News

Into 2021

News from members about their projects as 2021 begins -

This pair of plate wagons feature in our Gallery Album '2021 January' with extended captions describing their painting.

An SR /LBSCR station and a coal wagon from our end of Kent are two of the projects we've heard about.

Barry K, “To keep me amused during these times, I thought that I would have a go at my first brass kit and picked on a big diesel. Talk about diving in at the deep end.  It is a class 67 in Colas livery which, in itself, will be quite a challenging operation looking at the different colours involved.  Another reason for the choice is that it is still in service .... Number 67027 and named ‘Charlotte’.  Wish me luck…...I managed to get some progress today as I unmasked my latest project.”

Mick & Sue H (resident in France), “We had a white Christmas, hardly surprising as we are at 600 metres altitude, but it had started melting before I could take any decent photos. We are due more snow overnight so I might be lucky.      We came out of our lockdown (confinement) on 15th December but now have an 8pm curfew instead. We manage to include a walk to our local shops and supermarket as part of our regime, as well as keeping busy chopping wood and splitting logs for our wood burner ....      Keep warm, keep safe.”

Geoffrey R, “After our first visit to South Africa, small Garretts fascinated me.  Subsequently a visit to Bressingham where I saw the only remaining small standard gauge industrial Garrett, I started to scratch build an early K4 narrow gauge 610mm ( 2foot ) in 7mm scale.  I managed to get a very early card kit partly made as a start.  It was too frail, so using part as a template set about construction; powered now by two Hornby power units.  Its 80% done.”  

Fred C, “When the auction for locomotives was over, I found that my modest offers had been accepted....   The little GER No 273 class J69 0-6-0T was never going to run without major surgery.  I decided to use it on my diorama as a scrapped locomotive waiting for a preservation group to collect as so many were at the end of the steam days of the BR.  The first thing that I did was to remove all the untidy electrical bits from underneath and to remove the old motor....  Then I removed the GER lettering and numbers to convert it to BR livery.   After researching rusted locos on-line, I got to work with my air brush and layered up the rust paint work to make it as convincing as I could.  The next stage was to try to emulate hand painted reserved and sold signs, similar to those seen at the Barry scrap yard ....  I first of all wrote the words using a white colouring pencil and then carefully over painted with a very fine brush.”

David G, “….. a First Class kit.  I obtained their Bogie Bolster C (‘I can resist anything except temptation’ as per Oscar Wilde). The design appeared in 1948, 45 ft long with a 30-ton capacity and 100s built..... First Class supplies everything required for an unfitted version, including wheels and even transfers.  The kit is well designed, although there are a lot of long strips of brass to fold lengthwise.  I was surprised by the provision of ball race bearings for the blackened wheels – it is hard to stop the wagon rolling away!"

David Ho., “My layout -Southbrook.  I have imagined a small fictitious village situated on the LBSCR.  The station building is a slightly modified kit from Laser Cut Model Railways.  I still have a bit more work to do on it, fitting downpipes from the gutters, and I am scratch building a gentlemen’s toilet extension which will attach to one end.”

John B, “News from the Faversham & Maidstone Junction Railway - With no trains running, there is not a great deal of news.  But we who are still working have been plodding on with a few jobs.  Loco Dept: The latest Terrier has undergone a ‘Fitness to Run’ test and, apart from a minor repair, has passed with flying colours.  Carriage & Wagon Dept: almost completed the ex-LMS parcels van.  My SR PMV has also completed its overhaul, and is also in the paint shop for its green livery.  S&T and Track gangs have been doing their usual checks, and, apart from minor repairs, it has been a very quiet autumn and winter so far.      I have been doing a few jobs at the miniature railway at Brogdale.  We have managed to acquire some more sleepers for the track renewals, and also for making up track panels ready for the New Year.”

