Monday, 17 October 2016

J.C.R. Sentinel Steam Railcar Pioneer 1

Updated 2020 to also suit the Kato 11-110 chassis

The Pioneer 1 took its first trip on the Jersey Railway Company’s line on the 18th June 1923. The makers Cammel Laird had developed this type of railcar to run more economically for the smaller railways and branch lines.
The J.R.C. railcar was 56' 6" long and weighed in at just over 15 tons. It consisted of a steam tractor unit with a 2-cylinder engine controlled in the forward direction by the driver- come- fireman, and in the other direction, a guard had control. There was a capacity for 64 passengers seated in first or second class.
Three of these railcars were used by the J.R.C; their benefits were obvious in that they used 5lb of coal per mile, compared to the 25lb that the company’s engines used.
The model of this railcar was a commission by a colleague at work, who having made regular visits to Jersey had learned about the two railways that had once existed on the island. He had decided to model a layout based on the Jersey Western Railway after it was re-gauged from standard gauge to 3' narrow gauge early in its existence.
J.R.C ran four 2-4-0 tank engines for most of its lifetime, a fifth one proved too heavy for the track and being little used after the Great War was sold on. Three sentinel steam railcars were also employed from the early 1920s until the line’s closure in the mid-1930's.
This was a perfect opportunity to put into practice all I had learned in developing the 009-gauge version of the Clogher Valley Railway articulated railcar and apply it to something different. I would use the same basic set up of chassis and rear bogie as we were still working in 009 gauge for this layout.
We took the decision to scale the length down from the 56' 6" to something around 40' which we felt would work on the layout planned much better. 

I further adapted this and produced a shorter version still at around 33'. This was done by keeping the tractor unit the same and reducing the coach body. I plan to offer the smaller version for sale on Shapeways.

From the start, I had decided to develop this model to be printed in Strong White and Flexible Polished plastic as it suited our budget, and will still print in the more detailed Frosted Ultra Detail if we decide to later. The design being quite simple and uncluttered did make this a workable option. 

As off November 2017, we have made this model available on Shapeways in the Frosted Ultra Detail plastic.

This model is formed in two parts: a tractor unit, body and roof held together on spurs, and the coach in three parts; body, roof and bogie again kept together on spurs. I have allowed for the fitting of a Peco NEM coupling pocket on the front of the tractor, and the bogie also has a socket for one at the rear. On the prototype, a trailer was used at busy times so it may be an option to work on this later.  

A small change to the bogie on this model was to allow for the fitting of Kato 11-606 wheels, the axles on these being slightly narrower and the wheels being 0.6 mm smaller in diameter than my previous choice. This has meant repositioning the pivots in the axle box to suit the new wheels.’

Using the trusty Kato 11-104 or new in 2020 the 11-110 chassis is a straight forward fit a small frame printed in the cab bodywork, which clips onto the chassis intended mounting points. 

The only modification to the chassis is that the two balconies including the couplings need cutting off. Again the pivot plate is loose in order to allow for adjustment between the cab and coach body to suit the curves on individual layouts. I have now modified this to clip in place so that when in use you are able to adjust the pivot centre to suit the curves on a particular layout. If you want it fixed it can still be glued in place.

Making the roof removable allows for interior finishing, the adding of glazing and figures, with a little more ease. I have incorporated the upper backs of the seats in the coach to add a little interior detail, though these are not as easy to finish within the body of the coach and it does bring the cost of the model down having fewer loose parts.
The tractor unit has an uncluttered interior into which some details can be added if required. There are small round hollows formed on the front of the cab for 2mm rhinestone beads to be added as lamps, which I like as they give a sparkle to the lamp that I cannot get with paint alone.

Separating the parts
My first job was to separate the bogie from the coach body and roof, then the cab body from its roof. I did this using a razor saw and because all the components are quite rigid this was not too difficult; once the parts are loose it is quite straightforward to remove the remaining spurs. I then went about priming all of the parts and removing any layering that was evident. Fortunately, the polishing process does do a good job in reducing this, so three or four thin priming coats sprayed on with a bit of burnishing with a hardwood stick between coats did the job.

