Wealden Area Group Logo

8 September 2020

Spaced Out

By nigelashton

No, not describing the time it has taken since our last post (although that would also apply), but the fact that we managed to meet up in person in a larger room and correctly distanced.

As the last meeting was at the beginning of March, this meant 6 months since our previous get-together and clearly some modelling has been done in the intervening period.

Gareth, Dave, Simon, Alan and Nigel started and Peter joined soon after this picture was taken. The extra space allowed a degree of latitude with face coverings at the allotted work stations, but we masked up when moving around or getting a tad closer to peer at various models.

Dave described a flexible chassis he was working on with fine piano wire as springing while Peter has been making further progress with Radio control.

Simon has been busy with more wagons while Gareth has been his usual creative self with a couple of SECR's finest.

Alan has been building the Association 08 shunter kit and was discussing refinements with Nigel. Everything lined up but needed a tad more play in the axles to get a free running chassis, so more a bit of fine tuning.

Nigel has been busy with Drws y Nant and had the signal box with him ostensibly to make some slates. However the general chat meant no progress was made there.

The GWR Mogul is a 3D print from Atso Cad on top of one of the Association milled brass Manor chassis. Compare this to the scratch built version from a few years ago and it is a lot crisper. At least the running qualities will be predictable.

Also photographed was a cut and stretched 4MT 4-6-0 body created from a spare 2-6-0 item which Gareth donated to Nigel a while ago. Counter trades this month included some Farish spoke Wagon wheels.

All in all a successful session with lots of ideas exchanged and plenty of room to stay safe.





4 November 2018

November 2018 Meeting

By Richard Benn

November saw our largest ever attendance with 9 people sitting round the tables for the usual mix of work and chat.

Gareth brought his latest creation, a SECR F1 class based on a 3D print. It is powered using a Dapol Terrier chassis in the tender. He was also planning his next project, an early GER loco based on a Micro Ace 2-4-0T.

Alan brought along some of his recent wagons to show us. Simon, meanwhile, was working on some 21T Mineral wagon kits whilst cursing the designer for putting the sides so close to the sprue. My project this month was removing the numbering from some Revolution Class B tanks ready for the new sheet of numbers which John Isherwood of Cambridge Custom Transfers has kindly introduced.

Nigel was working on the trackwork for his new layout, Drws-y-Nant, with Alan watching keenly.

Dave was troubleshooting a terrier kit, where one gear wheel was catching on something. Guy, true to form, was building a Sand Hutton wagon kit in 1:13 scale and our newest member, Chris, brought along a selection of the 200 hundred or so coaches he has built since the late 1980s. These are built from Bill Bedford and Mallard etched sides.

If you live in the Sussex area and would like to join us, please drop us a line - our details are in the newsletter or you can email via the "about us" link on the top right.

7 May 2018

May 2018 Meeting

By Richard Benn

Gosh, it's been a long time since we did an update.  To remedy this, I brought my camera along to the latest meeting in order to snap what people were up to. Apologies for the picture quality - I spent some time getting the settings right for deep depth of field and the first picture came out fine but for subsequent ones I somehow managed to change the settings. Ho hum....

Alan brought along the Agricultural warehouse that he had been working on for the previous few months. The interior is detailed but alas can't easily be seen. Alan was also working on an experimental piece of flint walling and is seen hard at work with Gareth and Nigel in the background discussing something (probably why all GWR locos look the same).

Gareth brought along his latest locos, two SECR H Class 0-4-4Ts (one in wartime grey) plus a SECR J Class 0-6-4T.  The bodies are scratch built in plastic and painted and lined exquisitely. Gareth was also working on the lining of his SECR coaches, ongoing now for what feels like the 12 years it took Hercules to complete his labours. Perhaps this is the penance the Delphic Oracle give to people who put N Gauge mechanisms below their scratch built locos?

Nigel brought along his scratch built model of Epsom, which you may have seen mentioned on RMWeb, so we could see progress "in the metal", so to speak. This is being built for the Epsom & Ewell Club's model of Lewes in 1886. Nigel was also lettering a Hawksworth BG that he had resprayed in Maroon. He also showed us plans of the probable successor to his layout Llangerisech, but I will leave Nigel to share details with you when he is ready.

Off-camera, David was doing some proof reading for the Association and Dave brought along some useful plastic storage/stock boxes which he had saved from being burnt and was generously sharing amongst us.

I was assembling some more DG couplings, but I also brought along a 3D printed Ferry Van, bought from Shapeways (Rail 3D), with which I was having difficulty removing the print lines on the end despite much filing and sanding. The advice was that where fine print lines remain, a thin coat of Klear brushed on is sufficient to fill the gaps. I will be trying this and will report back. In the meantime I took a quick snap of the Ferry Van sitting on the part built underframe I have had etched for it.  Due to the width of the body the underframe uses custom wheelsets on 13.7mm axles kindly ordered for me by the Chief Shopkeeper (thanks David).

That's all for this month. Let's not leave it so long next time.

