What we did early 2023

Week-ending 1st July 2013

Monday, Tuesday and Friday in the club this week, but with the extra twist of a club trip on Wednesday. 

Monday saw some work on etched brass rolling stock, with Wagonman, of course, working on the roof of his ex-Cambrian PBV, making the the roof thickness closer scale thickness by adding a lamination of brass, while Mike G was assembling a Rumney Models 9′ wheelbase chassis. 

And by end-of-play on Tuesday the Cambrian van had progressed this far, and Mike E worked on this N gauge American store for his modified San Itize layout.

And by end-of-play on Tuesday the Cambrian van had progressed this far, and Mike E worked on this N gauge American store for his modified San Itize layout.

As you can see above, the Cambrian van is pictured on Pavilion End which is now in place ready for the next show. The first main task is to clean stock, fiddle yard cassettes and all trackwork. 

Wednesday saw eight of us make our way to Welshpool. LBH was taken by the rather fetching stained glass in the Refreshment Room (now Starbuck’s) on Shrewsbury Station en route, and by the Isca Foundry product at Welshpool Raven Square station. 

And Stephen B, our trip organiser to whom we are very grateful, took these two pics.

Friday and back at the club, LBH pottered around adding some weeds into the all-too-perfect grass on ABB, Luke has been looking at alternative buildings for the problematic area behind the station on ABB. He has altered the roof angle on this short terrace, to good effect. Ed has been improving the shed roof on Stroat Harbour by applying individual strips.

Week-ending 24th June 2023

Monday and perhaps the warm weather put people off again, but nevertheless four of us braved the soaring temperatures.

Paul S is building new, lighter fiddle yard boards for Crindau Pill; LBH is applying the missing internal iron work on a Slaters coal wagon and Mr Chairman is fitting ‘replacement panels’ on the ex-H&B coach.

Tuesday at our Zoom session we discussed a survey to see where our interests lie for future projects, had a Guess-the-Location quiz (thanks, Luke) and had a short presentation on Magor and Undy.

On Friday more work was done on the H&B coach. The outer sides were laminated to the middle filler piece allowing door hinges and brackets to poke through. It also will create pockets for the glazing. Using the clothes pegs to hold the side together reduced the burnt fingers to zero.

Week-ending 17th June 2023

All meetings this week are at the club rooms.

There has been a lot of discussions on which types of DMU in south Wales and here we see one the Andrew J is acquiring for Lyne Road. 

Rhobat has made progress in his Engine Shed seen here posing on ABB

On Tuesday, following on from the appearance of the blue Lima DMU, we went down a rabbit hole following older stock from a previous era, including Luke’s Lord of the Isles seen left. We checked out production dates and variations going back into the 1960s.

This led to chat about former NMRS layouts such as Long Suffren, Over Welmyn and the stock that ran on them.

Friday had low attendance and it really was too hot for soldering but some of us persisted. One side of the workman’s coach has the panelling attached and  the other side is nearly complete.

Week-ending 10th June 2023

Monday’s attendance was lower than normal, but there were enough bodies to lift some more LMJ baseboards. MrChairman has now removed his two and also, as seen above, reclaimed the second half of the crossover from a third board. It seems to have kept its alignment. This board is soon going elsewhere.

The LMR set that MikeG made quite a few years ago, intended for LMJ, are receiving some attention. In this case fitting of Dignham couplings to enable them to be operated on ABB. And we can also reveal the latest progress on Wagonman’s Cambrian PBV.

Tuesday’s Zoom meeting was focussed mainly on a review of the recent Open Day but also included a fascinating view of an accident at Rhyd-y-defaid (no, i didn’t know either but apparently it on the Central Wales line, towards its southern end) and a look at the 1908 rebuilding of the Bridge St bridge in Newport.

Friday, although there quite a lot of activity, the only thing to get in front the camera was the LMR set, now fitted with Dingham couplings at both ends  and seen here undergoing proving trials with BR Standard Class 4 75005.

