Newport Model Railway Society

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What we did January to June 2020

Week-ending Friday 26th June

I think we are entering the dogs days of summer (is there an astronomer in the house who can confirm or deny?) as progress seems to be getting a little sluggish. "Too hot for soldering irons" said our Chairman.

Nevertheless these has been some progress and we'll let Mike E take up the story:

"Not a lot done this week - out walking, a little sailing and gasping in the heat. Midford station building is nearly done. On thing still to be added is some more poster boards. I made and painted seven. When I went to put them on the building I could only find five. Has the wind blown a gale through my attic and scattered them to the four winds? I suspect the mice. I've suspected them before when things have gone missing, What I had underestimated was their artistic ambitions. At this very moment are my frames being mounted in some Tatemouse Gallery to display "The laughing Camembert" or the "Minnie Lisa" ? 

  I'll now have to make and paint some more..........."

Luke has been working on this Slaters L&B coach still needs painting and the details added but Luke was relieved that it fits closely with the loading gauge of his other stock.

The week ended in our Zoom meeting, which included LBH droning on about the northern section of the Brecon and Merthyr Railway.

Week-ending Friday 19th June

First up this week is progress on Wagonman's Cambrian Goods - Loco chassis and boiler now in hand the chassis ran freely first time after being wheeled - the next stage will be to install the sprung hornblocks - one axle at a time..... Boiler and firebox now need detailing (bands and washout plugs) before final fitting.... The rod protruding from the smokebox is of course only there for alginment purposes......

We also can report some progress on Mike E's Midford layout - in the first picture is the station building - roof now fabricated, chimney built but not painted, valance started, initial painting completed but needing careful touch-up.  The second photo shows a plasticard fabrication for the poster boards - there were seven around the station, and should provide a nice touch of colour. 

The week ended in our now customary Zoom meeting, which included an illustrated talk from Wagonman returning to his old stomping ground with a potted history of the MSWJR.

Week-ending Friday 12th June

First up this week is a chassis for an LNWR 0-6-2T Coal Tank that TAFKATYS is building in Scaleseven.

And Mr Chiarman's Victory tank 666 is nearly ready for top coat.

The Wizard's turntable is showing great progress and Luke's Compton Station building coming along, though he thinks that the slates on the roof might still a bit bright.

While Mike G has made a great job of this Collett 3500 gallon tender chassis from High Level Kits and intended for a 2251.

The week ended in our Zoom meeting, which included illustrated talks from Mike E with the second part of his Somerset and Dorset series, which took us from Midford to Midsomer Norton and Stephen B on the Wrexham 0-4-4T tanks of the Cambrian Railways. 

Week-ending Friday 5th June

Mke E has started the station building for Midford S&D (above). It's a combination of card and embossed plastic construction - the original was wood siding. It'll be a fairly major project to complete. Also bridge works have proceeded (below left) - should be able to nearly complete this next week - except for stanchions and railings, the materials for which are on order with Eileen's Emporium.  The last image shows a couple of on-line purchases for road vehicles for Midford. Both are Oxford diecast. One is an Austin Somerset, the other an Army AEC Matador "wrecker" - something very like this can be seen in some photos of Midford's goods yard. So Mke will have to see if I can find any details of  its livery in the 1950s - not doubt bought as surplus after WW2.  Rather nice and remarkably inexpensive models...... An MG TC is on order.....  (1:76 scale, not full-size alas.....)

A quieter week here from Wagonman - the Cambrian Goods now has its splashers and cab added to the footplate while the axleboxes are underway - the Centenary coach was also revisited for the construction of the seats and compartment partitions

The week ended with our new-normal virtual club meeting on Zoom and our Chairman gave us an excellent illustrated talk on rope- and chain-worked inclines and followed it up with a link to this fascinating video of the preserved Bowes railway handling wagons including and detaching the rope and chain coupling. 

Week-ending Friday 29th May

First up this week is TAFKTYS 

The J68 & J69 just need the handrails and some minor details, and painting is planned for this week. 

