Brettell Road

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jim s-w
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Re: Brettell Road

Postby jim s-w » Fri Aug 21, 2020 9:04 pm

I found a relatively cheap Bachmann Compound recently and thoughts have turned to what to do with it.

Lets start with a little disclaimer. Alan Gibson supplies a set of wheels to convert this loco to P4 and I would have every confidence that just swapping the wheels would get a p4 steam loco up and running pretty quickly. After all a 4-4-0 has got to be about the best case scenario you could really ask for. I didn't try it myself but we've had a wheel swapped GWR Grange (I think) running on Moor Street for years now.

Being relative new to RTR steam locos, this is actually my first RTR tender loco I've had since i was a kid, there's always 2 areas that stand out to me as looking a little weak on pretty much all RTR steam locos. No, not the wheels although big, in your face, wheels do perhaps yield the greatest benefit of swapping to p4 visually. The areas I am talking about are bogies and tenders. More specifically in the case of the latter, tender underframes. They just always seem so, for want of a better description, flat!

The bogie

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So to the bogie. There was nothing about the supplied RTR one that i wanted to keep so its a straight swap with a Comet example. As supplied they can be built with central springing for side control but no springing on the axles. Setting some simple springs up however couldn't be easier.

The loco chassis</strong

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To the loco. I decided I wanted to use some of the Comet chassis bits but not exactly as intended. So the first process was deciding what of the RTR offering I wanted to keep and what I wanted to replace.

I wanted to use the sideframes in a sort of Brassmasters easychas inspired way and keep the original Bachmann drive. Initially I thought the crosshead was just an RTR bodge but they do actually look like that. So that and the cylinders were keepers. I also liked the brake gear so that stayed.

The Comet chassis is not designed for this model and is too long. The wheelbase between the driving wheels and hence the coupling rods are also too long. Comet do specify this is the case on their website. The Bachmann frames are actually the right width at the front of the loco but narrow from the cylinders back to accommodate the 00 wheels. The cylinders look, from underneath that they might fit on little pegs coming down from the footplate. They don't, they slot sideways into the chassis. Its best to pop them off and keep them safe.

I decided to split the chassis behind the forward step to loose some of its extra length. The front part being a relatively easy fit. The rear part needed some trial and error to cut away little sections to get it to fit. The Bachmann model is driven on the front driver ( it looks like the chassis was designed for gears but to both axles but it doesn't have them), so the Comet chassis was carefully titivated so that the rear axles position matched. I wasn't too worried about the front driver as I has decided to keep it rigid.

By leaving the RTR style bearings off the rear driving axle you get a little room for vertical movement. A Brassmasters sprung bearing was modified with a bit of tube (the Bachmann and hence Alan Gibson axles are an odd size). The frames were glued in place using 60 thou plasticard to space them out to something more prototypical. The springs are part of the RTR keeper plate so they are too to far back but I decided to leave them as is.

The brake gear needs a bit of modification to fit over the new frames and it was here that I hit a little unexpected snag. Bachmann use bigger wheels than scale. I wonder if this is because its a development of the national railway museum model which being an earlier example had bigger wheels? Anyway the effect of this is the brake gear sits too low and would likely hit the rails when crossing pointwork. The solution is to take a mm out of the top of the keeper plate so that everything moves up a little.

Valve gear

Lets be honest RTR valve gear is generally a bit weird. Its often both too big and too thin at the same time. The Bachmann coupling rods are about scale height (ignoring the bosses which are huge!!) but being only 1 piece of metal aren't thick enough. So these were discarded and the Comet ones used in their place. Suitability shortened by 2mm.

The connecting rods as supplied are quite good though. Much more meaty and they feature the big square bosses that the Comet ones don't, so hybrid valve gear it is then! The Bachmann crank pins are 2mm wide (really!) so a bit of tube was soldered in to make them fit the Gibson crank pins. While I was at it I made another 2 collars for the trailing driver a the coupling rods on a compound are outside of the connecting rods.

On to the tender

Body great but underframe - ugh!

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Luckily Lanarkshire models do a replacement chassis kit for a Fowler tender. This was assembled as per the instructions. For the outer frames I was kindly supplied a spare etch by Brassmasters and mated this with some Comet springs and axleboxes. I decided to keep the Bachmann steps as they are moulded as part of the tender body.