Week-ending 3rd June 2023

No meeting on Monday as many were busy elsewhere, it being a Bank Holiday, but it was back to business as usual on Tuesday (this week in the clubrooms) and Friday

Wagonman was working on a Cambrian Railways Passenger Brake Van (PBV) and brought along this fabulous Bavarian Railways loco. It’s a pity it’s a that it’s a still shot cos the motion is a joy (no pun intended) to behold.

Sam is working on an N gauge north-light engine shed for Somerton and TAFKATYS is building a servo controller for the point motors on Lyne Road,

On to Friday and we see Mr Chairman and Ed assembling Sprat and Winkle couplers for Stroat Harbour, Luke is using a GW Models riveting press on an etched kit. 

And Wagonman had progressed the Cambrian Van to this state. Staying on the etched brass coach kit theme MrChairman is contending with the numerous layers of the ex-H&B, ex-Cardiff Railway coach, which will form part of the workmen’s train on Pavilion End.

Wagonman found yet more diesels in his stash, still running well too. The pic of the green one is fuzzy as the loco was in motion.

Week-ending 27th May 2023

In the aftermath of the Open Day there was a lot of tidying up to be done, ably led by TAFKATYS.

Rhobat made good progress with his Metcalfe engine shed.

Here’s a diesel interlude on ABB. On Tuesday Luke unpacked this Cl 122 single unit and newly delivered replacement P4 wheelset from Ultrascale. It took about 20 mins to change the wheels, most of which was taken up by trying to get the body back on. Then a plug-in DCC decoder was found and the fitted in a few more minutes allowing it to be tried on ABB. Testing was successful. Inspired by this, on Friday Al brought along his Cl 25, upgraded with P4 wheels quite a while ago, for a bit of running.

Friday saw the first of the LMJ baseboards going off to its new home in Cwmbrân. Mr Chairman has taken possession on one of the station area boards with the plan to create a mini-LMJ

Week-ending 21st May 2023

NMRS Open Day Sunday 21st

Here we are already to receive guests. For a full account of the day click   here.

With the signal box finished Rhobat has moved on to a stone built engine shed.

Meanwhile on Frecclesham improvements to the turnout drive mechanisms has meant changes to the camouflaging arrangements. The black shed has had to be raised so a set of steps are ready for painting. And a proposed grassy knoll has morphed into a pillbox.

Tracklaying is also progressing on Lyne Road.

Week-ending 14th May 2023

Not a great deal to report but  Rhobat has neared completion of his Metcalfe signal box kit. The steps are yet to be fixed properly but placed on ABB with a signalman it’s looking good.

Below Mr Chairman has made a start on a Ragstone Models 4 wheel coach kit. These were built by the Hull and Barnsley, sold to the Cardiff Railway, and will end up in the Workmans’ train on Pavilion End. It has many layers of etched brass to make up the body. Below is just the inner, inner shell.

Week-ending 7th May 2023

This Tuesdays Talks were pictures from various sources, with another occurrence of a member joining in from abroad. SteveB was on holiday in the Netherlands.

Over last weekend the conversation wandered into rack and pinion railways. Al said “I’ve got a model of one of those.” Here it is, from the Schöllenenbahn in Switzerland. And as you can see below it really has the pinion underneath.

Meanwhile he had been working on a Cambrian 6 wheel Full Brake.

Luke had been tempted by some of the on-line bargains available. Examining the chassis parts for the loco led to questions about using chassis jigs. Also work progressed with track laying on Lyne Road.

Week-ending 29th April 2023

With the club gearing up to get  Frecclesham to the Bristol Model Railway Exhibition at the end of the week there aren’t many pics to show (again) this week, other than Rhobat’s Signal Box.

The scenes are from Thursday when we were erecting the layout

A couple of pics from Thornbury showing us set up and running, though the second shot is remarkable as the operating crew of Ed, Luke and Morgan have an average age of 26.

And leaning on the barrier is Martin, one of the early members of the club.

There were some nice layouts there, top of the list being Copenhagen Fields, a magnum opus nearly 40 years in the making, seen to the right.

It is 2mm finescale with locos smaller than mice. What do you do when a train goes missing? Armed with a mirror on a long stick you have to look in tunnels and lift strategic buildings.

