In just under 2 weeks Herstmonceux will be heading down to Devon for the Exe Model Railway Society show. Although I have been focused on getting Tarring Neville finished I have also been working on a few new things for Herstmonceux which will hopefully ready for the show.
For a while now my Birdcage set has been 2/3s finished and when run at a couple of shows its pinched the composite coach from the SECR Pull-Push set. I finally got the sets composite built and its currently waiting on some transfers and then the whole set needs weathering.
Something else that has been on the “to do” list is another Pull-Push set. Last year I received a new Cuckoo line book and I mentioned that one picture was very interesting. This picture showed a ex-LBSCR Pull-Push set and a D3 tank at Hailsham. The D3 turned out to be the one that I have modelled..
Being at Hailsham it puts it very close to Herstmonceux and the possibility that it might of turned up on the Ouse valley line… So luckily for me that nice guy Mr Roxey produces a kit of the LBSCR Pull-Push set. This is also just waiting on some transfers and some weathering and I will stick some pictures up when it’s finished.
With these two new sets a new timetable was needed to fit them in so hopefully I’ll get this finished ready for Exeter. Chris has also worked on a rake on mineral wagons to run in the new timetable as a diverted Kent coal train and I have tried to fit in a few more unusual workings that would of been seen in the area.
BOOKS!!! I was lucky enough to receive two new books for my birthday. First up is “Southern Rolling Stock in Colour” which follows on from these previous books. I have only had a brief flick through so far but its packed full of great colour pictures and lots of information as you would expect.
The other book is one that I was pointed in the direction of by a friend. If you’re interested in the Cuckoo line then you probably already have the book by A.C. Elliot and this is another must have. A few of the pictures have turned up in other books before but it also has a lot of pictures that I had never seen. One particular picture is very interesting as it is of something I am about to start work on for Herstmonceux – watch this blog!
There are a few accounts by people that used to work on the line, some of which were very amusing. For just under £15 its well worth getting.
I have been working on a few different modelling things as well which I will blog about in the next week or so. A bit more work has been done on Tarring Neville and the Flint building is progressing nicely although modelling will now be focusing more on getting some bits ready for Herstmonceux’s next outing at Tolworth. Chris is hopefully coming over the end of the week to help work on the new timetable which will include fitting in the Birdcage set and one other new coach set.
Talking of Birdcage sets I have a extra one of these. I was originally going to try and convert into the pull push driving coach of set 661. I made a start on it a while back but decided that the work involved in converting it wouldn’t be worth it so put it back in the draw. I have now decided to get on and build it as the driving coach of set 660 and I will probably put it up for sale once finished if anyone is interested.
I was asked by Steve Carter how I do the roofs on the Birdcage coaches and the honest answer is… as best I can. I follow the instructions as much as possible but no two are the same and a lot of filling, sanding and swearing ensues.
The main problem area I find is trying to cut the excess off to get a good fit and its usually better to leave a little more than is need and trim/sand it down after gluing. I don’t put a floor in the coaches like it says in the instructions but opt for adding a floor on the underside of the underframe. The reason for this is so that you can get inside still to add some extra glue if needed. Also you don’t end up with bits inside when you drill holes for the roof vents. For the birdcage end I cut the roof square with the front of the window and added the two strips down the side after. Hopefully these pictures will explain what I mean better.
The other thing you might notice is the microstrip on the lower edge of the roof. This serves two purposes. One, it fills the slight gap when your roof doesn’t quite fit! Two, its there on the prototype. Sometimes it can go very wrong and I have to use a slightly bigger bit of microstrip to fill the gap which I then trim and sand down before adding the smaller microstrip on top. I will try and post another update on these in the next few days as they are nearing finishing.
With just under a week to go till Herstmonceuxs next outing at Worthing show http://www.worthingmrc.co.uk/mrc/ I’m doing the final checks and getting a few new things ready. Since the last show back in January I’ve been busy adding to the stock, made a few changes to the operating sequence and made a new stock box for the coaches.
The other main thing I’ve done is change the operation of the signals from servo controlled back to my simple push rods. The main reason for this is that I was having some big problems with the servos twitching. This was happening when a kit built loco was running and was down to interference. I tried all manner of things to try and sort it but in the end I felt it was best to go back to something much simpler and also easier to fix if needs be.
A while ago I had decided that I wanted a BR Mk 1 set for Herstmonceux and that it had to be Blood and Custard livery. Why this livery and not the usual BR Green? Well I like the Blood and Custard livery for starters and I think it looks smart on the Mk 1’s.
Also at the time I only had one other rake of coaches in this livery so it would add a bit of colour and variety to the layout.
To begin with I started looking for set numbers of the 3 coach sets. The set numbers ran from 515 to 574 and were mainly formed BSK- CK-BSK. One small problem with this was the 3 coach sets didn’t arrived till 1957 and I try to keep Herstmonceux pre 1956!! Luckily for me the 4 coach sets arrived from 1952 onwards and were formed BSK-SK-CK-BSK. Information on the Set and Coach numbers can be found here http://www.semgonline.com/coach/CoachSets.txt
With a local(ish) set number decided on I sourced the coaches needed. These are all early Bachmann Mk 1’s with the horrible thick roof weld lines and after a bit of reading up on the net I decided to tackle this issue. The thick weld lines were carefully trimmed with a Swann Morton No 17 blade.
Original Roof is at the bottom and the trimmed at the top.
Also added to the coach was a dynamo belt. The idea was picked up off Jim Smith-Wright’s site http://www.p4newstreet.com/improving-the-bachmann-mk1s-part-1-brakes.html. Jim’s used the Masokit etch which also has the brake linkages but I decided to use a bit of scrap etch.
With these bits done all that was left was to add transfers for the new coach numbers, set numbers on the ends and give them a light weathering.
So that’s one more set of coaches just about finished for Herstmonceux and I think effort to trim the weld lines down is well worth it. The basic weathering is done but I still need to add a bit of variation to the roofs plus a bit more on the underframes. I may go back and add the brake linkages at a later date but for now i’m happy with them.