Friday, 28 October 2011

Loadsa work

A great deal of work has gone into getting the 3 locos to this stage. Details will be added soon but for now here are the 3...

Getting there

Still a few jobs to do but I'm getting there!

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Monday, 24 October 2011

Blue and green

Here they are after primer and main body colour. Detail painting with acrylics to come later this week.

Saturday, 22 October 2011


Here's a shot of the LBT and LAT degreased and drying before primer is applied. Mods done to the buffer beams to take the couplings too. The other stuff is the latest batch of 009 carrs.

Friday, 21 October 2011


I've been steadily working away to get my 3 locos working, painted and fitted with couplers.  Last night 6 couplers were made up from the microtrains (N gauge kadees effectively) range.  Getting the little springs in was a trial, but it's done!  Alterations to the buffer beams were also made to allow the couplers to be sited at the correct height.  Finally filler was applied to smooth out some of the joins between parts.  The spray booth in my garage was also set up ready.

The O+K is already painted and thus just requires the addition of the couplers and plates - I have in stock some plates which I inherited from the late Dr Ben Fisher, so I will use these - number 314 with a black background. 

The plan is to paint the LBT in dark green (most came in this stock colour from the works) and to name it 'Little Giant' using some 4mm scale plates I have in stock that came from worsley works (red background).  Something like the below:

The LAT will be painted in two tone blue with red buffer beams as in this shot below and will be named CLAIRE on a dark blue background (which is my wife's name and I have had these plates in stock waiting for a project for approx 7 years!):

Plan is to have them ready for expoNG as they might get a chance to run on a friend's boxfile layout.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Line up

Tonight I mostly completed my Ruston LAT (note the different buffer beam) and so here is the final line-up!

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Tuesday, 20 September 2011


Work is progressing slowly:

- The 3mm 14.2mm RTR track has been attached alongside my 009 test track and all 3 chassis tested.

- The Ruston LAT chassis is complete and I have cleaned up the castings

- I have ordered the 4% woodland scenics incline which has been hard to find!

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Awoken with sleeping

Now that the first set of turnout components are here, I have started preparation by glueing down all the sleepers I can. The turnout sleepers themselves are a bit special.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Pointing the way


I’ve now received one set of turnout wonderment from Stephen at

This is a common crossing and a set of blades for a left hand turnout and will allow me to construct the first point on the layout and consider whether I can do the others myself.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Test track completed

Some progress - dad bought me some 14.2mm track from the 3mm society.

After assembly this has created a useful test track for running my Locos. The 0.2mm is not a problem.

Sunday, 20 March 2011



Here is the first coupling successfully applied to the first wagon I built – a platform wagon on rugga chassis. A few things I’ve learned:

- The springs are very easy not only to lose but to damage, you need to be very careful.

- The lubricant ‘grease-em’ is proper weird stuff, like silver sparkling dust.  seems to work though

- You don’t need to overtighten the screws when mounting them as otherwise the coupling fails to work correctly

- My they are fiddly to put together, but once you get a system together, it’s fine.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Pick me up

Tonight I added pickups to the Lbt chassis I built earlier this year and to the new milled lay chassis. I found some shorting problems with the latter (pickups touching the chassis) so I altered them to touch the top of the wheel not the back.

Tested them and all good. Must get a longer test track though. Sn3 track here we come.

Also ordered the woodland scenics 4% incline starter and a large pack of 1015 microtrains couplers from mg sharp today.

2ft versus 2ft 6

At Shepton dad bought a cracking scratchbuilt model of Prince. It has a faulhaber coreless motor and has been nicely put together. The name chronus is a bit odd but that will soon be gone! However it runs on 16.5mm gauge.

Dad us also making good progress with a model of Countess also to 16.5mm gauge.

Now of course the real Prince runs on 2ft gauge track and Countess on 2ft 6. Put them next to each other as in the photo and the difference is striking. You couldn't run these together on a layout.

