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Benfieldside at South Hants – Part 2

Following from last week’s post, here are a selection of further photographs from Benfieldside’s outing at the South Hants show, starting with a few around the platforms.

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One of the charms of the layout are its buildings; typically constructed from cereal packets – good old fashioned modelling but very effective as you can see!

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There remains a lot of stock to build for the layout and also a fair amount of restoration; the next bit of restoration can be seen in the picture below; a somewhat wonky signal (which will be rebuilt as a two doll to act as a starter signal for both the bay and the main loop).  Hopefully, this will be done for ExpoEM, which is the layout’s next outing – see you there?

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Many thanks to Dave Brandreth for the photographs in this post, along with some of those in its predecessor.

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Benfieldside’s First Outing In a Long Time

Benfieldside has just completed its first outing for what is believed to be 17 years and whilst honesty dictates that we must admit to some glitches; especially first thing, on the whole it went really very well.  As I have a fair number of photographs (some with thanks to David Brandreth), I will spread these over a pair of posts to keep people on tenterhooks!

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A NER C class (to become a LNER J21) pauses at the starter with a  freight train.

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The same train in the distance, showing the goods yard with the station throat behind.

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Things are quieter at the other end of the station where there is a full brake in the milk bay.  The signalman has a commanding view; in part of the slightly droopy signal on the gallows signal!

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Because we were so pleased simply to having it running, there was no pretence to running a sensible service (and we were a little short of stock, particularly passenger stock).  Thus, the poor coal merchant went without any delivery of coal all day!  At least it looks as if he has enough to keep the coal fires of Benfieldside going for a little longer.

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Next door, it seems like it might be lunch break at Iliffe & Stokes; builders, joiners and undertakers.

Moor to follow in a few days time……………  If you don’t already do so, you can subscribe to this blog by entering your email address in at the top left of the page.  This means you will be sent an email each time I post anything on the blog.

 

 

 

South Hants Model Railway Show

In just over a week from now, I will be down in Portsmouth for the South Hants Model Railway Club’s annual show.  Despite being a one day show, I find the show to be a good quality finescale show and the crew down there are very friendly, so it is definitely worth visiting.  You can find details of the show here.

I will be assisting in the operation of Benfieldside, which I have illustrated on this blog in the past but it is worth looking at some of the pictures again:

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I can assure you it is worth coming to the show to see this alone; and you might even find my latest construction effort – although probably still shiny like this.  This is a D&S Models NER auto-carriage and really needs a sister to work with it but that will have to wait!

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Stop by and say hello if you do visit.

NER Hoppers – Part 2; liveries

I have made more progress with the hoppers, having completed the main paintwork of these and also the lettering.

Both the livery and the lettering offer further opportunities for variety, which I have taken.  First up are a pair of wagons lettered with the full legend “North Eastern Railway”; a livery applied on some of them upto 1903.  This was a fair pain to create, as the full words had to be spelt out from an alphabet; even now I am not totally happy with this and a few tweeks to some of the letters is possible.

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The most common livery for the period that Benfieldside is set (just prior to the first war), was the livery applied between 1903 and 1911 and the legend NER was used.

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The final livery was on a darker grey and NER was dropped and replaced with a mere NE.  This vehicle had a load designation on its end too, which appeared to be an occasional feature.

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Once I have had a chance to tidy up the lettering, I will paint the interior a dirty black and speckle it with coal dust.  I will also make a coal load.  Then these need the application of grunge as I can’t believe that coal wagons were kept particularly well!

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I am presently cracking on with a batch of NER hoppers for Benfieldside.  Having acquired the layout, Tim and Julian have very little stock to run on it, so as part of the repayment for the use of their facilities and expertese on my boards, I thought I would help to correct this shortfall.

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The origins of all of this present batch of hoppers all go back to the Slaters’ injection moulded kit, which is of diagram P7 wagon.  There were around 17,500 of these wagons at the time of the grouping and the LNER carried on building them for some years thereafter with only subtle differences; so not unsurprisingly there were quite a lot of variants.  Thus, I have been doing a lot of modifying!

In each case, I replaced the very clunky W irons with Bill Bedford replacements; even though these were to be to EM, I felt that they would improve their performance.  The first examples were essentially built as the kit was intended with fairly traditional brake gear (which was to one side only).  However, having built my first one, I decided to refine the brake gear by drawing an etch for replacement steps, V hangers, morton brake mechanisms and brake levers.  This (along with a comparison with the plastic equivalent – the painted wagon), is below:

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However, a significant proportion were modified with end levers that operated a crank that was connected to the Morton gear.  At the ends, there was a much more chunky ratchet arrangement to retain the lever in position.  Again, I drew this up on the etch, and the arrangement looks like this:

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The NER undertook a number of experiments with these vehicles to attempt to reduce rolling resistance and this was the subject of my next modification.  On the right (below), shows the provision of a second outside set of W irons.  This was to add stiffening to the axles.  There is a set of Bill Bedford W irons to cater for this, but I chose instead to create a fresh set on the etch.  On the left is a further variant, where an anti-friction bearing was added in addition to the outer W irons.  This was a wheel that ran on the top of the axle and I presume the idea was that as it rotated less, there would be less friction.  I suspect that the introduction of an open bearing surface that would instantly get contaminated with coal and grot would actually have the exact opposite impact – as these were removed by the grouping era, I may well be right!

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The final variation of construction that I have modelled was a slot cut into the ends, which appeared on some vehicles.  The NER used these on vehicles that were hauled up rope inclines – of which they had many.  A plank of wood was inserted into the hole and wedged such that it was secured behind the end posts to ensure that the haulage point was close to the centre of the wagon.  They found without this that there was a tendency to pull the end posts loose due to the uneven point of pressure.

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Next up will be the painting and lettering of these; where I have three eras to chose from that would have all been apparent immediately pre- first war, which is when Benfieldside will be set.  More on this in a future post.

If there is a desire from anybody for the etches, I would be able to offer them; so drop me a note?

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