Dudley's Coal

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

  1. Dave L

    Dave L Active Member

  2. AJC

    AJC Western Thunderer

    Yes - I've seen (and contributed) to that. I hope Chris chooses to go ahead with the project, but if not, scratchbuilding an 0-4-0 can't be that complicated.

  3. JohnG

    JohnG Active Member

    Also find the book, A History of the Pensnett Railway by Keith Gale, lots of information as it was written when the railway was still open and contains a mine (no pun intended) of information about the railway and the locomotives, ISBN 9780900404283
  4. AJC

    AJC Western Thunderer

    Hmm. I've just compared the dimensions of a 16" engine (real) to my Hatton's version and the results show that the Hatton's version of the larger engine is basically a 14" with bigger cylinders and a slightly longer footplate.

    The tank should be longer (4mm) and wider (by a couple of mm) , the boiler larger in diameter... I suspect that the cab should be proportionately longer and perhaps taller too, but frankly I couldn't be bothered at that point to go any further. Mercifully, I've gone for the [not] 16" with the smaller tank since the larger (in fact simply taller) is simply fiction. I'm a little annoyed by this, but at least back-converting it to a 14" loco is straightforward since that's what it actually is.

  5. Dave L

    Dave L Active Member

    Adam, hopefully this won't put Chris off making a chassis for it though. Considering the accuracy at which he'll want to apply to such a chassis.
  6. Dave L

    Dave L Active Member

    Thanks John
    I have been meaning to get hold of a copy, Ned Williams does refer to Keith's photos, but if there is a lot more written info then I may go and get a copy now.

  7. AJC

    AJC Western Thunderer

    Here's hoping! The mouldings deserve a proper boiler bottom.

  8. Dave L

    Dave L Active Member


    The original plan for Dudley's Coal was going to be 3 link couplings and the usual bent metal uncoupling pole. I was prepared for the pain of 3 links.

    However I recently offered up the proscenium arch piece to check in was happy with the location and height of the trees. It is a letter box style after all. I began wondering whether I would actually be able to use the 3 links or atleast couple and uncouple on the middle and rear sidings.
    I decided that I wouldn't risk it and began trying to decide on what other coupling to use.

    I'm not a fan of the AJ and the dingham works only one way round, not a deal breaker but it wasn't what I was after.

    Having looked again at the cameo layouts book, Ian Rice made mention of The Lincs auto coupler. There's a few mentions of it online and Rice held it fairly high regards although admitted he hadn't tried it.

    The Lincs autocoupler appears as a simplified AJ, but more robust and less fiddly. The only slight downside is it doesn't have a delay function, so you need to work out your spots carefully, which is quite easy to do on a 3 fan sidings layout. It does allow uncoupling on curves if so required, plus with its neat design you can lift a wagon out of a rake in a fiddle yard just by lifting it straight up, with no tangles.

    The Lincs has a nice little jig for you to solder the coupling arm with which basically makes the whole process real simple.

    The jig and armature set up. You can see the tube in the jig, which has the armature soldered on top.
    With hook bent and tube attached a fishing shot is added as a counter balance and the base is folded up from the etch and the tube is attached to the base with more rod. Which creates the pivot point.

    This is then fitted to the wagon floor, thank you Cambrian kits for deciding to use flat bottoms on your wagon kits. The fixing of the armature is 2mm off centre which allows you to fit cosmetic 3 links which don't get in the way, which is nice!

    They easily couple up and when used with a magnet the hooks pivot down and to the side to allow uncoupling. The hooks will push past each other to couple up very easily and on curves too.

    Just need to find the right magnet and find the right distance to mount it so the axles aren't drawn to it.
    Last edited: 1 May 2018
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  9. jonte

    jonte Western Thunderer

    Thanks for sharing this, Dave.

    I wasn’t aware of them.
    Dave L likes this.
  10. Dave L

    Dave L Active Member

    Hi Jonte,
    I wasn't until I read the Cameo book. It seems the original designer stopped making them, until an interested party took over the range, they're available in 7 & 4mm.
    Cheap, simple and very effective.
    jonte likes this.
  11. jonte

    jonte Western Thunderer

    My daughter bought me the book when it was first published but I have to say I must have overlooked the reference.
  12. Dave L

    Dave L Active Member

    Ah the joys of kit building.
    A couple of Cambrian kits with the wrong parts included.

    I'd built the underframe as with all the others, I'd added one side then tried an end piece and it didn't sit right so I tried the other piece and it fitted fine, then I offered up the other side and oops it's a different length, wrong piece, as it happens the fitted side although the right length was 1/2 a plank short at 6 1/2 planks.

    The unopened kit, has the same sides and ends but are for another 16' kit and are to long and wide for the floor.