Next to us were the Cardiff 4mm group with Ynsybwl in EM gauge. There was plenty of exquisite detail, rotating signals and the Taff Vale railmotor seen on the left.

Also in EM and just behind us was Dewerstone, where you looked in over a high level track to the yard behind. An interesting concept.

In O gauge there were some nice Cambrian Railways models on Johnstown Road. The scene below provoked memories of the jetty at Aberdovey.

Week-ending 22nd April 2023

Monday, and five made it to the clubrooms. Not a lot to show in terms of pics, just this as LBH checked the ride height of the Rhymney wagons, The grey wagon has Bill Bedford sprung axle guards; the black one, some form Ambis. The grey  one has since received 1mm of plasticard packing under the floor.

This Tuesday’s Talk explored the efforts of influential locals to prompt the Barry Railway into providing a passenger service to Pontypridd. We moved on to talking about how the signalling, etc. on a hypothetical narrow gauge railway terminus on 1930’s Sussex (Luke’s Compton) might have been arranged. And then we discussed sourcing harpsichord strings (It’s very fine wire) to replicate signal cables in 4mm scale.

Friday and preparations and practice continued with Frecclesham prior to its showing at Thornbury next week, 

Elsewhere Mr Chairman was converting  (successfully)  his Dapol Sentinel to battery-power radio-control

Below is the Sentinel moving 3 wagons (just) using only a 3.7v battery. It was worth a try but we’re going to need more oomph.

Fred became reacquainted his Rhymney Railway GBV and Wagonman has started building a Cambrian Railways six-wheel passenger brake. The last two are both from the Taff Vale Models stable.

Away from the camera TAFKATYS has fun with a PAT machine, Andrew moved forward with his BLT and LBH is still making baby steps with the Rhymney wagons.

Week-ending 15th April 2023

Despite it being Easter Monday, or perhaps because it was, we had a fair turnout of half a dozen stalwarts.

Nevertheless the club photographer managed only one photograph, one showing Andrew’s progress with his OO layout Lyne Road. 

And by Tuesday the second board had appeared.

On Tuesday we only had three at the club, we’ve already seen what Andrew way doing. LBH was assembling the axleguards for the Rhymney wagons we saw last week.

Sam, though, took a step down the often slippery slope of trying an 7mm/ft wagon kit. Will he ever go back to N gauge? Come back and find out.

Six of us made it on Friday, we installed the backscene on Frecclesham, after which there was an opportunity to play trains. Among the locos on parade was Steve’s Adam’s radial and a BR(SR) E1 (the 4-4-0 at the back) that was 90% built by our late long-time Secretary, Tony Bennet, but sadly never quite finished. Originally intended for Hazelhurst TAFKATYS has completed it and now runs over the point work he built for Frecclesham.

As ever Wagonman has been busy, having completed a Maunsell Brake Composite from a Slater’s kit and made good progress on his ex-MR 0-4-4T.

Meanwhile LBH has acquired a 3D print of two of the Barnum and Bailey coaches that the Alexandra Docks and Railway acquired.

TAFKATYS has been busy painting figures to good effect. 

Finally a couple of videos, Mike G’s Britannia running of Barrow Road and a recently discovered clip from Railway Roundabout.

Week-ending 8th April 2023

Tuesday was a Zoom session which was well attended. The centre piece was a presentation from Luke on a proposed OO layout based on the ex-LSWR station in Botley. Other subjects discussed included Cambrian Railways wagon chassis, loco aesthetics in the Dean-Churchward transition, the ramshackle Engineers’ Dept. shunter at Broad Clyst (see below) and Romanian forest railways.

There is absolutely no sense of style in this shunter.

On Friday we finally got a shot of the completed Loriot wagon from Wagonman.

Meanwhile Bernie has been creating transfers for Rhymney Iron Co. wagons, ingeniously leaving voids where white text is required and applying them to  white-painted wagons. It’s now LBH’s job to add the undercarriages.

Week-ending 1st April 2023

Monday’s afternoon session was sparsely attended whereas Tuesday evening was busy.

Tuesday featured another full runthrough of Frecclesham with a few adjustments made and valuable experience gained.

Luke is making a start of a 7mm 2’6″ gauge Sentinel.