27 June 2017

Southern Region Air-Braked Mk1s

By Richard Benn

Although the Western Region has a reputation for doing things their own way, the Southern must run them a close second. When Mk1s were converted to air braking the usual arrangement was for both vacuum cylinders to be replaced by smaller air cylinders in a slightly different position but using the existing rodding.

However the Southern Region did their conversions completely differently drawing, no doubt, on their extensive experience with air-braked EMUs. They used a single air cylinder mounted on the centre-line of the underframe working pull rods that ran under the bogies even when Commonwealth bogies were fitted.

A few photographs of vehicles were located but establishing the exact nature of what went on in the murky world of the underframe was not easy. Both the Bluebell Railway and NRM Shildon have vehicles believed currently to have this brake arrangement but I was unable to obtain permission to crawl underneath and take pictures. In the end salvation came from members of Western Thunder and the Yahoo BR Coaching Stock group, in particular Mark Brinton who kindly provided schematic drawings and answered my incessant questions, and to fellow Wealden Group member Guy Hamilton-Fletcher who helped me make sense of it all.

With all this information I was able to draw up a single piece etch to represent the visible bits of the brake arrangement. The test etches used here proved to be usable, with just a few tweaks made for future batches to adjust the height and provide better mounting points.

The v hangers and vacuum cylinders were removed from the Farish coach and the etch glued in place along the centre-line. The air cylinder and reservoir were turned from plastic rod in a mini drill. The reservoir is mounted on the floor but the cylinder had holes drilled in the end and simply hangs in place on the etch (the lack of a solid mounting point not being obvious in the gloom).

This is set 18, a 3 coach set used on Oxted line services in 1968 made up of TSO, BSK and CK. I have modelled four coaches with the TSO being in both green and blue/grey for variety. The coaches will eventually form part of an 8 coach set used on the Uckfield service - it's where the Wealden Group meet so seemed appropriate.

Other work involved reducing the overscale roof ribs, restoring the periscopes on the BSK, removing top end steps, fitting in-line brake shoes, adding corridor connectors (cut out using the Graphtec cutter as per Nigel Ashton) adding warning flashes and a set number to the green TSO, adding the below-underframe end steps and vacuum hoses to the outer vehicles, renumbering, repainted roofs and a bit of weathering.

The test etch also included pieces to detail the standard Mk1 underframes and optionally convert them to the equalised variant and/or air-braking, but I haven't yet got around to trying those out....

3 December 2016

Back Together Again

By nigelashton

Thanks to Richard's nifty etch bits, my Britannia is back together in its improved form.

The wheel weights were added and the wheels painted (Tamiya Nato Black if you're intersted). Then all the gears and chassis bits were checked to function with the replacement coupling rods being sloppy enough to avoid hindering the gears.

The connecting rods have huge ends and we had the idea to cut these off and splice on  closer to scale big ends (bottom row in this picture). The original parts are on the left, replacements on the right. The return cranks are also much smaller shown in the top row.



So after several bouts of dismantling, fettling and re-fitting the Brit has been re-wheeled, re-rodded, renumbered and renamed and looks much more becoming. After the completion of my Duke named Mercury, I decided to call the Britannia the same name. This was a Western Region machine and it didn't have the replacement smoke deflectors, so was a good choice all round. Cabside number transfers and new etched nameplates were from Fox.

So the front bogie is Richard's etch with Association wheels, the drivers are Association, while the rear truck and tender wheels are self-turned on the lathe. They are mostly hidden so the slightly thicker treads won't be noticed. I may well change the tender wheels when Association spoked wheels with the extended axles become available.

So here we have a picture of the completed model on Llangerisech, well over weight for the line, but this is where Rule One applies. Like the Blue Pullman, and the Western (currently being re-named and re-numbered as well to become Western Explorer), I had the OO versions as a kid. In fact, along with the 3MT tank and the HST, I have now pretty much got everything from my childhood replicated in much finer 2mm form now.




So here we have the finished article. The signalman with the tablet pouch and hoop is the delightful item from Modelu. I can even claim that the 3D printed people are Cambrian!


27 November 2016

Brits In Pieces

By Richard Benn

The November meeting is our last of the year (as Christmas tends to get in the way).  As usual there was a lot of interesting discussion but a lot of activity as well.

Nigel and I are working on converting a pair of Dapol Britannia 4-6-2s. That's Nigel's on the left, with standard Association bearings soldered into the Dapol bearings amd reusing the Dapol gears. Mine on the right will utilise the new Association bearings and gears from the shop. Taking the Brits apart was not easy and required glued joints to be broken.



We have come up with some etched parts for the bogie, coupling rods (fluted and plain with the ability to have both as several locos did), balance weights, plus a couple of pieces which will hopefully allow us to utilise the majority of the Britannia valve gear. You can see the first test etches below (excuse the poor photograph - the light in the room is not the best).



