June into Summer 2021

July 24th   -   Saturday Afternoon

Roger and John B were being industrious on ‘Sarre’ when I arrived.  The platform ramp had been positioned and John was drilling holes for the nameboard and fence posts.  Roger re-instated the gate and boundary fence to allow for the ‘round tin hut’, then raised the ground level there.  Hedging and shrubs were being sorted.  John’s diesel mechanical and Roger’s brake vans were ready to assist.

Tim and I brought our own projects to the worktables.  I checked through an old kit’s parts for a BR shock van, then smoothed and prepared pieces.  Tim continued the tidy of the storeroom by checking the innards of the refreshment boxes, then condemning contents.  Tim then produced coffee stirrers which he stuck to the sides of 4“ high half-cylinders.  These will be vats in his brewery complex.  You may be able to glimpse them through doors and windows, when installed.   As usual, our chat ranged far and wide; from being in Tyne Yard watching Clayton 17s hump shunting, through working at Hoo Junction, to a cab ride at Longmoor Military Railway, and Eastern Europe.

July 21st  -  Trains were circling track, models being made and layout work in progress.  EKOGG was back in action. 

Harvest was in full swing too when we resumed our regular meeting pattern.  Paul W, Roger H, John B, John P and Fred C opened doors and windows, then set out tables and readied the Circuit.  On our ‘Sarre’ layout, progress towards creating more of a light railway feeling was well in hand.  Both Johns and Roger made space next to the water tank by shortening the platform.  They then slimmed the platform and prepared to install a new ramp.  Bushes and scenics were salvaged along the way.

David G’s green Class 24 was early off the mark; later joined by a blue Class 50.  These paralleled Fred’s GWR Castle and railcar at times.  John P ran an ex-Cambrian saddle tank in GWR livery.  The south-east’s pre-grouping colours were seen on locos that Chris M brought.  Paul eventually coupled crimson and cream carriages to run behind a split-headcode Class 37.  John B and Bill R added a Terrier and Pannier, so the Circuit had constant use.   Geoff R displayed a range of Southern locos: M7, B4 and others including 3-rail tender locos.  While working or dining, we heard members’ news and shared magazines and info packs for reading or taking home.

July 7th   -  We met in the open air at Badlesmere, but the drizzle at midday sent most of us under cover for lunch. 

At various times, we saw 14 members.  Tables were on the grass, where models were shown and some model making took place.  Roger got his troops to move storage boxes off the shelves and out for sorting.  Extension cables were given their own crate.  The boxes we take out with exhibition layouts were also being tidied and lightened.  David Ho. went through heaps of smaller electrics; those to keep, some to bin, other for sale.  John B waded through bags of scatter materials and kilos of ballast.  We hope to sell many of those to members, along with plastic card building sheets and strips. 

Fred displayed his diorama and a weathered train of hopper wagons.  He also had a large copper-capped loco which he is fettling.  Richard shewed an impressive selection of his horse-drawn carts.  One of Geoff’s lockdown projects was a BR / LSWR M7 which he brought along with Alice, an industrial Peckett.  Chris was threading chairs onto rail ready to go on his bridge's deck.  Narrow-gauge locos had accompanied Tim, away from their brewery, to be displayed with some rolling-stock.  John J is taking one of his lines into the garden, and had photos of the raised track, which is demountable for winter.

The new station’s baseboard sections are ready.  Paul W and his gofers attached the final folding leg, then joined that section with the previous pair.  The three sections seem light and certainly were easy to disassemble and stow away.  Great progress.  You’ll be able to assist with making this station. 

June 2nd was EKOGG's first meeting after nine months of Lockdown.    R M

We met in the open air for a combined 'Show & Tell' and 'Bring & Buy'.  In all sixteen members arrived, by bus and car, to find that Roger H, David G and Paul W had set out a ring of tables, on the edge of the shade outside the village hall.  Keeping suitably spaced, we inspected newly made models, had a good chat, and looked at the sales items and give away magazines.  We ate our picnic lunches in brilliant sunshine, a light breeze keeping us comfortable, amid a buzz of banter.  It was great to catch up with each other's news and see so many models displayed.  [More photos in our Gallery section.]  We've now seen Barry K's Colas 67027 in its splendid livery and heard about Fred C's weathering,"The BR ex GWR mogul was bought probably on my first visit to Badlesmere...  The weathering process that I use combines MIG washes and airbrushing with quite a lot of wiping and smudging to achieve the effect that I am after."

June 16th   Check on store and layouts    -   Small planning group.   RM

Paul bagged the cool shade outside the hall for his work bench and was already adding folding legs to the new station’s baseboards.  Inside the hall, with plenty of windows open, the temperature was reasonable.  David and Roger were close on my heels, with John B arriving, as Ross couldn’t make it.  Our check of the storeroom was swift, as the main result of Lockdown was dust and cobwebs.  We puzzled over the contents of boxes and where they were stacked, before getting down to inspecting the layouts.

