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Google Ads are only seen by non-members of RMweb - Create an RMweb account and you'll only receive modelling ads. This loco was allocated new to Old Oak Common in 1951 and was transferred to Cardiff (Canton) in 1956. The model started life in the 1960s as a Tri-ang loco, complete with underscale steamroller wheels. The model started life as a very sad black Bachmann model bought for a few dollars at a sale at a€?Train Tradera€? in Sydney.
This model was another refugee from a€?Train Tradera€?, starting life as a very sad looking Hornby (ex-LMS) 2MT. This celebrated engine was allocated mainly to WR depots (Cardiff (Canton), Old Oak Common, Oxford, Cardiff (East Dock)), with short stays at the SRa€™s Bath (Green Park). Ever since I progressed from playing with a train set to actually making models of real ones (in the mid 1960s), I have enjoyed repairing and restoring old models, either to help a friend or to revive a a€?hopeless casea€? given to me as potential spare parts. I cleaned up everything, installed new brushes, and made new pickups and a brush spring with an insulating sleeve on one side. This freelance model entered service as a test loco and also to haul tracklaying equipment (wagons with pins, fishplates and offcuts of rail). I was able to source a replacement armature via eBay, as well as some Airfix loco spare wheels, which I used to upgrade the wheel standards of the chassis. In Feb 2002, Chris Manchip (a dear friend and fellow founder of our churcha€™s model railway club) died suddenly.
These models were not mint collector pieces, but working examples from tinplate to super-detail models, which had been regularly shown in use on layouts built by Chris and his father (Stan). This Mainline model was a hand-me-down from a fellow parishioner, after I joined others in helping her move house.
I therefore found a set of suitable Romford driving wheels and axles in my scrapbox and fitted them to the chassis, together with a set of pickups on one side, connected to one of the motor brushes (which I had disconnected from its half of the split chassis simply by removing one of the mounting screws). I modified the Romford wheels to take the Mainline valve gear and then reassembled the model. I finished restoring the chassis by transferring the pickups and then tidying up the wiring to the motor. I then carefully restored the paintwork a€“ not a full repaint, but a careful touch-up of the loco and tender, wherever the paintwork was chipped or damaged, ensuring that the original transfers remained visible. This was a restoration project for an old Kitmaster diesel shunter, seen above on coal stage duties. My model of 2516 came as a non-working Mainline loco, given away by a model shop that was closing down. I assembled the chassis using the above bits and then replaced the Mainline plastic chassis with it, opening up the underside of the body just enough to accept it. A new tender was adapted from an old spare from an ancient Airfix kit, upgraded with new handrails, wheels etc and painted to match the Dean Goods. This work took only a few days and resulted in a very smooth running loco, suitable for shunting on my sharply curved terminus to fiddleyard layout. This is, of course, an "old school" approach, and it doesn't have the finely detailed chassis that comes from a modern etched kit, but this quick project gave me a model that runs well and can take its turn on the layout without fear of failure. This model is a standard Mainline loco purchased cheaply around 1982, when a lot of Mainline models were being a€?remaindereda€? in Sydney.
Despite my primary interest in steam traction, there has nearly always been some diesel content in my model railway collection. The GWRa€™s Lot 364 of 1946 was for six diesel electric locomotives, to be built at Swindon but with English Electric power units. 15104 started life as my second model loco around 1957: a Tri-ang black diesel shunter numbered 13005.