I am going to check the fit of the coupling rods and Nigel is checking the rest. If it all works we hope to do the same for the Schools. That's mine on the right below with the Dapol Pannier on the left (both also in pieces). Nigel also has a Schools to convert. The Brit and the Schools are both diversions for us as neither fits with our main projects, but this is a hobby and it does us good to do something different once in a while.

The Schools came apart with much more grace. The bearings are the same diameter as those for the Pannier - they are longer but that is irrelevant to us - so I ordered an extra four for the Schools.



Alan was lining a Maunsell coach built from a Chis Higgs etched kit.



Guy was building track, or rather re-building track due to a series of unfortunate incidents.



David was assembling DGs, here seen doing the most fiddly bit - fitting the tongue.



Nigel also had his test track and I managed to snap a few locos as they whizzed round

24 July 2016

Show and Tell

By Richard Benn

There's been little posted by us recently but that doesn't mean we haven't been busy. Here are a few of the things we have been working on.

22 November 2015

Improving Farish BR1 Bogies

By Richard Benn

No posts from me for a while as I have been re-wheeling various Farish wagons (spurred on by a recent stint helping Nigel exhibit Llangerisech). The quality of these wagons is such that often there is little work needed other than swapping the wheel sets (leaving more time for weathering) but that leaves me nothing that is particularly finescale to report!

Whilst the Bachman Farish MK1 coaches are generally of this high standard, the bogies have one problem which lets them down in my eyes - the brake shoes are in line with the bogie frames rather than the wheels. This is the standard BR1 bogie after fitting with 2FS wheels (click for a larger picture):







The Association provide an etch of brake shoes that could be made to fit with a bit of effort, but as I have rather a lot of coaches I wanted a solution that needed minimal effort on my part, so I came up with the following etches:








There are two different types, one for use with the NEM pockets on the coaches (for inter-rake connections) and one for the outer ends of rakes where DGs are fitted. The only difference is a gap for the NEM pocket and the loss of the brake cross rods at this end. These fold up quickly to give assemblies like this:






The moulded brake shoes are easy to remove from the bogies with a couple of cuts with a scalpel. The assemblies are then glued inside the bogies locating them accurately using the raised boss where the bogie pin holds the bogie in place, like this:






The finished result looks something like this (I would usually paint them before fitting but left them in the metal for illustrative purposes):








I think the improvement is worthwhile but I'd be interested in the views of others. Assembly and fitting takes about 15mins per bogie. The cross rods are visible from some angles but once painted and weathered I doubt anyone will notice them. I'll know they are there!







They are not perfect - the folds that position the cross rods are still out after two test etches, but this is hidden and it all lines up with a bit of tweaking so I am quitting while I am ahead. I had also hoped they would fit the Commonwealth bogie and they nearly do but need a bit of filing to make them fit perfectly. As the inner brake shoes are invisible on the Commonwealth bogie it may be worth creating a simpler design for this (if I have enough Commonwealth bogies to make it worthwhile).

The older bogies on the Farish Suburbans (with the moulded Rapido coupler) require some minor modifications before these etches will fit and even then there is no raised boss for location so it would have to be done by eye, presumably fitting the wheels before the glue sets in order to check for clearance. (These older bogies are not as good as the new type and I am going to consider replacing them.)

I am not going to sell these commercially (the time spent rectifying the minor faults and providing instructions etc. would make it uneconomic) but if anyone wants some at cost on an as-is basis let me know via the Wealden group contact email and I will order enough when I order mine.

29 September 2015

Meeting Update

By nigelashton

Last Saturday saw some of us in our usual venue in the council building in Uckfield for our monthly meeting. Although we were a little down on numbers, we still had five of us discussing projects and ideas while doing some model making. Gareth was doing more coach lining and apparently managed sufficient corners to match the previous two months' efforts. Calculations revealed that the coach rake should be finished some time in late 2017 at the current rate!

Dave was working on some wagon chassis, using his self-built RSU while David was working on some DG couplings. We admired David's completed Langley horse-drawn vehicles and although I didn't get a shot, these did appear on the Kent and Essex group blog recently. Seeing them in the metal revealed even more detail.

I was replacing the quoins on the station building for Llangerisech. The earlier ones were cut from self adhesive paper using the Robo cutter, but had a habit of peeling off and looked a little too mint. So I used the cutter again to cut strips of the same width, but then could fold the paper and cut the strips evenly to length with a scalpel. These strips can then be glued on in alternating patterns using decent glue so they won't peel. A little weathering will highlight the morter courses. The plan is also to do some elements of interior detail so that doors can be left open.

Conversation revolved around Scouts, future exhibitions, using acrylic paint on FUD 3D prints as enamel is tricky, and the changing face of commercial exhibitions. I also gave an update to Guy about the new cassette system on Llangerisech as he missed the previous meeting, so I have included a couple of shots of this too.

Oh and Guy was doing some unfathomable Warhammer thing that was given to him by his brother......



26 April 2015

Notes and Pictures - April 2015

By Richard Benn

Here's a few snaps of our latest meeting:

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