The J69 is an ACE kit obtained secondhand, it was an ok build, but some spare castings and parts were used from the J68 kit.

The tender,a also a Connoisseur kit, is for a J39, just a box on wheels so has only take a couple of days.

Here is Mike G's BR Mark One coach bogie from the Rumney Models range. It's a fine piece as you can see

Here is Luke's current workpiece

It's a Smallbrook Studios kit supposedly based on Hudswell Clarke's output but he thinks it has more of a Russell or Welshpool an Llanfair look about it. It was meant to be a pannier tank but he extended the tanks to hide the motor along with some other details. 

The chassis is from Hornby electrotren range which just clips straight onto the body without any adjustments

Meanwhile at Wagonman's workshop progress has been made with the Cambrian Goods' tender - including a sprung chassis - work has now started on the loco with the setting out of the running plate

Meanwhile Mike E has been working on his home S&D 4mm layout Midford. Here we  see some (mainly) cardboard engineering going on for the abandoned Camerton branch line that passed on bridges under the Midford viaduct and over the Cam brook. He hopes to get this erected next week. Strange, but he's looking forward to laying some rusty, grass-grown track on it.......

And don't forget to catch up with progress on the Coronalayouts on their own page 

Week-ending Friday 22nd May

A couple of weeks on and our Treasurer has made his 56xx (Bachman body - Comet chassis. Sprung. Ultrascale wheels) more lifelike with a bit of weathering.

And TAFKATYS's J68 and J69 are making good progress (though don't ask me which is which)

Wagonman is working on tender body for the GWR/BR ex-Cambrian Goods - the next step will be the chassis

Mike G has also spruced up this pannier tank. Proper couplings and sand brake gear. 

He's now waiting for the sand boxes to arrive next week.

Meanwhile our Wizard is engaged on this turntable kit from Metalsmiths.

Week-ending Friday 15th May

And by Sunday Wizard Fred had completed the weathering on Tony's E1 with this fabulous result.

This weeks offerings from Wagonman are merely a pair of wagons - an LBSCR open built from an ABS whitemetal kit and a Slater's P.O. tanker.

Mr Chairman continues to modify the Miverva Victory Tank to depict BR(WR) 666 and has now attached the tank sides and a new dome.

Week-ending Friday 8th May

First up this week is Mike G

Here he is showing that it isn't only TAFKATYS can paint an 0-6-2T black, this time it a GWR 56xx in P4.

Luke has been working on some 7mm/ft narrow gauge stock, the one on the left coming from 422 Modelmaking 

The latest from Wagonman

After the spot the coach part last week- Centenary stock brake compartment doors - here is the rest of the coach now built up and ready for painting, glazing and interior fitting out.

Not the easiest of builds as there aren't any right angles in the basic body shell what with bow-ends, the angled vestibule doors and the sides bowed out to the maximum GWR loading-gauge. The ends of the underframe are also tapered - Clearly the Mr Collett and his drawing office had it in mind to set challenges for modellers!

Otherwise the detailing was fairly straightforward - the roof is a sheet of rolled tinplate provided in the somewhat vintage kit - I had been contemplating providing a sheet brass replacement but int the event the tinplate proved to be useable. 

The coach will be finished in BR lined crimson to match the corridor second which as they say 'here is one I did earlier'.....

Meanwhile our Wizard and TAFKATYS have combined forces to complete an ex-SECR Wainwright Class E 4-4-0, as rebuilt by Maunsell into a Class E1. The loco was mostly build by our former Secretary Tony Bennett, who sadly passed away a few years ago, with it almost complete. TAFKATYS has done some restoration work;  a few touch ups, and a new  motor and gearbox, then passed it on to the Wizard for weathering. The final step will be to fit her with batteries, in this case DCC with a wireless receiver. We are waiting Frecclesham's next exhibition (remember exhibitions?) to have one of Tony’s locos with us.

