Blog Archives

A Promise is a Promise

Dad coming good with a promise…

In 2004 an eager but very flu affected 7 year old got himself out of a sickbed to drive with us all the way to York to see and ride behind the Flying Scotsman.  Imagine his dissapointment to find that she had failed and was in for maintenance. The Black 5 on the Scarbrough Spa Express really did not work as a substitute – by 7, he had already seen a fair number of Hikers by then!

So I promised that we would get to see her again soon and definitely have a ride behind her…… well it’s just neither I or the National Railway Museum thought “soon” meant 12+ years (and the small matter of £4.5m)!!!  But Dad has done his duty as you can see…… even if the thrill to a 20 year old had waned a bit in comparison with the 7 year old’s which is definitely sad!

So enjoy a one of my pictures of her ladyship (or money-pit as some beleive!) and with thanks to Brian Dandridge for all of the rest of them as we were on the train and obviously could not photograph ourselves!!  Thanks Brian!

Brian Dandridge 2

Brian Dandridge 4

Brian Dandridge 5

Brian Dandridge 6

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I have always felt the A3s to be one of the most attractive locomotive classes (although I do not like the german style smoke deflectors); if I were OTCM Oly I would be busy hatching a new layout plan……………..well maybe I am (……not, don’t worry but I do fancy an A3………..!)

Scrap Tank Test Build – Part 1; Getting Started

I took the weekend off the other week and attended the Spring Railway Modeller’s Weekend at Missenden.  It is great to spend two full days just modelling away from the distractions of life and amongst people who are all doing exactly the same.  I find it a form of therapy and it is well worth going if you have been thinking about it (and even if you haven’t!).

I took with me the etches that I have had delivered by PPD for the Scrap Tank; with a view to doing a test build using them.  The origins of this class are some of the earliest locomotives built for the line; the Raigmore class.  In an attempt to increase the life of these new enlarged boilers were fitted to them.  Unfortunately for the Highland Railway the boilers were too heavy for their frames and consequently these cracked.  This left the Highland with a number of new boilers, wheels and many fittings but no locomotives!   Ever the frugal, they recycled these parts into a series of three shunting locomotives which were designed by Peter Drummond and these inevitably quickly picked up the name of Scrap Tanks.

These were rather brutish looking locomotives for the time, characterised by surprisingly large wheels for a shunting locomotive – something compelled on the Highland due to them reusing these from the Raigmore class which were mainline passenger locomotives with 5′ 3″ wheels.  For those of you who don’t know what these looked like, this is what we are aiming at:

scrap tank

And this is what we are starting with:

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Whilst this may (well has!) got me into some trouble, I have sought to design the kit to be easier to build than the average etched brass kit and certainly easier than the Falcon Brass kits that are the staple in 4mm for many of the Highland’s locomotives.  I have sought to do this in a number of ways and the first area tackled, the cab front/interior, illustrates one of these; the use of fold up assemblies to assist not only in creating the shapes but also the laminations.  Many of the modern etch designers are using these (especially the 2mm boys/girls) but I have sought to do rather more than most (which has made the preciseness of the design rather more challenging, more of which anon).

The bulk of this assembly starts as a single piece, that is folded up to form the cab floor, splasher sides and the bulk of the cab front.  To assist the lamination process, jigs either side of the cab front have been used.  Wire rods are slipped through the small holes in these to ensure that they are registered on top of each other properly.

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The view below shows the laminations now sweated together and illustrates the square cut outs behind the cab front which are to enable glass/Perspex to be slotted in to represent the sceptical glazing.  The view also shows the boiler backhead which is made from three layers of etch (not with a folding jig – yet!).  I am pretty pleased with this as this is only 13 * 15mm in size, so the wheels on the backhead are only 2mm in diameter.

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To be continued…………(soon too!).

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