Newport Model Railway Society

Click here to edit subtitle

What we did July to December 2020

Week-ending Friday 18th December

Our last meeting of a very strange year. 

On the individual progress from Dave has done a bit more work on the 21T hoppers, left, body details added and right, end platforms added and solebar details too

On Mike E's Midford woodworking has continued, including several removable sections where the signals will be mounted, to allow maintenence. Most of the electric cables have also been threaded through the bowels of the layout framing. The LED lights for the signals have now arrived, so construction will begin soon.

Also from Mike E, and with a Christmassy feel, the Metcalf Card kit Church for his granddaughter’s model village and here is a picture of one of the Church windows – about four layers of card and celluloid – and, we think, pretty amazing for an inexpensive kit.

The week, and the club's year, ended in an online Party, via Zoom of course with a light hearted quiz provided my Mr Chairman.

Week-ending Friday 11th December

LMS Coaches seem to be the vogue this week with great progress from both our Treasurer and Wagonman.

In 4mm/ft Mike G has completed the bodywork on his D1845

And in 7mm Wagonman has painted and lined the body of the LMS saloon

Meanwhile his Cambrian Goods is waiting on the bench to have pick-ups completed and some final details added

The week finished on Zoom with a discussion on the various forms of Battery-powered Radio-control (BPRC) for locomotives and an excellent presentation on the Wrexham and Ellesmere from Steven B.

Week-ending Friday 4th December

We start this week with Mike G and his D1845 starts to take shape

On to Mike E ..


Civil engineering on the S&D this week, working on the cuttings to the south of Midford, plus a little useful lengthening of a couple of  electrical sections.

Scenery first roughed out by using cardboard templates, which are then used as the patterns for plywood sections and edging. Lots more to do! And the railway room is getting into a terrible state....... time for a major clear up.......   Still waiting for LED lamps before I can advance on the signals. 

Ran a double-headed 8-coach Pines this week - it looked good! I'll take a picture of it in the cutting once things have advanced a bit more.

A rare update from Mr Chairman - 21ton hoppers would look good on the incline (see Dave's Mountfords Mineral Railway on the Coronalayouts page) so here's the Dave Bradwell chassis, along with one he prepared earlier. (Well at least 15 years earlier ) quite a fiddly thing but surprisingly strong.

And Dave also complete our week with the second part of his talk on railways of the Eastern Valleys whipping up quite an interest in Pontypool Crane Street 

Week-ending Friday 27th November

Breaking an unusually long radio silence Wagonman returns

The last week or two has seen quite a flurry of activity here......

First of all the bogies for the Porthole BTK were built - lovely little etches to fold-up including a compensation system similar to that of the recently built Orion kits GWR district engineer's saloon - there will be plenty more of these to practice on as there are a further 4 of these LMS coaches from Sidelines in the cupboard!......

The coach is now complete and awaiting painting and fitting out.....

The Cambrian Goods loco has finally returned to the workbench this week with the chassis now fitted with the sprung axleboxes - next the valve gear (non-working) was assembled - its absence would be all too visible on the loco - then with brake linkages added it was time to fit the motor and gears.....

Applying power to the chassis achieved a milestone in this project - a rolling chassis!

Last but not least from Wagonman a new arrival courtesy of Ebay - a Roxey kit - this will be ideal for the proposed workman's train on Pavilion End in due course..

Mike E is up next 

This week starting work on the very tall (~ 45 ft) wooden-post down advanced starting signal for Midford. In Peter Squib's "A scratchbuilder's guide to semaphore signal construction" he suggests making up a substantial metal jig for making tapered posts. Since I only want one post I thought I might try something a bit quicker. I had some square section wood of about 5mm, and wanted a post that was about 4mm at the base and 2mm at the top. A look in the cupboard found some brass strip, which I cut into two pieces a bit longer than the desired post plus its base in the ground. Then I epoxied some of the wood as shown - with one side sloping from 2mm from the edge to about 4.5 mm at the far end. The other brass strip then epoxied square on the other side and left to dry. The end wood acts as a stop. A piece of wood is then put in the "slot" - having made sure that the slot is free of any residual glue. The wood stands proud - obviously more at one end - and is shaped quite quickly with a surform and then sandpaper back to the brass. Then turn the wood by 90 degrees and repeat. Voila! I've now started to fit the signal arm as shown, the file indicates the ground level. It's certainly a tall signal. I'm waiting for a suitable LED lamp, whose leads will go in a groove cut into the post and then filled over. I've made a "slot-in" base by the track so that the signal and its solenoid can be removed for maintenance.     