TAFKATYS has also treated himself to a Hattons A4, and it looks superb on his Bwthyn y Rhosod layout.

And don't forget to catch up with the latests progress on our Coronalayouts.

Week-ending Friday 1st May

TAFKATYS has continued to weathering locos and this time has provided the world with 'before and after' shots. A great step forward we're sure you'll agree. And (below left) he's contrasting his own efforts with our Wizard's .

Here's an all-too-rare contribution from Mike G. This Britannia has been a long-term project and has some custom-made parts.The final touch will be the bellows between the cab and tender

Now we have an insight into how Mr Chairman world when he's away from the clubrooms.

On the left we have a personal storage or project box for keeping the work areas clear and tidy. It was bequeathed to him by his father-in-law and club stalwart, Bill. It is his own equivalent of a shelf-of-shame containing Airfix mineral wagons that have been there for a very long time.

On right we have larger version suitable for 7mm/ft and holds his current active project, a Victory tank to 666 conversion.

Week-ending Friday 24th April

Wagonman's progress this week has been confined to clearing items from the active workbench - the LSWR wagon has been painted whilst in addition a container (Skytrex resin) which had become resident in the boxes of bits on the table has finally been lettered, weathered and loaded onto a Conflat which was waiting in the display cabinet - meanwhile the roof vents fillers and pipes have been added to the Q13 saloon........

Wagonman then set us a quiz. Having started fettling bits for another project - see pic above - could anyone for identify the coach in question? Mr Chairman got the answer within the hour.

TAFKATYS has taken the opportunity of the lockdown to try his hand at weathering with this impressive result.

Our resident Wizard has applied the chevrons on to this 03 with splendid results

Mr Chairman continues to modify his Minerva Victory tank to BR (ex ADR) condition with application of the etched tank- and cab-sides, while TAFKATYS is processing nicely with a J68 and a J69 (but don't ask me which is which).

Week-ending Friday 17th April

Wagonman is still forging ahead, but a rather quieter week since the soldering frenzy on the Q13 saloon.....

Q13 saloon has indeed had its bogies completed - roof detailing and preperation of internal furnishings to be continued later....

In the meantime a 'quickie' build of a 3-plank dropside wagon from a POWsides resin body kit has been completed and will be painted in LSWR livery - no need for etching primer of course.....

Week-ending Friday 10th April

Our local wizard is first up this week with this superb Bankhead for Chaffinch

Wagonman has made excellent progress on the Q13 saloon project - work concentrating on the bodyshell and underframe.

First the basic floorpan and shell with ends fitted - all checked for squareness etc before proceeding - then door hinges, bumpstops and droplights - only six to do on this coach.....

Next the brasswork of the underframe and various sub-assemblies including the four sets of end steps and the step operating levers on the guards compt partition...

After the steps are added the coach stands on blocks yesterday - with a close-up of the undergear including the whitemetal castings added now.......

The saloons with big windows all round will require full detailing - the kit includes the necessary furnishings so no excuses!

Next weeks plans are to build the bogies and complete roof detail and drawgear - sadly he's out of etching primer so the complete project will then be on-hold for the moment........

Week-ending Friday 3rd April

TAFKATYS is having fun building a TVR Class K in Scaleseven from a Dragon kit and finishing off some wagon kits from his shelf of shame (seen with a Tower/Dapol Leith General Warehousing wagon)

Another productive week from Wagonman (above and below):

The big mink, horsebox and Speech House PO wagon  have been largely completed although the horsebox has yet to have couplings fitted as the clearances behind the headstocks are too tight for the usual spring-and-split-pin fitting - the pics are rather cruel as the patch varnishing over the letterings shows up far more than on the real things! Weathering is to be left for later at the moment......

And so to the shape of 'things to come' ...... Q13 district engineer's saloon.... 6 of these were built in 1948 - delivered in GWR livery but without company insignia - survived in BR service right though to relatively recent times - one even received 'intercity - APT' style livery it is believed and all are preserved - our nearest example being at Norchard while another is on the Severn Valley..... The kit is from Orion - not much to see yet but progress should be fairly quick as this is a good quality kit (famous last words!)

