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admin 22.08.2015

The initial plan was to either replace the axles in the Cuckoo chassis with longer ones, or graft on extensions – the typical way to do this in 009 is to add overlays to the wheels with stub axles attached. Progress then stalled until a few weeks ago, when it occurred to me that it might be possible to fit a Bullant motor bogie in the saddle tank.
Just to show that the Bullant does fit in the saddle tank here are the components posed together. Working from scale drawings I’ve drawn an initial visualisation of the new outside frames. At the time I had never seen anything like it, and I remember sketching out my own ideas for circular layouts after reading the RM article.
Happily the BHER still exists, now in the stewardship of Tony Hill, and I got the chance to see it for myself at ExpoNG in 2007. A newer, and equally inspirational 0-9 layout is Colin Peake’s Shifting Sands, which reproduces elements of many seaside tourist attractions on a similar sized (although rectangular) board. Wintoncester Water Works was a smart little 009 diorama, just a couple of feet wide but packed with life and detail. While the majority of layouts at Sparsholt were 4mm scale, or thereabouts, there were a few larger sizes on show. So, full marks to the Wessex Narrow Gauge Modellers for one of the best shows I’ve been to since returning to the hobby.
Also on show with Purbeck was this scratchbuild of one of the Furzebrook’s oddball locos, the open cabbed Tertius. Another vintage 009 layout on display was Laurie Maunder’s Mols Coed, which takes inspiration from the Ffestiniog. My local 009 Society area, the Sussex Downs group, was represented by Mark Holland’s Temark Valley which is set in North Yorkshire and features interchange with standard gauge and a canal, as well as mining operations. It would have to be a monster post to be able to cover all the highlights of Narrow Gauge South in one go, so look out for part two tomorrow!


Cranbrook is now permanently set up in my office (I work as a freelance web developer) and progress - admittedly slow - is being made on its refurbishment. The original build was a Parkside Dundas kit using the venerable N gauge Ibertren Cuckoo chassis, which was a very handy unit for making small 009 locos feasible but with the drawback that most locos of that size really need to wear their frames on the outside to look right. Neither of these were perfect as the mechanism is notoriously noisy (past life as a coffee grinder?) and the add-ons would be difficult to produce and align accurately. With a Mashima 1015 and a nice big flywheel it will hopefully run significantly better than its predecessor. I will need to make longer coupling rods to suit the new wheelbase, and the connecting rods may need to be replaced too. I’ll cut these out in plasticard soon to confirm the shape is right and that everything will fit together properly. Clearly others did too, because a clever 009 layout called Ty Morau (The Seasons) used the same circular format with four scenes (I’ll leve you to work out what each one was). The scenery has been updated but the core of the layout is still the same and it still rotates – so in effect a moving train can stay in view while the board turns. Civil engineer James Wells has spent a week working on tracklaying for the Welsh Highland Railway around Pont Croesor, and his blog update includes some brilliant photos including the first train to cross the bridge in over 70 years.
Depicting Glynceriog station, it’s a very green and pleasant layout packed with detail and a nice combination of tram loco and ex-WD Baldwins. Increasing contact with other modellers through this blog, web forums and my local 009 Society area groups means that these events are becoming as much social occasions as just turning up to look at some trains. The town section is based on Rye, one of the Cinque Ports and a similar setting to the initial ideas I had for Fairlight. All the track works, so I just need to sort some of the electrics, then ballasting and scenics can commence. The later Backwoods Miniatures kit was a complete product with the correct chassis arrangement.


However I got as far as stripping down the chassis to the basic block as most of it would get in the way of the new frames.
A quick experiment with a mechanism I had to hand confirmed that with a little fettling of the saddle tank casting it should work. With the kind assistance of a forum member I hope to be able to produce these in nickel silver using a pantograph.
It hides its age well, too, with the long trains running smoothly and locos crawling to a halt at stations in defiance of their long service. It’s a somewhat imagineered depiction of the Furzebrook Tramway and other narrow gauge lines that served the clay workings on the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset, but really captures the look of the area and features a number of delightful little touches including a working wagon turntable. When the opportunity came up in 2009 to buy the successor to Hawkhurst, Cranbrook Town, it was too good to pass up and I attempted to shift scales. The kit was designed to be mounted on the flat parts of the Ibertren chassis, so one of the challenges here will be figuring out an appropriate way to mount the body on the Bullant.
The model won't bear any likeness to a town or railway in the area, as it's all in my mind!
I’m intending to add further detailing (mostly pipes!) to bring the whole thing closer to the current preserved condition of the loco. The area it is set in is east of Gap, which has featured in the WRC Monte Carlo Rally and the Tour de France a few times, especially in 2011. I thought 'Ancelle' was the village we stayed in during the 'Croisiere', but that turned out to be Orcieres-Merlette, but I still considered Ancelle to be a good name for the layout!However, I have since decided to rename it 'Porth Eryri' and recommence working on it as a North West Wales tourist line, set in the present.



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  • Suner_Girl, 22.08.2015 at 15:11:13
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  • Karinoy_Bakinec, 22.08.2015 at 17:59:15
    The LGB ball bearing setup will.