Adding interior detail cab
As the cab is quite devoid of interior detail I decided to add a mockup of a two-cylinder engine boiler and the driver- come- fireman. With a little research on similar Sentinel units, I came up with a rough outline for the engine and boiler. This was pre-finished in a toned down black with a red flywheel and gunmetal details, then fitted into the cab along with the crew and glazing. Probably a lot more than is needed considering what can actually be seen. Well I know it’s there.          

Adding ballast
I add two narrow strips of lead to the cab section over the chassis, and two smaller strips to the bodywork of the coach each side of the rear bogie. This greatly improved the running of the whole unit and allowed it to pull a small trailer coach and a box van. 

Fitting the wheels and bogie
The chassis clipped into the mounts perhaps a little tightly so I eased this with a small file. It did not take a lot on this print but I do find that there are slight variations in the S.W.F. prints that cannot really be anticipated. The Kato wheels were again tight for the bearing cones, so I have a small flat bit adapted to polish the bearing cones out and make the surface smooth for the pins to run in. Even though I had the print polished these areas seem too small and tucked away to reach successfully.   

Painting of the railcar
I decided to paint the railcar in the later livery, though it is debatable as to the exact shades of yellow and green it was painted in. Mixing a pale mustard yellow (Humbrol Matt yellow 154 + white 34) and a toned down mid green (Humbrol Satin 131 + matt grey 106) looked a good combination, with a light to mid grey (Humbrol matt grey 106 + white 34) roof and toned down matt black (Humbrol Matt black 33 + grey 34) underframe bogie and steps. The interior was left in the mid grey primer that the whole model was based out in. I applied four thin coats of this matt grey primer which did improve the surface finish, filling most of the layering evident on the roof. As I was using a light finish colour, I applied a final priming coat of white after masking the windows from the inside. Once two thin brushes applied matt topcoats were applied, I added a finishing coat of gloss varnish before applying water slide transfers and the coach line, which I added with a Staedtler black permanent Lumocolor pen. A final coat of satin varnish over this to seal the whole model. I used a bit of black crushed up wax pastel to dirty the roof and some burnt umber to give the lower sides and running gear a used look. This was applied with a soft No 6 size paint brush, just rubbed in where needed. The good thing about using the wax pastels is that you can clean it off and re-apply if you like.    

Adding Glazing
This was done using some reclaimed acetate sheet form old packaging I had saved.    I made card templates of each section first to get the fit right, then cut and added the acetate, bonding this in place with contact adhesive.  

Final details
The final bits to be added were the handrails and the front whistle. These were done with 0.45mm brass wire bent to shape, suitable holes were drilled in the bodywork and the wire added, then superglued in place.        

I you like this model and would be interested in a print I will shortly be releasing 
it on the Shapeways market place at: 

Monday, 25 July 2016

009 (Small) Break Van

I remember standing on the balcony of a standard gauge break van as a small boy of 6 or 7 and it seemed huge, high up, and the kind of place to survey the world from. That thought remained when I had an idea for a small brake van for a narrow gauge layout. I wanted to have one with an outside balcony which to me makes it look the part.

On the smaller railways these vans sometimes doubled up as goods van, stock wagon and even mobile post boxes.

So it was with a utilitarian feel I worked on some ideas for a break van with a rear balcony, enclosed by small gates, a door would allow access to the main body of the van for the guards, it would have sliding side doors as I though it may be interesting in some cases to show the inside of the van. I decided to make it possible to remove the side doors and refit them in an open position to show something going on inside.

To keep the guards happy with some warmth in winter or just for making the odd pot of tea a small oil stove was added to one corner.

Like most of my first prototypes I used a Peco 9’ wagon chassis and changed the couplings to the Greenwich type, this works well when Frosted Ultra-Detail is used to 3D print the body of the van.

