Monday, 29 September 2014

"Streamlined P2…any colour so long as it's…."

The tender of the P2 has now been completed, bar transfers. Plain black livery applied, it has a nice sheen without looking too glossy.

The valve gear is more or less finished. Please excuse the slight angle here - this has since been rectified.

This isn't the finished model of course, but it is getting closer day by day and I am feeling happier about it day by day.

Until next time.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

"Streamlined P2: valve gear complete, body shell getting closer…"

The Hornby P2 rebuild keeps on rolling along...

So there's still a long way to go but I am very happy with the progress being made. A few more weeks and I hope to unveil no.2003 in full wartime black.

I think the above photograph speaks for itself.

Until next time.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

"Bit more work on the Hornby Streamlined P2…"

A few more modifications and a game of spot the difference...

A section of boiler has been removed by careful cutting and filing, and a slice of A4 boiler (left over from a hacked about Great British Locomotives, Mallard static model) has been added to make the right sloping forward boiler profile for a streamlined P2. This will be more carefully blended in over the weekend using Humbrol plastic filler.

The cylinders are now on a new stretcher and set at the right height. Placed temporarily is a correct shape but missing lots of details white metal P2 front end, being used mainly to check the length and space available over the cylinders for the plug on resin front end, and for the addition of some running plate to make the overall shape.

That's it for the moment - until next time.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

"Streamlined P2 in the making…"

I've been quietly working behind the scenes on my version of Gresley's P2, converted from the Railroad model of no.2001. The model utilises number of different spare odds and ends and will be a right Frankenstein's monster in some respects but will hopefully also end up producing a fairly accurate model too.

You will notice that the Hornby valve gear and the air smoothed front end are both gone. The latter is being saved in the spares box should I ever decide to make no.2002 Earl Marischal as built!

The front end is eventually going to be a combination of Hornby A4 front end, my own well worked resin valances and side panels, and a white metal chimney from a Kay's Kit together with Maygib double spencer buffers.

At the rear, the cab side sheets are going to be extended upwards to make the right type for no.2003 Lord President (which at the moment, is my intended subject). The tender requires some modification at front and rear to match the P2 streamlined tender and this will be done out of plasticard and Archer's rivets.

The boiler towards the smokebox end is entirely the wrong profile - it should slope down to the streamlined front, as per the A4s, and this I will attend to with some filing and re-profiling.

Putting all the bits together though to mock up the overall look of the thing, and suddenly I feel a thousand times more confident I can do this than I did at the start of the week.

Until next time.

Monday, 22 September 2014

"Something streamlined this way comes…"

V2 cylinders need a few mods (lowering a tad, the valve gear needs to be fitted onto the support bracket behind too)...

…the tender needs painting…along with the driving wheels and other items...

…but, touch wood, I appear to have a working walschaerts valve gear fitted P2 chassis.

I would never dream of saying this was the best way to go, but if you're short on time, soldering iron talent and feel like having a go, this method is working rather well for me thus far.

Until next time.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

"Thompson B3/3…tender finished, new chimney, on home straight"

I've been working on a model of Thompson's B3/3 since early 2012 by my reckoning. She gets pulled out of the sidings every so often for a little more work to be done on her, but things have suddenly shot forward in no small part thanks to the Great British Locomotives issue no.16 - Butler-Henderson.

As you can see from this comparison shot, the GBL Butler-Henderson has donated its chimney to the proceedings. Overlaying the Great Central type chimney from this model on my Isinglass B3/3 drawings showed them to be a much better match than the original B1 type chimney (as seen behind). The difference in the width and the curvature of the chimneys is apparent.

In order to fit it into the smokebox, a much larger hole had to be drilled - unlike the chimneys you can get after-market, normally in white metal or turned brass, the Great Central type chimney had to be counter sunk to fit properly into the smokebox.

Having done this, I applied some Humbrol plastic filler and after drying out and hardening, used a glass fibre brass to smooth it all done. For good measure, I removed the Peppercorn A2 number from the cabsides and filled in the nameplate holes from the B1 body shell's smokebox sides.

Couple this with the Great Central tender - now in plain black - and once all put together, the model is getting tantalisingly close to completion. Some soldering and wiring aside, I need to fit all of the splashers (now cut out and ready) and sort out a set for the inside of the cab to cover the rear driving wheels. Lamp irons and then painting…and weathering perhaps thereafter.

The chimney was the one part of the model which really did not look the part at all, and now with the Great Central replacement, I feel much happier with the model. In fact I'd challenge I've done pretty well given where I was when I started with this model.

That's it for the moment, I have a few things to attend to over the next few weeks but I hope to have more modelling updates some time soon.

Oh - but before I go - a hint of things to come:

Until next time.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

"Some budget modelling…and Thompson's B3/3"

It's been a strange few weeks. I turned 27 last week and had a great week at work, culminating in a lovely night out with some work colleagues on the Friday.

The sales of our book, Tale of the Unnamed Engine, hit a nice high with around twenty dispatched since we announced reductions in the price of the paperback.

My latest romance hit the buffers abruptly - sadly for me, it was not to be. She was a lovely girl and I am sure she'll find someone special, because she was - is - special. Just not me sadly.

And in modelling news, my budget railway modelling took a much needed boost this week with the release of Great British Locomotives magazine's latest model - Great Central Railway no.506, Butler-Henderson. The model is quite clearly an extremely good reproduction of the Bachmann model. The price difference is around £120 as this retails at £8.99…!

Overall, the model has a lot of modelling potential. Removing the moulded handrails and adding proper wire ones aside, the tender is the one item that will find use on layouts across the country.

The body shell unscrews from the moulded tender frames and die cast wheels, and can with no modification whatsoever be fitted directly onto the tender frames of a Bachmann GCR or ROD tender, as demonstrated ably by mine.

The body shell can be modified to screw onto the chassis quite easily by drilling two holes at the front and two at the back, and then screwing in the retaining screws from the original body shell. That's it job done!

The reason for this? Providing the correct (or I should say, more correct) pattern tender for my Thompson B3/3 conversion.

This model has been on the go for around two years and we are nearly on the finishing straight. I will be wiring up the tender pickups to the locomotive's chassis and finishing the body shell off in the coming weeks.

I haven't decided on whether it will retain fully lined out LNER apple green livery or be painted straight into plain black with LNER lettering on the tender and the number 6166 instead of 1497.

That was pretty much it, except for the renumbering and renaming of the Thompson B1 in the background, no.1039 C.M. Hollingbery on Thursday evening of last week. It'll remain as such for all the time I am its owner.

I hope to have taken delivery of a main range Hornby P2 in the next week, and I will be doing a short write up on the interesting four wheeled van you can just about make out behind the Great Central tender in the picture above…

Until next time, enjoy the last of the summer sunshine in September.


Monday, 1 September 2014

"Tale of the Unnamed Engine - price reductions effective immediately!"

Effective from today, the paperback version of Tale of the Unnamed Engine is now on sale for £5.99, a reduction of £2 exactly. This reduction in price is also met by a halt in postage costs. There will be no increases in postage for the remainder of the copies on sale.

We are now into the last few copies, so get your copy of the paperback while you can, because it is unlikely to be printed again for a very long time!

The eBook has also been reduced to £2.99 (Amazon charge an extra 9p on top of this as part of their fees, therefore the total price per download is £3.08 at present).

We are looking to clear all stock of the paperback book so that we can fill our storage space with copies of the paperback version of Book 2 (more on Book 2 later in the year).

I have refunded £2 to all of our customers who have purchased the paperback at the original, higher price in the last few weeks as a sign of good faith.

Until next time.