How to create 'Llantarnam Abbey'...

Discussion in 'Talk' started by flexible_coupling, 4 February 2014.

  1. flexible_coupling

    flexible_coupling Western Thunderer

    I'm in the process of developing a layout in 7mm based on Mountain Ash in the mid-late 70's, and there are a few essential members of the loco fleet that will lead to kit-builds - pannier 7754 is easily covered by JTLRT, I plan to alter the forthcoming DJM ready-to-run J94 to represent No. 8, Sir John and Sir Gomer are covered by Agenoria and Mercian respectively... but the biggest challenge is the charming but unorthodox-looking Llantarnam Abbey, an 0-6-0T variant of the well-represented Barclay 0-4-0T.

    I'm contemplating basing a kit-bash on the Tower Models "beginner" kit - the merits of a modest price-tag with a large proportion of the necessary components required, hefty whitemetal tank and boiler (modifications to the smokebox to 'lift' it and the whole boiler/tanks a few inches as-per prototype expected) and that solid brass angle chassis are appealing for alteration. Almost all of the cab will need to be scratchbuilt - which is not a concern as I believe it's a big "compromise" in the kit. I'm comfortable using plastikard in that scenario. The footplate will need an extension added or a whole new fabrication which might pose a slightly greater challenge... we'll see. Missing elements like the segment of coupling rods might get produced in etched brass as one-offs, as I'm thinking of drawing up and having produced some truss joint bracing plates with rivet detail for the series of complex trusses inside the engine shed roof. I could go 'all out' and design/etch a full cab and bunker, but that might be a bit much...

    Question time - has anyone seen a model of this loco built in 7mm? And - perhaps more helpfully at this junction - does anyone see any particular snares with drilling a 3rd axle hole through that solid brass-channel chassis (I'll be adding cosmetic extensions to the end of the chassis rails)? There's a few in-progress snaps within this detailed build of the kit;

    I'd most-likely add simple beam compensation on the fore-and-aft axles just to give a bit of flexibility. It's not going to be a mainline runner but I certainly want to have it run smoothly and surely.

    Silly - smart - sensible ?? If there's different/better/smarter ways of getting the end result of Llantarnam Abbey, I'd be very happy to hear!
  2. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    It's not one I've seen before in 7mm. I don't know enough about the prototypes to know about the differences so feel free to knock down this suggestion - you may have already looked at it anyway.

    I would have thought that you'd be better starting with an 0-6-0T chassis and modifying the bodywork rather than drilling additional axle holes etc. So what about the Agenoria Avonside kit as a suitable starting point?

    or are there some major discrepancies between the two? I can see the cab is completely different but you were going to make a new one anyway. If the wheelbase is about right then I'd be tempted to use this.
  3. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer

    Why don't you start with building the locos for which kits are available, or one of them? While building them you will develop the skills to scratch build the Barclay if a kit for it doesn't come out in the meantime. In my opinion you would be wasting your time butchering the white metal kit and trying to patch it up with plastikard. You would also need a new chassis as the axle spacings are quite different between the 0-4-0 and 0-6-0. You don't need etched coupling rods, they are plain, not fluted, so just solder a couple of bits of nickel silver or steel together and drill and cut them out with a jewellers saw then finish with a file. You can make a set of coupling (and connecting) rods in an evening - probably in less time than it would take to find some not quite right ones on line and order them, not to mention waiting for them to arrive.
    Heather Kay likes this.
  4. AJC

    AJC Western Thunderer

    I would agree with Overseer and suggest that you get on with building what is already available which would provide a perfectly viable fleet. It seems from photos that Mountain Ash only ever had two locos in steam at any one time and unless you're modelling the shed (in which case, you will need a fleet of out-of-commission diesels as well) how many do you really need? In any event, many Barclay drawings are preserved at Glasgow University: and getting hold of a drawing of this, or a similar machine would be where I would start. Granted, measuring the thing as is under restoration at Pontypool isn't really on from Melborne, but it shouldn't be too hard to find out if the drawings survive.