Luke has also been busy building NPCS and cattle wagons and weathering the to very good effect as can be seen here.

Also in the NPCS arena there are completed two newly completed horseboxes from the Wagonman stable, one in the Great Western’s 1912 crimson lake livery and the other in the 1930s shirt buttton style. Both fine models

There was also a completed GWR Loriot but unfortunately our lazy house photographer was too slow off the mark to snap it. Hopefully he’ll another opportunity one day.

Week-ending 25th March 2023

Monday at the clubrooms – another good turnout.

Rhobat is close to completing his Metcalfe goods shed, here posing for photos on ABB

Paul W has made good progress on the tender for his BR mogul (note the insulating brake shoes) and 

Don brought along a Dapol GWR  ‘Flying Banana” for a successful test run on Frecclesham.

Al made more progress with the Loriot wagon, with buffers tested in place and axleboxes fettled. Mike E is having a break from his ballast wagons and is working on a Sentinel shunter for the Radstock colliery.

Tuesday’s Talks brought us 12 random photos including an NMRS favourite, the mixed train. There was information on three Newport coal merchants and a discussion on a trip to the Welshpool and Llanfair railway.

By Friday we had a nearly full complement of stock on Frecclesham, so with a few substitutions we were able to run through a full timetable sequence. There were minor issues like a short circuit on a loco and coupling adjustments, but otherwise it all worked well. 

Week-ending 18th March 2023

All three sessions at the clubrooms this week. With Frecclesham due out at exhibition next, Tuesday we swapped its location in the layout room with ABB to enable us to test and fettle things.

ABB has not been forgotten though and Paul W has finished his work bedding the provender stores in and Luke has assembled some laser-cut terraced houses with a view to revamping the area behind the station building.

Andrew is making good progress with the planning of his OO branch line terminus, working title Lyne Road and LBH has finally got some wheels under ADR 14. It more or less successfully passes the freewheel down a slope test in the lower picture.

Most of Tuesday evening’s session involved swopping over the two layouts so that we can test and prepare Frecclesham for its outing to the Bristol Show at Thornbury.

ABB went into the corridor

Then Frecclesham into the layout room.

Finally ABB into the workroom. Being shorter then Frecclesham it is easier to wrangle into place

Meanwhile The Chairman has started work on another etch of the Dingham couplings in 7mm. They are at least easier than the 4mm variety. These have to be chemically blackened. Painting them will stop the flappy bits flapping.

Week-ending 11th March 2023

Al makes further progress with the Loriot wagon while he continues to live up to the title Wagonman. The pair pictured above are recently finished. The 5 plank is from a bargain kit bought at the Kettering Show last Saturday and already completed!

The improved location of the provender store has raised it up somewhat, so the steps need an extra tread.

Below we have a familiar problem, we’ve all been there. “next fit the gubbins”. You cut the gubbins out about 10 minutes ago and now you can’t find it.

Below we see LBH’s workspace at the Missenden Modellers weekend. Note that the work tray has slid back from the table edge, and it was moving back the whole time. So Paul has screwed a batten to the lower edge to catch on the table edge and keep it stable.


Baby steps. LBH made a little progress on No 14’s sandboxes and and even less ob the toolboxes. TBH he was a but afeared of the sanding linkage (the microscopic bits of brass under the loco). He’ll try again next week.

Steve N brought along his latest delivery, one of the early GW railcars with the streamlined bodies from the Dapol stable. It caused some consternation when it could not run the length of Frecclesham, but this was found to be due to an electrical fault on the track which was solved with the aggressive use of a slitting disc

Also present on Friday was the rapid-build wagon from Monday now painted and with transfers. And the chassis for the horse box too has progressed through the paint shop.

Also on show were these two Terriers, also from Dapol. Charming little engines and great value for money.

Below is the start of a layout by new member Ed. Obviously a minimum space idea with the area in the foreground being for a harbour.

Week-ending 4th March 2023

From Monday’s meeting we have the area under the provender store now starting to blend in. Meanwhile Rhobat’s goods shed is getting up to roof level.

Mike E has started on the ballast brake van to go with the ballast train.

