Scratch built Luggage Door Handles

Still working on the small details for the Kirk brake and the bogie CCT.

Last night saw the fabrication of handles for the luggage doors. – sadly no invisible solder in this house.

Scratch Built Parcels compartement door Handles

Scratch Built Parcels compartement door Handles

These are copies of a very nice casting that I found in my spares box – of which I only had one and no idea of where it came from originally.

A brace of Kirks

Last year with the proceeds of a sale I bought a couple of Kirk LNER non corridor 51′ parcels vans at Keighley show.
Last weekend, in between the rain/snow/hail.sunshine etc. I made a start on one of them. Now I haven’t done a Kirk kit before so it was a bit of a learning curve especially cleaning up all the individual pieces. The sides went together okay and I can see how I might improve things slightly on the second one.
Although I plan to replace the bogies and turnbuckles (on the first one, the second I intend to do as a later angle truss variant) I decided to see what I could do to improve the underframe parts that came with it before discarding them out of hand.
The battery boxes are supplied plain panelled fronted with optional plank doors if modelling pre 1930’s LNER (according to Ian’s instructional notes). For the first one I decided to add the planked doors to a plasticard backer and stick it to the rear to allow me to fill the box with some lead shot. The lead was added loose and the lid glued on with some small vent holes drilled in the base to allow any solvent fumes to escape. I added some pieces of angle to the bottoms to represent the cradle that the LNER Batteries sat in. I just need to finish them with the addition of the supporting straps and nuts that go down each end.
The vacuum cylinders I did consign to the bin – no matter what I did with them I couldn’t improve them so I raided the Parkside spares box and came up with a couple that looked so much better. To these I added the V hangers supplied and stuck them all to a 20 thou plasticard base plate.
Lastly I assembled the supplied dynamo and made up a mounting bracket and a block for the electrical cables which I still have to add.
I am still struggling to get decent photos of anything with white plasticard in the picture.
Improved Kirk underframe fittings

Improved Kirk underframe fittings

Improved Kirk underframe fittings

Improved Kirk underframe fittings

Back to the NBR D71

Once the bogie coal wagon was finished the mojo stayed in place and I made some good progress on the D71

First I found photographic evidence that Bill was right when he said that the gangway versions of these coaches had internal opening guards doors – so off they came.

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The bogies are the Newbould models Fox bogies and they only come with brake shoes/supports for the outer ends of each bogie. By good fortune a rummage in the spares box yielded enough spare Connoisseur brake shoes/and supports for the inner sets – they did need a bit of creative bending to get them fitted but fitted they are. The spares box also supplied enough yokes (Connoisseur again) for the outer axles which left the inner ones without. To get around this I first put a piece of rod through the brake shoes and then I measured the Connoisseur yokes. Next I got some scrap etch strip and filed a V 17mm from one end and then bent it around and soldered the joint. I then filed the open ends to and angle that would allow a second strip to be soldered across the open end to create the triangle all these joints were made with 227 degree solder.

These were clipped to the rode across between the brake shoes to make up the yoke. They still need a piece of rod to give the appearance of being able to be pulled on/off but they are better than nothing at all.

The rather nice full stepboards finish the bogies off and they were surplus from the Kemilway Fox bogies (they are designed to cover both GNR and NER variants).

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Underframe Complete

Yesterday was a good day at the bench seeing the underframe complete (I think!) and the sides/ends assembled along with the end doors and corridor connections fitted. I need to do a bit of a repair job on one of the scissor connections because when soldering it on I got the whole thing a bit hot and one of the joints soldered solid.

I will get some photos of the body work later but here are a few of the underframe to be going on with.

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A Dynamic Post……

Today has been spent making underframe details – namely vacuum cylinders and Dynamos.

First up is a Gladiator Dynamo. These are a bit plain albeit very nice castings as they come, so I added a block (from square brass bar) for the wiring loom and an eye to connect a restraining chain. The “wiring” will be cut shorter and soldered to the underframe once I fit it.


Next is a bit of a comparison between the Gladiator dynamo and a Sidlelines example both are sold as LNER examples.


The Sidlelines example comes with a bracket/adjuster so I made one up from scrap etch a piece of rod that I threaded and a 14ba nut to go with the Gladiator dynamo.

Last is one of a pair of Gladiator vacuum cylinders mounted on a set of Slaters V hangers from the spares box and some scratch built levers/pivots.


The long soft brass wire will be bent round to meet up with the vacuum pipe that runs down below the solebar – when it’s fitted.


One thing that I forgot to mention in the last post was the door ventilator bonnets. I bought some very nice cast brass examples from CPL but they had ridges along them. When I have studied the few photos that I have of these coaches the ventilator bonnets are smooth in appearance. Rather than spoil the CPL castings by filing them smooth I added them to the spares box and soldered a couple of strips off the edge of the etch together giving me a reasonable thickness that was the right width. Then with the piercing saw I cut enough lengths to fit all the doors that needed them and patiently filed them to shape. I think that the result was worth the effort.

yesterdays efforts were centred on the gangways, these are a set from CPL that are designed to cover scissor or suspended and have lots of spare parts to allow LNER gangways to be produced too if you have a decent photo to work from. I built them as scissor gangways as per the drawings and photos that I am working from.