Tim S,  “Green Leaf Brewery #2  -  Since losing my railway room I’ve been forced to relocate up to my study.  While a setback, this has allowed me to rethink Green Leaf a bit.  The basic concept is the same but I’m using White Rose baseboards now.  The layout expands from 320cm by 80cm to 540cm by 75cm and at one end forming an ‘L’ will be another baseboard 180cm by 75cm.  Essentially, I’m gaining a lot of space, partly for some kind of fiddle yard, partly for scenic.  The ‘L’ part will be entirely 0.16.5 ‘o’ narrow gauge.  I’ve included some photos of my first attempt at a NG loco.  Based on a Hornby ‘Smokey Joe’ chassis the body is a Smallbrook ‘Thor’ kit with a lot of added cab and body detail.  It is fitted with DCC sound and immersive driving and is a lovely runner.  I intend to have sections of dual gauge track running the whole length of the base boards.”

John Mi, “Some progress with models that have been kicking around for years:  Firstly, a little double framed goods that has been in gestation for ages - freelance and concocted around some Slaters 4F tender wheels, an LNWR Webb tender body and an SER Kits resin 01 boiler.  A good afternoon’s work on this in the shed, helped by being kept indoors by some atrocious weather.  Still very much an early stage, just loosely assembled and a long way to go but the general impression of how it might look is there.  I made the smokebox wrapper about 5 or six years back when David G kindly lent me a rivet press.  Inside frames now fettled and more or less right, smokebox saddle done (needs a big sandbox each side of the smokebox), basic cab done and boiler mountings taking shape.  Chimney was a solid casting and boring it out was a fretful business!”

Paul W, “Slow progress over the last few months.  All those polystyrene packing blocks .... diligently saved over the years have now been transformed into the Welsh hillside.  Built up in layers and carved to shape with a 12” hacksaw blade to form the base for the hillside into which the tunnel disappears.  Lots of hoovering up of the small polystyrene balls that get everywhere during this process!      This has then been overlayed with 2 layers of Modroc to give a surface for the landscaping.  The first layer was laid onto the surface of the polystyrene which had been wetted with a watered-down coating of PVA glue to aid adhesion.  The second layer was then immediately laid on and wetted with water to which some brown water colour had been added in order to take some of the whiteness off the plaster, this then being stippled with the brush to bind the two layers.  This process having to be done quickly as the plaster has a very short setting time, not sure if this is a result of the plaster being past its best.  Drying out then takes several days.  The resultant surface is solid, but the weave of the fabric is evident in many places so may need to go over it with a slurry of Polyfilla before it is ready for the final landscaping.  I found some tree bark off a dead weeping willow that makes a passable rock face, but it may need a bit of colouring and weathering to blend it in."

Autumn 2020

December 2020

David Ho. and Roger H have been working on projects: a BR(S) station and rolling stock.  More photos in our Gallery pages.

December 2020

Simon Curtis has told us of Colin's death.  A long term member of EKOGG, Colin Curtis had been the Guild's Area Rep. for the South-East and had served as Secretary at one time.  Members may well remember Colin at shows with the GOG Stand, often with Tiny M or one of us and remember his sense of fun.  We often had him with us at The Barn, where he is pictured with his Order of Merit award from GOG. 

Home modelling - November 2020

EKOGG modellers are active at home during this lockdown.  David Ho. has been working on structures for his station and adding lighting to the buildings.  More photos to view in our Gallery.

Another layout that is lit at night is Friars Lane Depot, Barry K's latest layout.  Our Gallery contains views of its motive power.

Do keep us up to date with your projects.  We've heard that John D, who models narrow gauge and small industrials which run on O track, is well into constructing a Lister loco of the sort used in small factories and even by some watercress growers, if I remember rightly.  Paul W is ankle deep in polystyrene snow as he builds landscapes, and David G has turned out an A12 in Southern 'Sunshine' livery.

November 4th 2020

Another pre-pausing meeting, this time with small groups at either end of the hall and the Circuit between.  Several locos ran, including Fred's LMS jack-shaft diesel.  Chris shewed his SECR goods shed, which is awaiting custom made windows.  High capacity wagons and a parcels van were being constructed at either end of a table, while on the next table, a set of shock-van parts were being laboriously matched to drawings.  Others inspected suspect wiring in an 4-4-0 loco.  On three freshly constructed base-boards, full size track plans for our new station were being positioned.  We said our good-byes in the bright sun of a chilly day, hoping to meet up in mid-December.