    BTW I'm not really sure what is 'unorthodox' about the Barclay; it looks like a perfectly normal Kilmarnock 0-6-0ST and there were hundreds of the things. The only thing remotely out of the ordinary relative to other manufacturers is the shape of the saddle tank - a shape echoed, at various times by Grant, Ritchie; Hudswell, Clarke and Bagnall - and that may well be the same size as the one on the Tower 0-4-0, also a 14" machine, but it really isn't that complicated a shape once you break it up. It's just a shallow curve over the top meeting a couple of gently rounded 'L' shapes.

  5. flexible_coupling

    flexible_coupling Western Thunderer

    The appeal of travelling down this train-of-thought was the assumption (based on some unverified information) that the first four-coupled wheels were in the same relative position on the chassis and had the same spacing. The whole idea definitely goes out the window if the front two axles had to move significantly! Such are the trials of working by correspondence. The photos below give the basis of said assumption (looking at the 'middle' axle in relation to the cab); (I don't think this is Llantarnum Abbey, but it looks very similar in its' arrangement)
    Noting 'trailing' wheel location in respect to the cab. It's actually possible that the coupled wheelbase on the 0-4-0 is slightly shorter than the leading pair of axles on the 0-6-0.

    Yes - assumptions are deadly. But... for this specific model - I can and would tolerate 1-2mm of wheelbase discrepancy over the prototype for the trade-off of a sturdy chassis and a slightly simplified construction process. While I've only been working with 7mm standard gauge for about a year, I've worked in 4 other scales for the ten years previous with whitemetal/brass loco kits - a bit of work is no deterrent! Part of me wants to get the "difficult" loco taken care of early in the piece :confused:

    Llantarnam Abbey is a very important loco for the collection. I'm plotting the serious exercise of a trip to the UK in October, and am aiming to see each loco I'm to build in the flesh.

    Also -AJC - My 'unorthodox-looking' reference was purely in relation to (what seems to be far more common, from the fairly fruitless online research I've already done) the 0-4-0T variations - I certainly didn't plan to offend! I wasn't aware of the Kilmarnock units - the preserved one at Tanfield that I've now found has similarities but it's a different bunker and the tank/boiler appears to sit lower like the four-coupled tanks, at least from the one or two google images I've seen. I'd certainly like
  6. JimG

    JimG Western Thunderer

    Osgood likes this.
  7. Osgood

    Osgood Western Thunderer

    And the Peckett archive containing over 440 drawings (around 45 of them are G.A.s - I went through the list the other evening :eek: ) is accessible through the NRM website (just had to get that manufacturer's name in here again somehow - fancy the lone Peckett being so swiftly dismissed in post 1 :D:p).
  8. flexible_coupling

    flexible_coupling Western Thunderer

    Poor old 'The Earl' is out of commission and rusting to death in the time-frame I'm presently working with! That being said, I'm not ruling it and the Hudswell Clarke '1885' with the missing dome out entirely - but right at the end of the list. Sir Gomer and Sir John are a little way down the list along with one of the black Barclay diesels and a Dapol '08'. Llantarnam Abbey, No. 8 and 7754 are the first three that I'm particularly putting my focus on for this year (well - whenever the DJM J94 comes out!). Eventually, when I'm in a fixed location, I'd like to create a more elaborate edition of the colliery with continuous running and proper trains. It'll probably take me ten years to get to the stage of a proper layout, and I might have half the required stock by then!!
  9. Osgood

    Osgood Western Thunderer

    According to Geoff Silcock in VISIONS OF STEAM, Llanta(r)nam Abbey returned from Walkden after overhaul in around 1971 without the R in his/her name. Another decision to make :D

    I have issues with the Bachmann J94 and the flat running plate extending right under the boiler. It looks like the DJM offering will be the same. The Ixion Hudswell has this feature too, but it does not seem anywhere near as evident and can be well disguised by tool box and cans.
  10. flexible_coupling

    flexible_coupling Western Thunderer

    :oops: It would be sans 'R' in my specific period of time... it's funny, working through the trove of photos in my time-frame ('72-'80), I can piece together an interesting lineage of changes to livery and detail - No. 8 seems to have had a violent incident at some point after 27th October 1978... had a trip to the workshops and a new paint-job between 1973 and 1978!... It's truly amazing what you can find online - services such as Flickr allow you to expand your horizons so quickly. I found a stack of photos of Lord Camrose that I'd never seen before, and also found a spell of time at the death where the entire roof of the shed was removed. I also found this snap from a previously unseen vantage point - this might just be the ticket for my eventual "big layout"...