And lastly we have TAFKATYS who is working on a Class L, disappointingly neither a Taff Vale Class L nor a Barry Railway Class L but a SECR Class L. He is using a David Andrews kit and is singing its praises.

This week's Zoom talk was given by Stephen B on the short, but interesting Dolgellau branch of the Cambrian Railways.

Week-ending Friday 20th November

Mike G is making progress with his ex-LMS corridor composite with the chassis and body complete  and only the bogies remaining.

Mike E avers that sometimes small things are the most enjoyable...... this week's  been building a little platelayers hut from a couple of grainy photos of the south end of Midford, 

And he's beginning some scenic work on the siding, in particular the fencing separating it from the main line. The uprights are 2mm scale rail, drilled. He used a drill press he bought at a Scalefour event, and actually drilled 33 holes of 0.7mm without breaking a drill - magic!

Next on the list is ballasting around here, and constructing the two fine signals...

The week culminated with a great talk from Albyn concluding his story on the Bishops Castle Railway

Week-ending Friday 13th November

Out of the Firebreak now but still many of us have our noses to the modelling grindstone 

First up we have TAFKATYS cavalcade of recent Scaleseven locos destined for Y Faenor.

Mike G's Stannier ex-LMS corridor  composite D1791 in P4 takes shape

LBH managed to do a little more on his S7 TVR Brake Van 

Our weekly zoom meeting started a bit later than usual so we could watch  Ireland play rugby (Wales were also in attendance)

But once we did start Les (aka Stephen Bell) continued with his talk on the Cambrian Railways with  a selection of views mainly from the norrthen areas tha the railway covered.

Week-ending Friday 6th November

Another lockdown week and extensive process is being made by members.

TAFKATYS made great strides with the LNWR Precursor Tank in S7

Mike G has almost finished another Rumney Models this time for a BR 12 ton van.

Our other Mike has been busy too:

Mainly a rolling stock week. The pony truck of a Hornby 8F is rather ugly due to its coupler pocket. Application of saws, a new set of Alan Gibson Wheels and a bit of extra lead weighting has (I think) improved it no end.

As it's summer on the S&D, an extra coach has been attached to the local SR set - the lovely LMS Period II open second, made up and painted for BR times beautifully by Mike Garwood -  I got around this week to fitting couplings, and it runs very well. A super vehicle..... 

Also a couple of pics showing the Edmunds patent uncoupler for tension lock couplings - you slip it under and lift slightly. Seems to work well. 

And from Wagonman

A recently obtained kit (Ebay) was found to have had some preperation work done - the tumblehome of the sides had already been formed..... This prompted an oppertunity to make some rapid progress with the construction of the kit - a Sidelines LMS/BR 'Porthole' Brake Third' and not withstanding this another Sidelines kit from the attic, an LMS engineers saloon also has submitted to the files and soldering iron .....

The kits have proved quite simple to build-up - most castings are in brass so very robust - livery in due course will be BR post 1957 lined crimson.....

Meanwhile the recent interest in pre-grouping models promts me to add a photo of a pair of MR 6-wheelers purchased last year - all that is needed is a suitably magnificent loco to be added in due course....

And the week ended with our Zoom meeting, which this time included a talk which brought us very close to home with Chairman Dave talking about the railways of the Eastern Valleys, which included the Monmouthshire Railway which ran very close to out club rooms,

Week-ending Friday 30th October

Well, the Firebreak lockdown hasn't produced an avalanche of updates but nevertheless we have a few items to share:

Mike G has been busy with another of Rumney Models excellent kits  - this time a chassis for a BR five-plank wagon.

