1/32 Project Watersmeet

Discussion in 'WR Action' started by Simon, 6 February 2014.

  1. Simon

    Simon Flying Squad

    I have long been an admirer of Mr Bulleid's pacifics, especially in their original form, an affection that I think has its roots in my general obsession with trains obtained from Uncle Norman.

    Before his National Service Norman was a fireman at Gillingham shed and in numerous conversations that I have shared with him both in my younger days and more recently he would always speak very highly of these locomotives. He is very good at jokes and storytelling and I can only think it was his influence that has made me so keen on trains in general and the Southern in particular. (For one reason and another he went on to become a prison officer which was another source for all sorts of interesting stories but we needn't concern ourselves with those here)

    Years later I claimed a very little hand in helping Andrew Pullen develop Aster's magnificent 1/32 model of this class of locomotives by providing him with the copies of "Model Railways" that had the late Bernard Wright's superb three part article on the locomotives. I believe I am right in saying that these formed part of the source material used to develop the model over in Japan.

    When the model appeared I was extremely taken with it and have generally lusted after one ever since, but a combination of the price (£3000 for the kit, worth every penny) and my choice of ScaleOne32 wheel and track standards has rather militated against obtaining one.

    Chatting to my friend Alex in the shop quite recently, in between his plans for Ashburton and putting Network Rail to rights, he made the very astute observation that I would really be better off with an electrically powered model of the locomotive if I wanted to play with it properly on my growing garden railway.

    The more I thought of this the more I realised that he was absolutely right - I needed an electrically powered Spam Can with proper ScaleOne32 wheels. For no really good reason apart from some nice photographs and of liking the name, I quickly decided that it was going to have to be No. 34030 "Watersmeet", an Exmouth Junction locomotive that was a regular over the "Withered Arm," being withdrawn by the Western Region in September 1964.

    Broaching the subject with Andrew I was very pleasantly surprised by his enthusiasm for the project, and to cut an already over long story short, he has provided me with quite a few useful bits that I can use in order to progress the idea.

    Watersmeet 004.jpg Watersmeet 001.jpg Watersmeet 002.jpg
    Watersmeet 003.jpg
    So here she is mocked up on the desk tonight, I have a few extra bits already and will need to obtain and or make several others, but it really is a magnificent start - moving the whole idea from idle fantasy to real possibility.

    I am currently considering all the options and possibilities. My first decision has been to order a set of ready turned wheels from Mark Wood the production of which is in hand with just a few details to be finalised.

    This is going to be the most ambitious model I have ever tackled and I did wonder about keeping quiet about it in case it all goes wrong, but in the end I have decided to stick my neck out with it - so here goes!


    PS Apart from Uncle Norman you can blame Dale Senior for encouraging my Bulleid tendencies:p

    Apologies too for the essay-like nature of this post
    daifly, rosspeacock, Neil and 15 others like this.
  2. jamiepage

    jamiepage Western Thunderer

    Very much looking forward to seeing this splendid project progress, Simon.
    Best wishes
  3. Stumpytrain

    Stumpytrain Active Member

    I'm really looking forward to seeing this project develop. Andrew really has spoilt you, you've got no excuse not to see this through! ;)
  4. Phill Dyson

    Phill Dyson Western Thunderer

    WOW!.....Looks pretty dammed impressive to me already:thumbs:
    rosspeacock likes this.
  5. Dan Randall

    Dan Randall Western Thunderer

    Nice one Simon - I'm looking forward to further updates. Perhaps this will encourage Pete (a.k.a bogusman), to blow the dust off his unstarted 7mm Finney version?


  6. SimonT

    SimonT Western Thunderer

    Now I am going to enjoy this build . An explanation of what you've got and why?

    All the best

  7. Dikitriki

    Dikitriki Flying Squad

    Gosh, that looks great already. What a hell of a start!

    I'm with you on the fascination with Bulleid's pacifics. I have an MOK rebuilt MN kit in my stash, and I'm getting twitchy fingers with regard to the Aster version.

  8. taliesin

    taliesin Western Thunderer

    Great stuff Simon, being a barbarian I of course have one as Aster intended it to be but it will be great to see something different, cheers Rob
  9. Ressaldar

    Ressaldar Western Thunderer

    with you all the way on this one Simon - a great loco and an already, great looking model.

    Best of luck with the build and lets hope that any hic-cups are small ones.


  10. Purple-haze

    Purple-haze Western Thunderer

    Mike, wot is an `arse mallones?`

    coats on and running------


  11. Ressaldar

    Ressaldar Western Thunderer

    small hiccups:))


  12. Steph Dale

    Steph Dale Western Thunderer

    I like the Boeing-esque method of assembly (bulldog clips), I expect you'll be aiming for something a little more Airbus (glue) in due course.? I must admit it made me wonder what Mr Bulleid would have made of modern materials and adhesives. Quite a lot I imagine as he wasn't adverse to using novel materials , 2 or 3 of the Merchant Navies had limpet board cladding.
    With what you have there if would appear you're well over half way. There's still some tricky bits to do (the top of the casing for a start), but it'll build into a terrific model.
    Couple of quick questions though; why are you not just turning the existing wheels to a finer profile? And have the cladding plates got any 'texture' to represent the many small fasteners which hold the sheets to the frame?
    Stumpytrain likes this.
  13. john lewsey

    john lewsey Western Thunderer

    Just WOW
    Stumpytrain likes this.
  14. oldravendale

    oldravendale Western Thunderer

    Whoopee!! Another one for the funny farm. Keep looking out for the men in white coats!

