Saturday, October 20, 2012

A Roundhouse In A Square Building

You may remember that about a month ago I went to Model Rail Live at Barrow Hill Roundhouse. I intended to do a follow up post explaining what a roundhouse is, but unfortunately I forgot. So... essentially a roundhouse is so named because it contains a large round hole!

A roundhouse is a building containing a turntable that is used for servicing locomotives. Because they are built around a turntable (i.e. a big circular hole) they are often circular in shape. Barrow Hill Roundhouse, where Model Rail Live was held, is actually rectangular in shape, which just goes to show that not all roundhouses are round.

When I went to Barrow Hill, half the roundhouse contained diesel locomotives and half steam locomotives. Given my preference for steam, and the lack of a very wide angle lens, the photo on the left shows part of the steam side of the roundhouse.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Etching A New Identity

I finished the last post with a teaser for this post, in that I had a solution to the problem of two Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway (L&YR) pug locomotives bearing the number 19. The answer to the problem is Narrow Planet.

Narrow Planet specialises in making scale name and makers plates in etched brass. While they have a wide range of styles you can choose from they didn't have L&YR makers plates. Steve, the owner, is, however, more than happy to make up custom artwork for etching any type of name or makers plate you may need.

While I didn't have ready access to an actual L&YR makers plate (this all happened before I went to Model Rail Live and saw number 1300 in steam) it turns out that Barry C. Lane's excellent book includes a full page just on the shape, style and dimensions of the L&YR works plates. While most pug's used the same makers plates as all other L&YR locomotives, the final 20 built in 1910 were fitted with slightly smaller plates; just 22 inches wide instead of the full size 25.5 inch wide plates. So armed with this information I knocked up rough drawings for both plate sizes on the computer. Steve then used my rough drawings along with the information from the book to produce artwork that could be used in the etching process. As you can see the results are spectacular.

The full size plate (number 730) was etched mostly as a test but I do have long range plans for it. The small pug plate, however, was etched as number 8 quite specifically. I'd started the process of getting these plates etched before I knew about Dapol's standard model of number 19. My original intention had been to try and repaint and re-number Hornby's current model BR 51240, which was the first model pug I showed you way back in July. If you remember that post I pointed out that 51240 was built in 1910 and originally bore the number 8. However, when I got hold of the docker's umbrella model, it became clear that I would find painting the red lining by hand almost impossible. At that point my plan was to simply paint the model black and leave off the red lining. Of course plans changed when I ended up with two models of number 19.

Here you can see the successfully re-numbered model. I say "successfully" although I'm not entirely happy with how it turned out.

It turns out that the transfer of the number 19 plate is a little over sized for the model (Steve and I were quite careful about sizing the plates accurately), and would show around the outside of the replacement etched plates. Unfortunately I couldn't get the transfer off without using T-Cut, which although it removes transfers and paint well results in a very shiny surface which I would have had to cover over.

In the end I decided to try and paint out the old plates and then attach the new plates on top. This would leave just a small amount of new paint around the plate which I didn't think would be too obvious. So I carefully painted out the outside of the old plate, leaving the central area alone so that I could glue the new plate to the model rather than to new paint. This seemed to be working perfectly until I actually tried to glue the new plates in place.

I'm guessing that when the model was originally painted the surface was sealed in some way (which might explain why I had problems removing the old number plate), but unfortunately whatever they had used reacted badly with the superglue I was using. It set instantly on contact with the plastic and worse it bubbled up and turned white. The fact that it'd tried to reposition the plate slightly meant that I'd also managed to smear glue in slightly the wrong place. Let's just say it was a bit of a disaster.

In an attempt to rescue the situation I removed as much of the glue and paint as possible to try and bring back a mostly flat surface. I then glued the plates back on, taking care to get them right first time. I then painted the now badly scratched panel black (taking care not to go over the red lines). Of course the matt black paint wasn't a good match for the original plastic surface, so I then brushed on a thin coat of satin varnish. While the finish isn't a perfect match for the rest of the model it's not too bad; you certainly can't tell from a distance.

While my modelling skills may leave a lot to be desired I think we can all agree that the etched makers plates are fantastic. The L&YR plates aren't listed on the Narrow Planet website but if you contact Steve he'll be more than happy to etch you a set.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Seeing Double

I've mentioned a few times (at least here and here) that there weren't any ready-to-run locomotives painted in the livery of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway. It turns out that this isn't entirely true. I've already shown you one limited edition example in my post on The Docker's Umbrella. If you remember correctly this was a limited edition model from Dapol (I own number 18 of 100). It turns out that Dapol actually produce a standard version as well.
As you can see the model is essentially the same as the Docker's Umbrella version but without the smoke deflector and the number plate on this model is a simple transfer unlike the embossed version on the limited edition model. Also this model has of course been given a different running number and represents number 19. Number 19 was built in May 1910 and became number 11243 under LMS numbering before being withdrawn in September of 1931. As with the other Pug models I own, it needed the pickups bending before it would smoothly manoeuvre over the points, but once that was done and a touch of oil added to the moving parts, it's running perfectly.

The only problem is that all the standard models Dapol produced were numbered 19 and I now own two of them (both picked up cheap on eBay), hence the seeing double title. Don't worry though I have a plan to solve this problem, but that will have to wait for a later post.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Liveries: Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway

In one of the early posts on this blog I looked into the liveries of the different railway companies who had, at one time or another, run steam engines into Penistone. In that post I only highlighted the main colour of each livery rather than showing the sometimes intricate liveries in detail. Unfortunately there aren't any/many ready-to-run locomotives available for a number of relevant railway companies and so at some point I might need to re-paint some models. At that point I will need the full livery details. So I'm intending to do a number of posts where I look at a livery in detail, and I'm going to start with those used by the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway, or L&YR for short.

In the early years of the L&YR a green livery was applied to it's locomotives. I'm going to focus, however, on the black livery which was in use from the 1880's until the L&YR ceased to exist in 1922.

Over the years there were a number of minor variations in the livery, but essentially passenger locomotives were black with red and white lining, while goods engines used just red lining. For example, here is the preserved Aspinall designed, 0-6-0 number 1300 which was in steam at Barrow Hill when I attended Model Rail Live a few weeks ago.

While 1300 was built in 1896, it is currently painted in a variation of the livery which became standard sometime after 1904 when George Hughes took over as the Chief Mechanical Engineer. Prior to this time the two white lines were of different thicknesses (the inner one being thinner).

As I mentioned earlier, goods engines were lined slightly differently with just two red lines. You've actually already seen this livery on an OO Gauge model in the Docker's Umbrella post, but to the left you can see it in use on preserved L&YR locomotive number 752.

This locomotive was originally built as an 0-6-0 tender locomotive in 1881 but was converted to a saddle tank in 1896 (it would originally have looked similar although not identical to 1300). Given it's poor state of repair (it's missing it's connecting rods) it's unclear how accurate the livery is. The red lining appears accurate but there are a couple of anomalies. Firstly the green background to the makers plate originally denoted which company had built the locomotive (Beyer Peacock & Co in this instance) so as to know who to contact when for repairs or spare parts. From the 1890's, however, all makers plates were painted black. Also none of the photos I can find of similar locomotives show the company crest on the side of the cab.

While these two locomotives show most of the livery details quite well you can see a number of other examples (including carriage liveries) on the website of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Trust.