    I realize I've started referencing further into my current layout project than I've explained - for those that also read rmweb, I've got a thread going over there -

    I'd like to think that the DJM model could end up being modified to simulate an appropriate gap between the frames. I hadn't really looked that closely at their initial 3D rendering - I truly hope that (what looks like a) visible gear-tower casing popping through the boiler underside... isn't. Worst case scenario - the Agenoria kit looks stunning and I'd be just as happy to build that!
  11. AJC

    AJC Western Thunderer

    No offence taken I assure you! The various species of 0-4-0ST were the most common Barclay product; but that was true of all the industrial builders, more or less. Nevertheless, Barclay turned out an awful lot of 0-6-0ST and 0-6-0T and the principal variation seems to have been the pitch of the boiler. A higher pitched boiler made it easier to access the motion and seems to have become more common as time went on, probably for that reason on designs with 14" cylinders and above. That it wasn't a standard feature was probably down to customer preference and the smaller types (12" cylinders and below) seem to have had low pitched boilers universally.

    Assuming that the castings for the DJH/Tower kit are dimensionally ok, then new frames and footplate would be the place to start rather than mucking about with frame extensions and drilling the existing frames A new smokebox saddle and cab shouldn't present any problems; it's just a bit of platework, after all.

    The Bachmann O Austerity is a poor model; it is basically a scaled up version of the old Dapol model with all the same compromises and errors - the boxes moulded under the boiler, the full width footplate, the undersized cab front windows. The proposed DJM version, as it stands, appears to share many of the same faults and adds a prominent and unnecessary join line at the bottom of the saddletank. I wouldn't pay £50 for the Bachmann one, but that's just me; too much work to make a decent model. Is the Mercian kit any good?

  12. flexible_coupling

    flexible_coupling Western Thunderer

    From the website photos - I'm definitely more-inspired by the Agenoria kit for the sharpness of detail. You can see a bit of a prototype kit within a youtube video Agenoria put out about kit construction - looks the goods for me.
  13. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    I'd be very wary of judging it from the website photos. You'll probably have difficulty seeing it in the flesh first but I'd try to find someone who has built one first and ask for their comments. The earlier Agenoria kits (up to an including AM41) were designed by Pete Stamper and have in my opinion a well deserved reputation as being nice kits to build. Later kits are from when Mike Williams took over the business, at which point I have to be careful what I say. Suffice to say that I believe Mike Williams used to run College Models and he has brought the same standards employed then across to the Agenoria range.

    As an aside I saw the Agenoria videos posted on RMWeb - the one on drawing out artwork for etching left me speechless. Initially I thought it was a health and safety warning video showing you how not to do it. Pokey little CRT monitor crammed into the corner of the desk at some strange angle piled up with papers - hardly a professional setup. Still if he can produce etched artwork on that then nobody can say they can't do it on their computer!
  14. Osgood

    Osgood Western Thunderer

    FC - those photos from Ernie Brack are simply stunning, a great way to savour the atmosphere of an industrial activity which is no more. I'm going to have to make a trip myself, although I'm not sure how much still exists.

    Does anyone know Ernie or can get a message to him? I wonder if he could be persuaded to produce a full colour plate large format book of his images, say on Photobox or similar? I'd have one in a heartbeat :bowdown:

    I've found a good Welsh Industrial Heritage website on which I've been looking at various colliery remains, but I've not had a chance yet to see if it covers the Mountain Ash system. I'll dig out the link in a while.
  15. eastsidepilot

    eastsidepilot Western Thunderer

    As Overseer says I think you'd be much better off scratch building the Barclay 0-6-0st, build some kits first of the loco's that are available if you don't feel confident enough yet to tackle it. You say it's a long term project so in the mean time a kit may become available or somebody may get hold of the drg's and produce a set of patterns for the miller;)