw of the correct thread to replace the missing con rod fastening. After much rummaging in a variety of boxes I finally found that the original n gauge body securing screws are just right . Much improved now and with some running in I think it will be a useful member of the fleet. Just needs a driver and a spot of dirt.

While I was looking for the previously mentioned screw I found the box with all my spare bits of Minitrix dock tank bits in it which included a motor which didn't run but which had fairly new brushes; inserting these into the motor of another brushless motor and then attaching the whole motor and pick up assembly into a fairly fresh chassis which had no motor I now have another working 0-6-0 to play with.

In the rummaging process I also found an old part built and then dismantled diesel loco. I can't remember what the chassis is but it is an 0-4-0 with a centre jackshaft.  The reason it never got finished was the poor running quality of the chassis but I figured that as I was on a roll I'd see if I could batter this one into submission too. In the end after much fiddling about I removed the jackshafts and it runs nicely now. I remembered that ages ago I bought a resin kit for a cab to convert a Bachmann brick chassis to 009 but never got round to using it. Not a perfect fit but with a bit of chopping and adding microstrip and a few bits and bobs the P Way dept seem to have acquired some sort of home made diesel to add to their roster. 

Obviously the roof isn't attached and it needs some paint but otherwise ta dah!

Here is the whole of my Christmas decoration layout in action as a decoration...

...and as a Christmas greeting from the Isle of Stoner Railway. Who knows what next year brings but hopefully there will be lots more 009 action and I'll get to meet some of my now only virtual modelling friends for real. Fingers crossed.


Friday 4 December 2020

Coaching, plans and stuff

Not really been much going on in modelling world really but thought I'd round it up anyway.

I've bought the timber for the construction of the extension but it's been too cold in the garage to get started on building it. I have been thinking about the best way to use the space. Because I loose the fiddle yard in building this next part of the line I've been wondering if I could fit in a few hidden sidings. While wondering about this it occurred to me that I could run a line behind the backscene which could lead to a future fiddle yard. Not sure it will all fit properly but the baseboard would be the same anyway so a bit of 3D planning when the board is made.

Something like this.

I dug out the cheese factory to see what I might be able to run on it having melted my Portram/ROCO skip loco... Might build another one.

Having been curious to see a Bachmann TR coach I ordered one from Tootaly Thomas and it duly arrived with the replacement Percy, which works perfectly.

It is a nice model and the livery quite nicely applied, a bit shiny but a coat of matt varnish would sort that out. 

I started trying to paint over the Bachmann paint but as I guessed it would be, a coat of primer helped tremendously.

Here it is finished and with 'Dolgoch'. I had a problem with 'Dolgoch's chassis which was getting worse with the loco having developed a very lumpy gait. I took off the body applied a battery to the wheels and all was well; I put the body back on and it was fine so I guess something was rubbing somewhere.

Here they are in action on the layout, the coach fits with the kit built rake very well.

Another thing I've spent a surprising amount of time doing was making a few foxgloves a la Alan Ogden who models the Corris and whose foxgloves I admired, he explained how to make them. His are better than mine but they look ok on the layout.

When I modified the ROCO diesel to make it more British looking I ordered plates to finish it off, lo and behold they finally arrived and I have duly fitted them. Maybe a spot of weathering and it's finished.


Thursday 5 November 2020

Coaches and sand and locos

It's been a week or so of finishing things off, not like me really. I have a stack of things to finish still but being part furloughed again I should find the time.

First thing finished is the Dock tank bash, in primer here...

...and in finished paintwork here. I'm rather pleased with this conversion but I'm not sure that it will live with me for long. I've got far too many locos already and more on their way, of which more later.

This is one I made to sell really. An A1 models box cab on a KATO 109 chassis. It has a rather charming lumpishness to it and you can see through the body grills to the gubbins inside. I used a Langley whitemetal casting of an engine and the radiator chopped off the end of the ROCO bash I did last month.

A small job done was to add the etched 'restaurant' signs which arrived from Narrow Planet.

The main job finished off has been the painting and glazing of the new van and coach to finish off the tram set to go with 'Elizabeth' or 'Brigitte' the Minitrains tram loco. For once I've managed to make two of the same vehicles which look pretty much the same, so they go together rather well.

The van is a particular favourite, but as has been observed before, I do like a brake van.

Here the tram set is passing the newly rebuilt and re-sanded beach area, it still has some work to do on it but the general look of it is much better. I really must sort out the back scene as it spoils the look of the whole new bit of layout.