LBH has done some work on the TVR GBV and also made a bit of progress on Crindau Pill - see over on the Coronalayouts page.

This week's Zoom meeting was a double-header. TAFKATYS opened with an informative talk on motors for model railway locos and flywheels and Albyn concluded it with the first part of a well-illustrated talk on the Bishops Castle Railway.

Week-ending Friday 23th October

As we are enter the Firebreak we'll see if we all go back to our workbenches. Mike E in the meanwhile has had his travails with his Midford layout:

I'll let Mike take up the story:
As you may recall, I had decided, after doing some track repairs, re-alignment and a little scenic work that I really ought to get the S&D running again. SO, a good clear-up of all areas and plug in the controller. Nothing moved. All I had was a "short circuit" indication. It took four days to find the source. I won't bore you with details, but the culprit were some feed wires from an altered part of the layout which had not been properly terminated when they were abandoned and had crossed each other......  MORAL - always terminate properly.
So at last I set up the track-cleaning train and began to drive it around the layout. It speeded into a tunnel. There was a big bang and things stopped. Some of the new scenic work had not been checked for clearances underneath. Out with the saw.....
     Perhaps I should try model aircraft. Perhaps not - they'd only crash......

TAFKATYS has been making good progress on his Precursor tank.

And LBH has done a bit on the TVR brake van.

We ended our week with the an overview of the Cambrian Railways from Stephen B, which we all hope he will go into further detail in future talks.

Week-ending Friday 16th October

With no sign of an imminent general return to the clubrooms TAFKATYS and LBH ventured there to tidy things up, recover part-finished projects and tools, and take away any perishable goods and, as seen here, put a dust sheet on the layouts.

Wagonman achieved a major milestone in the week  with the completion on the Q13 District Engineer's Saloon project after some six months of work on and off!..

His attention then turned to the ex-Cambrian Goods with the detailing of the loco body - extra cab handrail and some of the castings already attached - before embarking on the chassis and its suspension and valvegear....

Mike E has been trying to improve the running of a Gresley full brake by making up a pair of Comet bogies 

And LBH has mede a start on a TVR Brake Van

Mike G has finished his Fish Van

Mike E completed our week with a great talk on the Settle and Carlisle with several members providing their own favourite pics of the line.

Week-ending Friday 9th October

Wagonman is first up this week and takes up the story:

After quite a few weeks here is an update of progress on the Q13 District Engineer's Saloon......

The livery is full 'Hawkesworth' style GWR but without company insignia as appeared in 1948 before standard BR liveries appeared....

Linning works wonders - hides the joints between the colours - a slow process to be done in stages - with plenty of oppertunities for disasters to happen - all that remains now is to varnish the work - that is also another moment of truth as the varnish sometimes re-acts with paint and/or transfers - then back to the begining with paint removers!

Hopefully the next stage will be glazing and fitting out of the interior - some of the indiviual seats can be seen already on the bench.....

Mike E has made more progress on the Midford yard crane:

Made the "concrete" crane base out of plasticard. The railings are 0.5mm brass wire on tiny T-section strip - I'm fond of making little jigs for marking out such things - it only takes a few minutes, and gives a pretty uniform final result.

Also doing a bit of track repair on the S&D. 

Readers might be interested in this representation of the siding point which comes off the main line - the prototype is "sprung" to give a smoother ride on the main.

I can't recall having seen one modelled before. I only know of ONE use of this siding during the whole of the 1950s - so I'm going to leave it "dummy" with rusted rail tops.

Mike G is making great progress with a Rumney Models kit for a BR Fish Van

And TAFKATYS is approaching the end of a difficult gestation period on his TVR Class K ...

and has made a start on the frames of a LNWR Precursor Tank in Scaleseven.

It is seen here alongside a Bullied Pacific giving some idea of its size.

The week ended with a Zoom meeting, but no presentation this time so we had to talk to each other. This is obviously an unsatisfactory state of affairs and so traumatised were we that we presentations will resume next week.

Week-ending Friday 2nd October

Mike E has made substantial progress on the Midford (ex-S&DR in OO fo the benefit of new readers) yard crane. Construction is now finished, and awaits painting (a fine day please) and the completion of its plinth with handrails.