    Oh well into the spares box they go. I do plan on scratch building a few wagons from the Midland railway carriage and wagon works, for which there aren't any kits. So maybe they'll come in handy.
    jonte likes this.
  13. Dave L

    Dave L Active Member

    Finally nearing completion of the turnout formation.
    Progress has been steady but longer than straight soldered track and plastic chaired track, but at the end of the day I have solid turnouts with chairs that match up nicely to the fastrack bases and at a cost point I'm very happy with!
    Other than folding up the chairs the biggest and time consuming aspect is the cleaning up before, during and after every session. I've never gotten on with Carr's orange flux and even with the La-co flux I use it takes a lot of tidying up.
    However the rail tops won't need cleaning too much as I've got a plan to get around that issue, more later!
    Considering these are the first turnouts I've built in P4 despite being a scalefour member for about 5 years I think, they work which is all that matters right now. ( I have built turnouts before but it a less crucial gauge.)
    There is one further aspect to these turnouts that's a little mind numbing and that's the inside half chairs, as this job is last, and after you've added the outside chairs which make your track rigid and useable. So you have fully working turnouts but you still need to add a further few hundred inside small half chairs, which are tougher to fold correctly and even harder to solder in place. So I'm glueing them in!

    This is what my life has been full of for the past month or so!
    Piles of tiny bits of brass and empty frets.
    It's kind of been fun.

    But the turnout complex is looking good I think. Just a few half chairs still left to fit and a final major clean up and adhesive tape removal. I have a bottle of IPA set for that task. Then it'll have the turnout blades tiebar droppers added, then it can be fitted to the baseboard and we're over half way there!!

    State of play tonight.
    All my wagon test stock goes through well enough without any major bumps. Just waiting on a few wheelsets from Alan Gibson to get a test loco up and running. Which for now is going to be a J94, while I wait on the high level kits for the Barclays, or build the Mercian Barclay kit.
    The J94 is not unprototypical however, ok in the 1920's it is, but once the line was operated by the NCB, Austerities were used up until the lines dieselisation. So I could have an early and a late stock list.

    Time for a drink.

  14. Dave L

    Dave L Active Member

    Quick update on progress so far, as I've had to submit my confirmation of my entry in to the competition.

    Track work, the turnout section has found its way to the baseboard after a good clean and removal of the sticky tape from underneath. The tiebar droppers have been added and are awaiting their underboard tiebars.

    Ground cover as you can see above is well underway. This is DAS clay and will also form a compacted cinders ballast on the track too, once it's fixed down. The area seen above isn't flat as it's going to be under a Martin Welberg grass mat with the clay forming a natural undulation.

    The area this side will be flat forming the land wharf coaling area. A selection of stock can be seen testing in the sidings. You can make out the curved grey backscene in these images too, hopefully portraying the black country theme well enough.

    However as I've mentioned before the Earl's railway ran through a good few miles of countryside and so the trees required have mostly been finished although they're due a final dry brushing with a grey colour as they're still a little too brown I think.

    Hopefully over the next week or two there should be quite a few big updates as everything starts to come together and added to the layout. The J94's wheels are ready to go, while the Barclays are on the sideline.

    Thanks for following still.

  15. Dave L

    Dave L Active Member

    With Powsides transfers for E D only suitable for 7 planks and in reality for the later RCH 1923 12t open. I decided after reading John Hayes book again I thought I give hand painting a go. One thing on my side is that many of the real wagons for the period appear to be hand brush painted in a fairly quick manner and so differ in size and location. Perfect as I'm no Van Gogh.
    Numbers still to be added but, I'll trial a paint pen for those as my 3/0 brush is too big.
    Rattle can Halfords red primer for the body and Tamiya paints for lettering and ironwork. A few days to cure and then on to weathering.

  16. Dave L

    Dave L Active Member

    Just finishing off the somewhat messy last stage of laying the Das clay. The oh no, what have I done stage, before tidying and painting stages.

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  17. Dave L

    Dave L Active Member

    The clay has dried and has been painted, and the track cleaned, and on the plus side it all still seemed to be in gauge.

    Scenic work is now well underway, the base hedging along the backscene came out of the very old suitcase of bits I still have from my Dad, it's probably older than I am, but covered in various scenic items and static grass its starting to look the part.

    Buildings have been started and just require finishing off and a little weathering.

    The wagons have had the Lincs auto couplers fitted and all seem to work well with the magnets, they just need weathering and weights adding.

    IMG_20180608_154119.jpg IMG_20180608_154546_20180608163304449.jpg IMG_20180608_154343.jpg IMG_20180608_154253~2.jpg IMG_20180608_154453~2.jpg IMG_20180608_154438.jpg
    At least it now looks like a layout, still plenty to do though.
  18. Bullhead

    Bullhead Western Thunderer

    Looks great Dave, especially the B/W shots. I need to get my skates on now!
    Dave L likes this.
  19. jonte

    jonte Western Thunderer

    A restful scene, Dave.

    A scale workman would almost certainly end up with dusty boots after walking on that ash/cinder ballast!
    Dave L likes this.