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As is often the case with this sort of stuff, the most pleasing view is the one you wont ever see!

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Philip Hall
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Re: Brettell Road

Postby Philip Hall » Fri Aug 21, 2020 11:07 pm

One of your usual tidy jobs, Jim. Interesting how you wrapped the Comet frame around the Bachmann chassis to allow for some springing. One thing though, I’m intrigued about you soldering a bit of tube into the connecting rod to reduce the size of the hole. I wouldn’t rely on that joint because every Bachmann engine I’ve ever seen has diecast connecting rods! I usually force in a bit of tube with a touch of cyano for security. In truth, though, it’s all held together with the crankpin nuts so can’t go anywhere.

I can’t wait to see what you’ll do with the weathering.

Philip

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jim s-w
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Re: Brettell Road

Postby jim s-w » Fri Aug 21, 2020 11:17 pm

Thanks Philip

Im not all that worried as these are defiantly brass and even if the joint fails the bush isn't going anywhere as you say.

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jim s-w
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Re: Brettell Road

Postby jim s-w » Sat Sep 05, 2020 10:26 pm

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One thing that's always bugged me a little about the above image is the coupling rods on the class 11 (left). I cant remember why but I used the Brassmasters standard rods rather than their finescale ones. Well I finally got around to swapping them over.

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Another little distraction is this Bachmann anchor tank wagon.

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A simple wheel swap with a new etched discharge wheel and new ladders from Stenson models.

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A bit more of a 'proper' project was this diagram 1/163 iron ore hopper from Wizard models. Quite a neat little project this one.

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Finally, i don't want to remind anyone but the nights are drawing in again!

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DougN
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Re: Brettell Road

Postby DougN » Sun Sep 06, 2020 7:33 am

Jim, no need to worry from this side of the earth... been a lovely day at 20degrees and sunny.. certainly raises the spirits
Doug
Still not doing enough modelling

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Re: Brettell Road

Postby Terry Bendall » Sun Sep 06, 2020 8:49 am

All very nice Jim. I particularly liked the restrained weathering on the wagons.

Terry Bendall

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jim s-w
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Re: Brettell Road

Postby jim s-w » Sun Sep 13, 2020 9:34 pm

So back to the Bachmann compound then.

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The body  looks pretty much spot on to me and the firebox Bachmann had modeled suits the loco I have chosen to do. 40925 was a late survivor and based at Bournville so that's local enough  for me.  I added the lifting points to the front frames and the large pipe coming from the smokebox. This is an exhaust steam injector and not all compounds had them. As far as I can tell they were only fitted on one side, that being the side opposite the driver (compounds came in both left and right hand drive versions).  The smoke box has been painted in Revell no9 and he difference looks a little stark at this stage.

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The ejectors are the Bachmann ones cu down, again refer to a pictures of your specific loco as these varied a lot. There's a connecting rod that appears to bo from the back of the ejectors to somewhere near the slide bar support bracket. In the pictures that show this well it always looks extremely close to the face of the rear bogie wheel. I decided the best way to replicate this was to mount it on the actual bogie instead.

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Crew from Modelu - the driver looks distinctly uncomfortable straining to see. A the compounds had very large cab roofs I haven gone for a rain sheet on this model.

On to the tender

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The body Bachmann supplied was a later Fowler type with coal tunnel and doors. Of course the loco I had picked had the earlier type without them. Luckily Brassmasters do a conversion kit and coal rails so that was what I used. The floor in the Bachmann model is flat fo i knocked up the coal chute from plasticard.  Incidentally the supplied handrails are absolutely fine and don't need replacing. They had to be on the one side for no other reason than i mangled it!

So the model has been weathered (to look tired but not scrap line) and aside from the wheel balance weights I can call this one done.

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jim s-w
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Re: Brettell Road

Postby jim s-w » Thu Sep 24, 2020 6:59 pm

A while ago I shared my initial thoughts on extending Brettell Road.  For those that missed it heres a link http://www.p4newstreet.com/brettell-road-2.html

The initial plan required some modification to the left hand end of the existing layout but otherwise it was pretty much an add on.  Then the coronavirus happened and while plans were firmed up no wood was cut (lazered) and its not progressed to any kind of physical reality.  In that time my thoughts have turned to correcting the first regret, that being that Brettell Road 1 wasn't double track to begin with.  This would also have the benefit of replacing the mainline track bed with ply as initially I used MDF.  The layout was only supposed to be a play thing if you remember.

