Despite what you might be thinking (for those of us old enough to remember this television show) this is not about the family made rich through an accident during hunting for dinner. This post is about creative solutions shared on one of my favourite sites when building to a hard right angle. So despite wanting to tell you a story about a man named Jed it’s time to launch into today’s site seeing adventure.
I have thought for some time about buying a right-clamp for assisting building my structures. Especially so since I do a lot of scratchbuilding. When I saw this pop up on my email feed from MRH I just had to share some of the ideas here.
My favourite one (since I have most of these available now) is this creative use of Lego:
Image courtesy of MRH Forums
Head on over to the post and see some of the other great ideas presented there. I have to say though that this one really ticked all the boxes for me.
Over on Gene’s P48 blog I’ve made mention of the build he’s had going on for some time. In fact the list of articles for the Wilson Reefer build is can be found by following this link to Gene’s website. You can skip to the last part and see the painting directly using the link below.
Obsessive, obscure, observant and even excessive; all these monikers I’ve worn in my modelling career. And then just when you feel that you need to back off the scratchbuilding fanaticism along comes someone to restore my faith in the obsession.
Site 1: Scratch building a HO scale mattress box spring [Link –>]
Over on the FreeRails forum there is a build I just had to showcase. Sean W needed a box spring mattress for a scene. Not able to find one from a manufacturer he did what he had to do – scratchbuilt.
Image 1: Sean W’s scratchbuilt box-spring mattress (
Visit the link above to see how he did it. Great work Sean!
A long time ago, in a modelling landscape far, far away… there was a UK Model Trains magazine (I cannot remember the issue) that described the conversion of the Atlas O scale Plymouth switcher; the aim being to turn it into an industrial UK shunter.
If my memory serves me well it would have been about 1982 or there about. In short order I found myself owning four of these locomotives, and set about modelling the shunter as I’d seen it a couple of years previously. Having said all of this the title of this article now becomes important because I am about to finish the project that I started sometime back in the early to mid 1980s, in the mid 2010s. Yep – that’s 30 years.
That ‘Model Trains’ magazine article suggested either:
Keeping the cab height the same as it was on the original model and raising the buffer beam height to allow for buffers etc. or
Raising the entire cab by about a scale foot and raising the height of the footplate at the same time to allow for buffers to be mounted on the end of the frame.
I chose the second option as I wanted a snappy looking locomotive and not something half thought out that I’d never be happy with. So with magazine, (I have the copy somewhere and I’ll update the article details when I have them) plasticard, liquid glue, files and a sense of adventure I started working on the model.
I left the length of the loco as it was, and raised the body height with a conveniently wide piece of plasticard stock to get the height visually right. In reality that was the easy part as you’re just adding that to the bottom of the body.
All images are Copyright Andrew Martin 2015 unless otherwise noted
In the four photos of the unmodified model note the squat nature of the body. The last photo shows the difference in height between the modified and original loco that the two 40 thou shims of plasticard give. It should be noted that the loco models that I have come with a textured surface on the footplate simulating a safety tread pattern. This was sanded down and removed prior to installing the higher floor.
Next I cleaned up the four pane windows and made them single pane. Finally I sanded down and covered over the buffing faces on the loco ends in preparation for the 3 link couplings and buffers. The only problem was that having put all of that work into the loco – it did not look right to me. It looked like a higher roofed American loco and not something that would have been made in or for an English railway, especially a Quarry railway which I’d always wanted to model (and still do). So it was back to the drawing board.
The second coming…
Unfortunately I only have photos from the second rebuild that I started in 1996 or there about and none from that first effort as it was back in the early 1980s and I don’t remember owning a camera at the time (being a poor electronics apprentice).
Before I begin any modelling project (I over think them to be honest) I do a lot of work on how the final model will look; This locomotive was no different. First was a working sketch that I scanned recently and cleaned up below. (Yes I store all my sketches of train models.)
There are some differences between the concept sketch and the final model that I’ll be completing in the next week or two – overall I’ve come pretty close to what I wanted. I’ve not bothered with the end rails and chain nor the MU stand. As the quarry locomotives were generally run individually and not in MU service in the UK from what I can gather. Additionally I took about 10 mm off the rear end of the unit since I did not want the air tank or a balcony on that end with the new look.
If it’s blue, it’s not new. The bubbly mess of plastic in the cab end of the hood is what happens when you try and speed up curing of putty with an incandescent bulb. The stove pipe chimney was the result of that and not planned. However, I did add 5mm in the front of the hood to extend the hood forward and rebuilt the front top are of the hood too as the bulky light on the original just irked me too much to live with. The entire cab roof, and rear wall was sawn out, and a plasticard cab end and roof was put in its place. This sounds fairly straightforward, until you see the amount of work that actually went into designing and building the new cab end.
Photo 2 above shows the planning and work that went into the design of the new cab. When the skin (10 thou plasticard) went on it was measured and cut in one piece to ensure that there would be no visible seams on the face of the loco. This went off without a hitch and I learned a lot out of that exercise that has helped me in my model building since. Photo 3 below shows what the cab looks like after the skin has been cut and glued in place.
Also in Photo 3 above you’ll note the
Oleo buffers (from House of O Gauge in the UK – now gone I believe). These are working buffers and work as well as they look.
The electrical conduit to the light is fine solder Super-Glued in place. The light is a square styrene section with a circular section cut into the square frame and then drilled out to accept an LED. This will go back into the cab and into the DCC board. I had thought about having a duel sealed beam set, but I liked the look of this better.
To remove the need for a rear facing horn, I cut a small slot into the top left of the cab for the horn. I’ve yet to place a horn placed on the front of the loco.
The three link couplings are also working with draw gear behind them on the front and the back. Finally the electrical junction box is a 1:48th MU cover glued on to the face.
Finally the window frames are all 20 thou and allow a 0.5mm overhang into the window space. I am hoping to get some microscope slide covers cut and put in place in all of the windows. Should that prove too bothersome I will cut out some Monitor protector plastic that I’ve saved from work and use that in its place. It will be secured in either case by Revel clear cement.
It’s getting late, so I’ll just add a couple more photos. If you have questions let me know in the comments and I’ll answer them for you.
I’m not sure if I am going to leave the running gear showing like this or turn it into a tram loco. But the tram idea has me in its grip at the moment.
The fuel filler and gauge are from a 1:48 scale add on kit I’m using on my GP38-2 rebuilds.