Home projects continue: This is Fred C's diorama.     More of Fred's photos in our Gallery pages.

October 24th      Saturday sessions for Sixes    RM

At change over time, the morning shift were cleaning and stowing equipment.  They’d talked of DCC and how we’re one of  few GOG clubs keeping active.  Paul H had been productive, with a group of small figures that he’d painted – one even had a taxi awaiting him.  Paul W must have been in celebratory mood as he ran a smart GWR auto-coach and 14xx tank engine.  Later a pair of blue salt wagon joined the loco.  Celebrations were certainly due as he’d virtually finished the new baseboards and track laying is being planned. 

With several people having to cry off for sessions, we ended with a very select group during the afternoon.  John B reckoned that the SR coaches that I’d unearthed looked like CCW products.  They had suffered over time and will need some fettling.  With an O2 loco they looked pleasing.  A parcels train was taking shape on John B’s table, as he searched through bags of fittings.  We tidied at the sessions end and drove off into the rain – remarkedly similar to that in which we’d arrived.

October 20th & 21st      Sessions for 6s     RM

The 20th had the committee discussing future sessions and what to include, while trains circled in the background.  John B started with a small diesel towing a SR utility and van on the outer track, as Paul H ran a GWR freight on the inner.  With muted DCC, the GWR 63xx Mogul, lived up to its prototype; quiet and smooth running.

The 21st was Pannier Tank Day - well a fair number had come in, out of the rain.  I think there were four, including Geoff’s with the bulbous spark-arrestor, used when working in flammable factories, and Tim’s in London Transport colours.  As is fast becoming a tradition, Paul W was inside the Circuit beavering away preparing supports for our new station and deciding whether to adapt existing legs or go for fresh woodwork.  My old Terrier was having gear meshing troubles, but two SR carriages I’d discovered in the far recesses of my loft, seemed happier.  Fred’s freight train was well behaved behind his and others’ locos.

Sound was in action with the Minerva tank engine that Chris had hauling his SECR open wagons.  Chris M had the plans for his Margate Sands goods shed; a standard SECR design which he is carefully shortening.  Our DCC controller was used by Tim as well, when he took time away from the narrow-gauge saddle tank he’s assembling for his growing industrial layout.  Geoff, with some crimson and cream stock on his table, said he was glad that we’d kept going even, as Fred added, small numbers meant some loss of the “old feeling”.      

In the News    -    Roger H spotted a familiar model in November's BRM.  

It was an electricity substation made by our very own Colin S.   [photo: Ross S]

October 7th 2020      Second meeting under fresh conditions.      Rob M     [photos: RM. Other autumn photes by RS in Gallery]

The six of us saw plenty of trains on the Circuit, with Fred’s GWR King George III leading the way.  Meanwhile a SR Q1 was being trialled by David Ho. with an ever-increasing line of vans, coal wagons and milk tankers joining on behind.  My Terrier followed with a pair of pristine 3 plank wagons.  As soon as Paul had fitted a connector, Chris M was in action with the Group’s DCC controller as Paul W leafed through the instruction book.  Once the R1 class tank engine’s number was keyed in, there was movement and a page or so later sound.  Chris investigated numerous codes and instructions for locos over the next quarter hour.

Windows opened, and suitably spaced at tables left ready for us by the previous day's group, we had a productive day. Aluminium carriages were drilled and prepared for painting, John P carried out scenic work, rolling stock was checked and tested and a white metal tram readied for assembly.  Paul glued stiffeners into the three new baseboards that he’s been constructing since our return.

As this session ended, we cleaned and packed, and wended our ways. It had been good to chat and continue modelling together.  

October     Modelling at home      Stuart is keeping us up to date with his modelling.     -      Do send us your photos.

