BASINGSTOKE 1958-67 - INDIVIDUALISING YOUR LOCOS.
Something to do during the COVID 19 epidemic, or even over Christmas !!!
Obviously as "Basingstoke 1958-67" is intended as an exhibition layout, you can't run trains simply "out of the packet". Visitors to exhibitions expect to be entertained by something a little more sophisticated than what they can achieve themselves at home. So Model Railway Club layouts tend to predominate, and demonstrate the skills of the more advanced modeller, with quality layouts, and of course rolling stock....
As part of that aim, I have a mix of proprietary models, kit built items, and even scratchbuilt items. The Proprietary items include many of Hornby's locos and rolling stock, but ALL of them are "improved or individualised" in various ways.
Below are a number of photos, which indicate in the detail panels, many of the "mods" I have made to them. The photos incidentally are from my "library" of stock photos. Two pics of each item (one each side) help me to visibly remember what I have done to my rolling stock. With near 800 items of stock in total, you simply can't remember everything !
ABOVE: The now somewhat dated GWR Hawksworth County Class 4-6-0, has had a whole host of extras added, as listed, to bring it up to the highest levels of detail. However many of the additional items came from a "Crownline" detailing pack intended for just this purpose. These are very helpful, in introducing beginners to the delights of "individualising" your models.
ABOVE: Another Hornby loco, and one that only needs a few basic alterations. The most visible change is the reduction of the gap between loco & tender. Which would otherwise require the Fireman to be a long jump expert ! Reducing the coupling length, was quite simple and only required a new hole to be drilled in the metal coupling bar. A job that took just a couple of minutes. It has the added benefit of allowing the "Fallplate" (the plate the Fireman stands on when he get another shovelful of coal) to actually slide over the tender floor, as it does in real life, instead of jamming between loco & tender in curves !
ABOVE: Yet another Hornby loco. But, in this case a type that really needs a number of modifications. I have 20 odd Hornby Bulleid Pacifics, and the number of mods I inflict on them is still increasing. The models are powerful, but they have trouble getting that power down on the rails, so adding some lead shot improves their haulage capacity. There is no danger in adding the extra weight as the motor used in these Pacifics, is also used in Diesel models that usually weigh at least 200g more out of the packet.
ABOVE: A newish model that has already been seen in a few of my Posts. However it has already had the alterations as listed in the picture. The reason I remove all DCC parts, is primarily to reduce the amount of wiring, as wiring is something that can go wrong, and cause embarrassing moments during an exhibition. Further my rewiring of these locos, then allows the loco to be cleaned on a Gaugemaster powered cleaning Block quickly, without the tender needing to be attached. An important consideration during exhibitions !!
ABOVE: Another of my Hornby Merchant Navy Pacifics, but one that has had heavy weathering to represent the type, in its last couple of years in use (1965-67). Weathering steam locos takes time, and this was also one of the first models I did. So it was also a bit of an experiment. It was first given a little spray weathering in matt grey & black. This didn't look right as many dirty marks on steam locos often have crisp edges. So touching up using dry brushing techniques, added glossy black around the cylinder area valve gear where lots of grease and oil gets trapped. Rusty marks on the superheated lower ashpan. Also water/rain track colour spray marks on the rear of the tender chassis, as these monstrous beasts didn't hang around, and were known to often reach a 100mph.
ABOVE: One of the "foreigners" often seen in the last years of steam at Basingstoke were members of the huge LMS Stanier Black 5 class. They appeared normally hauling inter-regional trains from 1965. They too were often very grubby by this period. As this is a more recent model in my collection it has been weathered a little differently. The weathering covering steam locos can also reveal the weather conditions, and this loco has obviously been enjoying a dry hot summer. As a result the weathering is primarily a layer of dirty grey/black smoke, smuts & soot. The reduced gap between loco & tender is also much more convincing and totally changes the appearance of the model. Much more realistic.
ABOVE: One of my BR Standard Class 5 4-6-0's. In this case one of those locos that received names from withdrawn Southern King Arthur engines. Being an older Bachmann model, but a type expected on the Southern Region to haul secondary expresses, the models main problem is lack of haulage ability. It has as a result had a little extra lead weight, squeezed inside the boiler. These older Bachmann models also have a nasty habit of sounding like a bag of nails when hauling a decent load. The cure I have discovered is to change the driving wheels for nickel silver ones made by Romford/Maygib.
ABOVE: This unusual model is made by a small specialist company called "OO Works". Very small handbuilt production runs are produced. But as a kit type loco in metal, they do provide good haulage capacity. However as a ready made kit type product, you will need a few skills to look after such a model. They are traditionally wired, with only the wheels on one side of the loco and the other side of the tender, connected to the high quality motor. This presents a problem on any layout using "Cab Control", as models wired in this way will stop dead when moving from one controller area to another. The solution is of course to wire up all the wheels. The other detail enhancements including adding the missing red boiler bands, might annoy many younger modellers. Especially when you consider that all "OO Works" models are in excess of £200 each. Having said that they normally pull anything, although this one had a balance problem, making it tip forwards. Hence extra weight in the firebox.
ABOVE: Another current model if you can call "Batch Production" current. The catalogue number indicates a special or limited edition item. Being a new Bachmann item, it has the benefit of machined (not cast) driving wheels, so is much smoother and quieter. However Bachmann still seem to have a reluctance to wire up all the wheels for pick-up. Not very helpful on a 4-4-2 Atlantic. So as mentioned I rewired the whole loco, with all wheels now capable of collecting current. It was otherwise a reasonable puller, but just to ensure it can haul 12, I added a little more lead weight inside.
ABOVE: The above West Country class Hornby model is now around 10 years old, so does NOT have the current mechanism/chassis. These earlier Pacific models had a minor design fault, now cured. This involved the motor mounting. No provision except a bit of double sided tape under the motor, held the front of the motor in place. So as this end had the drive shaft, and engaged with the gearbox, things began to go awry. The motor would rise just slightly at the front and chew up the first nylon plastic cog. Replacing the damaged cog does not solve the problem as this too soon gets chewed up. I therefore designed a tiny clamp using a bit of thin brass & two tiny screws to clamp the front of the motor in place ! In other respects this model is indistinguishable from the current version externally. So its just my external mods that make it "unique".
The Duke 71000