Blog Archives

More Baseboards and A Peek at Benfieldside

I managed to get most of another day done on the baseboards at Tim & Julian’s workshops.  The bulk of the first four are now done; although the decks are still to be put on these.  A slightly fuzzy picture to show the progress is below:

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In addition to this, I had a look at their layout Benfieldside.  As noted in past posts, they have recently acquired this from John James, who was the custodian of it for some years.  Its original building was John Wright.

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A great layout; I think anyway!

I have managed to restore the first two signals – well entirely rebuild one!  I will post some pictures in the next few days with a bit of luck.

 

 

 

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One good turn leads to another…………

I managed to get most of another day in Tim & Julian’s joinery workshop.  With the assistance of Tim, we managed to get the three boards assembled with pattern maker’s dowels; along with the beginnings of the ground profiles.

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A start was also made on the last of the four boards that will form the main station area.  I didn’t want an ordinary square board on the corner as the layout will be viewed both front on and from the end.  Therefore, we have had to profile the corner piece around a mould.

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But all this help does have a price…………………….  Tim and Julian have recently acquired Benfieldside.  This rather exquisite layout was built by Martin Wright and was subsequently owned by John James.  If you want to see how good it is, find yourself MRJ 38 and you will see what I mean!

Over the years, the layout has suffered some damage so it is going to need to be restored.  This is where the use of Tim and Julian’s joinery shop ceases to be free – there are a number of damaged signals and even more that are missing altogether.  My brief is restore those that still exist and to set them up for servo operation.  Here are the first three; all of which have different issues.

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This one has a shattered post and is missing its access gantry/ladder.  In addition, the signal arm has become detached and as the signal is slotted (ie the arm is within a slot in the post), this is going to be quite difficult to fix in situ.

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This one also suffers from problems associated with the slotting – when Martin made this he only used lattice work for the front and back in order to provide a slot for the arm.  This however has made the signal very weak.  In addition, the gantry and ladder are missing.

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One of the arms us detached from its operating arm, its ladder and finial are also missing.

Fortunately, the North Eastern used Mackenzie & Holland as their signal suppliers as well as the Highland.  Therefore, I will get to use my etches!  Anyway, the signals have been stripped and restoration has started; a post next week will show how they are coming along.

A Week on Tour – Part 2; Strange Happenings at Warley

The other section of my travels last week was with Portchullin to Warley.

It mostly behaved itself; although I did seem to cook a servo board on Sunday lunchtime; which did annoy me lots as until this time we had all of the signals working which was a first.

We ran diesels all weekend, although we could not resist getting the Small Bens out to stretch their legs.  So two examples of chequebook modelling……….  Ben Alligan at the front and my father’s Ben Clebrig at the back

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P1020810 wee bens

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And to complete the Highland outing, Paul Bannerman’s (hard sweat not chequebook) model of a Yankee tank was out too.

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Chequebook Modelling – a Wee Ben

I don’t know whether this is a serious admission or not, but I have been doing some chequebook modelling – and my crime is rather more serious than the latest Hornby offering………………

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………and it cost rather more than an offering from Margate too!

I commissioned John James to build this about two years ago (that is how long a pro builder’s waiting list is if they are any good) and this was delivered a couple of weeks ago.  14413; Ben Alligan – constructed as she was in the mid 1920’s so in the fully lined crimson lake and jolly fine she looks to I am sure you will agree.

But, there is a problem with her…………………..she has names.  The LMS perpetuated nearly all of the Highland’s names that were still applied to the locos at the grouping (I can think of only one exception – Lochgorm) and continued to paint them on the splashers.  We hunted around for a sensible letting and did not manage to find any where the font had the right serifs and slightly unusual massing of the down stroke of the leters, so John omitted the names of this and another that he built for my father (Ben Clebrig if that is of interest to you).  That has meant that I have been fighting with CAD again and I think I have got close enough for my purposes (in 4mm, these are less than 2mm high!).

So once I have sorted out the right radius for the name (I think the Ben Slioch below is on a slightly too shallow an arc); then I will have a go at printing my own transfers.  I have the appropriate paper, so lets see how we do!

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One of the fun things with the Bens is choosing names for mountains that I really enjoyed climbing; Ben Alligan was probably around my 30th Munro and is a fabulous climb.  If you do it, you have to do the full circuit and finish on the Horns of Alligan – a bit of a mild scramble, not as airy as Aonach Eagach (which I have done) or the Cuillin (which I have not!); but still a jolly fine climb.  Oh and on a clear day you can see clearly to the outer Hebrides – fabulous in the blue sky.

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The Horns of Alligan looking east.

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