Needing another Cambrian carriage to go with that which won our Competition, Stuart built, painted and lettered a Branchlines kit for a Taff Vale 4-wheeler.  Look in the Gallery for more of his varied projects. [photo: Roger H]

October 6th 2020      EKOGG back on Track        [photo David G]

September 29th 2020 

We are lucky to have arranged for additional meetings during October, after the pause to cope with changing regulations.  So, EKOGG can offer six sessions during the month: four on weekdays, and two on a Saturday, with an afternoon session following an earlier morning one.  Each meeting will be for five people, plus a key holding committee member.  I will be contacting you all to offer places on a rota, keeping it as fair as possible.  Those who attend will have to share the chores of setting out or clearing the hall, plus cleaning down.

Hopefully, I’ll be seeing you at some time during the month, if our rotas coincide.  Wishing you and yours well, Rob M

10th September:  We have cancelled all meetings until further notice. In the light of the Government’s statement about numbers of people permitted to be together in this phase of the Covid 19 outbreak, there will be no EKOGG sessions for the remainder of September.  We and those who run the Hall, and keep it safe for us, will have time to consider how they’d like to act.  Obviously, this is a great disappointment and we are loath to cease sessions, especially after our latest enjoyable, and safe, gatherings.  However, we’re receiving ideas from some members and plan to continue in some form as soon as possible.

2nd September 2020   Wednesday at Badlesmere    “Show & Tell – Lockdown Projects”   Rob M

A great sweep of tables around the hall shewed our modelling projects.  A varied selection of ‘Bring & Buy’ items were traded from the ends of tables.  Modelling was quietly continuing at the rear of several displays.  Jim P, John D and Steve S returned to the fold today, and two visitors were introduced by Geoff. 

At noon, we heard about the projects.  From behind an impressive range of models, David G showed the diners in his twelve wheeled restaurant car, an iconic S&DJR 2-8-0, and a Class 24.  Fred’s table was fronted by an engineer’s train behind a Dapol 14xx.  David Ho. displayed a tin platform store in SR colours.  That was from a resin kit, but he also had laser-cut models ready to assemble.  Production of Edwardian strollers and adding others to a backscene was Chris M’s theme.  Steve showed an early BR diesel, in the D25xx series, which he’d assembled from an old and quirky kit.  Geoff, brought along a Pullman he’d made some years back for the late Roy Chambers. 

John D brought a Lynton & Barnstaple open wagons; others are being given added detail by him.  John B had a selection of stock from his light railway; some of it adapted from pre-owned items and kits.  From behind ‘Bring & Buy’ boxes, Roger described some of his ‘modern’ stock, as well as a ‘special’ tanker for a well-known aerosol paint.  Tim had been productive during Lockdown, assembling an 0-4-0t loco, a grain hopper and an insulated van for his brewery layout.  A gleaming SR liveried H16 4-6-2t was shewn by Jim P.  Mike’s creosote and sleeper depot now has a pressure vessel with a working hatch.  Ross brought us up to date with news of the diesel and wagons he’s made for the Tenterden Museum.  I finished ‘Show & Tell’ with PO wagons loaded with glittering coal.

Later there were chances to inspect locos, wagons, carriages and station buildings, and to learn more tips from the builder’s own facemasks.  Tim, Mike and the Committee packed away, after the other eight members had disinfected and cleaned down.  Many thanks to all who spoke, helped and made it an enjoyable session.     [photo: Projects on David G's table / Rob's loaded coal wagons.  See the Gallery for more.]

2020 Summer

Saturday trial meeting 22nd  August                       Rob M

It was good to see John J and Bill R drop in making 10 attending.  With the Circuit and tables ready for us, it wasn’t long before I’ had a mixed train moving behind a BR(S) O2.  Paul H, our District Rep, ran a gleaming GWR Warwick Castle, which he plans to fit with a DCC chip.  John B arrived with models to work on and a SR Terrier to pull his freight train.  Next, the diners arrived; Paul W and David Ho. wending their way across the Lees. 