So should Prince be converted to 14mm or run in a separate 16.5mm layout?

the problem with the 14mm option is that the track would have to be built and its not as easy as my o14 jubilee track!

16.5mm is so appealing for mainline narrow gauge as the rtr peco track is so readily available but it really does look wrong for locos like Prince! Why can't peco build 14mm track and points?

A third loco


So, I saw an opportunity on ebay and went for it.  I purchased another ruston LBT, this time with the milled (almost RTR) chassis.  After discussions on NGRM, KBscale have been very generous to send me (FOC) the LAT style buffer beams which are not as deep as in the LBT.  This means that I can put it together as a ruston LAT.  cool.

Thursday, 24 February 2011


Are, it seems, not suitable for rugga chassis and O-14.  They are just too large both in the mounting and the depth of the trailing legs.  So I’m reverting to an idea I was advised on a while back (should have listened!).  This is to use micro scale N gauge couplers.

There is a good post on their use here:

They are much smaller and thus far less obtrusive on the chassis.

However the starter kit is not all lost, as the tools, magnets and lubricant is still useful.  But if you need any kadee No. 43s let me know!"

Digging down

So as mentioned I took prototype information from my new Thakeham tiles book and decided that the hopper could be sunk into the ground.  Previously I had calculated that the ramp up to the hopper would have to be as steep as 1 in 9.  This was just too much to be operational sound or believable.

Thus I dug a hole in the sundeala and sunk the start of the conveyor into the board.  I then shortened the hopper and the result is a ramp that is about 1 in 16.  Much better.

Now to make the ramp.



Monday, 21 February 2011

Shepton mallet 2011

The Shepton show was a cracker as Expected.

I got hold of a copy of the extraordinary thakeham tile railway book that has really got the thoughts going - do I need an incline or should I sink the hopper into the ground? I also bought a nice little booklet on rustons. It's a great general history of the types but if you want detail on the differences over the years in a single type then it's not good enough. But then it was only a fiver.

I also added to the collection of 7mm details some of which dad picked up for me from a 7mm show. Here be ladders, sacks, boxes, pallets etc.

And finally after some discussion with the experts I took the plunge with a kadee starter kit. For £26 I got 4 packs of couplings (8 pairs), a proper coupler height gauge with included coupling, special tweezers, lubricant, manual uncoupling tool and a magnet uncoupler - bargain. I have no idea if I went for the right type as there are many versions, time will tell. I went for number 43 which has the shortest reach and should thus allow for close coupling, centre set as that seemed a good point to start at (you can buy couplers that are slightly higher or lower by their setting in the pocket) and metal of type 40 rather than the plastic type 30 as they are sturdier.

I have opened one packet and shall now experiment. In the meantime I need a test track and so sn3 track is being sought.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

A design wrap

The trackplan is decided and sellotaped down, building positions finalised and thus work on the incline can commence.

Today I also filled the holes that were created by the removal of 4mm scale ladders etc on some of the buildings and created some scrap pieces of corrugated iron by hacking at some wills sheet. One piece of this was glued over some 4mm doorways. With weathering it would look good I think.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Buildings multiply

The two extra scenecraft 7mm concrete huts arrived whilst I was in Canada. Here is the latest potential setup.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

The latest thinking

A quick update on my thinking...

The locos I have mean we can say this is a 1960s diorama.

I am creating a small batch concrete plant where aggregate is delivered by rail, tipped into a hopper and (via a weigh station) is combined with cement (from a silo) and water (from a water tank).  The concrete is then transferred to a moulding building (a converted scenecraft 7mm concrete lineside hut) and thence to a kiln (brick sided building - an upscaled (extended sides and overlaid 7mm brick plasticard onto a hornby 4mm building) where blocks are created.  These blocks, once fired, are placed onto hudson platform wagons for onward transport to site. 