By coincidence both Wagonman and LBH were working on Taff Vale Models’ kits for TVR wagons. Wagonman has yet another kit come off the top of the pile in storage, this time something quite a bit different. And LBH spent much of both Monday and Tuesday drilling out the adjustment holes on the pushrods for an Iron Van. 

Otherwise there wasn’t much to show for Tuesday’s efforts…

However on Friday Luke brought along the collection of vans, now painted with buffer heights adjusted. There was a discussion on final roof colour for the cattle vans.

Andrew J has been planning his new OO layout and with ideas firmed up LBH used Templot to draw up and print out the plan. On A4 sheets. Lots of them.

They were laid out on the baseboards and some ABB stock commandeered to see if it would work. By the end of the evening the sheets had been trimmed and taped together into a whole. The provisional name for this layout is Lyne Road, which is a street a few hundred yards away that has historic connections to the club.

LBH was away at the Missenden Abbey Railway Modellers’ Weekend and worked on a model of Alexandra Docks and Railway No. 14, based on the Malcolm Mitchell GWR 517 kit, The two photos are from end of play on Friday and Sunday respectively. 

Week-ending 25th February 2023

Monday’s meeting had a fair turnout, with six of us in attendance 

Paul W made good progress with the foundations for the provender store

And Andrew N has done some work installing the facing point locks, including treadle bars, on ABB

With a signal box under his belt Rhobat has moved on to a Goods shed, again from a Metcalfe kit.

The task of fitting Dingham couplers to the stock on ABB continues. The GW van provided an extra challenge as it had Dean and Churchward brakes.

As you can see from the left picture the cross shaft is in the way of the coupling and in fact has been broken at one end. The piece of rod is stuck to the BluTac in the centre ready for replacement. 

With repairs done the couplings can be Araldited in place. The two gauges support the hooks at the correct height while the glue sets. Note that the right hand hook is also spot-on for position, being slightly behind the buffer faces.

Tuesday’s Zoom meeting was very well attended (good to see again, Julian) with eleven online. The main focus was discussions on potential designs for modules for the proposed Gauge O Guild modular layout, suggestions ranged from the Cromford and High Peak, St Mary’s Halt crossing, Halesworth, and (ridiculously) Pitwood sidings, which were situated on Cardiff Road in Newport. And Stephen B showed us a fascinating variety of images including  PO wagons in unusual locations.

Week-ending 18th February 2023

Monday saw a goodly number of people again, though maybe not too much for the camera

However LBH at last (after two false starts) managed to exhume the superb M-set that Mike G build to run on LMJ, hopefully with a modicum of fettling it’ll see service on ABB soon. Paul W’s progress setting the Provender store can also be seen.

The ballast train continues to lengthen and now has three different styles of wagons.

Four members attended on Tuesday with the horse box just waiting for buffers and then off to the paint shop.

Friday was busy with nine present but unfortunately no pictures. There was further interesting discussion on the Gauge O Guild’s modular testtrack project.

Week-ending 11th February 2023

This Monday’s session was again well attended, but most of the work avoided the camera.

However, we can see Al continuing with the detailing on the horsebox

and LBH found another south Wales iron van to work on, this time TVR 

This Tuesday’s Talk was by Luke who presented a real location as a possible scenario for a new layout. This was in Plymouth where the WR and SR are very close and connected. We have a lot of stock that would be suitable, which is a good start. Some sketching and planning is now needed.

Friday’s meeting was sparsely attended with three making it to the clubrooms and the club photographer only managing a singe image. And it’s a case of spot the difference from Monday – but LBH assures us that those hinges really do take an age.

Saturday and Bwthyn y Rhosod has been erected in Monmouth ready for tomorrow’s exhibition 

Week-ending 4th February 2023

From another productive Monday session we have the provender store now located on all six of its pegs, with some ground to made up around the other legs. The signal box has the interior fitted – note the rug on the floor.

I think the photo to the right counts as homework for Paul S as he started on the pit-props on Monday and this is the result from home on Tuesday. The wagon was a lockdown project for him.

Below we see a further ballast wagon for the S&D from Mike E. He’s keeping the pace up well.