The gangways as designed have a fold up concertina of black paper that fits inside the working scissor section. I need to come up with a different solution because I have made doors on the coach end that I want to be visible.

The photo below shows them in the closed and extended positions next to a ruler to give an idea of how far they move.

CPL Scissor Gangway closed and extended

I have included this shot to illustrate where I had to cut the top of the fold around inner support strip. The strip has tabs to locate in slots in the sides but the bit in between which curves over the top of the gangway is too long . Once I had worked this out I cut the strip in half and and worked in towards the centre at the top which is marked. I repeated this for the other half and then soldered them in once happy with the fit. There are some other strips that you press rivets out on to represent the Pullman style gangway that would also need the same treatment if used. It’s a simple fix once you realise what the problem is.

CPL Scissor Gangway

NBR D71 detailing the sides

This afternoon has seen me complete the detailing of the sides.


The bump stops are the etched ones from CPL they are tiny and you need a fair degree of patience to use them. The best way that I found to fit them was to drill the hole 0.6mm solder in a piece of nickel (what I had to hand brass would do equally as well) rod and leave a blob of solder at the back with a short stub at the front. Run a broach through the hole in the etc to open it out and cut off and tidy up one of the bump stops etches. slide this over the stub of rod and push home with either nails or tweezers. Apply a drop of flux and use the microflame to heat the blob of solder from behind. The flux draws enough of the solder through to hold it without trying to get the iron to do it. I did manage with the iron on a couple but found it much cleaner with the microflame.

I received an MMP LMS Roadstone Wagon for Christmas so I count this as practice for fitting the many small details that come with it.

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I managed to glean from photos the postion of the rather unusual handrail and the fact that the guards door had some visible hinges that I needed to add – these are not visible in many photos so they may be an LNER addition.


Next up the ends and hopefully I will be able to think about soldering it together.

A little progress in the run up to Christmas

Progress has been steady and I have to confess to getting a little bogged down with the bogies. Not the best shot in the world but you can see where I had to hack out the ends of the bolster supports with the cutting disk.  This is what it looks like with the bolster assembled – nicely detailed.

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Once I realised I wasn’t making much progress with the bogies I decided to move onto the detailing of the NBR BG. I have a few more exterior photos now so I am just in the process of adding bump stops, grab handles etc. What I have done is make up some interior details, the first is the pressure gauge? (not really sure of it’s name) from some brass sprue, rod washers etc. The second is a very nice Sidelines brake standard casting which I have modified by creating a head mechanism that allows the handle to be side mounted instead of on the top. Once again scrap etch to the rescue – I based it on an outline drawing and the casting that Jim McGeown provides in his NBR Brake van kit.

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More on the D114

While I haven’t posted much with my laptop dying I have made further progress.

I have taken the D114 as far as I wanted to without the other bits from Kemilway. They duly arrived last week (all apart from some wire and some bolts).

Here’s where I got to. I also started the second coach and I have the floor pan folded up and the sides ready for the tumble home forming – I haven’t taken pictures because it’s more of the same.

The roof is just resting on at the moment because it’s the long roof bolts that I am still waiting for.
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I soldered some tabs on the back of the gangway board so that it’s removable if I want to have the coach in the middle of a rake.

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Coaches on the Horizon

All the while, I have been building locos and rolling stock. But it’s only recently that I realised that I only have one coach (that’s built at any rate). My very first 7mm scale kit was a CRT LMS 50′ Full Brake coach that Chris bought me for Christmas a few years ago. In the shelf queen pile I have a Slaters Midland coach that is well on it’s way to being complete (it just needs the bogies and a few underframe details. The un-started stash holds quite a variety- A couple of JLRT Gresley’s, a Newbold Models Gresley Buffet, a couple of Sidelines LMS Period III gangways and a couple of Inspection Saloons (an LMS kit again from Sidelines and a Midland diagram that I believe is originally a Janick kit). Some time ago I have a look in the JLRT boxes and noticed that one of the coach sides was damaged so I got a replacement from JLRT. At the time they sent a pair so I let a friend have the damaged one to practice painting on and I kept the good one.

So having covered the preamble I get to the point. I dug out the spare JLRT side and gave it a coat of JLRT spray away teak under coat and four coats of Ronseal Teak varnish (the water based variety).

Which gave me this:



I also made some samples up from plasticard and painted them with various layers of varnish using both the JLRT base coat and some peach acrylic that I have had success with in the past on 4mm scale teak coaches.

Coach sides 005


I also tried adding some lining to some of the samples

Coach sides 001


At the same time I lined the coach side itself using a Peter Spoorer lining pen which is a poor man’s version of a Bob Moore Lining pen and neat enamel straight from the tin with just a good stir.

Coach sides 012 Coach sides 011