No model railway portraying part of BR(W) would be complete without a selection of BR Standards. I acquired it cheaply in almost new condition in the late 1990s and re-wheeled it with Romford wheels, fitted newer Hornby valve gear, renumbered it (Modelmaster transfers) and fitted etched brass nameplates and front numberplate. The body was severely warped, probably from being left in the sun or by being scalded with hot water. It was completely rebuilt, using a Crownline conversion kit and a new, smaller Hornby motor.
Probably my first second-hand loco, I originally bought it for about $5 from Searlea€™s hobby shop in Pitt Street, Sydney around 1965, while still attending high school. I painted the body GWR green and used Letraset characters to number and name it a€?5, Ticha€? (my mothera€™s childhood nickname). Under his a€?carea€?, it suffered a burned-out armature, but he learned enough from that to not repeat this event with later electric models. His widow donated a restored Hornby Dublo 3-rail display layout (shown below) to the club and also asked me to assist her in selling off most of his large HD collection. It took time, but I succeeded in re-homing the models, buying several for myself and selling others to fellow club members for use on the donated layout at our annual model railway shows. A replacement gear was found in a set of cheap nylon gears bought from a local electronics hobby store, with the axle hole opened up to be a tight fit on the driven axle. Among the remnants of Chris Manchipa€™s Hornby Dublo collection was a box of spares a€“ parts of dismantled and cannibalised locos, coaches and wagons, some wheels, armatures, brushes, screws, etc. It had a working motor, but lacked wheels on the driven axles, as well as most of the sideframes for the bogies.
After I stripped it, found that the pickup wires to the tender were broken and that part of the gear train was missing.
Initially, it worked very well, but this changed when the traction tyres failed, causing derailments and slippage. I have had some success in using "Bullfrog Snot" instead of tyres, but this can also run roughly if not applied well. When other examples started to misbehave, close to my club's model railway show in Nov 2012, I chose to do a "cheap and dirty" motorising job, as I wanted to include at least one Dean Goods in my 1930s Mid-Wales display. It made use of the chassis of my second engine a€“ a Tri-ang diesel shunter (a Christmas present around 1957).
I bought 3011 around 1967, second-hand from Searlea€™s Hobbies in Pitt St., Sydney for about $5.
In the mid 1960s, its chassis was used for steam-outline models, ending up under 2251, described above. Some of those in my collection were sought out; others seemed to jump in of their own accord. It looks and runs well, but could be further improved with separate handrails, but this would require a full repaint and re-lining. The motor ran, but the mechanism had jammed, through swelling of the plastic inserts in the driving wheels. My mother persuaded me not to use it to motorise an Airfix 61XX, as it was (then) in such good condition. The old red body was dirty, battered and chipped and lacked tension-lock couplings and buffers. When I put power onto the brushes, the armature spun and the wheels rotated as they should! The model now usually sleeps in a shared glass case in semi-retirement, but is in perfect working order. Chris had bought it in poor external condition, with what paint that survived faded almost to LNER apple green!

I primed and repainted the shell and then applied new lining and transfers, as well as etched name- and number-plates for 7025 a€?Sudeley Castlea€?.
However, it had been used by her son until its wheelset failed in the usual way a€“ fractured centre sections in all three insulating portions of the split axles. I kept all of these, including a battered 3-rail a€?Duchessa€? class loco, which still had part of its valve gear, a tender body and a good chassis block, but no motor.
Its chassis, heat-affected black body and tender came from another garage sale at the same shop 12 months later!
It remained as a stalwart loco in Wales for most of its remaining service until withdrawal in 1938.
More recently, I took pity on the body shell and reactivated it with a spare Tri-ang 0-6-0 chassis, repainting it green and numbering it 15104. I managed to find a green Mainline(?) body of 75001 on eBay and (later) some replacement wheels. The body condition is like new, but the loose wheels make me think this may have had a hard life before I got it. About 4 years ago, I overhauled the chassis, substituting Romford wheels and finer, more complete valve gear (probably current Hornby spares for a Stanier 4MT 2-6-4T). I also took the opportunity to fit a replacement 0.5 inch rare-earth magnet, which improved overall running. Around 2007, a workmate appeared in my office with another similar model, which he had rescued from a landfill.
I replaced the missing wheels from my stock of Airfix wheels a€“ the same ones used for a€?Ticha€? and my Blue Pullman project. The plastic tender wheels had been replaced by non-standard metal wheels, possibly Romford, to which had been fitted gears recovered from the original wheelset. The best running came with the use of a€?Bullfrog Snota€?, a US-sourced rubbery product painted onto the wheels in place of tyres, but even this was far too rough. Here they are on the small garden railway extension to the layout built in my fathera€™s shed, in July 1968. I had to adjust the valve gear, to correct the warping that had been caused by the swollen spokes.
It sat on the shelf until I remembered that I had some oversized brass bearing inserts made many years before by a friend who worked in my old laboratorya€™s workshop. This was a 2-rail a€?City of Londona€?, whose frame was cracked and broken just behind the third axle. The tender was repainted with Humbrol enamels to match the new body and decorated with Modelmaster transfers. I had to turn a slot in the wheels on one side for traction tyres (as provided on the original wheels) to ensure the model had enough traction. I bought a set of replacement Hornby gears (which fitted perfectly) and repaired the wiring. I then repainted it into BR black, recalling the last few survivors that worked in Mid-Wales in the 1950s. It can be used with the GWR period locos, when it is fitted with a Mainline Collett tender.
I transferred the wheels to the older chassis, together with the armature, gears and missing bits of valve gear.
Traction was poor, so I painted a thin coat of Bullfrog Snot onto the wheels on one side only.

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