         Sarre came out to be assembled on tables, Roger making noting parts that had suffered, as he moved along the baseboards.  Powered up, the track was tested by a very free running bogie bolster, and an 0-6-0t of David’s, a couple of parts having suffered.  Having vacuumed, I sat back to get an over all feeling of the layout’s appearance as we discussed tweaks to enhance the feel of a Colonel Stephens line, including the iconic circular tin hut made by Colin S.  We joined Paul in the shade for lunch.

          Back inside, Edington now occupied the tables, the loco finding glitches with a couple of points.  We all worked along the sections, noting places where paint had flaked and platform slopes needed improving.  Vegetation appears to be feeling tired, so we hope to strip some back, then re-seed it for the local Somerset habitat.  Meanwhile, Paul being satisfied with the progress of his woodwork, we stowed all the layout sections.

A good day’s work, but how we wished to get back to real meetings.

Spring 2021

May 2021 -  After the months of keeping in contact through our essential Newsletter, Website and WhatsApp, the Committee met with Ian E. in the Hall on May 19th.  Ian was happy with our arrangements for meetings, when they are permitted.  The procedures we need to follow are as before and are listed on our website.

Wednesday, June 2nd is the Outdoor ‘Show & Tell’ combined with a ‘Bring & Buy’, from 10.30.  I’m looking forward to see you and models that you’ve made or are working on.  We’ll need have a masks and remember distancing.  Bring drinks and maybe a packed lunch.   Hand sanitiser and toilets will be available in the hall.  Hope for fine weather.

If you have a box of unwanted parts, kits, models, etc. they can go on your table too.  (I’d better put some coins in my pocket in case of magazines to buy.)  There should be a short length of test track available.

All being well, full meetings will begin on Wednesdays July 7th and 21st from 10.30 until 14.30.  Our first Saturday session is July 24th at the new time of 14.00 until 16.45.  Some members lunch across ‘The Green’ at the Red Lion from noon.

Remember early 2020 and our 'Bring & Buy' days? - photo Ross S

A working party of committee and other members will be looking at the condition of our layouts during June, to draw up a list of essential refurbishments.  We want to ready “Edington Jct.” for the 2022 Warley Show, enable “Sarre” to be frequently used at meetings, and develop the station to fit the Circuit and have Continuous Running Sessions.  

Committee member, Ross S, has completed the Snailbeach wagons in 7mm ng for the Colonel Stephens Museum at Tenterden. The display track in not quite finished, as Ross says that it needs to be a bit more over grown.

Both our Secretary and Treasurer have photos of their models featured with our article in May's Guild News  - and in colour too.

Our members' newsletter contains articles by John B, featuring buses that serve his light railway layout; Fred C, on making your own transfers, and more.  Joining our group will add you to our mailing list.

We plan to see models made over the 'Lockdowns' by our friends.  Maybe we will see more of Richard B's horses, or new locos, such as made by David G.

We have been informed that the East Sussex's show at Pett village is postponed until 2022.

Into 2021

'Southbrook Station' now has a goods shed and office as David Ho. continues construction.


John B. is keeping us up to date with his light railway via our monthly members' newsletter.

A new r-t-r cream and carmine railcar (ex-GWR) has appeared on David G's layout.

A new loco for John M's "Ledsham and Hereford Railway" is nearing completion.

Ross S is into concrete modelling.

David Ho. had photos of his Southbrook station included in the recent Gauge O Guild Virtual Exhibition that many people saw online.

Tim S now has two n-g locos fitted with DCC for his mixed gauge brewery layout.

Roger H is constructing a nuclear flask wagon to go with his DRS class 37,

Cassettes for Fred C's shelf layout are in production. 

Geoff R has been fettling his dioramas and sharing pictures via WhatsApp.

David G is putting finishing touches to his Burnham on Sea station's goods yard.

Planning for our new station is now focused on buildings such as Lenham in the 1950s, rather earlier than Paul W's photo.

Track parts and materials are being readied for when members can safely meet.

News from members about their projects as 2021 begins -

This is the latest home project for Ross S.  Full description in our latest Gallery page, plus a vintage Isle of Wight photoYou can also follow Fred C. to a railway location in the Far East.

Ross also provides a tip and a warning:  "Unable to visit the Hobby Shop in Faversham (altho’ you can order online from Harvey), I decided to try to revive some of my paint brushes as I need to do some more weathering.  I tried ‘Brush Magic’ from Deluxe Materials which I’ve had for some time.  It is remarkably effective. You could say that it is rather too effective, because if you are not careful it strips the painted brush handles leaving a sticky goo on your hands! " 

This station by David Ho. is shewn in more detail in the Gallery.

These wagons, From Roger H & Fred C feature in our Gallery Album '2021 January' with extended captions.

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."