TAFKATYS took to the garden on Saturday and clearing away a year's growth (left) brought his garden layout track to light.

Stephen has been progressing his freelance narrow-gauge tank wagon and Mike has almost finished the High Level chassis in his ex-GWR 56xx

Week-ending Friday 27th March

The second week of isolation and we've heard that our clubrooms have been padlocked up. Nevertheless work goes on as we see below. 

TAFKATYS has been emptying his 'shelf of shame' and is leaping ahead with ex-GER 2-4-0 and a six-wheel coach while the club's wizard doing fabulous work on Chaffinch.

Wagonman has been productive as ever:.

As promised  last week the O2 (above) has had its chassis painted and been re-assembled - all now complete except for some light weathering in due course - and he must do some of those SR type headcode discs...

Large Mink van and GWR horsebox both now ready for painting - horsebox handrails only temporarily positioned in photo -they will be properly fixed later......

Also another Forest of Dean P.O. wagon ready for final completion of painting..

Finally from Wagonman, the Ivatt 2MT's body waits patiently for its chassis to return!

New member Luke  - welcome Luke - shared with us these images. They are based on LSWR stations on the North Cornwall and Okehampton/Plymouth line. Luke used Wills coarse stone sheets, which seem to match the stonework pretty closely. 

Week-ending Friday 20th March

We have suspended club meetings while world comes to grips with COVID19, but nevertheless work continues as we all slave away in our own private garrets and  we'll make updates to keep our reader abreast of what we're up to.

Wagonman is first up: 

Working clockwise we have an ex-LMS 3F tank or Jinty 47422 which is finished apart from trimming crankpins and weathering.

Next an ex-LSWR O2 Class 0-4-4T, which Wagonan is about to dismantle in order to varnish the body and paint its chassis

An finally we have a recently-competed LBSCR Goods Break Van 

Having a virtual club night on Friday we of course needed appropriate refreshment.

Away from the clubroom Steve N (the artist formerly known as YTS) has been busy painting locos (although we question his choice of thinners) Mr Chairman has taken advantage of his isolation to progress with the modification of his Minerva Kerr Stuart to ex-ADR No. 666 and our own Wizard progressed with the cab of Chaffinch.

Friday 13th March 2020

Plenty of activity at the club  - perhaps in the absence of other attractions like soccer of rugby - but few pictures. This hut TYS produced a few weeks ago for Frecclesham, Mr Chairman painted and weathered it and on Friday night (after this photo was taken) LBH planted it.

And Wagonman has been making good progress on his GWR Mink and Horsebox

There was some discussion on Friday night on the advantages vs disadvantages of spray-painting buffers and headstocks  - the quality of a air brush finish vs the faff of masking the loco and preparing the airbrush. 

The outcome was that XTS (as he may be called for the last time) sprayed the headstocks on his new P class  - with this impressive result.

Friday 6th March 2020

Here's some work from earlier in the week. To the left is the point rodding with cranks for the trap point in the bay. The left crank drive the point blade, the right crank is for the facing point lock. The actual mechanisms will be under a cover.
The right picture has the matching turnout being prepared, with BluTack marking the the position for the FPL.

Below are a selection of pictures from Pavilion End's appearance at the Leamington and Warwick Show at the weekend.

Friday 28 February 2020

Busy at the club on Tuesday but inclement weather and flooding kept numbers down to three on Friday. Nevertheless we made progress and here we have a couple of examples.

Left we see Dave's pig sty, rabbit hutch and other facilities installed in the cottage garden while on the right we see point rodding laid (bottom) an ready to lay (top).

Friday 21 February 2020

Quite a busy week at the club this week with an unusual ten coming through the door on Tuesday

Bernie returned with a pile of lengths of prepared sections of point rodding and stools having done his planning last week.

