October 29, 2012

"Murdering a Bachmann V2...Thompson A2/1"

I had a free afternoon after an audit, and, well, one thing led to another...

That's all you're getting for the moment - I will explain in full this particular murder later in the week.


October 26, 2012

"Thompson A2/1 from a V2?"

An alternative title for this blog suggested was "Simon is mental Part 508".

So, what do we have here?

I have a boatload of older Bachmann V2 bodyshells. I bought up a job lot some years back to nab spare parts from. This particular one has sat on one of my shelves for about six years now. I decided to have a go at cutting the smokebox off, with the original intention of adding a Hornby A3 smokebox and boiler later on. However, curiosity got the better of me.

The resin components you can see are from Graeme King's range (you can find them for sale on the LNER Forum). The smokebox is part of his A1/1 kit, and the running plate and smoke deflectors are from the A2/3 kit.

These kits were designed to work with the Hornby A3 and the Bachmann A2 RTR models. Graeme is in fact working on a very accurate A2/2 and A2/1 set of resin kits at the minute, but I'm not as bothered as I thought I'd be about the misshapen Bachmann V2 boiler as I have been previously. My previous modelling exercise with the latest Bachmann V2, 60903 (seen in a photograph later in this blog entry) was much improved in terms of the overall look by replacing the dome cover.

This was the turning point for what is probably going to turn out to be a moment of madness!

So, in the next stage of investigation, here's my 4mm Isinglass drawing of an A2/1, one Bachmann A2, the cut up Bachmann V2 bodyshell, complete with Graeme's resin castings.

 Now for the so-called tricky bit. Which turns out to not be quite so tricky!

The steps below the cab are too far forward. However simply removing the box between the cartazzi and the steps, and then filing down the steps - and the rear extrusions on the chassis - gives the correct length chassis for the A2/1. Further modifications that will be required are removing the inside bracket for the Cartazzi wheels, allowing the bodyshell to sit firmly on the chassis.

Adding a set of Hornby's cab steps from their A3 cartazzi (available as a spare easily) gives you the correct steps in the right position. So the rear of the locomotive can be dealt with fairly easily, and without removing the attachment point for the tender coupling. This is important, because using the latest Bachmann V2 model as a source of parts, you can simply attach the tender (now with the standard attachment points as per A1 and A2) without any modifications.

On the face of it, there's very little which needs to be done to make an A2/1 from a Bachmann V2 bodyshell. The A1/1 kit's smokebox - which is standard to A2/1, A2/2, A2/3 and A1/1, incidentally - combined with the A2/3 kit's running plate give the correct length, shape and details for a full length A2/1 bodyshell when combined with the Bachmann V2 bodyshell, sans smokebox and front running plate.

You an also see above the V2 bodyshell, one of Graeme's excellent dome castings, intended for the A3 but suitable for V2, A2/1, A2/2 and any other locomotive so fitted with specific boilers carrying them. The smokebox door is a spare from a Bachmann A1 and is the right type (being the same casting as the A2 model).

 Now for the valve gear. Bachmann have used some parts standard to their A2 and A1 models, which will make swapping over the valve gear from the longer A2 connecting rod type to the V2 much easier.

Now in theory, the valve gear should fit the A2 cylinder without modification and run perfectly. I have tested this with an older style of V2 valve gear when fitted to my A2/2 model (coincidentally, made in a very similar way to how I anticipate the A2/1 will be built.

 Side by side comparison. You can see where certain parts of the two model's valve gear are standard between them. The great thing about the new V2 valve gear is that only needs unscrewing from the centre driver and the bracket, and lifts out as all one piece with the slide bar too (unlike the older split chassis which had a plastic slide bar prone to warping).

So that's the investigation more or less done; I await the new Bachmann V2 donor to see if there's much more that would need doing. I suspect not actually: so I may well get started on building the A2/1, jumping it ahead of the A1/1 build I have started (look carefully in the first photo of this blog!)

Until next time, when the madness will continue...

October 22, 2012

"Thompson A2/2, Gresley A4, and Copley Hill's Demise..."

We will start with the latter. I am planning a new layout, on which I can start to actually run my collection of locomotives and rolling stock, so Copley Hill's demise was assured really. I needed the space for a workbench on which to build my models, paint and weather them, and whilst the Copley Hill set was a poor trainset, it works very well as storage and a workbench (see above).

I've retained the shed for the purposes of photographing my collection and modelling, but all of the points, curves and similar have gone. All running in will be done on my trusty rolling road from now on.

So is this the end of my association with Copley Hill? No, merely a slumber until I can build the next incarnation of the shed...!

Here's a model which has proved camera-shy. I originally finished this model last July, but never got around to blogging it, in no small part due to job worries and concentrating on selling my eBook. 60011 Empire of India is also my joint entry with Peter Harvey, which uses his superb etches to create a model which Hornby have never offered; a garter blue A4 in British Railways branding.