I spent quite a long time over the weekend and Monday making a video of  Underhill so that it could go on the 009 Societies YouTube channel. They are making a big push with social media and the web site so I was flattered to be asked to contribute. Turns out it is much harder to video a model than the real thing. Anyway if you have 12 minutes to waste, click on the link below to see mine but also a growing collection of other excellent layout videos.

Daisy and the quarryman's train feature in the video, amongst other things.

As I type I'm waiting for the postman to deliver one of the new Bachmann n gauge Percys. It remains to be seen if it is any use for anything 009 but a small, well made 0-4-0 chassis can't be bad news; except for the wallet. Watch this space for my further thoughts in the next thrilling episode.


Sunday 25 October 2020

009 allsorts

I can't believe that it has been well over a month since I've updated the blog, I've been busy at work but now we're locked down again I guess things will be quieter. Any which way up, I did change the scenic flavour of the field which had hitherto been a not very convincing sand dune. Fundamentally I just covered the sand in PVA and went for it with the static grass. I've left a path of sand which leads to the derelict building, it works well being underneath the grass. A definite improvement.

Next port of call was the new ROCO diesel chassis, I decided that one of the motor replacement kits from Tramfabriek might help, it was always a bit of a limping Lulu which I had put down to the  poor quality of the ROCO motor.

However, having swapped it out for the new unit I was not happy to find that there was not much improvement. At first I just shrugged and put it to one side but it niggled at me that it didn't run properly despite being brand new with a good quality motor fitted. 

I gradually dismantled the chassis to its component parts and inspected them closely for bits of dirt in the gears etc etc but there was nothing. After much head scratching and reassembling and disassembling, swearing and so on I finally found that one of the gears had a rough edge to the moulding which was rubbing on the chassis block. A quick smooth off and all was fine. The quality control at ROCO needs some work.

I added a handrail on the bonnet too, a set of plates will finish it off nicely.

Fourdees locos had always attracted me except for two reasons, They were too expensive; not in themselves but for my budget and the ones I could afford had KATO 103 chassis which I think are not nice. However they have recently started using 109s which Are very nice and have introduced a few new models which I could nearly afford. When I saw 'Elizabeth' I fell in love and pushed the boat out.

Here it is in action, despite being quite light it will still pull three PECO L&Bs up the line. It is a little shiny and I don't like the 3D printed dome which I have plans to replace with a brass one. To make it my loco I've removed the surplus air brake pump and added a little weathering, I'll probably give it a waft of Dulcote too once I change the dome. Otherwise a cracking loco which looks right at home on the island.

With added weathering and hauling the tramway coach converted from a Chivers Five79 Innisfail coach. More of this latter.

I mentioned my dislike of KATO 103s earlier and I have a gradual replacement scheme for the ones I have used in the past. One such replacement has been under the Omnidenominational, multi faith, mobile contemplation vehicle. This is a Rushby Resins kit and was actually on a 104 so I duly purchased a 110 to replace it, unfortunately the plastic superstructure of the new unit is slightly larger than its predecessor so some surgery was needed on both the KATO and the coachwork. I extended the bonnet  slightly and carved away as much of the insides as I could; the end result is great and now runs nicely. I need to sort out the interior lighting now as the stained glass windows look good when illuminated.

The arrival of  'Elizabeth' and the Minitrains tram loco, 'Brigitte' have meant that the tramway origins of the IoSR are becoming more obvious. The long term plan for layout extension includes a section of roadside running as I have a bit of desire for this. As I mentioned the Innisfail conversion looks rather good with the new loco so I set about creating a whole train to suit. I started by converting the spare Dundas VoR van kit, somewhat inspired by David Taylor's 7mm vans, I used a NP balcony etch to give an outside balcony rather than the duckets of the kit as intended. I tried adding a lower footboard but ended up removing it as it didn't look right.

Here are the two coaches and the van, spoiling by painting awaits.

I always keep an eye on evilbay for interesting n gauge locos for a good price and this Minitrix dock tank popped up, I got it for a good price and it appears to be virtually brand new. All the gear train is nice and tight and the wheels are bright and shiny. My very first 009 loco which worked was one of these which I converted by making a new cab from styrene and adding a new chimney. Long gone now but it made quite a handsome looking loco and so I thought I'd have another go and see whether I'd got any better at it since 1975... possibly not.

First job was to remove the cab roof and side which just clip on, remove the buffers and chop the chimney  and safety valves off. I also rubbed down the sides to get rid of the transfers. I remember on the original you could always see the shape of the BR crest and fleet number under the green paint.

Starting to add new bits from the odds and sods collection, so far so good. Cab next.