On later prototypes I added a chassis directly to the van and printed it in Strong White & Flexible polished, allow not giving as much clarity in the detail, looks good enough when painted and aged to pass relatively close inspection. This works well with 6.2mm metal spoked wheels from Parkside Dundas.

A small amount of lead ballast was also added to the van between the wheels, this helps to balance the van making it less top heavy.

I made the rear lamp in bulk some time ago, using white 1 mm thick plasticard rectangles to form a 3 x 2 x 2mm block and then added a 2mm diameter disk on top, for the lenses I used a small 2mm red rhinestone. These are available from bead and jewellery suppliers on eBay.

If you would like to obtain a copy of the 3D print it is available at.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

009 Sheep Wagon

I have seen many of these sheep wagons on layouts but could not find out who made them to suit 009. As it is one of those type of wagons you may have quite a few of on a typical layout, it seemed like a good idea to 3D print a version.

I initially intended to produce a six plank wagon, like the Welshpool & Llanfair sheep wagon, but with the restrictions on the section sizes I could print, this looked too high and heavy, so I settled for a four plank version. I followed the same layout as the W&L wagon, with the ramp on one side. My idea with the ramp was to make it so I could remove it and refit in the open position for static displays of loading wagons. This was achieved by printing the ramp on small spurs that you can cut through with ease. My first idea for this wagon was to mount it on a Peco 9’ wagon chassis (ref NR119) and change the couplings to the Greenwich type.

I printed a flat based version in Frosted Ultra Detail plastic which had nice detail and worked well on the Peco chassis. After this first prototype I thought of printing with the chassis attached. The main thing with this idea is getting the wheel centres right, and getting enough flex in the material to get the wheels in place. Two prototypes later, and I had a working chassis in Strong White and Flexible plastic with free running wheels. It was then a simple job to add this to the wagon.

I found that if printed in Frosted Ultra Detail I had to make a small ‘V’ in the bottom of the axel box to get the wheels in without breaking the plastic; but if I used Strong White and Flexible Polished, the level of detail was still good when painted and weathered and it gave the flexibility needed to ease the wheels in place.

I found that the best wheels with good running characteristics were the Parkside Dundas 6.2mm Metal Wheels with 7 Curved Spoke.
If you would like to obtain a copy of the 3D print it is available at.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

009 Articulated Rail Cars & Truck

Updated 2020

These models are no longer printed and have been replaced by the Atkinson Walker Railcars which I show in a later post. See links below of further details.

Following on from my Donegal Irish railcar I thought it would be good to complete the set and develop the Clogher Valley’s own railcar unit No 1. Again this is a version for 009 gauge based on the original but shorter to suit track curves of around 230 mm (9”) radius.

I quickly came to the conclusion when developing this railcar that the tractor “No 2 unit” was a must also, they both share the same cab and chassis frame, and it had to be easier to work on the truck body for the tractor unit at the same time as the railcar. 

To get this model to work it was necessary to split it into multiple parts. This meant that 4 pieces would build the cab tractor unit, with the wagon body is in one and the railcar body in 4 sections. Also this gave the options of using different plastics to form the parts, which worked out better for detail and cost. It also added the possibility to use bits for scratch building other models, such as the Donegal rail car No 10. 

When prototyping this model I used mainly strong white flexible polished (SWFP) on the truck “No 2 unit” to see what the details printed were like. This is also the most economical printing method. The railcar I printed in a combination of strong white flexible polished (SWFP) and Frosted ultra-detail (FUD). To make use of the different properties each plastic has to offer.  The detail on both turned out well, see the lists of parts shown at the end of this post.

C-1 Cab Roof a or b (see list of parts at end of post)
The CVR version needs no alteration, to add the headlamp to the Donegal No 10 version, there is a pilot hole on the inside centre front of the roof. Use a 1.2mm bit and drill right through from the back. The lamp is fitted from the front on the spur used to fix it to the radiator on the CVR version. This will need to be glued in place.

