Dudley's Coal

Discussion in 'Entries' started by Dave L, 15 February 2018.

  1. Dave L

    Dave L Active Member

    Originally I had planned to build the track with plastic sleepers and exactoscale chairs, but after totalling up the cost of the chairs for just 3 turnouts and a little plain track I found the total a little eye watering. The plan for the track is for a coating of das clay to represent a compacted cinders around the track work, so burying and obscuring those chairs didn't seem the right choice.
    However I didn't want to resort to plain soldered blob chairs, plus it had to match up to a few lengths of exactoscale fast track. I knew of Masokits etched chairs, but there's limited references across the usual places, so I thought I'd give them a try and cost wise they're exceptional value. They alleviate any issues that have been discussed regarding the check rail chairs fixed dimensions and tight radii in P4.
    They're a very well designed etch, but then most of Michael Clark's etches are.
    Once a routine is found for folding and soldering then it becomes quite enjoyable.
    There are a couple of MRJ articles on these and they show a handy little jig for adding the final bend to the chairs, but I haven't gotten around to making one yet as I'm working on my bench and with plenty of protection of the trackwork it can all be done in situ.


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  2. jonte

    jonte Western Thunderer

    Very robust looking. Well worth the effort by the looks of it, Dave.
    Dave L likes this.
  3. Dave L

    Dave L Active Member

    Quick update, first stock rail complete, this is the rear rail and wont be seen, thought it best to start with one out of sight just in case, as it's been a few years since soldering neatly has been required.


    The slide chairs went in nicely, another simple etch but produces a very nice slide chair. The surface once polished provides a very smooth surface for the switch blades.


    A little more cleaning and on to the next stage, one Vee is ready to go just need 2 more.

    Last edited: 26 March 2018
  4. Dave L

    Dave L Active Member

    Work is slowly progressing on the rolling stock, another few Cambrian kits have been built and now awaiting more wheels from Alan Gibson, and then on to being painted.
    Work has slowed in the track as I await more brass chairs from Masokits.

    So I thought I'd make a start on a few trees, on the Earl of Dudley's estate there were plenty of trees and although being in the black country there was plenty of greenery, if you knew where to go.

    A few simple twists of wire and a little making tape and we have a basic tree. All that's needed is a thick pva sludge mix with a little brown and grey latex paint. To create the tree bark and remove the twists of the wire.


  5. Bullhead

    Bullhead Western Thunderer

    Looking very good Dave. Could I ask about your track, where you source the PCB strip? I've found this to be difficult to obtain in thin (1mm) form. As you said above, plastic chairs are expensive although they do look good! Given the excellent appearance of your PCB/etched chair track, I'm considering the possibility of changing from my current hybrid - plastic sleepers/chairs with some soldered/PCB for strength at key points.
    Dave L likes this.
  6. Dave L

    Dave L Active Member

    Hi Peter,
    Thanks, getting there slowly. The PCB I use is 1.6mm thick rather than 1mm, as I prefer the fastrack bases for straight sections which match up with the 1.6mm PCB track.
    I get my supply from Wizard models, it comes in 12" strips to either plain or turnout timber widths for you to cut into lengths as required. They do 4 and 7mm sizes.
    Another good source for ready cut plain timbers, is Colin Craig.
    C&L sell PCB too but I'm happy with the service from Wizard.

    Bullhead likes this.
  7. Bullhead

    Bullhead Western Thunderer

    Thanks Dave, very useful.
    Dave L likes this.
  8. Dave L

    Dave L Active Member

    Managed a little modelled time yesterday.
    My Masokits order for more chair etches arrived this week and I've managed to complete the first crossing on the turnout section. Which is my first P4 crossing I've built too so it's nice to know it works and that I can build P4 track.
    Folding these etches is less daunting than they originally seemed and once you memorise the folding sequences you get through them really quite quickly, arguably quicker than threading plastic chairs on to rail.
    This set of slide chairs probably took less than 10 mins to fold up with a good set of needle nose tweezers.

    I've managed to get a few more wagons kits built, I've added Lanarkshire models coupling hooks and buffers to the Cambrian kits, I've also built a Powsides 1907 po wagon kit of slaters heritage but branded as Powsides, knowing you can still get these at normal prices is good and not at the inflated eBay prices. Although I do prefer the way Cambrian kits go together.
    That said though the buffers and brakes are much better on the exSlaters kit than Cambrian hence the need to replace them. But I did find the brake block on the slaters kit didn't fit between the wheels, well that's not totally true they did fit but would represent a brakes on model. They're getting replaced with brass etches when they arrive.