In fact I shall use three of the scenecraft 7mm buildings, each one modified to suit its location/uses.

I think that this is believable... as to uses for the to suggestions...
I now have all the parts necessary to complete the layout and have also purchased a better gaugemaster DC controller rather than depend on the terrible hornby controller I've used up to now. 

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Buildings update

I'm basically working on the idea that this imaginary works of mine represents a small scale concrete plant cobbled together from bits available by a contractor to batch produce concrete blocks or pipes (I've yet to absolutely decide which).

So, what progress with the buildings to fit that?

- the loco shed has been created from a slaters 7mm container body kit. This requires its lost wax castings adding and the roof cementing in place. The doors have been cut apart and will be reaffixed in an open position so Locos can be stored in there. The size is perfect and the Ruston really looks at home. So aside from a few details this bit i'm happy with.

- I have worked out the height required for the hopper tipping ramp and created the sides in plasticard laminated to 7mm stone plastic sheet. This will allow me to create the ramp ready for track.

- the weigh station has been greatly helped by the addition of the bachmann 7mm concrete shed and the unit models privy (I cut back the overhanging roof at the back).

- the dapol ex airfix water tower arrived and the tank has been assembled. In addition some brickwork has been created (although it needs finishing). The brick Walls would gave been used to avoid rust on the bottom of the tank and to require less pumping. Furthermore I will create a door in one side so the brick structure could also have been used as a store (perhaps for moulds).

- the main concrete mixing tower and silo need pipework to connect, ladders adding (dad is going to look for sone at an o gauge show tomorrow) and some work to hide a 4mm scale doorway. I have also decided that the corrugated tin extension will be retained (i had considered removing it or running tracks into it ) as a link to another building.

- this yet to be sourced building will be the place where the mixed concrete is placed in moulds and the moulds cured in a kiln. Finally an exit area for lorries to load the finished goods will be created and the very tightly curved siding straightened out as just a headshunt.

Now to find a building that would fit that plan.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Another building

I had been concerned that the weigh station bit of the previously oo scenecraft stuff looked too small on it's own and a bit underscale, so I bought the new 7mm scenecraft concrete shed to add to one side and I think it makes a big impact.

Also visible is the new fuel tank.

Still to come are the water tank and container loco shed.

Monday, 17 January 2011


A scenecraft fuel tank has been purchased and cleaned up today to provide a small store for the loco fuel.

I also ordered an dapol oo water tank via eBay following an inspired comment on this blog yesterday. This will sit on a brick plinth.

Finally I started planning for the incline up to the hopper and cut the plasticard stonework to size. The plan is to create a plastic frame with plastic stonework added to dress it.

The copper clad pickup pads were glued in place ready for the Ruston to receive it's pickups.

And finally I ordered a new controller (gaugemaster combo walkaround) as the hornby one I had been using has some very odd behaviour at low speed - Locos pulse along rather oddly! Something to do with feedback I think but no good for this layout.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

A mock up

After cutting all those sleepers from the frets and completing the 3 extra tippers, I took the opportunity to try the buildings in place.

I think I might actually buy another silo (one for cement, one for water). I also await the arrival of the grounded container that will sit under then new gantry (which itself requires some chain to finish it). Also remember that the track next to the hopper will be elevated.

The Ruston is complete save for couplings and details to be added after painting (oh and pickups).

No time to sleep

There are many sleepers to prepare.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Much to talk about

Much progress:

- attended the Leamington show today and bought the nice little privy from unit models

- kb scale delivered a load of sleepers, spikes, fishplates and other details as well as 3 more tippers. They are already rolling and have had their bucket detail added. An hour tomorrow and they'll be done.

- the Ruston now just needs a little attention to the roof and it's done too. The driver has been sorted and the chassis is complete. It looks great.

Friday, 14 January 2011

LBT comes together, right now.