This would require some additional tweaks to Brettell Road 1 but actually not as drastic as one might think.

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Starting with the left hand end, where the new boards would attach to the existing layout in addition to the track.  I was actually quite generous with the track spacing and the double track would fit with only a slight tweak to the wall shown by the arrow. There's another advantage here as my first plan would involve splitting the single slip across the baseboard joint but the double track pulls everything further in to the layout meaning the entire slip falls on this board. No changes would be required to the bridges.

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At the right hand end there's a benefit to slewing the track away from the front of the layout with space then for the second track in front of it.  The plan is to extend the furthest siding a little while shortening the front one a smidge.  This would allow me to start curving the front wall just after the canal bridge to generate the extra space.  I will need to build a new bridge. None of these tweaks are particularly drastic.

Below is a mock up of how it would look.

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Re: Brettell Road

Postby jim s-w » Mon Oct 05, 2020 2:59 pm

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Long time followers may recall this old picture of a Hornby Class 110 DMU that I intended to chop up into something a little more 'local'.  With the acquisition of a Bachmann Derby lightweight as a gap filler it kind of fell off the radar a little. I did debate doing another class 100 but in the end I have decided that a Park Royal class 103 would be the target of my attentions.

A little about the prototypes

These units were introduced in 1957 to the Birmingham LMR region. 20 sets were produced and the last vehicle in passenger use lasted until 1983.  A few vehicles survived a little longer in departmental use (Derby RTC Lab5 lasting until 1991) or as a Sandite unit (1985).  There was another oddity in that one set was converted to a Viaduct Inspection Saloon.  This was withdrawn in 1978 but was saved for preservation.

The 20 sets were all allocated to the Birmingham area for their first decade operating mainly Walsall services before moving on initially to Chester then spreading further afield. Although none standard they did use the blue square coupling code so could work with the majority of other DMU types. Pretty early on they started to suffer from cracking in the bogie frames and their poor reliability saw steam hauled services return to many of their diagrams while the problems were sorted out.  Aside from the oddballs mentioned earlier they only carried 2 liveries. Green (with or without whiskers and later with a small yellow warning panel) or BR Blue (small panel or full yellow end). None received blue and grey livery.

The Model

The similarity between a class 103 and the class 110 is reasonably obvious and (as with my class 100 and 114 conversions) the desired result can be achieved by cutting parts out and shuffling them around, Plus a few spare panels from previous projects.

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The above diagram may be of assistance. The red lines are cuts or areas than need to be removed.  The orange areas are surplus and the blue areas need filling in.  On the driving trailer everything aft of the last door stays the same as the class 110. I didn't cut into the roof.

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Initial stages of assembly.  You can see the additional panel from another body shell in white.

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Face on you can see where the windows are opened up to match the class 103. The new frames are 10 x 30 thou microstrip secured to the inner edges. Incidentally in working on this conversion I have come to the conclusion that the class 110 windows aren't right as supplied. They need to be wider and the angles tops need a slight curve.

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The 2 body shells after a coat of primer and more work with filler. The angled tumblehome Hornby used has been rounded off and any missing hinges replaces with etched ones from Southern Pride. I need to add another cental filler to the DMBS yet.

Why do one when you can do 2? 

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While in a DMU kinda mood I have started work on a class 129 DPU using a DC kits body kit.

A bit on this prototype as well

3 of these single car units were ordered from Cravens by the LMR.  These had a none standard coupling code (yellow diamond) meaning that the could work with the original Derby Lightweights. Introduced in 1958 they lased until 1973 with one going to the RTC initially for brake testing but later for hydraulic transmission tests and gaining the name 'Hydra'.  None of the 3 survived into preservation. Although 55997 was initially allocated to Walsall it was 55998 that was most often to be found working int he Birmingham area during the late 1950s mainly on New Street to Walsall, Wolverhampton or Coventry services. Later it would regularity continue on to Rugby and one slightly unusual service was Alrewas to New Street with produce from market gardens.  As with the other DPU class, class 128 they would regularly pull a tail load.