To give the lens some sparkle I added a small 2mm clear rhinestone to the front of the lamp. The bracket was then painted in a gun metal finish, a mix of Humbrol Matt black 33 and silver 56.
A is the configuration used on the CVR units, or B place the lamp on the front of the cab roof, as the CDRJC railcar No 10.

A                                             B

C-2 Cab Body (see list of parts at end of post)
This is a simple one piece design which has three locating holes in the bottom to fit the corresponding pins on the C-4 chassis frame, the detail looks good printed in both (SWFP) and (FUD). There are locating holes for the C-3 radiator and the C-1 roof which are printed separately to the cab.  

C-3 Radiator a or b (see list of parts at end of post)
The radiator was originally designed just to suit the Clogher valley units only, but following constructive comments on the NGRMO forum I thought it worth making it suitable for the Donegal No 10 version as well. This revised version starts off with a flat plate under the radiator, with a hole for the NEM coupling pocket and slot to take a white metal vacuum pipe. The cowcatcher for the Clogher valley units is a detachable print on the front which if used has the mounting spurs trimmed off and the cowcatcher is located using a rectangular block at the rear which sockets into the hole left for the NEM pocket. There are holes on the cowcatcher for the lamp mounting brackets and the starting handle. The lamp is also printed on the back of the radiator - this is cut off and the raking spur removed. It is also intended for use on the Donegal No 10 version, see notes on C-1 cab roof. 

For the CVR version a pilot hole is formed in the back of the radiator itself and this is drilled out to take the lamp spur. The lamp bracket has a pilot hole to be drilled out to take the 0.45 mm brass wire, and this is used to form the mounting bracket. (You may fine this a very fiddly job). The 0.45 mm wire is also used to make the starting handle. I have tried to use pictures to show these details in a more graphic manner, see below.

                                       Front lamps (part of radiator print)

C-4 Chassis Frame (see list of parts at end of post)
The difficult bit to work out was how to connect the chassis to the cab, wagon and railcar bodies. The conventional way of fitting the Kato 11-104 chassis, a rectangular shaped hole in a flat plate, worked out to be too wide for the articulated railcar body. The solution was to form a frame that sat over the chassis; it would hook over the front part of the chassis, with a frame over the top to carry the cab, railcar body pivot or the wagon body and clipped onto the back of the chassis with a cradle. 

This does mean cutting and adjusting the front section of the Kato chassis, but the result fits in better. 

It was necessary to make an adjustable pivot plate on the frame behind the cab; this was to allow the Railcar body sufficient clearance on tight curves. By doing this and making the rear bogie on the railcar body pivot, I hope it would give the finished model smoother running on curves and the ability to pull some wagons.
The pivot plate is printed under the frame on spurs. This is cut off its spurs and added to a groove in the top of the frame. The further back you place this will allow the articulated railcar body to work on tighter curves, but leaves a bigger gap between the railcar and the cab, so this will allow the two to be finely adjusted to suit individual modellers needs before final fixing. Like a lot of things it is a compromise between looks and functionality. 

A small amount of weight added to the cab and over the rear bogie on the railcar body will help keep the model on the tracks with good electrical contact. I have left the roof on both the cab and railcar body’s loose to allow for easy access when fitting the glazing, interior seats and adding people to the interior if required.

W-1 Wagon Body (see list of parts at end of post)
This is a very simple part, designed to locate on the chassis frame directly behind the cab. There is no need to fit the pivot block to the chassis frame if building the wagon version of the No 2 Unit. I would pre-finished the wagon body before fixing in place which makes it much easier. It is good to add a small amount of weight to this before fitting. This can be added in the two recesses between the base of the wagon and under frame. The NEM coupling pocket is the only additional item to be prepared and fitted to the truck body. 

R-1 Railcar Roof (a or b see list of parts at end of post)
The roof is printed with a ladder and luggage frame attached on spurs which are easily cut off at the roof level , leaving a plain roof suiting the Clogher Valley railcar. On the underside of the roof are 6 rings used as guides to drill holes in the roof to refit the luggage frame, using the spurs that attached it to the roof to locate it again. There are 2 small holes in the back of this for the ladder and a further 2 holes in the back of the railcar body to locate the bottom of the ladder. These would be filled if building the Clogher Valley version.