The modelling of this A4 is described in further detail here.

And finally...after a year being built, my A2/2 (which has had an identity change!) is nearing completion:

There is another A2/2 on RMweb which by far out strips the modelling of my own; in my defense, I'm neither as experienced or talented and thus this result is the best I can muster for the moment.

Lessons to learn most certainly.

60506 has had a white primer applied, and then Railmatch apple green on top; but the colour is much darker than I had anticipated and I am currently um'ing and ah'ing over whether to strip it all away and start again with the painting. It is particularly aggravating as it is probably the smoothest finish I have ever achieved on any locomotive I have painted myself.

One point of detail - none of the A2/2s had the half round beading on the chimney in 1949, therefore I removed the beading on mine with a wet'n'dry sanding pad.

The tender has also been painted, coming out in the same dark shade as the locomotive. White undercoat I thought made top coats lighter. I am wondering if a few coats of Johnson's Klear will change the shade for the better. It will need a coat of Klear anyway to allow the waterslide transfers to sit properly.

That's it for the moment until my latest short term contract for work is completed. See you in November...!

October 15, 2012

"The British Railway Stories & EG Media Team Up"

E-G Media and The British Railway Stories Ltd are delighted to reveal that from October 2012, all videos made by E-G Media will be published by The British Railway Stories Ltd on their YouTube Channel.

The popular Steam Locos in Profile series, made by Chris Eden-Green's E-G Media, will also debut on The British Railway Stories Ltd's YouTube channel during October.

This is a great opportunity for us both going forward”said Simon Martin of The British Railway Stories Ltd.

This will allow Chris to earn more revenue from his videos than he did before, and gives us an extra string to our bow”.

I am very excited to be working closer with Chris in the future and would like to welcome him aboard”.

The agreement signed by The British Railway Stories Ltd and E-G Media will see the London based limited company act as video publisher for all future projects made by E-G Media, intended for worldwide distribution on YouTube.

"This is an exciting time for EG Media" said Chris Eden-Green, "as it is a terrific opportunity for both of us to broaden our audiences”.

I can't thank Simon enough for this opportunity”.

The original uploads of E-G Media's major projects will be gradually removed as the new uploads on The British Railway Stories Ltd's channel become live.

October 09, 2012

"Identity Change...60503 & 2006"

It's been a difficult last month, with job woes and traveling a plenty, but when one door closes, another one opens. However, whilst my physical modelling has taken a bit of a hit, with no work done on the fleet of locomotives and rolling stock since early September, I have begun planning my new layout, Ganwick Curve, which I intend to build over a two year period.

However, I intend this week to finish a few specific projects and also push a few along towards their completion. It was planning out my next bout of modelling that one fortuitous moment of clarity a few nights ago confirmed that I was making more work for myself than was necessary.

I had taken delivery of some resin parts from Graeme King - excellent representations of the washout plugs from an A4 (which are appropriate for various boiler types and Pacific locomotives). These were intended for the Nu Cast P2 I am building, which was to become a more accurate version of no.2006 Wolf of Badenoch, which had a different boiler to those on the other P2s and therefore had different washout plugs.

In parallel, I am working on my A2/2, no.60503 Lord President, intending to portray this locomotive with its specific washout plug arrangement.

It dawned on me - and I must confess, I should have seen it earlier - that by leaving the washout plug arrangement on the P2, and changing its intended identity to no.2003 Lord President, and switching the use of the washout plugs to the A2/2, I could then model no.60506 easier than 60503, and no.2003 easier than no.2006. Sounds simple, no?

I had forgot at this point that whereas 60503 had been seen at Copley Hill in 1949, 60506 had not. So my choice of A2/2 identity would be inappropriate for a future Copley Hill layout, and certainly inappropriate on Leeds-King's Cross expresses on the future Ganwick Curve.

That was until I found a photograph of 60506 at Copley Hill in 1949 yesterday - filling in for failed Pacific Centenary! It turns out I can model 60506 after all without the annoyance of modeling the "wrong" class member, so to speak. One other thing to sort will be the chimney. On my current model the stovepipe chimney has the later applied lip. 60506's stovepipe didn't have the lip in 1949, so this will be removed through sanding it away.

So thankfully the plan for an identity switch meets with a happy conclusion. These two locomotives will be worked on, along with the lone Thompson D Class, The Morpeth, which requires final application of its transfers and some weathering. That will allow my workbench some breathing space to finish work on a few other locomotive projects I've been working on.

Until next time - my camera's been repaired so pictures will be forthcoming too!

October 04, 2012

"Tale of the Unnamed Engine - Now on Kobo!"

The British Railway Stories' first eBook, Tale of the Unnamed Engine, is now on the Kobo system!

Download it here now!