The Model

Charlie supplied his class 129 kit with a standard class 105 cravens DMU cab moulding (no doubt tooling up another cab just for this class of 3 units wouldn't make a huge amount on commercial sense).  So there is a little work to do to make it closer to the prototype, mainly removing the destination box and moving the marker lights down. I elected not to use the supplied flat bass etch for the route indicator box and made my own from microstrip.

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The main bodyshell assembled with extra little details.  On something so plain sided it pays to add these little things to break up the sea of grey plastic.

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jim s-w
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Re: Brettell Road

Postby jim s-w » Fri Nov 06, 2020 9:21 pm

Attention has moved the the under frames of my DMU project. As I mentioned when building my class 114 the easy option for the 103 would be to stick with the 110 under frames and I would expect most people wouldn't notice.  However as per my 114 project that wont really do.

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The DMBS.  Its easier to start with a center car chassis than a power car as when you cut off the Hornby details it gives you a flat floor to work on rather than just a hole. The battery boxes are from Replica and most of the other (black) bits are spares from a Heljan class 128.  The white bits are scratchbuilt and the buffers are from Lanarkshire model. The heating ducts on a class 103 are quite distinctive as is the way the exhausts are routed past the inner bogie.

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The DTCL

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For the class 129 the obvious thing to do would be to mount the body on a Bachmann class 105 chassis.  However the class 129 chassis is a bit different to a normal cravens unit and shares some parts with a class 108, especially the distinctive battery boxes. So most of these one came from a Bachmann 108 with again some scratchbuilt parts  Buffers and their stools again come from Lanarckshire models.

With all these there is still a little more to do before paint, namely bogie steps, air horns and lamp irons.
Last edited by jim s-w on Sat Nov 07, 2020 7:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Paul Willis
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Re: Brettell Road

Postby Paul Willis » Mon Nov 09, 2020 6:38 pm

Evening all,

As requested, I've split the SSL/image topic away from Jim's layout thread.

In the absence of a Forum area entitled "My ****ing Computer", then I've transferred it to the Members' Lounge. I'll add an introductory comment to the the initial post shortly, to give it a bit of context.

Cheers
Paul Willis
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Beware of Trains - occasional modelling in progress!
www.5522models.co.uk

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jim s-w
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Re: Brettell Road

Postby jim s-w » Mon Nov 09, 2020 7:06 pm

Cheers Paul

Much appreciated

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jim s-w
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Re: Brettell Road

Postby jim s-w » Mon Nov 16, 2020 7:12 pm

One of the things that struck me as a bit weird with the pics of the class 103 underframes I showed last time was that the bogies seemed to be too far inboard from the ends.  The class 103 (and class 110 for that matter) have bogies centres of 40 feet but Hornby have them set closer to 38 feet.  This is not something I've ever seen mentioned before with regards to the Hornby 110.
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On the trailer and the none powered end of the DMBS, because i had used Brassmasters bogies it was simply a case of moving the bogies out. Originally the mounting plate sat neatly inside the moulding (although raised by some 100thou evergreen strip.  Now they sit outside of the moulding by 20thou as can just be seen in the picture.  At the powered ens U opened out the floor at the inner end and simply bent the forward clip of the bogie to push everything back (the sideframes aren't the best fit to the power bogie and were way to stiff before anyway!).
The bogies have been backdated with bits of wire and microstrip. 
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Happier now.   With that, some paint, the seating modified and some LEDs, aside from some windscreen wipers I can call these done.

Class 103

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The roof vents were kindly printed for my by my friend John Chivers and I extend my thanks.
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Class 129

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And finally both units together.
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jim s-w
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Re: Brettell Road

Postby jim s-w » Tue Dec 01, 2020 7:45 pm

Sometimes it pays to drop back a gear and just do a few simple things that are not too taxing.   Things like a few simple wagon kits or just some pictures.
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And what could be more simple than the good old Airfix mineral wagon kit?  This ones been converted to a diagram 102 variant and weathered with gouache and a hint of AK interactive weathering pencils for the rust.
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Next up a mix and match of parkside bits to produce a Hybar.  The rail itself is a neat little etched kit from Rumney Models.

Below a few pictures.