Our other Mike, our Treasurer, has been working on an English Electric Type 3. The basis is the Bachmann model but the front end has been modified to lower the head code panel and it now runs on a Rumney Models sprung chassis. Door grab handles and the fan have just been fitted. Further details can be found Mike's page on Western Thunder 

The week ended with a Zoom meeting during which Albyn concluded his fascinating trilogy on Colonel Stephens' Railways, this time concentrating on rolling stock.

Week-ending Friday 25th September

Mike E is first up this week with progress on Midford (below) and San Itize (here)

Mike reports:

Work has started on the Midford yard crane. Mr Chairman came up trumps with a drawing from Great Western Journal of a similar GWR crane. But life is never simple! I have found no other crane that is exactly the same as the Midford one. For a while I could not even understand its gearing (rather embarrassing, as I'm supposed to know about old gears.....) until some excellent pictures of the Toddington crane on the web gave a clue. It has a two-speed mechanism -  i.e. by moving a lever at the back of the crane you can engage alternative gears to give either maximum speed or maximum force. I'm using parts from two kits (Springside and Ratio) and of course not all the gear sizes were right. But I had the guts of an old Sony Walkman (marvelous mechanical devices, if you've ever looked into one) and so I pulled out its nylon disc gears. Some work with drills and files resulted in a couple of reasonable representations of the missing crane gears, and a little work on the lathe gave a brass pulley. More modifications are still needed to girder structures etc, but the project is well under way. During the Zoom meeting tonight I hope to start on the concrete crane base - measurements for which I took (would you believe it) about 35 years ago.

TAFKATYS wasn’t happy with the front sandbox/splasher casting on his S7 Coal Tank. 

Thinking that it was never going to look any good when painted he made up some from N/S sheet. 

Time to crack on with the detailing now.

The week ended with our now-customary Zoom meeting during which Luke gave an excellent talk on the Leek and Manifold Railway

Week-ending Friday 18th September

There are two rollers, one for each end of the cable and they can rotate independantly, in opposite directions. The small circular objects are tiny magnets that will hold the soft iron shackles when uncoupled from the set.

First an overdue update from Mountfords Mineral Railway.

I've built a mechanism for the top of the incline to take the haulage cable down under the baseboard to the drive mechanism. (the mechanism is next on the list.)

The picture is a mock-up of how it is positioned, I yet have to drill the holes downwards.

Sunday TAFKATYS hosted another running session on his O gauge garden circuit and laid on some lovely September sunshine.

Captured here are three views of Mike E's American stock given a welcome run out.

And TAFKATYS gave Y Faenor an airing and a couple of locos ran on it,

Week-ending Friday 11th September

We start off with two Mikes this week

Mike G's BR Standard Class 5 is all finished apart from the final grot dump on the chassis.

And from Mike E

For the S&D layout  two Southern vans nearly completed in early BR carmine - a guards bogie B  (based on the old ratio kit) and a Special Cattle Van (SPV) from (I think) a Chivers kit. Both need the roof matting down and couplings fitting/adjusting. I can't remember how many months (years?) these two have been under construction!

The talk this week was a bit different with Mr Chairman presenting his ten favourite railway photos and what a variety we had - from cab-forwards in '50s California, a brace of Ben Ashworth's work, a Castle toiling up a bank with a sizeable twin of ex-GW coaches and amongst others some very atmospheric shots from the English Midlands.

Week-ending Friday 4th September

Progress in many area this week:

Mike G has been busy weathering his BR Standard Class 5 and the ex-GWR Collett Goods

TAFKATYS has been really enjoying making this TVR K class in Scaleseven but is nevertheless making progress.

There is also progress to report over in the Coronalayouts page on San Itize, Halesworth and Crindau Pill,

The ended with a Zoom meeting which included a fascinating selection of views of condemned 'Absorbed' stock taken in the Swindon are just after the grouping presented by Stephen Bell.