    Thirdly I've been adding the next stage to the wire trees, they've been given a mixture of polyfilla, PVA and acrylic paint to bulk out the trunks and branches and lose the twisted wire look.
    I did take a few photos but they're quite uninspiring at this stage, once I add the polyfiber I'll post a few more pictures.

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  9. Dave L

    Dave L Active Member

    Finally arrived from Hattons and the key to the whole layout, is the Andrew Barclay 0-4-0st. Currently in Caledonian colours as for some strange reason they overlooked an Earl of Dudley prototype, how odd.
    A few changes are required, most notably the buffers, I'm still on the look out for replacement buffers in this style if anyone has come across any?
    Maybe a bespoke order from Lanarkshire models, or perhaps modifying the Genesis models oleo pneumatic buffers. We'll see.

    The before

    Hopefully the after:
    Lady Honor Wallows


    Last edited: 21 April 2018
    allegheny1600, Alan and jonte like this.
  10. Jim smith-wright

    Jim smith-wright Western Thunderer

    Hi Dave

    Are you going to use the RTR chassis or wait for the high level one?
  11. Dave L

    Dave L Active Member

    I'm going to convert the rtr chassis and see how it performs. I'll get a high level chassis when it's available too in all likelihood, just as I've never had a chance to build one before.
    There's only the one driven axle, so there hopefully shouldn't be an issue from the drivetrain.
  12. Pete55

    Pete55 New Member

    I'll be interested to see how the conversion goes. Any thoughts on replacement wheels?
  13. Dave L

    Dave L Active Member

    Alan Gibson do a set of Barclay tank engine 8 spoke wheels. There appears to be enough space behind the crosshead for a simple conversion, but we'll see.
  14. Pete55

    Pete55 New Member

    That is what I thought, but the Gibson wheels are a good 1.5 mm larger in diameter than the Hattons model, as well as being on 1/8th inch axles as against 2mm Hattons axles.....
  15. AJC

    AJC Western Thunderer

    The Gibson wheels are the right size for the 16" Barclay, just not for the 14" (which is what Dave has) but for that, the wheelbase is wrong so my Barclay (yes, a 16" version) will get a new chassis, in time. Markits do the right wheel but a fat lot of good that is for P4, or 2mm axles...

  16. Dave L

    Dave L Active Member

    Thanks for the info guys, I haven't had a chance to get the chassis apart yet.
    Bearing in mind I've not had a look at the axle gear yet, I'd be hopeful that it could be drilled to accept a 1/8 axle, like other makes.
    Wheels, I hadn't spotted the wheelsize issue, I have been thinking of getting a 16" too as I've found a few photographs of one on the railway.
    However I do have an old Mercian 16" kit in the to do pile, so plan C may be become plan A again as I'd decided to build this layout before Hattons announcement.
    Out of interest Adam what's the wheelbase error the Hattons 16"?

  17. AJC

    AJC Western Thunderer

    It's not an error, exactly, and certainly not for the model you have. The wheelbase of 14" Barclays is 5'6", and of 16" Barclays, generally, 6'.

    Hattons have tooled up a chassis that is correct for a 14" Barclay and for the larger engines simply put larger cylinders on it. I need to work out what additional 'compromises' Hattons have incorporated into the 16" model; I suspect - but have not yet checked - that the tank may be a couple of mm too short...

    Lyndhurstman likes this.
  18. Dave L

    Dave L Active Member

    Thanks, I wondered if that was the case, makes sense for Hattons, I suppose.

    I might have a play with 3d printing a wheel center and fitting another tyre. I'll keep looking in to it.
  19. Dave L

    Dave L Active Member

    It looks as though Chris at High level, has already spoken to Colin at AG about getting a 3'6" wheel made to fit between the 14 & 16" versions of his proposed chassis kit. Although this does throw up the spokes issue between the two. Although as you say there is the markits versions for 00. Still merit in the 3d print centre though.
  20. AJC

    AJC Western Thunderer

    Interesting - I hadn't heard that about the wheels.