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jim s-w
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Re: Brettell Road

Postby jim s-w » Thu Dec 17, 2020 2:09 pm

A while ago I showed a picture of a Powsides ED 7 plank wagon.  ED stands for Earl of Dudley and I said at the time that it was a bit early for the layout and that that PR, Pensnett Railway would be more appropriate. A chance discussion on an industrial railway modellers Facebook group revealed that Planet Industrials actually do a set of transfers for PR wagons so a set was duly ordered.
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A couple of existing wagons were repainted into red oxide (the 'shunters truck' and a grey 7 plank RCH design) and a couple more RCH wagons were knocked up from good old Parkside kits. I decided to keep the Powsides ED one as it was  (although weathered a bit more to make it look more tatty) and do the shunters truck as ED too in a sort of crossover period.  Ive never found a photo of ED and PR wagons mixed together mind you.

The above train is all very 'corporate' and it wont appear at shows like this.  The PR wagons will be jumbled up among other mineral wagons. One thought I have had though is by making Brettell Road 2 tracks the industrials will look too out of place on the mainline so the plan is to extend the siding the train is on to the fiddleyard and have them appear from behind the warehouse, using the yard as a exchange sidings.

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I was intrigued by the recent Oxford rail tank wagons and decided the yellow Carless Petrol version would break up the sea of grey and bauxite wagons on the layout. As with the ED wagons its really a bit to early for Brettell Road so I've weathered it up to look pretty tired.  Theres a few things worth noting with this model. The first is the axle length is odd. Happily its still 2mm and its not odd in a crazy short, Lima way so you can swap P4 wheels onto it and use the original axles. The second thing is that the lettering and the red stripe don't react well to white spirit. If you want to remove them then great but if you use enamel washes thinned with white spirit for any of your weathering, as I do, and you want to preserve the livery its best to give it a quick coat of matt varnish first.

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steve howe
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Re: Brettell Road

Postby steve howe » Thu Dec 17, 2020 2:15 pm

The Cowans Sheldon crane looks superb Jim, was it the D&S kit?

(I shudder to think what this kit would be on Ebay now!!)

Steve

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jim s-w
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Re: Brettell Road

Postby jim s-w » Thu Dec 17, 2020 2:30 pm

Hi steve

It’s actually the old hornby (triang even) one with extra detail. The pulleys and counterweights are from Jon Hall.

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Noel
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Re: Brettell Road

Postby Noel » Thu Dec 17, 2020 4:45 pm

jim s-w wrote:I was intrigued by the recent Oxford rail tank wagons and decided the yellow Carless Petrol version would break up the sea of grey and bauxite wagons on the layout. As with the ED wagons its really a bit to early for Brettell Road so I've weathered it up to look pretty tired.


The Carless livery is strictly pre-war or very early WW2, and not all that accurate, as the then regulations required the base colour for Class A tanks to be light stone. Class A wagons were pooled during WW2 under the control of the Petroleum Board, and painted dark grey to reduce visibility from the air. By the time the PB permitted owners' names to reappear a year or two after the war, the RCH rules about Class A livery had changed, and tanks had to be aluminium colour ["silver"] with red solebars, the rest of the chassis being black. No UK railway would have registered or accepted for transit any Class A tank not in the required livery. [Tourret's comment about the lack of horizontal red band on the tanks of the wagons in Plate 212 in the second edition seem somewhat confused, as the two tanks shown are clearly in post-war Class A livery with red solebars.] Class A liquids, incidentally, leave virtually no residue if spilled...
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Noel

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jim s-w
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Re: Brettell Road

Postby jim s-w » Thu Dec 17, 2020 5:09 pm

Interesting stuff but are you sure about the residue thing Noel?

Plenty of class A tanks here - https://paulbartlett.zenfolio.com/bpo37 ... #h7c8aad3f

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Re: Brettell Road

Postby steve howe » Thu Dec 17, 2020 5:12 pm

Noel wrote:
jim s-w wrote:I was intrigued by the recent Oxford rail tank wagons and decided the yellow Carless Petrol version would break up the sea of grey and bauxite wagons on the layout. As with the ED wagons its really a bit to early for Brettell Road so I've weathered it up to look pretty tired.


The Carless livery is strictly pre-war or very early WW2, and not all that accurate, as the then regulations required the base colour for Class A tanks to be light stone. Class A wagons were pooled during WW2 under the control of the Petroleum Board, and painted dark grey to reduce visibility from the air. By the time the PB permitted owners' names to reappear a year or two after the war, the RCH rules about Class A livery had changed, and tanks had to be aluminium colour ["silver"] with red solebars, the rest of the chassis being black. No UK railway would have registered or accepted for transit any Class A tank not in the required livery. [Tourret's comment about the lack of horizontal red band on the tanks of the wagons in Plate 212 in the second edition seem somewhat confused, as the two tanks shown are clearly in post-war Class A livery with red solebars.] Class A liquids, incidentally, leave virtually no residue if spilled...