R-2 Railcar Interior (see list of parts at end of post)
I had this printed in Strong Black and flexible, which only leaves the seat backs to paint. These were painted using Humbrol No 73 matt burgundy on the backs, with a touch of Humbrol No 56 silver used on the upper edges. Passengers can be added if required before fitting to the railcar body. I found the interesting tip on the NGRMO forum, of using HO scale figures to give more of a spacious impression to the interior, works very well. See Simon Cox’s workbench article

R-3 Railcar Body (see list of parts at end of post)
I had the body printed in both strong white flexible polished (SWFP) and Frosted ultra-detail (FUD). The level of detail remained quite good in the (SWFP). The base of the railcar body does needs the angular edges smoothing off so there is nothing for the bogie to catch on. A pocket has been formed for an 8BA nut to be located in above the mounting for the bogie, which may need cleaning out a bit on the (SWFP) body as the powder residue gets trapped in small spaces. It is then just a case of dropping the nut into the socket and a small spot of glue will hold this in place. I prefinished the railcar body, roof and interior before adding the glazing and assembling. Adding a small amount of weight centrally to the railcar sides and over the pivot helps with smooth running of the unit. If building the Donegal No 10 version a vacuum pipe will need to be added to the rear right hand back panel. I used Vale of Rheidol Vacuum & Steam Heating Pipes. The short pipes from Parkside Dundas part No Ref DP03 seem to look the part on this model.

R-4 Railcar Bogie (see list of parts at end of post)
I had the bogie printed in Strong Black and flexible as this offered a good finish and strength. Being black already saved on painting. The flexible nature of the material allowed for fitting the wheels without breakage. The axle’s pockets were polished smooth with a pointed flat bit; this was ground to match the cone shape formed on the inside of the axle boxes. I kept gently working the drill on each cone and then trying the wheel until I achieved smooth and free running. This has the effect of polishing the cone rather than drilling it out more. 

A pilot hole is formed in the bogie, this act as a guide for the clearance hole needed for an 8 BA cheese head machine screw used as a pivot. An 8 BA nut is located in a socket at the bottom of the coach body. The NEM coupling pocket can be attached to the rear of the bogie where a rectangular hole is formed to accept this. When fitted, file smooth any protruding material from the NEM coupling as this will catch on the lower part of the coach body.

When assembling the bogie to the body of the coach a washer of thin Plasticard 0.25mm needs to give the right gap between the bogie and body work for free movement. 

Coupling pockets
I have designed the rear railcar bogie and the truck body to be fitted with Peco GR-103 Coupling pockets. These are best glued together hole first, then cut off the larger top horizontal section. This will allow you to pass the vertical middle section through the hole in the bogie or truck under frame, and glue in place. 

Unit glazing
When considering glazing for these units I noticed that I would have to fold one of the pieces at the front cab window. The clear plastic window used on product packaging looked to be a good option as some of this is actually folded. I found a version on some packaging at 0.25 mm which cut well and folded neatly. Contact adhesive was used to fix this in place. I did notice on the R-2 Railcar Interior that the width needed reducing by 1mm on each side to allow for the glazing material thickness, and this was easily done, as the S.B&F is simply cut with a sharp modelling knife.

 Unit painting
As usual I have prepared the Shapeways Frosted Ultra detail (FUD), getting rid of the waxy residue before paint is added. I tackle this by washing in white spirits and then a good wash in hot soapy water. It is best to dry it off in a warm place overnight, then apply 2 or 3 thin coats of primer.
The strong white flexible polished (SWFP) is fine with a good primer applied. Use the first coat to size the surface which can then be burnished with a blunt wood spatula or similar tool to smooth it off. A further 2 or 3 thin coats of primer will build up a good surface for painting.

