News Archive 2021

15th November 2021
      Problems with updating this website at the hosting provider (1&1) combined with termination of development (and support) on the website software I use (Serif WebPlus X8) has caused me to move over to WordPress for the website creation in future. The first stage is to slim down this website and remove parts that are no longer relevant so that I can update the current website at 1&1 which involves downloading each file separately (all 712 of them last month) and disabling the “Publish to Web” option in WebPlus – if I make the mistake of hitting that the downlaod stops at about the fifth file and screws up the website display! When I can find the time I will convert the whole lot to WordPress.

10th November 2021
      Not much in the way of new developments in October, largely because I was enjoying a 2 week holiday in Madeira and the rest of the time I was working on production orders.
New development for November is a 1/32 scale version of the SECR H class loco (ex-ARM1G) – see here for details. This is a ground up redesign but still using the ARM1G cylinder set.
The BR 08 will probably go back into production in a simplified and cheaper version – see here.

26th September 2021
      As a result of several requests I have introduced the LSWR T3 into my build schedule – timed to coincide with the re-introduction of the full-size one to service at Swanage. Probably 2023.
Expect a price similar to the LSWR T9. From a modelling viewpoint this a hybrid of the T9 with the outside cylinders/inside Stephensons valvegear of the Adams Radial Tank so a fairly simple bit of design. Probably the trickiest bit will be fitting everything into the 6-wheel tender.

12th September 2021
      Loco etched sheet costs corrected – they were too high before. Price now showing “from” the cheapest available.
Design for the SECR Birdcage coaches being finalised – now 1/32 scale instead of 10mm.

19th August 2021
      The GWR AEC railcar prototype is progressing well with the (almost correct) test printing of 3 different ends.
Also added the SECR H class & SR Q1 back into the price lists.

30th July 2021
      I have improved the navigation around the website by adding links to the price list so you can go straight there to see what is (or will be) available (see the loco price list – here) and then just click on links there for anything that interests you. The webpages sometimes have limited numbers of drawings on them. If you need more information I suggest you download the appropriate illustrated assembly instructions – they usually have full 3-view drawings and X-sections of the loco.
    I do not seem to have mentioned in the news items the highly detailed backheads I am now putting on most locos – certainly all future ones where the information and photos are available – so have a look here at some I am now doing.

15th July 2021
      First the bad news – as usual everything is taking longer than expected – not helped by equipment breakages and wasting time to resolve them (replacement parts not available for older
machines). Also some problems with castings supplies. Now for the good news – I am about to do the 3D Printing of the railcar ends – I will post pictures when done.
And for even better news – I now have definite costs for my coach kits and am able to reduce the cost of a bogie coach to £320 (with pro-rata reductions for 6 and 4 wheelers). I have reduced
my “profits” a little to make this price possible, but it this looks as though I should manage enough profit to make this business viable and fund future developments.
I have not managed to break even on any of the locos yet so this should be a big improvement. I will finish the development of all the locos that are underway at present ( and the breakdown
crane) then concentrate on coaches for a couple of years to stabilise my finances. I have about 34 coaches under development at present – most have completed the 2D CAD stage so just need
the etches and laser cutting designs done (see the loco price list – here).

10th June 2021
      First the good news – I think I have finally found a solution to the LinuxCNC mill problem on tool changing. I can now get it to change the tool at a fixed position instead of trying to
drive off the top of the Z-axis, or down through the material before asking for the next tool. Now for the even better news – the GWR AEC railcar design is progressing rapidly (see here
for details). This is probably the most complex bit of 3D modelling I have done yet – took about 50 hours to model the two ends in Solidworks (I have no doubt that a Solidworks expert
could have done it in a quarter of the time). This was made more difficult by the unreliable and misleading drawings available – weight diagrams rather than works drawings (the GWR works
drawings were only available for the later angular GWR built versions). It took a lot of comparison with old photos to work out a correct set of drawings. Unfortunately the preserved
versions (numbers 4 – too early, and 20, 22 – too late) differ considerably so my photos were of little help. One thing that took a lot of thought and time was how to create accurate 2D
drawings that could be used to turn into 3D models. The Colin Judge book on these railcars was invaluable.

4th June 2021
      Added pictures on the GWR Collett Goods page as design progresses. The 2D design for the GWR AEC railcar (flying bananas – numbers 5 to 17) is about 90% complete.
This is basically a variation on the coaches, but with 3D printed ends – at last I have a way to do them justice. Not sure whether to power just one bogie or both – any opinions?
This will follow shortly after the LMS PI carriages. Price will depend on spec, but expect a price comparable to a carriage with motor bogies, LiPo battery and ESC.
I think I may have solved the LinuxCNC tool change problem on the mill  – just needs a bit more testing. The mill has now been upgraded with a high speed variable spindle.

17th April 2021
      Minor changes to website – updated pictures on Coaches & GWR Collett Goods pages as designs progress

11th April 2021
      The mechanical design for the GWR Collett Goods is now complete and has been 3D modelled in Solidworks. See here for a screenshot on the Collett Goods page.

6th April 2021
    Illustrated instructions have been uploaded to Google Docs for the GWR 3000 gallon tender (Lot A49 of 1901) – you can download them from this page.

    The mechanical design for the Collett Goods loco is now complete – just need to do the 3D modelling in Solidworks then turn all those parts into etches via TurboCAD.

The lathe design continues to evolve. I look forward to making it and turning lots of loco parts!

As usual multiple projects continue to progress simultaneously – too many to enumerate and 70 hour weeks are too short to do it all.

Taig mill & longer lathe
Taig mill & longer lathe

23rd March 2021
      Carriage design continues – the LMS suburban designs are almost complete – just the etched bits to do.
I have designed a lathe attachment for my Taig CNC mill (which will be upgraded to ball screws) to replace my less than totally accurate converted HobbyMAT – see picture left. I will be making this as time permits. It should provide me with greater speed and accuracy all within the original mill enclosure. It will also release the space taken up by the old lathe allowing me to reuse the space for my new acquisition – an Elegoo Saturn 3D printer. This provides me with a greater build space for larger parts and much greater speeds.
A customer has requested a GWR Collett Goods (2251 class) so that has now moved ahead of the Bulldog in the build schedule. Conveniently it uses the same tender – the first 60 of the 2251s all used recycled tenders from the 4-4-0s that were being scrapped at the time. The last 60 (1940 onwards) all used the new Collett 3000 gallon tender, but since that tender is almost unique to the 2251 class it is unlikely that I will be making it.

1st February 2021
      Carriage design continues – the specification page (see here) now has sample instruction drawings for the LMS PI suburbans. Expect similar fast progress on other coach designs as workload permits. All the design issues have now been worked out on the LMS carriages so should enable fast development for others.

23rd January 2021
      The enforced rest for my thumb has resulted in concentrating on design work for a few weeks. I have now arrived at construction methods and materials that finally enable me to produce extremely detailed, highly accurate coach kits at a viable cost with a profit margin that justifies continued developments. This enables me to produce the kits at a price around the £400 mark. Prices may vary around that mark as material costs vary depending upon the actual coach. I am trying to maintain a fixed actual profit (rather than percentage). See here for current coach specifications and here for a list of coaches I will be producing.
The GWR Railcars will obviously cost more as they require motive power (Steam or Electric for the SRM, Electric only for AEC Railcar) and include my R/C system.