Images to follow but the LBT is coming along well. The motor had its tails cut down (protecting the inside from stray bits with masking tape) and the wheels were assembled using the vice technique. Then the worms were reamed slightly to fit the layshaft and all installed. A few drops of 603 and then the test. All works fine. A little noisy but it needs to be oiled yet.

The body has also come on including cab details and the construction of the driver too. The buffer beams and cab roof remain to be fitted but all looks good.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Lunchtime diversion


The loctite 603 arrived so tonight I will start to work on finishing the Ruston chassis.  At lunchtime I made up the plastic overhead gantry (requires some chain yet) from the 1:35 kit and made a start on parts of the Ruston body that are not chassis dependent.



Here is a 1:35 (slightly overscale I know, but I can tackle that problem) set of field tools from an Italian firm who make wargaming accessories.  Many parts are to be included to create a ‘workshop’ scene.  The container ‘loco shed’ to go with it looks like this:


The industrial silo has arrived and has had its ladders/handrails removed where they betray its OO scale origins and finally I have kindly been lent a copy of the holy grail – Roy’s handbook – possibly the rarest narrow gauge publication to find!


Sunday, 9 January 2011

Making a start on the LBT


So, here’s an hour’s work on the Ruston…  Chassis folded up, gearbox strengthening insert/bearings added and soldered in, everything reamed and checked square.  Pretty easy really, very happy with the result.  Need to get some loctite 603 for the next bit so am starting reading the body instructions.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Latest plan

Things have moved on significantly since I last wrote.  Firstly the new Orenstein and Koppel loco has landed and after the cleaning of the pickups I can report that it runs well.


I also received the main buildings for the scene and immediately removed the handrails which betray their 4mm scale heritage.  I will also add the chemical silo that sits alongside the tall tower (more about this below).  So, you will have noticed that I am set (pun intended) on a concrete works.


The idea of the layout (as shown above) is that aggregate trains arrive with the Ruston, which detaches and runs into one of the short sidings.  The O&K comes out from its shed - an O gauge slaters LMS container in the bottom right on the long siding - and then pushes the tippers up a short ramp to the hopper, where they will dispense their load.  There is then some shunting, where other wagon types are involved (a random order could be used and the three sidings plus fourth loco shed siding are an inglenook style problem).  See here for info on inglenooks :

The very tightly curved extra siding into the back of the concrete mixing tower is an option that I may or may not include. If not, there is room for a level crossing where lorries would enter to load.

The aggregate is conveyed to the weighing station from the hopper and then again into the concrete mixing tower.  I have assumed that it arrives already washed and screened.  The silo (yet to be purchased) alongside adds the chemicals (cement etc.) and the finished product is available through the crinkly tin opening at the rear of the tower.  For info the silo can be seen in the below link:

Here’s another view of the layout from the other side.


Long-term I plan to utilise the other 2 foot square piece of sundeala by cutting that in half and extending the layout by 4 feet away from this site to a loop and sidings at the sand/gravel loading point.  But that’s for later, for now this is just a table-top shunting layout!

Monday, 3 January 2011

Oh and K


Now I know I said there would just be one loco on this layout…but I couldn’t resist this beauty offered to me last week.  The loco is an O&K MV2, it is a Black Dog body on a KB scale chassis.  Isn’t she super!

Saturday, 1 January 2011

The LBT Ruston kit has landed

HNY everyone

The kit has landed.

Here are some shots of the bits, which comprise:

- 42:1 gearbox and mashima can motor
- crisp White metal castings
- etched chassis easily folded up
- quality instructions including prototype notes and exploded diagrams
- lots of details although no exhaust (easily fabricated) or driver (bought separately)
- a rather nice box and all wrapped in black tissue paper just like opening a Christmas present (oh, well, yeah!).
- but unfortunately s few details were missing. Kb scale are sending them on so all is good.

So this will become the immediate project - get something running in o14 to go with my bit of track and wagons and you can read all about it here as I progress.