Week-ending Friday 28th August

With the barometer dropping members in their droves (other than LBH of course) have picked up their soldering irons once more so we have a lot to report both here and over on the Coronalayouts page

We'll start with Wagonman who has been able to give a few of his delightful locos a run out. 

Wagonman thinks this section should be titled - 'Oops I built a loco' - Having vowed previously not to start any more projects until at least some of the work on the bench had been completed, he gave into temptation during the recent hot weather and started to prepare some of the parts of the next loco project - it all seemed too easy with a loco body test assembled - too hot to do any soldering - while enjoying some time in the garden - then the weather cooled a little so out came the soldering gear and 'oops'.

TAFKATYS has been progressing with one the the LNWR four-wheelers as well as making progress with track-laying on Y Faenor

Mike G is busy too: He airbrushed matt varnish onto the loco bodies and chassis while the weather was good - matt in order to allow weathering powers to take on the surface. The chassis for the tender was destined for the Brit but the Brit has a tender of his own design that he's happy with after some running trials. More of MIke's work can be seen on his page on Western Thunder.

There are more updates and a newcomer in the shape of JJ's P4 BR(NER) layout on the Coronalayouts page.

And returning this week by popular request was Albyn with the second half of his talk on Colonel Stephens railways.

Week-ending Friday 21st August

Another week and the usual suspects have been busy. First this from TAFKATYS, with more progress from him to report on Y Faenor over on the Coronalayouts page

With the hope that summer will continue a while yet the plan is to have more outdoor running sessions. To this end TAFKATYS has put this cleaning wagon together. The parts were bought when we took Frecclesham to the York Show. 

The Lima wagon he picked up recently on eBay - proved a good choice as the crude detailing meant it was easy to convert , and he didn’t feel guilty about butchering it compared to a Parkside kit! 

Just need to add some coupling hooks and it’s good to go. The manufacturer claims that  it doesn’t need any solvent to work but you can see on the pads just running up and down a few times has caused the pads to pick up grime already on what TAFKATYS thought was a clean piece of test track!

Not sure that anyone can live with the bright yellow colour for long though, but Rob thought that 'Graded Nuts' suited the society membership well and it would be a pity to lose it.

Mike E has been busy on San Itize  - see over on the Coronalayouts page  - but also has been inspired by the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway having seen it about forty years ago and has recently acquired this DVD. So profound is his enthusiasm that he has forsaken his vow not to start any new scales and procured this rather fabulous 7mm/ft, 14mm gauge EDM kit.

The week ended with our now-customary Zoom meeting, this time with a fascinating illustrated talk on Colonel Stephens railways from Albyn Austin. Albyn had so much material and the talk was so well received that he was invited back to deliver the second half next week.

Week-ending Friday 14th August

We had had another outdoor session planned for this evening but the Welsh summer intervened, so we reverted to our usual Zoom session.

TAFKATYS has made use on an idea from Mr Chairman's late Father-in-law and long time club member Bill Handy.

Essentially the idea is having made three storage shelves he limits himself to three active build projects.

He can take the open box out, work on that project, then just put it back at the end of the session and keep by workshop tidy...

At least that’s the plan!!!!

TAFKATYS has also built this control box for his O gauge garden track.

It’s a DC controller plus a setup to switch between DC and DCC easily. So when we get another running day it will make life easier and neater.

It's not meant for TAFKATYS's own stock as that is normally Battery-powered Radio Controlled.

Week-ending Friday 7th August

Mike E has more to report;
Putting in the remaining "oil" lamps for Midford station this week. Based on commercial lamps, but using only the lanterns - the Midford ones had old rail-built posts. I've wired them three-in-series together with 200 ohms of resistance to get a more subdued light. Also completing and making work (with a Tortoise motor) the "backing" signal on the platform. The finials are from ModelU.
All looks quite nice now after dark, with the signal box illuminated.

Here's a sample from the update on my Mounford Mineral Railway. A full update is on the coronalayouts page.

Week-ending Friday 31st July

Mike E is first up this week with progress on Midford, but he also has made progress on his Coronalayout over here.

This week for the S&D Mike has put ballast and greenery on the disused bridge track - certainly looks as though nothing has run over that for a while! 