Luke has been productive. From his long term storage come these vans for ABB that he’s been building. There were these 6 on Tuesday and by Friday there was another cattle wagon. All bar one ran successful trials through the pointwork.

Below is an eBay purchase from Stephen B. Well, actually it’s two purchases that have had the best bits put together into this one 4-6-0. I dare say the remaining parts will be made into something,  er . . . interesting. (see 16th Dec last year)

There are also 3 reasonably priced box cars too.

On Friday Steve N brought his full LNWR passenger train to see how it fitted on his layout Y Faenor. It was a visual as well as an operational check, and was good on both. However, full LNWR passenger livery for the coaches will be a challenge.

Then on Crindau Pill, also in Scale7, the water tower has a new tank on the top. This is basically the same design but a superior 3D printed version.

And the GWR horse box makes further progress with the roof being bent to shape later in the evening after this shot. This is the 3-arc roof, so that’s a sharp bend, a smooth bend and another sharp bend which, even with roller bars, is a tricky operation.

Week-ending 28th January 2023

Yet another busy Monday afternoon. Honing his modelling skills, Rhobat is building the Metcalfe small signal box as seen above. The interior was featured in a previous week.

Then Andrew N has applied a facing point lock and fouling bar to one of the turnouts on ABB. It was very detailed and fiddly work, though we didn’t hear much swearing. We will see if the glue is good enough next week.

Paul W fabricated a drawbar beam for his 78xxx, after doing some work on ABB.

Al has unearthed another kit from The Stash, this time an early-ish GW horse box, and making rapid progress. 

And Mike E is extending the rake of PW hoppers.

Tuesday and Friday the chassis to the right had some time. It’s from a High Level kit and is for a Bachmann Pannier tank. It needs attention to the pick ups and a chip added. 

The body also will have some work with couplings added, fixing for the chassis enhanced and cab roof smoothed.

Then it’ll feature on ABB.

LBH started work on yet another Iron Mink van, though this one is the Taff Vale variety.

Week-ending 21st January 2023

Monday daytime opening was again a success this week so it looks like it’ll be a permanent feature.

Amongst the work in progress we have from Mike E a Herring ballast wagon in 4mm, part of an engineering train for his S&D layout. With a 7F 2-8-0 front and rear this should look impressive.

Still in 4mm, Paul W is working on ABB’s provender store to locate it properly giving clearance for the stock in the siding behind. The rear support leg of the building will go over the cocktail stick.

Up to 7mm scale where TAFKATYS is putting together some view-blocking cottages for his layout Y Faenor. The basic carcasses will need detailing and a start has been made with the lovely laser cut shop front on the farther building.

Tuesday night was Zoom night and we were treated to a couple of mixed bags of images and a view of the Penicuik branch (in Midlothian, if you, like me didn’t know).

Week-ending 14th January 2023


On Monday we tried an afternoon meeting as an extra session to see how many were interested. And we were crowded out and had to have activity in the corridor. SUCCESS!

The daytime opening proved convenient to Rhobat, whom we hadn’t seen at the clubroom for too long. He busied himself producing this signal box interior, while Paul W eventually found some bench space to continue working on his BR mogul. 

Then on Tuesday evening a smaller group attended. Al continued apace with the Johnson 1P tank. The back of the loco is being pushed down as the bogie spring is very strong. By the end of the evening the boiler was test fitted in place and chimney etc. tried on top of the boiler. Meanwhile on the 7mm 4-wheeled workmen’s coach the piping for the gas lighting has been added.

Week-ending 7th January 2023

Happy New Year – Blwyddyn Newydd Dda to all our readers 

Tuesday’s meeting was on Zoom and we were treated to a variety of presentations – the story behind a ticket, a GWR return from Merthyr to Cardiff with a confusing array of different possible routes; a bit more on coastal shipping and a few random industrial pics.

Friday LBH trialled some prototype magnetic couplings on some recently acquired four-wheeled B&MR coaches.

Luke has completed the replacement for the mock up signal box on ABB.

And Mr Chairman added brake gear to the ongoing 4mm ex LNER cattle wagon project

December 2022

To see what we did in December look here: Late 2022

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