Useful to know, thanks Noel. Would tanks carrying fuel oil such as kerosene be classed as Class B and so appear in black livery before WW2?

Steve

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Re: Brettell Road

Postby Highpeak » Thu Dec 17, 2020 6:02 pm

The crane looks very good, how did you modify the running gear? I have one somewhere and I think it was very basic, more or less pinpoints running in the frame casting.
Neville
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jim s-w
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Re: Brettell Road

Postby jim s-w » Thu Dec 17, 2020 6:09 pm

They are a weird sort of domed axle on an odd length axle (ironically as it appeared on the tank wagon as well). I reused the original axles on the crane also but ground the bearing cup away a bit so it sits lower. Very much trial and error with constant checking on a bit of glass. You need to superglue a bit of wire across the base of the slot when you are happy to stop the axle falling out.

Crepello
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Re: Brettell Road

Postby Crepello » Thu Dec 17, 2020 7:10 pm

Highpeak wrote:The crane looks very good, how did you modify the running gear? I have one somewhere and I think it was very basic, more or less pinpoints running in the frame casting.

Bear in mind also that in line with Tri-ang practice of the era, the casting is stretched vertically to raise the buffer height to match the rest of their range.

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Noel
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Re: Brettell Road

Postby Noel » Thu Dec 17, 2020 9:16 pm

steve howe wrote:Useful to know, thanks Noel. Would tanks carrying fuel oil such as kerosene be classed as Class B and so appear in black livery before WW2?


In the 1930s, I would assume so, as Kerosene/Paraffin is Class B, but see below

jim s-w wrote:Interesting stuff but are you sure about the residue thing Noel?


I'm quoting from Tourret on this. He states that oil companies tend to differentiate between 'white' products, which drain to a clean tank, and spills of which mostly evaporate and leave no marks, and 'black' products which leave marks. There is no clear division between the two, rather a continuum; basically the heavier the product, the more residue; fuel oils have intermediate characteristics, for example. For convenience Class A tanks carry 'white' products - light distillate feedstock, motor sprit, kerosene, gas oil and possibly even light fuel oil, of which the last three are actually Class B. Class B tanks carry 'black' products - fuel oil and lighter bitumen products, of which heavy fuel oil and bitumen are unclassed, having a flash point above Class B, and requiring heating before discharge; some bitumen requires tanks that are heated and insulated [so technically are not Class B tanks].

I assume he was writing about more or less contemporary procedures [the first edition was published in 1980] and class A tanks seen with residue have been carrying light fuel oil. I don't know whether his comments also apply to steam days, but apart from WW2 [petrol for the RAF and USAAF] Class A tanks were much less common than Class B [and many Air Ministry Class A were converted to Class B or bitumen tanks after the war ended]. Photographs from the 1950s don't normally show residue on Class A tanks, so far as I know. Class B tanks of that era also came in three types - heated but not insulated, heated and insulated, and neither heated nor insulated, and fuel oil was far less common, presumably meaning that there was less need to use Class A tanks for Class B traffic. The discharge apparatus at the destination is also probably very relevant, as bottom discharge for Class A tanks was banned until the early 1960s, so sending a Class A tank to a destination only equipped for bottom discharge was presumably not normally done before that.
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Noel

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jim s-w
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Re: Brettell Road

Postby jim s-w » Mon Dec 21, 2020 8:07 pm

While I've been in a brake van kinda mood I finally got around to improving an old Hornby LMS 20ton version I had and making it a tad more suitable for Brettell Road.
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Pretty basic detailing job on this one.

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A selection of Midland versions.

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Actually this brake van originally came from the Amlwch layout along with the above 47 and 24. Of the three the class 24 is as it was brought. the 47 having been brought a bit more up to date (well 1987 anyway).  I wonder if Amlwch is still around somewhere?

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Bit of a different angle.  Let's call this train an internal user?

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Haven't done a rainy pic for a while. NBL class 21 nestles between another pair of type 2s.


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