He has also done some work in wood formers for scenery just below Midford station. Count the clamps!

Mike G has completed the lining on his BT Standard Class 5. It’s based on a n Alan Gibson kit with Comet motion as the Gibson motion is over-scale. Ashton springing units. The drive is intended to be a High-level kits Roadrunner gearbox with a 1420 motor.

Mike just needs a nice day (he’s forgetting the Welsh summer) to complete varnishing and add some grime.

Sunday 26 July

TAFKATYS had a running session on his garden circuit and (right) spend a while in anticipation repairing sections of track and replacing curved points with plain track and doing a bit of wiring.

Left we see Wagonman's GWR 517 class 0-4-2T running with a Dapol Autocoach

Seen again, right, in a closer view.

Thanks to Steve and Karen we had plenty of space and plenty of tea and cake. The weather threatened at times but we stayed dry.

Luke's loco and coach have features on these pages before and here they are together, seen 'in the flesh' for the first time. Unfortunately we couldn't test them.

5750 is a Minerva model, here getting a good run away from the constraints of an exhibition layout.

Wagonman builds a lot of hoppers - I can't think why, getting all the angles right is not easy. This collection is largley his work with my 4248 at the head. It did more metres in the afternoon than a whole weekend on show on Pavilion End.
Here's some more from Wagonman's collection, Maybe this is Hereford to Gloucester or Carmarthen to Aberystwyth?

Club members chew the fat over TAFKATYS embryo LNWR Scaleseven lavout Y Faenor - see more on the Coronalayouts page.

Week-ending Friday 24th July

Luke has been applying weathering powders onto his O-16.5 loco to good effect 

But TAFKATYS's A4 suffered an unfortunate mishap during running-in turn

Mike G's Collett 2251 is pretty near complete with only a few more bits to add plus some weathering and it's done.

Mike is working on Midford still and sent this progress update

The parts from Eileen's excellent Emporium arrived this week. So fabrication of handrails on the (disused) Camerton Branch bridge. I had thought of using brass section for the stanchions, but the thought of drilling 115 holes of 0.7mm put me off. I could not afford the cost of the broken drills. Used plastic T-section, fabricating a little jig that worked a treat. NO drills broken at all. Threaded 0.5mm brass wire for the handrails (surprisingly satisfying to do), and painted.....  Ballast and weeds yet to do..

Week-ending Friday 17th July

Mike E has shown a bit of progress on Midford station entrance, with a rail-built lamp, fencing, etc. - but much more to be done in ballasting, vegetation, etc.....
The week ended with our customary Zoom meeting, which included a fascinating illustrated talk on the Southwold Railway from Luke

Week-ending Friday 10th July

MIke E has come up with this brilliant technique to create picket fencing at the right angle. 

Just a little fence making this week for Midford station entrance. Found a bit of commercial picket in the scrap box, OK slightly modified for the straight bit and a gate, but what about the slope? Decided to spray the commercial bit on a card to make a plan for the spacing of the pickets, and then lay microstrip on transparent double sided tape over it. A couple of thicker bearers cemented on, and then careful trimming. Not brilliant, but good enough for the rather hidden position it will be in. Painting and mounting next.

An unusually short update from Wagonman this week  - the Centenary brake-compo is complete!

This week Luke has added glazing and added transfers to the Welshpool and Llanfair coach.

Week-ending Friday 3rd July

There have been updates on the Coronalayouts page to Mountfords Mineral Railway and Crindau Pill.

Here, above and below, is the latest from Wagonman.

The Cambrian goods engine body has progressed to a point where all the brasswork is complete and only the whitemetal castings remain to be fitted - the spiders-web of rods in the first photo were there to check alignments of the holes for fitting the handrails....

Availablity of primer has meanwhile allowed the painting of the Centenary coach to commence with the bodyshell lettered and lined before fitting out....

Work will now continue with the coach as first priority to completetion before progressing the loco further...

Luke has painted his Slater's coach

The week ended in our Zoom meeting, which included an illustrated talk from Wagonman on the MSWJR, taking us further south.