    Great project though. And seriously I really look forward to seeing the progress. A wonderful, inspiring story too. More than enough reasons for a West Country.

    Stumpytrain likes this.
  15. Simon

    Simon Flying Squad

    Hi Simon

    Basically I sat down with Andrew and he raided the spares box, the loco has come to the end of its sales run and I think "spare spares" will go back to Japan.

    My own "bottom line" was for the chassis and motion but as you can see I did much better than I'd ever hoped.

    The tender (I wanted a cut down one to suit Watersmeet '61-'64) had been painted black to go behind the Aster 9F model when it was first being developed and so isn't so useful as a spare for a"proper" loco, but as I want to repaint everything and do further work etc this suits me fine, this part of my "kit" is pretty complete.

    I'm missing the "roof" of the loco body and although Andrew will supply the Aster part I'm minded to bend up my own, including the complicated chimney area, although I need to understand the shapes better before bending metal.

    This really leads on to Steph's question
    in the sense that the answer to this question is "not all of them" and so I reason that by spending some time and trouble to get the top right the eye will pay less attention to any possible shortcomings on the casing sides.

    In fact this "issue" is the aspect of the whole job that I am most thinking about at the moment, ie how far do I take the detailing of the Aster model? Whilst it has shortcomings it looks very convincing and is moreover complete, the more I disassemble and "fret" then the more protracted the project potentially becomes, but on the other hand....

    I certainly intend to solder together various components that are held together by set screws on the Aster assembly, and of course I need to create a backhead from scratch, fabricate the coal bunker internals, make an AWS box etc etc

    I'm just not competent enough at the moment and I want the loco sooner rather than later. They also need insulating and at the end of the day Mark Wood does a lovely set of castings and is prepared to turn them all up for me.

    I'm currently sorting out the spec, by using a 6mm axle I can use the Aster hornblocks with their nice PTFE bearing surfaces, but I may already be committed to 1/4" which means making new hornblocks. On the other hand the Aster hornblocks have quite a lot of "slop" in their hornguides, is this possiby excessive?

    The mainframes may be too close together but I figure I can put overlays on them to overcome this, which may well make adding detail to the frames easier.

    Then there is the question of sideways control and getting the front bogie to "lead" the chassis into curves and how to best achieve this.

    Currently I have sent a list of motion parts that I need to Andrew and am going to speak to Mark Wood to discuss axle size and tread width.

    So overall I'm throwing up lots of questions at the moment and am trying to define and specify the scope of the build, I also intend to get my Russell Carter drawings blown up to 1/32 scale and generally try to better understand the shapes and details of everything on the loco.

    Rob, I can assure you that I do not think there is anything barbaric about the loco as Aster designed it, I think it is a stunning piece of work. I'd still like one myself too :eek: but of course I'd want it to run on my track.

    I think that from Andrew Pullen's point of view he is interested to see how successful the loco is on scale wheels and I guess that he'd prefer "Watersmeet" to be as close as possible to the "pure" Aster locomotive in order to promote the better track and wheel standards to the G1 naysayers.

    So in summary a load of talk and no action, but in my defence I want to work out just what it is I'm going to do before I start trying to do it.

    Thanks to everyone for their interest, I will be endeavouring to progress this project:rolleyes:

    Devonbelle, Stumpytrain and Dog Star like this.
  16. Phill Dyson

    Phill Dyson Western Thunderer

    Wise words in my humble opinion Simon;):):thumbs:
  17. Neil

    Neil Western Thunderer

    How far to take the detailing? These days I'd say the minimum you can get away with.

    I'm convinced that in 4mm once one passes this point there's no gain, but there is real possibility of making the model look clumsy. When looking at the real thing it's shape, proportion and colour that count. There's something about the shadows that's important too, but the detail just tends to register as visually busy areas. I guess in the bigger scales more detail may have to be added to capture this sense of busyness. I'm more certain that the make or break will be at the paint stage; just having such a big model in a properly subdued finish will knock the socks off. I'm utterly convinced that much of the hyper detailing is done because the builder can, and that once the model is the right way up, further than three inches from the end of the nose and trundling round garden or trainset it counts for nought, apart from any satisfaction of challenging oneself to do it.
    Phill Dyson likes this.
  18. iploffy

    iploffy OC Blue Brigade

    Just when I think you have done extremely excellently with the spud patch (back garden) you diversify and start packing boiled meat into cans, is there no end to this talent you have of surprising the back of the class bodgers. I am speaking to the ddisruptive element and going to get you an apple to give to the teacher as you will end up in the front of the class with all the swots if you keep up like this
  19. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer


    Great start. Your first post wasn't really an essay as it had pictures, and I like to have something to read while eating breakfast. Difficult to know if it will capture the Bullied look without one of oldravendale's signature rear three quarter views in challenging lighting conditions. We have great expectations.
  20. Phill Dyson

    Phill Dyson Western Thunderer

    Weathered like that one with Simon's green Mk1's would look superb in the garden :)