The strong black flexible (SBF) used on the bogie, railcar interior and chassis frame was left un-painted and looked fine.
Starting with the Clogher Valley railcar No 1, the original was painted brown with a white roof. “CLOGHER VALLEY RAILWAY” was lettered between the waist mouldings on each side in shaded gold block capitals. Below the title was “No1”.

For my version I used Humbrol paint to make a shade of brown that had a touch of burgundy added. This was a mix of Matt 83 brown and smaller proportion matt 73 burgundy, making what could be described as a dirty crimson lake colour. The white for the roof had a majority Matt 34 white and a tiny bit of Light grey Matt 147 to take the edge off. I used Waterslide decals from Fox Transfers, Gold 1 mm letters to form the “CLOGHER VALLEY RAILWAY” which fitted between the waist moulding well, and 2 mm for the No 1 below. The radiator was a mix of Matt black 33 and silver 56 in different proportion lighter for the frame and darker in the centre, the cowcatcher was in Matt black 33. A final coat of satin varnish was applied over all the painted surfaces.

The second was Clogher Valley No 2 Unit or, as it was called, “The Unit”. This was finished in a grey livery, with a white roof. The original was plain grey to start with, and later had “CLOGHER VALLEY RAILWAY” lettered on the wagon body with “No 2” below.

I made some changes to my version, the grey primer was used as the body colour with a coat of satin varnish applied, while the roof had the same mix of matt 34 white and a tiny bit of Light grey Matt 147 like the railcar, again with the satin varnish applied. This time I used white ModelMaster 1.4 mm Waterslide decals to form a simple “CVR” with “No2” below on the wagon body. The radiator was a mix of Matt black 33 and silver 56 in different proportion for the frame and the centre, the cowcatcher and wagon under frame was in Matt black 33.

Finally the County Donegal No 10 railcar version, was finished in red lower panelling, using Humbrol matt 153 red mixed with a smaller proportion of Revell R331 crimson. The cream upper section round the windows and bonnet is a mixture of matt 154 yellow and Mat 34 matt white, with the grey roof being a mix of Mat 106 matt grey and matt white 34. A fine black Staedtler Lumocolor permanent marker was used to do the lining on the waist mouldings.The Donegal crest was found on the internet and printed on an ink jet satin photo paper to the size required, then I used a hole punch to cut these out. The back of the paper was removed carefully with a craft knife leaving only the shiny surface paper. This was fixed with super glue direct to the red paint work. The No 10 Waterslide decals used on each side of the cab are “Old Time” Talyllyn coach numbers in gold and black. The radiator was a mix of Matt black 33 and silver 56 in different proportion for the frame and the centre. This was also used on the rear ladder and vacuum pipes, the hose of which was finished in matt grey 147. A final coat of satin varnish was applied over all the painted surfaces.

List of Truck parts
C-1  Cab Roof a or b - strong white flexible polished
C-2  Cab Body - Frosted ultra-detail
C-3  Radiator a or b – Frosted ultra-detail
C-4  Chassis Frame - strong Black flexible
W-1  Wagon Body - Frosted ultra-detail or strong white flexible polished
List of Railcar parts
C-1  Cad Roof a or b - strong white flexible polished
C-2  Cad Body - Frosted ultra-detail
C-3  Radiator a or b - Frosted ultra-detail
C-4  Chassis Frame - strong Black flexible
R-1 Railcar Roof a or b - Frosted ultra-detail or strong white flexible polished
R-2  Railcar Interior - strong Black flexible
R-3  Railcar Body - Frosted ultra-detail
R-4  Railcar - strong Black flexible
Other items needed
Kato 11-104 Chassis
6 mm x 9mm gauge wheels
Peco NEM couplings & pockets
6 mm 8 BA machine screw & nut bogie pivot
Clear plasticard sheet for glazing 0.25 mm
White metal Vacuum pips By Parkside Dundas ref part No Ref DP03 

If you would like to obtain a copy of the 3D parts they are available at.