LBH has decided that he wants to run his Manning Wardle Class battery-powered radio-contolled (BRRC). There is no room in the firebox/boiler but there is limited space in the bunker for a relatively modest battery with just a little gentle modification (hacking with a scalpel) which hopefully shouldn't be too obtrusive once a crew has been installed.

Left Paul S and TYS have been working on improving the method of holding up the backscene on Freccleshan. The principle will be to trap the backscene between the repurposed steel rules and magnets.

Right Wagonman is building D&S kit for a GWR horsebox to Scaleseven standards.

Friday 14 February 2020

Bernie made the journey along the M4 to start preparing the point rodding on ABB - and of course to know where the rodding is required you need to know the signalling arrangements. To this end he prepared this signalling diagram - which includes a trailing crossover which is 'off-scene' on the model itself but we shall have to install the rodding to it.

Mike E and Martin have been progressing with the 'thirties semis, with guttering, kidney bean poles (it's October so the beans themselves are long gone) and a garage.

On Tuesday TYS brought a just finished Y6 (showing just a little bit of its Battery-powered radio-controlled (BPRC) gubbinary and his E4 showing a bit more of its BPRS innards.

Friday 7 February 2020

Mike E has fabricated this garden roller in P4 for the gardens of the 'thirties  semis on ABB. Seen here alongside a penny.

And, (right) we've decided to refresh the paint work on ABB with a new pot of paint closely matching our original mix, named "Newport Improved Layout Grey". Paul S says it rollers on better than brushing it.

Wagonman is still doing what Wagonman does.

Friday 31 January 2020

Until now the platform on ABB has only had a temporary surface, simply painted and in too-dark-a shade-of-grey to boot (see above, left)

We have been experimenting with a couple of possible finishes. We have a fine grit of unknown origin at the club, which we tried in two ways, left above sprinkling it onto PVA and, right onto a grey undercoat. The latter looks the better and can be darkened later.

On the left we have two views of a 3D-printed smokebox door for a B&MR 2-4-0T, first after fettling with a file (thanks Fred) and secondly after painting with primer, filing back and re-priming. This achieved a perfectly acceptable finish for a well-used loco.

We ended the evening just after 11pm with a toast celebrating our European friends.

Friday 24 January 2020

Well, the graded coal (see 20th Ult.) has been put to use in the new coal cells on ABB. Our chosen season is Autumn 1954 so we suppose that the local merchants will have stocked up on cheap summer coal for sale over the winter. 

Friday 17 January 2020

Benny has been working on a test piece for the actuation system for the turnouts on Little Mill. On the left we see a servo motor driving a crank by means of a push rod

This transmits the motion via an axle through the baseboard to another (this time model) crank which drives a Masokits stretcher bar on the turnout 

Here we have a work-in-progess from Stephen Bell. A 16mm/ft bogie tank wagon ingeniously incorporating a variety of up-cycled components.  

Come back in a few weeks to see what it turns in to (no pressure Stephen)

Above we have two views of our Wizard's other WIP, a Bulldog called Chaffinch (or was it a Chaffinch called Bulldog? I'm easily confused)

More views of ABB showing coal cells (with the sub-base for the coal, which is yet to be applied) and fencing following weathering.

Friday 10 January 2020

Wagonman (left) has reverted to type and whiled away an hour or so on an etched brass GWR Mink in O gauge


Our resident Wizard was also in a wagon building mode, in this case fitting springing to a Rhymney Railway Mineral brake van in Scaleseven using Bill Bedford Spring Axleguards

Andrew is fitting some Dingham Autocouplers to his Pannier


Benny ponders the profusion of cabling and components underneath ABB with the intent of getting the electromagnets for Dinghams on that layout operational.

And Mr Chairman and LBH's endeavours on the coal cells and fencing are starting to bear fruit.

Friday 3 January 2020

A new year but some old projects feature here. 

The Jinty kit has been in Al's possession for decades but having now started it, progress is much more rapid. 

The wagons have featured before but now run on Scaleseven wheels. They should be joined by another two sometime in this decade.