April 30, 2015

"BRWS Ltd Update #4: Great Western Glory, Erith Model Railway Club and more"

So, here's our fourth update of the year! What's changed? Well, April was a terrific month for change.

I have joined a delightful (and local!) model railway club - the Erith Model Railway Club (details here). The level of modelling on show is of a high standard and varied in subject, which is lovely.

They also have a couple of test tracks, and it meant I could fully test out the types of train I intend to run on my new layout. Here is no.17 Silver Fox - ever the stalwart of the A4 fleet - testing out a nine coach train of teaks.

No.60506 Wolf of Badenoch also got in on the testing, albeit on an eight coach train and on the other test layout.

There was some embarrassment when no.103 Flying Scotsman (still in the process of being built) failed spectacularly with a bent coupling rod.

That rather put a crimp on my day as I had intended to run one of each of my main Pacific fleets!

So the Wolf got another run out instead...with a slightly longer nine coach instead.

...and we have some video to show for it! The remarkable haulage capabilities of my sole Thompson A2/2 did not go unnoticed. I'm very happy with the hill climbing capabilities too!

The club itself has a friendly atmosphere and a cosy, well lit location. I'm very much looking forward to going back there in the next week or so with another, different, test train.

Lastly, there's been a huge advancement in the writing of the follow up book in The British Railway Stories...

...to the extent where I have two copies of the book, ready to send to our artist, Dean Walker, and to a mutually interested party willing to help me edit it together. This should help avoid some of the errors seen in the first book!

I am very excited by Great Western Glory. The themes and stories within draw on a lot of real history, and we get to meet characters old and new throughout. If you loved meeting Stephen in the last book, you will enjoy meeting our new "Star' even more!

Of course, she will be a little grumpy to begin with...!

Until next time.

April 20, 2015

"Thompson Pacific fleet - another A2/3 on its way to completion"

So this update has been a long time coming! I bought a part completed conversion of a Bachmann Peppercorn A2. It was being turned into a Thompson A2/3.

I stripped the body shell of paint and sorted a few problems (such as a strange hole drilled in the firebox) and fitted several new bits sourced from Graeme King on the LNER forum.

These bits included a new front running plate section, new front frames (as evidenced above - unpainted resin), a new bracket for the cylinders (again, in unpainted resin above) and a new set of tender frames.

My own addition was a set of Bachmann V2 valve gear, carefully modified to fit the cylinders and then fitted straight onto the existing crank pin.

The result is the partially completed Sun Castle, which I am going to be lining out and then weathering over the coming weeks.

So happily, I have added another Thompson Pacific to my stud and also saved what could have been another scrap locomotive model from limbo, more or less. Sun Castle works well and the valve gear, though cruder than Graeme's excellent work on Edward Thompson, above, is now standard with my A2/2 and A2/1 builds and pretty much confirms that, as an easy way of going about a conversion, it works and works well.

Edward Thompson herself is waiting on the number "500" and an "E" before being described as completed. I am contemplating getting an LNER liveried tender to swap in though, all things considered. Watch this space...

Duke of Rothesay will be taken apart as I'm not satisfied the front is fitted on straight! Hopefully a straight forward job, we will see however...

Well, that's it for now. There's a mega review coming up and some more modelling on the 30th. Look out for a special review on MREmag too!

Until next time. I hope 2015 is treating you as well as it is treating me thus far!