D2861 in BR green, built by Roger, took to the rails with Lowmacs and a Dancehall brake van behind it.  (It wasn't actually carrying a sanitiser spray and paper towels for the controller, as it may appear in the photo.)  Luckily, he had brought a DCC controller, as the next arrival was Tim with his little apple green loco.  With an occasional whistle, this 0-4-0t pottered around, gently puffing.  Paul W, constructing our new baseboards, stopped to watch, then produced his Split Headcode Class 37 in BR green, which made an impressive sight on a freight.  The GWR returned to the Circuit with Bill’s tender loco being checked and tested.

David Ho. lit the grain of wheat bulbs he’s put into lamp-standards.  On the next table, David G constructed stock.  John B and Paul H had chosen tables next to windows for their work, both giving finger-powered runs to underframes during the afternoon.  Members liked having the ring of tables, and as Paul H said, our Circuit is the icing on the cake for all who attend.  After a friendly and productive session, our team cleaned down surfaces and packed everything away soon after 16.00, Paul W making sure the hall was secured.

Waiting on the doorstep was Tim with his first kit-built loco to show, closely followed by Paul W lugging a new baseboard section.  This time we positioned the Circuit overlapping the stage, to find if that would give more room to play with.  Again, we had eleven attending.

GWR and Western Region stock was soon running, besides Light Railway trains.  Geoff’s shunter later joined Fred and John B’s models, as did Roger’s “Yellow Peril” industrial diesel.  Built on a Lima powered-bogie, it could slowly circle, but, if sharing a line, rapidly tried to overtake.  Once more, Paul W’s worksite was the centre of the Circuit.  The new baseboard was given a zig-zag of stiffening, and later we saw temporary legs being fitted.

Chris M examined the track plans while waiting for little figures to dry.  The Edwardian people had been given grey undercoats and were now gaining colours from acrylic paints.  John B and Geoff’s table had several items of rolling stock being worked on, along with a BR(S) M7.  A pair of high capacity modern opens were being assembled on the next table.  Lamppost production continued, as David Ho. planned to fettle a baseboard from Sarre at future sessions.

Mike P appeared with part of his creosote depot to work at: the drill-shop for track sleepers.  He is hoping to enter it for the Gauge O Guild’s “Virtual Show” in the autumn, so keep an eye open for it.  I’d found a few more pieces in my box of bits, so was adapting them to provide brake gear for an 8 plank wagon.  David G used bending-bars for a short carriage, while reporting on the funeral service for Les, where he’d represented our Group.

August 5th      Post Lockdown Trial Meeting     RM      [Photos - Ross S] & Rob M]

Eleven members donned their masks on August 5th and ventured to Badlesmere, and were greeted by a short train of Welsh stock pottering around our tracks.  Sitting on the shady grass, I saw most of the arrivals before they sanitized hands, at the door, and checked in with Roger.  Equipped with drink and food, plus small space modelling projects, they took a place on well distanced tables.

Small Edwardian ladies were being readied for the Margate seaside by Chris M (I guess they’d have more space than post-lockdown crowds.).  Area Rep, Paul H brought a steam railmotor to work on, and was discussing his battles with the driving bogie with David G, who was laboriously folding the floor of a bolster.  As others fettled stock, David Ho. produced a row of platform lampstands. Geoff dropped by, after lunch, to see how we were getting on.

In splendid isolation, Paul W worked on new baseboard sections, in the centre of circling locos and short trains.  Weathered coal- hoppers were propelled by a matching grimy 08 of Fred’s, with John B’s light railway stock on the second track.  Ross hitched his latest pair of wagons to my saddle tank to check their running.

The previous day, our Committee opened every door and window, before setting out tables and the Circuit under the watchful eye of Ian, the hall manager, who showed us the sterilizer auto-dispenser and all the measures installed for protection.  He told us that the roadworks were expected to end soon, along with the deserted roads.  Those wishing to dine at the Red Lion must book a place by phoning beforehand.

It was good to talk to other modellers and see what they were making.  We felt that the session had worked well and welcome feedback from members.

Photos: 1 John B at his modelling station; 2 Ross hitches his wagons to Rob's loco and brake van; 3 Modelling tables.